Way of the Devil - Chapter 322 - Uncertainties (1)
Chapter 322: Uncertainties (1)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The afternoon soon arrived.
A young disciple dressed in apricot-yellow came knocking on the doors of both them and the other candidates around them.
As Lu Sheng was packing, he realized that a crowd of candidates had gathered outside.
He tidied up his room a little before walking out.
“Relax, just pretend it’s a normal test.” Yun Xiufei smiled, but his fist was clenched.
Wang Yunlong also smiled lightly. He was wearing blue tight-fitting clothes, outlining his muscular shape.
The three walked with the rest of the crowd toward the field in between the towers in the back.
“Next group.” A row of tables sat on the field. A couple of obviously annoyed disciples dressed in yellow were sitting behind them, unconsciously knocking on their armrests.
Of course they were annoyed—those candidates had been singled out, and all of them came from rural counties, whose other candidates made no impression in the past years.
The good counties’ talented candidates were on the other side, while everyone that showed up on their side was either a candidate that had failed multiple times or ordinary candidates with basically no potential.
The few disciples acting as proctors were all annoyed, but they had no choice but to carry on with the testing.
A total of eighteen people—including Lu Sheng and his companions—stood on the field. They were all ordered to change into a gray uniform in a room to the side of the tower. All their personal belongings were also taken away for safekeeping.
Lu Sheng was the ninth. Many candidates from other places were in front of them. Wang Yunlong too. In fact, he was the one before him.
“Don’t be nervous and perform well. You guys will be fine,” Yun Xiufei encouraged from the back.
“Tch.” A slightly chubby youth chuckled on the side. “Yeah, right, brother. Yun Xiufei, isn’t it? I’ve seen you so many times already. If you were really talented, you would be in the other group, and not here.”
“That’s different. This time, we will succeed. I trust them,” Yun Xiufei said seriously.
“That’s what you said last time.” The chubby guy shook his head. “But you do have the persistent spirit of that mushroom-head from group 3. That guy comes every year, but gets eliminated in the first round every time.”
“Mushroom-head? You mean that Zhao Cheng?” Yun Xiufei thought for a moment before realizing whom he was talking about.
“Who else?” The chubby guy nodded. “His whole family branch had been killed. Only he and his sister are alive. If it weren’t for his sister, who managed to secure a direct disciple spot, who would let him try this one year after another? His spot would have been taken by others long ago.”
“I heard his sister is Zhao Ting? Clashing-Spirit Sword Zhao Ting?” Yun Xiufei asked in return.
“That’s her. A very dedicated senior apprentice sister, probably desperate to avenge her family. She barely got into the inner sect, then risked her life to become a direct disciple. She nearly lost her life multiple times during that. The point is, many people admire her determination. Even though she ranks last among the direct disciples, making it there with only her talent is exceptionally impressive already.” The chubby guy chattered on casually.
Lu Sheng and Wang Yunlong listened to the two men chat on the side.
Wang Yunlong’s face was unchanged, like he wasn’t interested at all. Lu Sheng, on the other hand, seemed intrigued. Why did this Zhao Cheng’s story sound like some sort of main character from a web novel on Earth?
Unfortunately, this Zhao Cheng didn’t appear special at all. The main characters from stories were only useless on the surface, but in reality, every single one of them had ungodly talent. This Zhao Cheng didn’t seem to be so lucky.
“Next, Cheng Ling.” The line advanced fast, and soon, only four or five people were left.
A short-haired girl with a numb expression and a white pearl stud on one ear walked up with her long sword in her hands.
Though the girl had short hair, her face was delicate. Her bangs hung low, almost covering her left eye. Her apricot-shaped eyes were larger than normal, and looked watery. A sliver of determination and seriousness shone through them.
As soon as she entered the field, her pretty yet slim and simply-dressed body drew the attention of many men.
“It’s her, Cheng Ling. She’s come to the testing for four years in a row already. How persistent of her.” The chubby guy behind Yun Xiufei shook his head.
“What about her?” Yun Xiufei also considered himself an “experienced veteran” of this test. Although he saw the girl before, he didn’t know what had happened to her.
“She almost made it each and every time. Unlike you and me, she actually almost made it. Everyone thought that she could improve just a little when she comes back, but four years later, she’s still only ‘almost’ making it.
“What does her family do?” Wang Yunlong suddenly asked out of nowhere.
“Her dad is the head of a branch of a noble family. They have money and power in the family. She also has a brother, directly related, but he was accidently crippled by someone else. She’s the only heir to the family now, so there’s lots of pressure on her.” The chubby guy seemed to know everything.
“Couldn’t her father just conceive another child?” Yun Xiu Fei was bemused.
“If only he could.” The chubby guy’s mouth twitched.
Lu Sheng noticed that Wang Yunlong was looking at Cheng Ling strangely. Not the kind of look given to a pretty girl, nor did his look contain pity or sympathy. It was more like a dull assessment.
He looked away instantly. If it weren’t for Lu Sheng’s extremely sensitive senses, he wouldn’t have noticed at all.
Cheng Ling’s first test was the strength test.
She held her sword with both hands, and swung it at a rock covered in a layer of amber-colored slime.
A tiny mark appeared on the slime, then disappeared after a few breaths.
“Three breaths,” a proctor casually called out a number.
Next was the speed test. It involved sprinting the distance between two towers while bearing a three hundred pounds of load as quickly as possible.
Cheng Ling put on the special weights. She bit her lip and moved her feet. Then, she lowered her back, and got into a sprinting position on the starting line.
“On your mark… Get set… Go!” a woman to her side shouted.
Cheng Ling sprinted forward, but her speed really wasn’t exceptional at all. It was about the same level as an ordinary human’s. For mortals, it was considered fast, but compared to the other candidates, it was still a tad too slow.
She didn’t pass her speed test. Cheng Ling’s face paled a little. The last test was for potential talent. The result was average, and she didn’t get a lot of points—not nearly enough to make up for the points she’d lost during the speed test.
Hence, the final result was still a failure.
After the test, she stood dumbstruck in place, her eyes blank. No one knew what she was thinking.
Then it was Wang Yunlong’s turn. He walked up and whispered something as he walked pass Cheng Ling. Suddenly, her whole body shook, and she stared at him with a shocked expression on her face.
But Wang Yunlong said no more after that, and started his test.
The first was the strength test. He walked in front of the amber slime-covered rock, and took a sturdy long sword into his hands.
A senior apprentice brother walked to his side. “You may begin.”
Wang Yun smiled, unsheathed his sword, then glanced at it. Then, he casually swung it in front of him.
White light shot out from the blade.
A clear scar at least a finger deep appeared on the amber rock.
The disciple in charge of testing blanked out for a second. He inspected the rock carefully, then looked at Wang Yunlong.
“Very nice. A tier strength!” His face softened considerably. A tier was only one tier lower than jade third tier. Aside from those prodigies, A tier was one of the best that normal candidates could achieve.
Wang Yunlong bowed slightly with a smile, then walked onto the speed test field. He carefully put on his weight, and positioned himself properly.
His A tier strength drew the crowd’s attention already. As the speed test started, many onlookers looked toward him.
“I told you he could do it,” Yun Xiufei spoke proudly as if he’d just passed the test himself.
“Let’s see his speed.” The chubby guy shook his head. “Too bad he didn’t make it into jade tier; otherwise, he could’ve skipped the other tests and gotten accepted right there.”
Lu Sheng didn’t speak, and instead looked at Cheng Ling. The girl’s eyes stared straight at Wang Yunlong with a mix of anticipation and hope.
At the command, Wang Yunong shot out like a horse freed from its reins, and flew toward the other tower. His speed immediately surpassed the tester’s expectations, and he reached the other tower in five short breaths. His face was still relaxed, looking as if he could do better.
“A tier!” the tester shouted. “A tier speed!!” He was excited. After testing so many trash-tier candidates, he finally came across someone with real talent.
That was like a pretty woman suddenly jumping out of a crowd of ugly ones. The feeling of surprise was amazing.
The last potential talent test, regrettably, was only B tier. Otherwise, had he reached A tier in all his tests, he would have reached the lowest jade tier, and he would have been directly accepted into the inner sect.
As Wang Yunlong walked down, he whispered to Cheng Ling again. She visibly paused, then nodded her head.
It was Lu Sheng’s turn next.
He looked at Wang Yunlong as he walked up to take his test. He felt something off about this guy as if there was something familiar about him. But he clearly didn’t recognize his face, and the aura about Wang Yunlong was foreign to him as well.
Standing in front of the amber-colored rock, Lu Sheng decided not to overthink it. The whole goal was to make a splash and show off his peerless talent in order to attract the attention of the sect leaders, which would then lead to more resources being allocated to him. All that was in order to climb to a higher place in the way of True Qi cultivation.
“Power test begins now,” the test proctor shouted.
Lu Sheng hesitated before he accepted the testing sword.
He showed at most Bind level strength before. That was the limit considering the talent he displayed. Any higher than that wouldn’t be normal.
“What’s the matter? Is there a problem?” the test proctor asked on seeing that Lu Sheng didn’t make a move.