Chapter 237: The Epiphany From the Lightning
Translator: Sheryl Editor: Hitesh
The Hidden Dragon Rank competition was held once every three years. Everyone aged below twenty-four was allowed to join, regardless of the social status.
There were billions of residents in the South Rudra Region, which included countless young and talented people. However, in the Hidden Dragon Rank, there were only seventy-two places available. Therefore, it would be the highest honor to be able to even be on the rank. The truth was that all of the young warriors in the Hidden Dragon Rank would be even more famous than most of the Astral Reaching Realm warriors. This was because the quantity of the Astral Reaching Realm warriors would be way more than seventy-two people, and there were only seventy-two people in the Hidden Dragon Rank.
However, this year of Hidden Dragon Rank was supposed to one of the biggest one after one thousand years because the entrance bar had already been raised from the Condensing Reality Realm to Clasping Yuan Realm. This meant that no matter how powerful one was, they would be rejected if they were not at the Clasping Yuan Realm already.
But of course, a lot of the powerful young warriors who had reached the late Condensing Reality Realm and were able to cross-realm challenge other warriors felt quite unfair because they lost a chance to be famous as the others.
Unfortunately, current times were not like before. There were just so many young warriors who had reached the Clasping Yuan Realm that even if one defeated a normal Early Clasping Yuan Realm warrior somehow, a Middle Clasping Yuan Realm warrior would thrash them. So there was just no chance for warriors below Clasping Yuan Realm to compete for the top seventy-two. Actually, even the Early Clasping Yuan Realm warriors might not even stand a chance.
Luo Xinglie had scanned through the three and eventually landed on Xu Jing. One year had passed, and her cultivation had not increased much, still at Early Clasping Yuan Realm. She would still need a bit of time to reach the peak of Early Clasping Yuan Realm, which was a bit less than Luo Hanshan and Zhu Mei. However, in combat, Luo Hanshan and Zhu Mei somehow could not even last her three fist attacks. Even some of the inner masters had admitted that they would not be able to win against Xu Jing, which truly surprised Luo Xinglie. He wanted to know what exactly happened to Xu Jing for the past year.
Everyone had their own secrets, but as long as they were loyal to the institution, Luo Xinglie would respect their privacy. On the contrary, he could not be happier. With Xu Jing, this black horse, the Sky Cloud Martial School might be able to earn some reputation so that they would not lose too badly.
"I am sure that you all are aware of the reason I summoned you lot. Indeed, there are less than two months before the Hidden Dragon Rank. And this time, it would be the biggest competition ever, the bar has been raised to the Clasping Yuan Realm. There are so many Sky Cloud Martial School disciples, but only you three plus Ye Chen have become Clasping Yuan Realm warriors. So, you will be representing the Sky Cloud Martial School to attend the competition. Is there a problem?" Luo Xinglie cleared his throat and asked with a deep voice.
Luo Xinglie lifted up his chin and smiled, "Very well. Before the competition, let the headmaster explain to you some of the things you should be aware of."
The headmaster started talking, "The Hidden Dragon Rank competitions would be separated into three different stages. The first one would be the Three Challenges of the Dragon Door, the second one would be the eliminations and the third one being the ranking competitions."
"Being eligible to join the Hidden Dragon Rank is not enough. That is why the Three Challenge of the Dragon Door was designed to eliminate the ones who had the right cultivation but just not enough power. The first challenge is wall breaking. If you don't have enough attacking power, then you are out. The second challenge is to fight for the tag. If you don't have a jade tag by the end, then you are out as well. The last one is the hardest, called Jumping Dragon Door. Once having jumped through, you would be able to officially enter the competition. If you fail... sorry, out. Normally, more than seventy percent of the warriors get eliminated at this stage. Only thirty percent would pass. So I hope you all could make it and enter the eliminating competitions."
The three had all never entered the Hidden Dragon Rank before. Besides Xu Jing, they were a bit concerned after hearing the statistics. The first stage sounded extremely hard already, and more than seventy percent of the people had failed at that stage.
The headmaster glanced at Xu Jing and said to Luo Hanshan and Zhu Mei, "You two have just reached the Clasping Yuan Realm, you might still lack experience. So at the critical moment, try to use your head more than just relying on your power."
Luo Hanshan tightened his fist. Last time, he had missed the opportunity to join the competitions so he would have to make it this time, at least make it through the first stage.
"As for the eliminating competition, it will actually be a scoring system. Because there will be a lot of competitions in a short time, so even if you manage to not get wounded in the whole competition, you would still be mentally drained. Therefore, in the eliminating competitions, if you are facing an unbeatable opponent, you can choose to give up. But if it is someone you have a chance to beat, then it is best that you don't give up. It will be a challenge for you guys, maybe you will even be able to make a breakthrough."
Right then, Luo Xinglie said, "Alright, that will be all. The key is still your individual power. The rest does not matter that much. You can go now! Be prepared, we will leave for the competition place tomorrow - the Hidden Dragon Ancient City!"
Waiting until the three people had left, Luo Xinglie looked around and said, "What do you all think about the three?"
Most of the people shook their heads. One of the inner masters said, "I think Xu Jing would be able to make it in the top one hundred, but it might be tricky for Hanshan and Zhu Mei. The first stage will already be a challenge for them."
"Indeed. They had entered the Clasping Yuan Realm not long before, it might be pushing it." The other inner master said.
Luo Xinglie knocked on the chair handle and laughed, "It is already surprising to have a Xu Jing. Plus, we still have a black horse in our school."
"Ye Chen! I wonder how powerful he is now after one year of training." The headmaster smiled. He was really excited to see for himself.
The fourth master said, "Needless to say, with that kid's potential, he might have already reached the Mid Clasping Yuan Realm. Adding his sword intent, it will be very likely for him to be in the rank."
"Hehe, I agree." Most of the inner masters liked Ye Chen and had all listed him as a rare genius of the martial world.
But some of them were quite negative as always, "Although it is imperative to have potential and hard work, one year is still a short time. I am afraid it will not be that easy."
"To be honest, Ye Chen is indeed a rare genius for our Sky Cloud Martial School, but even geniuses would need time to sleep and eat. So, not every second would be dedicated to training. He might have stopped a while for something else."
"Training is always a good thing. It will help them grow faster. And who can really be sure that one year of traveling will really be better than one year of training? Since you would be facing so many different things when you are traveling, it might take your mind of training for a while. And on the contrary, training alone would have no disturbances and would not waste a single second."
The headmaster argued back, "Everything has an upside and a downside. Regardless, there will always be more profits in traveling, and with Ye Chen's calm personality, he would know his goal and work for it."
Luo Xinglie stopped everyone's discussion, "Everyone has a point. However, as a member of the Sky Cloud Martial School, we should be fairly confident in our disciples. Geniuses would always be different no matter where they were. If they could not take it when it got hard and tough, then even if we offered him more resources, he would still not make too much of a difference."
With his knowledge, he was actually very confident about Ye Chen. But of course, just like the fourth master, he thought that Ye Chen should be at around Mid Clasping Yuan Realm, and maybe his sword intent had increased a little bit. Combining the two, it would be really likely for him to enter the top seventy-two.
"Oh right! Ye Chen would not miss the competition right?" Suddenly someone asked.
The headmaster shook his head, "No. People who have learned the sword intent would not break their promise, unless..." He did not finish his sentence. There was always danger when traveling, and he really hoped that everything was okay with Ye Chen so that he could make it to the competition.
In the ten thousand meters high sky, the clouds were like oceans, continuously running without stopping.
Being in the clouds, Ye Chen held both of his hands up to the sky while holding his Star Scar Sword, his eyes slightly closed. His whole body was still as a mountain.
This time, he did not use his soul power at all. He was trying to sense that entrance point from the mentality of his Sky Shattering Clouds.
The second when the clouds and the mentality seemed to be in harmony, Ye Chen pulled out his sword. It was only a simple sword attack. There was no wind-shattering sound, no bright sword qi, only that unbreakable exploding power. It seemed to be able to tear open space and destroy anything.
The pressure of the sword touched the clouds, and all of a sudden the clouds within the hundreds meters radius turned to look like torn-apart cotton shreds, falling but not rejoining.
"No... something is still missing."
Ye Chen opened his eyes and shook his head.
He had stayed in the clouds for three days and three nights now. If it were not for his great medicine that could repair his zhen qi instantly, his Mysterious Great zhen qi would never have been able to last that long in the ten thousand meters high sky.
In the past three days, there were only the clouds in his eyes and nothing else. He thought that with his seventy percent sword intent, it would be much easier since it was only compressing the fourth movement of the Sky Cloud Sword Art, which should be easier than completing the Lone Peak Kill and the sword intent.
However, he was gravely wrong. The Lone Peak Kill and the Sky Shattering Clouds were two completely different realms. Before he did not reach both of their highest realms, he would not be able to see the similarity between the two. Therefore, the infusion of the Sky Shattering Clouds would have to start from the beginning.
The bright sunny weather suddenly went dark - the first realm of the three realms. There was thunder element yuan qi pouring down from the sunny sky, turning into bright lightning and shooting out into the clouds. The clouds seemed to contain endless power. They kept scrambling, and their color had changed from the original white to black. It looked like an Ancient God was about to wake up and punish the mortals.
"Thunder, Clouds, Explode!"
Ye Chen did not avoid the lightning. Although the thunder element yuan qi in the sunny sky had the power of killing all warriors below the Astral Reaching Realm, once it came down from the sky, it was touched by a lot of impure qi, which would decrease its power. Therefore, it would not have an effect on Ye Chen.
"No wonder... Just studying the clouds, it would be way too hard. It is still something I cannot understand, but add in the power of thunder, the exploding power of the clouds is obviously increased, which would make it easier to understand." Ye Chen knew clearly that a single natural power might seem to be easy to learn, but it was actually the hardest and most abstract concept. But if one added in something else, it might make things different. For example, he had studied only the clouds for three days which had given him nothing. Now with the enhancement of the thunder element yuan qi, that blockage had been cleared all of a sudden, and he knew he was on the right track.
Instead of closing his eyes, Ye Chen, who was amongst the lighting and the clouds, yelled loudly. His voice was like thunder as he threw out a powerful attack.
That sword attack's power was unimaginable. It had attracted all of the lightning surrounding Ye Chen. Then, the clouds had wrapped him up, protecting Ye Chen and increasing his aura.
The next second!
Thousands of meters in front of him, the clouds were like water, splashing everywhere with lightning shining upon them. They then exploded out with an unbearable bright light, which was a sign of him succeeding in infusing the fourth movement!
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