Chapter 319: No Child Left Behind
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The competition between the Aurous Core cultivators at the Spiritual Conference of Huanghai has entered its third round. Those who managed to advance to the Top 8 were certainly no ordinary people.
At this stage of the competition, it’s very difficult to predict who would emerge victorious in each match. Even Lin Feng, Cao Wei and Shi Zongyue couldn’t ascertain the winners, so those lower-level cultivators had no hope of doing so, since the competitors on both sides were almost evenly matched in terms of strength, with only a fine line between victory and defeat.
If purely comparing raw strength, the differences between them would be miniscule, making this at least no longer the deciding factor of the outcome of the match.
The psychological states, battle strategies and spontaneous reactions to sudden changes of both sides would be the keys to determining the victors. Absolute distinctions between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ would no longer exist.
But the most eye-catching match of the four matches between the Top 8, would still be the one between Zhu Yi and Jiao Junchen.
One was from the Celestial Sect of Wonders, having showcased unbeatable prowess and boasting a perfect win streak throughout this Spiritual Conference, while the other crushed his opponent with an overwhelming advantage in the match that just concluded.
Furthermore, their similar dispositions made everyone anticipate their match excitedly. Some nosy spectators even claimed that this match was the finals brought forward, and that the victor of this duel would sweep all his subsequent matches and eventually clinch the championship title.
Such a postulation might seem a little extreme, but it amply showed the high expectations the crowd bore for Zhu Yi and Jiao Junchen.
However, the first disciple from the Celestial Sect of Wonders to take the stage was not Zhu Yi, but Xiao Budian.
Lin Feng withdrew his mana, exposing Xiao Budian who was sitting cross-legged on the ground. Although there were no visible wounds on his body, he still felt rather weak and sluggish.
Shi Zongyue, the Vivant Joy Holy Man and Zhu Muguang looked at each other with troubled faces.
Xiao Budian’s injuries were extremely severe just now. Although he was not on the verge of dying, he would still have needed a long period of treatment to recover fully. Even formidable Immortal Soul powerhouses would not be able to heal him completely in such a short amount of time.
“Is that the effect of the Grand Moon Primordial Water, or are his mastery and mana levels that terrifyingly high?” The Gambling Holy Man Zhu Muguang frowned and used his mana to communicate with Shi Zongyue.
Shi Zongyue shook his head. “I don’t know.”
Upon saying this, the Vivant Joy Holy Man and Zhu Muguang appeared even more concerned than before. During the Spiritual Conference of Huanghai this time round, even though every sect had their Immortal Soul stage powerhouses present, but needless to say, the strongest one of all was Prince Anliang of the Great Qin Empire, Shi Zongyue.
Since even Shi Zongyue could not deduce Lin Feng’s mastery level, or even understand how he could heal Xiao Budian completely in such a short amount of time, the Vivant Joy Holy Man and Zhu Muguang’s impression of Lin Feng went up another notch.
And when they recalled that time during the Celestial Sect of Wonders’ first Sect-Opening Ceremony at Shazhou, where Mei Wulang, the Superintendent of the Great Zhou Empire, presented a precious gift to congratulate Lin Feng, Shi Zongyue’s heart became slightly heavy.
Meanwhile, Lin Feng wasn’t aware of the concerns churning inside the heads of the Great Qin Empire’s three great Immortal Soul cultivators, and was exhorting his disciples.
“Tian Hao, before the start of the Spiritual Conference, Shi Xingyun greeted you before.” Lin Feng patted Xiao Budian’s shoulder. “Do you still remember what she told you?”
While saying this, Lin Feng’s eyes also scanned across Zhu Yi and the other disciples. Xiao Budian met Zhu Yi’s gaze, then said, “She said that among the Aurous Core cultivators at this Spiritual Conference, there were three and a half of them worthy of battling me and Second Senior.”
“Jiao Junchen was one of them, Tao Yaoyao from the Sword of Radiance Sect was another.” Xiao Budian paused and looked towards the direction of the Sun Moon Sword Sect. “That duo from the Sun Moon Sword Sect would also be considered as one of them, and finally, Shi Xingyun herself was the last half.”
Zhu Yi said, “When she said that she was only considered as a half, she was obviously being modest. Among the Aurous Core cultivators in this Spiritual Conference, those that truly can give me pressure, besides Little Junior, are only Jiao Junchen and her.”
He directed his gaze towards the Sun Moon Sword Sect, “As for the Sun Moon Sword Sect’s sword duo that she mentioned, she’s probably referring to those two.”
Xiao Budian’s next opponent was the pair of disciples from the Sun Moon Sword Sect, Li Dongtao and Yun Mei. Both had mastery levels in the advanced Aurous Core stage, and completely overpowered a pair of Huo Family cultivators during the Top 8 selection round.
The Huo Family boasts frighteningly lethal strength in battle due to their mantras and Abhijna, hence in an environment where they can fight without constraints like the Hidden Dragon Gorge, their powers are highly outstanding. Unfortunately, their luck has been consistently poor.
Whether it was during the Foundation Establishment stage or Aurous Core stage matches, the Huo Family disciples have often been pit against the Celestial Sect of Wonders, hence becoming the stepping stones of people like Zhu Yi and Wang Lin.
But in spite of this, Huo Ming and Huo Chen battled Zhu Yi so ferociously that sparks were flying everywhere, which clearly displayed their unbending fighting spirit, proving that they should never be belittled.
But during their match with Li Dongtao and Yun Mei, they suffered a devastating defeat. Li Dongtao and Yun Mei revealed powers that surpassed those of other Sun Moon Sword Sect disciples. Their Solar Eclipse Sword and Full Moon Holy Light Sword, derived from the Dual Swords of the Sun and Moon, each complemented the other’s radiance and strength, unleashing boundless power.
Tao Yaoyao’s impressive feat of single-handedly defeating another pair of Sun Moon Sword Sect disciples was indeed eye-catching, but everyone could tell that, if the opponent she was allocated to was the duo of Li Dongtao and Yun Mei instead, she would not have had a surefire victory.
Zhu Yi took a glance at Xiao Budian then said to Lin Feng, “Master, Little Junior’s injuries have not fully healed. Let me join him for this match.”
Lin Feng chuckled, “You’ve already obtained the right to enter the Ancient Huanghai World. Leave this opportunity for someone else.”
Upon hearing this, Zhu Yi and the other disciples paused, then everyone’s gazes simultaneously landed on Tuntun.
Among those present, Zhu Yi, Yue Hongyan and Yang Qing have all secured a place to enter the Ancient Huanghai World. Even Zhuge Fengling, who was riding on Yue Hongyan’s coattails by hitch-hiking with her, obtained a spot, with the only exception being the little Taotie, Tuntun.
Tuntun pointed at her nose. “Me?”
Lin Feng smiled, “Of course it’s you.” He patted Tuntun’s little head. “We’ll have to rely on you for this match. Tian Hao is just there to make up the numbers.”
Xiao Budian rolled her large black eyeballs and giggled, “Master, you’re adding oil to the fire.”
Lin Feng smiled and yanked the heads of the two rascals to turn them around, then gently pushed their backs. “Go, all that delicious food in the Ancient Huanghai World is waiting for you.”
Tuntun’s eyes widened. “I’ve heard long ago that the Ancient Huanghai World has many tasty treats, but I’ve never had the opportunity to go in. This is indeed a good chance for me.”
All the cultivators from the respective sects stared at Tuntun curiously as she walked towards the Hidden Dragon Gorge together with Xiao Budian. After taking on her human form, Tuntun appeared slightly older than the time Lin Feng first met her, but she still looked around five or six years old.
She looked even younger than Xiao Budian, which made the spectators grow even more puzzled. Many of them couldn’t discern Tuntun’s mastery level, and pondered to themselves, “Could it be that the Celestial Sect of Wonders wants to fight one-against-two again?”
Since Yue Hongyan and Tao Yaoyao did so previously, the spectators sighed to themselves, “What’s wrong with societal expectations nowadays? If you don’t destroy the Sun Moon Sword Sect’s Dual Sword Combination in a one-on-two matchup, would you be too embarrassed to call yourself strong?”
But cultivators with outstanding mastery levels like Tao Yaoyao and Shi Xingyun could vaguely sense the terrifying power contained within Tuntun’s tiny body, while those with acute senses could distinguish that this energy did not belong to a human cultivator, but was similar to the demonic energy of a demon.
Nascent Soul stage grandmasters with higher mastery levels frowned immediately. “A demon, and a pure-blood Taotie no less?!”
Shi Zongyue looked at Lin Feng, “Sect Master Lin, isn’t sending a demon to participate in a Spiritual Conference match quite inappropriate?”
In today’s Grand Celestial World, broadly speaking, humans and demons are against each other, and many large-scale wars have erupted between the two sides throughout history.
Ever since the War of the Two Worlds, the two tribes have entered the recuperation stage. The animosity between them still exists, but it’s no longer that intense. Only the region surrounding the gap in space connecting the Divine Lands and the Barren Expanses would break out in bloody scuffles.
Many human tribes also have the habit of rearing demonic and spiritual beasts, with many of them being at the level of a demon king.
The Dragon Pool of the Great Void Sect is even the habitat of dragons at the Grand Sage level which have formed their demon souls.
But on the whole, human cultivators would obviously not treat their domesticated demonic beasts the same way they treat their own kind.
Most demons are seen as either modes of transport by riding, weapons, or sources of ingredients for spells, relatively similar to how mortal humans train and rear hunting dogs, cows, sheep and horses.
Lin Feng was well aware of this himself, but if he didn’t intend to send both Tuntun and Zhuge Fengling into the Ancient Huanghai World as well, why would he have suggested for the Sun Moon Sword Sect cultivators to fight as a pair?
“This demon is also a disciple of my sect in name.” Lin Feng replied calmly, “There are no restrictions pertaining to this matter. I didn’t let her compete from the first round either, so she wouldn’t occupy another person’s slot. Please try to understand, Prince Anliang.”
The Supreme Radiance Swordmaster frowned, “Even if she is a disciple in name, as the master of your sect with a status above everyone else, does Sect Master Lin really wish to accept a demon as your disciple?”
Lin Feng chuckled, “If I remember correctly, about ten thousand years ago, the Sword of Radiance Sect’s fourth Sect Master had six immediate disciples, and among them were two from the demonic tribe. Yet in the end, they also contributed greatly in the strengthening and development of the Sword of Radiance Sect.”
The Supreme Radiance Swordmaster gasped. Very few people know about this period in the Sword of Radiance Sect’s history after the sect attempted to intentionally obscure it throughout all its ranks. Even their own disciples know very little about this, so no one expected Lin Feng to have such clear knowledge of it.
Before anyone else spoke, Lin Feng’s gaze fell onto Cao Wei. “I remember that there was a Snowy Demon Master somewhere in the history of the Heaven Lake Sect, in the form of a Polar Bear Demon?”
Cao Wei let out a muffled grunt and said nothing.
“No child left behind. This practice has persisted since ancient times, it’s a very normal thing.” Lin Feng scanned the other Immortal Soul grandmasters, making all their hearts skip a beat.
Throughout the long passage of time, humans and demons have not always opposed each other; there were also times when they coexisted in harmony. Although they were enemies most of the time, but which sect could guarantee that there weren’t any black smears on their history books?
But these smears were just outdated stale gossip, unlike Lin Feng’s controversial act at the peak of everyone’s attention. However, Lin Feng only said that Tuntun was his disciple in name. She wasn’t even an official disciple, much less considered an immediate disciple, so the crowd couldn’t pry into it too much.
The various Immortal Soul grandmasters swallowed their doubts, and the people beneath them naturally had nothing else better to say, and just watched in bafflement as Tuntun and Xiao Budian both entered the Hidden Dragon Gorge.
“At least the System contains information on most of the sects’ histories. As long as there are no internal cover-ups, anything can be exposed.” Lin Feng also stared at Tuntun and Xiao Budian. “The chance is yours to seize. Both of you have to work for it now.”