Chapter 366: The Second-Generation Disciples Choose Their Masters
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Being the one of the four most outstanding four second-generation disciples, Liu Xiafeng chose Xiao Yan’s Inferno Precipice.
His close friend Fatty completed the Purple Clouds Maze at the last minute and similarly met the criteria to proceed to the second round of the assessment. He mulled over the options behind Liu Xiafeng and asked, “Brother Feng, which one do you think I should pick?”
Liu Xiafeng stopped in his tracks and glanced at him oddly. “This is a decision that you need to make yourself.”
Fatty laughed in embarrassment, but still gazed at Liu Xiafeng with eyes that were seemingly begging him for help.
Liu Xiafeng replied lazily, “Elder Zhu is our Chief Instructor, and inculcates the foundational skills to new disciples like us under the Grandmaster’s orders. I reckon that Elder Zhu would still serve as the Chief Instructor for future recruits if nothing unexpected happens.”
“There will be even more new disciples in the future, and Elder Zhu may only conduct occasional spell lessons to clarify the freshmen’s doubts like the Grandmaster. If this happens, the responsibility of educating the disciples on a day-to-day basis would perhaps be handed over to Elder Zhu’s official disciples.”
Fatty asked hesitatingly, “Brother Feng, you mean to say …”
Liu Xiafeng pressed against the centre of his palm and commented nonchalantly, “Yes. Ignoring all other considerations, Elder Zhu’s extensive social network would come in handy next time if we have him as our Master. Most of the newly inducted disciples would forge sentimental bonds with him. And even those who subsequently choose to train under other elders would still bear gratitude for Elder Zhu for being their very first teacher.”
“Brother Feng, since you’re so informed about this, why didn’t you become a disciple of Elder Zhu’s Heavenly Temple?” Fatty asked out of curiosity.
Liu Xiafeng chuckled casually, “I feel more comfortable and carefree under Elder Xiao’s wing, so I chose Elder Xiao. There’s nothing more to it. I don’t have any wild ambitions, so being comfortable and carefree would be best for me.”
Fatty then came to a decision. “I’ll go with Brother Feng.”
Liu Xiafeng chuckled. “I already told you, this is something that you must decide for yourself.”
“I’ve already considered this very carefully.” Fatty answered in a very serious tone, “Training under Elder Zhu may be beneficial for me, but Elder Zhu’s expectations are too strict. I … I’m not suited for it.”
Liu Xiafeng shrugged his shoulders and smiled, “Since you’ve thought about it thoroughly, let’s go then. I’m quite glad we can still train together as brothers.”
Both looked at each other and laughed, then walked towards Xiao Yan’s Inferno Precipice together.
Just as Liu Xiafeng said, a large proportion of disciples chose Zhu Yi as their Master, among them being Xu Yunsheng.
“Elder Zhu has always bore the responsibility of overseeing the new disciples’ foundational education. As time goes by, his faction would certainly become the strongest one in the Celestial Sect of Wonders. I wonder if the Grandmaster and the other elders would sit by and allow this to happen.”
Xu Yunsheng wondered to himself, “But even without this advantage, I should still go to the Heavenly Temple. Elder Zhu Yi created the Yi Zi’s Eight Trigrams Variorum, the mantra learnt during the Qi Training stage. He is the most well-versed in this mantra, so mastering it under his guidance would give me the greatest advantage, and would allow me to be a step ahead of my peers.”
“The Foundation Establishment stage mantras I’ll encounter in the future would probably be in the same vein as Yi Zi’s Eight Trigrams Variorum. I can achieve double the results with just half the effort that I would need if I was training under another elder’s wing, which would once again give me an edge over my peers.”
“By accumulating all these advantages bit by bit, I’ll eventually create a considerable gap.” Xu Yunsheng took a deep breath. “Once I commit to something, I must strive to be the best in it. Choosing Elder Zhu would be the most appropriate option for me.”
Xu Yunsheng finally decided on joining the Heavenly Temple as a disciple after much contemplation, while Ying Luozha’s concerns were much more straightforward. He would go wherever Xu Yunsheng went, simple as that. This way, he could compete against Xu Yunsheng more frequently to gauge his own strength.
If he had gone to another faction, would it even matter if he emerged as the strongest of that group? He has never won Xu Yunsheng before, so others would assume that he was fearful of Xu Yunsheng and therefore avoided him on purpose.
Lin Feng gazed at Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha as they strode towards the Heavenly Temple, both looking straight ahead without acknowledging each other’s presence at all, and he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this sight. “This is so overdramatic. I have no qualms about the both of you being eternal rivals, but please don’t maintain such a love-hate relationship. I’m getting old, and I can’t stand all this drama.”
Lin Feng then shifted his gaze towards another direction. “But what are you going there for? Out of pity?”
Over there, an elegant and beautiful young lady dressed in purple was making her way to Wang Lin’s Forest Abode. She was also the only disciple that chose Wang Lin as her master.
Her decision came as a shock to many. Second-generation disciples like her wouldn’t know the exact mastery levels of Lin Feng’s six immediate disciples. Their current impression of Wang Lin was still based on his performance during the battle on the outskirts of Shazhou City, when his mastery level was evidently lower than Xiao Yan, Zhu Yi and Xiao Budian, and the abilities he showcased were less outstanding than the other three.
Wang Lin was usually busy training, secluding himself and rarely showing his face. He was also the most mysterious of the six immediate disciples, so much so that none of the second-generation disciples have witnessed his capabilities ever since the Sect-Opening Ceremony.
Li Xingfei ignored all the puzzled stares of the onlookers. She had formed her own analysis. “Aside from mantras, resources are also of utmost importance. Elder Xiao is in-charge of the Elixir Chamber, but many disciples have already rushed to his side. Elder Yang controls the Herb Valley, but he joined the sect more recently, and his mastery level is not as advanced as Elder Wang’s.”
“Elder Wang oversees the Tripitaka Block, hence I stand to gain special advantages that others wouldn’t be able to enjoy for mantras and spells.”
Lin Feng took a sweeping glance of Xu Yunsheng, Ying Luozha, Li Xingfei and Liu Xiafeng. He cracked a smile and commented, “How interesting.”
At this moment, the choices of the eleven disciples who have overcome the trial of the Purple Clouds Maze have become clear.
Zhu Yi’s faction was the most popular one just as expected, claiming five disciples for himself, taking almost half the total number of people. Among them included Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha, the two most accomplished individuals of all the second-generation disciples.
Among the remaining six people, three chose to go with Xiao Yan, including Liu Xiafeng who could arguably be ranked fourth among his peers. Two disciples chose Yue Hongyan, while only Li Xingfei chose Wang Lin.
Xiao Budian and Yang Qing were left emptyhanded, but both of their reactions were starkly different. Xiao Budian looked dejected, while Yang Qing heaved a sigh of relief.
Upon witnessing this, Kang Nanhua frowned and turned to Lin Feng. “Sect Master, by letting the second-generation disciples choose freely like this, Tianhao and Yang Qing ended up with no one. Wouldn’t this hurt their pride?”
Even Miao Shihao who rarely showed much concern also appeared worried. “That’s right. Furthermore, this would damage their repute in the eyes of the junior disciples.”
Lin Feng smiled. “There’s no harm in giving the second-generation disciples the freedom of choice. Not only is this a privilege bestowed upon them, but isn’t this also an indirect test of their judgement?”
“Xiao Budian and Yang Qing already knew about this. Xiao Budian is acting all upset just for the sake of throwing a tantrum. I’ve already informed them of the purpose of designing this indirect test beforehand.”
Kang Nanhua was slightly stunned. Miao Shihao and him looked at each other before gazing at the eleven young men and women who have already arrived at their respective factions and were preparing to take on their subsequent trials. A realization then dawned upon the two Sect Guardian Elders.
Xiao Yan and the others designed their trials with absolutely no intention of going easy on their prospective disciples. They too wished to select the most exceptional talent to become their official disciples.
Having been nurtured by Lin Feng with utmost care, his six immediate disciples would unknowingly attempt to emulate Lin Feng in some way or another.
Having established a reputable name for himself in the Grand Celestial World, there were two things that Lin Feng was most frequently adulated for. Firstly, his own mastery level was so profoundly high that no one could grasp it, his mantras were extremely intricate, and he ruled over such a blessed and well-endowed Alternate World like Mount Yujing, hence becoming the subject of envy for many.
Secondly, his six immediate disciples spell disaster for any opponent that dares to challenge them. Any one of them would invite immense uncontrollable jealousy from others.
Ever since Wang Lin also proved his worth at the Spiritual Conference of Huanghai, outsiders have felt that Lin Feng’s eye for selecting disciples was so frighteningly sharp that it made their hairs stand.
He has never misjudged anyone, and each one of his immediate disciples was a proud child of God that astounded all of the Divine Lands.
And this unique attribute of his has subtly and inevitably been passed down to his immediate disciples, hence cultivating such a desire in their subconscious minds: “I want to become like Master. I want all my disciples to become exceptionally outstanding, and any one of them would have the ability to shock the world.”
As a result, even though Xu Yunsheng, Ying Luozha, Li Xingfei and Liu Xiafeng have already demonstrated their capabilities as worthy young talent, they still felt that the trials set by Xiao Yan and the others were incomparably difficult and arduous.
Wang Lin was especially harsh, completely ignoring the fact that Li Xingfei was the only one who chose to join him as his disciple. He seemed to have forgotten that he would also end up with an empty harvest like Xiao Budian and Yang Qing if he eliminated Li Xingfei.
When everything concluded, almost half of the participating disciples were shockingly eliminated. Only Xu Yunsheng, Ying Luozha, Li Xingfei, Liu Xiafeng, Xiao Huanzi and Fatty passed the final test, and obtained the right to enter their elders’ factions.
Xiao Budian sat at the entrance of the Wasteland Valley, with his hand holding up his lower jaw as he shook his head in disappointment. “Why did you all charge forward futilely even when you’re obviously not suited for the challenge? What else can I say about all of you?”
After everyone finished the trial, they gathered under the Black Heavenly Treasure Tree again, where Lin Feng announced the official conclusion of this assessment.
When he saw the majority of disciples looking disheartened and frustrated, Zhu Yi approached them personally to speak with them, both to educate them about their areas of improvement and to encourage them to strive harder.
Xu Yunsheng and the other select few who successfully overcame the trial were also comforting the rest repeatedly before bringing everyone back to the Disciples’ Abode. They then packed their personal belongings and prepared to move in to the residences of their respective masters.
Lin Feng held Wang Lin back and said with a smile, “Wang Lin, everyone is exhausted. It’s your turn to head to the Tripitaka Block.”
Wang Lin nodded and replied, “Don’t worry, Master. I’ve actually been condensing and editing my mantra over the past few days, and I’ve already formed a draft of it in my mind. I’m sure I can produce the complete mantra very soon.”
As he watched Wang Lin enter the Tripitaka Block, Lin Feng suddenly slapped his own head. “I almost forgot something.”
By convention, Lin Feng would present a Nascent Soul stage magic item to every immediate disciple once they have formed their Aurous Core, and he has yet to give Wang Lin his deserved Nascent Soul item despite him already forming his Aurous Core.
Lin Feng was already holding on to a Nascent Soul stage item that was ready to be presented – the Golden Crown of Angels and Demons. However, Lin Feng has never been flippant about bestowing magic items upon his disciples. He would attempt to tailor it to the disciple’s individual circumstances as much as possible. Even though the Golden Crown of Angels and Demons was indeed impressive, it was not exactly compatible with Wang Lin.
Lin Feng pondered for a moment then flipped his hand around. A ball of white light suddenly appeared on his palm.