Chapter Thirty Four Opportunity
Nangong Caishu was shocked.
The strictness of the entry tests was related to the sect’s foundation and rank. Green Vine Sword School and White Goat Cave were about the same in their status so the difficulty of their entry tests were similar.
Green Vine Sword School’s “Ten Thousand Threading” was similar to this stone disk. Even she had taken a full hour before finally passing.
If he passed in just a few seconds … he would break the records of White Goat Cave and Green Vine Sword School.
The students of White Goat Cave had similar emotions to her, causing them to exclaim in shock.
Su Qin frowned. Emotions hard to describe rose. Did this common youth really possess astounding talent and was specially recruited for the sect?
Ding Ning looked calmly at him. He did not give this second senior sect brother of White Goat Cave a chance to speak. He stretched out his hand and opened it.
Everyone’s gaze gathered on his palm.
Then even louder exclamations sounded.
Amidst the inhales of shock, Zhang Yi’s pupils contracted slightly. The worry in his brow immediately transformed into joyful surprise.
Nangong Caishu completely froze.
Shen Bai, who had reacted the fiercest at the start and had been standing with his head low ever since learning Nangong Caishu’s birth, paled even further. His chest rose up and down.
Five pebbles were lying silently in Ding Ning’s hand.
When these five pebbles had been flowing in the grey currents, they did not look any different compared to the other pebbles. Yet everyone could clearly see that one of the pebbles was slightly larger, and the other four smaller.
It was the contrast with the slightly larger pebble that caused everyone to immediately see the other four were slightly smaller.
Even if the five were not all correct, this Disk of Flowing Annual Rings test could be passed by picking three correctly.
In the past, White Goat Cave’s record was fifteen minutes.
Everyone was shocked by Ding Ning’s performance to the point that they started to suspect Ding Ning had deliberately picked a wrong one so they could see more clearly.
Su Qin’s expression did not change greatly yet his mind was taken over by great shock.
His gaze changed abruptly.
He did not immediately state any opinion. He quickly reached out and as he took the five pebbles from Ding Ning’s hand, his finger lightly touched Ding Ning’s palm.
In this millisecond, Ding Ning clearly felt a weak presence flow from Su Qin’s finger and quickly circulate around his meridians.
He knew what Su Qin intended and so he maintained his calm as though he did not detect it.
Su Qin’s heart sank again and grew colder.
He did not feel any unusual presences.
The absence of any unusual presences meant that Ding Ning was not a cultivator with high cultivation.
“Four out of five. You have passed this test.”
He glanced at the five pebbles in his hand and then handed them to the student next to him. He indicated for the student to put away the disk. Then he pointed at the flesh-colored jade soldier statue in the other box and said slowly, “This is a sensing soldier statue. Perception is a kind of talent. Some people can achieve absolute calm and look within, but their internal energies never sync with the primal energies of the universe. They are not able to feel the existence of their own energies and the primal energies of the universe. People without this talent cannot become true cultivators.”
“This jade soldier statue is made from a kind of flesh jade which contains energies similar to our bodies. However, it is easier to feel and touch.”
Su Qin looked coldly at Ding Ning and said, “The small sword the jade soldier holds is empty. If you can feel the energy of the jade soldier, and feel the flow, you can pour the energies out from the small sword like pouring water from a bottle.”
Ding Ning said, “So pouring the energy out will be considered a pass?”
Su Qin nodded. “Exactly.”
Ding Ning smiled and said, “If I pass this, I can formally enter the sect and cultivate?”
Su Qin frowned slightly and nodded again without saying anything more.
Ding Ning did not speak again. He went forward and held the jade statue in his hand.
Since he had chosen his way of passing on the last test, he did not have to consider anything on this one.
The surrounding world became silent.
This was too simple to him.
In his perception, the energy within the jade soldier was like a river flowing in a cave.
His hand automatically moved and changed the direction of the flow. These rivers flowed past the curving cliffs towards the only opening where there was light.
With a soft sound, the water sprouted past the cliff and became a waterfall.
In his hand, the forward section of the jade soldier’s sword formed a beautiful rainbow with the multi-colored energies.
Everyone near the gates completely stopped breathing.
Even Zhang Yi, who had gained some confidence in Ding Ning, was completely stunned. He had thought Ding Ning may quickly pass, but he had not thought it would be like this.
Beside Ding Ning, Nangong Caishu looked dazedly at Ding Ning’s calm expression as though she wanted to gain something from it.
Even the two old people sitting in front of the highest temple of White Goat Cave were in shock. Du Qingjiao took a deep breath, turned to look at Xue Wangxu and slowly said, “I knew that this youth was slightly exceptional, but not so much.”
Xue Wangxu hesitated and said, “Could he have cultivated before?”
“Not possible.” Du Qingjiao shook his head. “I stayed for several hours with him. Even I could not feel any abnormality. Not unless he is a grandmaster like Fourth Zhao and Bai Shanshui.”
Xue Wangxu shook his head. He naturally knew that was not possible.
“But he has health problems.” Du Qingjiao looked at him and said.
Xue Wangxu stilled and instinctively asked, “What problem?”
Du Qingjiao said, “He has a body with too much yang and will die early, his energies are too strong.”
Xue Wangxu’s hands stilled slightly. “Then …”
Originally he had ideas, but now he had none.
“So what?” Du Qingjiao seemed to have seen through what this sect leader and junior sect brother of his was thinking. He said with a hint of pride, “Just arrange for him to cultivate with Zhang Yi, and Su Qin.”
Xue Wangxu also knew his senior sect brother well. They could see each other’s thoughts with a glance but right now, he did not understand. “But …”
“His talent is worthy for White Goat Cave to expend. Are you afraid it will be wasted on him?” Du Qingjiao sneered and shook his head. “Even if it is wasted on him, it is better than following others, and then everything will end up in the hands of others. As to Su Qin … I know that with your personality, you do not like him. I also do not like him. But his talents are good, and our master said to us in the past, when one wants to grow faster, you need people to pressure you. Su Qin is a good choice.”
Xue Wangxu thought for a moment and nodded. He looked seriously at Du Qingjiao, his eyes filled with indescribable gratefulness. “Senior Sect Brother, while my cultivation has been stronger than yours in these years, your spirit is something I cannot rival at times.”
“But what is the use. In the end, we cannot protect White Goat Cave.”
Du Qingjiao laughed at himself. The pride in his eyes disappeared and was replaced with emotion. “I am leaving. You will be burdened. But you are able to endure more than me. One that can endure and not compete will go further. White Goat Cave is gone, it is good to leave some seeds back.”
Xue Wangxu looked at Du Qingjiao’s eyes and thought of the storms that his senior sect brother and him experienced at White Goat Cave. When thinking about the other leaving, he had no words.
“His life was not good, but he encountered us at this time, we have karma together. If there is something to give, give some more. It’s better than benefiting that woman.” Du Qingjiao turned and looked at the distant gates.
The gates were completely silent.
Even Su Qin’s face was slightly pale.
He and Zhang Yi had been the best students of White Goat Cave in the last few decades. But when he joined the sect, he had spent half an hour before he felt the energies in the soldier.
This jade soldier was unique to White Goat Cave. There would not be any way to practice for this test.
Ding Ning miraculously, using only a few minutes, felt the energies inside, and had the sword the soldier was holding shine.
“Senior Sect Brother, Senior Sect Sister, can you welcome me in to pay respects to the masters?”
Ding Ning smiled calmly amidst everyone’s shock and bowed to Su Qin, Zhang Yi and the others as he said lightly.
Zhang Yi also smiled. He bowed in return and said seriously with warmth, “Junior Sect Brother, please.”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Two Chapter 42 “A Different Conference and Sword Trial”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Two Chapter 41 “Book of Talents”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Two Chapter 40 “Great Floating Water Prison”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Two Chapter 39 “The Secret of the Lonely Mountain”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Two Chapter 38 “Cultivators of the Qi”