Chapter 541: Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
“Only with a deep understanding of cultivation can a master teacher accurately point out and correct the flaws and errors in his student. Otherwise, if theory is all he knows, he won’t be able to guide his student correctly!
“Thus, the cultivation of a master teacher and his ability to see through a person’s core is of utmost importance as well! As such, I’ve discussed with the other elders and we have decided to not follow the usual conventions for this comprehension of cultivation test. Instead, a new battle technique was designed just for this test. Later on, you will be given an incense’s time (15 minutes) to learn it, and your result will be judged based on how deep your comprehension of the battle technique is!
“Don’t worry. This battle technique is completely new so there’s no need to worry about the test being leaked to any of the candidates beforehand,” Pavilion Master Kang explained.
“There’s no way the topic could have been leaked beforehand! Master teachers value fairness and equality. If an investigation were to be conducted and one is found to be guilty, one will be stripped of his license! How could anyone possibly do it knowing of such consequences?”
“Even if it’s unfair, given that Ruohuan gongzi is the pavilion master’s student, the test should be biased to him… But it seems like he is on the verge of crumbling from the consecutive blows!”
“Indeed! Despite being the head of the Four Gentlemen, look at his current state. He looks like a defeated rooster…”
“Right, Pavilion Master Kang, what battle technique will it be? If it’s too easy, given the talents of the candidates, they will all surely be able to fully comprehend it within an incense’s time. If that happens, how will we evaluate the results?”
Hearing the rules, some of the audience expressed their doubts.
One’s mastery of battle techniques could be divided into five main levels: Novice, Initiate, Minor Accomplishment, Major Accomplishment, and Consummation.
Novice meant that one has barely understood the battle technique and was able to forcibly execute it.
At Initiate level, one was able to harness some might in the technique, but one might still be a little restrained in its control.
At Minor Accomplishment, one’s understanding of the battle technique had already reached a profound level. It could be utilized as an ace up one’s sleeves.
One must know that most fighters had only trained their battle techniques to this point.
Beyond that were Major Accomplishment and Consummation. However, without decades of effort, it was impossible to reach that.
If this battle technique was easy, all of the candidates would definitely be able to reach Minor Accomplishment within an incense’s time. Since everyone would be on the same level, it would be hard to determine who had fared better.
Knowing everyone’s worry, Pavilion Master Kang chuckled, “If you were to know who designed this battle technique, you wouldn’t be thinking the same anymore!”
“Who designed the battle technique?”
“Could it be… Elder Hong?”
“Elder Hong is the person who has the deepest understanding of battle techniques in the Myriad Kingdom Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion. In the past fifty years, he has created at least thirty battle techniques!”
“Indeed. The Overlapping Illusory Fist and Rippleless Consecutive Palms originated from him!”
“Three of my battle techniques also came from him…”
“Just that… Hasn’t Elder Hong been in seclusion for the last ten years? When did he return?”
“I’ve no idea too. However, if the battle technique really originates from him, putting aside Minor Accomplishment, even achieving Novice within that short period of time will be difficult!”
Hearing the pavilion master’s words, the crowd suddenly remembered a legendary figure.
“That’s right. The one who created the battle technique was Elder Hong!”
Pavilion Master Kang chuckled as he uncovered the mystery plaguing everyone’s mind. “For the past ten years, Elder Hong has been in seclusion to develop this technique, and a few days ago, he finally succeeded in refining it! Given the length of time he spent on it, the complexity of it is imaginable. Based on the combined evaluation of me and the other elders, we’ve deemed it to have at least reached the top of Spirit intermediate-tier!”
“A battle technique at the top of Spirit intermediate-tier?”
Everyone gasped in shock.
Even a Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle expert would find it hard to comprehend a battle technique of this level, let alone the candidates partic.i.p.ating in the selection round.
“Alright, I’ve said all that has to be said. Now, allow me to invite Elder Hong up to explain the rules of the test. He will be a.s.sessing the candidates personally!”
Pavilion Master Kang smiled. Looking around the crowd, he suddenly froze, “Ah? Elder Hong, hold it for a moment. You… where are you intending to go?”
Tracing Pavilion Master Kang’s gaze, everyone saw an elder who had unknowingly reached the entrance of the hall. He was just a step away from leaving the compound.
“Cough cough. I’m just… walking about!”
Seeing that everyone’s attention was on him, the elder hurriedly stopped and his face turned scarlet.
“The fourth test is about to begin…” Pavilion Master Kang hurried over and pulled him back.
“I…” Elder Hong had a very stifled expression on his face. “Pavilion master, why don’t you… conduct the test instead?”
He had agreed to conducting the test confidently previously, but after seeing the awful state the previous three elders were in, he hesitated.
That lad was truly sinister. Who knew what kind of peculiarity would happen to him if he were to a.s.sess him. He didn’t want the reputation he had accrue to collapse because of this single incident.
“How can I? You were the one who developed the battle technique, not to mention, you have already achieved Major Accomplishment in it. Other than you, who else is qualified to a.s.sess them?” Pavilion Master Kang said.
This battle technique was developed from Elder Hong, and he had reached Major Accomplishment in it as well. Other than him, no one else was qualified to conduct the test.
At the very least, Pavilion Master Kang didn’t think he was.
“Ah…” Elder Hong hesitated.
“Don’t worry, it’s just an incense’s time. Even the most talented genius will only be able to reach Novice in that period of time. There won’t be any problem, so rest a.s.sure!”
Knowing what Elder Hong was worried about, Pavilion Master Kang attempted to console him via telepathy.
Zhang s.h.i.+ was indeed a disquieting. But battle techniques weren’t things that could be mastered in a single breath. He didn’t believe that the other party could reach Major Accomplishment in just an incense’s time, thus surpa.s.sing the creator, Elder Hong.
Thus, there was nothing for Elder Hong to worry about.
After a further moment of contemplation, Elder Hong felt that Pavilion Master Kang’s words were logical and finally walked up the stage.
“Pavilion Master Kang has briefly introduced the content of the test to you all. I’ll now announce the rules for the test!
“The battle technique that I’ll be imparting is called ‘Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus’. The inspiration behind the technique came from observing the nature of red lotuses. The rules are simple-later on, I’ll impart you the formula for the sword art, and you will be given an incense’s time to study and comprehend it!
“After which, I’ll personally test you on your level of comprehension of the technique. Don’t worry, your cultivation will not affect your comprehension of the technique-it’s determined solely by your talent. As long as you have reached Transcendent Mortal realm, you will be able to learn and execute it.
“During the a.s.sessment, you’ll be crossing blows with me. If you wish, we can compete solely on swordsmans.h.i.+p itself. If you can trade three blows with me using the Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus, I’ll take it as you have reached Novice mastery. Six swords will be taken as Initiate mastery, and nine swords would mean that you have achieved Small Accomplishment… And if you can trade ten blows with me, you will be considered to have reached Major Accomplishment…”
Elder Hong explained the rules.
In truth, it was a bit similar to the cultivation test in the second round. However, in this test, one could only use the Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus. If one of the compet.i.tors used any other technique, they would be deemed to have failed.
An incense’s time was roughly fifteen minutes, and in this short period of time, it would be difficult to even finish browsing through the battle technique, let alone, comprehend and utilize it in a real battle.
Compared to the previous three, the difficulty of this test was truly immense.
“To ensure fairness, the examination will be held in another chamber. I’ll head in right now, and you each can enter one by one…”
At which, Elder Hong paused for a moment before continuing, “How about I decide on a sequence for you all to avoid contention. Du Hu will enter first, followed by Luo Xi, Feng Mosheng, Fu Xiaochen, Jun Ruohuan, and finally, Zhang s.h.i.+!”
Given the peculiarity of Zhang Xuan, it was best to put him last. Otherwise, if the other party were to run in first, what if he were to lose control of the situation and the test was unable to be carried on like before?
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Let’s begin then!”
After deciding on the order, Elder Hong took the lead by walking into the room. Du Hu hurriedly followed behind him.
An incense’s time later, light flickered on the wall and a number appeared on it… 3!
To think that Du Hu would be able to comprehend to the level of a Novice in such a short period of time.
As expected of a genius nominated by the other elders, he was indeed extraordinary.
After him was Luo Xi.
Along with Du Hu, she was one of the weaker among the six. Knowing that there was no chance for her to be selected, she didn’t feel any pressure anymore. After an incense’s time, she managed to trade three blows, reaching Novice as well.
After her was Feng Mosheng. As expected of Elder Feng’s student, his comprehension of battle techniques had reached an extremely profound level. Luo Xi and Du Hu, having come from less privileged backgrounds, were no match for him. After an incense’s time, he actually managed to trade five blows with Elder Hong.
That was almost at the level of an Initiate!
Fu Xiaochen did well too, trading five blows as well.
After those four were done, everyone’s eyes gathered on Jun Ruohuan.
He specialized in sword techniques, and not to mention, he was also the most popular contender for this selection round and Pavilion Master Kang’s direct disciple. As such, there were high expectations for his result.
Even though he had suffered consecutive blows in the last three rounds, he was still a full-fledged 4-star master teacher. He had already conditioned his state of mind by the time his turn came, and fortunately, he didn’t let everyone down. An incense’s time later, a ma.s.sive ‘6’ appeared conspicuously on the screen.
This showed that his comprehension of battle technique was top-notch among his fellow peers.
“To be able to trade six blows with Elder Hong, this means that he has reached a mastery of Initiate within a mere fifteen minutes! If he were given some more time, reaching Minor Accomplishment might not even be a problem for him!”
“He’s indeed a genius!”
“I wonder if Zhang s.h.i.+ can break that record!”
“Zhang s.h.i.+… In my view, the weapon he is the most proficient in is the spear. Given that the Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus is a sword art, he might be in a disadvantageous position!”
Seeing Ruohuan gongzi step out from the room, everyone’s eyes gathered on the black horse of the selection round.
Initially, no one thought well of him. However, after triumphing indisputably over the rest in three consecutive tests, no one dared to look down on his capability.
Even so, they couldn’t help but feel a little doubtful.
After all, from the first test, it could be seen that the other party was skilled in spear arts. Learning a sword art all of a sudden should be rather tough for him.
Amidst the discussion, Zhang Xuan stepped into the room.
Soon, an incense’s time pa.s.sed.
“Hmm? Why is there no number at all?”
“Indeed! Going by the situation with the others, a number should have appeared by now. Regardless of whether he has reached Novice or Initiate, a result should at least appear?”
The time was up, but not only was the result not reflected, the room was also bizarrely quiet. The master teachers in the hall stared at one another in bewilderment.
Going by the precedents of this fellow, even if he were to subdue Elder Hong in a single blow, the crowd wouldn’t find it too shocking. But… for there to be no results at all, not to mention, no sign of movements in the chamber… What the heck?
Could it be that Elder Hong… had killed that fellow?
Or perhaps… that fellow had killed Elder Hong?
Really, what is going on?