Outside the city of Zhi Ling, an abandoned courtyard house became the temporary shelter for the five men that left Shining Skies College. The tranquil ambiance prevailed in the rather crude and simple living environment. They could focus on practicing without any disturbances. Hence, Su Tang thoroughly unleashed his Soul Splitting in no time.
However, the two people returned to three visitors waiting at the dilapidated courtyard house after they registered at the Grand Soul Tournament.
One was Yun Chong, the Dean of Shining Skies College. Beside him stood two fourth-year Shining Skies College students – both were Yun Chong’s disciples. One was Shi Ao, the Regulatory Squad member who tipped off Lu Ping and his peers’ act of breaking into the college and leaked the info about their Levels. At Wind Plucking Academy, the Regulatory Squad is called the Disciplinary Team. Both squads’ responsibilities were similar and were formed from the outstanding students from the respective colleges.
Shi Ao already exhibited a good sense of mastery in Sensory Class and outstanding Soul Power talent that day. He could converse over the walls with Wen Yan, who was in the sound room.
Lu Ping and Su Tang did not recognize the other student. Nonetheless, if they could stay at Shining Skies College a while longer and mix around with the other students, they ought to hear the student’s name one way or another.
The other guest was Xiu Zhi Ping, Yun Chong’s mightiest disciple and Shining Skies College’s Regulatory Squad leader. According to other colleges’ norm, the squad leader would typically be the college’s best student.
Lu Ping and Su Tang were stunned at the entrance but quickly noticed that the courtyard’s ambiance was harmonious. The dean could not possibly come here in person just to trouble them. Yet, when the two shouted their way into the courtyard, the ambiance was disturbed.
Yun Chong turned around and looked at the two that just entered the courtyard. He smiled at them and said, “Oh, someone is in high spirits! Seems like we have encountered tough opponents.”
Xiu Zhi Ping and Shi Ao were also staring at them, albeit with a dignified expression. While their teacher could joke half-heartedly, they had to be serious. The Grand Soul Tournament was not a place for jokes. They’d have to put in their best efforts to fight for glory– not just for the college, but also for their teacher and themselves.
Indeed, the four teenagers who stood right in front of him came here all the way from 峡峰区 to participate in the tournament. For the sake of the tournament, they even practiced using the forbidden technique– “Soul Splitting” –to find a breakthrough. These people would definitely become an obstacle to them in the tournament. Although Yun Chong said it as a joke, it was the truth as well.
“Is the registration completed?” Chu Min asked them in the courtyard. Ever since Chu Min came here, her addiction to alcohol seemingly subsided. She also had more interaction with the other members outside of practice.
“We’ve registered, but we can’t register in another person’s place. Gonna bring these two to register later,” Lu Ping uttered.
“It was possible last time!” Chu Min mumbled.
“The ‘last time’ you are mentioning… isn’t it too long ago already?” Yun Chong smiled bitterly.
“Only a little more than ten years,” Chu Min said disapprovingly.
“A little more than ten years…” Yun Chong cast a wry smile again. Ten years was a precious amount of time, but Chu Min spent it in decadence. He felt sorry for her. On the other hand, while she finally snapped out of decadence, she did not have much thought about the past ten years. The emotions she had in the past decade were resolved by her insipidly.
“So, do we go now?” Lu Ping and Su Tang asked Chu Min as they were unsure whether to stay and engage in the conversation.
“Yeah, go!” Chu Min waved to them.
Hence, Lu Ping carried Mo Ling, and Su Tang pushed Xi Fan. All four left the courtyard very quickly.
“You two, it’s time to register as well,” Yun Chong said to Xiu Zhi Ping and Shi Ao.
“Yes,” the two students nodded. However, all prospective students had to register in unison, according to the college. Thus, they had to go to college and assemble with the students.
Yun Chong and Chu Min were left after the teenagers departed from the courtyard.
“You are also in good spirits,” Yun Chong said all of a sudden.
“Always so,” Chu Ming replied. She refused to acknowledge that her condition was any different when she was in decadence.
“What have you found from them?”
“Determination, perseverance, bravery,… and mutual support.”
“Is it…” He knew about her past, so he could figure out what actually touched her heart from her words.
Mutual support? he thought. At this time, she lowered her tone and repeated it.
“Genuine mutual support.”
Yun Chong did not get to the root of the matter. It was a good thing as long as Chu Min could cheer up. The process did not matter.
“Wow, you have high hopes for them!” Yun Chong laughed.
“I am not the only one that has high hopes for them.”
“Guo You Dao.”
“That dummy?” he giggled. No matter age wise or experience in cultivation, Guo You Dao was considered a senior to him. However, he was now the Dean of the Shining Skies College–the college ranked 39th in the kingdom. His status could only be higher than Guo You Dao. In Yun Chong’s eyes, a person who arbitrarily decided to set up a college to catch up with the big four was either a big dummy or a big fat liar.
Calling Guo You Dao a dummy was still respectful in his terms because he was naïve and fearless.
“Yeah, he is a dummy,” Chu Min immediately seconded his words, but her intonation was filled with mixed emotions.
“But it’s not only him,” she continued.
“Wen Ge Cheng, too.”
“Mmm?” Yun Chong was stunned. He had misunderstood. He thought she was saying, “He is not the only dummy”. However, Wen Ge Cheng obviously could not be an idiot. In fact, addressing Wen Ge Cheng as the kingdom’s unprecedented genius would not be far-fetched at all. Mastering two Paths to Level 6 and even having skills beyond Level 6? This kind of person was incredibly rare to encounter.
Hence, Yun Chong immediately noticed when Chu Min had said, “Not only him.” The person was the expectant that he asked about before, not a dummy.
The expectants not only included Chu Min and Guo You Dao but Wen Ge Cheng as well.
He initially had no interest in this problem, since these four teenagers made Chu Ming change and cheer up. The thought to look forward to their potential did appear in a blink to him, but after thinking rationally, even though the four did successfully use “Soul Splitting” to complete their Awakening, it was only a few days before the tournament. Should he have high hopes for these beginner Awakeners? Probably not.
These four may have a bright future ahead of them. However, Yun Chong did not think they could have an outstanding performance in the upcoming Grand Soul Tournament.
He did not take it seriously when Chu Min thought otherwise. If they were his own disciples, no matter how mediocre they were, he would bear some form of hope for them. Maybe a miracle would happen.
But, what about Wen Ge Cheng?
No matter if it was looking forward to their performance in the tournament or their future, why would Wen Ge Cheng, who had mastered Microscopic Sight and had impressive insight on other people, go so far as to have expectations for them?
Wen Ge Cheng–his name was synonymous with the word flawless in every practitioner’s mind. His expectations were not just plain expectations. It was a highly complementary remark.
“When did Wen Ge Cheng come?” Yun Chong was concerned. Wen Ge Cheng was the man the four prominent colleges from three largest kingdoms wanted to win over. Yun Chong did not dare to have such extravagant demands, but if he could meet such a legend and have a conversation or even invite the legend to conduct few classes in Shining Skies College, it would be superb.
“Nope, he met them before this. It was mentioned in the letter from Guo You Dao,” Chu Min said.
When Xi Fan handed the letter to Chu Min, she tossed it away before even reading it. However, it did not mean that she had no clue about the letter’s content. The moment Xi Fan took out the letter, she already read it with her sensory power even though the letter was unopened.
“How so?” Yun Chong asked. He already had some interest and expectations towards the four people from the mountains. Now, he realised that it was probably not enough.
“You should have figured out some already. Mo Lin,” Chu Min said.
“The one that was wearing a straw hat, who hasn't completed his practice?”
“He doesn’t have Soul Power.”
“Doesn’t have Soul Power…” Yun Chong was distracted. Not having it and not having practised it were two ideas in completely different realms. If he purely did not have it…
“Heaven Demolition bloodline?” Yun Chong was shocked. He was experienced and knowledgeable and had seen the description of the bloodline.
Chu Min nodded.
“What about the one in the wheelchair?” Yun Chong asked again. He could sense a different aura from that person, but if purely in terms of Soul Power…
“His family name should be Yan,” Chu Min said.
“Eh?” Yun Chong was stunned again. He never purposely remembered the names of the few teenagers, but according to what he had heard, no one had Yan as their family name. The family name would make any practitioner’s imagination run wild. Hence, when Chu Min solemnly told him that someone had a surname Yan, this was not an imagination anymore; it was reality.
“ ‘Yan’ as in the surname of Yan Qiu Ci?” Yun Chong added.
He became silent. Although he did not doubt the fact and could not identify anything as well, if it was Wen Ge Cheng, his unique strength was identifying other people’s bloodlines.
“What about the girl…” Yun Chong continued to ask.
“Blood of Strength,” she replied.
His expression changed again. Blood of Strength was a bloodline that defied conventions.
Normally, the advantage of a bloodline would only show after Awakening. Under suitable circumstances, the owner of this bloodline could practice unique abilities after Awakening. This kind of unique ability was known as Bloodline Skills. Only family clans that possess Bloodline Skills could live forever. For example, the four strongest families of the Xuan Empire and the Yan Clan from the great Northwest each had Bloodline Skills.
When Bloodline Skills was practiced, it would leave a brand on the bloodline by the Soul Power, to ensure that the abilities were not lost when the bloodline was inherited. Even if one is a practitioner from these families, they could not inherit the bloodline if they did not complete their Awakening because they did not have Bloodline Skills to activate the brand required to inherit the bloodline.
On the other hand, Blood of Strength was a special bloodline. Almost everyone with it inherited some Bloodline Skills. Its specialty would be exhibited when the practitioner was in the sensory realm. The practitioner’s Soul Power would be much more powerful than an ordinary practitioner’s Soul Power, or even a practitioner that awakened their Soul Power. However, since it had no Bloodline Skills, it could never be inherited. This explained its rarity. No one could understand how the bloodline was formed.
Su Tang happened to be a holder of Blood of Strength bloodline.
“Also, what about…” Yun Chong finally asked about the last person. The revelation of the previous three people’s identity had left him visibly shaken.
“Him? Not even Wen Ge Cheng could sense his bloodline. You should have known the reason, too. If there weren't any restrictions on hold, he ought to be a Six Path Awakener Awakener,” Chu Min uttered.