Chapter 138: Attained the Sword Intent
In the main meeting room of the Emerald Martial Palace.
Zhuang Qingxian had been sitting in the main seat with a pondering look, after quite a while, he said, "Elder Lan, do you mean that we don't need to send our best disciples?"
Elder Lan was the Head Elder of the Emerald Martial Palace, and was eighty years old. Although he wasn't a particularly powerful martial artist, to the Emerald Martial Place, Elder Lan was an absolutely necessary pillar. However, because of his age, he had become quite conservative regarding many things. Regarding the Heavenly Dream Ancient Region, he was the representative of the few who held an opposing view.
"Leader, at this stage, our Emerald Martial Palace has already been sitting in the tyrant's position of the Entire Windy Nation, this means that we don't have to take this risk. After all, the death rate is extremely high in the region. Thirty years ago, six hundred and forty-five disciples from the nine nations were sent to that region, but only four-hundred and fifty of them managed to come out alive; twenty years ago, among six-hundred and thirty disciples that went in, four hundred and eleven of them walked out; ten years ago, six hundred and sixteen disciples were sent in, only three-hundred and seventy survived. All these numbers clearly show that the death rate is rising every decade, I'm afraid that it will go beyond fifty percent this time."
Once Elder Lan announced the numbers, all the other elders, who were prepared to convince him, turned silent. "Indeed, the death rate in the Heavenly Dream Ancient Region is truly high, and if we send the most elite disciples of the Emerald Martial Palace to that place, it would be highly possible that half of them will die or become disabled."
To the Emerald Martial Palace, that would be a severe loss.
Another inner elder of the exact opposite views stood up and said, "Leader, and Elder Lan, you can't just put it that way. We can't be cowardly because of the high death rate. If I'm not wrong, all the other four top-ranked institutions will send their best disciples. As long as those disciples come out, each of them would have definitely attained amazing improvements to their strength, it is most likely that they would even break into the Clasping Yuan Realm. Then, the advantages of our younger generation martial artists would be completely gone."
"Elder Liu is right, it's time to let our kids see some real blood. If possible, I would like to send my nephew to the region."
"The Heavenly Dream Ancient Region only unlocks once every decade, it's a precious opportunity and we can't just waste it!"
"Ten percent of those disciples who have managed to survive in the region would break into the Clasping Yuan Realm. It means that thirty out of three hundred disciples would become Clasping Yuan Realm martial artists."
The Second Elder, sitting beside Elder Lan said, "Leader, I think we can make some compromises. Our Emerald Martial Place is a rank 7 institution, so we can send eight disciples to the region. For these eight disciples, we can select four of our best disciples, as for the rest, we can just select the lower ranked talents. In this way, even if we lose the most of them, it won't be too harmful for us."
Hearing this, Zhuang Qingxian came to agree with this elder. As the domineering institution of Windy Nation, they definitely didn't need to put all of their best disciples at risk, the best result would be to send some for the sake of improvement and some for the sake of safety.
"So, how do you think we should arrange this?" asked Zhuang Qingxian.
After taking a glance at Elder Lan, the Second Elder responded, "The top-ranked disciple, Zhuang Fei, has to go. As an Early Clasping Yuan Realm martial artist, he could even fight against warriors who have Mid Clasping Yuan Realm strength. If he is present, the rest of our disciples will be safer, and he can also serve as a deterrence. As far as I know that Rudra Nation, who have the most Clasping Yuan Realm disciples among their younger generation martial artists, they have four of them. White Mystery Nation and the Sky Serpent Nation each have three, the other five nations are just like our Windy Nation, only having one to two younger generation Clasping Yuan Realm disciples. We have to consider the safety of our disciples who are going to enter that region as much as we can."
At this moment, even Elder Lan began nodding, it seemed like he agreed with the second Elder.
"Liu Xuxiang and Ji Xueyan have to go too, they both are promising and would probably step into Clasping Yuan Realm. Shi Potian has not yet recovered, so he shall stay in the valley; instead of him, we can send Liu Xuan, who was ranked fifth among the core disciples. The other four can be selected from the core disciples who were ranked below top-ten."
"Good, let's just do what the Second Elder said, no need for any further discussion." said Zhuang Qingxian, he seemed quite satisfied with this suggestion.
In the North Snow Martial Academy's main meeting room.
Xue Wuren clasped both of his hands behind his back and said, "We don't need to waste any more time on this, all eight of them should be our best disciples. I don't want to wait for another ten years."
Just like his blade skills, Xue Wuren had always been a decisive person. No one could ever change his mind once he had decided on something.
All the others silently stepped out of the meeting room with bitter smiles on their faces.
A short while later, eight young martial artists walked in. The first three were a young man with a long and pure white outfit, who seemed kind and gentle; Lin Qi, who was known as the 'North Snow Fast Blade'; and Yu Yue.
"Leader." said the three young people with respect.
"Good," said Xue Wuren while nodding, "Nothing much, I called you all here because I wanted you to know about the Heavenly Dream Ancient Region, and the things that you need to pay attention to."
"Leader, I heard that the ancient region is invisible, is that true?" asked the gentle young man.
"The region is located in a different spatial dimension before it's unlocked, it is indeed invisible; it can't even be sensed with spiritual power. This time you will enter that region, but you have to remember this, don't ever push anything too far. Your main purpose will be the stable improvement of your own strength, and you can never be too greedy. The second thing is that, don't make an enemy out of everyone. You have to understand that an innocent man might become a sinner to the others if he has a treasure with him. When you gain something that is attractive to other people, you should either kill the others immediately or give up that object, just do not make yourself a public enemy. Otherwise, not only would you lose your life, you might also entangle your fellow disciples."
The Heavenly Dream Ancient Region had lots of lost treasures in it, such as legendary powerful weapons, magical medicines, and secret books of martial arts. The reason why the five top-ranked institutions grew more and more powerful was that, every ten years they would each send a batch of disciples into that region. After these disciples came back, the treasures and the valuable manuals accumulated in each institution would become more splendid than before. Of course, those disciples would be awarded a certain amount of spirit stones according to the value of the treasures or the manual they contributed to their institution.
In the yard, Ye Chen sat under a tree with his legs crossed, staying perfectly still.
This was a Pale Mystery tree, it was quite common in the Windy Mountains. Leaves of this kind of tree begin falling off in July, and during mid-September, even a slight breeze would blow a couple of leaves off the tree.
After a couple of hours, tens of withered leaves had fallen on Ye Chen's hair and shoulder.
A series of light footsteps came from the outside, it sounded pretty far away but it got closer and closer.
"Is Ye Chen home?"
"Please? Is Ye Chen home?"
Ye Chen didn't answer.
Along with a creaking noise, the person at the door pushed the door open and walked in.
The one who had walked in was an attendant disciple. All attendant disciples were once inner disciples. According to the rules, all inner disciples who failed to step into the Clasping Yuan Realm before the age of twenty-four would be transferred to the Attendant Department, they would then become a warrior or an administrative member. Of course, they would each have a chance to become an outer elder once they broke into the Clasping Yuan Realm. That was the most important matter to them.
This attendant disciple was about twenty-five years old, and was at the Late Condensing Reality Realm. Compared to most inner disciples, he was quite powerful, almost no worse than the top-ten inner disciples. Soon, he found Ye Chen sitting under the tree, and then slightly frowned.
When a martial artist was cultivating by himself in such a manner, any kind of disturbance was basically not allowed. If someone interrupted a martial artist's cultivation at a crucial moment, the martial artist might want to kill that person.
Letting out a helpless smile, the attendant disciple stood to the side and waited, he didn't let out even the slightest noise.
A great gale suddenly blew across, leaving tens of leaves, fluttering in the air.
Ye Chen opened his eyes, he had a sharp and dazzling gaze.
That attendant disciple was about to say something, but he suddenly saw something that made him completely dumbfounded. He saw Ye Chan sweep across the air with his piercing, sharp gaze, and immediately, the leaves in front of Ye Chen, that had drifted down from the sky, were cut into two, then into four, then into eight, and then they were turned to powder.
"Sword intent! Legendary sword intent!"
The attendant disciple screamed inside his own mind. Although he was only an ordinary attendant disciple, he still knew a little about it. Whether it was from the ancient books or from people's tales, sword artists who attained the sword intent could all hurt their enemies with invisible entities, such as a slight streams of air. With the sword intent, the sword artist could even turn a stream of air into a dangerous weapon and could take his enemies' lives away without even being noticed, just in the way Ye Chen had attached the sword intent with the air in front of him with his gaze, and easily sliced those leaves.
Ye Chen stood up, shook those leaves off his body and then asked.
"The leader called you." said the attendant disciple politely.
"Lead the way."
Ye Chen's expression seemed quite bland. During these days, his desire to comprehend the sword intent had become less urgent. After his daily cultivation, he would always sit under the tree and meditate to free his mind and temporarily forget about this world and himself. Maybe because of this undemanding spiritual state, he had finally broken out of the half-step sword intent and comprehended the true sword intent that all sword artists desired. By now, both his cultivation and his soul power had improved in quality, as for the exact level he had achieved, even he didn't know.
The attendant disciple sounded very humble. He didn't really need to particularly show his respect towards the inner disciples or the core disciples, but facing Ye Chen, he couldn't help but express his respect and admiration. In this world, all powerful people were respected, even legendary geniuses would show an appropriate amount of respect when facing powerful people at high levels, because reckless disrespect might be dangerous to themselves.
Guided by the attendant disciple, Ye Chen came to the main meeting room.
Zhu Mei, Luo Hanshan and Xu Jing were all in the meeting room, along with a few inner elders. The school leader, Luo Xinglie was sitting in the main seat.
"Leader, and elders." Ye Chen cupped his hands and saluted.
Luo Xinglie nodded to him.
"Tomorrow you all will leave for the Heavenly Dream Ancient Region. Before that, I want you to know that the inner space of the region can be very complicated and unpredictable. You might find a palace inside of a mountain, a tomb underwater, or a treasure mine under the ground. As for the methods to enter all those places, they are plenty. Sometimes, a tree can serve as an entrance, sometimes you might need to move a gigantic piece of rock, or sometimes you may need to just jump off a mountain to enter a certain space. All in all, anything could happen in that region, so you have to be extra careful and stay calm, do not panic."
The four selected disciples nodded and said.
Lou Xinglie then continued, "The Heavenly Dream Ancient Region has a lot of treasures and secret manuals buried in it. For all the valuable objects that you might bring back, the school will award you with an equivalent amount of spirit stones. For example, you can get fifty pieces of low-grade spirit stones for a top grade Mortal realm secret manual, three-thousand low-grade spirit stones for a low-grade Earth Realm manual. Medium-grade Earth Realm manuals are extremely rare, they are difficult to find even in the ancient region, but each one can get you thirty-thousand mid-grade spirit stones. Now you should have an idea of the exchange rate. Of course, you can still learn the martial arts recorded in those manuals that you found, even after you contribute them to the school. But you can't teach those arts to anyone else. Do you all understand?"
Although Ye Chen was slightly surprised by the value of those treasures and the generous exchange rates of the school, he clearly understood that the ancient region was not a playground. Disciples from all nine nations would enter that region, this meant that killing would be hard to avoid, especially for those who carried valuable treasures with them.