Throughout the day, twenty-four new disciples took turns to compete on stage, and none of them had any foundation in spiritual power. Such a competition was meaningless, and most of the formal disciples watched with boredom. Even when Li Xiuchen took the stage, many people didn’t even glance at him.
Only Luo Jianqing’s gaze remained fixed on the ordinary-looking teenager.
In his previous life, Luo Jianqing never understood how such an ordinary-looking teenager could dominate the various peak competitions and win second place, especially since most of the other disciples came from influential families and had learned some martial arts skills from a young age, making them far stronger than ordinary people.
However, it was only Luo Jianqing who managed to reach the Qi Refining stage within ten days!
Among the thirty-six provinces, human cultivation was divided into nine realms: Qi Refining, Foundation Building, Golden Core, Nascent Soul, Out of Body, Unity(body fusion), Tribulation Crossing, Mahayana, and Deity Transformation. Each major realm was further divided into three sub-realms: early stage, middle stage, and late stage. However, only in the Qi Refining stage were there directly nine stages, from the first to the ninth layer.
In his previous life, out of the twenty-three disciples present (excluding the deceased Liu Xiaoxiao), only Li Xiuchen, with the worst aptitude, managed to reach the Qi Refining stage! Moreover, Li Xiuchen was born poor and did not have the privileged cultivation environment of other family children since childhood, which was simply a fantasy.
Now, after reading “Seeking Immortality,” Luo Jianqing finally understood the reason.
What was it that was said before? Li Xiuchen was actually a child of a different plane!
Looking up to see the elixirs, and looking down to encounter spiritual beasts – it was all about him.
Li Xiuchen and other new disciples were temporarily assigned to the outer gates of Taihua Mountain for ten days of cultivation. According to “Seeking Immortality,” after the tragic death of his childhood friend, Li Xiuchen decided to work hard and practice every day. However, his talent was too low, and he practiced for eight days less than others. So, on the night before the various peak competitions were about to begin, he went to the back mountain to clear his mind, and then… he accidentally stepped on a pill!
Spirit-melting Pill is a first-grade pill that is so common that even if you put ten thousand of them in front of Luo Jianqing, he wouldn’t give them a serious look. However, everything is no match for the shining halo of the protagonist! Yes, this is a Spirit-melting Pill, but it is actually a Heavenly Spirit-melting Pill! After Li Xiuchen took it, he only spent one night washing his marrow and officially entered the first level of Qi Refining!
Luo Jianqing, who was reading the book, thought to himself, “Heavenly Spirit-melting Pill! Only the Peak Master of Qinglan Peak, Xuan Yuzi, on Mount Taihua can refine it. How could a master alchemist capable of refining Heavenly-grade pills possibly bother to refine a first-grade spirit-melting Pill? And would she really take a stroll in the outer disciples’ back mountain and casually sprinkle around Heavenly-grade pills?
This logic doesn’t make any sense! What’s the reasoning behind it all?”
So three days ago, Luo Jianqing silently left Yuxiao Peak and went to the outer disciples’ back mountain to search for answers.
Li Xiuchen was able to easily obtain a Heavenly Tier Spirit-melting Pill, while Luo Jianqing searched the entire back mountain for one whole night before finally finding a shiny golden pill. This is the difference in treatment, and the whims of the heavens are incomprehensible!
Upon checking the Heavenly Tier Spirit-melting Pill inside his storage ring with his spiritual sense, Luo Jianqing curved his thin lips into a serene and carefree smile. Her eyebrows stretched lightly like distant hills, and his phoenix eyes curved like crescent moons. Many female disciples below were captivated by his charm, but Luo Jianqing kept his gaze fixed on the arena without distraction
So, without a Spirit-melting pill, how can an ordinary person like you win against your opponent?
Luo Jianqing lightly tapped his slender and jade-like fingers on the black iron table, his eyes half-closed with a deep smile.
Meanwhile, on the arena, Li Xiuchen was feeling frustrated and restless, almost wanting to go back and re-read “Seeking Immortality,” a famous cultivation novel that he had read ten times in his previous life. He remembered clearly that he had come to the back mountain of Taihua Mountain on the ninth day of his arrival, and had stumbled upon a Heavenly Tier Spirit-melting Pill, which helped him advance to the Qi refining stage in just one night. However, after walking around the back mountain of the Taihua Mountain outside the outer disciples’ area for a whole night yesterday, he didn’t even find a single hair, let alone a Heavenly Tier pill.
Do you think this is frustrating? Do you think this is unfair?
If he doesn’t have the Heavenly Tier Spirit Pill, how can he compete with the disciples from these prestigious families?
He doesn’t even have outstanding aptitude!
“In the tenth round of the new disciple competition on Mount Taihua, Changzhou’s Xu Hua has a four-grade aptitude, while Yuzhou’s Li Xiuchen has no aptitude.”
As the words fell, the senior brother who acted as the referee took a step back, leaving space for the newcomers to fight. Looking at Xu Hua, who was tall and sturdy, Li Xiuchen’s face twitched: the other person’s arm was thicker than his entire body! What was the point of fighting? He was just asking to be beaten!
On the high platform, watching these two people with a huge disparity, a black-clothed person named Xie Zizhuo smirked and leaned close to Luo Jianqing’s ear, whispering, “Senior Brother, I hate to say it, but do you think he has any chance of winning? Xu Hua has a four-grade aptitude, and he’s almost at the Qi Refining stage. But this Li Xiuchen has no aptitude and a small stature. If he wins, wouldn’t it be too unfair to the laws of nature?”
Luo Jianqing turned his head and looked at Xie Zizhuo. His elegant eyebrows and eyes curved into a slight smile as he looked at his careless junior brother. “Do you really think he will definitely lose?”
Xie Zizuo responded naturally, “Of course, it’s inevitable. If he can win, I’ll go with the guard senior sister to the Confession Cliff tomorrow!”
Luo Jianqing raised his eyebrows in feigned surprise. “Are you really betting that much?”
Xie Zizhuo replied mysteriously, “That’s the bet. But, Senior Brother Luo, if you lose…I want your jade ox comb that you use every day.”
Luo Jianqing’s mouth twitched. “…”
Xie Zizhuo saw his senior brother’s expression of “Are you a pervert?” and immediately waved his hand, clarifying, “It’s not for me. It’s for the little junior sister. You know she has had a crush on you since childhood. Recently, I asked her to refine a third-grade pill with a very high difficulty level, and she agreed only if you asked her personally. I thought it was impossible, so I negotiated with her and she agreed to exchange it with your jade ox comb.”
Lu Jianqing asked, “… How could our junior sister want my jade ox comb?”
Xie Zizhuo widened his eyes in disbelief and said, “Why is it impossible? If it weren’t for the restrictions on YuXiao Peak that our junior sister couldn’t overcome, do you believe that she could climb up to the peak at night and peek at you!”
Lu Jianqing said, “…”
Xie Zizhuo kept talking, obviously talking about their perverted and lecherous junior sister, but he didn’t show any disdain. Instead, he was quite proud and emotional, “Our junior sister is really a kindred spirit. If I had half of her courage, I would have gone to the CangShuang Peak every day.”
Lu Jianqing silently smiled as he listened, but a bitter feeling gradually spread in his heart.
Their junior sister had been close to him since childhood and even declared at her coming-of-age ceremony that she would only marry him in this lifetime. But in the end, she married Li Xiuchen and became his wife. That proud and willful junior sister probably never thought that her husband would marry nine other women later on. Lu Jianqing couldn’t imagine such a scene, although he heard that their junior sister was very generous and took care of Li Xiuchen along with the other sisters.
But who was that person who stood under the scorching sun, holding a heavenly-grade pill in her hand, proudly telling him, “Luo Jianqing, I am the direct disciple of Qinglan Peak. If you stay with me, you will have an endless supply of elixirs. Don’t regret it”? That person who wore a fiery red dress, how could she end up falling for Li Xiuchen?
— Because he was the hero that saved beauties! Because he had the poison of desire running through his body!
Where was the justice in the heavens? The fairness of the heavens was only for Li Xiuchen!
A layer of sadness slowly appeared on his fair and handsome face, but it disappeared in an instant. Luo Jianqing looked at Li Xiuchen with a complicated gaze and somehow blurted out, “Okay, if he loses, I’ll give you my jade ox comb.”
Xie Zizhuo kept persuading him, occasionally pulling in Wei Qiongyin and saying things like, “It’s terrifying to accompany Senior Sister Wei. Luo Jianqing, it’s definitely worth it to exchange my item for yours.” He was ecstatic when he heard Luo Jianqing agreeing, and eagerly looked at the arena.
But then, in the next second…
Tall and strong man Xu Hua suddenly held his stomach: “Ah…it hurts! Referee… senior brother, can you wait for me for a moment?”
Li Xiuchen: “…”
Speechless Xie Zizhuo: “…”
Completely speechless Luo Jianqing: “…”
Although he had long guessed that the will of heaven favored the other end of the continent, could it not be so biased!
Li Xiuchen’s first match ended with the opponent having stomach pain and conceding without fighting!
Li Xiuchen’s second match, the opponent just made a move but suddenly twisted his waist and conceded without fighting!
In Li Xiuchen’s third match, he faced Liu Xiaoxiao, who just hit Li Xiuchen’s arm. Li Xiuchen screamed in pain, scared Liu Xiaoxiao quickly withdrew her move and timidly asked, “Brother Chen, are you okay?” Then, Li Xiuchen counterattacked and won the match.
Sighing Luo Jianqing: “…”
Desperate Xie Zizhuo: “This is unfair! This is luck! This is all luck!”
Lu Jianqing shook his head lightly and said with a smile, “Junior Brother, for us cultivators, luck has always been a part of our strength.”
Xie Zizhuo gritted his teeth and stared at the arena, fiercely saying, “There are only three people left now, and the other two are both heirs of the Eight Great Clans. Do you really think they can’t compare to a stinky kid with no innate talent?”
Li Xiuchen’s fourth match happened to draw a bye, so he won without a fight.
Xie Zizhuo was in tears, “…”
Under the arena, there were murmurs and whispers, and many people pointed and gestured towards Li Xiuchen’s direction. Little girl Liu Xiaoxiao also kept rubbing her painful chest, no longer sitting close to her beloved Brother Li. Li Xiuchen’s palm had hit her body hard, and although it wasn’t too painful, she was still very sad. Her pretty little face was filled with a heartbroken expression.
The result was no different from the previous life, and Li Xiuchen once again became the second place winner in the Grand Competition of the various peaks, destined to become an inner disciple. After receiving this result, Li Xiuchen was delighted and laughed to himself, “This is the power of the protagonist halo, it’s too awesome! Hehehehe.”
Lu Jianqing looked at Li Xiuchen’s proud expression and felt a complex emotion. After staring at him for a long time, he slowly broke into a smile. He looked up at the sky and seemed to see something ancient through the blue sky. His exquisite and beautiful face only had a gentle smile.
This time, something was different even though Li Xiuchen still came in second place.
In the previous life, when Li Xiuchen got second place, the disciples below the arena all praised him. A newcomer without innate talent shone on the stage, even becoming the only disciple to successfully refine qi. Such an inspirational thing made people unable to help but admire, and many people also knew that this junior brother had just lost his childhood sweetheart and sympathized with him.
“This kid is just too lucky.”
“Yeah, this guy is quite ruthless. He just beat up the little girl he knows and knocked her off the stage.”
“The second place can enter the inner door, I don’t know if he’ll have such good luck in the future.”
Lu Jianqing listened to these whispers with a faint smile, while Xie Zizhuo, who was standing beside him, had already slumped on the chair, dejectedly saying, “The heavens are unfair, truly too unfair. I’ve never heard of such luck in my entire life. The heavens are unfair!”
Lu Jianqing chuckled lightly and calmly said, “Junior brother, the heavens have never been fair.”
Xie Zizhuo had only spoken casually, but unexpectedly received a response from Lu Jianqing. He looked up at his senior brother and was momentarily stunned, but then saw Lu Jianqing smile bitterly and say, “The heavens are unfair, so let them become fair. Junior brother, we cultivate ourselves in immortality, not the heavens. Do you understand?”
After a moment of confusion, Xie Zizhuo respectfully nodded and lost his previous frivolous demeanor. “Yes.”
And thus, the competition between the peaks came to an end.
The top six of the competition became inner disciples directly, while the rest became outer disciples. The top three could choose which peak they wanted to join, with the first-place disciple being able to choose first. The disciple who won first place was born in a prestigious family and had a top-grade aptitude. He chose the Cangshuang Peak where the head of the Taihua Sect was located and was taken away by the direct disciple of Cangshuang Peak.
Next up was Li Xiuchen.
Lu Jianqing stood in the center of the platform, his handsome face calm and composed as he spoke in a flat tone, “In the past ten days, some of our inner disciples should have informed you about the basic situation of the Taihua Sect. Now that you have become the second place in the competition, you can choose any of the six peaks of Taihua Sect. Which one do you want to choose?”
Unlike the first-place disciple, there was no response from the crowd after Lu Jianqing’s words fell.
The senior brothers and sisters from the six peaks who were responsible for receiving new disciples all remained silent and looked at Li Xiuchen with strange eyes. They didn’t particularly like this inexperienced junior brother, as everyone wanted to improve their own strength. Taking this guy back with them, what was the point? Let’s see if he can have such good luck in the future.
This situation is completely different from the previous life. Back then, everyone was arguing and clamoring to be with Li Xiuchen, but now no one cares about him. Luo Jianqing looked at Li Xiuchen without changing his expression, neither sad nor happy. He was like a god on a frosty day, with an imposing aura that overwhelmed all others.
However, just like in the previous life, Li Xiuchen slightly bowed and solemnly said, “Senior brother, I heard that Taihua Mountain has seven peaks. Why did you tell me to choose from the six peaks?”
As soon as these words were spoken, the whole room erupted in uproar.
Luo Jianqing’s heart was already icy cold, but he still smiled gently and said, “My Yuxiao Peak never accepts disciples, there is only me. So you can choose from the other six peaks.”
After hearing this, Li Xiuchen’s eyes flashed with a hint of surprise. He pretended to remain calm and continued, “Senior brother, I want to enter Yuxiao Peak. The revered Xuan Lingzi is unparalleled in the world, and he fought against the demon cultivators with his own strength. He is a model for us cultivators. I won’t hide it from you, I admire him very much. I came to Taihua Mountain to join Xuan Lingzi’s sect, even if it means becoming a menial disciple, I am willing to do so.”
In the previous life, Luo Jianqing was so angry that his spiritual power erupted, and he almost killed the guy with a flick of his sleeve.
In this life, he had cultivated extremely well, and his patience was very high. The only thing that irked him was that guy. Li Xiuchen happened to touch his sore spot, and he couldn’t help but get angry, causing Li Xiuchen to get hurt. Then, the person who never left the mountain gate actually came out of Yuxiao Peak, took Li Xiuchen back for treatment, and said in a cold voice, “Jianqing, from now on he will be your junior brother.”
In the previous life, Li Xiuchen had betrayed him countless times, but he was right about one thing.
He hated Li Xiuchen. He hated that Li Xiuchen became that person’s disciple and took away his exclusive position.
Past events floated like clouds and disappeared before Luo Jianqing’s eyes. He lowered his head and looked at Li Xiuchen, who seemed a little afraid of him but had a hint of anticipation in his eyes, as if waiting for something. However, this time Luo Jianqing sighed heavily, and the nails hidden in his wide sleeves tightly pinched his palms. He smiled gently and said, “Yuxiao Peak never accepts any disciples. Junior brother, choose another peak.”
Li Xiuchen was stunned.
He had been waiting for Luo Jianqing to make a move on him, and then Xuan Lingzi would come out and mediate, and he would be taken back to Yuxiao Peak and become a disciple. How come Luo Jianqing hadn’t made a move on him this time? Did he really change so many things by transmigrating into this book?
After waiting for a while, Li Xiuchen still looked undecided and didn’t speak.
Without him saying anything, Luo Jianqing also remained silent, patiently waiting. On the other hand, Xie Zizhuo became impatient: “If you can’t decide, then go somewhere else. That third little girl, I see your potential, why don’t you come with me to Haoming Peak? It’s the most beautiful place in Taihua Mountain and it’s perfect for a cute little girl like you…”
While the other five disciples in the top six had all chosen their mountain gates to join, Li Xiuchen remained stationary without moving. When Liu Xiaoxiao was accepted by Qinglan Peak, she hesitated for a moment and said to Li Xiuchen, “Brother Li, Qinglan Peak is very good. Do you want to come with me to Qinglan Peak?”
His resolute reply was, “I want to join the school of sir Xuan Lingzi.”
Hearing this, a deeper smile appeared on Luo Jianqing’s lips, and he did not answer.
Finally, the other 23 disciples had all made their choices, leaving only Li Xiuchen without making a decision. He looked up at Luo Jianqing, who was looking down at him. One stood high in white robes, elegant and graceful, as if embodying the world’s purity; the other stood below in simple clothes, with an ordinary appearance, but with a pair of eyes full of sharpness.
After a long time, Luo Jianqing smiled lightly and said, “Brother, why don’t you go to Haoming Peak? The martial arts there are more suitable for you.”
Li Xiuchen still shook his head firmly and said, “No! Senior brother, I came to Taihua Mountain to join the school of Yuxiao Peak and study under sir Xuan Lingzi!”
The repeated mention of ” Sir Xuan Lingzi” made Luo Jianqing gradually curve his eyes. He had already pinched a blood mark in his palm, but he had not shown any signs of it. In the end, Luo Jianqing’s mouth curved up, and he paid no more attention to Li Xiuchen, instead turning to look at Xie Zizhuo beside him and said, “Junior brother, take him away.”
Xie Zizhuo had wanted to say something else, but looking at the bloodshot eyes of Luo Jianqing, he found himself nodding dumbly. However, as Li Xiuchen was being led away, he still shouted loudly, “No! I want to go to Yuxiao Peak, I want to see sir Xuan Lingzi !”
The sky was clear and the Taihua Mountain outside disciple’s arena was quiet. The dignified and elegant eldest senior brother of Taihua Mountain stood at a high place, watching as his junior brother was being pulled away while shouting.
Unexpectedly, at that moment, a golden sword light broke through the sky and pierced through space, heading towards them.
The mighty sword energy suppressed the outer gate of Taihua Mountain, causing the air to thicken and the water to stop flowing. The golden sword light that pervaded the entire sky made the swords of all those present tremble, as if they wanted to submit. These disciples were filled with fear, and some whose dao hearts were unstable almost knelt down.
Suddenly, a long, deep voice sounded as if it came from ancient times, mixed with a faint sigh, and gently echoed in the sky: “Jianqing.”