Translated by Moe
Chapter 28 Elder Taishang Arrives
“This is not possible!” Forgetting his surroundings, the Fifth Elder stood up abruptly and yelled. He could not accept that the grandson he was most proud of would be defeated like this, beaten in the hands of a low-rank xuan practitioner.
“Movement technique, kicking technique, palm technique…each and every one unleashed extraordinary power. Where did Ling Xiao learn all this? And how is it that he knows Ling Tian’s signature Flaming Sun Sword Skill?” Fourth Elder Ling Wei muttered to himself, the expression on his face one of disbelief.
The elders on the viewing platform also noticed that Ling Xiao’s techniques were beyond the ordinary, and cannot but leave them in a state of wonderment. This is also the first time they’ve seen these kinds of crafty and ingenious xuan skills. They searched through their memories but could not recall even one xuan skill from the Xuan Skill Pavilion that can compare to techniques Ling Xiao displayed just earlier.
Second Elder Ling Mo remained silent; however, an imperceptible flicker of killing intent appeared in his eyes, and then disappeared just as quickly.
Seated in the middle, Ling Cang maintained an impassive expression, but his heart was filled with pleasant surprise. Despite his many worries, he made a firm resolution to not let anything untowardly happen to Ling Xiao.
“Elder, you should declare the result, right? Ling Xiao turned toward the still stunned Ling Fu and asked.
Ninth Elder Ling Fu returned to his senses and signaled the end of the match.
“Wait…I…I haven’t lost yet!” Lying on the ground, Ling Xing spoke out in a feeble voice before slowly rising to his feet. There was a startling depression on his chest; several of his ribs had apparently been fractured by Ling Xiao’s blow earlier. With his body swaying from side to side, it was readily apparent that he was completely spent.
Sure enough, he had not even steadied himself before his legs gave way under him, falling back on the ground.
And with that, something changed in the eyes of the Ling Family children as they looked at Ling Xiao. The brief moment of silence was shattered by a wave of enthusiastic cheer swept the crowd.
This is the world where the strong is worshiped, and the Ling Family is no exception.
Today, the children of the Ling Family witnessed a miracle.
A low-rank xuan practitioner pulled off a great upset and defeated a high-rank xuan practitioner. If news of this spread out, perhaps no one would believe it. They saw it happen in front of their eyes and even they couldn’t believe it.
At this moment, they saw the greatest genius that Falling Stone City has ever known stand back up at last. The reverence in their hearts fired up once more, and they cannot help but ardently cheer for their idol.
Only Ling Zhi remained unreconciled with the current situation and doggedly glared at Ling Xiao, clenching his fists tightly and looked as if he wanted to tear Ling Xiao apart.
“If I had known things would turn out this way, I’d have brought Yu Xi and let her see just how awesome I am.” Ling Xiao couldn’t help thinking of Yu Xi after seeing the crowd’s reaction. He immediately felt regretful that he had missed the opportunity to let Bai Yu Xi observe his dominating performance.
Ling Xing was carried off the stage to receive medical attention, so the next match was set between Ling Xiao and Ling Li.
At this time, in a move that caught everyone by surprise, Ling Xiao forfeited the match.
Ninth Elder Ling Fu asked skeptically, “Are you certain you want to give up?”
“I am. I forfeit.” Ling Xiao nodded and replied resolutely. It’s not that he didn’t want to compete with Ling Li; rather, he didn’t want a cheap victory. If Ling Li was in peak condition, it’s no guarantee that Ling Xiao will come out on top over Ling Li. After all, he is his cousin, so it was only right to give him some face, not to mention earning himself a brief respite to recuperate his strength.
Ling Xiao never put much stock in the rankings. In general, experts avoided attention as much as possible and tried to keep a low profile, and he felt that it might do him some good to avoid drawing attention to himself.
The other children of the Ling Family would vomit blood if they knew what he was thinking. Wasn’t he the one to mock a high-rank xuan practitioner as nothing more than a small fry? And wasn’t he the one who said with a pompous flair that a high-rank xuan practitioner is not qualified to be his adversary? Will a person who can say these things be someone who would be low key? They’d rather die than believe such a lie.
Ling Li glanced at Ling Xiao and solemnly said, “Let’s have our battle when you’ve become a xuan warrior.”
“You’ve got it.” Ling Xiao nodded indifferently; this isn’t something he will place close to heart.
Without further ado, Elder Ling Fu declared Ling Li the victor.
The following match should have been a battle between Ling Li and Ling Xing. Unfortunately, Ling Xing’s condition did not improve after taking the Moisture Returning Pill, and his confidence had been shaken. He simply did not have the will to fight and announced that he was forfeiting the match to Ling Li.
As a result, Ling Li won without fighting, becoming the top finisher among the xuan practitioner rank and third place overall among those twenty or under within Ling Family’s eighteenth generation. Ling Xiao took fourth place, Ling Xing ended up in fifth place, and Ling Hu finished in sixth place.
The family exam has finally come to an end!
Following a short message of encouragement from the Patriarch and the elders on stage, the younger generation was dismissed with the exception of the top five finishers: Ling Kuang, Ling Lin, Ling Li, Ling Xiao, and Ling Xing.
Patriarch Ling Cang faced the five people and said, “The five of you are the elite in our family’s younger generation. From today onward, you will enjoy the same treatment afforded to an honor guard, and participate in next year’s competition among the families of Falling Stone City alongside your older brothers and sisters who are in the middle of closed-door training. I wish that you all remain humble and work hard practicing cultivation during the coming year. If you come across any difficulty, you are welcome to seek guidance from me or any one of the elders; they will do their best to provide the support you need.
After pausing for a brief moment, he continued speaking, “Next, Third Elder will be presenting your rewards.”
Third Elder Ling Yuan stood up with his big belly and steps forward to say, “Ling Kuang; in recognition of your outstanding efforts to breakthrough into the xuan warrior rank three months ago, you will be rewarded two bottles of Moisture Returning Pill, two bottles of Energy Gathering Pill, one Breaking Speed Pill, and a second-grade, intermediate-level spear.”
Ling Kuang couldn’t help but feel delighted after hearing the Third Elder announce, and directly clasped his hands and bowed to the Third Elder. Although he is Second Elder Ling Mo’s grandson, all the cultivation resources he had received was granted by the family. Therefore, he couldn’t contain his excitement from obtaining all these rewards all at once, especially the Breaking Speed Pill and second-grade, intermediate-level spear; he could never in his wildest dreams imagine that he would be given such rewards.
The Breaking Speed Pill is a second-grade, low-level medicinal pill that has the effect of increasing a person’s speed by twofold. Consumed during battle, it can absolutely ensure victory against any opponent of equivalent or lower rank.
Nothing needs to be said about the value of the second-grade, intermediate-level spear. His weapon of choice is the spear and is already in possession of a second-grade, low-level spear. Although the grade is not low, it’s only natural for him to be elated at the prospects of receiving an even better weapon.
Third Elder continued on to announce Ling Lin’s reward, which ended up being virtually the same as Ling Kuang with the only exception being the weapon; she obtained a second-grade, intermediate-level sword to compliment her specialty in the sword.
Next was Ling Li, who received a bottle of Moisture Returning Pill, a bottle of Energy Gathering Pill, as well as one Strength Congealing Pill.
The reward for xuan practitioner rank obviously could not compare with xuan warrior rank, but he was satisfied, nevertheless, for getting the Strength Congealing Pill.
The Strength Congealing Pill is a second-grade, low-level medicinal pill and is used to concentrate one’s attention and promote xuan strength. It also possesses remarkable effects with regards in easing a xuan practitioner’s breakthrough to xuan warrior rank.
Ling Xiao should have been next to receive his award, but the Third Elder skipped over him and directly announced Ling Xing’s reward instead.
Ling Xing’s reward was identical to Ling Li, without any difference.
Once the Third Elder finished announcing Ling Xing’s reward, he promptly returned back to his seat.
Ling Xiao couldn’t help but get anxious. Everyone except him else received their due reward without incident; even Ling Xing, who had lost to him, gained quite a few benefits. He immediately turned to the Third Elder and asked, “Third Elder, did you leave out my reward by mistake?”
All except the Third Elder are perplexed as to why the Third Elder had abstained from announcing Ling Xiao’s reward. Even Patriarch Ling Cang was so. This has not gone according to plan at all!
Third Elder Ling Yuan stroked his beard and laughed, “You don’t have a reward.”
“W-What? I don’t have a reward? Third Elder, please make yourself more clear to me. I believe I’ve more than proved myself superior to that good-for-nothing, yet he was rewarded and I am not. This does not seem fair.” Ling Xiao said rather indignantly.
When the deathly pale Ling Xing heard this, he couldn’t help but becoming so furious that he coughed up a mouthful of blood.
“See what I mean? I only said a few words and he’s already vomiting blood. This kind of useless good-for-nothing won’t amount to anything. I’ll tell you what. If you reward me with twice what he received, we can put this matter behind us.” Ling Xiao not only ridiculed Ling Xing in front of everyone, he also wanted to take a mile after being given an inch. It must be said that this guy didn’t bat an eye as he said these words.
Ling Cang frowned as he said, “Ling Xiao, stop babbling nonsense.” He then turned toward Third Elder Ling Yuan and asked, “Old Third, what are you up to?”
Third Elder Ling Yuan spread his arms out helplessly and then pointed to a place nearby and said, “Patriarch, look who has arrived.”
Ling Cang and the rest of the elders looked in the direction Third Elder Ling Yuan pointed at, only to see a gray-haired and hunched over old man walking over.
This old man appeared quite slow-moving, but each of his step seem to cross a great distance as he very quickly arrived among the elders.
“Elder Taishang.” Everyone bowed slightly in greeting.
Elder Taishang slightly acknowledged everyone, “At ease!”
When Elder Taishang came into view, the four youngsters beside Ling Xiao became restless with excited. Even the always cold and detached Ling Li was beside himself with anticipation.
They knew what was going to happen next. Elder Taishang will select one among them as his successor disciple. This is better than any reward they would receive from the Ling Family.
At this time, Fifth Elder Ling Yan silently regarded Second Elder Ling Mo with imploring eyes, apparently passing on some kind of message. Second Elder acknowledged with a nod.
Shortly thereafter, Second Elder Ling Mo was the first to stand out and say, “Elder Taishang, I have something to say.”
Elder Taishang glanced at Ling Mo and responded, “Speak. I’m listening.”
Ling Mo pointed at his grandson, Ling Kuang, and turned to speak to Elder Taishang, “Eighteenth generation’s Ling Kuang was fortunate enough to break through to xuan warrior rank three months ago, becoming the fastest to advance to the xuan warrior rank in the twenty years or under age group. He is only nineteen this year and his talent is self-apparent, I hope Elder Taishang will provide him many pointers.”
Ling Mo’s words caused the Ling Cang and his supporters’ expressions to change, and smiles to spread out across the faces of Ling Mo’s supporters.
Ling Kuang took the opportunity to come forward and bow to Elder Taishang, “Ling Kuang greets Elder Taishang. I hope to have the good fortune to serve you.” At this moment, Ling Kuang felt like his heart was jumping out of his throat! If he can become Elder Taishang’s disciple, it would all but guarantee his future as the top figure in the Ling Family. Just thinking of that kind of solitary and aloof dignity makes him feel over the moon.
At this moment, Fourth Elder Ling Wei also stepped forward to speak out, “Elder Taishang, Ling Lin from the eighteenth generation also has pretty good talent. She had also broke through to the xuan warrior rank a month ago. I hope that Elder Taishang will be so kind as to provide her some guidance.”
All the elders stared at Ling Wei in surprise. They didn’t expect the typically passive Ling Wei would make his move and dared to challenge Second Elder Ling Mo so publicly.
Ling Lin, dressed in violet martial arts uniform, stepped forward and bowed deeply to Elder Taishang.
Next, Ling Li and Ling Xing needed no introduction as they competed to be first to recommend themselves, hoping beyond hope that Elder Taishang will appreciate what they had to offer.
This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; once it’s gone, it will never come again. How could they forgive themselves if they don’t give it all they got?
Only Ling Xiao did not lower himself to their level; even though Elder Taishang is deep and unfathomable, Ling Xiao felt he still fall short compared to his crafty old master from his previous life. He strongly believed that not just anyone is qualified to be his master and therefore was the only one to remain unmoved among the five of them.