Nine Astra Skies

Mad Snail

53 The Second Challenge

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The rest of the lords and elder chiefs now are envious of Ye Changxuan. The clan had such a strong talent. In the years to come, the clan would surely usher in its golden years.Mo Teng was equally shocked and embarra.s.sed. Just thinking about his little brag from a day back made him disappointed. Compared to Ye Chen, Mo Teng had a long way to go. The Ye Clan got off lucky this time. Mo Teng, who witnessed the entire incident from the other arena, felt defeated. Not only did Ye Chen took down Yun Yifei, who was a top rank seven combatant but he also managed to knock out Yun Jingkong, who was a top rank eight combatant. Mo Teng simply could not face the facts. After all, how was he going to hide his pride? Between Ye Chen and himself, he was nothing!

"Today, I have finally had the opportunity to witness the Ye Clan's devastating fire elemental cultivation system. That technique that Ye Chen had performed must've been rank six and above, yes?" Li Xu turned toward Ye Changxuan. Li Xu's words caused the crowd to go hysterical. A rank six martial art technique would require a clan to have thousands of years' of lineage for the knowledge to be pa.s.sed down, and they must have had produced the most volume of Venerable Ones in the entire history or they would never have come up with a rank six martial art technique.

"Indeed. That's a rank six martial art technique," Ye Chen answered.

There crowd's reaction toward Ye Changxuan and Ye Chen was varied.

"Well then, it looks like the top spot of the tournament goes to Ye Chen of the Ye Clan. I take it there will be no objections?" Li Xu consulted the crowd. Li Xu was an experienced man who had encountered people from all walks of life and yet he never once allowed his manners to slip. Right at the Capital City, it was not an uncommon sight to encounter a seventeen-year-old who was a top rank eight combatant. Even the Great Emperor of Mingwu from the Xiwu Empire was a rank nine combatant by the age of thirteen. Of course, one cannot compare the likes of a commoner with the Royal Family for the Great Emperor of Mingwu was provided with countless medicinal pills, which aided him in his cultivation process.

The crowd responded with a forced smile. Which youngster dared challenge Ye Chen for the top spot anyway? Neither of them approved of the outcome, particularly Yun Yiyang. After all, Li Xu's Earth Quintessence Pill was going into Ye Changxuan's hands. 

Yun Yiyang had just about lost it. He specifically organized the Grand Martial Tournament of the Eighteen Houses of Lianyun intending to appeal to Li Xu's good side. Never did Yun Yiyang expect to shoot himself in the foot, lose the clan's treasure and, be the middleman to connect the Ye Clan and Li Xu together and above all, offend Li Xu in the process.

"Lord Yun, let's proceed to the second test," Li Xu urged Yun Yiyang. Li Xu could not wait to see if Ye Chen possess an affinity for the art of Alchemy. Alas, the show had to go on.

Yun Yiyang was feeling a mixture of emotions. a.s.suming Ye Chen truly had a talent for Alchemy and thus be recommended by Li Xu to Master Apothecary Xuanyi as a potential candidate, that meant they could no longer mess with the Ye Clan anymore as there would be a hefty price to pay. Did it also mean that they would have to bury the hatchet with the Ye Clan? The two clans had been at odds with one another for years as they were sworn enemies. There was no way there could be a peace offering! They could only be the prey and the predator!

Having intensive cultivation and an affinity for the fire elemental Cultivation System did not mean that one could easily be an apothecary. There was another challenge - a more stringent requirement that lay ahead, possessing great control over one's Celestial Chi.

"I'll have my man get to it right away!" Yun Yiyang began firing away with his orders. Yun Yiyang could only obediently do as Li Xu said and hope that Ye Chen's control over his Celestial Chi would not meet Li Xu's mark. After all, possessing a solid control over the Celestial Chi was a matter of talent and no amount of pills and martial art techniques could change that.

Soon, the crowd dispersed and back came a couple more tables that were placed on the stage, which drew the crowd's attention. 

"I heard Master Xuanyi has a peculiar way of choosing his disciples. I wonder what it is."

"We're about to see that soon." 

Meanwhile, Yun Yiyang and Yun Yixuan were seen chattering at the corner of the stage. Yun Yixuan looked at Ye Chen and Ye Changxuan with an evil eye from afar as if plotting something nefarious.

"Brother, do you believe Ye Changxuan? Do you think the Ye Clan has such a powerful figure?" Yun Yixuan was unhappy. He could not accept the fact that the tables were turned and that the Ye Clan went from being bullied to being the bully now.

"Of course not. If the Ye Clan truly had such power, he wouldn't have sit idly and watch the Ye Clan fall. We would've been obliterated long ago if that were the case. I bet that little fry Ye Chen just experienced some sort of miracle which restored his meridian channels and increased his strength greatly." Yun Yiyang's gaze was cold. "If I had known things would come to this day, I would've disposed of him long ago!" Yun Yiyang regretted just crippling Ye Chen's meridian channels. 

Initially, Yun Yiyang had intentionally crippled Ye Chen's meridian channels for a specific cause. Given that Ye Chen was Ye Zhantian's beloved son, he had hope that doing so would enrage Ye Zhantian further and cause him to go on a revenge spree, which would put the Ye and Yun Clan at a decisive battle. With Ye Chen crippled, Ye Zhantian would have ingested countless pills which meant that the Ye Clan would have little resources and therefore, little power to retaliate. Yun Yiyang would have never guessed that karma would bite him in the back. 

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Yun Yiyang was a little disturbed by the fact the Ye Clan had a powerful figure backing them up. Regardless, he chose not to believe the claims at this point, for now at least!

The crowd placed their focus on the test before them. Apart from the few insiders who knew about the feud between the Ye Clan and the Yun Clan, the rest were oblivious to their conflict, which had gone to the point of no return. 

The test was rather peculiar. It consisted of placing some powder on the table, lifting one's hand two inches above the powder, and using their Celestial Chi to draw a picture. The more detailed and intricate the picture was, the more likely the person would win. The test may seem easy but it was certainly difficult to perform. Even those who had displayed great control over their Celestial Chi would find it difficult to gather their Celestial Chi and draw a picture mid-air. 

Upon hearing the manner of the test, the crowd broke into a cold sweat. They wondered if anyone in the crowd could meet Master Li's requirements. Celestial Chi could be cultivated and boosted through the use of medicinal pills but possessing a great control over Celestial Chi was a strict case of raw talents.

A group of youngsters took their numbers and were separated into seven groups. Ye Chen was placed in the sixth group.

"Let's begin. The first group to the front!" A Yun Clan member called out.

A group of ten youngsters walked toward their designated table and placed their hands two inches above the table. 

"You have a time limit of a hundred and twenty breath counts. You may begin."

The bunch of youngsters channeled their Celestial Chi. Attempting to condense their Celestial Chi into a localized spot was an extremely difficult task, what more with using the chi the draw. Beads of sweat began to appear on each youngster's forehead.

Not one in the crowd dared breathe heavily as they feared that a single breeze would easily destroy the youngsters' artwork.

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