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Qin Wentian’s eyes flashed with a strange glow when he heard that. Sparring?
Qin Wentian inclined his gaze, contemplating the young lady that stood before them. She exuded an innate arrogance and a sense of nobility, like that of a high-up, unreachable princess. Her snow-white skin and beautiful features further accentuated her unattainable status, alleviating her above the common crowd.
Such an aura did indeed have a resemblance to Ouyang Kuangsheng, and also, Yang Fan.
This young lady was only around eighteen years of age, and had a cultivation base at the fifth level of Yuanfu. She was brimming with a vitality akin to the blazing sun, and the proud look in her eyes immediately caused those around her to feel a sense of distance from her.
Even her fiery ember-steed had a pair of wings adorning its back. Everything about this young lady was beyond ordinary. It was obvious that her status in the Ouyang Clan was far beyond the two young cultivators and even that Heavenly Dipper Sovereign who had been sent out to Qiyun for recruitment earlier.
However, why sparring? Did the young lady want to use them to temper her combat prowess? And that young man who was her opponent earlier, he was still smiling even though he was injured. It seemed like this kind of occurrence was extremely common within the transcendent powers.
Maybe there would be some who felt that such a defeat was a blemish on their pride and dignity, and they might as well give up the chance to enter the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan. Yet, there were also those who wouldn’t hesitate to give all they had for a chance to enter a transcendent power. As long as they had talent, they could claw their way up the ranks and soar into the skies, just like the two young cultivators who had been bestowed the name Ouyang—it was already sufficient for them to lord over Qiyun, so much so that even the high princes of Qiyun didn’t dare breathe too heavily in front of them.
This made Qin Wentian recall how lofty Luo Qianqiu’s status was—all because he was from the Nine Mystical Palace. Demon level geniuses like Chu Tianjiao and Sikong Mingyue, didn’t they all take the eligibility of being able to enter the Nine Mystical Palace as the highest mark of pride? Yet, if they were to be granted admittance, their statuses on the outside would no longer be important. They would be ranked right down at the bottom, at the beck and call of others.
Such was the path of cultivation.
"Hu…" Abruptly, a fiery red-colored long whip snapped out. Qin Wentian’s eyes narrowed, only to see that the long whip wasn’t targeted at him, but rather at Fan Le who was by his side. Fatty reacted instantly, narrowly dodging that whip attack.
The long whip lashed against the ground, causing a loud snapping sound to echo in the air. A cold glint of light flashed past the young lady’s eyes as she stared at Fan Le. "If you dare let your gaze roam so rudely one more time, I will gouge them out for you. Mingyue, bring them over there to wait for me."
After speaking, she brandished her whip as her ember-steed soared into the skies, flying to an unknown location ahead. Fan Le grimaced, he had already controlled himself because they were in the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan. Although the young lady earlier was a beauty, he merely glanced at her face, and a little at her well-rounded boobs, but who would have thought that this mere action had almost earned him a lashing. If he were anywhere else, he would definitely openly stare at her figure.
"What a hot-tempered babe," Fan Le murmured, his words causing the young cultivators who brought them over to frown. Usually, even they had to avert their gazes and didn’t dare look at Ouyang Ting when she was speaking, so who would have thought that Fan Le would be so brazen?
"Shut up," the female cultivator coldly snapped. "You guys were brought here by us, take note not to implicate us with your foolish actions."
"You guys teach these newcomers about the rules," the Heavenly Dipper Sovereign added, before disinterestedly flicking his sleeves and departing the area. The squabbles of the younger generations were beneath him.
"Since you’re already here, you better watch your words and behavior," the young man coldly added, after which, he started walking away. "Follow me."
Qin Wentian patted Fan Le on his shoulder, his action hinting that Fan Le shouldn’t be angered. Fan Le merely shrugged and didn’t continue with more cutting remarks.
"Miss Ting is from the direct line of descent, her status is far above all of us. Not only that, Miss Ting is a fanatic when it comes to cultivating and loves to look for opponents to spar against. If you guys are smart, you should all grab this chance to spar with her. Hopefully, if you manage to gain her recognition, you guys would then have a higher chance of being bestowed upon the surname ‘Ouyang’, elevating yourself to the same grade as us."
The young man calmly continued, "But there’s one point all of you must remember; when sparring against Miss Ting, you must not hold back and use your full strength. If you can force Miss Ting to use her full strength as well, she would of course be extremely happy. However, do not ever hurt a single strand of her head. Understood?"
The implication behind his words was obvious—even if you win, you better lose.
"Such a good opportunity, why not give it to the others?" Fan Le glanced at Thirteen and the rest as he faintly asked.
"I’ve heard that the two of you are quite proficient in combat, far beyond the norm, hence I chose to give this chance to you. If you can’t recognise a good opportunity when it presents itself, then don’t regret that you’ve missed out when it’s too late," the young man coldly replied, as he led them to another sprawling location.
Here, the buildings were packed closer to each other with several people already there.
Not only that, almost all were from the younger generation, with many sparring sessions taking place concurrently.
"Over here at this region, strength speaks the loudest. You three can go by yourselves and find a place you want to stay in." The young man spoke to Qin Wentian and his group, before turning to the others, "The rest of you, come with me."
After which, he practically abandoned Qin Wentian, Fan Le and Chu Mang right where they stood.
"Where are we supposed to go?" Fan Le unhappily mumbled.
"Let’s go take a look." Qin Wentian carried Little Rascal, and they set off towards the sparring areas. But after a while, Qin Wentian exchanged glances with Fan Le, as they halted their steps and started to retrace it.
There was somebody monitoring their movements from the shadows!
As his heart sense gushed out, Qin Wentian discovered that every building here was already packed to the brim with people staying within. The act of the young man dumping them here indicated that he had other intentions in his mind.
"Newbies?" A round-faced man passed by, he involuntarily stopped his steps when he saw Qin Wentian and the two others.
"Yeah, can we ask you some questions?" Qin Wentian nodded.
"Sure." The round-faced young man walked towards the nearby grass patch and sat down, smiling at Qin Wentian and rest. "Maybe we’ll be competitors in future."
"What do you mean?" Fan Le asked.
"Don’t you all know the rules? There are too many cultivators who want to join the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan. Coming here does not mean that you’re automatically one of them. They usually group people of the same realm together in one region and then use an elimination match to determine who can advance. The process is tremendously cruel, but only by passing the various tests can one be conferred upon the name ‘Ouyang’," the round-faced young man explained.
"To be surnamed Ouyang, they abandoned their real surnames?"
"No, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your surname to have the ‘Ouyang’ clan name bestowed upon you—it’s only a kind of status. It means that you’ve officially become part of the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan, and have gained access to some powerful cultivation arts and innate techniques. There will be masters guiding you on your cultivation progress and you’ll get the chance to become a disciple of these experts. If you climb your way up through the hierarchy system, you might truly become a core disciple. By then, your status may even exceed some of those from the direct line of descent."
The round-faced young man continued, "All the cultivators here possess an outstanding talent, and they all have high aspirations. Some of them, despite not being of the Ouyang bloodline, have the potential to be chosen by the Ouyang Clan to integrate themselves within. Of course, if one’s talent is not high enough, they can only choose to leave in silence, but that would be extremely embarrassing."
"Does the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan force people to stay? Or can they leave anytime of their own volition?" Qin Wentian inquired.
"Naturally, but those who’ve come all this way obviously wish to fight for a better future. Who’d easily leave just like that? Why would the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan even need to force people to stay? Before one becomes a core member, there won’t be anyone giving a damn about where you want to go," the round-faced young man replied.
"Hmm, do you know Miss Ting?" Qin Wentian asked again, the round-faced young man’s eyes lit up when he heard the question. He glanced about carefully before adding in a low voice, "This Ouyang Ting has an extremely high status in the Ouyang Clan, but she also has an unruly and wilful personality. She likes to find people to spar with her, but if her sparring opponents are too weak, they’ll be subjected to humiliation and even serious injury. It eventually leads to them choosing to leave. For those stronger than her, they don’t dare to use their full strength and can only ‘play’ along with her. But even then they have to tread carefully, because if they were to accidentally anger her, or some other Chosen, the consequences would be disastrous."
"Anger?" Qin Wentian continued asking, yet the round-faced young man only waved his hands, not bothering to explain. He then added in a whisper, "Just be more careful and don’t spread this information. Lastly, pray more for your own good fortune."
The round-faced young man had traces of sympathy in his eyes when he glanced at Qin Wentian’s group, his words caused the eyes of Qin Wentian and Fan Le to flicker with a cold light. It seems like the young man had intentionally brought them to this place, with the intention of wishing harm to befall them.
"Have you met Ouyang Kuangsheng before?"
"I only heard that he is of the direct line of descent and his status among the clan is definitely at the very peak. If all goes well, the leadership position will eventually fall to him. I also heard that his character was extremely brazen and unrestrained, but sadly, despite half a year here, I have yet to meet him."
Qin Wentian had a bitter smile on his face, initially he came to the Ouyang Aristocrat Clan merely because he wanted to meet up with his good brother, yet who would have expected that the Ouyang Clan was so vast? It would be close to impossible to meet him. But naturally, Qin Wentian was happy for Ouyang Kuangsheng when he heard of the latter’s status in the clan.
"Could you help us find a place to stay?" Qin Wentian smiled.
"How did you all manage to offend someone this quickly? I guess you all can temporarily stay in my courtyard first." The round-faced young man was extremely amicable, seeing how readily he agreed. Qin Wentian and the rest accepted his offer with their thanks.
Afterwards, when Qin Wentian and the two others tried to step out of the Ouyang Clan, they found themselves forcibly prevented from leaving.
"What’s going on? We can’t even go out?" Fan Le coldly stared at the person blocking their way. "We heard from a reliable source that before becoming core members, there would be no one restricting our movements."
"For the time-being, the three of you do not have permission to move about freely," the person blocking them replied. Qin Wentian frowned as he asked, "Why not?"
"I’ve heard that Miss Ting will look for you guys to spar with her tomorrow," the man bluntly replied.
"Then when will we be free to leave?" Qin Wentian’s voice dropped several degrees.
"After the sparring match." The person blocking, just as coldly shot back. Qin Wentian sighed, after which he turned back, as a cold glint of light flashed in his eyes. What the hell was going on, had they offended someone? But who did they offend?
She wanted to make them her sparring dummies? Well then, he was raring to go!
Indeed, on the second morning after their arrival, the young man and lady from before came to lead them towards the training ground. Qin Wentian discovered that other than the three of them, there were other cultivators already there. After several moments, a figure on an ember-steed was seen soaring through the air from the entrance of the Ouyang Castle. Ouyang Ting wasn’t alone, several people from the Ouyang Clan accompanied her.
These people all exuded an extraordinary air. Evidently, they were all of the direct line of descent. Ouyang Ting calmly smiled, "These past few days, my sparring partners have been pathetic letdowns. I’m afraid if you’ve come to witness my defeat, you’ll be sorely disappointed."
"We have no intention of making merry at your expense. Recently, Ouyang Kuangsheng’s improvement has been too rapid. If this continues on, we will all be left in his dust." One of the young ladies by the side frowned.
"Hmph, he’s older than us. Believe me, there’s nothing impressive about him." Ouyang Ting coldly snorted, appearing extremely unhappy. Yet, her eyes belied her trepidation—they were all from the same generation, so that volatile guy wasn’t someone that they could afford to antagonize!
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