Chapter 7: The Selection at Mirror Lake Dao Academy
Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Meng Chuan couldn’t help but try again. In an instant, his body, mind, and technique were one. As he tore through the air with the saber flying around him, he saw afterimages left behind in the training grounds as stunning saber flashes appeared one after another.
It was fast and ethereal! This was the characteristic of the secret technique, Third Autumn Leaf. His movement technique was fast and ethereal! His saber arts were also fast and ethereal!
After trying it out over ten times in a row, he finally came to a halt, unable to suppress his excitement. Third Autumn Leaf, the fall of a leaf portends the third season of the year—autumn! I finally figured it out! I finally figured it out! I’ve finally reached the first major realm in saber arts—Unity! I, Meng Chuan, have a chance of becoming a Godfiend!
He was really excited. He began learning the Falling Leaf Saber at the age of eleven. Four years had passed since then.
He had never slacked off in the past four years, cultivating as hard as he could because he knew very well that there were many excellent cultivators during the foundational stages of saber arts. There were several such talents in every Dao Academy. There were even more when the eight Dao Academies were combined. However, among these outstanding cultivators… 99% of them would be held back by the Unity realm. They would gradually become mediocre. It would be a miracle if they could reach the Seamless realm in their lifetime.
However, this was never his goal. He wanted to become a Godfiend! He had worked hard and studied hard, all for one goal—Godfiend!
He couldn’t forget being tied to his father’s back when he was six years old as his father fled while resisting the demons. At the critical moment, his mother had taken the initiative to charge at the demons to buy time for them.
It was all for the sake of her son!
On his father’s back, he saw his mother being overwhelmed by demons. At the time, Meng Chuan cried his heart out. Tears kept streaming down his father’s cheeks but he didn’t turn around; he focused on escaping with all his might. In the end, Meng Chuan survived.
The earlier one starts cultivation, the better. A mortal’s body reaches its prime at the age of twenty. Progress just slows down after that. Meng Chuan mused to himself, Right now, the number one genius in Eastcalm Prefecture—Mei Yuanzhi—figured out the secret technique at fifteen years of age. Just a month ago, he gained insights into Ice Force at twenty. He is even able to live within the Jadesun Palace and cultivate there.
Mei Yuanzhi came from an ordinary family in Eastcalm Prefecture. His mother was a maid, and his father was only at the Mortal Shedding realm.
However, Mei Yuanzhi had figured out the secret technique at the age of fifteen, shocking the Dao Academy. The Dao Academy immediately nurtured him to the best of their abilities. Even Godfiend family clans also wanted to betroth girls from their direct lineage to him, but Mei Yuanzhi was focused on cultivation. He was not tempted by the Godfiend family clans at all…
Finally, on 12th January, Mei Yuanzhi figured out “Ice Force.” He barely made it in time by figuring out “Force” at the age of twenty. This year, he had a chance to try his luck at entering the most ancient cultivation ground—Archean Mountain.
According to the rules of Archean Mountain, one couldn’t exceed the age of twenty when participating in the entrance test.
I have reached the Unity realm. This is just the first step. There are still many thresholds like “Saber Force” and “Core Condensation.” Meng Chuan mumbled quietly, “I can’t slack off.” He scanned his surroundings and noticed that he was the only person in the training ground. The vegetation was a luxuriant green.
What a coincidence. Meng Chuan snapped out of his daze. Today is the 27th February. I actually made a breakthrough a day before the Dao Academy’s internal selection.
Sometimes, things in the world were just this coincidental.
The next morning.
Meng Chuan and Liu Qiyue were having breakfast.
The entire Meng family were currently trying their best to groom the younger generation. They had hired Seamless experts to be Meng Chuan’s sparring partners. Meng Dajiang—who had comprehended Saber Force and was a Seamless realm expert—naturally had to be put to use. He had recently been living in the ancestral mansion and teaching a large number of juniors in the clan. As for Meng Chuan, he had plenty of opportunities to receive his father’s guidance. He was already very familiar with his father’s teachings.
However, Qiyue’s father—Liu Yebai—was very mysterious. He spent most of the year outside.
“Ah Chuan, your Dao Academy will be making the selections today, right?” Liu Qiyue smugly said, “I’ve already gotten a spot.”
“I will get it today too,” said Meng Chuan with a smile.
“You’re that confident?” Liu Qiyue asked with a smile. “You’re confident that you can obtain the top three in the Dao Academy even before you reach the perfected Marrow Cleansing realm?”
“What if I get the spot?”
Liu Qiyue sized up Meng Chuan and chuckled. “If you get it, I’ll make you dinner for a month. But if you can’t get that spot—hehe—you have to give me your Gallant Steeds! Do you dare to take on my bet?”
Meng Chuan laughed.
His artistic skills had long surpassed the best artist in Eastcalm Prefecture. Of course, there being few artists was partially a reason.
Gallant Steeds was Meng Chuan’s magnum opus. It was a piece of art on a long scroll. It consisted of a hundred horses with different expressions. It took him over a year to draw it. Liu Qiyue had been eyeing it ever since she lay her eyes on it. Even Yun Qingping had offered three thousand silver taels and two pieces of precious jade for it after seeing it once.
“If I lose, I’ll have to let go of Gallant Steeds. If I win, you’ll only be making me dinner for a month. Isn’t that a little unfair?” Meng Chuan asked with hesitation.
“It’s for one month! Do you dare?” Liu Qiyue stared at him.
“It’s hard for you to make me a meal usually. Alright, I’ll take this bet.” Meng Chuan clenched his teeth. “Don’t regret it when you lose.”
“I should be the one saying that!” Liu Qiyue put down her utensils and stood up to leave. “I’m going to the Dao Academy. Don’t cower outside just because you lose at noon.”
“Don’t worry.” Meng Chuan leisurely drank his porridge. Why would he reject his dear Qiyue’s offer to make him dinner for a full month?
After he was done with his meal, he wiped the corner of his mouth and leisurely strode towards his Dao Academy.
Mirror Lake Dao Academy.
After arriving at the Dao Academy, he realized that many disciples had come to the arena.
“Senior Brother Meng will definitely win.”
“Senior Brother Meng, you will definitely enter the top three.”
Many of the junior brothers and sisters were extremely excited. All of them knew that today was the final selection. The Dao Academy also wanted them to watch the competition of their seniors from Mountain River Pavilion. As Meng Chuan was occasionally willing to give his juniors pointers, many of them supported him.
“Although I do wish for Senior Brother Meng Chuan to win, he honestly doesn’t have the advantage. It’s a battle between the top ten disciples at the Marrow Cleansing realm, so the chances of him clinching top three is really low.”
“The first among equals was chosen between Senior Brother Wan Mang and Senior Brother Bai Guan in the most recent competition between the top ten disciples. Therefore it’s unquestionable the two will take up a spot.” Many of the juniors engaged in heated discussions. Some of them blindly supported their favorites, while others provided clear analyses. However, all of them had a point in common: they were all waiting for the battle to begin.
The arena had a hundred-foot buffer, preventing the disciples from approaching.
Meng Chuan and company arrived one after another as they waited. Lecturers checked their weapons, confirming that they were all blunt.
A skinny man who reeked of alcohol walked over while carrying a wine jar.
All the disciples were very respectful. Even the twenty-two disciples of Mountain River Pavilion bowed respectfully. This was the dean of Mirror Lake Dao Academy, Ge Yu. He had quite the terrible reputation—known for his greed and penchant for alcohol. He did things recklessly.
“Alright, everyone is here.” Although Ge Yu’s face was completely red and he reeked of alcohol, all of the disciples were very obedient. The lecturers and teaching assistants didn’t dare mumble a word. He had earned his title of being the best at the swift saber.
“There are only six of you who are in the Mortal Shedding realm. The selection will be easy,” Ge Yu said. “The six of you can compete first and we’ll pick the top three.”
A young man bowed and said, “Brother Zhang and I have just reached the Mortal Shedding realm recently and are still at the early stages of the Mortal Shedding realm. We admit that we are lacking in strength and choose to give up on the competition.”
“Dean, we have already battled last night. I lost all three battles,” a muscular, dark-skinned youth said.
Ge Yu nodded when he heard that. He knew the strength of his disciples as well. “Alright, since that’s the case, the ones heading to the Jadesun Palace’s Demon-Slaying Meet will be Wu Qi and the Wei brothers.”
“Yes,” Wu Qi and the other two replied respectfully.
Wu Qi was at the perfected Mortal Shedding realm.
The Wei brothers were at the late-stage Mortal Shedding realm, so they held a strength advantage.
“There are a total of 16 Mountain River Pavilion disciples at the Marrow Cleansing realm.” Ge Yu looked at Meng Chuan and company. “Every one of you can vie for it. I’ll state the rules. Those who have confidence can enter the arena directly! You will face challenges from your fellow disciples. As long as you win five matches in a row, you will secure a spot. Also… two defeats will automatically disqualify you.”
“Alright, let’s begin now.” As Ge Yu spoke, he hugged the wine jar and took a big gulp.
The sixteen Marrow Cleansing realm disciples fell silent.
To enter the arena and win five consecutive matches? Then, the first to enter the arena would be at a disadvantage!
Vying for the third spot after two spots was taken would be much easier since the two strongest opponents were gone.
“Who’s going first?” Most of the Mountain River Pavilion disciples cast their gazes on two disciples—the muscular and smiling Wan Mang and the extremely cold and stern Bai Guan. In competitions involving the ten strongest disciples, first place was typically decided between the two of them.
“You’re not going up?” Wan Mang smiled at Bai Guan.
“If you wish to, after you,” Bai Guan said coldly.
At this moment…
A figure took a step forward and entered the arena. It was none other than Meng Chuan.
He swept his gaze across the shocked fellow disciples and said, “I guess the first spot will be mine.”