At the gathering place outside the mountain gate, Xu Rui, an outer sect manager dressed in a blue robe and carrying an Eight Trigram Sword on his back, had been waiting for a while.
On his left stood a person dressed in a yellow robe from the Mount Sea Sect.
On both sides, disciples from the two sects confronted each other from a distance, a dense mass of people, glaring provocatively at each other.
“Today, we’ll make sure you know how formidable we are!”
“Heh, we haven’t seen many breakthroughs from you all year!”
“Mountain and Sea, the highest in the eastern region.”
“The spiritual springs belong to our Clear Water Sect! Mountain and Sea, keep your hands off!”
The disciples from both sides were short-tempered, and they started shouting at each other from afar.
Lin Shuang stood with her hands behind her back, and with a glance, she completed half of today’s planned practice of the Fiery Eyes Technique in an instant.
Once the disciples were assembled, Xu Rui and the senior disciple from Mount Sea Sect calmed their respective sides.
A sword flew out from behind, soaring into the air.
Nine-colored brilliance of sword qi scattered and fell onto the Outer Sect disciples.
As the nine-colored brilliance fell on them, it immediately transformed into nine different patterns for cultivating techniques.
“Spiritual Spring Nine Challenges, distribution complete!”
Senior Brother Xu Rui retrieved his Eight Trigram Sword and surveyed the whole scene.
“Dear junior brothers and sisters, do your best!”
Soon, the scene became chaotic.
“Ah, why do I get the Qi Endurance test?”
“Darn it, I dread the Speed Assessment the most.”
“Speed is good, not tiring at all.
I really want to switch with you.”
“Hey, it’s just an endurance test, not a one-on-one fight.
It’s already better than last year.”
“That’s true… I almost got killed last year when I faced a one-incense stick-long battle.”
“Who’s unlucky this year?”
The disciples checked the battle test patterns that fell on their bodies, looking around at each other.
Soon, their expressions froze.
A small figure carved in a yellow-earth shape—a symbol for a one-on-one battle—floated over one by one from the top three disciples of their outer sect: Chen Sixin, Zhou Xuanwu, and Zhao Keran.
It finally landed on the slim female cultivator standing behind Zhao Keran.
She had no sword on her, holding an open painting album in her left hand.
Her spiritual aura was so weak that they could hardly feel it.
The battle test patterns quickly enveloped her, and in an instant, they were triggered by the wooden disciple badge on her waist.
[Outer Sect Ranking 18,888]
The surrounding disciples fell silent in an instant.
Someone spoke first.
“Isn’t our outer sect just reaching twenty thousand disciples this year?”
18888, ranked last!
[Lin Shuang’s Record for Seizing Spiritual Springs: 8 wins, 6 absences.]
“Hiss, eight wins… Is that the one where she faced a disciple with a broken leg last year, and the opponent who went berserk the year before that, and from the disciple who withdrew due to emotional distress before that?”
All the disciples had a strange expression on their faces, but soon, it turned into sorrow, indignation, and concern.
“Why did she get a one-on-one battle?”
“Ten years in the Outer Sect, and still at the lower level of Qi Refining! It’s over.”
“Maybe she’s incredibly lucky again? Winning without fighting?”
“What are you thinking? All the Mountain and Sea Sect disciples are just a bunch of losers!”
Lin Shuang flipped through the painting album, a faint smile on her lips, seemingly oblivious to the discussions around her.
Zhao Keran was extremely anxious.
She was enveloped by a faint grey sword pattern, indicating a test of sword techniques, but it was only a single-point challenge.
“I wish I could switch with Senior Sister.”
A one-on-one battle was a real battle with real swords, lasting for the duration of one incense stick.
If even a slight mistake was made, one could get injured.
Just as she was about to speak, a commotion arose.
Dark patterns began to emerge on Lin Shuang’s body, gradually revealing a faint light pointing towards a male sword cultivator of the Mountain and Sea Sect with the same pattern.
Zhao Keran looked at the person, and her breath stopped.
This person was different from the other Mount Sea Sect disciples, dressed in magnificent clothes as radiant as the sun, with a belt adorned with jade and emerald, truly dazzling.
But uniquely, in his left hand, which wore three jade rings, he held a bulky sword.
The sword was wrapped in thick cloth, colored like a blue shirt.
It was completely out of place with his brilliant attire.
“Top three of Mount Sea Sect’s Outer Sect!”
“The love of the sword… It’s him! It’s over, Lin Shuang is bound to lose.”
Zhao Keran gasped for breath.
She had heard of this person before, known for his extraordinary understanding of the sword, but she had never fought him.
However, just by glancing at him from a distance, she could sense the profound sword intent within him, along with his surging spiritual energy.
He was at the ninth level of Qi Condensation, higher than her!
“Ah, the Tale of the Racehorse and the Stallion… Lin Shuang’s good luck won’t help her now.”
“Just surrender directly, it’s better than wasting healing pills!”
“Yeah, why not just give them to me.”
Zhao Keran glared.
Do you want to eat my pills?
Just as she worriedly looked back, she found that Lin Shuang had already left her side.
Lin Shuang put away the picture scroll, her hands behind her back, and had already walked towards Xiao Qi.
Zhao Keran could only anxiously send a message, “Senior Brother Xiao Qi, my Senior Sister’s cultivation is far inferior to yours.”
“Please go easy on her, if she gets injured, there’s an emergency Healing Pill in her mustard seed bag…”
She was chattering like a worried mother.
Until the barrier between the Qingshui Sect and Mount Sea Sect enveloped the battling disciples, her voice gradually faded away.
Lin Shuang sighed.
In recent years, her Junior Sister had become increasingly naggy, not conducive to time management for someone aiming to become the fastest female cultivator.
“Spiritual Spring Nine Challenges, begin!”
The bell rang between the two mountains, resounding loudly.
Inside the isolated array.
Xiao Qi, the Mountain, and Sea Sect’s top-three outer sect disciple, wearing a dazzling golden robe like the rising sun, smiled confidently.
But the moment he lowered his head and saw his opponent, the corners of his handsome mouth stiffened.
He saw a woman in a blue robe, with skin as white as the frost between heaven and earth.
Her phoenix-like eyes and black eyelashes were delicate and weak, just like her Qi Refining… Fourth Layer, or was it the third layer? It was so weak that he could hardly sense it.
Even the sword in Xiao Qi’s hand seemed to sigh.
He had thought that the Qing Shui Hall Junior Sister who had spoken earlier was being overly modest.
He had considered that his opponent might be a little weak, but he didn’t expect her to be this weak!
Qi Refining Third Layer, was this a joke?
Sighing, Xiao Qi lightly touched the bulky long sword wrapped in layers of soft cloth.
“I’ll go easy on you.
But, Junior Sister, you’d better heed your little Junior Sister’s advice and take the Rejuvenation Pill from your mustard seed bag first…”
Otherwise, if he used a little more force, she could easily suffer serious injuries.
Lin Shuang raised her eyes, “Xiao Ai, what’s on my schedule for this afternoon?”
Xiao Qi paused in his steps.
He was completely baffled.
Who was Xiao Ai?
“Ding! Xiao Ai is at your service.
Your afternoon schedule includes 1 Incense Stick’s worth of Fat Burning Exercise and 2 Talisman Practices…”
Xiao Qi chuckled softly, his handsome face even more dazzling against the splendid clothes.
Did she think that sending him a transmission with no apparent meaning could disturb his concentration?
He wrapped the long sword with cloth, and in a flash, the scabbard rushed towards her left arm!
He only used half of his strength, but even a Qi Refining Sixth Layer cultivator would instantly vomit blood.
“If you lose consciousness, I’ll feed you the Rejuvenation Pill—”
As Xiao Qi spoke, he tried to find the mustard seed bag at her waist to open it and take out the pill.
However, before he could finish speaking, he felt his long sword come to a sudden halt.
It was as if he had struck a rolling wave in a deep and vast spiritual sea, thousands of feet deep and wide.
Layers upon layers of spiritual energy surged, causing pain to shoot up his wrist.
Xiao Qi’s handsome face changed, and he instinctively pulled back the long sword.
However, his entire arm seemed to sink into a quagmire, immobilized!
He looked up and saw the delicate female disciple with only Qi Condensation at the third level under the radiant sunlight, her long eyelashes shimmering.
“Today, I want to exercise and sweat for half an hour.”
“So, your strength—”
She pressed down on the sword, her lips curling.
“Is too weak.”
Xiao Qi: “…!”
Later, Lin Shuang found great amusement in flipping through the hand notes of her Junior Sister and everyone else’s journals.
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