Scp Gacha System In A Cultivation World Book 1 Chapter 14
10 hours have passed since the start of the final test. The situation has turned into chaos and pandemonium for the less talented of the people present. Once they realized the remaining amount of time and their lack of progress, they begun to run around from station to station in a panic. If they weren't talented in martial arts, then they'll try pill refining. If they aren't talented in martial arts and pill refining, they will try arrays. If they aren't talented in martial arts, pill refining, and arrays, then they will head back to pill refining to learn as much as they can to try and pass the knowledge check sheet. These people have good prospects for becoming apprentice alchemists.
Passing the pill refining test sheet was the only chance for those not gifted in any of the paths to pass this final portion of the test because it was not based on talent at all and rather intelligence or the ability to retain knowledge. In the martial area, Bing was diligently practicing with the mortal-ranked martial arts. He rose 3 of them so far to the initial realm and only had two more to finish.
Compared to the sky-ranked martial arts he's already learned, these mortal-ranked ones aren't that difficult to learn in comparison. The only issue he had so far was that his competition was pretty tough. The martial area was filled with scary and dangerous cultivators. Everyone was either glaring at each other or focusing on practicing the techniques. All the cultivators remaining were far above him in cultivation. The only one close to him in cultivation was one frightening looking boy with purple streaks in his hair and a strange qi presence. He was a qi gatherer at the third level but felt like he could definitely battle with those above his level.
The rest were above the 3rd stage and those above the 4th stage had large backgrounds. Bing avoided the eyes of everyone and just focused on practicing these last two martial arts to the initial realm. Even with his sky-ranked techniques, he doubted he could even stalemate against these guys. Thankfully, no one tried to find trouble with him. He guessed they were too busy trying to pass themselves to mess with him. They did have only 2 hours left.
Jing wiped some sweat from her forehead as she just finished her 7th mortal-ranked talisman. Her face was focused and determined as she grabbed another piece of paper and got to work on number eight. She had to keep up appearances after all. Anyone could be watching her.
Which is also one of the reasons why she's only been working on with the qi shield spell. Jing thought that it may make her look more talented if she was able to create 10 different talismans and being talented wasn't her goal. So, she faked earnestly working on the qi shield spell over and over. She's failed dozens of times to show off just how average she was. She didn't finish her first talisman until they were 2 and a half hours in and even after that she still made mistakes from time to time.
Taking these extra steps would take a lot of patience from a person but Jing didn't feel tired at all. She felt as if this wasn't the first time she was acting out a character and wondered once more just what kind of person she was in the past. It made her curious to an extent, but it wasn't as if she would try and find out at all costs exactly who she was. She didn't care about her past that much.
She just had a little interest because it was so far from the average person in terms of personality. She's sure she'll find out more about herself as time goes on. There isn't really a need to investigate and such. She wouldn't even know where to start in the first place.
"Are you still working on such a basic level spell? Even my 3 year old sister would be able to finish such an easy talisman." A sudden youth stated from behind her.
"I'm… doing the best I can." Jing responded in a small voice.
"You're doing it all wrong! Your hands are shaking, you're barely using any spirit ink, and you can't even draw a straight line!" He berated her with his eyebrows creasing.
"I…. I…." She wasn't able to finish as the gazes and whispers of others reached them.
"What is the array prodigy Shang Zhai doing talking to that ugly girl?" A nearby group of girls gossiped.
"A cultivator like him that came from a long line of famous array geniuses wouldn't be talking to someone like that of his own free will."
"Maybe she asked him for help after she saw him form the qi barrier formation and passed within the first hour. "
"Someone as ugly as her thinking she can take Zhai from us? Nothing but a toad listing after our glorious swan."
A downcast look appeared on Jing's face but she didn't let this stop her. Although disheartened and shamed for no reason, she continues to attempt to pass the array portion of the final test. She went to grab another ink bottle and dipped her brush into it before trying to redraw on a whole new slip. Her concentration was all over the place as more insulting comments washed over her ears.
"Hmph now she's trying to act all high and mighty. I bet she won't even pass and get accepted into the sect."
"Look she only finished with seven talismans! How untalented can one be?!"
Shang Zhai's face seemed to grow even angrier after noticing her reaction to the negative murmurs and the whispering in general. He shot a quick glare at the gossiping cultivators, shutting them up instantly before sitting right next to Jing.
"I will only show you this once. Don't think too much of it! I am only doing this out of pity because of your horrible skill." He told her.
Shang Zhai ripped her talisman into ash as he pulled out a blank slip from the storage ring on his finger. He placed the slip down and used his qi to harden the brush. The hardened brush allowed Zhai to have a more accurate stroke and deeper press, making it easier for him to follow the spell design to perfection and finish the talisman.
Shane Zhai prowess in arrays started to show nearly instantly. His hands flowed as fast and as smoothly as a river. Amongst any of the youth present in the room, those that can be said to have a higher skill than Zhai in the path of arrays is none. The way he seamlessly drew an exact replica of the spell pattern after only taking a single glance can be said to be nothing short of perfection.
"I'm sure that Shang Zhai is the only one who could complete a mortal-ranked spell in less than 15 breaths."
"It takes me a good hour to create a half decent qi shield! The Heavens are truly unjust!"
Shang Zhai finished up and looked over at Jing.
"Hmph. How was that? Did you learn anything?" He asked with a smug smile on his face.
He looked over to see Jing with a confused but amazed look on her face. He nearly face palmed but realized that maybe he went a little too fast. He went slower a second time, showing her some basic drawing techniques for drawing perfect lines, curves, and more. After finishing this time, he saw a more responsive appearance from her. It seemed like she got something out of it. Not even realizing that he just went back on the words he said earlier.
"Thank you so much!" A bright innocent smile radiated from Jing that was a complete antithesis to her personality as a whole.
The array prodigy had a small blush appear on his face that Jing managed to catch before he turned around and hid his face with his sleeve.
"I'll take my leave now. The sight of you struggling over something so simple was irritating to say the least." He said while still hiding his face.
Jing was confused but amused at the young genius. He seemed cute to her. She had no idea what he saw in her but she planned to take advantage of it. Another person that can used by her is never a bad thing, especially when it's an innocent young boy who seems to have issues expressing himself honestly.
At first, she believed he was just coming to make trouble with her based on the first words he said to her.
'I mean who starts a conversation by insulting someone?'
But as she watched the way he reacted to the negative words about her and him showing her basic talisman drawing techniques, she knew that he had an interest in her. Jing herself doesn't help anyone unless it can benefit her in some way. So why would someone else help without also expecting something in return?
Did he want her body? Did he want Li Li? She couldn't exactly find his angle in all this at the beginning but by the end she knew exactly why he came over. A sinister smile almost leaked from Jing's face as she thought of using this boy to her whim. His youthful innocence and high popularity made her excited for the future.
A future that will only be possible if she passes this recruitment test. She only has about an hour left before the last test is over. Jing started to work on talisman #8 and showed much more careful deliberation and used the techniques taught to her by Shang Zhai. Her attempts at replicating the techniques were laughable but worked and although the finished product was a bit crude, it was good enough to successfully create the spell for qi shield. But unlike the last times where she made it look like she took a short break to give her hand a break, she continued onto talisman #9 and then to talisman #10 before finally passing with only 10 minutes to spare.
She looked around to see those that have yet to finish in a frenzy and those that have passed returned to the starting area near the disciples and elders of the Golden Serpent Sect. She got up off the mat and moved over there with a relieved smile on her lips. She saw that Bing was surrounded on all sides with a frightful look on his face. He was avoiding the eyes of everyone and just kept his eyes to the ground.
A few more participants managed to make it before the 12 hours was over. But overall it accounted to about 100 people left that managed to pass the Golden Serpent Sect recruitment test.
"More people passed this year than the last 5 years. Not bad…" Elder Ru told them as their bodies started to vanish for the last time.
Jing reappeared at Yellow Jade City. The elders all brought out a talisman and sliced them in half simultaneously, causing it to burn into ash from purple flames. Jing looked around wondering what did they just do while everyone inside the city was looking up at them with excitement, expectation, and amazement. Jing and all the others who passed looked up as well before noticing a huge shadow overtaking them.
A giant golden winged serpent soared in the skies above Yellow Jade City. The cheers of the mortals below nearly managed to stir the new disciples out of their shock but it wasn't enough. The sheer aura of a beast on this level was enough to freeze even the most talented of new disciples. Whether it was Tang Wuying, Xiao Hong, Gong Jun, Shang Zhai, or Liu Lan they were all unable to move a single inch.
Jing and Li Li were fine though. Jing guessed the aura everyone else was feeling wasn't qi and was something else that she didn't know about. Because if it was qi the snake was radiating, she would perhaps be as frightened as everyone else. But this didn't stop her from at least acting like fear struck her soul! Jing was shaking and sweating just as worst as the other cultivators were and even fell down on her butt to stay true to her cowardly and frightful nature. Li Li stared at the beast as if he was ready to battle any second.
Although the more talented disciples couldn't move, they didn't give up. They continued to fight against the fear in their heart. They continued to struggle to regain control over their body. To fight against the shackles placed over them and to keep resisting no matter what!
The members of the Golden Serpent Sect laughed in amus.e.m.e.nt while a few elders gave eyebrow raises to those still trying. The winged Serpent cane flying down towards them.
"Mommy I don't want to die!"
"Shut up fool! We're not going to die!"
"I think I soiled my robes…"
"I'll give 10 low spirit stones for anyone's clothes!"
An amused grin showed up on Elder Mo's mouth.
"Riding this amazing beast is how we are getting to the sect." He explained, causing a few disciples to faint.
"Come on. Chop chop. We don't have all day. Jump on and make sure you hold onto her beautiful scales tight. If you fall, that's your fault for being so weak." He rushed them.
No one was willing to take the first step.
"Did we accidentally pass a whole group with no spines?" One of the current disciples asked with a snigger.
"Hah…. What a shame. I had such great hopes for my new junior martial brothers and sisters. If they can't even ride a tamed beast, then they surely can't make it far on the journey of cultivation." Another disciple added.
These comments deeply stabbed into the hearts of the new disciples. Prompting them to will any courage or pride inside them to force them into leaping onto the golden serpent. The snake was long enough for everyone to ride and a few hundred more even. It took a few moments but eventually all 100 new disciples got aboard the flying snake.
Jing and Bing were amongst the last ones to hop on. Jing glared at Bing, prompting him sit ahead of her. He jumped in fright from her gaze while secretly crying in his heart that she passed and his life at the sect will be ruined. Jing smiled in satisfaction, seeing Bing dutifully following her commands.
Now that everyone got on and gripped tightly to the beast, it started to flap its wings and take off into the sky. Jing expected to feel a powerful gale of wind to attempt and blast her off but felt no wind at all. It was a pleasant surprise, but also unexpected. She guessed that qi was being used to block the wind coming at them because they were moving very fast in the sky. They were flying above the clouds and everyone who had the guts to look around were amazed by the fantastic sight.
"If you're shocked by this just wait till we get to the sect." One of the senior disciples said smugly.
"The scenery there will blow you away." Another one added.
Jing figured now would be the best time to explain things to Bing. She couldn't have him calling her Empress, master, and the such in public. It would destroy her character in one fell swoop!
"Slave." Jing spoke into Bing's ear.
His heart nearly jumped out of his chest from the closeness of her demonic voice. Adding the fact that were currently soaring the sky at speeds unknown, just what insane demands could she possibly ask for right now?
"Empress...?" He responded.
"Once we arrive to the sect, we will be nothing but strangers. You will not refer to me as anything but Jing and you will treat me no differently than you would anyone else."
Ai Bing couldn't believe the words he was hearing right now. Was the demoness really giving him his freedom? Was he finally free to live his life as he wanted from now on? Can he see his family once again in the future? Find a beautiful cute gentle girlfriend. Get married and have dozens of children...
"Wipe that disgusting smile off your face. Don't be mistaken fool. You are still nothing more than my possession. I am telling you this because I don't wish to gain attention by anyone in the sect. I will be acting like a sheep while being the tiger. I think that's how you people would describe it." Jing explained.
Tears slowly fell from Bing's eyes. It was too glorious to be true.
'How could I be so naïve?'
A demoness will forever be an incomprehensible being. He didn't understand why a vile she-demon like her would want to act low key but has he understood anything about her so far? The thoughts of a demon can't be comprehended by the mind of a simple human like himself.
"I will find a way to get in contact with you once we get settled in the sect. Until then, you are free to do as you wish." Jing told him as she went back to acting nervous but also excited and wowed by the sights they were seeing in the sky.