Xu Xiaoshou felt rather uneasy.
“So, am I gonna get it right now” he thought.
Elder Sang glowered at him, exasperated.
“That technique was decent, and you could look into it, but if you want to keep it under control, Im afraid that youll have to wait until after youve broken through into the Innate Level.”
He then looked Xu Xiaoshou up and down, and disgust appeared in his eyes.
“Your level is just too low.”
Xu Xiaoshou was relieved.
“Its fine if you diss me, so long as you dont beat me up or kill me,” he thought.
“Id say that Im rather quick at making breakthroughs,” he said.
However, he was still feeling rather vexed.
While his level was indeed low, his progress was not.
Itd only been about half a month since hed emerged out of isolation, yet hed already made breakthroughs from level three all the way up to level nine.
Furthermore, hed achieved such a rate of progress while trying his very, very best to suppress it.
If it werent for his concern of being at unstable levels, he would have gotten much, much higher.
The days before him were long.
He had no need to rush.
He was a firm believer that “haste makes waste,” and deemed it imperative to first lay a strong foundation by mastering the basics at the 10 levels of Spiritual Cultivation level.
He wasnt into being all bangs and flashes with no substance.
Elder Sang was completely oblivious to what was going on inside Xu Xiaoshous head.
All he saw was that Xu Xiaoshou was only at Spiritual Cultivation level nine, and thought the kids level still too low.
He deemed that the kid had to fight for resources with those from the Inner Yard, so the kid had to at least get to the Innate Level.
Otherwise, the kid would just run into obstacles after obstacles.
“I managed to get you a slot to enter theTianxuan Gate when I went out earlier.
Head over there three days from now.
The density of spiritual energy there will be enough to allow you to break into Innate Level.”
“Tianxuan Gate” Xu Xiaoshou was puzzled.
Elder Sang nodded and continued, “Its a secret realm belonging only to the Tiansang Spirit Palace, and it only opens once every year.
Ten new candidates from the Inner Yard and the Inner Yard Thirty-three are given access to the place.
“This is the first resource that disciples from the Outer Yard whove joined the Inner Yard get.
It is of utmost importance.
“As the champion of the Wind and Cloud Contest, you naturally wouldve been given a slot if youd been allowed to join the Inner Yard…”
The elder then snickered and continued, shaking his head as he went.
“But you were set up.”
“I was set up” Xu Xiaoshou was surprised.
This was rather different from what hed heard from Elder Qiao.
Wasnt he not allowed into the Inner Yard because his training hadnt yet reached Innate Level
“Indeed.” Elder Sang clapped himself on the head and went on.
“They told others out there that you werent admitted because your level didnt make the cut, which was the truth.
Yet, if one were to look at this more closely, theyd realize that your Innate Level physique couldve made up for that.
“However, there were simply too many joining the Inner Yard this year.
Four, remember If youd been added to the list, that wouldve taken away five candidacy slots for entering the Tianxuan Gate.
“There are more than 10 among those who were newly made one of the 33.
You can imagine just how tough the competition wouldve been.
“As such, the Council of Elders could only slap a label ofyour level not cutting it on you to strip you of the chance of joining the Inner Yard, so as to free up one slot for the Tianxuan Gate event.”
Xu Xiaoshou clenched his fists, feeling very vexed.
This was definitely more than just stripping him of an opportunity and a slot.
If theyd done this to someone other than himself, such a decision could have probably ruined their lives.
The world of spiritual cultivation was not one where people fought for a distant future but for what was right before their eyes.
Being left in the dust one year could take an untold amount of time just to catch up again.
Elder Sang snickered and casually continued, “No need to be angry or vexed.
Things like this dont usually happen to the Tiansang Spirit Palace.
Youre considered lucky to have run into such affairs.”
Xu Xiaoshou was speechless.
“Lucky” he thought.
“Am I supposed to like bow in gratitude or something”
Elder Sangs tone turned solemn as he added, “But, once you get outside of the spirit palace, youll find that this is basically how the world at large works.
“Before youve become sufficiently powerful and get recognized, all of your hard work will look like sh** to those on top.
“The world isnt a nice place.
All living things suffer for it.
The ones on top dont play nice, and the people suffer for it.
“No one will pity you just because youve worked hard.
Pawns will be pawns.
The length of your life is preordained, and your success and failures depend on the favor of the gods up there.
“When youre just a pawn, youre considered lucky just to be of use.
Its completely normal to not get noticed.”
Elder Sang held Xu Xiaoshous clenched fist and squeezed it, and the young mans fist immediately loosened.
“Many geniuses out there are arrogant enough to think that theyve broken through the so-called cage throughout the ages, lauding that theyve finally achieved freedom and chanting things likemy fate is in my hands…
“Yet, years or over a dozen years later, the world remains the same as it was, and those so-called geniuses back then are nowhere to be seen.
The wheels of history trod on, and those people were unable to so much as even make their mark.”
He then seriously looked the young man in the eye.
“I hope you wont be one of such people.”
Xu Xiaoshou took a deep breath, and his gaze fell on the shriveled hands of the elder.
He didnt know what to think.
Elder Sang continued emotionally, “My advice remains.
Be the best pawn you can be before youve obtained absolute power.
“At the very least, let those people up there think that youre but a pawn.
Xu Xiaoshou nodded slightly.
“I get what youre saying,” he thought, “But why do you have to grip my hands so hard”
“Let go.” He swung his hands rather earnestly.
Elder Sang was irked.
“I spent all that energy telling you all this and this is what youre hung up on” he thought.
Can you be a little more normal”
He was so irked that his breathing became a little rushed, and he flung the kids hands away.
Xu Xiaoshou rubbed his hands, noting that the old man indeed had quite a grip.
Was that how Master Level people were like
Or should he say…
Above Master Level
He actually took Elder Sangs words to heart.
Similar to how hed been fed an Infernal Fire Seed by that old man, unable to resist it, he was helpless in the face of the Council of Elders decision as well.
But then again, should that matter
“Am I, Xu Xiaoshou, so easily defeated” he thought.
“Theres only one thing that matters.
What doesnt kill me will only make me stronger!
“The days ahead are long, and if cages are indeed everywhere, just like how that old man put it, I shall break them one by one.”
Xu Xiaoshou had said the same thing on the day he and Elder Sang became master and disciple.
He was taking this seriously.
He then paced and thought for quite a while before saying, “Im actually not that concerned about all that.
Its just that Im making progress with levels a little too quickly.
Hell, I just broke through level nine yesterday.
“If I were to get inside that so-called Tianxuan Gate and manage to break into Innate Level, wouldnt that like cause my level to be unstable”
He voiced his biggest concern, which was something that had been bothering him for a long time, hoping that someone would finally be able to enlighten him on the matter.
Yet, Elder Sangs jaw almost dropped to the floor when he heard what Xu Xiaoshou said.
“Unstable foundations” he thought.
“Who are you kidding, man!”
Elder Sang was irked and amused at the same time.
“Youre someone at Spiritual Cultivation Level nine who beat the many Innate Levels out there and became a champion.
Then you killed someone at Origin Court Level and Voidness Level from the Inner Yard, and now youre telling me youre worried about your foundations” he thought.
“Can it be that your ambition will only be quenched when youve finally managed to kill several who are at Master Level, eh”
Elder Sang took a deep breath and answered, “Among the 1800 or so disciples out there from the Outer Yard, you were the one who became champion despite being of Acquired Level.
What is this instability youre talking about, then”
Xu Xiaoshou shook his head.
“Im not comparing myself with them.”
Something else was seen in the elders eyes as he praised, “Losers are indeed not worth being compared to.
You and I are quite alike in that sense.”
Xu Xiaoshou was speechless.
“Thats not what I meant!” he thought.
“Dont go about twisting my words! Who the h*ll is like you here!”
He then recalled the night when the masked figure had taken him.
Ye Xiaotian had appeared that day, and theyd had a conversation.
He still remembered that very well.
“Some people were already capable of fighting masters when they first broke through to the Innate Level.
Some people, when they first broke into Innate Level, could cut down masters!
“I dont think I have such powers right now,” Xu Xiaoshou answered.
Elder Sang rolled his eyes.
“Youre only at Spiritual Cultivation Level nine! Just what the h*ll are you thinking”
“I wasnt actually thinking about it, but when that masked guy appeared that night and wanted to catch me, I just had to think about it.”
The elder was astonished, not expecting Xu Xiaoshou to actually face such pressures.
“I could protect you.”
“You couldnt do that forever,” Xu Xiaoshou said calmly.
“You want to be like them”
“No.” Xu Xiaoshou paused and said unyieldingly, “I want to surpass them.”
He turned his gaze to outside the window and looked at the sky, which had lost its colors.
“Didnt you say that there are five regions on this continent”
“What about it” Elder Sang looked at him.
Xu Xiaoshou stood in the nightly breeze, feeling rather emotional deep down.
“My sight sets are set not on Tiansang but on the five regions.”