THE MARTIAL KING
(A feeling of distress)
The flying knife, like a dart, quickly penetrated the ogre's back.
More strangely, the flying knife ran through the ogre's body effortlessly until it fell onto the ground with its force spent.
At this sight, Zen was rendered speechless. He considered two possibilities. The first was that he was powerful enough to throw the flying knife through the ogre, but this was obviously impossible.
Another possibility was that the seemingly broken flying knife was sharp enough to run through the ogre.
Zen found that the second possibility was more likely than the first.
'This is a powerful flying knife!' Zen marveled at the knife's magic.
The colossal ogre was overcome with pain and staggered until spots of light consumed it.
Zen killed the only grade five unreal beast!
A pure black crystal fragment fell onto the ground and bounced toward Zen's hand.
The black crystal fragment was all that Zen needed to pass the blooded test... Zen, with the black crystal fragment in hand, could not help but curse the designer of the magic array.
Zen would rather deal with numerous grade three unreal beasts than the grade five unreal beast, namely, the ogre.
Zen, at that moment, was not short of other colored crystal fragments. Now, he was more concerned about the flying knife than the fragments.
Still reeling from the pain caused by the ogre's blow, Zen managed to take several steps. The knife had fallen in the bushes and shrubs. He could no longer see it.
'The magical flying knife is a must for my collection, ' Zen thought.
'How can it be lost?' Zen wondered.
After a careful and meticulous search, Zen finally found a small hole in the ground.
'Too bad... considering its overwhelming strength, the flying knife must have embedded itself in the ground, ' Zen thought.
He forced the ground open seven or eight feet with sustained efforts and yet, he couldn't see the flying knife.
At this point, Zen found that his surroundings were gradually changing.
The magic realm was collapsing, which turned Zen's thoughts back to the completion of the blooded test and the end of the magic array.
A second later, Zen was surprised to find himself in a completely different scene. He found himself back on the Bloody Mountain which boasted of scarlet vegetation.
And the place Zen was just digging was out of sight.
'My flying knife! How could I bear losing you?'
Zen was distraught over the loss of his precious knife.
Since the illusion had faded away, Zen's unreal injuries also disappeared. His body no longer hurt from the ogre's assault. Zen redoubled his efforts to search for the knife.
But it was almost impossible for Zen to find the flying knife amid the vast expanse of the Bloody Mountain.
At that moment, a master who had been watching the blooded test from a flying chariot came to collect Zen.
Other masters were engaged in a lively discussion
concerning several participants including the ordinary disciples and those from noble clans. Some of them had shown excellent performance and were considered to have great potential.
Those who had forecast Zen's failure had not expected such a comeback! Zen alighted from the flying chariot and walked forward to ask, "To whom should I submit these crystal fragments?"
"Please come here!" a female instructor in a yellow dress waved Zen forward. She was in charge of counting crystal fragments obtained by participating disciples. She had prepared four baskets to collect four differently colored crystal fragments that participants had been tasked with acquiring.
All masters present at that moment became confused when they saw Zen.
Subject to the rules of the blooded test, Zen's failure in the magic array would make it impossible for him to pass the test, even though he had many crystal fragments.
Joshua had expected Zen to fail the blooded test as he had used the magic array plate to release the grade five unreal beast, even though Joshua had been fearful of others' suspicions.
Now Joshua was gleeful about Zen's failure leading to his feeling of distress. Joshua thought he should inform Zen of the rules of the blooded test.
But when Joshua saw Zen throw the black crystal fragment, he became paralyzed with terror.
Joshua was stunned by what that implied.
The instructor in the yellow dress marveled at Zen's possession of the black crystal fragment.
Despite her long experience of collecting crystal fragments from participants, this was her first contact with a black crystal fragment.
While she was clueless about the black crystal, the other masters realized how Zen had come in possession of the black crystal.
'Zen must have defeated the unreal beast.' they pondered.
And the black crystal fragment must belong to the ogre, the unreal beast he killed.
All of a sudden, silence reigned at the scene.
The unreal beast was designed to be invincible.
The black crystal fragment on the table was shining, as if by magic.
'How could this black crystal fragment appear here?' the instructor in the yellow dress thought. She suspected Zen of having cheated.
At that moment, a dignified middle-aged man came forward to explain, "This black crystal fragment is unparalleled. It has remained unclaimed since the start of the magic array at the Bloody Mountain. That is why you have never seen such a crystal fragment before."
The female instructor's eyebrows rose when she heard the explanation.
The scholarly middle-aged man then turned to make an offer to Zen, "Zen, due to your excellent performance during the blooded test, we are thrilled to accept you at Billow Peak. I am Master Zhou, and I am here to welcome you."
"Azure Peak is more influential than Billow Peak. And we have better benefits," a bald man stepped forward and roared.
"Master Jiang, how could you cast a slur at my peak? Despite its unstable performance, our peak has always ranked among the top three since a decade ago. Our ranking dwarfs yours!" Master Zhou retorted harshly.
The disputes and quarrels were interrupted when Master Xu stepped forward. He was revered as he led Skytop Peak.
Zen was aware that Billy and Perrin were members of Skytop Peak.
Master Xu pointed out the advantages of joining his peak with great composure in a bid to influence Zen's decision.
By no means would Zen consider joining Skytop Peak, given his strife and personal vendetta against Perrin.
"Zen is bound to join Drizzle Peak!" Master Su's light voice silenced all other masters. She presumed to win Zen's admission, as she had been the first to sense Zen's potential and had become his patron.
Although the other masters were in deference to Master Su, they didn't want to submit lightly in the matter regarding the selection of high-potential disciples.
"Master Su, you should compete with us for the privilege of selecting disciples in a spirit of fairness," Master Xu challenged Master Su calmly.
"Master Su, you can't always do this...." "Master Su, your peak's reputation does not justify your aggressiveness..."
The other masters present bombarded Master Su with their unanimous opposition.
Master Su's desire to acquire Zen as her peak's disciple and her usual arrogance finally triggered collective hostility from her counterparts.
But Master Su dismissed their suggestions and opinions with an arrogant wave of her hand.
Sensing Master Su's displeasure, the other masters had to stop voicing their dissatisfaction. If the masters dared to offend her, they would be removed from Cloud Sect.
Master Su sighed and said, "It is advisable that we select disciples in line with their rankings and preferences." With no other alternative, the masters accepted Master Su's suggestion.
But they were not aware of Master Su's determination to secure Zen as her disciple.
They hadn't the slightest clue that she had hatched a scheme to get what she wanted.
Master Su was pleased with the prospect when the counting was in progress.
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