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(Selection a refining method (1)

Noticing the bewildered look on Zen's face, Master Su attached one small ring to the hilt of the flying knife and slipped the other on her thumb. She hurled the flying knife down the mountain.

Zen cried out at the sight of what Master Su did. The flying knife was so sharp that it could have embedded in the ground anywhere, and since it was so dark out, it would be hard to find.

However, a second later Master Su flicked her wrist, and the flying knife returned to her hand.

It was a marvel to behold in Zen's opinion.

The two small rings were inconspicuous, as though an invisible thread connected them. After throwing the flying knife, it only took a gentle tug, and it returned.

It was a razor-sharp knife, but Master Su caught it in her hand without an issue. Zen admired her skill enormously.

Taking the flying knife and set of small rings from Master Su, Zen respectfully bowed and stated, "Thank you, for your generous gift, Master Su."

Master Su gave a slight chuckle and patted his head. "Don't stand on ceremony. You're going to be a member of my Drizzle Peak! Run along and rest now," she urged graciously. "Tomorrow you will pick refinement techniques after the peak selection."

Zen nodded and walked back down the mountain the way he had come.

On his way back, he slipped one small ring on his thumb and the other onto the hilt of his flying knife. He threw the blade as Master Su had done, but when he tugged it, the knife shot at him.

Breaking into a cold sweat, Zen threw himself onto the ground, and the knife narrowly missed him. Although his body was exceptionally tough, Zen wasn't strong enough to withstand the sharp flying knife.

How did Master Su make it look so easy to catch the flying knife with her bare hand? Why couldn't he? After practicing several times, he finally mastered a little trick.

It was midnight when Zen returned to the dormitory.

All the disciples who had participated in the Blooded Test were fast asleep. Zen slipped into bed, closed his eyes and fell asleep.

Early the next morning, the masters and disciples gathered to begin discussing the peak selection.

Yesterday's crystal fragments of the Blooded Test had been tallied, and the participating disciples were now ranked.

Because Zen killed a level-five unreal beast, he was undisputed number one, and therefore a highly sought-after disciple by all the masters.

The masters were all quarreling about Zen joining their respective peak.

Every month they bickered with each other to win the champion over to their peaks.

After a long heated argument, the masters were at a standstill, so, they sought Zen's advice to find out which peak he wanted to join.

When the outer disciples near Zen heard that, they were filled with jealousy.

'Zen is lucky! He gets to choose which peak he wants to join, ' most of the outer disciples thought admiringly. 'If I were him, I would choose Skytop Peak. After all, it ranks highest among all thirty-three peaks.'

All the masters waited for Zen's decision. Master Xu was more confident than the other masters that he would be adding Zen to his peak. After all, Skytop Peak was the most powerful peak out of the thirty-three and had an excellent reputation. Thus, he firmly believed that only a fool would choose a different peak.

"I choose the Drizzle Peak," stated Zen quietly.

For a moment, the masters sat in stunned silence.

They thought Zen would choose one of the top ten of the thirty-three peaks. Maybe the second-ranked peak, Blackrock or the Azure Peak, which was fifth-ranked....

None of them ever expected Zen to select the Drizzle Peak because it was ranked lowest of the peaks.

'What the hell?' they wondered.

Master Su walked up to Zen slowly smiling brightly and said, "I accept your choice." Then she looked around at the others present and declared, "Zen is now an outer disciple of the Drizzle Peak!"

Some of the masters, including Master Xu, looked a little angry. They assumed that Master Su paid to get Zen; otherwise, he wouldn't choose the Drizzle Peak.

"Master Su, do you think it's appropriate?" questioned Master Xu sourly. He was determined to win Zen over.

A merit-based system of admittances had always been the tradition of the thirty-three peaks, although everyone knew that a disciple might be excellent today and just as easily, fail tomorrow.

In the long history of the Cloud Sect, there had been countless gifted disciples, but not many of them made significant achievements in the end.

However, the simple truth was that the more disciples a peak had that were skilled, the more likely that peak was to achieve something.

"Oh? Master Xu? Is there a problem with that? It's a mutual matter. I think you understand," sneered Master Su. "If you want to make further changes, I'll play. But, I wonder if you have the stomach."

Judging from Master Su's confident attitude and Zen's unwavering choice, it was clear that the two had reached a secret agreement. The other masters kept silent, criticizing Master Su inwardly.

If Master Su were unreasonable, they could argue, but, since she wasn't, they would be asking for trouble if they messed with Master Su now.

With the end of that argument, the struggle for the top disciple ended, so the masters moved on to the second-ranked outer disciple...

Basing his decision on Zen's, Nory chose the Drizzle Peak too.

Half of the day was gone before all the disciples who participated in the test were assigned to a peak.

The work for the day wasn't over yet though. There was still the critical task of choosing the refinement method that suited them.

At the Cloud Sect, there was a hall called the Heavenly Library.

In this library were housed almost all the methods known to the entire empire.
However, it wasn't easy for a Cloud Sect disciple to go there and select a refinement method.

Each selection cost a huĊ†dred points, which had a market price of two hundred Cubic Crystals.


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