What did you expect?

The Stellar Mountain Range isn’t just one of the most beautiful human territories but also home to one of the ten Immortal Sacred Lands, the Stellar Origin Sect. As one of the most powerful forces of this world, this sect is surprisingly quite recluse, hiding from most worldly affairs.

Its headquarters were deep into the mountains, hidden in between the mystical scenery and the elusive fog.

Rarely does the sect recruit disciples and when it does the whole world boils. Any Sacred Land is a mainstream dream for young practitioners.

In front of the Trial Pavilion.

“I won’t repeat myself, line up in a single queue. Anyone who causes any kind of trouble will be expelled and will never have the opportunity to be accepted as a disciple of Sacred Land,” shouted the disciple in blue robes, with a token hanging in his waist giving his identity, an outer sect disciple, “This is the queue for the martial aptitude test, those who wish to take the mystical root test must go to the pavilion at the peak of this mountain.”

“We need to go to the peak? What nonsense is this? We aren’t martial artists!”

“The peak is five thousand meters high, do you guys want to kill us?”

“Bah, if you don’t have the guts why are you here. Cultivators should fight against their shortcomings!”

“Yeah, but we are still common mortals, not even martial artists!”

Soon, most of the people at the base of the mountain began to disperse indignantly, leaving only a minority of martial artists.

“Good, but you are still here you should at least be at the Harmony Realm to take the test, otherwise you should get out and train harder to reach it,” shouted the disciple, with a deep frown on his face.

“Harmony Realm? Last time you guys accepted those at the transcendent realm as long as they have less than twenty years!”

“Sigh… It seems I’m out luck.”

Again, more people left. Leaving only a few dozen people, most of them over thirty years.

The disciple then started to grin and nod. “Good, very good! It seems the common folk is still striving hard for so many at the Harmony Realm to appear here.”

“Hey kiddo, what are you doing here, lost?” asked a two-meter tall burly man, “You look pretty good for your age, but all people here are experts. Go home and train harder to be like us one day!”

Ji-Yoon twitched his lips and tried hard to not laugh. “Thank you, senior brother. But I still want to take the test!” He could see that the burly man was at the Harmony Realm and was in his twenties, he had pretty good talent.

‘Who are you calling ‘kiddo’? I’m older than you!’

“Tsk, Tsk. Listen, kid, those cultivators are very arrogant, they might laugh and bully you if you stay here, and no one will help you!” The burly man made a very scary expression, obviously trying to scare Ji-Yoon.

Not wanting to listen to more crap, Ji-Yoon bowed lightly with cupped fists, thanked him for his concern, and directly disappeared from the man’s field of view.

“W-What!? How!?” this gave the man a scare. Soon, he understood that the kid was indeed an expert. Otherwise, he would not be able to disappear this way.

It also attracted others’ attention, but under the urging of the Sacred Land disciple, they had no choice but to stay calm.

One by one, the martial artists had to show their attainment in martial arts and get the approval of a trial deacon.

The deacon was a short old man, probably on his dying breath, his wrinkles almost covered his eyes. He was writing on a booklet and evaluating candidates in a very calm way.

Everyone had to give information about themselves to confirm their identities, and it would then be checked by the sacred lands later.

Those that are accepted by the deacon would receive a jade token and be told to wait inside the ‘Trial Pavilion’. They would have to pass another trial later to be finally accepted as trial disciples.

Those that aren’t accepted, even being in the Harmony Realm, are way too old or had a bloodthirsty aura. They had to leave dejectedly, some even bore grudges.

After confirming that the queue had come to an end, the old man smiled. He sat on his homemade cushion chair and sighed in comfort. Nothing better to rest his back after so much work. Alas, he “was really old…”

Seeing this, Ji-Yoon pitied the old man a bit but still coughed and made his presence detectable again. Only someone at the peak of Foundation Establishment Realm and above could see through his presence concealing technique. This trial deacon wasn’t even a cultivator, he was a Profound Realm Martial Artist.

The deacon jumped scared, almost ascending on the spot, thinking that someone of the sect was messing around with him. However, all he saw was a stinky boy around the age of his grand grandchildren.

“When did you arrive?” he asked with a strange face. His wrinkles almost made his expression unrecognizable

“I was here since the beginning,” replied Ji-Yoon with a smug smile and hands behind his back.

‘Impossible, how can a kid hide his presence from me!?’ Thought the deacon with mixed feelings.

“Ais, am I already losing my martial arts? I’m already missing my own life…” the deacon murmured, “What do you want?”

“Of course, I want to take the test!” Ji-Yoon answered with a furrowed brow.

‘Is this old man still looking down on me?’ He hated to talk crap with others, so he decided to prove himself.

The deacon, that was massaging his beard and murmuring about how old he was, suddenly opened his eyes so hard that even his wrinkles had to give way. But it was understandable after all, it’s not every day that you see a kid floating in the sky.

‘How can it be? How can he be a Life and Death realm martial artist!? Or is he a Foundation Establishment Realm Cultivator?’ The deacon almost ripped out his beard in shock.

After returning to the ground, Ji-Yoon simply smiled and waited for the deacon to recover.

‘…I see. It should be the legendary rejuvenation of the second martial metamorphosis. There’s no way he is a kid.’ The old man then laughed hard because of his own stupidity. How can a kid reach the peak of martial arts? He was really getting old.

“I’m sorry, senior. It’s my honor to meet an honorable expert such as yourself. You can definitively pass the test, and even be an outer sect disciple directly!” the deacon smiled and said, “but because of the formalities of the sect, I need you to answer some questions.”

Ji-Yoon twitched the corners of his mouth and sighed. “It’s okay, I can answer the questions.”

Actually, he wasn’t able to answer anything other than his age and Realm. Since he wasn’t from this world to begin with. But the only thing the deacon believed was his realm.

“Senior, you are making things difficult for me.” The deacon felt it was very strange, how can such an expert be unable to answer what his background was?

“I’m sorry, but I really can’t tell you from where I came.” Ji-Yoon sighed and shook his head.

After a brief silence, the deacon hesitantly asked, “Are you perhaps a spy?”

“…” What kind of question was it? How was he supposed to answer? Would the deacon even believe in anything he said?

“I’m not.”

“Then…”

“I’m simply unable to answer your questions. It’s not that I don’t want, I’m just unable.”

After seeing they aren’t going anywhere this way, the trial deacon got an idea. “Senior, do you perhaps know about the other way to get accepted into the sect?”

“What way?”

“You must give a gift to sect, and it must be precious enough to impress an outer sect deacon or elder,” he explained, “However, you won’t be able to become an outer sect disciple like this, only a trial one.”

‘Something precious?’ Ji-Yoon reviewed the things in his possession and shook his head inwardly.

“Sigh… that’s unfortunate. Thanks for your time,” Ji-Yoon said while cupping his fists, preparing to leave.

“Wait senior. Do you perhaps think you have nothing valuable enough?” the deacon stopped him.

Ji-Yoon nodded.

After swallowing his salivate nervously, the deacon said, “But senior, what about your internal energy techniques and mortal martial arts?”

Dawn came upon his mind after hearing it. Ji-Yoon smiled and looked meaningfully at the deacon’s sly foggy foxy greedy eyes.

“Senior, I’m sorry if I offended you. But you should know that mortal martial arts have a limit, why be so obsessive with it? We martial artists should be ready to sacrifice our own lives in the pursuit of strength, what are some arts in comparison?”

‘This old fart sure has a glib tongue,’ Ji-Yoon sneered but didn’t expose the deacon.

“Cut the crap, how can I offer them?”

“Are you willing, senior?” the old man almost jumped in joy and explained, “That’s simple, you can go to the Human Dao Pavilion and meet the deacon there that is in charge of those matters.”

“Alright, alright. Let’s go, I’m almost changing my mind after seeing your ugliness.”

Instantly, the deacon’s expression fell. He said weakly, “Senior, unfortunately, I can’t leave this place until the end of the day. Can you please wait until then?”

Ji-Yoon wondered if he could believe in him. After all, there’s no one at the front of the Pavilion except them. Probably no one will come here anymore.

‘Haa… I should just wait, it’s not like I’m in a hurry. And I can get some info from the old man.’

After agreeing, he spent the rest of the day chatting with the deacon about martial arts and the depravity of the younger generation. “The youngsters those days only care about power, status, and women. Can’t they be more mature and seek only the Great Dao?”

Surprisingly, Ji-Yoon found himself liking the old man more and more as if he was an old friend. The old man also seemed happier and happier, and he even asked if Ji-Yoon had a grand grandson to marry with his grand granddaughter.

‘This old fart sure is dangerous, I almost fell for it. I’m pretty sure he just wants to get his hands on my techniques and arts without having to pay for them.’

‘This senior sure is difficult to deal with. Can’t he see my hints? I’m already at my dying breath, can’t he be a bit compassionate? Ais, I’m really old and losing my skills with every breath.’

Both man’s eyes are full of warm feelings toward each other, but both already had cursed each other enough to write a book.

When the sun went down, the disciple from before came out of the pavilion and cupped his hands to the deacon. “Deacon Li, it’s already late and I already ended my duty, see you tomorrow.”

He didn’t see Ji-Yoon, who hid his presence.

“Deacon Li, can we go now?”

“Of course, Senior Yun. Let’s go before it’s too late.”

There are many pavilions at the base of the mountain, but all belong to the Trial Sect. It serves as a sort of reception and is the outermost layer of the sect, a few mountains away from the outer district. It’s also open to the general public most of the time.

After walking for a while, both arrived at one big pavilion, probably the biggest of all from the trial sect. There was a sign above the gate with the words “Human Dao Pavilion” on it.

“This pavilion is in charge of guarding all the Trial Sect’s secret books. Both mortal and immortal techniques and arts,” Deacon Li explained, “Though most books aren’t precious at all when compared to those of the outer sect.”

“Deacon Li? What are you doing here? Need some secret books about treating backache?” A deep voice came from within the pavilion, soon an old man came out. He was wearing the same style of robe as Deacon Li’s.

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