Craaack! Gu Suihan exerted some force and stabbed his dagger into the rock. The smooth surface of the rock started making ear piercing cracking noises and the formation lines all over it were completely destroyed.
“Stop, stop it!” The voice suddenly started pleading with him.
“If my guess is correct, your actual body is hiding inside this rock. The person who created this secret realm didn’t do a thorough check when he chose this rock and threw you into this place.” A faint smile spread across Gu Suihan’s lips. “But now, I’m even more curious to find out exactly what you are, since you actually managed to attain intelligence.”
The voice suddenly fell silent again, as if it was wondering whether to tell Gu Suihan or not. This made Gu Suihan even more puzzled now. He had checked this thing and was sure that this thing had only attained intelligence not very long ago. Otherwise, it couldn’t be so weak that it couldn’t fight back at all.
But that didn’t make sense either. How did something that just attained intelligence have such a high IQ? This thing was smart enough to know how to tempt others.
It never crossed Gu Suihan’s mind that it could be some bullshit like a magic weapon, a Daoist’s soldier1 or a divine-level item. Only a dumb person would hope for something this good to fall from the sky.
“Spit it out! I don’t have a lot of time to waste here,” said Gu Suihan with a murderous looking expression on his face.
“I don’t know what I really am either! By the time I gained intelligence, I was already inside this rock,” a trembling reply came from the rock.
“I’ll do you a favor and help you to see exactly what you really are,” said Gu Suihan before turning his dagger around to knock the handle against the already cracked rock. “Don’t worry, I won’t damage your actual body.”
Craaack! The rock finally crumbled under the impact of Gu Suihan’s knock and fell to pieces.
Gu Suihan pushed away the pieces of rock and stared speechlessly at the thing in front of him.
“How did I become so broken…” the voice suddenly rang out from the thing among the broken rock pieces.
It was broken alright. From what Gu Suihan could see, this should be a knife. Or to be more accurate, this was a knife that was only left with half its blade.
The thick layer of rust on the blade told him that this knife was already extremely damaged. He could still see several mysterious Daoist runes on the handle even though it was badly tarnished.
Dang! Dang! Gu Suihan ignored the cries of the knife and used his dagger to hit the thick layer of rust, only to find that the rust wasn’t budging at all.
“When did you become intelligent?” asked Gu Suihan with a frown as he looked more carefully at the broken knife.
It thought for a while, then answered, “I got here shortly after I attained intelligence.”
“That’s odd,” mumbled Gu Suihan to himself. “Even a 10,000-year-old magic weapon that’s in one good piece would never attain intelligence, what more one that’s so badly broken. Could this thing really be a Daoist’s soldier?”
Gu Suihan’s voice suddenly went up in pitch as he said the last sentence out loud. His voice was filled with shock.
But he immediately shook his head after that and threw that option out. Daoist soldiers were able to fend against Qi attacks from other powers, could last for almost all eternity and could naturally produce Daoist runes. Even if 100,000 years passed, they wouldn’t end up half broken and rusty like this.
After a short pause, Gu Suihan shook his head again and muttered to himself, “Never mind, I’ll look at it again later.”
As for how the rest of the potential disciples got through the third round with all these delusionary formations, that had nothing to do with Gu Suihan. In his opinion, none of these stages mattered at all.
He then stuffed the broken knife into his bag and ignored the angry protests of the latter.
“Let me out! I don’t want to leave with you!!” The knife shouted angrily from inside the bag, and it even started moving slightly.
After a while, Gu Suihan couldn’t stand its constant whining anymore, so he flung the bag onto the ground and stepped on it, then said with a mirthless smile, “I know what you’re thinking about. You’re hoping to trick some fool into thinking that you’re some magic weapon and treat you like a treasure, aren’t you? Don’t you dare think that I can’t do anything about you. If you prefer, I can always erase your intelligence right now.”
“You’re just an ordinary person who hasn’t even activated your Spiritual Root! How are you going to erase my intelligence?” the knife snorted disdainfully.
“I could use my blood in a Daoist rite or use my Spiritual Sense to crush it. It’s so easy to get rid of your intelligence.” Gu Suihan didn’t even have to think very hard. This was all very simple to him. In fact, he knew many more ways to get this done.
“You…you’re just an ordinary man! You can’t possibly have Spiritual Sense! That’s something that only cultivators that have fused their soul can do!” The knife’s confidence began to chip away when he heard Gu Suihan talk about these methods with such familiarity.
Gu Suihan’s gaze grew sinister as he threatened the knife, “That’s not for you to know. Behave yourself and you might get a chance to reincarnate into a higher being and even get the chance to cultivate. Otherwise…I think you know what’s coming.”
The knife instantly shut up and behaved itself after that. It wasn’t smart, but it wasn’t stupid either.
Gu Suihan picked up his bag again, then looked at the scene behind him, as if he was trying to engrave it into his memory. After some time, he finally sighed and walked into the whirlpool illusion in front of him.
The sudden burst of light forced Gu Suihan to shut his eyes. When he opened them again, he saw a large face moving about in front of him and his first instinct was to slap it.
Pak! The sound of his slapping was followed by a familiar sounding yelp.
When he could see more clearly, he realized that Li Rong was clutching his cheek and glaring at him angrily, so he explained, “I couldn’t see clearly just now, so I didn’t realize it was you.” He spoke with very emotion and clearly didn’t sound like he was going to apologize at all.
“Why, you…!” Li Rong was so angry that his lip trembled, but he couldn’t get a single word out.
Gu Suihan knew Li Rong was going to harp on this, so he quickly changed the topic and asked, “Where are we? Aren’t we supposed to come out from the same place we went in?”
Li Rong held his anger in and said in a sullen voice, “This is where everyone gathers after you’ve passed the round. For convenience, they’ve set the exit to be on this end. The entrance is over there.”
“I see.” Gu Suihan looked like he had just been enlightened as he looked over at the queue in front of the entrance in the distance. The number of people who chose to try this round wasn’t that many. Only about 20 odd of them were waiting around the entrance.
“When does this end?” Gu Suihan watched the crowd for a while and realized it took about ten minutes for each person to get through, so he said impatiently, “Can’t the sects make a few more of such places or get everyone to go in at the same time? This is taking way too long.”
Li Rong nearly jumped up. “You think secret realms are just randomly lying about on the street waiting to be picked up? Look, if Disciplinarian Zhang hadn’t happened to have time, you wouldn’t even get the chance to pass through this secret realm! And you’re grumbling? What an ignorant prick!”
“So how does the test usually go then?” Gu Suihan was a little curious.
Li Rong glanced at the testing area, then said, “Other disciplinarians will have to set up a formation of sorts. But this particular secret realm is more realistic.” After saying that, he clicked his tongue and turned back to Gu Suihan to ask, “I heard that Disciplinarian Zhang included a number of goodies in there. Did you get anything out of it?”
Gu Suihan’s expression instantly fell as he whispered, “Goodies, my ass. There was nothing inside and even the riverbed was completely dry. I only got a few angel’s trumpets. You want them?”
He pulled a few flowers out from his bag and stuffed them into Li Rong’s hands. Li Rong was a little embarrassed and quickly flung the flowers aside as he laughed hollowly, “I guess Disciplinarian Zhang was afraid that young and inexperienced to-be cultivators like you might accidentally damage his things. Ha…haha…”
After laughing stupidly for a while, he realized that Gu Suihan didn’t care for it at all. He couldn’t help but narrow his eyes and quickly look at where Disciplinarian Zhang was seated. A look of disappointment flashed in his eyes.
The sky was beginning to darken as evening approached. Everyone who wanted to go through the third round had finally completed their turn. But compared to Gu Suihan, who had emerged completely unscathed and unaffected, everybody else had their clothes torn badly and bruises all over their faces. The few who had their clothes in one piece were still shaking from fear.
When put together, Gu Suihan quickly stood out among the rest. Many cultivators from the various sects eyed him strangely and the creator of the secret realm, Disciplinarian Zhang, was peeking at Gu Suihan with the strangest look.
If not for the fact that everybody else looked so scared and pathetic after coming out, he might have thought that something had gone wrong with the way he had set up the realm. But even if that were so, he was still surprised by Gu Suihan’s expression.
“Alright, is that all?” The old man who gave the instructions for the round slowly stood up and declared with a smile, “From the looks of it, these are the only ones who managed to clear the third round.”
“I have a question!” A young lady suddenly stood up and shouted. Everyone turned to look at where the voice came from and realized it was the same girl who had done very well for the test of their aptitudes. She was also the second daughter of this city’s castellan. Unfortunately, her clothing had been torn in several places and one could see some skin peeking from the holes, which made everyone unsure of where to look.
“Yuan’er, don’t be rude!” someone bellowed angrily. Everyone turned to look and saw that it was the city’s castellan, Nan Yuntian. He was frowning and looked exasperated.
“It’s alright, if she has a question, she can ask it.” Disciplinarian Zhang waved his hand and smiled at her. “Young lady, what’s your question?”
Nan Xingyuan put a hand on her hip as she pointed a finger at Gu Suihan furiously. “I suspect he cheated!”
“Oh?” Disciplinarian Zhang frowned as he glanced at Gu Suihan, then continued to ask Nan Xingyuan, “Why do you say that?” His voice remained as gentle as usual, but if one looked carefully, you would notice that there was some displeasure in his eyes.
The Clacker’s Shaman Store
Today’s snack recommendation: Classic Honey Dijon I definitely recommend the salt and vinegar one as well (even though a café barista warned me THREE times that it’s very sour. Nonsense.), but the honey dijon is an old favorite too. MSG: ****
Daoist’s Soldier. This varies a little from story to story, but it is essentially any living or non-living thing that has a blood/death pact with a cultivator. So the Soldier is 100% loyal to the cultivator, unafraid to die for the cultivator, and the cultivator can group all his Soldiers together to form an army or create a formation etc. ↩️
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