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After filling out the application form, Qin Wanwan’s group made some preparations and waited. Early the next morning, the Tian Chen Sect sent someone to notify them to gather at the back of the mountain for the start of the competition.
Qin Wanwan got up early and put on her own makeup to make sure she didn’t look like Qin Wan. After that, she put on a veil and turned her head, only to see Jian Xingzhi who was standing at the side and looking at her indescribably.
“How is it? I don’t look like Qin Wan, right?”
Qin Wanwan asked proudly. Jian Xingzhi snorted and replied, “Of course. Even I can’t recognise you.”
Qin Wanwan nodded her head in satisfaction.
Turning to Nan Feng she asked, “Are you ready?”
Nan Feng carried his bag and nodded to Qin Wanwan.
After the three of them were ready to go, they left the guest room and followed the disciples of Tian Chen Sect to an open space at the back of the mountain.
They didn’t even have to go down the mountain to the open area, because it was already crowded with people.
Qin Wanwan looked around for a moment, and saw Bai Suiyou standing a little further away from them and talking to someone. She waved her hand and hurriedly greeted him, “Fellow Daoist Bai!”
Bai Suiyou turned around and was surprised to see Qin Wanwan’s appearance. He froze for a moment but gathered himself the next moment and greeted her back, pretending not to notice anything, “Fellow Daoist Qin.”
“When did Bai-xiong arrive? Do you know when we can enter the Secret Realm?”
“I’ve just arrived,” Bai Suiyou said and glanced at the back of the mountain not far away. Raising his hand, he pointed to the back of the mountain and said, “There is the entrance to the Secret Realm. It is said that Daoist Xie will come to open the gate of the Secret Realm.”
“Xie-daojun will open the Secret Realm?”
Qin Wanwan asked curiously, “Will he go in with us?”
“That’s natural,” Bai Suiyou smiled and explained, “Tian Chen Sect is not like Guicheng. Guicheng will not care about us, the people’s lives. But Tian Chen Sect is a famous sect, even those who come to the Sword Mound Conference from outside the sect to find the sword, will also be well protected.”
[T/N: I forgot that I have changed ‘Sword Trial Conference’ to ‘Sword Mound Conference’. Sorry everyone.]
“Their temperament is indeed very good ……”
Qin Wanwan and Bai Suiyou were chatting, when suddenly, they heard a loud sound, reverberating throughout the whole area with a “dong”. All the people gathered around there looked towards the sound and saw Xie Lutang hovering above their head.
He was followed by two young disciples, one was a woman with a gentle looking face, but her temperament seemed similar to Xie Lutang. Her dress whiter than snow and face as calm as a still lake. She looked the ‘cold beauty’ type with her ever unchanging face. The other was a man, with a face as round as a moon. Clothes as red as blood were adorning his body. The sound of the gong that was just heard was made by him, he was carrying a gong and looking at everyone with a smile on his face.
“Master.” Nan Feng knew Qin Wanwan didn’t know this people, so he took the initiative to explain and whispered in the back to introduce them to Qin Wanwan, “that woman, is the daughter of the head of the Tian Chen Sect, and is known the top beauty in the cultivation world, Su Xiuxue. The one who made the gong sound is Xie-daojun’s Senior Brother* Zhu Chi.”
[T/N: Not Xie Lutang’s real brother. Both of them are disciples of the same master. Kind of like classmates.]
Qin Wanwan nodded and glanced around, many male cultivators were secretly gawking at Su Xiuxue. It seemed she indeed was extremely popular.
“Welcome all of you, who came to the Tian Chen Sect to participate in the Sword Mound Conference.” After the gong sounded, the crowd quieted down. Successfully getting everyone’s attention, Zhu Chi announced with a smile on his face, “This Sword Mound Conference this year is hosted by my Senior Brother, Xie Lutang. We, the Tian Chen Sect, guarantee you to provide the most basic protection. If you encounter any danger, just crush the name tag and the spell on it will take you out of the Secret Realm. But, this also means that you have been disqualified from the competition, so please think carefully before breaking the name tag. There are many dangers and complicated situations in the Secret Realm, so please listen to your Senior Brother’s advice and be careful.”
After speaking, Zhu Chi put the gong into the Qiankun bag, and took out a roll with the list of the people competing in the Sword Mound Conference before spreading it with one hand.
Xie Lutang saw him take out the list, and took out a bronze mirror. He raised his hand and threw it into the air, the mirror immediately expanded and became a huge door in front of everyone .
“I will now read the names of those who will have to come forward to enter the Secret Realm. Entering the Secret Realm marks the beginning of the competition, the rules of winning will be announced after entering the Secret Realm.” Zhu Chi said before starting calling the names of the people one by one, “Twelve disciples from Wen Xin Sect, please come forward and enter the Secret Realm.”
As soon as the three of them heard about the Wen Xin Sect, they became vigilant. Qin Wanwan and Jian Xingzhi looked at each other before looking at the crowd and saw twelve young cultivators below the Jindan stage standing out from the crowd.
Zhu Chi counted the people and began to move on to the next sect.
After listening for a moment, Qin Wanwan understood that the Tian Chen Sect named each person and groups according to the number of sects that had signed up. Putting the wandering cultivators, or those who signed up alone, at the back.
The more Zhu Chi kept calling people, the fewer and fewer people in the crowd became. When most of the people entered the Secret Realm and the open space they were standing became almost empty, they heard him calling their names, “Qin Wanwan, Long Aotian and Nan Feng from ‘No Sect’*, please come forward.”
[T/N: The meaning of ‘No Sect’ in Chinese is ‘Wu Jiaopai’. Zhu Chi pronounced the Chinese name but I changed it to English for better understanding.]
Once their names were announced, just like before, the people that were still left looked over.
Qin Wanwan was a little embarrassed for a moment and wanted to explain that their sect’s name was not ‘No Sect’, but in order to not to delay, she finally choose to give up.
She hurriedly led Jian Xingzhi and Nan Feng together and entered the door of the Secret Realm. Once they stepped into the Secret Realm, the view around them changed and they found themselves in the middle of a forest. Qin Wanwan was puzzled, the forest was too ordinary to be a test for the competition. The trees, the scenery, even the grass were ordinary. But upon closer look, she realised that although they looked ordinary, the size of them were a little bigger for ordinary trees and grasses.
The three of them were surveying the surrounding when suddenly, they felt something falling from the sky. They looked up and subconsciously stretched their arms forward and each grabbed a scroll that fell from the sky.
On the scroll, the sentence, “Mission statement” was written.
Qin Wanwan opened the ‘Mission statement’ and roughly swept a glance at the whole thing. She first confirmed that it was not a murderous task like killing each other. When she saw nothing of the sort written, her heart calmed down as she started to walk forward the path slowly with Jian Xingzhi and Nan Feng following suit.
This Secret Realm mission didn’t seem to be as difficult as they expected it to be. They just had to catch some spiritual beasts and pick up some rare spiritual herbs. The points of capturing spiritual beasts and spiritual herbs were different. Some of them had higher points than the others. They had to cultivate these points to enter the next stage of the competition. Whoever could accumulate ten thousand points would be considered the winner.
The Tian Chen Sect had made the task very detailed, the characteristics of different spiritual beasts, spiritual herbs, and points were clearly marked. And a list of “Do not kill” “Non-self-preservation. Do not felled” and other terms were also written. The whole task was simple but very detailed.
Although there shouldn’t be any hidden agenda in the mission, Qin Wanwan felt that there was something wrong. A lot of people came to join the Sword Mound Conference, but they just let them do some basic tasks?
Qin Wanwan pondered, while thinking about the best solution for the current situation.
Ordinary spiritual herbs was one point, ordinary spiritual beast five points, middle-grade spiritual herbs five points, middle-grade spiritual beast ten points, high-grade spiritual herbs ten points and high-grade spiritual beast was twenty points. There were also top-grade spiritual beasts or spiritual herbs which were fifty points.
If they wanted to leave the Secret Realm faster than everyone, then not only they have to gather more spiritual herbs and beasts, they also have to gather more points. And of course, they had to be fast in doing the task, too.
“What does the puppy think?” Qin Wanwan turned her head and looked at Jian Xingzhi. She also wanted to confirm if he had received some strange and bizarre tasks.
When Jian Xingzhi heard the word ‘puppy’, he knew what Qin Wanwan was asking him so he replied, “No opinion yet.”
Qin Wanwan nodded, Jian Xingzhi also finished reading the scroll and stride away from her while leaving this sentence, “Then I’ll go catch top-grade spiritual beasts. You can go pick top-grade spiritual herbs and meet me here in half an hour.”
Qin Wanwan was confused, “Ah?”
His words had just fallen and Jian Xingzhi had taken some steps forward when a red light started to flash before his eyes with a dangerous aura. Surprised, he looked up only to see these absurd lines flashing there.
Warning: Don’t take the female lead’s plot! Do not steal the female lead’s task! Just stay low!!!
Jian Xingzhi: “……”