Hearing San Luoyang ’s words made Su Mei come to a clear realization. They were all given the freedom to decline because the top forces of the Aeternal Sky Starfield were not present in this recruitment. After learning about the overall structure of the starfield, one would be inclined to reach for the stars rather than the sky.
There were quite a few youths that were heavily disappointed after realizing that the forces present, those that sought to recruit them, were Silver-rank and Gold-rank forces. While this was still an outrageous leap from their previous starfield ’s current era, if one saw the top of the mountain, how could one settle for the climbing only halfway?
”These chicklets are something else, aren ’t they? Do they believe they ’re hot shit or we ’re stinky shit? ” A rough voice filled with amused disdain sounded from beside San Luoyang. A tall, roughly seven-feet, spiky-haired man with broad-shoulders and a brawny body scoffed. He had dark-brown skin and a pair of round, fierce eyes. His physical presence was unable to be ignored, domineering and overpowering, even his casual breathing caused space to distort.
San Luoyang calmly replied, ”Exalted Heavyheart, understand their circumstance. ” It seemed like he was pleading on behalf of the youths before him, but there was a distinct indifference in his tone that made him seem insincere.
”Hmph, ” Exalted Heavyheart displayed his displeasure with a heavy breath. Then, he glanced at the various youths once more and scoffed, ”There ’s no one here that catches my eye. But according to our deal, I ’ll select him. ”
Exalted Heavyheart ’s words didn ’t surprise San Luoyang, and he merely gestured for him to act freely. After receiving the signal, clearly not acting in the same aggressive manner as Exalted Truekill from earlier, Exalted Heavyheart used his large hand with long, thick fingers and reached for a youth in the crowd.
”Wah! Wuh! ” A series of unexpected wails sounded as a chubby youth was lifted slowly off the ground. The spectacle immediately drew everyone ’s attention, and Na Xinyi and Lin Ziyan simultaneously exclaimed.
”Lu Feng! ”
”Little Lu! ”
The chubby youth with baby fat still on his cheeks was a member of the Myriad Monarch Sect, and also a friend of theirs that followed them around in their early days of cultivation. They hadn ’t expected to see him again. Especially as he was being pulled into the sky by this Mystic Ascendant.
San Luoyang lightly commented, ”Good seedling. ”
This caused Exalted Heavyheart to reveal a cheerful smile, and despite his massive build and height, the smile was quite attractive, highlighting a musculine handsomeness. With a wave of his hand, Lu Feng was sent whirling towards Exalted Heavyheart until he was brought directly before him, levitating with his short legs kicking out in panic.
”Wha-what do you want to do with me?! ” Seeing this giant man smiling at him with an inspective gaze, he couldn ’t help but cover his chest and close his legs as if he was about to be defiled. His awkward and horrified expression truly made it seem like Lu Feng ’s future was to be violated.
A few members amongst the twelve laughed at this scene.
”Seems like you got an interesting one. Go easy on him, his body might not be able to take your…good intentions, haha. ” A human male with pale skin and yellow irises with sanguine edges spoke out with laughter. Within his pupils were two saber-shaped images, giving him a strange yet sharp existence. It was almost as if he was a saber.
”Hmph! ” Exalted Heavyheart ’s smiling expression vanished, replaced with a stern and displeased look. He had an urge to chuck Lu Feng as far as he could, but he eventually held himself back. With a powerful snort that sent cascading waves of wind towards the pale-skinned man, he moved slightly and vanished alongside Lu Feng.
San Luoyang sighed, turning to the youths and explained: ”The formerly twelve, now ten, cultivators beside me are all leaders of Gold-rank forces. Those at the sides of this stadium, watching and observing you, are from Silver-rank forces. You don ’t have to be fearful of not having a choice. If either that young woman or the chubby youth decides to reject entering the forces that took them away, the Everlore Association will relocate them safely to one of the three Domains. They can then attempt to join other forces. ”
For fear that the others would think this was a norm, San Luoyang felt compelled to clarify this fact. He continued, ”That being said, those two have gained the approval of these leaders and their futures will be supported by Mystic Ascendant Realm cultivators, if they wish to accept them. ”
However, the pale-skinned man gave a disdainful smile after hearing the words ’Mystic Ascendant Realm cultivators ’. He wasn ’t the only one, as the others also had varied reactions, with some even containing hints of mocking with cold smiles or the light in their eyes. They, those titled Exalted by the world, those at the Mystic Star Phase, held controversial beliefs regarding the validity and everlasting debate of calling Mystic Star Phase cultivators Mystic Ascendants.
It was clear that the Aeternal Sky Starfield itself had a clear belief that they weren ’t, forcefully declining them from being recognized as Mystic Tier forces, yet San Luoyang shamelessly announced this point. Still, they had their own pride and they wouldn ’t contradict San Luoyang in public to debase themselves. Moreover, that was no different than offending the Everlore Association.
As if unaware of their thoughts, San Luoyang proceeded. ”In a moment, all of you will receive a scroll. This scroll contains information regarding the numerous forces present seeking to recruit you. Since you ’re unaware of many details, it ’ll give you an estimation on a variety of factors. This includes their strongest cultivator, any feats and achievements publicly known, the date at which they ’ve been established, and any backing they have, including open alliances.
”It ’ll also include their field of speciality and minimum requirements it takes to become more than an entry-level member. Unlike the two past incidents, you ’ll be able to freely select any force that fits your desires. Be mindful, just because you start as an entry-level member, do not think that ’s your end. It is just your starting line. ”
San Luoyang ’s words still confused the youths. They ’ve never heard of a recruitment where there was so much freedom of choice present. It was as if the Everlore Association was giving them compensation for the destruction of their starfield.
Su Mei realized this as well, noticing that the Gold-rank leaders didn ’t seem to want to be here, and just selected the one they liked before leaving. Perhaps this was the Everlore Association ’s way of giving those who lost their homes an opportunity, perhaps even guilty that they were unable to stop the destruction of their starfield. And the Gold-rank forces were just giving them face.
Suddenly, a scroll manifested before Su Mei and the rest. The youths hesitated briefly before grabbing the scroll and reading its contents. It was truly detailed and carried the names of thousands of forces at the Silver-rank, with ten forces at the Gold-rank.
The other two forces were absent, and there was no information regarding them. Clearly, these Gold-rank forces just had to select a single cultivator and complete the deal they made with the Everlore Association. However, didn ’t this contradict what San Luoyang said?
She was confused, and she wasn ’t the only one. However, San Luoyang did not clarify or explain the contents of their deal. The ten Gold-rank forces seemed to be openly accepting more than one member.
Su Mei was mostly right; this was compensation for the Everlore Association ’s inability to halt the destruction of the Imperial Dawn Starfield. It was their responsibility to protect it, yet they could only save the myriad intelligent lives that exist there.
As for the Gold-rank forces, they had a choice: Select a member to promote to their highest discipleship amongst the youths or open the doors to all of those present. Exalted Truekill and Exalted Heavyheart clearly chose the former, with the others choosing the latter.
Su Mei didn ’t bother reading the Silver-rank forces. She was looking for a competitive environment with the greatest resources available, so she sought after the Gold-rank forces. Her thinking was in line with the vast majority. If only because of the resources.
In the Imperial Dawn Starfield, during all eras, the stronger the respective force, the higher their disciples potential. Which one of these youths were unaware of this fact? This was expressed in not just territory, but resources, and various Creationist.
Typically, higher-ranked forces had greater forgers for better armaments, skilled Architects that resources to establish grand cultivation arrays for a better environment, and top-tier alchemists that provided alchemical products as rewards or just basic benefits.
In the Myriad Monarch Sect, the lowest ’official ’ disciple was at the Astral Core Realm, and each of them were given monthly cultivation stipends that could put all other forces beneath the hegemons to absolute shame, even some stipends for their most elite disciples couldn ’t match it. They had access to much better resources, methods, arts, spells, and cultivation environments.
After all, the Sky Palaces above the sixth-level of the five extreme mountains were filled with astral essence! And all this was far before Wei Wuyin had ever entered the sect, creating such a vast disparity that the four hegemonic forces highlighted and dominated as the top forces for several eras without pause!
Even when the Myriad Monarch Sect was ganged up on, nearly destroyed, there were no other forces outside of the other hegemons that could rival their means and repository. This didn ’t count the Alchemist Association, however.
Therefore, she delved into the details of the Gold-rank forces. There were two sects, one pavilion, two clans, and five associations. This shocked her for a moment, especially after considering the purpose of these associations.
The five associations specialized in talismans, beast nurturing, mercenary assignments, herbal development, and research of arts, spells, and methods.
When she read this, her mind was flowing with all sorts of disbelief and intrigue. She had never heard of associations that totally focused on things like this, and usually sects, pavilions, or other forces would have devoted departments.
When he looked further into the Association specialized in Mercenary Assignments. She realized they performed bodyguards for persons or events, escorting merchants and goods, and even participated in wars for a price. There were likely even assassinations, but that wasn ’t detailed.
Herbal development caught her eye, because according to the information listed, it required wood, water, or light cultivators who have specialized Spirits of Cultivation to become greater than an entry-level member. They were tasked with accelerating, nurturing, and providing the growth of herbs used for alchemy or medicine.
There were even details regarding the type of desired Intent. If one comprehended any of the Nine Meadow Intents individually, they could instantly become core members of the association. She couldn ’t help but think about Qing Qiumu, as she was the most talented Wood Cultivator in their generation.
The others were easily understood.
Besides the Mercenary Association, called the Fairlight Mercenary Association, the other four didn ’t fit her goal. The one pavilion was called the Clear Water Pavilion, and they operated in the Elementus Domain, in the eastern region.
The scroll detailed the explanation of Domains, something she was deeply curious about as San Luoyang had mentioned entering three Domains as the second option or in case of failure.
Domains were locations dominated by one of the sixteen Mystic Tier forces. The other Mortal Tier forces all existed within one of these sixteen domains. They were similar to Astral Territories in the Imperial Dawn Starfield. They outlined borders that represented ruling rights.
Just from reading the list, she realized only three domains were listed as locations for all the Silver-rank and Gold-rank forces. They were the Everlore Domain, Elementus Domain, and Skyrend Domain.
The Everlore Domain belonged to the Everlore Association, but it was amongst the smallest of the sixteen, not being territorial or needing to be. The Elementus Domain belonged to the True Element Sect, and it was the eighth largest Domain, but had the smallest domains amongst the Three World Sects. The Skyrend Domain belongs to the Liu Clan, a member of the Eight Noble Clans.
When Su Mei read Skyrend Domain, noting the name of the Aeternal Sky Starfield, she felt that this Liu Clan was not simple. It was also ranked eleven amongst Domain sizes.
Despite the Domains marking borders and territories, Su Mei discovered that the herbal association was backed by the Jiang Clan, another of one of the Eight Noble Clans, yet was situated in the Skyrend Domain, ruled by the Liu Clan.
This caused her to understand that the territorial situation was quite complex, likely a result of all sorts of deals and conflicts.
Since the Clear Water Pavilion was a merchant group that provided rare liquids alongside other cultivation necessities, she removed that as an option. She didn ’t wish to become a shopkeeper or worker, even if it meant being drenched in wealth if her decisions and investments paid off. It was too passive.
The only real options left were the two sects. As for the clans? She didn ’t even think about it. Being a talented female cultivator amongst a bloodline-ruled nation will only provide struggles, distractions, and the feeling of always walking the tightrope, unless one was ambitious and open to climbing the leader through status and schemes, not might.
The sects offered a familiar setting, and the competition was fierce. Furthermore, there was one that suited her own cultivation quite well:
The Solitary Saber Sect.
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