“Ka-thunk.” The pastor knelt on the ground and the others followed suit.
With a trembling voice, the pastor said, “Honorable priest, please forgive my ignorance and offense. You are brighter than the light, more sacred than the sacred. You are the incarnation of the Lord. This humble one can only ask for your mercy.”
Jing Yue, “…” Suddenly, he felt that the ability of those hardcore fans of Daoist-Master Jing Yuan at Frostcloud Sect was actually quite poor.
Louis, who finally recovered, was so horrified that he hurriedly said, “No way, is there a mistake? How can you possess the power of a priest?”
“Presumptuous! How dare you be disrespectful to the priest!”
With a wave of the pastor’s staff, Louis was knocked into the air. The latter smashed into a wall and fell heavily to the ground. The knights swarmed up and surrounded him. The civilians picked up the vegetables and fruits and threw them at Louis.
“He’s the devil! His divine power must be fake!”
“He wants to slander the priest. He must be the messenger of the devil!”
Jing Yue, “…” Wasn’t it said that all those who possessed divine power were pure? These people were too fickle!
He added, “Louis is the child I raised. His character is not so despicable. I suspect that he was possessed by the devil.”
Pastor, “Yes! We'll purify him immediately!”
Everyone knew what purification meant, but apart from Louis who was screaming for mercy, they were naturally indifferent.
Just as Louis was dragged away, Jing Yue saw three more bamboo shoots growing in the nearby corner. He knew that he had passed the test.
But he couldn't help thinking that the people in the illusion looked and felt so real. They had their own consciousness, their own beliefs, and their own civilization. He didn't know whether the people in the illusion had a complete life, whether they could multiply and reincarnate in this impeccable illusion, or they could only repeat the fragmented scenes over and over again, living ignorantly yet seriously.
Suddenly, he had a ridiculous idea—was the big world he lived in, or the universe, simply just a bigger illusion? Was he also the same as the people here, like a frog in a well, like a mayfly that never knew winter?
And the so-called Heavenly Order, was it just a limitation of the formation?
Jing Yue chuckled and laughed at his unsettled mind—if he could surpass the Heavenly Dao, he would potentially touch the real truth.
Amid his confusion, the right direction would be pointed out to him along his path of ascension. The only thing that needed to be done was to realize it.
The state of his mind surged with slight ripples and finally became more stable.
In the blink of an eye, he entered the next test.
Since Jing Yue entered the array, his path had been smooth-sailing, but that was not the case for some people. For instance… the super black Zheng Bai.
As soon as he entered the array, he encountered several difficult tests, which wasted a lot of time. This time, he encountered an unsolvable problem.
Yes, what he had to do was the only thing Jing Yue couldn't do—giving birth to a child.
In the illusory formation, a girl with a very big head and a skinny body pestered him, crying sharply, “I want a younger brother! I want a younger brother! Mother, give me a younger brother!”
The girl was a hungry ghost and she had a bad life. Her family wanted a boy but gave birth to six girls in a row. She happened to be the sixth. When she was four, there was a famine in the village, and the girl who never had enough to eat was abandoned and starved to death.
But she was brainwashed by her family since she was a child and it had become her obsession to have a younger brother. She even thought that she would have enough to eat if she had a younger brother. Thus, even when she turned into a resentful spirit in the illusion, it didn’t change her original intention.
Zheng Bai’s trial was to fulfill the girl’s wish and give birth to a younger brother. However… this request was obviously beyond his limits. Even if it was Jing Yue or Qin Yanzhi, there was no way to solve it, so Zheng Bai twitched the corners of his mouth and dispersed the resentful spirit.
Of course, he also failed the test.
At the same time, a monk was also facing a vengeful spirit. He was the monk from Three Realm Temple mentioned by Fan Ren earlier, Jie Chen. However, his test was very simple. All he needed to do was to deliver the spirit into the afterlife, and this was simply his profession. As soon as the Buddha's light appeared, all the demons and ghosts turned into ashes and disappeared.
However, Jie Chen and the vengeful spirit fought for too long, causing him to temporarily lag behind in progress. Twenty feet higher than him, Su Bingqing of the Palace of Nine Moons was holding her spiritual tool, the Frostice Needle, sitting on the edge of the bed flexing her hands and embroidering.
Her ten fingers were long and slender, made for holding needles—but not for embroidery!
One careless move, Su Bingqing's finger was pricked and beads of blood appeared. The white cloth was stained with blood and a safflower bloomed wantonly.
Next to her, an aunt with a thick waist poked her forehead with a single finger. “Just look at you, being greedy and lazy all the time. You can’t embroider even the simplest flowers. How much cloth have you wasted by now? Humph, if you can't finish embroidering today, no dinner for you!”
Su Bingqing's hand, holding the embroidery needle, tightened. Was she going to fly into a rage and teach the woman a lesson on the spot, or endure it and finish embroidering the chrysanthemum?
Maybe if she just gave in and started again, it would take less time?
But what if she was still so unlucky? After all, no one could be sure if the next test would be worse.
Su Bingqing was caught in a tough dilemma but Luo Binnan of Sword Inscription Sect breezed through. His soul-mind entered the body of a young general, rushed into the enemy’s camp alone, killing everyone in his path, and among thousands of people, beheaded the enemy’s general.
Everyone carried on with their individual tasks of breaking through the formations. Some people got it easy, while others found it difficult. The ranking list outside the heavenly bamboo was updated in real-time, and the onlookers sighed. “The bamboo-picking event is truly the competition for the strongest Foundation Establishment contenders. Looking at the names of the first few people, who among them have not made a name for themselves at a young age?”
“Luo Binnan and Jie Chen are too strong. Three days have passed and they didn't fail once.”
“There is also Wu Miaozi of Green Bamboo Sanctuary. Although he failed once, he quickly caught up with the first few people and now ranks third.”
“The Laozu of Frostcloud Sect also participated. I heard he invoked the lightning tribulation during his comprehension test when he entered Nine Heaven Academy. Why is he still in the eighth place now?”
“Could it be that he encountered a very difficult task? But I have yet to see him make a mistake.”
“He’s only a low-level Foundation Establishment stage. So what if he’s powerful? If he went up against people of the same stage, he’d lose nine out of ten times. Being in the eighth place is already very lucky.”
“Only time will tell. Let’s wait and see.”
During this discussion, several people didn’t notice a little blue chicken hiding in the corner of the ranking list. It kicked a stone angrily, thinking in its heart, ‘Ignorant fools! You don’t know the greatness of my Jing-jing! In a few days, your faces will swell like a pig’s head! Hmph!’
But its Jing-jing was in trouble at this time. He met another contender—Wei Zhentu of the Villa of Scattered Stars.
The two of them sat facing each other at this time. The test was to write more Foundation Establishment formations than the other person in one day.
If the task was to test the strength of formations, even though Jing Yue was an amateur, he had lived for thousands of years. There were more or less some powerful formations in his mind, so he wouldn’t be afraid of a Foundation Establishment cultivator at the very least.
However, if it came to quantity… not to mention, it was only limited to Foundation Establishment formations.
And Villa of Scattered Stars was originally the strongest school in Formation Dao within the World of Seven Continents, and Wei Zhentu was also one of the greatest talents.
In Villa of Scattered Stars, an ordinary Foundation Establishment disciple could master more than 20 formations. A stronger person could master more than 30, but Wei Zhentu was a rare genius not seen in a thousand years. It was said he had mastered 42 formations, comparable to cultivators who just entered the Golden Core stage.
Jing Yue racked his brains and only thought of 20 formations. On the basis of these formations, he made some changes and improvements to them, which could be considered new formations at a stretch, but it was still barely 30 when he was done. He looked at Wei Zhentu, who did not even raise his head, recording one formation after another with ease, and his heart felt stuffy.
Seeing that the day was about to end, he was also at his wit’s end. He sighed, put down the pen, and looked at his opponent carefully.
Wei Zhentu immersed himself in writing, but said, “Jing-laozu, why do you keep looking at me? Am I good-looking?”
Jing Yue, “… You think too much. I’m just bored.”
Wei Zhentu chuckled lowly. “Are you giving up?”
Jing Yue, “Of course not.”
Wei Zhentu, “Then why are you bored? Is there not enough formations in Daoist-Master Jing Yuan’s legacy?”
Jing Yue, “Enough is enough, but…”
He suddenly paused, thought of a wicked method, and said with a smile, “It's just that I want to look at you and imagine that if the formation genius loses to me, what expression you would be showing?”
Wei Zhentu finally raised his head and smirked. “Laozu, you are really… cute.”
Jing Yue, “…”
He settled his mind, ended the meaningless conversation, and started breaking up the formations.
Yes, breaking it up.
In his previous life, he had learned a Golden Core formation, called the Five Elements Transformation Array. Once the array was deployed, it could kill anyone or anything that was made up of the five elements. Jing Yue tried to break this array up into dozens of less powerful formations, such as fire, rain, earth, mutated fog formations, snow, lightning, and so on. Once he had that direction of thought, he felt that the bottleneck in his heart suddenly eased, and after thinking about it for two hours, he picked up the pen again.
When Wei Zhentu saw that Jing Yue suddenly started writing again, he was taken aback for a moment, and then he shook his head and smiled before continuing his work.
When the morning light flooded the illusory array, the day had ended. Jing Yue pretended to dust off his clothes, looked at Wei Zhentu's surprised expression, and smiled calmly. “Wei-daoyou, I think you're cuter.”
Having said that, he moved towards the teleportation formation.
Wei Zhentu sat alone for a long time. He still couldn't believe that he had lost! He knew 48 formations! More than rumored outside! Two of them were even created by him! How could Jing Yue surpass him?!
After a while, Wei Zhentu laughed wryly. He raised his head and looked in the direction of the teleportation formation. A glint of interest flashed in his eyes.
Outside the heavenly bamboo, in front of the ranking list.
“Look, Jing-laozu has moved up! He’s in the sixth place now!”
“Have you noticed? He stayed there for a long time, same as Wei Zhentu of Villa of Scattered Stars. Now his ranking has risen but Wei Zhentu has fallen by more than ten places, and the list shows that he only failed once. I have a bold idea. Do you think they met each other and Wei Zhentu lost to him?”
“I wonder what they were tested on. But Wei Zhentu is already a frontrunner in the Foundation Establishment stage, and his cultivation base is also at the high level. If he lost, that Jing-laozu must be really terrifying.”
“He’s the auspicious person of Frostcloud Sect, so how could he be mediocre? I wonder how is he compared to Daoist-Master Jing Yuan.”
“Hey, how can you compare that? Daoist-Master Jing Yuan started as an obscure rogue cultivator and made his way into becoming a patriarch in the world of renowned cultivators without relying on any external forces. Not to mention the current world, even in the hundreds of thousands of years before the Yao Catalyst, a genius like him is one in a million. This Laozu only received a little blessing from him…”
When blue phoenix heard this, it proudly raised its chicken breast and said, “Daoist-Master Jing Yuan is also our Jing-jing’s avatar. Although Jing-jing in the previous life was super fierce, now that Jing-jing has Ji-ji by his side, he will only be fiercer than before! Someday, he'll scare you to death! Huh!”
However, even if the others heard it, it was just a few noisy chirps.
Naturally, Jing Yue didn’t know about the discussions in the outside world. He went through one level after another, and at the 78th test, he entered a snowfield.
Dark clouds billowed, the cold wind roared, and the sky was covered with snow.
At this time, he was sitting upright on a cliff outside the cave, dressed in robes with a blue water pattern and a white background, clothes flapping wildly in the wind.
But the meridians in his body swelled and his spiritual energy was full to bursting like he could split mountains and fill the sea, destroying the world with a snap of his fingers.
All this felt very familiar to Jing Yue.
Suddenly, realization sparked and he was shocked. “Oh no!”