Should he try to get five instances of five emblem achievement in a row first, or should he try to pass the Direct Spear Strikes Trial? Lin Xi didn’t struggle with this question for that long.
“One should overcome others through virtue… overcome others through virtue…”
While muttering to himself in the voice of Lee Rock, he dug out the Black Stone Power Bow and quiver he previously hid in the underbrush. After strapping them onto his back, Lin Xi already made his decision.
When he faced Qiu Lu’s Black Flower Pike, he already experienced the benefits of training in the Direct Spear Strikes Trial. Compared to a few days ago, his ability to evade the attacks of these spears was already raised substantially. Even if Associate Professor An didn’t teach him her sword skills, the ‘Rose Flower’ symbol Black Flower Pike wielder still might not have been able to immediately land a blow.
When his fighting strength increased, if he could win over every opponent he faced, then five successive five emblem achievements would easily bring him points. It wasn’t like now, when if he faced some opponents who were a bit tougher, he might still end up having to use his ten minutes rewind ability. In his opinion, it was still better to use this ability on really increasing his strength.
After picking up the Black Stone Power Bow, Lin Xi undid the cloth strips around the handle of the short blade, and then inserted the blade into his waist. Afterwards, he tossed the cloth strips and the golden pentagon emblem he got from Qiu Lu into the quiver for now, quickly rushing towards the yellow perimeter wall.
A student who already had five golden pentagon emblems suddenly stopped when he wasn’t that far from the golden perimeter wall.
Not far from him was a man-made pile of dried branches and leaves, next to it something written with a tree branch.
While this black-armored student who was about to train inside the yellow walls was filled with confusion, when he had just read this, a sou sounded. A black arrow shot out from the great trees behind him, smashing straight into his right leg.
This attack that he was too late to defend against immediately made this black-armored student who already gathered five emblems release a muffled groan, taking a knee.
Before he could make any further reactions, a second black arrow already smashed into his back, making his body couldn’t help but lean forward.
The pain brought from the arrow striking the black armor immediately made this student’s heart go cold. He clearly understood that an opponent who could fire two arrows with such speed and precision in succession definitely wouldn’t give him any chance. There would definitely be a third accurate arrow, and then a fourth.
Just as he had imagined, a third simple and explosive noise erupted by his lower back, and then there was a fourth…
He fell heavily onto the ground, watching as a Black Stone Power Bow wielding black-armored warrior leapt down from a tree like a ghost. When the other side fired the second arrow while running, with a painful and helpless, shrill voice, he said, “I admit defeat, please be lenient… allow me to still have the strength to train inside.”
Lin Xi shook his right hand’s fingers that were clearly aching, pausing slightly. When the other party directly removed a golden pentagon emblem from his left shoulder, throwing it over, and when he thought about this opponent’s words, Lin Xi couldn’t help but reveal a smile, feeling that this was quite the interesting person.
“With your archery skills, moreover hidden there… don’t tell me that you’ve already collected many golden pentagon emblems?” When he saw Lin Xi throw the golden pentagon emblem into the quiver, Ai Qilan who slowly sat up from the ground and rubbed the thigh area, was unable to hold back from asking this.
Because he found this fella quite interesting, Lin Xi honestly replied, “That’s not true at all, only after I got yours did I gather five.”
Ai Qilan said resentfully, “You gathered five, but now I only have four.”
Under the cover of the black armor, Lin Xi naturally didn’t know that this was a Spirit Sacrifice Department young lady, so he obviously didn’t have any protective feelings for the fairer sex. However, the other party’s complaint still made him feel a bit embarrassed, and as such, he released a laugh and said, “I really have to apologize.”
“Have you cultivated inside yet?” While looking at Lin Xi’s state, and then the chicken scratch writing on the side made with a branch. Ai Qilan didn’t really find Lin Xi that annoying, rubbing her wounds while asking.
Lin Xi replied in an honest manner, “I went in twice before, about to go in again.”
Ai Qilan found Lin Xi rather pleasing to the eye, asking again, “Which hall are you headed towards?”
Lin Xi said, “Direct Spear Strikes.”
Ai Qilan was now truly interested, crying out in surprise, “Then it’s the same place I was headed at. Roughly how far did you go?”
Lin Xi also looked at Ai Qilan rather curiously. “About ninety something. You?”
“Ninety something?” Ai Qilan was stunned, and then immediately said in anger, “I asked you seriously, if you don’t want to answer, then just tell me. What is the point in telling me lies and trying to muddle your way through?”
Lin Xi stared blankly. “But I wasn’t lying?”
Ai Qilan’s entire face behind her silver mask was red. Just now, she thought that this person was still rather upright, why did he seem so irritating? She immediately stood up in anger, staring at Lin Xi and saying, “I heard from my department’s senior brothers before, that in the past, even those who came out of the border armies, after they trained three or four times, they could still only travel around seventy steps, this is already an extremely formidable achievement. To cross ninety steps after two tries, you tell me if this is a lie or not!”
Lin Xi stared blankly. “Those who entered Direct Spear Strikes Trial three or four times, able to cross seventy steps, this is already quite the achievement?”
“Now, I’m starting to suspect if you really entered the Direct Spear Strikes Trial or not.” Ai Qilan raised her voice out of anger. “All those who entered before, after being struck a few times, their movements would become greatly affected, so the further one goes, the more difficult it is. Once one reaches the last ten steps, it is who knows how many times more difficult than the previous ten steps, moreover, the difference between seventy and ninety is so great, you…”
“What you are saying makes sense too.” Lin Xi scratched his head, and then laughed in awkwardness again. He recalled how, strictly speaking, he didn’t really only enter twice, because the only time he could cross more than ninety steps was after he used the ten minutes time rewinding ability.
Ai Qilan looked at Lin Xi, the eyes behind her silver mask surging with flames. “Laziness is the greatest sin for destroying willpower, lies are what makes glory sink into an abyss…”
Lin Xi laughed. While looking at the rather worked up Ai Qilan, he said, “You are definitely from Spirit Sacrifice Department.”
Ai Qilan was immediately stunned. “How did you know?”
Lin Xi laughed and said, “During the entrance examination, I ran into someone who was determined to enter Spiritual Sacrifice Department, the stuff he said was about the same as you. Apart from those from Spiritual Sacrifice Department, who would keep saying these things over and over all day?”
Ai Qilan’s brows were furrowed so tightly water could be squeezed out. She stared at Lin Xi like a furious bull. “What, do you feel like what I said was wrong?”
“It’s right, of course it’s right, I also admitted that what you said is reasonable. However, I really did cross more than ninety steps.” Lin Xi didn’t bother bickering with Ai Qilan either. After patiently saying this, he began to walk into the yellow perimeter wall’s entrance.
Ai Qilan was extremely irritated by Lin Xi’s attitude for some reason. In her mind, Lin Xi had reached the same level as speaking heresy against the empire, but Luo Houyuan who suddenly appeared at her side instead made her feel a bit of shock, as well as momentarily made her shut her mouth.
While looking at this elder who silently walked over along the yellow perimeter wall, she was filled with shock. However, this elder dressed in old-fashioned black robes only gave her a look, and then calmly called out her name. “Ai Qilan, if a priest is quick to cast judgment before personally witnessing the truth, they would instead become the very people they hate bitterly. What you need to do is not only use your eyes to view the true world, you also have to have enough patience, even if it is while listening to those who committed deeds wicked beyond redemption.”
“Let’s go.” Before she said anything in return, Luo Houyuan slowly walked past her side, towards the yellow perimeter wall entrance Lin Xi had just walked through not too long ago. “I’ll bring you inside to take a look… perhaps it’ll be easier for you to understand what I am saying then.”
Inside the quiet stone temple hall, Lin Xi who felt like his body had been fished out of water was laying flat on the ground. From the entrance of the stone palace to the dirt around him, the black spears deeply impaled into the earth made this place seem like a black bamboo forest.
He just calmly laid between several spears, gasping for breath as he stared at the temple’s ceiling.
The square pillars of light that seeped through the crude stone windows seemed a bit blinding, but precisely because it was still rather early in the day, he could see a row of words engraved at the roof of the temple: True bravery comes only from the perseverance of the heart.
When he saw this line, what Lin Xi thought of wasn’t anything else, but rather his parents in Deerwood Town, as well as his adorable sis.
“This training… really needs enough bravery to persevere through…”
While carefully reading these words he saw for the first time, Lin Xi whose breathing finally became uniform smiled, releasing a sigh. Then, he slowly crawled back towards the stone temple entrance like an earthworm.
“It truly is a pity, you didn’t come along this time… even though I used that ability again, experiencing a second round of torture. In any case, I improved quite a bit compared to last time. This should have crossed a hundred steps, right? If you came and saw for yourself, you wouldn’t have felt that I was deceiving you, nor would you have had to lecture me on all of those principles.” While slowly wriggling towards the entrance of the stone temple, Lin Xi said with a bit of regret.
Unlike other students, because Lin Xi had the ability to turn back time, in this stone temple, he became his own master, able to make the most precise adjustments compared to his movements from before. That was why this time, his achievements were even better than last time… he felt like he crossed a hundred steps, but in reality, the distance from the entrance of this stone hall to the bronze door in the back was only a hundred and ninety eight steps. Meanwhile, when he ended the training today, the distance he crossed was already a hundred and seventeen steps, already far exceeding the rough calculations he made inside.
The moment he finally wriggled his way to the stone temple entrance, standing up, his figure completely disappearing from within the yellow walled region, a calm Luo Houyuan brought the completely bewildered and shocked Ai Qilan out of this hall.
After Ai Qilan was allowed to size up Lin Xi’s final location where he gave up, Luo Houyuan led her continuously trembling self out of this stone temple, completely disregarding the black-robed lecturer who began to clean up the black spears in this hall. They stopped in a vacant area in this valley. Luo Houyuan gave the blood red setting sun a look, and then turned around, calmly looking at Ai Qilan, asking, “His movement and cutting technique, you were able to see it all clearly. Since you have also seen that challenge yourself, you should also understand who exactly he is now.”
“Yes…” Ai Qilan lowered her head, her heart still in disbelief. How could she possibly make it that far… how did he accomplish this?
“Ai Qilan, from the materials the academy has collected on you, you are indeed an extremely upright person who hates evil. You’ve always used your elder brother who sacrificed himself as a model, wishing to become a priest… If you are willing, I can foresee that you indeed have a high chance of becoming a qualified priest. However, I now have a question for you. For the sake of the justice and beliefs you hold close to your heart, are you truly willing to forever abandon glory, splendor, wealth, and rank?” Luo Houyuan stared at her, still speaking in a calm manner.
“I…” Ai Qilan’s body shook intensely, a layer of mist immediately filling her eyes. She found it a bit hard to speak, unable to truly understand why the elder would suddenly tell her these things. However, she instead nodded in an extremely decisive and firm manner.
Luo Houyuan gave Ai Qilan a look, calmly saying, “I wish to make you a Watchman.”
1. 1991 Hong Kong crime film, chronicles the rise and fall of a corrupt police force Lee Rock joins