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"Zhao Dahe." The teenage girl in green approached him. "Come with me."
Chu Li gave Li Ruolan a smile. "Don't worry!"
Li Ruolan tightened her face and warned, "Remember what I said."
Chu Li waved his hands and followed the girl.
"What's your position here, Senior Sister?" Chu Li asked.
The girl in green covered her mouth and giggled. "I'm an inner mountain disciple."
"A person who can serve by the Saint's side is certainly no ordinary disciple!" Chu Li remarked.
The girl spoke, "All inner mountain disciples have the opportunity to do so. We take turns each month and we eventually get our turn."
"I see…" Chu Li smiled.
The girl in green eyes him curiously.
As they had to meet the Saint, the outer mountain disciples who arrived at the basilica were extremely nervous. Moreover, it was the last stage, and if they told a lie, they would be stripped of their qualifications to become inner mountain disciples. Telling lies was second nature to most of these people, and sometimes they were unaware that they were telling a lie even. People like that were usually eliminated.
Therefore, one must think carefully before uttering each word, which would result in stress and tension. However, the girl did not expect Zhao Dahe to be so relaxed and carefree. He even had the cheek to flirt with her. In spite of his horrendous looks, he had a rather fascinating personality.
The both of them then arrived at the basilica. The Saint, Sun Mingyue was sat quietly behind the desk. She looked at Chu Li with a gaze as cold as ice and asked, "Zhao Dahe, has the Radiance Clan been constructed?"
"Yes, I have gotten three old fellows to take care of the Radiance Clan. If you're dissatisfied, I shall have the workers changed."
"Let them be," Sun Mingyue said wanly. "They're tactful and are fit to remain in Gale City. It's rare for you to have a good relationship with the three sects!"
"Hehe, you're too kind. But I'm not on good terms with the White Tiger Sect. If not for Yang Ying, we would still be fighting now."
"The honey traps of the White Tiger Sect are ingenious," Sun Mingyue commented. "What do you think of the Tian Luo Sect?"
"Very good," Chu Li replied. "During key moments, they helped me out a lot. If not for them, I would've run away and I wouldn't have been able to build the Radiance Clan."
"What would you do if I told you one day to take down the Tian Luo Sect?" Sun Mingyue asked.
Chu Li shook his head. "The Tian Luo Sect has been kind to me. How can I repay their kindness with violence?"
"Are you loyal to the Holy Church or the Tian Luo Sect?" Sun Mingyue asked emotionlessly. "You're a disciple of the Holy Church and you must think for it. Do you really intend to go against your own sect if the Holy Church and the Tian Luo Sect become enemies?"
Chu Li spoke, "Naturally, I won't go against my sect. I won't take any sides."
"If you don't take any sides, the Holy Church's disciples will be killed by the Tian Luo Sect's disciples. What will you do then?" Sun Mingyue continued.
Chu Li scratched his head. "Of course, I can't sit still and do nothing."
"If the Holy Church's disciples kill Tian Luo Sect's disciples while you're helping out, what will you do?"
"Hmm…" Chu Li was stumped and so, he frowned.
This was a tricky matter. It would be difficult to appease both sides should they become enemies.
"If a disciple of the Holy Church kills Miss Yue Ru, what will you do?" Sun Mingyue asked.
Chu Li's expression shifted subtly.
Sun Mingyue added, "Will you avenge Miss Yue Ru's death?"
"...I don't know." Chu Li shook his head.
Sun Mingyue pressed on. "If the same person kills Miss Yang Ying, will you avenge her death as well?"
"Yes!" Chu Li replied slowly, "If he kills both of them, it's proof that he's targeting me. Obviously then I'll fight him!"
"If you choose to fight him, you'll be banished from the Holy Church and you'll no longer be allowed to inherit the Church's martial arts techniques," Sun Mingyue said.
Chu Li furrowed his brows. "I won't fight him personally, but I'll secretly find a way to take him down. I must have my revenge."
He looked at Sun Mingyue helplessly. "Saint, am I going to be eliminated?"
Sun Mingyue spoke, "You aren't allowed to lie in this stage. You can say anything you want as long as it's not a lie and you won't be eliminated."
Chu Li heaved a long sigh of relief. "Thank goodness!"
Sun Mingyue remarked wanly, "Zhao Dahe, this temperament of yours is very dangerous. You're very easily angered."
Chu Li said, "As long as I live in this world, I must be happy and be able to do whatever I want. If not, what's the point of living? The purpose of practicing martial arts is for me to either repay someone's kindness or get revenge. Or else, what's the point of practicing martial arts?"
"When you're happy, it means someone else isn't happy," Sun Mingyue said. "Other people will also prevent you from being happy. To sum up, this sort of thinking will get you into trouble one day."
"That won't happen. I'm lucky." Chu Li grinned nonchalantly.
Sun Mingyue shook her head and refrained from advising further. She simply said, "Come by tomorrow. The martial arts compet.i.tion will take place inside the basilica and it'll determine who the top five winners are. Go!"
"Yes, I shall leave now." Chu Li gave a fist salute before he exited the basilica.
She rubbed her forehead and sighed.
The girl in green whispered, "Saint, is Zhao Dahe competent?"
She was a bit shaken when she was listening to the conversation. Zhao Dahe was a brazen fellow who did not mince his words.
Sun Mingyue sighed. "We shall see. We can't simply eliminate him."
"Yes." The young girl nodded.
As soon as Chu Li walked out of the basilica, he rushed towards Li Ruolan joyfully. "I've pa.s.sed!"
Li Ruolan heaved a sigh of relief. "Let's go."
Both of them then headed back to the Small Light Peak. At dawn the next day, they returned to the Great Light Peak once again.
All ten partic.i.p.ants entered the basilica and drew lots. After that, they were to fight against each other and had to go through nine rounds respectively. Each partic.i.p.ant would receive one point for a victorious round and no points if they lost one round. The total number of points would determine their ranks and the top five winners would become inner mountain disciples.
If there was a tie, an additional round would be added to determine the winner.
In his first round, Chu Li faced off against a pretty young girl who was aggressive with her sword attacks. However, with a strike by his Light Blade, Chu Li disarmed the girl and he won.
As he observed the remaining four pairs of partic.i.p.ants, he realized it was hard to tell who was winning and who was losing. All sorts of remarkable techniques were utilized and all the partic.i.p.ants had a nearly similar level of skill.
Normally, an attack with Chu Li's blade was enough to defeat his opponents. To simply put, it was unstoppable. Even two highly-skilled outer mountain disciples who had cultivated for ten years and used the powerful Divine Light Fist succ.u.mbed under his Light Blade. Without a doubt, Chu Li was invincible and he was unquestionably the champion.
Sun Mingyue watched silently behind her desk. Two teenage girls in green and nine patrols who sat beside her observed the scene as well. Witnessing how easy the battle was for Chu Li, they threw glances of envy and admiration towards Li Ruolan.
Evidently, not one of the nine outer mountain disciples could stand a chance against Chu Li. Yet, he was the only outer mountain disciple who started late.
Finally, Chu Li effortlessly secured the t.i.tle of champion.
The runner-up and the second runner-up acquired the same number of points. More so, they happen to be the two disciples who had cultivated for ten years. One of them was Duan Qi and the other was another young girl known as Ji Ziwei. After facing off against each other in an additional round, Ji Ziwei won and became the runner-up.
As a result, the ranks had been finalized and Chu Li was the champion.
Initially, he thought that it would be a grand compet.i.tion that attracted many spectators. He would then make the Holy Church of Light proud and everyone would know about the sect and him, especially his ninth-level Light Blade. Chu Li would be known as the leading figure of the sect under the Saint and he would set the world on fire.
However, little did he know that it was all so simple. The martial arts compet.i.tion ended in the morning. He felt as if everything had been rushed through and somehow, he ended up as an inner mountain disciple.