Chapter 33: Eating a Large Pagoda Tree
“How old are you?” Zhang Yuxian looked at the first person—a short but stocky man. The members of the warrior preparation were both stout and dark-skinned.
This man had a considerable status in the Lian tribal clan. Even among the warrior preparation camp, he was one of the strongest. He felt honored being the first to be examined by Zhang Yuxian and was dying of anticipation.
“Lord, Me is twenty-six this year. Me can raise a 200-kilogram stone roller. Me isn’t bullshitting. Me can lift such a heavy rock four to five times like a toy. If the Lord wants to follow Me, Me will lift it to show you!” This man introduced himself confidently. Zhang Yuxian did not take notice of his boastful words and silently placed his hand on the man’s shoulder. He began to inject Yuan Qi in.
One who had “Opened Heaven’s Eyes” could see a person’s muscles, meridians, bones with a glance, and from there determine if a person was suitable for martial arts.
However, Zhang Yuxian had not reached such a realm. So his selection method was to inject a person with a little Yuan Qi, and see how the person’s body would absorb it.
Those who could absorb it well had a suitable constitution. Those who had poor absorption had an unsuitable constitution.
After a short venture, Zhang Yuxian was speechless. Less than 10% of the amount of Yuan Qi he had injected was absorbed by the man. It was about 7-8%.
This talent was so miserable that he could hardly bear looking at him.
“Do you think you can defeat your enemies just because you can lift rocks?” Zhang Yuxian stared into the man’s eyes saying, “Your constitution is extremely common, it’s not suitable for martial arts.”
Zhang Yuxian’s words were like a bucket of cold water that splashed on the man’s face. The boastful man was confused.
Not suitable for martial arts? How could Me not be suitable for martial arts?
That man felt extremely disgruntled, but coming into contact with Zhang Yuxian’s cold stare, he faded backward like a defeated cockfighter.
Me has always been stronger than my peers since a young age. Me could lift a 200-kilograms stone roller when Me grew up. If Me wasn’t suited for martial arts, would Me be able to lift the heavy stone roller?
These thoughts swirled in the man’s mind. He had been practicing martial arts for years, and to be told by Zhang Yuxian that he was unsuitable for martial arts, negated all his previous efforts.
Of course, he only kept that in his mind for he did not have the courage to contradict Zhang Yuxian.
“Stay here for now,” Zhang Yuxian did not plan on sending him packing immediately but kept him there.
It was because Zhang Yuxian knew that he had to be mentally prepared when making a selection in the wilderness. It was hard for these people to become an expert under such poor environments.
A tribe without any experts would continue on from one generation to the next, and it was very unlikely a prodigy could transpire out of that.
But very quickly, Zhang Yuxian realized that he had underestimated the extent of the poor quality of men in the vast wilderness. He began to understand that there was no such thing as worst, only worse.
As he went down the line, the boastful man from before was actually considered not bad. As he reached the end, most of them could only absorb 6-7%. There were even some who could only absorb 4-5%.
It was a terrible sight.
Zhang Yuxian could only lower his standards. He finally decided that all those who could absorb more than 6% could stay behind.
“You…I guess you barely qualify.” Zhang Yuxian looked helplessly at a stout man, and could only describe it with the word “barely”.
As he probed down the line, his elimination rate was at about 50%.
With about forty warrior preparation camp members, there were only about twenty who qualified under such standards, clearly missing the thirty people target.
“Lord Zhang sure is strict. Those soldiers from the warrior preparation camp are so strong, but half of them were eliminated.”
“Thankfully we didn’t go up, or it will be so humiliating.
A few men who had previously wanted to make an attempt after seeing Yi Yun signing up felt lucky.
Under such elimination practices, only a very gifted person could be selected.
And they could tell that Zhang Yuxian was not really satisfied with the people who had passed. It was only because there was no one else to choose that he had to pick a general among the dwarves.
Upon understanding this, the crowd began to admire Lian Chengyu even more.
Only Lian Chengyu won the praise of “extremely not bad”.
“Yun-er…” said Jiang Xiaorou as she clasped her tiny hands. She looked at Yi Yun worriedly. She knew that Yi Yun had been secretly practicing martial arts the past few days, but she did not think that his ability would rise above the members of the warrior preparation camp in such a short period of time.
If Zhang Yuxian would not even pick those men from the warrior preparation camp, how would he choose Yi Yun?
Jiang Xiaorou was still standing in the middle of the square. Her position was extremely awkward. The crowd’s eyes were on her. Her brother was among the preliminary candidates. Jiang Xiaorou could neither retreat nor could she stand there.
Yi Yun noticed Jiang Xiaorou’s worried eyes and moved his mouth slightly, “Sis Xiaorou, don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”
Zhao Tiezhu burst out into laughter after hearing Yi Yun’s words, “You f**king bullshitter, I can pick any stray dog, and it would be stronger than you. Lord Zhang would rather choose a dog as a disciple rather than you!”
Facing the cynical mockery, Yi Yun could only stare coldly into Zhao Tiezhu’s eyes saying, “You should just care for yourself. You don’t need to worry about me.”
“Hey! This kid sure got cocky! To think he used those words against me! If you were to be chosen today, I will uproot that large pagoda tree by the village entrance and eat it, leaves and roots all.” Zhao Tiezhu burst into laughter as he said that. At the same time, another man standing beside Zhao Tiezhu, another warrior preparation camp member echoed mockingly, “Then I’ll eat that big stone roller by the village entrance!”
“Haha, you guys sure are humorous. I’ll join you guys by drinking all the water in the East River.”
The men from the warrior preparation camp began to turn rowdy.
Yi Yun looked helplessly at these men and shrugged as he said, “Whatever.”
At that time, Zhang Yuxian had already reached Zhao Tiezhu. Zhao Tiezhu wiped off his smile and stood up straight.
Zhang Yuxian pressed on Zhao Tiezhu’s body and said “Twenty-eight?”
Zhao Tiezhu replied hastily, “The Lord sure has great eyes, I am indeed twenty-eight years old.”
Zhang Yuxian frowned for Zhao Tiezhu was also not satisfactory to him. But considering that the numbers were too few, he reluctantly said, “I guess you meet the minimum requirements. I will keep you to make up the numbers.”
Zhang Yuxian began to reach the conclusion that having a kingdom selection in the Cloud Wilderness was a pointless endeavor.
Zhao Tiezhu heaved a sigh of relief, and shook his fists, “That’s great! I passed!”
He was very excited and began making a spectacle of himself in front of Yi Yun. Although he had barely met the minimum standard, he had still passed!
He was about to practice martial arts with the High Ambassador. When he had a meteoric rise, he could marry multiple wives and walk towards the peak of humanity. It was not something a weakling like Yi Yun could compare with.
At that moment, Zhang Yuxian was standing in front of Yi Yun.
Everyone’s eyes were focused on Yi Yun.
Lian Chengyu sneered.
I want to see how you are going to get out of this!
That thought had bubbled into his mind, but he pricked it immediately. Yi Yun was a mentally handicapped kid, so Yi Yun would be oblivious even if he was humiliated.
A mentally handicapped kid did not need to wrap things up. Causing an uproar was common. He might even mistake the jeers as compliments.
Lian Chengyu was rendered speechless when his train of thought reached this conclusion. It was akin to the quote that one should never argue with an idiot, they will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
“Yi Yun, right?” said Zhang Yuxian as he stood in front of Yi Yun.
“Have you never really practiced martial arts?”
Zhang Yuxian gave a wistful glance at Yi Yun. He was only at the Purple Blood realm, and could not tell Yi Yun’s level, but he had felt a hidden power within Yi Yun’s body.
To be talented yet self-effacing!
“I’ve trained a bit,” Yi Yun chose his words wisely. Training by stealing lessons was also considered training.
“Lord, this kid is lying!” Zhao Tiezhu began to snitch, “I can attest to the fact that this kid has never practiced martial arts!”
Yi Yun looked at Zhao Tiezhu as if he was a retard, “How would you know if I practiced martial arts? I’ve passed the tribal grounds multiple times. I’ve also practiced some of what Instructor Yao had taught.”
Yi Yun openly admitted that he had practiced martial arts. This was to prepare for the day when he had to reveal his real strength. It would make people think he was a prodigy, lowering the risk of the discovery of the Purple Crystal.
If not, he would be unable to explain where he got all his skills from.
“You secretly learned martial arts?” Hearing Yi Yun’s words, not only did Zhao Tiezhu laugh, even the other members of the warrior preparation camp were trying hard to hold it in. They did not dare be audacious in front of Zhang Yuxian.
At this point, no one pursued his crime of secretly learning martial arts by watching lessons covertly.
A member of the warrior preparation camp said, “Instructor Yao’s “Dragon Rib Tiger Bone Fist” is so profound. We couldn’t even grasp it by following his every move. A dull kid like you without any strength managed to learn it secretly? What could you have learned!?”
Yi Yun could not be bothered to retort. He just wanted to leave the impression that he had practiced martial arts. It could be used to cushion the blow when he eventually revealed his true strength.
Zhang Yuxian pondered as he placed his hand on Yi Yun’s shoulder, slowly injecting his Yuan Qi.
Zhang Yuxian had not expected much. He had appreciated Yi Yun for his bravery for it was rare for a kid to step forward under such circumstances. Of course, appreciation was one thing, but the practice of martial arts was not only about bravery.
The Yuan Qi that Zhang Yuxian released into Yi Yun’s body completed a circulation, and as he waited expectantly to see how much was absorbed when he received the Yuan Qi…
He realized that the Yuan Qi he injected had disappeared without a trace!
“This is…” Zhang Yuxian stared in surprise.
How could this be?
His brows began to twitch as he refused to believe the situation he was in. He injected another surge of Yuan Qi into Yi Yun’s body.
This burst of Yuan Qi entered Yi Yun’s meridians as if they had entered a black hole. The moment it passed Yi Yun’s heart, it was absorbed by the Purple Crystal, with not a drop left.
“You…” Zhang Yuxian was shocked. The Yuan Qi that he had injected into Yi Yun had been absorbed completely!?
Seeing Zhang Yuxian’s eyebrows jumping, Lian Chengyu did not know if Zhang Yuxian had been angered. He walked to Zhang Yuxian’s side with a sullen expression.
Lian Chengyu’s thoughts revolved around the examination of the Lian tribal clan that Zhang Yuxian was conducting, but alas, an eccentric flower like Yi Yun had messed it up.
Although he treated the lives of the Lian tribal clan as dirt, he did not want the Lian tribal clan shamed in front of outsiders. It would result in others thinking lowly of him.
Lian Chengyu reluctantly smiled, “Lord High Ambassador, the banquet has been prepared. Shall we eat first?”
Lian Chengyu had wanted to divert Zhang Yuxian’s attention, wishing that he could cover up the incident with Yi Yun. But suddenly, Zhang Yuxian grasped Yi Yun’s shoulders with both hands.
He measured up Yi Yun carefully.
A poor tribe in the vast wilderness could produce such a talent?
Besides, this youth in front of him had the courage and commitment towards martial arts. He had proven himself by standing up in public.
Besides that, the youth had a hidden amount of power. It had sparked Zhang Yuxian’s interest.
“You are good, very good! I never thought that I would find such an unpolished gem in a small tribe in the vast wilderness.” Zhang Yuxian was not stingy with his compliments. His voice projected far and loud.
Beside Yi Yun was Zhao Tiezhu, who was ready to mock Yi Yun when he failed to qualify. He suddenly widened his eyes like a rooster being grabbed by the neck.
What did Lord Zhang just say? Did I hear wrong!?
Lian Chengyu who was gearing to lead Zhang Yuxian for a meal stood dumbfounded. He was not sure how to react momentarily.
The periphery of the crowd who could not see the situation did not know what had happened. Their interest was piqued after hearing Zhang Yuxian compliment, someone.
“Who? Who received such a high compliment?” People in the periphery started jumping to catch a glimpse.
“You have a ‘Seamless Body’. Even a low-grade Purple Blood Seamless Body is extremely good! You will be appreciated even in a large tribe!”
The people, including Lian Chengyu, did not know the term Seamless Body.
But this did not prevent them from understanding Zhang Yuxian’s attitude.
“Very good”, “unpolished gem”, “appreciated even in a large tribe”!
Even Zhao Tiezhu with his feeble mental processes knew that Zhang Yuxian’s compliments for Yi Yun had exceeded Lian Chengyu’s!
How could this be? Zhao Tiezhu felt like he had eaten a pound of shit, leaving a spectacular expression on his face.
The other warrior preparation camp members were all dumbfounded as their mouths gaped.
“Brother, he…” Jiang Xiaorou’s eyes were watery. She was the only person who had wished that Yi Yun would amount to something. However, happiness had come too suddenly that even she had trouble believing it.
She had seen Yi Yun’s growth since he was wearing diapers. She had never felt that Yi Yun was talented. Was what Zhang Yuxian had said true?
Jiang Xiaorou felt something iffy. Even Lian Chengyu’s evaluation was weaker than her brother’s?
“This kid is a martial arts prodigy? How could this be!” Lian Chengyu clenched his fists. He could not accept it.
Zhang Yuxian had favored Yi Yun even more!
Lian Chengyu was always the number one prodigy in the Lian tribal clan, how could he tolerate someone exceeding him?
Besides, the other person was a young slave!
“This…Lord High Ambassador, you say that this kid is a martial arts prodigy? Could you have made a mistake…” Everyone doubted Zhang Yuxian’s words but only Zhao Tiezhu could not keep it in and asked dumbly.
Zhang Yuxian’s face turned solemn, and said coldly, “You doubt me?”
“Uh…” Zhao Tiezhu was shocked. He shook his head vigorously, “No, I dare not, I wouldn’t dare.”
Zhang Yuxian gave Zhao Tiezhu a cold glance as he said, “I have limited time. In an hour, those who were selected, gather around here. I will impart martial arts to you for three days!”
With that said, Zhang Yuxian left. He had no interest in the welcoming banquet.
Zhao Tiezhu, Lian Chengyu, and the rest of the warrior preparation camp were staring with utter bewilderment.
They looked at Yi Yun as if he was a freak. They could not accept the fact!
Yi Yun had passed the preliminaries. He had even received extremely high compliments. How could that be?
“Yun-er!” Jiang Xiaorou caught notice of the glares Lian Chengyu and company were shooting at Yi Yun. She rushed forward to hold Yi Yun against her side as she worried about him.
“Me don’t believe it! Me don’t believe it! That Lord said Me was not suitable for martial arts. He even said this kid was some gem or what body. Me can lift a 200-kilogram stone roller. That kid doesn’t seem like he can even hold a chicken firmly. Me can’t be compared with him?” shouted the short stout man.
His words were met with an astounding response.
“I can’t compare with that kid? I don’t believe it!”
“This kid sure is one lucky fuck!”
The warrior preparation camp members were originally filled with confidence, but it had been wiped clean during Zhang Yuxian’s preliminary examination. Yi Yun was the only one who had received high compliments.
They were definitely disgruntled.
At this point, Zhao Tiezhu walked towards Yi Yun, saying, “Kiddo, don’t be too proud. I’m not sure what was wrong with Lord Zhang. You think we don’t know? You have been ill-ridden since you were young, like a little chick. You can’t even lift a twenty-five-kilogram rock weight. You almost died picking herbs. Such a person is a martial arts prodigy? My foot!”
Zhao Tiezhu was not wrong. The children of Yi Yun’s age could lift twenty-five-kilogram rock weights, and Yi Yun could barely lift fifteen kilograms a few months ago.
Yi Yun himself did not expect a “Seamless Body” assessment.
Through the ownership of the Purple Crystal, and combined with his keen senses from entering the Meridians realm, Yi Yun had already guessed what Zhang Yuxian was doing. He had injected energy to test a person’s talent.
This energy was absorbed by the Purple Crystal, resulting in the misunderstanding by Zhang Yuxian.
To be honest, his body’s innate talent was nothing out of the ordinary. There was definitely no Seamless Body.
A real martial artist prodigy would not have such a poor constitution like Yi Yun. If a body had a high affinity with energy, it would absorb energy from the surroundings in an invisible manner, causing the body to grow strong.
How could one expect a starving child that grew up in the vast wilderness be a prodigy?
Of course, although Yi Yun understood it, he decided to accept his title as a prodigy.
It was a good way to explain himself when he revealed his strength.
With that, Yi Yun looked at Zhao Tiezhu with a faint smile.
Seeing Yi Yun glancing over at him, Zhao Tiezhu stared back with a look of disdain, “What? Disgruntled? If you are disgruntled, you can fight with me. I’ll squash you with a finger. I’ll let you win if I use an additional piece of hair!”
Zhao Tiezhu was also fuming; he wanted to teach Yi Yun a lesson.
But Yi Yun replied calmly, “Uncle Tiezhu, have you finished eating the large pagoda tree?”
A critical hit with one sentence!
The mocking words Zhao Tiezhu had planned on saying got stuck in his throat. He remained silent as his eyes stared like a dead fish on the ground.
“And that warrior from before…have you eaten that stone roller?”
“Oh…and there was another one who wanted to drink up the East River’s water.”
Yi Yun said in a bemused manner. His body was small and thin while his face was still boyish. It did not seem capable of causing any harm, but every word he said embedded within itself an extreme amount of destructive power.
The members of the warrior preparation camp quickly disavowed their statements. No one took responsibility for what they had said. The words they had previously said in front of the entire tribe had smacked them right back in the face.
“My fellow warriors, I shall head back to take a rest. I need to make preparations for practicing martial arts with Lord Zhang. Also, Young Master Lian, since I need to practice martial arts, can I be given time off from the refining of the desolate bone?” Yi Yun asked earnestly. Lian Chengyu’s face was utterly black. How could he dare not to?
“Of course. Practicing martial arts is more important.” As Lian Chengyu said that, he felt his intestines twist.