The Dragons and Phoenix Selection started every October 15th, and by October, those families who had children of the right age would try their luck.
Some families even early on prepared a jar from the birth of a child, and deposited a copper coin every day, commonly known as “children’s money”, as a way to save up the expenses needed to participate in the Dragon and Phoenix Selection.
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At this time, it was the most prosperous period of time in various places, all kinds of businesses make a fortune, and many rural civilians also know that this was likely the only time in their lives they would enter the city.
This period of time was also a good time for the martial arts schools and the army to select talents.
There were always people who had already found their targets early on. Not mentioning those who were selected, but towards those who didn’t pass the Dragon and Phoenix Selection, they would rush over and make their pitch. After all, while Kun-Lai selected only the best, the rest that were left also contained some good seedlings.
And today was October 15th.
The day when the Dragon and Phoenix Selection officially started.
The city could no longer accommodate so many people. Therefore, aside from the residents of the capital city of the Da Xiao Kingdom, entry had become restricted. If they carried travel papers from another area, one must go out before another one could enter.
Simply put, the line of people had already stretched outside the city.
A tall girl squeezed into the crowd with an unhappy expression: “Why is there a limit to entry? What gives! Collecting taxes all day long and won’t even forgive a penny less in payment. But now that they have to give help, then there will be no one?”
The frail young man next to her tugged at the hem of her clothes: “Keep your voice down…..”
“Why should I whisper? Is there anything wrong with what I said?” The girl was currently angry and argued back directly.
“Of course it’s wrong!” A young soldier on the side gave her a sideways glance, “If we hadn’t started constructing at the beginning of the year, do you think the shack you lived in these few days could still be a place that’s even livable?”
The gathering of people outside the city once every twelve years was an inevitable occurrence. The capital of the kingdom was already familiar with the procedure, and the manpower, housing, and division of duties had been practiced countless times.
The shacks outside the city were the most dilapidated, but they all had stone pillars as the framework. They could provide shelter from wind and rain with just a couple layers of straw bundles on the roof. There were also various vendors from the city who would come out to sell grain, food, and water. Although the living conditions were uncomfortable and there were several people who had to squeeze in a single room, who hadn’t gone through this kind of tight living quarters before?
Before October, all of them had been paid double the salary, and it was stipulated that there should be no problem in carrying out the process, otherwise they would be dealt with from top to bottom. And it was only these young people who did not know good from bad and just complained everywhere.
The girl paused, snorted twice then bowed her head and stopped talking.
The sickly looking young man apologized and continued to wait on the long line.
From time to time, some people walked out of the city with a desolate face, all kinds of crying and sobbing, causing the young people on the line to become even more nervous and anxious.
Although they all knew that the Dragon and Phoenix Selection only selected the best, but how many did not want to soar into the sky?
Besides, there were far fewer people who succeeded through scholarship, martial arts, or doing business when compared to being selected to go to Kun-Lai.
After cultivating one’s life span becomes longer and indirectly or directly reflects prosperity to their clan and hometown. Even if after going to Kun-Lai they end up being eliminated, these students would still be able to come away with scholarly knowledge, martial arts skills, and broadened horizons. After returning, they were still talents that various countries fought over. Few did not live out the rest of their lives without success and completely faded into the masses.
For normal civilians, this was a direct path to soaring up into the sky.
The line moved extremely slowly, from day to night, but their position on the line only just went from outside the city to in front of the city gates, and the line was still extending.
Those were the children and adolescents from more remote places having finally arrived. They stood far away on the line, and it was early yet till they arrived at the front of the line, but they were still quite anxious and afraid.
After January, the Heart Asking Stone would close, and many people who were delayed on the road would lose their chances forever.
At this time, some rumors faintly began to spread.
“Have you heard?” Someone on the side whispered, “This time there is a problem with the sacred stone.”
“How could something go wrong, that is something set by the true god of Kun-Lai.” The listener and the speaker were both interested, and they soon exchanged words.
“I heard that many nobles colluded with the Teacher of the State and broke the sacred stone.” That person’s voice rose unconsciously, “A lot of nobles have entered prison.”
“I have also heard that the Kun-Lai immortals returned many of the kidnapped children, saying that they had their hearts plucked to make up for the deficiency in the children of noble families.”
“Those vicious beasts!”
“Then is it a fake this time? Those nobles broke the sacred stone, which is why there are so many people?”
“That’s right, that’s why I was not selected!”
“Wait a minute, maybe the sacred stone is repaired, there are still the Kun-Lai immortals!?”
“That’s a sacred stone created by the true god. It hasn’t been broken for hundreds of years. Can the immortals even fix it?”
Although the rumors caused a stir, the soldiers around them posed an intimidating deterrent, and the sharp blades in their hands were even more intimidating. It was just that many not yet resigned people lingered around and refused to leave, hoping to come across another chance.
The girl elbowed her companion: “Ah Lie, do you think what they are saying is true?”
The sickly looking young man was knocked back from the elbow. He stretched out his hand to rub at the ribs that might have become bruised now, and showed out a wry smile.
“Tell me.” The girl urged him. On the whole way, everything he predicted had become right. If it weren’t for this, they wouldn’t be able to escape here safe and sound.
The young man glanced around and seemed to hesitate, not knowing how to say.
“Hurry and tell me!” The girl pushed him.
The young man lowered his head, grabbed the girl’s hand, and drew two words on her hand.
The girl’s heart skipped a beat, and she instinctively grabbed the boy’s hand.
“It’s those few people who are spreading the rumors.” The young man continued to write on her hand. He could already see the intertwined lines of fortune on those people which were giving off a strong black energy, infecting the fortune of other people around them.
Generally, in his eyes, the luck and fortune of ordinary people appeared as white energy, and those who had thick lines were lucky while those who had thinner lines were less so.
The nobles had blue green energy, and there were also differences in thickness. An extremely noble person had purple energy, and he had only seen one with it.
But the black energy signalled death and decay, and once it stained you, you would end up hurt if not dead.
At this time, two people lined up at the back of the line, a boy and a girl.
Their appearances startled the people around.
The girl wore a veil over her face, but while it covered her facial features it could not cover her misty and ethereal aura. Between her graceful posture and every elegant gesture, she was like a fairy who descended from the heavens, unforgettable with just one glance.
However, the young man was 18 or 19 years old, with a tall stature and a very cold and handsome face. He stayed beside the girl in a guarding posture.
The people around couldn’t help but wonder, the two of them didn’t look like ordinary people so why didn’t they go inside the city to jump the line like the other nobles instead of enduring the hard work of queuing here.
One must know that they must stand in line for ten days to half a month. If there was no person you were familiar with, it would be a problem to even drink and eat.
At the end of January, there were many who would come down with serious illnesses.
The eyes of the sickly looking teenager named Ah Lie brightened, and he decisively pulled the girl and withdrew from the front of the line, lining up behind the pair of extraordinary looking boy and girl instead.
“What are you doing, we finally got to the front and we are about to enter the city!” The girl raised her hand to hit him.
“Sister Su, these two are not normal people with just a glance. Let’s breathe in some immortal energy.” Ah Lie hurried to appease her, and winked a few times. As soon as these two arrived, the black energy outside the city was instantly swept away. The aura of fortune over her head was massive and terrifying, and it was a hundred times more scary than the Kun-Lai cultivator who had rescued him before. Approaching such a person, so long as they were not hostile, would only benefit them.
Only then did the girl put down her hand and did not struggle any more.
She just looked at the two in front of them with scrutiny.
The girl in white robes who looked like an immortal fairy looked back at Ah Lie and let out a chuckle as she said, “This little brother has good vision, what’s your name?”
The voice was soft and gentle, with a hint of crispness, just listening to it was a pleasure.
“Thank you sister for the compliment, my name is Yuan Lie.” He replied respectfully.
“This name is domineering, it’s just that your physique is too weak and you have to cultivate hard to be worthy of the name. Then Xiao Lie, won’t you follow this sister, okay?” The white robed girl said with a smile, “My name is Mingyu, and I just happen to need a few companions who can go to Kun-Lai and cultivate together.”
Yuan Lie’s heart thumped. Although this girl was also surrounded with purple energy, she actually described Kun-Lai as one would describe their own home. There was likely a problem with her origin. If she was someone who was going to Kun-Lai to make trouble, he might also be implicated.
And her luck was so terrifying, would it cause trouble to the Kun-Lai Immortal Mountains?
However, he saw that the luck of an ordinary Kun-Lai disciple was so terrifying before. If there were ten or a hundred more of the same in Kun-Lai, this girl would definitely not be able to stir up trouble…..right?
“Mingyu, don’t fool around,” Ye Han said with a headache, “You have already collected dozens of ‘companions’ along the way…..”
“If you are a little bit stronger and could suppress Feng Qingxiu, why would I have to work so hard.” Ji Mingyu snorted, and did not listen to persuasion, determined to continue to go further and further on the path of seeking her father’s attention.
“If I am lucky enough to enter the Kun-Lai Immortal Mountains, naturally we can cultivate together.” Yuan Lie said sincerely, “Being able to accompany sister is also a wonderful opportunity for me.”
He was gentle, polite and sensible, and soon attracted the girl Mingyu’s interest in chatting with him, making the ‘Sister Su’ next to him very upset, turning to the side with an unhappy face.
However, after a while, the line did not make any progress.
The test takers around couldn’t help but become anxious.
Thinking of the previous rumors, the people’s hearts could not help but become unsettled.
Ji Mingyu was also puzzled: “Is there another problem? Didn’t he say that he can deal with it?”
She asked Ye Han.
“After all, it is the Heart Asking Stone. He only learned a few runes and he dared to say that he could make one. It is normal for a little problem to occur,” Ye Han was also very worried, “Should we go to Jiuxi City? The Heart Asking Stone there has no problem.”
Unlike Ji Mingyu, who had a powerful cultivator as a personal bodyguard, he was sincere in his desire to go to the lower gates to make up for his lack of knowledge, otherwise it would be difficult to make any progress in the future.
He couldn’t live off of Mingyu forever.
At the same time they were chatting, the surrounding situation faintly began to spiral out of control.
Rumors spread faster than anything. In almost an hour, the news of the destruction of the sacred stone spread throughout the city and there were turbulent accusations cropping up everywhere.
All kinds of people began to attack the imperial court and the Divine Temple. Although there were many soldiers, one couldn’t imagine how they would fare with massive crowds like mountains and seas.
In the Divine Temple, Feng Qingxiu looked at the huge stone that was glowing again, thinking hard.
“You said it’s fine, that this sacred stone can be used!” The emperor on one side looked solemn, “Give me a specific time, and I will go suppress the crowd outside.”
He had already explained the current situation to the other. As the monarch of a country, he always had to give his people an explanation.
And this explanation could only be given by the other.
“Shizun, what do you think?” Feng Qingxiu asked the paper man quietly.
“There is no way to restart it, it will take a day at least.” The paper man said lightly, “In the past, in order to be able to measure one’s talent for comprehension, the program created is quite complicated. It is normal that a bug showed up after you rewrote it.”
“But now the people outside are about to rise in revolt.” Feng Qingxiu did not dare to give a specific time to let the other go and suppress the civilians, “Shizun, is my authority in Kun-Lai very big?”
“Very big, you can even take all the people outside to Kun-Lai if you want.” The paper man touched his disciple and didn’t put pressure on him.
“No need!” Feng Qingxiu smiled slightly and turned to the emperor, “Pass the news that the sacred stone is damaged and is still being repaired. The test will now be held on our Kun-Lai flying peak.”
The emperor was overjoyed, this was the flying peak of the immortals, with this name, he no longer had to worry about the people suspecting that he was secretly tampering with the Selection.
No one would doubt Kun-Lai, or a celestial flying peak.
So he left immediately and spread the news to the outside world.
“The flying peak doesn’t have a Heart Asking Stone though?” The paper man asked strangely.
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“Just move this one over.” Feng Qingxiu said confidently, “The sacred stone on the flying peak has not been used before. If something goes wrong, then just let them wait longer and they won’t say anything. Please check it over quickly. Don’t let it crash anymore!”
“My disciple…..pay attention to your attitude!”
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