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Batch after batch of candidates let out their blood in a bid to stir the Ascending Dragon Cauldron. However, all of them failed. Most of the blood dissipated in the vortex storms, and there were some who resented the outcome so much that they bit at their fingertips after failing the first time, producing more blood to try again.
The four personal disciples did not stop these continued attempts. They knew that it was impossible to succeed on a second try after failing the first time.
Meanwhile, Snake Girl was hesitating as she stood beside Yi Yun. Then, she took out a dainty snake-skinned dagger from her interspatial ring.
"You want to give it a shot too?" Yi Yun looked at Snake Girl in astonishment. He originally believed that Snake Girl would not be willing to join the Myriad God Ridge.
"I'll just give it a try. Joining the Myriad God Ridge wouldn’t be the worst thing. Since my master is here, I'm too lazy to return. Robbing isn't a long-term plan, anyway."
As Snake Girl spoke, she cut her index finger and a drop of blood floated out.
"Aren't you going to try?"
Snake Girl looked at Yi Yun.
"Let me watch first. I have a nagging feeling that there’s something strange about the Ascending Dragon Cauldron."
"Are you worried that a trap might activate when your blood touches the cauldron?" Snake Girl read Yi Yun's mind. "We are only a bunch of lowly candidates. There's no reason for them to scheme against us. Even if it was really a blood contract, the contract's contents would still need to be sent to your soul. If you didn't agree to it, they couldn’t bind you to a contract with just a drop of blood."
As Snake Girl spoke, her drop of blood floated off.
What Snake Girl said wasn't without reason. Warriors unintentionally lost blood during battles all the time. It would be too easy to obtain another’s blood, so it was naturally impossible to use a drop of blood to force the signing of a soul contract.
Yi Yun nodded, but he still didn’t move as he watched Snake Girl's drop of blood.
When the blood flew into the vortex, it remained coagulated within the storms. When it approached the Ascending Dragon Cauldron, the drop of blood emitted wispy crimson beams of light.
Yi Yun pricked up his brows. At the same time, he heard the bronze cauldron hum.
The Ascending Dragon Cauldron let out a sound like a heavy divine bell being struck. The black dragon carved on the cauldron seemed to be flying within the Yuan Qi wantonly as its eyes emitted a glimmer that left people apprehensive. Many of those present were being watched by the pair of dragon eyes, and they felt as though their hearts were being struck a heavy blow. Their organs churned as a result.
Even the four personal disciples felt immense pressure. They were unable to maintain their aloof expressions, for the humming noises from the Ascending Dragon Cauldron numbed their ears.
"Who… who stirred the Ascending Dragon Cauldron?"
Senior Brother Ji was astonished. There had been too many drops of blood flying in the air for him to notice. Only when the cauldron vibrated suddenly did he react.
Then, something else happened.
Two dark golden beams of light shot out from the flying dragon's eyes towards Snake Girl. They were like two swords bestowed by the heavens.
Snake Girl similarly did not expect it. She made no effort to dodge the two beams of divine light, partly because she couldn't react in time.
When the divine beam entered her body, it went straight for her dantian.
Snake Girl felt as though something was inside her dantian. Following that, her entire body began to float up. Amid the tempest, her clothes and long hair flared in the wind.
"Snake Girl's blood stirred the Ascending Dragon Cauldron?"
Yi Yun was astonished as well. He had heard the four personal disciple's private conversation. Stirring the Ascending Dragon Cauldron was an extremely difficult task. He never expected Snake Girl to be someone that possessed the so-called 'wisdom root'.
The storm lasted for about two minutes before it calmed down. The people present looked at Snake Girl in astonishment.
Apart from the disbelief in his eyes, the gorgeously-dressed youth from earlier felt a deep sense of envy when he looked at Snake Girl.
A drop of her blood stirred the cauldron! She could become a core disciple, at the very least. This girl actually had such good luck? He originally thought that, by having the crazy old scammer as a master, she was likely a lowlife. However, he never expected that her single drop of blood could stir the Ascending Dragon Cauldron, allowing her to soar instantly.
At that moment, a flash appeared at the stone gateway's entrance. A middle-aged man stepped out. He was the one that the four personal disciples had addressed as Martial Uncle Mo.
In a blink of an eye, he had appeared in front of Snake Girl with fanatical delight.
He had clearly seen that two beams of divine light had been shot into Snake Girl's dantian. According to past experiences, the two divine beams of light were actually two treasures!
The treasures were hidden in the world within Snake Girl's body. That was what the Patriarch paid great attention to.
"You have stirred the Ascending Dragon Cauldron. Great! Great! Great!"
Mo Shanqing complemented her thrice and there was a glow in the way he looked at Snake Girl.
"There's no need for you to continue participating in the test. I'll send you straight into the sect. From today forth, you will be a core disciple of our Myriad God Ridge!" Mo Shanqing said excitedly.
He originally thought that presiding over the test would be a waste of his time, but here he had encountered a girl that could stir the cauldron. As such, the Patriarch would likely reward him handsomely.
Snake Girl never expected such a thing to happen either. She was momentarily flustered. Although she believed that she would have no problem passing the test, she was basing her beliefs on the second and third round of the Myriad God Ridge's entrance test.
She had never expected to become a Myriad God Ridge disciple by passing the so-called 'wisdom root' test.
"Thank you, Senior. I'll follow you up the mountain in a while."
As Snake Girl spoke, she looked at her master, Old Snake, and Yi Yun.
Old Snake did not express himself in any way. As for Yi Yun… it was unclear what he was ruminating over.
Although Snake Girl had been forcefully brought to Myriad God Ridge by Yi Yun and had spent more than ten Spirit Jade because of him, she did not have any malice towards him. Instead, she had quite a favorable opinion of him and wanted to see how his test unfolded.
In fact, apart from Yi Yun, there were a handful of people left who had not produced their blood.
"Who else hasn't attempted. Produce your blood together now."
After recruiting a disciple, Mo Shanqing was in great spirits. Although it was unlikely that the remaining people stood a chance, they were not to be missed.
When they heard Mo Shanqing's words, the remaining candidates naturally bit their fingers and produced drops of blood.
They had previously been too nervous to produce their blood. They had waited all this time.
As such, only Yi Yun was the one who had yet produced his blood. At the instant the Ascending Dragon Cauldron stirred, Yi Yun had sensed an immense ruggedness when the Ascending Dragon Cauldron shot out the beams of divine light. They possessed an aura he seemed familiar with. It resembled the pure Yang broken sword that he once had!
Could the Ascending Dragon Cauldron be related to the pure Yang broken sword?
If the cauldron was truly related to the pure Yang broken sword, then Yi Yun could not miss this opportunity. Perhaps, he could take advantage of this opportunity to figure something out.
Should I produce my blood?
Yi Yun looked at Mo Shanqing, who was beside him. He hesitated for a moment.
He could not predict what the outcome would be. Under the present circumstances, it would not be a wise choice to probe the Ascending Dragon Cauldron as it would cause a huge stir.
The final candidates that produced their blood finally ended with failure. Only a few of their blood drops even reached the Ascending Dragon Cauldron, and they failed to instigate any reaction.
These people were immensely disappointed. They felt greatly set back when they compared themselves to Snake Girl, who had stirred the cauldron.
"It's over. Then, let's put an end to this."
Although Mo Shanqing noticed that Yi Yun had not produced his blood, he did not mind if a person or two was left out.
"Yes, Martial Uncle."
The four personal disciples walked over and were about to withdraw the Ascending Dragon Cauldron and disperse the crowd of people.
"Yi Yun, why aren't you giving it a try?" Snake Girl whispered from the side.
Yi Yun exhaled and with his finger as a sword blade, he cut his finger.
A drop of blood fluttered into the sky.
Yi Yun had largely ascertained that sending his blood to the Ascending Dragon Cauldron did not pose any danger. Furthermore, the similarities between the Ascending Dragon Cauldron and the pure Yang broken sword made him want to give it a try.
Upon seeing Yi Yun produce his blood, Mo Shanqing came to a halt and looked up. Although he wasn't pleased with the candidate's slow reaction, he did not mind waiting a little while longer.
High in the sky, wind and thunder interleaved one another. The drop of blood appeared inconspicuous amid them.
It easily penetrated the black vortex and smacked right between the eyes of the dragon engraved on the Ascending Dragon Cauldron!
The drop of blood infused into the dragon eye like a blood teardrop.
Instantly, the Ascending Dragon Cauldron fell silent. Even the howling wind quietened.
Mo Shanqing's face flashed a look of uncertainty. This is…
Suddenly, a bold and vigorous dragon roar emitted from the Ascending Dragon Cauldron.
The dragon's roar instantly penetrated the firmament and echoed throughout the land in a deep baritone. The people present found themselves squelched. The candidates with weaker cultivation levels could not even resist the dragon's repression as they collapsed to the ground immediately.
Even the candidates with higher cultivation levels felt their minds and hearts palpitating.
Accompanied by the dragon's roar, a gray mist spewed out from the Ascending Dragon Cauldron, as though something was peeking out from it.
Amid the wind and thunder, the Ascending Dragon Cauldron rapidly expanded to the size of a hill. The black winds made the cauldron turn blurry as a black lightning bolt as thick as a water bucket tore through the clouds.
"What's that?" Someone exclaimed from the crowd.
The black clouds in the sky curled but there were people who could vaguely make out that within the cauldron that had expanded dozens of times in size, a humongous dragon head phantom had gradually surfaced.
Was there a dragon sealed within the cauldron?
Yi Yun held his breath. The dragon head was simple but infinite. The terrifying dragon repression surged over everyone with its appearance. Its gaze seemed to penetrate the vestiges of time, and it was cast directly on him.
Instantly, Yi Yun felt the Purple Crystal within his body quiver gently. In his mind, a sound seemed to ring. It was the dragon roar that came from the clouds, and there was a language hidden within it that Yi Yun did not understand. It was ancient and profound.
But the feeling it left could only be described as ephemeral.
"This is… This is…" Mo Shanqing suddenly became agitated as he turned his head suddenly, looking at Yi Yun with disbelief.
The dragon roar and the dragon head that surfaced was a phenomenon that had never been seen before. Could this candidate that appeared slow to react be able to completely stir the Ascending Dragon Cauldron?
Although there was no apparent standard for the 'wisdom root' needed to stir the cauldron, Mo Shanqing was actually a little aware of what it took. He never expected that the youth in front of him would be able to satisfy the Patriarch's conditions.
It was already fairly impressive to discover a few people that could stir the Ascending Dragon Cauldron in a year but today, one had managed to pull out treasures from the cauldron. Two, in fact. The other one was getting an even more exaggerated response. With such lucky circumstances, he was wondering how the Patriarch would reward him!
Just thinking of it made Mo Shanqing increasingly excited. It was truly an unknown what special treasure would be coming out; if they were anything short of amazing, there wouldn't have been such an exaggerated phenomenon!
However, just as Mo Shanqing was reeling in excitement, the black dragon's phantom gradually dissipated. The resounding dragon roar also vanished.
The wind and thunder that surged around the Ascending Dragon Cauldron gradually shrunk, and in moments, the cauldron returned to its original state. It silently floated in the middle of the vortex as though whatever had happened before was a dream that had never happened.
Mo Shanqing’s eyes widened as he stared intently at the Ascending Dragon Cauldron. He anticipated a few divine beams of light to shoot out from the Ascending Dragon Cauldron and into Yi Yun's dantian. But after a long wait, nothing happened.
That was… it!?
Were there no treasures?
Mo Shanqing was stupefied. The entire process of Yi Yun's stirring of the cauldron was more exaggerated than the girl from before. Yet, there was no reaction. How could that be?
He believed he had accomplished something big but, in a blink of an eye, he found that he had rejoiced too soon.
"Martial Uncle, what's going on?"
The four personal disciples gathered around and looked at Mo Shanqing before sizing up Yi Yun curiously. Wasn't this punk the one that promised to treat that old scalper to alcohol if he entered the Myriad God Ridge? This fellow is actually one that possesses a wisdom root?
"Martial Uncle, this youth has also passed the test, right?" Ji asked.
Mo Shanqing was immersed in his vicissitude of emotions and still in a daze. Only when he heard the inquiry did he return to reality with a hesitant expression.
This situation was something he had never seen before.
If the criteria was to stir the Ascending Dragon Cauldron, then Yi Yun naturally passed. However, he was puzzled by the youth’s lack of treasures despite the huge commotion.
"You… produce a drop of blood and give it another try," Mo Shanqing said as he looked at Yi Yun.
Yi Yun frowned. Although producing a few drops of blood meant nothing, the way Mo Shanqing gave him orders displeased him.