Chapter 154 – Divergent Road
Translated by: Ying
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If he’d known there were so many rules in the inner faction selection, Long Chen would have asked Liu Yuan earlier, which would leave him more prepared.
The reason why Liu Yuan had not searched for him and told him these rules was probably because he had told Liu Lan not to let anyone disturb him, right before he shut himself in seclusion.
However, as long as he had strength, he could take on any sudden changes. Long Chen wasn’t worried.
“Long Chen, you’ve taken part in the outer faction selection before. There’s not much difference between the inner and outer faction selection, though the format has been reinforced.”
“The Divergent Road is a pathway up the Devil Mountain of Life and Death. In a way, it’s a pathway to the heavens. On the Divergent Road, not only is the terrain treacherous, with demonic beasts wandering around and poisonous bugs spanning across the area, there’s also the obstruction from opponents. It’s extremely dangerous. On top of that, the weather is terrible on the Nine Devil Mountain, and there are hurricanes, storms, lightning and thunder from time to time. That’s why you need to be especially cautious on the path.”
Having said all these, Liu Yuan took a slight rest and continued, “After getting to the Divergent Road, you’ll be divided into ten groups of two. Before embarking on the path, you will be given two items.”
“The first is a firework signal. I’m sure you can understand what that is. If you meet any danger that you can’t handle, or you’re being forced in a situation where there’s no way out, you can use it. There are people of the inner faction stationed nearby, so as long as you set it off, you can basically save yourself.”
“However, so long as you set it off, you’re basically forfeiting yourself out of the selection. Use it only as a last resort. If you really can’t handle it though, then set it off. That way, you can ensure your safety.”
“What’s going to happen if the other party doesn’t let me off even after I set off the signal? What happens if they try their utmost to kill me?”
Liu Yuan chuckled, “The others know the rules better than you do. If the firework signal is released and the other party still acts, they will be killed on the spot if the inner faction finds out. Don’t ever try to push your luck, because there is nothing that the inner faction doesn’t know.”
At the thought of how powerful the inner faction was, Liu Yuan could only sigh ruefully.
Remembering the firework signal, Long Chen asked on, “Great Elder, what was the second item you spoke of?”
“The second item is a jade bangle. It’s a rather unusual item, and it’s so solid that even I can’t damage it. Once you wear it, it will be able to detect how whole your body is. If you’re seriously injured, it will automatically drop off, and others will be free to take it.”
“The battle on the Divergent Road is actually a battle for the jade bangles. Everyone will have one, which means there’s a total of 20 bangles. The one who obtains more bangles will have a higher chance of passing through the first stage— Divergent Road.”
“There are two objectives that must be fulfilled on Divergent Road. One, passing through the Divergent Road and reaching the Nest of Life and Death in a day. Two, while completing the first objective, the four pairs which have more jade bangles, which make up eight people, will have the qualifications to participate in the second stage. Of course, there’s another crucial requirement. If one person in a pair does not reach the Nest of Life and Death, then that pair will lose their chance of continuing in the competition.”
Long Chen understood the rules easily.
To obtain the qualifications to participate in the next stage, one had to pass through the Divergent Road within a day, and be in one of the four pairs to obtain the most jade bangles. The other six pairs would be disqualified.
There was another requirement. If a person had obtained the most jade bangles but their partner had gotten lost, died or withdrawn, then they, too, would lose the qualification to participate in the second stage.
The first stage of the inner faction selection tested not just individual battle power, but also adaptability to terrain, getting along with others, fighting side by side, the ability to work in a team, one’s temperament, and many others.
Long Chen really admired the inner faction for being able to come up with such a testing method.
“Long Chen, there’s something else I need to make clear to you.”
At this point, Liu Yuan looked stern, though hidden within was some helplessness.
“Great Elder, please speak.”
“For the Divergent Road, you can choose any partner you want. Besides the Gold and Silver factions, the rest all have two people who can form pairs within their faction. However, the Gold faction has three people, two of which are twins who will be paired together. That leaves the most powerful Jin Sheng’en, and he’s likely to pair with Chu Yunxi, who he has a good relationship with. Your fallout with Chu Yunxi is really…”
It was Liu Lan’s fault for causing hostility between Long Chen and Chu Yunxi. Liu Yuan knew full well that Long Chen was the innocent party, which was why he felt apologetic.
“In general, I believe the person you’ll be paired with is some talent of the Silver faction. There are a total of three coming from the Silver faction, one of which has directly obtained the qualifications to participate. Her name is Yin Mengyao. The other two are a couple, which means that if nothing goes wrong, you and her will be a team. Long Chen, you need to understand this. For Yin Mengyao to have directly gotten the qualification to participate, she must be extremely arrogant, and a weak partner would pull her down…”
“Great Elder, you mean she’ll look down on me?”
“I don’t know for sure, but she’ll probably protest. Long Chen, if she doesn’t give you any face at all, you need to endure. If you can do it until the Divergent Road, she’ll definitely think of ways to protect you. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to pass this stage either!”
Long Chen understood everything Liu Yuan was saying.
“In other words, even if others ridicule me to my face, I should just take it until I enter the Divergent Road and shamelessly get her to protect me?”
Long Chen wondered inside.
“I don’t know what kind of person Yin Mengyao would be, but if she is that sort, I’ll make sure she suffers for it. Ha, for me to be ridiculed… If Little Xi were to see this, wouldn’t she laugh at me?”
Long Chen knew pretty much everything about the Divergent Road. In general, he was quite excited for it.
“Great Elder, I understand the Divergent Road already. What will the format be like for the Nest of Life and Death?”
“Do you remember the second part of the outer faction selection?”
Long Chen nodded, “Of course I do. It was the duel.”
“The Nest of Life and Death is actually a more powerful version of the duel, and is held at the peak of the Devil Mountain of Life and Death. There are nests of various sizes, and the environment within is vile and exceptionally treacherous, especially with the unknown dangers within. I don’t know very much in detail, so I think the Grand Elder shall tell you.”
“For the battle in the Nest of Life and Death, the pairs will all be disassembled from the eight who have come from the Divergent Road. Everyone will then be split into two groups, with four in each. There are a total of two places for those successful in the selection, which means there will be four people vying for that one place. They will fight to be number one. If you are lucky to be one of the eight, you will need to go through two life and death battles in succession. Only if you achieve victory in both, will you be able to enter the inner faction.”
“Two rounds of life and death battles. For these, you will have to enter a nest with your opponent and, under these dangerous circumstances, strive for victory. During the battle, you will need to deal with both your opponent, as well as unknown dangers. It’s basically impossible to succeed…”
The difficulty in being the most impressive two out of twenty people was obvious.
After hearing these frightening rules, Long Chen could tell that they did not have very high expectations of him. It was to be expected.
“Firstly, I have to make haste on the dangerous terrain of the Divergent Road while fighting with enemies, seizing enough jade bangles and ensuring the safety of my partner. That means it’s difficult to obtain the qualifications unless a team has more than four bangles.”
“Then, I’ll have to enter the Nest of Life and Death with my opponent and go through with two back-to-back battles. Only if I achieve victory will I have the qualifications to enter the inner faction selection. If it were me of five days ago, I would have no chance at all, but now…”
This time, Long Chen’s strength had improved by leaps and bounds. Whether in terms of the realm he was at or his offensive and constitution battle techniques, he was much stronger than before.
“I, Long Chen, will give you a huge shock!”
Long Chen clenched his fists and smiled faintly.
Seeing his look of confidence, Liu Yuan was startled, thinking Long Chen was trying to console himself. He could do little but shake his head, “Long Chen, don’t feel down. You grew up in a small place like Poplar Town. Now that you’ve come to the Lingwu Family, you’ve only just started unearthing your potential, and you still have ways to go. Even if you can’t enter the inner faction, it doesn’t matter. With your talent, you can still shine in the outer faction, and it’s not as if there aren’t anymore chances for you to enter the inner faction…”
While listening, Long Chen continued walking without saying anything.
Liu Lan was constantly ahead and had not turned back at all. Watching her back, Long Chen knew that he would make her do so. Just like before, she would watch him with disbelief in her eyes.
The grand elder of the Green Faction was the previous great elder of the Green Emperor Hall. He was born of the Green Emperor Hall, and naturally took care of the Green Emperor Hall. Even his residence was in the Green Emperor Hall.
Long Chen recently found out from Liu Yuan that the grand elder’s name was Chu Tianxiong, and was one of the uncles of Chu Fengqing, and therefore somewhat related to Chu Yunxi and Chu Yunyao. It was likely that Chu Tianxiong thought of them as his blood grandchildren.
A little more than an hour later, Long Chen arrived outside the Green Emperor Hall, at one of the independent residences of the grand elder. When they were about to get closer, a guard asked in a stern voice, “What are you doing here?”
Liu Yuan was the head of a hall, and he was obviously humiliated at being berated by a guard. Coldly, he exclaimed, “I am the great elder of the Green Sun Hall, Liu Yuan, here to bring my disciple Long Chen to participate in the inner faction selection!”
“So it’s you?”
The guard snickered, “The grand elder stated that you were late, and being tardy is against the rules. They’ve already left!”
Upon hearing this, Long Chen was instantly enraged as he scolded, “Those bastards. I came here bright and early in the morning, and he’s already left? And he said I was tardy? Did he leave in the middle of the night?”