Time flew by quickly.
It was a great day today in Machen Town, the sky was partly cloudy revealing a bit of the brilliant azure sky that hid behind its cover, and the cold weather became warmer ushering a change into the atmosphere. The bright rays of the sun beamed down upon the earth once more bringing life to the town of snowy white.
The day of the Sky Splitting Sword School Talent Selection has now arrived, practitioners and wanderers could be seen making their way towards the central square of Machen Town, each dressed in their unique martial wear hoisting various assortments of weapons on their backs or carrying them by their sides.
The central square was an expansive area stretching out for hundreds of meters, standing proudly behind it was a vast mansion that was two times the size of the Feng Clan’s Manor. The gates were opened, and an array of well-organized soldiers stood within the central square surrounding the two individuals who remained positioned at their center, they were the town lord and his wife.
Currently, they were both looking at the large platform that stood within the center of the square, watching as a group of men with shiny armor and bright flame-like capes escorted a few individuals dressed in sky blue robes towards the central area of the platform. Within that group were also the forms of Xuan Bei and Madam Xuan who traveled alongside a man who carried a dignifying presence, he wore a decorated robe with flame engraved pendant around his neck.
Following beside them was a group of mysterious origin, each of its individuals wore plain white robes carrying a unique type of aura. There was unique a woman who stood amongst this group, with an otherworldly kind of beauty capable of striking the hearts of if not all, most men.
As they positioned themselves at the center of the platform, a few significant influences could also be seen making their way to the platform. These influences where the groups from the Tang Clan, the Xin Clan, the Sheng Imperial Clan, the Southern Wasteland, and the Golden Dragon Empire, followed along by the various top-class influences and hidden sects.
They arranged themselves at opposing corners as the organizers being that of the Sky Splitting Sword Sect and Bright Flame Kingdom’s forces remained positioned at the core.
A few practitioners seeing this scene muttered softly.
“To think that there would be such an arrangement in Machen Town’s Talent Selection, why would so many big-time clans and major influences take such a keen interest here?” A vagabond said.
“Hmm, it seems today will not be an ordinary selection,” A female practitioner said.
As the crowd chattered amongst themselves, soon, a commotion could be heard coming from behind them.
A group of men followed by prominent local figures walked on the scene. However, when some hidden forces saw who they were, they didn’t have any reaction as the men did not go up the platform but went to the side of the Town Lord’s group.
“Hey, isn’t that the Xiang Family Clan?” A local woman said.
“Yeah, it looks like the genius of our town is still looking to participate against these guys. Do you think he still has a shot?” A man said as he seemed to have only a small amount of knowledge regarding the talents of the gathered influences.
“I’m not so sure… if it was his older brother, we might have been able to see an interesting show. But since it’s just him, I’d say he won’t last more than a few rounds,” A woman said.
“What about the son of the Huan Clan?” Another local individual asked.
“I haven’t heard any details regarding him for a while now, he’s probably still out training and has yet to return,” The other individual replied with an I don’t know kind of expression.
The Town Lord seeing this group appeared quickly walked out from his shield of guards and welcomed them with a smile.
“I see that Clan Leader Xiang Tian and Clan Leader Huan Mang has made it on time. What do you think about the Talent Selections? Do you guys have any confidence in your sons coming out on top?” The Town Lord casually asked.
Huan Mang frowned as he did not reply but looked at the influence gathered on top of the central platform.
Xiang Tian hearing his question responded after cupping his hands, “Respected Town Lord, surely you jest! We may have stood a shot of claiming the top positions originally, but with the current situation…” As he said this, he cast his vision towards the stage and sighed before continuing.
“With these many powers gathered here, it’s hard to say what’s truly going to be happening…” Xiang Tian said in an unconfident tone of voice.
The Town Lord hearing his reply smiled as if he didn’t listen to what he said or noticed Huan Mang’s expression he continued, “Hmm, what about your son Xiang Shu? It’s been a while since I’ve last seen him fight, how was his progress recently?”
“Haha! You could say that while he’s still quite talented, he still misses quite far when compared to his older brother’s previous glory,” Xiang Tian replied lightly. However, if one looked carefully, one would see a look of disappointment hidden within his eyes as looked towards the back of his group and saw the indifferent form standing there.
“Is that so? Well I suppose that’s too bad and here I was looking forward to seeing another ‘Dark Horse’ rising from my Machen Town,” The Town Lord said as a look of sadness came on his face, he then muttered in a faintly audible tone, “Since a horse won’t do, a ‘Dark Mouse’ won’t be too bad would it?”
“Excuse me? Were you saying something?” Xiang Tian asked as if he had misheard.
“It’s nothing, nothing! Brother Xiang!” The Town Lord replied while waving his hands casually.
Xiang Tian seeing this frowned as he clenched his fists tightly but did not make any actions.
As the wife of the Town Lord saw this, she grinned to herself as she thought, “Hmph! This husband of mine is certainly taking out his stress caused by these major characters on this fellow. I wonder how I should punish him later?”
As the group continued to converse the number of practitioners and wanderers who had gathered within the Central Square had reached its peak. The Sky Splitting Sword School noticing this had decided to begin the welcoming for the Talent Selection’s official commencement.
However, right when they were about to get started there was a new group that made their way into the square they were all dressed in stylised scarlet robes with long dark gold sleeves, as their bright red hairs flowed gently with the wind. Leading this group were four people, two middle-aged men or rather now youthful looking men who both seemed to be at the peak of their 30’s.
A beautiful red-haired woman was also by their sides walking along with a handsome red-haired young man who also traveled with them; he shouldered two swords unique types of swords on his back, each with a sharp presence that threatened to cut anything that went near.
Not too far away from him was a large, robust figure being two-meters tall, he had short black hair youth and carried an odd-looking bow on his back.
Behind him were three individuals who wore similar types of clothes, the first is a blue-haired man with a sizeable black conical hat. Followed by a sturdy silver-white haired young man with an old white scarf wrapped around his neck, and lastly a beautiful jade colored hair young girl.
Further behind them were two mighty looking elders, one with spiky red hair and another with his head in wrappings that flowed about the air with the rise of wind. Behind them were a group of other figures with red hair, who were followed along by an organized squad of men who each wore crimson-red masks.
As Feng Yunlong, Feng Junling, Feng Xingyu, Hui Ying and Feng Yu along with Dai Lin, Miren Fei and Lang Kuang made their way to a slightly large corner of the square. They were accompanied by Elder Duan and Elder Chen with a few core officials of the family and the Crimson-Masked Soldiers 2nd Unit.
The crowd who saw these individuals started clamoring.
“The Feng Clan is also participating?” A local woman said in surprise.
“That can’t be right, could it be that they are just here to observe the Talent Selections? Or do they have another member in their family who’s going to participate?” Another local figure pondered.
“Most likely, there is no way that their clan’s young master is ready for this kind of stage. After all, he performed his coming of age ceremony no too long ago.” The individual replied.
“Wait! Isn’t that…” Suddenly another figure shouted as he noticed someone who was beside Feng Yu.
“Blue Thunder Dai Lin! No wonder they’re here, it seems that the servant will be the one fighting for his master…” The individual said as he looked towards Dai Lin in awe.
A few influential figures who stood on the central platform also noticed this scene and cast their visions towards the Feng Clan group. A look of surprise could be seen on a few especially on that of Xin Family’s young miss.
“So, you finally show yourself. I wonder, what kind of strength do you truly possess?” Xin Qing said as she looked at Feng Yu walking beside Dai Lin and Hui Ying.
“Dai Lin of the Blue Thunder…” Tang Wu muttered as a visible battle intent shone within his eye.
Ji Weng and Xuan Bei looked towards Dai Lin with a fierce light in their eyes, as the Southern Wasteland Youth and Mysterious Spear Youth from the Golden Dragon Empire looked towards Feng Yu silently.
“Hmph!” Xiang Tian snorted as he looked towards the Feng Clan while gripping his fists due to anger.
Xiang Shu who was quiet and indifferent glanced towards Feng Yu for a moment before removing his vision as if he wasn’t worth his time.
Feng Yu smiled as he felt the visions of certain individuals fall upon himself but showed no signs of discomfort or interest as he calmly walked with the group towards a spacious area. Soon, their family reached their destination and directed their visions towards the central platform.
Feng Junling took a quick inspection of the individual on the platform with his spirit sense before swiftly removing it.
“Hmm, what was that just now?” Xun Yanshan said as he glanced around the square.
The Mysterious Man from the Midnight Temple and the unknown man from the Southern Wasteland group also looked around the square with a puzzled look in their eyes.
Feng Junling smiled as he sent a voice transmission to Feng Yunlong, “It seems we have quite a few ‘heavyweights’ gathered at this party.”
“Really? Then what our odds at confrontation?” Feng Yunlong said as he frowned slightly.
“I’d say 30 – 70, but that is under the circumstances of us not utilizing second layer or even third layer strength,” Feng Junling replied as a wave of battle intent rose within him.
“I’ve only derived a small portion of our bloodline, right now I can only barely manage the second layer,” Feng Yunlong said in a slightly embarrassed tone.
“Don’t worry, I’ll handle it if the situation calls me to act,” Feng Junling replied with a look of confidence in his face.
Feng Yunlong seeing his older brother like this couldn’t help but smile as he thought to himself, “It’s been a long, long, time since I’ve last seen Junling with such look on his face.”
Feng Xingyu who was observing them smiled as she said, “It looks like the eldest brother is eager to run amok once more.”
Dai Lin who was feeling the stares from others glanced indifferently towards them while speaking with Feng Yu, “Young Master, can I truly participate in this tournament? Would I not be interfering with the clan’s plans?”
Feng Yu hearing Dai Lin’s question replied, “You do not need to over-concern yourself regarding the plans of the family, just consider this event as a place to temper your strength.”
“Understood!” Dai Lin then replied as a look of excitement shone in his eyes.
Feng Yu looked towards the Lang Kuang and Miren Fei and spoke once more, “Make sure to give it your best. There aren’t many opportunities where you’ll get to meet so many talents gathered together, strive to make the best of this selections and improve your skills.”
“Yes, Young Master!” They both replied.
Lang Kuang gripped his fist tightly causing his muscles to bulge, as Miren Fei glanced around at the competitors with a charming light shine within her eyes.
Finally, a Sky Splitting Sword School elder walked to the center of the platform then clapped his hands together.
Clap! In a short moment, silence took over the square. The Sky Splitting Sword elder seeing this smiled as he spoke to the public.
“Greetings everyone! I would like to offer my gratitude for your interest in our School’s Annual Talent Selection. Some of you have traveled from distant lands, and the journey must have been especially dangerous. For your hard efforts and time taken to attend our school’s talent selection, we would like to offer you our sincerest gratitude, congrats on making it here!” As the elder said this, he paused for a moment to observe the audience before speaking once more.
“Without further ado, welcome to the beginning of the Talent Selections!” The elder said as a bright light shone within his eyes, the winds in the area began to pick up as it calmly blew around the central square.
A woman seated on the platform looked at the sky and muttered softly, “It has begun…”