Armament Sect was divided into an outer sect and inner sect. The inner sect rested atop a Flame Volcano and was thus able to use the natural flames from within its depths.
Each of the Armament Sect’s inner disciples were bestowed a little cavern, and within each of these was a smelting room which contained a furnace. Of course, the fire source for these furnaces were gathered from the volcano’s natural flames.
The foot of the Flame Volcano, called Armament City, was divided into four districts, the Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind Districts.
Armament City sold all sorts of spirit materials, spirit herbs, spirit pills, spirit stones, spirit artifacts, and other various cultivation materials. The entire city was governed by Armament Sect.
Armament Sect’s outer sect was situated here.
Generally speaking, Armament Sect’s inner sect was specifically responsible for forging artifacts. Thus, the status of the inner sect disciples was rather high, and there weren’t very many of them. Each one was a true, ranked Artificer.
The inner sect was what truly controlled Armament Sect and gave it its high status.
On the other hand, the main responsibility of the outer sect was to sell spirit artifacts and manage the Armament Pavilions scattered in the various major cities as well as assisting the inner sect disciples with simple tasks. Tasks such as grinding and cutting up spirit materials so the inner sect disciples could more efficiently forge the spirit artifact, inscribe spirit diagrams, and infuse spirit into the “artifact” to turn it into a spirit artifact.
Armament Sect’s outer sect would recruit new disciples every year. As long as one had enough knowledge about forging artifacts, passed the examination, and was no older than twenty, one would become an outer sect disciple.
After becoming an outer sect disciple of Armament Sect, one would be assigned a personal teacher who would teach them about forging artifacts and guide them through the various smelting processes so that they would be able to assist inner sect disciples with simple tasks such as grinding and discarding spirit materials. Through two years of study, this would gradually reveal the talented practitioners amongst them.
At this time, the inner sect would arrange for specific people to go over and evaluate. Upon discovering a seedling who truly had the potential to become an Artificer, they would immediately be brought into the inner sect so that real Artificers could impart their fine, ingenious wisdom of spirit diagrams upon them.
This was the only way for an outer sect disciple to advance to become an inner sect disciple. Many outer sect disciples longed for this opportunity, and it was the true reason for why most people entered the outer sect.
Upon becoming an inner sect disciple, one’s status within Armament Sect would immediately rise an entire class. Not only would one be bestowed with their own refining cavern, one would also gain the guidance of a true Artificer and be supplied with a certain amount of spirit materials every month. Furthermore. one would be imparted with the core technique of inscribing spirit diagrams.
Upon becoming a true Artificer in the future, one could then occupy a position within Armament Sect and curry favor with various forces.
Today was the day when Armament Sect recruited new outer sect disciples every year. It was a fine, early morning, and the plaza in front of the outer sect was already filled with the faces of young people.
The great gate had still yet to open, but many youths had already arrived early to seize their spots. Surprisingly, amongst these youths, many wore the uniforms of the five great Black Iron Rank forces—Seven Fiends Valley, Dark Asura Hall, Dark Shadow Tower, Purple Mist Sea, and Cloud Sky Mountain. The brows of the people all carried a proud arrogance, and there were generally servants following around beside them.
“Yi Yuan, isn’t that the Purple Mist Sea’s Yi Yuan? Why would he also have come?” A shocked cry abruptly emanated from the crowd. Another person softly shouted, “Yi Yuan, this kid broke through into the Natal Opening Realm at the age of seventeen. This year, he is nineteen, and he should have already broken into the late stage of the Natal Opening Realm. His cultivation along the martial path is going along so well, so why would he want to participate in Armament Sect’s outer sect disciple exam?”
“Only the devil knows,” someone muttered.
As everyone conversed, a youth with a warm smile on his face who wore purple clothes walked over from the street in front of them.
The youth looked ordinary and couldn’t be considered outstandingly handsome. He also exuded an exceedingly comfortable aura. No matter who he looked at, it was always with a smile, causing everyone to feel favorable towards him.
“Yi Yuan, why have you also come?” asked a youth who was clearly also from Purple Mist Sea as he wore the same uniform as Yi Yuan. Upon seeing Yi Yuan walk over, a look of surprise made its way onto his face.
“Breaking through to the Manifestation Realm is too difficult, I haven’t accumulated enough experience. Thus, I have come to Armament Sect to learn about forging artifacts and take my mind off of it for a while while also trying to see whether or not I can find some other road to take. Perhaps the people that I meet through forging artifacts will be able to help me take this step along the martial path.” Yi Yuan treated everyone politely and didn’t conceal his true intentions, explaining them outright.
“Liang Shaoyang! Isn’t that Liang Shaoyang? Heavens, why did he also come?” Another shocked cry emanated over.
There were many youths scattered across the courtyard. Upon hearing Liang Shaoyang’s name, their expressions all slightly changed.
Many people subconsciously moved out of the way, allowing a youth to quickly walk straight to the gate of the Armament Sect’s outer sect unhindered. Those youths who had lined up at the front, upon seeing him walking over, all subconsciously moved out of the way.
Liang Shaoyang, who had clearly arrived late, reached the front of the line in this manner, becoming the first person to take a spot in the outer sect examination.
“Who is he?” whispered some people quietly.
“He’s Liang Shaoyang of Dark Shadow Tower. Everyone knows what kind of place Dark Shadow Tower is, right? They take spirit stones to assassinate people. As long as the reward is high enough, Dark Shadow Tower’s people will take charge of helping you kill as many people as you want,” quietly explained someone. “Liang Shaoyang grew up in Dark Shadow Tower, and it’s rumored that he began assassinating people at the age of twelve. As of today, he just turned nineteen, and yet he already has at least several hundred lives on his hands…”
After this explanation, the expressions of many people inwardly changed as they all quietly moved a few more steps away from Liang Shaoyang.
Purple Mist Sea’s Yi Yuan was also amongst this crowd. Raising his head, he looked in the direction of Liang Shaoyang, his expression showing a strange smile. However, as he shook his head, he didn’t say anything.
Even though Liang Shaoyang had just cut in front of him, he didn’t seem to take it to heart and show no intention contesting Liang Shaoyang.
“Miss, please come inside.” At this time, more people came in from outside. A bowed, old servant and an eye-catchingly beautiful young girl entered.
The young girl looked to be around eighteen or nineteen. Just from glancing at her phoenix-like eyes, willowy brows, and highly held jade-like nose, it was clear that she was used to having everyone’s attention on her.
She wore a light blue dress, and at the corners of her clothes, strands of ice swirled like willow trees as her legs moved and caused her dress to swish.
She ignored all of the lustful gazes of the young men within the crowd as she naturally cut in line, directly moving in the direction of Liang Shaoyang.
“It’s Mystical Fiend Valley’s Ouyang Jingjing!” softly whispered some people as they backed out of the way.
Upon hearing that this girl’s origin was from the first ranked Mystical Fiend Valley of Seven Fiends Valley and also that she was surnamed Ouyang, even more people’s hearts moved as they took initiative to make way for her.
The girl’s expression was natural as she walked forward amidst the separated crowd. When she reached Yi Yuan’s side, her footsteps paused as a trace of uncertainty flickered through her phoenix eyes. She said, “It seems like we have met before?”
Yi Yuan warmly laughed as he nodded, saying, “Haha, three years ago, when your father brought you to Purple Mist Sea, I was the one responsible for leading the way.”
“Ah, so it’s you,” suddenly said Ouyang Jingjing. Afterwards, she slightly nodded, then passed Yi Yuan and continued forward.
She continued until she arrived behind Liang Shaoyang. Only then did she stop.
Liang Shaoyang’s had his back turned towards her. From start to finish, he hadn’t turned around and glanced once, only ever looking at the gate to Armament Sect’s outer sect as he intently waited for the moment it would open.
“Hmph, there’s actually still a foul guy…” muttered Ouyang Jingjing while narrowing her brows as she looked at Liang Shaoyang’s back after she had stopped moving.
Upon seeing that Liang Shaoyang and Ouyang Jingjing were now at the front of the line, those who had moved out of the way earlier promptly retook their positions, reforming the long, winding line.
Standing towards the back of the line, Yi Yuan heartily laughed, not minding it at all.
At this time, there were more and more young men and women constantly arriving one after another. After arriving, they all orderly took their place in the line. No one else cut in line.
A youth with an indifferent expression and an ice-cold aura quietly entered from the long street and lined up at the end of the line.
The two people who had arrived before him, upon him taking his spot, all of a sudden felt that the temperature had just plummeted as they instantly grew goosebumps in response.
They narrowed their brows as they shot several glares at the youth behind them who seemed to be exuding cold air from his body. Afterwards, they silently put a bit of distance between him and them.
As the sun’s rays slowly but surely heated up and the time till the opening of Armament Sect’s outer sect gate neared, the line atop the courtyard also gradually grew longer.
A robust, sturdy youth, wearing Dark Asura Hall’s uniform , suddenly emerged from the long street behind the courtyard with a grin, laughing.
After he arrived, he glanced at the long, winding line. Looking around, he saw that there was surprisingly just enough space for a person to cut in both in front and behind a youth that had an indifferent expression on his face.
He couldn’t help but show an expression of joy as he inwardly thanked the heavens and immediately rushed over.
There were spots both in front of and behind the indifferent youth. Thus, without even thinking, he chuckled and swiftly went to cut in front of the indifferent youth.
Right when he cut in and before he could even relax, a cold voice suddenly emanated out from behind, “Scram!”
An ice-cold, bone-chilling hand suddenly grabbed his shoulder, and a chill as cold as a severe winter frost directly infiltrated his body.
The former person began to incite his spirit as he fiercely turned his head, his face showing a fierce expression. “Kid, you’re seeking death!”
“I told you to scram!” The indifferent youth’s eyes began to show an obvious violent light as his other hand unexpectedly moved like lightning, grabbing the person by their neck in almost an instant. With a casual toss, the former was promptly thrown out.
“Boom!” The sound of a heavy landing accompanied by a miserable scream could be heard at the same time.
The gazes of people everyone on the long, winding line all cast over as they looked at the youth from the Dark Asura Hall who had landed on the ground.
Someone couldn’t help but shout, “That’s Dark Asura Hall’s Tian Jianhao! He has a cultivation at the early stage of the Natal Opening Realm, and his father is a commander under one of the Hall Masters. How could he have been thrown out by someone?”
After that statement, everyone’s curiosity rose as they subconsciously tried to find the one who had done such a thing.
Even Liang Shaoyang and Ouyang Jingjing, who were at the front of the line, along with Yi Yuan, who was at the middle of the line, curiously turned their heads to observe the disturbance behind them.
The expressions two youths who had originally been standing in front of and behind the indifferent youth, upon seeing Tian Jianhao be thrown out in one move as he attempted to cut in line, slightly changed.
The two of them subconsciously lumped together and then opened up another bit of distance between them and the indifferent youth. They seemed to be afraid of causing unnecessary conflict and trouble.
“You f*cking dared to throw me?” angrily shouted Tian Jianhao as he stood up. Extremely angry, he rushed over again.
The indifferent youth narrowed his brows, waiting for Tian Jianhao to approach him before suddenly kicking again with his foot.
It directly hit Tian Jianhao’s chest.
Tian Jianhao had a robust, sturdy body which could be compared to an artillery shell. Regardless, he was sent flying once more, landing back onto the ground with a bang.
After he fell this time, Tian Jianhao’s entire body began to shiver. On top of his chest, there was surprisingly a thin layer of ice. The raging flames within his heart had seemingly been frozen in but an instant.
This time, he didn’t speak again; instead, his eyes still showed an obvious trace of fear.
After a while, Tian Jianhao stood up again and obediently took a spot at the very back of the line.
Everyone naturally began to snicker as they were all well aware that he had been honestly beaten.