PMG Chapter 1016: Rules
“An empress, what does that mean exactly?” asked Qiu Yue Xin. She was curious and fixedly staring at Lin Feng.
“An empress is an emperor’s wife.” said Lin Feng with an incredible smile. Her heart started pounding. She was delighted by the idea.
An empress, what a powerful title.
“It’s starting soon!” said Lin Feng raising his head. The sun was like a fire. It made people feel determined.
“We’re almost there.” nodded Qiu Yue Xin.
“Bzzz!” A sound spread in the air and made people’s souls shake. The atmosphere suddenly became calm. Many people raised their heads, looking solemn and respectful. They looked at the stairs which were now illuminated. They looked even more mysterious than before. Qi was flowing through the steps and appeared ethereal.
“They’re different!” Lin Feng was astonished. The flight of stairs was different, but Lin Feng didn’t know what had changed.
“Bzzz!” another sound spread in the air. People looked even more serious. In the distance, at the top of the flight of stairs, someone appeared.
They looked calm, sober. They put their palms together before him like a Buddhist or Hinduist monk.
It was a Sadhu.
“Come up!” said the Sadhu. He was surrounded by golden lights and he looked like a little Buddha.
“He looks like he can use ancient buddhist spells.” Qiu Yue Xin was very surprised. Lin Feng frowned, he didn’t understand so he asked, “Aren’t Sadhus Buddhists? What does “ancient Buddhist spells” mean?”
“Who told you Sadhus are Buddhists?” asked Qiu Yue Xin. She then added, “Sadhus practice self-denial and apply ascetic principles. It is painful and they devote their life to this cultivation. They are pure of heart and have few desires. They shave their heads to avoid being ostentatious. They refuse fame and wealth and other material things. They don’t wear clothes for glory, they wear a kasaya. They also recognize that they have flaws.”
“But there isn’t just one sort of Sadhu, especially in the antiquity. There are differences between Sadhus and also between the date of the teachings they received. Two Sadhus can be very different but can be very, very similar at the same time. This Sadhu’s energies are auspicious. He could make people feel calm and serene. It seems that he learnt ancient ascetic practices, that’s why I said that.” explained Qiu Yue Xin slowly. Lin Feng nodded. He understood.
He released golden lights which enveloped the stairs. It was a celestial Qi.
Some people rose up in the air and their Qi was extraordinary. Some people looked proud, some others looked humble, but people clearly understood that they were imperial cultivation disciples, to the extent that some of them were the emperors’ direct disciples. As an emperor, other people were insects to them.
An auspicious cloud appeared and a few dozen people were on it.
“Please monitor the exam, thank you.” said the Sadhu bowing respectfully in front of those people with his palms together before him.
“No problem. Do what you have to do.” said the group to the Sadhu. They all knew who he was. There was only one Sadhu who followed Emperor Shi and Emperor Yu’s teachings. Their direct disciples all knew the Sadhu.
“Thank you for your understanding.” said the Sadhu politely. He then looked at the crowd and said, “Those who are not participating, please move backwards.”
He sounded enlightened. Many people moved backwards. The Sadhu just had to say a few words and millions of people listened to him.
Nobody dared cause trouble, after all, it was an event organized by two emperors.
Two groups of people appeared, those behind and those at the front.
The Sadhu nodded and said, “Today, Emperor Shi and Emperor Yu’s recruitment process is starting. However, there are too many people. Therefore, the emperors created that flight of stairs to do a first selection. There are 18,000 steps. Those who manage to come up to the 17,919th step will arrive in front of nine groups of nine steps. Then, there will be a key. If you manage to take the key you’ll be able to open the door to Tiantai. Only those who manage to do that will be able to move forwards and apply for an imperial cultivation disciple position.”
The crowd thought, a key? A key?! That seemed too easy.
Lin Feng was surprised as well, he had thought the exam only consisted of that challenge. He thought climbing all the stairs would be enough to become an imperial cultivation disciple.
The first group of nine steps was already very challenging. What would the exam be like after that then?
After the first challenge, which was already extremely difficult, would it get more difficult?
“How difficult, but it’s understandable.” whispered Qiu Yue Xin. Emperor Shi and Emperor Yu only wanted to look for the strongest geniuses.
“81 steps, nine groups of nine steps. It’s as difficult as reaching the clouds. Climbing one group of steps grants you the possibility to come to Tiantai, but not to continue through to the competition and become an imperial cultivation disciple.” said the Sadhu explaining the rules. One group of steps, one key, without the key, nobody would be able to go up the nine groups of nine steps.
The crowd sighed. They had to go through two groups of steps at least.
“Those who manage to go through two groups of nine steps will get a different key and will be allowed to continue competing to become an imperial cultivation disciple. If you take one key, you won’t be able to get the following keys. Therefore, if you take the third key, you will lose access to the six other keys. So don’t take a key carelessly. If you can, try to go as far as you can, the more groups of steps you go through, the better key you will get. Try to take a key only if you really can’t bear the energies anymore.” said the Sadhu slowly so that everybody could clearly understand.
The second key only allowed one to continue competing. Keys at higher levels offered more opportunities, many people were wondering what the ninth key had to offer.
Of course, many people were wondering what the pressure was like on the last level.
“Alright, start now!” said the Sadhu. Suddenly, many people started running up the stairs!