Chapter 25 The Best Reason for Rejection
He would be lying if he said he was not tempted.
Nonetheless, Ding Hao still shook his head after some thought and said, “Many thanks for your kind intentions, Lecturer Li. I would still like to enter Swordsmanship-seeking Sect.”
Ding Hao had to remain at Swordsmanship-seeking Sect.
First, he had yet to truly discover the secret behind the mountain cave at the bottom of the garbage cliff.
After all, he could still transport the liquid found within the gravel pit upwards. Furthermore, the runes carved on the stone table in the mountain cave were extremely mysterious and he reckoned that was probably an incredible treasure. He planned to look further into this after he grew more powerful in the future. Ding Hao was certain that the mountain cave in that cliff in the Great Abyss was definitely worth exploring.
Second, Ding Hao was still worried about his younger sister who had gone missing more than three years ago.
However, should he choose to enter Tranquility Academy, he would miss the opportunity to meet his sister should she ever come by in search of him one day.
Third, Ding Hao’s comprehension ability and talent in swordsmanship was incredibly extraordinary and Swordsmanship-seeking Sect was a sect that concentrated on swordsmanship. If one were to judge both sects on their swordsmanship skills alone, Swordsmanship-seeking Sect would have the edge over Tranquility Academy, which had a more holistic education.
Naturally, he had many other personal reasons.
This was why Ding Hao was certain that remaining at Swordsmanship-seeking Sect was the best choice he could make at this point in time.
Li Mu was stunned for a moment.
He had not expected such an outright rejection from this young man after he had thrown out the magic words, ‘Tranquility Academy’.
This was an extremely rare occurrence.
“Little Brother, please think again. Tranquility Academy is known as the number one sect in Snow Province where many young handsome aspiring martial artists beg crying and screaming to enter, only to have their dreams dashed. Today, all you need to do is to nod your head and you would have this rare opportunity to become a disciple of Tranquility Academy without having to undergo any tests.”
Li Mu did not wish to give up and continued to patiently advise him.
Ding Hao still shook his head firmly and said, “Many thanks for your kind intentions, Lecturer Li. My preference is still to remain at Swordsmanship-seeking Sect.”
Li Mu’s face changed.
“Why?” Finally, this lecturer whose powers were unfathomable cracked and demanded a reason for rejection like a resentful woman who had been dumped.
Ding Hao basked in the sunshine, then smiled brilliantly as he said, “Because…I like Swordsmanship-seeking Sect.”
Li Mu opened his mouth.
Only to find that he could not say anything in return.
It was hard to find fault with this reason.
Li Mu was a wandering lecturer of Qingping College. His role was just like the recruitment scout of soccer teams in Ding Hao’s previous life – he was to observe and identify candidates with strong potential during the disciple entrance exams of the eight major human sects and then entice them to join Tranquility Academy.
In actual fact, every sect practiced this method of sabotage.
“Very well, I hope you won’t live to regret your decision today.” Li Mu said and bade farewell to Ding Hao politely, even though his expression had yet to recover.
“What do you think?” Shi Feizhou asked, his expression betraying his excitement.
He had been standing with Leng Yixuan about 50 meters away, under the shade of some trees. An almost indiscernible mist curled around their bodies, masking their aura entirely. This enabled them to conceal their existence from everyone. Even the lecturer from Tranquility Academy, Li Mu, did not detect their presence.
“If he speaks the truth, then, we should do our best to groom this Ding Hao,” Leng Yixuan said thoughtfully.
“Haha.” Shi Feizhou was full of smiles as he countered with a question. “So does Senior Brother Leng think he is telling the truth? Or could he be lying?”
“He speaks the truth.” All of a sudden, they heard a voice beside them.
They did not even realize when this middle-aged man beside them. He was clad in a teal long robe cut from coarse cloth, his hair was unbound and he held a wine flask in his hands, the stench of alcohol was all over him and he wobbled unsteadily on his feet.
This middle-aged man was around forty years of age and was clad in unusually simple garments, but his eyes shined shockingly bright under the cover of his matted hair, as though it captured the mysteries of the universe within them, including the rise and set of the sun, moon, and stars.
Both Leng Yixuan and Shi Feizhou had already attained the strength of grandmaster level, but yet if it was not for this man opening his mouth to speak, they would have not detected his presence at all.
After they recovered from their shock, they immediately knelt down to pay their respects, reverence clear in their expressions.
This middle-aged man was a high-ranking old monster in Swordsmanship-seeking Sect. His name was Qi Qingshan, and he had a very unique status within the sect.
“Hehe, pretty good. This kid is pretty good,” Qi Qingshan said as he downed a cup of hard liquor in one shout. He then threw his head back and roared with laughter. “I like his reasoning!”
Then, he took a big step forward and disappeared from view.
Leng Yixuan and Shi Feizhou looked at each other in horror.
What was this odd monster uncle thinking?
Was the monster of Swordsmanship-seeking Sect, someone who was known to refuse to take in disciples unless he attained the level of the martial saint, suddenly willing to take on a disciple?
Ding Hao did not know that the reason he casually threw out had aroused the attention of an old monster of Swordsmanship-seeking sect, for he had run into old acquaintances.
“What are you doing here?” Ding Hao asked coldly when he saw that both Zhao Xingcheng and Song Jiannan were walking toward him as a group.
The scars on Song Jiannan’s face caused by Ding Hao’s rusty sword earlier had already faded and his old charm had returned. As for Zhao Xingcheng next to him, his face was still as swollen as a pig’s head. Its shaped had changed entirely, which made him look extremely comical.
“Senior Brother… we have come to apologize for the incident that day. We were too brash and did not know what we were doing and we’d like to apologize for what had happened. Please accept our apology and we hope that you would not hold it against us.” Zhao Xingcheng stuttered.
Song Jiannan’s head bobbed furiously in agreement.
Not a trace of arrogance could be seen on both their faces.
Obviously, they had already heard news of Ding Hao’s performance at the sect entrance exam.
Song Jiannan was only a disciple on the waiting list who ranked close to the bottom, while Zhao Xingcheng might not even be able to make it to Swordsmanship-seeking Sect. Compared to them, Ding Hao was a bright talent who had suddenly risen. The difference in their status at Swordsmanship-seeking Sect in the future would be as wide as the gap between the clouds and the dirt on the floor, so they wanted to use this chance to apologize and pray that Ding Hao would not bear a grudge against them.
“Get out of my sight. Don’t ever disturb me again,” Ding Hao said coldly. “I will not pursue this any further.”
“Yes, yes, yes. Many thanks, Senior Brother Ding.” They were both elated.
Zhao Xingcheng still had some words to say since he wanted to try to get on Ding Hao’s good side, but Song Jiannan dragged him away when he clocked Ding Hao’s annoyed expression.
A few minutes later, there was a sudden commotion at the announcement area in the distance.
The youths who had taken part in the entrance exam earlier rushed toward the announcement area while engaged in animated discussion.
Curious, Ding Hao rose to his feet and walked over.
“What is that?”
He saw that there were pieces of large red pieces of paper stuck onto a huge stone tablet in the announcement area. These pieces of paper were filled with tiny words and they looked like names.
“This is the ranking list reflecting the results of the entrance exam this morning!” a young man suddenly exclaimed, as though he had discovered something.
“You’re right, it really is the ranking chart. I’ve found my name, ranked 768th…”
“Help me check, help me check, did I make the list? Did I?”
“Eh? First on the list is… Why are the names of the top five covered up?”
The group of people surrounded the ranking chart and jostled for space to view the list as they engaged in animated chatter.