Translation from DivineDaoLibrary
A new day begins, and Yang Kai woke up. He cleaned up and took the broom lying in the corner of the small room and walked out. Standing at the front door, he stretched a little. He looked up at the touch of grey in the dawn sky and closed his eyes while taking a deep breath. He was enjoying this moment of peace, before reopening his eyes to start sweeping the ground; cleaning away the dirt and leaves.
Clad in simple black clothes that were easy to clean, it highlighted the youth’s loneliness and years of isolation here. Yang Kai, while wearing a meticulous expression, had his spine as straight as a javelin. Even though he was completing the lowest ranked task. His actions were very calm as he didn’t exert much force on the broom; his body, as though still, carried a certain sense of elegance. With only the rotation of his wrist, the broom moved effortlessly. When his body moved, the dust and trash on the ground seemed to magically accumulate in one place around him; as though they had grown a pair feet.
Yang Kai was High Heaven Pavilion’s Trial Disciple. For three years, he had trained in the Sect but managed to only reach the Tempered Body Third Stage. Yet, the other Disciples that had entered at the same time as him had long surpassed him and reached higher stages. They were all able to enter the main building, pay their respects and make advances towards their futures. While he can only lament about his inadequacy in the outer courts.
Achieving Tempered Body Third Stage in three years cannot be judged as good or bad; just really, really mediocre.
Helpless, Yang Kai could only continue to sweep out here in the outer court; working hard to support himself and working hard in training.
High Heaven Pavilion is a unique Sect. This uniqueness is seen through the ruthless competition between Disciples. In this Sect, the strong are like kings, while the weak are eliminated. The strong eat the weak; the law of the jungle, in the High Heaven Pavilion, this rule is actively followed by all.
In other Sects you might be able to school friendly competition, brotherly bonds and people working together to achieve the same goal. But in the High Heaven Pavilion, you will only be able to find false bonds – in order to use each other and rise in power. Stepping over each other’s bodies is the only way.
High Heaven Pavilion’s strict system as well-known throughout the entire Great Han Dynasty. Although the grounds were not that large, but due to the brutal nature of their Disciples, their might is second to none! This is also because each Disciples’ skill is akin to a tiger. When outside of the Sect, no one in all the rivers and lakes dares to provoke them.
In High Heaven Pavilion, there was one rule. That’s to fourteen-year-old Disciples, the first three years of their acceptance is considered the testing phase. In these three years, all of the Disciples food, clothing, and shelters are provided by the outer court. Disciples only need to focus on cultivating. If by these three years, they managed to breakthrough pass the Tempered Body Stage, then they will be able to enter the inner court to pay respects to the Elders and become their Disciples. Of course, you don’t need to have a teacher. You could practise on your own, but there is a huge difference between learning by yourself and having a teacher. In a way, High Heaven Pavilion’s rules do have some flexibility and freedom.
In those three years if you don’t break through, then you can either leave the Sect or be demoted to a Trial Disciple.
Yang Kai is currently a Trial Disciple! He is also known as High Heaven Pavilion’s shame!
Compared to Ordinary Disciples, their treatment is very different. Trial Disciples must provide for their food, shelter, clothing, for the Sect will no longer waste cultivating resources on these trashes. Once demoted to Trial Disciple, you basically can never advance. Unless you manage to increase your cultivation level quickly. Only then will the Sect allow an attempt to become an Ordinary Disciple.
The entire High Heaven Pavilion consists of three thousand Disciples, while what about the number Trial Disciple? You can count them on your ten fingers! But, Yang Kai has faith that he can eventually become an Ordinary Disciple!
For Trial Disciple who wants to survive in High Heaven Pavilion, it was akin to an attempt at reaching the heavens. Take Yang Kai for example, the current hut that he is living in was built by him, one log at a time. The holes on the small roof, he doesn’t even have time to fix them. When it rains, the water can’t exit properly and builds up in the room. He buys his own clothes and got collects his food himself. He is responsible for all of his own needs.
Yang Kai’s small hut is in the Sect’s most remote and most uninhabited location.
Generally, with such horrendous treatment, it is difficult to endure. That is the reason why the Sect only has a very small number of these Disciples. Most who couldn’t breakthrough the tempered body chose to leave, but Yang Kai stayed.
A few months before, when he was made a Trial Disciple, Yang Kai accepted a sweeping job to provide for himself.
Right now Yang Kai was both a Trial Disciple and the Sect’s little sweeping servant. But just by sweeping to maintain a living is hard. There are many times when he is cold or hungry but in this life, he had chosen this path. Even so, he didn’t play the drums of retreat; Because in this-this life, he had chosen this oath and must continue through it. That was what men did.
In Yang Kai’s mind, there was a concept of toughness; if you don’t hit into the brick wall, then you will never understand what it meaning to be tough!
(Erza: Chinese idiom, to continue on with your own decision/idea/plan)
The sky gradually began to light up as he swept. Cleaning the trails, sweeping dust from the space.
Even though sweeping itself didn’t use a lot of energy, but without food or drink since the morning and constantly moving, Yang Kai was drenched in sweat. This had nothing to do with strength, but his poor physique. Two out of three meals he was hungry. For anybody living like him, how could their physique be considered good?
Gradually a group of High Heaven Pavilion Disciples surrounded him. These Disciples had woken up early, not to cultivate but to look at him. They had great interest in Yang Kai, looking at him with avid gazes like they were staring at a naked beauty, a sweet fragrance like juicy meat bins seem to waft in from of them.
Among those High Heaven Pavilion Disciples gathered around Yang Kai, there was a tense competitive atmosphere surrounding them. Looking at each other warily all held an unfriendly look.
Someone in the crowd softly spoke out. “So many people, isn’t it a bit excessive?”
It was that moment someone else replied. “Do you think anybody can walk this path huh. Nobody wants you to stay.”
That statement made the person who spoke embarrassed. For everybody body knew why they were gathered here, why they were all looking at Yang Kai, all waiting for that moment to come. The deadline was about to arrive, leaving now was not a pity? If you can grab the funds, and today it is also a harvest.
Having commotion next to him, Yang Kai naturally understood; though his expression never changed. They will parade themselves every five days, six times a month. He has already gotten used to it, nothing to make a fuss out of. He also noticed the number of people in front of him had decreased, they probably had not all arrived yet.
(Erza: Wow, these guys are really bothered to come there six times a month. Don’t they have better things to do?)
As he was being discredited, he turned a blind eye to the people next to him and continued to sweep.
Following the passage of time, the people around Yang Kai gradually increased. There were now roughly thirty-forty people present.
Yang Kai suddenly stopped and sat down in the middle of the road. Slowly, he breathed in the early morning air to restore his own physical stamina.
At this movement, the people gathered around him all spread out and surrounded him, with Yang Kai at the centre. A tense atmosphere filled the air and made it hard to breathe.
No one looked at each other. Instead, they were all focused intensely at Yang Kai.
If people were to see this crowd, they would hold the misunderstanding that expert was in the middle. Or else, how could so many people surround one person like that? In reality, Yang Kai was only a Trial Disciple with that accomplished Tempered Body Third Stage. Any of the Disciples surrounding him were stronger than him.
“Yang Kai. No need to bother. Why don’t you just obediently lie down on the ground so I can beat you and save some time?” Seeing him like this, one Disciple spoke out in disdain.
“How much energy can a Tempered Body Third Stage restore? You are going to lose anyway, so why continue to waste time?”
“Come on and listen to me, Yang Kai. Please think about us Fellow Brothers feelings too. We are not like you, after this game we need to go and practise.”
The statement was to let Yang Kai quickly submit and let them beat him. Making the act of restoring his internal energy disrespectful to them. Though he just turned a deaf ear, like Buddha Lao.
Time continued to pass by, suddenly the melodious Tower bells sounded. It reached the ears of all the Disciples surrounding Yang Kai and himself, startling the Disciples. The bells tolled nine times, and from the East the Sun rose. It was a new day! Everyone’s breathing calmed down, helplessly looking at Kai Yang as he slowly got up. He took up his broom and glanced at the people encircling him.
“Choose me, Senior Yang!” Shouted a person. “I strike lightly, I can guarantee you no pain!”
“Rubbish! Choose me, I will be merciful. I will end it in one fist, and I promise not to waste everyone’s time.”
It was very clamorous, just like in a marketplace where vendors were trying to sell their produce and competing on whose produce was fresher.
“Yang Kai, you can choose your own opponent!” Someone reminded.
Yang Kai chuckled; readily, he lifted his broom and threw it to the sky. The dozens of pairs of eyes looked up, full of expectation, waited for the broom to fall whilst praying, “choose me, choose me!” Time seemed to slow down; the broom turned a few times in the air and immediately fell on the ground with a loud boom, no longer moving.
The broom head pointed into the crowd to a burly teenager. A regretful sound, the crowd full of resentment and resignation. But that burly youngster laughed out loud and rushed out: “Fellow Disciples, this Brother has won this battle today, but hopes that you Fellow Brothers will not blame me.”
“Che, lucky bastard!” One jealously said.
“Why aren’t I chosen? I’ve been coming here a whole month! Yang Kai, you aren’t doing this on purpose are you?”
“Don’t mention it, I have already come for a full three months and not once was I chosen!”
“Brother, you are more miserable than me.”
“It’s not miserable, not miserable at all. At Least we will be watching a good, good show.” The two brothers looked at each other, smiling secretly to in their hearts.
In the courtyard, the others had already dispersed, leaving only Yang Kai and the burly teenager looking at each other.
“Trial Disciple Yang Kai, Tempered Body Third Stage!” Yang Kai introduced to his opponent.
“Ordinary Disciple Zhou Ding Jun, Tempered Body Fifth Stage!” The burly teenager introduced.
High Heaven Pavilion Disciples were ranked. From bottom to top, are the Ordinary Disciples, Lower Base Disciples, Elite Disciples, and Core Disciple. Zhou Ding Jun said that he was an Ordinary Disciple, which means he has yet to pay his respects and obtained a mentor. If the breakthrough of the Tempered Body Disciple had a mentor, then their status would be at the top of those Lower Base Disciples. And those Elite Disciple were those selected from the best Lower Base Disciples.
As for the Core Disciples, they were treated as the hope of the next generation of the High Heaven Pavilion and thus cultivated accordingly.
The awe-inspiring Disciple hierarchy, though it seems unreasonable it can stimulate the younger generation into the fierce sense of competition, which is the foundation of the brutal Pavilion’s regime. This is the main reason why Yang Kai fought countless people, another rule of High Heaven Pavilion, the Challenge Rule.