The little team of eight guarding the ascension pool stared blankly at Ye Zichen, as if he were some sort of fascinatingly bizarre animal. Ye Zichen seemed a little embarrassed by all the attention.
He gulped, then addressed the uniformed group outside the pools. “Is something strange about me?”
“Where did the others go?” asked one of the guards.
This question left Ye Zichen a bit befuddled. He’d never seen any others.
“There weren’t any others. It’s just me.”
“Just you? How is that possible!” The youth who’d addressed Ye Zichen earlier raised his voice until it was ten times louder than before, while the only woman in the group approached the ascension pool, looked around, and shook her head.
The rest of her team practically seized up.
How was this possible?
Based on the sheer quantity of mist emanating from the pol just now, there ought to be at least ten earth supremes ascending together.
But now Ye Zichen was the only one there. Could it be that there was something wrong with the ascension pool?
Their eyes brimmed over with disbelief. They exchanged glances and saw shock in each other’s eyes.
“Baihui, come on back.” After a while, the oldest of the group called the woman back, then cupped his fist and smiled at Ye Zichen. “Congratulations, brother, on reaching the Divine Mountains.”
The others soon followed suit, each congratulating him in turn.
What the heck was this?
Although Ye Zichen had no idea what on earth was going on, this bunch was congratulating him, so he could only respond politely.
“You can leave the ascension pool now.”
When he heard that, Ye Zichen stepped out. As he left, he sensed that the others were still looking silently into the pool, their eyes filled with bewilderment.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” said the oldest of the soldiers with a faint smile. “My name is Huang Yang, and I’m the captain of this team. That youth you spoke to earlier is called Fan Li, while this lovely young lady is Liu Baihui, the flower of our team. I won’t introduce the others, since we won’t be meeting after this anyway. On the off chance that we do, it won’t be too late to introduce them then.”
“Our team’s mission is to welcome freshly ascended supremes. We switch teams every hundred years. You arrived right in the nick of time. If you’d come just a little later, we would have left already, and a different team would have greeted you in our stead.”
After hearing all that, Ye Zichen had a rough understanding of who these people were, but before he could introduce himself, a golden document descended from the sky. Liu Baihui leaped into the air and snatched it. Her bright eyes swept across it and instantly widened.
She stared at Ye Zichen, pointed, and exclaimed, “Wah!” You….”
“What is it? What is it?” Fan Li and the others clustered around and read the paper out loud.
“Ascender Ye Zichen, born on August 17th of the 49832nd year of Emperor Zhou’s reign at 2 pm. Soul boundary: stage-three sky supreme, bodily cultivation: seventh-stage earth supreme. Talent is appraised as ‘inestimable.’”
“Is this for real?”
“Wah!” The others all had wildly exaggerated expressions. Huang Yang arched his brows and tried to read too, but before he could, the document transformed into a crystal card.
“To think we’d get to greet this kind of monster!”
After countless sighs and exclamations, Ye Zichen was visibly befuddled, so he let out a tentative “Um….”
“Genius, please allow me to introduce myself once more. My name is Fan Li, and I arrived on the Divine Mountains around three hundred years ago. If you’re fortunate enough to enter Skyspan Academy, you can call me ‘senior apprentice brother.’”
Fan Li was a gaunt youth, and you could see his excitement in his eyes. Moreover, he’d grabbed onto Ye Zichen’s arm so tightly, it seemed he’d never let go.
“Um...I…. My name is Liu Baihui. I’ve been on the Divine Mountains for a hundred years.”
What was going on?
This level of intense friendliness honestly left Ye Zichen feeling a bit at ease. However, he was more concerned with that document. Why and how had it written all his information out, even his cultivation?
“All of you, back off. What are you doing?” Fortunately, Huang Yang furrowed his brows and chastised them. The group all left, but unexpectedly….
“Brother Ye, I’m Huang Yang. I arrived here a thousand years ago, and am now a ninth-stage earth supreme, on the verge of becoming a sky supreme. I know that with your talent, you’re destined to become a dragon among men. If you could remember us, that would be our great fortune.”
“Ummmm….” Ye Zichen’s smile was rigid and uncomfortable. “Can we just have a conversation?”
“Of course.” Huang Yang let go of Ye Zichen’s hands, retreated until he was half a meter away, then smiled amiably.
Ye Zichen sighed in relief, then asked, “To tell the truth, I have no idea what all that was about.”
“We were too abrupt,” said Huang Yang seriously. “Actually, before you reached the ascension pools, we took bets as to just how many people would show up. Based on the quantity of mist, we guessed it would be around twenty, so seeing you arrive on your own was a real shock. Yet now the heavens have spoken and proclaimed you an ‘inestimable’ talent, so all that makes sense.”
The others nodded along.
“I’m curious,” said Ye Zichen. “Just where did that divine writ come from?”
If any ordinary person had asked that, the soldiers wouldn’t explain at all. Their mission was to greet ascenders and give them a brief overview of life on the Divine Mountains. As for everything else, it wasn’t their job.
But Ye Zichen was different. He was an ‘inestimable’ talent, a monster!
“The divine writ’s origins are a mystery; no one knows exactly where they come from. However, whenever someone ascends for the first time, one will appear, then form into a crystal card containing all the new arrival’s information.”
As Huang Yang explained this, Liu Baihui handed Ye Zichen the crystal card. Furthermore, there was a tiny slip of paper on it.
The others naturally noticed this, but none of them let it show on the surface.
The way they saw it, Liu Baihui taking this step was nothing worth remarking on. This was an inestimable talent, a monster! Who wouldn’t want to get closer to him?
“Is this her contact information?”
Ye Zichen glanced at the densely packed characters. He politely smiled, hiding his awkwardness, and slipped the paper into his pocket. His gaze, however, was focused on the crystal card.
The card was pale blue throughout, and its surface had Ye Zichen’s basic information on it.
“Brother Ye, I’m sure you noticed too, but this card’s materials are rather unusual. Not even a ruler can break it. You can only enter deeper into the God Realm with this card. Without it, you’ll be seen as an outsider. Brother Ye, make sure you take good care of it.”
As Huang Yang solemnly explained the crystal card’s importance, Ye Zichen thought of the simplest possible definition for it:
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