TGL Volume 4, Chapter 5 (2)

The yearly potential test, it’s a pretty big event. The different factions within the sect are forbidden from killing each other, so they compete with each other in all kinds of ways. It’s safe to say that if something can be turned into a competition, then it’ll be turned into a competition once the different factions get their hands on it. Normally, I wouldn’t bother attending something like this, but since Sophia’s involved, it means Lucia’s going to be here, and if Lucia’s here, I have to be here to make sure she doesn’t mess anything up. I can’t completely stop her if she chooses to do something weird, but at least, I think, I can mitigate the damage. So far, she hasn’t done anything drastic. She’s just abusing the radiating light from the immortal door to sell my darkening lenses. It’s not a bad idea, but we don’t really need money. There comes a point when money becomes just a number, and we’ve reached that point a long time ago.

“And now, the annual potential test shall proceed underway,” Passionate Cloud said. “We’ll begin with a few words from our academy’s principal herself, Principal Pentorn!”

Say what? This wasn’t on the agenda. It seems like I need to dump some more work onto Passionate Cloud. He’s free enough to think up these dumb ideas. Anyway, after that announcement, it’s not like I can refuse now, not in front of all these people. I’ll teleport onto the stage; as expected, everyone’s watching me. “Thank you all for coming. It’s been a little under a decade since the Shadow Devil Sect has taken charge of the Immortal Continent. I’d like to thank all of you for your contributions, and I’d like to remind everyone that the younger generation is our Immortal Continent’s future. Some of you are confused about my goals; some of you have suspicions. Today, I’ll tell them to you straight.” Now isn’t a bad time to announce my goals. I already learned immortals won’t take the risk to come down here unless they want to hamper their standing in the immortal realm. “The Shadow Devil Sect is going to form an army of immortals. Within the next thousand years, I hope our Shadow Devil Sect will produce a thousand immortals. I also have high hopes for our sect leader, Lucia Fluffytail. If she can break through to the next level, our army will have a leader. We’ll ascend at the same time and carve out a patch of land for the Immortal Continent.”

Murmurs broke out amongst the people on the ground. The experts flying in the sky were silent, communicating through telepathy instead.

Someone descended from the sky, stopping below the stage. It was Old Bai. He cupped his hands at me and said, “Principal Pentorn, I’m afraid your goals are a bit unrealistic. On average, the Immortal Continent produces one immortal every five thousand years or so. If you wish for a thousand immortals to emerge within the next thousand years, you’re bound to be sorely disappointed.”

Did he think I didn’t take that into account? I’ve already done the math. “Not quite. An immortal only appears every five thousand years because all of you are too damn bloodthirsty. The instant someone offends you, you squish them. There’s no upper mobility. The qi veins spread throughout the continent are perfectly capable of raising a thousand or so immortals within the next thousand years, given they don’t die and the resources are fully concentrated on them.”

There was another round of murmurs and silence. Old Bai’s brow furrowed. “Are you suggesting we should funnel every single resource into these thousand people?”

“That’s not entirely correct.” Monopolizing every resource and giving them to the chosen ones is one method. “The essence of qi can never be destroyed, only transformed into a different state. I’m sure you’ve all encountered the so-called demonic techniques—some of you probably even dabble in them. Think about it. If we know someone isn’t capable of becoming an immortal, simply plunder their qi and give it to someone else. Of course, we’ll keep them alive, guarantee a satisfying rest of their life as a consolation prize.”

“People would never accept that!”

“What Principal Pentorn is saying makes lots of sense!”

“How can we progress without some sacrifices?”

“Do you think you’re capable of being in the chosen thousand? Show your stand with your actions, not your words. Sacrifice yourself then, go on.”

It seems like there’s a few conflicting opinions. I’m not surprised. There’s a good number of demonic cultivators in the crowd, and they’d have no qualms about this. It’s their whole creed. The righteous sects that the Shadow Devil Sect incorporated are going to be the most vehement voices of opposition. I don’t want the sect to turn completely demonic; completely polarizing in one direction is dangerous for many reasons. I have to balance these two factions, or there’ll be a civil war before we can even get to the immortal realm. “Alright, alright, settle down. There’ll be plenty of time to talk in the next thousand years; for now, haven’t we all gathered here to witness the glory of the younger generation? Let’s proceed with the annual potential test.” And I’ll teleport away.

I wonder what Sophia’s potential is. A child’s potential solidifies at age six. The years before that are their formative years. Anything can affect a child’s potential: their environment, their food intake, their parents’ attitudes, their lack of parents. It’s very difficult to raise someone’s potential after they’re six. Some parents measure their children’s potential at birth, but I believe that’s setting them up for disappointment when they turn six. Sophia’s grown up in the best environment filled with an abundance of qi. She’s had the best food made of all kinds of spiritual ingredients that one could ask for. There’s nothing wrong with her environment, but it’s the people in the environment I’m worried about. Negative comments directed at children when they’re very young can lower their potential by decreasing their self-esteem. Abuse decreases potential as well. With a parent like Lucia, Sophia’s upbringing was a bit … unique, to say the least. Well, I’m sure she’ll turn out fine. She was partly brought up by myself as well after all.

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