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169 A Private Testing

    "It's just luck.. Just luck." Responded Daniel while turning towards the administratives of the 'Heart's Warmth' company, and smiling politely.

    "Oh, don't say that.. I cannot even imagine the enormous amount of effort that those two young men have put to reach that level." Said another old man from behind the leader of their group. "To classify effort and talent as luck, truly makes no justice.." He then added.

    Daniel immediately turned to look at this second old man, then he added "Of course, I meant that it was our company's luck to find such talented and hardworking people."

    "True words." Said the leading old man with a faint smile. He then presented himself by saying "I am Yeo Man, head of the 'Heart's Warmth' company."

    From the distance, another group approached.

    This group of people, just like most others, was composed of four cultivators. The four of them wore identical-looking robes, the only difference was the color. Two of these cultivators wore silver robes with three white stripes that came down their right shoulders, one wore an almost entirely white robe with silver stripes in the opposite shoulder as the silver-robed cultivators, and finally, the robes of the leading member of their group was split in half, one part was silver, while the other was white.

    On the chest of each of these cultivators was a crest on which the image of an upside down tree with various branches which moved downwards, could be seen. The branches on the left side were straight, had sharp edges, and were silver in color. On the other side, the branches were of a white color, and their form was unstable and moved in random direction.

    Underneath this crest was a patch, on which the name 'Sword of Lightning' was sewn clearly.

    "Am I too late to join the pity party? Hehehe" Said a stout middle aged man ironically, while approaching their two groups.

    After his group arrived, the man turned towards Daniel, and said while grinning "I guess not. Your company's participants did great."

    The head of the 'Heart's Warmth' company took a step forward, and said "Mister Hiel, this is Reeve Gibby.. Head of the 'Sword of Lightning' company. They deal in the production and sale of weapons, lightning enchantment, and spheres of the metal and lightning essences."

    "It is a pleasure, Mr. Gibby." Said Daniel while nodding politely.

    "The pleasure is mine, Mr. Hiel. I've heard a lot about you, and the variety of products that your company produces. It's truly astonishing." Responded the head of the 'Sword of Lightning' just as politely.

    Each and every group that had approached Daniel so far, operated within the same city Daniel's company operated in.

    The various group members started to chat with each other, and after a couple of minutes, as the second part of the competition of wind essence was about to start, everyone went back to their places, and focused on observing the competition.

    "Learned anything?" Asked Daniel to Emelnie.

    She approached Daniel, and after getting closer to his side, she whispered a few words to his ears.

    Daniel responded to these words with a disappointed expression, and said "Maybe the next ones.."

    -----

    In the middle of the stage, two cultivators had appeared.

    The two of them could have been seen earlier, as they evaluated the comprehension of the participants. Now, they were standing in two different sections of the stadium.

    These two cultivators were extremely powerful. Enough to single handedly defeat the large numbers of cultivators that were currently participating in the competition all by themselves. They were masters of wind, and this, was the trial to test the control over wind essence.

    Painted on the ground around the first one, was a large white circle on which the cultivators had been instructed to stand in wait, split in groups of fifty, and divide into similar level of power.

    There were, once again, close to twenty-four hundred cultivators in the stage, and the way they would be tested, was by defending from an attack from one of the masters of wind, and then, perform an attack against the other.

    The first masters of wind would send a wind attack outwards, against which these participants would have to defend only by using wind essence.

    Those who were successful, would be allowed to attack the second master one at a time.

    The way to decide which one would go first, was simple. The ones closer to the original circle, were those that had managed to perform a better defense, and therefore, had a higher control over wind essence. Every half meter from the original circle, up to twenty-five meters, would mean one less point from the 50 points given to a perfect defense.

    Without wasting too much time, the master of wind pushed a powerful gust of wind which crashed against the line of cultivators.

    More than half of them immediately took a few steps backward, while the rest, were able to barely defend against the incoming attack.

    The attack was not a single hit from which they needed to defend, but more like a wave that constantly tried to push them away.

    Many methods were adopted to defend from this powerful gust of wind. Some attempted to create a similarly powerful and opposite wave with them in the middle in order to nul the attack completely, while others tried to create a wall that would put the attack to a sudden halt.. Unfortunately, their reserves of immortal essence could not compare with the two masters of wind.

    In a matter of minutes, the rest of the cultivators were pushed back one after the other.

    Ten minutes after the beginning of the test, no one was left standing in the line.

    The closest amongst them, were five cultivators that were between the three to four meters of distance.

    After the ten minutes passed, the participants formed an orderly line in front of the second master of wind, which started with who had the best result, and ended with whom had the worst result.

    At the same time, the second group of fifty cultivators approached the circle around the first master of wind, and waited in silence.

    To those who were being tested by the second master, only one chance to penetrate his defenses was given.

    The master of wind would always defend in the same way, and that way, was to summon a seemingly impenetrable tornado around himself, which was always slightly more powerful than the attacking participant.

    One after the other, the various participants would attack with all of the power they had. And at least for the first few of each group, the results weren't always disappointing.. In fact, a few of them were able to penetrate the tornado, and even make their attacks reach the master of wind.

    The moment the first fifty cultivators ended their tests, the time to test the second group of cultivators arrived.

    A similar scene presented itself in front of the hundred and fifty thousand spectators once again.

    At the end of the ten minutes-long attack, each cultivator was forced at least a few steps away from the original line.

    Many of the spectators were disappointed by the scene, but they of course could not understand one important truth.. Defending was a lot harder than attacking.

    That was the entire reason why such a large amount of cultivators had managed to penetrate the defense of the second master of wind, but could not stay within the original line no matter what they tried.

    At the end of the testing, only about sixty cultivators had managed to remain in the original line, and they were the ones that had used the smartest ways to deflect the attack with the minimal consumption of immortal essence.

    Most of the cultivators had been tested. The only two that were left approaching the line around the first master of wind, were Jerigh and Roley, which by being the weakest cultivators around, had to be tested separately from the rest.

    "Who are those two?"

    "..They look young.."

    "Why did they even join if they are so weak?"

    "I don't recognize their crest.."

    "Are they part of one of the new companies?"

    The buzzing of chatter could be heard start both within the floor reserved for the company administratives, and in the stands outside of it.

    Many heads of the companies that were nearby Daniel recognized their attire, and then, turned to look at the stage with curiosity.

    The master of wind set his power to the peak of the third stage of cultivation, just above Roley and Jerigh's level, and sent his usual wave of attack.

    The moment the wave of wind reached three meters in front of them, it split, and proceeded past their bodies before joining back together.

    "That won't work.." Muttered one of the members of one of the companies that dealt in wind essence. "That method might have a low impact on their bodies, but they will be pushed out the instant their immortal essence runs out.."

    Many around him nodded in agreement at first, but the more time passed, the more their eyes and mouths opened in surprise.

    Both Jerigh and Roley were peacefully standing on the original line, as if they weren't even under attack to begin with.

    Eight minutes had passed, and now even the masters of wind had started to show faces of shock. They could feel that neither of the two was using external ways to replenish their essence, and that they were simply using the one that naturally reformed within their bodies.

    To them, this only meant one thing.. Absolute prodigies.

    Finally, ten minutes passed with them still standing peacefully over the line.

    The two approached the area around the second master of wind, followed by the first tester, which now had no more participants to test, and wanted to look closely at their result.

    They stood one behind the other, with Roley at the head, due to his higher score in the testing of comprehension.

    They quietly faced the second master of wind, which after a moment, signaled them to begin by forming a tornado around his body.

    During the past few years, Roley had changed into a calculative and calm person. He would study the situation, and always try to pick the best path to solve a problem.

    He had spent the past hour observing the methods that the other participants had used to break the tornado, and now, he was ready.

    In reality, the solution to this test had appeared in Roley's mind as the most obvious of all.

    The master of wind would create the strongest tornado with the power he was allowed to use. That meant that he would use as much control as he could muster in order to construct his defense.

    As the tornado appeared, Roley took a step forward, and formed a second tornado which surrounded the one of the master of wind completely. He forced it to matched the speed, the direction of the various gusts of wind, and finally, he attempted to merge the two.

    The two merging tornadoes were too much for the master to control with the meager power of a peak third stage immortal cultivator, so, he immediately lost control over his own construct, which dissipated, and left its place for Roley's tornado to surround him.

    The master of wind immediately let out a powerful wave of immortal essence, which dissipated Roley's tornado, and then, he simply said "Next."

    Roley walked to the side, and left his place to Jerigh.

    While Roley was calm and calculative, Jerigh was a swordsman. He was precise, and relied on his instincts to attack.

    After the tornado formed around the master of wind once again, Jerigh let out a single thin blade of wind, which perfectly matched the speed and power of the master's tornado.

    This blade was quickly absorbed by the master's powerful winds, and started to rotate aimlessly within the tornado..

    For two full minutes, the blade seemed to have no chance to pass through the wind barrage, but the moment it casually approached the internal limits of the tornado, it burst out, and hit the master of wind in the back of his head.

    The entire crowd was quiet, and stared at the two of them with eyes filled with shock.

    The same could be said for the various company leaders around Daniel, which were now looking at his group with impressed expressions.

    On Edmund's face, the hint of a prideful smile could be seen.
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