Chapter 85:

Ranks of Spells

Mad God

The sun rose above the horizon, and all inner disciples gathered nervously in the Sect's Arena for their first test. On the stands, the outer disciples and the elders were already present to watch the show, filling up the empty seats. Those who were here to take their test were arranged in a circle inside the perfect circle-shaped arena floor. In the middle stood Leinor calmly, with closed eyes, looking like a solidarity prince, grabbing a lot of female disciple's attention, especially as his loose, blonde hair gently fluttered in the wind.

"Show off," Isha murmured, leaning against the railing in the stands while Zern chuckled beside him.

"Well, originally, he WAS a prince."

"Talking about princes, what about Reignar? Shouldn't he be part of this?" She raised her eyebrow, asking Zern.

"Not really. Even if he is not at our level, as we have already advanced a realm, he has picked up his pace. Maybe he needed this pressure."

"He has a completely unique way of doing things. Plus, he would mop the floor with any disciples of ours. For now." Poli cut in, arriving beside them to watch Emi's performance in the test.

"I bet." Isha rolled her eyes.

"You can't deny his talent. When did you ever see another person with this many types of powers? No wonder he got permission from Sect Head to travel again and be absent? He said he would be back only when he breaks through." Poli countered.

"What about Orsi? Did he pass her onto you again?" Zern asked, concerned.

"No. He took her with him."

"Really… Now I am afraid for the little one." Zern clicked his tongue.

"Don't. He is not a bad guy. I really like his attitude if you get to know him." Poli shook his head. "Anyway, I bet that when he comes back, he will be a pretty strong Elder, wielding multiple affinities simultaneously! I am looking forward to crossing swords with him!"

"Aren't you already in a training frenzy with Lacuss?" Isha smiled.

"Nah, I need a break. He is a zealot! It was fun at first, but now he comes to spar every morning. Honestly, he is a freak who is only concerned with fighting! I had enough! I like to just take it easy sometimes! He doesn't know the meaning of having a day off!" His loud sigh made the others laugh beside him, but it died off as the test was about to start.

"I am glad to see everyone looks ready and able," Ren spoke up, standing on a stand, before the Sect Head, who had Frenir sitting beside him and with the Grand Elders, who were wearing small smiles. "I bet everyone is curious about our Sect's first, official test of the new disciples. Relax, this little show won't carry any great meaning behind it. We only wish to showcase your potential to everyone and show you how we reward those who put in the effort. The top 10 disciples will receive a reward. As to what it is, let Grand Elder Dermitos tell you!" She stepped down, giving way to Dermitos, followed by Shaman.

Seeing a big chimpanzee demon wearing the Sect's uniform, signaling he is an Elder in the Alchemy Department, cemented many people's realization that the rumors were true. The Sect does not care about race, origin, or past, only about talent.

"I am pleased to meet you all, my name is Dermitos, and he is Elder Edu."

"Shaman." He corrected immediately, with a grumbling voice, having big, black bags under his eyes, holding back a yawn. It was also evident for the least sharp individual that they had been working endlessly in the past weeks.

"I bet most of you already know we have an Alchemy Department, and it's Pill Hall! Its main job is producing wondrous pills to help your cultivation or future battles. Many outer disciples are already helping us out and working on the garden, and I thank you all for that." He nodded toward the seated disciples. "Now, you are curious about the promised prizes, I assume~" He smiled and produced ten blue glass bottles before him, floating in the air. "The first place gets the bottle with 10 pills, the second gets 9, and so on. Every pill is the same. It is a new invention of Elder Edu and Me."

"Shaman." He groaned once again, but Dermitos just ignored him.

"The name of the pill is Breakthrough Pill. All of them are Tier 1 pills except for those who will place in the first three positions. Those bottles all have two Tier 2 pills. You are already informed about tiers, so I won't waste your time on that, but you may wonder what the pills' effects are! Take one pill when you feel you are ready to achieve a breakthrough to the next body refinement level. It will accelerate your energies to the maximum, and using a Tier 1 pill will enhance your success rate of advancement by 50%." his words immediately sent a wave out, making the inner and outer disciples whisper and discuss between them as Dermitos just smiled and continued "The Tier 2 pills have even a better effect! If used when breaking through, it will provide a 70% success rate. Also, a Tier 2 pill may help you accumulate the necessary energy so you can use it even when not breaking through but you feel stuck. Of course, as to how you use it, it all depends on those who are going to win them! You can keep them, trade them for other resources, or with your fellow brothers and sisters! Even giving it away, we won't interfere with how you use them! They will be yours and yours to use as you see fit."

The prospect of having pills that can help you assail any steps in the Body Refinement realm immediately fired up any spirit in the inner disciples, ready to take the test and give it their all.

"Thank you, Elder Dermitos." Ren took back the podium, smiling and looking over the disciples. "Now, everyone, prepare yourselves! Your test is easy. Elder Leinor is going to release his special aura, enveloping the arena. It will drain your energy, and the closer you get to him, the stronger it will be. Those who can get the closest to him will be the ones who will come out in the top 10. But beware! You may get the closest, but if you faint, you are disqualified! Unconscious people won't count. The time limit is ten minutes." She explained before raising her hand, and Leinor opened his eyes simultaneously. Everyone present felt a heavy aura descending on them. Some weaker outer disciples also felt like fainting on the stands. "Start!" Ren clapped with thunder rumbling in the air, and the inner disciples felt thrown into a whirlpool as vertigo assaulted them from nowhere.

"His control over it is astonishing, and he can expand it in a pretty big zone… marvelous," Dermitos commented proudly, watching from up the VIP stands. The disciples on the ground quickly tried to reel in the sudden sickness and stay on their feet, advancing towards Leinor, fighting for the best spots.

"Mmm. He worked hard. You can be proud of him." Xendar nodded as he was delighted with his son-in-law.

"He has good discipline towards this power of his. Also… he already overtook father in its mastery." Carthus added who was there when Leinor advanced and developed this technique. He held nothing back when he took him out to train, telling him the story of Erterion and his unique spell.

"You don't see it, but I do." Aerthus chuckled as in his eyes, the arena down there was covered in a blackish, half-transparent bubble that had small, tentacle-like strands attaching themselves to every inner disciple, regulating the drain on their energies, strengthening the effect as they got closer and closer to the source "It is a very interesting technique. Ren."


"Can he reverse the flow?"

"Yeah. Instantly." She nodded with a proud grin. "When he connects to you, taking and giving is just a thought for him. Anything he takes can be shared back in a heartbeat, so none of the disciples are in danger. Those who faint…." Ren looked down as some disciple fell over, unconscious "Get their energies back. Honestly, he got so proficient with it that I can't exhaust him anymore."

"That is a good thing; finally, someone can keep up with you!" Anya giggled, making her daughter blush but also grin proudly.

"Mm, I thought so." Aerthus nodded as Frenir beside him was nervously playing with his fingers. Everyone around him was a hero in his eyes, and listening to their conversation was exhilarating. Even if he did not understand anything, they were saying. "Did he submit it to the library?"

His question made Carthus flinch for a moment, but soon, he just closed his eyes, calming his reflexes down, before reopening them, free of fear, taking out a jade tablet from his inner pocket presenting it to the Sect Head.

"Let me see…." Aerthus took it away, going through it quickly. "Very good. This will be the first S rank technique in our Sect."

"S rank?" Frenir asked by reflex but immediately put his hand on his lips as Arthus just chuckled, patting his head.

"We are going to have the following tiers. D rank spells; only for outer disciples. These are training techniques, nothing to be concerned about. C-rank spells; are easy, basic spells that can be learned by anyone and don't require high mastery to be useful. B rank spells; These are techniques that require knowledge, effort, and skill. You have to put talent and determination into learning them. Those without any of the two may never master them! As for A-rank spells, They are those that even talented disciples need years or even decades to master. S rank… these are unique spells and have hard requirements, only open for Core Disciples. No others can access them. This is going to be the first of those." He smiled with a satisfied expression. "The reward for it… will fall upon you, Ren. You know him the best."

"Ahahaha, don't worry, Master. I already have something in mind~."

As the elders discussed it amongst themselves, down in the arena, many disciples were already stopped in their tracks, sitting down to meditate and keep their consciousness. Only a few remained, still standing, fighting to step closer to Leinor, even if just by a few centimeters. The farthest in her tracks was Emi, only 2 meters away from him, drenched in sweat, as she was clearly struggling to keep herself standing upright. Her eyes were burning in literal flames, emitting hot air as she battled his aura, repelling it with sweat and blood.

"Don't try it. I am stronger than you." She received a voice transmission from Leinor.

"Hmf… If I take my true form…." Emi sent back but did not continue as the time and energy needed to transform would give Leinor ample opportunity to make her fall into an unconscious state.

Seeing Emi that close already cemented her position in the first place. Behind her, coming in second was a close "race" as it was going to be decided between Lulu and Yanda. They were standing shoulder to shoulder, sweating buckets. None of them said anything or even looked at each other, only focusing forward, almost in a trance, trying to muster the strength to take another step and beat the other.

Another surprise was the three brothers. Or at least the youngest of them, Shin, who now stood still, close to being in fourth place, as his "opponent" was none other than Rem, who was floating in the air, cross-legged, panting heavily, being at her limits. Botan and Jiro were already sitting down, way back but their minds were strangely connected. They instead were trying to support their little brother, keeping his mind awake and strong.

Ren raised her arms, ready to clap once again as everyone was concentrating, signaling the end of the test. There were hundreds of outer disciples who already felt sick. Even if they were out of Leinor's sphere of influence, the energy fluctuations escaping the arena did sweep over them periodically. At the last moment down there, Lulu took a half step forward just as Ren's clap came, making Leinor terminate his ability, freeing everybody from it. As soon as the weight was gone, it gave them instant relief, and multiple heavy breaths escaped the lips of the inner disciples. Some even fell over, unable to move a muscle in their bodies.

"Second." Lulu giggled, wobbling heavily, almost falling over, but her right leg was planted forward, unwilling to go down. Yanda only looked at her for a second before crossing his arms and closing his eyes calmly.

"Mmm, yes, you are." Leinor nodded, looking at her with a small smile before shaking his body and the unconscious disciples also woke up.

"I congratulate everyone who took part in our first official test!" Ren chuckled. "Those who could keep their consciousness can be proud as you only just started to cultivate yet can already show results!" She said warmly, "Those who could not keep up, don't feel too down! Cultivation is a long road, you just need to keep walking and giving in the effort, and the results will come, trust me!"

After a little bit of silence, she waved her hand. The bottles flew down, landing in the top tens' palms, and even the 10th, a young girl with short brown hair and freckles over her immature face, who only received one pill, hugged it like the most precious thing she ever received, filling her green eyes with excitement.

"Use it well. You earned it." Ren smiled. "For the next month, every morning will have a lesson that I'll host here." She addressed the inner disciples "Attendance is not mandatory. I'll talk about different affinities, spells, and techniques, be they humans or demons, my experiences in the Body Refinement realm, and what it was like taking on the Tribulation. Everyone can go home, rest, celebrate or work hard. Everything is dependent only on you." She clapped once again, ending the first test of the Sect and planting the flame in many hearts to rise above the rest.