Chapter 58: A Nasty Little Joke of Epic Proportions (2)

“This… how long has it been?”

A hoarse voice echoed within the interior of the corridor as a naked youth stared at the crystal wall, the pair of violet irises glazed over in thought.

The visually stunning reflection provided by the sky-blue crystal’s surface, and most notably the discrepancy between the image presented and his recollection, caused the youth to fall into a moment of pensiveness.

“Heart Crystal Stone… It’s been too long… I can’t seem to exactly remember,” the youth whispered to himself, the fingers of his right hand reaching upward to stroke his chin.

“The bone density… my appearance has been reverted to that of a youth? How… quaint.”

The youth staring back at him could only be described as handsome and dangerous. Fair skinned, smooth skin, and with a thin but muscular body structure.

The jawline tapered at his chin, the thin eyebrows and lips reflected an eternal painting of calmness and resolution. Combined with the naturally exuded demeanor of iciness and indifference, the reflected appearance was indeed capable of wading through a sea of flowers, killing without a single whit in the world.

However, the pair of violet irises reflected a deep nonchalance and amusement, a cold gleam resurfacing after having been ruthlessly suppressed for an uncountable amount of years.

Perhaps he had kept track within his mind, or he just didn’t bother to care.

Looking down at his exposed body, the youth lightly sighed, before sweeping his right arm to his side. A dense, violet light exploded from his body, spreading to cover the youth from the collarbone to his toes.

When the light had receded, the youth was no longer naked and exposed, but dressed in a swordsman’s robe, the fabric a plain and uniform violet.

Lines of embroidered gold silk ran down the youth’s sleeves and collar, the overall appearance radiating a peaceful and tranquil aura compared to the cold indifference exuded moments earlier.

“Oh? Isn’t it Esteemed Immortal Dongfang?”

A lighthearted and joking voice suddenly rang from behind the youth, causing the latter to raise an eyebrow in mock surprise.

Turning around, the youth surnamed Dongfang discovered a young male dressed in a scarlet robe displaying an excited smile on his countenance.

“Esteemed Immortal Deng indeed likes to take his time,” the youth named Dongfang smilingly greeted, the faint mockery within his voice evident.

The immortal surnamed Deng merely chuckled, before gesturing towards the remaining clouds of light that had yet to fully manifest.

“Look at them,” he laughed with an expression of gloating. “Not even that prided Mu Rong Yuan has even coalesced a physical manifestation after so much time had passed.”

“They are the ones taking their sweet time, not this Immortal. My dear Brother Dongfang Yu, must you label me with such an unpleasant hat?”

To the casual complaint issued by the scarlet-robed youth, Dongfang Yu displayed a small smile, the violet orbs fixated on the others’ robe.

“You seem to have forgotten that a four-clawed dragon brings bad luck,” the youth chuckled with narrowed eyes.

“Deng Lan, are you trying to curse yourself into failure before you even take the first step?”

“Huh?”

Deng Lan tilted his head in confusion, his gaze slowly guided by Dongfang Yu’s persistent gaze until it landed on the numerous inscriptions of mythical animals on the scarlet silk.

“There’s a couple phoenixes and lustrous luans…” the youth casually made up an excuse as he averted his eyes.

“My luck shouldn’t be affected that badly-“

“Of course it will!” Dongfang Yu smirked. “Have you forgotten the consequences of negligence since the last incident?”

“…you’re right, you’re always right, that acceptable to you?”

Deng Lan threw up his hands as he glared towards Dongfang Yu to shush the gloating immortal, before turning and resting his back against a nearby monolith.

Leaning against the cool, soft surface of the sky-blue crystal, the youth began to pick at his robe, slowly but surely beginning to repair the visual affront caused by the four-clawed dragons.

Dongfang Yu similarly leaned back against an adjacent monolith, resting his head against the rectangular pillar of solitude. Closing his eyes, the youth prepared to explore through his memories whilst waiting for the others to emerge.

“Tch. Elder Brother and Deng Lan are always the fastest at everything,” a bitter voice aroused the two resting immortals from their thoughts.

“And here I thought after achieving a breakthrough, I could close that gap by a little.”

Opening his eyes and looking up, Dongfang Yu found four figures standing before him. Three adopted the appearance of a youth, whilst one took on the persona of a destitute old man.

The youths were dressed in robes of the color befitting that of the cloud of light they had emerged from, and their countenances displayed varied expressions, from boredom to excitement.

However, one aspect that was common amongst the radically different youths was the bewitching, handsome appearance and features, and that they were all staring at the old man shrouded in a pale, silver light.

“Old Man An, shouldn’t you say something?” The youth dressed in a green scholar’s robe narrowed his eyes as he inquired, gazing directly at the elder’s figure.

“Bai Xing, being hasty once again? When will you grow up?”

The handsome youth dressed in an azure, flowing robe coldly remarked, causing the previous speaker to flush with embarrassment and anger.

“When will I grow up, huh!?” Bai Xing trembled, teal light radiating uncontrollably from his body as the angered youth marched forward. Grasping the azure robes before him, the immortal in the scholar’s robe fiercely shook his adversary.

“Mu Rong Yuan, you dare display that supercilious attitude before me with that meagre aptitude!? Let’s go for a few rounds, this father shall make you call him ‘uncle’!”

“Nobody will call you ‘uncle’,” Mu Rong Yuan sneered, the cold gleam within his eyes growing magnifying by the second.

“Even if I am inferior in combat ability, so what? You’re naturally unable to defeat me either way, so why should I call you uncle?”

“Ahem!”

Before the green-robed youth could permit his aura to rampage in an uncontrolled frenzy, the old man loudly coughed, regaining all of the attention. Stroking the long beard flowing from his chin, the elder retreated deeper into his shroud of silver light before deigning to speak.

“You all should remember by now why I called you here,” he stared at the youths, assessing each one with an unflinching stare.

“But before I elaborate, now that the five of you have completed the last round of trials – shouldn’t you identify yourself?”

The five youths simultaneously frowned upon hearing the old man’s cryptic words, the sharp blades and pillars of flame resurrecting in their thoughts. As memories of the deadly and terrifying attempts of suicide labeled as mere ‘trials’ resurfaced in their minds, the immortals all forcefully mobilized their reserves of divine essence to return to clarity.

“Pavilion of Divinity Bai Clan of the Divine Palace, Bai Xing!”

“Pavilion of Reflection Mu Clan of the Divine Palace, Mu Rong Yuan.”

“Demon Pillar Deng of the Demon Palace, Deng Lan.”

“Skybreak’s Spire, Dongfang Yu.”

“Golden Crow Domain, Jun Mo!”

The five youths withdrew their auras as they revealed their identity, the storm of light finally dissipating into a tranquil silence. The darkness however, was completely removed, the entirety of the corridor illuminated by the resonance of the crystal floor.

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Wherever the sky-blue crystal contacted their feet, it released a warm and comfortable, golden radiance that illuminated the surroundings.

Compared to the harsh and piercing light contained within their auras, the light emitted by the crystal was mellow and relaxing, dispelling the hidden worries and grievances of the heart.

“Two from the Divine Palace, one from that being, and one from a Royal Domain…”

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The five immortals stared at the old man as he pondered in silence, seemingly debating over an issue. The elder continued to murmur to himself for several moments, before finally lifting his head to gaze directly into the youths’ eyes.

“Since you’ve made it this far,” the old man spoke, his voice containing the resoluteness and determination birthed by experiencing the vicissitudes of life.

“Then there shall one final selection, of which a single victor is to be determined.”

Clapping his hands to form a large opaque pearl, the elder cupped the pearl with both hands, the silver light emitting from his body completely withdrawn.

Tossing the pearl into the air, the cloudy orb rolled to a halt in midair before the youthful immortals, a clear image of a figure contained neatly within.

As they peered into the contents of the pearl with their spiritual perception, the five immortal’s expressions all experienced similar changes of disbelief and confusion as they converged onto the old man’s figure.

They saw a young girl of unparalleled beauty. A pair of scarlet irises that appeared rather dull, and an appearance of perfect proportions that seemed impossible. Black hair skin to silk that extended down to her waist, and a small streak of silver bangs.

Just as their minds were reeling as an unsettling yet anticipatory premonition welled within them, the old man’s voice rang over their heads once more.

“I, An Xiang Yang, Third Protector of the Sanctum shall present a marriage agreement before the five Immortals present before me today. A unison of the individual, a honor that only one of the five is deserving of.”

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