RDE Chapter 323: Trial
The Halo of Dusk Stallion was a huge secret of the training camp. Not even the other instructors were aware of it, needless to say the recruits. Of the entire training camp, there were only three people who knew of its existence.
In the first place, the topic regarding the war halo was a taboo in itself. While the superiors had passed the technique down to the training camp, they were still hesitating whether to pass it on or not.
Understanding this, Zhao Qianqiu had never raised this matter before anyone else.
So, where in the world did Wang Chong learn of the existence of the technique?
In response to Zhao Qianqiu's astonishment, Wang Chong simply smiled. He knew that the technique was a secret as well, or else it wouldn't have remained uninherited in his previous life.
Naturally, Wang Chong couldn't possibly say that he had learned of it from the future.
"Instructor Zhao, am I mistaken? Does such a technique not exist in the training camp?" Wang Chong replied with a question.
Zhao Qianqiu frowned. He assessed Wang Chong with a grim expression for a moment before asking, "Wang Chong, do you understand what the halo represents?"
"Of course I do," Wang Chong replied with a smile.
The Halo of Dusk Stallion was the strongest war halo in the world, crafted for the sake of battle.
What was unique about this secret art was that it required a war steed to bring out the might of the technique, and more importantly, it could be further evolved!
"Wait a moment!" Throwing these words behind, Zhao Qianqiu marched out of the room. Walking past several corridors, he soon arrived at the hall which stood at the very core of this Kunwu Training Camp.
The atmosphere within this hall was authoritative and austere.
There was only a single person who was qualified to sit at the top of this hall, and of the hundreds of instructors across the training camp, only a few of the higher rank instructors were qualified to enter this room.
Without any hesitation, Zhao Qianqiu revealed the content of the conversation he had with Wang Chong.
"Halo of Dusk Stallion?"
The towering figure hidden in the darkness straightened his posture slightly after hearing those words. Stroking his lower jaw with his hands, he frowned.
"The Halo of Dusk Stallion is a manual His Majesty has entrusted us with. Other than you, me, and His Majesty, there shouldn't be anyone else who knows of this matter. Besides, the training camp hasn't started for too long, so how did Wang Chong... Or could it be the old duke of the Wang Clan who informed him of this matter?"
"That was what I was thinking as well," Zhao Qianqiu quickly replied.
"If it's the old duke of the Wang Clan who told him of the matter, then everything makes sense. The old duke never does anything pointlessly, and considering his close ties with His Majesty, there's a possibility that this entire matter might be His Majesty's intention, as well."
If Wang Chong was here, he would surely be dumbstruck. The duo was going too far with their imaginations.
They actually thought that this was the intention of Wang Chong's grandfather, Duke Jiu!
"Since this is the intention of the old duke, he should also know that the reason why His Majesty has sternly instructed us to find a suitable successor to the technique isn't due to the strength of the secret art, but the implications tied in with it. In face of those problems, even His Majesty would have to tread carefully.
"But if the old duke is aware of the matter, why would he still instruct his grandson to learn this secret art?"
The towering figure at the top of the hall frowned as if he had stumbled upon an enigma.
"I don't know the reason behind it, either. Perhaps His Majesty and the old duke have some thought in mind. Furthermore, I have asked Wang Chong about it, and he said that he understood the meaning behind the matter."
Zhao Qianqiu revealed the details of his talk with Wang Chong.
Those words had a decisive effect on the towering figure at the top of the hall. Probably even Wang Chong couldn't imagine that his words would actually be misconstrued to something entirely different,
"Since the old duke doesn't mind either, let's follow his intention then. Zhao Qianqiu, we shall go by the rules," the towering figure instructed.
"Yes, my lord. I understand what I must do," Zhao Qianqiu nodded before retreating from the hall respectfully.
Wang Chong waited patiently in the room, wondering what Zhao Qianqiu was doing, having disappeared for such a long period of time. Finally, his patience paid off, and he saw Zhao Qianqiu stepping across the doorsill.
"Wang Chong, I can pass down the Halo of Dusk Stallion to you. However, you should think the matter through first. The Halo of Dusk Stallion is unlike ordinary martial haloes. First, it has to be complemented with a war steed; this shouldn't be any problem to you. Second, the cultivation of this secret art is far more difficult than any other martial art. It requires a colossal amount of Origin Energy to cultivate, and this could result in an extreme slowdown in your cultivation rate. To put it in other words, while your fellow peers might have already reached Profound Martial realm, due to the effects of the Halo of Dusk Stallion, you might still be stuck at True Martial realm 2-dan. Even if such is the case, are you still willing to go on with it?" Zhao Qianqiu asked sternly.
It was not without reason that the Halo of Dusk Stallion wasn't passed on. Cultivating this secret art in itself was a huge burden that very few could bear.
"I am willing," Wang Chong replied without any hesitation. He was determined to learn the Halo of Dusk Stallion at all costs.
"Also, I have to emphasize that even if I were to impart the technique to you, there's no guarantee that you might succeed, and it might not reach your expectations. either. Even so, will you still push on?" Zhao Qianqiu asked once more. The Halo of Dusk Stallion had a high demand on one's diligence and talent, but those weren't sufficient to guarantee one's success.
The stronger a secret art was, the more difficult it would be to cultivate. This was a common adage spoken by those in the martial arts community.
The Halo of Dusk Stallion wasn't a secret art which had appeared in recent years. In fact, there were many cultivators who had taken it on in the past, but too few, or perhaps even none, had reached the highest realm of it.
Due to the disproportionate amount of time one had to spend in cultivating the Halo of Dusk Stallion, it would result in the progress of one's cultivation lagging behind. As a result, there was a high chance that one's accomplishments could end up being lower than anticipated. Many situations ended up like that.
As Wang Chong's instructor, Zhao Qianqiu felt responsible for his future.
He had to make sure that the other party knew what he was getting into.
"Un." Wang Chong nodded once more.
"Very well!" Zhao Qianqiu nodded.
"As the saying goes, a heritage mustn't be passed on lightly. As the strongest secret art in Kunwu Training Camp, there are some prerequisites you will have to clear on to learn the Halo of Dusk Stallion. You should make some preparations. Three days from now, you will be put through a trial, and if you can clear it, I'll impart the Halo of Dusk Stallion to you."
"Trial?" Wang Chong was astonished. He was unaware of this matter.
"Un. Just to tell you, these are the rules of the training camp, and even I am unable to bend them. If you accept these terms, you will put under the charge of another instructor, so don't expect any leniency!
"Also, I know that you have established the Deflecting Blade Manor and recruited quite a few recruits from the training camps. However, this trial is aimed at testing your own strength. Thus, you are not to bring anyone along with you, and that is including the Wang Clan guards. If you are found to be infringing on any rules or cheating, your name will be canceled from the records, and you will be expelled from the training camp!" Zhao Qianqiu instructed grimly.
The flouting of military rules had severe complications, so there was a need to warn Wang Chong of that matter beforehand. Being expelled was nothing much, but having one's name erased from the records meant that Wang Chong would be permanently banned from the military.
Similarly, this stain on his records would prevent him from entering politics, as well. For a scion, that was no different from having one's life ruined.
"I understand," Wang Chong nodded.
Simply said, if he wanted to obtain the Halo of Dusk Stallion, he would have to display strength worthy of it.
"You can leave now."
Leaving the main peak, Wang Chong returned to the Deflecting Blade Manor to make arrangements for his absence, before returning to his quarters to prepare for the trial three days from now.
Regarding the trial, Wang Chong had heard bits and pieces about it.
It seemed like the royal court would assign some missions to the recruits when their cultivation has reached an acceptable level to test them.
However, the mission would vary from person to person, and more often than not, it would not be under the control of the camp instructors, either.
More importantly, all of these missions were regarding real problems identified in the royal court, and they had a degree of difficulty to them. This also meant that the missions carried the risk of death, as well!
Nevertheless, the royal court would still try to limit the risk of the missions assigned to the recruits.
I wonder what kind of mission I will receive, Wang Chong thought.
This was the first time Wang Chong was going to participate in such a mission.
Time flew by quickly, and three days passed in a breeze.
Amidst the tranquil mountains, the crisp call of a mighty steed suddenly echoed in the surroundings. Suddenly, a black shadow dashed across the woods and flew past the mountain before circling around Wang Chong excitedly. It rubbed its head against Wang Chong's body before licking his hand intimately.
Tickled by its gesture, Wang Chong burst into laughter.
"Haha, Little Shadow, it has been long since we last met."
Stroking the silky fur of Little Shadow, Wang Chong took out a fistful of beans and offered them to the horse. Watching him munch on the beans, Wang Chong couldn't help but feel a sense of intimacy to his steed.
The white-hoofed Shadow adored freedom. Such a trait wasn't apparent back when it was still in the capital, but as soon as it was out in the forests and mountains, it found itself unable to suppress its instinctive nature any longer.
Upon realizing this, Wang Chong also allowed it to roam freely outside.
Unlike what most would think, not only wouldn't Wang Chong's actions cause a rift between him and Shadow, it even enhanced the intimacy of the two.
This was because Shadow was sentient, and it understood that its master was offering it something no one else ever had.
"Little fellow, let's go. You're needed somewhere."
Wang Chong first strapped a saddle on the back of Shadow, before climbing on top of him. His movements were extremely skilled, reminiscent of a veteran cavalryman.