(Lian Li POV)
"Congratulations to all of you who have passed Master Lin's test. I am Elder Gong and I'll be here to facilitate your final test to see if you can be admitted to our Heaven Sect."
An old geezer rambled on in front of us.
There's a surprising number of people who passed. I thought the main point of the first test was to see who could withstand that enormous pressure that he radiated, it seems I was too naive.
But all that didn't matter now, if I pass this test, I will be a step closer to him. He could help me achieve the power I sought for.
"This test is a simple one," the old geezer continued. "There are multiple orbs in front of you, step up to one and circulate your own Elemental Quark inside your Cultivation Point. The orb will measure your potential and we will be able to assign a teacher to you based on your skills."
That sounds simple enough, I already had experience manipulating my innate Elemental Quarks on my journey here, though I could never seem to materialise it. That will change here.
"Now if there are no questions, form lines behind an orb and begin."
Queuing up behind one of the orbs I awaited my turn to be tested.
I was still a little in shock on how things have progressed.
Standing beside the rest of the Elders and Masters, we watched the prospective Sect members line up in front of the orbs to have their Cultivation Point tested.
The orbs would measure the purity and quantity of their Pure Elemental Quarks within their body, they would then be assigned to classes of students with similar statuses. This would allow them to learn and grow with each other easily.
Oh, the cloaked person is stepping up now, I should pay attention to their potential.
The orb will display a number when a Practitioner circulates their Elemental Quark numbering from zero to ten, with zero being a complete lack of Pure Elemental Quark and ten being an overwhelming amount.
To date, there has not been a single Practitioner that has received a ten grading upon entry, even I only received an eight before reaching where I am now, where I would probably shatter the orb if I tried.
Hm? Looks like the result is out. Judging by how they had remained conscious after my Elemental Pressure, they should have quite a large amount of innate Elemental Quark.
I moved to the side to get a better glimpse of their orb.
No wait. That can't be right?
"Ah… It seems like that cloaked person managed to pass the first test through a fluke of some kind," an Elder remarked.
"A pity," another agreed.
"Someone escort them out please."
Hmm.. Does that mean they were actually using an artifact? But I don't think there are any such artifacts in the Earthen realm that could fake a Cultivation Point.
Unless it's something that was dropped from a higher Plane?
Could that artifact be a lead to the destruction in five years time?
This I definitely had to check.
Ignoring the rest, I strode forward towards the cloaked figure who seemed to be at a loss at the moment.
I reached out and grabbed their wrist, shocking them into looking up at me.
Oh, she's a girl.
But I didn't have time to ponder that as I dragged her with me towards my own courtyard. I needed to check the artifact on her without anyone else knowing what I knew about the other Planes. Ugh, I had been hoping I could have an easy life this time around too…
(Lian Li POV)
When I saw the zero appear on the orb, I thought my life was over.
That zero could only mean I had no innate Pure Elemental Quark.
No doubt I would be escorted out of the Sect right after this, then it would be back to the slums for me.
At that point in time, my mind was too filled with despair to even consider how I could've killed those men that assaulted me if I had zero Elemental Quark.
But at my lowest point, a hand reached out to grab me from the abyss.
I looked up in surprise to see my saviour, a pair of dark brown eyes stared straight back at me.
"Come with me," he spoke firmly, leaving no room for argument.
I had no choice but to follow behind my saviour.
That was how I found myself standing in his personal courtyard, nervously grasping my fingers in front of him.
"Show me your neck," he ordered.
I complied, pulling down my hood and collar to show my neckline.
For some reason, that action made him frown, was it because of my battered face?
I had cut my once long blonde hair short since longer hair would give other slum squatters an opportunity to grab it in a fight. Not to mention my face was filled with half healed scars and cuts that I had received from my various brawls.
"No artifact… Then innate quark?" I heard him murmur.
He stretched out his palms to me, "Put your palms on top of mine."
I complied and gasped when he clasped my hands gently, a light shock going through my body the moment we touched.
A warm feeling spread through me, and I did not need a mirror to know my cheeks were flushed.
What was this feeling?
I looked at him timidly.
His eyes were closed while his face was relaxed, a slight breeze blowing through his short black hair. I admired his angular jawline and thick eyebrows, my eyes following his neckline towards his chiseled chest hidden under his pure white robes.
The warm feeling spread itself towards my belly, making my knees quiver in pleasure.
I had never felt this way before.
Why was I feeling this way? And only in front of him?
The feeling immediately dissipated when his hands released mine, a mewl of disappointment escaping my lips before I could contain it.
"I will take you as my disciple."
I took a while to comprehend his words.
"You are special," he declared with a slight smile on his face. "I will guide you to your full potential which no one on this Plane can. I will care for you and protect you as you learn, all I need is that you do the same for me. Do you accept?"
I am… Special? I… Am needed?
No one has ever said that to me before.
I was the daughter destined to marry the village scumbag, no one caring about what I wanted.
I was the nobody among the slum squatters, no one caring if I lived or died.
I was the failure who didn't even have any Pure Elemental Quark within her.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I knelt down on a knee.
"Disciple Lian Li greets her Master."
For He who has pulled me from the abyss, I have decided to give my everything to Him.
He would be my everything.
That was really scary.
When I realised she had no artifacts on her, I took the chance to sense her Cultivation Point.
Pouring my own quark through her Quark Veins, I located her Cultivation Point around her belly area.
Divine Lightning quark.
It was obvious the orb couldn't sense any Pure Elemental Quark from her since she had none. Her entire body was filled with Divine Lightning quark.
Practitioners who do not possess Pure Elemental quarks are exceedingly rare within the Earthen Plane, it is no wonder that people like her go unnoticed.
Now I know why her eyes looked familiar.
She was the one that was known throughout the Cloud Plane as the Goddess of Retribution. She had wreaked havoc alongside another Practitioner as they hunted down Sects that practiced inhumane Cultivation Techniques like using blood of the innocent as catalysts or raping defenseless young women.
Too bad the psycho was too insignificant in the grand scheme of things for them to notice and rescue me...
She's the one that would have caused the disaster five years from now isn't she?
Divine Lightning is a combination of Lightning and Light quarks, while Lightning is obtained from Energy and Air quarks. Energy could only be obtained by combining the four common quarks of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, making her compatible with learning every afore-mentioned elements at an extremely fast pace.
In other words, she's a heaven sent genius.
Good thing she accepted being my disciple.
I doubt anyone else in this Sect knows how to help her cultivate her Divine Lightning quark. If I bring her on the right path, there shouldn't be any disaster in five years time, right?
I guess I should be happy that my easy life should be safe now.
That's a flag isn't it?