Chapter 9 – Blood Essence Baptism
Turbulent Yuan Qi perfused from the Heavens and Earth. Appearing to be stimulated by it, the painting of the Martial Ancestor instantly turned life-like, while glowing with increasing brightness. Faintly, one could sense an ominous Qi descending, causing the expressions of the children to change.
The sharpness of that war spear caused even Jiang Han’s heart to feel a chill upon seeing it.
Subsequently, an invisible power started to radiate from the half man-half snake Martial Ancestor painting, before sweeping up all of the blood essences and precious medicines present in the large cauldron.
“We beseech the Martial Ancestor to bestow your ways with our offering of the blood essences of demonic beasts!” Standing on the altar, the Mountain Villa Lord gave a loud shout.
Imbued with Qi, his voice reverberated across the entire main hall.
The surging demonic blood essences, along with the Yuan Qi from the Heaven and Earth gushing out from the hole in the ground, was absorbed by an invisible power coming out from the painting.
“From the front, pay your respects to the Martial Ancestor painting in order. The closer you get, the better it will be. At the very least, you have to walk up onto the altar platform.” Jiang Yangshan’s voice rang out across the main hall. “Do you all understand?”
The crowd of children nodded their heads, being extremely clear from the many times their parents had reminded them.
The further they were able to walk, the greater their cultivation talent would be, which would also lead to a greater amount of resources being allocated to them by the mountain villa.
“Jiangshan Gu Yue.” Jiang Yan read out the name of the first person.
Within the Jiang Family, those with the Jiang Family bloodline would have Jiang as their surname. As for the other families within the mountain villa, they would add a “Jiangshan” before their name.
A voice rang out in response.
It came from a boy standing beside Jiang Han, who quickly walked up to the white line. Raising his head to look towards the gigantic Martial Ancestor painting before him, he slowly took the first step forwards.
“Oh?” Immediately, the boy felt an invisible force bearing down on him, pushing him back.
Upon taking the first step, slivers of Yuan Qi gushed out from the nearby Yuan spring hole that had opened up, before converging towards him. As they drilled into his body, he felt a great reduction in the obstructive force bearing down on him.
Very quickly, he took six steps forward. Nevertheless, he was no longer able to take another step. At this point, he was still a dozen steps away from the altar.
In the distance, Jiang Yan nodded his head slightly, jotting the result down on the namelist in his hand, before announcing it and the name of the next person. “Jiangshan Gu Yue, 9th Grade talent. Next up, Jiangshan Chen Qing.”
In the crowd observing from behind, unresigned expressions appeared on the faces of Jiangshan Gu Yue’s parents.
In this world, although talent wasn’t the most important factor for a cultivator, it was one that they couldn’t lack.
Cultivation talent was classified into 9 grades. One needed to possess a 7th Grade talent in order to reach a certain degree of unity with the Yuan Qi from the Heavens and Earth. This would allow them to cultivate and produce their own True Qi, giving rise to the possibility of forming their Martial Mark.
As for a 9th Grade talent, it was, in fact, equivalent to having no cultivation talent at all. For the rest of his life, he could only be an ordinary peasant, unable to enter the guard squadrons, much less being a martial artist. His future status would be the lowest within this mountain villa.
However, the majority of the crowd had already placed their eyes on the second boy. Nevertheless, it was a pity, as he was only able to advance a dozen steps forward.
“Jiangshan Chen Qing, 8th Grade talent. Next up, Jiangshan Chen Gu.”
“Jiangshan Yuan Cheng, 9th Grade talent. Next up, Jiangshan Xu Yu.”
One after another, the children walked up to undergo the test. However, not a single one was able to walk near to the altar. The best among them was only able to advance 20 steps or so.
“Jiangshan Hu Cheng.” shouted Jiang Yan.
A boy with a tiger’s head walked up to the starting line. Appearing exceedingly fit for his age, he took a few steps forward as he headed towards the altar.
5 steps, 20 steps, 40 steps. He quickly advanced, with the Yuan Qi from the Heavens and Earth fusing with at an evidently higher percentage than other others before him.
Finally, taking 3 steps on the altar, he finally couldn’t proceed further, slowly kneeling down on the floor.
The smiles of happiness immediately appeared on the faces of the martial artists from the guard squadrons as well as the higher ups of the Jiang Family. Even Jiang Yan had stood up and shouted out in a loud voice. “Zhanshan Hu Cheng, 7th Grade talent.”
“7th Grade Talent. Adequate potential for cultivation. Possibility to become a martial artist.”
“He’s the first 7th Grade talent this year.”
The quiet figure fluttering in the painting appeared to open his eyes, causing a ray of blood red and golden light to shoot into the boy’s body.
Very quickly, slivers of bloody glow gushed out his body, while he could not help but to enter a fighting stance as he stood on the platform, mimicking the stance of the Martial Ancestor, as though he was learning something from it.
Jiang Han had never experienced such matters before, in the world he had cultivated in during his previous life. However, having spent time reading through books in the library, he had managed to gain a rudimentary understanding towards the cultivation pathways. Therefore, he knew that the Martial Ancestor painting was currently interacting with the body’s Spiritual Soul and Sea of Consciousness.
“After the direct interaction with his Spiritual Soul and Sea of Consciousness, as long as he visualises the Martial Ancestor image in his heart, he will be able to inherit some cultivation arts. Furthermore, there would not be the slightest issue when he circulates Qi through his meridians.” thought Jiang Han in his mind. “This Martial Ancestor Painting truly is worthy of being the inheritance treasure of the Jiang Family.”
Very quickly, the boy stopped his mimicry. Under some form of guidance, the clump of demonic beast blood essence floating in mid-air fused into Hu Cheng’s body. Although it was only an extremely small bit that did so, it had immediately caused his entire body to turn feverishly hot.
Following suit, Hu Cheng immediately went to the side, below the altar, and sat down. As large amounts of Yuan Qi continued to pour out from the hole in the ground, some of it immediately encapsulated Hu Cheng within.
Having read many books, Jiang Han already had a complete understanding of exactly what was going to happen in this blood essence baptism.
There was a limit to how many spiritual medicines and demonic blood essence an ordinary person could absorb and use. Like the saying goes, “One should only eat during the 3 meals. Doing something too far would have a negative effect.”
However, for children with the potential for cultivation, they would experience the first “opening” in their entire life. This allowed the medicinal effects of blood essence and spiritual medicines to directly enter their bodies, quenching their flesh, bones and meridians, while strengthening their souls.
This was the genuine benefit behind this baptism.
From this point onwards, the children who had experienced this baptism would walk a completely different path of life from those they who did not undergo it.
Hu Cheng’s success swept away the stifling atmosphere present within the main hall.
After Hu Cheng had taken a seat in an empty space below the altar, the rest of the children proceeded to take the test. There were those who failed, and some who succeeded in reaching the altar.
It took more than an hour for the several hundred children to complete their test. Of them, there were 36 who possessed the talent for cultivation and underwent the blood essence baptism as a result.
“I remember that there were only 20 that possessed the talent for cultivation in last year’s ceremony. This year, there’s actually over 30 people. However, up till now, there has only been one 6th Grade talent in the history of the Jiang Family.” As more and children managed to pass the test, there were already many people starting to discussing about it.
All of a sudden.
“Jiangshan Yuan Liu, 8th Grade talent. Next up, Jiang Qinghe.” Jiang Yan’s voice rose in volume.
Hearing that, the crowd watching from the martial arts training grounds immediately turned quiet. As for those Jiang Family members, they had also immediately shifted their attention over, their eyes focusing on the last three remaining children.
Those three children were from the Jiang Family bloodline.
It had not been over 4 generations since the establishment of the Jiang Family, yet they already had tens of thousand of people under their family name. However, the men who possessed the genuine bloodline of the Jiang Family did not number more than 50. Within the Jiang Family Mountain Villa, the Jiang Family was their unquestioned ruler, and they had held on to this position by relying on their powerful martial might.
Ever since the generation of Jiang Han’s grandfather, half of the males from the Jiang Family possessed a 6th Grade talent, with the other half possessing a 7th Grade talent. Only a mere handful possessed a 8th Grade talent.
That was because the Jiang Family’s founding father, who was Jiang Han’s great grandfather, was an extremely powerful Martial Ancestor who lorded over the Jiangbei region. Being of his bloodline, this resulted in them possessing a higher than usual talent for cultivation.
Naturally, in comparison, the reproductive capabilities of the Jiang Family was weaker than ordinary people. Without counting those who had died in combat, there were now less than a dozen living males in the Jiang Family bloodline.
Therefore, every new generation of family members were extremely important to the Jiang Family. Furthermore, there was also an extremely likely chance that one of them would become a powerful martial artist in the future.
“6th bro, I’ll go up and give it a try first.” said Jiang Qinghe with a smile as he looked towards Jiang Han.
“Okay, do your best to walk to the top of the altar.” Jiang Han replied with a smile. Being the son of Jiang Han’s 9th uncle, Jiang Qinghe was the 7th in their generation. Therefore, he needed to address Jiang Han as “6th bro”.
Of the three generations of the Jiang Family, seniority within generations was decided by age.
Not far away.
Jiang Qinghe was currently taking step after step as he moved forwards. Sweat appeared on his face, clearly showing the difficulty he was facing. Nevertheless, he still made it to the altar, though he was only able to climb up 4 steps.
“Jiang Qinghe, 7th Grade talent. Next up, Jiang Ying.” shouted Jiang Yan, with not much happiness present on his face.
A girl proceeded to walk up. Nevertheless, she still managed to climb up the altar with much difficulty, though she did only walk up 2 steps, a poorer result than Jiang Qinghe. Similarly, she had only obtained a 7th Grade talent result.
With two successive 7th Grade talents, even the ever-smiling family leader could not help but frown slightly.
If the Jiang Family wanted to continue governing the Jiang Mountain Villa, they needed absolute superiority over the other families staying here.
For the past decade, among the first five 3rd generation members of Jiang Family, only the 5th oldest, Jiang Zhanhu, possessed a 6th Grade talent, with the others being of 7th Grade talent. This was an obvious step down from the previous generation, something that was undoubtedly on the minds of the higher-ups in the Jiang Family.
“Jiang Han!” Jiang Yan’s voice rose his highest possible level.
Everyone’s eyes immediately focused on the body of the seemingly ordinary boy, Jiang Han.
The reason was very simple. Jiang Han’s father, Jiang Zhen was the number one expert in the villa, and was also the first Martial Ancestor in the Jiang Family after the 1st generation villa lord.
With such a strong father, how could Jiang Han, who inherited his bloodline, be weak?
The whole place quietened down, especially those Jiang Family members who were looking over from afar. All of them opened their eyes wide to stare at Jiang Han, hoping that he would be able to demonstrate a sufficiently powerful talent, and rejuvenate the gradually declining bloodline of the Jiang Family line.
“He will definitely be 6th Grade.”
“He’s 2nd master’s son after all. There’s a very high possibility of him having 6th Grade talent.”
Quite a few members of the Jiang Family started to discuss among themselves.
Qin Wei grabbed hold of her husband, Jiang Zheng’s hand, as she stared at her son.
“I hope that my talent has been raised.” thought Jiang Han in his heart. Although he could feel that his talent was indeed pretty good, he had yet to genuinely test it. Therefore, it was difficult for him to confirm the validity of his assumption.
Jiang Han had already taken the first step.