'10 total? And I need 30 potential points in total? If this is one of the promising ones, how am I going to find a suitable disciple in 5 days!?'
While Han De started to panic a little, now that he knew about the status check function, he started checking every single disciple. 1000 disciples all had lined up depending on their rank, the closest row being the highest, furthest one being the lowest.
'7, 10, 11, 8, 9, 8, oh my god this is getting worse by the second and these are the ones in the front row! Wait where is that Ming brat, isn't he supposed to be a hotshot?'
[Name: Meng Wei]
[Cultivation: Qi Condensation (3/13) (1.84%)]
[Roots: Fire (35%) / Ice (32%)]
[Potential Points (Total: 15)]
Cannot be accepted as a disciple.
'Compared to other kids this one isn't bad, but he still isn't even close…'
When Han De first heard about the Disciple Acceptance Ceremony, he thought he had found the solution without even looking. Now he was desperately checking the status of every single kid. After the first few rows were done, he found out status check had a maximum range and he needed to get closer to check others. Without even thinking about his act or image, he stormed down and walked towards the mass of disciples.
Elder Xaio's eyes were opened wide once seeing this.
"Does he intend to get a disciple this time? Really?"
"Hmm, he seems to be going towards Meng family heir, oh well, that kid is clearly the best of the bunch, probably the best one we've had in the last few years so it is understandable for him to choo-"
As Elder Yang was talking, Han De went past Meng Wei without even sparing a look at him. All of the elders were looking at him wide-eyed. Near the floor, Elder Yan's liver was in immense pain. 'Uhhh, I should've appeased him more, he really is making a scene, this damn brat.'
"Uhh, perhaps he is going for that Giant bloodline? Although he ranked in the middle, once his bloodline awakens his talent would incr-"
Han De was getting exceedingly efficient at looking at people's statuses. He was now checking 20 disciples at once. As he was checking more, the panic in his heart was increasing even more. The highest one he saw was by far Meng Wei, who now had a confused look on his face. He was checking every single person, but a thought suddenly occurred to him, he stopped completely.
'Wait, in those Xianxia novels, weren't MCs always trash? They would either start trash, or become trash, get treated like trash, but somehow obtain a heaven-defying item, and/or a creepy grandpa/loli, and quickly bullshit their way into higher realms…'
'I'm thinking about this all wrong! I need to find the least talented person with the most tragic backstory! Preferably their childhood friend captured/raped, or their parents dead/tortured/raped to death in front of their eyes etc etc'
'Right, the person who placed the last, where are you'
As if suddenly jolted back to life, Han De started walking towards the last spot with purpose.
Han De, being just 8 hours old in this world, didn't have any practice in controlling his aura. When he did cultivate, he did so consciously, with full aid of his memories. But now, he was a man on a mission. A mission to find the MC. He had no idea that his aura was leaking, or how to stop it. He could quickly figure it out if he had noticed the problem, but the problem was he didn't.
As the elders were watching from their comfortable chairs from their high positions, Han De subconsciously released his aura. His one and only martial art being Heaven Defying Tyrannical Sword, the released aura was naturally just that.
Understanding what was about to happen, Elder Yang suddenly rose from his seat. "What the hell is this brat doing?!"
Other elders were also shocked, some of the elders' jaws involuntarily went lose as Han De released his tyrannical aura and caused all the disciples near him to pass out with white eyes and foam coming out of their mouths. The lucky ones were a little bit farther away and they just peacefully passed out.
"Sigh, he released just a little aura and so many collapsed in an instant… Such a drop in quality"
Elder Yang, being a teacher first and cultivator second wanted to rebuke Elder Xiao, but he saw Han De kept moving towards the corner.
Elder Yan was regretful at first, but now he was furious. Although this ceremony was just a tradition and was mostly a sect gathering, prominent families also attended on occasion when they sent their promising children into the sect. This year Meng, Lin, Tan, and a few other families attended as well. They weren't highly regarded when compared to the Starfall Mountain Sect, but there is no need to lose face to them for no reason!
'Just because I sent you a grey robe you are acting against me? You think I will stand for this?'
Gritting his teeth, Elder Yan started moving towards him. The disciples were all standing in an orderly fashion, as Han De kept frantically checking statuses. One disadvantage he had was that the menus that appeared in front of him completely obfuscated whatever was going on behind them. Looking at 30 or so status check screens due to his panic, Han De failed to notice the elephant in the room. As he was running out of disciples, what made him stop was one particular status screen.
[Name: Ning Bi]
[Race: Human (100%)]
[Roots: Fire (100%)]
[Potential Points (Total: 35)]
Purifier of Planes
[Grudge (Mythical) (Unique)]
Never forgets a grudge. Never forgives a grudge. When fighting against a grudge spiritual power reserves become inexhaustible.
Extremely high potential. Would be a core pillar in any sect. Extremely compatible with Divine Phoenix bloodline. Recommended high stage Divine Fire or Ice constitutions.
'What a crazy status. This is MC level. She has max luck and talent! What a cheat! Everything about this girl is a cheat!'
'That grudge skill though… Shiet, I am a calamity attractor, if I acted like the previous Han De and offended this girl that would be the end of me. With her luck I'm sure no one here can kill her. She would just flee to a random forest and find some legendary pills then continue her bullshit power up and no one would be able to stop her…'
'I'm lucky that I didn't cause an incident. If I had, I don't know what I could've done to salvage the situation'
Han De closed all his status check windows to get a good look at this girl. He was 100% sure he was going to choose her after a small talk with her. Once he closed down, he immediately realized something was terribly wrong. He could see all of the new disciples had collapsed, all of them had white eyes, most of them had white foam coming from their mouths, and some of them were clearly having seizures (somehow all the ones that were having seizures were the ones near him, weird).
Looking up, Han De saw the little girl barely standing while shivering all over, and glaring at him. All blood on his face drained in an instant, and he inadvertently suppressed his aura at the same time.
'Shiet, now I've done it.'
Disregarding the girl herself, Han De realized elders were walking towards him, and even saw the wuxia uncle coming up to him with a dark face.
'If they somehow find out I'm not Han De, I won't even have to wait for this girl to grow up and kill me, I'm sure the sect leader would deal with me long before that. They could kill me, or extract my soul and torture me, turn me into a spiritual medicine, or trap me inside a spiritual artifact as punishment, or…"
Han De thought about the common Xianxia tropes he read in web novels without even considering if they were possible in this world. He wasn't used to environments with life and death pressure like this, so he couldn't help but think of irrelevant things as he further went down to the rabbit hole in panic. A powerful, nearly growling voice was heard behind him.
"Elder De… Would you kindly explain the meaning of your actions? Do you realize this is the disciple acceptance ceremony?"
Han De turned around and looked at the fuming wuxia uncle.
'Shiet, I can't even tell these guys the truth, can I? If I say I panicked they'll ask the reason, I can't say anything about the system. Even if I convinced them somehow, I still can't explain why I didn't end up restraining my aura. What? I suddenly forgot? A peerless genius of this generation suddenly forgot how to restrain his aura? And kept walking because he couldn't see what was in front of him due to bad UI? What is a UI? What do you mean by System? He is a witch! Burn him!'
Going through the motions in his head, Han De finally made the call.
'I can't tell them the truth, so I have no choice but to bullshit my way through. I can do this. I can do this! I've read enough crappy Xianxia novels! If I can spew enough nonsensical bullshit while acting like an arrogant young master, I might be able to confuse them to buy enough time to restrategize my approach!
Elder Yan, as the elder in charge of acceptance ceremony for the past 50 years was fuming. The ceremony was just a tradition. It was and always has been a boring affair. Elder Yan was proud of that. Boring meant consistency. The ceremony being boring highlighted the more talented disciples. It was a good opportunity to hook prominent families by making them look good. Even if Starfall Mountain Sect was unrivaled in the south-eastern part of the continent, giving face to influential families with such a small gesture like this maintained their loyalty. With nearly 1000 disciples on the ground that illusion got shattered completely, and worse of all it was done on his watch.
Elder Yan and others saw Han De giving a casual glance at the disciples.
"I felt a faint resonance in this year's disciples. It was like a whisper, like an echo."
Some elders couldn't help but look at each other. What resonance? What whisper? What echo?
"Is this the reason why Elder De didn't restrain his aura as he walked? Does Elder De not realize how his aura could damage or discourage the discipl-"
Han De casually waved his hand at Elder Yan.
"How could this little amount of aura damage the disciples? If they get discouraged it means their Dao hearts would never be strong enough in the first place. Talented ones can use this experience to drive themselves forward, untalented ones can use it to hold a steady ground knowing the sect has the power to support them."
Tying his hands on his back, holding his chin high, Han De slowly walked towards the little girl with his best 'profound expert' impression.
"We cultivators, cultivate our hearts. Overcoming insurmountable odds, going against the will of the heavens and withstanding tribulations are common affairs for us. Better for us and for the disciples themselves if they failed here and now, rather than failing themselves and their brethren during distress."
"Our sect has always put quality before quantity. If they cannot even hold the line during a war, what purpose would tens of thousands of soldiers serve? The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference. If we continue to fill our ranks for the sake of tradition, we'll need to prepare for the unforeseen consequences"
Han De stopped, looked at the elders and faintly smiled.
"Not to mention Elder Yan and others selected these disciples of the untold number of initiates. I trust that they wouldn't be so fragile."
A slight frown crept into Han De's face as he talked.
"If a significant number of them develop a shadow of doubt in their hearts, that might indicate there is far subtler work of fate at hand, then we need to take active measures rather than depend on a tradition to endure it"
At his words, some of the elders like Elder Xiao, and Elder Yang were in deep thought. They could see how bothered Han De was by this.
"I will be taking this girl as my disciple."
Han De pointed towards the glaring girl. He released and jumped on his sword with one hand on his back, and the other one holding the girl like a plastic grocery bag. No longer having the power to resist, the girl passed out in an instant. Elders watched as Han De flew away with the full speed of a Mid Core Formation expert.
* * *
Martial arts families watching on the sidelines were in a commotion.
"Who was that, so young, but so powerful!"
"What? You don't even know? That was Han De!"
"The young master of the sect!?"
"Shh, don't ever call him young master, he is an elder of the sect now, only call him Elder De"
"Hmph! Choosing that weak girl who took the last place over my Meng Wei, he must have no eyes!"
"She didn't even have cultivation right? Why would he choose such trash?"
Meng and Lin family elders had dark faces. They couldn't help but take this matter as a personal attack.
"You'd choose this trash over our Lin family? This brat, if he wasn't doted on by that monster…"
"Shh, uncle don't raise your voice, this issue might not be simple"
Lin family representative, Uncle Lin Li had a doubtful look on his face while looking at this nephew.
"Although we didn't listen in out of respect, we could still see their body language, how could we not? Elder De seems to have done this on purpose without telling the other elders, but he ended up pacifying the elders with just a few words!"
"That doesn't mean anything, he has the backing of that old monster, no one would dare offend his grandson for such a thing"
"Even if that is the case, elders should've stayed angry at him, but apart from that old Elder Yan, all of them immediately went in deep thought"
"The girl in the last place was the only one that could stay standing in front of Han De's aura. She was the last place disciple, I have seen her during the eliminations, her clothes were all torn and she didn't even have shoes! There is no way for her to have a spiritual artifact that could withstand Heaven Defying Tyrannical Sword aura"
Lin Li was about to explode
"Are you saying that girl with no cultivation withstood the aura just by sheer force of will?! What nonsense are you spouting, nephew don't keep disappointing me with this nonsense! Enough! We are leaving!.."
Lin family nephew wasn't the only one that noticed this. Naturally Starfall Mountain elders, Meng and Tan families also noticed it, but they couldn't assume foul play as easily as Lin Li.
"Elder De isn't someone that would do simple calculations like this. He isn't active in the sect as an elder in the first place, and his father still wouldn't allow him to do such a stunt without any clear benefit"
"That girl didn't have any treasures on her, that means she really withstood it by her own power, yet she doesn't have a cultivation base, Elder Yan, how did that girl end up as a disciple? With no cultivation base she should've been eliminated in the first few rounds"
Elder Yan's liver, as usual, was in great pain right now. This girl actually gave him and other minor elders quite a headache in the past month. Just as they thought she would finally get eliminated, she would find a miraculous way to get back in the race. Often times she ended up being included out of technicalities. Elder Yan being a righteous and meticulous person wouldn't eliminate someone if they met the requirements, even if it was out of luck. Yet this person, with effort, and a huge amount of luck was able to enter the sect even without any cultivation base. Even her roots were below average.
Elder Yan sighed, shook his head and started giving orders to attend to passed out disciples. Other core elders could see the Elder Yan's and even some minor elders' exasperated expressions and unanimously decided not to pursue the issue for now.