Chapter 423: Profiting From Another’s Work
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The old man once told him that soul perception could allow one to sense many things unseen by the naked eye. It was a skill that depended on one’s luck, but if one managed to master it like that old man did, then one would easily be able to activate it again. It was just the early stages that were rather difficult.
In this test, during first part of the first testing stage, soul perception was the key. If he failed at the very first test, then there would be no need for him to continue the second one.
Not long later, Tan Ze and the others brought out the testing props.
Six wooden tables were pieced together and a hundred black boxes were placed on them. The boxes were made of an unknown material, dense and dark with a chilling aura.
It was only after they were all placed down that Elder Qing began to explain the rules.
“Take a look at these black boxes, everyone. All sorts of items are placed inside, some valuable and some not. What you need to do next is to choose three boxes. Remember, you can only use your soul perception. If you use your Soul Force, not only will you fail to sense what’s inside, but your soul force will be sucked away as well.”
Qiao WuXing stepped forwards, raising his hand to ask. “Elder Qing, may I ask how our performance on this test will be judged?”
Elder Qing explained, “You’ll be judged according to the value of the items in the boxes you choose. If you choose two boxes that contain relatively valuable items, then that will be considered a pass, but if you choose two incorrect boxes, you’ll be eliminated. That is unless the item in your third box is immensely valuable.”
Everyone took time to digest this. Though Elder Qing didn’t give clear boundaries for high and low valued items, it shouldn’t be too vague.
Elder Qing then said, “Remember this, out of a hundred boxes, very few are truly valuable, so this doesn’t just test your soul perception, but also your luck and speed. In addition, once you touch a box, no matter if it was the one you wanted or not, it’s yours.”
The expressions of the participants all grew solemn. It seemed like they couldn’t hesitate for long, but they couldn’t be too early to judge.
You XiaoMo hadn’t excepted the first test to be something like this. It was both novel and effective. If those taking tests elsewhere were taking the same test, many people would be eliminated.
“It’s time. Come on,” Elder Qing said.
You XiaoMo took a deep breath and turned to say to Ling Xiao, “I’m going.”
Ling Xiao reminded him again. “Keep that old man’s words in mind. Whatever you do, don’t use your soul force. Not only can the material that makes up those boxes insulate against soul force, it also contains a special material that will attack a mage’s soul force.”
You XiaoMo gave a solemn nod before leaving.
The ten people stood in front of the six tables and only swarmed over after Elder Qing informed them of the time limit.
Since it was the first time they had encountered something like this, no one dared to be reckless nor did they dare to use their soul force at all.
You XiaoMo scrutinized the black boxes in front of him. The black boxes weren’t all of the same size. The smallest was only ten centimeters while the largest reached fifty centimeters. However, this was relatively rare. The majority were rather close in size.
There didn’t seem to be any shortcuts to this.
The sizes of the boxes might just be a cover-up, something used to confuse everyone.
Seeing everyone else fully attentive in their task of searching, he began to concentrate as well.
The hundred boxes were scattered all across the tables. Due to the restrictions set by the special material in these boxes, no one dared to be greedy. If they kept looking around and getting distracted, all the valuable items would be taken.
You XiaoMo composed himself. As the old man said, soul perception wasn’t something that would come at your beck and call.
Last time he had gotten lucky, but this time might not be nearly as easy.
You XiaoMo recalled what it had felt like the last time he had activated this skill. He remembered that it felt kind of like something was moving in the center of his forehead, hot and itching, as if something was trying to worm its way out.
Two seconds later, something went boom inside his head, as if something in his mind had exploded and then scattered everywhere like falling petals. In the next moment, the world changed before his eyes.
Spiritual energy danced through the air gracefully, curling around people and objects or being slowly absorbed. The density of the spiritual energy was twice what he had saw on the LongXiang Continent. So this was a higher plane.
Just as he was admiring this, a mental lightbulb went off in his head. Wasn’t he forgetting something?
You XiaoMo pulled himself back to the present, his gaze falling to the black boxes. That’s right, these boxes, they were absorbing spiritual energy.
Of course, the black boxes were absorbing the spiritual energy very slowly. If he didn’t look closely, then he wouldn’t be able to tell that the spiritual energy around them was disappearing bit by bit. No wonder soul perception was required. It was only with soul perception that you would be sensitive enough to the environment to pick up on this.
You Xiao pressed his hands against the table and leaned forwards, carefully scrutinizing the boxes.
Some people were still at a loss as to what they should do. Sensing his movement, they subconsciously glanced over only to see that his head was bowed, his eyes fixed on the black boxes as he thought about who knows what.
“He… hasn’t already managed to active soul perception, has he?” An Qiao stuttered. That was way too fast. He had only just finished speaking when he realized that all the rainbow soul people were all in a similar state and couldn’t help the anger that rose in his heart. Why didn’t he have a rainbow soul?
Since they couldn’t use soul force, they could only observe with their naked eye.
In front of You XiaoMo sat around ten boxes. The sizes of the boxes were about the same, but they were absorbing spiritual energy at different rates. Some fitfully took in little by little, some had it flowing in like a small stream and some were like they were dead without a hint of movement in spiritual energy.
If the value of the object inside was dependent on the rate at which they absorbed spiritual energy, then the black boxes that were the absorbing the most spiritual energy would probably be the most valuable.
You XiaoMo quickly locked onto one of the black boxes. This box was the best he’s seen yet. Though it wasn’t devouring spiritual energy, the value would probably be pretty high.
You XiaoMo reached out in delight, but never expected that, halfway there, another hand would dart out and steal away the black box he had in mind. He raised his head in surprise only to see An Qiao.
See him look over, An Qiao smirked, black box in hand as he said, “Sorry about that, this box is mine now.”
Though You XiaoMo hadn’t kept an eye on the other, he knew that An Qiao wasn’t nowhere near him originally. Under such a situation, he couldn’t possibly have gotten over so fast unless he had been observing You XiaoMo’s actions beforehand. This sort of behavior… he wanted to profit from You XiaoMo’s work!
You XiaoMo didn’t like his behavior, but didn’t bother stirring up trouble with him. They only had an hour. He had to hurry. His gaze quickly returned to the table.
Seeing his lack of reaction, An Qiao felt like he had punched cotton. It was alright though. So long as he locked onto You XiaoMo, he would easily be able to get his three boxes.
He was rather proud of himself for coming up with such an idea. Though he couldn’t active soul perception, he would be able to get what he wanted with a far easier method.
That’s right. Out of everyone, An Qiao was the only one incapable of entering a soul perception state. He was too impatient and unable to calm his emotions.
As for why he wanted to steal You XiaoMo’s, he subconsciously felt that You XiaoMo would be able to pick out good boxes. As for Jiu Ye and Qiao WuXing and the others, he didn’t dare even try to steal theirs.
You XiaoMo refocused himself. Since there were people all around him, he decided to just go for the boxes in the center. These boxes differed quite a bit in size. He could clearly see the spiritual energy surrounding the largest one being absorbed rather quickly. But that was when he found something strange.
You XiaoMo suddenly frowned, glancing around at the other boxes before suddenly pausing in surprising. That wasn’t right, this feeling… this was wrong, why was it like this?
He remembered that Elder Qing had said that the truly valuable items were few and far between amongst the hundred. That probably referred to items that would immediately give them a pass. Yet, looking over the boxes, he found that the proportions were all wrong.
From the beginning up until now, he had only seen very few boxes that barely absorbed any spiritual energy. Going by Elder Qing’s words, these boxes should take up a larger proportion.
You XiaoMo’s eyes widened. Could it be… that it was the reverse to what he had thought?
The more valuable the item, the less spiritual energy it would absorb. In contrast, the faster the rate at which it absorbed spiritual energy, the less valuable the item inside.
You XiaoMo sneaked a glance at Jiu Ye and Qiao WuXing. They seemed to have gotten the black boxes they wanted already, but had tucked them away quickly.
Though he hadn’t personally seen them, You XiaoMo was confident in his guess.
However… he glanced over at An Qiao who was waiting and watching at one side. I’ll make you regret stealing my stuff or my surname isn’t You!