They met many cultivators along the way with most of them being at Qi Condensation. When they saw their guide, they respectfully saluted him. It appeared the youth had quite the reputation in the Drifting Cloud Sect.
They only came across one other Foundation Establishment cultivator, a yellow-robed man with a thin face and sharp ears. He flew up from Dayspring Mountain, but when he caught sight of the youth surnamed Yu, he smiled and called out to him, "Junior Martial Brother Yu, are these six newly arrived disciples? It seems there weren't that many this time around!" While he acted quite familiar with the youth, the others were able to see that he held hidden motives.
The handsome youth unconsciously frowned upon seeing the yellow-robed cultivator. Regardless, he calmly replied, “So it turned out to be Senior Martial Brother Yan! These people still need to be examined with truth techniques and be introduced to the sect master before they become official disciples. They are still only candidates."
The yellow-robed cultivator chuckled and said, “So its like that. However, Junior Martial Brother should know that my talisman refinement division still needs disciples. Do you think you could send two of these cultivators to me?"
At that moment, his eyes focused on the group behind the young man.
Han Li's expression was calm, but he felt quite disgusted from the gaze. From the way he looked at them and the tone he used, he certainly wanted to work them to the bone.
When the other cultivators heard him, their expressions slightly changed. It seemed they also didn't have a favorable impression of him.
"Senior Martial Brother Yan, that is not something I can decide. You should know that the allocation of disciples is decided by the sect master. If Senior Martial Brother feels that he doesn't have enough disciples for his talisman refinement division, you may bring it up with the Sect Master. Since Senior Martial Brother Miao is still waiting for me at the acceptance residence, I can't keep you company any longer." The youth surnamed Yu seemed to understand the yellow-robed cultivator's deceitful nature and immediately refused his request. After uttering an excuse, he stomped on his magic tool and brought the group of cultivators down to the pavilion below.
The yellow-robed cultivator thought to further hold him back, but after hearing the youth mention Senior Martial Brother Miao, he revealed slight hesitation and allowed him to go.
After watching the youth and company enter the pavilion from a distance away, his expression fluctuated. After lowering his head in thought for a moment, he coldly snorted and flew off to a different mountain in a streak of yellow light.
At that moment, the group had already arrived on the first floor of the pavilion and were meeting with an unfamiliar man.
He was a shriveled youth glancing through a bamboo scroll with keen interest as he sat in a sandlewood armchair. The man only appeared to be thirty years of age, but his cultivation had already reached the late Foundation Establishment stage. Although he had only reached late Foundation Establishment and hadn't yet consolidated his cultivation, he truly was a rarely seen talent. Having reached so far at his current age, he had great hopes of rising to the Core Formation stage. Could it be because of this man's name that the annoying yellow-robed cultivator didn't dare to trouble Junior Martial Brother Yu any further?
When the other cultivators witnessed the shriveled youth's cultivation, they glanced at each other with expressions of shock.
At that moment, this person had already folded up the bamboo scroll and glanced at the youth. He said with a soft voice, "Junior Martial Brother Yu, I've put you through a bit of trouble. Did Junior Martial Brother Yan block you just now?"
“Since Senior Martial Brother already knows of it, there should be no need to ask. However, did that person come again to bother Senior Martial Sister Peiling?" The valiant-looking youth asked with disgust.
"That person? Even if Junior Martial Brother Yan is somewhat excessive, he is still a fellow disciple of our Drifting Cloud Sect. Your words are inappropriate. Please take note of it in the future, else if the master notices, punishment is unavoidable." The sickly youth's words may have been meant to rebuke him, but his tone was completely flat, lacking even the slightest anger.
But all the same, the Junior Martial Brother Yu's heart trembled and he hastily said, "Senior Martial Brother is correct. This younger disciple will certainly pay attention to it in the future." Seeing that the youth admitted his error, Senior Martial Brother Miao nodded his head and smiled. He then turned his gaze to Han Li and the others as he began to examine each of them.
He seemed to be looking at them quite thoroughly, slowly examining them from head to toe. This had aroused quite a bit of anxiousness among those present. Possibly due to a misconception, Han Li felt that his gaze momentarily paused on the large fully bearded man before quickly turning to another person. Although it was impossible for Han Li's true cultivation to be seen through by him, Han Li felt slightly uneasy.
After a short moment, Senior Martial Brother Miao withdrew his gaze and calmly patted at his waist and took out a talisman that sparkled with silver light.
"It’s good that only about seven have come as I had expected. Otherwise, I wouldn't have enough True Heart talismans for all of you. Junior Martial Brother Yu, take these talismans and place them on their body. After they take effect, bring them to my study." Senior Martial Brother Miao spoke with a serene tone and handed the talismans to the youth. He then stood up from his chair and walked to the second floor without paying them any further attention.
However, when the shriveled youth slowly turned the corner, he suddenly bent down and began to rapidly cough. It sounded quite painful, but soon after, he managed to stand up and head towards the stairway underneath the bewildered gazes of everyone there.
A trace of astonishment flickered in Han Li's eyes but it quickly disappeared.
Junior Martial Brother Yu revealed a trace of anxiousness and sighed before turning towards Han Li and the others. "These are True Heart talismans. I'm sure you know what they do, so I'll save my breath. If you harbor any sinister designs or conspiracies, it would be best for you to take the initiative to leave. Otherwise, if you're discovered, don't blame our Drifting Cloud Sect for being ruthless."
With that said, a cold glint flickered from the youth's eyes as he glanced at the seven before him. Although his tone was quite fearsome, nobody took the initiative to leave.
As a result, the youth nodded with a relaxed expression and tossed the silver talismans towards the seven with a wave of his arm. They all placed beneath each of their right shoulders. The youth then casually sat down without any regard for the other seven and closed his eyes.
The others glanced at each other in dismay. Although they all had their own thoughts in mind, none of them dared to tear off the truth talisman. They could only wait.
At that moment, Han Li tilted his head and glanced at the silver talisman near his shoulder. For a very brief moment, he smirked. Not long after, the talisman began to shine with silver light before it soon faded away.
When the youth felt something happen, he opened his eyes and glanced at Han Li before emotionlessly saying, "Go to the second floor. Senior Martial Brother Miao is waiting for you!"
When Han Li heard that, he glanced at the talisman and wordlessly climbed up the stairs.
The second floor was quite empty with nothing apart from two prayer mats. The shriveled youth was sitting cross-legged on top one of them. When he saw that Han Li had arrived, he pointed to the other prayer mat and smiled, "Please sit down! There is no need to be nervous. It will be over quickly. The interrogation technique isn't anything like a soul bewitchment technique. It only determines whether or not your answers are truthful. Although it doesn't hold completely certainty, it will be correct most of the time. As such, I will ask you ten questions. If three or more are judged to be false, you will not be accepted into the sect. Do you understand?"
Han Li nodded his head and sincerely said, "Junior understands." He then sat down on the prayer mat in front of the youth. Regardless, Han Li inwardly sneered. As if the True Heart Technique could ever reveal his true intentions!
"Alright, let's start. Where were you born..." Seeing that the talisman on Han Li's shoulder was flashing with silver light, he began to ask questions.
Han Li and the others flew off from the pavilion and headed straight towards the largest mountain. All of the cultivators had passed the shriveled youth's cultivation without problem. As such, once the Drifting Cloud Sect Master recognized them and had recorded their names, they would become official disciples of the sect.
Han Li and the other Qi Condensation cultivators weren't surprised by the information regarding the tests, and were brought to Dayspring mountain by the valiant youth surnamed Yu.