John was unsure of what exactly he was getting into by allowing Adam to follow him, but he was sure it was going to cause many headaches in the future. However, he could tell that Adam was a sincere person through all his embellishments, and so John had a good impression of him.
Also, if Adam truly turned out to be a formations expert, that would be invaluable in the future, and John would not pass up on such a thing.
The two of them followed the path out of the city, which pierced into the nearby forest. Just like last time, the pathway was lined with beautiful trees in full bloom. Flowers of every color appeared all around, and the gentle wind nudged some of the blossoms off the trees, creating a mesmerizing rainfall of flowers.
Many tranquil streams of blue colored water flowed by. Beautiful bridges with intricate craftsmanship crossed over each stream, and numerous types of fish were seen swimming in the streams below.
"This Sect sure is beautiful," Adam commented. John nodded his head in agreement.
"It truly is, and the main sect grounds are even more so," John replied.
"You've seen the main sect grounds?" Adam asked in surprise.
"Yep. I've had a...unique relationship with the Heavenly Lightning Sect for the past few months, although I'm still required to take the entrance exam like everyone else."
"Well, that makes sense. I heard that there's some sort of ritual or baptism for all who wish to enter the sect, and that it takes place once a year. Without this baptism, no one can enter the sect officially," Adam replied, causing John to come to an understanding of why he was unable to directly join the sect.
'I wonder what type of ritual is so important as to be the main requirement for joining the sect?'
John pushed these thoughts aside, as the truth would soon reveal itself. The two of them continued to walk down the scenic path for some time before they once more came to a clearing in the forest. Their eyebrows raised slightly at the sight before them.
A massive four sided pagoda, several hundred yards wide and nearly one thousand yards tall stood before them. Its walls were painted dark grey, and it exhibited the same detailed level of craftsmanship as the rest of the sect grounds. Intricate red eaves jutted out of the building every dozen yards, revealing that the tower had many floors. Dozens of doors existed at the bottom of the tower.
A crowd had gathered before the trial, and there was a line formed in front of each of the many doors. Although John and Adam had cleared the second trial extremely fast, they had been in the middle of the pack during the first trial, and many had started the second trial before them.
An Elder stood at the very front of the building, and sat there with his eyes closed, as if the trial had nothing to do with him. John and Adam walked forward to the crowd, and joined one of the lines.
"Excuse me, do you know what type of test this trial is?" John asked the girl in front of him. The girl had long brown hair and was quite tall for her age, nearly the same height as John. She wore exotic looking leather armor, making her look like a battle barbarian.
She turned around and her hawk-like eyes inspected both John and Adam before responding.
"No one really knows. The Elder in front of the building instructed us to form lines in front of the door and wait for it to light up before entering one by one."
"Thanks," John replied. It seemed like he would have to enter the trail to figure out what type of test it was.
The line gradually moved forward, with each door lighting up in various time increments, indicating that not everyone passed or failed the trial in the same amount of time. John had his suspicions regarding the trial, but wasn't sure enough to make any concrete guesses yet.
"What type of test do you think it will be?" Adam asked John curiously. ...
"I can't say for sure, but this is the trial that decides if one becomes a sect disciple or not. Our essence Qi and talent, as well as our soul and perceptions have been tested already. I doubt there will be a body test, as the Heavenly Lightning Sect is an essence Qi based sect, so...I think it will be some sort of combat test," John replied.
Adam thought about it for a moment. "That sounds plausible. It wouldn't make sense to permit entry to those who aren't at least somewhat combat capable, as the sect is primarily a combat based sect," Adam agreed.
John had expected Adam to be slightly nervous at his guess, given that he was a formations expert and not a combat expert.
"Aren't you slightly concerned if it is a combat test? Your essence Qi barely passed the first test," John asked curiously.
Adam smiled proudly, and a small object appeared in his hands. It was a circular object roughly six inches across and one inch thick, and many rune's were engraved on its surface.
"Not to fear, I have plenty of these killing formations, specifically for a test such as this," Adam replied with a confident tone.
"Killing formation? Didn't the Vice Sect Leader say no outside treasure are allowed?"
Adam smiled proudly once more, his chest puffed out as he responded. "No outside treasures, yes. But we are allowed to use treasures or formations we've personally made ourselves. And these killing formations have been made by me personally."
John inspected the formation disk once more. As he studied it closer, he could tell that the craftsmanship of the runes on its surface was much less profound than any of the other runes he had seen before, as if crafted by an amateur.
'I suppose it makes sense that it's this shoddy, given that he's only started out on the formation path. I just hope it's enough to pass the test, or him being my follower is all for naught.'
The two of them continued to talk as the line slowly but surely crept forward, until John watched the barbarian-like woman enter the door. He waited in line for nearly thirty minutes before the door once more lit up, signaling that it was his turn to enter.
"You're up next. Good luck once inside, although I'm sure you won't need it," Adam stated while giving John a thumbs up.
John nodded towards Adam. "Good luck yourself. Don't let me down after I've officially accepted you as a follower," John stated, trying to give Adam some extra motivation. He knew Adam was a prideful person, and such a statement would only increase his desire to prove his worth.
"Don't worry, a sect such as the Heavenly Lightning Sect can't hinder a great man such as myself."
John shook his head and walked forward. He entered the door of light without pausing, and immediately found himself inside a large room one hundred yards wide and tall. The stone walls were light grey, and various light formations lit up the entire room.
Just as John was about to question what type of test this truly was, he heard a voice fill the room.
"Fight for as long as you can."
A loud roar echoed throughout the room, and John found himself face to face with a profound beast that had appeared out of thin air.