John and Adam walked over to a relatively empty spot, and stood there in silence as they waited for the trial to commence.
Once everyone was in place, the Elder spoke up once more. His voice filled the entire massive room, allowing everyone to hear him clearly.
"This trial will remain open for six hours. If you have not passed the trial within six hours, you will be eliminated. The trial will become easier over time, but those who finish first will have higher rankings within the Sect. You may proceed."
The Elder waved his hand towards the central pedestal, and it began to glow in an ominous darkness. All those in the room soon felt a dreadful power begin to emanate from the pedestal, sending a chill up their spine. Many of the youths dropped to their knees, unable to take a step forward and begin the trial.
"Haha, what's there to be afraid of? You all disgust me," Russell yelled out before leaping into the formation.
The eyes of everyone in the room looked towards Russell as he entered the formation. His expression changed slightly as he entered, but he landed on his two feet and paused for a moment before starting to walk forward.
His gritted teeth and slightly unstable steps revealed to everyone that even he was struggling slightly. His expression slowly became more unsightly as he continued to move forward, indicating that the trial became harder as one proceeded further into it.
'The Elder did mention that the trial is the hardest at the beginning and eases over time, so it must be quite painful as of this moment.'
Soon after, June and Mason entered the trial as well, and began to proceed forward in a slow but steady manner. Mason had a calm and prideful look on his face, but everyone could see a tinge of pain lingering in his eyes.
June had a completely relaxed expression as she proceeded forward, and had the most steady steps of anyone inside.
'That lighting cultivation of hers seems like it would be quite painful, so this trial should be relatively easy for her.'
Soon after, around half of the participants had entered the trial, with the other half still undecided. Those within all had looks of anguish on their faces, indicating the brutality of the trial. Many had collapsed as soon as they entered the trial, and an Elder quickly escorted them away.
"I think it's about time we enter," John stated to Adam, but received no reply. He quickly turned around, and was unable to find Adam anywhere. His head swiveled left and right, and he quickly spotted Adam slowly but surely attempting to creep his way back to the entrance of the building.
"Adam, what are you doing?" John yelled out.
"I-I've decided that I'm fine becoming an Outer Sect Disciple," Adam replied in an uneven voice.
John shook his head and started walking towards Adam. Adam's eyes widened slightly as he saw John approach and quickly turned to flee.
"Oh no you don't," John yelled, and he quickly unleashed his fastest movement to catch up to Adam.
Adam screamed out as John rapidly appeared in front of him before he could react. He quickly grabbed his arm, and began to drag Adam towards the formation line.
"No, I give up, I'm fine with being an Outer Sect Disciple," Adam yelled as he attempted to pull his arm from John's grip. However, he was completely shocked to find that he was unable to make John's grip budge slightly, despite being an entire minor realm higher in cultivation than John.
Adam continued to plead for John to let go, but he refused to do so. His loud pleas entered the ears of all those who had yet to take the trial, and the Elder in charge looked towards the two of them curiously.
"He couldn't be thinking of-" the Elders thoughts trailed as he watched John forcefully drag Adam towards the start of the trial.
Adam continued to struggle, but his pleas fell on deaf ears as John walked forward and entered the formation. Pain washed over his body, mind, and soul, but it was unable to make John flinch even slightly.
'Compared to the Lightning World Trial and the sinister gate murmurs, this is not even worth noting.' ...
John had spent an entire month having his skin and muscles burned and ripped off in the lightning world, and had endured many other painful moments in his cultivation journey. To him, this trial felt like a slight breeze.
Adam was forcefully dragged into the trial, and his pleas quickly turned into cries of pain as he felt the formation wash over him.
"Gahh, let go, I give up"
"Gahhh, I'm dying! Mercy!"
John ignored the pleas and continued to walk forward.
"Think of this trial as a tempering trial for your willpower. Endure it as long as you can," John stated bluntly.
'He'll forgive me eventually, especially when he becomes an Inner Sect Disciple. Besides, the meek and afraid will never walk far on the cultivation path. This will hopefully be an eye opener for him.'
John steadily walked forward, with Adam's arm in his tight grip. Adams wails continued to ring out, and those nearby in the trial curiously looked over through pained eyes to see what was happening.
Each of them opened their eyes wide in surprise as they saw a boy steadily walk forward as if the formation didn't exist, dragging another boy behind him who was screaming the entire time.
Adams pained screams continued to ring out, and before long, he collapsed into unconsciousness, clearly unable to withstand the pain of the trial.
'Finally, some quiet.'
Although Adam had collapsed into unconsciousness, John could tell that he was unharmed, and the Elder had confirmed his question earlier.
Those nearby in the trial, as well as the Elder's watching the trial, all stared at John with various expressions on their face.
John continued to steadily walk forward, unaffected by the trial. Although the trial increased the level of pain he was feeling as he proceeded forward, it was still unable to affect him.
He continued to pass those who had entered before him, and before long, he caught up to those in the front who were half way through the test. He easily passed by Mason, Mae and Hartley who were beginning to struggle with the trial. Mason grit his teeth as he watched John casually walk by, and attempted to match John's pace, but quickly stopped as the pain that assaulted him nearly overwhelmed him.
John soon reached Russell, who was in second place, and passed him with ease. Russell too attempted to match his pace, but was unable to do so. John's pace remained steady throughout the whole process, shocking all those watching.
"What the hell? Does he even feel pain?" One youth grunted through gritted teeth as he watched John swiftly proceed through the trial.
Soon after passing Russel, John caught up to June, who was in the front of the pack and only thirty yards from completion. However, the pain began to grow tremendously the closer one got to the pedestal, and even June began to slow down her pace to withstand the pain from the trial.
John smiled towards June as he passed her, and continued to walk forward while dragging the unconscious Adam behind him.
June narrowed her eyes as a curious expression appeared on her face. She watched in a disbelieving fashion as John walked as if there was no pain assaulting him, and easily reached the pedestal in the center of the room.
By the end of the trial, John could feel the pain begin to have an effect on him, but it was still unable to hinder his steady progress. Compared to the Lightning World Trial, even the most painful part of this Trial of Pain was far beneath what was required to affect him.
'It seems as if that Lightning World Trial gifted me with more than just the egg.'
John's hand reached out and touched the pedestal, and both him and Adam disappeared from everyone's sight.