57 Inception of a Technique Part 1
As John watches Franklin struggle with the ever-increasing boulders, his mind wanders back to when he first came up with the technique. On that fateful exhibition, he'd come to terms with his lot in life. He'd been invited to join in raiding an ancient tomb.
One day at the while tending the gardens, John was flagged down by another disciple. "John a message for you." The disciple said as he handed it over. John looked at it quizzically before opening it with his calloused hands. Inside was an embroidered invitation.
Written inside was, "You are invited to join Falcon and those other dao friends who wish to explore an ancient tomb. We are currently looking for a cultivator with the ability to identify and produce countermeasures for a variety of dangerous mystical and divine plants. There will be a test at a banquet in the Lergerik city.
We look forward to your presence."
John scoffed at the letter. "Just asking for death," he cursed. John crumpled the note and threw it away. He'd lived 35 years he wasn't some fool kid anymore. He knew his place. His brown shoulder-length hair flowed in the wind as he picked up his hoe and turned away from the note.
In the evening, when his work was done, he prepared to go home. As he walked by the white paper stuck out. He hesitated for a moment and shook his head. "I guess it won't hurt to eat some free food and meet my peers," he says, picking the invitation up and flattening it on his chest.
John entered Lergerik city; it was a bustling hub for local cultivators with some famous shops. As he joined the crowd he tightens his cloak around him. The greatest protection he had was the ring and arrow emblazoned on the cloak. This symbol distinguished him as part of his sect. After asking around, he discovered the location of the banquet. In a somewhat renowned restaurant near the center of the city. When John arrived, it was already crowded.
As he neared a big guy with a black suit blocked John's way. "Invitation only," he said while grabbing John's shoulder.
John frowned this guy was way too powerful. 'Maybe this was a mistake after all,' he thought. John then pulled out the crumpled invitation and showed it to the bouncer.
When the man in the suit saw the state of the invitation, he scowled. His grip strengthened, causing John to wince. "How dare you treat master Falcon's invitation like that!" the bouncer growled.
John was shaking now. He'd really messed up this time. "I'm sorry an accident happened and," John tries to explain while grabbing the giant arm of the bouncer with both his hands.
"Let it go," a cheerful voice floats out from inside.
The bouncer scoffed and tossed John by the shoulder, causing John to stumble to the ground. John grimaces as the bouncer walked away to check other invitations. John picked himself up and patted down his cloak sending dust flying.
John opened the door to the establishment into a massive celebration. Extraordinary dishes that he'd never eaten filled the tables. Everyone was taking their fill happily. John's mouth watered as he quickly grabbed a plate to gather up the delicacies.
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As John piled his plate into a mountain other's gave him sidelong glances. He was the weakest to come yet. A sharped eyed youth couldn't help but comment to his buddies, "I thought this was a prestigious gathering. How did this fool get in?" His entourage laughed openly as they continue to mock John.
John just ignored them and found an open seat out of the way. He'd heard it all before, so he no longer had the pride of youth nor the face of a distinguished elder. After an hour, the place was packed with gardening experts. John was surprised he'd been in the gardening business for twenty years now, and the number of powerful gardeners he'd heard of could be counted on one hand.
After the dining area was filled, so every seat was taken the entrance was closed and beautiful maidens carried out five plants with bright smiles. Following them was Falcon with a smile that seemed to twinkle in the light. "Thanks for coming. Due to the lack of room, we will be doing the test in batches. Once you complete the test, I'll have to ask you to move on. When the tests are over we will announce the winner," Falcon announced to the room with flamboyant flair.
A distinguished-looking elder with a beard down to the floor asked, "So Falcon what sort of impossible test have you prepared for us?"
Falcon laughed and replied, "I'm sure all of you are wondering this. With so many gardening experts, what question couldn't be answered? But I dare say this won't be easy even for you Yorik," with a salesman smile he gestured to the five plants, "Even back at my clan we couldn't identify these strains of divine plants."
The room filled with gasps and murmuring. A tall man with bulging muscles spoke out, "If not even you're clan can identify them what hope do we have?"
"Don't worry friends if you can help us identify any of the mysterious plants there'll be a reward. If you can identify everything or even most of them, you'll be brought along to explore the catacombs with us. Of course, if you explore with us, you'll also gain the rights to a portion of the treasure found!" Falcon exclaimed.
"OHHH!" the more excitable in the crowd yelled. The murmuring was now a cacophony as people began to discuss the different plant's carried out.
"I've never seen anything like this how about you brother?" A boy who had sat next to john asked.
"Hmm?" John mumbled as he looked over at the boy who was in his late teen. 'Even this kid is stronger than me,' John sighed. He'd been focused on the food since he never planned to pass the test.
"The plants! Don't get distracted by the food! Old man," Another young man mocked.
"Oh," John realized he'd been a bit rude, so he looked over at Falcon and the plants on display. John squinted his eyes and furrowed his brow.
"Don't try to hard you might hurt yourself," a woman across from him laughed.
John looked around at the confused faces. "Is this a joke?" he can't help but ask.
The boy shook his head in disappointment, "Don't worry it far above most of us. We made the trip for nothing I'm afraid."