8 A Dilemma.

The kingdom that Raymond was currently in was called the Herus kingdom. The Herus kingdom was a small kingdom located in the southern reaches of the north continent. Because of its relatively small size, there weren't many powerful cultivators, and definitely not any big sects. The biggest sect could barely be qualified as a rank 8 sect. This sect was known as the Silver Sword Pavilion. Other than the Silver Sword Pavilion, there were 3 other rank 9 sects.

These 3 sects were the White Deer Palace, the Burning Flames Sect as well as the Roaring River Society. The names of the sects often contained a trace of their direction of cultivation. The Burning Flames Sect was a sect that focused on fire-related arts and techniques, whilst the Roaring River Society cultivated water-related arts and techniques. Compared to the other two, the White Deer Palace was a little special. Most cultivators had an affinity with one of the four common elements, water, wind, fire or earth.

The White Deer Palace was a sect with a focus on the wood element. This element was a bit rarer, and therefore, fewer cultivators had an affinity with it. If they only had wood element techniques, then they would probably not even be a rank 9 sect, since they would have too few disciples. Since that would be stupid, they also had many techniques of different elements, with their better techniques mainly being wood related. Their supreme technique was a wood element technique for example.

Compared to the other 3, the Silver Sword Pavilion was a little more special. Instead of having a specific element, they were looking for cultivators with talent in the way of the sword. Since the sword was a common weapon that a lot of cultivators used, they naturally attracted a lot of different cultivators from all over the place. Their elemental restrictions were softer compared to the other sects, but your overall talent had to be higher as a result.

Their name came from their sect masters most famous technique, which was the core technique of the sect. When the sect master slashed out with his sword, anyone standing in its way would be cleaved in two by a pure silver radiance. After inquiring about this information, Raymond was currently pondering. The night had long passed, and the sun was already up in the sky.

He had never really thought about what kind of sect he wanted to join, which was also why his choice was rather easy to make. Since one of them was obviously stronger than the others, Raymond was going to try to join the Silver Sword Pavilion. He wasn't sure if he had any talent in the way of the sword, but the only way to find out was to try.

If it turned out that he actually had a talent for the sword, then his route for the future would be set. With his goal set, for now, all Raymond had to do was find out how the Silver Sword Pavilion recruited disciples. After asking around for a while, Raymond's countenance had visibly darkened a fair amount. The Silver Sword Pavilion only recruited disciples every three years, and the last recruitment was half a year ago. This meant that if he wanted to be recruited the normal way, he would have to wait for two and a half years first.

All the sects in the Herus kingdom would recruit disciples at the same time every three years, it was like a form of "friendly" competition between them. This meant that Raymond was pretty much out of luck without any sort of connections. Luckily for Raymond, there was still one more way to get recruited by one of the 4 sects. Every year, a tournament would be held in most major cities throughout the kingdom.

This tournament was held to find talents among the many rogue cultivators out there that had missed the opportunity to get recruited earlier. The only criteria to join this tournament is to be below 18 years of age and to be above the 3rd revolution of body refining. The next tournament was to be held in 6 months, which gave Raymond plenty of time to reach these criteria.

The only problem was that Raymond had no martial arts or Cultivation arts to practice. Even if he did have a cultivation art to practice, he would have to be able to reach the 3rd revolution of body refining in 6 months. And that was just the minimum requirement. To actually get recruited by one of the sects, he would need to get a good rank as well. This meant that he needed to reach even further on the path of cultivation.

Raymond pondered for a bit, before he decided to go out for a walk. Going out for a walk was naturally not just to enjoy the fresh air. Since he was unsure about what kind of choices he could make, asking around was probably the best choice. Maybe he could buy cultivation arts somewhere? He wasn't sure, but he still had plenty of money. Staying a night at the Brown Bear's Inn, excluding food cost him 10 bronze coins. If he lived fairly frugally, he would probably be able to spend at most 2 or 3 gold coins in 6 months.

Whilst always keeping a bright smile on his face, Raymond asked around the city's marketplace, and he was able to gather some information without a problem. To learn a cultivation art without joining a sect wasn't that hard, the only real problem was money. In Greencrest city, there was only a single establishment that sold cultivation arts, excluding the auction house.

That place was the Profound Secrets Trade Guild. If you wanted to buy something expensive or cultivation related, this was the place to go. Not only did they sell martial arts and cultivation arts, but they also sold all manners of jewellery and artefacts. Raymond couldn't ascertain a clear price for the kind of techniques he wanted, but he wasn't too bothered about it. All he needed to do was go there and look for himself after all.

The Profound Secrets Trade Guild was close to the centre of the city, almost right next to the city lords mansion. Since that was the case, it was really easy to find the way. After a few minutes of casually walking around whilst taking in the different sights the city had to offer, Raymond arrived outside the Profound Secrets Trade Guild.

The magnificent five-story building towered over all the other buildings around it, and its exterior was lavishly decorated. Just from looking at it from the outside, Raymond could almost feel a sense of intimidation. This establishment mostly catered to cultivators and descendants of powerful families. If he was to enter here, Raymond needed to be careful. One wrong step might end in calamity. If there was one thing to console him, it would be that he had a pretty good amount of wealth with him. People shouldn't think he was a beggar at least.

With a deep breath, Raymond calmed down his beating heart. With a refreshing smile, he pushed open the double doors to the lobby and entered with confidence.

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