After Aelina finished her announcement, she waited for someone to ask her questions, but nobody spoke up. She wasn't surprised by this as there wasn't much to ask. Her plans for who becomes the Prime Disciple have only reached the conceptual stage and haven't been put in motion. So, there's a possibility that what Aelina wants to happen might not even go through, but even if it didn't, they believed she still had a backup plan for when that happens.
Still, Nova and the other four disciples in the room were excited about the prospect of challenging disciples from other Sects!
While sparring against each other, killing beasts, and taking on missions where they must hide their identity are great, they'd be lying if they said they didn't want to become famous or see how they fair against the other Sects.
However, they have absolute confidence in their strength and training and didn't believe they'd lose to anyone among those in the same Cultivation Realm as them.
Since nobody spoke up or had any questions, Aelina took it as if they were okay with her arrangements.
"If you guys don't have any questions, you're free to leave. However, I'd like Mira, Maria, Nova, and the other disciples to stay and greet each other before returning. You seven will be working with one another in a month, after all."
Nova and the four other disciples nodded and walked over to Mira, who had already stood up to return to her residence and begin training.
Mira inspected the four other disciples intently as she could feel they had auras no less powerful than Nova. They all seemed to be at or around the 3rd Stage of the Soul Transformation Realm, which surprised her.
The first one to step up was Nova, who never gave Mira a proper introduction, "My name is Nova, and I'm the Direct Disciple of Elder Irene. I look forward to working with you and seeing how much you can improve in this next month. I'll be sure to report my findings to the Sect Master after we finish our mission."
Next, the green-haired girl with a vibrant aura full of life stepped up, "You may have heard my name earlier, but I'll reintroduce myself. I'm Eden, and I'm an Elf," She pushed back her hair, revealing a pair of slightly pointed ears, "I come from Elsum, an Elven City in the Torrential Rainforest east of Lunar Fox City. I also have a Heavenly-Grade Physique like Nova, called the Sacred Elf Queen Physique."
Mira and Maria were a bit surprised that they met such a talented person from the area around Lunar Fox City. However, Mira was more interested in the term "Heavenly-Grade Physique".
'It seems like there's more to physiques than I initially thought. I guess I'll need to research more about this later.' Mira noted down in her mind.
Next up was a girl with wavy blue hair with silver highlights that gave off a gentle yet steady aura reminding Mira of someone like a priest or a monk.
"Greetings, Mira. My name is Seraphine, but you can call me Sera if you'd like. If my Master, Master Miriam, informed me that such a beautiful Junior Sister entered the Sect, I would have come down the mountain to play with you sooner," Seraphine winked and gazed wickedly at Mira's domineering body.
While Mira ignored her gaze, Maria inched closer to Mira, grabbed her waist, and growled at Seraphine with a look that said, 'Mira is mine!'
Seraphine couldn't help but chuckle at this and backed off, as she didn't want to create trouble at the first meeting. The others rolled their eyes at Seraphine's antics, but they had to agree that Mira was truly beautiful.
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In fact, if she were a bit stronger, if Mira wanted, they probably wouldn't mind her pinning them down and…
The next disciple to introduce themselves looked a bit more normal. She had dirty blonde hair and brown eyes, but she had two tattoos that went down the sides of her neck and onto her chest. One was a tattoo picturing lightning bolts, and the other one was a large fire.
She walked up to Mira, cupped her hands, and bowed, "Pleased to meet your acquaintance, Mira, Maria. My name is Everly, and I'm a direct disciple of Master Vivian. As you can see from my tattoos, I have affinities to the fire and lightning elements. If you have any questions, you are free to come to me for assistance."
Mira nodded but didn't take what she said to heart. She figured Everly was just being nice, as they are technically competitors. Why would she help her out?
Finally, the last person to introduce themselves had the most deadly aura out of all five. Her aura was as silent as the grave and sharp as a knife. Mira felt that this girl was ready to kill, even now. However, she couldn't gauge the depths of this person's strength, making her a much more dangerous opponent than Nova could ever be.
As the saying goes, the most dangerous opponent is the one you know nothing about.
The girl had dull silver hair, black eyes, and a relatively small stature, standing at around 1.6 meters tall.
The girl nodded slightly and said with an almost robotic-sounding voice, "Rayna." Then, she turned around and left.
However, nobody reprimanded or tried to stop her despite her attitude. In fact, they didn't even spare Rayna a glance, as if they expected this kind of behavior from her.
Mira inwardly smiled, 'Finally, someone who doesn't talk so much!'
She already had Maria, who talked more than enough for the two of them. If Aelina put her in an entire team full of chatty people, she might lose her mind!
Mira nodded at them, accepting their greetings. Although a few of them were a bit quirky, she felt like they were all good people who just wanted to make themselves and the Sect stronger. It was the same for the Elders. Although they didn't introduce themselves to Mira, she got the feeling that they only cared for the betterment of the Sect.
Before they could continue their conversations, Sect Master Aelina appeared before them.
"It seems like the introductions are out of the way. Now, let's briefly discuss your mission before I send you back to prepare."
Mira and the others' expressions turned serious, and they nodded.
Seeing this, Aelina continued, "I'm sure you guys know this, but stealing those Mid-Grade Spirit Stone Mines from the Unorthodox Faction won't be easy," She glanced at Nova and the others, "Even for you all, who have reached the Soul Transformation Realm."
Nova, Seraphine, Eden, and Everly all understood why she was saying this. Mid-Grade Spirit Stones are important to Nascent Soul and Soul Transformation Realms cultivators, which are essentially the backbone of the Top Sects on the Continent.
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One might think the Mortal Shedding Realm experts and Divine Sea Realm Sect Masters are the most important, and they are. They are the reason that a Sect can even become a Top Sect.
However, suppose a Sect can't even help cultivate their Nascent Soul and Soul Transformation Realm disciples. In that case, that Sect will eventually die out, even if they have Mortal Shedding and Divine Sea Realm experts.
A Sect, in the long run, needs to be able to keep generating powerhouses that can run the Sect after the Elders and Sect Master die.
That's where Mid-Grade Spirit Stone Mines come into play.
What's the most important thing to a cultivator? Strength or cultivation!
How do they get that strength and cultivation? With Qi!
How can they speed up their cultivation? By cultivating in a place with denser Qi!
The density of Mid-Grade Spirit Stones is perfect for those in the Nascent Soul and Mortal Shedding Realms to maximize their cultivation speed.
Thus, if a Sect controls a few of these mines, they at least have the minimum amount of resources needed to cultivate their disciples efficiently.
That's where the problem lies. Since these mines are so important to a Sect, it goes without saying that there is guaranteed to be an equal amount of protection around them.
Having experts in the Soul Transformation Realm protecting them is a given. Most likely, there will even be an Elder at the Mortal Shedding Realm overseeing the mines as well!
Aelina nodded her head, grateful that she didn't need to explain all this, "It's good to see you understand your predicament. However, I wouldn't give you a mission that is impossible for you to complete, with a 100% chance of you dying."
Suddenly, four books appeared in her hand, and she tossed them to Nova, Eden, Seraphina, and Everly, "Study those manuals, and if you can master them by the end of the month, you should be able to hold your own against a Stage 1 Mortal Shedding Realm Elder. Rayna already has one and will join you in your training sessions."
Then she turned to Mira, took out three books, and handed them to her. "Your battle against Nova was great, but if you were to improve in just a few areas, you could have lasted much longer. These books will help you with that. They shouldn't take you too long to learn, but you will see an improvement in your fundaments and foundation."
Then Aelina tossed a spatial ring to Maria, "I've put a few things in there that will be necessary for the team, but don't tell anyone about the things you've received, not even Mira." She said sternly. Maria glanced at Mira, who nodded back at her and agreed to Aelina's agreement.
Finally, Aelina turned to all six of them and said, "Learn and master the things I've given you and think about how you can win with the limited information you have. If none of you have come up with a decent plan after a month, I'll fail you all and disqualify you from the Prime Disciple position!"
"Alright, that's it. You may leave now!"
With that said, Aelina disappeared into thin air, leaving the six of them alone.