The two of them exchanged a look. Liam didn’t say anything and merely snorted.
Helis snickered like a wily fox.
They knew very well that Clearheart Sect was a unique sect. But it was on the decline and its standing had been steadily falling over the years. Many people were eying it hungrily.
The guests that Cid had invited to the sect had come on the pretext of seeking Lacey’s hand in marriage. But their true intention was to infiltrate Clearheart Sect and carve a place for themselves in the sect before anyone else could.
“Hey,” Liam suddenly sounded serious. Helis stopped smiling too as a solemn look appeared on his face. “Clearheart Sect cannot fall. That is our duty.”
He said “our” and not “my”. This wasn’t a responsibility that was solely shouldered by the sect leader.
If Clearheart Sect were to fall and fail to perform the purpose it had been created for, a devastating calamity was going to befall them.
“I know,” Helis nodded. “Don’t worry. I’ll keep it standing. Even when I’m dead, I’ll help you and the generations of sect leaders that follow to keep the sect standing.”
His voice was filled with certainty and determination.
Liam wasn’t the one who called the shots in Clearheart Sect.
There were few in the Inner Court, Outer Court, and even amongst the elders, who were truly loyal to Clearheart Sect. How could Liam not know?
On the surface, everyone appeared to be cordial to one another. But they had secretly allied themselves with other sects and entities a long time ago. As soon as the opportune moment struck, they would reveal their true colors without hesitation.
The only person whom Liam could trust was Helis.
“If I fail to protect the sect,” Liam took a deep breath before continuing, “I’ll die here. My bones will stay in the sect.”
Helis didn’t say a word. His eyes reddened slightly.
Clearheart Sect had weakened considerably. Without its former reputation and unique status, it would have been taken over by others ages ago.
Helis pursed his lips. After a long moment of silence, he nodded. “My bones shall remain here too.”
They exchanged a long look and neither said a word.
Liam gathered his thoughts, then waved his hand. “Alright, we’ll carry out the plan that we have made. We’ll do what we can. The rest is up to the heavens.”
Perhaps it wasn’t up to the heavens. Perhaps it was up to Ethan.
But Liam dared not believe that the outsider would truly bring change.
The test was going to take place tomorrow.
Every disciple in Clearheart Sect was filled with nervousness.
Inner Court and Outer Court disciples weren’t the only ones who had to take the test. Portico disciples had their own test to take as well.
But to a typical Portico disciple, this wasn’t a difficult test. They had the ability to pass it effortlessly. After all, a Portico disciple was gifted with talent and skill.
The same couldn’t be said for Inner Court and Outer Court disciples.
Those that surpassed the rest would catch an elder’s eye and be made a Portico disciple. Those who failed the test would be demoted to the rank below their current rank.
Outer Court disciples who failed the test would be expelled from the sect. That was a fate worse than being marked as a Sinner.
After all, Sinners were still considered as disciples. They still belonged to the sect, so they were a member of Clearheart Sect.
As for Lacey, this test meant something different for her.
She was aware that her reputation was at stake. If she were to lose again, Liam would be utterly humiliated.
Liam was the sect leader of Clearheart Sect, but the elders in the sect weren’t characters to be trifled with either. Lacey was well aware of that fact.
There was no training today. Lacey took a stroll in the courtyard and in the training ground.
She stared at the oddly shaped devices on the training ground. She had shattered some of them. Some of them had been bent out of shape. They no longer looked like what they had looked like at first.
“Did I do that?” Lacey was amazed by herself. “Do you think I can pass the test?”
She turned and looked at Ethan.
She had improved drastically within a few weeks. She couldn’t believe how much she had improved.
“That’s a question you have to ask yourself,” said Ethan.