At 5:00 PM, 1,000 meters above from the ground, the sky was covered with red clouds as resplendent lights blazed across the dusk sky.
This place was one of the highest floating mountains in Grand Desolate War Institution and was also a terribly harsh training camp known asthe Hidden Dragon Hall!
Those who accepted the special training here regarded themselves as hidden dragons who would one day soar into the sky and command the wind and clouds.
This was not arrogance but confidence because they were the most outstanding students that could be found in the entire Heaven Origin Sector. They were the best among the millions of teenagers in the federation, and in their eyes, the College Entrance Examination was nothing more than child's play. For them, they simply felt that it was beneath their dignity to take part in such an examination!
Most of all, the hundreds of students gathered here were all specially recruited students who have shown shocking displays of prowess in the Limit Challenge Competition!
At the edge of the floating mountain was a convex-shaped terrace, upon which stood four charismatic and powerful youths facing the wind who were exuding a radiance that was as sharp as a saber.
Zhao Tianchong was a freshman of the Chaos Edge Hall whose parents were loose cultivators; they were not affiliated with any sect or clan but lived a free life of hunting demon beast in the depths of the Wasteland.
In his infancy, he was on his mother's back when she hunted and killed demon beasts. While everyone else was sucking milk, he was instead drinking the blood of demons.
At the age of 11, he had personally beheaded a demon beast. Before the age of 19, he was already in the 3rd level of the Refinement Stage, greatly surpassing Fiend Blade Peng Hai's legacy.
Li Tieshan was a member of the Iron Fist Club who was from the Devil Fist Sect. His father was a Building Foundation Stage cultivator of the Devil Fist Sect who had unfortunately fallen in battle against a beast tide.
He was fostered by many elders of the Devil Fist Sect. Since childhood, he had accepted the harshest of combat training, and although he was half a year younger than Zhao Tianchong, he had also broken through to the 3rd level of the Refinement Stage.
Glyph Devils' freshman Gu Feixuan and Lancets' freshman Wen Ruorong were both from a family of cultivators, with at least one of their parents being a cultivator, thus they inherently possessed a powerful bloodline, and to top it off, since their childhood, they had undergone an incomparably terrifying training. They carried a corona of "genius" for every step they took on the road of their growth!
"Zhao Tianchong, I lost!"
Lu Tieshan said in a bit raucous tone; his voice, however, secretly harbored a sliver of excitement.
Although he was only 18 years old, he almost seemed to appear as if he was 38 years old. His entire body was like a rock which had been chiseled away by sand and wind for centuries. His pair of fists, in particular, was covered in intricate lines which gave off the appearance that they were covered in a layer of dragon scales.
"The four of us are the strongest freshman of the Hidden Dragon Hall. We have long decided to go head to head to see who is the best, and the result is that the three of us have gained 203 credits while only you have scored 205 credits. Everyone has finished taking the exams for all the courses, and as only a few hours are left until the end of the month, it seems that you are the irrefutable champion of the Newcomer Rankingyou are the strongest freshman of the Grand Desolate War Institution!"
Li Tieshan paused a bit. His eyes radiated with a sharp gleam as he continued, "Brilliant, brilliant, very brilliant! Since childhood, I have grown up in the Devil Fist Sect, and in the sect, it can be said that I had many peers but none who could inspire all my fighting spirit. Often, I would only use 80% of my strength, and that would be enough to completely blast them off. Such a life was really tasteless and too boring! I had never thought that just as I would enter the campus, I will get to taste defeatthis taste is really good!"
Narrowing his eyes and swaying his stout fingers, he stressed each and every word, "Zhao Tianchong, you have completely stimulated my fighting spirit. Next month, I will give it 200% to madly cultivate and become the champion of the next month Newcomer Rankingit will definitely not be you!"
The target of his words, Zhao Tianchong, who had a tall and thin stature and had a gloomy look, had yet to respond when a teenager next to him, whose face was covered in tattoos, burst into laughter: "Lu Tieshan, you can not forget me and Wen Ruorong. The credits scored by us are no less than yours!"
The only girl among the four people, Wen Ruorong, who was wearing a willow long skirt, slightly smiled. Her voice was very gentle, but when she spoke, her words were as sharp as a lancet: "Ever since I was young, no matter what sort of competition it was, I would always completely suppress my opponents by a large margin. Among my peers, not one person could bear to have 3-5 bouts with me! I had never imagined that today, there would suddenly appear three and one that has even surpassed me! Interesting, it is truly interesting. I am looking forward to the university life more and more!"
Only at this moment, Zhao Tianchong coldly said, "You are all welcome to challenge me anytime, I also want to try... the taste of defeat!"
The four people started at each other before they all smiled at the same time.
They were all cultivation geniuses and were not afraid of competition. What they feared the most was a lack of opponents. The feeling of drawing their swords only to find nothing around them was truly lonely.
Now that so many competitors who were not only rivals but friends as well had appeared all of a sudden, it was truly the best!
"I heard Teacher Ding Lingdang speak of a fellow student named Li Yao among the freshmen whose strength is extremely good and is enough to go head to head with you and I. For a long time, I have been looking forward to it, but who would have thought that after the accident of Refining Department, he would quiet down and now there isnt even a sound of him."
Lu Tieshan said with a bit of regret.
A contemptuous smile appeared on Gu Feixuan's face: "It's very normal. High school and university are completely different. Many students are outstanding in the high school, but when they enter the university, they will become quiet. It is because their fundamentals are only at the high school level!"
Wen Ruorong also put on a contemptuous look:
"I have also heard of him. Isn't he the so-called God of Sleeping? In fact, the level of strength is one thing and that of effort is another! I am not discriminating against students who are poor. After all, some people are talented and some are not, but as long as they work hard with all their effort, then it would be enough! But he is doing absolutely nothing! All day, he is passing his time sleeping. This is nothing but escaping reality! Does he think that by sleeping, he will be able to regain the Refining Department? From what I hear, he did his utmost and asked teacher Ding Lingdang to decrease the cut-off marks for him to enter. Teacher Ding Lingdang can be considered as a legendary figure in the Grand Desolate War Institution, so how come she missed it and recruited such a waste who does not have the slightest bit of fighting spirit?"
When the four of them were making frivolous remarks about Li Yao, suddenly, a sharp scream floated over from a terrace not far away from them: "What? I was kicked out of the top 100? Impossible!"
Li Tieshan raised his eyebrow as he said with surprise, "It's Cao Jiang. Didn't he just enter the top 100? If I remember correctly, there was quite a big difference between him and the 101st student; it was a difference of 7-8 credits. He had actually been caught up to so quickly? This kid's luck is truly bad."
If one could squeeze into the top 100 in the Newcomer Ranking, he would earn various incentives. It was completely different from the 101st place, which was why Cao Jiang let out such a heartbreaking cry.
Lu Tieshan pursed his lips into a smile as he shouted, "Cao Jiang, come here!"
Not long after, a dark-skinned boy with a moderate physique wearing a long face appeared before the four cultivation geniuses.
Until now, Cao Jiang still hadn't recovered from his surprise. His eyes were completely bloodshot, and he appeared as if could not wait to bite off two credits from anyone.
"Cao Jiang, now do you understand that there are hidden geniuses in this school and experts are like clouds here? There isnt just us from the Hidden Dragon Hall. Even among the ordinary students, there are many champions of College Entrance Examination. Take Zhang Chuang, the Southern Desert City's Champion of College Entrance Examination, for example. His strength is almost comparable with the specially recruited students of the Hidden Dragon Hall and gives many of us a run for our money! It is very normal for you to be kicked out of the Newcomer Ranking!"
Lu Tieshan slammed a fist on Cao Jiang's chest as he laughed and said, "There is no need to get disheartened. It doesn't matter if you didn't make it to the ranking. Next month, why don't you madly train together with me and then go kill like a man?"
At the beginning, Cao Jiang was a little bit depressed, but when heard Lu Tieshan speak, he had pretty much come around and stuck his tongue out: "Madly train with Elder Brother Tie Shan? I don't want to die!"
Just as these words escaped his mouth, everyone burst into laughter.
Lu Tieshan casually asked, "Right, who was it that squeezed you out of the ranking? Was it a specially recruited student or an ordinary student? If I remember correctly, wasn't there a pretty wide margin between you and several other students behind you? How come someone suddenly broke out?"
Cao Jiang scratched his head as he said in confusion, "It was not the people behind me who had caught up. It was... Li Yao."
Lu Tieshan blinked his eyes. This name sounded so familiar. it was still on the tip of his tongue just a moment, but how could that be possible?
"Which Li Yao?"
"Is there anyone else? It is the Refining Department's only student, the God of SleepingLi Yao!"
The complexion on Lu Tieshan, Zhao Tianchon, Gu Feixuan, and Wen Ruorong happened to change at the same time.
Especially Wen Ruorong, her cheeks seemed to be burning.
She started up the crystal processor in a flurry to check the Newcomer Ranking while muttering, "It can't be, did I blame him unjustly?"
Gu Feixuan said in embarrassment, "It seems Teacher Ding Lingdang's vision was right. This brat is really something. I know there are some people who don't like to take the test just after learning the course and like taking all the test together after they have learned all the courses. They believe that they can thoroughly grasp the theories this way. I guess Li Yao is such a person."
Just as her voice faded away, she noticed Wen Ruorong turn pale as she dumbfoundedly stared at the hologram. Her mouth was puffed up as though two quail eggs had been stuffed in her mouth.
"Isn't it just the 100th place? Is there any reason for you to be so scared? Although we specially recruited students are relatively stronger, it is necessary for us to give way to ordinary students. We can not occupy all of the top 100 rankings in the Newcomer Ranking, right? Hahahaha!"
Gu Feixuan lightly laughed; not at all had he taken this matter to heart.
"No, it's not the 100th place," Wen Ruorong stammered.
"It's 90no, it's 87!"
"This is nothing. After entering the top 100, everyone's credit is almost the same, so it's very normal to take over a dozen students after taking a test."
"But, Li Yao... he, he, he still has 30 exams left!"
"What?" Gu Feixuang screamed at the top of his lungs.
Not long after, screams could be heard coming from every corner of the Hidden Dragon Hall, seeming as if a terrifying plague was spreading.
"What? I have fallen in ranking? Who is so insane to take the exam when the month is soon about to end and also taking so many credits in one deep breath? Li Yao? Li Yao!"
"Dammit, I am kicked out of 70th place!"
"Is there some mistake? Why am I kicked out of 50th place?"
87... 69... 53... 37...
Li Yao was like an extremely accurate clock; every 10 minutes, his credits would change once, and every time the change occurred, he would jump in the Newcomer Ranking by a few positions. Several specially recruited students of the Hidden Dragon Hall were kicked out of their position, hurling them far behind.
After five hours, 10 o'clock at the night.
A deathly silence had taken over Hidden Dragon Hall. Over a hundred specially recruited students had assembled at a large stage at the top of the floating mountain where their eyes were glued at a huge hologram before them.
No one dared to say anything and didnt even dare to breathe loudly. On the stage which was accommodating over a hundred students, it was so calm that one could even hear their heartbeats.
Everyone's heart was beating to the extreme.
Because on the glittering Newcomer Ranking, Li Yao's name, which was like a hot knife cutting through butter, had made its way to the top 10 and appeared just below the name of the four cultivation genius, firmly occupying the fifth position. The remaining "hidden dragons" had been hurled beyond the highest heaven.
Li Yao's name was flashing in madness. After passing another exam, he had amassed 204 credits, leaping over Lu Tieshan's, Gu Feixuan's and Wen Ruorong's head and was just a step away from Zhao Tianchong!
The three cultivation geniuses from cultivators' families had been directly blown away!
"..." Lu Tieshan was rendered speechless.
"This madman!" Gu Feixuan repeatedly cried.
"This is too abnormal! How does this guy's brain actually work? I really want to dissect it!" No matter how Wen Ruorong wracked her brain, she could not figure it out.
The other specially recruited students were in an incomparable frenzy. Just after a second, the deathly silence was broken and everyone started seething!
"There is no mistakethis guy is insane! He has actually cleared 87 courses in one day and that too with a passing rate of 100%!"
"Furthermore, he had only taken 10 minutes to clear each exam. It suffices to say that his telepathic thoughts transmission ability is very strong and he has at the very least reached the 2nd level of the Refinement Stage!"
"Isn't he the God of Sleeping? Not a day goes by that anyone doesn't find him snoring in the Super Conception Cabin, so how come he is so strong?"
"He had already blown away three of the four experts of our Hidden Dragon Hall. Right now, only Zhao Tianchong alone is left. There is only a difference of one credit between them, and Li Yao is still left with one final exam. Is he also going to blow away Zhao Tianchong?"
"T-that's impossible, right? Thats too big of a joke!"
"Woosh woosh woosh woosh!"
Every specially recruited student's gaze gathered at Zhao Tianchong. They wanted to find some clues from Zhao Tianchong's expression.
Nevertheless, Zhao Tianchong was still cold, gloomy, taciturn, calm, and collected; he didn't even bat a lid.
A trickle of cold sweat appeared on his forehead; his heart had instead deeply betrayed him.