Everyone's eyes were on Ye Futian and Yang Xiu. Another one of Qingzhou Academy's elders walked up on the stage and asked Yang Xiu, "Could it be that you want to grade the exams yourself?"
"I would not dare to have such thoughts." Yang Xiu shook his head. "I only want to know why he scored higher than me, what was I lacking?"
The Qingzhou Academy elders sat in silence. Finally, one of them nodded and said, "Alright. Since you have your doubts, then we will let you know the reason why."
All of the students and everyone observing from the stands remained quiet. They too were curious, what responses could Ye Futian have given to surpass Yang Xiu?
"The first question: During a battle between a knight and a sorcerer, the sorcerer's elemental Spiritual Qi runs out. If you were the knight, what would you do? What if you were the sorcerer? How did you answer this question?" the elder asked Yang Xiu.
Yang Xiu's eyes lit up as he said with confidence, "If I were the knight, I would continue my attacks until the sorcerer's Spiritual Qi ran out, and end them with a final blow. If I were the sorcerer, I would try to find my opponent's weak point and attack at full force once the opportunity presented itself."
Many people began to nod. To them, Yang Xiu's response was well-rounded, many people would have answered the same. So where did he go wrong?
Even the VIP guests onstage were intrigued. This question was given to test the students' ability to adapt to an emergency situation. In their eyes, Yang Xiu's answer was not bad. How would Ye Futian answer this question?
"Ye Futian, please tell us your response." The elder looked at Ye Futian, who in turn, stood up and looked at Yang Xiu. He then said, "If I were the knight, I wouldn't give my opponent a chance to retaliate. I would attack continuously until he falls. If I were in the sorcerer's position and collected the Wind Element, then I would escape. If I was a sorcerer of any other element, I would pretend to be completely drained of power. If needed, I would even take a hit from the offense and then when they're least prepared, attack with my last remaining power."
"Why did you respond in this way?" asked the elder.
"In a battle between the two, if the knight can drain the sorcerer of his power, then that means that his foundation is probably already stronger. Under continuous attack, the only person making any mistakes would be the sorcerer. The bug in Yang Xiu's response is if the sorcerer was able to find the knight's weakness, then he would have done so during the previous exchanges. If you want your opponent to trip up, you must pay the price," Ye Futian answered slowly. Upon hearing this seamless response, Yang Xiu paled.
Everyone on stage began to nod in agreement. In comparison, there truly was a big difference between the two.
The elder nodded as well, then turned to look at Yang Xiu again. "The last question: In a group battle between martial art cultivators and sorcerers, who would win? How did you answer this question?"
"It would be difficult to determine the results if everyone was on the first few planes of Awakening. If everyone was in the same higher plane and if both sides were equal in number, of course, the victory would go to the sorcerers." Yang Xiu did not waver in his response. He himself was a sorcerer, so he believed that sorcerers were better than martial art specialists. He was very prideful.
"Ye Futian, and your answer?" asked the elder.
"At Awakening, the martial art cultivators have a higher chance of victory, anything above this level, sorcerers would have a higher chance," he replied calmly.
"Ridiculous. How could martial art cultivators win against sorcerers, even at the Awakening level? Furthermore, sorcerers wouldn't have a 'higher' chance at a more advanced level; they would have a complete victory, no questions asked," Yang Xiu said coldly.
"Explain it to him," the elder made his request to Ye Futian.
Ye Futian looked at Yang Xiu and asked, "Between martial art cultivators and sorcerers, who has the better fitness, stamina, and speed?"
"Indeed, those are a sorcerer's weaknesses, but martial art cultivators wouldn't even be able to get close to the sorcerers." Yang Xiu stared at Ye Futian.
"At the Awakening level, sorcerers cannot cast their spells from a far distance. If the martial arts cultivators choose to surround without attacking, what do you plan to do?"
"That's a stupid question. Then I would obviously choose to attack first. Even at the Awakening Plane, sorcerers have more powerful attacks," Yang Xiu retorted.
"You attack, I recede. You retreat, I surround," said Ye Futian.
His words gave shivers to many of the honorable guests. He was able to calmly deliver his battle plans. If a person with a lot of battle experience had said this, no one would have been surprised, but these words came from an inexperienced youngster still in the academy. This was what made it so impressive, but chilling at the same time. His battle tactics showed his detailed understanding of strengths and weaknesses of both martial art cultivators and sorcerers and he was able to incorporate this knowledge into his plans.
His tactics were extremely passive aggressive. Martial art cultivators were stronger, have better stamina, and were faster than sorcerers. Sorcerers in the Awakening Plane cannot attack from afar, so all you had to do was wait for them to deplete themselves of power.
Yang Xiu did not look well at this point. He stared at Ye Futian and said, "The Awakening Plane leads to overall enhancement, if sorcerers focused on the enhancement of their spiritual powers, then they might not lose to the martial art cultivators in strength, stamina, and speed."
"You already said to disregard the first couple planes of Awakening. Once sorcerers reach the sixth plane, the Invincible Plane, they would have to focus on learning to control their elemental spiritual powers as well as other spiritual powers between Heaven and Earth. They would have to focus on training in sorcery, as the amount of energy they can exert for enhancement is very limited. Martial art cultivators, on the other hand, don't have this problem. Your ideal situation right now is edging closer to cultivation in both arts," Ye Futian slowly explained, "Even though the cultivators in the two groups do not have that much of a difference in the Awakening Plane, the comparison is still there. Naturally, it would be most beneficial to cultivate in both martial and divination arts."
"That's enough," the elder spoke once again. "As for the reason behind why it would be possible for martial art cultivators to win at higher levels, we'll leave that for you to think about yourself. Remember, understanding yourself and others is the key to victory. The strong are strong, regardless of which art they cultivate. Yang Xiu, if we placed you against Ye Futian in a fight under fair circumstances, you would be fated to lose."
Since the start of Qingzhou Academy, the Spring and Fall Quarter Examinations always included a written test. These youngsters have had no actual battle experience, so the most important thing to do is to engrave basic knowledge into their brains.
"Fated to lose?" Yang Xiu was now in a somber mood. He then lifted his head toward the elder and said, "I acknowledge my defeat."
The elder looked at Yang Xiu and knew he had yet to accept this reality. It was not easy to change the mind of a youth.
"The Fall Quarter Written Examinations will end here for today, the most important portion of the test will continue tomorrow," announced the elder. Students began to stand one by one, wanting to go up to the stage and greet the VIP guests.
This was the end of this quarter's written exams, however, so students had yet to settle into their feelings. Countless pairs of eyes fell on Ye Futian. For the past three years, he had been ridiculed numerous times for being a legendary loser, but now he had thoroughly shocked everyone. Who would believe that he could be ranked first on his first written test?
Yang Xiu turned to face Ye Futian. He said coldly, "I take back what I said to you before. I guess you have learned a lot in the three years you wasted. But even if that's the case, everything written on paper is useless. There is no use in having all of this knowledge if you are physically incapable. With no powers, it would be as easy as stepping on an ant to defeat you."
"Are you trying to make yourself feel better after all that embarrassment? How disgraceful. Do you want me to step on you like an ant?" Yu Sheng stood up, his large physique shadowing over Yang Xiu. His aura was enough to suffocate the latter. In the blink of an eye, Yang Xiu's expression looked even worse than before. Of course, he had heard of Yu Sheng. This psycho knocked out all the teeth of a senior brother two years ago just because the brother had insulted Ye Futian. After punching out his teeth, Yu Sheng picked him up by the collar and tossed him outside the academy gates. Since then, no one has dared to insult Ye Futian in his presence.
Even though many people had forgotten about this incident in the passing years, Yang Xiu remembered. He cowered in front of Yu Sheng.
"SCRAM!" The thunderous shout from Yu Sheng scared Yang Xiu to no end. He quickly looked at Ye Futian and said, "See you tomorrow."
Before leaving, he did not forget to take a look at Hua Jieyu, who remained seated beside Ye Futian during all the drama.
He could not believe that he was made to look like such a fool in front of her. His mood worsened at the thought.
Ye Futian just smiled, not saying anything. A quick glance at Ling Xiao revealed that he was also looking at Ye Futian. Ye Futian could not help but to give a sarcastic smile, thinking of all the things Ling Xiao had previously said to him.
Just one smile was enough for Ling Xiao to know that Ye Futian was taunting him.
Ling Xiao's fists tightened as he stared at Ye Futian. "Three years, you're pretty good at hiding secrets. Even though you haven't developed at all, you gained quite a lot of book smarts. This doesn't change a thing though. Even if you got first today, you're going to drop back down to your loser status tomorrow. You might still have a chance of being expelled. Can you imagine how interesting that would that be?"
"Idiot." One word from Ye Futian was enough to wipe the smirk of Ling Xiao's face. He was reminded of the last time Ye Futian had insulted him in the classroom. That bastard.
Ye Futian looked around him. He was full of pride. He had just ranked first after all. There were already a lot of people who looked at him less harshly than before. There were even some people who could not look him in the eyes.
At this time, Hua Jieyu got up slowly from her seat beside him. As she walked towards the exit, Ye Futian watched her. Hua Jieyu took a couple of steps and suddenly turned back with a smile. Nothing could compare to her beauty in that second.
"I look forward to your performance tomorrow." She smiled brightly. People's gazes froze on her smile, their hearts melting at the sight of it. However, this smile was not for them, but for Ye Futian.
Leaving her smile imprinted in everyone's minds, Hua Jieyu turned to leave once again. Ye Futian blinked and quickly realized that people were shooting daggers at him with their eyes. Those who did not dare look in his eyes just a minute ago were now looking at him with pure hatred. Everyone seemed like they were out for blood.
After seeing those looks, Ye Futian could imagine what was waiting for him tomorrow. In that split second, Ye Futian finally understood the purpose of Hua Jieyu's smile. He could not help himself and cursed her in his mind. "That fox set me up!"