Qingzhou Academy was home to the largest library collection in all of Qingzhou.
After the written exam, Ye Futian returned to his dorm to cultivate. Sometime in the afternoon, he arrived at the academy library alone.
He only had access to the first floor of the library. On this floor were books and scrolls containing the most basic of martial art exercises, battle strategies, and simple divination spells. These books were perfect for outer sect disciples in the Awakening Plane.
The second floor of the library was only accessible to official disciples and outer sect disciples who ranked during the Spring or Fall Quarter Examinations. It was every sorcerer's dream to be able to view all these powerful spell books. Feng Qingxue was one of those dreamers and therefore it was her goal to be ranked at the Fall Exam.
However, the second level of the library was not the reason why Ye Futian was here today. He had begun properly cultivating. Aside from the Freedom Meditation, he had not done any martial art exercises, nor had he practiced any spells. Tomorrow's exam might require him to participate in a battle. If he showed up tomorrow with mediocre fighting skills, it would be a huge embarrassment. He could not let that happen; after all, he had ranked first on the written exam. Many people were waiting for him to make a fool out of himself.
The library was split in half, with a martial arts section and a divination arts section. Ye Futian made his way toward the martial arts section.
The sixth level of Awakening was a point of division. Before the Invincible Plane, martial and divination art cultivators had essentially trained in the same way. The difference was that one used Worldly Essence to enhance the body in order to break through the different planes and the other used Elemental Spiritual Qi. The planes were all the same until the division of the Invincible Plane.
When martial art cultivators were able to understand the artistic conception of the exercises, they could break into the Mystery Plane. Sorcerers, however, had to seek out hidden Elemental Spiritual Qi using their abilities to perceive these energies. They had to create harmony between these new energies and the Spiritual Qi they had previously collected in the Collection Plane. Then, and only then, were sorcerers able to break past the Invincible Plane.
Therefore, Qingzhou Academy had a requirement to become an official disciple.If you could make it into the Mystery Plane before your eighteenth birthday, you had the advantage of joining the school of your choice. Or if you were like Yu Sheng, capable of cultivating in both martial and divination arts, you could pursue both.
Even though there weren't many people in the library, there was the still a fair amount of attention on Ye Futian. His results from the written exam put him in the spotlight but in conjunction with the smile he got from Hua Jieyu, the amount of attention this ex-loser got was through the roof.
Rumor had it that he was stuck on the Collection Plane, so why was he here picking out books on martial arts exercises? Everyone was asking themselves this question as they observed Ye Futian quietly.
They watched him as he wandered around the library, stopping here and there. It looked like he was trying to find some suitable cultivation exercises for himself.
A while later, Ye Futian stopped again. He flipped through the book in his hands with great concentration.
The Release of the Dragon Power, studied by warriors, it was an exercise of immense power. The body of the cultivator became like that of a dragon, uncontrollably powerful and fierce.
"The exercise may be harsh, but also powerful." Ye Futian was satisfied with what he had found.
"This is it." He closed the book and was ready to leave.
"You're going to cultivate the Release of the Dragon Power?" an observer asked with a face ridden with curiosity.
"Is there a problem with that?" Ye Futian asked chuckling.
"No problem, it's perfect for you," said the observer, trying to hide their laughter.
Ye Futian could not be bothered. He turned to leave and a round of laughter and gossip ensued behind him.
"Did he come to the library just to put on a show for us?" people questioned his true intentions for coming to the library.
"What do you know, the Release of the Dragon Power is so domineering, fit for someone who ranked number 1 on the written test. Oh, how could I forget, that's Ye Futian!" said another person.
"That's right. First place really is different from the rest of us." The mocking comments and laughter came from behind Ye Futian. The Release of the Dragon Power was very well-known amongst the outer sect disciples. Indeed, it was a powerful exercise, but it required the cultivator to mimic the movements of a dragon, how could that be possible? There had been people who tried but none that had succeeded.
Since Ye Futian came all the way to the library just to take out the Release of the Dragon Power, it was only right to have a little fun.
Ye Futian did not care about what they said. He headed for the divination arts section of the library when he saw two figures headed in his direction, causing him to stop in his tracks.
After being scolded by her father, Feng Qingxue was in a sour mood. So, she decided to look around in the library to get her mind off of it. Plus, after the Fall Quarter hunting practice, she had officially stepped into the sixth level of Awakening, the Invincible Plane. She was finally ready to cultivate the divination arts properly, so it would be perfect for her to find something useful at the library. Feng Qingxue had not even thought about the possibility of running into Ye Futian here.
Her beautiful eyes shone bright, no longer avoiding Ye Futian. She looked right at him and said, "Are you here to pick out some exercise books?"
"Yeah," Ye Futian smiled and nodded lightly.
Feng Qingxue did not know what to say. The atmosphere had become awkward.
"Feng Qingxue, didn't you want to go look at the spell books?" Beside her, Murong Qing pulled Feng Qingxue into the divination arts section after glancing at Ye Futian.
Ye Futian walked in that direction as well. Seeing him in the same section of the library, Murong Qing furrowed her brows and whispered, "Feng Qingxue, I don't think he's given up on you."
Feng Qingxue froze. She then snuck a peek at Ye Futian, only to see him browsing through book labels.
"What a fake." Murong Qing could not help but call him out when she saw what Ye Futian was looking at. Even though he ranked first, it was just a written exam. What did he know about actual cultivation?
Even if he did cultivate, he should be in the martial arts section.
"Maybe he just wants to get an understanding of the divination arts," Feng Qingxue lowered her voice. Ye Futian's performance on the Fall Quarter Written Examinations had truly left an impression on her. To rank first on the written exam required a deep knowledge and understanding of every class in both arts.
"Martial Divination?" Murong Qing saw the book in Ye Futian's hands. Her sarcastic smile widened and unrelentingly opened her mouth, "If you're going to be a poser, can you try a little harder? You're not fooling anyone holding that baby book."
Everyone around heard her words and looked at Ye Futian. Most of them began to laugh when they realized what she said was true. He was, indeed, holding a book which contained the most basic of spells. Martial Divination were spells that you would only use to trick children.
Ye Futian closed the book and put it under his arms with the Release of the Dragon Power. He then turned to look at Murong Qing quizzically. "Do I even know you?" Ye Futian asked and walked away, not taking a second look at Murong Qing.
"You..." Murong Qing pointed her finger at Ye Futian's back, not knowing what to say, then she finally mustered, "Seems like you got quite cocky after ranking first on the written test. You even have the nerve to come to the library and try to look good in front of us while holding a book like Martial Divination. Forget the fact that you're a complete loser; even if you were a proper cultivator, a martial art cultivator like you would never be good enough for Feng Qingxue!"
Feng Qingxue was a sorcerer, as was Murong Qing. Sorcerers all think that they are better than martial art cultivators. After all, in some sense, all sorcerers had the innate ability to cultivate in martial arts. All they had to do was cultivate Elemental Spiritual Qi as they would Worldly Essence, but other than those who were truly gifted in cultivating both arts, no sorcerers would waste their time on martial art development.
Ye Futian did not want to be bothered with what she said, but nothing could stop Murong Qing as she went on, "Besides, you'll be back to where you started after tomorrow. First rank? What a joke. Once a loser, always a loser. I can't wait to see how you'll make a fool out of yourself tomorrow."
Ye Futian took his two books to be registered then left the library. Inside the library was overtaken by a wave of gossip. People mostly whispered about the two books he had taken out, the Release of the Dragon Power and Martial Divination. How ridiculous was that?
Feng Qingxue quietly listened on. She had nothing to say. Even though Ye Futian had smiled at her, she still felt an invisible line separating them. He did as she asked and kept his distance from her but Feng Qingxue did not know why there was discomfort in her heart.
"The Release of the Dragon Power and Martial Divination," Yu Sheng was surprised upon seeing the two books. He looked at Ye Futian. "Are you cultivating in both arts and starting with martial arts?"
"Yeah, Mandate Sorcerers are called sorcerers because we're innately gifted with the elements. However, Mandate Sorcerers are also extremely suited for the cultivation of the martial arts. Naturally, I can't put Heaven's gift to waste!" Ye Futian nodded and continued, "As for my reason for starting in the martial arts, that's because at my level the sorcery I can cultivate is still not powerful enough. It's all the basics. I can't unleash my full potential as a sorcerer yet."
"Then what about Martial Divination?" Yu Sheng was very curious.
"It's better to be prepared for everything." Ye Futian gave him a mysterious smile. "Besides, cultivation of Martial Divination is super easy, it won't take up much of my time."
Yu Sheng nodded his head, not having any more questions. Ye Futian spoke again, "That fox probably has no interest in the debate as usual and will not participate. If she doesn't then I will try to get ranked first in the Fall Quarter Examinations overall."
"Okay." Yu Sheng nodded, if this was what Ye Futian wanted, then this was what he was going to do. He had already gotten on the List of Brilliance; if he was able to stand out above everyone tomorrow, then he could definitely get first place for the entire exam.
"I'm going to cultivate," said Ye Futian. He then made his way to the designated cultivation area and flipped through the Release of the Dragon Power. Looking at the words and diagrams in the book, he closed his eyes. Seconds later, a rumbling noise began. He was surrounded by flashes of lightning, which intensified by the second.
The fearful lightning roamed across his body. Ye Futian observed the dragon in his mind as it roared and danced. Its aura was powerful.
In his body, the Thunder and Lightning Spiritual Qi slowly shaped itself until it was in the form of a dragon. It looked just like the dragon in his Life Palace, incredibly realistic.
Others who had tried to cultivate the Release of the Dragon Power failed to replicate the form of a dragon, but to Ye Futian, this was no problem at all.
Using the exercises from the book, the dragon formed by the thunder and lightning charged recklessly throughout his body. It passed through his nerves, organs, limbs, and bones. It was everywhere. Instantly, Ye Futian's face turned bright red, then white. It seemed like he was in great pain. A groan slipped out every now and then.
The Release of the Dragon Power was immensely powerful and took a huge toll on one's body. It was all to create the image of a dragon within one's self, allowing your own body to become like that of a dragon.
This one session went from day to night. When the sun rose the next day, a figure was dancing in the yard of the dorm. It was Ye Futian. He was still cultivating the tactics in the Release of the Dragon Power, his movements big and powerful. His surroundings were brightened with a curtain of light. Circling his body was a faintly formed dragon, at times it almost looked like a real dragon.
A loud roar sounded with a single punch from Ye Futian. It sounded like a dragon had broken free. Another loud noise sounded from a distance away; a wall had collapsed.
Someone ran onto the scene. It was Yu Sheng. Upon witnessing the crime scene, his eyes fell on Ye Futian.
"You've achieved the artistic conception of martial arts. You're in the Mystery Plane of martial art cultivation," stated Yu Sheng.
"The seventh plane of Awakening." Ye Futian smiled. "Looks like we'll have to get someone to fix that wall. Tell them you broke it while cultivating."
"You're throwing me under the bus?" Yu Sheng stared at him in disbelief.
"Of course!" Ye Futian laughed and headed back to his room. He was dripping with sweat and needed to shower in preparation for the beginning of today's Fall Quarter Examinations.