The morning sun shined on Qingzhou Academy, giving the historic academy a golden glow. Outside the academy, a crowd began forming again. There were even more people today than there had been yesterday.
The Fall Quarter Examination was separated into two sections; one day for the written test, and the next day for the debate.
The written test examined the students' knowledge learned over the past year, while the debate tested their talents and planes. There would also be combat to evaluate their cultivation status. Although knowledge was essential for cultivators, power would be the primary texting criteria. Therefore, people considered the debate more crucial than the written test.
Boom, Boom The ground outside the academy suddenly began to shake as a group of knights began approaching.
"Look! The Dark Qilin Knighthood!" The news quickly made itself through the crowd when everyone saw the knights. The knights were all riding on monsters, Dark Qilins. The monsters' bodies were completely dark, which gave them a very ominous vibe. Rumor had it that the Dark Qilins carried blood from the ancient Qilin, the true lord of the monsters in this world.
"It's General Qin Shuai!" When people saw the middle-aged general of the knights, they voluntarily cleared the way for the riders with ultimate respect to these knights.
The knights were the guardians of the city. People in Qingzhou respected the Knighthood even more than the Lord of the city.
"Did General Qin Shuai come here to see his daughter?" people asked each other. The fact that General Qin Shuai's daughter was an academy student was not a secret.
"No, he is here to check out the future talents of this city," someone said. Others nodded agreement. The young students in the academy would become the pillars of the city in the future, and some would even join the Knighthood. General Qin Shuai had actually once been a student here.
After drawing the attention from the crowd outside, the knights entered the academy. Soon, another group of people arrived with a well-decorated coach in the middle.
"The lord of the city is coming." Every year, the lord of the city would attend the Fall Quarter Exam in an effort to show how much he valued the school. This year was no exception.
"Looks like today more than half of the big chiefs in the city are coming."
"Yep. Today, some of the students will be noticed by them," people outside said to one another.
Meanwhile, inside the arena, the stands were packed to capacity. There wasn't a single empty seat. Most of the students were here, but many of them could only watch the debate. It was a strict rule at the academy that only those who had qualified on the written test could join the debate. It was designed to signify the importance of knowledge.
In the stands, Ye Futian found his father. He looked around and asked, "My godfather didn't come?"
Ye Baichuan shook his head. "He isn't here, but he had some words for you."
"What are they?"
"The first thing is that you have to stay calm under any possible circumstance; The second is not to show all your power until you are cornered into desperation," Ye Baichuan told him plainly.
"Okay, got it." Ye Futian nodded attentively, then looked at Yu Sheng, who was standing next to him. "Did godfather have any words for Yu Sheng?"
Ye Baichuan smiled at Yu Sheng and said, "After you become an official in the academy, you do not have to be stuck here and study all the time. We welcome you to come home often."
"Sure." Ye Futian nodded again, but he seemed a bit disappointed for a second.
"Let's go boys. It's your time to shine today." Ye Baichuan laughed and let them go. They left together for the arena. Seeing them leave, Ye Baichuan felt happy that they had finally grown up.
Feng Ruhai was also talking with his daughter. "You made it to the List of Brilliance on the written test, and you have the second highest level of perception over fire-element power. Besides, you are already in the sixth Awakening Plane, the Invincible. Don't be nervous; just fight for yourself."
"Okay, Dad." She nodded slightly and looked at Ye Futian from far away. As she started walking, she suddenly got a small feeling that Ye Futian was very different than he had always been. She thought some miracle would happen to him today.
The Murong family members were also sitting together. Murong Yunshan looked at the host of the debate and told Murong Qiu, "Few people in this debate have reached the Unmaker plane. If Hua Jieyu does not participate, you have to do your best and beat everyone else. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Father" he nodded. He was confident that he would win.
There were two hosts for this debate: Leng Qingfeng, the Director of the Hall of Swords at the College of Martial Arts, and Shi Zhong, the Director of the Hall of Earth Element at the College of Sorcery. They walked to the center and glanced around the crowd. Suddenly, Shi Zhong said, "Those who qualified in the written test will take part in the debate today. I believe you guys know the rules clearly enough. Now, all participants, please enter."
The students began to enter the arena from various directions.
When Hua Jieyu showed up, she automatically drew the attention of the majority of the crowd. She was so gorgeous and talented at the same time. Unfortunately, she always refused to fight in the Fall Quarter Exam. She only took the test on her talent and level, but never joined the combat.
"She had aced three straight years of written tests until her first failure yesterday, and she still refused to join the debate?"
"I guess she just believed she was too good to be challenged by the others. An incredible honor like the champion of the Fall Quarter Exam seemed to draw little interest from her. What arrogance."
Then many started to look at Ye Futian. Those who were not official students were expecting him to fail this time, believing he had no way of excaping.
Among those people, of course, were Ling Xiao and Yang Xiu. They both looked forward to his failure.
Feng Qingxue was standing next to Murong Qing. They also noticed Ye Futian, which made Murong Qing sneer at him. "Yesterday he was the champion with all the glory, but today he will be the failure again. How hilarious would it be if he got expelled from the academy for being stuck in a low plane even after acing the written test."
Most people were thinking the same thing Murong Qing was. They believed that even though Ye Futian had aced the written test, he was still useless because he had been stuck in the Collection Plane for three years. For a cultivator, their plane was almost everything.
Feng Qingxue remembered seeing Ye Futian at the library yesterday and how she had felt something strange about him. However, she pushed the thought out of her mind.
"Ye Futian, a little bird told me that you went to the library yesterday and checked out two books. One for martial arts, The Release of the Dragon Power, and another one for sorcery, Grand Meteor?" Ling Xiao said as he walked towards Ye Futian, laughing. In fact, the news of Ye Futian checking out these books had already spread around the academy.
"That's our champion of the written test. His taste is so distinguished." Some began to laugh with Ling Xiao. Students in both the College of Martial Arts and the College of Sorcery all sneered when they heard the names of these books. It would be impossible for Ye Futian to learn such profound material. What a fool!
"I would like to experience the power of these two books, but I'm afraid you will have to quit before you use them." Ling Xiao was cold because Ye Futian had aced the written test and humiliated him yesterday; but today, Ye Futian would be the one being humiliated.
Most of them were looking forward to Ye Futian quitting. How humiliating would it be for the champion of the written test to abandon the debate session; but what if he did not quit? It didn't matter regardless, as he would be defeated and expelled from the academy anyway. This meant that no matter what, this guy who had stolen the thunder yesterday was definitely going to be put to shame today. This ironic contrast would be inevitable.
"Ye Futian," someone called him with a cold tone. People looked towards the voice, finding that it was Yang Xiu.
Yang Xiu was also ashamed of what had happened yesterday. He was writhing in anger, and was ready to tear Ye Futian to pieces at any moment.
"Today people are going to know that you are nothing more than a daydreaming talker." Yang Xiu still sounded bitter about what had happened. In fact, many people were looking at Ye Futian with a combination of jealousy and viciousness.
Ye Futian knew how complicated his situation was and involuntarily looked towards the "fox." Almost all the hatred for him had come from the smile she had given him yesterday. In the past, people had only made jokes about him. Now, he was public enemy number one, and it felt as if everyone would spit on him if they had the chance.
"He was the champion of the written test yesterday, Ye Futian. Looks like he has earned all the hatred pointed at him." Some people in the stands were also looking at him with slight smiles.
"People say that he has been stuck in the Collection Plane for three years. He is talented, but has bad methodology. He skipped the last three Fall Quarter Exams, but suddenly aced the written test this year. How strange is that?"
"Yeah, he's good, but he's also in trouble. Other participants are going to kill him." People were still talking about how bad things would go for him. The pressure was pretty high.
Right in the middle of the stage, there was a Spiritual Qi testing matrix inscribed by the masters. It would accurately test the talents of the participants and their perceptions of Spiritual Qi. The students had already been put through this process before, but because their ability would change with cultivation, it was necessary to retest at the Fall Quarter Exam.
A master was standing beside the matrix. He said to the students, "You know the rules. Time for our first challenger."
"I'm ready," someone shouted, walking towards the matrix. It was Ling Xiao.
He stepped onto the matrix and closed his eyes. Soon, the matrix began to shine brightly with the wind whistling through his body. It was the intense power of wind-element flowing all over Ling Xiao. His shirt was drifting with the wind, which gave the audience a sense of his youthfulness and authority.
"Perception of wind-element at the second highest level and sixth Awakening Plane, the Invincible," the master announced, judging his ability. "Who will you challenge?"
"Ye Futian!" Ling Xiao said, looking directly at Ye Futian. He had only volunteered to be first because he wanted to humiliate Ye Futian!