"Using my authority as the principal of the Royal Academy. I would like to bestow the honour of first place to student Su Ling!"
"Everyone please give her a round of applause."
Sophie glanced at the quiet eastern beauty who gracefully walked up to the podium and collected a golden medallion. She was honestly quite surprised that Leona only managed to achieve third place because the competition did not seem to be that fierce when she left to go rest.
The prize for first place was admittedly pretty tempting, but Sophie did not regret the decision that she made.
It would have been a great tragedy to be injured right before the university entrance exam. Still these duels had shown her that there was a long way to go before she could confidently stand among her talented peers.
"I should try to enter the qi spirit realm before the exam next week," Sophie quietly muttered to herself.
The principal handed out silver medals to those in the top five while the remaining students each received bronze medals. When it came to Sophie's turn to get a medal, she could feel the eyes of principal Yang lingering on her figure with a trace of hostility.
Did I see that correctly?
Sophie looked again but the principal had resumed his jovial appearance and continued his speech as if nothing had happened.
The award ceremony ended, and Sophie headed towards her dorm room with a spring in her steps. Leona did not speak to her as she walked away and truthfully Sophie no longer paid any attention to the matter.
She could still hear the whispers of the students surrounding her and some could not believe that the trash hybrid had qualified. Unfortunately, there were those who decried her as a coward for not participating in the finals.
Sophie gave a cheerful wave to the receptionist as she entered the transporter and reappeared shortly in her dorm room. Someone had evidently cleaned up all the destruction as there was a brand-new mattress and door.
No trace of the mess that her transformation had caused could be seen.
"This bed is so fluffy!" Sophie squealed in delight as she crashed down on the mattress and felt all her worries float away.
The black wristband vibrated softly, and Sophie looked at the notifications to see an incoming call from her father. She quickly accepted and a holographic figure of her dad appeared above the device.
"Congratulations sweetheart, I always had faith in you!"
"What gift would you like? A private spaceship? Lunar colony?" The duke started to list out option after option that caused Sophie to just be dazzled.
She truly was a rich second generation!
"UmI think I want to spend this week just training and trying to enter the qi spirit realm." Sophie thoughtfully replied.
"I don't really have anything that I particularly want at the moment."
The qi body stage was the first step on the path to cultivation and involved strengthening the bones, muscles, blood, and meridian veins in the body. This stage lay the foundations for the path of cultivation and the next step was the qi spirit stage.
One could only break into the qi spirit realm after expanding the dantian to a certain size and circulating qi into at least seven acupuncture points. This was a painful process as each acupuncture point would cause sharp pain to be felt when it was opened for the first time.
The following stage was the qi tide stage, but Sophie did not bother to think that far ahead.
Tonight, Sophie planned to tackle the first acupuncture point and open one every day until the university entrance exam.
Although the Spider Whisper Art seemed to be powerful, the fact that it could only be cultivated during the nighttime was quite the disadvantage.
Sophie could typically spend the day practicing combat techniques to gain some practical experience. Her father emphasised that high cultivation levels meant nothing if one could not properly utilise the power gained.
"Actually, I also received an invitation from the royal family?" the duke interrupted her train of thought.
"Oh?" Sophie c.o.c.ked an eyebrow and listened
"It seems like quite a few of the many royal children will also be competing in the university selection exam this year."
"There is one whose mother is very favoured by the King himself so it seems like the royal family will be holding a banquet in her honour tomorrow night."
"The banquet is in honour of the younger generation so old farts like me won't be attending. Would you like to go?"
Sophie thought for a moment before replying, it would be impossible to remain hidden forever and being part of the upper nobility meant that in the future she would have to deal with situations like this eventually.
As the heir to a duchy, she needed to have confidence in her appearance or her father's political opponents would find a weakness.
"I want to attend father!"
Little did she knowthis decision would change her life forever.
(Royal Side Palace No. 0127 Abode of Concubine Lelfael Sisrelis)
"My lady you must dress appropriately for the banquet tomorrow!" a maidservant implored the girl lazily relaxing on a sofa.
"Concubine Paelsis has demanded that all the eligible children and their mothers should be attendance."
The lounging princess casually held up a mirror and spoke lovingly towards her own reflection,
"Ahhsuch beauty can only be containing by wearing a veil. Why would I bother to go to that den of wolves?"
Piercing green eyes stared back at her which contained traces of mischief and seduction with the rest of her features being covered by a black cloth. Her other hand was holding a tablet filled with images of the class evaluation from the various high schools on Gaia.
One image in particular seemed to stand out as an image of a hybrid girl holding a whip seemed to be in the center of the sea of pictures. The princess had done some research on the mysterious girl whose beauty had blown her away.
"Do you know if Duke Peterlor and his daughter will be attending?"
"The invitation to all the upper nobility has been sent out but the Duke's daughter has yet to appear in one of these public gatherings," the maid replied.
"What a shame." the princess trailed off before closing the windows on her tablet.
"I would have liked to meet her again."