Chapter 32 – Falling Monthly Examinations
The monthly examination was something that every student had to go through per month.
For this examination, the questions were set by the teachers of the academy. The contents of the questions would largely relate to the different forms they were taught during this month, to test their training progress. From the results of this, a new ranking would be made.
And within this monthly examination, the students had the right to challenge anyone on the list of ten. If they were able to win, then they had the right to take their place. For many students, this was an extremely precious opportunity.
Some could say that the importance of the monthly examination was even greater than the wilderness training.
Because in the end, the rankings of the monthly examination would be announced to the entire Deer City. Those who scored well would become the center of attention and be someone the entire city would aspire to be.
People chased after fame, such is the way.
Of course, there were also students who wanted to just purely follow the martial way, and used the monthly examination as an opportunity for training and to prove their strength to themselves.
But Ye Qingyu did not have great interest in any of these two reasons.
Firstly, it was because this would waste time. The second reason was because of Liu Lei’s incident; he did not want to reveal his true strength.
The current him, only displayed a strength comparable to the early phases of the sixth stage. That was the reason why people thought he was not the perpetrator; they thought it was impossible for him to kill Liu Lei and two other second year students. But once it was revealed that he had the strength to kill people of the Spirit spring stage, then Liu Yuanchang had an even greater reason to be suspicious of him. It would bring unnecessary trouble.
Besides, for him the rankings did not have much meaning.
True strength was not something that could be measured in terms of ranks.
So therefore in the monthly examination, Ye Qingyu performed just so-so. Even in the martial arts duel, he did not display too great a strength. The final result was that he obtained one victory and two losses, quickly finishing the contents of the examination.
Apart from the time spent in the monthly examination, he would either be in the martial library or in his dormitory, cultivating in the [Tuo stance].
Ye Qingyu’s strength grew step by step.
He was like a caterpillar in his cocoon, waiting for the day he could finally emerge from his shell. On that day, under the colourful sunlight, he would take flight, leaving only a beauty image that people could only admire!
Three days later.
The monthly examination of the first years finally ended.
A new ranking was quickly produced by the academy.
On the stone mirror in the center of the practice grounds, name by name began appearing. When compared to the selection process ranking, there were new changes!
“Qin Wushuang is still number one. Too strong, no one can move him from his position!”
“A genius from the city leader’s office, how can people surpass him? The resources that Senior Brother Qin has, people dare not imagine…”
“That Yan Xingtian is not simple either. He managed to retain his number two spot. For a commoner student to achieve this, one cannot help but be impressed. It was even said that the strength he displayed on the battle stage was not in any way less than that of Qin Wushuang!”
“Song Qingluo is still within the top ten. En, this daughter of the
Qingluo Company really possesses exceptional talent, her future will definitely be bright… I’ve even heard that the Qingluo Company is discussing a marriage between them and the city leader’s office…”
“But the one who rose the fastest, is Song Xiaojun. This clumsy little loli managed to shoot up to the top fifteen, rising over a hundred ranks…”
“She is part of the list of ten, and received the personal teachings of head teacher Wang. Her improvement, is within the bounds of expectation!”
In front of the stone mirror, every student discussed heatedly
“Eh, that’s right, what about Ye Qingyu? I’ve heard that his talent is outstanding, why can’t I see him in the top fifty?” Someone just realized, loudly shouting.
“En, that’s’ right, Ye Qingyu’s names… top fifty… top hundred… it seems like he’s not in it, what’s happening?”
“He’s also not in the top two hundred, has an error been made?”
“Quickly look, it’s here… number five hundred and seventy!”
“That can’t be right? Eh? It’s real!”
“This… to have dropped so many places… This Ye Qingyu, could he really have fallen? That’s not right, did he not previously defeat people like Xia Houwu and Liu Lei who were near the top of the rankings?
People finally discovered Ye Qingyu’s rankings and found that it was near the bottom, numbering in the five hundreds. When compared to the ranking in the selection tests, he had fallen by a total of five hundred and forty-nine places. It was a rapid rate of descent.
“Haha, so it really was a short lived fluke.”
“Trash will always be trash. Even becoming a student, don’t think that a dead fish can flip around*!”
“I thought that the previous number one genius was about to be reborn again, but it turned out like this… Haha, this is only the first monthly examination and he has fallen so many places. If he goes through a couple more examinations, Ye Qingyu will become the last!
A part of the crowd, the noble students, had always disliked Ye Qingyu from the beginning. They could not help but laughingly mock when they heard this result. Yan Xingtian was already a thorn in the sides for many of the noble students, and now there was Ye Qingyu. Previously, some people had even compared Ye Qingyu to Qin Wushuang. For them, this was unacceptable.
It appears that this Ye Qingyu, was really a joke.
They did not need to worry at all.
There was a minority of commoner students that sighed and shook their heads with regret but would not say anything. During these days, Ye Qingyu had always acted alone and would always be busy training, not really becoming friends with any of the other commoner students. It gave others the impression that Ye Qingyu was haughty and did not fit in with the pack.
Discussions continued unbounded everywhere. It seemed like Ye Qingyu was about to become a joke again.
After the rankings were announced, the attention of everywhere started shifting to the challenging matches for the list of ten.
This was the last event of the monthly examination.
The ten favoured children who were on the list would receive a baptism and test. Every student in the entire first year that had confidence in their own strength, after receiving a simple test, had the right to challenge anyone on the list of ten.
Once they won, they were able to take their place.
“Haha, It’s been a month already. I’ve already waited for such an opportunity for too long! I will definitely be able to take a place in the list of ten!”
“The selection rankings do not mean anything. Only through real battle can something like this be determined. In this month, I have trained devoutly every day and night, with my strength increasing explosively. I can definitely win!”
“I will prove that head teacher Wang was wrong for not choosing me!”
“To pull someone from the list of ten down is also an extremely entertaining thing to do!”
The young geniuses were all filled with confidence, preparing for battle.
In the center of the practice grounds, the ten stages for the challenging matches were set. It was grand and solemn. Rune formations surrounded each ring, the ripples of the yuan qi* indistinctly appearing in the air.
On every ring, there was a ring master.
The little loli Song Xiaojun, being one of the list of ten, was naturally also one of the ring masters.
And around the ring, there were teachers from the academy there to maintain order. To challenge the ring master, you must first undergo a test to examine your strength and whether you were worthy. Otherwise, if everyone challenged, then the ring masters would definitely die of tiredness.
This kind of event attracted nearly the entire first year to spectate.
The melodious bell started ringing. The challenge had begun.
Every arena started heating up.
The little loli, standing in the ring was a little dazed. Although she had gone through the practical battle training, but she was still not accustomed to battle.
When faced with the excited faces of challengers, their eyes emitting a blood red light, the little loli felt like she was facing a pack of wild beats. The senior brothers who had always seemed so caring and kind seemed to turn into different people entirely. There was an indescribable sinister atmosphere around her.
Within the ten rings, Qin Wushuang was in the so called number one ring. From the start, no one had appeared to challenge him.
One reason for this was because of the fact that the strength of Qin Wushuang was too high. He was like a crane in a flock of chickens. The other reason for this was because of Qin Wushuang’s background; no one dared to offend him.
The situation on every ring was different.
All sorts of cries and screams sounded in the practice grounds, the sound waves as if it were a tsunami, spreading out in all directions. This was definitely the most bustling and exciting day the academy has had since the beginning of the academic year.
All sorts of people surrounded each ring.
For the majority of the students, this was an opportunity where they could spectate and learn. Perhaps they could get some inspiration and obtain some sort of breakthrough during this experience.
But for some people, the meaning behind the challenge of the ten rings was not this.
Where there were people, there would be Jiang Hu**.
Where there were Jiang Hu, there would be conflict.
Where there was conflict, there would be all sorts of schemes and plots.
And as for the hidden battles that were in the challenging matches, it originated from the conflict between the nobles and commoners that had begun since White Deer Academy began.
Even since the Heaven Wasteland domain was excavated and the forming of Snow Country, these two groups had been there. The conflict had never stopped. From the royal court to a normal town, this conflict was everywhere
The nobles wanted to stabilize their own special powers and status. They had a natural born advantage, and could enjoy the benefits of more cultivation resources. For commoners to change their fate, they were from the start disadvantaged against the noble students. But for some reason, every ten or so years, from within the commoners, a strong and frightening character would appear and support the entire commoner demographic.
White Deer Academy naturally could not be excluded from this struggle.
And within this year’s freshmen, Yan Xingtian was unquestionably the leader of the commoners, and Qin Wushuang the leader of the nobles. During Ye Qingyu’s reclusive training, the conflicts and struggles between these two groups, had already begun.
Within the practice grounds.
“What’s happening? Why is there so many people challenging senior brother Yan, and they are all nobles… These despicable people, are they going to challenge him consecutively?”
From within the crowd, some commoner students began to feel as if something was wrong.
The people challenging Yan Xingtian, had never stopped. A long queue had already formed.
“Hmph, this group of damn nobles, this is too despicable! They want to use such an underhanded method to tire out Senior Brother Yan and kick him out of the list of ten!”
“They are not only targeting Senior Brother Yan. Within the list of the ten, another commoner student, Li Da, is also being targeted…”
“What do we do? We can’t just watch!”
“We should give them a taste of their own medicine. We should get the experts in the commoners to challenge the other noble students within the list of ten. At that time, at least we can drag a few down!”
“Not to reciprocate in kind is against etiquette!”
*Slight confession. I’ve translated yuan qi as qi in previous chapters because I didn’t want to introduce too many awkward and pinyin terms. But yuan qi has more of a xianxia connotation while qi is more wuxia so I decided to go with yuan qi[JR1] [AT2] **Jiang Hu. If you’ve read any type of Wuxia you’ve probably come across this term before. It’s really hard to explain, but it basically refers to the population of people involved in cultivation, battles, conflicts etc.