Chapter 42 – The Outer Court Exam Begins
In these last three days, Yang Ye didn’t cultivate the Sword Control Technique, and he placed all his attention onto the Sword Qi Finger and Energy Split Sword Technique. Even though the Sword Control Technique was formidable, it was unable to be of any use in a short period of time, whereas, he’d already learned these two techniques, and they could be of use during the exam.
Three days of time passed in the blink of an eye.
The Outer Court Exam wasn’t held on the training grounds, and it was held on Exam Peak instead. Exam Peak was a small peak that was originally desolate and extremely cold. However, if the day of the Outer Court Exam arrived, then this peak would become the most bustling place in the entire Sword Sect.
Early in the morning, the sky had just lit up slightly when around 3,000 youths were standing on the enormous square on Exam Peak. These youths were all around 17 years of age, and there were even some that were younger. Even though they were young, no one dared to look down upon them because they were the geniuses that came from cities in the Sword Sect’s surroundings.
It wasn’t exaggerated to call them geniuses because it was extremely difficult to attain the sixth rank of the Mortal Realm before the age of 17. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be only around 3,000 people that had come to participate in the Outer Court Exam from amongst the population of a few million in the cities in the Sword Sect’s vicinity.
As he stood in the crowd, Yang Ye gazed at the excited and happy expressions of those youths, and he couldn’t help but sigh with emotion in his heart. He was just like these youths when he’d just arrived at the Sword Sect. However, after he experienced the life of a Labor Disciple, no matter if it was his mentality or other aspects, all of them had matured. So, he would definitely not be excited and happy like these youths in the surroundings.
In his opinion, becoming an inner court disciple was his true objective. He wasn’t reaching for something beyond his grasps, and it was instead because he was extremely confident of his own ability.
When the sun gradually rose into the sky and sunlight shone down onto Exam Peak, three Outer Court Elders appeared on the platform at the front of the square. When they noticed the appearance of these three elders, all the youths beneath the platform instantly became restless. They hadn’t become restless because of these elders, and it was instead because the exam was about to begin.
As he gazed at the 3,000 youths beneath the platform, Cao Huo frowned lightly, and his gaze swept from left to right before he sighed in a low voice in the end. “There are only 3,200 plus people this year, and its much fewer than last year. If this continues, then our Sword Sect would have no successors!”
Feng Yu nodded while standing at his side and said, “Yeah, I heard that there are around 100,000 geniuses that participate during the Origin School’s Outer Court Exam. The two palaces have a few tens of thousands as well, and even the other two sects have over ten thousand geniuses. However, our Sword Sect only has a few thousand. If this continues, and if we don’t reduce the standards for recruitment, then our Sword Sect’s outer court will probably be in an embarrassing state of having no one within it!”
“Lowering the standards is only a temporary relief!” Elder Qian shook his head and said, “If the standards are lowered, then the Sword Sect would only deteriorate with every generation and would be unable to avoid becoming a second-rate power in the end. I think that we should strive to obtain resources, and if a disciple of the Sword Sect can kill his way into the Ascension Rankings, then we’d be able to obtain a few more cities. With that, this sort of situation would definitely be turned around!”
When then they heard him mention the Ascension Rankings, Feng Yu and Cao Huo instantly sighed lightly, and Cao Huo said while laughing bitterly, “Brother Qian, how could the Sect Master and the others not be aware of this principle? However, how difficult is it to enter the Ascension Rankings? Are any one of those geniuses on the Ascension Rankings not heaven defying fellows? Especially those geniuses from the Imperial Academy and Origin School, even we might not necessarily be able to obtain any advantages while going against them!”
Feng Yu sighed and said, “To think that my Sword Sect was so prosperous a hundred years ago. At that time, even the Origin School had to avoid the edge of our swords. I never expected that it would decline to such a state after a hundred years.”
Elder Qian revealed a bitter smile as well when he heard this, and then he said, “Yeah. In the last ten plus years, since Fairy Su entered the Ascension Rankings, there actually hasn’t been a single disciple that was able to enter the Ascension Rankings, causing our Sword Sect to face such a situation. At the bottom of it all, all of us failed all those years ago!”
Cao Huo swept the people beneath the platform with his gaze, and then he said, “I heard that a 16 year old young man from Snow River City that has attained the ninth rank of the Mortal Realm will be participating in the exam. If he didn’t utilize any medicinal pills and other external forces to improve his cultivation, then attaining the ninth rank of the Mortal Realm at the age of 16 would definitely allow him to become another monstrous genius of our Sword Sect!”
Feng Yu nodded and said, “I’ve heard of him as well. That young man seems to be called Jiang Yuan. Supposedly, he’s known as the most outstanding genius from Snow River City in the last 100 years. If the rumors are true, then after those fellows on the Outer Court Rankings become inner court disciples, this kid will probably be able to become the number one expert in the outer court!”
Elder Qian smiled with ridicule at the side. Most outstanding genius in 100 years? Is it more monstrous than Yang Ye’s gold element Profound Energy? If the others knew that Yang Ye possessed gold element Profound Energy, then those peak masters and all the elders of the Sword Sect would be shocked. However, he wouldn’t tell them about it because he respected Yang Ye’s choice.
Meanwhile, Cao Huo raised his head to glance at the sun above him, and then he said, “Brother Feng, you preside over the first stage!”
When he heard this, Feng Yu adjusted his mental state before taking a few steps forward. He gazed at the slightly immature youths below while a wisp of a gratified expression floated up into appearance within his eyes. He raised his hands, causing the originally slightly clamorous voices from below to instantly vanish, and everyone went completely quiet.
Feng Yu said, “Everyone, I’m an Outer Court Elder, Feng Yu. All of you can call me Elder Feng. I’m one of the elders that will be presiding over the exam this time. Firstly, I represent the Sword Sect in welcoming all of you. Secondly, congratulations because being able to stand here proves that you’re extraordinary. Even if you’re unable to become an outer court disciple of the Sword Sect, your accomplishments in the future will definitely be outstanding….”
After speaking for a long time, Feng Yu got to the point and said, “The exam is divided into three stages. The first stage will test the foundation of your cultivations. The objective of this stage is to eliminate those that improved their cultivations through the use of medicinal pills or those who possess unstable cultivations. Now, I’ll emanate the imposing might of my cultivation at the King Realm, and those that are able to endure it until the end will be considered to have passed!”
As soon as he finished speaking, Feng Yu’s figure flashed, and he flashed into the sky above the youths. After that, the Profound Energy within his body circulated, and a strand of terrifying imposing aura surged out explosively from his body. In the end, it pressed down like a hill towards all the youths beneath him.
Some youths were caught off guard, and they directly collapsed to the ground under the might of this pressure. In less than 15 minutes of time, almost half the participants had collapsed to the ground, and people were still collapsing.
When they saw half the youths had already collapsed, Elder Qian and Elder Cao Huo’s brows furrowed because the quality of these participants was horrible!
A group of youths wearing green robes were watching those youths on the square from afar. There were around 50 youths in this group, and Liu Qingyu who Yang Yu was about to fight on the life and death arena was amongst them. However, surprisingly, as someone that was ranked at the 19th position on the Outer Court Rankings, Liu Qingyu actually wasn’t at the front of the group.
If an Outer Court Elder was here, that elder would definitely feel that it was normal because these 50 outer court disciples were all disciples on the rankings. They were the most elite batch of disciples in the outer court. So, Liu Qingyu could only be considered to be ordinary amongst this group of people.
When he saw that half the youths had collapsed after less than 15 minutes had passed, a youth in the lead who had a black mole shook his head and said, “No matter if its in terms of numbers of quality, the outer court disciples this time are too much inferior to those from our years. How boring! So boring! I hope that ‘most outstanding genius in 100 years’ from Snow River City doesn’t disappoint me!”
A round faced young man at the side of the young man with a black mole shook his head and said, “To think that during our year, only around 1,000 youths from amongst the 5,000 participating youths collapsed during the first stage. Yet based on this current situation, there’ll probably be 2,000 youths from this batch that collapse, and if Elder Feng doesn’t hold back, then that number will probably rise even higher! As for that so-called genius, if he really attained the ninth rank of the Mortal Realm as the rumors say, then he can be considered to be a monstrous genius!”
“A monstrous genius?” The young man with a black mode laughed with ridicule and said, “Even if he attained the First Heaven Realm at the age of 16, he can’t call himself a monstrous genius in the outer court. Because with that demonic woman here, how can anyone in the outer court dare to call himself a monstrous genius?”
When he heard the words ‘demonic woman’, the expressions of the youths in the surroundings changed, and dense fear appeared in their eyes. After a short while, the young man with a round face laughed bitterly and said, “That demonic woman seized the position of first on the Outer Court Rankings as soon as she arrived at the Sword Sect, and I heard that she frequently challenges the outer court elders in battle. Such natural talent…. Others say that we’re monstrous geniuses, yet when we’re compared to her, we’re countless times more inferior!”
The young man with a black mole sighed lightly as well. “Under her radiance, we who are the second and third on the Outer Court Rankings have almost been overlooked by the elders. We must work hard, otherwise, when we meet her again, she might disregard us just like she disregards the other disciples!”
The young man with a round face nodded in agreement. They were geniuses amongst geniuses, yet after they encountered that demonic woman, they didn’t dare call themselves geniuses any longer because that demonic woman really dampened their spirits.
On the square, Yang Ye remained composed and wasn’t affect by the pressure at all. His foundation was extremely solid, and he’d even experienced life and death battles. Moreover, he’d experienced the pressure from Spirit Realm experts, so when facing the pressure emanated by an expert at the King Realm and under the condition that Cao Huo had held back, he wasn’t affected at all.
Suddenly, Yang Ye opened his eyes and looked to his right. At this moment, there was a young man around the age of 16 on his right, and the young man was looking at him. The young man wore a gorgeous white robe and had a handsome appearance. Even though the young man’s appearance was slightly immature, his entire body was covered in a wealthy disposition, and the arrogant expression on his face wasn’t really concealed.
Of course, most importantly, the young man was just like Yang Ye. He wasn’t affected by the pressure emanated by a King Realm expert at all, and this caused Yang Ye to be slightly surprised in his heart.
When he saw Yang Ye look at him, Jiang Yuan instantly withdrew his gaze and said in a low voice, “It look like not all the participants in this Outer Court Exam are trash. It’s good that there is some slightly better grass to serve as contrast, otherwise, it would be too boring!”
Yang Ye withdrew his gaze as well, and then he closed his eyes and rested his mind once more. Perhaps the young man’s strength wasn’t bad, yet it was utterly meaningless to Yang Ye.
After an hour passed, Feng Yu restrained his imposing aura before turning around and flashing onto the platform. When he noticed that an expanse of youths had collapsed on the ground and only a thousand youths remained, Feng Yu shook his head slightly and sighed lightly. He’d already held back, yet he’d never expected that so many would still be eliminated, so it was obvious how he felt at this moment.
As soon as Feng Yu restrained his imposing aura, many people instantly heaved sighs of relief. Yang Ye shook his head inwardly when he noticed this. If Elder Feng continued for a while longer or slightly strengthen the pressure he emanated, there would probably be even more people that collapsed.
As he gazed at those youths that had collapsed around him, a wisp of a disdainful sneer appeared on the corners of Jiang Yuan’s mouth, and he said in a light voice, “Trash! All of you can’t even endure the mere imposing aura of a King Realm expert!” As soon as he finished, he turned around to look at Yang Ye, and he revealed a teasing smile.
Yang Ye frowned when he noticed the young man’s expression. There really are a lot of idiots that look for trouble!
Meanwhile, Elder Qian took a few steps forward, and he gazed at the remaining 1,000 youths as he said, “Those that have collapsed, head to the side immediately, whereas, those that are still standing should immediately meditate and rest. The second stage will begin in an hour!”