Chapter 44: Usual Failure, Sudden Success III
Ling Xiaoting was up next. He clambered onstage full of confidence. There were quite a number of people trading whispers about him in front of the stage.
“Elder Brother Xiaoting will definitely be able to pass the assessment.”
“That is a given. Aside from Elder Brother Yichen, Elder Brother Xiaoting is the strongest.”
“I think only the two of them will pass this year. Sigh, it’s hopeless for me.”
“He’s so admirable…”
Ling Xiaoting felt good when he overheard such talk from where he stood onstage. He already had it all planned out. After he aces the assessment, he’ll attend White Stone Academy. Though he would have to be apart from Qin Xiruo, he would return during the holidays to see her. Once he graduated and became a strong warrior, he was sure Qin Xiruo would look at him in a different light and might even accept his affections. Ling Xiaoting felt heartened by these thoughts of his.
If Ling Chunxi were privy to his thoughts, she would have laughed herself to death. What a high-level fantasy Ling Xiaoting was entertaining.
Faint smiles appeared on the five elders’ faces. They harbored much hope for Ling Xiaoting’s chances at passing the assessment. Though they would never say otherwise, the elders also held the opinion that only Ling Yichen and Ling Xiaoting would pass this time.
Ling Xiaoting assuredly placed his hand into the monument’s groove. He pulled his attention into focus and began to release his Battle Qi into the monument. There was a smile on his face as he waited for the monument to light up.
The monument didn’t light up. Just as it was for the participant before him, the monument remained as it was without even the slightest ray of dim light emanating from it.
Ling Xiaoting’s expression shifted and he became flustered. He concentrated harder and desperately channeled more Battle Qi into the groove. Alas, his face paled the very next moment as there was still no reaction from the monument! Ling Xiaoting began to panic and release huge amounts of Battle Qi into the monument… but it was to no avail. Though he was already at Battle Qi Level 4 Pinnacle, he did not possess any innate talent for cultivation.
The rules of this realm were indeed cruel.
Standing beside the stage, Ling Chuxi hugged Little White close as she sighed at the sight.
The ceremony carried on. Second Elder continued calling out participants’ names one by one. At this point, none of them entertained much hopes of passing and it showed. Their steps were leaden as they each made their way onstage and were even heavier as they walked offstage. The five elders’ hearts sank a little more with each failure. There were a fair number of participants, but aside from Ling Yichen, none of them passed the assessment!
The Qins and Luos fared much better than the Lings in this year’s assessment. How could the five elders not feel disappointed?
“And finally, Ling Chuxi.” Second Elder rose dispiritedly and called out Ling Chuxi’s name with reluctance. He didn’t think she would be able to pass. There were many other disciples in the Ling clan who were more capable than her and yet they had failed to pass. How could Ling Chunxi possibly hope to do what they couldn’t?
Ling Chunxi carried Little White safely in her arms as she ascended the steps to the stage.
She held the attention of many, though they were looking at her with gazes full of contempt and disdain. A barrage of mocking comments were streamed her way.
“What a waste of time. If this ugly girl can pass the assessment, I’ll write my name backwards.”
“Absolutely. It’s hilarious. She’s not even showing her face by wearing such a big hat. Is she worried her pig head face will disgust us all?”
“Ha! Should we thank her then? She’s hiding her face so we won’t be repulsed till we can’t eat our lunches.”
Nobody noticed a cold glint cut across Little White’s eyes when all this was said.
“Little Chuxi, just try your best.” Second Elder looked emphatically at Ling Chuxi who was now standing before him. He managed to squeeze out a smile for her.
“Wait and see, Second Elder.” Ling Chuxi returned his smile and gently assured him. Her eyes were bright and dazzling. However, this stunning look was only witnessed by Little White who had raised its head to look at Ling Chunxi from the safety of her embrace