Chapter 12: Divide
AGM 0012 – Divide
“Let me give it a try.” At this moment, the shadow of a figure of a youth stepped forward. He was none other than Ning Feng, from the Ning Clan!
“Ning Feng, he should be able to pass.” The eyes of the spectators flashed with excitement as they observed. Ning Feng walked towards the stone mirror on the left, placing his palm into the groove with the shape of a “凹”. Instantly, the two darkened orbs at the bottom of the mirror lit up. And swiftly afterwards, the 3rd, the 4th, all the way to the 6th light orb, lit up in succession. His affinity with Heaven and Earth’s Yuan Qi, was a 6-star rating.
Immediately, he proceeded onwards to the stone mirror on the right, undergoing the inspection procedure once again. His affinity with Astral Qi, was a 4-star rating. This evaluation caused many in the audience to gasp in awe. Today, Ning Feng from the Ning Clan definitely had a chance to enroll in one of the four great and prestigious academies.
Atop the stage, the representatives collectively inclined their heads in agreement, signifying that Ning Feng was eligible for the second round of examination.
Ning Feng smiled elatedly, pleased with himself, with traces of hot-bloodedness of youth apparent on his features, as he stood on the opposite side of the crowd.
Very quickly, six others went up for the examination. The majority of the six managed to impress a few of the representatives, but to no avail. The criteria of passing the first examination was for all representatives to concur.
“To think that the affinity Chen Yu has for sensing the Heaven and Earth Yuan Qi is a 7-star rating, even higher than Ning Feng. Although he only has a 3-star rating affinity for Astral Qi, with his current talent, all three other representatives had given their agreement, with the exception of the Emperor Star Academy. Truly, it’s not so easy for one to enter the Emperor Star Academy.
The crowd discussed in a low voice — it was simply too difficult to enter the Emperor Star Academy. That place was the cradle for true, peak-level geniuses.
“Lin Yue is the awesome one! Not only is she one of the four great beauties, her talent is shockingly high too. To think that her affinity for the Astral Qi has reached the realm of a 6-star talent… As expected of one who condensed her first Astral Soul at the age of 13.”
“So what? Next up, it’s Autumn Snow’s turn.” The gaze of the spectators were riveted on the silhouettes of the two figures who’d yet to take the examination — Autumn Snow and Qin Wentian. Obviously, Qin Wentian was neglected. The audience only had eyes for Autumn Snow.
“Qin Wentian, you better watch this clearly.” Autumn Snow cast a sidelong glance at Qin Wentian as she lifted her foot, and proceeded to the Yuan Observing Mirror on the left. Placing her exquisite jade-like hands into the groove in the shape of a “凹”, instantaneously, three of the darkened orbs lit up, and a moment later, a total of seven orbs shone with dazzling light. She was a 7-star talent!
“If not for me spending untold amounts of time on mediation to heighten my sensory ability towards the Astral Constellations, I would’ve long surpassed the 7-star talent rating of today.” Autumn Snow lightly said. She didn’t even gaze at Qin Wentian as she swiftly proceeded on to the Astral Observing Mirror on the right. She repeated her actions, placing her jade-like hands into the groove, and in that instant, the darkened orbs lit up, shining dazzlingly, akin to a starry radiance of the boundless stars in the skies
“How bright.” The spectators could feel piercing pain in their eyes, and swiftly, the eight orbs, other than dazzlingly shining, were also emanating Astral Light, invoking agitation and shock to countless members of the audience in the grandstand, causing them to stand up involuntarily for a better look.
“7-star talent for Heaven and Earth’s Yuan Qi, and 8-star talent for Astral Qi from the Constellations. What a monster.”
Silence, abruptly manifested, as many people gasped, and drew in a cold breath.
“Autumn Snow, the Royal Academy, welcomes your enrollment.” Talon smiled gently. This was only the first examination, yet to think that the representative for the Royal Academy was willing to accept her enrollment straight away based on the talent she displayed.
“The Seven Stars Academy, welcomes your enrollment.”
“Divine Wind Academy, sincerely invites you to be one of our members.”
A representative from the Emperor Star Academy, standing beside Mustang, also opened his mouth, preparing to welcome Autumn Snow. However, at that instant, Mustang lowly intoned, “Wait a bit.”
The expression of the representative froze, as he questioned Mustang with his gaze as he asked, “What do you mean? Why are you stopping me?”
“There’s no rush.” Mustang grinned, as he stopped replying.
Autumn Snow proceeded to the opposite side of the crowd. Arrogance and contempt infusing her gaze as she turned her head back, glancing at Qin Wentian. Akin to a princess looking down on a suitor, who had no idea of the immensity of Heaven and Earth.
Qin Wentian calmly walked before the stone mirror on the left, placing his palm in the groove and instantly, five darkened light orbs lit up, causing the expressions of the audience to freeze in shock. Qin Wentian’s affinity with the Heaven and Earth Yuan Qi, was actually, a 5-star talent rating.
Swiftly after, Qin Wentian proceeded onwards, arriving at the stone mirror on the right, lightly placing his palm in the groove, and in that instant, the darkened light orbs begin to sparkle resplendently – seven orbs continually lit up, causing the spectators to be dumbstruck, as though a bolt of lighting went off in their hearts.
“7-star talent!” The pupils of the crowd contracted, but who would have predicted that, the 8th orb, almost immediately, started to light up as well. The brilliance of the astral radiance permeated the whole training grounds, while countless members of the audience were shaking their heads. “How is this possible?”
Qin Wentian shifted his gaze to Autumn Snow as he calmly stated, “8-star talent, is it really that strong?”
As his voice faded away, the 9th and final orb of the Astral Observing Mirror begin to glow.
“Weng!” A buzzing sound rang out. The radiance emitted by the resplendent rays of Astral Light were so dazzling, it was as though it was intending on competing with the Sun. That moment, the whole set of darkened orbs on the Astral Observing Mirror completely lit up.
Suddenly, “Kacha!” A crisp sound rang out. Cracks swiftly appeared on the surface of the Astral Observing Mirror, as the Astral Light began to converge onto a single spot, before explosively shooting up to the heavens. The Astral Observing Mirror, shattered into pieces. Qin Wentian remained standing there, motionlessly, with his palms still extended in the now-destroyed groove. Directing his gaze towards Autumn Snow, he asked again, “8-star talent, is it really that awesome?”
“Hu…” Mustang let out a breath that he didn’t realise he was holding. The Astral Observing Mirror shattered, as it was unable to take the pressure caused by a 9-star talent. His eyes began to shine with a light, that was as bright as the constellations in the skies.
“What happened?” The countenance of Talon’s senior, Seifer, grew heavy. A 9-star talent before the age of 16. This person, if he stepped on the path of Stellar Martial Cultivators, his future would be boundless.
Under the questioning of his senior Seifer, Talon visibly stiffened as he explained in a low voice, “Senior, this person was born with crippled meridians, and is someone that was unable to practice cultivation. He was driven out from the Bai Clan, with them proposing to annul the previous marriage engagement. Such a man, even if he had a 9-star talent, it is also useless.”
Seifer silently nodded his head. He believed that both the Sky Harmony City and Bai Clan, would not make such a mistake. Although he lamented the fact that a 9-star talent was buried like this.
Autumn Snow also glanced at Qin Wentian, her beautiful eyes flickering incessantly. No wonder he was able to guide her, his talent was monstrous indeed. However, what use was there? Ye WuQue, was the real genius, one of the 10 prodigies of the Royal Capital.
“Qin Wentian, you couldn’t cultivate, and thus, lacking distractions, were able to focus all your attention on meditation. To think that all your efforts had actually managed to heighten your affinity to such a degree. Truly a tragedy.” Autumn Snow calmly stated, as her expression returned to normal. “Next, in the second round of the examination, I will truly show you how great the divide is between you and me.”
“Keke!”, Talon coldly smiled. “The first round of examination, it will be considered that you passed. However, for the second round, talent is useless. What we want to measure, is strength. If you are unable to meet the qualifications, it means that you are intentionally pulling a prank on the four great academies. When the time comes, I will let you know the consequences of lying. Set up the wardrum!”
After his sentence sounded out, a gigantic drum was brought over and up onto the stage. The drum was constructed from the skin of demonic bulls, and was able to determine the level of a person’s strength.
Qin Wentian leveled his gaze at Talon.His talent was the 9-star rating, yet he merely considered to have passed?
Only nine candidates remained after the first round of examination. It was not known how many would be left after the second round. The minimum requirement of the second round was that one must at least have the strength level of 36 bulls. However, that was only the minimum requirement. There was no guarantee that it was sufficient for one to enter one of the four great academies just based on that level of strength.
“Every reverberation of the drum equates to the strength level of 10 bulls. Try your best to enable the drums to sound out. Everyone will have three attempts.” A voice explained. Almost immediately after, a figure arrived in front of the drums. Arching his body like the bending of a bow, his strike was similar to an notched arrow, gathering strength. Abruptly, an explosive sound rang out! The body of the figure rushed out, as if his strike carried the force of a rocket, and he swung his fist violently towards the drum.
“Boom….” The sound of the drum wavered in the air, resounding throughout the training ground. One reverberation, strength level of 10 bulls.
“Boom, Boom!.” The second and third reverberation rang out, but soon after, the sound gradually diminished, it seems as though the strength behind the earlier strike was unable to reach the 4th reverberation. The representatives from the four great academies, collectively shook their heads. The strength of this person was insufficient to make the drum reverberate four times, and he didn’t have the talent to become a Stellar Martial Cultivator. As such, he was eliminated.
“Let me try.” Lin Yue proceeded forward. Currently, she was suppressed by Autumn Snow, and felt a bit depressed. With a slight intention of will, the shape of a rabbit, condensed from astral light, materialised on her forehead. Obviously, this was the astral soul that she had condensed.
Astral Souls condensed from the rabbit constellation, were able to grant the cultivator a vigorous body, keen ears, agility, and reaction and movement speed. Lin Yue sprung forward, with power comparable to a tornado. “Bang!”, her fist instantly struck against the drum.
“Boom, Boom, Boom….” The drum sound continually rang out for six times, reverberating through the air. Lin Yue possessed a strength level comparable to 66 bulls. Looking at her small body frame, it was inconceivable to think that she was actually strong enough to slay ferocious beasts.
Lin Yue had already went all out, holding nothing in reserve in her first attempt.
“You are eligible to join my Seven Stars Academy.” One of the representatives extended an invitation to her. The talent of Lin Yue wasn’t bad at all, and certainly worthy of nurturing.
“The Divine Wind Academy would welcome you as well.” Upon hearing that two of the academies offered a position, a smile broke out on her visage. However, in her heart, she couldn’t help but feel disappointment as she turned her gaze to look at the Royal Academy and the Emperor Star Academy. Apparently, she hadn’t met the qualifications to join them.
Although she was disappointed, Lin Yue still replied, “I choose to join the Divine Wind Academy.”
Other than that, only Chen Yu and Ning Feng managed to perform well enough to secure an invitation, joining the Seven Stars Academy and the Divine Wind Academy respectively. However, both the Royal Academy and the Emperor Star Academy, still had not extend their invitations to any of the candidates. After all, they were here namely for Autumn Snow. The performance of the earlier candidates wouldn’t be able to easily move their hearts.
After that, the only participants left were Autumn Snow and two others.
“Qin Wentian, open your eyes and watch this clearly.” Autumn Snow lightly said, as she walked in front of the drums, nonchalantly executed an ordinary-looking strike. The drum sounded out five times, reverberating in the air.
“7th level of the Body Refinement Realm, Autumn Snow, just an ordinary strike of hers contained the strength level of 50 bulls! How terrifying. It’s said that she delayed her cultivation on purpose to heighten her sensory abilities. If not, her cultivation level would undoubtedly be much higher.”
For those who absorbed and cultivated the Yuan Qi of Heaven and Earth, the strength levels for Martial Cultivators could be classified as: strength level of 1 bull, 4 bulls, 9 bulls, 16 bulls, 25 bulls, and at the 7th stage – strength level of 49 bulls.
As for Stellar Martial Cultivators, they were indefinitely more powerful. The Astral Soul would be able to boost their strength by a certain degree. Depending on the various kinds of Astral Souls, the degree boosted was different for each, and as such, there was not a definite scale to measure how much their strength level would be boosted by.
Autumn Snow calmly gazed at Qin Wentian, before she retreated a few steps and released her Astral Soul. Golden Crane Astral Soul! The outline of her Astral Soul shone with a faint golden light, signifying that her Astral Soul was condensed from forming an innate link with a constellation of the 3rd Heavenly Layer.
“Crane Cries in the Wilds!” Autumn Snow coldly intoned, as her posture shifted to something similar to a demonic crane hunting it’s prey, before instantly striking out with a claw-like hand, with speed akin to lightning, as a thunderous sound rumbled out. It was as though thunder had truly appeared, causing shrill buzzing sounds in the ears of the audience, threatening to deafen them.
“Boom, Boom, Boom…” Momentarily, five drum sounds rang out. However, the sound had not subsided yet
“Boom…” The sound reverberated in the air. This was the 6th reverberation. On the grandstand, the crowd collectively stood up, with solemn expressions on their faces. Genius. She was definitely a genius.
Accompanied by yet another reverberation, the sound lingered in the air. When the 7th sound rang out, it was as though a tornado devastated the entire space, sweeping through Heaven and Earth.
7 reverberations equated to a strength level of 70 bulls! This was the boosting effect caused by the condensation of Astral Soul. To think that the drum that was manufactured using the leather of demonic bulls would vibrate to such an extent that it seemed on the point of disintegrating.
Not only that, Autumn Snow had reached the 7th level of the Body Refinement Realm by absorbing and cultivating using the Yuan Qi from Heaven and Earth. If she had reached this level after the condensation of her Astral Soul, through purely the absorption of Astral Qi, her strength level would undoubtedly be much more tyrannical.
The crowd couldn’t help but lose themselves in the face of that incomparable beauty as they gazed upon her. Consequently, Qin Wentian seemed so weak and little in comparison.
Just as she said, in this second round of examination, she would let Qin Wentian see exactly how wide the divide was between the two of them.