Chapter 32: Impressive Performance, Setting New Records
Geniuses loved spending time in the second foundational exam.
Every genius seemed to love using this masochistic method to stimulate his or her own potential. Jiang Chen was no exception.
Previously, none of the many Eastern Kingdom geniuses had docilely left the room after an hour was up.
Every person kept hanging on inside, and refused to come out until they had reached their limit.
This exam had basically become a hidden battle stage for the top notch geniuses.
They competed on who could stay inside the longest.
Who could kill the most flying beetles.
In actuality, no one could spare a thought for shooting down flying beetles towards the end of the exam. They were too busy dodging the boundless sword aura that danced without rules, threatening to take candidates’ lives at any moment.
Observers had started gathering outside the sword aura room.
Jiang Chen had been in the sword aura room for a full four hours. Many curious bystanders rushed to the room when the news circulated.
Four hours, what kind of concept was that?
The sword aura attacks would double in strength every hour in the sword aura room. This meant that after four hours, the sword aura in the room had increased sixteen fold!
If he still hadn’t emerged after another hour, the strength of the sword aura would increased to 32 times, and continue at that rate!
“This Jiang Chen, has he already died in there?”
“Stop bullshitting. If a candidate is killed the sword aura, the mechanisms will stop attacking when it senses no life. They will also send out a notification.”
“Heh heh, I’m curious, is all. Is this Jiang Chen really that good?”
“A wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s absolutely a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“Ai, the only result of comparing oneself to another is a frustrated death! I remember that I wanted to put up a front when I took the second foundational exam and stay in there for another hour, but that doubled sword aura was almost the end of me!”
“Do you know what the longest record for staying within the sword aura room is?”
“I don’t think anyone’s made it past six hours.”
“It’s said that Miss Long Juxue stayed in the room for almost six hours. She almost faced 32 fold attacks!”
“Huh. Don’t compare Jiang Chen with Miss Long Juxue. He’s not worthy!”
“Yes. Although Jiang Chen is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, he’s only that tiny bit stronger than ordinary geniuses. Miss Long Juxue is a genius for the ages! A peerless genius who has an azure phoenix constitution and has attracted the attention of the great hidden sects! They’re absolutely not on the same level.”
“Comparing Jiang Chen with Miss Juxue is an act of sacrilege against Miss Long Juxue!”
Many zealous fans immediately opened their mouths to reduce Jiang Chen to less than worthless when it came to Miss Long Juxue.
It was apparent from this that Long Juxue was in high demand amongst these heirs. You had to give it to her, her natural captivating charms were no trivial matter.
“You there, what nonsense are you farting? My house’s brother Chen is my brother Chen, why does he need to compare himself against others?” This voice rang out like an earthquake.
Fatty Xuan had arrived. As Jiang Chen’s best friend, insulting Jiang Chen in front of him was worse than insulting him.
The brawny Hubing Yue stood next to fatty Xuan.
The two were either fat or stocky – like two mountains, giving others an imposing feeling.
It was easy to be sarcastic, but these onlookers didn’t yet have the guts to really face off against Jiang Chen. These two arrivals were Jiang Chen’s best friends. Insulting them was the same as offending Jiang Chen.
Another hour passed…
Fatty Xuan checked the time in the hourglass — this was the sixth hour’s hourglass.
Every hourglass represented an hour. This was to say, Jiang Chen had already been in the sword aura room for six hours.
The level of sword aura attacks had now reached 32 times.
Although fatty Xuan still swaggered around pridefully, his tightly clenched fingers beneath his robes betrayed his internal anxiety.
“Fatty Xuan, do you think brother Chen could be in some danger?” Hubing Yue was also similarly worried.
“Do you think brother Chen is someone who doesn’t know his limits?” Fatty Xuan asked in response. Although that’s what he said, fatty Xuan wasn’t too sure of his own words.
The previous Jiang Chen had never been so awesome or displayed such potential before.
He had vaulted to the challenge of enduring the sixth hour. Out of all the heirs, only Long Juxue had taken the challenge before, but she hadn’t made it through to the end.
If Jiang Chen emerged after the hourglass had run out, then he would’ve broken this year’s records!
However, Long Juxue had already been at eight meridians true qi, about to breakthrough to the ninth meridian when she took the second foundational exams.
She treated the sword aura room as a means to stimulate her potential and break her shackles, as a way to successfully ascend to nine meridians true qi!
She was successful in the end.
Although she wasn’t able to fully take the entire gamut of attacks from the sword aura at 32 times, she broke through to the ninth meridian and created a sensation in the kingdom.
Long Juxue had not even been 15 years old at the time. She broke through to the ninth meridian in one fell swoop and became one of the few, the mighty within the kingdom.
One had to know that apart from very few true qi masters, nine meridians true qi was basically invincible.
And out of all the true qi masters in the kingdom, who hadn’t trained for at least a few decades? She could stand shoulder to shoulder with the experienced true qi masters at the tender age of not even fifteen. With such potential, no wonder she possessed the asure phoenix constitution.
Long Juxue was now sixteen, and there were vague rumors that there was only a thin veil separating her from being a true qi master of ten meridians. It was a very thin veil that could be punctured by a single poke.
All eyes stared intently at that hourglass.
Many felt complicated emotions. They hoped for a miracle to be born, for a subject ripe for new gossip to appear within the kingdom. They also felt a bit envious at the same time. What right did this Jiang Chen have to suddenly become such a blockbuster figure?
Long Juxue’s fans even cursed him inwardly, hoping for Jiang Chen to be hit by a sword aura attack and thus be ruined.
Long Juxue was the goddess of their heart, and they were absolutely unwilling to see a previously infamous good-for-nothing break the record set by their goddess.
Allowing Jiang Chen to break Long Juxue’s record was the greatest insult to the goddess!
However, matters would not change because of some people’s thoughts. The sand in the hourglass slowly trickled downwards as time marched on, second by second.
Finally, the hourglass reached its end.
As the final grains of sand trickled down, the entire hourglass had finally emptied!
That meant that six hours were up!
The stone doors to the sword aura opened haltingly. There were slight traces of sweat on his forehead, as the previous five hours hadn’t taxed him at nearly the level that the last hour had.
The power of sword aura at 32 fold in the sixth aura had simply be too frightening. If it wasn’t for the fact that Jiang Chen had grasped a tiny bit of the sword aura rhythm, he would have definitely been unable to take the barrage with his true level of training.
Upon seeing Jiang Chen walk out slowly from the room, those who had been verbally attacking Jiang Chen all hid guiltily towards the back.
It was as if Jiang Chen could pierce through the darkest recesses of their hearts with his bright, clear gaze.
They didn’t even have the courage to look Jiang Chen in the eye at that moment.
As for Jiang Chen, his entire being was like a finely honed knife, his light increasing with each step he took. It wasn’t Jiang Chen stepping out of the room! Everyone had the sudden impression of a divine weapon walking out of the room.
After the baptism by sword aura at 32 fold, Jiang Chen was indeed infused with the light of a slashing sword at this moment. It would be more appropriate to say that the sword aura had cut and polished Jiang Chen, rather than baptized him.
Regardless, Jiang Chen had become one with the sword aura, and his light shone patently!
“Brother Chen, Brother Chen, first of all geniuses!” Fatty Xuan called out with great emotion.
“Jiang Chen, congratulations. You have passed the second foundational exam with flying colors!” The organizer in charge of this segment was also agog with surprise, and sincerely admired Jiang Chen’s performance.
Such an amazing performance wasn’t available every day. The organizer also felt proud to be able to witness such a feat with his own eyes.
“What? Six hours? Are you sure that nothing’s wrong with the sword aura room?” Du Ruhai found it hard to believe his eyes when he received the report of the results of Jiang Chen’s second foundational exam.
Even Long Juxue’s prior performance paled in comparison with this record.
“There’s nothing wrong with the sword aura room. That kid stayed in there for a full six hours and shot down 120 flying beetles.”
“Jiang Chen!” Du Ruhai’s overcast eyes shot out a sinister look. “It looks like I would’ve had to suppress you even without Duke Long’s exhortation. Otherwise, with the grudge that I have formed with your Jiang family, what place would there be for me if your Jiang family actually rose to power?”
In this moment, Du Ruhai was even more resolute in his determination to firmly suppress Jiang Chen.
If he didn’t suppress Jiang Chen, he, Du Ruhai, would have no future to speak of.
The Jiang Chen of now was the greatest victor of the two foundational exams, and had won the support of many neutral parties. Many saw shadows of themselves in Jiang Chen.
Ordinary potential, middlingly dukedom rank. But even with these circumstances surrounding his birth, Jiang Chen’s performance was not any less than those top tier heirs.
They had found emotional sustenance, a point of resonance with Jiang Chen.
So therefore, when Jiang Chen appeared at the testing site for the third foundational exam, he was actually accompanied by a large crowd that cheered and applauded him.
Apart from a few preeminent heirs, only Jiang Chen had enjoyed such treatment.
The third exam was also the easiest out of all of the foundational exams. It tested the basics, concepts that could be committed to memory.
Of course, there were also dissertation topics that allowed for creative leeway – ones that tested the candidate’s experience. The final score wouldn’t be affected even if these freeform topics were left blank.
As long as one answered all those rote memorization topics, one would receive enough points to pass the theory exams.
Therefore, there was a saying in the three foundational exams that as long as one passed the first two exams, the third one was a walk in the park.
Only idiots or people who really hadn’t studied would fail out of the third exam.
Jiang Chen walked into the testing site for the third exam in the midst of a hail of applause.
Four scrolls, four tests represented the major topics from “The Articles of Martial Arts”, “The Articles of Spirit Medicine”, “The Papers of Power and Influence”, and “The Papers of Military Strategy”.