The number of newcomers only continued to increase, and the noise of the crowd swelled in proportion.
At the theater-like seats, powerful Xia Kingdom officials had started to gather as well. They were very respectful, a testament to the Astral Sage College's special power.
Heralded by a small drum roll, a few people walked out with a special escort on the highest platform.
One of them was a beautiful middle-aged woman in lavish robes of red. The red robes were patterned with a constellation centered around a moon in the midst of the stars.
She seemed like a personable character, smiling warmly at those around her.
"That's the vice principal of the Astral Sage College. Seems like she'll be hosting this one," someone remarked.
Li Luo studied her closely. She reminded him of a vast ocean—lulling on the surface, with great power running deep.
The vice principal of the Astral Sage College was a Violet Vibrance mentor. Clearly, she was at least a Duke expert, and perhaps the best of them.
By her side was a small child wearing robes of gold. The child did not look more than seven or eight years old. He was a pale child, with a pair of bright, black, button eyes that shone with intelligence.
The golden robes with dragon patterns was enough to declare who he was: the ruler of the Xia Kingdom's royal court.
"The little emperor I met at the Golden Dragon Bank?" Li Luo looked at him in surprise. He looked different from how Li Luo recalled.
Beside the little emperor was another tall woman in white royal robes. Her hair was elaborately tied up in a phoenix knot, and she exuded grace with every step. She was a born aristocrat.
Her features were extraordinarily exquisite too: a high nose-bridge; lovely, slim eyes; and alabaster skin. Most attractive of all were the two generous mounds on her chest, a bust that had Li Luo sighing in appreciation. Finally, he had seen someone comparable to sister Cai Wei.
Still, their demeanor was completely different. One was coy, the other demanded respect without exception.
"It's the Emperor and First Princess!"
"The First Princess is a Four Star Hall student at the Astral Sage College. She also runs the enforcement squad. If you cause trouble in school, you're screwed," someone whispered.
Li Luo finally took his admiring eyes off the First Princess, turning to the last person. It was a tall-shouldered middle-aged man with a solid charisma to match his stature. His face was unreadable and mysterious. In terms of sheer presence, he probably overshadowed Vice Principal Su Xin.
Li Luo immediately knew who this stern-looking man was.
He was the man holding the most power in the Xia Kingdom. The Regent, Gong Yuan.
The appearance of these four demanded absolute respect, and everyone bowed before them. The Astral Sage College discouraged kneeling within its grounds. Even the head of the royal court was a mere spectator here.
The four nodded in acknowledgment. The little emperor, the First Princess, and the Regent took their seats, while Vice Principal Su Xin moved forward.
"New students, on behalf of the school, I welcome you to the hallowed halls of the Astral Sage College."
Vice Principal Su Xin's warm voice washed over them, and the crowd quietened in peaceful obedience.
Li Luo sensed this and was amazed by how deep her power ran. Mere words were enough to sway the mood of the entire crowd.
Any banal inanities that fell from her lips were given new life, soothing feelings and compelling the listeners.
"Next, we will begin the Choosing of the Mentors, the most important event for new students. This will decide your mentors at the Astral Sage College, which will greatly affect your lives here."
There was a sharpening of interest as she spoke of the competition. They hung on every word she spoke.
"When the Choosing begins, the transport designs beneath your feet will be activated, and you will be transported to a different region. There will be many spirit beasts of different strengths. They each carry either a silver or gold talisman.
"Silver talismans correspond to a Silver Spark mentor, while gold talismans correspond to a Gold Gleam mentor. Defeat any spirit beast, take their talisman, and you will be assigned that mentor.
"There are also additional missions that award gold and silver talismans. As for how they will be announced, you will know once the competition begins.
"Of course, some will ask: what about Violet Vibrance mentors?"
Vice Principal Su Xin smiled slightly. "Violet Vibrance mentors do not have a corresponding talisman. They will be watching all of the students during the Choosing. If they feel that you have potential, they will naturally choose you."
A mixed bag of responses greeted this. Some students shook their heads sadly, all too clear about their own strength. The Violet Vibrance mentors were Duke experts. Cultivating under their guidance meant receiving the lion's share of guidance and resources, but it was not at all easy to be noticed.
Li Luo frowned. This "potential" thing was a little vague.
Vice Principal Su Xin continued explaining a few more rules. "In ten minutes, the Choosing of the Mentors will begin. Prepare yourselves." She concluded, then turned to sit back down.
"Vice Principal Su Xin, I hear there are five Violet Vibrance mentors choosing this time," the First Princess said with an endearing smile.
Vice Principal Su Xin nodded back. "I wonder if any of these kids will catch their eye."
"This batch of students is quite strong. I'm sure the one from the military academy will be hotly contested by the mentors," the First Princess replied.
"An upper eighth-grade resonance is rare in any cohort. It's expected to be popular."
The Regent joined in the conversation. "The students are great, but even more impressive is the power that backs the Astral Sage College. Duke Stage experts can easily start their own houses or sects in the Xia Kingdom, but seeing them consent to teach at the Astral Sage College impresses me greatly."
"The royal court rules the hundred provinces of the Xia Kingdom. Your power is indisputable. The Regent is too kind," Vice Principal Su Xin replied politely.
"Not at all, not at all." The Regent laughed.
A gong struck, and there was a tightening of concentration among those present. A blinding light flooded out from the floor of the hall.
Columns of light appeared, enclosing the students within.
Li Luo could not react to it, and a light column quickly whirled him away.
Let the Choosing of the Mentors begin.Previous Chapter Next Chapter