Chapter 0049: The Final Examinations Begin!

Time flew by quickly in the Whitespirit Garden. In the blink of an eye, the final examinations were about to begin.

The entire area was swamped by an ocean of people that was steadily growing in size. People from all corners of the Tianshu Province were rushing here to witness the exciting climatic selection!

At the foot of Whitespirit Mountain was a viewing platform, currently squeezed full of individuals who were trying to get a view.

At the forefront of that area was a spacious and lavish pavilion that was built to house the most influential and respected individuals. 

A short moment later, numerous esteemed individuals from the Tianshu Province made their way towards the pavilion, including Wei Sha of Southwind Academy and Shi Qing from the Governor's Mansion, attracting the attention of everyone around.

As the two most influential individuals in the Tianshu Province, they made their way to the middle of the pavilion, where a luxurious reception was prepared for them.

"Keke. The old dean still looks quite feisty and full of spirit. That's not bad at all!" Governor Shi said with a face full of smiles.

Dean Wei similarly responded with a meaningless smile. "I heard Governor Shi has been rather unsatisfied with Southwind Academy being at the top." 

"Just baseless rumors." Governor Shi shook his head, unwilling to speak any more about this.

Immediately changing his tone, he continued, "The title of top academy in the Tianshu Province has to be attained with true strength! This is an unchangeable fact. Unless of course… Southwind Academy falters, then there isn't any other choice, is there?" 

Hearing his provocation, the old dean replied indifferently, "To be honest, when my Southwind Academy's prestige was being established, no one had ever heard of you nor Eastpool Academy..."

Governor Shi had taken over the reins of the Tianshu Province in recent years, and the two had constantly been at odds with each other. One point of contention was Southwind Academy and its reputation. To the old dean, Southwind Academy's reputation was no different from his own child. He would never tolerate anyone who dared to harm it!

On the other hand, the Xia Kingdom's royal family would often review the performance of their numerous governors. As the old dean led the top academy in the Tianshu Province, he possessed a significant amount of clout during these reviews. With how often the two were at loggerheads, how could he possibly provide any sort of positive comment? This naturally led to Governor Shi being unable to rise any further in the ranks of officials.

As time went by, their enmity deepened, and the verbal sparring today was only an expected result.

This year was especially important for Governor Shi. If his performance evaluation was still not up to par, then he would most likely be dispatched to a lower tier county, one significantly weaker than the Tianshu Province. 

This was also one of the key reasons why Shi Huang wanted to usurp Southwind Academy's position as top academy. They had no other choice.

The stark contrast between the icy-cold atmosphere in the center of the pavilion and the surrounding hustle and bustle was jarring. The heads of the Song, Difa, and Bei families were all enjoying the sights and sounds as they chatted gaily.

The Golden Dragon Bank's President Lu was also beaming with happiness as he took his place. This final examination was exceptionally important to him as his prized niece would be participating!

In another part of the pavilion, Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing had also arrived as House Luolan's representatives. They were very interested in observing how their Young Lord would perform during this trial.

As they were also extremely close compatriots of Jiang Qing'e, they treated Li Luo as if he was a younger sibling. With how handsome he was and that growing sense of gravitas, it only added to his charm. Of course, once in a while, he'd be an absolute pain in the ass, just like any younger sibling…

"Do you think the Young Lord will be able to reach the top 10?" Cai Wei asked as she gracefully leaned against the chair. She slowly peeled a banana, savoring it with light bites.

Any male who witnessed this sensuous scene would undoubtedly feel a fire burning inside.

Yan Lingqing's slender, jade-like fingers drummed against the stable. "You vixen! Can't you do things less flamboyantly?!"

"Well, there's no one else here..." Cai Wei said, aggrieved. At the same time, she passed over a slice of cantaloupe from the table. 

"Why don't you have a bite? It will aid your development into maturity."

"You are truly unrepentant! Give you an inch and you want a mile!" Yan Lingqing furiously shouted. Did she think that she could do whatever she wanted since she was so well endowed?! Immediately taking revenge, she quickly held Cai Wei down with one hand whilst enthusiastically tickling her with the other.

Cai Wei was completely thrown into disarray as she trembled with uncontrollable laughter, unable to struggle free. In the end, she could only beg for forgiveness. "Forgive me! I'm in the wrong! I'm in the wronggggg... aghhhh!"

The pitiful expression on Cai Wei’s face was the complete opposite of the usual calm and collected demeanor she maintained when settling the numerous affairs of House Luolan.

Yan Lingqing gave a cold snort before finally heading back to her seat. "Li Luo should have reached the Seventh Seal Stage, and looking at how things are going, it should be quite difficult to attain a top 10 position."

"However, if Lu Qing'er is able to attain the top position, Southwind Academy will likely take first place again and obtain 15 extra positions. It is very likely Li Luo will obtain a slot to enter the Astral Sage College. " 

Cai Wei gave a light chuckle. "I personally think that it won't be difficult for the Young Lord to enter the top 10."

Yan Lingqing gave Cai Wei a surprised look, her eyebrows arched. She simply could not understand where Cai Wei's confidence in Li Luo stemmed from.

"Don't judge him based on how warm and friendly he seems. Entrenched in his bones is a deep sense of pride. Coupled with the fact that he is the son of those two and also the fiance of Qing'e... With his personality, he might not be obsessed with taking the top spot, but I'm afraid he would never be able to accept charity from others. He won't allow himself to have a free ride into the Astral Sage College. Instead, he will struggle for it with all his might," Cai Wei explained.

"On the other hand, the most crucial thing is that I feel that our Young Lord is not such a simple person. He definitely has hidden his abilities very deeply."

The last sentence left Yan Lingqing in deep thought. It was true that Li Luo would often give others an unfathomable sort of feeling. He had manifested his resonance a mere month ago, yet what he had achieved was monumental!

"I hope he can rely on his own capabilities to enter the top 10 and obtain the right to enter the Astral Sage College. The ones that enter the Astral Sage College through alloted quotas tend to be seen differently. Coupled with the fact that he's the Young Lord of House Luolan and Jiang Qing'e's fiance, things will become more than awkward for him. Keke. Now that I think about it, Li Luo entering the Astral Sage College might not actually be a good thing." Yan Lingqing polished her spectacles at this point, a look of pity appearing on her face.

Cai Wei also gently nodded. She had experienced the trials of Xia City and had a good understanding of the Astral Sage College. At the same time, she was exceptionally clear of how famous Jiang Qing'e truly was. Perhaps saying that she was the center of attention in the college would not be an exaggeration.

Li Luo had spent his time till now sequestered in a corner of the Xia Kingdom, the City of Southwind. It was so distant that even the winds would not reach him. Conversely, once he took the initiative to enter the Astral Sage College, he would finally bear and understand the full brunt of Jiang Qing'e's radiance and glory. 

A weak-willed individual would never be able to survive.

As they spoke, the atmosphere in the field seemed to have reached a crescendo. The duo turned to look at the groups of students dispatched by the academies. 

As they swept through the crowd, they could easily spot the eye-catching Li Luo with a head of silver-grey hair standing in the group from Southwind Academy.

"The Young Lord truly is a sight for sore eyes. Dying his hair truly did make him look more attractive than before," Cai Wei casually commented.

This was met with a snide remark. "Psh, just a himbo. Shallow!" she spat.

Despite that, she had to admit that Li Luo truly was blessed with excellent genes passed down from his good-looking parents. No one could pick out any faults with his looks.

In front of countless gazes, a figure garbed in a robe that sparkled with starlight appeared atop a high platform. The robe he was wearing was extremely eye-catching, constantly twinkling with silver brilliance.

This was the attire worn by the teachers of the Astral Sage College. This esteemed individual was someone dispatched by the Astral Sage College to act as a supervisor for this examination. 

"Good day, my students from the Tianshu Province. I am Mentor Anlie, a teacher from the Astral Sage College. Thank you for being here. Without further ado, let me explain how this year's examination rankings will be graded: a point-based system!" The teacher from the Astral Sage College looked to be around thirty years old. Someone of his age becoming a teacher in the Astral Sage College only demonstrated his excellent abilities. 

After which, numerous teachers from the different academies began distributing crystal tiles to each and every student.

Li Luo and the rest received one as well. Each of these crystal tiles were about the size of their palms, atop was inscribed their respective academy crests as well as their names.

"When the examination begins, all of you here will go through two rounds of evaluation tests. How well you fare in these two evaluations will determine your basic points. Students are forbidden from mutually assisting each other during these two evaluations, but anything after that is fine. Being able to snatch someone else's crystal tiles and basic points will serve as the great divider! Of course, one cannot take their fellow academy mates' tiles and points. Your destination will be in the southwest side of Whitespirit Mountain. That location contains the ruins of an ancient city, also known as Whitespirit Ruins. When you arrive, you will naturally understand the rules."

After he made the announcement, the faces of all the students gradually turned serious, and the air was filled with a palpable tension. 

After the last rule was explained, Anlie glimpsed into the sky briefly before breaking out into a resplendent smile.

"I've said enough nonsense for now! Under the authority vested in me, I hereby announce the beginning of the College Final Examinations!"

The moment these words were spoken, the turbid atmosphere seemed to have boiled to a peak, exploding outwards and enveloping everyone.

The final examination had finally begun!

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