Chapter 187: Written Examination

“Don’t speak too soon. You’ll see what I’m interested in.” Bai Luochu explained.

After the two of them were done bickering, the elder announced the rules for the first round.

“The first round will be a written examination. We will mainly be inspecting the theoretical knowledge that the new disciples have towards cultivation, alchemy, and spirit beasts. The Phoenix King Valley has always thought highly of overall talent. In order to prevent the new disciples from choosing a topic they are well-versed in, we will draw lots to randomly decide on one. Every disciple will have the time it takes one stick of incense to burn to come up with an answer. When the time is up, they will put their answers up on the board. There will be a spirit testing stone below every answer. It can store spirit qi for a moment and we hope everyone can walk around the practice ground to choose your favorite answer. Transfer some spirit qi into the stone and the brighter the stone, the higher the ranking. There is no way to cheat in this test. Now the disciples will draw the lots.”

The new disciples formed up according to what they had learned. Subsequently, someone brought an opaque box onto the practice ground from the side. Bai Luochu used her spiritual energy to examine the box but realized that she couldn’t sense anything inside. It seemed like the box was surrounded by a restriction made by someone with a formidable spirit qi cultivation. How else would they be able to hide the contents from the experts present?

Several disciples looked dispirited when the box appeared. It seemed as though they noticed that they couldn’t find out the contents of the box.

The rules of drawing lots were very simple, one simply had to reach in and pick randomly. A sheet of white paper meant cultivation, green paper meant alchemy, and black paper meant spirit beasts. The new disciples had varied expressions. Of course, there were some who picked a topic they were good at. Others were not so lucky. According to the lots, they were split into several groups.

“The written examination shall begin!” The elder immediately asked for the incense to be lit.

When Bai Luochu saw how the disciples were writing as though their lives depended on it, she felt extremely bored and weary.

Pei Qingfeng thought that since he brought Bai Luochu here, he wasn’t going to allow her to be bored. He immediately looked for a topic and asked, “Do you know about their spirit testing stone?”

Of course she knew. Not only did she know about the spirit testing stones, she even knew how to make one herself. It was too bad she was bored out of her mind and since Pei Qingfeng wanted to perform a monologue, she would simply listen. Bai Luochu shook her head and acted as though she didn’t know. She raised her chin as an indication for Pei Qingfeng to start his explanation.

When Pei Qingfeng saw that Bai Luochu was willing to listen to him, he became invigorated and started talking non-stop, “Everyone knows that this spirit testing stone can be injected with spirit qi to judge a person’s strength according to the brightness of the luster. However, the Phoenix King Valley suffered greatly due to the wrong implementation of the device. Previously, the Phoenix King Valley wasn’t simply strict when it came to the age of their disciples. They emphasized on the disciple’s strength as well. In the beginning, no one dared to play any tricks, but over time, those people who wanted to enter the Phoenix King Valley started to come up with much more creative ideas.”

Bai Luochu thought that she should simply allow Pei Qingfeng to continue talking but she was afraid he would feel insulted if she didn’t respond. Thus, she immediately asked, “Creative? Is there a way to fake one’s spirit qi?”

Pei Qingfeng assumed that Bai Luochu was interested in this matter and became like an excited kid. He excitedly continued his explanation, “You might not know this, but back then, there was a kind of spirit medicine that could raise the standard of one’s spirit qi by one rank for a short period of time. People would consume the medicine before testing their spirit qi and many people entered the Phoenix King Valley even though they had not reached the basic strength requirement. During the last day of the recruitment process, something felt wrong as the new disciples disgraced the Phoenix King Valley in front of the other sects. They ordered an investigation and immediately found out the way the new disciples cheated their way through. The Phoenix King Valley started to take strong measures against such acts but it still continued despite the prohibition. Without a choice, the Phoenix King Valley turned to fixing the spirit testing stones. They added medicinal ingredients to the spirit testing stones and placed them into the cauldron to calcine. After that, the new spirit testing stones were born. Things took a turn for the better after the new stones were implemented.”

“The new disciples’ spirit qi would be stored inside the spirit testing stone for a period of time. If someone used spirit medicine to forcefully increase their spirit qi, the spirit testing stone would dim after some time. As the stones were tagged with the names of the disciples, there was basically no more way to cheat.”

Bai Luochu thought that Pei Qingfeng might not be detailed in his explanation, but since it was something fresh, she found it rather interesting.

Just like that, the duo continued their impromptu conversation until the incense fully burned out.

“Time is up. Stop writing, otherwise, you will be kicked out of the exhibition.” Once the elder spoke, several disciples who wanted to add in some last minute words stopped. They waited for someone to take away their scripts. Of course, there were some disciples who had a depressed look. There were even some young ladies who started to sob and tears flowed down their cheeks.

The elder didn’t console any of them and he simply left them with a sentence. “All of you need to know that you are adults now. You can’t cry whenever something doesn’t go your way. If you have the time to cry, why don’t you put in more effort and study? This is just an exercise and in the future, when you charge through enemy lines, there will be no time for you to shed tears.”

His words might be harsh but they were the truth. If one’s cultivation didn’t progress, they would only grow weaker and weaker. If they continued to immerse themselves in the past and failed to move forward, they would eventually perish.

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