Chapter 103: The Black Mystical Beast
The Yun Xiao Academy chose several thousand disciples each year from the eighty-one counties. Even a rural county like the Celestial River County had ten entrants, and some of the largest counties were afforded as many as over a hundred spots. Furthermore, there were even more disciples selected from Yun Xiao City itself.
The enormous number of disciples entailed that the Yun Xiao Academy couldn’t just unconditionally grant resources to everyone.
They had to establish a ranking system for their disciples!
Even the Celestial River Academy did the same thing by splitting everyone into the Low, Intermediate, and High Divisions. In contrast, the Yun Xiao Academy ranked their disciples according to their latent potential, and split them into five sectors respectively.
In ascending order, those were the Jade, Crimson, Green, Purple, and Black Classes!
One’s latent potential wasn’t as clear cut as their cultivation base. It was difficult to gauge just by taking into account a warrior’s age and cultivation base.
Thus, the Cloud Steps Trial was invented.
Qi Ying learned many things about the trial from Master Thirteen.
One’s latent potential was a manifestation of one’s basal properties, constitution, learning ability, bloodline, and affinity with the vital energy of heaven and earth… One had to excel in many areas to be considered to be a disciple with outstanding potential.
Thus, there were five segments to the Cloud Steps Trial.
Each of the segments assessed one of the five aforementioned areas.
In the end, one would receive an overall score that determined which sector they were assigned to.
Of course, the content of the five segments was changed every year, in order to prevent disciples from being able to prepare for them in advance.
Master Thirteen clearly had great confidence in Qi Ying. “With your cultivation aptitude, you should be able to get into the Qing Xiao Sector at the very least. In fact, it’s quite possible that you’ll be able to make it into the Zi Xiao Sector… If you can enter the Ling Xiao Sector, then you will be regarded as an important prospect to the kingdom… Qi Shun, Qin Susu, Yan Beigui; all three of them are prodigies of the Ling Xiao Sector!”
“Alright, I’ll do my best!”
Qi Ying clenched his fists.
He had to display his potential as much as possible during the Cloud Steps Trial, both for the sake of his own future development, and to inch ever closer to Qin Susu!
It was time for him to show everyone what he was made of!
Qi Ying only saw Xuan Yu again at night, following the conclusion of his cultivation for the day. Madam Lu seemed to have already departed to visit her relatives. Thus, Xuan Yu was sitting alone on the bench in the courtyard. She was still in her usual white dress, and she wore a carefree expression as she listened to the pleasant cries of the nearby larks. She appeared to be in high spirits.
“Mother Yu, how are you finding the place?”
Qi Ying latched onto Xuan Yu’s hand, which was a little cool to the touch.
Xuan Yu replied with a smile, “It’s not bad.”
“Sigh… It’s all thanks to Master Thirteen that we’re able to live here…” Qi Ying sighed before vowing in a determined voice, “Mother Yu, I’m going to buy a courtyard just like this, no, even bigger than this one; one so big that it can hold everything you could ever want! I’ll employ an opera troupe just for you, and you can tell them to sing whatever you want to hear! I’m also going to fix your eyes and…”
Xuan Yu placed a finger over Qi Ying’s lips to cut him off.
“Do you think I looked after you for fifteen years just so you could buy a big house for me? That’s not important to me. Besides, it’s important to be content with what you have, and not constantly looking at what you don’t have. You have to stay grounded, do you understand?”
Qi Ying nodded and replied, “I do. I’m going to cultivate hard, and achieve a good result in the trial three days from now!”
After progressing to the Fifth Energy Martial Stage, Qi Ying had reached the latter half of his Purple Energy Cultivation Method.
That one month of consolidation had given him an extremely resolute cultivation foundation!
The integrity of his physical body, the density of his True Energy, and the suppleness of his meridians was not inferior to many Ninth Energy Martial Stage warriors.
As such, his cultivation began to progress very smoothly.
However, cultivation was a journey that became more difficult the more he advanced. The higher his cultivation base became, the more difficult future breakthroughs would become.
Even though Qi Ying had been cultivating conscientiously in the past few days, and had taken many Energy Blast Pills as well as Energy Breakthrough Pills, he was still unable to progress to the Sixth Energy Martial Stage on the day of the trial. He only managed to barely make it to the pinnacle of the Fifth Energy Martial Stage.
“Let’s go; I’m taking you to the Yun Xiao Academy!”
That morning, Master Thirteen led a peculiar-looking beast to Qi Ying. It looked like a black falcon, but it had the body of a dragon, and it was even larger than a rhinoceros. Every breath it took seemed to be able to stir up gusts of wind.
“What beast is this? It’s got such a powerful aura!”
Qi Ying could sense that the beast standing before him was at least at the Yellow Tier Seventh Rank.
Master Thirteen patted beast and replies, “This is the Black Mystical Beast, Little Black.”
“This is the Colosseum’s Black Mystical Beast?”
Qi Ying’s eyes widened in shock.
The Celestial River Colosseum had a Dark Tier beast that was also its most precious beast. Who would have thought that Master Thirteen would have brought it to the capital?
“That’s right. Little Black is known as a colosseum beast, but it’s actually my spirit beast.”
The Dark Tier rubbed its head against Master Thirteen’s shoulder, and a soft expression appeared on its ghastly face. It suddenly didn’t look like a Dark Tier beast; instead, it resembled a docile little kitten.
“Climb on! We can get to the trial grounds early if we ride Little Black!”
Qi Ying climbed onto the Black Mystical Beast’s back. The beast spread open its wings, displaying its wingspan of several dozens of feet, and it rose into the air before flying away from the courtyard.
Qi Ying yelled down at Xuan Yu, “I’m going now, Mother Yu! I’ll be sure to bring back good news!”
Xuan Yu waved at him from down below.
Xuan Yu’s expression suddenly turned into one of concern following Qi Ying’s departure, and she heaved a faint sigh, “I wonder what your potential will be gauged as according to the Yun Xiao Academy’s trial… You have to stay grounded no matter what the result turns out to be…”
The Yun Xiao Academy was situated in a special location in Yun Xiao City. It was close to the imperial palace, and was constructed next to five mountains. The five mountains were named Yu Xiao, Chi Xiao, Qing Xiao, Zi Xiao, and Ling Xiao. Each and every one of them was extremely tall, and extended all the way up into the clouds. There were also many buildings along the mountains, which were used as classrooms for academy disciples and elders.
In front of the five mountains was a massive plaza with a radius of several kilometers. The plaza had a capacity of over a hundred thousand people, and there was an important landmark constructed upon it; the Cloud Stairs!
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