Chapter 106: Han Xue
Feng Hemu chortled with glee, clearly very happy with that result.
After all, almost half of the disciples only had a white basal aptitude. People from small counties like them wouldn’t have had access to good pills, nor appropriate cultivation methods, thereby resulting in their basal properties being damaged, thus lowering their aptitude.
“Aw, mine is white.”
Only Feng Hemu and a young man from the Wang family achieved the red level. Aside from them, everyone else from the Celestial River County got white.
“What about you, Young Master Qi?”
Everyone turned their attention to Qi Ying.
Qi Ying showed everyone his badge with a numb expression.
Everyone faltered upon seeing that. White was a very normal result for them, but Qi Ying had put on such an exceptional performance at the hunting grounds, why did he also get the same result? How could someone with mediocre basal properties cultivate his battle techniques to such a high level of mastery?
A white was a major roadblock. If he ended up with two greens, two reds, and a white, then he would only be able to get into the Crimson Class.
However, no one was overly concerned. Perhaps Qi Ying’s talents laid in other areas!
Even if Qi Ying could only make it into the Crimson Class, he would still be someone for all of them to look up to!
“Let’s climb the next three thousand steps!”
The ten of them quickly resumed their journey up the staircase.
Qi Ying was in a very sour mood. With one white on his resume, even if he secured black in all of the other four segments, he most likely wouldn’t make it into the Black Class.
However, he still had to forge ahead!
At the very least, Qi Ying knew that the result he received wasn’t actually due to a lack of aptitude. Instead, it was due to a flaw in the marking criteria, which allowed his left hand to drag down his overall score.
For example, Qi Ying saw a disciple easily jog up the three thousand steps earlier, but he only received a white result as well. That was due to the fact that two of his fingers had been severed earlier in life, resulting in an incomplete body, therefore lowering his score.
Even though he clearly possessed well above average basal properties, the fallacies in the trial itself hampered his results.
The second set of three thousand steps tested one’s ability to manipulate True Energy or Spiritual Energy.
In that section, all disciples had full access to their cultivation base, but there were many complex forcefields. For every step one scaled, the obstructive forces changed, thereby necessitating manipulation of True Energy or Spiritual Energy to help one maintain balance.
Many people were caught off guard by those changes, and fell over onto the steps. Feng Hemu was used to running after the first section, and he tried to replicate that speed, only to fall face-first after scaling only ten steps.
“Slow down! Control your Spiritual Energy to balance yourself!”
Tian Shou urged with furrowed brows.
“Sigh, I’ve already tried that… Looks like my aptitude in Spiritual Energy manipulation is lacking…”
Feng Hemu heaved a forlorn sigh. At that moment, Sun Changyu suddenly exclaimed, “Look at Qi Ying!”
Everyone looked up and their mouths instantly gaped open. They were greeted by the sight of Qi Ying sprinting like the wind, scaling five or six steps with every stride he took!
All of them drew a sharp breath in unison. What insane True Energy manipulation ability did it require to maintain such astonishing speed?
Not only were the nine people from the Celestial River County astonished, all of the disciples in the second section were staring blankly at the figure racing up the steps.
He was definitely displaying black aptitude!
At that moment, a peal of laughter escaped from the lips of a female disciple, “What an interesting guy! Let’s see who will get to the top first!”
Everyone felt a fiery red blur flash before their eyes, as that female disciple also began to pick up speed.
A bunch of disciples began to discuss among themselves.
“That’s the young mistress of the Han family; she’s only fourteen this year!”
“Among the new disciples, there are members of direct lineal descent from the Han, Zhao, AND Wei families. Looks like the Purple and Black Classes are going to have some new entrants!”
A few more figures began to make their charge. They weren’t as fast as the two in the lead, but their speed was still quite extraordinary.
Feng Hemu and everyone else exchanged resigned glances.
However, at the same time, they became even more convinced that appeasing Qi Ying was the right way to go!
He clearly had black aptitude in True Energy manipulation, so his affinity with the vital energy of heaven and earth had to be quite outstanding too. If the aptitude of his bloodline and his learning ability could also match those areas, then he should be able to make it into the Green Class even with a white basal properties aptitude!
After arriving at the second platform, Qi Ying quickly pulled out his jade badge, and his eyes immediately lit up!
Sure enough, the second segment was indeed black!
Someone suddenly slapped him on the shoulder.
Qi Ying turned to discover a young woman in a vibrant red dress. She appeared to be about thirteen or fourteen years of age, with soft and fair skin. She had a slightly chubby babyface, but she was quite pleasant to look at.
Qi Ying didn’t recognize her.
“Eh? I don’t know you…” The young woman was also quite surprised, “I saw you running really quickly up the steps, so I thought you had to be a big brother from the Wei or the Zhao families… What’s your name?”
“Me…? I’m Qi Ying. And you are?”
Qi Ying was quite curious about her identity. She was very young, but her cultivation base was already at the Ninth Energy Martial Stage. She was sure to be an extremely powerful warrior in the future.
“Huh? You don’t know me? My name is Han Xue.”
“Xue as in snow?[1. In Chinese, both snow and blood are pronounced as “Xue”.]”
The young woman stuck out her tongue. “It’s Xue as in blood. You’re so dumb! Which branch of the Qi family are you from?”
“Qi family? I’m not part of the Qi family”
“If you’re not part of the Qi family, why is your surname Qi?”
Qi Ying was at a loss for words. “I can’t have Qi as a surname unless I’m part of the Qi family? Wait, are you the young mistress of the Han family?”
Qi Ying’s expression suddenly changed, and he subconsciously took a couple of steps backward, thereby opening up some distance between the two of them. The Han family was also one of the seven major families. If she was a young mistress from that family, then it was best for him to stay away from her!
“That’s right. So you’re not from the Qi family… Oh well, let’s go to the third section!”
Han Xue was quite amused by Qi Ying’s display of caution. She had been forced to stay at home for a long time in preparation for the Cloud Steps Trial. As such, she was quite elated to be able to meet such an interesting and handsome guy. Thus, she grabbed onto his hand, just like she normally did with the family guards she often played around with at home, and led him toward the third set of three thousand steps.
“What are you do….” Qi Ying didn’t get a chance to voice his objections before he set foot upon the six thousand and first step.
He only made it up to three steps before his footsteps faltered, and he half-knelt to the ground.