After Mo Qingcheng left, Qin Wentian and the rest continued their journey, walking past the Arch Gate and arriving at to the other side. It was extremely lively; the majority of the crowd were about 15-16 years old, and the brimming, vigorous energy of youth permeated the atmosphere.
“Today is the day of registration for all the academies, which is why there are so many people.” Mountain explained. Qin Wentian also discovered that in this spacious area, the people were gathered into nine rows as they queued to register and take the required examinations.
“Look at that area in the middle. That area is assigned to our Emperor Star Academy. Wow, there are so many people queueing up to register.” Mountain pointed to a spacious area somewhere in front, where there were plenty of individuals with nervous expressions on their faces. In addition, there were some who left with downcast expressions; evidently, they had failed to meet the mark.
“Why is he the one assigned today?” Mountain’s brows slightly creased as he looked towards the elder assigned by the Emperor Star Academy.
Qin Wentian glanced towards Mountain with a questioning look in his eyes before Mountain explained, “The elder in charge of the examination is named Janus, and within the Emperor Star Academy, there are two schools of thought. I, Teacher Mustang, belong to one of the factions who disdain interaction with the aristocratic clans and the Royal Family, while Janus, belonging to the second faction, holds a viewpoint directly opposite from my own. He is in favor of forging closer connections with those who have authority and power.”
“And, previously, regarding the matters of your family, the Emperor Star Academy rejected the plea for help precisely because of the second faction.”
Having understood, Qin Wentian’s complexion returned back to normal. If the Emperor Star Academy had agreed to the request for help, Mustang and the rest wouldn’t have taken matters into their own hands.
“Let’s go. Since you’re already here, what else can he do?” Luo Huan’s eyes slightly narrowed as she felt an anxious feeling in her heart. The elder in charged wasn’t supposed to be Janus.
The few of them proceeded forwards and soon arrived at the spot reserved for the Emperor Star Academy. As the most famous academy in the entirety of Chu Country, there were countless people who would wanted to try to get in. Not only were there citizens of the Chu Country, there were even people from neighboring countries. As for the Emperor Star Academy, talent was the only criteria. As long as you were talented enough, you would be admitted regardless of nationality.
However, the rejection rate for the Emperor Star Academy was also the highest.
There were so many youths in queue that the line resembled the length a long dragon. Upon seeing Luo Huan’s voluptuous figure approaching nearby, the hot-blooded youths all started to get lost in their fantasies.
As Luo Huan led Qin Wentian forward, a figure decked in white robes blocked their path. Emitting a razor sharp aura, this person had a pair of sword-shaped eyebrows and was 18 years old.
“Junior brother Qin, this person is named Orchon. His cultivation level is at the 8th level of the Arterial Circulation Realm, and he has cultivated at the Emperor Star Academy for two years. He is extremely powerful, so you must be careful around him,” Mountain lightly whispered.
“Senior Orchon.” Luo Huan smiled as she approached Orchon, “I’m here to collect the Jade Medallion from Elder Janus.”
Orchon calmly cast a glance at Luo Huan, and as he shifted his gaze to Qin Wentian, the look in his eyes became as sharp as the tip of a long spear. He coldly stated, “Go join the queue.”
“Orchon, he has already passed Teacher Mustang’s examination earlier in Sky Harmony City.” Luo Huan’s countenance turned chilly as well.
Orchon indifferently stared back at Luo Huan as he indifferently retorted, “So what?”
“Hmmph.” Luo Huan coldly snorted as she turned to Janus, who was in front of her. She declared, “Elder Janus, under the orders of my teacher, I’m here to obtain the Emperor Star Jade Medallion.”
It was as if Janus had not heard her words. Without even looking at her, he directly replied, “Join the queue.”
“Elder Janus, Junior Brother Qin Wentian has already passed the examination set by Teacher Mustang.” Luo Huan, upon noticing that Janus has not even glance in her direction, had a somewhat unsightly expression on her face. It seemed like Janus was determined on using his official authority to achieve a personal vengeance. In the academy, this was the first time that Luo Huan had been at direct odds with Orchon; their confrontation reflected that of Mustang and Janus.
Only now did Janus shift his gaze over to Luo Huan and Qin Wentian. The look in his eyes mirrored Orchon’s sharp and chilly gaze as he replied. “What he passed was Mustang’s examination, not mine. In any case, we have already come to an agreement with the other academies: today was the last day of the examination, and those who passed the initial exams were to join in the coalition of the nine academies and enter the Dark Forest to participate in the hunting of demonic beasts as a training exercise. This exercise counts as the second examination; only those who pass will be able to enter into one of the nine martial academies.”
“Hence, it’s the same for him; even if he passed Mustang’s examination, if he wants to obtain the Emperor Star Jade Medallion, he would first have to survive the training exercise.”
“How long would the training exercise be?” Luo Huan coldly asked.
“A month.” Janus replied.
“If you don’t wish to participate, you can choose to give up and scram back to Sky Harmony City.” At this moment, another youth appeared beside Orchon, staring coldly at Qin Wentian.
At this moment, Qin Wentian could feel multiple stares being focused on his body. His sensory abilities had always been strong, and following his senses, he shifted his gaze over and discovered that in the area designated for the Royal Academy, there were many pairs of eyes staring at him. One of them, clad in a green robe and emitting an frosty air, was none other than Bai Autumn Snow.
The Bai Clan had already relocated to the Royal Capital. Autumn Snow, apparently, had also planned to join the training exercise sanctioned by the Coalition of the Nine Academies.
“Junior Brother Qin, they wished to deal with you.” Mountain explained, “I warned you to be careful of Orchon because he has close connections with Ye WuQue.”
Qin Wentian’s heart was as calm as a mirror. He had not expect that just as he stepped into the Royal Capital, there would already be a trap laid for him by the others, preparing to devour him in a single mouthful.
Naturally, the majority of the applicants had no idea that this expedition, other than being a training exercise, contained a secondary purpose: to deal with Qin Wentian. The majority of the applicants had no idea as to who was Qin Wentian; they only knew that this training exercise was extremely dangerous. Not long ago, the nine martial academies had informed everyone that they could back down up if they feared for their safety.
Luo Huan glared at Janus as she asked, “How are we to determine the fairness of this examination?”
“According to the Coalition of the Nine Academies, all applicants would have to enter the Dark Forest without exceptions. Other than that, each of the nine martial academies, will send two elders as well as four seniors to oversee the operation and to prevent accidents from occurring. What are you trying to question?” Janus coldly countered.
“Then who are the representatives from our Emperor Star Academy?” Luo Huan continued asking.
“As for the elders, they are Mustang and I. The seniors will be both my disciples and his disciples. Mustang knows about this matter, to which he has already agreed.” Janus coldly laughed.
After hearing the answers, Luo Huan turned her gaze to Qin Wentian, only to find Qin Wentian lightly smiling as he replied, “I’m willing to participate in the training exercise.”
Upon his agreement, Qin Wentian noticed that the youth beside Orchon had his lips curled up in a cold and disturbing smile.
“Let’s go to the side and rest.” Luo Huan led Qin Wentian away to the side.
“Junior Brother Qin, this time round, there seems to be many powers working actively against you. You must be cautious in everything you do. Not only that, the Dark Forest was already dangerous enough to deal with without you having to concentrate on defending against the treacherous people.” Mountain gravely reminded Qin Wentian.
“I’ll respect Teacher Mustang’s decision. As for the rest of the applicants who are planning to make a move against me, as well as the demonic beasts, I will definitely be cautious,” Qin Wentian replied.
“Just remember this: do not belittle or underestimate any of the applicants, especially applicants from the aristocratic clans that applied for the Emperor Star Academy and the Royal Academy. Some of them may be young, but without a doubt, their talents can all be considered monstrous.”
“Very well. Let’s wait for the training exercise to start.” Qin Wentian inclined his head, and his gaze accidentally glanced in Autumn Snow’s directions. Over there, Autumn Snow was surrounded by many youthful males and females, similar to the stars clustered around the cold, and beautiful moon. The reason for this attention, other than her own innate talent, also had to do with the marriage engagement between her and Ye WuQue.
“Master, why not let me go scout out some of the good resting places available in the Royal Capital?” Francis respectfully suggested to Qin Wentian.
“Fine, please do so.” Qin Wentian had no objections.
“I will wait for master to emerge unscathed.” Francis smiled and left. He believed that with his abilities, Qin Wentian would be able to turn this apparent danger into good fortune. He was still waiting for Qin Wentian to become the ultimate master weaponsmith in order to look down on Murin.
The first phase of the examination, sanctioned by the Coalition of the Nine Martial Academies, commenced. It evaluated the long lines of applicants with the speed of a wildfire. However, this has nothing to do with Qin Wentian, who was leisurely chatting with Luo Huan and Mountain.
Above the air, far away from the location of the examination, there was an immense demonic beast hovering in the air. The beast looked similar to a lion but had wings growing out of it’s back. From the pressure it was emitting, it was a terrifying 8th level demonic beast—a lionvulture griffin. Standing on top of the griffin were two silhouettes—Mustang and an old man.
“Teacher, when Janus agreed to the Royal Academy’s proposal, why didn’t you object?” Mustang asked, his face showing a lack of comprehension.
“Mustang, do you hold that youth in high regard?” Smiling, the old man countered with another question.
“I do. Not to conceal anything from my esteemed teacher, I really like the character of this youth very much. If I didn’t, then when they proposed this ‘training exercise’, I would not have invited your esteemed self to help me stop this training expedition to the Dark Forest.”
“Since you hold him in such high regards, why don’t you prevent him from joining the expedition?” The old man smiled as he viewed the vast spacious area where the applicants were currently undergoing the examinations. “There are truly some good seedings among this batch of applicants. I’m looking forward to the training expedition.”
Mustang smiled bitterly as he recited in his heart, “Little fellow, I’ve tried. I can only wish you good luck.”
“Grandpa, are you looking for me?” At this moment, a white-colored demonic crane flew up into the skies, and standing on the demonic crane, was actually the number one beauty of the Chu Country – Mo Qingcheng.
“Right. This time around, I want you to follow Mustang and go for a walk in the Dark Forest. It will do you no good if you keep staying at home.” The old man smiled kindly then turned his gaze towards Mustang. “Mustang, I will temporarily lend this 8th level griffin. Help me by taking good care of Qingcheng.”
Mustang froze. He did not fully comprehend the meaning behind the actions of his esteemed teacher. After a while, he nodded his head slightly towards Mo Qingcheng, but he was somewhat stunned. Even someone at his level would still be affected by Mo Qingcheng’s beauty. Regarding the granddaughter of his esteemed teacher, he did not interact with her often, but despite of this, Mustang knew well enough that the ten prodigies in the Royal Capital were all fighting over her. But now, his esteemed teacher actually wanted him to act as a bodyguard for his precious granddaughter? For a walk in the Dark Forest? He couldn’t help but wonder. Was there some other special intent behind this action?