"In the Mountain Gate examination, you are only allowed to rely on your own talents and capabilities. No external artifacts, weapons, or the sort are allowed. If we were to find you have cheated, your results in that test will be voided. Other than that, the killing of other candidates is prohibited as well. Such an act will result in a direct termination of your candidacy!" Elder Liu announced solemnly.


The crowd in the square quickly nodded in response.

The main point of an examination lay in fair competition. If one were to rely on artifacts and the sort in the final selection, that would undermine the purpose of it.

If everyone were to rely on their artifacts to clear the examination, the Sanctum of Sages wouldn't be an institution for the talented but the wealthy.

"Prior to passing through the gate, remember to leave your Soul Imprint on the gate so that the Jade Tablet of Trials can process your names and backgrounds. This is so as to facilitate the tabulation of the results of your performance in the examination." Elder Liu continued.

Nodding, the crowd quickly used their secret arts to leave behind their Soul Imprint on the gates.

"Alright, let's set off now. The duration for the Mountain Gate examination will be three days, and may the odds be in your favor!" Elder Liu waved his hand grandly.


With a resounding response, the excited crowd began passing through the gates.

"Since it's the Teleportation Formation, it's unlikely that we'll end up in the same location. So, you can only rely on yourself for the entrance examination…" Watching as the crowd surged through the gates, and it was going to be their turn soon, Zhang Xuan turned to Zhang Jiuxiao and said.

"Zhang shi, rest assured. I'll do my best in the entrance examination!" Zhang Jiuxiao nodded.

In the past, he wouldn't have been confident of emerging in the top 5% amidst this large group of geniuses. However, the times were different now.

In the time that they were traveling to the Sanctum of Sages, he had been learning diligently from Zhang Xuan, and this had boosted his fighting prowess significantly. His comprehension of combat had also soared by leaps and bounds, making him no longer the man he used to be. More importantly, he even comprehended Half-Quintessence in swordsmanship, which would make him nigh invincible amidst his peers. With these, his chances at getting into the top five hundred were higher than ever!

"Be careful inside." Seeing that Zhang Jiuxiao was confident, Zhang Xuan nodded in approval.

Chen Leyao and the others also turned to Zhang Xuan and said, "Zhang shi, let's meet in the Sanctum of Sages."

"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded.

After which, the group from the Glacier Plain Court swiftly made their way through the gates.

In their view, considering how the young man was able to easily defeat Zhang Qian, it should be a walk in the park for him to clear the final selection. Now, it was just a matter of whether he would be able to qualify for the Elite Division or not.

"You all can go now!" A moment later, Zhao Xingmo finally gestured the group to advance ahead, and the thirty or so candidates from the Eight Conferred Empires began making their way over for the gates.

Zhang Xuan was at the very back of the group, and he watched those ahead of him disappear in the shimmering light within the gates one after another before it was finally his turn. Upon contact with the gates, he immediately felt the space around him warping abruptly, and with a flash, he vanished from the spot.

Meanwhile, watching as Zhang Xuan vanished from the spot, Zhang Qian narrowed his eyes and spat with gritted teeth, "Zhang Xuan, just you wait. Once I get into the Elite Division, I'll make your life a living hell!"

After saying those words, he stepped into the gate as well and disappeared.

Not too long later, the ten thousand or so geniuses on the square had all entered the gates, leaving only the guides who had brought them here behind.

"Alright, let's all head to the Hall of Results."

Following behind the other guides, Zhao Xingmo flew across the Sanctum of Sages and before long, he was standing before a towering hall.

Standing imposingly in the center of the hall was a grayish-emerald jade tablet, and it emanated an air of ancient history.

With just a look, there was little doubt that this jade tablet had been in the Sanctum of Sages for many years.

A warm glow rippled across the surface of the jade tablet, bringing slight illumination to the surroundings. Stopping right before the jade tablet, all of the guides directed their gazes to it directly, hoping to find some familiar names on it.

"Guides, the examination has barely started. There's no rush." Seeing the anxious looks on the guides, Elder Liu couldn't help but chuckle.

There were three days to the examination, so it was too early to conclude anything at the current phase. The true fight over the placing would only happen at least two days later.


The guides nodded as they sat onto the ground as well to rest. At this moment, a nearby stone pillar positioned just beside the jade tablet lit up, and several names emerged on the jade tablet.

"The examination has barely started, but there are already candidates who have scored some points?"

Astonished, the guides quickly took a closer look to see who those candidates were.

"Feng Ziyi, 127!"

Zhang Yu, 121!"

"Jiang Xuecun, 116!"

"Yuan Haiqing, 109!"

"Bai Qingxuan, 103!"


"All above a hundred points? They have already scored so much even though the examination has barely started a while ago…"

Seeing the names and their respective scores on the jade tablet, a huge commotion broke out amidst the crowd.

It was truly frightening to see the candidates scoring more than a hundred points when the examination had just started a few minutes ago. More importantly, it wasn't just an individual or two who had achieved that feat, but five of them!

Such a thing had never happened in previous years before!

"One would gain 1 point from defeating a saint beast of one cultivation stage higher, 5 points from defeating a saint beast of two cultivation stages higher, and 25 points for three cultivation stages higher... Yet, a hundred points in just a few minutes? Just how in the world did they accomplish this?"

Zhao Xingmo felt his throat turning hoarse. He could hardly believe what was happening at all.

Under normal circumstances, one's results would only reflect on the jade tablet once it exceeded 10 points, and it would be a gradual increase beyond that. For their score to reflect more than a hundred points from the very start, and for five candidates at that...

"The highest scorer at the moment is Feng Ziyi. Where's he from?" one of the guides amidst the crowd asked curiously.

"He's from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters. It's said that he's the direct disciple of one of the elders, and his cultivation has already reached Grand Dominion realm intermediate stage. Without a doubt, he was definitely one of the stronger, if not the strongest, candidate!" a black-robed master teacher who knew about the details explained.

"A direct disciple of an elder from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters?" Zhao Xingmo's breathing hastened.

In order to become an elder of the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters, one had to be a 9-star master teacher at the very minimum! As a student of such a powerful expert, it was no wonder why Feng Ziyi would be able to achieve such incredible results right from the start.

"In second place is Zhang Yu, a genius from the Sage Clan, Zhang Clan. It's said that the purity of his bloodline has already reached Earth-tier!"

"Earth-tier?" Zhao Xingmo widened his eyes in shock.

The bloodline of Sage Clan's offspring could be divided into four tiers depending on their purity, namely Tier-2, Tier-1, Earth-tier, and the highest Sky-tier!

The basic requirement to become an inner clan member was to possess Tier-2 bloodline, and some of the more formidable ones would possess Tier-1 bloodline. As for those whose bloodline had reached Earth-tier, most of them would be from the main family, and even at worst, they would be the offspring of the elders.

"Indeed. Ever since the founding of the Sanctum of Sages, the Zhang Clan had a total of 37 Earth-tier bloodline offspring. Even the weakest of them eventually reached Saint 8-dan pinnacle... Considering that Zhang Yu possesses the same Earth-tier bloodline as well, he's bound to reach incredible heights in the future as well!" the black-robed master teacher said.

"Saint 8-dan?" Zhao Xingmo found himself at a loss for words.

Wielding such strength, one could already be considered to be standing at the top of the continent. With just a stomp of his feet, he would be able to bring around the downfall of a power like Qianchong Empire easily!

"Right! Earlier, I encountered another offspring of the Zhang Clan named Zhang Qian. May I know what the purity of his bloodline is?" Zhao Xingmo couldn't help asking.

"Zhang Qian only possesses an ordinary Tier-2 bloodline. Amongst the thirty candidates the Zhang Clan has sent in this time around, he's ranked amidst the last, not even worth a mention!" the black-robed master teacher replied.

"Not even worth a mention?" Hearing those words, Zhao Xingmo's face turned as dark as charcoal.

Zhang Qian was a Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle expert, and yet, he was still ranked in the bottom few of the Zhang Clan's candidates? If that was the case, just how formidable would those who were ranked ahead of him be?

This was really too terrifying!

The Zhang Clan had its fair share of spectacular candidates in the previous years' final selection, but never had the line-up of their candidates been so formidable before!

"Jiang Xuecun... Is she from the Sage Clan, Jiang Clan?" Zhao Xingmo continued asking.

Of the many Sage Clans on the Master Teacher Continent, the three strongest were namely the Zhang Clan, Jiang Clan, and Luo Clan respectively.

Considering how Jiang Xuecun managed to get onto the rankboard within such a short period of time, achieving a score that was just beneath Zhang Yu, it was hard to imagine that she could be from any other clan other than the illustrious Jiang Clan.

"Un, I have met Jiang Xuecun myself once before. As you know, the Jiang Clan specializes in soul offense, but even amidst their ranks, the soul energy which Jiang Xuecun is born with can be considered immense. In terms of fighting prowess, she could very well be on par with even Feng Ziyi!" the black-robed master teacher said.

"As for Yuan Haiqing, he's one of the geniuses of the Sage Clan, Yuan Clan. While the Yuan Clan is slightly weaker than the Zhang, Jiang, and Luo at the moment, unable to squeeze into the top three, I heard that they have managed to find a successor who possesses Sky-tier bloodline half a year ago. If the rumors are really true, there's no saying that the Yuan Clan might just be able to join their ranks in the near future!"

"Sky-tier bloodline?" Zhao Xingmo was astonished.

Sky-tier bloodline was the strongest bloodline that any offspring of the Sage Clans could possess. As long as those who possessed such bloodline was given time to mature, it was just a matter of time before he became a renowned figure in the Master Teacher Continent.

For one, the current heads of the Zhang Clan and the Luo Clan possessed Sky-tier bloodlines as well.

"It doesn't seem to be just a rumor. Over the past few days, several of the stronger powers and clans have expressed their goodwill toward the Yuan Clan, wanting to befriend them. It seems like the rise of the Yuan Clan is inevitable…" the black-robed master teacher replied.

"So, these candidates all have notable backgrounds... Then, what about Bai Qingxuan? What's his background?" Digesting the news which he had just heard, Zhao Xingmo asked in interest.

Since the four in front had such spectacular results, Bai Qingxuan, whose name was placed just beneath theirs in the fifth place, shouldn't be any ordinary figure either!

"Bai Qingxuan is from the Blazing Inferno Court." the black-robed master teacher said.

"Blazing Inferno Court? You mean the powerful organization whose reputation rivals that of the Glacier Plain Court?"

While the Glacier Plain Court had the Yin-Yang Lake, and their core cultivation techniques were the Yang Formula and Yin Formula, most of their members still cultivated the Yin Formula. On top of that, nearly all of their members, from the court chief down to the elders and the ordinary members, were all female.

The Blazing Inferno Court was the direct opposite. Most of them were men, and they practiced cultivation techniques that were rich in yang attribute, such as the Inferno Art and such.

It was said that the two powers were created by the same founder, but due to certain disagreements and intense rivalry between members who cultivated yang cultivation techniques and yin cultivation techniques, they were eventually divided into two powers.

Roughly two decades ago, the two powers attempted to bridge their differences and reunite as one through a political marriage. However, in the last moment, the to-be court chief ended up fleeing at the very last moment, disappearing from the face of the world.

Eventually, the two powers fell out with one another once more, and they parted on an unhappy note.

"That's right." The black-robed master teacher nodded. "While the reputation of the Blazing Inferno Court isn't too resounding, and they have very few branches over the world, on the whole, they still wield overwhelming strength which would be foolish to overlook. If not for that, the Glacier Plain Court wouldn't agree to a political marriage with them either!"

"Indeed." Zhao Xingmo nodded in agreement.

For a political marriage to work, both powers should be of equal standing. Otherwise, it would be nigh impossible for them to coexist peacefully.


While the both of them were chatting, the stone pillars lit up once more, and new names emerged on the jade tablet.

"The top five hundred candidates have emerged…"

Zhao Xingmo immediately turned his gaze toward the jade tablet, and as expected, it was filled with all kinds of names.

The height of the jade tablet was just sufficient to reflect five hundred names in total, and perhaps it was for the very same reason, only five hundred students would be accepted into the Sanctum of Sages in each entrance examination.

"Come, take a look and see if the talents you have brought here are on the rankboard or not." the black-robed master teacher said with a smile.

Nodding, Zhao Xingmo swiftly scanned the jade tablet from head to toe, and very soon, a tight knit emerged between his brows.

Despite the huge number of names, he realized that there was not a single one that was familiar to him.

Under normal circumstances, Zhang Xuan should be able to get into the top five hundred easily. So, why is his name nowhere to be found? Zhao Xingmo thought worriedly.

Is none of the candidates I have brought here going to clear the final selection?



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