Library of Heaven is Path
1300 Elite Division
With a brilliant shimmer of light, the names, ranks, and scores on the Jade Tablet of Trials were refreshed one last time. All in all, there were five hundred lines of information on the screen, no more no less.
Upon seeing the results, a huge commotion broke out amid the crowd.
"The results this time around have really broken the records!"
"I wouldn't say that they have broken records, but it's definitely the best performance we have seen in the entrance examination for the past thirty years."
"The top ranker, Feng Ziyi, actually managed to obtain a score exceeding 70,000 points. Even the little princess of the Luo Clan didn't manage to obtain such a score back then!"
"That's only because the little princess didn't use her full strength. If she really went all out, putting aside 70,000, even 700,000 is not completely out of the question!"
"As the one who possesses the Dimension Silencer, she commands near absolute authority over space. It's questionable whether the folded space of the Mountain Gate examination would have been able to handle her strength if she really went all out!"
"The only one who stands a chance against the little princess of the Luo Clan is the young prodigy of the Zhang Clan!"
The surrounding master teachers discussed with one another.
As guides, they had led many intakes of candidates into the Sanctum of Sages, and without a doubt, the performance of the current intake was the highest within the recent decades!
The top ranker, Feng Ziyi, had even scored 70,000 points.
That was truly a frightening accomplishment!
"Zhang Yu isn't too bad either. With a score of 69,000, he's only 1,000 points away from first place!"
"I didn't think that Yuan Haiqing would be able to push up a rank at the very last refresh, obtaining the third place."
"Bai Qingxuan isn't not too bad either. He managed to secure the fourth place…"
The guides commented on the top scores as they looked through the list of names on the scoreboard.
Listed before them were the names of the experts who would be entering the Elite Division, the most talented youths in the Master Teacher Continent. Perhaps, several hundred years from then, those names would be spoken by countless mouths, resounding through every street and alley.
"Bing Lingqing and Chen Leyao of the Glacier Plain Court have also managed to get into the Elite Division as well. Bing Lingqing's ranking has constantly remained between tenth and twentieth throughout the examination—not too bad. As for Chen Leyao, her ranking was around the seventies to the eighties in the first two days of the examination, but in the very last day, she suddenly managed to make a push into the top fifty!"
"She must have completed some kind of formidable test for her results to soar by so much. I really must say that her luck is not too bad."
"Indeed. Well, it's a huge pity for Zhang Qian though. He was in the top fifty throughout most of the examination, but his ranking abruptly fell through at the final juncture, disqualifying him from the Elite Division."
They had been observing the scoreboard over the past three days, so they had a rough idea of how each candidate had fared throughout the course of the examination.
Suddenly, someone amid the crowd exclaimed, "Wait a minute… Everyone, look at the person in fiftieth place, Zhang Xuan. Where did he pop out from? I don't recall seeing his name on the screen throughout the examination."
Everyone quickly turned their gazes over, and indeed, sitting in fiftieth place on the scoreboard was an extremely unfamiliar name… Zhang Xuan!
"This name has never gotten into the top five hundred throughout the course of the examination, so how could he leap up to fiftieth place in the final refresh?"
"His score is 12,700. The last time I checked, the score for five hundredth place is 2,400. In other words, within the period before the final refresh, his score increased by more than 10,000? How is that possible?"
"Ten thousand within two minutes… Not even Feng Ziyi would be capable of something like that!"
"Could he have cheated?"
Soon, voices of doubts began spreading throughout the hall.
The Jade Tablet of Trials would refresh once every two minutes, and not once had the name 'Zhang Xuan' appeared before. The fact that 'Zhang Xuan' had never appeared in the top five hundred meant that he had never, at any point in time, achieved a score higher than the five hundredth ranker's 2,400 points!
Yet, for his score to surge up to 12,700 in an instant… that was too exaggerated!
The ten thousand candidates had toiled for three whole days, but most of them did not even come close to reaching 10,000 points. Yet, that fellow actually obtained that many points within two minutes? Was this even humanly possible?
Forming a stark contrast to the bewildered and doubtful crowd was Zhao Xingmo, who visibly heaved a sigh of relief upon seeing Zhang Xuan's name.
That fellow sure was worrisome, leaving him on edge for the past three days.
His heart had been restless ever since he failed to find that fellow's name on the first day, and he had thought that the young man did not stand a chance anymore. Yet, who would have thought that he would actually shoot up by 10,000 points at the very last moment, successfully clearing the entrance examination? Not to mention, he even snuck into the very last slot of the Elite Division at that! It sure was a thrilling ride of emotions.
To him, the fact that a candidate he had brought to the Sanctum of Sages had successfully gotten into the Elite Division was a great source of pride and honor to him.
"Zhang Jiuxiao, Ma Minghai, Sun Gan… All in all, seven of the candidates whom I have led here have successfully cleared the examination. Not bad!" Zhao Xingmo nodded in approval.
While it was slightly beneath expectations that only seven out of thirty-three cleared the examination, considering that one of them managed to make it into the Elite Division, it was still not too bad. With such results, he would be qualified to head to better places to recruit more stronger candidates into the Sanctum of Sages.
Similar to how most of the guides were reacting, Elder Liu also frowned in disapproval. "There's something peculiar about the results."
He had served as an elder in the Sanctum of Sages for a very long time now, and he had encountered plenty of geniuses in his time. However, he had never seen or heard of anyone who remotely came close to earning 10,000 points within two minutes before.
Elder Liu pondered for a moment before he turned to the old man by his side and instructed, "Elder Han Zhu, go and check the situation."
"Yes!" Elder Han Zhu nodded.
Elder Han Zhu quickly backed out of the hall, and not too long later, he returned with an unreadable expression on his face.
Noting the peculiar expression on Elder Han Zhu's face, Elder Liu asked, "What's wrong?"
"I have just checked the records, and based on what I saw, until the final refresh, Zhang Xuan didn't have any points at all. In other words… he earned 12,700 points at the very last moment!" Elder Han Zhu replied with a frown.
While the Jade Tablet of Trials only reflected the names and scores of the top five hundred candidates, it still kept track of the results of the other candidates as well. Otherwise, it would not have been able to determine who had cleared the examination and who had failed it accurately.
Earlier, he went to check the past records of that 'Zhang Xuan' candidate, and to his shock, he realized that up till the final two minutes, that candidate did not have a single point! It was only when the examination was coming to an end that he suddenly leaped to the fiftieth place. Clearly, there was something very bizarre about the situation.
"He earned 12,700 points at the very last moment? Is there any test in the Mountain Gate examination that can earn that many points in a single go?" Elder Liu asked contemplatively.
"As you know, the Mountain Gate examination was left behind by Sage Kui, and even elders like us don't have the authority to check on what kinds of tests are within, let alone uncover the point allocation of the tests. Nevertheless, in the records of the past hundred years, the highest number of points that was allocated in one go was for deciphering a grade-8 intermediate Illusory-Slaughter Formation—5000 points!"
At this moment, Elder Han Zhu hesitated for a moment before continuing. "This record was left behind by the Zhang Clan's Zhang Chen, and it caused a huge uproar then!"
"I know of the matter, too. 5,000 points is already unbelievable, but this Zhang Xuan actually earned 12,700 points in a single go. Just what kind of test did he go through for that?" Elder Liu still found the matter a little hard to believe.
There were indeed tests in the Mountain Gate examination where one could earn a great deal of points in a single shot, but those tests were proportionately difficult to pass as well.
Furthermore, 5,000 points was already an astounding reward for a single test. So, for a candidate to receive 12,700 points at once… Honestly, he really could not bring himself to believe such a thing to be possible.
Elder Liu pondered for a moment before issuing his instructions. "For the time being, let's announce the results. Afterward, conduct a Challenge of the Defeated to check if Zhang Xuan really has the ability to earn so many points at once."
"Very well." Elder Han Zhu nodded.
After three days of examinations, the candidates were all bound to be exhausted. Thus, the Sanctum of Sages would usually announce the results quickly so that they could rest as soon as possible.
However, there were also exceptions to the convention.
For instance, there were times when the scores of several candidates appeared to be abnormal. In such situations, the Sanctum of Sages would organize a Challenge of the Defeated to allow those who did not clear the examination to challenge those who did and those in the Ordinary Division to challenge those in the Elite Division.
Firstly, this served to showcase the strength of the students so that teachers could tailor their guidance to their needs in the future. Secondly, it was to reassure the candidates that the examination was fair and impartial. There was no cheating, nepotism, or anything of the sort involved.
If the candidates learned that Zhang Xuan had gotten into the top fifty in the last two minutes, there were bound to be many who would question the integrity and fairness of the entrance examination. In such a case, the Challenge of the Defeated served to show that he had obtained his position through his true strength.
"Let's go." After saying those words, Elder Liu beckoned for the others to follow him before taking the lead.
The others quickly followed him, and before long, they arrived in the square.
At this moment, all the candidates were already out of the Mountain Gate, and they were staring in the sky with expectant and tense looks on their faces.
"Congratulations on completing the three-day examination. You have all worked hard. Now, I shall announce the results of the examination. First and foremost, I shall announce the names of the candidates who have been selected to join the Elite Division…" As Elder Liu's resounding voice echoed through the square, he grabbed the space ahead of him, and the sky suddenly seemed to have turned into glistening jadeite. With a brilliant radiance, names began appearing one after another.
Feng Ziyi, Zhang Yu, Yuan Haiqing, Bai Qingxuan…
With the appearance of each name, there would be resounding cheers from the crowd.
"I have heard of Feng Ziyi; he's the direct disciple of one of the grand elders of the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters!"
"He's the direct disciple of a 9-star master teacher? No wonder he's so formidable! Having received the most accurate guidance from a young age, he's bound to be impeccable in all fields, be it in terms of his strength or his zhenqi. It's a given that he would take first place."
"I thought that Zhang Yu would have a chance to take first place in this entrance examination!"
"The Zhang Clan is too big, and they have too many geniuses in their ranks. While Zhang Yu might possess exceptional talent, he's still far from being ranked at the top. Naturally, the resources he can tap into are limited as well."
Most of the names that appeared were familiar to the crowd here, and to them, they were existences reminiscent of the untouchable stars in the sky.
Chen Leyao? She got into the Elite Division, too? Zhang Xuan noted.
Considering how Chen Leyao had been able to get into the top fifty despite being only at Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle, it seemed like she did possess some exceptional means.
As more and more names were revealed, Zhang Xuan could not help but wonder, There are so many candidates with the surname 'Zhang'. Are they all from the Zhang Clan?
So far, forty names had already appeared, but ten of them went by the surname 'Zhang'. Were they all from the Zhang Clan?
For the Zhang Clan to take up ten out of the fifty slots of the Elite Division… were they not a little too powerful?
Just as Zhang Xuan was about to turn to Zhang Jiuxiao to ask him about the matter, the light in the sky flickered for the last time, and a certain name appeared at the very end of the list.
"Zhang Xuan? Is he from the Zhang Clan, too?"
"I don't think so. I saw the list of candidates dispatched by the Zhang Clan this year, and there wasn't such a name on it…"
"He seems to be some master teacher from the Qingyuan Empire. As soon as he arrived in the square, he offended Chen Leyao from the Glacier Plain Court and pummeled Zhang Qian from the Zhang Clan."
"He actually dared pummel Zhang Qian? He sure is brave!"
"Well, how could one who possesses the strength to get into the Elite Division possibly lack self-confidence?"
When Zhang Xuan's name appeared, a huge commotion immediately broke out among the crowd.
Everyone present knew of the first forty-nine names—they were all from distinguished clans or were famed geniuses whose names had spread far and wide. Only the name in fiftieth place, Zhang Xuan, was completely unfamiliar to all of them.
In such a bizarre manner, his name ended up standing out in the list.
Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, not to mention that he was just an insignificant figure from the remote Qingyuan Empire, and yet, he still managed to get into the top fifty.