Library of Heaven is Path
937 Stone of True Breath
Chapter 937: Stone of True Breath
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Principal Zhang's lecture was actually that incredible?"
Not only were Zhuo Qingfeng, Wo Tianqiong, and the others frenzied, even School Head Mo, School Head Zhao, and the others were shocked silly.
Having trained the candidates personally over the past few days, they knew each of their abilities very well. When they heard that the candidates would have to withstand three moves from the combat masters, they had already prepared themselves for the complete defeat of the Grade-1 candidates. Yet, all four of the challengers they'd sent up had actually successfully gotten rid of a combat master each.
More importantly, the challengers were the weaker of the bunch. So… didn't that mean that every single one of their Grade-1 candidates would be able to clear the selection?
If that was the case, the candidates from the other Master Teacher Academies could probably retire for the Combat Master Selection this time around now.
Their Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy was going to take up all hundred slots for themselves!
Even though they had long known that Principal Zhang was extraordinary, they had really never thought that it would be to such an extent!
To allow their students to possess a fighting prowess comparable to combat masters within an hour… Not even the word 'overpowered' was worthy of being used to describe such a feat!
"When the examination ends, I will have them copy down the content of Principal Zhang's lecture word for word…" Xu Changqing and the other school heads clenched their jaws in agitation.
A lecture that could turn even their weaker candidates into nigh unparalleled experts in their power class, just how profound and incredible could the content be?
Just the thought of it could send excited goosebumps up their arms.
While the copied words wouldn't be infused with the Impartation of Heaven's Will, making the effects less pronounced as compared to being lectured by Principal Zhang, they had no doubt that it would become a great source of inspiration to help further their fighting ability.
After taking some time to soothe the stifled sensation that he felt, Zhuo Qingfeng took a deep breath, clenched his jaws, and instructed, "Bai Quan and Huang Tao, the both of you shall suppress your cultivation and continue the examination!"
Since his Cosmos Bridge realm combat masters wouldn't work, surely his Perfect Harmonization combat masters should be able to do the job!
"Yes!" the two combat masters replied in unison before stepping forward.
After suppressing his cultivation, the combat master on the right, Bai Quan, leaped onto the dueling platform. This time, before he could even say anything, a commotion broke out among the candidates at Hongyuan's side.
"You are stronger than me, and there will be plenty of chances for you later on. You should let me give it a try first instead!"
"Try your head, I will go first! You can try all you want after I am defeated!"
"Do you take me for a fool? By the time you are done, that fellow will already be knocked out on the ground…"
"Hey, you are older than me, right? Haven't you learned anything about giving in to your juniors before? Where in the world has your decorum as a master teacher gone? Look at me, I am far younger than you, and my cultivation is beneath yours, don't you think that you should give way to me?"
The crowd from Hongyuan argued with faces reddened in excitement.
The candidates from the other academies lay low, not wanting to face a Perfect Harmonization realm invigilator who had his cultivation suppressed in fear of the latter's strength. On the other hand, the candidates from Hongyuan looked like they had seen some kind of precious treasure, squabbling with one another vehemently as if afraid that the other party would steal it from their hands.
Do you need to be so exaggerated and savage?
On the dueling platform, Bai Quan's face twitched upon seeing this sight, and he was so furious and frustrated that tears were already on the verge of spilling down his eyes.
I am a combat master, a figure whom none in the Master Teacher Continent dare look down on!
Yet, in a duel against me, not only do none of you show any fear, you are even squabbling with one another to fight against me as if ladies in a wet market… This is intolerable!
Bai Quan clenched his jaws so tightly that creaking sounds could be heard from his teeth. Arrogant, aren't you all? I swear that I will beat deference deep into each of your bones!
Just as he made such a vow in his heart, a young man leaped onto the dueling platform.
The young man had a rather slim frame, and he was one of the weaker candidates from Hongyuan.
Upon seeing the young man leaping up to the dueling platform, the crowd behind him revealed regretful looks.
If they had known earlier this would happen, they would have just dashed up to the dueling platform instead of squabbling with one another. They were being too courteous with one another, which allowed that fellow to get ahead of them.
Seeing the disappointed looks on the faces of Hongyuan's candidates, Bai Quan felt something in his mind snap. Frenzied, he roared furiously, "Come, show me your strongest move!"
As he shouted, he drove his zhenqi furiously, drawing every ounce of strength he could draw from his current Consonant Spirit realm pinnacle cultivation into his palm before thrusting it forward furiously. The resulting attack was extremely powerful, at least ten percent stronger than Chen Zhu when he was using his secret art.
Bai Quan's strength was far greater than the other combat masters that had come before him; his moves were majestic and complex, and his reflexes were swift as well. However, it was as if the opponent he was facing could peer right through his offense. After trading two moves, his opponent found a flaw in his offense and sent a kick right toward it.
After which… nothing.
Bai Quan collapsed under the kick, defeated!
Before he lost consciousness, a stream of tears flowed down his cheeks.
I really am a combat master. I really was sent here to test these guys.
Yet, to think that I would actually lose so tragically to one of them. Why does it feel as if I am the one being tested instead?
You are the one who is supposed to survive three moves from me, but the one to collapse within three moves ended up being me instead.
Seeing that even Bai Quan had been defeated, Zhuo Qingfeng was just about to dispatch Huang Tao when Lu Cheng suddenly sent a zhenqi telepathy to him. "Leader, if this continues, I fear that we will all be floored before we can even finish assessing the Grade-1 candidates! Furthermore, that is just the least of our worries. If the reputation of our Combat Master Hall takes a blow because of this…"
While others might be unaware of the uncanny things that happened around Principal Zhang, he was one of the few who had experienced it personally.
To be able to defeat the Half-Saint pinnacle him with a cultivation of Chrysalis realm primary stage, how could the students taught by such an incredible figure possibly be ordinary?
Hearing Lu Cheng's words, Zhuo Qingfeng rubbed his temples.
The other party was right. Should they continue the selection as it was, it was indeed very likely for such a situation to occur.
If the combat masters responsible for testing the candidates were all knocked out, how could they proceed with the examination?
There was a strict deadline for the selection to be completed, and Zhuo Qingfeng couldn't begin to imagine how he was going to explain this matter to the Combat Master Hall if he failed to finish the selection in time!
For the ones testing to be knocked out by the ones who were being tested… How embarrassing was that?
"Why don't we first assess the candidates from the other three academies first and leave Hongyuan to the very last?" Lu Cheng suggested.
Zhuo Qingfeng hesitated for a moment before nodding. "Yes, that seems to be the only thing we can do now…"
If they were to continue assessing the candidates from Hongyuan, there was no doubt that more of their combat masters would be incapacitated. Since that was the case, they needed to first finish assessing the other three academies before deciding on a measure to deal with Hongyuan.
Having made up his mind, Zhuo Qingfeng immediately began making a series of arrangements.
Wo Tianqiong, Shen Pingchao, and Wu Ran were displeased to hear that the candidates of their academies would be assessed first, but eventually, they still agreed to the arrangement.
There was no way around it. Given the peculiar circumstances surrounding Hongyuan's candidates, they would never be able to complete the selection in time should they continue as it was.
It took eight hours to assess the all of the candidates, from Grade-1 to Grade-5, of the other Master Teacher Academies.
Owing to the strong foundations of the other three academies, their candidates were indeed powerful. However, the combat masters were simply far too strong. Only twelve candidates had cleared the selection from the strongest academy, Yunxu, resulting in the lowest record in its entire history.
The other academies fared even worse. Luoqing only had ten, and Qingzhu, eight.
The other three academies had marched into the Combat Master Selection confidently, but their results were far from satisfactory. They hadn't thought that such a situation would occur, especially given the increased number of slots.
"Only Hongyuan is left now…"
After assessing the candidates of the other three academies, Zhuo Qingfeng finally turned his gaze back to the candidates of Hongyuan.
Xu Tai, Chen Zhu, and the others had also recovered by this point, and they participated in the test as well.
It didn't take long before they blacked out once again under the insane fighting prowess of the Grade-1 candidates from Hongyuan.
It seemed like the previous experience had made them more proficient at blacking out. With just one move, the combat masters were already defeated.
"This…" Seeing as his subordinates fall one after another, Zhuo Qingfeng's face swiftly grew more and more livid as frustration and helplessness built up within him.
They weren't even done assessing the Grade-1 candidates from Hongyuan yet, and there were still another eighty from the other four grades waiting for their turn… At this rate, when could they finish their job?
It was not as if they had come here in seek of a beating.
For one of them to be knocked out in each duel, it sure was humiliating…
Hesitating for a brief moment, Zhuo Qingfeng stood forward and proposed, "Principal Zhang, at this rate, we won't be able to finish the selection in time. Thus, I have a suggestion. As long as your candidates clear a certain test, I will take them in regardless of the limit of a hundred slots. Otherwise, I will just have to ask your candidates to conduct an elimination tournament among themselves to sieve out the required numbers to fill up the remaining slots."
So far, a total of thirty candidates from the other three academies had cleared the examination, leaving behind seventy slots to fill.
If the candidates from Hongyuan were able to clear that test, Zhuo Qingfeng would be able to make an exception and accept all one hundred candidates from Hongyuan if needed. Otherwise, Hongyuan would only be issued the seventy remaining slots, and the candidates would have to fight it out among themselves to determine who among them would be selected.
Ultimately, the hundred slots could be considered as a guideline from the Combat Master Hall. If the hundred candidates from Hongyuan turned out to be true geniuses, it would be a blessing for the Combat Master Hall too if they could bring in all of them.
Zhang Xuan turned his gaze to Zhuo Qingfeng and said, "Please speak, Combat Master Zhuo!"
"Combat masters require not only combat skills but zhenqi and strength superior to normal cultivators as well. This is a necessary requirement for them to be able to complement the other combat masters in group battle and not become the baggage of the others," said Zhuo Qingfeng.
Wo Tianqiong, Shen Pingchao, and Wu Ran also nodded in agreement.
Combat masters could be considered as the military of the Master Teacher Pavilion, and the main purpose of their existence was to deal with the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe and any other existences that threatened mankind. Typically speaking, the battles they faced would be group battles instead of individual battles, thus requiring them to collaborate with one another. No matter how high one's comprehension of battle techniques was, if one's zhenqi and strength couldn't match up with one's companions, it was very likely that one would just end up dragging down the team eventually, especially in a prolonged battle.
"I have borrowed a Stone of True Breath from the Combat Master Hall specially for this selection exercise. As long as one places one's palm on it, it will clearly reflect the level of zhenqi and strength one possesses!" Zhuo Qingfeng said.
"The students of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy have indeed achieved a frightening level of comprehension in their combat skills, but their zhenqi and physical strength are still lacking. Under normal circumstances, one has to achieve a score of four on the Stone of True Breath in order to qualify as a combat master. However, considering the unique circumstances surrounding Hongyuan, your candidates only have to achieve a score of two in order to clear the test!"
There was a high threshold that one had to meet in terms of their zhenqi purity and physical strength in order to qualify as a combat master, but there was something peculiar about the candidates from Hongyuan that necessitated special consideration. Their zhenqi purity and physical strength were clearly far beneath that of their opponents, but they had still been able to knock out their opponents easily. For geniuses of such caliber, even the Combat Master Hall headquarters would make special exceptions for them.
There was indeed such a precedence as well.
"A score of two?" Zhang Xuan frowned in confusion.
This was his first time hearing of the Stone of True Breath, so he had nothing to gauge what a score of two or a score of four meant.
Hesitating for a moment, Zhang Xuan asked, "Can you allow me to take a look at your Stone of True Breath?"
"Sure!" Zhuo Qingfeng nodded before flicking his wrist, and a huge stone tablet around his height appeared before him.
The stone tablet was grayish in color, but it emanated a beautiful light-blue hue around it.
"It's indeed the Stone of True Breath… Incredible!" Wo Tianqiong's eyes lit up.
"Principal Wo has seen the Stone of True Breath before?" Shen Pingchao asked in intrigue.
"I have never seen it myself, but I have read of it in a book before. It is said that it harnesses the amazing ability to assess one's zhenqi purity and physical strength quantitatively. Just by placing one's hand on it and exerting one's zhenqi to the maximum, a number will surface. A number beyond two means that one possesses some talent, and a number beyond four means that the talent one harnesses far exceeds that of ordinary geniuses!" Principal Wo replied.
"If that's the case… Will the level of one's cultivation affect the result?" Shen Pingchao asked.
If one's cultivation affected the results of the Stone of True Breath, would it really be fair to assess one's talent using the same standards?
"It is fine! The Stone of True Breath only assesses the purity of one's zhenqi and physical body strength. The assessment criteria it uses are, to a great extent, separate of one's cultivation," Principal Wo replied.
While the two were speaking, Zhang Xuan walked up to the Stone of True Breath, and after examining it closely for a moment, he turned to Zhuo Qingfeng and asked excitedly, "Combat Master Zhuo, can I… give it a try?"