Chu Shen looked down at the town in amazement. It was big, over ten times the size of his old village. He had never seen such a big place, after all, he had trained at home all his life.
The examination to enter into the Chu school was given inside the city. The reason was that those who traveled here could rest until the examination.
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The Mountain Eagle flew down towards a field outside the city. Beside the empty field was a hut and a collection of fences with other beasts inside them.
There was more than three kinds of birds and two giant mammoths. The fences were obviously not strong enough to keep the animals inside but since a beast trainer managed them it was obviously not a problem. The fences were really there to keep people from going inside or wild animals from bothering them.
Getting off the Mountain Eagle Chu Shen and Master Lang bid the beast trainer farewell. The master and disciple pair headed off for the town. Upon arriving they discovered that the Schools trials would start in two days time.
Master Lang frowned. “With this I am afraid we will have to rent a room. While I do that, how about you go off and find out some more details on this examination.”
“Yes Master Lang.” Chu Shen readily agreed. He was also curious about this examination. Departing from his master, Chu Shen set out to explore the town.
Walking around he exclaimed in astonishment at the different things he found. One store sold eggs of spirit beasts, another sold beast cores that had been refined. Beast cores had a very violent energy inside them so some people would refine the energy and make it gentler, letting the cultivator absorb energy straight from the beast core. This made beast cores extremely suitable for cultivating.
There were other stores that sold mundane things such as fabric and utensils but Chu Shen wasn’t interested in shops like those. No, what really fascinated him was the weapons, elixirs, and inscription shops, though there was only a handful in the entire city.
Chu Shen went towards the nearest weapon shop when he heard some fighting. Coming around the corner he saw a young master dressed in fancy clothes and waving a fan around. A young fellow was on the ground, a bright red mark on his face. In his hands was a leather pouch and standing above him was a man in leather armor.
The young master had a face as red as a tomato. Chu Shen was able to catch the tail end of his tirade. “To dare steal from me, your father! I will string you up at the city gates and let all those who want to spit on you until you become a broken corpse. Guard! Take him to the prison!”
“As you wish young master.” Reaching out a hand towards the thief the guard went to grab him. The thief, with a panicked expression on his face suddenly sneered. With a speed that made it hard to see the thief got off the ground and took off running down the street.
Coincidentally the thief ran towards Chu Shen. Chu Shen had always stayed at home and was truly naïve and innocent. Seeing that the young master had been robbed he thought it was only natural to help the young master out.
Punching forward with his hand, Chu Shen knocked the thief backwards. Chu Shen also stumbled back three steps. Surprisingly enough, that little thief was actually a level 10 Man stage cultivator.
The guard who had reacted immediately grabbed ahold of the thief as he stumbled backwards. The young master ran up to thief and yelled in his face.
“To dare think of running away! Truly courting death!” With a wave of his hand the guard hauled up the thief and drew his sword. There was a flash of blade Qi and then the young thief fell to the ground.
While it was obvious that the thief was dead, it was not clear how. While Chu Shen puzzled over this the young master came up to Chu Shen and bowed.
“Hey hey, to have such a good cultivation at such a young age you must be quite talented. How about I treat you to a meal little brother?”
Without pausing the young master grabbed ahold of Chu Shen and led him towards a nearby restaurant. The young master bought some food and started talking to Chu Shen.
“Ah, so you came to participate in the Majestic Sword Academy’s admission exams. Well I am going as well.” The name of the School managed by the Chu Main Sect was called Majestic Sword Academy.
“That’s great! Maybe you could tell me about it. Also, I never caught your name.”
“I am Bei Fong, son of the city lord here. The Chu Exams is made up of three parts. The first is a test of your level of cultivation, the second is your physical strength, and the last is a series of duels.”
“It seems forward enough.”
“Yes, its very simple. However, I would advise caution. Recently there have been rumors that this years exam is special. Apparently some of the clans have been grooming some strong experts in the younger generations.”
“Now they are planning on unleashing them in this year exam. I heard the lowest cultivation they have is the tenth level of man. The competition will surely be fierce.”
“What exactly is your cultivation stage?”
“I am at the ninth level of the man stage.” Chu Shen had another breakthrough on the way to the town.
“That doesn’t seem high enough. If I were you I would wait a year or two. After that it will be back to the usual and you would definitely become a dragon among men.”
Chu Shen shook his head. “My father sent me here to take the exam, how could I possibly lose face for him and run away like a coward. No, I must take them this year.”
Bei Fong sighed and shook his head. “Fine. Here is my advice then. Show off your skills in the first trial but be extremely careful who you fight in the duels. Last year they didn’t separate the different stages but they might this time. If they don’t welllll…. Just remember they are stronger than you, it is no shame to give up.”
Chu Shen nodded. “Thank you Bei Fong. I feel that I might take your advice. Now however, I must take your leave. I have to get back to my cultivation.”
“Take care. I can’t wait to see how a young guy like you will do on the exam.”
Chu Shen went back to the hotel and told Master Lang of what he had heard. He nodded his head. “As expected, the trial is very simple. Go ahead and train until the trials begin.”
Chu Shen took his masters advice and trained. Right now he couldn’t train in any martial skill but his <Absolute Control> skill. The reason was simple. Until he reached the Martial Realm he couldn’t release large amounts of Qi from his body so all of the skills he gained from the Voids Hand was wasted until he could breakthrough.