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Chapter 107 - Fengwen Examination, Part One
Edited by RED
Cai Xiaoxiao’s figure landed in front of Xu Qi as her voice trailed off, rolling her eyes at him.
Then, she turned and said to Lian Chengwei, “Sire, this lady here wishes to match the three couplets.”
Lian Chengwei nodded. He truly didn’t expect a third person to come forth to match his couplets in such a short time. But how could he have known that the reason these people came up so quickly was all because of Xu Qi?
“The early morning clouds; like the tide; always comes and goes. The bamboo shoot festival; goes late into the night; every night fun and lively.”1
“The moon shines bright every month; the August moon shines exceptionally bright. A wish exists in every heart. Eternity is wished in my very heart.”2
“Using the sky as the chessboard; the stars as pieces; who dares to play? Using the Earth as the compass; the humans as needles; points to the heavens.”3
Cai Xiaoxiao matched the three couplets on the stone tablets in one go, then looked provocatively at Mo Ling. However, the latter only gave a slight smile in response.
Xu Qi rolled his eyes at Cai Xiaoxiao. What was there to show off? I gave you your answer.
Lian Chengwei gave a helpless, bitter smile, shaking his head, and said, “You three, you can go register together now.”
Xu Qi cupped his fists to Lian Chengwei, then pulled Mo Ling to the side with Cai Xiaoxiao following closely behind.
“I remember now, that young man; he’s the white-clothed youngster who battled the group of black-clothed men on the streets that day.”
Someone from the crowd shouted just as Xu Qi moved a few steps away. His brow furrowed, but he didn’t halt and continued on to register with Mo Ling.
The plaza became extremely lively after that person shouted. Every one of them was making their guesses on Xu Qi’s identity.
On the other side, Huang Clan’s patriarch Huang Sihu and the Second Elder of the Undying School, Bu Wangli, were looking at the faraway Xu Qi, their eyes narrowed into slits.
Next, it was Qin Fengshu who went up the stage to show off. Naturally, his answers were impressive as well, and he successfully passed the first round.
Originally, Xu Qi wasn’t interested in remaining here to watch the rest of the examination, to see who else could match the three couplets. But after registering, the person told him that the second round would begin in two hours, leaving him no choice, but to stay here and watch.
Below the stage, Cai Wubo and Qin Mu exchanged looks and smiles. Both of them understood in their heart how talented their children were. Xu Qi must have helped Cai Xiaoxiao and Qin Fengshu.
“Little Brother, I have never seen you read a book since you were young. How did you manage to match such difficult couplets in such a short time? You came up with more than one answer, too, how do you explain this?” Mo Ling suddenly asked Xu Qi.
“I already said before, that I’m a prodigy from the heavens. What does matching couplets count for? I can even do much more difficult ones,” Xu Qi yawned.
“You hid many things from me since you were a child, didn’t you? Even now, I don’t even know what your cultivation level is. How many secrets do you have?” Mo Ling pressed.
“Hmm? Little Sister, you have never cared about these things; why are you suddenly asking about these today?” Xu Qi asked, puzzled.
Since they were young, Mo Ling had never asked much about Xu Qi’s personal matters. He was afraid that she would worry about him, and thus didn’t tell her. Even the matter about the institution in the suburbs of Rivulet City was unknown to her. Mo Ling suddenly asking about these today made Xu Qi unable to make heads or tails of it.
“Little Brother, I have another matter to ask you; the monster my father saw ten years ago, where did it go? Why have I never heard you mention it, or seen it myself?” Mo Ling asked softly.
“The monster from ten years ago?” Xu Qi looked at Mo Ling uncertainly.
“Yeah, I heard about the matter from ten years ago from Father. I thought you would tell me anything, but you have yet to tell me even now, and are hiding everything from me,” Mo Ling said. Her tone started to feel a little unfamiliar to Xu Qi.
“Little Sister, since you wish to know, I won’t keep it from you. Ten years ago, I was inflicted with serious injuries from that battle in Xu Clan. It expended all the energy in it in order to save me and fell into deep slumber. As for when it will wake up, I have no inkling of it. Why are you suddenly asking about this?” Xu Qi asked.
“It’s nothing much; I suddenly felt that the grown up you is becoming more unfamiliar to me, the distance between us growing. That green-colored sword on you, I suppose that’s no ordinary sword as well, right?” Mo Ling replied, her brow furrowed.
Hearing this, Xu Qi felt even more puzzled. What is with Little Sister today? Why would she ask so many questions, even asking me about the Black Tortoise and my bronze sword? She was never like this in the past; what exactly is going on?
“Little Sister, I don’t think the bronze sword I use is a treasure or whatever. I’m only using it because it feels easy to swing it around. I still…” Xu Qi added, feeling more frustrated in his heart.
“Alright, enough. Just continue keeping your things from me; I won’t ever ask you anything again,” Mo Ling said plainly, interrupting Xu Qi.
Xu Qi sighed inwardly. He wanted to tell her the bronze sword he was using couldn’t be regarded as a sword treasure. There are lots of weapons much better than the one I’m using; there even two godly swords, the Heavens Vanquisher and the Rainlord.
While Xu Qi was submerged in unlimited depression, several youngsters appeared in the middle of the plaza, matching the three couplets one after another. However, compared to Xu Qi’s group of four’s answers, they were far inferior, only barely passing.
“Alright, time’s up!” Lian Chengwei’s deep voice resounded, interrupting Xu Qi’s thoughts.
Lian Chengwei looked at the dejected youngsters in the plaza standing below the stage and said, “This time, I brought out the three couplets left from the previous Fengwen Examinations; I thought it would already be considered pretty good to have around ten people who could match them, but to my surprise, there are so many talents in our Mirrorlink. There were actually over twenty people who could give answers to the couplets. Let’s give our congratulations to them for entering the second round.”
Lian Chengwei paused for a moment, then continued with a smile, “Due to the first round taking so little time, we shall continue on to the second round right away. Of course, in the second round, I made some slight adjustments. Originally, the three rounds of examinations were all related to academia, but I’m afraid that on this trip to Mt Fengwen, it would be rather unsafe. Therefore, in the second round of examination, I will make an exception and use it to test for your cultivation levels. For those who passed the first round, they will be able to enter the third round as long as their cultivation is at the third stage of Qi realm or above.”
“Ah? Why are we testing for cultivation level now?” one of the ordinary scholars who passed the first round asked blankly.
“Yeah, how could you change it on a whim? The past rulers had never said that only cultivators are allowed into Mt Fengwen.”
“Yeah, yeah, what is the Sire thinking of doing?”
“Didn’t you hear what the Sire just said? There will be dangers to opening the seal on Mt Fengwen this time around. Without any cultivation, are you looking to die in there?”
“That’s true, the Sire is only looking out for their safety. Otherwise, you will be staying in there forever.”
Xu Qi turned and walked to Cai Wubo, who was smiling, and said with gritted teeth, “Patriarch Cai, I’m afraid you already knew about the dangers behind making this trip to Mt Fengwen, therefore tricking me into agreeing to protect Miss Cai, right?”
Cai Wubo didn’t say a word, only smiling. It seemed like he was silently agreeing to what Xu Qi said.
Xu Qi cursed Cai Wubo inwardly, scolding him a sly old fox. He had actually set Xu Qi up.
Lian Chengwei looked at the discussing crowd. He let out a smile, then signalled with a glance to the side. In just a moment, four men came up carrying a red-colored square stone that stood as tall as a human.
“Silence. Now we’ll begin the second round of the examination. I believe everyone here has heard about this spiritual stone that tests for a person’s cultivation level. This stone is known as the Destiny Stone. It can accurately determine the cultivation level of anyone below the Void realm. The candidates only have to pass this test to gain the qualifications to enter the third round of examination,” Lian Chengwei’s deep voice sounded again, causing the entire plaza to turn quiet.
Immediately after, the person responsible for recording the examinees who passed the first round of examination came running and handed a name list to Lian Chengwei. The latter took a look at the name list then called out, “Xu Qi.”
Xu Qi smiled helplessly. Who asked him to be the first to match the couplets? He then flew up to the stage.
He landed next to the red-colored stone and cupped his fists at Lian Chengwei.
“Xu Qi, you only have to release your energy and place your hand on the Destiny Stone,” Lian Chengwei explained, his face revealing a comforting smile.
Xu Qi nodded and slowly extended his hand.
“So he’s the white-clothed youngster who fought on the streets that day; I wonder what his cultivation level is?”
“Shh, you didn’t see it that day, but I saw it from afar; he’s definitely a Spirit realm expert.”
“What? Spirit realm expert, he’s so young. You’re joking, aren’t you?”
Xu Qi smiled when he heard the discussion behind him as blue energy was emitted from his palm.
Following the appearance of the blue energy on Xu Qi’s palm, a cold glint flashed in the smiling Lian Chengwei’s eyes.
As for the crowd in the plaza, all of them craned their necks, hoping to see for themselves how strong this youngster, who caused a sensation in the capital recently, was.
Xu Qi’s palm slowly laid on the red stone known as the Destiny Stone, and it immediately shone with a red light, a few words appeared on it in the end.
“Fourth Stage of Spirit realm!”
The plaza fell into silence. The ruler of Mirrorlink, Lian Chengwei, didn’t express any shock, only looking at Xu Qi with a warm smile.
“Sire, it’s done, right?” Xu Qi said plainly, looking at Lian Chengwei for confirmation.
Hearing this, Lian Chengwei gently said, “Congratulations, Xu Qi. You can enter the third round of examination.”
Xu Qi nodded lightly, then turned, ready to leave.
“Mo Ling,” Lian Chengwei shouted.
Xu Qi stopped in place and turned back to look out of curiosity as Mo Ling landed on the stage.
Mo Ling glanced at Xu Qi. Due to her injuries on her right arm, she could only extend her left hand out, enveloped in yellow energy and slowly placed it on the Destiny Stone.
“Fourth Stage of Qi realm, passed,” Lian Chengwei announced.
Mo Ling slowly walked up to Xu Qi, then quietly stood aside. Xu Qi glanced at this Little Sister he had grown up with. He felt something was different; could it be because of that night?
“Cai Xiaoxiao, Fifth Stage of Qi realm, passed.”
“Qin Fengshu, First Stage of Spirit realm, passed.”
“Qin Fengshu! When did you advance to Spirit realm; why do I not know of it? You couldn’t beat me just two days ago, you cheat!” Cai Xiaoxiao immediately flared up when she saw that Qin Fengshu had actually advanced into the Spirit realm.
Qin Fengshu hurriedly flashed over to Xu Qi’s side, getting him to cover for him.
Under the stage, Cai Wubo looked at Qin Mu next to him in bewilderment, but only saw that he was smiling proudly.
“Brother Qin, we’re no outsiders to one another. Was it because of that kid that nephew has gained from misfortune and advanced into the Spirit realm?” Cai Wubo asked.
Qin Mu looked sideways at Cai Wubo and chuckled, “Unspeakable, unspeakable.”
Cai Wubo immediately confirmed his doubts at seeing Qin Mu’s expression. Qin Fengshu’s advancement was definitely related to Xu Qi. I must get an answer when we get back. I can’t let that Qin kid gain all the benefits; even my precious girl hasn’t advanced.
Just as everyone was in thoughts of their own, when Lian Chengwei called for the next person to take the test, it made the plaza fall silent once again.
“Lian Tianwei, Fifth Stage of Spirit realm! Passed!”
1: It doesn’t rhyme when translated into English, but in the original Chinese it fits the structure of the couplet. It was “朝云朝朝朝朝朝朝朝退，春笋夜夜夜夜夜夜高”
2: For some reason Cai Xiaoxiao and Mo Ling gave the same answers. Maybe there is a different way of interpreting her answer, but I can’t think of it.
3: The last part of Cai Xiaoxiao’s answer was lost in translation and a comparison can’t be made.
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