Binding to Geniuses To Become Stronger - Chapter 53
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Fang Lang was very confident about the poem he wrote.
After all, it was the work of a master poet from the dimension he came from. Although the art of cultivation prevailed in this realm and was held in esteem, both realms still shared a common love for poetry.
Thus, Fang Lang believed the works of master poets from his dimension would shine just as brightly in this one.
The poem Fang Lang wrote that day was not laced with flowery language, but instead contained everyday words. Even so, when strung together, the words produced incredible impact.
In order to show off his talents, Fang Lang had worked hard to dig out the treasures stashed away at the back of his mind.
Fang Lang had never whipped out these poems in class, mainly because he could only use the few poems he memorized before travelling to this dimension. The list shortened every time he used a poem. It was a limited resource that must be rationed.
Fang Lang left his exam venue in the third study block.
A pin drop silence encompassed the academy.
After all, composing poetry was a delicate task. Every line, every word, required repeated alterations and constant refinement.
It was rare to have any student complete the exam in less than 15 minutes, like Fang Lang did.
Autumn was in the air. The cold was gradually setting in.
Fang Lang came to the practice grounds and gazed at the ancient study blocks. A complicated expression appeared on his face.
Very soon, he would be saying goodbye to this academy.
He would be stepping out of the comfort zone of the academy and setting foot into the vast Tang Dynasty.
Even so, the memories he made in the academy would not be easily forgotten.
After dwelling in the melancholy thoughts, Fang Lang went to a secluded corner and took out his spirit crystals. He began to absorb them.
Spiritual energy was overflowing in his body. He was at the very edge of the eighth grade—a breakthrough into the ninth was imminent.
Fang Lang hoped he could reach the ninth grade before entering the Spirit Pagoda.
That way, he could maximize the amount of spiritual energy he absorbed at the Spirit Pagoda. There was a chance he could break through and become a sword master there!
Out of the 150 spirit crystals provided by the System, only eight were left.
Fang Lang switched into Triple Binding Mode and absorbed all eight spirit crystals while the other students were still busy composing poems.
It was as if he was pouring a tiny cup of water into an almost overflowing bucket.
Sitting in a corner of the practice grounds, Fang Lang felt the energy coursing through his entire body. Green smoke billowed above his head, along with a vortex of spiritual energy.
The veins in his body let out a thunderous sound as if they were raging, roaring rivers!
He was going to break through!
Fang Lang opened his eyes, which sparkled with surprise and delight.
‘But… the System’s crystals were all used up!’
His eyes widened.
The next moment, he took out the mid-grade spirit crystal Old Fang had purchased for him.
That spirit crystal symbolized Old Fang’s expectations for him, but it was still a spirit crystal to be used. It was the perfect moment to use it!
Nonetheless, it was a little upsetting that absorbing this spirit crystal would not provide any experience points.
Fang Lang hastily absorbed the spiritual energy within the crystal.
He concentrated all the spiritual energy within his body into the energy center1 as instructed in the Tang Dynasty’s Sword Scripture.
He gathered all the disorderly spiritual energy into the energy center and formed a vortex of energy!
In Triple Binding Mode, Fang Lang’s cultivation inspiration was two thirds of Old Jiang’s. Therefore, it was not hard for him to create a condensed vortex of energy.
A sound came from within his body!
Fang Lang felt his whole body shaking.
He felt as if his meridians were being opened up. In his energy center, a cyclone was forming.
Just like that, he broke through to become a ninth-grade sword disciple!
Fang Lang opened his glistening eyes. Stale air gushed out of his mouth like blade energy, travelling further than 30 centimeters through the air before vanishing.
Ninth-grade sword disciple…
He did it!
The timekeeper rang the bell to signal the end of the poetry exam.
The study blocks were instantly filled with noise. Under strict observation by the mentors, the students in green robes all put down their brushes and exited the exam hall.
A variety of expressions could be seen on the students faces—some excited, some dejected, others scratching their heads.
That was the kind of assorted reactions one would always see after an exam.
It was a sorrowful sight, like one after a game of gambling.
Right after the poetry exam, Mentor Wen grabbed the stack of exam papers and morphed into a beam of light. He excitedly shot out of the study block and used his spiritual sense to locate the boy who was calming himself down in a corner of the practice grounds.
Mentor Wen was taken by surprise when he saw Fang Lang. Since he had just made a breakthrough, Fang Lang’s energy levels were still unstable, making it obvious that he had become a ninth-grade sword disciple.
‘Damn! This boy… How did he get into ninth grade!
‘What grade was he in during the Gathering of Swords?
‘Even a yellow core wouldn’t be able to absorb enough spirit crystals to break through so many grades in such a short period!
‘Did I make a mistake when reading his core previously?’
A look of suspicion flashed across Mentor Wen’s face. However, at that moment, his doubts were not important!
He glared at Fang Lang, eyes bright. “You little bastard… Have you always been hiding your talents?
“This poem, A View From the Peak, how did you manage to write that in such a short time?!”
Fang Lang saw the glimmering look of anticipation on Mentor Wen’s face.
Fang Lang stood up and dusted his green robe. He put on a kind smile and gave a vague reply.
“This poem is meant to be composed. The fact that I became a vessel for it was nothing but a coincidence…”
His calm words were paired with a tranquil expression.
A gentle breeze blew by. Fang Lang made it seem as if composing a beautiful poem like that was nothing more than grabbing a withered leaf that had been swept away by the wind.
Mentor Wen widened his eyes. He mouthed Fang Lang’s words silently.
After a long while, Mentor Wen gazed at Fang Lang with solemn eyes. This time, he could clearly sense Fang Lang’s display of talents.
‘After his fight in the entertainment house, is this little bastard finally unleashing his true potential?
‘He truly is aiming for the Imperial Examination’s honor roll!’
“It’s such bad timing though… If you were to write this poem in the Imperial Exam, you would definitely have scored high marks. It’s such a waste to have to use it in the internal exam.”
Mentor Wen lamented.
Then, he narrowed his eyes and patted Fang Lang’s shoulder. “Are you satisfied with my teachings these three years?”
Fang Lang was stunned for a while. He quickly came back to his senses and bowed to Mentor Wen. He said in a serious tone, “Thank you for the three years of teaching. Thank you for your hard work.”
Mentor Wen smiled warmly. “Not bad, young man. My teachings had paid off well. Good luck in the next assessments!
“The Spirit Pagoda is a rare opportunity for anyone, so don’t you miss the chance! Almost every champion of the Imperial Examination has set food into the pagoda.”
Mentor Wen pointed out.
Fang Lang nodded solemnly.
After that, Mentor Wen left in a hurry.
Fang Lang had no idea what Mentor Wen was up to, but he was genuinely grateful for him.
His gratitude for Mentor Wen’s three years of teaching ran deeper than the ocean.
In the Mentors’ Office.
Mentor Wen’s expression was glowing when he entered the office. He took out Fang Lang’s paper from the stack and handed it to a few senior mentors who were responsible for marking the scripts.
As the mentors examined his poem closely, the entire office fell into silence.
Suddenly, the senior mentors’ flabbergasted comments broke the silence.
“Beautiful! What a beautiful poem!”
“In so little words, the student managed to capture perfectly the magnificence of Mount Tianyue and the emotions of the Emperor as he overlooked the land before him!”
“Incredible! Excellence was evident from the very first line! Just the opening line could rule the world!”
“The other poems in the academy could never compete!”
One after the other, mentors came over and complimented the poem while stroking their long beards. Every word was magical to them.
‘Is this really a poem written by one of the students in this academy?’ they thought.
‘This student is practically a poetry genius!’
Mentor Wen was beaming with delight. He smiled and bragged, “It’s written by one of my students that respects me a lot. I believe his work is acceptable.”
Suddenly, the senior mentors noticed a line of words written at the bottom of the paper. The ink had not dried up completely yet.
‘Tang Dynasty, year 276. While the solicitous mentor, Wen Ting, was invigilating an exam, his silent motivation inspired a student to compose the above poem.”
The office fell into silence again.
The senior mentors were all taken aback. It did not seem like a line that belong on the paper.
Even the handwriting was different.
‘What is this?’ they thought.
‘What a shameless bastard!
‘Did he add this?’
After a short break, the second assessment began.
Fang Lang had gone to the exam venue stated in his handbook and wrote a paper on policies. Following that was another short break and finally, the demon tongue exam.
Just like that, the first day of the internal assessment came to a smooth end.
Fang Lang returned to the Fang Manor. At long last, he did not spend the night toiling away with cultivation. He merely spent some time stabilizing the new-found energy spiraling within him after he broke through into the ninth-grade. Additionally, he organized the materials he had on spell mastery and martial arts mastery. Fang Lang prepared himself for the vocational assessment on sword mastery, spell mastery and martials arts mastery.
The rest of the night was full of sweet dreams.
The next day, Fang Lang left for Luojiang Academy after eating the porridge and egg that Old Fang personally cooked for him. Fang Lang got ready for his combat assessment.
The exam was split into two sections—written assessment and actual combat.
The written assessment and practical assessment each made up 50 percent of the total score. The same rule applied to both major and minor subjects.
When the timekeeper rang the bell, all the students entered the exam halls in the study blocks.
The invigilating mentors gave each student three different sets of exam papers.
The three sets were on sword mastery, spell mastery and martial arts mastery respectively. Every set of exam papers was split into a major studies section and a minor studies section. Students majoring in sword mastery would answer the major studies section of the sword mastery set while those who took sword mastery as a minor would answer the minor studies section.
Nonetheless, anyone who was confident in their knowledge could choose to answer the major studies section of all three papers. The internal exam adhered strictly to the rules of the Imperial Examination. If the major studies section of all three papers were completed, the student would still be awarded with marks from the major studies section accordingly.
However, the questions in that section were more challenging, making it more difficult to score.
Since the spell discipline required specialization, most students would not opt for the risky path of completing three major studies sections.
That pathway was specially designed for a handful of geniuses in the Imperial Examination.
In the third study block.
Fang Lang’s eyes twinkled with excitement the moment he received the exam papers.
Fang Lang took a deep breath, taking in the rich aroma of ink coming from the exam papers. He picked up his brush, dipped it in ink and began to answer the questions.
With his current level of sword mastery, the questions in the sword mastery paper were a piece of cake for him. His brush glided around the paper as smooth as ice.
In just an hour, he was done with the paper.
Fang Lang’s gaze shifted onto the spell mastery and martial arts mastery papers. He tapped his fingers quietly against his desk. Finally, Fang Lang bit the bullet and turned to the major studies section. He was determined to become number one.
He chose to answer the major studies section of all three sets!
That was the only way to maximize his score!
Time passed by, second by second. Completing the major studies section of all three sets was not an easy task.
Fang Lang’s eyebrows were knitted tightly together. He was completely immersed in the grueling questions on the papers.
He finished the papers a mere second before the timekeeper rang the bell.
The written assessment was over.
All the students gathered on the practice grounds to prepare for the upcoming practical assessment.
Bong bong bong!
Suddenly, a senior mentor arrived, banging a copper gong as he came. Behind him were a few younger mentors.
They went to the notice board at the side of the practice grounds and stuck ten red papers onto the board. Every sheet of paper contained 300 names. The ranking for all 3,000 students in the theory exam was up on the board!
The students swarmed toward the notice board not even a second after the papers were published.
The results for the theory exam were out!