Binding to Geniuses To Become Stronger - Chapter 54
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Just like in the previous years, the results for the theory exam were revealed before the practical assessment of the combat exam took place.
In truth, the students could already predict their scores in the combat exam. The numbers would not be too far off unless they had breakthroughs in cultivation just before the exam.
Moreover, a significant portion of their final results were dependent on the theory exam.
In front of the notice board.
Students crowded around excitedly.
They pushed and shoved each other to get to the front. Some held fear while others held excitement in their hearts as they searched for their names on the red papers on the notice board.
Fang Lang followed the crowd to the board but did not try to squeeze his way through. He gazed at the board from afar.
Little Wen caught sight of Fang Lang. She quietly approached him, flashing a shy smile. The two of them felt out of place as they stood outside the crowd, gazing at the overly eager students.
Liu Hao squeezed through the crowd and got to the notice board. After a long while, he emerged from the crowd with an exuberant expression on his face.
He had done well in the theory exam, scoring 115 points and achieving a ranking of 136. Compared to his previous exam results, he had shown exceptional improvement.
Liu Hao was thrilled with his success. Nonetheless, he was in no hurry to leave.
His gaze was fixed on the notice board, searching for Fang Lang’s name. If Fang Lang’s theory score turned out to be worse than his, he would gain the right to taunt him to his heart’s content.
Liu Hao was grinning ear-to-ear as he searched for Fang Lang’s name in the rankings close to his. However, he could not find it, so he continued searching in the lower rankings. He read one name after another…
To a point where his vision was turning hazy.
Alas, he still could not find Fang Lang’s name.
The crowd had already dispersed, but Liu Hao remained determined to find Fang Lang’s name.
Just then, Fang Lang came to the board. He noticed what Liu Hao was doing and was actually a little touched by his determination. “Try looking higher.”
Hearing that, Liu Hao turned his gaze toward the higher ranks despite his tired eyes.
Finally, he found Fang Lang’s name. He read his rank.
In an instant, his expression froze and the smile on his face gradually faded away.
It was as if he could not feel any emotions anymore.
“Fang Lang. Score: 145. Theory exam ranking: 1st.”
Liu Hao was dumbfounded.
‘How did he get first place?
‘More importantly… what is up with his score! It’s inhuman!’
Liu Hao turned his head and was met with Fang Lang’s friendly smile.
In Liu Hao’s eyes, that faint smile looked like the sinister grin of a devil that had turned its back to the sun!
His lips trembled a little. Seeing the massive gap between Fang Lang and himself was a huge emotional shock to him. Tears formed at the corner of his eyes that were already strained from staring at the notice board for too long. The shameful tears rolled down his face.
Fang Lang and Ni Wen, who had gone to the notice board after the crowd dispersed, were taken aback by the scene.
‘Liu Hao, why are you so emotional about me getting first place?’ Fang Lang wondered.
‘I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on you anymore.’
With his fingers, Liu Hao felt the wetness at the corner of his eyes. Humiliated, he hung his head low and left.
‘Fang Lang… how did he get first place?
‘Before this, his theory level was definitely similar to mine!
‘On the bright side, he’s still just a fifth-grade sword disciple like me.’
That was the only hope Liu Hao clung to.
The students standing around them were also causing a commotion. The fact that Fang Lang got first place and scored 145 points in the theory exam came as a huge surprise.
The total point for the theory exam was 150, which meant that Fang Lang only lost five marks!
The nerds who devoted all their time to the theory section were even more outraged. They were convinced something fishy was going on.
No one had ever scored marks as high as this in the Luojiang Academy’s history of internal theory exams.
While everyone was busy criticizing, Mentor Wen sauntered in and stuck Fang Lang’s poetry exam script on the notice board.
He titled it ‘The Perfect Score Poem’.
Mentor Wen was in high spirits. He turned to Fang Lang and nodded, then walked away with a spring in his step.
After leaving his name in a poem that would go down in history, Mentor Wen was so happy he could fly.
The students swarmed the notice board again. They stared at Fang Lang’s poem with harsh, judgemental eyes. In the three years, no poem had ever earned a perfect score in the academy.
However, after just a few minutes, their protests died down.
There was no fault to be found in his poem.
After an hour of break, the practical section of the combat exam began.
The students split up into groups after receiving their exam handbooks. The invigilating mentors then led them to the combat tower.
The combat tower was not open to students on ordinary days. It could only be accessed during internal exams. The interior of the combat tower was embellished with runes handcrafted by spell masters of the fourth class and above. The runes would create opponents with increasing combat strength until the student was defeated. From there, their practical assessment score would be calculated.
Fang Lang held his exam handbook in his hands as he quietly queued up outside the combat tower’s entrance.
“Next, Fang Lang.”
The invigilating mentor flipped through his handbook and said.
Fang Lang stepped forward.
The mentor checked if Fang Lang had any spell talisman on him that could be used to cheat.
His space right had to be temporarily removed and handed over to the mentor for safekeeping.
Fang Lang set foot into the tower.
The interior was dim. The walls and ceiling were riddled with carvings of arcane runes and patterns.
“Begin practical assessment.”
The invigilating mentor’s calm voice sounded.
The ruins were activated. Fang Lang noticed the complete change of his surroundings.
He found himself standing in a battle ring paved with grey bricks.
A blurry figure appeared five steps in front of him—it was his opponent for the practical assessment. The figure had a label floating above its head, indicating its cultivation level.
‘Class one, grade one.’
The opponent was capable of testing all three disciplines at the same time—sword, spell and martial arts.
The battle began. Fang Lang did not waste a second. With a single slap of his hand, he turned the figure into dust.
A second-grade opponent took shape right after.
Just as before, he defeated his opponent with a single slap. With his current skill level, Fang Lang did not even need to break a sweat.
Grade three, grade four, grade five…
His opponent’s skill level kept increasing.
Even so, Fang Lang did not feel much pressure. Fang Lang had already mastered the sword and had specialized techniques—the battles were all smooth sailing.
The Blooming Lotus Sword’s blade energy filled the air as he showed off his Sword Draw Technique.
After Fang Lang defeated the ninth-grade opponent with a single swing of his sword, the combat tower fell into silence. Only after several minutes did a new opponent materialize in front of him.
‘Class two, grade one.’
A second class opponent was equipped with the skills of a sword master, spell master and martial arts master.
Fang Lang came neck to neck with his opponent.
He predicted that if he were to enter partner binding mode, he might be able to defeat a second-grade, second-class opponent!
Fang Lang found an opening and unleashed his Finger Flick Energy Wave.
The second-grade, first-class opponent’s head was instantly blown to smithers!
After a period of roughly five breaths, the second-grade, second-class opponent took shape.
Even with partner binding mode activated, Fang Lang still had trouble defeating the figure.
Previously, the only reason he could kill Lin Yun was thanks to Old Jiang and the Power Loan Card, allowing him to push past his limits with ease.
Right then, Fang Lang could only perform at the level of ninth-grade sword disciple. It was not an easy task to defeat a second-class opponent.
Fang Lang fought with all his might. Finally, he managed to break the figure’s head, yet at the same time, his opponent’s blade stabbed through his heart.
Fang Lang opened his eyes to find that the spell had vanished.
“Please leave the combat tower once you are done with the assessment.”
The invigilating mentor’s composed voice sounded from outside.
Frowning, Fang Lang sheathed his Blooming Lotus Blade. He fell into deep thought as he exited the combat tower.
He was extremely disappointed with his own performance.
The gaze of a group of students fell onto Fang Lang the moment he exited the tower. He had caught the attention of many genius students after he earned first place in the theory exam.
Fang Lang’s talents and capabilities had all been unveiled. Even the geniuses of Luojiang Academy, who never batted an eye at him before, had to acknowledge his extraordinary talent.
Liu Hao was clenching his handbook tight in his hands. When he saw Fang Lang leaving the combat tower with furrowed brows and a desolate expression, Liu Hao smiled. Fang Lang’s sorrow brought him immense joy!
Finally, he could get the weight off his mind.
‘Fang Lang’s expression must mean that he screwed up during the practical assessment!
‘You may be good in the theoretical aspects, but when it comes to actual combat, you still fall short, Fang Lang!’
“Liu Hao, you’re next. What are you daydreaming about? Hurry up.”
The invigilating mentor ordered calmly.
Liu Hao hastily entered the combat tower.
As the timekeeper rang the bell, he seemed to have stirred up autumn in the academy premises. Withered leaves rustled against the ground as the gentle breeze blew.
The setting sun was like a flame burning in the evening sky.
The two-day internal exam had come to an end.
The exhausted students returned to their respective study blocks and laid their heads on their desks, quietly waiting for their final results.
Their theory scores had been published. All that was left to do was wait for their combat scores and add both together to get their final score.
The academy did not delay the results because the Spirit Pagoda could only be left in Luojiang Academy for two days.
Thus, they had to quickly produce the list of students eligible to enter the Spirit Pagoda.
Dusk had arrived. The setting sun was like a ball of fire in the sky.
All the students in the study blocks had glowing red cheeks.
On the third floor of the seventh study block.
Fang Lang was sitting in front of his desk, scrunching his brows tightly together. The combat exam was a wake-up call for him. It drowned out even the excitement of finally breaking into the ninth grade.
Ninth-grade was not enough.
A sword master—that was what Fang Lang needed to become!
The rowdy study hall turned quite in an instant.
Mentor Wen came into the study hall with a stack of red papers that contained the internal exam results of the students.
He looked around to see the anxiety in every students’ eyes. Some students were even clenching their fists, eager to know their results.
Mentor Wen smiled. He scanned the room and fixed his gaze on Fang Lang’s tightly-knitted brows. Surprised, he thought, ‘Boy, what are you sulking for? If I hadn’t seen your results beforehand, I would have thought you screwed up the exam!’
Mentor Wen grumbled silently.
After that, he began to give out the red papers, reading out the scores of every student as he did.
Some students were overjoyed while some were in despair. There were also those who had all hope extinguished and could only bury their faces and cry.
Nonetheless, Mentor Wen was not the least bit affected.
“Next, Ni Wen.
“Theory score, hundred and twenty-two. Combat score, hundred and fifty-five. Total score, two hundred and seventy-seven. Ranking in academy, fourth.”
Ni Wen stood up. She scrunched up her shoulders and hid her face from the countless pairs of eyes looking at her. Mentor Wen put on a warm smile as he handed her her red result slip.
“Keep up the good work.” Mentor Wen encouraged kindly.
Ni Wen pressed her lips together and nodded solemnly.
“Next, Fang Lang.”
Mentor Wen read the next name just as Ni Wen returned to her desk.
The moment Fang Lang’s name was read, all the students in the hall looked up attentively. Chatter began to form among the students again.
By that time, Fang Lang’s name had become well-known by all.
Not only was he the top scorer in the theory exam, he was also the champion of the Gathering of Swords!
It was no wonder that everyone was curious and excited to know his final score in the internal exam.
Liu Hao, in particular, was eagerly waiting with eyes that glimmered like copper gongs. He had already prepared a mouthful of taunts and jeers to spit at Fang Lang.
His happiness was dependent on whether Fang Lang screwed up his combat exam.
Mentor Wen cleared his throat. His calm voice lingered in the air.
“Fang Lang. Theory score, a hundred and forty-five. Combat score, two hundred and forty. Total score, three hundred and eighty-five. Ranking in academy, first.”
The noisy chatter immediately died down.
The entire study block fell into dead silence. Countless students had their eyes wide in shock.
It was as if the tranquil beauty of autumn had permeated every corner of the study hall.
“Only two hundred and forty points in the combat exam?”
Fang Lang furrowed his brows and sighed softly.
‘Completing the major studies section of all three disciplines was a bad choice after all…’
Fang Lang’s despondent sigh reminded one of the withering autumn leaves falling outside. It broke the silence, reverberating through the noiseless study block that seemed to be frozen in time.