Chapter 109: The First Gathering of the Freshmen
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Duanmu Xingling wore a long green dress that dragged on the ground with a beautiful white feather on the shoulder and back. A silk ribbon, white as snow, wrapped around her slender waist, which made her look elegant and graceful.
She had long black hair and crystal-clear skin. Moreover, she had long eyelashes, red lips, a slender neck, and she was plump in all the right places. She looked like a teenager, and yet she was curvier and sexier than a 20-year-old. She was an absolutely stunning beauty.
Fresh from the shower, she visited Zhang Ruochen.
When Zhang Ruochen opened up the door, he smelled a faint fragrance. He looked at Duanmu Xingling and was amazed. He asked, "Senior sister apprentice Duanmu, why are you wearing such a gorgeous dress?"
"Women always like wearing beautiful dresses! We have to wear the martial suit during the day, but can't we dress up at night?"
Playfully, Duanmu Xingling put her hand on Zhang Ruochen's shoulder and flirted with him on purpose. She giggled and asked him, "Do you think I'm beautiful?"
Zhang Ruochen responded, "You're very beautiful!"
"Is junior sister apprentice Zi prettier than me?" Duanmu Xingling pursed her lips gently and appeared vulnerable.
"You're all beautiful!" Zhang Ruochen said.
Senior sister apprentice Duanmu was a siren with a charm that could tempt men to commit crimes.
Having no desire to continue discussing this topic, Zhang Ruochen took her hand off his shoulder. He handed her a transparent jade Spatial Bangle. "Senior sister apprentice Duanmu, this is for you. You can open the internal space when you channel Genuine Qi into it."
Although she was prepared for it, Duanmu still could not believe that she was holding the Spatial Bangle.
"Is this a real Space Treasure?" she wondered.
When she channeled Genuine Qi into it, she could feel the wide space inside.
It was not wide enough to accommodate the world but was large enough to store handy treasures. So, it was still valuable.
Duanmu Xingling kept touching it and blinking her eyes. She obviously liked it very much. "Ruochen, although the class of this space treasure is low, many people still desire it. It could fetch a price of at least 500,000 silver coins. If two warriors of the Heaven Realm both wanted it and kept outbidding each other, it might sell for five million silver coins. Are you sure you want to give it to me?"
Zhang Ruochen stood upright with as much elegance and gentleness as a prince. He smiled and said, "It's just a bangle. It's worth nothing to me."
He displayed the royal temperament of his current life, and also the temperament of his previous life as Emperor Ming's son. He was elegant like a spring wind, noble but indifferent, confident but modest. The princes of other commanderies could not even mimic it.
Duanmu Xingling stared at him and could only shake her head. " Alright. I accept it and I'll give you one drop of Half-Saint's Essence in return."
Duanmu Xingling handed him a delicate jade bottle with a light fragrance.
Zhang Ruochen's eyes brightened up when he saw the bottle. He accepted it without any hesitation.
For him, the Half-Saint's Essence was a very important treasure.
"A drop of Half-Saint's Essence is much cheaper than a Spatial Bangle." Duanmu Xingling frowned and said, "I also owe you one favor. From now on, if you encounter any trouble in Western Campus, please let me know. If someone dares to hurt you, I'll punish him."
Now, Zhang Ruochen was sure that Duanmu Xingling really saw him as a friend.
Before that, they were hardly more than classmates.
Duanmu Xingling looked pensive. She said, "One more thing, the Divine Power Palace will be opened for a short time the day after tomorrow. Don't miss the window."
"Thank you so much, senior sister apprentice Duanmu!" Zhang Ruochen said with appreciation.
Duanmu Xingling smiled and thought, "The more I look at him, the more pleasing he becomes. How could the other princes be so different?"
"The Divine Power Palace is only open once a month for two hours at a time. Only the Number 1 freshman of the year is eligible to enter and practice there," she said, reminding him again before she left.
After Duanmu Xingling left, Zhang Ruochen murmured to himself, "The Divine Power Palace is where the Martial Market School trains the top prodigy."
The most talented students had access to more resources than the ordinary students.
No matter how precious the resource was, the Martial Market Bank was willing to provide as long as they could cultivate top talents.
For example, while the Half-Saint's Essence was rare and valuable, it was relatively common in the School of the Martial Market. Even the lowest external students of the school could get one drop a year.
Of course, the wealthy had even more.
Gazing at the Half-Saint's Essence, Zhang Ruochen felt delighted. When he opened the bottle, it gave off a fragrance that pervaded the whole room.
In order to preserve the potency of the drug, he quickly unleashed Space Domain and encapsulated the vapor within three meters.
Since he had reached Black Realm's Advanced Stage, his Space Domain had become more powerful. It could now cover everything within a 50-meter radius.
Zhang Ruochen took a deep breath and inhaled all the Half-Saint's Essence dispersed in the air.
His bones and muscles rattled and cracked.
The Genuine Qi in his 36 Meridians flowed quickly, carrying power into every part of his body.
As the drug circulated through his body, Zhang Ruochen felt that all his Meridians had become stronger and more pliable.
"I get such a boost with just a wisp of the vapor. How powerful would my body be if I used the whole bottle of Half-Saint's Essence?"
Zhang Ruochen could not wait, so he entered the Time and Space Spinel's internal space and dosed himself with the drop of Half-Saint's Essence.
When he swallowed it, the frozen gas dropped into his belly and made him shiver. Then, a layer of frost condensed on his skin.
The frost got thicker and thicker. An hour later, he had completely frozen into a two-meter tall ice crystal.
He sat in the center of the Ice Crystal with his eyes closed and his hands on his knees. The 36 Meridians inside his body were running and absorbing the power of the Half-Saint's Essence.
After one day, Zhang Ruochen had completely absorbed the Half-Saint's Essence into his Pure Jade Genuine Qi, and thus into his whole body.
The chill inside his body was replaced by heat. He felt as if a flame burned in his belly and spread to his whole body.
The ice crystals on Zhang Ruochen began to melt, first into the dripping water and eventually steaming off of him.
Another two days passed.
His body returned to normal, but a white light glittered on his skin. He was covered in Genuine Qi, which was crawling through his pores like tiny snakes.
By the fourth day, he had finally refined the whole drop of Half-Saint's Essence. His Meridians widened, and the capacity of his Qi Pool increased by 10%.
Warriors in the same realm usually had similar Qi Pool capacity.
But after Ruochen had taken the Half-Saint's Essence, the size of his Qi Pool had enlarged.
Zhang Ruochen's Qi Pool had become bigger than other warriors in the same realm.
Duanmu Xingling and Huang Yanchen could get 10 drops of Half-Saint's Essence every year in order to enhance their physical quality. Therefore, the capacity of their Qi Pools was far greater than average warriors at the Completion stage of the Black Realm.
Zhang Ruochen had just refined one drop of Half-Saint's Essence and reaped a huge reward.
His bones, muscles, and five internal organs had all been refined. He could feel his power had become stronger.
His cultivation had also improved. He was not far away from breaking through to the Completion of the Black Realm's Advanced Stage.
"The Half-Saint's Essence is a real treasure. It would be amazing if I could get more of it!" Zhang Ruochen took a deep breath and relaxed.
Since he had 36 meridians, he could refine things much faster than others. This allowed him to finish refining one drop of Half-Saint's Essence in four days.
The other Black Realm Advanced Stage warriors would probably need 20 days to refine one drop of Half-Saint's Essence.
Zhang Ruochen calculated the time and quickly walked out of the Time and Space Spinel's internal space. He headed to the Divine Power Palace just as it was about to open.
The dawn broke.
Eight students had gathered outside the Divine Power Palace; six female and two male students.
They were the top freshman of the Western Campus from the previous years.
Zhang Ruochen was the ninth-ranked freshman, and he was also the last one to arrive at the Divine Power Palace.
Except for Zhang Ruochen, the weakest student among the eight was Xue Ling, the No. 1 freshman from last year. She had reached the Final State of the Black Realm.
The remaining seven had all reached the Completion State of the Black Realm.
The No. 1 freshman this year was Zhang Ruochen, last year was Xueling, two years ago was Yuchi Tiancong, three years ago was Duanmu Xingling, four years ago was Luo Shui Han, and five years ago was Huang Yanchen.
Yuchi Tiancong was a great prodigy. He had been enrolled in the Martial Market's School for two years, and to the shock of many elders, he had already completed the Black Realm Cultivation.
There was another male student called Tuo Muzi. He had been the No. 1 freshman nine years ago, but he had stayed at the Completion of the Black Realm stage for six years.
He was 29 this year, and if he could not reach the Earth Realm before 30, he would never become an internal student of the Martial Market School.
Advancing from the Black Realm Completion to the Earth Realm was a turning point. Many would-be masters had become trapped in the same realm for 10 years, 20 years or even their whole lives.
So even though Tuo Muzi had plenty of talent, not everyone was able to break through to the Earth Realm.
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