"I am better than you," Si Xingkong said afterwards. "I have practiced with 2400 drops of Vital Essence and greatly increased the speed of our practice with the Dragon's Blood. By my calculations, I can reach the Advanced Stage of the Heaven Realm before the year is out."
Chang Qiqi also nodded his head. Without the Dragon's Blood, it would have taken him three or five years to reach his current Cultivation Realm.
Because of this, he owed thanks to Zhang Ruochen.
If Zhang Ruochen had not brought them to the Underwater Dragon Palace, it would have been impossible for them to gain the Dragon's Blood, and even more impossible for them to attend the exam at Saint Academy.
Thanks to his Dragon's Blood, he had gained the long-cherished opportunity to become a Saint of the Saint Academy.
Everybody was talking and laughing; only Duanmu Xingling remained silent. She seemed to be upset about something.
Zhang Ruochen cast a glance towards Duanmu Xingling and noticed her difference in mood. "Senior sister apprentice Duanmu," he said, "what are you thinking?"
Duanmu Xingling was startled by Zhang Ruochen's words. "It's nothing," she hastily said. "I'm just very happy to see senior sister disciple Luo and Sister Chen again."
"Indeed! Luo Shuihan, Huang Yanchen and Chen Xier will be attending the exam here in Saint Academy to attend the exam," Chang Qiqi said with excitement. "We'll finally be able to reunite!"
Following after Lei Jing, Zhang Ruochen, Si Xingkong, Chang Qiqi and Duanmu Xingling rushed to the Saint Academy.
Crowds of people had gathered outside the Saint Academy all of them internal students of the School of the Martial Market. Their numbers could not be counted at a glance.
Some of them had been waiting here since last night.
Some of the prestigious students rode in on elegant carriages drawn by savage beasts, directly entering the gate of the Saint Academy without needing to queue up. This roused the envy of the other students.
"That's Xu Qing, the God-favored son of the Saint Xu Gentry."
"There goes a Half-Saint from the Saint Xu Gentry; he's a lecturer at the Saint Academy."
"No wonder Xu Qing doesn't have to queue up; he can directly enter the Saint Academy to attend the first round of the exam."
While others were talking, Zhang Ruochen glanced towards the carriage. He saw a young man in a white embroidered robe sitting in the carriage, a fellow with sharp eyes and a dignified air.
Four brute elephants in golden armour pulled the carriage along, marching forward at a slow, seemingly momentous pace.
Behind the carriage came 36 young warriors, men and women who had all cultivated to the Heaven Realm.
Each of them was brimming with spirit and had Spiritual Blood filled with vigor. Spiritual Qi circulated through 100,000 of the pores in their bodies. They were obviously not common warriors.
36 of these young warriors were also outstanding talents cultivated by the Saint Xu Gentry, sent to attend the Saint Academy's examination along with Xu Qing.
"These Saint families are definitively powerful if they can actually cultivate this many Young Geniuses," Si Xingkong said in a shocked tone. "If this current generation of Saint Xu Gentry students are so outstanding, how terrible will they be dozens of generations from now?"
Lei Jing said, "That is the intrinsic, insurmountable difference between powerful Saint families and other clans. Who knows how many powerful Saint families there are in the entire Eastern Region?"
The appearance of dozens of genius Saint Xu Gentry students outside the Saint Academy truly caused quite a stir. Everyone was talking about it, some with whispers of awe, others with hisses of envy.
The genius students from the South Cloud Commandery stood among the crowd and stared at the Saint Xu Gentry carriages.
Xue Yingrou looked at Xu Qing as he sat in the carriage, a strange look visible in her beautiful eyes. There was no doubt in her mind: only someone like Xu Qing, the God-favored son of a powerful Saint family, would be a match for her.
If she could become a woman like Xu Qing, someday she could stand in that very spot.
In that moment, a sound like a tsunami came from the crowd.
"The God-favored son of the East Region Saint Mansion is here!"
"My god! The East Region Saint Mansion actually sent much more geniuses than the Saint Xu Gentry did."
"The Chens are a Aristocratic Family from the East Region Saint Mansions that date back to the Middle Ages. Their power is leagues above that of the common Saint Families; they truly are one of the top clans."
Zhang Ruochen was shocked. He thought about Huang Yanchen and Chen Xier; weren't they from the East Region Saint Mansions?
Zhang Ruochen scanned the ranks of East Region Saint Mansion members, looking for Huang Yanchen.
The East Region Saint Mansion contingent was led by three Violet Gold Carriages more than ten meters tall. These vehicles, less carriages and more like three small palaces, slowly lumbered forward.
These three Violet Gold Carriages were each pulled by a fifth level savage beast, a Kylin.
These three Kylins pressed forward bridle to bridle, emitting a powerful savage beast aura that squashed the momentum of the Saint Xu Gentry.
Three talents sat alone in each of the three Violet Gold Carriages, two men and one woman. They were the most outstanding talents in the current generation of Chens.
Though they were not Saintly Beings, their strength was very close to that of Saintly Beings.
Behind the Violet Gold Carriage marched 157 young warriors in the Heaven Realm, talents cultivated by the Chens who had come to attend the Saint Academy exam.
Even after looking for quite a while, Zhang Ruochen did not find Huang Yanchen and Chen Xier. He was a bit surprised.
At that moment, Zhang Ruochen felt the sensation of someone staring at his back. It was Huang Yanchen's aura.
Zhang Ruochen smiled slightly and twirled around to look.
Huang Yanchen, dressed in a silver robe, stood more than 30 meters away in a silver robe, her hair colored a royal blue. She stood there, chest outthrust with pride, holding a white combat sword in her hands.
She raised her chin with pride, a bitter icing air pouring off her body. She seemed to be keeping her distance from the others.
Before Zhang Ruochen could walk over, Duanmu Xingling reached Huang Yanchen and hugged her. "Sister Chen, I missed you so much!" She said excitedly. "Say, why aren't you with the Young Geniuses of the East Region Saint Mansions?"
Chen Xier walked up to them from behind. "We are students of School of the Martial Market in Omen Ridge," she pointed out with a smile. "Since we're going to attend the Saint Academy's examination, we certainly ought to be by your side."
Upon saying those words, she cast a glance towards Zhang Ruochen and provocatively fluttered her eyelashes.
Luo Shuihan, clad in a white veil, walked out of the crowd and stared at Zhang Ruochen. "Junior fellow apprentice Zhang," she said in a cold voice, "I have succeeded with my practice!"
Nobody but Zhang Ruochen knew what Luo Shuihan meant.
Luo Shuihan must have succeeded at practicing the movement of the first Half-Saint's Sacred Glyph technique left by Luo Xu. She had awoken her Saintly Being and gone through a metamorphosis.
Zhang Ruochen was very pleased. "Congratulations, senior sister disciple Luo," he said in a bright tone.
"I must thank you. Without your help, I couldn't possibly have succeeded."
Although Luo Shuihan stood right in front of Zhang Ruochen, she was cloaked in clouds of fog that flowed around her. It was like she was standing in a distortion of space and time, obscuring her beauty in people's eyes.
Without the use of his Skyeye, even Zhang Ruochen could not perceive her.
She must have succeeded in mastering her Saintly Being.
Chang Qiqi laughed out loud: "Now that we're all here, today is the day we redeem the name of School of the Martial Market in Omen Ridge. Today's the day we show up everyone who looks down upon us and thinks that people from a remote area like us can't do anything. Everyone try your best to pass the exam and become a Saint."
"Today the first round of the exam will take place; this round is not so strict," Luo Shuihan said. "With this Saint Academy token of mine, we can directly enter Saint Academy to attend the exam without queuing up. Everyone follow me!"
Luo Shuihan took the first step forward. Zhang Ruochen and the others followed behind him.
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