The forefather of the Luos, Luo Xu, was a Saint from Saint Academy of very high status.
With his token, Luo Shuihan could go practically anywhere in the Saint Academy.
Very soon, the people of Omen Ridge reached the place for the first round round of the exam, Stairway to Heaven.
Stairway to Heaven was the highest building of Saint Academy, made entirely from snow crystal meteorite. Every piece of it weighed 50,000 kg. There were 99 stairs in total, which rose straight into the clouds, giving people a feeling of expansive magnificence.
At the top of the 99-stair way was a white Holy Temple that emitted white holy light. Seen from afar, it resembled a round moon hanging in the sky with the Holy temple itself at the very center.
Such a wonderful scene could only be seen at the Saint Academy.
It was said that since ancient times, every saint of Saint Academy would leave behind an article to be reserved in the Holy Temple.
At the same time, the Holy Temple worshiped the stone figures of these Saints, which contained their residual Saint Power, ensuring that students of the younger generation would worship them forever.
To worship these figures, they first had to climb the Stairway.
In the Holy Temple atop the Stairway to Heaven, the large quantities of Saint Power gave off a powerful aura, pale streaks that pressed down from above and shackled them like chains.
With every stair step they ascended, the pressure would double.
Only students who could reach the 30th stair were officially counted as passing the first round exam.
When Luo Shuihan, Zhang Ruochen, Huang Yanchen, Duanmu Xingling, Si Xingkong, Chang Qiqi and Chen Xier came to the foot of the Stairway to Heaven, they saw hundreds of people who were ascending and continuing to ascend the Stairway.
On the 30th step of the Stairway stood a giant Jade Tablet nine meters high.
Students who reached the 30th stair needed to carve their names on the Jade Tablet with their fingers to pass the first round exam.
Genius students who ascended to the 30th stair were usually not satisfied with this and kept going up.
Some of them had actually already ascended to 50th stair and were still climbing.
"The higher one's qualifications are, the higher he can ascend," Huang Yanchen said. "Therefore, many people who have passed the first round exam choose to keep ascending to prove their superiority."
"Stairway to Heaven is a very famous historical site even in the Eastern Region. As long as you show your outstanding talent and win over all other warriors here, you immediately become famous worldwide."
"A man wants to establish his reputation like a tree wants to cast its shadow. Chances like these don't come often."
Chang Qiqi rubbed his palms. "Haha!" he said with excitement. "Today seems to be the day I will become famous."
Besides Chang Qiqi, Si Xingkong, Huang Yanchen and Chen Xier were also very excited; this very rare opportunity was a chance for them to prove their strength and compete with the God-favored sons of the entire Eastern Region.
Nevermind the chance to study at the Saint Academy:
It was also possible that many Half-Saints were standing in the darkness and observing the Stairway to Heaven.
As long as they were outstanding enough, they could be directly enrolled as the students of the Half-Saints.
This had happened in the past examinations of the Saint Academy. So, though it was just the first round exam, they all tried their best to show their strength.
Zhang Ruochen and the others did not ascend the Stairway right away; they were still observing and in the hopes of learning the abilities of the Eastern Region geniuses.
A short moment later, the genius students of the South Cloud Commandery, who had also come to the foot of the Stairway to Heaven, rushed towards the Stairway.
Even for an outstanding inheritor of the Half-Saint Family like Zi Hansha, it would definitely be a great joy for him if he could be enrolled as the student of a Half-Saint.
This reason for this was that the Zi family had only a single ancestor of Half-Saint level, who did not often reveal himself.
If their Half-Saint ancestor accidentally died without leaving a successor, the Zi family would be kicked down into the mortal world and lose their status of Half-Saint family. At the same time, they would suffer at the hands of other Half-Saint families seeking to carve up their property.
If Zi Hansha could become the student of a Half-Saint, his status in the Zi family would rise as well. Hee would definitely be designated to inherit the position of Zi family leader.
Even the status of the Zi family would also possibly increase.
"The Stairway to Heaven...wonderful. Today will be the day I become famous. If I can win the favor of a Half-Saint and become his student, who will dare to disrespect me when I return to the Zi family house? Xue Yingrou, that little b**ch, will surely throw herself at me."
The more Zi Hansha thought, the more excited he got. After taking a deep breath, he kicked his legs to fly up the stairs and land on the 21th step.
Zi Hansha's amazing performance caused quite a stir.
"Who is that man? He skipped straight to the 21st stair; that's really amazing."
"There are actually masters like this attending the Saint Academy's examination?"
Zi Hansha heard the gasps of amazement down below and grew excited. He kept ascending the stairs-- the 22nd step, the 23rd step...
Without stopping for a moment, he reached the 30th stair.
Purple light gathered around his fingertip. With three swooshing sounds, he carved the name 'Zi Hansha' deeply into the Jade Tablet.
Afterward, he kept ascending.
However, the Saint Power from Holy Temple grew stronger and stronger from the 30th stair onward, which forced Zi Hansha to ascend slower and slower.
It took him 15 minutes to get to the 40th level.
Afterward, his speed decreased even further. It took almost three minutes for him to ascend a single step.
Even so, Zi Hansha's performance was still top-notch, as there were only 23 genius students who had ascended the 40th stair and above till now.
"Zi Hansha is actually the first Martial Market school master from the South Cloud Commandery. He truly is strong," Zhang Ruochen thought.
At that very moment, there were fresh gasps of amazement from below.
The 24th genius student had ascended to the 40th step.
They all gasped at this genius student, a startlingly slim beauty with skin like cream and long hair like a golden waterfall. She was the very picture of a fairy, standing silhouetted against the holy light of the Stairway to Heaven.
Zhang Ruochen also cast a glance toward the woman and gave a slight nod. He had to admit that Xue Yingrou's beauty was outstanding. Her delicate and attractive temperament in particularly made her very adorable, filling men with the temptation to embrace and love her.
"This woman is tiresome, but her talent is high." Duanmu Xingling said.
"You know her?" Huang Yanchen asked.
Duanmu Xingling grinned and cast a glance at Zhang Ruochen. "I only know of her," she replied with a smile, "but Zhang Ruochen has a very deep relationship with her. He not only saved her life, but also taught her sword techniques... "
Duanmu Xingling would have eagerly kept talking had Zhang Ruochen not interrupted her with two loud coughs.
Huang Yanchen, who grew angry at even trival matters, was grumpy from the start. Hearing Duanmu Xingling's words, her mind was filled with many aesthetically "romantic" scenarios.
"Hum! Is she beautiful? I don't think so!"
Huang Yanchen clenched her snow-white teeth and stared intently at Zhang Ruochen. Her five fingers clenched and made a crackling sound.
Zhang Ruochen smiled and echoed her words: "Nah. She really isn't very beautiful."
"Hmmm," Huang Yanchen said, a doubtful expression on her face. Suddenly, she started dashing up the Stairway to Heaven.
With the instruction of her mother and the strength of Dragon's Blood, Huang Yanchen had greatly improved her cultivation--she had greatly surpassed her former self.
With just a single movement, Huang Yanchen directly ascended to the 22nd step of the stairway. With a mere four more leaps, she reached the 30th step as if she was flying with wings.
Leaving her name on the Jade Tablet, she instantly ascended to the 31st Stairway and chased after Xue Yingrou.
Men liked to fight for the leading role; women were no different.
Seeing Huang Yanchen chase after Xue Yingrou, Zhang Ruochen felt even more helpless. He glanced over towards Duanmu Xingling. "Senior sister apprentice Duanmu," he said, "You know how temperamental senior sister apprentice Huang can bel; why did you set out to irritate her?"
"I merely told her the truth; was that so wrong?" Duanmu said with a giggle. "I didn't tell her about Xue Yingrou kissing you..."
Chang Qiqi looked at Huang Yanchen and her position on the stairway. "How can Junior sister apprentice Huang be so strong?" He asked. "Did she completely refine the Dragon's Blood?"
Huang Yanchen's truly amazing performance seemed to surpass the power of Zi Hansha.
Chang Qiqi had practiced so hard, but had only refined a mere third of the Dragon's Blood. Currently, he was far less powerful than Huang Yanchen.
"Haven't you heard?" Chen Xier said. "Her mother is a Half-Saint who has already helped her completely refine the Dragon's Blood...among other things."
"Not just the Dragon's Blood?"
Chen Xier nodded and continued: "Do you still remember the Half-Saint heart of Di Yi? They handed that heart over to my cousin after it was dug out. In recent months, my cousin has been practicing with the Half-Saint's heart. With the help of my aunt, her cultivation has reached the Advanced Stage of the Heaven Realm and seems to be approaching the Dawn State of the Heaven Realm."
"Ah! How wonderful to have a Half-Saint mother. If I had gained the help of a Half-Saint, I would have refined the Dragon's Blood long ago. If I had had a Half-Saint's heart, I would also have broken through into a new realm long ago." Chang Qiqi said with a deep sigh.
Huang Yanchen truly had made great progress refining the Dragon's Blood. For some reason-maybe because she strove to completely regulate her Genuine Qi-- the streaks of golden light pouring off her body gathered into the illusory image of a golden dragon.
A loud dragon roar echoed from her body, creating a powerful pressure.
In mere moments, she ascended three stairs in a row, and reached the 42th step right behind Xue Yingrou.
Xue Yingrou was obviously shocked by the powerful pressure she felt behind her. She turned and saw an Iceberg Beauty with long blue hair.
Another dragon roar.
The beauty with long blue hair held out one palm. Golden light gathered in the middle of her palm and formed into a dragon claw that attacked Xue Yingrou's shoulder.
"Who are you? What are you doing?" Xue Yingrou said with shock.
Xue Yingrou was also a powerful God-favored daughter with quick reflexes. She darted sideways with a twist of her slender wrist, dodging Huang Yanchen's attack.
"Divine Dragon Moves the Mountain."
Huang Yanchen instantly pursued her and lashed out with both hands. One hand grabbed Xue Yingrou's waist while the other seized Xue Yingrou's neck. Both hands, each curled like two dragon claws, pushed downward and hurled Xue Yingrou down the Stairway to Heaven.
The startlingly beautiful Xue Yingrou was hurled down the Stairway to Heaven in a state of sheer misery.
Many of the Young Geniuses regularly fought with each other on the Stairway to Heaven each year during the Saint Academy examination. Most of them were well prepared for this.
None of them, however, expected to see two startling beauties like these fight so fiercely. Before their eyes, one of these beauties was cast down from on high, her image destroyed and reputation discredited. Truly she was in a miserable state!
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