Everyone was invited by a Half-Saint to become their apprentice. Everyone except for Luo Shuihan.
Luo Xu, the forefather of Saint Luo Gentry, was originally from Saint Academy, so Luo Shuihan had been the successor of Luo Xu. Even if other Half-Saints wanted to apprentice Luo Shuihan, they would not succeed.
The Saint Academy was divided into 27 departments.
There were 18 departments in the Martial Arts and 9 in the Spiritual Power.
The 18 departments in the Martial Arts included Sword Technique Department, Knife Technique Department, Palm Technique Department, Fist Technique Department, Finger Technique Department, Spear Technique Department, Whip Technique Department, Club Technique Department, Buddhism Department, Taoism Department, and other departments.
The nine departments in the Spiritual Power included Weapon Crafting Department, Alchemy Department, Beast Taming Department, Sorcery Department, Thunderbolt Department, Wind and Fire Department and other departments.
All roads would eventually lead to greatness.
After reaching a certain realm, one could become a Saint whether he practiced the sword technique or the knife technique.
The pace of practice would be slower as the warrior stepped into the Heaven Realm. A genius warrior also needed to spend a lot of time to break through a realm.
If warriors continued to practice different Martial Arts at the same time, they would only make limited progress. So those who broke through the Fish-dragon Realm were extraordinary. Almost nobody could break through the realm of Half-Saint.
Therefore, the most important role of Saint Academy was to allow warriors to choose a technique suitable for themselves and abandon all other distractions.
Meanwhile, the brilliant masters would teach their apprentices and provide them with the best environment to make the most of their potentials.
Only through this way would the warriors be able to improve their skills faster than others.
Of course, Zhang Ruochen chose the Sword Technique Department.
Huang Yanchen and Duanmu Xingling also chose the Sword Technique Department, while Chen Xier chose the Finger Technique Department and Si Xingkong and Chang Qiqi chose the Buddhism Department.
Zhang Ruochen originally thought that Luo Shuihan would choose the Fist Technique Department, but she chose the Taoism Department instead.
According to Luo Shuihan, the inheritance of Saint Luo Gentry seemed to have something to do with Taoism. Besides, predecessor Luo Xu advised her to choose the Taoism Department.
As the largest department of Saint Academy, Sword Technique Department had the largest number of applicants. There was still a long queue registering after the first round of assessment.
There were no lecturers at the registration office. Instead, there were only six previous Saints of the Saint Academy—the elder brothers and sisters, each of them being a top master.
Zhang Rouchen could see through the martial cultivations of them with ease.
Five of them reached the realm of the Completion of Heaven Realm and one reached the realm of the First Change in the Fish-dragon Realm.
Of course, the ordinary warriors who have reached the Completion of Heaven Realm were incomparable to those disciples of Saint Academy for their training and experience accumulated over a decade.
Having finished signing up, Zhang Ruochen, Huang Yanchen, and Duanmu Xingling got the scrolls for the second round of exam.
Xu Hai, the disciple who reached the First Change in the Fish-dragon Realm, was a disciple of a Half-Saint. Although he was already 45 years old, he looked like he was his twenties. He wore a golden disciple’s robe, and had a deep and unpredictable temperament.
For warriors who reached the Fish-dragon Realm, they always looked like they were twenty years old even if their real age was forty.
Standing on the stone table, Xu Hai infused Genuine Qi into his voice and said, “More than 60,000 people from different places come here to take examination this year. Every one of you is a genius in your own right. With your qualifications, most of you can pass the first round of examination.”
“Sword Technique Department, the largest department of Saint Academy, attracts nearly one-third people to sign up. However, the Sword Technique Department recruits just 5,000 people each time, which means that the competition of Sword Technique Department is the fiercest and over 70% of warriors will not pass all three examinations.”
“I will ask again before showing the examination paper. Are you guys really ready to apply for the Sword Technique Department? There are still opportunities to select other departments, such as Spear Technique Department, Whip Technique Department and Club Technique Department, where there are less competition.”
The Saint Academy only recruited disciples once every ten years; one must be cautious when making their decision in choosing a department.
Missing this chance, one might too old to apply again later.
The Saint Academy’s wide age limit aimed to give a chance to those senior warriors who were well-prepared, but they must be under 45 years old.
There was no chance to enter Saint Academy for warriors above 45-year-old, even if they were of high potential.
After hearing the words of Xu Hai, some disciples who were not confident in their own strength put down the scroll silently and left the registration office of the Sword Technique Department, deciding to apply for other departments.
Seeing those disciples who left, Xu Hai smiled coldly and shook his head.
Zhang Ruochen said in a whisper, “The exam has already begun. Just now, brother Xu Hai is testing the determination and self-confidence of people. Those who can not bear the pressure or have no confidence in themselves have already left.”
Xu Hai seemed to hear Zhang Ruochen’s voice. He looked in Zhang Ruochen’s direction, showing his unfriendly look, and said, “Now, I will announce the content of the second exam. The scrolls in your hands record a set of sword technique of superior Spiritual Stage, named ‘Thirteen Sword Techniques of Soul Chasing’ .”
“Although this sword technique is in superior Spiritual Stage, it is hard to practice. It definitely reaches the peak of martial technique in sword techniques of superior Spiritual Stage, which is enough to compete with sword techniques of inferior Ghost Level.”
“Now, all of you have three days to practice the sword technique. The passing mark of the second exam is to successfully practice the three swords of ‘Thirteen Sword Techniques of Soul Chasing’.”
“So, this exam will test your comprehension capaabilities and talent on sword techniques.”
“Were you to fail to complete the task, it would mean that your comprehension abilities are too low, or your qualifications are not good enough. So you cannot enter the Sword Technique Department of Saint Academy.”
The sword technique of superior Spiritual Stage was a mysterious martial technique even for warriors of the Heaven Realm. It entailed a lot of time perceive and practice —three or five days won’t do.
This round of exam was quite strict and a large number of people would not be able to succeed.
One of the disciples stood up and said, “Since it is to evaluate everyone’s comprehensive capability, wouldn’t it be unfair if other students had already comprehended the technique in advance?”
What he asked was the question which the other disciples wanted to ask.
Xu Hai said seriously, “Thirteen Sword Techniques of Soul Chasing is created just seven days ago by a Half-Saint in the Sword Technique Department. Besides, it has been kept within Saint Academy and never leaked out. Therefore, no one could’ve gotten the chance to practice beforehand. Everyone should rest assured about that.”
“In addition, in order to encourage you to perceive the sword technique, the elder presbyter of Sword Technique Department will give a reward of a ‘Sword Heart Pill’ to the best performing disciple in this exam.”
All disciples were astounded.
Sword Heart Pill, a seventh-class pill, was worth over one million Spiritual Crystals—an astronomically expensive price. Many warriors of Fish-dragon Realm could not afford it, and it was difficult to get even if you had a lot of money.
The main function of Sword Heart Pill was to help warriors gather the sword technique “Heart of the Sword” to reach the realm of Heart Integrated into Sword.
Of course, Sword Heart Pill is just an external assistance. Reaching the realm of Heart Integrated into Sword must depend on warriors’ comprehension of sword techniques.
Even so, Sword Heart Pill was such a treasure that all warriors under Half-Saints competed for it. Duanmu Xingling and Huang Yanchen’s beautiful eyes were also sparkling upon hearing about it.
Even if it could not let them reach the realm of Heart Integrated into Sword, taking a Sword Heart Pill could let warriors make great progress in the realm of sword techniques.
Only Zhang Ruochen stayed calm. After all, he had already reached the realm of Heart Integrated into Sword, so he didn’t think much of the Sword Heart Pill.
The disciples below opened the scrolls and raced against time to perceive the “Thirteen Sword Techniques of Soul Chasing.”
Zhang Ruochen also opened the scroll. As expected, there were more than 1,000 tiny words of cultivation method engraved on it.
13 sword pictures and corresponding 13 sword techniques were at the bottom of the cultivation method.
At a glance, 13 sword-holding people began to swinging swords on the scroll, as if they were alive.
“A set of peak-level superior sword technique of Spiritual Stage is absolutely a first-class treasure in Omen Ridge. It will cause lots of scrambles and blood once it appears. On the other hand, Saint Academy can just take a set of sword technique for all disciples who merely sign up here to perceive.”
The warriors who come here were disciples of the School of the Martial Market, so Saint Academy did not care that the sword technique would be spread out at all.
With his comprehension of sword techniques and Spiritual Power, it was easy for Zhang Rouchen to practice martial techniques of superior Spiritual Stage.
It only took half a day for Zhang Ruochen to fully perceive the first three sword techniques. All subtleties of sword movement, were understood well by his Skyeye.
However, he continued to perceive the fourth sword technique instead of practicing the sword techniques at once.
There were 13 sword techniques in Thirteen Sword Techniques of Soul Chasing and Zhang Ruochen was ready to perceive all of them to win the first place in the second round.
Even if he did not need Sword Heart Pill, he could still give it to someone else as a gift.
Standing by Xu Hai in the distance, Nie Wenlong stared in the direction of Zhang Ruochen with cold eyes. He transmitted his voice to Xu Hai, “My brother, that man is Zhang Ruochen, who has reached Heart Integrated into Sword and defeated the descendants of four powerful Saint families by himself on the Stairway to Heaven. Your younger brother, Xu Qing, is severely injured by him. This time Saint Xu Gentry has lost a lot of reputation.”
As a previous Saint, Nie Wenlong had been practicing in Saint Academy for ten years, and his martial cultivation had already reached the Completion of Heaven Realm.
Although he did not break through the Fish-dragon Realm, he entered the Heaven Board, which meant that he was powerful.
Xu Hai gave a cold smile and said, “So what? Compared with the powerful Saint families, he is nothing.”
Xu Hai was the descendant of the last generation and his talent was even higher than that of Xu Qing, so he looked down upon Zhang Ruochen. It would be quite easy to kill Zhang Ruochen off for Xu Hai with his current strength.