“General or Mastermind?” Duan Ling Tian was attracted by a set of words within the student handbook.
It turned out that the students who entered Paladin Academy were required to choose between two departments…
These two departments were respectively:
The Star General Department and the Star Mastermind Department.
“Someone who can gallop into the battlefield, is able to command 10,000 soldiers, possesses fearless courage, can easily take the head of the enemy general in the midst of a powerful army, and is full of spirit as he treads through corpses to taint the azure sky…. That is the Star General!”
“Someone who is hidden behind the scenes and possesses extraordinary wisdom. During peaceful times, he is able to govern the lands under him, whereas during times of war, he is able to map out a strategy and take control of everything, annihilating the enemy army with only the slightest effort…. This is the Star Mastermind!”
Duan Ling Tian shook his head and laughed. Paladin Academy deserved the title of being the Crimson Sky Kingdom’s cradle for geniuses, because if one was able to graduate from Paladin Academy, then no matter where he goes, he will be a an exceptional and formidable person.
“Choose one out of two? Interesting.” The corners of Duan Ling Tian’s mouth held a smile, and he’d already come to a decision within his heart.
Five days later.
Duan Ling Tian brought along Little Black as he left the house alone and walked towards Paladin Academy. According to the rules within the student handbook, students of Paladin Academy were disallowed from bringing an entourage into academy grounds…
In next to no time, Duan Ling Tian arrived at Paladin Academy. At the main gate, an extremely grand sight of a long line of wagons could still be vaguely seen from one end of the street to the other.
Many students were either sent over by their elders or by their entourage; however, in the end, only the student may enter Paladin Academy.
“There’s actually so many female students.” Duan Ling Tian couldn’t help but be surprised when he noticed quite a few female students producing their proofs of qualification and entering the academy. “Looks like among the other counties, the tests for the qualification to either Paladin Academy are open to females, unlike the iron Blood Army’s Genius Camp.”
The Iron Blood Army’s Genius Camp that Duan Ling Tian attended didn’t accept females, and if a female from the Swallow Mountain County were to desire to enter Paladin Academy, then they would have to travel to another county to take part in a similar test.
“Where should I go now?” Duan Ling Tian noticed that after he entered Paladin Academy, he had been aimlessly walking and couldn’t find his way. Eventually, his sharp eyes caught a group of people going east, and he hurriedly followed them.
On a vast field on the east side, some weapon racks were scattered about, as this place was obviously the Paladin Academy Martial Arts Practice Grounds.
Duan Ling Tian took a glance and noticed that there were many young men and young women that had already been waiting here for some time, and the ages of these people were all around 20 years old… Compared to them, Duan Ling Tian was obviously much younger.
“Xiao Yu!” Finally, Duan Ling Tian noticed Xiao Yu within the crowd. Presently, Xiao Yu was chatting with another young man that stood beside him.
Duan Ling Tian walked over, and before long, Xiao Yu noticed him as well. He notified the young man beside him before walking over.
“Duan Ling Tian, I’ve finally found you.” Xiao Yu shook his head with a smile. “I arrived at the Imperial City half a month ago, but I didn’t where you were.”
“How about you? What’ve you been doing for this past half month?” Duan Ling Tian asked with a light smile.
“I was at the Xiao Clan Estate,” Xiao Yu said.
“Xiao Family? Xiao Clan?”
“Xiao He?” Duan Ling Tian’s expression stiffened. He recalled the genius alchemist, Xiao He, or in other words, a members of the Xiao Clan.
Could it be that Xiao Yu was related to the Xiao Clan? Or maybe Aurora City’s Xiao Clan was related to the Imperial City’s Xiao Clan. The facts of the matter proved that Duan Ling Tian’s guess was correct.
“Yes, the Xiao Clan. Our Aurora City Xiao Family is precisely a Branch Family of the Imperial City’s Xiao Clan. I’ve already been specially admitted as a member of the Imperial City Xiao Clan by the Patriarch after obtaining the qualification to study at Paladin Academy.” Even though there was no change on Xiao Yu’s face, his eyes obviously had a trace of excitement within them.
Becoming a member of the Imperial City Xiao Clan meant that he’d taken one more step forward, and in the future he would be able to use it as a stepping stone to leap up higher and further…
Meanwhile, Xiao Yu realized that the young man beside him had been left out in the cold, so he hurriedly introduced him. “Duan Ling Tian, he’s Xiao Xun, a genius martial artist of the Imperial City Xiao Clan, and my friend.”
“Duan Ling Tian.” Duan Ling Tian nodded to Xiao Xun as he introduced himself.
“Xiao Xun.” Xiao Xun replied with a smile, without a trace of that type of arrogance from a disciple of a large clan.
“Duan Ling Tian, Xiao Xun’s elder brother, Xiao He, is the most gifted alchemist within our Xiao Clan. One year ago, he became a Grade Nine Alchemist at the age of 20,” Xiao Yu added.
“Xiao He?” Duan Ling Tian’s face stiffened. Enemies were really bound to meet. He had only casually gotten to know a Xiao Clan disciple and it was already Xiao He’s younger brother.
Xiao Xun’s pupils constricted as he slowly said, “I used to think that my brother was a rare genius alchemist, but that changed two months ago when an 18-year-old Grade Nine Alchemist appeared in the Alchemist Guild’s lobby. Only then did I realize that no matter how great a person is, there will always be someone greater! It’s better this way; it can help lessen my brother’s arrogance.”
“I’ve heard of this as well. I heard that an 18-year-old alchemist even cheated your brother off 5,000,000 silver… Do you hate him?” Duan Ling Tian’s eyes narrowed as he asked curiously.
“What is there to hate? I’ve heard of the sequence of events too. At the bottom of it all, the entire matter was my brother’s wrong. If it wasn’t for my brother being overbearing, the later events wouldn’t have occurred. If I meet that genius alchemist, I might even thank him, as he caused my brother to undergo a change and become much more reserved than before.” Xiao Xun shook his head, seeming to not mind.
Duan Ling Tian glanced deeply at Xiao Xun. Birds of a feather flock together, and Xiao Yu’s friend was indeed not like those usual profligate disciples of large clans.
“Duan Ling Tian! Xiao Yu!” Suddenly, a familiar voice sounded from afar.
Duan Ling Tian looked over to a red-clothed young man walking over shoulder to shoulder with a robust young man. The person who spoke was precisely the robust young man.
The two people who were walking over, weren’t they the two youths that passed the Genius Camp test with them and obtained the qualification to study at Paladin Academy, Su Li and Tian Hu?
After a year’s time, the two of them had obviously matured. Su Li was much more reserved; the original him had a pressing drive, but now it was completely restrained, and his cultivation had obviously progressed.
“Su Li! Tian Hu!” Duan Ling Tian and Xiao Yu greeted them with light smiles.
“Duan Ling Tian, let’s have a battle when we have the chance!” Su Li looked at Duan Ling Tian, and within his sharp gaze, battle intent flared…
“I’ll be happy to accompany you!” Duan Ling Tian nodded with a smile.
“Duan Ling Tian, you need to be careful, this fellow Su Li’s already stepped into the seventh level of the Core Formation Stage…. What a fellow! When I met him a few days ago, he pulled me aside to battle and nearly finished me.” Tian Hu seemed to have a slight lingering fear when he mentioned what happened a few days ago.
“Seventh level of the Core Formation Stage?” Duan Ling Tian pupils constricted and he was extremely shocked.
It had only been a year and Su Li has already broken through from the fifth level to the seventh level of the Core Formation Stage in one go? Xiao Yu and Xiao Xun were shocked as well.
“Seventh level of the Core Formation Stage? Such a cultivation can be considered one of the top among this year’s intake of new Paladin Academy students,” Xiao Xun praised, with a sigh.
“Yeah, there probably aren’t many seventh level Core Formation martial artists within this year’s new students.” Xiao Yu deeply agreed.
Su Li’s gaze descended upon Duan Ling Tian as he lightly said, “I don’t know about the others, but Duan Ling Tian is surely at the seventh level of the Core Formation Stage…”
“So certain?” Tian Hu was slightly surprised.
“One year ago, he was already at the sixth level of the Core Formation Stage!” Su Li added. He still remembered the scene from one year ago when he challenged Duan Ling Tian to a battle after the Genius Camp final test was concluded.
At that time, he thought that since he had broken through to the fifth level of the Core Formation Stage, it would be more than sufficient to battle Duan Ling Tian. But unexpectedly, Duan Ling Tian directly drew upon the energy of heaven and earth and condensed eight ancient mammoths’ silhouettes, causing him to instantly feel frustrated…
Only Xiao Yu nodded without thinking it was unexpected when he heard what Su Li said. Tian Hu and Xiao Xun, on the other hand, looked at Duan Ling Tian in surprise.
Especially Xiao Xun. He was secretly startled in his heart. “This youth that has the same name as the Duan Clan direct descendants and looks to be around 18 was already a sixth level Core Formation martial artist last year?”
Even the Imperial Family and the few great clans of the Imperial City didn’t have such a monster appear within their midst in the past few years! Such natural talent could already be compared to the student who entered Paladin Academy last year, Xu Qing!
Xu Qing was an existence that was publically acknowledged as Paladin Academy’s genius student with the highest natural talent within the last 20 years.
“It’s you!” Suddenly, a figure walked over swiftly from afar. This voice emitted the conflicting combination of rage and joy.
“Hmm?” Duan Ling Tian looked over when he heard the voice. The person that appeared before him was none other than Duan Ling Xing’s cousin, Duan Rong!
Duan Rong walked over swiftly before staring at Duan Ling Tian and saying, “I’ve finally found you. I didn’t think that you’d be a student at Paladin Academy as well. Now let’s see where you can hide.”
“Hide?” Duan Ling Tian smiled indifferently, and the corners of his mouth held a disdainful smile. “You said I was hiding from you? As a person who lost to me, you… are you even worthy?”
Duan Rong’s expression went grim as he shouted, in a low voice,”Long story short, you’re a dead man!”
“Trust me, I can grant you death right now!” Duan Ling Tian’s gaze turned cold when he was threatened by Duan Rong. A terrifying killing intent swept out of his body to envelop Duan Rong when he took a step forward, causing Duan Rong’s face to turn ghastly pale before fleeing in panic…
“Duan Ling Tian, who’s he? Why does it seem like he has great enmity and deep hatred for you?” Xiao Yu asked.
“Just a profligate disciple.” Duan Ling Tian shrugged before speaking of the conflict between Duan Rong and himself…
“The nephew of the Duan Clan’s second master?” Xiao Yu’s pupils constricted. He had gained quite an understanding of the various clans within the Imperial City during this past half month’s time, and thus was extremely clear as to the ability of the Duan Clan’s second master.
“Duan Ling Tian, need any help?” Su Li’s gaze went cold as he looked at the far away Duan Rong. The sword in his hand seemed to be ready to leave its sheath at any moment.
“It isn’t necessary, it’s only just a clown.” Duan Ling Tian shook his head and paid no attention to Duan Rong even though the one standing behind Duan Rong was the Duan Clan’s second master, Duan Ru Lei!
If he was afraid, then he wouldn’t have entered Paladin Academy with his real appearance when he already knew that Duan Rong was a student in Paladin Academy this year. If he were to come in disguise, it would be utterly impossible for Duan Rong to recognize him.