Chapter 5: Exam Simulation
As students were currently cramming for the college entrance exams, any courses that should have been taken had already been completed long ago. These last hundred days were primarily for filling up gaps and taking all sorts of tests. On a certain morning of each week was a very important exam simulation.
Under the urging of the impatient teachers, Li Yao took a deep breath and stepped into the “Examination Chamber” tagged with his student number. The chamber door sealed shut and the entire world became deathly silent.
“Even though I didn’t receive personal tips from Peng Hai, I still need to test into the ‘Nine Elite Universities’. If I give my all, what do I have to fear?” Li Yao clenched his fist resolutely.
“BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” On an inner face of the examination chamber appeared a hologram, upon which a number ticked. At the moment, it was counting down. Upon hitting zero, an emotionless voice, like an ancient well, rang out, ”The examination has begun. Prepare yourself, student!”
In response, thousands upon thousands of arcane glyphs carved onto the inner face of the examination chamber flared simultaneously. Li Yao only saw the scene in front of his eyes blossom with the turning and flying of stars, having already appeared in the middle of a red-brown wasteland.
The ground was roasting hot and his feet had the sensation of pins and needles. The air was thick to the point of almost congealing; it was like having a wet towel wrapped around one’s body that could not be shaken off. Occasionally, a hot gust of wind would blow by, carrying with it the strong odor of mish-mashed blood. From all directions came faint ghostly wails and wolfish howls.
It was vivid to the five sense, as if one was truly standing in this world, placed in this murderous field of malevolent spirits.
Nevertheless, Li Yao knew that this was the “Great Illusionary Land” metamorphosed by the examination chamber. Time was of the essence. He composed himself and sped forward, following the directions of a translucent arrow symbol in the sky.
The Fifty Kilometer Long-Distance Cross-Country run. It was one of the Federation’s basic courses designed for the purpose of distinguishing the elites from the rest of the youths, in hopes that they would one day become cultivators. The path was filled with danger and chocked full of traps.
Sure enough, when Li Yao passed through a faintly bulging mound of dirt, the mound of dirt burst, shooting out countless rock fragments. In the midst of the rock fragments was a pair of dirt yellow Sand Wolves!
This species of Demon Fiend Beast was larger than ordinary feral wolves by a factor. Their spines bulged high and on top grew an abnormality, a small head. It was a mutated form of the low-ranking demon fiend beast, “Sand Wolf.” Besides having the advantage of camouflage within the sand dunes, they also possessed a high level of intelligence. It was an extremely troublesome opponent for a highschool student.
But for Li Yao, who had survived in the Magical Equipment Artifact Graveyard for 18 years as the “Vulture”, observing every inch of his surroundings had long already become instinctive. The camouflage of the two Sand Wolves was rather sloppy, and he had seen through them early on.
“Dire Bear Stance!”
Without hesitation, the two Sand Wolves pounced into to the air. Li Yao’s pair of legs launched, his body curled into a ball, and his shoulders sank. His appearance was like a berserk dire bear as he fiercely rammed across!
The timing he chose was impeccable. It was when the pair of wolves’ flight had reached their apex. The wolves’ power had all been exhausted with nowhere to borrow strength and, furthermore, were incapable of changing directions. They were hit head-on by Li Yao.
The pair of Sand Wolves were sinisterly cunning, but their bodies were fragile, designed primarily for ambushing unsuspecting enemies, not fighting an opponent head-on. In a single exchange, their spines were snapped by Li Yao’s “Dire Bear Stance”. They bounced back towards their sand pit.
Li Yao sneered and slithered forward. He extended his claws like a blade’s edge, firmly grabbing the small heads on the Sand Wolves’ backs.
“Steel Hawk’s Claw!”
The wolf heads disintegrated in a flash. The pair of Sand Wolves let out a blood curling scream and died.
From the void rang a sweet “Ding Ding” sound. It was the examination chamber calculating Li Yao’s score for his kills.
Li Yao felt delighted in his heart. The set of skills he used in succession originated from the basic martial art <<Thirteen Forces of the War Beasts>>. At minimum, he would gain 10 points for himself.
He did not hurry on impatiently but rather dragged the corpses of the two Sand Wolves out from the sand pit. In his perimeter, he found a rock that was quite sharp, and with it, he cut open the bellies of the demonic beasts.
Not long after, four ribs were whet into four bone blades, and with difficulty, the wolf pelts were sewn into a water sack which was then filled with wolf blood.
A sack of wolf blood can save one’s life in this broiling wasteland.
After reorganizing, resting, strategizing, and completely arming himself, Li Yao continued to advance forward. Not even an hour later, he had already shouldered a black crisis, killing four low-ranking Demon Fiend Beasts. Although the examination had just begun, this was still nothing more than a warm-up. The following rounds were the ones that caused every Federation test taker to encounter so much pain that they’d wish they were dead.
In the midsts of the sky, green glyph characters showered down like a torrential storm, forming into a quiz:
“Xiao Ming is a cultivator of the Refinement stage. His body had formed 52500 crystals worth of spiritual energyessence. Once, when he was cultivating, he accidently was hit with a strange ‘Heart Devouring Bug’. Every second, 48 crystals of spiritual energy essence were gobbled. Xiao Ming’s master discovered his condition 1 min 13 secfive minutes later. In order to save him, he passed 55 crystals of spiritual soul energy per second into his body. In addition, after two minutes, he increased his rate to 59 crystals of spiritual soul energy per second. Question—-”
“One, how much time does Xiao Ming need to restore his spiritual energy essence to his original level?”
“Two, please summarize the method for refining the ‘Heart Devouring Bug’. Also provide the steps for treating the symptoms after being afflicted by the heart devouring bug.”
“Three, please state which sect guild first succeeded in refining the ‘Heart Devouring Bug’. List at least five major leaders of this sect guild. Furthermore, outline the root cause of the destruction of this sect.”
Li Yao lightly slapped his cheeks. He never thought that such a highly troublesome “comprehensive question” would come up, mixing mathematics, history, and medicine. The knowledge of Warzone Medic Studies and other numerous subjects were needed. This “Exam Simulation” was worthy of being called a complete simulation!
Attention rapt and without disturbing the air, he pondered deeply and carefully. Within his mind appeared countless knowledge accrued from calmer times. Li Yao concentrated his attention and responded at lightning speeds. He overcame one question after another. At a rapid speed, a light blue answer appeared underneath the green problem as he spoke telepathically.
The answer was completed, onto the next question!
“A cultivator on the right path of the ‘Spirit Mountain Guild’ steps his foot onto a flying sword. He flies from the east towards a ravine at a speed of 247 meters per second. And another cultivator on the depraved path of the ‘Blood Murder Stronghold’ treads his foot onto a black cloud. He flies from the west in the opposite direction at 239 meters per second. Currently, the two people are separated by a distance of 122.5 kilometers. The question is, how much time later will it take for them to meet?”
“Suppose the cultivation of these two are equivalent and that they employ equivalent fundamental techniques and artifacts of their various sects. Please link the characteristics of the Spirit Mountain Sect to the Blood Murder Stronghold and deduce the course of battle between these two — at least deduce seven exchanges. The number of words may not exceed 500.”
This problem was clearly much simpler than the previous. But right when Li Yao was about to answer the problem, the assailing odor of Demon Fiend Beasts permeated from ahead. Impatient, low-sounding roars came closer and closer.
—In the midst of this terror, he calculated, answering the question. The test takers’ stamina, martial skill, willpower, calculation abilities, and the strength of quick thinking were tested. All these capabilities are synergized into an individual that surpasses the ordinary. Only then could one distinguish himself in the Federation’s university entrance exams, stepping onto the road of cultivators!
Li Yao’s pair of hands crossed as he pulled out two ghastly white bone blades. He licked his lips and welcomed the front of him as countless thoughts boiled ceaselessly in his brain, calculating at high speeds…
There was an absolute silence in the large campus. Every classroom was set up with 90 examination chamber units. In the Great Illusionary Land, each and every third-year student was frantically striving and struggling, disposing of the heads of demonic beasts and exam questions.
Imperceivable to the test takers, over four hours had already passed within the Great Illusionary Land. The examination was heading towards its conclusion.
Li Yao’s entire body was covered in seventy to eighty cuts of all sizes. Several areas had bled dry. Of greater concern was his abdomen, which had been pierced by the fang of a Demon Fiend Beast. He did not dare to pull it out. The bone blades he held in his hands were practically ground into sticks.
Only his pair of bright, crystal moon eyes remained unbroken. They retained their clarity, hardly concealing the radiance that was bubbling up.
“This should be the final problem…”
At this moment, the fluorescence of an eight-figured rune character appeared in the sky, glistening with golden rays of light. Li Yao relied on his abundant test-taking experience to make the judgment. This was the final great problem worth a hundred points, the “Summary Question”.
As expected, the question wasn’t long, but each word was supreme: “Please summarize ‘The Great Dark Age’.”