The superintendent was the leader of the entire Heavenly Gates. Meanwhile, ordinary supervisors were the teachers, while the overall supervisor managed all the supervisors and had a very high position in the Heavenly Gates. At that moment, he silenced everyone with one word, and everyone there knew that this person was today's main guest. The previous speech by the superintendent was simply a routine, while this person would talk about matters closely related to their cultivation, as well as the selection of sections that was to come. Whether they would be sent to the Pill Refinery Hall or the Combat Cultivation Hall all depended on the overall supervisor. Thus, everyone immediately quietened down.
"In total, there are five batches of pupils in the Heavenly Gates. There will be a point system, and you will obtain points for your performance in all official cultivation sessions."
"One year is considered as one period. Every year, those who do not meet the passing number of points in each Hall will be eliminated immediately. Of course, when there are punishments, there are also rewards. For example, this year, the pupil with the highest number of points in each Hall received a first-grade Illusory Dragon Pill!"
Even though everyone was doing their best to remain silent, when they heard about the first-grade Illusory Dragon Pill, many could not help but cry out in shock and whisper among themselves excitedly.
"My god, a first-grade Illusory Dragon Pill… Even an ordinary person can immediately form their Void Core after eating it."
"Giving it to an ordinary person? That would be a waste of natural resources. The Void Core isn't much. The Illusory Dragon Pill is more important in the later stages of cultivation. If you eat the pill while you are at the peak Solid Core Realm and advance to the Gold Core Stage, you will achieve maximum efficiency. It can be said to be the most valuable treasure in the Land!"
"Will the top scorer in the Combat Cultivation Hall and the Weapon Refinery Hall receive it as well?"
"The Heavenly Gates are really very generous this year. In the past, even the top scorer in the Pill Refinery Hall would rarely be rewarded with an Illusory Dragon Pill, right?"
"It's probably because the Tide of Fate is approaching. After all, the Heavenly Gates also hopes that more prodigies can charge through the barrier of life and death and ascend."
"Then, the Weapon Refinery Hall and the Combat Cultivation Hall don't need to be rewarded either… One of them can refine weapons, while the other is trained in combat, but what do all these have to do with ascending? Over the past 500 years, those who have ascended from the Weapon Refinery Hall and the Combat Cultivation Hall can be counted with two hands."
"There's something fishy about this…"
The buzzing sounds and discussions offstage did not stop. The overall supervisor, Endrew, continued, "The second- and third-place scorers will each obtain one second-grade Glazed Crystal Life Extending Pill."
The Glazed Crystal Life Extending Pill was an extremely effective healing medicine. It was said that one could be revived even if one were on their final breath. At the same time, it could be used to extend one's lifespan by at least three to five years, or even 10 or 20 years. This depended on an individual's absorption ability and body condition. It was definitely a rare treasure in the divine territory.
This kind of peak medicine was obviously very difficult for even the elites in each civilization to come into contact with as it was extremely difficult to produce it. Furthermore, to the experts who wanted to charge through the Tide of Fate, one Glazed Crystal Life Extending Pill was like having one more life. After all, the death rate of charging through the Tide of Fate was very high. In a special environment and under special circumstances, the Glazed Crystal Life Extending Pill was not less valuable than a first-grade Illusory Dragon Pill.
"Furthermore, the top ten scorers will be exempted from next semester's fees."
The discussions offstage became much more peaceful. It was obvious that a large majority of those who had the qualifications to come here did not care about this. After all, the aristocrats of peak civilizations would not have a lack of Star Stones.
"However," Overall Supervisor Endrew changed the topic and said, "each month, those who do not meet the passing mark will be eliminated. The passing mark will not be too difficult, but of course, it will not be too easy either. Thus, for those who are planning to drift along aimlessly, you can pack your things in advance. The Heavenly Gates is definitely not a place for you to idle about. No matter what kind of background you think you have, it is best not to challenge the rules of the Heavenly Gates!"
Even the fellow with the simplest brain would not think about challenging the Heavenly Gates. However, since they had established a point and elimination system but did not simply announce the standards for passing, it was evident that they wanted to eliminate any calculations. It was not simply a problem of whether or not you passed. It was more to create a competitive atmosphere where people would feel ashamed of falling behind.
The buzzing discussion sounds became softer, and the atmosphere started to grow more solemn. Wang Zhong and Flying Pig Jhonas immediately felt many "kind" gazes. Needless to say, when presented with a situation where the lowest-ranking participants would be eliminated, everyone's first reaction would be to target those from low-leveled civilizations. Back then, everyone had thought that the two of them had lowered the threshold of their batch, but now, many people were immediately pleased with them. No matter what, they were a form of assurance for everyone else.
In the past, each batch of new pupils would have around 400 to 500 people for the smaller batches and less than 1,000 for the bigger batches. However, this time, the batch had 1,500 people. It was evident that the higher-ups were planning to eliminate a large group of them.
"We shall carry on with the Three Halls Appraisal!"
The Three Halls were the Pill Refinery Hall, the Weapon Refinery Hall, and the Combat Cultivation Hall, which were the three streams in the Heavenly Gates.
Attaining the Gold Core was definitely the final goal of all the pupils in the Heavenly Gates.
The path towards the Gold Core in the Pill Refinery Hall was the most orthodox and the best to walk on. Out of 10 Gold Core experts that the Heavenly Gates produced, at least nine of them would be from the Pill Refinery Hall. What about weapon refinery and combat cultivation? Frankly speaking, these were simply secondary courses that the Heavenly Gates had produced. Had they achieved their Gold Core? Of course they did. After all, all roads led to Rome. Once one's skill and path had reached their peak, they could achieve their Gold Core. However, this was only in theory. For example, if you wanted to move a large mountain away, you could complete this task in minutes by using magic, but if you only had one small scoop and wanted to dig the large mountain scoop by scoop, one could not say that there was anything wrong in theory, but you had to live long enough to complete this.
The life and energy of any creature were limited, and choosing the correct way was the right thing to do. However, it was obvious that not everyone had the qualifications to cultivate in the orthodox way.
All the new pupils formed three long lines. Meanwhile, at the start of every long line, there were three supervisors from the Natural race checking everyone's spiritual quality.
Spiritual quality referred to the quality of one's spiritual influence. Quality consisted of many aspects, including the purity of their spiritual influence, their agreement with nature, the attribute they emphasized, and so on. Many aspects could affect the natural talents of a practitioner to a very large extent. The better one's spiritual quality, the higher one's natural talents were.
The Pill Refinery Hall had very high expectations for natural talents, followed by the Weapon Refinery Hall. Meanwhile, the Combat Cultivation Hall did not seem to take spiritual quality into consideration. The three supervisors from the Natural race all had special senses towards spiritual influence. They looked like tree people and had fruits on their heads. When they placed their hands on the heads of the new pupils, the spiritual fruit that grew on their heads would glow. The higher the quality of their spiritual influence, the stronger the light was. When Wang Zhong saw this, he wanted to laugh… The fruit was like a light bulb.
The first to be tested was gold Titan Tsarisiya. The spiritual fruit on the Natural-race supervisor's head lit up very quickly like a small sun. Not only was it eye-piercing and attention-grabbing, it even radiated extremely high temperatures. Furthermore, there was even lightning revolving around the sun, as if the spiritual fruit on the head of the supervisor had turned into a celestial body. It was an extremely majestic scene!
"…Tsarisiya, superior-grade lightning spiritual quality! Superior-grade fire spiritual quality! You can join the Pill Refinery Hall."
Although everyone had expected this, they could not help but gasp in shock. They knew that gold Titans were naturally adept in lightning and fire, but they would have an attribute that they emphasized on. However, they did not expect that Tsarisiya had superior-grade lightning and fire spiritual quality! Regardless of whether it was lightning techniques or fire techniques, they were both extremely useful in refining pills. A superior-grade expert would be the treasure of the Pill Refinery Hall, but having two superior-grade attributes was simply unheard of. Even Lilisy, Kakadinme, and the daughter of the Crown Prince had superior-grade spiritual quality, but only in one attribute. It was evident that they had been defeated by Tsarisiya in this aspect.
"…Pigolo, first-class darkness spiritual quality! You can join the Pill Refinery Hall…"
A large majority of goblins focused on the dark-moon attribute. People with any attribute that had to do with the Sun, the Moon, or any celestial bodies would be decent in refining pills.
"…Shannali, second-class spiritual influence! You are close to achieving real fire, but since you are a grade-7 alchemist, you can transfer to the Pill Refinery Hall…"
The appraisal by the supervisors was very fast. There were some who were happy, and there were others who seemed dejected. For example, Shannali was from the Cloud Mist Faction, which specialized in refining pills. Her natural endowments were considered one of the best in her Faction, and she had come to the Heavenly Gates to aim for the Pill Refinery Hall. However, in a place where top prodigies gathered, her natural endowments were considered ordinary, and her spiritual quality was only second-class. Normally, those with endowments like these would be allocated to the Weapon Refinery Hall. However, the Heavenly Gates was not as mechanical as the Machinery race in the Star Alliance. They would go through an in-depth overall appraisal. In the end, her identity as a grade-7 alchemist and her foundation in refining pills had helped her and pushed her from behind, allowing her to enter the Pill Refinery Hall.
However, Shannali did not seem very happy. After all, she had used her identity as a grade-7 alchemist to forcibly squeeze into the Pill Refinery Hall. Needless to say, her natural talents were definitely rock bottom among the new batch of pupils in the Pill Refinery Hall. This usually meant that she would be eliminated first.
"…Jhonas, second-class spiritual influence. You can join the Weapon Refinery Hall."
Flying Pig Jhonas had actually been appraised and determined to have second-class spiritual influence. Although the spiritual fruit at the top of the tree supervisor's head was slightly dim, the light was lasting, unlike those who had received lower appraisals. The spiritual fruit would either twinkle or only produce a flash of light after a long time for them.
He was so excited that his entire face turned red. To the Pill Refinery Hall, a second-class spiritual influence was obviously very poor, but to the Weapon Refinery Hall, these natural talents were considered rather decent. He happily received the "Weapon Refinery Hall Pupil" sign from the supervisor and looked at the gazes at the people around him. There was now more confidence amidst his cowardice.
"Boss, all the best! If you can beat me up, you will at least attain first-class!" He lowered his tone as he spoke to Wang Zhong.
Wang Zhong was rather confident in his grade of spiritual influence. After all, the Devouring Heaven Technique was all-encompassing and obviously enhanced his affinity with the heaven and the earth. Even he could clearly sense the change in his affinity with the world and felt that the quality of his spiritual influence was decent. Furthermore, he had goals for the Three Great Halls. Of course, it would be best if he could directly enter the Pill Refinery Hall and have more chances to learn about refining pills with more detailed instructions. This would be the fastest way for him to understand how to accumulate his Core.
"Wang Zhong!" His name had already been called.
Wang Zhong walked up, and the tree supervisor lightly pressed his hand on Wang Zhong's head. "Relax your entire body, and immerse your consciousness. Follow what your soul chooses, and go to the end where you have been summoned to."
Wang Zhong followed as he was told. He felt as if some kind of path connecting to his consciousness had formed with the tree supervisor's hand. This path transformed into a sensation, and countless long and winding paths immediately appeared in front of him. Furthermore, each path had an extremely striking characteristic.
He saw that lightning revolved around some of the paths, while other paths were filled with monstrous seas of fire. Some paths were icy and frosty, while others were simply filled with destruction as earth-shattering quakes rumbled through the air. Meanwhile, at the end of these paths were powerful signals drawing him in, as if the Void Core and the path he had been pursuing were hidden at the end.
He listened to what the supervisor had said and followed the feeling of his path calling for him. Wang Zhong also faintly understood the meaning behind this test. What path he chose would determine which type of spiritual influence he was closer to; and whether he was able to walk till the end or how far he traveled on this path would determine the strength of his spiritual influence.
This was a very simple test, but to Wang Zhong, it was unusually difficult.
Under normal circumstances, for those who were closer to the lightning attribute would only be able to sense the path at the end of the road filled with lightning. For people like Tsarisiya who were close to two kinds of spiritual influence, they would split their consciousness and travel along two roads at the same time. They would have to do two things at a time, but it was not extremely difficult. However, Wang Zhong was stunned as he could sense the path at the end of every single road! There were over one thousand roads in front of him, and he could not tell what kind of spiritual influence was present at the end of some roads. However, he was still able to sense the path at the end of each foggy road.
Was this because of the Devouring Heaven Technique? The Devouring Heaven Technique was all-encompassing and was not picky when it absorbed spiritual influence from the world. Thus, he was extremely close to all kinds of spiritual influence present in this world.
To be honest, this was not a good thing. Right now, there were thousands of roads calling for him. Furthermore, they simply ignored Wang Zhong's wish of choosing two roads to walk on. In an instant, his consciousness dispersed into several thousand pieces and charged towards the thousands of roads!
This was Lao Wang. His soul had been dispersed and put together countless times, and had even been reduced into powder. Otherwise, if some other creature was in his shoes, if they dared to disperse their soul into several thousand pieces like this, even Solid Core or Gold Core experts would be scared out of their wits within minutes and would be unable to pull back their soul.
However, even Wang Zhong was suffering. Dispersing his soul like this also caused the strength of his spiritual power to be spread out. Thus, the spiritual power that was contained in each separate piece of his soul was only 1/1000ths of Lao Wang's original spiritual power. Furthermore, he was only in the Foundational Realm but had dispersed his soul into several thousand pieces. Was his spiritual power enough to deal with this? He was almost unable to protect his soul. In an instant, Wang Zhong felt that his soul was experiencing countless cruel tortures. Lightning struck his soul as it burned, and ice pierced through his soul, causing his soul to turn into powder…
He suddenly shot out from the torture of his soul being dispersed and even felt slightly dizzy. Meanwhile, everyone looked at him with happy and amused gazes.
"As I said, the low-class civilizations who managed to get into the Heavenly Gates are such an embarrassment. There was only a flash…"
"And he's dizzy just from that… My god, just how weak is this fellow? With his potential, he would be a burden even while sweeping the streets!"
"Ha ha, a level-4 civilization… I heard that he stepped on an actual candidate in the Heavenly Gates array to come here. What kind of weakling was the one he stepped on?"
"Those in the Combat Cultivation Hall are going to laugh. With this kind of bottom-dwelling weakling there, they no longer have to panic."
"Wang Zhong, fourth-grade spiritual quality! No special emphasis on any attribute." The tree supervisor expressionlessly said, "You can join the Combat Cultivation Hall!"
There was light laughter all around him. No one knew how this piece of trash from a low-leveled civilization had managed to get into the Heavenly Gates. This fellow even thought that he had stepped into heaven by entering the Heavenly Gates. He would probably be the first unlucky one to be eliminated.
The somewhat disdainful gazes towards him had become even more disdainful. There was even some empathy in their gazes. Mocking him? That did not happen. They simply laughed casually when they saw this. After all, bullying weaklings like him would pull down their reputations, and everyone would look down on them.
After a bout of laughter, everyone lost interest very quickly.
Lao Wang was also slightly speechless. He understood the system behind this test and could guess that the results of this test were not too accurate. There were obviously many restrictions in this system… But so what? Results were results. They could not possibly give him a chance for a second test. Even if they did, the results would probably be the same.
The Combat Cultivation Hall… What would he be able to learn there? Now, Lao Wang did not have any interest in "fighting". He felt as if the standards at which the people in the divine territory fought were extremely low. Learning from them? It might be slightly interesting to learn from the combat techniques of the supervisors in the Combat Cultivation Hall, but that was not his goal. After all, he had come here to learn how to refine pills…
"Hey, Boss, we are here to improve ourselves. Don't be sad. This is nothing! Furthermore, the Combat Cultivation Hall is actually not bad." Flying Pig Jhonas came over to his side. However, he had still not calmed down from when he had obtained second-class. At that moment, he was radiant with delight as he spoke, "It is only slightly lower in position compared to the Weapon Refinery Hall, and your treatment is only slightly poorer than ours. The day you succeed is only slightly longer, and your life after this will only be slightly lower in standard…"
Before he could finish speaking, Jhonas saw Lao Wang's cold gaze.
Pa! Jhonas quickly drew back his mouth. "I spoke too much!"
Closely after, he immediately stopped talking and looked down as he closed his mouth. Regardless of whether the Combat Cultivation Hall was lower in position compared to the Weapon Refinery Hall, they still had to stay in their hostel every day. Jhonas felt that his position was no match for Lao Wang. If he continued to talk, he would be beaten up without any negotiation.
The test still continued.
The most elite group had first-class or superior-grade spiritual quality. About 100 people were allocated to the Pill Refinery Hall, and all of them were the golden seeds of the Heavenly Gates that would be taken care of and nurtured with great attention. Although the elimination system still existed in the Pill Refinery Hall, very few would actually be eliminated. After all, they all had shocking natural endowments and were the elites among the elites. It was not easy for those to whom the discerning supervisors had taken a liking to be eliminated, unless they quit themselves.
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