Chapter 13 Progress
Fang Xingjian did not find this unexpected as he stepped out with the wooden practice sword in his hands. He started to demonstrate the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique, but he tried his best to be clumsy in his demonstration, displaying a level 2 or 3 standard of the technique.
Even so, he was still able to perform the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique close to perfection, astonishing Kyle yet again.
“That’s right, that’s right. You guys take a good look. The Grizzly Bear Sword Technique requires one to sway the neck, chest, and abdomen as well as the shoulders, just like a bear! The neck must be relaxed, and the waist must tremble.
“Xingjian’s level is not as high as the rest of yours, but his control is something you need to learn. He is already on the right path, just waiting to arrive at the destination, while some of you are taking a big detour, circling around it.”
After Fang Xingjian’s demonstration, Kyle nodded in satisfaction. “Not bad. Xingjian, you can go practice by yourself.”
After saying that, he turned to look sternly at Ogden, saying, “Did you see that? You need to learn from him. Although the level of your technique is higher than Fang Xingjian’s, you haven’t really grasped its essence. From now on, learning the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique will definitely be a smooth-sailing journey for him. Unlike you, who keeps stumbling upon so many bottlenecks.
“Continue practicing. How will you pass the upcoming Prefectural Selection if you do not breakthrough into level 10 of the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique?”
Fang Xingjian walked to the side and focused on his own training as the ‘Prefectural Selection’ that Kyle had mentioned earlier flashed through his mind.
The Empire’s upper echelon was mostly controlled by famous influential groups of aristocrats, and by royalty. One could only choose to join one of these groups in order to become stronger and have access to more training resources.
Unlike those of the second generation, born with silver spoons in their mouths and with inherited authority to various degrees, with recommendations and aid in their progress on different paths, commoners only had one way to climb up the ladder, namely to pass the Grand Selection.
The Grand Selection had different stages: the Prefectural Selection, the Regional Selection, and the National Selection. The Prefectural Selection took place every year, the Regional Selection every two years, and the National Selection once every three years.
Hundreds or even thousands of carefully selected elites would participate in each stage, and the country granted special privileges and rewards to those who passed the selection.
Some of them included the right to enter the Royal Academy, titles of nobility, land, mansions, tax exemptions, or even the offer of a job transition.
Regardless of the amount of training, if one did not participate in the Grand Selection, one would stay a mere commoner.
The Grand Selection was the optimal path for all commoners, as it selected a massive number of talents for the Empire every year.
‘One can go through a normal job transition in various schools, but the resources of an ordinary school cannot compare to those which are backed up by large countries.’ Fang Xingjian had long since made up his mind. ‘I must take part in the Grand Selection, starting with the upcoming Prefectural Selection five months away. I must attain the status of a Knight and get accepted into Kirst’s Royal Academy!’
That’s right. The best amongst Kirst’s Seven Pearl Academies. Only when he passed the Prefectural Selection and advanced as a Knight would he be able to enter Kirst’s Royal Academy.
Thinking about this, Fang Xingjian’s gaze turned cold as his grip on the wooden sword suddenly became more vigorous. As he practiced his sword techniques, his thoughts continued to swirl around in his mind.
‘Concerning living expenses, maybe I can think of a way to get them through The School of Sword Arts…
‘What is most important is to practice my sword arts and to prepare for the Prefectural Selection.
‘The Empire’s selections are spread out like this: the Prefectural Selection once a year, the Regional Selection once every two years, and the National Selection once every three years.
‘It’s great timing that the Prefectural Selection is this year, the Regional Selection next year, and the National Selection the year after the next. I only have five years left of my lifespan, and this will be my only chance. If I want to take revenge and become stronger, I must climb up the ladder, so I can tap into the Empire’s resources and pair them with my talent…’
Once participants advanced to the Prefectural Selection and became Knights, the Empire would nurture them through their first job transitions.
Once they advanced to the Regional Selection and became Conferred Knights, the Empire would nurture them through their second job transitions.
Once they advanced to the final National Selection and became Royal Knights, the Empire would use all its means to nurture them through their third job transitions.
From level 1 all the way to level 30, this was the advancement process for Warriors who joined the Empire.
In a moment, the stats in his Techniques Column jumped as his Grizzly Bear Sword Technique leveled up to 18.
‘An ordinary person can only train to level 10, but I can exceed this restriction by such a margin!
There’s no problem… As long as I continue to progress like this, I’ll be able to gain sufficient power…’
Sparks of vengeance flashed in Fang Xingjian’s eyes yet again. Li Shuanghua’s viciousness and Caroline’s torture were both like venomous snakes tearing through his soul.
He raised his head to look at the surroundings. On the training grounds, regardless if they were eight or nine year old children, teenagers, or youngsters in their twenties, each and every one of the students was focusing hard on their training, perspiring profusely. None of them was slacking off.
The Miracle World’s martial arts culture was many times more developed than that of Demonic City’s. More than half the students on the training grounds were currently much stronger than Fang Xingjian had been back in Demonic City.
After giving guidance to a group of students, Kyle called out to everyone from the middle of the training grounds. “Alright, I’ll be heading out. I’ve had some things to attend to recently, and may not be here often these days. If you guys face any problems, just discuss them amongst yourselves.”
The next moment, Fang Xingjian turned around and saw Eldest Martial Brother Ogden walking towards him. It seemed as if his well-trained body was bursting out of his training clothes, making the ground tremble slightly with each step.
Although he knew that Teacher Kyle was definitely stronger than Eldest Martial Brother Ogden, putting aside true strength and looking merely at auras, Brother Ogden seemed to exert a stronger pressure than Kyle.
Ogden had been training in The School of Sword Arts since young, continually building up his physical body. Moreover, the school had other techniques besides the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique which he had learned. However, Ogden now needed to deal with a bottleneck in his Grizzly Bear Sword Technique.
Facing Fang Xingjian, the Eldest Martial Brother grinned and said, “Martial Brother Xingjian, the teacher said that your comprehension of the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique is better than mine. Do you mind if I practice next to you?”
Fang Xingjian threw him a glance. Having just joined, he did not think it would be wise of him to make enemies. Furthermore, the other party had no ill intentions. Even if Fang Xingjian did not agree, what could stop Ogden from practicing beside him either way?
Therefore, he nodded and said, “It’s fine.”
Ogden nodded as well, gratified. “Thank you very much. I’ve attempted the Prefectural Selection three times so far, but failed each time. If I fail again, my dad has already arranged a job as a city guard for me. So I must definitely pass the Prefectural Selection this time.”
With that, Fang Xingjian continued practicing. Ogden beside him was imitating his practice movements as he trained the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique.
Fang Xingjian did not pay him any heed, but focused on his own practice. Seeing how even Ogden was following Fang Xingjian in his practice, eventually five or six other young boys who had just started their training also joined in.
“This Fang Xingjian is really good. I feel that his display of the sword technique is quite similar to Teacher Kyle’s.”
“Mmm, it really is similar to Teacher Kyle’s.”
“This is good. If we continue to practice with him, we will be able to correct our movements.”
About half of the students were practicing the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique with Fang Xingjian. Meanwhile, in another corner, a few guys were watching him, unfazed.
A slightly gloomy red-haired guy mumbled, “This guy is really arrogant. Is he going to have us seniors, who have practiced for several years now, learn from him?”
Beside him stood a slender guy with well-proportioned muscles, akin to a perfect sculpture.
His name was Lambert, and he ranked second in seniority amongst the students in The School of Sword Arts. He was often referred to as Second Martial Brother. Similar to Ogden, he had reached the pinnacle of level 9, but had yet to go through the job transition. He had picked up various sword arts concurrently, and in terms of abilities he was second only to Ogden.
His companion by the side said, “That’s right. He’s trying to teach us, when he’s only been here a few days.”
“Shall we teach him a lesson?”
“What’s there to teach?” Lambert gave a cold laugh and turned away. “Remember, our real goal is the Prefectural Selection. This time around, I will definitely leave this place and enter the Royal Academy. Meanwhile he’ll have to stay in The School of Sword Arts and train for at least a few more years. Forget about such trivialities.
“Alright, spend your time wisely on practicing sword arts. The Prefectural Selection is only five months away.”
A few hours later… No matter how strong Fang Xingjian’s body was, he started to feel a gradual ache originating from the muscles in his limbs and body. He immediately stopped to take a short break.
After all, he was only human and not a robot. His body was experiencing fatigue.