Paradise of the Demons and Gods

Chapter 32 Speed Learning

‘This set of sword technique is called the Nine-Headed Dragon Sword Technique?’

Fang Xingjian stood in front of the second mural as he studied it. Compared to the first set, this one had a slightly higher difficulty level. The person in the mural displayed many unbelievable stances, twisting and contorting his body in unimaginable postures, as though he was practicing the Earth’s yoga.

Although this set of sword technique was somewhat difficult, he only analyzed it for three minutes before he walked to the next mural.

Nine-Headed Dragon Sword Technique – 10%.

The third mural’s difficulty increased yet again. The male figure in the mural constantly intertwined his hands, legs, shoulders, and waist, displaying various postures beyond an ordinary human’s limits, and relentlessly twisting about, akin to a snake.

Fang Xingjian spent five minutes on this mural before he moved on to the fourth.

Just like this, Fang Xingjian spent a total of around half an hour to go through about 25% of the murals.

At this moment, Kaunitz was only just starting his second mural, and was moving his sword according to the motions depicted on it.

Fang Xingjian’s movements easily aroused the attention of all the examinees. It was as if each and every one of his movements would make people glance in his direction. Seeing his speedy movements made many of the examinees panic.

Seeing how Fang Xingjian was moving towards another mural, Eldest Martial Brother Ogden could not hold it in anymore and shouted, “Fang Xingjian, what the hell are you trying to do? You are affecting us all!”

Fang Xingjian did not even turn his head, but continued to study the murals. He could not be bothered to even reply to Ogden.

Ogden could not help but scold him, “Kaunitz is only at the second mural, but you’ve already gone so far ahead. What are you trying to do? What you’re doing is merely trying to affect our examination.”

With Ogden’s words, most of the examinees’ attention was caught, and they looked towards Fang Xingjian with faint looks of contempt.

Seeing that Fang Xingjian continued to ignore him, he shouted out to one of the invigilators standing by the side, “Sir, Fang Xingjian is affecting all of us! Could you tell him to be serious about learning the sword technique?”

The invigilator frowned as he approached Fang Xingjian, saying, “Your actions really do arouse the suspicion that you are trying to affect the other examinees.”

Fang Xingjian faintly smiled. Before coming here, he had already done his research. With his talent, it was not a problem for him to become a Knight, but the crux was how much of his talent he could reveal.

Which also raised the question of how much acceptance and tolerance would the Royal Academy show towards one with a phenomenal level of talent to become a Knight?

Fang Xingjian wanted to understand this point, and that was why he had gathered information on many relevant cases.

In the Empire’s history, there had been countless geniuses emerging in succession, and among them there were also several whose phenomenal talent was well-known to all.

For example, fifty years before, in the South-Eastern region of the Empire, there had been an extraordinary genius. It was said that he had started practicing martial arts at the age of fifteen, and that as a commoner, he had only spent a total of ten months to become a Knight.

However, his ending had not been a good one, as he had not accepted the olive branch[1] extended to him by the aristocrats. In the end, his four limbs and his vertebrae had been crippled, and he had ended up as a handicapped good-for-nothing.

Naturally, the culprit had later been caught and beheaded by the Empire. However, no one knew who exactly the mastermind behind the attack had been.

In another example, amongst the Royal Academy’s Royal Knights in the Empire’s capital, Dong Fangling had passed the National Selection to become a Royal Knight, and had been recognized as a world-renowned genius.

This person had started practicing martial arts at the age of five, and it was said that his most amazing record had been taking only two hours to learn a set of spear technique. After which, half a year later, he had managed to bring a set of spear technique from level 1 to level 15.

Fang Xingjian had gathered a lot of information about past geniuses. Some of these geniuses had fallen, while others had achieved meteoric success. It did not depend only on the differences in talent, but also on their backgrounds, personalities and other factors.

Therefore, he had made a rough conjecture with regards to the tolerance level of the Knight Academy’s higher management.

‘Using six hours to master a particular set of sword technique is definitely something that the examiners would be able to accept. Such talent, although rare in the Empire, it wasn’t non-existent.

‘Something of this level will receive absolute recognition, at the same time not being terrifying enough that others would want to control or suppress it.’

Although he was fairly confident in his plan, Fang Xingjian had mulled over it for a very long time. However, he still felt nervous now that he was facing the real situation.

This was why he planned to finish learning a set of sword technique in the shortest time possible and then pretend to give up. After that, he would spend the remaining time pretending that he was studying another set of sword technique.

Just like this, he would silently learn two sets of sword techniques, but to others it would appear that he was fully focusing on mastering a single set of sword technique within six hours.

Therefore, when faced with the invigilator’s question, Fang Xingjian replied, “I just want to get a general feel of these sets of sword techniques before deciding on which one of the two to learn.”

Fang Xingjian’s reply was very reasonable, so the invigilator was unable to say anything back. He merely nodded.

Although Ogden could not accept this, since the invigilator had not said anything, he did not dare to look for trouble.

After that, Fang Xingjian felt that he seemed to have gradually become accustomed to the Nine-Headed Dragon Sword Technique’s style. His learning rate via observation got faster and faster, and he finally went through all the murals for the Nine-Headed Dragon Sword Technique within merely twenty minutes.

At the same moment, Kaunitz was only at his fourth mural, while Lambert and Ogden were still hovering at their second ones.

After this, Fang Xingjian did something completely unexpected to everyone else. He made his way towards the murals of another sword technique.

“What?” Kaunitz could finally not hold it in any longer as he inclined his head, glancing at Fang Xingjian. “What is this fellow trying to do?”

Ogden coldly laughed as he shook his head and said, “Deliberately trying to act mysterious, wasting time…” He silently remarked in his heart, with joy, ‘The way Fang Xingjian is acting right now, so crazily, he may not even be able to enter the top ten. If that’s the case, my chances of becoming a Knight will be greater!’

Lambert was filled with worry as he cast a glance at Fang Xingjian, ‘What is going on with him?’

And just at that moment, Hogan, who had been observing by the side, could finally not hold it in any longer and stepped in. Dick, the one who bet with him, laughed, “Is this fellow feeling too nervous? Hogan, remember that you owe me a hundred gold.”

Hogan walked to Fang Xingjian and coldly spoke to him, “What’s going on with you? You’ve spent an hour analyzing the Nine-Headed Dragon Sword Technique. Why are you not making good use of your time to continue with it, but came over here instead? Do you know that you’re just wasting time by doing this?

“Do you think that the Prefectural Selection is some sort of game?” At the end of his speech, his voice and countenance were both strict and severe, his eyes filled with sorrow.

Fang Xingjian cast a strange glance at Hogan, not understanding why Hogan was being so nice and reminding him. However, there was no way he would be willing to give up the chance to learn another set of sword technique, and thus he used the excuse he had prepared much earlier. “That set of sword technique does not really suit me. Myself, I tend to pick up sword techniques that catch my eye much faster.”

“What rubbish.” Hogan directly pointed to the other side as he continued, “Go back and learn the Nine-Headed Dragon Sword Technique, don’t be wasting any more time!” His eyes were filled with pain.

Fang Xingjian furrowed his brows as he said, “This should have nothing to do with you.” As he said this, he saw a cold glint of light flickering in Hogan’s eyes, and he immediately shouted in a loud voice, “Hey, this person has no rights to interfere during the examinations, right?”

The invigilator who had been standing nearby for quite some time turned his gaze in their direction and told Hogan, “Sir, please conduct yourself with dignity.”

Hogan glanced at the invigilators in the area. Although the other party was just an ordinary member of staff, not even a Knight, he indeed had no right to interfere in the examinees’ decisions. Therefore, he only glared at Fang Xingjian coldly as he spat out, “Wallowing in degeneration.”

After saying this, he flicked his sleeves and left, as though he did not want to see what Fang Xingjian would continue to do. He left the examination grounds immediately, making Dick, who was at the side, burst out in laughter.

[1] Used as a symbol of peace.

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