Chapter 4: Fang Ruoxi's Invitation
The cultivation of Primordial Energy Art already played an important role in the Earth Federation's physical education system. Apart from the ordinary subjects tested at the college entrance examinations, there was a special combat test.
As combat tests were dangerous, not every candidate needed to participate, and the results weren't included in the overall score of the entrance examinations. It was completely voluntary to participate, but to apply for some special schools, the results of a combat test was necessary for standardization purposes.
In the past ten years, more and more famous schools used the results of the combat test as one of the standards for student recruitment.
Of course, to get a job involving dimensional zones, the results on the combat test was a very good prerequisite.
Although Zhou Wen could obtain dimensional crystals from the phone without him risking his life to enter dimensional zones, he still planned on taking the combat test and enter a school focused on cultivation. This would aid him in getting a job related to the dimensional zones in the future.
If Zhou Wen didn't involve himself in any dimensional zone work, he wouldn't have the sources or channels to obtain dimensional crystals. This would make it difficult for him to explain his rapid growth or any Companion Beasts he might receive in the future.
By hiding in plain sight he would not garner the notice of others, just as a diamond would be lost in a sea of crystals.
Zhou Wen didn't wish to risk his life at the dimensional zones, but he needed to have a job involving such matters. At the very least, he needed a channel to obtain dimensional items. This way, he wouldn't be suspected when he used large numbers of dimensional crystals in the future.
The combat test wasn't a solo affair. Instead, it was carried out in a team of four. Apart from one's individual combat prowess, teamwork, leadership, and other traits influenced the final results.
If one were to be the final man standing in the combat test, with the other teammates dropping out ahead of time or an accident happening, one's score would be greatly affected, even if the individual did very well to receive high individual scores.
Zhou Wen had quite a good reputation in Guide High School in the past. He was an ideal teammate, but in the past month or so, his image and reputation had drastically declined. There were also significant doubts about his abilities.
It was still understandable if an ordinary student were to team up with him, but for Fang Ruoxi who had a chance of coming first in the Guide City combat test, there wasn't a good reason for her to recruit him.
Zhou Wen had been famous because of his cultivation of Ascetic Meditation. But when it came to actual strength, there were a few sixteen-year-olds in Guide High School who had cultivated Primordial Energy. However, they were not like Zhou Wen who simply relied on honing his body to cultivate Primordial Energy. They had more or less absorbed Primordial Energy Crystals to supplement their cultivation.
"Why are you recruiting me?" Zhou Wen asked Fang Ruoxi with piqued interest.
Fang Ruoxi and Zhou Wen locked gazes. Her eyes were clear and untainted like a mountain spring.
"I want to do my best to get a high score on the combat test, so I need a strong teammate. And you have that strength," Fang Ruoxi said calmly.
"You are referring to me from a month ago, right?"
Fang Ruoxi's glimmering eyes stared at Zhou Wen intently as she said firmly, "From what I see, Zhou Wen is Zhou Wen. He has never changed. You are still the only person in Guide High School that I view as my match."
Zhou Wen was slightly taken aback. He was rather surprised that Fang Ruoxi thought so highly of him. He couldn't help but feel some indescribable, odd feelings.
"What's An Jing if you say something like that?" Zhou Wen said in a self-deprecating manner. Although he wasn't concerned about his defeat under An Jing's hands, he had to admit that she was much stronger than he was.
Fang Ruoxi sighed. "I said the only person in Guide High School. An Jing was never one of us. Also, she will not be participating in the college entrance exams here."
"What do you mean?" Zhou Wen was taken aback.
"Don't you know? She has already transferred out." Fang Ruoxi paused and continued, "Although I don't know An Jing's origins, I'm certain that she has exceeded the Mortal stage. To reach such a stage at her age, she must have quite a remarkable background. And with that strength of hers, it was completely unnecessary to challenge you. Furthermore, her arrival and departure happened so suddenly. It gives the feeling that she just came here to beat you up. I even imagined that you were acquainted with her and had crossed her somehow."
Zhou Wen had never thought too much about it previously. Now, on careful thought, it did seem to be the case. He could, however, be sure that he had never met An Jing before, much less have crossed her.
"How is that possible? I've never met her before. How could I have crossed her?" Zhou Wen tried carefully recalling, but couldn't figure out how he could have had bad blood with her.
"Perhaps I was just overthinking it." Fang Ruoxi didn't continue on the topic as she looked at Zhou Wen and asked, "So, what's your answer?"
"Since you are willing to team up with me, I naturally don't mind cozying up to someone powerful," Zhou Wen said with a shrug.
"Then it's a deal. I've already found the other two teammates. Starting today, the four of us will train together during cultivation classes in the afternoon. We need to ensure that we have the necessary teamwork and coordination during the combat test." Fang Ruoxi looked at her wristwatch and turned to say to Zhou Wen, "Come on. Cultivation classes are about to begin."
When Li Zhi and Tian Xiangdong watched Fang Ruoxi return with Zhou Wen, they were quite surprised. They knew that she had gone to find their fourth teammate, but weren't aware of who she had in mind.
Now, upon realizing that it was Zhou Wen, they felt puzzled. They all knew of Zhou Wen's antics over the past month.
Cultivation was in an ever-regressive state, especially combat. Even frequent practice made it difficult to seize fleeting opportunities in battle. The lack of practice for a few days greatly slowed down one's reflexes. Considering how Zhou Wen hadn't practiced for over a month with him completely engrossed in gaming, to the point of looking pale and sickly, it was almost a certainty that his combat abilities had drastically fallen.
It was just like a professional boxer. They needed enough time to recover and train after a period of zero practice to compete in matches again. No one could become stronger doing nothing. They only became weaker.
They weren't that far off from the college entrance exams, and even if Zhou Wen made a comeback like a prodigal son, it would be very difficult for him to recover his original combat prowess.
"Ruoxi, don't tell me the fourth teammate is Zhou Wen? Is this a joke!?" Tian Xiangdong rubbed his nose and said in an exaggerated manner.
"I'm not joking. Zhou Wen will be our fourth teammate," Fang Ruoxi said in all seriousness.
Tian Xiangdong looked at Fang Ruoxi and then at Zhou Wen. He habitually rubbed his nose and said, "Ruoxi, all of us know how talented and capable Zhou Wen is, but he hasn't been training for more than a month. Even if he were to restart his training now, it will be difficult for him to recover his former standards. Our goal is to be first in Guide City's combat test. I don't think Zhou Wen is the best candidate? Why don't we do this? I have some ties with Zheng Yi. If you feel uncomfortable asking him, I'll do the invitation. How about that?"