Lin Xi pushed aside the thick curtains, entering the tent the seven academy elders were in. The first scene he saw immediately left him greatly surprised.
On a half person tall rosewood long table all types of different items were arranged. There were all types of refined metals, sheepskin scrolls, some strange-looking plants, dried grass, even silver containers of all different shapes and colors. There were also all types of bladed weapons, these bladed weapons including short blades, among them including spears, swords, assassin needle-like weapons, as well as a bow and arrows.
However, the most terrifying thing was that the transparent containers all had internal organs and eyeballs soaked within.
The dozen or so transparent vessels of varying sizes carrying dark red medicinal liquid had all types of internal organs and swelling eyeballs of different sizes inside of them, making them look extremely terrifying.
Seated behind these containers was actually an amiable-looking middle-aged large woman, her friendly appearance and these transparent vessels forming a strong contrast.
Next to the large middle-aged woman was a brown-eyed elder with a great ash gray beard. His face was expressionless, looking extremely serious.
Next to the ash gray bearded elder was a tall and heroic looking male. His hair was pitch black, held together by an old-fashioned hairpin, his appearance immediately making Lin Xi think of Kris Phillips who sang ‘Winter Fire’. However, what made Lin Xi feel rather strange was that the age of this handsome and tall black-haired man seemed to be a mystery. This tall and handsome man’s outer appearance looked to be extremely young, but Lin Xi instead just felt that based on intuition, this black-haired man’s age was quite great. Moreover, this black-haired man’s eyes were cold, vacant, making one associate them with two pitch-black tunnels.
The moment this black-haired man and Lin Xi’s eyes met, Lin Xi’s eyes unexpectedly felt a slight stinging pain.
When he subconsciously turned his head around to avoid this black-haired man’s gaze, he saw the single-armed elder who sat in the corner of the room, as if he was just a visitor. He also noticed that this single-armed elder, despite also wearing an identical academy black robe, his chest and cuffs had a unique qilin and mandarin duck markings.
“You’re Lin Xi? Have you cultivated soul force before?” At this time, before Lin Xi had time to size up the remaining three individuals, the examination already began.
The one who spoke first was precisely the indescribably grave and stern black-haired male.
His voice was only a bit louder than a whisper, moreover, he didn’t seem to wish to waste any time. While speaking, he pointed at the various bladed weapons before him with a serious expression. “Come up and take a look at these weapons, which one do you feel is the most fitting?”
“I am Lin Xi, have never cultivated soul force before.”
Lin Xi composed himself, also no longer sizing up the other academy elders. He took a few steps forward, arriving in front of the long table, starting to seriously examine the weapons in front of this black-haired man.
The academy was quite peculiar, especially that legendary academy principal who gave him an odd feeling. Together with his gamble with that golden spoon youngster, Lin Xi who originally only planned to give the outside world a look already set the resolution to enter Green Luan Academy.
These are all soul weapons… this was the first thought that appeared in Lin Xi’s mind.
Just like Zhang Ping’s dagger, these ten or so bladed weapons, including the black longbow, were made of a type of black refined metal, a layer of strange patterns engraved on their surface.
“Hurry up, pick one now!” The black-haired man suddenly said.
Lin Xi’s brows jumped, immediately choosing the sword in the pile of weapons.
This sword was six feet long, the blade extremely thin, practically only a few bamboo leaves in thickness, but the feeling it gave off was instead extremely tough and durable. Apart from those strange patterns, the sword also had layers of cloud patterns, fine and dense.
The black-haired man nodded in a grave and stern manner. “Alright, lower the sword.”
Lin Xi lowered the sword he had just picked up in confusion. This sword’s weight wasn’t all that heavy, only ten or so jin.
“Give these objects a look, as well as the lines on these scrolls. How do you think these objects match up to the lines on those small scrolls? Match them up the way you think they should be matched together.” At this time, someone suddenly spoke up, voice hoarse, but similarly stern.
Lin Xi immediately turned his head.
The one who spoke was one of the three he hadn’t had time to examine yet. This was a black-robed old woman, ash gray hair messy, the tips of her hair all a dried yellow. Her figure was small and shriveled, face covered in wrinkles, small triangle eyes slightly caved in, skin also a bit sallow. The most crucial part was that her fingernails were a bit dark, the first feeling she gave Lin Xi was that of an old witch.
The objects she was talking about were four pieces of refined metal and four small unfolded sheepskin scrolls.
The four pieces of refined metal were all square-shaped, half a fist in size. Two pieces were black, one pure golden, and one was silver. The lines drawn on the four small unfolded sheepskin scrolls were entirely different as well, among them two that were like twisting vines, one that was like a phoenix’s tail, and one that was like water ripples.
“These should be the patterns used to create soul weapons, each type of refined metal having their own most suitable patterns, right? Does elder wish to see if I have this type of sense, want me to pick the most suitable patterns for these materials?” After muttering to himself for a bit, Lin Xi didn’t immediately try to match them, instead first looking at this old witch-like black-robed woman, seriously asking this.
The black-robed woman frowned slightly, seemingly annoyed, but the eyes with which she looked at Lin Xi with had a bit more of a peculiar feeling. “You’re correct. Specific runes are to be matched with specific refined metals, only then can soul weapons be created.”
“Runes… this kind of term is also the same as what I’m used to. Only, I wonder if this was what they were called originally, or if it is something Principal Zhang changed.” A ruminate look appeared on Lin Xi’s lips as well, thinking this inwardly. Before anyone could tell him off for speaking nonsense, he immediately looked at the black-robed old woman and said, “This should also be a form of talent examination. If I am completely wrong, can you tell me the correct answer? I came from Deerwood Town, rushing here for an entire month… even if I fail, I’ll at least have learned a few things from your respected self, so it won’t be too great of a regret.”
“Fine.” The black-robed old woman gave Lin Xi a look, nodding. “I’ll tell you the best answer. Now, hurry and begin.”
Lin Xi revealed a warm smile, this black-robed woman’s character clearly wasn’t as frightening as what she looked like on the outside. He didn’t hesitate either, directly placing the two small sheepskin scrolls with the twisting vine runes with the two black square pieces of refined metal, and then placed the phoenix tail shaped rune’s small scroll by the pure golden piece of refined metal, the last ripple-shaped rune’s small sheepskin scroll by the silver refined metal chunk.
“Complete nonsense, just causing trouble!” The black-robed old woman immediately rebuked angrily. Originally, she seemed to have developed a better impression of Lin Xi, but Lin Xi’s actions left her greatly dissatisfied. “This is Blackwater Gold, only compatible with the Water Cloud Rune. this is Black King Iron, it has to be matched with Golden Phoenix Runes. Golden Steel goes with Evergreen Runes, Brightsilver Gold with Ancient Vine Runes.”
She pointed out the correct answers one by one, and then looked angrily at Lin Xi. “Even if you were blind, you should have been able to match one or two! Yet who would have thought you would actually get them all wrong… seems like you don’t even have a hint of talent, not suited for the ‘Natural Arts’.”
“I didn’t even get one right?” Lin Xi scratched his head in an embarrassing manner. This really was a bit too lacking.
Without waiting for him to produce any other response, the bigger middle-aged woman seated before the pile of transparent vessels and some plants spoke up. “Look this way.”
“Have you gotten a proper look?”
The moment Lin Xi’s eyes shifted in her direction, this kind-faced bigger middle-aged woman reached out her hand, and then with a quick movement, a great white cloth covered all of those bottles, plants, and dried herbs.
“Tell me, apart from those bottles, how many stalks of medicinal herbs are there, what their distinguishable features are, which positions were they in on my table.” Then, this middle-aged bigger woman asked Lin Xi.
Lin Xi was stunned. This was testing his memory? Just now, his attention was completely focused on this middle-aged bigger woman and those bottles. Towards those medicinal herbs arranged on the table, he really didn’t pay them that much attention.
After staring blankly for a moment, Lin Xi decided he might as well just shake his head and say, “I don’t remember a single one.”
The middle-aged woman’s expression changed slightly, wanting to open her mouth and say something, but then she hesitated. After taking a deep breath, in the end, she still decided not to say anything, also just inwardly shaking her head in disappointment.
In reality, in the beginning, Lin Xi’s performance left her somewhat satisfied. Of the many examinees that entered before him, only Lin Xi seemed the most unflustered before those internal organs and eyeballs she purposely brought out. However, Lin Xi’s performance now left her extremely disappointed.
An aged voice sounded. “Only a single one of these five eggs is alive, can be bred. See if you can pick it out.”
The one who spoke out was one of the remaining two academy elders Lin Xi didn’t get a good look at. This was a wizened elder with braided hair, his figure small and short, face full of wrinkles. However, the braided hair was golden, completely spotless, full of radiance.
Before him were five eggs of varying sizes, the largest one the size of an ostrich egg, its shell black. The smallest one was only the size of a sparrow egg, ash brown in color.
“It seems like you are in charge of carrying out the Spiritual Sacrifice Department’s test.” Lin Xi revealed a sincere smile. “If I get it wrong, could your respected self tell me the correct answer?”
The golden-haired wizened elder gave Lin Xi a look. He didn’t waste any time, only nodding.
“I guess this one.” Lin Xi pointed at a red-shelled chicken egg like egg.
The wizened elder gave Lin Xi an expressionless look. “That egg is an ordinary chicken egg… already fully cooked, the only one that has been boiled thoroughly.”
“Cough cough…” Under this extremely serious atmosphere, when they heard this wizened elder’s words, only one person didn’t release a single laugh.
The only one who didn’t laugh was the rigid looking middle-aged man in the gray-colored leather hat who hadn’t uttered a single word yet. He had a rectangular face, complexion pale, his expression inflexible the entire time.
“You can actually still laugh about it.” The wizened elder gave Lin Xi who couldn’t help but laugh a look, disappointingly shaking his head and saying, “The largest egg is the living egg that can be bred.”