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Hearing those words, Chen Chang Sheng finally came to know of that youth’s name. Since knowing Tang Thirty-Six, and subsequently, the days following, where they became fellow students of Orthodox Academy, he had heard Tang Thirty-Six mention the words “wolf-child” many times, now, he knew that this wolf-child had been in the North.
A wolf was not a dog, therefore a wolf pup did not carry the same connotations as a dog pup; Tang Thirty-Six and many of the young geniuses on the Proclamation of Azure Clouds, were used to using “wolf-child” to describe that fearsome youth of the North. In truth, this was in order to maintain a balance to their sights; to shorten the distance between them, yet, its real insinuation was… fear and respect.
The first time Chen Chang Sheng had heard Tang Thirty-Six mention the wolf-child was at the inn before the Mausoleum of Books.
At that time, he felt that his attitude when uttering those two words were a little complicated, carrying some sense of wariness or perhaps even respect, it had to be known that for a youth as proud as Tang Thirty-Six, even figures such as Qiu Shan Jun and Gou Han Shi wouldn’t be able to evoke genuine feelings of respect from him.
He hadn’t asked as to who that wolf-child was, nor had he queried as to that wolf-child’s origins or school. This was because he had concentrated all his time and effort on cultivation and training, not to mention, according to the tone of Tang Thirty-Six’s voice, that wolf-child seemed to be distant to the point of being on the edge of heaven, therefore, he was naturally not inclined to care.
It wasn’t until today, at Li Palace, before that dawn; his gaze fell upon that youth, making it hard to ignore. He finally came to know, that youth had a name that was unlike others – Zhe Xiu, even if he was to try and forget this name, it would be difficult.
“The wrathful Zhe Xiu…” Luo Luo stood beside him, peering at that youth and said in quiet voice: “This is also my first time seeing him.”
Chen Chang Sheng slightly trembled as he heard her words, he lightly lowered his head and looked, only seeing that she was looking at that youth with eyes full of sympathy, unknown why, he suddenly felt a little uncomfortable.
“This is probably the first time anyone here has seen him.”
Tang Thirty-Six stared at that youth, his expression a little complex: “From birth to cultivation, to the start of hunting; he had always lived in the cold Northern snow plains; he’s never left; even those living at Yung Xue Pass would rarely see him, let alone those of us who are living in a so called great and peaceful era.”
Hearing those melancholic words, Chen Chang Sheng remained quiet for a time, before asking: “Just what type of person is he?”
“He is a yao person”
Tang Thirty-Six gave Luo Luo a glance and said: “A yao human.”
The yao and human races had a close alliance relationship, but rarely intermarried and did not have any well-known, bitter-sweet love stories.
That’s because intermarriage between the two races tended to bring about some unhappy consequences.
A yao human, a descendent of a yao and a human; a person that possesses the mixed bloodline from two races, they were of a high intellect, but faced challenges in cultivation that were difficult to overcome.
Luo Luo’s father is the White Emperor, her mother is a human princess from the Great Western Continent, strictly speaking, she was also a yao human.
Nominally, due to being female, she couldn’t practise the fierce cultivation arts of the White Emperor, but in reality – known to only a few of those who were closest to the Royal family, the real reason was because of her yao human bloodline, which stopped her from being able practise the White Emperor cultivation art to a high level.
The White Emperor couple had a very good relationship and the White Emperor himself had no intention of taking a concubine. The couple were very devoted towards their only daughter and were reluctant to have another child.
Luo Luo being unable to practise the White Emperor clan’s cultivation art to its zenith would also mean being unable to succeed her Royal Father’s throne.
This was currently the biggest problem facing the Ten Thousand Mile Yao Domain and the reason why important personages such as Jin Yu Lu and Lady Official Li treated Chen Chang Sheng like a member of the same race; it wasn’t only because Luo Luo had taken him as her teacher, but also because they could see the possibility of Her Highness being able to solve her problem under the guidance of Chen Chang Sheng.
That youth named Zhe Xiu was under similar circumstances to Luo Luo, his father is a member of the wolf tribe and his mother is a human, however, his parents do not have as powerful or noble a bloodline as Luo Luo’s parents.
His father’s bloodline was dominant, therefore, his cultivation talent remained largely intact; it was a shame then, that the problem he faced was far more severe than Luo Luo’s.
Two years ago, when the Zhou Dynasty discussed military achievements, the Divine Empress and Pope had a conversation; this conversation was subsequently leaked out to the public, leading to the entire continent to learn of the wolf tribe youth’s problem. It was an intractable problem, one that even the Divine Empress and Pope couldn’t provide any assistance on, yet, no one knew what this problem was.
Finally, some private information had actually come in from Old Snow City instead, spreading to the central plains. From the word of several demon race members who had fortuitously escaped from that wolf tribe youth, it could be ascertained that the problem faced by that wolf tribe youth was psychological in nature.
This was probably the reason why, in that harsh and unforgiving snow plain, he had been referred to by both, demons and the human military alike, the wrathful Zhe Xiu.
After hearing this, Chen Chang Sheng once again turned his gaze towards that youth, he suddenly felt that the youth was even more lonely.
Xuan Yuan Po said: “He is also famous amongst my tribe.”
Within the Ten Thousand Mile Yao Domain, most of the tribes continued to rely upon hunting for a living; they had the utmost respect for great hunters.
The wrathful Zhe Xiu, was a most successful hunter.
He didn’t associate with the human world, nor did he associate with the yao world, he travelled across the snow plains, relying upon hunting the demon race for a living.
In these last few years, countless members of the demon race had died to his hands.
Be it intentional or not, he had solved a lot of troubles for the Zhou Dynasty’s Northern Front, therefore, whenever the Zhou Dynasty had discussions on military achievements, his name would never be forgotten; when he wanted to use Star Seizer Academy’s name to enter the Grand Examination, the Zhou army had unreservedly welcomed him.
At this moment, Su Mo Yu approached, looking towards the pavilion he said to the group: “You have also recognised who he is?”
Chen Chang Sheng nodded in reply.
“Previously, in the Academic Exam, when Gou Han Shi and Tian Hai Sheng Xue had strange looks when they saw him, I had already questioned the possibility of it being him.”
Su Mo Yu gave a formal greeting to Luo Luo, before continuing: “I’ve heard that His Royal Majesty, The White Emperor and Her Divine Majesty, The Divine Empress, both wish to employ him, the only trouble is, no one had been able to find him; who would have thought that he would come to the Grand Examination.”
A wolf travelling a thousand miles for meat.
The wolf tribe youth that had always lived apart from the pack, why did he leave the snow plains and come to the flourishing Capital to participate in the Grand Examination?
“He’s interested in the Heavenly Tomes?” Chen Chang Sheng looked towards the direction of the Mausoleum of Books.
Tang Thirty-Six replied: “Everyone’s interested in the Heavenly Tomes, but if we were to convert the members of the demon race he has killed into military accolades, they would be more than enough for him to enter the mausoleum many times.”
No one knew of that wolf tribe youth’s reason for entering the Grand Examination.
At this time, all the examinees were already aware of who he was, but no one came near the pavilion and further still, no one tried to converse with that youth.
This included even the examiners; everyone’s stares were full of fear and respect, no one wanted to get close.
Even those who had already completed their Ethereal Opening, the strongest here; Gou Han Shi and Tian Hai Sheng Xue, they did not get close.
That youth stood there, remaining solitary and the pavilion and mountain became solitary alongside him.
“He’s very strong.” Luo Luo suddenly said.
The wolf tribe youth was obviously strong, he had been placed second upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds, until the sudden update to the proclamation that resulted in Luo Luo placing ahead of him. For the past two years, he had only been under Xu You Rong; many even believed that this was due to him rarely making an appearance, if they were to have a match with their lives on the line, Xu You Rong wouldn’t necessarily be a match for him.
That’s because this youth was specialised in death battles.
Totalling everyone that was currently on the South shore, examiners and examinees alike; the number of lives they had taken were definitely less than his total.
Bell chimes came rolling in from the faraway Hall of Zhao Wen, this indicated that the academic and martial phases of the examination had come to a complete end.
After counting, the remaining examinees after disqualification numbered 113 people.
The Grand Examination only took Three Grades: The First Grade took 3 people; the Second Grade, 10; the Third Grade, 30; for a total of 43 people.
This was the same every year.
This was because for entering the Mausoleum of Books, there were only 43 paths.
Entering the Three Grades granted the privilege of entering the Mausoleum, this was the aim of most of the examinees for participating in the Grand Examination.
Observing the Heavenly Tomes, gaining insight on The Way, this was something all cultivators dreamt of, this was also a path proven through countless years as to being the route towards becoming a true expert.
According to the times taken to cross the River Qu, the examinees were reordered.
That wolf tribe youth was placed first.
The gazes everyone gave him were complicated, they naturally knew that Zhang Ting Tao was a fake name.
Under the leading of the Li Palace clergy, a hundred odd examinees left the Southern shore’s woodlands and headed towards a deeper part of the Garden of Dawn.
It didn’t take long for them to reach a large evergreen tree.
Early Spring season, upon the trees within the Capital’s streets and alleys, only small green shoots had begun to appear, yet, this evergreen tree was covered in countless green leaves that swayed in the cold breeze; akin to someone gloating.
This evergreen tree had a lot to be proud of; apart from being swathed in green, it was also immense in size.
Lightly enveloped by clouds, its highest reaches were partially covered; its top was actually out of sight.
Its trunk was incredibly thick, needing at least ten people to fully encircle.
The lower part of this tree had a hollow opening; the dark cavity gave off a slightly sinister feeling.
The clergy of Li Palace led examinees into this hollow opening.
Beyond the hollow, was another world.
This was a porcelain blue sky, more perfect than the sky outside of the tree.
The blue sky had faint clouds drifting by.
Far away, you could make out the images of multiple palaces.
Chen Chang Sheng felt that this place looked a little familiar.
Luo Luo said: “Sir, you’ve been here before.”
Chen Chang Sheng finally understood, the site for the duelling phase was located within Little Li Palace, the Education Palace.
Within the cultivation realm, this place had a more famous name.
The Pope’s Green Leaf World.
Those examinees who were experiencing this miniature world for the first time had their jaws lightly hanging, their faces full of awe.
Just like how Chen Chang Sheng and Xuan Yuan Po had reacted when they first visited.
Chen Chang Sheng no longer revealed the uncultured expression he had before, the one that was ridiculed by Tang Thirty-Six.
He was calm and therefore didn’t miss some details.
Seeing the Pope’s Green Leaf World, a lot of the examinees were exclaiming their wonder.
That wolf tribe youth did not observe this world, but instead, was looking at Luo Luo.
Chen Chang Sheng suddenly felt a strong sense of danger.