Chapter 30 Making A Show of Oneself
"Number 22! Round Table Sword Society, Locke."
These numbers had obviously been issued to each of the examinees from the very beginning of the selection. Of course, since many of the participants had been eliminated in the first stage, the numbers were being skipped through very quickly.
With a shout, an examinee drew the sword at his waist and walked to stand before the seven examiners. After taking a bow, he started to demonstrate a set of sword technique.
This set of sword technique was complicated, agile, and required one to be extremely good at controlling the strength in one's arms. The person demonstrating it had very solid foundations, clearly having fully grasped and mastered it.
Looking at his performance, the seven examiners each had a different reaction. Some of them nodded, others shook their heads and sighed, and some only showed poker faces. After the examinee had completed his demonstration, they each wrote something in their own booklets.
After that, the examinee had to exchange three blows on stage with each of the examiners. He gave a respectful greeting bow, the examiner nodding lightly in reply before attacking.
After a round of exchange with each of the examiners, Locke was looking dejected, as if he was unsatisfied with his own performance.
Just so, each of the examinees took turns at being assessed, their level of cultivation in sword arts being thoroughly scrutinized.
After the assessment, some thumped their chests in disappointment while others beamed with joy.
Soon enough, over twenty people had completed the second stage. The member of staff called out, "Number 801, Tresia Knight Academy, Kaunitz."
"Is that the Kaunitz?"
"The Tresia Clan's new generation super genius."
The examinees collectively started chattering in low voices, and even the seven examiners smiled, nodding and exchanging words between them.
"Oh? This is the Kaunitz from Tresia Clan?"
A young Knight in his thirties smiled and looked towards Huang Lin beside him, saying, "He is Tresia's pillar in this generation. Lord, will you be taking him as your disciple?"
Huang Lin, who had stayed expressionless during the previous assessments finally showed a slight waver in his eyes as he said, "We'll see."
Amidst the crowd's chattering, Kaunitz revealed a confident smile. He had long been accustomed to being in the limelight.
With a clank, Kaunitz drew his sword from its sheath, demonstrating each move from the Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique.
Upon seeing his set of sword technique, many examiners' eyes lit up.
"Oh? His organs are trembling, his four limbs are one with the body, his spine is strong as a huge dragon's, and the sound of his pumping heart... It really is perfect..." said one of the examiners. "He ought to have reached level 10 in the Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique. No, based on the rumors, he's already reached level 12."
"This person is extremely talented and in the future he will definitely become a Master Swordsman of his generation."
"That's right, that's right." Another examiner stroke his beard in satisfaction as he said, "The Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique requires very high control of the organs, bones, and vessels. Should there be any mistakes, not only would it be unable to nurture the body, it would even injure it. Amongst the many techniques of the Training Way, it is a most overbearing one. To be able to reach this stage at his age... He truly is a genius amongst geniuses!"
"He is already well trained both internally and externally. Once he becomes a Knight, he will probably be able to complete the first transition within a month," another white-bearded examiner said. "There'll be another star of the Empire."
"Haha, I'm not sure about other categories, but it seems like the champion for the Sword and Saber category is settled." The young examiner looked towards Huang Lin and asked, "Lord, what do you think?"
Huang Lin nodded, and for the first time, a satisfied expression was seen on his face. However, he still said, "Let's check out his strength."
After Kaunitz demonstrated the Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique, the seven invigilators took turns to assess him. Their characters and sword techniques were all different. Some of them focused on attack, others on defense, and some simply exchanged blows.
They all felt Kaunitz's strength control during the exchange. Being able to experience it first hand made everything even clearer than when they had simply been observing.
"He really has mastered both internal and external techniques to perfection."
"There are probably very few below the Knight rank who can surpass him in terms of technique."
"I heard he's also practised the three basic sword techniques of The School of Sword Arts. He will probably be able to attain the Sword Specialist speciality soon."
The last to step up was, naturally, the head examiner, Huang Lin. He did not draw his sword, but merely stood there, saying, "You can make your move directly."
"I ask the Lord to give me your guidance." Kaunitz bowed, and the sword in his hands flashed like a bolt of lightning, strength exploding from his muscles and bones as if an explosion had ignited the surrounding air. He pressured the air as if he was a human Gundam, fiercely piercing towards Huang Lin.
The air in the surroundings exploded and the stone tiles under his feet shattered.
This sword attack of his was similar to a ballista being used to attack city walls in war time. Amongst those present, only the Knights and a few of the most outstanding examinees could see its tracks. People like Lambert and Ogden could only hear a loud boom. In the shrouding mist, Huang Lin had only reached out with his thumb and index finger, gently holding onto Kaunitz's sword.
Huang Lin moved as if he were appreciating good wine or famous art. The fingers pinching the sword twisted gently as he pondered on the strength in Kaunitz's attack.
"Your strength isn't bad." Huang Lin nodded in satisfaction and said, "One sword move is sufficient. The remaining two won't be necessary."
Kaunitz broke out into an excited smile, the rest who were witnessing this scene looking at him in jealousy and envy.
In this section, the only people left from The School of Sword Arts were Eldest Martial Brother Ogden, Second Martial Brother Lambert, and Fang Xingjian. They were also standing quite close to each other.
Seeing this scene, Eldest Martial Brother Ogden mumbled, "Passed with just one move? Seems like Kaunitz will be the one to come out as first amongst those in the Sword and Saber category. But I wonder how would he fare in the overall top five?"
As he said this, he threw a glance at Fang Xingjian and coldly asked him, "Fang Xingjian, are you still thinking of catching up to Young Master Kaunitz? I'm not trying to nag, but a genius like Kaunitz is fated to have a bright future and would eventually leave his name in history. It would be better for us to build a good relationship with him. Even if he were to eat meat, we would be able to enjoy riches just from following him and drinking some soup at his side. I'm only telling you this since you are my younger Martial Brother. You had better go apologize to him soon..."
Second Martial Brother Lambert's expression seemed complicated as he lamented to himself, 'The gap between commoners and aristocrats... Is it too large? Why do these people have such monstrous talent? I've been training hard since I was eight and I've been training with the sword all the time, except for the times when I had to eat or sleep. I haven't dared to slack even a little. To think that despite that, I still don't even have half his powers...'
Fang Xingjian did not want to bother with Ogden. They were from different dimensions, after all.
He looked grimly at Huang Lin. 'To be able to receive Kaunitz's attack with his fingers and yet not move an inch, not even using the extraordinary strength from the first and second transitions. How high are Huang Lin's attributes? 100? 120?'
Fang Xingjian did not know, since it far exceeded the domain he was familiar with. He only knew that compared to 99% of the Warriors in Demonic City who had also gone through the second transition, he was much stronger.
The other examinees continued to take their turns on stage, but there was none other who had a performance as shocking as Kaunitz's. A few of them even made the examiners shake their heads in dissatisfaction.
"Next up, number 2034. The School of Sword Arts, Fang Xingjian."
Fang Xingjian focused his gaze as he walked out front, his sword already drawn. However, he had yet to decide which set of sword technique he ought to demonstrate.
Logically speaking, since Kaunitz's level 12 Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique had already astonished the examiners, if Fang Xingjian were to demonstrate his level 20 Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique, he would definitely be able to get a better result.
This was because, compared to the ordinary techniques of the Nurturing Path, it was techniques such as this one, which could nurture the organs and modify the physical body, that were truly profound and that could display a higher level of skill. It was much better to demonstrate internal sword techniques rather than external sword techniques such as the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique and the Eagle Sword Technique.
Looking at them in comparison, if he were to demonstrate ordinary basic sword techniques it would be like him having a delayed start to a race.
However, looking at the seven examiners before him, as well as Kaunitz, Ogden and Lambert who were also looking at him, he knew that he had to hide the fact that he had acquired Tresia Knight Academy's unique sword techniques, including the Tresia-Style Foundation Sword Technique.
And although the Nine Yang Divine Sword belonged to The School of Sword Arts, Kyle had not imparted it to him yet.
Although these few sets of sword techniques were top grade, they had not been obtained through legitimate means, so there was no way he was going to bring them out.
'I have already placed second in the stage testing our physical abilities. For this stage, even if I were to demonstrate a basic sword technique such as the Grizzly Bear Sword Technique, the worst that could happen would be falling behind Kaunitz. Even so, I would still be able to rank among the top ten quite easily.
'If that's the case, I can only give up on getting better grades in the second stage, and then try to fight for a better position in the third stage.'
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