Chapter 209 Slashing the Heavenly Pillar (Part I)
Examinee number one was a middle-aged man with scarce hair on his head. He was from the northern side of the Great Western Region and was forty-five years old that year. He had failed seven consecutive Regional Selections and this was his last and final attempt. If he did not pass this time around, he would quietly stay in the north to be an instructor, taking on the role to nurture future generations of Knights.
Seeing the first examinee stepping forth, a young man and lady immediately shouted from the stands, "Daddy, do your best!"
The examinee smiled and waved at them as he walked up to the metal pillar.
The metal pillar was about two meters tall and a meter wide. Its surface was a deep matte black which did not reflect light at all, giving one the feeling of a deep abyss.
Surrounded by the four examiners, examinee number one became slightly nervous. Although the board members were all influential characters, given their reputation and cultivation levels, the scores would be credible and trustworthy. However, the examinees also felt under pressure from their presences.
Even so, examinee number one had already been through too many Regional Selections and was able to stabilize his breathing very quickly. He then drew out his sword, streams of flames appearing on its length.
One hundred degrees... Two hundred degrees... Three hundred degrees... All the way until it reached the high temperature of one thousand degrees. With a loud bellow, the middle-aged man sped up in an instant, stirring up a long stream of white air current. He became one with the sword, landing a harsh high-temperature slash on the metal pillar, at a speed that transcended the speed of sound.
The violent air currents together with the high-temperature flame streams blew out in all directions, just like fireworks. Such terrifying damage prowess was akin to shooting out a cannonball.
However, when the smoke scattered to reveal the metal pillar, there was only a sunken mark of about an inch on it. The mark gradually disappeared within a few seconds, as if it had never been there in the first place.
Examinee number one stepped back with his hands full of blood, looking at this scene in disbelief.
Governor Devitt calmly assessed, "7 points."
The other three examiners respectively graded him, "7 points."
Although the four of them had each said a score, given that they all had Heaven's Perception and could accept information from the ether particles within ten meters, each of them could accurately grasp the damage inflicted on the metal pillar, right down to the finest detail. This was why they had all given the same scores.
Examinee number one left with a dejected look. The other examinees were also wearing grim looks as they stared at the metal pillar.
"This thing is really too tough."
"The damaging prowess of that number one is already much stronger than mine. To think that even he is only able to make this much damage..."
"That's but of course! That thing was forged by Governor Devitt himself!"
Ferdinand shook his head as he looked at the stage, "What kind of thing is that? Isn't it too strong? Will there be any examinees this year who will be able to break it completely?"
Kirst's City Lord suddenly appeared, ignoring the others' astonished gazes, and went on to share, "This thing was made by Governor Devitt from a piece of a Divine level expert's bone remains. Although he failed to turn it into a Divine Remains Equipment, its sturdiness is very close to one, or at least equivalent to a level 29 Superior Remains Divine Weapon.
in fact, if not for its self-recovery trait making it less sturdy than it ought to be, that number one could forget about leaving even a trace of mark."
"It's that amazing?" Ferdinand asked.
Lilia also started to feel worried. She forgot to be angry at her father and just asked, "Then does Teacher have a good chance of doing well in this stage?"
"He should have no problems getting into the top eleven, but he probably won't be the one with the best results." Kirst's City Lord shook his head and said, "Although this thing is very strong, it doesn't have the special effect of a Divine Weapon. Therefore, there's a flaw to its defence.
"And despite Fang Xingjian's extraordinary damage prowess, according to what I know, there's at least two people this year who have a higher damage prowess than him."
Ferdinand was cooperative and asked, "Who?"
Kirst's City Lord answered, "Of course, it's the Shadow Death God Anderson and that narcissist Hoult."
Seeing their puzzled expressions, Kirst's City Lord continued to explain, "Anderson's job, the Shadow Death God, has always been known to be the job with the strongest explosive force and greatest stealth abilities amongst all first transition jobs.
"Stealth, naturally, because he can turn into shadows as he moves.
"And explosive force because the Shadow Death God allows one to perform a kind of corrosive shadow attack. It can immediately reduce the sturdiness of the targeted material. No matter the kind of Divine Weapon or treasured armor, if it only has a strong defence due to its material, it will inevitably be as fragile as paper.
"As for Hoult, I know that his Master has given him a level 29 Superior Divine Weapon - Crimson Fire."
Naturally, a level 29 Superior Divine Weapon will be able to break this metal pillar.
Lilia, furious,said, "Isn't this unfair?"
"Fair? Things like job skills and equipments are all a part of the Knight's abilities." Kirst's City Lord continued, "Moreover, the people who aren't even able to get into the top one hundred in this stage won't even have the right to become Conferred Knights.
"Plus, the rankings in this stage will not affect the final rankings of the top ten in the Regional Selection."
As the competition went on, things turned out just how Kirst's City Lord had expected. Not a single Knight was able to leave a mark deeper than three inches on this metal pillar. The Knight who received the high score of 9.5 was a Prefectural Champion in his thirties.
Finally, under everyone's anticipation, it was finally Shadow Death God Anderson's turn.
He walked up with a disdainful look, saying with a smirk, "A bunch of useless bums. Let me show you what a real attack looks like."
With that, he took a step forward, creating a series of afterimages as he charged right at the metal pillar, pressing one palm on it.
Job skill Shadow Coffin activated.
Immediately, black shadows encompassed the entire metal pillar. In the next moment, Anderson took out a dagger. It was the level 19 Inferior Divine Weapon Weapon, Shadow Tooth. His academy had specially prepared it for him.
Killing technique - Piercing Sun.
Like a shooting star cutting across the sky, or like the sun piercing through the clouds, Anderson focused all his energies onto the Shadow Tooth. Then, with a spinning and piercing force, he thrust out.
The Shadow Coffin weakened the sturdiness of the targeted material, the Divine Weapon Shadow Tooth turned an enhanced force into a spinning one, and Piercing Sun allowed the user to instantaneously and explosively throw out this force.
After three consecutive explosions, Anderson's explosive prowess was brought to a whole new level.
With a crisp Kacha! sound, his whole arm and elbow sunk into the metal pillar. A tremendous cavity appeared on that metal pillar, almost boring halfway into it. It looked like a huge drilled hole.
Withdrawing his arm and looking at the metal pillar which had started to wriggle and recover slowly, Anderson's mouth twitched, "Tsk, I didn't get through it?"
With that, he left without turning back, as if he was not concerned with his grades in the least.
Other than giving their scores, it was also rare to see the few examiners commenting.
Governor Devitt said, "Focused strength into one point, great mastery of his job skill. Even a level 20 Conferred Knight would not dare to face this attack easily. 48 points."
The Commissioner of Education, who was so old that it seemed as if he was bound to die anytime was, just as Edger had said, one who had always been supporting academies to be self-sufficient and get their own sponsorships.
He opened his mouth and weakly said, "It's a killer move. In the future, after you move on into the second transition, there'll definitely be a spot for you in the Imperial Capital. 48 points."
The capable-looking Yaris smiled and said, "Not bad, lad. When I was your age, I was probably incapable of facing even a single attack of yours. Your ending movement is still a little bit off. I'll give 47 points."
Armstrong, fully covered in scars, said coldly, "Fast, accurate, vicious. It's a move purely intended to kill, and it's put in too much of an unfavorable position when used in Slashing the Heavenly Pillar. I'll give you 49 points."
Finally, under everyone's astonished gazes, Anderson received a score of 48 points.