Chapter 215 Contention for the Top Tier (Part I)
One hundred examinees arrived before the humongous maze which ran about one kilometer both in length and width and had a height of three meters. Everyone who saw this maze for the first time felt like they were looking at a miracle.
This was clearly not something that could be accomplished by the architecture technology of this era. It must have been created by some powerful character with their own powers.
As expected, Governor Devitt said, "This maze is known as the Discombobulate Maze and was made by the Great Western Region Regional Academy's very first Headmaster, the Divine level expert, Melancholic Monarch. It is an enclosed area he created with his own hands, and it has remained intact even after two hundred years have passed. We have now put in various powerful, ferocious beasts ranging from level 1 to level 21. Of course, there's only one level 21 ferocious beast, but you must still be careful."
Hearing the Governor's words, everyone looked toward the tremendous maze in amazement, sighing over the powers of a Divine level expert. How strong had the Melancholic Monarch been back in the day?
Thereafter, under Governor Devitt's commands, everyone looked in the direction of a stone tablet right next to the entrance. It was carved with the maze's map, and there were one hundred red dots on it.
Governor Devitt said, "There's a total of one hundred points in the maze. Each one of you will take one spot and will not be allowed to move beyond ten meters from the allocated spot.
"After you've all arrived at the designated spots, beast luring incense will be unleashed in all the spots. The sleeping ferocious beasts will gradually wake up and start to attack you.
"Those who manage to stay on as part of the last fifty examinees will win the right to enter the third stage. However, you're not allowed to take a passive approach. Those who are not able to kill any ferocious beasts within each ten minutes interval will be disqualified immediately.
"Examinees are not allowed to attack each other. Of course, if you have any other ways to cause trouble for other examinees and have them eliminated earlier, please feel free to use them.
"It's because aside from testing your survival abilities, this is also a test of how you will compete and go against each other."
Upon hearing about the beast luring incense, most of the Knights present appeared perplexed, not knowing what it was.
Only Knights who had participated in hunts, following ordinary soldiers in order to hunt down ferocious beasts in the mountains, on the plains and in the forests, would have heard of beast luring incense before.
This was something that had originated from the Sand Country, and it was said that just a single drop of it would lure in ferocious beasts which were within a three hundred meter radius. As Sand Country had scarce resources, they had developed this specifically for hunting. However, as the ingredients were too precious and the amount was too little, ordinary people did not know of its existence at all.
To begin with, beast luring incense was hard to come by, and to top it off, all the Knights present were all geniuses. What were geniuses? They were people who could focus on cultivating without a care for trifle issues. Their ferocious beasts had all been purchased. How could they possibly have followed soldiers and commoners to hunt their own ferocious beasts? That was all the more the reason why they would not have heard about beast luring incense.
Even if they had taken part in actual combat every year, they would have been mostly punitive expeditions going after bandits or riotous ferocious beasts, or taking part in wars like the one with Garcia. It was not possible for them to be spending so much time to go on hunts, since what was most important in hunting was not the battle but the tremendous time spent on waiting.
David broke out into a confident expression, clearly aware of what this thing was.
Governor Devitt continued speaking, "Now, all of you will be put through a body search. You're forbidden to carry poison, beast luring incense, fuel, kerosene..."
Governor Devitt listed a bunch of items and finally said, "It is forbidden to bring in the abovementioned items. Although we say that you can compete and cause trouble for each other, using these items is of no relevance to your abilities and intellect. It's just reliance on foreign items. You're better off handing them up yourselves."
Devitt pointed to an empty land and said, "Otherwise, if I were to find any later, you'll be disqualified straightaway."
Many people present revealed disappointed expressions. They had in fact brought along kerosene, poison and things like that in hopes of protecting themselves, fending off the monsters, or luring the ferocious beasts elsewhere. Afterall, using fire and poison was much faster and safer than attacking and trying to kill the ferocious beasts themselves.
However, using such means was not an indication of their intellect nor their abilities but just on their reliance on external objects. Thus, they were forbidden by Governor Devitt to use them.
There were people who had known about the existence of beast luring incense. They had wanted to put the incense in someone else's spot to increase the level of the monsters attracted there and thereby, reducing the pressure on themselves. These people also had disappointment reflected on their faces.
In a short period of five minutes, many people walked out, piling up the empty land with items. No one would hope to be lucky in the presence of a Conferred Knight's Heaven's Perception.
After the checks were over, Devitt pointed to the one hundred dots on the stone tablet and said, "We'll now let you choose your designated spots based on your rankings in the first stage. Fang Xingjian, you're first, so we'll start off with you."
Hearing that, Fang Xingjian walked up while contemplating his understanding of this stage.
In this stage, the most important thing was how long one could hold on for, but at the same time, they were not allowed to take a passive approach. It was because if they did not kill any ferocious beasts within every ten minutes, they would be disqualified.
However, they could not just kill blindly, since there were even ferocious beasts up to the level of 21. Although they would not be as strong as Conferred Knights, they had far surpassed the abilities of first transition Knights.
Therefore, in this stage, one needed to have strong combat abilities, but at the same time, one also needed to be in control over the competition's rhythm. They should not create too big an impact and attract the level 20 or level 21 ferocious beasts. Or maybe, they would require a strong concealing or defensive ability to fend off level 20 or even level 21 ferocious beasts.
At the same time, you would also need to guard against traps set up by others and the special abilities or tricks they might use against you.
Basically, this was test of combat ability, endurance, and intellect. However, this was only for ordinary people.
Fang Xingjian was naturally different from ordinary people. What he needed to do in the Regional Selection was win over everyone with overwhelming power and talent. Thus, he would then naturally be awarded the title of Regional Champion and become the student that receives the full nurture of the Regional Academy. In a year's time, he would then become a second transition level 29 Conferred Knight and participate in the following year's National Selection.
Therefore, he did not choose the corners which would allow the him to defend himself easily. Instead, he pointed to the red dot in the center of the maze and said, "I'll take this spot."
Everyone were astonished. Devitt smiled and nodded, then said, "Haha, I'm looking forward to your performance even more now."
Anderson, on the other hand, let out a tsk and mumbled, "Snatched the place I wanted to take." Anderson felt that Fang Xingjian had once again snatched his limelight.
Hoult went next and he chose a corner spot carefully.
Then came Anderson's turn. He pointed at a spot next to Fang Xingjian and said, "I'll take this." After saying that, he twitched his elegant-looking nose and threw a glance at Fang Xingjian.
Wei Leng chose a corner position as well.
Just like that, everyone took their turns to choose their spots. Rota chose a northwest position while Manny was in the northeast.
David was also located in the northwest. The two Knights behind him, to everyone's surprise, chose the two spots right next to Fang Xingjian.
The more central the position was in the maze, the easier it was to be under attack from all directions. Therefore, other than Fang Xingjian and Anderson, no one else chose the positions in the center. They had all chosen the spots closer to the boundaries, or if those spots were all taken, they would all move inward slowly.
However, those two Knights had both chosen a central position without any hesitation.
David smiled coldly to himself as he looked at Fang Xingjian, 'Fang Xingjian, just you wait. I have a great surprise waiting for you.'
After everyone had made their selection, Governor Devitt said calmly, "Then let's go."
In the next moment, Governor Devitt's fist clenched tightly and a huge ice pillar rose from below everyone's feet. The moisture in the air froze upwards continuously, transforming into an ice dragon which crossed the skies and moved everyone right above the maze.