Chapter 231 Chat
The night before the arena battle, all sixteen examinees would be individually called up by the examiners for a chat.
After all, even if only ten of the sixteen became Conferred Knights this time, the remaining six would probably still be able to become Conferred Knights on their next try.
It was very likely that these sixteen would become the country's pillars in the future. Of course the examiners would have to interview them properly, verifying their mental states, thoughts, and characters.
Although it would be hard for them to tell much from this talk, it was something they could not skip, despite the limited effects. It was just like how all public servants in modern days were required to go through an interview. Before one became a Conferred Knight, he would have to be called up for a talk with the examiners.
As the examinee who had consecutively placed first in the three stages, Fang Xingjian was the first one to enter.
On entering, he saw that all four examiners were quietly seated behind a long table and a chair had been placed before him. It was similar to the setup of a modern interview.
Seeing that Fang Xingjian had taken his seat, Governor Devitt smiled and said, "No need to be nervous, we'll just be having a casual chat. The contents of our discussion will neither be recorded nor will they affect your results for this Regional Selection. Therefore, you can feel free to talk."
Seeing Fang Xingjian nod, Yaris, with great interest, was the first to start, "Then let me go first. Xingjian, to be honest, your talent is really high and you have a high chance of becoming a Divine level. Therefore, I'd like to know, what goals do you have for the future? Is it to pursue the mysteries behind the ether particles?
"To run the country? To create world peace? To command an army? To pioneer the expansion of our territories? To become a grandmaster of the generation, having pupils everywhere? Or what other goals do you have?"
Hearing this, Fang Xingjian was stunned for a moment. He had not expected this question to be asked. However, after thinking for a short moment, he directly said, "I actually don't have much ambitions. In the past, the only thing I wanted to do was to spend my life pursuing the highest level in sword arts.
"But I realized, that to pursue the greatest level in sword arts, it's not enough to proceed with determination. It also requires one to create a calm and quiet environment that would allow one to pursue this goal." With that, he paused. He once again thought of Li Shuanghua, Caroline, and the First Prince, causing strong killing intent to flash in his eyes.
"Therefore, on my path to pursue martial arts, I'll kill all those who stand in my way and create disturbances in my mental state."
The four examiners exchanged a glance, their gazes reflecting that they had expected this. They had investigated Fang Xingjian's records long ago and were very clear about his situation.
He belonged to the type of people who would focus on cultivating by himself as long as other people did not appear before him to create disturbances. If a person like him was given sufficient space and resources, he would be easier to control than those who wanted to create a revolution in the country, to expand the country's territories, and to build up the reputation of their clan.
Moreover, with their magnanimity, how could they not be able to accept Fang Xingjian's small bit of rashness? Killing some beasts who had committed evil acts and had gotten on one's nerves was not considered a big issue.
Fang Xingjian knew that they must have investigated him before and he himself had not cared to lie on such issues. If he did not even dare to speak his mind, how would he be able to proceed on and advance on the path of a Knight without any obstructions?
Of course, it would be impossible for the details of the situation to be verified from just a talk with these four. They would still have to take time to slowly observe and understand in the future.
Luke, who appeared to be extremely old, spoke with a quivering voice, "What do you think of the current status where Knights are able to deal with commoners as they wish, where the government is unable to deal with them, and where they can only be punished by the association?"
Fang Xingjian's narrowed his eyes. After some thought, he understood the rationale behind this question. Governor Devitt was on the Second Prince's side, and considering how the other three examiners were all under the Governor, they naturally fell under the Second Prince's wing.
If First Prince represented the traditional powers in the entire Empire, then the Second Prince could be said to be the revolutionary party which wanted to overthrow the tradition of having the first son inherit the throne and wanted to change the strict system where those in power could freely bully those of a lower level.
There were clearly hidden connotations in this question, and they were questioning Fang Xingjian's political inclinations.
To this question, Fang Xingjian had no problems either. There was no way to relieve the tension between himself and the First Prince, and his thoughts had always been closer to that of the Second Prince's to begin with. Therefore, he replied directly, "This is the root of all chaos.
"The commoners are what forms the basis of the Empire. Every year, there would be a large number of Knights being born from amongst the commoners.
"Freely killing and pushing down the commoners would only sow seeds of vengeance and conflict. If this were to go on, one day, the feelings of conflict would explode."
Luke continued to ask, "Then do you think that Knights should be given a status equivalent to commoners?"
"That isn't the case either." Fang Xingjian said. "A Knight's status should clearly be higher than a commoner's. Since both parties have differences in powers, if they were forced to be put on the same level, it would be like putting dragons among snakes. Just in terms of a Knight's required food intake, level of activity, as well as strength, there is already a huge difference. If both parties were to be governed together under the same set of rules, it would only cause chaos in the country.
"But the superiority that Knights enjoy should not be built upon brutality to the commoners. It should, instead, be reflected through the benefits provided by Knights.
"Acts allowing Knights to freely kill commoners are merely acts of evil and would lead to the destruction of the country's foundations. It should not be advocated."
Luke nodded in satisfaction and asked, "Then will you never kill commoners?"
"I'll definitely kill those who deserve to be killed. Commoners are not beasts, but neither are they treasures that should be carefully treated with great delicacy. Providing them with excessive protection will only cause them to become overly complacent, thinking that they are really able to control everything." Fang Xingjian said calmly, "There's a saying which goes like this: 'If we get too close, they would become insolent. If we stay too far, they would feel aggrieved.'
We can neither become too close to them nor should we be too cruel to them. The way it should be done is to keep an appropriate distance between Knights and commoners.
Luke nodded, thinking to himself, 'Although his take is still too immature, judging from his stand, he's still someone we can consider taking in.
'And that saying he mentioned...'If we get too close, they would become insolent. If we stay too far, they would feel aggrieved'... This line has a lingering charm to it.'
Governor Devitt smiled and said, "It's my turn next. Xingjian, amongst the remaining sixteen people left in this Regional Selection, who do you think is the strongest?"
Fang Xingjian answered as if it went without saying, "It's obviously me."
When Fang Xingjian said this, his expression was very calm, his heartbeat was very normal. He was neither proud nor arrogant, appearing to be just stating facts.
Devitt revealed an interested expression and asked, "Then if you have to spar, who would you like to fight against?"
Fang Xingjian gave it some thought and replied, "If it's amongst these sixteen people, I don't really have much interest in them." He 'looked' toward the four examiners and said, "But if it's the four of you, I do have great interest."
All four examiners smiled. Devitt shook his head and said, "If you wish to spar with us, then you better wait until your ether synchronization rate has reached 50%. Ether synchronization rate is not simply just about skill synthesis."
Hoult was, of course, the next to be interviewed. However, since he was a representative for a Divine level expert, Devitt and the others let him pass after just a few questions.
They showed greater interest when the third person, Anderson, came in.
Devitt asked, "Amongst all sixteen examinees, who do you think is the strongest?"
"It should be Fang Xingjian? Or maybe Hoult. Hoult as a level 29 Superior Divine Weapon, so he should still be able to be a match for Fang Xingjian." Although Anderson, who had transitioned into a Shadow Death God, appeared unwilling, he still mentioned Fang Xingjian's name. However, he immediately added on, "But it's only for now. After I've completed the second transition, within three years, I'll definitely surpass him."
Devitt smiled, neither consenting nor dissenting, and asked, "Then what do you think your final rank will be?"
"It should be either second or third place." Anderson was very short, and his feet did not touch the ground when he was seated on the chair. He dangled his feet and said, "If Fang Xingjian is first, I still have a chance to win against Hoult. However, if Hoult turns out to be first and I have to fight against Fang Xingjian, my chances of winning are low since he is too fast and I don't have a level 29 Divine Weapon.
"When dealing with people like Fang Xingjian, if you can't fight against him, there's no need to think of escaping. Before him, a loss would mean death."
He then shrugged and continued, "Therefore, it all depends on my luck in the lots drawing for the arena battle."
Just like that, everyone went through the interview and either went back to rest or continued their cultivation. They then welcomed the last and final stage of the Regional Selection, the arena battle.