Chapter 29 Five Categories
The first stage of the Prefectural Selection alone was enough to eliminate 90% of the examinees, which showed how ruthless the selection was.
The remaining examinees were also extremely nervous.
However, the view within the Royal Academy caught the attention of all the examinees. The intriguing sight was not the vast training grounds, nor the abundant training equipment or the academic buildings the size of a castle, but the people they saw on the way.
All kinds of young men, middle-aged people, young ladies and old men were either training or talking a walk, gathering for a chat or having a game of chess. They seemed very relaxed, with prideful dispositions, the achievement of success shining on their faces
The only similarity between them was their Knight attire. They were all Knights.
The students recruited by Kirst Royal Academy were limited to the Knights who had passed the Prefectural Selection in each year. That was why the students there were all Knights.
Within the short five minute walk, they managed to see at least over twenty Knights. When had the three hundred examinees, just having passed the first stage, ever managed to see so many Knights in one place?
They looked at the people wearing Knight attire. Some of them looked majestic, some suave, some powerful, and some graceful. There were Knights of all sorts and appearances, and each of them had a unique charm, giving off rich auras of life and vitality.
The gazes of the examinees were full of yearning and envy as they looked at the Knights.
The Knights here were a hundred times more blissful than the old days' university students on Earth, who had attended Tsinghua University or Peking University .
Ogden and Lambert also seemed slightly agitated. No fretting about food and clothing due to the allowance provided by the country, along with various resources provided to aid their training, plus social status which far exceeded that of an ordinary person and the privilege of not being restricted by ordinary law. It was a life which they long dreamed of having.
That moment clearly showed the large difference between an ordinary person and a person belonging to an aristocratic family. Most of the commoners would not feel at ease upon seeing so many Knights. They would feel restricted, and inferiority would reflect in their gazes.
On the other hand, those from aristocratic families seemed more at ease, and were even able to go up to many of the Knights and greet them.
"Hey, Kaunitz, you're really here!" A Knight with a slender figure and a slightly feminine appearance walked towards the side of the group.
There were a few other Knights beside him, but it was obvious that the feminine-looking guy was the leader.
"Senior." Kaunitz vaguely nodded.
"Hehe, do your best and try to get the position of the Prefectural Champion for our Tresia Academy." It seemed that the feminine-looking Knight was only passing by, leaving quickly after a short greeting.
Thereafter, Barbara and Ferdinand from the Aristocrat Academy also met up with their acquaintances. They had a few relatives and seniors who had become Knights and who were now enrolled in Kirst Royal Academy.
Ogden, the Eldest Martial Brother in The School of Sword Arts, said in a soft envious tone, "They grew up with Knights since young, and were able to meet them often and even get guidance from them. It's no wonder their results are better than ours."
"So what? Fang Xingjian's result this time around was close to theirs," Lambert said, unconvinced.
"Haha, you think that Fang Xingjian can win over them?" Ogden shook his head, nothing but thick jealousy in his gaze as he looked at Kaunitz and the others. "Fang Xingjian would only be in sixth place for the first stage, at best. He lost to Kaunitz every single time back in The School of Sword Arts. How could he possibly win this time around?"
Lambert was silent. He could not rebut his words.
Obviously, the two of them had been in the last batch of contestants to charge past the entrance, and did not know the order in which Fang Xingjian and the others had entered. In fact, other than the staff who were in charge of registering the timing, the examiners, Fang Xingjian and the first few competitors, there was no way the other examinees would know.
Not long after, the group arrived to some huge training grounds covered in marble. Tens of examiners were already waiting there.
Dick took at look at the examinees and said, "Having passed the test for physical strength in the first stage, you can already be counted among the elite Warriors in Kirst. But in order to become Knights and to bask in the majestic glory of His Majesty, this is still far from enough.
A strong physique, perfected techniques, and unparalleled talent. Only those who can meet all three criteria will be able to become Knights.
The second stage will be testing you on your techniques. It will be divided into five basic categories, namely Sword and Saber, Staff and Rod, Bow and Arrow, Bare-handed, and Miscellaneous. Do your best."
Fang Xingjian swept his eyes across the field and saw a sign inscribed with the words 'Sword and Saber' on the extreme northern side of the training grounds, placed in front of two examiners.
The other examinees also went to to look for the categories which they excelled in. Kaunitz was the first to head towards the examineres in charge of Sword and Saber.
Soon after, having chosen between the five, each examinee was standing in their respective category. Fang Xingjian looked around. Kaunitz, Ogden and Lambert were, naturally, all in the Sword and Saber category. There were over eighty people lined up at the sign, making it the largest group amongst the five categories.
And there was a total of seven examiners in charge of the Sword and Saber category. Each of them was wearing Knight attire, and stern looks.
The examinations of the Prefectural Selection affected the future of each examinee. The selections were a political project highly regarded by the Empire's higher management. None of the examiners would dare to treat this lightly, every one of them being extremely serious when assessing each examinee's performance and when giving the scores.
Seeing that everyone had been separated into different categories, an Asian-looking examiner about fifty to sixty years of age, with black hair and yellow skin, said, "The test is very simple. Each of you will take turns to display and demonstrate your best set of sword techniques before exchanging three blows each with the seven of us.
"We will each give you a score, and your final score for this round will be the average of these. Your final score will be added to your result in the third stage of the selection.
"Those ranked in the top ten will be able to pass this Prefectural Selection and become Knights."
The black-haired old man wore a solemn expression, each word he said flashing before the examinees' eyes like the glint of swords. Under his gaze, they had the feeling of being pointed at with the tip of a sword.
Fang Xingjian could sense that the examiner's cultivation level ought to be extremely high. He could hear a few contestants chatting softly behind him.
"This is Kirst Royal Academy's chief sword art instructor, Huang Lin. Other than the Headmaster, he is the only strong Warrior who has gone through the second job transition."
"In the whole academy, only him and the Headmaster have undergone the second job transition. How I wish I could become a Knight and be taken in by him as a disciple!"
"How would that be possible? I heard that he hasn't taken in a disciple for five years and has only been giving sword arts guidance during lessons."
It was obvious that this Huang Lin had also inherited blood from the Western Land, thus having black hair and yellow skin. However, most importantly, he had the best level of sword cultivation in the whole academy.
Fang Xingjian's gaze flickered. It would be for the best if he could be taken in as his disciple. And this would depend on his performance in the next two stages.
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