Minor edits by bbkgs
Nowadays, the mainstream methods of cultivation were the canonical methods of the Orthodoxy. The main source of True Essence was the stars in the sky – the Radiant Faith focused upon the word: Radiant. What lit up the night was actually Starlight – break through the Meditation Realm and enter the Ethereal Opening realm then advance into the Star Fusion Realm, which was to use the energy released from tens of thousands stars onto the world. The final goal of cultivation is to evolve the mortal’s body and mentality. From this, we can see the importance of stars in the world of cultivation. Every country and sect has star observation platforms. However, they rarely named the platforms “seizing stars” or “stealing stars” because this would sound disrespectful towards the stars.
However, the second school on Chen Chang Sheng’s roster, surprisingly, was called Star Taker Academy.
Star Taker Academy- this school used such an aggressive name, but the Orthodoxy had no disagreement. The school was originally very aggressive.
In the entire world, only this school had dared to use and deserved to use this name.
Because this school was directly affiliated to the Zhou military, in countless years it had nurtured many brave and determined youngsters and many Generals as stars. During the war against the Demons, Star Taker Academy joined the war when the humans were in a hopeless state in the war. The whole school faculty and students all joined the war effort to fight back the Demons. Nine out of ten participants of the school died at the end of the war. After the war, the large school was like a graveyard due to the large number of casualties. For this reason, Star Taker Academy earned great respect in the human world and it also gained unimaginable momentum.
Who would disagree to have such schools who sacrificed so much, not just Star Taker Academy, to want to use such names?
Everyone in the world understood Star Taker Academy’s bloody yet honorable history, including Chen Chang Sheng. Chen Chang Sheng’s master placed Star Taker Academy second on the roster, but in his heart, Star Taker Academy should be ranked first. Although Chen Chang Sheng felt a bit upset for not getting into Heavenly Academy, he wasn’t affected much mentally.
He believed that Star Taker Academy definitely wouldn’t act like Heavenly Academy, at least not to a large extent.
As he thought, he arrived at the solemn and dignified Star Taker Academy, which had began to prepare for the second exam.
As expected, Star Taker Academy was different from Heavenly Academy. Even though outside the school there was also a huge crowd, the field was completely silent without any sound. It might have been because of the fully armed soldiers’ eagle like eyes or the big stone tablet that was filled with the names of generals who died for the nation.
After filling the simple sign up sheet and obtaining their number, around six hundred young adults followed the military officer’s lead.
Similar to the exam at Heavenly Academy, Star Taker Academy also prepared a pre-Exam. The aim was to eliminate students that haven’t purified and lessen the pressure for the officials on administering the test.
The stone plate was huge, just like a millstone- as a matter of fact, it was the millstone from Star Taker Academy’s kitchen. It weighed three hundred pounds. Only students who are able to lift this plate and walk up thirty steps on a flight of stairs are qualified for the official entrance exam.
Three hundred pounds of weight, unless they have reached the Purification Stage and enhanced their muscle and bone, regular people are usually unable to complete the task. In addition, they needed to walk up such a long staircase. Many young students who had yet to reach Purification looked at the stone plate and their expressions changed. Many of them shook their heads and left the field. Even some students who had reached Purification but hadn’t completely adjusted to their strength, forfeited the task reluctantly. Of course, some ordinary youngsters bravely tested the strength of their body, but not a single one of them succeeded.
Actually, it wasn’t too hard to see people pick up the stone plate before reaching Purification in the entrance exam of Star Taker Academy. For example, the current White Tiger General was born with enormous strength. During his exam to attempt to enter the academy, he hadn’t reach the Purification stage yet but he easily picked up the stone plate and threw it across the lake…..
But it wasn’t something that happens daily.
The instructor was a little disappointed. He checked for the time and decided to speed up the process. He ordered the students to report their stage of cultivation and let the people who had reached Purification test first, then let the ordinary students try.
Sadly, even until noon, not a single ordinary student had created a miracle.
Just when people got bored of the failures and wanted to leave, a well built young student entered the stage and easily picked up the stone plate. In just a few seconds, he flew up the thirty steps and wasn’t even out of breath. To show his strength, he then carried the stone plate back to its original location.
The crowd was stunned.
The youngster raised his hand and waved to the people. He once again proudly walked up the stone stairs and headed for the inner part of Star Taker Academy. The interesting thing was, he had a honest face. No matter how much he tried to act proud and arrogant, in the eyes of the crowd it was just a silly act. There was no mockery but only friendly laughter.
After the well built youngster left, many people started to guess his origin and background. Suddenly someone mentioned that he saw a faint blue mark around his ankle. With this information the crowd stopped chatting. The reason was that the youngster probably inherited the bloodline of the Yao race or he could be actually from the Western Yao Domain!
For hundreds of years now, humans and Yaos had become allies and fought against the Demon race. Due to the alliance, although the relationship between them wasn’t exactly friendly, it was natural. Some nobles of the Yao race who could transform into human form even lived in the human world. Surely there are some of them living in the Capital right now – except, the way and culture of humans and yao was very different. In the human world, no one really talked about this but it was fine as long as the Yao race behaved.
After the Yao youngster successfully lifted the stoneplate, another two young students who were formerly hunters on Mount Min, also used their natural body strength and picked up the stone plate and moved it up the stairs. Although they were struggling, people still cheered for their achievements.
The military instructor who was sitting above the stairs nodded his head lightly. He seemed to be pleased by this year’s result.
Time went on and it was finally Chen Chang Sheng’s turn. The gathering crowd observed this young student and sympathetically cheered a bit for him and stopped. This student was seemingly young and his body had yet to develop. Let’s not compare him to the Yao student, Chen Chang Sheng wasn’t even as well built as the two young hunters. It seemed impossible for him to lift the heavy stone plate.
At Heavenly Academy, Chen Chang Sheng used his familiarity with the laws to skip the stage of the Sensory Stone. Right now in Star Taker Academy’s exam, he might be able to think of some other way but perhaps he was affected by the heated and serious theme of the surroundings or perhaps he wanted to just try the challenge. Either way he didn’t do anything out of place and followed the rules.
(I gotta say he Yoloed like a boss…)
He walked to the stone plate and slowly squatted down. His hands steadily held the two sides of the plate and took five deep breaths. He concentrated all his might into his waist, legs, and arms. As he groaned deeply, he released his power!
The crowd in front of the stairs suddenly became silent. The people who were chatting forgot to continue out of shock. Their jaws dropped as they looked towards the testing field.
The stone plate slowly elevated and at last, Chen Chang Sheng picked it up to the height of his chest. Not an inch more or less, exactly at the required height!
His face was a little red, but his expression was still calm and there was not a trace of nervous or panic in his eyes.
The field was filled with compliments and claps. Everyone continuously cheered the youngster on. Using rhythmed shouts, they wanted to help him lift his feet.
Chen Chang Sheng walked forward one step. Just a single step and his knees shook a bit.
It was one matter to lift the plate but moving the heavy plate and walking up the stairs was another matter.
His breathing patterns became disorderly and his face got redder and redder.
He didn’t make any sound, but from his bumped cheeks it’s clear that he was biting his jaw and struggling.
He took one step after another up the stone stairs, slowly walking up.
It was certain that Chen Chang Sheng hadn’t reached the Purification stage yet. The strength of his muscle and bones should only be that of an average teenager. Furthermore, since he was constantly ill when he was a child, he should have been weaker than a normal teenager. But because he was sick and it was a sickness that hard to treat, the people in the broken temple outside of Xi Ning Village cared deeply for Chen Chang Sheng’s body.
When he began to memorize the Three Thousand Scriptures of The Way when he was young, Chen Chang Sheng’s master found countless herbs to make medical soup out of them and allowed Chen Chang Sheng to bathe in them. Senior Yu Ren used wood sticks and thorns to help enhance his endurance by beating him. For more than a decade, the people he was most familiar with were the three people in the temple. The most familiar taste for him was the taste of book, medicine, and sticks.
His sickness wasn’t cured by the consumption of medicine and beatings, and it was impossible for him to obtain the enormous strength of the Yao youngster. But the supposedly weak body of his was now stronger than an average man. Although it’s just healthy and power on the surface, Chen Chang Sheng was still very happy about it.
A youngster who was sick when he was a child and surrounded by the dark shadow of his illness cared deeply about his body and the details of it more than anyone else. Therefore today at Star Taker Academy, he silently walked toward the stone plate and only wanted to use his strength to pass his exam.
He wanted to lift that heavy stone plate to prove himself, and also to thank his master and senior.
One step, two steps, three steps, four steps…
Chen Chang Sheng breathed harder and harder. His face got darker and darker as he advanced. His tied up black hair was full of sweat, but his eyes were still calm and steady.
The cheering and shouting from the crowd had already stopped. Everyone looked at the struggling youngster walk up the stairs. They were worried about the youngster and felt respect for him at the same time. There were a few times that the youngster was about to fall, but he held his place with a mysterious strength in his body!
The instructor, at the end of the stone stairs, looked at Chen Chang Sheng with nothing but admiration and praise in his eyes.
Seven steps, eight steps, nine steps…
Chen Chang Sheng’s steps got slower and slower.
The praise in the instructor’s eyes grew stronger and stronger. He was surprised by the performance of this youngster – as a soldier. What he cared about the most was Chen Chang Sheng’s perseverance and bravery. He has already decided that even if Chen Chang Sheng didn’t move the stone plate up the stairs, he would still let him pass the first exam. As for the problem of the honor and reputation of the academy and Zhou military……
The instructor looked at the nervous crowd and felt relieved. It seemed that most of the participants would side with him.
Children who were trying earnestly should be praised and respected.
Thinking about this, the instructor’s mind went blank. He didn’t look at the stairs for a while until his mind came back. When it did, he noticed the change in the crowd’s expression.
He turned around and there was another person standing beside him.
It was the youngster who was tired and covered in sweat.
The instructor was relieved. He extended his arm and patted the youngster’s shoulder.
Chen Chang Sheng had walked to the top of the stairs.
The heavy plate was on the floor next to him.