Draconic Ruins Realm
This is a vast world that contains many powerful forces. Those of the righteous path were united under the Divine Feathers, Heavenly Note, Phaseless, Thousand Flowers, Sky Origin, and the Skyblaze Sects. Those of the wicked path would rally under the Demon God’s, Pentabolt Demon, and Scarlet Moon Sects. There also exists a handful of relatively recluse and unknown banners, such as the Ancestral God Land and the Ancestral Demonic Saint Land, among others.
These forces have coexisted since time immemorable and have gathered countless numbers of experts under their banner, creating an immovable force.
Eastern region of the Draconic Ruins Realm
This massive territory belongs entirely to the Divine Feathers Sect.
No one knew exactly how long the Divine Feathers Sect has been around. The Sect manages several hundreds of cities with a total population of over several hundred million. By tallying the number of outer disciples alone, the count would already reach several million. No one knows exactly how many experts are in the Divine Feathers Sect.
The Divine Feathers Sect is then divided into the Heaven, Inner, and Outer Division. Ordinary people would only be able to stare at the Outer Division in longing, and would forever be out of their reach. The Inner Division was even more unknown. As far the Heaven Division went, it was so unknown that it was practically a myth.
Aside from the divisions themselves, there is the Skysoul Institute, located in the Inner Division of the Divine Feathers Sect. The geniuses from the scattered cities and smaller realms would enroll in the Skysoul Institute in order to cultivate themselves. The Skysoul Institute is an extremely large school with millions of students, almost like an independent kingdom.
The Skysoul Institute is located deep within a mountain range. The vague outlines of buildings can be seen throughout the flourishing forest, creating a magnificent scene.
Xiao Yu, Nie Li, Lu Piao, and Guan Yi are walking along a small path through that forest. Guan Yi is a Demigod rank expert who is in his twenties. He originates from Nether City’s Xuyu Clan. They appear extremely similar to humans, except their skin is slightly reddish.
Guan Yi had an arrogantly prideful look on his face, which irritated Nie Li. Even though they were both disciples of the Nether Master, neither spoke a single word to the other.
Students of the Skysoul Institution often passed them on the small path. Right now was the recruitment period for the Skysoul Institution, which only happened once every ten years. Therefore, everyone in this area was a prospective new student of the Skysoul Institution.
Xiao Yu continued walking as he explained, “The Skysoul Institution is divided into five districts, each with strict grading. The Central District of the institution is the strongest, East is the second, and West is the third. The South and North Districts are the tail ends. You guys will have to first take a placement test for your d istrict.”
He glanced at Guan Yi and continued, “Furthermore, I have one point I need to make clear with you guys. Regardless of whether you’re Legend or Demigod rank, you better put away your arrogance. Now that you’re in the Draconic Ruins Realm, you guys have barely touched the door of cultivation. The cultivation stages in Draconic Ruins Realm are divided into five major Realms: Heavenly Fate, Heavenly Stars, Heavenly Axis, Dao of the Dragon, and Martial Ancestor. Every Realm is subdivided into nine smaller stages. Those below the Heavenly Fate Realm are called the Earthen Fate Realm. Those who have yet to form their Fate Soul don’t have the qualifications to call themselves a cultivator!”
At Xiao Yu’s words, Guan Yi was stunned. In the Nether Realm, a Demigod rank expert could already be considered an expert of one area. However, in the Draconic Ruins Realm, they were just pitiful Earthen Fate Realms. But so what? With my talents in cultivation, I can definitely rise above others.
Guan Yi gave Nie Li a glance. He was very displeased with Nie Li. The two of them were both disciples of the Nether Master and yet, Nie Li had obviously received higher standings from the Nether Master. Furthermore, Nie Li was close with the Nether Master’s foster son, whereas Guan Yi himself was a little excluded.
Nie Li was vaguely aware of Guan Yi’s hostility. However, he wasn’t really bothered by it. His real enemy was the Demon Lord and the overpowered Sage Emperor. Guan Yi didn’t have the qualifications to be called his opponent.
Guided by Xiao Yu, the three of them entered a courtyard where some teachers were calling out names. These teachers are wearing long robes and have an aura of prestige emitting from them. They also have powerful auras revolving around them. From those signs, they are at least experts of the Heavenly Fate Realm.
Xiao Yu walked to one of the teachers and said, “This is the referral letter for these three students.”
This particular teacher is roughly in his thirties and was wearing a long silver robe. When he raised his head and saw Xiao Yu, a trace of astonishment flashed through his eyes. “So it’s Xiao Yu!”
Upon hearing this teacher, the other teachers also turned their attentions towards them.
The first teacher gave a quick once-over of Nie Li and the two others before turning his head towards another teacher. “The referral letter has been received, bring them in.”
Xiao Yu nodded and said to Nie Li and the other two, “Follow me.”
Nie Li swept a glance over these teachers, who were all shocked at the name of Xiao Yu. So it seemed that Xiao Yu has quite a reputation within the Skysoul Institution. Even though Xiao Yu’s cultivation looks as though he still hadn’t formed his Fate Soul.
They passed through several corridors and arrived in the main hall where thousands of students have gathered and appear to be engaging in some activity.
Xiao Yu turned his head and said to Nie Li and the other two, “Before the talents from various cities and realms are allowed to join the Skysoul Institution, they must first undergo a test. This test concludes the grade of their Spiritual Root. Spiritual Roots are divided into Heaven, Earth, and Man. They’re then further divided into nine grades. The higher the grade of a person’s Spiritual Root, the stronger their talent would be and the faster their cultivating speed for the Heavenly Energy.”
“What’s the grade of your Spiritual Root?” Lu Piao couldn’t help but to ask out of curiosity.
“I’m a 7-grade Heaven Spiritual Root,” Xiao Yu said in a low voice.
At Xiao Yu’s words, Nie Li stared at him in shock. He never thought that Xiao Yu’s talent would be so high. Therefore, he has no idea why Xiao Yu hasn’t formed his Fate Soul yet. Ordinarily, a 7-grade Man Spiritual Root is already considered quite excellent. 5-grade Earth Spiritual Roots and above could already be considered geniuses. As for Heaven Spiritual Roots, they were extremely rare. Within the entirety of the Divine Feathers Sect, there probably isn’t more than a thousand people who could claim that.
“Is a 7-grade Heaven Spiritual Root really powerful?” Lu Piao turned around as he consulted Nie Li.
At Lu Piao’s words, the people who stood nearby and overheard looked at him with weird looks. Was this person an idiot? To ask such a question! Heaven Spiritual Roots were extremely rare. Those above 3-grade could already be considered powerful talents. Those that are above 7-grade were heaven-defying!
Sensing the weird looks, Lu Piao scratched his head. He was also aware that he had asked a rather unnecessary question.
Nie Li looked at Xiao Yu. By right, if he was a 7-grade Heaven Spiritual Root at his age, he should’ve already formed his Fate Soul. So why didn’t he form his Fate Soul already? Nie Li was extremely puzzled over this.
As for the test that determines one’s Spiritual Root, Nie Li had also taken it before in his previous life. At that time, he had only tested as a 7-grade Earth Spiritual root, which was a very ordinary talent. However, because he was in possession of the Temporal Demon Spirit Book, Nie Li had managed to reach the pinnacle of the Dao of Martial.
Although he didn’t have the Temporal Demon Spirit Book in this life, he was still in possession of the knowledge from his previous life.
“This Spiritual Root test sounds pretty horrifying. I’m really afraid of those kinds of tests. Aside from the Soul Force test from last time, I always place last!” Lu Piao said dejectedly.
“The test for the Spiritual Root isn’t the same as the Soul Force test. Just act accordingly with your cultivation technique. Even if the grade of your Spiritual Root isn’t that high, you’re still absolutely capable of reaching great heights through cultivation. So don’t stress it too much!” Nie Li patted Lu Piao’s shoulders as he casually smiled.
Guan Yi glanced at Lu Piao as he chuckled. Lu Piao was actually afraid of tests. Only mediocres would be afraid of test!
The number of people who came to take the test was steadily swelling as the three teachers continued to record scores.
“3-grade Man Spiritual Root, send back!”
“2-grade Man Spiritual Root, send back!”
The voices of the teachers could be heard.
Lu Piao couldn’t help looking at Xiao Yu and asked, “What do they mean by ‘send back’?”
Xiao Yu explained, “When they say ‘send back’, that means that the institution won’t accept them. The Skysoul Institution only accepts those with 5-grade Man Spiritual grade and above. Those with low talent are rejected.
At Xiao Yu’s words, Lu Piao couldn’t help pulling his neck in like a turtle. The idea of being ‘sent back’ was really pretty scary. They wouldn’t be able to return to the Tiny World for the next five years. So if the Skysoul Institution didn’t accept them, where else could they go? Lu Piao almost cried out as he thought he would end up with the batch that would be sent back!
Guan Yi glanced at Lu Piao’s bitter face and coldly snorted, “Trash!”
At Guan Yi’s words, Nie Li’s expression turned cold as he glared at Guan Yi and said, “Who are you calling trash?”
Nie Li absolutely didn’t allow anyone to insult his friends!
Glancing at Nie Li, Guan Yi shrugged, “Who do you think I’m talking about?”
Xiao Yu furrowed his brows for a brief moment. He was also rather displeased with Guan Yi. However, after one look at Nie Li, Xiao Yu feared that Nie Li would take action and moved to stop him. “The Skysoul Institution doesn’t allow any fights to happen within its territory, aside from challenges in tournaments. There are strict punishments for those who don’t abide by those rules. They might even lock you up in the Frost Cellar for months!”
Although he was highly annoyed with Guan Yi, Nie Li still understood the rules and didn’t pursue the matter.
Xiao Yu looked at Guan Yi and coldly said, “You’re all my foster father’s disciples. I hope you all won’t have any further issues with each other. If anyone tries to start one up, then don’t blame me for not warning you beforehand. For those who stir up trouble, don’t come crying to me when you hit trouble later on!”
At Xiao Yu’s words, Guan Yi immediately apologised, “Young Master Xiao Yu, I just had loose lips for a moment, please don’t take it to mind.”
Xiao Yu coldly snorted and stewed in silence.
Guan Yi had cold sweat on his forehead. He never imagined that Xiao Yu would side with Nie Li and Lu Piao. He clearly understood that offending Xiao Yu at the moment was definitely not a wise decision. Although he felt plenty of disdain for Nie Li and Lu Piao, it would still be best if he restrained himself a little to avoid offending Xiao Yu.
As the four of them were speaking, a group of people walked over. The one leading was a youth that held a trace of an evil aura emanating from him. He appeared to be either seventeen or eighteen and showed a provocative little smile.
The youth clicked his tongue as he said in a peculiar voice, “Well, isn’t this the super genius Xiao Yu from our West District? I never thought I’d meet Young Master Xiao in a place like this! What a coincidence!”
“Hua Ling, speak if you have anything worth saying. Otherwise, get lost. I don’t have the time to have an idle chat with you.” Xiao Yu’s face was smeared with a cold look.
Sensing the enmity between the two, Nie Li observed the youth called Hua Ling. This youth, who has dozens of people following behind him, should’ve already formed his Fate Soul and already became a Heavenly Fate Realm expert.
Hua Ling laughed and tried to hook his arms around Xiao Yu’s neck, but Xiao Yu knocked them away. Hua Ling retracted his arms as he chuckled, “Young Master Xiao is still the same as usual, so impolite!”