Ye Xiu opened his eyes to find himself looking up at the sky in his Dimension. He was confused because he knew that he definitely not entered the Dimension at all. He stood up from where he laid and looked around to see that nobody was there. He called for Xiao Bai since he was the spirit of the Dimension so he should know what's going on. "Hey, Xiao Bai! What's going on? Why am I inside the Dimension?"
Xiao Bai flew out of the house in the Dimension and looked at his master with an unreadable expression. "It seems like the Dimension has deemed it to be time." He patted his master on the head before speaking. "The Dimension has a room that determines whether you are strong enough to continue to be its master. If you don't pass the test, you will have limited access to the Dimension and it is unsure whether you'll continue to be the owner of the Dimension."
"The previous master set this up to make sure that anyone who inherits his will would never be complacent and to make sure that the inheritor isn't simply squandering the advantages that they have. The test tests your strength, technique and your mind. You have to be strong, skilful and smart in order to pass the test so I wish you luck. The Dimension should automatically pull you into the room in a short amount of time to begin the test."
"If you do manage to pass the test, you'll unlock more things in the Dimension so please don't fail!" Xiao Bai started to float back towards the house and wished Ye Xiu good luck because he knew just how insane the test was. His previous master really had no sense of how strong a person should be at their realm of cultivation due to how he was raised up. Xiao Bai moved to the Master's office and shook his head slightly. 'I really hope you don't die during the test.'
After Xiao Bai said his piece, Ye Xiu was transported into a dark room that was massive. He had no idea where the room actually was in the Dimension but it certainly looked impressive even without any light to brighten up the room. As he thought that, the room was quickly lit alight by several torches that were on the sides of the room and Qi stones that were embedded into the ceiling of the room.
Ye Xiu started to walk around the grand room looking at the decorations that were in place. He waited for several minutes afterwards, waiting for any instructions to be given to him so that he would know what to do in the test. He was confused after waiting for several minutes because it seemed like no instructions were going to be given to him.
He continued to be patient for another hour inside the room and he wondered if he was going to be kicked out of the Dimension if he didn't finish the test in time. What he didn't know was that the room that he was in had a time dilation a hundred times faster than the one that they normally had when they were training. That meant that he could stay inside the room for a hundred hours and not even a single hour would've passed in the dimension. Sadly, he had no idea about that.
He started to pace around the massive room, looking for clues to what he was supposed to be doing. He utilised his observation technique and could see that the entire room was saturated with Qi. He guessed that this was probably the first stage of the test that he had to pass. He took his time to look past the dense Qi that surrounded the entire room to see if there were any clues to help him solve his problem.
After several hours of searching the entire room, he noticed that there seemed to be clues all around the room and that he just hadn't put the clues together figure out what he was supposed to do. When he put all the clues together and placed them in order, he noticed that it formed two long paragraphs for him to read.
"The first stage of the test is designed to test the initiative and observational skills of the examinee, it is passed when all the appropriate clues are gathered up and ordered so that the answer to begin the second stage is given. The first stage will end after forty-eight hours and if the examinee has not managed to pass the first stage when twenty-four hours have run out, he will be shortly punished for six hours straight after he has completed the stage before entering the second stage. If not, he'll be kicked out."
After reading the first paragraph, chills were sent down his spine and he was dreading just what kind of punishment he would've faced if he had not managed to pass the first stage in time. From what he had taken from Xiao Bai's sad expression, he knew that the test he was taking was probably going to be a painful one. He shook his head to clear himself of those morbid thoughts and continued to read the second paragraph.
"To start the second stage, the examinee must drip a single drop of a dragon's blood essence on the floor of the room. The blood will initiate the second stage. Instructions for the second stage will be given after the stage has begun. Prepare yourself for the second stage and rest before you begin because the second stage will not be as easy as the first."
Ye Xiu read the second paragraph with a glum look. He laughed in a depreciative tone. 'At least Master left a warning for those that would take part in the test.' He sighed as he sat down to meditate before he rushed headfirst into an unknown situation just as the instructions had advised him to do.
He started to meditate as he started to think about other things. He was glad that his multi-tasking skill had finally allowed him to focus on three different things at the same time. 'It's weird that Xiao Bai would tell me of the test only when I was just about to enter. Shouldn't he have told me earlier? It's also strange that the entire thing was so sudden but maybe the sudden transportation was to do with how I would react to unknown situations?' He tried to come up with reasons and was doing fairly well in convincing himself.
'How am I going to explain my disappearance to the others later on? Nah, it should be okay if I tell them the truth. They'll probably be surprised and they would be worried afterwards.' Ye Xiu knew his friends too intimately to the point that he could probably guess their reactions. 'Xiao Tu would probably be the only one who wouldn't be too worried since he knows I can take care of myself. He's more likely to ask about what tests had come up.' Ye Xiu shooked his head fondly as he focused his attention back to meditating.
After he had felt that he had rested enough, he got up and stretched his muscles after the long period of inactivity. He was preparing himself mentally and physically to begin the second stage because he had no idea what it would bring. Once he had finished preparing himself, he took out a dagger that Yan Guo had given to everyone in the group. It was a gift and it was extremely sharp.
The dagger was sharp enough especially after Ye Xiu injected a tiny bit of metal Qi into the dagger to make it even sharper. It managed to pierce his palm after little effort and after pushing out the blood essence that he had stored up for an occasion such as this, the wound sealed itself quickly.
Ye Xiu had to thank Yan Guo for such a useful dagger because it was used for ceremonial purposes that required blood but you didn't want to leave a wound open. It had runes engraved on the blade to make sure that the wound would seal, Yan Guo had several of these daggers simply because it was useful for torture. Why he would think that it was useful for torture was because he had training from his father on using it for torture and had it used on him multiple times before.
Yan Guo's training was truly brutal and it covered many areas that most people wouldn't even touch. Even Ye Xiu and the others were grossed out when they heard about the training but they were also mad at their friend because he was forced into the training. Though Yan Guo said it was fine since it helped him get strong, everyone looked at him as if he was a strange monster.
When the single drop of blood essence landed on the floor, it was quickly devoured by the floor and it disappeared from sight. The room started to distort and Ye Xiu quickly found himself on a cliff that overlooked a valley that teemed with life. Ye Xiu was shocked that there were so many living beings in the valley when instructions started to appear in front of his face.
Reading them out loud, his tone took on the impersonation of a strangled chicken. "Kill everything in the valley. The time limit for the test is a single month and rewards will be given dependent on how fast each checkpoint for the test is completed. The checkpoints consist of killing: 1000 Grade 2 Qi Beasts, 100 Grade 3 Qi Beasts, 1 Grade 4 Qi Beast." His facial expression was one to admire since he felt like drowning himself once he read what he had to do.
"The valley is separated into three portions. The first portion mainly consists of Grade 2 Qi Beasts and a single Grade 3 Qi Beast, the second portion consists of the majority of the Grade 3 Qi Beasts and the final portion consists of 3 Grade Qi Beasts and a singular Grade 4 Qi Beast. Good luck and remember to use your brain when you fight the Qi Beasts!" Ye Xiu stomped his feet in irritation once he finished reading everything.
He sat down on the floor since he didn't have to start the task immediately. At least his Master was kind enough to set up the stage area in portions because if it was arranged randomly, he was sure that he would've died the moment he stepped into the valley because he would have no idea how to tell the differences between the Qi Beasts' grades.
Sure, he could recognise different Qi Beasts but he would never be able to recognise the amount of Qi that a Qi Beast would contain to be considered a certain grade. Qi Beasts' grades never stayed stagnant and continued to grow the older they are which meant that he would need to fight multiple battles before he would be able to outline a border for how strong a Qi Beast in their respective grades should be.
He was sure that he would be able to take care of the Grade 2 Qi Beasts without a problem individually, however, he had no idea how the valley hierarchy worked and had to be careful if multiple Qi Beasts formed a group and decide to hunt him down. He would also have to be careful with what he ate and drank because he was sure that the Master would've set up the test to also assess his survival skills. He had food in his dimensional storage but he only had so much that would last him that long.
He looked for a stick so that he could write down his plan on what to do. He liked to have things visualised so that it would be easier to remember. Eidetic memory was great for sure but remembering a picture was much faster than remembering individual words.