Just as Ye Xiu was about to sit down and meditate, the room was completely lit up. Knowing that he wouldn't have his chance to meditate, he looked around the room to see if he could find the instructions for whatever he needed to do. It was barely a minute after the room had been brightened when a voice sounded out throughout the room.
"You have passed the second stage of the test. Rewards shall be awarded dependent on your performance. The first checkpoint required you to kill 1000 Grade 2 Qi Beasts. Rewards for killing all 1000 in 10 days is access to choose a single item from the first floor of the storage vaults of the testing area. The second checkpoint required you to kill 100 Grade 3 Qi Beasts. Rewards for killing all 100 is access to choose a single item from the first floor of the storage vaults of the testing area."
"The third checkpoint required you to kill a single Grade 4 Qi Beast. Rewards are not given for not completing checkpoint. Secret task: Acquire a familiar from the fourth grade. Rewards for acquiring a familiar is access to choose 3 items from the first floor of the storage vaults of the testing area. Participant has managed to complete the second stage in the time limit given and will not be punished."
"Rewards will be given at the end of the test if you are still alive." The voice stopped speaking after that morbid statement. Ye Xiu raised his eyebrows. He was surprised that he got a reward by gaining a familiar when Tian Bai's voice sounded out in his mind.
"You get rewarded dependent on the grade of the beast that you bond with. A Grade 2 Qi Beast familiar has the worst rewards whilst a Grade 4 Qi Beast familiar has the best rewards. I wouldn't lie to you because I'm very honest. This storage vault seems really interesting though but seriously? You only get the rewards at the end of the test and only if you survive? That's pretty morbid and it is very foreboding."
Ye Xiu shrugged. "It doesn't matter. It's probably to scare those that take the test." Ye Xiu was about to say something else to Tian Bai when he was interrupted by the voice.
"The third stage will start in two weeks as a reward for clearing the second stage with exemplary results. You can choose to go back to the second stage arena so that you'll have a supply of food and water. If not, there is the choice to be transported into a villa that has been prepared for participants to live in. I kindly suggest that you rest up and prepare yourself for the third stage because no breaks will be given during that period of time."
Ye Xiu spoke to Tian Bai to see what he wanted. "Where do you want to go?"
Tian Bai didn't even hesitate to answer. "Let's go to the villa. I don't feel like going back to the valley at all."
"Sure. It's your choice anyway." Ye Xiu spoke aloud so that the voice would know that he had chosen to go to the villa.
They were transported into the villa where they would be staying for the next two weeks. "Well... guess this will be our shelter for the next two weeks. What do you think we can do?" The weasel was curious about what they were going to do if they were going to be stuck at a place.
"I thought they we might as well just train. I mean I have no idea what is going to come up in the next stage so I might as well prepare myself and get some training in. Every little bit of training counts and I don't want to waste the opportunity that the free time gives me." Ye Xiu rubbed his neck as he spoke.
Tian Bai rolled his eyes. "Yeah if you're going to be training, I'll just check out what there is to do. I'm not going to just train all day. That's completely boring." He was not going to be like Ye Xiu who would spend all his time on training and nothing else. He wanted to have fun. It was one of the main reasons why he wanted to leave the valley in the first place. "Can you summon me, I want to at least see the villa for myself."
Ye Xiu did as he asked and Tian Bai ran off to see the different rooms of the villa. He sighed in exasperation since Tian Bai resembled Xiao Tu way too much. He was happy that the weasel had such childish tendencies but remembered that Tian Bai had told him he was the youngest Qi Beast in the entire valley.
He started his own investigation of the villa, mainly to find the kitchen and training grounds.
- 2 weeks later -
"It seems that our resting period is about to end." Ye Xiu declared when they were eating breakfast one day.
"How do you reckon you know that?" Tian Bai questioned with his usual boredom when it came to topics such as this. He asked the question merely on a whim so that Ye Xiu wouldn't feel like he was alone.
Ye Xiu didn't mind that Tian Bai was asking the question for the sake of asking a question. "I know this due to the fact that there was an announcement made by the voice whilst you were still sleeping your life away. I still don't understand how you can sleep 18 hours a day without suffering any side-effects."
Tian Bai puffed up in pride. "My talent in sleeping for long periods of time might be due to the boredom. Once I ran out of things to do in the valley, I spent the majority of my time sleeping away. The other Qi Beasts didn't bother attacking me since I'm very efficient at hiding. The reason why I don't suffer any side-effects from sleeping so much? Well, I use Qi to cure my symptoms so they never affect me in the first place."
"Only you would come up with something so ridiculous just for the sake of sleeping." Ye Xiu shook his head due to how amused he was.
"Sleep is very important and don't you forget it! You probably don't understand the true worth of sleep!" Tian Bai jumped up and bit Ye Xiu's finger, drawing blood.
"Don't bite me! Your teeth are very sharp, I'm still amazed that they can get through my skin so easily even if I'm enhancing it with 'Tyrant's Physique.' Either way, we'll be leaving in an hour, so take everything you want to take and I'll place it in my dimensional storage before I throw you back into the soul space." Ye Xiu was fascinated by Tian Bai's teeth.
The day seemed to be a good day as Tian Bai rushed off to find his toys that he managed to find in the villa. In less than an hour, Tian Bai had gotten everything he wanted including multiple comfortable pillows and couches. When they packed everything up, Ye Xiu had Tian Bai return to his soul space, he waited for the time to run out where he was transported out of the villa and back to the grand room that he seemed to be entering quite often.
The room was always being relit every time he came in, at first the spectacle was obviously fascinating but after the first time it became rather dull. The voice sounded out. "The third stage will begin immediately. As I speak a statue will appear in the middle of the room and the instructions for the third stage will be on the statue. This is the final stage but it has the highest possibility of death since the failure of the third stage will result in death."
The voice had finished speaking and Ye Xiu's eyebrows rose in bafflement. "I think that I should be surprised that the voice literally told us that we would die if we fail. It was rather blunt but I like it." Ye Xiu walked to the middle of the room where he could see what the voice was talking about. It looked like a massive humanoid dragon which was holding a massive greatsword. Ye Xiu used his observation technique just in case he missed anything.
He could see that the entire statue was infused with more Qi that he had ever seen at a single time and that was him comparing it to the house in the Dimension that was already saturated with Qi. Ye Xiu turned off his observation technique because the huge amount of Qi was actually starting to burn his eyes through some unknown means.
He looked at the statue and noted that at the base of the statue there were several other tiny statues that held plaques that had writing engraved onto them. He read the words carefully and quickly and felt like water was poured over his head. "This stage is the final one that the participant will have to face. The stage is to test the speed of comprehension of the participant."
"Those that don't contain the bloodline of a dragon will automatically fail the stage since the technique that needs to be learnt requires a dragon's bloodline to utilise. It is highly unlikely that any participant will not have a dragon bloodline awakened since the only way to enter the testing area is to have a dragon bloodline already awakened. There is one other place where it is possible to enter the testing area but the requirements are harsh."
Ye Xiu was slightly happy. "I'm very glad that I have a dragon bloodline then. I wouldn't have wanted to automatically fail and die simply because I didn't meet the requirements." He continued to read the information that was given.
"The technique that you must learn is as follows. Ignite the blood essence that you have, don't have it converted into Qi just yet but have it moved throughout the Qi Pathways. No specific pathway has to be followed as long as it stays inside of the Qi Pathways. Add in your own Qi and mix it together with the travelling blood essence. The two must be completely mixed to the point that they can no longer be separated."
"Move that mixture into your heart and hold it there for thirty seconds. Changes should follow. You will notice scales starting to appear on your skin. The first stage will be considered complete once you manage to cover the entire body in scales. The specifics for the second stage of the technique will be revealed once you master the first stage. The final stage of the test will last for an entire month due to the difficulty of the technique and the requirements needed to activate it in the first place."
"No food will be provided for the entire stage but water shall be provided. The technique will be trained in the fastest possible way when the participant is hungry which is why food will not be given to the participant. It also tests the ability of a participant to sustain themselves with Qi. Though if the participant already has food prepared then they are free to eat it as they like since it means the participant was already prepared and it counts as the participant being smart."
"The final stage is completed when the participant manages to reach the second stage of the technique and uses it in combat to defeat an opponent that will be assigned to them."
Ye Xiu grimaced. 'I should be very lucky that I have so much smoked meat stored. I can't believe that the test would something like this though. If what the information here is correct then apparently hunger will help me improve in the usage of the ability much faster? I can abstain from food for an entire month if I use my Qi to sustain myself though I'm unsure how it'll affect me later on.'
"Tian Bai, there won't be food provided here but I still have food for you stored in the dimensional storage. I'll take it out for you when you are hungry." Ye Xiu set himself to the task of mastering the ability as quickly as he could.