Going back to the inn, Shi Li thought over the display of qi control he showed a while back.
He then remembered a prerequisite of a certain technique. "With this kind of qi control, could I possibly practice in that technique now?" Shi Li was excited.
What technique was Shi Li was cultivating, you may ask. Well it's not anything else but the [Flowing Wave, Reaching Heavens] technique!
He sat down cross-legged on the bed and checked the method on how to practice the technique. It needed a strong control over the cultivator's life qi.
The [Flowing Wave, Reaching Heavens] technique wants the cultivator to use their own qi to simulate a punch of their own strength. So instead of one strong punch, it's two punches within one!
However, it is mentally taxing so there are requirements to cultivating this martial technique. Either reach the Fan realm to attain strong qi, or attain strong control over your life qi on the Qi Creation realm.
All techniques had requirements to be cultivated. Human grade techniques start to be cultivated at the Qi Creation realm. World grade techniques start to be cultivated at the Fan realm or in some situations, it could be practiced in the Qi Creation realm as long as it wasn't taxing on the cultivator's qi.
After an hour, Shi Li opened his eyes and headed to the strength measuring pillar.
He clenched his right fist and focused his mind. He didn't dare to use his full strength right here since it was a public place. With just his casual strength, he inwardly shouted, "[Flowing Wave, Reaching Heavens]!"
A punch landed on the pillar and instantly, a sound of roaring waves descended from Shi Li's fist.
After a few seconds, a number came out of the pillar. 750 ren! The cultivation of the technique was a success!
Shi Li became happy. "I can unleash 25% of my original strength on the second punch. Time to practice it further!"
Two hours in, Shi Li can unleash 1/3 of his original strength on the second punch.
Five hours in, Shi Li can unleash 60% of his original strength on the second punch.
Nine hours in, Shi Li can unleash 3/4 of his original strength on the second punch.
He ceaselessly practiced the technique, hoping to reach the peak of the first layer and consolidate it to be usable anytime.
It was already morning. Shi Li didn't even sleep. He was still sitting cross-legged on his bed. His qi was circulating furiously around his body until he stood up.
He went to the strength measuring pillar and clenched his fist.
"[Flowing Wave, Reaching Heavens]!"
A sound of roaring waves came with his punch and landed on the pillar. The pillar shook for a bit until it subsided to give out a number.
1200 ren! He finally reached the peak of the first layer! Shi Li was extremely happy. He look out the window and saw that it was morning.
Shi Li's eyes widened. He took a quick shower and ran to the city plaza. 'I gotta hurry up!' Shi Li thought to himself.
He went outside the inn and unleashed 50% of his full strength, going through a hundred meters every breath of time.
The elder came up on stage and said, "Welcome to the second day of the recruitment event. Before we start, let's do a roll call. Please say present when your name has been recited."
The elder has called around 120 names out of the 127 participants that passed the first test.
The elder was now at his last name. He slowly asked, "Shi Li?"
No one answered. It was silent. The elder frowned and repeated the question. "Shi Li?" Silence was the same result.
The elder sighed and finally said, "I'll call this name one last time. Shi Li, are you present?"
With a thunderous boom, Shi Li stood in the middle of the plaza, panting for his breath. He slowly answered, "Present."
The elder inwardly sighed, 'Finally. We can start.' The elder nodded and said, "Sadly, 15 participants could not join the second test so we shall start the second test with 112 participants."
Almost everyone gave a look of shock but the elder did not mind it. He continued, "The second test would be a strength test. This test shall be done on a gold strength measuring pillar, in case some people have innate divine strength or other bloodlines."
In this world, not only does cultivation exist but bloodlines are also aplenty in this world. Some bloodlines give terrifyingly strong defense, some give terrifying speed, and some can give special powers that would help the cultivator attune to a certain dao.
The elder said, "As long as you can exert a force of 50 ren or higher, you can be said to have passed the test. I'll start calling names. Fu Zifeng!"
The person named Fu Zifeng came up the stage and bowed to the elder. He then asked, "Is there any restriction to what weapon or technique they can use?"
The elder replied, "There is no restriction whatsoever. Fighting always needs you to give it your all so do the same here."
Fu Zifeng smiled and unsheathed a sword. He then striked with his sword on the golden pillar. There was a scratch on the pillar from the strike but it quickly disappeared thanks to the pillar's regenerative properties.
After a few seconds, the pillar released a number. 62 ren!
The elder nodded and said, "Fu Zifeng, pass!"
Fu Zifeng smiled and came down the stage in a happy-go-lucky manner. He was happy but the test still continued.
"38 ren. Zi Shaocheng, fail!"
"50 ren. Hu Yazhen, pass!"
"110 ren. Han Leiyan, greatly passed!"
"20 ren. Jia Zumei, fail!"
The elder continued shouting 'Pass' or 'Fail' countless amounts of times. Out of the 100 participants that was called, around 30 were already disqualified.
The elder then said an ever familiar name, "Tian Jiaoren!"
Tian Jiaoren came up on the stage and brought out a saber.
"Oh? This arrogant guy is actually skilled at the saber?" Shi Li asked himself. He truly knew that some looks can be deceiving.
Tian Jiaoren went in front of the pillar and imbued qi into his saber. He continued to condense more qi within the saber to the point it emanated a faint silver aura. The aura was like hundreds of stars revolving around the saber. Blinding yet terrifying.
At this point, Tian Jiaoren striked, "[Grand Starry Revolution]!" With a bang, it landed on the golden pillar.
This strike made a pretty noticeable dent on the pillar. Tian Jiaoren smiled for being able to do so. After 10 seconds, the result came out.
Everybody was speechless at the number. 957 ren? That was extremely close to the true strength of a Fanxia realm cultivator!
The elder was also speechless. He came back to his senses and said, "957 ren! Tian Jiaoren passed the second round!"
Everybody cheered for Tian Jiaoren. Tian Jiaoren, being the arrogant guy he is, smirked in a proud way.
He slowly went down on stage and sent a voice transmission to Shi Li. "Can you beat that?" Tian Jiaoren said.
Shi Li lightly smiled. "We'll see." He replied.
The elder looked at the list and it only had one name left. "Shi Li." He shouted.
Shi Li heard this and came up to the stage. The elder asked Shi Li, "Will you be using a weapon?"
Shi Li politely replied, "I will not. I will just use my bare fists."
The elder nodded and let Shi Li do his thing.
Shi Li went in front of the golden pillar and circulated his qi. He focused his qi on his right fist.
'I should just exert twice the force with the Flowing Wave technique. No need to attract more attention. This is enough.' Shi Li thought to himself.
He clenched his fist and aimed it at the golden pillar.
"[Flowing Wave, Reaching Heavens]!"
With a sound of roaring waves, he punched straight on the pillar with a loud clang. He slowly released his fist from the pillar, to see that he made a deep imprint.
This left some people speechless. Tian Jiaoren muttered, "Heh. It may be a deep imprint but I'm sure it's weak."
After 30 seconds, the golden pillar shook. It meant that the results came out.
The elder widened his eyes, "I knew it! From the yellow aura before on the first test, I knew he was a Fan realm cultivator!"
Shi Li punched out a whopping 2400 ren!
But instantly, loud cheers covered the plaza with it reverberating around the city.
Tian Jiaoren was shocked. "Impossible!" He said.
The elder stared at Shi Li and chuckled happily. 'I guess we found a really good seedling this time.'
The elder then said, "2400 ren! Shi Li has passed the second test with flying colors!"
The elder then sent a voice transmission to Shi Li. "You're a Fanshang cultivator! A Fanshang close to the Zui stage! Am I right?"
Shi Li just chuckled. "You could say that." He replied.
In the Azure Void Deity Calendar, Year 2567, Month of True Earth, Day 25...
Within Grand Tian City, the legend of the great Shi Li has been born.