Donglin Martial Training Hall occupied a huge space that was divided into three areas: the martial practice rooms, the aeth testing hall, and the arena.
As the errand boy led Lin Xun through the place, he would occasionally see various kinds of cultivators. There were even students wearing the Donglin Academy uniform amongst them.
However, most of these cultivators only had True Martial cultivation, and it was very rare to find any Spirit Dipper stage experts.
Evidently, although the Martial Training Hall was huge, the main customers it drew were True Martial stage cultivators.
It did not take long for Lin Xun to be led into the aeth testing hall.
He found himself in a large, spacious hall. Dark golden stone tablets that were over a hundred feet tall towered at the center, giving off wisps of aeth power undulations.
These were aeth testing stones, which were aeth artifacts rumored to have been created by a great master from the empire’s Divine Workshop. The stones could perfectly measure a cultivator’s aeth power level.
At closer inspection, Lin Xun found that the aeth testing stones were covered in runes. Each rune represented a different meaning.
Lin Xun observed that there was a corresponding number to each rune: 100 catties, 400 catties, 600 catties, 800 catties, 1000 catties, etc.
The errand boy began to explain, “Young hero, normally speaking, a True Martial first layer cultivator possesses a 100 catties of aeth power, while a regular True Martial second layer expert possesses 400 catties and so on. Different cultivators will also have different levels of aeth power.”
Only then did Lin Xun understand. Catty was a type of measurement unit for aeth power.
The errand boy continued, “Young hero, you only need to pay ten silver coins to measure your aeth power.”
Ten silver coins was equivalent to one thousand copper coins. This was a substantial amount.
Lin Xun thought about it for a while before ultimately handing over ten silver coins. For the sake of his future cultivation, he needed to know what level his aeth power cultivation had reached.
The errand boy accepted the money and carefully withdrew, leaving the giant aeth testing hall to Lin Xun. This was to maintain the customer’s privacy.
After all, cultivation was the root of a cultivator’s power and no one would willingly allow others to see their power level.
Lin Xun was quite satisfied on this point.
He stepped forward and inspected the aeth testing stone. After a long time, he took a deep breath, circulated all the aeth power in his body and pressed his hand onto the notch at the bottom of the stone.
A strange power rippled from the aeth testing rock. Lin Xun felt as if he was being enveloped by flowing water on both the inside and the outside. Other than this odd sensation, he did not feel any discomfort.
Meanwhile, light suddenly emerged on the aeth testing stone’s surface and began shooting upwards. It quickly passed the 100 catties, 400 catties, 600 catties and 800 catties rune indicators.
It continued to climb from 800 catties.
800 catties to 1000 catties represented the regular range of True Martial fifth layer aeth power levels. Where a particular cultivator stood depended on where the light stopped between the 800 to 1000 range.
If the light stopped at 800 catties, it would mean that this True Martial fifth layer cultivator’s power was relatively weak and could only be considered ordinary.
If it stopped at the 1000 catty position, the power in the cultivator’s body had already reached the peak of the True Martial fifth layer stage.
Normally speaking, most True Martial fifth layer cultivators would range between 800 and 1000 catties.
One thing worth mentioning was that the standards were based on the power levels of the average cultivator in this world. No matter how precise the measurements were, it only represented the quantity and quality of aeth power, and did not say anything about how strong a cultivator was compared to others of the same stage.
The light soon rose to the 1800 catties mark. This meant that Lin Xun’s aeth power cultivation had reached the peak of the True Martial sixth layer.
However, it was not over yet!
After reaching the 1800 catties mark, the light continued to climb without slowing.
Lin Xun could not help but feel surprised.
1800 catties to 3000 catties belonged to the True Martial seventh layer aeth power level!
Was the power he possessed already enough to match a True Martial seventh layer expert?
Before Lin Xun could regain his calm, he saw the light reach the 3000 catties position in a few breaths.
However, it was still not over yet!
The light soon charged into the 3000 to 5000 catties range. This was the power level which belonged to True Martial eighth layer experts!
However, after reaching this range, the climbing light gradually began to slow down.
Lin Xun forcibly composed himself and focused on the light.
In the end, it stopped at the 4900 catties mark and did not rise any further.
This position represented the current level of Lin Xun’s aeth power. He only needed a little more to reach the peak of the True Martial eighth layer, Big Cycle!
Of note, Lin Xun’s cultivation was only at the True Martial sixth layer, Blood Igniting. This meant there was a difference of two entire lesser cultivation stages!
From this, it could be seen that Lin Xun’s aeth power was already comparable to a peak True Martial eighth layer cultivator!
Lin Xun could not help but feel skeptical about the results. Is this aeth testing stone broken?
If the result was true, wouldn’t it mean that his aeth power was superior to ordinary True Martial eighth layer cultivators?
An ordinary True Martial eighth layer expert and a peak True Martial eighth layer expert were two completely different entities!
After mulling over it for a long time, Lin Xun ultimately reasoned that it was because of the four aeth power vortexes at his four heart acupuncture points.
His aeth power became purer and of higher quality after being refined by the four vortexes. The power contained within naturally also grew extremely terrifying.
“Since I already have 4900 catties worth of power, I wonder how much my aeth power will grow after reaching the True Martial seventh layer.” Lin Xun was still thinking about his aeth power as he left the aeth testing hall.
When he stepped out of the entrance, however, he saw a flurry of activity in the main hall.
He soon saw a group of soldiers in empire-manufactured heavy armor marching toward him. An aura of sternness swirled around them and the few cultivators who were unable to get out of the way in time were thrown aside by the soldiers.
In the blink of an eye, the group opened a path in Donglin Martial Training Hall and a tall, soldierly young man wearing a scarlet-red cape strode in.
The young man had a broad forehead, tiger-like eyes which seemed to flash with lightning, and a tall, imposing figure. Each movement he made gave off a strong feeling of boldness and disdain.
The soldierly young man asked in a commanding voice, “Where’s the aeth testing stone?”
“Th…th…there.” An intimidated worker stammered as he pointed behind Lin Xun.
The soldierly youngster flicked a sparkling gold coin to the worker, “This is the fee, use the leftover to buy some alcohol for the brothers behind me!”
After which, he headed towards the aeth testing hall.
Lin Xun silently moved to the side, giving way to the soldierly youngster. With such a grand entrance, the soldierly young man was definitely no ordinary person. He had to be extremely rich to so casually spend a gold coin.
The youngster glanced at Lin Xun and suddenly thought of something, “You just used the aeth testing stone?”
Lin Xun nodded.
“You look like you’re about thirteen or fourteen-years-old. What cultivation stage have you reached?” The young man had a deep voice and was very direct, making him seem rather rude. After all, it was an unspoken taboo to ask about someone else’s cultivation level.
However, his gaze only contained curiosity and did not appear to be trying to cause trouble.
Lin Xun thought for a moment and said, “I just reached the True Martial sixth layer, Blood Ignition. I am far inferior to the esteemed sir.”
He was trying to be modest but the young man did not seem to realize this point, “You’re quite self-aware. I already possessed True Martial ninth layer cultivation when I was nine, but due to concerns about my future, my cultivation was suppressed for four years by my grandfather. Otherwise, I would have advanced to the Spirit Dipper stage four years ago! You definitely can’t compare to me in terms of cultivation speed.”
Lin Xun was taken aback. This fellow is a strange one. Did he really just tell a stranger such things?
Moreover, he looked completely serious when boasting. He really is…a marvel.
However, Lin Xun also found out that the youngster was the same age as himself: thirteen.
However, the young man seemed to have matured rather quickly and looked nothing like a thirteen-year-old. He looked much closer to eighteen or nineteen.
While Lin Xun was lost in thought, the soldierly young man had already pushed open the doors and walked into the aeth testing hall.
The soldiers in heavy armor were left outside, intimidating everyone in the main hall until no one dared to speak.
Several people had already left the place.
Lin Xun did not linger for long either and began walking towards the exit.
He originally intended to have a look around the martial practice rooms and test the power of their copper skin puppets. However, due to the unexpected encounter and because he was starting to worry about Xia Zhi, who was all alone at home, Lin Xun did not dare to stay any longer.
“Judging from the slightly bloody aura around them, they are clearly battle-hardened elites who have been baptised by the fires of war. Moreover, from the insignia on their armor, they seem to be from the empire’s famous Steel-Blood Army.”
“The empire’s Steel-Blood Army? Oh my god, are you referring to the Steel-Blood Army under the Steel-Blood King who are stationed at the empire’s west border?”
“Who else would dare to wear the heavy army specially crafted for the Steel-Blood Army?”
“But who is that youngster? Who could have a squad of Steel-Blood soldiers as his guards?”
“He’s definitely no simple individual and is likely related to the Steel-Blood King!”
“What piques my curiosity is that the Steel-Blood Army is stationed at the Blue Sand Province near the empire’s western border and is several tens of thousands of miles from Donglin City. Why have Steel-Blood Army troops appeared in Donglin City? Could something big have happened?”
Before he could walk out of Donglin Martial Training Hall’s main entrance, Lin Xun overheard some conversations.
Was that the same Steel-Blood King Ning Bugui who lived only for battle, preferring to die on a mountain of corpses and lie in a sea of blood, so his body could eternally face the heavens and slumber with the land?
Lin Xun could not help but stop and turn his head to glance at the soldiers.
Sure enough, he found that the soldiers seemed brave and capable and killing intent leaked from their bodies. They gave off a hardened, steel-blooded aura, as if they were ready to conquer every land under the heavens.
“If these are soldiers under the Steel-Blood King, that youngster’s origins are definitely even more astonishing…” A thoughtful look arose on Lin Xun’s face, but he soon shook his head and disappeared into the bustling streets outside Donglin Martial Training Hall.
Meanwhile, the soldierly youngster angrily roared in the aeth testing hall, “That little liar. His power is clearly at the peak True Martial eighth layer level, but he lied to me and said he had only had True Martial sixth layer cultivation. Since when has anyone dared to lie to me? How detestable!”
If Lin Xun returned, he would realize that he had forgotten to erase the record on the aeth testing stone when he left because he had been lost in thought about his aeth power cultivation…
Unfortunately for him, the record had caused a misunderstanding with the soldierly youngster called Ning Meng.
Nevertheless, even Ning Meng would not have imagined that Lin Xun was indeed at the True Martial sixth layer…Previous Chapter Next Chapter