After buying the peak half-step God Realm beast cores, Huang Xiaolong rented a courtyard in one of the Black Warrior City’s inns, immersing himself in cultivation. Now, there were barely ten months left until the assessment day. Thus, Huang Xiaolong limited himself to ten beast cores a day, while the rest of the time was spent on cultivating his battle qi, the Ancient Puppetry Art, and Soul Mandate.
He also went out from time to time for a stroll and dip in some occasional wine. The days were leisurely and comfortable, contributing to his dwindling wealth.
The small courtyard he rented wasn’t large, but it still cost more than a thousand Xuanwu coins daily. A bottle of slightly better wine cost at least another thousand Xuanwu coins.
In the beginning, he had wanted to buy his own courtyard in the Black Warrior City, but he was shocked after asking about the price. The cheapest courtyard cost three to four hundred million! On top of that, only Black Warrior Institute’s elite disciples and above were permitted to purchase a residence. As for others, they wouldn’t be given the time of the day even if they offered hundreds of millions.
“Forget Black Warrior City, even courtyards in small cities on the Cloudsea Mainland would cost you at least one hundred million.” Dragon Emperor Ao Taiyi emphasized, “The Cloudsea Mainland is the entire Black Tortoise Galaxy’s trading center, every inch of land is worth more than gold. Only some big families or super forces’ disciples or Elders can afford to own a place.”
A regretful sigh sounded from Huang Xiaolong. No matter where one goes, the difference between the rich and poor still exists.
“After you break into the God Realm and become a Black Warrior Institute’s inner disciple, with that identity you can look to buy a place in one of the smaller cities of the Cloudsea Mainland.” Dragon Emperor Ao Taiyi persuaded.
Huang Xiaolong nodded.
Even a common courtyard in the Cloudsea Continent’s smaller cities wasn’t something that everyone could buy, the identity of the buyer was a prerequisite. That wouldn’t be an issue if Huang Xiaolong was able to become an inner disciple of the Black Warrior Institute.
At that time, he could even bring the Huang Family over to the Cloudsea Mainland. This was an absolutely safe place.
No one would dare to fight openly or commit murder on the Cloudsea Mainland, otherwise they would become the whole galaxy’s common enemy. Even core disciples of super forces would think twice before acting recklessly.
The passage of time flowed by, and very soon, two months had passed.
By the time Huang Xiaolong had refined six hundred beast cores, he finally advanced to half-step God Realm. His strength once again increased by leaps and bound. If during the test Huang Xiaolong’s true strength was 3000, then his current strength would increase to 4000. A thousand points difference may not seem much, but his actual strength definitely more than doubled.
Inside the yard, Huang Xiaolong ended his practice for the day and opened his eyes as he breathed out turbid qi from his mouth, “My Asura Tactics has reached the ninth stage, according to this speed, when I break through to God Realm, my Asura Tactics will also enter the tenth stage!”
The legendary tenth stage! Huang Xiaolong was looking forward to it with anticipation.
A stage even his Master, Ren Wokuang, had yet to achieve.
As long as Huang Xiaolong achieved the tenth stage, he would be able to open the Door of Hell, allowing him to travel freely to hell and back. Just like the Divine World, Hell was an upper level world surface. The better resources from Hell would provide Huang Xiaolong an edge that other Black Warrior Institute geniuses couldn’t compare with.
He did not leave Black Warrior City after he advanced to half-step God Realm. Instead, he continued to refine the remaining beast cores.
A little more than a month passed. Huang Xiaolong spent his time refining the remaining three hundred over peak half-step God Realm beast cores, solidifying his half-step God Realm foundation. During this period, his strength continued to grow every day. However, it was far from peak half-step God Realm.
“At this rate, I’d have to refine one thousand more God Realm beast cores to see any results.” Huang Xiaolong’s mood turned dismal.
A thousand God Realm beast cores, where was he going to find that many?!
At most, the auction houses might hold ten or so God Realm beast cores for auction. Not to mention the fact that an average God Realm beast core would fetch a price of four to five hundred thousand each.
A thousand God Realm beast cores, he wouldn’t be able to afford them even if he sold the five remaining divine grade spirit stones inside his ring.
“Actually, you need not think so much at this point.” Dragon Emperor Ao Taiyi ’s voice sounded. “Your current strength is sufficient to secure a spot in the Black Warrior Institute. Moreover, for the assessment, the Black Warrior Institute would transfer the participants to the Deepwood Star to hunt for demonic beasts, monsters, and demons as part of the elimination process to select the best one hundred. On the Deepwood Star, there are a lot of God Realm demonic beasts and demons.”
“A lot of God Realm demonic beasts and demons!” Huang Xiaolong’s eyes lit up.
Dragon Emperor Ao Taiyi chuckled, “Right, these demonic beasts and demons’ are generally not very strong, at most they’re early or mid-First Order God Realm, without any late-First Order God Realms, suitable for your training.”
“That Deepwood Star should have at least one thousand God Realm demonic beasts and demons, right?” Huang Xiaolong wanted to be certain.
Dragon Emperor Ao Taiyi was rendered speechless, “You think God Realm demonic beasts and demons are littered all over the place? All the demonic beasts and demons on the Deepwood Star are reared by the Black Warrior Institute in hundreds of thousands of years. Although it does have a lot of God Realm demonic beasts and demons, there would, at most, only have several hundred. Those late-First Order God Realm and Second Order God Realm would be captured by the Black Warrior Institute’s experts.”
Captured? Then Huang Xiaolong immediately understood the institute’s intentions.
Among the participants in the assessment, the stronger candidates’ strength would be on a similar level to early or mid-First Order God Realm demonic beasts. If there were Second Order God Realm demonic beasts inside, they needn’t bother with an assessment. It would be a one-sided slaughter.
“But, there is still half a year more to the assessment,” Dragon Emperor Ao Taiyi advised, “In this half year period, continue to refine peak half-step God Realm beast cores, increase your strength as much as you can. This way, when the time comes, it will be easier for you to kill those mid-First Order God Realm demonic beasts.”
Huang Xiaolong nodded.
Hence, in the days after, Huang Xiaolong used the remaining thirty million to buy over seven hundred peak half-step God Realm beast cores, continuing the refinement, his occasional strolls, and his love for wine.
As days turned into weeks, which turned into months, half a year was gone in a blink.
Inside the Xumi Temple, Huang Xiaolong was sitting cross-legged beside the Ten Buddha Formation. As he breathed in and out, dragon qi swirled around his body in the ethereal shape of a dragon.
In recent days, his Treasure Dragon Protective Shield Art had reached minor completion and the formation diagram that appeared inside his body had fully integrated with his True Dragon Physique. The diagram formation had also changed since then, from the vague lines to picturesque mountains and flowing streams, accompanied by lush trees and grass. All of these were formed by dragon qi.
Several hours later, Huang Xiaolong’s cultivation ended for the day. When he exited the Xumi Temple, the outside world was already deep into the night.
The vast sky was a stretch of midnight blue.
“Tomorrow is the assessment day.” Huang Xiaolong whispered while looking at the sky.
The Black Warrior Institute seemed to attach great importance to this term’s assessment. Not only did they increase the reward for the first place, the rewards for second place all the way to the tenth place were all doubled.
By the end of the registration period, among the number of people who tested their aptitude, there was a total of twenty-five people who scored 2000 point and above for strength! In the past, twelve to thirteen people were the norm, but this year it was actually twice as much.
The highest scorer in terms of strength, reaching well over 3100, was a young man named Gudu Leng. He was also the only person scoring above 3000 points. When his results were determined, it raised great waves in Cloudsea Mainland. That was because in the million years of pre-assessment tests, not once did any genius score above 3000 points. Rumor has it, the news even stunned the Black Warrior Institute’s Principal.
“Is this the reason why the Black Warrior Institute suddenly increased the rewards?” The corner of Huang Xiaolong’s lip curled up in a hint of a smile. Tomorrow, he would be able to see this Gudu Leng guy.
A worthy opponent only made things more interesting.