Chapter 261: Entry
I managed to get as close as possible to one of the s.h.i.+ps and then teleported into its vicinity.
I had a fear of being teleport blocked but nothing of the sort happened. Several cultivators wearing completely different clothes were moving about, checking cargo and repairing the damage of the s.h.i.+p, there didn't seem to be anything going awry for now.
I continued teleporting until I was at the s.h.i.+p's deck and began moving about as casually as possible. Listening in on the cultivator's talk.
A few of them talked about random things and some seemed to be more interested in an oversized s.p.a.ce creature that they had met a few months ago. It seems hard to understand from the context of what they were speaking about. Especially since I didn't wish to stay too long not to expose myself.
"The Advent will dock soon! Brace yourselves!" a domineering voice spoke up.
Many cultivators used their Qi to 'glue' their feet to the s.h.i.+p's deck as it moved down into the planet's atmosphere.
"I guess we were lucky that the captain managed to spot that thing before it dove into us," one of the cultivators added to his former statement.
"Yes, no wonder he was called the best captain of the Four s.p.a.ces," another replied.
"I'll make sure that every time I travel through s.p.a.ce to save a spot on the Advent. Since you're straining yourself to listen to us what do you think about that beast?" the first cultivator spoke to me, with a wide gentle smile.
It seems that I was listening and was already discovered but I needed to make sure that I'm on good terms with them not to expose myself.
"To be completely honest, I'm ashamed of myself, I was too scared to actually see what happened. The pressure alone was almost enough to destabilize my cultivation. I'm just a Nascent Soul cultivator," I said.
"Oh, a cultivator who admits weakness, interesting. right, it must have been difficult, but don't worry, there should be a treatment and care facility once we arrive you can check up there and even receive compensation for your troubles," the cultivator said gently and continued talking to his friend. It seems that my being of such a low cultivation level was enough for him to disregard my existence.
But I didn't care since he was tactful about it. After all, I was a 'weak' Nascent Soul cultivator. My opinion on a beast that made even these cultivators who I couldn't even begin to understand their cultivation level was completely irrelevant.
The two of them ignored me from then onwards, and soon the s.h.i.+p began its descent.
The entire s.h.i.+p dove into the planet's atmosphere and bore through it as easily as if it was sailing through calm sea waters. And soon we were within the planet's skies and came down all the way to a city that was so huge that it made the already ma.s.sive s.h.i.+p look like a dwarf.
Just as we arrived at the docks, several cultivators of extremely powerful cultivation base boarded the s.h.i.+p.
They all had black robes with golden decorations.
Not before long, one of the black-robed cultivators spoke, "Line up for inspection!" he said.
This was bad.
Just as I wanted to teleport out of this situation, I realized that I was unable to, the s.h.i.+p's entire domain was blocked by a powerful law that even I couldn't begin to understand.
Trying to bypa.s.s it will take time and time I didn't have because the majority of the cultivators on the s.h.i.+p lined up and began showing a token that they had to the inspectors.
Just as I was about to try and find a way out, a hand grabbed me from my shoulder.
"Your token," spoke the robed man before he looked at his palms, shook them then looked me in the eyes.
I was stunned due to two things. The first, I couldn't even feel or sense him approaching me. The second was the fact that he so easily shook off a Pixie's Poison from my robes as if it was nothing even worth mentioning to him.
I opened my mouth, and spoke something that wouldn't be accepted lightly, "I lost it…" I said.
"Hmm lost it you said, you'll have to come with us."
"Wait," spoke the same cultivator that I talked to earlier.
"He is with me," he said.
"With you? You know that losing a token is penalized by law, can you afford it?" he said, not to the cultivator but to me.
"You do know how things work here, this man is just a Nascent Soul cultivator, a more powerful cultivator could have easily taken it from him, how would he even dare talk back?" the cultivator said.
"Nascent Soul?" the guard frowned but then immediately spoke "It is none of our business, every entry needs a token, and unless you have it, or can afford to pay its value, then how are we going to do our job? Show proof of possessing the token or pay the penalty for losing it."
"How much is the penalty," I asked.
"Not a lot luckily for you, a hundred thousand top grade Spirit Stones," the guard said.
The mere mention of that number of top-grade spirit stones was enough to have my figurative jaw drop.
"You seem too shocked to speak, don't tell me you can't even afford that? Or are you one of those, who are sent by a backwater planet to attempt and get a spot on the Heavenly Academy exam using all of your resources?" the guard snorted.
Nice, this guy is a talkative idiot thank you for giving me a way out.
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"Ironically… I am. I'm our clan's hope. They gathered all their resources and their treasures to get a token so I can arrive and get a fighting chance at attending the academy."
The man's brows rose up, "That's… an interesting point of view, but no. My cultivation is different, but why do you think I cultivate Karma?" he asked.
"I can't explain it, but you have a simple air about you, although you're not simple at all."
"Simple…hah, that's a good one. What's your name?" he asked.
"I'm Shen Bao," I spoke. There was no need for me to lie about my name here, I was too far from home, and my name isn't unusual at all in the world of cultivation.
"Good to meet you Shen Bao, I'm Xiao Feng," he said.
"Good to meet you too," I replied.
The two of us walked out of the s.h.i.+p in toe, and we moved down towards the registration office where many cultivators were waiting in line.
"What brings you to attempt the Heavenly Academy test? Don't take it the wrong way, but I believe that you're far too weak for it," he said.
"I honestly just realized how big of a difference between me and the people around me. Though I was a big fish in a small pond, a frog in a well, now my eyes are opened. But that isn't enough to bring me down, I'll still do my best to get admitted," I said.
"Good take, I'm honestly surprised about one thing about you, though I realize that you're definitely not at the ascendant stage, you yourself said you're a Nascent Soul Cultivator, you feel like a mortal, which is surprisingly hard to believe," Xiao Feng said.
"It's my cultivation technique, it allows me to retain a Mortal atmosphere about me, and makes it hard to gouge my cultivation level. But it seems that it's not working properly in a place where Nascent Soul cultivators are far too weak to be considered as cultivators," I said.
"You don't need to worry about your cultivation stage, the trial adjusts itself to each and every individual cultivator who has the financial ability to take it. And the Academy only accepts the best of the best. You'll find many Nascent Soul cultivators in it, students of your grade. But, be careful, they too are like you, big fishes in a small pond, they're all-powerful, and your conception of power will change drastically once you meet people who you'd consider geniuses on your planet to be nothing but trash here."
I clasped my hands to Xiao Feng once again and said, "I'll make sure to waste not the opportunity you've given me, I Shen Bao Promises to pay back what I am due, as soon as I can."
"Good I respect a man of principle, then I'll be expecting my investment in you to be repaid, not in spirit stones, but in you being admitted to the academy, you're an interesting person, make sure to stay like that," he said. "Now if you'll excuse me, my ride arrives, I'll have to go. Get registered and let's meet at the academy exam area in two weeks."
Just as I was about to ask him what he meant about his ride, a ma.s.sive winged dragon flew down from the high heavens.
It was by far one of the most imagistic things I've ever seen. A sky blue colored dragon with white as cloud wings flew down harmoniously without lifting a single speck of dust, and calmly coiled around itself in a nearby open plaza.
The man that was next to me took a step forward and immediately was already above the dragon's head.
"Till we meet again, Shen Bao," he said right into my mind, and immediately the dragon departed.
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