Chun Yeowun looked down at Yumpa, the 200th cadet, and back to his hand.
'…I should get used to it.'
Yeowun failed to control the power he now held. Yumpa crouched on the ground from the pain coming from his back. It wasn't too bad, but it seemed like he had taken internal damage.
'Ugh… was he hiding his power?'
He thought Yeowun was an experienced warrior and that he would be able to withstand at least tens of formations. However, he had to reevaluate his thoughts.
"I… I lost."
He accepted his loss while crouching. And when the pain subsided, Yumpa got up.
"I thought you were around the level of an experienced warrior, but you are more than that. You sure do inherit the blood from the sky."
Chun Yeowun did not respond to that. He didn't appreciate his lineage that much.
"Anyway, I will have to keep my promise then."
"I want to ask you something first."
"Why did you want to have a duel with me?"
Yeowun still couldn't find the reason why Yumpa wanted to duel, especially with the condition of sharing vital information.
"Haha. You sure don't trust people very easily."
"As I said in the cafeteria, it was to see the worthiness."
"Worthiness? Are you talking about me?"
"Yes, and it also applies to me too. It is for the third test."
What did it have to do with the third test? Yumpa then began explaining the third test.
"It is likely that the third test will be done with groups again."
"What? I heard that there will be no more group tests."
That's what Lee Hameng himself had declared. Yumpa waved his hand.
"It's not like the second test."
"What difference is there?"
"Because this one relies on one's own strength."
"Third test is to sort out the high-ranked warriors. I'm sure you know how powerful our cult's high-ranked warriors are."
Currently, the ones who were strong enough to be considered as strong as high-ranked warriors were only about 40 out of 207 cadets that were left.
'If what he says is true, the next test will take a while.'
Most cadets only had ten to twenty years of internal energy, which was lacking to become a high-ranked warrior.
"With the Black Dragon Ball, most cadets will achieve thirty years worth of energy."
That was possible since they would all be receiving the Black Dragon Ball soon. However, there was a catch.
"Then they will be missing out on the martial arts."
"Yes. Their internal energy issue is solved, and they now need to be taught good martial arts."
That was necessary to be considered as a powerful warrior. Since the cadets were not allowed on the third floor of the library which had books on top-level martial arts, most cadets were bound to fail.
"If the test isn't to have cadets to create a new martial art, then there is only one answer."
"Yes. A top-grade martial art will be provided in this test."
"So, only the ones who acquire it can pass the test?"
"Yes, but there's another issue. That alone will make it too easy, and as you know, the test gets only harder once you move up."
Over 80% of students would pass if that was the only issue with the third test.
"If what my father told me is right, the martial art form that's provided is the Seven Demons Sword, which all of our high-ranked warriors know how to use."
It was the sword skill created by famous the swordsman named the Sword Demon within the Demonic Cult. It was created to fight against Sorim's formation. The unique thing about it was that if there were more people, it had the ability to create a powerful formation attack. This allowed weaker warriors to fight against stronger warriors if they outnumbered them.
"My father told me that twelve people had to group up to learn this."
"Yes, it is the basic number to complete the skill. But learning the formation was harder than learning the sword skill itself."
Yeowun then realized why Yumpa had asked him to duel. It was to see how powerful Yeowun was.
"…Was that the reason why you asked me to duel?"
"Of course. I couldn't decide just by looking at one formation. I needed to see your real skill to count on you."
Chun Yeowun frowned.
"Oh! I forgot to tell you this. The new test will be done voluntarily. On everything."
"You can choose your own groups. I heard that only the group leaders are chosen due to evaluations."
"Meaning, they will allow the leader to choose whoever they like?"
"Yes, that is correct. But members can refuse also. I'm pretty sure this is a test for the princes of the six clans, rather than a test for regular cadets."
Yeowun then became excited. This meant that the test would directly be the competition to the throne itself.
'It's my chance to make allies.'
"But don't the cadets need to side with the leaders to pass the test also?"
Yumpa answered, "Yes, but they can't just choose any leader, otherwise they will risk their success rate to the test itself. We might have to compete with other groups in some other way in the end."
'I see. He's quite clever.'
It seemed that Yumpa was quick-thinking and quite knowledgeable. He had the potential to be a tactician and seemed to be very helpful.
"So, was that why you said you will count on me?"
"Yes. Remember I said that I would give you a small gift? The gift is me."
Yeowun frowned. He didn't expect a great gift, but he didn't like it that much either.
"I might not become a leader."
"No, from what I can see, you will be a leader. And don't you think it's better you have someone like me, rather than some lacking cadets?"
Yeowun was hesitant as there was still one more thing he couldn't understand.
"Why did you choose me? There are other princes or leaders who passed the second test."
This was his biggest question here.
"…That is an excellent question."
"I need to trust you if I am to take you in."
Yumpa then scratched his head.
"I'll tell you the truth. No offense, but I actually offered the same thing to the princes of the Wise and Sword Clans."
He sighed as he said that, which meant that he had been turned down.
"Were you refused?"
"They were already full. They already have skilled warriors serving them. No spots left for me."
"What about the other four groups?"
It was too quick to give up after meeting just two groups. Yumpa shook his head.
"Yeah… but I thought all the princes from the six clans would be the same."
"So, I was the second choice?"
Yumpa smiled, "Yeah. And we walk the same path of the blade, don't we?"
Yeowun looked at him weirdly. Yumpa then smiled awkwardly as he continued, "I'm not just asking you to take me in. You can just consider it as using me until you pass the third test."
It was now up to Chun Yeowun. Yumpa even bowed politely.
"Will you take me in, Prince?"
Chun Yeowun smiled softly. Yumpa thought he had been accepted, so he went down on his knees to show his thanks.
"Thank you for…"
Yeowun spoke to him again.
"I said, I refuse."
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