Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Knock, knock, knock!
Zhang Aidao, who was reading a book in his room, looked up and saw the boy he had saved yesterday standing in the door.
"Oh? Zhou Bai?" Zhang Aidao scratched his head helplessly. "I guess someone told you about my identity as a failed applicant."
Zhou Bai smiled and said sincerely, "Old Zhang, I wanted to ask you about the Donghua Tao Academy entrance exam."
"I don't have time. I helped you yesterday out of duty," said Zhang Aidao. "Today is my only day off this month, and I've already made plans."
Zhou Bai smiled awkwardly, thinking to himself, "A chosen one like me is destined to save humankind in the future. Shouldn't beautiful women and handsome men stand in line to see me off? And any random door I open should lead me to some wise sage?"
Christina exclaimed, "Me! Me! I'm pretty and cute, and I have the qualities of a sage! I'll instruct you for the entrance exam!"
"I don't trust this silly cat at all," Zhou Bai thought. He then looked at Zhang Aidao's messy room and asked tentatively, "Old Zhang, do you need someone to clean your room?"
"Hm?" Zhang Aidao raised his head to look at Zhou Bai. "Will you wash underwear?"
"Huh?" Zhou Bai responded. "You already have flying bronze horses. Don't you have a machine for washing underwear?"
Zhang Aidao nodded. "It's wartime, and Paradise sent all the experts on Taoist technology to work on weapons, so they haven't been doing much as far as daily life goes. Will you wash them or not?"
Zhou Bai sighed. "I'll wash them."
Zhou Bai then got busy cleaning Zhang Aidao's room, washing his laundry, and mopping the floor, all while listening to his tutelage on the Donghua Tao Academy entrance exam.
"As one of the four big Tao academies, Donghua Tao Academy only recruits the cream of the crop, the genius practitioners, the strong individuals who will play a vital role in future battles.
"Therefore, there are two hard requirements for enrollment. One is that your bone age must be below 20, and the other is that your Primordial Spirit Value must be above 30."
Zhang Aidao looked at Zhou Bai and said, "Yesterday when we performed the examinations, we found your age to be 18, which meets the requirement. As for a 30-point Primordial Spirit Value, you probably have that, right?"
Zhou Bai nodded. He didn't want to tell him his Primordial Spirit Value had actually reached 70 earlier that morning, reasoning, "By the time I take the entrance exam, it'll probably be even higher."
Zhou Bai then couldn't contain his glee. "Hehe, will I amaze everyone there? Will I be the top genius to enter the school?"
At this thought, Zhou Bai couldn't help but ask Zhang Aidao, "What level is 30 points of Primordial Spirit Value?"
"Paradise categorizes practitioners into 11 levels, from Primordial Realm to Universal Realm," replied Zhang Aidao. "To put it simply, a 0 to 9% Degree of Taoification belongs to the zeroth level, the Primordial Realm; 10 to 19% to the first level, the One Qi Realm; 20 to 29% to the second level, and 30 to 39% to the third level."
"It's the same for all the following levels. Every 10% increase in Degree of Taoification counts as a level, and 100% is a level by itself. So, from level 0 to level 10, there's a total of 11 levels, 11 realms.
"But before you officially increase the Degree of Taoification, your Degree of Taoification remains at 0%, and your Primordial Spirit Value can only reach 99 at most."
At this, Zhang Aidao suddenly pointed at Zhou Bai and said, "Why are you mopping the same spot over and over? Mop another spot… Here... There... You have to mop the entire floor to get it clean."
"Oh, oh, oh." Zhou Bai unleashed his primordial spirit power, controlling the mop to swish in every direction.
Zhang Aidao went back to the topic. "I remember when I took the entrance exam. There were some 20,000 people who met the requirements. Most of them had around 30 to 60 points of Primordial Spirit Value. There was also a dozen who reached 99 points."
"Oh…" Zhou Bai then thought, "I wonder if the Primordial Spirit Value in my auxiliary system will also stop at 99 points."
"The auxiliary system can definitely do it," Christina said. "It directly adds to your Primordial Spirit Value. As long as you can bear it, it can probably be raised."
Zhou Bai nodded, controlling his primordial spirit power to scrub Zhang Aidao's underwear. He felt like his prospects were better now.
Zhang Aidao continued. "After meeting the hard requirements, the rest of the exam tests you on willpower and learning capacity… Ever since the Heavenly Tao became distorted, practice efficiency has increased a lot from before, but it has also gotten more dangerous. Even with protective formations and rune vaccines, practice can still lead to deformation and insanity."
"Therefore, practitioners need a strong willpower to endure these," Zhang Aidao finished.
Zhou Bai asked, "But how do you test one's willpower?"
"Back then, I had to squat in an illusion formation," Zhang Aidao replied. "The demand was to be one of the last 5,000 standing."
Zhou Bai uttered, "How horrifying…"
Zhang Aidao nodded in agreement. "I squatted for seven hours. I almost felt like my legs weren't my own anymore."
Zhou Bai inquired further, "Then what about learning capacity?"
"Learning capacity is one's gift for practicing Tao," said Zhang Aidao. "After all, the resources are limited. Although it's a little cruel, the best resources have to be provided to the most gifted people, so as they become stronger they can use them to protect us."
"When I was tested on learning capacity, I remember it was a written test," said Zhang Aidao. "They showed us an ancient Taoist scripture, and then we had to write one sentence summarizing its meaning."
"That ancient Taoist scripture was probably a product from before the Heavenly Tao became distorted. It described the Heavenly Tao in an indirect, metaphysical manner. I suppose the better you understood it, the greater your gift for practicing Tao. That was the round that I got eliminated in."
Zhou Bai nodded and asked, "Then how do I prepare?"
Zhang Aidao shrugged. "Primordial Spirit Value can't be increased over a couple days, so there is no way to prepare. As for willpower, I don't know how you could strengthen that."
"As for learning capacity, it's half talent and half accumulation. If you've been reading Taoist books and ancient Taoist scriptures since childhood, that might be useful. But it's too late to do that now."
Zhou Bai asked, "Huh? Then I can only sit around and wait for the test? This conversation has been completely useless!"
Zhang Aidao objected. "How can you say that? At least you've confirmed there's no use in preparation, and you can go into the exam without any burden."
Zhou Bai continued complaining while Zhang Aidao put on a white outfit and looked at himself in the mirror. He opened the door and said to Zhou Bai, "That's all you need to know about the exam. And now, I have a date." He waved dramatically to Zhou Bai. "Once you finish cleaning everything, go back and rest."
After watching Zhang Aidao leave, Zhou Bai "humphed," stopped working, and fell on the sofa to rest.
"If I can't prepare for this entrance exam, doesn't that mean I have to rely purely on luck?"
Immediately, Zhou Bai's eyes glowed. He saw in his auxiliary system that his Primordial Spirit Value had increased.
He looked at the time and noted that it wasn't past midnight yet.
"Is that so? Slacking off and not doing the cleaning can increase Laziness too?!"
Zhou Bai was ecstatic. He continued lying on the couch and watched Laziness in his auxiliary system rise. It increased by 1 point almost every minute. Ten minutes later, it had increased by 10 points but then stopped rising.
Pleased with himself, Zhou Bai converted the 10 points of Laziness into Primordial Spirit Value and then went deep into thought while watching it reach 71 points.
After having slacked off for long enough, Zhou Bai got up to finish the rest of the chores. When he returned to his room, he found someone waiting for him—an elder with a yellow shiba inu at his door.
"Hello, are you Zhou Bai?"
Zhou Bai nodded. "What's the matter?"
"Your companion has been recovered. You can see her now."
"Really?" Zhou Bai happily exclaimed. "Then let's go. Take me to see Elsa. What's her situation?"
The elder rubbed his chin awkwardly. "She's pretty good. She's a big eater." Then he pointed at the shiba inu on the floor and said, "That's her. Take a look and see if there are any problems."
The shiba inu widened her mouth, gazing at Zhou Bai with joy.
Zhou Bai was in shock.
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