Silver Overlord Chapter 49
Similar to the sight he had seen outside the college entrance exam venue in his past life, whenever an exam candidate entered the schools exam hall, countless parents and guardians would wait expectantly and anxiously outside the hall for their own children to come out.
The annual Martial Arts County Trial Examination was no different from the college entrance exam for the majority. It was even more important than the college entrance exam itself because for most of the common folks, this represented the birth of a noble son from a poor and humble family as well as the chance to get their big break.
Youths who performed exceptionally well in the Martial Arts County Trial Examination could enter the prefectural citys martial arts academy to pursue their studies and could hope to become a Martial Warrior, advancing as a gentry. Even if they werent capable of becoming a Martial Warrior in the end, the chance to study in the prefectures first class martial arts academy housed a lot of advantages as well. It allowed the students to widen their network in the martial arts academy and make many friends. There was also the fact that they could perhaps even have the chance to be recruited into all levels of prefecture and county government offices because every year, each prefecture and county government offices would have many jobs available they would always go to the prefectural citys martial arts academy to make their selections.
In a sense, the Martial Arts County Trial Examination was equivalent to the junction between the Great Han Empires entrance exam and the office-bearer exam. There were a total of seventeen towns in Qinghe County and there were seven to eight hundred exam candidates every year. If there were a lot of students, the numbers could shoot up to the thousands, and only around thirty people could have the chance to pass the Martial Arts County Trial Examination to enter the prefectural citys martial arts academy. This acceptance percentage was much lower than the other entrance exams.
After handing over the rhinodrake steed to Lu Clans guard, Yan Liqiang finally walked through the entrance of the martial arts academy in the midst of innumerable parents lining the streets in welcome.
There were four entrances at the main entrance of the martial arts academy. Every entrance had the name of Qinghe Countys towns written on them. Candidates coming from different places would enter through different doors respectively to go into the martial arts academy. There were three men inspecting the identity of those who entered at every entrance. It was extremely strict.
"Where are you from?"
The man interrogated Yan Liqiang while flipping the book in his hand. He nodded his head after he flipped to the page where the candidates names of Liuhe Town were listed and saw that Yan Liqiangs name was recorded in it. He then requested Yan Liqiang to stick out his right thumb and ink the thumb on the red ink case before leaving behind a thumbprint on the back of the register.
This thumbprint happened to be placed in the same line as the print which Yan Liqiang had left when he participated in the preliminary exam for easier comparison. Upon seeing that the two thumbprints were the same, only then could they verify Yan Liqiangs identity. The man then gave the register to the person next to him to examine it for a brief moment. The person nodded and the third person took out a metal plate with a number engraved on it. He wrote Yan Liqiangs name on the metal plate before handing it over to Yan Liqiang. Only then did Yan Liqiang enter the countys martial arts academy with the metal plate in hand.
There was still around an hour left before the start of the exam and there were already six to seven hundred candidates assembling at the martial arts academys training grounds. Nine arenas had been set up in succession on the training grounds. On the largest arena in the center of everything hung a horizontal banner that read Qinghe Countys Martial Arts County Trial Exam of Pingxi Prefecture.
On the actual day of the examination, the candidates who entered the field were both feeling exhilarated and anxious. Candidates who came from the same region were all huddled together, each and every single one of them whispering to each others ears Some candidates were also performing various kinds of warm up exercises or warm ups on their fist arts.
Candidates coming from different towns had their own designated assembly area. Those areas would have a banner with the name of their town written on it on one side. Depending on where the candidates were from, they were required to assemble under their respective banners. Having the system set up in such a way not only made it easier to manage but it was also to prevent others from assuming a candidate's name to take his place. Due to the reason that candidates from the same region would be familiar with each other since they had at least met before, should a stranger appear all of a sudden, they would immediately detect it. According to the Great Han Empires laws, for those who dared to impersonate a candidate and cheat in the martial arts examination, both parties would be charged with serious crimes. This would result in banishment and they would be sent away to serve a penal sentence.
Yan Liqiang swept his eyes over the training grounds and saw Liuhe Towns banner. He then calmly walked towards the assembly area where the candidates of Liuhe Town were gathered.
The candidates from Liuhe Town had also caught sight of the approaching Yan Liqiang. Each and every single one of them whispered to anothers ear.
"Ah, Yan Liqiang is here"
"Could it be that the injuries he sustained that time have already healed?"
"Perhaps its healed. Even if it didnt, he should at least come and try!"
"Its such a shame. If a tragedy hadnt fallen onto Hong Taos household, Hong Tao definitely could beat the crap out of Yan Liqiang"
Everyone saw Yan Liqiang but none of them came over to greet him out of their own accord. Back in Liuhe Town, Yan Liqiang wasnt exactly popular.
Qi Donglai was also amongst them. When he saw Yan Liqiang, he wanted to head over but hesitated. In the end, he didnt make a move and guiltily avoided Yan Liqiangs gaze.
On the other hand, Yan Liqiang was staring at Qi Donglai as he walked over, coming to a halt before him.
Up until this point in time, Yan Liqiang already found out clearly how did the Hong Clan bribed Qi Donglai two months ago. As a matter of fact, it was both ridiculous and sad, all the Hong Clan did was to give a good piece of land of theirs in Liuhe Town to Qi Donglais family to open a rice shop. They seemed to have also waived Qi Donglais family a couple of years of rent. Qi Donglai sold himself away just like that.
Now that tragedy had plagued the Hong Clan, their clan members were fighting over the properties so Qi Donglais familys rice shop was taken back. Two days ago, Qi Donglais parents even went to the county town office to file a lawsuit, complaining that the rice shop was promised to them a few months ago free of rent for ten years. Now that the Hong Clan decided not to rent it to them anymore, they wanted to reclaim it and had gone back on their words. However, Qi Donglais parents were incapable of showing solid proof and had no evidence to back up their story. In the end, the officers treated them as if they were trying to extort money so they were driven out of the county towns government office.
"Donglai, its been a long while!"
Qi Donglai gave an unnatural smile, seemingly not used to Yan Liqiangs imperious glare. "For the past few days, I have been staying in the prefectural city for the exam. My uncle found me a master to teach me a set of leg techniques. I was so caught up in training for these few days so I didnt return. I only heard that something bad happened in your home after I came back yesterday. Im truly sorry that I didnt go and visit your father..."
With one glance alone, Yan Liqiang was able to see through Qi Donglais hypocritical show of cordiality.
Yan Liqiang smiled. "Its alright. Su Chang stopped by already. If you came instead, I wouldnt have been at ease!"
"Whats there to worry about?"
Yan Liqiangs gaze suddenly turned incisive. "My father is recuperating now. He wont be able to bear getting bitten by another ice ant that someone places on him!"
Qi Donglais complexion turned ghastly pale as his expression completely froze in place. "Liqiang You Whatre talking about? How come I dont understand what youre saying?"
"I know you understand. You know clearly that I know why I lost terribly in the previous preliminary exam and who had secretly placed the ice ant on my body. You know it better than me!" said Yan Liqiang like it was a tongue-twister. Then he coldly added, "Placing consideration on the tiny bit of friendship that we shared before, Qi Donglai, Ill forgive you this once. But from today onwards, were strangers. You dont know who I am and I have no idea who you are. Bear in mind that theres no next time. Lastly, let me offer you a piece of advice, there are witnesses everywhere. A lot of times, no matter what people do, God is watching them, so stop doing things that go against your conscience..."
After he finished talking to Qi Donglai, Yan Liqiang went off without sparing Qi Donglai another glance.
Qi Donglais complexion suddenly flushed multiple shades of green and red in an instant. Upon hearing their conversation, the people surrounding them also cast a thoughtful glance at Qi Donglai as though they had figured something out. In all of Liuhe Town,, there wasnt a single person who didnt know that the Hong Clan had hired an assassin to kill the father of the Yan family and his son. After listening in on what Yan Liqiang said, it seemed that in the preliminary exam last time, the reason as to why Yan Liqiang was crushed by Hong Tao was due to Qi Donglai playing tricks in the shadows.
Qi Donglai had always been Yan Liqiangs friend. Having friend like this was simply too frightening.
Unknowingly, the gazes that everyone cast at Qi Donglai changed. Each and every single one of them put some distance between them and Qi Donglai until in the end, nobody was at his side. He was the only one standing alone on his own.
This was the price Qi Donglai had to pay. Since he could even betray his friend, then he shouldnt wish to have any other friends in the future. Anyone would avoid someone like him. For this kind of person, could it be that he still had the duty of hiding his dirty secret for him?
If Yan Liqiang couldnt pay back kindness with kindness and seek vengeance if there was enmity, then how different would he be from a salted fish?
Only now did the Hong Clans affairs completely come to an end.
Yan Liqiang finally felt invigorated...
As for the remaining amount of time, Yan Liqiang never intended to chat with the surrounding crowd, so he stood under the Liuhe Town banner as he waited silently.
After about forty minutes had, followed by the three beats of the drum, a group emerged from the martial arts academy, prompting all the training grounds to instantly be enveloped by silence...
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