As for Zi Qian's question, Zhang Ruochen's answer was surely no.
Who would admit to being a jerk?
The following day, Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian hid in the cave to recover.
With the help of the healing pill, Zhang Ruochen's condition of an injury had recovered 70-80% by nightfall. Even though he hadn't fully recovered yet, he was confident that he could defeat Prince Huo Xing should he encounter him.
Although both Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian almost died, they had gained a lot this time.
On top of the 14 Beast's Eyeballs that Zhang Ruochen now owned, there were 18 and 26 Beast's Eyeballs found on Qing You and the seven warriors' bodies respectively.
Altogether Zhang Ruochen had 58 Beast's Eyeballs which equated to hunting down 29 inferior-class level-two savage beasts.
"Since I'm at the Mid Stage of the Black Realm, I only need to hunt down 10 inferior-class level-two savage beasts in order to pass the examination, which means I've already exceeded the target."
Zhang Ruochen smiled slightly and looked over at Zi Qian. "Miss Zi, how many Beast's Eyeballs do you have?"
Zi Qian sat cross-legged on the ground, retreated her Genuine Qi and said, "68 in total, which equals to hunting down 34 inferior-class level-two savage beasts."
Warriors at the Dawn State of the Black Realm were required to hunt down 40 inferior-class level-two savage beasts in order to pass the examination.
Zhang Ruochen took out 12 Beast's Eyeballs and handed them over to Zi Qian. "Here you go."
Zi Qian took the 12 Beast's Eyeballs without hesitation and put them inside her pocket.
"You really don't care I was sent to kill you? Do you know how much your head is worth on the black market?" She asked.
He was counting the Spiritual Crystals, silver coins, and Genuine Martial Arms placed on the ground. "How much?" He asked without looking at her.
"150 Spiritual Crystals, equal to 150,000 silver coins."
She chuckled. "With that many silver coins, I could hire a master of the Earth Realm to kill you!"
He turned and passed her a bag. He said, "Here, 150 Spiritual Crystals. Keep them safe."
"What do you mean?"
She was shocked. She took the bag from him and opened it.
The bag glittered in different colors. A strong Spiritual Qi surged out from it and the density of the Spiritual Qi in the air rapidly increased.
It was indeed 150 Spiritual Crystals!
Zhang Ruochen gave her a faint smile and said, "I found them on Qing You's and the other seven warriors' bodies. Like we agreed before, I take the Genuine Martial Arms and Pills and you take the Spiritual Crystals."
Zi Qian bit her lip slightly and stared at Zhang Ruochen. She took the 150 Spiritual Crystals and put them away.
Every young warrior who had joined the examination of the School of the Martial Market was a genius of Martial Arts. They came from either a large family or powerful Suzerains.
Their resources and properties for practice were no doubt abundant. 10 of their properties would equate to the family property of a master of the Earth Realm.
Zhang Ruochen put away all the Genuine Martial Arms and dozens of elixir bottles. He said, "Mission complete! We can finish the first-round examination in advance. Let's go back!"
"No! Although we've killed 24 warriors of Square Commandery, we didn't harm their foundation. Two of their best warriors, Feng Zhiyi and Qing You, have already been killed by us. We can attack the remaining warriors from Square Commandery as we please!" Zi Qian had a cold-blooded look on her face and didn't want to finish the first-round examination yet.
He rubbed his chin softly and asked, "You really think that killing all the warriors of the Square Commandery will earn you more than the title as a killer, don't you?"
"I do! So what?"
Zi Qian made no secret of the fact that she wanted to kill them all. She continued, "Don't you want to protect Yunwu Commandery seeing as you're its Ninth Prince? If we both leave Omen Ridge now, the other young warriors of Yunwu Commandery would not be able to confront the warriors of Square Commandery and end up dying in the woods!"
Zhang Ruochen responded. "Well... Seems like I really shouldn't stand by and just watch them die!"
Zi Qian put a sweet smile on her face while her long eyelashes glittered. She said softly, "Fighting in wars will also greatly increase our cultivation. The more resources we collect, the faster we cultivate after entering the School of the Martial Market."
"Let's do it! I don't want any of the warriors of my Commandery to die!" Zhang Ruochen said with a determination to protect his people.
Darkness had covered the woods. Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian turned into two shadows and dashed into Omen Ridge.
Zhang Ruochen had reached the speed of 38 meters each second which was similar to Zi Qian's.
A rain of blood covered the woods that night.
Another 35 warriors of Square Commandery were killed by Zi Qian's sword.
They had again collected a lot of resources: the Beast's Eyeballs, Spiritual Crystals, silver coins, tens of Genuine Martial Arms, numerous pills, and more than 10 kilograms of Spiritual Brawn.
During the day, they hid and rested in the cave in order to heal and recover their Genuine Qi.
Zhang Ruochen had refined seven Triple-purity Genuine Qi Pills. He had finally stabilized the cultivation of the Mid Stage of the Black Realm. His body was fully healed as well as looking sharp and fresh.
Times passed and nightfall came.
The sky was gloomy, soon it had turned to night.
This was the last night of the first-round examination.
There was a roar in Omen Ridge that lasted the whole night. Some candidates grasped the Kylin Ball and called for help with the Kylin Smoke.
Yet when the inspection team arrived, the candidate had already died. The killer had disappeared into the woods.
"That's strange! The examination this year is such a tragedy. 20 young warriors of the Square Commandery have been killed!" A member of the inspection team said with a long spear in his hand.
Another inspector crossed his arms, stood next to the dead body and said, "I'm afraid there are more than 20."
"I wonder what kind of trouble Square Commandery has encountered this year!"
"Let's go! The examination is going to end tomorrow afternoon anyway!"
The two inspectors rode on their two-headed gryphons, turned into two massive shadows and left the woods.
The slaughter had continued until noon the next day. 49 warriors in total had been killed by Zi Qian.
Since Zi Qian was a warrior of the Dawn State of the Black Realm, the warriors of both the Initial Stage and Mid Stage of the Black Realm had no way to fight back. They all died with one strike of her sword.
Zhang Ruochen followed behind Zi Qian and did nothing.
That was because there was someone sweeping and searching for the treasures. Besides, that person was more than happy to do so.
To be more precise, it was a cat, not a human being.
"Haha! Two kilograms of Spiritual Brawn, it's really worth the search!"
Blackie found a jade box on the body of a Mid Stage warrior of the Black Realm. He opened the jade box and a strong fragrance emerged.
Stored inside the jade box was Spiritual Brawn.
"21 Spiritual Crystal, 300 silver coins. This warrior is way too poor!"
Blackie shook his head with disappointment. He threw the bag full of Spiritual Crystals and silver coins to Zhang Ruochen and caught up with Zi Qian.
While Zi Qian continued killing the warriors of Square Commandery, Blackie searched for treasures. A human and a cat worked exceptionally well together.
Zhang Ruochen followed behind them moderately. He lifted his head and looked at the sky. "It's almost noon. We should head back, otherwise, we'll be late and be disqualified."
"Go back? For what? I want to try to kill two people at the same time!" Blackie looked fierce and exposed his sharp teeth and claws.
He stared at Blackie coldly and said, "Do you want me to seal you back to the Graph right now?"
"Relax! I'm just joking with you!" Blackie covered his teeth and claws, and looked gentle again.
Zi Qian was curious about Blackie when she first met him. Soon after, she got used to how Blackie and Zhang Ruochen talked. She glanced at Blackie and quickly shifted her attention away.
If a savage beast learned to speak the language of humans when they were young, those clever savage beasts could indeed communicate with humans.
Savage beasts that were able to speak the language of humans were very rare.
"I'll keep your treasures for now. We'll share them when we get back to the School of the Martial Market." After she wiped the blood off her sword, Zi Qian put it back in the sword scabbard.
Zhang Ruochen could clearly feel that the Martial Arts realm of Zi Qian had enhanced a lot after three days of hunting. She was not far away from cultivating the Sword Following the Mind, the realm of an Advanced Stage.
At her current practice pace, she would definitely reach the Advanced Stage of the Sword Following the Mind before cultivating to the Earth Realm.
"She should cultivate the Slaughter Kendo!" Zhang Ruochen thought.
Blackie shrank his body to the size of a fist. He jumped onto Zhang Ruochen's arm and went inside his pocket.
Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian left Omen Ridge for the School of the Martial Market.
Shortly after, they met an Outer Palace student of the School of the Martial Market along the way.
The Outer Palace student let them sit on his two-headed gryphon's back and led them back to the School of the Martial Market.
The generous Outer Palace student was called Wang Qi and had cultivated to the Final State of the Black Realm.
Wang Qi glanced at Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian. He couldn't help staring at Zi Qian. She was beautiful and elegant, and could definitely be called an Iceberg Beauty.
She was as pretty as Three Beauties of Western Campus.
Wang Qi moved slightly towards Zi Qian and said, "I started practicing at the School of the Martial Market three year ago with a ranking of 238 among all the external students of Western Campus. Which Commandery Prince do you two belong to?"
Zi Qian's eyes were cold. She grabbed her sword and stood on top of the two-headed gryphon's back without responding to Wang Qi. She had encountered numerous men hitting on her before. She didn't bother talking to anyone of them.
Zhang Ruochen smiled and said, "I'm the Yunwu Commandery Prince."
Wang Qi shook his head slightly as if something was wrong. Yet his eyes were still focused on Zi Qian and he gasped. "Things are getting tough for the warriors from Yunwu Commandery in the School of the Martial Market. They have always been suppressed by Square Commandery, especially the freshmen. They are always bullied if none of the stronger warriors at the School protected them. Some of the freshmen have strangely disappeared over the past few years. Rumor has it they have been killed by the students of Square Commandery. My junior sister apprentice, if you encounter any problems just say my name, Wang Qi. People in Western Campus honor me and won't dare cause you any trouble."
"Thank you for your kind reminder, Wang Qi. We will be careful when we arrive back at the School." Zhang Ruochen responded with courtesy.
While they were chatting, they had already flown above Western Campus of the School of the Martial Market.