Hearing that, Fang Xingjian threw him a look of indifference and said, "You’re not convinced?"
Of course, Fang Xingjian was aware of how the Martial Techniques Grading Plan was a terrifying tremendous opportunity many people sought after. For him to be taking a slice of such a big cake, it was impossible for there not to be anyone approaching him for this. After all, he was neither a Divine level expert nor a prince, so how could others just watch on as he took a portion of the money?
Fang Xingjian's seeming extremely arrogant attitude further infuriated the Knight of the Rising Sun, Gardner.
Gardner’s eyes narrowed and gleamed in cold light as he spoke, making each of his words very clear, "With your qualifications, experience, as well as your sword arts cultivation, you aren't suitable to lead a section of the Martial Techniques Grading Plan. The reason I've come here is not just to discuss the matters of the Martial Techniques Grading Plan with you, but I'm also here to test to see if you deserve to participate.
"Now that I've met you today, I know that you're merely a young and proud genius. Young man, in this world, it isn't so that the one who speaks the loudest and is the most arrogant will be the one who is right."
Hearing that, Devitt and the others frowned, feeling displeased. However, the archbishop merely smiled, as if he had not seen anything at all.
Fang Xingjian spoke calmly, "The air of a grandmaster isn't one which can be sensed by anyone either. You can never discuss the cold with the summer bugs, and you can never discuss the sea with the frog in the well.
"When your cultivation isn't sufficient, of course you won't be able to tell."
In that moment, a cold gleam surged in Gardner's eyes. If they were not in the Great Western City, he would have taken action to teach Fang Xingjian a lesson on the spot. After all, according to the records, it had only been half a year since Fang Xingjian had completed his job transition. He should only be at about level 25 or 26, with a battle prowess capable of defeating a level 27 Conferred Knight. So, how could Fang Xingjian possibly be Gardner’s match?
As for the fact that Fang Xingjian had defeated Sword Saint Sasa and beat back the Terrene Shrine's army of dragons... That was known only to Yaris, James, Devitt, and a few others.
However, Gardner did not take any action and just laughed, "I'm not going to bicker with you. If you wish to participate in the Martial Techniques Grading Plan, sure. But you must get past me first."
"Get past you?" Fang Xingjian let out a cold laugh and said, "Then get someone else from the Church to come talk to me about this."
Gardner drew back a gasp while looking at Fang Xingjian with a gaze which was getting increasingly malicious. After all, he was a council member of the Church of Universal Truth, and the Church of Universal Truth was the strongest influence in the world. Moreover, Gardner was over 30 years old and already at second transition and level 29. No matter where he went, he would attract attention and gazes. Everyone would definitely treat him with great respect as an important person.
When had Gardner ever come across a person like Fang Xingjian who acted even more arrogantly than he did?
"Young man, I don't like the way you talk." Gardner looked at Fang Xingjian and said coldly, "It's true that when one is younger, you should have a greater spirit and drive to excel. However, you mustn’t be so blindly arrogant. When I was at your age, I also thought that I was special and the most powerful.
"However, after a few years, you'll realize just how foolish is your way of thinking. I'm telling this to you now. I hope that you'll go back and think about what I've just said."
Fang Xingjian said, "You should just cut to the chase and say what you want."
Gardner shook his head and look at Fang Xingjian with an expression of pity, like he was looking at a talent who had taken the wrong path. "The two of us shall have a test on our speed of learning a sword technique."
"Test on the speed of learning a sword technique?" Fang Xingjian asked.
Gardner said, "That's right. You choose two sword techniques for me to learn, and I'll choose two for you to learn. We'll see who is the faster learner. The most important aspect of the Martial Techniques Grading Plan is one's learning ability and understanding toward swords arts. One will only be able to give a faster review on a sword technique's grade when they have a stronger learning ability and a deeper comprehension toward sword arts.
"My mastery and talent aren't even amongst the top 100 in the Church. If you can't even defeat me, then there's no need for you to take part in this plan." As Gardner spoke, strong confidence exuded from his eyes.
Fang Xingjian's mouth twitched. How could he possibly be afraid to compete in terms of the speed at which they learned sword techniques? He said directly, "What if I win?"
"If you win, of course, I'll be supportive of your participation in the Martial Techniques Grading Plan."
Fang Xingjian turned toward the archbishop who was smiling like Santa Claus. The archbishop said, "I have no objections. If Xingjian can defeat Gardner in this area, then it shows that your sword arts cultivation is exemplary and your understanding of sword arts surpasses that of ordinary people. Of course, it also means you'll be a good candidate for the Martial Techniques Grading Plan."
Fang Xingjian then turned to look at Governor Devitt. Devitt gave it some thought and said, "It's fine. You can just choose the sword techniques from our school. Gardner, you should choose from the Church's sword techniques. The two of you will just have to promise not to impart the sword techniques to others after learning them."
"Then let's start."
Gardner frowned and asked, "You're not going to ask what will happen if you lose?"
Fang Xingjian said nonchalantly, "There's no point in asking. It's impossible for me to lose."
Hearing that, Gardner could not help laughing coldly to himself. He pointed at Fang Xingjian and said, "Alright, but I'll still have to let you know beforehand in case you go back on your words later.
"If you lose, you must give up on participating in the Martial Techniques Grading Plan. Do you have a problem with that?"
"You’re being annoying. Let's just start quickly."
Faced with Fang Xingjian's arrogance, Gardner became even more spiteful of him. To Gardner, Fang Xingjian was just someone who had grown in a small place and ended up becoming extremely arrogant just because he had managed to get some results due to his talent.
'What a fool. Your outlook on life determines your achievement. It is totally beyond your imagination as to how deep the waters of this world are. For you to be so arrogant just because of the bit of talent that you have... You'll get into big trouble one day.'
Thinking this, Gardner even felt slightly reproachful toward the Holy Orison. Why had the Holy Orison recommended for such a person to participate in the Martial Techniques Grading Plan?
At the side, James, Governor Devitt, and Fang Xingjian started communicating to each other through information currents.
Governor Devitt said with worry, "Xingjian, the other party won't do something which he has no confidence in. I think we should just forget about it. We'll just get Lord Holy Orison to settle this."
"That's right," James was also advising, "That Gardner seems too confident. I'm afraid that he will use some underhanded means."
The Martial Techniques Grading Plan involved several billion gold worth of funds and was a massive transnational plan.
Even if Fang Xingjian were to get only 1% of the funds, it would also be a tremendous amount worth several million or several tens of million. It was no wonder that James and Governor Devitt were being so careful about it.
Moreover, when it involved such a massive amount of gold, Gardner clearly would only come up with this proposal because he had sufficient confidence.
Fang Xingjian shook his head and said, "Don't worry. In a competition over the speed of learning sword techniques, there's no one who can surpass me."
Fang Xingjian then randomly picked out two sword techniques from the library's Killing techniques and wrote them down on a piece of paper. Gardner also wrote two down two sets of sword techniques down on paper.
Seeing how leisurely Fang Xingjian was, Gardner continued sneering inwardly.
Then he looked down at the two sets of sword techniques which Fang Xingjian had written down. "Eventide Sword Technique and the Sanctuary Sword Technique?"
At the next moment, Gardner closed his eyes, and a faint white light radiated from his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Then a book which emitted a white glow appeared in his hands.
He pressed his palm down on the cover of the book, letting out a soft bellow. The book moved despite there not being any wind, and the pages flipped by themselves. When it came to a stop, the information regarding the Eventide Sword Technique and the Sanctuary Sword Technique gradually appeared before him.
Then the numbers in his Stats Window started to jump. Eventide Sword Technique 1%... 2%... 3%...
This was a level 8 Universal Truth Divine Arts—Akashic Martial Techniques Enchiridion.
Governor Devitt and Head of Department James frowned. Both of them had a bad feeling about this strange scene.
The archbishop merely smiled and said, "This is the divine art Gardner gained after praying to god when his ether synchronization rate reached 100%—Akashic Martial Techniques Enchiridion.
"The God of Universal Truth knows of everything in the world and the universe, and the Akashic Martial Techniques Enchiridion records all martial techniques from the past and future. Gardner can spend half an hour daily acquiring three martial techniques to the maximum from the enchiridion. Although he isn't able to impart these techniques and would forget about them the next day, it's still a miraculous power.
"This is how mighty our god is." The archbishop looked at Fang Xingjian who seemed to be in a state of shock. "Oh, God of Universal Truth, everything is born from you, and everything is nurtured by you."
Head of Department James exclaimed in astonishment, "Why haven't I heard of such divine arts before?"
The archbishop smiled and said, "The God of Universal Truth knows of everything in this world. Of course, we won't be able to acquire all the divine arts he can bestow upon us even if we were to use up our entire lifespan. Gardner was only bestowed with this divine art during one of the exchanges with god, having managed to touch god with his strong faith."