The entire open ground was silent as everyone watched the green-clothed young lady leaping into Xiao Yan’s embrace. At this moment, one could almost hear the sound of countless hearts breaking.
Instructor Ruo Ling, as well as Xiao Yu and the others beside Xun Er, never expected that the young lady, who was usually reserved and indifferent, would actually perform such a bold action in public. Their faces were immediately stunned and they finally let out bitter laugh a long while later.
Xiao Yu eyed Xun Er, who had pounced into Xiao Yan’s embrace, and then glanced at Xiao Yan, whose smile was like warm alcohol, much like a drunk person who had just drank wine that had been stored away for a long time. An unknown and somewhat uncomfortable feeling suddenly rose within her heart.
On the other side of the viewing gallery, the faint smile present on Bai Shan’s face finally became dark and solemn at this moment.
“When has Xun Er become so bold? Just because of a man?” The eyebrows of the red-clothed young lady also rose until they were almost vertical at this moment. Were it not for the old man beside her pulling her back when he saw the situation, she might have been unable to resist rushing over and forcefully pulling those two apart, who were stuck together like glue.
Xiao Yan’s hand tightly looped around that delicate, willow-like waist. He lowered his head and gently sniffed the black hair of the young lady, which contained a refreshing fragrance. Since she was able to do such a bold action that announced the relationship between the two of them in public, then as a man, he naturally would not choose to withdraw. This was even though the heated gazes shot from all around him caused him to feel as though he was in a furnace.
“*Cough*…” After the two of them hugged for nearly a full minute, Instructor Ruo Ling, who stood off to the side, finally could not withstand the heated gazes bearing down on them from the surroundings, and immediately gave a gentle cough.
Hearing the cough, Xun Er, who was snuggling in Xiao Yan’s chest like a little bird relying on a person, finally sobered up and woke up from the bliss and excitement from finally being able to see the person she missed so much in her heart. Immediately, an intoxicated blush flew up onto that elegant and indifferent, lotus-like face. She hurriedly pulled away from Xiao Yan’s embrace and shrunk behind Xiao Yu like a Mimosa (sensitive/embarrassed plant).
Seeing the extremely rare but lovely shy side of this little girl, Xiao Yan also laughed softly. He turned his head and threw his gaze toward Instructor Ruo Ling and said with an awkward smile, “Hee hee, I’m sorry, Instructor Ruo Ling.”
“You still remember that I am your instructor?” Instructor Ruo Ling glanced at Xiao Yan and said blandly.
Xiao Yan laughed bitterly when he saw her expression and attitude. He knew that over these past few years, he had really infuriated this lady, whose character was as gentle as water. However, due to him being in the wrong, he did not retort, but merely hardened the skin on his head, and received her criticism and fury.
“Humph, don’t think that everything will be fine if you don’t speak. You really do have some nerve to have missed two years of lessons. Do you know how many times I have talked to the academy until my lips were worn out because of you?” Instructor Ruo Ling said furiously.
“Instructor, Xiao Yan, this brat, has indeed gone overboard with this matter. However, he had managed to arrive here in time today, and even defeated that fellow Xue Beng. As long as Xun Er and him can maintain an undefeated record in the remaining rounds of the Qualifying Competition, you will be promoted to become a Xuan Class Instructor. If you still think that that will not lessen your anger, it is not too late to wait until he has finished fighting all the rounds of the Qualifying Competition before punishing him. In any case, now that he has arrived at the academy, do you need to worry about him running away?” Seeing Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and helplessly, Xiao Yu may have quietly muttered ‘you deserve it’ in her hear, but the words she said with her mouth helped Xiao Yan absolve the situation.
Only after hearing Xiao Yu’s words did Instructor Ruo Ling’s furious face become warmer. She glanced at Xiao Yan and said, “Alright, I will wait for you to finish the Qualifying Competition before finding you to settle our score!”
Xiao Yan heaved a sigh of relief in his heart when he saw that Instructor Ruo Ling had temporarily gave up her criticism. He raised his head and threw a gaze of gratitude toward Xiao Yu. The latter, however, rewarded him by rolling her eyes and snorting.
“Hei, Elder Cousin Xiao Yu, after having not seen you for two years, you are becoming increasingly beautiful. Has anyone managed to woo you?” Xiao Yan ignored Xiao Yu expression and asked with a smile.
“Why do you care!” Hearing Xiao Yan’s tone, which was the same as when he was a child, a strange feeling immediately surfaced in her heart. At the same time, those sexy long legs of hers were raised a little as though it was a conditional reflex, preparing to kick.
“Alright, don’t flirt around here. The Qualifying Competition for today is going to be over soon. Follow me back. There are even more intense fights tomorrow and the day after. It is not something easy to get into the Inner Academy.” Instructor Ruo Ling waved her hand. She ignored Xiao Yu, whose pretty face had turned an embarrassed red because of her words, turning around and leading them out of the open ground.
Behind Instructor Ruo Ling, Xiao Yu ferociously cut the gloating Xiao Yan with her eyes as she pulled Xun Er and quickly followed.
Xiao Yan carried the heavy black ruler and followed behind the group. Just as he was about to exit the open ground, his footsteps suddenly paused. He frowned slightly as he turned around and shot his gaze toward the other side of the arena. At that spot stood a young man wearing white clothes. The latter was facing him with a dark and solemn face, that carried a gaze which contained enmity.
“Who is this person? He appears quite strong…” Xiao Yan withdrew his gaze. He mused a little before shaking his head slightly. Then he turned around and under a countless number of gazes, he swiftly followed Instructor Ruo Ling and the others, who were about to exit the open ground.
They walked all the way out of the noisy open ground. Instructor Ruo Ling chased away those young ladies with starry eyes surrounding Xiao Yan. After which, she led Xiao Yan, Xun Er, and Xiao Yu, past a few paths filled with greenery before finally entering into an unique and elegant pavilion house.
Once they entered the house, Instructor Ruo Ling invited the three of them to sit randomly before turning her gaze toward Xiao Yan. She said with a faint smile, “Little fellow, I really cannot believe it. You’ve actually improved so quickly during these two years.”
“I was merely lucky.” Xiao Yan shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile.
“Forget it, I am not going to talk with that glib tongue of yours. Since you have come to the academy, and I have placed your name into the Inner Academy Qualifying Competition, in the next two days you and Xun Er must endure and enter the top fifty. That way, you will be able to obtain the opportunity to enter the Inner Academy to train. As for me, I will also be promoted from a Huang Class Instructor to a Xuan Class Instructor…” Instructor Ruo Ling waved her hand, and seriously said.
“What advantage is there to enter the Inner Academy?” Xiao Yan leaned on his chair with his ten fingers crossed in front of him as he asked.
Instructor Ruo Ling’s eyes stared intently at the smiling young face. A long while later, she suddenly sighed and said, “Looks like taking two years of leave is indeed good for you. Which part of the current you still has your innocence from Wu Tan City back then? With one glance at this you, no one would treat you as a young man who is only eighteen years old.”
Xiao Yan smiled without speaking. He had indeed experienced too many things during these two years. The few big ups and downs had also further solidified and stabilized the calm character he had groomed from a young age. The current him had truly and completely no innocence left from his youth.
“The Jia Nan Academy is divided into the Inner and Outer Academy. The Outer Academy is the place that we are currently living at. The new students whom we have recruited from the Continent will all train in the Outer Academy until their strength has reached a certain stage. They can then participate in the annual Inner Academy Qualifying Competition. As long as they are able to enter into the top fifty, they will be able to obtain the qualifications to enter the Inner Academy. The Inner Academy is different from the Outer Academy. One can bluntly say that the Outer Academy of the Jia Nan Academy is merely a place to test the new students. The true core of Jia Nan Academy is within the Inner Academy!” Instructor Ruo Ling arranged her thoughts before slowly speaking.
“The Outer Academy of the Jia Nan Academy is divided into two different classes. The class which I manage is the Huang Class. That Xue Beng, who challenged you earlier, is from the Xuan Class. From this difference in class, you can know that the overall strength of a Xuan class is stronger than that of a Huang class. Of course, nothing is absolute. For example, Xun Er and you…”
“I see that your current strength is likely around that of a Da Dou Shi, right?” Instructor Ruo Ling suddenly stared at Xiao Yan and asked.
When she heard Instructor Ruo Ling’s question, Xiao Yu threw an astonished glance at Xiao Yan. The current her merely had the strength of a five star Dou Shi. This fellow had become a Da Dou Shi after leaving for two years. Isn’t this speed of progress a little too quick?”
“Yes.” Xiao Yan nodded slightly under Xiao Yu’s shocked gaze.
“You are indeed an abnormal being that can be compared with this girl, Xun Er.” Instructor Ruo Ling muttered, “According to the rules, I also cannot reveal too much regarding the matters of the Inner Academy. However, since it can be called the true core of the Jia Nan Academy, it will have areas that the Outer Academy has difficulty comparing to. It will only benefit you if you are able to enter.”
“Alright, I will do my best…” Xiao Yan widened his hands and said with a smile. On the way here, he had heard of Yao Lao mentioning that Inner Academy. Now that he had the opportunity to enter it… he would naturally not object.
“With your strength, I think that it shouldn’t be too difficult charging into the top fifty, as long as you do not meet the few people like Bai Shan and Little Witch.” Instructor Ruo Ling also sighed in relief when she saw Xiao Yan nodding his head as she continued.
“Bai Shan? Little Witch? I seemed to have heard the second name being mentioned by instructor two years ago…” Xiao Yan repeated these two names in his mouth as he smiled, his voice trailing off.
“That Bai Shan is one of the most prominent figures in Jia Nan Academy’s Outer Academy during these two years. He is handsome and has great strength. An unknown number of female students have also become crazy about him. Additionally, he appears to also be one of the people wooing Xun Er. Even if I don’t tell you, he would come and find you sooner or later.” Instructor Ruo Ling covered her mouth and laughed in a lovely manner.
Xiao Yan shook his head helplessly.
“As for that Little Witch, she is the granddaughter of the Deputy Headmaster. Her background is not simple. This, along with her frightening training talent that is not weaker than yours, as well as the Deputy Headmaster personally teaching her, I think that her strength might be slightly greater than Bai Shan’s. Due to her independant and special style of doing things, as well as her beauty, she similarly has quite a number of people pursuing her within the academy. However, it appears that she does not have much interest in men. Instead, she likes women very much. With Xun Er’s temperament and her talent, she is a natural target that the Little Witch covets… Therefore, your appearance should also cause her to feel an enmity toward you.” Instructor Ruo Ling let out a cough, as she said with a slightly red face.
Xiao Yan’s expression became a little strange when he heard this. He tilted his head and eyed the similarly helpless Xun Er, before saying in a manner which suggested he was neither able to laugh nor cry, “Capturing both the men and women?”
Xun Er followed Xiao Yan’s manner and spread her hands, indicating that she also did not have a choice regarding this matter. She had kept a sufficiently low profile during these two years. She even gave up entering the Inner Academy Qualifying Competition once because of Xiao Yan.
“Ah… there are indeed opponents everywhere…” Xiao Yan sighed gently. He lifted his head and smiled as he said to Instructor Ruo Ling, “However, for the sake of Instructor Ruo Ling being promoted, I will do my best to enter the top fifty.”
“That is good. You should rest here for today. This is the place where I am staying. Usually, Xun Er and Yu-er also live here with me. From tomorrow onward, the strong people of the Qualifying Competition will all appear. When that time comes, you will have some baseline of the strength of these opponents.” Instructor Ruo Ling stood up, waved her hand and instructed.
Xiao Yan smiled and nodded.
In a quiet room, that was filled with book shelves, seven old men were seated on the chairs around a circular table. Seated amongst them was the old man who had spoken with the red-clothed young lady back at the competition ground earlier. From his Qi, which were as calm as before, one could see that his actual strength and position was likely not low. After all, an ordinary old man did not have the qualification to sit in this meeting room that decided the big and small matters within the academy.
At this moment, that old man, who was addressed by the red-clothed young lady as the Deputy Headmaster, slowly placed a document in his hands down. His gaze looked once around the room and said with a faint smile, “Tsk tsk, this Xiao Yan is indeed not an ordinary person. He contended with the Misty Cloud Sect of the Jia Ma Empire with his own strength and even directly kill a strong Dou Wang before finally successfully escaping from the hands of a Dou Zong. This battle record is something that even the top students in the Inner Academy would have some difficulty achieving.”
“Oh?” As they heard the words emitted from the old man’s mouth, shock flashed across the shrivelled faces of those few old men around.
“This is the information regarding Xiao Yan. You can all take a look for yourself.”
The Deputy Headmaster flicked his finger and the information in front of him was automatically shot toward those old men below. His finger gently tapped on the table’s surface. A long while later, he heard the shocked gasps that those old men, who had finished reading the information, emitted in unison. He smiled as he said, “His potential is very great. However, his relationship with the Misty Cloud Sect has deteriorated a little too much and basically cannot be mediated…”
“His potential is indeed very great. If we groom him properly, he might well be another strong person at the peak.” One gray-robed old man softly said, “We need not be too worried about the Misty Cloud Sect. With just one Dou Zong, they don’t have the courage to do anything to us, the Jia Nan Academy.”
“The Misty Cloud Sect is indeed nothing… but behind them…” The Deputy Headmaster furrowed his brows. He had just spoken half way when he suddenly became quiet. His expression was changing slightly. Finally, he did not reveal some of the more sensitive matters. He waved his hands and said, “We should secretly observe Xiao Yan a little. If there is really value in grooming him, we can give it a try.”
“Yes…” When they heard this, the other old men did not have any objections as they nodded their heads. They exchanged gazes with one another as they saw the Deputy Headmaster becoming silent. Their bodies swayed slightly and strangely disappeared from their chairs.
The late night was quiet as the faint moonlight scattered downward. That specially unique house appeared unusually quiet under the moonlight.
A white shadow suddenly flashed out from the quiet night. His feet gently pressed against a tree branch as his body elegantly drifted onto a small pile of rubbles not far from the house. His calm gaze shot directly toward a certain room of the house, and a faint silver-colored Dou Qi, that could be partially seen, seeped out from within his body.
After merely an instant after the Dou Qi within the white shadow surfaced, a black shadow shot out from within the house in a lightning-like manner. After leaping and sweeping past a couple of times, he steadily landed on a huge rock not far from the white shadow. He lifted his head slowly and indifferently eyed that white-clothed, handsome, straight and tall man.
The two pairs of pupils collided in the dark night. Some sparks shot out without any forewarning.
“Leave her.” The white-clothed man’s voice was ethereal as it wandered out slowly.
Xiao Yan laughed softly when he heard this. He raised his head slightly. That delicate and handsome face appearing extremely untame under the shine of the moonlight.