“Second Elder, is the test over yet?”
Xiao Yan softly inquired as he looked at the golden words on the Monument. He slowly removed his hand while looking at the distracted Second Elder.
“Oh, eh, the test is over…” The Second Elder snapped out of his confusion after hearing Xiao Yan’s voice. He frantically nodded his head, though his eyes were still drifting here and there. The Elder was obviously still in a state of shock.
Ah, to raise 5 Duan Qi in a year? What a fast progression… truly terrifying. The second Elder was still lost in thought and looked at the youth before him with complex emotions. However, the doubt that was in his old eyes disappeared in the face of reality.
The golden words gradually faded from the Monument and it returned to a deep black hue.
Even though the golden words had dissipated, the audience remained quite still. Everyone was still absorbed in shock.
“Ahem……” On the high platform, the second elder let out a cough and finally he got the audience’s attention back.
“The Ceremonial Test has been completed. In accordance with the rules, Xiao Yan will accept a single challenge. Those below Dou Zhe rank will be allowed to to challenge him, who will come forward?” The second Elder shouted as his eyes swept over the younger generation.
If one were to consider the Coming of Age ceremony as a test of how high one’s Dou Qi was, then the challenge was an examination of one’s Dou Technique proficiency. Ultimately, in a fight of life and death, Dou Techniques would be an influential factor in determining the outcome. Each clan’s attention to the proficiency of Dou Techniques was no less than their attention to the Dou Qi of a Dou Zhe.
Upon hearing the Second Elder’s declaration, a mild clamour broke out in the audience. The younger Xiao generation looked at each other while cowardice tightened their lips. The golden words on the Black Monument, 8 Duan Qi, had torn any thought dwelling in their heart of easy victory to pieces.
At the moment, they had not the qualification to boast of their strength in combat with Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan was silently standing on the platform and calmly swept his gaze down over his peers. Each time his eyes rested on a youth, he or she would quickly step back.
“Hmph, a bunch of cowards!” Looking at the surrounding clan members, cowering in fear, Xiao Ning scolded in derision. He lifted his head and looked challengingly at the black clad youth on stage and was about to step on stage when a slender hand pulled him back.
With a furrow of his brow, Xiao Ning looked at his sister and said unhappily: “What?”
Xiao Yu sighed and replied : “He’s at 8 Duan Qi, you might not be able to beat him.”
Xiao Ning’s mouth twitched slightly, he hesitated as well. But when his eyes drifted towards the nearby Xun’er, what greeted him was the sight of her gazing warmly at Xiao Yan with a delicate pleasant expression that had never been directed at him…
Gritting his teeth savagely, Xiao Ning shrugged off Xiao Yu’s hand with jealousy and anger surfacing on his still somewhat childish face. “So what! It has already been more than 1 year since I’ve reached 8 Duan Qi, do you think I can’t beat him, who just reached 8 Duan Qi?”
Looking at Xiao Ning, whose face was filled with stubbornness and jealousy, Xiao Yu knew she had no choice. After pausing a while, she took out a green pill and stroked it gently with a hint of reluctance, before shoving it into Xiao Ning’s hands. She whispered: “This is a tier 2 pill, ‘Qi Increasing Powder’, which grants the power of a Dou Zhe for a short period of time. However, the consequence is that if consumed, one will be bedridden for the next month. Do not use it unless absolutely necessary.”
Upon hearing that, Xiao Ning grasped the pill joyously, saying “With this, I will definitely teach that guy a lesson!”
Xiao Ning frowned and warned him “Don’t be too reckless. Let him suffer just a little. You must not injure him heavily or else even Grandfather will not be able to protect you. The current ‘him’ is no longer the useless cripple of the past.”
“Yes yes, I already know…” Xiao Ning said indifferently, nodding slightly. With a wry smile he looked at Xun’er, proudly saying in his heart, I will let you know, that guy is only a pillow with an embroidered case!
TL: Chinese Proverb – an outwardly attractive but worthless person
With a cold smile, Xiao Ning brushed off Xiao Yu’s hand and jumped onto the stage, shouting “I’ll challenge you!”
Upon hearing that, everyone’s gaze turned towards Xiao Ning and the feeling of being the center of attention made the proud look on his face increase further.
Looking at Xiao Ning who was walking over, the second Elder’s brows furrowed. Looking up at the guests seats, he saw as expected the first Elder with a troubled look on his face. Sighing lightly, he rebuked in his heart: Ignorant fool! Do you still think that Xiao Yan is still the useless cripple he was in the past?
Xiao Ning did not notice the frown on the second Elder’s face and taking a big step forward he arrogantly grinned : “Xiao Yan, let me test your fighting prowess.”
Looking up lazily to see Xiao Ning in front of him, Xiao Yan did not even bother replying.
Seeing that Xiao Ning had already reached the center of the stage, the second Elder had no choice but to loudly proclaim : “Xiao Yan has been challenged by Xiao Ning. Xiao Yan, do you accept the challenge?”
“You won’t run from my challenge will you? Xun Er is watching, you had better not disappoint her…” Caressing the pill hidden in his sleeve, Xiao Ning’s confidence swelled and with a look at the beautiful, calm maiden below, he said to Xiao Yan with a cold smile.
Idiot… Xiao Yan muttered in his heart, brushing his nose. In front of everyone, he nodded and calmly said: “I accept.”
Seeing Xiao Yan nod, the second elder sighed once more and waved his hand. As he retreated off the stage, he lowered his voice to a volume where only the two of them could hear and said “Remember, control your strength. Do not injure each other!”
Xiao Ning curled his lip while Xiao Yan, shrugged indifferently.
As the second Elder left the stage, the air atop it grew strained. A fight was soon to arise.