When a middle-aged judge slowly walked onto the open ground, a deafening, ear-shocking cheer immediately erupted from the viewing gallery.
The cheer was suppressed by the judge’s hand until it gradually calmed down. This middle-aged judge looked once around the place before saying in a clear voice, “All students, after yesterday’s initial elimination and selection, there are one hundred and seventy four of the originally three hundred participants remaining today. From this number, the fifty names, which have the qualification to enter the Inner Academy, should be born today.”
“Alright, it is time for the Qualifying Competition. We shall begin. Any competitor whose name has been called, please get in the arena as soon as possible. Once the stipulated time is over, we will handle it as you giving up.” The middle-aged judge was not long-winded. After introducing the rules of the competition, he slowly withdrew to the judge’s seats on the open ground. At this time, two names were emitted from the judges’ seats.
“Xuan Class – Third Class, Luo Fu!”
“Xuan Class – Fifth Class, Ge Li!”
When they heard the names being read, the two of them, who were already prepared, immediately flashed and leaped down from the viewing gallery. They steadily landed almost instantly in the arena and looked at one another. Sparks shot out from their eyes. Dou Qi of different elements came surging out from their bodies in a turbulent fashion. Powerful Dou Qi covered the bodies of the two of them, forming two perfect Dou Qi cloaks.
Although the two people, who had got onto the arena, could not be compared to the outstanding individuals within the academy like Bai Shan and the others, they did at least have some fame. Therefore, waves of cheers sounded from the viewing gallery when the two of them got onto the stage. Those able to participate in the Qualifying Competition and last until the second round could, at the very least, be considered to have middle to mid-upper strength within Jia Nan Academy’s Outer Academy, regardless of how one put it.
The two people in the arena were from the Xuan class. One of them used the agile and elegant wind element; while the other specialized in the heavy and calm earth element. One focused on nimble agility; the other on steady defense skills. The strength between the two, did not differ greatly and matched with different elements, this fight was destined to be a long, drawn out fight. Reality was also so. Ever since the competition had begun, that wind affinity student turned into a shadow that repeatedly flashed around the opponent, using his agile advantage. His palms were tricky as it directly struck the opponents lethal points. However, his attacks may have been sharp but his opponent was not medicore. That body of his was like a rock touching the ground. With his large source of strength, he bitterly endured with that ground affinity Dou Qi, known for its long battle endurance. If one were to carefully observe, one would be able to discover that despite him appearing to be at a disadvantage, the sharp attacks of the opponent were reduced to dealing minimal damage.
The ruthless and fierce fight in the battleground, where one attacked and one defended, attracted most of the eyes of the stadium over. Numerous cries and cheers repeatedly aggregated together, finally forming something like a rolling thunder that resounded unceasingly in the sky above the open ground.
“Looks like that Luo Fu has a good chance of winning…” Xiao Yan leaned against the backrest of the chair and whispered with a smile, while eyeing that competitor, who used the smallest price to offset his opponent’s attack.
“Isn’t he being suppressed by Ge Li?” Xiao Yu muttered by the side.
“Those attack by Ge Li may appear fierce, but if he continues like this for a long time, his Dou Qi will ultimately be unable to support him. By observing the color of his Dou Qi, I think that the Qi Method which he practices isn’t of a very high class. A low class Qi Method is unable to support this drain of his for a long time. On the other hand, Luo Du has not even moved from his starting position that much since the beginning of the fight. Each time he came into contact with the opponent’s attack, his feet would tremble slightly. That is an action which deflected the force into the ground. Although this defensive method was a little clumsy, it still allowed him to save a lot of unnecessary Dou Qi from being spent. Therefore, if that Ge Li does not have too strong of a killing move, his attack might well gradually become weaker after another thirty exchanges, all the way until he is defeated.” Xun Er by the side explained with a smile.
As they heard Xun Er explain in detail, not only Xiao Yu nodded, but even Xiao Yan also felt somewhat astonished as he eyed the girl. This was because even he did not see the battle with such detail.
“I wonder just what class this girl has reached after training for these two years. However, I think that she should definitely not be any weaker than me…” Xiao Yan muttered in his heart. He felt a little helpless. Originally, he thought that his training speed during these two years was already quite good. It was really unexpected that this girl was even more abnormal. However, just thinking of the strength of mysterious faction behind Xun Er, which even Yao Lao was fearful of, he also calmed down. No matter how one put it, Xun Er’s training talent was not weaker than his own. Additionally, she practiced tailor-made high class Qi Methods from youth. She also did not lack all those so-called “rare medicinal pills”, and could beckon them with her hand. It was naturally much better than him, who needed to personally go and gather medicinal ingredients with great difficulty…
During the time that Xiao Yan was letting his imagination run wild, the battle situation within the arena had finally started to change. The student called Ge Li appeared to know that he was going to be in big trouble. Therefore, after his wild attacks continued for a while, he finally reduced his attacking speed. However, just when he reduced his speed, that Lu Fu, who had not been moving who was like a tortoise hiding in his shell, suddenly unleashed his strength. A sharp Dou Technique attack, which was completely different from the defensive nature of his ground element, shook the opponent until he was forced to repeatedly pull back more than ten steps after just one strike. A mouthful of fresh blood was spat out and Ge Li seemed to have lost his combat ability.
“Unmoving like a mountain, moving like a thunderbolt, defeating the opponent in one strike. Tsk tsk, this is indeed worthy of being Jia Nan Academy. The combat quality of the students is actually strong to such an extent. No wonder Instructor Ruo Ling really disliked him for not living up to expectations back then when he wanted to take leave. If it were not for Teacher quietly teaching me, just relying on myself to fumble through my training would likely mean that I would really have difficulty catching up with the training progress of the geniuses in this academy.” Xiao Yan felt astonished as he shook his head and sighed in his heart when he saw that one strike Luo Fu used to obtain victory.
Xiao Yan sighed once in his heart and once again placed his attention onto the arena. After the judge announced Luo Fu’s victory in the open ground, the two people, who had completely different feelings, left the open ground under countless number of gazes. The next fight quickly followed as the competition got into a full swing.
This competition with no intermittence also ultimately pushed the atmosphere of the gallery, surrounding the open ground, until it reached a high tide. Deafening cheers shook people’s ears until they began to hurt.
In Xiao Yan’s eyes, the fights that came one after another flashed past, like a walking horse observing the flowers. Xiao Yan had an increased solemness toward Jia Nan Academy. This Qualifying Competition could roughly represent the strength of the top level students in the Jia Nan Academy’s Outer Academy. From the fights between these people, Xiao Yan could vaguely see that the teachings that Jia Nan Academy adopted toward its students were indeed something fierce. The fighting methods between the students were far from those old-fashioned ones that Xiao Yan had imagined. Instead, they were like combat experienced veterans. When they fought, their sight was sharp and vicious. Moreover, they did not show any mercy when it was time to throw a vicious blow. This somewhat dangerous competition had already exceeded the sparing level of an ordinary academy.
However, a truly outstanding person would definitely not be be born from a gentle Ivory tower. Without abundant combat experience and sharp ruthless eyes, one would not have sufficient ability to become a truly strong person. Jia Nan Academy could be considered to have some ability to build this kind of atmosphere within the academy.
“The academy also lets some students enter the ‘Black-Corner Region’ each year to train. Although this action is very dangerous and has even resulted in the academy losing some outstanding talents during each training session, it must be said that the students, who successfully returned, appeared to have undergone a metamorphosis. This kind of transformation is not only displayed in their strength, but it is more of that kind of change in their temperament.” A soft voice suddenly transmitted from the side. Xiao Yan turned his head to take a look and found that it was from Instructor Ruo Ling.
“Uh? Xiao Yan was startled when he heard this. It was a long while later before he nodded and said, “No wonder… that ‘Black-Corner Region’ is indeed a natural training ground. It is just that I did not expect the upper echelons of Jia Nan Academy to actually have such boldness. That is a place where even the bones of a person will be consumed.”
“The students who go and train can choose to go alone or go as a group, according to their wishes. However, there are very few who choose to go alone other than some people who have absolute confidence in their abilities. On the other hand, if one chooses to form a group, the academy will send an Inner Academy student to go with each group. This student will act as the group leader and lead them to walk out alive from that cruel training ground known as the ‘Black-Corner Region’.” Instructor Ruo Ling’s eyes were slightly absent minded as she slowly spoke, “That Bai Shan, Lu Mu, and the others had once entered the ‘Black-Corner Region’ and they did so alone. Therefore, do not underestimate them.”
Xiao Yan raised his eyebrows and glanced toward Bai Shan in the distance. He did not expect that this fellow had also walked through and encountered the ‘Black-Corner Region’.
During the time that Xiao Yan and Instructor Ruo Ling were conversing, the competition in the arena also gradually reached its end. Following the announcement of the victor by the judge, the competitors, with one being seriously injured and the other suffering minor injuries, were supported by people as they withdrew.
“The thirty-eighth round: Alchemist Department Lu Mu against Huang Class – Second Class, Xiao Yan.”
A judge from the judges’ seats slowly stood up, and said with a clear voice after taking one look around the stadium.
As the voice of the judge fell, the noisy atmosphere immediately became quiet. Countless number of gazes immediately turned toward Xiao Yan. There was some feelings within those gazes. Of course, there were naturally a little more unfriendly ones.
“Looks like a lot of people are waiting to watch you embarrass yourself. After all, this Lu Mu cannot be compared with Xue Beng from yesterday. His strength can be considered within the top ten, even if placed in the entire Outer Academy. Moreover, I heard that he is able to control a flame that possesses quite a strong lethality, due to him being an alchemist. He is a troublesome person, you need to be careful…” Instructor Ruo Ling softly reminded as she eyed the surrounding gazes, which appeared to be gloating.
“Moreover, if you want to completely put an end to the kind of trouble similar to what Bai Shan did last night, the match of yours today is extremely crucial.”
“Xiao Yan ge-ge, do your best.” Xun Er smiled saucily and said from the side.
“Brat, you better not throw my face. If you are to lose to that troublesome fellow, you will be despised by me.” Xiao Yu waved her fist and warned.
“I will do my best.”
Xiao Yan smiled. Under the watch of everyone’s gazes, he slowly stood up and gently pressed his toes against the viewing gallery floor. His body gently drifted and landed on the stage. His straight body, and the large Heavy Xuan Ruler on his back, formed an extremely mysterious picture.
An instant after Xiao Yan landed in the arena, a clear whistle suddenly sounded outside of the arena. A blue shadow instantly cut through the air and finally pressed his legs gently on the surrounding pillars of the arena, before somersaulting in midair and landing in it.
When that blue-clothed figure revealed himself, a tsunami of cheers immediately erupted from the viewing gallery in the surroundings. From the looks of it, there were many people in Jia Nan Academy who hoped Lu Mu would be able to suppress and defeat this Xiao Yan, who had just arrived at the academy, but had displayed great strength.
“This fight should be able to let Xiao Yan display all the limits of his body. That fellow Lu Mu is not like that Xue Beng yesterday.” The corner of Bai Shan’s mouth was lifted into a cold smile as he watched the two people in the arena indifferently. “I want to see just what ability you, Xiao Yan, has, to be together with Xun Er!”
“Fight, fight. It is the best that both of you fight until you are both crippled. In that case, Xun Er will not need to be ruined by Xiao Yan. Otherwise, I will have to fight.” On the other side of the viewing gallery, the red-clothed young lady glanced at the round today, which attracted the most attention while she curled her lips and said.
As various people had sinister motives in their hearts, a match, which was considered quite important to Xiao Yan, was finally about to begin.