That pair of fists each contained powerful, surging Dou Qi. An instant later, they crashed into each other and an underlying force rippled out. Wherever it crossed, it acted like a wave that came surging out violently. At that moment, all the withered leaves on the ground, around the two of them, were lifted and drifted all over the place.
As the two fists came into contact, the blue-clothed young man was finally able to genuinely feel just how terrifying the strength contained in Xiao Yan’s fist was. The instant their fists came into contact, a numbing feeling began to spread through his arm from his hand. Finally, an underlying force that caused people’s expression to change exploded out, moving along the point of contact between the fists, and transmitted into the blue-clothed young man’s body. Finally, it resulted in him spitting out a mouthful of bright red, fresh blood.
After spitting out a mouthful of fresh blood, the blue-clothed young man’s footsteps hurriedly took a couple of steps back. A ferocious aura swept past his face. He shook his body, and a pale, blue-colored Dou Qi swiftly swarmed out of his body. After which, it formed a blue-colored Dou Qi Armor on the surface of his body. However, the moment the Dou Qi Armor had just formed, the black shadow once again appeared in front of him like a ghost. A cold laughter was transmitted towards him. Immediately, a dazed look rose from the eyes of the blue-clothed young man. Quickly following this, an immense pain spread out from his chest. Finally, he felt that his body fell and shot backwards before smashing heavily against a tree trunk a moment later. Another mouthful of fresh blood was spat out. The blue-clothed young man lowered his head with great difficulty and was shocked as he discovered that his Dou Qi Armor, which he had just congealed earlier, had actually shattered with just one strike from the opponent.
The body of the blue-clothed young man huddled up like a large prawn. Before he raised his head, he heard another muffled sound sounding off to the side. After that, his four companions rolled towards his side with faces that were similarly dripping with blood. Only at this moment, was there truly an additional panic on his face.
The blue-clothed young man hugged his chest as a pair of legs suddenly appeared in front of him. A faint voice also sounded: “If you want to continue being beaten, then you can all curl up. I don’t mind throwing a few more kicks.”
When he heard these words, the entire body of the blue-clothed young man trembled. After which, he hurriedly lifted his head while shivering a little. He eyed the black-robed young man in front of him as well as the two men and two women behind him. There was some terror in his eyes. “You… what do all of you want?”
“I will ask the questions and all you need to do is answer.” From a higher vantage point, Xiao Yan looked down at the five older students who wore horrified expressions. His hand slowly held the Heavy Xuan Ruler on his back and immediately drew it in a sudden motion. The heavy ruler carried an enormous pressuring sound of wind as it was inserted into the ground in front of the young man’s face. The large ruler’s body gave the latter an enormous sense of pressure bearing down on him.
“What would you like to ask?” The blue-clothed young man swallowed a mouthful of saliva. He also slowly became calm. No matter what happens, something like killing people was not allowed within this forest according to the rules. Otherwise, the Elders, who were observing all activities within this forest at all times, would immediately reveal themselves. The punishment for those who broke the rules would be determined based on the situation. Therefore, other than needing to be a little worried that they would suffer physical pain, they had nothing to worry about with regards to their lives.
“How large is this forest?” Xiao Yan mused for a moment. The first thing he asked was the simplest but also the most important question. If the size of the forest was large, then he would need to make preparations for a long-term battle. If it was small, they could perhaps change their tactics and directly go on a rampage and charge directly to their destination.
“Very big.” The blue-clothed young man replied, causing Xiao Yan to helplessly sigh in his heart.
“Do you have a rough map route?” Xiao Yan glanced at the blue-clothed young man. However, he suddenly waved his hands, tilting his head towards Xun Er and the four others: “Each of you grab one person and question them in one corner. After that, we will check if the information each one gives us is legitimate. If someone’s answer is different from the others, then he should not blame us for being ruthless. Although we cannot take people’s lives here, accidentally beating them until they are seriously injured should not be against the rules, right?”
Xiao Yan had naturally turned his body towards the blue-clothed young man’s five man team and spoke the last sentence to them with a smile.
Xiao Yan’s ruthless heart directly caused the expressions of the five people to turn extremely ugly. This kind of action completely dispelled their intentions to lie.
Hu Jia and the three others each led one incumbent student, and walked towards their own corner. When Wu Hao was leading one of them, a voice was involuntarily transmitted out from under the blood robes: “Good tactic.”
Xiao Yan smiled, turned his body and threw his gaze onto the blue-clothed young man. He slowly said: “Answer now.”
“There is a rough route map. However, it is cannot be considered precise. This map is something that we bought in the Inner Academy before participating in the Hunting Competition. We spent one day’s worth of ‘Fire Energy’.” The blue-clothed young man laughed bitterly as he obediently took out a rough piece of paper and handed it to Xiao Yan.
“Don’t all of you view the ‘Fire Energy’ as extremely important? You are actually willing to spend it to buy such a coarse item?” Xiao Yan received the piece of paper. The route on the map had exceeded the tolerable limits, appearing like a few large black crosses. This caused the corner of Xiao Yan’s mouth to involuntarily twitched a couple of times. Could this even be called a map?
“No one is willing. However, this is something the Inner Academy forces us to buy. We have no choice but to buy one.” The corner of the blue-clothed young man’s mouth shivered a little when this was mentioned. A pain surfaced on his face as he spoke in a biting manner. When he had to purchase this broken thing, his heart was dripping blood. If it was not because because they could snatch the ‘Fire Energy’ from the new students if they participated in the hunting competition, he would not have willingly spent one day’s worth of ‘Fire Energy’ to buy this nonsense map even if he were beaten to death. Those bastards in the Inner Academy were really blood sucking demons.
“How many older students are participating in this Hunting Competition?” Xiao Yan kept the route map properly and asked with a frown.
“There are around fifty people. Five people to a group with a total of ten groups.” The blue-clothed young man’s eyed the other four corners where interrogations were going on and sighed. He could not tell if his companions would tell the truth or lie. However, if he was to compare the chances of the two, he could only choose to tell the truth.
“What are their strengths like? Are they approximately the same as all of you?” Xiao Yan continued to ask.
Xiao Yan’s words caused the blue-clothed young man to roll his eyes. What was ‘approximately the same as all of you’?
“There are eight groups which are approximately the same as us. We are all students who entered the Inner Academy last year. There are still two more groups, who are the older students from the previous year. They have stayed in the Inner Academy for a longer time than us. Therefore, their strength is stronger than us. I think that they are likely around your level…” The blue-clothed young man looked at Xiao Yan somewhat strangely, seemingly muttering to himself about; “Why was it that this new student was actually so strong?” It should be known that last year, when their batch of new students just entered the academy, even the few fellows ranked in the top five were also robbed once in this forest. Although they did resist, the conflict between each of them after that resulted in them having difficulty forming a large scale retaliation. Therefore, they were each separated and defeated. It was totally unlike this strange occurrence this year where the older students were being robbed instead.
As he thought of this depressing matter, the blue-clothed young man had the impulse to scold his mother. They were similarly new students, but why was it that the gap between their treatments were so big?
“Around the same as me?” Xiao Yan frowned intently when he heard this. The members of these two groups were about as strong as him. That was a little troublesome. It appeared that there would really be some difficulty in trying to break through this ‘Fire Energy Hunting Competition’ with ease.
“Those two groups are very easy to identify. All the members of one of the groups are dressed in black, while the other is dressed in all white. In the ‘Fire Energy Hunting Competition’ each year, there would be two strong groups participating. The Inner Academy calls these two strongest groups the ‘Black White Evil Stopper’. In the last ten years, no one has heard of any new student group being able to break through their obstruction.” There was some respect in the voice of the blue-clothed young man.
“‘Black White Evil Stopper’?” Xiao Yan uttered this name in his mouth as he nodded slightly. He turned around and exchanged glances with Xun Er and the others. After which, he asked the the most important question: “What is the use of this so-called ‘Fire Energy’ within the Inner Academy? Why are all of you so crazy about it?”
“‘Fire Energy’ is the most important thing in the Inner Academy. This is also the reason why the strength of the new students would increase by leaps and bounds after entering the Inner Academy to train.” The blue-robed young man hesitated before answering this question for quite a while before he helplessly opened his mouth to speak when Xiao Yan grasped the hilt of the Heavy Xuan Ruler with his hand: “In the Inner Academy, there is a ‘Sky Flame Qi Training Tower’ buried underground. If one were to train within the tower, one would be able to obtain the strange effect of gaining more with less effort. Moreover, the farther down one goes to train in the tower, the faster the training speed. Of course, the price is also expensive to the point of being outrageous…”
“If one wanted to enter the ‘Sky Flame Qi Training Tower’, one must have sufficient ‘Fire Energy’ in their Fire Crystal Card for the expenses. ‘Fire Energy’ appears in numbers of days. The Fire Crystal Card in your hands is able to cover the cost of you all training in the tower for five days. After five days, you can only go and earn ‘Fire Energy’ by yourself. Of course, on the first day of every month, the Inner Academy will also give everyone seven days worth of ‘Fire Energy’ as… living expenses.” When he said this last phrase, the expression of the blue-clothed young man was a little strange.
Xiao Yan’s face was stunned when he heard the words of the blue-clothed young man. It was unexpected that the training method of the Inner Academy was so strange yet wonderful. If one wanted to enter the so-called ‘Sky Flame Qi Training Tower’ to train, one actually needed to pay a fee. This so called fee was the ‘Fire Energy’ on the Fire Crystal Card…
“If one wanted to train, one would need to use the ‘Fire Energy’ as an expense. No wonder these fellows covet the ‘Fire Energy’ in our hands to such an extent…” Xiao Yan laughed bitterly. He glanced at the blue-clothed young man and said softly: “Then what if we use up all the ‘Fire Energy’ on it? How do we get more? Don’t tell me that we can only wait until it is distributed the next month?”
“Of course not. In the Inner Academy, you can obtain ‘Fire Energy’ using various different means. For example, you can sweep the tower, copy scrolls, etc. Naturally, the ‘Fire Energy’ one gets by relying on this is way too little. Therefore, some of the stronger students would go and hunt Magical Beasts, using their Monster Core to exchange for ‘Fire Energy’. Alternatively, they can find someone to challenge. As long as the other party agrees, they would be able to compete in the Inner Academy’s Sports Arena. The one who wins would be able to obtain the ‘Fire Energy’ that is deducted from the loser. In summary, there are quite a number of methods to obtain ‘Fire Energy’. However, there is one precondition. That is you must have sufficient strength. Otherwise, not only will you not be able to earn ‘Fire Energy’, but you will also lose everything you have.” The blue-clothed young man spread his hands, hesitated a little, before continuing: “There is one more method to earn ‘Flame Energy’. That is to ascend to the top of the ‘Strong Ranking’ in the Inner Academy. As the name suggests, this is the ranking system that is used to measure one’s strength. It is also the ranking that is worth the most in the Inner Academy. There are only fifty names on the ranking. As long as you are able to grasp a position on it, you will be able to obtain the reward that the Inner Academy issues each month. The reward is linked with the rank. One would naturally get more the higher up the ranking they are. In that case, they would be able to hide themselves within the ‘Sky Flame Qi Training Tower’ all day to train and need not worry about exhausting the ‘Fire Energy’. Therefore, all the students in the Inner Academy are working hard and striving towards this ‘Strong Ranking’. That competition is so intense, that it simply leaves one speechless. There are many people who got onto the ranking on the first day before they were pulled down on the second day by people who desperately challenged them.”
Xiao Yan exhaled a deep breath of air and nodded slightly. Although his expression was calm, his heart was already beginning to be hooked by the mysterious rules of the Inner Academy, forming true anticipation and curiosity. This kind of extreme system was indeed worthy of being the cradle which created strong people.
In the Outer Academy, it was extremely difficult for the students to feel such competition. Therefore, the Outer Academy may not be short of people with outstanding talent, but it was ultimately impossible for them to compete with the Inner Academy. This was because the system here was basically created to groom strong people!
“‘Fire Energy’… Ha ha, looks like it is indeed something that really hooks onto people’s hearts. Now, even the temptation of this ‘Fire Energy’ has hooked onto the desires of my heart.” Xiao Yan laughed softly. He turned his head to eye Xun Er and the other three. Coincidentally, they had also turned their gazes towards him. The five gazes interlaced with one another and each of them could see the heat in each other’s’ eyes. Clearly, this Inner Academy had also caused them to be interested. The ‘Fire Energy’ was also firmly branded into their hearts.
In the Inner Academy, having ‘Fire Energy’ meant that their training speed would increase. It also represented that their distance on the journey of becoming strong people was becoming closer!
“‘Fire Energy’… is indeed something good…”
Xiao Yan muttered in his heart. The corner of his mouth was suddenly lifted into a evil smile that caused the blue clothed young man’s heart to feel a chill. He lowered his head and smiled as he watched the latter. In a harmonious manner, he said: “Thank you senior for informing me. However, can you please hand me the Fire Crystal Card in your hand next?”
The blue-clothed young man widened his mouth as he eyed Xiao Yan’s smile. His expression changed drastically. Dou Qi flowed suddenly. However, before he could even make a move, a huge, black shadow, carrying a pressuring wind sound, smashed down heavily, finally stopping just in front of the pale face belonging to the blue-clothed young man.
The blue clothed young man swallowed a mouthful of saliva with great difficulty as he eyed that enormous ruler’s body. A long while later, his face was ashen as he sat back down on the ground. His hands quivered as he took a pale-blue Fire Crystal Card out of his storage ring.
Xiao Yan smilingly received this pale-blue-colored Fire Crystal Card. When he gaze saw the red-colored 28 on it, the smile on Xiao Yan’s face grew much richer than before.
Xiao Yan held the black and blue Crystal Cards. After which, he rubbed them heavily. A glow flashed and on the dark black card, the number 5 turned to 26 while that the pale-blue card shrunk to a 7.
“Starting from now, the position of the hunter and the hunted in this Hunting Competition is going to be reversed. This is because this hunted have already begun to feel some interest towards the hunters…”
Xiao Yan softly muttered as he eyed the 26 on his dark, black Fire Crystal Card.