When Xiao Yan walked out from his room the next morning, he saw two human figures flashing and interlocking with one another within the hall of their new pavilion home. Powerful Dou Qi swarmed out from within the bodies of the two of them, and rippled throughout the entire hall.
On a chair in one corner of the hall, Xun Er was smiling as she watched the two figures. When she heard the sound of footsteps, she suddenly turned around and eyed Xiao Yan, who was climbing down the stairs. She could not help but hurriedly move forward to greet him. In a gentle voice, she smiled and asked, “Xiao Yan ge-ge are you awake?”
“Yes.” Xiao Yan smiled and nodded. He faced the two people in the hall and asked with a smile, “What are those two fellows doing?”
“Perhaps it’s because of this ‘Hunting Competition.’ When they were training last night, Wu Hao and Hu Jia each advanced to a seven star Da Dou Shi one after the other. They wanted to spar when they woke up in the morning. Hence…” Xun Er covered her mouth and explained with a laugh.
“Oh? They have advanced?”
Xiao Yan lifted his eyebrows when he heard this. He immediately sighed and shook his head. These two fellows were worthy of being the top among Jia Nan Academy’s Outer Academy. Their talent far exceeded that of an ordinary person. If one were to just discuss training talent, they would even be on the same level as Xiao Yan.
“What about Xun Er? What is your level now?” Xiao Yan turned his head over, threw his gaze toward Xun Er as he questioned with a smile. This girl had demonstrated training talent that caused even him to be amazed at. When he had left Wu Tan City, Xun Er was merely a Dou Zhe. Now, after only over two years time, she was already at the Da Dou Shi level. This kind of speed was something that he would likely have difficulty catching up to if he did not have Yao Lao’s help. Moreover, Xun Er was even younger than Xiao Yan.
“Me? I am also at the seven star Da Dou Shi level now. However, after this ‘Fire Energy Hunting Competition,’ I have been feeling that I am close to advancing. I think that within three or four days, I should be able to successfully become an eight star Da Dou Shi.” Xun Er lifted the teacup beside her, sipped shallowly and smiled as she replied to Xiao Yan.
“Tsk tsk, one after another…”
Xiao Yan could not help but click his tongue. It appeared that all of the people in this small, four man group were not ordinary people. All of them had shocking talent and great potential. Moreover, Xiao Yan dared to say that all three of them had their own hidden abilities and trump cards. If they were to meet an extremely dangerous situation, the strength that would erupt from them shock people. He did not have any doubt when it came to this matter. After all, Hu Jia’s grandfather was the Outer Academy’s Deputy Headmaster with a strength that was near the peak of the Dou Huang class. Toward his only granddaughter, he would naturally not hold back when teaching her.
According to what Instructor Ruo Ling and the others had said, the person behind Wu Hao appeared to be the commander of the Law Enforcement Unit. This unit was basically the armed forces of the Jia Nan Academy. Usually, they focused on handling diabolical and fierce people who originated from the ‘Black Corner Region.’ By being able to become the commander of such a unit, it was likely that his strength was not much weaker than Deputy Headmaster Hu Gan.
There was even less need to talk about Xun Er. Even until now, Xiao Yan was still uncertain of the enormous faction behind her. Of course, from the somewhat fearsome tone of Yao Lao, he could vaguely sense the huge outline.
With the background of the three of them, Xiao Yan did not think that the trump cards that they possessed would be much weaker than his own. Since he could rely on the Secret Technique to defeat an elite Dou Ling, it was likely that they would also be able to do something similar, no?
Just as Xiao Yan was sighing endlessly over the strength of this small group of his, a hurried knocking sound suddenly sounded from the door in an untimely fashion.
Xiao Yan lifted his head uncertainly. His gaze swept toward the front door and Xun Er obediently stood up and swiftly walked over. Wu Hao and Hu Jia had ceased sparing when they heard the knock. They grabbed the towels beside them and wiped off their perspiration. After which, they walked over to Xiao Yan’s side, lifted the teacups on the table, and swallowed the tea in one gulp.
“What happened?” Wu Hao asked vaguely after drinking.
“We will know once we take a look.” Xiao Yan smiled, and lifted his head only to see Xun Er, who had opened the door and conversed with the person outside for awhile, swiftly walking back.
“Xun Er, what is it?” Hu Jia smiled and asked Xun Er a question as she tied a purple belt around her pretty waist, illustrating her already delicate and narrow waist, until it was even more alluring.
“There are dozens of new students outside saying that they want to meet Xiao Yan ge-ge.” Xun Er knit her eyebrows slightly as she spoke.
“New students? Is there something wrong? Forget it, let them in.” Xiao Yan was slightly startled before he immediately replied.
Xun Er nodded her head when she heard this. She beckoned with her hand to the area outside the door. Immediately, more than ten figures swarmed in and came over, surrounding Xiao Yan’s group. For some unknown reason, their faces were all flushed red.
“Senior Xiao Yan. Being a fellow new student, you must definitely help us. The older students in this Inner Academy have really gone too far.” It was a young man, whose face was somewhat flushed in agitation. Xiao Yan still remembered that this young man was one of the three people who was still standing after matching up against that single ‘Black Demon Group’ member in that match with the ‘Black Demon Group’ during the ‘Hunting Competition.’ If he recalled correctly, his name was Atai.
“What happened? Tell me clearly.” Xiao Yan frowned and said.
“Starting from this morning, some older student groups entered the new students’ area, shouting all the while. They wanted to collect what they called the New Student Tribute Fee, which is 2 days’ worth of ‘Fire Energy’ per person… We also know that as a newcomer, there is no need to act too sharply. It is alright if we just endured a little. Thus, we did not say anything and handed the ‘Fire Energy’ payment to them. In the end, it is unexpected that after we dispatched that group of people, even more older student groups came one after another, repeatedly barging into our new students’ area. They blocked the exit and are now asking us to pay again. Until now, three groups have already arrived. If this continues, the little ‘Fire Energy’ that us new students have obtained after fighting desperately with Senior will have been completely taken away!” The young man named Atai clenched his teeth and spoke resentfully.
“Aren’t these people going too overboard?” Hu Jia’s pretty face sunk slightly as her delicate hand heavily slammed down on the armrest of a chair.
Xiao Yan held a teacup with both hands. His eyes narrowed, but he did not open his mouth to say anything.
“Senior Xiao Yan, we have come to look for you, not because we want you to help exempt us from such harassment. We also understand that as new students of the Inner Academy, it is unavoidable to be bullied by the older students. I have also inquired with some friends. In previous years, the new students needed to pay a little of this so-called ‘New Student Tribute Fee,’ but it was not like what is happening to us now, where one group after another came. From what that friend of mine said, the reason for things being as such this year was because the performance of the new students in the ‘Fire Energy Hunting Competition’ caused some older students’ hearts to be in a bad mood. Thus, this kind of new situation has appeared.” Atai laughed bitterly and sighed.
“By saying all of these things, I am not blaming Senior Xiao Yan. You have lead us to avoid being suppressed and bullied by the older students during the ‘Fire Energy Hunting Competition.’ The reputation of Senior Xiao Yan is now the highest in the hearts of this year’s new students. Hence, we can only request that you step forward now that we have met such a troublesome situation. Hopefully, this can allow us new students to conclude these layers upon layers of exploitation. Otherwise, if we do not even have enough training payment to enter the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower’, how are we even going to discuss training in the Inner Academy then?” Atai stared intently at Xiao Yan as he continued, “If it is really not possible, we, new students, would rather hand over that so called ‘New Students Tribute Fee’ to Senior Xiao Yan instead of giving it to those bastards!”
“Give me the ‘New Students Tribute Fee?’ Won’t that mix me into a class similar to those older students?” Xiao Yan smiled faintly. His finger gently tapped on his teacup, emitting a clear sound. After musing for a while, he smiled and said to Atai, “Since those older students are blocking the exit and collecting the tribute, I think that the few of us will not fall between the gaps. Why don’t we do this? You will go and gather all the new students. We will hurry over immediately.”
“In that case, Senior Xiao Yan, thank you very much. If you are in need of assistance in the future, this batch of new students will gladly listen to Senior Xiao Yan’s orders!” Hearing this, Atai and the ten plus new students following him immediately rejoiced. They hurriedly bowed to Xiao Yan and quickly exited the hall of the pavilion house.
After seeing the new students leave, Xiao Yan turned his head, eyed Xun Er and the two others and asked, “How do you all see this matter?”
“You are the group leader, you make the decisions. However, we cannot just be some unresisting lamb that allows those people to bully, right?” Hu Jia frowned and said, “Moreover, if you do not bother to intervene in this situation, the reputation, that you have accumulated among these new students with great difficulty, might perhaps immediately collapse, and you would lose a great deal of people’s support.”
“Elder Su said yesterday that there are many scattered factions within the Inner Academy. In the future, if we want to stay here for a long time, just the four of us may perhaps be a little weak. Now… is a good chance to draw people in. By relying on your reputation among the new students, as long as you dare to lead and take the risk of being beaten, there would perhaps be around eighty or ninety percent of the new students willing to follow you.” Xun Er voiced her thoughts.
“You want us to form our own faction?” Xiao Yan was a little astonished as he spoke.
“It would ultimately be better than joining someone else’s faction… it is just like you said earlier. It should also be difficult for us to escape paying that so called ‘Tribute Fee.’ Since this is the case, why don’t we gather everyone together. Although the strength of the new students is a little weak now, if we add up a few dozen of us, an ordinary small group would, at the very least, not dare to come and harass us again. No matter how one puts it, it would save us a lot of trouble.” Xun Er spread her hands and smiled as she explained.
“What Xun Er said could work. Rather than letting the new students assimilate into other factions, why don’t we try to gather them all together, and let them work for us.” Wu Hao nodded slightly and agreed.
Xiao Yan knit his brows tightly. His hands repeatedly rubbed the teacup. Seeing his deep in thought appearance, Xun Er and the other two did not dare to speak or interrupt him. They merely quietly waited for his decision.
The silence continued for a couple of minutes before Xiao Yan finally let out a long sigh. He stood up and said in a deep voice, “Alright, I will do as you guys have suggested! Now is the best opportunity to rope in the new students. Once we lose this opportunity, it would be ten times more difficult if we wanted to rope them in in the future!”
Once he said these words, Xiao Yan waved his hand and strode out the front door. Xun Er and the other two exchanged glances with each other before immediately smiling and following Xiao Yan with swift footsteps.