This match of Liu Qing were undoubtedly one of the few exciting fights in this competition. However, given his strength, a match this standard did not cause others to feel overly surprised.
After Liu Qing, there were quite a number of experts who made their appearance one after another. Among them, the one that garnered the most attention was undoubtedly the appearance of Lin Xiuya. However, his match caused everyone to be neither able to laugh nor cry. This was because his opponent never appeared. Under the pressure of facing the number two on the ‘Strong Ranking’, he chose to admit defeat and leave. Therefore, Lin Xiuya had become the person who had the easiest time advancing. This also caused Liu Qing, Xiao Yan, and the others who wanted to observe Lin Xiuya’s tactics beforehand to feel somewhat disappointed.
The twenty-five matches on the first day lasted from morning until night before it was finally declared to have ended in front of the countless numbers of gazes that did not seem to enjoy it sufficiently. Although there were some competitors who did not display their strength well, the ‘Strong Ranking’ was ultimately the competition with the highest standards in the Inner Academy regardless of how one put it. Exciting fights between the strong were sufficient to cause the others to exclaim in amazement.
Moreover, everyone knew that the truly exciting fights were not these elimination matches in this first round. Instead, they were the fights in the second and third day! After today’s elimination round, there were only twenty-five people who remained. Whether it was because of their luck that they reached this step or by other means, there certainly were no ordinary people among them. A fight at this level naturally held a degree of excitement and fiery passion that was far from what the first day’s elimination matches could compare with!
Therefore, all the audience members adopted an unsatisfied feeling along with anticipation as they waited for the even more exciting exchanges on the second day!
As night descended, the Inner Academy, which had experienced a day of noisiness and great passion, finally recovered its calm. Bits and pieces of light scattered around the enormous academy and were extremely eye-catching in these mountains.
The pale moonlight scattered into a quiet room through the window, and landed on the face of Xiao Yan who was seated cross-legged in it. At this moment, the latter had his eyes closed. His breathing was long and slow as the threads of tiny energy from his surroundings were absorbed into his body along with his breathing. After undergoing some refinement, they added a little brick and mortar on the great undertaking of advancing one’s strength.
Xiao Yan’s eyes moved slightly after the training had continued for nearly two hours. They slowly opened, and a mottled breath that was restrained in his mouth for a long time was exhaled.
As the mottled breath was exhaled, a layer of pale glow immediately surfaced over Xiao Yan’s expression. The pale-whiteness that had formed from the intense fight during the day had completely disappeared at this moment.
Xiao Yan sensed the surging Dou Qi flowing within his body and smiled. That plan of Bai Cheng who wanted to go all out and cause Xiao Yan to lose the matches later on was dashed. With the mysterious effect of his ‘Flame Mantra’ along with the collaboration of various medicinal pills, it was not overly difficult for him to fully heal himself within a short amount of time as long as he had not received any kind of serious injuries.
“It is likely that the competition tomorrow will be even more dangerous than the one today.” Xiao Yan mused and muttered. Other than Wu Hao and very few others, those who could enter the top twenty-five were all undoubtedly truly strong people. These people were much stronger than Bai Cheng.
“However, that ‘Great Rift Coffin Splitting Claw’ of Liu Qing really possessed a frightening might. If I am to really fight him, I’m afraid that my ‘Octane Blast’ would not be able to catch up to that technique.” Xiao Yan tightly clenched his five fingers and sighed softly, “Although the both of them are of the High Xuan class, he had merely practiced ‘Octane Blast’ for two to three years. Liu Qing, on the other hand, had honed his skill for close to twenty years. How were the two comparable? Moreover, Liu Qing’s personal strength far exceeded his. If he were to compete with the ‘Great Rift Coffin Splitting Claw’, Xiao Yan could only seek temporary shelter from it.
The glow in Xiao Yan’s eyes flickered. A moment later, it suddenly became ruthless as he ferociously muttered to himself, “Who cares. I will go all out no matter whom I meet. I must occupy a spot among the top ten!”
In a small quiet room not far from Xiao Yan’s room, a subtle lovely figure stood beautifully under the moonlight. An old man stood with his hands hanging by his side behind her.
“Xiao-jie, the one month of time is up. Aren’t you going to leave?” The silent atmosphere continued for a moment before that old man raised his head. That face was naturally that of Ling Ying who had been shadowing Xun Er.
The lovely figure trembled without being noticed. A long while later, she let out a distant sigh. “Let’s wait for another few days. I will be able to leave with my heart at ease once Xiao Yan ge-ge has successfully obtained a spot in the top ten of the Grand Competition.”
Ling Ying helplessly nodded. However, he did not say anything else. His body twisted, and he turned into a shadow which disappeared into the darkness.
The young lady did not appear to have sensed the disappearance of the old man behind her. She still stood in front of the window like a stone statue. Her pretty eyes were filled with emotions as they passed through the window and stopped at a room not far away. There was still a faint light remaining in that place.
There were many people who were having a sleepless night tonight.
The next day came extremely slowly amid the anticipation of a countless number of people.
When the first thread of the morning sun scattered down from the skyline, the quiet Inner Academy was once again replaced by a heated atmosphere. Many students ate their breakfast in a simple fashion before forming groups and rushing to the arena.
The enormous arena was swiftly filled within a short two hours. A noisy fiery passion, similar to yesterday’s atmosphere, echoed in the sky while carrying various different tones.
All the Elders took their seats in succession half an hour after entering the stadium. After the First Elder Su Qian took his seat, the second day of the competition was announced to have finally begun.
“Due to the elimination round yesterday, there are only twenty-five competitors remaining. Therefore, we need everyone to draw lots once again.” Su Qian’s laughed from the judges’ section. His voice reverberated clearly beside everyone’s ear, “This time around, however, there will be an excess of one person. Hence, there will be only twelve matches today. The last person will advance unconditionally.”
Su Qian’s words gave rise to a commotion in the viewing gallery. Advance unconditionally? This seemed a little too easy, no? If someone had good luck, would they not be able to directly enter the top thirteen?
“Ke ke, this unconditional advancement is likely to have an extremely great attraction to many people. However, for the sake of fairness, our Elder’s Council has already held a discussion. This spot will be given to Zi Yan.” Su Qian spoke with a smile.
As Su Qian’s words sounded, a commotion broke out in the viewing gallery once again. Those competitors on the high platform, however, nodded their heads slightly. In any case, this little monster would have no problem advancing. If this spot was given to her, they would be lucky enough to avoid meeting her in this round.
“Does any competitor has any objection to this?” Su Qian’s gaze turned to the high platform and asked.
Everyone shook their head in unison. That orderly manner caused everyone in the viewing gallery to be stunned.
“Ke ke, since that is the case, let’s begin drawing lots.” Su Qian smiled and nodded toward the bamboo cylinder on the stone table.
Hearing this everyone on the stage immediately rushed over and sequentially picked out a bamboo stick from the bamboo cylinder.
Seven, Xiao Yan randomly glanced at the number on his bamboo stick before he immediately followed everyone else to the high platform, and quietly waited for the battle that would follow.
“The first match of the second round of the ‘Strong Ranking’ Grand Competition, number three! Those with the red bottom number three and blue bottom number three, please get into the arena!” Su Qian waved his hand, and cried out when he saw that everyone had finished drawing lots.
As Su Qian’s cry sounded, two human figures immediately flashed down from the high platform. Powerful auras instantly spread over the arena.
Xiao Yan’s gaze paused in the arena. After hearing Wu Hao introduce them by his side, Xiao Yan had some understanding of these two people in the arena. One of them was ranked 20th on the ‘Strong Ranking’, while the other was ranked 22nd. They were similarly strong and both used ruthless tactics. One should not underestimate them if they truly went all out.
“Let the match begin!”
Su Qian’s faint voice was like a spark that ignited a barrel of gunpowder. In an instant, the extremely tense dagger-drawn atmosphere in the arena completely exploded.
There was not much of a warm-up the moment the match began. Both parties unleashed their most ferocious head-on attacks. Two powerful Dou Qi collided together, and the sound of exploding Dou Qi brewed into blast waves, sweeping their surroundings like a fierce wind.
Xiao Yan’s eyes stared intently at the fight in the arena. He nodded slightly. The students who could reach this stage did indeed have some skill. The overall strength displayed had basically risen one level compared to yesterday.
“Hey, Xiao Yan.” During the moment Xiao Yan was staring at the fight, a hand suddenly patted his shoulders. A familiar voice sounded beside his ear.
Xiao Yan turned his head doubtfully. He eyed Lin Yan behind him. When he saw that Lin Yan’s face was hiding something, he could not help but felt it was funny, “Why? Why are you here instead of preparing for the next match?”
“Hee hee, I am doing this for your own good. Your number is seven, right?” Lin Yan sat down beside Xiao Yan and laughed as he asked.
“Yes.” Xiao Yan nodded as he looked uncertainly at Lin Yan.
“Looks like you really did not hide your number. Originally, your opponent was a fellow ranked 24th. However, that fellow coincidentally belongs to Liu Qing’s group. Hence, his number was exchanged with Yao Sheng’s number.” Lin Yan spread his hand and continued, “Therefore, your opponent has already changed to Yao Sheng. From the looks of it, he plans to properly teach you a lesson in the competition.”
“Oh?” Xiao Yan lifted his brows as he asked in surprise, “Isn’t changing one’s number against the rules?”
“The numbers for the second round are not announced. Most people tightly hide their numbers. No one acts like you, randomly revealing their number.” Lin Yan curled his mouth and took out a bamboo stick from his chest pocket. He waved it toward Xiao Yan and smiled as he said, “Why don’t we exchange ours? This opponent of mine is someone ranked 19th. Although he is quite strong, he would undoubtedly be much more relaxing compared to Yao Sheng.”
Xiao Yan was a little moved when he saw Lin Yan’s action. He smiled slightly, pushed the bamboo stick back and smiled as he said, “Coincidentally, I also feel that that fellow is an eyesore. Since he wants to teach me a lesson, won’t I be a joke to others if I were to dodge it?”
“You have the confidence? The current strength of that fellow might well enable him to at least enter the top fifteen.” Lin Yan frowned, but did not say much when he saw Xiao Yan’s rejection.
Xiao Yan smiled and patted Lin Yan’s shoulders. He turned his head around and threw his gaze toward the other side of the high platform. A feminine Yao Sheng also coincidentally threw his gaze over. That gaze didn’t even try to conceal disdain and provocation amid the femininity.