Night slowly elapsed under the flow of time. When the last sliver of the moon disappeared from the horizon, a faint light began to expel the darkness of the land.
Following the first rays of sunlight scattering into the Inner Academy, the quiet atmosphere immediately announced its disappearance. Today was the day that the top ten of the ‘Strong Ranking’ Grand Competition were to be determined. With the progression of the Grand Competition up to this point, it could basically be said that it had entered a true climax. All the students of the Inner Academy were awaiting the new top ten experts on the ‘Strong Ranking’ to be chosen.
The spacious stadium was crowded by many people in an extremely short period of time. A passionate noisy sound repeatedly reverberated by everyone’s ears. That fiery hot atmosphere infected everyone who entered the arena.
By the time Xiao Yan and the others had arrived at the tall platform, the place had already become overcrowded. Over half of the competitors had been eliminated after the two days of elimination, but it was extremely good for those people to observe a match at such a high level even if they could no longer participate.
At this moment, Xiao Yan had undoubtedly become the biggest dark horse in this season’s ‘Strong Ranking’ Grand Competition. He already possessed the qualification to charge into the top ten after having merely entered the Inner Academy less than a year ago. This strength was sufficient to cause an ordinary person to be shocked. Hence, he attracted many gazes the moment he had entered.
Ignoring the gazes from all around, Xiao Yan’s group arrived at the seats they had occupied yesterday before sitting down. They conversed and smiled with one another while waiting for the competition to begin.
Xiao Yan’s group had just sat down when a small lovely figure strangely appeared in front of them. A long pale-purple pony tail and a cute carved-jade appearance possessed quite a great lethality toward both male and female.
Zi Yan continued smiling quietly at Xiao Yan the moment she appeared.
Xiao Yan glanced at Zi Yan in front of him, who had disappeared for an entire day. His face was immediately filled with surprise. At this moment, the latter’s clothes were a little tattered. Bruises actually covered her delicate hand and arm.
“What did you do?” Xiao Yan could not help but ask when he saw this pitiful manner of Zi Yan.
“I have roamed around within the deep mountains and found a spiritual medicine that caught my eye after much difficulty. In the end, I met a Dou Huang class Magical Beast guarding it. I fought with it. I couldn’t beat it, so I fled back.” Zi Yan twitched her lips and said in an uninterested manner.
Xiao Yan and the others did not know how to react upon hearing this at first. This girl was indeed abnormal. She actually dared to go and find trouble with a Dou Huang class Magical Beast. It really was the case of the young being fearless.
“Chi. That fellow didn’t fare much better than me. It received some firm punches from me and was beaten until its skin broke to reveal raw flesh.” When she saw Xiao Yan’s expression, Zi Yan immediately became unhappy as she sneered.
Xiao Yan raised his brows. He did not think that Zi Yan was lying. Although her strength was that of a Dou Wang on the surface, that strange strength of hers was so frightening that it caused one’s hair to stand. It was likely that even the strong body a Magical Beast would not be unharmed after being struck by a full force punch.
“Hee hee, Xiao Yan, shall we go together the next time around? I will hold back that fellow, and you can go and take the spiritual medicine.” Zi Yan suddenly came forward and stopped with her face close to Xiao Yan’s. She made a suggestion as she laughed.
Xiao Yan immediately rolled his eyes weakly when he heard these words. The last time around, he had spent a great amount of effort just to deal with a Dou Wang class ‘Snow Demon Sky Ape’. Was it not asking him to seek bitterness by getting him to deal with a Dou Huang class?
Xiao Yan carelessly dealt with it with a couple sentences. He immediately sensed commotion had occurred in the surrounding atmosphere and turned his head in surprised. The figures of Lin Xiuya and his group had appeared at the entrance of the stadium. As the most dazzling star in the Inner Academy, the commotion which he stirred was naturally even greater than that of Xiao Yan earlier. The numerous gazes that had suddenly shifted truly caused one to sense the kind of unmovable reputation and status he had within the Inner Academy.
The moment Lin Xiuya and the others entered, they directly rushed toward the position where Xiao Yan was at.
“Hopefully, we will not meet each other as the six people that are selected today. I don’t wish to meet you at such a pivotal moment.” A hearty laugh was transmitted into Xiao Yan’s ear before Lin Xiuya arrived in person. His voice viewed Xiao Yan extremely seriously, causing those in the crowd around them to throw a surprised gaze toward Xiao Yan. The people in the Inner Academy who could be viewed this seriously by Lin Xiuya were existences as rare a unicorn horn or a phoenix feather.
“If that is really the case, I’m afraid that I am the one who is unlucky.” Xiao Yan laughed. He similarly did not wish to meet with Lin Xiuya at such a moment. His target was merely the top ten. As long as he could successfully enter the top ten, then he would no longer have anything to fear. At that time, he would also not need to worry about meeting an extremely troublesome opponent.
“Who would dare cause you to be unlucky with me protecting you?” An old fashioned voice sounded from behind Xiao Yan. Immediately, Zi Yan leaped onto her chair and looked down from a higher vantage point as she patted Xiao Yan’s shoulders. She immediately stared at Lin Xiuya disdainfully. Two small fists were pressed against each other as she said, “Brat, it is best that we don’t meet up later. Otherwise, even if you jump down from the arena, I will also chase after you and beat you up.”
Zi Yan, who had suddenly jumped up, caused the smile on Lin Xiuya’s face to be greatly withdrawn. He spoke in an embarrassed manner, “That is only natural. Who in this Inner Academy can oppose Senior Zi Yan?”
“Consider yourself sensible.” Zi Yan smiled proudly. She was just thinking of piling up some vicious words when Xiao Yan at her side hurriedly pulled at her ponytail and got her down from the chair. He ignored her struggle as he pressed her behind him before shrugging his shoulders and smiling bitterly to Lin Xiuya.
Lin Xiuya was dumbfounded as he watched Zi Yan who was forcefully pressed behind Xiao Yan. Although she was struggling, it was clear that it was merely just like a little child misbehaving. Since when did this ‘Brute Force Queen’ not get angry after being treated in this manner by others? If this was in the past, whoever dared press down on her head would likely be captured and beaten until their face was black and blue even if they fled to the Outer Academy.
“What kind of medicine did this little fellow Xiao Yan give the ‘Brute Force Queen’? He is actually able to have such a good relationship with her?” Lin Xiuya muttered a little within his heart and did not dare to stop for long. If Zi Yan was to point at his nose and curse loudly at this place, it was likely that everyone would quietly laugh even though they knew the terror of this little girl. Hence, he swiftly spoke a couple of sentences to Xiao Yan before hurriedly leading some people to their seats.
Xiao Yan’s group could not resist smiling as they watch Lin Xiuya beat a hasty retreat. It was really unexpected that this fellow with the most dazzling reputation within the Inner Academy would actually be this fearful of Zi Yan. It really was the case of one being subduing another.
Another very respected competitor, Liu Qing also entered the stadium not long after Lin Xiuya arrived. Originally, his path also required him to walk passed the spot in front of Xiao Yan’s group. However, his sharp eyes caught sight of that little girl with a pale-purple ponytail seated beside Xiao Yan the moment he entered the arena. His expression changed a little without leaving any trace. Immediately, he took a turn nonchalantly and bypassed Xiao Yan’s group.
Although this change in Liu Qing’s route was extremely obscure, it was still discovered by some sharp-eyed people. Immediately, they could not help but laugh. All of these top people within this Inner Academy had lost the bearing that a strong person should have in front of this cute little girl.
The number of people in the stadium also increased as time flowed by. Noisy voices were mixed together before climbing to the clouds.
Once the Elders on the judges’ seats also took their seats, a ‘gong’ sound finally reverberated in the stadium.
The moment the gong sounded, the noisiness that had spread throughout the arena slowly fell. Numerous gazes were thrown toward the judges’ seats.
Su Qian arranged his clothes in front of the attention of the entire stadium. He slowly stood up and said in loud clear voice, “After two days of elimination, there are still thirteen people remaining in the ‘Strong Ranking’ Grand Competition. In order to enter the top ten, there must be three people who are eliminated today. According to the rules of the Grand Competition, we will randomly pick six people to compete. The winners will enter the top ten while those who lose can only be ranked behind.”
The moment Su Qian’s voice sounded, he took out a bamboo cylinder and placed it in front of him. There were thirteen paper lots within the cylinder.
“The thirteen paper lots have the names of the last thirteen competitors. I will randomly pick those six people who need to compete.” The atmosphere in the stadium had become more tense following the introduction of the bamboo cylinder. Many people stared in an unblinking manner at the judges’ seats. The deciding factor of the top ten names were all determined by this.
Su Qian slowly drew a piece of paper in front of everyone’s gazes. He took a glance before immediately reading out loud, “Yan Hao.”
As Su Qian’s voice sounded, everyone could clearly see Yan Hao’s face abruptly tighten on the tall platform.
“The next name that is drawn will be Yan Hao’s opponent to determine who will enter the top ten.” Su Qian once again drew a piece of paper as he spoke in an indifferent manner. He immediately opened it and his gaze drifted over it. He said, “Qian Mo.”
Numerous gazes followed the voice and turned toward a somewhat fat man on the tall platform. Qian Mo was ranked 8th on the ‘Strong Ranking’ and had an extremely great strength. He was also at the peak of the Dou Ling class like Yan Hao. However, if they were to really fight, he was much weaker than Yan Hao. Hence, the moment Qian Mo heard his opponent was Yan Hao, his brows immediately knit together.
Su Qian ignored the gazes in the stadium. He continued drawing a piece of paper and opened it, only to be startled. Immediately, he shook his head somewhat helplessly. “Zi Yan.”
The moment the name sounded, even Lin Xiuya, Liu Qing, and the others on the tall platform abruptly raised their hearts.
Su Qian clearly understood their emotion. He quietly smiled and slowly drew the lot that would cause someone to be extremely depressed. “Qin Zhen.”
“Hu…” Everyone on the tall platform let out a long breath. Immediately, their faces carried a sympathetic look as they eyed a pale-faced man. This pitiful fellow. Even though he was ranked 6th on the ‘Strong Ranking’, it was likely that there would not be the slightest tension when meeting that ‘Brute Force Queen’.
“The last lot.”
Su Qian shook his hand from the judges’ seats. A paper lot was sucked into his palm before he slowly opened it and opened his mouth with some surprise, “Liu Qing.”
The entire stadium was once again silent. Some people muttered in their heart. Looks like there will be another unlucky fellow appearing.
Liu Qing’s expression did not fluctuate even a little. As long as his opponent was not Zi Yan, he would not be the least bit afraid even if he were to meet Lin Xiuya at this point.
Seemingly in an attempt to increase everyone’s anticipation, Su Qian slowly took out the final lot. He waved it toward everyone before laughing softly and opening it. Soon after this, the smile on his face was withdrawn and he was completely stunned.
The hearts of everyone in the stadium were like that of cat claws when they saw this manner of his.
“*Cough*…” Su Qian finally recovered a moment later. His gaze was slowly thrown toward a spot on the tall platform and helplessly shook his head.
The entire stadium was silent. Under a wave of regretful sighs, they immediately eyed the black-robed, young man on the tall platform with brows knit together.