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Chapter 156 – The Winning Streaks of Two Youths
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The torrential downpour suddenly ceased and clear light returned. The rain had dug out many gorges in the sandy ground, making the place look just like the famous plateau in the northwest that overlooked the sea.
The scholar from Scholartree Manor lay collapsed in a corner, his long gown drenched in rain and blood.
Luoluo put away her whip and quietly stood, acting like she had never struck. She exuded an aura of nobility and absolute tyranny.
"Her Highness…is only fourteen this year, right?"
The Principal of the Star Seizer Academy stood by the window and looked down below, sighing, "This is a little ridiculous."
It truly was very ridiculous, but that wasn't to say that Luoluo had displayed some extremely exquisite techniques in this match. On the contrary, she had struck without the slightest refinement, causing a fierce storm, using absolute power to crush her opponent, the simplest of all possible methods. This was what it meant when one said that a king's efforts to dominate the world were carried out in a storm.
If Luoluo had encountered a higher level of opponent, like Gou Hanshi or someone else who was already at Ethereal Opening, she could not have so tyrannically suppressed her opponent. However, against cultivators of the same level, whether it was in quantity or purity of true essence or in the ability to fiercely output, she held the absolute advantage and could be regarded as almost unrivaled.
The bloodline of the White Emperor clan was truly absolutely tyrannical. The powerful figures on the second floor were all stunned, thinking to themselves, the assessment of the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets was truly correct. Amongst the younger generation, only Xu Yourong and Qiushan Jun can be compared to her. There exists no one else with comparable talent to Her Highness's.
The Grand Examination matches were finally reaching a climax, with several excellent fights occurring in succession.
Luoluo's victory over the student from Scholartree Manor was immediately followed by the wolf youth Zhexiu's match with Guan Feibai. This match had attracted everyone's interest, and Chen Changsheng was no exception. He was paying even more attention to it than other examinees. With Tianhai Shengxue withdrawing from the competition, the only person left who made him wary and that he felt could threaten or harm Luoluo was Zhexiu.
The door to the Hall of Washing Away Dust closed once more, and the match began.
The moment this match between Zhexiu and Guan Feibai began, it entered its most intense phase. The sound-obstructing array over the Hall of Washing Away Dust was instantly shattered, and before the examinees outside had time to mentally prepare themselves, they heard sound after sound, each louder than the last. Those examinees with somewhat weaker spiritual senses instantly paled, their seas of consciousness almost injured by the jolting of these sounds.
The loud sounds were not the sounds of slapping or crashing. There was a shrillness about them, so they were probably the sounds of the edge of a sword cutting against the air.
The southern diplomatic mission had been in the capital for many days, and great focus had been placed on the four disciples of the Mount Li Sword Sect. By now, many people knew that Qi Jian was using the rumored relic sword of Mount Li's Discipline Hall while Guan Feibai's was actually a very normal sword worth only five taels of silver. Upon hearing the shrill sounds of the sword, the examinees outside were flabbergasted. To be able to use an ordinary sword worth only five taels of silver and create such shrill howls, just how forceful was Guan Feibai's true essence! Even more stunning was that the wolf youth Zhexiu had no weapons, so just how was he blocking this terrifying sword?
The howls of the sword were growing increasingly shrill, and the world of the Education Palace was beginning to respond. The layer of clouds in the blue sky began to slowly move, going through countless transformations. One moment it was a rugged cliff, the next turbid waves beating against a shore, a most somber sword intent weaving through the clouds the entire time. Yet these clouds were never able to settle into a shape, as if disrupted by some wind roaring across the plains or the howling of a pack of wolves.
The crowd outside the Hall of Washing Away Dust was silent. Many examinees were pale from shock at the sounds from the hall and the phenomena in the sky. They found it impossible to imagine just what they could do if they were the ones in that hall, whether it was confronting those clouds interwoven with sword energy or those terrifyingly shrill howls of wind, other than conceding on the spot.
The expression on Chen Changsheng's face grew graver and graver.
In the Ivy Festival, Guan Feibai had engaged in a competition of sword techniques with Luoluo. Although no true essence had been used at the time, Chen Changsheng could clearly tell that Guan Feibai was extremely talented and had cultivated very diligently. His accomplishments on the path of the sword were outstanding, and it was rumored that amongst the Divine Kingdom's Seven Laws, he was only second in the sword to Qiushan Jun, which was very reasonable. And yet it was plain to see that he was completely incapable of controlling his current opponent.
Just how strong was this wolf youth Zhexiu?
After some time, the shrill whistles of the sword gradually vanished, as did the howling of the wind. What came next was a creak.
The door of the Hall of Washing Away Dust had opened.
Zhexiu walked out from the hall. His face was slightly pale, but his expression was as indifferent as ever, and his frigid eyes were devoid of emotion. He didn't even look like a human.
He walked down the steps at a slow pace, and there seemed to be a few problems every time he raised a knee.
The examinees finally noticed that there was a faint bloodstain on his left knee.
After a moment, a trickle of blood flowed down from his pants onto his ankle.
He was not wearing shoes, remaining barefooted this whole time, so this trickle of blood was very evident.
Guan Feibai followed him out of the Hall of Washing Away Dust. His posture was still erect, and his clothes which were losing color from being washed too much were free of any tears, much less bloodstains. It seemed like he was uninjured.
The crowd watched him walk back to the stream, somewhat surprised. Had he simply just won?
Zhexiu walked to the grass on the outer edge of the crowd and sat down. He began to adjust his breathing, closing his eyes and ignoring all the discussion around him.
His sitting posture was rather weird. He didn't sit cross-legged, but sat on his ankles, looking more like he was squatting.
Guan Feibai had reached the stream bank at this time. He looked at Gou Hanshi, preparing to say something.
Gou Hanshi shook his head, indicating that he didn't need to say anything. He raised his right hand and his finger moved like the wind, striking like lightning at three points on his chest, sending true Qi into Guan Feibai's body.
Guan Feibai's complexion slightly reddened and then paled. This process repeated three times, and then there was a squelch as blood spurted out of his mouth.
The blood sprinkled over a few stalks of grass growing by the stream. With a rip, those stalks of grass wilted and then snapped.
The crowd exploded, the examinees finally understanding that Guan Feibai had actually suffered such heavy injuries. He had just managed to hold them until now, when the injuries finally broke out.
The blood he spit out contained no poison, only traces of energy left by Zhexiu's fierce true essence. If Gou Hanshi had not acted so promptly, this energy would have hidden itself in Guan Feibai's body and might have affected his cultivation. Even so, Guan Feibai had a wan and haggard complexion, as if he had come down with some severe illness.
Thinking of how insidiously this wolf youth had acted, Liang Banhu looked over, his gaze chilly, while Qi Jian's small face was red from anger.
Guan Feibai wiped the blood from his lip and said, "Since my skill was inferior, he can't be blamed."
Gou Hanshi patted him on the shoulder out of both comfort and praise.
At this moment, the Li Palace priest appeared on the stone steps and announced, "Star Seizer Academy, Zhang Tingtao wins."
With this, the third round of matches came to an end.
All was quiet outside the Hall of Washing Away Dust. There were no cheers or even chatter.
This was because everyone could already see that the matches were growing fiercer and fiercer, and naturally bloodier and crueler as well.
Under this oppressive and tense atmosphere, the sixteen strongest in the matches of the Grand Examination were determined, after which the fourth round began.
To everyone's surprise, Zhexiu was immediately called upon to take the stage, and his opponent was the other young expert of the Mount Li Sword Sect, Qi Jian.
To face two powerful foes in a row and to have no time to rest in between…although this was just the result of drawing lots, it was still rather unfair. A normal examinee might have requested the examiner for a little more time to recover, but Zhexiu remained silent, walking with an indifferent expression to the Hall of Washing Away Dust.
It was very quiet within the hall. The battle had already ended. Zhexiu looked at the sand covering the floor, recalling his home in the summertime. Behind Deer Cry Hill was a river, and they grew soybeans and sorghum there. One could fill one's belly without needing to hunt, but no matter how fragrantly one cooked sorghum, it still could not match up to the aroma of meat.
I am a wolf from the north.
A wolf traveling a thousand li to eat meat is a principle of the heavens and earth.
Although you are a child, since you are my opponent, I naturally can't go easy, so why are you so angry?
He looked across, and for the first time, an emotion appeared on his indifferent face. This a very strange emotion, very difficult to describe in words.
Qi Jian stood across from him. His black hair had come untied in the battle and was now draped over his shoulders, making him seem even thinner and frailer.
He, Gentle Stream Monastery's Ye Xiaolian, and the Orthodox Academy's Xuanyuan Po were the three youngest people participating in this year's Grand Examination.
His face was very young and tender, and burning with rage.
Zhexiu did not understand Qi Jian's fury. Although some of the techniques he had used in close combat had been rather sinister…battles were matters of life-or-death, so what did it matter if one was a little sinister? Did your seniors of the Mount Li Sword Sect not teach you how to fight? Your senior brother from earlier acted much more elegant than you have.
Earlier when he had used those sinister techniques, Qi Jian inexplicably became furious. He no longer acted with caution, his true essence exploding as he madly struck out with several dozen sword techniques, engaging in a melee with Zhexiu like a madman. If Zhexiu had not walked the line between life and death for so many years, he might have been hacked to death by this sword.
If Gou Hanshi were to know that his junior brother had acted so, he would assuredly feel very gratified.
Even a monster like Zhexiu felt a little lingering fear when thinking about Qi Jian's explosive hurricane of sword techniques.
At times, anger truly was a sort of strength.
Regretfully, the strength of anger was very difficult to sustain. Since Qi Jian's hurricane of sword techniques had been unable to hack Zhexiu to death, Zhexiu had still managed to gain the final victory.
Qi Jian walked out of the Hall of Washing Away Dust and returned to Gou Hanshi. His lips were a little dry and his eyes a little red, and he looked deeply aggrieved.
"What happened?" Gou Hanshi slightly raised his brow. It was very obvious that for the first time, he was truly angry.
Qi Jian wiped away his tears. "It's nothing. Senior Brother, you have to help me get revenge."
Gou Hanshi glanced at the distant Zhexiu and said, "Okay."
The wolf youth Zhexiu won two consecutive victories, astonishing many people by consecutively eliminating two of the Divine Kingdom's Seven Laws.
But even more astonishing was that Chen Changsheng had won again.
In the first three rounds, his first and third opponents had been too weak. His second opponent was Huo Guang of Scholartree Manor, who, although strong, was not ranked on the Proclamation of Azure Sky. Many people could not accurately determine Chen Changsheng's level, but in this round, his opponent was a young expert from Shuang City.
This young expert from Shuang City had a rank in the twenties of the Proclamation of Azure Sky.
Just when everyone thought that Chen Changsheng's story in the Grand Examination was about to come to a close, he once more shocked everyone, defeating his opponent.
The crowd found it difficult to comprehend just how he had managed to win.