Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
In addition to some new disciples, many old disciples came forward to greet Zhao Ji. However, Zhao Wei did not squint but went straight past them. Though his face was elegant, there was a deep indifference in his bones. He had no desire to stop and talked to anyone.
Those newer disciples seemed somewhat alright with the treatment. However, the elder disciples were very dissatisfied with his attitude and looked at him with disgust.
Zhao Ji walked past those people and turned a deaf ear to their gossip.
Just as Shi Mu turned to look at him, Zhao Ji turned his head and looked him in the eyes as well.
Locking eyes with Zhao Ji once again made Shi Mu somewhat uneasy. The same sense of discomfort he felt ten years ago had once again rushed into his heart and mind.
However, Zhao Ji only glanced at Shi Mu and before his gaze went elsewhere, leaving Shi Mu confused. Did Zhao Ji really notice him or was it just his imagination?
“Ah, it’s been ten years since I last saw you. It seemed your skills and strength have improved drastically.”
It was Qing Zhangtian’s voice. At some point during the commotion, he made his way over to Shi My.
“Hehe. At this stage of the championship, you have to put in everything if you want to shine,” Shi Mu said.
Qing Zhangtian laughed heartily before conversing with Ma Long, Zi Ling, and the other new disciples. He would casually chat with them for a few while and suddenly disappear out of sight in the crowd.
Shi Mu heard a hoarse low-pitched voice from midair.
The voice was not loud but full of majesty. It was so clear that everyone who heard it immediately stopped talking.
Shi Mu looked up at the stone monument. It was unknown when a blue vortex emerged but an old man in a green robe appeared out of it.
The man had white hair and his eyebrows arched downwards. His face was ruddy like a child but he was the elder who once held the trials of the Holy Land of Qinglan.
The crowd that was initially loud and noisy suddenly quieted down and looked at the old man in anticipation of what he would announce.
“Fellow disciples, it has been a full decade since the last century’s centennial. Contestants have honed strength for the past ten years. Today, the wait has come to an end. As a disciple of the Holy Land, who can live up to the expectation and fight in their honor for the crown? Are you ready for it?”
The quiet crowd suddenly boiled up with excitement after the elder’s questions. Every disciple was now boiling with passion within them.
“Good! When there’s a struggle in the heart, one has the motivation to fight and win! In accordance with the practice and rules, I will now announce the rules of the grand championship.”
Just as Shi Mu planned to look through the audience, a sudden tingly feeling could be felt on the back of his neck.
He looked around and someone from the corner of his eyes caught his sight. It was none other than Lu Jing who was in a green robe. He stood not far away, but his foul intentions could be felt as if Shi Mu was standing right next to him.
Beside him stood a man with a black and white face. The person was none other than Liao Yong.
From time to time, the two men would glance at Shi Mu and then muttered between themselves. Their eyes showed a faint color of resentment.
All Shi Mu did was look them in the eyes and smile before looking away.
“There will be a total of three rounds. The first round is the knockout round between 940 disciples with the temporary 32 upper-class disciples. A lottery will determine the order of participation and their opponents. After that, a ranking will be decided. Anyone who ranks below 108 will be disqualified as a disciple and expelled from the Holy Land.”
As soon as the statement came out, many suddenly showed their nervousness, especially those disciples who had been in the Holy Land for only ten years.
“So many people are participating in the championship. It seems that there’s going to be a tough fight ahead,” Ma Long said with worry.
“Hey sister, don’t worry. After all, there are thousands of people participating in the championship, so the elimination rate is only one-tenth. It won’t be as bad as you think. Right, brother Shi Mu?” Zi Ling said with a smile.
“According to this system, as long as you win the first round, you will be free from elimination,” Shi Mu replied.
As Ma Long heard Shi Mu’s word, he nodded comfortably with some sense of closure.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“The second round will be the survival round. The first 108 disciples decided in the knockout round will be challenged by the original 108 disciples. The winner can take the loser’s place as an upper disciple. But there is only one chance for each person.”
Once Shi M saw Ma Long’s attention was taken by the elder, he quickly leaned against Zi Ling’s side.
“Are you now Zi Ling? Or Zi He?”
The girl with plaited hair looked at Shi Mu with her big eyes but did not say a word.
Shi Mu was somewhat annoyed at the unanswered question and decided to shift his attention back to the elder.
“The last third round will be the challenge round. One hundred and eight of the top disciples will be given a chance to challenge the person who ranked higher than them. The winners of the round will be exchanged with the defeated disciple. Of course, you can choose not to challenge anyone. However, if you are challenged by others, you can’t refuse them. For the sake of fairness, the same person can only be challenged up to three times. After that, even if the person is challenged again, they can be excused from fighting.”
“The top three disciples will receive one thousand Xuanling points, five hundred points, and three hundred points, respectively. The top ten will receive two hundred points each, and the top fifty will receive fifty points. The usage of Xuanling points is highly important in the Holy Land. I don’t think I would need to explain that part, do I? In addition, the top three will have their choice of any spirit weapon from the Dusk Armory Pavilion.”
Among the crowd, several disciples exclaimed among themselves.
“That’s a heckuva reward!”
“It’s even more than what we received in the previous championship!”
Everyone’s enthusiasm was instantly brought to a fever pitch. In the face of such a generous reward, their eyes were filled with eagerness.
Shi Mu was bursting with excitement as well. He wanted to exchange materials that would be beneficial to his cultivation of the Nine Revolutions Mysterious Art. Undoubtedly, he would need as many Xuanling points as possible.
“That is all. The rules of the championship have been announced. Is there anything else to be clarified?”
For a full minute, no one said anything.
“Well, in that case, I officially declare the championship has begun! Everyone, please head over to the Qinglan Ranking and look for your respective ranking.”
Shi Mu and others followed the flow of people and moved toward the huge cyan stone monument.
A young man with a tall figure and thin face squeezed in front of Shi Mu and smiled slyly.
“Brother Shi Mu, how innocent of you.”
“Aren’t you brother Zhao?” Shi Mu jerked back a little in surprise.
This man with a tall figure and thin face was none other than Zhao Shenlei. Hearing Shi Mu’s tone, he seemed to have forgotten who he was. He could not help but drop the smile he initially had on his face.
“Brother Shi must’ve been through a lot to forget about me,” Zhao Shenlei smiled reluctantly as he said.
“Brother Zhao, is there an issue?” Shi Mu asked directly, not wanting any small talk.
“Nothing much. I just came over to say hello. I hope brother Shi Mu will achieve good results in the grand championship.”
“Then I shall take that as a goodbye. I’ll leave now,” Shi Mu did not bother Zhao Shenlei much and went ahead with both Ma Long and Zi Ling towards the monument right away.
However, Zhao Shenlei stood in the same place and looked at the back of Shi Mu. The smiling expression he had on his face was swept away.
When Shi Mu, Ma Long, and Zi Ling arrived to take a look at the Qinglan Ranking, the stone monument was bright and gleaming with battle information displayed.
In the third match for the third round, Zi Ling will be against Yu Tianfeng.
In the ninth match of the second round, Ma Long will be against Lu Yanwu.
In the sixty-fourth match of the first round, Shi Mu will be against Liu Wu.
Several people glanced at the monument to take a look on who their opponents would be.
Shi Mu also took the time to look at Zhao Ji’s situation. It showed that Zhao Ji would be up against a disciple named Hu Chen on the thirty-fourth stage.
“Big brother Shi Mu and Zi Ling, I wish the best to the both of you,” Ma Long wished them sincerely.
“You too, sister! You will definitely win! Brother Shi Mu, see you in a bit!” Zi Ling said.
Shi Mu nodded at the both of them and they parted ways to their destination.
As time passed, many disciples who received their own signatures had already dispersed to their respective stages to prepare for their battles.
Shi Mu’s stage was located in the western part of the plain, not far away from the Qinglan Ranking monument.
As he approached his stage, there was a somewhat awkward-looking man with a hunched back on the stage.
Around the stage were a few older disciples talking among themselves.
As soon as Shi Mu approached, those who noticed him began to point their fingers at Shi Mu and gossip about him.
“Hehe, what kind of person do you think I am? He’s a human! There’s nothing to look at here,” said a young man with a long face while pointing his fingers at Shi Mu.
“A human, huh? I guess there’s no need for me to put all my strength into this fight. In just three strokes of my technique, he’ll be destroyed!” said a short man with a wretched face to the long-faced man.
The hunchback overheard the arguments and he could not help suppressing his smile. Obviously, the remarks and compliments made on his behalf fueled his passion to win the battle even more.
Shi Mu remained calm and turned a deaf ear to the remarks. He walked onto the stage toward the man with the hunched back.
As the man turned around and bowed, Shi Mu was finally able to see his true face.
Upon seeing his face, he was not what Shi Mu had first imagined. The man’s face was round. He had extremely short eyebrows and a pair of round eyes that shined with a dark yellow light. He had a short flat nose that turned up slightly. Below it was a bunny mouth. His face was unpleasant to look at in general.
Although the man had an arched back, his body was quite burly and he was even taller than Shi Mu. His exposed skin was covered with yellowish-black gray fur, including his face. It looked similar to a masked palm civet.
Seeing Shi Mu in front of him, his gaze swept him up and down. He looked at Shi Mu by squinting his eyes, which made it looked like it was full of disdain.