Chapter 689: So Many Tricks
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Earlier on, Zhuo Lei allied with others to attack Ying Luozha and was injured by him. Zhuo Lei was more astute than the rest and fled without them.
However, he could not flee this time. The second unfortunate incident of this conference happened. Zhuo Lei was crippled with Ying Zhaluo, losing one arm and one leg. He became disabled, effectively ending his career as a Martial Way cultivator.
Members of the other powers all discussed intently. The two unfortunate incidents of the conference were all committed by disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders. This made some of them murmur their unhappiness with the Celestial Sect, whom they believed were too aggressive.
However, the cultivators from the Royal House of the Northern Tribes did not show any unhappiness. Some of them looked at Zhuo Lei with disdain while others were outright embarrassed by his behavior.
Strictly speaking, Ying Luozha was also a member of the Northern Tribes. The private feud he had with Zhuo Lei wasn’t much in the eyes of the Royal House. However, Zhuo Lei’s picking on Zhuge Wanqiu because he could not beat Ying Luozha was viewed as shameful.
Between the tribes, there were indeed cases of them snatching the women and children of their enemies. In a hunt or a battle, the results determined everything. One would use despicable methods to obtain victory.
However, for feuds between cultivators where one’s strength should determine the outcome. Kidnapping others as a method was viewed as something only a coward would do.
The Lord of the Royal House of the Northern Tribes did not express any displeasure. He did not feel that his Royal House had been humiliated by the Celestial Sect. He only felt that Zhuo Lei had lost face for his family.
Those familiar with the way of the Northern Tribes too would recognize this point. No one thought that this incident would cause a schism between the Royal House of the Northern Tribes and the Celestial Sect of Wonders. However, those clueless about both parties would let their imaginations run wild.
With Zhou Yuncong as their precedence, the Celestial Sect of Wonders took justice into its own hands again.
In the tiny world, Ying Luozha looked at Zhuo Lei, who was lying on the ground and staring daggers right back at him. His mouth twitched as he smiled, revealing his white teeth, and said, “Out of the Dharma Hall, I would welcome a challenge from you at any time.”
“However, by then, the Dharma Hall can no longer protect you,” smiled Ying Luozha. “You should thank the two golden rings you currently possess. For these two golden rings, I will give you a coup de grâce. If not, I will leave you to your death here.”
Zhuo Lei bellowed, “You…” As he shouted, Ying Luozha’s palms stiffened like knives and came down on him. The Dharma Hall’s protective mechanisms activated as it sent Zhuo Lei out.
On the other side, Zhuge Wanqiu had settled her remaining two opponents. However, other than Zhuo Lei, the rest only had one golden ring each.
Ying Luozha passed her one of Zhuo Lei’s golden rings while keeping the other one for himself. The number above his head changed from ‘nine’ to ‘ten’.
Zhuge Wanqiu smiled and said, “Congratulations senior, for obtaining ten golden rings.”
Ying Luozha raised his head and noticed the number above her head increasing from ‘seven’ to ‘eight’ and finally ‘nine’. He fell silent for a while and then said, “100 li east of here, there is a valley. There’s a forest in the valley and underneath the biggest pine tree in the forest, there’s a single golden ring. Take it.”
“I don’t know how many people had ascended to the next round. You must hurry. Only then would there be a chance for you to advance. I’ll be with you until the end.”
Zhuge Wanqiu was shocked as she said, “Senior Ying Luozha…”
Ying Luozha nodded his head, “I buried the golden ring. When I first met Zhuo Lei, I only injured him and hence, he fled. He threatened to hurt you and from his expressions, I believed he meant what he said. Hence, I pursued him all the way.”
“While that person is weak like a dog, he was ultimately raised on the plains. He is good at both hunting his prey down and escaping from hunters. Hence, I only caught up with him here.”
Ying Luozha said calmly, “With ten golden rings, I will be sent out in 15 minutes. Hence, I decided to drop one.”
“But it’s fine. The dog Ying Luozha has two golden rings. I don’t need to head back. However, I’m afraid I have to trouble you to take it.”
“I don’t know what’s Xu Yunsheng’s progress, but I doubt that he will be far away,” Ying Luozha’s mouth twitched, “I must win him!”
Zhuge Wanqiu looked at Ying Luozha and mumbled after a long while, “Ying Luozha, there’s no need for that. This is the Dharma Hall…”
“The Dharma Hall can only save your life!” Ying Luozha cut her off. “I just cut off that dog’s arm and leg.”
“I have faith in your cultivation. The scum Zhuo Lei is not your opponent. Even with the three other cultivators, even if I hadn’t arrived, they can’t do anything to you. However, what if there had been more enemies? Then, it would have been more dangerous. In this tiny world, there are many dangers and threats. Furthermore, us disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders are very prominent, and hence I don’t want to take the chance.”
Ying Luozha then said, “Now that Zhuo Lei had been settled, even if you meet the disciples of other sects, it would still be a lot safer.”
Zhuge Wanqiu looked at Ying Luozha’s eyes and said, “Senior Ying Luozha, have you ever thought that in the time you took to help me, Senior Xu could have already passed this round?”
Ying Luozha clenched his fists tightly as he kept his silence.
Zhuge Wanqiu did not say much. She walked together with Ying Luozha to the East.
The numbers ‘ten’ and ‘nine’ on their heads attracted many greedy challengers. However, they were all soundly defeated by the pair of them. Too bad they had no golden ring on them.
“My time is up. Everything else is dependent on you now. Be careful,” Ying Luozha suddenly stopped as he looked at Zhuge Wanqiu and spoke.
Zhuge Wanqiu nodded her head and said, “Don’t worry, senior. I will be fine.”
In the next instant, the number above Ying Luozha’s head dissipated and turned into a golden light pillar. It enveloped Ying Luozha. The golden light pillar shot straight into the sky. Ying Luozha’s body began to float as he ascended skywards with the help of the golden light pillar.
Once they were enveloped by the light pillar, the cultivator was unable to leave. Outsiders too were unable to attack the cultivator within.
Zhuge Wanqiu looked at his disappearing figure in silence. Then, she sighed and said softly, “Senior, there’s really no need.”
In the Grand Heavens Pavilion, Xiao Yan, Wang Lin, and the rest congratulated Zhu Yi. Two of his disciples were able to ascend to the third round, ensuring that they would at least be amongst the top 8.
“While there were some ups and downs, Ying Luozha was still able to obtain the last slot,” Xiao Yan said with a smile. “Second Junior, congratulations.”
Zhu Yi smiled slightly and replied, “So many tricks were involved here.”
Xiao Yan laughed and said, “Even if everything goes as planned, the top 8 should roughly be the same few people, even if their rankings may differ.”
“Other than the black horse from the Ethereal Mountain Sect, we more or less predicted all top 8 cultivators. However, it was a pity that Little Junior’s Huang Zhenting and Zhuge Wanqiu, Third Junior’s Li Xingfei and Fan Xuefeng of the Great Void Sect were unable to progress. They were all strong candidates for the top 8 placings.”
Wang Lin then said, “Master’s first and second rounds are indeed filled with unforeseen factors. However, this is the best way to assess a disciple’s overall capabilities. In life, many things are unforeseen too.”
Yue Hongyan smiled and said, “However, the third round can be a breather for them.”
None of her disciples ascended into the third round. Ke Jing was ambushed in the Starry Treasure Pagoda. They accidentally activated the Starlight Rotationary Mechanism and was forced to move backward. They wasted too much time and hence, no one from their group was able to squeeze into the top eight of the first round, losing their right to participate in the second round.
Zhao Huan wasted time trying to protect Zhou Yuncong. While the two of them tried their best to catch up, they barely made it into the top 8. Hence, they were the last group to advance into the second round.
However, as they entered the second round too late, Zhao Huan was unable to make up for his slow start despite his above-average abilities. Till now, he only obtained four golden rings.
However, Yue Hongyan did not care so much. Her thinking was simple. Discover the problem and learn from it. Then, she would go back and continue training these buggers.
Xiao Yan and the rest ribbed around. Li Yuanfang turned his head to look at Lin Feng. Lin Feng smiled and nodded his head. Li Yuanfang then telepathically communicated to Shi Tianhao, the main organizer within the Dharma Hall, “Tianhao, it’s time.”
Shi Tianhao slammed his fists together and immediately, dozens of golden pillars fell from the sky. They enveloped the remaining cultivator in the second round.
Initially, around 40 people entered. Excluding the first eight, there were only about 20 people left. Around 10 of them ‘died’ in battle. Some ‘died’ at the hands of the Qiong Qi while others fell in battle over the golden rings.
Ying Luozha exited the small world to realize that he was number eight. However, not only was he displeased, his face turned dark upon finding out that Xu Yunsheng was first. His originally-dark face turned coal-black upon hearing that news.
Zhuge Wanqiu and the rest were sent out of the world by Shi Tianhao. After finding out the situation, the group of disciples from the Celestial Sect of Wonders felt sorry for her. However, she took it in stride, even going as far as to comfort Huang Zhenting.
As everyone looked at the top 8, particularly Zhou Yuncong and Chu Yang, those who had never met them were shocked.
Xu Yunsheng, Dao Yuting, and company carefully took stock of Zhou Yuncong. They never knew that their Junior Zhou possessed such talents.
Shi Tianhao came before everyone and said with a smile, “First, let us give out the prizes for the second round. The top 8 contestants will each get a prize. However, the better your ranking, the better your prize.”
The most attractive prize in everyone’s eyes was the Nascent Soul stage magic item that Xu Yunsheng obtained. Many young cultivators looked with envy at his prize. With this prize, forfeiting right now would still be worth it.
Those ranked behind Xu Yunsheng too were happy with their prizes. However, they quickly kept their winnings and turned their gaze to Shi Tianhao. All they could think about was the third round.
At this point, who would not want to the final winner?
Shi Tianhao, looking at the situation before him, smiled and said, “The eight of you have earned the right to enter the third round. This round isn’t hard; it’s a simple, one-versus-one, match. Winners would progress.”
“Earlier on, I mentioned that your performance and ranking for the second round will affect your third round.”