Chapter 75.2 I’m out
The first round finally determined the list. Seventy-two peaks, fifty disciples from each peak, totaling three thousand six hundred participants vying for the qualification to enter the Inner Peaks among the top one hundred of the Outer Peaks. The Outer Peaks Grand Competition took a long time—because in the second round, every match took place in front of a crowd.
On the day of the competition, the weather was clear and the immortal cranes flew through the clouds. The elders of the Inner Peaks arrived one after another, wearing sour expressions. They stood high in the sky, and the disciples below could only look up and catch glimpses of their fluttering robes, their eyes and faces filled with deep reverence and longing.
Chen Xu took the lead and glanced back at them, subtly curling his lips—these Elders of the Inner Peaks were so haughty. In the last Outer Peaks Grand Competition, they didn’t even find a single disciple worthy. If they couldn’t find any this time, they would surely be severely embarrassed.
Chen Xu said, “Please rest assured about this matter.”
Although the thirty-three Elders of the Inner Peaks were annoyed and eager to stay in the Inner Peaks to witness how their disciples would claim the top spot, they restrained their displeasure and took their seats one by one.
A golden gong was struck.
A hundred cranes from the eastern mountains cried out in unison.
Simultaneously, the battle drums on both sides of the arena were struck by someone.
Upon hearing the sound, the excited Outer Peak disciples instantly quieted down. What followed was a lengthy explanation of the competition rules. Yunxiao’s rules were detailed and lengthy, taking up a whole hour to explain.
Pei Jing found it boring to listen.
Xu Jing was eliminated in the first round, but he had always approached cultivation and competitions in a laid-back manner, so he didn’t take it too seriously. He was more concerned about the money that Pei Jing owed him. Now, in the second round, he became increasingly worried. “Are you capable of this? After all, there are seventy-two peaks, and each peak has Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters at the Foundation Establishment stage. Compared to them, you, Zhang Yiming, is at a disadvantage in terms of age.”
Pei Jing asked, “Why wouldn’t I be capable?”
Xu Jing grew even more distressed and said, “It would have been much better if you had bet on whether you could enter the Inner Peaks. There are only around ten Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters at the Foundation Establishment Stage. But no, you bet on being the first! How can you compete with them?”
Pei Jing comforted him, “Relax, it’s just a small competition. If we lose the money, we can earn it back. But if we lose face, it will be a lifelong regret.”
Xu Jing shouted in anger, “Because that’s not your money!”
They were discussing others.
Others were discussing them.
The disciples of Zhongnan Peak were undoubtedly elated this time. After all, Zhongnan Peak was located in a remote area with slightly weaker spiritual energy. Among the seventy-two peaks, it could be considered a deviation in terms of strength, and their previous performances in the trials were not as remarkable. The younger disciples surrounded Chang Wu like stars, showering him with various praises.
“Senior Brother Chang Wu, this time we swear to seize the first place.”
“I have observed the others, and none of them are your match. Senior Brother, you have been outstanding year after year. This time, you will definitely enter the Inner Peaks.”
Chang Wu maintained a composed expression and ignored their words, but his eyes revealed a hint of satisfaction.
He glanced around and showed a trace of contempt.
After consuming the flesh and blood of the Azure Bird, he had reshaped his constitution, reaching the later stage of the Foundation Establishment. There were few opponents for him even among the Inner Peaks. Moreover, after absorbing the soul of that woman and sealing her within his dantian, the spiritual energy of heaven and earth continuously gathered in his dantian, allowing his cultivation to flow smoothly.
His right hand touched the emerald ring on his finger, and a confident yet greedy smile appeared on Chang Wu’s lips.
Not only in Yunxiao, but his name would one day appear on Wentian Rankings.
The disciples continued to talk, “If Shangyang Peak’s Traceless Fairy makes a move, there might still be a possibility of a battle with Senior Brother Chang Wu. However, she… sigh.”
Mentioning the Traceless Fairy, they couldn’t help but think of another person.
However, that person was beyond their imagination.
The disciples sighed with regret.
However, there was someone who was not pleased, a female cultivator. Women were always stricter towards other women.
She coldly sneered and mocked, “Why are you sighing? I think she’s just putting on an act. She’s afraid of getting entangled in romance and doesn’t want to enter the Inner Peaks. It’s all just a show. What kind of nonsense romance? She gained some fame in the Outer Peaks and now thinks she’s someone important just because she was crowned the number one beauty? Even if she enters the Inner Peaks, forget about Tianqian Peak, she probably won’t even have a chance to step into Wenqing Peak in her lifetime.” She almost rolled up her sleeves and continued sarcastically, “Who does she think she is? Fancying our esteemed Senior Brother? Ha! A mountain chicken thinking it’s a phoenix. A toad wanting to eat swan meat. Senior Brother Pei has seen all kinds of beauties. Let’s talk about the fifth-ranked island lord of Yingzhou, the Fushang Fairy. Can Sister Wu Heng compare to even a strand of her hair? With so many Senior Sisters in the Inner Peaks, they probably see her as a joke.”
The male disciples wiped their sweat. This junior sister was confused. What was she blabbering about, mentioning the Fushang Fairy? For them, even daring to dream big would require the bravery of a leopard.
For the male cultivators of the Outer Peaks, Senior Sister Wu Heng, the number one beauty, was their goddess. It was inevitable for them to feel unhappy when they heard their beloved being spoken ill of, but after all, she was their junior sister from the same peak. They had to show some restraint. So they quickly changed the topic.
“Senior Sister Wu Heng didn’t participate. It seems that the favorite of Shangyang Peak this time is a new disciple who hasn’t even been here for two years.”
“His name is Zhang Yiming, right? The so-called Four Champions of the Outer Peaks. Seems fake to me.”
“I… I heard he has some distant relationship with the Wenqing Peak Master.”
As soon as these words were spoken, everyone widened their eyes and gasped in shock. Then they all looked around, trying to find the figure of that young man.
Chang Wu also heard it.
He looked towards Shangyang Peak and saw two prominent young men dressed in blue and white disciple robes.
One person was rambling with a worried expression, while another person had a carefree smile and an indifferent demeanor.
In just a moment, he knew who Zhang Yiming was. That young man in the crowd stood out, radiating a bright aura and possessing exceptional looks. His identity seemed distinguished as well.
Jealousy and malicious intent surged in Chang Wu’s heart.
The Elder who had been reciting the rules in the clouds closed the book and said, “Finally. The competition is between the two individuals, and casualties are disregarded. No one else is allowed to interfere.”
The rules stated that casualties were disregarded. However, throughout the years, there had never been any fatalities in Yunxiao.
After all… Yunxiao’s regulations were there for all to see.
It was simply contradictory.
Ji Wuyou was at the back of the crowd, absent-minded. His gaze kept involuntarily drifting forward, always landing on Zhang Yiming, or rather, Pei Yuzhi.
He had once wondered how he could possess the bright aura and the carefree arrogance that Zhang Yiming had, disregarding the lives of others.
Now he understood that he could never have those qualities.
These were innate qualities, renowned and unparalleled spiritual roots, an incomparable noble status. Some people were born with a radiant brilliance.
People, from the very beginning, were unequal.
Behind him was the soul of the Queen Mother of the West.
Holding a censer in her hands, the divine maiden, with picturesque brows and eyes, spoke, “Why do you envy him? In terms of talent, you are not inferior to him.”
Ji Wuyou murmured softly, “It’s not just about talent.” He thought to himself, “You wouldn’t understand. Because you and Pei Yuzhi belong to the same kind, shining brightly, making me appear like a rat in a sewer.”
The Queen Mother of the West smiled faintly, not wanting to understand, and not bothering to understand.
“If you envy him, just kill him. Once a person is dead, they become nothing.”
Ji Wuyou furrowed his brow. “He has shown kindness to me. Besides, I won’t indiscriminately kill the innocent.”
His envy only strengthened his desire to become stronger.
The Queen Mother of the West said, “It’s not that you won’t indiscriminately kill the innocent, it’s that you cannot find a reason to make yourself feel at ease.”
Ji Wuyou wanted to argue but found himself speechless.
The Queen Mother of the West said, “One day, you will become someone who doesn’t need a reason.” Because by then, you will no longer feel unease when you take lives.
She blew gently on the flower petals that had fallen on her shoulder, and with a soft breath, the pollen shattered in the air.
The divine maiden’s brows turned icy cold, with a hint of madness. “Why waste words? Help me crush that ant first.”
Pei Jing was already prepared to take the stage.
The crowd held their breath, and amidst the silence that engulfed the heavens and earth, the elder above the clouds announced slowly, word by word, “First round, Chang Wu from Zhongnan Peak versus Ji Wuyou from Shangyang Peak.”
On the high platform, the Wenqing Peak Master suddenly raised his head.
Among the crowd, Pei Jing was briefly stunned, but then his gaze turned cold as he looked towards Chang Wu.
When Ji Wuyou heard his name being called, his heart instinctively skipped a beat. However, he clenched his fists and composed himself. The frail youth, with a pale complexion and determined eyes, made his way towards the central arena amidst the parting crowd.
As the crowd heard his name, fragments of memory began to resurface. This Ji Wuyou seemed to have been a prominent figure in Shangyang Peak. It was hard to imagine that the meek and timid chubby boy from before had transformed into this appearance.
Chang Wu furrowed his brow and walked forward with the crowd surrounding him.
Ji Wuyou’s name meant nothing to him, so naturally, he didn’t pay it any mind. After three beats of the drum, in the center of the arena, Chang Wu looked at the thin and weak youth slowly approaching. A trace of contempt grazed his lips, as it was clear at a glance that the other party hadn’t even reached the complete Qi Gathering Stage in his cultivation.
Chang Wu didn’t bother with words and drew his sword directly. The meat of the cultivators had been devoured by that woman, and he hadn’t wasted the leftover flesh. By consuming meat, he had grown his spiritual power, and over time, his sword had absorbed a taint of bloodthirstiness. Despite his ordinary appearance, when he unsheathed his sword, it was as if he had transformed into someone else. He became… a terrifying madman that sent chills down people’s spines.
On the high platform, several Elders from the Inner Peaks involuntarily furrowed their brows.
The Liuyan Peak Master spoke, “I have a memory of this disciple. Initially, I didn’t accept him because I felt his temperament was unstable and prone to evil thoughts. I didn’t expect that after seven years, he has become even more twisted.”
Chen Xu remained silent, but his gaze fell upon Ji Wuyou… This disciple seemed familiar to him. Moreover, he involuntarily clenched his hand, someone… had made changes.
It was an unsurprising match, and the disciples below the arena even started snacking on melon seeds. “This first round will probably end quite quickly. Care to guess how long it will take?”
No one had high expectations for Ji Wuyou, just like when he stumbled into Yunxiao in the first place. No one regarded him highly.
Pei Jing’s gaze became unusually serious as she looked at Ji Wuyou. Chen Xu might not have taken this competition seriously, but the arrangement of the competition was completed in the Wenqing Hall. Just the fact that someone could disregard the array formations of the Wenqing Hall and directly infiltrate the main hall to tamper with the information was enough to make people vigilant.
Who could have done it? In all of Yunxiao, how many people possessed such capabilities?
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