Chapter 28: The Great Contest Nears
The young princess was very unlucky.
Contrary to the duke's reaction, Xia Jingyu showed a little sympathy for the person.
That person obviously had good intentions, wanting to save the young princess. Without him, the young princess may have already died from the poison. All things considered, his merit was greater than his wrongdoings.
The big fuss made by the duke about hunting for the person throughout the city seemed over the top.
But thinking about it carefully, would any father, knowing that the privacy of his daughter had been violated by a male stranger, not be furious?
Associating this with her own experiences in the Twilight Mountains, Xia Jingyu secretly felt relieved.
She was lucky that a chivalrous person had helped her in her time of need. He was a righteous person, not taking advantage of her while she was in a coma. She was really lucky indeed.
"My niece Jingyu, the information you seek has been found." At this moment, a handsome middle-aged man walked through the door with a warm smile on his face.
Xia Jingyu was visibly excited. "Uncle, has my benefactor really been found?"
The middle-aged man, who was the duke, nodded, "Yes. There was a tooth of the Fiery Lion for sale in the market today. We traced it and within two days found out who was the selling the tooth."
Xia Jingyu's heart was filled with excitement. All she wanted was to find her benefactor to express her thanks face to face, because without his help, her fate would be hard to determine.
Even though that person masked his face, Xia Jingyu was intelligent and deduced that the three explosions during that time were strikingly similar to the tooth of the Fiery Lion. Unexpectedly, she discovered a clue.
Duke Xianyu sighed. News of Xia Jingyu's benefactor arrived instantly, but the vagrant who took advantage of his daughter still could not be found.
"Contain your excitement, niece. Even though we found the tooth of the Fiery Lion, the party selling it might not be the person you are seeking. The other party might be posing as your benefactor, but in reality, eyeing your beauty or wealth. We cannot let our guard down." This was Duke Xianyu's experience speaking.
"Do you have another item in your possession to use as collateral with the other party, so as to prevent you from being cheated?"
Xia Jingyu hesitated for a moment, then withdrew a Fire Dragon snakeskin armor from her arms.
"All I have is this. It was left behind by the chivalrous man."
The smile on Duke Xianyu's face froze a little.
The young princess was less forgiving. She wrinkled her nose and muttered, "Who made that armor? It's hideous."
Duke Xianyu toned down the strange look on his face. His eyes sparkled, "Could I get someone to look into the armor and start searching for more information? We might find more clues."
Xia Jingyu gladly agreed.
A servant had a spark of inspiration. He took the armor to the sheet of Fire Dragon snakeskin collected recently to compare them, then with a dramatic change in expression rushed to give the duke a report.
"My Duke! It's the same snakeskin!" The servant was visibly excited.
The duke had spent upwards of a month trying to capture this person, and today there was finally a clue.
Even though the servants did not understand why the duke and the young princess desperately wanted to capture this person, they imagined that this person had committed some unpardonable crime.
The eyes of the duke flared with fury, "Inform the others! All Black Armor Guards are to pursue the source of the Fiery Lion!"
From within the duke's abode rushed a large group of Black Armor Guards, full of bloodlust, initiating a manhunt within the city.
Unaware of the perils that were about to occur, Su Yu let out a long howl.
"Hahaha….It is finally done!"
Su Yu's purple robe billowed, his black hair danced in the wind. His powerful aura blanketed the surroundings.
The maids that were cleaning in the courtyard started shivering profusely. Their feelings of fear were difficult to suppress, given how powerful Su Yu's aura was.
Level Four martial arts! Finally succeeded after consuming the Marrow of Hellfire!
But the bigger achievement was Su Yu's enlightenment regarding the wall paintings the elder pointed to.
For two days, while his body was practicing martial arts, his mind was concentrated on the wall paintings.
Su Yu's two days was equivalent to forty days for another person. Su Yu could draw understanding from a heavenly scroll.
Even though he could only understand, but not make use of, the ability as of now, he believed that once he succeeded in casting the ability, its power would be overwhelming.
Furthermore in these two days, Su Yu had completed Tier Two of the technique Tempest.
Now, a simple kick by him could bring out a billow of white fog. The fog would be overbearingly cold, and would serve him well in close combat.
He had also completed his light-body cultivation Cloud Shadow technique. He had understood the entirety of the technique in the manual.
In terms of technique and speed, he had reached the peak of Level Four, and was now breaking through to Level Five.
Being Level Four in terms of martial arts, his body gathered vital energy—the first of what he could call his own.
Using this vital energy to cast his various tricks allowed their powers rise up a tier.
Ding Ding Ding—
The sound of distant bells reverberated through the morning light.
The gathering sounds of the Golden Selection Test had finally begun!
Compared to the Silver Selection Test, the Golden Selection Test was the true major event for martial arts training institutes. There were 100 gold-class students, representing the overall strength of the martial arts training institutes.
Today, not only would Master Fu and Master Ye make an appearance, the elusive Grand Master, of martial arts Level Seven, would also be attending!
Upon hearing the bells, the students, gold-class and silver-class, congregated towards the contest hall. Su Yu stood up, his purple robe billowing in the wind, his eyes, like stars, glowed intensely.
"Qin Feng! I, Su Yu, am coming!"
The contest hall was the same one used in the Silver Selection Test. Only this time, not everyone could enter.
"No entry for silver-class students under rank 100!" At the entrance of the contest hall stood two large guards of martial arts Level Four, announcing the rule.
This had always been the case in the past, but the silver-class students were still disappointed. The silver-class students above the rank 100 entered the hall after proudly showing their tokens.
Su Yu elegantly came forward. His luxurious vibe and handsome looks, likened to celestial beings shown in paintings, was awe inspiring to onlookers.
The crowd naturally gave way to him, giving him curious looks.
"Identify yourself," the two large guards grunted.
Su Yu whipped out his token and flashed it for a moment before proceeding into the hall.
The two guards could not even stop him in time.
"Did you recognize who that was?"
"If I am not mistaken, isn't that…"
The two guards could not continue. They could not believe what they had just witnessed.
Su Yu, the top of the silver-class students, looks like that? Didn't the rumours say that he was a poor student?
The two guards looked at each other as if they had just seen a ghost. The silver-class students outside the contest hall were equally shocked.
"Hey, who exactly was that man in purple? I saw him holding a token for silver-class students."
"I saw it too, but do we really have such a refined, elegant man amongst our ranks?"
The crowd looked around at each other.
Su Yu entered the hall. While the contest hall could hold an audience of 10,000 people, only 200 were allowed in today. 100 silver-class students, and 100 gold-class.
Su Yu had arrived relatively late. They had all congregated near the central stage, occupying the front rows.
The contest had not begun, as only the judges and the gold-class students preparing for the contest had arrived. The higher ranked officials within the institute had not yet arrived.
Coincidentally, the presiding judge of the contest was still Minister Jiang! His martial arts were at the peak of Level Four, and he had terrifying abilities.
Su Yu thought back to the day when Minister Jiang underhandedly attempted to severely wound him in the contest for the top of the silver-class. Su Yu would keep this event etched in his mind.
"I, Su Yu, have not forgotten this hatred, you old thing!" Su Yu's gaze turned ice cold.
Minister Jiang scanned the crowd and confirmed that the students had more or less arrived. "After the Gold Selection Test, silver-class students have the right to issue a challenge to the gold-class students of their corresponding rank. Gold-class students can also do the same towards the silver-class students," Minister Jiang said coolly.
"For example, the current top of the gold-class can issue a challenge to the top of the silver-class, and vice versa!"
Minister Jiang stepped on a random spot on the stage, which seemed to be hiding some sort of mechanism. The ground rumbled and three stone pillars, each five meters tall, slowly rose from the ground. Standing on the stone pillars one could overlook every corner of the stage, making it the best place for spectating the contest.
"Out of all who are present here, only the top three can obtain a seat on the pillar! Those who do are given priority in choosing the person they want to challenge!" What he meant was that as long as a student could obtain one of the three seats atop the stone pillars, he would have the priority in choosing who he wanted to challenge after the Gold Selection Test was over.
If Su Yu could get hold of a seat, then he could be the one initiating the challenge to Qin Feng, and he would not have to wait to be challenged himself.
"The seats belong to the ones with the strongest abilities. Let the contest begin!" Minister Jiang announced.
The silver-class students did not dare move, gazing with admiration at the hundred gold-class students competing for the spots.
Su Yu's eyes sparkled with electricity, his black hair danced. His purple robe flew with the wind, leaving only a purple trail within the crowd.
"What speed! Who is the person in purple?"
"Quick! Look there! Who exactly is the man in purple?"
Pow Pow —
Anywhere Su Yu went, people were beaten down. Surprised howls could be heard everywhere.
Su Yu's speed was at the peak of Level Four; no one could contest him!
With his purple robe still flowing, Su Yu was the first to reach the top of a stone pillar, obtaining a seat for himself.
"Which bastard is blind enough to steal my spot on the tower?" A muscular teenager raised his head and scolded.
Below Su Yu's pillar was a mob of angry students, each trying to climb up and challenge Su Yu for his spot.
"Scram!" Su Yu's nostrils gently flared, his powerful Level Four aura blanketing the arena.
The rude, muscular teen was taken aback. He was ranked fifth amongst the gold-class students, with martial arts at the peak of Level Three, but he knew that in the face of a Level Four master, his abilities were not worth mentioning.
The area below Su Yu's pillar suddenly became quiet.
Level Four! He was actually Level Four!
"Who exactly is he? Besides Qin Feng and Fang Qingzhou of the gold-class students, there's a third Level Four master?"
"Also, have you ever seen this person? Is he even from our institute? Why haven't I seen him before?"
He had powerful and terrifying abilities, coupled with a suave, handsome appearance and noble, calm temperament. Why had no one ever heard of such an excellent person?
The silver-class students looked around at each other, all finding this gold-class student in the purple robe familiar, but they could not identify him if their lives depended on it.
Jiang Xueqing sat amongst the silver-class students, her dainty hands rubbing her chin, eyes listlessly gazing at the floor.
At times she giggled, at times she became shy, and at other times she became frustrated. It had started two days ago, when she had visions that she could not shake of a purple shadow.
She could not forget those starlike eyes.
"Would I see him again? Even if it's just once, to thank him." Jiang Xueqing lightly sighed.
Hearing the commotion around her, Jiang Xueqing lifted her gaze and followed the direction they were pointing.
What she saw was a familiar purple figure.
The tall, slender physique and an air of pompousness, suave as a celestial being in a painting, and etched in her mind, those starlike eyes.
"It's the purple-robed prince!" Jiang Xueqing exclaimed while covering her mouth. Her beautiful eyes shone with excitement.
"It's him! It's really him!" In those two days, she had frequently looked forward to meeting him again, many times even going to the spot where she saw the purple flash.
Unfortunately, her wish had not been granted.
Her maiden heart was thumping away, and Jiang Xueqing's eyes were now unable to shift away from his figure.