Chapter 29: King of the Gold Students
At that moment, all she wanted to know was the name of the person who had stolen her heart for the first time.
There were three individuals in the corner of the arena. Xia Jingyu, a silver-haired youth, and a youth with thick brows and big eyes quietly sat in the corner.
"Master Jingyu, who is the youth in the purple robe? Why haven't I heard of him if he is Level Four of the Martial Path? I believe I have seen all the gold students above rank 10," the youth with thick brows said, a perplexed look on his face.
Xia Jingyu, with a mystified look on her face said, "It's really weird, I do not recognize him either. I'm fairly certain that he is not a gold student."
Still, Xia Jingyu could not shake the feeling that she had seen this purple-robed youth in the past. However, she could not associate this person with any other nobles that she recognized.
The silver-haired youth's face flooded with contempt, "You're still garbage!"
The appearance of this purple-robed youth had sparked a small riot. No one in the audience recognized him! He had everyone thoroughly puzzled! In fact, there were some who suspected that he was a student from another institution and had snuck into the hall.
"Where do you think this youth is from? He looks really good!" spoke a candid girl, putting her gaze on Su Yu.
"I'm so embarrassed!" said a shy girl, averting her gaze, only daring to sneak peeks at him.
His remarkable ability, handsome appearance and aura of nobility was enough to steal many girls' hearts.
There were two light thuds to the side of Su Yu. Both Qin Feng and Fang Qingzhou secured their place on the other stone pillars, albeit slightly slower than Su Yu.
The two were undoubtedly the strongest participants and naturally had no contest for their spots on the stone pillar. The three with the best abilities had shown themselves, and had taken their rightful spots on the pillars!
Qin Feng's pupils dilated, his hostility faintly discernible. He knew why Jiang Xueqing had been so distracted for the past two days. All she could think about was this mysterious purple-robed youth!
"I am Qin Feng. May I know your name?" Qin Feng saluted politely, cupping hands, for the other party was after all a strong Level Four.
Su Yu did not meet his gaze, sat down and calmly replied, "Your old friend."
My old friend? Qin Feng could not recall for the life of him a friend that had ability, looks and disposition equal to him.
Fang Qingzhou, with a perplexed look on his face, measured up Su Yu, then asked, "I have not seen you in the past. Did you sneak in here from another institute?"
Su Yu did not answer. From what he had observed, Fang Qingzhou carried himself like an oaf. Saying even one word to this kind of person would only sully himself.
"Hmph! You dare to be this arrogant in front of me? Fine! After the contest, we'll see exactly how deep your abilities go." Fang Qingzhou shot him a furious glare.
His gaze subconsciously drifted to another corner, and stopped on a beautiful figure. A tinge of regret flashed past his eyes, but was soon replaced by a boiling anger.
"Do not let me find out who you are!" Qin Feng clenched his fists, his anger clearly visible.
If it wasn't him who charged out and saved Xia Jingyu, he would have had her. Even her corpse would do!
Jiang Zhishi curiously glanced up at Su Yu a few times, and had a rising suspicion that they had met, but could not associate him with anybody he knew.
A commotion was heard through the doors of the contest hall.
Three remarkable men, under the gaze of the students, teachers and management, slowly stepped into the contest hall. Amongst them was Lord Ye, Head of Discipline. Su Yu owed him a favour.
However, Lord Ye was walking at the back of the group with a stern look on his face, solemnly and cautiously trailing the person in front. The person was gentle and elegant, with thin sleek brows on a handsome face. He was dressed in a long white robe and had flowing black hair. While he seemed gentle, his disposition inspired awe.
He was the Lord of the Xianyu prefecture martial arts training institute, Xia Linxuan! His abilities had reached an incredible Martial Path Level Seven, and was a living legend, unparalleled in the world.
The students peering at him were overcome with admiration.
Xia Linxuan, the living legend. He was the lifetime goal of countless students. However, Xia Linxuan was not the one walking at the very front.
The person at the very front was also an attractive middle-aged man, with narrow, long eyes that emanated a cold gaze. There was an arrogant aura surrounding him, and even a person as powerful as Xia Linxuan was not worth mentioning to him.
He was strikingly similar to Fang Qingzhou!
Atop the stone pillar, a smile crept across Fang Qingzhou's face. Qin Feng, on the contrary, displayed both fear and respect. At that moment, he did not dare breathe atop his pillar.
The three men took their seats. Fang Qingzhou's father, Fang Yun, was undoubtedly seated in the center of the seats reserved for honored guests. Lord Xia Linxuan and Lord Ye Xuan were seated beside him.
Su Yu, with a sparkle in his eyes, asked, "Is that Fang Qingzhou's father? Or uncle? Who is he to have such an esteemed position?"
He had never seen anything outside the Xianyu prefecture. In Su Yu's eyes, the Xianyu prefecture was vast, and had many talented people flocking to join. The strongest person he knew would be the lord of the institute, the legendary Xia Linxuan.
However, now that he had seen Fang Yun, he knew that the world outside was indeed more vast. Xia Linxuan looked towards Jiang Zhishi and stroked his chin.
Jiang Zhishi straightened his posture, and with a stern look, solemnly announced, "The Golden Assessment officially begins!"
The Golden Assessment was more or less the same as the Silver Assessment. All the gold students would be split into 10 groups based according to their rank, and then would compete to be the strongest in their group. Thereafter, those who were victorious would compete to be ranked in the top 10, and finally the grand final would be fought for the title of the Gold King.
A month ago, Su Yu would have been unimaginably excited to witness the Golden Assessment. However, now that he had become stronger, this excitement was waning.
Three hours later, the group stages were over, and the top 10 students were realized.
On the podium, Xia Linxuan gently asked, "Inspector Fang, what do you think of the abilities of the students in this batch?"
Fang Yun arrogantly scanned the remaining 10 students, finally placing his gaze on his son, Fang Qingzhou. He showed a hint of a smile, "They're acceptable."
Xia Linxuan laughed lightly. Ye Xuan, on the other hand, secretly heaved a sigh of relief.
"We managed to tide through this year!" Ye Xuan thought to himself.
Fang Yun was from the sanctuary, and his job was to inspect the teaching situation here in the martial arts training institute.
He could represent the sanctuary and punish the management of the institute should the abilities and talents of the current batch of students be too weak. Fang Yun was only also Level Seven of the Martial Path, with abilities equal to the lord of the institute.
But Fang Yun was from the sanctuary, and was assisting the sanctuary in inspecting the institute. In terms of authority, the lord's paled in comparison.
In the eyes of a layman, a martial arts training institute should be a place where talents gather, and should ride above the royal power. However, not many know that the martial arts training institutes are but a branch of the sanctuary.
The leader of the sanctuary, the Holy King, was dedicated to the cultivation of talents of the world, and thus established martial arts training institutes in each of the 13 prefectures of the Feng Lin empire.
He also dispatched 13 inspectors to help him check on the teaching processes in them. Should there be any lapses, punishment would definitely ensue.
There was an incident where the management of a martial arts training institute used resources that were provided for the students for personal use, halting the progress of an entire generation of students. Once the inspector got wind of this, everyone in the management, from the lords to the ministers, were executed on the spot.
Inspector Fang, in theory, held the power to execute everyone in the management, for he represents the sanctuary. Today, Fang Yun was here to gauge the abilities of this batch of students.
Upon hearing Fang Yun's approval, many from the crowd heaved a sigh of relief, for it meant that they had passed the inspection.
The contest between the top 10 had begun. Fang Qingzhou and Qin Feng were still dominating the competition. Being Level Fours, they defeated their competitors in three moves.
The two advanced steadily, and had finally reached the semifinal. Fang Qingzhou was paired against the sixth ranked gold student.
"Continuous Eight Trigram Finger!" Fang Qingzhou let out a low grunt as he displayed a medium level cultivation technique.
Pop Pop Pop—
In just three hits, his opponent vomited blood and was defeated.
Xia Linxuan was impressed, "The Continuous Eight Trigram Finger technique is a medium level cultivation technique and has overwhelming power, but requires the user to have a high level of insight. Your son, being able to attain Stage Two of this technique, has a high level of insight."
Fang Yun was immensely proud of his son, but put on a show of humility, gently shaking his head, "Qingzhou's attitude towards his training regimen is not optimal, and he will not get very far."
In the midst of admiration from countless girls, Fang Qingzhou coolly returned to his stone pillar, then shot a provocative look towards Qin Feng. "Hey hey, Qin Feng, I heard that you wanted to claim the title of the Gold King. Let's see how far your abilities can get you. Try not to embarrass yourself in front of that girlfriend of yours."
Talking about Jiang Xueqing, Fang Qingzhou could not help but glance in her direction, a bolt of passion flaring from his eyes. Jiang Xueqing was one of the top three beauties, and he wanted her as a girlfriend, but was beaten to it by Qin Feng.
He could not afford to offend the the son of Duke Qin, and thus had to drop the idea.
Qin Feng forced a smile, but did not dare talk back to the mockery. His father, Fang Yun, was too much of a presence. Qin Feng's entire family could not hold a candle to him.
The term "sanctuary" had determined everything.
Qin Feng's popularity was also very high, with many people cheering for him as he made his way down to the stage. His innate talent, remarkable ability, suave appearance and family background were all criteria for a teenage girl's perfect lover.
Jiang Xueqing was one of the rare few that did not look over at Qin Feng. She had not shifted her gaze since the appearance of the purple-robed youth. Even though she was a pragmatic person, she was but a youth. It was fine if her heart was not moved, but once it was, it went deep down to her bones.
Qin Feng wore a solemn expression. His opponent was ranked fifth amongst the gold students, and was the one competing with Su Yu for the spot on the stone pillar.
"Monumental Buddha's Palm!" Qin Feng exclaimed, his palm slicing the air, causing a series of small explosions in the air. The opponent dropped to the ground with just one strike, spewing blood as he slipped into a coma.
Xia Linxuan showed surprise, "Qin Feng's improvement was monumental! To think he already broke through the upper tier of Level Four! The Monumental Buddha's Palm technique is not a skill we teach in the institute. He must have gotten the manual from the Qin family. To attain Stage Two of the same medium level fighting style with such explosive power, Qin Feng's level of insight must also be rather high!"
His gaze wavered. Xia Linxuan had cut his explanation short in order to save Fang Yun some face.
In terms of power, the Monumental Buddha's Palm and the Continuous Eight Trigram Finger were considered equal. However, fighting styles exist to counter each other, and should the Buddha's Palm and the Eight Trigram Finger be pitted against each other at equal strength, Qin Feng would have the advantage.
Fang Yun creased his eyebrows, refusing to comment.
Su Yu's eyes contracted. Qin Feng had actually achieved the upper tier of Level Four, and was an equal to Fang Qingzhou!
Finally, Su Yu's face displayed his burning battle spirit. Defeating Qin Feng as he is now would prove to be much more meaningful!
No matter how strong you become Qin Feng, I, Su Yu, will ultimately catch up to you!
Jiang Zhishi solemnly announced, "The contest for the title of Gold King begins now! Qin Feng against Fang Qingzhou!"
The Golden Assessment had finally entered its final phase.