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Staring at that young scholar from Scholartree Manor, Tang Thirty-Six’s brow was arched and his chin was raised high.
There wasn’t much difference between the expression for “come choose me” and “come fight me”, in the end, it just gave the feeling of extreme arrogance and evoked the desire to pulverise the one making that face, even if the person making that face was good looking; in all honesty, it only made the viewer feel an even greater urge to hurt them, especially for those of the same gender.
The examinees all followed the scholar’s gaze, understanding the hidden message behind Tang Thirty-Six’s expression: “if you don’t choose me, you’re my grandchild.”
That scholar had never thought of choosing Tang Thirty-Six as his opponent, no matter what was said, Tang Thirty-Six was still ranked 32nd on the Proclamation of Azure Clouds; to choose him due to a personal dispute? Even if he was to win after much difficulty, it would definitely affect the subsequent matches and his overall result in the examination. Such an action wasn’t one taken by the wise.
Scholartree Manor’s cultivation was focused upon wisdom, so he obviously wasn’t going to do this; resting his gaze upon the group from Orthodox Academy was only intended to make them feel anxious, who could have known that Tang Thirty-Six would be so arrogant and confrontational.
The scholar’s face darkened, thinking back to the incident in the forest and Tang Thirty-Six’s callous words, the scholar suddenly felt a rush of blood to his head and could no longer control himself; he raised his right hand, preparing to point at Tang Thirty-Six.
It was at this moment that a hand came in from the side, forcing down the scholar’s own. It was a fellow student that had stopped him; this fellow student had a young looking face; he seemed to be the youngest amongst the four that had come to participate in the Grand Examination, but his status was also the highest, previously, at the Northern shore, he was also the one that stopped his fellow student from seeking justice from Orthodox Academy.
The scholar named Huo Guang stared at Tang Thirty-Six and gave him a few sneers, then randomly chose someone from the bottom-half examinees and headed towards the Tower of Purging Dust.
Seeing this scene, Chen Chang Sheng felt rather surprised; the Southern Domain really was unique; for Li Shan Sword Sect and Scholartree Manor, it was actually the youngest disciples who had the most influence with their words.
The second match ended even faster than the first; not long after, as if that scholar named Huo Guang had only entered the Tower of Purging Dust for a brief glance, he had once again pushed open the doors; his opponent didn’t come out, evidently having lost and was escorted out of the Education Palace.
Previously, when crossing the River Qu, the four scholars of Scholartree Manor had more or less the same times, after Huo Guang, it was naturally his other three fellow students that went next; without any mishaps, one match after the other were completed, with each being faster than the last; they all achieved victory in the first round, obtaining entry into the next.
“Scholartree Manor… they really are this strong.” Su Mo Yu said in a melancholic voice as he walked up to the woodlands.
Tang Thirty-Six stared at the four scholars from Scholartree Manor, his expression gradually becoming heavy. He disliked these scholars, in his eyes, they adhered too strictly to rules and overvalued knowledge, not to mention, they also enjoyed snitching and using petty schemes; though, he couldn’t deny their ability.
“That young scholar is named Zhong Hui, ranked 9th upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds.”
He knew that Su Mo Yu would know this, but that Chen Chang Sheng wouldn’t necessarily have any impression of this, he said in a low voice: “The other two scholars from Scholartree Manor are also ranked upon the proclamation and are within the top 100. That Huo Guang isn’t listed on the proclamation, but has a strength that surpasses the other two; he had probably been hiding away in Scholartree Manor, studying for these past few years, preparing to shock the world in this year’s examination.”
Three people that are placed upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds and one secretive young expert, Scholartree Manor’s capability really was as unfathomable as people imagined. At this moment, if we were to consider the academies and sects present, apart from Li Shan Sword Sect, who were high above everyone else, then Scholartree Manor, Heavenly Academy and Orthodox Academy were probably the three strongest.
However, what made it slightly interesting was that the four from Orthodox Academy were currently in the bottom-half and could only wait for someone to pick them.
The Academic Exam required thinking, writing; the Martial Trial required using divine sense for detecting, allowing for preparation; duelling only required selecting an opponent and then fighting, not to mention, for duelling, winning or losing would usually be decided within a few exchanges, even if both contestants were to be fairly equal in ability, it still wouldn’t take too long for the winner to be decided.
The doors to the Tower of Purging Dust continuously opened and closed, the oil on the door’s hinges seemed to diminish due to the constant closure, eventually letting out a creaking sound; under this sound, the first round’s matches quickly progressed, not taking long for dozens of matches to finish; some matches resulted in the higher ranked examinee winning, but the lower ranked examinees also won many.
The upper-half examinees had the right to choose their opponent, they could pick the opponent they deemed to be the weakest, but these young cultivators had prepared for an entire year in other to enter the Grand Examination, therefore, their information, or impression, would have been long outdated, making it difficult to determine who was strong or weak, let alone who would win or lose.
The previous update to the Proclamation of Azure Clouds had become the best source of information on examinees, firstly, the proclamation had sufficient authority; the Council of Divine Ordinance’s evaluation had a high credibility; secondly, the update was only done recently, therefore, the ability of those upon the proclamation would not have undergone any drastic changes in such a short time-frame; cases such as Xu You Rong and Luo Luo were not a regular occurrence.
Therefore, no examinees chose Su Mo Yu as their opponent; 33rd on the proclamation, apart from the first 15 examinees or the group from Scholartree Manor, amongst the remaining people, his strength was well within the top 5. As for Orthodox Academy, no one bothered with; only those who are insane would choose Her Highness, as for Tang Thirty-Six… even the scholar from Scholartree Manor didn’t choose him, who would be stupid enough to draw him into a match?
Even Xuan Yuan Po didn’t have anyone daring enough to choose him, though he was last upon the proclamation, he was still ranked; not to mention, yao cultivation is evidently different from that of humans, making their talent hard to gauge. Some of the upper-half examinees chose to pick someone ranked higher upon the proclamation than risk choosing him.
Yet, interestingly, or perhaps strangely, even Chen Chang Sheng, who was not listed upon the proclamation, didn’t get chosen by anyone.
All the examinees knew that Chen Chang Sheng had yet to complete his Purification at the time of the proclamation’s update; even if he was to experience some sort of miracle and had luckily managed to complete his Purification, with such a short period of cultivation, it definitely would not have been enough for him to make any dramatic advances; he should have been the weakest person present, yet… no one chose him.
The area outside of the tower was very crowded, the woodlands in comparison were quiet and lonesome.
Luo Luo was hugging Chen Chang Sheng’s arm, at his side, on the verge of falling asleep.
Xuan Yuan Po yawned a few times, his mouth opened wide enough to fit in an entire haunch of venison.
Tang Thirty-Six was busy speaking to Su Mo Yu, unknown as to what, but Su Mo Yu’s face was full of astonishment.
The youths from Orthodox Academy were bored beyond belief.
Luckily, according to the rules, this boredom had an eventual end.
The doors to the Tower of Purging Dust once again creaked open, the young girl from Ci Jian Temple came out, her small face filled with tears of joy over her victory.
She threw herself into the arms of her senior sister, hoping to be coddled a little, but found that the current atmosphere was a little strange, she wiped away her tears and looked towards the match grounds.
An examinee walked to the match grounds with heavy steps, looked towards the Western side of the Tower of Purging Dust’s paved area, towards the woodlands; their face turned a little pale.
There were only five people left; he currently had to choose an opponent from amongst these five.