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Hearing Xuan Yuan Po’s words, the examiner’s expression immediately changed; the examiner impatiently waved their hand, indicating that he should hurry and leave.
Xuan Yuan Po felt baffled, thinking to himself, “don’t you have to declare me as the winner? Will this match be acknowledged?” he looked towards the wall, at his opponent that was currently undergoing emergency treatment, shook his head then headed out of the tower in a daze.
Hearing the sound of the tower’s door closing, the examiner wordlessly shook his head, thinking to himself: “that youth is only 13 years of age, how could he have so much strength? Even if yao had special bodies, this was still far too excessive.”
Seeing Xuan Yuan Po walk down from the steps, the crowd didn’t feel overly surprised; he was ranked upon the proclamation after all, defeating an unknown disciple from Huang Shan Valley was an obvious conclusion.
Except, they didn’t expect the match to come to an end this quickly; it was even faster than the matches had by the four scholars from Scholartree Manor, there was also that thunder-like sound: what was it?
That’s correct, the Tower of Purging Dust’s silencing array wasn’t able to isolate all noise, once a sound surpassed a certain volume, it could be transmitted outside of the tower; when Xuan Yuan Po’s fist had sent the disciple from Huang Shan Valley flying, the fearsome sound of its impact had breached the limits of the silencing array, transmitting out of the tower to reach the ears of the other examinees, raising a bout of conjecture and debate.
Currently, the vast majority of examinees remaining at the match grounds were those who had won a match in the first round, in the coming second round, any of them might be matched against Xuan Yuan Po. The stares directed at Xuan Yuan Po began to turn a little cautious.
“What’s the current situation?” asked Tang Thirty-Six as he looked at Xuan Yuan Po, who had returned to the woodlands.
Xuan Yuan Po still hadn’t managed to comprehend what happened in the match, after thinking for a long while, he gestured and said: “He didn’t block.”
The simple and honest he, couldn’t understand how Tang Thirty-Six could predict everything in the duel. He thought that Tang Thirty-Six knew the Huang Shan Valley disciple and had arranged to have him to win, therefore, he currently didn’t feel excited and happy, but was feeling rather depressed and lost.
Tang Thirty-Six couldn’t have known what Xuan Yuan Po was wildly speculating, but he could roughly guess what had happened in the match after hearing his words.
Tang Thirty-Six gave a curt laugh and said: “It’s not that he didn’t block, he wasn’t able to block in time; battling is about momentum, his ability is below yours, but foolishly wanted to do a retreating defence while skirmishing; losing was an obvious conclusion, it was only a matter of when.”
At this moment, the discussions before the tower gradually quietened down, this was because an examinee had walked out, he was number 61.
This examinee was from Heavenly Academy; Zhuang Huan Yu walked up to his side and spoke to him quietly.
The student from Heavenly Academy had a cloth bag tied behind him, unknown as to its contents. He had a look of indifference as he listened to Zhuang Huan Yu, but his stare was focused upon the direction of Orthodox Academy.
Zhuang Huan Yu finished what he was saying and left.
That student from Heavenly Academy looked at the group from Orthodox Academy, remaining quiet for some time before finally choosing Chen Chang Sheng.
That’s correct, he had chosen Chen Chang Sheng.
The area before the Tower of Purging Dust was silent, everyone turned their gaze towards the woodlands.
This decision was rather unexpected, but upon further consideration, it was the most logical choice.
Su Mo Yu and Tang Thirty-Six were both listed upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds as rank 33 and 32 respectively, while Luo Luo occupied the lofty rank of being number 2 on the proclamation; no matter how that student of Heavenly Academy was to struggle, it would be impossible to win against these three.
Even though Chen Chang Sheng was famous, he was the weakest amongst them; for the Heavenly Academy student, choosing him would at least give the possibility of victory.
The Heavenly Academy student looked at Chen Chang Sheng and said: “I don’t believe you can beat me.”
When he said those words, he intentionally put on a calm demeanour, his expression was intentionally indifferent, but anyone could have made out the determination behind it.
The reason why it was determined, was obviously due to a lack of confidence, only through determination could he keep himself from thinking of certain things: things such as the Ivy League gathering; such as the Proclamation of Azure Clouds; such as the words: “renowned throughout the Capital”.
The woodlands were quiet.
Tang Thirty-Six looked at Chen Chang Sheng, wanting to say something, but didn’t in the end.
He didn’t continuously explain what needed to be concentrated upon in battle, like he had done so for Xuan Yuan Po previously, nor had he prepared a battle plan in advance; this was because even he, was unsure as to Chen Chang Sheng’s current condition.
In the end, he only asked one of the simplest questions possible: “Can you win?
Chen Chang Sheng looked at the student from Heavenly Academy; he went over the information on examinees that Minister Xin had secretly given to Orthodox Academy, remembering that this student was called Liu Chong Shan.
This student’s ability was not poor, being at least in the middle stage of the Meditation Realm, it was also highly probable that they carried with them some sort of powerful item.
“There shouldn’t be a problem.” he answered Tang Thirty-Six, after some consideration.
Hearing that answer, Tang Thirty-Six’s expression relaxed somewhat, no longer worrying. He knew that Chen Chang Sheng was a careful and composed person, if he said there shouldn’t be a problem, then there definitely wouldn’t be a problem.
“Sir, use the Thousand Mile Button.” said Luo Luo quietly by the side.
She felt a little worried, even though she usually had confidence in Chen Chang Sheng, to the point of being a little fanatical, this match was far too important for him. With his results in the Academic Exam, as long as he could defeat the student from Heavenly Academy, his chances of entering the Three Grades was high, obtaining the privilege of entering the Mausoleum of Books.
Tang Thirty-Six heard her words and thought to himself: “what kind of person is this?”
Thousand Mile Buttons could be considered a legendary level item; even if you were to encounter some expert at the upper stage of the Star Fusion realm, it could save your life; its value was easy to imagine.
All cultivators, no matter how much they may want to get their hands on one would have much difficulty in its procurement, how could Luo Luo tell Chen Chang Sheng to use it on a regular match, wasn’t this just too wasteful?
Chen Chang Sheng looked at Luo Luo, saying: “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
Finishing those words, he headed for the Tower of Purging Dust; under the lead of the Li Palace clergyman he entered the tower alongside the student from Heavenly Academy.
Looking at the door that was once again closed, the examinees remained silent, their expressions complex, unknown as to what they were thinking.
Within the tower, the round eaves looked akin to the opening of a well; the blue skies above looked especially distant.
Chen Chang Sheng and that student named Liu Chong Shan were also distant from each other, they each stood at two ends of the ground within the tower, staring at each other from a distance.
“I must admit that I cannot compare with you in terms of knowledge, but in the end, battling is reliant upon actual strength; I really want to know, have you successfully completed your Purification?”
Liu Chong Shan looked at him indifferently while asking, his seemingly steady voice hid a hint of derision.
As with the hidden determination in his voice earlier, this was a method for bolstering his confidence.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t look up towards the blue sky and lose his concentration like Xuan Yuan Po had, nor did he look towards the second floor in search of the examiner.
From the moment he entered the tower, he had calmly kept his eyes on his opponent, focused and calm; he slowly spread out his divine sense and his True Essence started flowing within his meridians, though it was unable to flow freely, it was enough to warm the trunk of his body.
He answered: “It’s completed.”
Today at the Grand Examination, many had guessed or could tell that he had completed his Purification; completing Purification was only the entry to cultivation and did not constitute some sort of secret weapon, therefore, it wasn’t anything worth hiding.
Liu Chong Shan replied: “Really? I clearly remember that you hadn’t completed it at the time of the Ivy League gathering, even if you have finished your Purification, it shouldn’t have been long ago?”
Chen Chang Sheng thought for a while, replying: “That’s correct, it hasn’t been long.”
“Having only completed your Purification recently, you must not even know how to Meditate and self-observe. I really want to know, how can you win against me; without enough ability, no matter how famous you are, what use is it?” Liu Chong Shan looked at him while talking, with a hint of mockery in his voice.
Liu Chong Shan reached behind himself with his right hand and untied the cloth bag, from within, he retrieved an umbrella that he opened out in front of himself.
It seemed to be a normal oil-paper umbrella, yet, upon opening, its outer face immediately let out countless dazzling rays, looking akin to precious yellow jade, meanwhile, some immense aura faintly flowed within, it was clearly not just some regular tool.
Due to Liu Chong Shan being too young, his cultivation was insufficient for utilising the umbrella’s full power; however, for something like the Grand Examination, there were very few examinees that could break through it using their own strength.
This umbrella was his last resort; he couldn’t have imagined that he would matchup against Chen Chang Sheng in the first match; for safety’s sake, he took out the item without any hesitation.
Chen Chang Sheng gave the umbrella only a glance and didn’t pay it any further attention, focusing his attention within himself as well as he could.
Within his broken meridians, flowed a small amount of True Essence, under the influence of his vast divine sense, his attention became ever more heightened, yet strangely, ever more calm.
At the same time, a hard to describe energy began emitting from the innermost part of his body’s bones, his organs, extending to every part of his body, bringing with it a certain feeling – that feeling was very profound, hard to express in words; it wasn’t a sense of feeling powerful, borne from the enormity of the energy; it was a feeling that even if the energy was to be small and weak, it would still be enough to make someone feel boundlessly strong and confident, akin to some sort of instinct.
He was no stranger to this feeling.
That day, in the underground space, he had entered a coma after forcefully undergoing meditation, upon awakening, he had found that he had another source of energy within his body, another presence, alongside a strong feeling of confidence.
Due to not being able to meet Venerable Elder Black Dragon again, he still didn’t know what had happened that day, but he knew that his body had undergone some sort of inexplicable transformation; his speed and physical strength had risen to some fearsome degree, even the most perfect of Purifications would have been just as such.
The important thing was, no one knew of his transformation.
“Come,” said Liu Chong Shan indifferently while looking at him, the umbrella in front of Liu Chong Shan let out a powerful aura.
His “come”, was Chen Chang Sheng’s “go”.
Chen Chang Shen considered how he should advance, how should he “go”, how could he “go” faster, he then remembered that day where he had jumped from the second floor down to the snow covered ground and leapt to the lakeside.
He lifted his right leg and stepped towards the ground.
Only a single sound could be heard resounding; that sound was very hard to describe, akin to an iron anvil that had been heated to the point of being red hot and then covered with a pot of water.
A sizzling crackle could be heard.
Chen Chang Sheng’s foot landed upon the ground.
His tough leather boot, immediately ripped apart.
The sand underneath, akin to something escaping for dear life, scattered out, revealing the bare ground beneath that was made of stone.
Several cracks, with his right foot as the centre, spread out across the Tower of Purging Dust.
All of this happened within a time shorter than it would take to blink.
In charge of the Duelling Stage were numerous Li Palace clergy, amongst these clergy, some were in charge of its operation, some were invigilators, some were in charge of medical treatment, while some were tasked with various chores; there wasn’t a need for all of them to stay within the tower and previously, there were many that had stayed outside, but at this moment, they were all located inside the tower.
They were all standing on the second floor, quietly watching the duel, the clergy were all very curious as to the ability of this youth from Orthodox Academy, of whom, His Eminence, The Archbishop, had high hopes for.
Was he like the rumours said, someone unable to cultivate? Or was he like those legendary figures, someone that will suddenly display an unconceivable amount of power.
Seeing Chen Chang Sheng’s foot step onto the sand covered ground and what happened subsequently, the expressions of all the clergy on the second floor, instantly changed, this was because the power displayed by that youth from Orthodox Academy exceeded their imagination.
This wasn’t to say that his True Essence capacity was overly abundant, in fact, they could clearly sense that Chen Chang Sheng’s capacity was very average, maybe even a little deficient, but for him to be able to shatter the ground within His Holiness’ miniature world with a single step, just what kind of Purification did he undergo? How could he possibly possess such a terrifying strength?
An incredibly fearsome energy, travelled from the ground back to Chen Chang Sheng’s body; sand rose up and filled the air.
His figure broke through the sand; his dark coloured uniform leaving behind a clear afterimage, looking akin to a Black Dragon.
Cries of alarm that could no longer be repressed by the Li Palace clergy, erupted from the second floor.
The cries were quickly drowned out by an even shriller, or perhaps, mournful sounding howl.
This was because Chen Chang Sheng’s speed was too fast, his body grinded against the air; as if the very air itself was being split apart, it let out a sound that was very similar to that of a Dragon Roar.
In an instant, he closed in before Liu Chong Shan.
Liu Chong Shan didn’t have a reaction, he didn’t even have time to think; even his mouth, which was in the motions of dropping due to his shock had only managed to reach the state of being half open.
Chen Chang Sheng’s fist had already landed upon the umbrella.
That umbrella let out countless rays of light, emitting a powerful aura.
In the next moment, the umbrella’s light instantly faded, returning to being dull and lifeless.
That’s because the powerful aura was forcibly suppressed by an even greater, even purer energy.
That powerful energy came from Chen Chang Sheng’s fist.
With a single sound, the umbrella flew away alongside the gale of Chen Chang Sheng’s fist.
His fist continued advancing, squarely landing upon Liu Chong Shan’s chest.
With a loud bang, Liu Chong Shan’s body sprung up like a boulder, flying out tens of metres and smashing into the sturdy tower wall.
That stone wall had an extremely faint crack.
Previously, Xuan Yuan Po had sent the disciple from Huang Shan Valley flying with a single punch; that person had smashed into that spot.
Right now, Liu Chong Shan had smashed into the exact same spot.
In the same way, it had only taken a single punch.
Liu Chong Shan spewed out blood as he fainted.
From the start of the match, he had only said a single word to Chen Chang Sheng derisorily: “Come.”
Therefore, Chen Chang Sheng came.
Then, he had fallen.
From start to finish, he had only said that one word.
He hadn’t even time to let out a single move.
The Tower of Purging Dust was dead silent.
Chen Chang Sheng withdrew his fist, standing straight, he then looked towards the second floor.
The clergy who had been shocked into a daze met his stare, bringing them back to their senses, they rushed down to give treatment.
The clergyman who was presiding over the matches walked before Chen Chang Sheng, wanting to ask something, in the end, they didn’t say anything.
Chen Chang Sheng had a calm expression as he did a formal gesture towards the clergyman before turning around and leaving the tower.
Staring at his fading back, that clergyman struggled to settle himself, thinking: “why are the students of Orthodox Academy all… so simple and violent?”