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No matter what Tang Thirty-Six was to say, Su Mo Yu naturally had his own judgement and choice; as the representative of Li Palace College, he couldn’t concede defeat. Not to mention his stubborn and stiff personality had already made a decision for him; it didn’t matter that his opponent was the mysterious and strong wolf-tribe youth, he still wouldn’t lose confidence.
He did a formal gesture towards the examiner who was in charge of the duelling phase and then walked to the top of the stone steps before the Tower of Purging Dust.
The crowd slowly parted and Zhe Xiu walked over; he didn’t still his steps at all and walked straight into the tower.
The examinees all looked at that youth’s frail looking image with varying expressions upon their faces; from morning till now, apart from that single dialogue with the examiner, no one had heard that youth speak another word.
Everyone was very curious as to what level this wolf-tribe youth, whom was famous for being mysterious and cold-blooded, had reached and what type of person he was.
As for this match’s outcome, they were not overly concerned with, this was because in a lot of people’s eyes, the outcome was already decided; as 33rd upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds, Su Mo Yu was obviously not weak, but his opponent was just too strong.
Chen Chang Sheng turned and gave a glance towards Luo Luo, who seemed to be contemplating something, he thought back to when they had entered the Education Palace and that single glance the wolf-tribe youth had turned his head for and the mental assault it had given him in that instant.
He thought to himself that Luo Luo’s duel against Tian Hai Sheng Xue might actually be a good thing, at least she wouldn’t have to go against that youth and wouldn’t be in any danger.
The wooden door to the Tower of Purging Dust slowly closed.
It didn’t take long for it once again open.
The examinees felt a little bewildered, even though they knew that this match shouldn’t hold any surprises, for it to end so quickly was still shocking.
The first one to walk out of the tower and hence, the winner, was the wolf-tribe youth.
He stood upon the stone steps and looked towards the woodlands, towards Orthodox Academy.
Throughout the Grand Examination, that youth had either stood apart from the rest of the crowd or at the front of the group, mostly leaving behind nothing more than the image of his back. At this moment, it was actually the first time for many to see his frontal image.
He wore a single, thin piece of clothing, with a cloth belt strapped across his waist and his feet bare; his trousers stopped three inches above his ankles, extremely terse.
He didn’t carry any weapons on him, but he still gave off an aura of extreme danger, akin to an unsheathed blade, no, he was a blade’s edge; indeed, his danger was not in the form of being actualised, but in the form of a feeling, as if your eyes will begin to feel a piercing pain if you stared at him for too long.
A lot of the examinees subconsciously withdrew their gazes or turned away, looking elsewhere.
Momentarily after, the wooden door slowly closed, Su Mo Yu didn’t come out.
The examinees were surprised, one of them couldn’t control themselves and asked: “Wasn’t it said that the loser can stay?”
The Li Palace clergyman gave Zhe Xiu a glance, slightly furrowed his brows and then answered the examinee: “Su Mo Yu was injured too severely, he has been sent out of the palace for treatment.”
Hearing those words, the area was covered by a wake of silence, the examinees had trouble controlling their complex emotions, once again turning their gazes towards that wolf-tribe youth.
Their gazes were filled with shock and even greater amounts of fear.
Su Mo Yu is an elite student of Li Palace College, a young genius that is ranked 33rd upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds, even if he wasn’t an equal to this person, with the match being so short and under the observation of so many examiners that were undoubtedly present, for this person to injure Su Mo Yu to such an extent was a testament to how strong this person is.
Within the Hall of Zhao Wen, the principal of Li Palace College stared at the scene displayed upon the mirror, his face was extremely gloomy.
At this time, the match in the Tower of Purging Dust had already finished, the mirror only showed a plethora of yellow sand, this was the ground, on the lower edge there were a few leaf patterns and some patches of blood stains.
Su Mo Yu had sustained exceedingly severe injuries, there shouldn’t be any fear for his life, but it was unknown as to if it would affect his future cultivation.
As the principal of Li Palace College, he had enough reason to be angry, but he didn’t know in what way could he vent this anger.
Zhe Xiu and Su Mo Yu’s duel had started too quickly and ended even faster, not just the clergy that were observing the scene from the second floor, even if he were to be present himself, he would not have been able to stop the tragedy that just happened, not unless he was already on the ground.
The drawing of lots for Orthodox Academy’s four students had drawn the strongest opponents, this result was due to manipulation, he clearly knew the reason behind this.
Su Mo Yu is a student of Li Palace College they have high hopes for; meeting a monster like Zhe Xiu in the second round, it could only be said that Su Mo Yu had terrible luck.
Su Mo Yu was eliminated from the tournament due to injury, no matter how outstanding his results were to be in the academic phase, he would only be able to enter the Third Grade, wanting to advance further will no longer be possible.
All of the students from Li Palace College had been eliminated, not mentioning comparisons to Li Shan Sword Sect or Scholartree Manor; Star Seizer Academy still had four people left, how should this make him feel?
Li Palace College’s principal had an ashen face as he stood up, he flicked his sleeve and left the Hall of Zhao Wen, no longer interested in how the examination would progress.
Heavenly Academy’s principal, Mao Qiu Yu had already left due to being displeased with how certain important figures were secretly manipulating results of the lot drawing to push Orthodox Academy into a bleak state.
At this moment, within the hall, only three principals from the six Ivy League schools remained.
The second round continued, gales of fists and raining swords continued, True Essence abounded chaotically; these were events happening within the Tower of Purging Dust and thus, rarely leaked out of the tower.
In the next few matches, Zhuang Huan Yu easily won against his opponent; Qi Jian and Guan Fei Bai from Li Shan Sword Sect also quickly gained their entry into the third round. The next person to enter the stage was that scholar from Scholartree Manor.
The youngest of the four from Scholartree Manor who were participating in this year’s Grand Examination, yet the strongest, Zhong Hui.
Standing upon the stone steps before the tower, looking at the scene of the match grounds, his expression became a little unsightly. At Scholartree Manor, he was, unsurprisingly, someone people focused on; even if the Grand Examination was a gathering of experts, logically speaking, with his match coming up, he should capture the attention of many examinees, yet, there was no one paying any attention to him, this made him feel very uncomfortable.
It wasn’t that the examinees didn’t care for him; a young expert ranked 9th upon the proclamation, he had the qualifications for making people notice him, but his opponent for this round wasn’t anyone famous, while the next match was one everyone was focused upon, hence, none of the gazes fell upon him, but instead fell upon two other locations.
The woodlands where Orthodox Academy were standing and the stream bank where the four disciples of Li Mountain were.
The next match was Tang Thirty-Six’s turn to enter the stage, Chen Chang Sheng was currently crouched upon the floor, discussing something with him incessantly, his hand held a branch, drawing and writing on the ground. Luo Luo was also crouching by the side, using her hands to prop up her chin, earnestly listening; Xuan Yuan Po stood before them, using his hulking body to shield them from the stares of the crowd.
Chen Chang Sheng was currently explaining some of the key aspects to Li Shan Sword Arts; this wasn’t an act of sharpening your spear at the moment of battle, but was targeted advice towards a specific opponent. He was using the key aspects to Li Shan Sword Arts and relating them to Liang Ban Hu’s well-known battles for an analysis, the drawings on the ground, lines made by the tree branch, were all sword manoeuvres.
Liang Ban Hu is the opponent Tang Thirty-Six was about to face.
“Your True Essence capacity and purity is definitely below that of the opponent’s.”
Chen Chang Sheng put down the branch and looked at the negligent expression on Tang Thirty-Six’s face, seriously saying: “Even if you haven’t been as lazy in the Capital as you had been back at Wen Shui, you should be aware of how diligent the disciples of Li Mountain are in their sword training, therefore, there’s no contesting the fact that you’re inferior to the opponent.”
Tang Thirty-Six threw out his hands, indicating that he didn’t think otherwise.
Chen Chang Sheng gave the stream bank a glance, continuing: “Your levels aren’t too different, without breaking through that barrier, differences at the upper stage of the Meditation Realm shouldn’t have much of an effect in battling, therefore, if you want to win, you can only concentrate upon your moves in order to make a difference.”
Tang Thirty-Six’s expression became serious, asking: “How should I proceed?”
Chen Chang Shen answered: “Seizing attacks; continuously seizing the opportunity to attack.”
Tang Thirty-Six’s eyebrow twitched: “Isn’t that the same tactic you and Xuan Yuan Po used in the first round?”
Chen Chang Sheng said: “It’s not the same, all seizing attacks are nothing more than feints, you have to prepare at least 20 moves in advance as manoeuvres you can chain together, not giving Liang Ban Hu any chance to think. Striving for a mistake in his judgement and once your sword momentum surges, he will definitely believe that you will use the Three Forms of Wen Shui, at this moment, an opportunity will rise.”
Speaking up to this point, he once again picked up the branch and then wrote a few words on the ground.
“Junior brother and Tang Tang’s levels are fairly close, having practised at Orthodox Academy alongside Chen Chang Shen for such a long time, the level of his sword arts must have improved, it shouldn’t be weaker than yours. But his True Essence capacity and purity will definitely be inferior to yours and his tenacity will also be poorer.
Gou Han Shi extended his hand into the stream and cupped some fresh water, using it to wash his face. He gave a glance towards the woodlands, at the group from Orthodox Academy, then continued talking: “The most impressive thing about Tang Tang is actually his personality, he enjoys taking unconventional paths and is indeed remarkable when he’s determined; if I were Chen Chang Sheng, I would definitely place the only chance of winning on manoeuvres.”
Qi Jian was listening by the side, he couldn’t quite understand and asked: “Senior, if their swords arts are fairly equal, how could you rely upon the moves in order to win?”
“Sword manoeuvres rely upon sequencing, timing, choice and the momentum of your moves,” Gou Han Shi patiently explained.
Hearing those words, Guan Fei Bai thought back to his sword duel against Her Highness, Luo Luo, at the Ivy League gathering, silently nodding.
Liang Ban Hu looked towards the woodlands, his slightly tender looking face was full of calm confidence, he said: “Chen Chang Sheng must be giving him advice at this moment.”
Gou Han Shi looked at him and said: “Chen Chang Sheng will definitely think of a way to allow Tang Tang to gather momentum through his sword manoeuvring, before finally utilising an unanticipated method to forcefully seek a chance of victory.”
He continued: “As said before, Tang Tang’s most impressive point is his obsessive determination, therefore, I would think that the move he uses after gathering momentum will not be the Three Forms of Wen Shui; that’s because even though those three moves are strong, they’re not decisive enough.”
Liang Ban Hu mused, thinking back to some of the sword scrolls he had seen at Li Mountain’s Sword Hall.
Guan Fei Bai pondered, noticing that if his senior brother’s conjecture was true, there really wouldn’t be any favourable methods for countering; if he were to be the one entering the stage to fight against Tang Tang, then the only thing he could really rely upon was using True Essence for a simple melee.
“Go for a melee,” Gou Han Shi said while looking at Liang Ban Hu.
Liang Ban Hu couldn’t quite understand; Guan Fei Bai was shocked, thinking to himself: “wasn’t this the most stupid method?”