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The Tower of Purging Dust opened, Liang Ban Hu and Qi Jian walked out, the clergy member’s announcement that Qi Jian was the victor, brought about a commotion; they themselves didn’t have much of a reaction, quietly talking to each other, as if they didn’t care about the slashes and blood stains that covered their clothing; between the gaps, there were still remnants of the saintly radiance used to heal them.
They walked down the steps, heading towards the streambank, continuing to converse in hushed tones as they walked.
Some of the examinees were closer and could hear that the two fellow disciples were actually discussing their match: you didn’t use this move properly; Senior used that manoeuvre too slowly…
For these past few years, the Divine State’s Seven Laws were the idols or perhaps better described as aim, for many amongst the younger generation.
The battle records of these seven disciples from Li Shan Sword Sect were circulated across the world and were a relished topic of conversation for many people, just as how Qi Jian had lost to Zhang Huan Yu by a single move some years ago, due to it being a rare record of defeat for the Divine State’s Seven Laws, it was analysed and discussed ceaselessly.
But very few had witnessed a battle between the fellow disciples.
It wasn’t until today that people finally knew why the younger generation of Li Shan Sword Sect are so powerful; why the Divine State’s Seven Laws are so astounding.
Being able to employ all their strength in a battle between members of the same school, yet not retaining any hatred or resentment, for them, this was but a standard affair.
Carrying out such a regular activity makes it extraordinary, how could Li Mountain not be strong?
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the four disciples from Li Shan Sword Sect by the streambank, feeling a little dejected and said: “It seems my loss to Liang Ban Hu was a matter of course; Qi Jian is also far stronger than I am.”
This statement of “loss” and “stronger”, was not referring to power levels, but something else.
Chen Chang Sheng replied: “We can learn from them.”
Tang Thirty-Six glanced at him and said: “How? Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed that Liang Ban Hu is happy about his loss, genuinely happy.”
“In the Grand Examination, they can fight as they please without worrying about crippling or killing each other, this makes them especially happy.”
“I’m not that type of freak, I can’t copy them, I surrender.”
From entering Li Palace early in the morning and then the Education Palace within the Green Leaf World; from the Hall of Zhao Wen to the Tower of Purging Dust; throughout all these locations, the amount of clergy seen by the examinees had been few in number, but in truth, Li Palace in its entirety, or more specifically, the entirety of the Orthodoxy, was working for the Grand Examination
A lot of the clergy that weren’t seen by examinees were busy with various tasks; in the Grand Examination, wanting to die was a difficult thing.
Once again entering the Tower of Purging Dust, Chen Chang Sheng intentionally gave a glance towards the second floor, but didn’t see anyone, he then turned his gaze towards his opponent.
In the third round, his opponent was a young girl; the one who had mocked and ridiculed him at the divine avenue and was finally admonished to tears by Tang Thirty-Six, the little junior from Holy Maiden Peak, Ye Xiao Lian.
Holy Maiden Peak and the Longevity Sect were both large sect organisations within the religious system of the Southern Domain, governing many sects and cloisters, Ye Xiao Lian was from Ci Jian Temple.
In the information provided to Orthodox Academy by the Education Board, it clearly noted that this young girl’s cultivation talent is fairly high, once she reaches a suitable age, it was likely that she would enter the Nan Xi Institute, of course, she could only enter the outer circle for her cultivation.
No matter how high a cultivation talent, Ye Xiao Lian was too young, as one of the youngest participants in the examination, her cultivation level was sure to be unstable, logically, it should have been very difficult for her to enter the third round, but her luck in the lot drawing was extremely good.
In the first round she had easily won, in the second round, her opponent was a common student that had entered the examination after completing the foundation trial. Her level was comparable to her opponent’s, but her True Essence levels were not as profound, in the end, she had relied upon an item from her school she had been carrying, in order to propitiously win the match.
After leaving the tower, she had jumped into her senior’s arms and cried, unable to restrain her joy.
For the drawing of lots in the third round, she heard the name of Chen Chang Sheng, coming to know that her luck had finally came to an end.
Ye Xiao Lian looked at Chen Chang Sheng, her tender little face full of anxiety and unease, becoming a little pale.
That day upon the divine avenue, she had said that Chen Chang Sheng is a toad that wishes to dine on the Phoenix, she had always believed that he was useless trash, yet who could have guessed that Chen Chang Sheng would actually win two rounds in a row, in the previous round he had even defeated Scholartree Manor’s Huo Guang, different from her lucky draw and obviously relying upon his own strength.
Ye Xiao Lian knew that she wasn’t Chen Chang Sheng’s match, thinking that she had previously offended this person, made her even more nervous.
At that moment, the examiner’s voice came down from the second floor: “If you’re ready, then start.”
Chen Chang Sheng looked towards Ye Xiao Lian, inclining his head in acknowledgement.
With a single glance from him, Ye Xiao Lian couldn’t stop herself from feeling terrified, her eyes became red and her skirt shuddered.
Chen Chang Sheng was a bit startled, wondering what was going on.
Ye Xiao Lian really was very scared, her body continuously quivered, the string of little bells on her wrist shaking alongside her quivering, giving off sharp jingling sounds.
The sharp jingling sounds cleared her head, she gathered her courage and tossed the string of bells from her wrist at Chen Chang Sheng.
She was separated from Chen Chang Sheng by a distance of around 30 metres, the string of bells managed to arrive before him in an instant.
The string of bells is a tool of Ci Jian Temple, Bells of Mantra, it couldn’t possibly compare with a legendary level item like the Thousand Mile Button, but was still extremely powerful, being only slightly weaker than the umbrella used by the Heavenly Academy student Chen Chang Sheng was matched against in the first round.
Were this not the case she would not have been able to rely upon it to win against her opponent in the second round.
The string of bells was made of some unknown metal, its band indistinctly contained some sort of keen sword manifestation.
Within its sharp ringing sound there seemed to be some sort of concealed aura that could disturb a cultivator’s True Essence flow; alas, it seems Ye Xiao Lian’s luck really had been depleted on the previous rounds, her opponent, Chen Chang Sheng, was weakest in terms of True Essence capacity and was least reliant upon using True Essence for battling.
His right hand became a fist that struck out, his fingers then stretched out, becoming akin to a blossoming flower, accurately grabbing the Bells of Mantra.
The Bells of Mantra continuously shook in his hand, as if it was struggling, transferring a massive amount of force to the surroundings, at the same time, that aura which disturbed True Essence flow became increasingly apparent.
The True Essence flow within Chen Chang Sheng was indeed severely affected, but the problem was, even if the Bells of Mantra was to do nothing, his True Essence flow would already have problems flowing freely, with his meridian channels being broken.
He didn’t use True Essence, only employing his body strength, and had already managed to tightly grip the Bells of Mantra in his hand.
*DING* *DING* *DING*
The Bells of Mantra violently shook, struggled, wanting to escape from his grasp, yet, in the end, it couldn’t.
Moments later, the Bells of Mantra finally pacified, stilling within his grasp.
Ye Xiao Lian looked at this scene, completely forgetting that she was in a battle and used her hand to cover her mouth, surprised to the extreme.
The Bells of Mantra were given to her by a teacher at Ci Jian Temple
She clearly understood the amount of power contained within the string of bells while it was dancing in the air and that it would be very hard to restrain, she had imagined that Chen Chang Sheng would have many methods to easily stop the Bells of Mantra’s effect, but she never would have expected that Chen Chang Sheng will directly use his hand to grip the bells.
The sharp jingling sounds disappeared and the tower became quiet.
Ye Xiao Lian was shocked to the point of being speechless and didn’t show any signs of making another move.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t continue either, he continued to hold onto the string of bells and looked towards the second floor.
The room on the second floor was still secluded and serene; unknown as to if it was due to shock from Chen Chang Sheng’s display of inhuman strength or some other reason, no one said a word.
Mo Yu had a look of indifference as she said: “Do all you really think he’ll humiliate a little girl? It’s not like he’s Tang Tang.”
Those words exposed some sort of hidden intention, and made a decision.
A Li Palace clergy member appeared behind the second floor balustrade, looked at Ye Xiao Lian and asked: “Concede?”
Ye Xiao Lian nodded her head, her eyes a little red.
Chen Chang Sheng placed the Bells of Mantra on the sand near his feet, then turned and headed out of the tower.
He didn’t humiliate this girl who had once ridiculed him, nor did he pay her any attention.
Ye Xiao Lian blankly followed his footsteps with her gaze, feeling a little helpless.
Previously, she had already prepared herself to being struck down and then humiliated by Chen Chang Sheng, she never expected that he wouldn’t do this.
Leaving the tower, Chen Chang Sheng returned to the woodlands.
Ye Xiao Lian returned to her senior’s side, lifting her own sleeve and wiping away her tears.
“Pitying the damsel are we?”
Tang Thirty-Six looked at Chen Chang Sheng and gave a sardonic smirk while saying: “What kind of person does that make me?”
Chen Chang Sheng asked in return: “If it was you, what would you do?”
Tang Thirty-Six gave it a thought, finding that he couldn’t think of anything he could do.
He didn’t like that little girl called Ye Xiao Lian; using callous words was fine, because quarrels relied upon the art of words, spouting nonsense, and shamelessness, but in the end, you couldn’t really give her a beating; wouldn’t that just be bullying the weak?
The next one to enter the stage is Luo Luo.
Out of the four scholars from Scholartree Manor that participated in the examination, there only remained two, her opponent was the remaining person after excluding Zhong Hui.
She entered the tower along with the scholar from Scholartree Manor.
Sounds of footsteps could be heard from the second floor.
Some of the personages walked by the window to observe the match. They were all very curious as to what Her Highness’ current ability was, to the extent of being able to prompt the Council of Divine Ordinance to update the rankings to the Proclamation of Azure Clouds.
For the first round, the opponent Luo Luo had was too weak, in the second round, Tian Hai Sheng Xue had outright conceded; for this round, will she finally have to fight?
Luo Luo released Rainfall Whip from her side, stared at the scholar from Scholartree Manor and said: “Make the first move.”
At Orthodox Academy, towards Chen Chang Sheng, she was polite, respectful, genteel and cute, occasionally acting spoiled; towards others however, her manner was completely different.
At the Ivy League gathering, whether towards Heavenly Academy’s instructor or Li Mountain’s Elder Xiao Song Gong, they were all looked down upon, let alone at this moment, towards this scholar from Scholartree Manor.
She did not intentionally look down upon him, belittling him, she was only being natural and calm, using an indifferent tone of voice, yet there existed a sort of nobility and might behind it.
The expression of the scholar from Scholartree Manor changed slightly, he slowly drew his longsword from its scabbard.
His movements were very slow, but the sound of his blade leaving its sheath was very piercing.
A sound rung out.
A flash of a blade’s edge instantly cut through the distance of 30 odd metres, arriving before Luo Luo’s eyes.
Luo Luo didn’t even blink; her lashes didn’t even flutter.
Rainfall Whip, within her hand, wildly danced.
Zhong Shan’s Sword of Wind and Rain carried with it boundless True Essence, easily dissipating the blade’s gleam, it then struck towards the scholar opposite.
The Education Palace is a miniature world, the response between Heaven and Earth was especially sensitive, following her usage of Zhong Shan’s Sword of Wind and Rain, a phenomenon appeared in the deep blue skies above.
Unknown as to where it came from, a dark cloud enveloped the Tower of Purging Dust.
Then, it began to rain.
As with before the match started, the black eaves of the tower were cleansed once again.
She used Rainfall Whip, the raindrops were its tip.
The raindrops fell upon the eaves and fell upon the sand, letting out a pattering sound.
The same sound as a whip cracking upon a person’s body.
The rain increased, becoming a torrential downpour; within the tower, rain blanketed the area, making it no longer possible to see clearly.
Occasionally a blade’s gleam would flash out, but would immediately be engulfed by the rainstorm.
Momentarily after, an incredibly sharp sound resonated within the tower.
The rainstorm abruptly stopped.
The scholar weakly collapsed in a corner, his entire body covered with wounds, blood and rain pooled together.
His face was deathly pale, his pallid lips softly trembled and his eyes were full of despair.
That was the despair of being crushed by an absolute strength.