Chapter 628: Match Start
Translated by Crystal of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In the blink of an eye, half a month passed and the TongTian Palace competition was starting.
You XiaoMo and Ling Xiao left two days early as TongTian Palace wasn’t in the Central City. They were also going to meet up with people of the XiaoYao Institution and head there together. If it was just him, before he even got to the TongTian Palace entrance, he would have been rejected half-way by a screening.
Some say that the TongTian Palace was the most prestigious place of the TongTian Continent. It stood at the peak of the mountains, it overlooked the earth, and it towered over in magnificence. Some described it as a giant, protecting the land beneath its feet.
Although it was a bit exaggerated, no one could deny that it existed for a very long time and left an everlasting impression on practitioners. Even if the TongTian Palace didn’t have a belief or faith, some still considers it a holy place.
Once You XiaoMo and Ling Xiao reached the entrance of the XiaoYao Institution, there were many who had already been waiting outside. Some say that it wasn’t nearly as dense as before, but with all of the rainbow level mages of tens or so floors of the Giganticus, it was a hefty amount.
It was also his first time seeing this many rainbow mages. Ever since he moved to the ninetieth floor, he almost never stayed there, much less attended the challenger matches. Thus, he had never seen this many people gathered before.
You XiaoMo thought of his time in the Long Xiang Continent, at that time, those who had a rainbow soul were so few that one could count it with one hand. But here, it was at least in the hundreds. From that, you could tell the history and impact of the XiaoYao Institution as well as the TongTian Palace.
With this many rainbow mages attending the competition, only three were allowed to continue, according to what You XiaoMo heard. That was very few, about one out of a hundred chance of passing.
However, You XiaoMo wasn’t interested in the enrollment, he had no interest in entering the TongTian Palace. Also, he heard when he applied that it was voluntary, so even if he was in the top three, he could reject the offer and once he did, the fourth place would replace him, so it was not a big deal.
Of course, it was rare for something like this to happen, most people who attended the competition wished to get in.
This year there were a lot of mages from floor ninety-five and above, who also stayed for more than ten years in the Institution, some even for fifty years. They were filled with experience and powerful themselves, vastly different from the likes of him who just advanced recently.
By the time they arrived, Jiu Ye and Qiao WuXing were already there.
When You XiaoMo appeared, he saw Tian Xin, who stood behind them, waving fiercely towards him. With that excitement, anyone who didn’t know would have thought that she was the one attending the competition.
Although she wasn’t participating this time, she could watch, since this competition was held where the TongTian Palace hosted outsiders.
Having not seen each other for a year or so, You XiaoMo realized that both Jiu Ye and Qiao WuXing had improved by a lot. Both were at grade two mages, except that Jiu Ye looked to be advancing to grade three quite soon. The two had also fought a few challenger matches so they were both on the ninety-fifth floor now.
Even though they were a lower level than You XiaoMo, in the XiaoYao Institution they were already in the top percentile. If not compared with You XiaoMo, their cultivating speed was not slow by any means.
However, it was going to be difficult for them to get to the top three. After all, there were more floors above the ninety-fifth and most of those practitioners were instructors of the Institution, by name only. They were still in fact students, but most of them wished to enter the TongTian Palace, but failed in the previous competitions.
With those people, others, like Jiu Ye and the newbies, would have a hard time getting into the top three. The good thing was that neither Jiu Ye nor Qiao WuXing were interested in entering the TongTian Palace.
That was because one of them was of the Mage Association while the other was from the Beast Transfiguration Guild. Although these places had some association with the TongTian Palace, it wasn’t much, so they were just here to prove themselves.
You XiaoMo greeted the two of them. As Qiao WuXing had heard of his situation, as well as Ling Xiao’s, he ask a few questions in concern. Due to his personality, Jiu Ye simply nodded and didn’t say much.
Other than that, there was also Wan Ya, the gentle and thoughtful girl. You XiaoMo discovered that she got prettier during the time they hadn’t seen each other.
“How come I don’t see Zhang LanYu?” You XiaoMo said as he took a look around, only to discover the one who was always beside Wan Ya gone. The last time he heard Zhang LanYu was in secluded cultivation, preparing for this competition.
Wan Ya expression was a bit weird as she said with a sigh, “He didn’t advance, so he’s a bit down and because of that, he’s not coming.”
“Oh.” You XiaoMo exclaimed and thought that it was hard to imagine someone like Zhang LanYu feeling down. Normally he looked to be energetic, like someone who was more open minded like Wan Ya.
It wasn’t long before the XiaoYao Institution elder appeared. After the normal announcement of the ‘dos and don’ts’, they departed and it didn’t take long for them to reach their destination, since it wasn’t far.
From far, faraway, one could see the massive dark red building that stood at the pinnacle of the mountain top. Every brick and stone seemed to be of a darker color scheme, giving off a fearful pressure, as if a God overlooking humans. Maybe in the hearts of practitioners, TongTian Palace was a place like that.
The closer they got, the less sound people made. By the time they stood at the front gate of the TongTian Palace, everyone had stopped talking all together.
It wasn’t that they didn’t want to talk. For a lot of people, it was their first time. Seeing something new, especially one that was central to their faith, they were obviously excited. But even just the Palace emitted a powerful presence. The shock and awe made them unable to talk.
You XiaoMo shifted closer to Ling Xiao, and whispered in his ear, “It looks very impressive?”
He held no beliefs towards the TongTian Palace and saw a lot of Sacred Realm experts so the Palace’s presence had no effect on him. Thus, he wasn’t like the others who didn’t even dare to talk.
But, he was curious about the TongTian Palace.
“Not as pretty as ours.” Ling Xiao evaluated.
You XiaoMo didn’t reject it, their palace was indeed overly extravagant.
It didn’t take long before the front gates were opened. The creaking sound was like an old clock tower’s ring, one that held the sentiments of a thousand years of decay. Slowly, it opened to the side, instantly, the situation inside was displayed in front of them.
A man in a white cape came out and his hat covered half of his face, leaving only his nose and mouth visible. Although, you couldn’t see his eyes, everyone had the feeling that he was peering into them. And, he saw them clearly from the inside out.
After a while, the caped man let them in.
The competition was situated in a grand hall specifically used for this. Every time the competition was held here, so some of the older students already wore a serious expression.
Every time the content of the competition was different, sometimes it was refining pills, other times it was distilling herbs, and sometimes it was focused on soul power. Most of them didn’t have a friend like Tian Xin who was overly curious. Even without You XiaoMo asking, Tian Xin told all of this to him.
Once they arrived at the spacious grand hall, all of the preparations were finished.
Looking at the grand hall, many of the older students tightened their fists. Due to the sudden time change, they weren’t prepared mentally, but what was going to happen, was going to happen. If they failed again then they would have to wait till next time, although there wasn’t an age restriction, it was still awkward to participate constantly.
Before the time arrived, to relax the mood, most people grouped together to have small talk. Mostly, it was revolved around the topic of competition. Since there was only two rounds, the topic was pretty easy to guess.
At this point, there was no point in hiding the topic, so Tian Xin, the natural extrovert, instantly told everyone with excitement and gestures. Due to that, a lot of people gathered around her.
Although You XiaoMo liked to join in on the fun, but he already knew the topics so there was no point. Thus, he and Ling Xiao, as well as Jiu Ye watched them on the side.
Qiao WuXing smiled helplessly, “Every time, if there is Tian Xin, it’s always followed with a lively atmosphere. Makes people wonder if she’s actually the one participating.”
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. Girls are cuter when they’re lively.” You XiaoMo said. If he didn’t die, if he didn’t come to this world, then maybe in his previous life he would have been attracted to girls like this.
Qiao WuXing thought about how his cousin Qiao WuShuang always liked to tease Tian Xin. The reason was probably this, lively and cute, so it made one want to see her angry, which was probably even cuter.
He had mocked this weird fetish of WuShuang’s.
Just then, a bell toll sounded.
It rang three times, indicating the start of the competition. Instantly the crowd stopped talking and the grand hall became quiet. With the guidance of the elder, everyone slowly gathered in front.