C97 – It’s Important to Have a Letter of Faith
At intervals, students participating in the finals would emerge from the academy’s teleportation portal.
The gathering of students, eager to witness the spectacle, reactivated the teleportation array.
“Someone has just exited! Another participant has made their appearance,” some students observed with a hint of schadenfreude.
“Who’s the ninth person to be eliminated? If you’re stepping out now, you must have the fortune of a Third Star Division contender in the finals,” one student remarked.
Wu Shangyong felt a flush of embarrassment creep over him as he heard the students’ comments.
“It’s Student Wu!”
Standing on the teleportation array, Wu Shangyong was acutely aware that he had been eliminated on the second day of the competition, a rather ignominious outcome. In hindsight, he regretted not taking Zheng Xuan’s identity plate and leaving earlier.
“Oh, it’s Student Wu!” The female teacher overseeing the competition approached with surprise, her eyes scrutinizing Wu Shangyong as she began tallying his spoils of war.
“Wait, is that Zheng Xuan’s identity plate? Did you defeat Zheng Xuan?” The female teacher abruptly halted her counting, her gaze fixed on Wu Shangyong, astonishment in her voice.
Wu Shangyong’s face grew warm, and he awkwardly replied, “Actually, I was forced out by Zheng Xuan.”
“Well, how did you manage to acquire his identity card if you were forced out by Zheng Xuan?” The female teacher and the students around her wore puzzled expressions.
With an embarrassed tone, Wu Shangyong explained, “I encountered him on the path, and he asked me to step aside. I suggested he give me his tag, and in return, I’d let him pass. Surprisingly, he handed it over.”
Everyone’s reaction: “…”
The female teacher looked at Wu Shangyong and inquired, “If that’s the case, why did you engage in a confrontation with Zheng Xuan?”
Wu Shangyong’s face turned crimson, and he hung his head in shame, unable to provide a satisfactory answer.
“Were you not on the receiving end of a thrashing because you didn’t move out of the way?” speculated the female teachers.
Wu Shangyong hung his head, wishing he could vanish into thin air.
The female teachers exchanged knowing glances as they looked at Wu Shangyong’s downcast expression. A true man ought to keep his promises.
Wu Shangyong flashed an awkward smile and replied, “You’re absolutely right, teacher.”
Frustration welled up inside Zheng Xuan as he wandered through the woods. The leads had vanished, and he was at a loss about how to proceed with his search.
Suddenly, Zheng Xuan spotted a figure with a conspicuous bloodstain on the left shoulder of their attire. His heart leaped with excitement, and he hurriedly approached.
“Xiao Qi,” Zheng Xuan exclaimed with joy.
As they drew nearer, they realized that the person’s height and build didn’t match Xiao Qi’s at all. Xiao Qi was only at level four, while this person appeared to be no more than level three.
“Young Master Zheng,” Lin Xu addressed him respectfully.
“Where did you obtain those clothes?” Zheng Xuan asked, his disgust evident.
“I was knocked unconscious earlier, and when I regained consciousness, my clothes had been changed,” Lin Xu replied honestly, not daring to fabricate a story.
Veins bulged on Zheng Xuan’s forehead as he contemplated the fact that Xiao Qi had ended up in someone else’s attire, and the person before him was now wearing what belonged to Xiao Qi. He felt an urge to throttle him.
Detecting the murderous intent in Zheng Xuan’s eyes, Lin Xu couldn’t help but tremble with fear.
“Are you even a man? You can’t even safeguard a single piece of clothing,” Zheng Xuan gritted his teeth.
Lin Xu remained rooted to the spot, utterly speechless, as he observed the displeased expression on Zheng Xuan’s face.
Zheng Xuan pondered briefly before suggesting, “Could you change clothes with me?”
Lin Xu regarded Zheng Xuan with a perplexed expression, recognizing that the request was somewhat unusual. Despite this, Zheng Xuan remained resolute.
Although Lin Xu was at a loss for words, he didn’t dare to defy Zheng Xuan’s request.
Mo Yi sat by the lakeside, idly roasting some fish. The crackling flames were beginning to irritate him.
“Mo Yi, you’re here!” Nangong Qianxue exclaimed with delight upon spotting him.
Mo Yi raised an eyebrow and greeted Nangong Qianxue with a smile, “Senior Nangong, it’s good to see you!”
Nangong Qianxue approached Mo Yi, adopting a flattering expression as she made her request, “Yiyi, can you spare me a fish? I’m famished. I tried roasting a few myself, but they turned out so terrible that I might vomit!”
Mo Yi nodded and replied with a grin, “I wouldn’t dare refuse you.”
“I ran into Zheng Xuan earlier,” Nangong Qianxue mentioned as she enjoyed her grilled fish.
Mo Yi’s eyes darted for a moment before he responded calmly, “Is that so?”
“That guy is becoming increasingly peculiar. After apprehending me, he inquired about anyone with a left shoulder injury from a Ghost Face Flower. Even showed me a sketch. He’s really getting weirder,” Nangong Qianxue complained somewhat sulkingly.
Mo Yi chuckled and remarked, “He seems a bit confused, but it’s not my concern.”
“I don’t want to be involved either, but he was excessively ruthless and lacked any compassion for a woman,” Nangong Qianxue expressed her disgust.
A faint, mocking smile played on the corner of Mo Yi’s lips as he commented, “He treats everyone the same, except perhaps for Xu Zihan.”
“That guy appears to be searching for something, and he seems quite agitated. Oh, I also encountered Lin Xu earlier. He told me Zheng Xuan forced him to swap clothes. What a bizarre individual,” Nangong Qianxue shook her head, clearly bemused.
Mo Yi cast his gaze downward, his expression a mix of emotions.
“Yiyi, your fish paste is ready,” Nangong Qianxue announced.
Mo Yi’s eyes fell upon the fish that had slipped into the flames, causing his pupils to contract. “So be it.”
“The Third Prince’s strength is growing by leaps and bounds. Just yesterday, I encountered a five-level Star Beast, and I was on the verge of using my teleportation talisman. Fortunately, the Third Prince happened upon us and dispatched that Star Beast with a single strike,” Nangong Qianxue praised with admiration evident on her face.
Mo Yi nodded in agreement, remarking, “The Third Prince is indeed formidable.”
In the lair of an enormous Star Beast, two colossal Star Beast carcasses lay sprawled.
Lou Yu concealed the deep wound on his arm, a chilly grin spreading across his face.
After receiving the image of the Herba Cunninghami from Mo Fei, Lou Yu was astonished to discover that it was an exceedingly common herb. This commonplace sight left Lou Yu incredulous that it was the same Herba Cunninghami Mo Fei had described.
Typically, Herba Cunninghami inhabited their lairs, so the revelation of one being in the competition tempted Lou Yu.
Upon reaching the jasmine’s den, Lou Yu soon realized that the school’s information had been a ruse. The information had claimed there was only one sixth-level jasmine within, failing to mention the presence of two.
Faced with the dual onslaught of two jasmines, Lou Yu narrowly avoided disaster, but he emerged unharmed, his courage unwavering.
Exuding an unyielding determination, he triumphed over the two jasmines.
Seated within his own lair, Lou Yu channeled his astral force to mend his injuries.
As his astral force gradually recuperated, Lou Yu couldn’t contain his eagerness to attempt Mo Fei’s suggested method.
Lou Yu scrutinized the Herba Cunninghami before him, his brows furrowing in contemplation.
Typically, Star Grass of higher quality would contain richer astral force. However, the Herba Cunninghami before them displayed such feeble astral force fluctuations that it couldn’t even rival a first-level Star Grass.
Lou Yu extracted the Herba Cunninghami and followed Mo Fei’s guidance to refine it.
Lou Yu found it quite surprising that the Herba Cunninghami had exceptionally weak astral force, yet the medicinal liquid derived from it was remarkably concentrated. Lou Yu had never encountered a Star Grass with such unique characteristics.
After smearing the medicinal liquid over his body, Lou Yu circulated his astral force to absorb it. To his astonishment, the nagging hidden injuries he had been dealing with began healing rapidly.
Lou Yu was elated and couldn’t help but admire Mo Fei’s profound knowledge.
As his hidden injuries healed, Lou Yu’s astral force also experienced rapid growth.
In the azure sky, one purple star after another started gleaming.
Nangong Qianxue raised her head to gaze at the stars in the sky and exclaimed, “The Sun and Stars have appeared!”
Mo Yi’s eyes narrowed slowly. The appearance of the White Star indicated advancement, a phenomenon not common for Star Masters below the fifth level. Those who witnessed it were typically exceptional geniuses.
Nangong Qianxue furrowed her brows and whispered in amazement, “Someone has advanced to become a level 6 star master.”
The probability of the White Sun Star appearing was exceedingly low; such an occurrence never happened for Star Masters below the fifth level.
“I wonder who that might be,” Mo Yi nonchalantly remarked.
Nangong Qianxue sighed, “This person possesses extraordinary talent and has ascended to level 6. They are likely capable of dominating the entire forest now.”
Mo Yi shrugged, saying, “Well, I can’t match their strength. I’ll just have to lay low. Someone like them probably won’t be interested in my identity card.”
Nangong Qianxue nodded and added, “You’re right. I have a feeling it might be the Third Prince.”
Mo Yi nodded and said, “Probably.”
Nangong Qianxue finished her grilled fish and departed, while within the secret realm, every moment was fiercely contested.
Individuals like Mo Yi, who were disinterested, resembled Zheng Xuan, who was actively searching for others with less enthusiasm.
Lou Feng observed the peculiar phenomenon in the sky, clenching his lips with envy.
“Someone has actually ascended to the sixth rank,” Lou Feng muttered through gritted teeth.
“First Prince, please don’t be impatient. You’ve already reached the pinnacle of the fifth rank. I believe your advancement is imminent,” one of Lou Feng’s companions reassured him.
Lou Feng himself understood his situation well. The time to reach the peak of the fifth rank was not too distant, yet there remained a considerable gap between the fifth and sixth ranks.
Inside the Star Beast Lair, Lou Yu stretched his limbs. In the past, during his fifth rank, the older generation’s experts considered him talented, but merely saw potential in him.
Overcome with excitement, Lou Yu raced to the mountaintop. It seemed as though he wished to release all the pent-up frustration within him as he unleashed a resounding, echoing howl carried away by the wind.
Lou Yu took deep breaths and continued to shout. The long-held grievances within him appeared to dissipate with each echoing cry.
A resounding, robust howl echoed through the forest, bold and powerful, audible to everyone within the woods.
Lou Feng, already wearing a frown, further furrowed his brows. “It’s Lou Yu. The one who advanced is Lou Yu.”
Sensing the heavy tension surrounding Lou Feng, none of the students by his side dared to speak.
Lou Feng clenched his fists tightly. How could this be? Lou Yu was indeed talented, but his training speed had already slowed down due to the injuries sustained during the sneak attack years ago. How could he advance to the sixth rank so quickly?
Lou Feng’s frown deepened as memories from the past flooded his mind. When he was young, despite receiving favor from the royal father, he couldn’t compare to Lou Yu in terms of cultivation. At level 2, Lou Yu was already at level 3.
Lou Yu, despite being younger, consistently outpaced him in cultivation progress.
How many times had he gritted his teeth and resented Lou Yu? How often had he felt unjust? But it had all been in vain. In the eyes of the officials, only the gifted Lou Yu mattered. He was insignificant.
This situation endured until Lou Yu suffered severe injuries, causing his cultivation speed to plummet, finally allowing Lou Feng to catch up.
Were the nightmares of the past few years on the verge of repeating themselves? Lou Feng ground his teeth, his fingertip piercing his palm, with fresh blood dripping onto the ground.