"Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!"
Thousands of crystal eyes hidden in various parts of the Yellow Wind Ridge started up, providing a clear shot of each and every corner.
The campus which used to be hustling and bustling was now utterly silent.
Everyone was logged into the Wasteland Battle Network through the crystal processors to watch the match live.
"Hurry up, the match is about to start! 1 vs 2000, Li Yao is definitely going to be trampled upon, devastated, hung up and beaten!"
Whether they were in a dormitory, classroom, canteen, or playground, all of the students on campus had formed groups of two or three so that their heads were leaning against each as they waited for the match to start with bated breath.
Meanwhile, 200 of the strongest experts of the Combat Department, under the leadership of the Iron Fist Club's President, Hua Tianxiong, and the Chaos Edge Hall's President, Xu Ge, were watching their younger brothers compete together in the auditorium of the Combat Department.
After the end of freshmen competition, it was the senior students turn to compete
"I just hope that this year's freshmen of your Chaos Edge Hall are a bit stronger, unlike last year's, who were not even able to hold on for five hours and were completely blown away by our Iron Fist Club. It was truly boring."
Hua Tianxiong spoke slowly and imperturbably while caressing his fists.
Xu Ge coldly laughed. The blade hanging on his waist slightly trembled as he retorted; he was reluctant to appear weak:
"Our Chas Edge Hall's freshman, Zhao Tianchong, has been pressing your Iron Fist Club's freshman, Lu Tieshan, on the newcomer rankings. This year, it will be you who is going to be blown away for sure!"
Last three minutes.
The 2,000 participants of Iron Fist Club and Chaos Edge Hall appeared through their respective large teleportation arrays at the base camps on the either side of the Yellow Wind Ridge.
In accordance with the rules of the match, the members of Chaos Edge Hall could only use the mass-produced Chainswords, Vibrosabers or other close combat magical equipment specified on the list.
The members of Iron Fist Club could only utilize the most common 1,300 spirit tattoos. They weren't allowed to utilize powerful secret tattoos.
In addition, the contestants weren't allowed to wear their own armor. All they could wear was the gray-colored light armor provided by the Institute.
One should not underestimate this armor. Even though it looked quite ordinary, it was top quality defense-class magical equipment. It was worth a lot. At a critical moment, it could release a powerful spiritual energy shield that could greatly mitigate the enemy attack.
As long as the attack did not exceed the full-force attack of a high-level Refinement Stage cultivator, the light armor would mitigate the damage by one-third.
Its effect was equivalent to the pink gel spouted by the puji critter during the Limit Challenge Competition. It would ensure the safety of the contestant.
More importantly, it was subtle, convenient, did not need some puji critter to fly over one's head, and most of all, there was no need to worry about accidentally damaging the puji critter, thereby losing the protection.
However, even though the light armor would mitigate the attack, the sensory array glyphs on the light armor would calculate the corresponding damage.
When the damage value reached a certain figure, the light armor would automatically apply different magnitudes of electric currents to the wearer which would correspond to different degrees of injuries.
And if it was "irreversible, chronic injuries", then the corresponding current would continue all the time.
The strongest current could even knock the contestant out, which would mean that the contestant had been killed in a second!
Last two minutes left until the start of the match.
In the VIP room, four Core Formation Stage powerhouses and several dozen Building Foundation Stage experts stared at hundreds of constantly flashing holograms with interest.
Especially when the crystal eyes swept through the 2,000 well-trained, powerful and grim-looking freshmen of the Chaos Edge Hall and Iron Fist Club, all of them, even more so, burst forth with a series of praises.
"This year's Combat Department's freshmen are very good. They are comparable to Peng Hai and Ding Lingdang!"
The Hundred Saber Alliance's vice president, Long Wenhui, was the Core Formation Stage powerhouse who had captured Demon King Pieu. However, at this moment, there wasn't even an iota of murderous aura emanating from him. His amazing cultivation was sealed tight such that not even the slightest trace of energy could escape from his body. He seemed just like a fat, middle-aged businessman. He smiled at an emaciated old man and continued, "It seems to me that the Iron Fist Club's leader, freshman Lu Tieshan, is from the Devil Fist Sect, am I right? Old Bai, congratulations! If my insight is right, if this kid is still alive after ten years, he will definitely be in the Building Foundation Stage!"
The emaciated old man was none other the Devil Fist Sect's Elder, and a Core Formation Stage powerhouse, Bai Mushen!
When Lu Tieshan's father was still among the living, he was Bai Mushen's favorite direct disciple. And after the death of his father, Bai Mushen directed Lu Tieshan and watched him grow up. In Bai Mushen's eyes, Lu Tieshan was no different than his grandson.
Today was Lu Tieshan's most important battle after having entered the university, so Bai Mushen specially came to watch the match. And the results did not let him down.
Although the match had yet to start, from Lu Tieshan's subtle movements, it was quite evident that he had advanced by leaps and bounds. As compared to the naive and ignorant juvenile from a year ago, he seemed to have been reborn completely; he had cast off his old self and taken on a new self.
However, what made Bai Mushen most gratified was Lu Tieshan's ability to command.
Under his leadership, 999 of the Iron Fist Club's freshmen strictly followed orders and prohibitions just like a true army.
This kind of leadership was even rarer than battle force.
However, Bai Mushen's eyes didn't reveal the slightest bit of smile as he spoke:
"Chaos Edge Hall's Student Zhao Tianchong is also a one-in-million cultivation genius. In my opinion, he will become an outstanding sword cultivator within ten years!"
"Zhao Tianchong is pretty good, but his parents are loose cultivators. If I am correct, then he will walk on the path of loose cultivators. Even if he joins some cultivation sect, it would absolutely not be the Hundred Saber Alliance as he is a pure sword cultivator!"
Long Wenhui sighed before smiling again, "However, I did not come just for Zhao Tianchong, there is yet another freshman who is also very interesting. He is none other Li Yao, who is taking part in the match on behalf of the Refining Department. Old Bai, in just a minute, you will need to pay attention to him."
"I have indeed heard of this Li Yao. He is one of the three experts among this year's freshmen. In the battle of Verdant Tarn City, his performance was shocking, if not crazy. Not only had he carried a Six Barrel Rotary Cannon while casually walking through the battlefield, he also had ten Hellfire-Lightnings strapped on his back, which he finally blasted a Six-Armed Naga to death with. He is indeed quite formidable!"
"However, from his combat videos, in my opinion, he is a very powerful refiner. He specializes in modifying and controlling heavy magical equipment."
"In the city battle, he had logistics support and also had the support of his teammates."
"However, now, all he can carry is a backpack full of magical equipment. He doesn't have any logistics support. Not to mention that inside the jungle and swamps, he will be encircled by 2,000 contestants. Can he fly to the high heavens?"
Bai Mushen disapprovingly said.
He was the most traditional body practitioner who only believed in fists. Even though he had seen Li Yao 's combat videos, he did not appreciate the combat method employed by Li Yao. Li Yao placed too much emphasis on magical equipment, a trait Bai Mushen did not appreciate.
Long Wenhui calmly smiled.
"Maybe, maybe not. In any case, at least Li Yao's appearance has added a small bit of variability to this match, which has been dull for over two decades. I believe that this year's match will be very exciting. Ah, only ten seconds are left before the game starts."
Last ten seconds to the start of the match.
Li Yao, through a small teleportation array, entered the Yellow Wind Ridge!
"Look, it's Li Yao!"
Three crystal eyes simultaneously turned towards Li Yao. All the holograms switched to different angles of his face in the blink of an eye. Tens of thousands of spectators in the campus had their eyes upon him; not bit of the expression on his face could be missed. Everyone was hoping to guess his plans from his expression.
However, everyone was disappointed.
Li Yao wore green jungle camouflage clothing. Even his face was painted with alternating yellow and green stripes, making it extremely difficult to discern even his eyes and nose, much less the expression on his face.
The only thing that could identify him as Li Yao was the weird magical equipment worn on his left ear. At present, many people were already aware that this thing was called a Demon Beast Detector, a reconnaissance-class magical equipment invented by Li Yao himself.
"Why is he wearing the Demon Beast Detector?"
Although the Yellow Wind Ridge was home to some demon beasts, they were of "ordinary" level. As far as cultivators were concerned, they were nothing more than clay chickens and pottery dogs. They could be easily killed; there was simply no need to take any kind of precautions for them.
Apart from the Demon Beast Detector, Li Yao had a bulging, standard-issue jungle backpack strapped to his shoulders as well as a short, double-edged scimitar hooked to his belt. Dressed in his neat and tidy jungle camouflage uniform, Li Yao didn't give any kind of impression of someone who had carried Six-Barrel Rotary Cannon and ten Hellfire-Lightnings during the battle of Verdant Tarn City.
"Li Yao's skills completely lie in heavy magical equipment. Without the Six-Barrel Rotary Cannon and Hellfire-Lightnings, he is unable to do anything and will be eliminated at once!"
Many people said it with certainty.
Making the best use of the last few seconds, Li Yao jumped and rotated his joints with all his concentration; stretching each and every strand of muscle to the limit.
At this instance, he was at the southernmost tip of the Yellow Wind Ridge.
Right behind him was the Iron Fist Club's base.
1,000 stalwart and tall fellows cast a covetous stare right at the back of his head.
Li Yao could not help but turn his head to take a glance, but all he saw was countless big and bulky fellows with their arms crossed, smiling at him.
"Fellow Student Li Yao, we all admire your spirit and courage, but this is a competition where our Iron Fist Club's honor is on the line, so we will show no mercy. We are gonna treat you just like a true evil expert and a spy, we will not hesitate to blast you away!"
From the base of Iron Fist Club came a coarse and unrestrained shout.
Li Yao pursed his lips before turning his gaze towards the front once again, peering at the mist-filled jungle.
In accordance with the rules of the match, Li Yao would be given a ten-minute head start. He would have to cut through the flatlands, jungle, and canyon, breach through the Chaos Edge Hall's base, and reach the northernmost tip, which was the contact point of the Starfire Union.
The distance between the starting point and the finishing point was 20.5 kilometers.
"Five...Four...Three...Two...One...Let the All-Freshmen Interdepartmental Thunderbolt Cup commence!"
When the starting signal was transmitted from the sky, the fierce group of Iron Fist Club members became even rowdier.
As for Li Yao, he turned a deaf year to everything, took a deep breath, bent his legs, and ran like hell!
His attitude was quite strange. It seemed as if he was frightened and fleeing in panic like a centipede, but on the other hand, he was also like a poisonous snake that was quietly moving around as it slowly crawled its way towards its prey. With each step, all the joints in his body would twist, making it difficult to distinguish whether he was running away or attacking.
Nevertheless, his speed was incredibly fast. In a blink of an eye, he had already cut through the two-kilometer-long flatlands and made his way into the jungle.
His ten-minute head start was quickly over.
"We don't want to have any kind of conflict with Chaos Edge Hall for now. First of all, we have to find Li Yao, eliminate him and obtain the jade chip!"
One thousand angry men from the Iron Fist Club madly roared as they ran out, seeming like a thousand ferocious tigers heading down the mountain as they charged into the jungle!