After a moment's thought, Zheng Yilin walked over to Xia Jingyu with a pleasant, warm smile. "Jingyu, have you thought about what we discussed earlier?".
Xia Jingyu raised her eyes, her blush faded. She regarded Zheng Yilin cooly, unfazed by the fame and power he possessed; "Thank you, Senior Zheng, for your kindness But, please call me Junior Sister or Miss XiaI don't want anyone to think we're closer than we truly are."
One month ago, Zheng Yilin had hinted to Xia Jingyu that he could demonstrate his Holy Decree for her to watch and learn.
His condition regarding the demonstration, however, was that they deepen their bond together.
The real meaning behind his words was less innocent; Xia Jingyu had to agree to become his girlfriend or fiance before he would demonstrate his Holy Decree to her.
In theory, the offer wasn't unfairthe Holy Decree was magnificent. Among ten thousand geniuses, only one or two unique geniuses would ever comprehend the Holy Decree.
In the vast and boundless Fenglin empire, talented people other than the monarch would appear, from time to time; but how many Holy Decree comprehenders would appear?
The Holy Decree was preciouseven very close blood-relatives may not pass it on to one another.
Since Zheng Yilin's sacrifice was huge, he expected some form of retributionas was normal in such transactions.
It was a pity, however, that Xia Jingyu had initially rejected himhowever tactfully.
Now she rejected him againfirmly.
Both his offer and his attempt to use 'Jingyu' rather than her full nameshe had rejected it all, coldly and firmly. Xia Jingyu had squashed any potential for any sort of relationship.
Xia Jingyu breathed out, slowly; were all men the same? In her heart, she felt irritated. Beauty was, indeed, a blessing as much as a curse; she could suffer no friendships with men without fielding unwanted advances and inordinate ambitions.
An example was Zheng Yilin. He had always seemed true and innocent in his friendshiptruly, he had hidden his intentions well within his mind and soul, hidden for two long years from Xia Jingyu.
He had initially used his identity as a Senior to become friends with Xia Jingyu it wasn't apparent to her that he had any ulterior motives; Xia Jingyu thought that she finally had a male friend that she could open her heart to.
However, when he managed to comprehend the Holy Decree a few months ago, he became high-spirited and daring. He felt he had a chance to become the Holy Kinghe got cocky and condescending. Moreover, he also felt that Housemaster Xia regarded him with respect.
He became someone who no longer preserved his clean and honest friendship with Xia Jingyu carefully. Instead, over-confident and entitled, he revealed his true desires.
It started as subtle hints. Then, his behavior became increasingly erratic until, finally, the whole affair peaked with his presumptuous request proposed to Xia Jingyu a mere month ago.
After that, they had drifted farther apart each day.
Zheng Yilin was an "igniter." As he gained more confidence, he revealed the dark side that was hidden within him, including the greedy eyes he had cast on Xia Jingyu.
As she walked away gracefully, Xia Jingyu sighed in her heart; there wasn't a single decent man in the world
As she lamented, a purple-shirted silhouette appeared in her mind.
Like Zheng Yilin, Su Yu had managed to comprehend the Holy Decree. However, Su Yu had not asked for anything in return when he passed his Holy Decree on to Xia Jingyu. Not only that, he passed on all his Holy Decree to herhe didn't leave anything behind.
From the start, Su Yu had looked at Xia Jingyu with crystal clear eyesfree of dirty thoughts. His eyes only contained gratitude, uncorrupted by presumptuous thoughts.
All because of a bow she had bestowed upon himall that innocent gratitude sprung from that single moment.
As she thought of that, Xia Jingyu could no longer hold her laughter in; she laughed for a bit. Her laughing face was like a flowerfree and natural, holy and pure, and extremely beautiful.
Actually, there was a decent man. Wasn't he right by her side?
Her heart started to feel at ease and she looked towards the silhouette of Su Yu. She suddenly realized how agreeable she felt towards the notion of marrying Su Yu.
When Su Yu was by her side, she would feel enriched and at ease.
Zheng Yilin glared at Su Yu coldly; "Humph! What is so great about someone who has just managed to comprehend the Holy Decree? Comparing our levels of the Holy Decree, he would not last beyond one attack of mine!"
There was a commotion at the arena's entrance.
As the audience stretched their heads to look at the entrance, thirteen middle-aged men with frightening abilities entered the arena successively.
Many demon students made noises of admiration as they recognized the inspector, who had jurisdiction over their own training institute!
Su Yu noticed Fang Yun, who was among these men!
It was Fang Yun who had bent the rules and caused Su Yu to be expelled.
Hatred still boiled in Su Yu's heart for Fang Yun.
As for the other twelve men, without question, they were also inspectors from the Sanctuary!
The appearance of the thirteen men from the Sanctuary had caused the audience to be extremely excited.
It was said that every person from the Sanctuary was a legendary mythological figure, and it was rare to see even one of themas they would disappear in the next instant. However, thirteen of them had appeared in the flesh!
Moreover, after the thirteen mythological figures entered the arena, all of them stood at both sides of the entrance in respect of someone yet to enter.
They bowed their noble heads in respect and dared not breathe too heavily.
It seemed like they were welcoming someone supreme and frightening!
The arenafull of ten thousand peoplegradually became silent.
The strange actions of the thirteen mythological figures filled the audience with fear.
Amidst the strange silence, the sound of light footsteps could be heardit was as if feet stepped across the hearts of all in the arena.
The sound of the footsteps was sometimes loud, sometimes soft; it was hard for the audience to find out how far away the supreme person was from the arena.
Su Yu's heart shook. What kind of powerful martial artist was able to create that kind of illusion?
The loud and soft sound of the footsteps finally stopped.
At the entrance of the arena, there was an old man wearing clothing composed of flowers.
The old man was eighty years old. He had white hair and gray sunken cheeks as if he was near death.
Although his eyes were old, they were so bright they astonished the audience.
Su Yu merely looked at him for a moment and, as a result, he felt a stab of pain in his eyes which caused him to look elsewhere immediately.
As for the audience, they experienced the same thing as Su Yuthey were unable to look at the old man directly!
Su Yu's heart shookhe was shocked. Could it be that this man was the Holy King?
"Welcome, Minister!" The thirteen respected inspectors knelt down on the floor onto one knee and welcomed the Minister in unison respectfully.
Their voices were so resonant that it pierced the Heavens.
Their voices were so respectful that it went straight to the Heavens, extremely far away.
That old man was one of the Nine Great Ministers of the Sanctuary.
The Holy King was training wholeheartedly and had no time to manage worldly affairs. As such, all the worldly affairs were managed by the nine Ministers.
A sentence from every Minister had the ability to change the imperial court's cabinet. When they stomped their foot, Fenglin empire would tremble in fear three times over.
Even if the monarch was incapacitated with a serious illnessbedridden and in a comaif he somehow knew that the Minister was coming, he would still need to be there to welcome him on one knee.
Rustle, rustle, rustle
After hearing what was said, many martial artists quivered in fear. They also knelt down and welcomed the Minister.
Within Fenglin empire, in the martial artists' hearts, the Sanctuary was the Holy Land of the god of the martial artists.
The nine Ministerswhose positions were greatly respectedcarried out an existence so incredible that even the high martial arts masters bowed to them!
Amidst the ten thousand people who were kneeling to welcome him, the Minister entered the arena. He was the leader of the Nine Great Ministersthe Fiery Minister!
The Fiery Minister's face was expressionless. He walked towards the distinguished guest's platform and sat down on the seat of honor.
The thirteen inspectors were in awe of the Minister. All of them straightened their clothes and sat up properlythey dared not act recklessly.
The Fiery Minister lightly opened his mouth; "We can begin now."
His voice was resonant and clear as a bell the audience was left in awe.
Su Yu's body shivered vigorously, and his soul quivered.
Su Yu's pupils shrunk to needle-points.
Su Yu had felt the presence of a Level Eight before. During the battle at the Duke of Xianyu's palace, when the First Prince broke his amulet, a flaming shadow of a Level Eight appeared and its presence was comparable to that of the Minister.
The abilities of the Fiery Minister were definitely at the frightening Level Eight!
He was a frightening martial artist, only two steps away from being comparable to the Holy King!
Su Yu's heart was shakingit would not calm, even as time passed. The power of a Level Eight left even him unsettled!
The referee leaped into the arena; "The Holy Meet will officially begin now! All the participants will receive a Holy Order!" He declared.
With the sixteen dragons from the Royal Family and the hundred and thirty demon students from the martial arts training institutes of the thirteen prefectures, there were a total of hundred and forty-six people. They would go up the stage one by one and take a Holy Order randomly.
Su Yu got a Holy Order that was made with an uncommon material and the number nine carved on it.
After the participants came down from the stage, the referee took out a sealed black box.
He put his hands inside the black box and took out ten randomly chosen balls; each ball had numbers on it.
"The people who have these numbers will belong to the first group!"
"Number one, nineteen, twenty-three"
"The people who have these numbers will belong to the second group!"
"Number four, six, thirteen"
After half an hour, the hundred and forty-six participants in the arena were split into fifteen groups.
For the first fourteen groups, every group had ten people.
Only the last group had six people.
Moreover, Su Yu was assigned to the last grouphe only had five opponents!
After the assignment was complete, the referee loudly stated the procedure that would follow; "The first round will be an elimination round! The ultimate victor of every group will have the right to participate in the competition meant to decide who are the ten strongest martial artists."
After his speech, the audience burst into an uproar.
All their eyes landed on the last group.
There were only six peoplethe chances of any of them achieving first place in their group were higher than the other fourteen groups' chances.
Many demon students were envious of the group that Su Yu was in.
The First Prince sneered: "His luck is quite good. He's in the group with the best odds of coming out on tophe may actually make it to the final competition between the top ten!"
The Third Prince could not help but laughSu Yu was very lucky.
If Su Yu were in other groups with either Dong Lin or Du Yuntian, he would be surely eliminated. With his current placement, however, he had a chance at the top ten.
Zheng Yilin paid close attention to Su Yu and frowned; "You are lucky! You had better not come across me!"
Apart from the fact that his group was the smallest, there was another reason why Su Yu was so lucky.
Among the five group members, the martial artist with the strongest cultivation base was at Level Five Upper Tierthe weakest, a Level Four Peak!
With Su Yu's abilities, he had managed to kill the Level Five Upper Tier at Xianyu prefecturethere was nothing to worry about. He would surely succeed in attaining first place within his group.
The elimination round had officially begun.
At the distinguished guest's platform, the Fiery Minister and the thirteen inspectors' expressions were dull and undisturbed.
Even though the participants at the arena were the most outstanding ten great demon students from every prefecture of the empire, their fights did not manage to interest the Minister and the thirteen inspectors.
The elimination round between the fifteen groups begun at the same time.
In accordance with the rules, each group member had to fight every other group member at least once. As such, the elimination round lasted an inordinate amount of time.
One whole day passed.
"The elimination round for the fifteenth group has ended. The victor is participant number nine, Su Yu!" The referee declared abruptly.
The first king of the group had emerged!
The audience beneath the stage could not help but raise an uproar.
"What a lucky kid. The elimination rounds in the other groups are only half complete, and yet he successfully earned the right to participate in the next competition."
"He was even luckier than you thinkhis group members' abilities were common and not impressive. Apart from the Level Five Upper Tier, the rest of them were too weak. Even I would have been able to fight into the top fifteen."
"You should not underestimate him. Did you see his fight with the Level Five Upper Tier group member? He defeated him with one attack! That means he has the ability to fight someone of a higher tier than Level Five Upper Tier."
The First Prince sneered; "Even though he was lucky enough to get into the top fifteen, he is still a bottom feeder, and will only be disgraced in the end."
The Third Prince laughed but did not comment; instead, he focused his attention on Dong Lin.
With the emergence of the first king of their group, it was difficult for the distinguished guests to not look at him.
The first king of the group was someone of Level Five Lower Tier; all of them shook their heads secretly.
The Fiery Minister looked somewhere else indifferently.
Only Fang Yun was stunned.
On that day at the martial arts training institute, he had personally expelled Su Yu from of the training institute. He did not expect Su Yu's luck to be so amazing that he would manage to fight his way into the top fifteen!
Su Yu returned to the battle preparation area and observed the remaining fourteen groups' duels.
In particular, Du Yuntian, Zheng Yilin, and Dong Lin's performances were the most eye-catching!
The three of them were strong martial artists who were at Level Six.
In particular, Du Yuntian was a strong martial artist who was at Level Six Upper Tier!
Lin Xiao secretly slipped the Third Prince a scrap of paper without any preamble.
When the Third Prince looked at the paper, his whole body trembled in fear; his face paled!
His eyes were filled with anxiety. As he looked at Dong Lin still in the arenahis expression started to change.
Su Yu noticed the Third Prince's strange expression from the corner of his eye and was surprised. It was the first time he saw the Third Prince, who was usually so calm and composed, lose his composure.
"Third Prince, what's happened?" Su Yu walked to the Third Prince. As Su Yu approached the Third Prince, he realized the Third Prince's hands were shaking; the Third Prince's heart must have been extremely troubled.
The Third Prince had a poor expression as he handed the scrap of paper over to Su Yu; "Look at this. This is the information regarding Du Yuntian that I had Lin Xiao investigate."