Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Zhao Yinghao sneered as he asked, “Isn’t it too early to get excited? Don’t forget that the Soul Seizing Palace’s elder still hasn’t tested the top ten!”
His words caused all of the Yuan family members to stiffen. They had let the excitement go to their heads, so they had almost forgotten this matter.
“Welcome Elder Liao.” Zhao Yinghao shouted loudly as he and the red-nosed middle-aged man went over to an area behind the martial arts plaza.
Surprise appeared on the Yuan Family’s Master’s face, and he immediately stepped forward, knelt down on one knee, and welcomed him respectfully.
The expression of Pojun, who wasn’t on the stage, became grave as he exclaimed, “This is awful! This matter is not at all reassuring, as Elder Liao has a private relationship with the Elixir Production Alliance, and even though it won’t affect the fairness of this competition, he still has the final say in the assessment.”
He then shook his head and added, “If he feels like Zhao Yin’s talent is outstanding, none of us will win. Then, we won’t get the market, and the outer party won’t get the old man.”
The facial expressions of the Yuan family members who were cheering just a moment ago became gloomy, and most of their previous delight completely disappeared. Su Yu’s gaze also became slightly grave as he thought to himself… Elder Liao? Could it really be a coincidence?
At that moment, a demonic cloud descended from the sky. A wizened old man, who was wearing a black robe, walked out of the cloud. It was Elder Liao, and he wore a faint smile as he gazed at the crowd.
“Greetings, Soul Seizing Palace’s elder,” all of the martial artists greeted him respectfully, and it seemed like Elder Liao enjoyed seeing such a sight.
When his gaze fell on the arena, and he saw the unconscious Zhao Yin and the pale Zhao Yinghao within it, he raised his brows and understood instantly what had happened here.
This is strange! Did the Elixir Production Alliance lose? Did even Zhao Yin lose? Did a powerful person appear in the Yuan family? Elder Liao wondered all of these things as he surveyed the scene before him.
He then looked at all of the Yuan family members, and while he was carefully observing them, he noticed a white-haired old man. Elder Liao’s pupils instantly contracted, while a look of intense greed burned flashed across them. It was as if he had just seen countless crystals before him.
As Su Yu was wearing a bamboo hat when they last met, Elder Liao didn’t know that Su Yu was no longer youthful looking, but now resembled an old man. As he looked at Su Yu and his aged appearance, he almost couldn’t bear to attack and capture him now.
However, Su Yu suddenly met his gaze. Su Yu was calm, composed, and seemed to possess a peerless confidence. A voice then transmitted to Elder Liao’s ears, asking, “I am quite good looking, right?”
Elder Liao, who was sizing Su Yu up at that moment, shivered in fright when he heard the mysterious voice. As fear welled up in his heart, he asked, “Master… I mean… Young master… It’s you? Where are you?”
Su Yu was using the Soul Imprint to communicate with him at the moment, and Su Yu calmly replied, “You know where I am! Aren’t you looking at me now?”
Huh? I’m looking at you? Elder Liao’s whole body shivered, and when he looked at Su Yu again, he found the latter wearing a faint smile and gazing directly into his eyes.
“Master? Is it really you?” Elder Liao stared at Su Yu in disbelief, but finally realized that this was indeed the truth as he gazed into Su Yu’s familiar eyes.
Su Yu replied calmly, “Yes. A problem appeared in my body, which caused this aged appearance.”
Having confirmed that it was indeed Su Yu, Elder Liao wanted to knock his head against a wall and kill himself. He wore an unsightly expression as he asked, “Young master, why didn’t you inform me of this earlier? I was almost scared to death!”
He assumed that he had found the Central Prefecture’s most wanted criminal and was about to get millions of crystals as a reward. He never would have expected that what he found was a source of disaster!
When he was just about to explain all of this through their soul communication, he suddenly heard Zhao Yinghao ask him in an odd tone, “Elder Liao, are you okay?”
Elder Liao’s whole body suddenly twitched, as if he had just suffered an epileptic fit. Seeing this, Zhao Yinghao was baffled.
Su Yu furrowed his brows, “Don’t mind him, you should first settle this matter.”
Elder Liao felt relieved from a great burden, and he turned to look at Su Yu and the Yuan family’s position, then said, “The top ten should step forward, so that I may test them one at a time.”
The hearts of the Yuan family members sank, as they knew that this public test would be just used to seek personal benefits for them. If the Yuan Family’s Master wasn’t afraid of the other party’s status, he would surely argue with him now. However, the family members had to wonder… Would the Soul Seizing Palace’s elder even bother to argue with him now?
After hearing Elder Liao’s command, the participants went back to the arena and lined up according to their rankings. Elder Liao started from the participant who was ranked tenth.
It seemed like Elder Liao’s sharp gaze could see through everything as he stated to the participant, “You are unqualified.”
After a second person came over, he shook his head calmly, also stating his qualifications to be inadequate. Such was also the case for the third participant, the fourth participant, and so on.
The contenders weren’t being chosen like they had been in the past. Instead, in this meet, a person’s martial strength was comprehensive of all his aspects and talents.
This same pattern continued on until the eighth contender, Yuan Wanbi was up. She was presently ranked third.
Her heart throbbed intensely, but she forced herself to keep calm. As she had a beautiful posture, she hoped that her appearance would increase her odds of succeeding and being approved.
When Elder Liao came over to her, he hesitated slightly. Hw wondered to himself… This woman is from the Yuan family. So… Should I help her?
After he mulled it over, he decided that it would be inappropriate. After all, if his master wanted him to help her, he would have told him so. Elder Liao’s obvious pause left all of the people on the edge of his seats.
They were all wondering what he would say next. Yuan Wanbi’s heart felt like it was about to explode out of her chest, as she was waiting to hear his verdict as well.
“You are unqualified,” Elder Liao announced bluntly. His face was expressionless as he passed by Yuan Wanbi calmly, leaving her with a frozen and stiff smile on her face.
The next contender was Zhao Yin. The Yuan Family’s Master sighed, while resigning himself to whatever outcome may arise.
Zhao Yin had an impressive talent for cultivation. As such, it was impossible for even Elder Liao to overlook such a talented youth. Thus, it would be reasonable for him to be chosen.
Zhao Yinghao heaved a sigh of relief as he thought about Zhao Yun. It was fortunate that Zhao Yin had worked hard in his martial path cultivation and had not disgraced him. This meant that they could still regain their dignity, and even though they hadn’t managed to get the old man, they had still managed to keep the market.
If they had lost the market, the Elixir Production Alliance would have sustained immeasurable losses. In fact, its very foundation might have been shaken!
All of the people here were having the exact same thoughts at the moment. Then, what happened next utterly shocked them all. As they looked on, they saw Elder Liao completely ignore the unconscious Zhao Yin, who was lying on the ground. Instead, he went straight to Yuan Yingying, who was standing in the first position spot.
He smiled as he praised her, “Not bad for a young girl. You were able to defeat a Level Two Fairy with just a Three Crystals Half Fairy Realm cultivation. Usually, only the Soul Seizing Palace’s most famous disciples could achieve such a thing! You have won my admiration, and if you continue working hard in the Soul Seizing Palace and manage to advance into the Fairy Realm, I will give my inner sanctum’s entry recommendation quota to you.”
Everyone was shocked by this. He hadn’t just ignored Zhao Yin, but he had unexpectedly praised Yuan Yingying! However, what really shocked the crowd was that Elder Liao wanted to recommend her to enter the inner sanctum! Such a thing was unheard of within the rest of the Blue Mountain Range’s factions!
It was rumored that once a disciple was able to join the inner sanctum, he would surely achieve a meteoric success, and his cultivation would reach at least the Divine Master Realm. Then, even if he was mediocre, he would still reach the late stage of the Fairy Realm with ease!
All of the people who achieved such a feat were considered dragons among men. Moreover, the Soul Seizing Palace outer sanctum’s elders had just a single recommendation quota, and they would often leave it to their unofficial disciple instead of gifting it to outsiders.
Even the Elixir Production Alliance didn’t get to enjoy such privileged treatment. So, needless to say, all of the people were understandably shocked. They couldn’t help but wonder… Did the Soul Seizing Palace’s Elder Liao run into a ghost today?
After all, his close, personal relationship with the Elixir Production Alliance wasn’t a secret, yet he still ignored Zhao Yin on this day. Not only that, but he also bestowed great favor upon the Yuan family! Some of the people felt like they had been transported to an alternate universe as they secretly wondered… Did the sun rise from the west today?
It wasn’t just the audience that was shocked, as even the Yuan Family’s Master and many elders were dumbstruck. This matter had developed quickly and had caught all of them by surprise.
At that moment, the Yuan Family’s Master widened his eyes. He was honestly beginning to suspect that Elder Liao had forgotten to take his medication before leaving home!
Zhao Yinghao was also stunned, and he couldn’t help but wonder… What is Elder Liao doing?
Yuan Wanbi was also perplexed by his behavior. She wondered to herself… Will my younger sister join the inner sanctum and experience a meteoric rise in power and status?
After all, even the Shangguan family wasn’t really on par with the Soul Seizing Palace’s inner sanctum. Yuan Wanbi felt like she had just witnessed her younger sister unfolding her wings and flying into the sky, while Yuan Wanbi herself remained standing on the ground, like a mere mortal, forced to look up to her.
What her younger sister had said would happen really had occurred. It certainly seemed that she would have to look up to her younger sister one day in the near future, begging her to recognize her as her elder sister.
Yuan Yingying’s reaction was quite calm and composed. She had already received many nice surprises recently, which made her feel quite satisfied, even serene.
“Elder Liao, many thanks for choosing me. I will surely not forget this,” Yuan Yingying said as she saluted him.
Elder Liao only chuckled in reply, but inwardly, he was thinking… Young master, my performance was acceptable, and I have clearly honored the Yuan family members enough by now.
However, someone here still didn’t want to give up peacefully, and it was at this moment that he spoke up and said, “Elder Liao, you still haven’t tested my son, Zhao Yin!” The speaker was Zhao Yinghao, and he was reminding him in almost a chiding manner.
Elder Liao’s expression stiffened, as he was angered by his tone and boldness. Elder Liao seethed with anger in his heart and wondered… Why is this guy being such a jerk? Can’t he tell that I’m trying to put on a good face?
Elder Liao hardened his heart towards him and spoke asked a deep voice, “Which one is Zhao Yin? Is he the same trash that I have been hearing about… Who was knocked down by someone whose cultivation was lower than his? My Soul Seizing Palace wouldn’t dare accept such a youth!”
His words baffled all of the people present, and they couldn’t help but wonder if the Yuan family offered him benefits to convince him to change sides. It was only now that Zhao Yinghao realized that Elder Liao was was really on the Yuan family’s side.
He wanted to go settle the score with him right then and there, but as Elder Liao turned to face him, with his back to the audience, Zhao Yinghao noticed that Elder Liao had his seemed to shoot him a stealthy, meaningful look. It almost seemed as if he was afraid of something.
This startled Zhao Yinghao, who gave up his plan to confront him on the spot. At the same time, his mood instantly improved. After all, judging by the strange look that he had given him just now, it appeared that Elder Liao didn’t really switch to the Yuan family’s side.
There must be some explanation for his behavior. Zhao Yinghao breathed a sigh of relief and promised himself that he would get the exact details from Elder Liao later.
The Yuan Family’s Master wore a faint smile as he asked, “Zhao Yinghao, since it has ended like this, shouldn’t you honor our agreement?”
Zhao Yinghao felt humiliated by his words, and hatred welled up in his heart. If they lost such an important market to the Yuan family, they would become more powerful. Then, it would be quite difficult to to keep them in check later on.
However, as Elder Liao was clearly being threatened by someone at the moment, Zhao Yinghao knew that he was incapable of helping him. Hence, he realized that he was powerless about the current situation and could only bear it.
“I always keep my word and honor my commitments, so take it. Here is the deed to the market.” Zhao Yinghao threw the deed at him.
The Yuan Family’s Master wore a smile as he accepted it. At the moment, he felt joyful and carefree. They had finally turned the tables after being suppressed for half a century!
“Let’s leave!” The infuriated Zhao Yinghao grabbed Zhao Yin by the collar and left.
As he passed by them, he took a deep look at Yuan Yingying and Su Yu. One of them was the Yuan family’s peerless genius, while the other one was the Central Prefecture’s most wanted criminal. He determined right then and there that he must kill both of them, no matter the cost!