Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Once he had finished speaking, the True Man of the Purple Cloud rolled up his huge sleeves and distributed 200 whiffs of purple-colored Vital Energy with great accuracy. The whiffs of Vital Energy landed evenly above the heads of every young, excellent genius, forming a puff of mellow, circular wordings on top of their heads.
The wording that appeared above the heads of the Red Blood Palace students was “Red”. As for the students of the Purple Cloud Palace, the wording formed above their heads was “Purple”. It was the same for the students from other influences: the gases above their heads were formed according to the factions which they came from.
“If one party admits defeat or is defeated, the Purple Vital Energy will naturally gather above the winner’s head. When the competition finishes, results will be determined based on the amount of the Purple Cloud Vital Energy,” the True Man announced.
“The competition will last for a day. In the secret realm, if one admits defeat or encounters life-threatening circumstances, they will be transported outside, so there won’t be any great risks involved.”
Su Yu scowled when he heard that. “So now the style of the competition has been changed from arena to adventure?” he thought to himself.
It all sounded very fair and time-saving, and the ranking could be determined in just one day. However, the Purple Cloud Secret Realm was the private property of the Purple Cloud Palace, so the students of the Purple Cloud Palace would be far more familiar with the environment than the other participants. They would use their familiarity with the topography their own advantage, so seemed to have the upper hand. Had Mo Tianxuan actually agreed to such an unfair competition?
“Besides,” the True Man of the Purple Cloud glanced at the surroundings. “Everyone with the Purple Cloud Vital Energy can take part in the competition, regardless of your identity.”
The realization finally struck Su Yu. As Mo Tianxuan’s close servants, Su Yu, Bing Wuqing, Gongsun Wuxie, and Bai Shanliang all had the Purple Cloud Vital Energy above their heads, meaning that they had every right to participate in the competition.
On the other hand, the rest of the factions had brought an excessive number of excellent students, who had not received any of the Purple Cloud Vital Energy. The difference in the ways they were treated darkened the faces of many people-in-charge of the factions.
“Dare I ask, True Man, why didn’t a part of our students receive the Purple Cloud Vital Energy?” a white-faced, middle-aged scholar enquired respectfully, holding a white painted fan in his hand as he stared in Su Yu’s direction. His words represented the injustice that was felt by other faction managers.
What privilege did the Red Blood Palace have to receive ten extra quotas, while they became the exceptions?
The True Man of the Purple Cloud replied with indifference. “The secret realm could only accommodate a certain number of people, hence the arrangement. If you wish to share the burden of the secret realm, those of the Soul Seizing Palace could choose not to take part.” His menacing overtone was clear and obvious.
The middle-aged scholar said, “It’s not that serious, True Man. Our faction was just curious. We’ll certainly comply with your arrangements.” He took a step back, looking placid and composed, but his grip on the painted fan was slightly tightened. Who else would dare to question True Man further?
Su Yu finally understood the reason Mo Tianxuan agreed to the unfairness of the competition being held in the form of an expedition. In, the Red Blood Palace could obtain ten extra quotas for their students to participate.
“All follow me to the secret realm.” The True Man’s feet left the ground as he strode into the cloudy sky, flying to the second mountain peak.
The summit of the mountain was a place with lingering clouds and mist, and the area within three miles was impenetrable to the naked eye. The spiritual energy at the summit was exceptionally thick and dense, possibly due to the mountain formation. Training for a day here was equivalent to ten days of training in the outside world.
Rare, expensive materials could be just about seen growing on the summit, and there were even some precious, uncommon creatures. Most importantly, a pressure was present near the summit, so aviation could not take place at the summit region, and the pace of walking would be slowed down as well.
Normally they could have flown across the summit, which only had a considerably narrow circumference, in the blink of an eye. But in this region, they would be no different from the mortal martial artists and had to walk instead.
“Get inside quickly, all of you. You only have one day’s time before you get transported out. If you fail to obtain any Purple Cloud Vital Energy by then, your ranking will fall out of the first hundred, and we are not to be blamed for not giving you the chance,” the True Man of the Purple Cloud said.
Everyone prepared to land. When they were a hundred feet above the ground, all of a sudden a tremendous pressure closed in on them from all directions. They began operating their Vital Energies to the best of their abilities, but the pressure could not be resisted, so they were forced to plummet from the sky. At the same time, the sideways pressure oppressed them to such a point that they deviated from their path. Many of the groups that had formed an alliance or were prepared to join forces were separated by force.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Sounds of collisions that were as intense as raindrops could be heard as the two hundred students participating in the selection fell from the sky.
From the ground, the blurry mist in this region was several times more concentrated than it had appeared to be from the sky. From above, one could see as far as a mile, but now that they were deep inside it, they discovered much to their shock that they couldn’t even see further than a hundred meters. Under such circumstances, it was extremely difficult for the separated groups to congregate once again. Searching recklessly would raise a commotion and easily expose one’s location.
After landing, Su Yu did not move about at all but immediately concealed his scent. Like a wooden plank, he stood still, completely motionless. All he did was adjust his five senses as best as he could to observe any nearby movements.
Very strangely, as the banging noises dissipated, the area around him quickly fell silent. It was so quiet that all that could be heard was the screeching of spiritual insects.
At least five individuals had landed within three miles of him, but there was not a hint of movement anywhere near him, indicating that they too, had noticed the uniqueness of the environment and dared not move.
Su Yu waited for half an hour, feeling as if he was the only person there. Right at that moment, a light whiff of spiritual energy fluctuation occurred 500 meters to his right.
Someone couldn’t stand the waiting any longer and had moved! A moment later, intense spiritual energy turbulence broke out, followed closely by vague and barely audible screams of agony which resonated in Su Yu’s ears.
Su Yu gave a silent sigh. The person who had moved first had been finished off.
Su Yu was about to move amidst the chaos to take shelter somewhere nearby when he suddenly came to a halt. “Something’s not right! I’ve nearly fallen into a trap!” he thought. He slowly retraced his steps and continued concealing his scent.
At that moment, three waves of spiritual energy fluctuation occurred in different directions. The three people were planning to leave the area by taking cover from the chaos, just as Su Yu had intended to do. However, right at that moment, a clear bright scream of misery reverberated through the clouds, accompanied by a loud growl, “Ahh! You played dirty!!”
“Too late!” Su Yu heard a familiar cold snort, and the person’s growling stopped very abruptly.
Shortly after, the entire fuzzy mist quivered lightly, and a gust of space power flashed past. Someone had most probably met their death and had been transported out.
The very first agonized scream was in fact, the disguise of a very cunning student who intentionally created the delusion of being attacked. His purpose was to lure people out from their hiding and get them to make some noise. As he had hoped, those hiding nearby were all lured out, with Su Yu being the only exception. One of them had even been assassinated.
A little while later, a chaotic commotion arose nearby. The two remaining people learned that it was a dirty trick, but they had exposed their scents and there was no necessity for them to hide anymore. They unleashed their spiritual powers and ran away at a flying speed. However, their actions also happened to suit the schemer’s intention.
“Hehe, none of you can run away!” The person had exceptionally fast body techniques. Another miserable scream sounded less than a moment later. That was soon followed by the faint sound of pleading from someone else.
Among the five people who had landed in the region at the same time, three of them had been eliminated very rapidly. This made Su Yu raise his guard.
“I have to prepare,” Su Yu thought to himself, rubbing his chin. When he heard the last faint wisp of imploring speech, he left the place immediately. Due to the considerably far distance between them, the spiritual energy fluctuation that he created wasn’t noticed by the mysterious individual.
Not long after he left, a dark-faced youth with a fierce look broke through the clouds and mist and appeared nearby. After searching the area, he narrowed his eyes and said, “The person who was here is quite cautious. He kept his cool even in such a tense environment and did not give away his scent. Nevermind, it’s more important to find Su Yuxian first. Senior Sister Tianyu has reminded me not to let him pass the selection.” He dived head-on into the blurry mist.
Su Yu had found his way surreptitiously to an old tree and quietly climbed up it. Thoughtfully, he gazed up into the sky. There are two difficulties in the Purple Cloud Secret Realm. Firstly, there is the pressure, which varies according to one’s cultivation and ensures that everyone loses the ability to move fast. They become just like mortals. The fastest speed is eight meters per second, and even climbing a tree becomes rigorous. Secondly, there is the fuzzy haze, which ensures everyone’s line of sight is less than a hundred meters. In that case, it is impossible to lie in ambush. Everyone has an equal chance of meeting another person. Su Yu realized that these two points actually created a relatively fair environment. It could prevent a bunch of weak individuals from joining together to fight the stronger candidates, causing the strong ones to be eliminated and the weak ones to be selected eventually.
Su Yu continued to analyze the situation. Besides, as the competition progresses towards the end, fewer targets could be chosen. There are 200 in total, theoretically, getting a whiff of the Purple Cloud Vital Energy will fully qualify one to enter the Glittering Jewel Wonderland. Once that goal is achieved, they will presumably find a place to hide and wait until the selection is over. Hence the more it progresses towards the end, the more disadvantageous the selection becomes. Moreover, this is provided that the strong individuals will not vie for the Purple Cloud Vital Energy more than once.
The way the mysterious individual had eliminated three people consecutively just now seemed to fit in with his theory.
After a round of analysis, Su Yu quickly realized what he needed to do. He had to obtain a whiff of the Purple Cloud Vital Energy in the first half of the day because the second half of the day involved high risks, and he would likely encounter situations in which he could not locate the traces of his enemies.
Before he jumped into action, Su Yu tried to use his Soul Eye to slowly unleash his Transparent Eye. As a result, Su Yu’s eyes shone brightly. The Transparent Eye could penetrate the area of a thousand meters, expanding his visual field ten-fold. This thousand-meter distance could ensure that Su Yu noticed his enemy before they spotted him. Better still, he could set up an ambush in advance.
With this pair of eyes, Su Yu gained a great sense of confidence. He leaned against the tree trunk and lifted his gaze to glance at the surroundings, seeing right through the thousand-meter area with him as the central point.
There was no one around. After making sure, Su Yu climbed down the tree and worked out the direction he was facing. He seemed to have landed at the southernmost part of the secret realm, whereas the majority of people had landed at the central region.
“It seems like the central region is the main battlefield,” Su Yu thought. After determining the direction in which he needed to travel, he headed to the central region immediately.
Two hours later, one-sixth of the day had passed. Including the earlier one-hour delay, one-quarter of the time had passed already. Su Yu had to find a target in the next two hours; otherwise, he would be at a disadvantage if he waited until the next half of the day.
Su Yu walked for a few dozen miles, After two hours of trudging over lands and water, he finally arrived at the border of the central region.
Along the way, he discovered quite a number of places with traces of fighting, so he had a reason to believe that someone must have been eliminated at every place. This fueled Su Yu’s desire to find a target to strike.
All of a sudden, Su Yu felt an intense wave of spiritual energy fluctuation. Turning his head, Su Yu leaped onto a large rock with the agility and liveliness of a rabbit and observed his surroundings through his Transparent Eye.