Chapter 100: Core Protégé Tournament (1)
After Lu Qingyun’s heart-stopping fortuitous encounter with Qin Keqin, he did not have any chances to be alone with her. It was because the day of the core protégé martial tournament was soon due and the grand elders had been requesting her to attend one clan meeting after another.
Qin Keqin was also not serious about confining him and she had sent Lie Xingyuan to tell him that he should not be practicing day in and night out in the practice chamber. Instead he should relax and take a stroll around the premises.
It was a big hint to him that she was not upset with him.
In fact she was back to her usual self and they were even exchanging playful glances in the days that had followed when Lie Xingyuan was not looking their way.
Soon it was now the day of the martial tournament and there were eighteen core protégés that would be competing against one another.
Among them, were Lu Qingyun and Zhang Gang, the newly joined core protégé who had joined on the same day as him.
Leng Qiuyue was among the eighteen core protégés and when she saw Lu Qingyun, she stole him a glance before she averted her eyes.
Qin Keqin, the grand elders, Elder Yin and the rest of the elders had the best seating positions while thousands of protégés were crowding around the stage as they cheered for their favorite core protégés.
This was the most anticipating day that all the protégés were waiting for. Many of them had actually placed side bets on the possible winners.
The highest bets were naturally on Nangong Yu of the Red Heaven Sword Hall. It was because he was an initial fourth realm expert.
The highest odds were of course on Senior Brother Lu Qingyun. Highest odds mean that Lu Qingyun was the most likely to lose and the payout of him winning was naturally the highest. After all, only a fool did not know that he was a first realm cultivator and it was considered to be quite foolish to be placing a bet on him winning the outcome of this martial tournament.
However there were some supporters who were with him on the experiential mission and they had placed some bets on him. It was not because they had believed that Lu Qingyun would win but they had placed the bets out of faith so that the outlook on him would not look so terribly bad. After all, Lu Qingyun had once saved their lives.
Although Lu Qingyun had ‘saved’ their lives but the survivors of the experiential mission had all thought that it was due more to luck than any real skill.
If it were not for Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue, could Lu Qingyun even have the chance in the first place?
Qin Keqin was smiling excitingly as she looked at the stage. Her enthralling smiles grew even more beautiful when she had spotted Lu Qingyun.
“Xingyuan, do you think that my Yun’Er will be able to win today?”
Leng Xingyuan said quietly, “Win or lose, in my heart senior brother is the most outstanding.”
Qin Keqin smiled but at the same time, she had stolen a quiet glance at Yin Shisi.
Although it had appeared to Lu Qingyun and Lie Xingyuan that she did not know about the recent events about Yin Shisi and why she had suddenly joined the clan, she was only pretending.
How could she possibly not know by now?
The gossips were flying all over about Yin Shisi and Lu Qingyun. Moreover there was Xuan Danfeng who was secretly feeding her with the latest gossips in New Empyrean City.
Even if Xuan Danfeng did not give her a timely update, there was Shi Guanyin who had suddenly become her confidant and was updating her about the recent events.
She was naturally shocked but had kept quiet over it.
She had thought, “Since this Yin Shisi is a junior sister of my Sister Xingyuan, I shall adopt a wait and see approach. If she has any tricks like that Qiuxiang Huan, I’ll like to experience it firsthand.”
Qin Keqin was the Devil Goddess. She was not afraid of the tricks of her opponents. Rather, she thought that it would be interesting to know the tricks that were in their sleeves.
This was something that her sister saintesses had warned her several times but this was something that she had never pay any heed.
Although she may appear to be extremely foolish and got into many near death experiences in the past but due to her worldly experiences, it was extremely difficult to fool her eyes nowadays.
Yin Shisi did not know that Qin Keqin had been spending the past several days to observe her quietly. In fact, Qin Keqin and Shi Guanyin were even in conspiracy with each other. Shi Guanyin had pretended to request for Qin Keqin to attend some clan meetings but in fact, there were none to speak of.
But Qin Keqin was soon bored of spying upon Yin Shisi because she was too ‘perfect’ and ‘boring’. Yin Shisi was polite to everyone and she had spent almost all her time in her cultivation.
Qin Keqin was really good in observing the body languages of her opponents and she knew instantly if that person was a secret foe. But no matter how hard she had observed Yin Shisi, it was difficult to find a flaw in her quiet demeanor.
She had even sent a secret transmission to the Heavenly Temptress, “Aunt, this protégé of yours…what are her weaknesses? I can’t seem to find any faults…”
Lie Qing simply replied, “Then don’t and don’t you bully her. She has a good nature and has a good chance to be a saintess in the future.”
Qin Keqin protested weakly, “I didn’t say anything about bullying her…”
But Lie Qing had already turned off the transmission.
Qin Keqin: …
The center of attraction was on the core protégés that were at the stage but for the majority of the thousands of protégés, they were secretly looking from time to time toward the direction of Qin Keqin, Yin Shisi and Ouyang Xue.
Moreover Shi Guanyin, Yun Xing and Lie Xingyuan who were sitting near them were also extraordinary beautiful.
Qin Keqin turned to ask Yin Shisi with a smile, “Elder Yin, who do you think will top the core protégé competition? Will it be Lu Qingyun?”
Yin Shisi pondered for a while before she answered quietly, “I really do not know.”
Qin Keqin rolled her eyes as she thought, “I’ve thought that she is going to say it will be my Yun’Er…”
Shi Guanyin was laughing jovially, “I’m so sorry to disappoint everyone here but my core protégé Nangong Yu will emerge the victor of this competition.”
Kong Guxin laughed, “Isn’t that a little too early to say that? My core protégé Cheng Wuzi is also a fourth realm expert.”
Ouyang Xue said quietly, “Senior Brother Lu will win the competition.”
Qin Keqin, Yin Shisi, Lie Xingyuan: …
Yun Xing chuckled, “He will probably be the first to be kicked out…”
Shi Guanyin was laughing as she looked at Qin Keqin, “Sect leader, are you sure about it? The reward this time will sure be a shocker. Are you sure that you want to use it for this martial competition?”
Qin Keqin chuckled softly, “Of course! Consider this my donation to the clan! It is our duty to groom the next generation.”
Shi Guanyin and the rest of the grand elders were smiling weakly when they had heard her. How could she be so casual about it? This reward was a monstrous treasure to the second tier celestial clan like the Heavens Ridge Villa and she had made the donation just like this?
She smiled weakly and she was muttering to herself, “I wonder if sect leader has more of these…”
Mu Han and Wang Ming were quiet. It was because they had little hope that their core protégés would excel in this martial competition. As a matter of fact, they had secretly placed bets on Nangong Yu to win…
Mu Han was extremely quiet because he was feeling uneasy sitting around the sect leader. He had gossiped to Yun Xing about Qin Keqin and Lu Qingyun but it turned out that Yun Xing had told all the grand elders about it.
Now he was really afraid that he may lose his life at a moment notice especially now that Fairy Jade Light may be in New Empyrean City. Maybe the acting leader would not silence him but Fairy Jade Light might do so!
Below the stage, Elder Ouyang and several of the elders were checking on the headcount of all the core protégés.
As Elder Ouyang walked past Lu Qingyun, he whispered in his old voice. “Brother Lu, I hope that that you can shine in this competition! Don’t answer me. They are all watching…”
Elder Ouyang sighed softly as he walked off. To think that Lu Qingyun had almost become his son-in-law. Until now, he had no idea why Lu Qingyun had rejected his daughter who was one of the top twenty great beauties of New Empyrean City. Although Lu Qingyun was only a first realm cultivator but he was sure to shine in the future, especially with the aid of his daughter.
Elder Ouyang raised his profound strength as he shouted mightily, “We have eighteen core protégés here and the martial competition will start very soon after the ballot has been decided. The result of this year martial competition will determine the new ranking of our core protégés.”
Then he looked up to the stage above, “This year we have our Acting Sect Leader Qin Keqin to preside over the core protégé martial tournament. The top three ranked core protégés will receive an extra allocation of the clan resources for their cultivation. And the winner will receive the Divine Profound Pill.”
Everyone was gasping excitingly.
“The Divine Profound Pill!”
“If only I can have one too…”
“Only a core protégé has the chance to obtain it. We can only admire secretly…”
“I wonder which lucky core protégé will be able to obtain it?”
“Nangong Yu and Cheng Wuzi are the two most likely candidates…”
“I think Senior Brother Lu has a good chance too,” a female protégé said.
“Impossible!” a male protégé gently rebuked her. “He only has a handsome face but he is actually a good-for-nothing cultivator…”
“Shh…don’t say it so loud. Our acting leader is here today…”
All the core protégés were quite startled that the reward this time was so such a treasure and they were all secretly moved…
Leng Qiuyue who had no prior interest was also moved as she moved her lips silently, “The Divine Profound Pill…”
Even Lu Qingyun was startled. This Divine Profound Pill was a wondrous divine pill that could strength the meridians of the cultivator. If any master practitioners were to take it then they would be able to advance to a third realm enlighten celestial immediately.
If it was taken by a higher realm cultivator, the benefits would also be boundless as it would solidify their spiritual strength.
In the book of alchemy, the Divine Profound Pill was a shining small blue pill that condensed the translucence might of the purest profound energies. Countless heavenly dews of the spiritual mountains were needed for even one Divine Profound Pill to form.
Although it was not so rare in the rich spiritual peaks of the first tier celestial clans but to the cultivators that dwelled in the second and third tier regions, this was a heaven-defying pill that the first tier celestial clans were unwilling to sell or give.
Lu Qingyun wanted this divine pill as well but it was not to strengthen his cultivation core but because he needed this divine pill to create a rare sixth realm divine pill. It was one of the necessary ingredients from the recipe that his old master had left behind.
This sixth realm recipe was something that his old master and he had created together. They had called it the Heaven-Defying Profound Pill because it could manifest the golden aura of a fifth realm golden celestial without a need to attain to the fifth realm level.
It was his dream as well as his late old master dream that they could prove that this Heaven-Defying Profound Pill could actually be possible. It was the holy grail of their alchemy skills.
Therefore this only increased his fighting will and of course he was also determined to show off in front of Keqin.
All of a sudden Nangong Yu was heard whispering coldly to him on his back, “Senior Brother Lu, you have better prayed that your opponent isn’t me or I will surely thrash you like a dog in front of my junior sister Qiuyue.”
Nangong Yu simply disliked Lu Qingyun because he could still vividly remembered the concern that Leng Qiuyue had shown to Lu Qingyun on the day that Old Saint Wen had ‘visited’ the Heavens Ridge Villa. To him, Leng Qiuyue was destined to belong to him and no one else!
Lu Qingyun turned around to smile weakly but before he could say anything, Leng Qiuyue had coolly whispered between them, “Maybe you will be the one that will be beaten up by Senior Brother Lu like a dog.”
There was a flush of anger in Nangong Yu’s eyes as he angrily said in a low voice, “Just you wait! Who is dog, is just too early to be said!”
He was really angry that Leng Qiuyue was actually defending an outsider and not defending him who was from the same Red Heaven Sword Hall as her.
We are at the 100 Chapter now. Thanks to the readers for all the supports^^. We are now near the end of the first story arc where the powerhouses and characters of New Empyrean City are being introduced.
The second story arc will begin once the current martial competition has ended. Hopefully more laughs and fun to all the readers!:)