Chapter 71 Enemies Often Cross Paths, A Dual Dose. (2)
Lin TianAo nodded and said: “That is definitely the choice of all the other teams, that is to ensure that we maintain sufficient strength to beat all the other Empires’ teams to get into the top eight.”
“After all, these seeded teams are extremely powerful. Even if we really had the power to defeat them, it would likely come at a severe costs, how could we possibly beat the other teams to enter the top eight then? Let alone the top four.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded his head. However, in his mind, a seed of an idea grew. Perhaps if the circumstance permitted it, it might not be necessary to wait until the top eight to fight with the seeded team.
“The tournament rules are as such, but what about the actual fighting? Is it single combat or team based?” As Zhou Weiqing pondered on the matter, he asked Lin TianAo for further details.
Lin TianAo said: “The preliminary heats are four matches of single combat, and one two vs two match. For the finals, it is elimination style. That is to say, each team will send five members out, taking turns to fight in single combat. The victor stays, and the loser is eliminated, until one side has all five eliminated. As for the top four onwards, I am not sure what the style is.”
“For the four single combat matches in the preliminary heats, no one is allowed to represent their team twice. However, in the two vs two match, members who have represented in the single combat matches may fight once more.”
The Heavenly Jewel Tournament rules and styles were rather simple, and with Lin TianAo’s explanation, the team quickly understood it. This was the main reason why Lin TianAo had agreed to Zhou Weiqing’s suggestion to carry on. At the preliminary heats, it was actually possible to fight with only four members, though that would be extremely tough. Especially so for the members who would have to fight twice in the two vs two.
“During the preliminary heats, it is only necessary to win three out of the five fights. The first two single combat fights are carried out first, then the two vs two, followed by the last two single combat fights. As such, as long as the first three fights are all wins, it is possible to have the four members fight once each only.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “I understand.”
Lin TianAo continued: “Weiqing, the registration point is near the ZhongTian Empire Royal Palace’s entrance, and you can already head there to register for our team now. I have already passed you the required documents yesterday, so you can head there directly and get our team plaque. We will remain here to heal up and cultivate, and we’ll go to draw lots for the group stage the day before the tournament begins.”
“Alright, you all have a good rest here, I’ll head out now. Bing’er, come along with me.”
“I want to go too!” Crow grabbed hold of Shangguan Bing’er’s arm, an excited look on her face. Although she had a huge physique, she was after all still very young, and still had the disposition of a young girl. Now that she was at this totally new, mysterious place, she was extremely curious. Shangguan Bing’er was grabbed by her, and the two standing together just put their huge difference in size into perspective once again.
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Alright, let’s go together then. Come on.”
The ZhongTian City was indeed extremely large. Last night, they had entered the city when it was already dark, and the size had not struck them so hard. Although it was still early in the morning, when they exited their inn, the sheer hustle and bustle of the city hit them right in the face. The buildings along the streets were all tall, with most being three stories or more. The buildings were rather quaint and old fashioned in design, with various different statues and carvings around the walls and roofs, and they were clearly not new, with an ancient yet mysteriously artistic air to them. It was indeed a very different feel, and the arts and culture of the city was quite clearly much deeper than compared to the Fei Li City.
As they walked along on the street, Crow definitely drew a lot of attention; even Shangguan Bing’er’s beauty was almost ignored due to that, as almost every passerby stared at Crow as they walked past.
Towards the strange gazes, Crow seemed oblivious, as she walked on coolly without any sense of embarrassment, even shouting out at times: “What are you staring at, haven’t you seen a beautiful lady before?”
Zhou Weiqing’s skin was thick himself, and naturally he didn’t feel any sense of embarrassment either. Holding on to Shangguan Bing’er’s soft little hand, he looked around at the various shops curiously. Many of the specialty local goods in the ZhongTian City were alien to him, and he had not even heard of them. Of course, what attracted him the most were those specialized food stores. The various smells caused his stomach to growl, sparking his appetite. However, he decided to ignore it and complete the registration first; after all, he couldn’t leave his injured companions hungry in the inn while they enjoyed themselves. When they returned, they could buy some food back and let everyone enjoy together.
It was easy for them to find the Royal Palace, a quick question to a passerby got them the directions and before long they were there. Although the inner city was still large, but at least it was nothing compared to the entire outer city as well. Before long they were in front of the ZhongTian Royal Palace, right smack in the middle of the inner city.
“They are truly the top Empire! Such a magnificent palace!” Looking at the wide main plaza in front of the Royal Palace which was more than a square kilometre large, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but exclaim to himself. Right in the centre of the plaza, there was a thirty metre tall, large statue, which attracted their attentions as soon as they reached the plaza.
The statue was of a man, with long hair down to his shoulders, a wide and strong build, with a set of huge wings stretching out behind his back. The thing that attracted Zhou Weiqing’s attention instantly was his hands, where there were twelve pearls carved around the wrist. Although they weren’t coloured due to it being a statue, but the number alone said volume! It signified the 12 Changes of the Heavenly Jewels being completed, a God Tier powerhouse of the greatest level! Could it be that in this ZhongTian Empire, there was actually a twelve-Jeweled, God Tier Master?
The Plaza in front of the Royal Palace was not restricted in access, and they could see that there was a constant number of people walking towards the large statue and worshipping it. Looking at their devout faces, it was without question that the person depicted by the statue was of extremely high status in the ZhongTian Empire.
They quickly stopped a passerby to ask, and they soon found that the statue was of the Founding Emperor of the ZhongTian Empire, and his name was Shangguan Yulong. Not only did he found the ZhongTian Empire, he had also created the Heavenly Jewel Island and the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, and he was indeed the true Dynasty Emperor of the ZhongTian Empire. The entire statue was carved from Diamond Rock, and would stand strong nigh forever, and since the time it had been erected, it had stood there weathering the elements for over two thousand years, overlooking this ZhongTian City.
“Bing’er, the Royal Family of the ZhongTian Empire has the same family name as you!” Zhou Weiqing smiled at her.
Shangguan Bing’er furrowed her brow slightly, before saying: “Mother has never been willing to talk to me about Father. When I was in school, I asked my teacher once, and he said that Shangguan is definitely a family name from the ZhongTian Empire. It is highly likely that my father is really from the ZhongTian Empire. When I was very young, before I can even remember anything, mother had already taken me along and left home, so I have never seen father before.”
Zhou Weiqing held her gently in his arms, and said softly: “Bing’er, don’t feel sad. When there is time, I’ll accompany you around the ZhongTian Empire to search for your father. You’re so beautiful; I’m sure looking for your father will not be difficult.”
Zhou Weiqing then turned to Crow, who was staring fixedly at the statue, saying: “Come on Crow, let’s go. We need to register our team.”
Crow sighed appreciatively and said: “That statue is certainly so robust and well built… if only the heavens will gift our Gold Crow Tribe some robust men…”
“Come on, let’s go. I’m sure the heavens will gift them to you. If the heavens do not do so, when we return, I’ll help you look!” On hearing Crow’s desire for men, Zhou Weiqing did not feel that it was funny at all. He could totally understand the feeling, the desire from Crow, the worry in her heart about the survival of her tribe… something he could truly identify with!
The registration point for the Heavenly Jewel Tournament was right near the entrance of the Palace, and the ZhongTian Empire had indeed placed much importance on the tournament, actually building a new building specially for the registration, with a large sign at the top with the words Heavenly Jewel Tournament engraved in large gold words.
The registration process went very smoothly, as Zhou Weiqing led the two girls into the building. With the invitation and identity documents from the Fei Li Empire that Lin TianAo had passed to him, he quickly registered for their team and got their team plaque. He was also informed to report back at the Plaza for the drawing of lots three days later. At the same time, he also received the details and keys to the living arrangements that the ZhongTian Empire had arranged for them. Of course, Zhou Weiqing did not think of moving their team over; after all the rest of the teams would likely be there, and it was not an opportune time for them to get into any possible conflicts.
Just as the three of them completed their registration and were heading out, they ran into a group of people who were just heading in.
The group consisted of over a dozen people, and they were clearly here to register as well. The strangest thing was that the leader of the team was actually someone that both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er recognized!
A few years back, not long after Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er had met, after his Heavenly Jewels had Awakened, they had met with an assassination attempt on Shangguan Bing’er. The leader of that assassination attempt had been Bai Jiu, the ninth prince of the Kalise Empire. At this moment, this same person was right in front of them.
As soon as both sides met, Bai Jiu started. Towards Zhou Weiqing, he did not have a strong impression, but he naturally easily recognized Shangguan Bing’er. After all, she was not only his enemy Empire’s youngest genius and only Heavenly Jewel Master of their generation, she was also a beauty of the highest order, and he had a strong impression of her. Besides, she had also been the target of his assassination previously.
“It’s you?!” Bai Jiu stared at Shangguan Bing’er scorchingly, then lifted his head to look at the words ‘Heavenly Jewel Tournament’. “What a joke, your Heavenly Bow Empire can actually enter the Heavenly Jewel Tournament?”
Standing beside Shangguan Bing’er, Crow said uncertainly: “We are representing the Fei Li Empire.”
Bai Jiu’s handsome face immediately showed a hint of disdain. “I never thought that the youngest genius of the Heavenly Bow Empire, their only Heavenly Jewel Master, Miss Shangguan Bing’er, would actually abandon your country and defect to the Fei Li Empire! Haha, looks like our Kalise Empire will soon be able to take over the Heavenly Bow Empire! Zhou Shui Niu has truly no successor!”
Zhou Weiqing raised his brow and asked: “Are you saying that you are representing the Kalise Empire to join the tournament?”
His attention was not on Bai Jiu; after all, according to his memory, Bai Jiu was only a Physical Jewel Master, and not a Heavenly Jewel Master. With his current cultivation level and power, Bai Jiu was definitely not a threat to him. The ones he was taking note off were his companions. They were all about thirty years of age or younger, each with a stable, profound aura and cold expressions. Although they looked rather ordinary on the surface, Zhou Weiqing could sense some danger from them.