Chapter 325: The Challenges Begin
Jiang Chen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He didn’t understand where these sect disciples got their confidence and their feeling of superiority from.
Although Cheng Zhen was much stronger than his cousin, it seemed from his tone that he was assured that he would have complete domination over Jiang Chen.
Stupefied, Jiang Chen raised an eyelid and said faintly, “That sounds like a threat?”
“Yes, I’m threatening you.” Cheng Zhen smiled coldly. “Secular disciples should have the self awareness of being ordinary dirt. Since no one has taught you how to act in front of a sect genius, I’ll trouble myself to teach you about how you should act and behave yourself.”
Jiang Chen sighed lightly and shook his head, “What a pity.”
“Pity what?!” Cheng Zhen flew into a rage.
“It’s a pity that the rules don’t allow personal fighting. Otherwise, I’d be able to teach you right now that you need to be able to back up your lofty words with real ability, or you’ll find that you’re actually just full of hot air.”
Cheng Zhen’s face darkened as his expression grew long.
“Slow witted brat, this means that you’ve made up your mind to go against me?”
Jiang Chen said faintly, “You’re thinking too much. Going against you? What makes you think that you’re worthy?”
To be honest, the Cheng brothers really weren’t worth Jiang Chen going to any effort for them.
As a sect disciple, Cheng Zhen’s arrogance knew no bounds. The sense of superiority when facing ordinary practitioners was even more full blown.
In his eyes, so-called ordinary geniuses was just selecting a tall person from a crowd of shorties. They weren’t worthy of being put side by side with the sect disciples at all.
He felt that he was a proud phoenix when facing ordinary geniuses, and they were just base hens.
Hens were supposed to lower their eyes and heads in front of noble phoenixes and bow to their every wish.
So when he heard Jiang Chen’s words, Cheng Zhen wanted to explode with rage. He was arrogant, but he didn’t think that there’d be someone even more arrogant than him in the mundane world!
The rage in his chest was almost to the point of erupting.
As the two faced off against each other, a stern yell suddenly came from the Arena. “The hour has arrived, all cultivators be silent and welcome the main examiners!”
The examiners had finally arrived.
With their arrival, the candidates naturally didn’t dare to make a fuss. These were people who would decide their fates.
Cheng Zhen ferociously glared at Jiang Chen, “You’re lucky kid. You better pray that you don’t get me or I don’t pick you, or else, I’ll make it so that you don’t even have the ability to get off the ring yourself!”
“Is that so? Then I should really thank you for letting me know how hard I should punch you.” Jiang Chen shrugged and he had a careless expression on his face.
Such empty threats were unamusing jokes to Jiang Chen.
The keeper of the mystic quadrant, the man surnamed Fang, was standing in front of the Hundred Challenges Arena. Roughly two hundred supporting examiners were standing beside him.
The Arena needed to record wins and losses and scores, so naturally, a lot of helpers were needed.
Master Fang’s presence was stately and wherever he swept his gaze, all candidates sitting cross legged stood up. No one dared put on airs and remain seated.
Master Fang’s cold gaze paused briefly between Jiang Chen and Cheng Zhen, leaving behind a meaningful look.
His gaze then immediately swept in another direction.
Cheng Zhen’s neck shrunk a bit as he felt the back of his head grow cold and fear rise in his heart.
Had Master Fang noted his movements just now?
Jiang Chen however, was rather open minded about it all. Everything had resulted from Cheng Zhen’s provocations. He didn’t have a guilty conscience and he didn’t even fear anything even if this keeper sided with the sect disciple.
However, it appeared for the moment that Master Fang didn’t intend on sheltering anyone. He didn’t even seem prepared to get involved.
“The hour is almost here. The challenges begin from this moment on. We will select the list of challengers at random and without order. The first batch of one hundred to be chosen will take their place in the rings.”
No matter a cultivator’s level or ranking, everything was random. Cheating could be thus avoided in this manner.
“Remember, the victor of the challenge can continue to battle today. Theoretically speaking, we have no restrictions on the victor. You can continuously challenge others until you fall or you no longer wish to battle for the day. As for those who fail in their challenge, you won’t have the right to challenge others for the rest of the day.”
“Those who have failed in their challenge must leave the ring. We will select others to fill empty rings.”
These challenges only counted the score of the challenger. As for those who had been challenged, they had to leave the ring no matter if they won or lost.
Jiang Chen had to admit that there was quite a bit of difficulty to these challenges. If someone had just been challenged and was selected to challenge someone else in the next fight, then that meant they would fight two times in a row.
If a challenger kept winning, then theoretically speaking, they could continue battling.
This was very advantageous to the candidates with extraordinary strength, particularly the first level ones. They would be able to fight several times a day if they had overwhelming strength.
Jiang Chen was rather filled with anticipation at this thought.
“Remember, each fight can only last 30 minutes. If no one has beaten their opponent or neither side has conceded the match during this time, it will be up to the judges to determine who has won. Victory will be awarded according to the development of the battle. The side that is deemed to be the passive one will be denoted the loser. Remember, there are no draws. If you cannot defeat your opponent, at least strive to suppress them in the ring.”
There were no draws. Every battle had to have a conclusion.
That was the harsh reality of the challenges. Jiang Chen believed that this rule would make everyone strive to their utmost, because if you didn’t knock your opponent completely down and fought for the full 30 minutes, the drain on your body’s resources would be enormous.
Therefore, each candidate had to think of all ways possible to defeat their opponent as fast as possible.
With sixteen hours a day for battling, there would be four matches every two hours. This meant that each ring would host 32 matches a day.
The one hundred elevated rings could host 3,200 matches.
With the three thousand total candidates in the mystic quadrant, there would be three thousand matches if everyone submitted one challenge. The facilities would be enough to accommodate all the activities.
“The challenges now officially start. I will now draw the first batch of challengers. Those who are selected must immediately take their place in the ring. Your opponents will also be selected at random.”
Everything was at random, but there would certainly be some coincidences.
But regardless, this process was fair overall.
The first batch of a hundred competitors was quickly selected, but Jiang Chen’s name wasn’t part of it. Some of those selected were delighted and others were incredibly nervous. There were also those who were calm, and some who were expressionless.
“It’s a pity that I wasn’t in the first batch.” Jiang Chen actually really wanted to go up early. Sadly, it was rather normal that he hadn’t been selected in the first hundred.
Xiao Fei on his side also sighed, “We weren’t selected. Eh, wasn’t that fellow ranked number 7 in the first selection? He was selected.”
Indeed, in of the first batch, there was one secular disciple.
There were only ten of them in the mystic quadrant, and one of them had been selected in the first hundred!
“I wonder how the fighting competencies of ordinary practitioners measure up in the mystic quadrant?” Xiao Fei seemed to be murmuring to himself.
All of the selected cultivators quickly entered the rings, and their opponents were also swiftly selected.
Xiao Fei seemed quite excited as he pulled Jiang Chen in various directions, walking to and fro.
It was obviously unrealistic to watch all one hundred rings at the same time. Xiao Fei wanted to pick a few of the more exciting fights to gain a better understanding of the strength of the sect disciples.
Jiang Chen wasn’t quite as fervent as Xiao Fei, and his Psychic’s Head could be deployed to cover the entire Arena if he wished.
However, he was resigned to being tugged about by Xiao Fei.
They hadn’t gotten far before an examiner stopped them, saying, “Wandering is not allowed during the fights. Go back and observe from where you are. Prepare to enter the ring at any time.”
It wasn’t that the examiner was purposefully being mean, but that it was true that a victory could be determined at any time on this stage. If a challenger failed, they would immediately need another candidate to take their place.
If the selected replacement couldn’t be found, then that would delay the proceedings and affect operational efficiency.
It was a good thing that there was some higher terrain around the rings, and one could get good line of sight when they stood on the high terrain. Xiao Fei was enraptured as he kept commenting on the matches, he was quite caught up in everything.
Jiang Chen watched for a bit and more or less, he had gained an understanding of the situation.
Most candidates were at the third and fourth spirit realm in the mystic quadrant, with almost no fifth level spirit realm.
Although there were four levels with this quadrant, there wasn’t much difference between the various sect disciples.
Jiang Chen also knew that strength was a factor in assigning levels, but there were certainly other factors as well. Potential for example, battle strength for another. Strength of the heart or family background… those were certainly all taken into consideration as well.
With the mundane practitioners for instance, no other factor was even considered for them. Their births had determined that they would only be fourth level.
Results started appearing on the rings after fifteen minutes roughly.
Around thirty rings were emptied and new challengers quickly chosen.
Jiang Chen was full of anticipation as he kept waiting for himself to be chosen.
However, he and Xiao Fei were never selected. They weren’t in the list of challengers, nor were they selected to answer the call.
He felt quite bored after a while. As of now, no strong match ups had occurred yet.
The secular disciple that Xiao Fei had been keeping an eye on still lost in the end after a hard fought battle. His first challenge was a loss!
As Xiao Fei watched the candidate leave the ring with weariness written on his body, he couldn’t help but sigh, “It’s truly difficult for a mundane disciple to rise above the crowd.”
Although Jiang Chen agreed with this viewpoint, he merely smiled faintly and he didn’t say anything.