At this moment, 10 enormous arenas had appeared before the entrance to the Imperial Palace, and the profounders participating in the second round of the Ascension Rankings formed a dense mass below the arenas.
As the sun rose slowly on the horizon, a group of soldiers in silver armor surged out from within the Imperial Palace, and then they stood around the square. Because there were too many people who’d come to watch the Ascension Rankings and for the sake of preventing any disorder of conflict from occurring here, the Grand Qin Empire had dispatched the army to maintain order here!
Right at this moment, Li Si suddenly appeared on the enormous arena that was at the centermost of the square. As he gazed at the dense crowd beneath him, he said loudly, “Everyone, allow me to first congratulate you one returning safely. Because being able to return alive from the Grand Myriad Mountains and possessing the qualifications to participate in the second round has already proved the strengths all of you possess. Now, it’s time for all of you to make a name for yourselves. So long as you’re able to ascend to the top 30 of the Ascension Rankings, then not only would you obtain abundant rewards, the Empire will announce your name through the nine states and allow everyone in the southern territory to hear your name!
“Now, allow me to explain the rules for the second round. The second round will be carried out based on an accumulated point system. There are a total of 3,601 profounders that possess the qualifications to participate in the second round of the competition. These 3,601 profounders will be divided into 10 groups, and each group will have 260 profounders. Every single time you defeat an opponent, you’ll be awarded a point, and every loss would cause one point to be deducted. The three people with the highest amount of points in every group will advance and participate in the ranking battles for the top 30 on the Ascension Rankings!
For the sake of fairness, all profounders are prohibited from utilizing talismans, medicinal pills, and other treasures that provide temporary boosts to their strengths during the competition. Violators will either have their qualifications to participate revoked or sentenced to death on the spot. Be sure to keep this in mind!”
After that, Li Si described some other rules of the competition. Amongst them were the prizes for the top 30 on the Ascension Rankings! Needless to say, the prizes for the top 30 were truly too tempting. Even Yang Ye who stood amongst the crowd couldn’t help but be tempted by them! Of course, he was only tempted by the rewards of the top 3!
The 1st on the Ascension Rankings would be rewarded with a mid-grade Earth Rank combat technique, a mid-grade Earth Rank Dark Treasure, five high-rank Technique Talismans, 50,000 energy stones, and 100 top-grade energy stones. Of course, the Ascension Token that allowed its owner to make a request to the six great powers, the Grand Qin Empire, or the Talisman Master’s Association was included as well!
The 2nd on the Ascension Rankings would be rewarded with a low-grade Earth Rank combat technique, a low-grade Earth Rank Dark Treasure, two high-rank Technique Talismans, and 20,000 energy stones!
The 3rd on the Ascension Rankings would be rewarded with a low-grade Earth Rank Dark Treasure, two high-grade Profound Rank combat techniques, 10 mid-rank Technique Talismans, and 9,000 energy stones!
When the rewards for the top three were announced, it wasn’t just Yang Ye who was tempted, all the other profounders here seethed with excitement as well. Especially the rewards for the 1st on the Ascension Rankings, those rewards were truly too generous. A mid-grade Earth Rank combat technique and Dark Treasure! Even if it was the six great powers and the Grand Qin Empire, such treasures were still considered to be extremely precious!
Besides that, the Ascension Token allowed its bearer to make a request to any one of the six great powers, the Talisman Master’s Association, or the Grand Qin Empire…. To put it in simpler terms, obtaining the Ascension Token was equivalent to obtaining all of these powers as one’s backing! This was a perfect opportunity to rise to success for the bearer of the token or that person’s clan!
Of course, many people in the surroundings didn’t have any hopes of obtaining the 1st on the Ascension Rankings. What a joke! Not to mention the 1st, even obtaining a spot in the top 30 was as difficult as ascending the heavens to them! Every group had 360 profounders in them, yet only 3 from these 360 could advance into the next round and fight for the top 30 positions on the Ascension Rankings. Such competition was extremely brutal!
“Everyone, the group you belong to is in accordance with the number on the iron plaque you obtained. Head to your respective groups to draw your lots. Be sure to keep in mind that every single point is of the utmost importance to all of you because it’s related to your rankings at the end of the competition.” Li Si continued.
When he heard this, Yang Ye withdrew the iron plaque that he’d obtained yesterday, and he saw the number 9 written on it. In other words, he was in the ninth group.
Right when Yang Ye was about to head over to Arena No.9, a gust of fragrance arrived, and then Murong Yao appeared in front of him. Murong Yao’s beautiful eyes glanced at Yang Ye’s iron plaque before she said, “Yours is number 9?”
Yang Ye nodded, and then he said, “Could it be that you’re the same as well?”
Murong Yao shook her head and said, “Mine is number 8. I took a look and discerned that there aren’t any formidable people in my group, but you have to be careful!”
“Could it be that Yuan Tong is in my group?” Yang Ye spoke with astonishment.
“Yuan Tong isn’t in any group!” Murong Yao said, “The Ghost Sect’s Li Xianjun is in the same group as you!”
“The Ghost Sect’s Li Xianjun?” Yang Ye frowned slightly before he asked. “Yuan Tong isn’t in any group? What do you mean?”
Murong Yao stretched out her hand to comb the beautiful hair by her ear that had fluttered with the wind, and then she said lightly, “He’s relatively special because placing him in any group would be unfair to the participating in that group. So, the six great powers, the Grand Qin Empire, and the Talisman Master’s Association unanimously agreed to allow him to advance into the next round with full points.”
“Then what about Qin Youran, Wenren Yue, and the others?” Asked Yang Ye.
“They didn’t receive such treatment. Qin Youran is in group No.1, Wenren Yue was placed in group No.2, Leng Xinran is in group No.4. If nothing unexpected happens, then the three of them will definitely be the first in their groups to advance into the next round. There aren’t any especially strong opponents in my group, so it shouldn’t be difficult for me to advance. You, on the other hand, have to be careful because not only is the Ghost Sect’s Li Xianjun in your group, the Brightmoon Sect’s Hao Ming is as well!” said Murong Yao.
“The Brightmoon Sect’s Hao Ming?” Yang Ye said, “The only surviving member of the Brightmoon Sect on Ascension Mountain Range?”
Murong Yao nodded and said, “The Brightmoon Sect suffered extremely heavy losses this time. Besides Hao Ming, all the other geniuses from the Brightmoon Sect perished on Ascension Mountain Range. Hao Ming has always been keeping a very low profile, and he acts politely and amiably to everyone, nor does he fight for anything or stir up trouble. But the more he acts in this way, the more I feel that he isn’t simple. Of course, your greatest opponent is still Li Xianjun. This time, both of you will definitely encounter each other, and this time, he will absolutely not hold back. So, you must be careful. He’s really not ordinary!”
Yang Ye nodded, and then he said, “I won’t underestimate any opponent!”
Murong Yao nodded, and then she glanced at Yang Ye and hesitated for a moment before she said, “Thank you for saving me on that day in the Ascension Mountain Range!”
Yang Ye was stunned, and then he smiled and said, “It’s I who should thank you because you’ve always been speaking on my behalf in the Sword Sect!”
Murong Yao shook her head and said, “No matter what, I won’t forget the debt I owe you for saving my life.”
Yang Ye was about to speak, but at this moment, the extremely bustling crowd in the surroundings had suddenly quieted down.
“Yuan Tong is here, Yuan Tong….” Someone shouted from the crowd.
Yang Ye looked over towards the source of this shout. He saw Yuan Tong in the lead as Qin Youran, Wenren Yue, Leng Xinran, and Li Xianjun followed behind him and walked out slowly from the entrance of the Imperial Palace.
“As expected of the stronger experts in the southern territory’s younger generation. I never expected that could make me feel such pressure while they’re so far away. Especially Yuan Tong, he really deserves to be the existence that’s most likely to become the Martial God. That confidence and domineering aura….”
“Yeah. Alas, we’re all at the First Heaven Realm, but why is the gap between us and them so huge?”
“It’s your mother’s fault for not giving birth to you with some natural talent!”
Murong Yao gazed at Yuan Tong and the others while she said in a low voice. “The Ascension Rankings this year are of utmost importance to Yuan Tong. It’s related to his path to becoming the Martial God, and he absolutely can’t lose. So, it’s very likely that the Origin School gave him something to act as a trump card for him. If… if you encounter him after you advance into the next round, then admit defeat if possible. Otherwise, he will definitely not show mercy to you. You ought to be aware of that!”
Yang Ye grinned yet didn’t say anything. Yuan Tong was strong indeed. But no matter how strong Yuan Tong was, it was absolutely impossible to make Yang Ye admit defeat directly. After all, this competition was related to the safety of his mother. So, not to mention Yuan Tong, he would draw his sword and fight even if he had to face a hundred Yuan Tongs or even a thousand!
Sometimes, he didn’t know whether he would succeed at some things, but he would definitely try. Just like when it came to fighting Yuan Tong!
When she noticed the expression Yang Ye revealed, Murong Yao sighed lightly. After coming into contact with Yang Ye for a period of time, she had a certain level of understanding of Yang Ye’s character. So, when she saw the expression he revealed, she knew that it was utterly impossible to make Yang Ye admit defeat directly. But it made sense to her because not to mention Yang Ye, even if she encountered Yuan Tong in battle and was clearly aware that she wasn’t a match for him, she would still not admit defeat!
One could lose, but one couldn’t be without the courage to fight! If one didn’t even have the courage to fight, then how could one walk the path of the sword?