"The challenger gets to pick which prime disciple to fight. The one who usually gets picked is either the weakest or has some weakness the challenger is in a position to exploit, so it's rather fair at the end of the day," Ye Shaoqing said.
"Will they fight on the spot?"
"That's also up to the challenger. The challenge battle may take place on any day within a month of when the challenge is issued. Normally, people schedule the fight a month later, as challengers need time to recover from passing Prime Tower's third floor."
A month wasn't too short a time for Tianming to improve.
"That’s a rather good system. Survival of the fittest indeed," Tianming said. It was just like the path of cultivation. Either way, this was a matter left for later—what he had to focus on now was the Prime Tower.
"Tianming, if you're lucky enough to pass the third floor, I suggest you challenge Su Wuyou among the four prime disciples."
"She's the weakest among the four. Not to mention, you'll be able to improve further within a month, you monster." Only Ye Shaoqing would describe him as such, for nobody else truly knew the rate of his growth.
"What if I pick Yuwen Shendu?"
"Then you'd be an idiot."
Ye Shaoqing was right. Yuwen Shendu had broken through to the Heavenly Will stage, a whole six levels above Tianming. Challenging Yuwen Shendu would be akin to giving up the chance of becoming a prime disciple. It was a fool's choice, one that he couldn't afford to make.
At that moment, Elder Su Zhen's voice reverberated throughout the First Grand-Orient Battlefield. "The Prime Tower will be opened soon. All seventeen direct disciples, come to me! From Taiji Mountain, Yuwen Zhenxing. From Fengyun Immortal Mountain, Huangfu Feifei. From Nantian Mountain, Chen Xiaoji. From Huochi Imperial Mountain, Gongsun Chi. From Yunxiao Mountain, Shangguan Jiayi. From Bolin Snow Mountain, Zhang Honglin. From Azure Dragon Sword Mountain, Li Tianming...."
There were seventeen disciples named in total. Each one was enough to awe the inner disciples of the sect. They were the people they aspired to emulate, though TIanming was probably an oddity and exception.
Soon, all of the talented youths made their way to Su Zhen. Putting aside their good looks, their bearing and the way they carried themselves caused them to give off a kind of distinct aura. From their resolved gazes, they seemed a league beyond the normal inner disciples of the sect. They were the elites and most hopeful among the new generation, and stood a chance of becoming prime disciples.
The tall, bald Yuwen Zhenxing was the most eye-catching of them all. While he didn't have any hair, he wasn't ugly in the least. Instead, he looked rather relaxed and pleased with his comfortable hairstyle, or lack thereof. Beside him stood Chen Xiaoji, Gongsun Chi, and the other minions that followed his lead. He really had quite an imposing party. Even someone as refined as Shangguan Jiayi paled in comparison.
Only one person, however, could steal the limelight from Yuwen Zhenxing: the white-haired youth with the ink-black arm. He looked slightly sinister, yet gentle, and his timeworn gaze gave him an aloof impression, as if he were walking down the path toward his death. None of the sixteen other disciples stood beside him.
"If I'm honest, the junior sect master looks rather charismatic."
"But he's in great danger. Let's wish him luck!"
Nobody dared overlook Yuwen Zhenxing and the others just because Tianming seemed calm, especially not after he said he would cut off Yuwen Zhenxing's arm. This was the first time he was so close to the huge, bald man.
Yuwen Zhenxing squinted and looked at Tianming, who turned to meet his gaze. When their eyes met, Tianming chuckled. It wasn't a mocking laugh, nor was it a friendly one, but it did cause the urge to kill in Yuwen Zhenxing to surge.
"Junior Sect Master, do your best and rush to the third floor," he said.
Though the exchange was brief, it was seething.
"Zhenxing, just focus on getting the treasures on the first two floors. I and Gongsun Chi will stop anyone attempting to fight you for them," Chen Xiaoji said privately to him.
"That's right. It won't be too late to deal with this annoying fly after you get the two treasures," Gongsun Chi added.
"Let's give him some false confidence at the start. Let him lose his cool. Once he gets to the third floor, it'll be much easier to deal with him," Chen Xiaoji said.
"Sure," Yuwen Zhenxing answered with a nod. The two treasures were almost certainly his, as his helpers were both top five among the seventeen present. He knew well that he had the advantage with the number of allies he had. This Prime Struggle was practically designed for his sake. He could take advantage of it and nobody could say anything about it.
There were many elders gathered at Fengtian Mountain's observation hall, including Yuwen Fengtian and Yuwen Taiji. From the Su Clan were Second Elder Su Yunzhi, Tenth Elder Su Jiudao, and Su Zhen, who was organizing the main event. Apart from them, there were Chen Nantian, Qin Wulie and Gongsun Shengji.
Elders aside, a few key figures from the Yuwen Clan were there, such as Yuwen Kaitai, Yuwen Zhenxing's father, as well as the most important youth in their clan, Yuwen Shendu.
The youth sat in a corner of the hall with a red heavenly pattern spirit gem in hand, trying to comprehend its mysteries despite the occasion. Beside him sat Su Wuyou, leaning slightly against his chair. She looked at his face with gentle longing, but Yuwen Shendu's eyes were closed the whole time, causing her to be slightly frustrated. All she wanted to happen now was for the Prime Struggle and Realm Wars to end sooner. In fact, everyone there hoped for the same.
"The two treasures have been prepared for Zhenxing. With my son and Gongsun Chi there, Zhenxing won't have a hard time getting them," Chen Nantian said with a hearty laugh.
"The three of them grew up together and get along well. With those treasures, Zhenxing's sure to soar to greater heights," Gongsun Shengji said.
"More crucially, we didn't have to spend any of our own money. The manna came from the sect itself, haha!" Qin Wulie said as he stroked his beard. They were the ones who designed the first two floors of Prime Tower, giving Yuwen Zhenxing a huge advantage.
"As for the fly that hurt my granddaughter, Yiran, is the plan in place?" Second Elder Su Yunzhi asked Yuwen Kaitai, obviously talking about Tianming. Incidentally, he and Yuwen Fengtian were of the same age.Previous Chapter Next Chapter