"What an elusive movement technique!" the commander could not help but praise as he saw Xue Wei’s movements.
But before anyone had time to react to the statement, Xue Wei had appeared behind the deserter and threw out a palm attack.
Shattering Mountain Palm!
The deserter was incapable of sensing Xue Wei's movements, yet the moment the attack was executed he felt an intense danger descend upon him, and he narrowly escaped the attack by rolling to the side.
Xue Wei's palm landed on nothing, but he did not panic. He once more turned elusive like the wind and vanished from sight; the deserter was the one who started to panic as he sensed the next attack descent.
The deserter completely depended on his instincts and feelings of danger to avoid the attacks, but the more he avoided, the more worried he became.
The attacks did not seem to become weaker and weaker. Instead, they seemed to gather momentum, and at this point one attack would be enough to kill him.
At that moment, the worry had overtaken the deserter's mind. Moments after, a grunt escaped his lips as he was sent flying like a kite cut loose from its string.
Blood sprayed from his mouth as he continued to stumble forward, but he had no time to say anything before he felt a coldness arrive at his throat, and his eyes turned dim.
The decapitation had been so swift and painless that the deserter never even noticed what had happened before he died, and even the experts on top of the observation platform were stunned, at a loss for words.
The attacks had been flawless from beginning to end. Xue Wei had used the Forbidden Rush movement technique to the fullest, making it impossible for the deserter to even know where he was. And although he had managed to avoid a few of Xue Wei's attacks, they had become increasingly fierce as Xue Wei felt his blood boil and his fighting intent soar.
The moment one of his attacks had struck his opponent, Xue Wei had materialized a sword in his hands and followed him, chopping off his head while he had no chance to defend himself.
As the head landed on the ground of the battle platform, Xue Wei also landed a bit away. His clothes were as immaculate as they had been before the battle, not a drop of dust to be seen on them.
Unlike the other two, he was not out of breath. his appearance was calm, and he flickered his hand, making the materialized sword dissipate into thin air once more.
As he stepped out of the arena, his killing intent had completely vanished, and now his eyes were calm and collected. The malicious smile and eagerness to do battle that he had shown before were nowhere to be seen.
The commander and everyone else were genuinely shocked. They had never expected that this young man would be able to kill a deserter as cleanly and as easily as he did.
This fight was the simplest of them all, and also the only one where the challenger had not been wounded. He had not been pushed to reveal much of his strength either; it seemed like the only thing he had to rely on was his movement technique.
"Congratulations," the commander stepped forward, and he congratulated the three victors. "This year, more than the average number has made it through the test, but we still lost some amazingly talented individuals during these trials."
"We will mourn them, but this is the harsh reality of life. To gain something you have to give something. You have to risk your life to gain lucky chances, and entering the genius camp is, without a doubt, a lucky chance for you."
"The other groups have been led to their respective areas; now you will be led to the Genius Camp. Follow me."
With the commander having said that, the group exited the arena and went towards a small district of tents where a lot of chatting was happening.
This was the Genius Camp. The closer to the center of the tent camp one was, the more talented the residents.
"Every division has its own ranking system," the commander explained, "and being ninth layered Ordinary Warriors, the three of you are ranked the lowest amongst the Genius Camp."
"The higher ranked you are, the more resources you will get. The way to rise in rank is to make breakthroughs in the different layers, or to defeat someone in a sparring match."
"If you defeat a first ranked expert, you will swap positions, making you first ranked, and your opponent is demoted to your rank. This is to encourage competition amongst cultivators and to convince people to continue cultivating hard."
Xue Wei contemplated for some time. He was currently just a ninth layer Ordinary Warrior, but he could match up against two-layer Earth Warriors. As such he was aware that if he wanted to gain a better ranking, then it was possible.
But he had to be careful. If he were to go against the third layered Earth warriors, he would have no other choice than to run for his life, and eventually he would run out of energy, making it impossible for him to keep it up. As a result, he would be defeated.
"Fighting outside of official challenges is forbidden, killing your opponent is forbidden, and stealing each other's resources is also forbidden. Everyone gets judged based on their strength, and this means you get what you deserve!"
"We are here," he announced, and suddenly they arrived in front of a group of tents. There were around ten thousand tents, but only around half of them were occupied.
"Take a tent each and claim it as your own," the commander said. "Your training will start tomorrow morning. For now, you should familiarize yourself with your comrades. In the future, these experts are the ones who will have your back. You need to trust them as comrades and as brothers!"
Xue Wei smirked. He understood that in theory the commander was right in what he said, but he also knew that it was not that simple. Since they wanted competition between these geniuses, it was clear that there would be someone that rubbed others the wrong way, and there would be different grudges that could not be controlled.
"Oh well, that's not up to me to care about," Xue Wei shook his head as he continued to smirk and look at everything that happened around him. Many experts had come to observe them with curiosity.
Xue Wei did not appreciate being a monkey in a show, so as a result, as soon as he noticed that the commander had no more to say, he saluted the commander before leaving the location and heading towards the tents, interested in finding one that suited him.
All the tents were white. There were ten thousand of them, but five thousand had been occupied already and Xue Wei was rather shocked by how many people the Genius Camp counted.
As he found a tent, he sat down, crossed his legs, ate some of his dry rations, drank some of his water, and decided to cultivate through the night.
The rest of the camp was busy and bustling with life as everyone started getting to know each other, but Xue Wei had never been good at socializing, and he preferred staying in his tent cultivating instead.
The moon settled over the camp and everyone had returned to their own tents, preparing for the following day where they were to start the first day of training.
The following morning, Xue Wei awoke from his trance and got ready. As he exited the house, he found that others were also exiting their tents, all of them looking around with curiosity. When their eyes landed on Xue Wei, they all raised an eyebrow in surprise.
Many of these experts had seen him at the Crown Prince's banquet, and they were surprised to see that he had made it to the Genius Camp.
Some thought he had cheated or used some sort of treasure to make it to this stage, while others were even more convinced that he was not as simple as he seemed.
Xue Wei completely ignored them as he looked around. Seeing that no one moved, he too decided to stay put as well and observe his surroundings.
Soon, a captain appeared. "Everyone follow me," he ordered and brought the group with him to a large empty field that was located just behind the tent city.
Here a group of experts was waiting for them, amongst those were the commander, a group of captains, a few generals, and finally a blue haired man who seemed quite different from the others.
He had a different air about him, and when Xue Wei's eyes landed on him, the man also locked his eyes into Xue Wei's. As they looked into the eyes of one another, Xue Wei felt danger. He felt an indescribable danger as if he had encountered the most dangerous creature in the entire continent.
The blue haired man frowned when he looked at Xue Wei. His frown was mixed with surprise and slight confusion, but his face quickly returned to the originally calm and collected, slightly mocking, expression it had before.
As everyone gathered in the field, Xue Wei made sure to be at the back; he wished to draw as little attention as possible, sa it was clear that this man was anything but as friendly and as simple as he seemed.
"Everyone, congratulations on making it to the Genius Camp, for this, I applaud you."
"We are very fortunate this year," the commander continued, and Xue Wei noticed how he was groveling in front of this unknown blue-haired young man. He realized that he was someone very important.
"From the middle of the continent, the only prophet to exist in these lands of ours has come to the Kingdom of Heping on some personal business. We managed to convince him to come and view this year's Genius Camp, and he will divine us a prophecy for this years Genius Camp!"
"He will look at each and every one of you and give you an inkling of what we can expect from your lives. This is something that only your generation is capable of experiencing. This is something that only has happened this one time, and we ought to be very gracious and grateful to mister Lan for bestowing us this honor."
Everyone was excited. It was rare to encounter an expert from the middle of the continent, and it was even more exciting to meet the one and only Prophet in existence.
But everyone was eager to know what had brought him to the Kingdom of Heping. Their kingdom was poor in resources and had nothing amazing to speak of. For him to come here, was there some sort of hidden treasure?
Xue Wei did not think like that. All that was on his mind was how to avoid the encounter with this man. Staying at the very back of the group of youngsters, he spent some time observing the man.
He looked to be in his late twenties. He had long beautiful blue hair that was half hanging, half tied on top of his head with a beautiful golden hairpin that resembled a crown.
He was wearing a beautiful white robe that was obviously made from Primordial Beast silk. The white robe had a blue pattern of snakes embroidered on it, and a few flowers were also adorning the beautiful robes.
He was clearly the most elegant person Xue Wei had ever seen, even more, elegant than Xiao Lei, and he seemed to be the most fearful expert he had ever seen – even more powerful than Xiao Lei and the Primordial Beast woman.
Xue Wei kept staring at him with a feeling of dread as he saw the line in front of him dwindle in size constantly, making it closer and closer to the time for him to be examined by this unknown prophet.
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So sorry about yesterday! This is the second chapter of the day - I will do my utmost to get one out a day, but if it happens that I am unable to, the owed chapters will be given as soon as possible :)
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Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking