Chapter 48: To the Tournament
As the guards heard the family patriarch’s words, they all glanced at Xu Min. However, none of them dared to say anything. Although all the guards had complex emotions towards the young man, they just silently observed him.
“Okay, let us set out!” The patriarch shouted. Right behind him was Xu Min, walking slowly without saying anything. Around his neck was the invisible snake and by his side was Yong Meilin. As well, Master Dong Liang walked beside the patriarch.
Xu Min felt quite comfortable with the present t situation. He was eager to battle; because his current strength equaled to three-star warriors and even his stances matched internal experts, he mainly wanted to fight the experts of the other families.
On Xu Min’s back was his infamous sword, the sword which devoured the different energies of the world. With both Cao Cao and his sword by his side, Xu Min knew he almost impossible to defeat. Even still, Xu Min deep down desired to win only by his strength. He wanted to increase his personal strength. For him, he needed to know that he, alone, improved his strength. Nonetheless, this was just the first step down revenge’s road.
Leaving the Yong family compound was quite easy. However, once they stepped onto the outside roads, many citizens were curious to see Xu Min. Only the city’s elite families could attend the tournament since it was being held at the Tang family’s family compound. Commoners were not allowed inside.
Seeing all the commoners astonished Xu Min. Now, he realized how important the tournament was to the city and victory for the Yong family. Understanding the gravity of his situation did not deter Xu Min. Smiling, he looked forward to the tournament even more. He knew the opponents there would not be easily beaten, but he also knew he stood a chance to beat them. His sword’s strange devouring ability alongside his sudden boost in strength strengthened his certainty he could rank in the top three. Truly, though, Xu Min would only be satisfied with being first place and gaining the trophy.
Xu Min spent hours after hours advancing his swordsmanship. The master alchemist trained him, and he was allowed all the sparring partners he desired. As a result, Xu Min had been treated as though he was his weight worth in gold. Because nothing was taken away from him and everything was given to him, he felt the pressure of all the expectations which weighed on his shoulders.
‘Don’t worry Xu MinIf you can’t handle it, just let me know. I can easily overpower these puny little human cultivators,’ an arrogant voice sounded within his mind, which made a smile appear on Xu Min’s face. ‘Yes Cao Cao, if I can’t handle them then I will be counting on you,’ Xu Min answered the snake in his mind, ‘Nonetheless, I should be able to deal with the humans on my own now.
How will I ever be able to defeat the Zhong family leader if I am defeated by these weak cultivators?
When Xu Min questioned his abilities, his insecurity froze him. This frigid yet fearful emotion Xu Min felt quickly appeared on his face; however, it lasted no more than seconds and then he was smiling again. Only those who were attentively observing Xu Min caught it; no one else but Yong Meilin noticed Xu Min’s frigid expression. This sight filled her face with worry; yet, as soon as the smile had returned she could do nothing but sigh. She wished to know more about this young man, but no matter what she tried to do, she always felt a barrier around his innermost being. It seemed he refused to let anyone become close to him, anyone apart from Cao Cao.
Although Yong Meilin noticed Xu Min, the young man did not see the worry on her face. He was busy discussing with Cao Cao about the battles they were soon to experience since the snake was begging for a possibility to attack. He wished to become a part of the fights. After all, he was a fight crazed snake who regularly wanted to show off his superior ability.
The group forced their way through one horde of citizens after another. These citizens went mad gossiping as they saw Xu Min and the Yong family coming towards the arena. The patriarch had guessed the commoners would become overwhelming, so he brought guards with him from his family compound. The guards, this time, surrounded the Yong family group, using their force and batons they waved the commoners aside to keep them back. Because of the guard’s action, the family could move forward.
Other competitors such as Xiao Lei, Han Shi and Wu Weisheng, young geniuses, who Xu Min previously met also experienced similar situations all over the city. Xu Min met them at the Challenger’s Hall the first night he visited the place. These three experts were moving with their families towards the Tang family mansion. Specifically, Zhan Weishing, the inscriptor from Ri Chu City, accompanied W Wu Weisheng and his family. Zhan Weishing also happened to be Wu Weisheng’s uncle; his mother named her son after her brother in the hope that her son somehow would manage to become as famous as the inscriber.
Apart from these families were the Wei family, the Shiu family, the Tang family, and the Guo family. Although the Guo family separated themselves from the Tang’s family’s devious plans, they still presented themselves at the tournament since they were one of the four strongest families in the city.
All over the city, people were cheerful and excited. Even the commoners so desired to join that they were willing to give their right leg to be allowed entrance into the tournament. Nonetheless, they had no ability to make that happen. Furthermore, none of the elite families would want a commoner bleeding and soiling the tournament’s floor because they had no right leg. Although average citizens could not attend, there were still many others who were allowed in as spectators. Firstly, all the prestigious families were there, all the patriarchs of the twenty strongest forces of the city were invited, including a few members of their families, and the many guilds of specific standing were also invited. Beside Zhan Weisheng, a smaller more insignificant group of inscribers had been invited.
The city’s alchemists were attending as well. Though these alchemists ranked lower than Master Dong Liang and Huang Zhen, they were still major players within Ri Chu City, selling medicinal pills that assisted the younger generation in cultivation. All the pills Xu Min received were from the alchemists’ guild. The alchemists guild was the only guild, apart from the Alluring Treasure Pavilion who often sold pills on behalf of the alchemists guild that sold medicinal pills within the city.
Wealthy merchants were also invited because they sold items Ri Chu city’s families needed. Even the leaders of the most prominent mercenary guild in town had been invited. Thus, anybody who was somebody was invited; nobodies stood outside.
The arena grounds in the Tang family were massive; the participating experts were surrounded by seats on all four sides. The arena could hold thousands of visitors; nevertheless, once the tournament would begin the whole arena would be packed., the seats would be completely filled.
Arriving at the Tang family’s palace, they were met by a group of guards. The Yong family met with no show of respect or friendliness towards them by the guards rather they snubbed the patriarch as he comes walking by. Whereas, some of them looked at Yong Meilin with greedy, lustful eyes and licked their lips. Being treated like this was not below the patriarch’s expectations. The families whose prestige and power was gained by sheer strength looked disdainfully down on the Alluring Treasure Pavilion who gained their fame and position solely through wealth only. Their experts were not experts of the family, but instead, commoners they had hired. Their way of doing things was so different from the other families and this difference often caused the families to butt heads.
Just the fact that the Alluring Treasure Pavilion was participating in the tournament shocked everyone. Even more so, when they found out that the participate was not a part of the Yong family, but instead a traveler whom they took in. Furthermore, realizing the ice queen of Ri Chu City seemed to have fallen for this person was even more shocking. Xu Min was without a doubt the most discussed topic in the entire city.
The guards leading the Yong family into the Tang family’s courtyard constantly glared at Xu Min. To everyone, it was clear that they wanted to start a fight, but Xu Min paid no attention at all; it was as if the guards did not exist, quickly frustrating the guards, the Yong family’s guides. How could anyone endure the hostility these two guards showed him? Usually, young masters such as Xu Min should be filled with confidence in their ability and battle whoever instigated a disgrace or insult against them. Xu Min, on the other hand, was so level headed he did not even notice their glares against him.
After walking through the Tang family’s ground, they finally reached the outskirts; this was where the arena was located. At this point, Xu Min walked away from the other Yong family members and towards a group of young experts while the Yong family seated themselves in spots reserved for them.
Upon seeing and standing with the group of experts, Xu Min realized he was far younger than all the other experts there. Rather, these experts were all around the middle of their twenties if not late twenties while Xu Min was merely fifteen years old. The younger generation geniuses were considered, the younger generation until thirty years old, and it was obvious that the older experts were the strongest. Therefore, these experts were the ones whose families sent them to fight.
“What is so special about him?”
“He is quite ugly.”
“What? So all this drama was about a little boy?”
“Beating him will make us seem like bullies.”
Many words were spoken about Xu Min and even though they were quite low, Xu Min heard every single word as walked towards them n. He heard all the malicious comments and gossip concerning him; yet, these hurtful words didn’t affect Xu Min. He didn’t care what others thought about him and looking at the many experts who had appeared in front of him, Xu Min just gave them a quick glance of acknowledgment but not respect.
Currently, thirteen experts had arrived. These were all more or less from the twenty most influential families within Ri Chu City. However, all of them were too weak to be considered equal to the four great families and the Alluring Treasure Pavilion.
Many of these experts were two-star Warriors. Now, reaching the rank of a two-star warrior before thirty years of age could be considered decent cultivating talent; nonetheless, regarding true geniuses, this was a far cry. All the participators were hoping to defeat each other and reach the top ten. Everyone knew that the top four spots were already taken.
At the same time, they knew that the top four was always occupied by the strongest families. Additionally, they also understood that the Yong family had never participated and even ranked. So, even though they had someone joining this year, everyone looked down and resented him. He was after all very young, and his rank did not seem to be higher than theirs.
It was a feat to reach that rank at such a young age, but he was still being silly believing he could beat others.