Chapter 2019: The Second Round of the Grand Competition

Jiang Chen’s team took first place by an undeniable margin.

According to the rules, Jiang Chen would receive an additional fifty points as the team captain, and Wu You and Gan Ning thirty and twenty points respectively.

In addition, every orb counted as a point. Jiang Chen had 226 orbs. When the fifty bonus points were added to it, his score after the first round was a staggering 276 points.

That was vastly more than what the organizers had expected. Never in their wildest dreams had they anticipated that the orbs would be so concentrated. Jiang Chen had acquired more than a third of the total orbs available! 

Meanwhile, Lu Mingye had gotten more than a hundred himself. With the bonus for the captain of the second-place team ranked, Lu Mingye’s total score was 150, which put him at second place in individual ranking.

But his score was only roughly half of Jiang Chen’s.

The rest of the contestants were much more clustered together. The black horses were Wu You and Gan Ning. They weren’t one of the best geniuses by far, but their score was among the top.

The first round ended with Jiang Chen possessing an absolute advantage and overwhelming lead.

Those who considered Jiang Chen their main competition were vastly behind him in points. Most incredulously, Shi Qinglu, the mysterious genius every youth idolized, ended the first round with an eye-poppingly poor performance.

Nevertheless, it was only the first round. Nothing more than a warm-up, so to speak.

The next round began without giving the candidates any time to rest. The main part of the grand competition was to commence.

“Sandplain Island has always been the most highly restricted location under the ten sacred lands’ rule. Around Sandplain are ten forbidden islands. The second part of the grand competition will be held on the ten islands. 

“There is a mission on every island. Completing the mission on the first island gives you ten points. The second island gives you twenty. The third island gives you thirty. Following that pattern, the tenth island gives you a hundred points. The points will accumulate. In other words, if you complete the missions on all ten islands, you’ll get five hundred and fifty points in total.

“This is a test of individual strength. We again offer additional rewards for the top three contestants. First place nets an additional hundred points. Second place gains fifty. Third place receives twenty.

“The sum of your points from the two rounds of the competition is your total score, which will determine your ranking.”

The second round gave many more points in comparison. Those who hadn’t done well during the first round perked up. This was their opportunity to turn the tide!

If they stood out in the second round, they could make up for their low score from the first.

“What if many geniuses pass the trials of all ten islands?” someone asked. “How will the ranking be decided then?”

“Simple enough. If more than one contestant passes the same number of islands, they’ll be ranked according to the time it takes them to complete the missions.”

No one had any objections to the ranking method. Lu Mingye was itching to spring into action. His goal had been to nab first place in the first round, but that damned Jiang Chen had overtaken him instead! Thankfully, he had a very good chance of coming back in the second round as long as he did well.

Personal strength was all that mattered in this part of the competition. It was no longer about teamwork, which would pose a challenge to Wu You and Gan Ning.

Gan Ning, especially, would have a difficult time. Nonetheless, he wasn’t too concerned. He knew he was one of the weakest among the sixty geniuses. He didn’t have anything to lose even if he did terribly in the next round.

“Alright, make your preparations, candidates. Tomorrow morning will be the start of the second round. You’ll enter the first island at different times and locations. Remember, every island has a time limit. If you fail to complete the mission within the time limit, it counts as a failure and your elimination. You’ll all be given a jade slip for keeping time, which will also display the mission on every island.”

After an explanation of the rules, some geniuses were excited, while others had a grave look on their face. Many of them still wanted to win.

Jiang Chen wasn’t too concerned. Even if he hadn’t done that well in the first part of the competition, it wouldn’t have affected his mindset at all.

“All of you, look sharp!” encouraged Ziju Min. “We aren’t demanding you to get a good score, but at least do your best. Show us your true ability.”

In contrast, the first prime turned to Jiang Chen expectantly. “This seat has high hopes for you. You must take the crown. Don’t let anyone from Flora win.”

Jiang Chen smiled. “I’ll try my best.”

That reassured the first prime. She believed not even the two top geniuses of Flora would be able to threaten Jiang Chen, given his superior abilities.

Obviously, Lu Mingye didn’t agree yet. He was wholeheartedly focused on winning and using this opportunity to rise up in the world. This would have an incalculable effect on his future.

It’d be so perfect if he could defeat Jiang Chen and rise to the top.

The next morning, all the geniuses were ready to face the second round in their best condition.

They each received a jade slip; Jiang Chen considered his curiously.

“Ready yourselves! You’re entering the first forbidden island. Now, a word of advice. The islands are dangerous and each is more dangerous than the previous. Take on the challenges at your own discretion.”

In other words, they might get hurt, or even worse.

Jiang Chen smiled. He didn’t ignore the warning, but he wasn’t going to overthink it. There was a confidence in his calm composure.

He was soon deployed to the first forbidden island - the Island of Fog, according to the jade slip.

As the name suggested, the island was enveloped in thick, boundless fog. Jiang Chen was to find the Door of Silver Chains. Once he did, he’d have completed the first challenge.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Wahey! It's the year's namesake chapter! How has 2019 treated everyone thus far?