The golden whip cracked in the air with the faint trace of a dragon’s roar. Qin Ye’s eyes widened, and he immediately raised both of his arms to defend against the powerful oncoming attack.
Crack… The golden whip left a stinging red mark across his arms, and gravel scattered everywhere. In the aftermath of a rising dust cloud, he discovered that he had just been knocked back yet another ten meters!
“Are you still going to hold back? Fine. I’ll see how long you can keep holding out for!!” Qin Ye was stricken with abject astonishment, while Lin Han was filled with a commensurate amount of fury. In a fit of anger, his body flickered as quick as lightning, leaving several afterimages in the air, almost as though there were several people attacking Qin Ye from all directions at the same time.
“Seven Stars Flashing Moon. Lin Han doesn’t have any specific profession or belong to any particular lineage. Instead, he had by chance come across an ancient scroll that had probably been left behind by the Freedom Sect some 1,200 years ago. He’s been practising it well.” Xu Anguo’s smile had already vanished by now as he stared at the arena with a grim expression, “S9527… his abilities shouldn’t only be at this level.”
“That’s right. If this is all he has, there’s simply no way he could possibly have breached nine hunting zones in the span of a single night. We’ve personally looked into that incident and confirmed that this feat had indeed been accomplished with his own strength. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this achievement alone sets him apart from everyone else in his generation.” Li Tao stroked his beard as he furrowed his brows, “Unless…”
Both men exchanged glances as the same notion crossed their mind - Staged competition!
How dare they stage a fight in front of the two principals of the academy?
Are they revolting?!
The principals were not the only ones astonished - everyone else in the audience were as well.
They knew how strong Lin Han was. But the instructor who was rumoured to be the strongest contender among the younger generation of cultivators had actually been forced into a position where he could only defend himself feebly?
“How can this be…” A middle-aged woman exclaimed, “Is he… going easy on his opponent? Or is he really having a hard time living up to the expectations?”
“I don’t know…” A man standing beside her stared with his mouth agape, “All I’m seeing is that Mr Qin… is struggling to even defend himself…”
Qin Ye was oblivious to their thoughts. However, he could only curse profusely under his breath as he looked helplessly at the seven figures in the air as they converged on him.
How did you even learn of a technique so bizarre?! This isn’t like you! Hurry up and tear down your pretenses and let me see who exactly you are!
It was difficult to distinguish the real from the fake among the seven figures. Each of their attacks whizzed through the air with a stifling sound, and their punches, elbows, knees and kicks were all aimed at his vitals. Everything was quick as lightning, almost as though they were seven divine soldiers armed with sharp weapons.
Qin Ye didn’t dare to pull out his demonhead saber. He had earlier been able to bamboozle the Blaze Squad. But there were Hellguard-class experts around, and he didn’t know whether Zhou Xianlong was hiding in the shadows either. As long as he revealed even the slightest flaw in his cover, his hamster plan would be thoroughly routed.
What do I do?
With countless complicated thoughts played out in his mind. It wasn’t that he was unable to defend against the oncoming attacks. However… what would the academy think if a person like him who had breached nine hunting zones in a single night could only defend feebly against Lin Han’s attacks? Wouldn’t they assign him a team of C-class slags and deprive him of the yet-unknown benefits accompanying the top rankers of each faculty?
Lin Han… just you wait. The day you die will be the day that I sentence you to a lifetime of hard labour!!
As these thoughts continued to churn in his mind, the seven figures quickly arrived in front of him. Qin Ye drew a deep breath, and the entire arena exploded with a powerful blast of true energy.
It was like white mist that slowly dispersed into the surroundings.
Within moments, the white mist scattered, revealing the image of Qin Ye standing in the midst of everything with his hands in his pockets. His expression was as calm as the tall mountains, and he glanced at Lin Han placidly, “Is that all?”
Nobody could see that his hands were trembling in his pockets.
Bloody hell… how can you be so ferocious? Are all of the geniuses in the mortal realm just like you? How were you unable to hurt the Hunter-class evil ghost despite struggling against it for more than half an hour last time? This doesn’t make any sense!
Lin Han’s gaze turned cold, and he bit down on his lips, “Even the Seven Stars Flashing Moon wasn’t able to hurt you…”
“Then…” Qin Ye’s face remained completely calm as he literally displayed a smug expression that seemed to imply - Why don’t you admit your loss?
Lin Han sighed deeply, “I hadn’t intended to use this move…”
Whoosh… As soon as he finished speaking, the true energy in the surroundings began to surge towards him like a sea of dragons. His camouflage uniform fluttered with a loud bang.
You’ve still got more?!
You’re not done yet?!!
Qin Ye’s placid expression froze on his face. A drop of sweat slid down his jaw. Then, just as the true energy around Lin Han’s body was about to erupt, he calmly stated, “Then… I’ll admit my defeat.”
Phlbbt… The true energy surrounding Lin Han scattered like a deflated balloon as he stared at Qin Ye with disbelief.
With a smile on his face and a thousand swear words in his heart, Qin Ye nodded at Lin Han, “Not bad.”
“You’ve improved since the last time we’ve met. Even my arms are slightly numb from your attacks.”
Lin Han’s chiseled appearances suddenly turned red as he gritted his teeth, “I don’t need you to go easy on me!! This doesn’t count! Let’s start over again!!”
You’re still going at it?!
“No. A loss is a loss. You’ve won.” Qin Ye smiled as he walked off the arena, preserving his name and reputation.
He completely ignored the countless pairs of widened eyes that were staring at him from the audience.
“Interesting.” After a protracted period of silence, Li Tao suddenly quipped with a faint smile on his face, “Instructor S9527’s way of thinking… is rather unique.”
“Instructor Lin is victorious.” He announced in a cryptic fashion, “But, Instructor S9527, I hope you won’t regret your humility today.”
Qin Ye continued to maintain the smile on his face.
Of course I’ll bloody regret this! But what’s the use of regret? The precondition is that I need to be able to defeat him!
Why should I be helping other Hunter-class experts?
Xu Anguo smiled faintly, “Instructor Qin has displayed the spirit of unity and camaraderie. If not for the fact that Old Man Li and I have personally verified your amazing feat of breaching nine hunting zones in a single night, even we might have been fooled by your performance today. However… when it comes to cultivation, you should still fight for what’s worth fighting for.”
Nevertheless, Qin Ye continued to maintain the same smile on his face.
Just then, a dark, imposing figure that was taller than him suddenly appeared in front of his face.
Lin Han’s expressions were ashen. He stared at Qin Ye for a long time, before asking, “Are you looking down on me?”
No… I’ve done this precisely because I look up to you…
Qin Ye revealed a perfect smile on his face, “What are you talking about?”
“Then, why didn’t you give it your all and fight me properly?” Lin Han’s chest rose and fell heavily as he barked, “Do I not even justify the use of your sword?”
“Where’s your saber? The saber that you used to slay those Hunter-class ghosts that night! You’ve only used a tenth of your strength today! Stop trying to deceive me!”
I’m not deceiving you!!
The smile on Qin Ye’s face was perfect and flawless. Then, as his smile faded, he muttered, “Is there any meaning to this?”
“We’re acquaintances, no matter how you look at it. And it’s not like I’m lacking in such points in any event…” He gritted his teeth slightly and then sighed, “I didn’t want to display my strength because I’d rather leave you with a glimmer of hope.”
“Lin Han!” Qin Ye’s tone of voice grew higher as he added genuinely, “My saber is reserved for slaying evil ghosts.”
“Blood must be spilled the moment it’s unsheathed.”
“I don’t want to leave you with any regrets.”
Lin Han had bitten down on his lips so hard that they were almost bleeding by now. Then he turned around and left without another word.
Qin Ye stood at the same spot as he continued to receive complicated glances from all around the audience stand. His voice control earlier had been perfect. He had just put on a masterclass representation of a person whose emotions were teetering on the edge of losing control.
Hoooooly shit… I’ve finally managed to muddle my way through…
But… but then there’s still another round of competition to get through…
The five instructors were separated into two groups. The final slot was considered a walkover. In other words, he had to put on yet another perfect performance before he could put the unbelievably awkward competition behind him.
This series of sparring matches were a true test of his acting abilities.
The next round was a match between Su Feng and Li Runxue. Qin Ye would have to compete with the loser of that match up. If he won that match, he would have to compete with the winner of the very same match up, and then beat Lin Han, before he could finally face off against Zhuo Qinfen, the one who lucked out on the ballot with the walkover bracket.
It was a double elimination bracket system.
The battle between Li Runxue and Su Feng was far more exciting. Both of them knew each other’s abilities inside out, and each and every move unleashed was aimed directly at the other’s vitals. Their exchange was so blazingly quick and laden with such intense true energy that it thoroughly frightened Qin Ye.
These geniuses of the mortal realm are far too scary… I can’t beat them… can’t beat them…
Why don’t we have a ghost-slaying competition instead?!
In the end, it was Li Runxue who barely defeated Su Feng by a narrow margin.
“It was close.” Li Runxue made a polite fist-and-palm salute towards Su Feng. Her entire body was already covered in injuries. Su Feng shook his head weakly, adjusted his glasses, and then turned to Qin Ye.
Qin Ye immediately bowed down his head.
Turn back around!
Don’t look at me like that!
I can tell exactly what’s on your mind right now!
“Qin Ye.” Unfortunately, Su Feng didn’t hear the desperate cries of Qin Ye’s heart, and he continued, “I hope to be able to see you draw your saber in the next match.”
Haha… I refuse.
As Su Feng leapt off the arena to work on his recovery, everyone in the audience immediately turned their expectant gazes right back to Qin Ye, causing Qin Ye to gnash his teeth.
“When all of you die… I’ll be sure to have the Eighteen Abysses of Punishment waiting for you!!”
Off to the other side, Su Feng swallowed something and sat down to rest. After ten minutes, Li Tao smiled at him, “Are you ready?”
“I’m ready.” Su Feng nodded his head.
“I’m eagerly anticipating the fight too.” Li Tao glanced at Qin Ye, “Instructor Qin had ostensibly used a saber that night. In fact, his true energy was so thick and powerful that almost all of the ghosts had died with a single attack. If Instructor Su can force Instructor Qin to use his saber, I’m sure it would be an eye-opening performance for all of us.”
Qin Ye was nearly unable to maintain the smile on his face.
I shouldn’t fight…
Su Feng was much weaker than Lin Han, and Qin Ye stood a chance at victory if he fought for real. However…
This was an S-class expert who had razed nine hunting zones to the ground in just one night, versus another S-class expert who was struggling hard to stay afloat in the competition. This… was a fight that he would have to be incredibly shameless to take on!
“Instructor Qin, you…” Before Li Tao could finish speaking, Qin Ye calmly raised his hand and interjected, “I admit defeat.”
The entire audience was silent.
Su Feng propped up his glasses and stared at Qin Ye as though he had just seen a ghost, “No… are you really not going to try? I’m quite the easy picking. I’m skinny and weak. Why don’t you give it a shot? You might even be able to knock me over with a light push…”
Was he unable to force Qin Ye to draw his saber either?
“There’s no need.” Qin Ye waved his hands dismissively, “You’re no match for me.”
“An instructor who couldn’t even harm a Hunter-class ghost, and even needed me to come to his rescue later on… There’s no need for me to waste time here.”
“Principal, please make the announcement.”
No matter how he looked at it, Li Tao couldn’t help but feel that there was something amiss with the current situation.
If the premise was that “you’re no match for me”, shouldn’t the following statement be “why don’t you give up”?
How did that suddenly become “I admit defeat”?
Was there something missing in causation here?
But then again, if one made an extrapolation from everything Instructor Qin had just mentioned, everything still seemed to be in order.
Su Feng’s face flushed red. This was the truth, and there was no room for any refutations.
“Instructor Qin…” Xu Anguo paused, “Wouldn’t you reconsider your decision?”
Qin Ye shook his head adamantly, “Not interested.”
I’ve lost interest in the entire sparring competition!
But, to everyone else around, his words actually meant - I’ve lost interest because you’re all too weak.
“That’s wild.” A male instructor who was flipping the dagger in his arms furrowed his brows, “Seriously? He’s going easy on Su Feng as well?”
“What else could it be?” A middle-aged man with a chiseled face shook his head, “I’d heard it from the horse’s mouth that it had all been one single attack… All of the Hunter-class evil spirits were completely obliterated with a single slash of his saber. None were spared at all. Otherwise, why else do you think the rest of the competitors are all raring to compete with him?”
“It’s just a pity that the gaps in their abilities are so wide that he doesn’t have the intention to make a single move at all.”
“That’s right…” Another female instructor sighed, “And one can only be this wild if he truly possesses the strength to back his claims.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter