Chapter 2: Wu Yuan (2)

Their confrontation drew the attention of a large number of disciples on the training ground.

"I won't fight you." Wu Yuan shook his head decisively.

"Wu Yuan, are you afraid you'll lose to me? You placed first in the last minor tournament." Xu Yuanhan's voice rang out like a thunderous gong, deliberately amplified to draw the attention of all the disciples in the martial academy.

"Is Wu Yuan afraid to accept the challenge?"

"Xu Yuanhan is not an easy opponent. Wu Yuan won the previous match due to luck."

"I think Wu Yuan is the tougher one. He experienced a sudden awakening a while back. In the three recent martial academy minor tournaments, he placed tenth, then fourth, and finally, he won first place!" The many disciples of the martial academy whispered among themselves. All of them knew these two prominent figures in the academy.

Xu Yuanhan was extremely talented and hailed from a prestigious family. At fifteen years old, he was already a seventh-grade martial novice. His future was boundless.

Wu Yuan was from an ordinary family. Yet he stunned everyone, even drawing admiration from the academy headmaster.

"As a sage once wisely noted, when public opinion bears down on an individual, an average person may falter under the weight of criticism and fail to meet their usual standards." He eyed Wu Yuan. "I need to engage in more sparring sessions with Wu Yuan to gauge the extent of his strength, and afterward, seek guidance from several uncles to refine countermeasures."

Over the course of the previous year, he had emerged victorious in eighteen minor tournaments held at the martial academy. His acceptance into the esteemed Cloud Martial Hall was all but certain. 

Who would have thought that as the major tournament approached, Wu Yuan would suddenly emerge as a contender?

"I am indeed afraid of losing, Xu Yuanhan. Wait till the major tournament, we'll have our rematch then," Wu Yuan replied nonchalantly with a smile, indifferent to what the academy disciples thought of him.

Reputation? Only children were bothered by such a thing.

In the previous three minor tournaments, Wu Yuan deliberately controlled his rank, climbing higher each time. This was to make sure he wouldn't look too suspicious when he finally won the major tournament

"Hm?" Xu Yuanhan's pupils contracted. He wasn't anticipating Wu Yuan's response. If he were in Wu Yuan's shoes, he would find it hard to maintain his composure under the stares of the crowd.

"You really won't accept my challenge?" Xu Yuanhan asked in a deep voice.

"I won't," Wu Yuan responded with a smile and shook his head.

Xu Yuanhan fell silent for a moment, then grinned. "Fine. Wu Yuan, you're interesting. Let's settle our scores at the major tournament."

Xu Yuanhan didn't linger. He turned and left the martial grounds with a few followers.

This scene left many disciples, who expected Xu Yuanhan to ‘exploit his authority as the general's son to oppress others’, somewhat disappointed.

On the contrary, Wu Yuan was calm. This was within his expectations.

My rank in the last three minor tournaments has risen consistently, the name list should have been placed on the county mayor's desk by now. I can't offend the general of defense, but merely his son?

The general of defense was a prominent figure in Li County, second only to the county mayor. Xu Yuanhan, his youngest son, was naturally not some ordinary martial disciple one could casually provoke. However, this did not include the already formidable Wu Yuan.

The county martial academy tournaments were held to identify true elite geniuses, one of the primary responsibilities of a county mayor. The general of defense wouldn't dare intervene with it on a whim.

In the thirteen continents of the Middle Land, where martial artists vied for supremacy, certain influential figures within the great martial sects opted for a more lavish lifestyle. This, in itself, was not a concern. However, when martial arts competitions were manipulated and the principles of fairness and justice were cast aside, it signaled the sect's impending downfall.

Moreover, Xu Yuanhan is no fool. Wu Yuan smiled, looking in the direction of Xu Yuanhan's departure.

Xu Yuanhan was born with a golden spoon, yet he trained in the depths of winter and heights of summer, practicing martial arts every day since his early childhood. He might act arrogantly, but he was not the type of person to cause such trouble for his father.

Even if he truly wanted to cause trouble for Wu Yuan, he would not do so under the watchful eyes of the others.


Within the county martial academy, in a nine-story building a kilometer away from the training grounds.

On the seventh floor.

A slightly stooped old man in a green robe leaned against the railing. To his right stood a middle-aged man in a black robe. He had a square face and an aura of authority that invoked respect.

"General Xu, what do you think?" The old man in the green robe chuckled, "As I said, this Wu Yuan is someone who thinks before acting and wouldn’t accept the challenge."

"Brother Zhang knows his disciples like the back of his hand, it's admirable. My unworthy son was reckless this time." The middle-aged man in black robes smiled, "However, Brother Zhang, are you really planning to refuse my previous proposal?"

"It's not that I want to refuse. It's the county mayor."

The old man in green robes glanced at the other man, continuing with a placid tone, "You are a core disciple of the sect, surely you are more aware of how strict the Inspection Hall is than I am."

"Haha, I am not obstructing Wu Yuan from entering the Cloud Martial Hall, I am just suggesting that he wait another year," laughed the middle-aged man in the black robe. "He just went through an awakening in his martial path. Old brother Zhang, if you nurture him just one year more, he could potentially enter the Cloud Martial Hall as the top entrant among four provinces. That is a major accomplishment."

"If he enters the Cloud Martial Hall this year, he will be just an ordinary disciple. No matter how incredible his future achievements, it will all be attributed to the Cloud Martial Hall's nurturing."

The green-clad elder only smiled in response.

"Three Qi Enhancement Pills, how about it?" The man in the black robe put forth his final offer.

The green-robed elder’s eyes narrowed, pausing for a moment, "And the county mayor's end?"

"There's no need for you to worry about that, Old Brother Zhang."

"Very well." The green-robed elder nodded, casually commenting, "I've seen Yuanhan grow from a child into a mature and steady young man. If he doesn't enter the Cloud Martial Hall this year, he will exceed the age bracket. What a shame that would be."

"Wu Yuan, this little fellow, just went through an awakening and is indeed still young. It would be more appropriate for him to temper himself for a year before entering the Cloud Martial Hall..."


The county martial academy, in an advanced combat chamber.

"Brother Yuan, be careful!" A burly young man in black, decked out in protective gear, moved with robust agility, unleashing a punch as fierce as a lightning bolt. The air itself seemed to howl.

Wu Yuan merely shifted a step to his left, narrowly evading the punch.

Boom! The mighty youth was prepared for it. He executed a powerful kick with his right leg, the muscles on his thigh bulging like solid steel bars.

Wu Yuan took a step back in advance, almost as if he had anticipated the move, skillfully dodging the attack.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The muscular youth alternated between punches and kicks, every attack ferocious. The reinforced ground trembled subtly beneath him, but he could not lay a finger on Wu Yuan. 

After nearly a hundred moves. The muscular youth finally ceased his assault, panting heavily. Drenched in sweat, he helplessly called out to Wu Yuan,  "Brother Yuan, your footwork has progressed so remarkably. Just a few days ago when we sparred, I could still keep pace, but now I can't even touch you."

Wu Yuan laughed. 

Touch me?

During their previous exchanges, he had feigned weakness to create the illusion of rapid progress. Otherwise, even if ten people at the brawny youth's level attacked him, Wu Yuan could easily dodge them all. 

In terms of power, Wu Yuan wasn't much stronger than the buff youth. But skill-wise? It was a world of difference!

"Brother Yuan, do people really become so powerful once they experience an awakening in their martial path?" The muscular youth couldn't help but ask, "Before, I could always suppress you, but now, you can probably take on ten of me."

"Little Wu, when you awaken your potential as well, you will naturally understand," Wu Yuan laughed, giving an ambiguous response.

Awakening? In the Middle Land, such an experience was a miracle for martial artists. Wu Yuan used the term 'awakening' to disguise his rapid progress.

Awakening? Many martial artists struggle their entire lifetime without experiencing such a thing. 

The muscular youth known as Little Wu sighed, "In the upcoming major tournament, I'm guessing Brother Yuan will be securing first place. After you graduate from the Cloud Martial Hall, you will be an Adept expert at least. When that happens, you will truly undergo a complete transformation in status. The Wu Clan may even appoint you as their chieftain."

Wu Yuan nodded slightly in response.

"Brother Yuan, I'm just concerned that Xu Yuanhan may be hatching some other plan to deal with you. His father is the general of defense after all." Little Wu looked worried. As the son of a hundred-soldier captain of the city guard, he understood the authority the general held more clearly than most.

"Don't worry," Wu Yuan patted his shoulder comfortingly, "In the worst-case scenario, I can always enter the Southdream Martial Academy instead. But if you don't get in, your dad won't let you off."

The Southdream Martial Academy was one of the three tertiary martial academies under the Cloudstride Sect, second only to the Cloud Martial Hall. It wasn't easy to gain admission.

"Brother Yuan, please, don't say anymore," Little Wu gave an exaggerated wail of despair.

Wu Yuan chuckled at his dramatics and shook his head.

Little Wu's full name was Wu Sheng [1]. His father and Wu Yuan's father were sworn brothers. Wu Yuan and Wu Sheng shared a bond that lasted from childhood till now. Wu Yuan, after fusing with the memories of the previous person, continued to honor this brotherly affection.

From what Wu Yuan could remember, eight years ago, his father died in a battle between the Cloudstride Sect and the Great Jin Dynasty in the Battle of Hillstride. From then on, his family fell into decline and was subjected to bullying within the clan. His mother was able to hold on largely thanks to the help Wu Sheng's family provided her.


As the sunset faded into dusk, Wu Yuan and Wu Sheng left the martial academy together. From a distance, they saw a carriage parked under the shade of a tree. An elderly man in a black robe stood by it, his brows furrowed.

"Brother Yuan, it's your Wu Clan’s chieftain. Perhaps he's looking for you," Wu Sheng said in a lowered voice. "He's coming over, I will leave first." The internal affairs of the Wu Clan were not something Wu Sheng or his father had the right to intervene in.

Wu Yuan nodded, then stepped forward to greet the chieftain "Chieftain, what brings you here?" 

Wu Qiming was the chieftain of the Wu Clan’s Li City branch. The Wu Clan in Southdream Province was considered a relatively large clan, but Wu Qiming was merely the chieftain of a branch of the clan. The Wu Clan in Li City was an insignificant clan.

However, since Wu Yuan's father passed away, various parties within the clan joined forces to oppress their family. Wu Qiming established several rules to restrict their actions, otherwise, his mother wouldn't have been able to resist their pressure by herself.

In the past month, Wu Yuan quickly gained attention within the clan due to his meteoric rise in the martial academy.

"Wu Yuan." Wu Qiming looked at the most dazzling junior in the younger generation of his family and reprimanded, "What have you done to offend the general of defense?"

1. The ‘Wu’ in Wu Yuan is different from the ‘Wu’ in Wu Sheng

Whysee's Thoughts

For reference:

Nine Grades Of Martial Artists In The Middle Land

Raw Physical Strength (single-arm)


low-tier martial novice

1000 catties


mid-tier martial novice

2000 catties


high-tier martial novice

4000 catties


martial virtuoso

10,000 catties


third-rate Adept

20,000 catties


second-rate Adept

30,000 catties


first-rate Adept

50,000 catties


Savant expert

100,000 catties

first-grade, reach human biological limit

Grandmaster/ Land Ranker

200,000 catties


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