It was already the night before the sect-wide competition when Luo Jianqing was done checking the preparations.
The sect-wide competition was just on the horizon. Zuo Yunmo was still unable to make a breakthrough, having no choice but to say to Luo Jianqing with a smile, “This is truly unfortunate, senior brother. I am but an inch away from breaking through to middle stage Core Formation. Only then can I fully enjoy myself when I battle you.”
Luo Jianqing lightly smiled as he spoke. “Junior brother, even if you reach middle stage Core Formation, don’t even think that you can challenge your senior brother’s dignity.”Zuo Yunmo raised his eyebrows. “It seems someone’s forgotten who was it that liked to sit on my shoulders as a child every single day…”
Zuo Yunmo smiled slightly and put his finger against his lips, hushing him.
Luo Jianqing had a very stable temper and only thought: Tomorrow at the arena, I will make that shameless second junior brother know just how to write the words “great senior brother”!
When night came, Luo Jianqing explained what happened on the second day to Xuan Lingzi. After confirming that he did not want to watch the competition, he felt a sense of disappointment, but he also knew that it was to be expected. The sect-wide competition was nothing more than a series of matches between disciples, and even his match with Zuo Yumo was just a battle between two Core Formation cultivators. How was that even worthy enough for Xuan Lingzi’s eyes?
But before Luo Jianqing left, Xuan Lingzi said neutrally, “Do not make Yu Xiao Peak lose face.”
Luo Jianqing gave him his compliance and left.
When night fell, the bright moon rose in the east.
The quiet light of night enveloped all of Tai Hua Mountain. In the mountain forest, the cries of demon beasts could be faintly heard.
The next day was the sect-wide competition, and many disciples spent the last night tossing and turning. Some people were meditating, wishing to stabilize their cultivation as much as possible; while some were continuously drilling their spiritual beasts to make sure they wouldn’t forget; and there were others who were practicing against their fellow disciples, training their ability in actual combat.
In the pitch-black night, a shadow flitted across Yu Xiao Peak and passed through the layers upon layers of restrictions, departing from the peak.
Luo Jianqing sped between the mountain peaks, his entire body covered in black clothes for night travel. Besides a black cloth covering his face, he also took a second-grade Image Concealing Pill, which made any cultivator below Out-of-Body stage unable to discover his true appearance.
Luo Jianqing was not worried at all about Xuan Lingzi being skeptical of his whereabouts. In his childhood, he and the rest of Tai Hua’s Seven Children would often sneak out in the middle of the night to play. In the beginning, Xuan Lingzi punished him by making him self-reflect, but there was one time he was punished more brutally than usual. Luo Jianqing had knelt at Xunjie Gate, refusing to acknowledge his errors no matter what. After he passed out, Xuan Lingzi didn’t care if he snuck out anymore.
Luo Jianqing grew up knowing Tai Hua Mountain like the back of his hand. After he took a shortcut to Hao Ming Peak, he did not head for the inner disciples’ residence, but instead walked to the outer disciples’.
At the moment, there were no lack of people who were secretly training inside. Luo Jianqing paid no attention to them and soon found who he was looking for.
Obviously, the sect-wide competition will begin tomorrow. Obviously, with just his own strength, there was absolutely no way he was going to win the first match. Indeed Li Xiuchen was still sitting in the courtyard, face as stiff as a board. He was not cultivating, he was not practicing with others; he only continuously practiced with a dagger, an odd look on his face, and who knows what he was feeling inside.
In his past life, after Li Xiuchen entered Tai Hua Mountain, Xuan Lingzi put his heart and soul into guiding him.
Though Li Xiuchen had no constitution, Xuan Lingzi still persisted in getting Li Xiuchen to Phase Six Qi Condensation in a single year. Who would’ve guessed that among the 24 new disciples, only two had reached Phase Six Qi Condensation, one of which who had a first-level constitution.
That person’s earnesty and attentiveness consumed Luo Jianqing’s heart with hatred. Liu Yan Valley had also opened early in his past life. The Qi Condensation disciples were divided into early stage, middle stage, and late stage, all fighting separately. The last three champions were allowed to go to Liu Yan Valley first.
It was no different from his past life. The only change was that Li Xiuchen was only at Phase Four.
Actually, even Phase Four Qi Condensation was just too ridiculous. Li Xiuchen never practiced and did not have a master as good as Xuan Lingzi, but he still managed to reach Phase Four Qi Condensation. As Xie Zizhuo would say, that joker Li Xiuchen is definitely up to no good!
Luo Jianqing had no idea how Li Xiuchen cultivated. After all, Xie Zizhuo had been sending someone to observe him since the beginning, but never saw any hint of hard work. However, Luo Jianqing did not care about this at all. In fact, he did not come here tonight to spy on Li Xiuchen.
Thinking of this, Luo Jianqing hid and made his qi untraceable.
After a cup of tea’s worth of time, Li Xiuchen returned the dagger to his waist. He turned his head just in time to see a masked, black-clothed person standing right in front of him.
Li Xiuchen’s eyes widened with fright. Right as he was about to scream, he found that his voice was sealed.
He only heard a hoarse voice echo in the courtyard, “You seem to stand nice and straight. I quite like you, so I will bestow you a magical tool to help you pass the sect-wide competition tomorrow. No need to thank me. Until we meet again, you will come to know who I am.”
For a long time, Li Xiuchen’s entire body was completely paralyzed. There was one more sword on the ground. Li Xiuchen still felt completely frightened as he was a moment ago. Don’t even mention that person hiding their face; even if they had no face, Li Xiuchen still wouldn’t be able to see them well in the night.
Li Xiuchen finally stopped shaking. He crawled to the sword and picked it up.
“The heavens have blessed me! This is the heavens’ gift to me! I really am the main character! Hahahaha!!!”
Outside the courtyard, Luo Jianqing pulled the black cloth off his face and sneered, then flew away.
The next day, the sect-wide competition that Tai Hua Mountain hosted every seven years began right on time.
Tai Hua Mountain nowadays had a total of several hundred Qi Condensation disciples, around a couple hundred Qi Foundation disciples, and ten disciples at Core Formation. Among them were Tai Hua’s Seven Children, as well as three junior brothers who all painstakingly worked their way up to Core Formation stage.
The arena was set up at the plaza in front of Cang Shuang Peak’s Ling Yun Hall, while elders of the other sects could sit in front of Ling Yun Hall and watch the battles between the younger generation. This time, three Tai Hua Peak Lords arrived. Sect leader Hao Xingzi sat in the center of the crowd, leading the matches.
There were four Out-of-Body elders who were in charge of the sect-wide competition, as well as twenty-odd Nascent Soul elders scattered all around the arena. In case something happened, they were right there to rescue anyone who needed help.
Studying cultivation always involved danger to an extent. Anyone who made a full-out effort never broke their dedication.
Therefore, in this sect-wide competition, there must always be an elder with a great cultivation level watching on the sidelines, or it may lead to great disaster.
The very first matches were among the Qi Condensation disciples, from Phase One to Phase Three. Nothing made this sort of match worth watching. By the time all the matches were finished, there came a cry of alarm among the disciples – not for the little junior brother who won his victory, but for the seven people that appeared around the arena.
Tai Hua’s Seven Children were here!
Little senior sister Mu Tianxin was clad in fire-red; sixth senior brother Xiu Hen looked strong and sturdy, bold and powerful; fifth senior brother Huo Yuchong had a head of red hair with a fierce disposition; sixth senior brother Xie Zizhuo was covered in black from head to foot, fluttering his fan casually; third senior sister Wei Qiongyin held a sword as a spectator, her face cold as ice; second senior brother Zuo Yunmo was smiling softly, tender and approachable.
And the one who walked at the very front seemed to harness all the splendor of the world, as dazzling as the stars in the sky.
He wore a white uniform with green sleeves. A green three-petaled lotus adorned his forehead, a handsome face rivalled by none, eyes as beautiful as a painting. Every movement was beautiful and graceful. His expressionless face and calm, relaxed manner made the crowd part at once, while also making all the great cultivators in front of Ling Yun Hall suddenly think of one name.
Tai Hua Mountain, Yu Xiao Peak, Luo Jianqing.
Even to an almighty Body Fusion cultivator, this name held a famous reputation.
This was Tai Hua Mountain’s Yu Xiao Peak’s only disciple. This was the last disciple of the number one cultivator, Xuan Lingzi.
“This is Luo Jianqing?”
“He really does deserve to be at Tai Hua Mountain. Even if this youngster is only at middle stage Core Formation, I actually sensed an overpowering sword intent from him.”
“Sect leader Hao Xingzi, is Sir Xuan Lingzi not coming today?”
Hao Xingzi had already prepared for this situation. Although his cultivation was higher than these people, he was currently speaking as the sect leader of Tai Hua Mountain. Hao Xingzi spoke mildly, “Yes, this is the great senior brother of our Tai Hua Mountain, Luo Jianqing.”
They sighed with emotion once again. Even the Calamity Passage elders of the four sects, eight great families, and the sixteen schools never moved their gaze away from Luo Jianqing.
At this moment in the middle of the arena, Luo Jianqing was watching the matches between the middle stage Qi Condensation disciples. There were several dozen in total who fought on stage. At last with a great wave of dust, the mediocre-looking young man had finally won. Even the judging elder was staring with shock and couldn’t speak for a long time.
After a moment, the judge yelled, “The middle stage Qi Condensation victor is Li Xiuchen, Phase Four Qi Condensation!”
As soon as his voice fell, the disciples erupted into whispers. Xie Zizhuo smiled crookedly, and ran to Luo Jianqing’s side, whispering, “Senior brother, what kind of trick has he pulled now! He’s won again, he’s done it again! Six of his opponents didn’t show up last time and only fought two matches. Even at the end he still beat a Phase Six Qi Condensation disciple. Can you believe it? I don’t! There is definitely something up with that sword. Its power is unnatural!”
While he spoke, he thought of getting up to see what was going on with his body, but Luo Jianqing pulled him back down and admonished good-naturedly, “Fourth junior brother, this junior brother is already so critically injured. That sword of his is a magical tool, but since the judge hasn’t stopped him, then it isn’t illegal.”
Xie Zizhuo cried out, “The heavens are so unfair!”
Luo Jianqing laughed quietly. “Junior brother, you don’t have to be so jealous of how lucky other people are.”
Xie Zizhuo’s eyes turned green with anger. “I’m jealous of him?”
Luo Jianqing firmly slapped Xie Zizhuo on the back of his head, making him stop running his mouth and shut up in shame. Still, he mumbled to himself, “Senior brother, it’s obvious you hate him too, what’s the matter with you today?”
Luo Jianqing heard him and slightly smiled.
Over there, Li Xiuchen whooped and hollered in celebration, but no one joined him. Even little Liu Xiaoxiao stood in the middle of the Qing Lan Peak disciples, staring at Li Xiuchen but giving no congratulations.
Upon seeing this, Luo Jianqing smiled lightly, his eyes narrowing, and continued to look at the match on the arena.
Soon, the Qi Condensation disciples’ match came to an end. It was clear that many Qi Foundation disciples were missing, and it did not take long for their matches to end. Finally, there were only ten Core Formation disciples left to battle.
Everyone’s gaze was concentrated on the five arenas. Luo Jianqing flew to the stage, staring at the brilliant red-clothed girl across from him. His sleeves gently fluttered as he smiled, “Little junior sister, today… I won’t be so polite.”