The arena rose, and the surroundings were a hubbub of noise.
The first rays of the winter sun slowly brushed over Azure Dragon Mountain. Looking from far away, it was a jade dragon ascending into the heavens, devouring and ruining the sun.
In this manner, one of the Top Ten Sceneries emerged before everyone’s eyes, yet it was eclipsed by the appraisal of the juren for the Divine Warrior Examination.
“There’s no way Chen Mo can survive this. The Qing Family is finished.”
“Indeed, life is unpredictable, for such a thing to happen at the Divine Warrior Examination.”
“Ha, ha, you guys ought to be happy. The Three Great Noble Clans will be exterminated, giving us even greater opportunity.”
“As you say.”
“But I pity Qing Wan. A genius warrior, to reach Three Flowers Overhead at seventeen.”
“Hm, hm, how can this be. If Qing Wan obtains the juren token, she will not make dafu.”1
As the time to assess the final juren of the Divine Warrior Examination slowly pressed closer, the surrounding people’s discussions grew louder and louder. Each person was spouting arrogant nonsense, filling the field with random clamor. In everyone’s minds, there was already no doubt that Chen Mo had died. There was already no use in continuing this Divine Warrior Examination.
As Qing Yuanshan and the others on the platform listened to the gleeful conversations below, their expressions turned increasingly grave, but at the moment, they lacked the strength to berate those people. The Tao Family Head was to the side, a gloomy look on his face, looking at Qing Wan with great hostility, very displeased with the girl’s unscrupulous behavior. But with the disparity in their strengths, the man could only swallow his anger.
Qing Wan stood in one corner of the platform, her clothes floating in the breeze, like a quiet and towering lotus flower, proud and aloof.
“I feel this duel won’t take place. Everyone should disperse now.”
“Get on with whatever should happen already, Chen Mo is definitely dead without a corpse.”
“Exactly. We waited an entire night, you should let us go.”
The commoners and warriors that had been trapped for a night began to shout, shove, and lose their patience. The crowd on the field was like a raging tidal wave, letting out roars. “Sirs, what do you think?” Monk Guan Jing clapped his hands together as he asked Qing Yuanshan and the others. “For this juren, it would be better to judge Qing Wan as the winner.”
The others did not utter a word, their faces taut.
Undoubtedly, that his niece would make juren was a very happy affair, yet Qing Yuanshan found he could not be delighted at all.
“Then Poor Monk shall make the proclamation.” Monk Guan Jing rose.
“I feel we still can wait a little longer.” Qing Wan said.
“There is no need to waste any more time.” Monk Guan Jing said. Just as he was about to announce it, all of a sudden, the clamoring crowd fell deathly silent. The crowd that had just been in discussions abruptly parted. Everyone was wide-eyed, full of shock.
They saw a man slowly amble over, his expression bright, his gait majestic. Each step was surprisingly filled with an indifference that was neither rushed nor slow. The qi and blood of his whole body was retracted, practically imperceptible, but his countenance was filled with a self-confidence that was never before more formidable.
This feeling that qi and blood were one with the body was…?
Monk Guan Jing creased his brow.
“Chen Mo!!” Qing Wan was startled.
“Chen Mo has appeared.”
The ashen-faced Qing Yuanshan and others suddenly showed joyous expressions when they saw Chen Mo show up walking step by step, but immediately, this joy was replaced by astonishment.
Even if the Chen Mo who had suffered Insinuation had been rescued, he would inevitably be extremely weakened for days, but what was the matter with the scene in front of them?
Not only did Chen Mo not seem depressed in the slightest, on the contrary, he was in great spirits, much more elegant and vigorous than when he came before. They were all experienced warriors and very quickly sensed from Chen Mo’s abnormal aura a bit of what had happened. But no one dared to believe the judgment in their hearts. They merely stared at each other.
Finally, a warrior cried out.
“This is Qi And Blood Nine Turns!!”
The absolutely silent field immediately broke into a clamor.
“Qi And Blood Nine Turns??”
“Impossible. Yesterday, he tested only at Qi And Blood Eight Turns. Don’t tell me he was even able to hide his strength from the testing column.”
“Doesn’t this mean that not only did Chen Mo survive, he even broke through to Qi And Blood Nine Turns?”
“This is too terrifying. Does the Great Chong Dynasty have a warrior like this?”
To break through from Qi And Blood Eight Turns to Nine Turns in a single night, everyone nearly went mad. If it was not for the fact they were absolutely convinced about the power Chen Mo tested under the column, they would not dare to believe the reality in front of them even if it struck them dead.
Qing Yuanshan showed a small smile, heaving a sigh of relief in his heart.
But it was actually the Tao Family’s head who was struck dumb as a wooden chicken.
“Apologies, my body didn’t feel good last night, so I rested for the night, and as a result, came late.” Chen Mo stepped onto the platform, bowing to Monk Guan Jing and Qing Yuanshan.
“You have reached Qi And Blood Nine Turns?” Monk Guan Jing stared blankly.
“A coincidental breakthrough.” Chen Mo nodded, not hiding his satisfaction.
The minds of all the warriors present were instantly blank. Everyone forced incredulous smiles. To be able to break through to Qi And Blood Nine Turns in a single night, this young master of the Chang’an Mansion was too abnormal. It truly was maddening to death to compare him to the average person.
“Qi And Blood Nine Turns, en.” Qing Wan was unmoved, still apathetic as before.
Ever since she sustained that series of shocks from Chen Mo, the girl seemed to have become a different person, transforming from her flippant self. Even if Chen Mo had any shocking metamorphoses left, she could maintain a heart as still as water.
“Fine. Although you have not reached Three Flowers Overhead, Qing Wan is very eager to face your Qi And Blood Nine Turns.” Qing Wan showed a slightly cruel sneer: “Young Master Chen Mo, Wan’er knows you won’t disappoint me.”
“Your Servant is somewhat overwhelmed by your favor.” After reaching Qi And Blood Nine Turns, Chen Mo’s qi and blood was even more condensed and reserved. He had a bearing just like a great sect master’s, all his words and actions tranquil and calm, making people very expectant of him.
“In that case, the juren assessment shall now begin.” Monk Guan Jing took a deep breath. Tiny, little Azure Dragon Town surprisingly had such interesting things happen. This was far more interesting than the juren tests for other towns. When he was assigned to Azure Dragon Town beforehand, he still maintained dissatisfaction. Now, it appeared that he was very fortunate to be able to witness such a change.
Monk Guan Jing chanted the “Withering And Thriving Soul Technique,” sitting crosslegged and entering a meditative state. He wanted to borrow these changes in Azure Dragon Town to break through to Three Flowers Overhead.
Seeing the monk enter meditation, Chen Mo did not waste time on small talk.
Qing Wan and Chen Mo maintained a distance and stood facing one another.
“Young Master Chen Mo, let us see just how incredible you are.”
“Exactly, if you can defeat a Three Flowers Overhead warrior, my Liu Family will serve you henceforth.”
“My Ye Family shall as well.”
“The Qi Family is also willing to pledge loyalty to Young Master Chen Mo, so long as the Young master actually can defeat a Three Flowers Overhead.”
All around the ring, each and every person loudly set down passionate promises. Perhaps it was because Chen Mo had returned or that they received the influence of his overnight break through to Qi And Blood Nine Turns, but the people who had still been mocking Chen Mo moments prior surprisingly responded one after another.
Upon a closer look, practically all several dozen of Azure Dragon Town’s noble families with the greatest promise of ascending the ranks now issued declarations of fealty.
Even the grave and stern Tao Family was moved by this scene.
“Chen Mo, regardless of whether you become juren or not, my Shen Family is willing to pledge eternal loyalty to Your Highness.” The Shen Family’s old man spoke.
The entire field boiled over.
“Many thanks for everyone’s generosity.” Chen Mo nodded and slightly smiled.
Qing Wan’s expression finally changed. Listening to the oaths of practically all of the surrounding warriors, the girl could not hide the astonishment and envy in her eyes.
Three months ago, Chen Mo was nothing more than a cripple that everyone disdained, yet now he made all of Azure Dragon Town sprawl reverently beneath his feet.
“I will definitely defeat you, Chen Mo!!!” Qing Wan grit her teeth, uttering word by word this sentence that deeply hid her fury.
All of the glory and honor Chen Mo was receiving right now, she would destroy it for sure.
Chen Mo merely smiled indifferently at her ire. He slightly nodded, as if saying he did not mind this at all.
Following the cannon shot, the fluttering of the Thousand Chong Mountain banners, the signal to begin the juren assessment rang.
Qing Wan bellowed, throwing a punch.
The final battle over the juren token of the Divine Warrior Examination’s provincial examination finally commenced.
- 大夫 Senior official. ↩