Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
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While Jiang Luo and the woman were contemplating on how to deal with Jiang Yao, Luo Xiao and the rest of Cloudsoar Academy was bursting with excitement.
It was almost time for the Royal Tournament to take place, the tournament that would rank everyone within the academy depending on their cultivation bases.
The more the students thought about this event, the more excited they would become. At the same time, the harder they would focus on their cultivation, trying to squeeze the tiniest drop of potential out of their bodies in an attempt of trying to do their very best in the tournament, stand out and be taken in by one of the princes’ factions.
The princes were the ones with the most power within the entire continent, and they also commanded the most resources. With so many resources at hand, if they were liked by the royals, they might get a few of them.
If they could get the resources, their cultivation base would rise much faster, even if they had to pledge loyalty to one of these princes, they were really in need of the resources that they provided.
Everyone preferred to be with the Seventh or Fourth Demon Prince; these two were the strongest and the most likely to gain the throne.
They were also interested in joining the neutral princes, especially Jiang Guanyu, as they wouldn’t be caught in the storm shrouding the position as crown prince. Still, anyone who had an ambition wanted to gamble on one of the princes that wished to fight for the throne – or Jiang Yao because he had the strength none others could rival even if his faction was very tight.
Luo Xiao was also excited, but the reason was different from the others. He had no interest in catching anyone’s attention; all he wanted was for Jiang Yao to be proud of him.
His goal was to stand by his side, helping him and supporting him instead of always being the one who was protected.
Luo Xiao saw this tournament as the first step towards the position by Jiang Yao’s side, and although he could not reveal his Astral Soul, he would still fight to the best of his abilities.
All of the royals would be present at the Royal Tournament. To excel in front of Jiang Yao was something Luo Xiao was looking forward to.
In the morning, Jin Chuan came to the house where he lived, waiting for him to wake up and get ready.
“Luo Xiao!” she called out when she saw him leaving the house, her eyes flashing with happiness. She noticed that his eyes were more focused than usual, and the usually somewhat aloof character was determined and sharp like a sword ready to be unsheathed.
She had never seen him like this before, and she was quite surprised. When thinking about it, she knew about the relationship between Jiang Yao and Luo Xiao. Knowing this, she was aware that the relationship between the two was much stronger than she had initially thought.
At least Luo Xiao was very sincere in his emotions towards the Seventh Demon Prince and seeing how shadow guards had been placed around him to protect his life, Jin Chuan could guess that Jiang Yao also valued Luo Xiao quite highly.
“Jin Chuan!” Luo Xiao greeted when he saw her, and his sharp aura turned a bit softer. “Let us head to the tournament fields,” he said, not at all willing to waste any time.
Jin Chuan could see the longing within his eyes and chuckled. “Is it the tournament fields you wish to see or is it, Jiang Yao?” She teased gently, and Luo Xiao’s face flushed red in embarrassment.
“Don’t tease me,” he pouted, but his adorableness just reminded Jin Chuan of a small pet, and she laughed while ruffling his hair.
Their intimate gestures were seen by many while they were walking towards the tournament grounds. Many had left as early as them, and the roads in the academy were filled with people.
Usually, many students were outside and experiencing the world, but now that the Royal Tournament was happening, all of them had rushed back to the academy to participate.
Hence every building within the academy was occupied with students, the roads were bustling with life, and the people ranked from the Sky rank up to, and including, Heaven ranked cultivators.
As soon as one reached the rank of an Emperor or was a hundred years old, one would graduate from the academy.
However, to become an Emperor ranked expert within hundred years was nearly impossible; even becoming a Heaven ranked cultivator was a near-impossible feat. They were quite rare, while the Sky and Star experts were numerous as the stars in the sky, and the Moon experts were quite a few as well.
The ones who had already reached the Heaven Rank for their cultivation base had either already been picked by a faction, or they had a preferred faction they wished to join.
Even if they had already joined a faction, they still showed up to fight. They wished to win glory and honor to their masters, and hence they had no other option than to fight the others of the same rank at this tournament.
Luo Xiao still did not know too much about the factions. He had met some of the princes, and he knew which ones were powerful and which ones weren’t, but he was not aware of the undercurrents brewing beneath the city.
He knew that Jiang Yao had no interest in the throne, but he had somewhat understood from the rumors that Jiang Luo still regarded him as his number one foe.
At the same time, he also understood that this world of intrigues was not one he could enter just yet. He was still far too weak; merely a High Sky Ranked cultivator.
If he could stand out amongst the other Sky Ranked cultivators and prove that he was not just anyone, maybe Jiang Yao would be proud of him?
Thinking like this, happiness erupted in his heart. He wanted to make Jiang Yao proud.
He had faith in himself. Although he had never been in a real battle before, he had trained the skills that Jiang Yao had given him, the Stalwart Shield Defense was great for protecting him, the Soul Reaping Palm was good for fighting against a single person who was slower than him, and the Devouring Starry Sky could fight anyone who was faster than him.
The Stalwart Shield Defense was a very straight forward protective technique, but because of Luo Xiao’s immensely pure spiritual energy, it was impossible to break his shield if you were at the same rank as him.
The Soul Reaping Palm was also an ability which increased in strength alongside the purity of the spiritual energy used. As a person with an Astral Soul, it was impossible for him to have the slightest impurity in his soul, and thus, his spiritual energy was completely pure – the Soul Reaping Palm was simply as a technique tailor-made for him.
Finally was the Devouring Starry Sky. Unlike the Soul Reaping Palm, which could be used continuously, the Devouring Starry Sky required a hefty amount of spiritual energy, as it would create thousands of spiritual energy spheres that’d shoot from the sky with speed comparable to a shooting star.
This Devouring Starry Sky would absorb any spiritual energy it came into contact with, and the more it absorbed, the more it would grow in intensity.
Luo Xiao felt ready. He had focused most of his time training these three skills, but he had also learned the Moon Goddess Palm and the Black Pagoda Art.
Although the time he had trained these two skills did not amount to even half the time he had trained the other two, the two skills would be able to support him in a time of need.
The Moon Goddess Palm had immense requirements of the user – one needed to be a Heavenly Soul or above to use it, hence the cost of this skill in terms of spiritual energy was not too much.
The Black Pagoda Art was not as useful as the Stalwart Shield Defense, but it could still be used from time to time, as it too was cheaper in spiritual energy than the Stalwart Shield Defense.
The main skills that Jiang Yao had found for Luo Xiao were, without a doubt, the best of the best, but they were also expensive to use.
“Oh, look how many have already arrived!” Jin Chuan had sensed that Luo Xiao was in deep thought as they walked towards the tournament grounds.
Now that they had arrived, she woke him up from his contemplations, and Luo Xiao looked around curiously.
It was true that many had already arrived. The tournament grounds were placed at the training fields behind the academy itself.
The reason this place had been picked, instead of the arena, was very simple. There were simply far too many students and only ten arenas. If they could only host ten fights at a time, it would simply take forever to finish this tournament, and thus they had decided to begin the tournament at the training fields and the finale at the arenas.
Luo Xiao could easily guess that the royals were not going to show up at the preliminary rounds, and only at the finale would they be able to see them.
He could not give up before he saw Jiang Yao and made him proud!
Luo Xiao was unaware of many things, and one of the things which he had never expected was that the Fourth Demon Prince, Jiang Luo, had prepared a gift for him.
Usually, one had to be a Moon Ranked cultivator to get the attention of the Fourth Demon Prince, but for once, he had made an exception and recruited a Sky Ranked cultivator.
This Sky ranked cultivator was recruited the moment that the tournament had been announced, and he had been soaking in herbal baths, fed spiritual fruits and trained by the best men in the fourth prince’s guards for one purpose, and one purpose only. Kill Luo Xiao on the stage.
Jiang Luo had initially planned on kidnapping Luo Xiao and using him to threaten Jiang Yao, but now he knew that he was guarded by shadow guards and that it was impossible to ‘invite’ him over.
Hence, he could only kill him.
The expert who had been trained from the beginning was filled with reverence towards the Fourth Demon Prince, and when he was given his task, he was stumped.
He was not stupid; it was easy to guess that he had been recruited for the sole purpose of killing this young man, but why? What was the identity of this one person to be able to cause the Fourth Demon Prince to go as far as to recruit someone just for killing him?
He was not fearful about the identity behind this boy. Who could possibly pose a threat to the Fourth Demon Prince? But he was time and time again being told that he should not look down on Luo Xiao, just because he was much younger than him.
The expert was assuring the people time and time again that he would never look down on an opponent, but deep within his arrogant heart, he could not take Luo Xiao seriously. He looked just like a meek sheep ready for slaughter.
When he saw Luo Xiao arriving at the tournament grounds together with Jin Chuan, the expert that had been picked by the Fourth Demon Prince gritted his teeth in anger.
He too was smitten with Jin Chuan’s beauty, and who was this boy to think that he could walk by her side, laugh with her and be her friend?
He was going to teach him a lesson as soon as the tournament began!
The tournament for the Sky Ranked experts were split into four groups, a north, south, east, and west group where Luo Xiao found himself within the south group, and the expert of Jiang Luo was within the east group. They would not meet each other for a long time.