Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
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Luo Xiao was focused on the tournament in front of him. He had the number eighty-seven. Each corner had more than two hundred members, and considering that his number was eighty-seven, he would not be amongst the first that would go up on the arena.
He had never before fought a real battle, and although he was confident in his abilities, he knew that there was a big difference between battling a dummy, which was standing still, and a human who would be able to think up strategies and so on.
Luo Xiao dared not be carefree; he was very solemn and understood that this was the make it or break it for him. Fortunately, many of the people who were in the tournament were the same as him, unaware of how a battle between real experts was held. The majority of the Sky ranked experts had no experience fighting real battles.
To be able to battle against real humans or beasts, one had to enter the beast mountain range as battles between students was forbidden in the academy.
However, to go to the beast mountain range as a Sky ranked expert was suicide, hence most of them had no experience, and Luo Xiao could benefit from this.
He was also lucky to not be amongst the first people who were sent onto the stage. He could spend some time observing the others who were battling and understand the dos and don’t, that one learned from others.
The first battle was over as soon as it began. It was between Sky ranked cultivators, one cultivating Qi, and the other cultivating the soul.
The soul cultivator was unable to maintain the distance between himself and the Qi cultivator, and his protective skill was not good enough to block the attack from the Qi cultivator, making him shoot back like a kite released from its string.
As he landed heavily outside of the arena, it was easy to see that the Qi cultivator held the upper hand in close-quarters combat while soul cultivators needed to protect themselves.
There were many more Qi cultivators than soul cultivators within the academy, and Luo Xiao quickly picked up a few key points about how to battle them.
He had no speed-enhancing techniques and was unable to outrun these much faster and stronger experts, so he could only put his trust in the Stalwart Shield Defense skill that Jiang Yao had given him.
Luo Xiao was placed in another area than Jin Chuan as they had different ranks, and he knew no one amongst his peers. However, all of them knew about him.
He was a small celebrity in the academy, mainly because of all the mystery which was connected to him.
He could wear clothes from Royal Cloth.
He could befriend the goddess Jin Chuan.
He had the Ninth Demon Prince, Jiang Bai, protecting him.
He was a student of Overseer Zhu.
Even one of these things was enough to cause everyone to be alert and unsure of their backing or strength, but having all of them in one person was enough to shock anyone.
Many were looking at him with jealousy. They all wished that they were the ones who were so lucky to have these benefits.
Clothes from Royal Cloth was enough to show one’s nobility. No one could get this with money alone, one needed permission from the royals, and even then it was not many clothes that were being made within the store, so not everyone could get it, also if they had the royals’ permission.
Befriending Goddess Jin Chuan was even more shocking. She was notorious for not getting close to anyone, she was an ice queen who was untainted by the world, but she was so close to Luo Xiao, seemingly caring a lot about the younger man, how all the other guys in the academy wished that she would smile at them!
And as if it was not enough that Jin Chuan was close to him, he also had the Ninth Demon Prince protecting him. Although Jiang Bai was not established with his faction yet, and no one really knew how powerful he would become, everyone knew that he was a demon prince, and being friendly with one was simply something that one could never hope for. Being a subordinate was something they could wish for, but to actually befriend a prince? No way.
Finally was his position as a student of Overseer Zhu. Overseer Zhu was famous throughout the entire continent. Everyone knew that he was one of the best alchemists around, and even more so, a follower of the Sixth Demon Prince.
Everyone who wished to become an alchemist would practically beg Overseer Zhu to take them in, but he had always been steadfast that he did not want a student – that was until he met Luo Xiao.
Now, this kid was involved with both the followers of the sixth demon prince, protected by the ninth demon prince and even close to their goddess. How could they not hate him?
Luo Xiao was aware that everyone looked at him with hostility, but he was not bothered by it. He continued to look at the battles that took place with his full focus, his eyes glued to especially the soul cultivators battles, and he could not help but mutter to himself about the things to remember and what to never do.
Finally, as the sun reached the highest point in the sky, it was time for Luo Xiao to ascend the stage.
His opponent was a Qi cultivator. Although he was also Sky Ranked expert, he was only at the fifth layer of Qi cultivation, while Luo Xiao was a High Ranked Sky Expert.
Qi levels were split into seven layers for each rank, while the soul cultivators had low, middle, and high levels. Although it was tough to compare the two different kinds of cultivation bases, a Fifth Layered Sky cultivator was, in theory, just a little weaker than a High Ranked Sky cultivator who cultivated the soul.
Luo Xiao took a deep breath as he stepped onto the stage. He was calm and collected, and although his heart was beating and excitement was rushing through his veins, he knew that he could not let go of his calm mind.
He had to stay clear headed to win this battle!
As soon as the fight began, Luo Xiao did not retreat. He already knew that it was useless for him to try and run away; he was simply not fast enough.
Instead, he felt how the pure spiritual energy started floating within his meridians, and he slowly activated his defensive martial arts technique.
Stalwart Shield Defense!
A golden glow appeared around Luo Xiao, completely shrouding him within. The glow attracted many’s attention, not only in the south arena but also from the other arenas, all of them curious as to where this bright light was coming from.
The Qi cultivator was also stunned when he saw that Luo Xiao was not trying to distance himself but instead relied on a defensive skill to block him.
He sneered slightly in his heart and looked down on Luo Xiao. If he had tried to run away, at least the battle would have lasted longer, but for him to hide like a turtle in its shell, this cultivator doubted that he was able to withstand even one palm attack of his.
Luo Xiao saw the disdain within the eyes of the Qi cultivator, and he took a deep breath. He was waiting for the cultivator to get close, and the moment he reached his side, Luo Xiao thrust out his palm.
The Moon Goddess Hand!
Many who were observing the battle in the crowd instantly recognized the ability that Luo Xiao was using. The Moon Goddess Hand was a very common technique found amongst the soul cultivators. It was not a very strong ability, but because of the timing, the thousand of palm imprints all landed on top of the Qi cultivator, forcing him backward.
Luo Xiao knew better than to display all his trump cards in the first round, and thus he decided to only use the Moon Goddess Hand and the Stalwart Shield Defense for as long as possible.
He had not dared using the Black Pagoda Art because he feared it would not be strong enough to protect him, so although he had displayed one of his tricks, there were still his attacks hidden.
The moment the Moon Goddess Hand landed on the body of the Qi cultivator, he was pushed back several steps, and he felt as if the palm imprints were continually beating his body, making his blood be in turmoil and his internal organs shift their positions.
When he finally managed to steady himself, his expression was ugly, and he was filled with rage from humiliation.
Most of the Qi cultivators who had encountered soul cultivators had easily dispatched them, but he was driven into such a sorry state the moment their battle began. He had not even been able to hit the shield.
This was the most embarrassment he had ever encountered, and to vent his anger, he advanced once more, this time even faster than the time before.
Seeing this, Luo Xiao’s lips raised slightly, and he got ready once more.
The moment the Qi cultivator got close enough, another palm was sent out.
The Moon Goddess Hand!
It was the same skill, but this time, Luo Xiao had infused even more spiritual energy into the attack, causing the Qi cultivator to stagger backward ten steps, blood also leaked out of the corner of his mouth.
So far, Luo Xiao held the upper hand. His energy was abundant and immensely pure due to him being an Astral Soul, and the damage he dealt was not something an ordinary High ranked Sky Cultivator could wish to use.
But even so, he was not willing to take a risk. As long as this expert in front of him was stupid and kept rushing at him with the intention of bashing him up, then if he timed it correctly, he would be able to easily get rid of him relying solely on the Moon Goddess Hand.
Although it was a simple skill, he had trained it for some time, coupled with his pure energy which took it to a new level, this skill was perfect to beat the opponents down.
After having been pushed back twice, the Qi cultivator lifted his hand and wiped his lips, only to be shocked to the core when he saw the blood on his hand.
Had this petty boy really cause him damage? How embarrassing!
Luo Xiao knew that the battle was only getting started. Although he held the upper hand, he dared not look down upon the opponent, and he frowned slightly when he saw that the other guy was no longer moving.
What was his current tactic? Without knowing, Luo Xiao was hesitant, but he did not waste his time. He absorbed heaven and earth essence and restored his condition to the peak. Such two Moon Goddess Hands had not used much energy, but a bit had been used.
After waiting a moment, the Qi cultivator took a deep breath. The anger that had filled his eyes before was now replaced with calmness. He too, understood that anger got him nowhere in the current battle.
He started walking towards Luo Xiao. He no longer rushed towards him, as he knew that rushing would merely cause a severe backlash and feel as if he had run into a brick wall, so instead, he was leisurely walking to Luo Xiao. Luo Xiao frowned.
He hid within the Stalwart Shield Defense and waited for the attack to land on him.
As soon as he was close, the Qi cultivator unleashed his strongest attack, the Roaring Tiger Fist, but when it landed on the Stalwart Shield Defense, a loud boom resounded on the battlefield before a golden gleam shone.
Luo Xiao had used another technique, but the speed was so fast that no one managed to see which one it was, and before they had time to comprehend it, the Qi cultivator had already been thrown out of the arena.