The spectator area on both sides of the golden carpet were already starting to fill with Golden Cores. After giving a couple more reminders, Xuan Yi and Liu Hui crossed the sunken area and headed for the spectator area as well.
When they arrived, Xuan Yi and Liu Hui handed their respective sect badges to the bearded man and Bai Yuhan.
This was not Xuan Yi’s first sect competition and he already knew the three commanders. However, he still had to go through a symbolic check.
The bearded man smiled and asked, “Fellow Daoist Wen Xuan didn’t come this time round?”
When he heard that, Xuan Yi’s expression dimmed as he shook his head gently.
There was sadness and anger in Liu Hui’s eyes as well.
The bearded man pondered for a moment and vaguely guessed what happened.
It was said that Ethereal Peak suffered heavy casualties for the battle at Dongling Valley and several Golden Cores had perished as well – only one of them managed to survive.
Judging from Xuan Yi and Liu Hui’s expressions, Wen Xuan was most likely dead.
Xuan Yi forced out a smile. “Three years ago, Ethereal Peak was attacked and many of our disciples were injured or killed. This time round, we only brought a couple of them over so that they can broaden their horizons. As for the four ranking lists, we don’t harbor any hope of taking any positions.”
The bearded man shook his head and replied hurriedly, “You’re being humble, fellow Daoist. Who would dare look down on any disciple of Ethereal Peak? Even if it’s just one person, he’s enough to crush all the other prodigies!”
Bai Yuhan smiled as well. “Congratulations. Ethereal Peak’s about to become famous again.”
Both Xuan Yi and Liu Hui were stunned for a moment.
The two of them immediately thought that the bearded man and Bai Yuhan were being sarcastic and mocking Ethereal Peak.
In the previous sect competitions, Ethereal Peak would occupy at least three of the ten spots on the Spirit Ranking alone. At its prime, Ethereal Peak could even occupy half of the rankings!
However, for this sect competition, Ethereal Peak could only obtain two of the forty spots on the four ranking lists at the very most.
It would already be fortuitous if they did not embarrass the sect, let alone make it famous.
Liu Hui harrumphed coldly in displeasure.
Xuan Yi frowned, feeling perplexed.
He looked at the gaze and expressions of the bearded man and Bai Yuhan – neither of them seemed like they were being sarcastic. They sounded sincere, as though they were implying something else.
“This way, please.”
The bearded man nodded with a smile as he added.
Because there were other Golden Cores lining up behind them, it was inappropriate for Xuan Yi to linger further and he could only enter the spectator area with his doubts.
“Look, the peak masters have already sat down.”
Beside the sunken area, little fatty pointed at the spectator seats a distance away and said, “The seats of the two peak masters are rather decent. They’re quite close to the emperor’s throne.”
The spectator seats could roughly be divided into several major areas.
The first area only had a single seat – the emperor’s throne.
Beneath the emperor’s throne, there were not many seats in the second area. Till now, they were empty without a single person.
The third area was where Xuan Yi and Liu Hui were seated.
Apart from the two of them, the Golden Cores from the other four major sects, Iridescent Clouds Palace, True Fire Sect, Southern Mountains Sect and Azure Frost Sect were also seated.
Following that was the fourth area where Golden Cores of the other sects within the Great Zhou dominion were seated. This was the largest area with the most seats.
The fifth area comprised of itinerant cultivators at Golden Core realm.
“How ignorant. Even if your Golden Cores of Ethereal Peak are seated in the third area, what can that prove?” Right then, a sneer sounded from the side in a mocking manner.
Another sarcastic voice rang out. “In my opinion, Ethereal Peak’s most likely going to be removed from the five major sects after this sect competition.”
Little fatty and the others frowned and turned to their sides.
The two people who spoke were disciples of True Fire Sect.
Also as one of the five major sects, True Fire Sect sent more than a hundred Foundation Establishment Cultivators.
Of the two leaders, one of the men had a sharp face and high nose bridge. His lips were thin and he exuded a sinisterly ruthless aura.
The other man wore maroon robes and had a haughty expression.
“Whether or not we’re removed is not decided by True Fire Sect. Just mind your own business!” Xue Yi was upset and retorted.
The maroon-robed man turned around and sized Xue Yi up before asking with a smirk, “Fellow Daoist, you seem to be indignant? You’re only at mid-stage Foundation Establishment so I reckon you must be here for the talisman, elixir or weapon ranking lists? But, the Elixir and Weapon Refinement Masters of Ethereal Peak… haha, I can’t comment much about you guys.”
Upon hearing that, everyone burst into laughter.
In previous sect competitions, Ethereal Peak disciples had never gotten a spot on the elixir and weapon ranking lists.
To everyone else, Elixir and Weapon Refinement Masters from Ethereal Peak were nothing but a joke.
Upon hearing the mocking laughter, everyone from Ethereal Peak looked terrible.
The maroon-robed man continued asking with a smile, “So, you’re a Talisman Master?”
Xue Yi declared loudly, “I’m not afraid of letting you guys know either that I’m a Weapon Refinement Master and I’m here for the weapon refinement segment!”
The maroon-robed man dragged his voice and let out an enlightened expression before giving a fake smirk. “So, you’re a Weapon Refinement Master. A Weapon Refinement Master of Ethereal Peak to boot. I’ve been impolite, please excuse me.”
Everyone could hear the mocking tone of the maroon-robed man.
He continued, “What a coincidence. I’m Tao Feng, also a Weapon Refinement Master.”
“So, he’s Tao Feng!”
“Who is Tao Feng?”
“The number one Weapon Refinement Master of True Fire Sect! Even though he’s only 30 years old, he has already managed to refine a superior-grade spirit weapon successfully and is an Advanced Weapon Refinement Master!”
“The rumors out there are saying that Fellow Daoist Tao Feng is the number one Weapon Refinement Master of the younger generation!”
Tao Feng could feel the envious gazes of the surrounding cultivators as he listened on to the discussions. Brimming with pride, he raised his chin slightly and looked at Xue Yi in a smug, taunting manner.
“How do I address you, fellow Daoist? I wonder what grade of spirit weapon you’re able to refine?”
Xue Yi blushed and did not say anything.
With his capabilities, he could only refine inferior-grade spirit weapons. Since he could not even refine middle-grade spirit weapons, he was naturally inferior and could not compare to Tao Feng who was before him.
Tao Feng raised his brow and scoffed. “Oh, so you’re a nobody.”
“You…!” Xue Yi glared at him.
“What’s there to be cocky about?”
Little fatty pouted. “Mr. Mo, the number one Weapon Refinement Master of Great Zhou is a hundred, thousands times better than you! If you’ve really got what it takes, go compete with him!”
Tao Feng declared proudly, “Rumor has it that Mr. Mo is a Golden Core so he must have lived for a few hundreds of years. I dare to say that when he was at my age, Mr. Mo was definitely not at my level!”
None of the cultivators present had the right to refute.
Tao Feng looked at Xue Yi and scoffed coldly. “Are you even qualified to call yourself a Weapon Refinement Master? Let me advise you, from now on, don’t make a fool of yourself by coming forth like this anymore. Scram home and stay right there!”
“F*ck…!” Little fatty’s blood surged and he was about to lash out.
At the side, Ji Chengtian frowned and held back the enraged little fatty before shaking his head. “Forget it, let’s not argue with them. Let’s… sigh.”
When they heard Ji Chengtian’s sigh, everyone from Ethereal Peak went silent as a sense of helplessness surged through them.
No matter what, the current Ethereal Peak was indeed inferior to others.
When he saw that, Tao Feng was even more smug as he burst out laughing. “There’s no one in Ethereal Peak that can refine weapons such that any Tom, Dick and Harry could call themselves Weapon Refinement Masters. What a joke! Hahaha!”
“Who said that there is no one from Ethereal Peak that can refine weapons?”
Right then, another voice rang out from the crowd, even revealing a trace of killing intent!