It was a hubbub of sound outside the stage. Over a thousand Gu Masters were sitting in the surroundings, discussing in murmurs while waiting for the eighth round to start.
However, because there were too many people, even the softest whispers converged together to become an extremely clamorous scene.
"Immortal Crane Sect's elders and disciples." Once they saw Fang Zheng's group, the surrounding Gu Masters could not help but stare at them, the sounds of their discussions became softer.
Compared to large and small forces, members of Central Continent's ten great ancient sect members gave the feeling of royalty walking among common people.
"That young man is actually wearing the attire of an Immortal Crane Sect elder, I am not hallucinating, right?"
"Quiet down, can't you sense his aura, he is a genuine rank five Gu Master!"
"Making a fuss over nothing, it's not like there aren't Gu worms to maintain a youthful appearance…"
"Look over there, they are Myriad Dragon Dock's disciples and elders."
At the next moment, everyone's gazes were attracted towards another group of people.
The number of this group of Gu Masters was twice that of Immortal Crane Sect's, with four elders leading the way and many elite disciples among the disciples.
"Myriad Dragon Dock…" An elder of Immortal Crane Sect couldn't help but focus his gaze.
Of the ten great ancient sects, Myriad Dragon Dock could be said to have been in the limelight recently. And the reason was because of Vicious Lightning Fiend.
Vicious Lightning Fiend was only a rank six Gu Immortal, but his battle strength was extremely outstanding.
During his two years of closed cultivation, he created the immortal killer move lightning deity. After coming out of seclusion, he roamed around Central Continent, challenging countless Gu Immortals in his journey, most ended in his victory, there were few draws and very rarely did he lose.
The more Vicious Lightning Fiend won, the greater his reputation soared, because he gained a lot of resources from the spars and duels, the amount of lightning deities that he owned increased instead of decreasing, there were a total of three now!
Even before he had lightning deity, Vicious Lightning Fiend already had an impressive achievement of battling a rank seven Gu Immortal to a draw.
Now with three lightning deities, his battle strength had increased explosively, even surpassing normal rank seven Gu Immortals. In his challenges, he had achievements of defeating many rank seven Gu Immortals.
With rank six cultivation, winning against rank seven Gu Immortal was extremely rare. Especially praiseworthy was that Vicious Lightning Fiend had repeatedly challenged and won against rank seven Gu Immortals, he was at the peak of fame now, and the reputation of Myriad Dragon Dock, his affiliated sect, was also soaring with him.
This was to the extent that the whole of Central Continent's Gu Immortal world was starting to recognize Vicious Lightning Fiend as the strongest among rank six Gu Immortals of the current generation in Central Continent. Some battle hungry elders of Myriad Dragon Dock were so encouraged that they even proclaimed that Vicious Lightning Fiend was the next Shi Lei, the next Feng Jiu Ge.
Vicious Lightning Fiend had immediately reprimanded them when he heard news of it: "Leave Shi Lei aside, but Lord Feng Jiu Ge is not someone I am qualified to compare with. Speak less of such things from now on!"
The implication of his words was that he was able to match Shi Lei.
Immortal Monkey King Shi Lei was a rank seven Gu Immortal of Combat Immortal Sect with outstanding battle strength, but he had firmly been pushed down by Feng Jiu Ge, unable to turn the situation around.
It was rare to see a monster like Feng Jiu Ge even once in thousands of years, Central Continent's ten great ancient sects had been forced to accept it, respecting and fearing him.
A series of victory fostered Vicious Lightning Fiend's swagger, till he began to publicly challenge Shi Lei.
Combat Immortal Sect's people were naturally extremely indignant, but strangely, the violent natured Shi Lei was maintaining silence.
This instead boosted Myriad Dragon Dock's confidence, as they felt Shi Lei did not have certainty in dealing with Vicious Lightning Fiend, and was hiding like a coward.
Of course, people who knew some of the inside story were aware that Vicious Lightning Fiend's challenge was nothing more than Myriad Dragon Dock probing at Combat Immortal Sect. Combat Immortal Sect discovered Starry Sky grotto-heaven and Star Constellation Immortal Venerable's dream realm within it, they had already covertly started attacking the grotto-heaven. And because they had withdrawn their Gu Immortal level battle strength from everywhere, the other nine sects were already starting to sense something amiss.
However, such secrets were generally only known by Gu Immortal level higher-ups and characters.
Thus, when Myriad Dragon Dock's elders and disciples saw Fang Zheng's group, they were clearly filled with arrogance.
"Ah, it is Immortal Crane Sect's people."
"Hehehe, what are you here for? To see how your elders fail?"
"It's useless, our Myriad Dragon Dock's Lord Dragon Chief will definitely be the final winner, no doubt of it!"
Myriad Dragon Dock's Gu Masters immediately taunted and jeered.
The competition between Central Continent's ten great ancient sects was extremely intense, there was much rivalry between either side.
Especially when Immortal Crane Sect had been showing weakness for a long time now, Myriad Dragon Dock's members, with their increasing reputation, further looked down on Immortal Crane Sect.
Immortal Crane Sect's disciples felt suffocated by anger, but they could not retort to them, maintaining their silence as Myriad Dragon Dock's group brushed past them, before they sat at their arranged seats.
"A bunch of cowards." Someone said in disdain.
Someone else ridiculed: "Hahaha, this is indeed the style of Immortal Crane Sect."
Immortal Crane Sect's group looked even more unsightly.
Some spectators were surprised at this and asked: "Immortal Crane Sect and Myriad Dragon Dock are both of the ten great ancient sects, why is Myriad Dragon Dock being so rampant?"
Someone immediately replied: "There are stronger and weaker sects even among the ten great ancient sects. Immortal Crane Sect is weaker than Myriad Dragon Dock, this is known by everyone. Besides this, the participating Gu Master of Myriad Dragon Dock in this test is truly strong, it is that refinement path Gu Master who is called Firesmith Dragon Chief!"
"What? Firesmith Dragon Chief is actually a Gu Master of Myriad Dragon Dock, isn't he a lone cultivator?"
"Hehe, didn't you read the information from Lightning Information Sect? This Firesmith Dragon Chief had violated sect rules in his early years and was thrown out of Myriad Dragon Dock. He is participating in this Refinement Path Convention to get a good placing and return to Myriad Dragon Dock!"
"So it was like that. It is said this Firesmith Dragon Chief has grandmaster attainment in refinement path! Even a person like this is begging to return to Myriad Dragon Dock, the appeal of Central Continent's ten great ancient sects is really enormous…"
Over at Immortal Crane Sect, Fang Zheng and the other elder were quietly discussing.
Fang Zheng asked: "I wonder, what is the possibility of our sect's Elder Yan Tang succeeding in this round?"
Fang Zheng did not have much skill in Gu refinement, he had trained hard and barely passed the four entry tasks, registering his name. However, he was miserably eliminated in the first round.
Fortunately, large-scale competitions were all open contests and did not prohibit anyone from spectating.
Fang Zheng's status was also high, as an elder of Immortal Crane Sect. Elder Yan Tang, who had invited him to many banquets and drinks, was participating this time, be it privately or publicly, he had to come in support of Elder Yan Tang.
The Immortal Crane Sect elder, sitting beside Fang Zheng, frowned at his question and sighed: "Elder Fang Zheng, you are also aware that Elder Yan Tang's main cultivation is fire path, and he only cultivates refinement path on the side. Meanwhile Firesmith Dragon Chief's main cultivation is refinement path and he cultivates fire path on the side. The gap is too large."
Fang Zheng still did not understand completely: "Even so, with Elder Yan Tang's refinement path attainment, he should be able to place in the top three."
"Sigh!" The Immortal Crane Sect elder shook his head while smiling bitterly, "Elder Fang Zheng, you are not aware, after the seventh round of the Refinement Path Convention, it uses a cruel system of a single winner. In this huge Demon Expelling Sect test venue, only one Gu Master will be able to win and advance."
"What? It is actually like that!" Fang Zheng was shocked and was only able to react after a few breaths. He had experienced many setbacks, as such, the way he thought had changed, "Since the opponent is so strong, then why didn't Elder Yan Tang go to another test venue? The Refinement Path Convention doesn't restrict the participants from choosing the venue."
"Elder Fang Zheng, you are right in thinking of that. After all, retreating to progress forward is also a tactical victory. But unfortunately, other test venues have already been occupied by refinement path experts. Moreover… it was the higher ups' decision to arrange Elder Yan Tang in this venue." The final words were spoken quietly by the Immortal Crane Sect elder.
Fang Zheng was alarmed and startled, if he still did not understand now, he would be an idiot!
"So the higher ups had already made the decision to sacrifice Elder Yan Tang to probe Firesmith Dragon Chief?"
He suddenly recalled his master, Lord Sky Crane's words — Elder Yan Tang was isolated in Immortal Crane Sect, so he is inviting you to drinks to form a political alliance with you.
'Because he is alone, he was chosen to be a sacrifice… Elder Yan Tang is probably filled with discontent. What if I was treated as a sacrifice one day?'
The moment he thought of this, Fang Zheng suddenly remembered the miserable scene of him in the blood pool, with blood vines growing all over him.
The nightmarish memory surfaced again, Fang Zheng shuddered and gasped.
"What's wrong?" The elder beside him asked with concern.
"Nothing." Fang Zheng wiped his forehead, his palm swiping away a layer of cold sweat.
He did not dare to think more, he was filled with panic and hesitation inside.
Right at this time, the elder's voice resounded in his ears: "All the participants have entered the venue, this round of the competition is about to begin."
Fang Zheng quickly raised his head, and saw over a hundred Gu Masters slowly stepping onto the stage.
Fang Zheng saw Immortal Crane Sect's Elder Yan Tang, who was expressionless, but his gaze was filled with discontent and helplessness.
At another side, the red robed Firesmith Dragon Chief, however, had an arrogant expression as he gazed around, not concealing his disdain and contempt towards the surrounding participants.
"A group of weaklings, it is my win for sure. Start already." Firesmith Dragon Chief indifferently laughed loudly, openly urging Demon Expelling Sect's hosting elder.
The surrounding refinement path Gu Masters did not dare to refute this because of Firesmith Dragon Chief's strength. Immortal Crane Sect's Elder Yan Tang clenched his fists tightly and looked furious, but he unexpectedly remained silent.
"Victory to Myriad Dragon Dock! Victory!!"
"Firesmith Dragon Chief will win!"
Myriad Dragon Dock's group was cheering loudly, as if injected with morale. They were rampant, the surrounding spectators, however, could only sit quietly and watch all this happening.
'Repulsive, truly repulsive!' Fang Zheng still had the nature of a young man, he was clenching his teeth and shouting furiously inwardly, 'Damn it, if only I had enough strength. I really hope someone will beat down this Firesmith Dragon Chief right now, and destroy this Myriad Dragon Dock group's arrogance.'
Seemingly responding to his wish, a figure quietly appeared. At first, no one paid attention, but when he stepped on the stage, countless gazes turned towards him.
Rank five demonic cultivator…
Why is he here?
The whole venue was silent before being sent into an uproar!