The news of how Qin Wushuang had gotten perfect scores in all six categories had been immediately recorded into the history of the Stargaze Palace.
Of course, the happiest was Tan Zhongchi. By his hand, the Green Cloud Palace had achieved another breakthrough and broke the monopolized records held by disciples from the Head Palace Master.
Inside the Green Cloud Palace, cheerful talk and laughter were everywhere as everyone celebrated Qin Wushuang setting a new record. It was an honor belonging to the entire Green Cloud Palace.
Besides the disciples to the Head Palace Master, none of the other disciples from the other Palaces had broken it. However, Qin Wushuang had done it.
From this point, the Green Cloud Palace had a brand-new record. With this fact alone, the Palace could suppress the other three.
Some of the younger disciples to the Green Cloud Palace were celebrating with tears in their eyes. Finally, they could show off.
On the contrary, Qin Wushuang was the most calm person. To him, acquiring perfect scores in all six categories was not some difficult task. The fact was, although it may sound like boasting, he did not even use all his strength.
Of course, he would not speak these words out loud.
Besides Qin Wushuang who had advanced to the top three, one of the others came from the Head Palace Master and the other one was a disciple to the Fourth Palace Master.
For the fourth and the fifth person, they could not advance directly. They could only have a duel with the last and second last disciple from the Core ranking for the two remaining spots.
And the three people who scored the lowest points would be demoted directly. They would be replaced by the top three from the Advanced disciple exam.
In the line of the Second Palace Master, no other person had advanced besides Qin Wushuang. This way, the number of Core disciples had forever remained ninety-six in total.
Only, the line of the Second Palace Master now had an extra Core spot. The original twelve did not get downgraded and Qin Wushuang had made it into the rank of the Core disciples by achieving first place.
On the second day, Tan Zhongchi’s footsteps had become much lighter as he walked to the Main Palace. Although his facial expression still wore his usual seriousness, the traces of happiness hanging on the corner of his eyes and mouth could not be concealed.
When he arrived at the Main Palace, the other Palace Masters had already gathered.
Zhuo Buqun, the Head Palace Master approached him with a smile: "Second, nicely done, congratulations!"
Tan Zhongchi laughed: "Head Palace Master, honestly, I didn’t do much. After Qin Wushuang became my student, I didn’t teach him much techniques. It was all his efforts."
Despite the words, he was somewhat proud inwardly.
The Head Palace Master smiled: "Teachers pass down their knowledge to their students and help them clear up the confusion. Passing down techniques is only one side, the crucial part of being a teacher is not to teach him martial arts, but to expound on the wisdom of the Dao. The Dao includes everything, such as molding the personality, temperament and their insights Second, in the future, Qin Wushuang will become our backbone. We need you to polish him."
"Yes, no need for you to tell me, Head Palace Master."
Zhuo Buqun nodded: "Ok, today, the fourth and the fifth place from the Advanced disciple exam will compete with the last and second last disciple from the Core ranking. After their competition and when the list for all ninety-six has been confirmed, tomorrow will be the start of the new Core ranking competition. Everyone, any objections?"
Leng Qiuchi, the Fourth Palace Master said: "The rules are the same each year. Of course, we have no objection."
The other Palace Masters all nodded to show no disagreement.
"Since there is no objection from everyone, then we will go with the rules. The ninety-six Core disciples will be ranked by exam results. The first thirty-two do not need to compete, the remaining sixty-four will fight in pairs to determine the winners. Combined with the top thirty-two, a total of sixty-four people will enter the second round. We will continue like this to the last round."
Zhuo Buqun recite the rules again and confirmed that everyone had no objection. Then, he continued: "The thirty-two people that are disqualified from the first round will be ranked by their exam result. They will be ranked starting from sixty-five to ninety-six. After each round, we will reform the rank. And this rank will use their previous exam result as a reference."
Tan Zhongchi nodded and said: "Head Palace Master, everyone knows the rules. Only when one enters the top sixteen, they would not be rated by exam results. Even after they are disqualified, their rankings would be determined by the fights they fought. In short, the ranking after the top sixteen would be decided by exam results. And the ranking for the top sixteen will depend on the duels between each one of them."
Zhuo Buqun nodded with a smile: "You are right, Second, the rules are like this. And as per the old rules, the top sixteen from last year will be seeded this year. They will not need to take part in the draw. We will make sure they will not meet with each other before the birth of the top thirty-two. This way, we can prevent others from meeting them in the earlier stage and getting disqualified. Of course, if they did not work hard and get disqualified by non-seeded competitors, they can only blame themselves for not working hard or bad luck."
This rule is also one of the old traditions of the Stargaze Palace. Naturally, no one was against it. After all the Palace Heads uniformly agreed on this suggestion, the rules and the regulation were set.
Zhou Buqun glanced around and smiled: "For this ranking competition, our rewards are much more substantial than the usual ones. Especially the rewards for the top ten. Everyone, any objections?"
"This was the agreement made by all five of us, how could we be against it, wouldn’t that be going against ourselves?" Tian Zhixing, the Fifth Palace Master laughed, "Head Palace Master, it seems that next year is another cycle of twenty years, right?"
Zhuo Buqun sighed: "Time flies like an arrow and years do not forgive you. Sixty years ago, we were all still young men and went to participate in the friendly competition between the three Empires. Right now, we have gone through three tournaments in that period of time. Our young generation has also kept growing. Next year’s competition will be held in the Heavenly Lake Empire. To the Great Luo, the situation is not in our favor."
The so-called Three Empires of the East referred to the three Middle Ranking Empires on the east side of the Tian Xuan land. They were the Great Luo, Heavenly Lake, and the Vermillion Sun Empire.
These three empires were spread in the formation of a triangle and had formed the most powerful powerhouses on the east side of the Tian Xuan Land. Between each of them, they did not have much of a relationship and from time to time, they would become involved in conflicts.
However, these three Middle Ranking Empires held a different relationship than the Subordinate Countries. They would restrict each other mutually. Thus, the probability of starting a war was not as direct as the Subordinate Countries.
After all, once the war had ignited on the level between the empires, too many would get involved. Thus, to avoid the massive damage and destruction, they would not start wars easily.
There were frequent communications between the three empires. For example, this vicennial competition was the best event for the three empires to get to know each other.
All three major empires valued this event with great importance. As each time when the event was held, they would send out their strongest team to suppress the other two Empires. This way, they would achieve a noticeable position between the three empires.
For a long time, the Heavenly Lake Empire did not share a good relationship with the Great Luo. Historically, whenever the competition was held at the Heavenly Lake Empire, the Great Luo had never gotten a good score. Almost each time, they had placed last.
Of course, overall, the success that the Heavenly Empire had achieved historically was not outstanding and not bad either. Only, they had not acquire the title of the victor from that competition between the three empires.
Thus, when talking about this matter, Zhuo Buqun’s mood was solemn.
"Head Palace Master, for next year’s competition, should we still send the top ten of the Core to participate?" Tan Zhongchi suddenly asked.
"We have done it in the past, and this year will not be an exception."
Tan Zhongchi asked again: "Then what is our goal, from the perspective of the Stargaze Palace, for this tournament?"
Zhuo Buqun waved his hand: "For the competition hosted by the Heavenly Lake Empire, we should aim to not place last. When it’s our turn to host it at the Great Luo, it would not be too late to set a higher goal. We should not set a goal in a hurry. Only, you must remember these words, go with all your strength."
The other Palace Masters all nodded to agree with a serious expression. This tournament between the three empires was more than just a simple competition. The meaning behind it was the power struggle between the three empires.
It would be to fight openly and maneuver covertly. The good and the bad from the tournament result would most likely become a deciding factor for the diplomatic policies in the next twenty years. It would decide the trend for the major powerhouses in the three empires.
"Ok." Naturally, Zhuo Buqun did not want it to influence everyone’s mood, "Everyone, return now and tell them the necessary things. Once the extra competition has ended, we will start the Core ranking competition officially tomorrow! At 7 AM tomorrow, we start the draw."
Each of the Palace Masters hold a serious expression. Apparently, the most crucial time of the year had arrived.
The results from the Core ranking competition would decide the success and failure of each Palace. If they got a bad result, it would not be fun to spend the new year.
If the results were good, they would have a much happier time in the new year.
When Tan Zhongchi returned to the Green Cloud Palace, he called all the Core disciples. Of course, Qin Wushuang was among them.
"Tomorrow, the Core ranking competition will officially begin. The rules are the same as the past years. The first thirty-two will not participate in the first round. All top sixteen are seeded participants. Before the emergence of the top thirty-two, the seeded participants will not meet with each other. Fu’Er, Lv Teng, Jian Rui, you three entered the top sixteen in last year. You are all seeded. Tian Run, Fifth and Sixth, you are all within the top thirty-two. Thus, the first round has nothing to do with you guys. What you need to prepare for now is the second round."
Following Zhou Fu, the top six disciples all nodded to show their understanding.
They had already participated in many years of this Core ranking competition. Regarding the details, they knew it by heart. Only, to a newbie like Qin Wushuang, it was his first time entering in this competition. Of course, he must give some detailed explanation. It was also the biggest reason for Tan Zhongchi to have gathered everyone.