After concluding the business with Yan Feng, Qin Wushuang no longer had any lingering thoughts and had a clear mind. He had inwardly set his goal toward the Core ranking competition.
Shakyamuni Li Huo had made a total of seven Upper Sky Initial Stage pills at the supreme quality. Among these, Shakaymuni Li Huo had taken one, he gave one to his teacher, and another one to Purple-robed Great Honored Warrior to make him as a Martial Saint. Now, after giving another one to Yan Feng, he had given away four.
With the remaining three, Qin Wushuang decided to keep the two for his father and brother-in-law, Da Xi Ming.
In other words, he would only have one Upper Sky Initial Pills. What he had left were all normal Upper Sky Initial pills.
That night, Qin Wushuang was alone in the secret chamber and hammered the Qi inside his sea of Spiritual Qi. In a steady progress, he moved them in small revolutions.
Of course, he could not find any discomfort or flaws with his body. Yet, he did not dare to let his guard down. Whenever he had the time, he would use the Spiritual Qi to probe it.
After absorbing the Qi during the Spiritual Qi formation, Qin Wushuang felt that the Spiritual Qi inside his body had become much more richer. Although he did not know how far he was from that Middle Stage of the Upper Sky, he was sure that stage would not be far if he kept training hard in this direction.
He had a prediction that with the technique that defied the natural order, the , was equivalent to having a cheating tool to use against the natural order. For sure, he would train at a much faster speed than others.
In other words, as long as his naked body was strong enough, he would absorb without a limit if there were an abundance of Qi.
Of course, he would not do it. Qin Wushuang knew very well the principle of trying to take everything at once would not make you successful. On the path of training, only continuous accumulation would allow one to walk far. Only by accumulating the little streams, in which they could become the vast sea or river.
After almost a full night of training, Qin Wushuang felt that all the Qi inside his body had merged completely into a whole.
He knew that the more the Qi merged, the purer the Spiritual Qi. And the more power he could unleash.
After he had finished training, Qin Wushuang had no other distractions in his mind and entered a meditative state. Without him knowing, the brisk morning sun had arrived.
A brand-new day had come again.
This day could be said to be the most exciting day of the year in the Stargaze Palace. It was because that the climax—the Core Disciple Ranking competition was about to start.
Although it was only a competition between ninety-six Core disciples, it moved everyone’s heart. Even though they themselves could not participate, they looked forward to these Core disciples. While they watched the battle on the stage, they also imagined that one day, they would also stand on the stage and punch down all the heroes. How would it not be an honorable thing to bring glory to their ancestors?
Some of them even substituted themselves in and imagined themselves as one of the Core disciples. They would cheer for them to the extreme and encourage them.
Overall, this Core ranking competition had stirred up everyone’s appetite at the Stargaze Palace. Even those seniors could not help but be emotionally moved.
All ninety-six Core disciples, including the newest five were among the ranks.
Up on the stage, the five Palace Masters were at the front row and the eight Shakyamuni, sixteen Elders were in the second and the third rows. Those Palace Emissaries and the other senior ranking officials had all found their own place.
Zhuo Buqun, the Head Palace Master glanced around and said in a clear voice: "Those who are standing here now are the most outstanding and the most talented. These a
re our ninety-six Core disciples. For today’s festivities, you guys are the main characters. I hope all of you will bring out all you’ve got and give all of us at the Stargaze Palace a wonderful ranking competition. Do you guys have confidence?"
Zhuo Buqun nodded with satisfaction: "Good, per the old rules, the top thirty-two Core disciples will not participate in the first round. You guys can be part of the audience. The remaining sixty-four Core disciples have already been set with your corresponding serial number. Do you see this giant box on the stage? Inside, there were your lottery placement for sixty-four people. Us five Palace Masters would go up to do a draw in turns. Each of us will take out two lottery paper. These two would be the competitors for the first round! Understand?"
The Head Palace Master clapped his hands with a smile and called for the other four Palace Masters to stand up. All five of them stood before that giant box.
"Please watch, I will mix all the orders of the draw."
Zhuo Buqun kept shaking his arm and mixed the contents of the box. Then, he turned to look at those four Palace Masters: "Everyone, did you see it?"
Those four Palace Masters all nodded: "No problem."
"Ok, Fifth Palace Master, please take out two of the numbers." Zhuo Buqun smiled.
Tian Zhixing walked up with a smiling face and took out two lotteries. He opened it up and announced: "Thirty-eight against seventy-five."
The two Core disciples all extended their heads when they were called. They looked for their competitor and wanted to see whether they knew each other. After they had confirmed that they were not competitors from their own lines, they became satisfied.
Next, it was Leng Qiuchi’s turn. He also took out two lottery pieces: "Forty-five and forty-eight!"
The ranking of these two lottery pieces were close to each other. It seemed these two might be on par.
Zhong Wuyin, the Third Palace Master stepped forward and took out two pieces. He opened it up and his face slightly changed. Indeed, he wanted to slap the hand that went to grab the numbers. What kind of bad luck was it that the two numbers he had grabbed belonged to the two disciples studying under him.
"Thirty-five and fifty-one." Zhong Wuyin announced helplessly. Inwardly, he kept cursing his bad luck and murmured, "Didn’t I wash my hands today? Why is my luck so bad?"
After Zhong Wuyin had finished the lottery, it was Qin Wushuang’s teacher, Tan Zhongchi’s turn. He had grabbed two ordinary lottery numbers. These two were neither his disciples nor they special.
Just when he was about to walk away, the Head Palace Master suddenly laughed: "Second, mix the lotteries again to prevent any possibilities of me cheating in the previous rounds."
Tan Zhongchi nodded and mixed the pieces again. Then, Zhuo Buqun stepped up to take a draw.
This way, the Five Palace Masters took their turn to take the draw. After each round, there would be ten spots for five pairs to fight against each other.
In the third round, Qin Wushuang’s number, ninety-two had been taken out. It was Leng Qiuchi, the Fourth Palace Master that had picked his number. He announced: "Sixty-eight against Ninety-two."
When that sixty-eight heard this result, he was overjoyed and thought that he had good luck: "Ha ha, my competitor’s ranking is quite low. It seems for this round, I have a lot of hope of passing it."
Immediately, he looked around and could not help to ask around: "Right, do you guys know who is ninety-two?"
Since only sixty-four people were involved with the draw, it was not difficult to find a person. Soon, someone saw Qin Wushuang’s number and connected it to Sixty-Eight’s arrogance. That person could not help to mock: "Congratulation, your competitor is one of the person that got top three from the Advanced disciples."
"What? Really? Which one?"
"Oh, if I remembered correctly, his name is Qin Wushuang!"
Instantly, Sixty-Eight became dumbfounded as he cried out: "Qin Wushuang?" With one sigh of sorrow, his confidence had immediately withered since he thought he had met a weak competitor. It was as if he had lost his strength like a balloon that had been poked by a needle.
He mused: "Why is my luck so bad? Could it be that for two years, I must lose on the draw? God, why are you so unfair. Each year my luck gets worse. Don’t I have any luck? Qin Wushuang… Oh my god."
Who was Qin Wushuang? He was the victor from the Advanced disciple exam and got perfect score in all six categories. Everyone expected him to enter the top sixteen and a figure with the strength to even dash into the top ten.
One could even say that his strength was at the level of a seeded warrior. Only, per the rules, all newest Core disciples who had advanced from being an Advanced disciple must participate in the first round.
Compared to his competitors’ sorrow, Qin Wushuang had remained calm and collected. Since the top thirty-two was not involved with the first round, he would face no difficulty at all.
These Core disciples ranked after thirty two were most likely even weaker than Li Wuji. Previously, Qin Wushuang was able to kill Li Wuji. And after an accumulation of experiences and training, he would have no reason to lose.
In the first round of the lottery, besides the fact of how two disciples from the lines of the Third Palace Master had encountered each other, another case had appeared among the disciples at the Head Palace Master.
When the lottery result came out, all thirty two pairs, a total of sixty-four people had found their competitors.
The next stop would be the martial arts stage at the Stargaze Palace.
The martial arts stage at the Stargaze Palace was located on the north side of the Palace. It was a giant stage with vast open area. Sixty-four little stages was built based on the sixty-four divinatory diagrams. These little stages surrounded a giant Supreme Ultimate Eight Divinatory trigram and showcased a vast open area.
Even those little martial arts stages had a length of about ninety meters. Indeed, it was the most suitable for a martial arts competition.
When Qin Wushuang looked at this giant martial arts ground, he could not help but feel a shock emerge. He must admit that for any sceneries in the Stargaze Palace, there was a form of boundless beauty.
For this giant martial arts stages and sixty little ones, one could not even witness the limit in between these stages.
"I am afraid that one could only take in the complete scenery of this giant stage while flying in the sky?" Qin Wushuang thought about it inwardly.
He must admit that Qin Wushuang had a special bond with the disciples to the Fifth Palace Master. That number Sixty-eight had also studied under Tian Zhixing, the Fifth Palace Master.
Under the leadership of the judge, they arrived on the dueling stage.
Qin Wushuang stood on the stage and both of his hands were put on his waist. His entire figure appeared like a statue. With a cold expression, he glanced across that number Sixty-Eight.
"Make your move!"
Qin Wushuang threw the long whip and instantly, as if countless silver dragons danced in the sky, the remnants of the shadow from the whip appeared like a variety of rings.
That number Sixty-Eight only felt a wave of dizziness. He straightened the long spear in his hand, gritted his teeth, and gave a shout. Next, he moved to pierce towards Qin Wushuang’s face.
Strike first and gain the upper hand, and those who moved later would suffer. Carrying such thoughts, Number Sixty-Eight shot out killer moves when he made the attack.
Only, in Qin Wushuang’s eyes, such spear technique were insignificant skills. He shot the head of his whip out and as if a viper was sticking out its tongue, it went straight towards the head of the spear.
When the two waves of power clashed with each other in the air, the clash of the Upper Sky Qi emitted "Jeering" sound in the air.
Amid this clash, the atmosphere had been brought to the climax.