That number Twenty-Six nodded with certainty: "I resign."
That Butler said strangely: "To admit defeat without a fight is not the style of our disciples. Once you admit defeat, you are losing face for our sect and your teacher."
"There is no shame." Twenty-six shook his head with determination, "I have fought with Qin Wushuang before. That battle occurred only more than a month ago. In that one, I could not defeat him. During this month, I have been taking care of my injuries. I’ve just healed and my strength has not improved. And he seems to have seen another increase in his level. It is a smart idea to give up this fight. If one remains stubborn even though they know it will not go with their favor, it would not be a smart choice."
That butler suddenly saw the light: "I see, right, since you guys have already determined the winner and loser, then there is no need for this fight. An honorable man would help others to succeed. Although you have admitted defeat for this fight, you have shown extraordinary temperament. Compared to those stubborn ones, you have a higher stage regarding the breadth of mind."
"Thank you for your compliments, I will take my leave."
That Twenty-Six looked at Qin Wushuang from afar and hundred different feelings churned inside him. Yet, there was nothing he could do and he took his leave.
That Butler walked to the stage and shouted: "Qin Wushuang, your opponent has admitted defeat. You will automatically advanced for this round!"
Qin Wushuang was stunned. With his understanding of that person, he was not someone that would admit defeat. Since he was facing someone he knew at this round, they won’t reveal any new things. Initially, he had planned to finish this fight quickly. He never expected that his opponent would give up.
He didn’t know that he was able to claim victory without a fight because of the words from the Head Palace Master. Unknowingly, his words had been the deciding factor that allowed him to advance with ease.
This way, Qin Wushuang could be said to have advanced to the top sixteen the most easily.
Of course, he was not the only one that had it easy. For Wei Yi’s opponent, although he put up a fight, Wei Yi’s opponent gave up after three or four exchanges, he also chose to resign without hesitation.
He didn’t want to be like Wei Yi’s opponent from last year that had gotten beaten off the stage in an embarrassing state. Most importantly, the opponent from last year also received serious injuries. When one faced someone as outstanding as Wei Yi, at most, one could only resist superficially.
His teacher would not blame him when he returned.
Qin Wushuang walked around each martial arts stage. He was also concerned about the battle situation of his fellow Senior Brothers.
While he walked, a pair of eyes came to lock on him.
Without even looking, he knew that the owner of this gaze was familiar. It came from the leader of the younger generation of disciples—Senior Brother Wei Yi.
Qin Wushuang smiled lightly: "Senior Brother Wei."
Wei Yi didn’t expect that Qin Wushuang would greet him. Thus, he also smiled lightly: "Junior Brother Qin, you’ve also finished your fight?"
"Yes, I am lucky for this round. But you are the most straightforward one. I heard that basically, your opponent got scared before the fight and admitted defeat, haha."
Qin Wushuang’s politeness made Wei Yi feel that his caution toward Qin Wushuang had been unwarranted. At the moment, he also smiled: "Those Junior Brothers are too affectionate. There is nothing much going on in a spar. There was no need to let me have it easy intentionally. They should let me have a chance to warm up."
"Yes, you are right."
Qin Wushuang looked ahead and smiled: "I am going to go ahead to take a look around."
Wei Yi nodded: "Please."
These two brushed past each other. These two, being the shiniest pearls in the younger generation of the Stargaze Palace had finished their first true conversation.
At the last gambling competition, although Qin Wushuang had talked with Wei Yi, both did not carry other intentions. Each of them didn’t think much of the other.
This time, because they were competitors, some strange feelings had emerged.
Indeed, the third round of competitions was carried out with real swords and real spears. When two pairs of seeded warriors met each other, the battle became heated. When the sun went down, they finally determined a winner and loser.
After this round, of course the ones that had been defeated were extremely regretful.
And the winners would enter the rank of top sixteen. In other words, they would become the seeded warriors for the next year’s Core ranking competition.
Compared to last year, this list had some small changes. Besides the two pair of seeded warriors that had met each other, none of the other seeded participants had such situation.
In other words, compared to last year, only two spots had undergone changes in the list.
Still, the Green Cloud Palace received a nice harvest.
Last year, only three people from the Green Cloud Palace had entered the top sixteen. And this time, besides the original three people, there was Qin Wushuang.
Among the top sixteen, four of them had come from the Green Cloud Palace. Naturally, this honor was amazing.
For the remaining spots, six of them came from the Head Palace Master line. The remaining three Palace Masters took two each.
This way, the gap between the Green Cloud and the Head Palace still existed. Yet, invisibly, they had also shook off the other three Palaces.
Tan Zhongchi was feeling extremely proud. Currently, his greatest wish was that in the fourth round, his four disciples would not meet with each other.
Only this way could he ensure more spots in the next round. Once they had won the fourth round, it meant that the winners would enter the top eight and grab the spots for the top ten.
Up to this point, only elite warriors had remained from each line.
For sure, the remaining fights would become much tougher each round. Tan Zhongchi did not need to use much encouraging words as he said: "This fourth round is crucial. If you win, you will be in the top eight and one of the top ten. If you lose, it will not matter because you will still have opportunities to aim for the ninth and the tenth spot. Remember, top ten! Below the top ten, then the ranking would not matter."
All the disciple nodded with determination. Up to this point, besides one’s performance, it would also depend on the luck of their draw.
Firstly, they would not want to meet Wei Yi. Secondly, they would not want disciples from the same line to meet each other.
This is what all disciples wanted.
The fourth round came as promised.
The draw ceremony had caught even more attention. Everyone knew that after this round, the winner would get a spot in the top ten.
Regardless which eight would become the final fortunate ones, would a situation in which the top five elite warriors meet at an earlier stage arise? All the suspense had stirred the interest of all disciples at the Stargaze Palace. Even those senior officials looked forward to it. On one hand, they hope that their disciples would not meet with Wei Yi. At the same time, they hoped that the top five disciples of the other lines would fight with Wei Yi in this round.
Overall, they all wished for the best benefits for themselves. And they all wanted to pour the dirty water on others.
Of course, the result of the draw would not be decided by people’s will.
When the sixteen numbers had been placed in the box, they would still draw two at a time.
Qin Wushuang didn’t expect that for this round, his number would be the first one to be drawn.
And his opponent was the fourth disciple from the line of the Head Palace Master. He was the elite warrior that had ranked seventh last year.
It would be Number Ninety-Two against Number Seven.
On the surface, the difference between this ranking appeared vast. However, when one fought to this point, no one would think that the fights would have large disparity as the ranking.
However, to bystanders, they all felt that Qin Wushuang’s draw was not a good one. At the most, it was an average draw.
If Qin Wushuang’s draw was average, then Lv Teng, the second disciple’s draw was the most unfortunate one!
His matchup was with the best disciple from the line of the Fourth Palace Master. His name was Deng Bohu, the one who had ranked fourth on last year’s Core ranking competition!
In the last competition, Lv Teng had ranked eighth. Although everyone knew that between Number Eight and Number Four, there were still definite differences.
All disciples ranked top five at the Stargaze Palace were figures that would inherit the Palaces. Their strength had far surpassed other disciples. Since this Deng Bohu was the First disciple of the Fourth Palace, his strength should be on par with Zhou Fu. What more could Lv Teng feel?
Lv Teng thought that he had the worst luck from the Green Cloud Palace. Unexpectedly, Jian Rui, the Third Disciple had an even worse draw than him. His opponent was—Wei Yi!
The person that no one wanted to face.
Inwardly, Tan Zhongchi also swore that the luck of the draw had been horrendously bad. None of the three disciples had a good draw. Especially Lv Teng’s draw, it would most likely thwart his plan to obtain three spots in the top ten.
Fortunately, the disciples of the Green Cloud Palace had one good draw. Zhou Fu’s opponent was one of the two weakest members among the top sixteen.
This way, Green Cloud’s Palace situation had become complicated.
They had gathered the best draw, an average draw, a awful draw and an even worse draw.
Tan Zhongchi glanced across the four disciples. He lingered on Lv Teng’s face. Apparently, he was giving him hints that if he could not beat him, he should give up and aim for the ninth and tenth spot in the later competition!
Although to Lv Teng, it would be a lower rank, to the entire Green Cloud Palace, it was a strategic move.
Tan Zhongchi know clearly that whether they could get three spots in the top ten would all depend on the variable of Lv Teng. If he decided to confront Deng Bohu head on, he might lose all his energy and receive serious injuries. Then, in the later competition, his performance would get affected and most likely, he would lose the ability to fight for the spots of ninth and tenth.
However, if he decided to strategically retreat and enter the later competition, he would have the upper hand. Basically, he would surely get either top nine or top ten.
As for Jian Rui, the Third Disciple who had met Wei Yi, Tan Zhongchi’s only requirement was to fight a bit and admit defeat.
Whoever met Wei Yi, it was their own bad luck. It was an old rule from the past generations and no one could say much about it.
Of course, Zhou Fu would win and become one of the top eight. And Qin Wushuang’s opponent was the Fourth disciple of the Head Palace Master. He had ranked seventh last year.
However, Tan Zhongchi believed that Qin Wushuang would be the winner, and not that Number Seven!
All eight pairs of opponents walked up to the martial arts stage. Qin Wushuang’s opponent had also been waiting there for a while. Qin Wushuang remembered that Zhou Fu had once mentioned that this Fourth Disciple was named Hong Li. He had a cold and ruthless personality.
When Hong Li heard in the last round that his Ninth Junior Brother had admitted defeat without a fight, he was extremely furious. Thus, after he had gotten Qin Wushuang as his opponent, he decided to teach him a lesson as revenge for his Junior Brother!