After four round of competition, the top eight had emerged. Three from the line of the Head Palace Master and two from the Second Palace Master. The remaining three Palace Masters took one spot each.
The distribution of this list was the same as the one from last year. Even the names did not change much. Besides Lü Teng from the line of the Second Palace Master got disqualified and with Qin Wushuang had substituted last year’s number Seven, the list was the same as last year.
Currently, most likely no one had any objection for Qin Wushuang being stated as the dark horse.
Everyone knew that for the first time, even Wei Yi had not made to the top ten when he entered the Core ranking competition. And this time, Qin Wushuang’s result was top eight.
Regardless of whether he could keep advancing, he had undoubtedly created history. Just with this record alone, he had surpassed Wei Yi.
Before, some people thought Qin Wushuang’s advancing as a fluke. He did not meet strong opponents during the first and the second round. And in the third round, it was not persuasive since the opponent admitted defeat.
However, during the fourth round, Qin Wushuang’s performance had slapped those people who had doubted his ability. He used his true strength to tell people why he deserves being the winner for the Advanced disciple exam, and how he had acquired perfect scores for all six categories!
He did not get it by luck, but by his true strength by taking each little step.
Hong Li ranked fourth at the line of the Head Palace Master. Regarding his offense power, even those top five elite warriors besides Wei Yi would not face him head on. After all, it was troublesome and life-threatening to fight an elite warrior that wield the herald.
However, Qin Wushuang’s control did not allow Hong Li to have the chance to perform. From beginning to end, he had suppressed Hong Li’s proud attack power to the extreme in which he had collapsed. He did not have any chance to perform.
Many elite warriors had already realized that Qin Wushuang’s most reliable weapon was his confusing set and unpredictable footstep sequences.
It was that set of foot sequences, combined with his attack had made Hong Li powerless.
Next, combined with the fight with Qin Wushuang and Xia Feihong, everyone came to an easy conclusion—Qin Wushuang was a master of controlling tempo. One could say that he had reached to a devilish stage to control the rhythm in the battlefield.
When Xia Feihong wanted to unleash fast moves, Qin Wushuang could force him to slow down. He could win through the slow tempo and any random sword he shoots out had made Xia Feihong unprepared and reach to the embarrassing stage.
And Hong Li loved majestic style combat. However, Qin Wushuang had speed up the tempo and did not give Hong Li any chance to distance himself. Thus, he used the method of close-combat to beat Hong Li to a collapsing state.
This was the rhythm. The perfect control of the rhythm during a battle.
Even someone like Wei Yi could not help to feel impressed by Qin Wushuang’s ability. It was as if he could always find the most favorable battle method. He would use his advantage to attack the opponent’s weakness.
To use one’s advantage to attack enemy’s weakness. It would be strange if he could not win through this method.
This time, Tan Zhongchi was radiant with happiness. Basically, there should not be any problem for his disciples to get three spots in the top ten.
Not to mention the top eight, both Lü Teng and Jian Rui were double insurance. With both going for the spots, one of them would get a spot in the ninth or the tenth.
Currently, among the fights for the ranking between nine and sixteen, the most popular one was Hong Li, who got disqualified by Qin Wushuang. He was an elite warrior that ranked seventh in the last year.
However, this Hong Li’s shoulder got injured by Qin Wushuang’s sword intention. Although he had kept his arm, the sword Qi penetrated deeply into his shoulder. Apparently, a day of rest would not allow him to recover completely.
Thus, even if Lü Teng had meet Hong Li, he would still have a chance to win. One could even say that the chance of winning was high.
After all, these two’s ranking was one after another from last year. One had ranked at seventh, and the other at the eighth.
Up to this point, the atmosphere of the competition had increased tremendously. The entire atmosphere of the Stargaze Palace had become even more fanatical with the arrival of the final ranking competition.
Now, there were three suspense—
The first one was whether someone would fight with all their efforts if they meet with Wei Yi.
Secondly, whether Qin Wushuang, this darkhorse would get one of the top three.
Thirdly, whether anyone else besides the line of the Head Palace Master to get three spots in the top ten.
For the first suspense, everyone felt it was unrealistic. Compared to others, Wei Yi’s strength was incomparable. Although he had the strength at the beginning of the Middle Spiritual Martial Force, no other Core disciples could match up to him.
On the contrary, people looked forward to the second suspense. In the history of the Stargaze Palace, none of the newly advance Core disciple had entered the top three directly. It would be a new record! If Qin Wushuang could brush this record, then it would not be as simple as surpassing Wei Yi. Instead, he would brush the new history record of the Stargaze Palace and become the record keeper!
It was an extremely honorable accomplishment. For the thousand years since the Stargaze Palace had existed, and after generations of disciples had studied here, no one had broken this record. It was apparent of the difficult within here!
The third suspense was also related to the lines of the Green Cloud Palace, and the Second Palace Master. Currently, besides the line of the Head Palace Master, only disciples to the Second Palace were qualified to aim for the top ten.
The situation was clear in the eyes of all.
Accompanied by these suspense, the fifth round of draw started again.
On the day of the fifth round, the weather continues to be nice.
On today’s competition, not only the top eight needed to fight, the people that got disqualified also need to fight for the spots from nine to sixteen. All the ranking after the top sixteen needs to get determined through duel. And the process was the same as the duels between the top eight.
The Ninth place was like the victor from the top eight. The process was the same from beginning to the end.
Under the gazes of everyone, the Head Palace Master opened to speak with a smile: "This time, among the top eight, there were two new faces. It is worthy of a celebration. What did it represent? It means that our Stargaze Palace did not lack new blood and substitutes. Only through such competition in which we could let all disciples to stay alert at all times. You would all fight for your honor, for ranking and for your pride. Less with the talk, back to topic, we will start with the draw for the top eight. Regardless of the draw, we would have elite warriors fighting each other. The following duels would just get even more excited!"
The tens and thousand disciples of the Stargaze Palace became hot-blooded. All of them expressed fanatical looks as they stare at that drawing peck. Each of them could not wait for the result of the draw.
They just wanted to know about the situation after the draw.
Some people detested for dark horses. Those who emerged strange hostility towards Qin Wushuang were even praying to let him meet Senior Brother Wei Yi to stop him from advancing…
Of course, it was the mindset from a small portion of people. Most disciples hoped that Qin Wushuang would not meet with Qin Wushuang. They wanted to see to what extent would this dark horse end up!
The Fifth Palace Master went up and took the draw. It was the number one disciple to the Third Palace Master—Zhao Muzhi.
And when he drew the second one, the Fifth Palace Master emerged a strange expression. He glanced at Tan Zhongchi and smiled: "Zhao Muzhi’s opponent is the great dark horse Qin."
Zhao Muzhi against Qin Wushuang!
The result from the first round draw came out!
Still showing a calm face, a trace of playful smile emerged from the corner of his mouth. The Third Palace Master also showed no emotion. However, he mused: "The great dark horse? Ha ha, this is where the dark horse stops running."
Yet, Tan Zhongchi said lightly: "Perhaps not. Third, this Zhao Muzhu is your proud disciples. However, it’s not easy to say of who would win or lose."
The second pair would be between the best disciples from the Second and the Fourth Palace Masters.
Zhou Fu against Deng Bohu!
Earlier, Deng Bohu beat Lü Teng who came from the Second Palace. Now, he encountered Zhou Fu. It seemed that there were senses of vengeance and would be a great show.
The third pair occurred as an internal conflict within the line of the Head Palace Master. It was Wei Yi against Huang Zhaoyang, the third disciple to Zhuo Buqun.
The fourth pair were the two people that ranked last among the top eight. One of them was Miao Zhongxia, the number one disciple studying under the Fifth Palace Master. His opponent was Lu Shaonan, the second disciple to Zhuo Buqun, the head Palace Master. For these two, with the ranking of fifth and sixth, they had fought before. At that time, Miao Zhongxia had barely won against the opponent. And this time, it seemed to be a predestined affinity for them to meet again.
For each the four groups, there were exciting things to see.
Besides Wei Yi’s duel that showed no suspense, the other three fights had a lot of good things to see. For example, whether Deng Bohu could win against Zhou Fu, or would something different occur with the predestined fight between Miao Zhongxiao and Lu Shaonan? Or another example, would Qin Wushuang, this dark horse keep running forward? Would he drag down Zhao Muzhi, the one that ranked third from the last year?
After the drawing result, Qin Wushuang’s inner emotion remained calm as the still water. He knew that it would be his toughest battle since the start of this Core ranking competition.
Regarding Zhao Muzhi, he had met him once when he went to pick up the rewards after the gambling competition had ended. At that time, Zhao Muzhi asked him about his teacher and Qin Wushuang had politely refused to answer.
Zhao Muzhi at that had emerged some animosity. Now, he saw that Qin Wushuang had become his opponent, he thought about the competition between his teacher and the Second Palace Master and the shame his Junior Brother Qi Yinfeng had taken at Qin Wushuang. He felt that regardlss, he must use all he’s got to beat this dark horse off the stage.
Undoubtedly, Qin Wushuang had the same idea as him. He only has one goal. That was to go forward and to pass Zhao Muzhi and enter the top four to meet with his Senior Sister Zhou Fu!
Now, different than his usual scholar dress from before, Zhao Muzhi put on a battle suit. A layer of coldness also covered his handsome face as he glared at Qin Wushuang.
"Junior Brother Qin, at the Nature Manifestation Valley, you once concealed your identity deliberately. Unexpected, a great dark horse like you had appeared. However, in the past, I had a graceless nickname, I am called the Dark horse killer. All the dark horses will stop moving forward at my place!"
Qin Wushuang could not help to laugh. Inwardly, he thought you could just speak the ruthless words, why would you speak it with grace?
Immediately, he smiled lightly: "Senior Brother Zhao, I don’t have a treacherous nickname as you. But I do know that on the stage, we speak with our strength, and not our mouth. Just in case if we bluffed too much and we could not win, wouldn’t we lose the light?"
These two had already started to fight through the words.
For sure, this battle would be a difficult one that would test one’s strength and strategies. Qin Wushuagn would not allow himself to lose his temperament over any aspects!
To fight for the upper hand for a time would most likely determine the entire battle field!