All the faces of those big shots from the Archaic Mysteries Sect had become stern. Apparently, they realized that the Stargaze Palace had tricked them in that battle at the Green Jade Mountain.
The Stargaze Palace had announced publicly that they had lost one Upper Sky Core disciple, wasn’t this him, Qin Wushuang?
Currently, how come this Qin Wushuang was here to participate in this Friendly Competition of the East rightfully?
Gao Yue could not help but mock: "Palace Master Zhuo, your Stargaze Palace is plotting actively. You declared a living person as dead, are you intending to confuse the ears of the Archaic Mysteries?"
Zhuo Buqun did not know whether to laugh or cry. However, he could not explain and expounded: "All is fair in war, all is fair in war."
Gao Yue was extremely furious: "It’s apparent that you are scheming and it has nothing to do with my Archaic Mysteries sect. However, the undead person entangled with the Heavenly Lake Empire back in the Great Luo. You are taking advantage of the crisis for personal gains and calling to catch thieves!"
However, Zhuo Buqun shook his head: "What, of course it’s reasonable for the Great Luo Empire to protect and defend the Green Jade Mountain. This is the authority in which we must carry out. And those who don’t hold the authority over the Green Jade Mountain, you are the true thieves for building random outposts inside our borders? Or else, why are you being sneaky and go for the wool and come home shorn?"
"Nonsense!" Gao Yue berated angrily, "The Heavenly Lake Empire also owns half of the Green Jade Mountain, everyone knows this. When did it become the property of the Great Luo?"
"It’s useless to talk more. The current Green Jade has already become ruins. Could Head Gao not even let go of those piles of ruin?"
Gao Yue’s face appeared ashen. What kind of value does the current Green Jade Mountain hold? This Zhuo Buqun was speaking these sarcastic remarks, because he knew that Gao Yue was feeling at loss for those five Elders?
At this moment, Shi Chenglong, the head of the Dragon and Tiger Sect, said with a smile: "You two, you’ve got the time to argue, for sure, you are holding on to your youthfulness. There are too many warriors waiting for us to verify the identities and announce the rules."
Shi Chenglong’s words made Gao Yue even more frustrated. However, he could not unleash his anger. On the other hand, Zhuo Buqun was acting leisurely as if he was extremely confident and not worried.
Verifying identities was not a difficult process and it was soon finished. After they did not find any flaws from the verification, they started to announced the rules.
Indeed, as Wei Yi had said, the first round of rules was similar to when Qin Wushuang had participated in the martial arts student exam. It was also to find the jade plates.
However, this time, the process of finding jade plates was entirely different that last time. The jade plates were made temporarily at this time. These plates were made for each person specifically.
Each person had ten jade plates. Each warrior needed to pour their own Spiritual Qi into the ten jade plates. Then, they would be sealed and sent off into the exam area.
These jade plates all carried their own Spiritual presence. Thus, each participants must use their Spiritual perception to search for their own jade plates.
It was to test the stage of the participants and their sensitivity to Spiritual Qi.
In the end, it was a test of their Spiritual Qi and stages. No wonder Wei Yi said that the strong and weak Spiritual Qi stage would be clearly separated at this point.
Those with lower Spiritual Qi sense would have a lesser skill compared to those with higher Spiritual Qi sensation regarding perception, distance and sense. Thus, within the limited time, there would be a difference in acquiring the number of plates.
Most importantly, these ten jade plates held different levels. Starting from one point to ten points, the difficulty level would increase as their hiding place would become tougher to discover.
In other words, perhaps, it would be easy to find the one-point jade plates. It would not be hard to find two pointers or three pointers. However, without doubt, the difficulty level would subsequently increase. And the final marks would be calculated in the final stage. Thus, the difference between the weak and the strong would be clearly shown.
While Qin Wushuang mulled on this rule, he laughed secretly: "Although the content is different, it’s still finding jade plates. With my experience from the last time, I do have some advantage."
Of course, the different rules would also make his corresponding strategies to change. Besides his own jade plates, the other jade plates would have nothing to do with him. Since he could not know who they belonged to, he could not take them nor destroy them.
It is because you don’t know whether the one you destroy would belong to your enemies, or your own friends.
Of course, there was another point, participants could not attack each other.
Overall, in one sentence, each person’s only task was to find their own ten jade plates wholeheartedly. Everything else would be unnecessary.
Even if you found one hundred jade plates belonging to other people or took down everyone else’s, it would be useless.
In the first round, you could only find your own ten jade plates. The more you find, the better. Although the rules were simple, the atmosphere was intense.
"In the first round, the exam area is only three hundred miles. However, I must tell you that if you find other people’s jade plates, it’s best to not dig it out. It is because, there is more than seventy percent chance that you are helping your opponent. And only thirty percent chance that you are helping people from your own country. You should know how to weigh the pros and cons from here. Thus, you only have one goal and that is to find your own jade plates with everything you’ve got! The time limit is only three days. It’s short and rushed. It also means that in three days and nights, without stopping nor rest, without a single trace of careless mistakes or lowering your guard. Because of the short time limit, it means that the final result will separate the strong from the weak."
"Remember, in total, there are forty-eight of you. Four hundred and eight jade plates will be put in by the three leaders of the three empires. Each jade plate will be hidden away fairly. The difficulty level will also be reasonable. The chance of for it being too easy or being too difficult will never occur."
After many sessions of such competition, almost certainly the host would not be able to cheat. It was because the examination area must be set in stone by the three leaders altogether. Then, they would allow the participants to adapt for two days and would start the competition officially.
This way, it was to prevent the host of any possibility of holding the advantage in their familiarity of the terrain.
After they had finished announcing the rules of the first round, they started to collect the Spiritual Qi from each participants to make their corresponding jade plates. The three leaders also supervised this process altogether.
Each participant went up the stage in an orderly fashion. When they poured in their Spiritual Qi, it could not be too much, nor too less but must be the right amount. Or else, the difference of the amount of the Spiritual Qi inside the jade plates would influence the difficulty level of finding the jade plates. After all, if you have more spiritual Qi inside the plates, it would be much easier to sense the plates.
When it was Qin Wushuang’s turn, he did not show off intentionally and poured in his Spiritual Qi. He only walked down after he had taken care of all ten jade plates.
After all the participants had finished this process, Gao Yue, the head of the Archaic Mysteries Sect felt the most depressed. Through this process, he was watching each participant. Especially participants of the other two empires, he was observing without missing a single detail. Feeling depressed, he found that regardless of the Stargaze or the Dragon and Tiger Sect, they all had two Middle Stage warriors!
Now, while they were the host, his own sect was left with only one Middle Stage warrior. He was also Gao Yue’s own disciple, Luo Guiyun.
Luo Guiyun was also the only one with Natural Spiritual Roots in the Heavenly Lake Empire. He was slightly older than Wei Yi and had a high stage. He was known as the young leader at the Archaic Mysteries Sect.
As for Devil Boy, the one that rose afterwards and who had looked down on everyone else did not dare to show any trace of disrespect toward Senior Brother Luo Guiyun. It showed that Luo Guiyun’s power was tyrannical. At least, he could make Devil Boy fear him.
Only, in this Friendly competition, it had become somewhat troublesome when the enemies had two Middle Stage warriors and the Heavenly Lake Empire only had one.
Feeling enraged inwardly, Gao Yue felt his grudge over Devil Boy’s death deepen. However, up to this point, besides continuing with the competition, the Heavenly Lake Empire had no other choice.
After all, Middle Stage warriors were not carrots that could not be produced easily.
Inwardly, he swore: "The Stargaze Palace is sly and cunning as they did not care and spread rumors to confuse others. The Dragon and Tiger sect holds many talents and their skills are unknown. They also have two Middle Stage Core disciples. Indeed, it’s troublesome! It seems that I cannot lower our guard against any one of them. It’s too unfortunate that Devil Boy had died. If he was here, with his skills, he could supervise the attacking team. Guiyun could be in charge of the defending team. With one defender and one attacker, how could those other two sects walk away with any advantages?"
Although he was feeling depressed, he had no choice but to accept this reality.
"I only hope that I can make the connection with the Red Dragon Empire. If we could establish a relationship with them, even if we wind up with unfavorable results from this friendly competition, we could still over turn it. For that Endless Eastern Sea, it would still be the same as exploring it with those two Empires, or with the Red Dragon… If I could pull the Red Dragon up on the boat to explore the Endless Eastern Sea, how could I care about the other two?"
Inwardly, Gao Yue was making fast calculations and conjuring up schemes.
Zhuo Buqun had been observing Gao Yue with a pair of cold eyes. When he saw that Gao Yue was showing an expressionless face, vicious intentions could be seen in his eyes from time to time, he could not help but remain alert even though he did not know his evil ideas.
Shi Chenglong, the Dragon Head of the Dragon and Tiger Sect was also observing Gao Yue. Inwardly, he was also shocked and he had also become fully alert.
He exchanged a glance with Zhuo Buqun and both of them understood each other. While at the Heavenly Lake Empire, as the guests, they could not allow themselves to let down their guard.
After everything had been decided, the participants were dismissed for the time being. The three leaders were selecting the three hundred miles examination area for the first round.
After they had made the selection, the participants would have two days to get use to the place and get to know it. It was an act of fairness to prevent the Archaic Mysteries Sect from taking advantage of the terrain.
With two days to adapt the place, regardless of the participants from the Great Luo or the Vermillion Empire, they would not feel unfamiliar with the place.
After they had selected the place, the three leaders started to hide those jade plates. The hiding places were also chosen at random. Again, it was to prevent any possibilities of the Archaic Mysteries Sect disciples cheating.
After they had put away those jade plates, these three leaders must be kept close. Until the end of the first round, they could not separate. This way, the chances of sneaking out information from any of them would be closed off.
With everything ready, all they needed was the East wind.
On July 7th, the first round of competition officially started.
All forty-eight participants were sent into this three hundred miles of testing ground from forty-eight directions. Although the three hundred miles was not vast, by sending in forty-eight people in there was like throwing forty-eight pieces of stones into the river. They would not feel crowded.
Qin Wushuang felt extremely calm as he took a deep breath. He knew that the first battle had begun.
This time, it was not an internal battle between the palaces at the Stargaze, but to fight for their country, their sect, and for the survival of the Great Luo.