Inwardly, Gao Yue was feeling frustrated. How could he not see that although each of the Three Eastern Empires had eight people entering the semi-final, it was apparent that the current Dragon & Tiger Sect and the Stargaze Palace had a much higher winning chance than the Archaic Mysteries Sect.
Shi Chenglong was clearly provoking him as he was confident that his sect would win. Thus, he had been generous and made sure that Gao Yue would be too embarrassed to set a low wager.
Initially, Zhuo Buqun did not plan to speak. However, hearing the words of Shi Chenglong, it was unnecessary for him to speak. From Shi Chenglong’s tone, it seemed that he was determined to win. Thus, the Stargaze Palace did not appear to be on top of the tide. After all, in the past Friendly Competitions, the Stargaze did not achieve favorable results. If he showed too much initiative at this time, it would appear fake. It would be reasonable to let the Dragon and the Tiger Sect to spread this fire.
Of course, Gao Yue would not fall into this trap as he smiled lightly: "As the host, the Archaic Mysteries Sect has always prioritized peace. This bet is only a gesture. If we care too much about the best, we would lose the communication between the three Empires. You must know that friendship should be first, and competition second."
Then, as if he was afraid of someone arguing back, he emphasized: "As the host of this Friendly Competition, the Archaic Mysteries sect does not want to bear the accusations of bullying our guests. How about this, let’s make some casual bets. The most crucial point is to cultivate the young people. Bets or no bets is not as important. You all should not object, right?"
Inwardly, Zhuo Buqun felt it was funny. In the past, Gao Yue had always been a gambler and cared about the bets dearly. This time, he had an entirely different attitude. Without doubt, he felt intimidated.
Zhuo Buqun knew that Shi Chenglong would not agree as he could not help but say: "Head Gao’s words makes sense. Great Dragon Head Shi, what do you think?"
When Shi Chenglong also saw Zhuo Buqun was keeping a low-profile, he had become even more overjoyed. From their stance of pushing back, it was apparent that they were not confident. Thus, the Dragon and Tiger sect needed to pursue the retreating enemy.
Instantly, he laughed: "It would not be interesting if we only placed small wagers. Since you are all so humble, why not let me make a good start and bring out some stuff. Why don’t you guys take a look and decided, how about it?"
He waved his hand and his subordinate walked up while carrying four trays.
The first piece: Soaring Dragon Sword, an Advanced Stage weapon that could increase fire attribute attack power.
The second piece: Unicorn Dragon armour, another Advanced Stage defensive amour and was extremely strong against metal and ice attributes.
Third piece: Water Cloud Talisman. When one wore such a talisman, they could turn water into cloud and walk on the water as if they were walking on solid land. It was a treasure that exceeded the Spiritual Martial Force level.
Fourth piece: Six Ears Golden Eye Monkey, a combat spiritual beast at the Middle Stage. It excelled in concealing, scouting, ambush and could be turned into a contract beast. It was an extremely rare beast.
When these four pieces were shown, all the higher-ups of the Archaic and the Stargaze Palace drew a sharp breath. How could they not realize that he had put down hard-earned capital.
Zhuo Buqun could not help but come to a realization about the Dragon and Tiger Sect, he thought inwardly: "Since the Dragon and Tiger Sect is willing to put down such large wagers, they are clearly full of confidence. In the past, the Stargaze did not achieve lesser results than them. Now, with two Middle Stage warrior who are all rare young people, why should we not play with the Dragon and Tiger Sect? Regardless of wins and losses, the Stargaze can still afford to place such bets. If we lose, it will merely count as the price of tuition. If we win, we would get quite a harvest."
However, Gao Yue was expressionless: "Boss Shi, are these four items to be your wager?"
Shi Chenglong nodded with a smile: "Yes, it’s neither too low nor too high and at the most appropriate amount. It would be too much if I placed any more. And it would not be interesting if it was less than this much as that would not show the temperament of my sect. Head Gao, could it be, that you are thinking that this wager is too high?"
Compared to past years, these bets were indeed, much higher. However, since Shi Chenglong had said these words, Gao Yue could not help but feel embarrassed.
Under the eyes of everyone, if he were to keep retreating, it would show that the Archaic Mysteries Sect had no foundation. Instantly, he exchanged a glance with the other two Heads. Those two both nodded. It meant that even if they had to resign themselves to part with what their treasures, they would not shame the pride of the Archaic Mysteries Sect that had existed for thousands of years.
Zhuo Buqun observed in secret and saw the reaction of Gao Yue and the others. When he saw that Gao Yue still felt somewhat reluctant, he said: "Since Boss Shi is being so generous, I will agree to play with you. I will match this wager."
Then, he discussed with Tan Zhongchi and Tian Zhixing. In a moment, the Stargaze Palace also brought out their corresponding wager. It was also four rare treasures.
Zhuo Buqun said with a smile: "Boss Shi, do you think our four items are on par with yours?"
After Shi Chenglong had taken a look, he laughed: "Palace Master Zhuo, you are being bold, of course it matches! Great, now let’s see what Head Gao has."
Gao Yue felt extremely pained. However, since Zhuo Buqun had already stepped up, if he tried to use any sort of excuses, the Archaic Mysteries Sect would lose all its pride under the thousands of eyes.
Even if he felt even more painful, he must follow up. In a moment, the Archaic Mysteries Sect also presented their four treasures for the wager.
It was also a weapon and a piece of armour at the Advanced Stage.
There was one "Wind Walk Talisman". When one wore this talisman, they could travel for tens of thousands of miles. However, one could only use it three times.
The last piece was also a Middle Stage spiritual beast. It was a drilling mole. Despite its’ ugly appearance, it was cunning and could be used for many things.
The Heavenly Lake Empire excelled in underground technique. Even their spiritual beasts excelled in travelling underground.
After the three parties had presente their wagers, they made a contract and finalized everything.
With the four pieces of treasure from each party, besides their own initial capital, the other two countries had wagered a total of eight pieces of items. It was enough to reward the eight participants in the winning team.
When they saw these treasures, all the disciples from the three sects felt their desire surge. With such good treasures, it would be a great harvest if they could win.
After the bet had been sealed, the semi-final officially started.
The semi-final had a total of two stages.
The first stage was a warm-up and would not influence the general battle. The crucial stage was the martial arts competition in the second stage.
The grades from the preliminary round had already been dismissed and would not affect the starting grades.
Thus, the grading of the semi-final would start from zero.
The first stage only had two events. Both events were group ventures.
The first event would focus on competing combat power, foot power and scouting ability. However, that was only one event. Outside a fifty mile testing zone that was three hundred miles away from this place, they would let an Initial Stage Spiritual Beast loose.
All participants of the three empires would go one after another like a relay competition. When the first one had gone, they would count how much time he had used since the beginning.
Until all eight participants had finished, they would calculate the total marks.
If one of the participants did not finish the task within twenty-four hours, he would have failed. All the participants after him could only depart after twenty-four hours.
The failed participants would lose ten points. If one succeeded, they would be rewarded with ten points.
By the same principal, if some of them could finish in twelve hours, they would get another ten points on top of it.
In the end, the total grades would be added up. The ones that used the least time would be victors. They would get an additional twenty points. The second place would get ten points. The last place would receive no points.
With all these points added together, it would be the total points of this round.
As the distance was three hundred miles, the round trip would be six hundred miles. They would also need to hunt and kill an Initial Stage Spiritual Beast within the fifty-mile zone. Indeed, it was a great challenge.
Of course, those who had entered the semi-final were all elite warriors from the sects. Thus, they were confident about this competition.
For such competition, it could only progress in order. Regarding of which sect goes first, it would depend on lottery.
The lottery result showed that the Stargaze had placed in the last. It was a good draw and a sign of good luck.
The Dragon and Tiger Sect would go first.
Shi Chenglong did not care when he drew first as he laughed: "Good luck from the beginning, we will be lucky to the end. Guys, you are the first one in the competition, do you feel the stress?"
Each of the young people of that Dragon and Tiger Sect was full of confidence.
Qin Wushuang secretly observed and saw that the strongest two of the Dragon and Tiger sect were both elite warriors of the Middle Stage. He already understood that for this Friendly Competition, the Archaic Mysteries Sect was destined to play a secondary role. Since the host had been reduced to a minor role, the fight for victory would be between the Dragon and Tiger with the Stargaze Palace.
While Qin Wushuang was observing, suddenly, he felt a look from the side that was sizing him up. He glanced to the side and saw a cold look coming from an extremely tall young man from the Archaic Mysteries Sect. This person wore a white robe and was considered the number one warrior in their young generation—Luo Guiyun!
When he noticed him, Qin Wushuang did not avoid his looks and stare back at Luo Guiyun openly. He wanted to know very much whether he was the one that had sneak attacked him back at the sheer cliff.
Luo Guiyun showed an unfathomable expression and a trace of a strange smile hung on the corner of his mouth. Qin Wushuang had no idea what he was thinking.
This person was a formidable enemy!
After looking at him for a moment, Qin Wushuang had a new understanding. Indeed, the stage of this Luo Guiyun slightly surpassed Senior Brother Wei Yi’s. It seemed that the Archaic Mysteries Sect had some skills. Thinking back, he felt fortunate that if that Devil Boy had died, it would have been extremely tough for the Stargaze Palace to stand out in this Friendly Competition otherwise.
While he was immersed in his thoughts, the Dragon and Tiger sect had already organized their order. The first participant had already departed toward that destination three hundred miles away.
At the same time, the Stargaze, Archaic, Dragon sect had all sent a leader to explore the road three hundred miles away to prevent any accidents or mistakes.
Whoever had entered the Upper Sky stage, it would be easy to travel thousands of miles in a day. Thus, this six hundred miles was not too difficult. The tough part was that it would take them some time to kill that Initial Stage Spiritual Beast. The challenge was the time to kill that beast, and whether their remaining Spiritual Qi could support them on their journey back.
All eight participants of the Stargaze Palace had started to exchange ideas.