In the midst of everyone’s excitement, the annual Qing Jiao Competition began. The Qing Jiao Competition was held by all three countries and was highly prestigious.
Everyone who could compete was prodigies of their nations. Thus, not only could everyone see exciting battles at the Qing Jiao Competition, but they could also watch these prodigies battle one another.
It was not just a competition between three academies but also a veiled battle between three countries. Especially because it was held in Country Yao Chen this year, everyone in Tian Lu Academy was excited and wanted to attain good results in the competition.
Most of the students gathered early in the morning, with the exception of the few who stayed back. Everyone headed to Jia Nan Square in Imperial City together.
Jia Nan Square was one of the most famous squares in Imperial City. It had a large area, and it was built by Country Yao Chen’s founder.
All the important competitions in the Imperial City would be held here. Naturally, the Qing Jiao Competition was set to be held here.
After Chu Liuyue arrived with all the academy’s students, she was quickly sent to an assigned area. She only got the chance to inspect the large square after she had settled down in her assigned spot.
The square took on a circular shape. In the middle was the arena made of a large hanbai stone. It was circled by rows of seats that grew taller with each row.
At a glance, it could house at least 10,000 people, and these seats were now filled with people.
The square was lively, and chatter could be heard everywhere.
Chu Liuyue and the other students’ seats were next to the arena.
There was a gold-purple chair in the southward position. Wooden chairs were also placed in the three other directions. The gold-purple chair was reserved for Emperor Jiawen.
He usually didn’t appear in the early matches. Instead, he only showed up for the finals.
The chair’s current placement was just a show of respect for Emperor Jiawen.
Everything knew that Emperor Jiawen would not appear on the first day, so the square was especially relaxed and lively.
The wooden chairs in the three other directions were clearly left for the various academies.
The elders and teachers sat in the two front rows.
The students only sat from the third row onwards. They were arranged according to their seniority. Chu Liuyue and her classmates were new students, so they sat at the back.
Their individual positions were further divided. Heavenly doctors sat at the front, and martial artists sat at the back.
Chu Liuyue was seated in the Xuan Master section, which was right in the middle.
A young man was seated at the very front.
The young man seemed like he was fifteen or sixteen. He had gentle features, and his skin was ridiculously pale. It even seemed a little transparent under the light.
His expression was distant and carried an air of arrogance. It was clear that he was Meng Zexiao, the newest heavenly doctor cohort’s most talented student. He was not from the Imperial City and was of common birth. However, he was talented and valued by the teachers.
He was rumored to be hard-working, but this was the first time Chu Liuyue had seen him since she entered the academy.
Of course, students from the heavenly doctor section were all rather arrogant. They trained in a different venue, so it was not easy to meet them.
As if sensing her gaze, Meng Zexiao—who had been observing the area—suddenly turned and glanced at Chu Liuyue.
Their eyes met, and Chu Liuyue nodded politely, but Meng Zengxiao’s eyes reflected a change.
His eyes seem to carry… a little curiosity? Chu Liuyue paused, but Meng Zengxiao had already turned.
“Eh, Liuyue, you know Meng Zexiao?” Si Yang asked.
Chu Liuyue shook her head. “No.”
“Then, why does he look at you strangely? He’s Mr. Zuo Rong’s disciple, the person who has the most hope of becoming a heavenly doctor out of all of us. He’s usually rather arrogant!”
A thought flashed across Chu Liuyue’s head when she heard Zuo Rong’s name. Did he act that way because Mr. Zuo Rong told him about my trip to the Heavenly Pharmacy?
As Chu Liuyue pondered the situation, she heard a deep and powerful voice.
“Country Huai Cang’s Nan Feng Academy!” The voice was powerful and echoed in the square. Everyone could hear it clearly.
There was a commotion, and everyone looked towards the entrance.
A large group walked in! They wore turquoise uniforms, and there were three white lines across their left chest.
The person leading the group looked like he was about 50 or 60 years of age, but he looked energetic. His eyes were especially clear, unlike a typical elder person, illustrating his advanced cultivation.
Sun Zhongyan went up to receive them.
“Hahaha! Brother Yunshan, you all are finally here!”
Fu Yunshan’s face was also full of joy. “Brother Zhongyan, it’s been a while. How are you?!”
The two greeted each other. It seemed like they knew each other well.
“I heard that you all arrived at the Imperial City yesterday. I wanted to visit you, but I decided against it since you might have been tired from traveling. Brother Yunshan, you won’t blame me, right?”
“Haha! Of course! Eh, why don’t I see Elder Ye?”
“The director has been in seclusion recently. He has not returned yet, so I’m in charge of the Qing Jiao Competition’s affairs.”
“I see!” Disappointment flashed across Fu Yunshuan’s eyes, but it quickly disappeared.
“Brother Yunshan, that’s your seat over there. Please…”
Fu Yunshan laughed out loud. “Brother Zhongyan has always been reliable and trustworthy! We’ll head over first?”
“Okay.” Sun Zhongyan nodded in agreement.
Fu Yunshan only brought his students to their assigned positions then.
The voice echoed again right as Fu Yunshan and his students just sat down.
“Country Xing Luo’s Tai Yan Academy!”
The slightly quietened square became lively again.
Chu Liuyue looked around strangely. Why does it feel like the square is even livelier than before?
At a glance, many faces of excitement could be spotted. Even the people around her seemed rather excited.
She looked towards Si Yang, and she asked softly, “What’s wrong? What’s special about Tai Yan Academy?”
“You really don’t know?” Si Yang widened his eyes. “I heard that Country Xing Luo’s number one beauty—their eldest princess—is among the group. Situ Xingchen!”
As he spoke, he turned and glanced at Tai Yan Academy’s group before he pointed. “There, that one! The one at the front, the prettiest girl!”
Chu Liuyue followed his finger and saw a slender and sweet-looking girl. This girl stood out among the crowd and attracted everyone’s attention instantly.
Si Yang stared for a while before he turned to look at Chu Liuyue. He then laughed strangely. “Heh. Liuyue, everyone says that Country Xing Luo’s eldest princess is a real beauty, but I feel like she pales in comparison to you! If you dress up, you’ll definitely crush her!”
Chu Liuyue glanced at him. She was not interested in such things.
But the next moment, Chu Liuyue suddenly turned, looked at Situ Xingchen, and narrowed her eyes.
Embroidered on her sleeves was the same cloud pattern that Rong Xiu had.