The Clearjade Sect was as mysterious as the Tang Sect. Since the start of the Continental Elite Youth Soul Master Tournament, their progression through the elimination phase and the round robins' first match could be considered smooth-sailing. Hardly any of their team members were hurt, and their team leader wore a conical bamboo hat with a veil that draped low over their face. The team leader had not fought yet, and had just been commanding and directing the battle from their waiting area. The Clearjade Sect only put six people on stage, even during the group battles.
If not for the fact that their fighting style was very different from normal soul masters, Huo Yuhao would have suspected that they were part of the Body Sect, who had planted themselves within the tournament.
The Clearjade Sect consisted of soul engineers, and so were naturally all from the Sun Moon Empire. They were based inside Radiant City, and were a highly reputable group.
The Clearjade Sect's disciples shared the same path, as close-combat soul engineers. They utilized close-combat soul tools to boost their own strength, and even some of the Sun Moon Empire's representative team members couldn't catch up to these guys in terms of close-combat techniques. However, the Clearjade Sect couldn't compare to the Sun Moon Empire's team with regards to soul tools, as the Sun Moon Empire's team had the Illustrious Virtue Hall behind them.
The Tang Sect versus the Clearjade Sect. This was going to be another epic match to watch!
The spectator's grandstand beneath the competition was packed with people early in the morning due to the Tang Sect's dominant performance in the previous round. The spectators were already discussing the match among themselves. The Tang Sect was the tournament's darkest horse at the moment, so they naturally became the main talking point.
They entered the guest lounge, and the pergola blocked off the light drizzle drifting down from the sky. The lounge was equipped with several soul tools that acted as heaters, and warm air wafted towards them once they walked in. The atmosphere was moderately warm and quite comfortable.
The warmth didn't last long, however, and the Tang Sect's team members began to feel waves of chilliness coming from one side.
The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's team, with Xiao Hongchen at the helm, were staring at them. Their eyes were like icy blades, as if they wanted to cut the Tang Sect's team open.
Xu Sanshi shifted his mouth disdainfully, and he reached out with both hands and pointed his middle fingers.
Xiao Hongchen's eyes closed into slits, and his right hand made a slicing movement across his neck.
"Losers," Xu Sanshi grunted contemptuously. He didn't look at them anymore and sat down with the rest of his team members.
The Tang Sect's match was the first one of the day, since they won their last one. The Sun Moon Empire's team was pushed into the second segment.
The Shrek Academy team had also arrived. Wang Qiu'er was still the one leading the pack, but their eldest senior sister, Zhang Lexuan, was nowhere to be seen. Nobody knew where she had disappeared to.
"Dong'er will take the first bout," Huo Yuhao said with a faint smile on his face.
Everyone looked at him in surprise. Huo Yuhao smiled again and said, "Afterwards, Xiao Xiao will take the next bout. We will fight with our female generals today, and everyone will take two bouts if you can defeat your first opponent. We will request to enter the group battle directly afterwards. We haven't been fighting enough group battles since the start of the tournament, and our opponents will only get stronger and stronger. We'll take this opportunity to practice."
Everyone couldn't help but laugh and smile as they listened to Huo Yuhao's words. It was clear that Huo Yuhao didn't think anything of the Clearjade Sect at all, and he treated them as target practice. His self-confidence came from his abilities. Even though Bei Bei wasn't there with them, they had still managed to force the Sun Moon Empire's team to admit defeat in the previous round. That outcome boosted everyone's confidence. Everyone came from Shrek Academy, and every single one of them were among the best soul masters of their respective ranks. It was within their rights to have such confidence.
The Clearjade Sect's team members arrived at the guest lounge about that time. A man clad in a long robe and a conical bamboo hat on his head took point. Or rather, it was difficult to tell whether he was male or female. His clothes were wide and oversized, and big enough to cover his frame. This person looked extremely mysterious.
Roughly a dozen people followed closely behind him. The main team members were positioned towards the front, while the reserve team members trailed at the back.
The Clearjade Sect's team uniform was pale yellow in color. It was very eye-catching.
The person walking in front of the Clearjade Sect's company paused for a moment and turned towards Huo Yuhao. Perhaps he could feel the Tang Sect watching them. An eerie and chilly aura rippled towards Huo Yuhao without any warning. The intimidating pressure was filled with a razor-sharp aura, and even the air seemed to tear and crackle faintly, as if it were being torn apart.
A tall figure stood up in front of Huo Yuhao without waiting for him to react. This person was just standing there, but there was a feeling that he was about to split heaven and earth in half. This person's eyes focused and immediately dispelled the sharp aura that emanated from the Clearjade Sect's team leader. Sword intent surged through the air, and the entire guest lounge was immediately charged with hostility and murderous intent.
There was no question that the Sword Maniac, Ji Juechen, was the person that stood in front of Huo Yuhao.
They had been here for a long time, but both Jing Ziyan and he hadn't found anyone else besides Nan Qiuqiu to spar with. They were part of the Tang Sect after all, so they had to try their best to avoid causing trouble for them.
But somebody was trying to provoke them beneath the competition stage. Ji Juechen couldn't hold himself back anymore, and the sword intent that had been suppressed for a long time erupted like a geyser.
A peculiar scene appeared inside the guest lounge: almost all the soul masters inside the guest lounge released their martial souls to fight back against Ji Juechen's sword intent.
Sword intent continued to surge relentlessly around the room, and everyone felt as if they were about to be struck by this sword maniac in the next moment!
"Brother Ji." Huo Yuhao gently reminded him exasperatedly.
"Ji Juechen?!" A deafening shout rang out. Did this voice not belong to Xiao Hongchen?
Ji Juechen, Jing Ziyan and the others had been following the Tang Sect before this, but Xiao Hongchen and his sister had been too focused on Huo Yuhao and the others this whole time. Furthermore, they weren't that familiar with Ji Juechen and Jing Ziyan. Xiao Hongchen finally recognized him after Ji Juechen unleashed his signature intimidating sword intent.
"Ji Juechen! You've deserted us and joined the Tang Sect?" Xiao Hongchun howled as he gritted his teeth.
Ji Juechen frowned, but said nothing. Jing Ziyan couldn't take it anymore, and retorted, "You call that deserting? Can you not make it sound so horrible? We joined a sect after we left the academy. Are you saying that we were sold to the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy?"
"What's happening? Withdraw your martial souls. Do you want me to disqualify the lot of you?" A bright voice broke the tension, and the same person that had acted as judge for the match between the Sun Moon Empire's team and the Tang Sect that day appeared: the Class 9 soul engineer, the Unbreakable Douluo! A powerful aura flowed from his body and forcefully suppressed all the tension and disturbance in the guest lounge.
Teachers typically didn't enter the tournament's guest lounge. Therefore, everyone here was a contestant. Everyone became a lot calmer once the formidable Titled Douluo appeared.
Everyone withdrew their martial souls. Ji Juechen just glanced coldly at Xiao Hongchen before he sat down with Jing Ziyan.
Xiao Hongchen's face was frighteningly dark and gloomy. His eyes were closed into slits, and nobody knew what he was thinking about. His black face was enough to portray the extreme rage and fury that he was feeling right now.
The Clearjade Sect's team leader sat down as well, as if nothing had happened at all. He appeared incredibly calm and composed.
Zheng Zhan surveyed the guest lounge authoritatively before leaving. He stepped on the competition stage directly; he was the judge today again!
Huo Yuhao frowned faintly. Is this Titled Douluo, this Class 9 soul engineer, targeting the Tang Sect? It's him again! But he does seem quite fair…
Time was up, and Zheng Zhan's bright and crisp voice travelled to every corner of the arena. "The second match of the round robin... the Tang Sect versus the Clearjade Sect! Contestants, please enter your waiting areas and prepare for battle. The single elimination round's first contestant can step onto the stage directly."
Everyone from the Tang Sect stood up one after another. Wang Dong'er pushed Huo Yuhao, and everyone walked towards their waiting areas.
Seven people from the Clearjade Sect stood up. Six people surrounded their mysterious team leader as they proceeded towards their waiting area on the other side. The atmosphere immediately became tense and antagonistic once they left the guest lounge.
Wang Dong'er opened her umbrella and sheltered herself and Huo Yuhao against the light drizzle. Huo Yuhao turned his head around and glanced in the Clearjade Sect's direction. The Clearjade Sect's team leader seemed to be watching him as well, but their gazes couldn't meet directly due to the veil hanging from his conical bamboo hat. However, Huo Yuhao felt something in his heart.
Both parties quickly entered their respective waiting areas. There were no archways to shelter them against the rain in the waiting areas, so everyone could only use their umbrellas. Wang Dong'er passed the umbrella to Na Na before tapping on the ground with her foot and drifting gently onto the competition stage.
The audience in the distance erupted into a cacophony when she leapt onto the stage. Everyone shouted different things, but they were all jeering her. It was clear that this powerful contestant from the Tang Sect, that had defeated two of the Sun Moon Empire's team members, wasn't welcome at all. Even though Wang Dong was still as handsome as ever when dressed like a guy, this still wasn't enough to offset the contempt the audience felt in their hearts.
The first contestant from the Clearjade Sect was a short and fierce-looking youth. He wasn't fat or skinny, but he was only about a meter and sixty centimeters tall. His movements were extremely agile, but he seemed a little indecent.
Both contestants quickly stood at the center of the competition stage, which had been repaired earlier, and faced each other.
Zheng Zhan glanced between them both. He wasn't like other judges, and it felt as if he was trying to remember the tournament's contestants. He lowered his voice and said, "Report your names."
"Wang Dong of the Tang Sect."
"You Chen of the Clearjade Sect."
Zheng Zhan nodded and said, "I'm sure you guys are clear about the tournament rules, so I won't repeat them again. But remember, this is just a competition, and it's not a fight to the death. Both of you have been raised by your parents, and you only get to live once. Whoever is out to kill his or her adversary cannot blame me for disqualifying you from the tournament. Do you understand?"