Chapter 956 – The Same Twilight Glow
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"His opponent in the first match was a descendant of the Xiang clan. The two competed in pure strength and the Xiang clan descendant lost."
On the high observation platform within the Imperial City, the Carp tribe judge in charge of determining victory slightly bowed his body. The observation platform was otherwise empty, the members of the Council of Elders and the high officials of the Demi-human Court currently in the gloomy confines of the stone hall, pensively considering the files that had just been sent in.
Upon hearing the Carp tribe judge's words, many of them looked towards the giant mountain of a figure at the highest seat.
The Chief Elder was also the Xiang clan's leader.
Why had a descendant of the Xiang clan gone to participate in the Pine Paths? And he had even lost?
The Chief Elder's eyes remained shut, as if he was sleeping, giving no reaction to these words. The powerful individuals in the hall shook their heads and they turned their attention back to the files. One high official suddenly said in astonishment, "His opponent in the second match was Nie Chi?"
These words caused a burst of whispered discussion within the stone hall, and it was obvious that this was a surprise to everyone else in the hall. To these important personages of the Demi-human race, Nie Chi was nothing much, but he was still a famous expert, which made them think, if it really is him, how did he lose?
"Nie Chi was blasted to death, because his blade was not faster than his opponent's fist."
The Carp tribe judge did not wait to hear the gasps of surprise from the hall. Lowering his head, he continued, "In the third match, the opponent was Han Xiaodao."
A stunned voice came out of the hall. "Wait a moment. Is the Han Xiaodao you are speaking of the one that we all know?"
The judge's voice trembled as he replied, "Yes, and then he also lost."
Another person anxiously asked, "And after that?"
The Carp tribe judge was quiet for a few moments. Apparently, the psychological impact of those matches had still not completely worn off.
"The fourth match was Wu Yu. He also lost."
"Wu Yu?" In shock, the person asked, "Are you sure? How could he possibly lose?"
At this moment, an official noticed those resounding names on the file and frowned. "Wait a second. This official does not understand. Why is it that so many experts appeared in a remote fighting platform in the lower city?"
The judge lowered his head even further, not replying to the question.
None of the official's colleagues or any of the members of the Council of Elders answered his question.
This coincidental silence concealed a rather embarrassing meaning.
Many of the powerful individuals in the stone hall knew the answer, because they were the ones who had made these arrangements.
Other than mighty individuals like Xiaode, the clan elders and the officials of the Demi-human Court had no hopes of gaining the final victory in the Heavenly Selection ceremony, marrying the princess. They only wanted to use this opportunity to allow the young experts of their clans or tribes to become candidates and obtain the right to enter the Celestial Trees. As long as they could be baptized by the Wildfire and receive the blessings of the ancestral spirits, they would be able to become much stronger, with even a chance of breaking through in a short time.
It was for this reason that all these influential figures had coincidentally sent all the young experts who were not too conspicuous but were also very talented to the lower city districts, which received little attention. They hoped that this would increase the chances of avoiding strong enemies, allowing them a chance at obtaining one of the three spots allotted to the lower districts.
This was a very reasonable course of action, and many tribes and clans thought the same. From a certain perspective, they had still ended up clashing with each other, but the competition in the lower city districts was still easier than around the Imperial City and Heavensguard Pavilion.
But no one had expected it to end this way.
The young experts that the tribes and clans had burdened with their hopes had all lost.
They had lost to a very ordinary bear youth.
All of a sudden, an elder sternly asked, "Even if he did manage to miraculously win six consecutive matches and then represented the Pine Paths in winning the general selection of the Three Heaventrees District, obtaining a spot, why did he come alone? Aren't there three spots for the lower city districts? What about the other two?"
He was the leader of the Deer tribe, and today, he had furtively placed his beloved bastard son into the Southern Country District, hoping that he could use this chance to grant his bastard son the right to enter the Celestial Tree. He had learned earlier that his bastard son had won, so why had he not appeared?
"That fellow represented the Pine Paths in battle to take the spot of the Three Heaventrees District, and then he went to Star Riverbay and Southern Country."
The Carp tribe judge recalled those sights, unable to suppress his sigh as he continued, "He snatched away both spots."
The stone hall was quiet for a while, clearly out of shock and confusion. After a while, the Deer tribe leader angrily roared.
"Just what does this fool want to do! Was taking one spot not enough! Doesn't he know that you can't transfer these spots!"
This was something that many elders and officials could not understand. Since he had already obtained the spot belonging to the Three Heaventrees District, he could enter the Celestial Tree tomorrow to be baptized by the Wildfire. Why had this fellow not loosened his grip, and had even run off to Star Riverbay and Southern Country to fight two more tournaments?
Although the rules of the Heavenly Selection ceremony did not forbid this, although this fellow really might have been very strong, the truly powerful opponents had not yet appeared. What meaning was there in doing this besides consuming true essence and wasting his energy?
"I do not know." The Carp tribe judge recalled the words that fellow said when walking onto the fighting platform and hesitantly said, "Apparently it's because… he doesn't like anyone else participating in the Heavenly Selection ceremony. As long as someone is participating, he wants to strike them down."
What sort of reason was that? It was utterly incomprehensible.
Suddenly, a cold voice said, "What I don't understand is how he won."
This was not actual confusion, but disbelief, suspicion.
It was clear that many important personages of the Demi-human race, this official included, found this matter far too strange, causing them to be very doubtful.
But the judge was thinking of something else, absent-mindedly saying, "He used the fist."
"Yes, whether he was facing Nie Chi, Han Xiaodao, or some other expert, he only used one punch."
"Yes, every time he stepped onto stage, he would make one punch and then his opponent would fall over."
The stone hall was quiet for a long time, with not a single person speaking.
It was still not that dusky, the sun still above the horizon, but the wind was somewhat chilly.
The Carp tribe judge stood on the observation platform, his clothes blowing in the wind, a blazing banner in the light of the sinking sun.
From morning to dusk, countless matches had been conducted in the Heavenly Selection ceremony.
But it was clear that the most important matches today were the nine matches taking place in the lower city districts.
In these nine matches, that fellow used a total of nine punches.
One punch for each match.
One punch to defeat his enemy.
What sort of concept was this?
What sort of sight was this?
Slightly stern looks on their faces, these important personages thought in silence.
Yes, no matter how charming or bold the person, no matter how much of a ruckus they could create, it was not possible for the impoverished denizens of the lower city to follow this person so silently and with such order, to look at him with such passion and respect.
The problem was that this fellow was not an expert dispatched by the tribes or clans, but a true person of the lower city. It was clearly written in the file that he had lived in the lower city for many years, that he was a laborer. He had been a painter before and was now washing dishes in a tavern.
The influential figures within the hall were extremely estranged from the lower classes, but they were well aware of what this meant and how dangerous it was.
"Just who is this fellow? His name looks somewhat familiar."
As these words broke the silence, countless gazes fell on a certain place in the hall.
A stalwart figure was in this corner, but just like the Xiang clan leader, this person had remained silent from start to finish, as if he was sleeping. But at this moment, neither the elders nor the high officials of the Demi-human Court would permit him to continue sleeping.
Because he was the leader of the Bear tribe.
The Bear tribe leader slowly said, "Don't look at me. I did not arrange this, nor do I have the right to make arrangements for him. As for who he is… all of you should know. If you've even forgotten his name, what right do you have to sit here?"
Very quickly, people learned what had happened in the lower city.
The richly dressed residents of the upper city looked towards that person with deep respect and fear.
The beautiful and delicate ladies gazed at the figure with fire in their eyes.
As for the six other candidates who had also gained the right to enter a Celestial Tree, they each viewed this figure with different emotions.
Some of them looked with fear, others with a murderous intent.
The Second Prince of the Great Western Continent had a slightly solemn gaze, his thoughts inscrutable.
The young man in the bamboo hat was looking towards the Imperial City, his thoughts also inscrutable.
Xiaode calmly gazed at this figure, thinking about the battle reports that he had just received.
He was sure that he had never met this bear youth before, so why did he give off a familiar feeling?
Several thousand denizens of the lower city stopped on the plaza in front of the Imperial City, just like a tide.
There was a vacant space in front of the crowd, causing that rock of a figure to stand out more.
The important personages on the observation platform did not say a word.
The Empress seated even higher also said nothing.
This was tacit approval.
The high official managing the Heavenly Selection ceremony asked, "What tribe are you from? Report your name."
The names of all participants had already been recorded, so reporting one's name was just a traditional custom to verify the candidate's identity. Declaring one's tribe, on the other hand, was a sort of honor.
The Imperial City was quiet, countless people watching, wanting to know the answer.
"Bear tribe. But today, I am not fighting for my tribe."
The twilight glow illuminated his face, appearing like the light shining off a lake.
The great banyan tree was on one side of the lake, the kitchen on the other.
He squinted, though it was hard to say whether it was because of the dazzling light or because he was giving an honest smile.
"Orthodox Academy, Xuanyuan Po."
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