Within the mountain range that the Desolate Hall was located in, there was an especially vast and tall mountain peak. This mountain peak pierced through the clouds, which tumbles and twists around it, giving it an out-of-world feeling.
This mountain peak was the location of the Desolate Hall’s main hall. It could be counted as the head of the various halls within the Desolate Hall. The monthly competition was also held on this mountaintop.
The monthly competition was the most customary event held within Dao Sect and the four halls. This goal of this customary event was to observe the training progress of the disciples and use this event to stimulate their disciple’s desire to train, which would increase the overall strength of the halls.
Furthermore, in every monthly competition, there will be a few branch disciples who will be promoted to become full-fledged disciples due to their stellar performance. Therefore, even though this competition was held every month, this day was still the most lively day every month. That was because this was the only day whereby those branch disciples had the chance to be promoted to the main hall.
Within the Desolate Hall, the number of branch disciples ranges in the tens of thousands. As for the full-fledged disciples, there were three thousand of them and there were three hundred direct disciples.
This could be said to be a humongous lineup. Within a day, there will be an overwhelming majority of them gathered here. Thus, the commotion caused by such an event would naturally not be trivial.
At the highest spot on the mountain peak, stood a quiet and large ancient hall that pierced through the clouds. A majestic aura was being emitted from it. Meanwhile, its yellowish colour was the mark left behind by time, demonstrating that it had withstood the test of time.
In front of this great hall was an extremely vast green stadium, which gave off a strong feeling of stratification and order. At this moment, it was already packed densely with mountains of people.
Although the vast stadium was filled with countless individuals, there was not a single scuffle. Over ten thousand disciples sat quietly in the stadium. The solemn air that filled the atmosphere even caused fluctuations in the surrounding natural Yuan Power.
Near the centre of the stadium was where the full-fledged disciples sat. A few of the branch disciples were looking at them. Brimming within their eyes were envy and admiration. The purpose of their hard work was for the dream to one day become a full-fledged disciple of the Desolate Hall.
Looking further beyond to the centre of the stadium, there was a series of tall erected platforms. Seated on them, were a few hundred people dressed in yellow clothes. Every one of them was emitting wave after wave of frightening Yuan Power fluctuations.
Those were the direct disciples, the true elite of the Desolate Hall.
If the gazes of the branch disciples were filled with envy and admiration, the gazes directed towards the direct disciples were also filled with a trace of respect. All of them were clearly aware that becoming a direct disciple, was a mark of power and strength.
However, what caught the eye of most people in the stadium, was not the direct disciples. Instead, it was the four wide and tall platforms situated at the center of the stadium. On those four platforms, sat four different people.
Their status and position were higher than any disciple in the Desolate Hall. Their status and position was something that anyone would know of, and there was no one who would doubt their capabilities. That was because the four of them were the four senior direct disciples of the Desolate Hall. In other words, they were the most outstanding existences amongst all the disciples in the Desolate Hall!
On the opposite side of the stadium, was a stone table and a row of stone chairs. Seated there was Chen Zhen, Wu Dao and a few other protectors of the Desolate Hall. They were currently observing the scene before them.
“According to the information that we received, there are hundreds of branch disciples this time around that have the qualifications to become full-fledged disciples,” announced Wu Dao as his gaze swept across the whole stadium.
After hearing that statement, Chen Zhen faintly nodded his head. This number was much better than the statistics from the past few months. It seems like those little fellows at the bottom had trained quite hard this past couple of months.
“Lin Dong still hasn’t appeared?” asked Chen Zhen suddenly.
“Yes.” replied Wu Dao as he continued speaking while smiling: “ He should be in a critical phase of his training. Senior brother Mo is quite interested in him and he should be keeping a close eye on him.
“If he can’t make it on time, postpone the challenge match for one month as training is more important,” said Chen Zhen while smiling. He did not wish for Lin Dong to appear now. Based on Lin Dong’s talent, his chances of victory even against Jiang Hao would increase quite a bit if he was to train for one more month.
“News has already spread and even some branch disciples have heard about Lin Dong. They all want to witness the superhuman genius that dared to challenge one of the four senior direct disciples after entering the Desolate Hall for less than a month…” said Wu Dao helplessly.
“Furthermore, based on Lin Dong’s character, I’m afraid that he will never back down.”
“His character…is truly similar to senior brother Zhou Tong. Else, he would not have charged up to Yuan Gate alone. After thinking about it, I believe that even Lord Sect master would have protected him if he stayed in Dao Sect. But… Yuan Gate, that damned thing!” vented Chen Zhen before deeply sighing. When he mentioned this incident, even a person of his status could not help but curse.
Wu Dao turned solemn and his face turned quite gloomy. One could tell how bitter he was about Zhou Tong and the Yuan Gate incident.
“That’s enough, let’s not talk about it. Let’s wait awhile longer…”
After Chen Zhen saw the expression on Wu Dao’s face, he secretly shook his head. If senior Zhou Tong was still around now, based on his past results, there was a good chance that he could rival those old codgers in the sect. Regretfully, the sect master of Yuan Gate personally took action, and perhaps, he detected the threat that Zhou Tong would become in the future, should he be given enough time to grow….
While Chen Zhen and Wu Dao were conversing, a slight commotion had appeared because of the delay in the monthly competition.
On top of a stone platform, Jiang Hao was casually observing the mountainous amount of people in the stadium. Promptly, he furrowed his eyebrows. It is rumoured that Lin Dong had submerged himself in the martial arts hall for five days already. Was he planning to use that as an excuse to avoid today’s match?
“Haha, senior brother Jiang Hao. Look’s like the challenge match today might have fizzled out…” Fang Yun grinned when he saw this sight. He stretched his back casually before teasing Jiang Hao.
“If that is the case, his previous showcase of arrogance is truly a joke…” replied Jiang Hao calmly and casually.
“Lin Dong has just entered our Desolate Hall. Even if you defeat him, it would not be anything glamorous. Furthermore, he is our junior brother.” said Pang Tong while frowning. He was the one with the greatest qualifications amongst the four senior direct disciples.
“I didn’t mean to cause trouble for him. However, there are times when respecting a senior brother is still required right? If this doesn’t happen, in the future, members of our Desolate Hall will be mocked by those from the other halls for not knowing how to respect one’s seniors.” replied Jiang Hao after curling his lip.
“It is alright to let him suffer a little to restrain his arrogant disposition. However, you have to remember that senior uncle Chen Zhen and the others highly value Lin Dong,” added Song Zhou while smiling.
“I will exercise discretion. Since he was able to endure the Pill River Head Immersion for so long, even I have to respect him for that. However, he is still considered as a new disciple and he needs to know the rules. Since you guys are unwilling to take action, it’s down to me.” said Jiang Hao casually.
Song Zhou smiled once again and only nodded his head without saying anything else. However, the unexpected delay had added an extra tinge of anticipation. Song Zhou was curious to see what kind of incredible performance that junior brother, who had rushed up with an irresistible force since his entry into Desolate Hall, would have against one of the four senior direct disciples, Jiang Hao…
Would he be beaten till his arrogant spirit was replaced with despair or would he perform another miracle once again?
As all the disciples quietly awaited, time slowly passed. However, the commotion in the stadium was gradually getting more intense as time passed.
Seeing this, both Chen Zhen and Wu Dao frowned. However, they did not prevent this. Instead, their eyes irresistibly moved towards the mountain peak where the martial arts hall was situated.
“It’s time…but why hasn’t that fellow Lin Dong appeared…”
At a corner within the location of the direct disciples, Mo Ling and the others were getting slightly worried. Their gazes continuously scanned all directions. They clearly knew that news regarding the match between Lin Dong and Jiang Hao had spread far and wide during these few days. If Lin Dong did not show up, he might become the target for ridicule and mockery.
“Lin Dong went to the martial arts hall and is most likely delayed because he is learning a new martial art.”
Liu Bai said solemnly. He looked towards the crowd helplessly and said: “Just wait a while longer. Panicking would not solve the problem. Furthermore, it may be a good thing to postpone this fight. After all, Lin Dong’s opponent is one of the four senior direct disciples…”
From the way he phrased his words, it was obvious that he was not favouring Lin Dong’s odds for this challenge match. Although he had quite a lot of confidence in Lin Dong, regardless, Jiang Hao was not someone that Tong Chuan could be compared with…
After hearing his words, the group could only nod their heads and suppress the anxiety in their hearts, as they eagerly waited for the arrival of Lin Dong.
The burning sun above the sky started to reach the midpoint position. Seeing this, Chen Zhen and Wu Dao could only helplessly shake their heads. Seems like Lin Dong was truly engrossed in his training.
“Let the other disciples begin first…”
Chen Zhen waved his hand before a protector of the Desolate Hall slowly walked out. His eyes swept across the entire stadium before he proceeded to announce the start of the monthly competition. Upon seeing his appearance and announcement, a disappointed hiss could be heard ringing across the entire stadium.
However, just as this disappointed hiss started to decline, the sound of air shattering suddenly resounded out from the sky far away. A familiar aura could be felt spreading out from there.
“Has he finally arrived… He did not disappoint me in the end…”
Jiang Hao raised his head and looked towards a distant spot in the sky. A chuckle appeared on his face.