264 Fighting to the Last Minute
More and more people were arriving at the square. Almost all of the seats had been taken. It was very noisy, packed with people.
After the bell tolled, the spectators quieted down. They all looked towards where the leaders were sitting.
The Dean of the Sacred Institute stood up to give a prepared speech. He thanked everyone for coming, then declared the start of the competition.
There was a spacious platform in the middle. The Dean of Students Shi Wengong jumped onto it and explained the rules to the disciples of the institute.
It wasn't obligatory to fight, but whoever wanted to fight could take part in the competition.
The disciple who went onto the platform could invite a rival. The invited one could certainly refuse the invitation, but no one would chicken out under so many people's gazes.
Naturally, the disciples of the Earth grade could only fight with those of the same level.
The participants would be awarded as long as their performance was good enough.
However, compared to the reward, the disciples cared more about fame.
The Sacred City was very big. It wasn't easy to be remembered by the local people. But on this day, all of the influential people had gathered there. There wouldn't be a better chance to impress them.
The participants could even be ranked on the List of Fame.
The competition started from the Earth Grade. As soon as Shi Wengong exited the platform, several disciples jumped on.
"Huang Peng, let's fight!"
"Zhang Junjie, I've held a grudge against you for a long time. Do you dare come down?"
"Who wants to fight with me?"
These disciples yelled, like kids eager for adults' attention.
The platform was big enough for several groups to fight at the same time.
Soon, the competition started formally.
The spectators kept cheering for the participants. Their classmates were extremely excited, cheering for them loudly.
The local people knew the best part was yet to come, but they were still entertained by the fights.
Many groups were very satisfied with the progress their disciples had made when seeing their performances on the platform. They appreciated the Sacred Institute a lot. In their eyes, it was undoubtedly the representative of the continent.
Fight after a fight. The winner of each fight received their dean's reward and praise, but only a few people had got an outstanding grade.
To get an outstanding grade, it wasn't enough to win; the participant had to win with a performance wonderful enough to gain the attention of the leaders of the Sacred Institute.
The disciples of the Earth Grade wouldn't get access to the Time Palace, but they would get the institute's attention.
Half an hour later, the first outstanding disciple appeared.
It surprised everyone that the first outstanding disciple was a short-term disciple.
"Good job," Jiang Chen thought.
This outstanding disciple was Crimson Moon. She had changed into her battle suit when fighting, barefoot, with red ribbons tied around her legs.
Her supernatural method had improved a lot. She had defeated her rival with a movement called the Queen of Night Descends.
And her opponent hadn't been weak, either. He was the leader of class three of the Earth Grade of the west courtyard. It was said he had tried to pursue Crimson Moon and became annoyed when she refused him. That was why he had challenged her that day, but in the end, what he had got was an abject failure.
Crimson Moon became the first disciple to impress the Sacred City that day.
"Dean, her name is Crimson Moon, princess of the Xia Dynasty of the Fire Field. She mastered the status of being an integral part of nature a long time ago. She is more skilled in the creation of nature and martial arts techniques than anyone else in the Earth Grade and the Heaven Grade," Yi Yuechuan, dean of the west courtyard, said.
The dean looked very satisfied with Crimson Moon. He said, "Kid, come here."
Crimson Moon walked over, barefoot.
"The completed late stage. How many holy points do you have?"
"Forty-three, Dean," Crimson Moon said.
"Great. If everything is fine, you should be able to develop your second extraordinary meridian before achieving the Reaching Heaven State. As your reward, I'll let you practice in the Palace of Sacred Point for some time," the dean said.
"Thank you, dean!" said Crimson Moon excitedly.
"The Palace of Sacred Point!"
The disciples of the Earth Grade felt very envious. It was apparent that the Sacred Institute was going to invest lots of resources to train Crimson Moon. They wanted her to develop the third, fourth or even fifth extraordinary meridian before achieving the Reaching Heaven State.
"This girl looks great. Her body, her look, her style, everything is first-class."
"Being an integral part of nature, her future achievements will be great!"
"She's even a princess. She's really attractive."
The spectators started to discuss her. Crimson Moon had become the talk of the whole square. Many young masters from big families of the Sacred City were attracted to her.
Suddenly, Jiang Chen found Crimson Moon looking at him, full of pride and smugness.
Jiang Chen shook his head and smiled bitterly. Crimson Moon was such a competitive girl.
In the following fights, the other four from the Fire Field didn't gain the same achievement that Crimson Moon had gained. Two of them even lost.
After all, there were lots of disciples with high-level martial arts techniques in the Sacred Institute, but not so many who had mastered the status of being an integral part of nature.
That was how Crimson Moon had made the most progress.
At the same time, the spectators found one thing. More than half of the short-term disciples had gone onto the platform because they'd been challenged. They were in a very passive position. Most of them had lost.
It seemed the short-term disciples had become pushovers. The formal disciples who wanted to show their skill hadn't let them go easily.
For some reason, the local people preferred to watch the fights between the short-term disciples and formal disciples. Every time a short-term disciple was defeated, they would cheer and laugh.
However, among the many short-term disciples, there was still someone like Crimson Moon who had had a wonderful fight.
In the end, each courtyard had one disciple that had got the outstanding grade.
Jiang Chen noticed Fey's face turn sullen when he saw a short-term disciple from the east courtyard. His eyes were full of fiery anger.
"You two have a problem?" Jiang Chen asked out of curiosity.
"We're from the same field. She's my ex-girlfriend. After we arrived at the Sacred Institute, she found there were more powerful people here, so she abandoned me and fell in love with her class leader.
"Then she spread rumors everywhere, claiming that our breakup was because I had feelings for someone else, and that someone was Apprentice Sister Murong, who I barely knew. She did this only because she didn't want others to think it was her fault."
To Jiang Chen's surprise, Fey told him the whole story without hesitation, but his anger grew as he talked.
Suddenly, he pointed at the beaming girl on the platform and said, "In this world full of injustice, it's the only way to live a good life. We will only turn into good-for-nothings."
"The correct road is usually the most difficult to travel," Jiang Chen said.
"Hm, you always talk big. I'm interested to see what your fight will be like."
"Remember, fight to the last minute," Jiang Chen said.
"Fight to the last minute?"
Fey seemed shocked. He kept mouthing the five words silently. His expression was hard to describe.
By then, the competition of the Earth Grade had ended. It was the Heaven Grade's turn.
The fights became more exciting. The spectators kept cheering for the participants. The fights fired them up with enthusiasm.
The fights between the disciples who were holding their states down in order to develop their extraordinary meridians were especially exciting. Their strength was almost as powerful as Reaching Heaven States.
As soon as such a fight started, the two rivals would usually occupy the whole platform. Sometimes even the whole platform was too small for them.
The fight would also last for longer than the Earth Grade's fights, because these fights were worth more attention.
Some of the Mental Wander States of the Heaven Grade were intentionally holding their states down. They were actually no worse than the Reaching Heaven States. Reaching Heaven States even felt envious of them, since they could develop more extraordinary meridians.
Outstanding grade winners would get the opportunity to practice in the Time Palace. There were only few who had got the chance. Liu Wuxin, class leader of the superfine class of the east courtyard, was one of them.
The last round were the fights between disciples in the Reaching Heaven State. They weren't as popular as the disciples of the Heaven Grade, but there were still many highlights.
The climax came when a man landed on the platform eagerly.
"Jiang Chen, come down! It's your time to die!"