Chapter 120 – Materializing
Everyone was soon seated and they kept talking enthusiastically about what they expected to see and the rumors regarding this year’s contestants.
“This year’s tournament will be interesting for sure! My men told me that there was a kid from Polaris Academy called Qi Xiu who challenged the seven famous Warriors of Ning City in quick succession and then finally lost to Xuan Yu in a very close fight!” Said the Mo Patriarch, one of the four most influential families in Ning City. His eyes fell onto martial platform number ten, and he smiled as he spotted Qi Xiu from the large crowd. ‘Xuan Yu was born into one of Ning City’s super families kudos to Qi Xiu for holding his own against such an opponent!’
“I like this kid! I hope you guys don’t fight me over him!” The Mo Patriarch laughed as he boldly expressed his desire to recruit Xi Qiu.
There were no less than thirty patriarchs from different martial families who came here with the same purpose; to recruit youngsters with potential.
“Ha, if you say so Mo Patriarch! That Qi Xiu from Polaris isn’t half bad but there are plenty more young talents for the rest of us to pick from! For example, I heard we should be expecting a good show from Shi Hun Tian. The newest addition to the God’s Seven!”
“Oh and then there is Jian Chen from Zhoutian Sword School. Principal Jian only brought one youngster with him this year and knowing that old bones’ temper this kid has to be something special.”
“Don’t forget about the obvious. Galaxy Academy came in first in the last three consecutive years, and each of their seven representatives stand out on their own! Not to mention three of God’s Seven are in their lineup as well”
While the martial families were laughing and discussing the tournament, a few high-ranked Green Army officers were listening in. The golden armor they wore made them sit straighter than anyone else on the cloud platform, and they too were excited waiting to be dazzled but they were taking it very seriously because the recruits they find here could have a lasting impressions on the Green Army and possible even the Zhou dynasty as well.
The families leaders then sat back and filled their wine glasses waiting to see the young cultivators fight their hearts out for different reasons. Most of them focused on the famous new faces; Shi Hun Tian, a new God’s Seven from Tri-Solar School, Qi Xiu form Polaris Academy, Jian Chen from Zhoutian Sword School, and their eyes naturally were directed at Galaxy Academy’s platform where they would be fighting.
“There will not be much suspense watching platform ten. Polaris came third last year without Qi Xiu! And South Star was not even in the top ten. Didn’t they come twelfth or thirteenth?” The Mo Patriarch looked at both schools’ lineup and said with a sense of contempt.
“Well it really is bad luck for them to face the likes of Polaris Academy in the first round!”
“Yeah, sadly, they can only go downhill from here. Their morale will go down the drain if they get trashed this early! Emotional factors count for a lot when you are this young! Hahaha!”
It was blatantly obvious that no one was even thinking about South Star Academy, most probably didn’t even know they existed!
The tournament rules had not changed over the years regarding the number of contestants each team could have. Each school was allowed to send no more than fifteen students who would fight on stage one by one by elimination. Therefore, the team with the last man standing on the platform would win. With the rules as such there was a certain degree of flexibility for the teams. Although it was inevitably advantageous to show your power in the earlier stages, but when it came to the ranking fights it was always each team’s best kept secrets, or cultivators in this case, that made the difference.
Down on platform ten Qi Xiu smiled mischievously: “He Chong, you are up!” Qi Xiu waved his arm and a black-robed, fresh-looking teenager walked out of the group of eighteen young cultivators. He Chong was the weakest of the whole group as he had only reached the three-star Warrior level.
‘He was as tough as Yuan Yu was…’ Qi Xiu was not in a hurry to fight Ye Wei, and he sat all the way in the back meditating. Allowing no space for error, he channeled his Qi and circulated it through his body, so he would be in great condition when he had to face Ye Wei.
“Eh? Qi Xiu is meditating? With his strength he can probably crush South Star on his own, why is he playing it so safe?” Up above on the cloud platform, the Mo Patriarch frowned as he noticed Qi Xiu was acting extra cautious. With his mind set on recruiting Qi Xiu, it was hard for him to take his eyes off platform ten.
Each powerful figure had someone they wanted to see fight, and as the teams began to fight, apart from the Mo Patriarch, there were hardly anyone paying attention to the Polaris – South Star matchup.
“Let me take the first fight!” Cao Ning felt competitive as he had been eager to prove himself since his breakthrough.
“Get out of the way!” Xiao Qi pushed Cao Ning to the side and leaped onto the martial platform.
Ye Wei frowned and mumbled when he saw Xiao Qi taking the stage, “His Qi feels bloated. I bet he got all his cultivation from pills and this idiot didn’t even bother consolidating it into his system. I don’t really see Xiao Qi winning this even though he will be fighting the weakest Polaris student.” There was great depth in Ye Wei’s gaze and a flash of gold in his eye.
Xiao Qi couldn’t even be compared to Cao Ning at this point because the harder working the cultivator the the more cosmic energy he would receive thus causing them to form an even greater foundation. With his body cleansed by one of the purest form of energy in the world, although Cao Ning was only a two-star Warrior comparing to Xiao Qi’s three, he was still the more powerful out of the two.
Ye Wei was aware that his real competition was Qi Xiu, and like Qi Xiu, he also sat at the back and focused on warming up his body.
It was the same story on other platforms. All the stronger cultivators of each team sat behind their teams while the weaker cultivators went onto the platforms to test strengths and weaknesses of the other team. They tried to get as much information on their opponent as they could.
Although they knew they will eventually be beaten up by the stronger cultivators, they were still fighting with all their heart.
Xiao Qi entered the platform with a swagger, and he immediately used one of his favourite mid-level Spirit stances, but because of his weaker foundation, he was not able to follow through. He couldn’t make another stance nor could he properly defend himself and he was very soon hit on the chest by a vigorous palm strike and clumsily fell to the ground while coughing up blood.
“Hahaha! Was that it? He is a three-star Warrior, right? I could hit as hard as he just did and make my Qi last twice as long when I was a two-star Warrior!” Seeing how crisp and easily Xiao Qi was beaten, the Polaris cultivators started laughing without restraint.
“Waste of space!” Liu Jian’s face turned ashen as he glared at Xiao Qi.. He was disgusted by the incompetence. “Can someone useful get up there?!”
Cao Ning volunteered, and after struggling for a while, he actually managed to defeat He Chong. The South Star’s cultivators were shocked to learn that Xiao Qi was inferior to a schoolmate they had barely heard of.
Xiao Qi was going to come up with some kind of excuse for his quick defeat, but he felt too ashamed to say anything after Cao Ning collected a victory from the opponent who knocked him down so effortlessly.
In the following fights both sides managed to defeat their opponents. Liu Jian was beaten by Ning Yang, but then Ning Yang surprisingly lost to Chen Mo. Both teams were starting to get into a frenzy as the pressure was rising.
Cao Ning and Liu Jian were now heavily injured as they both limped off the platform with bruises on their faces and the rest of their body. Chen Mo also fell to the Polaris fighters’ fierce aggression.
“South Star is not as bad as I thought they would be!” The Mo Patriarch said as he overlooked the martial platforms from above, and his eyes finally fell onto Qi Xiu again. ‘He’s cautious because of this boy at the back?’ The patriarch looked towards Ye Wei when he noticed where Qi Xiu was looking.
A group of Galaxy Academy’s ordinary students were attracted by the fight between South Star and Polaris and started to gather around platform ten.
“Looks like that’s it for South Star, they only have one person left on their bench but there are five from Polaris! Man, I was looking forward to seeing this Polaris boy fight, that Qi Xiu who challenged our Xuan Yu and lost by a hair.”
“Yea well, we can always come back to watch their second matchup.”
“Hey do you guys feel that too? What the hell there is no Qi in that last person on South Star’s bench.”
“He has to have a death wish if he is even considering getting on the platform.”
“Don’t make a decision so quickly, the fact that Qi Xiu is warming up means that he feels threatened.”
“What do you mean? You can mean he finds this Qi-less cultivator threatening?”
Ye Wei looked at Cao Ning. ‘Although he lost convincingly in the end, he should have gained some valuable combat experience.’ He thought as he stood up, and slowly walked towards the platform and said dismissively, “Hey, do you want to fight me as a group? This has been dragged out for way too long.”
Qi Xiu was the only person on the other team that concerned Ye Wei, and fighting these other one-sided fights was a complete waste of time.
“Wow this kid’s teeth are sharp! He has no respect for Qi Xiu at all!”
Being called out Qi Xiu stopped cultivating and stepped forth, “Everyone step back!” He said with glaring coldly at Ye Wei. “I am going to make you kneel for me!”
“I could say the same!” Ye Wei said calmly as his eyes locked onto Qi Xiu.
“Who is this? I have never seen anyone drive Qi Xiu this mad.”
“I have no idea. I couldn’t even tell you his initials, but I know which school he goes to! Haha!”
The gathering Galaxy Academy students were all speculating and discussing why Qi Xiu displayed the same level of stress they saw when he challenged Xuan Yu.
“I admit I underestimated you, but today I will make sure you realize how far ahead of you I am!” A layer of silver energy formed on Qi Xiu’s body, and he then stretched out his fingers and channeled his Qi to his palm.
With a cracking noise, the Qi in Qi Xiu’s hand turned into a three foot long sword. The ability to materialize Qi into a physical form was a sign of a cultivator being at the peak of the ten-star Warrior rank or above.
The sword’s formation stirred up a whirlwind around it with its tip pointing to the ground as the cold, sharp blade reflected the morning sun into the audience’s eyes.
Though confident, Ye Wei was extremely cautious. “Nice form!” He exclaimed, and then stepped onto the platform and stomped the floor. The amethyst cracked and the web of fissures grew from his foot as a surge of silvery Qi burst out of his body. The layer was then cemented onto the will-force on his body, forming a glowing light armor.
“Materializing Qi!” Liu Jian, Chen Mo, and other cultivators from South Star were shocked to find out how strong this mysterious boy fighting alongside them was, a peak ten-star Warrior!