A silence pervaded the world as numerous individuals looked about, at each other, at the words above the sky, or the gorgeous woman that stood confidently on stage radiating an exceptional aura. There weren ’t many who knew of Qing Qiumu, mostly limited to the Myriad Monarch Sect due to the incident of her near-death by public execution. Despite that, everyone with eyes and any awareness could determine with ease she was anything but ordinary.
Thus, a silence was born.
Who would take up the act of challenging this beauty?
Qing Qiumu was actually not as calm and leveled as she seemed to others. Her heart was racing like a thousand horses on the tracks, and a sort of palpitating excitement mixed with dreadful fear was suffusing every fiber of her being. This wasn ’t a normal event nor a normal spar against allies, but a fight against talented elites—even death was possible.
When she swept her emerald eyes across the crowd, she saw Long Chen ’s pensive expression filled with worry and uncertainty. From the light that flitted through his eyes, he felt that she could be harmed or even worse. There wasn ’t a hint of confidence. In fact, his aura was turbulent and readied for action. If she found herself in trouble, she had the belief he would disregard all rules to save her.
For some reason, this made her a little discouraged. But she didn ’t know exactly why. It made her feel somewhat uncertain. Was she rash?
Should she have waited?
Was she not strong enough?
Perhaps this wasn ’t her stage…
Doubts ceaselessly formed in her heart.
When those same eyes met a familiar figure, she was welcomed by a smile of excitement and praise. An expression filled with the intent to cheer. Wei Wuyin stood there with a proud smile and mouthed the words: ”You got this. ” A belief in her radiated with an unprecedented clarity from his silver eyes.
Her heart warmed to an uncontrollable, nearly inconceivable degree. The doubts that boggled her heart were instantly swept away as she stood firm once more. The light in her eyes grew stronger than before.
Her renewed sense of vigor was accompanied by a hearty and heavy laughter. A male youth garbed in white robes strode forward with heavy and powerful steps. He was of average height, but his body was exceptionally fit with muscles hugging his robes to a maximum. He had a bald head, dark eyes, and an aura of boundless earth.
A member of the crowd, a vagrant elite with an exceptional master, couldn ’t help but shout loudly: ”Jiang Yuwei! ”
Those two words caused the eyes of everyone to gather on the bald, muscular youth named Jiang Yuwei who simply grinned showing off his white smile. To be recognized by other elites meant he was exceptional, and he clearly knew it. The fact that he made it this far indicated his ability.
Even though Wei Wuyin had Zuhei and Su Mei sweep up the onlooking audience before, that didn ’t mean all the elites were there. In truth, the truly elite of elites didn ’t care about the Trial of Light as much. As long as they earned enough points to advance to the next stage, they could use the ability they were confident in to claim absolute victory.
The youth with the nine-colored dot and spear, Lin Ming, was of this breed. And Jiang Yuwei was another.
Similarly as Lin Ming, he was a genius of the Elemental Heaven Pavilion. There wasn ’t a single individual here who hadn ’t done their research into the top-tier elites that might or would be participating in this competition, and Jiang Yuwei was on everyone ’s list. Despite being at the Second Stage of the Astral Core Realm, he was younger than most and extremely gifted.
He was born with Innate Meridians of the Grand Earth and Grand Earth Physique. A prodigal and natural-born earth cultivator. In some ways, he was similar to Qing Qiumu.
”I ’ve heard about you, ” Jiang Yuwei ’s heavy and hearty voice resounded as he took every step, ”Princess of the Forest, is what my master calls you. ” His words caused numerous individuals with a decent information network to gasp slightly, turning their eyes towards Qing Qiumu. No one really knew who she was, but the name ’Princess of the Forest ’ was a name they fully recognized.
According to the various channels, the Princess of the Forest was a bonafide wood cultivator, innately gifted with a trifecta of traits that made the most suitable wood cultivator in the last ten thousand years. She had a relationship with Qin Rui, the Extreme Creation Grand Imperial Sage, and that only made her more frightening.
There had to be less than a thousand people who had a deep relationship with a Grand Imperial Sage-level figure, and even fewer who could be trained and well-regarded by them.
Of course, due to various reasons, much of that information was incorrect. For example, she wasn ’t personally trained by Qin Rui, but her own Ancestor. While her Ancestor was an expert, she was severely lacking in comparison to Qin Rui by not a little.
Qing Qiumi frowned slightly, causing her to emanate a beauty that caused Jiang Yuwei to halt his heavy steps just as he was about to set foot on the platform. His heart raced for a moment, and the thought raced through his mind: ”How could a frown be so dazzling? So wonderful? So perfect? ”
He wasn ’t the only one to think this. As she became the focal point, it was as if a veil had been removed from her and her beauty became even more highlighted. The men ’s eyes released fiery gazes filled with passion and desire, and the women were in awe and a hint of envy and jealousy.
Wei Wuyin scoffed in his heart. The hearts of man are fickle. In a world of cultivation, the classification of beauty felt like it was four parts talent, four parts appearance, and two parts backing. Considering Qing Qiumu ’s perceived status, exceptional looks, and extreme talent, she had instantly become the most dazzling figure present.
Qing Qiumu similarly felt disdain. The aura of battle had started to seep into her body, into her heart and mind.
”Are you scared to face me? ” Her confident and provocative grin inflamed the body and other areas of the male figures, while even Jiang Yuwei was lost for a moment. As a cultivator, how could he not realize that his stopped steps seemed to show hesitation. His eyes narrowed, and he heartedly laughed.
He heavily stomped his paused foot onto the platform. The ground fiercely shook in response, causing many to feel a faint vibration beneath their feet. Qing Qiumu ’s eyes brightened considerably. That was an incredible display of weight and power.
Long Chen ’s eyes leaked a clear concern. Jiang Yuwei wasn ’t some amateur that Qing Qiumu could practice with, but a legitimate genius with a Grand Imperial Sage-level figure as his master. He possessed vast resources and exceptional instructions from a young age, and grew into a staggeringly impressive figure that commanded immense respect.
He wasn ’t cardboard waiting to be flatten, but a cultivator that could shatter continents with a stomp of his foot. Not a single individual here was lacking in strength or potential, merely a little experience.
Wei Wuyin, on the other hand, was filled with expectations. He had nurtured Qing Qiumu for a few months during this trial. The products she used weren ’t insignificant. They were eighth-grade and top-tier seventh-grade products. While she was ignorant of their true grades, she had consumed and refined them at exceptional speeds. She even used that momentum to gain enlightenment and reach the Sky Ruler Phase.
Her talent was truly and frighteningly high.
Even if he wanted to match her, without the unique traits of his Astral Souls, he would be many times worse than her. He was innately talented as well, likely one in ten million. Her? She could be considered one in a trillion. Of course, this excluded his innate gift for arts and alchemy, merely factoring in their body ’s natural gifts and ability to absorb energies.
That being said, Jiang Yuwei also wasn ’t that far off. He had dual innate gifts: The Innate Meridians of Grand Earth & The Grand Earth Physique. This meant his talent was definitely just a bit shy of matching Qing Qiumu ’s.
It was little wonder why he became the disciple of a Grand Imperial Sage. In fact, if it wasn ’t for Qin Rui ’s own disposition and ways of doing things, Qing Qiumu should have certainly been accepted as her disciple by now.
When Jiang Yuwei stepped onto the stage, the crystalline light fluctuated and revealed his information alongside Qing Qiumu.
Elemental Heaven Participant.
Sky Ruler Cultivation.
Spirit Points: 324.
# of Continuous Victories: 0.
He had over a hundred more spirit points than Qing Qiumu. Of course, this wasn ’t indicative of his superiority, merely his luck and methods.
”I, Jiang Yuwei, challenge! ” When Jiang Yuwei saw his information, he smirked and shouted. The moment he did, the light underwent a swift change and they linked up and with speed beyond reaction, they formed four walls and a canopy above. The walls and canopy were shimmering light crystals and from the inside one couldn ’t see the outside. But outside, the entire inside was clearly visible.
Jiang Yuwei turned his gaze towards Qing Qiumu and carelessly smiled, ”Do you think I ’m scared of you? ”
”You will be, ” Qing Qiumu ’s eyes revealed a sharp light within her eyes. Her words were extremely clear and swift. Jiang Yuwei was taken aback. Wei Wuyin felt like clapping for her in glee, wanting to praise her how badass that was.
Furthermore, that moment of surprise at Qing Qiumu ’s comeback was instantly seized upon by her.
「Myriad Meadow Art: Swift Birth of a Flower」
Her entire body erupted in a burst of bright, emerald-colored wood force and shot off towards Jiang Yuwei. She was shockingly swift, arriving in close combat range of Jiang Yuwei in nearly a blink of an eye. It was as if she had always been in front of him, as if she was a seed that had grown ceaselessly in a flower and it was that location that always housed her spirit.
Jiang Yuwei was appalled and further shocked by such a strange and exquisite movement art. His spiritual sense felt confused, causing his expression to become slightly ugly as he realized his muddled senses, both spiritual and physical, were being attacked by a single move.
Qing Qiumu capitalized on this moment even further. She lifted thrusted both her arms forward, sending two palms into Jiang Yuwei ’s chest. Her fingers flickered with emerald-light.
「Myriad Meadows Art: Seed of Serenity」
A sensation of dread emerged in Jiang Yuwei ’s heart. While confused, he was still exceptionally powerful and fierce. And he reacted in the most direct way possible! With a low shout that caused the earth to rumble in chaos, he exploded with his powerful Grand Earth Force.
The eruption of earthen force was like a volcano spewing out a flow of semi-solid lava. It was terrifying to say the least.
Qing Qiumu, however, didn ’t stop her action. Her eyes were clear, not a single hesitation in her face. Her delicate and soft body entered the cataclysmic wave of earthen force with a ferocious and ruthless step.
Jiang Yuwei and Qing Qiumu were blown away. In a loud crash of flesh and bone, Jiang Yuwei smashed heavily into the crystal barrier. As for Qing Qiumu, she was sent back like a fluttering shadow, but beneath her was an endless field of greenery that seemed to have been miraculously birthed. When she landed, her figure was revealed.
She stood upright and firm, her eyes exceptionally bright. A bit of green blood leaked from the corner of her lips, and a single nostril of her delicate nose was dripping green blood as well. She looked hurt, but her expression was unfathomably calm.
Everyone was confused for a moment.
Then, a blood-curdling shriek of absolute horror erupted!
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