Don’t Fight Him. He’s…
Che Gulu shuddered.
Tang Ye and Su Xiao yelled, “Who’s there?!”
Che Gulu bolted out without a second thought. While qinggong wasn’t his forte, he had enough strength in his legs to take him far fast.
Su Xiao did identify the eavesdropper was Che Gulu, but he didn’t care. “It was Che Gulu. He must’ve been here to check on your condition.”
Scouting reports were important in any contest, so it wasn’t surprising. Su Xiao was carried off in a stretcher before Tang Ye was, so there wasn’t much room for guessing, either. Tang Ye, too, just nodded, especially since he was aware of Che Gulu’s impulsive and straightforward personality. After all, if Che Gulu was plotting something, he wouldn’t have run off whilst making no effort to hide his identity.
“Xiao Han, what did you just ask me?”
It took all of Su Xiao’s courage to ask the first time, so he didn’t have any left for a second time.
“Ah… Umm… Well..”
“You can walk around already?“
The two looked over to see Shen Yiren leading a team. In contrast to her subordinates, she brimmed with vigour despite skipping sleep as her subordinates did.
“How are you feeling, Yan Ling?”
Tang Ye took a breath to check himself, then smiled. “I am perfectly fine now… Vice-Captain, it feels like magic.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself. While you have recovered considerably, we’ve only treated the symptom, not the root of your problem. Look at your waist.”
Tang Ye looked down to his sash. Not only did it resemble the colour of snow, but it even emitted a chill into his gut. At the same time, he could feel heat fighting back from the inside.
Shen Yiren was correct. The phenomena hadn’t ceased. A balance had merely been achieved, with each energy keeping the other in check.
“… is Feizhen’s… I’m sure you recognise it.”
Tang Ye definitely recognised the sash Ming Feizhen made out of the legendary spider silk. Ming Feizhen stopped wearing it after he emptied out his internal energy, so he had to stow it away in his box reserved specifically for his clothing items made from the unique material. Nobody could wear it because they’d suffer from it before they saw any benefit. Tang Ye was the exception as the material’s chill suppressed the burning true qi inside Tang Ye. Since his true qi reached the surface of his skin, it boiled water, not to mention it was impractical to be constantly bathed in water. There was no way he could put up with the heat for a prolonged period, so Shen Yiren decided to experiment with Ming Feizhen’s garment.
The fierce chill from the celestial spider silk was intense enough to freeze even Tang Ye’s brows, but it was impossible to cut the garment, so Shen Yiren couldn’t give Tang Ye just a portion. Thankfully, she spotted the sash with her sharp eyes. As the sash sat over his dantian, it was the perfect item to keep the two energies in check.
Though all seemed well, Tang Ye still had his qualms. If he didn’t continually absorb the chilly venom, he wouldn’t be able to control his true qi, but it wasn’t easy to get along with the cold energy, either. He wasn’t sure if there were any other side effects that he wasn’t aware of. If dosages mattered in medicine, would the sash suddenly be an exception? In saying that, his true qi was easier to control compared to before – although he didn’t understand the reason for it. Thus far, the cold venom hadn’t had any noticeable harm; it actually seemed to be a match made in heaven with his true qi.
Bai Ju was enjoying his alcohol when Che Gulu came racing back and yelled, “Uncle! We must not fight!”
Bai Ju looked down to his cup. “Fight what? I didn’t fight.”
“We cannot fight in the competition!” Che Gulu somehow picked up manners between his trip out and back. He shut the door behind him for a change. After that, he went and harmed the window; he shut everything that could be shut. Then, he rushed over and took Bai Ju’s cup from him. “Uncle! We cannot fight Tang Ye. Do you know who he is?”
Che Gulu checked high and low, then, in a quiet voice, answered, “Divine Moon Cult’s Lord San Shen!”
Bai Ju licked his lips, then hit himself on the forehead. “The alcohol isn’t strong… I’m not drunk,” he muttered to himself, before walking out.
Che Gulu initially thought Bai Ju was just fearless. When he realised Bai Ju didn’t believe him, however, he chased after his uncle. “Uncle! You must believe me! Uncle!”
The rules for the martial arts competition were simple. Not only were the members of Daren Academy inexperienced in organising ring fights, but hardly anyone was even interested, so… For sure, the young students enjoyed watching contests, but they considered swinging real weapons at each other unsightly. The female students, in particular, disliked watching fights for the most part. Plus, everyone knew it was Che Gulu’s specialty. What could possibly have been interesting about it? It was different this time, nevertheless.
This time, there were numerous competitors who they’d otherwise never see in action, all of whom were blessed with looks that could set hearts aflutter. Thus, whether it was interest in their skills or appearances, students had a new reason to spectate the event. In saying that, the rules didn’t evolve just because there were good-looking contestants this time.
The rules were simple. You qualified if you stepped into the ring. You lost if your limbs were outside of the ring. If you were the last man standing, you won. Simple rules didn’t mean easy wins, however.
The more members a team had, the bigger their advantage in winning, and the more chances they had before they were eliminated. Li Muye would’ve had an overwhelming advantage in that sense; he could’ve pushed all the competitors off if his squad just stood in the ring. Hence, only a small number of competitors would enter the ring at the start so that other team members could save their energy and see how things played out. Today, it was totally different to past contests.
Tang Ye, Bai Yumo, Xun Feng, Che Gulu and Bai Ju all flew onto the ring as soon as the announcer announced the commencement. At first, the students thought the five were supposed to be sacrificial pawns. Once they saw other competitors being thrown off effortlessly, they realised the five entered from the beginning as they knew only the other four would present any challenge.
In no time at all, only the five of them remained in the ring. Had they not held back, the ring would’ve been cleared out several times faster. Among them, Tang Ye was most reserved since he didn’t want to divulge his handicap. As he had only just recovered, he wasn’t sure if his true qi still operated as always. While his experiment provided a satisfactory result, he only used 10% of his full power against the students, so it wasn’t representative of higher intensities that he’d need against the other four.
Tang Ye was his team’s sole competitor due to Su Xiao being out. On the other hand, both the other teams had two members each. As such, his primary concern was the four of them teaming up to eliminate him first. If he was in their shoes, that would’ve been his strategy of choice because it was the safest means of eliminating an unpredictable variable – provided he was confident in himself. Strangely, Che Gulu and Bai Ju jumped Xun Feng and Bai Yumo straight away, acting as if Tang Ye wasn’t even in the ring.
Xun Feng wanted very much so to team up with Ironhead Palace, but Che Gulu uncorked a huge punch just as Xun Feng went to propose the idea.
“You want to set me up, too?! Shameless monk! Your voodoo tricks won’t work on me!”
Xun Feng had absolutely no clue what it was all about or what Che Gulu was even talking about.
Bai Ju, who started meandering toward Tang Ye, heard, “Uncle! Don’t! Don’t fight him! He’s…”
Desperation led to inspiration. Che Gulu suddenly yelled, “Oi, Bai Yumo, th-the person who stole the food and got you in trouble was my uncle!”
“So it was you!” Livid once she recalled all the suffering she wrongly went through, Bai Yumo changed targets.
Tang Ye stood stupefied in the ring. He wanted a piece of the chaos, but nobody gave him time of the day.