Chapter 136: The Sixteen Finalists (II)
Li Xin could also see how bitter Long Haochen’s face was, and said some words to comfort him: “… Now is not the time to think about these matters, in the end, it applies only in case you do really enter the top three.”
Long Haochen, feeling a bit better, nodded and said, “Let’s go in, sis.”
Today, the atmosphere in the Knight Stadium was quite solemn. Although the situation inside was unvarying, on the platform, a group of people arrived. Clearly, they weren’t few in number, and without a doubt, they were the higher-ups of the Great Temples.
In this moment, for the top 16 Demon Hunt Squad Selection Competition, 40 people were gathered, all seated in the lounge, to watch the knock-out competition that was going to take place.
Although these outsiders weren’t here to participate, they went to watch the competition, as before. Some wanted to learn and improve through watching the matches between these 16 powerhouses, observing their methods and gaining experience in the process. More importantly, after the end of this competition, the squad-forming roulette would be conducted. Who wouldn’t wish to look at the skills of those who would maybe become their future squad partners.
As soon as he entered the lounge, Long Haochen hastily looked around. A lot of gazes fell on him, belonging in particular to knights or competitors who were in the third group.
Long Haochen completely ignored the gazes of the other competitors and quickly found the target of his attention.
Cai’er was silently seated in a corner of the first row. She had her bamboo cane before her body, leaning her shoulder on it. She appeared very calm, and from Long Haochen’s eyes, she gave off a very pure feel.
Because when he had gotten Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, Long Haochen had been in a complete state of immersion, he felt like he hadn’t seen Cai’er for ages. Seeing her seated here, he and Li Xin quickly headed to her side.
The previously calm Cai’er clearly recognized these footsteps. Slightly lowering her head, she unconsciously grasped her bamboo cane with both hands.
“Cai’er.” Long Hao Chen called out to her, briefly, before seating by her side.
“Yeah…” Cai’er responded with a calm voice, pursing her lips while looking somewhat unhappy in her demeanor.
“Cai’er, these few days, I was in the Alliance’s Treasure Vault, I just came out from it yesterday evening.“
“Yeah…” Cai’er similarly answered very quickly.
“Cai’er, what were you up to on these few days?” Long Haochen asked, his heart still full of misgivings.
This time, Cai’er didn’t even make a “yeah”, and calmly remained seated.. However, her ear was already deep red.
Although Long Haochen didn’t appear for a few days, Li Xin already told her what he was doing, so naturally, Cai’er wasn’t worried about him. But after she had been embraced by Long Haochen on that day, her face would turn deep red every time she reminisced about her misunderstanding, and together with that, her heartbeat would quicken up. Hearing Long Haochen’s voice once again so suddenly, how could she not feel bashful?
Long Haochen, who had no way to know about this little lady’s current thoughts frowned and showed concern, “Cai’er, how is it that you’re still angry? I… I think I didn’t do anything bad! If you are angry, tell me why, is it okay? I will correct myself.”
Li Xin who was seated on the side couldn’t help but cover her mouth, about to fall in laughter. This couple of sweethearts was really interesting. Seeing Cai’er’s bashful appearance, something was clear to her: How can it be that she’s angry? Only, I wonder what these two have been up to. I feel like they are really pure and sincere. Li Xin, deep inside, was full of envy, thinking to herself, When will I find someone who will care about me as much as lil’ bro does for Cai’er?
Long Haochen’s worries didn’t last for long, and as he was in a loss, a little soft hand quietly stretched forward, holding his own hand.
In the grasp of this tender and warm little hand, Long Haochen was at first shaken, then, filled his heart with resolution. Anxious in the limits, he satisfyingly remained seated there. Even though he was quite dense, now he was sure that Cai’er wasn’t blaming him.
In such an important knockout competition, naturally no one would arrive late. After a little while, the 16 competitors had all arrived. Long Haochen didn’t recognize many people on the first row where he was seated. Except from him, Li Xin, and Cai’er, there were also Huang Yi and Yang Wenzhao, and the last two knights he had never fought personally, who were naturally the two last powerhouses at the fifth step that he saw during the qualifiers.
Long Haochen looked around for a bit. On the first row, there were precisely 16 people seated and among them, there were unexpectedly five knights, and no priests at all. Though, a knight ending first in the Six Great Temples’ ranking was certainly not a rare sight.
Suddenly, he felt that something was amiss, and turned his head around Cai’er, telling her, with a puzzled look, “Cai’er, participants of today’s knockout competition should be the only ones able to sit in this first row, so you…”
Li Xin finally couldn’t hold back her laughter any longer, “Foolish boy, there are times when you’re really stupid. Who said that Cai’er couldn’t participate to the final knockout competition? She took the first place in our second group you know…”
“Eh?” … Long Hao Chen, astonished, opened wide his two eyes, narrowly letting go of that delicate small hand.
Cai’er slightly lifted up her head, and said in a low voice, “This is also something else didn’t ask me before! I am the assassin #1…”
To Long Haochen, these pieces of news were absolutely shocking. Naturally, he knew that Cai’er was an assassin, but she was blind! However, she still took the first place of the second group. What did that imply? Long Haochen was completely at a loss at that moment.
“All of you, welcome to the Knight Stadium.” At this very moment, a familiar voice sounded all around, making Long Haochen lift up his head. He immediately noticed that at some point, the Saint Knight Head Han Qian had arrived in the stadium and his words were directed at the people in the lounge. Although he didn’t use any sound amplifying magic, everyone could distinctly hear his voice.
“First of all, I want to congratulate you for having entered the top 16, competitors. The fact you entered the top 16 implies that you are already qualified to get a reward from the Alliance. After this Great Competition, you will have the permission to go to the Alliance’s Treasure Vault to choose one of the secret skills that suits you the most. In case you can advance in this competition, the rewards will increase accordingly. As for you other competitors who couldn’t enter the top 16, there’s no need to be worried. Although the most outstanding of you entered the top 16, having survived the preliminaries is proof enough that you will be essential members of your Demon Hunt Squad.”
“Our Temple Alliance has never been adept at formalities so I won’t say anything further. Besides, before the top 16 competitors’ competition takes place, you will be required to draw ballots. From now on, luck will also be a huge factor on whether you will be able to stay in or not. Even I recognize luck as an element of strength.”
Cai’er discretely retrieved her little hand, and grasped her bamboo cane tightly. Long Haochen knew that she was shy before so many people. From the fact she was too embarrassed to let her hand be held, he naturally wouldn’t complain. From the first row, the sixteen competitors walked in a line, entering the Stadium one after another.
The other 44 competitors didn’t need to participate in matches, but were similarly nervous. Without a doubt, each confrontation of this knock-out competition was going to be a fierce contest. The matches would necessarily be very exciting, and more importantly, the spinning wheel would designate the members of each squads after a little time. They all wanted to see it. Who, in very the end, was going to come out as the star, using his own ability, to take the highest seat of the competition?
After the staff members once again confirmed the number plates of each competitor, the group of sixteen entered the main stage, placing themselves in a circle all around Han Qian. In this moment, five other elders entered the stadium, standing beside Han Qian.
Among these five elders was one who bore the mark of Master Heroic Assassin, coming from the Assassin Temple, the one in control of the thirty-six most powerful Heroic Assassins of the eighth step, auxiliary hall master Ying Suifeng.
Auxiliary hall master of the Mage Temple, a Saint Mage Tutor and the commander of the mage regiment, Lin Chen. Of course, Long Haochen didn’t know this, but this old man was actually Lin Xin’s biological grandfather.
Auxiliary hall master of the Priest Temple, cardinal and master of the Sacrificial Hall, Ruoshui.
Auxiliary hall master of the Warrior Temple, grandmaster berserker, and powerhouse at the step of War Emperor, Ren Wokuang.
The last person was a female elder embroidered with a black robe, and looked as gentle as Ruoshui, but she appeared to have a more aggressive look.
In terms of height , she was short, but after entering the stadium, she was the one who made the others feel the greatest pressure. When cautiously paying attention, the vibes she gave off were similar to the pressure imposed/emitted by a giant, terrifying, desolate creature.
This person was the auxiliary hall master, known as majestic spiritual fantasista master. Summoner at the rank of Soul Emperor, Sanshui.
In this instant, everyone could feel that this grandma Sanshui was perhaps not the most accomplished in terms of cultivation level among these six auxiliary hall masters, but she was absolutely the most terrifying of these people.
Han Qian laughed and said, “Everyone is gathered. Shall we start?”
The five other people nodded in approval.
Although there were six people there, the five others were only present to supervise this process and nothing more, as the one who drew the lots was Han Qian alone.
The fireball that everyone saw numerous times appeared once again, and slowly fell from the sky, expanding in the air, gradually turning into a huge golden halo. And then it fell on the ground, happening to fall close to the sixteen competitors and six auxiliary hall masters. The secondary hall masters were enveloped within a halo, while the sixteen competitors were standing outside of this halo.
With a flash of golden light from Han Qian’s hand, instantly, the ring shone extremely brightly.
“Put your hand in this halo; the drawing of lots can now start. Be at ease. The first-ranked of their group will only be matched against those who are the second-ranked of their group.”
In accordance to Han Qian’s instructions, everyone inserted his hand in this halo.
The six other auxiliary hall masters shut their eyes, using their astonishing mental capacity to sense the process of drawing of lots.
The one who felt the most nervous was Han Qian, in his capacity of Knight Hall’s secondary hall master. Of course, he wished for all competitors coming from his Temple at least to pass through the first round. The amount of five qualified knights this time, among the sixteen places, was something unprecedented in history. Before the other Temples, Han Qian gained an enormous amount of face. If these five could enter the top eight, how fantastic would it be!
The drawing of lots started.
A soft, golden radiance covered the sixteen hands completely, rapidly twinkling and spreading. Revolving at high speed, it covered the bodies of all sixteen competitors in a gold color.
Gradually, brilliance after brilliance lit up and changes appeared on the golden color on each competitor’s body. The most important change was on the intensity of this golden color.