As more and more new students gathered on the practice field, a loud sound spread from a tall platform. Everyone raised their heads and saw an examiner standing there.
“For this newcomer exam, your opponents will be decided through drawing lots. Everyone come forward and draw your lot, those with the same number will be matched with each other.” The examiner’s powerful voice spread across the entire field.
Following this, the numerous new students went forward to draw their lots, causing the place to become increasingly bustling.
The upper echelons of the Great Zhou Institute were gathered on a viewing platform west of the field. Seated at the very centre was the current headmaster, Chu Tianyang.
Beside him was middle-aged man in purple robes. The man’s face was thin and he had deeply set eyes, making him look rather stern. His was expressionless as he sat with his back against the chair, cup of tea in hand.
This person was the vice-headmaster of the Great Zhou Institute, and the one in charge of the B class, Xu Hong.
Xu Hong observed the field as he faintly smiled and said, “Headmaster Chu, I’m afraid that your A class will only be able to select those ranked eleven and below this time.”
Chu Tianyang was expressionless. He naturally knew that most of the outstanding individuals of the new batch had already been enticed to Qi Yue’s side and would undoubtedly enter the B class after the newcomer exam.
Chu Tianyang coldly replied, “Vice-head Xu, acting so smug so soon might not be a good thing.”
Xu Hong did not mind Chu Tianyang’s anger-filled response, the former’s lips curling into a mocking smile. His B class had already obtained the top position in the class ranking exam for the past two years. If they took first place again this year, he would be able to contest for the headmaster position in accordance to the rules of the institute.
When that happened, the new headmaster of the Great Zhou Institute would be him, Xu Hong.
The other surrounding class masters could only maintain their silence as they watched the two parties clash. They understood very well that behind this contest for the headmaster position was the battle between the Great Zhou royal clan and Qi Manor.
Chu Tianyang was deeply enraged by Xu Hong, but there was nothing he could do. Even he could not match majority of the promises Qi Yue had made to entice those students.
“The only thing I can do now is hope that Su Youwei will perform well. She is very talented. If she enters the A class and is properly groomed, there might be a chance to for her to vie with Qi Yue during the year-end class ranking exam.”
Chu Tianyang softly sighed in his heart. Soon after, his gaze suddenly shifted to Zhou Yuan’s location with some worry in his eyes. Although Chu Tiangyang knew that Zhou Yuan was now able to unblock his meridian channels, it had only been a month since then and even if Zhou Yuan’s talent was not less than Su Youwei’s, he would have likely barely managed to unblock only one channel.
With such strength, top ten was certainly out of the question and it was likely that he would not even be able to win a few matches today.
Zhou Yuann was the prince of Great Zhou, and the halo of this identity would surely draw the attention of others. Hence, it would damage the Great Zhou royal clan’s reputation if he lost in an unsightly manner.
Chu Tianyang shook his head and mumbled in his heart, “I hope that his highness will be able to endure for a few matches.”
At this current moment, Zhou Yuan and Su Youwei had already drawn their lots on the practice field. Zhou Yuan had drawn eighteen while Su Youwei forty seven.
“Thank goodness we did not draw the same number.” Zhou Yuan could not help but smile upon seeing this.
Su Youwei softly laughed. Soon after, she said in a serious manner, “If you meet me, I will not go easy on you.”
Zhou Yuan could only roll his eyes in response.
While they were conversing, the referees had already ascended each practice arena and loud shouts sounded in succession.
“Number one, Qin Ya and Liu Ying!”
“Number two, Cheng Yu and Zhao Qingshan!”
As strong and healthy figures leapt onto each arena, the atmosphere of the entire practice field began to boil. Each arena was surrounded by numerous boys and girls while various cheers and shouts could be heard.
Zhou Yuan and Su Youwei did not join in the fun and merely observed from afar.
As time passed, the matches on these martial arenas quickly came to a close. The victors would rejoice while the losers hung their heads in dejection.
However, the exam would not stop for anyone’s loss. Hence, intense battles continued to play out on the arenas and Zhou Yuan’s turn quickly arrived.
“Number eighteen, Zhou Yuan and Pei Yun!”
As this shout spread, the hearts of numerous youths skipped a beat. Their attention was drawn over from all direction because everyone in the Great Zhou Institute knew of Zhou Yuan’s identity.
What shocked them even more was Zhou Yuan’s opponent, Pei Yun.
This individual was quite famous amongst the new batch of students. Not only had he already opened his third meridian channel, he was also one of the more outstanding practitioners amongst the three channels.
“His highness Zhou Yuan’s first match is against Pei Yun?!”
“That’s really unlucky. Pei Yun is one the stronger three channel practitioners…”
“Although prince Zhou Yuan is rather good in Genesis Runes, it is quite unlikely that he will be able to defeat a three channel practitioner.”
“Is prince Zhou Yuan going to be eliminated in the first match?”
Whispers spread in the practice field. Zhou Yuan had a rather good reputation in the institute, hence many people felt that this match-up was rather unfortunate for him.
“To think that it would be Pei Yun.” Su Youwei’s face was somewhat ugly. She had naturally heard of Pei Yun and knew how powerful he was.
Zhou Yuan’s eyes narrowed slightly. He looked towards a nearby high platform as if he had sensed something, only to see Qi Yue watching him with a strange smile. A thought flashed in Zhou Yuan’s mind as he said to himself, “It is really too much of a coincidence for me to meet such an opponent in my first match.”
His eyes faintly flickered with thought. It was likely that Qi Yue had a hand in this matter. However, the fact that he could pull off such a thing was enough to show how deeply Qi Manor had infiltrated the institute.
“To think that he would not hesitate exposing some of Qi Manor’s secret pawns just to cause me trouble…”
This thought flashed across Zhou Yuan’s mind before he smiled at Su Youwei, whose eyes were filled with worry, and said, “Don’t worry, I’m afraid that a three channel practitioner is not enough to stop me.”
“I’ll be going.”
After speaking, Zhou Yuan waved his hand at Su Youwei and briskly walked towards the practice arena.
Qi Yue watched this scene from the high platform and could not help but grin at Lin Feng and Liu Yi. “The show is about to start. I hope that our prince will be able to at least last for a while and let us properly enjoy it.”
A gloating look flitted across Lin Feng’s and Liu Yi’s eyes when they heard this. Both of them also smirked and looked towards the arena.
On the viewing platform to the west, Chu Tianyang frowned slightly when he saw this same scene and helplessly sighed in his heart. With such an opponent, it likely going to be very difficult for Zhou Yuan to achieve victory in his first match.
Under numerous pitying gazes, a calm-looking Zhou Yuan ascended the arena. He looked to his front, only to find a boy in blue fearlessly standing there, a mocking look in the latter’s eyes.
Pei Yun had an odd look in his eyes as he smiled and said, “I really did not imagine that I will meet your highness in the first match. Do forgive me if my blows are too heavy later on.”
“Did Qi Yue set this up?” Asked Zhou Yuan in an emotionless voice.
Pei Yun’s eyes widened a little, before he smiled and replied, “I do not know what your highness is talking about.”
Zhou Yuan adjusted his clothes. “I’m afraid that things will not end well for the one who volunteered to be the first to test the waters.”
Pei Yun was a little angered and coldly replied, “It will be better for your highness to think about your own situation. I pray that you will not be humiliated too greatly today.”
While they were talking, a referee sternly cried out, “Begin!”
Pei Yun’s eyes were filled with iciness. Hence, his figure bolted out like a panther the moment the referee’s cry rang out, fingers tightly clenched into a powerful punch that was thrown at Zhou Yuan.
He did not hold back at all with regards to this punch. Three channels of power fully poured out, covering the surface of his fist with Genesis Qi and even the sound of wind could be heard due to its momentum.
This was obviously an extremely domineering and powerful punch. Even a three channel practitioner would not dare to underestimate it.
The crowd around the arena could not help but shake their heads. It was likely that Zhou Yuan would lose when this punch landed.
Under the watching eyes of the crowd, intimidating fist winds pounced at Zhou Yuan’s face. He gazed at the rather twisted look on his opponent as his hand suddenly shot out to catch the latter’s fist.
“Courting death!” Upon seeing this, Pei Yun’s anger transformed into laughter. Could Zhou Yuan have been frightened silly? Pei Yun’s punch could shatter even rock and yet Zhou Yuan dared to catch it? Was he not afraid of breaking his arm?
A sinister look filled Pei Yun’s eyes as he watched his deadly punch heavily smashed into Zhou Yuan’s palm, causing a pleased smile to emerge from the corners of the former’s lips.
However, this smile immediately turned rigid a split second later.
He had seen that Zhou Yuan’s outreached hand had not budged at all. Wild power gushed out from Pei Yun’s punch, but it was as all of this power was charging into a black hole. There was no response at all.
“How is this possible?!” A horrified cry sounded in Pei Yun’s heart, his expression suddenly changing, as a feeling of unease rose within him.
The corners of Zhou Yuan’s mouth turned into a cold smile as he watched the changing expression on Pei Yun’s face. Zhou Yun had already unblocked his second meridian channel, greatly strengthening his body. Even a three channel practitioner could not compare to him now.
He held Pei Yun’s fist and slowly exerted force with a grip as solid as that of an eagle. The growing power caused Pei Yun to feel as if his fist was about to be crushed.
“Three channels open!”
Pei Yun wore a horrified expression as he fiercely gritted his teeth and howled.
The three meridian channels in his body abruptly started to vibrate, pulling in the surrounding Genesis Qi. Immediately, a powerful force exploded within his body.
However, just as he was able to free himself from Zhou Yuan’s grip, the latter suddenly made his move, or more accurately swung his leg. Powerful kick-wind blew as a foot surrounded by slivers of swirling Genesis Qi was swiftly flung at Pei Yun’s chest.
A muffled sound was heard as Pei Yun felt an indescribably huge force slam into him. The force was so great that he would not be able to match it even if he use all three meridian channels to take in Genesis Qi.
Thus, his body was sent miserably flying off the arena, before crashing into the ground as he vomited a mouthful of blood.
The surroundings immediately turned silent. Everyone was dumbstruck as they watched this scene.
The exchange between Zhou Yuan and Pei Yun had been too quick. They had only seen Pei Yun charge at Zhou Yuan, and before they could react, the aggressive Pei Yun had been kicked off the stage by Zhou Yuan a millisecond later…
Just how much power was in that kick?!
Everyone looked at Zhou Yuan as if they had seen a ghost. They clearly knew that he had not used any Genesis Runes this time.
Therefore, the kick from earlier was completely Zhou Yuan’s own power.
Even a three channel practitioner could not compare, right?!
Since when had this prince of theirs, whom was said to be unable to find his channels, become so strong?
Su Youwei’s hand covered her mouth, while her face filled with disbelief. She had not understood why Zhou Yuan had been so confident before. Only now did she understand… Zhou Yuan had been hiding his power all along!
On the tall platform, the smiles of the trio whom were originally ready to enjoy a good show also turned rigid at this moment as their faces turned white with anger, disbelief and shock.
This turn of events had far exceeded their expectations.