Chapter 295 The Match
Zhou Yuan and Cao Shi’s match still ended up causing some slight ripples in Saint Genesis Mountain. However, the disciples under Lu Song and Lu Hong merely viewed it as a silly squabble that was not worth much attention.
This was quite normal, because even in elder Shen’s group, there weren’t many who fancied Zhou Yuan’s chances even if he was the latest champion of the peak selection ceremony.
At the end of the day, Cao Shi was a true-blue veteran senior disciple of the fifth layer Alpha-Origin stage, someone who was far stronger than Lu Feng.
In the eyes of many of the senior disciples, Zhou Yuan was merely asking for trouble.
While the many disciples held such thoughts, five days passed in the blink of an eye.
Mists swirled around the pine trees, an enormous stone stage towering above them.
At this current time, the vicinity of the stone stage was already filled with figures, even Shen Taiyuan already here, seated above them. Today was the duel between Zhou Yuan and Cao Shi, and elder Shen was naturally going to oversee it such as to prevent any accidents from occurring.
Besides them, some of the disciples from the other two factions were also present, clearly waiting to enjoy the show.
Of course, what they wanted to see was likely Zhou Yuan suffering. After all, he had been in the limelight too much recently, and was also the champion of the peak selection ceremony. However, he was also a new inner mountain disciple without enough experience. Thus, there were naturally people who were happy to see someone put him in his place.
On one side of the stone stage, a smiling Cao Shi was surrounded by several disciples like a moon amongst the stars. He was pretty relaxed from the looks of it and clearly did not treat today’s match seriously at all.
A Genesis Qi cloud flew over from far away, eventually landing on the opposite end of the stone stage. It was Zhou Yuan with Yaoyao at his side, graceful yet cold like an exiled goddess from the heavens, her breathtaking beauty drawing numerous gazes towards her.
“Teacher Shen.” Zhou Yuan’s gaze scanned his surroundings, sensing the amusement in many gazes. He ignored all of them as he looked towards Shen Taiyuan and cupped his fists together.
Shen Taiyuan nodded in response, a rather complicated look on his face. He truly did have high hopes for Zhou Yuan’s potential, which was why he did not wish to see him clashing with Cao Shi at such a time.
However, he also understood that it was because he regarded Zhou Yuan with too much importance that the senior disciples were now unhappy, leading them to make things difficult for Zhou Yuan. But why couldn’t these fools just stop for a moment and question themselves instead. If they had shown a little more worth, wouldn’t he have no need to place all his bets on a single person?
If Zhou Yuan lost today’s duel, he would surely have to give in for a period of time and keep a low profile, losing all hopes of obtaining the purple Genesis cave dwelling.
Without such cultivation resources, it would undoubtedly become even more difficult for him to catch up with the veteran purple sash disciples.
With such feelings churning in his heart, Shen Taiyuan ultimately sighed inside, nodding to Zhou Yuan before turning towards Cao Shi. “This is a match between our own people, make sure you understand when to stop.”
Cao Shi laughed a relaxed manner and replied, “Don’t worry teacher Shen, I’m a senior after all and will show mercy.”
The moment he finished, his figure moved, landing at the center of the stone stage as he cast playful gaze towards Zhou Yuan and said, “Junior brother Zhou Yuan, you can avoid any suffering if you admit defeat now. It’s never a pretty sight when it comes to punches and kick after all.
Zhou Yuan ignored the former, also landing in the center of the stage. He stood opposite Cao Shi, his face akin to a still ancient well.
When their gazes met, iciness flashed within their eyes.
Below Shen Taiyuan, the purple sash disciples were also watching.
Zhang Yan wore a slight smile on his face as he said towards Zhou Tai, “Hehe, senior brother Zhou Tai, this junior brother of ours does have potential, but he has a bit of a rebellious streak and doesn’t follow the rules. I hope that he will be able to better behave after today, and at the very least understand that he should be more respectful towards us senior brothers.”
Zhou Tai frowned upon hearing this. He was a gentle and magnanimous person, and although his talent was not exceptional, he did possess a substantial amount of influence amongst the disciples.
He could sense the happiness in Shen Taiyuan due to Zhou Yuan’s arrival, happiness that in turn made Zhou Tai blame himself and feel somewhat ashamed. Teacher Shen would not feel this way if he had been more capable as the first disciple.
Thus, he showed good will towards Zhou Yuan, because he genuinely hoped that someone amazing would arise from their group.
However, this mindset was clearly not shared by all the other disciples. Zhang Yan for instance disliked how much attention teacher Shen was showing Zhou Yuan. Although Cao Shi appeared to be the mastermind, Zhang Yan was likely sparing no effort to support the former.
Zhou Tai also knew that junior brother Zhang Yan did not truly acknowledge him as the first disciple because the latter’s talent was greater than his own. Although Zhang Yan had joined later, he was fast catching up with his senior brother. Hence, he was usually not too respectful either when they met.
“Junior brother Zhang Yan, junior brother Zhou Yuan has great potential, and it can be said to be our fortune that he has come to Saint Genesis Peak and teacher Shen’s faction. The cultivation resources we give him now will surely be returned many fold in the future.” Said Zhou Tai.
Zhang Yan maintained his smiling appearance, though a sneer flashed in his eyes. “Senior brother Zhou Tai’s words may be slightly exaggerated. I do not deny that he does have potential, but I’m afraid that he is not qualified to be considered our fortune.”
“So what if he’s the champion of the peak selection ceremony, would it cement his gradual ascent to one of the ten great Chosens? It’s not like we haven’t seen any champions of the peak selection ceremony before, and quite a few of them only end up as purple sash disciples after entering the inner mountains, making them no different from any of us.”
Zhou Tai frowned and said, “Teacher Shen naturally has his reasons for placing such high hopes in Zhou Yuan.”
“Then we’ll wait and see.” Zhang Yan did not comment, his eyes narrowing slightly as he gazed at Zhou Yuan’s figure on the stone stage and said in a neither hurried no slow manner, “I hope that you can still have such a mindset after this match.”
“No matter how much potential he has, it is irrelevant till the day he turns that potential into strength. As for now… I feel that it would be best for him to behave a little better. A little suffering may not always be a bad thing for youngsters.”
While they were conversing, Shen Taiyuan’s gaze swept across the stone stage as he said in a solemn voice, “Begin.”
The instant the word left his mouth, an astonishing wave of Genesis Qi abruptly exploded from Cao Shi’s body, like pillar of smoke as it charged into the clouds.
Cao Shi’s Genesis Qi was akin to silver snow and gave off an extremely sharp aura. As it surged past, tears were left in the air.
Genesis Qi pressure spread from his body, like an enormous mountain crushing Zhou Yuan from above.
The expressions of numerous disciples in the vicinity turned a little graver when they felt this pressure. The fact that Cao Shi had been able to stably occupy the gold sash third seat previously was proof of his ability. Such abundant and concentrated Genesis Qi was a force to be reckoned with even amongst the fifth layer Alpha-Origin.
Zhou Yuan’s eyes widened a little. The Genesis Qi pressure from Cao Shi was not just a little stronger than Lu Feng.
Cao Shi laughed playfully when he saw Zhou Yuan’s expression. “Junior brother Zhou Yuan, you were the one who suggested this match a few days ago, can it be that you no longer have the courage you had back then?”
Zhou Yuan’s expression was indifferent as gold Genesis Qi dashed out from the top of his head, hovering in the air like a giant halo. The faint silhouette of a titanic python emerged from within and hissed.
He stared at Cao Shi as a sharp and serious look gradually flooded his eyes. A split second later, Zhou Yuan’s aura changed, like a blade that had been unsheathed, no longer hiding its sharp, cold edge.
“Come, show me what’s so amazing about our senior gold sash disciples?!”
The instant his words faded, hsi figure had already shot forward, surging Genesis Qi whizzing in his wake.
Every gaze in the vicinity of the stone stage was attentively watching.
They too wanted to know whether the champion of the peak selection ceremony, Zhou Yuan, had the qualifications to be regarded so highly by teacher Shen.