The moment Lu Hong’s group appeared, every gaze in the area could not help but converge towards them. One had to admit that when compared to the other two factions of Saint Genesis Peak, the former surpassed the other two in presence.
However, the other two groups could not be blamed for being too weak, because it was Lu Hong’s faction that was too strong. Lu Hong’s faction had already been a formidable force back in Sword Cometh Peak. What’s more, they had taken in quite a number of talented disciples over the years, making it basically impossible for the other two factions to match Lu Hong’s faction in terms of disciples.
Lu Hong stood with his hand behind his back at the very front, his expression indifferent.
When he arrived, he merely cast a glance at Shen Taiyuan and Lu Song, before stepping into the last stone pavilion.
The disciple under him crowded around the pavilion, a rather imposing sight.
Only three figures had been allowed to follow Lu Hong into the pavilion. One was naturally his first disciple, Yuan Hong, while another was Lu Xuanyin.
Although she was not Lu Hong’s disciple, Lu Hong was her elder in their clan.
Beside Lu Xuanyin was a tall figure with excellent posture. A faint smile hung from the lips of the youth who had a head full of red hair. His eyes were imposing and gave off an invasive feeling, evidence that he was clearly no kind spirit.
He was called Xu Yan and was also not Lu Hong’s disciple, but from the same teacher as Lu Xuanyin. His father was an elder in the Cangxuan Sect who was quite famous in Sword Cometh Peak, while he himself was a purple sash disciple.
Xu Yan’s gaze swept across Zhou Yuan at this moment and asked with a grin, “Xuanyin, is that the one who stole Lu Feng’s number one spot in the peak selection ceremony?”
Lu Xuanyin faintly nodded in response, still somewhat indignant as she said, “He was so cunning, managing to catch Lu Feng off-guard and clinch victory by some stroke of luck.”
Xu Yan chuckled, completely unconcerned about Zhou Yuan as he said, “It doesn’t matter. He will become a laughing stock before the day is over. With Wei Youxuan around, only defeat awaits elder Shen’s faction.”
One could tell that Xu Yan was quite close to Lu Xuanyin. Hence, he was already fully on Lu Xuanyin’s side despite never having any contact with Zhou Yuan before.
Lu Xuanyin also laughed when she heard this, feeling somewhat better as she said, “He deserves it for losing sight of his status. Does he really believe that this is still the outer mountains? He’s just a mere gold sash disciple that many would easily be able to deal with.”
“I really don’t understand why elder Miao would give such a high evaluation of him, but I’m sure that she will soon feel quite embarrassed after today.”
The corners of Lu Xuanyin’s mouth curled downwards as she mockingly said, “The likes of him thinks he can be compared to senior brother Chu Qing?”
While the two were talking, Lu Hong’s eyelids raised as he looked towards Shen Taiyuan in the other pavilion and nonchalantly said, “Since everyone is here, let’s prepare to begin and get this over and done with as soon as possible. I still have other matters to attend to.”
His tone was relaxed, clearly not the least bit concerned about the imminent cave match.
Shen Taiyuan was naturally able to hear the hidden meaning behind Lu Hong’s words. With an icy chuckle, the former responded, “I just hope that elder Lu will still have the mood to deal with your other affairs after this.”
A mocking smile flowed out from the corners of Lu Hong’s mouth. “Unfortunately, it seems that elder Shen has been the one who has been feeling down after most of the cave matches.”
Shen Taiyuan’s face twitched for a moment, unable to retort for a time as his expression turned ugly, even having slight trouble breathing due to anger.
The mockery on Lu Hong’s lips grew even greater when he saw this. With a wave of his hand, he called out, “Wei Youxuan, Feng Ling, Cheng Ying.”
Three figures walked into the stone pavilion and cupped their fists together towards Lu Hong.
Lu Hong indifferently said, “Go, do not shame us today.”
The trio acknowledged with a nod. Under the attention of countless gazes, they landed on the three giant stone stages on the cliff.
Shen Taiyuan took in a deep breath and said in a low voice, “Tong Long, Pan Song, Zhou Yuan.”
Tong Long and Pan Song hurriedly stepped forward, while Zhou Yuan exited the stone pavilion.
“All three of you must do your best today.” Said Shen Taiyuan, though his gaze mostly looked towards Tong Long and Pan Song. The two of them were after all the first and second seat amongst the gold sash disciples, and the strongest amongst them.
Tong Long and Pan Song’s expression were quite taunt, clearly somewhat nervous. However, they still managed to force out a nod.
Shen Taiyuan cautioned Zhou Yuan, “Zhou Yuan, there’s no need to be too nervous since its is your first time in a match like this. If you’re not a match for your opponent, remember that your safety is the most important. Victory or defeat is only temporary, and doesn’t decide everything”
Many disciples from the other peaks had come to watch today, and Shen Taiyuan was worried that if Zhou Yuan did not perform well, the storm of mocking laughter that followed would be too huge of a mental blow to him.
Zhou Yuan was a little moved inside as he nodded with a smile.
When the three of them walked out, even more gazes were cast to them than earlier. However, most of the gazes were clearing looking towards Zhou Yuan.
Numerous whispers began to spread.
“Is he that Zhou Yuan?”
“Doesn’t seem to be anything special.
“Hehe, looks like another person who wants to borrow senior brother Chu Qing’s name to become famous.”
“But it’s a pity that he chose the wrong person. Senior brother Chu Qing is just too outstanding, and even if Zhou Yuan does perform decently, he will only appear incapable in comparison.”
The majority of the disciples that had come to watch were female, all of them young and pretty. They were obviously similar to Lu Yan, belonging to the group of Chu Qing’s fanatical supporters. Hence, their words were merciless, and rather grating to the ear.
Tong Long and Pan Song also felt these gazes, causing them to feel a little uncomfortable all over. This was the first time so many people had come to watch a cave match of Saint Genesis Peak.
Moreover, most of them were not here with kind intentions.
The two exchanged a look and let out a bitter laugh. They were truly innocent victims.
Though they had already been affected, Tong Long was still quite broad-minded, and did not vent his frustration on Zhou Yuan. Instead, the former tried to console him. “Junior brother Zhou Yuan, since it’s your first time in a cave match, we’ll go first later and let you observe a little. No need to be nervous.”
Zhou Yuan nodded with a smile, showing his gratitude. If Tong Long and Pan Song were able to win, there would be no need for Zhou Yuan to stand out too much. As for the opinions of the onlookers, he couldn’t care less.
He was no circus monkey after all, and was not here to entertain everyone.
Under the attention of countless gazes, Tong Long, Pan Song and Zhou Yuan moved, landing on the three stone stages opposite the Wei Youxuan trio.
Wei Youxuan’s gaze nonchalantly swept across the three figures, as a slight smile appeared from the corners of his mouth. The look in his eyes was one of amusement and ridicule.
“Can’t believe that you three still have the courage to participate. This truly is somewhat surprising to me.” Wei Youxuan smiled faintly.
Tong Long’s expression darkened. “Wei Youxuan, don’t brag too much. We’ll only know who wins when we fight.”
However, Wei Youxuan merely laughed in response, before his gaze shifted towards Zhou Yuan on the far right as he sarcastically said, “Senior sister Lu Xuanyin instructed me previously to take good care of you, so don’t go blaming me too much later.”
Zhou Yuan’s gaze lowered slightly, as if he did not hear the former.
While both sides were having a duel of tongues, Lu Hong opened his mouth and said, “Begin.”
His words instantly caused the atmosphere to turn tense, as every gaze in the place turned towards the six figures.