Every figure seated in the side hall raised their heads at this moment, their eyes narrowing as they looked at the young man who had just stepped in.
He was no stranger to them. After all, though this disciple had only joined the inner mountains for less than a year, he had already stirred several waves in the sect.
Zhao Zhu’s eyelids raised slightly. He continued to tap his scabbard as he cast a nonchalant gaze at Zhou Yuan and said, “You’re junior brother Zhou Yuan? So you’ve finally decided to show up. We’ve been debating about you for nearly half a day now, and you’ve basically missed all of it.”
Within the side hall, the group stared at Zhou Yuan. Let alone the Sword Cometh Peak disciples, even the disciples from the other peaks had strange expressions in their eyes. Even though they had chosen to remain silent due to Li Qingchan, many of them felt opposed to the decision to include Zhou Yuan in the team for this Heaven task.
From their gazes, Zhou Yuan understood that Li Qingchan must have faced an immense pressure when she tried to defend him, making him feel a little thankful in his heart.
Zhou Yuan’s expression was calm as he said, “Since there is a dispute, let’s find a way to resolve it.”
“Haha, junior brother Zhou Yuan is an understanding person.” A mysterious smile hung from Zhao Zhu’s lips. He pointed at Wang Lei and said, “This mission is extremely important to our Cangxuan Sect. That’s why I hope that you can give your spot to junior brother Wang Lei. Otherwise, should we fail the mission because of you, not only will you be punished, but even the person who recommended you, senior sister Li, will be punished as well.”
“You recently joined the sect and are still young. Give yourself one or two more years, and you will surely become an elite amongst the purple sash disciples. When that time comes, you will definitely have the qualifications to join a Heaven task, and I believe that no one will object to your participation then.”
Zhao Zhu smiled. The way his spoke was akin to someone of higher standing lecturing a minor.
“So what do you say junior brother Zhou Yuan?”
The side hall was completely silent. Everyone was looking at Zhou Yuan as they waited for his response.
Under the attention from the crowd, a smile was revealed on Zhou Yuan’s youthful face as he shook his head and said, “I am really sorry senior brother Zhao Zhu. I feel that we should…”
The smile on Zhao Zhu’s face froze slightly.
“You ignorant brat!” At the back of the side hall, the man named Wang Lei glared coldly at Zhou Yuan. A mocking smile rose from the former’s lips as he said, “Junior brother Zhou Yuan, do you really believe that your pathetic draw against junior brother Xu Yan has given you the qualifications to participate in a Heaven task?!”
“Senior brother Zhao Zhu is thinking about the big picture, while your stubbornness is truly too selfish.”
Zhou Yuan’s eyelids lowered as he replied, “So how should I convince senior brother Wang Lei that I possess the qualifications?”
“Maybe… I need to defeat you?”
Wang Lei was taken aback by these words, but the derisive smile on his face soon widened, while the other disciples began to frown. All of them clearly felt that Zhou Yuan was simply too arrogant.
After all, Zhou Yuan only managed to force Xu Yan into a stalemate because he had underestimated the former. Moreover, amongst those present here, even Wang Lei was substantially stronger than Xu Yan. Therefore, such boastful words from Zhou Yuan just went to show how unreasonably arrogant he was.
Zhao Zhu shook his head, before he shot a look at Wang Lei.
An eerie smile appeared on Wang Lei’s face. He took two steps forward, and said in a sinister manner, “Junior brother Zhou Yuan is young and arrogant. However, as your senior, I do not wish to take advantage of you.”
“I don’t need you to prove that you can defeat me. As long as you can handle one move from me, I will acknowledge that you have the qualifications.”
“Of course, if you can’t even handle one attack from me… I’ll advise you not to humiliate yourself!”
The repeated mocking of this individual from Sword Cometh Peak made Zhou Yuan’s eyes narrow in a dangerous manner. Just as he was about to speak, however, Li Qingchan finally opened her mouth and said, “Zhou Yuan will accept this challenge.”
She cast her gaze at Zhou Yuan, and gave him a faint nod.
This was already the most advantageous offer Zhou Yuan could get. Li Qingchan was afraid that Zhou Yuan might refuse it due to his ego, and had thus taken the initiative to accept it on his behalf.
Since Wang Lei wanted to show off, they had to make proper use of this opportunity.
Zhou Yuan smiled helplessly at her words. In reality, he was really itching for a real fight with Wang Lei. Otherwise, he would be in for an uncomfortable journey if he had to constantly deal with doubts from his other party members.
However, Li Qingchan did not seem to have much confidence in him, and was afraid that he would end up backing himself into a corner due to his stubborn pride. As such, she had immediately cut in to prevent such a scenario.
Zhou Yuan felt rather apologetic to Li Qingchan as she had indeed weathered a tremendous amount of pressure in order to protect him. Therefore, he chose to remain silent, and did not object to her decision.
Upon seeing this, Wang Lei exchanged a look with Zhao Zhu as a strange smile appeared on his face.
“Junior brother Zhou Yuan’s bravery is commendable. Come on then, let this senior brother give you some guidance!” Wang Lei stomped his foot as his body flew forward, and landed in an arena outside the hall.
Zhou Yuan also moved, and quickly appeared on the arena.
Li Qingchan, Zhao Zhu and the rest swarmed out of the hall like fishes, arriving at the entrance where they watched the two figures that were now facing each other.
The mission hall was usually crowded. Not to mention there were numerous purple sash disciples from the various peaks gathered here today, waiting to find out who would make the final cut for the Heaven task. Hence, Zhou Yuan and Wang Lei immediately attracted the attention of the crowd.
The crowd soon found out the reason why Zhou Yuan and Wang Lei were facing each other, and various shocked voices immediately sounded.
“Zhou Yuan is simply too arrogant. To think that he actually dares to fight senior brother Wang Lei…”
“I heard that it’s only a one move wager.”
“Even if it’s only a single move, I am afraid Zhou Yuan won’t be able to handle it. Senior brother Wang Lei is quite a bit stronger than Xu Yan, and will definitely go all-out for this one attack. I don’t think that Zhou Yuan can win.”
“Heh, it’s even better if he can’t. That spot on the team isn’t something that he should even think about for now.”
“Let this be a lesson for him”
More and more disciples began to gather at the perimeter of the arena, watching the two individuals in excitement.
On the stone steps, Li Qingchan gazed at the arena. Beside her, Bai Li’s eyes swept across Zhou Yuan and Wang Lei, as she softly said, “Though Wang Lei is quite arrogant, he is no fool. He has likely come prepared for this one move wager he suggested.”
Li Qingchan fell silent for a moment. She was naturally aware of this as well. However, Zhao Zhu’s strong opposition together with the fact that she had defended Zhou Yuan vehemently, had caused a great deal of criticism. Therefore, her only hope now was that Zhou Yuan could deliver so that she would have something to convince the crowd.
“Zhou Yuan is not a rash person either. Since he agreed, he should also be prepared.”
Li Qingchan softly said, “In addition… if he can’t even handle a single attack from Wang Lei...”
“It will be impossible for him to obtain a Heaven Credit even if he does join the mission…”
She stared at the young man in the arena, as she slowly said, “Now show me whether my decision to defend you is the right one...”