Practice grounds of the Great Zhou Institute.
Many practice platforms stood in the practice grounds, while the numerous youths atop them yelled out as they exchanged blows. Each punch and kick had the vigour and ferocity of a tiger, a rather imposing sight. Below the platforms were crowd of spectators who would burst into cheers from time to time. There was no lack of young and pretty girls amongst the crowds, and their pretty watching eyes made the boys on the platforms fight with even more enthusiasm, hoping to show off their moves and thus bask in the limelight.
It evident that this practice grounds was a rather popular location in the Great Zhou Institute.
When Xu Lin lazily walked onto a platform, news of his fight with Zhou Yuan had already been secretly spread by the former to the entire practice grounds.
“What? His highness Zhou Yuan is going to fight with Xu Lin?!”
“How is that possible! His highness Zhou Yuan has yet to open even his first meridian channel, on the other hand, Xu Lin had already opened two!”
“This Xu Lin is truly a bully, he surely used some despicable means to force Zhou Yuan.”
When the many students heard this news, cries of disbelief and surprise immediately erupted. Some of the commoner students felt that such a fight was really a little too unfair for Zhou Yuan.
For any Channel Opening stage practitioner, the opening of every meridian channel would raise the innate quality of one’s body. Strength, speed, reflexes etc. far surpassed those who had yet to open their channels. To put it bluntly, a Channel Opening stage practitioner was able to effortlessly defeat dozens of cultivators who had yet to open their channels.
Atop the stage, Xu Lin merely chuckled when he heard these voices. No matter what they said, after today, his vicious beating of Zhou Yuan would definitely spread to the entire Great Zhou Institute. Such news would undoubtedly be a blow to Zhou Yuan’s reputation, thus making him a laughing stock.
While these malicious thoughts swirled in Xu Lin’s head, the black mass of a crowd around the practice platform suddenly split apart. One could only watch as a thin youth slowly walked forward.
This thin youth had a scholarly face and gave off an aura of culture. He looked just like a weak and delicate scholar.
Naturally, this was Zhou Yuan.
Under the many varied gazes, Zhou Yuan headed straight for the practice platform where Xu Lin was.
“Your highness.” Su Youwei’s little face was somewhat anxious as she followed closely behind him. It was clear that she still wanted Zhou Yuan to give up on fighting Xu Lin.
Zhou Yuan gently smiled at Su Youwei and said, “I can no longer back off at this point. Or else, I will be known as the prince who ran away just before the battle.”
Su Youwei’s footstops stopped as she tightly bit into her red lips. She knew that it would indeed be a huge blow to his reputation.
Su Youwei lifted her pretty face and looked at Xu Lin, who was stop the practice platform. At this very moment, her eyes slightly narrowed, and seemed to become a little ferocious.
“Your highness, it is my fault for not handling matters properly this time and causing trouble for your highness. In future, I will no longer be careless nor merciful.” said Su Youwei in a soft voice.
Truth be told, she had lost to Xu Lin previously mainly because she was lacking in ruthlessness. Otherwise, Xu Lin would not even have the chance to use his Genesis weapon. This lesson allowed her to understand that if one does not give the snake a fatal blow, one would surely be bitten.
Zhou Yuan was a little stunned. He blinked at Su Youwei and said, “We are friends. It is only right for a friend to help settle another’s problems.”
By the time his words faded, he had already stopped onto the practice platform.
Su Youwei smiled a little as she gazed at his back. A warm feeling flowed within her heart. Soon after, her eyes slightly lowered; she had already made a decision. If Xu Lin dared to hurt Zhou Yuan, she would let the former know the meaning of a little girl’s grudge and vengeance.
“Oh? Your highness actually dared to come. I had believed that you would secretly run away to the palace.” Xu Lin mocked with a smile as he watched Zhou Yuan, who had walked to his front.
Zhou Yuan gently arranged his sleeves as he said, “Looks like you are very confident in yourself.”
“I never imagined that even someone like your highness would act so rashly for a pretty girl. This seems to be rather unwise.” Xu Lin shrugged his shoulders. It was clear that he believed Zhou Yuan’s rash behaviour was to gain Su Youwei’s favor.
“Let’s begin.” Zhou Yuan had no intentions of continuing this nonsensical bantar. His legs slid away from each other and seemed to tightly root themselves to the ground like an old tree, before he beckoned to Xu Lin. “I’ll allow you to attack first.”
The moment these words were said, the numerous youths surrounding the platform looked to each other. They did not understand what Zhou Yuan was thinking. He was clearly the weaker party, yet he still acted so wantonly.
“Since your highness cannot wait to be humiliated, I’ll have to oblige.” Being looked down upon by Zhou Yuan in this manner caused rage to rise in Xu Lin’s heart. With a sneer, his foot powerfully stamped on the ground, and his body shot out like an arrow. Five fingers were tightly clenched into a fist as a punch flew towards Zhou Yuan.
This punch of Xu Lin brought with it a stream of air and was full of power. If it hit a rock, a crack form.
Zhou Yuan watched the powerful punch fly towards him and made no movements to dodge. He merely crossed his arms before him in a defensive posture.
However, when the crowd below say this stance of his, they could not bear to continue watching. With Xu Lin’s two channel opened body, this punch would likely break Zhou Yuan’s bones.
Under the nervous gazes of the crowd, Xu Lin was akin to fierce tiger. He held nothing back as his overbearing punch heavily slammed into Zhou Yuan’s arms.
A muffled sound rang out. Next, the crowd was unsurprised to see Zhou Yuan’s feet draw two several meter long trails on the ground before he managed to stabilize his body.
A miserable cry erupted.
However, the cry had not erupted from Zhou Yuan but Xu Lin.
Everyone was dumbstruck as they watched this scene. Xu Lin screamed miserably as he hugged his fist. His fist was entire red, as if it had been smashed onto hard steel.
Xu Lin howled at Zhou Yuan, “You! What did you hide in your sleeves?! Despicable!” Xu Lin was in so much pain that even tears were about to flow from his eyes.
The surrounding gazes looked towards Zhou Yuan in astonishment. Could his highness have used some petty trick?
Under the crowd’s apprehensive gazes, Zhou Yuan slowly pulled back his sleeves. Subsequently, the crowd discovered a complicated rune of light on his arms. The rune emitted faint black light that spread and covered Zhou Yuan’s arms. At a glance, it seemed as if his skin had turned to incomparably hard black metal.
Numerous students were shocked as they gazed at this complicated rune. In the end, some suddenly cried out, “That is the Metal Skin Rune that the lecturer had taught previously!”
A flash of understanding struck everyone. It was a Genesis Rune!
Su Youwei’s tense heart relaxed at this moment. She breathed a sigh of relief as she said, “So his highness is already able to draw a Genesis Rune on his body.”
Xu Lin came back to his senses as he stared at the black Genesis Runes on Zhou Yuan’s arms and said in disbelief, “You, you actually drew a Genesis Rune on your body?!”
Although Xu lin had seen Zhou Yuan draw a Metal Skin Rune in the lecture hall previously, it had only been drawn on a jade tablet. To draw it on the body, one needed to be proficient in the locations of the acupuncture points and meridian channels of the body. Only then would one be able to prevent the Genesis Rune from harming the body. Hence, drawing a Genesis Rune on the body was far more challenging than drawing it on a jade tablet.
Yet, while they were still unable to draw Genesis Runes on jade tablets, Zhou Yuan had already started to learn and even use it… this gap was not small.
“Did you really believe that I would be powerless just because I have not opened my channels?” said Zhou Yuan with a smile.
Xu Lin’s face was steely green, and had a look of anger from being toyed with as he coldly said, “Do you really believe that you will be able to beat me by relying on a Metal Skin Rune?”
“I’ll let you have a good look at the gap between a Channel Opening stage practitioner and one that has yet to open any channels!”
As Xu Lin roared, faint lines of flowing light emerged around his body. The dust under his feet swept outwards as Genesis Qi poured into his body in sync with his breathing.
Even his clothes started to flutter at this moment.
The surface of his skin began to glow, and everyone could feel Xu Lin’s aura rapidly soar at this moment.
The expressions of the many students slightly changed. There was now Genesis Qi flowing within Xu Lin’s body. Genesis Qi circulating within his meridian channels would undoubtedly cause his power and speed to rise sharply.
Under the numerous grim gazes of the students, Zhou Yuan stared at Xu Lin as he muttered to himself, “Opening two channels huh…”
“Since I let you attack first, it is now my turn.”
The instant these words were spoken, Zhou Yuan’s foot had already stamped on the ground as his body charged straight at Xu Lin.
“Arrogant. Your speed, power and the innate quality of your body is now not even a tenth of my own. You still dare to attack?” Xu Lin sneered when he saw Zhou Yuan charging towards him.
“Is that so?”
The corners of Zhou Yuan’s mouth seemed to form a smile.
In the next instant, faint light suddenly surfaced at his ankles, and one could vaguely see runes of light spreading on them.
Zhou Yuan’s body seemed to become much lighter at this moment, and his speed sharply increased as he pounced forward like a cheetah.
“That is… that is the Light Body Rune!” Someone with good eyesight immediately cried out when he saw the light runes on Zhou Yuan’s ankles.
While this cry rang out, Zhou Yuan had already closed in on Xu Lin. With a sudden jerk of the former’s shoulder, a faint glow emerged from inside his sleeves. Although it was not clear, everyone could clearly feel that Zhou Yuan’s fist was now filled with rampaging power.
“Rampaging Bull Rune!” Another piercing cry was heard. As Zhou Yuan neared Xu Lin, the former’s arm suddenly jerked as a faint glow spread from under his clothes. Although it was barely discernible, everyone could clearly feel the rampaging power that filled Zhou Yuan’s flying fist.
Metal Skin Rune, Light Body Rune, Rampaging Bull Rune!
At this time, even Su Youwei could not help but cover her tiny mouth while disbelief filled her pretty face. In a short span of several breaths, Zhou Yuan had activated three Genesis Runes in succession.
This also meant that the three Genesis Runes taught by the lecturer had already been mastered by Zhou Yuan and even used on himself.
Under both the watching eyes of the crowd and Xu Lin’s horrified eyes, a fist containing domineering power had already slammed into Xu Lin’s body in an incomparably swift and violent manner.
With the aid of these three Genesis Runes, the current Zhou Yuan’s speed, power and innate body quality was clearly not inferior to Xu Lin. Hence, when this punch landed, Xu Lin felt a giant surge of force. His body was directly blown away, before smashing onto the ground outside the practice arena.
The originally noisy surroundings of the platform turned deathly silent at this moment. Numerous youths stared at Zhou Yuan in disbelief.
No one could have imagined that the fight would end in such a way.
Atop the platform, Zhou Yuan slowly withdrew his fist. The runes of light on his arms swiftly faded as if they had used up all their power.
He massaged his wrist, jumped off the platform and fished out a piece of jade from Xu Lin’s clothes. It was the participation token for the newcomer exam.
“Can’t even beat a person who has yet to open a single meridian channel. It's best that you miss this year's newcomer exam to avoid losing face.” Zhou Yuan merely smiled in response to Xu Lin’s death stare.
Upon hearing these words, Xu Lin once again felt the mocking gazes around him. A miserable feeling filled his heart, and he could not help but vomit a mouthful of fresh blood. The scene before his eyes turned to darkness as he fainted.
He knew that starting tomorrow, he would become the newest laughing stock of the many the Great Zhou Institute students...