Chapter 81: The Hunt Begins
The sun gradually rose to its highest point, and a voice finally rang out from the voice amplification spell formation, traveling to every corner of the venue.
“Let the tournament begin!”
All two hundred and sixty young warriors rushed into the entrance they had been assigned to.
Qi Ying also transformed into a black shadow, and entered the forest before him.
The sooner he could get in, the more he would be able to seize the initiative!
Upon entry to the hunting grounds, Qi Ying immediately focused his True Energy to the soles of his feet and sprang all the way up to the tip of a tall tree.
His horizons were immediately broadened significantly.
He could see everything in a radius of one or two kilometers, and even beyond that.
From there, he caught sight of a bunch of disciples engaged in battle already, on a nearby patch of flat land.
Just as he emerged at the top of the tree, a young man in a Celestial River County Army uniform beat down a young warrior from a smaller city, and took the badge off his wrist.
‘There should be a few warriors in this forest…’
Qi Ying thought to himself.
At that moment.
A burst of loud sounds erupted.
Qi Ying turned to discover the residual smoke from flares being set off, wafting through the air in the distance.
That was a tactic employed by some families or powers to gather all of their allies in one location.
They would have already chosen a core of one or two people in advance, and everyone else would have to fight for that core of select individuals. Thus, they would have an advantage in numbers, thereby making them more competitive in the scramble for badges!
That was perhaps unfair to those of lower socioeconomic status, but it could be argued that one’s status was a part of their power.
It was exactly due to those reasons, that some of the weaker rogue warriors had to team up in temporary alliances. Others would instead choose to fight alone as they were confident in their abilities, or had some alternative reason for doing so… In any case, one had no choice but to take initiative if they wanted to do well in the tournament!
There was only a limited time afforded to all of the participants.
Only about a minute had passed, and there were already over ten instances of badges being stolen.
‘I have to make my move as well!’
Qi Ying began to hop from tree to tree in search of a target.
Everyone was his prey and he was taken back to his days as a hunter at the Nameless Mountain.
Thus, the hunt began.
Outside the hunting grounds.
There were a few semi-transparent screens of light, each several hundred feet in size set up for the audience.
It was the first time many people had experienced the miracle of a projection spell formation, and they were stunned beyond belief. Within the live view broadcasted on those screens, there were birds flying high in the sky, wild beasts foraging around for food, and warriors battling it out with one another.
“Look! The Duan family has already gathered a group of close to twenty people!”
“There’s Duan Gucheng, the three Heavenly Monarchs, and that one is… Duan Lang! He’s part of the county army, and is twenty-four years of age. His cultivation base is at the Ninth Energy Martial Stage, and he’s already a deputy general!”
“The Sun family has also gathered many of their members. They’re being led by Sun Changyu and Sun Zhixing!”
“Both of those young masters of the Sun family are at the Ninth Energy Martial Stage, and below twenty-one years of age. They should be able to secure spots for themselves in the top ten.”
Everyone was transfixed by the scenes unfolding in the screens of light.
They were astonished by the amazing projection spell formation, and filled with anticipation for the spectacular battles that they were surely about to witness.
The duration of the tournament was six hours.
Those six short hours were bound to be packed with thrilling action… There was definitely going to be bloodshed and deaths, as well as victors who would carve out a path for themselves amid the blood and bodies.
The leaders of the Duan, Wang, and Sun families looked at one another with smiles on their faces.
Duan Xilai remarked in an indifferent voice, “Let’s leave the young people to take care of their own matters… It’s time for us to take care of our own affairs!”
Qi Ying soon found his first target.
He was a young man who appeared to be the young master of a major family in one of the Celestial River County’s smaller cities. He wielded a shiny golden sword, and was quickly traversing through the forest.
“Idiot.” Qi Ying scoffed.
What gave him the courage to swagger out in the open like that, when he was on his own?
He was like a rabbit strolling along grasslands filled with ferocious predators; it was only a matter of time before he was taken down.
Qi Ying stood silently at the top of a tree, and continued to survey the situation.
He was most likely not the only one who was interested in such an easy prey!
The young man drew closer and closer to the tree Qi Ying was on, and he suddenly stopped as he raised his sword. “Who’s there?”
Qi Ying narrowed his eyes and remained silent.
The young man heaved a sigh of relief.
That feeling of being watched was just excessive paranoia after all!
He continued onward and quickened his pace. He had to make it out of the forest and onto the flat land, where he would be able to unite with some of his friends. They would then be able to form a team to secure badges together.
All of a sudden.
A nearby bush rustled, and two figures sprang out from within!
One of them immediately unleashed a massive fist projection.
The young man didn’t get a chance to raise his sword before he was sent flying by that punch.
Among the two people that had just emerged, one was quite portly, while the other was very thin. The fatso was the one who had just unleashed that punch, and his accomplice immediately sprang into the air before aiming a vicious kick into the young man’s stomach, sending him crashing to the ground.
Even though the young man was wearing a suit of soft armor, he still let loose a howl of agony as he gripped onto his stomach.
“Hand it over!”
The thin assailant chortled as he pulled the badge violently off his victim’s wrist. At the same time, he took the young man’s sword and thrust it toward his throat.
The fatso suddenly stopped him.
“What is it? Aren’t we going to kill him?”
The fatso shook his head and elaborated, “If we kill him, we will become the most vulnerable targets here. If we let him live, other people will think that he still has his badge, and they would waste time by going after him!”
The young man immediately chimed in, “You’re right! You’re so wise! Please spare me!”
“Sure, we can spare you…” The skinny man chuckled, “Is that a spatial ring on your left hand? Hand it over and we’ll let you live!”
The young man wore a pained expression on his face, but he still slipped off his ring and offered it to his assailants.
“Piss off now!”
The skinny man kicked his victim on the head, sending him sprawling onto the ground.
The young man clambered to his feet and immediately fled for his life without so much as a single backward glance.
The skinny man and the fatso looked at each other and smiled.
They were elated to have secured a badge so quickly.
There should be more stragglers around that would fall prey to their partnership.
Who knows? Perhaps they could get lucky and secure a couple of spots for themselves!
The two of them quickly departed and set off in the direction of the small mountain outside of the forest.
Just as they were about to emerge from the forest, a gust of wind was suddenly swept up beside them!
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