Chapter 556: Tit for Tat
Under the much more solidified atmosphere, Liu Qing and the rest slowly stopped in front of Xiao Yan's group. The former glanced at Xiao Yan, Liu Xiuya, and the rest before speaking indifferently, "We have finally met. I have waited for the arrival of this day for a long time."
Xiao Yan would naturally not foolishly reply to Liu Qing's words. Everyone in the Inner Academy knew that Liu Qing's opponent was Lin Xiuya. With the exception of Zi Yan, the little monster who rode over them, there was hardly anyone who had the qualification to be viewed seriously by Liu Qing. Even Yan Hao, who was ranked fourth still felt some fear deep in his heart despite usually not showing the slightest sign of being afraid of Liu Qing.
"Hopefully, your luck will be better this time around." Lin Xiuya returned the indifferent smile. Although his body size was basically one entire girth smaller than Liu Qing's, that special aura of his caused him to not have the slightest sign of being eclipsed in front of Liu Qing with his large frame.
Although the conversation between the two was simple, it was filled with a tit for a tat feeling that was difficult to hide. As long time rivals, these two people were compared with each other all the time. The fight back when Liu Qing was defeated by Lin Xiuya was because of a slight vulnerability. Therefore, he bore a grudge in his heart over this matter. However, he did not search for Lin Xiuya to compete with despite his strength having soared these couple of years. Back then, he had lost to Lin Xiuya on the 'Strong Ranking' Grand Competition. Now, he needed to obtain a victory in this place! One sharpens one's sword for ten years. For this match, Liu Qing had shook off an unknown amount of perspiration, endured the feeling of loneliness, and only tasted the bitterness of training...
The atmosphere on the high platform was extremely quiet as the two of them spoke. Although those who were able to arrive at this high platform were all strong people at the peak of the Inner Academy, the hearts of all these proud people felt varying degrees of respect toward these two people whether they wanted to admit it or not. Strength was honored. This was a conventional rule that existed everywhere on the Dou Qi continent.
The two gazes intertwined in mid-air. There appeared to be essence-like sparks surfacing. The tense atmosphere was maintained between them. From the looks of this situation, it appeared that they would end up physically attacking each other the moment a disagreement arose.
Of course, Xiao Yan was not too worried about this. The two of them were not extremely impatient people. Although this Liu Qing looked extremely boorish, from the looks of how he was able to endure until today after being defeated by Lin Xiuya, one could see his disposition. Therefore, something that was similar to fighting on the spot would have difficulty occurring between these two extremely calm people.
Xiao Yan gaze moved randomly, only to suddenly see the green-faced Liu Fei behind Liu Qing. He lifted his brows, only to realize that her gaze was locked on Xun Er by the side. Clearly, that slap that Xun Er had given her in public had left her a deep memory.
Xun Er appeared to have felt nothing when faced with the vicious gaze of Liu Fei. A pair of pretty eyes paused on Xiao Yan's back. At this moment, a thread of faint golden-colored warm sunlight coincidentally scattered down, leaving behind a golden-colored glow on Xun Er's tender, exquisite, pretty face. Her long eyelashes shook under the sunlight. It was obscure, like an illusion. At this moment, this pretty scene was something that even Liu Fei, who had a good appearance, felt jealous about in her heart.
This pretty appearance was also absorbed into the eyes of Yao Sheng behind Liu Qing. His heart trembled slightly. Immediately, he felt a pain on his hand as a weak icy-cold voice was transmitted over, "Hmph. This is that girl who slapped back then. You must help me vent my anger if you want me to give you a chance!"
The skin on Yao Sheng's face twitched. His eyes changed rapidly for awhile before finally throwing his dark and cold gaze onto Xiao Yan. Taking a slow step forward, he gave a superficial smile and said, "Xiao Yan, you should manage your woman properly. Otherwise, you might suffer a little more."
Yao Sheng's words were clearly targeted at Xiao Yan. Hence, the expressions of Wu Hao, Hu Jia, and the others behind Xiao Yan immediately changed after hearing this. Their gazes were looking at him furiously.
This provocative words that Yao Sheng had suddenly spoken also caused Liu Qing to frown slightly by the side. However, he did not say anything. He clearly understood that Yao Sheng was speaking out for the slap Liu Fei endured. As Liu Fei's older cousin brother, he was naturally unable to say anything.
Liu Qing gaze glanced at the calm face of Xun Er behind Xiao Yan. He appeared to have sensed something and his feet took a horizontal step to his left and once again protected Liu Fei behind him. He had witnessed Xun Er's ghost-like agility in the fighting arena back then. Hence, he did not dare to slight her too much now. He could perhaps say that he was caught off-guard if he allowed Liu Fei to be beaten once under his eyes. However, other people might form some doubts about his strength if this happened a second time.
Xiao Yan raised his eyelids. He eyed the dark, cold face of Yao Sheng and extended his hand to grab the delicate hand of Xun Er beside him. As he lifted his gaze to look at Yao Sheng, he said with a faint smile, "We are not allowed to fight here. I will help you get back at them when we meet in the competition." The smile had a coldness that was not hidden.
Xun Er's vaguely visible golden-colored glow was swiftly extinguished after being grabbed by Xiao Yan. She knit her eyebrows slightly, but did not say anything. All she did was take a step back as her intelligent eyes gently swept over Yao Sheng on the opposite side. Her slight smile also hid some icy coldness.
Seeing Xun Er withdraw, Liu Qing, whose Dou Qi was slowly flowing in his body, finally sighed in relief. However, his gaze was still focused on the quiet Xun Er. With his experience the last time around, he did not know when the latter would once again erupt and beat someone up.
"You are right. We will get back everything once we meet on the competition. Otherwise, some new students might well really rise to the heavens." Yao Sheng also darkly nodded under Xiao Yan's ice-cold smile. There was a rich amount of hatred in him.
"Alright, stop saying all this nonsense." Liu Qing, who had sensed that the atmosphere was becoming increasingly tense by the side frowned slightly. His deep voice broke the increasingly colder gaze of both parties. With a wave of his hand at Lin Xiuya and the rest, he immediately turned around and headed toward the seating area on the high platform.
"I want to see just what face you will have to arrogantly walking around the Inner Academy after the competition is over. It looks like those new people who don't know the rules must receive some vicious slaps before they know what rules are called." Yao Sheng left behind these harsh words with a soft voice and a cold smile when his dark, cold face passed by Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan's expression was so calm that there was not the slightest surge on it as he eyed Yao Sheng who had turned around and left. A cold smile slowly lifted on the corner of his mouth. Yao Sheng's repeated provocation had completely aroused the viciousness in his heart.
"Hopefully, you will not meet me in the competition. Otherwise, I am afraid that I will give you a fatal blow." Xiao Yan slowly twisted his head as he softly spoke in a manner that suggested nothing had happened.
"Kill him. That bastard is too arrogant." Wu Hao viciously waved his hand and scolded. Hu Jia at his side also continued to nod her head. It appeared that she was really unhappy at this sissy fellow.
"Ke ke, I didn't think that you had a grudge with this fellow." Lin Xiuya turned around and gave Xiao Yan a smile as he mockingly continued, "However, it is also not totally unexpected. Junior Xun Er slapped Liu Fei. In order to please her, Yao Sheng would naturally come and find trouble with you. Due to his status, it is difficult for him to make things difficult for a girl. Hence, he has shifted his resentment to you. From the looks of his expression earlier, it is likely that he will not hold anything back if you were to really meet him in the competition."
"You should be a little careful. That fellow's Dou Qi is a little unusual. He practices water affinity Dou Qi. It is rumored that he was accidentally bitten by a poisonous being called the 'Bone Eroding Dark Scorpion'. Not only did he not die because of it, but he had also accidentally merged the poison into his Dou Qi. When he fights with others, the poison collaborates with the lingering gentleness of the water affinity Dou Qi and quietly combines with his Dou Qi to penetrate the other party's body. If it is not expelled in time, that person will die within less than a day." Lin Xiuya laughingly said. It was not known whether it was intentional or not, but he had revealed all of the foundation of Yao Sheng in his words.
Xiao Yan nodded quietly. He cupped his hands toward Lin Xiuya and smiled as he said, "Thank you very much." Although Xiao Yan did not need to fear Yao Sheng's Dou Qi, that had merged with poison liquid, with the 'Green Lotus Core Flame' protecting his body, Xiao Yan would naturally accept Lin Xiuya's good intention.
"I also see that fellow as an eyesore. However, he usually behaves very satisfactory in front of me. Therefore, I cannot find an excuse to teach him a lesson. If you are really able to meet him in the competition, you can help me give him another punch in passing." Lin Xiuya spoke in a joking manner.
Xiao Yan smiled and nodded. However, he laughed coldly in his heart, "Won't he be let off too lightly if it is just ordinary physical pain?" One must viciously tear out a wound that was dripping with blood when faced with this kind of person with a cheap skin. Only then would he retain a fresh memory.
The atmosphere of the high platform had once again become vibrant once Liu Qing's group left. As time gradually flowed, the number of people on the high platform also increased. As he gazed down, Xiao Yan was a little surprised to find that those seats below were completely filled at this moment. The large black mass of human heads caused people's eyes to be dazzled.
An ancient 'gong' sound suddenly reverberated through the incomparably noisy stadium and it resounded without disappearing within the place. Under the sound of this 'gong', the noisiness also slowly declined until it finally completely disappeared.
The sound of the 'gong' quietly fell and a loud rushing wind sound suddenly appeared in the sky. Everyone raised their heads and they could merely see some vague figures that flashed and disappeared. Their gazes immediately lowered, only to see dozens of old human figures had unknowingly appeared in the special seats on a tall platform.
Xiao Yan's gaze swept across these old figures. Most of them were the familiar Elders within the academy. The black-robed, old man with the white beard and hair in the middle was surprisingly the First Elder, Su Qian.
"It is really unexpected that even he has made an appearance. It appears that the Inner Academy views this 'Strong Ranking' Grand Competition very seriously." Xiao Yan softly muttered.
Su Qian slowly walked forward. His hand appeared to virtually press on the air. The entire stadium immediately quieted until all that was left were numerous breathing sounds. His gaze slowly swept across the entire place before finally stopping on the body of a black-robed young man who was leaning on the guardrail. A faint smile spilled from his eyes. After which, an old low voice sounded beside the ears of everyone present.
"Those with a place on the 'Strong Ranking', please enter the arena!"
As Su Qian's voice fell, one could immediately see the human figures on the tall platform flashing and moving. Numerous human figures drew an arc through the air as they steadily landed in the arena. They raised their heads and observed the countless number of human heads around them. A wave of fiery fighting intent soared quietly.
The true Grand Competition was about to ensue!