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"T-This... what just happened?" asked one of the audience, his face showing that look of utter disbelief.
In fact, every single one of the crowd here could not dare to believe what they had just saw to be real!
It was only just a moment ago that they were celebrating and congratulating each other, but what is this?
How did things turn out as such?!
"I-Impossible! All 10 of the contestants were slapped senseless!"
"T-this is the epitome of defeat! To be defeated by a mere single slap from him, just how strong could he be to be able to do this?!"
Indeed, the power level that Duan Li had just displayed to them was something that could be described as above heaven-shattering!
To only require a single slap to lay waste onto his opponent, this was just too terrifying and tyrannical!
"I-I think I just saw a glimpse of the future.. where this person stood unwavering upon a tall mountain made up of unconscious people, each had a red palm print planted firmly onto their cheeks.. an eternal palm print that one would never be able to erase.." an elderly senior whom had stucked at his cultivation for decades spoke out.
"Great elder senior Mu Bai! What do you mean?" the people around him turned towards this elderly man with sweats on their forehead. Mu Bai was known to have a slight foresight ability to vividly 'see' the future. Because of this, he was deeply respected among the student's populace even though his cultivation could no longer advance.
Swallowing a mouthful of saliva, his face was pale and his goatee beard trembled, he spoke out a single sentence with quivering lips and hoarse voice that had the people around him feeling goose bumps as their hearts tightened with trepidation!
"A single slap to rule the world!"
(Author's note: Remember LOTR? xD)
Back on the platform, the two seniors could finally move their body albeit with some difficulties, as the lightning element was still present running amok inside their body.
"T-To think.. that we were all beaten by you.. like this.. hais!" Wu Jin sighed out.
"My intuition had long thought of you as someone that was far from ordinary.. but even that seemed like an understatement now.. such ability.. you should already be considered as the strongest among the junior now.. the Junior Emperor!" Dong Jinghai spoke out as he shook his head, still unable to wrap his head around the whole events that had just transpired.
It felt like a dream for him.
"Junior Emperor? What do you mean?" Duan Li asked out.
Dong Jinghai then explained to Duan Li that there were three strongest figure in the whole academy among the students - the Junior Emperor, Sophomore Emperor and the Senior Emperor!
Each Emperor were recognized by their collective groups of students and had tremendous amount of influences and power!
"Perhaps, other than the Sophomore Emperor, there would be no one even among the sophomores who could beat you!" Dong Jinghai continued.
Hearing this, Duan Li cupped at his chin.
There is still someome who could rival me at the pinnacle stage of the Foundation establishment realm?
"What about the Senior Emperor?" Duan Li asked out.
"That guy.. he is the strongest student in the academy. Standing at the pinnacle stage of the Core formation realm, he could have very well step into the Golden Core realm a few years ago." Dong Jinghai said as he looked above at the ceiling with his hands clasped behind his back, as if peering right through it and into the clouds.
"Ahh, this pose is similar to that of the Principal.." thought Duan Li subconsciously.
Why do these people loved to pose like this?
Dong Jinghai then continued, "But instead of graduating from the academy by stepping into the Golden core realm, he choses to further reinforce his cultivation thoroughly instead. All of this was done in order to step into that mythical realm, a limbo between Golden Core realm and Nascent Soul realm.. the Celestial core realm!"
Hearing this, Duan Li's eyes slightly narrowed. His mind suddenly jittered for a moment as a section of a memory was unlocked from its depth.
Celestial Core realm!
This was a state stronger than a Golden core realm but slightly weaker than the Nascent Soul realm. Much about it remained only a myth, but Duan Li knew that this state existed!
"What is this memory? Why does it feels so different?" said Duan Li as he pressed against the temple besides his forehead.
"Are you okay?" Dong Jinghai asked as Duan Li's face suddenly paled for a bit.
Smiling, Duan Li shook his head, "It's nothing."
By the side, Wu Jin approached them.
"That weapon of yours is really something, I myself got some good protection against attribute and elemental attacks. Yet, I somehow still got paralysed by that great-axe of yours." Wu Jin complimented as he recalled that great-axe.
Soon after, all of the contestants began to woke up one after another. With confused expression, they would ask the others on what happened, seeming to be unable to recall that they were all being beaten senseless by one guy before!
To think that Duan Li's slaps were so vicious that they even lost a part of their memories, how tragic!
Wu Jin and Dong Jinghai shook their heads as they sighed, "How pitiful.. it was no wonder that he dared to challenge the 10 of us so wantonly, it turns out that he has the capabilities after all.." they said to each other.
After being explained by the two seniors, these victims of slaps eventually remembered their final moments.
Each of them began to look at Duan Li with a trace of fear in them.
How could it be possible for an individual such as them that was formidable in their own rights being slapped to a knockout in just one single hit?
But the reality was there to enlighten them on the truths. That this fella in front of them was just that formidable!
Gritting at their teeths, it took them some time to eventually accept such an outcome. As they sighed out, their gazes now has a different look to it, as if looking past the secular world and was being enlightened, for their horizons were now widened!
Slaps, the most powerful form of an attack!
It was at this moment, that the grand dao of slaps has started to take a foothold onto the Tian continent!
After the platform was cleaned up and reverse magic was used, they returned back to their default state. Duan Li's stage where he and his followers currently stood on were moved atop of the platform.
Right now, Duan Li was sitting atop of his throne akin to that of a daimyo as Shen Lu stepped to the front.
In front of this stage, about a meter lower at ground level, stood the whole 20 contestants from the previous Duel matches.
"For your marvelous display in today's event, let us have everyone here from the audience side to give them a round of applause for their spectacular talent!" Shen Lu spoke out with his excellent MC-ing skills and voice.
Clap! Clap! Clap!
The audience broke out into a series of loud claps and cheers. Although some of the battles were not what they expected it to be, especially that final round where everyone was getting slapped, they still enjoyed it nevertheless.
"Now, without further ado, let us allow the Lord, Duan Li, to make his final verdict, of the 5 individuals among the 20 contestants here that would be selected to become his followers!" Shen Lu shouted out as the audience clapped and cheered once more.
Shen Lu stepped back to return to his position besides Duan Li.
With one palm raised into the air, the audience soon became quiet. They knew that Duan Li was about to speak and they wanted to listen to him carefully. Moreover, they were very afraid of getting slapped at by that vicious palm of his!
"I've seen all your matches and even joined one match in the end to experience personally everyone's potential here." Duan Li said, his voice carrying a certain unique disposition of dominance, compelling others to listen to him.
"Regretfully, out of the 20 of you, only 5 would be chosen. This is because I have reached the maximum number of party members that I am allowed to recruit for the moment. Until I reached the 2 Star rank Lord class however, I hope everyone here would apply again once more." Duan Li sighed.
According to the rules of the academy, an unranked Lord class would only be allowed to have no more than 10 party members including the Lord. At 1 Star rank, the maximum limit would still be the same, and only at 2 Star rank would this quota be increased by another 5 people.
"Since I interfered in the final round, naturally there was no champion at all. But since we are talking about followers here, the Champion should be an individual that had contributed a lot as a team during that final round!"
Hearing this, the crowd nodded in satisfaction.
So this was another reason why he decided to interfere in that final round!
"Thus, I chose Xu Rong that had displayed her powerful supportive capabilities in that final round as the Champion. Fei Longwei, are you okay with this?" said Duan Li as he turned towards the latter.
"I am fine with it, as it is as what you have just said." replied Fei Longwei, his face showing no trace of dissatisfaction with the result.
"Very good. With that, I chose her and you to be my follower. For you, it is because of your Dark arts that was quite versatile I my opinion. If used correctly in a group fight, our defenses should become impenetrable!" Duan Li declared.
"Thank you, Lord Duan Li! We will do our best and try not to disappoint you! We hereby pledge to be your followers from henceforth!" they both cupped at their fists together at Duan Li, acknowledging him as their Lord from now on.
Duan Li nodded. Now that two has been selected, only three slots were available left!
The crowds clamored and discussed among themselves.
"As expected, Xu Rong and Fei Longwei were accepted as his followers. Who do you think he would choose next?"
"I would think perhaps one of the seniors? Or maybe those twins?"
Each of them conjectured on whom would be chosen next based on their thoughts and evaluation of the contestant's previous matches.