"The fifth round has ended! As per the discussions between the Grand Elder and the other elders, the groups that have not lost even one of their matches will be gven a secondary reward. It sall be decided and given at the end of the tournament."
Elder Xiang announced this, reading off of a paper. Upon this piece of news, Ming Yue and everyone in her group was delighted. An additional reward on top of the resources they would already get!
"This will also mark the end of the second day! Tomorrow will be the sixth and seventh round and it is single combat. There will of course be a special rule implemented. Until then, rest, recover, and prepare for the next day!"
He finished his speech and exited, allowing everyone to leave. Those still on the arenas were sent out, the marking on them glowed. It flooded their bodies with a curative energy, healing whatever injury they had sustained.
As everyone left, the many participants within the tournament felt that they have gained much in these group battles and needed to reflect. This applied to Ming Yue especially as she rarely used a few of her techniques, especially against other cultivators.
Anqing and Xukun met up with her, congratulating her about the four victories. At the same time, they had a little chat about what special rule would be put in place. Though, everyone thought about this, wondering what would be used.
"Maybe they'll put in another Ivory Asura Puppet."
"They could also be changing the terrain."
"Perhaps the participants will be put under restrictions."
In the end, there was no point in thinking and trying to deduce it. Some returned to their rooms, others traveled to the field to practice. Ming Yue returned to her room where Xiao Yin and Hei Yue were waiting.
"I hope you two weren't too worried about me."
She spoke softly to them, running her hands through Hei Yue's fur. With her little index finger, she rubbed Xiao Yin's chin and petted her forehead. She spent an hour pampering them and took this time to relax.
The two beasts quite enjoyed the treatment, so much so, that they fell asleep.
Ming Yue took her hands away and sat on her bed, meditating the night away. She recalled her four fights, spotting ways to improve and diversify her techniques. She found inadequacies in them, flaws that needed to be fixed. One night wasn't enough to achieve all of this but it was enough for her to identify what needed to be fixed.
On another part of the Institution, Li Baojun had a sullen expression, sitting out in the Saber Hall. The Saber Elder looked at him and shook his head before walking up. He had a few rough features on his face and exuded an overbearing aura. His eyes were incredibly sharp but now they showed nothing but disappointment.
"You were too brash in using the final technique of the Absolute Saber Manual. You used a technique that you have yet to master. Losing is something that is bound to happen and yet you tried so hard to avoid it. Now your saber is no more. How will you fight in the comin rounds?"
He lectured him only to be responded with nothing. Li Baojun just stared into empty space with the handle of his broken saber. The Saber Elder shook his head once more before tossing a saber towards Li Baojun.
"As an Elite Disciple, you should have some integrity. Take this saber, it is of a similar quality of the Jade Emperor Saber. I hope that you will be smart next time."
He left him alone with the undrawn saber at his feet. Li Baojun's eyes moved, looking at the saber before holding it in his hands. His eyes glossed over it before looking back at his broken saber. His mind returned to Ming Yue.* The moment she broke the "Absolute Saber" and the instant what remained of his saber shattered, leaving nothing but the handle in his hands.
"What kind of weapon does she have?"
He focused on her sword. It looked ordinary but as he dwelled on it, he remembered seeing a slight glow from the gems. The more he thought, the more he realized that it was no ordinary weapon.
"That must be it! Her weapon is the reason!"
The more he thought of it, the more sure he would become.
"Without it, she is nothing! Without that sword, I would have been victorious."
In his maddened state, he attributed his loss to Ming Yue's sword. He no longer thought of his defeat and began to plan for the next rounds. But the Saber Elder overheard his words and shook his hands.
"Such a poor excuse, this could have been a good thing for him but now, he has squandered it", he spoke to himself, knowing that there was no point in convincing Li Baojun otherwise.
As the sun rose, she opened her eyes with a refreshed and clear expression. It was the third day of the tournament and she returned to the coliseum.
As everyone was arrived, the third day officially began.
This time it was different person, a tall and slender woman with a light brown hair. She was dressed in a white and blue robe and her hair was left down. The length of it reached down below her back. She was calm and collected, resembling that of a bureaucrat or administrator. Everything about her was formal.
Ming Yue had never seen her before but the others recognized her easily.
"It's the Disciplinary Elder! It's very for her to make an appearance."
"Doesn't she oversee the Heaven's Skyguard? Don't tell me they actually exist?"
"What do you mean? Obviously, you haven't been here for a long time. The Heaven's Skyguard is meant to keep the peace of the city and the Institution. However, who would dare to make trouble here? Not even the elders dare to do so!"
"Then what do they even do?"
Within this discussion between two disciples, the veteran disciple's voice went quiet as he whispered his words.
"I hear that they go on missions now. Half of the force had been sent to the Demon Continent to deal with that Demonic Warlord Kong Zhi. Ever since, he reappeared, his army had been pushing back on the combined forces of the hundreds of kingdoms and sovereignties. People say that Kong Zhi obtained some treasures or ancient legacies and his strength has multiplied."
Ming Yue was a bit surprised by this news. She didn't realize that the Demon Continent was in such a state. There wasn't much information about the Demon Continent and even less news as to this war. There could be a time where she might make her way there.
But there were more pressing matters right now.
The Disciplinary Elder stood above everyone, looking down and waiting for everyone to come in. When time came and the doors closed, she announced the start of the third day.
"Welcome to the third day of the Heavenly Gate Tournament! On this day we shall have the sixth and seventh round of single combat. Here your matches will be randomly chosen and arranged for you. There is only one fight per round for each person. Is that clear?"
Her voice was clear and commanding. It was deep and seemed to wake everyone. After this quick pause, she continued.
"Of course, Elder Xiang spoke of a special rule that will be placed. This rule is rather simple. In these two battles, should you lose one of them, you will be eliminated from the tournament. It does not matter if you lose the first or the second fight, once you lose, you will be eliminated. Each of the ten arenas will have an administrator to watch. They will also announce who will be fighting who and when. That is all."
Then she vanished, transforming into a cloud.
Everyone was surprised, many looked at each other. People began to murmur. This sort of rule added pressure to everyone. If they lose, they would be out of the tournament. More than that, it would cut their numbers down by an incredible amount. Out of 2400 of them, only six hundred would be able to advance to the final three rounds.
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