Tan Zhongchi looked at the other seven people and said: "You seven, including Qin Wushuang, must participate in the preliminary round. Of course, in the first round, there won’t be any seeded competitors and everyone won’t have a huge gap in strength. Whether you can advance, it will depend on the draw and your performance on site."
Tan Zhongchi looked at Qin Wushuang especially and smiled: "Wushuang, you just advanced, perhaps you don’t understand some rules. I will explain it to you today. You are the victor from the Advanced exam and you placed number one among the five transition spots. Naturally, the five spots will be swapped with the last five from the Core ranking. Per the rules, your rank will naturally become ninety-two. It is the highest place among the five people. Of course, this rank will not affect you. For the duels, this ranking is your serial number. However, the organization of the duel is not decided by numbers, but by the draw. Thus, before the result of the duel comes out, none of you will know your opponent. It’s possible that two disciples from the same sect would end up fighting each other."
After a moment of thinking, Qin Wushuang nodded seriously to show that he had digested this information.
"After the first round, the thirty-two people that won will be placed into a draw with the top thirty two from the last year and fight in pairs. Then, we would decide this year’s top thirty-two people. Next, it would be the third, the fourth round… until a victor is produced." Tan Zhongchi explained in great detail, "When the top sixteen has been decided, any movements within the ranking will be determined by the duels. And for people that placed after the top sixteen, they will be ranked based on their previous results through each disqualification. For example, the thirty-two people that are disqualified in the first round would be ranked by their exam results of this year. From sixty-five to ninety-six, that would be the ranking for the first thirty-two people that lost. Correspondingly, the thirty-two people that lose in the second round will also be placed according to their exam results and receive a place from thirty-three to sixty-four. The people that lose in the third round would be placed in between seventeen to thirty-two…"
"This way, you understand?" Tan Zhongchi asked.
Qin Wushuang nodded: "Yes."
Tan Zhongchi said: "Thus, you must use all your effort in the first three rounds. It is just in case you lose in the first three rounds, your ranking would be affected since you are placed at ninety-two. It is not a favourable place for you. Once you’ve passed the first three rounds and entered the top sixteen, then it would be much easier. The slightest change within this ranking would be decided through duels. Even the ranking of fifteen and sixteen would need to get determined by the duel! And it will not influence your ranking!"
"Yes, I understand." Up to this point, Qin Wushuang had thoroughly got to know the rules.
In the end, these rules could only bind those lower ranking Core disciples. To elite existence such as Wei Yi and Zhou Fu, they would not need to worry about this problem at all.
Naturally, Qin Wushuang would not have the same mentality of a lesser person. Regarding the strength of the younger generation in the Stargaze Palace, he had already witnessed the best five from the five Palaces during the gambling competition. Besides Wei Yi, who had surpassed everyone else, Senior Sister Zhou Fu was most likely the strongest. Qin Wushuang would not lose to any other disciples from the other Palaces.
Tan Zhongchi glanced across each person’s face and said in a low voice: "I must speak a bit more. It’s impossible to cheat during the lottery process. Among you guys, if an unfortunate event such as two disciples from the same Palace are matched up, you guys can compete for win and losses. However, you must never break your relationship with your fellow disciples. Regardless of who is stronger and weaker, strength will prove it all. All of you must not hold a personal grudge, understand?"
When Tan Zhongchi spoke, these disciples would treat his words as the iron rule. In fact, it had happened last year regarding how disciples from the same Palace met in the duel.
He had spoke a bit more about it for Qin Wushuang. After all, Qin Wushuang had just came. If he had encountered the situation in which he met with a Senior Brother from the same Palace, most likely the Senior Brother would hold a personal grudge since he had lost his reputation after getting defeated.
Thus, Tan Zhongchi spoke the words to prevent such misfortunes from happening.
After giving them all reminders, Tan Zhongchi smiled warmly and encouraged them: "Each of you, don’t feel too much pressure. The year-end exam happens every year and so does the Core ranking competition. The gain and loss of the year will not count much. Initially, this ranking competition had a large portion that depended on luck. For us seniors, we would never look at a disciple based on one or two year’s ranking competition result. We would use ten or twenty years of results as a reference to make judgement."
Although such method to reduce pressure was not new, it was honest. During one ranking competition, due to bad luck from the lottery, some disciples would lose their chances to reach a higher ranking.
Sometimes, when one had the strength to go for the top sixteen, they would face the same misfortune when they met one of the seeded warrior ranked in the top three.
Thus, when the Stargaze Palace judged disciples, they would look at many years of ranking and not just one or two. This way, it would help to prevent some random or unfortunate occurrence.
"That said, as long as you fight with everything you’ve got, I am not looking only at the grades. I do have a goal, but that goal is mine. It will depend on everyone’s efforts and not just individuals. As long as you pour in everything you’ve got, reaching the goal or not would become a less important matter."
Indeed, Tan Zhongchi treated his lines of disciples with kindness. Whereas the other Palaces, especially the line of the Third Palace Master, had given strict quotas to his disciples. If one could not attain it, most likely they would receive punishment.
At this time, Zhou Fu also stepped out to relieve the pressure: "Everyone, our teacher’s intention is clear. To all of us from the Green Cloud, as long as we pour in everything we’ve got, the gain and loss of the results would not matter much. In order for the Green Cloud to prosper and to become stronger and to contribute more to the Stargaze, we need everyone to work together. Just don’t place too much burden on your own shoulders. Enjoy the competition."
When one was at Zhou Fu’s position, she did not carry much burden. Unless she encountered some unfortunate luck and met Wei Yi, the strongest. Or else, she would be guaranteed to be in the top three.
Now, she was even more curious about how far the newest Junior Brother, Wushuang, would go. Would he be able to get into the top sixteen, or even the top ten?
Apparently, their teacher expected Junior Brother Wushuang to go for the top ten.
However, even that Senior Brother Wei Yi did not achieve such accomplishment when he had become a Core. He was only able to reach a rank of eleventh.
If Junior Brother Wushuang could enter the top ten, it would be another record!
After they had finished, Qin Wushuang remembered his promise with Yan Feng. He had some rare free time today so he decided to honor his promise.
Apparently, that Yan Feng had wanted to become friends with Qin Wushuang intentionally. After some observation, Qin Wushuang felt that Yan Feng had a strong sense of morals and was a dependable person. Naturally, he was happy to make friends with him. In the future, he would surely have some places to use him.
During the Advanced disciple exam, Yan Feng had gotten a good rank of thirty-two. It had increased his momentum at his teacher’s place. After all, there were about thirty Upper Sky disciples among the Advanced. Naturally, it was a good grade for him to have achieved the rank of thirty-two.
Qin Wushuang know that for sure, this Yan Feng would wander around the five Palaces and was waiting for him to find him.
When he thought here, Qin Wushuang marched towards the additional competition. Of course, the competition was set up before the main square.
Before Qin Wushuang had arrived, he saw Yan Feng’s figure from the distance. Although Yan Feng was watching the competition, he appeared distracted. Apparently, he was still dwelling on his promise with Qin Wushuang.
He wanted to find Qin Wushuang at the Green Cloud Palace and feared that people would drive him out for his low status. While he worried about his personal gains and losses, someone tapped his shoulder. He looked back and saw Qin Wushuangs standing right before him.
"Brother Qin, when did you arrive?"
"Just now, come with me!"
Qin Wushuang led the way and brought Yan Feng to a remote corner. He made sure that no one was around him and took out two prepared pills.
"One body-sculpting pill and one Upper Sky Initial Stage pill at the supreme quality." With a solemn expression, Qin Wushuang said, "Yan Feng, this gold pill is not easy to get, you must treasure it."
When he heard the word "Supreme quality of the Upper Sky pill," Yan Feng could not help but swallow some saliva. He could not believe what he had heard. Earlier, he had only wished to acquire an Upper Sky Initial pill and would be satisfied to have a chance to dash into the Upper Sky.
He never dared to dream that he would be getting a supreme quality Upper Sky Initial Pill. Such pill consisted of all five basic attributes. Once he were to consume it, not only would he definitely enter the Upper Sky, he would also have an abundance of Qi and increase his potential as a martial artist.
In the Stargaze Palace, those disciples who consumed the pill to enter the Upper Sky would lose their eligibility to become a Core. However, the supreme quality pill was an exception!
The effects of a supreme Initial Stage pill would be even better than an Upper Sky who had made into the stage themselves.
Overjoyed, Yan Feng’s right hand trembled as he took the gold pill.
"Don’t be excited, just consume it to prevent other accidents. After you have consumed it , return to your teacher’s place and absorb it well. In three month, you will enter the Upper Sky. Remember, don’t rush! The training of the Upper Sky emphasizes on a steady progress over time.
In his former world, Qin Wushuang had suffered such loss as he knew the secrets beneath these types of pills. Thus, he spoke these words of caution.
Yan Feng shed tears of gratitude as he nodded. He said with a sobbing voice: "Brother Qin, we never met before and you are treating me so well. In the future, my life is yours. Even my teacher had never treated me like you! I…"
Qin Wushuang waved his hand: "No need to show your gratitude now, don’t tell anyone about our relationship either."
"Yes. Brother Qin, I will get going now!" Yan Feng was full of gratitude as he waved his hand and said goodbye with regret, "Qin, I will not be able to cheer for you at the Core ranking competition. I firmly believe that with your strength, you will enter the top ten!"
"Go." Qin Wushuang smiled lightly and told Yan Feng to go.