Chapter 72: Provocation
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
The moment Zhang Ruochen jumped off the Blood-feathered Eagle, the first thing that came into sight was the four big characters carved on the cliff to the south of the White Stone Square, "Drill Ground of Western Yard".
Each character was around seven meters tall and was carved deeply into the stone wall, with a strong Sword Comprehension.
It seemed as if these characters were carved by a top warrior with his sword.
"The Sword Comprehension of that warrior must have reached the Heart Integrated into Sword Realm then." Zhang Ruochen thought to himself.
Zhang Ruochen had just entered the Advanced Stage of the Sword Following the Mind Realm. Only if he progressed into a higher realm could he reach the Heart Integrated into Sword Realm.
Reaching that realm was no easy task, even some powerful warriors of the Heaven Realm could not make it.
In other words, if the Sword Comprehensive of a Heaven Realm warrior could reach the Heart Integrated into Sword Realm, he must be among the top-tier Heaven Realm warriors.
"Is this what Yunwu Commandery have for the entrance exam of the School of the Martial Market this year?" A disharmonious voice rang out.
A handsome young man came into sight. Seeing Zhang Ruochen, Liu Chengfeng, Zi Qian and other young warriors from Yunwu Commandery, he sneered.
A sturdy-looking warrior from Yunwu Commandery was irritated by his comment. The man sank his voice and said, "What do you mean?"
That spirited young man laughed and said, "I'm Shen Mengxi from Square Commandery. No offense, but I think the young warriors of Yunwu Commandery are getting worse every year."
"What did you say?"
Hearing those words, the Yunwu Commandery's young warriors all grimaced and crowded around him.
Shen Mengxi's expression remained calm and unaffected. He said with a smile, "Am I wrong? It's true that young warriors of Yunwu Commandery are getting worse and worse every year. Last year, there were at least 100 students joined the exam. Now, only 60 of you are here, which is less than one-tenth of that of our Square Commandery. Ha-ha!"
The strong and sturdy young warrior from earlier snorted coldly and said, "How dare you insult our Yunwu Commandery's young warriors. I'll challenge you and beat you down with my own hands."
"Great! If you can take three hits from me, I'll take back what I've just said." Shen Mengxi laughed.
"Three hits? How dare you belittle me like that. You'll regret such attitude!"
With a loud roar, the Genuine Qi in the sturdy young warrior's body ran fast and surged into his arms through his meridians.
Within seconds, his arms turned scarlet, emitting a faint heat wave.
Making his hands into a fist, the sturdy young warrior charged forward and gave a punch. Loud cracking sounds could be heard as the air hissed under the pressure of his punch.
A young warrior's expression flickered briefly before saying, "Jiang Heng had reached the Initial Stage of the Black Realm three years ago. His Genuine Qi is certainly strong. Plus, his practice of Fire-dragon Fist had reached the Small Success Realm. He can totally fight more than 10 rounds against warriors who have reached the Mid Stage of the Black Realm."
That strong and sturdy young warrior was Jiang Heng.
It must be noted that all the young warriors who joined the exam of the School of the Martial Market were under the age of 30. Therefore, the cultivations of 70 percent of the warriors were in the Initial Stage of the Black Realm. As for the remaining 30 percent, almost all of them were in the Mid Stage of the Black Realm.
Only a very few young warriors were in the Advanced Stage and the Dawn State of the Black Realm.
Among the Yunwu Commandery's 67 warriors, there was only one warrior who had reached the Advanced Stage of the Black Realm and one for the Dawn State of the Black Realm.
That young warrior who had reached the Dawn State of the Black Realm was Zi Qian.
The other warrior of the Advanced Stage of the Earth Realm was already 29 years old and had nearly no chance to be a student of the School of the Martial Market. Since he was too old, it was impossible for him to reach the Earth Realm before turning 30.
If the external students of the school could not reach the Earth Realm before 30, they would not be able to continue their practice in the School of the Martial Market.
Shen Mengxi of Square Commandery had also reached the Initial Stage of the Black Realm. But surprisingly, he was stronger than Jiang Heng in terms of battle prowess.
He waved his arms and released a sword-like Genuine Qi blow which landed directly on Jiang Heng's chest.
Jiang Heng let out a scream. He was sent flying backward and fell to the ground with a loud thud.
His chest was cut by the Genuine Qi blow, leaving a three-meter-long wound. Two of his meridians had been broken. Crimson blood continuously gushed forth from the fresh wound.
Jiang Heng was badly hurt by just one hit. He surely could not continue the exam tomorrow.
"Haha! A good warrior from the young generation of Yunwu Commandery couldn't even take one of my hits. That's so disappointing!" Shen Mengxi laughed and said.
The Square Commandery's young warriors all laughed after seeing the Yunwu Commandery's young warrior was easily beaten down by Shen Mengxi with just one strike.
"Only three Yunwu Commandery's warriors made it to the School of the Martial Market last year. I'm afraid there will be none for this year."
"With Shen Mengxi's strength, perhaps he can defeat everyone in Yunwu Commandery."
"If this continues, Yunwu Commandery will be taken over by Square Commandery very soon. Haha."
Zhang Ruochen walked over to Jiang Heng, took out a Saint Stone Pill and gave it to him.
The Saint Stone Pill was a Second Class healing pill with a rather strong medical potency. Although it could not help Jiang Heng to regain the two damaged meridians, it could heal his external injury quickly. As long as the meridians were not completely broken, they could still be repaired.
After taking the Saint Stone Pill, Jiang Heng's pale complexion turned better with a hint of red. He said gratefully, "Thank you so much, Ninth Prince."
"Not a problem. It's just a pill." Zhang Ruochen gave a faint smile and helped him to his feet.
"The Ninth Prince? It's surprising to see a prince among the Yunwu Commandery's candidates this year. That's great!"
Shen Mengxi's eyes lit up the moment he heard Jiang Heng's words. He turned to look at Zhang Ruochen and said, "I've heard about the 'Innate Skills', the treasure of Yunwu Commandery. Since the Ninth Prince reaches the Black Realm at such a young age, you must have practiced the 'Innate Skills'. Do you mind showing me a little bit?"
Seeing that Shen Mengxi was ready to provoke Zhang Ruochen, the Elder Xie, who was standing at the edge of the drill ground of Western Yard, frowned and wanted to stop him.
After all, Zhang Ruochen was the prince of Yunwu Commandery. His status was much higher than Jiang Heng. If he was wounded badly before the exam, the School of the Martial Market would have to take full responsibility.
Elder Situ stopped Elder Xie. "These young men are learning from each other by exchanging their martial techniques. Why should we intervene?" He smiled and said in a casual tone.
Elder Situ was the receptionist for the Square Commandery's candidates. He was in a good relationship with Square Commandery; of course, he would defend them.
The more Square Commandery's young warriors enrolled in the School of the Martial Market, the more rewards the receptionist could get from the School.
Therefore, every exam of the School of the Martial Market was not only a competition among candidates from different commanderies but also a competition among each receptionist.
Elder Xie was displeased and said, "He is the Yunwu Commandery's prince. If something bad happens to him, do you think they will just let it go?"
"Elder Xie, you worry too much. Nothing will go wrong. If it did happen, I would take the responsibility. How about that?" Elder Situ laughed and said.
Elder Xie snorted coldly and stepped back.
Elder Xie did not want to offend Elder Situ because his cultivation was one realm higher. Since Elder Situ had said that he would take the responsibility if anything bad happened, Elder Xie would certainly do him this favor.
"The Yunwu Commandery's young warriors are indeed too weak. I'm afraid no one can be Shen Mengxi's opponent." Elder Xie took a quick glance at Zhang Ruochen and shook his head.
"Reaching the Black Realm at the age of 16, he is definitely gifted. But he is too young to compete with Shen Mengxi. He is going to lose."
"Since Shen Mengxi knew his status, I think he won't make it too hard for him. He would just defeat and humiliate him so as to bring down the confidence of the Yunwu Commandery's young warriors." Elder Xie thought and sighed again.
Having heard that Shen Mengxi had asked Zhang Ruochen to exchange techniques, the young warriors of Square Commandery all laughed. They believed Shen Mengxi was undoubtedly going to win.
Prince Huo Xing of Square Commandery, who was standing in the center of the drill with his hands folded behind his back, laughed and said, "Shen Mengxi, if you can defeat the Ninth Prince of Yunwu Commandery within three strikes, I will reward you with a Genuine Martial Arm."
"Why three? I need just one."
Shen Mengxi wanted to perform well in front of Prince Huo Xing. He fixed his gaze on Zhang Ruochen again, smiled, and said, "Ninth Prince, I believe you've heard it. If I defeat you within three strikes, I can get a Genuine Martial Arm. So, I will be fighting with all my strength later. If I ever offend you..."
Zhang Ruochen interrupted Shen Mengxi and said, "Shen Mengxi, I'm afraid you misunderstood the situation. I've never said I'd fight with you."
Shen Mengxi was briefly stunned before he realized something. Sneering to himself, he thought, "This Ninth Prince surely knows when to yield. He must be afraid of my powerful cultivation after witnessing the fight from earlier. That's why he rejects my challenge. Well, how can I let you go?"
Before Shen Mengxi could continue, Zhang Ruochen added on and said, "It's not even exam yet. You've wounded the Yunwu Commandery's warrior, you have to pay for his medical expenses. I won't blackmail you. 30 thousand silver coins as compensation for Jiang Heng, and I will let it slide!"
It was a reasonable price. Zhang Ruochen asked neither more nor less.
Shen Mengxi was stunned again.
"Is the Ninth Prince joking with me?"
All the Square Commandery's young warriors burst into laughter. They looked at Zhang Ruochen as if they were looking at a fool. The Ninth Prince was too naive.
Liu Chengfeng stepped out and scolded him in a loud voice. "Shen Mengxi! The Ninth Prince asked you to take out 30,000 silver coins as compensation. Will you do it or not? If you don't, do believe I will break your legs."
30,000 silver coins were all Shen Mengxi had. How could he take them all out?
Shen Mengxi knew that Liu Chengfeng was once a Warrior of Yellow Board. He knew that he himself could not defeat him. So, he turned to Zhang Ruochen again and said as he sneered, "The Yunwu Commandery prince turns out to be a coward. He doesn't even have the courage to fight with me. That's a huge embarrassment to the Yunwu Commandery Prince."
Zhang Ruochen frowned slightly.
Liu Chengfeng smiled faintly and said, "Shen Mengxi, aren't you too shameless? You think too highly of yourself. You'll surely lose even if we were to fight. If so, how dare you challenge the Ninth Prince?"
Shen Mengxi said in a sarcastic tone, "Great! If the Ninth Prince can defeat me, I will immediately give 30,000 silver coins to the Yunwu Commandery's wounded warrior as well as apologize to him. If the Ninth Prince loses, well, how can the strong say sorry to the weak? Doesn't everyone agree with me?"
"Shen Mengxi's right. The strong should never say sorry to the weak."
"If the Ninth Prince doesn't even have the courage to fight, he should go back to the Yunwu Commandery Palace and suckle! Haha!"
All the Square Commandery's warriors jeered and mocked Zhang Ruochen in order to provoke him to accept the challenge. If Shen Mengxi really did beat the crap out of the Yunwu Commandery's Ninth Prince, it would surely be an interesting show to watch.
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