Chapter 24: The First
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Shortly afterward, the sergeants who had gone to count the number of savage beasts that were hunted down in King Mount arrived back in the Royal Coliseum.
The burly general, clad in silver kylin armor, handed over the booklet containing the results of the assessment to the Yunwu Commandery Prince.
He accepted the booklet from the general and took a quick glance at the results. His eyes were drawn to a name at top of the list. Gradually, a glimmer of a smile formed on his face. He said, “Ge Qian, why don’t you announce the results of the King Mount Hunting Assessment this year? The first place warrior will be awarded a ‘Heavy Bow’!” The Yunwu Commandery Prince then passed the booklet to Ge Qian.
When the young warriors in the Coliseum heard that the prize for the winner of the second assessment would be a “Heavy Bow”, they became excited.
The Heavy Bow was classified as a Fourth Class Genuine Martial Arms, worth more than 10,000 silver coins.
To a young warrior, getting a Fourth Class Genuine Martial Arm was an honor. In fact, the Heavy Bow meant a lot more than just a valuable weapon. When the Yunwu Commandery Prince was young, he had won the King Mount Hunting Assessment and had been awarded a Heavy Bow.
Who was going to be the winner of the King Mount Hunting Assessment?
The kylin armor-clad general opened the booklet in his hand. He looked at the warriors in the Coliseum and said, “43 warriors participated in the King Mount Hunting this year. Two of them died and nine failed the assessment. 32 warriors successfully hunted down a savage beast.”
The general announced the ranking starting from the bottom. “Ranking 32nd, Situ Hai of the Situs. He hunted down an inferior-class level-one savage beast, a Lightning Rabbit.”
“Ranking 14th, the Sixth Prince, Zhang Mi, hunted four inferior-class level-one savage beasts: three Brute Bulls and one Lightning Rabbit.”
The Sixth Prince frowned after hearing his result. He thought hunting down four inferior-class level-one savage beasts would put him in the top 10. He looked disappointed.
“I never expected it would be so competitive this year!” the Sixth Prince said while looking at Zhang Ruochen. All of a sudden, the disappointment left his face. Rather, he had a hint of a smile.
The Sixth Prince looked down on Zhang Ruochen, just as everyone else did. He believed that Zhang Ruochen was one of the nine warriors who had failed the assessment.
Harassing Zhang Ruochen always made him feel better. He knew there was at least one person in the Royal Family who ranked lower than him.
The general continued, “Ranking 10th, Lin Tianwu of the Lins hunted down five inferior-class level-one savage beasts: four Brute Bulls and one Lightning Rabbit.”
Brute Bulls and Lightning Rabbits were both savage beasts of the inferior-class level-one. Yet, the results obtained by hunting down either Brute Bulls or Lightning Rabbits was certainly different.
The general went on, “Ranking ninth, Gu Li from the Gus captured five Brute Bulls.”
“Ranking eighth, Bai Wanli from the Bais. He hunted down six Brute Bulls, five of which were killed with Thunder Arrows. The sixth was killed by a martial technique from the Bais–the ‘Slaughter Fist’. It is a mid-class martial technique of the Human Stage.”
“Ranking seventh, Lin Ningshan, also of the Lins, captured one savage beast of the medium-class level-one and four from the inferior-class level-one.”
Lin Ningshan was quite satisfied after hearing her result. After all, she was only 15 years old and this was her first time joining King Mount Hunt. Her results fully demonstrated her talent.
She held her head up high and looked down on Zhang Ruochen, just like the Sixth Prince Zhang Mi had. “This is the first time for both of us to participate in the King Mount Hunt. Yet, he didn’t hunt down any savage beasts. This is the difference between us!” she thought arrogantly.
Lin Ningshan’s performance definitely impressed the crowd. People started whispering, “The daughter of Lin Fengxian is absolutely outstanding! She hunted down a savage beast of the medium-class level-one at the age of 15! How talented! She is going to have a wonderful future!”
“Give her two more years of practice, I’m sure no one will be able to compete with her in the Year-end Assessment!”
“Whoa!” Suddenly, there was a gasp of amazement outside the Coliseum.
Some of the warriors looked disdainful, such as Situ Linjiang, the number one genius of the Situs, as well as the Fifth Prince, and Xue Kai.
All three of these warriors had cultivated to the Final State of the Yellow Realm, which was the most powerful skill level. All of them were competitive enough to be the hotshot winner.
“Ranking sixth, Xue Hongqin from the Minister’s Mansion hunted down two savage beasts of the medium-class level-one.”
“Ranking fifth, Luo Cheng from Zhennan General Mansion. He hunted two medium-class level-one savage beasts and one inferior-class level-one beast.”
“Ranking fourth, Xue Kai, also from the Minister’s Mansion, captured three medium-class level-one savage beasts and two inferior-class level-one beasts.”
Xue Kai was quiet and vacant when he heard his result. He could not believe he did not make it into the top three.
He thought he would have been first or second.
“This is absolutely miserable!” said Xue Kai, with a cold-blooded look in his eyes and his fists firmly clenched.
The Fifth Prince and Situ Linjiang smiled grimly when they heard Xue Kai only came in fourth. They knew the chances of either one of them winning the prize were higher since their strong competitor was not even in the top three. Yet, their smiles soon froze.
“Ranking third, the Fifth Prince Zhang Min hunted down four medium-class level-one savage beasts and one inferior-class level-one beast.”
“Ranking second, Situ Linjiang from the Situs hunted five savage beasts of the medium-class level-one.”
“Ranking first, and the winner of King Mount Hunt is… the Ninth Prince, Zhang Ruochen! He hunted down one savage beast from the superior-class level-one and two from the medium-class level-one.”
After the announcement of the top three of the competition, every single person in the Royal Coliseum was completely shocked and speechless. They all stared at Zhang Ruochen. They could not believe that he had beaten all of the strongest warriors in the commandery capital.
Within a second, the whole Royal Coliseum became a cacophony.
“Oh my God! The Ninth Prince hunted down a superior-class level-one savage beast!”
“You know, every single one of the savage beasts of the superior-class level-one is as powerful as the highest of the Yellow Realm warriors. He has just reached the Dawn State of the Yellow Realm. How did he manage to do that?”
“This is amazing! In just three months’ time, his prowess has enabled him to hunt a savage beast of superior-class level-one! How incredible is this?”
In the Royal Coliseum, a lot of people were stunned and bewildered.
In the last 10 years of Year-end Assessments, only the Seventh Prince was able to hunt down a savage beast of superior-class level-one. Now, the Ninth Price had become the first warrior to capture down a superior-class savage beast in a decade.
The Yunwu Commandery Prince was ecstatic. “Ge Qian, get me the Heavy Bow now. I want to hand it over to my ninth son myself!” he said, overjoyed.
Zhang Ruochen walked out among all 43 warriors and said, “Hunting down the superior-class level-one savage beast wasn’t just my work. The Ninth Commandery Princess and I both hunted it down together. I can’t take all the credit.”
The Ninth Commandery Princess also walked out and stood next to Zhang Ruochen. She added, “Father, I would not have made it through the King Mount Hunt without the help of my ninth brother. He saved me from the savage beast’s claws! In fact, I didn’t help much when he killed that superior-class savage beast!”
“Haha! My ninth son, who should I give the Heavy Bow to? You tell me!” The Yunwu Commandery Prince was even more pleased when he saw Zhang Ruochen and Zhang Yuxi were both humble.
Zhang Ruochen responded, “Father, please give the Heavy Bow to my ninth sister. I’m good at fighting with a sword, not a bow. I may not be able to fully master it.”
Zhang Ruochen did not wait for his father’s approval. He grabbed the Heavy Bow and handed it to the Ninth Commandery Princess.
“Ruochen… why…?” The Ninth Commandery Princess was completely flattered.
Although she really wanted the Heavy Bow, deep down in her heart she knew that the bow did not belong to her.
Zhang Ruochen casually replied, “You deserve it! Without your help, I wouldn’t have been able to kill the Green-Fire Deer. Besides, we still have to fight in the Martial Arts competition. If I win the competition, the prizes will be even better!”
“Well… if you insist! When it comes to the Martial Arts competition, you have to put forth all your effort to win! With your ability, I’m sure you will easily go into the top five.” The Ninth Commandery Princess received the Heavy Bow joyfully. She gently stroked the black bow with her tiny, soft hands. Words could not express how pleased she was.
Zhang Ruochen had good reasons to give the Heavy Bow to the Ninth Commandery Princess. First, she was there to help when he killed the Green-Fire Deer.
Also, he wanted to befriend the Ninth Commandery Princess and turn her into an ally. Zhang Ruochen and Concubine Lin were isolated in the palace. Even though he had demonstrated some of his power, the distance between the real warriors and himself was still too great.
Having an ally would surely improve their position.
The third round was the Martial Arts competition.
Only warriors who had successfully hunted down savage beasts were eligible to enter the third round of assessments.
The top five competitors would receive a huge prize—they would be allowed access to the Savage God’s Pool for skill practice.
The winner’s rewards would be even better.
Therefore, every warrior who entered the third-round was extremely fixated on the Martial Arts competition.
The Fifth Prince groaned and said, “My Ninth Brother, you are definitely mysterious! Let’s see who is the best in the drill ground!”
Zhang Ruochen responded courteously, “If I do come across you in the drill ground, I’m afraid we will have to fight.”
Zhang Ruochen felt someone’s eyes on him. He looked up and saw Lin Ningshan standing far away.
Lin Ningshan was certainly beautiful. Her delicate features, glistening red lips, slender body, and long slim legs always stood out in a crowd.
She had not anticipated the speed with which Zhang Ruochen’s skill would rise in just three months. He was even able to kill a superior-class level-one Green-Fire Deer. Although she was one of the people who looked down on Zhang Ruochen, she respected what he had achieved so far.
Yet, she had reached the realm of “Sword Following the Heart” and attained the Low Class of Spiritual sword technique. If she had to fight against Zhang Ruochen in the drill ground, she was confident that she would defeat him.
Those who finished in the top 10 of the King Mount Hunting Assessment would enjoy the advantage of skipping the preliminary contest and going directly to the second round.
The other 22 warriors would need to fight against each other head-to-head, and the top six competitors would enter the final. Altogether, 16 warriors would compete in the second round.
After four hours, the preliminary contest had finally come to an end. Six warriors, including the Sixth Prince and the Ninth Commandery Princess, had made their way to the next round!
The six winners, along with the top 10 in the King Mount Hunting Assessment, proceeded to the next round.
“Without further ado, the final tournament now begins! Round one, the Ninth Commandery Princess, Zhang Yuxi, versus Lin Ningshan of the Lins,” said the armor-clad general.
No one expected that the first round would be a battle between the “Two Beauties in Yunwu City”. It definitely intensified the entire competition. Everyone in the Coliseum was longing to watch this fight.