Chapter 5: Blind Competition
It was a universal truth that feelings alone could not withstand an empty stomach.
When he recovered from his daze, Ai Hui suddenly realized that he had not eaten for the entire day and was immediately toppled down by an immense hunger.
Supported by the walls, he walked out with weak limbs.
One could not function properly on an empty stomach, and the panic caused by hunger was too reasonable.
After walking not too far out of the alley, he saw a noodle shop, and nearly crawled while dashing in.
“Owner, gimme some noodles!”
As he ate the bowl of noodles, Ai Hui’s strength slowly recovered. When he was about to pay the bill, his eyes nearly became round: “How… how much?”
“One hundred fifty yuan, thank you for your patronage,” said the Owner.
“One… one hundred fifty yuan?” It was as if Ai Hui had heard something inconceivable. He looked at the noodle shop’s owner, his expression had changed as a murderous aura surfaced. Young people were never little darlings that had good tempers when they were cheated.
“New student?” The owner knitted his his brows. This was not the first time this kind of thing occurred. He helplessly pointed at the wooden signboard: “The price is written right there, we don’t cheat neither the young or old. The Induction Ground’s prices are much more expensive than those from Old Earth.”
Ai Hui’s line of sight followed the owner’s fingertips and saw the price written on the wooden board on the wall as a sense of foreboding rose in his heart.
The owner was probably speaking the truth…
Ai Hui walked out of the noodle shop with an ashen face. He now understood why there hasn’t even been a single person who had accepted the commission to watch over the training hall for over ten years. Every month’s reward was only 4,500. Barely enough to eat? Who the heck taught that old commissioner math? Come out right now!
One bowl a day. After rubbing his belly, he felt that the noodles he had just eaten was barely there. Ai Hui’s eyes darkened when he thought about his following livelihood. Even though he had grand feelings upon entering the Induction Ground that it would definitely help him become a powerful elementalist who grasped his own destiny, he never expected that the Induction ground itself would strike the first blow onto his feelings.
Forget about training, he couldn’t even eat his fullest!
The night wind blew until his little heart had gone cold.
No, I need to think of a way to earn money!
Ai Hui, who had been gloomy for five seconds, lifted his spirits once more. It was not solely an issue about eating his fill, money and cultivating elemental energy were closely related. During that period of time when he was in the Savage Territories, the reason why he followed those elementalists was to hunt savage beasts.
A savage beast’s skin, flesh, muscles, and bones were all treasures.
Their bones and tendons could be refined into weapons. A savage beast’s hide could be made into armor, and most of their blood could be made into elemental medicine. A savage beast’s flesh could be made into elemental food.
The so called elemental food, are foodstuffs that contain an abundance of elemental energy; they were very beneficial to an elementalist’s training.
The elemental system was a continuation of the true cultivation system. The huge and meticulous true cultivation system directly influenced the current elemental system, and one could see a shadow of true cultivation within the elemental system.
Ai Hui was no longer an ignorant youth since long ago. He was extremely clear that if he wanted to obtain a large amount of power, he could not rely on closed-door cultivation to do so.
As soon as the night lamps activated, the lights travelled and brilliantly lit the Interpine City. New students who formed groups while traveling could be found everywhere and were extremely lively. New students didn’t have that many worries. Armed with the excitement of entering the Induction Ground that had not waned, they were brimming with hope for the future.
It was unknown whether or not Ai Hui’s sudden, lowered distress was caused by the influence of the surrounding new students’ cheers and laughter.
He stuck both his hands in his pockets and leisurely walked under the brilliant lights. He looked at the crowd and the surging mist under the lightning while thinking that the streets filled with the tempting fragrance of culinary delicacies were quite pleasing. To him, this was a particular sensation. Even though he was always automatically on alert at all times, being within this bustling atmosphere and brightness in the human world loosened the taut string in his brain by a little.
He just randomly walked on the streets in this way, without destination.
Suddenly, his gaze was attracted by a sign.
“Blind Competition! Persevere for five minutes and take away 50,000 yuan!”
Both of Ai Hui’s eyes swiftly flashed with light, like a hungry wolf that had found prey. It was not known when, but the hands he stuck in his pockets were somehow already rubbing his belly and subconsciously stroking it.
He wasn’t too full…
How many bowls of noodles were in fifty thousand? He didn’t seem to be able to calculate that. Why did he feel like he was hungry again?
Before he had time to finish thinking about it, both his legs had already stepped forward involuntarily.
His body was always this honest…
Shi Clan Training Hall.
The lobby’s door was pushed open, and a tall, cool girl strided in. She was wearing a black overcoat and a hat that almost covered her entire face. The young woman casually removed her black overcoat and handed it over to the middle aged person behind her as she asked: “Blind competition? This idea is quite amusing, I like!”
“As long as it pleases you, my lady.” The middle aged person promptly bent over to take the overcoat: “My lady, we have received word from the clan, saying that you can come over at anytime to check out the situation. There aren’t really any experts in Interpine City, most of them are all new students, so I don’t know whether thinking up such a method would be of use.”
“You didn’t announce my name right?” The young lady crossed her beautiful slender legs as she raised the fruit juice she was holding in hand, and slowly drank. Her long hair trailed over her shoulders, and her face was flawlessly perfect. She had an exquisite oval face, starry eyes, and along with a trace of arrogance, an expression that brimmed with self-confidence. This gave her an imposing aura that would intimidate others. In fact, even as she sat on the sofa, she would emit a strong oppressive air.
“No!” The middle aged person hurriedly replied: “If I announce Lady Xueman’s name, who would dare to come? Your name is just too frightening. For the blind competition, we’ve even prepared eyeless masks to prevent anyone from recognizing you.”
“Looks like you guys have thought about this for a while, thanks for the trouble.” Shi Xueman revealed a satisfied face: “Tell everyone that they’ll receive three months of wages as a reward.”
As the most well known person in the Induction Ground, as well as a beauty, she was always the center of attention anywhere she went. It wasn’t that she disliked the attention; she was a intelligent person, and understood when to keep a low profile in order to have some quiet.
Power was the true absolute. This was what she had been taught since childhood.
“Thank you my lady.” The middle aged person hastily thanked her as a trace of happiness involuntarily leaked through his eyes. To them, while three months of wages was not a small sum of money, the most important thing was their lady’s praise. Making an impression on the lady would bring in many benefits in the future.
Shi Xueman continued to ask: “How many people have signed up?”
“Already twenty three people.” As soon as the middle aged man’s voice fell, he suddenly slanted his head and continued: “Twenty four people, someone signed up just a moment ago. We didn’t set up a registration fee due to our hopes of getting more people to participate. It’s just that the time we had to organize this was too short, so we didn’t have enough time to publicize it.”
“That’s enough. Looks like I can exercise a bit tonight.” Shi Xueman raised her brows as she chuckled softly. Suddenly, she withdrew her smile: “How long until it begins?”
“It’s at 8:30, there are still fifteen minutes.” The middle aged man replied. He couldn’t help but remind her: “My lady, you’ll have to hold back a bit. I’d reckon most are new students, if you injure them, I’m afraid it’ll bring some trouble.”
“Don’t worry.” Shi Xueman nodded: “I’m wearing a suppression bracelet.”
The middle aged man let out a breath of relief. What he was the most afraid of was his lady injuring the new students. It was fine if they were middle aged, the Induction Ground wouldn’t really care, but the Induction Ground paid careful attention to their new students. The suppression bracelet was capable of suppressing an elementalist’s level. When he thought about it again, he realized that he was truly overthinking it.
With the lady’s genius level elemental cultivation, how harsh was she on herself? How could she possibly come all the way here just to bully a few newbies?
“You may leave, I have to make preparations.” Shi Xueman commanded.
“Yes!” The middle aged man bowed, and then withdrew from the lobby.
Shi Xueman restrained the smile on her face while trying to maintain a serious expression. Even though she came to Interpine City with her grandfather to visit a friend, she had no intention of relaxing. Before she had even left, she had already notified her clan’s branch training hall in Interpine City that she was probably going to go there to train.
She didn’t expect that the Interpine City’s branch training hall would be original enough to arrange a blind competition.
She had never fought in a blind competition before.
When she wore the suppression bracelet, there was barely any difference between her strength and a new student’s strength, so it would test her skills even more. Also, under the blind competition’s environment, she herself didn’t even know how much strength she could display.
But she was never afraid of unknown challenges, instead, this made her feel somewhat excited, and even a bit eager.
It had been a long time since she had felt such excitement. She started to sort out her own combat clothes, and used a red rope to tie up her long hair, exposing her beautiful snow-white neck. Her actions were not fast and her expression was solemn, making one feel that she was a meticulous person.
After putting on the mask, the world before her became a field of darkness.
The unfamiliar darkness slightly moved the waves in her heart.
She closed her eyes, slowly adjusted her breathing, and carefully sensed her dark surroundings. It wasn’t known if it was because of the darkness, but the world had become even more quiet. The sounds that she had usually neglected had appeared like fish that quietly surfaced from the depths of the ocean. Her sense of touch had become more sensitive and had perhaps expanded, for she could not help but slightly tremble because of the minute stream of air that flitted past her.
This was a completely new world, a world that she had never experienced before.
A world that made her incomparably excited. Suddenly, she had a feeling that if she was able to master this strange world, she would definitely be able to break through her current realm.
Time had slowly passed by as she carefully experienced this quiet and strange world.
“The Blind Competition is about to begin, you still have three minutes to prepare. The survival battle within the Blind Competition will only last for five minutes. The last competitor who is able to continue on after five minutes is able to obtain 50,000 yuan of reward money. In order to make it even more realistic, the stage is already filled with the harmless and tasteless Ink Night Smoke. It would influence everyone’s vision, and is capable of perfectly imitating a dark night. In order to prevent unnecessary injuries, this survival competition shall be fought without weapons. Everyone please put on your protective equipment and masks. After one minute, the survival competition shall promptly begin.”
Shi Xueman suddenly stood up and walked out of the lobby, towards the direction of the door to the scrimmage.
She took measured steps, and just happened to stop a moment before her mask hit the door.
She quietly waited, like a perfect sculpture crafted within the hands of an artist.
“The Blind Competition is about to begin, the countdown shall now commence: Ten, nine, eight…”
Shi Xueman remained motionless.
“Three, two, one! Battle start!”
The door in front of her immediately slid open.
Shi Xueman walked onto the arena without the slightest hesitation. The moment she walked on the arena, the glimmer of light that she originally could see had completely disappeared. It seemed as if she was within a deep, pure darkness.
The Ink Night Smoke was well worthy of its name!
Shi Xueman secretly praised.
The Ink Night Smoke was an unusually obscure poisonous smoke. Wood elementalists who knew how to create it were few in number. It was extremely expensive but its effects were quite remarkable. Shi Xueman’s recent accustomation to the darkness had immediately been smashed.
It was at this moment that a sudden ominous feeling birthed in her heart.