Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
The ZhongTian Plaza was still filled with people. In order to get a good place to watch from, many had already rushed here since last night to snatch their spots.
This was the second actual day of the Heavenly Jewel Tournament. After the first round of the fight, the citizens and audience were really psyched up and excited.
The ZhongTian Officiating side did not try to collect any viewing fees, but they strictly restricted anyone from placing side bets, instead having a specialised official betting ground set up by the country. How many people were there in the ZhongTian City? At least ten million, and this betting ground definitely had a huge draw; not just to the ordinary citizens, but also to nobles and the rich. This was definitely the biggest betting spree in the ZhongTian Empire, happening every three years.
Furthermore, the ZhongTian Empire was pretty kind in that aspect. There was no betting allowed for the first round of the tournament. That was to allow the citizens to have a basic understanding of the teams in order to better place their bets. The first bet was from this second round onwards. As such, there were even more people here to watch as compared to the first round, the entire Plaza crowded, and even all the way to the heart of the city. In order to maintain safety, the officials had stationed several hundreds of soldiers all around to maintain order. There were almost three thousand betting stations spread around the entire ZhongTian City, allowing ease of access to place bets.
In fact, there were betting stations all around the ZhongTian Empire, not just in the ZhongTian City!
Zhou Weiqing, Lin TianAo, Crow and Ye Paopao left the inn very early. As soon as they knew that the betting stations were open, everyone unhesitatingly took out all their savings and placed a bet on themselves.
Today, the Fei Li Battle Team’s opponent was the Tiecheng Battle Team, and the odds on the Fei Li Battle Team was 1 to 1.3, and the odds on the Tiecheng Battle Team was 1 to 3. That was to say, if you bet ten gold coins on the Fei Li Battle Team and won, you would get back thirteen gold coins, with a profit of three; if you bet on the Tiecheng Battle Team and won, the return would be thirty gold coins, with a profit of twenty!
From a certain perspective, the difference in odds was also the perceived difference in the teams’ strengths.
Zhou Weiqing had sold all of his remaining Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls in order to scrounge out as much money as possible, managing to get four hundred thousand gold coins. That was the advantage of being a Consolidating Equipment Master; after a certain level he would never be lacking gold coins.
As compared to Zhou Weiqing, the rest were not so rich. Besides Ye Paopao, the rest of them added together had barely reached two hundred thousand gold coins. Of course, Ye Paopao, as the Premier’s son, had casually taken out five hundred thouand gold coins!
The competitors had their own betting station, right beside the tournament area, and they did not need to queue up like the rest of the citizens. The team members placed their bets and headed over to their resting house.
Ye Paopao said rather gloomily: “If I had known about the bet, I should have brought more money. I only brought five hundred thousand.”
Lin TianAo glanced at him speechlessly before finally saying: “You’re complaining that five hundred thousand is too little? I only brought twenty thousand gold coins, and that’s my life savings, most of which was all the prizes and awards that I had worked hard for from the academy. You nobles… the well fed truly do not know how the starving suffer.”
Zhou Weiqing did not place much thought on the bet. Although money was important, the tournament and the fight itself was now much more important to him. With a rare look of serious concentration, he said: “Today, I’ll be the first one to fight.” With his physique and recuperation rate, he had mostly recovered from his training, and in that time the swell on his face had also subsided.
Lin TianAo nodded and said: “Alright, you fight first, Crow second. Let’s look at the results of the first two fights first before we decide who to fight in the third round of 2v2. I’ll only be taking action if absolutely necessary.”
Zhou Weiqing asked: “Leader, how much have you recovered?”
Lin TianAo said: “I’ve recovered about eighty percent of my power. Although that day I was severely injured, I was still in better shape than Drunken Bao. Little Four was just exhausted, and he should also be recovering soon. Drunken Bao is probably at seventy percent, but Xiao Yan isn’t doing too well. After all, he had drained his life force quite severely, and he’s currently only at barely sixty percent. The next round, we’ll be facing the Bai Da Empire, and if possible we should try not to let him and Drunken Bao fight.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded in agreement before closing his eyes. Facing the fight in front of him, he was extremely calm, sitting there as if without a care in the world, not interested in the other fights starting out in front of him as he continued to immerse himself in the understanding of the Spatial Rend that he had been rewarded with after the two days of intense training. He was preparing himself for the fight ahead in his own way, bringing his status to maximum. No matter who his opponent was today, even if it was another five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master again, he would no longer retreat. He believed that Shangguan Tianyue would definitely send someone to monitor him and his progress, and he wanted to prove himself to his future father in law, that he had the power to marry Bing’er.
As a loud cheer arose from the audience, the second day of the Heavenly Jewel Tournament finally started.
Just like the first day, the first fights were all the seeded teams. Similarly, all their opponents chose to surrender without a fight once more.
During the preliminary heats, the official betting system had a unique method of dealing with the seeded teams. First of all, during this period, the team facing the seeded team had to decide if they wanted to surrender or not. Outsiders could only bet whether or not they would surrender or not, with a 1 to 2 odds. Of course, the attending team could not bet on this themselves; if they tried to profit from this, not only would they be disqualified from the tournament, they would also be blacklisted and no longer allowed in future tournaments. No Empire would risk such a result for a mere profit from a single betting round, let alone risk offending the ZhongTian Empire and possible worse repercussions.
Of course, if the team actually chose not to surrender, and to fight, the bet would change. The odds on the seeded team would be a mere 1 to 0.001, while the opposing team would be a 1 to 100 bet! That was to say, even if one bet on the seeded team and won, a thousand gold coins would only earn him a single gold coins. With such a rate, hardly anyone would choose to bet on them. In fact, many would even place a small amount on the non seeded team in such a case. After all, with a 1 to 100 odds, just a small bet could net them a tidy profit!
Of course, such a strange method of betting was only for the preliminary heats. Once the tournament entered the top eight, the odds would be rearranged accordingly.
The tournament continued steadily and fight after fight went on. The various teams and members were all the elite of their empires, and they all fought to their best efforts. From the first round up til now, not a single dark horse had appeared as the fights went on. BY the time it was time for the third group, and the Fei Li Battle Team to fight, it was already almost noon. It was also the last fight of the morning, and there would be a period of rest before the remaining fights resumed in the afternoon.
“Weiqing, it’s our turn.” Lin TianAo patted Zhou Weiqing on the shoulder.
Zhou Weiqing opened his eyes, standing up from his seat and stretching himself before heading to the stage.
Looking at his back, Lin TianAo suddenly felt a strange sensation. That day after Shangguan Bing’er had been taken away by her family, Zhou Weiqing seemed to have changed totally, especially in terms of his disposition. In the past, he had always been cheeky, mischievous even, treating things very light heartedly. Yet now, he seemed extremely solemn and steady. Amongst the entire team, Lin TianAo was perhaps the only one who truly knew how powerful Zhou Weiqing was. After all, he had seen Zhou Weiqing’s Alexandrite Cat’s Eye! Not only that, he had a God Tier Consolidated Equipment. Let alone three-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Masters, even four-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Masters would be hard pressed to defeat him. As long as he did not face a five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master, Zhou Weiqing had a high chance of winning. Of course, even against five-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Masters, the type Zhou Weiqing was afraid of the most was the defensive type ones like Lin TianAo; as the difference in Heavenly Energy was too great.
Zhou Weiqing walked slowly up the stage, and by the time he ascended, his opponent was already standing there.
“Fei Li Battle Team, Zhou Weiqing.”
“Tiecheng Battle Team, Lichuan.”
With the proclamation from the judge, the fight started.
Four Waxy Jade Physical Jewels appeared around wrist of the youth called Licheng. He was of medium build, looking about twenty or so of age. As soon as the judge’s shout to begin came out, he charged forward, as if sliding across the ground right towards Zhou Weiqing.
In the first day, Zhou Weiqing did not watch any other fights, but that did not mean that others did not watch his, or take notice of him. Although they had lost in the 2v2 fight, in the Tiecheng Battle Team, his contributions were not to be ignored though he was only of the three-Jeweled cultivation level. His archery had played an extremely important role as well. As such, as soon as Lichuan saw that his opponent was Zhou Weiqing, he did not hesitate and immediately decided to go for close combat. He was after all with the Flexibility Attribute, and he was best in close combat. Naturally, he would choose his strongest point, which he also thought was Zhou Weiqing’s weak point.
As he charged forward, Lichuan’s left hand also lifted up in Zhou Weiqing’s direction at the same time, and seven Wind Blades flew out towards him. In mid air, the Wind Blades actually split apart, like a flower splitting apart into separate petals, flying in seven different arcs as they sped towards Zhou Weiqing in tricky angles.
This was superb control over his Elemental Jewel Stored Skills, and to have such control, it showed that Lichuan had definitely spent much time and effort on this low level Skill.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were relatively weaker in terms of their Stored Skills and their control and usage of them. That was because in their time in the Heavenly Bow Unit, they had been focused on training with their archery. In the two years, they had learnt many amazing archery skills and assassination techniques. After all, none of the Heavenly Bow Unit members were Heavenly Jewel Masters, and in terms of Heavenly Jewel Master techniques, they were unable to give much teaching or advice.
If it were the Zhou Weiqing of three days ago, facing such an attack, he would probably have to use the Blink to dodge the Wind Blades, following with an attack, making use of his superior number and quality of skills to suppress the enemy, perhaps winning with his Control Skills.
However, the current Zhou Weiqing was no longer that Zhou Weiqing. The three days of learning and understanding had not just given him a much better understanding of the Spatial Rend Skill, but also in terms of control over skills.
In the next instant, his left hand drew a small circle in the air, and a dim flash of silver lit up, as a black circle enveloped in silver light appeared in his palm.
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