Chapter 18: Roast Fish
This deed of Bai Xun’s had really made A Lian very emotional. She knew precisely that Bai Xun was the most awesome fish in Dongze Lake, but in the end this Ninth Heavenly Pavilion had infinite knowledge. As a foreign fish, how could one’s talent be revealed so easily? A Lian suddenly recalled something. On the journey to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion, she had seen Bai Xun’s large figure, and did not dare to speak to him much, and also Bai Xun’s temper was taciturn. However,not speaking had helped her quite a bit.
Tian Luo also said, “This Bai Xun really is not bad.”
In the end, whether it was possible to remain in the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion would be seen after this. If left behind, even if a course had to be finished afterwards, one still had to return. How could it be said it was plated with gold, when the status was also different? If one lost, there was no choice but to stay behind, and that was a waste; whether there would be a chance three hundred years later to register to enter the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion again was entirely unknown.
A Lian squeezed the sign in her hand, and lightly nodded.
The competition was about to begin and the masters of the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion had also all came to watch and were sitting together. Finally a cheerful voice floated about. Two High Gods had arrived seated on a cloud; the sleeve of a robe flew past and they fell into the honoured seat.
The gentle and refined High God Xiao Bai attracted many blushing female disciples, but there was a seemingly even more attractive man wearing a white robe. High God Rong Lin calmly took a seat, and although his face was blank, however, for a split second, it caused all things under heaven and earth to be completely overshadowed.
A Lian had always known High God was good-looking, but now, he was aloof and remote, and she looked up from below. Today, she definitely could not help but sigh about the difference between the reaches of a cloud and the mud on the ground.
A Lian repeatedly looked up at him, then began to feel at ease while staying in Group E, still waiting to compete.
In total, a group had twelve people. Two groups of people carried out the first round of the competition, wearing Grade D’ on their backs, and were instantly eliminated. The winners were six ‘Grade C’ people; the six people then advanced to the second round, winning until they rose to ‘Grade B’. Then the final three winning people were tested again, and the winner was given a ‘Grade A’ sign.
A Lian naturally did not have excessive hopes of receiving a ‘Grade A’. She, as a foreign fish, even if she wanted to become an official disciple of heaven, could only do so as long as she won two rounds and received a ‘Grade B’.
However, in this Group E, there was a galaxy of talent. A Lian’s knowledge was included among these skills.
For example, the naturally delicate and petite young woman wearing a blue skirt, called Bai Xi, looked unremarkable, when actually she was a descendant of Bai Xi and Teng She.
After Pangu split heaven and earth apart, Nüwa used mud to make man, while at the same time long ago also made a snake god a house pet for herself. One was Bai Xi. While Bai Xi was female, the second, Teng She, was male. Afterwards, because Nüwa made heaven, there were not enough rainbow stones to use. Therefore, she used her body to mend heaven, and then Bai Xi and Teng She naturally followed Nüwa.
It was reasonable to say that Bai Xi, as a martyred orphan,who also had noble parentage, did not need to do the competition again, and was immediately accepted. However, Bai Xi had very subdued behavior.
Naturally, A Lian did not hope to go with Bai Xi.
She looked to the side again, then after awhile her heart suddenly thumped.
The man to her left side had a tall figure. He was twice as tall as Bai Xun from Dongze Lake, and seeing him full of muscle from head to toe, just the smallest part of his arm was about as thick as her waist.
This new disciple, Huo Zheng, came from the Mountain Zhang. Huo Zheng’s original form was a ferocious beast, with a large, fierce build, five tails and one horn, a howl that sounded like thunder splitting open a rock, that liked eating tigers and leopards.
Huo Zheng was an extremely talented new disciple. A Lian unexpectedly did not want to go with him.
The remaining few, even though they were also awesome, were not as good as Huo Zheng and Bai Xi.
Fortunately in her first round she had pretty good luck, and drew Hebang from Yunze Lake as an opponent.
A Lian suddenly relaxed in one breath.
Group E drew two unexpected people, Huo Zheng and Bai Xi. Hebang naturally was also like that. She had drawn A Lian aside to form a group and was somewhat happy at heart. She leaned to the side to look at the small silver carp, immediately relaxing with a breath, and instantly somewhat displeased, soon afterwards said, “Don’t be happy too early, I was carefully chosen to come from Yunze Lake. In regards to strength you are by far inferior to me. In this match I will not yield.”
Of course A Lian knew that Hebang was Yunze Lake’s elite, in regard to strength, she was also really not as good as her. How could it be said that there was still a bit of hope?
A Lian smiled and politely said, “En, I also will try very hard.”
Even though Hebang knew A Lian was not proficient at magic, that day’s competition was of great importance. Also she did not dare to lower her guard, therefore as soon as the competition began, they then exerted sufficient strength, closing in step by step.
Hebang had four hundred years of cultivation. This was one hundred years more than A Lian, and naturally she had not been unoccupied for nothing. Her magic was pretty good, and in the beginning held the win.
The competition took place on a floating stage, without a protective screen set up around it. If one fell from the round platform then they would be eliminated.
A Lian stood at the edge of the platform many times, on the verge of collapse, and caused the hearts of the people watching to be alarmed.
Rong Lin sat on the high platform above. Presently, his brows were pinched as he looked down at Group E’s circular platform.
Xiao Bai had a comfortable and relaxed appearance, and glancing towards Rong Lin, said, “This small fish demon really has improved. It seems your tutelage this month was pretty good, but it’s a pity her foundation is lacking. This Hebang is from Yunze Lake’s aristocratic family, and naturally her parents had no difficulty giving everything to help instruct. This match, is it not supposed to be easily won?”
Be that as it may, Xiao Bai did not say it was impossible to win.
In fact it really was this way. Even though A Lian’s foundation was lacking, however, her tenaciousness and endurance were not overlooked, annoying Hebang precisely because she would not fall down from the platform.
Hebang was also anxious, and unable to help changing back to her original form, the clamshell opened a small crack, firmly holding A Lian’s arm inside, trying to throw her out.
Rong Lin frowned, and slightly indignant, said, “Hebang is also very boorish.”
Fortunately this was the final.match,and A Lian won dangerously.
Although Hebang had fallen off of the platform, A Lian, standing above the circular platform, also had an injured arm.
After a while, Tian Luo, barely winning her match ran over, lifting her sleeve and seeing both sides of A Lian’s arms freshly dripping with blood, becoming extremely distressed. She simultaneously wiped medicine on her while saying, “What made you fight as if your life depended on it?”
A Lian smiled and said, “If not by staking everything, how would I be able to beat Hebang?”
That was true. Tian Luo was not at all Hebang’s match, and this time A Lian had unexpectedly beaten Hebang; it really was extremely amazing.
A Lian again said, “I did not anticipate you preparing ointment.”
Finished applying the ointment, Tian Luo carefully placed her sleeve down, then meeting her eyes said, “How could I possibly think of this… ah? Here—” she lifted her hand to indicate to Bai Xun close by, “he gave it to me just now.”
A Lian turned her head, and saw Bai Xun just climbing onto the high platform.
Xiao Zao and Bai Xun were in the middle of battling, and Tian Luo was preparing. A Lian stroked the ointment, touching her arm, and immediately felt that it was not as sore, and prepared to begin the second round of the competition.
The wait until the time to draw the second round’s bamboo stick was finished. However, A Lian had recovered for a long time.
She saw the figure of Huo Zheng, who was three times larger than her, holding a bamboo stick the same colour as hers.
The first round, and her opponent was unexpectedly Huo Zheng!
A Lian tightly squeezed the bamboo stick in her hand, subconsciously looking towards the high platform, and thinking of that aloof and remote High God. A Lian was also afraid for a split second, but after a moment let go and became relaxed, preparing to meet the enemy head on.
In regards to strength, Huo Zheng and Bai Xi were the most tremendous in Group E, and by a rough calculation Huo Zheng was still superior to Bai Xi.
Being with the one who was the strongest in Group E, the ‘Grade B’ sign was not easy to obtain.
Before starting the battle, Huo Zheng gazed at the delicate, petite young woman in front of him, then with the air of a nobleman, tenderly said, “I do not want to hurt you, you should step down on your own.”
Huo Zheng naturally had the power of a god, a fierce temperament, entirely much more powerful than A Lian. It was practically a certainty that A Lian would not win.
But how could A Lian give up? After going through great difficulties to come here, as long as she beat him she could stay at the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion immediately..
“Big brother Huo Zheng, let us begin,” A Lian said.
Huo Zheng smiled at her, then understood, and after a moment no longer asked any more. Then he immediately began the competition.
Compared to Hebang just now, A Lian only then profoundly realized, just how different the strength was with Huo Zheng. Huo Zheng’s strength was so great, apart from her dodging, there was no alternative, and also he had only just begun to exert brute force, and his figure was even more especially agile.
On the other side, Xiao Zao had already smoothly won the second round, and did not have the slightest damage. Even though it was as expected, Xiao Bai was still in a joyful mood, and immediately turned to Rong Lin and said, “You seem to want to keep this small fish demon, but her route really isn’t the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion.”
The outcome of the battle was already very clear, Xiao Bai saw the small fish demon’s obstinate temper. She would continue once more, in addition to getting injured again and again, but the outcome would not change at all.
Several moves later, A Lian’s physical strength was already exhausted. Then finally Huo Zheng swept out an arm, and his power rose steeply into the sky, immediately making A Lian return to her original form.
Rong Lin raised his head to gaze at the small fish demon’s repeatedly falling fishtail, his eyebrows pinched tightly, and suddenly got up.
Xiao Bai warningly said,“Rong Lin, you must not be impulsive.”
Beaten back to her original appearance, A Lian was certainly losing this match without a doubt.
And then Huo Zheng saw her lying on her stomach, firmly holding on to the edge of the circular platform, unwilling to fall off. He then opened his mouth and shot flames towards her.
Huo Zheng also did not have any other intention, only wanting to make her aware of the difficulties and retreat to avoid defeat, and then fall down.
But even though she did not expect that spray of raging flames, there were not dodged because that small fish demon did not want to fall down, and was still firmly fastened to the circular platform, stubbornly pushing and wanting to get up.
Having won her match, Tian Luo sobbed while watching the scene. Sniffing, she said, “This foolish fish; I can already smell the fragrance of a roasted fish. What is she still trying to do? Hurriedly come.down, ah!”
The fish fragrance was overflowing, as the tail of the small silver carp above the circular platform was already covered with a large burnt area.
Then after Huo Zheng swept his leg at her, the small silver carp in human form with a fishtail, fell straight down with a “bang* into the water below.
Droplets splashed in all directions, then a tense voice was heard—
“This match, Huo Zheng is the victor.”
As expected, when Xiao Bai turned his head, he saw an empty seat behind him, and suddenly a smile lightly pulled the corner of his mouth.
At the side of the Blue Wave pond, A Lian embraced Rong Lin’s neck, and was embraced around the middle by him as he walked to the center of the pond. She bent her head to look at her burnt fishtail, powerlessly hanging down, then meeting Rong Lin’s eyes, said, “High God, I cannot stay at the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion.”
She had lost her second match, and did not get the ‘Grade B’ sign. In that case, she did not have the qualifications to stay in the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion.
Rong Lin released her onto a big stone at the side of the pond, and holding her fishtail, slowly immersed it into the water, seeming as though he hadn’t heard her, then asked, “Still able to move?”
The burnt fishtail lightly swayed below the water, still fairly flexible.
“Here’s no problem,” A Lian said.
Rong Lin looked at her. “So, still want to stay?”
A Lian thought. Large black and white eyes met his, then she nodded and said, “En, I want to be a little closer to High God.”
Rong Lin thought, then didn’t have much to ask. He looked towards her fishtail in the water, then lifted his hand and lightly stroked her waist.
A Lian saw her own silver fishtail emerge a moment later. That originally burnt and ruined fishtail had unexpectedly began to heal slowly, returning to its former undamaged appearance. How could it be said? A Lian was a young woman. The extent to which young women loved beauty, they as fish were such also, that in their eyes, their fishtail was even more important than their face.
Therefore A Lian happily swung her tail, and said, “Good!”
In the end, the honorable matchless High God’s face was splashed, and Rong Lin closed his eyes. A Lian saw, and hurriedly tensed with an exclamation. Quickly holding her face, she blinked her large guilt-ridden eyes and said, “Sorry, I’m sorry.”
She then lifted her hand, and absentmindedly wiped it for him.
Rong Lin gave a small hmph, but did not reproach her again.
He slowly got up, mien graceful and matchless, then glancing down at her said, “Come, follow me.”
A Lian hurriedly changed back into human form, and stood up, stamping her feet. When they were a little bit less sore, she then asked, “High God, which place are we going to?”
High God’s looks were matchless as he walked away, and he did not turn his head to look at her, but indifferently said, “I’m carrying you to go to the backdoor.”
That afternoon when the competition had already finished, Xiao Zao was smoothly received to the Grade As, and Tian Luo also bumpily increased to the Grade Bs. In short, they were all able to smoothly continue staying in the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion. As for Bai Xun, switching groups did not adversely affect his performance, and he also officially became an official new Ninth Heavenly Pavilion disciple.
A Lian saw Bai Xun’s name on top of the list of names, and relaxing in one breath said, “Very good.”
Rong Lin frowned, urging her onwards.
“Coming,” said A Lian, and hurriedly followed High God’s steps, following him so that they could go and see High God Xiao Bai together.
Xiao Bai saw the two of them enter. Retaining a slightly smiling expression, he saw that she did not appear to have the slightest damage. He also had a tacitly mutual understanding, however speaking neither too fast nor too slow said, “This small fish demon really went beyond my expectations, but she lost to Huo Zheng, and had no alternative but to get a ‘Grade C’ in the martial arts exam; everyone at the scene saw it…”
He looked towards Rong Lin, and said, “If the backdoor is entered this time, I’m afraid it would be somewhat hard to convince the masses.”
“In that case—I must leave?” Rong Lin said.
Xiao Bai laughed. He had a very youthful laugh; his originally bright, eminent and matchless face, when laughing, changed to a warm youthful manner. He thought, then said, “It’s not that there is no way.”
Rong Lin glanced at him, indicating he should continue speaking.
Xiao Bai then said, “The threshold for foreigners to come to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion’s doorstep is high. It requires that these people two get two Grade Bs, but towards people from heaven it is not high… So as long as A Lian registers as a young woman from a heavenly household, even if she got a Grade C in the martial arts exam today, it is logical that she would be qualified to attend school too.”