Everyone who knew the emperor was headed north knew that he was rather impatient.
Moreover, because they knew that this was a conflict in opinion between the academy and the emperor, the academy’s side didn’t dare stall for time. As such, that day, Tong Wei didn’t continue training Lin Xi and Bian Linghan until they were completely spent out of fear that they won’t be in their optimal conditions with the competition imminent.
However, Lin Xi wasn’t in a hurry to return to Self Defense Department Freshman Dormitory. Instead, using the excuse of searching for a place to calmly meditate, deepen his insight towards the wind and humidity of this world, he found a mountain that was even higher, climbing his way up.
“This place should be just about five hundred and fifty steps, right?”
When he climbed up to a cliff that was close to the summit, while catching his breath, he looked down into the wilderness below, unable to hold back a mutter of praise.
It really was quite high, quite far.
The exclaim of admiration in Lin Xi’s voice was at his own archery skills.
In this world full of powerful cultivators, his current archery skill might not be especially astonishing, but compared to the past modern world he was familiar with, there might not be anyone whose arrows were more accurate than his own, especially when using this type of ordinary standard longbow.
The variables involved in accurately hitting a target were no longer limited to just the minute effects of the bowstring and his own body’s trembling when the arrow was released, it was already no longer just how to perceive and exploit the flow of wind between these mountains, how to adapt to humidity, the deviation caused by gravity when the arrow fell… even his own sight became a great limitation.
Under such a great distance, the small human height tree below the mountains, was only a small dot.
Fortunately, as one cultivated soul force, the natural constitution of a cultivator’s body would also increase. Lin Xi’s current eyesight was already substantially improved compared to when he had just left Deerwood Town, or else, while looking down from this mountain, even this small tree wouldn’t be visible, let alone taking aim and landing a shot.
Lin Xi casually removed a leaf, throwing it outwards. He then took a deep breath, reaching out with his hand, sensing the flow of the mountain winds.
Then, he chose a small tree below him as the target, removed the black longbow on his back, and then added an arrow in an extremely practiced manner. He slowly breathed in and breathed out, after adjusting himself to the calmest state possible, he released an arrow into the sky.
A black arc appeared in the skies above. First, it was as if a new strand of mountain breeze was added to this world, and then this arrow’s speed became faster and faster, creating more and more air streams, a faintly discernible white-colored blast of air appearing in its surroundings.
Every single arrow Lin Xi used already had its arrowhead and tail feathers carefully modified. There were deep and shallow grooves made in the arrowheads, the tail feathers made tougher through tree resin. The unique grooves in the arrowhead made it so that when the arrow flew quickly through the air, it would start to spin fiercely, this type of rotation increasing the penetrative force of the arrow.
According to what Tong Wei said, there were many types of arrows made specially for cultivators. This type of modified arrow was precisely a simple version of the Cloud Piercing Iron Arrow.
The entire arrow shaft of the Cloud Piercing Iron Arrow was made of a tough and strong steel alloy, the veined patterns and precise weight allocation not only making the rotation while falling even greater, the degree of precision would also become much higher.
Theoretically speaking, if he could hit a target with this type of simple modified arrow, in the future, when he used the Cloud Piercing Iron Arrow, it would naturally be even more accurate.
The simple and crude version was still the simple and crude version in the end, and Lin Xi’s archery hadn’t reached that type of heaven-defying level yet. As this arrow tore through the air, screaming as it fell, even though it shattered endless grass and leaves, the wind making the grass and leaves form a green whirlwind, it still landed more than twenty meters from the small tree Lin Xi aimed at.
“This arrow was shot by Bian Linghan.”
Lin Xi carefully watched the trajectory of this arrow while thinking out loud, a second arrow already leaving his fingers.
The second arrow screamed through the air, smashing fiercely towards the ground.
What made him shake his head in dissatisfaction was that this second arrow now deviated far to the right, close to ten meters from that small tree.
However, he didn’t stop, arrows fired one after another in an extremely calm and steady manner.
As if he was practicing with a sniper rifle from his previous world, lumps of numerous disorderly grass were scattered around that small tree.
Sometimes, Lin Xi’s arrows were clearly already about to land on that small tree, but in the end, there would still be a few feet of distance, brushing right past, the air streams making the small tree’s leaves rustle about in disorder. Meanwhile, the next arrow wouldn’t necessarily be better than this arrow.
It was because the energies of this world were always moving, Lin Xi wasn’t a robot himself either, it was impossible for him to ensure that the adjustment to every arrow was perfect.
Only after continuously shooting out dozens of arrows, did one arrow smash heavily through the treetop, scattering the small tree’s leaves, landing obliquely on the tree trunk.
The small tree’s trunk immediately erupted with an airstream mixed with the smell of fresh wood shavings, and then it snapped from within, collapsing.
“When using the power of the wind, adding two hundred meters of height, the power is much greater as expected…”
Lin Xi took a deep breath, exclaiming in admiration. However, he didn’t hesitate at all, immediately shouting ‘return’!
Time returned to ten halts ago.
Lin Xi returned to the same location, standing extremely carefully, no deviation at all.
Then, he didn’t immediately shoot arrows like last time, instead carefully calculating time in his mind.
Ever since he entered this world, he discovered that he had this ability to reverse time by ten minutes once a day, his grasp over the calculation of time, apart from Principal Zhang, might be more precise than anyone else’s, the stopwatches of the past world likely only at the same level. However, he was still extremely careful.
He continued to wait. After ten whole minutes of time passed, when the last two seconds flowed past his mind, he released an arrow extremely calmly.
“This arrow was fired by Bian Linghan!”
He still muttered this inwardly, his hand not stopping. When that arrow had just begun to descend from the skies, he already drew a second arrow, looked at the trajectory of this arrow, and then fired a second arrow.
Another gust of wind appeared between heaven and earth, and then immediately afterwards, it turned into a screaming noise.
The first arrow smashed heavily into the ground, the distance from that small tree’s trunk a few feet of distance, causing green color to burst from the ground.
The second arrow smashed heavily through the treetop, cutting down a small half of the trunk. This small tree trembled, falling to the ground.
Lin Xi released a breath. It was only two arrows, but because of how tense his mind was, when he suddenly relaxed, his entire body already burst into sweat. However, what appeared on his face, was instead an extremely happy smile.
This world’s wind was just like the heart, continuously changing, but this world’s trajectory was the same.
With his cultivation and perception, as well as the restrictions of this arrow, there was absolutely no way to clearly sense every single minute change in the wind direction beyond five hundred steps.
However, through the return ability, he knew how the wind would flow at this time, what kind of effects it would have on the arrow, and thus what kind of adjustments he needed to make.
This way, as long as he didn’t make any mistakes in his control over the arrow itself, then this arrow had a high chance of hitting an opponent under this type of distance.
In order to reduce the deviation as much as possible, the arrow that Lin Xi just shot out was even the same as the one that finally hit the target.
“However, this is still something entirely possible…” Lin Xi sat down on the cliff, quietly observing the world before him. Then, just like when he was in Deerwood Town, he began to softly mutter some nonsense to himself, “You all were born into a world with rulers and ministers, believing that as Yunqin’s people, you have to be unconditionally loyal to the emperor… but I am naturally different from all of you, I don’t share this type of thinking. Also, what you all cannot do… does not mean I cannot do it. The academy is being pressured by the emperor… this really is troublesome. One day, if the emperor has to listen to the academy, then things wouldn’t be so troublesome…”
Just as Lin Xi began to mutter this disgraceful and rebellious nonsense, the emperor’s northern troops already already passed through the sea of mountains’ main vein, the coiled dragon carriage now moving through Four Seasons Plains’ earth.
Even though the excuse these troops used was that they were here to receive the reply of Vice Principal Xia and other individuals who made great contributions in Yunqin, not bringing many authoritative figures, those nine elders and eight sector heads still remaining in the imperial city, since his majesty was here, it became completely different. Rows of honor guards and attendants, densely packed banners and groups of people surrounded and protected the extremely dignified large-scale carriage at the center, leaving others intimidated at first glance.
A bright yellow-clothed emperor was inside this large-scale carriage, sitting upright in front of a writing desk. On the soft couch on the other side of him sat a woman with beautiful thick hair, wearing an imperial dress. It was precisely the imperial princess Changsun Muyue who was attacked at Rudong City.
Because she was a powerful cultivator, and because last time, she let herself be hit on purpose, right now, Changsun Muyue already didn’t show any signs of weakness.
It was instead the emperor who still had to handle matters even in the carriage who seemed a bit exhausted, the fine wrinkles at the corners of his eyes revealing indescribable fatigue.
Since his sister was the only other person here, he didn’t bother hiding this type of fatigue at all.
The head of a household only needed to endure the pressure of a family, but the ruler of a country, the monarch of this world’s most powerful empire, how much pressure would he face?
Moreover, before the officials, he couldn’t easily reveal a bit of the fatigue he felt inside, all he could show was confidence and prestige… that was why sovereign kings like him often died early.
Suddenly, Changsun Muyue who was sitting on the soft couch lowered a small scroll in her hands, releasing a mysterious chuckle.
The emperor raised his head, somewhat bewildered as he looked at Changsun Muyue who laughed rather suddenly, feeling that this dear sister of his who he understood well, right now, had an expression he didn’t understand at all.
“Brother emperor, there is one matter perhaps not even you could have foreseen.” Changsun Muyue didn’t talk in riddles, raising the small scroll in her hands, and then said while looking at the emperor, “When I was passing through Deerwood Town, purely out of a momentary impulse, I had Deerwood City’s Li Xiping recommend a countryside youngster to participate in Green Luan Academy’s great entrance examination… However, I never expected this kid to actually become Green Luan Academy’s heaven’s choice, moreover one of the five students representing Green Luan Academy in this battle.”
The emperor was a bit stumped. “Deerwood Town’s countryside youngster?”
“His parents are only ordinary merchants, lacking all cultivation experience.” Changsun Muyue looked at the emperor, saying, “I had Li Xiping recommend him into joining Green Luan Academy’s great examination only because I heard him shout that it was going to rain, to bring in the clothes.”
“There is no way he has ever been in contact with Principal Zhang before.” The emperor frowned, saying while looking at Changsun Muyue.
Changsun Muyue nodded, “That is why I was curious. He was actually really able to enter Green Luan Academy, moreover become one of the academy’s five representatives.”
“Since you were the one who recommended him, then you still have some type of relationship with him. After this competition, if he is still alive… you can appropriately express a bit of intimacy with him.” The emperor muttered a bit to himself, and then said this.
Changsun Muyue nodded. She looked at the emperor’s somewhat tired appearance, released a light sigh, and then said, “You’ve taken a look at the list of names who are representing both sides. What do you think Thunder Academy’s chances of winning are?”
A layer of unswervingly determined and overcast expression suddenly appeared on the emperor’s face. He slowly said, “The new students Thunder Academy chose were mostly based on cultivation and fighting strength. When I mentioned this new student competition, in reality, it is quite unfair for Green Luan Academy, because even I acknowledge that the deciding factor of this kind of competition is instead their cultivation before they joined. However, Vice Principal Xia instead directly agreed, agreeing to this type of somewhat unfair competition… This is precisely him and Green Luan Academy’s pride, and he will definitely want to use this to prove that I am wrong. This is especially true for the youngster who has never cultivated before from Deerwood Town, if, with less than two months of instructions, he can defeat the students I carefully selected from when they were still extremely young, meticulously educated, it will inevitably deliver a great mental blow to my confidence. His and the academy’s faith, will definitely not be unfounded… However, regardless of whether it is Green Luan Academy’s students or the Thunder Academy students I chose, they are still rather young, who knows if things will play out as we have forecasted. That is why this competition, in the end, will still be up to the will of heaven. Whoever the heavens wish to win… that is who will win.”
After a slight pause, an even deeper fatigue covered the emperor’s face. He gently rubbed his temples, and then slowly said, “However, I can’t just not do anything. It is because even if it is up the will of heaven, if I continue to try things, there is no way one side can always win.”