Chapter 204 Grilled Buttered Corn (l)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
Beneath the Central Square building, under the bleacher seats, were various resting areas. Within one of these rooms, the Dean angrily leapt to his feet. “Who allowed that group of butchers in!?”
Every team of challengers that came in was personally inspected by him. They were meant to enter via order of the challenger’s Cultivation level. To prevent misrepresentation or mistakes, he even had people personally investigate these people’s Cultivation realm.
One Ear and his gang completely overwhelmed Lin Fan’s group!
Even if he allowed such people to step on the platform, it would have to be much later into the tournament, after the Champions have increased their strength.
For them to appear now… someone must have done something in secret!
“Find out who was in charge of this matter,” the Dean ordered before leaping into the air and landing in the middle of the platform.
One Ear was not too surprised by the Dean’s arrival. For little brats to be this daring, some obstinate old bastard must be backing them.  It was perfectly natural for them to dislike the idea of outsiders disrupting the little plans they have for their precious charges.
“So, it’s the Dean of the Imperial College. Are you here to drive us away?” One Ear smiled. For some reason, his smile appeared very disgusting to the Dean. “This tournament is arranged by you. If you are here to drive us away… I’m sure quite a lot of the audience will be very, very disappointed.”
The Dean glared at the smirking One Ear, fire burning in his heart. He knew that driving these thugs away without a fight would hurt the reputation of the College and affect ticket sales. However, there is nothing is more important than the safety of his students!
“Sir Dean, this is the last fight of the day,” said Lin Fan. “We plan to give it a try.”
The rest of them nodded along.
It would be dangerous, but, there were too many people watching them now. How could they damage the College’s reputation by backing out?
Seeing their resolute faces, the Dean swallowed the words on his tongue. “Very well, but do not force the matter. The fight will start in a quarter of an hour.”
Although their previous opponents were weaker than them, they had all expanded energy fighting five battles continuously. It was necessary to take some time to recover.
After the shocking appearance of the Dean, news of the new challengers’ identity spread across the audience. Though the mundane people were not aware of these people’s reputation, the Cultivators hated these murderous hunters of men. If only they would die on stage, ah!
A quarter of an hour later, a chant started.
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
A perfectly pleasant tournament had suddenly transformed into a blood sport. It was too abrupt a change for people in charge to cope. The audience, which was already a little rowdy, was infected by the mob mentality. They revelled in the anonymity of a crowd and began to chant along. Human beings always did have that bloodthirsty factor in their character. Even the most upright and honest of them would be influenced by the environment and became a little crazy.
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
It was as though the ones on the platform were not humans, but starving beasts released to fight for their entertainment.
When the chanting peaked in its intensity, Lin Fan, Shiyu and the rest had already stood up and gathered around for their final meeting.
“The other side also has seven people,” said Lin Fan. All traces of relaxation was gone, “The strongest of them is a Core Condensation 8 while the lowest is a Core Condensation 1. They are an entire level higher than us. So, unless we can use the Tian Ji’s Horse Racing Strategy , a 1 vs 1 fight won’t benefit us.”
Shiyu was also aware of the killing intent directed at their team, “I think, their eyes are mostly on myself and Dong-Fang… I’m afraid they have some mischief planned.” She could feel their hate but had no idea just how deep that well ran.
“I believe they intend to see blood today,” Qing Chen concluded.
“We would most likely lose in a 1 vs 1 fight,” said Lin Fan. “However, if they are here with the intent to kill us, they would agree to a group fight.”
Since the rules did not allow the Champions to match their strongest fighters against the weakest challengers, the chances of their team losing in a 1 vs 1 were high. Under such circumstances, if the opponents were here for the reward, they would never agree to a team vs team fight. On the other hand…  “Let’s go with this,” said Lin Fan.
“Yes,” the others agreed unanimously.
One Ear, as they had half expected, agreed to the team matches. After all, it’s only when there were many people on the stage that they could fish in troubled waters. It’s just too bad they could not devour these little brats in a 1 vs 1 fight, but they have a job to do.
When the audience realised that they won’t be witnessing individual matches, they were outrage! Wouldn’t half the excitement and anticipation disappear in a group match?  Who wants to watch a brawl, ah!? Nevertheless, the group fight carried on as planned.
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Two rows of seven individuals stepped onto the stage.
On one side, members of One Ear’s team stood around casually,  they seemed more interested in sneering and intimidating their opponents than forming proper strategies. The Champions stood in a rough formation, with Qing Chen and Lin Fan in the front, Shiyu directly behind them, Xuan Yin and Dong-Fang Zhen to the left and Feng Luo to the right. Qi Chuyun stood a little out of the way in the back.
“Alright, I shall take temporary command for now,” said Shiyu. The original two leaders must exert a lot of effort in their fight,  therefore, leadership duties fell onto her. With her ability to perceive everyone’s movements, she was the best person to issue instructions. Shiyu clenched her fist. Everyone’s life would be in her hands.
“Don’t worry,” said Lin Fan. “Just give us a warning when you see danger.”
At his words, Shiyu’s mental powers sharpened a little more. Finally, after a deep calming breath, she said, “I’m ready.”
Before the match officially starts, the two team leaders must greet each other. Lin Fan stepped forward and held his hands up in a formal salute, “Please lend us your guidance!”
“Hahaha! This grandpa is more than happy to teach you a lesson,” One Ear laughed. Then, he quickly called out, “Everyone attack! Take one each!”
Seven burly men rushed over.
The moment they move, Shiyu took two steps back to shield Qi Chuyun, blue fire flaring up on her hand as she observed the movements on the platform.
Lin Fan and Qing Chen were already rushing forward, taking two opponents each, sealing three Core Condensation 5 and one Core Condensation 1 away from the fight. Xuan Yin and Dong-Fang Zhen cornered a Core Condensation 3 bandit together.
“Feng Luo! Stop One Ear!” Shiyu called out.  Then, “Chuyun, back Feng Luo!”
The strategy was to block the most powerful of them first while they picked off the less powerful ones. It would take too much time to take down One Ear, they could not afford to waste time and strength on him. As soon as Shiyu sent Qi Chuyun off, the final bandit, a Core Condensation 5 expert, charged towards her. She led him over to the side, making sure to keep him between herself and Qi Chuyun. She had to neutralize him fast and still protect Qi Chuyun in case One Ear goes for the weaker Qi Chuyun.
Blue-green fire wrapped around her hand. She cannot reveal Ocean Heart Flame, cannot use her Illusionists skills too openly. At least, not in these early stages.
She has the ability to defeat this Core Condensation 5 opponent, but she would not be able to kill him without using her most powerful move. Moreover, even as she protected Qi Chuyun, One Ear would also intervene in their fight. In the end, Shiyu could only drag out the fight and look for an opportunity to attack.
For now, the fight was at a deadlock with the majority of the people engaged in a 2 vs 1 battle aside from Shiyu,  Feng Luo and Qi Chuyun in a 3 vs 2 fight against One Ear and a Core Condensation 5 bandit.
Nevertheless, this One Ear was not an easy opponent. Feng Luo had trapped him with his vines while Qi Chuyun enclosed him in ice.  It did not take long for One Ear to break out of his bindings. The cunning bandit leader immediately dashed forward to attack their weakest team member, Xuan Yin.
How could they allow this?!
The longer the stalemate last. The worst off the Champions were. They will run out of Spiritual powers first if nothing else. This One Ear’s Cultivation was too high, it was not easy to keep him trapped.
On the stands, Cultivators were also discussing the fight.
“The younger ones might look like they’re holding their ground now, but if the fight drags on, One Ear has a higher chance of winning.”
“The power gap is too high. They even dare to use the 1 vs 2 fight right from the beginning which is risky but that’s really the best strategy for them…”
He was still speaking when the winds change blew over the battlefield.
Gumihou is keeping track so that you don’t have to ~
|凝氣||Condensation Stage||Stage 1|
|化丹||Core Transformation||Stage 2|
|凝丹(46)||Core Condensation||Stage 3|
|化神(52)||Divine Transformation||Stage 4|
|成嬰||Nascent Formation||Stage 5|
|返墟||Revert Decay||Stage 7|
|歸真||Original Purity||Stage 8|
|成仙||Become immortal||Stage 9|
 USMiC – One Ear: Expand his thoughts a little more. They’re probably going to be slaughtered within the next few chapters, so elaborate his thoughts a bit more. Also, though they are basically criminals, this One Ear like to pretend to be an honourable person. Expand this characteristic a bit more.
 Tian Ji’s Horse Racing Strategy: This comes from a story where you pit your strongest horse against the opponent’s second weakest horse and your weakest against their strongest and your second strongest against their weakest horse. This way, you’ll win 2 out of 3 races.
You can find the story below as well as the game theory behind it.
 Additional Details for Logistic Purpose: Like, the information jumps are a bit too radical, smoothed it out a little.
 Additional Details for Dramatic Purpose: Let’s make things exciting!
 Lol, why Logistics is important: “Feng Luo, trap One Ear!” Shi Yu shouted, and at the same time said to Qi Chuyun, “Chuyun, you help Feng Luo try to hold back One Ear.”
Shiyu could do this because she has two mouths or could use telepathy, obviously.
Also, what’s with those wordy instructions? Are you giving a speech?
 Typo: Originally Lin Fan, but he should be one a 2 vs 3 fight right now with Qing Chen against 3 bandits… There are actually 2 sets of 2 vs 3 fights, but who’s counting?
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