le-Jade-Gate genius.
Are you saying that you would lose out to a five-cycle Jade Gate when it comes to cultivation?”

Qi Shaoming replied, “I don't feel bad about losing to Tang Jie.
At least I'm not losing to you.”

“You!” Long Dao was speechless with anger.

He wanted to say more when Qi Shaoming added, “Just now, a rainbow light shot up from the fish lip rock, and then Tang Jie said that he was rejoining us.
I wouldn't believe it if you said that these two had no connection.”

Everyone shared a glance, clearly noticing the implication behind these words.

As they were looking at each other, a figure flew toward them.
Who could this be except Tang Jie?

“He's flying over?” Ye Tianshang was the first to understand the significance of this action.
His eyes bulged out as he said, “He couldn't have… no…”

He was so shocked that he couldn't finish, but everyone already understood what he meant.

Mortal Shedding!

Tang Jie had shed his mortality!

This was too unbelievable.

Long Dao glared.
“No, this isn't possible! He couldn't have done it so quickly! He must have gotten close before flying.”

Everyone looked at him in disdain, Peng Yaolong even snorting, “Idiot, the messenger sword only just arrived, and then Tang Jie came.
Who can actually run that fast?”

Long Dao's mind was left buzzing by these words.

Yes, the messenger sword had just arrived, and now Tang Jie was here.
That could only mean that Tang Jie had followed the flying sword.
He would never be able to do this unless he had reached Mortal Shedding.

Tang Jie had really shed his mortality.

But how could he have done it so quickly?

Let alone him, even Qi Shaoming and Wei Tianchong were looking at the distant figure of Tang Jie in shock.
While Qi Shaoming had mentally prepared himself for this, he was still utterly stunned by the fact that Tang Jie had gone from the early stage of Spirit Sea all the way to the Mortal Shedding Realm in the span of twenty-some days.

This went against all common sense.

Tang Jie flew over, landing nearby and saluting them.
“Tang Jie pays respects to his senior brothers.”

“Tang Jie, you've shed your mortality?” Peng Yaolong shouted.

Even though they had already guessed it, Peng Yaolong still decided to ask.

Tang Jie nodded.
“Mm.
Thanks to the blessed land, I was fortunate enough to shed my mortality.”

Everyone was in an uproar over these words.

“Wonderful!” All of them cheered, and Wei Tianchong even rushed up and hugged him.
Only Long Dao and the two students he was on pretty good terms with had dour looks, upset by this news.

Peng Yaolong came up and also gave Tang Jie a hug.
“Good job! While reaching Mortal Shedding in a year and a half can't be considered an academy record, no one with a five-cycle Jade Gate has ever been faster.
What's even more incredible is that you did it in the middle of the competition.
This boost in combat power will increase our chances of winning this contest.”

Tang Jie smiled.
“Godhead and Beast Refining have already lost, and the combination of the Seven Absolutions Sect and Horizon Ocean Pavilion shouldn't be able to beat us and the Thousand Passions Sect, right? Even without me, I think everyone is strong enough to win the day.”

“An extra bit of strength is still an extra bit of hope,” Ye Tianshang chuckled.
“It's no wonder you insisted on cultivating here.
You probably planned all this out, right? Be honest! Was this all because of the blessed land quotas we gave you?”

Tang Jie laughed and confessed, “I was fortunate enough to know some methods for processing spirit plants and absorbing their energy in the field, so it would be a great pity if I didn't use them.”

“So there really was something going on!” Ye Tianshang gave Tang Jie a light punch.
“You were keeping this treasure all to yourself and not telling us.”

Tang Jie helplessly said, “I can teach you anything except that! If I do, the teachers will probably tear me apart.”

The academy's rules treated personal acts as being based on one's own fortune, but casually teaching this technique would be violating the taboo, so while Tang Jie could do it himself, he couldn't teach others.
Fortunately, everyone understood this, and once they understood how he had improved himself, they praised his good fortune in obtaining this sort of method.
Even the pitiful Long Dao, the son of a True Person, didn't know of this method for processing spirit plants.

Having not seen Tang Jie for twenty-some days, everyone was now happy and laughing, and Tang Jie got a chance to understand what had happened in the blessed land in these twenty-some days.

After the battle on the first day, things didn't end up as calm as Tang Jie had anticipated.

While Godhead Palace and the Beast Refining Gate had withdrawn, there were still a few of them who weren't willing to leave the blessed land and wanted to try for a miracle.
And after beating these two sects, the two remaining sect alliances switched from collaborators to competitors.
The members of the four sects didn't dare to split up, so they each occupied their own corner of the blessed land.
Basking Moon was in the east, Thousand Passions in the north, Horizon Ocean in the west, and Seven Absolutions in the south.
They were positioned such that they could each go to the aid of their ally.

There had been a few clashes between the two sides as they tested each other's strength.
In most of them, the Basking Moon/Thousand Passions alliance had come out ahead.
But as they weren't in a rush to leave the blessed land, Peng Yaolong and the others hadn't killed anyone.

“Have the ten treasures all come out? Do we know if the Stop Gate Banner ended up with anyone?” Tang Jie asked.

Qi Shaoming replied, “Not sure.
The ten treasures should have all appeared, but we can't be sure about the details, as everyone is very careful and no one has taken it out.
Thus, other than the fact that Lin Wang has the Taiyi Profound Clarity Cup, we don't know how many treasures have appeared or who has them.”

“Lin Wang still hasn't left?” Tang Jie asked in surprise.

Everyone laughed.
“His Seven Absolutions Sect has only nine people in all, so one person gone makes them that much weaker.
How could he dare to leave? But that's perfect for us, as it gives us an opportunity.”

The rules set by the Wandering Palace stated that when students had held a treasure for twelve hours, they could leave, thus confirming their spot as part of the top ten.
They could stay in the blessed land instead, but this would mean that the treasure could be stolen.

Of note was that a treasure stolen in this situation was not subject to the twelve-hour time restriction.
This was because it already had an owner, and when it was stolen, it was no longer an objective of the competition, but a possession being taken from a contestant.
This was also why the person who stole it would not be considered part of the top ten.

Thus, if Lin Wang didn't leave, everyone could try to take the Taiyi Profound Clarity Cup from him.
Of course, the top ten spot belonging to the Taiyi Profound Clarity Cup had already been assigned to Lin Wang, and nothing could change that.
Even killing him would only mean that the top ten would become the top nine.

“Then how many do we have?” Tang Jie asked.

“Two,” Peng Yaolong replied.
“I'm protecting one, and we haven't decided about the other one.
Are you interested in it, Tang Jie?”

Tang Jie shook his head.
“I'm only interested in the Stop Gate Banner.
You guys can decide how to handle it.”

“But we don't even know who has the Stop Gate Banner,” a student said.

“This is very simple,” Tang Jie chuckled.
“Just take out the treasure.”

“'Take out the treasure'?” Peng Yaolong's eyes flashed.
“You mean… start the war?”

Tang Jie grinned.
“Yes, start the war!”

For Tang Jie, as he was in Mortal Shedding now, there was no point in delaying any longer.
As the stronger side, he naturally wanted to be proactive in seeking out the decisive battle.

Peng Yaolong erupted in laughter.
“I was waiting for you to say that.”

Peng Yaolong was already sick of these days.
If not for the fact that the one cultivating was Tang Jie, and that Tang Jie had done him a favor by giving him that art, Peng Yaolong would have already rallied everyone into an attack.

All of the Basking Moon Sect students grew excited, and as they were about to reveal their treasures, a beam of rainbow light shot up from the distance.

The rainbow light came from the south, penetrating into the heavens like a spear.

Everyone understood what this meant:

Seeking out a decisive battle!

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