Chapter 122: Brute Force
Su Chen had controlled his strength very carefully. Even though Long Huan had been knocked out, he hadn’t been fatally injured.
The referee inspected Long Huan. After confirming that Long Huan hadn’t been seriously injured, the referee waved a yellow flag.
This meant that the competitor was fine but unable to continue battling.
Coincidentally, Cloud Leopard challenged Long Huan immediately afterwards.
Because Long Huan was absent, Cloud Leopard won by default.
There were so many battles happening that it was hard to avoid getting injured. Circumstances like this happened every day, and others only thought that Cloud Leopard had gotten lucky.
But very quickly, it seemed that fortune was smiling on Cloud Leopard.
In the next battle, his opponent was once again knocked out by the opponent.
The person who had knocked out his opponent was again Su Chen. His Erupting Firehawk was basically the pinnacle of his achievements in the realm of Ancient Arcana Techniques, and it was a nightmare to deal with for most people.
The Erupting Firehawk was originally one of the trump cards that Su Chen had tried so hard to keep hidden, but now he was basically forced to use it in every battle.
At a moment’s notice, ten or so Firehawks would spring to life and fiercely attack his opponent, overwhelming them with sheer force.
Of course, not every opponent had to be knocked out, but even if they weren’t knocked out they were often injured after sustaining that powerful of an attack, and they had likely expended a large amount of Origin Energy to deal with the attack.
Cloud Leopard’s challenges were exceedingly precise. Even though there was a set rest time, recovering to one’s full capacity in that short of a time was basically impossible.
Just like that, five battles in a row, Cloud Leopard chased after Su Chen’s heels all the way up the rankings. Every time Su Chen defeated an opponent, the next challenger was always Cloud Leopard.
Anyone could instantly tell what was going on.
“Dammit, this is basically fraud! Su Chen, that bastard, he’s helping pave the way for Cloud Leopard!”
“What can we do about it? If it’s not against the rules that the Hidden Dragon Institute has set, we can only watch even if he’s cheating. It’s your fault for not having such a powerful leader.”
“Who knew that Su Chen was like this? Seven days ago he was just a cowardly bastard, but now he is suddenly a leader?”
“If I had known that he was hiding his depth the entire time, I would have gone to pay my respects to him too.
“Psh, isn’t it just a ranking? If it’s not his own strength, what difference does it make even if his ranking increases?”
“That’s where you’re wrong. Apparently, this end-of-year competition is different from before.”
“What’s different about it?”
“That I’m not too sure about, but it’s different. Otherwise, why would Su Chen try to force Cloud Leopard’s ranking up when he has never done so in the past?”
“What a bunch of crap.”
The spectators discussed amongst themselves.
No matter what they all thought, one thing about Su Chen was correct: Even if Su Chen was cheating, there wasn’t a problem as long as it didn’t break the rules the Hidden Dragon Institute had set.
In reality, even if Su Chen helped raise Cloud Leopard’s ranking, those who had been defeated today could challenge Cloud Leopard tomorrow and bring him back down.
Thus, even though Su Chen could bring Cloud Leopard up, it wasn’t easy for Cloud Leopard to sit there in a stable position for an extended period of time.
On the eighth day, Su Chen continued to challenge his way upwards.
This time, his opponent was the 20th-ranked Mou Wujiang.
Mou Wujiang was from the East Flow Region and had the Moon-Howling Wind Wolf Bloodline. During the regional exams, he had entered the Institute with the number one status from the East Flow Region. Even though his ranking had decreased slightly after all these years in the Hidden Dragon Institute, he was still very powerful.
But against Su Chen, Mou Wujiang’s strength wasn’t very useful.
After a bitter battle, Su Chen directly knocked out Mou Wujiang, entering the top 20.
This scene stunned the bystanders.
Even so, something more stunning was about to happen.
While Su Chen was challenging upwards, Cloud Leopard was being challenged by those ranked lower than him.
Even though he tried his hardest to counter them, he lost in rapid succession. The ranking that Su Chen had worked so hard to earn for him slowly began to slip away as Cloud Leopard fell back to 30th place.
At this point, he had been challenged 6 times already and reserved the right to refuse any further challenges.
At this moment, Cloud Leopard did something.
He challenged Su Chen!
What happened next almost caused the spectators’ eyes to pop out.
Su Chen surrendered!
The crowd was thrown into an uproar.
What was despicable?
This was despicable.
What was shameless?
This was shameless!
Su Chen even used himself as a stepping stone to send Cloud Leopard into 20th place, causing him to fall down into 21st place.
But evidently, 21st place wouldn’t be Su Chen’s final position. He was just sending Cloud Leopard higher off from his own shoulders.
It wasn’t until now that everyone understood: to Su Chen, entering the top 20 was never something that he needed to worry about.
This entire situation almost seemed like a joke.
When Su Chen first entered the end-of-year competition, everyone looked down on him because they believed that he was a coward and a weakling.
At that point in time, when Cloud Leopard was walking with Su Chen, everyone thought that Cloud Leopard was supporting Su Chen.
As time had gone by, people believed that Su Chen’s former glory had been left behind. But in just seven or eight years, the situation had once again been reversed. Su Chen forced his way onto the Dragon Transformation List and then began to bring Cloud Leopard higher.
The tables had turned so quickly that many people couldn’t understand what had happened.
But even if they didn’t understand, many people were unwilling to sit and watch Cloud Leopard’s rapid ascent.
It wasn’t just an issue with the method Su Chen had chosen. It had a lot more to do with the existing hierarchy of bloodlines.
For one person without a bloodline to enter the top 20 was already not a good feeling for most of them.
Worse than one person without a bloodline surpassing them, however, was two people without bloodlines surpassing them.
Thus, many people agreed that they needed to pull Cloud Leopard out of the top 20 on the ninth day of competition by any means possible.
But on the 9th day, Su Chen continued to challenge higher, and many people were forced to give up on that idea.
This time, Su Chen challenged 11th place Hao Mingyang.
After defeating him, Su Chen lifted Cloud Leopard up again.
Now that Cloud Leopard was at 11th place, most people wouldn’t be able to reach him even if they wanted to challenge him.
Even more annoying was that people had the right to refuse any challenges after six. This rule was originally instituted to protect students from being worn down by battles of attrition. Unexpectedly, Su Chen had turned it around to protect Cloud Leopard. Because he was already in 11th place, even if Cloud Leopard were to lose all of his subsequent matches and fall to 17th place, he would still not be removed from the top 20.
This loophole became Cloud Leopard’s clutch, supporting him in his seat in the top 20.
Of course, that didn’t mean there was no way for them to suppress him.
The easiest tactic was simply to challenge the individuals above Cloud Leopard once Cloud Leopard himself couldn’t be challenged anymore.
If people were willing to give up their rankings and go down, they could still suppress Cloud Leopard.
However, this implied that enough of the elite students needed to cooperate to achieve this.
That night, a group of unsatisfied students formed an alliance, determined to teach Su Chen and Cloud Leopard a lesson.
The 10th and final day of the end-of-year competition arrived.
On this day, everyone made their final preparations, determined to make one last push.
Unsurprisingly, Cloud Leopard was challenged six times in a row.
Cloud Leopard just surrendered immediately, sliding from 17th place all the way to 23rd place. Su Chen fell to 24th.
At this moment, Su Chen made a move. He challenged the 14th-ranked student and defeated him, then gave the victory to Cloud Leopard.
Immediately afterward, however, a group of students also began to move, challenging the higher-ranked students. The students who were originally ranked 10th to 13th were all defeated, causing Su Chen’s and Cloud Leopard’s rankings to further decline.
Because the same student could only challenge the same person once a day, no matter how much Su Chen charged forwards, it was impossible for him to then concede the ranking to Cloud Leopard.
It looked like Cloud Leopard would be unable to squeeze his way into the top 20 in the end.
When they saw that this eyesore was about to be squeezed out of the top 20, a trace of a smile appeared on everyone’s face.
At that moment, however, Cloud Leopard issued another challenge.
But this time, the person he challenged wasn’t Su Chen, but Wang Doushan.
Wang Doushan surrendered.
Cloud Leopard once again returned to the top 20.
Everyone was dumbstruck.