The one hour rest period allowed Ye Xiu to relax for a while. His nerves were making him extremely uncomfortable with the loud environment with everybody talking and cheering but seeing his friends calmed him down tremendously. Even though he told his friends he would be calm, it was hard to keep up a calm exterior and interior with this sort situation unless he was near emotionless or was unable to display emotion properly.
When he saw his friends sitting in the stands eating food that Shi Die had probably cooked, he jogged over, carefully evading the many students sitting, standing or lounging around in the stands. He noticed that the stands were filled to the brim and there were few spaces left and luckily Shi Die and company saved him a spot. As he made his way there, his friends noticed a figure obviously trying to get closer to them and they noticed that it was Shi Die.
Xiao Tu shouted Ye Xiu's name to get his attention which promptly caused him to fall flat on his face because he wasn't watching where he was going. He had tripped on a student's foot and the said student just raised an eyebrow and shook with mirth when he looked over to where the voice had come from. The student jerked his head in the direction of Xiao Tu and it told Ye Xiu to continue on his way because the student didn't hold a grudge for simply tripping on him.
Ye Xiu sighed and thanked the student before continuing his way towards the others. He shook Xiao Tu violently when he had made it because he was obviously not pleased with him suddenly shouting his name. "Why did you randomly shout my name! Ahh... you made me fall by accident! That was so awkward when the student was looking at the both of us! You should be glad that the student wasn't a mean student otherwise he would've made a big matter out of a small situation." Ye Xiu pouted when he thought of it.
Xiao Tu poked Ye Xiu's cheek as he pouted. "It was funny though! I can't believe you actually fell when I shouted your name." He grinned as he continued his poking.
Ye Xiu swatted away Xiao Tu's hand. "It's not funny and of course I would trip when somebody diverts my attention in a place with many people! I'd like you to try not to fall if someone suddenly called your name as you were making your way past a crowd of people." Annoyance and irritation could be heard in Ye Xiu's voice.
"Now now, There's no need to be so angry with Xiao Tu. It was just a friendly prank to try and soothe your nerves wasn't it, Xiao Tu?" Shang Yang glared at Xiao Tu with lethal intent promising pain if he didn't go along with what she was silently communicating with her eyes.
Xiao Tu hurriedly followed Shang Yang's plan. "Yeah. I was just trying to soothe your nerves!
Shi Die was sighing at the side before interrupting their conversation. "Ye Xiu, come over and have some food that I've made. It's still nice and hot since I've kept it in dimensional storage for you. He handed over Ye Xiu's packed food and gave back Shang Yang's dimensional ring.
Ye Xiu smiled with appreciation at Shi Die and took the packed food gently and sat down next to Shi Die. He placed the packed food gently on his lap and opened the towel that had been wrapped around it. A small container of food, still steaming hot. "Thanks, Shi Die. I hope those lessons I've given you have slightly improved the taste." Ye Xiu stuck his tongue out at Shi Die providing light banter.
"Hmph, of course, the taste has improved with your instructions of different recipes, spice blends and whatnot." Shi Die spoke proudly. "It's just as good as yours yet..." Shi Die spoke the last sentence much more quietly
Xiao Tu started to speak with his mouth full of food. "I shaw yer fite. It wash veli good." The food blocked most of what he was trying to say but the group managed to comprehend what he was saying.
"Don't speak with your mouth full, that's bad manners and I'm sure whatever you have to say can be said after we finish eating." Shang Yang poked Xiao Tu in the cheek making him nearly spit out the food that he was chewing.
Xiao Tu continued to eat silently in a chastised manner.
An hour had passed and the group was watching the second years fight. They were obviously impressed with the level of combat they were displaying. Compared to the first years, their fights were much more exciting because the usage of Qi techniques had increased leading to some flashier and cooler fights. They were much less cautious about their usage of Qi techniques and did not hesitate to use them even if it didn't succeed as a successful attack.
Ye Xiu was talking to his friends about the incoming tournament against the senior years and they were actually worried. "Don't you think that the school has gone rather overboard by pitting the younger years against the senior years? If a single year difference between the first and second years is so large, I don't even want to imagine the gap between us and those in the third year or higher!"
"Remember what Sir told us though. He told us that we were definitely not expected to win fights against the older years especially when we're freshmen. He said that this was a lesson for us to know that there's always going to be somebody stronger than you out in the world. We're just a frog in the well that hasn't seen the entire world." Shang Yang wisely repeated San Guo's words to stop Ye Xiu from making the matter any bigger.
Ye Xiu looked at the Arena and sighed. "I guess you're right. I still don't like how we're forced to fight people way above our level. Just look at them throwing their techniques without a care in the world about their Qi reserves. It doesn't even look like their Qi reserves are that much greater than ours! I don't understand how it's possible. What could they possibly;y teach to the second year students so that they can use Qi techniques with a higher frequency? Could it be that most of the techniques they use require less Qi? Or could it be that their Qi quality is so pure and dense that it requires less Qi to use a technique?"
Xiao Tu and Shi Die were just blinking owlishly at Ye Xiu. "I don't think there's any need to take it to such lengths. Just keep it in mind, we'll be able to use Qi techniques with no care in the world like they do once we get to the second year. No use crying about spilt milk now when we can reap the benefits later." Shang Yang patted and rubbed Ye Xiu's hair affectionately.
Xiao Tu's eyes narrowed before going back to his smiling face. "Let's just continue watching the fights."
After the second year's Semi-finals had finished, Ye Xiu was already making his way down to the Arena. There was not going to be a break this time and the fight between Ye Xiu and Yan Guo was going to start soon. Yan Guo spotted Ye Xiu from a distance and pulled him closer so that he could walk with him. Yan Guo had a weird smile on his face but continued to drag him towards the Arena.
Ye Xiu was extremely confused and cautious at the same time because he had no idea what Yan Guo's intentions for approaching him were. He didn't bother struggling from Yan Guo's grip because he hadn't done anything suspicious yet. He allowed him to continue pulling him because it also needed less effort for him to get to the Arena.
Yan Guo pulled him up to the Arena and let Ye Xiu go. He waited for Ye Xiu to stand opposite him and he was still grinning. Ye Xiu decided to sate his curiosity. "Why'd you pull me here? I didn't see you acting so kind to other people." Ye Xiu's tone was one of curiosity and also a tone of accusation.
Yan Guo just smiled and stared at him for a few seconds before closing his eyes, still continuing the smile his foolish grin. Ye Xiu stopped trying to puzzle out what Yan Guo was trying to do and waited for the referee to announce the beginning of the match. The referee didn't bother trying to make the event more exciting because it was only the Finals of the first years. He knew that it wouldn't be exciting as the senior years and started the match to not waste any time. "On the count of three. One! Two! Three!"
Ye Xiu only had a single whip out currently because he knew that he would need his spare hand to be free to retrieve his item from the dimensional storage. Of course, Ye Xiu had come up with some plans before and was planning to put them to use depending on how the fight played out. Ye Xiu knew that using his dual whip style would help him put pressure on Yan Guo but he was unsure whether he would be fast enough to dodge all the attacks.
Deciding to be cautious, Ye Xiu used his lone whip to attack first. Using the same tactic of having the whip follow Yan Guo's movements around the Arena, he held his position, waiting for Yan Guo to get closer to him. Yan Guo made a noise which alerted Ye Xiu that he seemed to be very displeased with his actions.
Yan Guo didn't bother trying to cut Ye Xiu's whip because he had seen the outcomes of what that action would achieve. Unexpectedly, Yan Guo took out his Qi weapon extremely early and didn't hold back any of his punches. Throwing another smoke bomb, he utilised the same method as he did with Ming Yu. Ye Xiu, who had already prepared for such a move took out his other whip and used both of them to get rid of the smoke.
Yan Guo was directly above Ye Xiu as he was planning to stab downwards. Ye Xiu was unable to see Yan Guo around the arena and was extremely cautious. Yan Guo had used one of his tools to help him jump a high distance. When Ye Xiu noticed the glint of metal from above him, he quickly rolled backwards and let go of his whips.
Yan Guo managed to get rid of Ye Xiu's hold on the whips and placed his Qi weapon back and took out his other two daggers. Ye Xiu promptly took out his katana and used it to defend himself from Yan Guo's attacks. Ye Xiu noticed that Yan Guo's attacks were different from what he had seen before. He was using a much different style and instead of a single shot kill, his attacks were mainly to overwhelm Ye Xiu with his attacking speed.
The style was very different to what Yan Guo had been displaying since this type of attacking required on fine movements to lure the opponent into making a mistake or having them being unable to defend himself. Of course, Ye Xiu's reflexes allowed him to block the majority of the attacks with his katana but he was trying to make his way to one of his whips that had been dropped.
Ye Xiu could not use his Qi technique to try to fight Yan Guo because the activation and charging time was still too long to be used in a fight appropriately. Once he realised that Yan Guo wouldn't give him a chance to make it to his whips, he decided to go on the offensive. He knew that staying on the defensive would not help because he had no ideas on how long Yan Guo could keep up the assault.
In a burst of speed, he managed to retreat from Yan Guo after kicking him with a back kick as turned. He sighed and knew that the movement technique 'Basilisk's Gaze' had definitely helped him catch his breath.
Ye Xiu thought of what he was going to do as he caught his breath. 'If he's going to keep assaulting me with a barrage of attacks then I'll just pierce through those attacks and get through his defences. There's only so much he will be able to do before he makes a mistake with his attacks.'
Ye Xiu had been dissecting Yan Guo's style and noticed there were a few sets of movements and combos that he had been doing albeit at a fast pace. Once he had managed to ascertain that, he was looking for any weaknesses between the transitions of the movements and was going to pierce that weakness with the 'Piercing Fang of the Jade Dragon.' He noticed that Yan Guo was only fast when he was using his movement technique to vanish and was much slower without it.
With a plan in mind, Ye Xiu got back to dissecting Yan Guo's style.