Ning left the stage, returning back to the hall where everyone was waiting for him.

Tenn gave a big smile as he walked toward him. "Brother Ning, I knew you could do it. Haha, you made it look so simple," he said.

"Are you sure it wasn't simple?" Kaleb asked. "All he did was use an Essence attack or two and then kicked the guy. It really looked so easy."

"Yeah, but you should know that Brother Ning's physical strength is greater than any of ours. If we were in that situation, we wouldn't have been able to take part in the fight at all," Tenn explained.

"Good job, friend. You did well," Prince Allan said to him while patting his shoulder a few times.

Ning gave a simple nod in thanks and looked toward the teacher. "Do I stay around or will I have to leave?" he asked. "It feels like I should be done for the day."

The teacher looked at the chart and frowned a little. "Well, it's hard to say," he said. "Yours is one of the first matchups in the next round, so… if things progress quickly today, they will require you to stay. It's better to stay around anyway. There is no one but the headmaster and a few other teachers in the stand."

"That makes sense," Ning said. "I guess I can stay and watch the next fights then."

"You do that," the teacher said, his eyes focused on the board which said that Ning's next opponent would in fact be one of the seeded individuals.

There were 56 seeded individuals with 72 moving on from this round. It was expected for a lot to have an opponent such as that. Still, as the teacher continued looking, he realized that of the 5 that had to fight in the first round, 4 of them directly went against one of the seeded individuals. Tenn was the only one that didn't have to fight someone else.

The matches progressed similarly to what had taken place until now. The female bodyguard of the Princess had her match around the 20s matches and went after Ning.

Tenn was next, then Yorsha, and finally Kaleb.

Kaleb was the final participant and he fought tooth and nail to win against his opponent who had an Earth Essence core that completely defended against most of Kaleb's wind-based attacks.

He only defeated the man by using his Wind skills along with his Earth armor to create a sandstorm that blinded the man and then used Water sword to send out attack after attack, at least one of which landed and defeated the man.

The first round of battles was over around 4 pm. Instead of ending the competition immediately, the staff members came together to make a small decision.

There were still 2 hours of time before it would be considered overkill on how long the competition lasted. They had originally planned for the competition to end around 6 pm. They had done so with the plan that with 5 mins of fighting time spread between each round, and some downtime, it would cost them 8 hours in total for 72 matches.

However, perhaps became many of the fights didn't last very long, and there were actually 12 matches that were simply skipped over because of absent fighters, the staff now had to make a decision on how to proceed.

They could stop and let the matches continue tomorrow as it had come to a satisfying conclusion for today, or they could continue the matches a bit longer and stop around 6 pm as originally intended.

It would stop the competition in an awkward moment, but there were 2 hours that they couldn't waste. If they made use of these 2 hours, they wouldn't have to use such a strict competition schedule the next day around.

So, they made the decision. The competition would go on, just like before. So, the matches looped back around with the ones that went in first and second today having their official match.

Ning looked at the brackets that were presented on the light board. He frowned a bit after seeing his opponent, a seeded fighter from the Peace World Academy. He had seen the match-up before, but he hadn't expected the fight to take place today.

He wasn't worried about the fight. No one expected him to win anyway. Still, he couldn't help but think of the dissatisfaction he himself would face if he failed here.

He was somewhat special here when it came to being an Essence User. The Pure Essence that he had acquired from the Divine Beast's fruit was not something that an average person could ever hope to get.

As a result, he was better than his peers in most regard. As a result, he considered himself on the same level as those that were just one step above him.

However, one step above him was the Low Essence Soul rank. And Ning had little to no idea what one could accomplish with an Essence soul. After all, that wasn't something that he was ever taught, even in the academy.

The teachers mentioned it here and there, but nowhere was it relevant enough for them to openly explain everything about it.

He needed to know at least a few things before he went into the stage in the 4th round.

"Teacher," Ning quickly spoke. "I do not know anything about Essence Souls. Is there anything that I need to watch out for?"

The teacher looked at Ning and realized he was fully intent on fighting the person that was going to come up next.

"Do you plan on winning the next fight?" he asked. The teacher would've been absolutely fine if Ning simply conceded the next few battles. In fact, he would be fine if all 4 of the first-year students did so.

However, seeing the light in Ning's eyes made him feel a little hopeful.

"Alright, here's what you absolutely need to know."