Clara calmed down a few moments later and breathed out the last whispers of her anger. She turned to look at Ning and nodded to him. "You did well. Go back and rest," she said. "I'll meet you once before you are to go back once the competition ends."

"Alright," Ning said. "Where will you be staying for the night?"

"Right here," she said. "I don't really want to go to the city. I don't think I have the self-control to hold myself back if I do."

Ning nodded. "Alright, I'll leave. Take care," he said and got off the carriage.

"Your Void skill," she shouted. "Don't show it to anyone. It's something that you can easily use to catch someone off guard. You shouldn't reveal its existence in something so simple as this competition."

Ning thought for a bit and nodded.

He saw Kepli waiting there, along with the knocked-out female next to him. Ning looked at her and then at Kepli.

"Can I take her with me?" he asked. "I think she will be a great asset to bring the downfall of our main adversary in this competition."

"Sure, if you want to," Kepli said. "But you'll be in trouble if she wakes up soon. Or if someone finds you carrying her."

"Hmm, I'll take my chances I guess," Ning said and gently carried the woman. "Alright, I'll see you soon."

With the woman on his right shoulder and the sword hidden underneath his left arm, Ning left the area, making his way back to the Light Dance school while the sun still brightened the sky.

His body felt a little tired from having used the Void Essence earlier, but it was still active enough to go back to school in time.

People gave him weird looks along the way, but no one stopped him, so he continued going. However, when he did get to the school, he was stopped at the front gates.

Obviously, those guards weren't just going to let him go in while carrying an older woman in his arms. They were first worried that she was hurt, and when they realized she was just unconscious, they asked for an explanation.

Ning couldn't explain what he was doing easily, so he instead decided to call the people from his school over quickly.

The guards were confused, but they complied and sent someone to get his teachers and headmasters. Ning waited for a while for them to come, but before they did someone else found him.

"Teacher Shina!" a loud voice shouted at him from nearby. "What happened?"

Ning looked to the side at the young man that had arrived. The young man hadn't looked at him yet, so he didn't recognize him, but Ning recognized him instead.

This was the young man he was to fight in the next round first tomorrow.

"What happened to teacher Shina?" the young man asked with a worried look.

"She's unconscious," Ning said softly.

"How? Did she faint? What happened?" the young man asked.

"She was sneaking around me, so I beat her," Ning said simply.

The young man took a moment to process the information before looking up at him with confusion. "What?" he asked.

"Your teacher came after me, and when I found out she tried to run away. Quite suspicious isn't it?" he asked. "Well, when she did, I attacked her and now I'm bringing her back."

"You… bastard!" the young man shouted. "You…"

He finally looked at Ning, recognizing him. Doing such, his anger still didn't subside. Instead, it almost increased even further.

"Get your hands off my teacher," he said, going so far as to pull out a sword from nowhere.

Ning frowned a bit, but he didn't do anything. He wasn't sure about the rules regarding fights outside of the arena, so he just sat there, making sure the guard got a full view of what was happening.

At the same time, he also placed the woman toward the man so his attacks would instead fall on her if he even tried to do so.

The man seemed adamant about attacking him and even went as far as to bring out two arms of his Essence soul, each of which surprisingly had long vine-like tendrils made up of water.

The arms were purple in color, marred by the purple sky after the setting sun. Ning got his sword ready, just in case he needed to attack as well.

Suddenly the gates opened wide and a single tongue of fire flew past the young man, missing him by mere inches. The young man stepped back and got ready to fight whoever it was when he saw the teachers from the Blackhawk Academy.

The headmaster appeared right in front of Ning and glared at the young man. "How dare you try to attack our disciple!" he shouted at the young man.

The young man frowned, stepping back as there was no way for him to compete against the headmaster himself. "Your student hurt our teacher. I want a proper explanation, or I will report this behavior to the committee and have your academy expelled from the competition," he said without any fear.

The headmaster had to take this threat seriously. "Young man, explain what is happening," he said.

"This woman has a Light Essence core and can go invisible with her skills. I found her lurking around outside the carriage where I met my friends. When I did, she tried to run away, so I caught her along with my friends' help," he said.

"What?" the teachers turned toward Ning. "She was lurking around you?"

"Yes, following most likely… under someone's order," Ning said.

"I see," the headmaster said. "Then I will require your headmaster to answer what is going on here."

The young man frowned but had to nod in the end. This wasn't a situation he could deal with.

"It's not just that, headmaster," Ning said. "If she followed me without anyone knowing, imagine what else she could've done on her own. Like say… poisoning someone's food."

The headmaster's eyes widened when he heard that. That had caused him a lot of problems and he wasn't going to let it slip away at the slightest chance of its prospect.

"If the possibility is there, then we must drag the truth out of her, one way or another."