The crowd outside the light barrier roared in amazement.
Even the bald judge gazed at the youth with an odd expression. After a short moment, he loudly announced, "The Drifting Cloud Sect's Han Li is victorious!"
Han Li bowed to the judge with a calm expression and walked out of the light barrier.
Soon after, two Ancient Sword Sect disciples rushed onto the stage and and carried off their unconscious sect member.
The short old man surnamed Jiang stared at the stage in disbelief and then grimaced.
Although he knew there would be a few unorthodox tactics in a competition between low grade disciples, he absolutely didn't expect talismans to be used in such a manner. He had teased the red-robed old man earlier because he held high hopes for this disciple, but he didn't expect for it to backfire. A moment later, an embarrassed expression appeared on the man's face and he gloomily keep silent.
Old Man Fu couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of Han Li's battle, "Brother Duan, that disciple of yours is truly quite interesting. He used up many spirit stones worth of talismans. Although it was quite the trick, it must've taken quite a bit of practice in order to simultaneously use so many fireball talismans at once. Ordinary disciples would find it quite difficult to do."
The red-robed old man was immensely pleased with the Ancient Sword Sect's Jiang Yun's deflated appearance, but he played down the victory with half-truths, "It's nothing! This disciple of ours is a talisman refinement expert. Attacking with talismans should come naturally to him. However, even I am somewhat surprised for him to use so many talisman at once."
Jiang Yun resentfully muttered, "Humph! He's only capable of using many talismans at once. Now, the others will know of his tricks. In the later rounds, this disciple of yours will definitely be defeated."
The red-robed old man chuckled and said, "Is that so?"
The azure-robed scholarly man glanced at Han Li down below and casually nodded his head, "However, I think that this disciple's movement techniques is a body lightening technique from the mortal world. How else would he have so quickly caught Martial Nephew Yao off guard?"
"Fellow Daoist Bai has seen through it as well! This disciple of ours was once a vagrant cultivator and has learned many mixed techniques. It is very much our sect's embarrassment!"
The scholarly man smiled and said, "Not at all. Long ago, I also held somewhat of an interest in mortal martial arts and studied them a bit. Although these martial arts have no use to high grade cultivators, in the hands of a skillful Qi Condensation cultivator they will greatly add to their might. Furthermore, this disciple of yours seem extremely practiced in his techniques as if he has experienced many battles. It isn't unfair for our own disciple to have lost against him."
As the three sects' experts calmly continued their discussion, the bald referee from the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion was replaced by an old man from the Drifting Cloud Sect. He expressionlessly said, "The second fight will be the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion's Tian Ci versus the Ancient Sword Sect's Zhou Xu."
Soon after, a youth from each sect walked onto the stage and bowed to each other. Once the old man announced the start of the battle, they each formed incantation gestures and began to use their magic tools.
The three sects' Core Formation cultivators soon placed the previous fight in the back of their minds and began to watch this new battle unfold.
Perhaps due to the incisiveness of Han Li's previous fight, the current careful and deliberate battle caused boredom in the spectators.
Eventually, the Ancient Sword Sect disciple was able to use his sword magic tool to break the opponent's defenses and claim victory.
Each fight then successively continued until the first round of the competition was concluded two days later.
The Ancient Sword Sect cultivators' strength was as great as their reputation described.
Apart from Han Li and a few others, the majority of the rounds had been dominated by Ancient Sword Sect disciples.
This scene was cause for great joy for Jiang Yun and he wore a wide grin, releasing him from his previous gloom.
Of course, the Hundred Possibilities Pavilion and the Drifting Cloud Sect cultivators had already anticipated this outcome. Although they found this somewhat embarrassing, they didn't show it on their faces and pretended not to care. From their bearing, it appeared as if they were on the winning side.
During the second round of the competition, Han Li's opponent was a Hundred Possibilities Pavilion female Qi Condensation cultivator with a valiant appearance.
After seeing that she was facing Han Li, she immediately took to the air on her magic tool as soon as the match started.
According to her understanding, she would be able to dodge any of Han Li's talisman attacks in the air and would also be safe from his swift movement techniques.
Han Li sighed upon seeing this and tossed out a stack of fireball talismans without a word.
Just as the woman thought to dodge the incoming fireballs, Han Li formed an incantation gesture with both his hands and caused the approaching fireballs to flash with a red light. The barrage of fireballs turned into small flock of fire birds that spiralled around without approaching her.
When she saw this, she was greatly frightened and thought to use her magic tool to protect herself. However, Han Li wasn't about to give her the opportunity. He muttered an incarnation in a superficial display and commanded the flame birds with his spiritual sense. The flock of fire birds then flew towards the woman and struck her from all sides.
Although the woman managed to envelope herself in a water attribute barrier through a talisman, it was incapable of enduring such a fierce attack. In a mere moment, the barrier shattered.
Helpless, the young woman could only take the initiative to concede defeat.
After that battle, the disciples of the other two sects were greatly moved, having previously believed that Han Li merely abused his abundance of talismans without any skill.
However, a few Foundation Establishment cultivators that possessed powerful magic tools merely viewed Han Li's flashy actions with disdain. But in the end...
There was an obscure, desolate valley at the center of the Dreamcloud Mountains. This valley had long been enveloped with waves of Yin mist over countless years. It was dark to the point where one couldn't even see their own hands if they entered it. Additionally, all sorts of venomous serpents and insects entrenched themselves within the mist in countless numbers. And due to the valley's small size, they were easily overlooked by any cultivators that passed it by.
But one day, the valley's mist became denser than usual, but the mist at the deepest depths of the valley was particularly chaotic.
In a flash of white light, two figures suddenly emerged beside a mysterious pile of rocks.
One of these figures was a man who wore grey robes and had fierce expression. The other was a scholarly man with azure robes and a jade belt.
Although there was clearly no one besides the rock pile, a man's hoarse voice lazily said, "Well if it isn't the Ancient Sword Sect's Brother Bai and the Drifting Cloud Sect's Fellow Daoist Yu? Could it be that the Sword Trial Assembly has already ended?"
"So Brother Yu is on duty today! Yes, the assembly has already ended. We've come to see whether or not the Brightsight Water has been prepared. If it is ready, then we'll directly transport the ten disciples here to prevent anything unexpected from occuring."
As for the grey-clothed old man at his side, he remained silent with an indifferent expression.
The previous man's voice spoke with objection, "Something unexpected? This place is guarded by three Core Formation cultivators at all times. Why not bring the low grade cultivators along with you? Are you afraid that they'll bring some trouble?"
Cultivator Bai shook his head and said, "The Spirit Well Tree is an immensely important matter. It is better to be careful! Besides, dropping the Wine Nectar into the Brightsight water is the most crucial step. Once this is done, the spirit water must immediately be used to cleanse their eyes, otherwise its efficacy would greatly decrease. Why else would we be required to bring the ten disciples over here!"
The man chuckled and confidently said, "Alright, the Brightsight Water has already been prepared. When they've cleansed their eyes, have them immediately depart. Since this area is heavily covered with restrictions, if you teleport them here they won't know where this place is."
Cultivator Bai nodded his head and said, "That would be for the best. Brother Yu, stay behind for the time being. I will notify our Fellow Daoists and have them teleport the disciples over."
The man's voice suddenly thought of something and asked, "Ah yes, I suppose the winner of the Sword Trial Assembly from your Ancient Sword Sect?"
The azure robed scholar smiled and said, "I'm afraid I must indeed disappoint you. The winner of this Sword Trial Assembly is our Ancient Sword Sect's Martial Nephew Meng Di."
The man's lazy voice revealed a trace of satisfaction, "Humph! It isn't surprising that the Foundation Establishment cultivators of your Ancient Sword Sect are stronger than ours. However, when one reaches Core Formation stage, it's hard to say who is weaker or stronger. If there is an opportunity, bring over that Senior Martial Brother San of yours. I wish to compare notes with him sometime."
The scholarly man grew silent for a moment and casually smiled, "It seems Brother Yue still broods over his defeat by Senior Martial Brother San long ago. However, I fear I must disappoint Brother Yue. Senior Martial Brother San has already entered seclusion in an attempt to breakthrough to late Core Formation stage."