Chapter 39: Battle Royale (Four)
These two competition matches had sent all of the cultivation families into a surging mood. The follow up of the first match had caused everyone to be even more endlessly excited. After two hours, seven powerhouses came to a decision. Because the number of people in Nantong Province was odd, they would draw a lot from one of the other city's rank twos. It was merely that these seven powerhouses were as bright and clear as mirrors in everyone's hearts.
Tianfeng City, Yuyang City, Zhaoxue City, Zhaoping City, Tongjiang City, Qianzhou City, and Shuilao City.
Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan, a power struggle between the pair from their respective cities of Yuyang and Tianfeng. Victory or defeat would be difficult to distinguish as they stood side by side as the first of the echelon! The others… were all of the second echelon!
These two were too outstanding… Outstanding to a stage that others simply found hard to ignore! Although the rank ones of Zhaoxue City and Tongjiang City had shattered two stone steles and rocked seven stone steles as well, in comparison to Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan, they weren't on that upper level. In years past, they had still been able to draw the shock of others, but this year.. with the pearls ahead, they were nothing but cheap ornaments.
In the afternoon, seven turned to four. Xu Yangyi had drawn a bye, and Chu Zhaonan had used a similar move to fell his opponent in thirty seconds.
"This kid…" Xu Yangyi took a drag at the side of the arena and mused to himself pensively: "It seems that he's not prepared to put more methods into action before the finals."
He had a clear understanding that from the start to finish, Chu Zhaonan hadn't used the pistol at his waist. That was his counterpart's true killer weapon. It was a genuine killing move that had to be reserved for true, deserving opponent.
Four turned into two, and Xu Yangyi disposed of his opponent in ten seconds. In comparison with the single kick he had used against Luo Sanfeng, he used three kicks this time. As before, Chu Zhaonan took thirty seconds, still using a stylish rain of bullets that were hard to look directly at.
Two people of different styles, two people of similar strength would come together in the finals!
"The finals will be carried out an hour from now." Firecloud finally stood up after the match where four had turned to two. He softly flicked his finger, and two syringes suddenly appeared in Xu Yangyi's and Chu Zhaonan's hands. "The name of this object is Golden Spirit Serum. After it is injected, the deficits to the sea of essence is sure to restore itself with an hour. To Qi Condensation cultivators, it is already sufficient."
Xu Yangyi took the syringe and injected it into his wrist in a practiced motion. Instantly, a warm sensation flowed through the meridians that covered his entire body. In his sea of essence, threads of spiritual energy began to spread out from his meridians. He looked ponderously at the syringe, and an odd feeling emerged within his heart.
To date, alchemists had completely vanished. Or perhaps it should be said that following the effluence of time, the ancient techniques had already been lost to the long river of time. If it weren't for modern-day cultivators being equally as brilliant and electing to use syringes and capsules containing concentrated, purified pill serum, the ancient occupation of pill refining would have ceased to exist long ago.
However, alchemy was not western medicine. Even better capsules and syringes could not stop medicinal leakage, only so much could be stopped. He and Chu Zhaonan had nearly finished injecting the medicine at the same time. By chance, both of them looked at the other. Their wills to fight were evenly matched without the slightest concealment, like stars on a winter night or a broiling flame on a summer day.
Nothing was said. The two of them turned their heads and returned to their stone rooms. Right now, nothing more needed to be said. This was a struggle for supremacy. They had defeated all of their opponents to stand in front of each other.
"Minister." At the same time high above the stage, Chu Tianyi's special assistant at his side said lowly: "I've thoroughly investigated it. Everytime, Xu Yangyi finished his matches, he grabbed his opponent and questioned this: was it you."
Chu Tian slowly opened his eyes that were closed in rest and swept his extremely complicated gaze over Xu Yangyi. His voice didn't waver as he asked: "Are you sure?"
"I am ten thousand times certain!" The assistant promptly bowed.
Chu Tianyi shut his eyes again, and his assistant tactfully departed at once. No one had discovered it, but his eyes beneath his eyelids were gently trembling without end. It had been completely out of his expectations… that the aptitude of this Xu would actually be so high! To make a Qi Condensation cultivator lose the championship wasn't anything. With his status as the vice minister, no man would split hairs over it. However, it was completely different matter if the Qi Condensation cultivator was a Foundation Establishment seedling!
From what he could see in his eyes of Firecloud's and Shadowslay's attitudes, he was quite understand that these two had been moved… absolutely stirred! This Foundation Establishment seedling would even be sheltered by these two Foundation Establishment cultivators! Even if those of the Foundation Establishment stage didn't discover the oddity of the Immortal Brew, on all occasions, he was better safe than sorry!
If by chance… what if he was discovered? If by chance… this boy advanced onwards to Foundation Establishment later?
A trace of remorse slowly began to creep up from the bottom of his heart.
An hour passed by extremely quickly. As Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan walked on top of the arena stage, time seemed to freeze in frame. Up above, the four massive characters of unrivaled beneath the heavens were impressive to the eye. They were so tightly surrounded by thousands cultivators and clans that not even a drop of water could penetrate through. On the enormous arena platform over ten thousand meters in length, there were only the two of them.
As if a soundless wind blew across the arena stage, all gazes converged upon their bodies. The battle of rank ones had taken four to five hours, however, two monsters had appeared this graduation. Surprisingly, within these many hours, all of it would come to a conclusion! This was even with the added time for rest!
Yet the passion of all those present hadn't waned because of this shortness of time at all! The struggle of sheep was nice to look at, but it was no more than kick to the head. What they desired to see was a genuine struggle of lions! The exchange of moves by true experts!
"Old Three." At this moment on the grandstand above, an old man wearing the gown of a scholar faintly shook his folding fan, yet what he said was decisive enough to chop nails: "Could you see how many upper-grade spirit stones you could convert our Scorchtail Mulberry Yang Wood to?"
On his chest, there was an emblem of a tree leaf with the character of Zhao (赵) brightly dazzling on it. This wood was a major financial resource of Fengbao's Zhao Family, but at this moment, he didn't hesitate in the least to take it out!
"Fifty pieces won't be a question!" Of the seventy-strong Zhao Family team, this inquiry was met without a single retort. The one called Old Three was a middle-aged man with a common appearance who slightly bowed in caution at this moment: "If it doesn't compare to the gifts of the Big Three, I still have a high-grade artifact I am willing to use to bet with the clan master."
"Others may be worried about the Big Three, but our Meng Family of Fengbao is not." On the other side, a forty-plus-year-old woman said lowly: "Liquidate the fixed assets and prepare to discount. Cultivation is like a boat going against the current. If the clan does not develop, it can only be sealed in step!" Her gaze trembled: "There are somethings that can be allowed, but there are others… that cannot be permitted for!"
"Thud…" Among the countless low discussions taking place, Xu Yangyi's combat boots walked atop the even limestone tiles, looking at a figure a hundred meters away. Right now, it was as if they were walking through a desert, climbing the precipice. A roiling wave of fire in his heart caused him to tightly clench the bandages on his fist.
"Click… Clack…" The neither slow or hurried sound of footsteps could be heard as the two walked towards facing each other, like swordsmen on a rainy night taking a leisurely stroll, knights with braided tassels with scimitars bright as snow. The two of them not yet arriving, a soundless battle intent had already silently ignited like oil added to an inferno.*
"You've finally come." Chu Zhaonan's voice was somewhat hoarse. He had prepared far, far too long for this moment. To be unrivaled beneath the heavens, there could only be a single person walking alone! He had to be that person!
"So, I have come." Xu Yangyi nodded, looking seriously at his counterpart: "You are an opponent that deserves the display of my full might." Presently, Firecloud and Shadowslay were sitting upright, their gazes had never shifted away from the bodies of these two.
"The time has come…" Shadowslay's voice carried a slight hoarseness to it. Echoing through the entire arena, it was gentle, peaceful, and brimming with an oppressive might. He raised his hand high and looked at everyone. In this instant, the hordes of crowds all went silent.
There was no wind, yet it was as if the sound of breathing could be heard.
There was no rain, but sensation of cold sweat seemed to be felt in hand.
The gazes of middle-stage and late-stage Qi Condensation cultivators were scorching hot. The expectations in the hearts of initial-stage Qi Condensation cultivators were like that the swift fire of a curved bow
"For the Nantong Province championship battle…" Firecloud's boundless voice echoed within the arena, faintly reverberating.
"Shh…." On the grandstand, Lilac sucked in deeply, her lips pursed slightly tight. It had been too long… Too long since there hadn't been such a long-awaited battle of initial-stage Qi Condensation cultivators. These two of the initial stage… we're freaks in a class of their own! Monsters that had transcended ranks and on the contrary had exterminated all challenges!
An exchange of fists between freaks, a game of superhumans. She didn't know who would be the last one unrivaled beneath the heavens, and she didn't want to guess. However… she had already urgently contacted the CSIB Nantong Province branch moments ago to obtain an answer…
They had to be won over!
"It is Yuyang City's Xu Yangyi versus Tianfeng City's Chu Zhaonan."
At her side, Lotus's complexion was similarly cautious. At the very beginning, she had only knew that Xu Yangyi had slew a berserker and of the affair on the airplane to poach him. She was the same as Lilac, it was beyond her expectations that the person she wanted to snatch was an absolute supreme talent! Even if he was no Sunnihilator, he was not be out done!
The Featherwood Guard… truly needed such a talent… No! Where was such a talent not wanted? Not even to look at the cultivator clans, regardless of size, it was clearly understood that the Big Three were determined to win these two. Weren't their eyes also green with desire?
Following these words, the heavens… opened. The four characters of unrivaled beneath the heavens released a drizzle of white light at this moment, appearing like a canopy of myriad spiritual energies as they leisurely extended downwards from the sky. Mist like fog and fog like dust, rays of misty white light bore through the half-concealed, half-covered white mists, reflecting a magnificence that enchanted the heart.
Cold fields condensed with morning mists, a frosty sky scatters the evening glow of dusk.**
Threads and strands formed four white barriers established all around on the outside that completely isolated sound.
"This is a method left behind by a Core Formation master capable of blocking three blows of a cultivator ar the Great Circle of Foundation Establishment." At the same moment these words rang out, the two people suddenly raced towards each other nearly in sync, bringing with them a screaming gale, like two trains moving at top speed!
On the VIP section of the grandstand, Chu Tianyi narrowed his eyes. At the side, Fang Tansheng tightly grabbed onto the handrail. No one made a clamor, none cried out in alarm, and not a single person shouted words of encouragement. They were only watching the two silhouettes that had no intention in the slightest of pulling back! They shot towards each other like arcs of electricity!
Absent of avoidance and without evasion, this was a truly forceful contest of strength!
"Bang!" Before, the fists of the two had not been the same, yet this time, they were completely wrapped in white spiritual force, suddenly making an impact together!
* 吴钩 - Scimitar. Not actually a scimitar but close enough. Ancient Chinese hook sword. Copy and paste these characters into google to get a better idea of what it looks like.
** 寒野凝朝雾，霜天散夕霞 is a flowery phrase part of a poem by a Tang Emperor, Li Shimin. I hope I did not butcher it.