The 7 great S rankers represented the strength of the aristocratic families' influence, while the 9 rising stars represented the commoners. The parliament also created two distinct factions in the top 16 ranks. On the surface, the ratio was 7:9, with the commoners and parliament making up the majority, changing the situation for the aristocratic influence. This gave a breath of fresh air akin to the emergence of a new force in the 21st century in the CHF, and gave the commoners much thrill. After all, in the past, the 10 great families had monopolised everything. Seeing the same thing over and over, one would crave for something new.
Each squadron was objectively judged. Although Tianjing's strength was top notch, their combined strength was frankly somewhat inferior. Giant God Peak was considered to have a powerful combined might, but lacked a symbol and individual trump card. Although the Blazing Angels were strong in their group battles, they lacked in individual duelling strength, and were average in other aspects. Different squadrons had their own sets of weaknesses. Even though they all barely classified as S rank, like the defeated Zhao Family and Bella Dean, they possessed weaknesses that could be clearly identified and specifically targeted.
Furthermore, there were initially only 10 squadrons that represented the aristocrats. However, there were 400 to 500 squadrons that participated in this CHF. Taking into account the elimination rate, those representing the commoners and the parliament simply didn't have the qualifications to be equals of the aristocrats' representatives. This included the so-called predicted places pushed out by parliament-controlled officials. The aristocratic influence firmly controlled the top 6 places, and still held absolute authority and right of speech over the whole of the CHF.
Naturally, it was all just statistics, those few S ranks had yet to display their full strength.
This round was the most straightforward clash between the aristocratic families and the world of commoners. Exactly how many squadrons would remain, and who could remove another's right to exist?
The first match of the first day.
The night before the best of 16 rounds started, there were already a considerable number of fans gathering outside the venue for the first match. On the actual day of the match, the live venue was extraordinary explosive. The mere opening broadcast led to an immediate new record of 1.097 million viewers that surpassed the one set in Tianjing squadron's match. After all, there were multiple matches taking place at the same time in previous rounds, allowing the audience to pick and choose which one they wanted to tune in to. But now, the millions of people had merged together and focused their attention on this match.
The television channels started playing introduction videos and past interviews of the 2 squadrons participating in this match. As the specially invited analysts for the best of 16 rounds, Ruo Zi and Little Yu already started providing their analysis on the Skylink broadcast for the impending match. Rifling and stimulating the emotions of the audience, they raised hype for the match. It was said that when Wind God was brought away by the organizing committee, he cried like a whipped dog.
"Brother Ruo, the atmosphere's extraordinary! This is truly worthy of a best of 16 match! There's a turnout of many CHF participants, for example, our massively popular Tianjing squadron!" Chen Yu'er had a very good impression of Tianjing. After all, they had All Mouthy King in their ranks. Who would have guessed that he, who whipped up a storm in the OP, would still be so almighty in the CHF?
A smile was plastered on Ruo Zhi's face as he replied, "That's for sure! There will be much more information that can be collected in the best of 16 matches. For Tianjing, this is such a rare opportunity to obtain first-hand information on their potential opponents."
However, what Ruo Zhi was actually saying was that Tianjing's base wasn't sufficient. An S+ rank squadron like Stuart wouldn't care too much about the best of 16 matches. To them, they already obtained the information required for this round. Naturally, he also knew about the secret battle between the aristocratic and parliamentary influences. However, he was just a small analyst, so it was more than enough for him to just do his job properly. People with a bit of fame like Wind God, who assumed they could interfere with this battle would definitely be shattered. Although, for the Zhao Family to just give up halfway like that, they really didn't have any brains in what they were doing.
Heaven's Fate squadron VS Mammoth squadron!
"Being one of the 4 S+ ranked super seedling squadrons, the Heaven's Fate Academy undoubtedly possess the strength to obtain the title of CHF champions. However their opponents, the Mammoth squadron, definitely cannot be scoffed at. In the best of 16 rounds, even S+ ranked squadrons will find it hard to show one-sided dominance like before."
"That's right. Possessing the golden mammoth bloodline, the Mammoth squadron hails from the Giant Elephant City located on the torrid, heat-filled equator. With their entire lineup towering over 2 metres tall, this is a squadron composed of super heavy soldiers with considerable tyrannical, individual strength. Only a handful of their members participated in the previous 3 matches, and none of them required winning the group battle to determine victory, They are one of the few squadrons that have managed to obtain easy victory in the duelling phase of their matches."
"Today's match will definitely be a battle between dragons and tigers. With a lineup comprised entirely of heavy soldiers, I can imagine the power they could unleash during a group battle. Although a lineup comprised of one occupation might lack adaptability and transformational capability, they can push their strengths to the absolute limits. In past CHFs, there have been many squadrons that have deployed extreme formations like this. Generally, they are able to obtain considerably good combat results as a target-focused objective in group battles are their strong suit!"
"That's right. Faced against Heaven's Fate Academy, which stands at the apex of strength, the Mammoth squadron's key focus will be on how to bring this match into the group battle phase. With their unique formation, they might be able to cause a great deal of trouble for Heaven's Fate Academy."
"Naturally, there's also the possibility that Heaven's Fate Academy will end this match before it even reaches the group battle phase."
"Is there no one out there who feels the Mammoth squadron can end the Heaven's Fate squadron before the group battle phase?"
"Are you sleeping, brother!"
"Look, both squadrons are entering the arena! The Heaven's Fate squadron is always in control. Even their expressions are uniform across the whole squadron. They haven't shown a relaxed attitude at all, and have calm expressions on their faces. Naturally, we also have the one and only Napier Mo with his ever so radiant smile."
"The Mammoth squadron appears to be even more solemn than their opponents. Looks like even Mammoth, who faced their previous match with absolute confidence, can't help but feel pressure when up against the Heaven's Fate squadron."
In the arena, Heaven's Fate's fans and supporters were in the majority, their deafening cheers reverberated throughout the surroundings. Comparatively, there were clearly much fewer Mammoth squadron's fans, and so too were their shouts and cheers.
The members of the various great squadrons also graced the arena. They all placed considerable importance on the first match of the best of 16 rounds. Wang Zhong and the other Tianjing squadron members were also in the arena.
Frankly speaking, watching this match via Skylink would be tantamount to ` missing the match. Every single match in this best of 16 round was highly anticipated by Wang Zhong.
The main thing Tianjing lacked was a detailed understanding of those S ranked squadrons. The low standards of their previous opponents meant they couldn't force those S ranked squadrons to play their trump cards. However, in the best of 16 rounds, even the S+ ranked squadrons couldn't obtain victory as easily as they had done so before. Furthermore, regardless of the placings given by officials, which were merely a classification of strength on paper, the final victor of a confrontation between 2 experts could only be determined after a genuine fight.
Evidently, the atmosphere in the arena had infected the CHF participants, this was one of the unavoidable advantages a powerful squadron possessed. The wave of cheers for Heaven's Fate squadron grew stronger after each wave, up until the giant cameras discovered Mo Xingchen in the audience. As her figure appeared on the large screens, it instantly ignited the fervent emotions that surged in the hearts of all Heaven's Fate's fans and supporters.
The match officially started.
Mammoth squadron's vanguard was their vice-captain, Kupata. Towering at over 2.3 metres tall, he was considered extremely tall and big even amongst heavy soldiers. However, what attracted people, even more, were his well-defined muscles and suntanned skin.
Any ordinary person standing at 2.3 metres tall could build thick, solid muscle after arduous training. However, it was extremely difficult to show that much definition and flowing musculature. You couldn't possess both traits, as it would generally make people treat them like a stone block. However, Kupata's muscles appeared perfect as they flowed harmoniously with his physique. From afar, he looked just like a sturdily built man 1.8 metres tall in height. His suntanned skin was so dark he looked as though he radiated, just like a glow from a set of full body armour. He gave off the aura that he was filled with power, but with none of the clumsiness or awkwardness one would associate with being extremely muscular.
The Heaven's Fate squadron had sent out Mo Ling as their vanguard.
Being one of the 3 great summoning masters to grace this CHF, the Heaven's Fate squadron was also showing sufficient respect and importance to their opponents. Upon walking onto the stage, thunderous cheers and shouts rang out, instantly drowning out the arena.
"I feel that Kupata still has a certain disparity in strength and fame compared to his opponent, Mo Ling. But I still think this duel holds some suspense."
"Both parties are all-rounded soldiers. With Kupata's combat style emphasizing strength more, I think if he utilizes his best traits properly, there is still a chance he could create a miracle."
"That's right. As one of the twin cores of Mammoth, this vice-captain undoubtedly possesses one of the most important strengths of their squadron. In the last 3 matches, they maintained a combat performance of 3 duels and 3 wins. Furthermore, he defeated his opponents in a rather clean fashion. Now that he's up against Mo Ling, we believe he can definitely put up a fight!
Standing on the stage, Kupata had a considerably solemn expression. Honestly speaking, their Mammoth squadron's goal for today was to enter the group battle phase. Faced with Heaven's Fate Academy, they placed too much importance on their opponents' unique traits, even making them consider forfeiting on their first duel. Nonetheless, they finally gave up on such a plan. Having hailed from the Giant Elephant City, which was located on the torridly hot equator and was one of the most inhospitable environments in the world, soldiers of the Mammoth bloodline were prideful and responsible. To them, admitting defeat even before battle didn't suit their character, even more so for the morale of their squadron. Even if defeat was inevitable, they would face defeat by giving their all.
Both parties chose to fight without weapons. The moment the bell rang, Kupata's eyes furiously contracted as he took the lead and launched his assault.
Upon moving, Kupata transformed into a ray of light. Unlike ordinary heavy soldiers or soldiers, he seemed to be a perfect fusion of both. His speed and strength were not one bit inferior to the superior traits of either occupation.
"Kupata dashes forward, and is making considerably sharp steps in his advance! However, unlike the absolute strength he displayed in the previous 3 matches, he's now showing an astonishing speed in his movements! For a 2.3 metre tall person, this is a simply earth-shattering speed!"
A loud bang erupted out. In just the time for the analyst to commentate, a massive fist brimming with power had smashed against Mo Ling's chest, whipping up the dust on the stage.
He had unexpectedly didn't dodge the punch?
All the Heaven's Fate squadron supporters were slightly surprised. Their noisy cheering quietened down by quite a bit and was quickly replaced by cheers from Mammoth supporters.
With the considerably astonishing speed and explosiveness, one could tell exactly how much force was in that punch just from the heavy bang that resulted from the impact. It was definitely at the peak of 200 Grassos. Coupled with the instantaneous conversion of momentum into that strike, it possessed absolutely outstanding lethality!
Even so, the change of cheering source in the arena was only momentary.
As the dust settled, the tortoise shell sparkling with a faint green glow behind Mo Ling disappeared in a flash. The punch Kupata sent to his chest only made him retreat a small half step back.
Not a single trace of shock or fluster was present in Mo Ling's eyes. There were also none of the reactions one should have after receiving such a heavy blow, appearing as though he just endured a punch from a little kid.
Nevertheless, there was no expression of bewilderment in Kupata's eyes upon seeing this. Mo Ling's 4 beastial states weren't much of a secret in the CHF. The tortoise form was the state most suitable for defence and granted him top-class defensive abilities. If not for the lack of Summoning Masters in the Mo's List, or maybe because of his occupation's uniqueness, he might've even entered the Mo's List as one of the 5 great heavy soldiers.
From the very beginning, he never expected to finish his opponent off with a single punch, moreso for his opponent to be dealt with by such a simple burst of strength.
Retracting his left fist slightly, he changed it into a palm before ferociously sending a second blow from this very short distance from his opponent!
Barran's eyes lit up. This was one of the ultimate moves Wang Zhong taught him. When used by Kupata, he clearly appeared more adept in it even after Barran's long training and experience. What's more, it appeared to be incorporated into a technique. This 2nd drive strike was the true key point of this 2nd strike.
However, Mo Ling merely retreated a small half step again. It seemed the 2nd drive and 1st punch was of no difference to him, something Barran found slightly hard to believe.
The concept was that the 2nd drive utilized the rebounding force coming from one's opponent. However, despite only retreating a small step back, Mo Ling had already unloaded all of the force in that strike. With all of the force unloaded and not rebounded, Kupata's 2nd drive naturally couldn't work.
Seeming to have already predicted this outcome, Kupata's offence didn't stop. With a twist of his palm, he sent out 18 successive palm strikes.
Since he couldn't rely on his opponent to rebound the force, he would just rely on his own strength!
Fighting intent surged in Kupata's eyes.
The 18 successive palm strikes appeared slightly similar to Grai's 100-fold Compounding Strike. As layer after layer of strength surged, they proceeded to compound into one another. The moment this palm skill was pushed forward, winds quickly reaching the corporeal state were formed! The attack angle and direction were also swift and crafty!
Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang...
Explosions instantly rocked out!
"What a considerably fierce and powerful attack!" Ruo Zhi's voice rang out promptly, "The Mammoth's 18 successive palm strikes is one of Kupata's well-known techniques. Not only is it ferocious, the force within the successive strikes are also compounded together, giving us a similar flavour to the Mo Family's internal fist! What's astonishing is that Mo Ling has yet to return any attacks! Exactly what is he planning? Ever since the beginning of this duel, he hasn't seemed to be able to concentrate. Although he's had absolute defence from his tortoise form, he's treating the vice-captain of a top 16 rank squadron's killing blow so lightly! Frankly speaking, this doesn't seem like the Mo Family's usual style, and it really isn't wise! Hu…"
Before Ruo Zhi could finish his commentary, even before the 18 successive palm strikes were successfully unleashed, Kupata was already sent flying.
Compared to the green tortoise figure, which had flashed and disappeared, a glowing golden tortoise shell appeared in a flash on Mo Ling's back.
What was that? The 2nd stage of the tortoise form? Everyone knew about the green illusionary shell that was one of Mo Ling's 4 beastial states. However, no one has ever seen it sparkling with a golden glow before. Furthermore, what just happened? Mo Ling counterattacked? There didn't appear to be a single sign of it!