Although Colonel Tang Yu had announced the commencement of the match, Ling Lan and Huo Zhenyu seemed not to have heard it, not moving in the slightest.
Ling Lan's bearing was grave and stern, her gaze cold with both hands behind her back while she stood to one side. Huo Zhenyu's eyes were half-lidded as he quietly stood on the other side with a calm expression, seemingly not minding who his opponent was, as if the confrontation during the third match had not happened …
Just like that, one cold and the other calm, they stood without moving as they allowed time to pass. One minute elapsed, two minutes elapsed, three minutes elapsed … Along with the passing of time, some noise could be heard in the combat hall. In particular, some of the older students were baffled as to why Huo Zhenyu had not chosen to attack after such a long time.
They believed that, as the number one combatant of the Military Academy, Huo Zhenyu could certainly dispose of the opponent with no difficulty, so they were puzzled by his inactivity for such a long period of time.
They were unaware that it was not Huo Zhenyu who did not want to take action, but rather, he did not have the chance to do so. During these three minutes, he had been constantly searching for an opening in the opponent, but regardless of how hard he searched, he couldn't find a window of opportunity. Even though there had been a few faintly discernible chances, they had been rejected by him as they had made him feel an indescribable sense of danger.
Huo Zhenyu was not a rash person, so he had chosen to continue waiting, and with this wait, the time had exceeded three minutes...
' To not have the slightest opening … ' Huo Zhenyu could not help but smile bitterly. At this moment, he was secretly guarded against Ling Lan, the reason being that an opponent whom he could not find an opening in could not be weak.
However, should he continue waiting? Huo Zhenyu immediately rejected this thought. According to the opponent's ability, he would not reveal any fatal opening even if he waited. Therefore, Huo Zhenyu changed his mind and decided to take the initiative to force an opening.
Hence, Huo Zhenyu's aura burst out from his body and bore down on Ling Lan like a wave.
In reality, whether a combatant had reached late-stage Qi-Jin or not would depend on whether he had grasped control over his own aura. That was to say, a combatant of late stage Qi-Jin could release their own aura to oppress the opponent, causing the opponent to be unable to display one hundred percent of their fighting capability. After reaching late stage Qi-Jin, there was no possibility of losing when facing an opponent of weaker strength.
Of course, there was another reason Huo Zhenyu had activated his oppressive aura, and that was to find out the opponent's true strength, for using his oppressive aura was a good method for probing.
Ling Lan and Huo Zhenyu were at a deadlock for three minutes, each side only executing a few baiting moves during that period. However, Huo Zhenyu had not been tempted and Ling Lan could not help but silently acknowledge that the opponent was truly an experienced, expert fighter, able to see through her intentions.
That's right, the reason why Ling Lan did not take the initiative was that she could not find an opening in the opponent's defence, and even if she had attacked, it would have been useless as it would be easily dodged. However, she wanted to defeat the opponent in one move and show the might of the New Cadet Regiment, preventing others from daring to provoke them rashly ...
Ling Lan wanted to kill the chicken to warn the monkey, and sadly, Huo Zhenyu had become the chicken. Although this chicken might be a terrifying fighting chicken, it would not change the initial intention Ling Lan had when she accepted the fight from the start.
Of course, based on Ling Lan's strength, she could directly activate her ability and temporarily lock down the opponent's movements for an extremely short time, accomplishing a one-strike defeat. However, as someone who liked to hold back, Ling Lan was unwilling to reveal all her cards, which was why Ling Lan wanted to accomplish this magnificent feat while concealing her strength.
Ling Lan had been pondering her next move, when she suddenly sensed the opponent's oppressive aura pressing towards her. Ling Lan's heart thumped. ' As expected , he's at peak level late stage Qi-Jin … If it was me three years ago, it would definitely have been a hard battle. However, right now … '
Thanks to instructor Number Five borrowing Ling Lan's body, she had been able to directly breakthrough from peak level late stage Qi-Jin to optimal peak. In addition, her body had memories of Domain, allowing her to get a glimpse of the mystery of Domain.
Although she was unable to officially advance to Domain stage due to various reasons, she had indeed entered the legendary half-step to Domain stage!
With the ability to activate her domain, although the period of time was absurdly short, this allowed Ling Lan to become an unequalled ultrexpert below the Domain stage.
The moment the opponent used his oppressive aura, Ling Lan knew his intentions. The corner of her lips curled up slightly, but she revealed a grim expression, and her stance which had been without any openings slowly broke down ...
"A chance!" Huo Zhenyu's expression brightened and his figure flashed, appearing before Ling Lan in the blink of an eye. Raising his right hand he had prepared beforehand, he immediately thrust out a strong and powerful fist.
"It's here, Boss Huo has attacked." The situation on the stage could be seen clearly and when Huo Zhenyu moved, everyone who was awaiting a fight shouted. Nonetheless, both the combatants' fists had already collided against each other on stage by the time the spectators shouted.
"Good move!" Ling Lan had made a fist and faced his attack directly without fear. She had long waited for this attack and with her strength, she had nothing to fear.
In fact, Ling Lan had progressed in this type of powerful and overbearing style which, according to Instructor Number Nine, was not a route a female should take. Unfortunately, the majority of the instructors who instructed her were males and in particular, the overbearing instructor Number One.
Even if Number Nine was discontented, she dared not express her objections outright, only choosing instead to instruct Ling Lan in as many techniques that trained her flexibility as she could, hoping Ling Lan would not end up becoming a rough, masculine female brute.
"Bang", a muffled sound echoed! Ling Lan's and Huo Zhenyu's fists accurately counterbalanced each other, and even though the resulting sound seemed as if they had not exerted a great amount of strength, the edge of the elevated stage produced a brilliant light. This indicated that the entire stage had been completely saturated with the Qi-Jin released by the both of them, and was infinitely close to its critical point.
On the ground surface of the arena, with their position as the centre, countless cracks expanded outward. From that, the force both of them endured could be seen.
After remaining in a deadlock for several seconds, both of them suddenly sprang apart. Ling Lan retreated seven to eight steps before standing firm and it was the same for Huo Zhenyu. Both of them seemed to be evenly matched but there was still some difference between them — Ling Lan wore a cold expression as before, whereas Huo Zhenyu's expression was fluctuating between red then white. And then, a trace of blood could be seen trickling down from the corner of his mouth.
This scene caused all the spectators to go into an uproar and in the Leiting area, everyone's expression changed, especially Lin Zhidong's. His face had collapsed entirely on itself into an unsightly expression.
"How could this be?!" Not only were the senior cadets who were spectating the match from below the arena in disbelief, even the leaders of various factions in each cabin had reacted in unison as if by a non-existent prior agreement, crying out in surprise, unable to believe the scene they had witnessed.
Regardless of how shocked those senior cadets were, the cadets of the New Cadet Regiment leapt up and cheered upon witnessing this scene. As expected, no one can defeat Boss Lan!
Looking at the New Cadet Regiment clapping in celebration, the people from Leiting seemed somewhat depressed and silent. Many of them could only do their best in comforting themselves that their Boss Huo might have underestimated the enemy and did not use his full strength in that attack, and thus, the opponent had grasped the opportunity… They could only secretly cheer for their Boss Huo, hoping his next move would teach the opponent a lesson and prove Boss Huo's strength, diminishing the morale of these new cadets while he was at it.
Regardless of what others thought, on the stage, Huo Zhenyu was currently astounded. He originally had ample confidence in his strength and believed that even the teachers in the academy might not be stronger than him in terms of physical combat. However, at this moment, a new cadet had caused him to feel inferior — a punch he exerted all his strength to throw had been easily received by the opponent. It was to the extent that during the previous contest between their Qi-Jin, he had been at a disadvantage. Could it be that the opponent's realm was higher than his?
"Hey, do you still want to fight?" Ling Lan's chilly voice echoed in Huo Zhenyu's ears, causing cold sweat to emerge on his body. He had been so shocked by that last encounter that he had actually forgotten he was currently in a battle. If the opponent had not reminded him and had instead chosen to mount a surprise attack, he might have already fallen victim to an attack. If he had been injured as a result, then this battle would truly become hard to fight.
Tang Yu looked at Ling Lan in astonishment. That had been a good opportunity for a surprise attack and he had assumed Ling Lan would not have let this chance slip by. But contrary to his expectations, Ling Lan had shaken his opponent out of his stupor. Was he abiding by the martial arts' principles of fairness? Tang Yu could not help but furrow his brow, because this was not a desirable mindset on a battlefield.
Nevertheless, Tang Yu relaxed his frown very soon and broke into laughter. All in all, Ling Lan was only a new cadet who had just entered the Military Academy and had never been on a battlefield, so naturally, he did not know that there was no so-called principle of fairness there. Only those who survived were the true victors, and perhaps he would understand the correct way of handling matters after going out on a battlefield.
Ling Lan had thought of mounting a surprise attack, but if she were to defeat the opponent this way, the people from Leiting would have believed that she was merely lucky and had not defeated her opponent by true ability. This outcome was not what she wanted, so she had spoken up to alert Huo Zhenyu with seemingly with good intentions.
"Are you prepared? I'll be attacking next," Ling Lan spoke seriously.
Huo Zhenyu smiled wryly and nodded. Since he had received the opponent's favour of warning him beforehand, he had no choice but to receive the opponent's attack. As the opponent was willing to face him with fair-mindedness, he did not want to be belittled by him.
Seeing his reaction, Ling Lan's expression brightened faintly and she continued, "This attack is my strongest killing move. Be prepared!"
These words caused both Tang Yu and Huo Zhenyu who were on stage to be at a loss. Should they criticize the other's straightforwardness or remind him not to be too frank?
Currently, both of them did not expect that Ling Lan's intentions of saying these words were in hopes of Huo Zhenyu not evading her attack. Her seemingly overly frank sentences were actually a trap intended to leave Huo Zhenyu with no room to back off, yet still making him believe it was his own choice.
At this moment, Ling Lan could not help but smirk. Her reminder had actually obtained her her opponent's appreciation, resulting in the opponent having no choice but to receive her attack head-on. This was absolutely a pleasant surprise that had saved her a lot of trouble.
Ling Lan took a deep breath, and took a slight step forward as her right fist punched out softly.
This punch looked as light as a feather, but Ling Lan knew she had used One-Inch Punch with it. However, the opponent's bearing had made Ling Lan reluctant to be too extreme, so she had only used three parts of her strength in the One-Inch Punch.