Chapter 232: Arena Battles, Ranking Battles
The arena for the competition was in the center of the drill grounds. There was basically nothing exciting; most people who had Xiao Chen as their opponent chose to give up. Out of fifteen fights, Xiao Chen obtained a victory by default for thirteen of them.
Only Mu Heng and Zhang Lie chose to continue fighting. Unfortunately, they were unable to do anything to Xiao Chen when working together three days ago. In single combat, Xiao Chen only had to use 60 percent of his strength, and he was able to end the fight within fifty moves.
In the fifteen fights, Xiao Chen achieved a complete victory. There was no doubt who was number one. As for second place, it had to be decided between Mu Heng and Zhang Lie.
Their strength was about the same; after fighting for a long time, they had not determined a victor. In the end, Mu Heng relied on the advantages of his physical body and won a battle of attrition, defeating Zhang Lie and obtaining the second place.
All the fights ended around noon; the core disciples for this year were finally chosen. Liu Suifeng narrowly obtained the ten place; his wish was finally granted.
“Go and rest first. After the ranking battles of the core disciples are completed, you will have one final battle with the last ten core disciples,” the chief examiner reminded everyone.
Originally, Xiao Chen was thinking of leaving immediately after receiving the reward. When he heard the chief examiner’s words, he stopped. This was not too bad, either; it would be good to see how strong the ten top core disciples on the Wind Cloud List were.
The chief examiner arranged for seats in the spectator stands for Xiao Chen and the other newly appointed core disciples, separating them from the inner disciples.
After that, five hundred core disciples came out. The mood of the crowd now completely ignited. It was similar to the atmosphere of the Ranking War at the end of the year.
However, in truth, if looked at from another angle, these sudden fights could be seen as the end-of-year Ranking War. The top hundred core disciples were basically the top hundred disciples in the Heavenly Saber Pavilion.
The only difference from this and the end-of-year Ranking War was a significant reduction of people taking part. The quality of the competitors was high. Thus, it was of a pretty intense level.
“Ye Chen, I feel that, with your strength, if you took part in this core disciple ranking battle, you would be able to place within the top ten,” Mu Heng, who was beside, suddenly commented.
Zhang Lie was somewhat dissatisfied; he said, “You must be joking. The cultivation of the top ten are at least at the peak of Inferior Grade Martial Saint.”
“Martial Grand Master to Martial Saint is the first big hurdle of all cultivators. Even if one was just a thread’s width away, the difference in strength is like heaven and earth. They are able to exteriorize their Essence to attack. Furthermore, their attacking force is multiple times stronger.”
There was indeed a huge different between a Martial Grand Master and Martial Saint; Zhang Lie was not wrong. If a peak Superior Grade Martial Master defeated an Inferior Grade Martial Grand Master, or even a Medial Grade Martial Grand Master, it would not be too surprising.
However, if a peak Superior Grade Martial Grand Master wanted to defeat a recently advanced Inferior Grade Martial Saint, it would be very difficult. Although there were precedents in the Tianwu Continent, these were geniuses seen only once in a hundred years.
If not, they had an innate bloodline with an inherited Martial Spirit or their Cultivation Technique was significantly stronger than their opponent’s. Only then could they achieve such a result.
With Xiao Chen’s strength, Zhang Lie was of the opinion he could still defeat an ordinary Inferior Grade Martial Saint. However, the weakest of the top ten core disciples was at least a peak Inferior Grade Martial Saint. Furthermore, they all had experienced hundreds of fights before they managed to make their way to the top ten.
They were simply a class higher than the common Martial Saints below the mountains. Simply their Cultivation Technique was much stronger than an ordinary Martial Saint.
Xiao Chen was indifferent to their discussions. There was no point in talking about it. The only way to convince someone was to actually fight. There would eventually be a fight to prove this.
Mu heng looked at Zhang Lie and said, “Don’t feel unconvinced. Three days ago, when we were working together, we were only able to make Ye Chen use 60 percent of his strength. If he fought without holding back, he would be comparable to a Medial Grade Martial Saint.”
Only sixty percent of his strength? Zhang Lie was in disbelief. Combined with Mu Heng, they were already comparable to an ordinary Medial Grade Martial Saint.
If Xiao Chen was able to fight them using only sixty percent of his strength, did that mean an ordinary Medial Grade Martial Saint would not be his match?
That is impossible! Ye Chen is only a peak Superior Grade Martial Grade Master. How could he even compete on equal grounds? Zhang Lie shook his head, deciding not to pursue this question any further.
There were ten arenas in the drill grounds. The rules of the competition were the same as earlier: to accumulate points. The top ninety core disciples would be decided from the number of points.
The strength of the core disciples could not be underestimated; most of them had a set of trump cards of their own. Furthermore, as someone who used a saber as well, Xiao Chen did not find it boring to watch match after match. He could consider this as expanding his horizons as well.
However, even though it was fantastic, there were no highlights. Watching endlessly under the hot sun bored people somewhat.
“The Jade Maiden Peak’s Yun Kexin is coming out. She is within the top ten on the Wind Cloud List. Her Heavenly Melody Saber Technique cannot be defended. I wonder who her opponent is?”
“She is going against the ranked eighteenth Yan Feng. He is ruthless, but he should not be a match for Yun Kexin.”
“After watching for so long, someone from the top ten finally comes out. I was starting to feel bored.”
“Same for me as well. If it were not for these top ten rankers, I would not have come today.”
The somewhat dull spectator stands immediately turned fervent when Yun Kexin came out. One could hear plenty of discussions about the upcoming fight.
Xiao Chen looked at the girl who slowly made her way up the arena. Yun Kexin was dressed in white. She was not considered very beautiful but still had a pleasant appearance; she looked plain, simple, and natural.
She is a peak Inferior Grade Martial Saint. Her cultivation is the lowest amongst the top ten. The Heavenly Melody Saber Technique should have something special about it. Otherwise, she should not be able to make it into the top ten, Xiao Chen analyzed in his heart.
Suddenly, Xiao Chen remembered something. He turned to Liu Suifeng beside him and asked, “Why do I not see Chu Xinyun? She is a core disciple, as well, right?”
When Chu Xinyun was mentioned, a smile immediately appeared on Liu Suifeng’s face. He explained, “Xinyun’s core disciple status is obtained as a result of her alchemist status. Most of the Jade Maiden Peak disciples are like that; they obtained their core disciple status through other means.
“There are very few who rely on their combat prowess to become a core disciples like Yun Kexin.”
So, that was the situation. The Heavenly Saber Pavilion is quite reasonable. Alchemists contribute heavily to a sect; they could even be considered rare resources.
“You seem to be very familiar with the Jade Maiden Peak disciples. How many moves do you think Yun Kexin will take to defeat her opponent?” Xiao Chen smiled gently.
Liu Suifeng laughed awkwardly and said, “Yun Kexin spends most of her time training outside. The sect missions she takes are all in distant places. I have only exchanged a couple of words with her before.”
While they were speaking, Yun Kexin and Yan Feng had already walked onto the arena. Under the instruction of the referee, they each stood in their spot. The crowd also stopped their idle chats.
“Senior Sister Yun, my apologies!” after they bowed, Yan Feng said something out of courtesy before drawing his saber. Several saber Qi appeared instantly and broke through the still air, flying at Yun Kexin.
Yun Kexin was not an regular opponent. Hence, Yan Feng did not hold back the moment they started. He sent out several saber Qi with all his might. He sent them flying at various angles; he even launched himself forward.
There was a flash of white light and Yun Kexin flew far back, as if she were as light as a feather. Her body was so soft; it was like she did not have bones. She easily dodged all the incoming saber Qi.
Yan Feng smiled lightly as he appeared where Yun Kexin landed. “I have predicted you would land here. This is my true killing move! Space Breaking Cross Chop!”
Yan Feng flicked his wrist and a cross-shaped, criss-crossing saber Qi flew through the air rapidly. Cracks appeared everywhere the cross-shaped attacked passed, showing the might of this move.
This attack was very accurate; it hit exactly where Yun Kexin landed at the right time. She wanted to change her direction in mid-air, but it was incredibly difficult. Even if she managed to dodge, she would be placed in a passively defending position.
However, Yun Kexin had an incredibly calm expression. She suddenly dropped vertically, like a leaf falling to the ground suddenly turning into a block of iron; it was incredibly strange.
Relying in the suddenly increase in falling speed, the instant Yun Kexin landed, she pushed her feet off the ground before the cross-shaped saber Qi hit. She immediately moved several tens of meters, easily dodging Yan Feng’s attack
“Great Movement Techniques. Moving like a swallow in one instant, as light as a feather, and then landing heavily, as heavy as a mountain. Furthermore, she is able to change between the two states very familiarly,” When Xiao Chen saw this scene, he could not help but praise her.
Liu Suifeng said, “This is one of the Heavenly Saber Pavilion’s rare Earth Ranked Movement Technique—Thunder Cloud Art. Only true inheritors or people with exceptional talent have the right to practice it. However, in order to be accomplished in it, it requires extremely high comprehension abilities.”
When Yan Feng saw Yun Kexin dodged his meticulously planned move, he revealed a look of mild disappointment. He shouted and his body left behind a long flash in the air, hacking at Yun Kexin with his saber.
This time, Yun Kexin did not choose to dodge. She did not even draw her saber from the scabbard, using it directly to swept upward. When the saber struck it, it gave off a melodious ringing. Yun Kexin blocked it without being pushed back.
Yan Feng revealed a livid expression as he saw that Yun Kexin did not even draw her saber. He said, “Senior Sister Yun, after not seeing you for at least half a year, am I not even qualified to make you draw your saber?”
Yun Kexin said unhurriedly, “Don’t get distracted. If this were a life-or-death battle, you would be dead already!”
Yun Kexin’s indifferent attitude completely angered Yan Feng. He shouted and held his saber with two hands. A two-meter-long saber light lit up the blade, forcing Yun Kexin back incessantly.
Yun Kexin was not able to withstand the pressure of the huge force. After a while, her body was pushed to the edge of the arena. If she fell off, she would lose this round.
“Are you still not drawing your saber? In that case, fall off!” Yan Feng shouted and he raised his aura to its peak instantly. He immediately knocked Yun Kexin flying back.
Like before, Yun Kexin’s expression was not panicked. She grasped the hilt of her saber with her right hand and slowly drew her saber slightly.