After a long pause, the experts from the West Rune Sect woke up and began to break the pressure.
Grinning, Guo Shier said to himself, "Crazy. Hehe! The reality of the bout is finally sinking in."
"Nanshan Grandpa, there's no need to save my face. Hit them hard!" he then shouted in a voice that was sharp and thin. Even the West Rune Sect’s loud shouting couldn't conceal his voice.
Huo Bao and the others also followed, refueling the cheers.
Qi Nanshan bent his knees and adjusted his stance, ready to meet the enemy. The shouting and yelling around him gradually subsided.
His concentration drowned out the noise. He knew that he shouldn’t get too excited when fighting, as it might affect his performance. He’s been through countless battles. This experience has long been deeply engraved into his heart.
Xiong Pa roared loudly and was suddenly surrounded by brownish-yellow glow.
Instantly, a Phantom of a Marked Bear appeared on his body, commencing the enlarging and strengthening of his physique. His bones crackled loudly as he transformed. Suddenly, he became larger and sturdier. This was West Rune Sect’s unique skill: Beast Soul Empowerment.
Xiong Pa is a Beast Warrior Grandmaster. His Soul Beast is able to take form—unlike Beast Warrior Masters who can only form a beast armor.
"Xiong Pi!" Qi Nanshan shouted to Xiong Pa's brother. "Let's go!"
"Fine! Since you want to die, we will fulfill your wishes!" Xiong Pi angrily replied, then roared. The Phantom of a Marked Bear also emerged on his body and transformed his physique.
The brothers were now empowered by the souls of two Marked Bears. Although they were not as powerful as a Marked Bear, they could borrow a portion of a Marked Bear’s strength.
Guo Shier has seen a Marked Bear in the Secret Realm. But Xiong Pa and Xiong Pi's was not the same.
"Whoa, two bears!" he exclaimed. "Master, what is this Marked Bear?"
Luo Jie squinted his eyes and looked, then replied, "This is not the same Marked Bear in the Secret Realm. It could be a local Marked Bear from the grasslands. I don’t know what the power is."
Ying Mo knew more about the matter and chimed in. "One is a black Marked Bear, and the other is a brown Marked Bear. The brown Marked Bear has great strength and excellent defensive power. The black Marked Bear is fast. Can you see the set of Rune Devices on their wrists? That’s a Rune Device made with a Marked Bear’s claws. Its power should be pretty good. "
With Xiong Pi's explosive roar, his body was filled with the strength of the soul of the Brown Marked Bear. He rushed up first.
In battles, he's always the one to rush to the front. The plan was simple: He needed to tie up Qi Nanshan so that Xiong Pa could have an opportunity to attack.
Xiong Pi’s running caused a light tremor similar to a real Marked Bear. An ordinary Marked Warrior Grandmaster was already hard to deal with. What more if it was empowered by a Marked Bear?
Qi Nanshan didn’t take out any weapons and waited quietly with both hands empty. As Xiong Pi closed in, he began to position his body to strike calmly, like an arrow waiting to be released.
When there were only five to six meters between them, Xiong Pi roared again and got ready to pounce.
Qi Nanshan smelled Xiong Pi's stench. He knew right away that he was aiming for a bear hug!
If caught by Xiong Pi, Qi Nanshan could be in danger.
Two punches broke open the two Bear Claws aimed at him. Then, Qi Nanshan hit Xiong Pi sideways with a body slam. There was a loud bang. Xiong Pi felt like he was bumped by pure steel. There was a sharp pain in his chest.
He couldn't undo the enormous power and was unable to control his body, so he flew back and crashed away to the ground.
Xiong Pa suddenly rushed over.
Qi Nanshan was in a very festive mood when he smashed Xiong Pi away. He couldn't help but cry out as he sped up and rushed to Xiong Pi to give him a flying kick to the head.
If his foot connects, Xiong Pi may be completely finished, he thought.
Just then, Xiong Pa sprang over and swung his Bear Claws towards Qi Nanshan's calf. The Bear’s Claws were flashing with a yellow brilliance. Obviously, Xiong Pa resorted to body strengthening.
Qi Nanshan's brows slightly narrowed as he quickly retracted his kicking foot and angled a punch towards the back of the bear's paw.
Xiong Pa harrumphed. He twisted his paw upwards to meet with Qi Nanshan's fist, and five yellow rays turned upwards. He was confident that he could crush Qi Nanshan's fist.
His eyes were red. He stood up and tried to initiate another bear hug. As long as he can cling to Qi Nanshan, the battle will be over.
But Qi Nanshan was trying figure out how hard his fist has become. He grunted and suddenly accelerated his fist to mercilessly hit Xiong Pa's bear claws. At the moment of contact, his fist flashed with rune marks that immediately disappeared without a trace.
Xiong Pa uttered an earthshaking howl. Not only were the bear claws destroyed—his fingers were all broken.
After Qi Nanshan smashed Xiong Pa's hand, he quickly retreated. Xiong Pi—who was aiming for a sudden bear hug—only found empty air.
Qi Nanshan suddenly appeared while Xiong Pi’s arms were still crossed into a hug. With arm like an iron bar, Qi Nanshan swept his arms from the side and aimed for Xiong Pi's head. Xiong Pi shrieked and put out a cross arm block. At the moment of contact, Xiong Pi knew it was bad. He had never seen a Marked Warrior Grandmaster with such huge strength.
Xiong Pi's hard arms were snapped broken and couldn't stop Qi Nanshan's fist, which was aiming for his head. He was terrified. Since he was taller than Qi Nanshan, though, he was able to stiffen up and move his shoulder to protect his face.
With a large explosion, Xiong Pi flew out. The bones on his shoulder were all broken. He then fainted without a word.
Seeing this, Xiong Pa felt confused. He howled and rushed up.
Qi Nanshan slightly shook his head, lifted a foot to kick, and kicked Xiong Pa on his chest. Xiong Pa flew up and over. He now stood motionless on the ground
The fight didn't last more than a minute. The Xiong Pa brothers couldn’t support each other.
Qi Nanshan's strength was overwhelming. It was not a match at all.
Zizi Rong yelled, "Stop! We throw in the towel!"
Is this a joke? The brothers were his only two Grandmaster Level followers. If Qi Nanshan refused the motion to stop the fight, he was really going to cry.
Qi Nanshan hasn't even warmed up yet. He hasn't used his full strength.
Feeling a bit upset, he started yelling, "Qi Nanshan of the North Rune Sect would like to consult with West Rune Sect masters. Who else is willing to go for it?"
He wasn't satisfied so he simply challenged everybody from the whole West Rune Sect.
Xiong Pi woke up. He and his brother were horrified. They looked at each other while they retreated. After this fight, they had both lost their confidence.
Guo Shier cried out, "Nanshan Grandpa, you are the most handsome!"
Luo Jie smiled. "You little pony fart."
Qi Nanshan waved to the direction of Guo Shier then asked, "Is anyone else willing to be my next match?"
The masters of the West Rune Sect were visibly livid. They didn't expect the North Rune Sect to challenge them on their home turf.
No one was daring to fight. It was an embarrassing to the extreme.
Suddenly, a big man stepped into the training ground. Although he had a white beard and many wrinkles, there were still sparkles in his eyes.
With a steel Rune Rod in his hand, he walked slowly to the front of Qi Nanshan.
The people from West Rune Sect got excited.
"It’s Liu Changfeng! Elder Liu came forward!" someone yelled.
Guo Shier whispered, "Master, who’s Liu Changfeng?
"He’s a Beast Warrior Grandmaster from West Rune Sect," Luo Jie explained. "Rumor has it that he's on the top three from the Inner Sect, with amazing fighting power. Haha! I did not expect Da-Shan to make him come out."
"Qi Nanshan, you’re really good," Liu Changfeng said. "But There’s no place for you in the West Rune Sect."
Qi Nanshan also knew who Liu Changfeng was. If he hadn't advanced, their strength would be the same. But after his baptism at the altar, Qi Nanshan was now far stronger. Still, Liu Changfeng is a worthy opponent. He could thoroughly test the effects of his advancement by fighting him.
"Very good, Liu Changfeng," Qi Nanshan replied. "Bring it on!"
He didn't want any more nonsense. It was time to play again. But he did not dare be careless.
Liu Changfeng roared. His body emitted a red glow, and a Phantom of a Tiger appeared on it.
"A Marked Giant Blood Tooth Tiger. Amazing fella!" Luo Jie exclaimed. "This Marked Beast has not been seen in the grasslands for a long time. Maybe he got it when he was young.
"This Marked Beast soul is very rare, he continued. "What’s even rarer is that he doesn’t seem to rely on the soul of the Marked Beast."
Puzzled, Guo Shier asked, "Why?"
"Because he's using a weapon instead of using the Beast’s skill to attack," Luo Jie responded.
Guo Shier smiled, "Oh, understood! I see. Focus on the use of weapons and not the use of beast skill. Haha! This Liu Changfeng is fantastic!"
Luo Jie knew this disciple was not the same as the rest.
Qi Nanshan was stable as a mountain as he took out his own Rune Rod. "Let's go!" he declared while observing the behavior of the other Grandmaster.
"Eat my stick!" Liu Changfeng yelled back. He roared like a tiger and started to move as fast as one.
His Rune Rod was glowing as it went straight to Qi Nanshan.
Qi Nanshan took this opportunity to test his body strength. With his full power and speed, he swung his own Rune Rod. It swept through the air and made an explosive crackling sound followed by a sharp burst.
The sound made everyone's ears numb.
Liu Changfeng's heart suddenly jumped. He screeched to a stop and put up his Rune Rod to block Qi Nanshan's attack—just in time.
All the spectators couldn't help but take a step back. This loud noise shook them to their core.
The fingers on Liu Changfeng's right hand broke like the cracked teeth of the Tiger's mouth. He could no longer hold onto his Rune Rod.
His pure steel Rune Rod even got bent into a 90-degree angle and flew up onto the sky.
He stared stupidly—that was all he could do. Even his Rune Rod couldn't get close to Qi Nanshan!
He decided to jerk sideways and take out a second stick with his other hand, but it was smashed away again.
Seeing that Qi Nanshan was still aiming at him with his Rune Rod, he stretched his hand into his waist a pouch, and a huge Rune Shield emerged.
(Note: I’m assuming that pouch is a rune pouch with extended space, and what he took out was a Rune Shield and not a Glyph Shield since he’s just a Beast/Marked Warrior and not an Artificer.)
Liu Changfeng held his body against the Rune Shield, basically wearing it. He was banking on the strength of his body plus the empowerment of the Marked Beast’s soul.
Qi Nanshan sneered as his strikes smashed the shield with a bang. Liu Changfeng felt a severe shock with every hit. He grinded his teeth and cried out. Every blow reverberated through the shield and into his body.
Qi Nanshan laughed as he continuously smashed on the Rune Shield.
Liu Changfeng spit blood out with every hit. He has been unable to retreat and can only move forward. He was just listening to Qi Nanshan's shouting.
Qi Nanshan finally focused and fiercely smashed his Rune Rod down.
Blood spurted out of Liu Changfeng's mouth as his Rune Shield tore apart.
Breaking the Rune Shield showed an opportunity, but Qi Nanshan didn't rush. Without notice, he let go of the Rune Rod in his hand. He lifted both his hands and motioned to Liu Changfeng to continue the fight.
He wanted to fight Liu Chengfeng with his bare hands.
Translator: Glasses TangGu