Chapter 40 Huang Chang's Challenge
Long Chen raised his head to look and saw a powerful man standing atop the center of the martial arena and cupping his fist in all directions.
He didn't recognize this young man. But as soon as he had got on the stage, the crowd had cheered. It appeared he was somewhat famous.
At this time, Long Chen noticed that even outside the plaza there were countless people. Back before the lanterns were lit there had been an area reserved only for the nobility, but now it was open to everyone.
There were no restrictions on status for the battle over the number one junior warrior. Looking at where the Empress Dowager was watching the battles, he noticed there were many more people over there as well. Amongst them was Manhuang Hou.
Those people tended to be on the older side, but their bodies were still surging with strength. They were Blood Condensation cultivators and faint killing intent came from their bodies. They were clearly true experts.
Long Chen was sizing those people up when another burst of cheering rang out. A man jumped up tens of meters and lightly landed on the martial arena, his figure appearing extremely at ease and confident.
"So it's Feng Yang!" Shi Feng was somewhat amazed when he saw that person.
"What, do you know him?" asked Long Chen.
"Yup, he's the same age as me. He joined the army two years ago. At that time he was just at the third Heavenstage of Qi Condensation, but now he's at the eighth Heavenstage."
To jump five minor realms in just a short two years truly was shocking to people.
"It's not surprising. After joining the army, he must have gone through several missions and survived many life and death situations. This kind of speed is normal under those circumstances." Long Chen nodded.
"This Feng Yang is really not bad. Although his cultivation base isn't high, that trace of killing intent on his body isn't something those people who grew up coddled can handle."
While Long Chen and Shi Feng were talking, Feng Yang had already took action and it truly was just as Long Chen said it would be.
Although the person who had come up ahead of him looked strong and had a similar cultivation base to Feng Yang, his true combat ability was a far cry from Feng Yang's, and he was defeated in less than ten exchanges.
"On the martial path, just having a higher cultivation base doesn't mean you have a higher combat ability. Sometimes just an unstoppable attitude will make the opponent afraid of you and lose confidence. This will lead to their battle strength going down. That's why the further you walk along the martial path, the more you require a strong martial heart. This will allow you to overcome your obstacles and be undaunted by setbacks." Long Chen patted Shi Feng's shoulder.
"I know. I can die, but I cannot surrender." Shi Feng nodded.
Long Chen smiled. Shi Feng's talent was limited and his cultivation path would be rough. But if he kept a steadfast heart, he really might be able to pull off a miracle one day.
Feng Yang consecutively beat three strong opponents before finally ending up exhausted. In the end he was sent flying by someone and had no choice but to concede.
"I'm going up now."
"Oh, this early? Are you going to be able to handle it?" Long Chen was a bit flabbergasted.
"I consider this contest a kind of training for myself. The results aren't important. Instead I need to firm my martial heart," smiled Shi Feng.
"Nice brother Shi. We'll all be rooting for you from here!" Fatty Yu was especially excited and the rest of them all wanted to see Shi Feng win.
"You got this!" Long Chen patted his shoulders.
"Shi Feng has come to ask advice!"
Following Shi Feng's shout, it was like thunder had clapped through the plaza and the entire crowd emitted a huge cheer. Obviously Shi Feng was pretty famous within the younger generation of the capital.
Fatty Yu and the others' yells were drowned out by a flood of cheering. It was so loud that they couldn't even hear their own voices. They looked at each other in dismay and awkwardness.
Shi Feng's face was dark and reserved. As he stood atop the stage, he gave people a sensation of being a large mountain that no man could shake.
He was fighting a ninth Heavenstage Qi Condensation expert, but when that person saw Shi Feng, he immediately turned into a statue.
"Come at me; I'll only use the power of the ninth Heavenstage of Qi Condensation." Shi Feng smiled slightly.
That person naturally couldn't help becoming angry at that provocation. Everyone was watching them, which put him on the spot.
"Hmph, who asked for your help!"
That person stamped on the ground and a punch came smashing towards Shi Feng. But Shi Feng didn't even deign to look at it.
"Isn't this Shi Feng too arrogant?"
Just as people thought Shi Feng had a huge ego, that person suddenly sent out a second punch towards his lower abdomen; the first one had actually been just a feint.
A large palm met that punch. Shi Feng grabbed onto that person's fist and started to apply some force.
"Time for you to go."
That person let out a startled cry as his body flew a dozen meters through the air. Eventually he fell flat on his face.
After landing, he spit out some dirt and cursed a couple times. He turned to leave, deciding to not even look at the rest of the battles.
"Brother Shi is formidable!"
Fatty Yu and the others took advantage of this time and shouted out this slogan. Following their shout, the crowd loudly cheered.
These cheers contained countless young maidens' cries as well. Long Chen smiled; no wonder so many people wanted to go up to fight. This was the best way for men to attract women.
Suddenly Long Chen sensed a gaze coming at him from the seats above. Looking up, he saw that Chu Yao was staring at him.
He smiled and winked at her, causing her to immediately turn red and quickly lower her head. But joy filled her eyes.
But neither Long Chen nor Chu Yao noticed that these small movements of theirs had been noticed by another person.
Xia Changfeng's face was ashen, and he suddenly whispered to a person beside him, "How was your scouting? Did you find his bottom line?"
"Your servant tested him. His cultivation base is extremely strange and his true level could not be found. However in terms of combat ability, he does not surpass early Blood Condensation," whispered that person.
If Long Chen were there, he would have immediately recognized this person's voice as being the person who had fake attempted to assassinate him.
"Hmph, that's good. Huang Chang, you must kill him today. Do your best not to disclose too much hidden strength," coldly ordered Xia Changfeng.
This Huang Chang was one of his bodyguards, the man with the scar on his face. Huang Chang cruelly smiled, "Don't worry master; he definitely won't survive the night."
It went without saying that Shi Feng who had reached the Blood Condensation realm was unstoppable. He defeated eighteen people in a row, filling the crowd with excitement.
The last two people were also Blood Condensation experts, but in terms of combat strength, they were quite a bit weaker than him.
After all, Shi Feng had received Long Chen's assistance when breaking through to Blood Condensation, so his foundation was much firmer than the others, giving him a great advantage.
After defeating the last Blood Condensation expert, Shi Feng shouted out three times, but no one further came up.
According to the rules of the battle, the title of the Phoenix Cry's number one junior warrior had already landed within Shi Feng's lap.
Under the enthusiastic cries of the entire crowd, Shi Feng walked over to the Empress Dowager and kneeled. The Empress Dowager bestowed upon him a jade medal and gave him a few encouraging words.
When he returned back down to the martial stage, the crowd became even more impassioned, and countless maidens surged over there, throwing flower loops over to Shi Feng's neck.
Each of those flower loops had been personally made by those maidens. It was a token for men they admired. If that man picked it up, then it meant the man accepted the maiden's heart.
Each flower loop had the maiden's name sewn onto it, so the man could easily figure out whose it was. The stronger a man was within the Phoenix Cry Empire, the more wives and concubines he would have. So a great deal of maidens would prefer to marry a man who had many wives rather than be the first wife of a mediocre man.
When Shi Feng returned, his body was covered with flower loops and only his head could be seen. He could barely see where he was going.
"Haha, congratulations Shi Feng!" Long Chen couldn't help laughing at that comical sight.
"This time you've struck rich Shi Feng!" Shou Hou was filled with admiration.
"Hmph, what riches. Shi Feng isn't some peddler. But brother Shi, make sure to get your affairs in order when you go back. No matter what, you have to pick a couple good wives," laughed Fatty Yu.
By giving those flower loops to him, those maidens had all expressed their willingness to marry him. As long as he assented and he gave them a betrothal gift, they could immediately proceed to the wedding. It was extremely convenient.
Shi Feng turned red and said, "I was only able to do this because of Long Chen's assistance. How about we split these flower rings between us?"
Everyone choked when they heard that. Only Shi Feng would think of trying to divvy up such a thing.
Seeing everyone laugh, Shi Feng also realized what he had said. He played dumb, causing people to laugh even harder.
Normally this would signify the end of the lantern festival, but just as people were preparing to leave, Xia Changfeng suddenly laughed:
"That battle just now truly was marvelous. But I still feel as if we haven't had our fill yet. I have a proposal, but I don't know whether it's appropriate."
The Empress Dowager frowned slightly. Too many things had occurred today, and she didn't want new ones. But Xia Changfeng was a guest, so the Empress Dowager could not easily contradict him. "You can say what you want prince Xia."
"In order to add more fun, I'll also send a youngster from my side to exchange blows with your Phoenix Cry's top talent. Let's compare and see which is stronger," laughed Xia Changfeng.
Before the Empress Dowager could say anything, Wei Cang interrupted, "The Grand Xia and the Phoenix Cry Empire are like a family and it's just a friendly competition. I doubt the Empress Dowager would refuse."
The Empress Dowager only sighed in anger. They were clearly using their words to trap her. If she didn't agree, that would offend Wei Cang.
"Then we'll listen to grandmaster so we can see the grace of the Grand Xia's men. But I still don't know who is going on to the stage?"
"Huang Chang, you go. Remember to go easy and not ruin our friendship." Xia Changfeng waved his hand.
Huang Chang stepped lightly on the ground and he shot through the air like a huge bird, gently landing on the stage.
"Grand Xia's Huang Chang inviting any Phoenix Cry geniuses to exchange pointers." Huang Chang cupped his hands.
"Is this a mistake? You already look so old, yet you act like a youth? Isn't your skin a bit too thick?" Long Chen fed some words to Shou Hou who shouted them out.
Huang Chang smiled. "I'm only nineteen this year. I have official documents that confirm this, and everyone from the Grand Xia knows this."
The crowd relaxed at his words. Some people simply did age a bit faster.
"Young master Long, I've heard rumors of your strength since arriving at the capital. I truly admire you. Do I have the qualifications to swap pointers with young master?" Huang Chang cupped his hands towards Long Chen.
Everyone's gaze lit up at his words, and the crowd immediately began to cheer.
Their shouts were surging waves that completely impassioned everyone's blood and countless fervent glances landed on Long Chen.