Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
While Zhang Xuan was on the verge of spurting blood, the other core members in the sparring grounds had their mouths hanging agape, unable to speak a word at all.
Given that Zhang Jiuxiao was an offspring of the side family and was far weaker, they had thought that Zhang Linqing would be able to destroy him in an instant. Who could have known that after three moves, Zhang Jiuxiao would be the one standing triumphantly on the stage?
Not expecting such a conclusion either, Elder Fengchen was stunned for a moment before he remembered his role and hurriedly announced, “Zhang Jiuxiao… has won.”
In his long life, there had only been an occasion or two where he had seen a cultivator defeating an opponent far stronger than him with just a single finger.
But again, anything could happen in the dueling ring. It was not all that uncommon for weaker cultivators to defeat stronger opponents, and as such, while he did find it rather incredible, he did not think too much into it.
“Next round, Zhang Lin and Zhang Fengyun!”
After achieving victory, Zhang Jiuxiao headed down from the dueling ring and sat down to rest. He took out the pinnacle spirit stone once more and absorbed the spiritual energy within it to convert it into his strength.
What he was lacking the most at that moment was time, so he could not waste even a single second.
On the other hand, after being helped down from the dueling ring, Zhang Linqing immediately found himself surrounded by his peers.
“What happened up there?” a tall young man asked.
As everything had happened too quickly, and Zhang Jiuxiao had struck his opening squarely, most of those within the crowd did not manage to make sense out of what was happening.
“There’s something weird about that fellow…” Zhang Linqing shook his head.
To be honest, even he himself was still unable to understand how he had lost.
His cultivation was higher than the other party’s, and the battle technique that he had executed was far superior as well, yet it had still ended in his loss. He really found himself unable to come to terms with it.
A cold harrumph suddenly sounded, and a slender young man walked over. “To think that an inner clan member like you would lose to a mere member of the side family. Linqing, you have really disgraced all of us this time around. If I were in your place, I would have killed myself out of embarrassment!”
“Zhang Quanyi, what do you mean by that?” Zhang Linqing’s face turned livid with rage.
“Nothing. I just feel embarrassed on your behalf,” the young man named Zhang Quanyi replied with a look of disdain.
“You…” Zhang Linqing clenched his fists tightly in anger.
Zhang Quanyi had come from the same lineage as him, and the both of them had often argued with one another. As angry as he felt at the moment, he found himself unable to speak a single word of rebuttal after the tragic loss that he had suffered.
Thus, he took a few deep breaths and replied coldly, “If I remember correctly, you will be facing him next, right? I hope you remember what you have said here and don’t disgrace yourself later on!”
“Disgrace myself? You must be joking! Is there even the slightest possibility that I will lose against a mere Grand Dominion realm intermediate stage cultivator?” Zhang Quanyi waved his hand furiously, and an indomitable aura burst forth from his body.
“Half-Phantasmal Space?” Zhang Linqing narrowed his eyes in astonishment.
He had often fought with the other party, and their cultivation had always been equal to one another. How did the other party achieve the breakthrough after just a night of absence?
Even though there was only a cultivation stage of difference between Grand Dominion realm pinnacle and Half-Phantasmal Space realm, in truth, there was a world of difference between the two realms.
“Indeed! What’s most important to a cultivator is their cultivation! Before true strength, skills and battle techniques mean nothing at all. If your cultivation had been at Half-Phantasmal Space realm, do you think that the fellow would have been able to withstand your Fist of Void?” Zhang Quanyi sneered coldly.
“This…” Zhang Linqing’s body stiffened.
The other party was right. If his attack had been any stronger, even if Zhang Jiuxiao had struck his opening, the latter’s finger would only have been snapped in two. There was no way his attack would have been neutralized!
“Rest assured. Even though we are rivals, no matter what, we are still from the same lineage. Since you have been bullied by an outsider, I’ll surely exact vengeance for you!” Zhang Quanyi sneered coldly as he turned his gaze in Zhang Jiuxiao’s direction, and a cold light flickered across his eyes. “I won’t be as soft as you later on. I’ll make sure to defeat him in a single blow!”
Hearing those words, Zhang Linqing was silent for a moment before nodding slightly.
Having fought with Zhang Quanyi for many years, he knew just how powerful the other party was. Now that the other party had taken a step ahead of him and reached Half-Phantasmal Space realm, he should be able to subdue that fellow from the side family with ease!
The tournament continued, and it was roughly an hour later before the second round commenced. As expected, Zhang Quanyi was indeed paired with Zhang Jiuxiao.
Just as he had said previously, Zhang Quanyi used his full strength as soon as he got onto the field. It was hard to tell whether he did it intentionally or not, but he executed the Fist of Void as well.
The mighty force commanded behind the fist caused even the seal cast on the dueling ring to waver slightly. Zhang Jiuxiao frowned in the face of the fist. Instead of launching a counterattack as he had done with Zhang Linqing, he chose to take evasive measures this time around.
“Do you think that I’d allow you to dodge my attack that easily?” Zhang Quanyi sneered coldly.
Utilizing his newfound abilities as a Half-Phantasmal Space realm cultivator, he sealed the surrounding space completely, such that even one’s Spiritual Perception would not be allowed to enter or leave the space.
“It seems like I won’t be able to match him with my current level of strength…” Seeing that the enemy’s palm was going to fall on him at any moment, Zhang Jiuxiao muttered beneath his breath. “Since that’s the case, I’ll just have to make a breakthrough!”
Before Zhang Quanyi could even react, he suddenly felt a powerful force bursting forth from the young man in front of him. In the blink of an eye, that Grand Dominion realm intermediate stage fellow had already successfully taken a step forward into Grand Dominion realm advanced stage.
With the advancement of his cultivation, Zhang Jiuxiao’s strength had risen by leaps and bounds once more. He swiftly raised his hand and retaliated against the Fist of Void with a punch of his own.
The two fists collided, and both parties were pushed back simultaneously.
“How is this possible?” Zhang Quanyi widened his eyes in disbelief.
He had clearly seen the young man making a breakthrough to Grand Dominion realm intermediate stage while he was battling with Zhang Linqing earlier, so how could he continue making a breakthrough right now?
Not even Cultivation Impartation could be this fast!
“I don’t believe it!” Zhang Quanyi roared as he dashed forward once more.
This time, he chose not to use the Fist of Void but the battle technique that he specialized in.
Hu hu hu!
Flitting swiftly around the dueling ring, Zhang Quanyi’s afterimages filled the entire area, forming a circular cage that trapped Zhang Jiuxiao in place.
Saint high-tier battle technique, Revolving Dragon Art!
This battle technique was aligned with the essence of a Confinement Formation, and once executed, even his long-time rival, Zhang Linqing, would find himself in a pickle. Even if Zhang Jiuxiao had made a breakthrough, he was still only at Grand Dominion realm advanced stage. There was no way that he could escape from there!
“What swift movements!” Trapped at the center of the circle, Zhang Jiuxiao felt himself being deprived of not just spiritual energy but oxygen as well, and giddiness was starting to fill his head. His face soon turned grim.
“You should be glad that you have managed to force me to the point where I have to use this move. You’ll be able to boast about this to others for the rest of your life!” Zhang Quanyi sneered coldly as he thrust his palms several times.
Peng peng peng!
From the whirling shadows around him, several palms suddenly struck Zhang Jiuxiao without any forewarning, and he ended up being struck squarely before he could even react.
“Heh, rest assured. I won’t let you lose that easily. I’ll slowly drive it deep into your mind that there’s no way mere offspring of the side family like you will be able to stand against core members like us!” Zhang Quanyi smirked as he continued his attack.
At this moment, Zhang Jiuxiao was still fumbling around, unable to find an opportunity to counterattack.
“Aren’t you good at making breakthroughs? Why don’t you make a breakthrough right now?” Seeing the awful complexion on the young man’s face, Zhang Quanyi burst into laughter.
You had your fun making breakthroughs earlier, didn’t you?
Why don’t you do it again?
Zhang Jiuxiao patted his forehead in realization. “Oh, you’re right. I could just make a breakthrough, right? How silly of me!”
Following which, before Zhang Quanyi could even process what was going on, the aura of the fellow trapped at the center suddenly surged once more, and in just half a breath, he had already overcome his bottleneck and reached Grand Dominion realm pinnacle.
The next instant, Zhang Quanyi suddenly felt a powerful force grabbing his neck. Like a rabbit, he was lifted up into the air.