The second fight between Spirit Sword Sect and Ten Thousand Arts Sect ended almost as soon as it started—even though, within moments, there were quite some changes.
Under the deafening cheering sound of the crowd, Liu Li goofily laughed lightly and walked down from the Cloud Platform. Her face was filled with the joy of achieving victory.
"Senior Sister Liu Li, you're so awesome!"
"Hehehe ~" Liu Li touched her own cheek somewhat embarrassedly.
"Senior Sister Liu Li, we will always support you!"
The cheering continued until she arrived at the resting area where the cheering sound was kept out by an array—to give the contestants a quiet environment.
"Senior Sister, isn't it too early to reveal your masterstroke?"
A Xudan Stage outer court disciple, who had been in the Sect for around twenty years, chuckled as he carried a cup of hot tea, a specially-made beverage from Carefree Peak, which could effectively restore magical power and uplift the spirit.
Liu Li took the tea from him. Toward this fellow disciple who entered the sect way long after him and had lower cultivation stage, he had no choice but to call her Senior Sister and asked that question with a smile. However, the answer from Liu Li was simply, "Because I can only use my masterstroke to win over him."
That outer court disciple nodded and no longer asked. Because even though Liu Li said those words lightly, since it was her judgment, it must be correct.
Brilliant Sword Heart was, after all, an extremely rare method. In itself, it was a high-rank immortal method, and the requirements for its practitioners were also very extreme. Even the Ten Thousand Arts Sect's understanding of it was also not comprehensive. In addition to the powerful explosive force and 'untainted even by a speck of dust' physique, Brilliant Sword Heart could also give its practitioners an incomparably sensitive intuition, so that they could subconsciously make correct judgments.
At the previous fight, thinking that fiery sword alone was not enough to win, Liu Li immediately used her hidden card limpid water sword and then neatly and cleanly defeated her opponent. If her reaction was a tad slower, it was quite possible that she would've been injured by the opposite party's gloomy ghost talisman. Nevertheless, the outcome of the fight would only differ a bit. As long as she still had the Brilliant Sword Heart, even if the fight were to be repeated a hundred times or even a thousand times, it would still be impossible for Lu Qiancai to grasp that slight difference and make a comeback.
This was the Successor Disciple of the Spirit Sword Sect, a talented genius prided by the Heavenly Sword Hall Elders. With her there, no matter how arrogant the people of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect were, they couldn't shake the self-confidence of the Spirit Sword Sect.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Cloud Platform, in the resting area of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, the atmosphere was actually solemn.
Lu Qiancai's defeat was not a surprise for them. What surprised them was even after he had done his best, he still didn't have the slightest chance...Liu Li was stronger than what they expected. A sixteenth layer fiery sword had already been quite a headache to them. But now, suddenly she had the limpid water sword; how could they resist the combination of this two swords?
At least, among the few people present, no one had the confidence to withstand it. Even the Eldest Brother Zhan Ziye also had a gloomy face.
A long time later, Lu Qiancai slowly said, "I think we don't need to be too pessimistic. Although in the match the opponent suddenly had a trump card, as it happens, this trump card can be completely countered by the lightning body,
Zhao Jiangyuan wryly smiled. "That's easy to say, the key issue here is not her limpid water sword, but we don't know if there are any other surprises other than that from her Brilliant Sword Heart."
The insight of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect was quite good, the key issue had been quickly discovered by them.
"Hey, where's Junior Brother Yunfan?" Lu Qiancai suddenly raised his head and asked.
"Seems like he went looking for his old friend." Ye Feifei absent-mindedly replied; the girl's mind was completely focused on the battle between her Eldest Brother and Liu Li and completely didn't care about the whereabouts of her Junior Brother.
"Looking for his old friend?" Lu Qiancai and the others were bewildered.
Hai Yunfan was indeed went looking for his old friend. Somewhere near the Cloud Platform, he and Wang Lu sat side by side, talking and laughing merrily.
"Brother Wang, are you in a good mood? Looks like you're confident about your match?"
"Little Hai, if you want to say something just say it."
Hai Yunfan chuckled. "Brother Wang is really open-minded. Initially, I wanted to apologize to you regarding that matter."
Wang Lu nonchalantly said, "From the start, I never expect that scarf could actually turn the situation around, I just want to create a little trouble so that I can observe the fighting efficiency of your sect's trump card. Unexpectedly, it's still more slag than what I expected... However, it's also good for Yue Yun to lose. Otherwise, people would question this like-a-bucket-of-gold mean. So, just speak frankly to me."
Hai Yunfan asked, "If it were you, how would you deal your Senior Sister Liu Li in a fight?"
Wang Lu glanced at him. "Why do you ask this?"
Hai Yunfan said, "I'm just curious. I'm sure Brother Wang has also considered this problem, because... if both of you smoothly progress in the competition, it is very likely that Brother Wang would meet Liu Li in the finals.
Wang Lu said, "Yes, this is the most likely situation. On my side of the tournament, needless to say, whether Zhao Jiangyuan or Ye Feifei would not be able to stop me. And it is highly unlikely for Zhan Ziye to win over Liu Li. So, it's quite possible that I would meet Liu Li at the final."
Hai Yunfan declined to comment on that but instead asked, "Then what would Brother Wang do to overcome her?"
"To deal with Liu Li, of course, I have to use my brain. With how much powerful she is, it would be tantamount to seeking death if I were to fight her head-on. She was so stupid that naturally, I could use schemes and tricks to win against her."
"...Schemes and tricks?"
Wang Lu chuckled. "Just like how you used two candies in exchange for her silk handkerchief. I can use the silk handkerchief to lure Zhan Ziye to concede defeat, so perhaps I can also use two candies to lure Liu Li to admit defeat."
Hai Yunfan laughed in spite of trying not to. "Senior Sister Liu Li wouldn't be that easy to deal with, right?"
"Of course it wouldn't be that easy. After all, she has her Master. Having known of her brain deficiency for many years, wouldn't her Master give her any preparation? He sure would've done various kinds of countermeasures to prevent her from being deceived on the stage. Incidentally, I've just been involved in designing her special training course before this competition."
Hai Yunfan asked, "Since you guys have so thoroughly prepared her, how come you still want to use tricks to deal with her?"
Wang Lu said, "So we need to probe her flaw bit by bit. For example, let's use that two candies in exchange for her admitting defeat. Perhaps before the fight, the Elder would tell her to absolutely not give up and concede defeat just for candies, thus she would be unmoved by such a trick. However, you can probe her by using chicken legs, trotters, braised meat and other things... Her only weakness is her not-quite-bright brain, so I can only use this to defeat her. It's a pity that your Senior Brother is so hopelessly stupid that he wasted the chance to probe her."
"If he didn't take chances and had the determination to decide victory in the first round, in theory, he could survive for quite some time. And in this period, he can test the opponent's actual situation, looking for the loophole in her thinking. Then, even if he still couldn't win, he could create opportunities for your Eldest Brother."
Hai Yunfan gawked for a moment and then bitterly smiled. "Unfortunately, I didn't hear Brother Wang's wisdom earlier."
"Nonsense, if you asked me about this earlier, I wouldn't have told you about it. At least, she and I are fellow disciples of the same Sect, so how could I help your teammates to win against her?" With that, Wang Lu's eyes rolled. "How about you? As a substitute, wouldn't it be a pity if you don't have the opportunity to show off your skills on the stage? If you want, I can help you figure it out."
In accordance with the rules, the substitute would only be used if the winning side didn't have the ability to advance to the next round. Wang Lu's offer clearly meant that he wanted to trick Zhan Ziye who had already won the first round.
Hai Yunfan immediately rejected his offer. "Forget it, even Brother Wang doesn't want to collude with the outsiders to trick your own teammate, I naturally don't want to either."
Wang Lu cast a meaningful side glance to Hai Yunfan, and then said, "You're indeed worthy to be the noble and upright Hai Yunfan. Say, I think your temperament is quite suitable with your Second Senior Sister."
Hai Yunfan trembled and then got up and said, "Master is looking for me, I'm leaving first."
Back to the rest area of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, Hai Yunfan felt cold behind his back, his Ten Thousand Arts Sect's robe had thoroughly been soaked in cold sweat.
As an esteemed Foundation Establishment Cultivator, his physique was far stronger than the best martial art master of the mortal world. However, Wang Lu's last sentence caused his whole body to pour out a thick cold sweat.
He was indeed worthy to be the miracle kid who in the Immortal Gathering almost rode above the mundane. Unexpectedly, after a few years of not meeting him, he was even fiercer than when they first met. On their several previous talks, Hai Yunfan had never thought that on this private meeting, he would find this had-yet-to-reach-eighteen-years-old youth to have an astonishing power and influence. Which, coupled with a psychological offensive that he couldn't guard against, caused Hai Yunfan to suffer a great deal.
It was not hard to guess what was inside Hai Yunfan's mind, but it would be impossible to anyone, because of that reason, to try to lure him to take the bait—he was not that brain-dead nerd Zhan Ziye. However, if the person who tried that was Wang Lu... then Hai Yunfan couldn't help but be tempted.
Because since Wang Lu had opened his mouth, it was highly likely that he already had a way to make Hai Yunfan's dream come true. Even so much that if Wang Lu insisted, Hai Yunfan had no way to refuse! If Wang Lu wanted to be his matchmaker, he had no choice but to get married and have children! At the time, Hai Yunfan's thought process was so quick that before Wang Lu even finished talking, his mind had already constructed a pair of future beautiful scenes which made his heart palpitate with excitement.
At the same time, he was startled by his own reaction. Fortunately, he had cultivated for quite a few years at the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, a mere few words would not let him lose control. Therefore, he promptly got up and left, ending the dangerous dialogue.
After calming himself down in the resting area, Hai Yunfan's spirit had fully revived. As it happened, at that time he saw his Third Senior Brother Zhao Jiangyuan ready to fight, eager for the match to start.
The next round of fight would be his Third Senior Brother vs. Wang Lu. At this time, it had already been quite a while after Liu Li's victory against Lu Qiancai. However, the warm atmosphere surrounding the Cloud Platform had yet to subside in the slightest. After seeing how skillfully Liu Li defeated her opponent, people naturally looked forward to Wang Lu who was well known for his myriad tricks to get what he wanted. How would he deal with the disciple of the Ten Thousand Arts Sect whose absolute strength was far better than him also became the hot topic of speculation among the audience.
However, even on the Spirit Sword Sect side, there were not that many people that were optimistic on Wang Lu's winning chance. After arguing his pros and cons toward each other, no one could convince the other one. Upon listening to a few such arguments, Hai Yunfan's heart slightly sank.
Because... even the disciples of the Spirit Sword Sect could not accurately measure Wang Lu's true power; in the Spirit Sword Mountain, this guy was also mysterious. However, this mysteriousness was not advantageous to the Ten Thousand Arts Sect that relied on analyzing the opponent's data before the fight to come up with tactical countermeasures.
"Senior Brother, is the victory within your grasp?"
Upon seeing his Junior Brother walked toward him, Zhao Jiangyuan slightly gawked, and then immediately replied, "Of course... not."
Then, Zhao Jiangyuan helplessly said, "The available information for the analysis is too little. The Non-Phase Method is even more mysterious than the Brilliant Sword Heart. The only information about it is that it was self-created by the Elder of the Non-Phase Peak and it has extremely strong defense and survival ability. However, no one knows how powerful this method actually is. If not for the fight three years ago between Daoist Master Zhifeng of the Shengjing Sect and Non-Phase Peak Elder, there wouldn't even have an actual fight example."
Hai Yunfan asked, "Huh, our sect has yet to finish analyzing the Non-Phase Method?"
"There's too little information to parse. However, can't analyze is can't analyze, why should I be afraid of a sandbag?"
Hai Yunfan smiled. "Senior Brother said it right. Okay, the fight is about to start, I wish you good luck Senior Brother…"
Before he finished his words, suddenly from the other side of the platform came a cry of surprise, mixed with many screaming female disciples of the Spirit Sword Sect. Their voices were so big that even the soundproof array failed to intercept it all.
"Aaa, what is that!?"
"Look, it's looking at me, it's looking at me!"
The Ten Thousand Arts Sect people looked at each other and quickly looked ahead.
They saw on the other side Wang Lu slowly climbed the Cloud Platform, ready for the fight.
And on the ground beside him, a mottled-fur, seemingly naughty but cute puppy, happily enjoyed the limelight as it merrily ran around.
"Damn, what is that thing!?"