"Wang Lu, what is that thing?"
On the Cloud Platform, the referee from the Spirit Sword Sect side asked with a frown.
Wang Lu looked down at that smiling little thing, raised his head and then confidently said, "Dog."
"...Nonsense, I ask you, why are you bringing the dog here?"
Wang Lu said, "Of course, it's to participate in the fight, and not to give you a taste of its meat."
Upon hearing the words 'its meat', the stupid dog immediately quivered. "Woof!?"
Liu Xian asked, "You want the dog to fight together with you?"
Wang Lu asked, "Is there a rule that forbids a contestant to bring a spirit pet? Although this dog is stupid, it has made an agreement with me to be my spirit pet. Moreover, its grade absolutely does not exceed the allowed figure; please rest assured."
"Hm." Liu Xian turned his head and consulted the other referee.
This was also quite an unexpected situation for Yuan Chaonian. He had never heard that Spirit Sword Sect excelled at the tradition of controlling animals. Thus, he thought it was strange for Wang Lu to bring a dog to the stage. However, since the man and the pet have the primordial spirit connection, it proved the spirit pet identity. And generally there were indeed no rules that prohibited the contestants to bring their spirit pet—naturally, there was a restriction in the grade of the spirit pet—otherwise, it would be too unfair for other sects except for the schools specializing in controlling beasts.
"Okay, since this disciple wants to show us the formidability of the method in controlling beast from the Spirit Sword Sect, we look forward to seeing it."
In his heart, Liu Xian smiled wryly, thinking that how come he, as a Reward-Giver Elder had never known if there was a beast controlling method in the Spirit Sword Sect? However, in the end, he still nodded. "Then, the match is about to begin so please, the two contestants, come to the stage."
After the two sides had been at their respective positions, the Elders began to check the cultivators' condition.
This check was to make sure the contestant didn't use any external secret method to enhance their cultivation, carry props and panaceas with rank beyond the permitted limit, and forcibly lift the seal for the high-level Spiritual Treasure... Of course, with one Yuanying Stage and one Deity Stage referees, no disciple was stupid enough to try to cheat.
Liu Xian swept a glance at Zhao Jiangyuan and then nodded. However, when Yuan Chaonian similarly swept his primordial spirit on Wang Lu, he saw something in Wang Lu's mustard seed bag that slightly surprised him... However, since that thing did not violate the rules, he also nodded to complete the checking.
Thereupon, under the cheers of the audience, the two cultivators made their final preparation at the Cloud Platform. They saw in Zhao Jiangyuan's hand a Ruyi scepter  and in his other hand a copper mirror. His mouth silently cast a spell. Then, from his seven orifices (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth) came out a white mist that enveloped his whole body, which appeared very frightening.
From among the audience, a senior Spirit Sword Sect cultivator said, "It's really a witchcraft. However, the Southern Heaven Region's interest in witchcraft has ended long ago before the Age of Chaos. Nowadays witchcraft should be on the verge of extinction...Ten Thousand Arts Sect is indeed Ten Thousand Arts Sect, they even managed to get their hands on this dishonest method."
Another person said with a smile, "What's more, they even found someone whose aptitude is suited to learn this method, this is really not easy! I don't know whether Wang Lu can handle it, witchcraft is bizarre and unpredictable, and difficult to guard against. We'll see if Non-Phase Method can withstand it."
"Heh, Fifth Elder's superb defense is legendary, so her Method must be good... However, Wang Lu's cultivation stage is a bit on the low here."
While the audience below talked about this, Wang Lu turned a blind eye toward that Southern witchcraft. He was teasing the dog with a piece of fat and tender pork meat; his posture was really provocative.
Thereupon, the Elders waited no more. "Begin!"
Almost at the same time, Zhao Jiangyuan instantly disappeared. His figure flashed forward like electricity, leaving behind the seemingly magical treasures copper mirror and ruyi scepter. They were substituted by an astonishingly sharp sword.
In an instant, countless people below the stage exclaimed. From when they arrived at the Spirit Sword Sect, through his speech and conduct, this Zhao Jiangyuan often gave the impression that he excelled in the study of witchcraft, thus, most people speculated that his Core Cultivation Method was witchcraft spell. However, unexpectedly, all of this was just to cover his real ability.
He was a sword cultivator, good at close combat; a sword breaks all the technique and spells from the Ten Thousand Arts Sect's sword cultivation!
If you think he would use the witchcraft to contend with his opponent, slowly defeating Wang Lu, that would be a complete mistake. Zhao Jiangyuan didn't intend to fight a protracted match with Wang Lu. As per their pre-fight analysis, to win, he needed to do it as fast as possible.
And Zhao Jiangyuan, as a sword cultivator, was best at decapitation tactic. His sword cultivation method was of immortal level Limitless Sword, which could capture all the details of the opponent in an instant, comprehensively seek the flaw and stab it in one fell swoop. This was a top rank skill to defeat the enemy; let alone his overwhelming magical power compared to the opponent, his power was also above Wang Lu!
With figure flashing like electricity, and mind as still as water... Zhao Jiangyuan pointed his sword forward, solidly locking the opponent with his five senses and primordial spirit that even the slightest movement couldn't escape his perception; in an instant, he had seen too many flaws!
'This sword will certainly stab you!'
At the same time, Wang Lu simply threw that slice of pork meat forward, trying to block Zhao Jiangyuan's field of vision.
Zhao Jiangyuan remained unmoved. His mind had completely locked on Wang Lu, without any distracting thoughts and without caring about that pork meat that blocked his line of sight. Under his sword strike, any junk item would turn to ash in an instant, together with Wang Lu.
However, the next moment, Zhao Jiangyuan suddenly felt severe pain on his wrist, which abruptly interrupted his magical power circulation, and his Limitless Sword's momentum unexpectedly faltered!
While he was stunned, Wang Lu's Sword of Mount Kun, through Non-Phase Sword Art's profound mystery, pointed out and perfectly forced his Limitless Sword to withdraw. Zhao Jiangyuan staggered back, and he felt his chest stuffed.
When he got back his composure, he saw his that wrist was dripping with blood, and two rows of teeth were deeply imprinted on it.
Zhao Jiangyuan's eyes turned cold as he realized the trick that Wang Lu just used. Wang Lu had actually used the shape changing method on the piece of pork meat and the mottled dog, reversing their position. The dog was the meat, and the meat was the dog! When he threw out the piece of pork meat, it seemed as if he used it to block his line of sight, but in fact, it was actually the dog that he threw, and its purpose was to bite Zhao Jiangyuan. When Zhao Jiangyuan rushed forward with his Limitless Sword strike, his whole mind was concentrated on Wang Lu, thus he wasn't aware of the opponent's trick. Moreover, the dog was also a different kind of spirit beast. Though it seemed not to be of high grade, it actually had very sharp teeth that it could bite through the sword's momentum that wrapped Zhao Jiangyuan's wrist that held the sword and even injured the flesh and bone of a Foundation Establishment cultivator... Was this mottled fur dog's grade not exceeding the permitted limit?
However, the more important question was, the opposite party had used his sword confidently, which obviously meant that the opposite party had known of his method and just nurtured their own strength and bade their time. However, even in his own Ten Thousand Arts Sect, his method was not well-known, so how did the opposite party see through him?
During their trip to Spirit Sword Mountain, Yuan Chaonian and the other Elders had made a precaution that would prevent the Spirit Sword Sect Elders from probing the Ten Thousand Arts Sect's disciples' actual situation using their primordial spirit. Thus, Zhao Jiangyuan was very confident that his sword cultivation ability and method were extremely hidden, without any flaw at all, and yet...
Wang Lu wouldn't tell him that, although Zhao Jiangyuan hid this ability of his extremely well that even the Spirit Sword Sect Elders failed to see it, a certain chef immediately saw it in just a single glance. At that time, that chef very casually said to Wang Lu with a smile, "Look, there's a sword cultivator over there ~"
Thus, Zhao Jiangyuan's biggest trump card was doomed to fail from the start. As for his prepared-with-confidence winning-at-the-first-strike strike, it was even more impossible to succeed. However, even after failing that, Zhao Jiangyuan was not discouraged. Instead, he took a half step forward and launched his Limitless Sword, ready to lock Wang Lu in a close combat sword fight.
"Hey, you think your Limitless Sword is that amazing? If you want to come then come, the closer you get, the less you see."
Wang Lu said as he slowly waved the Sword of Mount Kun, using his Non-Phase Sword Art to create the impregnable three-feet sword defense.
And in the eyes of Zhao Jiangyuan, a sturdy fortress gradually formed and eventually turned perfect with all the flaws completely hidden... If he didn't witness it himself, it would be hard for him to imagine that a little high-level Qi Cultivating Stage cultivator could have such a powerful defense.
Zhao Jiangyuan's heart became heavier. His planned first sword strike to catch the opponent off guard and win the match in one fell swoop didn't even hurt the opponent! Instead, he was interrupted in the middle of the course, and his magical power circulation was hampered by the bite wound which prevented him from maintaining peak power exertion. But now that Wang Lu's defense had been fully activated, coupled with the spirit pet, with its unknown depth; although he would still have the confidence to break Wang Lu's defense, he would not be able to do it in a short time. His planned strategy to resolve the match as quickly as possible had completely failed.
And once he was dragged into a protracted fight, it would be like what his Senior Brother said prior the fight, a worst case scenario, because it would leave the opponent with too many opportunities to take advantage of...
"Therefore, it's better if you launch your beheading sword strike that failed just now."
Zhao Jiangyuan self-deprecatingly smiled as he switched the sword to his left hand, put his right hand behind his back and wrapped it with a white mist that he just exerted out, trying to heal the wound.
At the same time, his mind locked onto his opponent once again, and in his Jade Mansion, his Limitless Sword Heart started to circulate rapidly, seeking for the flaws of that impregnable fortress.
Couldn't find it? It didn't matter! Even if there were many unfavorable factors for him, how could a sword cultivator from the Ten Thousand Arts Sect be timid in a fight!?
The second sword strike came along with his anger. This castration sword was even trickier and more vicious, and since Zhao Jiangyuan was on guard this time, it would be impossible for that dog bite tactic to succeed again. The dog anxiously ran around on the platform, yet it could not find the opportunity to interrupt this Limitless Sword strike.
With a dull thumping sound, the Non-Phase Sword and Limitless Sword collided head-on. Immediately, it set off the lump of cloud on the Cloud Platform to astonishingly ripple out. After that collision, Wang Lu was still smiling as before. It was just that the tremble on the wrist where his hand held the sword couldn't be stopped. Zhao Jiangyuan deeply furrowed his brows. He couldn't believe the opponent was able to block his Limitless Sword.
A full sword strike from a low-level Foundation Establishment had actually been blocked!?
Indeed, his Limitless Sword couldn't be exerted to its full power, but in any case, it was still an Immortal Level Sword Art with extraordinary destructive power. The opponent was just a mere high-level Qi Cultivating Stage, yet was able to block it!? This was not a fight between a top rank sect and a common cultivator where the one from the top rank sect could do the over-rank challenge. The two sides came from the Five Unique, which made the difference in their cultivation stage like a natural moat. However, the gap that wasn't supposed to be surmounted was actually able to be overcome by a simple swing of the Sword of Mount Kun... How strong the defensive ability of the Non-Phase Method really was actually?
Needless to say, he thought it was probably because he took a wrong step. The third sword strike swept like the passing clouds and flowing water. While it had yet to arrive, Wang Lu also swung his sword and met it head-on, not the least bit in a disadvantageous position.
Over ten successive sounds of two metals clashing each other came from the Cloud Platform. The Limitless Sword's momentum gradually intensified, becoming dense like a net, which shrouded Wang Lu from all directions. Yet, Wang Lu's sword defense didn't yield in the slightest, firmly keeping off the opponent's sword three feet away from him.
After a moment, the sound of thousands of swords clashes gradually faded. Zhao Jiangyuan's countenance looked strange as he took a step back.
Then, he saw Wang Lu suddenly coughed out a mouthful of blood. His face was as pale as paper, and he clearly suffered an internal injury.
Under the stage, the Spirit Sword Sect disciples stared at them with a look of disbelief. The several Ten Thousand Arts Sect people took out a long breath of relief, their hearts finally calmed down: As long as it broke, this kind of turtle shell sword defense would leave its flaws everywhere... Being able to withstand the barrage of attack from the Limitless Sword for such a long time, as high-level Qi Cultivating Stage, it could be said that Wang Lu had gone against the heaven's will. However, in the end, he was finally defeated!
But at this time, on the stage, Zhao Jiangyuan's complexion turned bitter. The next moment, he also coughed out a mouthful of blood, and within the blood, there was a clear trace of his internal organ!
"What kind of sword is that?" Zhao Jiangyuan said with a hoarse voice. It was hard for him to open his mouth to speak as he still couldn't completely stop his urge to vomit blood, yet it was really difficult to push down the question in his heart.
Wang Lu, similarly found it hard to open his mouth, smiled and said, "Prickly Shell."
 Ruyi (Chinese: 如意; literally: "as desired; as [you] wish") is a curved decorative object that serves as a ceremonial scepter in Chinese Buddhism or a talisman symbolizing power and good fortune in Chinese folklore.