"Ling Xian, first round, take my fist!"
The call for battle echoed throughout the city streets and up through the clouds.
Ye Xiao Tian's emerald robe danced in the wind. Concentrating all his power in his fist, he took the first strike.
A violent windstorm rushed in seemingly out of nowhere.
"Come at me!"
Ling Xian roared with laughter. Without flinching one bit at the incoming threat, Ling Xian struck back with his own fist.
Two rock-solid fists collided in midair. Instantly, thick clouds of smoke erupted all around them, contaminating the clear evening sky with debris.
"Tung, tung, tung…"
Both fell backward three steps. The first round had ended in a draw.
Ling Xian glared at his emotionless opponent and said, "Not bad, worthy of the title indeed."
"You aren't bad yourself either," Ye Xiao Tian replied. Upon observing him closely, Ye Xiao Tian felt a sense of familiarity. However, he was certain that this was the first time they had come face to face in combat.
"Regardless, it would be difficult for you to take the title back from me," Ling Xian provoked. He did not care for the title of the city's mightiest warrior at all, but since he had been challenged, he had to fight.
He was also certain that Ye Xiao Tian did not mean him any harm, only that he believed the title did indeed belong to him. Since Ye Xiao Tian insisted on battling it out, Ling Xian obviously would not decline.
"I accept that based on what you showed during the last battle I would be no match for you. But just yesterday, I succeeded in acquiring a new spell. Who wins and who loses today, that is yet to be determined," Ye Xiao Tian said peacefully but looked at Ling Xian with a glare filled with fire.
He has always been fond of a good battle. Since Ling Xian's public victory a few days ago, Ye Xiao Tian had wanted to challenge him. He went looking for Ling Xian and found out about Ling Xian's plan to leave the city. Therefore, he came and waited for him near the resident quarters of the Fangs.
"Looks like you're determined to challenge me to a dual." Ling Xian said sternly.
"Correct, you can say I' m here for the title, or simply to challenge you to a dual, I only ask…" Ye Xiao Tian began pacing as he uttered three words.
"Dare to battle?"
The instant his voice trailed off, a strong whiff of Qi rushed out of his pores and spiraled into massive, dark cyclones.
"Why ever not! To have Master Ye as my last opponent before my departure from the City is an honor Ling Xian would never decline,"
Ling Xian declared with wild confidence. He let out a long, high-pitched laugh and unleashed powers of the tenth realm. Suddenly, giant waves of charcoal cloud dust materialized in the evening sky, ready to pounce.
"Ha, ha, great, let's have an epic battle!" Ye Xiao Tian laughed with excitement. An enormous halberd materialized and fell into his hands.
Ling Xian responded by summoning the Eyes of Execution, clouds of Wi diffused to reveal the magnificent Winged Blitz.
Only a few meters apart, the opponents eyed one another, beaming with exhilaration.
The evening sky had calmed a touch. The moon reemerged from behind the thick dust of cloud and shone brightly on the two dark figures facing one another in midair.
Suddenly, Ye Xiao Tian's eyes stirred. The dark halberd shot out of his hand and pierced through the sky toward Ling Xian. Ye Xiao Tian himself followed suit, morphing into a flash of lightning and darted toward Ling Xian directly behind the halberd.
The distance of a few meters instantly vanished.
Ling Xian showed no fear. With a gentle flap of the Winged Blitz, a transparent wall appeared around him and deflected the incoming halberd.
Sparks erupted as the two collided.
But Ye Xiao Tian was not yet finished. He grabbed the deflected halberd and lit it up with a terrifying flame.
Ling Xian frowned and stomped violently onto the earth below. The ground broke apart instantly, lifting up a huge storm of dust and debris which was hurled at Ye Xiao Tian.
"Good reflexes!" Ye Xiao Tian praised, swinging his terrifying halberd back at Ling Xian.
"You too." Ling Xian returned the favor as he morphed into a flash of light and reappeared in front of Ye Xiao Tian. Before Ye Xiao Tian could react, Ling Xian lifted his right foot and stomped the earth again.
This stomp triggered an exhilarating wall of bright aura. A suffocating force could be felt coming down hard towards earth.
"Lightning speed!" Ye Xiao Tian exclaimed. Lifting his weapon above his head, he deflected this attacking force.
But Ling Xian was not finished. Before the dust settled, pale white feathers began falling from the air and turning into sharp blades before directing their pointy ends at Ye Xiao Tian.
"You and I are even now. Let's see how this ends."
Ye Xiao Tian's expression darkened. He swung his giant sleeves and momentarily fended off the incoming blades. "Not bad for a kid," he exclaimed.
"You struck first. Now it's my turn." Ling Xian advanced aggressively. With one giant leap, he swept up half of the earth's dust and hurled it at Ye Xiao Tian.
Ye Xiao Tian began swinging his halberd wildly at anything that moved. Each seemingly gentle strike came down like thunderbolts and easily dismissed the pointy blades. He laughed, "The Winged Blitz is nothing on its own. Come! Unleash your Sword of Extinction!"
"When the sword is unveiled, deaths occur. I do not want casualties today," Ling Xian responded emotionlessly, continuing to unleash his feathery swords.
"You talk as if I am doomed for defeat. Fine, I'll wait and see how you can defeat me without the Sword of Extinction!" Ye Xiao Tian roared. The halberd reacted with a terrifying vibration. The Winged Blitz suddenly split in half.
Ling Xian backed off into the distance. Still suspended in midair, he frowned and muttered softly, "This is rather strange."
"Ha ha, what have you discovered? This is the Lone Wolf, a tactic I acquired with my entire wealth. Any spell that collides with it transfers its power onto the Lone Wolf. That light you saw was the power of your Winged Blitz. Thanks to you, my Lone Wolf has broken to the eighth realm, powerful enough to defeat your Winged Blitz!"
Ye Xiao Tian tilted his back and laughed into the darkness. However, he was painfully aware that if Ling Xian had reached the foundational level, there was nothing he could do to defeat him, not even his Lone Wolf.
"You don't say. I thought the powers had upgraded." Ling Xian was taken aback but laughed it off. "But if you thought you could defeat me with a mere weapon of the eighth realm, you are in for a treat."
"This is no treat. We shall see soon who the winner is!" Ye Xiao Tian pointed his halberd towards the east. The weapon unleashed a terrifying force which cracked the earth open.
"You are indeed the Master of the City. I should not have underestimated you." Ling Xian closed his eyes. With a forceful flap of the giant wings, he vanished then reappeared feet away from Ye Xiao Tian. The moment he appeared, he struck with his fist.
The wind bellowed. Ling Xian had abandoned his powerful wings in favor of close range combat.
"Ha ha, unleash your Sword of Extinction! The Winged Blitz is indeed powerful, but you've yet to reach the foundational level. You don't have it in you to defeat me!" Ye Xiao Tian hollered unforgivingly.
"More than enough to defeat you!"
Ling Xian let out a cunning grin. He waved both his arms and unleashed a maze of lightning strikes that obliterated nearby rocks and distant mountaintops.
"DANG, DANG, DANG, DANG!"
Strings of exploding sounds erupted around them. Ling Xian was advancing fearlessly. The earth crumbled piece by piece under forces of his bare hands.
"HA, HA, incredible!" Ye Xiao Tian screamed in satisfaction. His calls echoed throughout the cityscape.
Bare hands met the dark halberd in midair, producing giant waves of an invisible force that traveled through every corner of the city.
A few hundred rounds of combat ensued. Ling Xian felt no hint of exhaustion. The longer he fought, the more bravely he battled.
Ye Xiao Tian, on the other hand, was feeling the fatigue. But he did not let it show. Instead, he shouted, "Ling Xian, my Lone Wolf becomes stronger as its opponents do. If you don't unleash your Sword of Extinction, when the Lone Wolf breaks through to the seventh realm, you won't have anything left to fight with!"
"Correct. But I'm fighting with my bare hands, how can your Lone Wolf become stronger if I persisted? Not to mention, look at it now, your Long Wolf has already relegated back to the ninth realm." Ling Xian flapped his wings happily against the dark sky, his face covered in a cunning smirk.
"Heaven's Favorite indeed, you actually managed to observe such details during an intense battle such as this," Ye Xiao Tian praised. "But why drag it out? Why not take out your Sword of Extinction and finish me off?"
"The Sword cannot be tamed again without drawing blood. I do not wish to harm you," Ling Xian shook his head and refused. He was speaking the truth. When the Sword of Extinction is unleashed, there is no going back.
The sword has an animalist, barbaric instinct to kill. If the sword does not come into contact with blood, even if he recalled the Eyes of Execution, the Sword of Extinction could not be tamed.
Ling Xian did not want this battle to end that way.
But Ye Xiao Tian did not buy it one bit. Rather, he misinterpreted Ling Xian's kindhearted consideration as a form of arrogance. Thus he shouted, "Ling Xian, you dare to look down on me. If you insist, I won't be so kind from now on!"
As he spoke, he withdrew the Lone Wolf, connected his palms and summoned another spell. Another wave of giant dust storm appeared.
"Palm of the Shattering Cloud!"
Ye Xiao Tian bellowed. A gargantuan handprint appeared in the evening sky. Against the endless backdrop of darkness, the hand closed in, crushing every particle in its path.
"Ling Xian, take this last attack!"
A magical aura flared up and morphed into countless lightning clouds. Then the clouds simultaneously burst and released millions of raindrops towards the earth. Each drop was powerful enough to obliterate rocks, pierce through gold and melt earthly minerals.
In the next instant, the giant palm print came crashing down to the earth. The center of the palm aimed directly at Ling Xian.
Rain drops pouring down towards the earth, followed closely by the terrifying sight of a giant handprint, their incredulous power shook the heavens and silenced the oceans.
Ling Xian froze.