Chapter 280 Passing the Stage
Putting aside the two students’ astonishment, Duolun, who was engaged in battle, was even more astonished.
It was because no matter how much he increased his attacking prowess, giving it his all, it was easily neutralized by his opponent.
No matter how fast or how furious his sword attacks were, his opponent was able to see through their flaws. Before, he was unable to display any decent attacks, since they were automatically neutralized by his opponent’s attacks, forcing him to switch to defence.
No matter how much the numbers of the thunderbolts increased or how violent they were, for his opponent it was still like taking an idle stroll in the courtyard. He was able to conduct them into the ground without suffering the slightest injury.
Of course, Duolun was still unaware that Fang Xingjian was wearing the level 29 Heavenly Abyss Annihilation Armor. Even if lightning struck him, he would still be safe.
Moreover, Fang Xingjian currently has activated his level 1 Unparalleled Sword Intent and the Darkness Sword Sense. With these, he was able to remain on the upper hand when he was dealing with an opponent who was also a swordsman.
In the image Fang Xingjian had created in his mind through Heaven’s Perception, there were countless glimmering starlights over Duolun’s body. The brighter the lights were, the greater the flaws. These glimmers disappeared as soon as they appeared. Sometimes, even though they appeared extremely bright in the first instant, the next moment they would turn dull.
However, this was sufficient for Fang Xingjian. It was because his sword technique was fast enough, and because he could easily neutralize the flaws in Duolun’s moves which shone on his body. Once Duolun made a move, he would be forced to change midway, and defend against Fang Xingjian’s full-powered counterattack before he could even unleash 30% of of his previous move’s prowess.
Therefore, although Duolun’s physical strength rated higher than Fang Xingjian’s, he was being pushed back by his opponent.
Unless he could completely ignore the sharpness of his opponent’s longsword and attack in an irregular way, he would have no choice but to be pushed back time and time again by Fang Xingjian’s level 19 longsword, which was encompassed by layers of electric dragons.
As for the thunderbolts called forth from void space, they were like countless ripples to Fang Xingjian. The powers released from the exchange with ether particles were like falling leaves landing on a pond as they made ripples in the air.
The central point of each ripple was where the power of the thunderbolt was the weakest. Fang Xingjian just needed to follow the changes of the waves to be able to move through the myriad of thunderbolts with ease.
Level 1 Unparalleled Sword Intent together with Darkness Sword Sense… The combination of these two specialties which facilitated his understanding of sword moves and ether particles and also allowing him to neutralize their impacts, was showing an astonishing effect in the first battle where Fang Xingjian had employed them.
They allowed Fang Xingjian to swiftly understand the changes of the human body when using the sword, the flow of ether particles, the process of exchanging energies with ether particles, and then to find the flaws and weaknesses in that instant. His Heaven’s Perception would then sense the changes to the information, and clearly reflect them in the image constructed in his brain.
And the last thing that he had to do was to follow this feeling, and to analyze how to easily neutralize the opponent’s attacks.
The two of them fought increasingly faster while performing the Thunderbolt Sword Technique. The entire hall was now filled with thunderstorms.
Both Duolun and Fang Xingjian, while performing the same sword technique, were trying hard to fight for the control over the powers of the thunderbolts.
At the start, Duolun almost had a control of over 70%, with an absolute upper hand, which had left Fang Xingjian only with the ability to defend.
However, as Fang Xingjian continued to break through Duolun’s moves time and time again, neutralizing the lightnings around Duolun, the ratio of their control started to change.
Duolun’s absolute advantage also went down from 70% to 65%, 55%, 50%…
As the percentage of his control fell as fast as a waterfall, the perspiration on Duolun’s forehead also increased. When his control reached a mere 20%, almost all the thunderbolts in the hall were attacking him.
The ground continued to tremor, holes after holes appearing from the explosions caused by the lightning strikes. It was as if Duolun was trapped in a cage made of lightning, with countless lightning strikes heading toward him one after another, and making him feel as if he would soon be dying from exhaustion.
When the final boom rang out, Duolun was no longer able to conduct the thunderbolts into the ground, and he was sent flying out from the explosion. He went through the walls of the hall, and went on to be blasted out of it.
With a loud bellow, Duolun unleashed his Reduced Force Field abruptly, making all the rocks on him fly off. However, his appearance was still like that of a refugee, covered in crushed sand and dust.
He was still thinking of returning to the hall, but when he tried to exert a little force with his legs, a strong numbing sensation met him. To think that he was unable to move a single inch! He was paralyzed from the electric shock.
‘I’ve actually lost to someone who has only just learned the Thunderbolt Sword Technique…’
A powerful feeling of embarrassment grew in Duolun.
Just then, the sound of rocks crumbling rang out again. Duolun lifted his head and saw Fang Xingjian gradually walking out from the hole in the wall Duolun had created. Duolun saw the myriad of electrical snakes encompassing Fang Xingjian, and watched as they incessantly continued to pierce through the air, slithering about as if they were alive.
Then, the electric snakes heated up the air, creating pitter-patter explosion sounds. Duolun’s pupils contracted.
Any of these electric snakes had at least the prowess of a howitzer. Looking at the myriad of electric snakes slithering around Fang Xingjian’s body, Duolun’s hair stood up as he asked in a muffled voice, “Your Thunderbolt Sword Technique is at level 12 now?”
This was an effect he had been able to accomplish only when his Thunderbolt Sword Technique had reached level 12. Moreover, the electric snakes he had been able to create were not as many, nor as agile as Fang Xingjian’s.
Fang Xingjian nodded, answering, “All thanks to you. As expected, to improve one’s sword arts mastery, the most effective way is to have a spar with an expert.
“Are we going again?”
Looking at Fang Xingjian’s calm expression, a hint of a chill sprouted in Duolun’s heart. What was the point of going for a second round? The other party could crush him completely with a mere level 10 Thunderbolt Sword Technique, let alone one of level 12.
When he saw that the other two students had also appeared, this emotion got even stronger and the feelings of embarrassment continued to surge. Duolun left immediately, without another word.
A thought kept appearing in his mind: Fang Xingjian had been able to defeat his several years’ hard work only an hour after learning the technique. With a Conferred Knight like this in the sword arts domain, was there a need for him to continue learning sword arts?
At this point, Duolun even had the idea to stop practicing sword arts and to switch to another area of martial arts.
What he did not know was that as Fang Xingjian continued to progress, there would be many people, who, like himself, would be dealt a blow, ending up losing the confidence to continue learning sword arts.
Looking on as Duolun departed, Fang Xingjian tilted his head and said, “This… should count as my win?”
The other two students exchanged a glance, unable to say a single word.
Rota smiled and said, “The person on duty for this stage has fled, of course it’s considered your win. “
Fang Xingjian shook his head, saying, “Then it’s time to go to the next stage.”
Rota smiled and followed behind Fang Xingjian. This guy with outstanding talent seemed to have the ability to surprise her every time they met. He was like a treasure box that kept on multiplying, releasing endless mysteries and grandeur each time it was opened.
One of the students immediately shouted, “You… You haven’t passed the stage! You can’t go in!”
Rota’s brows twitched and she turned, saying, “I don’t practice the sword. Even if I were to enter, I won’t be able to learn your Killing techniques. Moreover, don’t you guys wish to see which stage Fang Xingjian could reach today?”
The two students fell into a short daze, and after Fang Xingjian and Rota had walked a distance away, a clear sense of hesitation appeared on their faces.
“It seems meaningless for us to stay here too, right?”
“Even Brother Duolun has left. What’s the difference between practicing here and practicing elsewhere?”
“Let’s go take a look?”
“Let’s go take a look. We can warn the seniors from the next stage. This guy is too creepy.”
 A type of artillery item characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles over relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howitzer