The heat of the sun had given Fang Xing a headache, so he’d hidden himself beneath the golden crow to take a nap in some shade. The golden crow could fortunately absorb the power of the sun in order to cultivate and so wasn’t bothered no matter how strong the sunlight was, allowing him to spread his wings wide to give Fang Xing all the shade he needed. Fang Xing had also downed some wine, causing his sleep to be rather deep; it wasn’t until the golden crow scratched at him with his claws that Fang Xing woke up and opened his eyes in a daze.
Hua Yuanye looked at Fang Xing and coldly said, "Shidi Fang, it’s our turn!" before he stood up, revealing a tall and slender physique.
Fang Xing rubbed at his eyes, but he immediately lost interest when he saw it wasn’t Xiao Jianming. "Why don’t you just admit defeat!"
This caused a bit of an uproar amongst the onlookers, as they felt this was just too arrogant. Hua Yuanye was the second best within the Hall of Heaven’s Tribute, trailing just behind Xiao Jianming. He was one of the strongest disciples within the Qing-Yun Sect, and some people believed he had a fighting chance even against Xu Linyun. Although his cultivation level was only at Spirit Stage tier seven, he’d studied the Qing-Yun Nine Swords quite in depth the past nine years.
Despite Hua Yuanye’s strength, Fang Xing was telling him to simply admit defeat? The boy’s ego was far too large.
In the precise moment Hua Yuanye heard Fang Xing’s words, he revealed a cold smile and walked straight towards the Thousand Cliff. A thin water-like barrier allowed him inside once he’d passed a certain point, and as he stood atop the Thousand Cliff, he coolly held up his sword and pointed it in Fang Xing’s direction. Although he hadn’t spoken a single word, his actions sent the message loud and clear: he was determined to fight against Fang Xing.
Fang Xing was a little annoyed. He grabbed someone nearby and asked, "Didn’t he get matched up against Xiao Jianming earlier?"
The disciple was clearly frightened and straightforwardly answered, "He did. And also with Shijie Linyun as well, but he admitted defeat to both of them!"
"Damn his uncle, why should he admit defeat to them but not to me? Is he looking down on me?" Fang Xing hatefully spoke while walking towards the Thousand Cliff in annoyance. The golden crow had wanted to follow as well, but Fang Xing stopped him on the way.
Once Fang Xing was inside the Thousand Cliff, he felt a sudden chill around his body as the surrounding scenery changed. It was then that he realized that even though the Thousand Cliff seemed small from the outside, on the inside it was actually an extremely spacious area with a thousand square feet. The ground was painted with ancient spells and marks giving off a dim glow that made them seem rather mysterious and powerful. With a use of his [Book of Revelation], Fang Xing then understood that the Thousand Cliff was in fact a small realm on its own.
Once Fang Xing had stepped inside the realm as well, Hua Yuanye’s sleeves seemed to flow without wind as he revealed a proud expression. "Shidi Fang, I—Hua—have been in this sect for eleven years, with two years in the outer sect and three years in the inner sect. After that, I went to the Hall of Heaven’s Tribute, studying—"
"Why the hell did you not challenge Shijie Linyun or Xiao Jianming, but did me?" Fang Xing abruptly and rudely interrupted. "Are you looking down on your grandpa?"
Hua Yuanye was a little startled before he shook his head. "Even if I were to challenge Shijie Linyun, I only have a thirty percent chance…."
"Thirty percent?" Taken aback, Fang Xing quickly considered this before asking, "Then what about Xiao Jianming?"
Hua Yuanye paused for a moment before responding, "I have only the certainty of taking three of Shixiong Xiao’s strikes."
"Three strikes…." Fang Xing nodded and looked upwards. After some time of po
ndering the situation, his body abruptly moved as he dashed directly towards Hua Yuanye.
It was as quick as lightning and as powerful as a dragon. Fang Xing’s hands spread open, and the force soon surged towards Hua Yuanye to overwhelm him.
Hua Yuanye hadn’t expected such a sudden attack and was left in shock. He was about to pull out his sword, but it was already too late for that and he activated a protective barrier in front of him instead. He kicked off with his feet, sending him backwards to increase the distance between them all while forming a seal in secret with his left hand to activate three Flying Swords in his storage sack. In mere moments, he’d prepared three different methods; his battle prowess was clearly above the ordinary.
Fang Xing’s strike slammed right up against the barrier in front of Hua Yuanye, causing it to shimmer and shake with light. Hua Yuanye took a few steps backwards while his face paled, his eyes focused on Fang Xing in surprise. He obviously hadn’t expected Fang Xing to be so powerful.
Yet, after the first strike, Fang Xing stopped and didn’t continue the attack. "Sure enough, it’ll take some effort to take you down!" Fang Xing muttered to himself while looking towards Xiao Jianming outside. Xiao Jianming himself quietly watched over the arena stage without a single expression.
Xiao Jianming’s uncle had organized Hua Yuanye to challenge Fang Xing so the latter’s abilities could be tested. In order to guarantee the Foundation Pellet was won by Xiao Jianming, it could be said Xiao Shanhe used all of his methods and considered any possibility to eliminate any chance for accidents.
Xiao Shanhe knew all too well how much battle prowess Hua Yuanye had. Although Hua Yuanye might not be strong enough to be a qualified opponent towards someone who’d been personally taught by Bai Qianzhang, it would at least force out all of the skills Fang Xing might be keeping in reserve. The most terrifying thing in the world was the unknown, and so not knowing Fang Xing’s real battle prowess was also terrifying. However, if someone was able to test the waters to find out exactly what the boy was capable of in advance, it would go a long way to making him that much easier to defeat.
"Shidi Fang is indeed a genius of the sect. With that single strike, I can tell I’m not as good as you!" Hua Yuanye took two steps backwards before stabilizing himself once more, his gaze settled on Fang Xing with a complicated expression. "But if you want to defeat me, you’ll have to display some of your true strength!"
Hua Yuanye released a long breath before slowly drawing out his sword. Qi began to gather around it, and his sleeves fluttered despite a lack of wind. "I am in debt to the Xiao family, and so I am willing to give up the chance of stepping into the top ten in order to challenge you. Even if I’m just supposed to test your skills on their behalf… I am not satisfied with this. My true intentions are not to just test you, but to stand upright and defeat you, to use you to sharpen my sword and solidify my place as second best within the Hall of Heaven’s Tribute…."
Hua Yuanye’s voice was extremely low, so low that no one outside the Thousand Cliff could hear it. The onlookers could only feel that the usually elegant and graceful Hua Yuanye had suddenly changed, becoming somewhat frightening and bloodthirsty.
When he heard Hua Yuanye’s words, Fang Xing’s brows creased together before he let out a sigh. "You’ve said so much that I’m even feeling a little moved, but I have only one thing to say…."
"What?" Hua Yuanye asked, a bit surprised.
"You speak too much damn garbage!"
As soon as Fang Xing finished speaking, he moved his hand behind his back and a snake-like rope flew out towards Hua Yuanye with a swoosh sound. This was nothing other than the [Immortal’s Snare], a high-tier spirit weapon that would immediately wrap around one’s body on contact.
Hua Yuanye was startled. He took a step to the side, a sword appearing as he chanted, "Qing-Yun Sword: Protective Frost"
Energy from the sword filled the air, and the sword light suddenly created an entire area of frost, as though it was trying to freeze everything in its vicinity. Even the Immortal’s Snare seemed to slow down under its power, and when Hua Yuanye pointed towards the center of the rope, it was as though the rope was a snake who’d been grabbed behind its head—it lost its power and fell lifelessly to the ground.
A cold grin appeared on Hua Yuanye’s face. "It’s common knowledge that Duanzhen disciples have plenty of tools, but it’s not going to have an effect on me!"
"Is that so?" Fang Xing smiled before lightly moving his palm, and multiple swoosh sounds could be heard one after another.
The sky was soon filled with multiple lights, and Hua Yuanye was so frightened by this that the color drained from his face. "Qing-Yun Sword: Horizontal River Lock…."
Swish swish swish
A few swords landed in the ground in front of him, turning into a screen that blocked the area a few dozen feet away. It wasn’t hard to tell that Hua Yuanye was surprised; he’d never imagined someone would use such a method in battle.
Simply put, this was to bash people!
Using talismans, spirit weapons, even ordinary steel—it was all just to bash someone!
Immobilization Talismans, Explosion Talismans, Binding Talismans, Light Talismans… nearly a hundred talismans fluttered all over the place. As for spirit weapons, there were all kinds of Flying Swords, Fine Acupuncture Needles, Crossbows of Spirit Machine, Flying Guillotines…. Over a dozen pieces were flying everywhere.
In that moment, Hua Yuanye’s body was completely surrounded by talismans and spirit weapons. Explosive sounds rang out around him, and the air began to burst alongside blindingly bright light and violent gales that twisted into a horrific sight.
"Insane, this is insane! Just what kind of tournament is this?"
"This is a tournament, not a place for you to show off your wealth! What is this boy doing?"
Outside the Thousand Cliff, the Qing-Yun disciples had begun to chatter amongst themselves, their feelings mixed between surprise and terror. Those disciples who’d been poor for all their lives had never thought of battling someone like this; this was simply throwing money around for fun!
Shuwen Chief Elder Chen Baoyan showed a bitter smile. "Shidi Tie, I knew your Duanzhen disciples all have plenty of spirit weapons, but I wasn’t expecting…. I wasn’t expecting them to have this much…."
Tie Rukuang gave a helpless shake of his head, and his laugh seemed closer a sob. "Don’t ask me how. Except for that Immortal’s Snare he snatched from me, I really have no idea where he got the rest of them…. But to be honest, throwing away this many talismans and spirit weapons in one go…. Even if it was me, I’d be reluctant to part with them. This kid really doesn’t know the hardships of life…."
Qin’nyao’s look was filled with gloom, seeming dissatisfied with Fang Xing’s actions. "His battle prowess is clearly not any lower than his opponent, so why must he use such a method?"
Tie Rukuang sighed with a cold smile before sending a glance towards Xiao Shanhe. He knew exactly why Fang Xing had done this: it was so no one would be able to determine his true battle prowess in advance.
Just as Tie Rukuang was about to mock Xiao Shanhe, however, Fang Xing threw out the final few Explosion Talismans, and the boy’s voice was so loud that even those outside the Thousand Cliff could hear him clearly. "Trying to test out my battle prowess? Damn your uncle, I’m going to smack you to death with money!"
Tie Rukuang decided against mocking Xiao Shanhe after that, and instead casually said, "... Perhaps he simply has plenty of money to burn!"