In the world of Gu, the regions were magical.
At the east, there was a huge sea, with islands which stood out like chess pieces on a chessboard. It was named Eastern Sea.
At the west, there was a huge desert, greenery was extremely rare, only yellow sand could be seen everywhere. It was named Western Desert.
At the north, there was a huge grassland, people called it Northern Plains.
At the south, there was a mountainous terrain, known as the Southern Border.
And in the middle of eastern sea, western desert, northern plains, and southern border, there was a central area, called Central Continent.
Central continent was over fifty million kilometers wide, primeval energy was extremely rich in the air, and many sects existed. There were many heroes and conquerors, both demonic and righteous, it was an area with plentiful human and natural resources. Its total strength was the strongest compared to the other four regions.
In the southern part of central continent, among tens of thousands of hills, there was a large mountain above the clouds, piercing through the skies.
Fei He mountain!
Fei He mountain was grand and majestic, floating on top of the sea of cloud.
Sunlight penetrated the clouds, and shone on the green forests on the mountain.
At the foot of the mountain, waves crashed as the tides rose and fell.
Whenever the winds blow, the sea of clouds would experience great movements, the bamboo forests would sway with the wind, as ten thousand cranes sang.
Ironbeak flying crane, fire pellet crane, tailwind crane, cloud mist crane, stellar light crane… over ten thousand types of flying cranes flew or rested in the pine trees. It was an overwhelming sight to behold.
The ten thousand cranes on Fei He mountain were famous in central continent. As for the Gu Masters on the mountain, they were famous throughout the world.
This was Immortal Crane Sect.
One of the top ten sects in central continent, possessing one of the strongest force in central continent.
Right now, there was a crucial battle happening in Immortal Crane Sect's sparring arena.
Two youngsters, wearing similar clothing, were engaging in a fight. The two moved about as they tangled and fought together.
"Too, too strong!"
"I cannot imagine, both of them are only around twenty years old."
Outside the arena, the spectators were watching this battle intently. Shock, admiration showed on their faces.
"Senior brother Sun Yuan Hua, he is a veteran expert. The number one in the previous third year small examination, I am not surprised he has such strength. But that junior brother Fang Zheng, it is shocking that he possesses such ability!"
"That's right, he is a black horse in this year's eight year middle examination. No one expected him to reach the finals."
"These years, junior brother Fang Zheng had been keeping a low profile, like an ordinary mountain rock. No one cared about him, he was completely not eye-catching. But who would have thought that during this examination, he would soar into the sky and have his name become renowned in Immortal Crane Sect."
Many people sighed as they showed admiration and jealousy.
Fang Zheng kept a grim expression as he had a sharp gaze, fighting evenly with Sun Yuan Hua.
These years, he had grown taller, his shoulder was broader, and his waist was thicker, he had become more mature and stable.
Suddenly, Fang Zheng unleashed a jade green wind, forcing Sun Yuan Hua to retreat.
"Senior brother Sun, just admit defeat." He said in an extremely confident tone.
"Little junior brother, show me what trump card you have." Sun Yuan Hua laughed, replying with the same level of confidence.
"Alright then." Fang Zheng whistled, as the sound travelled far. Soon, the cranes called back to him.
Everyone turned to look, and numerous eyeballs almost popped out as they stared with wide-opened mouths.
"An ironbeak flying crane group!"
"Oh heavens, so many flying cranes, is this an illusion?"
"How is that possible? This is a myriad beast king! Fang Zheng reaching rank four middle stage was already a god-tier talent! But he can actually control a crane group that is almost ten thousand in number, what method is this?"
Everyone gasped, feeling extremely shocked in their heart, some unable to believe the scene before them.
Even several sect elders stood up from their seats in shock.
Sun Yuan Hua's expression became extremely solemn.
Ironbeak flying crane group, coming with an imposing aura, and an advantage in numbers, it gave him great pressure.
But he did not intend to give up.
His eyes shone with determination: "Junior brother Fang, you are impressive. But can you really control so many flying cranes? I have not lost yet, because I have a crane group too! Come out!"
Fei He mountain had tens of thousands of flying cranes, such a territorial advantage was well used by the people in Immortal Crane Sect.
Fang Zheng had a crane group, but Sun Yuan Hua was also a genius in the sect that received ample nurturing, he also hid a crane group secretly.
Hearing Sun Yuan Hua's command, a group of cranes quickly flew out.
This crane group posed a stark contrast to Fang Zheng's ironbeak flying crane group, there was only a few hundred.
But the cranes Sun Yuan Hua controlled was different from the ironbeak flying cranes. On their bodies, they had white feathers, but there was blue color on the tips of the wings and tail, as well as their claws. Under the sunlight, they gave a metallic shine.
At the same time, when they flew, traces of blue static lightning could be seen on their bodies.
"Be careful, these flying cranes are illusion lightning cranes. They have a fierce nature and are skilled at fighting alone. Ordinary ironbeak flying cranes are not their match." Fang Zheng heard Lord Sky Crane from in his mind.
"I understand, master!" Fang Zheng replied immediately, his eyes shining brilliantly as he observed the illusion lightning crane group and manipulated his ironbeak flying crane group.
"They're going to crash!"
"The ironbeak flying crane group is too huge, it is like a giant monster. Senior brother Sun's crane group might not even make a dent in it."
"No, senior brother Sun still has a chance. Crane battles aren't about numbers, it depends on their control and manipulation."
"Senior brother Sun had been training hard all along, his control of the crane groups is definitely one of the best. It all depends on Fang Zheng's performance now."
"To speak the truth, I don't think Fang Zheng will win. Although he is a genius, he is still human. These few years, he had to cultivate to rank four, do the sect missions, and assemble his exemplary set of Gu worms, all these had used up much of his time. I don't believe he still had time left to train his crane group manipulation skills."
Everyone discussed with great fervor.
Such an intensive fight, it was rarely seen in the sect's three year small examination and eight year middle examination. Only in the fifteen year large examination, would it be seen occasionally.
Although Fang Zheng possessed a huge number of cranes, not everyone thought highly of him.
The scene now was like the fight between two armies.
Fang Zheng had almost ten thousand flying cranes, he had a large army, but because of the numbers, it was easy to lose control over them. He was only rank four middle stage, the strength of his soul was limited, he could only have that much mental energy.
Meanwhile, although Sun Yuan Hua had fewer cranes, all of them were elites, and he could manipulate them easily. With the amount of time he placed into controlling them, his crane manipulation skill was one of the best in the sect.
Seeing the two army about to crash in the air.
At this moment!
Sun Yuan Hua suddenly leapt.
He activated the Gu in his aperture, causing him to turn into a flash of lightning, closing in on Fang Zheng.
Fang Zheng did not expect him to strike so suddenly.
This way, he Sun Yuan Hua would fall into the encirclement of the ironbeak flying cranes, and get himself into grave danger.
Sun Yuan Hua attacked like a hurricane, like he went mad, his strength was something beyond what he had displayed earlier.
Fang Zheng lost the initiative and was suppressed, only able to defend with all his strength.
The two cranes engaged in the air, while on the ground, Fang Zheng and Sun Yuan Hua fought intensely.
Although the numbers of illusion lighting cranes were few, they were united, and charged together, tearing apart many ironbeak flying cranes.
In contrast, the ironbeak flying cranes, although many, were a mess, like a pack without a leader.
"The ironbeak flying crane group could not block this small number of illusion lightning cranes!"
"Senior brother Sun is amazing! His battle tactic was superb!"
"That's right, Fang Zheng has limited concentration, manipulating this large group of cranes is like a baby wielding a hammer, amateurish and unskilled. He himself is being attacked by senior brother Sun, he can't even defend himself properly, with his concentration on defending, how could he bother with controlling the cranes above him."
"But the ironbeak flying crane group is just too huge, there are many hundred beast kings, several thousand beast kings, and even a myriad beast king. In the illusion lightning crane group, there are only three hundred beast kings and one injured thousand beast king. In order to avoid these beast kings, the illusion lightning cranes have to attack from the right and left, even if they injured many ordinary ironbeak flying cranes, they are greatly injured themselves."
"Sun Yuan Hua and Fang Zheng are evenly matched, one attacks and one defends, they are extremely familiar with each other's moves, there is no clear winner. We can only look at the result of the crane battle." An elder saw the victory condition of this match.
If the ironbeak flying crane group can devour the illusion lightning crane group, then it was Fang Zheng's victory for certain.
But if the illusion lightning crane group rushes out of the ironbeak flying cranes' encirclement and goes to help Sun Yuan Hua, Fang Zheng would lose.
"Endure, endure for a bit more. Try and divert some attention to the ironbeak flying cranes and kill all the illusion lightning cranes! If you can do that, it would be a huge breakthrough, it would be extremely helpful to you in the future." In Fang Zheng's mind, Lord Sky Crane's voice continued to advise.
Fang Zheng exerted all his strength and followed what Lord Sky Crane said.
But right when he was about to succeed, Sun Yuan Hua would always break his concentration with a flurry of attacks.
Sun Yuan Hua was older than Fang Zheng, he had placed a lot of effort in manipulating cranes, under his control, although the cranes were injured, they were already about to break out of the ironbeak flying cranes' encirclement.
"Junior brother Fang Zheng, it is still too early for you to defeat me." He sneered.
Such words were heard by Fang Zheng, and it triggered the deepest part of his memory.
Back then, on Qing Mao mountain, Gu Yue village, he and his older brother Fang Yuan fought in the arena.
Fang Yuan said the exact same words.
"No, I cannot lose!"
"I have to take revenge for my clan, for my uncle and aunt, for my clan leader, for Lord Qing Shu!"
"Why have I worked so hard in these last few years? I must stand before my brother and defeat him. How can I lose to Sun Yuan Hua now?"
Flames burned in Fang Zheng's eyes.
He endured the pain in his head, and diverted his concentration!
The ironbeak flying cranes suddenly moved, like a huge beast opening its mouth, devouring the illusion lightning crane group.
Seeing this, Sun Yuan Hua's face went pale.
The crowd cheered.
Fang Zheng was the number one in the eight year middle examination, defeating Sun Yuan Hua and became an elite disciple of Immortal Crane Sect!