Under the mask, Fang Yuan's gaze was sharp as a knife.
But he immediately turned his gaze towards the fire in his hands.
"Phew, that was close!" Outside the stage, a female disciple of Spirit Affinity House breathed out a sigh of relief.
"Senior sister Qin Juan, what was close? I clearly saw first senior sister Jin Huang use two refinement path killer moves in a row, catching up immediately." Another female disciple of Spirit Affinity House was sitting beside Qin Juan, she had a chubby face, her name was Sun Yao and she asked this curiously.
"Junior sister Sun Yao, you need to understand that this duel is different from what we've seen before, this is a martial duel! In martial duels, the refiners can attack to disturb the other side's refinement." Qin Juan explained patiently.
"Ah, they can do that? It is already so hard for me to refine Gu normally, but if I were to be disturbed on top of that. Heavens…" Sun Yao pursed her lips, revealing an expression showing that she did not even dare to imagine such a thing: "This martial duel format is clearly meant to make one suffer, whoever thought of this is really strict."
"No." Qin Juan, however, had an expression of approval, "Being able to resist disturbances is one of the most important aspects of refinement path. In our cultivation journeys, perhaps one day we would suffer a sneak attack when we are refining Gu. In fact, many times when we leave the sect to complete the sect missions outside, because of all sorts of damage that may occur to Gu worms, we often have to refine new Gu in the wild."
"Using the same logic, when we are facing a strong enemy and discover the enemy refining Gu, we would also choose to sneak attack and take the enemy by surprise, turning the situation in battle in our favor. This is the practical significance of the martial duel format. Junior sister Sun Yao, you also know Gu Masters have to use all their concentration during the refinement process, because slight carelessness can result in failure and backlash. But, when you refine Gu outside, you also need to pay some attention to your surroundings."
"First senior sister Jin Huang used two refinement path killer moves in a row just earlier, that was a risky move. Because the moment she activated the killer move, the entirety of her attention was naturally focused on the Gu worms forming the killer move. If it were an ordinary Gu Master, they might have already lost control over the flames and failed in Gu refinement if they had to divert their attention in activating the killer move. If at this moment, Fang Yuan, that demon, had attacked first senior sister Jin Huang, it might have caused significant trouble to her."
Hearing Qin Juan's explanation, Sun Yao came to a realization: "So it was like that, then that truly was dangerous. Fortunately, that demon Fang Yuan did not attack."
Because Fang Yuan had, time and time again, used blood path refinement techniques at crucial moments, disciples of Spirit Affinity House who disliked him privately called him a demon.
However, there were, in fact, many demons in the ten great ancient sects of Central Continent.
For instance, the third supreme elder of Immortal Crane Sect, Lord Tiger Demon, was a demonic path Gu Immortal in his early years before he was recruited by Immortal Crane Sect.
The sect that exhibited this the most was actually Spirit Affinity House itself.
The late Sword Immortal Bo Qing was a person of the demonic path with an extremely murderous nature, but was reformed through love with Spirit Affinity House's Fairy Mo Yao, in the end, Bo Qing was recruited into Spirit Affinity House.
At present, the story of Fairy Bai Qing and Feng Jiu Ge was widely spread, and Feng Jiu Ge was formerly of the demonic path as well.
Central Continent was so large and was famous for producing outstanding champions. Once in a while, there would be some astonishing demonic cultivators and lone cultivators that would shake the world.
To maintain control of the overall situation and to protect their interests, the ten great ancient sects of Central Continent would recruit these people, it was the best method to effectively retain their authority.
'He did not attack? That's a pity…' Feng Jin Huang inwardly sighed, out of the two lumps of fire burning in front of her, one suddenly extinguished.
"What's going on?" People in the audience involuntarily exclaimed.
"Don't tell me that demon, Fang Yuan, had already attacked and disturbed first senior sister, causing half the Gu refinement to fail? This demon is too cunning, what attack did he use, we did not even see it." Sun Yao anxiously cried out, her tone filled with loathing towards Fang Yuan.
"No, that's not right. The elder hosting this duel did not say anything, this means that demon, Fang Yuan, did not attack. So it was like that!" Qin Juan's eyes brightened as she suddenly came to a realization, "Originally, first senior sister had put up a facade of using two killer moves, it was a trap meant to entice Fang Yuan to attack her. If Fang Yuan attacked, his mind would be focused on his attack at that instant, which would expose a weak point. First senior sister would then have a higher chance of successfully counter attacking."
"My goodness, was that actually the case?" Sun Yao's small, chubby mouth opened wide in shock at the battle of wits behind this contest.
Qin Juan had a serious expression: "I was also deceived just now. The truth of the matter is first senior sister set up a trap, but that demon Fang Yuan saw through it and was not fooled… junior sister Sun Yao, watch closely, this contest is going to be extremely splendid. The contest between these two is absolutely the best of this generation."
"Okay!" Sun Yao nodded, her eyes staring at the stage without blinking.
The ten great ancient sects of Central Continent had always fiercely competed, not only did their Gu Immortals compete, the disciples also had a similar type of competition.
There was no doubt that Feng Jin Huang was the best of this generation within the ten great ancient sects of Central Continent.
However, in the contest for Hu Immortal blessed land, Fang Yuan suddenly appeared and kicked Feng Jin Huang down the mountain. As for the events behind the scenes, they were not explained to disciples like Sun Yao and Qin Juan, and even Immortal Crane Sect's own disciples and most of their elders thought Fang Yuan was a genius disciple, secretly nurtured by the sect.
In the previous round, Feng Jin Huang was defeated, and this duel, in which Feng Jin Huang wanted to reclaim her prestige, involved a contest between the best disciples of the ten great ancient sects. It was a hidden clash between Spirit Affinity House and Immortal Crane Sect.
Thus, almost all of the audience was asking a question — who was the best Gu Master among the younger generation?
What they did not know was: Fang Yuan had already become a Gu Immortal, although he was only an immortal zombie, he was already someone they could no longer decipher. Meanwhile, Feng Jin Huang possessed dream wings Immortal Gu, and had already activated it, gaining enormous benefits.
Bystanders could only see such surface details, but both competitors did not see much importance in the reputation aspect. Feng Jin Huang had already matured a lot and realized what benefits meant, while Fang Yuan was way beyond her maturity.
The competition continued.
Fang Yuan had seen through Feng Jin Huang's trap, but between Feng Jin Huang's two killer moves, small wishful hand was real. It was unlike 'double action', that had only been a facade.
With the help of the two small hands made of will, Feng Jin Huang's refinement speed was slightly above that of Fang Yuan. And as time passed, the gap between the two gradually increased.
However, this gap was not obvious.
Fang Yuan maintained his rhythm, and using solely Gu refinement techniques without any killer moves, he maintained the fire and was now almost finished processing the materials.
He used Gu refinement techniques and not refinement path killer moves. Techniques were the summation of purely skills and experience. They were the foundation of Gu refinement.
"Very skilled! Even though he is the enemy, I cannot help but admit this demon, Fang Yuan, has a very solid foundation in Gu refinement. Even some elders from our sect do not have as solid of a foundation as him." Qin Juan suddenly sighed, after having watched fixedly for a long while.
"He has a grasp of so many Gu refinement techniques, he has used at least thirty types by now. But I feel our first senior sister is still the more amazing one. She fell back a little at the start, but quickly caught up later. Now, no matter how that demon Fang Yuan pursues, he won't be able to catch up. This small wishful hand killer move is truly convenient!" Sun Yao said, admiringly.
"No." Qin Juan shook her head: "First senior sister's lead might not necessarily be a good thing. Maintaining a killer move requires primeval essence and also is taxing upon the mind. On the contrary, that demon Fang Yuan has only been using basic Gu refinement techniques, which do not have as much of a burden on the mind. As this continues over time, his mind will be less taxed than first senior sister's, which will be of great help in the later stages of Gu refinement."
"Ah, it is like this! Then, isn't first senior sister in danger? Senior sister Qin Juan, you are saying first senior sister gained a lead from using a refinement path killer move, but is instead in a disadvantage? Although your words sound reasonable, how could it be like that?" Sun Yao felt a headache.
"Hehe, junior sister Sun Yao, this is the brilliance of the Refinement Path Convention. You have just begun your cultivation journey and have yet to come in contact with many things, you will slowly understand them in future." Qin Juan smiled, but she was feeling heavy internally.
'This demon, Fang Yuan, is too skilled. He is keeping pace with first senior sister just by repeatedly using Gu refinement techniques. Even though first senior sister used a refinement path killer move, she is not able to create a large lead! It can't go on like this…'
Feng Jin Huang was feeling some mental exhaustion.
It had not been long since the competition began, and both sides were still at the stage of refining rank one single orifice charcoal Gu.
According to logic, Feng Jin Huang's should still have plentiful mental energy, and not be in a state of exhaustion.
However, estimates was one thing, the actual competition could be completely different.
Feng Jin Huang could disregard the gazes from outside the stage, her talents were outstanding and with Gu Immortals as parents, she had been the center of attention since she was young, she was already used to it.
The pressure on Feng Jin Huang mainly came from Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan displayed an incomparably solid foundation, and was relying on just Gu refinement techniques to maintain pace with Feng Jin Huang, while even though she had used a refinement path killer move, she was not able to surpass him greatly in progress.
Fang Yuan's extraordinary performance and formidable achievements made the world overrate his attainment level, Feng Jin Huang had already been feeling pressure before the duel.
After the duel started, Fang Yuan was in pursuit with a stable speed, which further increased the pressure on Feng Jin Huang.
This pressure was greatly wearing down on Feng Jin Huang's mind. She was slowly starting to feel exhausted and uneasy internally.
"It seems my refinement path quasi-grandmaster attainment cannot match Fang Yuan's refinement path attainment. What should I do?" Feng Jin Huang began to think and plan quickly, while refining the Gu.
"I have used a refinement path killer move, my mind is also being worn down rapidly. The duel has only just begun, and as time goes on, Fang Yuan's advantage will become even more clear. But if I stop using the killer move and compete with just Gu refinement techniques, I still cannot match Fang Yuan. My greatest advantage is the large numbers of refinement path killer moves that I carefully prepared!"