Chapter 307 – Dazzling Stage
Qiao Yifan’s character rolled diagonally and it looked like he had made his way through the empty space beneath the blood cross. His dodge had been extremely dangerous. He had done it because he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to attack, while his opponent was still in the Ice Boundary.
Avoiding the Gore Cross, Qiao Yifan’s Phantom Demon raised the tip of his sword. He wanted to open another Ghost Boundary in order to seal off his opponent’s escape route. Using a successive Ghost Boundary to trap the opponent into a Boundary was a commonly used tactic among Phantom Demons. Qiao Yifan’s Ice Boundary surrounded Li Xuan’s Sword Demon. He believed that he had had opportunity and began casting another Boundary. But as soon as he began chanting, Li Xuan’s Sword Demon suddenly turned around and swung.
The two were quite a distance away from each other and a normal slash definitely wouldn’t hit. But after swinging his sword, the ground inside the Ice Boundary suddenly surged like a wave towards Qiao Yifan’s Phantom Demon.
Spellblade Skill: Earthquake Sword.
Li Xuan had only put in one point into this low-leveled Spellblade skill. This could be seen from the length of ground that had been swept forward. But it didn’t matter, so long as it reached where Qiao Yifan’s Phantom Demon was standing.
This time though, Qiao Yifan didn’t have a choice. If he was swept away by the Earthquake Sword, then his casting would definitely be interrupted. Helpless, he cancelled his casting and dodged the attack.
From Falling Light Blade to Gore Cross to Earthquake Sword. These low-leveled Blade Master, Berserker, and Spellblade skills had only been ranked up once. They weren’t learned for damage, but rather for their effects. By using these three low-leveled skills, Li Xuan’s Sword Demon safely escaped from the Ice Boundary, while Qiao Yifan was unable to set up another Boundary to trap his opponent.
Qiao Yifan felt that it was unfortunate. It hadn’t been easy to confine his opponent in the Ice Boundary. The Freeze effect had even worked. It had been a great opportunity, but he hadn’t been able to seize it.
But PK were always ever-changing. If an opportunity could be fully grasped so easily, then PK would be way too simple. Furthermore, his opponent was a God among Ghostblades. Even though Qiao Yifan felt that it was a pity, he wasn’t discouraged. He carefully observed the position of Li Xuan’s Sword Demon and rushed forward again.
Li Xuan wasn’t alarmed in the slightest, however. With just that single exchange, he fully grasped Qiao Yifan’s ability. His performance had been orderly and methodical, but it couldn’t be said that he was extremely skilled. Seeing Qiao Yifan rush forward, he didn’t hurry. Instead, he casually set up a Sword Boundary.
Qiao Yifan looked and immediately came to a stop. He wouldn’t let himself enter his opponent’s Boundary. Standing outside the boundary, he began to chant. Purple flames jumped up from his Phantom Demon’s blade, congealing into a flaming figure. He had cast a Flame Boundary.
With the ghost out, numerous dark-purple fire ghosts leapt into the area within the boundary. The ghosts scattered around as if they were looking for a target to burn. The Flame Boundary had been cast inside Li Xuan’s Sword Boundary. The two Boundaries overlapped. However, Li Xuan’s Sword Demon had already jumped backwards and didn’t set foot into the Flame Boundary.
Qiao Yifan didn’t think that the Flame Boundary would trap his opponent. The Boundary had been cast for his own protection, so he’d be able to enter the opponent’s Sword Boundary.
Everything sounded complicated, but in reality, it had all happened within the span of a few seconds. Inside the boundaries, the two moved around extremely quickly. Inside his Flame Boundary, Qiao Yifan’s Phantom Demon quickly dashed into Li Xuan’s Sword Boundary. But to his surprise, Li Xuan’s Sword Demon also suddenly rushed into his area as if he wasn’t afraid of the Flame Boundary’s damage.
Li Xuan’s charge forward had been outside of Qiao Yifan’s expectations. Li Xuan’s Sword Demon raised his sword with a Moonlight Slash and then slashed down. He would then naturally follow up with a Full Moonlight Slash closely after. Players had even given the combo a name: Double Moon Slash.
Qiao Yifan didn’t have the time to defend and the two strikes connected. The damage from a Sword Demon’s strike buffed by a max-leveled Sword Boundary was quite terrifying. The health bar on Qiao Yifan’s Phantom Demon went down a chunk, but he immediately stood back up with a Quick Recover. The opponent had rushed into his Flame Boundary. It was another opportunity for him.
But the audience could see the situation more clearly than he could.
The instant Li Xuan’s Sword Demon rushed into the Flame Boundary, those dark-purple flame ghosts immediately pounced at him. In that short interval, Li Xuan’s Sword Demon had used the Double Moon Slash and then leapt back. Even though those flame ghosts were quick, they hadn’t been able to hit him. Li Xuan’s Sword Demon had escaped from the Flame Boundary.
The audience cheered wildly.
Going into the Flame Boundary without being entangled by the purple flame ghosts was undoubtedly a testament to his extremely precise mechanics and decision-making. Li Xuan deserved to be called the number one Phantom Demon since no one else had a deeper understanding of these things than he did.
When Qiao Yifan got up, he saw that Li Xuan had escaped from the Flame Boundary. This time, he was surprised. At the same time, he faintly felt that he had failed to consider a few things when he had made his decision.
Li Xuan retreated and stopped moving again. He was waiting for Qiao Yifan to move up. He had entered his persona now and had completely taken this match as a teaching opportunity for the new rookie. He hoped to be a bit more stylish and more technical in order to erase the audience’s previous impression of him as wretched and without style.
Qiao Yifan no longer had a way out and could only move forward.
He used the terrain, pathing, and his character.
Dual Chain Boundaries, Triple Boundaries…..
Qiao Yifan used everything he knew and without any mistakes either. Everything he did had been done 100%. However, it was no use. Every strategy he used was crushed by Li Xuan. From the audience’s cheers again and again, Qiao Yifan could tell that they weren’t towards him. His health continued to drop. After all these exchanges, he hadn’t even been able to take off a fifth of Li Xuan’s health.
Qiao Yifan was at a loss again.
The first time was because he had panicked after encountering something unexpected. After adjusting his attitude, he resolved that panic feeling. But this time, he felt completely powerless.
Qiao Yifan was already at wit’s end. All of the tricks and tactics he employed were all useless. None of them had made a difference. Every single one of his plans was destroyed by a single move from his opponent. The only thing that had happened with every exchange was his health bar depleting.
And his opponent? Throughout these numerous exchanges, his opponent never made the first move. He didn’t even dodge. He would always wait for him to rush forward. Then he would proceed to tear down his plans, calmly dissolving his attacks and easily countering back. Even when there was an opening, he wouldn’t combo him to death like he had done in the beginning. He would always let him go and have Qiao Yifan continue.
Beat his opponent?
Qiao Yifan no longer carried any hope of this fantasy. Even his ultimate goal of displaying his ability hadn’t been achieved. His thoughts and intents had been completely seen through and no matter how hard he tried, they never worked.
His health was already red. In the next exchange, he was afraid that he would go down.
At this moment, what else could Qiao Yifan do? He once again focused and rushed forward. His fingers fluttered and his movements were quicker than before. His character quickly met with Li Xuan’s Sword Demon and he instantly set four Ghost Boundaries.
His opponent was once again standing outside of the boundary. He had been moving like this ever since Qiao Yifan’s first Ghost Boundary. His character constantly moved and slipped out from the small cracks in the four consecutively casted Ghost Boundaries.
Qiao Yifan felt hopeless. Movements he wasn’t even able to do in practice had been easily accomplished by his opponent. Li Xuan’s Sword Demon pounced on him and from his poker face, Qiao Yifan felt like he saw a cynical smile. No, not one, but two, no, three, no, even more…… some he recognized, some he didn’t.
The sword light swept down. Amidst the cheers, Qiao Yifan’s Phantom Demon fell.
Qiao Yifan stood up from his platform, dizzy. He knew that he had been completely crushed.
Two pillars of light dropped down onto the two contestants. In the Rookie Challenge, both sides were given the same treatment.
Qiao Yifan walked down from his platform to the center of the stage. He saw Li Xuan standing in front of him, full of smiles. Li Xuan said a few words to him, but Qiao Yifan couldn’t hear any of it. He shook hands mechanically and then silently walked away from the stage.
Behind him, Li Xuan was waving his hands and calling out to the audience. Many of his words were in praise of Qiao Yifan’s performance. But Qiao Yifan knew that these words were just common courtesy. The other side was only showing off his style. The praise didn’t have anything to do with him. Even if he had just sat there stunned like he was in the beginning, Li Xuan would still praise: “Not bad. You played very well.”
Qiao Yifan walked over to his seat and saw his teammates. They were supposed to be the people he knew best, but they felt like strangers now.
Qiao Yifan ground his teeth. He didn’t walk towards them and continued along the path past them.
He heard someone call him from behind. He could tell that it was Gao Yingjie’s voice. He didn’t stop and walked even faster.
The stadium’s lights were focused on the stage and were scattered sparsely around the audience’s seats. In order to enhance the effects for today’s projection technology, these unnecessary places were even darker. Gao Yingjie chased after him, but it was already too late to find which direction Qiao Yifan went.
After reaching the exit, Qiao Yifan couldn’t help but look back.
The stage was as dazzling as ever. It had been his first time going up onto such a beautiful stage, but he was afraid that it might be his last.