Chapter 923 - Liu Xiaobie’s Goal
The two sides were fighting against each other furiously when Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Clouds suddenly leapt up, turning and drawing his sword. The afterimage of the sword flashed past in a blur, and the dust and mud around Liu Xiaobie’s Flying Sword was thrown up before the attack even landed.
Falling Blossom Form!
The skill that Lu Hanwen was using was, impressively, one of the new Blade Master skills added after the level 75 update.
It had only been a month since the update had been released. If you counted the time it took to get a character to level 75, then it had been an even shorter time since these techniques had been learned. Normal players would impatiently start spamming these skills wherever they could, but pro players couldn’t be so careless. It was ok if they tried it out when playing for fun, but in an official match, who would dare to use a skill they weren’t totally familiar with? A skill that they hadn’t fully integrated into their playstyle was a skill that could become a fatal opening.
The All Star Weekend obviously didn’t count as an official match, and the wins and loses there didn’t truly count. That was why in the last two matches, the participants had all used the new skills, and seemed rather familiar with them too. Pro players adjusted to these new additions and changes much faster than normal players would. However, since they wanted a full understanding of the skill and how to use it, they would be more careful about it.
For a match that was more a show than anything, it was fine to use a few unfamiliar or incomplete styles and techniques. However, Lu Hanwen and Liu Xiaobie’s match felt a little different from the moment Lu Hanwen had sent out that challenge. After all, who would say "Let’s settle this once and for all" in the Rookie Challenges?
As expected, the two gave it their all once they started, like they were fighting in an official pro match, and neither of them had used a new skill.
Yet in this moment, Lu Hanwen surprisingly used Falling Blossom Form. The skill was activated by Flowing Clouds, pulsing sword energy arising from his broadsword Flame Shadow and streaking through the air towards Flying Sword.
"Ah! This is Falling Blossom Form! A new level 75 skill. The new skills have yet to be used until now in their fight. It can be seen from this how seriously they’re taking this match. Yet, now, a level 75 skill has finally appeared from Lu Hanwen. He really is like a newborn calf that doesn’t fear a tiger*! All those who cared to follow news about Blue Rain, about this pro player, probably all knew that Lu Hanwen is the one who would boldly use a new skill in the first match after the new update. In the entire pro circle, he was the only one. So, that’s why we say he’s an amazing young man, always managing to do the unexpected…"
The commentator spoke very quickly, but no matter how quickly he spoke, he still had too much to say. By the time he had finished his ramblings, Flowing Clouds and Flying Swords had already finished several exchanges.
It didn’t stop at Falling Blossom Form.
After Falling Blossom Form, Meteor Form, and Piercing Form were unleashed, both level 75 new skills. Glory didn’t limit the number of new skills for each level stage to one, especially not after the level 55 update. This was because, from this point onwards, every new stage meant a whole new chapter of the game, so the contents had to be as abundant as possible. One skill was just too little, so there were often several new skills that were released together. For Blade Masters, four new skills were added for the level 75 update, all with "form" in their name. Falling Blossom Form, Meteor Form, and Piercing Form were all skills from the most recent update. Lu Hanwen used these new skills to mount a new round of offense. Though the commentator hollered over this excitedly, but from the situation, it seemed that the three new skills didn’t have much of an effect, no help in getting Lu Hanwen the upper-hand.
The commentator yelled out again. After Lu Hanwen’s three Forms, Liu Xiaobie’s Flying Swords quickly counterattacked with a skill of his own, and that skill was the only Form that Lu Hanwen had yet to use: Curving Wind Form!
Flicking the tip of his blade, the sword energy didn’t stab forwards viciously, but instead swirled to the tip of the blade from its surroundings. The force of the energy blew the dust and earth, swirling into the air, displaying the power of the skill.
Lu Hanwen seemed to sense the danger, hurriedly getting Flowing Clouds to turn and defend. However, he was still a little too late. The backwards moving sword skill somehow attacked from behind Flowing Clouds, striking him as he to block.
Thus, the effect that this attack had wasn’t to blast its target away, but instead to pull its target towards the attacker.
Flowing Clouds, his body being thrown forward against his will, threw out his sword, just managing to parry the strike that Liu Xiaobie had sent out.
Applause rung out in the stadium. Lu Hanwen, back turned to Flying Swords, had managed to parry so accurately as he turned Flowing Clouds around. What was marvellous? This was it!
This parry surprised even Liu Xiaobie a little, but it wasn’t enough to mess up his plan of attack. Long before he had struck out with Curving Wind Form, he had thought through his next actions. If his first strike didn’t hit, he still had others. Liu Xiaobie’s APM suddenly jumped. Just because he wanted to improve in other aspects didn’t mean that he would neglect this talent of his. Hand speed, that would forever be his ace! Seeking improvement in other areas was, in the end, simply just to better the use of his best talent, allowing him to utilize his hand speed to the fullest.
He might not yet be able to complete a whole match at this level of APM without mistakes, but a short period of time like this, after two years of cumulative experience and a summer of intense practice, was something he had complete confidence in!
Amongst the shocked cries from the crowd, resplendent light from his blade lit up the battle. Liu Xiaobie, who had once set out on a path he shouldn’t have, had come out of his cocoon anew. Last season, he had gained the title of King of Dueling, proving himself fiercely. He didn’t slow after his success either, after a summer of intense practise, half a season of ablution, today’s Liu Xiaobie was even stronger than last season!
He didn’t care about an award like King of Dueling; he was aiming for something even higher.
This was an unofficial title, but one that everyone else acknowledged, the true Glory title for the best Blade Master.
That was Liu Xiaobie’s true goal. Lu Hanwen? He was a great rookie player, but he wasn’t the one Liu Xiaobie was aiming to succeed.
Formless Phantom Blade!
The powerful skill was unleashed.
Talking about pure DPS, none of the new level 75 four Forms of fencing dealt as much damage as Formless Phantom Blade. That was why Formless Phantom blade was still the Blade Master’s strongest DPS skill, and with the update in level limits, there was more room for skill strengthening as well, once again increasing the damage of Formless Phantom Blade.
However, what was surprising wasn’t that.
"Fifteen blades!!" With the commentator’s yell, all of the audience raised their heads to look at the big screen. With the holographic projection technology, the screen used for live broadcasting was no longer used for that purpose. Instead, it was used to replay the best moments of the battle, some shots of the audience, and the statistics and data of every match… Of course, there was also the conversations some players had during matches. This was something the audience loved, but couldn’t be projected by the holographic projection technology. It wasn’t like they could just put speech bubbles above the heads of the characters, that would just ruin the 3D effects.
Now, looking up at the screen, what everyone saw was the statistics for Flying Sword’s Formless Phantom Blade under Liu Xiaobie’s performance.
This was how many combo hits the skill could make based on the player’s mechanics. Before this, the highest record made by the pros of the alliance was only thirteen and Liu Xiaobie had instantly raised that record by two blades. This was something he managed through his hand speed alone. There was no other way...
After a period of shocked silence, the audience suddenly erupted into thunderous applause. Many people were even so moved that their tears were close to flying out like a whirlwind. This was Tiny Herb’s home turf, after all, so no one supported their players more than them. Fifteen blades created by Formless Phantom Blade, not even Huang Shaotian could do that, right? However, their player Liu Xiaobie had managed to do so; during this match where a Blade Master from Blue Rain had challenged him, he had completely managed it.
Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Clouds finally fell to Formless Phantom Blade’s last blade. He had gained everyone’s attention when he got on the stage, but throughout this match, the spotlight moved off of him. This Rookie Challenge had helped Liu Xiaobie’s popularity soar. Even though Lu Hanwen was a rookie, he was still an All Star player, but the fifteen blades of Formless Phantom Blade was a reality. Whoever didn’t accept it, then they could come and challenge it themselves!
"Amazing!" Even Ye Xiu couldn’t help but praise this limitbreaking show of mechanics, applauding.
"I wonder how many blades I could get… I’ll try with a Blade Master after I get back," Tang Rou mumbled.
"And you? If it were you, how many blades could you achieve?" Chen Guo asked Ye Xiu.
"That would depend on the situation," Ye Xiu replied.
"Your limit!" Chen Guo said.
"Never tried." Ye Xiu shook his head.
"I’ve tried, seven blades for me..." Chen Guo sighed.
"With your skill, there’s no need for you to brag, right?" Ye Xiu responded.
"Do you want to die!" Chen Guo was depressed. She had been careless, saying something like that in front of Ye Xiu.
Steamed Bun, on the other side, was shaking his head.
"What’s up, Steamed Bun? Can you make more blades?" Chen Guo asked with a smile.
"I don’t like the way the number fifteen sounds," Steamed Bun sighed.
The match came to a close with Liu Xiaobie’s amazing explosion of skill claiming him victory. The applause from the audience didn’t stop. Such an exciting Rookie Challenge was rare.
The projected image was fading, but it didn’t flash off suddenly, but faded slowly from the outside inwards. It was the All Star Weekend; of course it would be a little more grand.
Yet it was then that Flying Swords, having yet to leave, threw out his arm, his silver weapon Chasing Spirits stabbing forth swiftly. Everyone was still puzzling over this action when the scene faded and Flying Swords disappeared.
An observant few seemed to have realized something and looked in the direction that Flying Swords had stabbed at. The big screen, too, replayed the action made by Flying Swords and then the scene switched to place the sword had been pointing towards.
Team Blue Rain, Huang Shaotian!