Book 14: The Finals!
Chapter 121.3: The Tang Sect's Secret Techniques
The Heavenfiend Douluo, Huang Jinxu, stood at the center of the stage, as he was the judge. A layer of starlight had condensed into a protective barrier that enveloped his body within it. It was obvious that he was rather fearful of the battle that had transpired before him.
At that moment, piece after piece of thin ice drifted down from Meng Hongchen's body following a series of crisp crackling sounds, which shattered into dust as they fell to the ground. There was still a look of disdain paired with a faint smile on her face.
"Did you think that ice could block off my poison? It's a pity for you, as my martial soul is an ice-type one as well. Passing venom through ice is my forte, thus your loss is not unjustified."
Blue light flashed through her right hand as she spoke, a blue longsword appearing in her hand. She slashed it in front of her body, and a chilly and sinister blue light flickered as she cut open the ice prison, which Ling Luochen no longer had control over. She then elegantly sauntered out from inside.
"The Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy is victorious. Shrek Academy, send forth your next contestant." The Heavenfiend Douluo waved his arm in the air, and a sphere of light enveloped Ling Luochen and sent her off the competition stage. Ling Luochen was like an ice statue.
Huo Yuhao was the one who caught her yet again. He tapped her and instantly dispelled the ice armor that was enveloping her body.
Ling Luochen had completely lost consciousness like Bei Bei before her; even the color of their faces was identical. Such powerful poison!
Wang Yan was also overcome with a haze of terror.
No matter how intelligent he was, and no matter how well he could arrange battle strategies, he was at his wits' end, and could only look on helplessly in the face of such a situation. Who would have thought that such a formidable poison soul master would emerge from their opponents' camp? Both Bei Bei and Ling Luochen had been defeated in battle without even having a chance to directly clash with their opponent.
Huo Yuhao would be able to get rid of a pure ice poison. However, even though Meng Hongchen's dual-type venom origin was ice-based it also contained traces of fire inside of it as well. The moment the outer layer of ice-type venom was removed, the fire-type poison inside was likely to be unleashed. One misstep could cost Ling Luochen her life; how could Huo Yuhao dare to take this risk?
"Next." Meng Hongchen's voice—akin to the harbinger of death—could be heard once more. Her expression was still condescending and extremely arrogant, but this single word caused an immense pressure to fall onto team Shrek inside of the waiting area.
She'd defeated two people in a row, both of which could be described as effortless victories. Meng Hongchen was the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy's cornerstone at this point, as both parties had now been pulled back onto the same footing in terms of able-bodied contestants.
Dai Yueheng gradually rose to his feet, his brows furrowed. Wang Yan had explained the Vermillion Ice Toad's situation to the best of his ability to the rest of Shrek's team while Ling Luochen was battling with her opponent.
The White Tiger was ferocious enough, but it still belonged to the same category as Bei Bei's Blue Lightning Tyrant Dragon. Bei Bei hadn't been able to resist Meng Hongchen's poison; would he be able to as a Soul Emperor? Dai Yueheng didn't know the answer to this question.
Yet, even if he knew he wouldn't be able to resist it, how could he just chicken out? Both the emperor and his own father, the White Tiger Duke, were watching.
The despondence and exasperation that Dai Yueheng felt in his heart was already at the highest possible level, causing veins to pop out all over his forehead. He'd rather challenge a Soul Sage than fight someone like Meng Hongchen. It wouldn't be much if he won, but it would be an embarrassment if he lost, and he'd be humiliated in front of the vast audience.
The list was fixed and couldn't be changed, however, so he could only gather his courage and prepare to engage in battle.
"Dai Yueheng." A deep voice rang out from beside his ear.
"Eh?" Dai Yueheng turned around. Ma Xiaotao was the one who'd just called his name.
Ma Xiaotao had completely suppressed the evil fire in her body during their period of adjustment and recovery before this, and she'd even regained much of her soul power through a Milk Bottle.
Ma Xiaotao gazed at him, and a serious look flashed across her eyes. She lowered her voice and said, "Her venom is powerful, but she's ultimately still a level below us. Your three powerful transformations that are meant to amplify your powers will grant you a great boost to your resistance. Rain hell upon her in the time that she tries to take you down with poison!"
All of them were intelligent; this single pointer was enough. Dai Yueheng immediately understood the meaning in her words, and his eyes squinted a little as he nodded his head. He gave Ma Xiaotao a thumbs-up, then leapt into the sky and landed on the competition stage.
As the onlooker, he could see more of the game, and immediately understood what he had to do with Ma Xiaotao's timely reminder. He possessed a powerful martial soul and was a Soul Emperor over Rank 60. The amplifications that his martial soul could apply onto his body were extremely formidable. Under such circumstances, a certain duration of time was needed for poison to take effect on his body no matter how acute his opponent's venom was.
Bei Bei's level of cultivation was inferior to his opponent, plus he'd been caught off guard.
As for Ling Luochen? Their round had only concluded ten minutes after her Icemist had permeated throughout the entire competition stage. Meng Hongchen had mentioned afterwards that ice was ineffective in blocking her from spreading poison, but it was clear that she'd needed a certain amount of time to deal with Ling Luochen. Ling Luochen was a control-type soul master, and thus was more adept at controlling the battle rather than using brute force. He, on the other hand, was different.
Meng Hongchen looked back over her shoulder at her own camp's waiting area as Dai Yueheng stepped onto the competition stage. The Sun Moon Empire's teacher-in-charge made a few gestures towards her, and Meng Hongchen rolled her eyes, then she nodded her head slightly to show that she understood. An added tinge of self-confidence instantly appeared in her eyes.
"Step back," the Heavenfiend Douluo habitually said.
Dai Yueheng squinted slightly as he stared at Meng Hongchen with a chilly gaze.
Meng Hongchen felt her body tighten up and a chill ran down her spine. She felt as if she was actually facing off against a ferocious tiger. He was a Soul Emperor from Shrek Academy, and his intimidating aura was cause her stomach to freeze.
She quickly recovered, however, as her two previous victories had built up her confidence.
Dai Yueheng's disposition seemed to change delicately when he reached his corner. He didn't move very fast, but the distance between every step that he took was extremely balanced and even. His aura kept becoming denser and more stable, as if he were a mountain that was gradually taking shape.
On top of the royal city wall.
The Star Luo Emperor grinned and said, "My friend, do you think that Dai Yueheng will be able to defeat the Sun Moon Empire's rare poison soul master?"
The White Tiger Duke frowned faintly and replied, "He can win if he plays it smart. However, he will still probably end up hurting himself even if he does emerge victorious, as poison soul masters are troublesome—especially those from the Sun Moon Empire. Your Majesty, you need to start taking that girl seriously."
"Indeed, the Sun Moon Empire is getting more out of control. The messenger that I sent to Shrek Academy returned yesterday."
"Oh? What did Shrek Academy say?" It was apparent that the White Tiger Duke knew about the Star Luo Empire's efforts to form a rapport with Shrek Academy.
The Star Luo Emperor laughed and replied, "What else? Those cunning foxes! They politely declined my offer. The Martial Soul Department's dean, Yan Shaozhe, sent a message: Shrek will never fall in. They will only nurture, and they will only protect. Shrek's influence will never leave Shrek City."
The White Tiger Duke grunted and said, "They've already become the Continental Guardians, yet they're still not coming out of the city? They're just not going to expand outwards."
The Star Luo Emperor sighed and said, "We still have to admit that it's only because of the Shrek Academy's steadfast belief in their principles that they've remained as the neutral party between the Douluo Continent's three original empires. We might've had the opportunity if not for the Sun Moon Empire's existence, and it would've been our chance to unify the continent. However, Shrek will never allow any form of infighting, and we don't have the strength to contest anything under the current political circumstances."
The White Tiger Duke replied, "The Sun Moon Empire has been relatively quiet recently; I imagine they won't cause much disturbance in the near future."
The Star Luo Emperor waved his hand and said, "The competition has begun. Let's watch."
Dai Yueheng and Meng Hongchen's contest had begun while the ruler and his minister were discussing the great throes of politics.
Dai Yueheng roared like a tiger as soon as the judge gave the green light, and his entire body shot forward like an arrow. His first, third and fifth soul ring immediately began to sparkle sequentially as he flew through the air, and he transformed as fast as he could.
Golden fur and golden claws appeared as he used the White Tiger's Shield, the White Tiger's Vajra Transformation, and the White Tiger's Devilgod Transformation. These three powerful amplification skills could raise his power to the highest possible level in a matter of seconds.
He'd already reached the center of competition's stage by the time his third soul ring had been completely released, and it was obvious how frighteningly quick his movements were. It felt as if his fearsome aura was going to tear everything before him to pieces.
Below the competition stage, Ma Rulong's expression changed again and again. He was also a Soul Emperor, but the rift between him and Dai Yueheng was simply too vast in terms of their martial soul and cultivation. He only had a fifty percent chance of defeating Dai Yueheng at best, even if he unleashed his soul tools with all his might. He had to admit that Shrek was superior in single combat at the same age and the same level of cultivation. He knew that he wouldn't even have a thirty percent chance of victory if he were to go up against Ma Xiaotao in a one-versus-one matchup.
Meng Hongchen finally released her soul tools as she faced off against Dai Yueheng.
An icy blue radiance glowed from thirteen spots on her body—these thirteen spots were her forehead, shoulders, chest, elbows, abdomen, hips, knees, and both of her hands.
Thirteen spheres of chilly blue light formed from, then swiftly transformed into an exquisite blue armor that protected Meng Hongchen's body.
Even though her armor covered her entire body, there didn't appear to be any redundancies in it. The entire set of armor seemed extremely delicate and fine, and was even engraved with magnificent bluish-gold floral patterns. Meng Hongchen was already enchanting, but this body armor made her appear even more valiant and formidable.
She also held a pair of icy-blue longswords in both of her hands. The swords were thin, and were each three feet long. Three pairs of folded wings that were roughly a foot long extended from behind her body. The body armor in and of itself was enough for her to release a dense, chilly aura.
He Caitou's ability to distinguish soul tools was relatively advanced, thus he immediately gave his opinion. This was a Class 6 soul tool; a full-body armor with attached weapons and a flying-type soul tool. Furthermore, a Class 5 soul engineer would be able to use this Class 6 soul tool. He was also positive that Meng Hongchen couldn't possibly have made this; this soul tool had definitely come from the hands of some expert.