14 Apr 2016
When coming out of the room after his closed door training, the instant he saw the sunshine again, Yang Chen had a sudden urge to jump, as if it was an instinct of his body, but also because of his excitement for the Sect’s Martial Arts Competition starting from tomorrow.
In the Sect’s Martial Arts Competition, contestants were divided according to their realms. Generally speaking, fights between disciples of different realms was utterly dangerous, even if someone with a high cultivation was acting as guard, it was still a very risky affair. Usually, only disciples with the same cultivation would fight with each other, so naturally, it was a competition between disciples of the same stage.
According to the rules of the Martial Arts Competition, the disciples at the lower realms would accumulate points depending on their victory or defeat and later, according to these points, their rankings would change. Those who were ranked higher would enjoy an even better status and treatment, while those ranked behind would have to spend more contribution points to receive the same resources. These kinds of rules motivated all of the disciples to cultivate even more meticulously.
Naturally, someone challenging a disciple above their realm would receive more advantages and bonus points, only, this kind of thing was seen very rarely. Generally speaking, the teachers did not recommend their disciples to challenge someone above their realm, not to mention the danger, it could severely dampen one’s confidence, so the gains really didn’t make up for the losses.
The one in which Yang Chen would participate was naturally the qi realm martial arts contest. All of the qi realm disciples could, within the first day, challenge other disciples to fight or could instead be challenged by others. The location of this competition was naturally the Nine Earth Manor.
Because of Yang Chen and Gong Sun Ling’s performance at the Heavenly Stairs this year, at this qi layer Martial Arts Competition the Palace Master of the Pure Yang Palace himself would personally come to watch. This made all of the disciples incomparably excited and eager to fight. As long as one could leave a profound impression on the Palace Master, then would one still have to worry about their future cultivation?
The Merit Transferring Disciple, Chu Heng, was responsible to act as arbitrator for the competition this time and at the same time he was also responsible for saving disciples if they were in danger. With him there were also more than a dozen foundation stage disciples, including Du Qian of the Law Enforcement Hall.
Yang Chen was not very interested in challenging these disciples of the Nine Earth Manor and seizing their cultivation resources. His sole desire was to learn by interaction and that was also just with Gongsun Ling and no one else. As for Sun Hai Jing, indeed he was Yang Chen target for a life and death challenge, their relationship had already sank to the point of being mortal enemies.
Gongsun Ling also hadn’t wasted these three months, with just one look, Yang Chen became aware that she had certainly broken through within these three months and had entered the seventh qi layer. Compared to the Gongsun Ling before she had climbed the Heavenly Stairs, the present Gongsun Ling was even more energetic and had even more fighting spirit, her attitude was as if she could fight with anyone below the heavens.
Because this kind of fighting spirit would bring about changes in one’s personality, it became visible to everyone. Originally Gongsun Ling was just a beautiful woman, who was hard to come by, but now she also had a hint of confidence and aggressiveness. She had also been in secluded training for the past three months and appeared in public for the first time since then, but even if it was the first time, she had immediately attracted the sight of all the qi realm disciples. Even Chu Heng had fixed his gaze on Gongsun Ling, but he had an indescribable expression.
Although Gongsun Ling had been good natured previously, this was not towards everyone. Her present attitude made her seem unapproachable. Although almost everyone’s gaze was fixed on her, no one dared to go and talk to her.
A smile spread on Yang Chen’s face and he immediately greeted Gongsun Ling from a distance. Looking at Yang Chen, Gongsun Ling immediately smiled towards him. Only, with just this faint smile, she made everyone feel as if the sky had fallen onto their heads.
Just this greeting between these two people made the Palace Master of the Pure Yang Palace, who had rushed over here, but had not yet appeared in front of everyone, sense the exceptionality of Yang Chen and Gongsun Ling. One person could make the people not dare to approach her, but when she smiled, it could make them feel as if the sun had peeked through between the clouds. The other, regardless of the situation, could always preserve his calmness, such a disciple was really hard to come by.
It had to be known that at that moment all disciples in the Nine Earth Manor were in fear that their performance was deemed as no good by the Palace Master, therefore all of the disciples were very careful. Even those foundation stage disciples, who were in charge of arbitrating and defending disciples, had the same thoughts. Apart from Yang Chen and Gongsun Ling, only two or three foundation stage disciples were able to show this type of calmness.
Gongsun Ling had entered the seventh qi layer, so her strength had increased and her mental state had also made a breakthrough, so this was not unexpected for most people. But for a third qi layer outer disciple to be able to cultivate this kind of strong mind, it was no wonder that he could climb to the peak of the Heavenly Stairs two times, and could still cripple nineteen JieDan experts. For such a person, this was not something out of the ordinary.
Even though the sect leader had only appeared in front of everyone and had not said anything, this still inspired all of the people present. Hearing about him was just one thing, but truly seeing him was a whole different thing.
Sun Hai Jing stood on one side at the corner with a profound smile on his face. He had learned from Chu Heng why the Palace Master of the Pure Yang Palace had appeared here. Looking at Yang Chen and Gongsun Ling greeting each other, Sun Hai Jing suddenly had a very ridiculous thought. If Yang Chen, for whom the Palace Master had high hopes, was eliminated from the Martial Arts Competition, what would he feel if that happened?
Not only the Pure Yang Palace, but all other sects also allowed life and death duels between their disciples. This was the most just and honourable method to settle disputes, and after the event it was unlikely for anyone to investigate it. Naturally this was just a theory, as for whether or not it was looked into, only the parties involved would be clear about. However with just this condition, what would Sun Hai Jing have to fear? As for choosing between killing Yang Chen honorably during the duel, and killing Yang Chen at some other time, but at the same time being investigated afterwards, and losing his ability to break through, even an idiot would know what to pick.
Chu Heng announced the start of the martial arts competition and immediately, in the training grounds of the Nine Earth Manor, the crowd began to boil with excitement and many disciples began to look for other disciples of the same layer, to begin challenging them and very quickly within the training grounds, an image of a blade appeared.
Yang Chen hadn’t moved and Gongsun Ling also didn’t make a move, but in the corner, Sun hai Jing had issued a challenge towards a peak qi layer disciple. This one move of his immediately raised a huge clamor among many people. Sun Hai Jing was merely a minor fourth qi layer disciple, how could he dare to challenge a peak qi layer master? Furthermore, he had not only just challenged any peak qi layer disciple, but also the one acknowledged as the number one outer disciple.
Challenging someone above one’s realm was allowed at the martial competition and at the same time it would also reward the most points. However for the challenged people it was a troublesome event, because they would later be blamed of being the strong, taking unfair advantage of the weak, or that they had an unfair advantage in that battle, while being defeated would lose even more face. Even if it was a challenge above one’s realm, it was usually a third qi layer disciple challenging a fourth qi layer disciple, or a fourth qi layer disciple challenging fifth qi layer disciple, but challenging someone with a differences of more than five layers was unprecedented.
“Younger Disciple Sun, you can still change your decision!”
The challenged disciple was known as Zhou Zihe, he was not very old, only thirty years or so.
From the time he had started cultivating, to reaching the peak of the qi layer, he had only taken fifteen years of time, he was just one step away from the foundation stage. Within a few years he had become the number one disciple among the outer disciples, so he would not be cowardly when facing Sun Hai Jing’s challenge, rather he had just indifferently warned him once.
Sun Hai Jing burst into loud laughter and opened his hand and from within his hand, the figure of a sword flew out and started rotating around his body in the air.
“A magic weapon?”
The people watching the battle did not dare to believe their own eyes, the sword that flew out from Sun Hai Jing’s body was glowing magnificently and exerted a great pressure, which clearly proved that it was a magic flying sword! He was just a minor qi layer disciple, how did he get a magic weapon? How was he able to control it?
A lot of of doubt immediately appeared in the minds of spectators. When Yang Chen looked at this, his brows creased deeply. This looked very similar to something he knew. Sun Hai Jing’s situation resembled exactly an evil cultivation accelerating method. And the Hidden Pavilion of the Nine Earth Manor was in possession of this cultivation method. However, the cost of cultivating this kind of cultivation method was extremely high, so nearly nobody cultivated this kind of method.
‘Almost nobody’ is not equal to ‘exactly nobody’. That Sun Hai Jing before his eyes was a clear example of this, in the brief period of a few months, his cultivation had increased by leaps and bounds, even surpassing a peak qi layer disciple, reaching nearly to the standard of the foundation stage. The flying sword, which he had, was obtained from a loose cultivator at the early foundation stage, whom he had fought a few days ago to test his strength.
Not all people were like Yang Chen and had read all of the jade slips in the Hidden Pavilion. Regarding Sun Hai Jing’s circumstances, more than ninety percent of people were not aware what was going on. Everyone only thought that the fourth qi layer disciple Sun Hai Jing had hidden his true strength, but still, seeing him suddenly reveal the strength of the foundation stage, how could they not cry out in surprise?
The Pure Yang Palace had already discovered two talented disciples at the Heavenly Stairs this year, could it be that one more individual had appeared silently again? This year, the popularity of the Pure Yang Palace would burst out of all seams, due to all these talents appearing.
Everyone’s bewildered voices made Sun Hai Jin extremely satisfied, the looks of everyone not daring to believe, made Sun Hai Jing feel as if he was bathing in a soft spring wind, his whole self had become elated. The feeling of losing all of his face when he was thoroughly humiliated by Yang Chen in front of numerous people, was completely removed. Immense satisfaction flooded Sun Hai Jing’s mind, which was increased even more by the flying sword he controlled to revolve around him.
Zhou Zihe, opposite of Sun Hai Jing, revealed an earnest expression on his face. Although the other party had suddenly revealed a flying magic sword, as a peak qi layer disciple, this was not a strength which would force him to risk his life. Sun Hai Jing’s expressions were also making people feel suspicious of him, his odds for succeeding were not that great and Zhou Zihe was unlikely to give up immediately.
Facing the magical weapon, Zhou Zihe also took out the talisman gem in his control. It was also a sword, but the difference in grade was too much. It was merely a talisman sword after all.(Tl.note- talisman gem) However still it radiated power which would shock people’s souls. Suddenly a cold sword qi appeared, Zhou Zihe also emitted a pressure that did not lose out to to Sun Hai Jing. All of a sudden, Sun Hai Jing’s sword shone brightly.
“Don’t shed tears at the sight of the coffin!”
Sun Hai Jing sneered and took the initiative to attack. In his opinion, since he had already taken out his magic flying sword, the other party should have immediately admitted defeat and bowed before him, making way for his victory, what was the need to go through with the fight? Wouldn’t this enormously lower his heroic victory?
Against this Zhou Zihe, who could not show any understanding of the situation, Sun Hai Jing used his killing move and launched the flying sword to attack him with a decisive blow. But Zhou Zihe also lived up to his reputation as the number one peak qi layer disciple, neither dodging nor avoiding he controlled his talisman sword to face against it.
With an exceptionally clear and melodious sound that rang in everyone’s ears, two brilliant rays flew out on each side and returned to their own masters.
After Zhou Zihe firmly resisted this blow, he discovered a small problem with the talisman sword in his hand. Bowing his head to look, he astonishingly discovered a grain sized nick at the edge of his talisman sword. In the recent blow, he had already suffered a defeat.
Seeing this one move, the palace master standing behind could not help but sigh with a long breath. Although Sun Hai Jing’s strength had increased, it was only caused by cultivating an evil cultivation method. Talent? Absolutely not! Originally he thought that he could find an unexpected pleasant surprise, but now it seems that was only his wishful thinking.
The Palace Master shook his head and glanced resentfully at the Merit Transferring Disciple, Chu Heng. How could a qi layer disciple be allowed to cultivate this kind of method? This Merit Transferring Disciple, was greatly unsuited for his position. This one glance scared Chu Heng so much, that even soul trembled and cold drops of sweat appeared on his head. Lowering his head, he did not even dare to breathe loudly. He suddenly felt his knees go soft and he fell on the ground to beg for forgiveness.
Fortunately, the Palace Master had merely glanced at him, but not said anything. He closed his eyes again and continued to observe the circumstances below, in the Martial Arts Competition, with his spiritual awareness.
When all was said and done, he had just recently acquired his strength and at the same time also the flying sword, so Sun Hai Jing only looked impressive on the surface, but his method of controlling the flying sword was far inferior. Compared to Zhou Zihe, who had trained for a much longer time, the difference was a lot more than a level. But, presently Sun Hai Jing had no other option, but the quality of the sword in his hand was better than Zhou Zihe’s. All of his attacks were aiming to kill the enemy, a method which would end in mutual destruction, forcing both his and Zhou Zihe’s swords to clash.
After going through this again and again, the talisman sword in Zhou Zihe’s hands was badly worn, with several holes. If this continued for one more strike, this talisman sword would be completely destroyed. Thinking about this again and again, Zhou Zihe no longer insisted on continuing this. The Foundation Stage was in his sight, he had carried this talisman sword for many years and had invested much in it. Once he would reach the foundation stage and refined it, it would turn into a magic flying sword, if it was destroyed now, the gains would not make up for the losses. Finding an opportunity to come out of the fight, he cupped his hands towards Sun Hai Jing and said:
“Younger Disciple Sun’s flying sword is really difficult to deal with, I admit defeat!”
After saying this, he immediately turned around and walked away, without looking back.
The victorious Sun Hai Jing, after hearing the burst of surprised voices coming from the audience, was extremely satisfied. After smugly listening to it for a long time, he turned to Yang Chen and shouted:
“Younger Disciple Yang, regarding the life and death challenge between us, you will not surely run away, right? Younger Disciple Yang, do you dare to accept the challenge?”
Once these words came out, it gave rise to surprised comments from the audience.
According to the rules of the martial arts competition, a disciple of a lower realm could decide not to accept a life and death challenge. If Yang Chen did not accept the challenge, Sun Hai Jing would have to look for another opportunity to take care of Yang Chen. He had asked in this way, clearly because he was trying to force Yang Chen to accept.
However Yang Chen laughed out loudly and immediately entered the stage. His movement gave rise to even more astonished looks. Sun Hai Jing had right now showed the strength of the foundation stage, but Yang Chen was just a third qi layer disciple, how could he be so stupid to throw away his life like this?
After moving in front of Sun Hai Jing, Yang Chen looked at the smug Sun Hai Jing and suddenly asked:
“Senior Disciple Sun, when you found this cultivation method, did you look at the jade slip on the side explaining about it? Are you aware that cultivating this kind of cultivation method, you will live for only half a year?”
Hearing Yang Chen’s question, Sun Hai Jing’s complexion drastically changed.