Resting on the ground, Pomo could hear the faint breathing sounds coming from Grai. Although the latter had suffered the sneak attack from his Northern Tundra Howling Bear as well as the powerful pincer attack from his Frozen Tundra attack, he seemed to have only lost consciousness! Exactly how was he able to contain so much power in that frail-looking body?
As he stood up, Pomo's strained breathing gradually stabilized. It didn't matter, he had won!
First duel, Vasilyevich, Pomo, Victory!
After a short moment of silence, the Vasilyevich fans in the northern side of the stadium were to first to start shouting, their berserk roars threatening to rip the stadium's roof off its hinges!
Indeed, after knowing who they were up against in this CHF, they had started to pay attention to the match between Tianjin and Martial Ghost Divine Emperor. Seeing Grai using his strange Subwoofer Cannon move to defeat his opponents, even though they had given it the nickname of "sissy cannon", all of them knew that it was a rather formidable move. In fact, in this fight, he had proven just how strong and powerful he was. However, he was actually able to match up in a head-on confrontation against Pomo, who had used his Muscular Control, Ice and Earth attribute special abilities to their full effect! How could they not feel excited, with Pomo having defeated an opponent of this calibre!
Noisy clamouring finally filled the other viewing galleries, mixing with the shrieks and cries from the female fans. If not for the sharp-eyed guards stationed around that managed to restrain some of those fans, they would have already leapt down towards the stage!
Without a doubt, Grai was one of the most important pillars for Tianjing's formation. Yet, he had actually collapsed in the vanguard battle?
"Defeating Grai is no doubt a prerequisite to defeating Tianjing. Now, Tianjing's in real danger." The eyes of the Martial Ghost Divine Emperor members were filled with admiration. If Gui Wulie had managed to deal with Grai in their match, Tianjing would have already been eliminated from the CHF.
Nodding his head, Alasi replied. "If Vladimir really chooses a substitute to remove Wang Zhong from the equation, victory will be in his grasp."
"Only by exchanging pointers will there be a chance to learn something new. If you think about it, there's really no need to show off in the earlier matches. One will get struck by lightning if they act too pretentiously."
"Vladimir isn't Mo Wen. The Ice Prince is walking the path of special abilities. There's no reason for him to get into a fight with Wang Zhong other than to gain just a little bit more fame. There's basically no other benefits for him. As for fame, since he isn't Gui Hao, there's also no need for him to gamble on a clean victory just to gain a little bit of face."
"Compared to Wang Zhong, it's even more impossible for Vladimir to lose. As long as he can maintain a 4:1 point lead over Tianjing for the duelling phase, he will definitely redeem himself for the lost point."
As whispered conversations rang out across the viewing galleries, the analysis of the participants were miraculously in sync. Although they had been eliminated from this CHF, all of them were core members of aristocratic families, and thus, had a rather good understanding of Vladimir. Even if he chose to send a substitute to deal with Wang Zhong and thereby giving Tianjing a free point, the strength of Tianjing's other mainstays was utterly outclassed by the Grozny's ironclad defence in the form of Vladimir and Noriba.
If the odds for victory before the start of the first duel were 40:60 in favour of Grozny, the current odds had turned completely one-sided, with Grozny holding at least a 90% chance for victory!
Vasilyevich had victory within their grasp!
As he was stretchered off the stage, everyone could see that Grai's injuries weren't too severe . The Northern Tundra Howling Bear's attacks weren't as overbearing as it appeared to be. The pincer attack from the intense ripples formed by the spatial void, in addition to the rush of icy air from Pomo's Frozen Tundra, was the primary reason why Grai had lost consciousness.
Hymin immediately started treatment, though it would still take some time for her to get Grai awake. Nevertheless, his relatively good condition allowed the other Tianjing members to breathe a sigh of relief.
It was alright as long as he was fine.
Obviously, the loss of the first duel had caused a sliver of a nervous atmosphere to descend on the Tianjing squadron. Despite how outstanding and accidental Tianjing's path was in this CHF, or that many people have accepted the reality, and in fact, were happy for the 4 semifinalists, everyone discovered that no one really wanted to lose!
This included Lily and Colby, the least confident people within the semifinalists. At this moment, their eyes were filled with intense feelings of danger and anxiousness. The spirit in their eyes was something that could only be found in those with hopes, dreams, and a strong thirst for victory!
Despite Grai's loss, there was absolutely no signs of worry on Wang Zhong's face. If he, as the leader, were to panic, his teammates would immediately lose their spirit. Grai had basically used all of his strength in the earlier duel. As for the instant that had decided victory and defeat, that actually depended on one's luck, akin to tossing a dice. If Grai's Subwoofer Cannon had been just a little bit faster, it would have led to an entirely different outcome.
"Pity, a real pity." The Mo Family members felt extremely sympathetic, as they really wanted to match up against Tianjing. The main reason was that everyone wanted to see exactly who was strong, Mo Wen or Wang Zhong. The 2 of them possessed the same style, and a showdown between the 2 would definitely produce a miraculous and spectacular show.
"Grai is extremely strong and talented. However, he lacks the sliver of anxiousness that a top-notch expert needs to possess. I don't know if it's me or my misconception, but I feel that he doesn't really care about victory or defeat in this duel." Napier Mo commented as he shook his head in confusion.
Mo Zhong replied as he shook his head, "Grai's life has been too smooth. This caused him to become unstable during crucial moments where one has to grind it out. Compared to him, Wang Zhong had the experience of suffering countless losses in the OP, something that is extremely important towards one's martial path. I think he should be more clear than anyone about how to deal with a life-or-death situation."
Due to the Casted Soul Stage limit, situations where victory and defeat were decided in an instant were few and far between. Therefore, being able to grasp those opportunities and use them effectively would depend crucially on one's attitude and decisiveness.
Mo Wen did not comment on their conversation. Although he was more inclined towards Napier Mo's view, he personally felt that Grai lacked a sense of caution not only for this duel, but the entire CHF!
On the other side, Tianjing had already fallen into a dangerous situation. Now, the second duel became exceedingly important towards their victory or defeat in this match! Wang Zhong proceeded to pat Barran's shoulder. Now, he had to rely on Barran, the miraculous Barran.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
"It's, it's Barran?"
The extremely depressed Tianjing fans in the stadium immediately noticed Tianjing's choice for the 2nd duel.
Frankly speaking, all of them felt as though the skies had fallen the instant they saw Grai collapse. Despite how omnipotent, invincible and able to 1 VS 5 and win, their brother King wasn't able to take 2 points in the duelling phase of this match!
At this moment, there were some people that had already considered Barran as the next possible choice for Tianjing.
Other than their king, Wang Zhong, and their prince, Grai, there was only one name within Tianjing's lineup that people had hopes in! The miraculous Bulldozer -- Barran Gestalt!
This was a heavy soldier that had tripped and stumbled his way along the CHF, yet had skyrocketed in his progression of strength! He had left a considerably deep impression in the eyes of the Tianjing fans, even going so far as the eyes of the entire CHF! From his inferior performance against a normal heavy soldier from Bierlia Musical Soul Academy, to his frightening willpower and endurance he displayed during the fight against the Zhao Family; from the astonishing rise in strength against Torres, to the final display against Gui Xinying, one of the strongest from Martial Ghost Divine Emperor, and one of the top 10 Mo's List soldiers, he had shown to the world the frightening level of his strength and defensive capabilities!
A growth rate that was simply heaven-defying! The only person besides Wang Zhong and Grai that people had hopes in!
Barran walked up onto the stage. There were still scabs present from the burns he had suffered during the duel against Gui Xinying. Nevertheless, his movements appeared strong and stable, while his posture radiated a cool-headed and focused mind, as though he had fully recovered from his injuries.
This was a make-or-break duel! There was no one else to choose! Now, all that was left was to see what choice Grozny would make.
While everyone was anxiously waiting as they stared furiously at Grozny's preparatory area, the only thing Tianjing fans could do was to pray for a good match.
Please don't let it be Vladimir! Please don't let it be Noriba! Please don't let it be Vladimir! Please don't let it be Noriba!...
Gleaming brightly, the Heaven Raising Axe was hefted onto Noriba's shoulder.
"Although I really wish to fight against Wang Zhong...he he. It's still better to listen to the boss' words." said Noriba as he twitched his nose. "He he. Let's bully this big guy then."
Noisy screams and anguished cries rang out from the countless Tianjing fans watching upon seeing Noriba take the stage. How was Tianjing going to live on like that!
Noriba had already received sufficient recognition for his strength in this CHF, especially during the match against Copperfield's Karkel. The latter was a super expert that was evaluated by countless people to be on the same calibre as the 10 great Mo's List's soldier! Furthermore, being a ranged soldier, he possessed a natural advantage against heavy soldiers! However, the latter was smashed apart by Noriba! That duel alone was more than sufficient to propel Noriba into a god-like status! In everyone's eyes, he was a super expert that towered over the ordinary members of the Mo's List!
With the exception of Wang Zhong, even Tianjing's Grai wasn't rated on the same level as Noriba, what more Barran? Despite how miraculous and how heaven-defying his growth had been, there was no way he could contend with Noriba!
"There's no chance for Barran." Gui Xinying said as she shook her head. Having crossed hands with Barran, she was all too clear about the strengths and weaknesses the former possessed. There was not even a shred of a chance for him to contend against Noriba. Furthermore, the after-effects from being burnt by the Hellish Flames couldn't be easily removed. The damage would definitely appear in intense combat, what more against an opponent that possessed absolute superiority in all aspects.
Some Gui Family members started to sigh in regret and unwillingness. Their Gui Family had lost to Tianjing. Was Tianjing going to lose to Grozny? One had to know that before this CHF, Martial Ghost Divine Emperor was always ranked above Vasilyevich in all aspects, be it fame, reputation or strength! Such comparisons would really be the death of them if it continued on!
As thoughts filled her head, Gui Xinying could not help but sweep her gaze over towards Wang Zhong. From the looks of it, there was still no change on that fellow's face. Just like Vladimir, he had remained calm and cool-headed throughout this match, so much so that he appeared to have turned into an emotionless bamboo pole. Grozny using Noriba to remove Barran was definitely a result of wanting to be as cautious as they could be. Now, Tianjing was in a real pinch.
At this moment, Barran and Noriba had taken up their respective positions on stage. Despite resting his Heaven Raising Axe on his shoulder, not the slightest bit of aura was radiating out from Noriba.
Although Noriba wasn't releasing any aura or intent, the slivers of light sporadically flashing from the massive and sharp Heaven Raising Axe on his shoulder showed how extraordinary it, and in turn, he was. The surging Soul Power that started to radiate out of his body appeared just like a tap that had been turned to full flow, expanding in all directions, displaying his might to everyone in his surroundings!
Although the duel has yet to start, those 2 words have already taken over Barran's mind.
This was not the result of nervousness or fear.
Indeed, he had gained much strength since the start of this CHF, especially so for the 2 times he had gone seriously injured. After every heavy injury, Barran could feel his strength skyrocket.
However, the faster it rose, the greater he could sense the disparity he had in the face of those true experts.
The person before him, Noriba, gave him the same level of pressure as Gui Xinying did. Unlike those opponents that have used their Soul Power to terrorize him, the pressure emanating from Noriba appeared to stem from a primal level, just like the fear a mouse would get in the face of a cat...
However, there were still chances out there for mice to bite a cat to death!
Barran's expression gradually turned devoid of other emotions.
Mustering the guts to face against experts. Mustering the courage to face against experts that possessed the power to suppress him, while maintaining the confidence to believe in himself. This was the greatest strength Barran had gained from this CHF!
Soul Power exploded forth from Barran's body. With a crouch, Barran shot towards Noriba!
A smile appeared at the corner of Noriba's mouth.
The northerners did not like defining others using their strength. Yes, a Heroic Soul expert would be able to easily deal with a 5th Rank mutated beast. However, that does not equate to being brave and courageous, nor would it garner any respect from them. However, if a Casted Soul Stage fellow dared to stand before a 5th Rank mutated beast, he would be respected by the northerners as a real man, an iron-blooded man. Regardless of his strength, he would garner the acceptance of every single male from the northern regions.
Now, the person rushing towards him, Barran was displaying the same bravery. Despite being able to feel the disparity in their strength, he still maintained the courage to fight, as well as a powerful thirst for victory. Be it the northern regions or anywhere in the world, a male like Barran would definitely garner everyone's respect.
Very straightforward, huh. He actually dared to rush right towards me!
Noriba was delighted!
What a pity for you to hail from Tianjing! Even more, that I'm your opponent! The number one fiercest bro in the universe!
A white burst of light flashed out. Without moving from his standing position, Noriba gave a casual swing with his Heaven Raising Axe, sending a frightening wave of light sweeping out.
A plain and simple attack, yet possessing incomparable strength.
Barran was instantly forced out from his berserk rush, as the tyrannical wave of power smashed him backwards.
Thump thump thump thump thump...
Barran retreated 7-8 steps backwards. The basic ability of any heavy soldier was to tank and soak damage. He wasn't sufficiently proficient in his rushing technique, nor was his speed adequate. Nevertheless, he had detected danger upon seeing his opponent raise his axe. It was from this realization that Barran immediately thought of changing his direction. However, due to his incomplete control over his habits, he was unable to stop himself, resulting in him being forced to eat it head-on.
If not for him holding his runic heavy shield in a defensive position during his rush, he would have already been chopped into two, and just from a casual swing! Yet, there was so much power behind it! That was why Noriba was publicly known as the strongest offence-oriented soldier in this CHF!
Stamping his left leg hard onto the ground, Barran shattered the ground to create a small pit, using it to forcefully halt his retreat.
Nevertheless, before he could stabilize himself, Noriba's second swing had arrived!
It was still the same simple chop that relied purely on his arm strength. However, due to it being an overhead chop, the power behind it was multiple times stronger than the earlier chop!
A frightening bang rang out, as a force akin to a small hill toppling over pressed down onto Barran.
Nevertheless, not the slightest shred of dread appeared on Barran's face. As Soul Power gushed out from his body, energy rippled from the gigantic runic shield in his hand as the runes engraved on its surface sparkled with brilliance.
The energy surging out from the shield collided with the axe, forming a circular shockwave that expanded across the entire stage, while the massive bang threatened to tear the stadium's roof off its hinges! The bang was so loud that many ordinary people could not help but to cover their ears in pain!
Barely managing to defend, Barran was forced into a half-kneeling position. Nevertheless, there were no vibrations present in high quality runic heavy shield in his hand, as the engraved runes sparkled with blue radiance, resisting against the Heaven Raising Axe pressing down from above.
Crack crack crack crack...
A series of cracking sounds rang out, as a crater started to form beneath Barran's feet, while web-like cracks extended out, from a metre-wide circle around him.
"That's some strength! Nice!" Noriba chuckled heartily. This was the first CHF opponent that had chosen to face him head-on! His previous opponents had either kept their distance or reacted in retarded ways. Even the fight against Karkel that had propelled him to a god-like status wasn't as satisfying as this one! So what if Karkel was an expert! That guy only knew how to dodge and evade!
"I like you!" the Heaven Raising Axe was raised into the air, "Receive another move!"
Shouting out those words quickly, Noriba unleashed a quicker strike! Before he finished his words, his third strike was already on its way towards Barran! However, Noriba still did not unleash the move that made him famous, nor did he use any combat technique! It was still a pure, strength-based chop!
There appeared to be no limit to the surge of Soul Power gushing out from Noriba, while his movements were perfectly capable of unleashing the power of the axe to its limits. At the instant his axe started to chop down, the air in its surroundings had already solidified, as though they had been frozen solid! What's more, what seemed to be flames started erupting from the edge of the axe!
Clearly, Noriba did not possess a Fire attribute special ability. Instead, the flames were a result of the axe and his Soul Power rubbing against the surrounding air!
Due to the solidified air, the pressure around his axe instantly increased by more than 10 times, so much so that it was visible to the naked eye!
This... this was this just from his physical strength and Soul Power? So ridiculously powerful!
Countless people could feel their hearts rise all the way to their throats, while Hymin covered her mouth in worry, not even daring to take a breath to clear the suffocating pressure she felt.
Rays of light blossomed from Barran's eyes!
If the second chop was akin to a small mountain pressing down on him, the third chop felt as though Mountain Tai had toppled over on him! However, so what! He knew about his own strengths and weaknesses! Without talking about Noriba, even any of the middle to top-notch heavy soldiers would be able to thrash him up in a fight on combat techniques!
Compared to others, his strength lay in his pure strength, Soul Power, as well as the desire for victory!
Clashing head-on against Noriba was the best way he could display his strengths. If he wasn't even able to deal with pure power-based attacks like these, there was simply no need for him to continue fighting!
Since you wanna play hard, let's play hard!
With the most basic of movements built on countless training sessions in the fundamentals, Barran, twisted his left leg slightly and locked the tips of his feet tightly into the ground. Bending his right leg into the shape of a notched bow, he crunched his body tightly, before Soul Power blasted out from within! The berserk Soul Power caused his blood and heart to race, resulting in his entire body swelling up!
As the blood vessels in his eye popped out, the radiance sparkling from his runic shield grew increasingly brilliant!
"ROAR!" Barran gave a ferocious roar!
The axe collided with the shield.
7-8 frightening shockwaves rumbled and expanded out from the point of impact.
A frightening wave of power swept out from the axe!
Crack crack crack crack crack crack!
The ground dozens of metres around Barran instantly shattered and collapsed, forming a crater with countless cracks extending out in all directions.
As though a gargantuan weight was pressing down from above, Barran's body was forced into a hunched posture, so much so that he appeared as if he had become half of his original height!
However, he had managed to endure it!
Grinding sounds rang out as Barran clenched his teeth. His arms, as well as his upper body, were straining to their limits to hold on to his shield. Despite his hunched position, he did not collapse onto the ground! Everyone could see all of his muscles shuddering intensely as they gave their all. Boundless power continued to pour out from his locked legs, and the ground beneath him continued to crack and shatter!
The audience were sending looks of helplessness at Barran upon seeing this, as the disparity between him and Noriba was clear for all to see, especially when the former had yet to completely recover from his injuries sustained in the previous match.
"He's barely putting up a fight." said Bobo Torres while shaking his head. Noriba basically wasn't even trying in this fight! He has only been using his brute strength and Soul Power to completely suppress Barran! If Noriba used any combat technique to attack, Barran wouldn't even be able to endure a single chop!
"It's Noriba after all. He's definitely ranked in the top 3 of this CHF in terms of physical strength."
"It is impossible to deal with his fellow in a head-on manner." added Cabel with a sigh. An offence-oriented heavy soldier like Noriba was, in reality, extremely useless in group battles. They didn't have the speed to rival other faster occupations, nor did they have the defence of a standard heavy soldier. This made them the easiest targets to be instantly killed by an opposing group. However, they would be rather overbearing in solo duels, to the extent that Noriba possessed some superiority over Pomo in this aspect. The 2 heavy soldiers of Vasilyevich were the representations of the opposite extremes of offence and defence that heavy soldiers could be. "Even if Barran's able to negate half the force from that chop, how will he be able to remain standing?"
Only Mo Wen, Carolyn, Gui Xinying and a select handful of people had a look of understanding present on their faces.
There was no diversion or negation of force. This Barran, was actually converting the incoming force?
Everyone knew the theory behind the 2nd drive. Converting the incoming force any attack was the most basic step of the 2nd drive. This was similar to the basic usage of Soul Power, which was to convert it into power that could be used by one's body. One needed to be sufficiently proficient in the conversion of Soul Power to strength, in order to utilize the 2nd drive combat technique. However, that was just the Soul Power prerequisite! The more important criteria was the ability to endure the incoming force, to unlock the possibility of converting the incoming force into an attack. Only when these 2 strengths were compounded together, would one be able to unleash power surpassing their limits.
Barran's trembling muscles was a clear sign of him enduring the force from Noriba's chop. Although he had displayed 2nd drive attacks in the past, those attacks were too weak to reach the level of causing his muscles to tremble!
It was slightly strenuous, and slightly unbearable. However, this was not totally due to the strength of his opponent, as he had endured this level of force before. Instead, Barran felt that he did not have complete control of his body, a likely result of the damage from being burnt by Gui Xinying's Hellish Flames. Although it posed no problems under normal circumstances, the all-out combat had immediately caused his injuries to resurface. The intense pain obstructed the flow of his Soul Power and strength, thereby restricting the might of his 2nd drive!
Suddenly, Barran clenched his teeth hard!
Although all of those thoughts took quite a while to explain, all of them only took an instant to happen on stage.
As his eyes turned bloodshot, the intensely vibrating muscles which were working hard to resist the weight of the axe instantly came to a standstill.
With a berserk roar, as though something had burst within him, power gushed out from his half-bent legs, before his hunched frame instantly turned ramrod straight!
The powerful force coming from the axe was instantly absorbed, added to his own strength, before a frightening power exploded out from his shield!
The ground finally could not endure the power Barran was exerted, as it buckled and smashed apart like a piece of tofu!
All of the force was instantly rerouted and sent rumbling back towards Noriba! A combat technique like 2nd drive was either used between noobs, or by experts to use against newbies. However, this fellow was actually using it against himself?
Noriba narrowed his eyes upon seeing it. Raising his hand, the runes on the Heaven Raising Axe that was forced away started to glow and sparkle, before a peculiar surge of power instantly condensed within his body.
Time seemed to stop, and so did the world.
All of the power unleashed by Barran's 2nd drive attack had disappeared without a trace, replaced with a pure aura of power.
A terrifying aura exploded out from the Heaven Raising Axe, instantly possessing an aura that threaten to destroy the skies and rend the earth!
Bringing along the power of nature and the will of the world, the entire stadium paled in colour in the face of that chop!
The entire world turned grey, with the axe becoming a sole beacon of light!
Sky splitting earth rending Heaven Raising Chop!
Humm...a ripple rumbled out.
Destroy everything with overwhelming force!
Having just used all of his strength to defend against Noriba's 3rd chop, Barran did not have enough time to catch his breath before the 4th chop came rumbling down on him! His expression immediately change as he hurriedly activated his special ability. Nevertheless, the released power was utterly incapable of affecting the Heaven Raising Axe chopping down onto him! When unleashed, it will not be moved!
All of his defensive capabilities were incomparably useless before this chop! In fact, his shield was cleaved into 2 as though it was made of paper!
Countless rockchips and dust filled the air, though everyone could still see 2 figures on stage, both of them not moving an inch.
Barran spurted out a mouthful of blood.
Clang clag ...
The 2 halves of the runic heavy shield fell onto the ground.
The Heaven Raising Axe now hung half an inch before Barran. With a calm expression on his face, Noriba looked towards Barran half kneeling on the ground.
What a pity. Noriba was able to feel the current situation of his opponent's body. Nevertheless, being a duel that would affect the honour and glory of Vasilyevich, he was not allowed to lose. Furthermore, he was not allowed to act pretentiously. What he needed to do was to bring victory!
After doing a complete judgement of his opponent's condition, he proceeded to force his opponent to submit!
Regardless of how much Barran's existing injuries affected him, Noriba had obtained victory via complete and utter suppression!
2nd duel, Vasilyevich, Noriba, victory!
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