Chapter 1164: Fatties Have a Temper Too
There was only one place in the entire Combat Cultivation Hall that was specially developed for battles between Gold Core experts and was of the highest standards. When the effectiveness of the defensive barrier was maximized, it would be difficult for even peak experts in the Land like Superintendent Erza to easily destroy it. However, the barrier consumed a large amount of energy to activate and sustain it. Even though Wang Zhong and Phumetheus were freaks from the Combat Cultivation Hall, such battlefield standards were enough for them to fight until the sky turned dark.
At that moment, the sky had lit up, and a sea of people had already gathered beside the Life and Death Arena. Furthermore, not only were there the usual members of the Heavenly Gates, but there were also many foreign faces.
These foreign faces were not just the Celestial Honors Masters who had suddenly returned early from their assignments to observe this battle or the secretive freaks who hid in the depths of the Heavenly Gates and did not easily reveal themselves, but there were also many “foreigners” who came from various places in the Land. They were not part of the Heavenly Gates but were from the various great powers in the Land. They might be representatives of some level-7 civilizations or some powerful race that did not have a civilization level, for example, the Roc Race. This was simply an exceptionally grand occasion.
This was not a crowd that had been attracted by some minor news.
A member of the Earth civilization, which had just stepped into the Star Alliance, had the qualifications to clash with a core member of the Fire Demon Race. This in itself was a very strange thing.
Furthermore, over the past few days, core information called the “Heavenly Gates Restricted Documents” had been sent to the various great powers through messengers. It had included information about this battle.
For a private battle in the Heavenly Gates to be sent to the various great powers in the Land as a restricted document, everyone understood what this meant. It was obvious that the Fire Demon Race had never seen Wang Zhong as a true opponent. They had invited others to watch the battle for them to see how the Fire Demon Race would slap the Heavenly Shell Race in the face!
The large spectator stands were full of people. There were even countless observers hovering in midair. The entire Life and Death Arena was filled with people both on the inside and the outside, while everyone chatted with anticipation.
“Look, the superintendent is here!”
“Is that Elder Miehill? He is an almighty Gold Core expert who is ranked among the top ten in the Fire Demon Race. I heard that he had once taken on the role of the Heavenly Gates superintendent…”
“That’s Elder Yimo!”
There was no end to the whispers as great figures arrived one after another. This added a very tense and pluralistic atmosphere to this battle. Anyone with some intelligence would know that this battle was not as simple as it seemed on the surface.
“Recently, the Land has not been very peaceful…”
“Not too long ago, the Kabi civilization and the Deer Insect civilization were destroyed. Meanwhile, a group of veteran level-4 and level-5 civilizations were cleaned up too. Now, are the Fire Demon Race and the Heavenly Shell Race finally too restless?”
“There will be a reign of terror in the Star Alliance every two or three eras, and rights will be reallocated then. The Fire Demon Race and the Heavenly Shell Race are the true controllers of this reallocation of rights. Level-6 and level-7 civilizations like us that are not strong enough are no more than small boats in this storm. Whether we are able to survive will depend on the heavens, our fate, and whether we are in the right position.”
“This battle is a sign. In the not-so-distant future, either the Fire Demon Race or the Heavenly Shell Race will collapse. Pay attention and choose your side properly. If you make the wrong decision, you will be beyond redemption.”
“This Wang Zhong is no more than a fellow from a low-leveled civilization. Can his victory or loss in this battle really represent the strength of the Heavenly Shell Race?”
“Did you join the Star Alliance only yesterday? Do you know nothing? This simply means that the Heavenly Shell Race has the upper hand now and can maneuver easily. Meanwhile, the Fire Demon Race is using brute force and brought forth their core combat power for this.”
“…Then we cheer for whoever has the advantage and display our stance?”
“Fool. No need to be anxious about that. This is simply the stage before a war signal is sent out. The earlier you take sides, the higher the probability of making a mistake.”
“You can’t say that either. The might of the Fire Demon Race and the Heavenly Shell Race is similar. For level-6 and level-7 civilizations like us, the earlier we take sides, the greater help we will provide to them. Then, they will have a greater probability of suppressing their opponent in the early stages of the battle, and your contributions will naturally be greater. Directly helping them is completely different from simply adding on to the existing effort. The higher the risk, the greater the benefits.”
“Heh heh. The earlier you take sides, the faster you will die. It is not easy for the Fire Demon Race and the Heavenly Shell Race to kill each other, but it’s very easy for them to destroy level-6 and level-7 civilizations. You would be standing out from the rest of us.”
“We simply have different opinions. If you take sides too late, you will very likely face unhappiness and pressure from both sides. That will mean death for you.”
“Sigh, when the deities fight, we ordinary people suffer. No matter what we choose, it’s difficult!”
The buzzing sounds in the Life and Death Arena lingered on, but most of the discussions had nothing to do with the main parties involved in this battle. There were many level-6 and level-7 civilizations that came to witness this battle as they had received the Heavenly Gates Restrict Document notice from the Fire Demon Race. Even if they did not want to come to such a place, they had to come.
Recently, there were various small conflicts and storms in the Life and Death Arena[a], which were all signs that a tempest was about to hit. As long as they were in the Star Alliance, in the divine territory, and in the Heavenly Gates, they definitely could not stay out of this matter.
In fact, civilizations like the Ocean Empire Planet that chose to separate from the Star Alliance during such times might not necessarily have made a gamble. They had calculated the time and broke away from the eye of the storm before the higher-ups in the Star Alliance exploded. Furthermore, they used various rules to ensure that they were not eliminated afterward. As long as they had a certain level of self-preservation abilities, it meant that they could be onlookers when the true storm hit. When the various large civilizations fought desperately among themselves, no one would have the time to take action against Ocean Empire Planet, let alone even think about them. This was the main reason why they had chosen to break away from the Star Alliance.
Furthermore, this was not a big taboo and did not even need to avoid the Heavenly Shell Race and the Fire Demon Race. The two races were now secretly roping in supporters among the level-6 and level-7 civilizations to strengthen their power. The two races also knew that the level-6 and level-7 civilizations were hesitating in their decision. Rather than giving them great pressure and causing them to secretly make deals behind their backs, it was better to be open and transparent by giving them the freedom to speak. In any case, this would still be under their supervision.
Other than the representatives from the various great powers, those who were from the Heavenly Shell Race discussed mostly about this battle. However, just like the hotly-discussed topics earlier, very few people discussed who would win or lose. Most people simply wanted to see whether Wang Zhong could endure to the point that the Heavenly Shell Race or the Heavenly Gates Cabinet stepped up for him.
The other parts of the spectator stands that were reserved for the Heavenly Gates members were mostly taken up by supporters of the Fire Demon Race or pure fans of Phumetheus. Even though they knew that a conflict between Heavenly Shell Race and Fire Demon Race was behind this, it was obvious that regardless of whether it was in terms of background or strength, more people expected Phumetheus to win. Thus, it was very simple for the spectators. Booing Wang Zhong might not necessarily offend the Heavenly Shell Race. After all, to the Heavenly Shell Race, Wang Zhong was no more than a chess piece that could be abandoned at any time. However, if they stood with Wang Zhong, they would definitely offend the Fire Demon Race.
Even though Celeste and the others had arrived early and were sitting at a high position in the east, not many people were sitting with them. There were only a very few people, including Titan Tsarisiya, Tree person Nibaru, and Bone Demon Pavaro. Surprisingly, they saw a fellow wearing a scarf and sneaking over stealthily. Tsarisiya furrowed his eyebrows and was about to shout at him to go away. However, Bone Demon Pavaro greeted that person, “Jhonas? Why are you wrapped up so tightly?”
“Shh!” The Flying Pig sat beside the Bone Demon. Even though the Bone Demon was a very terrifying existence, Celeste and Tsarisiya were on the other side, and he was even more afraid of approaching them. “Be quiet. If others realize that I’m sitting with you, I’ll be done for! I am not as tough as you guys. Furthermore, my uncle is in charge of my affairs, so…”
Tsarisiya cast a sideways glance.
“Could you sit further away?” Pavaro also furrowed his eyebrows.
“And sit with those people who are allowing Boss to die? I’m afraid that I will not be able to control myself from jumping up and attacking them. Most importantly, I cannot defeat them. What if I’m unfairly beaten up by them?” Jhonas had a vigilant expression on his face.
“What a coward.” Tsarisiya stretched his legs out on the spectator stands and took up three seats by himself with a disgusted expression on his face.
Jhonas’s face turned red. He could not find words to refute Tsarisiya and did not dare to provoke this brutal figure who was feared by all in the Heavenly Gates. However, he did not know how to get out of this predicament. Then, he heard Celeste calmly say, “Phumetheus is here.”
A dazzling red light swept past the sky. In the blink of an eye, it had crossed this great distance and landed on the Life and Death Arena platform with a loud bang.
There were no unnecessary fireworks. The moment the figure landed, the flames all over his body naturally dispersed. Then, a handsome man wearing ordinary clothes stood on the platform, as if he was not affected by the dust at all. He looked at the Heavenly Shell superintendent, Elder Miehill from the Fire Demon Race, and the others who were sitting in the VIP section and nodded in greeting.
With his appearance, the buzzing arena instantly quieted down significantly. They all knew that he was the true main star of today. In particular, some of the Celestial Honors Class (CHC) members had ended their Celestial Honors Assignment early to return and were now hovering in the sky; they put away their casual attitude at that moment and keenly observed Phumetheus, who was on the platform.
Unlike extraordinary figures like Lavel who joined the list of Heavenly River Tide candidates and were prepared to pass this competitive assessment, these Celestial Honors Class (CHC) members had not qualified for the list yet and were all competing against each other. Regardless of whether they would remain in the Heavenly Gates and compete for a higher position or qualify for the next Heavenly River Tide, the competition and conflict among the Celestial Honors Masters were rather intense. Furthermore, following this Heavenly River Tide, Lavel and the other extraordinary figures would leave. In the competition for the future leaders of the CHC, Phumetheus was an outstanding figure. This would be a good opportunity to observe for anyone who wanted to contend with him.
“There is an element of luck involved in the Heavenly Demon Realm assignment. Who knows whether he relied on his actual strength or just his luck to do those things? I hope that his opponent this time can force him to display more abilities for us to witness.”
“That is very unlikely. Even though his information and personal records show that he is overflowing with talent, he is only a Void Core.”
“Phumetheus’s Solid Core is already perfect…” Several Celestial Honors Masters in the air spoke in code as their eyes sparkled. “His aura is also stabler now. It looks like the experience from the two-year mission has sharpened him. He has definitely accumulated enough experience for the final stage, and it is almost complete now. He is only lacking a second-stage true form.”
“Hmph. All the Celestial Honors Class members who stop at this stage are pursuing that… As long as he has not taken this step, one cannot say that he has surpassed others.”
The gaze of a Celestial Honors Master paused slightly. A gray figure had silently appeared on the Life and Death Arena while everyone was talking.
This person was too low-key in his arrival, so low-key that many people did not even notice him. The seemingly frail humanoid figure did not seem to have any might. Compared to Phumetheus, who everyone focused on, he was like a star beside the great Sun. He was so insignificant that he was not worth mentioning and did not have any presence. Many people only saw him when someone at the spectator stands mentioned his arrival, but they had simply seen him. The low buzzing sounds that had risen following Phumetheus’s appearance did not change at all at his arrival. In particular, the representatives from the various great powers simply glanced at him. They said, “Ah, Phumetheus’s opponent is here” and did not add anything else.
To be honest, these people did not focus on this Earthling as the results of this battle had already been determined. The Earthling was destined to face a tragedy.
As the first named sacrifice in the conflict between the Fire Demon Race and the Heavenly Shell Race, perhaps he would be written down in the historical records in the distant future. “On this day in this month of this year, Fire Demon Phumetheus killed the Heavenly Shell faction supporter Wang Zhong at the Life and Death Arena and began the conflict between the two races.”
Besides that, his existence was meaningless to everyone.
“Junior Brother Wang Zhong.” Phumetheus smiled and focused his gaze on Wang Zhong’s face. “As expected, you did not disappoint me. At the very least, you have enough courage to stand before me here. Thus, regardless of what the outcome of the battle is, you have obtained my respect.”
Even though his voice was not very loud, it was unusually clear as it reverberated throughout the entire arena. He positioned himself as the future leader of the Heavenly Gates and even the successor of the Fire Demon Race. Phumetheus and Lavel were different types of people. Lavel’s ambition lay in Heaven, while Phumetheus’s ambition lay in front of him. Regardless of where he appeared, he always wanted to lead the tempo there. This was his habit and his instinct.
The buzzing sounds of discussion in the surroundings gradually fell completely silent. They were led by the faint confidence in Phumetheus’s tone and inevitably followed the rhythm of his thoughts.
“Master Phumetheus is too gentlemanly. He is still so polite even to a low-leveled rascal.”
“Heh heh, regardless of whether his opponent is from a low-leveled civilization, he is still considered a member of the Celestial Honors Class. Master Phumetheus will give him a certain level of respect. This is part of his training.”
There were some bootlickers among the crowd. There were not many of them, but they were not few in number either and were all concentrated in a few Heavenly Gates-pupil circles. Thus, the arena was still rather quiet. Meanwhile, the various great powers kept their lips completely sealed during such situations. It was fine to chat about other things, but they would definitely be extremely cautious with any topic that involved taking sides and would not casually speak.
“You can keep your respect.” Wang Zhong also smiled. Unlike the humble Wang Zhong he had previously met in the mushroom house, the seemingly low-key talent who was self-effacing, his words were sharp, as if he was about to draw a sword from his words. “Because you won’t have an opportunity to give it in the future.”
The modesty and low-key attitude Lao Wang had displayed in private was a true display of his training as getting into disputes over his perceived attitude was not necessary. However, in a place such as this where his power was suppressed by his opponent and he became passive, it was very possible that his attitude for the entire battle would be affected. Even though Lao Wang did not feel that he was inferior to his opponent, when it came to battles between experts, he would definitely have to fight for every small thing. He would not allow his enemy to simply take advantage of him for no apparent reason.
The lingering buzzing sounds in the surroundings instantly fell silent. This was the first time everyone reacted to Wang Zhong’s presence.
What did that Earthling just say? Was he rejecting Master Phumetheus’s kindness and politeness? He really must have thought that he was the main character for today.
Even Phumetheus could not help but laugh out loud. He did not continue the conversation as he did not mind Wang Zhong having the upper hand in this verbal exchange. However, Phumetheus’s supporters were different, and even the representatives of the various great powers that remained neutral could not take it. Of course, their rage was only directed at that foolish Earthling, not the battle between the two races.
“Does he mean that Phumetheus might possibly die in his hands? He really talks big. The ignorant are truly fearless.”
“Heh heh, is this the unwillingness of a minor figure? Just cooperate with the two races and finish this performance. Hand your life over to the heavens. He is really treating himself as the main character.”
“I thought that he was forced to the Life and Death Arena for some special reasons. I never expected that he was just a rash fool inside out…”
“Ha ha. After staying in the Heavenly Gates for a year, not even one person is cheering for him, but he has the confidence to say such words?”
There was no end to the mocking voices around him.
“Wang Zhong! All the best!”
“Hey, hey, Earthling, show him how impressive you are! I can’t stand the Fire Demon Race acting like that.”
“All the best, Boss!”
Many different voices arose and were particularly attention-grabbing amidst the countless touches of laughter in the surroundings, causing everyone to fall silent.
In these circumstances where the entire Heavenly Gates did not expect him to win, where were these idiots from?
Many people could not help but look over. When they took a look, a large majority of people kept silent.
The Bone Demon was understandable as the people of the Land knew that the Bone Demons were naturally hard to get along with, and there was no need to pay attention to him. But looking at the others, there was the daughter of the Heavenly Shell Crown Prince, that Gold Titan, and that blue-veined Tree person, who were all figures that many people present did not dare to provoke… Oh wait. Who was that fellow whose head was bandaged up, as if he was severely injured? Why was he waving his hands so excitedly?
When they felt the gazes from around them, Celeste and the others paid no attention to them. However, Jhonas instantly felt so dumbfounded that he wanted to die.
“Look at that short figure. He looks like he’s from the Illusion Race?”
“He’s calling that Earthling ‘Boss’. It can’t be that fat pig from the Equipment Refinery Hall that lives in the same dorm as the Earthling, right?”
The scarf obviously could not wrap around the Flying Pig’s short body. Jhonas’s fat hand that was waving in the air instantly stopped. He wanted to cry, but there were no tears.
He had heard the voices sounding all around the arena and thought that his voice would not be obvious when it was mixed among them. Thus, he could not help but shout alongside the Bone Demon and was particularly excited. But why had the arena suddenly fallen silent, and why was everyone looking at him? Furthermore, they had instantly seen through him. Damn, did all these people have sharp eyes? They could recognize him just like that?
“Jhonas! What happened to you?!”
“Jhonas! Come here immediately! What qualifications do you have to participate in such a battle? You are going to send our entire race to our deaths!” Several furious voices instantly exploded in Jhonas’s ear. These were the voices of the Illusion Race elders.
Even though they were only a level-5 civilization, the Illusion Race possessed a massive amount of wealth and had a certain status in the Star Alliance. Furthermore, the battles between high-leveled civilizations would usually use up resources towards the end. They would definitely most want to rope in wealthy races like the Illusion Race. It was obvious that they also had a copy of the Heavenly Gates Restricted Document and that their elders were present. Among them was Jhonas’s father. At that moment, he was scolding furiously.
“Nibaru.” The Tree person flashed a disdainful gaze at him. It was obvious that he was full of scorn towards this fellow who hid his face but still dared to sit with him.
“Hurry up and go, hurry up and go.” Tsarisiya rolled his eyes at him.
Jhonas’s face was flushed before turning purplish-red. Suddenly, emotions rushed to his head, and he no longer cared about the furious words from his father. He fiercely flung the scarf on his head onto the ground and threw caution to the wind. He loudly roared, “Damn it… I’ve violated the rules of my race and have been chased out from the Illusion Race! I, Jhonas, only represent myself now! Boss, all the best! Kill that shameless pretty boy from the Fire Demon Race! I, Jhonas, will always be your dear brother!”
[a]Land? Heavenly Gates?
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