Ye Futian walked up to the middle of the large battlefield and looked at Zhuge Ping standing opposite of him. Zhuge Ping was wearing a rather smug expression on his face. Being one of the elites from the Zhuge family, Zhuge Ping had absolute confidence in his abilities, especially when facing against someone of the Arcana Plane. He was not doing this to be chosen by the Holy Zhi Palace, as defeating someone on a lower plane would not show off his true capabilities, but he chose to fight Ye Futian first nonetheless.
The very reason he was doing this was because of Hua Jieyu. She was, after all, a Spiritual Divine Sorcerer nurtured by the Zhuge family, and also one with looks so beautiful that men would kill for her. Letting someone like Ye Futian get his hands on a treasure was a notion that irked him incessantly. He was not the only one among the younger generations of the Zhuge family to think so. As such, when Zhuge Xing asked for him to fight, he did so without any hesitation or reservation. He was simply doing this to show Hua Jieyu that Ye Futian was not the man for her.
Ye Futian was, of course, very clear why Zhuge Ping wanted to fight him. He could not have thought of any reason other than Hua Jieyu. Hua Jieyu's smile has made many in the Zhuge family fall for her, I guess, he thought.
Ye Futian smiled and cupped his hands. "Ye Futian, grade nine of Arcana Plane, halfway into the Noble Plane. I look forward to learning from you."
"Arcana is Arcana and Noble is Noble. I have never heard of such a thing as half a Noble or whatever," Zhuge Ping said plainly. "Zhuge Ping from the Zhuge family, grade nine noble, and I look forward to teaching you real good."
Lightning flashed the moment Zhuge Ping finished, and Ye Futian found himself in a world filled with lightning in his mind. Angry bolts flashed about in the battlefield, bringing thunderous might to bear down on Ye Futian. Zhuge Ping's silhouette was nowhere to be found, and all everyone was able to see were mirages of lightning bolts.
"Lightning Phantasm Movements." All cast their eyes on Zhuge Ping as he zipped about like a bolt of lightning.
Ye Futian saw a finger infused with sparks coming right for him at his brow. The finger felt like a terrifying flash cutting through the air. The heavy pressure of Zhuge Ping's will flashed inside his mind. The finger attack seemed more ferocious in both speed and power than that of a sword.
"Thrusting Thunder Finger." Many continued to follow Zhuge Ping's movements with their eyes. The Zhuge family was one of the two forces that were most known for their specialty in manipulating the power of lightning. The other being the Lightning Court in Zhongzhou City.
Zhuge Ping blazed past with incredible speed as if he had truly turned into lightning.
"Despite being rather cocky, Zhuge Ping has the actual strength to back it," the members of the Holy Zhi Palace quipped to Zhuge Canyang.
Lightning flared on Ye Futian's body at the moment as well. He cranked up his Thundering Illusion Steps and backed away quickly, appearing in the distance in the blink of an eye. Zhuge Ping's Thrusting Thunder Finger shot out, and a terrifying flash stabbed through the air where he stood. If Ye Futian remained where he was, the consequences would have been dire.
Zhuge Ping frowned. He had intended to overwhelm Ye Futian using the most direct of methods, yet he missed all the same, which spoke volumes of Ye Futian's speed.
Another flash of lightning was seen and Zhuge Ping was nowhere to be found again. He stretched his hand to grab Ye Futian, and streaks of lightning flashes seemed to coil around Ye Futian's body like tentacles. Light of earth element glimmered before Ye Futian, conjuring a large meteor which was quickly crushed by the lightning. Ye Futian himself, however, continued moving backward.
"What kind of fight is that? If that's all he is capable of, it looks rather ugly." Many looked at Ye Futian. While there was no doubt that he was fast, he had avoided facing Zhuge Ping thus far. There was no doubt that his lower plane put him at a disadvantage, but fighting like this here made him look rather bad.
Is this really that kind of person Hua Jieyu has fallen for? Zhuge Xing turned to look at Ye Futian and felt rather disappointed. He had expected Ye Futian to have performed better than what he had seen thus far.
Lightning flashed wildly on the battlefield, yet Ye Futian avoided all confrontation, doing nothing but evading and defending against attacks. Zhuge Ping's speed seemed inferior to Ye Futian's, which angered him and made him unleash his Life Spirit. Illusions of lightning bolts appeared; a product of the Zhuge family's most renowned art—the Thundering Thousand Illusions.
Illusions of Zhuge Ping seemed to fill the battlefield in an instant, and he himself seemed to be bathed in the flashes of lightning as he went for Ye Futian. The illusions appeared around Ye Futian, locking him out. They said at the same time, "We'll see where you can run to now."
The place seemed to be drowned in flashes of lightning, and bolts rained down on Ye Futian. The many illusions of Zhuge Ping went for the fatal blow at the very next moment. Every illusion seemed to bear actual power as the Thrusting Thunder Finger jutted out at him. Watching how Ye Futian was simply standing unmoved, many thought the battle was going to end soon.
However, a mist appeared on the battlefield. Extremely cold air shrouded the area and Zhuge Ping was only able to feel the flow of his blood slow. Everything in the world seemed to move in slow motion, seemingly grinding to a halt. Worse still, intense will of gravity seemed to have befallen him, making his movements even more sluggish.
Ye Futian stood quietly where he was as he lifted his hand. Violet lightning coiled around his arm and he cast his eyes in one direction. This alerted Zhuge Ping and made him nervous, feeling a looming threat about him. How was Ye Futian able to determine where my true body was?
Bam! Ye Futian stomped on the ground and a flash of lightning burst from beneath his feet. Many saw a flash of lightning that moved even faster than the one before. Zhuge Ping wanted to respond, yet his mind and body seemed to have become so sluggish that he was able to do nothing as Ye Futian zipped past him. The power of lightning coiled around Ye Futian's arm rammed hard onto Zhuge Ping's body, making his body flash with violent streaks of lightning for a second. His mind turned numb as his body suffered seizures.
The Thundering Thousand Illusion dispersed and only Zhuge Ping's body remained. People around saw his body fall from the air onto the ground, still seizing. It produces a light thump. Ye Futian, on the other hand, stood in the air right above him, and no more lightning was on his arm.
He crushed Zhuge Ping, using the power of lightning. Staying silent and unmoved, lashing out only to kill.
The victor was Ye Futian.
Zhuge Ping came to a moment later, looking at Ye Futian right above him. He said coldly, "So you've been playing dumb all along?" Zhuge Ping was able to feel several types of powerful noble will within that one last strike.
"I told you before. Halfway to the Noble Plane. It has been an honor." Ye Futian grinned as he cupped his hand, then left the battlefield in a flash. As Zhuge Ping was the challenger in that battle, Zhuge Ping was required to stay behind on the battlefield to be scrutinized.
"That was low." Members of the Zhuge family looked at Ye Futian in anger. Playing dumb before bursting with one overpowering lightning attack, causing Zhuge Ping to lose for underestimating his opponent.
Many had funny looks on their faces. Other than the very last move Ye Futian had demonstrated, there was no part of the fight that could have been considered magnificent. Zhuge Ping, on the other hand, was finished off before he was able to unleash his true potential for combat.
What was truly shown was, however, Zhuge Ping's arrogance costing him the victory that should have been his.
Eyes looked in the direction of the Holy Zhi Palace, and many turned their attention to Zhuge Ping.
"Is there anyone willing to take him under their wing?" the elder on the sky stairwell asked.
"He was arrogant in battle and underestimated his enemy. There was nothing extraordinary seen there." Someone spoke the truth plainly and softly, and Zhuge Ping was rendered incredibly embarrassed.
"It was rather disappointing indeed. Let's move on with the next battle," someone said.
"Indeed." The elder at the sky stairwell nodded. "Underestimating one's enemy and then failing to defeat one of the Arcana Plane. There is no need for him to have another chance to battle. As no one here is willing to take him, I hereby declare him disqualified."
Disqualified. The word sounded like a bolt of lightning striking right on top of his head. Zhuge Ping had been a proud one from the Zhuge family and had made it this far. He had made it far enough to become a candidate himself, and he should have been one to enter the Holy Zhi Palace. The fact was, however, that he had been disqualified in his very first battle, right there and then and without mercy. Nobody wanted him. It was humiliation like no other.
"Sir, could you give me another chance?" Zhuge Ping looked at the Holy Zhi Palace.
The elder on the sky stairwell shook his head and said, "Leave the battlefield."
Many around looked at Zhuge Ping at the battlefield and felt conflicted about the brutality of the selection process. Every battle at this point needed to be taken seriously. Everyone needed to give it their all at this point. Zhuge Ping might have had the right to enter and train in the Holy Zhi Palace; even the mighty ones from the palace understood that. But it remained a fact that his performance was subpar, and there was no second chance for him.
Zhuge Ping turned to glance at Ye Futian, eyes cold as ice. He lost all that pride as he walked out of the battlefield.
Zhuge Xing cast a razor-sharp gaze at Ye Futian. However, Ye Futian was seen smiling and quietly standing where he was. His eyes returned the gaze, which made Zhuge Xing think that this had been Ye Futian's plan all along: humiliating Zhuge Ping as he did and sending Zhuge Ping off in disgrace.
This is too much. A light smile was seen on Zhuge Mingyue's face instead. So this little brother was still that same little brother that we knew. Cute indeed. I'm sure this is one lesson that Zhuge Ping will never forget.
"Well, he did win, but he seems to lack something. There was no air of a top-class mighty one about him," Zhuge Canyang quipped plainly.
"Well, some people are meant to be different. Don't go measuring everything with your standards. That air you speak of, you will see it soon enough," Zhuge Mingyue replied in an equally plain manner.
Elsewhere, in another corner, Ye Futian was doing something else.
"Was that intentional?" Hua Jieyu came up to him and chuckled. She knew naturally that Ye Futian's abilities were beyond what was seen earlier. He had not gone all out with his battle with Zhuge Ping.
"How's that possible? I'm an honest person." Ye Futian smiled, yet he looked at Zhuge Ping with rather sarcastic eyes nonetheless.
He had heard Mu Zhiqiu talk about the rules in the last selection process before. Those who lost their battle, if they performed exceptionally enough, or if their opponents were simply too powerful and they were finished off right away, the Holy Zhi Palace would give them another chance. There were those like Huang Jiuge and Bai Ze after all. No one fighting them would have much of a chance showing what they were truly capable of fighting them.
His battle with Zhuge Ping was different, however. He had been at a disadvantage all along. He had only able to turn the tables with the last lightning attack. It was Zhuge Ping who had underestimated his opponent, and he was of a much higher plane. It was only natural that he was disqualified right away.
The ones from the Zhuge family wanted to humiliate him in ways that were apparent to Hua Jieyu. As such, in Ye Futian's perspective, it was only natural that he returned the favor.
"Yeah, I believe you." Hua Jieyu's beautiful eyes looked at Ye Futian, and she knew everything that was going on in his head.
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