The elimination of the virgin of the Mortal World left many feeling shocked, but she was nonetheless able to enter the core island of the Holy Zhi Palace to further her training. However, it was her decision to refuse the offer of training under Sage Daozang.
"Next battle," a voice said from the sky stairwell, followed by a silhouette walking out from the edge of the battlefield, drawing the attention of countless watching the battles.
Her looks were incredibly stunning, like a goddess descending upon the center of the battlefield.
"I will challenge Chu Shang, of the Mortal World." Her voice was calm yet ripples could have been seen in the eyes of everyone around.
Hua Jieyu chose to challenge Chu Shang of the Mortal World.
Virgin Bing Yi had claimed that Ye Futian did not deserve to be left on the battlefield, and she herself had been defeated. Hua Jieyu seemed to now be taking her turn to challenge the only remaining disciple of the Mortal World on the battlefield.
Bing Yi, who had left the battlefield, felt herself shuddering as she looked at Hua Jieyu. The girl who just came to challenge Chu Shang looked stunning, and Bing Yi thought that would have been her, a figure drawing the eyes of everyone around. However, all she was able to do by then was just to watch the upcoming battle from the sides.
"My gosh, she has to do this?" Ye Futian gave a bitter grin as he saw Hua Jieyu walking out, and he felt as if he was being defended by a girl.
That fox is trying to get revenge for me.
Chu Shang responded and looked at Hua Jieyu. Her looks were quite impeccable, yet she looked like a flawless decoration of some sort standing in front of Hua Jieyu.
Bing Yi had her challenge a member of Ye Futian's party, and both she and Bing Yi had accomplished that. However, the outcome was nothing like what they had predicted.
A seven-colored crown appeared as Hua Jieyu unleashed her Life Spirit, and the vast battlefield seemed to be permeated with a mystical aura, which was a manifestation of her Spiritual Qi aura field. Chu Shang felt as if the Worldly Spiritual Qi around her was out of her control. Any attempt to build up a spell seemed to come with a risk of being interrupted and broken.
A Divine Spiritual Sorcerer was one who reigned supreme above all other sorcerers after all. As such, even if Hua Jieyu's plane was of a lower level and Chu Shang herself was no weakling, the fight would still end up with Hua Jieyu coming out as the winner.
Chu Shang of the Mortal World was eliminated. Due to being suppressed, she was unable to demonstrate all that she was capable of and thus was unable to capture the attention of any of the greater figures. With that, every mighty one from Mortal World ended up leaving the stage.
Chu Shang looked especially dejected as she left the stage. The Mortal World had been one of the top forces to reign over the Eastern Barren Territory, claiming the colleges to be lesser sects, and showing off their superiority. She had not taken any from the colleges seriously, yet many of those who had studied in the colleges turned out to be bright shining stars themselves, and had grown powerful enough to kick both her and Bing Yi out of the game.
Both Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu made it to the top 40 after their respective battles. The couple who many had not thought to stand a chance going any further than they did, advanced hand-in-hand instead. Furthermore, there were others from Ye Futian's party who remained. The chances of both Yuan Zhan and Yi Xiaoshi making the cut were high.
The battles continued, and yet another silhouette dressed in green walked out. He had an impeccably sculpted face and a lithe body, looking dashing and outstanding as he made his steps. His face was one that suggested that he was of no harm to anyone, yet everyone in the battlefield knew well of the threat he posed.
The ones from the Tingxue House had often been widely regarded as the most dangerous of figures in the Barren State. The swordsman dressed in green was named Xu Que, the heir to the master of Tingxue House, who ranked ninth in the Barren Sky Ranking. Xu Que himself was thought to be one of the most powerful to have made it thus far. Many who stood in the battlefield felt worried about being picked by Xu Que to be his next opponent at the very second he walked out.
No one, not even the genius level figures, wanted to face Xu Que at such an early stage.
Xu Que shifted his gaze to Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu before turning to look at Ye Wuchen and Yu Sheng. His green shirt and jet-black hair billowed in the wind. He eventually locked his gaze at Ye Wuchen and said, "Since you are the one practicing the way of the sword, I will challenge you."
Xu Que chose to take on Ye Wuchen.
Ye Futian was stunned. The odds of the battle were obviously stacked against Wuchen, so much so that it seemed like Wuchen himself was already eliminated.
Xu Que felt quiet yet dangerous to Ye Futian. Ye Futian was puzzled as to why Xu Que would pick Wuchen to be his opponent. Despite both men being swordsmen, it would have proven little with Xu Que defeating Ye Wuchen. However, Xu Que's opinion in this had been a simple one all along: the remaining numbers on the battlefield needed to be reduced further, and no matter who he ended up facing right then, it was all the same to him. However, he was not fond of gangs and groups.
Ye Futian's party became the most numerous at that point, and that irritated Xu Que quite a bit. People of the Tingxue House often went about solo, and they shared the same sentiment for themselves and their opponents alike. None of them were fond of crowds. As Ye Futian's party was deemed too numerous at that point, he felt compelled to shave off their numbers for a bit.
As for more specific reasons as to why he picked Ye Wuchen, it was because he thought it would have sufficed to have only two swordsmen remain on the battlefield—himself and Yan Jiu—hand no other swordsmen were needed around, including Ye Wuchen.
Ye Wuchen wore a serious look on his face as he walked towards the battlefield. He knew the odds of the fight was stacked against him; however, he saw no other way out of it but to give it his all at that point.
Xu Que drew his sword with one hand behind his back. The sword was an incredibly common weapon, and as such, it did not count as relying on instruments and implements. His other unoccupied hand remained behind his back. While he said nothing, what he implied was obvious—Ye Wuchen was a one-armed swordsman, and as such, he intended to take on Ye Wuchen with only a single arm.
"Make your move. You won't have another chance at it," Xu Que said plainly.
Ye Wuchen took his steps and activated his sword aura. Sword flashes filled the air around him, and every conjured sword seemed to be an independent weapon, yet felt like a unit of a whole. Thousands of sword flashes whizzed past, going for their target together with Ye Wuchen's unsheathed blade.
The place seemed to be filled with sharp blades. The clanging noises implied that every single sword contained posed a lethal threat like no other, as they went to kill Xu QUe.
Xu Que made his move in response. Instead of evading or building up a defense, he charged straight into the masses of conjured swords instead. Tingxue House's art of the sword specialized in attacks and was seen used for defense. Their swords were ones drawn only to kill.
Xu Que charged without a care into the countless blades conjured specifically for the purpose of maiming him. No one else would have chosen to fight in such ways, yet Xu Que chose to do so. His wrist was seen flickering as he swung his sword about. No one was able to make clear of his movements, as he seemed to have delivered a hundred slashes within a mere instant. His imposing sword aura cutting down the torrent of blades coming at him.
Xu Que made his move forward as he continued to look like a suspended mirage of sorts. It was as if nothing else would have been able to touch him, so long as he had his sword in his hand.
"Impressively quick slashes and movements." Many people's hearts were shaking. Xu Que looked like some phantom shifting in and out of the flashes of blades threatened to skewer him. Whenever he ended up, imposing sword aura surged as he continued to close in on Ye Wuchen at a frightening pace.
Fearsome sword flashes were emitted from the middle of Ye Wuchen's brow and blinding sword flashes were seen in his eyes. He locked his gaze at Xu Que, and an even sharper whirl of a higher pitch was heard as one blade after and another charged at Xu Que. Xu Que swung his sword about without any hint of hesitation. Yet that time, he found himself swinging at empty air, while swords made their ways for his head.
Illusory swords. A thought flashed in Xu Que's mind as he considered the incoming ferocious blades. He moved his body sideways and drew a string of mirages in his wake. The swords broke the afterimages of his being, and Xu Que quickly emerged at the other side. More illusory swords went after Xu Que. He knew every sword's trail was phantasmal, and everyone was set up for the kill in one way or another.
Xu Que's eyes took a rather peculiar look. He did not bother evading and instead burst with thousands of sword will. The sword in his hand was pointed forward in a simple thrust, the surrounding sword will carving the way out for its advancement, breaking off everything that stood in its way, be it real or illusory.
The sword was meant for Ye Wuchen, and it moved like a bolt of lightning. He was overwhelming his opponent with the superiority provided by the difference in plane levels.
Ye Wuchen's brow shone with bright, intense colors as his conjured sword will shot for the skies. A small silver sword was conjured, making intense ringing noises as it gathered massive amounts of sword aura between heaven and earth. When the small silver sword blasted with brightness, countless sword auras congealed as one as they rained down in a crazed manner, as if they would combine into a single concentrated sword will of unparalleled strength.
A blinding flash burst forth, and the countless sword aura coalesced into one, taking the form of an extremely refined sword intended only for killing. The two sword flashes clashed and incredible sword aura burst right on the spot, tearing everything apart in its wake. The extremely refined sword will from the small silver sword burst right through the opponent's killing sword, and one flash was seen going right for Xu Que's brow.
"You are a daring one." A ferocious sword flash appeared in Xu Que's eyes as a green sword flash burst from the center of his brow, shattering the incoming sword will. He then thrust out his hand and slap his killing sword into his opponent's sword will. Ye Wuchen felt as if thousands of sword will with intense killing intent passed right through his body. The small silver sword flew right back into the center of his brow as his body was thrown back. The countless flashes of Xu Que's killing swords remained in the air after a while, ringing.
Xu Que waved and dispelled his sword will.
"You are not bad, but if we were to meet on a true battlefield instead, you would be dead by now." Xu Que spared a glance at Ye Wuchen, before turning around and walking away.
Ye Wuchen did not doubt Xu Que's words one bit. His plane was not even near being capable of drawing out Xu Que's full power, and the difference between them had been apparent.
Many eyes went on to look at Ye Wuchen, who was an excellent candidate. He was unfortunate enough to have had to face Xu Que, who was one of the most powerful in the current battlefield. It was quite an achievement on his part for being able to stand his ground for a while despite his opponent being two planes higher. However, the difference between the two men's powers was not one that could have been covered by any other means available then, and it brought about the end of Ye Wuchen's journey.
Ye Wuchen turned around and walked down. Despite being defeated, he hardly felt much inside. He knew it had been adequate doing his best, and that there was nothing much he could have asked for. He had come a long way since the beginning of his journey in the Cangye Kingdom, and what he achieved had exceeded his expectations. Emperor Ye had not been very far from what Ye Wuchen was then. However, Ye Wuchen was by no means satisfied with where he was, and he vowed to continue seeking his own path in swordsmanship.
"Ye Wuchen," a voice said. Ye Wuchen halted his steps at turned to look at the Holy Zhi Palace.
"Do you wish to train under my wing?" the Figure asked, shaking the hearts of many present. The Sword Demon extended an offer to Ye Wuchen.
"I had a teacher," Ye Wuchen replied.
"All who teach are teachers. If you are willing, you may address me as your teacher. If you are reluctant, then I will not press the matter further," Sword Demon elaborated in response.
Ye Wuchen turned to face the Sword Demon and bowed. "It would be my honor to study under you."
"Yes." The Sword Demon nodded with a smile. Being capable of facing off Xu Que, who was of grade seven Noble Plane with only the powers provided by grade nine Noble Plane, was seen to be an exceptional feat in itself. Ye Wuchen was able to hold his ground for a moment, despite the disadvantage, instead of shirking, and that spoke volume of his bearing on his path of swordsmanship. While he was defeated, his prowess was not bad. Ye Wuchen was, after all, capable of building a sword body, and possessed a pair of eyes as sharp as swords.
Many looked at Ye Wuchen in envy. His defeat was far from a humiliating one, for no other reason that he was taken as a student of the Sword Demon. He was defeated, yet he achieved the dream countless swordsmen dreamed of.
As of then, the Sword Demon had taken in two disciples.
Ye Futian felt happy for Ye Wuchen. The Sword Demon had impressive bearing and was one of the top figures in the Holy Zhi Palace, and was a mighty one ranked in the Barren Sky Ranking. He served as the very symbol among swordsmen in the Barren State, and there was no better path of Wuchen to take than to study under one such prominent figure.
The ones of the Sword Saint Villa did not look happy at all. While both Zui Qianchou and Ye Wuchen became students of the Sword Demon, Yan Nan of Sword Saint Villa was crippled instead. They had no one else but Yan Jiu left in the battlefield.
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