Everyone from all over the nine states on the grandstands watched the last remaining ten, feeling ripples in their minds.
"It's really unexpected that the only one remaining from the Eastern State in the top ten is actually one not from a sacred ground, and furthermore, it's a brat," Saint Xihua looked at Yaya and said in exasperation. Both Hua Yunshu of Xihua Sacred Mountain and Zhou You of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty were both hopefuls meant to take two spots in top three, but they were unable to even make it to the top ten.
"The Barren State, which hasn't participated in the Nine State Forum for many years, actually has two in the top ten now," the Sky Saint smiled and said.
"Geniuses are born all over the nine states all the time. It wouldn't be spectacular if the state of affairs wasn't as such," Liu Zong, who was standing behind Saint Xihua, said with a smile. He took a look at Yu Sheng. No one back in the Chess Saint Villa had anticipated that both he and Hua Jieyu, people who stood right beside Ye Futian, were so exceptional.
He was not the only who hadn't anticipated it; all nine students of the Chess Saint had not expected this either. They thought Ye Futian's breaking the Celestial Dragon Chess Game had been a miracle in itself. However, Yu Sheng had taken one place in the top ten of the Nine State Forum as an incredibly powerful fighter. Such immense talent was deeply moving. It seemed that there was to be another important figure discovered in the future.
"With the last ten remaining in the Nine State Forum, who do you think will be able to make it to the top three, and who will be the champion?" the Sky Saint smiled and asked the people of all nine states. The final battle was right around the corner, so the Sky Saint thought it would be rather amusing to guess the final rankings of that year's Nine State Forum.
"What do you think, Sky Saint?" the Great Zhou Sacred King asked.
"The top three will probably people include Xia Yi, Zhuge Yi, Yu Sheng, Yaya, and Wubei. As for the champion, that would be a tough guess," the Sky Saint replied with a smile. It was apparent that he looked forward to the performance of the five he mentioned. Xia Yi was a member of the Xia clan, while Zhuge Yi was a member of the Jixia Holy Palace. He, like Yu Sheng, had eliminated two people from their last rounds. Yu Sheng and Yaya were obvious enough as well, while Wubei's Palm of Mahavairocana was insanely strong and powerful.
Ji Hua was powerful as well, but the conflict between Yu Sheng and Ji Hua meant only one of them capable of making it any further, and the Sky Saint had higher hopes for Yu Sheng.
"Yu Sheng, huh. Why not Ye Guhong or Ji Hua?" The king asked. Ye Guhong was an incredible genius of the Nine State College while Ji Hua's light powers meant that despite Yu Sheng's powerful defense, the overwhelming difference in speed meant that he would end up being suppressed by Ji Hua.
"I also agree with the words of the king. Why don't you think my junior, Ji Hua, has a better chance?" A slender young man with a brilliant bearing and an incredible genius at the Hall of Holy Light's corner, who seemed to be shining with a sliver of holy light all about him, looked at the Sky Saint and asked, "The Sword of Holy Light is unparalleled in terms of offense, capable of breaking any physical defense. Yu Sheng might be very powerful, but I still believe that my junior, Ji Hua, will come out on top. He might even be one of the top three."
As a student of the Hall of Holy Light and one training in the Rules of Light, it was only a given for him to be confident of his own powers.
"Is that so?" The Sky Saint smiled and looked at the Xia State corner. He asked, "What do you think?"
"Xia Yi will probably be able to make it to top three," a mighty one from the Xia clan smiled and said.
"For the top three, I'd be more partial to Xia Yi, Ye Guhong, and Zhuge Yi," an elder from the Nine State College said. Ye Guhong was one of their own, and Xia Yi was a member of the Xia clan, while Zhuge Yi was from the Jixia Holy Palace. All of those places were incredibly renowned sacred grounds, and he thought them to have better chances.
"Don't you think you've underestimated the student of our Luohou Palace a little too much?" a mighty one from the Luohou Palace said plainly. Moluo's powers are by no means weak, and he just got overlooked like that?
"That's bullsh*t." A rude voice was heard at the same time. Many looked rather irritated, and the great figures of the nine states discussed. There is actually someone here talking in such a rude manner? What would that be?
Everyone's eyes turned to look at the grandstands behind the people of the Barren State. An old man was seen blowing his beard and glaring. "Our Yaya will be number one."
The people of the nine states turned to look at the old man. Yaya, number one? He really knows how to talk big indeed. Yaya might be powerful, but she is still a brat. Becoming number one won't be that easy.
"You seem very confident," Saint Xihua smiled and said, having no intention of being petty with that old man.
"Yaya, if you get anything but number one, I'll marry you off to someone when we get back to the village," the old man threatened Yaya.
"..." Everyone looked at the old man, feeling speechless. Back to the village? Marrying her off?
While Yaya was not actually pretty, she was quite good-looking, and her talents were undoubtedly frightening, being so powerful at the tender age of around 15. If she were to be married off to someone, sacred grounds from all over the nine states would have probably fought for her.
"Chief, even if I'd agree to that, someone would have to be willing to marry me," Yaya looked at the old man and said.
"Ahem..." The old man blew his beard and glared again. That truly is a problem indeed.
"Man, those two..." Many were speechless. Where did these two weirdos come from? And what village is that old man a chief of?
"What do you think, Palace Lord Ye?" Zhou Ya from the corner of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty asked Ye Futian. When Zhou You and Yu Sheng fought before, he thought Zhou You would have been able to win against Yu Sheng, but Zhou You was quite literally crushed instead.
Ye Futian took a look at the battlefield, shaking his head and said, "Hard to say indeed."
"Are you afraid of offending the guests from other states, Palace Lord Ye?" Zhou Ya smiled and said. Ye Futian should be incredibly faithful in Yu Sheng.
Ye Futian looked up at Zhou Ya. The king asked as well, "It's alright to voice your speculations. Let us all hear it. It's all in good fun, after all."
"Alright." Ye Futian smiled and nodded. "I think the final battle of this year's Nine State Forum will be fought between Yu Sheng and Yaya. The one who wins will become the champion. As for the third place, everyone else has a fair chance at it."
Many were dumbfounded hearing Ye Futian's words. He truly is confident.
Yu Sheng and Yaya fighting for number and the winner to become the champion. So, he's overlooking everyone else?
While Yu Sheng was indeed incredibly powerful, it was still unknown if he was truly powerful enough to become the champion. The same went for Yaya. Ye Futian had actually speculated that the two of them would be the ones fighting in the final battle.
"It seems that you, Palace Lord Ye, are getting increasingly confident in Yu Sheng's powers." A mighty one from the Xia clan looked at Ye Futian and smiled. Ye Futian's words, while not enough to actually anger the great figures of the nine states, showed their opinions were different.
"Well then, let the final stage begin," Saint Xihua said at that moment.
The atmosphere seemed to have changed when he announced that. Countless eyes turned to stare at the forum stage.
The ultimate battles in the Nine State Forum had finally arrived.
Even the elder who had been hosting the event at the edge of the forum stage looked solemn and serious as he looked at the last ten remaining in the vast battlefield. He then said, "Stand up and circle the stage. Take your places in the battle area."
The ten all walked up and circled the forum stage as soon as he finished. The ten mighty ones all took their corners, which were no longer divided by where they were from.
"The battles between the top ten are no longer how battles were done before. All participants may fight anyone they wish. There is only one rule: no forming any massive alliances to gang up on one particular participant. You are free to do as you wish otherwise, and there is no order in the battles. You are even free to withdraw should you see yourself unable to continue. The rest are free to continue battling right away. The first to be eliminated will be ranked last while the last one standing on the forum stage will be the champion." The elder announced the rules of the final battles officially.
Everybody held their breath. A battle royale between ten without rules other than not ganging up on one participant. It's a free for all, and everyone can all fight at the same time if they wish. If they are unable to take down their opponents, they are even allowed to stop.
"When I announce for the battles to begin, enter your fighting states. The round is only considered finished once you all have fought to the last man standing." The elder looked at everyone else and continued, "Now, let the final battles of the Nine State Forum begin."
A formless air shrouded the entire vast space as soon as he finished. The forum stage looked incredibly empty. Ten participants stood in ten corners and their clothes billowed with the wind. Every one of them had powerful aura shimmering, as if fights were about to happen at any second.
Boom. An incredibly heavy sound was heard. Everyone turned their eyes and saw Yu Sheng step onto the forum stage. Dark golden lights coursed through his body and an incredibly violent aura emanated from him. His Douzhan body coalesced, making him look like a god of war.
Yu Sheng was the first one to come out and fight.
The eyes of many turned to another corner, where Ji Hua of the Hall of Holy Light stood. It was apparent that Yu Sheng's target was Ji Hua. Both of them were to have a clash of titans showdown right there in the final round.
Dazzling light coursed about Ji Hua's body, blinding the eyes of others. He waved his hand and a row of Swords of Holy Light appeared before him, encasing his surroundings.
Boom. Yu Sheng's arms trembled and streaks of light burst through his body as he opened his acupoints, flowing through his arms, legs, and torso. His blood boiled and he was in very high spirits. However, the Swords of Holy Light appeared right before Yu Sheng before he was able to make a move, cutting his body like streaks of light.
The light around Yu Sheng's body coursed, and he shouted as he raised both of his arms, blasting golden flashes of his fists, which tore through the space and shattered all the Swords of Holy Light. However, there were still a few that made it past and managed to crack him.
Ji Hua's expression was cold. Seeing how the Swords of Holy Light were incapable of breaking Yu Sheng's battle form, he extended both arms. Rules of Light coalesced in a frenzy before him instantly, shining with incredibly dazzling light as swords materialized in the air, ringing loudly between his arms.
"Go," Ji Hua uttered a single, cold line. The beams of light tore through the space as soon as he finished. Yu Sheng's body was blasted by tremendously powerful attacks in the form of beams of intense light at the very next moment. The beams shone intensely as the swords kept blasting onto Yu Sheng, and cracks grew increasingly numerous.
His battle form finally blew up with a huge boom, making many of the spectators tremble. The people of the Hall of Holy Light had their reasons for being so confident in Ji Hua.
Ji Hua then infused the Rules of Light within the swords, bringing frightening power to bear. What was more terrifying was that those attacks were simply unavoidable, as no one could have moved faster than light. Only tremendously exceptional defense and attack would be able to contend with such attacks and carve a way out. The one on the receiving end of such attacks would definitely lose otherwise.
The Hall of Holy Light naturally had its own strengths for being able to stand at the top of the nine states for so many years and being renowned through the entire Qi State.
The Swords of Holy Light continued to blast on Yu Sheng. Many were shivering deep down. Will Yu Sheng lose this battle?
At that moment, Yu Sheng's body seemed to be clad in a layer of dark golden armor. Slivers of terrifying dark aura circled his surroundings with his body at the center, devouring the powers around him in a frenzy. The Swords of Light continued to blast on his physical body, and violent metal-like clashes were heard. Yu Sheng's body was violently rattled and was being pushed backward, speaking volumes of the terrifying power of the attacks.
Demonic aura swept throughout the place and devoured all powers around him, rendering the surrounding powers demonic. At that moment, Ji Hua felt as if he was fighting a devil. He felt as if he was able to see a tall, imposing shadow of a devil appearing in his mind, and there was no way he was able to resist it.
"Kill, kill, kill!" Ji Hua shouted furiously, and his eyes were cold. His body was still blindingly gleaming. He refused to believe that he was unable to bring Yu Sheng down.
The Swords of Holy Light continued hit Yu Sheng, and the swords dissipated bit by bit before they were able to actually pierce Yu Sheng's body. It was as if his body was devouring all the incoming attacks.
Ji Hua's expression turned extremely ugly. He saw a terrifying power of storm whipped up around Yu Sheng. Yu Sheng's battle form was materialized once again in his image, growing increasingly huge. Dark golden light coursed above his battle form, with Rules of Light vaguely seen imbued in it.
Boom. Yu Sheng stepped forward with a loud rumble. Ji Hua looked incredibly troubled as his body continued to emanate dazzling light, yet he was seen backing off. At that moment, terrifying aura flowed about in the air, and Devil Halberds imbued with incredible power streaked through the air from above, locking the space around Ji Hua.
Ji Hua responded by bursting with even brighter holy light, yet Yu Sheng took another step on the ground, his arms extended in the air. His huge battle form lashed out with two punches. In an instant, thousands of flashes of the fist burst through the air, blocking out the sky and encasing a huge part of the space within. The golden fists were surprisingly covered with power of Rules of Light and were extremely fast. It seemed as if Ji Hua's Swords of Holy Light attacks were being used on the fists coming at him.
Many were shocked to see the dazzling scene unfolding before them. Swords of Holy Light manifested in a frenzy around Ji Hua, yet he was still entirely drowned by the shadows of the fists. The light on Yu Sheng's battle form shot to the heavens, and the boundless flashes of his fists continued to pummel their intended target.
Eventually, a flash of the first managed to land on Ji Hua's body, rattling him violently and making him spit blood from his mouth.
Ji Hua was shocked at the moment. His attacks had been incredibly powerful, yet they proved incapable of busting his opponent's defenses. In contrast, his opponent was able to severely injure him with just one strike. So this is what a cultivator who dedicates himself to body refinement looks like?
"I yield," Ji Hua said. However, even with the words said, he continued to be pummeled by the punches and was sent flying to the edge of the forum stage, falling hard to ground while continuing to spew blood.
Yu Sheng had only stopped attacking by then, and his battle form dissipated. However, everyone who watched the fight continued to be rattled deep within.
The first battle among the top ten ended with Yu Sheng winning. His tremendously overbearing power enabled him to defeat Ji Hua of the Hall of Holy Light.
"He truly defies all conventions, having refined his body to such extents," many great figures said to themselves looking at Yu Sheng. It was not that one could simply achieve such levels of strength by dedicating themselves to body refinement; Ji Hua's Swords of Holy Light were so powerful that even the most genius of body refinement cultivators would have been defeated. It was, however, unfortunate that he encountered Yu Sheng, one whose art in body refinement was simply godlike.
The mighty ones of the Hall of Holy Light were completely speechless. Ji Hua's powers had been tremendous, but still, he had been thrown off the stage of the top ten by Yu Sheng in the very first battle!
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