The huge battle arena was composed of many fighting stages. On each of the fighting stages, eight silhouettes could be seen. The Na Lan Clan was set higher than the others and its participants were standing on the highest stage in the middle of all the others. They looked like warlords looking down with supremacy. The other participants surrounded them on their own fighting stage like the stars surrounded the moon in the night sky. There was also the major clans such as the Gu Clan, the Lin Clan, the Wen Clan. Qiu Lan had played a big role in the organization of the smaller clans. At that moment, along with the Na Lan Clan members, there was an old man sitting next to Na Lan Xiong who stood up. He was staring at the fighting stages.
“Today is our yearly tournament. The purpose of this tournament is to test the strength of the most outstanding young cultivators of Yangzhou City. Therefore, nobody should show mercy. Those who are defeated are allowed to surrender and in case someone gives up, the fight will immediately be terminated. If nobody surrenders the fight then the fight will continue unceasingly until someone collapses, or even dies.”
When the old man finished talking and the crowd burst into uproar… the fights could go on until someone died if nobody gave up… how cruel! There were some extremely proud and arrogant cultivators who attached a lot of importance to their face and prestige. Losing a battle by giving up was especially humiliating for them. Therefore, very few people were going to willingly surrender a battle. Even if they knew that they had no chance of winning, they would continue to fight to protect their honor and dignity. But that sentence made the crowd think carefully. There were no restrictions and battles could be fought to the death. If there had been restrictions, two opponents of an equal strength who refused to give up, could be fighting endlessly which could end up in a deep and bitter hatred for the opponent.
“How wise, how brilliant!” said many people supporting the old man’s words. The old man had obviously done this as a ploy to increase the hatred between the other clans, by forcing them to watch as their talented clan members would rather die than surrender. He had done this to stop the hatred between the younger generations, but increase the hatred of the older generations. That way, those who didn’t agree wouldn’t criticize the Na Lan Clan. After all, they were the clan who was hosting the tournament and had made a perfectly reasonable rule. However, it also meant that Na Lan Clan members could be killed within the arena. The crowd knew they were going to see some people die and that the different clans of Yangzhou City would once again sow the seeds of hatred for one another. Na Lan Xiong wanted to see the other clans hate each other. Even though the three other clans knew what Na Lan Xiong had in mind, they had no choice but to agree.
Since they didn’t want to lose face and as they were considered as the best clans in the city, all they could do was tell their young disciples to strive for victory with all their strength. Besides, the old man had also said that those who wished could give up and the battle would immediately end. Therefore, that rule was double-edged and couldn’t be really contradicted as the choice was given… But who would accept having their own clan regarded as inferior to the others?
“I finished writing down the names of all those who are participating in this year’s tournament. I have also finished organizing the battles. I don’t know if anyone has any objections to my work.” Said the old man while looking at the members of the three other powerful clans.
“Hehe, everything was organized by the Na Lan Clan… I, of course, agree.” Said the head of the Gu Clan even though it seemed like he didn’t really care.
“The previous tournaments were organized by the Na Lan Clan and were managed by them as well, this time is obviously going to be the same.”
“I have no objection either.” said Lin Ba Dao who was obviously not going to oppose the Na Lan Clan.
“I represent the Na Lan Clan and I would like to thank all the clan heads for their cooperation.” said the old man while looking at the members of the three other clans and then declared: “The rules are as such and are applied from the very first battle: being defeated leads to elimination, winning allows you to continue.”
“And now, let me announce what the battles will be. All of those who hear their names can stay on stage, the others can come down and wait. On the Na Lan’s stage, Na Lan Feng will fight against Wen Xin of the Wen Clan; on the Eastern Stage, Gu Yun of the Gu Clan will fight against Lin Wu of the Lin Clan; on the Southern Stage, Lin Yu of the Lin Clan will fight against Wen Feng of the Wen Clan; on the Western stage, Na Lan Zhu of the Na Lan Clan will fight against Feng Qian; on the Northern stage, Duo Ming will fight against Gu Qing Jr. of the Gu Clan.”
There were five fighting stages, so there could be only ten people fighting at once. There were forty people in total. Four rounds were enough to eliminate half of them and so that only twenty people would be left. Those who hadn’t been called stepped down from the stages while those who had been called were going onto their respective stages.
“Hahaha, Wen Xin is really unlucky, having to fight Na Lan Feng as a first battle.”
Even though Wen Xin was not weak, she had no chance to win.
“I heard that Lin Wu of the Lin Clan has become quite strong. He has already reached the ninth Qi layer. It seems like he’s definitely going to be the one to win the battle on Eastern Stage.”
“On the southern stage, Wen Feng should win the battle. On the Northern Stage, Feng Qian should win. Concerning the last stage, even though Duo Ming is extremely mysterious and wearing a mask, Gu Qing Jr. is almost invincible so Duo Ming is pretty unlucky there.”
The battles hadn’t even started and everyone in the crowd was making predictions as if they were certain of the outcomes. After all, the crowd knew almost all these young disciples, who the majority had originated from Yangzhou City, and had a deep understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
But on the Northern Stage, Duo Ming also attracted the crowd’s attention. He was wearing a mask, they had never heard of him and there was something fascinating which surrounded him like an aura. He carried an air of mystery. Too bad that he was going to fight Gu Qing Jr. He was already doomed and was going to lose immediately. Indeed, Gu Qing Jr. had already reached the peak of the Qi layer. There were not a lot of Cultivators of the Qi Layer who could fight against him and win. His only real opponents were mostly within the Ling Qi layer. Gu Qing Jr. was also quite famous in the region. Thus, it was impossible for Duo Ming to defeat Gu Qing Jr.
The predictions of the crowd were also quite accurate. Wen Xin didn’t fight against Na Lan Feng and gave up. Even though face and prestige were extremely important, giving up when facing Na Lan Feng was nothing to be ashamed of. Fighting against Na Lan Feng definitely meant dying.
On the Eastern and Western stages, results were gradually coming out and the predictions of the crowd were correct each time. Lin Wu, Wen Feng and Feng Qian were about to defeat their opponents and move onto the next round of the tournament. Only the battle on the Northern Stage was still in progress and it had made everyone within the crowd grow speechless.
In Gu Qing Jr.’s eyes, Duo Ming didn’t even exist, he regarded Duo Ming as an ant to crush beneath his boot on his path to cultivation. Gu Qing Jr. kept looking at the battles on the other stages rather than defeating his own opponent. After all, he would be able to move forward to the next round at any time he wanted, so he wanted to get familiar with the fighting styles of his following opponents.
“I will not fight against Na Lan Feng, so I hope I will not be matched with her in the upcoming battles. Lin Wu and Wen Feng will be very easy to defeat. As far as Feng Qian is concerned, it seems like his strength has greatly improved recently but I should be able to dispose of him really quickly as well. Victory will be a piece of cake if I have to fight these three…”
Gu Qing Jr. was lost in deep thought and continued to act as if the young man who was wearing the silver mask didn’t exist at all while thinking about the next rounds.
Finally, Feng Qian had his hand on his opponent Na Lan Zhu’s throat. Na Lan Zhu didn’t want to keep fighting and surrendered the fight. Everybody’s attention was on the Northern Stage.
“It finished. How quick!” said the crowd amazed. It seemed like the first round was about to come to an end.
“Gu Qing, stop wasting time.” said the head of the Gu Clan sounding indifferent yet slightly arrogant as if Gu Qing could end the battle as soon as he wished.
“Alright, I will do as the clan head requests.” replied Gu Qing Jr. Then, he looked at Lin Feng who was hiding his identity with a silver mask and said coldly:
“Get down from here yourself, you’re not worth fighting.” Lin Feng touched his silver mask, one could only see his eyes and a small part of his face but it was impossible to see his facial expression.
Lin Feng had also been ignoring Gu Qing Jr. he hadn’t hurried to fight and had also been observing the other battles. He didn’t have to worry now either. Gu Qing Jr. was extremely arrogant and rather than fighting had told him to get off the stage. Lin Feng was already used to those cultivators who thought that they were untouchable and did not give respect to others, but demanded respect in return, those so-called geniuses.
“Did you not hear what I just said? I’m telling you to get down from here… so get lost! If you are not smart enough to get down yourself, I will immediately kill you.” Gu Qing Jr. saw that Lin Feng wasn’t reacting at all and then frowned.
The talented individuals within the powerful clans despised cultivators who considered themselves as geniuses but didn’t belong to a clan which held a status like the powerful clans. Without the strong support behind them, they would have to work extremely hard for minimal gains. How could a cultivator become a man of great talent if he didn’t belong to a powerful clan? People like Dou Ming who didn’t belong to a powerful clan would have no reputation and could be disposed of by his clan at any point. That is why Gu Qing Jr. despised such cultivators and regarded them as beneath his notice.
“I haven’t changed my mind yet so seize that opportunity and get lost.” said Lin Feng in a voice full of hatred. As he spat out those words filled with hatred, it had surprised everyone in the crowd. Right after, some people grinned, could it be that that guy was insane?
Qiu Lan wasn’t laughing though. She thought that Lin Feng was very mysterious, almost mystical. He seemed extremely strong compared to others within the tournament. She had seen how Lin Feng had made Wu Xiao collapse with just a single strike.
“Gu Qing Jr., I hope you are prepared to die.” shouted Feng Qian who was focusing on what was going on the Northern Stage. He had come to understand that Gu Qing Jr.’s behavior would just lead to his death. After receiving a lesson from Lin Feng, he has greatly matured and come to realize his own mistake. The less respect that was given to Lin Feng, the less mercy he would show.
Gu Qing Jr.’s face at that moment had changed and he no longer looked as if he was at ease. He couldn’t believe what Lin Feng had just said to him. He couldn’t believe that a young man, who didn’t belong to a powerful clan such as his own, would dare to talk to him that way. He was the second ranked disciple of the Gu Clan amongst all the disciples of the Qi layer. He was regarded as an extremely strong and talented disciple by all the members of the Gu Clan.
“Finish him.” Gu Qing Sr said in a loud yet calm voice which made everyone shiver. Lin Feng would lose, that was obvious but Gu Qing Sr meant that he wanted Gu Qing to kill Lin Feng where he stood.
“Alright.” said Gu Qing Jr. who noticed that his father, who was also the clan head, had become extremely furious. He quickly started moving at an incredible speed. He wasn’t going to give Lin Feng any chance to surrender.
“Poisonous Fist!” shouted Gu Qing Jr.
His fist was emitting a whistling sound as it started breaking through the air as if he was shattering the atmosphere into pieces.
But Lin Feng remained motionless like a mountain. At the moment when the poisonous fist was about to reach him, a bright light flashed in front of his body. The sword was too fast for anyone to see what had happened.