The second round of the competition held a degree of excitement that far exceeded that of the elimination matches on the first day. Most of those people who were able to reach this point had an extremely great strength. However, even with great strength, they had to go all out if they wanted to obtain victory. Some of them would even fight until both competitors were seriously injured before one of them could luckily obtain a weak victory.
Following the full swing of progression of the second round of the competition, the competitors in the stadium appeared one after another. After the end of an extremely ferocious match, there was one who rejoiced while the other ended up in sorrow.
Xiao Yan eyed Wu Hao in the arena who was being suppressed by his opponent to the point of being stuck in a disadvantageous situation, and could not resist letting out a sigh. Wu Hao could be considered to be out of luck today. The opponent he drew from the lots was actually an expert within the top ten of the ‘Strong Ranking’. With this kind of gap which was close to a full class, Wu Hao gradually fell into a disadvantaged situation even though he had gone all out to fight. At this moment, control of the situation was basically completely within his opponents hands.
“It is already not bad that Wu Hao is able to reach this point. If he had met an opponent ranked in the twenties, he might have been able to fight it out. However, he is really quite unlucky to actually meet an opponent within the top ten of the ‘Strong Ranking’. However, I think that with Wu Hao’s character, he will not feel much regret even if he is defeated by the hands of his opponent.” Xun Er shook her head slightly and smiled as she spoke.
“Yes.” Xiao Yan smiled and nodded. From the start Wu Hao did not compete with the aim of being in the top ten. His main intention for participating in the Grand Competition was to spar with the true experts within the Inner Academy. Currently, his opponent had completely satisfied this hope of his. Hence, he would not be dejected even if he lost.
“Instead, Xiao Yan ge-ge, you need to be cautious of Yao Sheng. This person is also a little troublesome. You must be careful when you fight him.” Xun Er reminded with a gentle voice.
“You can rest assured.” Xiao Yan smiled slightly. He had once exchanged blows with Yao Sheng. Additionally, Lin Xiuya had also given him some tips. Therefore, Xiao Yan understood Yao Sheng quite well, and would naturally not underestimate the latter.
“There are twenty-four competitors in the entire arena. In other words, there will be twelve remaining people after today’s matches. According to the special rules of the Grand Competition, six people will be randomly chosen to decide the names of the top ten who will confront each other. The victor will be luckily able to enter the top ten with the other lucky six people.” Xun Er softly spoke.
“Uh? Putting in this way, won’t the other six people who are not picked be able to enter the top ten without fighting it out?” Xiao Yan was immediately stunned when he heard this. He said, “Won’t this be a little unfair to the other six who are picked and have to fight it out?”
“Ke ke, where would there be any thing that is absolutely fair? Moreover, who among those who are able to enter the final round don’t have the strength to enter the top ten? When one possesses the strength, one naturally requires some luck.” Xun Er replied with a sweet smile.
Xiao Yan smiled bitterly and nodded. He suddenly raised his brows and said, “With six people competing, there will still only be three victors. Adding the six people who do not fight, it seems that there is still one missing, right?”
Xun Er laughed softly as she said, “You have forgotten about Zi Yan who has been saying that she will protect you? With her strength, it is likely that no one can touch her number one spot.”
Xiao Yan was startled. He immediately smiled and nodded. He had actually forgotten about this important little fellow.
Xiao Yan turned his head and threw his gaze back into the arena. He involuntarily let out a bitter laugh. At this moment, Wu Hao had already been completely suppressed by his opponent until he had no strength left to retaliate. In one of the collisions between Dou Qi, the powerful Dou Qi that covered his body was instantly shattered. His opponent’s attack was not very vicious, and merely displayed some effort to sufficiently shock Wu Hao out of the arena.
Wu Hao acted in quite a straightforward manner after his body was thrown from the arena. He cupped his hands toward the victor on the stage before rubbing the bruised part of his hand. He parted his mouth and laughed as he returned to the high platform.
“That fellow is really strong. He is indeed worthy of being the top ten in the ‘Strong Ranking’. I used all my tactics, but was merely able to endure thirty exchanges in the other party’s hand. Moreover, this was the result after my opponent showed mercy.” Wu Hao exclaimed to Xiao Yan and the others on the high platform.
“Are you alright?” Xiao Yan could not resist shaking his head as he eyed the comfortable expression of that fellow. This person was actually so excited despite being beaten up in this manner.
“Hee hee, it’s just some physical injuries. I will be fine after resting for a few days.” Wu Hao waved his hand in an unconcerned manner. He was just about to speak when he suddenly heard an old voice from the judges’ seats, “The next match, number seven!”
“Uh? It appears that it is your turn to go and fight?” Wu Hao was startled when he heard the words that were transmitted from the high platform. Immediately, he pushed Xiao Yan as he spoke with laughter.
Xiao Yan had also heard that voice. He was somewhat stunned. It was unexpected that it would be his turn so soon. He slowly turned his head and swept his gaze toward the tall platform on the opposite side. Yao Sheng was also stunned. His feminine face was immediately covered by a dark smile.
“That fellow is really arrogant.” Wu Hao curled his mouth, patted Xiao Yan’s shoulders, and said, “You better not lose. Otherwise, that fellow will likely greatly humiliate you given his character.”
“Relax, he won’t get the chance.” Xiao Yan’s gaze eyed at dark, cold gaze that Yao Sheng shot over as he spoke with a cold smile.
“Xiao Yan, you better not lose.” A soft laugh sounded from a spot not too far away. Xiao Yan turned and took a look only to find that it was Lin Xiuya and the others.
As the focus of attention, Lin Xiuya’s words naturally caused numerous gazes on the high platform to be shot onto Xiao Yan’s body. From these words, it appeared that the next person to appear was Xiao Yan!
Xiao Yan cupped his hands to Lin Xiu Ya and the others. His toes gently pressed on the ground and a faint silver glow formed under his feet. A low and deep thunderous roar sounded as a black shadow suddenly flashed and appeared in the arena.
Everyone in the viewing gallery was startled as they eyed Xiao Yan who had appeared in the arena. Their faces were immediately filled with pleasant surprise. After the intense fight with Bai Cheng yesterday, there was no longer anyone who looked down on Xiao Yan’s strength. Currently, they had a feeling that their eyes were going to have a feast when they saw Xiao Yan appearing.
“Hmph, he is quite quick to get down to the arena.” Liu Fei revealed a cold smile as she stood on the other side of the high platform looking down at Xiao Yan who had appeared in the arena. She curled her lips in disdain and turned her head to Yao Sheng who was sharpening his scaber. She said, “If you lose to that fellow, do not appear beside me in the future.”
The corner of Yao Sheng’s mouth lifted. A viciousness appeared on his feminine face, “Yue-er, you can rest assured that I will beat that fellow until he gets on his knees to beg for mercy in front of everyone.”
Liu Fei smiled with satisfaction when she heard Yao Sheng say this. She did not have much doubt over the latter’s strength. Her pretty eyes shot toward the green-clothed young lady on the opposite side and viciously spoke in her heart, “Little slut, I want to see just how you are going to be so arrogant after Xiao Yan is defeated!”
“Be careful. Xiao Yan is no ordinary opponent.” Liu Qing, who had been resting with his eyes closed frowned slightly. He opened them, eyed Yao Sheng, who was about to get into the arena, and spoke in a deep voice.
“Chief, you can rest assured. This kind of rubbish is not worthy of your personal intervention. I, alone, am sufficient.” A dark, cold smile hung on the corner of Yao Sheng’s mouth. He bore a grudge in his heart with respect to how Liu Qing rated Xiao Yan so highly. Now that they were finally able to face each other head on, he wanted to let Liu Qing know that this fellow was nothing but a paper tiger that would break with a poke. There was no need to be afraid of him…
The moment his words fell, Yao Sheng leaped up and jumped down from the tall platform. The moment that he was about to land in the arena, two blackish Dou Qi surged out from his feet and greatly reduced his speed. Finally, his legs landed gently on the ground without raising the slightest bit of dust.
“It is actually Yao Sheng? It is said that his current strength was sufficient to be ranked within the top fifteen of the ‘Strong Ranking’. This is a true rival.”
“That’s right. Yao Sheng is quite a lot stronger than Bai Cheng. This match is likely going to be a great spectacle. I wonder if Xiao Yan will be able to continue advancing…”
“I don’t know. Yao Sheng’s Dou Qi is something that even those experts in the top ten of the ‘Strong Ranking’ fear. It is difficult to see just who will lose at this moment…”
Waves of private conversations immediately sounded in the viewing gallery following Yao Sheng’s appearance. Clearly, they felt somewhat surprised about the matchup between the two of them.
While the private conversations resounded around him, Xiao Yan’s hand slowly grabbed the hilt of the Heavy Xuan Ruler on his shoulder. He immediately waved it in a sudden motion. The heavy ruler drew across the air, carrying a rushing wave of sharp wind sounds as an invisible force swung to the ground. A faint scar appeared.
Xiao Yan’s raised his head. His gaze glanced at the feminine Yao Sheng who was giving him a cold smile that harbored no mercy. A dense coldness that was difficult to sense was slowly lifted on Xiao Yan’s face. Yao Sheng’s repeated provocation had already caused an ill feeling to form in Xiao Yan’s heart. Back then, he had also left behind the words that they would see their true skill in the Grand Competition. Now that they were to truly collide, he would naturally not hold back by even the slightest.
“What a lucky fellow. You have actually been lucky during your way here. However, let me help you end your luck.” A dark, cold glow rushed into Yao Sheng’s tiny, dense eyes. Two dark-black daggers flashed and appeared. The daggers were both around half a foot long. There were a couple of strange looking notches on the body of the knife. A faint dark-red color was present within the notch. It was just like something that was coagulated from blood with the trace of a bloody stench. A penetrating cold glow was also contained on the blade. If one were to carefully observe it, one would be able to discover that the tip of the blade faintly contained an extremely cold pale-purple color. From this appearance, it was clear that a fatal poison was smeared over it.
The daggers swiftly rotated into various arcs within Yao Sheng’s hands that left others dazzled. It was just like two black, poisonous snakes that were extremely lively and sinister.
Xiao Yan’s face did not have many fluctuations because of Yao Sheng’s cold words. He simply glanced at the later before throwing his gaze toward the judges’ seats, waiting for the match to begin.
Seeing that Xiao Yan was once again acting in this indifferent manner that he hated, Yao Sheng’s expression became darker and more solemn. The two daggers slowly crossed and gently stroke one another. Faint sparks carrying a dense cold luster shot out…
There were quite a number of students on the ‘Strong Ranking’ who were aware of the conflict, in the ‘Blazing Sky Qi Refining Tower,’ between Xiao Yan and Yao Sheng. Hence, they were all excited now that the two were facing off against each other. Their gaze turned toward the two tense people in the arena.
Su Qian slowly stood up. His gaze swept across the two people in the arena. A moment later, his hand was gently waved, and the faint sound resounded amid the anticipatory gazes of everyone present.
“The match… begins!”
The atmosphere of the entire stadium suddenly exploded at this moment!
Su Qian’s faint voice was just like the spark that ignited a barrel of gunpowder, completely breaking the tense, daggers-drawn atmosphere in the arena!
Yao Sheng was naturally the first to unleash an attack within the arena. The blackish Dou Qi on his body suddenly erupted, and his body turned into a vague shadow that flashed toward Xiao Yan in a lighting-like manner.
Although Yao Sheng was arrogant, it must be said that this fellow had some capital to be arrogant. Just this speed already caused Xiao Yan to be slightly surprised.
The short dozens of meters were covered in the blink of an eye. In the time it took everyone to take a couple of breaths, the blurry, black shadow forcefully entered into close range of Xiao Yan’s body. Immediately, everyone kneaded a cold sweat in their hearts. By looking at Yao Sheng’s weapons, they knew that he was extremely good at close range combat. Although Xiao Yan’s ruler had great strength, it still needed space to be displayed. If their distance was too close, the opponent would firmly seal it.
Of course, Xiao Yan was naturally able to think to this point. Hence, just as Yao Sheng entered a radius of three meters from his body, he had finally moved. One could only see the silver glow flash under his feet. Next, his body took a couple of steps back as though it had teleported. The heavy ruler in his hand abruptly cut horizontally. The powerful force caused a circular glowing arc to form on the body of the ruler. The sharp piercing sound of rushing wind howled unceasingly.
Yao Sheng was clearly somewhat surprised that Xiao Yan was able to pull some distance between them from such close proximity. He sensed the pressuring wind that was coming at him. With a cold laugh, his toes pressed on the ground and his body suddenly drifted up. The two daggers in his hand violently pierced down in a lightning-like manner.
The two daggers coincidentally pierced heavily on the heavy ruler that drew under him. Sparks shot in all directions and a powerful force easily pressed down on the heavy ruler.
Although the daggers did not specialize in head-on, hard attacks, Yao Sheng’s actually strength far surpassed Xiao Yan. Therefore, under the strengthening of the Dou Qi in his body, the compact, agile daggers were able to hold down the heavy ruler that possessed an extremely great strength. This was the advantage of having a higher level.
As the two daggers pressed on the heavy ruler, Yao Sheng’s arms curled. He borrowed the force of the heavy ruler and somersaulted in mid-air. Immediately, his feet stepped toward the sky, and his body was like a hawk catching its prey as it shot toward Xiao Yan’s head in a lightning-like manner. The two daggers in his hand carried a dense, cold wind that caused a person’s skin to become numb.
Xiao Yan raised his brows as he faced this sudden vicious attack variation of Yao Sheng. A glow flashed under his feet, and his body once again instantly withdrew a couple of steps. The heavy ruler in his hand swung up from its lowered position in an accustomed manner as it hacked across.
Yao Sheng was somewhat surprised when his attack failed. His body was like a fish in water while in mid-air. With a strange twist, the heavy ruler moved along his body and narrowly flew by.
As Xiao Yan’s attack was similarly dodged by the opponent, he withdrew his ruler and stepped back. He raised his head and eyed Yao Sheng who had landed on the ground, safely standing not far in front of him.
The exchange between these two people did not last for a long time, but it had been extremely dangerous. As long as a little mistake was made by either party, that heavy ruler or dagger would cause the other party to be seriously injured.
Most of the people in the stadium were unable to see the degree of danger. They could only see two human figures swiftly intertwining with each other during this exchange. Then a person leaped into midair and landed on the ground an instant later. Once again the face-off between both parties was formed.
Of course, the various practitioners on the tall platform had clearly witnessed this exchange. They could not help but let out a ‘good’ cry when the two people parted.
Within the arena, Yao Sheng gently rubbed the two daggers in his hand. The gaze he used to eye Xiao Yan gained an additional solemness. During that lightning-like exchange earlier, the latter’s rich combat experience did not allow Yao Sheng to gain even the slightest advantage.
“I cannot end up in a draw. Otherwise, Fei-er would not be happy.” Yao Sheng’s gaze flickered as a thought swiftly revolved around his heart, “The other party’s speed and combat experience does not lose out to mine. Currently, my advantage is that my actual strength is stronger than him. In that case, I should use my level to suppress him!”
As this thought fell, Yao Sheng’s body trembled slightly. Immediately, a black-colored Dou Qi, that contained a fishy smell, suddenly erupted from his body and revolved around his body. This black-colored Dou Qi was very strange. At a glance, it was somewhat viscous in nature. A faint black-colored water trace came out from it and landed on the ground, forming a small water stain…
Following the surging of Yao Sheng’s Dou Qi, a pressurizing aura was immediately formed and covered half the arena. Under this sort of pressure, those people whose levels were lower than him would have their speed and Dou Qi recovery reduced slightly. This was a commonly used tactic when a higher level person faced a lower level person.
Of course, this kind of Dou Qi suppression naturally did not have much of an impact on Xiao Yan. His Dou Qi that had transformed after swallowing the ‘Heavenly Flame’ was able to completely shield against such suppression.
A green-colored Dou Qi screen slowly spread from Xiao Yan’s body. A pressure that was formed from this Dou Qi also surged out, occupying a small corner of the arena. The other places were completely occupied by Yao Sheng’s extremely overbearing Dou Qi.
Xiao Yan was completely at a disadvantage in the confrontation of Dou Qi. This was the gap that was the result of one’s true strength. Although Xiao Yan’s fighting ability was not weak, one’s fighting ability did not have much use in this kind of confrontation.
“No matter how strong you are, this is the gap in our levels.” Yao Sheng could not resist laughing proudly as he eyed Xiao Yan, who had been suppressed in this Dou Qi exchange until he was unable to fight back.
Xiao Yan glanced faintly at the proud Yao Sheng. Both his hands slowly formed some strange seals. An instant later, he softly cried in his heart, “Skyfire Three Mysterious Change, Green Lotus Change!”
As the cry fell, a surging green-colored flame suddenly erupted from Xiao Yan’s body, bathing him in fire. An instant later, the flame shrank into Xiao Yan’s body in a lightning-like manner. However, as the flame returned to his body, Xiao Yan’s Dou Qi soared immediately. His black hair moved automatically despite the lack of wind. Due to the soar of the Dou Qi in his body, his aura also soared. In an instant, his aura and Yao Sheng’s ended up occupying separate halves of the arena.
“Unorthodox moves!” Yao Sheng’s expression changed slightly when Xiao Yan made a comeback against his pressuring aura. His mouth, however, gave a cold disdainful smile.
“Whatever can defeat you is orthodox.” Xiao Yan similarly gave a cold smile. After displaying the ‘Skyfire Three Mysterious Change’, the degree of power of his Dou Qi was also not much weaker than Yao Sheng. Currently, he no longer needed to worry about an attack with his full strength being easily broken by the other party’s dagger.
“Yao Sheng, you cannot lose to this crip… him!” From the tall platform, Liu Fei’s pretty face immediately became anxious as she eyed Xiao Yan, whose aura had suddenly soared. She did not care about anything else as she leaped onto her feet and shouted loudly. However, before the final cripple was shouted out by her, she sensed an ice-cold mountain-like gaze shooting over at her from the opposite side. Her gaze swiftly looked over. It was actually that green-clothed, young lady called Xun Er. Originally, given Liu Fei’s character, she would definitely ignore her. However, when she saw that faint flickering golden-colored flame in those cold pupils, a coldness rose within her heart. The cripple in her mouth was also swallowed by her.
The cold gaze from the other side slowly withdrew after seeing that Liu Fei’s insulting word had not been shouted.
“Hmph, what is there to be proud of? Just see how I am going to humiliate him once that trash is defeated by Yao Sheng’s hand! With my elder cousin protecting me, I am not afraid of you, little slut!” Liu Fei spoke viciously. Her expression was green as she sat back on her chair after being frightened by a gaze from the other party to the point where she had to swallow her words.
Hearing the voice of Liu Fei from the tall platform, the gaze which Yao Sheng used to stare at Xiao Yan became much darker and colder. His toes moved slightly, and a black glow agglomerated under his feet without leaving a trace. Immediately, his toes abruptly pressed on the ground as his body emitted a ‘suo’ sound and instantly approached Xiao Yan.
Yao Sheng did not hesitate even a little once he entered attacking range. His arm shook swiftly as two daggers that were like two poisonous snakes drew numerous afterimages as they violently pierced toward the entirety of Xiao Yan’s body.
“Clang, clang, clang…”
The silver glow under Xiao Yan’s feet flickered as he borrowed the mysteriousness of the ‘Three Thousand Lightning Movement. His feet agiley moved within a small area as the heavy ruler in his hand became like a shield, protecting his entire body behind it. Those countless numbers of daggers that came piercing explosively were unceasingly colliding with the heavy ruler. Numerous clear clang sounds that were like unusual notes sounded.
Xiao Yan held the heavy ruler tightly in his hand. The green veins on his arm pulsed. That dagger may appear light and handy but it was just like a heavy rock smashing down as it landed on the heavy ruler. Adding that extremely intensive attack, Xiao Yan’s felt his hand become slightly numb even with his increased strength.
Fortunately, such an intensive attack also greatly exhausted Yao Sheng’s strength. This wild storm-like attack continued for another five minutes before it gradually slowed. A moment later, those dagger afterimages suddenly disappeared. The pressure on the heavy ruler also slightly reduced.
Xiao Yan violently bore the ruler horizontally as he took a couple of steps back. His chest rose and fell as he eyed Yao Sheng who was repeatedly panting on the opposite side. He once again lowered his head and glanced at the Heavy Xuan Ruler. Even his head felt a little numb as he eyed the dense, tiny white spots. This kind of attack was really too dense and intense. If he had not borrowed the wide body of the Heavy Xuan Ruler, it was likely that he could only choose to dodge such an attack…
“This fellow really does have some ability…” Xiao Yan slowly exhaled a breath of air. His gaze glanced at Yao Sheng on the opposite side. After this confrontation, he did indeed have a little understanding of the latter’s tactics.
“Yao Sheng, use your full strength. Don’t dilly-dally with him!”
Yao Sheng knit his brows slightly when he heard the urging voice of a lady once again sounding from the tall platform. He immediately let out a helpless sigh. His gaze was dark and solemn as he stared at Xiao Yan. As his arms formed a seal, one could see a dense black-colored Dou Qi surging out explosively from his body before wrapping around him.
The black-colored Dou Qi spread out repeatedly. Finally, it was like a large Dou Qi cluster that began to shrink and expand in a rhythmic manner. It appeared like it was brewing something.
Caution rose within Xiao Yan’s heart as he eyed this somewhat strange action of Yao Sheng. The Dou Qi in his body speee up and was ready to be unleashed.
“Black Water World!”
A low cry was suddenly emitted from within the black-colored Dou Qi. Immediately, that black-colored Dou Qi cluster suddenly rotated swiftly. A roaring sound reverberated over the entire arena.
As the rotation occurred, Xiao Yan was stunned to realize that a countless amount of black-colored liquid shot out from within it. As it rotated, it basically covered the entire arena within it.
As Xiao Yan was uncertain what exactly this thing was, he did not dare let it touch his body. Hence, his body swiftly withdrew and dodged those black liquids that shot over.
The dodging continued for a moment before Xiao Yan’s body suddenly paused. He hurriedly lowered his head only to discover that both his legs had unknowingly stepped into a pool of black water.
Xiao Yan used all his strength to pull his legs. He was stunned to realize that the black water actually contained quite a strong suction force. Moreover, this black water also possessed an extremely strong corrosiveness. In just the blink of an eye, a layer of Xiao Yan’s shoes had already corroded. If it not for his quick reaction to direct Dou Qi and wrap it around his feet, it was likely that his shoes would have instantly corroded.
“The entire arena is my domain. How can you land on your feet? You have lost this match!” Cold laughter suddenly sounded. Xiao Yan’s eyes shrank slightly, only to see the black water splashing explosively in front of him. Yao Sheng’s body shot out from that spot in a strange manner. The sharp dagger in his hand violently pierced toward Xiao Yan’s arm.
Those who were on the tall platform immediately exclaimed one after another as they eyed Xiao Yan, who was unable to move because he was stuck in the black puddle of water. He could only receive Yao Sheng’s attack head-on.
The pride on the corner of Yao Sheng’s mouth became increasingly rich upon hearing the exclamations from the tall platform. The speed of the dagger in his hand suddenly accelerated. However, just as he was about to strike his target, a wild wind suddenly blew toward him. The point where his dagger landed was empty…
Yao Sheng’s body swiftly lowered himself when his attack missed. He made a couple of strange twists while nestling close to the water, and his body quickly withdrew over ten meters. Only at this moment did he raise his gaze and was stunned to realize that Xiao Yan’s figure was not in the arena…
“Where is he?”
The viewing gallery was similarly uncertain as numerous gazes looked in all directions.
Yao Sheng’s face was dark and solemn. His gaze was slightly lowered, only to suddenly see an inverted image within a cluster of black water. His body instantly stiffened as he immediately raised his head in a sudden motion.
All he saw was a black-robed, young man suspended in the air. Behind him were a pair of large purple-black wings. Those wings flapped slowly. He appeared much like a deity.
As Yao Sheng raised his head, everyone in the viewing gallery also raised their gazes at the same time. They were stunned when they saw the pair of wings on the back of Xiao Yan…
Dou… Dou Qi transforming into wings?”
Besides the viewing gallery, those on the tall platform and even in the judges’ seats emitted sounds of inhaling cold air one after another. Everyone’s gazes were filled with shock and disbelief.