Chapter 307: Identity Reversals
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Just when everyone started to instinctively think that you should have secured a victory, but you did not, they would consider it unusual. This was one of the ways to increase the reputation, and that was why Lin Feng was currently secretly grinning in joy as he stared at the Reputation Ratings displayed on the System.
After the first round of challenge, everyone realized that, coincidentally, among the last 16 surviving contenders, the eight dominant sects each had two representatives for the upcoming round.
Shortly after, the draw for the second round would begin. After the first round of challenge, those remaining were none other than the top-notch contenders from each clan. They were the most gifted among the gifted, the strongest among the strong ones.
As a result, beginning from the last-16 challenges, every challenge would be extremely competitive. The spectators were also looking forward to the release of the details of the draw for the last 16 contenders.
Even though the last 16 contenders from the Aurous Core Stage could earn a place to enter the Ancient Huanghai World, majority still set their eyes on the exact ranking of the contenders. The Aurous Core Stage was indicative of one’s foundation and potential, and the challenges by the Foundation Establishment disciples yesterday were but just a warm-up for today.
Among the Aurous Core Cultivators participating in the subsequent contests, all of them were undeniably the most outstanding in their respective sects from the younger generation. Their potentials were limitless, their powers extraordinary. None of them could be said to be inferior to one another, and each had both the intention and the confidence to emerge as the top contender.
At this moment, everyone stared intently at the bronze bottle before the Vivant Joy Holy Man. From there, the last-16 draw would be revealed.
Zhuge Fengling stared at the bronze bottle, muttering to himself under his breath, “The strongest opponents should be Jiao Junchen, Tao Yaoyao, Song Qingyuan and Gu Lei. Oh, there is also that big bloke from the Northern Tribe, Du Kun.”
“If I bump into any of them in the second round, that would be really unlucky of me….”
Yue Hongyan looked at her condescendingly, “Sooner of later you’ll have to meet them. It does not make a difference at which stage that happens. There is nothing to be afraid of.”
Yang Qing spoke softly beside her, “Senior, there is certainly a difference. Just like when you all were in the last-four of the Foundation Establishment Stage, had our Third Senior Brother not exhausted himself in the battle against Dao Yuting from the Heaven Lake Sect, perhaps he would still have enough stamina in him to battle you in the final.”
“Conversely, had you all met Dao Yuting in the quarter finals, or even the last-16 round, even if you could win, it would still affect your subsequent performance.”
Yue Hongyan said, “But not everyone is only as good as Dao Yuting. Even if one were exhausted in the battle against Dao Yuting, it did not necessarily mean that they could not win.”
Listening to their discussion, Xiao Budian smiled and tilted his head. He asked Zhu Yi, “Second Senior Brother, who do you hope to get in the draw?”
Zhu Yi’s demeanour was calm, he replied emotionlessly, “It does not make a difference who I get.”
His tone was one of nonchalance. He did not mean to be arrogant or flamboyant, but it certainly revealed his confidence.
Zhu Yi looked at Xiao Budian, “My Junior Brother, what about you?”
Xiao Budian grinned, “Jiao Juncheng, Tao Yaoyao, Song Qingyuan, Gu Lei, Du Kun…” He repeated the names Zhuge Fengling mentioned previously and added two other names. All of them were the trickiest opponents among the Aurous Core last-16 contenders.
Zhu Yi laughed after hearing what he said. Zhuge Fengling’s expression darkened instantaneously. She thought to herself, “You little Devil, you intentionally embarrass me.”
Xiao Budian seemed to know what she was thinking. He laughed as he said, “These strong contenders were widely believed to be able to reach the last-eight, even the last-four. To be able to eliminate any of them this round would be such a huge pleasure.”
Zhuge Fengling laughed dryly but did not say anything. The Gold-digging Mouse on her shoulder communicated with her through telepathy, “Fengling, they are little Devils and their way of thinking is definitely different from ours.”
Just at that moment, the Vivant Joy Holy Man already drew the first lot – it was Zhu Yi.
The surrounding spectators were agitated, but quickly remained silent. They held their breath and listened attentively, waiting to find out the unlucky individual who would be up against Zhu Yi.
Apart from Zhu Yi’s previous battle records, the most important reason for the spectator’s reaction was because during the transactional process in the Spiritual Conference, he captured alive the descendant of the Great Qin Empire who tried to vie against him for the Mingdu Teeth.
This incident propelled him to a position of popularity in a short period of time.
That lean teenager was an Advanced Aurous Core. He even learned the White Emperor Dragon Text as part of the Secret Manual of the Five Emperor True Dragons (a family secret within the royal family), making him a capable fighter.
However, rather unexpectedly and shockingly, this Advanced Aurous Core Cultivator was captured alive by Zhu Yi, who was only in the Beginner Aurous Core Stage.
Prior to this, rumors were abound that Zhu Yi was capable of holding off a Nascent Soul Stage Elder. However, in these rumors, Zhu Yi could achieve this partly because he was protected by a Nascent Soul Stage Magic Weapon. When he captured the Great Qin Empire descendant, however, he did not receive any protection nor assistance from any Magic Weapons, instead relying completely on his individual prowess to capture his opponent.
And as was widely known to everyone, the various outcomes – holding off, suppressing, defeating, killing and capturing alive – differed from each other. Especially in terms of difficulties, they were completely different from one another.
Based on what most people thought previously, to be able to defeat and severely wound the lanky teenager was conceivable to many.
Even killing would have some difficulties, though not entirely inconceivable.
However, when it came to capturing him alive, it was beyond the imagination of many. In fact, the entire flow of events during which he captured the teenager was witnessed by many. And these witnesses shuddered in fear when they recalled the incident.
That is because it seemed to many that perchance Zhu Yi did not expend much energy to capture that person alive. There was a stark difference in their abilities.
That made many even more impressed with and shocked at the powers that Zhu Yi displayed.
After all, at this point, Zhu Yi’s cultivation had only reached the Beginner Aurous Core Stage. What were inconceivable to many were the immense powers he would amass when he advanced to the Intermediate and Advanced Aurous Core Stages.
And, when his Soul Formation succeeded, what would become of him and his powers?
The sheer thought of it was enough to strike fear in the group of people. As such, having only offered a glimpse of his real powers, Zhu Yi had become one of the favorites in the contest, his popularity equivalent to that of a Boss.
To many, Zhu Yi was guaranteed a spot in the last four. To them, it was only a matter of others challenging him. Unless he faced other favorites like himself, entering the last four was an easy fear for him.
Lin Feng could palpably feel that many of the spectators were agitated. He smirked, “My little Yi, you’re quite impressive indeed. Weren’t you supposed to slowly climb the ladder by defeating one by one those who stood in your way, before finally challenging the top contender?”
“Now, the reverse seems to have happened – instead, you have supplanted the position as the top contender.”
Lin Feng smirked, “I feel so sorry for those contenders preparing to face Zhu the Devil King. Their journeys must be a tragic one.”
Just as Lin Feng was immersed in his random thoughts, the Vivant Joy Holy Man had picked Zhu Yi’s opponent.
Lin Feng saw the result and was instantaneously delighted.
It seemed that fate favored the meeting of those with enmity between them. Zhu Yi’s opponent happened to be the Huo Family’s second son, Huo Ming, with whom the Celestial Sect of Wonders’ disciples had an unpleasant altercation previously.
When the result of the draw was announced, silence fell upon the spectator stand. Everyone’s eyes fleeted between Zhu Yi and Huo Ming.
“This will be an interesting fight,” that was probably what most people were thinking.
To Zhu Yi, Huo Ming was one of those few among the last 16 contenders who could put up a convincing fight with him. The Huo Family’s Mantra Abhijna specialized in brutal and fatal hand-to-hand fighting. The disciples in the tribe built a name for themselves after killing many people.
The usual basic fighting moves were insufficient to show the Huo Family’s disciples real abilities. Only in a neck-to-neck battle would their fighting abilities be displayed.
The Hidden Dragon Teapot’s unique characteristic was able to make it happen. It will allow Huo Ming to display his true powers and fight to the best of his ability.
Coupled with the elimination of Huo Ming’s tribal brother, Huo Chen, by Zhu Yi’s junior disciple Wang Lin in the Foundation Establishment Stage battle, some degree of enmity existed between them, making this battle an exciting one to watch.
Huo Ming saw the lot, but his expression did not change a bit. He merely took a look at Zhu Yi from afar, and his gaze remained as calm and imperturbable.
But it was precisely this look that made Lin Feng and Zhu Yi nodded secretly, “Not bad. After that time cutting stones, his entire mental state has indeed improved tremendously.”
If it were the previous Huo Ming, while he could stay calm under normal circumstances, the result of the draw would have agitated him – he would have exuded a murderous aura and glared at Zhu Yi like a bull ready to charge.
However, the present Huo Ming was as calm as ever. He did not reveal any intention to kill of battle anyone.
His ability to control his state of mind, as well as his individual powers, spoke volumes about his improvement.
The peculiarity of the Huo Family’s Mantra Abhijna could make them extraordinarily powerful. However, at the same time, their state of mind was precarious and it was easy to lose control of their mental state. As such, those who practised the Huo Family’s Mantra to advanced levels often possessed the quality of a return to simplicity.
Asura Holy Man Huo Xiu was a quintessential example. From the present Huo Ming, Lin Feng could vaguely glimpse some resemblance with Huo Xiu.
The resemblance between them was not much, only a little bit. But for Huo Ming who was in the Advanced Aurous Core Stage, it was already a rarity. There were some Nascent Soul Stage Elder in the Huo Family who eclipsed him in their powers, but their state of mind was perhaps no better than Huo Ming.
The subsequent pairings after drawing the lots left many torn between amusement and frustration. Notably, the lot from Purple Cloud Sect looked worried.
Gu Lei and Li Kuiyin who were both from the Purple Cloud Sect ended up having to fight against each other. This pair of disciples had to face each other prematurely in the last 16, and this meant that one of them would not be able to enter the last eight.
The third pairing consisted of Shi Xingyun and the Northern Tribes Soul cultivator, Sang Luohe. This pairing was widely regarded as the most difficult to predict because Shi Xingyun had always maintained a low profile and very few had seen her in a battle.
And being a Soul Sorcerer that was hard to be found in the Royal House of the Northern Tribes and the Divine Lands, Sang Luohe was mysterious and unfathomable to many.
In the fourth and fifth groups, the Sun Moon Sword Sect couple would appear one after the other. And their opponents were the Huo Family’s disciple other than Huo Ming, and Sword of Radiance Sect’s Big Sister Tao Yaoyao who was on the same level of popularity as Zhu Yi.
The sixth pairing created another commotion. Song Qingyuan from the Heaven Lake Sect would be going against Du Kun from the Royal House of Northern Tribes. It would be a battle between nemeses.
And in the seventh group, it was Xiao Budian’s turn.