Chapter 317: In the Shortest Amount of Time
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Seeing Xiao Budian hold a pile of spiritual fruits and flowers that Li Kuiyin and the rest stuffed in his arms, Zhu Yi loosened his stiff neck and exhaled a breath of cold air. “Master, although I don’t really understand what these terms mean, but …”
He shot Xiao Budian a sour glare. “But, looking at Little Junior, I think I understand it a little now.”
Lin Feng smiled and walked up to Xiao Budian, looking at him with a wide grin.
When Xiao Budian saw Lin Feng, he let out an incredibly innocent smile, and communicated with Lin Feng telepathically, “Master, I’ve completed my task!”
Lin Feng returned a faint smile and similarly used his mana to converse with him. “Yes, and you’ve snagged other benefits in the process.”
Xiao Budian chuckled, “It was unplanned, completely unplanned, a pleasant surprise that occurred purely by chance. I never expected these older sisters to be so kind.”
“If Hongyan finds out that you’ve been deceiving her, what do you think will happen?” Lin Feng glanced at Xiao Budian teasingly.
Xiao Budian mocked, “But Master, my injuries are really bad. I’m not faking it one bit.”
Of course he wasn’t faking it. Even if he could deceive everyone else, he wouldn’t be able to trick Cao Wei and his sect.
The little rascal gazed at Lin Feng pitifully, “Master, it really hurts.”
Lin Feng snapped, “Who told you to use such a stupid method? You deserve it!” In spite of this, Lin Feng still produced a ray of purple clouds which enshrouded Xiao Budian, and used his own mana to heal Xiao Budian’s wounded body.
He then heard Cao Wei’s voice from afar. “I admit defeat. These rightfully belong to your Celestial Sect of Wonders.”
Lin Feng turned his head and saw three objects packaged by Cao Wei’s mana transported to him. They were the Geocentric Fire Lotus, Nine-Circled Ice Orchid, and the Zhuyan Ice Flower that Mu Jihai just lost in his bet with Xiao Budian.
Lin Feng nodded and accepted them unreservedly. Cao Wei said bluntly, “With this, we’ve cleared our debts.”
“Yes, indeed.” Lin Feng cracked a faint, undetectable smile.
On the other side, Mu Jihai returned to the Heaven Lake Sect’s delegation. His sect elders and peers gazed at him, yet with no intention of ridiculing him. Most of them felt that it was a pity for him, since the aptitude that Mu Jihai just demonstrated was indeed worthy of respect.
Judging by the situation just now, Mu Jihai did have a chance of winning, perhaps even being only half a step to victory, but Xiao Budian was more determined and courageous than anyone had imagined.
Mu Jihai wasn’t feeling any better himself. Being a sensitive person, the sympathetic, pitying gazes from bystanders were even harder to bear than ridicule or mockery, as if reminding him: “You still can’t do it. No matter how close you are to succeeding, you’ll still get stuck before the finish line.”
Then, someone suddenly exclaimed, “Although Senior Mu lost, we now know that disciples from the Celestial Sect of Wonders are not invincible. They still have their limits. If Senior Song battles him, he would surely win.”
Song Qingyuan chuckled when he heard this, and did not say anything. However, the confidence his expression exuded made all the Heaven Lake Sect disciples believe that he did have faith in himself to accomplish that feat.
“If they aren’t hiding any more tricks, then I wouldn’t need to fear Zhu Yi and Shi Tianhao from the Celestial Sect of Wonders.” Song Qingyuan gazed at the Hidden Dragon Gorge calmly. “There’s only one person left.”
Two people entered the arena and walked towards the Hidden Dragon Gorge together. One of them was Zhao Yan from the Sword of Radiance Sect, the other was Jiao Junchen from the Great Qin Empire.
At the Celestial Sect of Wonders, Zhu Yi’s gaze fell onto Jiao Junchen, and he tilted his head slightly. “Tun Tun, how strong is the Sword of Radiance Sect’s Zhao Yan?”
During the journey to Xingyun Peak, Zhu Yi had to remain on Mount Yujing to coach the newly inducted second batch of disciples, so he couldn’t join the rest.
Zhu Yi had heard about the time Xiao Budian crossed swords with Zhao Yan, but he did not know the exact details.
Among those present during that incident, Xiao Yan was not here, Xiao Budian was being treated by Lin Feng, while Yue Hongyan’s mastery level was too low to notice certain details, so Zhu Yi had to ask Tun Tun.
Tun Tun may be erratic at times , but she was never ambiguous about these things, and went straight to the point, “If compared against those currently present here and using the strength he previously displayed as a reference, he hasn’t reached Huo Ming or Mu Jihai’s level. However, he has a chance of winning either of them in a duel.”
“But he certainly has no hope of winning Tao Yaoyao or Song Qingyuan.”
After a short pause, Tun Tun added, “Unless, he had some sort of breakthrough in the past month.”
Zhu Yi nodded and observed at the light reflected from the Hidden Dragon Gorge. Jiao Junchen and Zhao Yan had already begun their battle.
Zhao Yan was still interchanging between the Sword of Radiance Sect’s signature swordplay and abhijna: the Radiant Clouds Sword Technique, Sword Radiance and Sword Qi. He was highly unpredictable, agile, and ferocious at the same time.
Jiao Junchen, on the other hand, received a bye in the first round and advanced to the Top 16 straightaway. No one had seen him in battle before, and his current match with Zhao Yan would be his first duel in this Spiritual Conference.
The audience was evidently more intrigued by Jiao Junchen who has gained quite a reputation, wanting to see the forte of the Great Qin Empire’s newest scholar.
“I look forward to learning from you.” Jiao Junchen did a brief salute to Zhao Yan’s Radiant Clouds Sword Technique, then crouched down.
As he crouched, swirling mist and clouds suddenly appeared and lifted him up. With a slight spin, he dodged Zhao Yan’s Sword Radiance with ease.
Zhao Yan was a little shocked, and altered his sword stance. The Sword Radiance similarly morphed into mist and clouds to capture Jiao Junchen’s roving figure.
But no one expected that Jiao Junchen would step on the clouds and form an incredibly peculiar trail behind him across the sky, then slip directly through a gap in Zhao Yan’s cloud of Sword Qi.
Outside the Hidden Dragon Gorge, the faces of all the Sword of Radiance Sect cultivators turned slightly ghastly. Even Tao Yaoyao and a few Nascent Soul stage Grandmasters looked sombre.
Zhao Yan’s Radiant Clouds Sword Technique was the authentic spell of the Sword of Radiance Sect, which he was incomparably familiar with. When his sword radiance evaporates into Qi and transforms into a blanket of mist and clouds, it overcasts the skies and land without any openings.
Even if the cloud of Sword Qi does have a gap, it would have been formed naturally between the flowing mana, but it would be so minute that it is nearly undetectable. But Jiao Junchen still located the gap with utmost skill and accuracy.
Furthermore, Jiao Junchen slid through the gap with great precision. His movements were graceful and fluid, calm and smooth, and charged in front of Zhao Yan in one unimpeded path without once grazing the cloud of Sword Qi on both sides of the gap.
Everyone else stared at Jiao Junchen in astonishment. They were all knowledgeable enough to tell that Zhao Yan’s Radiant Clouds Sword Technique was arguably perfect, but Jiao Junchen still overcame it with such ease.
When Jiao Junchen strode across the flowing clouds, he produced the faint cry of a phoenix, which contained mysterious mana powers that suppressed the versatility of Zhao Yan’s Radiant Clouds Sword Technique.
Noticing Jiao Junchen’s incoming assault, Zhao Yan knew that he was in trouble. He wanted to induce another transformation in his Sword Radiance, but realized that his speed at which his mana could alternate had slowed. By the time his sword technique changed, he would already be one step behind.
And now, Jiao Junchen had already sliced his way into Zhao Yan’s Sword Qi. The moment he brushed past Zhao Yan, he suddenly turned to his side and executed the action of drawing a bow. Then, a ray of white light shot towards Zhao Yan like a piercing arrow.
Facing imminent danger, Zhao Yan manoeuvred the Sword Qi around his entire body, morphing it into a specialized defence sword formation called the “Barrier of Clouds and Mist, Veil of Wind and Rain”.
However, Jiao Junchen did not fire just one arrow of white light, instead firing four arrows in succession. After the first arrow, he immediately fired three more consecutively which joined together at the ends like a string of beads and bombarded the same point continuously.
This wall-breaking strategy that targets one particular point instantly demonstrated its effectiveness, and forcefully penetrated Zhao Yan’s “Barrier of Clouds and Mist, Veil of Wind and Rain” sword formation.
Zhao Yan turned pale, and immediately worked to remedy the gaps in his sword formation. His reaction was still considerably fast, and he manipulated his alternating mana to close the gaping hole formed by Jiao Junchen quickly.
But in that instant, Jiao Junchen fired another arrow which was as fast as lightning. Right after he launched it, the arrow has already speared through the gap in Zhao Yan’s sword formation, about to pierce Zhao Yan.
The Hidden Dragon Gorge’s protective barrier then activated.
In a short span of time, Zhao Yan had been defeated.
The crowd outside the Gorge gawked at the sight before them. No one expected that the outcome of this match would be determined so easily.
Apart from Li Kuiyin’s voluntary forfeit, this match lasted for the shortest amount of time among all eight matches in the second round.
It was so quick that Zhao Yan had no time to react, and was at a loss. “I … already lost?”
Everyone in the Sword of Radiance Sect was even more flabbergasted. It’s true that Zhao Yan was not in his strongest state, being unable to use the Sky Sword Talisman, his Nascent Soul stage magic item. But based on his mastery level alone, he was still a formidable cultivator in the advanced Aurous Core stage, yet he still lost so … easily!
In the eyes of all the spectators, Jiao Junchen’s victory came too easily.
Tao Yaoyao glared at Jiao Junchen with eyes blazing like the scorching sun. Her intense lust for battle made her sect’s disciples beside her avoid her like the plague.
Song Qingyuan’s expression turned awfully serious as he thought to himself, “Who knew that the greatest enemy is not the Celestial Sect of Wonders, but Jiao Junchen?”
When Jiao Junchen emerged from the Hidden Dragon Gorge, the arena turned completely silent.
Zhao Yan lost so quickly, but not because he was too weak. There was only one reason.
Jiao Junchen was frighteningly strong!
He was so strong that one could no longer measure his strength based on the capabilities of an Aurous Core cultivator.
At the Celestial Sect of Wonders, Zhu Yi looked at Jiao Junchen without uttering a word, but his eyes had never been so bright before.
Yang Qing frowned, “What’s up with that spell that Jiao Junchen just used?”
Yue Hongan shook her head. “I don’t know. I just felt that the way he strode across the flowing clouds was weirdly similar to … yup, it was as if he was riding a horse carriage.”
“Your intuition is correct.” Lin Feng said calmly, “This man’s mantras originate from ancient Confucianism, and his abhijna and spells encapsulate the Six Arts of Confucianism: rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy and mathematics.”
“The spell he used to win Zhao Yan just now was a combination of ‘archery’ and ‘charioteering’.”