Volume 1 –
Chapter 166: You Can’t Block One Sword Strike
“What incredible sword technique from Yang Qi. At first, it wasn’t obvious, but the further along he gets, the more obvious it is how amazing he is. It doesn’t matter who he fights, he defeats them with a single move. In fact, he hasn’t even resorted to a second move yet.”
The elders from the four institutes, and the leaders from the other sects present, watched Yang Qi’s performance with increasing levels of shock. All of them had to admit that he was a genius, and that his skill in the dao of the sword had reached the ultimate pinnacle. It was impenetrable in terms of defense, and could find the weaknesses in any opponent.
“Look, his opponent in the next round is Flying War-King Yuan Kun. This Yuan Kun is a top genius from the Demi-Immortal Institute. Isn’t he the one who slaughtered the Seven Scourges of the Sea of Trees, and acquired the Sutra of Myriad Evils?”
“Flying War-King Yuan Kun is an Octonary Lifeseizer. He’s really good.”
“He might be the one to finally stop Yang Qi. Let’s hope Yang Qi doesn’t progress past this round.”
Everyone was discussing Yang Qi, from the Legendary elders of the four institutes to the representatives from the other powerful organizations. By now, a whole day and night of competition had passed, countless students had been eliminated, and there had even been some serious injuries and deaths.
The remaining competitors were almost all conclave students with remarkable skills. Thanks to the various good fortune they had come across through the years, they were all the type who could challenge opponents of a higher cultivation level than themselves.
At one point, Yang Qi realized that Yun Hailan was still in the competition.
She had progressed easily through the various rounds, using an ability in which she would split apart into numerous projections, which would form a mysterious spell formation. Anyone who got caught in that spell formation would quickly forfeit the match.
This competition was very unforgiving; a single defeat, and you were eliminated. Thus, it went without saying that Yun Hailan was also undefeated.
‘Sooner or later I’ll be up against her. I can’t wait….’ The longer he lasted in the competition, the more likely it was that he would fight Yun Hailan. And if he had the chance, he would definitely strike her down with his sword.
Even as he contemplated the matter, another round began.
After leaping up into the arena, he found himself up against a familiar face, Flying War-King Yuan Kun. Three months before, Yuan Kun had pressured him to join the Gentlemen’s Society, and now, here they were up against each other in the competition.
When Yuan Kun saw Yang Qi, he snorted coldly, and a vicious expression appeared on his face that he simply couldn’t hide. “Well, if it isn’t you, Yang Qi. Yet again you fall into my hands. I gave you face by offering to let you join the Gentlemen’s Society, and all you did was come up with a thousand and one excuses. Well, how do you feel about that now? According to the old saying,
the guilty can never escape justice from heaven
. Am I right?”
“The guilty can never escape justice from heaven?”
Yang Qi laughed. “So, you broke out of Octonary Lifeseizing, huh Yuan Kun? Seems you really made some progress in the past three months. Not bad. Not bad at all.”
“Cut the crap.” Yuan Kun growled. “Look, you little punk. I’m going to give you one more chance. If you join the Gentlemen’s Society, I’ll let you off the hook today. But if you don’t, you won’t get out of this fight unscathed. At best, I’ll cripple your energy arts. You won’t be able to use true energy again for the rest of your life.”
“You really talk big,” Yang Qi replied coolly.
“It’s more than talk,” Yuan Kun replied, bristling with killing intent. “I’m guessing you don’t know how I got the name Flying War-King, do you? You know, if I kill you here in the competition, nobody will care a bit. So I’m going to count to three. If I get to three and you haven’t agreed to join the Gentlemen’s Society, I’ll turn you into a corpse!”
Before Yang Qi could even reply, he started counting.
“One! Two! Three!”
As soon as he said ‘three’, Yang Qi suddenly spoke up. “One sword strike!”
“What?” Yuan Kun said, clearly unsure of what Yang Qi meant. Expression darkening, he said, “What did you just say?”
Yang Qi suddenly seemed to be standing even taller and straighter than before. “I said ‘one sword strike’. That’s all it will take for me to beat you. And that sword strike is going to be a warning, Yuan Kun. Don’t ever talk about me joining the Gentlemen’s Society again. I’m not the type of person you can afford to provoke.”
“You’re a real egomaniac, aren’t you, brat!” Yuan Kun said, his voice burning with rage. “Flying War Formation. Shatter the Void!”
All of a sudden, he seemed like a devil-god, with an aura like a mountain or a sea, the type that could crush all types of beasts and subdue all monsters. With his energy art, he seemed like a king, stronger than any other Nonary Lifeseizer, far beyond the level of someone like Patriarch Frost-Drake.
After all, Patriarch Frost-Drake was a rogue wanderer, whereas Flying War-King Yuan Kun was a consummate genius. Back when he was a Quaternary Lifeseizer, he killed the Seven Scourges of the Sea of Trees, who were top experts in their own right. He could challenge an opponent of a higher cultivation level than himself, but that wasn’t all. He could challenge multiple opponents.
And right now, he was stronger than he had ever been.
As he attacked, his rage could blot out the sun and the moon, and cause the lands to be ravaged by a tempest of fury.
However, before he could finish powering up, Yang Qi attacked.
He didn’t move. He vanished, to be replaced by a beam of sword light, magnificent, awesome, pure, and righteous.
It was powerful, sharp, and direct, like a god who represented the law of the heavens, mighty to the extreme, shapeless, and yet more real than could be imagined.
It was a sword that could destroy all plots and schemes, and all types of killing intent. It was like a spring breeze blowing across the lands, melting all the ice it encountered. It was like a saint enlightening the world, educating the masses, like a swift and decisive emperor.
This sword seemed to touch on the dao of sages. Just like the saying went:
sage inside, monarch outside
The sword light glittered with dazzling glory as it shot forth like a meteor, breathtakingly resplendent.
It seemed like only a moment passed, but at the same time, ten thousand years.
A blood-red slice appeared on Yuan Kun’s face. Then his clothes were ripped to shreds, and more streaks of blood appeared on his throat, chest, abdomen, and other places.
His true energy was thrown into complete chaos, and more than half of the hair was shorn off of him. Moments ago he had been heroic and handsome, but now he looked like a sad joke.
And finally, his identity medallion exploded.
“I told you I would teach you a lesson with a single sword strike. And you’d better not think of getting into mischief by harming my sworn brothers. If you touch them or my clan, Yuan Kun, I’ll take your life. And there won’t be a thing you can do to stop me.”
And without saying another word, Yang Qi left the fighting platform.
Of course, the onlookers were completely blown away. His one, spectacular sword strike had just vanquished a mighty Nonary Lifeseizer.
“Could I handle a sword move like that?”
“That sword strike was incredible. The sword will, sword energy, sword momentum, sword stance…. He’s in an enigmatic level that the host of gods in the heavens might bestow upon a saint to enlighten the masses. How pure and righteous! Invincible! Nothing could stand up to it!”
“One move. That’s all it took to defeat Flying War-King Yuan Kun. And Yuan Kun is a top genius!”
“Years ago, Yuan Kun slaughtered the Seven Scourges of the Sea of Trees, and performed all sorts of other feats. I can’t believe he was defeated so easily. Is it because Yang Qi is strong, or because Yuan Kun has grown soft?”
“Yuan Kun hasn’t grown soft. Yang Qi is just too strong.”
Meanwhile, everyone from the Crown Prince Society was seemingly stuck in the moment in which Yang Qi had unleashed his sword strike.
Xie Feng’s eyes glittered as he looked over at Yun Hailan. “Pretty impressive. That one sword move was incredible. His mind is fused with his sword, and he’s become one with creation. A sovereign lord of a myriad of techniques like him could destroy all types of true energy. I’d say he has what it takes to sweep the competition and win first place.”
“Oh really?” Yun Hailan said, staring at Yang Qi. As of this point, she was truly shocked. Never could she have guessed that Yang Qi would actually have reached this level. She had assumed that he would be roughly as strong as a Quinary or Senary Lifeseizer, but now, it seemed more like he was closing in on the Legendary level. Even Nonary Lifeseizers would have to take him seriously.
‘Just what fortune did this brat come across anyway? A year ago he was trash, but now he’s so strong.’ Yun Hailan had been very familiar with Yang Qi and his personality, but now, it was almost like she didn’t know him. After the incident with the Latent Dragon Pill, he had advanced by leaps and bounds, forcing other elite geniuses to do nothing but eat his dust as he passed them by.
She very, very much wanted to know what good fortune he had come across to allow that.
The top experts from the institutes were all shocked, including the Legendaries up in the observation room.
“What a sword move! Such incredible power and momentum. That’s not something that Lifeseizers should be able to do.”
“That move is proof enough that he should be able to defeat any Nonary Lifeseizer. This wager has suddenly become very serious.”
Patriarchs Wind and Cloud had profoundly uneasy looks on their faces. How could they have ever guessed that Yang Qi would put on such a spectacular show? His sword seemed almost invincible, like that of a grandmaster of the dao of the sword, who had been training for hundreds of years.
The pontifex of the Tabernacle of Flame was a powerful expert whose robe looked like living flame. He himself seemed like an incarnation of fire as he sat there on his throne. “That’s Yang Qi? The same one Flame Clearspring took as a sworn brother? My son did say that he was strong! Simply spectacular!”
This man was just as strong as many of the Legendary elders. Obviously, only a person like that would be the leader of such a powerful church. As he looked down at Yang Qi, he nodded in satisfaction.
In addition to him was another man who looked like a heroic scholar, with a jade crown on his head.
“My son made a good choice in this sworn brother. Yanhaven is a small place, how could it have produced someone like this?” This scholar, who seemed as unmovable as a mountain, was none other than the houselord of the House of Spring and Autumn.
He was another powerful expert who led an organization that came close to rivaling one of the four institutes.
The pontifex’s son Flame Clearspring, and the son of the houselord, Lu Wangxian, were both sworn siblings of Yang Qi.