Chapter 200: A Fierce Battle against Evil Warriors
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Zhang Ruochen stood in front of Lingyue Town's entrance, a broken sword in hand. Neither sad nor anxious, he held his sword like it was an extension of his body.
Lin Ningshan still hadn't left. She just stood beside him, eyes fixed on the mysterious youth in the metal mask.
Soon enough, smoke billowed over the horizon, along with the rumble of iron heels pounding the earth.
"Hall Owner! That's the young man who killed Nie Zhenghan," a Yellow Realm Evil Warrior said with a cold tone, pointing towards Zhang Ruochen.
Iron Hunchback rode up on a snow-white Scud Tiger. He looked down on Zhang Ruochen and grinned. "He's just a pipsqueak," he said. "Ha! For a moment, I thought Si Xingkong had come to Lingyue Town."
Iron Hunchback had trembled in fear when he heard an internal student had killed Nie Zhenghan. He thought that Si Xingkong, the No.1 figure of the Internal Academy, had come to deal with the Black Tiger Hall. Once he saw this young man though, all the fear in his heart blew away, leaving only contempt.
"Rumble, rumble, rumble...!"
More than two hundred Evil warriors rode forth on horseback and galloped around Zhang Ruochen in a semi-circular formation; they were all under the command of Iron Hunchback, Owner of the Black Tiger Hall.
Dust surged forth and howls echoed everywhere.
Lin Ningshan had not expected so many powerful warriors to come. Shock and doubt filled her heart; how could the young man defeat so many Evil masters by himself?
66 meters away from Zhang Ruochen, Iron Hunchback raised his hand slightly, motioning for all his Evil Warriors to halt.
Iron Hunchback looked down at the 10 corpses lying on the ground and frowned. "Boy," he said with a growl. "You have a lot of nerve, not even trying to escape!"
"Why would I want to escape?" Zhang Ruochen replied. "I'm right where I want to be; right where you are."
Iron Hunchback's eponymous hunchback made him look no more than a meter tall. Standing up on the Scud Tiger's back, he sneered down at Zhang Ruochen. "You seem to have an inflated opinion of yourself. Don't think you're hot stuff just because you're an internal student of the School of the Martial Market. Did you know we've locked up four students from your School? One of them is even an internal student."
"Eh? This is news to me!"
Zhang Ruochen was taken a little aback. "Well," he said at last. "If you set them free, I'll spare your life."
"Ha! No prisoner ever goes free from Earth Blaze City once we get our hands on them." Iron Hunchback said, letting out a clear, belly-shaking laugh. Suddenly, his demeanor turned cold. "Assume formation!" he said in a deep tone of voice. "Surround this maniac and don't let him run away."
108 Evil Warriors rushed out from behind Iron Hunchback's hump. Eight of them had cultivated to the Black Realm while the other hundred had cultivated to the Yellow Realm.
Each warrior channeled Genuine Qi through the jade array stone in their hands, instantly activating their Inscriptions Array. Zhang Ruochen was completely surrounded by this array.
"Another Combined Attack! Haven't you learned how useless they are against me?" Zhang Ruochen said.
Iron Hunchback laughed. "Nie Zhenghan's Combined Attack was incomplete, so of course it wouldn't threaten you," he said. "Now , my 108 men have formed a complete Combined Attack formation with no flaws or gaps. Do you really think you can withstand their power?"
"The way I see it, unless you have your own Earth Realm warriors ready to launch a Combined Attack, you're powerless to stop us."
Zhang Ruochen was sick and tired of Iron Hunchback's nonsense. He drew his Abyss Ancient Sword and channeled his Genuine Qi through the blade. He activated all 29 Power Series inscriptions, increasing the weight of the Abyss Ancient Sword to 3,300 pounds.
The Abyss Ancient Sword had 66 Power series inscriptions in total. If all these inscriptions were activated, the weight of the ancient sword would increase to 7379 pounds.
Each basic Power Series inscription increased the sword's weight by 110 pounds.
However, Zhang Ruochen had only cultivated to the Initial Stage of the Earth Realm. His Genuine Qi was finite and currently could only catalyze 29 inscriptions.
A sword weighing 3,000 pounds would cause horrible injuries if swung with physical strength alone. With Zhang Ruochen's powerful Spiritual Fire Genuine Qi, the power of the Abyss Ancient Sword was amplified even further.
Never mind Zhang Ruochen; even a warrior who had reached the Completion of the Earth Realm couldn't withstand a Combined Attack from 100 warriors of the Completed Yellow Realm and 10 warriors of the Completed Black Realm.
However, the Black Tiger Hall couldn't train that many elite warriors. In fact, they were forced to mix together Evil warriors with superior and inferior levels of martial arts practice. Even if they were all warriors from the advanced stage of the Yellow Realm, they could only form the Inscription Array with great difficulty and reduced combat strength.
From Zhang Ruochen's perspective, their 'powerful array' was full of loopholes.
If Zhang Ruochen wanted to defeat them, he need only find and attack those weak points.
"Shatter for me!"
Zhang Ruochen launched himself into the air, fire smoldering behind his eyes.
He grasped his sword hilt with both hands and swung straight down.
The Abyss Ancient Sword resembled a fire dragon as it launched a fiery, 10 meter-long line of Sword Breath towards the ground.
The Combined Attack formed from these 108 warriors simply could not withstand Zhang Ruochen's all-out attack.
In moments, the Sword Breath shattered their Inscription Array. Nine Evil Warriors were bisected, split halves flying apart and leaving only a pool of blood.
Another 20 Evil Warriors were seriously injured by the Sword Breath impact, blown back and scattered like leaves caught in a gust of wind.
Zhang Ruochen destroyed this Combined Attack of 108 warriors with just a single sword stroke.
Standing off in the distance, Lin Ningshan was struck dumb by the sight of this mysterious teenager's power.
"Strong Wind and Flying Snow!"
Frozen Genuine Qi poured off of Zhang Ruochen's body and dissolved into the air. The air temperature dropped rapidly. A short time later, delicate snowflakes started pouring from the sky!
The snow grew heavy.
A hundred square meters of heavy snow poured down, making it seem like the dead of winter. The Evil Warriors of Black Tiger Hall felt chilled down to their very bones.
"The Strong Wind and Flying Snow technique, with continual Genuine Qi..." Iron Hunchback whispered, his face drawn and pale. He no longer looked at Zhang Ruochen with contempt.
Iron Hunchback's cultivation was higher than Zhang Ruochen's. He had reached the Final State of the Earth Realm. Despite this, Iron Hunchback was unable to wield this "Strong Wind and Flying Snow with Continual Qi" technique.
Only individuals with a special physical quality possessed the talent to manifest this vision of heaven and earth and alter their environment in such a way during battle.
Zhang Ruochen did not possess a Frost physical quality. Rather, he had swallowed Icing Meridians Pill to instill his Meridians and Genuine Qi with the nature of Frost. This was how he was able to manifest this vision of "Strong Wind and Flying Snow."
If Zhang Ruochen wished, he certainly could have manifested the visions of "Strong Wind Thunder" or "Strong Wind Fire" using the Thunder and Spiritual Fire nature of his Genuine Qi.
Zhang Ruochen swiped his arm through the air. The drifting snowflakes swiftly condensed into dozens of Sword Breath projectiles.
Seven Evil Warriors screamed in pain as Sword Breath pierced their flesh.
The snowflakes spread through the air, covering a hundred square meters. Every one of those snowflakes could turn into a blade for Zhang Ruochen.
After seeing more than 30 of their number cut down in succession, the terrified Evil Warriors turned and fled, no longer daring to face Zhang Ruochen.
In the same instant, Zhang Ruochen heard a howl from behind his back, along with the sound of rumbling earth and the whistle of sand and stones flying everywhere.
A powerful surge of Genuine Qi brushed against Zhang Ruochen's shoulder blades.
"I, the Hall Owner, have come to face you, boy!"
Standing on the back of his Scud Tiger, Iron Hunchback charged towards Zhang Ruochen and swung down at him with his gilded sabre.
Zhang Ruochen countered Iron Hunchback with his own sword stroke.
The gilded sabre in Iron Hunchback's hand was a level six Genuine Martial Armament that weighed around 2,200 pounds after its inscriptions were activated.
Combined with his arm strength and the ferocious impact of his third-level savage beast Scud Tiger, Iron Hunchback unleashed a mighty force that rivaled Zhang Ruochen's.
When these two swords collided, a wave of energy erupted from the point of impact, blasting away dozens of Evil Warriors.
Zhang Ruochen stood his ground even as both his feet started sinking into the earth.
"He's more than earned the right to be called Hall Owner of the Black Tiger Hall: the other common warriors were nothing compared to this," Zhang Ruochen thought as the shock of the blow rendered his arm numb.
Iron Hunchback was even more surprised as he saw a notch appear along the edge of his sabre.
"How could a mere broken sword damage my Golden Knife, a sixth-level Genuine Martial Armament?" Iron Hunchback thought, realizing he couldn't afford to underestimate Zhang Ruochen.
This young man was really strange.
When did the Internal School of the Martial Market acquire such an impressive figure?
Iron Hunchback was a famous, powerful warrior who had practiced Martial Arts for dozens of years. He had gained a wealth of fighting experience through countless murders and become the Hall Owner of the Black Tiger Hall. He definitely also had a couple deadly tricks up his sleeve. For these reasons, Zhang Ruochen would have to keep his guard up throughout their fight.
"Against all odds, he has the skills to fight in melee against Iron Hunchback, the Hall Owner of Black Tiger Hall; he even seems to be winning." Lin Ningshan held her breath as she stared at the calm, mysterious teenager.
In the past, Lin Ningshan had believed Zhang Tiangui, the Seventh Prince, was the greatest talent in the world, a figure beyond compare. However, the mysterious teenager in front of her challenged her worldview.
Even her father, the leader of the Lin family, could not talk about the Iron Hunchback without a sliver of unease.
This mysterious teenager's power must be greater than her father's--no, even her grandfather's.
"If he can kill Iron Hunchback, he's bound to become a famous hero known throughout the Yunwu Commandery," Lin Ningshan thought.
"Eat this, boy!"
Iron Hunchback clenched his teeth. His Golden Knife exploded with golden rays of light that flowed along the inscriptions carved into the saber.
"Broken Moon Sword Technique, First Form: Sword Wind and Waning Moon."
The Broken Moon Sword Technique was a Superior class broadsword technique of the Spiritual Stage.
Iron Hunchback had inherited this technique from a great master. Although he only learned a single attack, this solitary technique allowed him to kill many strong enemies and become the Hall Owner of Black Tiger Hall.
No one in the same realm would ever be able to withstand this attack of his.
Three years ago, he even used this technique to kill a wounded warrior from the Completion of the Earth Realm. It was this battle that made his name a household word across the Yunwu Commandery and raised Black Tiger Hall to ninth place among the local black markets.
This lone, Superior class broadsword technique from the Spiritual Stage had changed Iron Hunchback's life.
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