Chapter 25: The Final Eight
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Both Lin Ningshan and the Ninth Commandery Princess, Zhang Yuxi, had just broken through to the Medium State of the Yellow Realm in the past three months. Their cultivations and abilities were fairly equal.
The Ninth Commandery Princess stepped out onto the drill ground first, holding a green Genuine Martial Arms sword. Her elegance and delicate figure were as beautiful as an artist's painting, standing in the middle of the field.
Then, Lin Ningshan also made her way out onto the drill ground.
A smile touched the corners of Zhang Yuxi's lips as she said, "Ningshan, it is said that you have reached the realm of the Sword Following the Heart. I wonder how strong you are in mastering this technique. I can't wait to test you with it!"
Without further mockery, Zhang Yuxi waved her arm and the sword scabbard dashed out toward Lin Ningshan.
"Bluewater Forming the Surge!"
The Ninth Commandery Princess clearly knew that Lin Ningshan was a powerful enemy and that she had to be extra careful fighting against her. Therefore, the technique that Zhang Yuxi used first was from the Mid Class of the Human Stage.
By releasing the sword, seven shadows of the sword appeared, which gradually turned into 49.
The 49 sword shadows eventually connected as a greenish-blue water curtain, while making a sound of flowing water it compressed and flew towards Lin Ningshan.
Lin Ningshan stood solid and still, not moving an inch. She grabbed Zhang Yuxi's hand that held the sword and stared firmly into her eyes.
When the water curtain pushed in front of Lin Ningshan, she thrust her sword right into the middle of the water curtain, and it was powerful enough to collapse every single one of Zhang Yuxi's techniques.
Ninth Commandery Princess Zhang Yuxi realized that Lin Ningshan was going to quickly break down her technique, so she immediately changed to another approach. The sword techniques between the two beauties became sharper and intensified.
Up to this point, Lin Ningshan was still unshakable. She stood completely still without moving a muscle in her legs as if she had turned into a statue.
Lin Ningshan thought to herself, "I just need to thrust out a strong sword to break down all of her tactics."
Standing outside of the drill ground, Zhang Ruochen slightly shook his head and thought, "Lin Ningshan has already reached the realm of the 'Sword Following the Heart in terms of Sword Comprehension. Yet, Yuxi has been stuck on the technique of 'play it by ear'. When it comes to a real fight, even though they are both in the same realm of Martial Arts, Yuxi is totally the weaker fighter. Within 10 moves, Yuxi is going to lose the fight!"
Just then, there was a tremendous change on the drill ground.
Lin Ningshan actively attacked Zhang Yuxi. She moved one step forward and whipped her arms until there was a massive sword flower in the air.
Zhang Yuxi could not counter and kept stepping backward. Lin Ningshan seized the opportunity to push her harder, step by step.
After all of the attacks and counterattacks from the beauties, Lin Ningshan's sword suddenly stopped. The sharp head of the sword was pointed right at the Ninth Commandery Princess's chest.
Lin Ningshan said with satisfaction, "Princess, you have lost!"
The Ninth Commandery Princess retracted her Blue Water Sword and walked off the drill ground. She was upset and confused when she went over to Zhang Ruochen and asked, "Ninth brother, my cultivation is obviously above average. Why did I lose in such a short time?"
"Your Sword Comprehension! In terms of Sword Comprehension, you still have a long way to go to catch up to her. Wait until you have put some effort into reaching the realm of the Sword Following the Mind, then you will eventually understand!" Zhang Ruochen explained.
Then the second fight began!
The two warriors who were now standing in the middle of the fighting field were Gu Li from the Gu family and Situ Linhai, the first ever young genius from the Situ family.
The distance between their abilities was very obvious. Situ Linhai kicked Gu Li out of the battlefield with just three moves. Gu Li did not even have a chance to fight back.
"The fifth match-the Ninth Prince, Zhang Ruochen, versus Bai Wanli from the Bai family,." the general announced the warriors coming up next.
Zhang Ruochen and Bai Wanli stepped onto the drill ground at the same time.
Zhang Ruochen's performance in the first two rounds was absolutely outstanding and it shocked several of the other warriors.
He attracted attention from all of the warriors who had come for the Year-end Assessment. All of them were curious about how exceptional Zhang Ruochen's abilities were.
Outside of the drill ground, Lin Ningshan, the Ninth Commandery Princess, the Fifth Prince, and the Sixth Prince were all looking at Zhang Ruochen. They wondered how a Dawn Stage warrior could beat a Medium State warrior.
Bai Wanli ranked number eight in the King Mount Hunting Assessment. His cultivation had reached the Medium State of the Yellow Realm. He was definitely a powerful warrior who could kill a Brute Bull barehanded.
"Ninth Prince, you have mentioned that you are good at using the sword, and yet this is not my strongest technique. In order to be fair, let's fight without using any weapons. What do you say?" Bai Wanli asked Zhang Ruochen.
"Sure! Let's fight with our bare fists," Zhang Ruochen responded calmly, as if he did not care about winning or losing the fight.
Outside of the drill ground, many warriors and spectators furrowed their eyebrows in confusion as they clearly knew that the Bais were masters of the fist technique. They could not understand why Zhang Ruochen agreed to do what Bai Wanli suggested.
It was a fact that the cultivation of Zhang Ruochen was one realm weaker than Bai Wanli. On top of that, he had agreed to give up fighting with the sword technique that he was well versed in. He was very likely going to lose.
"Ha...!" Bai Wanli yelled and shifted all of his Genuine Qi in his body, releasing the martial technique, "Slaughter Fist", in the Mid Class of the Human Stage.
The stone ground on the battlefield was shattered by Bai Wanli's powerful footstep. He suddenly rushed toward Zhang Ruochen and aimed his fist at his chest.
With the power of the Human Stage Mid Class martial technique, Bai Wanli erupted with Strength of Nine Bulls. There was a layer of light, a halo, glimmering on his fist.
Zhang Ruochen stood still with both legs slightly bent. The muscles in his legs, his back, and his arms... the power from every single part of his body all consolidated together.
The moment all of the power transferred into Zhang Ruochen's fist, he thrust out solidly toward Bai Wanli and his fist collided with his slaughter fist.
The sound of bones fracturing echoed loudly!
"You lose!" said Zhang Ruochen moderately, who stood straight while looking at Bai Wanli.
Bai Wanli held his arm painfully as if he had lost all the power in his broken arm. He took a few steps back, stared at Zhang Ruochen with panic, and asked, "You... you are powerful enough to resist my fist! How did you..."
Not only Bai Wanli, but also the young warriors outside the drill grounds, were all confused about what they had just witnessed-Zhang Ruochen just defeated the master of the fist technique!
Even though Bai Wanli's fist had the Strength of Nine Bulls, Zhang Ruochen did not even have to use any martial technique and he shattered Bai Wanli's arm with just one fist!
In the terms of a Dawn Stage warrior, this was impossible!
Only the elder warriors, with an advanced cultivation of Martial Arts, would notice the clues from Zhang Ruochen.
"Master Bai's arm isn't shattered but twisted out of its socket," said the general who was in the kylin armor.
"Dislocated? How is that possible? I'm sure the Ninth Prince only struck out with a palm. How did he manage to twist Bai Wanli's arm out of its socket?" asked a young frustrated warrior.
The general in the kylin armor explained,. "The mastery of the power of the Ninth Prince is sophisticated when he is at his best. The power from every inch of his muscles and bones all coalesced at the same time. Moreover, when he released his palm, the power of the palm technique actually carried the force of torsion.
"The torsion disappeared within just a second. It is totally normal if you guys can't figure it out. Even with my cultivation, I still can't master my power to match Zhang Ruochen's finest!"
The one who commented on Zhang Ruochen's technique with courtesy was Ge Qian, the royal guard of the Yunwu Commandery Prince. No one would question the truthfulness of what the experienced and respected person just said.
"I can't believe how powerful the Ninth Prince is! Oh my god... he just started practicing Martial Arts three months ago! I guess even the Seventh Prince isn't as incredible as him!"
"After the Year-end Assessment this year, I'm sure that the Ninth Prince's name will be scattered all over the commandery capital and he will become the most influential warrior of the young generation!"
Zhang Ruochen left the drill ground embraced by the crowd's amazement.
Three more fights had finished. The eight spots in the quarter-finals were finally confirmed.
The top eight warriors were: the Fifth Prince, Situ Linjiang, Xue Kai, Zhang Ruochen, Lin Ningshan, Luo Cheng, Lin Tianwu, and the Sixth Prince.
Following the quarter-final was the semi-final, which was the battle to strive into the top four.
That meant that the warrior who won the next fight would surely enter the top five and also be given the opportunity to access the Savage God's Pool for practice.
"The first round, the Ninth Prince, Zhang Ruochen, versus the Lin's Lin Ningshan," the general announced.
When Zhang Ruochen heard that his opponent was Lin Ningshan, he lifted his head slightly and whispered, "What a coincidence!"
He then glanced at Lin Ningshan.
At that moment, Lin Ningshan's sight had also fallen on Zhang Ruochen.
The Ninth Commandery Princess, Zhang Yuxi, stood next to Zhang Ruochen, offered a smile, and said, "Ninth brother, I know you like Ningshan a lot but she doesn't like you! Therefore, don't be tender toward her, spare no effort in the fight and avenge my loss!"
Zhang Ruochen calmly stepped onto the drill ground.
"Oh, my cousin! I never imagined that you would acquire the Sacred Mark at the age of 16 and yet you still catch up at such a fast pace! Given that the best age of practicing Martial Arts has passed, your performance so far is indeed incredible!" Lin Ningshan said softly with a slight smile on her pretty face.
She stood opposite Zhang Ruochen elegantly, with her red lips chuckling, demonstrating a fresh and pure beauty.
After watching the fight between Zhang Ruochen and Bai Wanli, Lin Ningshan was completely impressed by Zhang Ruochen's performance and she stopped looking down on him. She clearly knew that the warrior who was standing opposite her was no longer the crappy guy in her mind, but a genius of Martial Arts.
Deep down in her heart, she had no confidence that she would defeat Zhang Ruochen. Indeed, she thought that Zhang Ruochen was scarier than the Fifth Prince, Situ Linhai, and Xue Kai in terms of his talent and technique in Martial Arts, which made her even more nervous.
Of course, she did not believe that Zhang Ruochen would use any sword strike toward her since she knew Zhang Ruochen had always loved her.
Back in the day, Zhang Ruochen had waited outside the Lin's Mansion for a whole night, on the coldest day in winter, in order to please her.
The next morning, when she went outside the mansion to wake Zhang Ruochen up, she realized that his entire body had been frozen, being mindful of the fact that Zhang Ruochen's physical quality was fragile before the reborn "Zhang Ruochen" acquired the Sacred Mark. After that night, his health got worse and, thus, resting in bed was the only thing that he could do.
Once in a while, she would see Zhang Ruochen with disdain. Even though he waited for her the whole night that winter, she considered Zhang Ruochen a fool who did not deserve her attention.
However, it was a totally different story now. The Zhang Ruochen in the fighting field was a Genius of Martial Arts. At the thought of having a generally recognized genius love her, Lin Ningshan felt vainglorious, as if all the hatred had left her in a second.
"My cousin, do you think we should fight? You should understand how much it means to me to go into the semi-final!" Lin Ningshan said softly since she was trying to take advantage of his love for her.
There was a sense of temptation in her glittering eyes as she looked delicately at Zhang Ruochen.
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