A student with a thin face beside Zi Hansha spoke in a sharp voice, "We've also long wanted to see elder brother Zhang's sword technique. Will you please instruct us?"
With Zi Hansha leading them, those students seemed to be asking for advice yet it felt more like coercion of Zhang Ruochen. Even an idiot could tell their true purpose.
Xue Yingrou furrowed her brows. "Junior fellow apprentice Zhang has rescued us before. It's not nice for you to do this now, is it?"
"Junior sister apprentice, we truly just want to be instructed in sword technique. We don't mean anything else. Don't misunderstand!"
Zi Hansha maintained his smile but jealousy was ravaging him on the inside. Xue Yingrou had always worshipped him but now she was favoring that bastard Zhang Ruochen.
Did he have to defeat Zhang Ruochen so she would understand who was the truly superior?
Zhang Ruochen naturally could tell why Zi Hansha wanted him to instruct him in sword technique. It had to be related to Xue Yingrou.
She was the so-called femme fatale, indeed. The ancient stories were all true.
Another student stood out and said unhappily, "Eldest brother sincerely wants to learn sword technique from you. You won't deny him this, right?"
"That's right! Don't tell me you're afraid of losing to eldest brother." A peculiar voice rang out.
Zhang Ruochen wasn't one to be pushed around. Since trouble had come to his door, he naturally wouldn't allow others to think he was afraid of them.
He thought deeply for a moment before replying, "Fine. Since that's the case, we'll try a few moves. I hope we can end there."
"Naturally." Zi Hansha smiled.
The genius students from the South Cloud Commandery all revealed strange smiles. They backed away and began discussing in low voices.
"Let's guess how many moves will eldest brother need before he defeats that bastard."
"How many? Who among our generation in our commandery can block even one of his attacks? Third Wu, you're also a warrior at the Advanced Stage of the Heaven Realm. Can you do it?"
"I'm not in the same league as the eldest brother. We might be in the same realm but it's not an easy task to block one of his strikes."
"That bastard isn't a weakling either. His sword technique is indeed profound. I estimate he'll be able to put up a fight against eldest brother."
"I think eldest brother will definitely defeat him within 10 moves. Eldest brother is a Five-and-a-Half-realm Fighting Genius. There's no way that bastard would have more."
"Which among those Six-realm Fighting Geniuses aren't famed across the Eastern Region? They would also have a chance of being featured in the Eastern Region Report. Zhang Ruochen? Hehe, I've never heard of his name."
Zhang Ruochen, naturally, had been featured in the Eastern Region Report. However, he was only mentioned once in the final edition. Of course no one would remember his name.
With his defeat of Di Yi, he had the chance of headlining the Eastern Region Report. But there was still some time before the next issue would be published and the news hadn't yet spread as of now.
Xue Yingrou had also retreated, anticipation growing inside her.
If she just went by their ages, she estimated Zhang Ruochen to be younger than Zi Hansha.
Though Zi Hansha looked to be in his early 20s, he was already 32. Zhang Ruochen didn't seem like he exceeded 25.
When it came to their battle power, it wasn't easy to come up to a conclusion.
After all, she knew Zi Hansha very well. He was a truly powerful warrior and was essentially invincible among his peers. Even among the older generation, few were his rivals.
"Elder brother Zhang is probably weaker than eldest brother, but he's still young. His innate talent far exceeds that of eldest brother."
"Could he already be a Six-realm Fighting Genius?"
Her heart beat rapidly as a daring guess rose in her mind.
Everything depended on the outcome of this battle. If Zhang Ruochen could really stand his ground against Zi Hansha, then he was probably a Six-realm Fighting Genius.
In an elegant move, Zi Hansha pulled out his sword and held it up.
The strands of purple Genuine Qi that flowed out from his body enveloped him, forming a thick Celestial Bodyshield.
He hailed from a Half-Saint family, the Zi family. He practiced a mid-class Ghost Level exercise, the Secrets of the Purple Blood Mark. After reaching the Heaven Realm, he naturally practiced a special Genuine Qi, which was the Purple Cloud Genuine Qi.
Being born into a good family was an enormous advantage. From a young age, he was able to study peak martial arts books and establish a strong foundation. Coupled with his innate talent and hard work, he was destined for greatness.
Disciples from poor families could only start with Human Stage and Spiritual Stage exercises. Even if they later exhibited great talent, it would be difficult for them to catch up to prodigies who had practiced superior level exercises.
Even if they forcefully started practicing a different exercise, their Meridians had long been set and the effects wouldn't necessarily be strong. On the contrary, it will waste a lot of their time. The losses wouldn't make up for the gains.
Zhang Ruochen didn't underestimate his opponent either. He released his Blue Genuine Qi and formed a Celestial Bodyshield.
Zi Hansha narrowed his eyes when he saw the blue Genuine Qi enveloping his opponent's body and smiled. "You've also practiced a special Genuine Qi. Seems like the exercise you practiced is also very powerful. Draw your sword!"
Zhang Ruochen shook his head. "Demonstrating sword technique doesn't necessarily require drawing the sword."
Zi Hansha felt a chill in his heart, feeling like he was being underestimated.
"You're prouder than me. Well, let's see if you have the ability to justify your arrogance."
Without holding back, he immediately executed the most powerful sword technique he had practiced, the Red Sword Form.
It was a Superior class Spiritual Stage sword technique with a total of seven moves. He had long practiced it to the realm of perfection.
He made the first attack and executed the first move of the Red Sword Form, Waves of the Red Sea.
The sword radiance spilled forth like a waterfall, giving off the impression of endlessness. Each wave of sword Qi was stronger than the last.
In the first place, the two of them had been standing close to one another. In just a flash, Zi Hansha's sword had neared Zhang Ruochen.
Watching the sword radiance cover the sky and ground, Zhang Ruochen stood where he was and gently nodded. Zi Hansha's sword technique attainment was indeed high, already reaching the peak of Sword Following the Heart.
There were practically no flaws when he had practiced his sword technique to this level.
However, Zhang Ruochen's sword technique attainment was more than one level above him. His sword heart had already Integrated. No matter how many illusory tricks Zi Hansha had, how strong his sword Qi, or how many changes it had, he was like a child playing with a sword.
Zhang Ruochen grabbed the hilt of his sword and turned his body to block Zi Hansha's sword, completely sealing his following movements.
"He blocked my Red Sword Form so easily?"
Zi Hansha couldn't believe that his opponent was that powerful. He immediately shifted his sword movement and executed the second move, Red Moon in an Empty Sky.
He instantly followed it up with the third move, Red Hair Dance.
Then it was the fourth move, Red Cloud Blood.
The seventh move, Red Heart.
Zi Hansha had dealt all the seven moves continuously. However, Zhang Ruochen's feet never moved the entire time. Using only one move, he easily blocked all of Zi Hansha's sword movements.
The students standing to the side were stunned.
In their eyes, Zhang Ruochen was like a boulder. He had merely stood in place and dissolved Zi Hansha's attacks like it was nothing.
There was no more that needed to be said. Everyone could see that Zhang Ruochen was so much more superior to Zi Hansha, to the point that the two weren't even in the same league.
Xue Yingrou pulled with her sleeve with her jade-like fingers. Her beautiful eyes were full of tears and she exclaimed in astonishment. She felt that Zhang Ruochen's every move was confident, flowing, and elegant.
"He's too powerful. In front of him, eldest brother is like a child still learning the sword. Why did I even thought that eldest brother was powerful before?"
She gently shook her head. After watching this battle, the lofty image that Zi Hansha had in her heart had completely shattered.
Zhang Ruochen turned his arm and once again blocked Zi Hansha's sword.
At the same time, the Genuine Qi in his Qi Sea was rushing to his arm and became a Genuine Qi wave with a push.
An enormous strength spilled out from the sword scabbard and pushed Zi Hansha backward by nine steps.
"Since your sword movements are all used up, let's end this here."
He had no interest in continuing the fight and only wanted to leave.
"Who told you that my sword movements are completely used up? You're not allowed to leave! We'll continue our battle."
Zi Hansha felt his humiliation turn into anger. It was difficult to control his emotions. He leaped up, holding his sword in both hands. He immersed Genuine Qi into the blade and activated the inscriptions. He then slashed at Zhang Ruochen with all his strength.
He wasn't Zhang Ruochen's opponent when it came to sword technique, that much he was willing to admit.
Since that was the case, then he would no longer compete with sword movements.
He would compare their true strength.
Zi Hansha's sword was a tenth level Genuine Martial Arms and its power was limitless. After he activated the inscriptions in the blade, it exploded with a red light and spat out fire like a waterfall of fire. It aimed straight for Zhang Ruochen's head.
Zhang Ruochen sighed and gently shook his head.
It was at this moment that Zi Hansha suddenly discovered that Zhang Ruochen had disappeared from sight.
When he realized this, he was already one step too late.
Zhang Ruochen appeared next to Zi Hansha on his left. He swung the hilt of his sword, striking Zi Hansha's abdomen.
Zi Hansha felt a surge of pain from his lower abdomen and an enormous power at work on his body. Like a kite with its strings cut, he fell back.
Zi Hansha landed on his bottom with a ban on the tough silver-colored deck. He was completely knocked out of his bearings.
Zhang Ruochen floated down like a leaf, landing gently on the ground. "We can end this now, right?"
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