Luo Shuihan took a step forward and channeled power into his legs. He leapt, soared, and fell onto the Stairway to Heaven.
Glowing blue Genuine Qi burst forth as he landed and rushed in all directions.
Both sides were separated from each other by this strong power.
"Everybody stop!" Luo Shuihan exclaimed.
The gifted students of the Saint Xu Gentry, frightened by Luo Shuihan's strength, stopped attacking.
Xu Yuanzhi recognized Luo Shuihan and knew she was the Saintly Being of the Saint Luo Gentry. "Miss Luo," he said, daring not to offend her, "please don't interfere in this matter. Our Saint Xu Gentry must teach these unscrupulous hillbillies a lesson."
"Who are you calling hillbillies?"
Chang Qiqi's face turned red. He clenched his fists and prepared to throw himself into a desperate fight with Xu Yuanzhi.
"Warriors from the distant and savage Omen Ridge lack experience and knowledge," Xu Yuanzhi said with an apathetic laugh. "They are as complacent as frogs in a well. What else can you call them but hillbillies?"
Upon hearing this, Luo Shuihan frowned slightly.
Chang Qiqi had launched the first attack that started this all. Since Omen Ridge was to blame for the conflict. Luo Shuihan sought to help resolve this conflict.
After all, there was no good reason for Chang Qiqi to offend the Saint Gentry, considering his cultivation and background.
As she listened to Xu Yuanzhi's words, Luo Shuihan understood that the most fundamental point of conflict between the two sides was over who launched the first attack, but the conflict between the Saint and humble families. Their quarrel could not be resolved so easily.
"I'm also from the School of the Martial Market of Omen Ridge," Luo Shuihan said. "Do you think that I'm such a narrow-minded person?"
"Miss Luo is also a student of Omen Ridge?" Xu Yuanzhi said, slightly shocked.
Although he had heard of a Saintly Being that came from Saint Luo Gentry, he did not know this Saintly Being had previously trained in the Martial Market School of Omen Ridge.
"Today is the date of the Saint Academy's examination," Luo Shuihan said. "It is pointless to escalate our conflicts; why can't you turn your hostility into friendship?"
The gifted students of Saint Xu Gentry hesitated for a while, Xu Yuanzhi and Xu Su among them. After all, Luo Shuihan was a Saintly Being. Even if they joined forces, they could not defeat her.
It would be best for them to resolve this conflict.
However, one of them was unwilling.
Xu Qing, one of the top young masters of the Saint Xu Gentry, strolled down from above and stood on the 39th level Stairway. "No wonder students of Omen Ridge are so arrogant," he said indifferently. "There's a Saintly Being behind them. Miss Luo, you've also heard the words they spoke moments before, words that brought great shame to our Saint Xu Gentry. If they aren't destroyed today, how will our Saint Xu Gentry bear this humiliation?"
"Why do you have to be so heartless and cruel?" Luo Shuihan asked. "Is there no other solution?"
Xu Qing folded his hands behind his back. "Of course," he said with a smile. "Our Saint Xu Gentry has a long history spanning 10,000 years. There's no need for us to exterminate them. As long as Zhang Ruochen comes out and kneels before all the students of our Saint Xu Gentry in apology, I'll forgive these three people and pursue the matter no farther."
Xu Qing had fallen in love with Huang Yanchen at first sight. He had secretly inquired about Huang Yanchen and knew that she had trained at the Martial Market School of Omen Ridge.
What's more, Huang Yanchen had a fiance named Zhang Ruochen, also a student of the Martial Market School of Omen Ridge.
He put forward this condition because he wanted Zhang Ruochen became a laughing stock before all students of Eastern Region. Subsequently, Zhang Ruochen would lack the face needed to marry Huang Yanchen.
Xu Qing looked Si Xingkong and Chang Qiqi up and down; which one of them, he wondered, was Zhang Ruochen?
In the end, Xu Qing fixed his eyes on Si Xingkong. Whether in temperament or cultivation, Si Xingkong greatly surpassed Chang Qiqi.
Perhaps he was Zhang Ruochen.
Huang Yanchen snorted."Why should Zhang Ruochen be the one to kneel down and apologize?" she asked. "Don't you know that Zhang Ruochen is my fiance? How much are you willing to sacrifice to gain his apology?"
The look on Xu Qing's face changed. "As long as he kneels down," he said, "I will be satisfied."
While they were arguing, Zhang Ruochen had already walked up the Stairway to Heaven and stepped up next to Huang Yanchen. "What If I refuse to kneel down and apologize?" he said, looking at Xu Qing.
"You! You're Zhang Ruochen? You're a little different than what I imagined."
Xu Qing shifted his eyes and stared at Zhang Ruochen, not bothering to conceal his enmity at all.
"How do you know my name, I wonder?" Zhang Ruochen said.
"It's said that you've obtained the Dragon Sarira and become the Buddha Emperor's descendant," Xu Qing said. "Is that true or false?"
The Saint Xu Gentry had established itself over a long history of 10,000 years. If there was any signs of trouble in any part of the Eastern Region, the Saint Xu Gentry would be immediately informed.
As the top figure among the young generation of Saint Xu Gentry, Xu Qing had naturally heard of Zhang Ruochen.
"True? False? Who can say?" Zhang Ruochen responded in a calm voice.
"Haha! Since you won't tell me, I'll learn the answer myself. I'd like to see how strong of a Buddha Emperor's descendant you are."
From head to toe, Xu Qing's muscles and bones crackled and snapped. Every inch of his flesh and blood turned silver, making him look like an iron man. In a flash, he rushed up to Zhang Ruochen and threw a punch.
Xu Qing practiced the Hinayana Vajra Martial Code, which was a Superior Class Ghost Level Exerciss. Moreover, he had activated his Sacred Mark. As long as he channeled Genuine Qi with all his strength, his body would turn into silver and iron alloy. Meanwhile, he would grow strong enough to tear apart brute elephants with his bare hands.
Zhang Ruochen stepped sideways and dodged Xu Qing's punch.
Xu Qing's martial accomplishments had reached the apex of perfection. When Zhang Ruochen moved sideways, Xu Qing abruptly turned his body and threw another punch towards Zhang Ruochen's chest.
Suddenly, Xu Qing resembled a thousand-arm and thousand-handed God of War. Though he threw a single punch, there seemed to be countless fists coming from all directions.
"Nine-folds of the Elephant Power."
Zhang Ruochen threw out 9 handprint strikes in a row, clashing with Xu Qing's strikes using a ninefold palm power.
With a bang, they were both blasted back at the same time.
All Zhang Ruochen felt was an ache running through his arm. Blood trickled from his palm. His arms had nearly dislocated.
"He is a worthy descendant of the Saint Gentry. Even if Xu Qing doesn't qualify as a Saintly Being, he isn't that far off from their level by my estimation."
Zhang Ruochen immediately channeled Blue Genuine Qi through his body. The pain in his arm instantly vanished, while the beads of blood on his palm were refined into blood fog and absorbed back into his body.
The opponent had reached the peak of the Dawn State of the Heaven Realm, two realms higher than Zhang Ruochen. The victory Zhang Ruochen desired would not be easy.
Zhang Ruochen may have been surprised, Xu Qing was even more shocked. Zhang Ruochen had withstood a punch he threw with all his strength. In turn, the force of Zhang Ruochen's palm power had rendered Xu Qing's arms numb.
After all, the exercises practiced by Xu Qing were powerful from the start. Due to its amazing defensive power, he always held all the trump cards in hand-to-hand combat.
He had heard that Zhang Ruochen excelled in sword technique rather than palm technique. They said that Zhang Ruochen had mastered Heart Integrated into Sword, but he was not certain how authentic this information was.
On the Stairway to Heaven, warriors were not allowed to carry any weapons. So, Zhang Ruochen could not use his sword techniques.
With this advantage, he should have been able to take Zhang Ruochen down easily.
Although his punch was not effective, Xu Qing ascertained Zhang Ruochen's actual condition.
"You just used the Dragon and Elephant Prajna Palm of the Thousand Buddhas Sect. You really obtained Dragon Sarira and became the Buddha Emperor's descendant. No wonder you became so powerful at such a young age," Xu Qing said.
"Because I used Dragon and Elephant Prajna Palm, that makes me the Buddha Emperor's descendant? If I used martial techniques from the Taiji Doctrine, would that make me the Taoist Emperor's descendant?"
Everything about Zhang Ruochen became clear to Xu Qing. Xu Qing felt the urge to tell everybody present that Zhang Ruochen had obtained Dragon Sarira, a peerless treasure.
Just imagine: who would not want to get such a treasure like the Dragon Sarira?
Forget the young students; even the Half-Saints' desires would be aroused.
Xu Qing attacked Zhang Ruochen again, this time with the "King Kong Exorcism". Flames burned all around his body like a cloud of blazing fire. He swooped down and swung with his fists at the same time.
Zhang Ruochen did not dodge this time, but instead struck with a lightning-quick little finger.
"Lesser Marsh Tranquility Meridian Sword Wave."
In an instant, Spiritual Qi seem to flow forth from the surrounding substances of Heaven and Earth. All the Qi condensed around Zhang Ruochen's fingertip, turning into a powerful, sharp and overbearing sword wave.
The sword wave expanded like a shining comet scorching a trailer across the sky and slamed into Xu Qing's body with a loud 'wham'.
Xu Qing crossed his hands to protect his chest.
Under the impact of the sword wave, Xu Qing sparkled with light and flew backward about 33 meters.
"Ten Meridian Sword Wave."
"You...really practiced martial techniques from the Taiji Doctrine."
Xu Qing was astonished. No one, not even disciples of the Taij Doctrine, could practice Ten Meridian Sword Wave so easily.
Though the Ten Meridian Sword Wave was only a Spiritual-stage Superior-class martial technique, the person who successfully mastered it would possess power equivalent to the Ghost-level Inferior-class martial technique.
Judging by the power just displayed by Zhang Ruochen, he had evidently succeeded at mastering this technique.
"Xu Qing has finally met his match. I never expected Omen Ridge to give birth to such an outstanding talent."
In the eyes of the public, Luo Shuihan, a person who achieved the status of Saintly Being, was more powerful.
After all, Luo Shuihan was favored by the Saint Luo Gentry. Despite training at the Omen Ridge since childhood, Saint Luo Gentry had also provided her some resources for practice.
Therefore, no one was surprised by Luo Shuihan's powerful strength.
What was really surprising was how a person like Zhang Ruochen, who was not from Saint Gentry, had accomplished so much in the present day.
"Is it true that he really obtained the Dragon Sarira?"
A descendant of Saint Gentry spoke up: "I heard from a senior that the Dragon Sarira came into the world a few days ago. They say that it was obtained by a young man named Zhang Ruochen. However, Omen Ridge is a remote area I have scant information on; I'm not sure whether this incident is rumor or a real event."
"If it's real, it must be quite amazing. Back in the day, the Buddhist Emperor was one of the most powerful figure in the whole Kunlun's Field. If one obtained his Sarira, he would have a skyrocketing rise."
"Zhang Ruochen is less than 20 years old. Without the Sarira, I refuse to believe he could train himself up to this realm."
Upon hearing the public discussion, Xue Yingrou was a little stupefied. In that instant, she knew that Zhang Ruochen's true identity was none other than the "Buddha Emperor's descendant".
Assuming he wasn't killed as a novice, it would be child's play for Zhang Ruochen attain this holy title.
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