Chapter 42: My Turn
As Xu Min was fully focused on the battle in front of him, Yong Meilin understood that now was not the time for her to speak. Instead, she clasped her hands on her back as she shifted her eyes between Xu Min and the battle in the arena. It was not that Yong Meilin did not enjoy watching battles, but the young woman was proud as she stood next to Xu Min. Her face could not help but smile and a warm smile was on her face as the butterflies in her stomach increased the closer they got to Xu Min’s battle.
Yong Meilin did not like Xu Min because he was a talented cultivator unlike any she had seen before. No. Yong Meilin liked him because he was different from anyone else she had ever met before. He cared about her as a person, not as a trophy to show off. He was always there to answer her questions when she asked. This also meant that although she saw Xu Min train daily, Yong Meilin was truly worried as to whether or not he was capable of defeating experts stronger than him. She was completely aware that a One-Star Warrior should not be capable of defeating Three-Star Warriors or even Two-Star Warriors.
Yet Xu Min paid no attention to the worried Yong Meilin, but instead his eyes constantly roamed across the arena. He was picking up every single movement and every attack used. His eyes soon noticing how each of the experts attacked.
The Three-Star Expert was an internal expert. One stance after another was taken and Qi swirled around him. It took one shape after another, each internal attack hitting the opponent. As time went on, the Qi turned transparent and the attacks weakened in strength. Although the Three-Star Warrior was higher ranked than the challenger, the challenger had an advantage as the other was exhausted. As an internal expert, he relied solely on his inner energies to make him win battles. Having used it all, he had no ability to protect himself from the energies raining down upon him from the opponent.
“Look at this,” Xu Min said with a smile to Yong Meilin who instantly looked at what was happening in front of them. “Both of these two experts are internal experts,” Xu Min started explaining what was going on around them. “Although both are internal experts, the higher ranked warrior has already used the majority of his energy and he is unable to gather enough Qi to deal any serious wound on the challenger.”
“The challenger, on the other hand, has more Qi than the higher ranked expert. But he will need to use a high amount of his internal energies to muster an attack that might cause the opponent to feel danger. If he does not, it will become a battle of attrition. In the end, neither will be able to defeat the other and the battle will drag out forever. If I were him, I would use the Qi to win. In the long run, that is the most beneficial as he will just burn it up the other way.”
Hearing Xu Min explain what he was seeing made the battle easier to follow for Yong Meilin. Just as Xu Min had spoken, the Two-Star Warrior drew back and took a stance which seemed somewhat similar to the Shattering Palm. This caused Xu Min to raise an eyebrow.
The attack looked different to the Shattering Palm, but the Qi which gathered above the young man’s head was similar to the Shattering Palm. A large hand appeared over his head, as he pushed his own hand downwards. The massive hand of Qi hovering above his head did the exact same action and the hand pushed downwards to the opponent, pressuring him to the ground.
“This is only a spar,” Xu Min whispered to Yong Meilin as he pointed at the massive palm on the arena. “If he had truly wished to kill the opponent, he would have made a swift strike with his hand. A swift strike would have instantly crushed him to pieces; however, this attack seems to be slightly less useful than the Shattering Palm I own,” pride appeared in Xu Min’s voice as he analyzed what he saw in front of him. “The Shattering Palm requires a bit less Qi since I am capable of executing it. But this guy, an internal Two-Star Expert, has used around half of his Qi to deploy this one attack. He will need to use all his energy to stay there for one more battle, and after that he is unlikely to stay any longer.” Xu Min continued to speak. This time, he calculated how the battles in front of him would happen. Instead of speaking clearly, his voice became lower until it was nothing but a mumble, impossible for Yong Meilin to hear what he was saying.
In front of him were three experts. Two of them were Two-Star Experts while the final was a Three-Star Expert. The battle was anything but beneficial to Xu Min. It was likely that the current champion would defeat the next challenger, but the likelihood of him beating a second warrior was low. The champion would be changed to another Two-Star Warrior who would definitely be defeated by the Three-Star Warrior.
As soon as the Three-Star Warrior had recharged his strength, he would be able to defeat the Two-Star Warrior without using too much of his Qi. If this guy was an external expert, then Xu Min would be at a loss. His only strength was the fact that he was a Late Stage Two-Star Warrior when it came to his physical strength. Mixed with the weapon and his limited Qi, Xu Min knew that his chances of winning against a Three-Star Warrior was less than forty percent. But he still wished to try it.
Around his neck, he felt the comfort of a resting snake, but his eyes were firm as he decided that this was his battle. Cao Cao was only allowed to participate if he believed that someone was able to threaten Xu Min’s life.
But this was not the tournament and there were no guards around here who wished to take Xu Min’s life. Instead, he could practice against the guards without having to worry about his survival. This was the perfect place to start practicing and he had half a month left!
The following battles transpired exactly as Xu Min had guessed. He could not help but smile wryly when he stepped onto the platform. Xu Min was the only One-Star Warrior in the entire queue and his courage was a show of recklessness. Others hoped that this young man truly had some secret powers which allowed for him to be arrogant enough to walk around with their Ice-Queen hand in hand.
Xu Min was almost facing the hardest possible situation. The Three-Star Warrior in front of him had only battled a Two-Star Warrior to become the reigning champion and the Two-Star Warrior had been low on Qi. This resulted in the man in front of him having almost full Qi. The only positive thing that Xu Min saw was the fact that the man was an internal expert. As long as he managed to escape the different stances and techniques, he should be having a certain degree of success.
There was obviously a reason why Xu Min dared to go against a Three-Star Warrior. Although the warrior should be able to beat him silly within moments, Xu Min still had his speed. This made it possible for him to avoid some of the attacks, but mainly he relied on his sword.
Xu Min had been gifted this broadsword by Overseer Wang. At first, Xu Min had expected that this was a very simple artifact; however, as the days went by, he came to understand it far better than what he had expected.
This sword was not an ordinary sword. It was a sword that was immune to Qi. Usually weapons were only used by external experts and they would be fortified by inserting one’s Qi into the weapon itself which increased the damage done by the sword. However, this weapon refused to react on Qi, just as it was incredibly good at guarding against attacking Qi. If he managed to hit an attack head on, the attack would dissipate into thin air.
Xu Min had still not tried this out on anyone other his own Shattering Palm and Radiating Jade Shower. He ended up finding different results. The single target attack Shattering Palm was easily countered while the Radiant Jade Shower was far more troublesome. The attack consisted of thousands of small jade-like Qi pieces which rained down upon the opponent and the sword could only block so many of these attacks.
Stepping onto the stage, Xu Min started to smile as he prepared for his battle. His heart rate had picked up and his eyes were gleaming with excitement. It had been so long since he had been in a battle, even something as simple as a spar. Taking his place at the arena, he respectfully nodded to his opponent. Looking at this Three-Star Warrior, Xu Min noticed that although there was a look of disdain was on his lips, his eyes were filled with vigilance. It was clear that this Warrior had no intention of underestimating this young man in front of him.
The Three-Star Warrior in front of Xu Min had a tall and lean body type. His entire focus was clearly on refining internal energies. His body was neglected to a point where Xu Min was astonished that he could still control his energy with such a frail body.
As long as he managed to stay clear of the skinny man’s attacks and get close enough to use one of his own, Xu Min should be fine. As soon as the battle started, the skinny man instantly took a stance. Qi quickly began to billow out from his body, gathering behind him in the shape of a long snake. The long Qi snake slithered around, tangling up the thin man. As he moved his arms, the snake started moving around and its speed was equal to that of the arm movements. Xu Min, who had trained his speed whenever he worked at the docks, skillfully dodged the large snake which moved around on the stage.
Seeing how nimble the One-Star Warrior was, many of the observers were instantly quiet as they knew that their own speed could not compete with his. Over two-thirds of the Warriors currently standing in the queue were all internal experts. For them to be slower than Xu Min was not that shocking. The external experts on the ground all narrowed their eyes. The explosive speed he had used to dodge the snake was definitely not something that a One-Star Warrior was capable of doing. One single thought ran through the whole surrounding area was clearly ‘Is this guy truly a One-Star Warrior?’
Xu Min, on the stage, had no time to pay any heed to the ones staring at him. Instead, he let out a sigh of relief. He had feared that his speed had truly been too slow that he would have been crushed with the first exchange; however, he was still doing okay on the stage. With his eyes constantly on the slithering snake, he stomped the ground and ran around on the stage so quickly that he turned into a blur for the naked eye. Some of the guards had to strain their eyesight to truly catch a glimpse of this swift expert.
As Xu Min kept running around, he finally unsheathed his sword and as he did, in one flowing motion did it cut downward. The weight of gravity added to the heavy sword and as soon as it touched the snake closing in on him, Xu Min used all his strength to chop right behind the snake head.
As the loud boom sounded out, dust rose on the stage and the snake was coiled up, slowly dissipating into thin air. Xu Min was panting slightly as he once more sheathed the sword on his back and took a defensive stance as he knew that the snake had only been to feel him out. The expert in front of him was far from being defeated.