Skyfire Avenue, Chapter 450

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  Chapter 450: Xiangyuan Shishi

The Terminator patiently offered his knowledge. “He’s following a path I myself took before breaking through to Paragon. I would spend my time at my peak seeking out the strongest contemporaries, and urging them to hit me with everything they had. I would use their strength to help me find my Path, and the stress ensured I always performed at my best. Constantine has the same goal. Let there be no mistake that, if Constantine had desired Blackmoon would never have gotten his shot off. There was too much of a discrepancy between them, and in fact Constantine may struggle to be challenged in his group.”

Mo Xiao nodded, agreeing with his assessment.

Seven of the eight fights for the day had concluded. The final match would be between Xiangyuan Shishi and Ying Suifeng.

Ying Suifeng – Ninth level, seventh rank. Discipline: Voice of Command

Xiangyuan Shishi – Ninth level, seventh rank. Discipline: Mist.

Both men were from the Eastern Alliance.

Ying Suifeng was an ordinary-looking man, young and hip-looking. He was perhaps twenty seven or twenty eight. Shishi, meanwhile, cut quite the heroic figure. His face was lit up with a beaming smile.

“Hello, hello. Take it easy on me, will you?” As Shishi stepped in to the ring, he waved pleasantly toward Ying Suifeng, who only nodded back.

“Three, two, one. Begin!”

Ying Suifeng’s body quivered oddly for a moment, then split in to three identical copies. It reminded Lan Jue of the doppleganger tactics in mecha fighting. The difference was that this wasn’t some trick of the mind. It was likely the function of his Discipline. Then, as they watched, the three figures fused in to a grotesque amalgamation with three heads and six arms.

All three heads spoke in unison. “Silence,” they hummed.

Silence immediately pervaded beneath the force field, sudden and complete.

Xuanyuan Shishi, watching from afar, had a somewhat startled expression on his face when he lifted his right hand. Mist gathered over his foe, and settled to envelope the three-headed Adept.

“Disperse!” The three low voices hummed.

And they obeyed. The mist dissipated until not a trace was left.

This…

The Voice of command Discipline was not often encountered. In some ways it was very similar to Lan Jue’s Ascension, though not as effective. While transformed in to Zeus, his Voice of Command weaved protogenia to manipulate reality. Ying Suifeng could only control things within his immediate area.

Both arms shot over Xuanyuan’s Shishi’s head and summoned another thick screen of cloud cover. Like all of his battles before, the field became lost in the opaque fog.

Ying Suifeng raced forward to meet it. Moments before being completely enveloped, his six hands clapped together. “Disperse!”

Puff! They were gone again, at his command. But the sharp-eyed spectators were given a clue when they noticed that not all of Shishi’s mist was dispelled by his words, only a large swath. His influence extended fifty meters through the clouds before losing potency. The Voice of Command was potential devastating, but had its limitations. If not, no one could defend against him.

Ying Suifeng’s middle head perked up, and called out while one pair of arms pressed their palms together. “Clouds, open!”

The remaining cloud cover was pushed aside by some unseen force. A clear corridor was created.

Lan Jue watched carefully, his brows knit tight. “The Voice of Command has its roots in psychic force, right?” He asked the Pharmacist beside him.

She nodded. “Indeed. The true Voice of Command requires protogenia to realize its full strength. Its effect also depends on the strength of the one it’s directed against. A capable opponent will only feel the urge, but can resist. The fifty meter trick was also a ploy, I suspect. A seventh rank should not be this weak.

Xuanyuan Shishi was not revealed when Ying Suifeng split the clouds. The three-headed Adept stood now in the heart of the mist. He stopped and shut his eyes, while the clouds rolled closer to swallow him up again.

Ying Suifeng’s three sets of eyes popped open. “Erupt.”

The tumultuous clouds stopped, as though frozen in time. A roar sounded from afar, gradually rising in pitch until it shook the whole arena. Great pockets of mist vanished without reason, replaced with dazzling golden light that began to swallow the ring. No one had seen a Voice Adept with such sphere of control!

Could the Voice of Command really be so strong as this?

“His power is centered around him, and extends in a radius. He moved to the center of the ring so that the acoustics bring his voice as far as possible. This tactic isn’t to hurt his opponent, but flush him out of hiding. Once he finds his target, then he’ll attack,” the Terminator explained.

The shockwave force of the blast buffeted the ring, turning it in to a raging sea of energy. The golden light made it difficult for the audience to see anything, and the eagerly waited with baited breath for the dust to settle.

The blast continued unchecked for a full seven seconds before it began to burn itself out. When finally the ring was revealed to them, the spectators looked with unadulterated shock.

The clouds were indeed gone from the ring. But there was something else in its place.

Ying Suifeng stood in the center of the arena, just as he had been. He, too, could only stare with wide eyes.

The air around him was thickly dotted with glimmering swords. They were long, sharp, and their surface was an undulating milky white. They were clouds – fused tightly to a razor’s edge – that extended all across the field. But nowhere was there any trace of Xuanyuan Shishi.

The feral blades slowly swung their points toward the center of the arena, where the three-headed Ying Suifeng stood. Uncomfortable only began to describe the sensation of standing beneath the collected armory of Damocles.

The look of interest in the Terminators eyes revealed that this was as unexpected for him as it was for everyone else. What was this? Such a sudden, inexplicable change in circumstance.

Everyone was at a loss, as their slack expressions showed.

All but for the Pharmacist. With a gasp, she shot to her feet. “The Ten-Thousand Blade Technique!”

Even when she’d witnessed Jun Yongye’s abilities, she had remained even-tempered. Upon seeing this, however, the Pharmacist was less poised.

The words conjured a memory of Lan Jue’s teacher, and of something he said. Ten-Thousand Blades was a branch from an older technique, the House of Flying Blades. The path to mastery was ever-changing and gruelingly difficult, but the rewards for persistence were prodigious.

Everyone expected Shishi’s Discipline to be mist. And in fact, it was. But that mist became swords, and the sum of them both was formidable power.

Formidable, terrible power!

Lan Jue could feel his heart beating in his chest. The group everyone thought Constantine had sewn up was displaying much more than they’d expected. Whether Ying Suifeng’s Voice of Command, or Xuanyuan Shishi’s secret mastery, Constantine had a rougher road ahead than anticipated.

The msit swords moved once they’d found their target. Like a hail of deadly thorns they whistled through the air toward Ying Suifeng.

“Disperse!” He howled! His Voice, people were beginning to realize, wasn’t just speaking anything. These were Words of Power he was using.

Disperse, open, erupt. Words with visceral ties.

The first group of swords, those nearest, were sent back flailing chaotically. The second, however, kept coming. And so did the others, the hundreds upon thousands of milky blades that seemed to have no end.

“Erupt!” Ying Suifeng spat the words. Once again the power of his Voice ravaged the ring and painted it gold. Once more the audience’s view was blocked as the shields thickened to protect them.

The roar of the blast, fierce and deafening, stretched for a long time. In a perfect mirror of before, the crowd’s eyes were wide in bewilderment as the shields returned to normal.

Half of the swords were gone. But, those that remained were three times as large. Threads of golden energy traced along their length.

If Jun Yongye was the king of swords given flesh, than this was his ancestor. As Xuanyuan’s training had prepared him for, he took the ever changing situation and manipulated it to his advantage. He was as fluid as circumstances required.

The enormous mist swords continued their relentless charge toward Ying Suifeng. They were slower in coming now, but the air around them warped in reaction to their strength. From outside, it looked like the ring was being sliced to bits by tears in reality.

Mo Xiao’s heart beat thunderously in her chest. She shot a glance to her side when she felt the overpowering, murderous intent coming off of the Terminator in waves.

This is… could the Terminator be so threatened by this man that he would want to kill him?

“I give!”

Ying Suifeng’s bitter call rang in the air.

He had no choice. He couldn’t defend against swords sharp enough to slice reality. It was concede, or get cut to pieces. His Voice couldn’t stop these swords, so it was lose fast or lose painfully.

The dense cloud of swords overhead fused in to one, and settled to the ground. A figure emerged, of Xuuanyuan Shishi with his hands folded respectfully together toward his competitor. “Ahh no no. You let me win, is all.”


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