“Oh, yeah. Master-Ancestor told me.” Fang Cheng helplessly nodded. “At first, I pretended that you didn’t tell me, Junior Brother, and I acted like I didn’t know… In the end… Forget about it, Junior Brother, you agree, right? That I can join?”
Below, everyone’s hearts suffocated fiercely, yet they had no words to say.
“If it was someone else… I still might’ve been able to say something…” An old man patted the shoulder of the young cultivator he’d come with. “Let’s head back, alright? The ten places have already been set. We’ll find another chance in the future.”
“A Core Formation master’s disciple… A legion with two Core Formation disciples…”
“Are the ten places finished being determined just like that?”
“Hehe, that’s a Core Formation master’s disciple. Are you going to pull him down?”
“Allow me to speak the truth. In fact, we’ve already competed more or less. Those who should’ve gone up have and the remainder… Let me be blunt, but young fellow of our Yan Clan, do you even have the nerve to go on stage?
Zhao Wuye’s heart thrashed in pain. This was how humans were; worried about their own personal gains and losses. When there were many people, he dared not go. He was scared he would lose face, respect, and honor. However, no one had expected that the final spot would unexpectedly be filled in by Commander Xu’s senior apprentice-brother!
At this instant, Zhao Wuye understood what he had missed. But in the next second, everyone’s eyes were trained on Xu Yangyi like they didn’t recognize him.
“Of course…” Xu Yangyi faintly smiled and made an inviting gesture.
“Junior Brother, you sure are great!” Fang Cheng laughed heartily. “Junior Brother, as long as you give me a vacation, no matter if I’m playing games or reading comic books, this Senior Brother of yours guarantees to really put my back into things for you!”
“Of course… not.” Xu Yangyi’s smile vanished, and he licked his lips in excitement. “Make a move, alright?” He raised his hand and beckoned. “According to the rules, you can join based on the outcome of the fight. Rules have to be followed, right… Senior Brother?”
Xu Yangyi spoke quite serenely. Extremely serenely. Yet these calms words were incapable of masking his scorching battle intent below his exterior! He moreover believed that Fang Cheng was able to receive this battle intent.
Fang Cheng was dazed, but shortly the flames of battle erupted in his eyes! No one had enjoyed themselves to their heart’s content in the last battle! Now… Ancestor Ancientpine wasn’t here. Everyone… could leave no regret!
In the age of young hot-bloodedness, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t hold the thought of rallying a million-strong army at the West Lake, saddled on horse atop of Wu Mountain’s first peak! 
Against each other… their ages, cultivations, and power of divine abilities were similar. That was without mention. But once spoken of, the hidden pride within both their hearts would burst forth without the slightest concealment!
Welcoming the day of the Yang Festival, my blooming chrysanthemums become a hundred withered flowers. 
Without such an attitude, why even struggle for fate? Why defy the heavens?
At this moment, Zhan Twelve wrenched back his lazy expression as he leaned against the wall. His hawk-like eyes stared dead on stage! Gao Wuguo, Song Zifu, Yang Xueqing, Mo Yeyu, Jun Man, Quan Ningyue, Qin Xueluan, and Yao Xintian almost stopped conversing in sync. They stared unblinkingly at the martial stage! Each one of the cultivators below watched everything on stage in amazement.
Without the slightest masking of battle intent, two… almost equally matched and fierce spiritual pressures swept across the entire audience at this moment!
“This… is Commander Xu and that distracted kid?” Someone sensed the berserk spiritual pressures in disbelief. “Is… Is this really still middle Qi Condensation?!”
“What terrible aura…” Zhan Twelve’s slitted pupils began to fully dilate. “This is his true strength? This is a person able to be favored by a Core Formation ancestor?”
“As expected…” Yao Xintan’s gaze blazed hotly, and he murmured, “a dragon among men!”
The clamor died away in the blink of an eye. Although each person was reluctant in their hearts, there was even more of a burning ardor! Expectation! Dao-Master Disciple versus Dao-Master Disciple! A one-on-one of two geniuses of the same master and sect! Moreover… this time, Xu Yangyi didn’t say he would use a single fist but rather… until victory or defeat was determined!
Fang Cheng received this call. It seemed… a lion and tiger were distantly facing each other on the martial stage!
“No regrets.” Xu Yangyi’s eyes flashed, and he cupped his hands.
“No regrets.” In the same vein, Fang Cheng cupped his hands, solemn-faced. No longer did he have his lazy appearance of moments ago, and he said with incredible seriousness.
“You’re the junior brother, so you should make a move first.”
Xu Yangyi nodded, absent of arrogance. He inhaled deeply, feeling the sound of the wind blowing at his ear side. In the next second… he vanished!
“Good speed!” The quasi-legionnaires of the Xingtian Legion shouted loudly in chorus. At the same time, their gazes all converged in the air!
Over a dozen meters high in the sky, there was silhouette, fast like a storm!
“Rapid Shadows, Starfire, Wind Brandishes Traces, Life Sacrification!” Three major solutions and one great divine ability superimposed at the same time! Xu Yangyi’s figure was fast like lightning! The retinas of ordinary people were physically unable to capture him! Yet at this time, his hands were already holding two orbs of raging flames!
Two intense fireballs which radiated a terrifying spiritual force!
Ten Cardinals Red Lotus!
“Nice speed!” Fang Cheng’s expression chilled. He knew before that although this junior brother hadn’t been guided by Master-Ancestor’s hand, Xu Yangyi’s strength was absolutely dreadful! After Xu Yangyi’s full-powered eruption, Fang Cheng hadn’t expected that Xu Yangyi’s strength would actually be so strong!
Devoid of the least bit consideration, an inhuman snarl suddenly came from his throat. A solid ripple of white qi exploded outwards from his mouth! At the same time, his entire being began to expand like air was being blown into it without the slightest warning!
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh! His hair started to grow dramatically! In an instant, it was scarlet red! All his clothing completely fell apart, and his body was covered in black hair. Even darker snake-like tattoos roved chaotically on his whole body, and his fingernails extended no less than a few several decimeters! In only a few tenths of a second, he had transformed into a giant demonbeast more than three meters tall!
It… was a giant wolf!
“Twin Spectres Slam Gate! Hundred Shadows Heavenly Punishment!” A human voice came from the wolf’s mouth. In the next second, everyone’s shadows in the arena suddenly darted towards the stage center. The inanimate shadows seemed to come alive, and a circle over a meter in size suddenly took form below where Xu Yangyi had jumped! Immediately afterwards, two inky-black shadow hands madly rushed to grab Xu Yangyi in the sky, twisting with talismans brimming with blue light which were approximately a meter in size and endlessly long! 
In the sky, over a hundred shadow weapons swiftly took form! Like raindrops, they pierced forth!
Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly flickered. Fang Cheng’s management and prompt adaptation was undoubtedly ranked at the top, but...
How could he be perplexed by this move?
“Ten Cardinals Red Lotus!” Following his bellow, both of his hands were suddenly set free above. Two fire dragons roared as they charged overhead! This immense momentum caused Xu Yangyi to immediately descend! The direction of his descent was pointed straight at Fang Cheng!
In an instant, the shadow weapons that filled the sky and the two shadow hands followed in hot pursuit!
“Using my divine abilities deal with me?” Fang Cheng’s lupine maw made chuckling laughter. He nearly guessed the next step. Xu Yangyi would arrive before him and possibly increase speed again. Afterwards, his divine abilities would all strike his body.
“In your dreams!” He gritted his wolf teeth. “The cloudy summit whistles lonely with the frosty morning moon. The great untamed traverse the snow, land, and wind in solitary…” 
“Elysial Divine Ability… One Against A Thousand!” 
Swish! The hair on his entire body suddenly pricked up at this instant. Rather than say he was still a wolf, it was better to say he was a giant hedgehog! If Xu Yangyi knocked into Fang Cheng like this, he was bound to be riddled with piercing wounds!
Moreover… Fang Cheng wasn’t done! As all the hair on his body pricked up, he suddenly charged, and his body weaved with countless illusions. A tremendous hedgehog bounced up, not retreating but advancing, charging at Xu Yangyi in the sky!
At this moment below, the hundred shadow weapons were on the left, the two shadow hands were seizing on the right, and Fang Cheng’s demon form was crashing forth, a pincer attack on three fronts! Xu Yangyi had originally made a move first, but in a spark of a flint, the situation had instead become Fang Cheng’s dominance!
“Haha! Junior Apprentice-Brother, I’ll naturally pull back as long as you admit defeat!” Fang Cheng proudly roared in laughter. He was unconvinced that his junior brother was still able to turn the tables under such dire straits!
Junior Brother seems like a nice guy… No matter if I read comic books or play games, since it’s like this… I can’t seriously hurt him…
“Commander!” From the legionnaires there were quite a few cries of alarm. None had expected that the strength of Xu Yangyi and Fang Cheng would actually determine a victor so quickly!
The movement into action just now was only because Commander Xu appeared to jump in the sky and make a move. In a flash, attack and defense had switched positions. With their own pride, if it was themselves swapped in, would they be capable of taking this move?
Gao Wuguo’s complexion was unsightly. He wasn’t unable to receive it, but if he did, the price would be somewhat serious!
Yao Xintan’s gaze shimmered; he also had a plan on his mind. However, what they cared about right now was could their commander receive this three-pronged move?
Xu Yangyi’s face didn’t have a trace of fluster.
Indeed, the circumstances were extremely urgent. It could even be said to be a moment of mortal peril. Fang Cheng had paid respects under Ancestor Ancientpine for an unknown amount of time, and his divine abilities were in no way lacking. Moreover, his roused demon form possessed an elysial divine ability! His body as a demon’s was even more robust. It appeared that Fang Cheng occupied all superiority!
But even if this situation was more urgent, could it surpass the narrow escape from Vermilion Snow on that day? Even if more critical, could it surpass the scramble over Jadewave’s origin crystal with the ranked eighteen God Ming successor, all methods exhausted within the spirit treasure fountain?
The strong really weren’t the victors, yet the victors weren’t necessarily the strong.
Xu Yangyi smiled faintly, and his finger formed a seal.
“Senior Brother, pardon me.” He took a deep breath, “Pill Cauldron Builds Spirit!”
Buzz! In an instant, an indescribable fit of stabbing pain came from his mind. It was as if a hand was fiercely agitating the inside of his brain. Yet afterwards… the entire world turned pure and clear.
Just like the sensation of awakening after he had slain the serpent demon on that day, the layer of muslin that covered the world was now uncovered once again! He could even see the never-seen qi in the air!
At this moment, his thoughts and vision seemed to split in two. In his eyes, Xu Yangyi clearly saw that the distance between him and Fang Cheng was growing closer and closer, but in his brain, the world slowed down. In clarity, the world turned sluggishly, as if Fang Cheng’s movements were in slow motion.
Is this the difference after spiritual sense has reached the peak? Xu Yangyi wasn’t so idle of mind to continue thinking. The palms of both his hands joined together, and he laughed as he looked at the tremendous hedgehog that was only two to three meters away. “Spiritcleaver Pulse.”
In everyone’s eyes, this scene was terribly strange.
Xu Yangyi’s entire body was without a sliver of qi fluctuations, but Fang Cheng, after a few hundredths of a second, came to a total stop.
His distance from Xu Yangyi was less than a mere meter! Even the tips of his hair were several decimeters away from piercing into Xu Yangyi. Nonetheless, Fang Cheng quietly halted like so.
Xu Yangyi clearly saw the brightness in the other’s eyes suddenly turn dim and muddled. A kind of odd visual sensation was made out in the crowd’s eyes from Fang Cheng passing out moments ago.
“W-What’s going on?!” Qin Xueluan looked up in disbelief. The shadow hands and heavenly punishment now paused and completely dissipated in the next second!
Fang Cheng seemed to stop in the air, and his hair all softened. Following a boom, he suddenly slammed into the ground! Crushing the stone on the ground!
The hare rose and the falcon descended!
This was a true moment of such blistering tension!
1. This is a line said to originate from Emperor Wanyan Liang who is known in Chinese history to have increased China’s lands but was also very bloodthirsty. He became emperor via coup and was assassinated at the age of 39 in another coup. Was of Mongol descent.
2. Poem from Tang Rebellion leader Huang Chao (Death 884 CE). The Yang Festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month AKA 9x9 a set of numbers important in Chinese number mysticism. Also known as Double-Nine Festival. Chrysanthemums are the flower of the Yang Festival. This scene is supposed to invoke strong feelings.