He Ji was surprised at the sight of the Qi sword, but he did not hesitate and lifted the sword high into the air before slashing down at Xue Wei with around seventy percent of his power.
He dared not use his full power from the start in case he might end up severely injuring Xue Wei, but another part of him wished to see whether or not this young outsider was truly as magnificent as he claimed.
Xue Wei's eyes narrowed. He could sense that this He Ji was not going all out, but even so the strength of this young man from the He family was no joking matter. This was a true ninth layer Earth Warrior.
There was no doubt that Xue Wei could defeat him if he relied on his Mind Infestation, but he also understood that this would be a very tight battle without having access to Forbidden Rush and Mind Infestation.
The Qi sword in his hands swung out and met He Ji’s descending sword stroke. A loud ‘clang’ resounded in the sparring field as the two weapons collided against one another.
Xue Wei continued to pour Qi into this sword, to maintain its form, but he felt a shockwave of energy pouring into his arm from the collision.
He gritted his teeth. Even when He Ji did not go all out, he was still capable of causing Xue Wei to feel as if the bones in his arm were on the verge of splintering.
"Time to try something different," Xue Wei thought as he retreated a few steps, swung his body around itself, and kicked out.
Kick of the Forgotten Kings!
The duo was close to one another, so He Ji couldn’t help but set his jaw with a serious look on his face when he saw Xue Wei spin his body around before the kick came crashing down on him. This was not a simple kick!
Azure Qi coated the leg as it connected with He Ji's waist. The tribal youngster tried to move his sword to the side to block it, but he was not fast enough, forced a few steps back at the end of Xue Wei’s spinning movement.
The crowd was shocked; a ninth layer Earth Warrior had actually been forcefully pushed back by a sixth layer Earth Warrior. This was something that they had never expected to see.
He Ji was the most surprised one on the sparring field. He had known for sure that Xue Wei was not to be taken lightly, but the fact that he was capable of fighting back to such a degree had stunned him.
Xue Wei was also surprised. He knew that the Kick of Forgotten Kings was a profound martial arts technique, but it had only been able to push him back so far.
He Ji was still at his peak condition, so from this Xue Wei could sense that there was a massive difference between the two. Rather than feel dejected, however, a smile sprung up on his face. This eagerness to do battle was something he had almost forgotten.
Although he wanted to fight with all he had, he was not willing to let himself be consumed by his innate bloodlust at present.
There were a lot of hidden aces up his sleeve that Xue Wei was not willing to use in this sparring match. Firstly, he would not use the Forbidden Rush as promised. Secondly, the first clause included Mind Infestation.
Thirdly, he had learned the hard way why he should not use the transformation skill of the Azure Dragon Scripture. Lastly, he had no confidence in being able to keep his sanity while letting his bloodlust loose.
These abilities were all sealed, so Xue Wei was facing a mammoth challenge that he himself had no confidence in winning.
But even so, a grin was spread across his face. Before He Ji could recover from being pushed back, he maintained his momentum and advanced, yelling, “It’s not over yet!”
Shattering Mountain Palm!
Two hands, two abilities. One hand contained within it the power of the domineering Shattering Mountain Palm while the other rippled with the aura of the elusive Arcane Fist.
Xue Wei had successfully trained all the abilities he had gotten from the Heritage Ring with the exception of the Heart of Fire. Heart of Fire was a last resort attack, a last stand where one would burn their heart blood essence, and thus it was not something you could feasibly practice.
"Harrumph!" He Ji forcefully stopped his recoil by stomping on the ground, and shot forward once more. The sword in his hand went horizontally against both the Shattering Mountain Palm and the Arcane Fist at the same time, the collision erupting into a billow of dust and the visible ripples of a shockwave.
Two beams shot out from the cloud of dust. Both Xue Wei and He Ji were retreating fast, their clothes disheveled, and their eyes were filled with a fighting spirit.
"Again!" Both of them yelled out. Xue Wei used the Arcane Fist and the Shattering Mountain Palm combination attack again. This time, he was using everything he had in the attack. His strength was completely maxed out.
He Ji was also using a martial art technique, but Xue Wei was unsure of what the name of the technique was as he had never heard of or seen it before.
Small dots of light like rain drops through a shower was lit up, and gathered at the tip of the sword that He Ji held in his hands. These dots of light were individually weak, but when they merged together, even Xue Wei could feel a bit of danger coming from this swordlight.
Once again the two clashed, but Xue Wei was the one suffering a loss this time. He Ji was not holding anything back, injecting every last shred of strength he had into his martial arts technique. Although Xue Wei was relying on high ranked skills, he was still at a disadvantage.
His organs were shaking from the impact, but Xue Wei was too excited to notice it. Previously, he had been able to fight above his layer, but this was the first time he had really been able to have a hearty fight with someone who had a battle strength similar to himself.
He had either fought beasts that would commit suicide, humans he could kill within a few moves, or fled from battle against Sky and Heavenly Warriors.
Xue Wei was sent flying back, but he managed to regain his composure with a backflip, landing and looking up at He Ji with a smile as broad as he was enraptured by the allure of combat.
He Ji staggered backward a couple steps before finally regaining his balance. He looked in shock at Xue Wei; this young man was truly too ferocious.
"Seems like I am not going to be able to win this spar by being upfront, huh," Xue Wei muttered to himself. He was at a disadvantage in almost every exchange of blows, but he was not willing to give up just yet.
Seed of Mirage!
Suddenly, a seed of Qi left his body, followed shortly by two more. Three Qi seeds hovered in the air. The crowd was curiously trying to figure out what exactly they were, but He Ji had not even time to look at them before he felt danger descending upon him
Azure Light Finger!
A beam of azure Qi shot out from Xue Wei’s fingertip and shot towards He Ji at a rapid speed.
Azure Light Finger was only a superior martial art technique, but it could be used from a distance, which allowed Xue Wei to push He Ji into the defensive, giving himself ample room to get closer again.
"I can't believe that I can't even scratch him," Xue Wei thought to himself. He was not interested in seriously injuring his opponent, simply wishing to push his abilities to their limits after all, and this was the best chance he would have to see just how his raw strength and Qi handled someone three layers above him.
He Ji was a youngster from the Chaos Vulture Tribe and thus he had climbed out from a mountain of corpses. He had been in many life-and-death situations so far where he had faced Fierce Beasts with strength equivalent to his own, and even the adult cultivators of enemy tribes had died at his hands.
When fighting these experts, he had always felt a sense of crisis, knowing that a single wrong step would cause him to lose his life. and now when he was fighting against Xue Wei, he could not help but feel the exact same.
Xue Wei was rushing towards him; his hands were covered in azure Qi again, one of them being a fist and the other a palm.
The palm that soon descended upon He Ji had a domineering aura that would permit nothing to stand in its way, as if it was a sovereign high up in the skies looking down upon the mortal world.
The fist was elusive; sometimes it was transparent, at other times a myriad of fist imprints appeared in the air, making it increasingly difficult to determine which one of the imprints were the real fist.
It was near impossible to block the Arcane Fist because of its elusive nature, and the fact that it was a profound martial arts technique made it that much more dangerous.
Just as he raised his sword, ready to send out sword-light that could crush the fist and palm imprints, he heard the audience gasp in unison. It was clear that something had happened.
Looking behind Xue Wei, He Ji’s face turned ugly. There, three copies of him were leisurely walking towards them, azure Qi flowing up their bodies. Suddenly, He Ji did not have to protect himself against just two attacks from the main body, but five from all iterations, faux or not. The three copies each punched out with their individual Arcane Fists
Xue Wei snickered when he saw the darkened expression on He Ji’s face. It was clear that He Ji was unsettled with the many skills that Xue Wei commanded, and even less when some of them were copies.
"I do not believe that your copies have as strong an attack as you!" He Ji muttered to himself. At the very last moment, he decided to block the two attacks from the real Xue Wei, allowing for the other Arcane Fists to hit his body. It was simply impossible for him to block all of them with a single sword.
Three Arcane Fists connected with He Ji's body. While individually weaker than the main body, the three copies had a combined attack power that did not actually deviate much from the original.
Xue Wei was panting, feeling feeble. He knew this spar was his loss if He Ji had somehow managed to overcome the pincer attack, so he fought to keep standing, eyes peeled on the tribal genius
He had used all his Qi. Right now, he was managing to stand up only through sheer force of willpower. He wished to see how He Ji had fared, and whether or not he was capable of defeating a ninth-layer Earth Warrior with his strength alone.
He Ji had been sent flying by the three Arcane Fists, but the three copies had also vanished. They had used all the Qi within their bodies to launch those three Arcane Fists at their highest potency.
There was pin-drop silence in the field, and every spectator stared at the dust cloud that had risen after He Ji had crashed into the ground.
It felt like an eternity where everyone was staring at a dust cloud while trying to spy the outcome of the fight.
Then the dust cloud slowly started settling again, and one could see He Ji sitting on the ground. His hair and clothes were filled with dust, and his face had an expression of utter disbelief.
"Just how many strange attacks do you have?" He Ji asked curiously before standing up once more.
His clothes were in rags and tatters. Despite none of Xue Wei’s attacks drawing blood, it was clear that He Ji had taken quite the damage as was visible from the many bruises that covered the exposed parts of his skin.
Seeing that He Ji stood up once more, Xue Wei could only shake his head. "I admit defeat," he said, but no one jeered at him. No one joked or said that he was a weakling. In fact, each and every single person in the crowd was thinking that he was a monster.
"You did not lose to me," He Ji shook his head. "You had a few handicaps... you didn’t use your movement technique or your spiritual energy attack. I have a feeling that you’re hiding even more.
“Had this been a battle for life and death, then I fear I would not be alive right now," He Ji mocked himself. His words shocked his fellow tribesmen. Could it be true that Xue Wei had other tricks up his sleeves?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking