Kindwater Xiaolou, Ji Ning, Skyfarmer Songspear, and the others each held cups of wine, chatting while watching the battles going on in the center of the arena.
Within the grand sealing formation, the golden-haired giant and the sphinx both charged out of their pens, then raised their heads and let out bellows. Although the sound of their bellows was blocked out by the grand sealing formation, the sonic booms were visible from outside.
“Their physical bodies are quite powerful. They should be fairly low-level Fiendgod Body Refiners of a sort.” Fairy Wavecolor laughed, instantly transforming into a rupturing sight that caused both the golden-haired giant and the sphinx to stare, stunned, at the alluring woman outside the formation.
“Even creatures of other races find it hard to withstand Fairy Wavecolor’s allure,” Kindwater Xiaolou laughed.
But soon, the golden-haired giant and the sphinx regained their faculties. The two now stared fixedly at each other. Ever since the day they had been seized and brought to this Watercloud Manor, they had been told by the staff: “One of you must die in every single battle. If you survive nine in a row, you’ll be able to leave, and you’ll become a soldier for our Kindwater clan.”
The golden-haired giant and the sphinx, in their own respective lesser world, were supreme experts who normally had a group of servants following them. Ever since that group of terrifying Immortal cultivators had arrived in their world, however, they had quickly been subjugated, and the two had become slaves… then sold off to this ‘Kindwater’ clan. When this had happened, they discovered, to their amazement, that virtually every single servant of the Kindwater clan was more powerful than them.
They felt utter despair. They no longer harbored any hopes for escape. They had no choice but to obey. They hoped for just one thing – to survive the nine battles, and then become soldiers of the Kindwater clan!
“Goldsea clansman, prepare to die.” The sphinx bellowed, then sent its four limbs flying forward as it transformed into a tornado that pounced towards the golden-haired giant.
“It is you who shall die!” The giant bent down, charging forward as well.
The two collided head on. The sphinx left a bloody wound on the chest of the golden-haired giant, while the giant’s fist smashed hard against the head of the sphinx. Blood splattered everywhere.
The wounds of both combatants quickly closed, and they continued to battle.
“They are indeed Fiendgod Refiners.” Ning nodded.
“The cultivators of that lesser world are all Fiendgod Refiners,” Xiaolou said. “Still, they use the most low level of Fiendgod Body Refining techniques. Supposedly, the three most powerful figures of that lesser world were three Fiendgod Body Refiners that were roughly at the Primal level. They also have extremely poor comprehensions of the Dao. Any Primal Daoist of our Grand Xia Dynasty could use magic treasures to effortlessly take care of those three ‘strongest’ figures from that lesser world.”
Ning nodded. Ki Refiners required an extremely high level of comprehension of the Dao so as to control elemental ki well. As for Fiendgod Body Refiners, comparatively speaking, there wasn’t as high a requirement in terms of the Dao. Of course, the most supreme [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens] had a ridiculously high level of demand regarding the Dao. Some of those comparatively poorer techniques, especially those which could be described as the weakest of Fiendgod Body Refining techniques, had no requirements with regards to understanding the Dao at all. However, with such a poor foundation, it was naturally hard for one to reach a very high level of insight. Training to the Wanxiang level was essentially the limit; to reach the Primal level as a Fiendgod Body Refiner was a stroke of tremendous luck.
“Their close combat abilities are roughly at the ‘one with the world’ level,” Skyfarmer Songspear laughed.
“Victory is about to be determined,” Xiaolou said.
The sphinx let out a savage bellow, charging forward repeatedly with paws flying and hands grappling.
But the golden-haired giant was clearly more nimble, sometimes appearing on the left, other times appearing on the right. He left behind one massive, gaping wound after the other on the body of the sphinx, using up the sphinx’s divine power.
“Whoosh!” The golden-haired giant brushed past those trampling paws, at the same time stabbing his right hand directly into the chest of the sphinx, as though his hand was a knife.
The chest was ripped open, and blood flew everywhere.
Bang! The sphinx swiped out with both hands, and the golden-haired giant hurriedly moved to block, in the end being knocked flying by the blow.
“Hahaha…” the golden-haired giant laughed wildly, then continued to encircle and strike at the sphinx with lightning-fast blows, leaving behind massive wounds on his body each time. In the end, the sphinx’s divine power was used up, and his wounds would no longer close. His speed dropped as well.
Crunch. The golden-haired giant was like a golden bolt of lightning; he howled through the air, then caught the sphinx’s head and gave it a hard twist. The head was forcibly ripped off.
Picking up and hoisting the head aloft with one hand, the golden-haired giant looked as though he was a victorious general. As for the sphinx, its body slumped to the ground with a thud, blood staining the ground.
Whoosh. The grand sealing formation disappeared, and the servants of the Cloudwater Manor hurriedly moved forward to quickly scrub the ground clean. The sphinx’s body was disposed of as well, and soon, the arena was now completely spotless once more.
“Reporting to the young master,” a manager of the Cloudwater Manor said respectfully while standing within the arena, “This golden-haired giant has already won nine consecutive victories. According to the rules, he is now a soldier of our Kindwater clan.”
The golden-haired giant was standing obediently to the side of that Cloudwater Manor manager.
“Oh?” Xiaolou, seated high above them, laughed. “What a coincidence for him to win his ninth victory today. I will bestow you with a flagon of Immortal nectar. Work hard for my Kindwater clan; my Kindwater clan will definitely not mistreat our soldiers.”
“Thank you, exalted Immortal.” The golden-haired giant knelt down on one knee, his voice rumbling. Although his words sounded rather muddy, they were the words of the human tongue; he was a creature comparable to a Wanxiang Adept, after all, and was quite intelligent and thus quick to learn a new tongue.
Soon afterwards, the golden-haired giant departed. In his place within the arena appeared a troop of seductive female dancers, who began to dance with fans while the sound of music rang out from the side.
“In the imperial capital of the Grand Xia, these creatures from other worlds are set to fight each other. When I first arrived at Stillwater City, in the gambling arena, I fought against those monstrous beasts, as well as with other humans. Those monstrous beasts and humans weren’t able to refuse at all; they were forced to obey and go fight. The weak are given no choices. Only by becoming strong can one have the power to choose. First, grow strong enough to choose for yourself; only then can one master one’s own destiny.” This was what Ning was thinking to himself. Only by constantly reflecting on one’s own heart and mind could one make one’s Dao-heart continually grow stronger.
“The Conclave of Immortal Destiny is a chance for me to be reborn anew and change my life. I need to rely on the Conclave and make myself even more powerful through tempering through adversity.”
All sorts of performances were going on in the center of the arena. Ji Ning and the others were clinking wine glasses together while watching. As for the antisocial Xiao Lang, who was rather unhappy to begin with, upon seeing how courteously Xiaolou and Songspear treated Ning, he was growing even more unhappy.
“Everyone.” Xiao Lang suddenly spoke out.
Instantly, Ning and the others all looked over. Xiao Lang rarely spoke; since he now spoke, everyone naturally turned to look at him.
“The battles of these creatures aren’t interesting enough. As I see it… why don’t I have a little spar with fellow Daoist Ji Ning?” Xiao Lang’s eyes had a hint of desire for battle in them, as well as complete confidence. “I hear that fellow Daoist Ji Ning’s power is formidable. He was even able to kill Youngflame Nong, and in particular was also able to kill that Primal-level Fiendgod under Youngflame Nong’s command. This makes my hands itch. Today, fellow Daoist Ji Ning and I will merely spar with each other; if one party is unable to keep fighting, then we can just simply admit defeat. We absolutely won’t harm the friendship between us. Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, what say you?”
Ning was startled. Why did the man suddenly want to spar with him?
Although it was Ning who killed the Hydraga Fiendgod, that creature was a Primal-level Fiendgod with the power of a supreme Loose Immortal; anyone with half a brain would understand that Ning must have used some sort of special method to kill it. Otherwise, just by relying on his own true power, how could he have done so?
Xiaolou, Songspear, and Fairy Wavecolor just watched, waiting to see Ning’s reaction.
“No need.” Ning shook his head.
Xiao Lang, upon hearing this, became all the more convinced that Ning had no ability, which was why Ning had no confidence in fighting him. Ning was, after all, just thirty years old.
“It’s just a spar, not a life-and-death battle,” Xiao Lang said unhappily. “Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, your fame is widespread. You even killed a Primal-level Fiendgod; why don’t you dare spar against me?”
“It was luck that allowed me to kill that Primal-level Fiendgod, not my own true power,” Ning said.
Xiao Lang secretly snickered. Everyone knew that there was no way Ning could’ve done it through his own power! But today, so long as Ning could be convinced to spar, he was going to make Ning look like a fool.
“We are all going to participate in the Conclave of Immortal Destiny. By then, life-and-death battles will come in a steady stream. Today is just sparring; if you don’t even dare to spar, how can you participate in the Conclave?” Xiao Lang intentionally put on an angry, unsatisfied appearance. “Are you actually afraid, fellow Daoist Ji Ning?”
Ning frowned. Why was this Xiao Lang trying to force him into this?
“I don’t want to spar.” Ning shook his head. “If fellow Daoist Xiao Lang truly wishes to fight me, once the Conclave of Immortal Destiny begins, we can fight then.”
“Conclave of Immortal Destiny? That’s more than a year from now! And those battles are all life-and-death battles. If you don’t even dare spar, how…” Xiao Lang laughed coldly, a look of disdain already on his face.
“Enough.” Kindwater Xiaolou frowned and spoke out.
Xiao Lang nodded. “I won’t force fellow Daoist Ji Ning. Since fellow Daoist Ji Ning won’t spar, then forget it. Fellow Daoist Wavecolor, how about we two spar for fun?”
Fairy Wavecolor frowned slightly, but then she laughed and said, “Then I’ll ask you, Xiao Lang, to show mercy in our fight.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” Xiao Lang said. “I’ll stop after knocking your magic treasures away.”
This caused anger to appear in Fairy Wavecolor’s heart. It was just as the stories said; this Xiao Lang truly did have a bizarre disposition. He was so arrogant in his speech.
“Then let’s do it.” Fairy Wavecolor immediately flew towards the center of the arena.
“Alright.” Xiao Lang’s body blurred, then he appeared within the arena as well. As for the dancing women that had been in the arena, they all quickly fled and left.
Ning sat there, looking at the arena and at Xiao Lang and Fairy Wavecolor. He frowned to himself. “This Xiao Lang really thinks he is invincible. I’ve just arrived at the imperial capital; the Youngflame clan is definitely scheming to act against me, so I need to be vigilant for a period of time. This Xiao Lang might be secretly working for the Youngflame clan, and might throw out some terrifyingly powerful magic treasures at me, such as that ‘Lock’ scroll, at which point I might suffer a tremendous loss. Although I have a Primaltwin, my true body is still more important.”
In the Conclave of Immortal Destiny, the usage of Dao-seals and certain other magic treasures was forbidden. One had to rely on one’s own true power; only in such a way could geniuses be chosen.
But in a spar in the Cloudwater Manor, if Xiao Lang truly had been sent by the Youngflame clan, if he were to suddenly produce a terrifying, bizarre treasure and destroy Ning’s true body… that’d be a completely unfair death.
“This Kindwater Xiaolou was actually able to bring even a person of such a disposition into his estate…” Ning gave a glance to the nearby Xiaolou. Xiaolou continued to smile as he watched the arena.
Xiaolou knew exactly what sort of a weird, twisted personality Xiao Lang had. But even if Xiao Lang was a rabid dog, so long as he obeyed orders, he would still be very useful.
Sometimes, there were things that he couldn’t do that a rabid dog could.