Luo Kong steadied his mind and entered the arena. When his opponent walked into the arena, the expressions on Luo Kong, Shui Yan and even Zhou You’s faces immediately turned grim.
“What is it? Is his opponent very strong?” Chen Feng noticed that something was amiss.
“It’s Jian Kongming! I didn’t think this monster would come participate as well. Isn’t he just bullying others here?” Shui Yan said with a displeased tone.
“Jian Kongming?” Chen Feng felt puzzled. He was suddenly reminded of Jian Xiaotian, the cultivator from the Central Plains.
“Yes. His original name is not Jian Kongming. It is said that he changed his name to that after becoming a sword cultivator. Luo Kong is unlucky. He actually got this guy,” Shui Yan said.
“Hopefully, Luo Kong will surrender right now. He still has another chance,” Zhou You said.
Chen Feng knew about this rule. If a participant with a lower cultivation base ended up with an opponent with a higher cultivation base, he or she may choose to concede once. The participant will then be allowed to participate in another round of selection. Naturally, the participant can also participate in the other round of selection after losing to the opponent with a higher cultivation base. However, that was under the premise that the participant could hold on.
“Jian Kongming has already overcome 4 Lightning Tribulations. He is practically invincible amongst those on the same level as him. I’ve heard that he managed to kill off a level 3 Sky Human stage cultivator when he was just at level 1 of the Sky Human stage. Who knows how much more powerful he has become now that he has overcome 4 Lightning Tribulations? He has never participated in our sect’s Grand Competition before. For him to be participating this time around, this is just bullying,” Shui Yan said.
“I don’t think Brother Luo will concede defeat,” Chen Feng said.
Despite Luo Kong’s usually gentle appearance, he possessed a very overbearing conduct. Not to mention, he was practicing the unique Great Splitter Sword Technique. Given his character, there was no way he would concede, no matter how powerful his opponent may be.
As expected, Luo Kong was merely shocked for a moment. Then, he recollected himself. At the same time, the look of resolve on his face grew while a ferocious will to fight radiated from his body.
“You are no match for me. Just concede.” Jian Kongming possessed a handsome appearance and was dressed completely in white. However, his icy temperament superseded it all.
“I want to try.” After saying that, Luo Kong displayed his Great Splitter Sword Technique. A savage sword beam tore space itself to bombard Jian Kongming.
Luo Kong had been preparing this move since Jian Kongming entered the arena. Even though Jian Kongming clearly knew about it, he had allowed Luo Kong to continue building up the power for this move. He was utterly confident in himself and he simply did not view Luo Kong as a threat.
“Great Splitter Sword Technique!”
Witnessing Luo Kong’s move, the disciples, elders and even Chen Feng were shocked. From what he can see, this simple-looking sword beam was capable of tearing space, cleave mountains and destroy everything standing before it.
“Sigh! Useless.” Shui Yan and Zhou You closed their eyes simultaneously, seemingly unwilling to witness what would happen next.
Chen Feng’s eyes focused intensely and he observed every aspect of the attack from Luo Kong. When the sword beam arrived before Jian Kongming, it split into more sword beams, growing ever fiercer. Chen Feng felt as though even an iron mountain would be cleaved into pieces by that move.
However, in the face of such a powerful attack, Jian Kongming simply stretched two fingers forward.
The sword beams disappeared and the two fingers Jian Kongming put up clipped the tip of the sword that Luo Kong was wielding, keeping it in place. Luo Kong howled out and furiously channelled his magic power. Even so, his sword remained immobile.
“They are on completely different levels,” Chen Feng blurted.
“We are not trying to sell ourselves short. However, even if we are on the same cultivation level as Jian Kongming, the three of us combined would still be incapable of defeating him. This fellow is too terrifying. His comprehension towards swords and blades is something far beyond anything we can match,” Shui Yan said solemnly.
Jian Kongming gave a gentle flick with his fingers and a sword energy flowed into the sword, causing Luo Kong’s body to flinch uncontrollably. He was unable to stop himself from backing away, stepping backwards at a steady pace until he was outside the arena.
According to the rules, getting sent outside the arena was counted as a loss. Luo Kong was someone who could be considered an expert amongst the core disciples. However, when going against Jian Kongming, he became like a child facing a giant. One casual flick of Jian Kongming’s finger had ended the match.
“The difference is too big,” Zhou You said, sighing.
Luo Kong slowly made his way back, his face ugly to behold. Without saying a word, he sat down on a piece of rock. Luo Kong was not the only one. Even the faces of the other spectating core disciples had changed. That was especially true for those who were aiming for the rewards. They could feel a strong sense of danger.
“Jian Kongming. This monster has actually come out from his retreat. Doesn’t this mean we’ll have no chance at all? This is too unfair. We should bring it up to the sect, restrict Jian Kongming from participating in the Grand Competition,” one of them blurted out.
“The sect has already stipulated. As long as the disciple’s cultivation base does not exceed level 4 of the Sky Human stage, he or she may participate in it. Jian Kongming has only overcome 4 Lightning Tribulations, no?”
“Sigh! I hope I won’t end up meeting this monster, otherwise I will have to concede immediately. Did you see how Luo Kong was sent out the arena with just a casual move? I remember fighting against Luo Kong last time. Back then, we were evenly matched.”
Jian Kongming’s appearance stirred the atmosphere there as they began talking about this genius in hushed tones. However, more of them revealed looks of concern. For most of the participating disciples, Jian Kongming was an unattainable peak.
“It’s all right. You still have another chance to participate.” That was all Shui Yan could say to comfort Luo Kong.
“Huh!” Luo Kong exhaled deeply and his face turned calm.
“It’s fine. I just didn’t think Jian Kongming could be so powerful. Forget overcoming 4 Lightning Tribulations. Even if I have overcome 5 Lightning Tribulations, I will still be no match for him. However, I will not be discouraged. One day, I will surpass Jian Kongming and defeat him with my sword.” The will to fight emerged anew from Luo Kong’s body.
The number of eliminated disciples grew and the following matches grew in intensity and ferocity. Some of the other powerful core disciples began revealing themselves. Compared to these monstrous disciples, Chen Feng seemed like a nobody.
By the time the second round ended, a few core disciples had caught Chen Feng’s attention. Chen Feng felt greatly shocked.
The first person, Jian Kongming, needed no introductions. Chen Feng had to admit. Even after utilizing the Demon Sealing Sword, he would probably be no match for Jian Kongming unless he could unleash the Demon Sealing Sword’s full power.
There was also a core disciple named Ming Tianfeng. Although he had only overcome 3 Lightning Tribulations, the amount of power within him shocked Chen Feng, who was some distance away from the arena. Furthermore, Ming Tianfeng was sporting a highly opulent attire.
Body armour, the sword hanging down his waist, the bracers on his wrists, the jade stones on his person and even the ornaments on his hairdo were magic treasures. The lowest grade amongst them was a Prized artefact!
In Chen Feng’s eyes, this fellow was practically clad in high-grade magic treasures from top to bottom. Screw his cultivation base. Just the items he wore on him were enough to instantly stomp his opponent.
“That Ming Tianfeng is a member of the Ming Family. He is extremely wealthy, possessing countless magic treasures. It is said that his residence is adorned with spirit stones. Every time he attacks, he will utilize a sky-encompassing number of magic treasures to win. Even so, his personal strength is also very high. Many people say that Ming Tianfeng will be able reach the top five for this competition,” Shui Yan said smilingly.
“Just five? What about Jian Kongming?” Chen Feng asked curiously.
“Top three,” Shui Yan said solemnly.
“Even with his cultivation base, Jian Kongming cannot get first place? Looks like our sect has a lot of experts.” Chen Feng was somewhat surprised.
“He he! It hasn’t been too long since Brother Chen joined our sect, after all. Besides, many experts did not reveal their true strength throughout the two rounds. At the very least, I know of two other participants who are not inferior compared to Jian Kongming. Additionally, there are also monsters that I do not know of,” Shui Yan said with a wry smile.
“Oh? Who are those two? Brother Shui, tell me more about it so I can prepare myself in advance,” Chen Feng asked curiously.
“The first one is that powerful guy earlier, the one known as Tu Long. He is the younger brother of Tu Shanhe, the Club Leader of Mountains and Rivers Club. He has overcome 3 Lightning Tribulations. It is said that he could have assailed his 4th Lightning Tribulation long ago, but has been suppressing his power instead. He is cultivating the Mountains and Rivers Seal Technique. It is very powerful!”
“There is also Zhao Yizhan from Extreme Celestial Hall, Gui Lanhai from Sky Human Hall, Fu Yue from Five Elemental Hall. All three have overcome 3 Lightning Tribulations. It’s interesting, really. These four are the most powerful groups in our sect and they have quite a number of their members participating in the competition. However, the strongest amongst their participating members only have 3 Lightning Tribulations under their belts,” Shui Yan said smilingly.
“That’s because they are too conceited,” said Luo Kong, who was beside them.
“Amongst them, Fu Yue is the sister of Fu Ming, another core disciple. The Five Elemental Technique she cultivates is very powerful, far more powerful compared to Fu Ming,” Shui Yan said.
“More powerful compared to Fu Ming?” Chen Feng was surprised.
Chen Feng had witnessed Fu Ming’s match earlier. Fu Ming was a level 9 Concealed stage disciple while his opponent had overcome 2 Lightning Tribulations. After a fierce battle, however, Fu Ming’s opponent lost to him. If Fu Yue was also that powerful, she would be a tough opponent.
“The other two Concealed stage disciple, Mu Yansheng and Liu Zhihuo are also very strong. However, they are a notch inferior compared to Jian Kongming.”
“As for the rest, there are Hua Shaoyang from the Hua Family, Sun Yu from the Sun Family, Zhao Mu from the Zhao Family and Liu Feifei from the Liu Family. They are all very strong. Naturally, even Seven Kills Club has sent out some of their powerful members. At any rate, there are plenty of experts this time around. Just thinking about it can destroy a person’s confidence,” Shui Yan said with a bitter smile.
“After two rounds, the number of participants has fallen from 1,200 core disciples to only 300 core disciples. The smaller the number, the more powerful they are. He he! We just need to fight our way to the top 50. Trying to compete for the top 10 is too dangerous. Any mishap could end in death,” Li Lang, who had been listening in beside them, could not stop himself from interjecting.
“Top 50? That is too difficult. Getting through the next round is good enough for me,” Luo Mingdao said with a wry smile.
“Brother Chen, what are you thinking about? Have you lost confidence?” Luo Kong said smilingly as he looked at Chen Feng.
“I was thinking. What should I do to get the Heart of Seven Apertures?” Chen Feng said truthfully.
“Ha ha ha! You will have to fight all the way to the finals and win first place.” Everyone burst into laughter.
“First place, huh?” Chen Feng whispered as he began considering how far he can go within this Grand Competition.