Chapter 76: Before the Match

Wu Clan had already received news that Xiang Shaoyun was still alive. When Wu Hongxi arrived at the hidden room, the corpses of his father and their subordinates greeted him. The discovery frightened him greatly.

"How? How did this happen? Did Elder Zhen Peng find this place? That's not possible!" Wu Hongxi muttered blankly to himself. If it was Elder Zhen Peng, he would have come for them long ago. How would everything stay so peaceful?

Filled with sorrow, Wu Hongxi returned to his study. Only after a long while did he remember to request help from the Wu Clan of Cloud Margin City. No matter what, they had to get a King Realm expert to come back them up. Otherwise, their only option would be to pack up and leave town.

At the same time, Li Xuemeng, Li Hong'er, and Li Tianba were gathered at Li Xuemeng's residence.

"Father, are there no other options?" Li Tianba asked with indignation. His father had just told him to intentionally lose during the match with Xiang Shaoyun tomorrow, and he found it hard to accept.

"Yeah, Father. So what if he is backed by Elder Zhen Peng? That bastard is the challenger! In an arena battle, even killing the opponent is allowed!" Li Hong'er said viciously.

"No, you don't understand. Things are not as simple as you think," Li Xuemeng sighed. He couldn't bring himself to tell them about the kidnap job.

"Father, I think you worry too much. Even if I do kill him tomorrow, Elder Zhen Peng might be angry for a while. But isn't that a good thing for him as well? Like you said, he had sworn allegiance to Xiang Shaoyun before everyone's eyes. With Xiang Shaoyun dead, he would be free again. His loyalty would remain with the Martial Hall Palace, and he won't easily kill us," Li Tianba analyzed. 

Li Xuemeng hesitated slightly. His eyes shone, and he said, "Fine! We'll do it! But don't mess it up!"

"Don't worry. With my strength, killing him is as easy as killing a bug," Li Tianba promised confidently.

"Don't underestimate him. That kid has probably swallowed some spirit medicine. He is already at the fourth stage," Li Xuemeng reminded.

"So what? I'm still two stages above him." Li Tianba remained indifferent.

...

Naturally, Xiang Shaoyun was unaware of their conversation. He was presently practicing his Lightning Bolt Fist and Lightning Spear Technique. With his present strength, he was able to unleash even more might from his battle techniques. His mastery over his Lightning Spear Technique had reached about 85 percent. His actual focus was placed on the Lightning Bolt Fist.

The first stage of Lightning Bolt Fist's mastery was to unleash attacks akin to lightning bolts. He blasted the empty air, punch after punch. The purple qi swirling around his fists made him look rather domineering.

"Haa!"

Shouting, Xiang Shaoyun dashed forward with the ferocity of a tiger and punched out with the might of a lightning bolt. A purple lightning bolt snaked out of his fist and shot straight at a stone not far ahead of him.

Bang!

Instantly, the nearly 500-kilogram, heavy stone was blasted into smithereens.

"I am already capable of transforming energy into lightning. Looks like the lightning bone has indeed benefited me greatly," Xiang Shaoyun muttered to himself.

Even sixth-stage Astral Realm cultivators might not necessarily be able to unleash an attack that destructive. Xiang Shaoyun had relied on himself to accomplish it and had indeed grown much stronger in recent days.

...

A day and a night passed, and the news of the match had spread all over the Martial Hall Palace.

"What is Xiang Shaoyun doing? He has just returned, and he immediately challenges Li Tianba? Does he not know that Li Tianba is one of the top-10 inner court disciples?"

"Yeah. Even if he is now in the Astral Realm, he is still not Li Tianba's match. Is he trying to create another miracle?"

"Or perhaps Li Tianba was the one who had provoked him into a match? Since Xiang Shaoyun couldn't find an excuse to reject him, he agreed?"

"We shall see. I have a feeling this will be a match worth watching."

...

The match had yet to start, but all the disciples were already gathered. Nobody was optimistic about Xiang Shaoyun. After all, for them, the gap between Xiang Shaoyun and Li Tianba was too big.

"Huh? Isn't that Senior Brother Leng Han? He hasn’t been seen for a long time, but he has actually shown himself?" a certain outer court disciple cried out in alarm. The cry turned numerous heads; all the gazes congregated on a certain cold-looking youth.

The youth was Leng Han, an outer court disciple, also the current strongest outer court disciple. He was a cultivation addict and was rarely seen ever since he had grabbed the spot of being the number one outer court disciple. He spent most of his time tempering himself outside the palace. This time, he had likely appeared because it was coincidentally the end of one such excursion. Thus, he was here to see the new rising star, Xiang Shaoyun.

At a different corner, Mo Buhui and Mei Lianhua appeared as well. After the Hundred Beast Mountain Range trip a month ago, Mo Buhui had been missing. Today, he finally showed himself again. But for some reason, he had an odd look on his face, as if there was something wrong with him.

Apart from them, Xia Liuhui had also appeared. He was just done with his secluded cultivation session. Using the Earth Star Spring Xiang Shaoyun had given him, he managed to reach peak first-stage Astral Realm. His growth was very obvious as his cultivation had grown two stages in one go.

"My boss will definitely win! My boss will definitely win!" This time, he was behaving in a very conspicuous manner. He had a white cloth wrapped around his head, and he shouted while waving a white flag.

The people around him all stepped far away from him, looking at him like he was some idiot. Inwardly, they were cursing, What an idiot. Isn't a white flag a sign of surrender?

But one certain girl did not leave. She stood beside him, waiting with a longing gaze. This girl was Lu Xiaoqing. She was here to cheer on Xiang Shaoyun.

Shaoyun will definitely win! Lu Xiaoqing thought to herself.

Suddenly, there was a disturbance at a certain corner of the arena.

"Roar! Roar!"

Several roars rang out, attracting the attention of many disciples. When they looked over, they saw several youths mounted on different beasts. Each of them were fully equipped with weapons and armor, looking incredibly impressive and mighty.

"What's happening here?" the handsome young man who was leading the group asked a junior brother beside him.

"S-Senior Brother Ye, it's an arena battle between Senior Brother Li Tianba and Xiang Shaoyun," answered the nervous disciple.

"I know Li Tianba, but who's Xiang Shaoyun? Is he an outsider?" the young man asked.

"H-he is a new disciple, the junior brother of Elder Purple Lightning Marquis, someone with a five-star physique," the disciple said.

"Yet another five-star physique? Interesting," the young man muttered, a look of envy on his face. This young man was Ye Tianlong, one of the top three inner court disciples. He was also the first elder’s personal disciple.

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