Zu An was amused. “Why do you like to raise flags so much? Have you noticed that you have already said those words many times now? Are you a parrot? Or are those words the only ones you know?”
“What’s raising flags?” Yuan Wendong was stunned for a moment before realizing he was getting too absorbed into Zu An’s words for no reason. So, he roared angrily, “All you have is that sharp mouth of yours!”
Despite his vehement rebuttal, he dared not to let his guard down anymore. He immediately executed the strongest sword art he knew to attack Zu An.
“Frenzied Dance of the Roaming Dragon!”
Yuan Wendong’s body suddenly hastened, rushing toward Zu An like a bolt of lightning. He wasn’t just charging in a straight line here. His direction was constantly changing, moving leftward at one moment only to change rightward in the next. This made it hard for Zu An to predict his movement, and it had the effect of cornering Zu An too, leaving him with nowhere to escape.
The trajectory of his sword left behind after images, making it look like a dragon roaming around the battlefield. With incredible ferocity, his sword gushed toward Zu An, threatening to tear him into pieces.
Chu Huanzhao nervously gripped her older sister’s words whereas Chu Chuyan watched the scene attentively, prepared to dive in to save Zu An if he fell into a desperate position. It was just that she had been severely injured by Wu Di earlier, so she wasn’t sure if she could make it in time.
Zu An also drew his sword and executed the only sword art he knew: Brightmoon Academy’s Thirteen Forms of Elementary Swordplay.
Given the powerful momentum Yuan Wendong was coming at him, he wouldn’t be so foolish as to clash head-on with him. However, the issue was that Yuan Wendong had sealed off the surrounding area with silhouettes formed out of his sword ki, leaving him little space to maneuver around.
Zu An was able to dodge most of the sword ki, but there were still quite a few that he was unable to dodge. For those, he had no choice but to gather his ki and try to fend against it.
Jarring metallic reverberations echoed in the air as Zu An was forced to retreat several steps. He felt his ki crashing all over his body from the rebound, and his hands felt numbingly painful too. He nearly lost his grip on his sword even.
Zu An frowned. It looks like there’s a larger gap between a third rank cultivator and a fifth rank cultivator than I thought.
On the other hand, Yuan Wendong stood firmly on the spot, not yielding any space to Zu An at all. The earlier direct clash had affirmed his strength. That’s all Zu An has. To think I nearly got scared by him earlier on!
His face began to heat up thinking up to this point. You actually embarrassed me so much despite having only this much to you. I’ll make you regret having been born in this world!
You have successfully trolled Yuan Wendong for +768 Rage!
Zu An was speechless. This fellow gets angry whether he wins or loses. He really is a match for Qin Wanru’s fiery temper.
Nods of agreement could also be seen amongst the crowd too.
“I knew it. How could Zu An possibly be able to defeat the fifth rank young master Yuan? As soon as they start facing one another properly, the difference between them is made clear!”
“But I think Zu An is pretty formidable too. Is he really a good-for-nothing like what you all said?”
“Even if we underestimated him previously, how powerful could he get? Based on his ki pulsation, he’s only a third rank cultivator at the very most. There’s no way he could match young master Yuan!”
“It looks like he has been hiding his strength all this while, gritting his teeth to bear with the insults from the crowd all in hopes of showing his worth in this tournament. Had it been anyone else, it might have just worked. Unfortunately for him, his opponent is the fifth rank Yuan Wendong.”
“My gosh, what a scheming man he is! It’s no wonder why he managed to marry Chu First Miss. He must have plotted for it!”
There were quite a few people who shared the same thoughts as well. City Lord Xie Yi shot a deep look at Chu Zhongtian. This guy always puts on an honest and righteous look, but it looks like he’s a wily old fox too.
Sang Hong also made use of this opportunity to teach his son a lesson. “Do you see that, Qian’er? I told you that this person isn’t as simple as we thought him out to be, right? He has hidden his true strength all this while.”
Sang Qian nodded in response, but in his heart, he was thinking that Zu An was still no more than a third rank. He’s no threat to us anyway.
The fight on the dueling ring couldn’t pique his interest anymore, so he decided to take this time to admire his beautiful fiancée instead. So, he turned to look at Zheng Dan, only to see the latter staring at Zu An intently. His face immediately darkened.
Zheng Dan was oblivious to the fact that her fiancé was looking at her. At this very moment, she was staring at the person on the dueling ring with amazement in her eyes. “That guy is actually a third rank cultivator! A man who can resist my seduction can’t possibly be any ordinary person. However, why did he bet on his own loss then? Did he think that he was bound to lose today, or does he have a deeper reason behind this?”
Hardly anyone thought that Zu An would win the battle, but Chu Huanzhao was one exception. “My brother-in-law is incredible! He’s actually able to stand his ground against Yuan Wendong in a direct clash.”
Beside her, Chu Chuyan explained kindly, “That’s because Yuan Wendong is afraid of his movement skill, so he opted for a wide range attack. That resulted in the dispersion of his strength, thus allowing Zu An to barely cope at the moment.”
Chu Huanzhao was taken aback. “Doesn’t that mean that my brother-in-law stands no chance at victory?”
Chu Zhongtian sighed deeply. “I thought that he might have a powerful combat skill that’s similar to his movement skill; if so, he might have still stood a chance. However, he’s only using the Elementary Swordplay of Brightmoon Academy. While the Elementary Swordplay has been refined time and time again over the years, its flaws are very obvious too. It works well against normal people, but against cultivators, it’s still lacking.”
“Ah…” Chu Huanzhao started getting nervous after hearing her father’s words.
Hong Xingying, who had pricked up his ears to listen to the conversation, heaved a sigh of relief. When he saw how Zu An curbed Yuan Wendong’s army of swords earlier with his bizarre weapon, his heart nearly pounded out of his chest.
If this fellow really defeats Yuan Wendong, how can I keep my head up in the Chu clan from this day onward? Fortunately, even the patriarch doesn’t think that he can win now. That’s good…
Back onto the dueling ring, Yuan Wendong had started embarking on another wave of attacks toward Zu An, not wanting to give the latter any chance to catch a breather at all. He was determined to use his cultivation to crush Zu An into the ground.
Zu An used the Thirteen Forms of Elementary Swordplay to protect himself. While it was a little awkward, he still managed to barely hold on for the time being.
“Hm? Can the Elementary Swordplay be used in such a manner too?”
“I must say that Zu An is not as weak as I thought after all.”
“But no matter how adept he is at it, it’s still the Elementary Swordplay in the end. The threat it can pose toward young master Yuan is limited.”
Putting aside the crowd, even the powerhouses shared the same thoughts too.
Sang Hong was surprised to see how Zu An, despite his young age, was able to grasp sword ki, an ability that most cultivators only comprehended later on in their cultivation. His aptitude is honestly amazing, but it’s a pity that he’s already in the Chu clan. I wonder if it’s possible for us to bring him over to our side.
Jiang Luofu, on the other hand, frowned. If that earlier attack from him had been just a bit faster and inched leftward a little, its prowess would have been far greater. Is he still lacking in practice?
Meanwhile, Zu An was feeling incredibly frustrated. There were many times that he was tempted to use his self-created Bixie Swordplay, but thinking of Old Mi’s warning, he couldn’t help but hesitate. If even Old Mi was wary of revealing the existence of the skill, it was likely to be a threat far beyond what he could deal with.
He couldn’t be certain that no one here knew of Sunflower Phantasm, but at the same time, he knew that he couldn’t defeat Yuan Wendong if he didn’t use it.
As he had managed to push back other fifth rank cultivators like Snow and Pei Mianman in the past, he ended up underestimating just how powerful Yuan Wendong, someone who had just barely reached the fifth rank too, was.
Now that he thought about it, his fights with Pei Mianman and Snow were quite desperate. He was on the verge of dying, which led to the activation of the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra, enhancing his ki, speed, and strength to be far greater than normal. This time around, however, he was fighting with a fifth rank cultivator under his normal condition.
Yuan Wendong was also starting to get impatient after seeing that his attacks weren’t getting through. He had been thoroughly humiliated later on, so if he couldn’t regain his reputation here, he would never be able to keep his head up in Brightmoon City anymore.
Unable to take it any longer, he decided to resort to his strongest skill to defeat Zu An once and for all.
“Ravage of the Golden Dragon!”
Yuan Wendong’s body suddenly began spinning swiftly, causing the air on the dueling ring to gather so densely that it almost felt palpable. The torrential winds left Zu An feeling as if he was surrounded by massive waves that were ready to devour him whole.
Yuan Wendong’s movements began to blur out as well. In the blink of an eye, he suddenly appeared right behind Zu An, aiming his sword straight toward a ki meridian on Zu An’s right hand. Once a cultivator’s ki meridian was destroyed, no matter how high his cultivation used to be, he would be crippled for good.
Of course, there were also treasures in the world that could heal severed ki meridians, but those were incredibly hard to find. On top of that, who would bother wasting such a precious treasure on a cripple?
You have tolerated the insults coming from the world for so long, hoping to turn everything around through this tournament. You wanted to awe the Chu clan and the entire Brightmoon City. Unfortunately, you met me. I shall beat you down to the trash you are. You have gotten used to being trash over the years anyway!
“Stop!” Chu Zhongtian noticed Yuan Wendong’s intention, so he quickly headed toward the dueling ring.
However, both Wu Wei and the patriarch of the Yuan clan were prepared. They stepped forward to stop his path. “Brightmoon Duke, why do you keep trying to interfere in the fight between juniors?”
“You two!” Chu Zhongtian was infuriated. He unhesitatingly attacked the duo before him with all his might, but the Sunspring Duke was equally matched with him, not to mention that Yuan Zhengchu was supporting him by the side. Even if he were to break through their defense, he still wouldn’t be able to get to Zu An in time.
By this moment, the tip of Yuan Wendong’s sword was already on the verge of piercing into Zu An’s wrist. But all of a sudden, Zu An shouted out loud, “Whatcha staring at?”
Yuan Wendong was stunned. Is this man sick in the head? Why is he asking such a question in the midst of the battle? Nevertheless, he still ended up replying reflexively, “I’m staring at you, shithead!”
What’s going on?
Yuan Wendong was stunned. He wasn’t planning to answer Zu An’s question at all, but those words came out of his mouth as if he was possessed.
In just this brief lapse in concentration, Zu An’s sword suddenly darted forth, and Yuan Wendong felt a stabbing pain in his wrist at the next moment. He lowered his head in disbelief, only to see Zu An’s sword plunged into his wrist. Blood was trailing down from his wrist down to the floor.
On the other hand, his own sword was only a few centimeters away from piercing into Zu An’s wrist. Such a distance could have usually been covered just by him exerting a bit of force on the tip of his finger, but today, it felt like a gorge between two worlds.
His face kept twitching as he tried his best to push his sword forth, but he suddenly felt utterly powerless. He couldn’t even hold onto his sword anymore.
What’s going on? Have I… been crippled?!
Yuan Wendong was flabbergasted. Everything that had happened today was so ludicrous that he didn’t even want to believe what he was seeing was real.
1. He’s referring to the skill which he combined the Sunflower Phantasm and Elementary Swordplay together, which is similar to the Bixie Swordplay in the sense it’s the combination of the Sunflower Manual and another technique.