Chapter 543 - Ye Xinglan's Conviction

Chapter 543 - Ye Xinglan's Conviction

The torrent of Swan Feathers engulfed the shining sword, leaving it a shining beacon in a sea of darkness. The sword weathered wave after wave of feathers, its immaculate blade growing dimmer as it resisted the attacks. 

Now empowered by Mo Jue’s set of one-word battle armor, the feathers sliced through the air with deadly might, their auras of darkness thick and inky. The entire stage was dancing along to Mo Jue’s tune now, and she regarded Ye Xinglan from up above as if she were looking at an ant. She knew all of Ye Xinglan’s struggles were futile and were only delaying the inevitable.

But as Mo Jue basked in her power, the floating Stargod Sword began to hum. The sword slashed down and blew away the feathers around it, opening up a path to Mo Jue for it to jet through. Before the trailblazing sword, all the feathers obstructing its path disintegrated and a shockwave of imposing might followed swiftly behind it. 

Mo Jue’s brows jumped in astonishment, a short yelp escaping her lips. Despite the gap in strength opened up by her equipping her battle armor, the Stargod Sword still attacked relentlessly. The baleful aura the sword emitted as starlight swirled around her sword-form would not forgive any restraint on Mo Jue’s part. Even as the sword endured the tempest, it quickly advanced on Mo Jue. With a beat of her wings, she retreated and opened up a cautious distance between them. 

While maintaining a safe distance between them, Mo Jue unleashed wave after wave of Swan Feathers at the sword. The gap in strength between them made her insurmountable! 

In the stands, the audience watched with peeled eyes, all refusing to miss a single moment of the battle. They could never forgive themselves for not witnessing the entirety of the power of a one-word battle armor master! 

The Stargod’s Sword glow rapidly faded under the onslaught of feathers, its advance slowing to a crawl. But it pressed on. No matter how much it wavered or how clear defeat was, it pressed on. The battle was already decided. 

A hint of a smile spread across Mo Jue’s face. Although this wasn’t a clean victory, it was still a victory she could delight in. 

Just as Mo Jue was reveling in her victory, stray specks of starlight enlarged and shot toward her. They swerved through the small openings in the storm of feathers and advanced upon her, arriving a meter away from her before she even noticed. Then the starlight coalesced into Ye Xinglan’s form just as the light of the Stargod’s Sword was extinguished by the tempest of feathers behind her. But she held another Stargod Sword in her hand and leaned forward to slash Mo Jue from shoulder to waist. 

Mo Jue’s battle armor burst with light as it fought to counter Ye Xinglan’s blow. The sword slash stopped at Mo Jue’s shoulder, but empowered by three pieces of spirit alloy battle armor, the torrent of sword intent enveloping the sword was able to penetrate Mo Jue’s armor and into her body. A cry of pain escaped Mo Jue’s lips as the energy rampaged within her. 

Ye Xinglan pressed her attack and didn’t give Mo Jue a moment to react. In a flicker of movement, she moved to Mo Jue’s rear and struck with her shining Stargod Sword and unleashed Stargod Weave at point-blank range! 

As the sword blades blossomed into Mo Jue’s back, her battle armor shined resplendently as they fought to neutralize the attack. But her armor couldn’t mitigate all of the attacks and crimson lines appeared all over the exposed parts of her back, eliciting a shrill shriek. Even after slicing her flesh, the energy of the Stargod Weave continued and penetrated into her core, wreaking havoc on her internal organs and meridians. 

Everything had happened too fast to process, lasting no longer than a blink of an eye. Not even Elder Cai had expected such a turnaround just when the battle seemed over. 

Mo Jue’s battle armor shone radiantly in the eye of the storm of sword beams as she frantically defended herself. Yet every time she tried to summon a defense by countering with her own soul skills, a coffin of thousands of sharp needles of sword intent would pierce her body and interrupt her soul skill invocation. No matter how great her battle armor was, it was not absolute. There were plenty of chinks in the armor to exploit. Now trapped in close quarter combat, Mo Jue’s ability to counterattack was thoroughly suppressed. 

Ye Xinglan’s sword intent was mighty to begin with, but after resolving herself and focusing her mind, its edge grew even sharper. Her third soul ring lit up as she pulled back her sword to ready her next attack: Starfall Sword! This time, the golden light of the soul skill did not envelop just herself, but Mo Jue as well. 

The two transformed into streaks of gold as they shot toward the ceiling, not slowing the slightest as they crashed into the barrier. While waves rippled out in the barrier from the site of impact in the barrier,  it was wholly intact still. It was as expected since the barrier could withstand attacks from up to an eight-ringed Soul Douluo. As a result of its defensive ability, it acted as a giant rubber band while the two crashed into it and bounced them away with several times their initial speed. 

The golden streak slammed into the ground with a bang, webbed cracks forming in the ground around it and dust flying into the air. As the golden light died, the two girls were revealed. 

Ye Xinglan sat on top of Mo Jue with her knees jabbed into the latter’s stomach. She had a death grip on her Stargod Sword, which had penetrated through a chink in Mo Jue’s armor and drew blood. She hung her head low, utterly motionless. 

On the other hand, Mo Jue lay on the ground, expression blank as she stared at the ceiling in a daze. 

No one had expected this battle to grow so heated. It was unimaginable for a one-word battle armor master like Mo Jue to have trouble against an ordinary soul master with fewer rings than her. 

Elder Cai and Yali shot out of their seats and sped toward the two combatants, reaching them in an instant. 

Mo Jue still retained consciousness thanks to her battle armor mitigating most of the damage, but the ferocity Ye Xinglan displayed had struck fear into her. Her eyes quivered as she stared at Ye Xinglan kneeling atop her. Despite Ye Xinglan’s eyes shut tight, chilling sword intent still rolled off her in swathes. It all sent shivers down Mo Jue’s spine, cold sweat running down her spine. 

When Ye Xinglan had sent the two of them soaring toward the ceiling, Mo Jue had a chance to stare into eyes filled with unyielding tenacity. Ye Xinglan’s fervent gaze was seared into Mo Jue’s mind. 

Considering Ye Xinglan’s current strength, she shouldn’t have been able to penetrate the defenses of a full set of one-word battle armor with merely three pieces of armor herself. However, she had taken advantage of Starfall Sword and the barrier’s rebound to make a small crack in Mo Jue’s armor and impale her shoulder. 

As the last of Ye Xinglan’s remnant sword intent dissipated, Mo Jue’s mind gained some freedom to become conscious of the cold blade pierced through her shoulder and the warm blood leaking out. 

This girl is insane! Mo Jue trembled, her limbs refusing to move as she desperately tried to throw Ye Xinglan off and run away. She had always been a shining star in the third grade, and her status had only grown loftier when she became a one-word battle armor master and her entry into the inner court became certain. But today, she realized just how much she was lacking. While she had more than enough strength, she couldn’t compare with Ye Xinglan in battle intent, the thirst for victory. 

When Ye Xinglan finally collapsed onto the ground, Mo Jue was finally able to crawl away. Then Yali walked over and picked up Ye Xinglan and began healing her with soft tendrils of light from her fingertips. 

Mo Jue had burned up all of her soul power in that final clash as she unleashed a full power Dark Corrosion. And in the final moments, she had used her pauldron to defend against the Stargod Sword, but her shoulder had still been pierced. 

With Elder Cai’s assistance, Mo Jue was able to slowly stand up. In spite of this being her victory, her eyes were lifeless. It was the obvious conclusion since Ye Xinglan had only managed to make a chink in Mo Jue’s armor and draw a trickle of blood. The wound was far from fatal. In fact, it would have been easy for Mo Jue to turn the tables on Ye Xinglan after they had crashed since Ye Xinglan collapsed, cinching her victory. But this couldn’t truly be considered a win. Not in her heart at least. 

“The third grade wins,” Elder Cai announced in a tone of indifference. 

Blood trickled out of the wound in Mo Jue’s shoulder and her body swayed gently. The proclamation of her victory sounded like ridicule to her ears. Victory had never felt so hollow. 

The students of the third grade harbored much the same emotions as Mo Jue. None cheered for their victory. They couldn’t bring themselves to. There was no honor in this win. 

After a beam of light descended on Mo Jue and healed her injuries, she turned and walked off stage, back to her teammates. Song Lin was waiting to greet her when she returned. When she arrived in from of Song Lin, she finally remembered to unequip her battle armor and crack a deprecating smile. “Teacher Song, did I really win?” After this quip, all strength left her body and she toppled forward.

Song Lin hurriedly caught Mo Jue in her arms. After seeing the exhaustion in her student’s face, she raised her head suppressed a snarl. She knew that while Mo Jue had not lost the match, she had lost in conviction. Mo Jue’s heart had been too weak and her mental state was damaged. Wounds of the mind were the hardest to cure. If Mo Jue could not overcome her mental blocks, then she would never be able to enter the inner court. 

The entire third grade was enveloped in silence. The duels were concluded with two losses and one victory, but that victory had been hard earned. Furthermore, Mo Jue was in no condition to participate in the team battle anymore. It was tough for them to swallow the fact that a one-word battle armor master like her hadn’t completely dominated their junior schoolmate. 

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