Time ran like a river. Nine years passed in a flash.
Early in the morning, as the sun was just beginning to rise above the horizon, numerous junior members of the Nie clan gathered in a public square. Some were sitting cross-legged, inhaling and exhaling the faint spiritual energy of Heaven and Earth, while others were working on their fighting techniques, exchanging blows that sent blasts of air out in all directions.
In a corner of the spacious square, a bunch of 10-year-old children of the Nie clan were hatefully looking down the stone road to their east, with their fists clenched.
“He’s only at the third level of Qi Refining. I don’t believe that he can win every time! Having made another breakthrough yesterday, I’m going to teach him an extremely memorable lesson today!” After nine years, the ten year old Nie Hong, by virtue of the bead that he had obtained in the lot-drawing nine years ago, had already successfully cultivated to the sixth level of Qi Refining. The fingertips of his left hand flickered with a hint of an electric aura as he ground his teeth in anger.
“Brother Hong,” Nie Yuan said, “knowing about your recent breakthrough, he shouldn’t dare to show up today, right?"
Nie Hong shook his head. “No, he’ll come for sure. I know him!”
A guest elder of the Nie clan, Wu Tao, was leading a group of young boys and girls from the Nie clan in cultivation. Most of the youngsters were around fourteen or fifteen, and every member of the group would occasionally cast curious glances in the direction of the part of the square where Nie Tian was expected to appear.
Suddenly, from the long, narrow stone path leading to the east, the sonorous voice of a young man could be heard. “Nie Yuan, were you the one who said I wouldn’t dare to come just now?”
Nie Tian appeared, who was by now significantly taller than his peers.
“Here he comes!”
“Knowing the fact that Nie Hong has reached the sixth level of Qi Refining, he still dares to come... He’s got some balls!”
Upon hearing the familiar voice, other boys and girls of the Nie clan who were slightly older became cheerful and excited.
Those who were cultivating gradually stood up. Those who were practicing their fancy physical combat moves suddenly stopped. One after the other, they all turned to stare at Nie Tian.
In their eyes Nie Tian was different.
Nine years has passed since that lot-drawing convention, yet Nie Tian hadn’t shown any special cultivation attribute. The animal bone he had won failed to resonate with his spiritual energy.
On the contrary, Nie Hong, Nie Yuan, and the others, having determined the attributes of their spiritual power, started to cultivate specific spiritual incantations. With the help of the spiritual tools they had obtained from the lot-drawing convention, their cultivating speed had progressed swiftly and violently. Meanwhile, Nie Tian... was still cultivating using the most basic Qi Refining Incantation.
Nie Tian's slow cultivation advancement made him a target of secret ridicule among people. Neither the clanmaster Nie Donghai nor Nie Qian could do anything to help.
However, to everyone's surprise, Nie Tian’s body grew stronger and stronger, which allowed him to fight children of a similar age without being at a disadvantage because of his low Qi Refining level.
On the contrary, in the past nine years, every peer who had fought Nie Tian ended up losing.
Up to this day, Nie Tian had maintained an undefeated record.
The reason why they paid close attention to Nie Tian’s battles was that they wanted to know when his advantage of tremendous physical strength would disappear.
Nie Hong, who had advanced to the sixth level of Qi Refining yesterday, carried a mighty lightning force in his inner spiritual power. Everyone was confident that Nie Tian's undefeated record would end in today's battle.
Therefore, they secretly looked forward to this fight.
Nie Tian walked up to them, and as he took a side glance at Nie Yuan, he challenged, “Nie Yuan, it was you who previously taunted me, right? How about the two of us give it a go right now?”
Nie Yuan’s cultivation had reached the fifth level of Qi Refining, yet facing Nie Tian’s glare, he suddenly seemed somewhat timid.
He took half a step back subconsciously. Threatening in manner but cowardly at heart, he said, “Nie Tian, your opponent for today is brother Hong. If you can still stand after your battle with brother Hong, then I'll fight you myself."
“Shameless," whispered Nie You, a girl with with her hair wrapped up in a braid on top of her head.
“Fine, whatever..." Nie Tian said with total indifference and disdain. “To fight you, I don’t even need to bring out my best."
“You!” Nie Yuan’s face was filled with anger.
“Get out of the way, all of you!” Nie Hong shouted out loud, signaling the other children to move further away. Meanwhile, his right fist was already covered in threads of cyan lightning.
Upon hearing Nie Hong’s words, all the children around him stepped back, making room for him and Nie Tian.
In center of the square, Wu Tao, along with the Nie clan’s older teenagers, could see that the fighting was about to start. All of them began to converge on that particular corner, laughing and chatting about the matter.
Nie Donghai was standing on the balcony of a high stone palace, with both of his hands on the stone wall, as he looked down at the square.
During the past nine years, Nie Donghai took advantage of the power he had as head of the Nie clan and tried every possible way to gather information about the man who got Nie Jin killed.
Unfortunately, so far, he had not received a single word regarding that man’s whereabouts.
It was as if the man had shown up out of nowhere and then disappeared into thin air.
The only thing he had left was Nie Tian, who was about to fight Nie Hong in this very square.
On the other hand, Nie Donghai’s physical condition had been deteriorating by the day. His once tall and mighty body had now turned into a bag of bones. Even the least observant person could tell with a single glance that his time was running out.
Watching Nie Tian winning battles against his peers again and again from the high balcony became one of his few joys.
But he also understood that, because Nie Tian had a poor cultivation base and could rely only on physical strength, he would eventually be defeated someday.
He also knew that once Nie Tian was defeated, it would mark the end of his physical strength being his advantage.
From then on, the gap between Nie Tian and his peers would grow bigger and bigger, as those children’s cultivation base would improve much more rapidly.
“Will it be today?...” Nie Donghai muttered to himself.
A strange sound emanated out from Nie Hong’s fist, which was flashing with an electric aura. Then Nie Hong let out a loud shout, before suddenly rushing towards Nie Tian.
“Well, he is indeed a bit faster and fiercer than before." Nie Tian smiled at Nie Hong, who was swooping at him with all his power. However, Nie Tian didn’t have the slightest intention to dodge.
He suddenly lifted his hand and took a bold step forward, before he ruthlessly met Nie Hong’s right fist with his significantly larger fist.
The clash of the two fists made a muffled sound, before Nie Hong’s surging momentum suddenly came to a stop.
Nie Tian took two steps back, shaking his fist and grimacing in pain. As he swung his arm, a trace of the electric aura sputtered away from his fist.
The crowd took a close look on the back of Nie Tian’s hand and saw distinct black burns.
“While the sixth level of Qi Refining is only one level higher than the fifth level, there is an essential difference. The sixth level allows spiritual power to be released outside of the body, and the lightning power contained in his spiritual power is able to penetrate the opponent’s body." Nie Xian, a fourteen year old from a branch of the Nie clan who already cultivated to the eighth level of Qi Refining, looked at Nie Tian deeply before he shook his head and continued, "With each collision of their two fists, Nie Hong will leave lightning damage by releasing his spiritual power into Nie Tian's body. Lightning will paralyze his muscles, making his whole body sore and numb, therefore he will have to spare some of his energy to resist the erosion caused by the residual lightning in his body.
“If this goes on, it won’t be long before he loses his fighting capacity and falls prey to Nie Hong’s humiliation.
“Fighting someone in the sixth level of Qi Refining head-on, while only being in the third level, is definitely not a wise move.”
The Nie clan’s guest elder, Wu Tao, briefly nodded before he took a side glance at Nie Xian with a look of admiration and said, “Nie Tian has been relying on his physical strength to fight over the years. Now he is used to fighting head-on since he hasn’t suffered a loss doing so. But he doesn’t know that being in the sixth level of Qi Refining, one can release their spiritual power out of their body. Not knowing that, he is bound to suffer greatly today. His unbeaten record... is probably going to end with this battle.”
“Put bluntly, it is all because of his poor talent,” Nie Xian said. “If he also had a unique attribute in his spiritual power like Nie Hong does, he would be able to defeat Nie Hong effortlessly.”
“Did you feel it?” Lightning once again flashed around Nie Hong’s fists as he coldly stared at Nie Tian’s waving arms. "That little bit lightning power I left on your fist has already spread to your arms, hasn’t it? How does it feel? That arm of yours has become sore and numb, hasn’t it?”
“A tad." Nie Tian grinned, though he was obviously in pain, "But I’m okay. It’s not really affecting me."
“Still want to play tough?" Nie Hong looked very excited, after being defeated consecutively for nine years, he finally saw a sliver of hope in this battle, “Not affecting you, huh? Take a few more then!"
BANG BANG! BANG BANG BANG!
Nie Hong's fists came like cannon shots. To everyone's surprise, Nie Tian didn't dodge; he allowed them to slam into him endlessly, and just like before, he kept fighting back head-on.
After ten rounds, Nie Hong stopped, breathing heavily, as he looked at Nie Tian in a ferocious manner.
Both of Nie Tian’s hands were as black as charred coals, with little lightning sparks constantly flying out of his arms.
Everyone could tell that his arms had become rather stiff as he waved them.
However Nie Tian's eyes showed an unprecedented high-spirited will to fight. Like a young ferocious beast who had finally awakened, he roared towards Nie Hong, "Keep them coming! Why did you stop? Come on, don’t stop!"
It seemed as if he was the one who had the upper hand.Previous Chapter Next Chapter