Chapter 569 – The First Match
Within Skysplit Tower, there was naturally a set of rules that governed the arrangement of a match. The difference in strength and ranking couldn’t be too great, otherwise it would plainly be sending people to their death; no one wanted this. Thus, when arranging a fight for a newcomer, it was naturally impossible to match them against someone at such a high rank like the Heavenly Demon Seven Stars. Otherwise, it would be difficult to convince the public that this was a legitimate system.
On the third floor, Xing Tian originally had a ranking at around 150. He could be considered to be in the middle to upper rankings. Since Lin Ming defeated Xing Tian, his strength was ranked around 120 to 130.
But, Lin Ming had cultivated for eight months on the second floor before coming to the third floor, thus Skysplit Tower’s management was absolutely happy to overestimate his strength. After the eight months of practice, they directly determined that his strength was in the top 50 rankings!
This did not matter at all. Skysplit Tower especially looked for someone to fight Lin Ming who was in the top 50 rankings and had hidden his strength. This was Hong Zhong!
For Lin Ming to have such a match arranged against him for his first match, the person who did this naturally didn’t have good intentions.
As the Giant Demon fellow heard Kai Yang say that he was hiding his strength, his smile stiffened. He forced a laugh and said, “How can I be hiding my strength? Even if I’m hiding a move or two, it shouldn’t enter into Sir Kai Yang’s eyes. Then again, who here isn’t hiding something? I would have to say I’m the worst of the bunch.”
Kai Yang chuckled and then immediately became a bit more serious. He said, “Fine, I won’t play with you. Long story short, I don’t want you to pay anything. As long as you kill your opponent and give me his spatial ring then I will be satisfied!”
“What thing?” The large Giant Demon fellow’s eyes widened. If this was something that could make Kai Yang move to action, then it was absolutely something extraordinary.
If his opponent was weaker than him to begin with and he just had to exert a bit of strength to defeat him, then wouldn’t giving Kai Yang such a precious object mean that he was being taken as a fool?
Thus, Hong Zhong was naturally cautious. The Imps were famous for their deceitful tricks and sinister methods; he didn’t want to serve as someone’s tool.
“Haha, oh, Hong Zhong, Hong Zhong, you think that I’m going to trick you? I’ll make things clear with you, this person, according to common sense, should be weaker than you. But, he’s someone that often surpasses that common sense, so…” As Kai Yang spoke here, he trailed off, keeping Hong Zhong in anticipation.
“Who is it?” Hong Zhong asked.
“I might as well tell you. This person is Lin Ming!”
“Him? He is a newcomer to the third floor! His first match is against me?” Hong Zhong was surprised. He had also heard about Lin Ming. Apparently he was the human that had defeated Xing Tian. His strength should be ranked somewhere around 100th on the third floor. Of course, Lin Ming had practiced for over half a year, but the martial artists on the third floor hadn’t been sitting around doing nothing either. Who didn’t practice well under pressure? Lin Ming could have improved some, but it shouldn’t have been too much.
‘This Lin Ming has offended someone? His first match is me, doesn’t that mean he’s being sent to death? Well no matter, that just means that this father has benefited.’ Hong Zhong thought in his heart. Now, his mood was good. This could be called an easy victory. If he could end Lin Ming’s winning streak, then he could also earn another five or six slaughter points. This was a great deal for him.
Kai Yang correctly guessed Hong Zhong’s thoughts. He smirked and said, “Do you think you’ve won? On the second floor, Xue Man and Xing Tian also believed that. But… they’ve both died!”
Hong Zhong thought otherwise in his heart. Lin Ming truly hadn’t lost a single match on his way to the third floor, but who on the third floor wasn’t the same? A win streak didn’t mean anything.
Hong Zhong realized what was happening. Since he didn’t want to be taken advantage of, he braced himself and slowly said, “Sir Kai Yang, I am not Xing Tian.”
“It seems like… you don’t believe me. In Lin Ming’s spatial ring is an object called a soul bead. It’s not too useful for you because it’s mainly used to nourish one’s soul force. You should be aware that my Imp race is naturally talented in the soul force aspect. But as for you Giant Demons, you’re considered quite weak. How about this, I’ll give you 1500 high-grade Blood Demon Crystals. After you win, I’ll buy that soul bead from you. How about it?”
1500 high-grade Blood Demon Crystals?
Hong Zhong was shocked. Even to someone on the third floor, that was a great amount of wealth.
Before now, he had heard somewhere that Lin Ming was also skilled in the use of soul force, so it naturally made sense that he would have something like this soul bead. But, he couldn’t believe Kai Yang. Who knew whether or not this ‘soul bead’ had other uses? If this was a treasure that even a High Lord lusted over, then 1500 high-grade Blood Demon Crystals were nothing.
“Besides these 1500 high-grade Blood Demon Crystals, I can also lend you some demonic gold insects. If you can really easily defeat Lin Ming then you can put out a price for the soul bead and we’ll discuss it later. On the other hand, if you find this battle incomparably difficult and you have to depend on the demonic gold insects to win, then… you will give me that soul bead for 1500 high-grade Blood Demon Crystals!”
Kai Yang’s words could be considered sincere enough. Hong Zhong was also surprised. The rumored moody and violent Kai Yang was actually speaking to him with such a pleasant tone.
These demonic gold insects were raised by Kai Yang with great care and cost; they were one of his final master moves. Yet, he was willing to lend them to him. Although Hong Zhong didn’t think that he would need to use these demonic gold insects to fight against Lin Ming, he could at least take this opportunity to find and understand the weaknesses of these demonic gold insects. It would be of great help in the future if he had to deal with Kai Yang.
Hong Zhong had his own ambitions. He wanted to become one of the Heavenly Demon Seven Stars. As for Kai Yang, he was considered one of the low ranked Heavenly Demon Seven Stars. If he could replace him, raise his rankings, and also form some relations with a High Lord, then he would be able to enjoy all the cultivation resources of the third floor.
After thinking it over and over, Hong Zhong couldn’t find out where he would have a loss. So, he finally agreed. “Good! Since Brother Kai Yang is so willing, then I gladly accept!”
Kai Yang smiled. Hong Zhong really didn’t know what that black glass bead’s origin was. If he knew that the bead had belonged to Xing Tian, then his web of lies would come crumbling down. Xing Tian was also a Giant Demon, so how could he keep a bead that nourished his soul force by his side?
Kai Yang patted the spirit insect bag on his waist, and with a buzzing sound, a group of dark gold-colored insects flew out like smoke, surrounding the two.
These were the demonic gold insects.
The demonic gold insects had sharp teeth and looked fiercely vicious. They were the size of beans, and their bodies were covered all over with a dark golden carapace. This carapace was extremely hard and nearly invulnerable.
This sort of insect had eaten a variety of rare metals growing up. The cost to raise them was extremely high. Normally, a martial artist could lose everything they had and not afford to cultivate them. Only a top martial artist like Kai Yang was able to raise such a small bag of them. Even then, there were only a few hundred in total.
As Hong Zhong saw these demonic gold insects, his eyes brightened. If he could take such wonderfully strange insects for himself then it would be great. In a battle where two sides were equally matched, releasing these insects would surely have fantastic effects.
“These are a battle array discs of Lin Ming’s fights, there is a complete set here. You had better take this match seriously, your opponent is not simple. Make sure that you don’t overturn your boat in your confidence.”
Kai Yang tossed out a spatial ring. Inside was a complete battle array disc set of all of Lin Ming’s battles ever since he entered Skysplit Tower.
“Don’t worry. I will definitely help Brother Kai Yang take this soul bead.”
Hong Zhong laughed and took the spatial ring in his hand.
Time passed quickly. Already, two months had passed since Lin Ming first entered the third floor. During this time period, Lin Ming had constantly been meditating and perceiving Laws. He was becoming increasingly proficient in the power of his Concepts.
Two months. According to Skysplit Tower’s rules, every martial artist on the third floor had to participate in a match every two months if they wished to stay on the third floor.
One could also apply to delay this. There were many martial artists that would go into closed-door seclusion for a long period of time. After coming out, they would need to complete all the matches that they owed.
But, a normal martial artist wouldn’t generally do this. For instance, if someone practiced for a year before coming out, then that meant they would need to fight six subsequent matches! To finish six matches in one day, that would take an enormous amount of energy.
On Skysplit Tower’s first and second floors, fighting three or four matches in a row was not too great of a problem. But on the third floor, no one was weak. Fighting six matches in a row was simply suicide.
Within the martial arena, a black-clothed servant handed a jade slip to Lin Ming. “Young Hero Lin, this is your arranged match for today. It also has materials on your opponent.”
“Hong Zhong?” Lin Ming found this a bit suspicious. The so-called ‘material’ was a truly pitiful amount. It only listed Hong Zhong’s strength ranking in the third floor at around rank 50, and mentioned that his Heavenly Demon Tattoo was a late six-winged Heavenly Demon.
As for what cultivation method he used, what abilities he had, what his techniques were, or any information on battle array discs of his past fights, there was no mention at all.
However, Lin Ming didn’t care about this much. After he defeated Xing Tian he had cultivated diligently for ten whole months. With the Concept of Thunder, his self-created move, as well as the most basic opening of the Eight Inner Hidden Gates, he was confident in his own strength.
“Lin Wu wins! He has killed his opponent and thus obtained a 10 win streak and a slaughter point. For ending his opponent’s 42 win winning streak, he obtains four slaughter points. This is five slaughter points altogether!” A black-clothed old man loudly announced on the martial arena stage.
Several staff went onstage to lift away Lin Wu’s opponent. The arena stage that was stained with blood was a reminder of the cruel and tragic battle that had just occurred. As the victor, Lin Wu was covered in blood from head to toe. His energy consumption was great, and he was barely supporting himself with his last bit of energy. He quickly swallowed down some pills and started to adjust his breathing.
Because killing an opponent granted a 10 win winning streak and just defeating an opponent granted a single winning streak, the fights between the martial artists of the third floor were usually filled with blood and chaos. These battles were nearly always competitions of life and death.
Such a fight was an enormous pressure on a martial artist. Even a veteran martial artists who had experienced many similar battles found it hard to remain calm.
As Lin Wu left the stage, a new martial artist jumped onstage. Every month on this day was when the third floor’s martial arena was at its liveliest. There would be several dozen competitions carried out today.
Lin Ming was just estimating the strength of the martial artists that just went onstage and comparing it to himself, when at this time, a loud and hoarse laugh sounded out from around him.
He turned around to see a Giant Demon fellow. This person’s body had used some unknown ink and their body was painted with seals. This Giant Demon fellow was looking at Lin Ming as he menacingly laughed, revealing his sharp fangs.
Lin Ming frowned. He suddenly realized something and said, “Are you Hong Zhong?”
“Smart! You are my opponent today. We will be fighting in the next round.”
“Oh? I’m glad I don’t have to wait.”
“Haha, you’re quite confident in yourself. I don’t know who you’ve offended for me to be your first match! Rest assured, I am not in the habit of torturing my opponents to death. I will give you a happy and simple death!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter