Chapter 167: Victory

Chapter 167: Victory [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace] 

Qianye’s fist was only a few centimeters away from Zhao Junhong’s finger, but neither of them was able to push an inch forward. They could only persist in confrontation this way.

A ball of light was suspended between the finger and the first. If someone were to look at it closely, they would discover that the dark red light ball that looked like it was made of mist was, in fact, countless tiny origin explosions and undulating silver lines.

The spectators around the proving grounds were long since engulfed in a hubbub of cries, praises, and discussions. Even the VIPs on the grandstand were letting out gasps of surprise or wearing looks of astonishment on their faces as they whispered to one another.

Yesterday’s clash of origin power between Qianye and Song Zining had already attracted the attention of Duke Wei, the marquises, and the counts to begin with, but today both combatants had clearly manifested their origin power in physical form! Even more impressive was the fact that one of them was only rank seven and the other rank five. Unfortunately, it also meant that they could only witness their origin power in primal form, and not talent.

The hubbub occurring at the proving grounds slowly subsided. Clashes of origin power were absolutely treacherous no matter the form because not even the slightest room for compromise existed there. It was a holistic clash of amount and attribute of origin power, art, control, and willpower. No falsities existed in a clash like this. Moreover, this clash was a lot more dangerous than the norm because both parties had recklessly manifested their origin powers before they reached champion rank.

Duke Wei said, “Wen, please attend to the battle and make sure that neither of them is in danger. I can do without Zhao Weihuang kicking down my doors.”

“Understood,” Steward Wen leaped off the platform and flew into the fray, suspending himself above the proving grounds.

Qianye and Zhao Junhong had long since forgotten everything around them except each other. All of their concentration was focused on the clashing and exploding ball of origin power between them.

The Combatant Formula was in fact at a severe disadvantage when compared to the secret combat technique Silver Sword Finger. This was because origin power discharge was not advisable for cultivators of the Combatant Formula unless they had reached Champion rank, much less manifesting it and using it in a forceful clash against another origin power. When Qianye pushed the Combatant Formula over the 25th cycle, he abruptly realized that the pressure set on his physical body had increased tremendously. Moreover, his Daybreak origin power possessed no special attributes whatsoever, marking it significantly different from Zhao Junhong’s blade-like Silver Sword Finger. Again and again, his origin power was twisted and crushed by Zhao Junhong’s silver sword beams, and the only thing he could do was to increase the strength and size of his origin power to match it. As a result, the effort sapped away much of his strength.

In the end, Qianye only had one usable tactic, and that was to utilize the Combatant Formula’s tremendous pressure and end the fight as swiftly as possible. If he couldn’t destroy Zhao Junhong’s defense in one go, then his defeat was all but destined. His mind made up, Qianye pushed the Combatant Formula higher and attacked his opponent again and again with tidal-like origin power!

But Zhao Junhong’s silver sword beams were of incredible pliability and toughness. Again and again the silver threads were blown apart by Qianye’s origin tides and scattered to all direction, but again and again they recollected themselves and charged back into the fray in a flash.

The origin power in Qianye’s body surged violently as the tides piled up one layer after another. In the blink of an eye, and he exceeded the thirtieth cycle in the blink of an eye. When the origin tides poured out of his fist once more, the sound of tidal waves actually began resounding around it like thunder!

Zhao Junhong abruptly felt a great increase in pressure, and some of the blown threads were starting to slip out of his control. In fact, a thread or two was actually blown away by Qianye’s origin power. He cast a glance at Qianye while looking a little moved.

Fighter King?

The Combatant Formula might be worth nothing in Zhao Junhong’s eyes, but a Combatant Formula cultivator who had reached the level of Fighter King was a completely different story. It was no wonder that Qianye was able to beat opponents beyond his rank since the might of a Fighter King was equal to that of a low-rank aristocratic family secret combat technique.

However, the Combatant Formula had a fatal flaw just like Qianye’ fighting style. It was true that the origin tides got more and more overpowering as they piled up one after another, but it was at the cost of sustainability. If Zhao Junhong could hold a couple of cycles and wait until the moment Qianye ran out of origin power, then Qianye would fall and be annihilated in entirety.

To Qianye’s surprise, Zhao Junhong was still able to speak despite the thunderous clash, “Truly, truly impressive! But it’s my turn to show you what Overflowing Silver is!”

Zhao Junhong’s origin nodes starting from the one at his chest began to lit up one after another. From afar, they looked just like the brilliant radiance of silver crystals.

A total of five origin nodes were alit on Zhao Junhong’s body!

Qianye stared at Zhao Junhong. Zhao Junhong had surprised him by holding fast to his promise even in this situation.

On the grandstand, Count Huayang’s face was full of praise. He said, “I did not realize that the second son of Zhao had cultivated silver sword auras inside his origin nodes too. There is no denying his talents, but it is his diligence that truly impresses me.”

Beside him, Count Changping also said, “It really is impressive. Despite possessing such talents, he held himself back from ascending quickly just to catch up with the rest of his brothers. He made sure that his combat techniques and origin power are growing in sync and built an unbelievably firm foundation for himself. With this level of foundation and willpower, his path to Champion will definitely be smooth sailing.”

Duke Wei pondered, “I heard that Zhao Junhong is not the most outstanding descendant of his generation within the family, is he?”

Count Changping nodded, “Yi, Hong, Su, and Du. There is no denying that Zhao Junhong is just average among the four sons of the Zhao Family. Of course, the most outstanding one of them all is the son who participated in the Imperial Garden Spring Hunt, Zhao Jundu.”

Count Huayang said, “I have seen the fourth son of the Zhao Household before, and there is no denying that his talents are absolutely extraordinary. If the Zhao Family didn’t have Zhao Ruoxi too, he would’ve borne the light of the Zhao Household all by himself. There are few people who could be mentioned as his equal even within the four households.”

Duke Wei pondered, “Zhao Jundu, Zhao Ruoxi! Heh, the Zhao Family is going to be amazing in ten years time!”

But this was as far as the discussion went because the topic was so dangerous that not even the two counts were willing to continue the conversation. When silence returned to the grandstand once more, everyone switched their attention back to the proving grounds.

Five origin nodes were now alit on Zhao Junhong’s body, and wisps of blade-sharp silver origin power were gathering inside them. Then, five silver sword beams erupted from them and flew straight towards Qianye!

The five sword beams suddenly changed directions halfway and flew into the origin light ball that existed between their fist and finger. The moment they stabbed into the ball of light, the near-silent origin explosion suddenly let out the clear ring of a sword.

The pressure on Qianye’s hand suddenly weakened, and there was a stifling discomfort that felt like a wrong exertion of strength pressed down on his chest. The wall of waves that sat before his fists should’ve been immeasurably solid, but it was now melting away nonstop like snow. The new sword beams that joined the fray easily destroyed Qianye’s origin power and earned the silver threads room to grow more and more solid. Not only were they not scattered away like before, they were even showing signs of knitting into a net.

Although Qianye didn’t understand what the unusual appearance of the silver threads meant, he did notice that Zhao Junhong’s defense was growing harder and harder to break through. It was like a reef that remained motionless despite being lapped repeatedly by giant waves, so much so that Qianye’s origin power was even starting to roll back to him.

But there was a saying that goes like: when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Qianye was such a person himself, so he immediately steeled his determination and let out a low cry. He pushed the Combatant Formula over yet another cycle and caused the origin tides to grow a lot more turbulent and powerful than before.

Thirty one, thirty two. The Combatant Formula was pushed to the thirty fifth cycle in the blink of an eye!

By now the dark red origin power surging around Qianye was starting to look a little like a sea with no horizon. It was as if the overlapping tides of origin power would never end. When the thunderous tides subsided into near silence, an earthshaking power abruptly surged at Zhao Junhong!

Zhao Junhong’s breath caught in his throat the instant the origin tides were pushed to the thirty fifth cycle. He felt as if a tidal wave as tall as the sky was about to fall right on top of his head!

Zhao Junhong swiftly calmed himself down and faced his predicament with a serious look on his face. By now, he already realized that Qianye’s Combatant Formula must have exceeded the thirtieth cycle already. As he had once commented about Qianye’s fighting style before Song Zining, the tactic of overwhelming skill with strength was unparalleled. The only thing the defender could do in this situation was to endure and wait because the charge of a thousand troops couldn’t be stopped the moment it was unleashed. It was either the death of my enemy, or the death of myself.

Zhao Junhong abruptly urged out more strength and fired another volley of silver sword aura from his origin nodes. They formed a web of swords and kept Qianye’s rampant origin tides at bay.

Shock overcame the proving grounds again, and this time even some of the people on the grandstand had gotten onto their feet. At this point, every man and woman who were defeated by Zhao Junhong during the earlier matches including Qiqi herself was utterly convinced by his strength. It was only now they realized that Zhao Junhong hadn’t used his full strength at all, and there were no flukes behind any of his victories.

But Qianye had no distracting thoughts in his mind. He urged the Combatant Formula to run even faster and held nothing back, pouring out all of his origin power to form a gigantic tide of unprecedented size.

It was the thirty sixth cycle of the Combatant Formula!

But before Qianye could unleash it upon Zhao Junhong, he abruptly hit the bottom of the barrel. He just needed one last shred of power to complete this final tide but had nothing left to spare inside him.

It was at this moment the normal blood energy inside his heart and the purple blood energy suddenly injected strength into the gold blood energy that was orbiting around his heart all this time. Once done, every blood energy shrank to less than half their size and became incredibly weakened, submerging back into Qianye’s heart.

The gold blood energy shook faster and faster, almost resonating with the Daybreak origin power in Qianye at the end. It abruptly shattered into sparks of golden light and leaped into the final tide.

Flashing golden sparks abruptly appeared within the dark red origin light that surrounded Qianye like a veil of thin mist. His dark red origin light grew brighter and brighter until they looked like the multicolored sunlight of dawn!

Zhao Junhong’s silver web crumbled, and his silver threads were scattered everywhere beyond his control. The only thing he could sense was a curtain of bright red light that looked like it would devour in the next instant. Zhao Junhong activated his sixth origin node almost unconsciously, painting it in crystalline silver light as a new silver sword beam came into existence.

However, the tide that had enveloped Zhao Junhong’s entire world disintegrated the sword beam without any difficulties and surged straight towards him.

Steward Wen was already flying down from the sky to block the gigantic origin tide the moment he noticed the golden sparks. But despite his swift reactions, the two contestants were so close to each other that he couldn’t stop the initial waves from entering Zhao Junhong’s body in time. Zhao Junhong immediately let out a dull groan and flew backward, crashing heavily outside the boundary of the ring.

Qianye stared quietly at Steward Wen and did his best to withdraw the subsiding but still fearsome origin tides. Although the multicolored light was starting to fade, the golden sparks continue to flash erratically around him.

Silence took over the proving grounds for an instant, but thunderous cries shattered it right after! Even the VIPs on the grandstand had temporarily forgotten their reservation and cried out, “Venus Dawn! It’s Venus Dawn!”

Despite knowing that Qianye possessed Venus Dawn from the beginning, Duke Wei still couldn’t help but be moved by the sight of it.

Legend said that Venus Dawn was the closest origin attribute to Daybreak barring none. Its strength came from its near-absolute purity, and there was almost no special origin power that countered it at all. The only origin power that was similar to it was the Evernight Dark of Evernight.

Venus Dawn and Evernight Dark represented the pinnacle of Daybreak and Evernight. One was infinite light, and the other was eternal darkness. Their qualities might differ, but their strength was equal.

The fact that Qianye possessed the origin power of Venus Dawn made his fair victory over Zhao Junhong a lot easier to swallow. Moreover, the VIPs also noticed that Zhao Junhong had only activated his sixth origin node at the last moment. This meant that five silver sword auras in five of his origin nodes weren’t his true limit and that he had been suppressing his power all this time to fight Qianye on equal rank.

Count Huayang was the first to clap in praise, “If Zhao Weihuang’s son can maintain his fair, honest and dignified way of life, he will definitely grow to become a great person in the future."

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