Chapter 310: Success in One Battle

 Chapter 310: Success in One Battle [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]

This slash was extremely simple and left no room at all for any variations. Accompanied by a torrent of origin power, it came hurtling down in a straight line like a waterfall descending from the nine heavens. 

The greater half of Song Zian’s attacking blade radiance was dispersed as the blade fell.

A change occurred right after East Peak’s momentum was exhausted. With a reverse flick and a sideway sweep, what remained of the fading moonlight was completely obliterated. 

After breaking Song Zian’s Brightmoon Heart, Qianye maneuvered the blade with both hands and switched from defense to offense, launching a flurry of chaotic attacks against Song Zian. It almost seemed like a series of random slashes where not even a basic sword move could be observed.

However, the sword momentum behind each of Qianye’s blows was incomparably heavy. It could break mountains, overturn the seas, and was poised to sink the moon and stars!

On the stage, Elder Lu’s eyes lit up. He immediately slapped the table and praised, “Good swordplay!”

Duchess An washed her hands in the basin of clear water offered by her attendant and actually agreed with a gentle nod, “Acceptable.”

This was an evaluation from the Song clan’s old ancestor! This “acceptable”, when placed on a younger generation descendant, was an extremely high praise one would hardly hear once in several years. Among the hundreds of Song clan disciples, only Song Zicheng and Song Zining had ever received such praise.

On the side, the great elder’s countenance turned even darker. The old ancestor’s high evaluation clearly wasn’t given to Song Zian.

At this moment, Song Zian’s sword was emitting sheets of lunar brilliance and forming a multitude of wondrous images in the air. Apparently, he had reached a certain level of attainment with the Brightmoon Heart. Countless beams of moonlight formed a screen and gradually enveloped him, making it seem as if he were standing within a gigantic full moon.

Those who were familiar with the secret art couldn’t help but exclaim in astonishment—this was a sign denoting the imminent formation of the “heart”. Once perfectly integrated, he would be able to launch an extremely powerful attack.

However, Qianye was completely unaffected and seemed as if he was engrossed in his assault. East Peak shifted once again with a violent whistle—it was, at times, as heavy as a mountain and, at times, as exquisite as a thread. His transitions between light, heavy, slow, and fast were almost untraceable and his footwork grew progressively calm and relaxed.

However, the situation within the field was extremely clear. Whenever East Peak streaked past, that gigantic moon would weaken by a bit and never reach consummation. In the end, Song Zian’s forehead was filled with beads of sweat. He had to drive the Brightmoon Heart to its extremes just to forcefully maintain the full moon.

On the stage, Elder Lu was clapping continuously. “Good, good. Well done!”

The great elder’s face was as dark as the bottom of a pot because Elder Lu’s words almost seemed to be saying Song Zian should be beaten up.

Song Zian, on the other hand, was able to exhibit some tenacity after getting rid of his distracting thoughts. Although he was at a disadvantage, he was still able to hold on. Additionally, with his rank as a champion, his long-term endurance was significantly greater than Qianye, and he would eventually win if they continued this stalemate. 

A deep blue color suddenly emerged within Qianye’s eyes and Song Zian’s figure was clearly reflected within.

The latter suddenly felt his heart tighten. Although he was able to suppress the sensation immediately, his movements still turned sluggish for a moment. Qianye grasped this short interruption in the opponent’s strength to launch three continuous strikes with the East Peak. With a momentum seemingly capable of sinking the land and overturning the seas, he shot down Song Zian’s full moon in one go.

Song Zian wanted to retaliate in astonishment, but the weight of his longsword seemed to be fluctuating wildly as his movements all turned sluggish as if his limbs were stuck in a spiderweb. He was feeling inexplicably awkward. At this critical moment, his heart suddenly began to hurt once again.

Song Zian’s origin power became momentarily unstable. However, Qianye didn’t press the attack. Instead, he took a couple of steps back and slowly raised the East Peak.

With a loud cry, three strikes were, again, launched at lightning speed!

The first shattered the lunar brilliance, while the second broke Song Zian’s origin power defenses. Meanwhile, the third ran directly toward Song Zian’s lower abdomen and, with a light flick, flung him high into the air.  

Carrying East Peak with his left hand, Qianye drew his origin gun with the right and unleashed a volley of shots toward Song Zian who happened to be falling back down at the moment. Origin power blasted out continuously from the muzzle! 

On the stage, the great elder jumped out of his seat and roared, “Brat, you dare?!”

The gun in Qianye’s hand was the grade-five handgun provided by the Song clan, and its might was far below that of the Twin Flowers. However, Song Zian’s origin power defenses had just been shattered and could no longer resist such concentrated fire despite being a champion.

Song Zian let out a wretched cry as his body spun several times in the air with blood gushing out continuously. Surprisingly, none of those shots had missed and all the projectiles had found their mark.

The great elder roared furiously, “Junior, you’re courting death!” He leapt off the stage and, using his palm as a sword, slashed toward Qianye from afar. A beam of silken lunar brilliance shot across the long distance.

It was the same Brightmoon Heart, but in the elder’s hands, it possessed a formidable might capable of tearing apart the heaven and earth.

“Stay your hand!” Song Tu, who was overseeing the match from beside the arena, blocked the moonlight with an angry roar.

However, the elder had launched this malicious attack at full power. Song Tu was immediately struck flying and coughed up a mouthful of fresh blood. Although the streak of lunar radiance had dimmed a fair bit due to Song Tu’s obstruction, the remaining half continued its flight toward Qianye.

The latter’s eyes turned a deep azure as he locked onto the incoming moonlight.

A slight distortion was suddenly revealed within this consummate radiance. Although it was minuscule, there was finally a weak point in this originally invincible blade light. Qianye tossed away the origin gun and held the East Peak in both hands. He held his breath and concentrated his attention—the heavy sword felt as if it were dragging ten thousand tonnes of seawater as he raised it with great difficulty and thrust directly forward at the lunar sword radiance.   

Just as the two blades came into contact, a pair of luminous wings suddenly unfurled at Qianye’s back. 

Spring thunder rumbled through the air as the great elder’s moonlight was actually hacked apart by the East Peak.

Qianye’s entire body was shaken as he coughed up a large mouthful of fresh blood. The radiant wings behind his back distorted for a moment and gradually faded away. His finger webs were all drenched in blood, and his arms were trembling uncontrollably. However, his figure still stood ramrod straight.

Qianye had actually received a blow from the great elder!

The audience almost couldn’t believe their eyes. The great elder’s combat strength could be ranked within the top ten in the entire clan. Even though the greater half of the attack power had been blocked by Song Tu, it still wasn’t something an ordinary champion could’ve received.

Even the great elder who was hovering high in the air was startled because he had never expected that his all-out attack would be rendered ineffective. He was completely enraged and raised his hand to fire another moonlight rainbow.

But this beam only flew out halfway before it was severed and completely dispersed by a certain object. The elders on the stage clearly saw that the item which had broken the great elder’s attack was actually a peeled lychee.

Meanwhile, the lychee in Duchess An’s hands had gone missing.

“Zhongcheng, what do you think you’re doing?” Duchess An said slowly.

The great elder flew back to the stage and bowed. “Zian has already been defeated and yet that junior still launched a treacherous blow. His intentions were clearly improper. That was why I wanted to take action and give him a lesson.”

Duchess An replied indifferently, “I’ve said this long ago. The martial assessment won’t pursue life and death. Even if he killed Song Zian on the spot, that’s just because our descendant is lacking in skill. Are the rules I laid down being ignored even before my death?”

The great elder’s forehead was drenched in sweat as he replied hurriedly, “This son doesn’t dare!”

Duchess An sighed. “Your actions have actually shown the world that our Song clan doesn’t even have the slightest bit of tolerance. Who will be willing to join us in the future? Withdraw now and relinquish your elder’s position on your own. Your entire branch’s expenses shall be halved for five years.”

A disastrous change came over the great elder’s countenance. This was a fairly severe punishment. Although the time span was only five years, it meant that their entire branch’s development would be suppressed during this time, and it would become even more difficult to contend with Song Zhongnian.

Duchess An then said, “Pour a cup of the Heavenly Wind Dew from my room and let that child drink it, lest his foundation be damaged.”

The two attendants immediately leapt off the stage and left in a hurry. The elders were all somewhat moved.

The Heavenly Wind Dew collected by Duchess An could be considered a priceless wine. Not only was it a divine medicine for treating injuries, but it could also help nurture a solid foundation for cultivation.

After taking on the great elder’s blow, the primary injury Qianye had received was the moonlight sword intent which had penetrated his body. It was indeed difficult to eliminate, but all of the elders here were capable of treating it. Duchess An bringing out such a valuable item was, in truth, a disguised compensation. 

There were people on the drill grounds to carry Song Zian off the arena and take care of his injuries. He had suffered a series of gunshots and the deepest one had damaged his lungs. This kind of injury would require several months of recuperation even with the best of medicines. This also meant that he was bound to be crippled for the remainder of the assessments.

But this matter didn’t end here. After the conflict was over, many people recalled the radiant wings Qianye had manifested behind his back and couldn’t help but reveal peculiar expressions.

Normally, one would have to reach rank-thirteen champion and above in order to manifest one’s talent form. However, it wasn’t exactly strange to see someone achieve this in advance—every major clan would have a number of geniuses who could do this. Qianye had defeated a champion as a rank-eight fighter so he couldn’t be assessed with conventional standards. Hence, people weren’t overly astonished.

But those luminous wings—which clan’s bloodline or secret art did it belong to? 

In truth, some had already begun to privately discuss his identity after he distinguished himself in the elimination matches. They suspected whether he was a clan disciple who had come to provide assistance with a hidden identity and even felt that he might be from another major clan or a high-ranking aristocratic family.

This didn’t go against the rules of the competition. Moreover, one had to know that in an empire with rigidly stratified social statuses, it could be considered a commendable ability to be able to convince a high-ranking aristocratic descendant to hide his name and act as a guest warrior. But certain criticisms couldn’t be avoided when said person’s strength was so overwhelming.

Song Zining sat motionlessly as if he hadn’t sensed all the gazes upon him. Qianye drank the provided medicine and also took care of the lacerations on his hands. Then, with the East Peak in his arms, he leaned back in his seat and began to rest with his eyes closed. Of course, he also turned a deaf ear to the discussions around him.

On the stage, the elders’ suspicious voices had also faded away. Only a couple of them were exchanging glances and whispering under their breath.

Song Zhongxing, with his nasty temper, sneered, “What Feathercloud Art? It’s not as if the elders here haven’t seen the Bai clan’s secret art. It looks nothing like this! And even if that is indeed the case, is it enough to save our Song clan’s face? Don’t tell me a Bai clan junior should be stronger than our Song clan?”

Without waiting for him to continue, Clan Lord Song Zhongnian hurriedly shot Song Zhongxing a meaningful glance and stopped this younger brother of his who tended to offend everyone with his speech.

At this time, Elder Lu said, “It’s indeed not the Feathercloud Art.” Duchess An, on the other hand, couldn’t even be bothered to open her eyes. As such, the numerous elders gradually became silent. 

The remaining battles were no longer suspenseful since all of them involved the strong defeating the weak.

The final eight would fight again on the morrow and finally decide on the first place of this examination. At this point, only Qianye and one of Song Zian’s men remained among the guest warriors. The difference between ordinary warriors and clan descendants was significant. Although they were comparatively more experienced, this hardly made up for the difference in material wealth and the foundation laid down since childhood.

It was also no wonder why elder Song Zhongcheng lost his composure like so. It was obvious that their branch had invested heavily in this examination, especially in the martial assessment. They had come well prepared and were determined to take the highest score. However, they were met with a complete failure when Song Zian was defeated by Qianye during the battle for top-eight.

That night, Qianye drank the Heavenly Wind Dew and fell into a deep sleep, waking up only at dawn the following day.

He felt some peculiarities in his body as soon as he woke up. Thus, he hurriedly observed with his internal vision and found that the ninth origin node had actually been ignited unconsciously. Additionally, all of his injuries had completely healed.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

1/7 of the week. Enjoy!

TL: Legion 

ED: Moxie

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