Embermane looked at Liu Xiaoyun, and the strange inferno from before moved to cover his body. Liu Xiaoyun instinctively felt that this blaze was very dangerous, and she automatically swept out with her sword. She had instinctively responded to Embermane’s threat by attacking rather than defending. However, her sword qi was nonetheless burnt to nothingness when it approached Embermane.
The next moment caused the onlookers’ hearts to tremble as they felt an intense pain overtake their bodies. The formless conflagration had covered the entire region and even caused the sky to turn dark red.
Dai Ao’s eyes popped open when he saw this familiar scene. The feeling that Embermane was emitting was the same as Arikar’s during his battle against Feng Shang in the Astral Combat Tournament. This feeling was exactly the same as when the Karmic Flame Sword had been accumulating power. It was a scorching heat that could burn everything away to nothingness.
Liu Xiaoyun noticed the peculiar similarity, and her gaze turned cold. She was a hundred meters away from Embermane and sliced out towards him with her sword. This technique was her imitated technique of the First Sword of the Thirteen Swords. It sliced through the void and bypassed the flames to directly strike at Embermane.
Feng Jiu was startled.
Tian Hou’s eyes gleamed with surprise under his black robes. What a powerful sword technique.
Hua Yishou blinked; this sword was intimidating.
Embermane was struck by Liu Xiaoyun’s attack, and a sword scar appeared on his red fur. Fresh blood dripped out only to instantly evaporate into steam. He stared at Liu Xiaoyun in shock, as she had actually bypassed his blazes to strike at him.
Liu Xiaoyun frowned and gripped her hilt tightly. What a sturdy defense! Even her strongest attack had not been able to truly harm the fire sable.
Embermane’s eyes widened, and he opened his mouth. A red flame that burned through the void shot towards Liu Xiaoyun, and she once again struck out with her strongest attack to clash against the fire. An unbelievable explosion erupted and caused the void to collapse as countless shockwaves swept in all directions, burrowing through both the earth and the void while numerous spatial cracks appeared. Despite the bedlam, the inferno still descended upon Liu Xiaoyun before her own eyes.
Liu Xiaoyun tightly clenched her blade to defend herself from the blast, but her sword was transformed into molten iron before it evaporated away. Her entire body was struck by the flames, and she spat out a heavy mouthful of blood. She was flung more than a thousand meters backwards, and a good deal of her clothes was burnt away. Her right arm was charred, and her skin had been scorched as well.
She had been defeated by this one strike, by the sheer power of that fire.
Across from her, Embermane marvelled, “Human, you’re still alive, and although I’ll admit that you’re strong, you’re not my match.”
Many of Astral-7’s students were stunned; their student leader, Liu Xiaoyun, a Sword Sect disciple, had been defeated. Was this the power of one of the Spiritual Academy’s four lords? It was no wonder why they were challenging the top four of the Astral Combat Academy.
Multiple mentors shook their heads when they saw that scene from above the grassland. Liu Xiaoyun had tried her best, but she had barely defended herself. The disparity between them was so large that even after she had attacked to defend herself, she had still been defeated. The sword scar on the sable’s skin also gradually recovered. He had taken Liu Xiaoyun’s full force attack without any real defensive measure, making the disparity between them even more apparent.
Liu Xiaoyun’s right hand was injured, but she endured the pain as she looked at the sable. “I lost, and you guys are indeed qualified to participate in the Tournament of the Strongest. I look forward to watching your matches.”
The sable contemptuously replied, “The Tournament of the Strongest? You humans aren’t even qualified to enter my sight since none of you can withstand my inferno. Your top four will be no exception.”
“Alright, since things have ended, let’s go to the trial zone mountain,” Tian Hou quickly said as he intervened.
The fire sable did not provoke the students any further, as he feared Tian Hou. Truthfully, the entire Spiritual Academy feared Tian Hou, who was the strongest Academy Lord.
Five days later, the Technocracy’s competitors reached Astral-5, where they were similarly challenged by Astral-5’s students.
The results were shocking. Astral-5’s Namu, Rou Daynight, and Astral-5’s leader Kuang Wang all lost without question, just like how Liu Xiaoyun had been thoroughly defeated.
These results instantly made all the humans feel gloomy about the upcoming Tournament of the Strongest. Both Liu Xiaoyun and Kuang Wang were academy leaders who could rank among the Astral Combat Academy’s top sixteen students. They were even strong enough to match up against some of the champions from the tournament’s previous seasons, and yet, they had been easily defeated. Many were unable to accept this outcome, and it was an ominous portend for what the upcoming competition would be like.
Many had assumed that the top four from the Astral Combat Academy would win this competition after watching the Astral Combat Tournament. They believed that the finals would be between two human participants. However, quite a few had changed their minds after witnessing the newcomers’ power, especially since the strongest Academy Lord, Tian Hou, had not even shown his skills yet. Additionally, some random fire sable was capable of defeating Liu Xiaoyun. Reality was quite frightening.
Not long after the Technocracy arrived at Astral-5, the Cosmic Sea’s Arcadian Arrow Crew arrived at Astral-3. However, Nightqueen Yanqing had forbidden the academy students from challenging the visitors, which was much different from Astral-5 and Astral-7. The two from the Arcadian Arrow Crew seemed to have some history with the Daynight clan, and their interactions with Nightqueen Yanqing were rather cordial.
Although Nightqueen Yanqing was Astral-3’s student leader, she could not control everyone, and Cang Shi was one of those whom she could not control.
Cang Shi had no personal desire to challenge the visitors, but he had received an order from Chaosgod Mountain to probe the strength of the Cosmic Sea’s two participants. This was because the Arcadian Arrow Crew’s motives in sending these two people to the Innerverse were not as simple as participating in the tournament.
Cang Shi did not know much about the Cosmic Sea, but he had still heard some rumors about it. It was divided into various territories governed by different regiments, with four at the very top. These four regiments were so strong that they could even cause the Innerverse powers to feel fear. They were known as the Four Pirate Crews, and the Arcadian Arrow Crew was one of the few regiments that stood independent of the big four. Chaosgod Mountain had a suspicion that the Arcadian Arrow Crew was planning to withdraw from the Cosmic Sea and that they had joined the Tournament of the Strongest to both allow the Innerverse powers to see their strength and to attempt to find powers that were qualified to accept them. The Daynight clan had their eyes on them, as did the Chaosgod Mountain.
“Chaosgod Mountain? You’re someone from the Chaos Flowzone’s Chaosgod Mountain?” Nate looked at Cang Shi in amazement.
Cang Shi faced Nate. “Yes, please guide me.”
Nightqueen Yanqing’s eyes flashed murderously from beside Cang Shi. “Cang Shi, as Astral-3’s student leader, I order you to back down. Otherwise, I will have to use my authority to put you on trial.”
Cang Shi frowned. He was not Nightqueen Yanqing’s match, especially since she had recently changed and become stronger. She was now worthy of ranking amongst the top four of the Astral Combat Academy, and he could not compare to her.
Nate’s lips curled up in interest. “Miss Yanqing, there’s no need to worry. Since this disciple of the Chaosgod Mountain wants to know the power of my Arcadian Arrow Crew, I am happy to oblige.” And with that, he walked out to face Cang Shi. “You can attack now.”
Cang Shi did not dare to be careless against someone who hailed from a fabled Cosmic Sea regiment. Nate was right when he claimed that the Innerverse was too peaceful and that it could not compare to the cruelty of the Cosmic Sea. Anybody who could survive there was terrifying, which was why Nate despised those Sword Sect disciples.
However, Nate would not dare to look down upon the Chaosgod Mountain, as the cruelty of their training far surpassed what the Sword Sect subjected their disciples to.
The Sword Sect relied on their powerful sword techniques to lead the First Flowzone, and it was very powerful. However, to the people of the Cosmic Sea, they were more impressed by the Chaosgod Mountain as their disciples' survival capabilities far outstripped those from the Sword Sect.
There was a whoosh as enormous air waves blew apart. Cang Shi’s four-lined battle force shot out as his terrifying strength distorted the void and caused traces of spatial cracks to appear.
Behind Nate stood another expert from the Cosmic Sea, and his eyes gleamed as he looked at Cang Shi. “Allow me.”
“Four-lined battle force, not bad. Silus, you can have fun.” Nate smiled and slowly backed off.
The youth called Silus stepped out, and four-lined battle force similarly shot out from his body, though his battle force appeared to be more condensed and deeper than Cang Shi’s.
The two attacked simultaneously. Their collision was almost exactly the same as the scene from the Astral Combat Tournament when Cang Shi had collided against Xia Ye, both using four-lined battle force as well.
Compared to Xia Ye during the Astral Combat Tournament, Silus appeared to be a lot more relaxed. Chaosgod Mountain’s disciples were known for their abnormal instinctive reaction time, but Silus’s reflexes were no worse. His movements were strange but very effective.
Nightqueen Yanqing’s eyes gleamed. She did not care about four-lined battle force, but this Silus’s defensive movements smoothly flowed from one to the next; it looked as if he was always one step ahead of Cang Shi’s attacks, who had the reactions of a Chaosgod Mountain disciple.
“We face constant danger all year round in the Cosmic Sea, to the point where life and death crises have been engraved into us. Be it the atmosphere, liquid energy, native beasts, or other powerful regiments, grave danger can appear at any moment. Hence, there is no rigid structure to our battle style—it remains simple and effective out of necessity,” Nate explained, seemingly having read Nightqueen Yanqing’s thoughts.
The Daynight clan had more of an understanding of the Cosmic Sea than others, but that place became more terrifying the more they learned about it. It was a mysterious place, situated between the Innerverse and the Neoverse. Aside from the regiments that perpetually dwelled in the Cosmic Sea, others would find it hard to even safely pass through. Just like the Neoverse, this was a place that existed independently from the rest of the universe.
Still, even if it was the smallest regiment, it was no simple feat for them to survive in the Cosmic Sea. Each regiment had a Hunter with at least a power level over 200,000 overseeing them, or else they simply would not be able to survive within the Cosmic Sea.
It was precisely because of her respect towards the Cosmic Sea that Nightqueen Yanqing had put aside her status to try to form a relationship with these two. Otherwise, she would not have even bothered to speak with such people. They were much older than her, and if they had been students of the Astral Combat Academy, their age would have forced them to either break through to become Explorers or be expelled. Either way, they would have had no chance to participate in this competition.
Still, these two were very powerful among the Limiteer realm, and Cang Shi was rendered helpless against Silus. The reflexive dodging that he was so proud of was useless in this battle, and he could not even take advantage of his four-lined battle force. He felt exceptionally stifled.
Silus marvelled as he blocked another one of Cang Shi’s kicks. “No wonder you’re a Chaosgod Mountain disciple. You qualify to train in the Cosmic Sea, and you’re much stronger than those disciples from the Sword Sect.”
Cang Shi retreated rather grudgingly, but he was truly at his wit’s end against Silus.
Silus’s lips quirked up in amusement. "Don’t take things to heart. I hadn’t even comprehended four-lined battle force when I was your age. You’re pretty good, but you’re still too far from the current me.” The battle force surrounding his body suddenly morphed into a dark golden color. A terrifying strength exploded and launched Cang Shi backwards.
Nightqueen Yanqing and Cang Shi were stunned; it was five-lined battle force.
“Do you want to keep going?” Silus said with a smile as the dark golden radiance enveloped him, making him appear mysteriously profound.
Cang Shi’s battle force dissipated around his body, and he shook his head. “I’ve lost.”
Silus similarly dissipated his battle force. “You’ll be able to comprehend five-lined battle force in a few years.”
“I heard that someone in the Astral Combat Academy has already comprehended five-lined battle force. Is that true?” Nate suddenly asked as he turned to Nightqueen Yanqing.
Nightqueen Yanqing’s expression became ugly as she duly replied, “Yes, it’s true.”
“That’s good. When the Ten Arbiters were in the Astral Combat Academy, they also comprehended five-lined battle force. This person has been hailed as a Ten Arbiters’ candidate, so I want to see if he is qualified for such a reputation.” Silus raised his head, and some displeasure appeared in his eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA