Chapter 323: Tian Hou And Pressure

Five-lined battle force might not necessarily dominate in the Tournament of the Strongest, but it was still very powerful within the Limiteer realm. Tian Hou had assumed that he would be able to easily defeat Grandini, but his thoughts had been too simple. After all, she had comprehended battle force and cultivated it all the way to five lines.

“Don’t look down on the Mavis family!” Grandini shouted and the void vibrated with a thump. She charged at Tian Hou with a raised fist as her five-lined battle force burst forth to sweep through the void, attempting to seal Tian Hou in place and prevent him from merging with the void.

Tian Hou did not vanish this time, and instead, he raised his hand shrouded in his black robes to meet Grandini’s punch head-on.

Under everyone’s gazes, the intense shockwaves from the resulting explosion crushed the ground and destroyed the entire battlefield. An enormous spatial crack that led to the void appeared, opening from above and tearing down into the ground once more, releasing an ear-splitting sound.

Lu Yin and the rest’s eyes narrowed as they stared on in horror. This was impossible. Grandini had exhibited an inhuman strength that was strengthened even further by five-lined battle force and Thirteen Stacks, and yet, her attack had been blocked by Tian Hou! What was more even more terrifying was that he had not taken a single step back.

This scene shocked Lu Yin as well as everyone else, including Yun who had belittled everyone else with her gaze.

This strike was extremely powerful! It was backed by five-lined battle force, fused with Thirteen Stacks, and propelled by the Mavis family’s unique strength. This punch already surpassed Lu Yin’s peak attack when he had fought against Nightqueen Yanqing during their battle. This singular punch was definitely enough to contest for the championship in any of the previous Astral Combat Tournaments. And yet, such a powerful punch had been easily received by Tian Hou, to the point where his clothes had not even fluttered.

Grandini’s eyes flickered. “Impossible, yo-” But before she could finish speaking, Tian Hou grabbed, twisted Grandini’s right hand, and released a black shine. An intense pain rushed through her body, and Grandini’s face changed. She waved her left hand to decisively sever her right arm and then quickly retreated. The next instant, her right arm vanished into the void.

Many students were stunned while Lulu stared on in disbelief. That woman was being suppressed to the extent where she could not even retaliate. Despite all else, they were both from the Mavis family.

Tian Hou released his hand, and his eyes that were hidden beneath his black robes flashed with admiration. “Pretty good battle awareness. Just a moment more, and you would have been defeated.”

Grandini panted heavily as fresh blood flowed down from her amputated right shoulder and dripped onto the ruined ground. She stared at Tian Hou in amazement. “What is your actual body? You must be at least one of the top five existences in the Heavenly Beast List to be able to receive my punch so easily.”

“I’m not on the Heavenly Beast List,” Tian Hou faintly replied.

Grandini’s eyes narrowed. “An uncommon race?”

“Shall we continue? The Mavis family is powerful, but it’s a pity that you haven’t used your innate gift yet.”

She frowned. “You even know about the Mavis family’s innate gift?”

“I’m Skymender’s disciple.”

She took a deep breath. During this battle, she had been suppressed from start to finish and hadn’t even had a chance to catch her breath. Now, her right arm was even gone, but she was still unwilling to forfeit. Just like what Lu Yin had said, the Mavis family was born with a strange strength and a thirst for battle to match. Since she had already fought to such an extent, she would stake her all on this fight.

The air swirled around Grandini before sweeping upwards as a verdant green color flashed through in her eyes, just like when she had dealt with that Explorer in the Shenwu Continent’s imperial palace during the Outverse trial. The green in her eyes was not obvious, but it was like a firefly in the night to Tian Hou, who had been carefully observing her. “You want to forcibly display your innate gift? Even if you could display it in full force, it would still be ineffective against me.”

“The Mavis family is unparalleled!” Grandini shouted valiantly as her eyes opened wide. She looked at Tian Hou and then charged forward with her left palm extended. All of her five-lined battle force was concentrated onto her left palm as she slammed it downwards. “Seventeen Stacks.”

From the sky, a hand covered in a dense, dark golden radiance pressed down with Seventeen Stacks, shaking the void. Nearly causing the entire heavens to tear apart and causing many to be overwhelmed with horror.

Tian Hou slowly raised his head, but he did not move. Instead, he allowed the palm to slam straight into him.

In that instant, even the competitors from the Astral Beast Domain felt numb, as this attack had shocked them greatly. If they were the ones on the battlefield, then they would have definitely been instantly crushed to pieces.

The competitors from the Technocracy similarly stared at the battlefield in shock. This was a very powerful strike, and the Seventeen Stacks exploded at the same time as Grandini’s five-lined battle force.

Lu Yin, Starsibyl, Han Chong, Liu Shaoqiu, Zi Jun, and the rest all watched on with somber expressions. This strike would determine the outcome of this battle.

Grandini’s palm landed on Tian Hou’s head, causing his black gown to rip apart as the shockwaves disturbed the entire battlefield, flipping it over and warping the void. The majestic and terrifying strength of this attack had transformed into ripples that affected even the mentors’ barrier around the arena.

“Wha- what is that?” Some students stared upwards, their expressions looking as if they had seen something inexplicable.

Up in the sky, beneath Grandini’s left palm, stood a silent, black humanoid being. It looked like a human shaped spiral but without any physical body or skin. And yet, the figure had seven orifices as well as limbs.

Everyone was dumbfounded. What kind of trick is this?

Lu Yin was lost as well. What is that?

Starsibyl abruptly stepped forward, and her face grew extremely solemn. So it was this living creature. No wonder it was so terrifying.

Yun from the Technocracy was shocked as well. Such a creature has actually been born.

The other competitors from the Astral Beast Domain were shocked as well, as this was their first time seeing Tian Hou’s true body. 

Countless audience members were stunned, and even though they could not comprehend this scene, many of them seemed to realize something as their faces paled.

“The Astral Beast Domain has actually given birth to such a creature once again. Immediately send a request to destroy it,” an Astral Combat Academy mentor spoke up.

“There’s no point. The higher-ups have already reached a consensus. Since this creature dares to appear, it must be confident that we won’t kill it. No wonder it’s called Tian Hou.”

Throughout the Human Domain’s great organizations, many astonished elders stared at the screens in front of them displaying the competition. “The Astral Beast Domain actually dares to bring such a creature over! It looks like this truce is inevitable, but the humans don't have the initiative.”

The Sword Sect’s leader stared at the screen with a profound bitterness. This being had once left an indelible stain on the Sword Sect. This was because a previous sect leader had been swallowed by such a creature.

At the border of the Erudite Flowzone, Shui Chuanxiao watched as Tian Hou appeared and laughed grimly as he released his wine glass. “It looks like that bunch of elders has reached a common understanding. My time is over.”

“Hey monkey, what’s this toy?” Lu Yin asked.

The Ghost Monkey was appalled. “It’s appeared again... no wonder he’s called Tian Hou. How did I not realize this earlier?”

“Hurry up! What is this thing?” Lu Yin was curious, especially since he had seen an expression of shock appear on Starsibyl’s face—it was his first time seeing such an expression on her.

“Cosmic Hou. It’s a bizarre lifeform. You can think of it like a lifeform born from natural phenomena. It once appeared tens of thousands of years ago. Back then, it also swallowed the Sword Sect’s leader.” The monkey didn’t say very much, but his last sentence was enough to send chills running down Lu Yin’s spine.

“Is it very powerful?”

“It’s not just powerful, but extremely formidable as well. This thing can train, has a consciousness, and can do anything that normal beings can do. Within the same realm, very few can launch an attack that can surpass its upper limits of resistance. You remember the Daynight clan’s Technique of Immunity—you can think of this as having an upgraded version of that. There’s almost no attack that this thing can’t withstand.”

Lu Yin’s eyes narrowed as he stared up at the mysterious creature in horror. Grandini had put all of her strength into that strike, yet Tian Hou showed no change. That had been a punch powered by five-lined battle force combined with Seventeen Stacks, but not even that could make Tian Hou retreat a single step. This was Tian Hou.

“Seventh Bro, you’re really unlucky. Any of you would have been considered to be the strongest before the universe’s great changes, but everything changed when formcast models were developed. The Ten Arbiters were birthed, and now, people like you have become normal. There are more and more monsters like Tian Hou appearing every day now. I pity you.” The Ghost Monkey seemed to rejoice in Lu Yin’s misfortune.

Lu Yin remained silent and only gazed upwards.

Everyone else also looked upwards.

Tian Hou raised his head. Apart from the creature’s seven orifices, its face was a pitch black vortex, though its eyes still flitted about. “I’ve already said that it’s pointless. Even if you use your innate gift to forcibly seal me, you still can’t harm me.”

Grandini withdrew her left hand with a pained look. “So you’re actually a Cosmic Hou. There should be no one who’s your match in this competition. I’ve lost.”

Tian Hou unhurriedly raised his hand and placed it upon Grandini’s forehead. A black vortex appeared within his palm, distorting the void as Grandini was banished.

“The first match of the second round. Victor: Tian Hou.”

No one spoke, as everyone had been overwhelmed by the reveal of the Cosmic Hou. This battle had been too oppressive; Grandini had started out at full force, but she had only managed to destroy Tian Hou’s robes and couldn’t injure him in the slightest.

Before Tian Hou left the battlefield, his eyes swept across Starsibyl and Yun, and then, he slowly exited.

“Seventh Bro, he’s blowing you off!” the monkey shrieked unhappily.

Lu Yin muttered to himself, deep in thought. The pressure that he felt from this Tournament of the Strongest was growing stronger with every match he watched, especially since no one knew how far the strength of a mysterious lifeform like Tian Hou went. It seemed as if his preparations had still been insufficient, and that he needed to upgrade his strength even further, but how could he do it? He first thought of the strengthening fruits, but he had no money left. Did he need to take out a loan?

As Lu Yin thought about it, he started looking around; who would lend him some money?

“Brother Lu, fortunately, you snatched that blank lot, or else you would have been the one fighting this battle.” Han Chong smiled at Lu Yin.

Lu Yin sized Han Chong up and down. Is this fellow loaded?

Han Chong felt uncomfortable when placed under Lu Yin’s avaricious gaze. “Brother Lu, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing.” Lu Yin turned around.

Han Chong felt strange, but he did not press the matter any further.

At that moment, the second match of the round was about to start, and this battle seemed that it would be even more interesting to watch than the previous one. On one side was Liu Shaoqiu; the Sword Sect’s Thirteen Swords had always been one of the biggest attractions in this tournament, especially since Liu Shaoqiu was reported to have completely comprehended the Fourth Sword. Everyone wanted to witness the might of the Fourth Sword. His opponent was Yun.

Her familiar contempt reappeared on her face, and Yun remained as haughty as before even when facing Liu Shaoqiu.

In front of their screens, many viewers were seething with excitement, especially the Sword Sect disciples who wished for the Thirteen Swords to directly eliminate this arrogant woman.

Against Yun, Liu Shaoqiu did not dare be careless, and he quickly used star energy to form his blade. The tip flickered as the blade distorted the void without even moving at all.

Yun was astonished. “Not a bad sword technique. What’s the name?”

Liu Shaoqiu indifferently replied, “The Sword Sect’s Thirteen Swords.”

Yun instantly understood. “So it’s the Thirteen Swords. How many can you use?”

“That depends on how many you can take.” Liu Shaoqiu slowly raised his sword.

Yun sneered. “How foolish. I heard that your Sword Sect has proclaimed itself to be the emperor on the path of the sword. Well then, let’s see if you can unleash a sword technique that can defeat me.” Then, a single finger of hers tapped towards Liu Shaoqiu. It was very clearly one finger, but it released a sudden thunderclap as an extremely sharp energy tunnelled through the void, aimed directly at Liu Shaoqiu.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox

TLC'ed By: OMA