Lin Yun’s forfeit had caused quite the commotion.
After all, his battle with Zhang Han should’ve been the most exciting match, the one that attracted the most attention out of the sixth group.
All of them were anticipating the battle between Lin Yun and Zhang Han, so Lin Yun’s abrupt forfeit had caught them off guard. However, the commotion only lasted briefly before it disappeared.
After all, everyone had their own battle, and there were also brilliant matches in other groups.
After his forfeit, Lin Yun faced three more opponents, and each one forfeited without a fight.
“Congratulations. Based on the points that you’ve accumulated, you’re no longer required to participate in battles. You have officially advanced to the next round,” said the judge when Lin Yun obtained his seventeenth victory.
This saved Lin Yun a lot of trouble. With his newfound free time, Lin Yun began to stroll through the other groups to scout out his potential opponents. Each group had experts, and there were a few that had him worried.
He only became an outer disciple recently and hadn’t had time to catch up with his cultivation. After all, the best three of each group were in the seventh stage of the Martial Path and probably had trump cards like him.
Now that he thought about it, he only had one trump card with the Flowing Wind Sword, but that didn’t mean that Zhang Han would only have a single trump card as well. He could have several.
“I need more trump cards...” Lin Yun admitted as he watched the other fights.
He was not confident his skillset was enough to make him an inner disciple. He was weak and his trump cards were lacking. There was no way he could make up for these two things anytime soon. Take people like Zhang Han and Wang Ning for example. They were so strong and yet they were still outer disciples after two or three years.
That being said, it was a miracle that Lin Yun had reached the sixth stage of the Martial Path in just three months, especially considering he started as a sword slave. Unfortunately, accomplishments weren’t enough to win this tournament.
As night descended upon the sect, the group tournament had finally come to an end. The eighty outer disciples moving to the next round gathered in front of the stage for words of encouragement from the Sect Master and Elders.
After the speeches were done, the bottom 40 candidates went up to draw lots. Lin Yun’s forfeit had lost him enough points that he ranked just outside the top 40, so he had to wait anxiously on stage with the others for his turn.
Everyone on stage was nervous. They knew that whoever picked Hu Zifeng was doomed.
“Congratulations, Wang Lang. You’ve drawn the strongest outer disciple in the sect, Hu Zifeng!”
While Lin Yun was lost in thought, an Elder announced the results.
Wang Lang fell to his knees defeated. This was the elimination round. One loss and he was gone. He might have stood a chance if he had drawn literally anyone else.
Hu Zifeng was the only outer disciple in the eighth stage of the Martial Path. The gap between him and the other outer disciples was insurmountable. A synchronized sigh of relief came from the other outer disciples when they heard the result.
“Thank you, Elder...” Wang Lang said as he sulked his way off the stage. His year of hard work was about to go down the drain. He was going to have to wait another year to become an inner disciple.
“Lin Yun, it’s your turn to draw lots,” announced the Elder on stage.
Once Lin Yun was onstage, the event took on an entirely different feeling. Just below the stage itself stood the other outer disciples who had made it to the elimination round. Behind them were the other close to 2,000 outer disciples who had not qualified. Elders and inner disciples could be seen watching as well. It truly was an honour to be standing up there.
He took a deep breath before drawing his lot. Without looking, he handed it to the Elder and waited for the result.
The Elder started when he looked at the lot, if only slightly. He gave Lin Yun a look of concern as he announced, “Congratulations, Lin Yun. You’ve picked the outer disciple, Zhou Yun, as your opponent!”
The crowd erupted.
“There’s no way this is a coincidence, right?”
“He is the unluckiest sword slave I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe he picked Zhou Yun for the first elimination round.”
“Wasn’t he humiliated by Zhou Yun in the Mechanism Hall not too long ago? I think back then he claimed he would challenge him at this tournament. This must be a play of the fates.”
“Well, it looks like he got what he wanted. Let’s see that coward forfeit this time!”
Standing not far away from Zhou Yun, Zhang Han smiled, “Senior Brother Zhou, I never would have imagined that the sword slave would draw you as his opponent. I heard you hold a grudge against him?”
“Grudge or not. I will crush him,” Zhou Yun replied flatly.
“Haha! Aren’t those auspicious words. If I’m remembering correctly, Ma Kui said something very similar prior to their fight,” Zhang Han continued to tease.
Before Zhang Han could even finish talking, an immense pressure washed over. Cautiosly, he turned to see Zhou Yun glaring at him, eyes wide with fury. A chilling killing intent rolled off him.
Zhou Yun was only a step away from the eighth stage of the Martial Path.
“Are you comparing me with that trash? Are you suggesting that I will kneel?” Zhou Yun questioned coldly.
With an embarrassed smile, Zhang Han replied quickly, “Of not. It was only a joke, Senior Brother Zhou. Please don’t take it too seriously.”
“Then cut then crap!” Zhou Yun snorted.
All the nearby outer disciples could sense the killing intent permeating from Zhou Yun. Even Hu Zifeng looked over curiously. Seeing how powerful Zhou Yun, they started to feel sorry for Lin Yun.
The result had also come as quick the shock to Lin Yun. However, he wasn’t too bothered by it. Their fight was an inevitability; this just meant the stakes were a bit higher. Either way, all he could do was give it his best shot.
When Lin Yun raised his head, he was met by Zhou Yun’s gaze. The two of them locked eyes, neither willing to back down. The sparks had started flying even before the battle had begun. The atmosphere was intense.
Rage flared within Zhou Yun. How dare the sword slave provoke him with so many people around!
Back then, it was impossible for him to see Lin Yun’s challenge as anything other than a joke. If it hadn’t been for Su Ziyao, he would have crippled Lin Yun then and there. The fact that the sword slave’s challenge was actually coming to fruition was infuriating.
The worst part was the humiliation he felt having Lin Yun look down on him from onstage in front of the sect.
“Alright, you can go down now,” the Elder said, realizing someone would have to break up their stare-off.
In his heart, Lin Yun knew that this would be a tough fight. If he failed here, he would have to deal with more than just elimination.
After all the lots were drawn, the Elder announced, “The drawing of lots has officially come to an end. I know that you are all exhausted from your battles today, and some of you are even injured. The sect has decided that the elimination round will begin fifteen days from now to give you time to properly recover. I hope that all of you can prepare yourselves well for the upcoming battles.”
He had only expected them to give five days. Who had been injured so badly they needed ten extra days to recover?
Regardless, this was great news! He could use this time to make some progress before his match with Zhou Yun.
Returning to his wooden shack, Lin Yun began mulling over a battle strategy. Zhou Yun had been fairly reserved during the group stage, so Lin Yun could only estimate his strength. His best guess was that Zhou Yun was close to reaching the eighth stage of the Martial Path.
Lin Yun was already having trouble with opponents in the seventh stage. Things were not going to be easy. The pressure brought by Zhou Yun’s cultivation was immense, and there was a chance he might not be able to move under its weight. He had doubts that even his greater master of the Flowing Wind Sword would be much help.
“If I don’t think of something soon, I’ll be in serious trouble. I need something to give me an edge. What I’ve got now isn’t going to cut it…”
Then it hit him: he had a fragmented Xiantian Art. He had the Dragon-Tiger Fist.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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