Book 14: The Finals!
Chapter 122.1: Dai Yueheng's Determination
Generally speaking, soul engineers could only use soul tools of the same class unless there were special processes involved during the crafting of said soul tools, or if the soul tool itself had something unique about it that allowed it to bypass class differences.
How old was Meng Hongchen? The fact that she was already a Soul King was extraordinary; there was no need to ask to know how much importance the Sun Moon Imperial Soul Engineering Academy placed on her. It was almost impossible for her to have reached her current level of cultivation all by herself, and she’d also had to train in soul engineering at the same time.
Huo Yuhao possessed twin martial souls, and the Ice Empress, Skydream Iceworm, and Electrolux all lived in his body simultaneously. Yet, even with all of these factors, even he wasn’t confident that he’d be able to reach Rank 50 and be a Class 5 soul engineer by the age of fifteen.
There was no question that both Meng Hongchen and Xiao Hongchen had had a lot of man-made factors involved in their growth. There was no use telling others what exotic treasures or herbs they’d ingested, but the sheer level of their cultivations also implied that their foundations weren’t stable.
Rank 30, Rank 60, Rank 70, and Rank 90 were the four important milestones that soul masters faced. Meng Hongchen and Xiao Hongchen would experience a decline in their cultivation speed if their foundations weren’t solid enough. They would have to stabilize and consolidate their foundations over a sufficient period of time if they wanted to achieve real success in the future.
This was the reason why it was so apparent that Meng Hongchen hadn’t been the one to forge and produce the Class 6 soul armor that she was currently wearing.
This didn’t mean that she couldn’t display formidable prowess using this soul tool. Instead, she was using her own aptitude and abilities to show Shrek what the future development of soul masters on the continent was likely to be.
Meng Hongchen’s speed increased exponentially as her figure flashed once. She didn’t intend to clash directly with Dai Yueheng. Rather, the thin swords she was holding cut through the air as she stepped to the side.
Two streaks of icy blue light appeared in midair like two bolts of lightning and formed something like a cross, then soared towards Dai Yueheng. They didn’t appear as if they would dissipate either; it was as if they were part of a soul skill.
Dai Yueheng didn’t even attempt to dodge, as he was aware that he didn’t have much time. He swung his tiger-like left hand and unleashed his soul power, causing five beams of golden light to collide with the center of the cross. His forward momentum remained unchanged and unaffected as he did so.
The cross was immediately shattered into pieces, but thick white mist immediately permeated the air. There was no question that this attack had been charged with the Vermillion Clear Icetoad’s intense venom.
Dai Yueheng held his breath, but he still felt his entire body turning cold. It was as if something was invading his body with unstoppable force.
He concentrated his soul power and relied on his body’s powerful resistance to disregard this feeling as he continued his forward lunge towards Meng Hongchen.
Meng Hongchen’s first soul ring had been sparkling ever since she’d made her first strike, which represented her Vermilion Clear Icetoad’s acute poison. At this moment, her second and third soul rings lit up one after the other.
An icy-blue light ring extended out from beneath her feet and covered the entire competition stage in a matter of seconds. This was her second soul skill—Icevenom Ring.
Every ounce of venom that belonged to her Vermilion Clear Icetoad would be amplified inside the Icevenom Ring. She’d taken advantage of the cover provided by Ling Luochen’s Icemist previously to use the Icevenom Ring to amplify her first soul skill and eventually defeat Ling Luochen inside of her own Icemist.
When her third soul ring lit up, something strange began to happen. A mirror-like solid piece of ice that was about five meters in diameter appeared beneath her feet. This ice block projected her reflection, but the scene that appeared was extremely peculiar.
Dai Yueheng arrived in front of her just as she finished unleashing these two soul skills. He shot out the White Tiger’s Fierce Light Wave at her as soon as possible.
The White Tiger’s Fierce Light Wave was extremely formidable under the amplifying effects of his three transformation skills. A beam of white light as thick as an arm tore through the air, booming and crackling with energy. If this beam of light hit its target directly, its power wasn’t inferior in the least to that of a Class 5 energy-gathering soul cannon.
A sinister scene appeared at that moment: Two Meng Hongchens suddenly appeared on the surface of the ice block. The streak of white light flashed by, and the Meng Hongchen that it was targeting simply dissipated like a shadow, while the original Meng Hongchen relocated to another position. Not only had she managed to evade the White Tiger’s Fierce Light Wave, but she’d also managed to relocate to a position behind Dai Yueheng.
Her thin swords sparkled and transformed into sword shadows that pervaded the skies before they stabbed right towards Dai Yueheng. Her swords’ foot-long radiances became concentrated, causing the air around them to release chirping sounds.
This was Meng Hongchen’s third soul skill—Ice Reflection. It allowed her to switch positions with the light images of herself that were reflected on the surface of the block of ice that she’d released. Even though it wasn’t as powerful as Instant Teleportation, it was an extremely practical soul skill that worked well in combination with her soul armor.
Who was Dai Yueheng? He was the White Tiger’s heir, and a Soul Emperor who’d stepped out from Shrek’s inner courtyard. He could be counted as a veteran of countless battles.
He was not in the least bit worried or frightened despite his opponent’s unique soul skills. He immediately swept his tiger-like palms out behind him the moment that his left leg landed on the ground. The sharp talons on his tiger-like palms blazed with large patches of golden light when they clashed directly with the thin swords coming toward him.
The thin swords in Meng Hongchen’s hands were Class 6 soul tools; their offensive power was just as strong as Dai Yueheng’s tiger claws. She relied on her soul tools’ power to forcefully bridge the gap between their levels of cultivation.
Dai Yueheng had severely wounded Xiao Hongchen before this, thus it was natural for Meng Hongchen to feel an acute sense of belligerence when she unleashed her full power.
However, he was still a Soul Emperor after all. Dai Yueheng would be able to overcome Meng Hongchen in terms of strength, soul power, and martial ability if he didn’t have worry about the effects of her venom. Even though a Class 6 soul tool was powerful, Meng Hongchen still wasn’t a Class 6 soul engineer, thus she was only able to temporarily maintain this balance. When Dai Yueheng took the opportunity to spin around and face her directly, she started to crumble under the pressure.
Meng Hongchen’s figure flashed once more as she used her Ice Reflection to relocate herself again. Her thin swords slashed through the air, their shadows permeating through the entire arena as she relentlessly tried to find any weaknesses or loopholes in Dai Yueheng’s defense.
She could wait; she understood that Dai Yueheng was relying on his resistance to fight against her Icetoad’s Venom. However, she was positive that this resistance was time-based. Dai Yueheng would feel the Icetoad Venom‘s effects more and more over the continuous passage of time, which would undoubtedly lead to her being the ultimate victor.
This was the truth, and Dai Yueheng could feel a chill that pierced right into his bones incessantly assaulting his body. Even though his body was tough and he could delay this process for a long time, completely stopping it was impossible for him.
Meng Hongchen was no match for him in close-quarters combat, but she was nimble and agile thanks to her Ice Reflection. In order to hold back Dai Yueheng for as long as she could, she tossed out explosive soul tools from time to time, meant to distract rather than damage her opponent.
Their epic battle made the audience dizzy as they looked on, ear-piercing crackling sounds constantly audible. Dai Yueheng wasn’t slow, but he wasn’t able to gain any sort of advantage over Meng Hongchen, who had a Class 6 soul tool and the help of her Ice Reflection. The situation on the stage remained at a prolonged impasse.
Everybody in Shrek’s waiting area began to frown and curse. They could tell what sort of battle tactics Meng Hongchen was employing, but nobody had expected her close-combat prowess to be so formidable—she was actually able to hold back Dai Yueheng, and she didn’t look like she would be defeated anytime soon.
Dai Yueheng suddenly slowed down, his entire body shivering as a streak of icy-blue light flashed across his shoulder.
However, he had the three amplifying transformation soul skills protecting him, thus the icy-blue sword radiance merely shaved off some of his golden tiger fur. It didn’t damage his body at all.
“Oh no.” Wang Yan’s expression suddenly changed. “I don’t think that Yueheng can withstand the poison anymore.”
Dai Yueheng had used all three transformative soul skills from the beginning of the battle, which was the only way that he could raise his resistance, and in turn his offensive powers, to the highest possible level.
However, Meng Hongchen had refused to clash with him directly; she was as slippery as an eel. Dai Yueheng had almost broken through her defense several times, but his attacks had immediately been dispelled by her automatically triggered Impregnable Wall. Meng Hongchen’s soul power was greatly diminished whenever this happened, but Dai Yueheng’s was being consumed at a far greater rate.
“Believe in him. As a disciple from Shrek’s inner courtyard, if he can’t defeat an opponent one tier of cultivation below him, then he isn’t worthy of stepping out from the inner courtyard.” Ma Xiaotao was the only one able to remain calm, as only disciples from the inner courtyard could truly understand each other.
Still, the situation on stage wasn’t very optimistic. Dai Yueheng had slowed even more after he’d suffered that first strike—it seemed that the Icetoad’s Venom had begun to take effect. The thin swords in his opponent’s hands began to become more ferocious as more and more streaks of sword radiance criss-crossed towards him. His body was quickly cut several times.
Even with the White Tiger’s Shield, the White Tiger’s Vajra Transformation, and the White Tiger’s Devilgod Transformation, he couldn’t completely defend himself against a Class 6 soul tool’s attack. Traces of blood rapidly began to appear on Dai Yueheng’s body. However, what was more important was the fact that Meng Hongchen’s weapons were also tinged with venom as well. The poison would only spread faster now that it had made contact with his blood.
“Urghh!” Dai Yueheng seemed to have become infuriated, or maybe it was because he’d realized the current state of his body. He suddenly roared into the sky, and a dense golden light erupted from his body as his sixth and final soul ring finally began to sparkle brilliantly.
Dai Yueheng’s most powerful soul skill, the White Tiger’s Extermination, had finally been unleashed.
A terrifying aura immediately enveloped an area around five meters in diameter as the intense golden light gathered together form a giant word “Kill” in midair. The shadow of the White Tiger also slowly came into view behind Dai Yueheng at the same time.
Was this his final strike? Meng Hongchen’s mouth curled into a cold smile and a beam of golden light immediately emerged from her body.
She was naturally unable to withstand his White Tiger’s Extermination; the result would be the same even if she used her Impregnable Wall. The gap in their soul power was ultimately too great, and the White Tiger Soul Emperor’s most powerful strike when he was fully amplified was powerful enough to sap her entire pool of soul power, which would cause her to collapse and crumble.
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