Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 31
31 Trial By Nigh
Lineir looked around. Besides his block, which only had him and the cowled figure, the other blocks also had relatively few people left. None of them actually had the full ten contestants still standing. Instead the block with the most people left was actually block B. Inside, the yellow, purple, and black robed sect cultivators were all standing, as well as two red robed cultivators. All of them were arrayed against each other, except the two red robed cultivators which had somehow managed to be in the same block despite the ruling against having two members in the same sect in one block. In total, counting all the blocks, there were thirteen people left, and all of them were openly cultivators from important sects except Lineir and the cowled figure. There were four black robed Nero Sect members, three purple robed sect members, two yellow robed sect members, and then the two red robed sect members. The commentator stated the rules for the next event.
"Alright, in this portion of the tournament, we will do a king of the hill event. Anyone who wishes to go up and display their prowess can do so in 1 on 1 combat with a challenger. However, be warned, once up, you cannot leave unless you forfeit. At the end, once every challenger is done, the final man standing wins! Who wants to go first?" The Nero Sect members motioned and one of their own stepped up quickly. Whispers quickly filled the stadium.
"That's inner sect disciple Geradine of the Nero Sect! He's succeeded in condensing his Second Heart recently! While not a favorite to win, he should be able to beat off these other sects for a long time!" The purple robed sect quickly sent up their own member, a big hulking man at least two and a half meters tall.
"The Mard Sect sent out Blujeon, he too is said to have recently succeeded in forming his Second Heart, and his physical strength is quite good!" The whispers were more subdued in this case, the Mard Sect was clearly not as famous as the Nero Sect.
"Alright challengers, ascend to the arena and.... begin!" Both members rushed each other, the larger Blujeon looking overwhelmingly more scary. However, when they clashed, with a flash of black light, Blujeon was thrown ten meters out of the arena by a sweeping kick. Looking closely, it was possible to see that the skin on Geradine's leg had blackened veins which bulged with a dark weight.
"The winner is Geradine! Who will challenge him for control of the arena?" For a few seconds nobody moved. Lineir analyzed the situation,
"Interesting, obviously nobody from the Nero Sect will try to knock out their own member now. However, nobody else wants to go up either. Even if they knock out Geradine, they are stuck up there for the duration of the tournament. They would have to win against every opponent in order to be the final man. It is better to wait until most challengers have already been defeated before challenging yourself. Of course... if you are only interested in showing off at the beginning and don't intend to win at all, then that's another matter." Exactly as he said, the second purple robed figure stood.
This second member of the Mard Sect was also hulking huge, and was clearly more imposing then the first. His face was impassive as stone, and it was clear that he practiced some body cultivation technique as his muscles were sharp and angular like a riven boulder. As he ascended, the Nero Sect cultivator Geradine paled and quickly backed off.
"I forfeit!" Instantly the crowd erupted into whispers, but before they could grow too loud, they were silenced as a second Nero Sect cultivator stood up.
"I will go."
"I don't believe it, Geradine actually backed off, but in his place, Lu of the Nero Sect came up! Compared to Geradine, he is miles ahead, he has been an inner sect disciple for a year now, and he succeeded in condensing his Second Heart half a year ago. He definitely knows some techniques. This Mard Sect cultivator is screwed!"
However, when they fought, surprisingly, the battle did not end quickly. Lu and this second Mard Sect cultivator clashed and neither was pushed back, each kick resonated against the other cultivator's with equal force, as if two mountains were fighting. Sharp cracks rang out across the arena and the audience clapped and cheered for both. Lu's face frowned. Dark veins began to bulge over both his legs, and they quickly swelled up in size. A sudden kick and the Mard Sect cultivator was finally blown back a step. In a flash, sensing weakness, he rushed him again. It was as if the mountain was finally coming down, a dazzling variety of snapping kicks and the Mard cultivator was pushed to the edge of the arena. Lu's face smiled as he went to deliver the final blow, heavy dark veins looking unstoppable. But at that moment, the Mard cultivator also finally cracked a smile. Reaching forward with massive hands, he grasped the kick, his arms shining in refractive light and twisted. Caught off guard by this sudden display of speed, Lu was immediately thrown off balance and was sent skittering out of the arena.
"Your Nero Sect's fancy techniques might be stronger than our Mard Sect's, but we at least teach our disciples how to win a fight," The Mard Sect Cultivator growled triumphantly!
The crowd went wild, the Mard Sect had held their cards until the last moment when their backs were against the wall, then won in an instant! The Nero Sect cultivators gnashed their teeth and it could be seen that Lu, who was relatively uninjured, was ashamed as the other cultivators looked down at him coldly. Clearly, he could have won, had he not grown overconfident and fallen for the Mard cultivator's trap. Immediately, the second to last Nero Sect cultivator ascended the stage. However, then things got strange.
"The Mard Sect forfeits the tournament, our point has been demonstrated." So saying, all three Mard Sect members left. The crowd was confused.
"How strange, why did they leave? Sure, the Nero Sect is strong, but they defeated one, even if it was by trickery, why quit here?" But Lineir was not fooled,
"This Mard clan has no methods, that whole display was just to impress the king and the royals and gain face. The Nero Sect is clearly more powerful, and now that they are on their guard, the Mard Sect stands no chance. They'd rather leave while ahead, a smart move. But that means the true tournament starts now. The lions are done fighting, now the tigers lying in wait will spring up. It's not time yet for me to go though, there's still far too many challengers." This time, a yellow robed cultivator entered the arena.
"What sect is this, I don't know them."
"Indeed, I don't know them either."
"I suspect one of the isolation sects of the desert, but I've never seen them either"
The crowd didn't know what to make of this, but the commentator announced the beginning of the fight anyway, and the Nero Sect disciple and this yellow robed cultivator began to go at it. Right away, it could be seen that this yellow robed cultivator had some strange methods. Every time they clashed, the Nero Sect disciple was diverted. A light blue glow would fill the hands of the yellow robed cultivator and it was as if the Nero Sect's blows slid right off.
"Mei, what are those strange methods, it is as if the Nero Sect disciple can't even get his blows to have any power on this man."
"Disciple, it's obviously an elemental water type art which focuses on redirecting power. Water has an extremely strong defensive property most times, but there is a limit to that. If you haven't noticed, the Nero Sect has yet to activate that strange dark veined technique. Yet the yellow robed cultivator is already using his methods just to block normal attacks. This match is already decided by pure power."
Sure enough, eventually the last Nero Sect disciple watching motioned to the one fighting, and instantly his hands began to bulge with black veins and his punches became heavy. The yellow robed cultivator took one hit from them and backed off more and more.
"Smart, the yellow robed cultivator is playing on the mind of the Nero disciple. By backing off, the Nero Sect disciple will unconsciously think about how his fellow disciple was tricked earlier and will become too cautious. This may give the yellow robed cultivator some time to breath. But the power is difference is too great. There is no way the Nero Sect disciple will lose this." Mei was adamant in the gap between powers, and she was right. The Nero Sect disciple hesitated for a moment as the other cultivator backed away but quickly rushed him and shoved him out of the arena.
"Heh, no unknown sect is going to beat the Nero Sect. I don't even know why they try, they probably just want to earn some recognition from the king!" The crowd all seemed to be along these lines. The Nero Sect disciple motioned to the last yellow robed cultivator, who took a moment, but then shook his head and walked out of the arena.
"Haha, he conceded as well, after the pitiful display of his other disciple, it's no wonder!" Jeers and derision accompanied him, but he didn't seem to care. Finally, the Nero Sect disciple turned to the two red robed cultivators which seemed to be the biggest threat. The only other ones left were Lineir and the cowled figure, but they weren't wearing cultivator robes, and thus were not even in the Nero Sect's eyes. The red robed cultivators made to ascend the stage. However, then something strange happened. As they passed Lineir with their hooded faces, they froze. They stared closely at Lineir from under their red hoods and whispered to each other. After a few moments of muttering they walked out of the arena as well. Lineir was baffled,
"What the hell? Do I know them? They didn't even announce that they forfeited, they just left. What is up with this tournament!" Mei calmed him down,
"Relax kiddo, life is strange, right now worry about the tournament. Now it's just the two Nero Sect cultivators and that cowled figure. It's about time for you to enter the stage." As Lineir was about to open his mouth and announce his decision however, the cowled figure stepped up and challenged. However, he didn't even say anything, simply walked into the arena and faced the other challenger. The Nero Sect disciple looked contemptuously at the cowled figure.
"Are you even a cultivator? What sect wears those rags. No matter, I'm not interested in seeing your face. Let's go!" He immediately rushed the cowled figure. However, at that moment, something shocking happened. With a punch so fast Lineir could barely see it, the Nero Sect cultivator was blasted out of the arena into a wall under the spectators. He weakly hung there stuck in the cracked rock and coughed out stream after stream of blood. The other Nero Sect cultivator was dumbfounded.
"Who the hell dares to mess with my Nero Sect!"
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