Just as Su Yu's Diabolic Sword sank into Du Yuntian's mind, an ancient jade pendant around Du Yuntian's neck emitted a mild emerald green brilliance. The emerald aura warded off the small invisible swordthe pendant was a high-grade soul defense talisman! The First Prince, always prepared, had made sure Du Yuntian was well-guarded against soul-attacks.
Du Yuntian sneered and thrust his sword towards Su Yu's head. "Die!"
In the face of imminent doom, Su Yu had no choice but to use his ultimate defense tactic in order to surviveSu Yu activated his holy decree!
Thud, thud, thud
Su Yu fell backward by five paces, a trail of blood dripped from his mouth. Du Yuntian coldly hummed and flew upwards.
The two figures spun in the air. They cut crisscrossing paths across the arena. Su Yu's insides jolted due to the movement. The space between Du Yuntian's thumb and pointer-finger completely split down the middle, as blood gushed down the hand which held his sword. Du Yuntian's fingers trembled, the sword shaking slightly. There was no way to tell who held the upper hand.
Ten, thirty, fifty movesthe fight continued!
After an hour, Su Yu could feel his anxiety build; the Duke of Xianyu's execution was only an hour away, and there was still no end in sight for this battle! Worst of all, Su Yu was physically exhausted, had lost his agility, and was nearly decapitated by Du Yuntian's sword! Though Du Yuntian found it difficult to hold the sword, his physical strength still far surpassed Su Yu!
Under the arena, the Third Prince's eyes tracked the dazzling purple figure spinning in the air. He'd never thought Su Yu would come so far!
The First Prince realized that he had, at some point, unconsciously sat forward from his relaxed position into a stiff, tense posture. His once peaceful expression had been replaced by a stressed, thin-lipped focus on the fight in front of him. Su Yu was too strong; compared to his time at Xianyu Prefecture, Su Yu's strength had doubled! The First Prince realized, to his horror, that he could not predict the outcome of this fight!
An unfamiliar sense of panic rose in the First Prince. If Su Yu emerged from the fight victorious, he would surely act upon his earth-shattering oath to kill the First Princethere would be no escape!
"Report to the First Prince, the Duke of Xianyu has executed an hour ago." An imperial bodyguard informed the First Prince.
The First Prince's eyebrow raised. "What? Isn't the execution scheduled for midday? Who pushed it forward?"
Just as the First Prince glanced back at the concerning developments within the arena, another gloomy revelation came to light. "The head of the Duke of Xianyu is here!"
"Here it is!" The imperial bodyguard offered up a black box, as it had been the First Prince who personally ordered the executionso, naturally, it was necessary to present the executed's head to the First Prince for examination.
Inside the opened box was a lean and sallow head with a haggard appearance. Who else could it be but the Duke of Xianyu? With a cold sneer on his lips, the First Prince casually flung the head from the black box and tossed it into the arena, behind Su Yu.
Those in the combat preparation zone were taken aback by the head which tumbled to the ground. Everyone was shocked. Xia Jingyu was stunned as she recognized the face of the decapitated head, her delicate body trembled!
"The Duke of Xianyu!" Xia Linxuan uttered in horror.
Completely focused on his fight with Du Yuntian, Su Yu, upon hearing those four words, unconsciously turned back. What met his gaze was a vision he had hoped to never see; behind him laid a cold, dead head.
Though thin, sallow, and haggard, Su Yu recognized the contours and curves of those vacant eyes. Once warm and benevolent, tears streaming alongside a wry smile as flames raged all around himthe self-sacrificing, noble Duke of Xianyu was dead.
Su Yu could see the ghosts of tears that once dripped down the Duke's face before he died, tears meant for Su Yu. A vision of the Duke Xianyu kneeling beneath a cold saber, eyes full of tears as he faced the sky, passed through Su Yu's mind. He could practically hear the Duke's death cries, urging Su Yu to survive.
Su Yu witnessed every moment he'd had with the Duke pass before his eyes, from his arrival to Xianyu Prefecture to the Duke's fiery goodbye.
Tears welled up and blurred Su Yu's vision. He refused to believe the identity of the head before him! It was before middayhe still had an hour left. Su Yu had put everything on the line, had risked his life every minute, every fight, every second in order to save the Duke's life! So how could the Duke possibly be dead?! Twice, Su Yu faced the death of the Duke!
As memories surged forward, Su Yu saw the Duke of Xianyu's every word and smile, every sound and gestureall from so long ago, but so fresh on his mind. Each memory still breathed warmth into his heart, distinct and alive. But now, everything was cold.
The day the Duke of Xianyu was engulfed by the vast raging flames he had given a bleak smile. That smile was a farewell! Su Yu had failed to save the Duke of Xianyu! He had failed.
"No!" Su Yu returned to himself, stared at the cold head, and let out a heartbreaking scream!
An unprecedented hatred raging like ten thousand rumbles of thunder roared in his heart! It was a destructive loathing, furious and violent in its desire to obliterate heaven and hell, and it now warmed Su Yu's heart in place of once pleasent memories.
"First Prince! I will kill you!" Su Yu's eyes were bloodshot, and he roared at the sky.
Hatred and murderous intent penetrated the dark skies, igniting the mountains and rivers of the eartha Viking funeral, sending him off to be buried with the world. Those who sensed the dark energy were shocked and alarmed. A shiver slid down their spines!
The sneering First Prince's heart thumped wildly, but Su Yu's loss of spirit made the First Prince's eyes flash with a victor's ice-cold smile. Provoking Su Yu and making him lose control had created an opportunity for Du Yuntian to kill with a single strokethis had been his last-minute plan!
Shocked by Su Yu's hatred, Du Yuntian's blood ran cold. Still, Du Yuntian caught the intent gaze of the First Prince.
"Billowing Cloudy Sword!" The long sword in Du Yuntian's hand thrust towards Su Yu's back in an icy graceful arc.
"Don't!" Xia Jingyu's pretty face turned aghast, her figure blew forward like the wind, intent on rescuing Su Yu.
However, it was too late.
Du Yuntian's single thrust of his sword had already pierced Su Yu's back! Yet, just as he was about to pierce Su Yu's heart with his sword
A stream of air appeared out of nowhere and spiraled around Su Yu's body. The powerful energy jolted Du Yuntian along with his sword!
"A breakthrough on the spot! A big breakthrough, to another tier!" Du Yuntian was suddenly eclipsed!
Everyone was simultaneously amazed by the sign of a breakthrough! Su Yu's eyes were blood red amidst the collapse of all reason! His chest, mind, and heart were all flooded with unprecedented hatred! The upheaval of his consciousness affected his inner strength, which now flared with unprecedented power.
The majority of rare medicinal plants he had previously ingested while training at the Third Prince's official residence had only settled in his flesh and bloodthe miraculous qualities of the plants had not yet been activated. Now, however, after nine continuous fights, Su Yu had hit the limit of his physical fatigue, and his body was compelled to release the settled medicinal power.
Under desperate circumstances, Su Yu's inner strength had flared in a last-ditch effort to survive and the medicinal plants stockpiled in his system were galvanized. Thanks to them, he finally reached a huge breakthrough! In one go, he had a breakthrough from Level Five Lower Tier to Level Five PeakSu Yu stepped across two full two tiers! These were just the visible breakthroughs, however; inside Su Yu there were even more startling changes.
The small cauldron, entrenched in Su Yu's brain, gently buzzed and vibrated while Su Yu's consciousness was violently shaken up, and two drops of its red liquid dripped out. In the past, only one drop ever dripped at a time this was because Su Yu experienced dramatic emotional shocks, which caused the intense vibration of the Divine Nine-Dragon Cauldron.
Clear and melodious sounds like silver bells resounded through his mind. The two souls of Su Yu completely merged, no longer separated by any barrier! Soul-energy had an unprecedented ethereal quality which was incredibly powerful! At this moment, the transformation of Su Yu's soul enriched and empowered his comprehension.
After the comprehension of Diabolic Sword reached Stage Three Lower Class, Su Yu's progress had plateaued. At that moment, however, with the unprecedented new strength of his combined souls, there were no more obstacles; an incomparable potential for profound comprehension now lingered in Su Yu's mind.
The previously cryptic and difficult to understand Stage Three Upper Class and Stage Three Top Class suddenly made perfect sense in Su Yu's mind.
The Diabolic Sword was thoroughly cultivated to Top Class. Purple Star Thunderbolt had always been some distance away from Stage One Lower Classblocked by an insurmountable barrier. Now, with the sudden merging of his souls, progress with Purple Star Thunderbolt was entirely unblocked it was like water flowing through a canal, fluid and free.
Even the comprehension of that incomparably mysterious holy decree became more approachable with the transformed soul. Su Yu had a faint inkling that perhaps his path to the holy decree had been on the wrong track all along.
The crowd gasped! A breakthrough on the spot!
Among the martial artists, there had been many rumors of on-the-spot breakthroughs. They were said to happen often after setbacks; comprehension would be obtained and a breakthrough would occur on the spot. Su Yu actually had a breakthrough during the final battle! Furthermore, it was a powerful upsurge of a breakthrough!
Countless martial artists were envious and gasped in surprise; Su Yu suffered from many upheavals in his life, and provocation was one of them. His body contained the energy of countless miracle mineral plantsif he had not had those plant stockpiled within his body, would he have had such a breakthrough?
Although outsiders were envious, it was too late to Su Yu! The Duke of Xianyu was dead! He'd wanted to save the Duke of Xianyu with all his heart but, in the end, he had still died at the hands of the wicked ones! Even with the dramatic rise of his cultivation base, what was the point of winning the Holy Crown? The Duke of Xianyu was unable to come back to life!
Du Yuntian, astonished and amazed, quickly calmed down.
"Billowing Cloudy Sword!" Du Yuntian's killing intent skyrocketed and an icy long sword suddenly thrust towards Su Yu's neck, taking advantage of Su Yu's emotional state. This sword, fierce and oppressive, craved blood and death! To this ferocious attack, the fiery Minister remained indifferent; he simply disregarded Su Yu's life.
The icy sword thrust close to Su Yu's neck; just a flip of Du Yuntian's wrist would send Su Yu's head flying!
"Get lost!" Su Yu suddenly turned back. His blood-red eyes projected monstrous hate.
The incisive blade was only an inch away from Su Yu's throat! Du Yuntian was alarmed and fearful under Su Yu's close, blood-red glare. He unconsciously wanted to retreatbut this was a competition of skill within an arenaunder the eye of the Fiery MinisterSu Yu would never dare do anything to harm Du Yuntian, right?
Eyes flashing, Du Yuntian moved forward, clenched his teeth, and used the strength of his palm to turn the remaining sharp point of the sword towards Su Yu's throat!
But, Du Yuntian's hand came up emptyhis long sword had been seized by Su Yu and snapped in two! Du Yuntian was horrified. His sword was forged with cold steel, how could it be so easily broken?
Both of Su Yu's fists pulsated with arcs of violet light, like a ball of purple flames burning within his palms.
"PURPLE! STAR! THUNDER! BOLT!" Su Yu's voice was broken and hoarse with his increasing hatred and sorrow. Deep and gritty like metal on stone, his voice was ear-piercingly sharp with his cold killing intent!
Du Yuntian's sneak attack with his sword had been unsuccessfulhow could he evade Su Yu, now that he was so far within range? Both his arms raised in front of his chest as Du Yuntian desperately tried to block Su Yu's blow. Even if Su Yu's breakthrough was to Level Five Peak, Du Yuntian still had the absolute suppression of the cultivation basewhat could Su Yu do to him?
The moment the pair of violet fist bombarded Du Yuntian's body, however, Du Yuntian's expression abruptly changed!
When the purple flames touched Du Yuntian's arms, he was instantly ignited. Holes burned into his skin as blood bubbled from his arms, his bones crisped to dark black as the pain spread through his entire body. The purple flames, undiminished, penetrated his arms and struck a blow in Du Yuntian's chest!
Du Yuntian mournfully screamed as blood spurted from his mouth and both of his eyes clouded with fear!