Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The eyes of everyone at the grandstands fell onto Xu Que as soon as he finished.
Xu Que challenged Zhou Yan of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty.
Zhou You had defeated Phoenix of the Barren State in the previous battle. Xu Que had, of course, set his sights at the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty because of that battle.
However, Zhou Yan was not weak. Or rather, he could have been said to be very powerful. It was anyone’s guess if Xu Que, who specialized in killing powers and the Rules of Darkness, was capable of beating Zhou Yan.
At the same time, Zhou Yan’s eyes fell onto Xu Que as well. He walked, and his robe with golden phoenix designs on it billowed, making him look incredibly dashing.
The Barren State had seven ranked among the top hundred while there were only four from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty. The two previous battles were fought between the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty and the Barren State. They were already at a disadvantage in terms of numbers at the moment, so it was not an option for Zhou Yan to lose to someone from the Barren State.
The Sky Saint looked at the sacred king on the grandstands at the Eastern State’s corner. He smiled and said, “Who do you think will win this battle, Sacred King?”
The sacred king glanced the two at the forum stage with a cold expression, exuding the might of a ruler, then said calmly, “Zhou Yan, of course.”
“Is that so?” The Sky Saint smiled and added, “You’re indeed confident, Sacred King.” While there were none of the Sky Saint’s students participating in the event, he remained interested nonetheless.
Zhou You was the most powerful of the students from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty participating in the Nine State Forum. He had challenged Phoenix of the Barren State right from the first battle. However, Zhou You had definitely not anticipated that the Barren State was so forceful, challenging someone from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty in the very next battle. As such, it felt as if the previous battles had become a showdown between the students of the two major forces: the Barren State and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty.
It would have been fine if the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty was able to win. If they were to lose, however, it would have reflected badly on the sacred king.
Zhou You naturally had formidable powers, but then again, Xu Que was not the most powerful one from the Barren State. Yu Sheng still had not fought yet. If the showdown were to continue, it was anyone’s guess how it would end up.
The Sky Saint smiled at the thought, becoming rather intrigued by the battles between the younger generations, which seemed to be getting rather amusing.
The sacred king was not the only one interested in the upcoming battle; every great figure sitting at the grandstands was just as interested, looking forward to seeing those two fight.
First the Zhisheng Cliffs and now the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty. The students of the Barren State sure are tough.
“Xu Que, of the Holy Zhi Palace.” A lazy voice was heard. Xu Que stood around nonchalantly, seeming to pose no threat to anyone. However, his previous battle had left a deep impression on those who saw it. As one capable of lurking in the shadow, disposing of his targets in silence, he might not have been the strongest, but when it came to a life and death battle, he would definitely was among the deadliest.
“Zhou Yan.” A cold yet forceful voice was heard from the man himself. Golden phoenix shadows appeared brilliantly just like with Zhou You. He was basking in the light of golden flames. As a descendant of the royalty of the sacred dynasty, his awakened blood of the golden phoenix and his natural talents made him a terrifying figure.
The golden flames swept through their surroundings. The aura bursting from Zhou Yan’s body seemed capable of burning everything down. A cry of the phoenix was heard, and a shadow of the golden phoenix launched at Xu Que at blinding speed, as if to drown Xu Que right there and then with its golden flames.
Voom… An extremely ferocious aura descended in an instant and took up a corner. The phoenix came down with intimidating force. However, a grey afterimage was seen, and Xu Que’s body disappeared right from where he stood.
The eyes of the spectators followed where the afterimage went. Streaks of grey currents filled the forum stage. Xu Que’s silhouette seemed to have been extended, making it seem like he was everywhere. Grey auras flowed within that space, coiling around Zhou Yan. That place gradually turned dark, as if the entire place would meld into the shadows.
“Power of Rules of Darkness.” Everyone’s eyes were fixed on the battlefield, trying to discern what was happening. While the Rules of Light and Darkness had no inherent offensive capacities, they nonetheless remained one of the most terrifying rules to be found. It was especially so for those capable of manipulating such rules perfectly, enabling them to bring the power of said rules to the extreme.
At the moment, Xu Que seemed to have immersed himself within that dark space. There was not a tinge of his aura to be found. Many sage level figures who were not of very high training were not even able to tell where he had hidden.
Zhou Yan was caught in the darkness. He continued to bask in boundless golden light. The phoenix’s shadow grew increasingly large, shining light in that place, attempting to penetrate the darkness. However, the dazzling bright light of the phoenix was devoured right as it touched the darkness. The light dissipated into the darkness.
The light of golden flames did not originate from the power of rules, and as such, it was only natural that it was incapable of penetrating the Rules of Darkness.
The cry of the phoenix grew even louder, and with a violent flap of its golden fiery wings, Zhou Yan gradually took to the air. Beams of golden light seemed to burst from his body, shooting at the dark space around him. The expression of the spectators changed as they saw the beams penetrate into the darkness. The attack had apparently seeped into the dark space, attempting to kill Xu Que, who was lurking within.
Voom. A huge dark current lashed out at Zhou Yan like a dark shadow, exuding terrifying killing aura. Zhou Yan turned around and the wings of his phoenix vibrated and flapped forward. Wisps of golden fire feathers imbued with immense devastating power burst forth, penetrating the dark current heading for him. The dark current exploded. Slivers of killing aura extended from within, but Xu Que was nowhere to be found.
At the same time, in the surrounding dark spaces, an intense sense of danger emanated and slivers of killing aura wandered in the darkness, coalescing into a killing storm.
Zhou Yan took a look at the space around him that grew increasingly dark. He frowned as the dark currently seemed intent on drowning him. If he was further caught in the darkness, his defeat would be inevitable.
The brilliant wings flapped harder and faster. A hurricane whipped up, and golden lightning burst. A golden phoenix appeared on the battlefield and headed straight for the darkness. Terrifying golden flames burned the darkness, intending to burst out of it. Zhou Yan’s eyes seemed to have failed him at the very moment he burst into the darkness. There was nothing but pitch black darkness before him, and not even his spiritual will was able to pierce through it. Being able to only sense his immediate surroundings, his only choice was to go forward.
An intense sense of danger loomed as thousands of killing aura descended upon him. The phoenix’s wings flapped. Intense golden light burst from it, clashing with the incoming killing aura.
Yet, at that very moment, the hairs on Zhou Yan’s body all stood up, and he felt a bone-chilling cold. It was an intuition like no other. An incredibly cold sword fell above him in the dark. Zhou Yan seemed to have been clad in phoenix armor, yet the sword was still able to burst with the most powerful killing intent without making a sound. All the killing aura within the darkness seemed to coalesce into a single sword, which burst through the armor and shattered it.
Zhou Yan felt himself freezing to the bone as he sensed the killing aura seeping into his body.
“I yield.” Zhou Yan’s reaction was incredibly fast, and he was able to yell in time. Regardless, if Xu Que dared continue his course, Zhou Yan dared not make the gamble.
The dark current dissipated right as soon Zhou Yan’s voice was heard. He fell from the sky and dropped to the ground in an unceremonious manner. He was clouded in a layer of dark aura, losing all the brilliance about him from before.
“Cough…” Zhou Yan spat up black blood with a slight cough. He lifted his head and stared at the silhouette that just made it to the ground.
Xu Que returned to looking lazy and nonchalant, making it appear as if he did not care about what just happened.
“While Zhou Yan is powerful, but he was completely overwhelmed in this battle. He was unable to bring his powers to bear at all.” Many who watched the battle were trembling. So this is the Rules of Darkness, and it seems that Xu Que has developed matured use of it.
The Sky Saint smiled as he glanced at the sacred king at the grandstands. At the moment, the sacred king was staring at the battlefield as well. His eyes were on Xu Que.
A descendant of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty’s royalty was defeated in that battle. Worse still, it was a crushing defeat.
While Zhou You had indeed been able to overwhelm Phoenix, he had been injured by her nonetheless. On the other hand, Zhou Yan was unable to even touch Xu Que.
Furthermore, Zhou You had been the most powerful of the ones from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty participating in the event. When compared in this wat, the sacred dynasty looked rather awkward.
Xu Que returned to his corner at the Barren State after the elder announced the outcome. He lifted his head and took a look at Phoenix, who was near Ye Futian at the grandstands. He smirked, looking rather pleased with himself. Phoenix looked at him and smiled while covering her mouth.
“Show off,” Ye Futian chuckled and said. Regardless, Xu Que had been able to avenge Phoenix in that battle.
“Continue.” The elder’s voice was heard, and another figure was seen walking out. Many looked on with amused expression. The one who walked out was also from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty.
His eyes were still on the remaining six from the Barren State.
“This…” Many looked at the scene puzzled. Both sides already seemed to be at each other’s throats while the battle for the top hundred just began. None seemed to yield to each other in terms of show of force. But then again, it was very normal. The Nine State Forum had always been a battlefield fought between sacred grounds. It was inevitable to have sacred grounds go tit-for-tat with each other. All from sacred grounds were proud people, after all.
“I challenge Hua Jieyu of the Barren State.” A voice was heard. This time, the one from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty challenged the wife of the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State.
Hua Jieyu walked out calmly. The other five glanced at her would-be opponent coldly. Their eyes were a clear indication that the battle was still being fought between the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty and the Barren State. Furthermore, if Yu Sheng were to battle in the next round, the Sacred Dynasty’s defeat was almost inevitable.
As such, it was imperative for the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty to win that battle. It would have been three losses out of four battles for them, completely overwhelmed by the Barren State. Worse still, if the outcome were to be such, there would be only one from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty left in the top 50—Zhou You. On the other hand, there would be at least three from the Barren State remaining in the top 50.