Chapter 39: Battle Royale (4)
These two competition matches had sent all of the cultivation clans into a surging mood. The first match’s follow-up had brought everyone even more endless excitement. After two hours, seven powerhouses were determined. Because the number of people in Nantong Province was odd, they would draw a lot from one of the other cities’ runner-ups. It was just that these seven powerhouses were as bright and clear as mirrors in everyone’s hearts.
Tianfeng City, Yuyang City, Zhaoxue City, Zhaoping City, Tongjiang City, Qianzhou City, and Shuilao City.
Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan, a power struggle between the pair from their respective cities of Yuyang and Tianfeng. Victory or defeat would be difficult to distinguish. They stood side by side in the first echelon! The rest… were all in the second echelon!
These two were too outstanding… So outstanding that everyone else simply found hard to ignore! Although the champions from Zhaoxue City and Tongjiang City had shattered two stone steles and rocked seven stone steles as well, they weren’t on that upper level in comparison to Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan. In years past, they’d still been able to astonish others, but this year... with the pearls ahead, they were nothing but cheap ornaments.
In the afternoon, seven turned to four. Xu Yangyi had drawn a bye, and Chu Zhaonan had used a similar move to fell his opponent in thirty seconds.
“This kid…” Xu Yangyi took a drag at the side of the arena and mused to himself pensively. “It seems that he’s not prepared to use more methods before the finals.”
He had a clear understanding that from the start to finish. Chu Zhaonan hadn’t used the pistol at his waist. That was his counterpart’s true killer-weapon. It was a genuine killing move that had to be reserved for a truly deserving opponent.
Four turned into two, and Xu Yangyi disposed of his opponent in ten seconds. In comparison with the single kick he used against Luo Sanfeng, he used three kicks this time. As before, Chu Zhaonan took thirty seconds, still using a stylish rain of bullets, difficult to meet with a direct gaze.
Two people of different styles, two people of similar strength would come together in the finals!
“The finals will be conducted an hour from now.” Firecloud finally stood up after the semi-finals ended. He softly flicked his finger, and two syringes suddenly appeared in Xu Yangyi’s and Chu Zhaonan’s hands. “The name of this item is Golden Spirit Elixir. After it’s injected, qi sea deficits are certain to restore themselves within an hour. It’s already enough for Qi Condensation cultivators.”
Xu Yangyi took the syringe and injected it into his wrist, in a practiced motion. Instantly, a warm sensation flowed through all his meridians. In his qi sea, qi threads began to spread out from his meridians. He looked ponderously at the syringe, and an odd feeling emerged within his heart.
To date, alchemists had completely vanished. Or perhaps it should be said that following the effluence of time, the ancient techniques had already been lost to the long river of time. If it weren’t for modern-day cultivators being equally as brilliant and electing to use syringes and capsules to contain concentrated, purified pill elixir, the ancient occupation of pill concoction would’ve ceased to exist long ago.
However, alchemy wasn’t western medicine. Even better capsules and syringes couldn’t stop medicinal leakage; only so much could be stopped. He and Chu Zhaonan had nearly finished injecting the medicine at the same time. By chance, both of them looked at the other. Their battle intent was evenly matched without the slightest concealment, like stars on a winter night or a broiling flame on a summer day.
Nothing was said. The two of them turned their heads and returned to their stone rooms. Right now, nothing more needed to be exchanged. This was a struggle for supremacy. They had defeated all of their opponents to stand in front of each other.
“Minister.” At the same time high above the stage, the special assistant at Chu Tianyi’s side whispered, “I’ve thoroughly investigated it. Everytime Xu Yangyi finished his matches, he grabbed his opponent and asked this: ‘was it you’.”
Chu Tian slowly opened his eyes that were closed in rest and swept his extremely complicated gaze over Xu Yangyi. His voice didn’t waver as he asked, “Are you sure?”
“I am ten thousand times certain!” The assistant promptly bowed.
Chu Tianyi shut his eyes again, and his assistant tactfully departed at once. No one had discovered it, but his eyes beneath his eyelids were ceaselessly quivering. It had been completely beyond his expectations… that the talent of this Xu would actually be so high! It wasn’t anything to make a Qi Condensation cultivator lose the paragonship. With his status as deputy minister, nobody would split hairs over it. However, it was completely different matter if the Qi Condensation cultivator was a Foundation Establishment seed!
From what he could see in his eyes concerning Firecloud’s and Shadowslay’s attitudes, he was understood very well that both of them had been moved… absolutely stirred! This Foundation Establishment seed would even be sheltered by these two Foundation Establishment cultivators! Even if the Seniors didn’t discover such an oddity like the Immortal Intoxication, he was better off playing things safe in any case!
If by chance… what if he was discovered? If by chance… this boy advanced to Foundation Establishment, in the future? A trace of remorse slowly began to creep up from the bottom of his heart.
An hour passed by extremely quickly. As Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan walked on top of the arena stage, time seemed to freeze in frame. Up above, the four massive characters of Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens were impressive to the eye.
They were so tightly surrounded by thousands of cultivators and the clans that not even a drop of water could penetrate through. On the enormous 10,000-plus-meters-long arena platform, there were only the two of them.
As if a soundless wind blew across the arena stage, all gazes converged upon their bodies. The battle of champions had taken four to five hours, however, two monsters had appeared this graduation. Surprisingly, within these many hours, everything would come to a conclusion! This was even with the added time for rest!
Yet the passion of all those present hadn’t waned at all because of this shortness of time! The struggle of sheep was nice to look at, but it was no more than a kick to the head. What they desired to see was a genuine struggle of lions! The exchange of moves by true experts!
“Old Third.” At this moment, in the audience stands above, an old man wearing a scholar’s gown faintly shook his folding fan, yet what he said was decisive enough to chop nails. “Could you see how many high-grade spirit stones you can convert our Scorchtail Mulberry Yang Wood into?”
On his chest, there was an emblem of a tree leaf with the character of Zhao (赵) brightly dazzling on it. This wood was a major financial resource of Fengbao’s Zhao Clan, but at this moment he didn’t hesitate to take it out in the slightest!
“Fifty pieces won’t be a question!” Of the seventy-strong Zhao Clan team, this inquiry was met without a single retort. The one called Old Third was a middle-aged man with a common appearance, who slightly bowed in caution. “If it doesn’t compare to the gifts of the Big Three, I still have a high-grade artifact I am willing to use to bet with the clan master.”
“Others may be worried about the Big Three, but our Meng Clan of Fengbao is not.” On the other side, a fortyish-year-old woman said lowly, “Liquidate the fixed assets and prepare to discount. Cultivation is like a boat going against the current. If the clan doesn’t develop, it can only be sealed in step!” Her gaze trembled. “There are somethings that can be allowed, but there are others… that cannot be permitted for!”
Thud… Among the countless quiet discussions taking place, Xu Yangyi’s combat boots walked atop the even limestone tiles. He studied a figure a hundred meters away. Right now, it was as if the pair were walking through a desert, climbing the precipice. A roiling wave of fire in his heart caused him to tightly clench the bandages on his fist.
Click… Clack… The neither slow nor hurried sound of footsteps could be heard as the two walked towards facing each other, like swordsmen on a rainy night taking a leisurely stroll, knights with braided tassels with scimitars bright as snow. The two of them yet to arrive, a soundless battle intent had already ignited in silence, like oil added to an inferno. 
“You’ve finally come.” Chu Zhaonan’s voice was somewhat raspy. He had prepared far, far too long for this moment. To be unrivaled beneath the heavens, there could only be a single person walking alone! He had to be that person!
“So, I have come.” Xu Yangyi nodded, looking seriously at his counterpart. “You’re an opponent that deserves a show of my full strength.”
Presently, Firecloud and Shadowslay were sitting upright; their gazes had never shifted away from these two fiends.
“The time has come…” Shadowslay’s voice carried a slight hoarseness to it. Echoing through the entire arena, it was gentle, peaceful, and brimming with an oppressive might. He raised his hand high and looked at everyone. In this instant, the hordes of crowds all went silent.
There was no wind, yet the sound of breathing seemed to be heard. There was no rain, but the sensation of cold sweat seemed to be felt in hand.
The gazes of middle-stage and late-stage Qi Condensation cultivators were scorching hot. The expectations in the hearts of the initial-stage Qi Condensation cultivators were like the swift fire of a curved bow
“For the Nantong Province paragonship battle…” Firecloud’s boundless voice echoed within the arena, faintly reverberating.
“Shh….” On the grandstand, Lilac sucked in deeply, her lips pursed slightly tight. It had been too long… Too long since there had been such a long-awaited battle of initial-stage Qi Condensation cultivators. These two of the initial stage… were freaks in a class of their own! Monsters that had transcended ranks, and on the contrary had exterminated all challenges!
An exchange of fists between freaks, a game of superhumans. She didn’t know who would be the last one unrivaled beneath the heavens, and she didn’t want to guess. However… she had already urgently contacted the CSIB Nantong Province branch just now to obtain an answer…
They had to be won over!
“It is Yuyang City’s Xu Yangyi versus Tianfeng City’s Chu Zhaonan.”
At her side, Hibiscus’s complexion was similarly cautious. At the very beginning, she had only known that Xu Yangyi had slain a berserker, and the business on the airplane to poach him. She was the same as Lilac; it was outside her expectations that the person she wanted to snatch was an absolute supreme talent! Even if he was no Sunnihilator, he wasn’t to be out done!
The Featherwood Guard… truly needed such a talent… No! Where was such a talent not wanted? Disregarding cultivation clans of any size, it was clearly understood that the Big Three were determined to win these two. Weren’t their eyes also green with desire?
Following these words, the heavens… opened. The four characters of Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens released a drizzle of white light, resembling an endless qi canopy as they leisurely extended down from the sky. Mist like fog and fog like dust, rays of misty white light penetrated the half-concealed, half-covered white mists, reflecting a magnificence that enchanted the heart.
Cold fields condensed with morning mists, a frosty sky scattered the evening glow of dusk. 
Threads and strands created four white barriers that were established all around the arena perimeter, completely isolating sound.
“This is a method left behind by a Dao Master, capable of blocking three blows of a Great Circle Foundation Establishment cultivator.” At the same time these words rang out, Xu Yangyi and Chu Zhaonan suddenly raced towards each other nearly in sync. They brought with them a screaming gale, like two trains racing at full speed!
In the VIP section of the audience stands, Chu Tianyi narrowed his eyes. Beside him, Fang Tansheng tightly grabbed onto the handrail. No one clamored, cried out in alarm, or shouted out words of encouragement. They only watched the two silhouettes that didn’t have the slightest intention in pulling back! Two silhouettes shot towards each other like arcs of electricity!
Without avoidance or evasion, this was a truly forceful contest of strength!
BANG! Both of their fists were different from before. Now, they were completely wreathed in white spiritual force, suddenly impacting together!
1. 吴钩 - Scimitar. Not actually a scimitar but close enough. Ancient Chinese hook sword. Copy and paste these characters into google to get a better idea of what it looks like.
2. 寒野凝朝雾，霜天散夕霞 is a flowery phrase part of a poem by a Tang Emperor, Li Shimin.