The final battle had already reached its most critical point. Every battle had either already started or ended. For example, one of the three powers that could decide the result, the Angel Alliance, had been completely annihilated. Adam’s Instrumentality had not been perfectly executed, and him who had transformed into the ultimate lifeform had been eaten. All these changes were enough to influence the conclusion of the final battle. Of course, the place where the conclusion would truly be decided was that fated battle between those two
“We meet again!”
At the moment Zheng and clone Zheng met, clone Zheng had been guarding the entrance to the valley the underground basement was in. His black flames had locked down the entire valley as well as the small hill he was on. Normal people couldn’t even consider coming near. It was only when Zheng flew over and used a powerful chop had these endless flames been parted into two sections. Clone Zheng no longer released black flames, instead looking calmly as Zheng walked to him, the two watching other like this.
“It’s been so long. You’ve chased up to me at long last. Before, I thought no one would ever be able to chase up to me ever again. Unexpectedly, the first to chase up to me would be the me I killed once upon a time.” Clone Zheng was sitting on a giant rock as he looked at Zheng.
“No. I didn’t chase up to you. Indeed, in the past I was chasing after you, believing that as long as I exceeded you, I wouldn’t lose anything again. But I was wrong, completely wrong. Power isn’t what I want. I just need the power to protect my convictions. I don’t actually have to catch up to you, because what will determine whether I can beat you isn’t our power, but whether I have the conviction to protect!” Zheng said seriously as he grasped Tiger’s Soul.
Zheng paused before continuing, “The closer I get to you, the more I can sense how powerful you are. The gap between us is still so large. Perhaps I closed it by an amount that’s not significant compared to Resident Evil Apocalypse, but I can still only look up to you as with before. But this isn’t a reason to lose! I have no reason to lose! I have those I want to protect, and we’ve already promised to make team China stand as the apex of God’s Realm! My clone, let us begin our fight!”
Clone Zheng had been looking carefully at him, and shook his head and sighed, looking at the sky when Zheng finished speaking. “I originally that since we were one and the same person, you would become strong just like me after experiencing a complete extermination of your team. Who knew… You walked the completely and utterly opposite path of mine that couldn’t be anymore different. Forget all that! All that feelings, conviction, protecting or whatever! That’s just a weakling’s excuse for being weak and to cover up your hardheadedness. Come. I shall show you what the words real power actually mean!”
As his words fell, clone Zheng leapt up from his rock and his broadsword came hacking down, and the broadsword and Tiger’s Soul crashed heavily against the other. However, the result was surprising. Despite borrowing his downward momentum, clone Zheng was the one pushed back by the unmoving Zheng. In terms of raw power, Zheng was much, much stronger than his clone.
“Use your black flames. Ten of you aren’t my match if we’re speaking in terms of raw power. After all, our paths of power are different, and mine is one of pure power.” Zheng didn’t chase after to attack, instead shaking Tiger’s Soul as he spoke. The sabre edge was actually covered in a layer of black flames that were burning on nothing, which vanished upon his shaking it.
Clone Zheng who was sent flying back extended his wings, coming to a halt in the air. He didn’t say anything, but only silently looked at the skies. When his head lowered again, his black flames began to become more energetic, and black flames began to encircle two meters around him. The flames seemed to have a will of their own, only encircling his body and sword, and never moving away or closer. It was even more obedient than a pet.
“This is my Light of the Soul, Sinflame! All the hatred, cruelty, weakness and negative emotions in my heart all turn tangible. You wished to see my true power? Then survive and fight me!”
With a wave of his hand, clone Zheng sent flames cascading towards Zheng like a waterfall. Zheng didn’t dare to be negligent and brandished Tiger’s Soul, using Instant Destruction to slash out. If this strike connected solidly with the hill, it would have cut in half. However, unlike before when he easily parted the wall of flames, Tiger’s Soul ground to a halt in this clash, while the flames coiled around Tiger’s Soul towards Zheng.
“Hmm?” A light blade appeared around Tiger’s Soul as Refined Qi was poured into it. He didn’t withdraw Tiger’s Soul, instead taking advantage of the opportunity to rend the flames apart. The remaining flames all returned to clone Zheng’s side, as if that waterfall of flames had only been an illusion.
“Your Sinflames actually have defensive properties too? What a terrifying enhancement. The power of that strike before should have been something even your body wouldn't have been able to withstand, but such a small amount of flames was able to block it.” Zheng sighed, but his hands didn't stop moving and his legs used Soru, instantly bringing him before his clone. Tiger’s Soul was wrapped around in a glittering light blade as it came chopping down. It was like scissors meeting cloth as the light blade easily sheared through the outer flames, as clone Zheng within the black flames held his broadsword aloft to welcome Tiger’s Soul.
The two crashed loudly once again, this time reaching a stalemate. For some reason, clone Zheng could use the support of the black flames on his broadsword to be on par with Zheng’s Instant Destruction. Although it was only an instant of power, it was still enormous. It seemed that apart from burning and defence, it was capable of other marvels.
(It ought to be like this. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to reach the apex of God’s Realm and be universally recognised as such. How profoundly can this flame be used in his hands? True power isn’t based on the power of the skill itself, but the user and its application. This saying can't be any more truer. My clone truly is the strongest.)
Zheng had been using Explosion from the start, and was utterly serious when facing the person titled the strongest. He didn't dare be the slightest bit careless, but even Explosion was more or less on par with clone Zheng’s body. Clone Zheng using his black flames put him on equal footing with Zheng’s Dragon Transformation. With his broadsword, he could match Instant Destruction. Thus, the two were locked in stalemate for a time.
Although the two looked like they were on equal grounds, Zheng was actually aware of how hard this was inside. After all, he was on the offensive right now, and was using Instant Destruction and various skills, such as Soru and Geppou, to achieve this. Then there was those black flames that aroused envy. Zheng may have looked like he wasn’t touched at all by the black flames, but that was actually only by continuously using the power produced by mingling Refined Qi and Magic outside his body to isolate himself from the black flames. Looking at clone Zheng, he still seemed to have some power in reserve. Although Zheng was probing his opponent too and wasn’t going all-out, such a battle was still a downer.
“My clone! Come! Let’s use our full power to determine victory!” Zheng suddenly shouted, when his Qi and Blood Energy began to flow within his body as he prepared to use Destruction.
“No, wait wait. Something’s not here yet. Right, you haven't reached this level yet, so you can't sense ‘him’. Without reaching this level or being endowed with unique talents, you can't sense it…” Clone Zheng suddenly said these inexplicable words that Zheng couldn't understand.
“‘Him’? Who, Xuan?” Zheng’s sabre was chopping out, and he suddenly asked during a lull.
“You can refer to ‘him’ as the beginning, the end. The creator or the destroyer. You can also say he is the maker or author… He is the one who controls our future.” Clone Zheng muttered, shutting his eyes as he no longer said anything.