Chapter 34: An Unlikely Opponent
‘I know,’ Hui Yue said with a sigh. Hearing the haughty and arrogant phoenix sound so genuinely apologetic caused Hui Yue to feel better about the subject.
It was true that Hui Yue had been fuming with rage, back when he had first learned about Lan Feng; however, the phoenix had given him plenty in return in the last ten years, which included paving the way to the path of being an unrivalled cultivator for him to walk.
Back in Hui Yue’s old life, he was only a friend of Li Fen. A friend with the same value as a brother. The feelings which Hui Yue had felt for Li Fen were obviously in the way. If he were to confess to her, he could have broken their relationship; not only that, he would troubled and saddened her, which was the last thing he wanted.
Li Fen already had a great life together with her boyfriend. Losing Hui Yue was going to be a source of pain for her, that was true, but it was a pain she would have been able to overcome and then live out her life in peace with the man she loved.
When Hui Yue manages to reach the rank of a god, Li Fen would have already lived a presumably satisfied and long life and died from old age; at this point, Hui Yue would reincarnate her into a young body and give her back her memories, after which he would offer her to live with him and start all over, return to being reborn or perhaps wish for him to also reincarnate her husband.
It was true that Hui Yue really did not want to carry out the final option; however, whenever he thought of Li Fen’s beaming smile, he knew that he would do it to make her happy. The most important part for him was to tell Li Fen that he truly loved her. After that, whatever happened, happened.
‘Just make sure to help me become the strongest human in the world,” Hui Yue sighed as he moved under his favourite tree, ‘then it really does not matter that you killed me.’
‘Wait. You knew?’ Lan Feng said, his apologetic intentions quickly switching to feeling insulted. ‘Are you saying that you do not trust me?’ he asked, upset.
Hearing the upset phoenix, Hui Yue laughed lightly. He definitely preferred this type of personality to the previous guilty bird.
‘Look at me,’ Hui Yue said calmly, still laughing a little. ‘Can’t you see that I follow everything you say like a good disciple? It’s just very obvious that something was behind my death, that’s all.’
Lan Feng could do nothing but grumble; the subject was left alone as Hui Yue proceed to his unceasing training and cultivation.
The morning on the second day of the tournament, Deng Wu was the very first thing that Hui Yue saw when he opened his courtyard gate. The handsome black-haired boy was standing outside, fidgeting slightly.
No apologies were given, nor was anything said about the previous day; the tense atmosphere quickly turned comfortable as the two started to joke about Hui Yue’s expectations of winning the tournament.
As the two of them moved around at the mountain top where the arenas were located, the other friends eventually joined them. After an hour, they had gone from only Deng Wu and Hui Yue to all six friends gathered together, betting amongst themselves as to who would win and at what price.
Today, unlike the planned days before, everyone had to draw a number and fight the person who had drawn the same number within their group.
Hui Yue was up first, but his match was over before it even began, as his opponent was one of the students from his year. This student had witnessed how Hui Yue had dealt with Shan Ping and he had also seen the previous day’s display of power, causing him to forfeit as soon as he drew the number.
Rong Xing and Rong Ming was in a much similar position. Rong Xing’s opponent forfeited as soon as the match started, while Rong Ming’s opponent was a first year who was beaten within the first move.
The final participant of the group was Ma Kong, and as he stepped onto the stage, Hui Yue’s eyes widened in surprise when he saw Wang Ju Long standing next to him.
This was a match which Hui Yue had not expected. Wang Ju Long was a nine-star Student rank cultivator while Ma Kong was a seven-star Disciple ranked cultivator. It was obvious that Ma Kong had the upper hand; but Hui Yue could not help but wish for Wang Ju Long to win, despite his friendship with Ma Kong.
Although he was the friend of Ma Kong, he was currently giving his very best to reach the final stage just to fight Wang Ju Long. What he had forgotten was that, to do so, Wang Ju Long had to win in his group, which currently included both Ma Kong, Rong Xing and Rong Ming.
Hui Yue had the impression that Wang Ju Long was capable of defeating Ma Kong. Unfortunately, it was not easy for him to win against the Rong twins, as they had broken into the Practitioner rank.
Hui Yue looked at the stage and furrowed his brows. Something was different about Wang Ju Long. He had a tranquillity Hui Yue had not seen before, and his eyes were steady, filled with determination.
Ma Kong on the other side showed no sign of being complacent. Although he had been fighting another seven-star Disciple ranked student the previous day and only received a wound on his eyebrow, he still showed great alertness while facing off with this young child from the first year.
The audience was split into two groups. Both of these two children originated from very important families within Riluo City, and these two families happened to be from two opposing factions. One was the leader of a faction while the other was a strong pillar of support for the other.
This caused the audience to look selectively at the two youths standing there on the large, square stage, staring at each other and waiting for the fight to begin.
One had the upper hand when it came to quantity of Qi while the other had the upper hand when it came to quality. Not to mention the high ranked martial art skill in Wang Ju Long’s repertoire was definitely a cause of worry for Ma Kong as he looked at the younger child.
“Let the forty-seventh fight of group seven begin!” the judge’s voice rang through the air; as soon as it sounded a crackling sound started to emanate from Wang Ju Long’s hand.
This Qi was far superior to how it had been when Hui Yue and he had duelled half a year previously. A big tempest of whirling Qi threads created an immense hurricane within his hand, constantly growing in size.
Within this hurricane one bolt of lightning after another appeared. Each of these bolts were at least four time as big as they had been before, and Hui Yue could not help but feel his heart pounding as he wished it was him on the stage rather than Ma Kong.
Hui Yue felt a smile spread on his face as the whirling Qi tornado grew in size so much that it was now wrapped around Wang Ju Long’s entire body, lifting him from the ground and allowing the Qi lightning bolts to orbit around him, one steady in each hand.
The Qi lightning skill had evolved. There was only two ways for a skill to evolve and one was to break into a higher rank while another was to personally spent time and change it to the cultivator’s liking.
It was much like Velocity Flow. The higher his rank, the more copies he could create. In Qi lightning, being higher ranked resulted in a greater tornado of Qi, releasing more Qi lightning bolts.
Wang Ju Long had not spent time to improve his already high ranked skill, and how could Hui Yue not know that he had been spending all his time cultivating? Even the lessons were used to cultivate!
Wang Ju Long spent a lot of time cultivating, and it was obvious that the effort had paid off as he had managed to break through to the Disciple rank, causing the amount of Qi he had to be more than double what it had been before.
Excitement shone within Hui Yue’s eyes as his blood was boiling, scalding his veins inside-out, imploring him to fight. Prior to this, he had feared that their fight would be too simple, as he had gained more high ranked skills and Wang Ju Long might have faced a wall. Now, the fight was exciting. The fight was the only thing Hui Yue could think about. His canines felt like they protruded from their gums more than ever before, a hunger surging from deep within as he wheezed grittingly.
Deng Wu was standing next to Hui Yue – and his eyes were darkened. He could feel the killing intent emitting from Hui Yue, and observed how the younger boy stared at Wang Ju Long, almost licking his lips like a beast ready to pounce. The eyes were focused, observing every little move; he had completely blocked everything which was happening around him.
The Rong twins and Gao Yan had not noticed anything as their entire attention was focused on the match in front of them as well. Unlike Hui Yue they, were not excited upon seeing the Qi tornado which had started to envelop Wang Ju Long, instead they were filled with dread and worry as they knew that although Ma Kong had a good latent talent, he usually preferred focusing his attention on how to learn business management. For Ma Kong to win a duel like this would not be easy.
Ma Kong tightened his fists and white shineless Qi started to surge out of his body, covering his entire right arm. This Qi was very much white; however, it was far from the Wang Ju Long’s pure qi’s white lustre, and as Ma Kong was aware of this, he planned ahead.
Suddenly, with an explosive step, Ma Kong shot towards Wang Ju Long from the front, his fist coursing straight for the face with a speed and strength that clearly showed his superior rank. Nevertheless, the explosive advance was quickly halted as he got closer to the massive hurricane wrapped around Wang Ju Long, causing the force hidden within the hit was to disperse.
Ma Kong did not seem flustered when this occurred and instead his right leg swept out from the end and hit the hurricane, only to result in a twisted scream escaping Ma Kong’s lips as it had been twisted by the strong winds, clearly broken, after a direct confrontation between leg and Qi.
The intensity within Hui Yue’s eyes grew as the gaze darkened. Although he wished for Wang Ju Long to win, he definitely did not want his good friend to be injured; he promised himself to later ensure that Wang Ju Long felt the same amount of pain.
Even though Ma Kong had broken his leg he had no intention of ending the fight just yet and instead moved back. He summoned more Qi which he placed around his injured leg, working as a crutch ensuring that he could still move.
Hui Yue looked surprised at first, but slowly a smile formed on his lips. Wang Ju Long had no intention of fighting against Ma Kong, he would leave it to Ma Kong himself to forfeit.
The day before, Hui Yue had managed to end a fight solely by dodging and moving out of range as soon as an attack arrived. Wang Ju Long felt like he needed to prove that he could do better. He did not even have to move away from the attacks, he could take them head on!
This arrogance ignited Hui Yue’s raging blood to the point where he had to clench his fists so hard that blood dripped from the palms as his nails had cut through the skin.
It seemed that everyone who knew about the past between Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long understood the silent declaration which said ‘I’m better than you.’
Both geniuses looked stubbornly at each other, neither wanting to back down. Ma Kong also noticed the gaze, and his pain-riddled face was brightened by a smile which made him understand. If Ma Kong had fought this fight seriously he might have had a chance, but he knew how important it was for Hui Yue, so he had intended to test whether or not Wang Ju Long had been worth Hui Yue’s time.
Unfortunately, such arrogance had caused him to lose miserably and incur severe pain to boot.
“I give up,” Ma Kong said smilingly, as he allowed a wood affinity Master ranked teacher to help him leave the arena and heal his leg.