Chapter 101 – Arrival of the Decisive Battle
However, Hong Xi was even more startled. Even though he had not used true essence, he had still used his full and complete strength in this strike; but Lin Ming was able to block it head-on!
Hong Xi had already known that Lin Ming’s strength was otherworldly, but he did not think that after achieving Large Success in the Third Stage of Body Transformation, that his strength would undergo such a dramatic rise. This strength must be no less than 5000 jins! His body was simply like a vicious beast!
Although he was surprised, Hong Xi’s movement hadn’t slowed in the slightest. He took advantage of Lin Ming’s blowback from his spear strike and aggressed on him. He thrusted his spear out three times, and each strike cut off all of Lin Ming’s dodging paths. Lin Ming could only raise his spear to defend!
As they collided, Hong Xi’s spear fell upon the spear shaft of Penetrating Rainbow. The dark purple elastic iron spear shaft was hammered by Hong Xi and forcefully bent like a bow!
Lin Ming’s feet sank into the ground, and his right foot was trapped in the thick soil. He pushed back with all his strength on Penetrating Rainbow, and just managed to force back Hong Xi’s spear. But Hong Xi had backflipped into the air, and as he was airborne, his long spear drew a perfect arc, and he did a straight thrust from under his belly towards Lin Ming’s throat.
The spear came flying at him too fast and too suddenly. With him having recklessly forced back two of Hong Xi’s blows, he had exhausted his true essence, and the blood in his chest was roiling. He was not able to block this strike, and Hong Xi’s one spear thrust came perilously close to Lin Ming’s throat.
At that moment, Lin Ming could clearly feel the bone-chilling wind from the spear, painfully flowing against his skin. But in a flash, Hong Xi had withdrawn his spear, and the spear point stopped a half inch away from Lin Ming’s throat, not injuring him in the least.
What accurate control of force!
Even knowing that Hong Xi’s spear would not pierce him, Lin Ming’s breath had stopped in that instant as the spear wind blew against his skin. This spear thrust that was like a bolt of lightning was just too scary.
Three moves. In just three moves, Lin Ming was defeated!
As Hong Xi received his long spear, he said, “Lin Ming, although I suppressed my true essence, I did not suppress my strength. Still, you were able to last until the third spear move, which is already far beyond what someone of your level can accomplish! Your strength really goes against heaven’s will; I guess it must be more than 5000 jins!
“5300 jins.” Lin Ming replied truthfully.
“5300 jins!” Hong Xi clicked his tongue, “ A martial artist at your cultivation would have been thrown 18 streets away by you. Your strength is truly appropriate to wield the spear; using a sword would have been a waste! When you had received my three strikes, you were actually not at your best level. When you were defending, you had one very weak point. That is your momentum!
Lin Ming was slightly stunned. Early on, his moment had really been overwhelmed and crushed by Hong Xi’s swift and fierce spear moves!
“When you had fought against Zhang Cang, you had used the most basic foundation moves ‘Iron Bridge Blocks the River’ and ‘Flood Dragon Goes to Sea’ to break apart Zhang Cang’s ‘Sunset Cut’. This was because your spear carried with it a tide of surging momentum! But a moment ago, because my spear moves were too quick, you did not have enough time to gather your potential! Yes, although the momentum of your spear is strong, but it actually has a fatal weakness, and that is that its start is too slow!”
“Zhu Yan uses a sword, and he has great attainments in swordsmanship. His attacks are extremely swift and aggressive. If you are suppressed by him, then his moves will be faster than yours, and you will not be able to gather your momentum. When that happens, you will be led into his rhythm, and finally be defeated!”
Hong Xi was indeed an instructor of the Seven Profound Martial House; he had quickly discerned and pointed out another weakness of Lin Ming’s.
Indeed, no matter how good a skill was, if one did not have time to begin unleash it, then it would be useless!
“Now you must learn how to gather your momentum while you are attacking! Have you ever heard of some martial skills that are in a set, for instance, something something 18 palms, or whatever whatever 9 swords, or something silly like that?”
Lin Ming nodded.
Hong Xi said, “This set style often starts from the first, weakest move. A move will follow the previous move, and each move will be stronger than the last! You might ask; why would someone waste their energy doing this and not use their strongest final attack on the first move? The truth is, it is not that they don’t want to, but that they cannot. This is a question of gathering their momentum. They need to begin at the start, and save up their potential, and finally explode with power in that last move! This is what it means to gather your momentum!”
Lin Ming was suddenly enlightened, “I understand.”
“If you want to learn how to gather your potential, then it is very simple. All you have to do is fight! Starting from today, except eating and sleeping, the rest of the time we shall fight! I want to see how long you will be able to stand it!”
For the next ten days, Lin Ming started a hellish combat training routine.
Although Hong Xi had said that they would fight each other whenever they weren’t eating or sleeping, but he hadn’t thought that Lin Ming would be able to persist through it.
Although a Viscera Training martial artist had vitality and endurance, and their hearts and lungs were powerful, it was impossible for them to maintain such intense fighting for a long period of time. However, Hong Xi quickly discovered that he had once again underestimated Lin Ming.
This Lin Ming was simply a perpetual motion machine in human form. His endurance was abnormal and outrageous!
His true essence was thicker than other martial artists of his cultivation by several times, and it was also purer; it could almost be said to be growing without end!
Even Qin Xingxuan who cultivated the rare and forbidden cultivation manuals of the Seven Profound Valley was not as exaggerated as this. Hong Xi didn’t have any words to comment, he only chalked up this sort of bizarre situation to Lin Ming’s ethereal martial intent and inborn divine strength.
They could fight for an entire eight hours with only a single breath!
Even Hong Xi was sweating profusely. His armor had already been tossed off to the side, and he was shirtless. But Lin Ming’s entire body was wet and sticky with perspiration, and he took great panting gulps of breath. Every time he exhaled, the hot air would form steam, and every time he inhaled, the air would form a mini whirlpool. Even flying leaves near Lin Ming were blown away.
Hong Xi noted this phenomenon of nature. This boy, his breath was so long, no wonder his endurance was so good. Were his lungs a pair of bellows?
“Instructor Hong, let’s go again!” Although Lin Ming was dead tired, his eyes still shined brightly with fighting spirit. In merely one day, his progress had been beyond astonishing. At the start, he had only been able to meet three spears from Hong Xi, but now he could take 7 or 8 moves from Hong Xi and still not be defeated. One time, he even met 10 moves!
These were attacks from a martial artist at the Pulse Condensation Period!
By fighting in such a manner, Lin Ming began to gradually discover what it meant to gather his potential and momentum during a fight. If in the past Lin Ming had depended on his strength and superior thick true essence to defeat his opponents, then now Lin Ming’s combat skills were gradually catching up.
“Good! Come again!” Hong Xi’s spirit was also aroused by Lin Ming’s hot-bloodedness. In this day of fighting, even though Lin Ming’s strength was far weaker than his own, he was still fighting with his full strength!
For ten days, whenever Lin Ming wasn’t eating or sleeping, he was fighting with Hong Xi. By relying on his second-layer of ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’, and the resiliency given by his long, bellow-like breaths, Lin Ming was able to adhere to this practice regimen every day.
From the beginning, he had only been able to persist up to three moves, but afterwards he was able to last for more than 20. Lin Ming’s flow of momentum and potential was becoming more and more skillful; he could send his momentum out with every strike of his spear. Even the momentum of his old self was less imposing! Each move he made with his spear was able to constantly accumulate momentum, getting stronger and stronger!
At the same time, Lin Ming’s movement also made considerable progress. The ‘Foundation Movement Technique’ was not some sort of profound movement technique. Its movement was very simple and basic. However, Lin Ming was able to forcefully rely on this technique to slowly catch up to Hong Xi’s movements.
After the continuous momentum of 20 moves had gathered, Lin Ming’s spear cleaved downwards. It brought with it a surge of torrential rivers and streams, and hacked towards Hong Xi. Everywhere the spear wind touched was blown away like sand!
“Good spear!” Hong Xi lifted his spear to meet the oncoming blow. Although he was able to block this spear, he was forced back a step by the backlash from the formidable momentum and intense vibrations that ran up Lin Ming’s spear.
This was the first time that Lin Ming had forced back Hong Xi!
A Viscera Training stage martial artist that could force back one at the Pulse Condensation Period? Even though Hong Xi had suppressed his true essence, this result was enough to frighten anyone!
And Hong Xi was not an ordinary Pulse Condensation Period martial artist!
“Lin Ming, no matter what happens to your body, I don’t think I can ever be surprised again.” Hong Xi smiled, and received his long spear. “This was only ten days. If there was perhaps a month, then I don’t think I would be able to defeat you without using more of my true essence.”
Although Hong Xi was praising him so, Lin Ming had no room for complacency. He knew that for a martial artist, the higher one’s cultivation was, the more important true essence would be. Someone using true essence versus someone not using true essence; the gulf between them was too vast. Especially in the body of a martial artist, once they had connected their meridians and opened them, then their true essence would be incomparably smooth and unimpeded. Attacks with true essence were the strongest methods of attack. If Hong Xi had used his full strength, then there was no doubt Lin Ming would die in less than three moves.
Lin Ming said, “I fall far short from Instructor. If Instructor Hong was serious, then being able to withstand one move would already be the edge of my limits.”
“Hey! You boy, you want to rely on your Viscera Training stage strength to whole-heartedly compare with someone at the peak Pulse Condensation Period? That you can force a Pulse Condensation Period martial artist to take a step back is already very good. Are you dissatisfied with that or something?”
Listening to Hong Xi say it like that, Lin Ming also smiled. His cultivation was simply too low; he was three stages worse compared to the Pulse Condensation Period! Moreover, for the boundaries of a martial artist’s cultivation, the higher one went, the harder it became, and the bigger the gulf between each realm!
Hong Xi said, “Tomorrow will be the day of your match against Zhu Yan. Today we will stop here. You go and take a good rest, and adjust to your peak condition. If you lose, I won’t forgive you.”
Lin Ming grinned and laughed as he said, “At first when I challenged Zhu Yan, I really wasn’t sure of my chances. But after practicing with Instructor Hong for so many days, I think my odds are pretty high now.”
“Ha! I’ll take this as you having learnt something!”
Lin Ming’s Large Success of Viscera Training stage against Zhu Yan’s early Altering Muscle stage.
Although there was only a difference of half a stage, this was a fight between the apex of talents. A half-stage difference was already amazing, and that wasn’t even counting Zhu Yan having spent more time at the Seven Profound Martial House for two and a half years more than Lin Ming. In this time, he had been able to use the seven major killing arrays for much longer!
Zhu Yan was truly a formidable and daunting opponent. In the entirety of the Seven Profound Martial House, one could say his talent was only inferior to the three people; Ling Sen, Ta Ku, and Zhang Guanyu!
Time passed quickly, and it was soon to approach one month. This was the 64th day since Lin Ming had arrived at the Seven Profound Martial House. Today was also the day of Lin Ming’s and Zhu Yan’s duel. The location of this duel was the Seven Profound Martial House’s Martial Stage.
In the Seven Profound Martial House, there were placed that were off limits to outsiders. For instance, those that involved secrets, heritages, and legacies; these were places such as the depository, the seven major killing arrays, the Ten Thousand Killing Array, the Exquisite Pagoda, and so on. All of those areas were restricted, and outsiders were not allowed to enter. When the servants of the Tenth Prince and the Crown Prince had entered the mountain valley to observe the ranking war at the Ten Thousand Killing Array, it was only because the stage was distant and it was hard to see clearly.
Outside of these places, the other areas of the Seven Profound Martial House were not so strict. For instance, the lecture hall, Martial House square, and so forth. When Lin Ming had borrowed a Pass Card to enter the Zither Department to look up information on materials, this was also a place that was generally open to outsiders.
As long as one had a pass or were of aristocratic status, they could enter these places.
The Martial Stage was also one of these places.
The disciples of the Martial House occasionally held martial arts contest, and there were a few people that often came to the Martial Stage to observe from the sidelines.
But today, the Martial Stage was packed to the brim with people. These people were all extraordinary characters; there were the talents and geniuses of the Seven Profound Martial House, the heroes of Sky Fortune Kingdom’s martial artists, the nobility and aristocrats of Sky Fortune City, various famous and respected families, and important political figures.