Chapter 279 – The Last Day
Night fell. The moon rose above the willow branches, shining brightly in the clear dark skies.
The Seven Profound Valleys’ night skies were particularly clean, as if the world itself had been washed of all impurities. This land was closed off by a massive array formation, and the heaven and earth origin energy was especially rich. One could cultivate here with twice the result from half the effort.
Lin Ming sat alone in his room. In his hand was a small deep green pill the size of a longan. It was crystal clear, just like the most precious of jades. This was the Blue Miracle Pill from the collections of Sky Fortune Kingdom’s Seven Profound Martial House. It was the reward that Qin Ziya gave to Lin Ming after he defeated Ta Ku.
Even to the disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys’ Total Faction, the Blue Miracle Pill was a rare and precious medicine; it was much more precious than the Crimson Gold Dragon Marrow Pill that Lin Ming had received before.
When Lin Ming had his match with Wang Mu, he had used the Blue Miracle Pill and the Body Spiritual Ichor as a gambling stake. It had caused Wang Mu to lose his composure and be attracted to the bet, ultimately causing him to lose a quota at the Seraphic Pond to Lin Ming. These sorts of pills were rare even within the depositories of Huoluo Nation’s Seven Profound Martial House.
However, no matter how precious a cultivation pill was, it would inevitability have pill toxins. After taking it, one would have to refine the impurities and then eliminate the pill toxins, slowly consolidating their cultivation afterwards. It was an extremely tedious and arduous process.
When Lin Ming had obtained the Blue Miracle Pill, his breakthrough to the Pulse Condensation period was just around the corner. In order to obtain a more solid and stable foundation, Lin Ming hadn’t taken the Blue Miracle Pill to break through. Instead, he waited for his true essence to overflow and naturally break through. Such a breakthrough could be called perfect.
Lin Ming swallowed down the Blue Miracle Pill, jumped in the bath barrel, and then began to meditate.
These days, he had been eating spirit fruits and vegetables that contained a very rich inherent heaven and earth origin energy. Even when he cultivated, it was like he was bathed in thick heaven and earth origin energy. He had already accumulated a vast amount of true essence in his body. After he ate the Blue Miracle Pill, Lin Ming only felt a slight numbing sensation in his bones as true essence began to flow outwards, continuously flowing through all the meridians of his body.
His Pulse Condensation period cultivation was unconsciously and slowly consolidating.
The water vapors rose, and the entire room was covered in a thick white mist. The cold moonlight shone through the window, adding a natural chilling wind to this mist.
For several hours, Lin Ming patiently pushed the true essence in his body to complete revolution after revolution.
Because Lin Ming’s cultivation had improved, the fusion between his blood and the True Dragon’s blood was even closer than before. Now, Lin Ming didn’t even need to purposefully galvanize the azure true essence in order to bring it out, his own true essence already had an azure color. This sort of azure true essence was pale green like the fresh spring leaves of a cypress tree, and was filled with a vibrantly vivid vitality.
This azure true essence didn’t only manifest when he was fighting. The azure true essence even came out when he was cultivating, and it seemed to subtly moisten and supplement Lin Ming’s body, causing his meridians to be more stalwart and his bones to become denser.
Lin Ming finally finished complete absorption of the Blue Miracle Pill late at night. His early Pulse Condensation period cultivation was already fully consolidated. Now Lin Ming took out a small porcelain bottle and uncorked it. Inside of the small porcelain bottle was a sort of viscous green substance, as if it were made from liquid crystals.
This was the Body Spiritual Ichor that Lin Ming had obtained as a reward for defeating Ling Sen. The Body Spiritual Ichor was used especially to eliminate pill toxins of the body. Its effects were even more wonderful when combined with the Blue Miracle Pill.
Of course, the Body Spiritual Ichor was only a supportive medicine. In order to completely refine out the pill toxins, it would all rely on Lin Ming’s own ability in the end.
Lin Ming didn’t worry. After all, he was only at the early Pulse Condensation period, and was a very long distance away from the Houtian realm. There would be plenty of time to eliminate the pill toxins in his body. Whether it was the Flame Essence or Thunder Soul, both were extremely good methods of refining out pill toxins, and they also wouldn’t cause his foundation to become unsteady.
The mist in the room became increasingly thick. Lin Ming sat in the water, completing revolution after revolution…
The following morning, the dawn still lingered under the horizon. The stage was set for the last day of the Total Faction Martial Meeting.
Today was the final of the finals.
There would be 10 rounds of matches. The 11 contestants that received the most attention were Lin Ming, Ouyang Ming, Jiang Baoyun, Mugu Buyu, Jiang Lanjian, Qin Wuxin, Huo Yanluo, Zhang Yanzhao, Huan Xiaodie, Fang Qi, and Mugu Jirong.
These 11 would frequently clash in these last ten rounds. All other contestants had merely become foils.
As Lin Ming arrived just before dawn, there were very few people in the square, only shadows were visible.
At this time, Jiang Baoyun was sitting vigilantly on a mat in the contestant waiting area. His sword was in his hand, both eyes shut, as faint streams of heaven and earth origin energy converged on his body, slowly overflowing as it made cycle after cycle.
Lin Ming looked at Jiang Baoyun from afar, secretly observing the heaven and earth origin energy as it flowed through him. He thought to himself, ‘Jiang Baoyun’s cultivation is truly at a half-step Houtian. If he really were at the Houtian realm, then there would be no need for him to suppress his cultivation at this time.’
Before now, Lin Ming suspected that Jiang Baoyun had already stepped into the Houtian realm. Except, Jiang Baoyun was just like Lin Ming, and was suppressing his cultivation so he wouldn’t break through, therefore he was so confident in himself.
However, as Lin Ming watched Jiang Baoyun cultivate, he clearly saw that his cultivation was at a half-step Houtian.
“No matter what, today’s battles will show where the source of his confidence comes from.” Lin Ming said to himself. By now, Jiang Baoyun felt Lin Ming’s gaze on him and opened his eyes.
For a second, Jiang Baoyun’s eyes penetrated through the early morning darkness, as if they were twinkling stars in the night. He faintly smiled at Lin Ming, saying, “The heaven and earth origin energy is richest just before the sun rises in the morning, especially in the Seven Profound Valleys. When the first ray of sunlight comes over the horizon, that is what my Sword Faction calls the Ascending Eastern Purple Sun, and is also the so-called Purple Air Comes From the East. If you absorb this energy it is especially beneficial to your cultivation.
Lin Ming said, “The Seven Profound Valleys is truly the holy land of cultivation. Thank you Senior-apprentice Brother Jiang for the advice.”
“You’re welcome. Sooner or later you will enter the Seven Profound Valleys. If you’d like, you may join the Sword Faction; we will welcome you with arms wide open!”
Lin Ming was a bit stunned hearing Jiang Baoyun’s heartfelt words. Invite him to join the Sword Faction? Wasn’t he afraid that he would have to split up his resources? But as Lin Ming looked at Jiang Baoyun’s face, he saw that his invitation was clearly sincere, without any underlying meanings. Of course, Jiang Baoyun had no need to fake anything.
‘This fellow is truly confident!’ Lin Ming hazily sighed. He had a premonition that if Jiang Baoyun’s shining star didn’t fall from the sky, he would definitely become a Grand Swordmaster of this generation.
There were more and more people arriving at the square. As the first ray of sunlight fell onto the Grand Hall’s square, the referee stood up and loudly said, “The tournament shall begin. Nineteenth round, first match. Jiang Baoyun against Qin Wuxin!”
These words caused the entire audience atmosphere to immediately surge to the skies. The first match of the day was actually a battle between such heavyweights. Qin Wuxin’s strength was evident to all, but of course, no one thought that she could win. Still, they believed she would be able to force out Jiang Baoyun’s true strength.
Lin Ming also anticipated this match, until now he still knew nothing about Jiang Baoyun.
The match hadn’t even begun, and Qin Wuxin had inadvertently opened up a distance of 300 feet between them. Jiang Baoyun’s sword was just too fast. If the distance wasn’t great enough, then Qin Wuxin wouldn’t even have time to play a single note before she was defeated.
With the referee’s announcement, Qin Wuxin immediately played the Profound Wind Eight Melodies. Against Jiang Baoyun, there was no need to hold anything back, she would immediately start with everything she had. Qin Wuxin was clearly aware that if she didn’t use her ultimate ability at the start, she would never have the opportunity to do so.
The Profound Wind Eight Melodies was invisible and formless, ever-changing with endless twists and turns.
Out of all the current contestants besides Lin Ming, there were very few people that could capture the attack patterns of the Profound Wind Eight Melodies. This was part of the reason the Zither Faction’s attack methods were so terrifying; how could you defend against attacks you couldn’t see?
Jiang Baoyun’s ten fingers flexed, condensing phantoms of sword light in the air. He used sword fingers as before.
Chi chi chi chi chi!
The sound was just like silk being torn to shreds. The invisible Profound Wind Eight Melodies were all completely broken in space!
Qin Wuxin’s mind shook. She had already expected that the Profound Wind Eight Melodies would be broken by Jiang Baoyun, but she hadn’t thought it would be done so easily. He had only used sword fingers as before.
After easily breaking the Profound Wind Eight Melodies, Jiang Baoyun made two fingers into a sword and a slashed out. A sword light flew towards Qin Wuxin, its speed reaching an extreme. Qin Wuxin bit her teeth and her right hand suddenly flicked across the zither strings. There was a sharp twang as several musical notes sprung forth, directly clashing with that sword light.
Chi chi chi!
The sword light broke through three notes and clashed with the last note before finally dissipating together.
Seeing a single sword light break through three notes, Qin Wuxin let out a light sigh and retrieved the zither to her arms. She coldly said, “I admit defeat.”
Jiang Baoyun smiled. “I haven’t seen Junior-apprentice Sister Qin for three years and yet your strength has progressed so astonishingly quickly. Perhaps in two years or less, if I fight Junior-apprentice Sister Qin again, I’ll have to use everything I have.”
Qin Wuxin was the youngest of all the direct disciples. She was only 18 years old, and was more than a year and a half younger than Jiang Baoyun. In terms of talent, within the direct disciples she was only inferior to Jiang Baoyun. She was indeed superior to Jiang Lanjian and Ouyang Ming.
Qin Wuxin seriously looked at Jiang Baoyun, and slowly said, stressing every syllable, “At that time, I will at least force you to use your sword!”
“Naturally! In fact, today you’ve already broken my sword palm. If this match continued any longer, I would have had to take out my sword.”
Qin Wuxin turned around to leave the stage, and the referee announced Jiang Baoyun’s victory.
Suddenly, there was a collective gasp from the audience. Everyone expected that Jiang Baoyun would win, but none thought he would win with such ease. He had only used his hands to shatter Qin Wuxin’s Profound Wind Eight Melodies – he hadn’t even taken out his sword. This disparity between direct disciples was much greater than they had imagined.
“Jiang Baoyun is too strong! Who can defeat him? Even Qin Wuxin was defeated so easily. Lin Ming and Ouyang Ming are simply not his match!”
“If Jiang Baoyun was serious, he might defeat Lin Ming and Ouyang Ming in five moves!”
“I fear that even Mugu Buyu isn’t skilled enough. I thought that Mugu Buyu would be able to suppress Jiang Baoyun because he reached the Essence Integration boundary, but now it seems that it would be great if he could just force Jiang Baoyun’s hidden cards.”
As the audience discussed the match, even Lin Ming was stunned.
Just as Lin Ming had constantly surprised Jiang Baoyun, Jiang Baoyun also constantly surprised Lin Ming. Before these final matches, both of them were just like massive icebergs, only exposing the tip to each other.
After Jiang Baoyun and Qin Wuxin’s match, there were several unimportant matches. Then, right after, there was a match that created a startling furor of excitement.
Lin Ming against Ouyang Ming.
This was a long awaited showdown that the audience had been highly anticipating.
On one side was Ouyang Ming, who was the third ranked contestant from the last Total Faction Martial Meeting. On the other side was Lin Ming, who was considered the greatest dark horse of this Total Faction Martial Meeting. This match could be considered to be extremely confusing, no one knew which side would win.