Chapter 288 – The Peak of All Battles
The referee team was keenly interested in the final match of Lin Ming and Jiang Baoyun. They decided to let the two of them adjust and restore their conditions to the peak. Before the final match began, the tournament was placed on hold for three hours until lunchtime was finished.
In fact, by this point many people weren’t even in the mood for lunch. They remained in their seats, fervently anticipating the upcoming match and discussing amongst themselves.
The common disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys had limited vision on what would truly happen. However, they had an outstanding capacity to fantasize how the match would play out, brainstorming countless ways that Lin Ming and Jiang Baoyun would fight. Even Jiang Baoyun’s Black Crystal Sword had had its function and characteristics thoroughly ‘researched’. Especially for the disciples of the Refiner Faction, although they were not so good at combat, this was a prime opportunity for them to display their specialized skillsets. They analyzed Jiang Baoyun’s Black Crystal Sword from multiple angles and deduced its attributes. If one wasn’t aware of the situation, then they would have even thought that these Refiner disciples were the ones who personally hand crafted the sword.
The afternoon sun in the winter was gentle and hazy. After noon had passed, the last match of the Total Faction Martial Meeting would begin. This was the showdown between the top talents within the several hundred thousand miles of the Seven Profound territory; this would decide who was the number one of the younger generation!
As the fateful moment approached, the cheers of the arena became thunderous, drowning out every other sound for hundreds of miles. By this time, no one dared to mock or look down on Lin Ming, not even the Seven Profound Valleys’ disciples. Everyone just wanted to see this showdown between these two geniuses that stood at the apex of talent. This was an opportunity that only came around once every several hundred years. It could be said that this sort of chance could only occur through the fickle fortunes of fate. It had to be known that if a martial artist didn’t step into the Xiantian realm, they would live at most around 200 years. For them, this battle would only happen once in their lifetimes! By just that point alone, it was enough to excite them to the point of frothing at the mouth!
On the martial stage, Lin Ming and Jiang Baoyun stood 200 feet apart. Jiang Baoyun opened the sword case he carried on his back, and took out the vivid blue longsword.
With this sword in hand, the momentum that Jiang Baoyun had already gathered around him suddenly shifted. His eyes sharpened as if they contained a limitless sword light, piercing the heart of anyone he glanced at.
If Jiang Baoyun had been a calm man with a gentle temperament, then now he had the qualities of the finest sword. He was sharp, ice-cold, and filled with murderous intent!
Jiang Baoyun pointed sword fingers at Lin Ming and said, “Before this Martial Meeting began, my Sovereign once told me that Ouyang Ming, who I lost to three years ago at the last Martial Meeting, had reached the peak Pulse Condensation period and would be my greatest match. He cautioned me to take be careful, but I told him that Ouyang Ming was not my greatest rival; my greatest rival is only myself! If I cannot continuously defeat talents of a third-grade sect, then what qualifications do I have to even speak of pursuing the end of the sword path
“But now, those words…” Jiang Baoyun took a deep breath, his eyes flashing with a dazzling light as if they were bright stars shining in the inky black night.
“I cannot help but acknowledge that your talent far exceeds mine. When you and I were the same age, I did not have your strength. But more than that, I am even more enthusiastic. A peerless powerhouse needs a grand stage to grow. This small Seven Profound territory does not qualify for such a stage, and even being the number one hero of the Seven Profound territory holds no meaning for me. Even worse, my eyes might be clouded by this title, and I might become complacent, weak! Therefore when I was 18 years old, I began to challenge to talents of all other third-grade sects, including even Peacock Mountain. At the start, I lost many and won only a few times. But after that, I won many times, and lost only a few! And now this year, I challenged four geniuses, and was defeated not even once!
“Therefore, I once again became confused, thinking that I would lose my way. And then you appeared! You are the rival of my destiny. Once I defeat you, I will become a hero of this era. The greater your talent, the higher my spirit burns with passion!
“Lin Ming, do not let me down!”
Lin Ming looked at Jiang Baoyun with surprise, he hadn’t imagined he would have such a broad view of the world.
In one year, he had challenged four other geniuses from different sects, and defeated them all. One had to know that this was an extraordinary achievement. After all, the Seven Profound Valleys couldn’t be considered the highest of the third-grade sects.
No wonder. Although Jiang Baoyun had lost to Ouyang Ming in the last Total Faction Marital Meeting, his power and influence now far exceeded Ouyang Ming’s, and he held an unshakable position in the heart of every disciple of the Seven Profound Valleys. All of this was accomplished by his own sword!
Lin Ming also understood why Jiang Baoyun had kindly invited him to join the Sword Faction. This was because he was not afraid of a challenge. On the contrary, he longed for a true opponent to test himself. The desire to challenge himself… this was his heart of martial arts, this was the heart of martial arts that a genuine master should have!
Lin Ming slowly said, “From the moment I began to walk the path of martial arts, I had heard the great name of the Seven Profound Valleys. To the me of that time, the Seven Profound Valleys was like a forbidden temple that loomed high in the heavens, impossible for us ordinary commoners to even see. After I stepped into the hallowed halls of Sky Fortune Kingdom’s Seven Profound Martial House, I became increasingly aware of just how terrifying the Seven Profound Valleys was. Because of your existence, there are many martial artists like me, common, ordinary ones, who have forever lost their chance to practice martial arts. This is the fate that has been engraved within their very bones since birth! Since that moment, I had resolved to someday bring my spear here and break through that fate of imprisonment, to fight for what belongs to me, and take control of my own destiny!
“Now, what I will say is that if you wish to take me as the rival of your destiny, then I will tell you that I will not disappoint you. However, whether or not you can keep up with my pace will all depend on yourself!”
As Lin Ming said these words, the entire audience was startled.
This was just crazy talk, a martial artist from the 36 countries had actually said such insolent words. If it were just a few days ago, then these Seven Profound Valleys’ disciples would have been laughing until they rolled on the floor, but now, no one dared to laugh. This was because Lin Ming had the ability to say so!
“Good!” Jiang Baoyun laughed, “Lin Ming, take out your spear!”
These words filled with a surging fighting spirit were just like a thunderclap that rolled throughout the entire Profound Sky Mountains.
“Take out your spear!”
“Take out your spear!”
“Take out your spear!”
The echo impacted into the sky, reverberating between the heavens and earth!
At this moment, the entire atmosphere of the arena lit up in a glorious frenzy. This time, the cheers were not for Jiang Baoyun – nor were they for Lin Ming. They were only for this match that would decide the top master of the younger generation!
Lin Ming turned his wrist, and the Heavy Profound Soft Spear appeared in his hand. His aura immediately erupted; he was just like an implacable mountain!
At this moment, Jiang Baoyun also moved. He began to slowly walk towards Lin Ming. However, his footsteps had an unapproachable feeling, as if the ground he walked on could not be violated. After a few steps, the unbelievable occurred. As Jiang Baoyun moved forwards, he left behind a phantom that was identical to his shadow!
This phantom was also wearing black clothes and holding the Blue Peak treasure sword in his hand. It was almost impossible to discern any difference between it and Jiang Baoyun.
Lin Ming’s brows furrowed, and his soul force swept out; he was actually able to feel a chilling murderous intent emitting from that phantom body!
It wasn’t just a ghost, but a true phantom that could attack. Its own attack power was no weaker than the true Jiang Baoyun!
Lin Ming drew in a breath of cold air, there was actually such a cultivation method in this world?
As two Jiang Baoyuns appeared, the audience was stunned.
Jiang Baoyun said, “From your expression, it seems that you’ve already deduced the truth. You’re right, the phantom behind me is not a just a ghost, it is a true swordsman. It has the same speed and attack power as I do – it is my Sword Spirit Avatar. Right now, it could be said that you are fighting two of me.”
“What? Simultaneously fighting two Jiang Baoyuns!?”
Many people were frightened silly. Jiang Baoyun was already an abnormal freak, and his skill with the sword was at the highest peak. His attacks were sharp, swift, and incomparably fierce. And now Lin Ming had to fight two Jiang Baoyuns at once, what kind of concept was this?
Everyone knew just how terrifying Jiang Baoyun was. In one year, he had challenged four top talents of third-grade sects, and had achieved victory against all of them. But because Jiang Baoyun had fought in distant lands, his moves were unknown, and no one knew just what the limits of his strength were.
In the audience, Qin Xingxuan was nervously wringing her hands together, her palms already wet with sweat. Could Lin Ming defend against this? And Jiang Baoyun still had that Black Crystal Sword!
“Sword Spirit Avatar?”
Lin Ming could be considered opened minded. There were countless varieties of martial artist, and too many that he didn’t understand. There were some he had never heard of, and even some that he could never have imagined.
Almost all of these abilities and skills were either mediocre or of an unorthodox origin. Because there were just too many, there had to be some cultivation methods that were considered wonderful treasures even in the Realm of the Gods, waiting for him to find.
Jiang Baoyun gave a loud shot, and there was only a flash of blue. That flash of blue was too quick, it was just like a flicker of color that suddenly appeared in front of Lin Ming!
Lin Ming’s pupils contracted.
Golden Roc Shattering the Void!
The sword light directly pierced through Lin Ming, Jiang Baoyun and his blade had cleanly sliced through Lin Ming’s body. But it soon became clear that he was only an afterimage!
Jiang Baoyun hadn’t even looked back when his Sword Spirit Avatar shot forwards with the same speed, unstoppable!
The blue sword flickered, thrusting straight towards Lin Ming’s throat. At this time, Lin Ming was in the air – he could not evade!
“Ah!” The audience didn’t even have time to cry out in alarm. Lin Ming’s eyes flashed with flight, Concept of Wind!
Another afterimage was cut apart. Lin Ming fell to the ground with his spear, a foot-long cut in his plain clothes.
Lin Ming was shocked. The truth was that Lin Ming’s speed wasn’t slow. The Concept of Wind was fused into his attacks and into his movements. Whether it was movement speed or attack speed, he far exceeded a martial artist of the same level!
However, he had been completely unable to catch up to Jiang Baoyun’s speed. It could only be said that Jiang Baoyun’s speed was completely abnormal!
How was this possible?
Lin Ming found this hard to believe; was this really a speed that a Pulse Condensation period martial artist could achieve?
‘I see… so Jiang Baoyun has already comprehended his own Sword Step.’
In the Seven Profound Valleys’ Grand Hall, Shi Zongtian was watching Jiang Baoyun, finding it difficult to remain calm. This so-called Sword Step was when one’s own movement fused into one’s sword intent. When a person’s movement achieved the boundary of becoming one with the sword, the sword would move as the person did, and the person would move as the sword did. Because of this, Jiang Baoyun was able to reach a truly terrifying speed.
To walk the sword path, one not only needed a deep cultivation, but also an extremely high perception. Jiang Baoyun was able to reach this Sword Step boundary because of his own indispensable talent and perception!
It wasn’t only Shi Zongtian. Several other faction elders were startled. Lin Ming’s speed was truly praiseworthy, but Jiang Baoyun’s speed was even quicker! He had a natural inborn Sword Spirit, and he had managed to comprehend his own Sword Step at the young age of 19. Such a terrifying swordsman had never been seen in the Seven Profound territories within the last millennium!
The Refiner Faction Sovereign Huo Xuan couldn’t help but ask, “Elder Jiang, just what realm has Jiang Baoyun reached? Just a year ago I had seen him in action, and he is completely incomparable with his current self.”