Chapter 557: Challenge (I)
Right as Lin Xin was forced into a great physical battle by Li Xin, Long Haochen was meeting two guests.
“Greetings, Saint Knight Head.” At the time Long Haochen opened the door, the guests outside respectfully bowed to him. The two in question were Tan Wan and Xuanyuan Yan.
Tan Wan looked the same as usual, and Xuanyuan Yan visibly felt quite awkward. Lowering his head, slightly, he didn’t dare look straight at Long Haochen.
Long Haochen looked at them in astonishment, “The two of you are...”
Tan Wan didn’t have that pride and coldness she used to have the first time they met, asking with a smile, “Can you let us inside to have a talk?”
“Please.” Long Haochen stepped aside from the entrance, letting the two inside. For now he was still clad in his Golden Foundation Armor. For the sake of concealing his identity, even when cultivating by himself in the room, he won’t easily take it off. But luckily, this armor was quite comfortable and never made him feel unwell.
“Saint Knight Head, we came to apologize to you. We were in the wrong in the matter of that time. Also, we wanted to thank you for your assistance to the Tombal Mountain Pass. Sorry!”
As she spoke so, Tan Wan bowed very respectfully to Long Haochen. This was not a mage salute, but a sincere bow which could be considered exaggerated between two people of the same generation.
Standing aside, Xuanyuan Yan also bowed to him, but his movement even looked a bit more implausible.
After the battle of that day, Long Haochen was once again summoned by the Mage Temple’s head Li Zhengzhi. No one knew about the contents of their talk, but a short time later, the Mage Temple made a public announcement about the heroic deeds of the Saint Knight Head known as Twelfth Golden Knight, and expressed the eternal deep feelings of friendship the Mage Temple would forever have towards him.
Long Haochen showed a faint smile, “The two of you don’t need to act that way. You did nothing wrong. I just hope that in the short future, the relationship between the Mage Temple and the Knight Temple may be improved. At that time I may need support from the two of you.”
Tan Wan didn’t react to this, but seemingly shifted subjects, “Saint Knight Head, from what I heard, your group is about to leave?”
Long Haochen nodded, “The Tombal Mountain Pass is already invulnerable to attack. I need to see the other Temples. Tomorrow in the morning, I will be leaving.”
After pondering silently for a short time, she suddenly expressed, “Saint Knight Head, I have a presumptuous request.”
Long Haochen was startled by the unexpected declaration, “I am listening.”
Tan Wan declared, “I hope to challenge you one versus one, without use of any weapon, only relying on our own abilities. I know that I am by far unable to compare against you, but I really want to know just how far the gap between the two of us is.”
At this point, she seemed to be afraid that Long Haochen could misunderstand, and continued, “Ever since becoming a mage, I have always put my whole efforts into cultivation, setting Teacher as a goal, in the hopes of one day becoming a powerhouse such as Teacher, to fight for the Alliance, the humanity, and thoroughly annihilate demonkind. I hope that you can be the second goal I’d set for myself. I am merely asking for your guidance, and have no other intention.”
Long Haochen replied after pondering shortly, “Understood. In that case, I will ask Captain Tan to look for a secluded area. And there cannot be any spectator.”
“Okay.” Tan Wan seemed to understand Long Haochen’s worries, and consented immediately.
To one side, Xuanyuan Yan seemed to want to say something, but bore his words until the end.
Long Haochen didn’t inform Han Yu and Cai’er, and was led by Tan Wan to enter a wide door in the fourth floor of the Mage Temple.
Tan Wan expressed to Xuanyuan Yan, “Wait for me here.”
Xuanyuan Yan suddenly gave Long Haochen a pleading look, but Long Haochen apologetically said, Captain Xuanyuan will come to understand my troubles in the future. Captain Tan, please enter.”
Tan Wan pushed the door and entered alongside Long Haochen.
This was a wide training space, circular, without spectators. It reached a total diameter of about fifty meters, which couldn’t be considered a very large space from the point of view of a mage.
“This is an area for the Temple to conduct tests. With Xuanyuan guarding the door, no one should come to bother us. As she said that, Tan Wan’s staff disappeared from her hand in a movement, then she undid her outer gown, putting into her ring that magical gown that was releasing strong magical waves, and exposing the long green skirt inside.
Today, she had challenge Long Haochen to find out the true gap between them. That day, the scene of Long Haochen making use of Light Prayers to block the Hell’s Descent shocked her truly greatly. With her good vision, she also could determine that Long Haochen had made use of a divine tool at that time.
So Tan Wan remained in the end somewhat unconvinced. Without the use of a divine tool or a piece of equipment of epic tier such as the Golden foundation Armor, could he really be much stronger than me? She really wanted to know the answer to that question, and went looking for Long Haochen in the end. She expressed her apologetic feelings as well, so as to not let these things affect her state of mind at the time of the battle.
Long Haochen replied, “Captain Tan, after we are done comparing notes this time, no matter who wins, I will have a request for you, and hope to have your help on this.”
Tan Wan looked distracted, “What kind of request?”
Long Haochen showed a faint smile, “Let’s talk about it after our battle ends.”
“Okay.” Giving her reply, Tan Wan immediately headed towards one side of the training field.
In a situation where both parties fight without their equipment, a knight is much more disadvantaged than a mage. That’s because a knight will not only be deprived of his equipment, but also his mount. This will greatly weaken him globally. And for a mage, not using his equipment only affects the matter of purity. But Tan Wan was unwilling to take advantage of Long Haochen so much, and therefore chose this training field that was only fifty meters wide. As an unfavorable terrain for a mage, the two parties could be said to have equivalent handicaps.
In a flash of golden light, the Golden Foundation Armor was taken off. He didn’t take out either of his own heavy swords, and drew back to reach the edge of the training field just like Tan Wan did.
At the sight of Long Haochen’s handsome looks, Tan Wan couldn’t help but lose spirits. Handsome guys weren’t so terrible in her eyes, as she had already not much interest in the emotional aspect anymore. The increase of her cultivation became her single-minded target. So her shock pertained only to Long Haochen’s age: even if it was her second time seeing it, the shock didn’t shrink at all.
“Saint Knight Head, I am coming.” Tan Wan declared in seriousness.
A pair of green wings grew almost instantly on Tan Wan’s back, and immediately, her right hand pointed a finger toward Long Haochen. A dozen wind blades were shot at his direction. Each of these wind blades followed its own path. Some went straight, some traced an arc, and some even coiled around the side. All Long Haochen’s escape routes seemed to be blocked off. He placed both hands behind his back, and took two steps to the side, immediately swaying at a bizarre rythm.
Pampampampam. A series of spiritual energy collisions were heard and echoed unceasingly from the green brilliant rays. With both hands at his back, Long Haochen calmly walked out, not releasing the slightest surge of spiritual energy or counterattack from beginning to end.
As the attacker, Tan Wan’s senses of the opponent were the clearest. Long Haochen was using a special footwork, appearing slow but moving fast. In the end, he always escaped the wind blade’s attacks by a hair’s breadth, and sometimes even neutralized them by voluntarily letting two wind blades collide against each other. This process sounds simple, but required really good control of one’s body as well as excellent prediction and speed, causing Tan Wan to gasp in amazement. This was the first time she was seeing someone actually avoid wind blades in such a manner.
Of course, as the Wind Master’s only disciple, her attacks had only started. While Long Haochen was walking his way out of the wind blades, Tan Wan kept chanting unceasingly, and balls of green light were shot from her fingertips, taking the shape of tornadoes on a small scale, reaching only one third of a meter in diameter, drifting toward Haochen..
There were a total of twelve small tornadoes. The whole training field let out bizarre whimpering sounds, flying in Long Haochen’s direction with different speeds, as the rich wind essence in the air also turned a lot more frantic.
A one against one between a mage and a knight was absolutely not about using the most powerful spell, but the most fitting ones. The twelve tornadoes used by Tan Wan all looked the same, but were actually absolutely different. Each of them was equivalent to a spell of the sixth step, and after letting out twelve of them, her pretty face had a pale look. After all, this was without any magic attire, and with her cultivation reaching the middle section of the seventh step, these were already her limits.
Of these tornadoes, some were turning straight, some in reverse, but each one followed a different path. And in case one burst, the others will instantly be attracted by it, and almost immediately reach the enemy. Among single-targeted spells, these twelve small-scale tornadoes used quite complex magic. If its full power struck, it could match a single-targeted spell of the eighth step.
Long Haochen’s advancing pace slowed down, as those twelve tornadoes were sweeping from all directions.
Lifting up his right hand, one could see a white light spread from within, taking the shape of a heavy sword a meter-and-a-half in length. Afterwards, Long Haochen shut his eyes, advancing his left foot, and slowly chopped with condensed spiritual energy.
Materialization of spiritual highlandized energy? No, Long Haochen’s cultivation didn’t reach that step yet, as he was still unable to deploy Spiritual Highland to this degree. This was actually a well-known ability, Holy Sword.
Using his hand as a blade obviously greatly limited the power of Holy Sword, but backed by the purity of his light spiritual energy, Long Haochen’s weapon seemed not much different to a real heavy sword of light attribute.
This chop seemed as light as a feather, following a slow movement, but still hit the first tornado that was about to reach him. Still far away, Tan Wan already had a complacent look.
No matter how strong you are, as long as you come in contact with my tornado, it will activate the tornadoes formation instantly. I want to see if you can withstand my spell of the eighth step without any defensive equipment.
But the complacency on Tan Wan’s face only lasted for a split instant, before turning into shock.
As he cut into the tornado, Long Haochen didn’t even cause a reaction from it. It looked like this tornado characterized by its extreme cutting force simply became an extension of his hand, lifted up alongside it.
Long Haochen’s presence disappeared immediately, completely blending into the surrounding wind essence. The other eleven tornadoes only coiled around him without launching any attack.
As his right arm slightly vibrated, Long Haochen made a slashing motion as the tornado on the tip of his hand turned into dots of green light dissipating in the air.
Holy Sword was still here after the first tornado disappeared. The other eleven immediately showed a reaction, all heading toward Long Haochen together. At this instant, Long Haochen’s very slow figure accelerated all of a sudden, as Holy Sword in his hand made eleven successive very close cuts.
All eleven tornadoes came to a stop in midair, and immediately disappeared without any trace.
As his figure flashed across, crossing instantly ten meters per step, Long Haochen arrived in front of Tan wan in a flash.
Tan Wan raised her arms almost out of subconscious mind, aiming two punches against Long Haochen, with green light coiling around her both hands, at a considerable punching speed. This was an unexpected martial strategy.
Long Haochen actually wasn’t caught unprepared by the blow, but didn’t try to resist, letting Tan Wan’s fists bombard his chest.
Bang, bang. Two sounds followed, but Long Haochen remained motionless. Tan Wan felt that the instant her hand imbued with light elemental spiritual energy landed on Long Haochen, it was immediately dispelled in the midst of vibrations, without inflicting the slightest damage to his body at all. Long Haochen didn’t launch a counteroffensive, remaining motionless. His hands were bent down to the two sides, as he stared focusedly at her.
Letting down her two hands, Tan Wan had a lifeless look toward Long Haochen, “It’s my loss.” These words came out from her mouth with difficulty, but she had no other choice but to admit her own defeat.
She could feel that Long Haochen’s cultivation was far above hers, just too far above. It was not only his spiritual energy, but also his experience in real combat, as well as his added up strength, perception and uses of his abilities. He was just at a totally different level in all aspects.
Long Haochen drew two steps back, increasing the distance separating Tan Wan to him, “Your last magic was quite powerful. If I wasn’t a specialist in controlling frequencies in the air, resisting it would be very hard.”
Tan Wan had a bitter smile, “You don’t need to console me. A loss is a loss. That’s just the gap between the two of us. However, I have two questions. First, just how did you split my tornado formation. And second, you seemed already aware that I had learnt martial arts, but this secret is only known to my teacher. Even Lin Xin didn’t know about it, could it be Teacher who told you about it? It can’t be!”