Chapter 149 – Clumsily Forward
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The fist intents of the Army Shattering Fist would hurtle through the air. They would remain condensed, only dispersing their strength if they encountered an opponent or some obstacle, and the technique could almost completely preserve the original power of the fists. The technique was particularly terrifying at breaking through defenses, such that even a cultivator with a perfect Purification would not be able to endure the assault with just their body. They needed to either avoid it or use an even more powerful true essence to crush it.
This fist technique had one more special point. The punches produced wind, and the wind would condense into punches. They would feed off each other and produce a violent storm that would occupy every angle. One punch could fight against several dozen people, making it the best technique to use on the battlefield. When it was cultivated to the peak, there was even a legend one punch could shatter one thousand armies, so it was called the Army Shattering Fist.
In his first match, Chen Changsheng had displayed a nigh unimaginable speed, but the Army Shattering Fist gave him no space to use this speed. Moreover, anyone could see that he had an extraordinarily mediocre amount of true essence, and when compared to these geniuses fighting in the matches of the Grand Examination, it looked even more pitiful. If he had no methods other than speed, his defeat was assured.
The Hall of Shining Words was very quiet. The crowd watched the scene on the mirror of light with all sorts of expressions, watched as several dozen fists infused with a green light rumbled from all directions toward Chen Changsheng.
Two chairs had appeared next to Mei Lisha, the Archbishop of the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education. On these chairs sat two rather young bishops, but from their clothes, one could see that they were archbishops of the same rank as Mei Lisha, though it was not clear which of the Sacred Halls they were in charge of.
For some reason, these two Sacred Hall archbishops had arrived very late to the Hall of Shining Words, which made people feel like they had come especially to see Chen Changsheng's fight.
The people within the Hall of Shining Words all wore very different expressions, but the two archbishops were very calm and at ease.
This was because they were well aware of Huo Guang's cultivation level. To put it more accurately, Huo Guang had been the opponent that they had specifically chosen for Chen Changsheng.
The Grand Examination's drawing of lots for matches had been secretly rigged by them. The abilities Chen Changsheng had shown and all the other details of the first match had earlier been secretly leaked to Scholartree Manor by priests under their command, resulting in Huo Guang's using the Army Shattering Fist, a technique that consumed a massive amount of true essence, from the very start. Only this way could he not leave Chen Changsheng a single chance.
All this was done to ensure Chen Changsheng's loss.
Mo Yu watched Chen Changsheng, who was already pushed to the brink. Her slender brows creased and her hands tightened their grip on the armrests of her chair.
On the side, Prince Chen Liu noticed her actions out of the corner of his eyes, deepening the doubt in his heart. He could not understand why Mo Yu, as the representative of one of the factions that wanted to suppress the Orthodox Academy, was instead so nervous and focused, despite Chen Changsheng's being on the verge of losing. Was she worried about Chen Changsheng? That was completely unreasonable.
Immediately after, he suddenly recalled a certain matter and thought he had guessed at what Mo Yu was thinking.
During the Ivy Festival, in the match between Princess Luoluo and Guan Feibai, Luoluo had used a simplified version of the Yeshi Step. Gou Hanshi had recognized this, astonishing the entire crowd. As for how Chen Changsheng knew the absolute secret of the demons that was the Yeshi Step, this was still an unsolved riddle. The version Princess Luoluo had used in the Ivy Festival was not the complete Yeshi Step, but in the level of matches taking place in the Ivy Festival and the Grand Examination, such a simplified, or deformed, version of the Yeshi Step could play a very important role, like when confronting the storm of the Army Shattering Fist…
Mo Yu had probably thought of the scene from the Ivy Festival. She was not concerned that Chen Changsheng might lose or be injured, but was nervous that Chen Changsheng might use the simplified Yeshi Step to escape the encirclement of the Army Shattering Fist and produce an unexpected change in the battle. Such were the speculations of Prince Chen Liu.
Since he could take into account Chen Changsheng's simplified Yeshi Step, the other people in the Hall of Shining Words naturally could as well. Xu Shiji had a grave and stern expression, while Xue Xingchuan had completely seated himself back on his chair. The crowd had become somewhat quiet. Everyone present was well aware that Chen Changsheng would not immediately lose at this juncture and that the match would probably continue for a little while longer.
The two Sacred Hall archbishops remained impassive. As representatives of the Orthodoxy's new faction, they knew a bit more than the rest of the crowd. Since they were suppressing the Orthodox Academy, since they wanted to borrow Scholartree Manor to have Chen Changsheng eliminated in the second round, how could they miss out on any detail?
His opponent had been informed in advance of every technique and trick that Chen Changsheng possessed.
Perhaps Huo Guang was waiting for Chen Changsheng to use the simplified Yeshi Step and break through the fierce storm of the Army Shattering Fist.
Huo Guang was definitely hiding an even more powerful technique, just waiting for that moment.
Soon after, flabbergasted cries could be heard in the Hall of Shining Words.
The two Sacred Hall archbishops slightly frowned, seeming somewhat confused and shocked at what they were seeing on the mirror of light.
Chen Changsheng did not use the simplified Yeshi Step, and he did not attempt to break out of the encirclement of the Army Shattering Fist.
To be more precise, he wasn't doing anything. His two feet rested on the sand like two nails, not even moving a muscle.
Separated by those several dozen terrifying green fist intents, he silently looked at Huo Guang.
Time rapidly advanced. He, the spectators in the Hall of Shining Words, and the Li Palace priests on the second floor of the testing ground didn't need to wait long for the Army Shattering Fist's terrifying might to reach him. Like a real storm, it occupied his entire surroundings.
Upon seeing this sight, many people, including Xu Shiji, Mo Yu, and the priests on the second floor of the Hall of Washing Away Dust who favored the Orthodox Academy, were all very confused, mystified as to what Chen Changsheng intended to do. This was a match of the Grand Examination, so no one's life was in danger. Logically speaking, such a sight like someone waiting to be defeated wouldn't occur, and even if Chen Changsheng felt that he was no match, why did he want to just stand there and endure the assaulting storm of the Army Shattering Fist?
Confusion and doubt were the emotions dominating the minds of the vast majority of spectators. A few were somewhat disappointed, like Prince Chen Liu and Mo Yu.
At this point, Chen Changsheng's defeat was certain.
Huo Guang's Army Shattering Fist had reached full force, forming a green storm around Chen Changsheng about two zhang in radius. Wind and rain raged within, all of it made of terrifying fist intent.
Even if Chen Changsheng were to use the simplified Yeshi Step now, he would not be able to break through the Army Shattering Fist's storm.
The only exception was if he used the real and complete Yeshi Step.
But that was an impossible matter.
Spring had come to the capital, and would the first student of the Orthodox Academy in ten-some years, who had brought with him so many storms and wanted to take first rank of the first banner in the Grand Examination, have his journey come to an end right now?
Chen Changsheng moved.
When everyone thought he would move, he quietly stood still.
When everyone thought that he was no longer able to move, he suddenly moved.
He did not use the Yeshi Step but charged right at the fierce storm of the Army Shattering Fist.
His movements seemed somewhat stiff and clumsy, but they were firm and resolute.
A set of suppressed cries could be heard from the second floor of the Hall of Washing Away Dust. Some of the observing Li Palace priests were incredibly surprised while others were deeply concerned.
At this very moment, several dozen fist intents were flowing like gusts in the air around him. At the front of each of these fist intents was a fist infused with green light.
These fists were not real, and one could even call them fake.
But the terrifying might contained in these fists was as real as it could possibly be.
The storm formed by the Army Shattering Fist was very dense, seemingly devoid of even the smallest of cracks. Besides the complete Yeshi Step, which used the power of nature to move, any other movement technique, no matter how exquisite, would collide against these fists and incur the wrath of the energy contained within them. And Chen Changsheng wasn't even using a movement technique, just charging towards it.
With a pop, the new shoe on his right foot broke.
The sand instantly scattered, revealing the stone below, and cracks appeared on the ground once more.
The collision of body and air produced a shrill howl. Chen Changsheng's body transformed into a blur and the black dragon appeared once more.
After a very brief amount of time, this blur slightly slowed.
A powerful fist intent had crashed against his right shoulder.
The dark uniform burst apart like a flower, the cloth shredding into the air. The fist intent crashed against his body, causing the skin on his shoulder to instantly redden and seem on the verge of breaking.
At this point, he had only advanced two steps.
Now, it seemed like he would have to stop.
Then he would be pummeled to the ground by the storm of the Army Shattering Fist.
The second floor instantly fell silent.
In contrast, a soft laughter could be heard in the Hall of Shining Words, dyed with a hint of scorn.
Mo Yu did not laugh. She looked at the scene on the mirror of light, her mood rather complex.
It was like she could see what would happen next. The skin on Chen Changsheng's right shoulder would burst open, bones would snap and blood would flow, and then more fists would come crashing down. He would vomit blood and collapse, thus losing and being eliminated from the Grand Examination.
She could even gaze a little more into the future at the youth's lonely back as he left the Orthodox Academy.
Within the room of that house, the bedding would be cold. No matter how much soothing incense was used, it would no longer have the same scent.
She recalled the words the Empress had said to her and suddenly felt rather regretful and anguished.
Many people thought the same as Mo Yu.
Yes, Chen Changsheng had displayed an astonishing defensive ability in his first match.
However, the Army Shattering Fist was the Army Shattering Fist, and even a body that had undergone a perfect Purification could not resist it.
Prince Chen Liu was silent, somewhat angry that Chen Changsheng did not pull out his dagger at the very start.
Xu Shiji remained expressionless. His status at the moment was rather awkward, so it was not appropriate for him to show any sort of emotion at Chen Changsheng's bitter defeat.
Everyone believe that Chen Changsheng would suffer heavy wounds from the Army Shattering Fist.
But right after, a miraculous sight appeared in the Hall of Washing Away Dust.
The Army Shattering Fist fell on Chen Changsheng's right shoulder, shredding his uniform and causing blood to inflame his skin.
Yet the skin only reddened for a moment before quickly returning to normal.
A light thud rose up from his shoulder.
That Army Shattering Fist…had dispersed like smoke, scattering with the wind!
Such a terrifying fist had failed to make him bleed!
Just how was this like a rock falling from a mountain, shaking the earth and startling birds?
This was a spring breeze blowing across the hills!
This Army Shattering Fist was just scratching Chen Changsheng's itches!
Huo Guang's expression instantly changed.
Cries of shock rose up without end from the second floor of the Hall of Washing Away Dust.
The Hall of Shining Words was utterly silent.
Chen Changsheng's left foot stepped on the ground.
He continued forward, charging across the sand towards Huo Guang.
His movements were still very clumsy.
Yet…so very frightening.