Chapter 952 – One Punch
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The minor official recognized Xuanyuan Po.
Xuanyuan Po was also surprised, because he recognized the minor official.
Just a few days ago, in the small tavern, this minor official had gotten thoroughly drunk and then said many vicious words to him.
Looking at Xuanyuan Po, the minor official asked in shock, "What's a kid like you doing here?"
Xuanyuan Po pointed at the register on the table and replied, "They said that I needed to register my name here."
The minor official stared blankly at him for a while before finally asking, "You want to participate in the Heavenly Selection?"
Xuanyuan Po affirmed, "Yes."
The minor official couldn't help but laugh, jeering, "A cripple like you also wants to marry Her Highness?"
Xuanyuan Po denied, "I have never thought about marrying Her Highness, but I do want to participate in the Heavenly Selection."
The minor official gave him a contemptuous gaze. "It looks to me like you want to seek your death."
There were not many participants at this fighting platform and Xuanyuan Po's extremely large physique was quite conspicuous, attracting the gazes of quite a few people. Now, with the official's laughter and derision, even more people looked over. Pine Paths was quite a small place where it was easy to run into acquaintances, and there were several frequent patrons of the small tavern in the crowd. Upon seeing this scene, they quickly walked over. When they learned of Xuanyuan Po's intentions, they were stunned and quickly advised him to give up on the idea.
"I say, have you gone crazy? This isn't play-fighting!"
"Didn't you hear that the Daoist Church of the Western Wastes didn't send a priest this time? The fighting platforms in the upper city have the doctors from the court and the Council of Elders keeping watch, but what will you do if you get injured here? There's no one here to treat you, and if you start bleeding nonstop, you really will die!"
"Even if people usually ridicule you, why take such a risk to prove yourself?"
Xuanyuan Po was quiet, not responding to these concerns. Seeing this, the patrons ceased their exhortations.
The minor official again jeered, "If you insist on seeking death, that's on you. Though when you get on the platform, don't cry too hard."
Xuanyuan Po took the brush and wrote his name and some other information on the register. He then took a cloth strip and tied it to his right wrist.
Time slowly passed and it was finally his turn to step onto the fighting platform.
The crowd around the platform conversed about what his background might be.
A handler from a gambling den recalled the earlier sight and squeezed his way to the registration table. He asked the official, "Should I keep an eye out?"
The minor official sneered, "He's just a dishwasher who brags that he's gone to the capital before and thinks that he's such an outstanding person."
One of the patrons who had attempted to stop Xuanyuan Po earlier commented, "He really did go to the capital."
The official was furious at being corrected, his face reddening as he shot back, "And so what? Even if he was strong before, he's nothing more than trash now!"
The chilly breeze of the morning dispersed the smoke and steam of the Pine Paths, also blowing against the cloth strips on the arms of the fighters.
Xuanyuan Po had a tall and sturdy figure, but his opponent was even burlier.
This burly middle-aged man glanced at Xuanyuan Po's withered stick of a right arm, scorn appearing on his face as he said, "My sympathies to you for meeting someone like me at the very start."
After he said this, his body began to creak as it grew larger, becoming a small mountain that cast its shadow on the platform.
The spectators were stupefied at this sight, thinking, why did someone from the Xiang clan come here?
Regardless of generation, the Xiang clan had always been one of the three great clans of the Demi-human race. Even the most ordinary member of this clan possessed an unimaginably divine strength.
Logically speaking, a descendant of this great clan should have gone to the fighting platforms near the Imperial Palace and Heavensguard Pavilion. Why did he come to a small place like the Pine Paths?
The judge from the Carp tribe narrowed his eyes, quickly understanding the reason.
The supervisor from the Council of Elders seemed asleep, his eyes closed. It was obvious that he had known of this matter beforehand.
The official from the Demi-human Court sensed the powerful Qi exuded by the Xiang clan descendant's body and arched his brow as he thought, with this sort of strength and the secret techniques of the Xiang clan, two years of diligent practice will be enough for this person to enter the Red River Beast Guard. For this sort of person to come to the Pine Paths to participate, he seems to have quite some ambition.
Upon thinking this, the official looked towards Xuanyuan Po with a very complicated gaze.
He had not heard the quarrel that had taken place earlier and did not know the background of this composed youth of the Bear tribe. He just felt that since this youth clearly had a crippled arm but was still willing to to participate in the Heavenly Selection, the youth truly had a praiseworthy courage. It was just a pity that his first match was with an unbeatable opponent. It truly made him feel sorry.
Xuanyuan Po had no idea what this official of the Demi-human Court was thinking, and even if he did, he wouldn't care.
Similarly, he did not care for his opponent's words. It was still early morning and only his first match on this fighting platform. If he wanted to walk to the front of the Imperial Palace, it would only be after a very long time and many more battles. It was the same reason he had chosen to go to the fighting platform in the Pine Paths: he needed to economize his time.
Thus, he did not speak a single word to his opponent, nor did he maintain the silence of a true expert, patiently waiting for his opponent to make the first move. Instead, he walked over, his footsteps somewhat rushed, making him look panicked to the spectators.
The Xiang clan descendant viewed him with even more disdain.
Xuanyuan Po raised his fist and punched.
His right arm was very shriveled, its sleeve battered about by the wind.
He used his left fist.
Straight and unremarkable, there was nothing special about his fist. His punch was also mediocre, seemingly devoid of technique and more akin to a careless blow.
The Xiang clan descendant had not expected his opponent to attack without any sort of warning. His eyes flashed with anger as he roared and responded with a punch of his own.
The Xiang clan descendant had a body as stalwart as a mountain, his fist of proportionately massive size, a boulder rumbling down from the mountain peak.
The giant fist blasted through the air, howling with a gale and glimmering with shards of starlight. It had a stunning momentum.
Xuanyuan Po's fist was distressingly normal in comparison, lacking any momentum to speak of.
The two fists approached, and as they were about to meet, the contrast grew all the starker.
The Xiang clan descendant's colossal fist made Xuanyuan Po's fist look quite pitiful.
Some spectators could not bear to witness the ensuing tragedy and turned around.
Xuanyuan Po did not turn his head; his eyes didn't even blink. He seemed incredibly composed, or even dull-witted.
Had he been frightened silly by his opponent's fist, or he was such a fool that he hadn't even reacted yet?
Some of the spectators pondered these questions.
The minor official stood up from behind his table and stared at the fighting platform with malicious anticipation.
The official from the Demi-human Court had been paying attention to the match the entire time. He was confident that Xuanyuan Po had not been scared silly, nor had he failed to react in time. This was because Xuanyuan Po's breathing had not been affected.
Thus, he found it impossible to understand why Xuanyuan Po did nothing but continue to punch in the face of his clearly stronger opponent.
If it wasn't out of absolute confidence, then was it out of pride and honor?
With this in mind, the official suddenly found himself admiring Xuanyuan Po's courage.
In these malicious, or cruel, or reluctant, or pitying gazes…
Xuanyuan Po's fist finally clashed with the Xiang clan descendant's fist.
On a superficial level, the difference between these two fists was enormous.
When their fists collided, it was like a pebble running up against a boulder.
If one considered the discrepancy in power, it was like a chicken egg crashing into a boulder.
There was a soft sound.
It was a crack, like an egg really had shattered.
To the astonishment of the crowd, Xuanyuan Po's fist had not shattered, nor had it been sent flying like a pebble being struck by a boulder.
His fist and the Xiang clan descendant's fist were firmly pushing against each other.
His fist seemed so small, but just as steady.
There was a dense profusion of sounds that gradually more distinct, then deafening.
Like that cliff that had split open yesterday.
Like the cliff falling into the Red River and jolting up countless massive waves.
Waves of Qi exploded from the platform, transforming into fierce gales that howled and stirred up a cloud of dust.
A smear of boundless terror appeared in the Xiang clan descendant's eyes as he howled in pain and despair.
The winds dissipated with plaintive howls, the last remnants winding around the platform, ruffling Xuanyuan Po's somewhat vacant sleeve and ultimately falling on the Xiang clan descendant's body.
The mountainous body seemed to gradually shorten under this gentle wind, and then collapsed.
The Xiang clan descendant sat paralyzed on the platform, his right arm hanging strengthlessly at his side, blood trickling out of the sleeve.
The light crack and the ensuing cracks had all been the sounds of breaking.
When his fist met with Xuanyuan Po's, the first things to touch were his fingers.
And so his fingers broke.
And then his wrist bone broke.
Then his arm bones broke.
Finally, even his shoulder bone broke.
His face was abnormally pale, his eyes brimming with fear. His body was drenched, though it was hard to tell whether it was with sweat, blood, or something else.
Xuanyuan Po drew back his fist, not issuing another attack.
Seeing this, the Xiang clan descendant knew that he would survive. His eyes went from fear to confusion and then gradually lost focus.
In the strength that he was most proud of, he had unexpectedly thoroughly lost.
He couldn't even think about revenge. Xuanyuan Po had simply been too strong, so strong that it was inconceivable.
This unimaginable discrepancy had crushed all will to fight in his body, overwhelmed his mind to the point of collapse.
He began to vomit, throwing up the entirety of his breakfast onto the platform, and a terrible odor gradually spread over the area.
But both the judge of the Carp tribe on the platform and the two supervising officials seemed unable to smell it.
The ordinary officials around the platform as well as the spectating crowd were dumbstruck.
Just who was this bear youth?
Why did that seemingly ordinary and unremarkable fist contain such terrifying strength?