Chapter 953 – A Blade Faster than Sound
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Under countless shocked gazes, Xuanyuan Po descended from the fighting platform. He walked to the registration table and asked the minor official, "Might I ask how long it will be until the next round?"
The minor official recalled the battle just now and inadvertently lowered his gaze as if wanting to prevent their eyes from meeting. However, this meant that his eyes saw Xuanyuan Po's fist instead.
That ordinary fist that contained that terrifying strength.
The minor official paled as his trembling hand flipped through the register. After perusing it for quite some time, he finally managed to say, "After this, there are still… seven matches."
His voice was somewhat shaky, though it was hard to say whether it was out of fear or something else.
Xuanyuan Po did not notice these particulars. After considering how long seven matches would take, he walked out of the crowd.
Many curious gazes followed, their owners thinking, he just won his match, so where is he going now?
The minor official somewhat calmed down. His loss of control just now made him somewhat furious from shame, with two blooms of unhealthy red appearing on his pale face.
Suddenly, there was an uproar, and countless people looked to the fighting platform.
The winner of this match was a thin, middle-aged man. He had an indifferent expression and wielded a chilling blade.
The minor official was shocked to see this middle-aged man, thinking, why did such an evil person come to the Pine Paths fighting platform?
He suddenly thought of a possibility. He hurriedly flipped through the register and the tournament bracket, confirming that this thin man was Xuanyuan Po's next opponent.
He finally relaxed, his entire being feeling free of worry. He gazed at Xuanyuan Po, who was walking off to do something in the streets, and resentfully thought, even if you really do have some brutish strength, so what? It'll only get you through one round, and in a little while, you'll still end up being hacked to death!
The Heavenly Selection ceremony was a grand event of the Demi-human race. Though far from the city center, the Pine Paths fighting platform was also very lively. Moreover, the matches which the crowd originally thought would be lackluster also featured many twists and turns. In the seven matches after Xuanyuan Po's victory, true experts appeared in all of them, each match splendid to the extreme.
The impoverished folk of the Pine Paths did not understand what was going on, but the Carp tribe judge and the officials from the Demi-human Court and the Council of Elders had long since guessed at what was going on.
Many experts of the Demi-human race did not harbor the extravagant hope of becoming the final victor in the Heavenly Selection ceremony and becoming Princess Luoluo's husband. However, they still wanted to do their utmost to rank highly in the ceremony, for the glory of both themselves and their tribes. If they could gain the right to enter the Celestial Tree and be baptized by the Wildfire, nothing could be better.
These experts were well aware that if they went to the fighting platforms near the Imperial Palace or Heavensguard Pavilion, it would be very difficult for them to last until the end. Thus, they had intentionally chosen the most remote of the fighting platforms in the Pine Paths. It was all for the sake of avoiding opponents who were at the same level or even stronger, so that they could last a little longer, walk a little further.
It now appeared that quite a few experts had this idea, like the Xiang clan descendant who Xuanyuan Po had defeated or the ten-some formidable individuals who had appeared in the following matches. But compared to the fighting platforms around the Imperial Palace or Heavensguard Pavilion, the difficulty was still much lower.
As these experts took the stage, one after the other, the matches grew more intense. When the last of the seven matches concluded, the crystals responsible for maintaining the fighting platform's protective array needed to be replaced. From this, one could imagine how fierce the battles had been, especially after two extremely famous demi-human experts took to the stage. The spectators grew more and more spirited, and the platform was surrounded by cries of surprise. The shock brought upon by Xuanyuan Po in the first match was greatly diminished, but from time to time, the official from the Demi-human Court and a few commoners would glance at the edge of the crowd. When they saw Xuanyuan Po holding a paper bag, they began to speculate as to what was inside.
Without a single noise, the red sun overcame the peaks of the mountains on the opposite shore, shining upon the surface of the river. The last wisps of morning fog in White Emperor City were finally expelled. At this point, the various fighting platforms had all essentially concluded their first rounds, and the Pine Paths was no exception. It was soon Xuanyuan Po's turn to once more take the stage.
Xuanyuan Po's figure make the spectators recall that mountain-shattering fist. They instantly broke into cheers, with those neighbors and laborers who knew him and were on break hollering out to encourage him. But when Xuanyuan Po's opponent appeared on the platform, the cheers and cries of encouragement quickly quieted down.
Xuanyuan Po's opponent was a thin and middle-aged man, precisely the one that had participated in the match after his.
The crowd was clearly somewhat afraid of this middle-aged man. A cold smile appeared on the face of the minor official at the table. Even the Carp tribe judge and the two supervising officials on the platform couldn't help but shake their heads, their moods rather mixed.
This thin, middle-aged man was from the Nie clan and was called Nie Chi. He was a true demi-human expert and was extremely famous on the two shores of the Red River. He had vast quantities of true essence and a blade style as cruel as his personality. Few opponents who lost to his blade were able to walk away alive.
In the first round, his opponent had been beheaded by one strike of his blade. The supervising official from the Demi-human Court had not even had the time to shout 'stop'.
This demi-human expert wielded the blade with incredible speed, like a bolt of lightning. It was even rumored that he had once said to a companion that although he was inferior to Wang Po in the cultivation of the blade, solely in terms of speed, not even Wang Po's blade might be as fast.
"Your strength is truly not bad, but it is still far from enough."
Nie Chi impassively said to Xuanyuan Po, "Because you are too slow."
These indifferent words were actually most overbearing, and they truly were very reasonable.
No matter how much strength one had, if one could not keep up with an opponent's speed, how could one wound them?
These words made Xuanyuan Po pensive.
He had not become uneasy or lost his confidence. He was just thinking about what Bie Yanghong had said this morning before he left the courtyard.
Speed was strength.
How should one interpret these words?
Speed was essentially a method to use strength.
True experts were certainly not people with limitless strength but no understanding as to how to use it.
How could one convert strength into speed? If he were given some time to properly comprehend Bie Yanghong's words, then perhaps…
There was no 'perhaps'.
No time, either.
A blinding and cold ray of light exploded in front of Xuanyuan Po's black pupils.
It was a blade glow.
Although he had expressed quite some disdain in his words, Nie Chi was still rather fearful of Xuanyuan Po's strength, so he had not given Xuanyuan Po any time to prepare.
He wanted to use his fastest blade to cut off Xuanyuan Po's head.
This blade truly was very fast, with the momentum of a galloping horse and the energy of a bolt of lightning.
Only after the blade glow had transformed into a gleaming tip in Xuanyuan Po's eyes did he finally hear the blade being unsheathed.
With a zing, the sharp and cold blade flew through the air.
By the time the crowd heard this, the blade was already half a foot from Xuanyuan Po's neck.