Chapter 80: Challenge
“Oh! Can this boy… Bai Shi… pose a threat to us?” An obese youth was standing next to the black-robed youth. A faint trace of cold light flickered in his eyes as he asked with a smile.
“How’s that possible?” the black-robed youth sneered as he proudly asked.
“By the way, I’ve heard that there’s a practitioner magician among this group of new disciples. Is this true?” The obese youth’s eyes flickered as if he thought of something.
“Yes, I’ve also heard about it. It seems to be true. There’s a rumor that there’s a good practitioner magician in this group of new disciples; he has a decent grasp on the fire element magic arts. He has been recruited by the Holy Spirit Association,” the black-robed youth nodded as he spoke.
The obese youth wrinkled his brows as he heard this; a trace of hesitation flashed through his eyes.
The art that he practiced was overbearing. However, it could be repelled by a magic art. Therefore, there were chances of him getting in trouble if he were to bump into this ‘fire element’ magician the next day.
“Wow! A brave person showed-up again.” The black-robed youth’s vision flashed as it fell on the black stone monument. He was looking at a name that was written in red. It was quickly ascending from the bottom position to the top-thirty.
It was the first day of the competition. According to the rules of the ring elimination system — only the new primary disciples could challenge each other. The disciples below the rank of hundred could challenge anyone of a higher rank – as long as there was a gap of fifty ranks between them. The scope of challenge was reduced when someone entered the top-hundred ranks. The opposition would be treated as failed if he were to get defeated or had declined to fight. Moreover, he would lose the right to challenge anyone. He would also lose the right to challenge the old disciples on the next day.
The new primary disciples who had the potential to enter the top-thirty were signified as the ‘outstanding people’ of the group. These disciples were able to pique the interest of the old primary disciples.
“Shi Mu… I didn’t know that there was such an outstanding new disciple…” the obese youth knitted his brows, and said as he heard this name.
Shi Mu wielded his steel blade. Suddenly, nine blade shadows emerged out of it, and dashed toward his opponent… who was trying to resist the shadows with a pair of swords.
The complexion of the youth with the two swords changed as he saw this. He started to rapidly wave his swords in an attempt to make a shield in front of him.
Multiple sounds could be heard as their weapons clashed…
The double-sword youth couldn’t resist the attack of the nine blade shadows. He was forced back a few steps. Moreover, his arms were struck by the force of the blades; they went numb. They started to ache; so much so that he couldn’t hold the swords’ hilt.
Shi Mu didn’t wait for the youth to recover. His figure flashed and appeared before his opponent. Shi Mu punched the youth in his chest before the youngster could understand anything.
The youth had noticed Shi Mu’s movement. However, he couldn’t dodge the punch as his reaction had been too slow owing to the pain and numbness in his arms.
“Bang” a loud sound was heard…
Shi Mu had hit the youth with extreme force. Therefore, the youth’s body was lifted off the ground, and was thrown out of the ring… upside-down. He bumped against the ground, and rolled in pain. Then, he spouted a mouthful of blood, and lost his consciousness.
“The winner is Shi Mu!”
The bearded junior disciple – the referee of the ring – was dumbfounded as he saw this. He gaped at Shi Mu for a while. Then, he raised his voice and announced the result.
Shi Mu slipped the steel blade into the sheath with an expressionless face.
He was at the first stage of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants. However, he had combined his extraordinary inborn strength with his Real Qi, and his advanced Wind-Blowing Blade Art and Stone-Breaking Fist. Therefore, he had enough strength to defeat the majority of his peers.
In addition, Shi Mu had chosen the opponents who possessed good speed.
However, his opponents couldn’t take an advantage because of his powerful eyesight.
Shi Mu turned his head, and looked at the stone monument.
The name of the disciple that he had defeated was Su Mu Bai. Su Mu Bai was a new disciple like Shi Mu. However, he was known to be one of the most powerful disciples among the new group; he was ranked 17. However, his position was replaced by Shi Mu after this match.
The surrounding disciples were astonished as they saw this; the entire plaza was filled with tumultuous uproar.
Shi Mu’s victory had caused a huge uproar as he had never been in the limelight – except for the first day when he had fought with Qu Kun. He had been busy with closed-door practice since the last three months. So, even the new primary disciples had almost forgotten him. Therefore, everyone was shocked when he showed-up with his supernatural strength, and entered the top twenty ranks.
“It seems like this boy – Shi Mu — has never revealed his true strength in public. Otherwise, the other new disciples wouldn’t have been so surprised.” Some old disciples had been watching Shi Mu’s match from a distance. One of them spoke since they found Shi Mu’s face to be unfamiliar.
“Every time we hold these competitions… a couple of such guys emerge out-of-nowhere with their remarkable talent… But, this person’s strength isn’t at an ordinary level. His blade art seems to be a ‘martial disciple’ level martial arts… but he has reached a high level in this art. Moreover, I think that he has got something else up his sleeve,” another old disciple said with a trace of curiosity in his eyes.
Meanwhile, Shi Mu walked down the ring and advanced towards another.
An extremely exhausted and wounded person was thrown off the fifth ring. He looked miserable – his shirt was tattered, and his face was tainted by blood.
A thin and tall youth was standing in the ring with calm expression; it seemed as if he hadn’t been affected by the match.
He held a long black whip in his hand. Suddenly, he flickered his wrist. Then, the whip retracted and wrapped itself around his waist.
Shi Mu’s eyes flashed as he observed the movements of the thin youth. It seemed – from the way that he used the long whip – that he was good with soft weapons.
He was one of the emerging figures among the new disciples. His name was Ruan Zhi; he was ranked ninth among the new disciples. He had defeated seven or eight challengers with only five strokes.
Shi Mu’s eyes flickered as he advanced towards the ring without any hesitation.
“My name is Shi Mu. I would like to challenge Your Excellency,” Shi Mu challenged him in a low voice.
The audience broke into an uproar as they saw this.
Shi Mu had occupied seventeenth rank in the competition by now. Therefore, he had attracted the attention of several people. The audience was excited as they were about to witness a match between two high-ranked disciples.
The referee of this ring was a junior disciple with sunken cheeks. Traces of a cold expression emerged in his eyes as he saw Shi Mu challenge Ruan Zi.
“Well… I’d like to see if your blade art is fiercer than my whip.” Ruan Zhi seemed to be aware of Shi Mu’s strength. He sized Shi Mu up from head-to-toe. Then, he spoke in a dignified tone.
After that, he narrowed his eyes, and started to focus his vision.
Shi Mu shot towards Ruan Zhi as soon as he heard the referee’s voice. His steel blade flashed and exuded nine blade shadows towards his opponent.
Ruan Zhi’s eyes revealed a trace of fear as he saw this; he hadn’t expected that Shi Mu’s actions would be so quick.
However, he wasn’t inexperienced either. Suddenly, he pushed his Real Qi into the whip with a low shout. The whip made a beautiful arc in the air, and transformed into nine whip shadows. His nine whip-shadows blocked the nine blade-shadows in midair. The sudden clash set-off an explosion in the air, and airwaves were sent rippling in all directions.
A sharp ‘whiz’ sound was heard.
His long whip whizzed out – like a poisonous viper leaving its hole. It penetrated through the air with an unstoppable momentum, and dashed toward Shi Mu’s chest like a long pole.