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Conferred God Stage, Eternal Heaven Realm.
There was only one match today, and it was the seventh match of the Losers Group: Yun Che versus Jun Xilei.
This match was about as predetermined as the previous match between Luo Changsheng and Shui Yingyue, but not only did it not fall off in terms of interest at all, it attracted more gazes even when compared to the final match of the Conferred God Group.
It was because this would be Yun Che’s final match.
As the most eye catching dark horse of this year’s Conferred God Battle and the man who utterly shook the entire Eastern Divine Region, it was only natural that everyone wanted to witness his final performance. This was especially true for the profound practitioners of middle and lower star realms. They all thought of Yun Che as their pride and glory, so there was no way they were going to miss his final battle.
There were almost no empty marked seats in the spectator stands of the Conferred God Stage. It was obvious that the youngsters weren’t the only ones who wanted to see Yun Che. Those peak experts that stood at the top of the Eastern Divine Region would never admit it in the open but in their subconscious, they all thought that Yun Che was someone they must pay attention to.
The Sword Sovereign and Jun Xilei had arrived a long time ago, but not Yun Che. It wasn’t until the last minute that a heat wave approached from afar, Huo Rulie flying through the air with great speed while holding Yun Che. They both landed in the middle of the spectator stands, the trail of fire Huo Rulie left behind not dissipating for a very long time.
A crisp, joyful and absolutely melodious cry reached nearly everyone’s ears as Shui Meiyin jumped into the air. “It’s Big Brother Yun Che, Big Brother Yun Che is here!”
Countless profound cultivators twirled their eyes and shot Shui Meiyin an odd look at the same time. Sweat poured down Shui Qianheng’s head as he scolded her in a small voice, “Don’t shout, that’s very impolite!”
“Yun Che’s profound strength… is at the ninth stage of the Divine Tribulation Realm?” Shui Yingyue frowned slightly.
“Hmph! The boy didn’t show up for your fight against Luo Changsheng, and he wasn’t heard from at all for the past few days. That means he had to be cultivating in secret for today’s battle. I didn’t think he would actually make a breakthrough though.”
Shui Qianheng continued in a disapproving tone, “It’s only been a few days, so he must have used the Time Wheel Pearl. Still, if he thinks he’s a match for Jun Xilei just because his realm went up a small stage, then I must say that he’s too naive.”
“Hmph! Daddy, you’re totally wrong.” Shui Meiyin pressed her lips together in dissatisfaction, but her eyes quickly turned sparkly a second later, “I have a feeling that my Big Brother Yun Che has become a lot stronger… As expected of my Big Brother Yun Che.”
“Y-y-you!” Shui Qianheng’s face distorted when he saw his precious daughter staring at Yun Che like a love-struck fool, but what could he do? Scold her? Beat her? In the end, he had no choice but to glare piercingly at Yun Che. “That brat… if we weren’t entering the Eternal Heaven Divine Realm soon, I’d ha… Hmph…”
“…Daddy, what did you mutter just now?” Shui Meiyin looked sideways and asked.
“…I didn’t say anything. Your ears must be fooling you,” Shui Qianheng turned his head away and answered innocently.
Yun Che’s arrival had attracted everyone’s attention, so of course they noticed his improvement as well. However, it was just a minor surprise.
If Yun Che and Jun Xilei’s overall strength were close, a small increase in level could definitely tip the balance in his favor. However, the gap between Yun Che and Jun Xilei couldn’t be bridged by something that minor.
“Congratulations for your breakthrough, Brother Yun!” Huo Poyun said cheerfully.
“It’s all thanks to Sect Master Huo’s aid and the Time Wheel Pearls you gave me,” Yun Che replied with a smile. He then looked around the Conferred God Stage and allowed his gaze to sweep past Jun Xilei’s figure.
Yan Juehai and Mu Bingyun both stared at Yun Che with odd looks on their faces. They were the ones standing closest to Yun Che, so they could sense that an increase in profound strength was not the only thing that had changed about Yun Che. A sense of heaviness was radiating from Yun Che’s body… something they had never felt before.
“The seventh match of the Conferred God Battle Losers Group will be Yun Che from the Snow Song Realm versus Jun Xilei, the Sword Sovereign’s successor. Both participants, please enter the Conferred God Stage now!”
Yun Che immediately got up and grew focused.
But just as he was about to leap into the stage, Mu Bingyun suddenly caught his arm and said, “Yun Che, Jun Xilei holds a serious grudge against you so it’s very likely that she’ll try to wound you severely on purpose… be very, very careful.”
Yun Che turned around and shot her a “don’t worry” look. He even gripped the back of her hand slightly in reassurance. Before Mu Bingyun could recover from her surprise, Yun Che had already jumped into the air and landed on the Conferred God Stage.
Mu Bingyun, “…”
Jun Wuming stared at Yun Che for a long time before his pale white eyebrows furrowed slightly.
“Lei’er… please promise me two things before you fight Yun Che.”
“Please instruct me, master.” Jun Xilei bowed her head respectfully.
“First, you must not underestimate your enemy!” Jun Wuming said seriously, “It has only been a few days, but this boy feels a lot different than he did before. You must be careful.”
“Yes.” Jun Xilei promised.
“Second,” Jun Wuming paused for a moment before continuing, “You may beat him, but you musn’t wound him severely on purpose!”
His words held far more weight this time. There was a reason behind this.
His recent trip to the Snow Song Realm had made him invariably wary of Mu Xuanyin.
He himself was about to run out of lifespan, so he didn’t care if Mu Xuanyin might threaten his life. However, he was afraid that Jun Xilei might perish at Mu Xuanyin’s hands. It wasn’t her unnaturally powerful profound strength that he was afraid of, but her temper.
Back in the Snow Song Realm, Mu Xuanyin had bowed and acted differentially to him in the way a junior would to a senior. But after Jun Xilei had offended Yun Che, Mu Xuanyin had immediately turned hostile, gave him a harsh scolding, and slapped Jun Xilei in the face. She even kicked them out of the Snow Song Realm at the very end, as if the title “Sword Sovereign”—a title that awed and bowed the heads of upper star realms—meant less than a speck of dust to her.
It was probably impossible to find another person like her in the entire God Realm.
If Jun Xilei did deal Yun Che a severe blow, Mu Xuanyin would never let her go, even if she had to break all of the Conferred God Stage’s rules. That was how protective she was over Yun Che. The consequences were unimaginable if that really were to happen.
There was no doubting Mu Xuanyin’s evil temper. It was absolutely something she would do!
“…” Jun Xilei fell silent for a while before she finally answered in an indifferent tone, “Yes.”
Jun Wuming wanted to say something, but his lips refused to move when he noticed that Jun Xilei’s eyes had become much colder than usual. In the end, he waved her away while saying, “Go.”
There was a white flash and a breeze of sword energy, and Jun Xilei appeared on the Conferred God Stage. Her gaze was calm and chilly, and an invisible sword was raging across the stage even before she used her profound energy. In an instant, it was as if ten thousand invisible swords were pointing towards Yun Che at once.
The Sword Sovereign’s successor’s sword intent was nothing to scoffed at. At first, Yun Che looked completely calm as he stubbornly matched gazes with Jun Xilei. However, his eyes began to roam, and his complexion gradually turned pale just a few breaths later. In the end, his breathing had become completely erratic, and his body wobbled non-stop as if he was about to fall over.
Neither combatant had summoned their profound energy or engaged each other in combat yet; it was just a clash of auras and nothing more. But Yun Che was still the clear loser of this clash, and many were shaking their heads, sighing from the spectator stands. Yet no one was surprised by this result.
“She truly is the Sword Sovereign’s succesor. To think that her sword intent would be this powerful despite her young age,” Mu Huanzhi sighed. “It will be very… difficult for Yun Che to do anything against her.”
“She’s oppressing Brother Yun with her sword intent before the match has even started! She’s clearly trying to embarrass Brother Yun!” Huo Poyun said angrily.
A quiet sigh escaped Mu Bingyun’s lips. She was aware of the grudge between Yun Che and Jun Xilei, and she knew that she should be impressed that Yun Che had managed to hold out this far. If the one on the stage was someone else, they might have surrendered in fear before the match even began.
Honorable Qi Hui frowned slightly. He had plenty of life experience, and he could clearly see the hate Jun Xilei harbored against Yun Che. It was no small hatred either.
It looks like this fight will end pretty soon… Honorable Qu Hui thought to himself before shooting Yun Che a glance. Finally, he waved a hand and declared, “Begin!”
The second Honorable Qu Hui shouted, a bright ray of light flashed across everyone’s eyes. Misty Light exited its sheath, and a pale white beam instantly appeared between Yun Che and Jun Xilei.
It was as if a white crack had suddenly burst open in the middle of the Conferred God Stage.
“Watch out Yun Che!”
Countless exclamations instantly filled the spectator stands.
However, these cries vanished just as quickly as if the sounds were devoured by a black hole.
A vermillion sword arc had burst into existence at the same time as the pale white sword beam. Although the horizontal flash was half an instant slower than the sword beam, the burst of divine might had suddenly clenched around everyone’s heart like an invisible hand.
There was a loud explosion, and one of the combatants was blown backwards like a rag doll. They vomited blood in midair again and again before they finally crashed against the ground several hundred meters away. The terrible sword might that had caused this continued to envelop more than half of the Conferred God Stage like an undying fog.
It was as if the entire place had suddenly been stuffed into a vacuum. Silence sat heavily across the entire God Conferred Stage, and the spectators’ eyes were so wide it was as if they would tear themselves apart.
Honorable Qu Hui had just declared the beginning of the battle, and one of the combatants had already been severely wounded during the first exchange.
Moreover, the person who was sent flying several hundred meters away while spitting blood…
…was none other than Jun Xilei!
The girl was currently lying limply on the ground with blood drenching more than half of her white clothes. Even now, blood was pouring out of her pale white lips like a water tap. It was clear to everyone that she had suffered extremely serious internal injuries, and her eyes had completely lost their previous sharpness and chill. There was only murky emptiness in her eyes; a kind of look one might have if they had suddenly fallen into the abyss.
Yun Che was leaning backwards with a bloody hole in his chest area. However, his chest wasn’t completely pierced through. He slowly bent forward and stood straight once more. He didn’t take a step backwards despite the piercing blow, almost as if someone had nailed his feet to the ground with a pair of actual nails. His chest had also stopped bleeding on its own.
The pretense that he was suppressed by Jun Xilei’s invisible sword intent was completely gone. Right now, Yun Che was staring down on the heavily wounded Jun Xilei, coldly and loftily, like a ten-thousand year old pine tree. The huge vermillion sword he was holding didn’t burn brightly with power, but it felt like a giant abyss creature that had completely awakened from its deep slumber all the same. It was as if the entire Conferred God Stage was trapped inside its terrible maw right now.
“Ah… ah… what… what is… going on?” Huo Poyun stuttered as he stared wide-eyed at the stage.
“Jun Xilei… is…”
“I’m not… not… dreaming, am I?”
Noise erupted from the spectator stands and pierced through the blanket of deathly silence. More than half of the crowd had gotten on their feet, questioning the reality presented before them.
Yun Che had created too many astounding miracles on the God Conferred Stage that didn’t just defy, but break an entire world’s common sense into pieces. It was why Yun Che’s matches had garnered so much attention.
Just when everyone thought that they had seen Yun Che’s limit, he had colored their faces with shock yet again right at the start of the battle.
He had severely wounded Jun Xilei in one hit!
Cries from every direction filled his ears. The entire Eastern Divine Region might be rioting due to that instantaneous exchange, however, Yun Che wore a calm look on his face. Not only did he not try to press home the attack, he was holding the Heaven Smiting Sword and staring at the absent-minded Jun Xilei’s figure coolly. The corners of his lips turned up indiscernibly.
Yun Che knew very well that Jun Xilei hated him to the bone. He knew that his rise to fame had only served to deepen her hatred.
Jun Xilei defeating Huo Poyun in an instant was in order to vent her anger. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that she would only act worse when her opponent was him.
The best way Jun Xilei could devastate him was to defeat him as quickly and as horribly as possible. If she could beat him just like the day she took down Huo Poyun, with one strike, she could instantly turn him into “the laughingstock who was taken down instantly by the Sword Sovereign’s disciple”, no matter how famous he had gotten earlier.
That was why he had assumed that Jun Xilei would attack him with everything she had the moment the battle began… He also assumed that she would use a technique that was far crueler and more merciless than the one she used against Huo Poyun.
But Yun Che wasn’t Huo Poyun. Even if Jun Xilei did catch him off guard, there was no guarantee that she could take him down in a single strike. That was why she had unleashed her sword intent and tried to terrify him even before the fight began… Sword intent was a forcefield that appeared naturally to someone who practiced the way of the sword. Since it was not connected to profound energy, it didn’t count as a breach of the rules.
Yun Che pretended to be afraid and distracted when Jun Xilei had oppressed him with her sword intent. The moment Honorable Qu Hui declared the start of the match, Jun Xilei had immediately injected the highest amount of profound energy and sword intent she could muster into her Misty Light Sword and fired a sword beam at Yun Che.
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