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The ember-steed landed on the ground. Three beautiful young ladies and a young man proudly walked abreast each other, as those at the side all bowed their heads, not daring to look directly at them.
Fan Le’s eyes lit up, to think that these ladies from the great clans were all so attractive. Beautiful features, in addition to exuding an air of nobility, they were extremely enchanting to Fan Le.
Ouyang Ting stood in the middle of the training ground as her gaze disinterestedly swept across them, saying in a bored tone of voice, “Let the sparring commence.”
“The two of you, go.” The young man who brought Qin Wentian’s group to the Ouyang Estate urged them onwards. Qin Wentian and Fan Le’s countenances remained expressionless as they, together with six other cultivators, walked forwards. Apparently, these people could be considered as the unlucky ones.
“Out of you eight, only two will remain. Start fighting, those that are too weak aren’t qualified to spar with me,” Ouyang Ting coldly commanded, as the eight of them exchanged glances with each other.
The cultivation bases of these people were around the fifth level of Yuanfu, and they should have all been specifically chosen for this reason, because Ouyang Ting herself had a cultivation at the fifth level of Yuanfu.
The cultivators released their Astral Souls, as though with the intention of wanting to gain the favor of all these young misses. To them, wasn’t this an opportunity to prove themselves? They naturally had to grab it when given the chance.
“Not bad, these Astral Souls should all be their third Astral Souls, and there are even two Astral Souls that were condensed from the 4th Heavenly Layer, how rare.” One of the females standing beside Ouyang Ting had a slight smile on her face. For their third Astral Souls to have originated from the 4th Heavenly Layer, it would undoubtedly give them an edge when fighting against those who were at the same realm as them.
“That’s the Skyember Demonic Lion Astral Soul, a demonic beast that’s strong enough to be ranked inside the Warbeast Index. Although its ranking is near the bottom, it’s still extremely powerful.” A young lady clad in green had a startled expression on her face. The other guy whose Astral Soul was condensed from the 4th Heavenly Layer wasn’t bad as well, he had an ice-attributed Astral Soul that would imbue his attacks with the concept of frost. It also allowed him to gain insights at a quicker pace when it came to ice-attributed cultivation art and innate techniques.
Because these two had an Astral Soul condensed from the 4th Heavenly Layer, the other four didn’t dare target them. Two out of those four started fighting against each other, while the other two exchanged glances, before deciding that neither of them was an easy target. Hence, they shifted their gazes onto Qin Wentian and Fan Le.
Qin Wentian and Fan Le were even younger than them. Not only that, they were either extremely confident in themselves, or they were fools. They hadn’t even released their Astral Souls yet.
“Oi, oi. Don’t antagonise me,” Fan Le ‘kindly’ persuaded the two of them when he saw how they switched focus onto him and Qin Wentian. However, such behaviour made him seem even weaker to the two cultivators. One of them immediately dashed towards Fan Le with a burning spear in his hands, pervading the air with the will of his Mandate—Ignition, the first level insight of the Mandate of Flames.
“Rumble!” Fan Le’s Astral Soul erupted forth. His third Astral Soul also originated from the 4th Heavenly Layer, and a fearsome heat scorched the air around him, the blazing temperature forcing his opponent eyes’s to narrow. In spite of this, his opponent had already stabbed forth his long spear. The spear was as fierce as a dragon, causing a massive wind to kick up as the tip of the spear blazed with the embers of a scorching fire.
Fan Le instantly leapt back, an Astral Bow forming in his hands. The will of his mandate infused his arrows as he instantly fired them.
His opponent reacted swiftly as well, weaving the long spear in an intricate fan; it was capable of performing a hundred percent block against incoming arrows head-on. However, he only saw Fan Le firing two arrows up into the skies, before the arrows abruptly shifted their trajectory, zooming right towards his head.
Alarmed, he swept out his long spear upwards in an attempt to defend against the fired arrows. Yet, already there were two more incoming arrows right in front of him. Disappointment flashed in his eyes, he had completely lost.
The opponent who rushed Qin Wentian, lost even faster. Qin Wentian’s only response to his opponent’s attack was to send out a palm strike infused with the will of his Mandate of Force, Strength. He used no other techniques, and relied on pure strength to suppress his opponent.
The Astral Energy in Qin Wentian’s Yuanfu had all been absorbed from constellations originating from the 5th Heavenly Layer, so how could Astral Energy of that quality lose out to that originating from the 4th? Moreover, his physique had already been enhanced after cultivating the Fiend Transformation Art, and now his strength was as tyrannical as a demonic beast’s. Even without the need to call upon the augmentation provided by his Astral Souls, Qin Wentian was already at an absolute advantage in this battle. It was unnecessary to bring out 100% of his power to suppress an opponent at the same level.
There was no suspense, only four cultivators remained at the end. Qin Wentian, Fan Le, as well as the two other cultivators who had an Astral Soul originating from the 4th Heavenly Layer.
“Excellent, the four of them are qualified.” The girl beside Ouyang Ting laughed.
Ouyang Ting walked out, pointing at the youth with the ice-attributed Astral Soul. “You, first.”
“Sure, I hope Miss Ting will go easy on me.” The young man walked out as he clasped his hands together.
“Don’t worry, I won’t injure you too grievously. But of course, if you are too weak, you have no one to blame but yourself if I end up crippling you. Make your move,” Ouyang Ting remarked.
The silhouette of the youth flickered, with hints of savagery in his movements. He lunged towards Ouyang Ting as his fist shadows covered the skies, an immense strength instantly erupting forth.
“Too weak.” Ouyang Ting coldly snorted as the will from her Mandate of Swords pervaded the air. The young man felt as though his movements had been restricted, and he paled. He understood that he was the target of another kind of Mandate, which emanated the will of restriction.
The temperature in the air abruptly dropped by several degrees, the young man also released his Mandate and his fist was coated with the will of ice. Whenever he struck out, Ouyang Ting’s body felt as though it were frozen solid.
“Still not enough.” The lilt in Ouyang Ting’s voice was extremely irritating. With a wave of her hands, countless whip shadows covered the space, as a loud hissing sound enveloped the area.
Swish, swish, swish…
With a snap, the whip lashes instantly transformed into countless incomparably sharp swords, fiercely piercing towards her opponent’s fist. The ice-crystal shield her opponent had summoned shattered into fragments.
Qin Wentian’s eyes flashed, although this Ouyang Ting was unruly and wilful, she had the power to back up her attitude. She had already comprehended the Mandate of Sword, as well as the Mandate of Restriction, easily suppressing her opponent in style.
“One more.” Ouyang Ting completely subdued the young man until he had no way to attack. The next cultivator with that Skyember Demonic Astral Soul rushed out. His aura was filled with hints of ferociousness, and the Mandate he comprehended was the Mandate of Demons, in addition to the Mandates of Flames. In an instant, they joined their attacks, emanating a terrifying pressure—a hell of ice and fire!
Yet every lash of Ouyang Ting’s whip was akin to a sharp sword, and even her ordinary attacks seemed to contain the power of an innate technique behind them. Each strike was stronger than the last and in the end, the shadows of her whip engulfed the entire skies, and the sword qi she emanated bore down on the two cultivators.
Qin Wentian only saw two silhouettes flying through the air, traces of blood trickling down the corners of their mouths. After they recovered, they quickly stood up but now, hints of true admiration could be seen in their eyes when they looked at Ouyang Ting. This beautiful young lady not only had a high status, her combat prowess was also stronger than both of them combined.
“Barely passable. In the future, the two of them shall stay together. Work hard to become more powerful, and you may even cultivate those combination-type innate techniques. At any time, I may look for the two of you to spar with me again,” Ouyang Tin indifferently stated, her words ringed with the tone of a command.
“Yes.” The two of them bowed as they retreated.
“The two of you can come at me together as well,” Ouyang Ting spoke to Qin Wentian and Fan Le, her words causing the two of them to be stunned. Fan Le shrugged; with his combat prowess, he didn’t fear people at the same level at all. And as for Qin Wentian, he could already insta-kill opponents at the same level. This lass in front of them… was truly a genius at talking big.
“Nah, it wouldn’t be good if we accidentally hurt you with our joint attacks. Let’s just fight one-on-one instead. I wonder who Miss Ting will choose to spar against first?” Fan Le laughed.
“Boasting shamelessly, if the both of you are truly able to injure me, then that means I can only blame myself for my incompetence. But since your words are so brazen, let me teach you a lesson first,” Ouyang Ting coldly remarked to Fan Le, as she readied herself for battle.
Qin Wentian retreated, giving up the stage to both of them. Fan Le’s Arrow-type Astral Soul and Blazing Flames Astral Soul were unleashed, as an Astral Bow formed in his hands.
Ouyang Ting’s silhouette dashed out, while at the same time, Fan Le’s arrows were already whistling in the air. However, with a flick of her hands, a long whip wrapped around her entire body, impenetrable by wind and rain.
The rain of arrows never stopped, yet they had no way to penetrate her defences.
“Hmph.” Ouyang Ting entered close combat as she coldly laughed. The long whip in her hands fiercely lashed out, and Fan Le felt a will imposing on him, binding his movements.
However, there was no fear in his eyes. He chose to remain motionless, and merely looked at his opponent.
Terrifying flames from his Empyrean Flames Bloodline instantly exploded forth as Fatty’s eyes shone with a golden light. His arrows were momentarily imbued with a golden fire as he fired off nine arrows that joined in a straight line, straight towards Ouyang Ting.
Ouyang Ting was taken aback, and when she wanted to use her whip to block, she only discovered a strong sense of telekinesis-like energy interrupting the angle and speed of her attack, causing her movements to be slower than usual. That moment’s delay opened up a small gap in her defense, allowing the arrows to pierce through.
Fan Le’s arrows were too swift, too ferocious, and too crafty.
“Be careful!” someone from the back shouted. Ouyang Ting’s Astral Soul immediately erupted into being, her body covered by a sheen of Astral Light as armor took form around her.
The arrows instantly thundered towards Ouyang Ting’s throat, blasting a terrifying air current on her body. Eventually, the arrows lost their momentum, but not before causing the watching crowd to burst out in cold perspiration.
Fan Le grinned, “Miss Ting, I know when to stop.”
The space seemingly congealed for a moment, and a faint pallor could be seen on Ouyang Ting’s complexion. That earlier attack by Fan Le was too powerful. She had never faced such a dangerous situation before when she was sparring. The feeling of being caught off-guard, followed by a sense of impending doom, as though her heart was about to leap out from her chest. Her entire body was cloaked by the sweat of her perspiration, and she felt exceedingly uncomfortable.
“Chi…” Abruptly, Ouyang Ting moved. The long whip in her hands lashed out—Fan Le’s countenance drastically changed because the distance between them was too close. The will of restriction binded Fan Le’s movements, making it hard for him to dodge the incoming attack.
A crisp sound echoed in the air. Even though Fan Le had managed to dodge that strike at the last instant, he was still wounded by the razor-sharp, sword-like whip. His clothes were lacerated away, leaving behind a bloody wound. If it weren’t for his quick reaction, his injuries would have definitely been even more severe.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Fatty was incensed. Although he loved pretty girls, this Ouyang Ting was truly too unruly. Just moments ago she said that she was capable, but now, she had actually resorted to such sneak attacks.
Even in combat, or in sparring, how could it be completely danger-free? The other party wanted them to do their best, he was just following instructions. And aside from giving her a scare, he hadn’t really injured Ouyang Ting.
“You are courting death,” Ouyang Ting’s companions grimly stated, their demeanor was extremely frigid.
“Piece of sheet.” Below, the young man and woman that had brought them here from Qiyun were also emitting killing intent.
Qin Wentian’s eyes flashed with a cold fire the instant Ouyang Ting unleashed her sneak attack. After witnessing the unfolding events, the coldness of his aura was piercingly sharp. Was this what they meant by ‘sparring’?
“Chop off one of his arms for me,” Ouyang Ting icily commanded. Immediately, the murderous intent radiating from Qin Wentian and Fan Le skyrocketed upwards!
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