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Countless gazes landed on the thirty-six contenders gathered on the arena platform. Some among these contenders were standing proudly, gazing down at the crowd while some others were sitting cross-legged, immersed in their own cultivation. Their Vermilion Birds hovered behind them, exuding an extremely baleful aura.
These thirty-six contenders would all become critical characters of Grand Xia in the future. They would be rankers on the Heavenly Fate Rankings, unless they were pushed down by someone else in the future.
Old Man Tianji still had a composed expression on his face as he glanced at the crowd. “Chen Wang, Shi Potian, Zhan Chen, Emperor Azure, Qin Zheng, Yun Mengyi, Mu Fang, Qin Wentian and Mo Qingcheng. The Vermilion Birds of these ten have already taken form, from illusory to reality. They possess the most amount of ancient luck, and hence, shall temporarily be ranked as the top ten.”
“As for the other twenty-six contenders, for the time-being you will also be ranked according to the amount of ancient luck you have. Wang Jue, eleventh, Hua Shaoqing, twelfth and so forth.”
As the sound of Old Man Tianji’s voice faded, the contenders gazed at the amount of ancient luck they had on the foreheads of their Vermilion Birds as they were being ranked accordingly. If they were unhappy with the ranking, they could only change it by fighting against someone stronger.
“The ranking battle this time around shall follow the same rules as that of the past. The last ranked person shall begin the challenge, and if he is victorious, he shall replace the ranking of the one he defeated. They will be given another opportunity to continue the challenge; if one is defeated again, their rankings shall be fixed. And one last thing, you are all able to skip ranks when issuing challenges.” Old Man Tianji continued, “At this moment, your rankings have all already been temporarily decided. Xiao Du, step up, you will be the first to start the challenge.”
Xiao Du originated from the Xiao Faction of the Nine Mystical Palace. This time around, the Nine Mystical Palace had placed all their hopes on him. Although there were only a total of thirty-six positions, he had managed to meet their expectations by successfully gaining last place on the rankings.
His silhouette flickered as he stepped up to stand in the centre of the platform, gazing sharply at the other contenders below.
For the other thirty-five contenders, there were several that had already exchanged blows with him. All of them were extremely powerful, to the extent that he didn’t have any absolute confidence in picking someone to challenge.
Ultimately, Xiao Du’s sights landed on Qin Wentian. This person was the prey that the Nine Mystical Palace wanted to capture, yet who would have thought that Qin Wentian would act outside of their expectations? Ignoring the safety of the Emperor Star Academy, refusing to give himself up, and even participating in the ranking battle instead? And he was even more surprised to find out Qin Wentian was the one who slayed Luo Qianqiu back then.
Xiao Du was already considered famous in the Nine Mystical Palace and wasn’t someone Luo Qianqiu could be compared to. In the past, the Qin Wentian that he hadn’t even bothered to look at had actually ranked within the top ten. He’d wondered at his results; how much of it was due to Qin Wentian’s own capabilities and how much of it was due to his luck?
Earlier in the formation world, other than those who clashed directly with Qin Wentian, the other contenders didn’t know how much his strength had developed. Of course, Xiao Du hadn’t witnessed Qin Wentian’s tyrannical outburst. As a Heaven’s Chosen from the Nine Mystical Palace, he naturally had his own pride. His gaze turned sharp, as the notion of him besting Qin Wentian appeared in his mind. He wanted to try it, and if he really succeeded, wouldn’t his ranking shoot up to within the top ten with just a single battle?
Once he defeated Qin Wentian, even if he was defeated by the other contenders, his eventual ranking wouldn’t be too low as well. This was an opportunity, the aura exuding from Qin Wentian was only at the eighth level of Yuanfu. Even if Qin Wentian had comprehended a second level Mandate, Xiao Du should still be able to fight against him to some extent.
“Qin Wentian, get the fuck up here.”
Xiao Du’s gaze was fixated on Qin Wentian, akin to a sharp sword wanting to lacerate him. Qin Wentian raised his head as his fiend-like eyes studied Xiao Du. The moment their eyes met, Xiao Du felt his heart clenching from fear. He immediately steadied himself—he was also an extraordinary character, how could he let his heart be shaken just from a single glance?
“Sheet.” Those from the Nine Mystical Palace cursed. Evidently, they didn’t expect Xiao Du would issue out a challenge to Qin Wentian. They were spectators that had witnessed the events unfolding in the formation world earlier, they naturally understood Qin Wentian’s true level of power. Xiao Du was far from being able to compare to him.
Qian Mengyu and those from the Greencloud Pavilion were also here today. Upon seeing the scene, she couldn’t help but shake her head. This Xiao Du was overestimating his own strength.
The distance between both of them was too great. They weren’t characters on the same level.
Qin Wentian’s silhouette flickered as he landed on the arena platform. Sweeping his gaze across Xiao Du, his ice-cold, fiend-like eyes flared as they emitted a will, causing Xiao Du’s movement to freeze momentarily, and then howl miserably in pain and agony.
“DIE!” Xiao Du roared in agony as his Astral Souls erupted. He flew towards Qin Wentian, slamming out a Thunder Palm Imprint directly at his chest. Yet there seemed to be a terrifying force akin to a barrier before Qin Wentian’s chest, his palm strike had no way to breach that barrier.
“This defense…” Xiao Du’s countenance stiffened, he felt as though he had just slammed his palm into an ancient primordial beast that had an insanely high resistance to attacks. Even normal demonic beasts like the Golden Demonic Garuda, Grand Strength Bull Demon, Golden Primal Ape, all already had incredible defenses, let alone Qin Wentian who had already mastered the third level of Fiend Transformation Art in addition to his ancient primordial bloodline.
Inclining his head, Xiao Du only saw cold eyes staring at him, as a chill blossomed in his heart.
“PENG!” A force of inexorable might slammed into his body, Xiao Du only felt the bones in his chest shattering as he was flung through the air, out of the arena platform, and then ruthlessly slammed into the ground. With a groan of misery, he spat out fresh blood. Qin Wentian had already returned to his original spot.
Such a scene made Xiao Du ashamed and resentful, what a humiliating battle.
“Xiao Du’s ranking is fixated at #36 on the Heavenly Fate Rankings.” Old Man Tianji waved his hands as a shimmering score board appeared in the air. On the top segment of the scoreboard were the words ‘Heavenly Fate’, with Xiao Du’s name written below, as well as the number 36 on the left side of it.
Xiao Du was still ranked last.
“Qin Wentian excels in strength and defense. Without a second level Mandate, no one should even think of fighting against him.” The crowd silently mused, they knew that even though Qin Wentian only had a cultivation base at the eighth level, his combat prowess had long already reached the pinnacle of Yuanfu.
The fights continued as the contenders strived to advance their rankings. The silhouettes that stood upon the arena platform grew increasingly stronger and at the end, even Xuan Yan from the Mystic Maiden Palace was defeated and given the rank of #20. Before this, she was ranked #17. This indicated that the opponents faced were so powerful that her ranking had even fallen down by three positions.
After which, Peng Zhan was ranked #19. He chose to challenge the currently ranked #17 Ouyang Kuangsheng.
The ending of the challenge was of no surprise. He had an advantage in terms of his quality of Astral Souls, in addition to his second level Mandate of Flames, as well as the power of his bloodline. Ouyang Kuangsheng defeated Peng Zhan, maintaining his ranking, while Peng Zhan’s ranking was fixed permanently at #19.
After that, the ranked #18, Yao Jun, stepped onto the platform as an unsightly expression appeared on his face.
Originally, Yao Jun had such high hopes for the Heavenly Fate Rankings this year and wanted to dash into the top ten. Who would have thought that the contenders of this batch would be so powerful—each and everyone that was ranked before him made him feel fear in his heart.
In the top 10: Chen Wang, Shi Potian, Si Qiong, Zhan Chen, Emperor Azure, Qin Zheng, Yun Mengyi, Mu Feng, Qin Wentian and Mo Qingcheng.
These ten were all too powerful, especially Qin Wentian. Yao Jun had personally witnessed Qin Wentian’s prowess up close. If he really had to choose, the weakest among the ten would undoubtedly be Mo Qingcheng.
Next, the cultivators ranked #11 to #17 were: Wang Jue, Hua Shaoqing, Yan Cheng, Li Yu, the black-robed figure, Leng Hong and Ouyang Kuangsheng.
In the previous Heavenly Fate Rankings, those who were ranked in the top ten, aside from Hua Shaoqing, were Wang Jue, Yan Cheng, Li Yu. Even though their ranks were now being pushed backwards, it didn't signify that they were weak.
As for the black-robed figure and Leng Hong, both of them were dark horses. Yao Jun had also witnessed them in combat before; they were both extremely powerful. As for the remaining Ouyang Kuangsheng who had just defeated Peng Zhan, Yao Jun knew for sure that he wasn't a match for Ouyang Kuangsheng.
Drawing a deep breath, Yao Jun’s gaze finally landed onto the black-robed figure. The black-robed figure was the most mysterious of the remaining contenders, right now, he could only gamble and pray for the best.
“You will be my stepping stone.” A terrifying demonic qi gushed out from Yao Jun as he stared at the black-robed figure. His palms metamorphosed into that of a demon’s, the technique he used somehow resembling Qin Wentian’s Fiend Transformation Art, albeit several times weaker.
The silhouette of the black-robed figure flickered and landed on the platform. A devilish qi enveloped him—it was no longer a secret to the spectators that this figure cultivated the Devil Arts.
Currently, the cultivation of this figure was already at the ninth level of Yuanfu, and was many times stronger compared to the time where Qin Wentian first saw him.
Qin Wentian also paid close attention to this match, he had always been extremely curious regarding the identity of this black-robed figure.
Yao Jun then underwent demonic transformation, his demonic form causing fear to bloom in the hearts of those who saw him. Yet, the black-robed figure exuded an imposing might that didn't lose out to him in the slightest.
Loud roaring sounds echoed as Yao Jun released his Astral Souls. All three were actually beast-type Astral Souls that were able to augment his attack. With incredible speed, he instantly rushed towards the black-robed figure.
The black-robed figure didn't avoid it, choosing to rush out as well. Yao Jun’s eyes involuntarily flashed with a cold smile when he saw the black-robed figure’s decision.
“DIE!” A fearsome demonic light glinted in Yao Jun’s eyes as his attack speed explosively increased at this moment, slamming directly into the chest of the black-robed figure. However, the expression on his face reflected shock before faltering the next moment.
This person that cultivated the fearsome Devil Arts, was actually a woman?
Incomparably boundless demonic energy gushed into her body from his strike, yet the eyes of the black-robed figure remained as cold as ever, indifferent to the violent energies gushing inside her. She instantly responded with a black-colored devilish palm imprint of her own, that seemingly also contained a fearsome demonic qi mixed within. She slammed it right into Yao Jun’s head, exploding it like a watermelon, instantly killing Yao Jun.
An icy light flashed in her eyes as she walked down the arena, not speaking a single world.
“Did she just convert Yao Jun’s demonic energy gushing into her body and then incorporate that into her own attacks?” To the spectators, it was as though a rock had dropped inside their hearts. Yao Jun’s attack could already be considered at an extremely terrifying level, yet she had totally disregarded his attack.
Who was this person exactly?
And why had he slain Yao Jun under a fit of rage?
Those from the Skydemon Sect all had ashen expressions on their faces. Ranked #13 in the previous Heavenly Fate Rankings, Yao Jun, a chosen from their sect who had always aimed for the top ten positions, had already fallen.
The ranking battle this time around was too intense!
Only Yao Jun knew the black-robed figure was a female hence the usage of ‘she’. The spectators didn’t know yet, hence I used ‘he’ in their point of view.
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