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The one standing right in front of the other group was naturally the clan lord of Li Clan, Li Zhentian. The gaze of this man was filled with extreme sharpness as he turned it in the direction of Zong Yi. His gaze also took in the doyens, the elders, as well as the person behind them, Qin Wentian. “Is this the Sword Son of your Zong Clan?”
As the sound of his voice faded, the members from the younger generation of the Li Clan all shifted over to Qin Wentian.
Seeing how close this young man was standing next to Zong Yi, his status shouldn’t be ordinary. There was a high possibility that he might be the Sword Son Zong Yi selected to participate in the battle to control the rights to the sword range.
Li Ran and Li Nian had already met Qin Wentian before. Li Nian then stated, “This man was the person rumored to spend a total of merely three months when he achieved the Perfection Boundary of the first level insight into the Mandate of Swords. Earlier, he still denied saying that he was invited by the Zong Clan, but now I see the reason why—he’s afraid of death. Back then if it weren’t for Zong Qian taking out his divine weapon, that man would have already died.
“Oh?” Li Zhentian had an expression of interest on his face. After which, he coldly laughed, “It seems like the more time passes, the more the Zong Clan deteriorates.”
Zong Yi merely casted a glance at him without issuing a rebuttal. The most imperative thing this time around was to gain control of the sword range.
Qin Wentian didn’t even bother to glance at Li Nian. That day, if he hadn’t just arrived at the city, and was unwilling to overly trouble himself over his opponent, Li Nian wouldn’t even be here today. Yet to think that now, the moment this woman saw him, she still dared to be so arrogant.
“If we hadn’t retreated back then, the person who would have died wouldn’t be Brother Qin, but your genius Senior Brother Li Ran.” Zong Qian coldly snorted, the Zong Clan was already fully aware of Qin Wentian’s prowess. The younger members from the Zong Clan all had cold smiles on their faces as they mockingly stared at Li Nian.
“Who doesn’t know how to brag? I hope when we meet you on the battlefield for the contest of the sword range, you will still be able to maintain such confidence,” Li Nian retorted.
“You are right. It’s just as you say, everyone knows how to brag. My members from the Zong Clan will not wage a war of tongues with you. When the time for battle comes, I want to see if you can still keep that smile on your face.” Zong Qian wasn’t willing to appear weak, as he countered Li Nian. In the Sword Reverence City, with the three major powers sharing control, as well as the appearance of the demonic sword range, their relationships were like water and fire, how could they lose out in forcefulness even when just comparing stances?
“Qin Wentian seems completely unperturbed.” Those from the Zong Clan glanced at Qin Wentian as they mused in their hearts—when the time for the sword range battle starts, Li Nian would definitely feel as though the words they exchanged today like a tight slap across her face.
The two groups of people made haste and soon after, they arrived at the precipice. They directly descended into the bottom of the ravine. Over at the surrounding area of the sword range, an actual battle arena platform could be seen. Those from the Heavenly Sword Sect stood at its edges, all cloaked in green with swords strapped behind their backs, exuding an extraordinary demeanor. Upon seeing the arrival of the Li and Zong Clan, a terrifying sword intent gushed upwards, radiating overwhelming sharpness. Even before the contest started, they were already revealing their battle intent.
The Li Clan and Zong Clan took their respective corners, and all three major powers lined up into a triangular formation.
Li Zhentian and Zong Yi both took a step forwards in the direction of the Heavenly Sword Sect. The sect leader of the Heavenly Sword Sect leisurely stepped out, and when his gaze came into contact with the two of them, he stated, “I trust that the two clan lords have been well since last we met?”
Li Zhentian clasped his hands as he spoke, “Sect Leader Wuyou, let’s not reminisce about the past. The ten year period has ended and this contest shall later decide who among us will possess the rights to the sword range for the next ten years. Will the rules of the battle be the same as before?”
The three major powers of the Sword Reverence City were all extremely powerful, yet not one of them could completely crush the other two. If not, that power would have long dominated the Sword Reverence City.
And because of this delicate balance, the three powers chose a somewhat gentler method, by allowing the disciples under them to be representatives in the fight to control the rights of the sword range. Nobody sought to disrupt the balance.
As for the rules of the battle, each of the powers would select a total of three candidates, with the criteria that all three must not be over thirty years of age. A total of two disciples at the Yuanfu Realm and one at the Heavenly Dipper Realm would be selected, and the usage of Divine Weapons was prohibited.
A total of three rounds would decide the victor. For each round, the candidates selected by the three powers would stand upon the stage, and the last man standing would be the victor.
Three battles, and if there was a case where a single power wins two battle, they would directly gain the rights to control the sword range for the next ten years. If all three powers won one match, then in that case, priority would go to the Heavenly Dipper level battle. Hence, the battle at the Heavenly Dipper Level was the most crucial.
But in this place, the three major powers weren’t the only ones present. On the edge of the precipice, several silhouettes appeared. Whether they were here alone or in a group, they’d all come here to spectate the battle.
The battle for the control rights of the sword range wasn’t a small matter in the Sword Reverence City. Held once every ten years, the three major powers would do their best to nurture the younger talents of their clan so they would have a chance to win the battle. In other words, the battle here today would be a battle at the pinnacle among those from the younger generations.
“We will stick with the old rules, I suppose,’ Zong Yi calmly added. Those behind him all had smiles on their faces—as long as Qin Wentian was here, the battle at the Heavenly Dipper level was basically in their pockets, provided that one power didn’t achieve a total of two victories in the first two battles.
“It seems like both the Li and Zong Clan are extremely confident.”
Upon seeing how Zong Yi and Li Zhentian were acting, the spectators all started discussing intently. However, based on rumours, the strongest candidate this time around should be from the Heavenly Sword Sect by right.
The Heavenly Sword Sect had a few outstanding disciples, and all of them were extremely powerful.
“Fine, since both clan lords want it to be as such, we will stick with the old rules then. For the first battle, Jian Han, go,” Jian Wuyou casually spoke, as a young man that exuded an aura of coldness walked up to the stone platform situated in the center. Instantly, a cold and icy sharpness radiated forth, incomparably tyrannical.
“Li Nian, you are up.” stated Li Zhentian, the clan lord of the Li Clan. Li Nian’s silhouette flickered as she followed suit and stood on the platform.
“Zong Qian. You will fight the first round.” Zong Yi selected Zong Qian.
The three candidates stood atop the stone platform. This scene before them made many of the spectators feel puzzled, Jian Han was definitely more powerful compared to Li Nian of the Li Clan. Yet Li Zhentian actually chose her for the first battle? The selection seemed somewhat unwise.
It was even more strange when both Li Nian and Jian Han actually joined hands and made a move towards Zong Qian at the same time.
“You guys…” Zong Qian’s countenance turned cold as his Astral Souls erupted forth. Yet a surge of coldness had already enveloped him as a sword beam flashed past, containing the chill of death within it.
Li Nian used her movement techniques to get behind Zong Qian, sealing off his path of retreat. Sword flowers bloomed, as pinpricks of light blossomed in the void.
Zong Qian wasn’t a weakling either. He flicked his finger out, causing a gigantic sword containing the strength of a mountain to manifest. It slashed towards Jian Han, wanting to suppress him. At the same time, his left hand wavered and blasted forth a powerful palm imprint towards Li Nian.
“Puchi…” A crisp sound echoed out, the spectators saw Jian Han continue to rush forwards. He ignored Zong Qian’s attack, allowing the sword to freely slash at his body in exchange for his own sword to slice apart Zong Qian’s throat.
Zong Qian had to make a decision, choosing between life and death in a single instant.
He retracted his left palm, and used it to grab at Jian Han’s sword. At the same time, a palm strike blasted on his body, instantly destroying his clothes as terrifying sword qi directly penetrated into his body. This scene caused the expressions of those from the Zong Clan to falter.
“DIE!” Jian Han was someone that had already comprehended a second level insight. A sword light that emulated the properties of flowing water swept out, completely unblockable. Zong Qian hurriedly retreated with explosive speed, jumping off the platform. Only then did he narrowly avoid the sweep of Jian Han’s sword.
“Hu…” Taking a deep breath, Zong Qian turned ashen. Even if Jian Han suffered injuries in exchange, he still wanted to blast him off the platform.
After which, the spectators saw the injured Jian Han continue to enjoy a tremendous advantage as he easily suppressed Li Nian. Such a display filled the hearts of the spectators with bewilderment.
The Li Clan selected Li Nian to battle, yet Li Nian combined forces with Jian Han to defeat Zong Qian, before allowing herself to be defeated.
“The Li Clan must have formed an agreement with the Heavenly Sword Sect.”
The expressions on the faces of the crowd stiffened. Zong Yi had also predicted it, and indeed, for the next method, the Li Clan sent out a slightly more powerful candidate while the Heavenly Sword Sect sent out a weaker one. This already indicated that for the second battle, the Heavenly Sword Sect was allowing the Li Clan to win on purpose.
When the battle started, the candidate from Li Clan and the Heavenly Sword Sect simultaneously struck out towards the candidate from the Zong Clan, and their combined forces drove him off the platform. After which, the Li Clan effortlessly obtained a victory for the second round.
The Li Clan and the Heavenly Sword Sect had won one battle each.
“What schemers, both the Li Clan and Heavenly Sword Sect. They actually opted to use such a disgraceful method.”
The members of the Zong Clan were all infuriated as they coldly stated this conclusion. Yet their clan lord Zong Yi remained unperturbed. He quietly gazed at the other party as he stated, “Clan lord Li and Sect leader Jian seem to be having a lot of fun.”
Jian Wuyou indifferently glanced at Zong Yi, and even before he spoke, a look of contempt could be seen on Li Zhentian’s face as he stated mockingly, “In this generation, the members of your Zong Clan are the weakest. They basically have no qualifications to even fight here for the control of the sword range. Let’s consider your Zong Clan to be eliminated from the contest directly so as to save your clan’s prestige. Zong Clan’s members have no right nor capability to participate in the next battle.”
One could infer from Li Zhentian’s words that he evidently looked down upon the entire younger generation of the Zong Clan. Him joining hands with the Heavenly Sword Sect wasn’t because he was afraid for the Zong Clan. But rather, it was because the Zong Clan didn’t even have the qualifications to compete against them. If that was the case, they might as well eliminate them first.
On the other hand, both the Li Clan and the Heavenly Sword Sect had the utmost confidence in their Heavenly Dipper Sword Son. The chance to possess the control rights of the sword range, they were betting it all on the next battle.
As for the Zong Clan, they were being pushed to the side by the two major powers.
This manner of disregard made the Zong Clan’s members boil with anger. The Li Clan had definitely crossed the line.
Zong Yi stared at the arrogant Li Zhentian, and the expression on his face was still as calm as before. The members of the younger generation were indeed slightly weaker in comparison.
Jian Feng from the Heavenly Sword Sect, Li Ran from the Li Clan were both exceedingly powerful. No wonder the two leaders were so confident, and wanted to leave the last battle to the both of them. And because of the presence of these two powerful candidates, none of the attention and focus of the spectators were directed at those from the Zong Clan. If not, during the past few days they would definitely have been able to find out that an unfathomably powerful Sword Son had just appeared in their Zong Clan during that time.
“Jian Feng, we will leave this in your good hands then.” Jian Wuyou stared at the person behind him. This person Jian Feng was none other than the one whom Qin Wentian’s perception had sensed when he was meditating in the sword range.
Jian Feng, a disciple from the Heavenly Sword Sect, 29 years of age, someone with outstanding talent whose current cultivation base was at the first level in the Heavenly Dipper Realm.
“Li Ran, you will fight against him to decide the battle today,” Li Zhentian calmly spoke. For the next ten years, the control rights to the sword range absolutely must not land in the hands of the Heavenly Sword Sect again.
Jian Feng and Li Ran both stepped onto the stone platform in the center. Although their auras were still contained, just standing there made people feel that they were radiating the incomparable might of extremely sharp swords.
As though, they were both swords themselves.
“Qin Wen, go.”
Zong Yi quietly spoke, Qin Wentian nodded his head in response as he advanced forwards. At this moment, the gazes of everyone from the Zong Clan were riveted on Qin Wentian.
Earlier, they had once vilified and contemptuously looked down on this young man. Yet today when they saw Qin Wentian stepping out, their hearts began to burn as the blood within their bodies grew hot.
They thought of how they’d been wronged, first by the Li Clan’s humiliating words, and then from the utter disregard that the Heavenly Sword Sect had shown. Sword Son, Qin Wen, would definitely wash clean the slate for the sake of the Zong Clan!
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