Chapter 1383: You Aren’t
In contrast to the bleak emptiness of the other halls, there was a huge flow of crowd in and out of the Hall of Propriety. Cultivators were everywhere the eye could see.
Even though there were many esteemed occupations in the Master Teacher Continent, it still didn’t change the fact that fighting prowess was still the most vital foundation to a cultivator.
For this reason, battling was an integral part of any cultivator’s life, and the Hall of Propriety served as a location for that purpose. Each day, it would attract countless students who sought to raise their fighting prowess and cultivation through practical battles.
Following behind Feng Ziyi, it didn’t take long for them to arrive at an independent hall. The vast hall was divided into countless dueling rings, each of which was covered in a transparent barrier a little reminiscent of a glass enclosure.
“Fei shi and the others are over there.” Feng Ziyi pointed forward.
Turning his gaze over, Zhang Xuan saw Fei shi, Zhang Yu, and the other students of the Elite Division standing before a dueling ring.
Walking closer, he noted that there were two figures battling in a nearby dueling ring, and upon a closer look, a smile crept onto his lips. The two fighting individuals happened to be familiar faces.
Chen Leyao and Zhang Zhuo!
The previous time Zhang Zhuo fought with Chen Leyao, he suffered a humiliating defeat, being slapped publicly and even knocked out shortly after. He had been resting over the past few days, and not only did he manage to recover fully from the injuries he had sustained, his strength had also risen to greater heights. Unable to hold himself back anymore, he immediately challenged Chen Leyao to a duel, hoping to avenge himself.
Powerful surges of zhenqi flew here and there within the dueling ring as the two fighters utilized their means one after another, but surprisingly, they were actually equally matched with one another for the time being.
“Not bad!” Upon seeing the sight, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.
Chen Leyao had achieved a breakthrough to Grand Dominion realm under his guidance twenty days ago, so he thought that her cultivation would still be a little shaky. Contrary to his expectations, she had already successfully reinforced it, allowing her to stand against Zhang Zhuo on equal grounds.
It seemed like she hadn’t been slacking off for the past twenty days. She had already managed to assimilate everything he had taught her.
“Zhang shi, who do you think will be able to achieve victory?”
All of a sudden, a voice sounded by the side. Turning his head over, Zhang Xuan saw the second ranker of the Elite Division looking his way—Zhang Yu.
Previously, Zhang Yu didn’t think much of Zhang Xuan, feeling that a person who had barely met the mark to enrolling into the Elite Division wasn’t worthy of his attention. However, after seeing how the latter was able to guide Chen Leyao into making a breakthrough, he swiftly realized that the latter actually possessed extraordinary strength and eye of discernment, so thoughts of winning the latter over to his side began formulating in his mind.
“They…” Zhang Xuan was just about to answer the question when his eyebrows shot up slightly in surprise. He turned to Zhang Yu once more and asked, “You offered some pointers to Zhang Zhuo?”
He had seen the extent of Zhang Zhuo’s prowess with his eyes in the battle twenty years ago. While his cultivation was not too bad, his combat skills were still sorely lacking. It was due to that that Chen Leyao was able to easily defeat him under his guidance.
Had he been as skilled as Feng Ziyi instead, things would have never proceeded so smoothly then.
Yet, in this very moment, Zhang Zhuo was managing to fend off most of Chen Leyao’s move, a huge contrast from the incompetent fighter he was before. Most likely, this matter had a lot to do with Zhang Yu.
“I gave him five minutes of my time.” Zhang Yu placed his hands behind his back and said in composure. However, the glee and pride in his eyes couldn’t be concealed.
The young man before him managed to induce Chen Leyao to achieve a breakthrough within five minutes and defeat Zhang Zhuo, so he decided to offer five minutes worth of pointers to Zhang Zhuo and have him defeat Chen Leyao.
His purpose was simple. He just wanted to prove that he was stronger than the young man before him, and his eye of discernment was far superior as well.
“It’s indeed rather impressive that you can induce such improvement in Zhang Zhuo in just five minutes.” Zhang Xuan nodded.
As expected of the man who was second only to Feng Ziyi in the Mountain Gate examination. It seemed like Zhang Yu was no simple character either.
The talent and eye of discernment he had shown were already on par with Zhang Chun and Zhang Feng; he only lost out to those two in terms of time and accumulation.
It was no wonder why the Zhang Clan was publicly recognized to be the number one Sage Clan in the Master Teacher Continent. As much as Zhang Xuan was unwilling to recognize it, there was no denying that they had many talents amongst their ranks.
“What do you think of the situation? Who do you think will emerge victorious?” Zhang Yu glanced at Zhang Xuan and asked once more.
“Zhang Zhuo did improve by quite a bit within this period of time, but Chen Leyao hasn’t been slacking off either. I’d say that since Chen Leyao has won the battle twenty dates ago, she should be able to do so this time around too.” Zhang Xuan replied with a light chuckle.
Back then, when he was offering pointers to Chen Leyao in order to deal with Zhang Zhuo, he had brought up many of the latter’s flaws. While the latter did make substantial advancement in his combat skills within this period of time, it was still impossible for him to shake off all of those bad fighting habits that had already been lodged deep into his bones within such a short period of time. As long Chen Leyao was no fool, she should be able to uncover quite a few of them easily, exploit them, and achieve the final victory.
“It was luck the previous time around, and luck won’t favor you every single time…” Zhang Yu remarked casually with a slight smirk and he watched the duel with his hands behind his back.
In his view, the reason why Chen Leyao was able to achieve victory the last time around was because the young man before him had made a thorough investigation into Zhang Zhuo’s profile, thus winning the battle of preparations. So, he made sure to look into Chen Leyao carefully and offered Zhang Zhuo very specific pointers in dealing with her.
With this, there was just no way on earth that Chen Leyao would stand a chance against Zhang Zhuo.
On the other hand, noting Zhang Yu’s response, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
In truth, it mattered not to him whether who won or lost the duel. Sometimes, the loser could stand to earn much more out of a duel as compared to the winner. Just take him for an example, he had won so many battles everything was starting to feel meaningless. In the deepest region of his heart, he deeply craved a defeat from a cultivator of the same cultivation realm…
But it was a pity that this simple request of him was never meant to be. No one in this world could give him what he wanted, so this wish was doomed to remain unfulfilled for the rest of his entire life.
While Zhang Xuan was deep in thought, in the dueling ring, Zhang Zhuo seemed to have suddenly activated some kind of secret art, causing his aura to intensify all of a sudden. This abrupt change caught Chen Leyao off guard. She was still able to stand toe-to-toe with Zhang Zhuo straight on previously, but in this moment, even dodging was starting to get real difficult for her.
She was forced to retreat time and time again, and it didn’t take long before she was forced to the corner of the dueling ring. For the looks of it, it seemed her loss was sealed.
“There’s no need to watch any longer. The conclusion is clear!” Seeing how Chen Leyao was trapped, completely losing control of the momentum of battle, Zhang Yu’s lips curled up in delight.
“Indeed. The conclusion is clear.” Zhang Xuan nodded.
What he saw was a completely different image from Zhang Yu.
Even though Chen Leyao was indeed forced to the corner of the dueling ring, every single step that she moved was very steady, seemingly intentional actions to lure the opponent in. On the other hand, even though Zhang Zhuo appeared to hold the upper hand, being in the offensive position, the truth was that he had already lost all composure due to the time limit resulting from the activation of his secret art.
Looking at the situation from this perspective, it was clear that who was the one that truly wielded the upper hand in this battle.
It must be said that Chen Leyao had really been working hard during this period of time. She had managed to internalize all of his teachings to heart and even achieved an even deeper level of comprehension to them.
It was heartening to see that his efforts were not wasted.
Just as the conclusion of the duel was just around the corner, a voice suddenly sounded, “Zhang shi, there’s no need to worry about causing any accidental damage here. This way please.”
Feng Ziyi had already gotten up to another dueling ring with a sword in his hand, and he was looking at Zhang Xuan with fighting will burning in his eyes.
“Feng Ziyi wants to challenge Zhang Xuan?”
“But Zhang shi is ranked at the very bottom of the Elite Division! Even though he possesses an exceptional eye of discernment and outstanding ability to guide others, his cultivation is only at Leaving Aperture realm. There’s no way he could be a match for Feng Ziyi! Isn’t Feng Ziyi going a little too far by challenging him?”
“Indeed. What’s going on?”
A huge commotion broke out amidst the crowd.
Without a doubt, Feng Ziyi was the most prominent figure in their batch, and most viewed him as their goal. They hoped that they would be able to surpass him one day, but naturally, they also understood how slim the possibility was…
Considering how powerful Feng Ziyi was, if he was going to challenge anyone, it should be Zhang Yu or the others who were ranked in the top few in the Mountain Gate examination. Why was he challenging the last person in the Elite Division instead?
Even if he won the battle, his victory would only be frowned upon by others. After all, what kind of glory could one earn from defeating the weak?
“Brother Feng, I can be your opponent instead if you need a sparring partner.” Zhang Yu stepped forward and said with a frown.
However, Feng Ziyi simply waved his hands and said, “You aren’t a match for me.”
Those words immediately caused Zhang Yu’s eyes to turn cold. He leaped onto the dueling ring and harrumphed frostily, “How would you know without a fight?”
In the first place, he was already displeased at being outdone by Feng Ziyi back at the Mountain Gate examination. He was willing to concede that Feng Ziyi was a formidable adversary, but he couldn’t accept been told by the latter to his face that he wasn’t a match for him.
Instead of challenging me, the second ranker of the Mountain Gate examination, you chose to challenge the fiftieth place candidate instead…
Since you dare to snub me, I’ll just have to show you what I’m worth then!
While Zhang Yu was still in the midst of his leap toward the dueling ring, he had already gathered strength in his palm and forcefully pushed it down upon the figure who stood at the middle of the dueling ring beneath him.
He was afraid that Feng Ziyi would reject his battle, so he used the most powerful capability he had at his disposal right from the start, not holding back at all.
“Not bad.” Zhang Xuan nodded upon seeing the might of Zhang Yu’s move.
It seemed not Feng Ziyi wasn’t the only one who had grown substantially during his absence; clearly, Zhang Yu hadn’t been slacking off either. He had already reached Grand Dominion realm pinnacle, just a step away from reaching Phantasmal Space realm.
As expected of the most talented genius of the Zhang Clan in this intake. Regardless of which aspect one assessed him from, he was indubitably a formidable figure.
“Like I have said, you aren’t a match for me.”
Standing in the face of Zhang Yu’s attack, Feng Ziyi didn’t even lift his eyelid. Instead, he tilted his body and thrust his palm up in a leisurely motion.
“Stop being so full of yourself. You might be a talented individual, but I’m also a one-in-a-million genius as well. You never know who will be the one standing at the very end of this battle!” Hearing the haughty words coming out of Feng Ziyi’s mouth, Zhang Yu felt so furious that it almost seemed as if he would erupt like a volcano.
As he roared furiously, he drove the zhenqi in his body to its limits and channeled it all toward his palm, as if he wouldn’t be content unless he reduced the entire dueling ring into dust.
However, before this surge of strength could even strike Feng Ziyi, Zhang Yu suddenly felt the might of the other party’s palm piercing right through his attack and striking his chest squarely.
With a look of disbelief on his face, Zhang Yu was sent flying into the sky before being planted into the ground not too far away.
In the view of others, he was sent flying as if he was a mere pesky fly before he could even leap onto the dueling ring. There was probably no better way to highlight the huge disparity in strength between the both of them.
“A one-in-a-million genius?” Feng Ziyi shook his head with a trace of mockery on his lips. He gazed down derisively at Zhang Yu as he said, “Perhaps it’s about time for you to wake up from your delusions!”