The Desolate Era - Book 12, Chapter 27 - The Six Finalists
“Youngflame Zhan has lost for sure.” Upon seeing Youngflame Zhan execute this divinen ability, and upon seeing how the whip grew even more insidious and soft in its movements, the Xia Emperor couldn’t help but shake his head and say these words.
“Indeed. Youngflame Zhan lost his composure. He actually made a mistake like this!” Lu Dongbin shook his head disdainfully. “Ji Ning has been extremely cautious and hasn’t used any power attacks…thus, Youngflame Zhan’s whips seemingly held the upper hand for a while. In reality, however, Ji Ning’s attacks are the most powerful amongst the top twelve! Just because he didn’t reveal his fangs doesn’t mean that he isn’t powerful; rather, he was just being cautious against whip-type weapons. Who would’ve thought that Youngflame Zhan, frantic to achieve victory, would have immediately used this divine ability as soon as he held the upper hand. He wants to use the whips to try and entangle and bind Ji Ning…but in reality, he’s doomed himself!”
Pure Yang True Immortals had exceptional judgement. They saw right away, as soon as Youngflame Zhan executed this unnamed divine technique, that the divine technique was meant to make one’s arms soft and boneless, so as to allow the movements of the whips to become even more insidious and softer as well. However, this caused the strength of the attacks to actually drop.
In this battle between Ning and Youngflame Zhan, Youngflame Zhan was already at an absolute disadvantage in terms of strength! And now, he was being so hot-headed as to execute this divine technique and further lower his own strength…wasn’t this the same as dooming himself?!
Ning had started off quite cautious, and his six Immortal swords flowed like water in an airtight defense. Youngflame Zhan, upon seeing this, had immediately used a divine ability to make his arms soft and boneless, making his whip movements even more softer and insidious as well. He thought to himself, “Although my strength will lessen slightly, the movements of my whips will become even more unfathomable and insidious. So long as I can tie him down, I’ll definitely win.”
Youngflame Zhan had gone completely berserk; in the face of this opportunity to become the disciple of a Daofather, even someone as cold and calm as him had grown hot-headed.
“Eh?” Ning was surprised and speechless. “I haven’t even started fighting at full power; I’ve just been carefully guarding. I wasn’t trying to seize an advantage, just working to ensure I didn’t suffer a loss. This would allow me to get a clear look at the secrets of his whip techniques. Why has this Youngflame Zhan suddenly lowered his own strength?” Upon discovering the changes in Youngflame Zhan’s whips, Ning felt surprised and perplexed. “He’s dooming himself!”
Ning trained in the [Crimsonbright Diagram of the Nine Heavens]!
His divine ability was the [Starseizing Hand]!
In terms of raw strength, he had an absolute advantage! He was just being very careful and cautious, but his opponent actually lowered his own strength in a frantic rush towards victory…
“He’s delivering a present to my door.” Ji Ning suddenly exploded with power.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Six brilliant streaks of sword-light flashed through the air, each one incredibly dominating and savage! The power of the [Starseizing Hand] and his Fiendgod-like body simultaneously exploded forth!
A black whip was blasted away as soon as Ning’s sword-light brushed past it. The difference in power between the two was simply too great, causing the whips to be blasted away. Although Youngflame Zhan managed to keep his grip on it, the skin between his thumb and forefinger had split apart and blood was leaking out.
The six streaks of sword-light, carrying extraordinary savagery and ruthlessness, swept, chopped, and slammed against the whips, blasting all of them apart.
Whoosh. Ning instantly charged right next to Youngflame Zhan.
Youngflame Zhan was tremendously shocked. His face instantly turned ashen as he realized that he had acted too impetuously and rashly. He had completely underestimated Ji Ning. Previously, he had watched Ji Ning’s other battles, but only now did he realize how savage and powerful Ji Ning’s attacks actually were. At the very beginning, when his hands were turning slightly numb from the colliding blows, Ning had actually been fighting very carefully and conservatively; he hadn’t exploded forth with full power at all.
He now knew how utterly terrifying Ning was when fighting him head-on. Unfortunately, it was too late. Ning had already reached him.
“I admit defeat!” Youngflame Zhan’s face was ashen as he called out these words loudly. His six arms brandished his whips as well as he frantically tried to create a wall of whips in front of him.
Whoosh! Slash! Ning’s six rays of sword-light streaked out before Youngflame Zhan’s voice actually rang out. As soon as he spoke out, Ning immediately came to a halt. This was in accordance with the rules of the duel. Anyone who dared violate them would be killed by the Grand Xia Emperor.
Even though Ning had halted, Youngflame Zhan’s body had already been chopped into several sections. His body quickly began to pull together and reconnect.
“I lost.” Youngflame Zhan rose to his feet, a look of self-mocking in his eyes. “I, Youngflame Zhan, have always felt myself to be an extremely cold and calm person. I didn’t imagine…that this time, I was defeated because I wasn’t calm enough. The allure of becoming a disciple of a Daofather combined with your ability, Ji Ning…they put me under too much pressure. I wanted to win too badly.”
Ning also felt that this battle had been too easily won.
In his previous battle against Saberslave, he had to go all out in order to win. This battle against Youngflame Zhan, however, he had won easily. He had actually been fighting very carefully and conservatively, for fear of the unpredictable movements of the whip.
In truth, amongst the top twelve, all of the Pure Yang Immortals including the Xia Emperor and Lu Dongbin felt the most favor towards the Sloppy Daoist, Ji Ning, Xiamang Zishan, Adept Blackstone, Adept Woodpass, Cangwu Jiu, and Adept Goldcrow. As for Youngflame Zhan…they actually didn’t hold in much favor. Still, any of the top twelve, no matter how weak, shouldn’t have been defeated so calamitously.
If he hadn’t been in a rush to win, and had instead moved to make the blows of his whips more powerful, so as to counter his disadvantage in strength…Ning probably would’ve had to first understand and familiarize himself against the whip technique.
“Useless thing!” Patriarch Arcanum gave Youngflame Zhan a glance, his gaze filled with nothing but ice. “You knew that his attacks were powerful, but still lowered your own strength…you are utterly useless.”
Youngflame Zhan sat down in the lotus position silently.
Patriarch Arcanum felt like his belly was filled with fire…but he had forgotten that all the things he had told Youngflame Zhan earlier had actually also contributed to Youngflame Zhan being insufficiently calm.
“Calm…even in the face of a tremendous stroke of fortune, one still must be calm.”
“This was a tremendous fall for me. Patriarch Arcanum even cursed me as ‘useless’. I imagine that upon my return to the clan, the other high-level clan members will also be filled with endless rage.” Youngflame Zhan came to a decision. “Since I would have to endure the mockery and insults of others within the clan…after this Conclave concludes, I shall leave the clan and go adventuring.”
He had always been an extremely calm person. This rare case of hotheadedness had caused him to lose his chance. This was a tremendous loss to him.
But one learns wisdom from each setback. He became even calmer as he coolly reflected on the path he should take in the future.
The Xia Emperor had originally viewed seven favorably. He had been forced to decide on having the Sloppy Daoist and Adept Ninedeaths fight, but then Cangwu Jiu had unexpectedly made a breakthrough. The number of people the Xia Emperor viewed favorably had suddenly risen to eight as a result.
Of the eight, the Sloppy Daoist and Adept Ninedeaths had already fought. But what should his next arrangements be?
In the fourth duel, Adept Woodpass battled Adept Primalback! Adept Woodpass was like a human-shaped tree; he was too sturdy and resilient, seemingly even tougher to deal with than the Sloppy Daoist. He, too, was a terrifying foe that was extremely, extremely good on defense. He forced Adept Primalback to use up all of his divine power…and in the end, forced him to admit defeat.
In the fifth duel, Adept Blackstone battled Adept Unicosmo! The bald, bare-footed youth, Adept Blackstone, was indeed extremely powerful. He executed the Fuxi Staff Formation, then relied on it to launch sudden attacks and then vanish. Adept Unicosmo was thoroughly abused until he was finally forced to admit defeat.
In the sixth duel, Xiamang Zishan battled Adept Goldcrow!
The most vicious, bloody battle was the sixth duel; that between Xiamang Zishan and Adept Goldcrow! Both of them were viewed favorably by the Pure Yang True Immortals. Per the Xia Emperor’s original plans, Xiamang Zishan was going to fight Adept Whitedragon, while Adept Goldcrow was going to fight Cangwu Jiu. But Cangwu Jiu’s sudden breakthrough had transformed him into an extremely formidable figure.
There was nothing for it. The second duel had become Cangwu Jiu against Adept Whitedragon. The sixth one had thus become Xiamang Zishan against Adept Goldcrow.
“That Adept Goldcrow is truly formidable; he will be a test for Zishan. If he cannot even defeat Adept Goldcrow, how can he possibly become Master’s disciple?” The Xia Emperor was quite harsh in dealing with with the disciples of his clan.
And thus, this battle was an exceptionally violent one!
Xiamang Zishan was even more powerful than he had been when battling Ji Ning; his staff techniques were now even more overbearing and dominating than before. As for Adept Goldcrow, his speed and agility were second only to Cangwu Jiu, while his attacks were even more savage vicious and savage.
The two battled until their blood flowed like rivers. It was an incomparably savage sight. In the end, because Adept Goldcrow had been badly injured and had used up almost all of his divine power, he had been forced to admit defeat!
In this battle…Xiamang Zishan had won!
And so, the six finalists of this Conclavef of Immortal Destiny had finally emerged from the crucible.
They were the Sloppy Daoist, Cangwu Jiu, Ji Ning, Adept Woodpass, Adept Blackstone, and Xiamang Zishan!
“Two of the top six are actually of the Black-White College of Stillwater Commandery.”
“But but but…what sort of a place is this Black-White College? Two of these six peerless monsters are actually from them?”
“I hear that the Black-White College is merely a school within Stillwater City that takes up a very small amount of land. They have a total of just a few hundred disciples.”
“What?! They only have a few hundred?! Our school has nearly a million, and is one of the most supreme, large schools of the entire Grand Xia Dynasty, but we didn’t even make it into the top ninety-six. But they actually have two in the top six?!”
Of the top six finalists, two came from major clans; Xiamang Zishan and Cangwu Jiu. Two were unaffiliated wanderers; Adept Blackstone and Adept Woodpass. Two came from a school…and they both actually came from the same school, the Black-White College; Ji Ning and the Sloppy Daoist.
“Ahaha, ahahaha…” Immortal Fivecraze was laughing so hard his jaw was turning crooked. He was utterly beside himself with delight. “Haha, I didn’t expect that an old alcoholic like myself would actually be showered with such glory before dying. Even if I die right now, it would be worth it. Ji Ning, little Sloppy, well done, well done, ahahaha! If that little girl Yu Wei had also entered the top six, things would be even better!”
“Patriarch, you want senior apprentice-sister Yu Wei to make the top six as well? This…is a bit too ambitious, isn’t it?” Upon hearing this, the nearby Mu Northson’s eyes couldn’t help but twitch.
“You think this is ambitious? Nope…in fact, I’m still hoping for little Sloppy and Ji Ning to both make it into the top three. That would be even better. Ahahaha! Two of the top three finalists of this entire Conclave of the Grand Xia Dynasty both belonging to the Black-White College…I’d wake myself up laughing whenever I fell asleep. When I die and go to the Netherworld Kingdom, I’d be able to brag a bit with the Judges of the Dead.” Immortal Fivecraze was indeed absolutely overjoyed.
The imperial citadel plaza was incomparably lively right now, but the atmosphere in the main hall of the Skylight Palace was rather stifled.
This was because the top six had been determined! Next would come the top three! One of the top three would definitely become the disciple of a Daofather.
“Top three…” Xiamang Zishan’s gaze was crackling with hidden thunder.
“Top three…” Cangwu Jiu was seated, head lowered. He murmured these words to himself.
Ji Ning, the Sloppy Daoist, Adept Woodpass, Adept Blackstone…they were all silent.
In fact, they weren’t even talking to the people nearby them. An invisible pressure had completely surrounded the six of them. With one more fight, it would be determined whether or not they would make it into the top three.
Six people. Three duels. Three eliminations. Three victors!
Who would be eliminated? Who would remain?