The Desolate Era - Book 12, Chapter 29 - Ji Ning Enters the Fray
“It’s hard to say who will win and who will lose.” Watching the battle, Lu Dongbin said softly, “The two of them really are similar…their battle styles are both majestic, using absolute power to crush their foes.”
“Right.” The Xia Emperor and the others nodded as well. Adept Woodpass and the Sloppy Daoist were indeed quite similar. And both were extremely skilled at defense!
As for attacking? The Sloppy Daoist had always used his bare hands, while Adept Woodpass used six large warhammers. But in reality, those six large warhammers were just bigger fists! Since Adept Woodpass didn’t have the Grand Black Tortoise divine ability, he naturally didn’t dare to actually use his bare hands to fight. The Sloppy Daoist’s fists were definitely no weaker than the large warhammers in power.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The two were clashing head on. The Sloppy Daoist was like a wave that was growing increasingly savage and powerful. Adept Woodpass, in turn, seemed incredibly resilient. His six arms swung about those six giant warhammers, counterattacking again and again.
Warhammers and fists. Boom, boom, boom! They slammed against each other repeatedly!
“They really are similar.” Ji Ning, seated behind King Yan, couldn’t help but mumble to himself, “Eldest apprentice-brother and Adept Woodpass are both so majestic in their attacks…and the more majestic their attacks, the harder it is to defend against them.”
Both of them had extremely strong defenses and would fight opponents head on! Other peerless geniuses, when encountering them, would most likely use up all of their divine power and then be forced to admit defeat.
“Eldest apprentice-brother seems like a black tortoise divine beast.”
“Adept Woodpass seems like a mobile, man-shaped tree.”
Just as Ning and the others were watching and pondering, suddenly…
The Sloppy Daoist, whose aura had been growing increasingly wild and explosive, suddenly came to a halt. The folding waves of attacks came to a halt as well. Adept Woodpass immediately noticed this weakening, and with a grand hammer blow, he directly caved in the Sloppy Daoist’s chest.
BOOM! This hammer blow was incomparably heavy, and cracks appeared on the turtle shell runes on the Sloppy Daoist’s body as he spat out a mouthful of blood.
BOOM BOOM BOOM! Adept Woodpass struck out repeatedly with his great hammer, showing no mercy at all in seizing the advantage. The Sloppy Daoist was smashed by multiple hammers in virtually the same instant. Heavily wounded, he struggled to defend while calling out: “I admit defeat!”
Whoosh! Adept Woodpass immediately retreated, the giant hammers in his hands disappearing as he returned to a normal size.
The Sloppy Daoist returned to a normal size as well. He looked at Adept Woodpass with a hint of resignation. “I lost…but I’m convinced by my defeat.”
“Your attacks clearly had me at a disadvantage. Why did you suddenly stop?” Adept Woodpass asked, puzzled, “Your earlier attacks were becoming increasingly berserk…if that continued, I probably would’ve lost.”
“If the ‘wavefolding’ secret art can continue to explosively increase in power into perpetuity, wouldn’t that make me invincible?” The Sloppy Daoist shook his head.
Adept Woodpass now understood. Right. If the power of this wavefolding technique could increase without end…how crazy would that be?
“The length of time I sustained in using this secret art today…it is already the longest I have ever used it in all these years.” The Sloppy Daoist shook his head and laughed. “But no matter what, this Conclave has proven to be a tremendous tempering experience to me, and my wavefolding abilities have increased dramatically as well.”
Adept Woodpass instantly began to feel admiration for the Sloppy Daoist.
The top three…they had a chance of becoming a Daofather’s disciple. Losing such a supreme chance was something that would definitely cause a major mental setback towards one’s self-confidence. And yet, this Sloppy Daoist was actually able to recover from it almost instantly; he was even able to laugh. This sort of Dao-heart alone was already enough for Adept Woodpass to feel endless admiration.
In addition, when they fought earlier, Adept Woodpass also noticed that both their personalities and their paths were quite similar!
The path of Immortal cultivation was an incomparably difficult one. Upon finding a powerful figure that was very similar to one’s self…they were practically bosom friends now. Adept Woodpass felt tremendous affection and admiration for him.
“Congratulations, fellow Daoist Woodpass,” the Sloppy Daoist said with a laugh.
“This duel with you, fellow Daoist Sloppy, was a truly joyful one for me. It is rare for a person to encounter a bosom friend on the Immortal path, but you, fellow Daoist Sloppy, feel like a bosom friend to me…if you are free, you must come to the South Seas. When I’m free, I’ll definitely visit the Black-White College of Stillwater Commandery,” Adept Woodpass said.
“Definitely.” The Sloppy Daoist nodded as well. Over the course of this battle, he had also come to feel very positively towards Adept Woodpass.
There were some people who had never met before in the past, but upon meeting a single time would become bosom friends with each other! The Sloppy Daoist and Adept Woodpass were two such people…their Dao-hearts, their beliefs, and their ideas were all very similar. It was rare to encounter such a similar bosom-friend!
The Xia Emperor, Lu Dongbin, and the rest of the Pure Yang True Immortals all nodded silently. When Adept Woodpass had suddenly demonstrated yet another Grand Dao, they had all come to believe that the results of this battle had become hard to predict.
Adept Woodpass winning was reasonable.
“Wavefolding has a limit…upon reaching it, it will collapse and become uncontrollable.” Lu Dongbin nodded. “This is true even when Grand Emperor Xuanwu personally uses the technique. Although it might not actually collapse, upon reaching the limit, there will be no way to increase the power of the wavefolding any further. For this Sloppy Daoist to be able to use this technique for so long is already quite rare.”
“This Adept Woodpass is a rare talent as well. He was actually able to defeat the disciple of Grand Emperor Xuanwu,” Mahasthamaprapta said. His gaze was focused on Adept Woodpass; clearly, he felt quite positively about him.
“For the Sloppy Daoist to be defeated makes sense,” the Xia Emperor said. “This Sloppy Daoist, when entering the Black-White College of Stillwater Commandery, was a fairly ordinary disciple in the sect. However, he grew increasingly formidable; in training, he’s one of those that becomes increasingly brilliant as time goes on. His late-blooming potential is tremendous. In terms of amount of time spent training, the Sloppy Daoist has trained for much less time than Adept Woodpass has. For him to lose by a stroke isn’t strange. I imagine…that if we were to give them another century, most likely the Sloppy Daoist would be able to defeat Adept Woodpass.”
“Tremendous late-blooming potential.”
They all nodded.
There were far too many ‘geniuses’ in the Three Realms that were exceptionally brilliant early bloomers. Much rarer were those who were not only dazzling in the early stages, but were also able to train all the way through the Primal and Void levels, or even all the way up to the Celestial Immortal and True Immortal levels! Those who grew more formidable as more time passed…these late-bloomers were the true, unpolished jade. After being ‘sculpted’ properly, they would become even more dazzling. Clearly, the Sloppy Daoist was one such person.
When he was young, he was very unremarkable. Afterwards, he entered the Black-White College but was still just an ordinary disciple. After even more time passed, he became the number one figure amongst the Black-White College’s third generation disciples. And now, he was so incredibly dazzling in this Conclave for the entire major world.
This sort of rise…was quite terrifying.
“And more importantly…his heart!” Lu Dongbin sighed. “I can tell that this Sloppy Daoist doesn’t actually know that Grand Emperor Xuanwu has taken note of him; he’s been working hard this entire time in the hopes of making it into the top three and apprenticing himself to Daofather Crimsonbright. But just now, after losing that battle…he should have felt a tremendous psychological blow. And yet, he was able to almost instantly grow calm again, and he was even able to laugh. A heart like his…incredible.”
“Right.” They all nodded. The more these Pure Yang True Immortals watched the Sloppy Daoist, the more strengths they discovered. No wonder Grand Emperor Xuanwu accepted him as a disciple.
In this first battle to determine the top three…the Sloppy Daoist had been eliminated!
This caused the members of the Black-White College, such as Immortal Fivecraze, Mu Northson, and Adept Vastriver to all feel tremendous regret. Ning shook his head and sighed as well. There was nothing to be done; there was nothing that could be said regarding this loss. These two fought each other in a completely head-on manner…and in the end, the Sloppy Daoist had lost.
The second battle had begun!
Adept Blackstone against Cangwu Jiu!
“Sloppy.” Yuchi Xiyue began to chat with the Sloppy Daoist. “You have good judgement. Can you tell who is going to win in this fight between Adept Blackstone and Cangwu Jiu?” The two had already begun battling within the grand sealing formation outside.
“Let me watch for a bit first.” The Sloppy Daoist watched in a seemingly casual manner, but his eyes were very intent. After watching for just a brief moment, he gently nodded. “Adept Blackstone has a major advantage. He has a higher chance of winning.”
“Oh?” Yuchi Xiyue was puzzled. “But that Cangwu Jiu seems to be quite formidable, and he’s also astonishingly fast. Why do you think Adept Blackstone has a better chance of winning?”
Yuchi Xiyue actually wanted to ask Ning his opinion as well. But this was the second duel; the third would be Ning’s. She naturally didn’t want to disturb him.
The Sloppy Daoist laughed, “Adept Blackstone is skilled in the Fuxi Staff Formation. Through his usage of the formation…he has actually made it so that Cangwu Jiu is already unable to use his speed to its full potential. Adept Blackstone can just hide inside the formation, and there’s no way Cangwu Jiu can even find him. Adept Blackstone has complete control over the tempo of this entire duel. He can attack when he wants to and flee when he wants to!”
“Based on what you are saying, by relying on his formation, Adept Blackstone is now invincible?” Yuchi Xiyue was puzzled.
“No.” The Sloppy Daoist shook his head. “This sort of duel has to come to a conclusion. Although Cangwu Jiu is trapped within the formation, if Adept Blackstone doesn’t actually attack, Cangwu Jiu can just relax and wait within the formation. He wouldn’t need to use up any divine power at all, but Adept Blackstone needs to maintain that powerful formation. It definitely is consuming a large amount of elemental ki. And, as time passes, I imagine that the Xia Emperor will also order Adept Blackstone to attack. Otherwise, who knows how long this would drag out to?”
Yuchi Xiyue nodded gently.
“Thus, in the end, it is still Adept Blackstone’s close combat ability that will determine victory or defeat! But of course, he still benefits from the advantages of his formation. And, based on what I saw from their close combat previously, Adept Blackstone is definitely no weaker than Cangwu Jiu in close combat!”
“Comparable power in close combat, but with Adept Blackstone having the advantage of a formation, and Cangwu Jiu being unable to fully utilize his speed…in this battle, Cangwu Jiu is completely countered. He should lose.”
Just as the Sloppy Daoist’s words were concluding…
Within the formation, Cangwu Jiu was like a hawk that had been trapped within a cage. He was injured repeatedly until finally, Adept Blackstone saw his opportunity and seized it, suddenly delivering a heavy wound to Cangwu Jiu. Cangwu Jiu was unwillingly forced to call out, “I admit defeat!”
And so, the second of the three had been chosen…Adept Blackstone!
“Xiamang, are you trying to prevent this Cangwu Jiu from entering the top three? It wouldn’t have been so bad if he had encountered Ji Ning, Xiamang Zishan, the Sloppy Daoist, or even Adept Woodpass; he would’ve been able to make full use of his speed and agility. He’s at the greatest disadvantage when fighting against Adept Blackstone, a master of the Fuxi Staff Formation,” Lu Dongbin said with a smirk.
“The ambitions of the Cangwu clan are a bit too grand,” the Xia Emperor said calmly.
He was suppressing them by doing this! The other major clans all had extremely deep roots of power; if given a chance, they would be able to soar into the skies! And so, he let Ji Ning fight Youngflame Zhan while having Adept Blackstone fight Cangwu Jiu. In truth, this was his scheme to suppress them.
As for Ji Ning, Adept Woodpass, and the others, they didn’t come from major clans.
The third duel was now beginning.
“Ji Ning, be careful.” Yu Wei held Ning’s hand and spoke gently to him.
Ning nodded lightly, then rose and began to walk towards the grand sealing formation outside the hall!