Chapter 81: Enters the Top-Ten
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: - -
Shi Mu confronted the approaching whip head-on since he had expected this kind of an attack. He quickly inclined his body towards the left, and dodged the whip's thrust. Then, he launched his counter-attack by producing ten cuts in one breath with his blade. Each of the cuts emitted-out cold light, and produced blade-shadows. These ten blade-shadows roared towards Ruan Zhi.
Ruan Zhi's complexion changed as he saw this. But, it didn't affect his mind. He quickly responded by flicking his wrist. His long whip swayed in air, and formed a black net in front of his body; like a spider's web. The black whip-net acted as a shield to protect his body.
Shi Mu sneered as he saw this. But, he didn't slow down his blade.
The ten blade-shadows crashed against the black whip-net with an ear-piercing sound. The collision transferred a huge jolt to the net shield. Then, the blade shadows disappeared.
Shi Mu's eyes glared. His Real Qi surged within his body, and streamed into his blade.
His steel blade trembled as it issued a faint droning sound with a white ray of light.
Shi Mu let out a loud shout as he wielded his blade with both hands, and launched numerous cuts.
The steel blade dazzled brightly. Then, eleven blade-shadows emerged along with eleven cuts.
"Eleven cuts in one breath! This boy had concealed his true strength. No wonder Brother Qu couldn't beat him." The trace of a strange look flashed through the eyes of the slim-faced junior referee as he saw this.
Ruan Zhi was alarmed; his complexion turned pale. He couldn't resist the overwhelming wave of Shi Mu's fierce attacks. The only thing he could do was to wield his whip in an attempt to resist the blows. However, he couldn't make a counter-attack as he didn't find any gap in Shi Mu's attack; bean-sized beads of sweat started to appear on his forehead.
"Bang" a loud sound was heard.
The black whip-net was chopped down into pieces with a loud explosion. Moreover, the long black whip snapped into several fragments; only a short handle was left in Ruan Zhi's hand. Ruan Zhi hadn't even recovered from the shock when another attack of eleven blade shadows came towards him. His body would be cut into several pieces if he didn't respond at once!
Suddenly, a person's tall figure flashed and appeared in front of Ruan Zhi to block the attack. It was the referee - the junior disciple with sunken cheeks.
He waved his sleeve, and a short silver spear appeared in his hand to counter the blade's shadows.
The tip of the spear trembled as an invisible airwave erupted out of it. The eleven blade shadows vanquished with a dull thumping sound.
Shi Mu was startled. Suddenly, a huge force travelled through his blade and infiltrated his body; he was overwhelmed with discomfort. But, the force stopped once it had passed through his arm. Shi Mu steadied himself. However, his complexion looked ghastly pale.
"Boy... if you want to disregard the customs of our Sect... and want to put somebody's life in danger... then you can tell Luo Yun Ji. My spear will comply." The slim-faced youth took back his spear with a slight turn of his palm. There was a hint of astonishment in his eyes even though he was blurting-out harsh words.
The fact was that Su Mu Bai - whom Shi Mu had defeated earlier - was related to Luo Yun Ji. Moreover, Luo Yun Ji had been expecting him to enter the top ten ranks of the new disciples. However, he was eliminated by Shi Mu. This made Luo Yun Ji unhappy and agitated; he started to harbor a secret grudge against Shi Mu. Therefore, he had hit Shi Mu with full force since he had come across a good opportunity.
He was a late-stage Hou Tian warrior. So, he had thought that his Hou Tian strength will cause serious invisible injuries to Shi Mu. But, he hadn't anticipated that Shi Mu would withstand his attack in such a calm manner.
"I couldn't stop myself. I'm begging senior apprentice to forgive me." Shi Mu's vision flashed as he withdrew his steel blade. Then, he cupped his hands across his chest and spoke in an apologetic tone.
Luo Yun Ji looked at Shi Mu in a cold manner, but he remained silent. Then, he walked to the other side of the ring.
He couldn't take any other action against Shi Mu in front of the audience.
Ruan Zhi looked at Shi Mu for a while. Then, he tossed-off the whip-handle and walked down the ring.
"The winner is Shi Mu!"
Suddenly, the surrounding people jolted out of their dream-like state, and burst into cheers.
Shi Mu had gained a magnificent victory with his neat cuts and incredible skills; it was devoid of any irrational movements. Moreover, he had filled the air with a murderous spirit. Therefore, the people had become silent.
Nobody dared to challenge Shi Mu for a long time; the match had left a huge impression on everyone's mind.
Shi Mu didn't have any intention to challenge anyone because the reward for top ten new disciples was more or less the same. Moreover, he didn't want to be in spotlight for long.
He was challenged two more times by the end of the day. He won both the matches with flying colors, and bagged the ninth rank.
Meanwhile, Lan Feng and Bai Shi grabbed the fifth and seventh ranks respectively.
Even Xiao Ming displayed remarkable magic skills. However, matches between magicians and martial warriors encountered several constraints. But, he still grabbed the twenty-seventh rank; he had forced his way into the top ten-percent of the new disciples.
The next day...
It was barely dawn when Shi Mu arrived at the circular plaza with his steel blade in tow.
He was surprised to see that Bai Shi and Lan Feng had already arrived. Both of them were separately surrounded by a huge crowd on either side of the black stone monument.
Bai Shi and Xiao Ming seemed to be discussing something.
Bai Shi had become famous for being a loyal person - apart from his extraordinary martial arts skills. He had started to command even more respect after he had joined the Holy Spirit Association. Moreover, his extraordinary performance on the first day of the competition had towed him up to the top-ten ranks. This had uplifted his reputation even further.
"Brother Shi, you're also here! You amazed us with your brilliant performance." Bai Shi greeted Shi Mu with a smile. Huo Mao and Xiao Ming also welcomed him with a smile.
"Brother Bai, you're flattering me. I'm an ordinary person with a brutal strength; I'm nothing in your comparison," Shi Mu waved his hand as he replied.
A few people walked over to Huo Mao who was dressed in a different manner; he wore a suit that complimented his sturdy physique.
"Brother Huo, are you going to participate in today's competition?" Shi Mu and others turned to look at Huo Mao. Bai Shi noticed that he was holding a huge double-edged axe in his hand. So, he couldn't help and asked.
"Yes. If you guys want to challenge me... don't blame me for not considering our friendship." Huo Mao raised his axe as he replied with a smile.
The three of them looked at each other in dismay.
Suddenly, Bai Shi broke into a laugh as he took the initiative to brush away the tension. Then, he introduced a new topic of discussion. Soon, they started to discuss the previous day's competition.
The top-five rank holders surfaced several times in their discussion. Except for Lan Feng, all the top-five rank holders were old primary disciples who had entered the Sect before the new disciples.
Soon, the plaza was overflowing with people. The number of the disciples present was more than that of the previous day's since all the old primary disciples had showed-up.
More than two-hundred new disciples were present at the plaza. But, only the top-thirty new disciples could hope to challenge the old primary disciples.
After all, the old disciples had been practicing the Hou Tian arts for a year longer than the new disciples. So, any low-ranking new disciple would be asking for humiliation if he or she were to challenge the old disciples. However, there were many people who didn't believe this theory, and wanted to give it a try.
According to Huo Mao - the previous matches had proved that even the top-ten new disciples had a very small chance of victory against the old disciples.
The second day was reserved for the new disciples' challenges to the older disciples. However, the matches wouldn't be as intense as the first and third day. Moreover, the number of matches on the second day would be far less than the first day.
It was late morning.
The clatters of gongs and drums, along with the announcement of the second day of the competition, had officially commenced. The droning sound of the crowd fell silent for a moment when that happened. Then, they started to exclaim in loud voices.