Chapter 232 Arena (Part I)
The final stage of the Regional Selection, the arena battle, had finally started. The location this stage was held at was completely different from that of the previous three stages.
The arena was placed in a huge battle coliseum. The rules for this stage were very simple. Those who acknowledged their loss, lost the ability to battle, or stepped out of the arena, would be considered as the losers.
After all, it was a battle between level 19 Knights. Therefore, the occurrence of injuries or deaths were possible. Those who died in battle would be eliminated, and those who killed-naturally, they would not be penalized.
Therefore, it was possible to kill in the arena battle. This made the spectators even more thrilled and excited.
At this moment, the battle coliseum stands were filled with up to a thousand people. The coliseum was drowned in commotion as the spectators engaged in discussions over the arena battle.
The discussions about who would clinch the top two positions were the most heated up.
After all, even though Fang Xingjian had shown an overwhelming advantage in his talent in the third stage, talent and battle prowess were two different things.
Of course, Fang Xingjian had also shown unrivalled speed in the second stage, but Hoult had also demonstrated the great prowess of his level 29 Divine Weapon. Just the high temperatures, which encompassed a radius of tens or hundreds of meters, would make it hard for Fang Xingjian to get close.
"I wonder which ten people will advance and succeed in becoming Conferred Knights. Conferred Knights... Once they succeed, they'll soar up, and even their statuses will become very different," Kirst's City Lord said.
Ferdinand broke the situation up and analyzed, "The contenders for the top two positions are, naturally, Xingjian and Hoult. Although Xingjian is very powerful, Hoult has a level 29 Superior Divine Weapon, Crimson Fire. Once it transforms into a fire dragon to protect Hoult, there's no way to get near him at all.
"As for the third and fourth place, they should be Anderson and Wei Leng. As for the rest, I can't tell. City Lord, are you able to guess them?"
"It's tough," Kirst's City Lord said. "They are all top notch Knights in the first transition. Regardless of whether it's their attributes, Killing techniques, Waves or mental cultivation methods, they are all matched very closely. And in that instant of their battles, there will be various wonderful and dazzling thoughts, through which it will be hard to differentiate between what's reality and what's fantasy. How they will control their powers and attack is something that even I can't be 100% sure of.
"This is why the results of the battles are so unpredictable."
Ferdinand started to pray in his heart. He had thrown in a tremendous sum of money, betting Fang Xingjian would come out first.
At the same time, 16 examinees headed up the arena, preparing to draw lots.
In a corner of the stands, Tresia's Xiu Yi lowered his head, looking at the black-robed man next to him respectfully.
That man was encompassed in a layer of black robes, revealing only a pair of cold eyes as he looked toward the arena. He was exuding a strong, terrifying aura which kept all living things away.
"Lord Adri," Xiu Yi pointed to Fang Xingjian and said, "That first guy from the left is Fang Xingjian."
The black-robed man was the level 25 Conferred Knight Adri, the younger brother of Tresia Clan's clan head and the Deputy Commander of the Imperial Guards.
Blood vessels appeared in his eyes as he gazed at Fang Xingjian. That brutal gaze was as though he wanted to turn the whole arena into a pile of ash. Adri had contracted an unmentionable disease which prevented him from engaging in sexual activities. Thus, he detested the world and its ways. This was also why he had been a person with extreme views from a young age. Moreover, the only kin he had was his elder brother.
Considering how Kaunitz's location was unknown and it was likely that he had been killed, Adri bore a huge hatred toward Fang Xingjian. He could not help but want to kill Fang Xingjian.
"Hmph, I had already received the news yesterday. I heard that old fogey Devitt holds this Fang Xingjian in high regard. The top genius in Great Western Region?
"Hehe, but the higher he's pushed up, the harder he will fall. This Fang Xingjian... I'll definitely make him die a horrible death!"
David and his father, Mongul City's City Lord, had also arrived at the battle coliseum's stands. Looking at the dejected David, Mongul City's City Lord said furiously, "Why are you so useless? That Fang Xingjian humiliated you like that, yet you're just putting up with it? You're even planning on giving up taking revenge against him?"
"Father, you haven't seen his performance in the previous three stages," David said dejectedly. "Both his talent and abilities are too strong. He's just like the sky which hangs high above-something which is impossible to catch up with no matter how hard you try."
Naturally, Mongul's City Lord did not believe David's words. Although Mongul's City Lord had heard of Fang Xingjian's results, he had assumed Fang Xingjian was just another great genius. He had seen many of them, but most of them just had great talent. Before they had turned their talent in actual powers, they were all merely geniuses and not true powerful experts.
Especially after hearing what David had said... What did he mean by 'the sky that hangs high above'? This evaluation was too exaggerated, making it harder for him to believe.
Mongul City's City Lord shook his head and said, "You've really disappointed me. A Knight is just a Knight. Don't you understand the gap between a Knight and a Conferred Knight? While Fang Xingjian's tricks may seem very amazing to you, his quick speed can only make him slightly special amongst the Conferred Knights.
"As for beheading a level 21 ferocious beast, it's nothing special either. All he did was kill a wild beast which knew nothing about martial arts.
"Of course, I'll have to admit that, being able to accomplish these things at level 19, Fang Xingjian's talent is truly astonishing. But it's precisely the reason why you should go all out and eradicate him from the roots.
"If you don't deal with him whilst he is still weak, are you planning to watch as he grows stronger-watch as your humiliation continues to stay with you?"
"But now, he's already being treated like a treasure by the Governor. All the more we can't do anything to him now." David looked at his father's unresigned expression and shook his head. Sighing, he said, "Forget it. Father, you'll know when you see Fang Xingjian's battle."
Everyone had finished drawing their lots and verified who their opponents were.
The whole process was to have all sixteen of them start off by drawing lots and then have eight elimination rounds. The eight winners would be the top eight, while those who lost would have to continue in a round robin tournament, vying for the ninth and tenth positions.
The eight winners from the first round would draw lots once again and compete for the top four positions.
Next, it would be the competition amongst the top four to decide who would be in the finals. The two winners would fight for the top two positions while the losers fought for the third and fourth places.
In the first battle, it was Rota against a middle-aged Knight.
That middle-aged Knight was a military personnel by the name of Howard. Having lived over ten years of his life in the battlefields, he had great experience in battle. His attributes, specialties, and Killing techniques had all been trained to the highest level.
Seeing that Rota was placed to fight against Howard, everyone did not think well of her. It was because Rota was too young, making it hard to believe she would be able to surpass Howard in terms of her attributes, specialties, or skills.
Howard thought the same too. Holding a machete, he jumped up into the arena and looked at Rota, who looked just like a bean sprout. He smiled and said, "Young miss, you should just surrender. Otherwise, it'd be too much of a pity for such a pretty face to get scratched up by me."
Rota did not say anything. She appeared extremely calm. Even though she knew her abilities were not comparable to his, her heart did not waver in the slightest. Rota held onto her spear, pointing it at a slanted angle to the floor as she looked at Howard calmly.
Howard let out a cold laugh, "Seems like you're not willing to surrender. Since that's the case, let me send you off."
Before he finished speaking, he seemed to turn into a cheetah instantaneously. The muscles in his feet contracted furiously as a strong surge of power exploded under his feet. With a loud bang, he dashed up to Rota, leaving behind a series of afterimages. Then the machete in his hand slashed out toward Rota's head with the strongest force and the fastest speed.
While Howard had appeared to speak very casually as though he looked down on Rota, when he attacked, he did so with his full power. He had no intention of showing compassion to her just because she was female.
It was how it should be. When it boiled down to the top sixteen in the Regional Selection, which of them would take their opponents lightly or show compassion just because the opponent was female? That would be taking their own lives and futures as jokes.
At the Regional Selection, even if it were the world's most beautiful lady, they would still lash out at them. They would fight whoever stood in their way to the bitter death.
On the contrary, Howard had appeared so flippant in order to confuse Rota, making her feel as though he was taking her lightly. He then attacked with his full power, slashing out explosively and in turn, creating a difference deliberately.
However, Rota seemed prepared for this. Ever since she comprehended the Pantheon Monument, she had stepped into a calm state of mind, as though she would be able to release her soul at any time and attain Heaven's Perception.
At this moment, even when faced with Howard's explosive attack, her peaceful mental state was still undisrupted.
She took three consecutive steps backward and avoided Howard's three slashes, which seemed to be connected as they reflected light. Each of the slashes got closer and closer to Rota's face, and it seemed as though a fourth attack would slash open Rota's stomach.
This was Howard's Killing technique-Tempest Quick Blade. If one were not able to block his consecutive moves, then as the forty-nine consecutive attacks from the Tempest Quick Blade gets increasingly quicker and stronger, the attacks would eventually become impossible to fend off.