Before they even started, a crowd of clan members gathered around them to act as Liu Chen witnesses.
"Young Master will definitely catch up to all of us sooner or later but isn't it too early for him to receiving Senior Chen challenge?"
"Yeah, it has only been like three days since Spirit Awakening Ceremony. I would reject If I were him."
"He also agreed to Senior Chen bet. If he loses, he will have to give his Black Flames Slayer."
"Let's see if he will keep his word after he loses. He would bring the shame to the clan if he did."
There were many opinions in the crowd but most people thought Xuefeng don't stand a chance. But who would think differently if one person is a veteran with many years of cultivation and another one is a newbie?
"I will go first then." Liu Chen decided. He was the one to suggest the duel, so it would be rude to go second.
They approached two Rank 5 puppets and Liu Chen started preparing. He was planning to attack with his strongest Spirit Art he knew and also use his Sword Intent. His goal was to create a long cut across the puppet belly. The point is to create the most damage, not to destroy it.
He fixed the grip on his new Rank 5 sword and got into action. He activated his movement art and dashed towards the puppet. While he was charging for the kill, his sword was being covered by a white shimmering light.
"He is using his Sword intent!" Someone in the crowd shouted.
The moment his sword came into contact with the puppet it bounced off after creating ten centimetres deep cut across its belly. Even with his sword intent, he wasn't able to kill the puppet in one strike. You need to master at least rank 5 spirit art to have that power.
"Look how deep the cut is! He almost cut the puppet in half!" Liu Chen followers acted again.
"Young Master has no chance to win this time."
"Isn't it rank 4 Secret Fracture Spirit Art? To master a technique like that at this age...Monster."
"Young Master, it's your turn." Liu Chen came back to his original position and smiled confidently at Xuefeng. He was satisfied with his results as it was just as he expected.
Princess was watching Liu Chen expression with a smile of pity. She was a swordswoman herself. She could feel that the power showed by Xuefeng earlier attack was enough to compete with Liu Chen. If he were to use his Rank 5 Black Flames Slayer then his chances are much better.
Wuying would always support him with whatever he was doing so as long as he was confident she can be at ease.
"If you were using your Rank 5 Sword it's only natural for me to use one as well," Xuefeng smirked as a red sword appeared in his hand. Black flames flew in all directions the moment they caught air into their lungs.
Everyone in the audience exclaimed loudly in surprise seeing the famous blade for the first time. After all, it was the sword which their ancestor got famous with.
"Who would have what that he actually got it?"
"Well, he is a black talent after all. It would be a shame if he didn't get it."
Liu Chen eyes sparkled when he saw the flame calm down and gently flicker on the flame. He was a sword fanatic from the day he was born and this sword was his dream.
'If only I could have a sword like that I would become the famous swordsman in the whole Eastern Region. I have to get it.' He thought determined.
'Show-off.' Princess smiled at Xuefeng act. He definitely used his Spirit Qi to intensify the flames when he pulled it out.
'Ling, are you sure that the first move is not enough? I didn't practice the second move at all.' Xuefeng asked for confirmation. He spent some time now to ran through second move description again in his mind and he could technically do it, but he was still worried.
What if he makes a mistake in the patterns? He didn't want to lose such a cool sword.
'Well, I can help you but on one condition. You will gather some rare Spirit Herbs for me to consume.' Ling blackmailed him.
'What do you even need Spirit Herbs for?' He asked confused.
'There are some Spirit Herbs that have the power of fate in them. I can create more Fate Qi from them. You will check the local area looking for a few of them, let's say a minimum of 10.' Link explained before pulling out an outrageous number.
'What?! Didn't you say these herbs were rare? How do you expect me to find 10 of them in the small country? I can at most agree to one.' He dickered with her over the price as he approached the puppet.
When he was already near his puppet they finally agreed on the 5 Spirit Herbs for her help.
'What a fake Fate Fragment she is.' He pouted cause she should have helped him for free. Hopefully, for him, she couldn't hear his thoughts as they weren't directly targeted towards her.
'Just follow my Qi and it would be easy.' She said before sending Golden Qi into his blade through his body.
From the description he read, the second move looked similar to the first one but it contained an additional element, Serpent afterimage. It was made entirely out of Spirit Qi and contained the essence of Serpent Tail. Even if you blocked the first attack, it leaves a mark on your body and Serpent Tail will then follow the mark and explode on the target.
It could be treated as a melee and ranged attack in one move. If caught by surprise, it would be quite a deadly strike. With the help of his Black Flames Slayer eternal flames, it can be strengthened even more.
He didn't have a movements art yet, so he could only act from the close distance. Many people in the crowd had an "as expected" expression on their faces but he ignored them.
He took a deep breath and started following Ling instructions. The first part of the move was almost the same and the motion looked similar but the main difficulty was in the Serpent Tail afterimage Spirit Pattern.
That was the reason he didn't want to perform this attack without earlier practice. One mistake and he would be the one who explodes.
He attached his Spirit Qi into Ling's and his arms moved. The Red Blade turned black from his Spirit Qi and the flames intensified. Sensing the will of its owner, they interlocked with his Serpent Qi Patterns.
His whole arm looked like one long tail with flames flickering on the surface. The moment his sword dashed towards its objective, the tail separated from the blade but still followed after it.
The crowd gasped seeing the unknown Spirit Art. 'Wasn't he a newbie?' was the question everyone was thinking about.
With a loud Serpent cry, the blade passed through the Spirit Puppet, cutting it in half. Before the upper body could even fall to the ground it was smacked by the Spirit Tail afterImage destroying it completely. He saw that it was already enough so he didn't detonate it. That would be a total overkill.
'You can use the Serpent tail as a whip for long ranged attacks and absorb it back into your dantian. If you explode it, your Spirit Qi will be lost.' Ling said before going back keeping her Golden Qi back into her Space. If you were focused enough during Xuefeng assault, you could see thin golden lines in between the black matter.
'Yeah, that's what I thought as well. By the way, I knew that the first move was enough. You lied to me.' Xuefeng complained after analyzing the situation.
'I'm waiting for my Spirit Herbs.' She giggled.
'Eh, whatever. I'm not talking to you anymore' He will definitely not let her trick him again.
He unsummoned his sword and absorbed the Serpent Tail back into his dantian. He noticed that he still lost about two-tenths of his Spirit Qi after all.
'The consumption in those moves is too much. I need to learn traditional swordsmanship. With my Black Flames Slayer, I will still be powerful.' Xuefeng contemplated before turning back to everyone.
"What's up with them?" He asked Princess and Wuying who were the only ones that looked somewhat normal. The rest of the people gathered were watching him with their mouths wide open.
"Well, not many people can destroy the Rank 5 Puppet in one strike so, you can guess." Wuying rolled her eyes at his remark.
Xuefeng shrugged and looked at Liu Chen who stood there stupefied and said "I guess you lost. Time to pay up."
"You cheated!" Liu Chen shouted after he came to himself. "You used two attacks."
"That was only one move, but even if you insist on calling it two, everyone here can be a witness that I cut the puppet in one clean cut." Xuefeng didn't want to argue and looked towards the crowd to decide.
The clan members face paled. Now they wished they didn't come here. They can either offend one party on another.
"I think it was Young Master who won, Senior, don't be a sore loser. We all saw what happened." After one person spoke up, the other followed.
"Yeah, Senior don't be such a person."
"It's alright to lose."
Even those who came with him were now on the Xuefeng side.
"You guys..." Looking at his friends turning against him, he gritted his teeth and threw his sword on the ground. The bracelet with spirit stones was still with Wuying so he didn't need to produce those anymore.
"You brought it on yourself. I don't even know you and you came to create trouble. Next time think twice before you make decisions like that." Xuefeng acted cool before Liu Chen left.
"Wow, Young master look really handsome, not that I think about it." One pretty lady thought out loud.
"Look at yourself and the beauties that are by his side. You don't stand a chance." The guy next to her finished her dreams.
Xuefeng picked Liu Chen sword, kept it into his ring. 'Gosh, I always wanted to say a line like that.' He chuckled in his mind before telling ladies to go back.
There were too many people in the Training Grounds. If he gathers a crowd like that everywhere he goes he won't have a moment of peace.
The girls also thought it would be better to continue the practice in their courtyard and they left.