Even though his eyes were closed, his Spirit Awareness filled the whole Arena, allowing Xuefeng to see everything happening. Just as he shouted the order, his golem moved as well. Both golems had a similar size with only their Elements being different.
Just as Xuefeng thought, his enemy had a Fire Element as its metal surface lit up with fire halfway through the arena, turning him into a running torch.
'I guess I will have to battle in my old style,' Xuefeng thought, feeling like it would take Ming a while. Recalling how much time Ling needed to create the art for him, it wasn't that surprising in the end.
Knowing he was on his own, he released his Earth Qi and surrounded his golem with hard armor, adding an additional protection to his chest area. Once his crystal breaks, his run would be over.
He couldn't lose.
The two golems finally clashed against each other, fist into the fist, creating a loud metallic gong and a cloud of thick dust that surrounded the two golems. Xuefeng jumped back right after the face-off and checked his fist.
It was fully intact with only bits of earth falling off his knuckles.
'Huh? Wasn't out strength the same?'
Xuefeng got flabbergasted, getting the feeling as if he didn't feel any resistance in his strike.
A fireball flew out of the dust cloud. He instinctively raised his arm for a block but the golem was too slow.
The golem's face ate the fireball, making him stumble back.
Another two fireballs followed right after, giving him no time to recover his balance.
The dull sound of a pile of metal falling to the ground created a shock wave that even reached Xuefeng's body which was by the edge of the arena.
The enemy golem left the dust cloud, his body still burning but one of his hands was crushed, bent sideways. He carried a round ball of fire in the other hand and slowly walked towards Xuefeng's golem.
"Fine, you want to play with fire then let's play," Xuefeng muttered, getting serious.
Both golems had similar strength and durability so his only advantage were skills. He believed the enemy golems were equipped with similar amount of Qi as he and the Spirit controlling them had a lot of battle experience. The only difference was that he had to fight ten rounds while his opponents were changing.
Xuefeng's golem finally stood up and slapped the lingering fire from his chest. His armour was a little burned but it was nothing for him. A cheeky smile cursed on Xuefeng's face as he already knew what he wanted to do.
'Let's see how you deal with this.'
Without wasting any time, his golem charged at the living torch, acting as if its fireballs were just tickles for him.
Another fireball got thrown in the arena but Xuefeng was already prepared, his hand covered in Earth Qi. A sudden shield appeared in his hand and he bashed at the fireball with confidence.
The flames splattered around the shield but didn't slow down the charge, Xuefeng's golem rushing forward. Seeing that only fireballs were thrown by the enemy, he already guessed it was its only attack. The first round couldn't be harder than that else not many would pass the Trial.
The golem built momentum, bouncing off one spell after another until the two finally met again.
Xuefeng slammed against the enemy golem with his shield, sending him flying.
It was over.
His golem pounced at the fallen opponent and whacked its head with the edge of the shield. He pounded it without break until it fell off and only then switched to its limbs.
Only its torso was left after a minute of constant pummeling. Although the golem was immobilized, the round still didn't end. According to the rules, he had to break its crystal to win.
'I wonder, can I take its crystal away and later use it?' Xuefeng asked curiously, looking down at the shining crystal with the eyes of the golem. If he could reuse the crystals, he wouldn't have to limit himself to the element.
'You should try. With the way you use up your Earth Qi, you won't last till the end of the Trial,' Ling suggested. 'Ming should be done soon but her ability will definitely use up a lot of your resources.'
Xuefeng didn't immediately pull out the crystal but instead asked Ming, 'How long will it take you? Should I continue with the second round?'
Ming didn't reply to him but instead sent him the information directly, filling his mind with complex data. 'I'm done,' Ming reported.
Xuefeng quickly scanned through the data and his mouth opened in surprise, 'Ming... Is this real?'
'Of course. Is there a problem?' Ming asked back confused. 'Go try it. I will lead you.'
Xuefeng didn't want to believe in the description of the art and wished to test it. The art he received from Ming, called Judgement Vine, claimed that its vines were basically indestructible. Their only flaws were the amount of Qi required to create them and its immobility. If one were to overcome those issues, he would be impossible to kill.
'You should be able to create one Judgement Vine with the amount of Qi you have now. It's not really a fitting art for Earth Realm as no one under God Stage would have enough Qi to even create one. Thankfully, we have nearly unlimited source of Qi from Ling,' Ming explained.
'Alright, let's try it,' Xuefeng couldn't wait anymore and pulled out the red crystal from the motionless torse. It was still intact in his hands and he sensed it had a lot of Fire Qi left inside of it.
He stared at it when the Trial Spirit informed him.
'A gentle reminder, you cannot take out your Earth Element crystal else it will be counted as a loss.'
"Oh, I didn't plan to do that," Xuefeng replied and created a hole in the golem's chest before sticking the red crystal inside of it. The hole acted like another socket allowing him to feel the Qi inside of it.
Unfortunately, he couldn't use it as the Qi wasn't ownerless. It belong to the Trial Spirit.
'Don't worry, it will still be useful for us,' Ming assured. 'Focus on creating the vine now.'
The Trial Spirit didn't comment on his move and gave him no time to rest as the battles continued immediately.
'Congratulations on the win. Round two will start in three... two... one...'
The gong signalled the start of second round and this time two holes appeared in the sky, spawning two golems with white crystals.
Xuefeng didn't bother with them for now but instead carefully followed the instruction recorded in his mind. Ming copied Ling's method and integrated the new art with his mind, allowing him to quickly learn the art.
Just as two golems landed on the ground, a green vine started growing from the ground. It grew higher and thicker with each second but his Qi levels plummeted even faster. It quickly gained the size of the tall tree but Xuefeng didn't get to admire it too long.
The two new golems began their attacks sending Air Bombs at him.
'Let's test how strong you really are,' Xuefeng commented, taking control over the vine.
The long vine snapped like a whip in the direction of incoming Air Bullets and they exploded like bubbles. The vine suffered no damage and returned to its previous position as if nothing happened.
'Not bad for a pseudo-art,' Ming noted.
'Pseudo-art?' Xuefeng repeated, thinking this was already really overpowered.
'I lied. This is not the true Judgement Vine. It only has one-tenth power of the real thing. If I didn't lower its requirements, you wouldn't be able to create one,' Ming explained casually. 'I will go convert other forbidden skills. You have fun.'
'If that's a pseudo-art... I wonder how much power does the real deal has...'