Chapter 218: A Magnificent Performance
Translator: YH Editor: CakeHermit
Tian Kuan swaggered into Central Pine City amidst the blood fiends. Hearing the distant sounds of fighting and seeing the thick columns of black smoke brought a wry smile to his lips.
He was doubly cautious after witnessing Yu Mingqiu's impressive strength. Were he at full strength, Tian Kuan was confident of escaping even if he was unable to defeat his opponent.
While riddled with injuries, however, meeting someone as powerful as Yu Mingqiu would put him in an extremely unfavorable situation.
Yu Mingqiu's abilities had greatly exceeded Tian Kuan's expectations. Tian Kuan had initially expected blood-traced fiends to pose a threat even to vice-division leaders, but from the looks of it, normal blood-traced fiends were not powerful enough.
They needed more time.
This was also why he'd decided to sneak into the city. As of now, the blood-traced fiends were still inadequate when dealing with an opponent like Yu Mingqiu.
The current situation was, however, only temporary. As the blood-traced fiends continued to transform over time, they would continuously become stronger. As a result, the Induction Ground would constantly become more dangerous. In contrast, powerful individuals like Yu Mingqiu did not usually experience vast increases in power over such a short period of time.
Tian Kuan felt that the blood-traced fiends were beneficial indeed. Not only could they aid him in his training, they were also useful in dealing with elementalists.
Ruins and rubble were the only things in sight. The entire city was a complete mess.
Seeing the chaos he had created with his own hands made him feel an inexplicable sense of delight. He was absolutely fascinated that such a small offensive effort on his part was capable of destroying an entire city.
At that point, he felt as though he was a god, capable of controlling the fate of the mortals beneath him. What a great feeling!
So this is what it's like to feel all-powerful!
He quickly suppressed his rising zeal, reminding himself that it was not yet time for him to become arrogant.
He cautiously inspected his entire body to ensure that every single one of his blood traces were concealed. The blood traces on a blood elementalist were not usually visible, but would surface once they started to activate the blood spiritual force.
Blood traces were a headache for both blood elementalists and blood-traced fiends. It was a double-edged sword, being both the source of their energy as well as their key weakness.
The more formidable the blood elementalist, the fewer the number of blood traces present on his or her body. It was the same with blood-traced fiends.
It was said that the blood traces would all disappear upon attainment of the highest realm. This was of course, just a myth. It was a purely theoretical conjecture and did not have much value when discussing something this new.
Tian Kuan disguised himself as an ordinary elementalist.
He suddenly heard the intense sounds of battle ahead. Curious, he quietly headed towards its source. He hadn't met any form of resistance after entering the city, which wasn't particularly surprising. After all, who could oppose such a terrifying horde of blood fiends?
The sounds of the battle coming from up ahead reflected its intensity. Tian Kuan thought of the slowed-down transformations occurring in the city's vicinity. Could it be...
He moved as lightly as an apparition.
He was different from the others who had learned the beast coercion spells. Tian Kuan ultimately only believed in his own strength. All of his time, effort, and resources were spent wholly on himself. As such, he had an impressive command over his own body.
Using the environment as cover, he occasionally adjusted his position. His figure faded significantly and blended well into his immediate environment. This was the technique [Shadow Body] that was derived from the [Blood Shadow Clone Spell] of the Cultivation Era. Blood spiritual force was a unique form of spiritual energy, distinct enough that it couldn't be tapped on to activate most Cultivation Era spells. The only way to utilize blood spiritual force was to adapt spells from the former blood sects.
Blood spiritual force possessed the basic conditions necessary for spell activation, but it was impossible to use it effectively at Cultivation Era levels. The biggest obstacles were the meridians, since all meridian-related studies had long been abandoned. In the past, cultivators would begin tempering their meridians from a young age, but this was something blood elementalists couldn't possibly achieve. Without the consistent tempering of the meridians, it was impossible to attain the levels of spell complexity achieved by the cultivators.
Despite this, it was still possible to satisfactorily draw out part of a spell's power.
With the help of the ruins, Tian Kuan managed to inch forward and take a good look at the battlefield. The sight before him made his pupils widen.
Tian Kuan wasn't the only one who was shocked.
Old Zhang and his team stared blankly at the scene below, their faces filled with disbelief.
"Too... too fast!" murmured one of the elementalists. He was completely distracted by Ai Hui's actions.
That same thought reverberated through everyone's minds as they watched Ai Hui move at an impossible speed, the long sword in his hand blurring into an illusion.
His moves were utterly different from the first strike that he had unleashed. His actions were now much faster and much more precise!
The silver colored Dragonspine Inferno was swung at an untouchable rhythm. Ai Hui's sword strokes were constantly changing, from slashing to flicking and even to slapping...
Each stroke was as fast as lightning, executed with the utmost precision and efficiency. The stampeding blood fiends were fatally injured upon coming within range, but they continued to charge in despite their injuries.
How Ai Hui handled his massive, charging opponents was truly astonishing.
The Dragonspine Inferno would somehow always appear right where it was needed. Then with the exact amount of strength required, it would be swung, spun, flicked, or slapped against the oncoming fiends. All sorts of seemingly unorthodox strokes were incorporated into Ai Hui's fluid dance, taking out the oncoming blood fiends before they could even put up any resistance.
His pupils were dilating and constricting at an alarming rate. In his current state, Ai Hui was like an emotionless killing machine.
Lightning-quick movements, extreme precision, and a despair-inducing stability to boot.
The only thing Ai Hui could hear on the chaotic battlefield was the frantic throbbing of the sword embryo. Nothing could shake his resolve or break his focus, not even the angry bellowing of the blood fiends.
"Oh my heavens!"
Fatty wrapped his hand around his head, unable to believe what was happening.
The ground was still trembling from the stampede which looked as though it was never going to end. However, the feeling of helplessness that the horde had brought upon them had vanished.
The floor around Ai Hui was saturated with blood. Small streams of blood converged to form larger rivers. The rich, sweet smell of the blood poison pervaded the air around them, causing some people to choke.
Fresh blood was flowing freely, but it seemed to avoid the immediate area around Ai Hui. Not a single drop of blood was found within a one meter radius around him.
Shi Xueman was stupefied. She looked at Ai Hui, her mind a complete blank.
She had never before thought that swordplay would still be relevant in today's world. This was the first time she had seen swordsmanship of such a terrifying calibre. Ai Hui's relentless, lightning-quick strokes, impeccable accuracy, and dazzling sword rays made her feel a little afraid.
As blood continued to rain down and the fiends continued to snarl angrily, the grim figure continued to cut down lives like they were nothing. His rhythm did not waver one bit.
Memories of Ai Hui suddenly surfaced in Shi Xueman's mind. She remembered the time when Ai Hui and Fatty had pettily fought over noodles, when Ai Hui had steeled his resolve to repay his debt of eighty million yuan, when he'd plotted to hit Duanmu Huanghun's annoying face...
The Ai Hui she remembered was remarkably different from this ice-cold killing machine in front of her. To think that he was this formidable...
Duanmu Huanghun's eyes were filled with overzealous excitement. Oh, oh, this is incredible! That speed! That precision! What a vicious stroke... I love it!
To think you were actually this powerful!
Duanmu Huanghun felt himself teetering on the verge of insanity. Having been rescued from the brink of death by such frantic yet precise swordsmanship made him unbelievably excited. He wanted to howl to release his agitation.
So... he did it!
He looked up at the sky and raised his arms to his sides. Craning his neck back, he howled like a wolf during a full moon.
Every last one of his nerves were trembling with excitement. The wanton massacre occurring before his eyes stimulated even the deepest regions of his psyche, destroying the restraints that maintained his composure.
Duanmu Huanghun's madness prevailed over the silence that had washed over the A-1 unit. His fervor spread like a disease, infecting the other students who began to howl as well. The joyful feeling of renewed life, together with the graceful massacre in front of them gave an outlet for the feelings of dread and despair accumulated within their young souls.
Oh how they'd longed to release all that pent up frustration! Release the fear within their hearts and release the despair that they had held in for so long. The students howled with the passion and wishes that they held for the future.
Using all of their might, the students cried out fervently in reverence of the lone, grim figure leading them towards the future!
Even the esteemed Shi Xueman and Sang Zhijun let go of their restraints, screaming and flailing without any care for their images.
The intense cries came like a sudden storm, ravaging the entire street and somehow drowning out even the sound of the stampede.
Old Zhang was deeply amazed by Ai Hui.
Other than his first strike, Ai Hui's sword strokes were very plain. No, succinct was a better way to describe them. Each and every one of his strokes were executed with no margin of error.
Old Zhang's experience allowed him to see beyond Ai Hui's sword strokes. Ai Hui's control of elemental energy was even more surprising.
Those rapid sword moves of his required superb control of elemental energy in addition to excellent swordsmanship.
Powerful techniques often required complex methods of circulating elemental energy, something people referred to as elemental energy control.
An old hand like him knew that simple moves were often capable of unleashing as much power as more complicated ones.
Ai Hui was the perfect example of this.
The techniques executed by Ai Hui were all simple and unadorned, but he varied between a large number of them at an unimaginable speed. Old Zhang had no idea if this form of swordplay had existed in the past, but he knew that the control required to perform such a feat was extremely difficult to achieve... It was way beyond anything he could perform!
The A-1 unit's rallying cry could be heard from the skies.
Old Zhang and his team smiled upon hearing their cries. They were young once and knew exactly how the youths below were feeling.
Old Zhang whistled. "As elders, I think we should show these rookies how to properly cheer."
Everyone laughed heartily.
"Come! The young lad deserves our cheers!"
Old Zhang banged on his chestplate, leading the cheer. The rest of his team followed suit, banging on their armor, their shields, and their weapons in a uniform manner.
The zealous, passionate cries of the A-1 unit combined with the hunting units' banging. The two sounds resounded against the blood fiends' thunderous stomping and their angry snarls. In the middle of this chaos, the sword embryo continued to beat on. The sights and sounds of the battlefield merged into one big magnificent performance.
The sword in the young man's hand changed constantly.