hapter 160, Next
Whatever happened was also all thanks to Li Baxian’s wisdom to first placate Yan Xing by promising to meet again to settle their score.
That was exactly the reason why Yan Xing could still sit still and allow the
plan to go on without a hitch.
Meanwhile, the mob of Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators around Goldentip all stared at the lone Fifth-Order target like a predator eyeing a prey.
Whoever he was, that was a walking cornucopia of treasures and supplies for them.
Kill him and riches of untold worth would be bestowed upon the one who accomplished the deed.
Just as soon as Lu Ye issued his challenge, a tall and brawny man broke away from the mob.
“Let me try,” he said.
One look at him was enough to tell Lu Ye that this was a Fifth-Order Body-tempering Cultivator.
Blessed with robust physical properties, he wished to test Lu Ye’s capabilities and see what the latter could do.
If the Fates were smiling at him, he might be able to defeat Lu Ye and claim the prize for himself!
“I am Lu Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect,” Lu Ye announced.
“Shi Lei of the Weiberwolvenstein.” As soon as he finished, he groped inside his Storage Bag to look for his Spirit Artifact—a defensive magical relic.
Confident that his Spirit Artifact would keep him safe, he did not notice what was happening around him.
Just as soon as he looked up while his hands were just reaching inside his Bag, there was Lu Ye, already upon him with incredible speed.
In just a few strides, Lu Ye blitzed his opponent and Shi Lei had only just retrieved his Spirit Artifact.
He yanked out the shield-like magical relic quickly and frantically injected a spurt of his Spiritual Powers into it to activate its powers.
At the same time, Lu Ye ripped his saber out of its sheath and whipped it as furiously as he could, the weapon’s blade swathed with a layer of Spiritual Powers both red and fiery like raging flames.
Petrified like stone, Shi Lei did not move an inch.
With eyes as wide as saucers and bloodshot with spider web-like veins sprawled over the whites of his eyes, he stared at Lu Ye.
Then it appeared—a thin red line that traced across his throat.
The line gradually grew thicker and thicker until a gaping hole yawned upon and out poured a gush of blood before the sheer pressure of the geyser of blood launched the head up into the air, ripping apart whatever skin, tendons, or sinews that the head had been desperately clinging on to.
From over his shoulders, Lu Ye could see the faces of the Thousand Demon Ridge mob watching the bloody sight with horror inscribed all over their faces as they reeled, speechlessness.
Han Zheyue’s warning might have impressed upon the entire mob about Lu Ye’s ability to kill enemies beyond his rank, but no one had expected that he could do it with such speed and ease, more so, a Body-tempering Cultivator who has physical properties as strong as a bull.
The two combatants had only just exchanged their names and the next second later, victory was decided.
“Fool!” a Thousand Demon Ridge champion spat with disgust, referring to the deceased Shi Lei.
Apparently, the champion, who had earned himself a place on the Roll of Supremacy, believed that Shi Lei should have had his Spiritual Artifact prepared beforehand prior to the battle.
Especially since Lu Ye was already widely known as a difficult opponent.
Only a fool would make such an amateurish mistake and even if he survived today, his days would still be numbered anyway.
On the other hand, on the side of the Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators, the crowd was first stunned into silence before they regained their senses seconds later and burst into clamors of cheers and whoops.
Li Baxian’s yelp—interlacing both surprise and exhilaration—was especially the loudest.
Even Wei Yang looked relieved after she had been utterly worried sick.
Lu Ye retrieved the late Shi Lei’s shield Spirit Artifact and Storage Bag, which he tossed to Wei Yang.
He had drawn first blood and that was his first spoils of war.
Collecting spoils of war was a common and yet widely practiced custom that shouldn’t be forgotten under whatever circumstances at all.
The loss of the first battle was a humiliating blow to the Thousand Demon Ridge side.
But they knew as well as everyone watching this duel that this was only the beginning.
Every single Thousand Demon Ridge sect and order which had gathered here had a chance to put forth a challenger.
The Ridge could suffer defeats and deaths, so long as one of them succeeded.
Whereas Lu Ye did not have that luxury; he couldn’t lose, for losing would mean the forfeiture of his life.
That could amount to at least several dozen rounds of duels.
That a Fifth-Order Cultivator must endure such a gauntlet of death and survive was unimaginable.
“NEXT!” Lu Ye withdrew to his corner, giving his weapon a shake to fling off the blood.
The seniors of the sects and orders which were present quickly debated a choice and a new challenger stepped into the ring.
It was a woman.
Not only beautiful and shapely, but the scanty clothes she wore hardly concealed any of her charms, making her the prime focus of hungry gazes from the men all around the ring.
Wei Yang was none too happy.
“What a slut!” she hissed.
Li Baxian frowned as well.
Quietly, he was concerned if a hot-blooded youth like Lu Ye might lack the nerve and grit needed to attack a woman of such beauty and allure.
One could argue that the Thousand Demon Ridge side had picked a target specifically aimed towards a person of Lu Ye’s temperament.
He looked at Lu Ye, who looked utterly unfazed.
He announced himself again, “I am Lu Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect!”
The girl stole a look at the dead body lying not far away from where she was standing and winced like she was afraid.
The manner of disposition alone could have made many men keel over with pity.
Then she heard Lu Ye announcing himself and replied with timid coyness, “Chu Xue of the House of Wintry Blossoms.”
First came a bang, then dirt and gravel came tossing up the air and Lu Ye was gone.
Next second later, he was already upon her before anyone could see him properly.
“Do you really have to be so hasty!” Chu Xue remarked with a honeyed voice, although she responded with venom.
Her hand only just came up and a big, blustery fireball spewed forth, followed closely behind by a pale mint-green blade of wind.
But what was more unwonted was Chu Xue’s almost-nonexistent clothing.
Whenever she made any movement, the thin gauze-like fabric of her clothing just couldn’t shield her womanly charms from the lascivious stares from everyone watching.
“Shameless bitch!” blurted out Wei Yang who was teetering on the brink of blowing her gasket.
What she would give to storm forward and rip the saucy vamp’s head off, Li Baxian wondered quietly to himself.
But the next second later, he yelped with consternation.
Inside the ring, Lu Ye was raising his saber to hack at the fireball.
He felt not an ounce of fear since it was so much smaller than the ones Dong Shu Ye fired at him.
But he would pay for this mistake.
Just before the steel of his saber came in contact with the fireball, the blade of wind behind the fiery orb erupted and Chu Xue grinned with glee.
Deep inside, she was screaming “I win” with exultation.
Winds raged and that exacerbated the flames.
What was a harmless fireball at first suddenly grew rapidly into a round monstrosity of fire three times over that thundered towards Lu Ye, threatening to swallow him whole.
Those who knew Chu Xue must have recognized this from the start: her trump card.
The Sixth-Order Spell Cultivator did nothing to underestimate Lu Ye right from the start.
The dead body of the Body-tempering Cultivator just paces away from her was a constant reminder for her to not repeat that mistake.
To that end, she used the techniques and tactics that worked the best for so that she could do the most damage to Lu Ye as quickly as possible.
Then something made the grin on her face freeze.
Lu Ye’s figure burst through the flames all of a sudden, his speed and intensity doubled or even tripled.
With all color gone from her face, Chu Xue desperately tried to conjure another spell to defend herself.
But it was just too late.
Lu Ye callously hacked down on her shoulder, easily lopping off the arm that flung up before it could fire a spell at him, then with another blow, he easily defeated her protective aura before he swung his blade for a third blow that nearly had her entrails pouring out of a terrible gash right between her chest and her midriff.
With a shrill shriek, she fell backwards, the nakedness underneath her translucent robes exposed for all to see.
Still, she crashed ignominiously to the ground with tears obscuring her sight and the last thing she ever saw was a final glint of steel that ultimately robbed all life from those eyes of hers for eternity.
Lu Ye staggered unsteadily as he straightened up.
With the dead body of his second opponent at his feet, he counted himself lucky that he managed to activate Glyph: Protection fast enough to prevent from incurring heavier wounds.
That trick by Chu Xue had caught him unaware although he escaped with just a few burns other than his hair and his robes which were singed by the flames.
This time, he did not retreat to his corner.
He stood there, just meters away from the Thousand Demon Ridge mob and stared them all down.
Slowly, his saber came up.
He held it tauntingly, “NEXT!”
That was a call that sounded like it was intended for every Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivator now glaring at him…
At the other end, just over his back, the crowd of Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators did not know how to react.
Silent and bewildered beyond word, some of them were reeling with amusement at how reckless and audacious this Crimson Blood Sect brat was.
No one could deny that seeing one of them giving the enemies hell was just—just way too satisfying!
“Good job!” Wei Yang exclaimed, so pleased that her eyes were practically curved like a pair of crescents.
Lu Ye’s savage butchery of his female opponent was gratifying enough for her, and it delighted her that he did not show any signs of going soft despite his opponent being a female with seductive allure that few men could resist.
Meanwhile Li Baxian looked very annoyed.
“Gods in Heavens! Why is he taking after Brother Xinghe!” he gasped with manic frustration.
“Wait, they’re both using sabers! Why! Dammit! Why sabers!”
The third round was about to begin.
According to the terms in the Sacred Pact, Lu Ye reserved the right to demand a fifteen-minute period of rest before he accepted the next challenge.
But since he did not invoke this right, the Thousand Demon Ridge side were more than happy to oblige and get the next round going so that Lu Ye could remain fatigued.
But the round did not take long for Lu Ye to secure the initiative.
He practically chased his Sixth-Order opponent all around the ring and the opponent could barely do anything but defend himself—albeit feebly.
Seeing this filled the mob with gladness.
If no one had told them about how Lu Ye could easily defeat enemies beyond his rank, then agreeing to his earlier terms would have seen him walking out of this crisis virtually unharmed and unfazed.
Every Fifth-Order challenger they threw at him would be senselessly slaughtered for nothing.
Especially since even Sixth-Orders were already having a hard time trying to defeat him.
A flash of steel elicited a horrid spray of red.
Lu Ye pounced.
But before he could bring his weapon down to split the head of his opponent, the latter yelped at the top of his voice, “I yield!”
The sharp edge of his blade halted just a hair’s breadth away from the enemy.
Glyph: Sharp Edge’s layer of energy that shrouded the blade had nicked the skin and blood was trickling out like a leak.
“I yield!” the man screamed again, jumping away.
When he slapped a hand on his wound and saw the blood, his face went deathly pale.
Just one second slower and the man could have already been dead on the ground with grey matter pouring out of his head.
Surrendering might be disgraceful enough to certain quarters, but at the very least, this man had managed to salvage his own life and live another day.
Lu Ye sheathed his weapon.
His enemy had admitted defeat and the terms of the Sacred Pact were clear: any Thousand Demon Ridge challenger was accorded the right to yield and have his or her life spared.
There was nothing else he could do.
But this was a luxury that only the Thousand Demon Ridge challengers enjoyed, not Lu Ye.
Losing simply wasn’t an option for him.
There was hardly any fairness at all.
But life had never been fair.
The defeated challenger quietly slithered away.
As he withdrew back through the mass of Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators, he reminisced about what happened during the duel and couldn’t help shivering.
He had never meet anyone like Lu Ye before—a Fifth-Order that could unleash such overwhelmingly aggressive and brutal attacks that even though he was the one with the rank advantage, he wondered if it was the other way around instead.
“NEXT!” Lu Ye roared, glaring at the crowd.
Another enemy stepped forward as the fourth challenger!
In the meantime, a few Grand Sky Coalition champions and fellow colleagues with Li Baxian on the Battlefield’s Roll of Supremacy were huddled around him.
“It’s good that he’s on a roll with morale so high,” said one of them, frowning with apprehension, “But he’s going to burn himself out if he’s not careful and he won’t be able to go on any longer.”
He’s brutal and savage and that’s obviously a good thing, but I can’t really say that there’s any finesse in how he uses his saber.
If he encounters anyone skillful, he’d be in a very difficult situation,” said another.
As champions who had earned themselves spots on the Roll of Supremacy, these were men who could read the situation with utmost clarity and tactical acumen.
Lu Ye had only just finished three rounds but that was enough for them to notice his flaw: his style of fighting was wearing himself out.
His brutal and aggressive style would be perfect if he was up against just a limited number of enemies.
In fact, he could intimidate his enemies so that they wouldn’t be able to perform at their best against him.
But his enemies were just too many this time and he should be playing safe.
His intimidation tactics weren’t going to work with so many enemy champions were also around.
As champions of the Roll of Supremacy themselves, they were just too formidable and experienced enough and the challengers wouldn’t stop coming so long as their presence could rally and assure the others.
It was also true that Lu Ye lacked finesse.
Each and every blow he dealt were just simple blows aimed at his enemies’ fatal spots.
During his battles, his thought process included only what and where to attack without any tactical consideration.
Such was his way of fighting—a crude method honed by empirical learning for he never had any real tutelage in the crafts of wielding a saber.
Aggressive and effective thus far, all it would take was for anyone skillful enough to thwart him and that was only just a matter of time before he encountered anyone with such a capability.