Chapter 161, Not One To Let Things Slide
If the Grand Sky Coalition side noticed Lu Ye’s weakness, it was only natural that the enemy side would notice it as well.
Hence, it did not come as a surprise that the next challenger was a Cultivator skilled in the crafts of combat.
Armed with a sword, the enemy challenger’s every Spiritual Power-imbued move—stabs, pokes, flicks, and so forth—formed a combination of a confusing blur.
But it only took Lu Ye a couple of furious chops at the enemy challenger to throw him off balance.
Just when he thought he found an opening, he drove his sword straight at Lu Ye’s heart, but the latter easily thwarted him with just a quick activation of Glyph: Protection.
With the secrets of his ability to use Glyphs now all but public knowledge, Lu Ye no longer has any reason to keep it a secret anymore.
Unlike before when he had to try to maintain it a secret, Lu Ye could now use them as much as he liked to.
More so, since the utilization of Glyph: Protection against an opponent of such skill was crucial.
Fortunately for him, the experience of saving Amber so long ago had turned out to be an instructive one.
He was forced to fight against an enemy of superior skill back then and that had given him an idea of how to hold his ground against enemies of this kind.
And the trick of it was to avoid turning it into a contest of skills.
This was a deathmatch, not a contest.
The enemy challenger could perform all the quaint techniques as he liked, but Lu Ye would still stick to his plan as he always did: by seeking the most straightforward and efficient way to kill.
With the well-calculated thrust of his sword thwarted, it was too late for the enemy challenger.
He looked up to see Lu Ye’s saber already bearing down on him.
Terrified, he quickly screamed, “I yiel—”
Before he could complete his sentence, his head dropped lifelessly to the ground.
Lu Ye stood where he was without moving an inch, feeling adrenaline coursing through his veins as the pangs of blood remained fresh in his nostrils.
Something else had dawned upon him: so long as I’m fast enough, my enemies will not be able to yield and walk away alive!
He knew as well as everyone else that his style was wearing him out.
He also understood fully that he should be keeping his duels as short as possible.
But most of all, he was aware that he was one man facing an unknown number of challengers.
He needed to slay as many challengers as he could so that he could go into every round with his opponents already intimidated.
This would help to ensure that he secured the initiative right from the get-go.
He stared at the dead body at his feet.
The last time when he was trying to save Amber, defeating that enemy back then was so hard that he and his foe nearly died together; he had managed to defeat and kill his opponent, but not without incurring grievous wounds himself.
It was Amber who brought him back to Hua Ci and that girl had a good time having her fill of fun and thrill at his expense.
But he understood the difference.
This time, he stepped into battle against a superiorly-skilled foe with more battle experience than before.
All that blood, sweat, and tears that he shed had not been for nothing.
What he received in return was not just the growth of his powers and strength, but also his experience and tactical awareness as well.
It was true that he lacked finesse.
But because he now had the ability and acumen to read his enemies, Lu Ye could make the right call on where, when, and how to attack. This alone could make up for his lack of skills.
One could almost call this his craft of slaying.
“Brother!” Li Baxian’s urgent voice rang out suddenly from over his shoulders.
In his stupor, Lu Ye did not notice that his next challenger had already stepped into the ring.
In the meantime, Lu Ye was still reeling with the bewildering comprehension that he had unknowingly picked up a lot through his journey through the Battlefield.
That was when he felt a powerful force coming from his back.
He twisted himself around, swinging his saber in a quick and deadly arc just in time for it to collide with the enemy Spirit Artifact, eliciting a fiery burst of angry sparks!
Only then did Lu Ye manage to see who his new challenger was: a tall and muscular man wielding a broadsword whose blade was thicker than the length of a man’s finger.
With a gravity-defying leap into the air, the challenger brought his broadsword down on Lu Ye’s head with his weight and his strength behind it.
The moment their weapons met for the second time, Lu Ye could feel a staggering force threatening to crush him.
Only it could not.
Lu Ye’s knees might have sunken a little, but he managed to hold on and with a dangerous slash that nearly cut his enemy into two, he managed to drive him away.
In the meantime, the moment his steel gnashed against his opponent’s, the last thing the enemy challenger expected was for Lu Ye to be able to remain standing and respond with a shove carrying strength that he never thought was possible in a man of Lu Ye’s size, followed by a riposte that sent him retreating quickly away to a safe distance.
Evidently, he was not the only one astounded.
Whether it was the size of his frame or weapon, Lu Ye was just too much of a David compared to the challenger’s Goliath.
Most would have thought that with his remarkable size and girth, this challenger would have chosen to be a Body-tempering Cultivator.
Yet, being a Combat Cultivator was clearly his desired choice and his superhuman strength made it possible for him to use such a colossal weapon to easily fell any foes like a giant crushing ant.
And his decision had not been misplaced.
He had never been defeated nor had he ever met a match in brute strength before when going up against foes of similar rank.
Even if he had encountered anyone who had strength close to his, he could still defeat them with that incredible broadsword of his.
More unbelievable was the fact that his adversary managed to withstand his wrath, his weight and that of his weapon with just one arm! This time, it was he who found himself flabbergasted.
“Heavens, what kind of brute strength is that!” Li Baxian heard a gasp.
That was a Grand Sky Coalition champion who also has a position on the Roll of Supremacy.
Somehow, there was something about Lu Ye that had changed.
If Lu Ye had looked as if he was holding himself back before, this time, he looked like he was—free Or liberated Li Baxian just couldn’t put a finger on it.
His eyes blinked.
He too noticed the change in Lu Ye.
“You seem to have not yet announced your name and the order to which you belong!” Lu Ye bellowed as he bolted forward before the enemy challenger landed.
By the time he did, Lu Ye had landed more than a half dozen cuts and lacerations on his opponent, prompting the latter to frantically swing his ponderous weapon around in a vain attempt to defend himself as Lu Ye’s blows elicited more blood to be spilled.
No that his feeble attempts were doing him any good.
A heavyset weapon like the broadsword was hardly the ideal weapon for defense.
Clumsy and bulky, Lu Ye fleeted and waltzed around him like a butterfly dancing around him with tremendous agility and dexterity.
In mere moments, the enemy challenger began collecting more wounds than a bull in a bullfight.
Luckily for him, the wounds were mostly superficial and that gave him the impression that he still had a chance to win.
Unbeknownst to him, everyone else could see clearly that the sole reason that he was still standing was only that Lu Ye had not yet chosen to kill him.
Lu Ye was playing the cat and he was the vole now being toyed with by the former.
“The name of the order you belong to” Lu Ye demanded after another slash to keep his opponent honest.
The giant of a man gasped for breath.
He knew that victory was slipping through his fingers, but he belligerently replied, “Fort Friedensbund!”
Lu Ye bobbed his head, satisfied at the answer.
With a stomp into the gravel, he vanished.
He reappeared just in front of the burly challenger before he could do anything and raising his gigantic broadsword was pretty much the only thing he could do when he saw the gleam of Lu Ye’s steel.
Lu Ye easily avoided the parry and drove his saber straight through the man’s chest, the tip of his weapon spearing out his back, a straight tunnel from the front to the back.
Then he callously yanked his weapon out amid the sickening crunch of flesh and bone, giving the challenger a kick to pull his weapon free.
As the challenger lay on the ground, life seeped out of him.
But that was not the only thing on his mind.
[Why was Lu Ye waiting when he could have easily slain him and be done with it!]
Watching the duel from the Grand Sky Coalition side, Wei Yang muttered softly, “It seems that our new fellow student is not one to let things slide easily.”
Li Baxian could only nod his head in tacit agreement.
Twice Lu Ye had specifically demanded to know the order his opponents belonged to, and it clearly wasn’t anything about respect.
No, Li Baxian mused.
It was only so that he could remember the names of the sects and orders since he would just quickly dispatch them once he got what he wanted.
Li Baxian grinned to himself; he did not even realize himself doing it.
If Lu Ye could still think of such things during his battles, that would mean that he expected to survive this ordeal.
He was confident that he would be able to make it out of this and remembering the names of the sects and orders which had slighted him was for a future reprisal.
Li Baxian had initially mistaken Lu Ye’s polite gesture at the start of his duels as just a sign of respect, only to realize that it was just so that he could repay the favor in the future.
Inside the ring, Lu Ye’s hand came up.
“I’m taking a break!” he announced.
There was no need to rush things.
He had won all five duels in one go with four of his opponents slain.
Aside from his first opponent which was a Fifth-Order, the rest were all Sixth-Orders and that was enough as a good start to making any future challengers wary.
He had used up some of his Spiritual Powers, but with all of his duels ending quickly, he was able to prevent too much exhaustion.
Even so, knowing that this was not going to end so soon, he was aware that he needed a break to be at his best.
Such was his right.
As one of the many terms stipulated clearly in the Sacred Pact, the Thousand Demon Ridge side could barely object to his decision.
Lu Ye trotted back to his corner.
With Li Baxian, Wei Yang, and the others attending to him, he swallowed a few Spiritual Pills and held a pair of Spirit Stones firmly in his grasp.
There was no time for him to use Glyph: Gathering Spirits.
Using the Glyph itself would consume Spiritual Powers and after weighing the cost and gain, he believed that it would not be worth it.
Therefore, he activated Gluttonous Feast instead.
The auxiliary cultivation discipline would help to increase the pace of assimilating the Spiritual Pills.
In the meantime, the Thousand Demon Ridge champions convened.
They were in need of ways to secure a victory.
Han Zhe Yue was summoned, and the Thousand Demon Ridge champion asked, “The boy has extraordinary speed and strength that no Fifth-Orders should have.
Has he always been like this”
The champions have all noticed how Lu Ye had managed to win despite being outranked and his utilization of Glyph: Protection had little to do with his victories.
At least not completely.
Instead, it was his speed and strength.
This was proven by how seldom Lu Ye had been using the defensive Glyph in the last few duels.
His opponents could be one or two ranks higher than he was, but with his speed and strength, he could still easily cut them all down.
But that was a question that Han Zhe Yue could barely answer since she was directing her side of the battle from the main summit of the One Hundred Peaks mountain range without any actual knowledge of how Lu Ye fought.
She paused to think.
Mulling for several seconds, she finally answered, “It could be due to the Dragon Spring.
He did secure himself entry to improve his physical constitution there.”
“Physical constitution The Dragon Spring” the champion said, frowning with puzzlement.
He must have not heard about the Dragon Spring before.
But it was a small wonder, since the Battlefield was so vast, and every place had its own unique feature.
The Dragon Spring was only useful to low-tiered Cultivators and that was why few ever bothered about it.
Han Zhe Yue gave her colleagues a quick run-down about what the Dragon Spring Conference was about and explained something odd in this year’s Conference.
“Something went wrong.
By the time it was our turn to get inside the Spring, the power of the Spring had waned so greatly that it barely afforded any benefits.
I’ve had sources in the Green Feather Mountain side who reported that they had similar complaints as well.”
She could still imagine how angry she felt when she first heard of this.
The Dragon Spring Conference was nothing more than a three-way battle royale where the winning side would secure first dibs on entry into the Dragon Spring.
The Tai Luo Clan had only managed to secure second place after huge losses but yet none of the Clansmen who went inside enjoyed any noticeable increase in their health and physical properties.
All those who had died during the Conference had become meaningless sacrifices just for nothing.
It was out of this resentment and frustration that Han Zhe Yue came all the way to hunt Lu Ye down the moment when she learned of his identity.
“If that’s true, then I don’t think it has anything to do with the Conference,” the champion refuted the theory.
“It might be because of his potential.”
That would explain his audacious confidence to make a proposal for such a duel.
But the champion wasn’t worried.
At least not yet.
The duel had only just begun.
The Thousand Demon Ridge side had lost the first five rounds and there were more to come.
So long as they planned their approach carefully, victory would be theirs in three days and Lu Ye would be…