After hearing Hei’s words, the audience became silent.
All of a sudden, the childish sages weren’t as impressive.
“Well, if their cultivation comes from resources, they’re just rich.”
“Mm. I could do the same if I had such a backing.”
“Don’t they feel ashamed flaunting their wealth like this? The rest of us had to work hard to get where we are.”
“Silver spoons sure are nice.”
The other contestants, who were previously impressed by the four had lost their respect for them. Anyone could become powerful if they had the resources.
If one wanted to see evidence of this, one could simply turn to the Wu Clan. They showed the effects of a good supply of resources, versus a lack of resources.
The sentiment was shared by almost everyone. Even the representatives had derisive expressions as they looked at the four.
Only the Fang Clan did not change the way they looked at their childish sages. Even if they relied on external resources for their cultivation, they had still taken the time to raise them to new heights.
In the matriarch’s eyes, the only thing that changed was that she now knew why they were able to donate so many resources. They truly did have resources to spare.
Having lost interest, the young man turned back to his elder, who announced the start of the combat rounds.
These rounds would be split by cultivation realm.
First was the body refining realm.
There were only a few body refining cultivators and they were small children who hadn’t been cultivating very long, so the matches were nothing much to see.
The Wu Clan dominated these matches, but that was only because the Fang Clan didn’t have any body refining realm participants.
That isn’t to say that the Fang Clan had no body refining cultivators at all. They had a fair number of them, but given the quality of the techniques and resources that the childish sages had provided, there wasn’t much benefit in sending the young children off to join sects.
It would be better to raise them within the clan where they could build a solid foundation and develop their sense of belonging.
The same held true for even the older cultivators.
The sects at the level of the 5 sects, being the lowest of sects, didn’t have much to offer in terms of helping the juniors grow.
Compared to the childish sages’ means, they were severely lacking. It was even to the extent that the juniors had no need to join any sects until they reached the peak of the transcendent realm.
However, going to the sects would allow them to gain experience, and climb the sect ladder, eventually leading to the three pillars of the lower continent.
Next came the matches of the externalisation realm participants.
These matches were more interesting.
“Doesn’t the Fang Clan seem a little…”
“That’s the word. Where are all of the Fang Clan signature techniques we know?”
The audience was seeing a very different Fang Clan than they were used to.
There were no flaming swords or icy footsteps. They were just swinging their swords and taking footsteps like normal people. There was not a discernible technique among their movements.
The matches ended quite quickly too. Their fights would end in a matter of breaths.
It wasn’t until the Fang Clan and the Wu Clan started getting matched up, did the audience notice something special.
The competition was arranged such that the highly anticipated matches came later. It was a little unfair to the weaker cultivators who would be matched up against the stronger cultivators in the early rounds, but the representatives didn’t seem to care.
“Hm? Why is it like this?”
“What’s wrong with these Wu Clan juniors?”
“It’s not the Wu Clan juniors. They are doing their best. It’s just that the Fang Clan juniors are too smooth.”
They were seeing the Wu Clan juniors launching spectacular attacks, complete with dazzling lights and loud explosions, but the Fang Clan juniors were like leaves in the wind. In other words, they were hard to catch.
The Fang Clan juniors would narrowly avoid the attacks while launching simple but highly effective attacks of their own while making use of critical faints to mess with their opponent’s stability.
By the ends of the matches, the Wu Clan juniors would be panting heavily, while the Fang Clan juniors wouldn’t have even broken a sweat.
After their matches, the Fang Clan juniors would bow to the childish sages before waiting for their following matches.
By the end, there were only Fang Clan juniors left, and that was when the matches got truly heated.
They were heated, yes, but at a pretty low temperature.
After exchanging a few moves, the juniors would decide amongst themselves who the victor was.
Surprisingly, or not, the doorman, the first person from the Fang Clan to meet the childish sages, achieved the number one spot among the externalisation cultivators.
After that were the internalisation realm matches.
“First match, Shao Hei versus Wu Ning.”
The young man announced the pairing for the first match.
Wu Ning, who had his eyes closed until now, opened them and turned a focused gaze to Hei.
Hei was feeling slightly awkward.
As a result of not using enough strength in the striking force measurement, he, Bai and Tianlan were put into the internalisation realm matches.
“Um. We are what would be considered transcendent realm cultivators. To play with internalisation realm cultivators, wouldn’t it be a little…?”
“We will go by the results of the striking force round.”
Hei couldn’t understand this kind of reasoning.
Couldn’t a powerful cultivator intentionally lower their strength in the striking force test and take advantage in the combat round?
As if aware of these thoughts, the young man added on:
“Of course, if we deem that you have used more strength than you displayed, you will be disqualified immediately.”
Hei could tell that something was fishy here. It seemed the 5 sects were trying to get rid of them.
By using 50,000 jin of striking force as their cap, they were the weakest in the internalisation realm.
Hei stood up and jumped to the centre stage.
“What are you doing? The centre stage is for the top 8.”
“I am one of the top 8.”
He then raised his arm to Wu Ning.
“Are you ready to be disqualified, Brother Ning?”
Hei didn’t have any grudge against Wu Ning. As far as Hei was concerned, he was a decent individual.
Unfortunately for him, the 5 sects wanted to be funny and illuminate the childish sages, so they paired up one of the weakest with one of the strongest.
Hearing Hei’s words, Wu Ning was serious. He jumped to the stage, a few meters from Hei and drew his sword.
Even a few years ago he was wary of Hei, because he wasn’t able to sense anything from him. Now it was even more so.
When he tried to probe Hei using his Qi, it was swallowed up and failed to return.
Hei stood in his normal relaxed way as he responded.
“I am prepared.”
Hearing this, the representatives sneered.
“This trash thinks he is invincible. His opponent hit over 150,000 jin and he is limited to only 50,000. The victor is obvious.”
“Hold on there. There are still those strange chains of his. If he uses those, we can’t say that he exceeded his strength limit.”
The representatives turned over to the middle-aged man who was still suffering from Mei’s kick.
He responded with an embarrassed face.
“I was just caught off guard. Besides, those chains didn’t cause any damage. I’m guessing he used some kind of illusion technique to trick my senses. Who knows? Maybe those chains had a hallucinogenic substance on them”
Hearing this, the other representatives nodded in agreement. Since when had a transcendent realm cultivator been so easy to subdue?
If it was some despicable illusion technique or drug, then it was understandable.
They watched as Wu Ning spoke:
He immediately entered a low stance, and activating some technique of his, he lunged forward, swinging his sword, which was now glowing with a golden light.
Hei was calm as he watched Wu Ning approach. He was just sorry for the fellow that he had met him in the first round. It would mess up his score.
As Wu Ning swung his sword horizontally, Hei casually kicked his wrist upwards, causing the sword slash to miss.
In response, Wu Ning went for a downward chop.
But before he knew it, Hei had taken his wrist with his left hand, stepped in, placed his right palm on Wu Ning’s abdomen and threw him over his shoulder.
Wu Ning flipped a few times in the air but swiftly landed back on his feet.
He was just about to dash in for another attack when he realised that Hei had suddenly elevated himself.
No, it wasn’t Hei who had elevated but Wu Ning himself who was now lower.
He looked down to find himself outside of the stage.
“… The victor is Shao Hei. Wu Ning is disqualified…”
The young man’s dumbfounded voice sounded especially loud in the silent venue.
Hei shrugged his shoulders as he returned to his seat.
The Fang Clan wasn’t surprised by the result in the slightest. If there was one thing, they wondered why Sage Hei hadn’t ended it with the first move.
The representatives started discussing what had just happened.
“I see. Even if they used resources to cultivate, their battle sense is earned.”
“Mm. It looks like this Shao Hei has been through quite a few battles, to be able to take the simplest approach to achieve victory.”
The matches continued until it was Tianlan’s turn.
He was matched against one of the rogue cultivators.
The match wasn’t much to write about. Tianlan went in for a critical hit. Easy victory.
Soon after that, Bai went up to the stage.
Before she went, Hei spoke.
“Don’t let any of those filthy boys –Cough– I think it would be good training if you were to achieve victory without letting your opponent touch you.”
Bai took Hei’s words to heart, and whenever she was matched against a boy, she would use her Marionet ability to have them walk off stage.
As the rounds went on, it was evident that the three should have never been put into the same division as the internalisation realm cultivators. Their matches would end in less time than it took to announce the pairings.
At some point, their opponents just refused to get on the stage. They instead looked to the representatives with indignant faces.
“… Maybe we should have listened.”
“Mm. Even if they are trashes, they are scrap gold rather than rotten fruit. The others can’t compare.”
“Just wait. They are bound to run out of Qi eventually…”
“Even you don’t believe your own words. Do they look like they’re running low?”
This wasn’t good for the 5 sects either. They had made it so that the weaker cultivators would be paired up with the stronger ones. As a result, the stronger cultivators were being eliminated by the three early on.
It was now the top 8.
It was four Fang Clan juniors, Fang Lian, Fang Ren, Fang Long, and another Fang Clan junior who would soon be forgotten.
The other four were Hei, Bai, Tianlan and Ji Dian.
The entire top 8 was representing the Fang Clan, and half of them were external cultivators. The Fang Clan was sure to be rewarded for this… if it were a normal summit.
The appearance of three anomalies made it uncertain.
The first match was between Fang Ren and Ji Dian.
Fang Ren had become the number one junior of the Fang Clan, and her combat ability made it clear.
But unfortunately for her, she was up against a main character.
The fight really was a close one, but just as Fang Ren had obtained the upper hand, Ji Dian used a strange explosive attack, which proved to be too much for her.
Hei and Bai had been paying extremely close attention to the explosive attack. Hei had been wanting to study its long-term damage property. He was able to create an internal representation of it which he and Bai would analyse later.
The following matches were as one would expect if one could see the future. Tianlan easily defeated Fang Noname, Bai had Fang Long walk off the stage and Fang Lian refused to step onto the stage.
Hei found it odd that Fang Lian acted this way. Wasn’t she one of those haughty young misses? They usually didn’t back down or admit defeat.
“We are now in the top four. The first match will be between Shao Bai and Ji Dian.”
Hei was not too happy about this pairing.
“Little Bai. There is no holding back. Take him out immediately.”
Bai was confused at her brother’s words. Surely, she could get some good data on the explosive attack if she experienced it first-hand.
Seeing Bai’s confusion, Hei quickly came up with an excuse.
“You will need all of your strength if you are to face me in the final round.”
Hearing this, Bai’s eyes lit up. She had been wanting to see Hei at full power, but since he was afraid to hurt his siblings, she could only sigh in disappointment.
With this in mind, Bai happily stepped up to the stage, and when the match began, she immediately used her Territory, exploding the ground beneath Ji Dian’s feet, blowing him away.
‘Ah. Even a main character is nothing in the face of cuteness.’
Hei felt it was a shame. If it had been any other city, Ji Dian would have likely placed at the top. Too bad he chose Spring Leaf City to pop up in.
“Shao Hei versus Shao Tianlan.”
The two boys stepped onto the stage.
“Tianlan, you can take a seat.”
“Krch. Not so fast. I have been working on some new techniques. Why don’t we test them out Onii-chan?”
Tianlan had a sinister smile on his face as he spoke.
“Onii-chan your right kneecap! You want to get in the way of the big finale?”
Hei had been planning the final match, ever since he had found out that the three were playing with the internalisation realm cultivators.
Tianlan didn’t seem to care as he activated his eyes.
Hei felt a freezing cold overcome his body.
‘Eh? His eyes have become stronger?’
Hei hadn’t expected this, but he wanted his finale, so he activated his suppressive aura.
“It’s your choice, Tianlan.”
Tianlan felt a heavy weight pushing down on him.
Tianlan activated his Rail Gun and dashed to Hei..
“So be it.”
Hei activated his Unlimited Chain Works as he used his own version of Rail Gun.
The boys shot to each other at extreme speeds, both launching fist attacks.
When they collided, there was a shockwave that caused cracks all over the stage.
This was already more than any of the other fights.
The audience didn’t get to feel the full might of the impact because Hei had created a shield to protect them.
Both boys rebounded and launched back at each other.
This time, Tianlan had used his Sonic Qi to become a flying sword, whereas Hei had used Chain Sword and applied Sonic Qi to it to retaliate.
As they came into contact, Tianlan was thrown back, and Hei’s Chain Sword was reduced to scrap metal.
“Not bad. You have gotten stronger.”
Hei was impressed at Tianlan’s improvement.
Over the past year, Bai, Tianlan and Mei had reduced the gap between them and Hei significantly.
“You haven’t seen anything yet, Onii-chan.”
Tianlan’s eyes then glowed brighter, as he entered a unique state.
His body started vibrating at high frequencies as if it had turned into Sonic Qi itself.
Hei clad himself in a suit of chain armour, complete with a pair of wings and a lance.
Both boys used their Rail Gun’s and Hei thrust his lance forward, while his wings flapped, increasing his forward momentum.
Tianlan’s body seemed to warp and become like a needle as he approached.
As the boys collided, Hei’s lance was disintegrated as Tianlan sliced through it, but Tianlan’s vibrations also slowed.
The stage was unable to handle the impact, and the whole thing was obliterated, turning into a thick cloud of dust.
The cloud was contained within Hei’s barrier, so it took the shape of a dome.
The audience could hear the sounds of explosive collisions within the dust cloud, but they couldn’t feel the shocks. It was an interesting spectacle.
At one moment, an object could be seen breaking through the air like glass. It was followed by dust that trailed behind it.
When the object stopped, it was revealed to be Hei, who had spread his wings and dissipated the dust.
His chain armour was torn to shreds, and the wings were barely intact. Links could be seen falling from his body.
“That was really cool, Tianlan. But now it’s my turn!”
Hei said this as he kicked against the air and launched himself back into the huge cloud of dust.
The Barrier that had been cracked when he broke through through it, started to recover, and the audience was unable to see either of the two boys once again.
The sounds of explosions continued. This time louder than before.
The audience heard one final explosion before the barrier was broken and the dust cloud blown into the sky.
What they saw left them shocked.
There was a gaping hole in the ground where the platform used to be.
From the stands, they were unable to see the bottom.
“What in the world?”
Neither Hei nor Tianlan were anywhere to be seen.
“This! What just happened?”
Even those with spiritual perception were completely clueless.
At some point, Hei had set up another barrier which blocked spiritual perception.
“Look! Something’s coming out.”
One person noticed something moving in the darkness of the hole.
Hei was flapping his now near non-existent wings as he carried Tianlan by the shoulder.
When they landed back on the ground, Hei’s suit of chain armour, or what was left of it, disintegrated, leaving him back in his robe, unscratched.
Even Tianlan was in perfectly fine condition.
“That was a pretty good sparring match. I think with a little more time, the three of you will be able to face me seriously.”
Hei had a triumphant smile as he mocked Tianlan.
“Yeah, yeah. You keep laughing. Eventually, it will turn into crying.”
Tianlan grumbled as he went back to his seat.
“Why did we give him Unlimited Chain Works? Sigh.”
Hei gave Tianlan one last sinister smile before he turned to Bai.
“Do you want to finish this?”
Bai gave her brother a blank stare. She pointed at the stage.
Hei realised what she was getting at.
He created some temporary earth element roots. Then he attracted the earth element Qi in the air, dragging all of the dust with it, before he filled up the hole that had been created.
He had already created a model for it in his mind, so in no time, the platform was back to how it had been before the match.
The only problem was, he spent a lot of mental energy to do so.
After he had finished, the audience was shocked.
How had that giant hole been filled up so easily?
The representatives weren’t fooled though. They knew exactly what had happened.
“It looks like you were right. They are indeed using some kind of illusion ability.”
“I told you so. There is no way some snotty nosed little kid could restrain me otherwise.”
They didn’t believe for a second that the fight between Hei and Tianlan had caused all of that damage.
That was except for one of them who had ignored the speculations of the others.
Now that the stage was in order, Hei and Bai stepped on it.
“Are you ready, Little Bai? I won’t be holding back.”
Bai nodded her head.
She was even more excited after having seen the match between her brothers.
“Then let’s finish this.”
Hei pulled out all the stops this time.
He immediately activated his Dragon Knight mode, which included Chain Armour, Chain Lance, Chain Wings and Chain Dragon.
From his storage space, five huge dragons emerged, releasing a dominating aura, leaving all those who saw them shaken to the core.
He spread his wings wide, creating a majestic image before flapping them, flying up to the head of one of the dragons.
He then pointed his lance at Bai before speaking.
“Are you prepared, Little Bai?”
Bai was scared, but she wanted to see this through.
In truth, she knew that she had no chance of victory, but she wanted to see her brother in all his glory, unrestricted by his heart.
“Then, we fight!”
Hei unintentionally released a suppressive aura, causing Bai to be scared stiff.
This was a very different aura from the one he had used against Tianlan. He wasn’t mimicking his father, no. This was his own aura, the aura of Kaner Chang.
He didn’t know he had done so, as he would never use such a thing on Bai. This was all part of his finale.
He commanded his dragons to take flight as he took the lead, flying at full speed with his lance pointed toward Bai.
Bai unknowingly raised her left hand, creating a palm as if she were commanding him to stop.
As her hand was raised, she could feel a surge of power coursing through her body. She was even emitting a bright white glow, as her hair danced in the wind.
Soon the ground beneath her started to glow as well, creating a circle beneath her feet.
The circle expanded without her command, and when Hei crossed into its radius, he fell to the ground, chains flying everywhere as he scraped against it. His armour, wings and lance were destroyed by the light.
The same occurred to his dragons, who let out mournful wails as they were destroyed by the light.
Bai was flabbergasted. She hadn’t done anything. What had happened to her brother?
Hei clenched his fist, scratching the surface of the stadium as he did.
He then stood up with much effort.
“Ugh. I didn’t know you were this powerful, Little Bai. But even still, I WILL PREVAIL.”
As he said this, he entered a horse stance, letting out a mighty roar.
As he roared, his hair started to flash between golden and black.
Pieces of the stadium started to float up around him as a yellow aura started to form.
Every now and then there would be sparks of electricity, similar to what occurred when a cultivator was about to face tribulation lightning.
As Hei’s roar ended, the debris fell back to the ground, and his body started to emit a repulsive force.
As it pulsed, the audience could feel a wind coming from Hei and could hear a repeating swish sound.
His hair was now golden and was standing upright. There were sparks of electricity following his every move.
He extended his arm and pointed to Bai with a confident smile.
“This is my true form. I am a Super Heiyan.”
But before he could continue, Bai disappeared from view.
Hei was shocked as he tried to locate her, but before he knew it, he felt a sharp pain in his neck.
From there, his vision turned black and his aura vanished without a trace.
He landed gently in Bai’s arms.
Seeing this, Bai puffed out her cheeks as she complained.
“Brother! When did you learn my Marionet?”