Hei was surprised at this revelation.
In hindsight, this was always a possibility.
There was nothing preventing him from facing his sisters in earlier rounds than the finals. What he never considered, was it being in the first round.
If he didn’t know any better, he would say someone had done this on purpose.
Slightly suspicious, he checked Mei’s position in the brackets.
It turned out, she was at the other end and wouldn’t be seeing either Bai or Hei until the finals.
This alleviated his suspicions, but now he had the problem of choosing between his own advancement and Bai’s.
Needless to say, he chose Bai’s advancement over his own.
Her advancing was clearly the better choice. She would be able to use her merit points to greater effect and wouldn’t suffer the same restrictions that he would.
At the end of the day, Hei’s presence at the sect wasn’t even necessary.
The only reason he was here was to obtain Jingfei. Other than that, he fully trusted his sisters to be able to gather any useful information.
Besides, the rewards for this competition were increased cultivation resources and a better place to live. Hei needed neither of those things.
Having decided to let Bai win, Hei turned his sister, who seemed to be excited about this fight.
She had been very excited when she had the opportunity to fight Hei at the 5-sect summit, but it didn’t quite turn out the way she wanted it to.
Since this wasn’t a final round or anything that had been built up, she was confident that her brother wouldn’t do the same thing he did last time.
This would be a serious sparring match.
Without much delay, Hei and Bai entered the stage, where they faced each other until the start of the match was announced.
Bai was ready to immediately jump into action, but Hei raised his palm.
“Little Bai, I know you want to fight me, but do you think you can win?”
To Hei, the idea of having a serious match with Bai wasn’t an interesting one. He knew and she knew that there was no way she would be able to defeat him, even at the same level of strength.
Hearing his words, Bai looked to the ground.
She had been wanting to have a serious one-on-one match with her brother, but she also realised that she was no match for him.
However, she still wanted to give it a try.
She looked up to Hei.
“Even if I can’t win, I still want to try.”
Hearing this, Hei smiled.
“Do you think your tricks will work on me when you don’t have Tianlan and Mei to help you?”
Bai shook her head.
“Then is your speed enough to catch me off guard?”
Bai shook her head.
“How about your power? Can you break through my defences?”
Bai shook her head.
“Will your Marionette ability work? How about Territory? Will you be able to catch me in an explosion?”
Bai shook her head.
“Then do you have any new abilities that you think may work?”
Bai shook her head.
“So, Little Bai. When you face an opponent like me, what do you do?”
Bai clenched her fist. And looked to the ground.
“I… I should withdraw.”
Hearing this, Hei was pleased. It seemed Bai understood the situation.
But he had a surprise for her.
“That’s right, Little Bai. When facing an undefeatable opponent, there are two options. One, you could run away, which would be a wise move. And two, you could try to learn something.”
Bai looked up to Hei.
“You gave me Unlimited Chain Works. I also have something for you.”
Hei started walking towards Bai.
“Since your tricks are useless, will do this match completely hand-to-hand.”
He increased his speed as he started dashing towards Bai.
He launched a fist attack, which she dodged.
After that, she took a few steps back to avoid Hei and create some distance.
Hei didn’t let her off so easy, he continued to chase after her, launching punches and kicks.
Bai was constantly retreating, avoiding all of his attacks and continuing to step back to increase the distance, but Hei would always speed up to close it.
“Why do you keep evading, Little Bai?”
“Because you’re too strong. What else am I supposed to?”
“Then, why do you keep stepping backwards and never advance?”
“Because you’re too fast. If I go in, I’ll leave myself open.”
As he continued to launch attacks, which she evaded, he spoke.
“You know, Little Bai. I had quite the experience when you launched me into the ceiling after your cold-blooded deceit.”
She knew that deceiving her brother wasn’t the most honourable way to achieve victory, but she had to make sure he understood that he had weaknesses and didn’t go around thinking he was invincible.
Hei decided to move on. He wasn’t upset over this incident. And he had something else he wanted to tell her.
“Anyway, that explosion you set off launched me to the ceiling quite quickly, don’t you think?”
Bai was trying to explain herself, but before she could continue, she started to understand what he was saying.
With her interpretation of her brother’s words, she decided to use Territory on herself.
Instead of on the ground, the territory was now her feet, and she used the explosive force to propel herself backwards.
Seeing this, Hei smiled.
“Oh? You seem to have learned something.”
Hei then did the same thing Bai was doing. But his was far more controlled.
He had been practising this ever since the last sparring match.
Due to this, he easily caught up to Bai, who had just understood what he was telling her.
The two were now moving much faster than before. But the flow of the battle stayed the same. Hei was launching attacks and Bai was retreating and dodging.
“You know what else? Through deflecting attacks, I learned that even a slight jolt could alter the course of an attack, causing it to miss completely. I wonder what would happen if an explosion went off as someone was attacking.”
Hei placed a hand on his chin as if he was actually in thought. But it didn’t look like it because he was still chasing after Bai and launched another fist attack with his free hand.
Bai didn’t fail to understand his intention.
As Hei’s fist came close, she placed her palm on the side of his arm behind the fist and used a small explosion to repel it causing Hei’s attack to miss.
Now things had changed. Instead of avoiding Hei’s punches, Bai was deflecting them causing them to go off course.
“Then I wondered, what would happen if I stopped using my muscles entirely and used only my Qi to control my body? A bit like your Marionette ability.”
At this point, Hei stopped pursuing Bai.
He continued speaking.
“This is something you would have difficulty thinking of because you lack my abundant Qi reserves.”
Hei started testing out his new technique.
His body started jerking as he accustomed himself to his current strength.
He tried using explosions to move his arms, legs and head.
“But since I have Qi to spare and have been training my mental energy constantly for a few years now, I decided to try moving my body through explosions.”
Bai watched as her brother’s body twitched violently before coming to rest.
“After a while, I got pretty good at it. Now I can move much faster than before and paired with the sudden starting and stopping, I think it has the added bonus of confusing the opponent.”
Hei looked to Bai.
“Come attack me. I’ll show you what I mean.”
Bai used her newfound speed to approach Hei and launched several attacks at him.
She noticed that just before her attacks landed, Hei’s hand would appear and block her.
There wasn’t any leading motion. There was no suggestion or hint that he would be intercepting the attack, but just as it was about to land his hand would appear.
“I call this Point Impact. Rather than moving my arm to intercept your attack, I use explosions to blow it into the direction of the attack. Then I use my Qi to stop it when it reaches its destination.”
“But… the mental energy that would require-”
Bai could see that doing this would require a huge amount of mental energy. It was questionable whether it was a viable form of movement.
“You think it’s a waste? Then let me show you what this kind of method can really do.”
Hei activated his Unlimited Chain Works and buried some chains in the ground, having them come out at various locations on the stage.
“If you place markers like these, for example, with your Territory, you can have a series of known safe locations which you can use to navigate yourself around the opponent. These chains are examples of that.”
Hei then disappeared from where he was and appeared next to one of the chains.
“If you calculate the explosions correctly, you can move around without using too much energy. Then you can use your Qi to stop yourself as soon as you touch the ground, leaving a strange sensation that you should continue to move. That’s what the opponent feels.”
Hei then disappeared and appeared at another one of his locations.
“And if you get to a good enough level, you can even do something like this.”
Hei then disappeared from that location but swiftly reappeared in the same place. The only thing was, he was also at another location. There were two Hei’s.
He didn’t stop there. He continued to appear at more locations creating many replicas of himself.
“The key is to stay close to the ground. As soon as you want to stop you just lower your foot slightly and use your Qi to halt all of your momentum.”
At this point, there was a Hei at each of the locations.
He explained what was happening.
“Then if you want, you can use more Qi to create a shell of yourself which can be used to trick even spiritual perception. This will let you confuse your opponent and give you opportunities to strike at their openings.”
Bai was shocked at this. When had her brother developed such a technique?
“The downside, of course, is that you’re moving in straight lines. But the thing is, does it matter? If your opponent doesn’t know where you are or where you’re going, they have no way to intercept you.”
From here, Bai could feel several light touches all over her body. She knew that this was her brother demonstrating the offensive capabilities of this technique.
Having shown this much, Hei stopped and appeared right in front of Bai.
“Now try to attack me again.”
Bai used explosions beneath her feet to move quickly towards Hei, launching a fist attack. But as her fist was about to hit him, he disappeared and appeared someone else.
Bai’s spiritual perception told her where he was, so she immediately launched herself in his direction. But before she got there, he was already gone.
As this continued, she realised that she wouldn’t be able to catch him. So, taking in her brother’s words, she activated her territory and tried to use a similar technique to him.
She placed several territories all over the stadium, next to Hei’s chains, and used them as directional markers.
She was now chasing after Hei in a similar way to the way he was running away.
At first, she failed to calculate the explosions properly, causing her to go in the wrong direction, or to stop too soon or too early.
This was made worse by the fact that she was moving too fast for her own kinetic vision. She was completely relying on her calculations to tell her when to stop her movements.
As time passed, she was getting closer and closer to matching Hei, and soon enough, even multiple versions of her appeared on the stage, creating an interesting image for the spectators.
They could see multiple Hei’s and multiple Bai’s all standing in pairs around the stadium.
Every other Hei was in a silly pose.
Sometimes his hand was on Bai’s head and sometimes he made a silly face.
There was even one where both Bai and Hei were posing together.
Bai was standing next to a crater with her hand covering her face, and Hei was laying down, defeated.
After Bai started to get the idea, Hei decided to stop.
He caught her attack and spoke.
“Your previous way of fighting was telling you to conserve your Qi and observe your opponent, waiting for openings to attack. This isn’t wrong, but it does limit your possibilities.”
Bai looked to Hei.
“But if someone took this kind of approach, what would they do if the opponent was still too strong?”
“That is the key. Because this method uses a lot of mental energy, you want to decide whether you can defeat your opponent by the time half of your mental energy is gone. If you decide you cannot win, you should just retreat as you had originally said.”
Hei wanted Bai to realise that this was just a way to end the fight quicker. He wasn’t trying to tell her to fight to the death or something like that.
“As I said before, your original fighting style wasn’t necessarily wrong. But it was too reliant on having allies. That is because during the sparring matches you always had a teammate.”
It was as Hei had said. Bai had always been able to coordinate assaults knowing who her allies were and being able to compensate for each of their weaknesses with each other. But when it was her alone, she wouldn’t be able to do that
“This is why I’m teaching you this way of moving. The idea is to finish the fight as quickly as possible because you don’t know if there will be more opponents appearing at a later time.”
Bai also understood this. If she continued to use the wait-and see-approach, she could increase the difficulty of her situation dramatically.
Seeing that Bai understood and that she had gotten fairly good at using the new method, Hei decided to finish the fight.
“What do you say, Little Bai? Shall we end this?”
He entered a relaxed stance and released a suppressive aura.
Bai nodded her head and also entered a relaxed stance.
Both disappeared from view.
Hei moved to one of his chains and lowered his body.
He was trying out his new move, which would end any match, guaranteed.
Bai had just caught up to her brother when he said these words.
He was facing the elders and had resigned from the match.
It wasn’t just Bai who was stunned. Everyone felt that this was quite abrupt.
Didn’t he just say they were going to end it? Sure, it was ended, but that wasn’t what a normal person would do after saying those words.
“First round, first match. The victor is Shao Bai. Shao Hei is disqualified.”
The elder seemed oddly happy to be saying those last words, but Hei let it go. She was probably just excited by the intense match she had just seen.
Bai puffed her cheeks out. She wasn’t very happy that he would do this when she had just learned a new technique.
Hei placed his hand on Bai’s head.
“Don’t forget that you still have to face Mei in the finals.”
Bai wasn’t fully convinced. She was still pretty much in peak condition and would most likely be fully recovered by the time she had to face Mei.
What would be the harm in continuing the match?
Seeing this, Hei laughed awkwardly.
“Your brother can be shy at times…”
“He can also be shameless at times.”