Chapter 331: The Ten Great Practitioners (One)
Taking the Illusionary Flash book, Jian Chen’s heart couldn’t help but tremble with emotions. This battle skill was a speed based one. It was quite different from the Profound Steps written in the Azulet Sword Law. That one was focused more on walking and for use in combat, and while it was able to increase his speed, against a wind attributed expert: he would surely lose.
This Illusionary Flash increased the speed of a person’s run in a linear direction. While it lacked the flexibility of the Profound Steps in the Azulet Sword Laws, it could beat a wind attributed cultivator in linear movement which was what Jian Chen wanted.
Furthermore, if the Illusionary Flash were to reach the pinnacle of mastery, then its speed would be unrivaled and he could travel up to 500 kilometers in an instant.
Although it sounded like an exaggeration, this was an aspect of the Illusionary Flash that could only be described as terrifying.
“Jian Chen, you shouldn’t underestimate the Illusionary Flash battle skill. My uncle Tian said that although it may be an assisting Heaven Tier Battle Skill, its effects could be used against even a Saint Ruler. It was also one of the things he and my ancestor had found in the Death Nest a long time ago. This Illusionary Flash was an especially rare ancient record that belonged to an ancient clan. Its only weak point is that it is extremely hard to learn. Even I am stuck at a rough spot, but my speed has already increased two to three times over.” Ming Dong explained to him.
Upon his explanation, Jian Chen immediately thought back to when he had came across Ming Dong. At that time, Ming Dong’s speed was inconceivable and he flew across several kilometers at a terrifying speed.
“Jian Chen, this Illusionary Flash book is only just a copy. Once you memorize it, make sure you burn it so that it doesn’t fall into anyone else’s hands.” Ming Dong.
Jian Chen clutched the Heaven Tier Battle Skill and nodded his head seriously, “I understand.”
“Jian Chen, continue to research, I won’t bother you any more. However, I suggest that you learn the Illusionary Flash as soon as possible. Against a Heaven Saint Master, you’ll gain the power to flee if need be.” With that, Ming Dong left the room.
Jian Chen immediately halted his research on the Heaven’s Stolen Fortune battle skill and began to read the Illusionary Flash. Since it was only a supplementary battle skill, its contents weren’t too descriptive and it only had thirteen pages. Jian Chen quickly memorized all thirteen pages with his cognitive memory skills, and after that he burned the pages so that not a single word remained.
Jian Chen continued to sit on his bed while deep in thought. Right now, he had come across the profound material that was the Illusionary Flash. It was extremely challenging to practice despite it being a supplementary battle skill and was harder than even the Heaven’s Stolen Fortune. Its innermost contents were both mysterious and profound; some of the contents even dabbled with matters regarding space itself, causing Jian Chen to be confused beyond belief.
For the next three days, Jian Chen remained in his room as he tried to comprehend the Illusionary Flash. Sometimes he would be sitting on his bed, other times he would be pacing in his room in an effort to understand it.
Quickly, the finals to the Gathering of the Mercenaries approached. After three straight days of trying to reach an enlightenment, Jian Chen finally had a small grasp of the skill. This didn’t mean to say that he had reached a mastery of the very basics, but it was still a minor achievement for Jian Chen. At the very least, he had a small unripened version of the Illusionary Flash which allowed him to move at a faster speed at the cost of a small amount of Saint Force.
By the following morning, Jian Chen finally paused his efforts to understand the Illusionary Flash and left his room. Soon after, he, Qin Xiao, and several others left the inn together. In the next few days, the finals would be taking place. 500 mercenaries would be fighting one on one until a King of Mercenaries is announced.
The fighting grounds for the finals would take place on a giant plaza in the middle of Mercenary City. The arena was already set up as several highly raised platforms with a transparent barrier covering each arena. In every direction a multitude of people had already gathered to spectate today’s events.
Qin Xiao slapped Jian Chen and Ming Dong’s shoulders with a firm hand as he encouraged them, “Jian Chen, Ming Dong, fight on!” Although he only spoke these six words, they were all that the two others needed to hear.
With a smile, Jian Chen replied, “Don’t worry, I will fight to my final breath. While I can’t guarantee being number one, I am sure I can reach into the top ten without a problem.”
Afterward, Jian Chen, Ming Dong and Senior An split up from Qin Xiao and the rest of the group before identifying themselves as competitors. They crossed a Space Gate into a barrier protected region which was an isolated area that protected the competitors from the spectators while still allowing them to see the outside world.
Even the arenas themselves were protected with a frail looking but incredibly strong barrier that sealed up the insides completely. Only a person that had entered through a Space Gate would be able to gain access. That way, no one from the audience would be able to interfere, and the fights on the inside would not be able to affect the outside world.
The matches in the finals would be settled by ballot. The first ticket holder would fight against the 499th ticket holder, while the second ticket holder would fight against the 498th ticket holder, so on and so forth with the tenth ticket holder fighting against the 490th ticket holder. With such a method in place, if there was someone without a match they would wait until the current round was over before participating in the ballot again for the next round.
Jian Chen picked the 88th number, meaning he would fight against number 412 and would be the 88th match.
With ten arenas conducting the matches simultaneously, the pace went by quickly. In no time at all, it was Jian Chen’s turn to walk to the eighth arena.
Walking through the Space Gate to cross into the eighth arena, Jian Chen arrived within the arena encased by the barrier. This barrier was not only incredibly durable, but it had another unique characteristic which was the inhabitants inside would not be able to hear the outside world. At the very most, they would be able to see the open mouths of the audience as they screamed, but no sound could be heard. Even the materials made to build the arena were unknown, as each step felt as if it was made from an incredibly strong iron.
Just as Jian Chen entered the arena, his opponent crossed into it as well through the other side. A burly looking man with the waist of a bear and the back of a tiger appeared. Compared to Jian Chen’s slim build, the two were completely different. The man had a short inch of hair with fierce looking eyes that made his expression seem intrepid. He had a two-handed sword that glowed red, signifying that he was a fire attribute Earth Saint Master.
The two said no words and silently prepared to fight.
“Begin!” An elderly voice penetrated the barrier and resounded in the eardrums of both fighters. The middle aged man immediately sprung into action and flew toward Jian Chen. The two-handed sword in his hand blazed forward as it tried to stab Jian Chen’s heart.
Jian Chen stared calmly at the approaching man as his mind couldn’t help but plot a course for the Illusionary Flash.
In that moment, the sword was already less than a meter away from Jian Chen’s heart, but Jian Chen had not made a single movement yet. The middle aged man saw that Jian Chen hadn’t made an effort to dodge and couldn’t help but feel astonished. In a split second, the tip of the sword aimed at Jian Chen’s heart immediately tilted to stab into his chest.
Suddenly, right as the sword was about to pierce into Jian Chen’s chest, Jian Chen’s eyes flashed once as his sword appeared in his right hand and stabbed outward in an instant. At the same time as his strike, Jian Chen’s figure disappeared as a dissipating mirror image could be seen in his place. By the time he had reappeared, he was standing behind the man with his sword on his shoulder.
“You’ve lost!” Jian Chen didn’t look back as he spoke those words.
The man looked a little dazed for a moment before quickly recovering himself. He immediately brought a finger up to where his throat was only to find a small amount of blood on it.
When he saw the blood on his finger, his face instantly grew shocked before sucking in a deep breath, “What a fast sword, and what a fast speed!”
In that split second, Jian Chen’s Light Wind Sword had already stabbed past the first few layers of skin on the man’s throat without injuring him. The amount of strength he had put behind the blow was just perfect; if Jian Chen had been a little deeper with his strike, then the man would have been dead on the ground.
“Jian Chen is the winner of Arena Eight!” Came the judgement a second later as the two Space Gates opened up on either sides,
“Younger brother, thank you for your leniency.” After a few words of thanks, the middle aged man walked off of the the eighth arena with a look of dejection.
Afterward, Ming Dong and Senior An had advanced. With Minh Dong’s Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master strength, he had easily defeated his opponent in an unsurprising way. Senior An’s battle had been more intense, but in the end, he had achieved victory with some injuries.
Many Radiant Saint Masters could be seen in Mercenary City treating the various injuries of men for free and in no time at all.
After half the day had gone by, the first round had finally been over. In the end, 249 people had moved on, meaning a single person had to fight a randomly selected member from the other 249 men.
By the second day, 124 people had passed with yet another single person left out, leaving him to fight it out for a spot with another one of the 124 men.