A section of the green oasis had been shaved off, leaving nothing but vacant land – courtesy of the qi tornado’s explosion.
“Empyrean your mom Wuliang. If you don’t fight back, this old one will capture you, shaming your shifu.”
“Amitabha, why do you say that, Elder Shou? Both of our sects are orthodox sects; why is superiority so important?”
“Glad you say that. This old one insists on determining whether your four divine monks or Wudang’s three elders are superior.”
In a tit-for-tat fight, where both sides advanced and retreated orderly, it’s tough to decide who has the upper hand.
“Nice swordplay. Young Master Kuang, each of those three techniques were executed in control and found their marks precisely like ocean waves trapping and then devouring.” Dugu turned and poked with his hand to get out of range. “How about we call it a match once we convincingly catch the other instead of turning it into a fight to the death?”
Kuang Lu placed a hand behind his back and smiled: “You speak in jest, Brother Dugu. You have not removed your hands from your back once this entire time. This one has utterly failed to force your hand, let alone accept your praise.” While he sounded affable, his sword was rattling as it tried to expel the anger running through it.
“Please cease this and listen!” shouted Luo Siming, using his internal energy to stop the four who refused to halt despite his arrival unlike the others. Luo Siming saluted those resting and those fighting: “We have achieved the goal of this round. The eight teams present are the victors of the preliminary round.”
“There is no need to mention teams when every team is in tatters,” exclaimed Elder Jia of Beggars Sect, referring to the fact that the teams were incomplete due to the qi tornado’s rampage. “You must be referring to us eight individuals. Among the dozens of elites still standing here, which eight individuals are the finalists?”
“This one speaks of Interim Patriarch Yu, Brother Moyan Xiuluo, Venerable Mianhua, Elder Shou, Brother Dugu, Brother Kuang, Hero Xiao and Brother Su.”
Elder Jia signalled for a pause with his hand: “What is the meaning of this, Young Master Luo? This third day of competition has yet to draw to a close. We are still armed. According to the rules, no victors have been determined.”
“This decision is made for your sakes. Victors have been decided.”
“What criteria were employed to select the winners?” Elder Jia pierced through Su Xiao with his gaze. “She was merely lucky enough to not get caught in the tornado. This old one refuses to accept her admission.”
“Forsooth, it is not fair. Howbeit, this round’s criteria are not strict. After the slash, most of you are hurt to some degree, but that is not due to insufficient skill. Rather, it was a consequence of your positioning, and your positioning was a matter of luck. This one chose the eight based on who the eight in best condition are among those present. This one would like to ask, who here can still put up a fight? Who is confident they can win? This one’s decision was made in consideration of your safety. This one does not wish for you to spill blood.”
Although Moyan Xiuluo was relaxing and recovering, he would be able to perform as well as he did before. The same, however, couldn’t be said for the others.
Luo Siming spoke with his hands in salute again: “Please depart the island via the boats to rest and recuperate. The finals will commence the day after. As per this one’s father’s instructions, the finals are typical ring duels held between your respective sects. While you can either choose one of your competitors today or someone else, you must stick to wielding the same weapon that you wielded in the preliminary round. It is still early, so you have plenty of time to strategize. Your boats have also been arranged. Please head to your boats now.”
Nobody boarded. Instead, Luo Clan’s people disembarked to treat the wounded and help them up. The only people not incapacitated were the top adepts or the lucky. Regardless, the star of the preliminary round was Long Zaitian, who never got tagged once even though he was at the epicentre of the tornado and dozens of adepts. Notwithstanding him passing out once he was safe – overexerting his internal energy – his performance left no room for doubt.
“What are you looking at? Move.” Su Xiao, the only member left of Liu Shan Men’s team, had his brows together.
“Please step aside. We must be on our way.”
Su Xiao couldn’t intimidate them, but nobody was going to confront Yu Feiyuan, not after beholding her display.