It wasn't just the audience. Even Du Lingfei was feeling a bit jealous of how lucky Bai Xiaochun had gotten. It was the same with Chen Zi'ang. The other four people who had reached the top 5 had all spend a lot of energy already. If they had managed to get the blank marble, it would have given them a bit of breathing room to rest, which would have been an immense advantage during the rest of the fighting.
Elder Sun looked at Bai Xiaochun and smiled, whereas Li Qinghou's expression remained the same as before.
Bai Xiaochun looked on excitedly as the next round of fighting began. Du Lingfei's opponent was a fierce disciple who frequently left the sect on missions to slay wild beasts, and was the type of person who was used to seeing a lot of bloodshed. On the other hand, Du Lingfei's skill with Lightness-in-Heaviness was quite fear-inspiring. Not only did it provide her with powerful defensive capabilities, but she was also able to move with incredible speed.
The audience was completely focused on the match, and occasional 'oohs' and 'ahs' could be heard. Both fighters were clearly in danger of being injured, and yet... there happened to be a certain voice calling out, taking the lead in the cheering.
"Whoah! Nice sword move!
"Look at that reverse Dragon Tail attack! Oh no! Look behind you! Quick, look behind you!
"Rah rah rah!" Bai Xiaochun was really getting sucked into watching the fight, to the point where he even started applauding at key points. It wasn't an act either; he really was impressed by Du Lingfei's performance, and by now, had forgotten that he was actually one of the competitors.
When Elder Sun saw what was happening, he coughed dryly. Li Qinghou's face was completely expressionless, but inwardly all he could do was shrug his shoulders. After all, Bai Xiaochun had already accomplished the assigned task.
Facing such a powerful opponent, Du Lingfei had no time for distractions. She focused completely for the time it takes an incense stick to burn, and after using Lightness-in-Heaviness three times, she finally secured victory.
However, she ended up exhausting over half of her spiritual energy. Sweating, she was just about to walk out of the arena to rest up a bit, when she heard Bai Xiaochun cheering her on. Then she thought about how incredibly difficult it had been for her to get into the top 3, whereas Bai Xiaochun had done it without any effort at all. Irritation rose up in her heart, and she wished she could simply blast him with a powerful attack right then and there.
When Bai Xiaochun noticed that Du Lingfei was glaring at him angrily, he blinked a few times, feeling a bit offended. Then he glared back at her, which seemed to push Du Lingfei to the point where she almost couldn't restrain herself from attacking.
Chen Zi'ang's next fight went a bit smoother. However, he still fought for about the time it takes half an incense stick to burn, and wasted quite a bit of spiritual energy.
He was also feeling quite envious of Bai Xiaochun.
"We now have a top 3. All three of you are Outer Sect... celebrities." Elder Sun cleared his throat. "Please come to determine the fighting order. This time, the number three marble counts as the blank marble. Whoever picks it will advance directly to the final match." Elder Sun waved his hand, causing the bag to appear once again.
Chen Zi'ang was the first in line this time, and when he pulled out the marble and saw the number 'two' written on it, he sighed and stepped off to the side.
Du Lingfei took a deep breath as she stepped forward. But then she stopped in place and turned icily to Bai Xiaochun.
"You go first!" she said coldly.
Bai Xiaochun, who had been watching the exciting fights this entire time, didn't refuse. He reached into the bag as Du Lingfei looked on with an icy expression. It wasn't just her that was waiting to see what would happen, all eyes in the audience were fixed upon Bai Xiaochun.
Even Elder Sun and Li Qinghou were craning their necks.
Being the focus of attention in this way caused Bai Xiaochun to feel a bit embarrassed. Actually, he didn't even really care which marble he pulled out, and yet when he finally did remove his hand, his eyes went wide with shock.
Bai Xiaochun looked back at Du Lingfei, coughed dryly, and said, "Um, hey, you asked me to go first."
Eyes gleaming ferociously, Du Lingfei clenched her hands into fist and stared murderously at Bai Xiaochun. Her chest rose as she took a deep breath; she seemed to be on the verge of exploding.
Chen Zi'ang's eyes went wide, and his jaw dropped. The idea of someone being so incredibly lucky simply exceeded his imagination. Yet again... Bai Xiaochun would skip an entire match.
When the surrounding disciples saw the marble in Bai Xiaochun's hands, they couldn't restrain themselves. Instantly, a huge commotion broke out.
"He advances automatically again! His name is Bai Xiaochun, right? How... how could he be so lucky!? He got the blank marble twice in a row!"
"How shameless of this guy! He hasn't done anything, and yet has made it all the way to the final match...."
"How could a guy like that make it to the finals? Dammit, if I was as lucky as that, I could do the same thing!" Everyone was in an uproar, and the people who had been eliminated from the competition earlier seemed especially envious.
Elder Sun hesitated for a moment and then looked over at Li Qinghou. Li Qinghou let out a long sigh; he had to admit that Bai Xiaochun really had gotten lucky.
In Bai Xiaochun's mind, there was no reason for the crowd to react in such a way. Smiling awkwardly, he hurried out of the arena, standing outside with an embarrassed look on his face.
"Ai. I was planning to concede anyway...." he thought, looking incredulously at the marble in his hand.
Du Lingfei took a deep breath to suppress her extreme irritation. Gritting her teeth, she looked at Chen Zi'ang, simultaneously settling her Qi and clearing her mind. She had done her homework on Chen Zi'ang, and knew that he was a very powerful opponent.
Chen Zi'ang smiled bitterly, taking a deep breath as he gazed back at Du Lingfei.
After staring off for a few breaths of time, they sprang into action. Almost instantly, booms and bangs began to ring out. This was actually the most spectacular fight in the entire competition so far. Chen Zi'ang erupted with his full power, going to the lengths of throwing out some seeds, which he then catalyzed into full-grown plants with attack powers. When Bai Xiaochun saw him use his skill in plants and vegetation in such a way, his eyes glittered.
As for Du Lingfei, she used Lightness-in-Heaviness to send her flying sword whistling through the air. After they had fought for a bit, she then produced a wooden sword, which swirled about in conjunction with the ordinary flying sword, turning the battlefield into an even more spectacular scene than before.
The two of them couldn't keep using their trump cards for very long, and were rapidly running out of spiritual energy. The fighting only continued to grow more bitter.
Bai Xiaochun was watching excitedly, whooping and hollering the entire time.
The battle went on for about an hour, until a massive boom rang out as Du Lingfei pushed the wooden sword so hard that it exploded. The resulting fragments were then propelled by Lightness-in-Heaviness in a huge attack that Chen Zi'ang simply couldn't dodge. He was forced into retreat and ended up drawing on all of his spiritual energy. Finally, he sighed and conceded.
The surrounding Outer Sect disciples were quite impressed by the intense battle, and their eyes gleamed with admiration as they gazed at Du Lingfei. They were now fully convinced of how amazing she was. As for Chen Zi'ang, his reputation also improved because of the fight.
Even though he had lost, he was sure to become even more famous in the days to come.
Elder Sun seemed quite pleased, and was even considering taking Du Lingfei on as a personal apprentice.
At the same time, no matter how the competition ended, Bai Xiaochun's name was also sure to spread....
The moment Chen Zi'ang called out that he conceded, Du Lingfei slumped in place in the middle of the arena, her face pale. She was swaying back and forth in exhaustion, her spiritual energy almost completely depleted. Taking a deep breath, she produced some medicinal pills which she instantly consumed. However, she knew that the pills would only replenish so much, and she could only recover completely by sitting cross-legged in meditation for several hours. After all, she had just fought four battles in a row.
However, according to the rules of this type of competition, the disciples were not given very much time for rest. After all, it was only a small-scale competition.
"Bai Xiaochun, get out here!" Du Lingfei said through gritted teeth. Her eyes gleamed with a ferocious light as she looked at Bai Xiaochun standing outside of the arena. She wanted to take advantage of the little bit of spiritual energy she had to defeat this damnable Bai Xiaochun, who had gotten into the final match only by pure luck.
As soon as the words left Du Lingfei's mouth, everyone in the audience turned to look at Bai Xiaochun, eager to gloat in his misfortune. In their minds, even if Du Lingfei was bone tired, Bai Xiaochun had only achieved victory by random chance, and she would be able to defeat him easily no matter the circumstances.
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times, then looked at Du Lingfei standing there unsteadily, and suddenly realized that he... could actually take 1st place.
"This is the time for Bai Xiaochun to finally become super famous. Once I go out there and use my Lightness-in-Heaviness, then everyone is going to be completely shocked." Puffing his chest out proudly, he strode into the arena, envisioning the scene of everyone reacting in shock to his win.
However, the instant his foot touched down, Du Lingfei's eyes flickered coldly, and she suddenly performed an incantation gesture and pointed out. Instantly, her flying sword shot toward Bai Xiaochun.
A brutal air emanated off of the flying sword, sending intense coldness out in all directions. Clearly this one attack was backed by all of the spiritual energy Du Lingfei could muster, causing the sword to emanate incredible pressure.
Even more shocking was that Du Lingfei flew into the air behind the sword, almost as if she were about to merge with it and become one.
A boom rang out as the sword accelerated toward Bai Xiaochun with shocking speed, a speed that vastly exceeded the speed she had used when fighting Chen Zi'ang. A piercing whistling sound echoed out as it became a prismatic beam that bore down on Bai Xiaochun.
Everyone watching was completely shocked by the sword move, and began to cry out in shock.
"Solitary Sword, Flying Immortal!!"
"I can't believe Elder Sister Du is actually using that sword incantation!!"
Elder Sun's eyes gleamed brightly, and Li Qinghou nodded. Both of them could tell that Du Lingfei had actually never successfully pulled off this sword incantation. However, at this point in the battle, when her spiritual energy was virtually depleted, she managed to succeed. Using her last bit of energy, she just barely managed to unleash the sword incantation.
"By putting everything on the line, she gained enlightenment of the sword incantation," Li Qinghou said, eyes gleaming with admiration. "This Du Lingfei isn't bad. She actually seems more suited to the cultivation of Green Crest Peak."
All of the Outer Sect disciples were completely shaken. Everything seemed to turn into a blur, except for Du Lingfei and her flying sword, which merged together into a picture of perfect clarity.
The sword whistled through the air, followed by the sword wielder, becoming a powerful attack. Du Lingfei looked exhausted, but her eyes gleamed with a sharp light. She was extremely confident that this sword move would secure her the victory.
In almost the exact same instant that the flying sword and Du Lingfei closed in on Bai Xiaochun, Bai Xiaochun's pupils constricted. Rumbling sounds then echoed out as all of his numerous defensive assets erupted out layer by layer, including the jade pendant and all the amulets. At the same time, he flew backward at top speed.
The flying sword was clearly not an ordinary object, and it quickly began to pierce through the shields. It stabbed through layer after layer, collapsing all the defensive shields until it actually reached Bai Xiaochun himself.
However, by that point, it didn't seem to have much energy left. Before it could actually stab into him, it got stuck. Even as he flew backward, the sword keeping pace, it was possible to see the layers of leather clothing he was wearing.
When the audience realized this, their jaws dropped, and they gasped.
"B-Bai Xiaochun... has so many defenses!!"
"How terrified of dying is this guy? Is it really worth it? He actually used magical items and talismans for a little competition like this? And on top of all that he wore leather armor!?!?"
Du Lingfei's face was pale white as she watched Bai Xiaochun running away like a rabbit whose tail had just been stepped on. Not only was he moving with incredible speed, her sword was still stuck in his clothing. Gritting her teeth, she performed an incantation gesture and pointed out in an attempt to drag the flying sword back to her. However, she had so little spiritual energy that all she could do was make it tremble a bit.
She tried one last time, but even as she tried to circulate her spiritual energy, blood began to ooze out of the corners of her mouth, and she staggered backward several paces, where she stood unsteadily for a moment before dropping down to sit on the ground. Her face was deathly pale, and her spiritual energy was completely drained.
In her heart, she felt that it was a big injustice. She had struggled so hard to get into the top 2, whereas Bai Xiaochun had done almost nothing. In fact, he hadn't even used any of his spiritual energy. Her irritation quickly turned into rage; gritted her teeth, she stared murderously at Bai Xiaochun, wishing she could kill him several times over. In fact, if she had the energy, she would go over and bite him.
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath as he sped backward in retreat; he had never imagined that Du Lingfei would actually use a move like the one she had.
Unexpectedly, all of his defenses had been pierced.
"Fudge, it's a good thing I was thinking straight and put on eight leather jackets." He looked down at the flying sword sticking into his shoulder. It was now completely devoid of any energy, and was stuck fast within all the layers of leather. By the time it actually reached his skin, it had nothing left to push it any further.
Furthermore, thanks to his Undying Skin, when it actually touched him, it didn't even match up to a mosquito bite.
Fear lingering in his heart, Bai Xiaochun eyed the sword and then carefully pulled it out. Then he glanced over at Du Lingfei, who was sitting there gasping for breath.
"Elder Sister, you really shouldn't throw your treasures around like this. Do you want this sword or not? If you don't want it, then I'll take it." Looking extremely pleased, he put the flying sword into his bag of holding, then took out his own little wooden sword. Just as he was about to launch an attack, people in the crowd began to cry out in alarm.
Seeing Bai Xiaochun take her flying sword caused Du Lingfei's eyes to be shot with blood.
"You...." she said. Just as she was about to flip out completely, she passed out.
She was the second person in the competition to faint because of Bai Xiaochun.
"Eee? What did you go and faint for?" Bai Xiaochun looked at the unconscious Du Lingfei, and then back at his little wooden sword. Finally, he shrugged.