After a protracted moment of silence, both the south and north bank audiences broke out into hushed discussions.
“S-so… so strong!”
“Ghostfang could probably crush Inner Sect disciples with ease! He must be the strongest disciple under Foundation Establishment!”
“That’s the ultimate battle prowess of the Qi Condensation stage! He’s definitely reached the realm of will. Only by possessing a mysterious and unfathomable will can someone produce such terrifying power!”
It was almost as if no one dared to speak in a loud voice. The north bank Chosen looked on with mixed emotions. After all, no one would be happy to have someone so powerful appear among their generation. On the south bank side, Shangguan Tianyou stood there silently, his heart anything but calm. Watching Ghostfang defeat the other Chosen was just like watching a Chosen defeat ordinary disciples.
It was more than clear that Ghostfang existed on a totally different plane than even the other Chosen.
Bai Xiaochun was left trembling. He had only seen Ghostfang make two attacks, and yet each one had been completely astonishing.
By this point, the top six had been selected. The north bank had four, and the south bank had two. They were Shangguan Tianyou, Bai Xiaochun, Ghostfang, the Gongsun siblings, and Xu Song.
Those disciples who were familiar with the Chosen battles knew that the next round, round three, would be the final round. The matches to follow, and the resulting victories and defeats, would determine the final ranking of the top six disciples!
Anyone who could secure five victories would naturally take first place!
During the past thousand years, the north bank had always swept the south bank and taken the top spots. Furthermore, the south bank disciples all knew that Ghostfang… was exactly the type of person who could defeat everyone else. He was simply too powerful.
The south bank audience sat there quietly. If Ghostfang weren’t in the picture, they might hold hope that Shangguan Tianyou could take first place.
“Second place isn’t bad though….” That was what many of the south bank disciples were thinking as they sat there sighing. Some of them looked over at Bai Xiaochun. Many had a hard time determining exactly what they thought of him, but regardless of the specifics, he hadn’t given any of them the impression that he was a fighter. In fact, he hadn’t fought anyone since joining the sect.
The only thing they did know for certain was that he had come back alive after the Luochen Clan tried to chase him down and kill him….
Many of the south bank disciples had already resigned themselves to the fact that the south bank had lost, both in terms of the number of disciples who made it into the top ten, and also the first place spot.
In contrast, the north bank disciples were getting excited. Their eyes shone with anticipation and ferocity as they glared at Bai Xiaochun.
“The rules for the top six probably haven’t changed. This time, Bai Xiaochun is definitely going to be hurting!”
“That’s right. According to the rules, everyone will fight once with all the other disciples. That means… that four blazing suns from the north bank will all have a chance to pummel him. Finally, the humiliation our north bank has endured will be avenged!”
It wasn’t just the ordinary north bank disciples who were musing in such a way. Xu Song and the Gongsun siblings were all chuckling coldly as they stared at Bai Xiaochun, determined to come out victorious.
Bai Xiaochun shrunk back a bit. Looking over at the furious north bank disciples, he shook his head a bit helplessly. “Immortal cultivation is supposed to be about living forever. What’s the point of all the fighting and killing…?”
It was at this point that Ouyang Jie’s voice finally rang out. “The third round of the Chosen battles will follow the same rules as before. Victory will be given to whoever takes the most wins. The first set of matches will be Shangguan Tianyou versus Xu Song, Ghostfang versus Gongsun Yun, and Bai Xiaochun versus Gongsun Wan’er. These fights will be carried out simultaneously!”
With that, a beam of light descended from the balcony onto the arena floor, dividing it into three areas. Sealing barriers immediately sprang up to separate them.
Shangguan Tianyou’s eyes flickered brightly as he dashed out into the first battle zone. At the same time, Xu Song also flew out. The two of them locked eyes, both of their expressions grave.
They wasted no time on words. Xu Song waved his hand, and three fierce beasts materialized around him. Each one was unique, but they were all incredibly ferocious in appearance. Even as they began to charge Shangguan Tianyou, a huge crocodilian mouth appeared above him, which closed in to consume him.
In addition to all that, the ground beneath his feet cracked as numerous tentacles burst out.
Meanwhile, Ghostfang strode forward into the second battle zone. Off to the side, Gongsun Yun stood there quietly. Although the bugs which writhed in his eyes were powerful, he knew that he was no match for Ghostfang. Despite that, he wasn’t willing to simply concede.
“Even if you were more powerful than you already are, I’d still want to fight you!” Taking a deep breath, he joined Ghostfang in the second battle zone.
Gongsun Wan’er snorted coldly as she stepped forward, glaring at Bai Xiaochun.
Of all the disciples present, Bai Xiaochun feared her the least, so he tromped forward to the third battle zone, meeting her gaze with his own glare.
As Bai Xiaochun walked out, the north bank disciples heckled him furiously. Completely ignoring the other two battle zones, their attention and fury was directed solely upon Bai Xiaochun.
“Elder Sister Gongsun, eradicate that damned Bai Xiaochun!”
Gongsun Wan’er’s eyes flickered with cold light. Instead of summoning her seven-colored phoenix, she performed an incantation gesture and then tapped down on her forehead. Seven-colored light immediately sprang out from within her, accompanied by a frigid blast of cold air which covered the ground in frost.
“Why don’t you concede?” Bai Xiaochun said, blinking. “When I attack, I frighten even myself.”
Almost immediately, an image popped up in Gongsun Wan’er’s mind of Beihan Lie’s tragic fate, and her face flushed. At the same time, a murderous aura rose up within her.
“Shut up, you perv. I’m gonna make you pay a heavy price for what you’ve done!” With the wave of a hand, she summoned an ice blade which then shot toward Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun shrugged helplessly. He had merely been telling the truth, and wasn’t sure why he’d been called a perv. Sighing, he slapped his bag of holding, causing countless talismans to appear, which he began to slap down all over his body.
Rumbling sounds could then be heard as numerous shields sprang up. Soon, they were nearly three meters thick, glittering with multicolored light. It was a shocking sight, and yet, Bai Xiaochun wasn’t finished yet. Next, he produced the Divine Crane Shield, which glittered brightly as it produced yet another shield layer.
Then there was the bracelet Li Qinghou had given him. As soon as he activated it, it spread out to cover his entire body, turning him pitch black.
Considering he was also wearing a big black wok on his back, Bai Xiaochun looked… completely eye-catching.
Furthermore, the speed and ease with which he activated all of his defenses made it obvious that he was very familiar with doing so….
The north bank disciples’ eyes widened, and they watched blankly as the ice blades slammed into Bai Xiaochun’s shields, breaking some of them, but eventually shattering.
Bai Xiaochun remained inside, completely unharmed.
If that were all there were to it, it might not be a big deal, but what was most infuriating was that Bai Xiaochun merely stood there, hands clasped behind his back, chin sticking out, looking up at the clouds like a hero.
“Too weak,” he said, flicking his sleeve and then placing his hands behind his back again. “But then again, I’ve never met anyone who could break through all of my shields.”
Gongsun Wan’er’s eyes seemed to be on the verge of popping out of her skull. She had fought many people in her life, but had never met anyone so adept in using defensive shields. Bai Xiaochun was the first.
She could see that he had dozens of ordinary shields protecting him, plus the Divine Crane Shield, the black substance covering his skin, the huge wok on his back, and numerous leather jackets. She was left feeling annoyed, uneasy, and even a bit taken aback.
The north bank audience wasn’t happy either.
“Completely shameless!! I can’t believe he has so many defensive talismans and magical items. Dammit! These are the Chosen battles, not the resource battles!”
“Elder Sister Gongsun has to wipe him out. I’m about to explode! Just looking at him makes me want to walk over and beat the crap out of him!”
The north bank audience was incensed, and the south bank audience simply looked on in a daze. Of course, there were some disciples from Fragrant Cloud Peak who sighed inwardly. That was especially true of one burly man. When he saw what was happening, tears welled up in his eyes. He knew exactly how the north bank disciples felt. Back in the minor competition years before, Bai Xiaochun had tormented him in exactly this same way.
Up on the balcony, the sect leader and the others almost couldn’t believe their eyes, and quickly began to exchange wry grins.
Gongsun Wan’er gritted her teeth and performed a double-handed incantation gesture. Immediately, a vast quantity of ice blades appeared, transforming into a vortex that shot toward Bai Xiaochun. Booms echoed out over and over again as the razor-sharp blades sliced into Bai Xiaochun’s shields. Although many of the shields were destroyed, the flickering Divine Crane Shield eventually made short work of the ice blades.
“Still too weak,” Bai Xiaochun said loftily. Inwardly, happiness blossomed in his heart like a flower as he realized what it felt like to be a powerful expert.
The north bank disciples were in a frenzy. If it weren’t for the fact that they didn’t dare to break sect rules, they would surely have charged over en masse to slaughter Bai Xiaochun.
Gongsun Wan’er’s eyes were bloodshot. Gritting her teeth, she continued to unleash attacks, using even more ice blades than before. The sheer number involved was shocking, to the point where even Bai Xiaochun’s heart began to tremble in fear. After some time passed, his shields finally gave out completely, whereupon he drew upon the full power of the Divine Crane Shield. In the blink of an eye, his defenses were shored up, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He stuck his chin out, and just when he was about say something, the bedraggled Gongsun Wan’er let out a piercing scream. Rumbling sounds echoed out, and blood oozed out of the corners of her mouth. Astonishingly, a blood-colored ice flower appeared on her forehead, which caused the energy of heaven and earth to flow toward her in shocking fashion.
As this happened, the north bank disciples began to cheer at the top of their lungs.
“It’s Elder Sister Gongsun’s Bloodfrost Orchid!”
“The Bloodfrost Orchid is Elder Sister Gongsun’s trump card. Not even someone in the ninth level of Qi Condensation could block it. Bai Xiaochun’s defenses are definitely going to be broken through this time!”
As the freezing flower flew out, radiating a terrifying aura, it caused the surrounding temperature to drop rapidly. It shot toward Bai Xiaochun at top speed, cutting through his defenses like a hot knife through butter. His shields shattered, and just when he was about to use the Divine Crane Shield, the Bloodfrost Orchid split into two parts. One part was successfully blocked, but the other twisted past to slam violently into Bai Xiaochun’s chest.
A banging sound could be heard, and Bai Xiaochun looked down in surprise. To him, it felt like getting hit with a fluffy snowball. Shivering slightly, he looked up at Gongsun Wan’er, whose hair was by now completely disheveled.
“Take your time,” he said. “I’m going to watch some of the other matches.” With that, he turned in the direction of the first and second battle zones, which he began to casually watch, even occasionally cheering for one side or the other. No matter your perspective, he looked like he was asking for a beating.