Library of Heaven is Path
1455 First Round, Victory
The impact from falling onto the dueling ring jolted a cloud of dust into the air.
Zhang Jiuxiao wiped away the sweat on his forehead.
It was fortunate that his teacher had pushed him forward for a significant part of the journey, or else they really would have failed to make it in time.
He looked below the dueling ring and saw that the middle-aged man whom his teacher was disguised as was currently standing by an inconspicuous corner, smiling at him. Then, he turned his eyes to Zhang Linqing and said, "I should have made it in time, right?"
"So what if you have made it in time?" Zhang Linqing shook his head with a sneer as he raised up a single finger.
Zhang Jiuxiao tilted his head in confusion, unsure about what that finger gesture meant.
"Against you, a single move is all I need!" Zhang Linqing declared proudly. "Even if your cultivation has reached Grand Dominion realm primary stage, it's still nothing at all to me. Let me show you the difference between the core members of the Zhang Clan and those of the side family like you!"
After saying those words, Zhang Linqing took a step forward, and six shadows immediately appeared all around him in the blink of an eye. With a seemingly light downward thrust of his palm, a ferocious might burst forth.
It might have appeared as if his attacks lacked skill and preciseness, but the palm strike had, in actuality, sealed the surrounding space, making it impossible for others to escape from it.
"Formidable!" Zhang Jiuxiao nodded.
As expected of a member of the main family. He was not to be underestimated!
Any other Grand Dominion realm primary stage cultivator might have panicked in this situation, but Zhang Jiuxiao had already deepened his understanding of cultivation up to Saint 7-dan pinnacle in the Blood Reservoir. On top of that, having been taught by Zhang Xuan, his understanding of battle techniques did not even pale in comparison to top Zhang Clan geniuses like Zhang Chun, so naturally, he would not fall for such a simple move.
Thus, he lightly took a step backward and drifted out of range of the palm strike. At the same time, he still continued holding the pinnacle spirit stone tightly in his left hand, furiously absorbing spiritual energy from it.
While the speed of his retreat could not be said to be fast, it still caused Zhang Linqing's attacks and possible follow-ups to fall empty.
In other words, his first move had ended in a complete failure, failing to harm Zhang Jiuxiao in the least or achieve any strategic purpose.
Zhang Linqing harrumphed. "I'll admit, you do have some means, but this is as far as you'll go!"
He had not expected this nobody of the side family to actually be able to find the opening in his attack and evade his offense. With a livid expression, he turned his palm into a claw and struck forward.
Zhang Jiuxiao immediately felt as if his body had been bound by a rope, and a powerful force pulled his body toward Zhang Linqing.
Given the huge disparity in power between the both of them at the moment, he knew that it would be disadvantageous for him to get into close-quarters combat with Zhang Linqing. Thus, taking a deep breath, he drew the spiritual energy from the pinnacle spirit stone in his hand with greater intensity before and roared, "Come on, make a breakthrough!"
Zhang Jiuxiao's aura burst into the clouds, and following which, his strength began to surge forth. In the blink of an eye, he had already torn down the bottleneck before him to rush straight toward Grand Dominion realm intermediate stage.
This breakthrough had caused his aura and fighting prowess to rise by nearly twofold, allowing him to hold his own against the powerful might that Zhang Linqing was using to pull him in.
"You are still able to make a breakthrough?" Zhang Linqing widened his eyes in astonishment.
He knew that Zhang Jiuxiao had only achieved a breakthrough to Grand Dominion realm primary stage in recent days, so he should still have been busy reinforcing his cultivation during this period of time. Yet, he had actually managed to find enough momentum within him to make a breakthrough in the midst of their duel!
However, so what if he had reached Grand Dominion realm intermediate stage?
He was still a far way off from reaching the pinnacle!
"Don't you think it's a little too late for you to be sharpening your edge?" Zhang Linqing sneered coldly as he drove the zhenqi in his body with greater ferocity, causing the prowess of his tug to intensify.
Ji ji ji!
Deep gorges emerged on the surface. Zhang Jiuxiao found himself succumbing to the strength once more, and his body began to be gradually dragged in Zhang Linqing's direction.
Zhang Linqing had been at Grand Dominion realm pinnacle for quite a number of years now, and he had already familiarized himself fully with his cultivation technique and abilities. As such, his movements were extremely fluid, completely devoid of the stiffness that those who had just reached the realm would have.
"Too late? You should learn to hold your tongue until the very end!" With a sneer, Zhang Jiuxiao threw the pinnacle spirit stone back into his storage ring before abruptly stomping his feet forcefully.
Two massive pits appeared on the ground, and Zhang Jiuxiao's forward moving body immediately stabilized on the spot.
His strength might still have been a little lacking against the other party at Grand Dominion realm primary stage, but intermediate stage was more than enough!
Even though the core members of the Zhang Clan were capable of challenging opponents beyond their cultivation realm, one would do well not to forget about the incredible purity of his bloodline at the moment. Even without activating the ability of his unique bloodline, it would still enhance his physical abilities significantly, such that defeating an opponent of two cultivation stages higher than him would not pose too much of a problem!
"What?" Zhang Linqing could hardly believe his eyes. He tried to further intensify the strength of his pull, but the other party did not budge in the slightest.
In this moment, he realized that he had been underestimating his opponent all this while. The smug look on his face was replaced with grimness, and transforming his claw into a punch, he dashed forward to strike.
In the depths of his heart, he still felt that it was beneath him to be fighting against an offspring of the side family, but after the previous two blows that they had traded, he had no choice but to recognize the possibility that he might lose this match if he did not get serious.
And that was not something that he could accept.
As his punch surged forth, a sphere of power that somewhat resembled the shape of an umbrella appeared at the tip of his fist, crushing the surrounding air so much that it creaked furiously in protest, on the verge of crumbling apart at any moment.
"It's a Saint high-tier battle technique, Fist of Void!"
"This is a fist that channels all of the strength a cultivator harnesses in their body through a unique method and releases it in a single burst. The overwhelming strength in the resulting punch can even cause a void to be created in the air, making it a technique that's extremely difficult to defend against!"
"That's a technique that only the core members of the Zhang Clan are able to practice. A mere offspring of the side family like him probably hasn't even seen it before. Let's see how he plans to deal with something like that!"
Everyone's eyes were gathered upon Zhang Jiuxiao, curious to see how the young lad would fare against an attack of this caliber.
On the other hand, Zhang Jiuxiao completely disregarded the commotion around him. In this moment, there was not the slightest hint of nervousness or anxiety in his heart. Before the overwhelming attack rushing toward him, he slowly closed his eyes instead.
Through his Spiritual Perception, he could feel the other party's fist art growing slower and slower, almost like an old man practicing the Taiji Fist.
So, this is the benefit of possessing a pure bloodline, Zhang Jiuxiao thought as an excited smile crept onto his lips.
He had not fully awakened his enhanced bloodline yet, but he could already feel the groundbreaking changes in his body.
Zhang Linqing's attack was impressive, but to him, it appeared as if it was moving in slow motion, allowing him to uncover all of the flaws in it easily.
Teacher once said that to deal with such a forceful attack, all that has to be done is to strike its crux and tear it apart, Zhang Jiuxiao thought as he utilized his finger as a sword and tapped it lightly ahead of him.
Before Zhang Jiuxiao's finger could reach Zhang Linqing, a crack already appeared in the latter's Fist of Void, and like fragile glass, the umbrella-shaped sphere of power swiftly shattered. A look of horror appeared on Zhang Linqing's previously triumphant face.
Struck in the middle of his chest, Zhang Linqing fell forcefully onto the ground. Excruciating pain engulfed every inch of his veins, and a gush of fresh blood spilled out of his mouth.
"Y-you…" Zhang Linqing stared at the young man before him in disbelief.
He knew just how powerful his Fist of Void was, and under normal circumstances, not even a Saint 7-dan Phantasmal Space realm primary stage cultivator would have dared to face it head-on. Yet… not only did his opponent do so, he even overcame it with ease!
From this, it was apparent that the other party had already reached a level far beyond his.
Was this really the strength that an offspring of the side family should possess?
It was illogical! How could he be so strong?
"You have lost."
Instead of answering Zhang Linqing's questions, Zhang Jiuxiao placed his hands behind his back and gazed down at him nonchalantly.
While Zhang Jiuxiao was standing imposingly before his opponent, beneath the dueling ring, a certain middle-aged man was trembling uncontrollably with rage.
That moronic show-off! He could have settled this duel in a single move, and yet, he just had to waste his effort and use three instead. Why the heck did I accept such an unreliable disciple?In some of the Asian countries with significant Chinese population, it isn't a rare sight to see old men practicing the Taiji Fist in the parks. The Taiji Fist is known for its slowness as its aim is not quick movements but harmonizing with nature, neutralizing attacks by going with the flow instead of against it.