Out of regard for their own honor, most experts were very heeding of rules and common courtesy. It had almost become a social convention expected of the higher echelons.

However, this lad clearly had no eyes for the rules at all.

Knowing that his daughter was the cause of this mess, Xue Gan shot a cold glance over at her, causing Xue Qin to shudder a little. After which, he turned to Zhang Xuan and harrumphed impatiently, "Hurry up!"

With a smile on his lips, Zhang Xuan took his position in the dueling ring and beckoned with a wave of his hand, "You may have the first move."

"Allow me to make it clear first. Our bet isn't based on the rules of this dueling ring but a life-and-death match!" Xue Gan said, not anxious to make a move yet. "You can be assured that I'll give you 400,000 Ethereal Coins if you were to win, but if I were to win, you'll have to tell me your true identity. Furthermore, I want you to come to the City Lord Manor and apologize to my daughter and me!"

As long as he knew the other party's identity, he would make sure to turn the other party's life into a living hell!

"Fine by me!" Zhang Xuan replied haughtily.

"Then, shall we put down our bets then?"

With a wave of his hand, Xue Gan flicked his Ethereal Card into the hands of the young lady in charge of registration.

Weng!

There was a brilliant ray of light, and a message surfaced in the air, indicating that Xue Gan had put 400,000 Ethereal Coins into the duel.

Seeing how candid the other party was, Zhang Xuan leisurely flicked his finger and passed the information regarding his identity and location into the hands of the young lady too.

Three was another brilliant ray of light, and words reflecting that Zhang Xuan had put in his end of the bet appeared in the air too.

Even though one's identity in the Ethereal Hall was anonymous, this anonymity only applied to other cultivators. Through the Ethereal Token, the system was still able to sense the exact location of the user and verify the user's identity through his blood.

"Good. Let's begin then!"

Having confirmed the bet, Xue Gan unhesitatingly walked over to the weapon rack and picked up a massive saber.

His true field of specialty lay not in his swordsmanship but his saber art!

"I won't take advantage of you either. Since you are using a saber, I'll follow you!" Zhang Xuan said as he grabbed an identical saber from the weapon rack too.

"He's able to use the saber too?"

"But he's a sword practitioner! Isn't he handicapping himself by equipping a saber?"

The crowd was appalled.

After nine remarkable battles, there was no one amongst the crowd who didn't know that World's Edge was a true swordmaster who could stand his ground even against the disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion.

And for a swordmaster to actually wield a saber instead… Was he insane?


"You really are courting your own death!"

Xue Gan was confidently in his abilities, but even he was a little hesitant to face Zhang Xuan's sword toss after seeing how many formidable enemies had fallen before its prowess… But of all things, the other party actually foolishly chose to challenge him to a battle of saber arts. Xue Gan couldn't help but scoff coldly.

Saber and sword might seem similar, but the vast difference in their sizes and weight meant that they were intended to be wielded in vastly different manners. As such, those who were used to holding a sword often found themselves unable to bring out the true prowess of a saber, and vice-versa.

It was extremely rare to see someone who had reached the peak in both swordsmanship and saber arts.

To forsake your strengths and voluntarily handicap yourself… Very well, I'll make you regret your decision dearly!

Hula!

With a flick of his wrist, Xue Gan immediately flicked his wrist and shot out multiple saber qi. The saber qi adeptly wrapped itself around Zhang Xuan's surroundings, sealing the latter's path of movement. At the same time, Xue Gan himself dashed forward to bring his saber down upon Zhang Xuan.

Elder Lu Yun's eyebrows shot up, "I guess it's not completely without reason that he was able to become the lord of Xuanjiang City."

This saber art did appear to be ordinary and straightforward on the surface, but Elder Lu Yun could clearly discern that there were 49 transformations in the technique. No matter how Zhang Xuan moved, Xue Gan would have a way to deal with it and press his offense on. 

Eventually, Zhang Xuan would find himself cornered and overwhelmed.

Even Elder Lu Yun himself would have some trouble coping with such a move.

"That's City Lord Xue's Solace of the Silver Winter!"

"I heard of that story before! It's said that back when City Lord Xue was still 27, there was a night in which the silver moon hung beautifully above the snowy fields, seducing all eyes that fell upon it. It was that night which City Lord Xue was inspired to create this ultimate move!"

"Just like the silver moon illuminating the snowy fields, there's nowhere to run or hide from this saber art. It's with this technique that City Lord Xue dominated the dueling ring here!"

"Do you think World's Edge would be able to withstand this move?"

… 

All of those who had the resources to purchase the Ethereal Token and enter here were mostly experts. While they were still severely lacking in comparison to Zhang Xuan, their eye of discernment was at least still on par.

They could tell that there was much more to Xue Gan's move than what was shown on the exterior, and most of them felt that World's Edge had finally met his match.

"Not bad, I really should give you some recognition for being able to come up with this move…" Similar to the crowd, Zhang Xuan was slightly surprised by Xue Gan's move too. With a deep frown on his forehead, he fell into deep thoughts.

Should I use a tenth of my strength, or should I use a fifth?

After all, the person standing before him wasn't the weakling that had come before. He clearly had much more combat experience than the others though he seemed to have hit his bottleneck… A tenth might not be enough to block him, but a fifth was likely to be too great that it might one-hit knockout him!

Such fame wasn't what he wanted!

If others were to learn that he had the strength to instakill even a city lord, there would be no one who would accept his duel and deliver free money to him anymore.

Yes, humility and low profile is the way to go!

"Forget it. I should play safe and start with an eighth first. I'll first drag the fight for a while before finding a good opportunity to naturally defeat him later on…" Zhang Xuan quickly made up his mind before charging forth with his saber.

His moves were neither glamorous nor profound. In his hands, the saber seemed perfectly ordinary. Yet, as if an impenetrable barrier, he was able to fend against Xue Gan's relentless offense each and every time.

In the blink of a few eyes, they had already traded twenty blows.

"Elder Lu, who do you think will win?" Yun Feiyang, who didn't have much understanding of saber, asked.

The rest of the gang quickly turned their heads over as well.

"I reckon that City Lord Xue is in an advantageous position!" Elder Lu replied with a wise nod.

"So, City Lord Xue is going to win?"

"Most likely so. While World's Edge has managed to stand his ground so far, it's apparent that he isn't as adept with the saber. This is the reason why he has been forced to be on the defensive thus far, unable to launch a proper counterattack against City Lord Xue. On the other hand, City Lord Xue's saber balances speed together with strength perfectly. Each move he makes results in more momentum building up within the saber, and it would eventually reach a level that overwhelms World's Edge defense!" Elder Lu replied calmly as he stroked his beard.

Those who were qualified to become a city lord and could hold on to the position for so long were bound to possess extraordinary abilities that surpassed the others.

"I see…" Yun Feiyang and the others nodded in realization.

Analyzing the duel from Elder Lu's perspective, the happenings in the duel suddenly made sense to them.

Meanwhile, on the dueling ring, it felt like a snowstorm had descended upon the world, sending chilling air into the surroundings. With each strike, City Lord Xue's movements were growing faster and faster, such that cracks started to appear on the dueling ring.

"Incredible!" Zhang Xuan nodded in excitement.

He was already using an eighth of his strength, but Xue Gan was still able to tightly control the flow of the battle through the sheer strength of his technique.

In fact, it would likely still be a prolonged battle even if he were to use a seventh of his strength.

He would have to at least use a sixth of his strength in order to guarantee a swift victory.

This was probably the strongest expert he had encountered ever since he arrived on the Azure… It had only been a day since he had regained consciousness after all. In any case, this was a good opportunity for him to try his skills.

While Zhang Xuan was getting more and more high on the battle, the horror in Xue Gan's eyes gradually deepened.

Just like what the others had said, the saber art he was executing at the moment was indeed the Solace of the Silver Winter. This technique allowed him to retain the momentum of his previous swings to heighten the might and speed of the subsequent attacks. As long as he had sufficient time to build up, he would become the berserker of the battlefield, tearing down everything in sight.

But things didn't seem to be going in the direction he had expected today. He thought that he would be able to defeat the other party once he had compounded his strength and speed to his limits, but who could have thought… the young man was growing stronger and stronger throughout the battle!

His hand had already been jolted numb by the sheer strength of his swings, and the webbings in between his fingers were bleeding profusely!

"I'll end this fast!"

The slow buildup in his injuries would hinder his fighting prowess, and that would present a chance to World's Edge to turn the tables on him. Knowing that he mustn't allow this battle to drag any longer. Xue Gan decided to go all out. With a furious roar, he drove his saber forth.

Weng weng!

All of the saber qi he had sent at Zhang Xuan earlier swiftly gathered together to form a massive tornado.

The true prowess of Solace of the Silver Winter lay not in the compounding strength of his saber strikes but the lingering saber qi in the area with each move made. If he were to gather all of the saber qi together, he would be able to launch a devastating strike far beyond his current limits!

"Struggle all you will, but your defeat is already sealed!" Xue Gan sneered at Zhang Xuan coldly though his heart was beating wildly on the inside.

This is his ultimate technique?

Seeing that the other party's moves had become more powerful, such that it would be hard for him to keep up even with a sixth of his strength, Zhang Xuan sighed deeply as he made up his mind, "Forget it, I'll use that same move too!"

After giving it some thought, he still felt that the Heaven's Path Saber Art that he had practiced was too powerful. So, with a light flick of his finger, the saber in his hand shot across the air. 

"The technique works on sabers too?" Yun Feiyang and the others were stunned.

They could tell that the young man was intending to toss his saber just like how he had tossed his sword at them.

But would it really work out? The weight and shape of a saber and sword were different from one another, and the slightest difference could mean the largest difference in the outcome. Was it really alright?

Before their doubts could blossom, the saber whooshed across the air with a choking sound.

Hula!

It took only an instant for it to appear before Xue Gan.

With a reddened face, Xue Gan hurriedly raised his saber to block against it, only to realize that his strike had landed empty.

Puhe!

The saber pierced right through his head.

Even though Xue Gan was defeated in that instant, by the sheer strength of his willpower as a Dimension Shatterer realm cultivator, he was able to keep himself from dissipating into light fragments for a brief moment.

"You… were already able to defeat me right from the start?" Xue Gan stared at Zhang Xuan with eyes so wide that they were almost bulging out.

He had long heard the rumors that the other party was skilled in tossing swords.

He thought that the reason why his opponent hadn't thrown his weapon at him was because of his inability to execute the technique with a saber… But his assumption didn't hold true. His opponent was able to do the same with a saber, and with utmost ease at that… 

The tossed saber was so powerful that he was unable to deflect it even with all the momentum he had built up thus far. If his opponent had used it right from the start, he wouldn't have been able to last so long at all… 

In other words, his opponent had only been playing with him thus far. Everything he had done must have looked nothing more than a farce to the other party.

"You have forked out 400,000 Ethereal Coins for this duel, wouldn't it be a huge pity if you were to lose in a single move? I thought that it would give you more value for money by dragging out the duel a little for you…" Zhang Xuan confessed in embarrassment.

Pu!

Fresh blood spurted out of Xue Gan's lips.

Value for money your head!

If you were really want to give me more value for money, you should at least say that you have used your full strength! To reveal that you have been going easy on me all along… am I supposed to thank you for that?

Shameless humblebragging!

"I'll admit my defeat, but it's clear that you didn't use your full strength either. I would like to know how much of your strength did you use?" Using his last breath, Xue Gan asked.

The fact that the other party was able to keep up with him despite the increasing strength and speed of his saber likely meant that the other party had been matching his fighting prowess. Given so, he couldn't help but wonder just how powerful the other party was.

"How much strength did I use?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment, but eventually, he decided to reveal it honestly.

"You aren't much of a person, but at least you weren't too shabby of an opponent. You were able to make me bring out 0.1666666666… Well, you get the idea of recurring numbers, right?"

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