Library of Heaven is Path
934 Chen Zhu
Chapter 934: Chen Zhu
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
It was completely beyond Zhu Jian's imagination that he would be able to defeat the other party.
He had seen the other party's prowess clearly from below earlier, superior sword mastery paired with sharp and deadly moves. Even three of him combined wouldn't be a match for the other party! That was also the reason he had hesitated until the final moment before going up onto the dueling platform, and it was only upon recalling Principal Zhang's teaching that he counterattacked.
Principal Zhang's lecture had covered how one could deal with a person whose strength, swordsmanship, and reflexes were nigh perfect. Back then, he had thought that he would never have an opportunity to encounter such a fearsome opponent, so he hadn't thought much of it. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that doing exactly as Principal Zhang had instructed would produce such miraculous effects!
To incapacitate the opponent with a single finger… Was this for real? Wasn't this too easy?
Was that fellow really the same formidable expert whom even Zhao Zhongchuan couldn't withstand three moves from?
"H-h-h-how can this be? W-w-w-what happened?"
"I have no idea too, but it seems like Combat Master Xu Tai has been defeated…"
"So many experts who have gone before couldn't even withstand three moves from him, and yet, that fellow was able to defeat him?"
"Aren't the candidates from the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy the weakest of us here? But this… What is this situation here?"
While Zhu Jian had blanked out on the dueling platform, the crowd below went completely mad.
Each of them had their eyes bulging and lower jaws touching the ground, as if they had seen a ghost.
It was just a moment ago that the Four Great Master Teacher Academies had conducted a power display of their candidates, so everyone had a rough gauge of the strength of one another.
The person who was standing on the dueling platform at this very moment, Zhu Jian, couldn't even be ranked amid the top fifty of the eighty of them. Yet, he had actually managed to subdue Xu Tai with a single jab? How could such a huge change in his fighting prowess suddenly come about?
After coughing several mouthfuls of blood, Xu Tai finally managed to catch his breath and recover. Standing up, he glared coldly at the young man before him with savagery reminiscent of a ferocious beast.
To think that he, an esteemed combat master, would be defeated by a person who was inferior to him on all aspects, be it zhenqi, strength, or reflexes… Not to mention, he had even been defeated by a simple finger jab. It was not difficult to imagine the indignation and rage he felt at that very moment.
"I…" Zhu Jian was stunned. He had truly no idea how he could explain himself.
Even he could not understand how he had managed to defeat the other party, so even he himself felt that he had cheated.
But yet, it had indeed been a fair duel. Furthermore, he had gone empty-handed against an armed opponent, so in such a sense, his victory was indisputable.
"Do you dare to have another match with me?" Xu Tai spat through gritted teeth.
Zhu Jian hesitated for a brief moment before eventually nodding. "Fine."
In truth, Xu Tai wasn't the only one who had such a thought in mind. Many of the candidates below also shared the same view as him. As such, even if Zhu Jian were to insist that he was the victor and win, his victory would be thought of as dishonorable.
"This time, I won't go easy on you anymore…"
Hearing Zhu Jian agreeing to the duel, Xu Tai roared furiously as his sword warped into a massive dragon, charging at Zhu Jian with astounding momentum.
This battle technique was even more fearsome than the sword art he had executed in the previous duel. Even before the sword approached Zhu Jian, the dueling platform had already been torn apart by the sword qi emanating from it.
In face of the other party's immeasurably powerful stab, Zhu Jian swiftly recalled the teachings from their principal. The situation is identical to before, and Principal Zhang has also explained the countermeasures to take when faced with such a move…
As such, he nimbly twisted his body to the side before wielding his finger like a sword and stabbing toward a specific direction.
The finger, imbued with zhenqi, sunk deeply into flesh like a dagger.
In the next moment, the majestic Xu Tai collapsed to the ground once more. His face paled, and large quantities of blood spilled from his mouth.
In fact, his state seemed to be even worse than before, as blood spewed from his mouth profusely like a human fountain.
In that moment, a wave of silence swept across the crowd, and not a person could speak a word.
"He… was defeated again?"
"He used his full might this time around, but he was still defeated in a single move. Could it be that Zhu Jian has been concealing his cultivation all along?"
"I really can't tell. His move was simply too profound."
The three champions of the Grade-1 internal selections of the other three academies glanced at one another as cold sweat trickled down their cheeks.
Previously, they hadn't even thought of Hongyuan's students as opponents. They had thought that, considering the caliber of Hongyuan's candidates, they wouldn't even claim a single slot of the twenty. Yet, never had they thought that even a seemingly inconspicuous candidate from Hongyuan would be able to defeat a combat master so easily.
"You… You…" Struggling to his feet with difficulty, Xu Tai pointed a shaking finger at Zhu Jian furiously.
He really couldn't accept his defeat! Even until this point, he still had no idea how the other party had managed to outmaneuver him.
To think that a combat master like him, an unrivalled existence among cultivators, would be defeated by an opponent of the same cultivation without knowing the reason behind it! This inconceivable situation left him extremely frenzied.
Seeing that Xu Tai was unwilling to back down, Zhuo Qingfeng harrumphed coldly. "Xu Tai, that is enough! Don't you think that you have embarrassed yourself enough for today?"
"Leader, I…" Xu Tai turned to Zhuo Qingfeng anxiously, unwilling to let this matter slide just like that.
"That young man over there might not be able to measure up to you in terms of zhenqi and strength, but his comprehension of battle techniques and grasp over timing in combat are far beyond yours. That finger jab he executed might seem humble and unimpressive, but it is a move that can only be made with a deep understanding of your swordsmanship and zhenqi circulation!" With the sharp eyes that Zhuo Qingfeng possessed, he could easily see through the crux of the battle.
"Using his finger as a sword, he was able to bait an opening out of you before exploiting it with impeccable timing. With just the eye of discernment he possesses, he is qualified to become a combat master!"
"Yes." Seeing that even his leader had spoken up for the other party, Xu Tai dared not argue any further. As such, he could only nod meekly and back down.
"I… cleared the selection?"
Zhu Jian had gone up to the dueling platform without harboring any hope of victory at all, so when he heard that he had cleared the selection, he could hardly believe his ears.
"The criterion of our selection is for the candidate to withstand three moves from one of our combat masters. Given that you have defeated our combat master, who else should we clear if not you?" Zhuo Qingfeng replied with a kind smile.
"Yes!" Excited, Zhu Jian nodded his head hurriedly before leaping off the stage.
"Alright. Xu Tai, you should rest for a moment first. Chen Zhu, you will take his place."
Combat masters were powerful, but they weren't unmatched in the truest sense. At the very least, when Zhuo Qingfeng was at Consonant Spirit realm, Xu Tai was no match for him at all.
From time to time, there would be a formidable genius emerging from the Four Great Master Teacher Academies who would be able to defeat their combat master. It might have been a rare sight, but it wasn't something too surprising. As such, Zhuo Qingfeng didn't think too much about it and instructed for the test to continue.
"Yes!" Chen Zhu nodded before leaping up to the dueling platform. Gazing down on the crowd beneath, he said, "Is there anyone who dares battle with me? The same rules apply. As long as you are able to withstand three moves from me, you will be qualified to become a combat master!"
The weapon that Chen Zhu wielded was a sharp saber. Paired with his powerful aura and torrential zhenqi, the crowd couldn't help but shiver at the thought of the might he would be able to produce.
In comparison to Tai Xu, this Chen Zhu seemed to be even stronger and scarier!
"If I knew that he was so powerful, I would have gone up earlier…"
"That won't make any difference. Even Zhao Zhongchuan was unable to withstand three moves from Combat Master Xu Tai, do you think that you would have been able to do better than him?"
"I wonder who will be able to withstand three moves from him."
Feeling the frightening strength that Chen Zhu emanated, apprehension swiftly swept across the faces of the crowd.
Xu Tai was already a difficult opponent to deal with, and the substitution with the stronger Chen Zhu spelled nothing but disaster for the subsequent challengers.
A young man leaped onto the dueling platform.
"It's the champion of Luoqing's internal selection, Zhang Qingshan!"
"Given his formidable might, he might just be able to withstand three moves…"
Upon seeing the face of the first challenger, the crowd beneath immediately directed their gazes intently toward the dueling platform.
Zhang Qingshan was the strongest expert of the Grade-1 students of the Luoqing Master Teacher Academy. Even the Zhao Zhongchuan from before was no match for him at all.
With him making a move, victory was almost assured.
Hu hu hu!
Amidst the discussion, the battle began. Zhang Qingshan split open his fingers and thrust his palm forward. A surge of zhenqi burst forth with the momentum of the relentless tide of a river.
Had it been anyone else, they would have surely been torn apart in an instant by the rampaging surge of zhenqi. However, Chen Zhu was like a small boat amid the furious waves of the ocean; regardless of how violent the storm became, he was able to match its movement perfectly, thus avoiding the brunt of the force.
In the blink of an eye, Chen Zhu had already used up two moves, and both parties were still equally matched.
"How can it be that easy for you to withstand three moves from me?"
Seeing that he had already used up two moves, Chen Zhu narrowed his eyes and harrumphed coldly. All of a sudden, the saber flew out of his hand and tore through space with speed reminiscent of a bolt of lightning.
The saber was simply too fast. Before Zhang Qingshan could even react, he could already feel a fiery gale assaulting him from the front, threatening to split his body in half.
Sensing the immense danger from the saber, Zhang Qingshan narrowed his eyes and retreated furiously. At the same time, he whipped out a sword from his storage ring in order to protect himself.
The saber collided with the sword, and the overwhelming force resulting from the clash caused the ground beneath to be devastated. Under the massive might, Zhang Qingshan's face reddened, and a mouthful of blood spurted from his mouth as he flew out of the dueling platform and crashed heavily onto the ground beneath.
"I lost? How could I have lost?"
Lying on the ground, Zhang Qingshan's face was as pale as a sheet of paper, unable to believe what had just happened.
He was the number one expert of the Grade-1 students of the Luoqing Master Teacher Academy, and yet, despite his incredible fighting prowess, he had actually failed to withstand three moves from the other party. Having failed the Combat Master Selection, the overwhelming sense of defeat that weighed down on his heart left him incredibly stifled and frustrated.
"Chen Zhu, what the hell are you doing! What did I tell you before coming here? Didn't I tell you that secret art is forbidden?"
Just as Zhang Qingshan was wallowing in despair from his defeat, Zhuo Qingfeng's wrathful voice suddenly resounded deafeningly across the training ground.
If it had been a normal clash, Zhang Qingshan would surely have been able to withstand the three moves easily. However, who could have known that his subordinate would break the rules and use a forbidden move in the crucial moment?
"I…" Chen Zhu's face reddened.
Watching Xu Tai's defeat with his own eyes had left his heart shaken. When he realized that he was unable to defeat his opponent within three moves, he had suddenly felt a surge of panic, which compelled him to use his secret art.
After lecturing Chen Zhu, Zhuo Qingfeng turned to Shen Pingchao and said, "My apologies, Principal Shen. My subordinate has made a huge mistake. Even though Zhang Qingshan of your Luoqing Master Teacher Academy has lost the duel, he does indeed possess the qualifications to become a combat master!"
"Thank you, Combat Master Zhuo." Hearing that his student was still able to qualify as a combat master, Shen Pingchao heaved a sigh of relief and clasped his fist in gratitude.
Zhu Qingfeng's actions were prompt and courteous, clearly having spared a thought for his honor. As such, he had to reciprocate with at least a word of thanks.
After dealing with Zhang Qingshan's matter, Zhuo Qingfeng raised his hand and said, "Let's continue the test!"
Chen Zhu surveyed the surroundings haughtily and said, "Who else wants to try next?"
Even though Zhang Qingshan had eventually been deemed to have cleared the test, the last saber that had sent Zhang Qingshan flying was simply so powerful that it had instilled apprehension into the hearts of the remaining candidates subconsciously. All those who had intended to go up a moment ago couldn't help but cower fearfully.
Their strength and reflexes were nowhere near Zhang Qingshan's level. If the other party were to use that powerful technique against them too, it would be hard to tell whether or not they would be able to counterattack in time. Most likely, they would suffer severe injuries, or even… be split in two!
Chen Zhu turned his gaze toward the candidates from Hongyuan as he uttered coldly, "What? No one dares to challenge me? If I am not mistaken, so far, there has only been one candidate from Hongyuan, right? Is there anyone there who dares face me?"
His good friend, Xu Tai, had been severely wounded by a student from Hongyuan, so he intended to exact vengeance for him, as well as to return honor to the combat masters. He wanted to make them know that even with just three moves, they, combat masters, were a force that the likes of them couldn't hope to match up to!
Hearing Chen Zhu issuing them a challenge publicly, the candidates from Hongyuan glanced at one another hesitantly.
A moment later, a young man clenched his jaws and stepped forward.
"I will face him!"
Saying those words, he leaped onto the dueling platform.
Someone amid the crowd shouted, "Zhu Xi, you finished last place in the internal selections! Aren't you seeking death by going up at a tense moment like this?"