"Zhang shi, that person is the Third Young Master of Sage Xue Clan, Xue Ning!" Upon catching a closer glimpse of the person who had just stepped forward, Zhang Jiuxiao hurriedly sent a telepathic message over to Zhang Xuan.

"Xue Clan?"

"Un. Even though they are a Tier-3 Sage Clan, their prowess is still one that shouldn't be underestimated. In terms of influence and power, they are on equal footing with Qianchong Empire!" Zhang Jiuxiao continued.

Even the weakest of the Sage Clans would have a long heritage behind them, as well as a set of cultivation techniques suited for their bloodlines. Ordinary empires wouldn't come close to comparing to them.

Even though this Third Young Master of the Xue Clan was only at Half-Leaving Aperture realm, his true fighting prowess could very well be on par with an average True Leaving Aperture realm expert!

"Thanks for your reminder." Zhang Xuan replied Zhang Jiuxiao telepathically before lifting his gaze to look at Xue Ning. "You are interested in drinking the Tianchen Brew too?"

"At this point, it isn't just for the Tianchen Brew anymore." Xue Ning harrumphed proudly.

It might just be a cup of wine, but due to Pavilion Master Yue's proclamation of bestowing it upon the strongest of them all, the nature of this matter had changed altogether. It was now a matter of their dignity and honor as well!

It would be one thing if Zhang Xuan was truly outstanding, but the two victories he had achieved were either by chance or through unacceptable means. Not to mention, that fellow's cultivation was only at Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage only...

If even that fellow was qualified to drink this cup of wine, which was to be bestowed to the 'strongest', what would this mean of the rest of them?

"What do you want then?" Zhang Xuan asked warily.

"The same as before. I'll take out ten concentrated high-tier spirit stones to have a duel with you over the Tianchen Brew." Xue Ning said.

"This…" Zhang Xuan paused for a brief moment. "I have just undergone two battles, and my zhenqi is nearly depleted at this point... Why don't we do this instead? If you are willing to take out fifteen concentrated high-tier spirit stones, I'll accept your duel!"

"Your zhenqi is nearly depleted?" Xue Ning's eyelids twitched.

All you have done earlier was to toss a cauldron out to crush your opponent... Please explain to me how you have managed to deplete your zhenqi doing that!

"Fine! I'll take out fifteen concentrated high-tier spirit stones then!" Xue Ning could tell that the other party had a way with his words, and arguing with him would be pointless. Thus, he waved his hands majestically and accepted the deal.

Judging from the strength and reaction speed which Zhang Xuan had displayed earlier on, it shouldn't be too difficult for him to achieve victory.

Besides, there were close business ties between the Xue Clan and Qianchong Empire, so fifteen concentrated high-tier spirit stones were still a sum they could afford to lose.

"Very well!" Zhang Xuan nodded. "Will you be using any weapons?"

"I won't be using any weapons, so you shouldn't use your cauldron either. Let's have a fair duel using our own strength!" Xue Ning quickly replied.

As confident as he was in his strength, he could tell that he stood no chance against the young man's cauldron at all. If they were going to compete with one another, the first thing he should do was to stop the other party from using his cauldron.

"This…" Hearing that they were not to use any weapon, Zhang Xuan seemed to have become a little apprehensive.

"Those who wish to enter the Sanctum of Sages should possess individual fighting prowess worthy of doing so. Relying on external tools is just a temporary measure; it might help you right now, but it won't help you for life. Why? Are you afraid of having to fight a battle yourself?" Noting Zhang Xuan's hesitance, Xue Ning mocked coldly.

"If that's the case, I advise you to put down the Tianchen Brew and step down. Someone as cowardly as you isn't worthy of drinking it!"

"Very well then. I guess it would only be fair for me to not use a weapon if you aren't using one…" Seemingly cornered by Xue Ning's words, Zhang Xuan gritted his teeth forcefully in indignance before finally relenting.

"Let's start then!" Xue Ning flicked his wrist and placed three jade containers filled with concentrated high-tier spirit stones on a table.

At the same time, Zhang Xuan also casually placed the cup of wine back on the table before walking back to the center of the hall.

"Hmph!" Without the slightest interest in wasting any more time on words, Xue Ning immediately stepped off from the spot, and his figure suddenly turned illusory as he dashed toward Zhang Xuan.

Despite having suppressed his cultivation to Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage, his speed was still as fast as lightning, making it highly difficult for one to accurate discern his figure.

With tremendous speed, Xue Ning's five fingers swiftly appeared before Zhang Xuan.

"At the very least, he's considerably stronger than that Liu Chongxin and Yun shi!" Zhang Xuan thought as he took a step back before meeting the other party's strike with a finger.

Grand Constellation Finger!

Upon catching sight of Zhang Xuan's move, Xue Ning forcefully changed his move. From a powerful palm strike, his fingers suddenly began moving adeptly as if he was playing a zither.

Saint intermediate-tier battle technique, Coy Pipa Finger Strokes!

Pipa! Pipa!

A series of resounding taps echoed as Xue Ning's adroit five fingers clashed together with the Grand Constellation Finger, inducing a series of sonic booms. Under the relentless assault of Xue Ning's fingers, Zhang Xuan's face paled, and he was forced to retreat again and again.

"Heh!" Xue Ning smirked upon seeing that his attack was effective.

He knew that this was a perfect opportunity to continue his assault, so he swiftly moved his fingers to draw out long strings of zhenqi to seal the area, preventing Zhang Xuan from getting away.

On the other hand, seeing how formidable Xue Ning was, a hint of fear seemed to appear in Zhang Xuan's eyes. Flustered, he moved his hands and legs simultaneously at an extremely swift speed, forming a protective barrier around him.

Even though this set of action seemed to have been done in a state of panic, it did manage to help him effectively fend off Xue Ning's continued assault.

"Oh? It seems like he isn't totally useless after all…" Seeing that his attack had been warded off, Xue Ning's eyebrows shot up in surprise.

In the first round, it appeared that the other party had obtained victory by sheer luck. In the second round, the other party had relied completely on his artifact, not moving a single finger in the battle at all... As a result, in Xue Ning's eyes, Zhang Xuan was nothing more than a fake, a person who had earned his reputation through trickery and luck. However, this momentary encounter had made him realize that the other party's weakness could very well be feigned.

In any case, one thing was for sure. The other party was definitely not as weak as he appeared to be.

Nevertheless... an opponent who could only defend himself was still nowhere on par with him!

Clenching his fingers into a fist, he gathered his full strength and launched a decisive blow toward Zhang Xuan.

Saint intermediate-tier battle technique, Contention of a Hundred Vessels!

In terms of sheer might, this battle technique was above even that of Liu Chongxin's Eight-armed Ape Form.

Wasn't the other party's defense as resilient as a tortoise's shell?

Fine then, he would just have to forcefully break it apart!

Pah pah pah pah pah!

Overwhelming might paired with incomparably swift movements, in the blink of an eye, Xue Ning had already released more than a hundred punches. However, despite the immense might of his assault, he found that the young man's defense was even more formidable. Even after so many strikes, he found that he still was nowhere close to breaking apart the young man's tortoise shell!

"That fellow sure is scheming!"

"Despite being considerably strong himself, he intentionally feigned weakness in order to get us to challenge him and earn our spirit stones!"

"However, no matter how tough his defense is, it won't be sufficient to bring him victory. He might have withstood the barrage of punches from Third Young Master Xue, but he's bound to take significant damage in the midst of doing so…"


At this point, it had become apparent to the others in the room that Zhang Xuan wasn't as easy as they had initially thought him out to be too.

As elites amongst the master teachers, they might have been tricked the first two times Zhang Xuan feigned weakness, but if they still couldn't tell this much by the third time, they would really be unworthy of their titles as geniuses.

But while they realized that Zhang Xuan wasn't as weak as they had initially thought, they didn't think that he would be too strong either. Otherwise, he wouldn't have allowed himself to force into a state where he could only sustain his defense, unable to counterattack at all.

As the old adage preached, 'a sustained defense is bound to lead to defeat'. At this rate, it was just a matter of time before Zhang Xuan caved in.

"Third Young Master Xue's zhenqi capacity is really no joke. For him, a hundred punches is nothing but a warm up... Let's see how long that lad can keep up his defenses for!"

"I had a battle with Third Young Master Xue once, and the weight of his punches will only grow stronger throughout the course of the battle. While that lad over there isn't too bad himself, it is nigh impossible for him to win against Third Young Master Xue!"

Amidst the crowd, two of the young geniuses remarked.

At Quasi Leaving Aperture realm, these two young geniuses were the few stronger ones amidst the crowd, so naturally, their words held more weight and credibility.

Xue Ning's strength might be nothing compared to them, but amidst the 33 candidates participating in the secondary selection, he could definitely be considered as one of the stronger ones.

Given his strength, it was hard to believe that a Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage nobody from Qingyuan Empire would be able to defeat him.

The battle proceeded on for some time, and another Quasi Leaving Aperture realm cultivator remarked, "Xue Ning's punches are growing faster and faster!"

On the field, Xue Ning was utilizing a particularly bizarre movement technique which made his movements seemed reminiscent of an intangible specter. At one moment, he would be at Zhang Xuan's left, and in the next moment, he would suddenly appear at the right. While flitting around Zhang Xuan, his punches never stopped, causing a rampaging shockwave to diffuse into the surroundings and raise a powerful gale.

Xue Ning's movements were so fast that just looking at it was giddying.

"He's actually still able to defend against that?"

This offense continued for quite a while, but despite seeming as if a weak candle flame in the midst of a raging storm, about to be extinguished at any moment, Zhang Xuan still managed to withstand every wave of attack each time, not exposing the slightest opening for Xue Ning's punches to slip through.

"Even if he's able to defend against that, he's bound to reach his limits very soon!" Frowning, one of the Quasi Leaving Aperture realm young genius who spoke up earlier remarked once more.

Even as a Quasi Leaving Aperture realm cultivator, under Xue Ning's rampaging barrage of attacks, he could only afford to maintain a defensive position for some time before his defense collapsed. The typical strategy against such relentless attacks was to bide one's time until an ideal opportunity emerged to slip an attack in and turn the tables around. Yet, Zhang Xuan had already maintained his defensive position for a very long time now, and even more shockingly, he actually managed to perfectly ward off every single attack... Was he really a tortoise?!

But even if Zhang Xuan specialized in defense, this wasn't a feasible plan in the long run.

Xue Ning's punches didn't just consist of mere brute strength—they were also infused with a hidden might. As the hidden might began accumulating, it would slowly wear down Zhang Xuan's body from the inside. Even someone of his cultivation wouldn't be able to withstand something like that, let alone Zhang Xuan!

"Zhang shi, I concede that I have really underestimated you. I haven't thought that you would be able to survive so long under my offense. However, it's about time to put an end to this farce!"

Contrary to what the two Quasi Leaving Aperture realm young geniuses had thought, Xue Ning's attacks were completely ineffective against Zhang Xuan, and he had realized this fact as well.

His failure to bring down the other party despite his sustained assault had caused him to start feeling a little panicked, so he decided to use his ultimate move.

With a furious roar, the strength in his body began surging swiftly.

Xue Ning had intended to reserve this move as his trump card in the secondary selections, but at this point, he couldn't care that much anymore.

Hong long!

As his aura surged, Xue Ning's movements grew faster as well. Vaguely, seven to eight silhouettes of him seemed to appear all around Zhang Xuan. Following which, a thin golden line forged of zhenqi was pulled in a circle before tightening around the tortoise-shelled Zhang Xuan, slowly creeping its way into the shell an inch at a time.

"This is... the Xue Clan's Golden Silk Thread!" The face of one of the Quasi Leaving Aperture realm young genius warped in astonishment. "He actually managed to grasp this technique?"

"Golden Silk Thread?" the second Quasi Leaving Aperture realm young genius asked in confusion.

"That's right! The Xue Clan's Golden Silk Thread is similar a guillotine created by capitalizing on the superior speed of their movement techniques. If utilized well, it would be able to even sever a Saint intermediate-tier artifact into two!" The first young genius tightened his fists in agitation.

"This battle technique is really powerful. If Zhang shi persists on his defense, he could very well find the Golden Silk Thread wrapped tightly around him. Once that happens, even if he doesn't die, he could very well find himself crippled for life!"

"It's that formidable?" The second young genius gulped down a mouthful of saliva as he anxiously turned his gaze back to the battle. One look, and he suddenly froze in disbelief. "W-what... is Zhang shi trying to do?"

"Hm?" Turning his gaze over as well, the first young genius also froze on the spot as well.

In this moment, the young man trapped in the middle of the Golden Silk Thread suddenly staggered on the spot, as if intoxicated on alcohol. He did a series of extremely bizarre actions, a little reminiscent of an avant-garde dance, and a little reminiscent of a physical expression of his panic and helplessness as well.

Hu la!

As those movements were being conducted, Xue Ning's movements suddenly grew faster and faster, to the point which it seemed as if he was going to lose control of himself.

And... he really did.

From the sheer centripetal force of his circular movement around Zhang Xuan, he ended up flinging himself headfirst into a pillar of the hall. Following which, his face suddenly flushed green, and he bent over and vomited…

After vomiting, his legs suddenly twitched, and putong!

He fainted.


Not expecting the imposing Xue Ning to suddenly vomit and pass out, the second young genius stared at the sight with bulging eyes as he muttered in disbelief, "Could it be that he ended up moving in circles too fast and too much that he ended up getting... nauseated?"The concept of hidden might is rather similar to Naruto's Hyuuga Clan's attacks. Basically, a punch can be mainly divided into two types, one that deals superficial damage and one that deals internal damage, and hidden might refers to the portion of the strength that seeps into one's body to deal internal damage.For those who aren't too familiar with what centripetal force is, to put it in a very simplified term, it's similar to the feeling which you feel like you will be flung away when a car makes an abrupt turn or when you are playing the teacup ride in an amusement park. In this case, Xue Ning moved too fast that he really got flung away.



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