A Demon's Path Chapter 50
With the final 15 contestants having been decided earlier in the morning, the tournament was reaching its climax. As long as the participants could win one more match, they would secure a spot in the top 10.
All 15 of them were itching to draw the empty ballot. With there being an odd number of contestants, there would be one lucky enough to skip the next round straight into the final eight. To be the one to draw the empty ballot, it was the kind of unexpected luck everyone dreamed of.
Even though people said achievements should be attained through one's own abilities, but everyone longed for a lucky break. If the opportunity presented itself, they would grab onto it with both hands.
Ling Xiao wasn't as lucky as he was in the previous rounds. He was actually paired with Li Yuanchong this time around! Ling Xiao threw his vision at the grandstand where the Sunken Wind Valley was seated. Sure enough, he spotted a smile on Shen Xuan's face that didn't reach his eyes.
Ling Xiao softly let out a sarcastic laugh. You want me to die? Humph!
Cheng Qiantai's face turned green when he saw who Ling Xiao's next opponent was. The shade of green turned even darker in the next instant, when he heard his disciple cry out, "Referee, I concede!"
The audience wanted to witness an intense newcomers' duel, but they never expected Ling Xiao to forfeit before the match even started when he'd been tyrannical all this time.
Hissing sounds erupted from the crowd with the many disappointed spectators creating a ruckus. "Ling Xiao the coward! Ling Xiao the coward!"
Ling Xiao didn't respond. Rather, he waited for the outcry to pass before hollering toward the grandstand, "Get your disciples down here and fight Li Yuanchong if you can! You guys are all talk, nothing more!"
Seeing as they wanted to continue harassing Ling Xiao, Shen Mingfang appropriately voiced out, "The audience is not allowed to disrupt the tournament. Those who do will be chased out."
Everyone immediately fell silent with disappointment showing on their faces. For one they hoped to enjoy an intense match. But these spectators also wished to see Li Yuanchong kill Ling Xiao, or at the very least handicap him. Their own disciples failed to enter the top 15, yet a nobody from a tiny sect accomplished such a feat. Vexed with shame, they felt that only Ling Xiao's death could bring them some peace of mind.
With Ling Xiao's abrupt decision to surrender, three people walked toward the grandstand to rest. They were Li Yuanchong, Ling Xiao, and the lucky one who drew the empty ballot. His name was Zheng Hao, a disciple from the Sunken Wind Valley's preparatory team.
The rules dictated that Ling Xiao was eliminated from the first eight spots in the final 10 of the tournament. He could only fight for the ninth and tenth place now. After this round, the seven losers would face off against each other to decide who would take these final two spots.
Cheng Qiantai evidently knew this rule too. Although he reckoned this was a better outcome for Ling Xiao than contesting with Li Yuanchong, it wasn't optimal. Seven contestants would take the field in a struggle for ninth and tenth place in the form of a free for all. It was the cruelest form of combat.
Those with brains could envision the following scenario: the six others who lost this round would most definitely form an alliance to deal with Ling Xiao. To achieve victory in this round was about as difficult as fighting Li Yuanchong!
Ling Xiao calmly returned to his seat next to Cheng Qiantai with smiles plastered all over his face. Before Cheng Qiantai could open his mouth to speak, Ling Xiao comforted him, "Master, relax. As long as they're not Li Yuanchong, those six aren't a match for me."
Cheng Qiantai couldn't help but feel a little touched looking at the confidence on Ling Xiao's face. I really don't know what to say to this boy…
Big Zhu and Little Zhu approached Ling Xiao, affectionately calling him Senior Brother Ling. They blindly believed in Ling Xiao, not a single doubt in their minds of his victory.
Ling Xiao smiled at the brothers in greeting. "Thank you for your support. Senior Brother Ling naturally won't disappoint you."
Even though there were several heated and intense battles going on, the audience found them rather dull. They'd been hoping for an epic showdown between Li Yuanchong and Ling Xiao, how could these fights even begin to compare?
The newcomers seemed to sense the audience's heart wasn't in watching them. They felt as though they couldn't appeal to the spectators regardless of their performances. Under such depressing conditions, they had no choice but to drop their show of skill and settle the match as quickly as possible.
In the end, the final eight were quickly decided with all matches concluding before the 10 minute mark.
The ones who progressed to the top eight were Li Yuanchong, Yang Chao, Yue Mingming, and Zheng Hao from the Sunken Wind Valley, a female from the Sunset Cloud Sect called Lian Yueting, Qin Shengchuan from the Qin Monastery, Lu Tie from the Mad Blade Sect, and Zhao Ziyun from Flying Cloud Mountain.
Next up was the deciding match for the ninth and tenth spot in the ranked matches. Everyone directed their attention to the center of the field when Shen Mingfang announced the start of the free for all.
The arena was enormous, but Shen Mingfang had used an array to confine the field to an area of 300 square meters for the disciples participating in this match.
So called fleeting doors which enabled contestants to escape from the array were incorporated to the north, south, east, and west of the array. As long as the participant left through one of these doors, they would be regarded as forfeiting the match.
In the matches so far there was only one such door on each field. This time, there were actually four. It was clear this was done out of consideration for the contenders. In such a cruel free for all, one door wasn't enough if someone wanted to escape to save their lives.
Six people surrounded Ling Xiao once the match started. Unexpectedly, he closed his eyes when faced with these six opponents who were glaring at him like tigers watching their prey.
Ling Xiao was pondering how he could fuse the Mad Demonic Fist he used in the match with Wang Daotian with his Northern Jade Celestial Fist. He had had some sort of premonition that his celestial and demonic Strength Soul would fuse together if he could fuse these two boxing techniques. If he succeeded in this fusion, his assurance in facing Li Yuanchong would grow as well.
Ling Xiao's opponents were somewhat dazed by Ling Xiao's actions. What is this guy doing?
One of them couldn't help but shout out, "He is trying to throw us for a loop! Don't fall for his tricks! Let's get rid of him!"
The others naturally rose to the occasion when someone led the pack. They balled their fists and threw a torrent of punches at Ling Xiao.
Ling Xiao was deep in thought when he suddenly felt gusts of wind approaching him around his ears. He abruptly opened his eyes and used the Ghostly Transformation Step. He rapidly turned a full circle around himself in a hop, skip, and jump.
The six enemies felt Ling Xiao charging at them at the same time. All of them countered with a punch, exerting their full might. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! The sound of fists colliding with each other rang out. The six enemies retreated four steps back respectively. They stared at their opponent and realised Ling Xiao hadn't moved from his spot!
"Good job, Senior Brother Ling!" Big Zhu and Little Zhu couldn't contain their excitement as they loudly praised him.
A glint flashed in the eyes of the spectators. Ling Xiao's set of martial arts movements was practically comparable to Li Yuanchong's Three Phantom Transformations. Perhaps the only difference was that Ling Xiao's speed was a little lacking.
Shen Nanfeng and Shen Mingfang frowned as they sunk deep into thought. How come I've never seen this set of moves before?
It was impossible for such an exquisite spatial martial arts technique not to have the slightest peep of fame in neither the Celestial Soul Sects nor the Demonic Soul Sects. Even Li Yuanchong started to feel a little uneasy. He'd read all the books in Heavenly River City, but he'd never seen such a technique before!
I probably need Castellan Li Xuanyi to discern what this technique is, Shen Nanfeng thought to himself. However, he figured even Li Xuanyi might not recognise this technique even if he saw it firsthand!
Unbeknownst to the crowd, the reason they didn't recognize it was simple: this technique was Ling Xiao's unique creation!
The six surrounding Ling Xiao were somewhat shaken. For a moment, they left Ling Xiao to his own devices without giving him any pressure whatsoever. He stood still in the middle of the field. That was until someone shouted out, "Brothers, let's use our weapons since we can't hit him with our fists!"
That's right! How could we not have thought of that? The six of them extracted their weapons after the reminder and attacked Ling Xiao again.
Naturally, Ling Xiao wasn't going to be courteous towards them. He took out his metal broom and let it dance wildly by his side. Ting! Clank! Ding! Sounds of metal striking metal rang out. From start to finish, a black, watertight shadow enveloped Ling Xiao's body. He blocked all the attacks regardless of the angle they struck him at.
The six opponents attacked Ling Xiao from all sides, advancing in waves. Even though Ling Xiao didn't have the power to retaliate, the spectacular sight still stirred waves of cheers from the audience.
Ling Xiao was probably the only person who could brandish the broom at such a level. Cheng Qiantai's mood surged, feeling high-spirited. My honour as a Master lives on with such a disciple! To this day, he remembered the words Ling Xiao spoke to him when he chose the broom. Master, if I can sweep the floor with them, it only serves to prove those newcomers are all trash. Cheng Qiantai couldn't help but feel proud of his disciple with the grandeur he had back then paired with his impressive display today.
At this moment, everyone understood Ling Xiao's intention. He conceded against Li Yuanchong because he wanted to reserve his energy to fight these six disciples and ensure his spot in the top 10. It seemed as if not all hope of entering the ranked matches was lost.
Ever since entering the Northern Jade Sect, Ling Xiao ate the Vigorous Golden Erectile Pills he concocted every day to supplement his body, constantly increasing his astonishing strength. Even so, it was one against six. It was no easy feat to defend against the successive attacks from six Chain Soul Masters all at once.
The onslaught on Ling Xiao continued for over a minute before it started to slow down. At the same time, the black shadow surrounding him lost some of its splendor, slowly starting to dim.
"An opening!" How could these fellows not notice this sign that seemed to say Ling Xiao had nearly burned through all his energy? They looked to be on steroids as they roared out in excitement, "Let's go! Let's beat this brat to a pulp!"