“How is this possible?!” Dongfang Hao’s jaw dropped as he stared at the giant silver dragon in the arena. “Didn’t Zhao Tiefeng interrupt Lu Yun’s creation process? How was the sword technique perfected?”
His question was on everyone’s mind. The governor’s inspiration had been prematurely halted because of Zhao Ling’s forfeiture. But the next time the young man tried the technique in public, it was obviously perfected! How had Lu Yun done it?!
The crowd looked at each other, uniform expressions of befuddlement on their faces.
“How?” Wu Tulong was also stupefied. “Did he simulate the combat art in his mind just now and complete it that way?”
“I heard that Lu Yun is considered trash in Dusk Province and was almost stripped of his position by the Nephrite celestial emperor. Does Nephrite Major have a different standard for trash?” Zi Chen shook his head vigorously. “If he’s trash, what does that make us? Imbeciles?”
The four of them shifted their gazes to an equally baffled Zhao Changkong, whose back was drawn straight with tension. He shook his head with a wry smile, suggesting that he had no clue either.
“If anyone tells us again that Lu Yun is trash,” he bit out, “We will beat them into trash ourself!”
“Have you all noticed?” Mo Qitian noted gravely, “Not only has Lu Yun completed his sword technique, he’s also refined all of his mystic force and stabilized his cultivation. It feels like he’s been a nascent spirit cultivator for centuries, or even a millennia. There are no flaws or any hints of inexperience in the way he holds himself.”
“When I first entered the nascent spirit realm, it took me three days to be comfortable with it, but it took him only a few minutes?!” Zi Chen muttered uncertainly. “Can he be a powerful cultivator who’d severed his own cultivation…?”
“Impossible!” Wu Tulong shook his head. “He was still transforming his inner energy when he first broke through. His energy hadn’t settled yet when Zhao Tiefeng challenged him. If he were an immortal who severed his own cultivation, he wouldn’t have needed any time to transform his inner energy."
His words weighed heavily on the other three, and behind their eyes was a tremendous drive to challenge Lu Yun.
The governor had vanished from the stage. In his place was a shimmering silver dragon roiling within the ocean of sword energy, intertwining with the Great Peng Spirit in the air.
Both the bird spirit and its combat art countered draconic combat arts. All things had their natural banes, and the Great Peng Spirit was the dragons’. However, Lu Yun’s dragon manifestation from the Vast Dragon Seaturner was facing the roc head-on without losing any ground at all.
The crowd’s faces were frozen with shock. Some had been skeptical when the celestial emperor bestowed the title of youth sovereign onto Lu Yun, but these doubts occurred to no one now. The Dusk governor more than deserved the title, along with Wu Tulong and the others.
What they didn’t take seriously were Lu Yun’s claims of Zhao Tiefeng being trash. If resources alone were enough to turn a wastrel into a peerless immortal, then peerless immortals would be more common than mice in the world.
“How impressive that sword technique is!” Surrounded by his peers from the Lazuli Major, Mo Chenfeng stared at the arena with bright eyes. “The cerulean dragon technique is too complicated for me to understand, but the sea that dragon inhabits comes from my technique!”
Mo Chenfeng unsheathed his flying sword and began experimenting on the spot, slowly perfecting his flawed sword technique. Many other immortals followed suit with their own swords and treasures.
“Impossible! Completely impossible! The spirit of our sect can overpower all draconic arts! More than ten thousand years ago, the Dragon King of the North Sea deployed the Nineteen Cerulean Sword Dragons in a fight against our sect head and still lost. So why can’t I counter your attack?!” Zhao Tiefeng roared from within the ocean of swords. His body had become one with his spirit, casting a relentless barrage of peng-related combat arts.
However, no matter how valiantly he waged battle, the enormous dragon remained intact, and, in fact, continued injuring the elder.
“That’s because you’re too shortsighted and narrow minded,” Lu Yun called out from the ocean, the burden on him lessening. “The consciousness of a great peng spans heaven and earth and soars forty-five thousand kilometers into the sky. It wishes to soar through the nine heavens and to be free of any restraint!”
His voice boomed like the rolling waves. “Your combat art manifests only the form of a great peng and not its spirit. I’ll show you what a true great peng is!”
A piercing shriek reverberated through the skies, shattering the silver dragon riding the sword waves. Something enormous had awoken and was awaiting its magnificent entrance.
A giant fish with a single horn on its head rose out of the frothing sword ocean.
“That’s a… a kunpeng!” Some immediately recognized the creature. It was a frightening divine beast residing within the North Sea, and also Beigong Yu’s true form. However, the commonly held belief was that a kunpeng was nothing more than a giant fish, unable to transform into other beings. There was only one kunpeng left in the entire world of immortals—Beigong Yu.
And he was now Lu Yun’s infernum.
Giant wings unfurled from the sides of the kunpeng’s body, transforming into an enormous bird. A great peng!
“The great peng rides the wind,” Lu Yun chanted, his voice a distant call from the ocean of swords, “soaring forty-five thousand kilometers into the sky!”
Sword light exploded within the ocean. The great peng made of sword energy expanded its wings and took flight, brutally slamming into Zhao Tiefeng’s Great Peng Spirit.
“Impossible!” The elder’s eyes widened. “The kun fish can’t possibly turn into a great peng!!”
His reflexes remained on the ball. The bird image flapped its wings and dove at the one made of sword light.
“The kunpeng becomes the kun fish within the ocean, but a peng when taking wing in the sky!” Lu Yun delighted in a long peal of laughter. “No matter bird or fish, my only pursuit is freedom!”
He flickered into existence above the arena, surrounded by a billion rays of sword light. A quick hand seal directed all of the sword energy into the great roc’s body. The two enormous birds clashed viciously in the air!
Ripples traveled across the barrier of light encircling the arena, nullifying the tremendous impact. The Great Peng Spirit shattered as Zhao Tiefeng tumbled from midair. There were more broken bones in his body than intact ones.
“You—you destroyed my nascent spirit!!” A mouthful of crimson blood spewed from Zhao Tiefeng’s mouth before he collapsed, eyes rolling into the back of his head.
Lu Yun’s flying sword shattered without being able to return to him. The tremendous might that had just been expressed through it wasn’t something a regular sword could withstand. His clothes and hair were slightly disheveled, and his breathing was quick. The battle had taken a noticeable toll on him.
He approached his opponent and, under everyone’s gaze, kicked the man off the stage.
“Who’s next?” he asked slowly as his breathing calmed down.