Chapter 1265: On the Ring (2)
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
Right after saying those words, Zhang Xuan tapped his finger forward leisurely.
Zhang Xuan’s finger was positioned straight in the face of the furious pierce of Kui Qing’s spear, and it seemed as if the spear would pierce right through his finger at any moment. Yet, for some reason, before the spear could even reach the finger, it suddenly lowered its trajectory slightly, as if Kui Qing was intentionally going easy on Zhang Xuan.
With a simple downward grasp, Zhang Xuan grabbed Kui Qing’s spear and flicked it slightly.
A powerful might shot right through the spear and struck Kui Qing.
Deng deng deng deng!
Kui Qing’s face reddened, and he was forced to retreat several steps in a fluster.
“You were able to see through my move?” The disbelief in Kui Qing’s eyes couldn’t be concealed.
There was no way Kui QIng would have gone easy on Zhang Xuan in the midst of a duel. What had happened earlier was that the change in the trajectory of his pierce earlier was actually an intended change in his battle technique to catch his opponent off guard, but somehow, Zhang Xuan seemed to have anticipated it in advance and positioned his finger right there, creating the illusion as if it was his finger that had caused the change in trajectory.
“I told you, I am the ancestor of spearmanship. You are still much too inexperienced to be shaking your spear before me!”
Zhang Xuan dashed forward once more and raised his palm to strike Kui Qing’s face.
A powerful might burst forth.
Alarmed, Kui Qing retreated in a panic.
He thought that five consecutive matches should have exhausted most of Zhang Xuan’s zhenqi, preventing him from using that move anymore. He thought that with his spear in hand, he should be able to achieve victory easily. But he never thought that the other party would be able to see through his spearmanship so easily and utilize that move against him once more.
Realizing that he wouldn’t be able to escape from the slap, he immediately attempted to raise his spear to counterattack, but it was already too late. A palm struck his face, and the spear in his hand flew away.
Kui Qing crashed onto the ground and blacked out.
“Seventh match, Zhang Xuan VS Guan Yongfeng!”
Following which, a familiar face walked onto the ring. It was no other than the scar-faced young man who had treated him as a tame sheep earlier.
“And I thought you were a tame sheep. It turns out that you are a wolf instead…” the scar-faced young man, Guan Yongfeng, said with a shake of his head.
When Zhang Xuan first entered the room, he had an innocent and dazed look on his face, reminiscent of a naive newcomer. Such people usually end up suffering a great deal on the ring. Yet, who could have thought that he would be so strong that even Qian Xu wouldn’t be a match for him!
“I know that you are strong, but there’s no way I’ll be going down without a fight. Come!”
Drawing a saber, Guan Yongfeng drove his zhenqi furiously and slashed down on Zhang Xuan.
Zhang Xuan had a rather good impression of Guan Yongfeng, so he didn’t go too hard on the latter. After two blows, he knocked the latter out with a light blow.
On the other hand, on the spectator stand, Zhang Jiuxiao had also been diligently staking the concentrated high-tier spirit stones which Zhang Xuan had handed him previously into the matches.
As Zhang Xuan was a newcomer, despite his outstanding results in the earlier matches, the crowd still wasn’t too confident in Zhang Xuan’s strength. Thus, in the sixth match, most of the crowd had placed their stakes on Kui Qing. On the other hand, Zhang Jiuxiao successfully doubled the initial 111 concentrated high-tier spirit stones he had into 222.
After the match with Kui Qing, the crowd gained a clearer glimpse into Zhang Xuan’s strength, so the payout wasn’t that high anymore. Nevertheless, by staking everything into Zhang Xuan once more, Zhang Jiuxiao managed to increase their total asset to 300 concentrated high-tier spirit stones.
“It really is lucrative!” Zhang Jiuxiao exclaimed as he looked at the huge pile of spirit stones before him.
Despite being an offspring of the Zhang Clan, he was only from a side family, so his allowance every month was rather meagre. Concentrated high-tier spirit stones were extremely beneficial to his cultivation as well, but even when using all of his means, he could only earn one to two of them each month. Yet, in just a short twenty minutes, he had actually just earned nearly two hundred concentrated high-tier spirit stones! This sure was frightening!
“Let’s do it!” Knowing Zhang Xuan’s intention, Zhang Jiuxiao didn’t hesitate to stake all 300 concentrated high-tier spirit stones on Zhang Xuan’s victory once more.
The opponent for the eighth match was a young man in his thirties. He had a pair of arms that were innately thick as if tree trunks. On the other hand, fighting seven consecutive battles seemed to have exhausted Zhang Xuan greatly, and he looked as if he was about to be sapped dry. In view of that, the payout for Zhang Xuan’s victory increased this time around.
After trading thirty blows or so, Zhang Xuan achieved a narrow victory.
And the spirit stones in Zhang Jiuxiao’s hand leaped from 300 to 720 in an instant!
Zhang Xuan had been able to subdue his opponents in a single strike in the previous matches, but in the eighth match, he actually took more than thirty blows. To the crowd on the spectator sign, this was a visible sign that the newcomer was swiftly approaching his limit!
“He really knows how to act…” Shaking his head with a smile on his lips, Zhang Jiuxiao’s eyes glowed in excitement.
In order to draw more people to bet against his victory so as to raise his payout, it was necessary for Zhang Xuan to feign weakness. Otherwise, if he were to crush all of his opponents in a single move, there would be no suspense at all. Knowing that they would surely lose the bet, who would be willing to bet against him?
It was true that those who gambled in the Ring of Death were mostly scions from notable clans with powerful finances, but that didn’t mean that they were fools who would squander their money away blindly. They were all biding their time to place the decisive bet which would maximize their profits.
So naturally, Zhang Xuan would have to provide those scions an impetus to make their move. By giving out clear hints that he was getting weaker with every match, those scions would surely be tempted to go all in.
After all, who would be willing to stake their bets on a newcomer who appeared to be already wobbling on his feet? Obviously, the stakes would start gravitating to his opponent!
The opponent for the ninth match was a middle-aged man.
The previous time the middle-aged man had challenged the Ring of Death, he had won eight consecutive before failing on the ninth.
But the reason why he lost wasn’t due to his lack of strength. According to the rumors, it seemed like he had drunk too much the day before, resulting in him being unable to exert his strength properly… As a result, in his matches in the Ring of Death the next day, his entire body was swaying weakly, and it seemed as if he would collapse at any moment…
The fact that he could still achieve eight victories under such a condition was a clear sign of his strength.
It seemed like he had learned his lesson this time around and kept himself in check. His body was overflowing with energy, and from the very first move, it seemed like he already had the entire battle in his grasp. This had induced a wave of cheerings from the spectator stand.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan appeared to be weak on his feet, and it seemed like he was only hanging on his sheer willpower at the moment.
With such a clear contrast between the two opponents, Zhang Xuan’s payout nearly broke through the roof.
However, despite the powerful assaults the middle-aged man sent at Zhang Xuan over and over again, the latter kept bouncing back as if an indestructible cockroach. The latter obviously looked as if he would collapse on the ground with the slightest breeze, and yet, that final bit of energy he had left in him seemed to nondepletable, allowing him to withstand the relentless waves of attack.
Just like that, the battle stretched on to over a hundred moves.
At some point in time, the incredibly exhausted Zhang Xuan somehow managed to bump into the back of the middle-aged man’s head and knocked the latter out, thus achieving a somewhat miraculous and unbelievable victory.
At with this, the number of concentrated high-tier spirit stones Zhang Jiuxiao had increased to an astounding 1800!
“To be able to achieve victory like that, that newcomer sure is lucky. If he could just win another match, we would find ourselves with a new Conqueror of Ten!”
“That’s true, but it seems like the newcomer has expended himself too much the previous round. In his current state, there’s no way he can win the tenth!”
“I thought that way in the eighth round too, but he still managed to grit the teeth and win the ninth round through his sheer willpower. I think that lad has some kind of unfathomable power laying dormant in him. As unlikely as it may be, I actually think that newcomer will really be crowned as the next Conqueror of Ten!”
“You think so too? Alright, I’ll bet on his victory then…”
Very soon, the tenth match began. Despite Zhang Xuan’s appearance of weakness, the incredible endurance he had displayed in the previous match still won the hearts of some, and quite of a portion of the crowd actually chose to bet on him against the odds. As a result, the payout dipped significantly.
Zhang Jiuxiao placed all 1800 concentrated high-tier spirit stones in, as usual, but it only increased to 2200 this time around.
On the field, however… Naturally, Zhang Xuan had a ‘tougher’ fight than ever. He traded more than three hundred blows with his opponent, maintaining the same ‘I look like I’m going to fall but I just won’t fall’ appearance throughout the match…
In the end, the way which he managed to achieve victory nearly had the eyeballs of the crowd bulging out of their eyes. The tenth opponent actually moved too fast in the midst of his assault and crashed into the formation barrier, knocking himself out…
To come this far, one had to brave through nine life-and-death matches, and those who managed to do so were all indubitably outstanding warriors.
Yet, for an expert of such caliber to actually knock himself out… Zhang Jiuxiao really couldn’t bear himself to look on any longer…
Brother, can you be any faker than that?
Do you take the audience to be fools?
However, it was already the tenth match, and the results for the fight to become the Conqueror of Ten was already out.
“Congratulations to Zhang Xuan for becoming our new Conqueror of Ten! You have a choice to continue your battle now or take a brief rest first. Either way, it won’t impede you from fighting for the title of the Conqueror of Hundred. I suggest that you take a rest first so that you can face your opponent in your peak condition…” the voice sounded.
Upon successfully becoming a Conqueror of Ten, one would be allowed to take a rest first before continuing one’s battle for higher grounds.
Considering how tired the young man already was—he looked as if he could very well faint at any moment—it would be best for him to take a rest first before continuing on his battle.
“I’ll continue on…” Despite hearing the voice’s advice, Zhang Xuan raised his eyes wearily and shook his head slowly.
Rest? You must be joking! I am not even close to being done yet!
Since I have already made the journey here, how could I leave without making a big killing?
In any case, everything was a fair game in the black market, so he didn’t feel particularly guilty about this.
“Are you certain you want to continue? I don’t think that you are in any condition to fight another match…” the voice continued.
Every single Conqueror of Ten was a money tree for the Ring of Death. It would be a huge waste for the Ring of Death if the young man were to die on the ring right after his conferment as a Conqueror of Ten.
“I think that… I can still… persevere on a little!” Zhang Xuan said weakly.
“Alright then… In order to become a Conqueror of Hundred, you must defeat ten Conquerors of Ten successively. Your first opponent will be…”
Before the voice could finish speaking, a nonchalant voice suddenly boomed across the entire ring.
“I’ll fight with him. As long as he can defeat me, he can become the new Conqueror of Hundred!”
Following which, the clanging of metal sounded clearly in everyone’s eyes. Following which, the crowd saw a towering figure slowly walking over to the ring.
“It’s Hong Yang…”
“Hong Yang is going to fight the newcomer personally, and he even promised the latter the position of Conqueror of Hundred?”
“All along, it has always been others challenging Hong Yang, so why would he suddenly challenge this newcomer? As the strongest existence in the Ring of Death, there’s no one who could possibly defeat him… If that newcomer were to really fight against Hong Yang, he would surely be crushed!”
“Of course, that goes without saying! But as long as that newcomer doesn’t have something wrong with his head, he should know better than to accept the duel!”
When the crowd saw the figure walking over to the ring, there was a brief moment of silence before a huge uproar broke out.
The person who had spoken was no other than the man who could leave Qian Xu shivering in fear with just a single word, the Conqueror of Hundred, Hong Yang!
At this moment, the fatigue of battle that was plaguing Hong Yang previously had already vanished without a trace. Instead, his eyes were dyed crimson, as if he had already eyed a new prey.
“How is it? Will you accept my challenge?” Hong Yang gazed at Zhang Xuan coldly.
“This…” Zhang Xuan hesitated.
“You aren’t too bad at acting, but I have faced and destroyed countless experts in my time. That act of yours isn’t going to fool me! To still have the strength to be holding back even after defeating ten opponents… Boy, you have caught my attention!” Hong Yang spoke impassively.
“…” Zhang Xuan’s face turned green, and a whole string of vulgarities nearly spilled from his mouth.
He was still thinking that he could earn a hefty sum from Zhang Jiuxiao’s bets during the battles with the Conquerors of Ten, but this fellow actually exposed him publicly!
“Acting? That fellow was acting?”
“Is that so? It doesn’t really seem like an act to be though…”
“Think about it! He was already on the verge of collapsing by the end of the seventh match, but he still managed to survive till the ten. Don’t you think that’s very suspicious?”
“That bastard! I staked all my money on his loss!”
Hearing Hong Yang’s words, the crowd was so angry that they nearly morphed into demons on the spot. This was especially those who were fooled by Zhang Xuan’s act earlier and betted on his loss.
“Even if you wish to find a reason to challenge me, surely you need not frame me like that? After battling ten people, there’s no cultivator who can avoid becoming severely weakened!”
With a voice devoid of strength, the pale-faced Zhang Xuan raised his head and exclaimed, “Putting everything aside, do you think that you can defeat ten people and still have the strength to put on an act?”
“I can!” Hong Yang replied impassively.
“…” Zhang Xuan.