Chapter 752: Great Vitality Lies Within Great Destruction
In the past six months, Lou Cheng had not had an official battle with the Dragon King, but the internal sparring never stopped. In the last two months, he only managed to win once or twice out of every ten matches, and that was when both parties held back.
That means the result could only be worse in a crucial match.
Zero chance of winning was too sweeping of a statement, but a ten percent chance of winning aligned rather well with the truth. This was the general consensus among top-tiered Mighty Ones, including Lou Cheng himself.
However, he wasn’t going to wallow in self-pity or cower as long as there was a glimmer of hope. He would divert all his passion and courage to chase after his dreams, come what may, until he reached the end.
That had been his attitude since the start of his journey, an attitude that had been enforced by Dong Baxian in their previous match.
It was okay to lose, but never okay to surrender.
One step, two steps, three steps… Lou Cheng felt as calm as gentle waves, as his will rose and his aura was contained.
When he had reached his designated spot, he finally lifted his eyes to look at his opponent. He looked at him as a challenger.
He saw a clearly-defined, handsome, manly face a face that Mighty Ones had looked up to for ten years.
Dragon King, Chen Qitao!
Even from the edge of the arena, the referee could feel the tension in the air, as though a war was about to commence.
The Battle of Warrior Sage followed another old tradition aside from the single-elimination format—there was no talk-time!
Thus, before Lou Cheng could make early preparations and form his Five Flames, the referee glanced at the electronic clock and swung his right arm down.
The finals for the Battle of Warrior Sage had begun. The loser would be forgotten, and the winner would be crowned with the title.
Chen Qitao’s charging momentum erupted like a volcano, dragging him forward with his right fist covered in dense purple flames. He covered thirty meters in a second, punching at Lou Cheng’s face.
Fast and furious!
It wasn’t any slower than Dong Baxian’s Shunpo or Qian Donglou’s Rapid Thunder, and proved superior in form. The air around them turned red like a reflection of a sea of flames.
His rush attack seemed to have merged as one with the referee’s voice, the shift in setting, and the passing of time; there was no telling between them, to the extent that Lou Cheng’s movements lagged for a moment, even though he had the time and ability to dodge. It seemed inevitable.
Chen Qitao’s influence made his mind shudder. His body felt as though it was in shock, with unprecedented strength coursing through it. His status had made a breakthrough and reached a new height.
Is this the mutual growth brought by clashing with another top-tiered expert? How amazing… In a fight between experts, every second mattered. With the delay in his earlier movements, Lou Cheng had let the best timing to dodge slide past. Collecting his thoughts, he sunk his waist, twisted his muscles and fascia to jerk out his right arm, and threw a cannonball-like fist forward. Meeting offense with offense.
Since he was weaker than Dragon King in every aspect of the Fire Sect secret arts, he wasn’t planning on challenging his foe’s strength with his weakness. Instead, he activated his Ice Force as a counter. As he did so, he stored up his Emperor Yan Force with his punches to charge his ultimate move.
In that split second, he decided on his strategy.
Sparks flew in every direction as their fists collided. Most of the faint purple flame was encased by ice, and it dwindled and died before it could converge and run its course. A few pieces of pellucid purple snowflakes fluttered through the air.
Bam! Chen Qitao stretched his waist and threw out another brutal and invasive punch, like a wildfire raging across a grassy plain.
Bam, bam, bam! Bang, bang, bang!
After a flurry of attacks, Lou Cheng couldn’t escape but could only defend himself passively. However, he didn’t freak out at all, as his Ice Heart formed by itself and his emotions condensed. He returned Ice Spirit Punches of his own. A thin mist formed and permeated the air as the cold air clashed with the heat. It was a magical sight.
Bam, bam, bam! Bang, bang, bang!
Lou Cheng shouted as the light from the flames brightened, his left fist punching out as his muscles bulged.
His Emperor Yan Force was fully charged!
A layer of dense, faint purple flames burned, seemingly little but actually made up of countless layers of compressed Emperor Yan Force. If it were to explode right now, it would reduce the ground within ten meters of Lou Cheng into a massive crater!
Impassive, Chen Qitao suddenly tensed his dangling left arm and swung it out in reverse. The flames around him converged rapidly as though being summoned, releasing a blinding white light.
This was the most advanced application of Nine Rotations of Five Flames, Descent of the Sun!
A burst of light turned the broadcast screen into a white sheet. Following that, smoke rose with the expanding flames, turning into a mushroom-like cloud as it took to the skies.
That was when the deafening sound of explosion finally caught up, buzzing the heads of the prepared audience, shattering the glasses at places of little importance.
Before the horrifying shockwave settled, Chen Qitao had overcame all obstacles at the cost of taking some damage, like a soldier marching through rains of bullets. When he got close to Lou Cheng once again, he began on another round of Firelike Invasion.
Just like that, he had blocked Lou Cheng’s charged ultimate move!
Bam, bam, bam! Bang, bang,bang!
Even after shuffling through a few tactics—charging Emperor Yan Force and Ice Spirit Force, brilliant CQC, or forming the Five Flames—Lou Cheng couldn’t break free. Each time, Chen Qitao rendered his moves useless with his ferocious Fire Sect attacks, thoroughly demonstrating his might!
Seeing that he was losing ground, Lou Cheng suddenly drifted backward weightlessly, like a broken kite, after an elbow-fist collision. Midair, he unleashed a third burst of his latent Emperor Yan Force, aiding him to veer for a third time in an attempt to escape.
However, being a Fire Sect Physical Invulnerability Expert, ‘Dragon King’ Chen Qitao was even more experienced with similar moves. Following Lou Cheng’s lead, he pounced forward and veered, locking down Lou Cheng effortlessly.
It was then that ice crystals appeared on Lou Cheng’s body, allowing him to muster fresh Fire Force for another burst.
A soft sound came from within his body as he veered in the most unthinkable fashion, bouncing away diagonally despite being his dying momentum.
The fourth veer!
After implanting the unique concepts of his Cosmic Universe Sect into Fire Sect techniques, Lou Cheng had broken the limit of normal Physical Invulnerability Experts, where they could only veer three times at most!
That was also one of his trump cards today!
For a moment, there seemed like there was nothing the Dragon King could do, but Lou Cheng’s eyes told a different tale; he noticed that the embers around Chen Qitao had secretly gathered!
Bang! The fireball exploded, propelling the Dragon King in a new direction. He had stayed on the chase, and was now whistling through the air!
No way… He must be really close to reaching the Forbidden Area… Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to manage this fourth veer, realized Lou Cheng. Following that, his Mesmerizing Snow Steps was interrupted, forcing him into The Dragon King’s suppression, where he had to deal with thousands of kicks and punches.
Bam, bam, bam! Bang, bang, bang!
He had used up all his trump cards, but the tides weren’t turning anytime soon. Eventually, he could only put on tough defense, waiting for something to happen.
From the grandstand and private rooms, Yan Zheke, Qi Fang, Ji Mingyu, Jiang Fei, and many others, held their breaths or clenched their fists or interlocked their fingers subconsciously.
Logically, they knew Lou Cheng had a tiny chance of victory. They had come with the main intention of witnessing his first title tournament final and being a part of it. Be that as it may, when the fight officially began, they secretly hoped that the Lady of Luck would grant a miracle.
However, The Dragon King at peak form once again proved his status as one of the Legendary Twins. It was a statement that said this is the era of the Dragon King and Warrior Sage.
It seemed like it wouldn’t be long before Lou Cheng comes face to face with the inevitable defeat. Moreover, he looked like he had expended all his trump cards.
The audience quieted down, as though there was a timer counting down in the background.
Bam, bam, bam! Bap, bap, bap!
As the heat scorched Lou Cheng’s mind and the flames corroded his body, something awakened in Lou Cheng. Around him, it became dark. Qualities like vastness, coldness, loneliness, and serenity became palpable.
In that darkness, desires to love, cherish, protect, and live, turning into stars, illuminating the cold, lonely darkness.
This was Lou Cheng’s near-perfected artistic conception, and he had used it to defend against the Dragon King’s Prairie Wildfire.
At peak form, The Dragon King was capable of imbuing his artistic conception into every punch and kick!
Bam, bam, bam! Bang, bang, bang!
Qualities like dominance, arrogance, scorch, and terror raged as Chen Qitao’s firelike invasion attacks swallowed Lou Cheng’s universe, slowly but surely.
The darkness was pushed back, the stars compressed closer. Lou Cheng’s intent realm was reduced to half-an-inch around him, and would soon dissipate if he took more attacks.
Rushing flames accompanied the fist as the volcano within Dragon King erupted. Tottering, Lou Cheng barely managed to fend off the punch, but couldn’t stop his Intent Realm from crumbling completely.
The stars had conjoined, growing more compact as darkness threatened to swallow and reduce them to nothingness.
The end of the ‘Universe’ was imminent!
In that split second, the image of the universe made Lou Cheng recall the Siheyuan in Didu, the hanging scroll painting in Elder Mei’s room, the Yuanshi Tianzun statue, the Forbidden Sect. Yuqin chapters. When that white-jade-like palm had pressed down on him, his cosmic universe had shrunken and condensed, the stars destructing and the darkness contracting to a single point before erupting and splitting apart.
How similar was that to the situation he was currently in!
Suddenly, Lou Cheng had an idea. He stopped bothering with the reclining darkness, force, and mind. Instead, he infused the glittering stars, his passion, joy, love, desire to protect, and his willingness to give his life for what he fought for.
After a split second, the darkness had completely engulfed the stars, and was now concentrated at one point. However, within that point, there was an intense, dazzling white light.
As the light flared, Lou Cheng threw the best punch in his life.
This wasn’t merely a punch of destruction, but also one of creation!
Within great destruction laid great vitality!
This was the essence of the Forbidden Sect. Yuqin Chapters!
When all is destroyed, new life is born. Chen Qitao’s eyes was filled by the white-jade-like fist, but there wasn’t any shock on his face. Instead, he used the strong stimulation as fuel for his own mind.
In an instant, he transformed from a range of mountains into the actual sun, dense, scorching, and terrifying.
Bam! The great sun descended as the Dragon King punched at Lou Cheng’s nothingness.
When the two fists collided, time seemed to freeze.
The Jiuwen stadium shook violently, as though there was an earthquake. This time, there wasn’t any mushroom clouds, wind, or flames. However, Lou Cheng and the Dragon King both sunk into the ground for about a meter.
With their fist as the center, a one meter deep, twenty meters wide crater formed.
A lot of Lou Cheng’s blood vessels had ruptured, his clothes tattered and his skin battered.
He felt weary. He was happy that he had dealt such a powerful punch, but a little upset that he was in such bad shape. If the Dragon King were to attack now, he wouldn’t be able to defend long.
That was when he saw Chen Qitao standing still, his breathing ragged and weak. The illusory flames around him, burned bright red and purple.
Chance! As the thought flitted through his head, Lou Cheng didn’t hesitate. Quickly condensing his Qi and blood, he used the last Fighting Formula he could manage. With a burst of Dan Force, he dashed to the Dragon King and punched at his head.
Layers of invisible flame gathered around the Dragon King. The closer Lou Cheng’s fist went, the more resistance he felt. However, with the Fighting Formula, his punch was merely slowed down.
A second later, Lou Cheng’s fist stopped beside Chen Qitao’s head. There was nothing else in his way.
Astonished, he raised his head to look, and he saw that the Dragon King had lost his pupils. In their place was a sea of flames, flames that felt exceedingly real.
In the reflection of the sea of flames, faint purple, scarlet, faint blue, and golden flames turned to clouds.
In that instant, Lou Cheng understood what had happened:
Using my punch as a stimulating catalyst, he ignited himself and surpassed the limits, ascending to a form that was closer to a god than a human. He had opened the doors to the Forbidden Sect!
However, making the breakthrough was a process and not an end-point, which caused him to lose…
The fiery clouds spread, turning the entire arena into a burning ocean. However, Lou Cheng felt no heat or scorching pain. The flames seemed so real yet fake at the same time, like Elder Mei’s evergreen garden.
In a certain private room, ‘Warrior Sage’ Qian Donglou’s face darkened, as though a certain victory had been taken away from him unexpectedly.
Chen Qitao raised his head and looked in Qian Donglou’s direction, his lips curving into a smile. He then looked at Lou Cheng and nodded gently.
This was Lou Cheng’s first time seeing such an apparent smile on his face.
Having said that, Chen Qitao turned around, shook off his tattered shoes, and walked out of the Jiuwen stadium with his back straight and his feet bare.
In the silence, the referee finally snapped out of his daze. He raised his arm rather sentimentally.
“Lou Cheng…wins!” he boomed.
The audience, who had also regained their senses, gave a round of applause for Dragon King and Lou Cheng.
A moment later, the spotlight was on Lou Cheng as the committee representative yelled these words:
“Forget everything else, let us welcome the new Warrior Sage!”
“‘Warrior Sage’ Lou Cheng!”