Chapter 662: Finals, Each Punch Finding Its Target
No one was surprised about Yue Baize announcing his forfeit. It was impossible for the two of the them to fight to the death. That would only benefit the Regal Pill Palace. Everyone was now curious, would Jun Mobai do the same for Mu Gaoqi?
The Great Cathedral had held an emergency session, but Dan Chi didn’t give Jun Mobai any pressure over on the Regal Pill Palace side. Even Elder Lian Cheng didn’t give Jun Mobai any advice due to his desire not to see Elder Yun Nie’s disciple gain so much of the spotlight. As for the other elders of the Hall of Might, they wouldn’t bring trouble down on themselves given that their leader hadn’t spoken. They had a certain degree of confidence in their hallmaster’s thinking. He likely didn’t want Elder Yun Nie’s disciple to put on too good of a showing, so they would rather let them fight even if it was an intra-sect battle.
However, Jun Mobai apparently had other thoughts. He had taken a moment to think, but he voluntarily forfeited. “Junior brother Gaoqi, from your display of prowess against Wang Han, it is obvious to me that I’m far inferior to you. I’d simply be inviting humiliation down on myself if I fought you.” He waved a paper fan with a gentleman’s air, giving others a dashing feeling even though he’d conceded.
Jiang Chen was a bit surprised, and slightly disappointed. Ever since the palace head had given him the mission to keep an eye on Jun Mobai, he’d wanted to make use of this fight to gain a better understanding of Jun Mobai. But the fellow had actually gone and forfeited! I wonder if he’s hiding his true strength or really thinks he isn’t up to the challenge.
And so, this theatrical scene happened. With two voluntarily forfeiting in the semifinals, this sent Xiang Qin and Mu Gaoqi directly into the finals.
“Good luck, Brother Xiang.” Yue Baize’s gaze was steady. “All of Great Cathedral is standing with you.”
“Do well, Xiang Qin. Don’t let the sect down,” Xiang Wentian clapped Xiang Qin’s shoulder. All of the other family heads also looked at Xiang Qin encouragingly. It was apparent with how things had developed that everyone knew that they had to unite behind Xiang Qin, no matter what. Even if they had internal matters to take care of, they had to stand together when it came to the overall profits of the Great Cathedral and the greater picture. They had prepared much for the Myriad Hidden Dragon Trials this time, and had put much into play to rebuild the Myriad Empire. They’d even bribed the small sects to vote for the Great Cathedral as well. Why had they done all this?
For this day. They had been absolutely assured of success in the Myriad Hidden Dragon Trials.
Off on the Regal Pill Palace’s side, they didn’t have any bracing words of courage or aspiration. They all knew that Mu Gaoqi’s strength was unfathomable. Even Shen Qinghong was well aware that even if he cloned himself, he still might not even be a match for Mu Gaoqi. If it’d been the Shen Qinghong of old, he wouldn’t have been able to accept this conclusion at all. But at this moment, his heart was as calm as still water. It might’ve been difficult for him to accept if Mu Gaoqi was only just a bit stronger than him. But when Mu Gaoqi had utterly trampled Wang Han, it was clear that he was leagues ahead of Shen Qinghong. This actually made Shen Qinghong feel like a weight had been taken off his shoulders. When the gap was that enormous, like an origin realm versus a sage realm cultivator, there was no chance of decreasing the gap at all. At that point, there was no need to think too much about it.
When Nie Chong thought about how he’d jeered at Mu Gaoqi before and said that they should’ve brought Rong Zifeng instead, he felt the sudden urge to bash himself against a wall.
“Be careful, junior brother.” There was a thick sense of encouragement and delight in Ling Bi’er’s eyes. It was obvious that she was hoping Jiang Chen would take the championship! This would be the first time that the Regal Pill Palace would take the championship after Palace Head Dan Chi had done so sixty years ago.
Elder Lian Cheng walked up to say some pleasantries. Jiang Chen nodded, but didn’t pay attention to anything he said. Palace Head Dan Chi drew Jiang Chen off to the side, “Those of the Great Cathedral fight a crazy battle. You must remember that this match will differ from the one with Wang Han.”
“I’ll be careful,” Jiang Chen nodded solemnly.
“Mm, the geniuses of the Great Cathedral have a few common characteristics. Their close combat ability is quite ferocious, and the power of their bloodlines rather extreme. They also draw power from their totems. These are all points you must be on your guard against.”
“I understand the close combat ability and power of bloodlines, but what is the power of their totems?” Jiang Chen was curious.
“The power of their totems is the ancient totem of each family. When each family head nears the end of their lives, they imbue their strength into the master totem of each family and nurtures it, raising its strength. Xiang Qin will certainly have been baptized by his family’s master totem and formed his own personal totem. The power of this personal totem is certain to be extraordinary. Not only can it form ephemeral images of the totem, but at a certain level of power, it can also summon the powerful sacred beast of the totem.” Dan Chi had crossed paths with experts of the Great Cathedral back when he’d participated in the Myriad Grand Ceremony years ago, so he was familiar with their fighting style.
Jiang Chen nodded. Things would be easier now that he knew the other’s fighting style. He’d managed to defeat Cao Jin, so as strong as Xiang Qin’s potential was, it was impossible for him to be stronger than Cao Jin. He wasn’t overly worried about this battle.
The two walked up to the ring with all eyes on them.
Xiang Qin was dressed in armor unique to the Great Cathedral. Add that to his strongly built body—he appeared quite majestic and grand, boasting an uncommon aura. Jiang Chen, on the other hand, was still dressed in ordinary clothes and hadn’t gone through any special preparations. He merely stepped onto the stage, but no one felt that the two sides were in any way imbalanced. They all knew that this was a match between equals. Even the overweening Wang Han had fallen to Mu Gaoqi. Although Xiang Qin was even stronger, it was unknown if he could beat Mu Gaoqi.
Xiang Qin’s gaze was deep, and he seemed to be able to peer into the sun and moon. “Mu Gaoqi, to think that you would be standing in front of me. I’d thought it’d be Wang Han!” Xiang Qin’s presence seemed to expand outwards as he spoke. “However, it excites me more than it’s you and not Wang Han!”
When Jiang Chen saw how Xiang Qin brimmed with confidence, and how unguarded he was even after seeing Jiang Chen defeat Wang Han,, Jiang Chen knew that Xiang Qin was feeling fairly certain of himself. He responded coolly, “I hope you’re a bit stronger than Wang Han, otherwise I’d be entirely disappointed.”
Jiang Chen was sort of disposed towards Xiang Qin. This fellow was an open and aboveboard sort of man. When Jiang Chen had refined the Longevity Pill and given Xiang Wentian the chance to extend his life, Xiang Qin had shown Jiang Chen some face and had been polite to him in the ancient herb garden. However, Jiang Chen was now appearing as Mu Gaoqi, so none of that was relevant anymore. There was nothing between them. This match was fought for personal ambition, but also for the championship of the Myriad Grand Ceremony. Jiang Chen was representing the Regal Pill Palace, so he had to bring everything he had to it.
“Prepare yourself, Mu Gaoqi!” Xiang Qin bellowed, his voice ringing across the arena.
“No need,” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
“I would strongly recommend you prepare yourself in some way. It’ll be too late once I start my attack. I don’t want people to think I didn’t win fair and square,” Xiang Qin had the expansive air of a great hero. He was different from Wang Han. Wang Han’s tactics always used an ambush as its foundation. In Xiang Qin’s eyes, those tactics were base, too vile for him to consider stooping to. He was quite dismissive of those tactics because he preferred to beat his opponents openly and fairly.
Jiang Chen shook his head. He had many weapons, such as the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect token that was the nameless blade, and the Moonshatter Awl and Ocean Covering Sword that he’d received from Cao Jin. He’d even held onto Du Lihuang’s weapon from the Sacred Sword Palace, but he didn’t plan on using any of them.
Xiang Qin chuckled when he saw how resolute his opponent was and didn’t mention it again. “Alright, then take a few of my punches first!”
He charged forward, his strides long and powerful, seeming to vanish into the air with his movement. Afterimages filled the air, closing in on Jiang Chen from all sides. In the span of a moment, the afterimages blurred into figures that looked like enormous ancient elephants thundering towards Jiang Chen. Like enormous mountains, these figures were the coalesced form of Xiang Qin’s speed, momentum and power!
Jiang Chen’s opinion of his opponent rose at the sight of this technique. From this alone, Jiang Chen could tell that Xiang Qin was more frank and forthright than Wang Han, and much stronger as well.
A cultivator at the peak of third level sage realm was indeed astonishing. In Jiang Chen’s eyes, Xiang Qin could hold his own against an earth sage realm cultivator. However, since Jiang Chen had trained in the Nine Transformations of Demons and Gods, he really didn’t fear close body combat. He leapt up, three meters in the air, with a flicker of his body and summoned his golden aura. With the golden light protecting him, Jiang Chen started throwing punches left and right, filling the air with explosive sounds.
Continuous explosions rang out in the air as each of his fists found a target. The very air around the ring began to shudder and quake from the explosions. This was completely different from the match between Mu Gaoqi and Wang Han. There had been almost no close combat there. Here, Mu Gaoqi and Xiang Qin were going toe-to-toe in the manner that Xiang Qin was most well versed in, bodily combat!
The two figures streaked around the ring, pummeling each other fiercely. No matter how fast Xiang Qin’s speed was or how strong his fists, he didn’t seem to have an advantage in the fight either.
“This Mu Gaoqi is truly well-rounded, he can even hold his own in close combat?”
“What the hell? He can go toe-to-toe with someone from the Great Cathedral with that body of his?”
“This is a true genius!”
The golden body of the Nine Transformations of Demons and Gods was originally meant for close combat, so its defensive abilities needed no boasting. Although Xiang Qin’s Sacred Elephant Punch was very strong and his inner power quite incredible, he still wasn’t able to form an advantage when faced with the golden aura.
Bam bam bam!
Jiang Chen paid no heed to Xiang Qin’s attacks, allowing some punches to slip past his defense in order to sink a couple of blows past the other’s defenses. Xiang Qin had been blessed with a strong inherent defensive ability from his thick skin and muscles. He was also further protected by his armor. But even with that protecting him, as multiple punches began to hit his body, he began to feel some serious discomfort. He almost had to suppress the urge to vomit. He’d never thought that Mu Gaoqi’s close combat skills would be so perverse! Mu Gaoqi’s speed and attacks were completely on par with his! His defensive skills were even slightly stronger!
Xiang Qin was rather depressed. The defensive abilities of the Sacred Elephant family were unparalleled in the Myriad Domain. He’d never thought he’d lose to Mu Gaoqi in defensive ability! He’d wanted to take the initiative through close combat, but he’d ended up putting himself at a disadvantage instead.