Who is this person? This question appeared simultaneously in the minds of almost all the assassins hidden in the shadows. Is she a competitor? But how can an Assassin possibly be blind?
At this moment, a thought dawned upon all the assassins. In the previous contests, the total number of contestants amounted to forty-seven people, not forty-eight people as that gloomy voice had just announced.
This place that was vacant on the two previous matches, could it be…… 5th step?
But, what would it matter if she was at the 5th step? What percentage of an assassin’s power could a blind, female assassin display?
“Du, du, du……” Cai’er silently walked towards the arena. Her movements weren’t fast, to the point that they were slower than the average person’s walking pace. It looked as if she was the walking dead, no signs of life arose from the coldness that radiated from her.
The gloomy voice that sounded from the platform totally ignored Cai’er’s actions and continued to count down, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Begin.”
Cai’er reached the center of the arena just as that voice called out ‘Begin’. The place where she was standing was approximately in the center of the stadium, and this area, void of any stelae, was quite wide. She was completely visible to the hidden assassins.
Silence. The whole arena was temporarily silent, and no assassin rushed to act first. Twelve people, and the first four to get knocked will compete in an additional match. In other words, the eight people that kept from getting knocked out in this match would automatically enter the top ten. Under these circumstances, no one would rashly make the first move.
However, just because others didn’t move, didn’t mean that Cai’er didn’t move. She quietly stood there for just three seconds, then her blue bamboo stick again began making ‘du, du’ sounds towards one direction. Coincidentally, that direction led straight to a stele, and furthermore, there was a assassin hidden right behind it.
Cai’er’s appearance didn’t even display a hint of defense. Her whole body was littered with openings, not to mention that her pace was extremely slow, completely relying on that green bamboo stick to advance.
Pu—— Finally, the green bamboo stick in her hand bumped into that stele. Cai’er’s feet abruptly halted, and it was just at this moment that the hidden assassin made a move.
The assassin leapt out from the middle section of the stela, taking advantage of his agility and his light clothing, and without letting out the slightest sound, glancing at Cai’er’s head, he aimed his pitch black dagger at Cai’er’s shoulder.
If not for the fact no one was to be killed during the competition, he would have aimed at Cai’er’s neck.
The other assassins, hidden in the shadows, didn’t move the slightest bit. They calmly observed their surroundings; everyone clearly wished to see someone else initiating an attack to deal with Cai’er.
A piercing blow!
All the assassins could clearly see that this black clad assassin’s dagger was aiming for Cai’er’s shoulder. But in the next instant, all the observers’ pupils suddenly shrank.
Because they could see two Cai’er.
The Cai’er that was hit by the assassin’s stab was standing in place, completely motionless, but the pitch black dagger didn’t manage to spill out any blood. And the second Cai’er that appeared was two meters tall.
Cai’er’s soft hand, the same one that was held by Long Hao Chen the day before, was placed at the quarter length of her bambo
The assassin discovered that, unexpectedly, what he stabbed was the air. Unfortunately, he couldn’t bypass nature’s rules, and thus, his body could only fall down.
With a numb feeling behind his neck, he lost consciousness.
The others assassins only saw a flower before their eyes, as she stood before the stele, at the same place where she was supposed to be hit by her opponent’s piercing blow.
The bamboo cane swept across the ground as she softly aimed at the black-clad assassin’s waist. Immediately, this black-clad assassin’s body crumpled, just like a rag, directly falling on the ground.
“#18, eliminated.” A cold voice sounded from the platform.
All the assassins had their heartbeat quicken, grasping their daggers as they were soaked in cold sweat.
[Shadow Doppelganger] was a secret skill of the fifth step, and the one that required the most achievements to be learned at this step. It seemed that there was no way to differentiate this girl’s clone from the original. Her [Shadow Doppelganger] seemed practically perfect: it went as far as giving a sensation of illusion, and when she used this splitting skill, no one could know which one was real.
Fifth step, she was at the fifth step for real, in addition to being such a powerful assassin of the fifth step.
Du, du, du. The blue bamboo cane’s sounds rang once again.
Cai’er changed direction, and slowly advanced. Seeing the bamboo cane in her hand, each competitor went to the defensive, as if continually pressured. It felt as if the sound of this bamboo cane could control their heartbeat. No one dared belittle this slim figure, even if it belonged to a petite blind girl.
Du, du, du.
A leaping sound could be heard, coming directly from this figure, as the assassins fled at flying speed. None of them wanted to become Cai’er’s next target.
Only, the stadium was not so huge and there were only so many stelae that as soon as she moved, they would naturally run into each other.
Daggers collided with ding, ding sounds. The former silence was completely destroyed by Cai’er and her havoc.
Hearing the daggers’ colliding sounds, Cai’er halted her steps. She silently stood there, motionless and in the eyesight of all the assassins. Only, there wasn’t a single assassin that dared approached her. Everyone could clearly see that even though she was blind, her other senses were without doubt developed at a terrifying level.
“If I finish earlier, I will be able to go wait for him. I wonder if today’s match went well for him.” The ice-cold atmosphere around Cai’er’s body quietly faded away.
Knight Temple Stadium.
“#97, #4, enter the stadium.”
It was the seventh match of the Knight Temple. Long Hao Chen’s number was finally called, but at this very moment, Li Xin and Ye Hua both revealed extremely ugly expressions.
Among the four knights of the fifth step, a single one had already crossed the stage; to describe this match, it wouldn’t be exaggerated to use the four words, ‘strong bullying the weak’. When facing a knight of the fifth step as his opponent, the fourth step knight didn’t have the slightest chance. With a mere charge, the unlucky knight had already been compelled to surrender.
#4 was the second knight of the fifth step that had been called out today.
And his opponent was precisely #97, aka Long Hao Chen.
A total of 38 contestants had to enter this third match, and among them were four knights of the fifth step. In other words, only 4 of the 19 matches would involve a powerhouse at the fifth step. And Long Hao Chen was now one of these four unfortunate youths that had to face them.
Standing up, Long Hao Chen revealed a sun-drenched smile, as told Ye Hua, who was standing at his side, “Teacher, as you instructed me, no matter what kind of powerhouse I’ll be facing, I won’t lose my self- confidence.”
Ye Hua was startled, before nodding energetically at Long Hao Chen,
“Go. You are the disciple I am proud of.”
Long Hao Chen walked at a good pace, advancing towards the stadium. All the knights in the lounge had calmed down, attentively looking at the match that was about to start. It was the same for this black-clad youth that had been provoked by Long Hao Chen on the previous day. He was tranquil and gave a cold glance to Long Hao Chen, as if trying to say: Only if you pass this hurdle, will you have the qualifications to be my opponent.
Long Hao Chen’s opponent was a knight with a tall figure, around 190 centimeters, with a broad back, and short, thick brown hair that slightly curled. His right hand gripped a sword that was wider than most, and his left hand a shield that was squared at the top, and tapered down to a point at the bottom, certainly not like the rounded shields of most knights.
The most astonishing thing was that this number 4 knight didn’t wear any armor. Clearly wearing a proud face, he carefully looked at Long Hao Chen, who was facing him.
“I’ve heard that during the two previous days, you have only been using [Storing Power] to prevail over your opponents. Don’t use this trashy skill against me, otherwise, you will only hideously lose.” said the knight bearing the number 4, full of disdain.
Long Hao Chen indifferently answered, “There’s no trashy skill, only trashy people.”
The knight bearing the number 4 narrowed his eyes, speaking loudly:
Because a knight of the fifth step participated in this match, the referee was replaced with a Saint Knight of the seventh step. This referee had the appearance of a middle aged man. His impressive figure stood proudly, similarly to a huge mountain, as he coldly snorted, “We don’t care about your bullshit, this place is not one to show off with your clever talk, match start.”
There was no difference compared to the two previous matches; as soon as the referee declared the start of the match, Long Hao Chen’s body was immediately surrounded by a gold-colored fog. It was, as before, [Storing Power].
#4’s eyes became completely cold, clearly filled with wrath. Unlike the other knights, he didn’t immediately summon his mount. He loudly knocked the broadsword in one of his hands against the shield in the other one, producing an enormous bang sound. He seemed almost stuck to the ground before, after a small period of time, charging at Long Hao Chen.
[Assault], a skill used by knights of the fifth step that relied on a formidable spiritual energy, enabling the user to charge with a faster speed while steadier than [Charge].
While he was launching [Assault], an intense bright light was being emitted by his body, but this light was entirely different than the one Long Hao Chen was emitting. They were beyond comparison, it looked as if a thin armor covered his whole body. This was precisely the result produced by liquefying the spiritual energy. This change had simultaneously appeared on the weapon he was wielding.
The distance of thirty meters was almost instantly cut in. The broadsword, emitting an intense glittering light, aimed straight at Long Hao Chen’s head. He used his actions to tell Long Hao Chen that [Storing Power] was useless. He went as far as not to summon his own mount.
The Radiant Shield accurately blocked the broadsword’s path, and with a loud sound, Long Hao Chen was pushed a step back. His body started to emit the radiance belonging to [Bright Vengeance], as his Light Sword chopped towards his opponent.
Although he didn’t charge [Storing Power] for long, including [Bright Vengeance]’s might, this blow’s power was amplified by 100%; only, Long Hao Chen was currently not using any other abilities.
As he sneered, full of disdain, competitor #4’s broadsword was indeed blocked by [Divine Obstruction]. Only, at the moment Long Hao Chen brandished his sword, chopping at his opponent, he had already launched a skill, [Shield Charge].
Pushing the heavy shield forward, he outrageously aimed at Long Hao Chen’s heavy sword.
A tyrannical explosive force immediately blasted into him. Long Hao Chen looked almost as if he had been knocked out by an elephant, as he was directly sent flying backward.
This was the gap between the fourth and the fifth step. Long Hao Chen was already a ninth ranked Grand Knight, but against a knight at the fifth step, who possessed a liquid spiritual energy, if the contest simply compared their spiritual energy, he would have basically no chance o
[Assault]. This competitor #4 was arrogant, but really had the qualifications to be so conceited. His skill had attained a perfect cadence; as he sent Long Hao Chen flying, he immediately launched another [Assault]. As a brilliant glow appeared on his sword, a [Light Thorn] directly aimed at Long Hao Chen.
This [Light Thorn] was filled with liquefied spiritual energy; the blade launched was simply extended. It couldn’t even be recognized as spiritual energy: it looked extremely real. It directly aimed at Long Hao Chen, who used the Radiant Shield to stop it.
His body was still unsteady, but he hadn’t fallen on the ground yet. Long Hao Chen could basically not re-use [Divine Obstruction] yet, but he was able to use a [Holy Filter Shield] to enforce his defense in time.
Hong–, [Holy Filter Shield] was broken and Long Hao Chen spat out some blood, and was ruthlessly smashed on the ground. His Radiant Shield was sent flying as well.
Competitor #4 wasn’t hurried to pursue the attack; he simply coldly swept his eyes over the lounge, as if wanting to say, look here, this is the strength of the fifth step.
Suddenly turning over, Long Hao Chen stood up, his chest uninterruptedly moving up and down, while his mouth still had some bloodstains on its corner. The wounds he had received were clearly not light. But he didn’t dare pick up his Radiant Shield, as he stared fixedly at competitor #4 while staying on guard.
#4’s displayed an expression full of disdain, “I told you earlier that you mustn’t use this trashy skill [Power Storing] in front of me. Before absolute strength, everything is futile. Admit your defeat, and get lost!”
Because of his wounds, Long Hao Chen’s face was somewhat pale, but he resolutely shook his head, without the slightest hesitation. His body was still slightly dazed, but he hurried to use the Light Sword, sticking it in the ground to stabilize his own body and releasing at the same time a white [Healing Light] on himself.
#4 was glaring at him, “Refusing to be convinced until meeting the hard reality head-on? I will help you to accept it then.” This time, he didn’t even use [Assault], and simply advanced, step after step, towards Long Hao Chen. A rich holy light shone once again, as the broadsword aimed directly for Long Hao Chen’s shoulder. Each of his steps left visible footprints on the ground.
Long Hao Chen’s hands grasped the Holy Sword’s hilt, bracing his whole body, and he looked focusedly at this competitor #4. His eyes contained a firm and stubborn look that didn’t weaken the slightest bit, even after sustaining so much damage.
The majestic referee was still tightly observing the two competitors. In case #4 was about to threat Long Hao Chen’s life, he would immediately interfere.
In the lounge, Li Xin, extremely nervous, grabbed Ye Hua’s arm, “Teacher, stop him, this bastard is about to kill Hao Chen. Hao Chen is already so wounded.”
Ye Hua firmly clenched his fists, “Trust him, he will win.”
At this moment, the knight bearing the number 4 was already only 3 meters away from Long Hao Chen. Grasping the broadsword, he slowly raised his head. He deliberately moved slowly, because he loved seeing his opponent showing a helpless expression in the sight of his absolute strength.
Unfortunately, Long Hao Chen didn’t show this kind of expression. From beginning to end, Long Hao Chen’s eyes were unflinching.
“Let’s end this.” Competitor #4 was pissed off by Long Hao Chen’s persistence. Lowering his broadsword he went straight at Long Hao Chen, aiming to smash him. Because of the great competition’s rules, he didn’t dare kill him in the end, but he was sure that Long Hao Chen would inevitably lose his fighting capabilities because of this blow.
But at this very moment, in Long Hao Chen’s limpid clear gold-colored eyes, a severe look appeared abruptly, seemingly piercing his opponent like a spear.
This severe look had already appeared on the day before, when he faced the black clad youth. But it was the first time it appeared in a match in the selection.
Bzz—, a glittering bright light suddenly surrounded Long Hao Chen’s body, rushing out from the ground. It was the Retribution Knight skill, [Heavenly Battle Array].
The descending broadsword was abruptly stopped by [Heavenly Battle Array]. In its fall, it instantly slowed down drastically, and immediately following, a mantle of light burst forth from Long Hao Chen’s body, [Holy Mantle].
He had been preparing these two abilities for quite some time, starting from when he stood up from the ground. Facing a knight of the fifth step that possessed a mount as well, Long Hao Chen knew that he wouldn’t have a lot of opportunities. Thus, he could only endure silently, waiting for the opportunity. Clearly, chance was on his side though, seeing that this competitor #4 didn’t even try to summon his mount.
When Long Hao Chen was in Hao Yue City, every day was combat practice against Ye Hua, an Airborne Knight. How could he be unable to block the attacks of a knight of the fifth step for a mere round? He was indeed wounded, but this was because he was far from having gone all out. He was only enduring silently, showing his opponent a weak self, while waiting for the opportunity, the very opportunity that had appeared before his eyes right now.
Based on Long Hao Chen’s current strength, to prevail over a fifth step knight with a mount was extremely hard, almost impossible. Even if his innate talents were high, his opponent was after all one that had trained until the fifth step and beyond. As such, he could only rely on tactics to give himself a chance at winning.
Strength would forever be a crucial part of winning, but it wouldn’t be the only one. With clever tactics, even a child could kill an adult, let alone Long Hao Chen whose disparity with #4 wasn’t even that large.
Even though [Holy Mantle] was already a fourth step guardian knight’s skill, it still couldn’t block the liquid spiritual energy of the fifth step. But without a doubt, [Heavenly Battle Array] combined with [Holy Mantle] had already won him more than enough time.
He pulled out the Light Sword that was pierced into the ground with a dense, golden radiance, and simultaneously swept out horizontally, with the sword in his left hand in a blazing, red arc. This fiery red radiance combined with the golden radiance to form an intersecting [Instant Blast Cross Cut].
At this point in time, Long Hao Chen was already within Knight #4’s reach. But he had never imagined that this Long Hao Chen, who seemed to completely lack any means of resistance, would suddenly break into offense. Furthermore, it was so explosively fierce.
At this moment, he had already missed the opportunity to utilize any skills, and could only raise up his shield with difficulty to defend himself.
Light and fire crossed, forming an [Instant Blast Cross Cut] and fiercely hit #4’s shield. The number 4 knight was indeed excellent, deserving of the title of powerhouse at the fifth step. In such a disadvantageous situation, he was only forced to take two steps back by Long Hao Chen’s attack. It was, once again, because of the superiority of the liquid spiritual energy.
However, this was only the beginning. The intersected [Instant Blast Cross Cut] struck against competitor #4, who lost all opportunity to strike back. Long Hao Chen’s swords didn’t stop, even for half a second, immediately delivering another blow. But this time, his pair of swords shone with a bursting radiance.
A dazzling gold-colored light, together with a dazzling gold-red shine. The pair of swords actually immediately launched a [Shining Solar Strike], the most powerful skill of Retribution Knights of the fourth step.
Having just recently parried an attack, competitor #4 was in a shocked and angry state. Long Hao Chen’s two swords immediately chained with another blow, shining with an intimidating brilliance.
This time, knight #4 resisted, but wasn’t as relaxed. Under the powerful force of [Shining Solar Strike], his shield was pushed back and he almost lost his balance, stumbling forwards and backwards in succession, but still managing to stay on his feet.
The advantage Long Hao Chen gained was not small. The Flame Sword in his left hand was thrust forward, carrying a red glow, and a [Lightning Thrust] was directly aimed at #4’s chest. The Light Sword in his right hand wasn’t attacking together, but was lifted above his head. Above it, an incandescent luster shone, instantly amplifying. But there was a fundamental difference with [Shining Solar Strike]. It was that the Light Sword’s radiance wasn’t scattering, but completely concentrated in the sword. It seemed that the Light Sword was becoming immaterial, and could
break through anything, as a holy aura was emanating from the Light Sword.
Long Hao Chen recited some incantations in a low voice, and this Light Sword revealed a change. At first glance, it looked like a [Pure White Edge], but compared to [Pure White
In the platform, the Saint Knight that was sitting was completely astonished and declared, “Good boy, so he had this kind of secret. Turns out that he was not a Guardian Knight at all. No wonder he had been continuously using [Storing Power] and [Divine Obstruction]. He was from the beginning a Retribution Knight! What a good fellow, this is the ambidextruous high level retribution skill that can be learned at the fifth step of the vocation.”
#4 was completely dispirited: Long Hao Chen’s counterattack was something beyond his expectations. Furthermore, Long Hao Chen’s series of bursting attacks didn’t give him the slightest opportunity to counterattack.
[Heavenly Battle Array], [Holy Mantle], two [Shining Solar Strike] and a [Lightning Thrust]. He didn’t even have the time to transfer his internal spiritual energy to obstruct these attacks, let alone to launch skills or summon his mount. He was completely caught in these attacks, and could do nothing else other than passively take them on. To stop Long Hao Chen’s chained attacks, he had to wait for a tiny gap, an opportunity to strike back.
Using his broadsword, he tried to contain these attacks as much as he could. Jingling sounds rang repeatedly on the surface of the stadium. Long Hao Chen’s [Lightning Thrust] was extremely fast, giving him the opportunity to use [Shining Solar Strike]. Competitor #4 couldn’t possibly completely stop these attacks. A gold-red light swept past his left arm, instantly leaving a black scorched mark.
A real powerhouse wouldn’t let pride blind him in the midst of the battlefield. Competitor 4, who didn’t even bother to wear any armor, had
clearly violated this golden rule. He was hit by the Flame Sword that left a painful wound on his left arm, which became completely numb.
In fact, until that moment, competitor #4 had never thought that he could lose; even if Long Hao Chen was a Retribution Knight and could use so many abilities, wouldn’t his timing normally have a small gap after using them? As long as he had the chance to strike back, he was confident in his absolute superiority in terms of cultivation level to prevail over Long Hao Chen.
At this very moment, as Long Hao Chen completed [Lightning Thrust], a dazzling gold-red-colored radiance suddenly erupted. It was another [Shining Solar Strike], only, this time, it wasn’t used as a strike, but a stab.
It didn’t have [Lightning Thrust]’s speed, but it had [Shining Solar Strike]’s might. Competitor #4 had no choice but to block with his shield once again. An explosive sound could be heard, as he fell five steps back. His shield and his broadsword had both turned dull by then.
As he took a deep breath, while falling back, #4’s eyes were full of rage. With his entirely liquid spiritual energy, although he was currently unsteady, this fall back could also be described as an opportunity. Using a little bit of internal spiritual energy, he released a gold-colored [Holy Mantle]. It healed the injury in his left hand while taking shape and forming a powerful defense.
[Assault], Long Hao Chen dived with his sword, and in a split second, nothing else other than a white electric light could be seen as his outline became shapeless.
A single sword shape appeared–, but was it the Light Sword, or the Flame Sword?
A crystal clear pure-white bright sword created ripples in the air, instantly coming close.
The [Holy Mantle] created by the power of the knight of the fifth step unexpectedly couldn’t withstand this thrust of the Light Sword. With an ear- piercing sound, the Light Sword forcibly penetrated this [Holy Mantle].
[Holy Sword], the ultimate Retribution Knight skill of the fifth step. While possessing a tyrannical offensive power, this skill had a supplementary effect on creatures with a dark attribute, doubling the damage. Competitor #4 was completely astonished, hastingly lifting up his Victorious Shield, but Long Hao Chen’s linking speed was just too high; he only had the time to use a [Holy Filter Shield] to enhance his shield’s defense.
And at this very moment, on the Light Sword, a white glow appeared, and ruthlessly struck #4’s shield, followed with a thrust from the Light Sword.
Under the gaze of the shocked spectators, #4’s shield was split open, finally broken by the Light Sword’s blows. However, the huge force of impact wasn’t limited to that, as he tumbled onto the ground.
The fiery-red-colored brilliance quietly approached, fearlessly falling on his shoulder. A scorching hot temperature approached #4’s neck, completely terrifying him.
Using the support of the Light Sword to prevent himself from falling down, he stuck the Flame Sword to #4’s neck. As he took big gasps to breath, Long Hao Chen’s mouth was covered in blood, blood that kept flowing out. But his eyes were still full of resolution, that didn’t change at all.
To use so many abilities to such an extent while wounded, the burden on Long Hao Chen’s body was obvious. But it was precisely this series of dangerous attacks that made him victorious.
Compared to the peak of the fourth step, the fifth step was fundamentally different! If not for the fact that he had used so many formidable abilities, and relied on his innate talents enabling him to naturally exceed ordinary knights’ speed, intuition, and his tyrannical Retribution Knight abilities, there was no way he could have won this. Surprisingly though, as he was defeating his opponent, he had made sure not to injure him.
“I lost. I actually lost?” Knight #4 dazedly sat on the ground, his face ashen. Even as an Earth Knight, he hadn’t been able to enter into the top ten of this Demon Hunt Selection. Consequently, he couldn’t become a genuine member of a Demon Hunt Squad. He had already reached the maximum age eligible for this Demon Hunt Selection, and could no longer participate in another. In an instant, this defeat had completely removed him from becoming one of the Knight Temple’s core members.
When Long Hao Chen heard the words “I lost”, he had already put away his two swords and silently walked over to pick up the Radiant Light Shield at the edge of the arena. Although he had won this battle, he had not won easily. The pressure which was brought upon him by Knight #4 was enormous.
“No——, I can’t accept this and I won’t accept this!” Knight #4 suddenly leapt up from the ground, his eyes red as he looked towards Long Hao Chen. “I haven’t even summoned my mount, nor am I fully armored. I have a set of Spiritual Tier armor. How then could you even be my opponent? How? Referee, I don’t accept this. I want to have a rematch.”
The referee coldly looked at him and stood between him and Long Hao Chen, saying indifferently: “You’ve lost.”
Knight #4 desperately said: “I haven’t lost. How could I have lost to a brat of the fourth step?”
An aged voice rang out from the platform, full of anger, “I ask you, what are the Ten Standards of a Knight?”
Knight #4 looked blanky. These rules were something every knight had to learn since a young age, and he almost subconsciously answered: “Modesty, honesty, compassion, courage, fairness, sacrifice, honor, perseverance, humility, justice.”
That aged voice said in a low voice: “Then where is your humility and honesty? Rather than saying you lost to #97, instead you should say that you’ve lost to yourself. Not even armoring yourself or summoning your mount was your own decision. You can’t even comply with the two most basic standards of a knight. Your nature isn’t even fit for a knight. Come, throw him out and expel him from the Knight Temple.”
Knight #4 shook violently and his face turned deathly white in an instant. What did expulsion from the Knight Temple mean? It meant that a person was no longer a member of the Knight Temple. At the same time, Knight #4 also knew who this aged voice belonged to. Even the three highest ranked elders of the Knight Temple had to express the utmost courtesy when facing this person.
A thudding noise rang out as Knight #4 knelt onto the ground. Facing the platform, he said in a trembling voice: “Senior Saint Knight, I’ve done wrong. I know the wrongs I have committed. Please give me another chance. I dare not make the same mistake .”
The Chief Saint Knight’s voice slowly sounded: “That you can become an Earth Knight before 25 years of age, it is evident that your innate talent is extremely good. However, you should also know that what our Knight’s Temple emphasizes is not level but character. As a chief member of the six
Great Temples, if any core knight of a Demon Hunt Squad cannot comply with the Ten Standards of a Knight, he can only bring shame to the honor
All the knights of the stadium stood in one body and shouted in unison:
“Honor is life.”
The Saint Knight Head calmly said: “#4, you have now heard. Honor is life. Do you still possess the honor of a knight?”
Knight #4 trembled violently. But even as he knelt there, he couldn’t utter a single word. He could tell that the Senior Saint Knight’s temper had already been ignited.
“Senior Saint Knight.” Right at this moment, a clear voice sounded out.
Everyone’s line of sight couldn’t help but turn.
The one who spoke was precisely Long Hao Chen. He fisted his right hand and placed it over his left breast, respectfully giving a Knight’s salute in the direction of the platform.
“Speak.” The Saint Knight Head’s voice was clearly gentler and didn’t at all conceal the fondness he had towards Long Hao Chen.
Long Hao Chen glanced at Knight #4 who was still kneeling on the ground beside him, then respectfully said: “Saint Knight Head, when I was very young, my mother told me: no one is perfect. Knight #4’s mind is only a bit unstable right now because of this defeat. His arrogance was indeed a mistake. However, that his life must completely change just because of this matter, I think it is a bit unfair. Development of character and maturation are interlinked, and he cannot totally be blamed. Please give him another chance. After learning from this matter, I believe that he will correct himself.”
Hearing Long Hao Chen’s words, Knight #4 raised his head and looked towards him, stunned. His eyes even possessed a peculiar light.
The platform suddenly went silent, and all the spectators also paid attention to the platform. After all, a genius like Knight #4 who had broken
through to the fifth step before 25 years old was also extremely rare within the Knight’s Temple.
Only after a while did the Senior Saint Knight let out a sigh from the platform. “Alright. Because you’ve requested it, I will give him a chance. Listen closely, #4. If you wish to continue staying in the Knight’s Temple, then from this point on, you are #97’s retainer knight. If you can carry this duty until the start of the next Demon Hunt Selection, then I will permit you to return to the Knight’s Temple.
#4 first stared blankly, then rejoiced at this good news, “Many thanks to the Senior Saint Knight for giving me another chance.” After saying so, he stood up and turned towards Long Hao Chen. After a momentary struggle flashed through his eyes, a thud was heard as he knelt on one knee before Long Hao Chen, “Master, I, Han Yu will obey your commands. I still do not know your name.”
Long Hao Chen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and said, “Th- this……”
“His name is Long Hao Chen.” A cold voice sounded from the resting area. Long Hao Chen turned to look, and the voice that spoke belonged precisely to Teacher Ye Hua.
Han Yu respectfully said:,“God of Light above, I, Han Yu, will henceforth serve Long Hao Chen as my master for five years. My master’s honor is my honor. If I break this oath, then may the gods punish me.”
Long Hao Chen was ever level-headed in battle, but he was, after all, only fourteen years old. Under these circumstances he immediately became flustered and hastily said: “Quickly get up.” Saying so, he held out an arm to pull Han Yu up.
Han Yu respectfully said: “Master, I still have some affairs to take care of at home. I will return now to manage them, then return tomorrow to look for Master. From this day forward, I vow to follow you.”
After the previous setback, there was no longer any evidence of pride on his face. Although his eyes still gave hint of unreconciliation, after thinking about almost getting expelled out of the Knight’s Temple, he finally overcame his reluctance and turned to leave after saluting Long Hao Chen. Although he was conceited, he was highly ambitious. Once he was expelled from the Knight’s Temple, how could he ever achieve his aspirations?
Although Long Hao Chen couldn’t clearly make sense of the situation, there had to be a reason why Ye Hua would let him accept. After covering himself with [Holy Mantle] he returned to the resting area.
“Lil’ Bro, you’re so awesome.” Li Xin immediately rushed over and gave him a big hug. As for the other knight participants, when they looked at Long Hao Chen, their expressions all revealed a bit of fear.
Within these one-on-one matches, retribution knights were clearly superior to guardian knights. Although Han Yu had ultimately lost because of his pride, do not forget, Long Hao Chen’s last stream of offensive skills hadn’t even given him a chance to react. Was this something an ordinary retribution knight could achieve? That instant, exploding force, especially that final combination of skills paired with [Holy Sword], was the real reason for Long Hao Chen’s victory. Even a fifth step knight couldn’t block his attack!
Ye Hua glanced at Long Hao Chen, and said with a snort, “Stinky kid, so this was your background.”
Long Hao Chen lowered his head, “Teacher, I…”
Ye Hua waved his hands and said, “No need to tell me. In fact, when that fatty Nalan let me teach you, I already knew that you had a peculiar background, otherwise, how could you have attained this level of cultivation at such a young age? Is this background your father?”
Long Hao Chen nodded.
Ye Hua patted his shoulder, “No need to overthink this, I don’t blame you. Besides, your luck is indeed quite bad, to meet an opponent of the fifth step in this match. Although you won, your secret has been exposed.”
Long Hao Chen gave Ye Hua a concerned look. His mind in disorder, he approached Ye Hua’s ear and told him something in a very low voice.
Ye Hua’s eyes were instantly wide open, and he looked at Long Hao Chen, astonished.
Long Hao Chen nodded at his direction. Ye Hua’s ice-cold face revealed a smile even uglier than a crying expression, before giving him a thumbs up.
“Teacher, what is a retainer knight?” Long Hao Chen asked, full of curiosity.
Ye Hua answered, “What you gained this time was quite convenient. A retainer knight is like the retainer warriors of a mage. The sole difference, is that one’s retainer knight can be considered as his servant, rather than a regular partner of his. The fact he made an oath implies that if you are to meet a dangerous situation, he will have no other choice than to risk his life by your side. It’s like a human shield. According to the rules and regulations of the Demon Hunt Squads, this kind of existences called retenues are normally not allowed, but knight retenues are the exception. If a knight is a Retribution Knight, then he is permitted to have a training Guardian Knight as his retinue. It is because in regard to Demon Hunt Squads, Guardian Knights are extremely useful.”
“Only, there is almost no knight that is willing to become someone’s retinue. Consequently, you can be said to have picked up a treasure. And this retinue is in addition a knight of the fifth step! When you will enter a Demon Hunt Squad in the future, in terms of sustainability, he will be extremely useful. Furthermore, for having reached the fifth step before his 25 years-old, his background cannot be so simple.”
Long Hao Chen scratched his head, and said, “But, his cultivation level is higher than mine, he may not necessarily accept this.”
Ye Hua showed a mysterious smile, “You are looking down on the oath of a retainer knight. No matter how proud he is, under this oath, you will be his everything, his master. Even if deep inside, he doesn’t accept it, all his thoughts will have to be directed to your sake.”
“Teacher, I’ll be returning first, I have already fully recovered and I also have to rest for tomorrow’s match.” Long Hao Chen hadn’t forgotten the promise he made to Cai’er, and now that his match had ended, he felt an urge to fulfill it as soon as possible.
Ye Hua nodded, and gave his agreement, “Go. However, don’t be over- hasty, there will be no need for you to participate in tomorrow’s match.”
“Huh?” Long Hao Chen stared at him, completely astonished.
The nearby Li Xin was smiling, “Foolish brother, did you forget about the vacant place? If no one else other than you can beat a knight of the fifth step today, how could it run out of your palm?”
Long Hao Chen suddenly realized that now that he had defeated Han Yu, he should be able to seize this vacant place!
If the competition was the only issue, he wouldn&rs
But this last day was different. He was indeed on the verge of having his spiritual energy liquefied, after figuring out how [Storing Power] could be used as a training method. In such circumstances, what he needed the most was some time of quiet practice.
Exiting the Knight Stadium, Long Hao Chen impatiently headed at running pace to Cai’er’s location. In a distant place, he saw Cai’er who calmly stood there. She had stood at the same place of the street as before, for a long time, just like a sculpture, and was dressed up the same way as the last times.
The sunlight was sprinkled across her body, and under its warm rays, her purple hair seemed to have acquired a crystal-clear gloss.
“Cai’er.” Long Hao Chen called out, running at full speed toward her.
As soon as she heard his voice, Cai’er was shaken, but when she felt him approaching, she felt an intense chill scattering all over her body.
“Cai’er, what’s up?” Long Hao Chen was startled, suddenly stopping.
Cai’er’s voice didn’t have the slightest coldness, “You are injured? Who was it that injured you?” As she was speaking, she lifted up her hand, naturally grabbing Long Hao Chen’s.
Long Hao Chen had a curious look, “How do you know that I am injured?”
Cai’er said, “I could hear it. Although I cannot see, my hearing is a lot better than ordinary people’s. Your breathing is unnatural, so it is clear
that you have been wounded.” At this moment, the chill she felt in her body had appeased, and she let go of Long Hao Chen’s hand.
Long Hao Chen chuckled, “It’s nothing. I am participating in the Demon Hunt Selection of the Alliance and today, I encountered a powerful opponent, so I have received minor injuries, but nothing serious. However, I won. Right, I haven’t told you yet, but I am a knight. Today, I had a good match, and since there will be a vacant place tomorrow, I should already be in the top ten.”
“Mh.” Cai’er lightly nodded, and her body wasn’t sending out chills anymore.
“Let’s go, I’m sending you back.” This time, it was Long Hao Chen who took the initiative to grab her little hand, slowly pulling her in the direction of her hotel.
The two youths slowly walked. The atmosphere was very quiet, and Long Hao Chen advanced slowly, just like a kid first learning how to walk. As the sunlight sprinkled across their bodies, a pleasant, warm feeling filled them as their heartbeats sped up.
However, no matter how slow they were, the path would finally meet its end.
In the instant they stopped in their tracks, a change appeared in Long Hao Chen; he was inwardly reluctant to part with her. After feeling the warmth of when he was holding her hand, he was unwilling to let it go.
“Rest quickly when you return. I will be waiting for you tomorrow.”
Cai’er quietly said.
“Okay. I will definitely come early, tomorrow I’ll be taking the vacant place, so I’ll be able to come first and wait for you.”
His heart couldn’t bear to separate from her, “Go in first, I’ll wait for you to enter before leaving.”
But Cai’er shook her head and said, “I want to hear your footsteps as you leave, is it okay?”
He didn’t know why, but every time Long Hao Chen saw her expressionless eyes, he was unable to decline her, “Okay, then be careful when you go back, okay.”
“Don’t try to take risks like you did today, in your future matches.”
Cai’er suddenly said.
Long Hao Chen chuckled, “I am not taking risks, I am being diligent. If I don’t try my utmost to become more powerful, who will be here to protect you?” At this point, he clearly felt that his heart was beating a lot faster. He didn’t dare stay here any longer, and left Cai’er, quickly running.
Listening to the sound of his steps as he was leaving, Cai’er’s face became ice-cold once again, “He was wounded. Fortunately, it’s nothing serious.” Her body suddenly flashed with an intense killing intent.
The third day of the Demon Hunt Selection was still ongoing, and because the number of people that were left had decreased, the results of the Six Great Temples’ Selection were already out by the afternoon.
Li Xin’s luck was clearly not as poor as Long Hao Chen’s: she faced a strong opponent, but his mount was incomparable to hers. Once again making use of Rose’s superiority and her advantage as a Retribution Knight, she passed through this third match. This was something Ye Hua didn’t expect at all.
Just like everyone expected, the three others knights of the fifth step won, and Long Hao Chen became the main candidate for the vacant place.
In the office of the Knight Temple…
An elder was seated in front of a business table, calmly looking at the data in his hand. This elder had silver hair, and even though he was seated there, it could clearly be seen that he was quite tall. His shoulders were especially wide and his age didn’t affect his dignified appearance.
This elder was the highest graded policymaker in the Temple Alliance and its general quarters within Holy City. Within the whole Knight Alliance, he was second only to the three great Divine Knights who were the holy chiefs of the knights. This person was the one who was previously seated in the middle seat of the platform of the Knight Stadium, surrounded by other elders.
Toc, toc, toc. Someone knocked on the door.
“Enter.” The Saint Knight slowly lifted his head, and indifferently said.
Opening the door, and entering from outside was someone with a strong figure with a well-built physique and brown hair, Han Yu. Only, his face didn’t have the slightest bit of its previous arrogance, it was only filled with nervousness, pain, and other gloomy feelings of this kind.
Looking at him, the Saint Knight’s complexion suddenly changed, as he conveniently threw the data on the 19 competitors of today that he was reading on the table.
Bang–, Han Yu’s clenched fist was pressed against his own chest, as he respectfully performed a knight salute before this elder.
The Saint Knight Head coldly glared at him, without saying a single word.
Han Yu’s forehead was full of sweat, as he silently lowered his head.
“Kneel down.” The Saint Knight Head ferociously kicked a desk, his hair and his beard were tossed around, and an intense oppressive pressure instantly filled the whole room, completely twisting the air inside.
Gulping, Han Yu kneeled, and his face was in this moment, extremely pale.
Under the oppressive power released by this Saint Knight Head that stood before him, as fierce as a mountain, he seemed like he could be broken into straw at any moment.
The Saint Knight Head slowly stood up and walked from behind the table. He pointed his finger at Han Yu, “Great! You are truly great. Aren’t you a bit too conceited? Didn’t you say that you were the best youth of your generation? Are you satisfied now? You didn’t pass the preliminaries, and furthermore, you were beaten by an opponent at the fourth step! What a hero!”
Han Yu lowered his head, miserably scowling, “Grandpa, I was in the wrong. It was completely my fault, please punish me suitably .”
“Don’t call me grandpa, I don’t have such a disappointing grandson.” The Saint Knight Head lifted up his leg and kicked Han Yu, “Even now, you still don’t know why you were in the wrong. You believe that I am angry because the fact you lost today’s match made me lose face, right? You are wrong. Let me tell you, I, Han Qian, am angry because my grandson didn’t even bother summoning his mount and yet lost, completely disgraced. This disgrace is so
The senior Saint Knight Head was seething in anger while shouting, “Do you think that back then, in the stadium, I wanted expel you from the Knight Temple just because I was angry? No! I wanted to expel you because you weren’t even close to being qualified as a knight! The first of the ten rules of a knight is modesty, but tell me, is there any part of your worthless self that is modest? Your heart is only filled with arrogance. Do you think that, as a 22 year-old kid who broke through to the fifth step, you’re special? That you’re a genius? Well, guess what? The child you fought today is only 14 years old. 14 years old! Compared to him, you’re just a little piece of sh*t that got stuck on the bottom of his shoe.”
Hearing the three words ‘14 years-old’, Han Yu’s expression was completely blank, “No, that’s impossible.”
Han Qian coldly looked at his grandson, “Impossible? Do you think the bone age test can be wrong? I have personally sealed off the information on his age. Wasn’t it your dream to become a Divine Knight? With your current moral integrity, even if one day, you obtain this title, you will still be no more than a corrupted knight. Full of arrogance and self- satisfaction, considering everyone else beneath him, still acting shamelessly even after having lost the match. You didn’t make me lose face, you made the entire Knight Alliance lose face. If it wasn’t for the other elders who held me back at that time, I would have beaten you to death.”
Han Yu’s body started slightly shaking. Since his childhood, even though he was extremely diligent in his training, he was naturally a very arrogant
kid. Since he was a kid, this was the first time he received a setback. Today, with this defeat, he had discovered that he was too lacking. Long Hao Chen’s combo crushed all his arrogance, and he suddenly discovered that he was actually not as formidable as he imagined at all.
Han Qian still spoke with a cold voice, “You have only two possible choices, now. First, to let me seal your spiritual energy, and expel you from the Knight Alliance. You are still my grandson, so I will give you some money, to let you pursue a prosperous life as an ordinary man. If you choose this path, I will personally, on your behalf, appear before Long Hao Chen to cancel your oath. As for the second path, you already know it.”
Han Yu’s body suddenly shook, as he slowly raised his head,
“Grandfather, he… he’s really only 14 years old?”
Han Qian’s previously angry mood had calmed down a bit, and strongly nodding, he answered, “From these three days of competition, I can tell that this child, Long Hao Chen, has a persevering, kind-hearted, honest, courageous, and brave disposition. In him, I can see the honor of a knight. If you stay alongside him, you’ll be able to learn about the attitude a knight should have. Don’t think that becoming a retainer knight is a loss of face. As long as he doesn’t die, he will definitely astonish the whole Alliance in the future, and even the most powerful figures of the Demon Race. Accompanying him, as his supporter, will only have advantages for your progress. If you don’t take this choice, five years later, his back will be absolutely out of your reach.”
Han Yu kneeled down once again, facing Han Qian, knocking his head three times against the floor, “Grandpa, in five years, I will definitely make you acknowledge me.”
At this point, he stood straight, performing another knight salute toward Han Qian, and with large strides took his leave.
Looking at his departing figure, the anger in Han Qian’s face suddenly disappeared. Instead, it changed into a faintly discernible smile.
“Long Hao Chen, I should really thank you today. Actually, I had noticed little Han Yu’s problem before. Only, I had never found a good occasion to give him a big lesson. Yu’er is a very arrogant kid, but he’s very determinated. Obstructing him will only make him more brave. And being together with Long Hao Chen will only be advantageous for him. Furthermore, they may really both become divine knights together. Only, I wonder from whom Long Hao Chen inherited. He uses Retribution Knight abilities, learned [Holy Sword], the most powerful skill of the fifth step. And his family name is Long! Don’t tell me that…”
At this point, Han Qian’s face suddenly became astonished.
The real reason why he had Han Yu follow Long Hao Chen was that when he lost in the competition, he had lost the qualifications to enter in a Demon Hunt Squad. In regard to his future accomplishments, it could be described as a fatal blow. And although by name, becoming Long Hao Chen’s retainer knight could be called a fatal blow, it still enabled him to become a part of a Demon Hunt Squad. And Han Qian had a very favorable opinion of Long Hao Chen. Having Han Yu protect him would definitely make Long Hao Chen more likely to survive these experiences. Also, he would naturally easily grow closer to Long Hao Chen within five years. If Long Hao Chen really reached the Divine level, it would be extremely advantageous for his grandson to be close to him. This old geezer was full of ulterior motives Ye Hua could never possibly guess! Naturally, if not for this arrogant personality of Han Yu’s that was so detrimental to him, how could Han Qian let his grandson, blessed by the Heavens, become someone else’s retainer?
The Demon Hunt Squads’ preliminaries were at their third day, and most Temples were already at their final stage. The Assassin Temple, the Spiritual Temple and the Priest Temple already had their top ten designated. The rest of the competition was only there to determine ranking orders.
Because of the vacant place in the competition, Long Hao Chen didn’t go to the Stadium. Since morning, he silently waited for Cai’er at the usual place where they met up every day.
There were only ten people left in the lounge, but nine of them had their gaze focused on the last one.
Cai’er was seated calmly; her oppressive eyes had a great influence on the nine other competitors. On her hand was a blue cane that seemed harmless at the first glance.
Assassin of the fifth step; secret skill [Doppelganger Shadow]. The favorite, and sole Assassin of the fifth step of this competition.
As all glances were focused on her, Cai’er was seated on the first row, facing the platform. Standing straight up, with an especially cold voice, she said, “I concede for the rest of the competition.”
When she said these words, the nine other competitors completely blanked out. She used her blue bamboo cane, making Du, du, du sounds as she left the Assassin Hall.
Standing on the street, waiting for Cai’er, was Long Hao Chen. For the first time since he arrived in the biggest city of the Alliance, his heart was completely at ease.
At the two sides of the street, there were countless buildings. The overwhelming majority of these were heavily decorated, resulting in a very medieval atmosphere filling the city.
His wounds from the previous day had already completely healed. From the start, Long Hao Chen had not been heavily wounded, and in addition, he relied on his healing skills of Guardian Knight to recover. Thus, he was already in perfect shape. During the fight against this knight of the fifth step, his potential was further stimulated. After a day and a night of cultivation, his spiritual energy increased by a tremendous amount. It was especially because of the use of the skill [Storing Power] that had a great influence on his cultivation, making his liquid spiritual energy even deeper. Long Hao Chen was confident on the fact that if he continued to cultivate like that, he would definitely break through the threshold of the fifth step within ten days.
“Du, du, du.” A familiar sound pulled Long Hao Chen back from his thoughts.
“Cai’er.” Seeing nearby Cai’er who was slowly approaching, he immediately became extremely joyous. Long Hao Chen ran at her, and hastily to grab her hand.
Cai’er smiled and asked, “Have you been waiting for long?”
Long Hao Chen shook his head, “No, I just arrived a little moment ago.
Are you arriving so early every day to wait for me?”
Cai’er shook her head as well, “No, there’s no fixed time on when I head back home every day. But in the next days, I should be here earlier.”
Holding her soft little hand, Long Hao Chen felt warm. This warm sensation was completely different from the sensation he had when he was
together with his parents. He didn’t know at all what Cai’er had renounced, just to avoid making him wait for too long.
Hand in hand, with this hazy feeling, this extremely pure feeling, their silhouettes gradually disappeared under the sunshine.
“Cai’er, for how long will you remain in Holy City?” Long Hao Chen separated his hands from Cai’er’s, and courageously asked this decisive question.
Cai’er was silent for a moment, “What are you asking me this for?”
Long Hao Chen was shak
Cai’er fell silent, and the two youths were standing face to face. Long Hao Chen’s hands were sweating, as he was completely disappointed.
Feeling his hands’ sweat, Cai’er said in a low voice, “I am just a blind girl, is it really so important for you to walk me back?”
Long Hao Chen was startled, and sincerely answered, “I… I don’t know.”
Cai’er was startled as well. Even though young girls are said to start to understand love earlier than boys, she had even less experience than Long Hao Chen in life.
“Have you grown tired of me?” Cai’er dropped her head and asked.
Long Hao Chen was instantly filled with dread, and pulling her hand before him, he declared, “How can I possibly grow tired of you?” He didn’t know why, but the current Long Hao Chen was extremely nervous. He felt that if he gave the wrong answer, this girl may completely disappear from his sight.
“Cai’er, actually… actually, I am very ugly. How can someone who’s as ugly as me be qualified to reject you.” Long Hao Chen was full of panic, as he made this declaration.
Cai’er blanked, “Very ugly?”
“Yup, very ugly.” Long Hao Chen hastily confirmed.
Cai’er smiled. Even though her face was covered by a veil and he couldn’t see it, Long Hao Chen unconsciously felt that her smile was beautiful, extremely beautiful.
“Then if… if I wanted you to look after me forever, would you be willing to accept?” Cai’er’s voice was soft, and she mumbled, speaking haltingly. As she finished to say these words, her slender white face was already bashful, and completely red.
“I am willing.” Long Hao Chen was in an odd mental state as he gave this answer; it felt as if he didn’t have the slightest bit of hesitation.
This time, it was Cai’er’s turn to be flustered. Taking her hand back from Long Hao Chen’s, she said, “I… I am heading back first.”
Long Hao Chen anxiously said, “Th… Then tomorrow, I will send you back as well.”
“Okay.” She lightly nodded, but the blue bamboo cane was hitting the ground at least twice as fast as usual. Cai’er headed to her hotel to rest. These words resounded without interruption in her heart, He went as far as to say that he’s very ugly? This same boy who looked as pretty as a girl? Never in the past had she felt this kind of warmth in her heart. How could she not understand that he said this to comfort her?
“Hehe.” Long Hao Chen couldn’t help but laugh. He was still young, and didn’t understand anything in regard to relations between boys and girls, but his senses were a lot sharper than ordinary people’s. He could clearly feel that a change appeared in Cai’er’s attitude towards him, a good change.
With this cheerful mood, Long Hao Chen went back to his hotel. Without waiting for his heart to calm down, he started to cultivate. But then, someone eagerly knocked at his door.
“Hao Chen, Hao Chen.” Li Xin was completely excited as she called him out.
Long Hao Chen was surprised, but hurried to open the door.
Li Xin was in a really pitiful state, her appearance was completely messy; the armor on her body was pierced at least at three places, her hair was in disorder, and a bloodstain covered her mouth. But she was clearly in an excited state. As soon as she saw Long Hao Chen, she immediately hugged him and said, full of excitement, “I won, I won. Hao Chen, I am in the top ten. We, brother and sister, will be able to participate to Demon Hunt Squads together!”
“Eh?” Long Hao Chen instantly reacted, he was also extremely overjoyed at these unexpected news; “Sis, you won? You’re really awesome. Congratulations!”
Li Xin, immensely proud of herself, said, “That’s right! I was so lucky. Today, I did not encounter an opponent at the fifth step. Haha, your sister is so awesome. It was a close victory, but in the end, I still won. Father will be immensely proud of me.”
In terms of personal cultivation, Li Xin didn’t stand out at all compared to her peers in this knights’ competition. She could even be counted amongst those at the bottom. But she trained as a Retribution Knight. Above all, she had her Rose Unicorn and good luck. She managed, with a lot of effort, to pass through these preliminaries, together with Long Hao Chen.
Li Xin smiled, “What a pity that we are both knights. Your sister will not have the possibility to enter the same Squad as yours, otherwise it would be even more perfect.”
Long Hao Chen chuckled, “What’s the problem, you will be my big sister forever.”
“We’ll have to celebrate this. This evening, I’ll be treating you to a good meal.” Ye Hua said with a gentle voice, entering from outside. He was in a good mood; Long Hao Chen was in the top ten and his objective was reached. Actually, he hadn’t expected that Li Xin would enter the top ten as well. To Hao Yue City’s Knight Temple, this was an enormous achievement!
A lot other people were full of excitement as well; aside from the Warrior Temple, every temple had already designated their top ten.
Lin Xin, drinking red wine in his luxurious hotel, was extremely happy.
Feeling the strong but bitter fragrance, he started to feel an intense desire.
On the previous day, with his mystical magic show, he had intimidated all the other mage competitors. In this fourth round of competition, there were, altogether, 16 participants. Consequently, they were competing to enter the top ten, and playoffs would take place afterwards, to determine the top ten.
The first matches of the day would determine the top six. Without the slightest hesitation, Lin Xin’s opponent conceded. After all, he still had the playoffs to have the occasion to enter the top ten. Who would be willing to fight a guy with such absurd magic control? As a result, Lin Xin entered the top six without fighting and received the qualification to become the member of a future Demon Hunt Squad.
The bald male was excited as well. Because of his appearance, the Priest Temple was in chaos during these preliminaries, and wanted to establish new rules. But after all, the tournament had begun and rules couldn’t be
changed. Therefore, relying on the show of of his tyrannical violence, this bald man didn’t only end up on the top ten, but because the Priest Temple’s competitors weren’t numerous, he had already entered the top three. Furthermore, in these circumstances, no one could possibly fight with him for the first place.
On the fifth day of the preliminaries, the atmosphere in the Alliance’s Great Stadium had already eased up. Except for the Warrior Temple, all temples already had their top ten designated. The rest of the competition was to determine the order of ranking. The further rankings in the great temples’ preliminary contests didn’t only grant an even greater glory, some competitors would be rewarded depending on their ranking, in addition to receiving more or less money. The reward for the top three was a piece of equipment of the Spiritual Tier. This was something the Temple Alliance did to incite Demon Hunt Squads to complete missions. If they received a good reward, how could they slack off in the future when the time of missions came?
In the Knight Stadium lounge, the competitors appeared cold and cheerless. There were only ten people left; including the squadron teachers, it didn’t even amount to twenty people.
The best harvests of this Demon Hunt Selection didn’t belong to the main cities, but the unknown Hao Yue City. The little Hao Yue Hall unexpectedly gave birth to two outstanding youths who entered the top ten. This was something that never happened before, in the long and glorious history of Hao Yue Knight Hall. As a result, even the ice-cold tempered Ye Hua was a lot more spirited than on his former days.
“You don’t have to take the rest of the competition excessively seriously. The final stage of the competition will, after all, have an even greater importance. It is more important to keep yourself in good shape.”
Seeing Ye Hua repeatedly nod, Li Xin, who was previously full of fighting spirit, could not help but giggle. For her, entering the top ten and having the possibility to become the member of a Demon Hunt Squad was already the greatest harvest she could expect. It implied that she would, in t
Long Hao Chen was silent, looking at his teacher, he pondered deeply before saying, “Teacher, if I run up against that man, I hope to fight against him with my utmost.”
Ye Hua looked unconvinced, “Is that really necessary?”
Long Hao Chen nodded without hesitation, and replied, “Teacher, fighting against an extremely powerful opponent will arouse my potential even more effectively. The fight against Han Yu had great benefits to me.”
Ye Hua muttered to himself hesitantly, before saying “Okay, okay, since this is your own decision, teacher won’t stop you, but you’ll have to weigh your abilities and act accordingly. You will have the occasion to try to fight against other powerhouses during the final stage of the competition after all.”
“Mh” Long Hao Chen let out a groan of agreement. What he didn’t tell Ye Hua was that he was gradually growing closer and closer to the fifth step, and in this moment, what he needed the most was the occasion to arouse his potential through battles. Going through uninterrupted fights would stimulate his senses, and give him the occasion to break through the final bottleneck.
Long Xing Yu was currently the strongest Retribution Knight of the Alliance, and although he only taught Long Hao Chen for two little years, he passed on to Long Hao Chen the equivalent of a whole lifetime worth of experience as a knight. Among the most important things he told him, there was the fact that every time he would meet a bottleneck, challenges against opponents stronger than him were the best opportunities to break through.
Long Hao Chen’s father’s words were deeply engraved in his mind; fights were a sort of test. Every time he faced a powerful enemy, his spiritual energy’s growth was tremendously increased, improving his use of his abilities and his grasp on them. In addition, unceasingly challenging powerhouses could further strengthen his determination.
At that moment, the drawing of lots had already started. Long Hao Chen’s gaze was focused on the three knights seated in the first row. Slowly
taking deep breaths, with a firm look, as firm as a boulder, he sat. The other people were praying not to face these opponent of the fifth step, but he only wished he could face these kinds of powerhouses.
“#1, #97.” In the air, two huge numbers gradually became distinct. In the split second these numbers appeared, Long Hao Chen’s eyes went wide. With a shua sound, he stood up. In a split second, there was nothing left of his formerly gentle look that became, instead, extremely strict.
Without the slightest doubt, these two numbers had appeared in front of them. Another powerhouse of the fifth step.
The other knights who managed to remain weren’t lacking will or persistence, but now, these knights of the fourth step gave Long Hao Chen bewildering looks.
To face two opponents of the fifth step in a row, his luck was really too… In the first row, a youth slowly got up. Slowly turning around, he looked
at Long Hao Chen. This knight bearing #1 was precisely the black clad youth who formerly gave Long Hao Chen a provoking look. He was the very first competitor who realized Long Hao Chen’s threat.
The two exchanged glances, as they simultaneously concentrated on each other.
#1 made a gesture towards Long Hao Chen, before taking the lead, taking big strides and heading towards the stadium. Intimidating fluctuations of spiritual energy were emitted each time he took a step, bursting out.
At this moment, Ye Hua didn’t bother Long Hao Chen further with his warnings. He didn’t want to let his mood influence Long Hao Chen. On Long Hao Chen’s face, he had immediately seen his unwavering determination. Even during his previous fight against Han Yu, such an intense fighting spirit didn’t appear.
At the corner of the stadium, Han Yu calmly stood there. He came in the early morning; no matter how unwilling he was, deep inside, there was
nothing he could do to change his destiny in the upcoming five years. Instead, he wished in this very moment for Long Hao Chen to prevail over his opponent, and wanted to take a good look, After everything Grandfather said regarding this fourteen years old genius knight, let’s see at what level his talent really is.
Walking into the stadium without hurry, although Long Hao Chen wasn’t very sturdy, his steps were quite firm. With every step he took, he appeared more and more imposing. His look was extremely sharp, and staring at this youth who was already standing in the middle of the ground, his gaze became fiery.
“Do you have a mount?” The black clad youth calmly asked.
Long Hao Chen shook his head, and without trying to conceal himself, he told him the truth, “For the time being, I don’t have it.”
The black clad youth nodded, and answered, “Okay, then we’ll fight without summoning mounts. Let’s have a fair battle.”
When these same words were spoken out by this black clad youth, Long Hao Chen could feel that it wasn’t arrogance, but self-confidence.
When he saw this black-clad youth for the first time, Long Hao Chen had immediately felt that he would be an extremely powerful opponent. Even when the three other knights, including Han Yu, appeared, they hadn’t left him with such a big impression. It was an intuition of danger.
When the black-clad youth told Long Hao Chen that he wouldn’t summon his mount, he let out an extreme aura of self confidence. One’s pride had to be coherent with his abilities. His eyes firmly stared at Long Hao Chen, but from them, Long Hao Chen was unable to tell what this youth’s state of mind was.
As they faced each other, Long Hao Chen’s eyes were filled with a burning fighting spirit. Even though he was only 14 and his build could clearly not match this black-clad youth who was in his twenties, in terms of vigor, he wasn’t losing in the slightest.
These two characters’ temperaments were as different as the sky and the earth. Long Hao Chen was like a sharp blade who showed his abilities by unceasingly raising his fighting spirit, as if he was a volcano that could erupt at any moment.
The black-clad youth was extremely calm, appearing like a bottomless abyss that swallowed Long Hao Chen’s fighting spirit.
A big coincidence was that their referee was the same one who was in charge of ruling Long Hao Chen’s match with Han Yu. He calmly walk ahead and said, “The match may begin.”
“My name is Yang Wenzhao. I believe that you are perhaps going to be a good rival of mine in the near future.” The black-clad youth had a smile on his face, and it seemed as if a change appeared in his temperament; he was previously extremely calm, but Long Hao Chen had no way to determine his current feelings.
“My name is Long Hao Chen, and it is now that I am your opponent.” Long Hao Chen calmly said, “Before the match starts, its outcome cannot be decided. It is also completely fine if you summon your mount; it is your own power.”
Yang Wenzhao nodded, “Let’s start.” As he spoke, his hands suddenly moved to the sides of his body, and a golden radiance appeared simultaneously from his two hands. They turned into two identical claymores. Without the slightest doubt, he possessed a magic storage item as well.
A Retribution Knight! Long Hao Chen’s pupils suddenly shrank and started to sparkle intensely. He took out his two swords as well, a Light Sword and a Fire Sword that instantly appeared in his hands.
Right, this was a confrontation between two Retribution Knights. A strong spiritual energy broke out, and Long Hao Chen and Yang Wenzhao moved at the same time.
Long Hao Chen charged like an arrow towards Yang Wenzhao; it was the first time during the Demon Hunt Selection that he took the initiative to launch the offense.
[Faith Halo], [Guardian’s Favor], [Imposing Ring], three amplification Guardian Knight skills appeared simultaneously. While fighting as a Retribution Knight, Long Hao Chen drew support from his Guardian Knight skills.
The reason why there were no knights who chose to train in both the Guardian and Retribution paths was that there would be far too many abilities to learn. To fully use one’s abilities required the knight to rely on his spiritual energy. The higher the cultivation level was, the stronger the
ability was, but the spiritual energy consumption would increase as well. The path of training as both a Guardian and a Retributor Knight at the same time would lead one to uninterruptedly use a large quantity of skills and consume his spiritual energy far too quickly. Furthermore, to embrace the two specializations at the same time could lead one to be unable to use the skills of both specializations to the best of their potential.
Over the past five years, Long Hao Chen studied under Long Xing Yu and, immediately afterward, Ye Hua. His enormous amount of hard work was also backing his outstanding innate talent. In all of Hao Yue Hall, it was absolutely impossible to find another knight as diligent as Long Hao Chen.
Success demanded 99% diligence and 1% talent. This 1% of talent was the most important part, but similarly, no one could be successful with lacking efforts. But Long Hao Chen had both.
His Light Sword and his Flame Sword simultaneously turned white,
[Pure White Edge].
In accordance with the rules of the competition, before both sides started attacking, there had to be a distance of 30 meters separating them. In other words, while Long Hao Chen was charging to cover these 30 meters, he used four skills one after another. These four skills didn’t have a high consumption of spiritual energy, but adding them up, the total cost exceeded 150 units. Naturally, this was for ordinary knights. The crucial point was that he fully used these abilities together; his Retribution Knight skills and his Guardian Knight skills were interacting together appropriately, without the slightest flaw.
It wasn’t only the eight remaining competitors who were looking attentively at this match, but on the platform, those seniors of the Knight Alliance were similarly watching with their whole attention, without blinking an eye.
As there was still a distance of three meters separating him from Long Hao Chen, Yang Wenzhao started to move. His left foot took a large step forward and his whole body immediately followed. The claymore in his left hand was still at his side, but he inclined the one in his right hand, lifting it up diagonally.
With a single move, Yang Wenzhao displayed his formidable power. He didn’t use any skills, but the edge of his blade was covered with a 66- centimeter golden glow, making his claymore appear longer than it was originally. In his next action, the claymore swept past the ground and slashed forward.
Stop! Long Hao Chen suddenly stopped in the middle of his charge and his body seemed as if it had struck against a wall. His left foot stamped on the ground as if he had lost his balance and was about to fall to the side, but the Flame Sword in his left hand ruthlessly hit the ground, successfully throwing his body in the air. He avoided this attack of Yang Wenzhao just in time. He seized the opportunity to launch a stab using his Light Sword, and using the skill [Thorny Charge], he aimed straight at Yang Wenzhao’s chest.
That’s right, his opponent’s spiritual energy outstripped his own by far, so Long Hao Chen didn’t choose to fight recklessly, but he instead chose to use his skills!
“Good!” Yang Wenzhao shouted out loudly; he hadn’t expected Long Hao Chen to use such a troublesome technique in the middle of his attack. Lifting up the sword in his left hand and simultaneously kicking his right foot with his left foot, he went against all expectations and interrupted his previous motion, even more suddenly and effectively than Long Hao Chen.
Ding. Long Hao Chen’s Light Sword and the claymore in Yang Wenzhao’s hand collided. This latter knight discovered to his astonishment that Long Hao Chen’s sword didn’t contain much power. Pulled up by the claymore in his left hand, Long Hao Chen seized the opportunity to make his body spin even faster. Simultaneously swinging his two swords, he chopped towards Yang Wenzhao.
Yang Wenzhao didn’t move, nor did he attempt to avoid this attack. He used his two claymores, simultaneously creating little ripples in the air.
With clanking sounds, a series of explosions sounded in the air. In the time of a breath, Long Hao Chen and Yang Wenzhao’s weapons collided numerous times. Long Hao Chen’s swords were like meat grinders, but more importantly, he attacked continuously, using Yang Wenzhao’s defensive power to increase his own spinning speed. It further raised the frequency of his attacks.
Gradually, a gold-colored halo scattered on Long Hao Chen’s body, and his figure became blurred.
Yang Wenzhao started to show a surprised expression; his attacks’ frequency could only barely keep up with Long Hao Chen’s uninterrupted assault. But Long Hao Chen’s attacks were only becoming fiercer; they seemed as if they were endless. In this short lapse of time, he had already lost track of the number of attacks he had to withstand.
I’ve been fooled. This was Yang Wenzhao’s first reaction. He immediately understood that these attacks from Long Hao Chen were all out efforts, without any restriction. His main purpose was clearly to overwhelm him.
In the lounge, the Saint Knight Head muttered to himself, “This is Condemning Revolving Sword. As expected, he inherited this skill as well; as expected… What a shame that this Condemning Revolving Sword is far from perfect. Without enough spiritual energy, he cannot display the murderous power of this purely offensive retribution skill.”
Pu– Yang Wenzhao suddenly braced his sword against the ground, and an intense gold-colored glow was emitted by the ground, ruthlessly attacking Long Hao Chen who was in the middle of his Condemning Revolving Sword. It was Heavenly Battle Array.
Heavenly Battle Array couldn’t really shake Long Hao Chen; as he fully used Condemning Revolving Sword, Long Hao Chen’s fighting spirit was already at its peak and bursting out. Under these rotations, his spiritual energy was taking the shape of a frightening whirlpool around him. Even if Yang Wenzhao had a liquid spiritual energy, a mere Heavenly Battle Array had no way to stop Long Hao Chen.
But liquid spiritual energy was after all liquid spiritual energy, Long Hao Chen couldn’t help but feel sluggish as his body kept rotating so quickly. Immediately, Yang Wenchao stuck the claymore in his left hand into the ground, as the liquid spiritual energy surrounding his body vibrated with an
astonishing frequency broke out with a whistling sound resembling a dragon’s hiss.
Immediately afterwards, in the eyes of the spectators, Yang Wenzhao instantly took the shape of a gold-colored dragon who was soaring in the sky, ferociously striking Long Hao Chen who was still executing his Condemning Revolving Sword.
Ascending Dragon’s Strike, the Retribution Knight skill of the fifth step with the most important offensive potential. In front of the pressure of Condemning Revolving Sword, Yang Wenzhao had no choice but use his most powerful skill to turn the situation around.
The enormous gold-colored dragon disappeared and emitted dusts of bright light. From there, Yang Wenzhao appeared. His both feet fell on the ground, as he drew three steps back, and stood firm.
On the other side, Long Hao Chen who was previously spinning at a fast pace suddenly stopped. After having whirled for such a long time the air, as he reached the ground, he stumbled 7 or 8 steps back and could only stand on his feet with difficulty.
By comparing the changes in their breaths, it could clearly be seen that Long Hao Chen used up more spiritual energy than his opponent. His Condemning Revolving Sword was powerful, but it was also extremely exhausting to him. Furthermore, Yang Wenzhao’s liquid spiritual energy truly had an overwhelming effect.
However, Yang Wenzhao was instantly astonished by the fact that even though he could barely stand on his two feet, Long Hao Chen held his two swords on both sides and a gold-colored fog was emitted around him in a flash, Storing Power.
What an unyielding fighting spirit! Yang Wenzhao felt the blood in his body raising; he naturally understood that Long Hao Chen was in no way
better than him, but under such circumstances, he still chose to immediately put to use the same skill as before.
Since a few days ago, Long Hao Chen had been using continuously Storing Power to quicken his own cultivation, while comprehending the profound mystery of the liquid spiritual energy. Unceasingly deepening his understanding of this skill made him master it even more than in the past; Storing Power’s spee
Assault. Yang Wenzhao made the same choice Han Yu did on the previous day. Seeing him storing power, he immediately launched Assault without the slightest hesitation. His movements were even swifter than Han Yu’s; with his two swords on his two sides, he threw himself at Long Hao Chen, covered by a strong gold-colored light. His body was rushing forward, as this gold-colored light become deeper and deeper, and the rich liquid spiritual energy surrounding his body also became denser.
Without the slightest change of expression, Long Hao Chen calmly stood at the same place, motionless, looking at Yang Wenzhao who was ruthlessly charging.
Thorny Charge. Using a simple skill, Yang Wenzhao simply tried to interrupt Long Hao Chen’s Storing Power. Seeing from his previous Condemning Revolving Sword, Long Hao Chen for sure possessed a lot of secret skills. Condemning Revolving Sword was a kind of skill that made Yang Wenzhao absolutely envious, it wasn’t even something recorded in records of the Temple Alliance, but had to be a skill personally created by a formidable knight.
Raising his Flame Sword, and using Divine Obstruction, Long Hao Chen moved as soon as his opponent was extremely close to him. As he parried his opponent’s attack with his left hand’s sword, the Light Sword in his right hand was already chopping at him.
All spectators could clearly see that when the light sword in Long Hao Chen’s hand approached, the little golden light that wrapped it grew brighter, until ultimately becoming a dazzling glow, it was Shining Solar Strike.
Storing Power was absolutely not ineffective; even if the time of Storing Power was short, it still increased the efficacy of a part of his spiritual energy. This Shining Solar Strike of Long Hao Chen gave a sensation of justice and fairness; this gaudy sunlight seemed quite mild, and the golden core of this Shining Solar Strike seemed frozen.
The two attacks met up, Yang Wenzhao lifted up the sword in his left hand, blocking Long Hao Chen’s Shining Solar Strike with a simple Pure White Edge. But he was completely astounded. It was because from this Shining Solar Strike, he could clearly see that Long Hao Chen’s spiritual energy had reached the threshold of the transformation into liquid.
Actually, from the beginning of the battle, Yang Wenzhao hadn’t gone all out. He wanted to see the worth of this youth who seemed a lot younger than himself, to evaluate his level; he had, after all, prevailed over Han Yu. The fact that Long Hao Chen was at the same time a Guardian Knight and a Retribution knight aroused his interest even more. He was absolutely sure that Long Hao Chen was no match for him, so he had held back his attacks up to now, only attaching importance to testing his opponent. But as his test went on, he was more and more shocked, and his previous attack was actually using all his strength. If it wasn’t the case, even with his cultivation level, how could a Pure White Edge be a match for a Shining Solar Strike?
Puh, Long Hao Chen took a step back while Yang Wenzhao didn’t move the slightest bit. However, the intense sunlight shone a second time in the row, it was, as before, a Shining Solar Strike.
Despite his fragile appearance, Long Hao Chen’s current expression was extremely heroic. Tightly gripping his Light Sword, he initiated a Divine Obstruction, together with the Shining Solar Strike with his Flame Sword.
What a fast linking speed! One should know that Shining Solar Strike is actually the most powerful skill at the fourth step.
This time, Yang Wenzhao didn’t dare be careless. Swinging his two claymores, he parried once again Long Hao Chen’s attack. Only, this time, Long Hao Chen didn’t fall back.
His feet seemed to be moving in slow motion, but had a special cadence. While staying on the move, Long Hao Chen brandished his two swords. Under the astonished look of the surrounding observers, he continuously attacked, launching 18 blows of Shining Solar Strike.
Each attack was vigorously executed, but more importantly, each of his blows was even more imposing than the previous one. Full of confidence, he made use of his momentum to oppress Yang Wenzhao who didn’t even have the chance to use all his strength.
However, this Yang Wenzhao was indeed formidable; standing at the same place as before, he didn’t even take a single step back after blocking 18 blows of Shining Solar Strike.
“So satisfying.” Long Hao Chen cried out loudly. With this loud shout, he took a step back. Because as Yang Wenzhao blocked his last attack, he used Divine Obstruction, the gold-colored light forming Bright Vengeance rapidly gathered in his two claymores, launching an Instant Blast Cross Cut.
Long Hao Chen suddenly stopped his retreat and crossed the swords symmetrically in his two hands, Divine Obstruction.
Rumble, rumble. Long Hao Chen stood on his two feet after having retreated a meter back, he completely blocked his opponent’s offense. The Light Sword in his right hand was suddenly lifted up, and a rich holy aura appeared with a white glow; it was Holy Sword.