Chapter 481: “Calamity” strikes in a row
Two steps would have covered the distance between them— a matter of seconds for Wahku in his Arhat form. Undodgeable. Inescapable.
Suppressing his impatience, Peng Leyun did only one thing. He sprang up in an odd pose with his body straightened, as if he was lying down in mid-air!
That was his only solution to dodging "Asura Ram"!
Had he jumped with his body upright or leapt forward, Wahku would deﬁnitely have hit him in the region below his chest and abdomen. He could have gotten away without broken bones if he defended with a kick, but there's no room for a comeback after getting knocked out of the arena by that violent force.
Of course, all he did was merely avoid the direct impact. How could Wahku not prepare secondary moves to follow up and connect? Bam!
Wahku's lowered his his body, slicing through the air around him. He stopped on the edge of the arena, his eyes bloodshot. With a bend and thrust of his knees, he propelled upwards with a uppercut to meet the falling.
At that moment, still in the air, Peng Leyun's eyes gleamed. He put his hands together at lightning speed in a clapping position.
A sunny day turned stormy as a whip of thunder sounded from nowhere. Had it been any other martial artists, it would have been hard to prevent being stunned from the deafening and terrifying effects. However, such feelings did not affect the current Wahku— a violent, bloodthirsty doom machine that was void of sense and logic. Only when the boxing effects wore off could he return to the "Immortal Path". Therefore, even though his spirit was slightly wavered, his body remained unaffected and moved on its own. The uppercut swooshed up. That was the reason behind using "Asura Path" on himself at the end!
By removing external interferences, he planned to end the battle swiftly without giving his opponent any chances!
In the storm, the falling Peng Leyun pulled his palms apart, between which held a spark of silvery lightning the thinness of a knife's edge.
The silvery light quickly found its mark, striking Veigar on his body. He stopped. A thin coil of smoke spiralled from his clothes and skin.
Taking advantage of his stopping, Peng Leyun visualized dark overcasts that piled over each other in nine layers, brewing an extremely masculine brutality that matched perfectly with "Divine Wrath Force".
Boom! The deafening thunder roared once more. A silvery white light struck downwards like a shrunken bolt of lightning. But when examined closely, one would notice that it was actually Peng Leyun with his ﬁst wreathed in electricity. Exploding his "Dan Force", he struck downwards like he was delivering divine
Bang! Fist mashed into ﬁst. One with bulking muscles and visible vessels and veins, the other with skipping silver serpents that jumped as if they were caught in a net.
Crack! The Asura-formed Wahku landed on both feet and sunk into the brick, body trembling and muscles twitching. Peng Leyun bounced up slightly, bent his leg midair and stuck his electric covered knee out, crashing towards his opponent's chest.
In the clangour, Wahku lifted his left arm, put it before him, and forcefully blocked the deadly kick. Then he ﬂipped and tossed his enemy back, cutting off the secondary kicks that would have followed. His arm, where the knee had contacted, was torched black, shaking non-stop as a burnt smell wafted through the air.
Right before Peng Leyun ﬂew out of the arena, he retracted his Qi and blood, and did a ﬂip midair. Riding on the momentum, he stiffened his right leg, where sparks circled, and hacked it downwards in a war axe motion.
Boom, boom, boom!
Like a sparrow hawk, he persistently ﬂew up by borrowing strength, then rained down with punches, elbows, knees, and kicks, occasionally lashing at his opponent after transforming himself into a Divine Wrath Bolt. On the narrow edge of the arena, he ﬁercely fought "Asura" Wahku, as if he was treading on the boundary between victory and defeat.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
From the perspective of Lou Cheng and the others, bolts of silver lightning struck down on the arena at a steady pace. Nine bolts went down in total, with each outshining the previous, reminiscent of a rumored "cataclysm".
"The Nine Heavens' Ensemble?" gasped Ann Chaoyang.
That was the seventh style of the Thunder Sect— Physical Invulnerability State unique skill!
"No," said Ren Li, shaking her head. "Looks like an imitation
—a Dan stage kungfu he came up with on his own..."
Her words roused a sincere awe in Lou Cheng. Though he barely caught up to Peng Leyun in two years with the aid of the Jindan, there was still a large gap between them in other aspects of martial arts. While he was still in the process of learning and mastering moves, Peng Leyun could already devise his own moves by imitating the predecessor's unique skills. This was due to the accumulation of experience and natural talent, and if Lou Cheng wanted to make up for his shortcomings and catch up with Peng Leyun, he had to imitate the Dragon King— more hard work, more resilience, more extrapolation, more knowledge, and challenging a greater variety of opponents! Boom! Boom! Boom!
After the ninth bolt, Wahku felt numb all over, muscles trembling as the blood in his eyes faded. Awoken from the "Asura Path", he instinctively took two steps back.
His retreat allowed Peng Leyun to land at last. Activating Machine Fist with his Dan Force, he took advantage of Wahku recovering from "Six Paths of Reincarnation". In a series of dull thuds, he "sprayed" at his opponent like a maniac, with ﬁsts that left afterimages. With his foot as a pivot, he maneuvered from time to time, causing disorientation in Wahku's movements.
Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud! With his joints bouncing and fascias stretching, his attack left no breaks in between. Finally, Wahku's movements slowed down from the paralysis effects stacking up. After another ﬂurry of attacks, his defence broke down and he took a palm to the body.
Zap! The electric serpents dazzled. As if hit by high voltage, Wahku ﬂew back, burnt marks appearing all over his body.
From the edge of the arena where he was standing, Wahku landed on the ground below, limbs twitching and mouth foaming.
Peng Leyun stopped moving. Perspiration beaded on him as he gasped for air. Excitement tinged his eyes, along with palpable exhaustion. He was clearly at his limits.
The referee glanced at him before putting his right hand up.
"Peng Leyun wins!"
Loud sighs erupted, along with a number of curses and expletives. There goes the last hope for the Eastern hosts. Feeling awed and at a lost of words, Lou Cheng could not help but chuckle. Turn to Ann Chaoyang, Ren Li and Zhong Ningtao to say, "I thought today was the day he would graduate from his antics and stop playing around."
"Me too…" Ann Chaoyang agreed with a sigh.
Peng Leyun, rested by then, watched as Wahku was supported off the arena.
"What a pity…" he muttered.
A pity he didn't get to experience the magic of the four remaining punches of "Reincarnation Punches"!
Turning around, he walked to the grandstand with slight grandiose, then stopped before Lou Cheng and the rest to high ﬁve in celebration.
After the ritual, he poked fun at himself. "Almost lost just now…" he laughed.
Hearing his words, Lou Cheng and Ann Chaoyang exchanged a glance and burst out in laughter.
As expected, he almost messed up from playing around too much!
"What's wrong?" Peng Leyun looked at them, slightly confused.
"Nothing," replied Lou Cheng without hesitation, before adding, "You do you!"
Keep playing around, especially when you run into me on the arena!
At that point, the ﬁrst four matches of the Top 16s had all ended, concluding the day. Lou Cheng and the rest followed Zhong Ningtao back to to the hotel. Since two of them had to prepare for their matches on the next day and the other two were completely exhausted, none were keen on taking a walk around or getting supper. They returned to their respective rooms dutifully, to the great disappointment of certain people watching them.
After freshening up, Lou Cheng reported the results of the ﬁght to his Mom, then chatted on and off with Yan Zheke, until he could no longer withstand the exhaustion on his spirit. He bid an early goodnight and fell asleep even before he made his spirit and Qi steady.
In the drowsiness, he felt as if he was back to the Youth Tournament at the provincial level. The time after he fought Zhang Zhutong, exhausted and nauseous, but had to recover quickly in order to prepare for the next competition.
Half awake and half sleep, he felt as if he was leaning on Yan Zheke's tender thighs, receiving a comfortable massage at his head as her familiar aroma ﬁlled his nose with her beautiful faint voice singing at his ears.
"By the time you are old, and you hair turns white…" The singing was at times loud and at times soft, at times close and at times far.
Suddenly, Lou Cheng woke up. He stared at the ceiling in the dark night. He was surrounded by a pitch black serenity. Alone.
Holding his phone up to check the time, he realized it was only 2 A.M. For some strange reason, he felt a little disappointed.
Inhaling, he backed away from distractions. Keeping his spirit and Qi steady, he fell asleep again.
He woke up on the dot the next morning, before the sky even lit up. Revitalized, he had an energetic chat with Yan Zheke, then continued his morphing state trainings. He could feel himself getting stronger bit by bit.
Night fell, lifting the curtains to the four remaining matches of the Top 16s. Inspired by Lou Cheng and Peng Leyun on the previous day, Ren Li performed outstandingly well and took down her opponent without breaking a sweat, making it into Top 8s along with Kaori Karasawa. Ann Chaoyang, however, ran into some problems.
His opponent was Wahku's junior, 6th Seed Gusai. Though his training had not yet reached the "Equanimity towards Formations Knowledge"—the Inhuman stage, he had extremely strong physical talents. With the heart reﬂection punch and other kungfus, his power was similar to an Inhuman, and his soul-targeting kungfu was mutually effective against Ann Chaoyang's trump card— Lake and Mirror Liked Wisdom. Soon, he forced Ann Chaoyang into a passive defence.
Chapter 482: The Destined Intense Quarter-Finals Matches
Every punch of Gusai was ﬁlled with exaggerated strength. It wasn't causing any crisp sound but instead created explosions in the air. This was something that Ann Chaoyang and other Dan Stage Martial artists could achieve only if they gave their all. In this process, his fat stature didn't show any clumsiness. On the contrary, it was as agile as a racoon as he jumped up and down while moving forward and retreating. Through this, he got the upper hand.
Ann Chaoyang had to reserve some attention to maintain the "Lake and Mirror Like Wisdom" to defend against the hunger, thirst, strong sun exposure, and other miseries of illnesses brought forth by the Heart Reﬂection Punch. As a result, he was in a more passive position. Based on his premonition in advance, he struck based on his judgement and constantly erupted to barely hold on yet not showing any sign of defeat.
After a ﬁerce barrage of attacks, Gusai was still not able to take down his opponent. The color in his eyes changed and showed an endless vicissitude of an old man that was on his last stage of life. Looking at them, one's sympathy would be incited as they thought of the same outcome happening to them someday.
Heart Reﬂecting Punch, "Old"!
With a change in ﬁst technique, Gusai no longer created any sound but was ﬁlled with the despair of the sunset afterglow.
Ann Chaoyang stomped on both of his legs, straightened his knees, twisted his body, shifted his arms and threw out his right punch as it collided with the basin-sized ﬁst of Gusai. A low and dull explosion sounded and caused shockwaves towards the arena.
His arm rebounded off. Suddenly he felt unable to mobilize his vitality as his body felt weaker and weaker. It was as though he was looking at himself ageing and becoming powerless gradually. His skin was drying, losing its gloss and became wrinkled. Even he wasn't willing to take another look at it as he was afraid of having nightmares about it.
As a young artist who liked to read novels and listen to love songs since young, Ann Chaoyang was undoubtedly a very exquisite personality. He often felt emotional about things that were happening around him and would think about what it would be like when he aged. At this moment, he closely experienced ageing and suddenly could not maintain his own composure.
Luckily his mind had become composed because of the quiet lake and only had a ripple. The "Mirror" did not break because of this. Luckily, he was still young and the seniors around him were still present. Before he joined Xinghai Club, there weren't many old people around him who practiced martial arts. Therefore, with regards to such matter, he did not feel so strongly about it and was able to barely stabilize his emotions and suppressed the waves, unlike Peng Leyun who broke into a cold sweat on the spot. He even took this opportunity to take a deep breath, gather his blood and Qi, allowing them to erupt so he could launch his counterattack as he attempted to create an overwhelming momentum. Gusai's eyes constricted and he didn't dare to move slowly. The fat on him bulked up and became more distinct. The terrifying strength generated was similar to an explosion as he started shimmering in dull gold light. With his "Devil Slaying Baton" attack, he forcefully broke free from Ann Chaoyang's consecutive subsequent attacks.
He knew that the biggest problem for himself was that the load on him and his exhaustion was too great. As a result, his body would easily become overworked. Before he mastered "Savkharupekkha Bana" and entered the inhuman stage as deﬁned by China, he wasn't suitable for long ﬁghts. Because of this, he made the relevant preparations and intended to force his opponent in the early stages of their battle to take his "Six Reincarnation Punches"!
After another barrage of Heart Reﬂecting Punches mixed with the strength of his muscles, Gusai ﬁnally found the opportunity. A dull gold light shimmered in his eyes. Under the light, his punches seemed to be covered in a layer of seven colours. Together with the meaning of the other ﬁve paths, he swung his arm and smashed towards his opponent. Six Reincarnation Punches, "Human Path"!
Ann Chaoyang was forced into a position where he could no longer hide. He could only sink his mind into the mirror-like lake, move his arm and throw a punch directly to withstand the attack head-on.
A drum-like sound propagated throughout his mind. A song that he had not heard for a long time suddenly rang in his ears.
"After an entire summer, the sorrows didn't get better. Driving on the endless public road, I have the feeling of leaving myself..."
That was a sorrowful melody about high school that he repeatedly listened to when he was still in junior high school. At that time, he often felt sadness beyond himself because of this. That year, that month, when he heard his childhood female friend said, "I'm "sorry", I still don't have any feelings for you. Let's just be friends."
To improve himself was his basis for wooing a girl. However even if he had become better, the girl still might not be fond of him.
When they were young, the two of them would share an umbrella and run in the torrential rain. Although both of them would be drenched, their smiles were still as open and radiant. However when they grew up, all they could do was to nod at each other as they passed. The feelings had died down to the point where there were barely any connections left.
After the passing of his ﬁrst love, he had once listened to this song night after night. His vision was blurred as sorrow drown his mind. Since then, he had fallen in love with loneliness, the feeling of being in his own world and lyric after lyric of beautiful and sad songs.
"It's really a pity that it wasn't you who was there with me till the end..." Another old song ﬂashed through his mind. Ann Chaoyang's heart was ﬁlled with disappointment and he could clearly feel that the wound that had healed had reopened once again. It was no longer bloody but still hurt when touched.
He completely lost control of his emotions. He wanted to drink alcohol, sing out loud and vent his frustration.
This made him suddenly recall a song that he had been listening to recently. It was an old song that he came across because of a television program. The coarse voice of the male actor, full of experiences and every single word of the song had touched his heart and soul.
"Just like the crescent moon or the receding sea, a piece of my heart was torn away by you. The feeling of loss still remains after so many years. Some injuries will never recover in this lifetime..."
Yeah, how can one forget about the feeling of loss? That was his entire youth! That was this entire segment of his life! "I used a snowstorm to hide and burrow the lost love deep in my heart. Whenever I said that my love life was a blank, no one can tell that I'm lamenting..."
The melody was sorrowful and the music was singing into his heart. Ann Chaoyang's heart and soul quickly fell into a daze. Regret quickly gushed out and breached the dam. "Lake and Mirror Liked Wisdom" could no longer be maintained. With a crack sound, it completely collapsed.
His emotions were like a deluge as he naturally fell out of his visualisation. He straightened his back and his body expanded. His ﬁst was gentle but was thrown out violently. It was able to stop the approaching palm of Gusai who was aiming for his vital spots while he was in a daze.
Gusai who was gifted in the aspect of strength was thrown out forcefully. He looked shocked and couldn't believe what had happened. It was as though he had really encountered the real "Deluge". However he soon realized that something wasn't right. After that punch from Ann Chaoyang, Ann Chaoyang didn't press on with his momentum but remained standing at the original spot. He was panting and his eyes were ﬁlled with disappointment and emanating a faint sense of sorrow.
This... Gusai didn't think too much into it. Grabbing hold of this opportunity, he pounced over and launched a new round of attacks. This time, without the "Lake and Mirror Liked Wisdom", Ann Chaoyang quickly began panicking. His guard was dismantled and Gusai closed in with an elbow strike that sent Ann Chaoyang ﬂying."
The referee heaved a sigh of relief, raised his hand and announced,
Cheers erupted from the crowd. There's ﬁnally a representative from the host country in the top eight. Ann Chaoyang didn't suffer any injuries. It was just that his arm was feeling a little sore. He turned his body, stood up and looked at Gusai with a serious look. Following which, he clasped a tightened ﬁst in his palm as a form of respect and said,
Yeah, thank you. If it wasn't for today's match, it would probably be a long time before I truly understand the true meaning behind "Deluge"!
If he was controlling his emotions, how could he talk about the "Deluge that breached the dam"?
Only by completely releasing his emotions, and allowing his body and mind to become one could he execute the real "Deluge"!
It's a pity that this was a sudden realisation and he had not practiced much on this. After just a punch, his body was drained of power and he lost control of his emotions. Not only was he not able to grab onto the winning opportunity, but he had also even revealed signs of losing.
After speaking, while under the puzzled and lost looks of Gusai, Ann Chaoyang turned around and returned to the spectator melancholy.
"It's such a pity….." Lou Cheng and the rest couldn't help but sigh. They could all tell that he understood something from the match and almost won.
"It's alright." Ann Chaoyang smiled silently and signalled that he didn't need consolation.
Up until now, the top eight contestants had been decided. What was remaining would be the drawing of the lots. There would be no avoidance rules this time and the top four would be determined on the night two days from now.
While waiting, Lou Cheng chatted a while with Yan Zheke. Both of them felt that at this stage, matching with an inhuman expert was only a probability issue. Therefore, they no longer were concerned about it.
After ﬁfteen minutes, the cleaning of the ring was completed and the decorations were put away once again. After strings of useless words from the guest, the ﬁrst name to be drawn was:
The second seed Veigar was crowned as a strong candidate to become the lord of one side in the future.
Following closely, the guest took out another round ball, took a look at the name, and did a cliffhanger by letting out an exclamation.
After ten seconds, she slowly recovered and announced with a shrill voice,
"Japan, Kaori Karasawa!" The top seed Kaori Karasawa!
The two hottest contenders for this competition were going to meet in the quarter-ﬁnals!
One of them was destined to fall at this stage!
The atmosphere of the surrounding was immediately at boiling point. Lou Cheng soon heard his own name.
"China, Lou Cheng."
If my good karma was overﬂowing, I could possibly be matched against the only unseeded and non-wildcard contestant. However if my luck was extremely bad, would face Peng Leyun again... Lou Cheng pondered to himself while maintaining his posture.
Several seconds later, the guest had drawn out his opponent.
She demonstrated the ball to the surrounding and said, "Nanzheng, Banam!"
The fourth seed Banam!
It's still alright, still alright... Lou Cheng heaved a sigh of relief and felt that this was neither good nor bad.
He was indeed weaker than his opponent but it wasn't that he had no chances of winning!
At this moment, with a change in mindset, a thought struck him:
Among the remaining four contestants, that match-up isn't impossible!
As he thoughts ﬂowed, the guest had already chosen the "home ground" side for the third match: "China, Peng Leyun."
After that, she drew out one of the remaining three round balls, smile faintly and announced,
"China, Ren Li!"
Oh damn, it really happened... A destined match... Lou Cheng broke into a smile. Ren Li who was beside him stared open her eyes and her expression was ﬁlled with excitement.
The quarter-ﬁnals this time was truly intense. Just thinking about it could make one feel their blood was boiling!
There wouldn't be a need for draws for the remaining contestants. Gusai from the host country would be facing that unseeded, non-wildcard contestant.
Chapter 483: Intermission
The moment the lot drawing ended, Veigar stood up, leaving a shadow behind his burly frame.
Pressing down on his general hat, he snorted at the arena, then left the Shengxiang stadium without turning back.
Over at the Japan representatives' side, Kaori Karasawa was the only one left. She gently knocked at her chin with her clenched ﬁsts. Her rosy lips were slightly pouted, as if she had been bullied, but her eyes did not give away any emotions.
Stroking the bandage on his hand, Nanzheng's Banam turned and eyed Lou Cheng coldly, as if he was looking at some sort of dangerous prey. Then he strode along the walkway, and disappeared behind the doors.
Beside Lou Cheng, Ann Chaoyang had his headphones on again, immersed in the world of music. Ren Li peeked at Peng Leyun before taking a small step away from him, wanting to draw a clear line between friends and foes. From this moment onward, we are no longer teammates!
Peng Leyun, deep in thoughts unbeknownst to anyone, stood rooted to the ground with his mind elsewhere, ignoring all the gazes on him.
Lou Cheng secretly shook his head. Picking up his phone, he reported the Top 8s matchups to Yan Zheke.
The girl seemed to be thinking about him. A quick reply came even though it was during her class time.
"Originally, I felt bad for my Cheng for drawing the 4th seed right after the 5th seed. But looking at Veigar against Kaori Karasawa and Peng Leyun against Ren Li, I realized I didn't feel that bad after all. Happiness is derived from comparison!"
"That's what I thought too, which is why I'm in a great mood," replied Lou Cheng, typing with an easy smile on his face. With that, Yan Zheke set the distractions aside and diverted her attention back to her class, slowing down on her replies. While waiting for Ann Chaoyang and Ren Li, who went to freshen up in the changing room, Lou Cheng began scrolling the forums again.
"Seriously? It's so rigged!" replied "Eternal Nightfall" Yan Xiaoling.
"It's the ﬁrst time I have seen such obvious rigging...even an elementary student like Ling Ling can tell! [sighs while covering face with hand]"
"Honestly, it's not that bad. [funny face] It's normal for the Eastern hosts to get special treatments. They have to at least get a place in the Top 4s if they plan to keep the ticket sales going. If not, who's there to compensate their arduous effort organizing the event? As long as the referee remains just and they don't play tricks elsewhere, I'm okay with it," replied "Unparalleled Dragon King".
"Yeah, I think it's within acceptable limits too. At least our overpowered cheater team, I mean, wild card team has secured a spot in the top 4s. [guffaws]" replied "Road to the Arena", then adding, "It's an acceptable outcome for Lou Cheng too. Even though he didn't get either of the weakling brothers, it's not like he got pitted against the strongest."
"Yup yup, see how I didn't curse? In fact, I feel like laughing. This must be the result of me accumulating good karma for Lou Cheng! [looks up smugly]" replied Yan Xiaoling.
"And how did you do that?" replied "Okamoto's Fan", curious.
The question provoked much interest among everyone in the discussion, rallying to press her for more details. Even Lou Cheng himself asked under anonymity, pretending to have chanced upon.
"You, you see, this afternoon I invited my bestie to watch a movie. After the movie ended, she suggested we should take a walk, and so we did, until we realized neither of us knew the way..." "Then you got angry and shouted at her. You said it before," replied "Brahman", "but what's that got to do with accumulating good karma?"
"When I shouted at her, I ended up stepping on, on a pile of shit...[points ﬁngers together, sulking]"
"Hahaha, well done! Little Nightfall, you should come to our gatherings in the future! You are so cute! I like you so much! [pounds ground in laughter]" replied "Wonton Seller.
"You must have been overjoyed given your love for feces, no? (Insert funny face)" replied "Unparalleled Dragon King".
"I can almost smell these replies," agreed "A plumber eating mushroom".
As the teasings dwindled, "Invincible Punch" shifted everyone's attention to another topic. "After Mo Jingting posted that video, I realized a lot more people began following the Four Nation Competition."
"There will only be more eyes. The destined duel between Peng Leyun, the clash between the favorites Kaori Karasawa and Veigar, and the morphing Lou Cheng against another Inhuman Mighty One. Any one of these ﬁghts is enough to hype up the Top 8s, not to mention all three of them," replied "Pig-riding Knight".
You don't get to see many competitions of these kind, especially in that age group!
"After the drawing of lots ended, I'm all excited!" concluded "Unparalleled Dragon King".
When they were back at the hotel, they returned to their respective rooms without a hitch, to which Guide Zhong nodded slightly in contentment. Even though the Four Heavenly Sons, or Heavenly Son in line each had their own unique failings that led to a fair share of trouble, they listened to instructions and did not once step over the line. Pride resided in their bones, but it never got to their head. Much unlike the ones he dealt with in previous years. Young, rash, with strength to back up their cockiness. The moment he takes his eyes off of them, they end up causing a scene.
Sigh, the saying is right after all. "A full kettle does not make a noise, but a half-ﬁlled kettle makes a ton of them." (similar to a dog that barks doesn't bite)
After entering the room, Lou Cheng laid the cushion behind him. Shooting the breeze with Yan Zheke intermittently, he browsed Weibo, scrolled through the forums and repeatedly studied the ﬁghting videos of Banam.
Time ﬂew by. It was already ten. Suddenly, an incessant knocking came from his door.
"Who is it?" Lou Cheng asked loudly, hopping off his bed. Holding his phone, he walked to the door and opened it intrepidly.
A pretty woman stood there, her hair dyed from black to blonde, with hikimayu eyebrows and large eyes. She wore an unrevealing nightgown that covered half her thighs, perfectly accentuating her perky chests and slender legs. A sight for sore eyes to any man.
Her hair glistened with wetness, clinging to her face. Seeing Lou Cheng, she gently bit down on her lips and displayed a pitiful expression in her eyes.
"Help...help me," she pleaded in fractured Chinese.
A muscle in Lou Cheng's cheeks twitched. He smiled warily.
"If you need assistance with anything, you should look for the hotel staff. Do you need me to make a call to the front desk?" he said while waving the phone in his hands, blocking off the door to prevent the woman from slipping into the room. Sure, this chick has amazing looks, but what does that have to do with me?
The woman was stunned brieﬂy, then instinctively shook her head. Just when she wanted to say something, Lou Cheng took a step back and heartlessly shut the door in her face, right after she turned down the offer to contact the hotel staff.
Watching the maroon door quickly closing, she jumped back instinctively, then stood rooted to the ground.
Behind the door, Lou Cheng unlocked his screen. Excited, he shared the story of the recent encounter with his wife.
"Some woman was knocking at my door just now!"
Yan Zheke's attention was naturally drawn to the topic. With the deftness of a Professional Ninth Pin, she carefully took out her phone.
"What for? [shocked dog]"
"She asked me for help, wearing nightwear, and when I told her to go to the hotel staff, she turned me down. So I just shut the door and left her outside," bragged Lou Cheng.
Good work! thought Yan Zheke. "This smells ﬁshy! Hm, you handled it well, Cheng! You must do this in the future as well! [resting chin on knitted ﬁngers]
Just as Lou Cheng was about to reply, the knocking at the door resumed.
"What do I do? She hasn't given up. She's knocking at my door again. It's going to reﬂect badly on me if people sees her."
Yan Zheke's pupils swimmed as her thoughts raced. "At times like this, your life mentor, Coach Yan has to take things into her own hands! [pushes sunglasses up] When you encounter something like this, the best solution is to stay at your spot and contact the hotel front counter. Let them know what's going on and request for immediate assistance!"
"Brilliant!" praised Lou Cheng, enlightened. "I'll contact them right now."
After sending that sentence, he paused, mulling over how to articulate the matter in cohesive English. Troubling.
And so he added, "How do I say it in English?"
Yan Zheke almost couldn't stiﬂe her laughter.
"Come, let big sister translate it for you! [roars in laughter]"
As the smiling Lou Cheng chatted away with the phone in his hand, the woman outside continued tapping on the door with watery eyes. She was resolved to use her last resorts once her target showed up again—"Seduce him, grab what she needs and sneak out!"
No male will contact the police for a steamy encounter that loses him nothing!
Thump, thump, thump! Despondent, she continued knocking. Her despair grew when the two stocky hotel security appeared at the nearby intersection.
"Ma'am, which room are you from?" one bellowed.
Ten minutes later, the woman disgracefully returned to the car parked outside the hotel. She turned to the Japanese representative's Guide in the back seat. "This person is very cautious, unlike most men. The ones that never cease dreaming about steamy encounters takes the bait easily… He'll deﬁnitely bring the issue up to his superiors, we can't use this method a second time. I think we should bribe the cleaners to collect what we need," she complained.
"That won't work. Everyday, before the cleaners comes in, their coach will collect their key cards and inspect their rooms," brooded the Japanese representative Guide. "I'll come up with something else."
The next morning, after ending the morphing state trainings, Lou Cheng and Peng Leyun stepped into the Shengxiang Dojo which they had reserved earlier.
Ren Li looked around, avoiding Peng Leyun while turning to Lou Cheng and Ann Chaoyang.
"I want to ﬁght someone other than him!" she declared earnestly. Oh? Is she hiding some counter moves from Peng Leyun? Thought Lou Cheng. Though curious, he had to avoid suspicions, so he turned to Ann Chaoyang. "You spar against Ren Li. I'll go with Peng Leyun."
"Sure," agreed Ann Chaoyang without any excuses, his usual self again.
After they compliantly left for another spot, Lou Cheng saw Peng Leyun still zoning out, so he took the chance to tell Guide Zhong about the strange encounter from before.
"...Well done!" replied Zhong Ningtao, smiling and nodding after his momentary astonishment died down. "Tell me earlier next time."
Lou Cheng wanted to say something, but he noticed the life returning to Peng Leyun's eyes as he stretched his neck, producing loud cracks.
August 23rd, 7:30 P.M. After a day of rest, the ﬂames of war for the King of Youth Pro League were rekindled. The strongest four was about to be determined!
Chapter 484: Excuse
Lightning sparks ﬂickered and shadows ﬂashed. The successor of the Xinzhai Sect, Kaori Karasawa, took a total of eleven minutes to barely win against the second seed, Veigar, and qualiﬁed for the semi-ﬁnals in advance. The ring was in tatters after the match.
This intense battle made the audience gain a new understanding of these two inhuman stage experts. Veigar, who was giving everything he had, was at least two to three times stronger than when he almost lost to Lou Cheng in the double-elimination preliminaries. Those who were watching were all in awe. As for the beauty Kaori Karasawa, her explosiveness at the crucial moment was even more terrifying and was comparable to Peng Leyun's performance of turning the tables from the verge of defeat and beating the "Arhat", Wahku. There's no wonder that she was assigned the name of the ﬁrst seed.
In the live thread, "Unparalleled Dragon King" exclaimed excitedly,
"Brilliant! Veigar is strong but Kaori Karasawa is stronger!" "Get your benches ready and wait for the match between Lou Cheng and that wretch guy.""Wanton Seller" was currently enjoying her summer holidays as a third-year high school student and was living a carefree life.
"Why is he a wretched guy?""Okamoto's Fan" was a little sensitive to this phrase.
"Wanton Seller" replied, "[Rolling Dumpling emoji], He is always hiding in that corner and act sneakily. Therefore he is a wretched guy!"
"Lol, that's apt!""Brahman" replied with a [Laughing And Pounding The Floor expression].
"Eternal Nightfall", Yan Xiaoling came across and left a message, "I've been waiting for all the heavyweights to get here for the analysis of this match..."
After completing this sentence, she added another line weakly, "The fourth seed is only one number above the ﬁfth seed. He shouldn't be much stronger right..."
"They have different battle styles and cannot be compared directly.""Road to Arena" explained to the little girl with much satisfaction. "Mouko Yamashita ﬁghts in a direct manner and is the type that focuses on attacking strongly. This suits Lou Cheng very well. However, Banam prefers short burst close combat and guerilla-type battles. He will either not give you the opportunity to use big moves or will dodge your big moves. In addition, Ann Chaoyang had commented on Weibo that Banam's "Darkness" could silently weaken his opponent. The exact method is still not known. In other words, the longer Lou Cheng ﬁghts, the greater the likelihood of losing."
"A Plumber Eating Mushroom" supplemented, "Therefore, the odds are about four is to six. Lou Cheng has 40% chance while Banam has 60% chance. Both parties have the chances of winning. Yeah. Banam's battle style was shady, ruthless and vicious and is good at avoiding his opponent's strength while attacking his weaknesses. Even if Lou Cheng wishes to end the battle quickly, he probably cannot catch him. In this case, this would be dangerous..." "Yeah, using three minutes as the threshold, if Lou Cheng cannot win against Banam in the ﬁrst three minutes, then he will really not be able to win!" answered "Pig-Riding Knight" in approval. "Even if "Force Concentration" can effectively neutralise the weakening, he also will not be able to withstand the accumulated weakening!"
His girlfriend, "Above The Sky" replied, "[Arms On The Waist expression], I'm really looking forward to the ﬁrst three minutes of this match. It will deﬁnitely be more intense than the previous match!"
"What they said was what I wanted to say.""Unparalleled Dragon King" replied in a jokingly manner.
"I will probably suffocate in the ﬁrst three minutes... [Covers Head and Kneeling on the Floor Trembling expression]" Yan Xiaoling replied.
"Brahman" immediately replied, "[Crying expression] I'm so nervous that I cannot eat my snacks now!" …...
As they were chatting casually, time was passing by in seconds. The second match of the quarterﬁnals would be starting soon.
"It's starting soon." Lou Cheng glanced at the electronic clock, smiled faintly and heaved a sigh. After which, he informed Yan Zheke about it on QQ.
She should still be on her way to school.
Yan Zheke quickly replied without delay. This time, it was still a picture of the oven. Inside it was various ugly-looking small biscuits.
"All the best!"
"Sniggle. So this is really part of the oven series?" Lou Cheng shook his head and broke into laughter. Yan Zheke replied, "[Covers Mouth And Look At The Sky expression], Of course. I'm a man of my word~ However I have only tried out cakes and biscuits. There's no more third picture. If you wish for another type of encouragement, then you have to ﬁght for another match!"
"Alright!" Lou Cheng held back his smile and answered decisively.
This form of encouragement isn't bad!
After ﬁnishing, he locked his screen and passed it to Ann Chaoyang together with his wallet. At the same time, he gave him a high-ﬁve.
"All the best!" Ann Chaoyang swung his arm with a faint smile.
Peng Leyun and Ren Li who were standing to the left and right of Ann Chaoyang also did the same action. After giving Lou Cheng a high-ﬁve, they said, "All the best!"
"Yeah!" Lou Cheng nodded his head with force. He turned his body around and was ready to walk towards the ring.
At this moment, Ann Chaoyang realised that the screen of the phone was locked. He called out in hesitation,
"Lou Cheng? I do not have to help you take pictures and upload them today?"
"Yeah." Lou Cheng replied with a smile. "I have already thought of an excuse."
If I let these unreliable people do it the second time, I'm really going to change a username for my account!
"What's the excuse?" Ann Chaoyang returned another question. Ren Li also leaned over with a face full of curiosity. "Heehee, I'll tell you when the match is over." Lou Cheng didn't speak anymore. He turned his head around, waved his hands and took steps towards the ring. He started concentrating his mind, gathered his aura and his thoughts were moving quickly.
Based on the discussion with Yan Zheke over the last two days and the interactions with Peng Leyun, Ren Li and Ann Chaoyang, he had a mature perspective for the upcoming match.
To deal with Banam, he had to end the battle quickly to prevent himself from getting weakened gradually. Otherwise, he would be seeing the situation becoming more helpless with no chances of turning the tables. At the same time, he couldn't be too reckless. If he was, an assassin-type martial artist like Banam would easily ﬁnd an opportunity and take him down in one go!
This was the overall strategy but he could not be careless in the details either. Although he could infuse "Flame Force" in every strike and attack currently and make use of the high temperature to burn his proteins till they denatured, rendering poison ineffective, the reasons for the weakening effect of Banam's "Darkness" was still not known. There's only a possibility that it was caused by poison.
If it was similar to Ren Li's "Hidden Scent" or other special waves he would not have any defense against it. All he could rely on was "holding his breath" or "Force Concentration" to neutralize it. He had to ﬁnish his opponent off quickly.
As to how he could ﬁnish his opponent off quickly, Lou Cheng also had a rough idea. Banam shouldn't be aware that he had mastered "Ice Mirror" just like he didn't know Ann Chaoyang had mastered "Lake and Mirror Liked Wisdom". It was only until they fought for the ﬁrst time that he realised!
Martial arts liked "Ice Mirror" and "Lake and Mirror Liked Wisdom" were supporting types. Without experiencing it ﬁrst hand and just looking at videos of battles, it would be very hard for one to discover them. Moreover they were from a different country and the information collection process was bound to have various loopholes. Therefore when ﬁghting with Ann Chaoyang, Banam had chosen to use his "Darkness" ability to affect Ann Chaoyang's senses in order to ambush him. However he had also wasted an opportunity by doing so. Based on his style, if he has not considered "Ice Mirror", he will deﬁnitely make similar attempts as previous matches. The only difference would likely be him being more cautious and indirect as compared to when he went against Ann Chaoyang.
And this will be an opportunity for me!
An opportunity for him to fall into my trap!
Once I get the upper hand and have the opportunity to win, I need to aggressively grab hold to it!
Various thoughts ﬂashed through his mind as new thoughts kept coming and also leaving. When he was near the ring, Lou Cheng consolidated his emotions and focused his attention on what was in front of him.
He knew that Banam had ways to avoid being suppressed by his aura. Therefore he kept his terrifying snowstorm-like aura in check and not revealing them while waiting for an opportunity. Step, step, step. He came to the predetermined position with steady steps and saw Banam, whose hands and legs were all wrapped in white bandages, walking silently towards him with a gaze that hunters used on their prey.
His gaze is really abominable. I really wish to bash him up... Lou Cheng thought to himself. He quickly calmed his mind and kept distracting thoughts away.
When Banam arrived at the ring, the referee counted thirty seconds quietly, raised his right arm, looked around him, swung it down quickly and announced,
Lou Cheng stabilized himself with his footwork, straightened his knees, twisted his waist and "blew" towards his opponents like an erupted snowstorm.
In the sparring exercise over the last few days, Peng Leyun, Ren Li, Ann Chaoyang and him had conversed frequently. Other than some core stuff, they were open about everything else so as to stimulate their thinking and generate inspiration. From these conversations, they had all beneﬁted from it. For example, he had fused in the scratches of "Flash Attack" and unique features of "Wind Sect" movement techniques to push his own "North Wind" to a whole new level!
A good companion could really make one a better person and it was the same on the road of martial arts!
A strong wind arose and cut like a knife. Lou Cheng in the eyes of Banam was approaching from afar at a frightening speed and becoming bigger and bigger.
His body seemed to sway and took a stride to his side. At this moment, the light in front of Lou Cheng suddenly disappeared and the noises around his ears instantly dissipated.
In that moment, the Shengxiang stadium seemed to have suffered a blackout and the audiences died quietly on the spot. Goosebumps rose up unconsciously and it was rather terrifying.
Lou Cheng had long made preparations for this. His stopped his steps immediately and switched from moving in high speed to being static. At the same time, he was adjusting his muscles and directing all his senses towards the ﬂoor of the ring.
Normally speaking, he should be hearing noises of contacts or things breaking. However the surrounding was completely silent. All the noises seemed to be engulfed by the creepy darkness.
Lou Cheng's mind had already formed a mirror. It was crystal clear and reﬂecting his surroundings to him, allowing him to be not affected by the senses he "lost".
A small ripple arose, and he immediately locked down the direction Banam was attacking from. However, a mysterious premonition in him told him that this was faint and not the real killer move. Lou Cheng believed in his premonition and did not move. Just as he expected, the ripples quickly disappeared. Tumultuous waves followed closely behind and almost disrupted the Ice Mirror!
Great timing! I'm waiting for you! Thoughts ﬂashed through Lou Cheng's mind. In his mind, an image of boundless darkness appeared quickly. It has the most chilling cold and most silent atmosphere, yet it made one feels clear and magical.
In this darkness, dust accumulated and collapsed from its weight. Lava was spewed out and formed a frightening scorching hot "Emperor Yan Statue". It had illuminated the skies, transmitted warmth and letting out a loud homing sound.
This had brought with it brilliant light rays and more intense consolidation of his Dan.
Mutated "Severe Warning"! Lou Cheng was just waiting for Banam to ambush him using the "Darkness" so he could strike him with "Severe Warning"!
It was the ﬁrst strike of this match!
His body was turned halfway and the muscles on his right arm were bulging and shaking at great speed. Swinging it back, he hit a rather cold bloody ﬁst.
Poof! The darkness subsided as though they were sucked away and the stadium lit up once again. Shock ﬂashed past the cold gaze of Banam. He could only feel that within the ﬁst of his opponent, there seemed to be a miniature vortex or heavy little ball that swallowed all his strength and sucked on to his armed tightly!
Boom! The vortex exploded and violent shockwave spread outwards quickly like a huge hammer that smashed into Banam ﬁercely. Blood stains could be seen from the edge of his mouth as he lost his centre of gravity and ﬂew out.
This was the outcome when a move used for ambushing collided directly with a simpliﬁed physical invulnerability move!
Lou Cheng's eyes lit up and he retracted his blood and breathing. With a stomp, he pounced out with a loud thud and landed in front of Banam, who just landed, at the speed of a high-speed rail. The wind he caused might have even been able to blow a kid away!
Banam hadn't even stabilized himself and was already on the verge of falling. A creepy light quickly gathered in his eyes and formed a "sharp edge", ready to shoot towards Lou Cheng and ambush his mind!
With his Absolute Reaction, Lou Cheng immediately noticed. However he did not trace the "Forwarding" Formula to resist the secret arts but raised his hands to form seals. At the same time, he was visualizing the "Army" Formula!
Using attack against attack, he's not backing down!
This was the aggressiveness that he wanted to display!
He wanted to make the best use of this opportunity and hold the fruits of victory in his hands!
As the low ancient voice resonated, Lou Cheng was hit by "Serene Sting". The light in his eyes immediately dulled and it was as though he was stuck in a nightmare. In his mind, the ice mirror of his heart lake was breaking apart one after another and withstood the majority of the impact. As for Banam, his entire body was shaking. This could be seen from what he was muttering and was trembling in fear. This caused him to forget about his predicament. With the "Ice Mirror" neutralizing the impact, Lou Cheng managed to recover ﬁrst. He quickly took a large breath and compressed the fear, terror, anxiety and other emotions caused by the 'Serene Sting' together with his blood ﬂow, mind and force into his lower abdomen.
The Dan Force was overﬂowing like a volcano that errupted. With the blood pumping through his body, Lou Cheng grew larger by several centimeters and his muscles pressed up against his clothes. He was full of manliness and made quite a number of audience lose their mind as they clearly felt and understood the beauty of power.
A teenage man that was gentle and easy-going most of the time now seemed extremely manly!
Bam! Lou Cheng's muscles bulked up and he visualized thick layers of thunderclouds in his mind. He swung his right arm out and hit his opponent with a Thunder Roar Zen. Banam had just suffered internal injuries from that mutated version of "Severe Warning" a while ago. Using the "Thunder Roar Zen" to amplify and trigger the impact would be the most appropriate move now!
Fire-like Invasion Move, second strike!
Seeing that the ﬁst was smashing towards him like a falling mountain, Banam stimulated his blood ﬂow and ignited his strength. He quickly raised his arms up to withstand the strike.
Within the loud explosion, he jumped back from the attack. His internal organs had suffered a concussion, and it was clear that his blood ﬂow was affected. A metal-like taste could also be felt in his throat.
With a determined look, Lou Cheng retracted his arm and started to compress his breathing and force again. After completing the Dan stage explosion, he didn't give Banam a chance to dodge or counterattack as he continued to tighten his muscles to launch in a barrage of ﬁst attacks.
Thunder Roar Zen, third strike!
Bam! Banam couldn't demonstrate his specialty in close combat, short burst and consecutive attacks at all. All he could do was to clench his teeth and call upon the hidden energy in his body. A dull light started to emanate from his ﬁst and gushed out from the side to receive the enemy's attack.
The two ﬁsts collided. He shivered at the impact and his blood ﬂow and breathing tumbled. At the same time, he started to feel a little dizzy in his mind. Following the force of his enemy, he retreated and glided to the side.
Just when Lou Cheng was about to press on, darkness enveloped his eyes once again. The surrounding had also become dead silence as he lost traces of Banam instantly. At this moment, using his unique ability, this inhuman stage expert from Nanzheng was looking for an opportunity to get out of combat and gather himself again!
If he was not attacking, the opponent couldn't possibly sense him right?
Lou Cheng's expressions didn't change. His muscles, tendons and organs were making the relevant responses, and his mind started tracing the steady and hot image of "Emperor Yan Stature" allowing the "Flame Force" to form completely.
Following that closely, he shook his wrist and shot out a heavily compressed scorching white ﬁre-ball towards the position he'd marked using the "Ice Mirror" previously.
The loud explosion broke the silence. Darkness was disturbed and subsided quickly as it lost his support. In that instant, Lou Cheng saw raging ﬁre waves and dust enveloping the surrounding. He also saw Banam, whose actions were affected by the explosion of "Emperor Yan Force"
He took huge strides to close the distance, formed seals with his hands and engraved an ancient word within the lake in his heart.
Lou Cheng growled in a low voice. He was pressing on with every step and attacked with killer moves with every strike. He was not going to show mercy now that he had the upper hand!
The fourth strike was with all his strength!
Bam! His muscles tightened and Lou Cheng seemed to have become a mountain splitting giant. Dragging along the "large axe", he swung it down.
As the explosion propagated, Banam, who had barely formed a guard with his arms up, had sunk into the ground from the attack by an inch. Dull-red blood was also oozing out from the edge of his mouth.
Again! Taking advantage of his opening, Lou Cheng was going for the kill. He took a small step forward, raised both of his arms and formed a seal directed to himself.
With a serious look, he let out the words. Instantly, his arms expanded and the lines of his muscles were abnormally distinct. He quickly threw it out, a Burst Fist with the effects of Zen!
The ﬁfth strike! Dull light shimmered in the eyes of Banam. He quickly pulled both of his hands back to form a guard in front of his chest to receive the enemy's ﬁst.
It was as though an explosion had occurred and Banam almost spit out blood. Using the momentum of the recoil, he shrunk his body to a ball shape as he was sent ﬂying backwards.
Bang! Lou Cheng had executed the "Forwarding" Formula. With a stomp, the ﬂoor cracked and small pieces of gravel were sent into the air. Lou Cheng pressed forward quickly and instantly closed the distance between them.
The cold light in Banam's eyes became stronger as he was sent ﬂying. Before he landed, he extended his right arm and enveloped it with a layer of dull and faint black light, forming a strong contrast with the white bandages on his hand. The dull light quickly gathered towards his extended ﬁve ﬁngers forming black "sharp edges". He was trying to get to Lou Cheng and grabbed his ﬁst.
This was the ﬁnal trump card of Banam. Whoever was grabbed by him would lose his strength for a short moment.
At that time, all he need to do was to follow the momentum and create a tear to completely cripple his enemy's arm!
Naturally, there will be side effects on him. Unless necessary, or when there's an opportunity for a one-strike knock out, he was more willing to use "Darkness" to gradually weaken his opponent!
At this moment, it was the former case. At this critical stage, he was trying to turn the tables and seeking victory in a seemingly losing scenario!
Seeing the dark black ﬁngertips that sent a shiver down his spine, Lou Cheng suddenly stopped. By "accumulating" the forward momentum, he created a sharp rubbing sound. However the reason why he stopped wasn't to dodge the attack but to buy enough time for him to visualize!
A scorching hot and steady "Emperor Yan Statue" appeared in his mind like a huge sun and compressed the Flame Force in his body into a ball.
Following which, Fire God Zhu Rong appeared from nowhere on a red dragon and suppressed the explosion that was happening because of an instant of miscontrol. Lou Cheng took a small step ahead and received the palm strike enveloped in a creepy light. He shifted his arm backwards and subconsciously responded with his ﬁst.
Internal Explosion Punch!
The sixth strike without backing down!
If he didn't dare to confront head-on at such moments, he would be giving Banam an opportunity to catch his breath and turn the tables around! Moreover Lou Cheng was a martial artist that had experienced life and death situations. He had a determined will and was daring to risk his life!
His ﬁst broke through the air barrier and a layer of ﬂame was formed from the friction. With a tailing white "wave", it collided directly with the palm strike shimmering in dull-black light. As the ﬁsts collided, the powers within them cancelled each other out.
When the Flame Force started pouring in, Banam's palm also started closing. The ﬁve ﬁngertips clearly showed minuscule muscles and dull green veins. Banam grabbed hold to Lou Cheng's ﬁst tightly but the creepy dull light vanished in a blink.
Inside his body, Banam felt as though there was an explosion. The injuries and concussions he suffered previously were completely triggered. His blood ﬂow and breathing became erratic. Internal organs were clearly shaken, and his mind was buzzing non-stop. At the same time, the metal-like taste in his throat grew stronger and his vision was beginning to blur. He was closed to falling to the ground and didn't have additional strength to tear his opponent apart despite grabbing him!
As for Lou Cheng, the ﬂames enveloping his ﬁst burnt away part of the darkness, and he only felt a little weakened. His mind wasn't affected much by the attack.
He forcefully pressed on and used his will to control his mind and his mind to control his body. After retracting his blood ﬂow and breathing, he compressed his force and the feeling of weakness!
With the Dan force exploding, he recovered part of his strength. His muscles were well deﬁned and sweat was sliding on them.
Bam! He visualized the thunderclouds once again and swung his right arm in the opposite direction. Thunder Roar Zen, the seventh strike!
Banam, who barely withstood the attack, jumped a step back and spit out the blood in his throat. After which, he fell weakly towards the group. Lou Cheng's toes stopped right at Banam's throat, supporting his body ﬁrmly.
The referee looked deeply at the two of them, raised his right arm and announced,
"Lou Cheng wins!"
It took around 10 strikes and Lou Cheng won!
Lou Cheng retracted his right leg weakly and saw Banam barely stand up. He clasped a tightened ﬁst in his palm as a form of respect and returned to the spectator stand without stopping. The audience ﬁnally reacted after he took several steps and let out a loud roar of awe. Once again, they started cheering "Lou Cheng" throughout the stadium.
He was able to defeat the fourth seed so quickly!
Lou Cheng was staggering but he wasn't slow. Soon he returned to his original position and bumped ﬁsts with the still dumbfounded Peng LeYun and the rest. He quickly took back his phone and sent a "smiley" face to Yan Zheke.
Following which, he switched to the live thread and saw "Wonton Seller" and the rest tagging him several times, asking him to take some pictures.
He typed with both hands quickly and replied with a smile,
"The match ended before I can take any pictures..." This was the excuse he had prepared.
Chapter 485: Compliments
"Wonton seller" replied instantly when she saw Lou Cheng's reply.
"Exactly! I'm still in shock! He won just like that? That was like, what, ten moves at most? [nods vigorously]"
"Fast as it was…" replied "Unparalleled Dragon King", "It was bloody exciting! Violent, aggressive power that stems from savagery! I'm so pumped up I feel like dueling my dog! [slams table in approval]"
"I'm getting a little hard. [snickering]" replied "Okamoto's Fan".
"Hard? The f*** bro, you gay or something?" replied "A Plumber Eating Mushrooms".
"Doesn't the way Lou Cheng ﬁght make your blood boil? It makes me want to drum my chest the way King Kong does it, then ﬁnd a girl and get laid! Of course I'll get hard! [shrugs while frowning]" replied "Okamoto's Fan".
"Pervert! You perverted old man!" reprimanded "Brahman. "...But, to be honest, when my idol was in full aggression, I, I really wanted to touch his muscles, *hides face*…"
"Haha, Little Brahman is fangirling! [laughs while covering mouth]" replied "Wonton Seller". "Thinking back, I became an martial art enthusiast because I used to think Dragon King was really manly!"
"Thinking back? Teenagers below the age of 18 don't get to use this phrase! [funny face]" replied "Road to the Arena". "Thinking back, I began learning martial arts because I thought martial artists were experts at impressing girls!"
"Speaking of teenagers, where's our elementary schooler? @Eternal Nightfall." replied "Unparalleled Dragon King", realizing the absence of Lou Cheng's loyal little fan during the post-match celebration and discussion. Yan Xiaoling popped up right after being tagged.
"I'm watching the replays, for the third time, "wipes drool"..."
"I'm speechless, you win…[sighs while covering face]" replied "Unparalleled Dragon King", "Who would have thought, before the match started, that Lou Cheng would have such a clean sweep?"
"I think his morphing is nearing completion. His level is likely to be that of a genuine Inhuman soon," guessed "Pig- Riding Knight". "Banam is not the type to ﬁght head on, once he made a mistake against someone from the same league, it's not strange for him to get combo-ed to a loss."
"You are right, but to defeat an Inhuman mighty one in about ten moves still blows me away… It's a pity I don't understand Shengxiangese or Nanzhengese, otherwise I could read their news and forums to see what they are saying— their compliments, their disappointment, and how they are blown away…" sighed "A Plumber Eating Mushrooms." "Give me a minute, I'll go through the Japanese forums and see what they have to say. [heh-heh]" replied "Unparalleled Dragon King".
Soon, he pasted the original comments he had copied, along with his translations at the bottom.
"How do we call him? A genius that appears only once every three thousand years?"
"To think I rooted for Banam for ten seconds."
"Why ten seconds?"
"Cause he lost after ten seconds…"
"Even Kaori-chan can't take Banam down this fast…" "If Banam gave away an opening to Kaori-chan, she too can defeat him in ten moves, with the burst of strength she displayed when ﬁghting against Veigar! Kaori-chan is the best!"
"China's current generation is so strong."
"The idiots in the martial arts association, open your eyes and see for yourself! Get off your high horses and reform the training system!"
"Crazy ﬁght, terrifying samurai!"
"Brahman" replied with a "slams the table while saying hurry up". "Keep going, Little Dragon, keep going! These replies have me over the moon!"
After replying, Lou Cheng didn't pay special attention, merely glancing occasionally. That's because the special alert on his phone rang. "I just watched the replay for another time, thinking that you wouldn't pick up your phone this fast. [blushing]" messaged "Yan Zheke".
Pfft, she's behaving like Yan Xiaoling! Barely holding it in, Lou Cheng sent a [brushes hand through hair smugly] reaction image. "Go ahead, shower me with your compliments, I can take it!"
To be frank, he was feeling a little smug after replying to everyone on the forums with his "Competition ended too quickly, didn't have a chance to snap a shot" excuse.
Yan Zheke replied with [rolls eyes], then asked worriedly, "Banam's last move is rumored to be extremely powerful, are you okay Cheng?"
"It's pretty powerful indeed," replied Lou Cheng. "Though a portion of my strength has returned, I'm still feeling pretty weak, as if all my stats are reduced. Had I not gotten Banam at the last second, things would have started looking dangerous." Of course, after getting hit by the mutated "Severe Warning", the new "Internal Explosion Punch" driven by "Emperor Yan Force", two rounds of beating enhanced by the Fighting Formula, a few times of Zen Strikes and suffering the after- effect from his ultimate skill, even if Banam braced through it all, he would be in a similar state as Lou Cheng. Deﬁnitely not in better shape.
What's more, their way of martial arts only focused on exploring the treasures within the human body. Through that they activated their potential, completing bursts of strength. On the other hand, the "Force Concentration" practiced in China had other effects— regulating one's own body and alleviating negative effects. He would be the one left standing in a slugfest.
However, that was only the case if Banam could not shake off his aggressive attacks. If Banam managed to put some distance between them, things would have worked out in his favor. Lou Cheng would have soon become weakened by the "darkness", without any chances of further injuring his opponent. The tides would have turned in the blink of an eye. "I see. I'm glad you are ﬁne. [nods like a chick pecking on rice grains]" replied Yan Zheke. "Cheng."
"You were so cool just now~" typed Yan Zheke, pressing her lips into a smile, her ﬁngers dancing. And very manly as well, she thought to herself.
She sent the message and lifted her head, taking in the American-styled structures on both sides of the road from the bus window. In a garden, a topless youth was punching away at a sandbag.
The few martial arts enthusiasts will be saying good things about Lou Cheng again, they will be in awe, she thought, her gaze drifting into the distance as a dimpled smile surfaced. But soon she felt the same insuppressible melancholy.
Her compliment made Lou Cheng's mouth curve upwards. The joy from the swift win over Banam was taking over— a strong urge to stand up and move around a little. That's when his heart tightened. Looking to his side, he saw Kaori Karasawa sizing him up from far. She was now in a yukata.
With her hair in a bun, she wore a demure smile on her lovely round face, adorned by her beautiful eyes. She looked nothing like the girl genius that violently destroyed Veigar, but rather an ordinary student attending a festive ceremony.
They locked eyes. Kaori Karasawa nodded slightly, a look deeper than a bottomless pool in her eyes, a mismatch with her age and demeanor.
Xinzhai Sect's kungfu is both mysterious and violent. This is going to be hard , thought Lou Cheng.
Against her, even if I completed my morphing, the chances of winning are still slim…
His eyes drifted and happened to see Banam's staggering silhouette leaving the changing room before exiting the stadium. Silent in his departure, just like in his arrival. On the other hand, Veigar never appeared again after losing to Kaori Karasawa. Wahku never spectated any matches either. Probably on his crude and endless training again.
Mouko Yamashita solemnly stared at the young man, who was a lot shorter than him, mixed feelings tumbling inside him.
"He makes a ﬁne target, right?" Kaori Karasawa's voice rang beside him.
Mouko Yamashita looked over his shoulders, creasing his brows in confusion.
"With a target like him, Mouko-kun must be feeling full of energy and free of sloppiness. If not, the chance to wash the shame will never come," said Kaori Karasawa with a soft laugh, her brows creasing in modesty.
Mouko Yamashita fumed, his head buzzing loudly, feeling as if he had been looked down on. But he quickly calmed down, knowing that Kaori Karasawa spoke the truth and taunted him on purpose, to prevent him from numbing to defeat and accustoming to bearing shame.
"Thanks, I will prove it to you all!" he replied in a deep voice.
Yet a tinge of uncertainty emerged as he said it.
Can I really surpass Lou Cheng again? Can I really wash away the shame?
On the other side, Lou Cheng had kept his eyes to himself, smiling as he messed around on his phone.
Ann Chaoyang glanced at him, but the latter did not show any intentions of holding a conversation. Remembering his question before the match started, he took out his phone and went to the forums, searching for the reply.
"This is your excuse?" he blurted after a brief silence. He's that conﬁdent?
Lou Cheng tilted his head upwards.
"Yeah, I had it all thought out. That match was either a swift win or a swift loss, so my excuse stands either way. Thankfully, Banam was caught off guard from the get go," he explained.
Okay… you sure had it all mapped out Ann Chaoyang felt a
muscle twitch in his cheeks.
"Come to think of it, it seems like Banam has to get into physical contact to weaken his opponent with "Darkness". If not, he wouldn't have the need to make a sneak attack on you. As long as he kites around and lets time elapse, he will have a high chance of winning." mused Ann Chaoyang.
Had that been the case, Banam would not have taken Lou Cheng's killer move right off the bat... "That's right. I have seen parts of his footages from before and drew the same conclusion," said Lou Cheng, nodding in approval. Then he thought of something and took a quick glance at Ren Li and Peng Leyun, who sat 33 feet away from each other. He lowered his voice. "After Ren Li advanced to Inhuman, did her "Hidden Scent" alter correspondingly and overwrite the limitations? In the past, she had that prerequisite where she had to hit her opponent with Plague Sect force. Also, the area of effect was fairly small," he asked.
Without those two limitations, "Hidden Scent" would come close to an in game bug!
With Ren Li's top notch Wind Sect footwork, she could run around all day after releasing her Hidden Scent and the victory will come to her by itself!
Ann Chaoyang glanced at Ren Li.
"That's too ridiculous. But she's deﬁnitely a lot stronger than when you last faced her." As they spoke, the arena has been restored to its original appearance, free from any physical traces left by the memorable ﬁght.
After a round of theatrical performance, the referee took to the arena. The third match was impending.
Peng Leyun and Ren Li stood up at the same time, headed towards the arena from two seperate walkways, forgetting to even high ﬁve their teammates.
Watching them from the back, Lou Cheng chuckled, his phone in hand.
"Why doesn't Ren Li get lost on her way to the arena?"
"This must be what they call true love…" replied Ann Chaoyang, smiling. The battle between Peng Leyun and Ren Li (postponed from April thanks to Lou Cheng) was about to begin!
Chapter 486: Fighting To The Limits
One in red and the other in white, they were standing on the left and right side of the referee, separated by approximately twelve to thirteen metres. This was an ofﬁcial match between Peng Leyun and Ren Li, who had been considered at the same level for a long time after a full year. When they fought the previous time, one of them was a weak sixth pin while the other was a top class seventh pin. Currently, both of them had entered the inhuman stage and were deﬁnitely worthy of the title of the Heavenly Son of the Era.
It's a shame that the audience for this match didn't know about the history and meaning behind this battle and it couldn't be in a better environment.
Ren Li was secretly regulating her breathing and shaking her muscles faintly as warm-up. In her eyes was the reﬂection of a young man who was fully concentrated and no longer acting casually and standing opposite of her.
The referee looked around, raised his right arm and shouted with a bright and loud voice, "Begin!"
As he completed his words, Ren Li immediately strode towards the left, cut back instantly, mobilized her muscles, tendons and force in response and swept towards Peng Leyun with a loud thud and a visible tornado resulted in the process.
Rustle! The whimpering of the wind seemed to be summoning the devil from the sky, disrupting the emotions of those who heard them.
Peng Leyun traced the image of the sacred and majestic "Thor's Image" in his mind to keep his mind in check. He could already feel the heavy pressure of the wind in his space as Ren Li was about to close the distance between them!
As destined nemesis who knew each other well and through, he didn't attempt to probe further. He placed both of his palms together and was ready to use "Thunder From The Clear Skies".
At this moment, Ren Li seemed to have noticed. Her "Wind Force" immediately expanded, wriggled her muscles, changed her centre of gravity and made an impossible turn from that high-speed charge.
At the point where she turned, a loud explosion sounded. It was as though an aeroplane had ﬂown past at low heights or a high-speed train zooming past at full speed at a distance of several centimeters away. The strong wind that was created made the referee raised his hands subconsciously to cover his face as his body shook slightly backwards.
Ren Li's "Wind Step" had already exceeded the impossible realm and reached the level of inhuman. As she turned, the wind she created could even push a person away!
Peng Leyun's "Thunder From The Clear Skies" was engulfed by the loud explosion. As for the thin blade formed, it broke on the track that Ren Li was initially on, as it made contact with the ﬂoor of the ring and created a trail of burn marks. After sparring between themselves, they were no longer probing the other party. From the very beginning, the match had been thrilling and breathtaking!
After completing the turn, Ren Li suddenly sunk her shoulders. Using her wrist, she turned her force into a wind blade rotating at high-speed and shot it toward the throat of Peng Leyun at high-speed. At the same time, she twisted her waist and sent seven kicks towards Peng Leyun. Every single strike was aimed at the ankles of Peng Leyun or his knees, completing a low altitude "Wind Sect", 27 style.
Attacking from both the top and bottom, a combination attack of "Stern Blade" and "Whirlwind".
Peng Leyun seemed to have predicted it in advance and raised his arms in front of him. Electric sparks were enveloping his ﬁst from the bottom to the top and met the bottom of the Wind Blade. The attack was neutralized in the sharp screeches from the friction and the electrical buzzing sound as the attack turned into a gust of wind. In his body, a vortex was increasing in pressure and turning at a crazy speed. At the moment when he used his arm to block the "blade", he was "pushed" away violently by the wind pressure caused by Ren Li's Whirlwind consecutive kicks. He swung back nicely as he didn't straighten his back nor exert strength.
Bam, bam, bam!
Ren Li's kicks missed her target. Peng Leyun strode ahead, retracted his blood ﬂow and breathing, erupting the Dan Force, pulled his tendons, catapulted his muscles and executed "Machine Fist".
Ta ta ta ta ta! The sounds of the ﬁst didn't stop and electric sparks could be seen everywhere. Ren Li did not retreat and executed the "Whirlwind" again. Stomping violently, it was as though she was ﬂoating in mid-air as she created terrifying and strong wind.
Seeing that electric sparks were spewing everywhere, strong wind sweeping to the surrounding and the endless "bam" explosions, Lou Cheng and Ann Chaoyang couldn't help but felt amazed and astonished at the mastery levels of Peng Leyun and Ren Li when they gave their all in their ﬁght.
"The Big Devil" who was serious from the very beginning was truly frightening. His attacks were smooth and well connected while his defense was cool and collected. As for the unreliable Ren Li, she wasn't at the losing end at all. Her kick techniques were astonishing and with the palm sword technique, she was evenly matched with Peng Leyun.
An intense battle at this level was an inspiration to the two of them from time to them. Both of them didn't dare to blink their eyes in fear of missing out on the critical moments.
As a result, Lou Cheng only took some pictures occasionally to post it into the live thread. Everyone was also understanding of his current situation. This was because it was the same for everyone. The raucous discussion previously had already turned cold and sporadic.
Phew. When I completed my morph and consolidated myself, will I have the same standards as the current Ren Li? Lou Cheng thought as he was watching. His morphing had been in progress for close to ﬁve days. He had already made it past the most difﬁcult initial stage and completed more than half of the progress. All that remained was seven to eight days of minor polishing and gradual concluding. From the physical aspect, he could be considered as a typical inhuman stage expert now. However, he was still lacking in the ﬁne control.
Hmpf. It might not be as precise as Ren Li but practical battle standards should be similar… Lou Cheng nodded his head as he passed judgements on himself.
Bang bang bang, bam bam bam!
On the stage, dust was ﬂoating around. The strong winds didn't stop and lightning shimmered incessantly, lighting up the eyes of the audience. Ren Li and Peng Leyun fought, moved, and competed with positioning, making sharp turns from time to time as they battled from the center position to the left side and then from the left side to the other end. On the ﬂoor, there wasn't a piece of tile that was still nicely intact. In this ﬁve to six minutes, they didn't use many simpliﬁed physical invulnerability moves. This was because they didn't have a very good opportunity and once they missed, they would have easily become passive and be suppressed by the other party.
After another intense period of ﬁghting, Ren Li ﬁnally moved in a ghostly manner to the side of Peng Leyun by leveraging her advantage in positioning. She ﬁnally got hold of a great opportunity!
In her mind, she naturally traced out an image covering green whirlwind, seawater, forest, huge boulders and others that connect directly to the skies!
This brought changes to her relevant muscles, tendons and internal organs. At the same time, her "Postwind Force" intertwined layers by layers, forming a "helix"
Following closely, various kinds of wind blew past, replacing the gale and formed an image of a female god statue, suppressing the force that she was losing control of. Bam!
Ren Li bent her body forward, shifted her left arm up to defend. She turned her waist using the momentum and shot out her right ﬁst from the bottom up like a sky cannon!
Peng Leyun took in a deep breath. He executed a Force Concentration, expanded his arms, bent his elbow and crashed into it as sparks were ﬂuttering out.
Sounds of explosion were rapid. Ren Li retracted her right arm. Her ﬁst was aching and muscles were numb and took a few steps backs uncontrollably. As for Peng Leyun, he could only feel that every muscle in his body was being pulled and torn. The strong wind arose from the bottom of his feet and surrounded him, making it hard to resist and started ﬂying upwards!
Wind Sect, tenth move, "Nine Heavens Breath"! Simpliﬁed Physical Invulnerability Move!
Peng Leyun was sent ﬂying when Ren Li suddenly stomped her leg. With another loud thud from the sudden change in direction, she reached the landing spot of her opponent. She made preparations and was lying in wait for Peng Leyun.
Facing this, thoughts ﬂashed past Peng Leyun quickly. He quickly started visualizing as it ﬁnally stopped at the image of a green jade amulet ﬂoating in void space.
Lightning was crisscrossing around the "Jade Amulet" and formed an ancient carving. Inside Peng Leyun, "Divine Wrath Force" was gathering and forming on his right palm.
Pa! He pressed down quickly and a thumb-sized silverish- white electric shock gushed out of his palm and headed directly towards Ren Li. This was a different application of "Thunder Seal"!
If he wasn't at the inhuman stage and his body hadn't mutated, Peng Leyun would also not be able to use such a move!
Ren Li could feel her head numbing. When her opponent pressed his palm downwards, she immediately bounced off from the ground by forcefully generating strong wings and swinging herself away.
The electric shock struck and hit the ﬂoor as it grazed past the body of Ren Li. Minuscule sparks spread to the surrounding area from the point it struck.
When he executed the "Divine Wrath Force", he was already halfway down. When Ren Li gathered herself again, his legs had just landed on the sold ﬂoor. The reason why he wasn't using "Calamity" consecutively the way he did when he went against Wahku was because this opponent was different. Ren Li was able to throw out Wind Blade and had various methods. She wasn't like Wahku who could only ﬁght head-on after turning into "Asura". Therefore,
unless necessary, he felt that it would be better if he didn't risk
Ren Li knew that her chance was only in an instant and didn't hold back anymore. In her mind, the scene had already been ﬁxed on the terrifying god of the Plague Sect, which has an indigo-colored face, cinnabar-liked hair, 3 heads and six arms.
As she threw out punch, her joints seemed to have extended and her arms creepily grew longer a little.
Because of this 'little' extension, Peng Leyun's dodge was rendered ineffective and he could only withstand the attack with violent force. With a barrage of ﬁst attacks, he ﬁnally withstood the attack. Bam!
Ren Li was sent ﬂying back from the attacks. As for Peng Leyun, his body was suddenly exhausted of strength. His breathing was rapid and was losing consciousness.
Knowing that Ren Li would follow up with "Hidden Scent", he violently executed Force Concentration to dispel the effects ﬁrst. Following which, he held his breath and started a crazy barrage of attacks.
Bam bam bam, bang bang bang. Fist, kicks, elbow strikes, knee blows… Every attack of Peng Leyun was ﬁlled with a thick layer of silverish-white electric shock. In the eyes of Lou Cheng and the rest, that was equivalent to electric strikes after strikes.
The consecutive strikes of "Calamity" had been turned into an explosion on ﬂat ground. Yet it was equally terrifying!
For an inhuman expert, not breathing for several minutes wouldn't be a problem. However that was under the scenario of not engaging in intense exercise. As of now, Peng Leyun had held his breath for two full minutes while executing crazy series of attacks. Yet, he was not showing signs of slowing down. This made Lou Cheng felt the distance between the other party and him.
Ren Li expedited "Hidden Scent" as she clenched her teeth and trying to persevere. Her "Wind Force" was constantly destroyed as she suffered electric strikes incessantly and couldn't open up the distance between them.
Time passed and the numbness accumulated in her body ﬁnally reached the limits. She was even unable to execute "Force Concentration" as Peng Leyun broke through her arm guard with an elbow strike. Following the momentum, he swung his ﬁst towards the throat of Ren Li.
Ren Li's body went numb and her movement slowed. She wasn't able to defend in time and could only see that ﬁst stopped right in front of her vital point.
The referee didn't hesitate, raised his hand and announced, "Peng Leyun wins!"
Ren Li heaved a sigh and was speechless from the sorrows. After some time, she used a "Force Concentration" to suppress part of the numbness she felt. Following which, she clasped a tightened ﬁst in her palm as a form of respect, turned around and walked down the stone steps while her muscles were still twitching.
After taking two steps, she suddenly stopped. This was because Peng Leyun was still standing there without moving. It was as though he was enjoying the cheers of others.
Doubts arose in her mind. Ren Li turned her head around, looked at that guy and asked softly,
Why aren't you moving?"
Peng Leyun revealed a forced smile and replied, "I'll faint once I move..."
For the last 10 strikes, I could no longer hold my breath. And now, the effects of "Hidden Scent" has completely shown up...
I will faint if I move... Ren Li was stunned for a moment. An arc revealed at the edge of her mouth as some sense of satisfaction appeared in her eyes. She waved at the medical personnel at the side, raised her head and said,
"You guys can help him down!"
After ﬁnishing, she walked down the stage proudly. Her emotions had turned for the better for unknown reason as she accepted the compliments of Lou Cheng and Ann Chaoyang.
For the last quarterﬁnals match, Gusai won easily and claimed the last slot in the semiﬁnals. The drawings lots ceremony was to be held shortly behind.
The guest drew out the ﬁrst name:
Eh... Lou Cheng turned his view from his phone and saw the guest took out the second ball.
Hopefully the host nation will try to ﬁx the match again. I'm the weakest besides Gusai. Pick me, pick me!
Picking me is his only chance of entering the ﬁnals!
The guest took a look at the ball and display it to the surrounding.
"Peng Leyun!" Ah... Lou Cheng was stunned for a moment. When he regained consciousness, his opponent had already been decided.
Kaori Karasawa. The top seed, Kaori Karasawa!
Chapter 487: Xinzhai Sect
Lou Cheng murmured the name, turning to the direction of the Japanese representative team. The girl in the yukata looked towards him as well with a demurred gaze that portrayed no hostility.
Yet, among all the opponents he's faced so far in the tournament, Lou Cheng clearly knew that she was going to be the strongest— the title of Top Seed wasn't there for nothing!
The Xinzhai Sect dated far back in the history of Japanese martial arts. It was a hybrid between local Kendo and Buddhism Zen methods brought over by a Chinese missionary. Their daily trainings incorporated self-cultivating activities such as ﬂower arrangement, tea ceremonies and painting which promoted the search of one's "true self". When it came to combat, it was famed for its speed and viciousness. Their movements were mysterious and explosive, and practitioners excelled in blind ﬁghts and messy ﬁghts through their Mind Reader. One of their moves, the "Flying Dragon Takedown" was said to be extremely fast, and that once executed no opponent at the same stage could dodge it. They might not even be able to parry it if they did not see it coming.
It was two sides of the same coin with Peng Leyun's inferior version of Cloudless Thunder Blade but different greatly in presentation. When Peng Leyun clapped his hands together, his opponents could tell it was time to calm down and focus on dodging. Flying Dragon Takedown, however, gave away minimal warnings. By the time one sees the move coming and activates a reaction, more often than not they would have already been hit. Of course, it can't be any faster than the speed of lightning, so there was still a chance of dodging or parrying it if one stood reasonably far away from the caster.
In short, the Xinzhai Sect was a Japanese Kendo Sect that was deeply inﬂuenced by Buddhism, and Kaori Karasawa, before advancing to the Inhuman stage, wowed the whole nation with her martial arts imbued with Kendo which gained her the title of "a genius that appears only once in every three thousand years".
Originally, if both sides were roughly at the Inhuman stage, weapons were allowed in arena battles. However, since most of the Inhuman contestants in the King of Youth Pro League only made the breakthrough recently, there wasn't much conﬁdence in their control over their abilities. Therefore, to prevent scenes of splattered blood and sprawling corpses, weapons were prohibited. Not being able to take on her enemies in her strongest form, Kaori Karasawa was only at 90% of her full
Even so, she came up on top in the Top 8s ﬁght against the No.2 Seed, Veigar, who was specialized in hand-to-hand combat. At that point it seemed like she was destined to be the champion.
Huff… Lou Cheng exhaled. The results didn't disappoint him, but rather pleased him.
To him, he had achieved everything he came for. He began morphing, entered the top 4s, and secured a large amount of prize money. Under such circumstances, he's more than glad to experience martial arts from other cultures to broaden his horizons and gain experience.
There were many more opportunities for him to ﬁght Peng Leyun in the future, so there was no rush. On the other hand, he wouldn't get another chance to ﬁght Kaori Karasawa for a long time, perhaps not even in two or three years. If he missed this chance, there was no certainty as to when he could experience the Xinzhai Sect kungfu.
Since he didn't get Gusai, he would rather clash with Kaori Karasawa!
The ﬁghting spirit in Lou Cheng boiled. He could feel his muscles tingling and his blood ﬂowing faster. He looked forward to the semi-ﬁnals on the night after the next.
No matter how strong the opponent is, there is a chance of me winning!
Who would throw in the towel right after seeing the matchup!?
... Over at the Japanese representatives' side, Kaori Karasawa curved her lips into a lovely smile, seemingly pleased with getting Lou Cheng as her opponent.
She tilted her head, quickly sizing up her enemy. From the corner of her eye, she saw Masane Otake, the researcher with unkempt hair, walking towards her.
"Kaori-chan, I'm counting on you!" he gushed with a bow.
"Hm," replied Kaori Karasawa absently. Scenes of how the match would play out against Lou Cheng were already ﬂashing through her mind.
"Good, you don't have to ﬁght each other," said Zhong Ningtao, happy at the results of the lot drawing. Moreover, Peng Leyun against Gusai practically secures a place in the ﬁnals. "Wild card team"— mission complete!
Having taken down Wahku, who was a lot stronger than Gusai, and with the experience of dealing with Heart Reﬂection Punch, Peng Leyun's chances of winning could only be higher than before.
"Not bad, not bad," agreed Lou Cheng absently. Rapidly working his ﬁngers across the screen, he informed Ke of the result.
A reply soon came from Yan Zheke.
"Seems like the Eastern hosts have given up…[sits with a blank expression]" "Haha, that's what I thought too. It's probably because Gusai doesn't stand a real chance against any of us, and Shengxiang has already outdone Nanzheng and Miluo by securing a place in the Top 4s, so it doesn't really matter to them now," agreed Lou Cheng, adding on.
"Right, right. There's no need for underhanded tactics anymore. [laughs while covering mouth]" replied Yan Zheke. "Cheng, are you fated to be enemies with Japan? Somehow you keep drawing into them. First it was Ichiei Sakata, then Mouko Yamashita, and now Kaori Karasawa. Are you planning to take their entire representative team down by yourself?"
Ichiei Sakata, Mouko Yamashita and Kaori Karasawa were the strongest in the Japanese representative team, so beating them was no different from defeating their whole team.
"Pfft, now that you mention it, there must be bad blood between us in our past lives, if not why do I keep running into them? [confused expression]" replied Lou Cheng. "Kaori Karasawa is extremely strong. She has mastered the "Qi" stage and had the 6th Dan Black Belt for almost a year. At her full power, she has blades in her hands. I think she might even be stronger than Peng Leyun right now, I'll consider myself lucky if she doesn't beat me to a pulp. It's not at all likely for me to overpower her."
I'm not being humble either, just stating facts. Better not brag about something I'm not conﬁdent about in front of little fairy.
"I believe in you, brother Cheng~" Yan Zheke sent a cute gif of [a monkey whipping hearts out of its tail]. "I'm sure you'll do well!"
Though I can't say you have a good chance of winning, since lying gives you bad karma!
But it's strange that Cheng keeps running into Mighty Ones from Japan. Hmm, this whole four nation competition thing is strange from the start… To think they gave us four wild card invitations. And there was that mysterious woman knocking on the door at night…
Yan Zheke looked up while pressing her lips together, debating the possibilities in her mind, but she just couldn't piece everything together. Quickly cutting off her thoughts, she began paying close attention to the class again.
Back in the live-stream thread, "Eternal Nightfall" Yan Xiaoling had sent a "sighing while spreading arms" at the results of the lots drawing.
"What's this? Weren't the Eastern hosts going to pull strings?"
If they did, then Lou Cheng would be matched against Gusai and sail smoothly to the ﬁnals.
"I overestimated their pride. Who knew they would be satisﬁed with top 4s? [wipes at a face full of tears]" replied "Unparalleled Dragon King". "It's to be expected. If it was Wahku entering the ﬁnals, it wouldn't raise much objections, but to send Gusai to the ﬁnals through manipulation is far beyond shameless. Who will join their competition next time?" replied "Road to the Arena", who was mentally prepared for the result.
"Then I overestimated their shamelessness…[spits]" replied "A Plumber Eating Mushrooms".
"Enough about that, the main question now is, what are the chances of my idol winning against Kaori Karasawa?" asked "Brahman".
"20% at best," replied "Pig-Riding Knight". A sensible estimation.
"Lou Cheng had trouble handling an all out Veigar, not to mention Kaori Karasawa! Even though "a beautiful girl genius that only appears once every three thousand years" is exaggerating, her strength is deﬁnitely the real deal," replied "Unparalleled Dragon King". "Depends on whether she lets her guard down, or whether she sustained injuries from the tough ﬁght against Veigar. Lou Cheng always outdoes himself, so we don't have to worry much from his side," replied "Invincible Punch", who had almost made Lou Cheng his own example.
"I'll enjoy the match along with my snacks then. *cries* [wipes tears with handkerchief] " replied "Brahman".
"I'm not listening, I'm not listening, I'm not listening! [rolls on the ﬂoor while covering ears]" replied "Yan Xiaoling".
After the lot drawing ended, Lou Cheng and the rest returned to the hotel. Among them, the exhausted Ren Li along with Peng Leyun who still suffered from the lingering effects of "Hidden Scent", returned to their rooms without a word. Ann Chaoyang, on the other hand, stationed himself in the lobby sofa, watching as strangers passed by, listening to the songs played from his earphones. He enjoyed the solitude in the middle of passing crowds. Lou Cheng freshened up, then cuddled up in his bed, chatting with Yan Zheke as he went through the footages of Kaori Karasawa's ﬁghts, courtesy of "Unparalleled Dragon King". Nothing out of the routine for the past few days.
But he didn't dread it. Enjoyed it even.
The hotel had two exits, where two groups of suspicious people loitered around respectively, watching and waiting. Time passed, yet none of the members from the Wild Card Team went out alone.
"Aren't they way too obedient? Why aren't they going out for some fun?" muttered the leader among them, gritting his teeth. "Shengxiang's red light district is world-class famous."
Aside from the usual stuff, there were some real kinky shit out there!
"The China teams in the past always had people sneaking out at night," said the man beside him, confused. "Maybe it's because these four are weirdos…" sighed the leader. "The girl doesn't even go shopping, isn't she wasting her trip here?"
"Ren Li is bad with directions, their guide has requested her to only go out with his company," explained the other man.
"I heard she can't memorize faces as well. Who knows when she'll forget what her guide looks like," said the leader, fantasizing about the possibilities.
"Not as if she can't memorize the face of someone she sees everyday," said the other man, his voice growingly dejected.
After two more days of tough training, the disqualiﬁed Ren Li and Ann Chaoyang volunteered to spar against Lou Cheng in turns. "The Big Devil" Peng Leyun on the other hand, with the experience from ﬁghting Wahku and the negative effects of Hidden Scent lingering in him, opted out for most of the sparring exercises. It wasn't until six hours before the match began that he fully recovered from it.
August 25th, 8 P.M. People with burning enthusiasm ﬂooded into the Shengxiang stadium.
In the ﬁrst match, Peng Leyun almost lost from playing around too much again. He only put up a ﬁerce retaliation after completely experiencing a full set of "Six Paths of Reincarnation Punches", beating Gusai by a hair after exchanging their ﬁnal moves.
He had to drag out a battle that could have been ended in a minute to one that lasted for ten minutes!
Fifteen minutes of theatrical performance ensued. Once again, the referee stepped onto the arena, beckoning to both sides. Lou Cheng stood up slowly, phone in hand. Across him, Kaori Karasawa dusted her Kendo suit, then rose.
The Top Seed VS Miraculous Youth!
Chapter 488: Our Encouragement
"All the best!"
Peng Leyun, who was beside Lou Cheng, drank a mouthful of nutrient solution and extended his ﬁst with a smile. He had returned from the changing room and was clean and fresh again.
"Yeah." Lou Cheng ﬁst bumped with him and didn't speak further.
After he ﬁst bumped with Ren Li, Ann Chaoyang and Zhong Ningtao respectively, he turned around and walked towards the ring. At this point, he was lamenting in his heart: Why isn't the encouragement from Ke here yet today? I will miss it if this is to drag on little longer!
Moreover, it was agreed that it will no longer be the "Oven series"! At this moment, the special notiﬁcation from his phone ﬁnally sounded. Unlocking the phone, Yan Zheke had sent a long voice message.
Voice message? So long? Is she singing or what? Lou Cheng pressed played with a head of doubts and placed the speaker next to his ear.
After a short period of silence, a clear and crisp cough could be heard. Subsequently, a young and child-like voice sounded,
"I'm "Eternal Nightfall", all the best Lou Cheng!"
"After the child-like voice, it was a rather coarse but shy voice of a girl,
"I'm "Brahman", all the best Lou Cheng!"
"I'm "Unparalleled Dragon King", all the best Lou Cheng!" "I'm "Wonton Seller", all the best Lou Cheng!"
"I'm "Bull Demon King", all the best Lou Cheng!"
"I'm "All The Good Names Are Taken By Dogs", this is so embarrassing... All the best Lou Cheng!"
Various different voices sounded and they were all active users on the fans forums. Their "encouragement" was resonating and lingering in Lou Cheng's mind. Initially, he was shocked. After a while, he was trying to control his emotions as he felt a warmth from his heart.
"I'm "Okamoto's Fan", all the best Lou Cheng."
"I'm "Nie Qiqi", all the best Lou Cheng!" At this point, the silence at the beginning appeared again.
However a beautiful voice of a girl could be heard,
"I'm Yan Zheke, all the best Lou Cheng!"
As the familiar voice entered his ears, it was like the ﬁnishing touch to a great piece and touched Lou Cheng's soul instantly. His vision was slightly blurred and he could no longer hold back and looked towards his side.
This was "encouragement" that Ke had attentively!
She must have put a lot of effort into it...
The rest must also have been very enthusiastic and overcome their meekness...
Lou Cheng lowered his head again and replied with a [clenched ﬁst expression]. After which, he continued, "[smirking expression] You should have used the nickname of 'I'm your little fairy!' or 'Lou Cheng's girlfriend/wife'!"
"Go for your competition! So naggy! [waving hands with aversion expression]"
"Yes Madam! [salute expression]" Lou Cheng smiled and added, "Help me thank everyone for this."
After sending, he locked his screen and threw his cellphone and wallet to Ann Chaoyang. He turned around, followed the path and headed directly towards the ring."
After taking just two steps, he suddenly heard a coherent scream,
"Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng!"
"Lou Cheng, all the best!" Hmph, I haven't won yet and they are already cheering me on? This was the ﬁrst time he had such treatment in Shengxiang. Subconsciously, he followed the direction from where the cheers were from and saw many faces from his home-land waving Chinese ﬂags.
When it was Peng Leyun's turn to compete, they also cheered in such a way. From what he heard from the guide, these were students studying in Fuluo, businessmen, and workers who were here to earn money as well as the local Chinese. They had speciﬁcally made this trip to cheer on them!
Thank you. Thank you for cheering us on... Lou Cheng felt a warmth that was similar to what he felt when ﬁghting against Baco. He looked towards the spectator stand and subconsciously waved his hands at them.
Noticing that Lou Cheng was expressing his gratitude, the guys and girls, whose faces were painted with the Chinese ﬂag, started cheering more raucously.
"Lou Cheng! Lou Cheng!" "Lou Cheng, all the best!"
Immersing himself in this atmosphere, Lou Cheng's steps became quicker and he climbed the ring before Kaori Karasawa. He quickly condensed his aura which was similar to a snowstorm being summoned, and suppressed it in the arena though it still affected the emotions of others.
As for Kaori Karasawa, she was walking slowly towards the ring. It was so eerily quiet that reminded others of the sound the wind made while blowing past a deserted bamboo forest. It might have caused a ripple but never left a trail. Under Lou Cheng's "Brutal Blizzard", that was ﬁlled with bloodlust, she might have been shaking violently and seemed powerless to defend against it. However once the "Wind" and "Snow" had stopped, she would immediately return to being unmoved and unaffected.
He can show dominance as he wishes but I'll just do what I want... This sentence suddenly ﬂashed pass Lou Cheng's mind. He couldn't help but compliment Xinzhai Sect as living up to its name. Kaori Karasawa walked to the predetermined position and steadied herself. On her face, she revealed a faint but beautiful smile. She bowed courteously and said,
"Lou Cheng-kun, please guide me."
"You are too courteous." Lou Cheng clasped his ﬁst into his palm as respect and quickly recounted segments of his opponent's battle videos. At the same time, he was trying to push his condition to the peak.
Kaori Karasawa clenched her right hand, placed it beside her waist, opened up her legs, bowed her body slightly, and put up a form signalling that she was ready to take on Lou Cheng.
The surrounding noises disappeared suddenly as everyone was holding their breath. They fully focused their minds and waited for the referee to announce the start of this important match.
The referee looked around and glanced at the electronic clock, then ﬁnally raised his right hand and swung it down after counting three seconds.
The second match of the semiﬁnals ﬁnally began!
The match between Japan's "One in three millennium years genius, Kaori Karasawa" and China's "Heavenly Son of the Era" had ﬁnally begun!
Kaori Karasawa suddenly raised her right leg and stomped with force while carrying her "Qi". It was as though she was waving a weapon and striking the ring.
The ﬂoor shook violently and cracks started appearing one after another. The concrete and stone were propelled by the hidden energy from Kaori Karasawa's legs and shot out towards Lou Cheng. There were both large and small pieces and they were as fast as bullets!
At the same time, using the recoil force, Kaori Karasawa leapt out like the ﬂash of a knife. Subsequently, she closed the distance between her opponent, made a small arc movement and was waiting for him to make a dodging move.
Xinzhai Sect, "Earth Treasury Takedown".
This was similar to the unique skill of Fighting Sect, "Earth Cracking"! However, it wasn't to create an explosion to shake her opponent so she could obtain an opportunity for a follow up move. She used this opportunity to disrupt him or to attack surrounding attackers who were weaker than her. Both techniques had their own strengths and were amazing in their own stand.
As Kaori Karasawa "split" the ring with her leg, Lou Cheng had already predicted the possible scenarios that might happen. He resisted the urge to avoid the head-on attacks, traced out Emperor Yan and gathered his Flame Force. Bam! He moved his arms quickly and hit towards the biggest rock that was ﬂying towards him. Without any fanciful tricks, the punch landed on that uneven surface. Frightening muscles started bulging one after another and the veins on it could be clearly seen. Scorching red ﬂames also erupted at that moment.
In the loud explosion, that huge rock split into pieces. Carrying the lava that was spewing everywhere, the pieces ﬂew in all directions. As for the stones or mud that weren't too big, they were stopped by the tumbling heat wave before falling like rain making pitter patter sounds.
Kaori Karasawa didn't care about those hidden weapons ﬂying towards her. She bent her body slightly and swung out her right arm, which was at the left side of her waist suddenly. A white mark could be seen and caused strong winds that made those broken stones fall to the ﬂoor helplessly.
Her arm seemed to have become a long Japan's katana that split the air barrier in the direction of Lou Cheng. Her left hand followed through and pushed ahead, seemingly getting reading for her second attack.
Lou Cheng wasn't dodging anxiously and wasn't panicking in the face of this slash. He raised his left arm quickly and withstood the slash by forming a layer of crystal clear ice on the surface.
Kacha! The palm blade which was emanating brightly hit the layers of his ice armour then collided with Lou Cheng's muscles, tendons and bones. However the powers were neutralized by Lou Cheng's steady strength.
At this moment, the left hand of Kaori Karasawa didn't hit towards the enemy but was pressing onto her right arm and stacking the powers that were inside it.
Lou Cheng immediately felt heavy pressure. His left arm was shaking and he had to retract it without control. His opponent had forcefully caused an opening and crippled his form. This wasn't ﬁnished yet. Kaori Karasawa's left arm pressed down quickly and release it immediately after towards Lou Cheng's face. Faint light gathered to become a white ray of light as though it was the edge of a blade.
Lou Cheng had misjudged and it was too late for him to block with his right arm. He immediately leaned back and supported himself with his arm. His opponent's strike didn't connect as the white ray slashed through the air and ﬂew towards the far end.
As he leaned back, Lou Cheng constricted his right leg and ﬂicked up to counterattack.
His shoes started to burn with raging ﬂame and ﬂew out towards the lower abdomen of Kaori Karasawa before the back of his feet.
Kaori Karasawa twisted her waist, causing strong winds in the process. Her body twisted a full round before she made it to the side of her opponent, avoiding that deadly ﬁery kick. Following next, borrowing the strength of her rotation, she countered with her left arm towards Lou Cheng who just got up. The attack was fast and ruthless like a huge blade, and the howling that the wind created was intense.
With Absolute Reaction, Lou Cheng raised his arm, formed a guard with his arms and crashed ahead with his elbow. A crystal clear light was formed as he clashed directly with Kaori Karasawa's "Centrifugal Takedown".
The ice crystals broke and fell off. Kaori Karasawa retracted her arm while Lou Cheng's elbow was shaking.
As she retracted, Kaori Karasawa tightened her right arm and slashed ﬁve consecutive times towards Lou Cheng's head, throat, chest and other areas. Gusts of winds were ﬂying in all directions randomly.
With "Ice Mirror", Lou Cheng was never panicking. Using the Dan Force version of "24 Blizzard Strikes" as response, he was meeting her attacks with attacks and randomness with randomness.
Bam bam bam, bang bang bang!
Within explosion after explosion, air force was scattering and ﬂames were sputtering as though it was raining ﬁre.
At this moment Lou Cheng, who was getting more and more steady as the battle proceeded, was slowly gaining the upper hand. Suddenly, an extremely dangerous premonition arose from his heart. Without thinking, he leaned back once again. He even leaned deeper than before and was close to doing an "Iron Bridge Move".
At this moment, he saw a frightening ray of light ﬂashing past above his face, leaving an obvious trail of white wave!
Boom! The loud sound exploded causing a buzzing sound lingering in the ears of Lou Cheng. His internal organs were shaken and he almost fell.
Xinzhai Sect, "Flying Dragon Takedown"!
If he wasn't for his ability to sense danger, he would deﬁnitely not be able to avoid or withstand such a slash without any early signs!
Chapter 489: Vacuum Takedown
As the signature ability of Xinzhai Sect, Flying Dragon Takedown's trademark wasn't its speed, but rather the lack of signs it gave away when activated. Against it, one could only rely on absolute reaction. By the time one senses the threat, they would already be in a situation where they can neither dodge nor parry it.
With this sword move, the Xinzhai Sect guarded the unshakable rank one throne in Japanese Kendo. It was one of the force measures that dominated Japan, comparable even to "Amaterasu Heavenly Palace" and "Apothecary Temple". It was way beyond the reach of "Extreme Hadou Sect" that rose in the recent ten or so years. Of course, in terms of combat power, the steadily advancing "Extreme Hadou Sect" had its own aces in its upper echelons.
Looking at it, it would make sense if Flying Dragon Takedown had lost its former glory in modern society. You don't give away any signs? Sure, just let me get ten to hundreds of footages of ﬁghts where you used Flying Dragon Takedown, and rewind them frame by frame. There has to be things to be discovered, right? However, not everything in this world made sense. From the birth of the recording feature till then, no one had discovered any signs before the activation of Flying Dragon Takedown. Perhaps someone did, but kept their silence to reserve it as a trump card against the Xinzhai Sect. Lou Cheng had only come into contact with the related videos after attending the Four Nation Competition, a span of ten or so days, so how could he discover the secret to it?
There were two reasons as to why he did not keep a distance to defend against Flying Dragon Takedown, like what Veigar did. Firstly, he was weaker in strength, and his movements were less than incredible. If he fought while moving around, Kaori Karasawa would soon assume the tempo of the battle. Secondly, relying on his incredible survival senses, he felt that he could surely sense it ahead of time and dodge accordingly.
Who would have expected it to be such a close save when it actually happened!? Though he did sense it before time, the extreme speed of Flying Dragon Takedown exceeded his imagination by far. So much so that it gave him the illusion that the sound barrier had been breached! By the time Kaori Karasawa reaches a stage similar to the physical invulnerability stage, with a mystical weapon painstakingly forged by special materials in her hand, who knows if she might really be able to do that!
The air currents from the Flying Dragon Takedown expanded outwards on both sides, sweeping up a raging hurricane that nearly knocked down Lou Cheng, who avoided the direct impact and was in his Iron Bridge Stance. The Ice Mirror that formed in his mind naturally reﬂected Kaori Karasawa, a few inches away from his body. As she withdrew her quivering right arm, scraps of her sleeves ﬂuttered into the air like dancing butterﬂies, exposing a part of her ivory skin. It was clear to see that the move was taxing on her body, and she needed a moment to recover before she could use it again.
But Kaori Karasawa's left leg had tensed up by then. Bending her knees, she poised to kick at Lou Cheng's legs that held the entirety of his weight. She had learnt her lesson from before. She can't give Lou Cheng the chance to kick upwards, and to do so she had to keep his legs below his waist!
Straightening her knees, Kaori Karasawa kicked out with her left foot. At the same time, Lou Cheng maintained his balance, leaned further back with the movement of his waist, and directed his tensed up left leg to whip upwards, while standing stably on one leg!
Bang! Toes collided into heel, bursting into sparks as what remained of the martial arts shoes turned to shreds. It disrupted Lou Cheng's upwards momentum.
Reaching below with his left leg, Lou Cheng tried to regain his footing by channeling borrowed strength to his waist. But Kaori Karasawa had other plans in mind. Before her recoiled left foot touched the ground, she tensed up, lifted herself into the air with a push on her spine. Kicking out her right foot, she aimed at her opponent's only supporting point. In such circumstances, had Lou Cheng tried to stand up, his right leg would take the full blow. Without any strength channeled into it, injuries would be sustained even with the Ice Armor around it. Then he'll have to limp throughout the rest of the ﬁght, losing whatever chances he had against the overpowering enemy. But if he lifted his other leg to parry the attack, he'll lose his last point of support and consequently, his
At that critical moment, Lou Cheng's mind was like an ice lake and round mirror. Thoughts raced. Forgoing the plan to straighten himself, he jerked back harder.
Then, with his hands against the ﬂoor, he raised his waist, whipping out his right leg at the same time. With a thunk, it landed on Kaori Karasawa's foot, forcefully changing its trajectory and causing it to land beside him.
With a one-handed backﬂip, Lou Cheng was on his feet again, just in time to deal with his opponent who was closing in. By then, Kaori Karasawa's arm had recovered. Her twin "blades" skirled through the air, rising and falling and slicing towards ﬁve different areas on the enemy's body. From the audience's view, the white glow seemed to connect into a horoscope.
Pulling his joints and stretching his fascias, with bursts of strength in between, Lou Cheng put up a solid defense. They moved as they battled, coming close to circling the arena amidst the resounding thumps from contact, a sound that lit up enthusiasm and lifted spirits.
Amidst the ﬂames, ice mists and white glow, Lou Cheng sought for the opportunity to activate Severe Warning and Internal Explosion Punch, or the chance to use Army Formula and Fighting Formula. But with her powerful Mind Reader, she sensed every change in her opponent's movements. At times she leapt back, buying herself enough time to avoid the blow. At times, she attacked from his side and back, not giving him any opportunities.
Compared to the likes of Veigar and Mouko Yamashita, the "beautiful girl genius that appears once every three thousand years" had a stronger cultivation base, and her style of ﬁghting was more ﬂexible— advancing, retreating, attacking, dodging. Her presence was domineering.
This gave Lou Cheng a deeper and clearer understanding of the details in the ﬁght between Peng Leyun and Ren Li. They seldom used simpliﬁed moves of physical invulnerability state or secret moves and stuck to ordinary moves, individual forces or Dan stage bursts most of the time. Not that they didn't want to use it, but rather because they didn't have the chance to. Forcefully executing them could give away an opening which the opponent could leverage on.
With that understanding, he completely suppressed the anxiety in his heart, and his moves grew increasing steady. He found the chances to execute his moves—Snow Cover, Ice Burning,Cold Swallow and Aurora—one at a time, sometimes along with Force Concentration. After a while, he felt his moves more spontaneous, as if his body was moving by itself.
Fine, let's make this a slugfest!
The sharp Kaori Karasawa caught on quickly and planned to put an end to his opponent's on the ﬂy "morphing". After exchanging two more moves, Lou Cheng felt a ripple in his inner world. He sensed danger. Serious danger.
At the same time, he vaguely heard an indistinct "snap".
Retracting his Qi and blood, he lowered himself and huddled into a ball.
Just as he was squatting, Kaori Karasawa's left arm stabbed out from her waist, splitting the air while leaving visible afterimages.
A beam of light ﬂashed by, a white air current following it, almost palpable, sweeping up violent gusts and setting off booming roars.
"Flying Dragon Takedown" again! His scalp was numb and the insides of his ears trembled. Activating his Dan Force in a quick burst like a volcano erupting, it ﬁlled him up, swelling his muscles that were packed with strength.
The vessels outlined his twitching muscles distinctly. With his right ﬁst clenched tight, he sprang up in a half-smashing, half-ramming motion.
In that moment, the audience seemingly saw a trapped dragon taking to the skies, or a rocket blasting off!
Kaori Karasawa formed a knife palm with her right, its reﬂections glimmering, and chopped right down at the veiny ﬁst.
A tremor went down her left arm. Lou Cheng's all out attack was not something that she can defend with a hurried block. She jerked back, then took the chance to dodge backwards with deft footwork and swift movements— redolent of the Shukuchi technique.
As if Lou Cheng would let the opportunity slip by! As the collateral damage from Flying Dragon Takedown cracked through an empty row of audience seats, he lifted his hands to form a seal, visualizing the ancient character.
His body shot out, leaving two distinct footprints where he was standing, rapidly narrowing the gap between him and Kaori Karasawa.
The opponent's features grew vivid in her eyes, the smell of his sweat wafted into her nose, and his ragged breathing drifted to her ears. Without panicking, Kaori Karasawa lifted her right arm once more, tensing and chopping forward.
In a loud screech of friction, Lou Cheng stopped on a dime. The ground below his feet cracked into webs, his body stopping an arms-length away from his opponent. At that distance, Kaori Karasawa's palm knife was bound to miss, after which she would have to withstand a ﬂurry of attacks from Lou Cheng.
That's when her eyes gleamed. Her right palm, sweeping through the air currents, emanated a bright white light.
With a slash, she completely cut through the air currents between her and Lou Cheng. As the air instantaneously gushed to the side, a low air pressure zone was produced!
Xinzhai Sect— Vacuum Takedown!
Lou Cheng felt the area ahead of him pulling him in. He involuntarily toppled forward, staggering. The rushing wind ﬁlled his ears. The continuation of her moves followed. Tensing her left leg, she lashed it horizontally at her toppling enemy, leaving a trail of a razor-like light.
Lou Cheng adjusted his muscle in time, channeling the accumulated "muscle memory" into his leg. The same leg whip with a different glow.
The layer of ice shattered. His hurried block resulted in a draw.
But a draw meant that he didn't manage to leverage on the opponent's opening. The battle was reverted to its original state. With her ﬁsts and kicks as her knifes, she danced her Kendo to the fullest, forcing Lou Cheng to go on the defensive, without a sliver of chance to use the Nine Words Formula or simpliﬁed moves of Physical Invulnerability State.
Meanwhile, vaguely sensing that her opponent can predict her Flying Dragon Takedown, she stopped using it freely and patiently waited for the chance— the time when her opponent can only block it and not dodge it.
Lou Cheng waited too. He ﬁgured that the indistinct snap was the sound of force, bones, fascias and muscles being compressed. It was the sign that Flying Dragon Takedown gave away.
With that, and his sharp survival instinct, it seemed as if he can attempt forcefully blocking Flying Dragon Takedown with simpliﬁed moves of physical invulnerability. The intense clash could create another opportunity!
Amidst the ceaseless dull thuds, both sides calmed down and fought patiently.
They were both waiting.
Chapter 490: Aerial Ace
The "Qi" that Kaori Karasawa had mastered could be used on the palms, arms, thighs, legs and other areas to increase their prowess in splitting strikes. If the opponent was struck directly on their body, even if they exerted strength to resist, they would most likely suffer injuries to the tendons and channels, muscles tears and even bone cracks and other injuries. Therefore when she duelled with Veigar, Veigar had to constantly cover his ﬁst with the power of electricity to form a glove so as to crush the faint light before the contest of power.
Lou Cheng's "Ice Armour" was more suitable for such battles than "Electric Glove" as it could effectively numb the sharpness and force of the slash strikes. The "Fire Fist" formed from "Emperor Yan Force" was similar to "Electric Glove" as it could burn away the white ray and counterattack on his opponents, combining defense with attacking!
If he didn't have these two supernatural abilities, he would have been more careful and would only defend against non "blade's edge" position. For example, hitting from the bottom up, hitting the wrist from the sides and breaking the forms of Kaori Karasawa. Although that would make him seem more like a grandmaster, he would also be in a more passive position. If he was careless for the slightest, he would have suffered injuries and be forced to leave the competition.
Explosions sounded from time to time, sparks were sputtering and ice crystals were falling. Lou Cheng using his powers that had almost mutated to become innate, had a particularly intense battle against Kaori Karasawa. Sounds of clashes resonated in the surrounding and incited the enthusiasm in the majority of the audience and ignited their urge to release their emotions.
Lou Cheng's power, speed and agility were much inferior to his opponent. However when his body qualities improved, the differences were no longer that huge. As long as he could continue to maintain his patience and defend steadily, Kaori Karasawa would not attempt anything risky. This was because it would be hard to break his form in a hurry and ﬁnd the opportunity to victory. Moreover, once she committed to taking such a risk, her weaknesses would also start to show in response, giving Lou Cheng an opportunity to turn the tables around.
Bam bam bam, bang bang bang! The battle was stuck in a deadlock and the situation was stale. Lou Cheng, who was at a disadvantage, was defending patiently as he fully utilised the Dan Stage kungfu within his body. As for Kaori Karasawa who had the upper hand, she was equally steady. It was as though she wanted to devour her opponent little by little.
A full seven to eight minutes had passed. The two of them inevitably exhausted substantial stamina. However Lou Cheng had auto-replenishment from the Jindan. Excluding the slowdown in reaction time caused by mental fatigue, other aspects of him had not shown any deterioration. This formed a stark contrast to Kaori Karasawa. There were signs that Lou Cheng was slowly turning the tables around.
At this moment, Kaori Karasawa used her right arm, which was glowing in faint light, as a long sword and swept across horizontally. As it contacted with the arm of Lou Cheng that was covered in Ice Armour, she exerted more force from the shoulder, let the attack spin on it and wrapped around the arm of her opponent.
In an instant, there seemed to be sharp blades colliding. Lou Cheng's arm was hit back, body was shaken and seemed to be falling towards the side.
Now is the time! Light condensed in the gaze of Kaori Karasawa as she catapulted her body.
As for Lou Cheng, an extreme dangerous premonition ﬂashed pass his mind. Tweaking his ears a little, he seemed to have heard a barely audible 'Kacha' sound. It was just like loading a sniper riﬂe or the turning of the barrel of a machine gun!
Facing such a situation where his centre of gravity was to one side and couldn't jump up in time, if he was to squat down or lean back to avoid the attack, with the experience of the previous two times, Kaori Karasawa would deﬁnitely sent a slash strike or slashed down rapidly and not giving him a chance of surviving.
Other than following the momentum and fell to the side, abandoning his form and rolled on the ﬂoor, Lou Cheng didn't seem to have any other options! Nonetheless, he was prepared. When the "Kacha" sound was heard, he traced out a dark and chilling "Ice Spirit" space, that was without any traces of light or heat.
When the danger premonition struck him, layers after layers of thunderclouds immediately gathered, resulting in high temperature and a loud explosion that broke the darkness and chill!
Lou Cheng lowered his left arm, expanded his elbows, shifted his forearm, followed the ripples from the Ice Mirror and threw out a punch from his waist level.
The original version of "Severe Warning"!
The reason why he had chosen this move was because he could add layers after layers of thick "Ice Armour" to it. Otherwise, with the terrifying strength displayed by the "Flying Dragon Takedown", even if he hit his opponent and froze her thoughts, his left arm would also most likely be crippled. Without a month or two of rest, he would also likely not recover from the injuries!
As the ﬁst that was enveloped in shimmering crystal was thrown out, a ﬂash of light suddenly appeared and reached the surface of Lou Cheng's ﬁst instantly. The attack collided head on and didn't give Lou Cheng a chance to react at all.
After that light had passed, the surrounding air was split into two paths and formed an airwave. There wasn't any gathering of faint light but the air was dyed white lias though a ﬁghter jet had roared past!
The loud explosion caused a violent "Wind Wave" and blew towards Lou Cheng. At the same time, it was shaking Lou Cheng's ear drums.
Bam! Lou Cheng could not hear the cracking of the thick "Ice Armour" on his left ﬁst but clearly felt the terrifying strength exerted on him. It was as though he was struck by a high speed train. His arm went numb and he lost his senses. His muscles were expanding and cracking and his tendons were in excruciating stinging pain.
He couldn't stop and was knocked back, creating two obvious trails as his legs rubbed against the ﬂoor!
Pfft! With a dizzy brain and his ears ringing, Lou Cheng spat out a mouth of fresh blood. His left arm was shaking and couldn't exert strength for the short while. On the surface of his ﬁst, there was also a wound so deep that one could see the white of his bones.
The might of one slash astonished the world!
"The fearsomeness of "Flying Dragon Takedown" is really not exaggerated!" In the live thread, the reaction of everyone was even more exaggerated. Almost at the same moment, they exclaimed,
"Oh damn, he withstood the "Flying Dragon Takedown"!"
"I, Zhao Ritian, am completely impressed..."
"He actually took the "Flying Dragon Takedown" head-on and even withstood it!"
"That's freaking incredible."
"The Sky Shaking Roar, no problem!"
In several large forums in Japan, there were similar shock,
"He foresaw the "Flying Dragon Takedown"?" "Using his body to foresee and withstand the "Flying Dragon Takedown" forcefully? I think I have seen a monster beast..."
"No, that is Ultraman!"
"This is the ﬁrst time anyone withstood Kaori-chan's "Flying Dragon Takedown" right?
"Although she didn't have a knife with her, one could die from taking Kaori-chan's "Flying Dragon Takedown" directly with his body. Even if he is a monster that had mastered "Qi", he will also suffer grave injuries that can only be recovered from after months. He's is so daring to block it directly..."
In the tumultuous airwave, Kaori Karasawa was standing at her original position. Her left arm was shaking incessantly as she was covered in a layer of frost. Her beautiful eyes lost vitality and had the feeling of being in a daze. "Severe Warning", greetings to Xinzhai!
Lou Cheng had no time to check on himself. He endured the injuries, took a huge breath, executed a Force Concentration, and forced them together with the various uncomfortable feelings with the balance of ice and ﬁre.
Dan Qi was gushing out and Lou Cheng's legs expanded. Bending his knees and extending them subsequently, he leapt out and pounced towards his opponent, whose clothes had become short-sleeves.
Crack! Blood and sweat that had dripped down could only be found on the spider web-like cracks on the ﬂoor where he leapt from and right in front of Kaori Karasawa. This went to prove that speed of this leap and the ferociousness of this pounce!
Bam! The skin and muscles on the surface of the left ﬁst of Lou Cheng constricted and the bleeding stopped. Shaking his right arm, he clenched his ﬁst tightly and hammered down in a diagonal direction.
Shoosh! A layer of scorching ﬂames enveloped his ﬁst.
"Emperor Yan Force"!
To grab hold of this opportunity, Lou Cheng didn't prepare to use the "Fighting" Formula, "Army" Formula, or simpliﬁed physical invulnerability move!
At this moment, the eyes of Kaori Karasawa were still in a little daze. The otakus in Japan who were watching were all aching in the heart. Nonetheless, her body naturally reacted. Her right arm retracted and drew a razor-like white ray, hitting the raging ﬂames head-on.
"Mind Reader"! Boom!
The force exploded and ﬂames were raging. The black hair of Kaori Karasawa was messy in the air as her body was pushed away forcefully from the shockwave and she staggered back.
It was only till then that vitality returned to her gaze!
Lou Cheng was swinging his right armed but retracted it back quickly. Following the momentum, he formed seals in front of his body and directed at himself.
His expression was serious and started tracing the word in his mind. After which, he growled in a low voice,
Muscles expanded and displayed the beauty of power. As they contracted, large and small veins were protruding. As Lou Cheng wriggled his waist and back, he threw a punch in an extremely barbaric condition.
His punch split the space and brought his body ﬂying forward, instantly devouring the distance between the two of them and reaching the abdomen of Kaori Karasawa.
Kaori Karasawa relaxed her mind and seemed to have returned to that quiet and peaceful zen hall. She was back to the time she was focused in ﬂower arranging and making tea. At this moment, faint ﬂight circulated within her eyes. Her clothes instantly expanded and she looked just like an inﬂated balloon.
Bam! Using her left palm as a blade, she reversed slashed across. Her clothes suddenly constricted and stuck closely t her body.
Xinzhai Sect, "Kasaya Takedown"! Bam!
Small muscles became distinct and dull green veins were all around. This formed a stark contrast against the fair and white palm and the shimmering faint light!
The "Fighting" Formula was extremely violent. In an instance, Kaori Karasawa was staggering backwards from defending against the attacks. Although her body was light, her steps were heavy as she made several footprints on the ﬂoor. As for Lou Cheng, he shook his body and retracted his blood ﬂow and breathing instantly. Releasing the Dan Force, he pounced ahead again, not leaving any room or breaks!
Seeing that she had not stabilized herself and her opponent was approaching, a faint "Kacha" sound emanated from the body of Kaori Karasawa, It was more obvious than "Flying Dragon Takedown" but it also ended quicker.
Bam! She drew her right arm across her body, swinging her ﬁst diagonally at a speed that left after images. Faint light was left behind and the airﬂow was split.
The weaker version of "Flying Dragon Takedown", "Flying Bird Takedown"!
The preparations before the strikes were faster but the speed was relatively weaker substantially. It was the same for its might!
However Kaori Karasawa had combined it to become a terrifying killer move. Using this to complete an explosive barrage of attacks in a short amount of time, she was able to defeat Veigar with this killer move.
That killer move was the consecutive strikes of "Flying Bird Takedown", "Triple Aerial Ace"!
Lou Cheng knew clearly that this was the crucial moment. He stopped his momentum of pouncing forward suddenly, expanded his right arm, shifting them rapidly and threw out a punch.
The ﬁst met the palm strike as explosion sounded in the air. Lou Cheng was making use of the recoil to gather himself when he heard a "Kacha" sound. At the same time, he saw the left arm of Kaori Karasawa slashed out tightly. It was equally fast, equally ruthless and was also covered in a white light!
Bam! He forcefully exploded the force in his left shoulder, swung his arm and was ﬁnally able to open his ﬁve ﬁngers on the left arm, which has lost sense and strength previously, to grab towards the enemy's palm blade.
"Triple Aerial Ace"!
Lou Cheng could no longer execute "Force Concentration" in time and could only rely on his "Ice Mirror" to sense. He lifted his arms up to block in a hurry. Bam! His hands shook and bounced away to the sides. The Ice Armour was breaking apart and his tendons were injured. Yet, some happiness was rising from his heart.
He had withstood the "Triple Aerial Ace" from Kaori Karasawa!
These consecutive strikes deﬁnitely exhausted her greatly and the toll on her must have been huge. The momentum of the match should be shifting from here on right?
At this moment, a painful expression was showing on Kaori Karasawa's face. Her left palm which was grabbed by Lou Cheng suddenly bounced up. Following a "Kacha" sound, it split the air barrier at a speed that left after images.
Forbidden move of Xinzhai Sect, "Quadruple Aerial Ace"!
Although Lou Cheng's "Ice Mirror" reﬂected it, his reaction couldn't keep up. Just as he raised his left arm, the palm of his opponent had already stopped at the front of his throat. The referee revealed gazes of compliments, raised his hand and announced,
"Kaori Karasawa wins!"
Lou Cheng heaved a sigh of foul gas and felt a million different feelings in his heart. As for Kaori Karasawa, she was bending down and panting profusely. She had completely forgotten the etiquette that Japan paid a lot of attention to.
"Quadruple Aerial Ace" wasn't a move that was easy to withstand. It was so for the enemy and the same for her body!
The researcher of Japan's representative group, Masane Otake, was extremely excited at the sight of the blood on the stage. He was anxious to pounce forward to collect them.
Kaori-chan, Kaori chan, go and step on it and leave some on your shoes! After Kaori Karasawa recovered, Lou Cheng bowed at her in respect before shaking his head and walked towards the stone steps.
On his way down, he suddenly recalled the instructions of the guide to not leave any blood or sweat. Therefore he made a turnaround. When he walked down the stone steps with his back facing, all the blood and sweat on the ﬂoor ignited. The smile on the Masane Otake froze on his face.