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It’s currently quite late here. I woke up to get a glass of water and saw this so decided to give you an earlier release. My second proofread may not be perfect as I have just done it half asleep sat here in my PJs..My toes are freezing!
Enjoy! Thank you all for supporting this series xo xo
Jing Yun continued to stay close to Lin Feng’s side. She was only at the seventh Qi layer and was too weak for her to be left alone. The seventh Qi layer was the lowest level in the Stormy Gorge so that wasn’t adequate for her to go out and battle other disciples.
Han Man understood Lin Feng’s intentions by leaving him alone. If Lin Feng was constantly at his side protecting him then he wouldn’t be able to fight and gain experience at all. It was crucial for him to rely on his own strength from this point onward.
Walking alone in the Stormy Gorge did not require much time before someone approached him. He could see the person’s eyes through the mask which revealed a clear intention to fight.
There was no time for an exchange of words. The disciple immediately charged into Han Man while raising his fist emanating a powerful Qi.
“How unlucky, Han Man has run into a Cultivator of the ninth Qi layer.” said Lin Feng while smiling and observing from a distance. Han Man had already guessed his opponent’s level from the powerful Qi that he was releasing from his fist. He had no time to worry about the difference in strength; he concentrated the Qi of his entire body into his fist and then released all the strength he had in one strike while giving a loud and powerful shout.
The power of this punch had made Han Man step back a few meters while his opponent hadn’t moved a single inch. It was as if his fist had struck against an iron wall and it was obvious from a single exchange which of them was stronger.
“Eighth Qi layer… You’re so weak. I thought I could gain some experience. How disappointing, I’m leaving.” said the opponent in an apathetic tone. He then turned around and started leaving.
He had lost interest in Han Man. Many Cultivators found joy and pleasure in being cruel and merciless. However those who were serious towards the path of Cultivation found no pleasure in acting cruel without provocation and would be more focused towards strengthening themselves. Those disciples found satisfaction in fighting opponents of a similar level and to some degree fighting opponents even stronger than themselves would help them gain insight. This was a way for them to really challenge themselves and unlock their potential while getting much needed battle experience.
“Wait, wait!” Han Man shouted.
He had come to the Stormy Gorge for the first time today, how could he accept being defeated that quickly? He immediately released the power of his spirit. A yellowish brown light started floating around his entire body as if he was in symbiosis with the Earth beneath his feet and his Qi energy began to grow in strength.
“Earth spirit” said the opponent showing a sudden interest and right after said: “Your spirit is not bad, let me see if you can take my three profound punches.”
After the opponent finished his sentence, he took a single leap and appeared in front of Han Man.
The yellowish brown color which was surrounding Han Man suddenly emitted an extremely radiant light as dust filled the air around them. Han Man was propelled six steps backwards while blood started oozing from the corner of his mouth.
Seeing the opponent ready to leave once again.
“Come back” said Han Man while wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth. His bravery could reach the heavens as he continued to stand firm, his fighting spirit was soaring. The yellowish brown light surrounding his body was shining brighter and brighter as if he was draining all the power from the very land itself.
Han Man was propelled eight steps backwards while his opponent was propelled three steps backwards.
“Delightful!” said his opponent. His fist started glowing with a white light and then he warned Han Man: “Be careful, I’m going to use one of my strongest skills on this punch.”
“Alright” replied Han Man while starting to charge towards his opponent. Each of his steps was making the ground violently shake, like a powerful war horse galloping at full speed towards battle.
“Use the strength that you have borrowed from the Earth” shouted Lin Feng while watching from a distance, completely captivated by the battle. He wouldn’t have thought that Han Man would understand how to use his spirit in such a unique way. Combining the power of his Earth Spirit and the earth beneath his feet could greatly increase his strength.
“BOOM!” their two fists collided. A cloud of dust shot in all directions from the shock wave between Han Man and his opponent, making it impossible to see what had happened. When the cloud of dust had vanished, Han Man was sitting on the ground meditating.
“You unexpectedly understood what that other disciple said. Well done.” said his opponent while smiling and getting up from the ground. He also had blood coming from the corner of his mouth. He hadn’t expected Han Man’s last attack to be so powerful. He had been slightly injured but it was worth it for him. He had gained valuable insights thanks to this fight.
He didn’t spend more time with Han Man and immediately vanished into the distance.
“What an interesting guy” said Lin Feng while moving towards Han Man. He felt a degree of respect for the disciple Han Man had just battled with. “He was an honorable fellow.”
Lin Feng and Jing Yun obviously knew that Han Man had learnt more about his spirit and gained an insight into his cultivation path. They didn’t want to disturb him so they sat next to him and waited for him to finish gaining his insight.
That fight had enlightened Han Man. What had just happened was a rare moment of divine enlightenment. It wouldn’t be surprising if Han Man’s strength started increasing at lightning speeds once he fully understood his new insight. Lin Feng and Jing Yun admired him. He had entered the Stormy Gorge and had a flash of realization right after his first battle.
A short while after, Han Man’s body suddenly started emitting a strong Qi stupefying Lin Feng and Jing Yun who looked at each other gasping with astonishment.
“The strength is so powerful and unique that it gives a deep and oppressing feeling. Is this really the power of enlightenment?” thought Lin Feng.
The path of Cultivation was a vast and there were many different routes to take within cultivation. Lin Feng had only just started walking on the path of Cultivation. He couldn’t imagine how powerful some Cultivators were and he knew that these strong cultivators could destroy mountains or crush entire cities in their way with ease.
It’s said that Cultivators upon reaching the level of immortals can fly into the heavens and penetrate into the depths of the Earth. These cultivators would have an unlimited lifespan and could move at speeds faster than light. Lin Feng could only envy, as such power could only be imagined by someone like him who had never experienced it. He wondered if he would ever be able to fly into the heavens and look down upon the world.
While Lin Feng was lost thought, someone in the distance was coming towards them at incredible speed. When he saw Han Man who had just made a huge step on the path of Cultivation, he laughed mockingly.
“Wake up” said an ear-splitting voice making the atmosphere vibrate and shocking Lin Feng and the others into awareness.
“Waah” shouted Han Man, who spat out a mouthful of blood and started breathing heavily.
His eyes turned red in anger as he was staring at the distant silhouette. He had the feeling he was beginning to understand the concept of his new strength but when he heard the voice it had interrupted his breakthrough. Besides, the deafening voice had shaken his defenseless body so much that he was spitting out blood.
“How insolent” said Lin Feng with eyes filled with killing intent. He was staring at the silhouette in the horizon. That person had intentionally addressed Han Man and interrupted his flash of enlightenment causing damage to Han Man’s body.
Han Man walked towards the silhouette and asked furiously: “Why did you interrupt me?!”
“No reason, I just did it for fun.” The person was not wearing a mask and had a teasing smile on their face. None of them had seen this disciple before or heard of someone so mischievous.
“You did this for fun?!” said Han Man while walking forwards, rage spreading throughout his body. He understood how rare the flash of enlightenment was but that person had voluntarily interrupted him in that very important moment and on top of that, he had injured him.
“Hehe you want to fight? But it’s not so fun to fight here in the gorge, if you want to have your revenge, why don’t you come to the Life or Death Arena?” asked the young person in a disdainful tone showing hatred for Han Man.
“Alright.” replied Han Man without hesitation trying to control his extreme anger.
“I’ll be waiting for you” said the young person while leaving in the direction of the Life or Death arena.
“”Han Man, it is hard to determine his strength in comparison with yours and going to the Life or Death Arena is very dangerous.” Lin Feng warned Han Man.
“I’m able to determine his strength with just a glance. He is the same as me: eighth Qi layer.” replied Han Man which surprised Lin Feng. Was Han Man able to sense other people’s Cultivation level?
“I don’t know what’s going on but I’m also able to sense Jing Yun’s Cultivation level as well as yours. It’s maybe one of the effects of the flash of realization I just had. Maybe I could explain if I was not interrupted.” Han Man’s explanation didn’t convince Lin Feng. Han Man started walking towards the Life or Death Arena while clenching his fists.
“Let’s go.” Lin Feng was really skeptical. Jing Yun and Lin Feng followed Han Man putting their trust in their friend’s words. If Han Man’s flash of realization really enabled him to sense other people’s Cultivation level and the opponent was really a Cultivator of the eighth Qi layer then there shouldn’t be a great danger if they are evenly matched.
The Life or Death Arena was located in a canyon at the middle of the Stormy Gorge. There were ten seats for viewing above the rocky terrain on the boundary of the arena, but as the area was extremely vast, many would gather around and watch the battles from a distance.
Two silhouettes entered the Life or Death Arena which promptly drew the attention of the cultivators in the area. In a flash, many people were rushing over to watch the fight.
Even though the amount of people who come into the gorge was huge, there are very few people who ever enter the arena. After all inside the Life or Death Arena you had to risk your life. If you didn’t hate someone with all your heart then why take those risks? Most people who would go into the arena would do it to fight against an opponent of similar strength which made the battles interesting to watch.
Therefore when Han Man and his opponent came to the Life or Death Arena, the amount of people surrounding the area was enormous. In the Stormy Gorge there were some people who watched this area waiting for a bloody battle and would spread the news to fellow disciples at incredible speed.
“We all come to the Life or Death Arena to settle our grudges. My goal is not to settle any grudge, because today your fate has already been decided by someone else.” said the young boy to Han Man while a creepy smile covered his face: “Han Man, remember the name of the one who is going to take your life, my name is: Jiang Huai”
Lin Feng standing on the sand dunes outside the arena felt a shiver run down his spine. When he heard what Jiang Huai said, he knew something was wrong. How did he know that it was Han Man behind the mask?
“You know me?” said Han Man furious.
“Hehe.” a sinister smile crept over Jiang Huai’s face. A burning energy suddenly started emerging from his body accompanied by blazing flames. At the same time an illusory flame appeared on his back: A fire spirit.
“He is indeed a Cultivator of the eighth Qi layer” said Lin Feng feeling the energy coming down from the Arena.
Han Man’s earth spirit similarly started to burst out. He started running forwards. Even though he wasn’t running very fast, the energy and the strength released by his body made every footstep send small quakes through the floor.
“Flame Detonation” a powerful wave filled with flames shot towards Han Man. When Jiang Huai saw that Han Man had abruptly stopped and taken a posture which made him look like an unmovable mountain, Jiang Huai shouted: “I will smash this mountain before me! Ha ha ha”.
Their two fists collided and both Han Man and Jiang Huai suddenly stopped moving, exactly where they had just collided. Neither of them overpowering their opponent.
Jiang Huai frowned and stopped laughing. He hadn’t expected Han Man to be that strong. A malicious grin appeared on his face and he thrust out with his left fist but Han Man easily blocked it with his palm. Suddenly he threw a white dust from his right hand directly into Han Man’s eyes. He carried this dust to blind enemies stronger than him.
“Die!” said Jiang Huai while throwing a punch at Han Man’s chest.
“Damn! How shameless.” cursed Lin Feng who then saw shadowy figures moving towards the life or death arena
“In the Life or Death arena people sometimes lose their life. Do not worry it will be your turn soon Jing Yun” said the shadow in a chilling tone. Jing Yun was terrified when she saw his face.
She shouted loudly. She saw the other disciple behind Jing Hao, it was the young disciple who had been injured by Lin Feng earlier that day and now everything had been made clear. This was all a trap to begin with.