Chapter 475: A God versus Ten Thousand Swords

    Chapter 475: A God versus Ten Thousand Swords

    "I'm sure we're all anxious to discover who will be in conflict for the semi-finals. Who will face off next for a chance at the championship? Who will put their best on display? I'm certain that these young Talents won't fail to entertain, and soon we'll have our last two for the Great Championship Battle. I must admit, even I'm excited. So, without any further adieu, let's see who's fighting who!"

    Four beams of light appeared from overhead and fell upon the ring. Instead of the portraits, this time the competitors were represented by full holographic models. The area beneath their feet began to shine as well; two gold, and two silver.

    "Today we are also blessed with honored attendees, aside from our majesties Terminator and Gourmet. Yes, today we are graced with the presence of the second Northern Paragon, the Epochrion! Our respected Paragons will take over responsibilities of selecting matches. Epochrion, if you would be so kind as to start us off?"

    Ladies first, basic manners. The time mistress nodded her head, and in a cool and dispassionate voice that sounded like a child's, called out over the arena.


    The four figures began to flash and shake. In fact, before long the whole ring was a sea of indecipherable flashing light. It was the Terminator who spoke next.


    At his command the flashing rings of silver and gold stopped beneath the projections. The fights had been chosen. Lan Jue and the other fighters watched carefully from the sidelines. The results brought a smile to Lan Jue's lips.

    "Well sis," he said, "I guess our luck isn't so bad after all!" He referred, of course, to the chance that they would have to fight one another first. That was not the case. The result: Lan Jue versus Xuanyuan Shishi. The Pharmacist versus Jun Yongye.

    Mo Xiao's voice called out again, alive with excitement. "Good. The fights have been decided. The first fight of the semi-finals will see the God of Lightning testing himself against the Ten Thousand Swords. In fight two, the Sword-Spirit and the White Blademaster will see who has better command of the sword!"

    Lan Jue's shining eyes swept over to Xuanyuan Shishi. He found his opponent staring right back. His countryman's face still bore that friendly, almost jovial smile as he shot Lan Jue a big thumbs up. Lan Jue answered with a nod.

    Zeus' wish had been answered; he would face off against this masterful swordsman to see what he could learn. One of the best things about this tournament had been its rigid and efficient structure. Other than the finals, which would occur tomorrow night, everything else had been held to a specific and regular routine.

    Lan Jue and Xuanyuan Shishi stood together, and walked toward the ring. As they made their way across the sidelines, floodlights followed.

    Now, at this point, it was safe to say that these two young men had the attention of all of humanity. It was still too early to say who would walk away with the title of champion. No one dared look down on Zeus any more, after his dramatic victory over Titan. But, one must not forget, his opponent had bested Constantine. Who would emerge victorious? There was no way to tell until the dust settled.

    "Who do you favor for this fight?" Mo Xiao turned to ask the Terminator sitting beside her. She imagined the Paragon was still upset that his Discipline had lost, but she had a job to do. The show must go on.

    The Terminator's low cadence answered. "Hard to say. They both have very different combat styles, but in terms of Discipline Zeus has the edge. He did a frankly astonishing job at hiding it, as well. However, the determining factor in their fight will be their martial art. At the very least, Xuanyuan Shishi's swordsmanship will narrow that power gap. Yet, Zeus has a very impressive grasp of Taiji. I suspect that ultimately, the winner will be chosen by how well they perform under pressure."

    Mo Xiao smiled politely as he explained. "Even you aren't certain your Majesty - but at least it means it should be an exciting fight! We'll have to see who rises to the challenge, and I hope that these two powerful young Adepts surprise us."

    Mo Xiao's eyes slid almost unconsciously toward Lan Jue, and her eyes narrowed ever so slightly. It was hard to tell what she was thinking. He didn't see - he was already in the ring with his opponent.

    "I'm honestly surprised you managed to beat that blockhead. Not bad, not bad. I suppose now we have no choice."

    Lan Jue looked at him in curiosity. What did he mean, no choice?

    "I'm honored to test myself against you," Lan Jue retorted. "Please, don't hold back!"

    To this the swordsman nodded. "Don't worry, I will. Defeating me won't be so easy, you'll find. You'll need to do your best as well. And if you do win, the rewards are significant."

    Another phrase that seemed to make little sense to Lan Jue. He maybe a little despondent... it seemed like this very respectable warrior had a few screws loose.

    "Three, two, one. Begin!"

    Xuanyuan Shishi raced to action as the buzzer sounded. His hands shot out, and at their motion a white fog rolled out to meet Lan Jue. It moved with unnatural speed. Although they had never met in the ring before, Lan Jue had watched enough fights now to know what to expect.

    The Mercenary King's answer was to stamp his foot against the ground and soar in to the air. As the wind rushed around him, his own hands splayed out and pressed downward.

    Lan Jue's whole body suddenly turned royal purple. Then, revealed in a chorus of crackling blasts, countless bolts of bluish-purple lightning assailed the ring. The mists summoned by his foe were instantly dissolved, though the two enormous mist-swords hidden within - as well as Xuanyuan Shishi himself - were unharmed.

    The crowd was suddenly reminded, his Discipline was thunderbolt and lightning! Since his last fight against Titan had relied solely on Taiji, many in the crowd had forgotten what his Discipline was!

    Titan's strength had been his incredible defense. It had required an incredible pinpoint force from Lan Jue. Xuanyuan Shishi's strength was in the sword style he was now famous for. Zeus' tactics would have to be different, and so he started with his Forest of Lightning. It was important to note that he had joined with Zhou Qianlin before arriving. This Forest of Lightning was ninth level ninth rank - very different than those that came before!

    Each individual bolt was the size of a man's arm. Everything beneath the force field was completely lost in lightning - Xuanyuan Shishi and his blades were no exception. Terrible blasts of thunder exploded all around them, again and again.

    Xuanyuan Shishi himself was stunned by what he was seeing. His body dissolved in to a cluster of clouds to try and escape. But the Forest of Lightning was all-encompassing. There was nowhere he could run to. Almost immediately the bolts of lightning began to tear through the mist and separate it, but it also danced around like mad.

    The fight came down to how their Disciplines interacted. When he fought Titan, Lan Jue's lightning Discipline hadn't been enough, by any measure, to break Titan's shield. Shishi's defense was not so doughty, not even half of what Titan had commanded. Further, his style of ten thousand changes couldn't use its advantages against ten thousand lightning bolts.

    Back in the waited area, the Pharmacist nodded as she looked on. Her little brother was smart. He knew what his foe would try, and had a fine answer for it.

    However Shishi was no pushover. His tactics changed when he noticed his original plan was ineffective. The two giant swords dispersed, only to reform after a moment in to a large slender sword suspended in air. It swiveled and swiped around the bolts as it searched for Lan Jue. But the sword would never find him. Just as Shishi could lose himself in mists, Zeus employed the lost arts of lightning to become electricity himself. He was everywhere. The slender blade was a lost fish in a sea of lightning.

    Shishi's plan was a good one, in theory. His opponent's attacks were sure to expend a great deal of energy. Therefore, he would save his own and focus on protecting himself. He could prevent himself from being too adversely affected and wait, and when Lan Jue's energies were low enough than his defeat was assured.

    It was the same mistake Lan Jue's other opponents made. None of them knew of his Phylactery stone.

    This was not to say that the attacks were not exceedingly draining, especially at his level of power. However, with the benefits of the Phylactery he could sustain it for a long period of time without much trouble - maybe an hour and a half. Besides, these thick bolts of lightning had already started to affect Shishi.

    Even if Lan Jue's output was seven times Shishi's, he could keep this up for quite a while.

    "No... no, this isn't right. This can't be true, how could you have so much energy? We don't have any long-ranged skills!"

    It didn't take Shishi long to see the problem. He yelled out in frustration.

    In the end Xuanyuan Shishi was right. The fight continued until energy was gone - he just didn't think it would be his own!
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