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151 A Battle About Who Cheats Better

    After hearing what the terms of the bet were, Daniel could see that the majority of the population, despite the respect that they felt for him, were rooting for the Sect of the Illusory Edge.

    What was interesting about it, was the fact that it wasn't due to a direct bias, but due to a moral one dictated by their unconscious.

    They knew that they would have problems with having Daniel create essence spheres for them, if he were to lose.. but they couldn't help but think that all of this had happened because Daniel had decided to defend someone accused of a heinous crime such as ****.

    The fact that Daniel had helped Zack avoid being killed in front of the teleporting platform, how one of his people had injured a large number of cultivators of the Sect of the Illusory Edge for Zack's sake, and how Daniel had created this bet just to demonstrate their innocence.

    Of course, this didn't matter for Daniel. He only cared about getting back Zack's portion of soul back, and that the sect would leave him alone. Secondarily, he wanted the money, and the fame that his group would gain from this event.

    While Daniel was giving his speech and welcoming the various clients and cultivators that had joined the event, a small group of disciples from the Sect of the Illusory Edge arrived to the venue, and were quietly waiting in behind the chairs on which the elders, and the Illusory Maiden sat. Amongst them, were Kyla, her brother Kien, and the young man that wanted to kill Zack, but was stopped by Jerigh.

    "..I hope that you will all bear witness to the result of today's event." Said Daniel with confidence. "Let's begin."

    A small rift opened in the space next to him, and from inside it, Jerigh walked out calmly.

    He was wearing black clothes, and a set of grey leather armor. Behind his back, were two single-edged sheathed swords, while small knives were hilted at his ankles, sides, and thighs.

    His blond hair were illuminated by the bright constructed light, and his handsome features, paired with his cold and confident demeanor, gave the people which spectated, the parvence that they were looking at a young hero.

    During the past three days, thanks to his incredible talent and resources, Jerigh was able to reach the eight stage of spiritual cultivation, and peak of the ninth rank of martial cultivation. His two essences were so close, that they had already started to show signs of merging.

    From the other side of the ring, the second disciple of the Sect of the Illusory Edge, whose name was Yan, was quietly walking over the stage. In his hand, was a single already unsheathed sword.

    According to the rules, Yan could only use a power at the early fourth level of the immortal cultivation, but since he wanted to prove his superiority, he decided to fight at the same level of power which Jerigh possessed, and only use the strength of a peak third stage immortal cultivator.

    Once both of them were on the stage, Yan smiled at Jerigh and said "I can see that you are a talented swordsman, but to claim to have been able to defeat not only one, but a group of cultivators from my sect, and come out unscathed.. That's not only a lie, but a stain to my sect's honor.. So, why don't you show me what you're capable of? I'll gladly play with you for a few minutes."

    "You talk too much.." Responded Jerigh with a calm, and cold tone, before unsheathing the two swords that were kept behind his back, and taking his fighting stance.

    He then quietly stood with the two swords pointed at the ground, going parallel to his legs.

    Yan's face darkened as he heard Jerigh's dismissive tone. He then casually approached him, taking one step after another.

    Despite limiting his sheer power to Jerigh's level, he still possessed the reactive capabilities of a much more powerful cultivator. So, for him, to go into the reach of Jerigh's ranges of attack was not dangerous at all.

    This way of thinking would be reasonable if he were to be fighting anybody else.. Unfortunately, Jerigh was a prodigy amongst prodigies with a sword in his hand.

    The moment he entered the range of Jerigh's attack, he was immediately forced to back away, barely able to prevent the tip of Jerigh's sword from cutting his throat.

    Yan was utterly shocked, but before he could even consider countering the surprise attack, he was forced to, once again, avoid jerigh's second blade.. which was coming down vertically, and that was not the end.

    He was forced to avoid one attack after the other, which came raining down like a deadly trap triggered by each and every one of Jerigh's movements.

    Only after the twentieth attack did Yan decide to increase his power to the early fourth stage, and force his immortal essence from the frontal part of his body just so that he could gain some distance from Jerigh.

    The sudden burst not only pushed Yan backwards, but also forced Jerigh to take a step back as well.

    Yan took a couple of sharp breaths, and completely gave up the idea of toying with Jerigh. He had already spent half a minute looking like a complete fool, and now, he simply wanted to win, and make a major contribution for his sect.

    Now serious, Yan pushed his immortal essence into his sword, which immediately started to shine with a brightly colored light.

    Anyone present could feel that Yan was using one of his skills, which required the injection of light into the sword. This skill was called 'Mirage Surface', and was one of the signature skills from the Sect of the Illusory Edge.

    It took a few moments for Jerigh's eyes to adjust to its light, and after he was able to see once again, he saw Yan dashing at him with his sword.

    Jerigh immediately parried with both of his swords, but the very instant before Yan's sword clashed against his, he moved his swords behind his back, and formed a shield with them instead, ignoring the charging Yan in the front.

    *Shwiing*

    He was forced to step forward numerous times, as he tried not to fall on his chest.

    It didn't take long for Jerigh to understand. He was under the effect of an illusion.

    What Jerigh thought of as a simple illusion, was actually a mirage created by the manipulation of light. A light of which Yan had taken control during Jerigh's brief moment of blindness.

    Luckily, he was able to react before it was too late, and put his swords behind his back to parry the real attack.

    Of the two, the most surprised was Yan. He had used the full power of an early fourth stage cultivator, and according to logic, Jerigh should have never been able to react in time.

    His train of thoughts was rapidly interrupted by a shard of ice, which had been summoned by Jerigh, and had been sent towards his back.

    Yan's reaction was extremely quick. He rapidly waved his sword and split the shard of ice into two parts which flew by his sides, but then, he noticed a second one right behind it, which once again, he blocked without a problem.

    The shards came all from the same angle, and behind one, there was always another after mere centimeters of distance.

    "Is this silly trick all you've got?" Asked Yan with derision as he dissipated one shard after another. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, as the smirk of derision on his face disappeared to leave place to shock and confusion.

    A small metallic needle had pierced his forearm.

    Before he could even understand how that had happened, Yan felt Jerigh approach him from behind. In his hands were two short-swords.

    As Jerigh was about to enter Yan's arm reach, instead of coming closer, he simply slashed downwards on his shoulder.

    What Yan found strange, was the fact that Jerigh had decided to attack this early, as his swords were too short to hit at that distance.

    He was only able to understand when the hidden half of the sword came out of its concealed state. The sword managed to penetrate into his skin, but their slashing motion was stopped by Yan's quick reaction.

    At the side of the ring, the two elders had a dark expression on their faces. One of the two turned towards the other, and said "He is using dark essence.."

    He was absolutely right. This was the strategy that Jerigh himself had formulated to fight against Yan. He already knew about the nature of Yan's skills, so he decided to use an opposite essence to counter it.

    He countered the manipulation of light, with the concealment of darkness, by hiding parts of his weapons, and small hidden needles inside a series of distracting magical attacks.

    Jerigh gave him no time to recover, and instead, he started to attack him relentlessly.

    He slashed, hacked, and even abandoned the swords in mid air whenever slashing once more would have taken more time than simply grabbing a knife from his thighs, and stab Yan with it. He would then grab the swords he had abandoned in the air before they could touch the ground, and use them to attack once more.

    For a good minute, he became the most deadly juggler that had ever existed.

    Yan was forced to parry each and every attack, and whenever he felt his sword clashing against one of Jerigh's weapons, he felt the a bit of his reasoning fade away.

    He had been injured, humiliated, and was now forced on a defensive position in front of a large crowd by a puny peak third stage cultivator.. He could not bear it.

    A layer of dense immortal essence started to come out of Yan's body, and enter his sword.

    This immortal essence wasn't controlled in the lightest, and showed the entire extent of Yan's power.

    He put all the force he possessed into his arm, and in a burst of rage, he waved it, sending Jerigh flying backwards.

    Jerigh landed heavily against the ground, and spewed a mouthful of blood. He only managed to look upwards to see a crazed Yan jump in the air, ready to cut him in half before he could even get back up on his feet.

    However, before that could happen.. A sudden and thick lightning bolt landed on Yan's sword, and ran through his entire body.

    This lightning bolt was powerful enough to force Yan into unconsciousness, and to fall right above a not so heavily injured Jerigh.

    A faint murmur started to resound in the area, as people couldn't really understand what had happened.

    The faces of the two elders seemed to be pleasantly surprised. One of them got up to speak, but before he could, Daniel had appeared above the stage, and said "Well, this was fun until it lasted. This can be considered our win."

    "What are you talking about?" Asked one of the two elders with evident irritation. He then added "That lightning bolt wasn't constructed by your fighter, so this result does not count. It was a simple accident."

    Nobody knew more than Daniel where that lightning bolt had come from.

    Originally, he wouldn't have used Karmic Retribution on Yan if he remained within the rules set for the fight, as he was confident that Jerigh, along with the bonus in battle prowess granted by the system, would easily be able to defeat anyone that was below the mid fourth stage.

    Unfortunately, Yan had decided to ignore the rules and unleash his full power.

    Daniel was ready to intervene at any moment, but if he could avoid to, it would do so.

    So, instead of teleporting Jerigh out of harm's way, he used Karmic Retribution on both Jerigh and Yan.

    Jerigh's karma was positive but not extremely high, while Yan's was the opposite. The combination of the two karmic retributions had created a lucky event for Jerigh and an unlucky event for Yan.

    With a calm expression, Daniel turned to look at the two elders, and said "I am afraid you've misunderstood something. The fight finished when your fighter decided to break the rules, not when he fell unconscious."
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