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Lu Ye watched as his blood was dyeing the ochre brown of the soil inside the ring red. He looked up again and saw the feline Mutant arching her back with one hand to steady herself while her other hand wandered up to her mouth. She licked the blood off the sharp iron claws she wore. Her eyes twinkling with wicked glee, she purred as if to taunt him.
A demented grin cracked on her face. She could see how exhausted and depleted Lu Ye was and how victory was waving at her.
Sleek and smooth were her motions; sharp and deadly were her claws. She was no cat. She was a lioness out on a hunt.
Crouching on the ground, she allowed her entire body to recoil like a spring being let go, launching herself forward into a sprint at breakneck speed. She was just inches away from Lu Ye when she suddenly made a sharp veering cut. Not missing her this time, Lu Ye followed her every movement until he anticipated her move and lunged, driving his saber forward as quickly and furiously as he could.
An ear-splitting ring of steel gnashing against iron rang in Lu Ye’s ears as bursting sparks nearly blinded him. The edge of his saber wheezed just right by her face, its sharp sting grazing a thin red line across the supple skin of her cheek. But she was nowhere near furious. She was absolutely elated, for her claws were wrapped around the blade of Lu Ye’s weapon.
Lu Ye tried to withdraw his weapon, but he just couldn’t.
He watched as the feline Mutant’s other claw mauled at his weapon, the tips of the claws glinting dangerously as they came down.
Then he heard it. An audible and metallic crack and the saber that had been Lu Ye’s trusty weapon for the past several months was broken, leaving barely half its blade still intact.
The saber was a prize he looted from an enemy he slew at Green Cloud Mountain. Enchanted to be stronger and sturdier than usual weapons, as a Spirit Artifact, it was otherwise a very much ordinary weapon. The enemy Lu Ye slew back then was just a low-tier Cultivator, which prevented him from using any good Spirit Artifacts.
Even so, despite its relatively modest grade, Lu Ye had been able to use it with tremendous efficacy all because of Glyph: Sharp Edge that he regularly applied on the weapon.
With this saber as a reliable partner throughout his journey through the Battlefield, Lu Ye had managed to slay more than fifty to sixty enemies. If added to the number of enemy challengers that he had killed in the ring, the number could easily reach beyond a hundred.
Yet today, the one instrument that Lu Ye had depended so greatly upon had finally met its end.
Meanwhile, at the Grand Sky Coalition side, everyone reeled with apprehension and dread. The loss of one’s Spirit Artifact undoubtedly meant that his or her ability to fight would be impaired. Especially since everyone believed that Lu Ye’s ability to defeat so many enemy challengers beyond his rank was chiefly because of this weapon.
On the other hand, sighs and exhalations of relief came from the Thousand Demon Ridge mob with the leading champions all breaking into triumphant grins expectant of the outcome they had long awaited.
[Victory is at hand!], each and every one of them believed.
In the eyes of both the Grand Sky Coalition and the Thousand Demon Ridge sides, Lu Ye’s saber must be a Spirit Artifact of the highest order. That he as a mere Fifth-Order Cultivator could defeat so many Sixth-Order challengers was proof enough. If Lu Ye were a ferocious beast, then the saber would undoubtedly be his fangs which he mauled and ripped at his enemies with.
To that end, the Thousand Demon Ridge side had been raking their minds for ways to cripple Lu Ye by disarming him. Without the saber, they believed, Lu Ye could lose. That was what the past few challengers had been trying to do: they weren’t trying to defeat Lu Ye. Their sole purpose was to inflict as much damage as they could to his saber!
Nevertheless, success had been eluding every single challenger who stepped into the ring—until now. Relying on her extraordinary dexterity and speed as well as her iron claws, she had finally ruined the very weapon which had spilled so much Thousand Demon Ridge blood!
With his weapon all but wrecked, there was no way Lu Ye could win anymore and the Crimson Blood Sect would never survive.
When the saber snapped, the feline Mutant threw herself at Lu Ye at once, her fervor and her thrill getting the better of her. Her eyes flashed with the sparkle of anticipation, and she could see a huge mound of prizes waving its hand at her. Last but not least, she saw Lu Ye’s broken saber swinging around in a deadly arc back at her!
She would have chosen to duck. As a fighter that relied on her speed, the feline Mutant had little to boast about in her defense. A blow like that could have easily killed her.
But she did not. Disoriented by her own delusions and fantasies, she dove straight at Lu Ye, her right claw aimed towards where his heart would be.
Blood sprayed out like a geyser. The feline Mutant’s claw barreled straight into Lu Ye’s chest but she stopped halfway, frozen as her head angled up to stare at Lu Ye with disbelief and shock, “How could—”
But the only response she got from him was a kick that sent her falling backward. As gravity slowly bore her down, she clutched and groped for her throat. She crashed to the ground and blood spewed out of where her hands were, with more gurgling out of her mouth and nose. Choking on the very fluid that kept her alive, she wanted to speak but she could not. It did not take long for the glow in her eyes to slowly dim and extinguish.
Lu Ye clutched at the wound on his chest and inhaled deeply. He could sense that the wound was mostly superficial at best and the claw did not manage to get anywhere deep.
He could have activated Glyph: Protection. But considering how he was getting low on Spiritual Power and any more use of his powers would require the consumption of more Spiritual Pills, he decided to just conserve power and just take the hit, knowing that it would only be a light injury.
Lu Ye ignored the stunned silence that pervaded the entire plateau atop Goldentip, dragging his broken saber while he made a beeline straight for the corner just in front of the Grand Sky Coalition side where he sat down and retrieved some medicinal powder out of his Storage Bag to apply on his wounds.
Wei Yang gazed at him, the impulse to rush to him and help dress his wounds struggling to break free of its restraints like a raging beast.
“Fool!” one of the Thousand Demon Ridge champions spat with venom. That was the closest they had ever gotten to victory and if only the feline Mutant had practiced caution, then she would have all the chance in the world to defeat and kill Lu Ye. Yet she allowed her hubris to get the better of her and that gave Lu Ye the chance to slit her throat. That she died not knowing what really happened only made her defeat all the more disgraceful.
That was the fortieth round and there were three more to go. The morning sun was rising up in the eastern skies.
But it would not matter anymore. With his weapon now destroyed, Lu Ye was now as deadly as a declawed tiger and the Thousand Demon Ridge champions were confident that the final three rounds would be sufficient to defeat him.
They traded firm looks and exhaled gravely.
None of them had expected that this duel would come to such an end prior to their agreement in making a Sacred Pact. None of them had believed that Lu Ye would be able to make it past ten rounds.
But it was not just ten rounds in the end. It was a whopping forty rounds!
Han Zhe Yue’s information could not have arrived at a better moment. The revelation about Lu Ye’s ability to use Glyphs in combat was what prevented Lu Ye from turning this duel into a complete rout of all forty-three challengers from the Thousand Demon Ridge sects and orders present and an utter farce at their expense.
Three enemy Cultivators were standing beside the ring, exchanging apprehensive looks. They were the final three challengers—the first a Blackfyre Cultist, as shown by the fire-shaped brand on his forehead, while the rest were acolytes from a pair of Tier-Three sects.
That they were arranged to be the final challengers largely because of the influence and authority commanded by their respective sects and orders while those who were unlucky enough to be sent into the ring first were fated to be mere cannon fodder.
Forty such cannon fodders had, by the blood they spilled and the lives they offered, paved the way to victory. Anyone who now stepped into the ring could very well be the winner to claim the prize.
But the prize was not just the rewards, but also future prospects, making the next round an opportunity equally coveted by all three challengers.
But the Blackfyre Cultist, understanding fully that Cult Blackfyre, being only a Tier-Four order, took one step behind after a moment of hesitation. The gist of it was clear enough: the chance should go to the remaining two challengers.
“What say you, Brother Hu Ping?” asked one of the remaining two challengers with ambition blazing in his eyes.
“That’s a difficult question to answer, Brother Zi’An. I know you won’t like it if I say yes. But at the same time, I’m hard-pressed to let you go first too,” said the one called Hu Ping. “And we don’t have the time nor the space to settle this quandary.”
“Of course. But nevertheless, this remains a dilemma that needs to be settled,” replied the one called Zi’An.
“How about we let him decide? Whoever he picks gets to go in first?”
“That’s a great idea!”
The pair easily concluded their negotiation and stood there, watching Lu Ye who was still taking his break like a pair of hungry wolves eager to sink their flesh into a lamb waiting for slaughter.
In the meantime, Lu Ye was quietly examining himself. He wasn’t feeling well at all. His body could barely recover any Spiritual Power even with the periods of respite he had, and the continuous fighting had expended his Power so much that he barely had three-tenths left.
There was hardly anything to be worried about his wounds; the medicinal powder Hua Ci had specially concocted for him worked magically on all surface wounds, although he was still feeling somewhat giddy after losing quite a lot of blood.
How many he had killed, Lu Ye had long lost count. He did not know how many more challengers were waiting, but so long as anyone was waiting, he would step forward and accept the challenge.
That was the decision that he made and the path he had chosen. He was not afraid of death but he had no wish to end his life just yet.
The candle finally burned out. It was time for the next round.
Lu Ye struggled to get up. Still holding on to his broken saber, he hobbled forward strenuously.
Wei Yang’s mouth opened to speak, but nothing came out.
She wanted to tell Lu Ye that he only had three more rounds to go, but at the same time, she wondered if telling him this might affect his condition. One could never know what might happen.
The crest of Goldentip never looked so crowded before. Two swarming masses clustered around a tiny circle in the middle. The masses comprised more than five thousand men and when Lu Ye was still resting, he could hear whispers and chatter coming from everywhere. But as soon as he got up and stepped towards the middle of the ring, all of Goldentip became as quiet as a crypt.
More than ten thousand eyes were on Lu Ye. Even the Thousand Demon Ridge mob, who earlier hurled ridicule and heckles at him, now watched him with pensive silence.
A Fifth-Order Cultivator who had just won forty consecutive rounds of single combat against opponents beyond his rank. No one could dare besmirch such an exemplary record. Even Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators knew better than to show disrespect.
But the sight of Lu Ye trudging to the center of the blood-drenched ring with his broken sword would be haunting the dreams of many great Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators for a long, long time to come.
Lu Ye stood alone in the ring, hearing the mountain breeze howling around him.
A pair of challengers stepped into the ring. The moment their feet went over the line, thousands of pairs of eyes from the Grand Sky Coalition side glared at them, including champions of the Roll of Supremacy who hardly deigned to mask their anger at all.
That was enough to have both the enemy challengers duck out of the ring. [The atmosphere was just too frightening!] mused one of them.
Hu Ping quickly explained, “We mean no disrespect and certainly not trying to fight him together. But we only want to let Lu Ye pick his own opponent.”
Zi’An bobbed his head profusely, indicating that they would attempt no such dishonorable thing as trying to win the fight through sheer numbers.
Lu Ye raised his broken sword and aimed its tip at Hu Ping. Stoically, he said, “You then.”
Hu Ping was overjoyed at the surprising outcome.
Reluctantly, Zi’An withdrew from the ring.
Hu Ping took a deep breath. He was about to announce himself to Lu Ye when his peripheral vision caught sight of Lu Ye, a dusty and bloody heap hurtling towards him like a battering ram.
Hu Ping panicked. [Why on earth is this fellow on this sudden rampage when he usually announces himself all the time?! What the hell is wrong with him!?]
5 thoughts on “Humanity’s Great Sage – Chapter 164, Declawed”
Rofl the author really pulled us good!
Please let this finish with the Thursday release, I can’t take more suspense lol
I thought this was the 32nd battle. Wtf lol
Kinda really sucks that author decided to make his magical spirit power purifying dissappear before this war. I would have preffered if this was a permanent thing, not something he needs to constantly recharge with another McGuffin, and I think this onslaught of fights would still have been a huge challenge even with the ability. Defnitely has been going on long enough now, I hope we get a conclusion in the next 1-2 chapters, before it becomes boring.
Yeah hate nerfing
Excellent! Yeah, the suspense is killing me as well. Great series!