Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The Sacred Child of Cult Blackfyre bit hard and groped around with her lithe, petite hand. With what little that remained of her Spiritual Power, a glowing orb of red burst to life in her hand.
She was channeling her power.
The scarlet glow burned radiantly in her hand, drawing back the destructive and torrid waves of fire.
Goldentip which had become a mountaintop plateau with the sweltering of a desert immediately cooled down.
The flames condensed back into her grasp. Then they were gone. Next second, a humanoid figure formed purely of flames appeared over her.
“A Fire Golem!” cried a voice from within the midst of the Grand Sky Coalition, enunciating the name of this spell the Sacred Child had just cast.
Conjurations of Fire Golems were also spells that no Sixth-Orders or even ordinary Seventh-Orders could manage. That the Sacred Child could perform the spell at such a juncture was testament enough to her exemplary and unique talents.
Whether it was because of her sapped powers, no one knew. The column of flames with the torso of a human would have looked intimidating and impressive if it were a gigantic colossus of fire, although even with just the size of an ordinary human being and features obfuscated by roiling tongues of fire, the elemental simulacrum of flames still looked large and bulky enough that it stood protectively over its mistress, preventing Lu Ye’s advance.
But using this spell completely exhausted the Sacred Child who promptly collapsed to the ground, completely spent.
Nevertheless, no one could dispute that she has a keenly strategic mind.
With the last ounces of her power, she had chosen to conjure a Fire Golem instead of firing spells at Lu Ye. She knew that spells could be easily avoided and that would only expose herself to retaliation which she had neither the strength nor speed to escape from.
Pain stabs like a thousand needles were burrowing into her mind and the blood that trickled out of her mouth, her eyes, her nose, and even her ears were black and thick. Crumpling to her knees would have made her look defeated if not for the defiant glare she gave Lu Ye as she controlled the Fire Golem with her mind, willing it to march towards her foe.
The hulking mass of flames bore down on Lu Ye and he instinctively swung his broken saber straight into it.
It was all thanks to Glyph: Protection that Lu Ye was able to survive that firestorm just now. Just before the fiery waves of death hit him, he had conjured a shield wide and large enough to keep the whole of him safe from the torrents of scorching heat.
But that also expended the entirety of his Spiritual Powers.
Then again, he was fortunate enough that the Sacred Child’s firestorm spell did not last long, or he would have run out of Spiritual Powers and the flames would have incinerated him.
At that moment, Lu Ye knew that he still had enough Spiritual Power for one last Glyph activation, and he needed to save it for last instead of squandering it over the seemingly meaningless hocus-pocus right before his eyes.
With his sight obscured by his own blood, the whole world had turned red all around him. If the Sacred Child had become completely enervated after the last exchange, then so was he.
All around the ring, the onlookers from both factions watched intently. Never did anyone know that a contest between low-tier Cultivators of only the Fifth and Sixth-Orders could become such a savage and brutal bloodbath.
At any other time, the duel right now would have looked as hilarious and silly as a ridiculous clown show. Lu Ye was swinging his weapon with the grace of a clumsy walrus, his ferocity and ruthlessness all but vanished. Each and every swing of the steel looked as feeble as a frail old man’s motion with a stick—staggering and tottering aimlessly about despite his best efforts to keep himself steady only to look like he was just going to fall anytime instead.
In the meantime, the Fire Golem wasn’t doing any better either. Its sluggish and lethargic movements mirrored how the Sacred Child was losing consciousness. The Fire Golem was conjured using her essence and power, but it did not have a mind of its own. Therefore, it relied on her to control its movements.
To that end, the fight appeared like a pair of children in futile fisticuffs.
But all around them, no one could dare giggle. No one could even chuckle. There was nothing hilarious at all. Only awe and shock at the sheer resolve and will of the two combatants—despite their current disability and helplessness—still clawing their way towards victory with whatever means possible at their disposal without any sign of giving up.
Scores of champions stood around the ring—each of them powerful warriors in their own right and each of them among the deadliest of all Roll of Supremacy champions. But could they ever go to such lengths just for the sake of winning like the two now in the ring back when they were still in the Fifth or Sixth-Order? No. None of them could safely say that they could. But if one or even both the Sacred Child and Lu Ye were to survive today’s fight, there was no doubt that they would be great Cultivators in the future.
The frivolous fight continued with barely any damage. But the longer it took, everyone was noticing how the Fire Golem was teetering on the brink of losing its form. Even its size was starting to shrink.
The Thousand Demon Ridge mob was beginning to feel anxious.
They had come too far to accept defeat.
“We are the flame that lights the darkness, In the face of Death we feel remorseless!”
It started first with a deep, lone voice, but more and more others joined him in the incessant chanting and the voices became a thronging chorus that grew louder and stronger, rising into a crescendo.
And it worked. The rallying voices of her fellow brothers- and sisters-in-arm renewed the Sacred Child’s resolve. More tears of blood streamed down her eyes. With her final ounce of grit, willpower, and determination, the Fire Golem’s girth burgeoned at her command and the flame elemental simulacrum barreled a fist straight at Lu Ye.
Crack! The blow hit its mark, breaking Lu Ye’s broken saber further, rendering it completely shattered while he was sent flying into the air by the destructive force.
And he crashed to the ground, broken and beaten. So were the hopes of the Grand Sky Coalition side.
Having completed its purpose, the Fire Golem crumbled and disintegrated into cinders as the Sacred Child exhausted all her powers.
Gasping for air, she crawled to her feet, struggling to find the strength to even get up. When she finally did, she looked at the incapacitated Lu Ye. Limping step after step, she made her way slowly towards him, her lips quivering as she recited the mantra of the Cult repeatedly and softly, finding strength and solace as her pained and grimacing expression faded into one of serenity.
Meanwhile, Li Baxian and Wei Yang both channeled their powers quietly. But this did not go unnoticed; the champions at the Thousand Demon Ridge mob have been watching them. Any attempt to break this fight just to save Lu Ye would be met by heavy and strong opposition from the enemy champions.
The atmosphere atop Goldentip once again turned perilously tense.
Inside the ring, the Sacred Child produced a sword from inside her Storage Bag. Even that was strenuous and taxing enough for her. The blade of the weapon shone with nothing save for an ordinary glimmer of steel. It was just a sword as common as any other. But it should be enough.
Without the strength to even lift it, she dragged the weapon all the way as she approached Lu Ye until she stopped right in front of him. Her petite frame swayed like she was going to fall, but she didn’t. She managed to steady herself.
Quietly, she peered down at the foe she had defeated. Taking in the full sight of the scorch marks and burns, raw skin that was her handiwork. For once in all her life since she joined the Cult, the Sacred Child of Cult Blackfyre smiled.
She wanted so much to tell it straight into Lu Ye’s face: You’ve lost!
Her mouth opened, but she could barely even speak.
Her fingers found a comfortable but firm grip on her weapon. With both hands holding the sword with its tip down in an icepick grip, she lifted it and aimed the tip of the weapon at Lu Ye’s chest.
That was it. The silent and brooding atmosphere atop Goldentip never felt so palpable before as champions all summoned their powers in tacit preparation to spring into action.
Then they saw it. Everyone saw it. A hand—Lu Ye’s hand—came up, his opened palm held up towards the female Cultivator like a feeble, desperate, and futile attempt to defend himself.
Hoarsely, he throated words that despite their faintness, every single onlooker could have sworn they heard him clearly.
The palm of the outstretched hand glowed all of a sudden with a deep-scarlet luminescence that froze the triumphant grin of the Sacred Child. Realizing what could be going on, she drove the weapon down with what strength was left in her.
A fiery bird that looked more like a plump pheasant than a majestic phoenix materialized from Lu Ye’s hand and slammed into the Sacred Child’s chest with a popping explosion of flames.
The eruption of burning air and force was accompanied by the shrill cry of the Sacred Child as the impact blew her away, knocking her off her feet before she crashed, at last, her chest charred and blackened.
Bewildered and astonished beyond words, no one spoke a word. No one anticipated that Lu Ye, after being pummeled to the ground by the force of a battering ram, could still fight back, more so, by using a spell…
What an uncanny irony! That the Spell Cultivator in this fight had tried to decide the outcome of this fight using a sword while the Combat Cultivator, a spell!
But there was no time for idleness. With the ring of steel—not of one, but a hundred swords—screaming into the air, a pair of figures flitted into the ring like a pair of shadows. Li Baxian stood protectively in front of his brother-in-arm with more than a hundred energy bolts each shaped like swords hovering menacingly behind him as if they were daring anyone from the Thousand Demon Ridge mob to make a stupid move.
The air roiled with the thick and suffocating presence of Li Baxian in full wrath which was substantiated by the army of energy bolts shining radiantly.
No one could dare move. No one would dare to try their chances against the shafts of pure energy that looked like they were spoiling for a chance to perforate anyone.
Wei Yang cloaked the heavily bloodied and hurt Lu Ye in her arms and examined his wounds.
A terrible presence burst forth like a tidal wave. It came from just behind the Thousand Demon Ridge mob, terrifying many of the enemy Cultivators. When they swiveled around to look, they were horrified to find a gigantic colossus more than hundreds of meters tall, towering so high over the mob that its mere length could blot out even the sun overhead, bearing down on them.
Those who had survived enough battles to have watched her in battle before knew what it was: a Cloud Golem.
Only three people in the entire Battlefield were capable of a spell this intricate and elaborate
“I would suggest that you remain where you are! Or your lives could be in danger!” cried a girlish voice somewhere from the Cloud Golem. Many Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators looked up. Tracing the origin of the voice, they discovered that it came from a woman sitting on the shoulder of the Golem. Her tiny size was a stark contrast to the massive and behemothic size of the Golem, but everyone knew better than to discount how dangerous she really was.
The number one name on the Roll of Supremacy, the Queen who had reigned all of the Battlefield supreme for more than a decade.
“Feng Yuechan!” a Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivator growled through gritted teeth.
No one knew when she had arrived. The last time anyone had heard about her, was when she was just outside the Valley of Venom, preventing the Cultivators there from joining in the Battlefield-wide manhunt for Lu Ye. Evidently, she had left to come here a long time ago. But they should have known; the most powerful Cultivator in the Battlefield would definitely do more than just guard the entrance of the Valley like a simple hound.
“I’ve finally arrived to help!” Feng Yuechan waved at Li Baxian with the cheerfulness of a young teenage lass.
With hardly any interest to berate her for her levity, Li Baxian merely nodded in acknowledgment and said loudly to her, “Kill anyone who moves!”
“Aye, aye!” Feng Yuechan responded stiffly, mildly miffed that he did not respond to her affection.
Inside the ring, Wei Yang fed Lu Ye a Spirit Pill and some unknown potion to keep his condition stable.
His lips quivered. Wei Yang only heard some incomprehensible gibberish. She bent down closer and asked, “What were you saying, Lu Ye?”
“Is it done?” Lu Ye croaked raspily.
“Yes. It is done,” she nodded.
Lu Ye could barely keep his eyes open; one was tightly shut and keeping the other squinted as far as he could get it wide enough to see. He could not even smile despite surviving at last. But he really could use a rest. Just when he finally sighed with relief and released all that stress that he had been carrying like a yoke for days, he immediately blacked out.
Wei Yang frantically checked him and learned that he was only just too tired. Feeling comforted, she said to Li Baxian from behind, “We’re heading back!”
Li Baxian snorted a wordless accent, then he called loudly, “Yuechan! I need your help sending Sister Wei Yang and Lu Ye back to the Turbulent Watch outpost!”
“Got it!” Feng Yuechan answered. The giant of more than several hundred meters in length bent down—much to the panic of the Thousand Demon Ridge mob that many scattered and fled—and lowered a massive hand in the ring.
Wei Yang carried Lu Ye and hopped onto the huge open palm. She had only just placed Lu Ye down when she realized that she was not alone. She turned around and saw a snowy-white tiger.
She recognized the worried look of concern in the tiger’s eyes and knew that he must be Lu Ye’s Spirit Pet. Despite feeling awkward, she remarked, “Don’t worry. He’s not dying on my watch.”
The Cloud Golem lifted its hand and cradled them in its arms. Feng Yuechan steered the Golem around and it ran, thundering with quick strides heading straight in the direction of the Turbulent Watch outpost.
“My friends of the Thousand Demon Ridge, kindly entertain my request to just stay put for another few minutes. After that, you’ll be free to do whatever you want. But before that, move and one of my energy swords will be more than happy to cut you down!”
Li Baxian’s voice might sound calm, but the more than one hundred energy shafts in the air behind him showed that he wasn’t joking.
Yan Xing had been watching from afar. Only now did he discover that Li Baxian’s magic with his sword had grown to such an elite finesse. Clearly, Li Baxian still had aces hidden up his sleeves during their fight.