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AIP - Chapter 88: Contest

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Tang Jie had had Wei Tianchong grab that pile of scrap metal primarily to see if he could use the Weapon Mantra on broken weapons to refine them.

The results of the experiment left Tang Jie greatly disappointed.

The broken weapons could be broken down even more by the Weapon Mantra, but this would not produce the golden particle.

Tang Jie realized that the Weapon Mantra's weapon condensing could probably only be used on complete weapons.

But why did that have to be the case?

Tang Jie didn't know.

The Weapon Mantra was the most incredible spell art he had ever seen, its underlying principles so thoroughly different from the spells present that Tang Jie found it impossible to comprehend its secrets.

But the golden grain that came from Ye Xing's war hammer was a pleasant surprise for Tang Jie.

This golden grain was clearly bigger than the one from the Violet Flame Sword.

Ye Xing's war hammer had been a middle-grade spell weapon, meaning that the higher the grade of the shattered weapon was, the more golden grains he could obtain.

Once he had this golden grain join the rest, the resultant golden grain was much larger.

After solemnly putting it away, Tang Jie began his daily cultivation.

The next morning, Cai Junyang and Liu Hongyan paid him a visit.

Cai Junyang shouted as soon as he arrived, "Tang Jie, you rascal, I thought you were more loyal than that! Yesterday, you suddenly rushed over to the Divine Battleground and got first place. Were you striking when our guard was down? We were waiting for you for ages, but you only ran over when we weren't there?"

Tang Jie laughed. "How could I dare to fight with all of you? If I didn't go when you weren't there, who knows when I would be able to get first place?"

"Don't try that with me. Come, come, let's go." Cai Junyang grabbed Tang Jie.

"Go where?" Tang Jie asked.

"Where else? The Divine Battleground, naturally. I'm going to have a proper fight with you!" Cai Junyang energetically declared.

He had come to the Divine Battleground several times and had gotten into the top five three times. His best placing was second, and he had yet to get first. He hadn't expected Tang Jie to immediately get first place on his first appearance, and he naturally couldn't accept such things and needed to have a match.

Tang Jie bitterly smiled. "But we have to pull each other, which isn't guaranteed."

"Don't even try to make an excuse. As if I don't know how you managed to get matched with those guys yesterday! You've already been evaluated as a Fierce Brave, so we're going when there are few other Fierce Braves on the battleground, meaning that we can get matched against each other."

The academy had five categories for fighters on the battleground: Peerless, Fierce Brave, Tenacious, Ordinary, and Incompetent.

Incompetents were those who lost many times in a row, with their win percentage being less than 10%. The Ordinary were those who lost more than they won, with win percentages of 50% or lower. The Tenacious were those who fought at least ten battles in a day and had a win percentage higher than 50%. Fierce Braves needed to fight ten battles in a day while winning at least seven. The Peerless were those who fought at least ten battles a day while maintaining a 90% win percentage, and kept up this performance for three days in a row.

Students were evaluated once every day, and their grades would change with it. Each match would be held between those with similar evaluations.

Matches between those of the same category were prioritized, followed by those of a lower level, and so on.

This was why few students in the academy received the evaluation of Fierce Brave, and those who could keep this rating over the long term were even fewer, for as one's rating went up, the opponents would get tougher.

Yesterday, though Tang Jie had won fourteen matches in a row, as he had no evaluation, he had not come up against any tough opponents. This was also why many people weren't convinced of his power yet. With his evaluation issued, Tang Jie would now have to match against opponents of the same level, and only when there were no available opponents of his level could he get matched against students of lower caliber.

In these circumstances, winning fourteen in a row would be very difficult. This explained how he had been able to get first place after winning fourteen in a row yesterday.

Cai Junyang had come to find Tang Jie so early because he knew that there were few people present on the battleground this early, and with few people of the Fierce Brave category present and the prioritization of matching against people of the same level, it would be easy for him to get matched with Tang Jie.

Tang Jie was astonished to hear these words from Cai Junyang. "Don't you have class in the morning?"

"I took a day off."

"How did you do that?"

"Indigestion."

Tang Jie was speechless. On the side, Liu Hongyan covered her mouth and laughed.

Since this was the case, Tang Jie stopped talking and went with them to the Divine Battleground.

At the battleground, sure enough, Tang Jie got matched with Cai Junyang in the first round.

Once they were in the room, Cai Junyang pulled out his sword and smiled. "Don't blame me for bullying you. This sword of mine is a middle-grade spell weapon. Its name is Tsunami, and while it is large and broad, it swings quickly and smoothly, like a giant tsunami that can engulf a mountain. I cultivate the Lesser Sea Massing Wave Mantra, and the spells I've learned are the Pilewave Sword, the Ripplewalk, and the Shore-Crashing Hand."

The Lesser Sea Massing Wave Mantra emphasized massing energy and quick, continuous attacks. The Pilewave Sword was a swift-attacking sword art. Unlike the Twelve-Form Horizon Sword, it was a proper Immortal spell, and when activated, it could condense the surrounding air and slow down an opponent as if they were moving through water. Only the caster would not be affected.

It together with the Massing Wave Mantra and the Tsunami Sword made the perfect combo.

Tang Jie chuckled as he pulled out an iron sword. "The Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra, the Aquagel Shroud, the Energy Needle, the Formless Golden Body, the Twelve-Form Horizon Sword… and a mortal-level iron sword."

He felt somewhat embarrassed as he got to the end. Cai Junyang glared at him. "What nonsense are you learning? Why didn't you learn the Silk Rending Hand, the Mountain Cleaver Sword, or the Bone Piercing Needle? Those are the spells that go with your Grotto Metal Mantra!"

Tang Jie shrugged. "I'll definitely learn them next time."

The two of them looked at each other, and they simultaneously erupted in laughter.

A moment later, Cai Junyang shouted, "Kid, watch my sword!"

He swung his sword at Tang Jie.

Although he was friends with Tang Jie, he attacked savagely, showing no intention of holding back.

As the sword swung, Tang Jie immediately felt the air around him getting heavier, and even breathing became somewhat difficult. He rapidly backed away, but he felt like he was moving through water, his spiritual energy circulating slowly. Cai Junyang's sword was already coming down on his head.

With no other option, Tang Jie pretended to activate the Formless Golden Body and then raised his sword to block. To his surprise, Cai Junyang suddenly shifted the trajectory of the sword, instead thrusting it at him from down below. Tang Jie immediately smashed his arms down, striking the sword and changing its trajectory so that it only brushed past his body. A moment later, the sword came back around and went for another slash.

Just as Cai Junyang had claimed, his attacks came in wave after wave. Once his offensive got started, he didn't give his opponents any chance to counterattack. Tang Jie was forced to use the Violet Lightning Lunge to charge forward, and the two passed by each other. Cai Junyang quickly turned around and thrust his palm at Tang Jie's fleeing back.

The Shore-Crashing Hand!

The air boomed as a hand appeared and slammed into Tang Jie.

Tang Jie had yet to reach mastery in the Violet Lightning Lunge, so he was unable to dodge. But his body flashed with light as the Aquagel Shroud appeared. The palm pierced through the shroud and struck Tang Jie in the back, but Tang Jie was fine. He turned around and fired an Energy Needle.

Cai Junyang vanished, the watery nature of the air not hindering him in any way, and easily dodged it. This was the Ripplewalk.

He instantly appeared in front of Tang Jie and swung his sword again.

Tang Jie could only raise his sword to block again, at the same time trying to back away and create distance between him and Cai Junyang, but Cai Junyang doggedly pursued.

The Lesser Sea was located at the elbow, favoring the circulation of energy!

Cai Junyang had an eight-cycle Jade Gate, far superior to Tang Jie's. Moreover, his spell arts were a complete set, so as his attacks driven by spiritual energy came in wave after wave, they were truly savage. In terms of speed and flow, they were far above Tang Jie's attacks.

As they got to fighting, they immediately began to use all sorts of dazzling moves. This battle was far more intense than any of the fourteen battles Tang Jie had fought yesterday.

Even with Tang Jie's constitution, one of Cai Junyang's sweeping sword energy attacks was still extraordinarily painful. He knew that this guy's sword technique was sharp, but Cai Junyang was also rather proficient in the Pilewave Sword, and his attacks were exceptionally fierce.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Cai Junyang swung his sword three more times, and Tang Jie raised his sword to block three times. Clang! Half of his sword went flying away.

Cai Junyang laughed. "Tang Jie, it's your weapon being destroyed this time. I'm sure those students will thank me once they find out!"

Tang Jie helplessly shook his head. "That thing still cost me three silver coins, and you went and broke it. This karma really came quickly."

He threw away the sword!

Time for fists!

He swung a punch at Cai Junyang!

This punch had all the fury of a thunderstorm, and Cai Junyang felt a major threat approaching. He brought his sword back and raised it to block, the large sword like a giant board in front of him.

"Raaa!" Tang Jie roared like a tiger, his body swelling with strength. Cai Junyang felt a massive push as iron fist met giant sword, and he was sent flying.

Although he hadn't actually used the Formless Golden Body, he had gathered up all the strength in his body for this blow.

"Break through!" Tang Jie roared. As Cai Junyang flew through the air, Tang Jie pursued.

At this moment, Cai Junyang's giant sword erupted with light.

Tang Jie immediately knew that this wasn't good. He saw the light on Cai Junyang's sword turn into lightning, and then he slashed the sword: "Raging Wave Slash!"

Tang Jie saw that he couldn't dodge and turned his fist into a palm, trying to catch the sword between his palms. At the same time, he kicked at Cai Junyang. He knew that he wouldn't be able to completely block this attack, so he risked injury to strike back at Cai Junyang.

The two came together and then broke apart. Boom! They slammed into opposite walls, causing the room's defensive formation to erupt with a brilliant light.

"Ugh!" Cai Junyang spat out blood. Tang Jie's kick had left his abdomen badly sore. "Such strength! The effects of your Formless Golden Body are very impressive!"

Tang Jie grunted and looked at his shoulder.

While he had managed to grab the sword itself, there was no stopping the energy of the sword, which had cut at his shoulder.

This blow was so powerful that not even the body that had been bathed twice using the Parting Classic could stop it. A wound two fingers deep had been sliced open, deep enough to see the bone. Despite the pain, he couldn't help but smile. "The Raging Wave Slash… You're quite the treacherous fellow, hiding a move like that."

Cai Junyang laughed. "The art of war is all about mixing truth and fiction, fiction and truth. I said that I had learned three spell arts, but I didn't say that they were the only three. What does it matter if I've used the Raging Wave Slash?"

"That's true." Tang Jie used the wall to help him get back up. "But this move of yours is a little too vicious. Weren't you worried that you might kill me?"

"I aimed at your arm, and with the esteemed teachers around, what do you have to worry about? Besides, I only did it when I saw that the defenses from your Formless Golden Body were pretty good. If it were anyone else, would it have been worth me using my ultimate move?" Cai Junyang smugly added, "As ones who cultivate Immortality, we will have to confront numerous dangers in the future. If you can't even take an injury like this, how can you cultivate Immortality? I tricked you today, but at least it's better than being tricked by your enemies!"

He was proud to have actually taught Tang Jie something.

Tang Jie shook his head and chuckled, after which he took out his lot and threw it at Cai Junyang. "I can't move my arm for now, and I have to get it treated by an esteemed teacher. I'll count this as your win."

"What do you mean, 'count this as my win'? I clearly won!" Cai Junyang was very dissatisfied.

"You played a trick, and I didn't use the Aquagel Shroud because I wanted to save spiritual energy. You won't get the chance next time."

"Alright, then when we fight again, I'll definitely leave you convinced of your loss." Cai Junyang left with a hearty laugh.

He was in a great mood after beating Tang Jie, and he failed to notice that Tang Jie was smiling.

Although he had lost, Tang Jie was overjoyed. After all, his opponent had been Cai Junyang, one of the geniuses of the academy.

Without using the Formless Golden Body, he had forced Cai Junyang to use his hidden trump card to just barely win. Tang Jie felt great honor in this loss.

But most importantly, Tang Jie had greatly benefited from this battle.

There was nothing to complain about concerning Cai Junyang's combat talent. Tang Jie had been able to rely on his extremely tough body to resist that flurry of attacks, but anyone else would have fallen long ago.

This battle had made Tang Jie realize his shortcomings, realize that he still had many problems. If he could improve upon them, his strength would undoubtedly rise to another level.

"Regardless, you're a good opponent. Out of gratitude… I will definitely defeat you!" Tang Jie muttered.

At this moment, he heard someone laughing behind him. "Tang Jie, you cowardly turtle, you finally came out of your shell. How was it? Now that you've run into an actual opponent, your true form comes out, right?"

He turned his head to see that You Shaofeng was walking toward him.

He was clearly happy and relieved to see that Tang Jie had lost, and there was no hiding the hatred and disdain in his eyes. "In the exam, you framed me! I'm going to teach you a lesson today, you bastard!"

Tang Jie pursed his lips. "You're acting like I've wronged you. If you want to fight me, it's simple. Let me get my injuries treated first, and then I'll come and find you."

"I'll send you back to the esteemed teacher very soon!"

Tang Jie spread apart his hands. "No problem. Get a room and wait for me."

Twenty minutes later.

A ghastly wail came from inside a sparring room. "My weapon…"

It was none other than You Shaofeng.

Hypersheep325's Notes:

Tang Jie might be throwing fights against Cai Junyang, but that doesn't mean he's going to go easy on arrogant young masters!

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by Hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.