AIP - Chapter 149: Duel (2)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
While Tang Jie was at Spirit Lake and Qi Shaoming was at Spirit Spring, the actual difference wasn't very big. Given Qi Shaoming's talent and his one year of bitter cultivation, it was completely possible that Qi Shaoming could win.
The thought of fighting with the number one genius of the academy had Tang Jie's heart burning with fighting intent.
He nodded. "Okay!"
Since they had agreed, they both set off for the Divine Battleground.
There were few people around, and this was someone challenging another above their tier, so they were immediately matched against each other.
In the sparring room, Qi Shaoming pulled out his sword, which shone with a watery light as he pointed it at Tang Jie. "This sword is known as Autumn Water, and it is a treasured sword passed down through my family. Though it is a spell weapon, its edge is extremely sharp. I will use all my strength in this battle to attain victory. Tang Jie, fight me with everything you have!"
"Of course. Since we're fighting, let's fight to our heart's content!" Tang Jie replied, raising the Heartbreak Saber.
The two of them stared at each other, and then they shouted in unison. Qi Shaoming swung his arm, and Autumn Water released a cold beam of light that shot at Tang Jie while radiating a watery light.
The Chill Phantom Clone Sword!
Qi Shaoming was truly the greatest genius of his class. In his hands, the Chill Phantom Clone Sword was brimming with sword energy and as sharp as could be. He had clearly grasped the true essence of the Chill Phantom Clone and utilized this spell to its maximum. Tang Jie roared, swinging the Heartbreak Saber and unleashing a sharp beam of saber energy that collided with the sword light.
As saber and sword energies collided, the Autumn Water Sword pulsed with light, which somehow allowed it to penetrate through the Heartbreak Saber's energy and continue toward Tang Jie.
Tang Jie was forced to retreat. Qi Shaoming went on his tiptoes and launched himself into the air, then twelve beams of sword energy issued from his sword, each one targeting a different place on Tang Jie's body.
This was the true essence of the Chill Phantom Clone Sword.
When others released multiple sword beams, the majority of them would be illusions.
But the Chill Phantom Clone Sword spell allowed spiritual energy to condense within the sword to form attacks. Each attack was real, which was why this spell had the name of "Phantom Clone".
These twelve sword beams covered Tang Jie from all angles, sword energy flooding in from all sides. This one attack displayed the formidable power of Basking Moon's number one genius.
Tang Jie bellowed, the Heartbreak Saber slicing through the air, and an eerie slash collided with one of the sword beams.
The sword beam was formed from spiritual energy that had been conducted through the sword, and when Tang Jie's saber made contact, it immediately evaporated into countless particles of light. A gap appeared in Qi Shaoming's array of twelve swords, and the saber energy shot straight at Qi Shaoming himself.
The Windcleaver Saber!
Countering attack with attack!
The two combatants clashed and separated.
Tang Jie was surrounded with explosions of light, the eleven sword beams erupting against his Formless Golden Body and Aquagel Shroud. Qi Shaoming had also produced a small black shield at the crook of his arm, and there was a silver barrier made from spiritual energy around him.
"The Black Turtle Shield and the Silver Shroud," Tang Jie muttered.
Tang Jie had already figured out from Qi Shaoming's second place in the Celestial Defense Hall that he must have learned some powerful defensive spells.
While this exchange had seemed fruitless for both sides, a moment later, they both grunted in pain.
While eleven rice-sized wounds had appeared on Tang Jie's body, a crack had appeared on Qi Shaoming's Black Turtle Shield, and there was a bloodstain on his chest.
The Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra!
All attacks made with the foundation of the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra would be able to pierce through armor to a certain extent, which was why it had always been known for its sharp attacks.
Both of them cultivated the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra, and they both used spell arts that matched it. Thus, they had succeeded in piercing through the other side's defenses and inflicting some damage.
But in terms of damage, Tang Jie's Windcleaver Saber was clearly stronger. As Qi Shaoming had taken the more serious wound, he was the one who had lost out in this exchange.
The two of them looked at each other and shouted again.
Qi Shaoming vanished as he rushed forward at high speeds.
The Passing Shadow spell!
As a movement art, Passing Shadow couldn't compare to the Violet Lightning Lunge, but when Qi Shaoming used it, the entire room was awash with his figure as he produced countless afterimages. He had clearly practiced this spell art until he had mastered it, and not only was he no slower than Tang Jie using the Violet Lightning Lunge, he even surpassed him in some aspects.
In this sea of afterimages, the countless Qi Shaomings swung their swords in unison, each one unleashing twelve sword beams. The room exploded with sword light, the deluge of sword energy alarming even Tang Jie.
It had to be understood that each of these sword beams was a real attack!
He really hadn't believed Qi Shaoming to be this capable, combining the Passing Shadow and Chill Phantom Clone spells into such a powerful ultimate technique.
As the deluge swept toward him, Tang Jie knew that he couldn't keep holding back. He swung the Heartbreak Saber, releasing a wave of saber energy at Qi Shaoming's sword deluge.
Divine Court Thousandshift!
While the Windcleaver Saber was a fierce attack, it wasn't good at defending. In comparison, the Divine Court Thousandshift's numerous variations allowed it to be used in various ways.
The collision of saber and sword energies created a spiritual shockwave, but the sword deluge engulfed the light of the saber energy and continued to surge toward Tang Jie.
Tang Jie knew that this wasn't good. While the Divine Court Thousandshift had many uses, he simply wasn't proficient enough in it. Meanwhile, Qi Shaoming was so proficient in the Passing Shadow and Chill Phantom Clone that he was able to produce this formidable sword deluge.
At least when it came to function, the real deal could overwhelm the knockoff.
Tang Jie had utterly lost in this exchange. The sword deluge swept him up and tossed him into the air.
In an explosion of light, Tang Jie's body was completely covered in bloody wounds.
Even with his Formless Golden Body, the sword deluge combined with the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra was still able to deal significant damage to him.
In the second round, Tang Jie had suffered a bitter defeat.
Qi Shaoming somersaulted in the air and landed on the floor. He looked at Tang Jie and proudly said, "What do you think?"
"Not bad!" Tang Jie said, wiping away the blood at the corner of his lips. "You deserve your status as the number one student of our class. To think that you were able to combine your movement art and sword so perfectly, essentially creating clones that could unleash numerous attacks at once to create an explosive blow… But compared to an actual clone spell, it must consume much more spiritual energy, right?"
Qi Shaoming froze for a moment, and then he nodded. "Yes. While this move is extremely powerful, all of the spiritual energy comes from my body, and there are many other costs besides. With this one attack, I used up 180 drops of spiritual liquid."
The Chill Phantom Clone used up ten drops of spiritual liquid each time it was used, and Passing Shadow used six and could produce nine afterimages at most.
With his afterimages, Qi Shaoming was able to unleash ten Phantom Clone slashes, and this massive boost in power came with a corresponding cost.
He was still a Spirit Spring student, so he had to have one thousand or fewer drops of spiritual liquid. This one attack had taken two hundred drops, so at full strength, he would only be able to use this attack five times.
"Impressive! Truly impressive!" Tang Jie nodded. "There are probably few students in our class who can take this kind of attack. Qi Shaoming, you are truly our class's number one genius. I don't admire you for your nine-cycle Jade Gate, but I submit to your ability to cultivate your spell arts to this level!"
Tang Jie gave him a thumbs-up.
His words came from the bottom of his heart and left Qi Shaoming startled.
But he quickly turned angry. "Are you mocking me? I still haven't won."
Although Tang Jie was injured, he was still standing. There was naturally no victory unless he could be brought down.
Tang Jie chuckled and shook his head. "Is there any need to knock me down to consider yourself victorious? Does it not count if I concede?"
Qi Shaoming's clone slashes were frightening, but they were still lacking compared to Gu Changqing's Golden Eagle Talon.
With Tang Jie's current body, let alone one strike, he could take all five and still recover in only a short while.
While Qi Shaoming was capable of holding down Tang Jie at the start of this battle, by the end, he would inevitably be the loser.
One hundred thousand coins was far more powerful than Qi Shaoming could imagine. Properly beating Tang Jie would require him to improve for at least another two years.
Alas, Tang Jie could say none of this. All he could hope for was that Qi Shaoming would gracefully accept the concession.
Unfortunately, he was bound to be disappointed.
Qi Shaoming clearly wasn't on the same wavelength.
Raising the Autumn Water Sword, he shouted, "Are you trying to humiliate me? Fight me with everything you have!"
Tang Jie inwardly cursed.
He didn't mind winning or losing, but he couldn't let himself be beaten black and blue. He pointed at Qi Shaoming and said, "You really are hopelessly stubborn. Forget it. Some people need victory to encourage themselves, and some people need defeat to clear their minds. Qi Shaoming, you might be a genius, but you're too proud, so proud that you've already started to stray in your cultivation. If so, let me clear your mind."
Tang Jie's eyes erupted with fighting intent, his blood energy seething as his strength began to climb.
Qi Shaoming instantly sensed that Tang Jie was changing.
There was something different about him now. He stood there as quietly as a mountain and as unfathomable as an abyss. It was no longer possible to see his true self.
His heart trembling, Qi Shaoming drew back his sword and began to make hand signs. A wave of light appeared as Qi Shaoming shouted, "Windwalk Form! Iceberg Palm!"
Qi Shaoming moved again, even faster than before. He thrust out his left hand, an icy energy radiating from it.
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"Windwalk Form, I see," Tang Jie muttered.
Windwalk Form, just like Formless Golden Body, was a body-strengthening spell. This one focused on speed, and Windwalk Form combined with Passing Shadow would make one even faster. At the same time, it also dispersed strength, giving it rather decent defensive effects. It was one of the best of the lower-class spell arts, but it was extremely difficult to cultivate.
Qi Shaoming must have put in a lot of work to get it to this level.
Qi Shaoming's attacks were sharp, his movements were nimble, his spell arts were numerous, and his casting times were also fast. Truly, he was skilled in every aspect, so it was no wonder he was so conceited and wanted to get the top rank in all of the Seven Celestial Halls before entering Spirit Lake.
Alas, though he was a genius, what he wanted was beyond his power. In the end, while he was in the top ten of every leaderboard, he had failed to snatch a single first place.
Reality had strayed so far from his ideals, so it was no surprise he had come to find Tang Jie for a duel.
Tang Jie didn't know whether he had gone to find anyone else before this, but trying to fight him today was undoubtedly a mistake.
As the Iceberg Palm shot forward, freezing the entire room, Tang Jie's speed dropped. Qi Shaoming once more shot up, his sword glinting with a cold light.
This time, he didn't use the Chill Phantom Clone Sword.
The Chill Phantom Clone Sword favored group battles and landing hits, but its greatest problem was that it dealt too little damage. The harm inflicted by sword wounds was rather limited.
The Starfall Strike was similar to the Windcleaver in that it was a powerful single-target offensive spell that could also utilize the armor-piercing attribute of the Grotto Metal Mantra.
Facing down that starry light, Tang Jie swung the Heartbreak Saber and unleashed the Windcleaver.
Saber light clashed against starlight, and then that falling star dissipated, destroyed by Tang Jie's attack.