Chapter 8 - Betting
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While Lu Ping was blaming himself for his jinx-causing thoughts, he took out a high-grade blood charm, [Golden Steel Spell], and slapped it on his body. Immediately, golden rays with faint lines of red light spread from the charm and covered Lu Ping’s body like a golden armor.

A screeching noise was heard when the three crystal ice blades clashed with the golden rays, and the ice blades shattered to the floor in bits and pieces. The golden rays on Lu Ping’s body also dimmed down in luminance but it still remained intact, protecting his body.

Li Sheng was actually planning to secure the upper hand of the battle by forcing Lu Ping to put everything into defending from the high-grade charm, and maybe even get injured badly from it.

But little did he expect that Lu Ping would take out another high-grade charm to counter his. This meant that his following plan wouldn’t work anymore, and all his preparations were worthless now. Just how could he not be disappointed and depressed?

Then, as Li Sheng readied himself to switch plans and continue pressuring Lu Ping into defending, he suddenly realized that the other’s high-grade charm was still in effect, the golden rays still remained instead of fading away. How was that possible?

Li Sheng saw clearly with his own eyes that Lu Ping used a high-grade charm. Normally, the clash between two high-grade charms should cancel each other out, no?

While Li Sheng was momentarily stunned by this situation, Lu Ping didn’t hesitate at all. Not only did he not slow down, he was actually filled with fury now. The blood charms were one of his hidden trump cards, and yet, he was forced to expose them right in the first match. Moreover, one high-grade charm costs three spirit stones, so a high-grade blood charm would be worth at least five spirit stones!

This was a wasteful battle that bled out spirit stones!

In all his ten years of cultivation, the one thing he could never stand to forgive was wasting resources! If Li Sheng’s act of throwing away his own charms made Lu Ping a little unhappy, then being forced to use his own charm made him unimaginably angry!

Seizing the opportunity while the blood charm was still in effect and Li Sheng’s momentary pause in attacks, Lu Ping used his recent attainments in the state of Technique and cast the [Blood Condensation Bone Melting Fist] like a ball of impenetrable strikes as he moved towards Li Sheng.

Lu Ping’s cultivation base was stronger than Li Sheng’s from the start and his foundation was also more solid. It was the difference in mystic instruments and the charms that forced Lu Ping to passively defend himself. But as soon as he seized the chance to turn from passive to active, his attacks only struck stronger than ever.

Li Sheng now finally had a taste of his own actions. Just a moment ago, he was the attacker, full of pride and feeling all high and mighty as he suppressed his opponent, but now he was the one being overpowered.

That’s fine! It was fine even if he fell to a lower position in battle! He still had a chance to turn the tide. After all, he still had a few more high-grade charms and even a mystic instrument that he had yet to use.

But the problem now was—he was fully suppressed by his opponent’s attacks, he had no time to pull out his other mystic instrument.

It was a full-on suppression. Li Sheng just couldn’t get his head around it. The [Blood Condensation Bone Melting Fist] was just a basic fist and sword skill, how could it possibly suppress his family’s superior [Wild Wind 24 Sword Styles]? Not to mention that he was also familiar with the [Blood Condensation Bone Melting Fist]! But why was his opponent able to cast it with such speed and power?

It was Li Sheng’s turn to be flustered. After all, he wasn’t even fifteen yet.

If he could pull himself together, calm down and observe Lu Ping, he would realize that his sword skill was perfect; there was no sign of jerkiness in his moves. Although some moves weren’t quintessential as they were taught to be, the transitions were made in incredible accordance with his attacking needs. It almost felt like he was casually manipulating every move from his heart!

One could even say, this wasn’t the side hall’s [Blood Condensation Bone Melting Fist] anymore but Lu Ping’s own version of the skill.

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Such was the state of “Technique”, the state above “Adept”. Lu Ping had infused his own attainments into the sword skill and made it his own sword technique!

At this point, the crowd could clearly foresee Li Sheng’s defeat. There was no chance for him to turn the tide of battle anymore, it was only a matter of time until he lost.

After all, Li Sheng was a small talent and had made a name for himself in the side hall. Hence, there were quite a number of cultivators watching his match.

Other than that, there were also Lu Ping’s groupmates in Group 7, including First Senior Martial Brother Yao Yong, Second Senior Martial Brother Du Feng, and Fourth Senior Martial Sister Shi Lingling. They were all cheering for Lu Ping’s imminent victory.

Shi Lingling smiled and commented, “I never thought Tenth Junior Martial Brother Lu Ping would attain the state of “Technique”. How did we miss that when he battled with Li Cheng?”

Yao Yong answered, “The challenge was short, it finished in less than 40 bouts. Also, Lu Ping must have just attained the state back then, otherwise, Master Immortal Liu wouldn’t have had tutoring sessions with him after the challenge.”

Shi Lingling nodded. “First Senior Martial Brother is right. If I recall correctly, First and Second Senior Martial Brothers attained the state of “Technique” in the Eighth Layer, yes?”

Yao Yong said, “Yes. But Fourth Junior Martial Sister also attained it in the Seventh Layer, and you were only fifteen back then.”

Shi Lingling was nonchalant as she said, “Tenth Junior Martial Brother must’ve used a blood charm. It’s surprising that he has one, and to even use it in the match!”

Yao Yong replied, “A high-grade blood charm is twenty to thirty percent stronger than ordinary high-grade charms. However, it takes one’s blood essence to convert an ordinary charm into a blood charm. In the Zhen Ling Sect, we cultivate our bloodlines, so it’s rare to see someone using their blood essence to make such charms.”

Shi Lingling chortled and didn’t reply anymore while Yao Yong continued, “Come on, let’s go. The match here is ending. We still have the second match in the afternoon to prepare for.”

After that, the three of them returned to the resting place of Group 7. Throughout the entire conversation, Du Feng never spoke a single word.

As it turned out, the three of them had already completed their matches a long time ago.

In the center arena, the master immortals were also gathered together in discussion.

Master Immortal Liu was satisfied with the overall results of Group 7. Group 7 had the highest number of winners and Late Blood Refining Realm disciples. Hence, Enlightened Master Xuan Yong praised him for his guidance and he was rewarded greatly for that.

With these rewards, he could take another step into the Late Blood Condensation Realm and be one step closer to advancing into the Core Forging Realm!

“What amazing results from Junior Martial Brother Liu’s Group 7!” exclaimed Master Immortal Fang of Group 12.

“Thank you, Senior Martial Brother Fang. Your group is looking quite promising with those ten Late Blood Refining Realm disciples,” Master Immortal Liu replied slowly, his eyes glimmering with light.

“Haha, junior martial brothers, spare the formalities. In the past, we would bet between the groups, so let’s not make an exception this time, what do you all say?” This came from Master Immortal Wang of Group 1.

The other master immortals made a loud call of assent, “That’s right, that’s right! Let’s bet!”

“Right then, let’s follow the same old rule! Every master immortal will bet twenty spirit stones, and the top five groups will share the prizes, how about that?”

“No problem. The best group will get thirty percent of the spirit stones, and the following groups will take five percent less each. So the fifth group will take exactly ten percent of the shares. Agree?”

“Very much agreed! We plead with the dean, Enlightened Master Xuan Yong, to be our witness for this bet!”

The master immortals had clearly laid out the rules of the bet in just a few sentences. Obviously, this wasn’t their first time playing this game.

Enlightened Master Xuan Yong smiled and said, “Very well then, I will be the witness to this bet. But please don’t forget about your tasks after the competition. Each group will choose a few Late Blood Refining Realm disciples to participate in the sect’s trial.”

In an instant, the master immortals’ faces turned serious and they answered solemnly.

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