Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"That's Elder Heng's Immortal Ascension Mantra!" the Beast Refining Gate students called out. The sight of that snake transforming into a dragon had them yelling in excitement, their eyes brimming with admiration and desire.
The Immortal Ascension Mantra was a very special Immortal art of the Beast Refining Gate that massively boosted the power of a refined beast. Heng Wudi was the best in the Beast Refining Gate at this art, and his Immortal Ascension Art, refined to the peak, was capable of turning a snake fiend into a terrifying dragon to do battle. But this was also why his refined beasts never relied on numbers for their victory.
Unlike normal refined beasts, which came out of refined beast tokens, this green-snake-turned-dragon emerged endlessly from Heng Wudi's body, its enormous form gradually blotting out the sky. Only its dragon tail was wrapped around Heng Wudi's body, with most of its body sweeping aside the clouds and spitting green flames at Ming Yekong. The sky was turned into a blazing prairie, and when the flames crashed into the barrier below, they caused brilliant rainbow explosions.
But Ming Yekong faced down this terrifying green dragon like he was strolling around in a garden.
Someone had once said that while Ming Yekong might not have been the strongest of the 19 Celestial Chiefs, he was definitely the most carefree. He seemed eternally relaxed when fighting, his pace leisurely. If one only looked at his expression, one might not even realize he was in combat.
Ming Yekong confidently walked through the fierce flames of the dragon, his body drifting around and always appearing in the most improbable of places.
For him, the sky was flat ground, and he could freely travel without using any sort of flight spell.
With each step, the air rippled.
As he walked around, the ripples grew stronger and stronger, and the backdrop of the green dragon flames made them seem like festival fireworks.
These footprints continued to appear all around the place, blinking in and out of existence.
For most students, these footprints were irrelevant. Ming Yekong's carefree mood, Heng Wudi's ferocity, and the majesty of the green dragon were far more worthy of observation.
A peak Celestial Heart battle was a rare sight for students, which was also why they didn't actually understand the battle.
There were a few exceptions.
While the vast majority of people were focused on Heng Wudi and his green dragon, Tang Jie's eyes were constantly following those footsteps.
The Chaoswind Step!
This was the Chaoswind Step!
The 27 Star Chaoswind Step!
After getting the Chaoswind Step booklet yesterday, Tang Jie had browsed through it and gained some understanding of how to use it. The Chaoswind Step's energy circulation wasn't difficult. The real meat was in the 27 Stars. Through these 27 Stars, one could freely move around within a certain range.
As for how free was this movement, one could see from Ming Yekong's current performance that he could reach any part of the battlefield with just a single step.
In such circumstances, who could hit him? Not only that, it was extremely effective for attacking.
But the 27 Stars were the most difficult and most complicated part of the Chaoswind Step. Putting aside the calculation and locating of each Star, there were also countless combinations.
Just a look at the list of possible combinations of the 27 Stars almost had Tang Jie's brain exploding, let alone actually going through them.
But as he watched Ming Yekong easily work through the Chaoswind Step, Tang Jie finally began to develop some understanding.
At that moment, he suddenly felt like he had an unprecedented understanding of the Chaoswind Step.
As energy circulated through his body, his surroundings seemed to freeze.
He entered a very special state and could sense each breath and each energy source around him.
In the middle of all this, Tang Jie vaguely felt like he had some sort of connection with Ming Yekong up in the air.
It was a weak sensation, barely perceptible, in fact, so Tang Jie had to desperately reach out for it.
The warm spot on his forehead grew larger and larger as he pushed his vision to the absolute limit to try to follow that striding figure in the sky and feel out that strange connection.
Suddenly, Tang Jie stepped forward and to the side.
At the same time, Ming Yekong did the same, instantly disappearing and then reappearing behind Heng Wudi.
Tang Jie did not move, but his left foot followed, taking a step forward just as Ming Yekong did the same.
Their footwork had reached an astonishing level of synchronization.
In the air, Ming Yekong gasped in surprise. He looked down, he met Tang Jie's gaze, and as he continued to confidently walk around, a smile appeared on his lips.
He didn't mind that Tang Jie had grasped his footwork and was copying him. On the contrary, he was quite pleased.
As he continued to step around, he said, "Of the 27 manifestations of Chaoswind, Wind is the foremost, which is why it is called the Chaoswind Step. Energy begins at Xun (Southeast), and if the Xun Wind is taken to the limit, it manifests as the Great Wind. But if you move to the Gen position (Northeast), you manifest the Wind Mountain, and if you go to the Li (South), you manifest Wind Fire. And if you go to the Qian (Northwest), you manifest the Nine Heavens Art. In the same way as you can use arts in combination, you can combine movements, like so…"
He suddenly accelerated, taking twelve rapid steps that Tang Jie couldn't keep up with. In the air, a fiery gale manifested, turning the fierce flames of the green dragon against it.
Ming Yekong casually said, "Like this, you can walk and traverse the air like it is flat ground, penetrating the heavens (Qian) and overturning the earth (Kun). By going through Kan (North), Li, and Gen, you have Wind-Forest-Fire-Mountain!"
He thrust out his hands, sending a wave of vigorous energy at Heng Wudi.
Heng Wudi furiously roared, and the green dragon swung its body and sent its own energy wave at Ming Yekong.
Ming Yekong swiftly turned around, creating countless afterimages in the air.
At this moment, not only Tang Jie, but Qi Shaoming was also enchanted by this sight.
Ming Yekong's Chaoswind Step was very instructive for his own Passing Shadow.
This was a clash of wind versus mountain, of agility versus brute strength. Ming Yekong flitted around like a dancing sword while Heng Wudi rampaged like a dragon, the energies of heaven and earth vying for supremacy.
If not for the four Celestial Heart experts laying down defenses, the aftershocks from their conflict would have destroyed the entire arena, and even with them, the spectacle alone left everyone shaken.
For Tang Jie, this was the most fulfilling battle he had ever witnessed.
Ming Yekong's instructions had instantly allowed Tang Jie to understand where the secrets of the Chaoswind Step lay. If the stars were words and numbers, the manifestations were diagrams and pictures. When they were combined, they produced countless mysteries.
As those countless images flashed around, Tang Jie could no longer keep up. With a cry, he fell on his butt.
"Tang Jie, what's wrong?" Ye Tianshang asked, bending down.
Tang Jie held his forehead and breathed in and out a few times before replying, "I'm fine."
The stimulation had opened up the vertical eye on his forehead a little more, and Tang Jie did not dare to move his hand away until the eye gradually disappeared. As he removed his hand, he wiped off that little bead of blood on his forehead as well.
When he looked back up, the two experts were still fighting. Ming Yekong was calm and unhurried while Heng Wudi was exploding with energy. It seemed like they could keep fighting for three days and nights.
But if they kept this up, there was no telling when it would end.
Madam He of Horizon Ocean Pavilion suddenly smiled. "You've had your fight and your anger has been vented, so let's get back to the main topic."
She waved her long sleeve and pointed a finger at the distance, the experts of Godhead Palace, the Thousand Passions Sect, and the Seven Absolutions Sect doing the same. Four streams of spiritual pressure instantly quelled the raging storm in the sky.
Heng Wudi still wanted to vent his rage, but there was no way he could fight against four people, and he reluctantly returned to the ground. Ming Yekong also chose this moment to retreat, returning to the ground first. Unlike Heng Wudi, he had acted to protect a student of his sect, so he had no objection to stopping the fight. In any case, he wasn't the one who had been insulted.
Madam He said, "Brother Heng, if you want to keep fighting, then we won't need to hold this Immortal Fortune Conference anymore."
With these words, Heng Wudi finally gave up. He angrily glared at Tang Jie and said, "I won't let this brat go."
Tang Jie pursed his lips. "I'm from the Basking Moon Sect. You really think I ever hoped for compassion from your Beast Refining Gate?"
Heng Wudi's words were thrown back into his face, and he stormed off in fury. The suppression of the four other experts had put an end to his tantrums.
The golden-robed elder of Godhead Palace said, "Madam He is right. Wars of words are but mere trifles, and there is no need to waste so much time on them. But the origin of the Godhead Armor needs an explanation. Brother Heng, you were too impatient."
Heng Wudi grew even angrier at these words.
The golden-robed elder had no idea that he had inadvertently salted an open wound.
In his view, barbed insults were minor matters while the background of the Godhead Armor was the real big deal here.
And in terms of importance, he was completely right.
But things were always different for the person involved.
The origin of the Godhead Armor was irrelevant for Heng Wudi, for Godhead Palace had lost many suits of Godhead Armor to the outside world in the last few years, so it wouldn't be strange at all if one or two ended up in the hands of the Basking Moon Sect. There was no need for the Beast Refining Gate to think that Godhead Palace was colluding with the Basking Moon Sect just yet. But to be insulted and humiliated by a junior was a huge blow to his pride.
He could accept the words of Madam He from Horizon Ocean Pavilion because they weren't friends, but he could never accept the words of the golden-robed elder.
He had been publicly humiliated, yet his ally had tried to stop him instead of help him, even telling him to not fuss over such a small thing. This was siding with outsiders, and it left him furious.
For an ally to take a "neutral" position was betrayal to Heng Wudi.
But he had no way to vent his rage and could only stomach it. However, he was now ashamed to be allies with this golden-robed elder, finding his actions utterly revolting.
At this moment, the palace lord of the Wandering Palace suddenly spoke. "With regards to this suit of Godhead Armor, I think I know a little."
Oh? Everyone turned to the Wandering Palace Lord.
The Wandering Palace Lord had their face covered in a veil and sat in a high seat at the very center. "Several days ago, a combat puppet guard came under attack, having its head cut off and its armor stolen. Although I ordered this matter to be investigated, as there were countless Immortals present, it was difficult to find the truth. I did not expect to see that missing suit of armor reappear today."
"Oh?" Ming Yekong raised an eyebrow. "Palace Lord, you say that this suit of armor is a lost possession of your revered palace?"
The Wandering Palace Lord replied, "This suit of armor was originally Godhead Armor, but to prevent misunderstandings, it was painted black to differentiate it. This is precisely why my palace is the only one with this kind of black Godhead Armor, and it is basically nonexistent in the outside world."
"Why does it sound like Godhead Palace has some secret treaty with the Wandering Palace?" the gorgeous woman from the Thousand Passions Sect snorted.
The Wandering Palace Lord froze for a moment, but the golden-robed elder quickly chuckled and said, "Fairy Lian, please do not be mistaken. It's just a change of color meant to deceive ignorant juniors. How could it possibly deceive august figures such as yourselves? It was an action only taken to prevent quarrels and keep the peace."
"So there was no backroom dealing?" Madam He of Horizon Ocean Pavilion asked.
The golden-robed elder emphasized, "Absolutely not."
"Very well." Ming Yekong nodded. "Then we will wait to see the outcome."
The golden-robed elder mentally cursed Ming Yekong's cunning.
It was clear that if the Wandering Palace chose Godhead Palace after all this, the other sects would accuse Godhead Palace of having made some under-the-table deal.
In other words, if Godhead Palace wanted to prove its innocence, it had to be ready to give up on the chance.
This was removing them from contention!
The golden-robed elder gnashed his teeth and looked at Heng Wudi, hoping that he would speak up for him.
But Heng Wudi looked away and said, "That's true. We can only wait for the outcome to find out the truth."
The golden-robed elder mentally cursed.
But without Heng Wudi's help, Godhead Palace was all alone on this matter, so the elder had to restrain himself and say, "Everyone, please, rest easy. Wandering Palace has the freedom to choose on this matter, and their choice is in no way influenced by Godhead Palace."
These words were basically an admission that Godhead Palace would be withdrawing from this struggle.
Ming Yekong felt very refreshed, having removed a competitor without breaking a sweat.
The golden-robed elder said, "So why don't we ask that child how he managed to get this suit of armor?"
Ming Yekong turned his head.
Tang Jie stood up and said, "We truly did steal this suit of armor. After that day's matches, we knew that we would be fighting in death matches against the Beast Refining Gate on the fifth day. As Senior Brother Helian is just too strong and we're good friends with Junyang, Mingyang and I became worried about Junyang. We decided to find a way of making him stronger and improve his combat strength…"
Shu Mingyang panicked. Why is it me again?
Tang Jie continued, "As everyone registered their tools and weapons before the tournament so that we couldn't just lend him our things, we had to think of another way to make Junyang stronger. We went out drinking that night and tried to think of ideas. After we drank a little too much, we lost control of our emotions and decided to take a risk…"
It was you! You were the one who decided to take the risk, not me! Shu Mingyang grumbled, but he didn't even know how to defend himself.
Tang Jie hadn't said that he, Shu Mingyang, and Cai Junyang had worked together on this incident, only that they were drinking away their worries after the matches. As for afterwards… the puppet was destroyed and the armor was taken. What else was there to say?
But everyone else essentially took it to mean that Tang, Shu, and Cai had worked together on this.
Cai Junyang didn't care. He was even wearing the armor, so it really didn't matter if he was one of the thieves. But Shu Mingyang was being unjustly accused, and he was inwardly aflame with worry.
As Tang Jie spoke, everyone gradually understood the origin of this suit of armor, and they looked at the trio in shock and admiration. These guys were so bold! Even daring to loot a combat puppet!
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Cai Junyang and Tang Jie were used to being the center of attention and were unmoved. Only Shu Mingyang was being dragged along for the ride, squirming uncomfortably under all those staring eyes.
Once the story was done, Tang Jie got down on one knee and bowed to Ming Yekong. "For the sake of victory, this lowly one committed an outrageous crime and blackened the name of the sect. The truth has now been revealed, so please cast your judgment, Venerable Master."
Ming Yekong laughed. "Kid, you've truly got some guts. Once this matter is concluded, I will properly punish all of you, but for now, rise."
"Yes." Tang Jie solemnly stood up.
The golden-robed elder was gobsmacked. "Ming Yekong, what do you mean by this? He stole a suit of armor. Is the Basking Moon Sect not going to give us an explanation?"
Ming Yekong cut him off. "They stole a suit of armor from the Wandering Palace, so the Wandering Palace is the one that requires an explanation. It has nothing to do with your Godhead Palace."
Ming Yekong brought his hands together and bowed to the Wandering Palace Lord. "The Basking Moon Sect was lacking in discipline and allowed its students to run amok. Ming Yekong represents my academy and students in apologizing to the palace lord!"
The Wandering Palace Lord bowed back. "Brother Ming is too polite."
Ming Yekong continued, "As it was a student of my sect who caused the Wandering Palace to suffer a loss, my Basking Moon Sect will take full responsibility and pay compensation. As for these three troublemakers, I will heavily punish them once we return."
Everyone was astounded by what they were hearing.
No one believed that Ming Yekong would actually punish this trio. If he actually planned to, he would not be compensating the Wandering Palace in their place.
Solely because of the fact that Cai Junyang had tied with Helian Hu and heavily damaged the Beast Refining Gate's morale, Ming Yekong could not possibly punish them.
As for the loss of a single combat puppet… that wasn't even a fart to the Basking Moon Sect.
And that wasn't even considering how Tang Jie had verbally brutalized Heng Wudi and Ming Yekong had forced Godhead Palace to withdraw.
After all that, everyone couldn't help but think that Tang Jie stood to be rewarded, not punished.