Chapter 179: The Combat Exigency

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

As soon as Jun Xiaomo increased the pressure of her aura, Liang Yulong immediately felt goosebumps on his skin. This was an intuitive reaction when faced with a dangerous situation. However, Liang Yulong simply brushed it off.

Is this possible? How could a cultivator at the fifth level of Qi Mastery possibly threaten me when I’m at the eighth level of Qi Mastery?

However, Liang Yulong very quickly dispelled these thoughts as soon as Jun Xiaomo’s whip lashed out at the ice shield that he had set up. This ice shield was congealed with half of the strength he would normally have used, but Jun Xiaomo had still managed to shatter it into pieces with just one strike! If not for the fact that he had quickly avoided her attack, that lash of her whip might very well have struck him squarely on his body!

Such strength! Is Jun Xiaomo also a body cultivator? But given her thin arms and slender legs, it doesn’t seem like she had trained her body strength that much. Otherwise, she would already be bulging with muscles, right?

A strange image of Jun Xiaomo with bulging muscles surfaced in his mind, and Liang Yulong immediately shuddered at the thought. He immediately shrugged off these thoughts and focused his mind on the battle at hand.

A smile crept up the corner of Jun Xiaomo’s lips. Of course she was not a body cultivator! She had simply focused a portion of her true energy to her arms earlier when she struck out at the ice shield.

This was a trick that Jun Xiaomo had inadvertently discovered from her battles in her previous life. Back then, she noticed that when she forced her demonic energy towards her limbs, she would momentarily experience a surge in the explosiveness and flexibility in her movement. But at the same time, doing so would result in a commensurate dip in the strength of her spells and her defenses. Therefore, this trick was like a double-edged sword that had to be used at the right time. Using it recklessly could potentially result in disastrous consequences.

Jun Xiaomo had made use of this trick to jolt Liang Yulong back to his senses so that he would shed his complacency and treat this battle seriously.

And Jun Xiaomo’s tactics proved to be effective. Liang Yulong tensed up, and he was now far more focused than he had been since the start of this battle.

“Frostedge Blade!”

Instantly, a long ribbon made of ice congealed in the palm of Liang Yulong’s hand. This ribbon had looped itself around a blunt weight that shot straight towards Jun Xiaomo as it attempted to wrap itself around her. Liang Yulong’s intentions were to restrain her.

Jun Xiaomo squinted her eyes. She noticed that Liang Yulong’s techniques was hardly filled with any offensive or destructive powers, and she could also tell that his sole intention here was to restrain her movements.

If Jun Xiaomo had been completely restrained and thus lost all ability to move, then Liang Yulong would equally be declared as the winner of this battle.

But it was just as Rong Ruihan had said. Jun Xiaomo had never needed anyone to go easy on her, especially on the battlefield.

“Brother Liang, seems like you still haven’t learnt your lesson.” Jun Xiaomo suddenly increased the explosiveness in her limbs once more. Within the blink of an eye, she disappeared from where she was, and appeared behind Liang Yulong’s back. Liang Yulong’s heart constricted with anxiety. Yet before he could do anything, he felt an immense pain spreading from his back – he had just been struck with a vicious lash from Jun Xiaomo’s whip.

Jun Xiaomo had not held back her strength with this whiplash. As a result, a large wound appeared on Liang Yulong’s back. There were even traces of burn marks on it.

Jun Xiaomo possessed a fire-based spiritual root. Even though her weapon was a simple whip that could commonly be found on the marketplace, she had nevertheless imbued her attacks with the element of fire. Thus, the strength of her attacks was far higher than what Liang Yulong had expected.

“Brother Liang, if you still don’t begin to treat this fight seriously, I may very well force you down the stage.” Jun Xiaomo chuckled as she quipped.

What arrogance! How can you say that I’m not treating this seriously? I’m just taking into account the fact that you’re only in the fifth level of Qi Mastery. I don’t want to be seen to be bullying you given that my cultivation is at the eighth level of Qi Mastery!

Liang Yulong grew slightly maddened by Jun Xiaomo’s provocations, and he began to unleash a much stronger attack – “Majestic Hoarfrost Dance!”

Within moments, countless ice blades and frost blades congealed in the air and began to sweep towards Jun Xiaomo.

“It’s finally getting interesting.” Jun Xiaomo licked her lips, and her thirst for battle was quickly ignited as well.

The entire audience watched with bated breaths as the battle between Jun Xiaomo and Liang Yulong unfolded.

Everyone had expected this battle to go without a hitch for Liang Yulong and end within moments. Yet after three full incense sticks of time, it was still as difficult as ever to determine who held the upper hand in this battle. Not only that, Jun Xiaomo’s attacks seemed to be growing increasingly aggressive and incisive, while the injuries on Liang Yulong’s body only seemed to be increasing rapidly.

“Damn! What the hell is Liang Yulong doing? Can’t he even defeat a cultivator at the measly fifth level of Qi Mastery?!” One of the Eternal Summit Sect’s disciples cried out with indignation.

The Eternal Summit Sect’s disciples had earlier already been displeased by the fact that Liang Yulong attempted to admit defeat without a fight. Now that Liang Yulong was beaten to such a tragic state by a cultivator at the fifth level of Qi Mastery, the disciples even began to feel as though their pride and reputation as members of the Eternal Summit Sect was being trampled upon.

It would be far too shameful if Liang Yulong truly lost to Jun Xiaomo at the end.

Yet none of the other sects felt the same kind of indignation that the Eternal Summit Sect felt right now. In fact, even though the manner in which the battle unfolded had been outside their expectations, they still found it rather enjoyable to watch.

As the Chinese proverb goes, in the fight between the snipe and the clam, the fisherman gets the best of it. In the same fashion, when two large sects lock heads against each other, it was practically something to be celebrated by all the smaller sects around.

“Hehe, could it be that the Eternal Summit Sect’s disciple has fallen for the Dawn Sect’s beauty, and so he’s not willing to injure her?” A disciple in the audience smirked as he suggested.

“What you’re saying…I think there’s that possibility. Just look at that unwilling gaze on his face. If I were the one facing her on the arena, I wouldn’t be willing to hurt her either…” His companion chuckled lasciviously as he added, “I wonder whether if she would be equally charming and elegant in bed as well…”

The two disciples began to laugh and joke in a crude and vulgar manner. All of a sudden, two black shadows flickered across quickly and shot straight into their throats, and they reflexively swallowed the black object with a gulp.

“What…what was that?”

“No…no idea.”

They looked at each other in dread as they fearfully gagged in the hope that they could vomit out the substance that they had just swallowed.

Moments later, one of the two disciples began to grab his mouth as he cried out, “Ahh, my…my tongue…ahh!” The other disciple was in an even worse condition, and he could not even say a single word. His entire tongue had corroded from its roots, and his mouth was now filled with copious amounts of his own blood. It was a bloodcurdling sight.

This incident created a small ripple in the audience around the two disciples, but most of the other audience members continued to fixate their attention on the battle that was unfolding on the arena.

Rong Ruihan glanced dispassionately at the two blabbering buffoons, before turning his attention back to the battle arena with a much better disposition than before.

Wei Gaolang was completely unaware of what had just happened on the side. His was watching the battle with an intense gaze as he exclaimed aloud, “I never knew that martial sister’s abilities were so incredible! I thought that she could only defeat me.”

A discreet smile crept up the corner of Rong Ruihan’s lips as he chimed in as well, “Her abilities have always been incredible.”

Wei Gaolang nodded blankly. It was unclear whether he had even registered what Rong Ruihan had said.

On the other side of the Dawn Sect’s seating area, He Zhang gazed coldly at the battle on the arena like a vicious, poisonous snake that was poised to strike at any moment.

He was waiting expectantly for the powdered substance in Jun Xiaomo’s body to take effect.

If Jun Xiaomo experienced a demonic outburst right before the eyes of the entire audience today, there would be absolutely nothing that Jun Linxuan could do to absolve himself of the matter.

At that time, all he needed to do would be to give Jun Linxuan a simple nudge off the cliff, and the entire world of spiritual cultivators would undoubtedly spurn and march against Jun Linxuan and the Heavenly Peak.

That said, three full incense sticks of time had passed, and the powdered substance should have taken effect by now. Why were there no signs or symptoms showing up on Jun Xiaomo’s body?

Could the powdered substance be ineffective? Or did I not put enough into her food? Or could it be that there’s simply no demonic energy within Jun Xiaomo’s body?

Countless possibilities began to surface to He Zhang’s mind, but each and every one was rejected by his logical processes.

He trusted in his own assessment. It was an incontrovertible fact that he had previously already detected the presence of demonic energy within Jun Xiaomo’s body. Furthermore, the Du Clan Head hated Jun Linxuan and his Peak to the core, so there was no way he would have handed fake or ineffective powdered Bedeviled Grass over to He Zhang.

Let’s wait a while longer, then. He Zhang thought to himself. His fingers tapped impatiently on the rims of his teacup as he continued to gaze at Jun Xiaomo intently.

On the arena, Liang Yulong tensed himself up as he launched wave after wave of attacks at Jun Xiaomo, but Jun Xiaomo continued to nimbly avoid all of these attacks.

Perhaps no one could guess the state of his mind right now, but the sweat beading up on his forehead and his tightly knit brows gave an insight into what he was thinking.

Distress, anxiety, and bewilderment.

He was truly befuddled by Jun Xiaomo’s fearsome aura and her incredible combat abilities. He had been complacent when he first squared off against Jun Xiaomo in this battle. But as time wore on, he began to realize the folly of such thoughts, and he was fully invested in the fight right now.

Unfortunately, despite giving his all, this battle was far more difficult than he had imagined. Jun Xiaomo behaved like a slippery eel that dodged left and right and darted nimbly about, and practically all of his attacks had completely missed.

Furthermore, Jun Xiaomo would lash out at him with her whip while she was avoiding his attacks. This issue was further compounded by the fact that Jun Xiaomo’s angles of attack were incredibly crafty and incisive, and he had no way of avoiding her attacks at all.

Yet to the external observer, Liang Yulong looked as though he were clumsily running into each and every attack released by Jun Xiaomo. It was no wonder that several people in the audience even began to suspect whether Liang Yulong was intentionally losing to Jun Xiaomo. The truth of the matter was that he was not. But who was going to believe him?

Liang Yulong was truly distressed.

That said, some of the cultivators who possessed a wealth of combat experience could see for themselves the true reason why Liang Yulong was being beaten to a pulp. After all, the experienced knew best.

“This young lady is amazing. Her grasp of combat is simply stellar, and every single judgment that she has made has been spot on. No wonder that young man who’s three levels higher in terms of cultivation level can’t even do a single thing to her.” One of the sect elders from a Greater Sect stroked his beard with interest as he exclaimed.

“This kind of combat intuition can only be developed after years of combat experience. I wonder what that young lady has been through to have developed it to such an extent.” Another Greater Sect’s sect elder beside chimed in, tacitly approving of Jun Xiaomo’s abilities.

“It’s only a pity that she’s only in the fifth level of Qi Mastery, otherwise we could even consider accepting her into our sect.” The first sect elder signed in resignation.

“That’s true. Even though her combat intuition is remarkable, her cultivation level is still a glaring shortcoming. It’s already pretty good that she’s been able to hold her own until now and leave everyone wondering who the winner might be. But I feel that it’s going to take quite a lot more if this young lady wishes to win this battle. Perhaps it’s not even possible for her.” The second sect elder offered his opinion.

Stroking his beard, the first sect elder paused for a moment and squinted at the arena. Moments later, he enigmatically remarked, “Let’s wait and see. Perhaps that young lady will truly surprise us.”

Just like what the two sect elders pointed out, as much as Liang Yulong found himself helpless against Jun Xiaomo, Jun Xiaomo was equally also unable to pull ahead.

After all, there were three qualitative levels between her fifth level of Qi Mastery and Liang Yulong’s eighth level of Qi Mastery. There were some slightly stronger abilities that she was still unable to use for now, given her cultivation level.

Thus, she could only continue to build up the number of small injuries that she had inflicted on Liang Yulong’s body. Even though they looked severe, the truth of the matter was that these injuries did nothing more than scratch the surface. On the other hand, Liang Yulong’s attacks continued to miss because of Jun Xiaomo’s quick reflexes and nimble moves. The natural result of this was that the battle seemed to have come to a complete stale mate.

Jun Xiaomo was well aware that if things continued at status quo, the true energy within her body would soon be depleted, and she would no longer have any means of avoiding Liang Yulong’s attacks.

Although the conversion rate from true energy to spiritual energy meant that she had access to essentially twice the amount of true energy that was currently stored in her body, the total amount of spiritual energy was still far less than the amount of spiritual energy that Liang Yulong possessed at the eighth level of Qi Mastery. At the very least, she knew that if things went on as it did, she would deplete her store of spiritual energy before Liang Yulong did.

It was for this reason that Jun Xiaomo had refrained from using any moves that expended immense amounts of spiritual energy.

She was biding her time for the right opportunity.

Just then, her heart suddenly pumped ferociously, and a familiar painful sensation began to spread from her Dantian and meridians.

It can’t be! Why does it feel like I’m about to breakthrough to the next level? Could it really have come so soon?!

Then, her thoughts drifted to the breakfast with “extra ingredients” that she had consumed earlier. A wave of realization dawned upon her, and she grimaced to herself – she truly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the situation right now.

Could this be considered succeeding by a lucky stroke?

But no matter how one looked at it, breaking through during combat was nothing to celebrate about…

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