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The next fight was between Ming Dong and Zhangsun Yunfeng. After a short break the arena was back to normal, allowing Ming Dong to enter via the s.p.a.ce Gate. However, before he could cross through Jian Chen pulled him aside and with a sharp glance toward Zhangsun Yunfeng, spoke a few words of warning.
With a clench of his fist, a spark of killing intent could be seen in Ming Dong’s eyes as he spoke, “Don’t worry, brother Qin Xiao has been kind to us, I, Ming Dong, will take revenge for him.” With that, he stalked into the arena.
Zhangsun Yunfeng was a middle aged man who looked quite refined almost as if he was a wise scholar. His eyes wavered when he saw Jian Chen and Ming Dong talking together as his heart began to beat faster. With some hesitation, he finally gritted his teeth and strode into the arena with his head held high.
Quickly, both combatants entered the arena with Ming Dong staring at Zhangsun Yunfeng with a look that held none of his killing intent back. This caused Zhangsun Yunfeng to feel a bit startled before taking on a more serious look. He and Jian Chen already had a small conflict in the past, and Jian Chen and Ming Dong were on good terms with each other, allowed him to deduce from these two facts that Jian Chen had asked Ming Dong to eliminate him.
“Begin!” The announcer cried out.
Without hesitation after hearing the announcement, he disappeared without a single trace and flew at Zhangsun Yunfeng in an instant.
“I admit defeat!” A mere moment after the match had started, Zhangsun Yunfeng cried out immediately. He had personally seen Ming Dong and Ka Zhafei’s fight for himself and knew that Ming Dong’s strength was not something that he himself could be an opponent of.
Ming Dong had no intention of sparing Zhangsun Yunfeng and instantly reappeared right in front of him with his Saint Force exploding out from his body as he lashed out with his sword. At the same time, a powerful sword appeared and pressed against Zhangsun Yunfeng’s body, causing him to feel as if he was stuck in a quagmire and could not move.
“Earth Tier Battle Skill!” Zhengsun Yunfeng spoke in shock. He had no idea that Ming Dong would have such an attack and would be so familiar with the skill that he could use it straight away.
Ming Dong’s sword came slamming down onto Zhengsun Yunfeng’s head with a domineering pressure and speed that had rendered him unable to defend or even move against Ming Dong’s attack.
At the same time, the barrier came cras.h.i.+ng down like a curtain from the heavens, separating Ming Dong and Zhangsun Yunfeng from each other.
Ming Dong’s strike crashed against the barrier with a resounding bang, but the energy from the shock wave was absorbed into the barrier like a pebble in the ocean without a single trace of damage.
“When one of the combatant admits defeat, then the other combatant is forbidden from making any further attacks, Ming Dong is the winner!” A loud voice boomed out as two s.p.a.ce Gates opened up on both sides.
Staring vehemently at Zhangsun Yunfeng, Ming Dong let out a helpless sigh before walking back to his s.p.a.ce Gate dejectedly.
With his own sigh of relief, Zhangsun Yunfeng was extremely grateful for the last second protection against Ming Dong. If it were not for that, then he would have been killed by Ming Dong’s attack and would not live to see himself walk out of the arena.
Zhangsun Yunfeng stared in fear at the retreating back of Ming Dong before walking himself sadly back to his own s.p.a.ce Gate. He had spent forty long years cultivating so that he could attain such a strong power, but he hadn’t thought that some youth under the age of thirty would have been able to force him into such a miserable state.
The next match was between Qin Ji and Zhar. Although Qin Ji had a Ruler Armament he could not use it in this match because of the barrier placed onto him being restricted. The match was extremely short since Qin Ji was incapable of hurting Zhar with his Radiant Saint Armor, leaving Zhar as the winner.
The final round was between Aridia and Baili Tong. Both of them were well built men. Baili Tong had the strength of a Fifth Cycle Earth Saint Master. The fight lasted an hour before, finally, Baili Tong managed to strike at Adiria for the win.
Thus, the four strongest had been established: Jian Chen, Ming Dong, Zhar, and Baili Tong.
After a day of rest, the finals started straight away. With the matches being determined, the list of names had been released. What caused both Ming Dong and Jian Chen to feel gloomy was that they had been pitted against each other at last. Zhar had been paired up against Baili Tong who had a Ruler Armament as well.
In the arena, Jian Chen and Ming Dong both stared at each other helplessly. Luck had played with them and the Heavens had pulled one final joke at their expense.
This day would end with the final two strongest being established. If Jian Chen and Ming Dong hadn’t been pitted against each other, then there would have been a good chance for them to be first and second place. Because of the will of the Heavens, one of the two men would be eliminated.
“Begin!” The announcer called out, but not a single person made a move.
“Ming Dong, you are quite strong, so I trust that you will be able to be number one, don’t disappoint me.” Jian Chen spoke. He had every intention to admit defeat here. He knew in his heart that if he did not use his azure and violet Sword Qi, he would not be an opponent for Ming Dong at all. After all, Ming Dong was a wind attributed Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master and had a better comprehension of the Illusionary Flash. Compared to Ming Dong, Jian Chen had no chance of winning.
“I admit defeat!”
Just as Jian Chen opened his mouth to admit defeat, Ming Dong beat him to it.
Seeing the amazed look on Jian Chen’s face, Ming Dong laughed, “Jian Chen, your strength isn’t any weaker than mine, I believe that you can grab the first place, so don’t you dare disappoint Me!”
With a forced smile, Jian Chen replied, “Ming Dong, you becoming first place is not a difficult task, why did you give me the chance to do so instead?”
“Because you need it more. Jian Chen, uncle Tian told me that whoever is first place within the Gathering of the Mercenaries will be able to cultivate in the holy grounds of Mercenary City for half a year. Jian Chen, you know that I am already at the peak of the Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master. At any given time, I can make the breakthrough to become a Heaven Saint Master, so the holy grounds is of no use to me, you on the other hand, are in a different situation.” Ming Dong spoke seriously.
Smiling more freely now, Jian Chen said, “Then fine, Ming Dong. Since you have given me the chance, I won’t dare let you down now.”
“Congratulations on your win.” Ming Dong laughed.
What Ming Dong didn’t know was that when he had conceded the match, countless of people howled out in anger and cursed. That was because everyone had bet on Ming Dong being the number one person in the compet.i.tion. When they had placed all their bets on Ming Dong and now witnessed him admit defeat, the money they had spent was thrown away.
The final conclusion between Jian Chen and Ming Dong had been far beyond what anyone had expected. Only those who had some familiarity with the two had a look of smugness on their faces. They knew that Ming Dong and Jian Chen had been with each other for some time, and while they knew that Ming Dong was extremely strong, he had always treated Jian Chen as the leader almost as if he was the boss.
The millions of people within Mercenary City began to talk among themselves as everyone that had bet on Ming Dong felt extremely dissatisfied. It was only until a Heaven Saint Master commented that Jian Chen himself was not weak at all and had proved it when he beheaded Caraga in an instant. After that, anyone who had expressed their dissatisfaction at Ming Dong’s defeat grew quiet. For those who had placed a large sum of money on Ming Dong, they could only drop their heads and wallow in their sadness.
No matter how loud the chatter was, not a single person within the arena could hear it because of the soundproofing characteristic of the barrier, so Ming Dong and Jian Chen had not heard a single word.
Afterward, Zhar and Baili Tong stepped into the arena. Zhar had already reached the Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master level and had a small repertoire of strong battle skills. Baili Tong was only at a Fourth Cycle Earth Saint Master strength but had a Ruler Armament, yet this would not be very effective against the Radiant Saint Armor of Zhar. With Zhar also being able to heal himself with his Radiant Saint Force, the battle did not take long with the Radiant Warrior Zhar being the winner.
The final round of the compet.i.tion and the most important one would take place the following day. Because this was the final battle, it would give rise to the strongest individual of the Gathering of the Mercenaries and would be given the honor of being called the King of Mercenaries.
During the following day of rest, Jian Chen disregarded the break and put all of his efforts into comprehending the Illusionary Flash. He had already attained the first layer of mastery with the Heaven’s Stolen Fortune and could increase his strength three times over. This was already a pleasing result to Jian Chen, so he did not need to worry anymore on studying the Heaven’s Stolen Fortune since it would be impossible for him to make the second layer in such a short amount of time. Even if he were to somehow gain mastery of the second layer, his fighting strength would not be all that much different in relativity since his strength would only be multiplied by four times. Even with his First Cycle Earth Saint Master strength multiplied by four, it would not be able to contend against a Heaven Saint Master.
Rather than that outcome, Jian Chen threw all of his time and effort toward studying the Illusionary Flash. He was not focusing on getting first place of the Gathering of the Mercenaries since he had a great deal of confidence in getting it already. What Jian Chen truly did fear was the Jiede clan and s.h.i.+ family. He could antic.i.p.ate that the moment he left Mercenary City, there would be experts from both powers coming to kill him and take back the Ruler Armaments. The grudges between him and the two powers would never be dissolved since he was far too weak.