[Arc 1] Chapter 24



Chapter 24

Duels

The elder stood in front of them once again. With a loud voice he started announcing the rules.

“Alright, next we will start the duels. Stay in your lines, we will take you to the arena”

With that he lead everyone forward. Soon they approached a large arena. Surrounding the arena was a large crowd, above the crowd was an elevated box containing the judges of the contest.

“Each person will fight in the arena. We will call you according to your lines. First off you will each receive a token with a number on it. When they call your number and Stage of cultivation come up, in the box are the judges of the contest. You win once the other person gives up, passes out, or is knocked out of the ring.”

“This is an elimination tournament. Once you lose go over to the right of the judges box.” Looking over there was a large patch of empty ground beside the box, obviously for the opponents who lose.

“There will be prizes announced at the end for those who win first place in their division.”

Everyone’s eyes turned red when they heard that. A vast majority of the people here were poor people from the surrounding villages. One of the Dragon Stage looked over at them and snorted.

“To think they would get so worked up over a little thing like this. I wonder what would happen if I took out one of my own treasures?”

Another at the Dragon Stage snorted as well and replied, disdain obvious in his voice. “Well I would say the would all die from shock. Truly a country bumpkin never changes.”

Many of the lower stage cultivators faces became unsightly. Who were these b*stards to insult them like this. Were they looking down upon them?

However, seeing as what their cultivation stage was they could only grit their teeth and bear their grudges in their heart. After all, who could fight against someone in the Dragon Stage when at the Tiger, much less Man Stage.

Chu Shen stared at them. Why? Why would they taunt someone just because of their background? Chu Shen, in his heart, was still just a naïve boy. How could he understand how cruel the real world was?

When the thief had died earlier he had accepted it as a punishment. In this cruel world people dying was an often thing, even Chu Shen had accepted this fact. That is why Chu Shen didn’t blink when it had happened, he thought it was a justifiable death, after all they were originally going to haul him off to jail.

The only thing Chu Shen thought was wrong with this situation was that it was never called for. If the person they insulted was someone they had a deep hate for he could understand that because it made sense, but to randomly insult someone because they could? Chu Shen struggled to reconcile this event in his heart with his worldview.

Finally he shrugged. This had nothing to do with him, why let it affect him? Chu Shen started mentally preparing for the trials. Meanwhile the people around him started to curse the people who spoke up.

“Who do they think they are, looking down on us like that!” “I know I come from a small town but is it really that insulting.” “Why do they group me with this lot, I came from the same town he did.”

Though they grumbled a lot none spoke loudly and those closest to them glanced around furtively.

A person came around the lines giving out tokens to each person in line. Finally they started calling out names. They started out with the cultivators at the man stage. To be honest, the fights were kind of boring.

A cultivator at the Tiger Stage and below had great strength, but they couldn’t use Qi outside of their body. Really all they were doing was reinforcing their body with Qi to make it harder to cut or hurt them. Basically it was like hitting a walking wooden dummy.

There was no big flashy moves or Qi explosions. If you walked into a bar fight it would look something like this. Also, because all the fighters were amateurs there wasn’t even a hint of grace or elegance in the fights. To be honest, most of the hits were luck.

As for those at the Dragon Stage, their physical strength was massively increased beyond mortals. Because of that the fights with them involved became filled with a sense of danger and excitement.

After all, when two people get into a fight where even the slightest misstep can send you flying dozens of yards it undoubtedly will raise your spirits. Truly a great spectacle.

Chu Shen was eventually called. Stilling his mind, Chu Shen walked up towards the stage. It was a simple piece of flattened land, about 50 meters wide.

Stepping onto the arena he looked backwards and got a glimpse of his opponent. His opponent wielded a sword, it was about 1 meter long. With his 1 and a half meter long hammer it was obvious that he had the advantage in reach.

However, because of the weight of the hammer the crowd assumed that his swings would be slow. Taking up positions on opposite ends of the stage separated by about 20 meters.

Chu Shen grinned. “Fight until one of you surrenders or cannot continue, do not kill or cripple your opponent or you will automatically be expelled from Majestic Sword Academy’s trials.” The elder in charge of the trials looked at them, seeing that they were he nodded. “Alright, let the match begin!”

Chu Shen looked at the person in front of him and waited for him to make the first move. Sliding his hand up the shaft of the hammer he grabbed it halfway.

With this the hammer had a slightly shorter range but now he could use the shaft like a staff. “I am Chu Shen from the Chu branch Sect Misty Pass.”

His opponent grinned as well. Calling out to Chu Shen he replied back. “I am Tai Long from nowhere important.”

“Let us have a good match.”

Tai Long immediately replied, “Yes, let us.”

Immediately Tai Long charged towards Chu Shen. Dragging his sword on the ground Tai Long suddenly swung it upwards in a diagonal slash. Before the sword made it halfway Tia Long suddenly flew backwards.

Thud

Using his second hand to grab the butt of the hammers handle, Chu Shen had thrust the hammer forward like a spear. It was common knowledge that a hammer must be used in sweeping motions unlike a sword which could thrust.

When Chu Shen thrust his hammer forward it most certainly caught Tai Long off guard. Not giving him any time to recover, Chu Shen immediately grabbed lower down the shaft. Making it lighter he started to swing it around in a circle.

WhirWhir

With his strong body and vitality, Chu Shen didn’t get dizzy, spinning around in a circle like a vortex his hammer became almost unavoidable.

Tai Long backed of before suddenly striking out with his sword. Right before the sword came in contact with the hammer Chu Shen increased its weight.

CLANG

The sword immediately took off like a rocket, coincidentally right towards the box with the judges. Before the sword hit the box a hand suddenly shot out and grabbed it. The owner of the hand was a man who looked to be around twenty-five.

Right before he grabbed the sword he had on a relaxed and carefree expression, after grabbing the sword his face showed some surprise but the sword was stopped easily.

Tai Long had grabbed onto his hand, pain and shock visible on his face. A couple drops of blood fell to the ground from the webbing between his thumb and forefinger. The recoil was that strong. Sighing he suddenly turned towards Chu Shen.

“You are most definitely strong, much stronger than me. Before your strength I admit defeat.”

“Its all right, there’s no shame in a loss like this, I had a good match.” Chu Shen acknowledged that Tai Long was certainly a good warrior. He had been caught off-guard by Chu Shen’s unexpected thrust and strength.

If he had known before he most definitely wouldn’t go head to head with Chu Shen. The man in the box stared at the sword for a second before throwing it down. It turned into a streak of gray light before landing point first in the dirt before Tai Long.

“Start the next match.”

After that the man simply waited. Chu Shen and Tai Long stepped off stage. Tai Long went off to join those eliminated while Chu Shen went back in line.

Back in the judges box a woman leaned over to the man who had caught the sword. “What surprised you so much, I didn’t think the great Stone Face could still be surprised by a junior like that.”
The man looked back at the woman. “Don’t call me by my martial name, you know its Chu Tang. Besides” Chu Tang looked back at the kid with the hammer. “He isn’t an ordinary kid. With strength like that, he certainly did pick the right weapon.”



References

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