Chapter 440: Dark Horse
"Strange, he is clearly only an Inferior Grade Martial King. Why is he so ridiculously strong?"
Doubtful thoughts appeared in the minds of the outstanding talents from the various nations as they withdrew their perceptions.
The strength Xiao Chen demonstrated had already aroused the attention of the others. He was definitely a strong competitor for entering the Ancient Desolate Tower.
The others could not help but pay more attention to Xiao Chen.
Xia Xiyan, Jiang Zimo, and Mu Xinya all came forward one after the other to offer their congratulations.
The matches continued on for a long time, but no one obtained ten consecutive victories. Only when the Beast Taming Abode's Pei Shaoxuan's turn arrived, did the second person with ten consecutive wins appear.
Furthermore, Pei Shaoxuan gained ten consecutive victories with even easier than Xiao Chen did. Thus attracting the attention of the crowd.
In every match, Pei Shaoxuan would summon out seven or eight high rank Spirit Beasts. He did not have to put in any personal effort and merely hid behind as he controlled the Spirit Beasts to attack his opponents.
Pei Shaoxuan obtained every victory with extreme ease—without exhausting himself at all.
After Pei Shaoxuan, Dong Fengchou, Jiang Zimo, and Mu Xinya obtained ten consecutive victories as well. This pushed the crowd's excitement to the peak.
These people seemed stronger than the one that came before; each victory seemed more elegant than the last. They had completely suppressed Xiao Chen's splendor.
Xiao Chen smiled faintly. This way, he could attract minimal attention and win using the least amount of effort. That, however, was good enough for Xiao Chen.
The matches of more than a hundred people continued until the sky turned dark. A total of seven people obtained ten consecutive victories.
They were Xiao Chen, Jiang Zimo, Ding Fengchou, Mu Xinya, Pei Shaoxuan, Xia Xiyan, and the Holy Fire Manor's Leng Yun, who Xiao Chen tried to avoid.
However, Leng Yun neither got involved in Xiao Chen's conflict with Qin Pengyu nor paid any special attention to Xiao Chen. So, Xiao Chen was not too concerned about him.
Not far away from the wrestling ring, there were some small exquisite courtyards. The contestants were to stay there for the next five days.
After darkness fell, and the sky filled with sparkling stars, Xiao Chen sat cross-legged in his courtyard, and started dealing with all the hidden injuries he had accumulated in today's fight.
After every fight, no matter how strong a cultivator was, there would always be some amount of hidden damage. If left unattended, over a long time, it would turn into a hidden disease. By then, it would be extremely difficult to deal with.
Xiao Chen had already nurtured this good habit long ago. He made sure to clear off any hidden damage after every big fight.
One hour later, Xiao Chen opened his eyes. Under the nourishment of his Essence, all the hidden damage in his body had recovered.
Xiao Chen was not in a rush to sleep, he still had many things to do. He slowly reviewed all the fights that had happened during the day.
As Xiao Chen recalled the fights, he started to practise some moves in the room to see where was he still lacking. Thus, if he met the same situation again, he would be better prepared.
"My physical body may be strong but I am still lacking in barehanded techniques. The Medial Grade Earth Ranked Great Dragon Tiger Fist
can no longer keep up."
In the end, Xiao Chen came to this conclusion. The final fight with Bei Mingfeng was the best proof.
When facing a cultivator who specialized in barehanded techniques, Xiao Chen was at a disadvantage in terms of exquisiteness of technique. If it were not for his strong physical body, he might have been forced to draw his saber.
Xiao Chen said to himself, "After this is over, I have to go find a peak Earth Ranked Fist Technique to practice."
By the time he came to this conclusion, it was already very late, so Xiao Chen did not continue thinking. He took out two Medial Grade Spirit Stones and entered a state of cultivation holding them in his hands.
The next morning, Xiao Chen got up very early. The moment he opened the doors and entered the yard, he saw Xia Xiyan and her Junior Sister.
After they greeted each other, the three walked towards the wrestling ring together. Along the way, Xiao Rou was quite dispirited; she only won three matches yesterday.
Xiao Rou did not have much combat experience, and this proved to be a fatal flaw, especially so when she met cultivators with extremely dense killing Qi. Even before they fought, she already cowered.
However, no one could help her. If she could bear through all these, then she would improve very quickly in the wrestling ring.
If she could not, a shadow of defeat would linger in her heart. In the future, she would most likely find it difficult to improve. Whether this experience would become a disaster or a blessing depended only on herself.
"Xiao Chen, I have heard some news about you," Xia Xiyan suddenly said as they were about to enter the wrestling ring.
Xiao Chen stopped walking and said, "Is it about someone taking special care of me in the wrestling ring?"
Xia Xiyan nodded. She looked somewhat worried as she said, "Li Xiuzhu is famous for being vengeful throughout the Heavenly Extermination Union. He is very narrow minded. Back then, when you embarrassed him in front of everyone, he left some instructions to Gao Yangyu."
This was exactly as Xiao Chen guessed—it was all Li Xiuzhu's doing, "Thank you. However, half-step Martial Monarchs cannot participate in the Rank A wrestling ring. I should have no problems obtaining sixty victories."
Xia Xiyan shook her head and said, "It is not as simple as you think. The wrestling ring has a group of strong cultivators below half-step Martial Monarchs who they keep in reserve to prevent people from getting too many consecutive victories.
"Although these people are not half-step Martial Monarchs, they all have their own trump cards. They could be like the Xiao Yang you faced, or some old monsters who have lived for more than a hundred years and are basically unrivaled below half-step Martial Monarchs."
Xia Xiyan continued, "Think about it, if Gao Yangyu wants to target you, all he has to do is to send someone to severely injure you on the first match of each day. Once you are injured, the remaining ten-odd matches would be easy to deal with."
Seeing that Xiao Chen did not seem concerned, Xiao Rou asked, "My Senior Sister said so much to you already, why do you not looked worried at all?"
Xiao Chen smiled bitterly and somewhat helplessly, "I am worried. However, there is no need to express that on my face. Furthermore, there is no use worrying about it. When there is a flood, we will build a dam; when there are soldiers attacking, we will defend with an army. Anyway, I must obtain one of the twenty spots for entering the Ancient Desolate Tower. No one can stop me.
[TL note: When there is a flood, we will build a dam; when there are soldiers attacking, we will defend with an army: This is a Chinese idiom for adopting measures appropriate to the situation.]
"Thank you for your reminder, let's go in."
Xia Xiyan sighed to herself. It was indeed as Xiao Chen said—what was the point of worrying, if that could not solve the problem?
In the spectator stands specially prepared for the contestants, the others had already arrived. Xiao Chen found a desolate corner and sat down, ignoring the gazes of the people around. He was sitting cross-legged and started to cultivate the Firmament Body Tempering Art's fourth layer.
"Hugging Buddha's foot at the last minute, huh? Will that be of any use?" Pei Shaoxuan mocked when he saw this scene.
[TL note: Hugging Buddha's foot at the last minute: This means seeking a miracle by means of frantic, last minute effort.]
The others shook their heads as well, thinking the same as Pei Shaoxuan. What can Xiao Chen do in that time? It would have been better for him to carefully observe the strengths of some of the opponents.
Even Jiang Zimo and Ding Fengchou did not think this was necessary, as this would only be of use if he was trying to break through cultivation realms.
However, Xiao Chen was not doing that. Furthermore, after becoming a Martial King, it would no longer be possible to easily advance at anytime he wanted. There were many geniuses who were stuck without making breakthroughs for more than half a year at this stage.
After watching the matches from yesterday, Xiao Chen already had a rough idea of everyone's strength.
If Xia Xiyan had not said anything, Xiao Chen might have continued watching for another day. However, he now felt a sense of danger.
Xiao Chen would not choose to fight a battle that he had no confidence in. So, he only after breaking through the Firmament Body Tempering Art's fourth layer would he become fully confident in getting sixty victories.
Hence, from that point on, Xiao Chen did not have any time to waste. There was no need to care about what the others thought.
"Dong! Dong! Dong!"
Despite the loud drumming, Xiao Chen's calm mind did not get affected. He focused on cultivating the Firmament Body Tempering Art's fourth layer.
Xiao Chen only sent out a strand of Spiritual Sense to watch the grey-robed old man. He still focused on cultivating but he could not forget about the matches.
As Xiao Chen circulated his Vital Qi, hot steam came out from the top of his head. The steam was the excess energy that was released after the Vital Qi circulated.
Time slowly went by. Xiao Chen ignored the clamor and liveness on the crowd—it was as though he was in a mountain forest. He was completely at peace.
"Number 15, go up quickly."
After an unknown period of time, Xiao Chen's strand of Spiritual Sense heard the old man's voice. So, he opened his eyes.
The grey-robed old man looked calmly at Xiao Chen. A strange look flashed in his eyes, as if he wanted to say something. However, he did not say anything in the end.
When Xiao Chen descended onto the wrestling ring, he cupped his hand to the crowd around him and said, "I am Xiao Chen from the Great Qin Nation. Please show me your guidance!"
Up in the tall tower in the distance, Gao Yangyu expressionly watched as Xiao Chen entered the wrestling ring. He said to the old man beside him, "How is that person you spoke of like? Is he confident in severely injuring him in the first match?"
角斗场内的规定，所有人的一天之内只能连续上场两次，According to the rules of the wrestling ring everyone could take part in the match only twice a day.
Although Gao Yangyu had hired a lot of experts, there were even more contestants. Furthermore, each contestant had to undergo eighteen matches per day. It was not possible for him to use all the hired experts on Xiao Chen.
Hence, the first match was the most crucial one. As long as Xiao Chen got severely injured in the first match, Gao Yangyu did not have to waste a lot of resources in the latter matches.
That was because the crowd came to obtain Spirit Stones as well, so they would step up instead. There would be no problem for them to defeat a severely injured Xiao Chen.
If managed properly, Xiao Chen would lose eighteen matches in a row per day. In two and a half days, the matter would be completely dealt with.
The old man knew how anxious and angry Gao Yangyu was. He patted his chest and guaranteed, "City Lord, rest assured. The elders have analysed yesterday's ten matches. This person may be strong, and the defense of his physical body may be extraordinary, but his techniques are lacking.
"As long as we can find someone whose physical body is stronger than him, we can suppress him easily."
Gao Yangyu said sullenly, "Can you guarantee that?"
The old man said confidently, "There will be absolutely no problems. If he does not end up severely injured, City Lord, you can severely injure me. That person's physical body is on another level compared to Xiao Chen's."
When Gao Yangyu heard this, he finally relaxed.
When Xiao Chen entered the stage, the previously somewhat calm spectator stands became very noisy as everyone started chatting with each other.
Although the limelight had been stolen by Jiang Zimo and the others, Xiao Chen's performance was the first one that got everyone excited. Thus, everyone was still filled with anticipation.
After a while, a stout man carrying a huge axe jumped down from the stands.
There were no fluctuations of Essence as he moved—clearly, he was a rarely seen body cultivator.
The stout man loudly landed on the ground and dust filled the air.
When Xiao Chen peered through the dust, he saw that person's appearance clearly. He could not help but reveal a smile, "Bai Lixi, you actually still dare appear before me. You are really courageous."