Chapter 9 - 9: The Challenge
With The Challenge beginning, all of the core disciples had calm expressions, and Yan Zhu had her eyes closed. As the number one core disciple in terms of cultivation and ability, she didnt have to worry about being challenged.
Ling Ya was the same as she sent a flirtatious wink towards Han Yu, who nearly broke out of his noble expression as his aura shifted slightly. However, he regained himself and frowned.
Wei Wuyin looked towards Ling Ya. As if noticing, Ling Ya looked towards Wei Wuyin with a sweet smile. She placed her index finger on her lips apologetically and it entered her mouth slightly, as if by accident, but the manner was very suggestive.
He sighed in his heart and ignored her. Ling Ya was a true vixen and her unique qi art was something to be worried about. If he didnt have enough willpower, he wouldve long since been her prey.
Ling Ya revealed a sweet, lustful gaze outwardly, but her heart shook inwardly. She was the number two strongest, only eclipsed by that stubborn Yan Zhu, and her prowess could throw anyone who had yet to reach the Fourth Stage of Qi Condensation into a turmoil. However, Wei Wuyin was unaffected.
"Did he already birth elemental qi If so, does he truly have a cultivation treasure or just insanely talented" As her mind drifted with all sorts of thoughts and conclusions, Han Yu stepped forward.
"Han Yu wishes to challenge!" His words caused everyone to be intrigued. Han Yu was at the First Stage of Qi Condensation, but all of the core disciples had long since entered the Second Stage of Qi Condensation. They expected Qu Gui to act, not Han Yu.
However, this only caused many to speculate. After all, if Han Yu was willing to challenge, then he must be prepared for death or maiming, so his confidence for success must be high.
When Han Yu stepped forward, Wei Wuyin frowned. He turned towards Jiu Lang and saw her expression was as normal as ever, and then his eyes narrowed. He looked towards Ling Ya once again. This time, a flicker of killing intent within.
Ling Ya grew even more shocked feeling his killing intent. "Does he know! Or is he probing my intentions" She couldnt help but inwardly think. Outwardly, she retained her normal lustful expression and her qi didnt fluctuate irregularly at Wei Wuyins intent.
"Han Yu, step down," Wei Wuyin directly declared, causing the crowd to be shocked. However, what happened next threw everyone for a loop as Han Yu said, "I challenge Core Disciple Mei Mei."
"Oh god! I thought Mei Meis faction and Wei Wuyins faction were allied, what is this" A crowd member with an especially loud mouth exclaimed aloud. However, the thought was on everyones mind.
How could this happen
Not to mention, Wei Wuyin ordered him to rescind his challenge, but was ignored.
Wei Wuyin turned towards Mei Mei and he could see her shocked expression. "Be careful," he earnestly warned.
At first, Mei Mei thought this was a ploy by Wei Wuyin, but seeing his concerned and slightly angered gaze, she knew it wasnt him. As the oldest core disciple amongst the set, she had the most experience, but also the lowest displayed potential. Despite that, she maintained her spot for this long.
Mostly it had to do with her own machinations and plans, but this was unexpected. Despite that, she was confident in beating Han Yu even if his true cultivation was concealed and higher than the first phase.
She softly nodded. She stepped forward and accepted the challenge with her actions, withdrawing a blue sword from her spatial ring. She calmly faced Han Yu.
Elder Bai ordered, "All those not participating, withdraw." Wei Winyu and the rest kicked off brilliantly, landing outside the platform at its edge.
Han Yu didnt pull out a weapon. Instead, he got into a martial stance and steadied himself. One could see the qi circulating through his body as earthly dust kicked up beneath his feet.
When Wei Wuyin saw this, he frowned. However, The Challenge had very specific rules. He couldnt interfere in any manner unless he wished to lose his core disciple status as a result. So all he could do was watch and be a humble spectator.
Mei Mei sprinted forward. Her speed was swift and fully exhibited the physical capabilities of a cultivator at the Second Stage of Qi Condensation. She created a thin ward of qi that hugged her body protectively. As one reached the point of externalizing their qi, they could use various elementary level qi arts, such as forming a bodily qi ward, an essential technique for any and all cultivators of any phase.
Han Yu could not perform that, but he could strengthen his body via rapid qi circulation.
Mei Mei reached a few feet away as she prepared to send a qi wave slicing towards her Han Yu in a probing strike, but then her eyes contracted suddenly.
Han Yus body had abruptly become like an overly stuffed doll as it puffed up. It expanded in a split second to become like a puffer fish, his lips, muscles, and fat looked swollen to their limits. Beneath his skin was a rapid flow of cyan light, like turbulent rivers being born. It was as if he could explode at any moment.
"This...!" Mei Mei was caught completely off-guard as she tried to recall her qi flow, but it caused a slight rebound that delayed her retreat. A sudden urge to spurt blood emerged, but she suppressed it.
Wei Wuyins eyes widened in shock, but not just his. Everyone, including Jiu Lang and Tao Gui eyes widened. Only two people were exempt, Ling Ya and another. She had an expectant gaze.
"For love!" Han Yus voice became distorted as his qi started to surge wildly and before long...
The explosion sent massive waves of intense qi flowing out in a violent manner. Han Yu had self-destructed and turned himself into a literal bomb. All of his qi, and his Heart of Qi, had been explosively sent in all directions in an insane suicidal attack. It was unexpected as his status was just on the rise, but his last words were very telling.
Mei Meis face grew pale as the explosion engulfed her body. With wild force, she was rocketed outwards like a flung piece of trash. Her body left a trail of violent qi and blood as she made an arc so far that she landed on another platform.
The disheartening, horrific thud of broken bones was like a wake-up call to everyone.
"Oh **! Han Yu actually detonated his Heart of Qi!" Someone cried.
"Why He killed himself for what! He was an inner disciple who had a limitless future!" Others cried in disbelief.
"For love apparently," someone who had good hearing and heard Han Yus final words shouted in extreme derision. After all, without life, how can you enjoy love
Wei Wuyins eyes were dark. His eyes flashed a silver shine as he executed the spiritual spell, Iron Core Eyes. With that, he could sense the quintessential life energy in her body. If she were dead, it would flow out without end. Fortunately, it was steadily flowing through her body.
However, she left a figure of blood. A horrifying sight. Elder Bai looked at the situation and tried to have his mind catch-up to what happened like the rest. He kicked off and arrived next to Mei Mei and his gaze flickered.
"Shes alive. The winner of The Challenge: Mei Mei." As a judge, he immediately declared before returning to his original spot, leaving Mei Mei where she was. There was no medic team arriving or in-wait. That was the cruelty of The Challenge.
Wei Wuyin kicked off now that the match was officially over. He arrived next to her with a cold gaze. He could see her body squirming as she tried to move, but her muscles and flesh had been torn into places. If it wasnt for her powerful body and firm foundation, its unlikely anyone at her cultivation level could survive that.
If her current state was surviving.
A self-destruction from a Qi Creation Phase cultivator could kill someone at the Elemental Birth Phase if they were caught unawares. However, how long and hard must one cultivate to even touch upon the Qi Condensation Realm! Who in their right mind would surrender their life without a serious grudge or with utter hopelessness.
He wanted to help her, but he hadnt reached the Yang Growth, so he couldnt nourish her body with vitality. He would feed her a pill, but if she died right after, others could use that to strip him of his status or even get him crippled.
He took a deep breath and left, returning to his spot. His gaze was icy-cold. No one attempted to touch Mei Meis body, her life and death would be decided by her willpower and if she could last until all the proceedings were over.
Elder Bai continued without care, "All other challengers, step forward."
At the moment, Li Fei was conflicted. Her gaze towards Mei Mei was like a battle between angelic and devilish forces. At the moment, Mei Mei could only forfeit her position as a core disciple if anyone challenged her.
She would lose her status, power, and various cultivation benefits. Having made many enemies, its likely her fate would be absolutely pathetic now that she wouldnt be protected by the sect in the same way as before. It would be lucky if the next time she left the sect, she wasnt crippled and turned into a slave, and just directly killed.
That was, if she wasnt crippled already.
Li Fei was a part of Wei Wuyins faction and thus were allies with Mei Meis faction. She had received her favor and support from her subordinates, so challenging her right now would be ungrateful. Worse, if Wei Wuyin decided to target her because of this. He now had Elder Jis backing. But Core Rank status came with immensely tempting benefits!
While her ongoing struggle happened, a cold voice sounded, "Qu Gui challenges Core Disciple Mei Mei." There was silence and everyones gaze looked towards the woman who many were unsure was alive or dead. Her bloody body had faint drag marks as she was obviously slowly clawing her way somewhere.
A feeling of pity emerged in all their hearts.
Wei Wuyin looked at Qu Gui and his cold gaze turned indifferent.
After ten minutes, Qu Gui was automatically declared the winner and promoted to Core Rank. As a core disciple, she would inherit all the things Mei Mei had, and Mei Meis subordinates and faction would be broken apart.
With that, The Challenge concluded in an unexpected fashion. Han Yu, a genius with a bloodline, self-destructed and caused Mei Mei, the oldest core disciple, to lose her status and position.
"Let the Core Competition commence!" Elder Bai declared.