"Now that the first round of matches has concluded, there will be a 30-minute break. You may use this time to recover your strength, but you are not allowed to leave the area or consume medicine that speeds up your recovery." The announcer said to them.
The contestants that won their match started to cultivate to recover as much energy as they can, but Yuan merely sat on the benches with Wang Ming sitting beside him.
"You're not going to cultivate?" Wang Ming asked him.
"I don't really need to…" Yuan said, feeling completely fine and overflowing with energy.
"You're really another breed, aren't you…" Wang Ming shook his head with a bittersweet smile.
There was another contestant that didn't bother to rest, and it was Li Jinxi, who barely exerted any strength to defeat her opponent, and she would silently stare in Yuan's direction.
Noticing this, Yuan asked Wang Ming, "She's starring at our direction. What do you think she wants from us?"
Wang Ming turned to look at Li Jinxi and chuckled, "Us? I think she only has you in her eyes at this moment. She's probably wondering if you'll be a challenge for her since she doesn't really have any rivals in the faction, and even the Grand Elders are no match for her."
"What? Even the Grand Elders cannot defeat her?" Yuan was surprised to hear this.
"Li Jinxi may only be at the peak of Spirit Warrior, but her tremendous strength is on another level. In terms of experience and skills, the Grand Elders are definitely above her. However, in a fight, Li Jinxi's superior strength allows her to dominate everyone."
"But it's not like the Grand Elders cannot defeat her. If they fight 10 matches, Li Jinxi would probably win 6 to 7 of them."
"I see…" Yuan nodded.
"I think she will be a worthy opponent for you, Yuan. You'll understand it once you stand on the same stage as her." Wang Ming chuckled.
30 minutes later, the announcer called the four contestants that won back onto the stage for another round of picking numbers.
Yuan looked at his number after picking it.
"Who has number one?" The announcer asked after everyone picked a number.
"I do." Wu Zao raised his arm, showing the paper with the number '1' in his hand.
"Who has the second one?"
"I do." Li Jinxi said.
"Aiya…" Wu Zao sighed out loud when he realized that Li Jinxi was his opponent.
Although he could defend against Shi Lang's spear attacks with his small fan, Li Jinxi's large sword supported by her immense strength was another story.
'Then I am going to fight him?' Yuan looked at Hong Xiuquan the gauntlet wielder.
Hong Xiuquan was also looking at Yuan while thinking the same thing.
'So he's my opponent, huh…'
"Young Master Yuan, Young Master Hong, please exit the stage so they can fight." The announcer said to them in a respectful tone.
Once they left the stage, Li Jinxi and Wu Zao were handed their weapons.
"This matchup doesn't look fair even in the slightest."
"Right? There's no way Wu Zao can defend against her attacks with that tiny fan."
"Let's just see how he's going to handle this. Hopefully, he doesn't stand there for a few minutes before attacking."
The spectators said to each other.
"Please go easy on me." Wu Zao clasped his hands before Li Jinxi, who merely stood there with a nonchalant look on her beautiful yet cold face.
A few moments later, the announcer shouted, "Fight!"
Li Jinxi rushed at Wu Zao in an aggressive manner the moment the fight started, acting completely different from before.
Wu Zao didn't dare to block her attack head-on, nor did he dare to try and dodge her attack normally. Instead, he made sure to stay out of Li Jinxi's range. Every step Li Jinxi took towards him, he would take two steps back. In other words, he was running away.
However, despite running away, Wu Zao didn't dare to show his back to Li Jinxi, so he was running backward.
"C-Calm down, Senior Sister Li! Why do you seem so impatient to finish this match? Let's enjoy ourselves, shall we?" Wu Zao said to her.
Li Jinxi coldly snorted in response, "The faster I deal with you, the faster I get to face that person! I don't want to waste my time with you weaklings!"
"That person? Are you talking about Player Yuan? So you're that confident that he will defeat Hong Xiuquan?"
"Hong Xiuquan cannot beat that person. He's too weak." Li Jinxi bluntly said.
"We won't know that until they finish their fight."
"Are you trying to say that you have a chance of defeating me?" Li Jinxi frowned.
"I-I didn't say that— Whoa!"
Li Jinxi suddenly picked up her speed, chasing Wu Zao around the stage like they were playing tag.
"I was wrong, Senior Sister Li! Have mercy!" Wu Zao cried as he continued running away.
However, the next moment, without waiting for Li Jinxi's response, Wu Zao suddenly changed directions and actually started running at Li Jinxi!
This entire time, he was trying to distract Li Jinxi so that he could take her by surprise.
"Wu Zao, you think I don't know your tricks? You think you can surprise me with such a sloppy tactic?" Li Jinxi didn't even flinch when Wu Zao suddenly started rushing at her, as she had anticipated his plans the moment he started running around.
The next second, Li Jinxi swung her sword horizontally at Wu Zao, giving him no room to dodge.
Wu Zao gritted his teeth and held his fan in front of his body to block the incoming attack.
The instant he felt some pressure on his fan, Wu Zao tried to deflect the attack so that he doesn't need to block all of it.
However, Li Jinxi's strength was simply too overwhelming and was not something Wu Zao could withstand, and the moment he tried to deflect her attack, he was sent flying off the stage just like she did to Xi Murong.
Fortunately for Wu Zao, he didn't actually get hit, so his injuries were relatively minor with a few broken fingers and wrist— at least compared to Xi Murong.
'Damn gorilla monster…! She grew so much stronger since our last fight that was only three months ago! Just what is her body made of? Does she even have a limit?' Wu Zao cursed inwardly as he was brought away in a stretcher by the doctors.
Wang Ming swallowed nervously after seeing Wu Zao fly off the stage.
"Is it just me or did she get a lot stronger... again?" He mumbled in a low voice.
Meanwhile, Yuan held a serious expression on his face behind his mask.
'She's strong… Can I defeat someone like her?' Yuan wondered inwardly, his confidence wavering after witnessing Li Jinxi's inhuman strength.
Sometime later, the announcer called Yuan and Hong Xiuquan onto the stage.
"Are your hands okay? If you cannot fight..." Yuan asked Hong Xiuquan.
After all, he wouldn't feel good about beating someone who can barely use his arms.
"Thank you for your concerns, but I can fight." Hong Xiuquan said.
"If you say so…" Yuan nodded.
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