"Before the distinction between 'clear' and 'turbid' is drawn, one's body and soul would remain stuck together. In the worst-case scenario, Zhang shi's fighting prowess might even dip due to this."
"But Bi shi can't be blamed for this either. In the end, this is a tournament, and if I were in his shoes, I would have done the same as well!"
"The champion seat of the Master Teacher Tournament has always been highly regarded. He couldn't possibly give up now that the crown is right before him..."
There was a significant proportion of the crowd who shook their heads upon seeing Bi shi's actions.
Master teachers are humans as well, and there is no human in this world that is free of desires. This final duel concerned both prestige and an invaluable high-tier spirit stone. There is no one who could possibly allow this to slip past their fingers.
As such, they were able to empathize with Bi Jianghai as well.
Yin-Yang realm-the harmony of both yin and yang would complement and drive the growth of the other. Upon breaking through to Clarifying Turbidity realm, both yin and yang would amalgamate to form a puddle of murky water. With an hour of conditioning, as the 'clear' rose and the 'turbid' sank, the distinction between the two would gradually become clearer, thus inducing a surge in one's fighting prowess. However, as Zhang shi's opponent, how could Bi shi possibly watch idly and allow him to do as he pleased?
Unwilling to spare the slightest chance to his opponent, Bi shi immediately called for the resumption of the duel. With this, Zhang shi's breakthrough became the very factor dragging him down.
"Damn it, that cowardly lad!"
"He is completely devoid of the magnanimity a master teacher should have..."
Pavilion Master Kang, Su shi, and the others were leaping in anger.
Seeing everyone worrying for him, Zhang shi smiled, stood up, and proceeded to the stage.
"Zhang shi possesses overwhelming talent that allows you to rival stronger opponents. Even Wu shi and Liao shi were defeated by you. I respect your strength, and I wish to challenge you in a cultivation duel. I hope that you won't turn me down!"
Bi Jianghai raised his hands grandly as he spoke.
Just as the others guessed, this fellow challenged him to a cultivation duel. Zhang Xuan smiled lightly in response to those words.
Hearing Zhang Xuan's affirmation, Bi Jianghai's eyebrows shot up, and he immediately dashed forward with a fist.
He feared that something awry might happen if he were to drag the duel out, and thus, he went at Zhang shi with his full strength right from the start.
The might of a Consonant Spirit realm diffused from the immense might of his fist, as though the ripples from a rock falling into the surface of a body of water. Before the fist could even strike, one could already feel an immense pressure weighing down on one's soul.
An ordinary Clarifying Turbidity realm pinnacle expert possessed 1,600,000 ding of strength while a Consonant Spirit realm primary stage expert harnessed a might of 2,000,000 ding.
The fist felt as though a humongous mountain charging towards one. A huge gust of wind burst into the surroundings.
Even though Zhang Xuan's cultivation had risen immensely recently, he had never faced an expert of this caliber before. He felt his blood pumping rapidly through his body, and his meridians seemingly enlarged in anticipation of the battle that was about to come.
Laughing heartily, Zhang Xuan dashed forward and faced that fist with one of his own.
Heaven's Path Divine Fist!
With the collision of both fists, Zhang Xuan was forced seven to eight steps back.
In order to examine the might of his physical body, Zhang Xuan opted not to utilize the strength derived from his soul cultivation. As such, he suffered a setback in the very first blow. Nevertheless, with a slight smile on his face, he charged forward once more.
Seeing the other party charging up to him despite his cultivation still being unstable from the previous breakthrough, Bi Jianghai's eyebrows shot up.
Even though he didn't hurt the other party in the previous encounter, he got a clear glimpse of the other party's current strength-around 1,200,000 ding. That was the level of a Clarifying Turbidity realm intermediate stage expert, but it was still a long way from rivaling his current might.
"Zhang shi, you're indeed a formidable opponent. Your understanding of cultivation is indeed astounding. But... if this is all you've got, I'll be taking the champion seat then!"
With a huge gust of wind, Bi shi opened his fist into a palm and thrust it forcefully in a downward trajectory at Zhang Xuan.
A huge palm print appeared on the stage instantaneously. As though the claws of a ferocious tiger, it fell down onto Zhang Xuan.
"It's... Bi shi's [Great Reversal Adamantine Palm]!"
"This is a Spirit middle-tier pinnacle battle technique! With this move, he is invincible even among those of the same cultivation realm. This is bad!"
"To use his ultimate move at this start of the battle, he sure is vicious!"
Seeing the action on the stage, some exclaimed and some gasped in shock.
Great Reversal Adamantine Palm was an extremely powerful fist art, and it was one of the battle techniques that Bi Jianghai specialized in. To use it so early into the battle, it seemed like he intended to end things swiftly.
"Oh? Let's see how powerful this move of yours is!"
Instead of dodging, Zhang Xuan charged up and faced it with yet another fist of his own.
As the fist and the palm collided, Zhang Xuan's face reddened, and he was sent flying several meters away like a flying rubber ball before coming to a stop.
It was a little forced for him to catch an attack of a Consonant Spirit realm without tapping into his soul cultivation.
"That's not it, this doesn't seem to be Zhang shi's true strength!"
While watching the duel on stage, amidst the crowd, Wu Tianhao frowned.
In his previous duel with Zhang shi, he was sent flying at the first encounter. While he knew that the other party did use his own momentum against him, the strength the other party displayed definitely didn't just number up to 1,200,000 ding. How could his strength plummet by so much after a breakthrough?
"Indeed. Even if Zhang shi's strength is inferior to the other party, as long as he uses his sword art like he did in my duel, Bi Jianghai will surely be in for a hard time. Why... is he not leveraging his strengths but facing his opponent with brute strength instead?"
Liao Wuzhi also frowned in confusion.
Having exchanged blows with Zhang shi, they understood how fearsome that young man's means and might were. Considering the unbelievable capability he had shown in the previous duel, why was he foolishly crossing fists with Bi Jianghai head-on at this moment?
Peng peng peng peng!
While they were perplexed over the matter, the duo on stage crossed blows several more times. Every single time, Zhang shi would use his full might to face the other party, only to end up knocked back pathetically each time.
At this time, Zhang shi seemed no different from a brute who knew nothing but pure violence.
Someone amidst the crowd suddenly shouted, "Wait... Is it just me or is Zhang shi... only using a single hand? I don't think he has used his other hand throughout the battle?"
Hearing the shout, the crowd suddenly realized that Zhang shi had indeed only been using his right hand throughout the battle. His left hand had been hanging idly by his body, as though it was injured.
"A Clarifying Turbidity realm cultivator facing a Consonant Spirit realm expert with a single hand, what's wrong with him?"
"Could he be injured? No, that can't be it. He used that hand when he was demonstrating a sword art to Liao shi just a moment ago..."
"Could it be that he is handicapping himself? But he's already in a disadvantageous position, why would he do so?"
Everyone also realized that something was wrong, and bewilderment filled their faces.
Only an expert would handicap himself when facing a weaker opponent. Zhang shi was clearly the disadvantageous side, and yet, he was adamantly using only a single hand?
"Wait... It looks like a spirit stone... I think Zhang shi is holding a spirit stone in his left hand!" a sharp-eyed master teacher exclaimed.
"Holding a spirit stone? It can't be... He is trying to absorb spiritual energy while battling to achieve a breakthrough?"
"Now that you say it, it does seem to be the case. But to cultivate in the midst of a battle... Am I dreaming?"
"I think that's really the case. Taking a closer look now, Zhang shi's aura does feel significantly stronger than before!"
Noticing the abnormality, the master teachers in the square stared at one another with sheer disbelief reflected in their eyes.
Zhang shi was actually grabbing a spirit stone in his motionless hand. This means that... he had been absorbing spiritual energy non-stop over the course of the battle to reinforce and advance his cultivation!
But how was that possible?
Naturally, Pavilion Master Kang also noticed this abnormality. A thought surfaced in his mind, and in an instant, his heart suddenly quickened in agitation.
"In Clarifying Turbidity realm, the clearer the distinction between the 'clear' and the 'turbid', the stronger one's cultivation becomes. But to do so would require significant amount of time... Zhang shi knows that he's short on time... The reason why he faced his Bi shi's attack with brute force instead of skill is not because he's arrogant, but that he intends to use the might from the other party's blows to quicken the separation process and raise his cultivation!"
"Forcefully quicken the separation process of 'clear' and 'turbid'?"
"This... How in the world does he intend to do it?"
Su shi and Ling shi had been trapped in the Clarifying Turbidity realm for a long time now, but they were still unable to advance to pinnacle-tier. Upon hearing that such a method actually existed, they widened their eyes as though they had seen a ghost.
"Bi Jianghai has also barely reached Consonant Spirit realm. Thus, his control over his soul and physical body is still incomplete. As a result, his attacks are tinged with both soul energy and zhenqi. Zhang shi is exploiting this by facing the other party's zhenqi and soul with his own zhenqi and soul respectively. Through this, he can forcefully jolt his body and soul apart..."
A combination of shock and admiration shrouded Pavilion Master Kang's face. "If Zhang shi was a puddle of murky water before, through tapping into the might of the other party's cultivation, he has already jolted the 'turbid' and 'clear' apart, reinforcing his cultivation. In fact, his cultivation is even rising swiftly at the moment!"
"Making use of his opponent's attacks to jolt the 'turbid' and 'clear' apart to raise his cultivation?"
"This... This is too exaggerated!"
Su shi and the others widened their eyes in shock.
The other master teachers who came to the same conclusion also had looks of disbelief on their faces.
To exploit the opponent's flaws to raise one's cultivation in the midst of a battle... If Bi Jianghai were to realize it, he would surely be spurting blood at this moment. He had put his full might into his blows, only to be used by the other party as a whetstone.
"When I was watched Bi shi achieve a breakthrough in his previous duel, I was impressed by his guts and mental fortitude. But after seeing Zhang shi's performance... I realized that his achievement is really nothing much to brag about!"
"Indeed. In the end, achievements are relative. Achieving a breakthrough on the spot against cultivating constantly in the midst of crossing blows, there's really no comparing the two!"
"To use the might of one's opponent to temper oneself... The slightest mistake could possibly lead to tragic outcomes, probably only Zhang shi has the guts to do so!"
Since they were able to see through Zhang shi's intentions, naturally, they also understood the dangers in his actions.
When facing a stronger opponent, even if one were to face them with one's full strength, it would still be hard to stand one's ground. On the other hand, Zhang shi was actually multi-tasking in the battle, cultivating constantly as he crossed blows with the other party. How brave and confident of his abilities must he be to actually employ such a tactic?
Even though they were witnessing the sight personally, they still couldn't help but feel frenzied.
"It's fortunate that I lost in a single move. Otherwise, I would only have embarrassed myself more..."
Wu Tianhao smiled bitterly.
Liao Wuzhi also nodded in agreement.
The both of them did feel indignant losing to Zhang shi, but after seeing this sight, they realized that their swift defeat was actually a blessing instead...
To be cooperating as though a fool while your opponent uses you as a cultivation tool, could that be the pinnacle of humiliation?
Soon, Bi Jianghai also came to a realization, and he roared furiously, "Damn it, how dare you take me for a whetstone? Don't even dream about it!"
He thought that if he were to fight the other party before he reinforced his cultivation, the other party would surely panic, resulting in an easy victory for him. Who could have thought that he would end up being used as a whetstone instead? The immensely stifling frustration in his heart left him on the verge of going insane.
Bellowing angrily, his aura surged instantaneously, breaking through the bottleneck of Consonant Spirit realm primary stage.
"Supreme Demented Demon Fist? This is bad..." The face of an elder of Gazing River Sect darkened.