The matches that continued after Zheng Kieren’s match with Brahmadhvaja Kittichat were quite lacklustre. Yes, compared to the average matches that one could find in colosseums all around the continent, they were much more entertaining, but thus far, there wasn’t anything that could top the first three matches.
Zheng Kieren capped out after two bouts as he faced mana exhaustion after a ten-minute spar with his second opponent. The matches that followed were all just regular rounds between Spirit Adepts with nothing particularly breathtaking to note. Up till this point, only one Luminary had taken the stage. To let the others shine, none of the Spirit Spectres in each of the camps volunteered to jump into the ring, and no one was stupid enough to call out the mind-bending talents.
Thus, while matches were being fought on stage, many in the audience weren’t particularly paying attention to the fights. They were all waiting for that first shot, that one domino that would trigger the influx of Luminaries onto the stage. The air was tense, and everyone was on the edge of their seat. They were getting sick of watching Spirit Adepts fight. They wanted to see the best of the best duke it out inside of the arena.
“Ahhh, this is so boring!” Jingyu Taiyi yawned with tears in his eyes. “I want to see the real fights! I want to see our Luminaries fight against the others!”
“Senior Brother Taiyi. You shouldn’t raise your volume like that.” Meijing Bingying held back the urge to facepalm. She had been babysitting this senior brother of hers for far too long. Honestly, if she were given a choice, the Pearl in the East would have long jumped over a bridge than to care for the immature man child any longer. “The walls have ears. Even if you think that no one can hear you, the Spirit Saints sure can.”
“Haha, they won’t bother to listen in on my rants!” Jingyu Taiyi rubbed his nose. “Furthermore, I’m just telling the truth. Aren’t we all here to see Luminaries beat up other Luminaries?”
“Hah…” The sky-blue haired maiden heaved out a deep sigh.
‘Huanyuan… What should I do with this brat of a man?’ Bingying mentally called out for her childhood friend back in the Republic as her expression turned hapless.
Noticing the change, Jingyu Taiyi somehow misunderstood his Junior Sister’s intentions and released a sinister smile. Seeing that face, Meijing Bingying felt a cold shiver run down her spine. Whenever Jingyu Taiyi showed that expression, he would definitely follow it up with a deed of mischief, one of the likes that would be unbearable for the young woman to deal with.
“Hehe~ I knew it! You’re bored as well, right?”
“Don’t worry! I’ll handle it!” Jingyu Taiyi got up from his seat and jumped straight into the arena that had just been cleaned up from the prior match. His explosive action was too sudden for anyone to react and before anyone could realise, Jingyu Taiyi was already at the centre of the arena.
“What’s that idiot doing?” Qilong Hu immediately got up, his nostrils flared and brows knitted together. The Lantis Republic were following a stringent game plan to humiliate the Himmel Empire and prove their superiority, and for the most part, their plan had been working.
Qilong Hu had proven that the Lantis Republic were more open-minded through his actions against Lorian Yang, while their Spirit Adepts had won the majority of their fights. Everything was going swimmingly well and yet, Jingyu Taiyi was about to ruin it all by acting on his own interests. Furthermore, it wasn’t like he could publicly reign the young man in. Jingyu Taiyi was the frontrunner to inherit the Jinyu Clan, as well as a bearer of the Mark of the Celestial Dragon. If anything, Jingyu Taiyi was the one that could order Qilong Hu, not vice versa.
“Greetings honoured dignitaries, comrades, and fellow friends!” Taking a flamboyant approach to his introduction, Jingyu Taiyi bowed to the crowd while tip-toeing like a ballet dancer. While the audience was shocked at the sudden movement of that Luminary, none of the organisers moved to pull him off the stage. In fact, Ingram and the other representatives were intrigued that a young Luminary had come onto the stage of his own accord.
“My name is Jingyu Taiyi. A Spirit Spectre from the Lantis Republic. While I thank the competitors that had come onto the stage to entertain us beforehand, why don’t we start ramping it up a little?”
“Hoho… And how do you propose that?” Ingram cheekily grinned from his chair and asked the haughty youngster.
Even under the pressure of dozens of Spirit Emperors, Venerates and the six illustrious Spirit Saints, Jingyu Taiyi still kept a straight face. “We all know why we’re here. To watch Luminaries from each nation compete. So let’s just cut to the chase and bring out the big guns.”
“Are you volunteering yourself?”
“Of course not! I’m sure all of you have heard of the Pearl in the East and the Flower of the North!”
Hearing her name being called, Meijing Bingying felt the blood drain from her body. A disdainful premonition, once that shook her soul to its very core, enveloped the young woman as she could somewhat guess what that dreadful trickster was about to propose.
“Two beauties from two nations. We all know that they’re equally gorgeous, but do we know who is stronger?” Jingyu Taiyi spoke the words that everyone wanted to hear. “Why don’t we find out?”
The crowd showed what they thought of Jingyu Taiyi’s suggestion through their actions. Breaking out into cheers and applause, the thousand-odd audience cried out in joy at the potential clash between the beauties.
If the Himmel Empire had the Witch in the South and the Lantis Republic had the Pearl in the East, the Kori Federation had its own variation of their country’s top female talent. A disciple of the infamous Emei Church, the Flower of the North was a Luminary that strictly followed the teachings of the female-only organisation. Her impeccable poise and breathtaking features made her the target of envy for her female counterparts while also making her an idol in the eyes of the thirsty men of the world.
“Sierra Glynrel. What do you think of this junior’s suggestion?” While Ingram was inspired by Jingyu Taiyi’s words, he couldn’t force the Flower of the North to compete in a fight that she didn’t wish to partake in. Nonetheless, a battle between the young ladies would definitely be a showstopper, and he couldn’t pass on the opportunity to make the fights more entertaining.
“I accept the comrade’s proposal.” A heavenly voice echoed through the stadium, silencing the chanting crowd immediately.
Stepping out of her nation’s tent, a young lady pulled off the translucent veil that hid her face, revealing an impeccable complexion that was void of any blemishes. At 1.8-metres tall, the woman was definitely at an above average height, but no one thought of her as unattractive. In fact, it was quite the contrary. Men gasped in awe while women grunted in displeasure as she catwalked confidently to the very centre of the arena. Perhaps because she was oblivious of her superior beauty, the lady ignored the dropped jaws and gazed straight at the sky-blue haired girl that would be her opponent.
‘That asshole really went and done it!!!’ Meijing Bingying cursed her Senior Brother with a vengeance.
Thinking that he had done an excellent job and unaware of the undying hate that Meijing Bingying was feeling, Jingyu Taiyi flashed a raised thumb and a triumphant smile, as if he were asking the woman to praise him for his efforts.
‘Urghhh!!! That’s it! I’m not going to babysit him anymore! Father! So what if he’s the heir to the Jingyu Clan?! He’s too much, I say. Too much!’
Meijing Bingying was literally pinching herself to restrain the overflowing of her real emotions. She got onto the stage with a similar amount of cheers, but unlike her opponent, Bingying wasn’t particularly thrilled to be sparring this early on.
“Pearl in the East. We finally meet.” Sierra Glynrel tied up her brown hair into a ponytail, unintentionally giving the audience a full view of her supple white nape.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, Flower of the North.” Meijing Bingying wiped her mouth to control the incessant twitching had been triggered by her intense rage against Jingyu Taiyi.
“Two of the three beauties are finally going to clash! Oh, finally we get to see a great match.” One journalist exclaimed.
“Ah, it’s a shame that the Witch in the South is too young… If she’s already a Luminary, we can decide who’s the best once and for all!”
“Hmmm, who knows? Maybe they could organise a handicap match? The Witch in the South is at the Spirit Core realm after all. She would still be able to put up a great fight!”
Kanari’s ears jerked at the journalist’s suggestion. Going against a Spirit Spectre? Kanari wouldn’t be that stupid. Even if there was a handicap, there was a reason why people claimed that crossing into the Spirit Spectre realm was akin to shedding the first barrier of mortality. Those in the Spirit Spectre realm were essentially a different type of human, down to their last molecule. Able to innately fly and control the spiritual energies and elements around them at an astonishing degree, it was almost impossible for a Spirit Core cultivator to triumph over a Spirit Spectre.
“Hehe, they’re talking about you.” Emma teased her friend with an impish smile. “Looks like the Witch in the South has some ardent fans.”
“Emma! You know how much I hate that moniker! Who on earth would want to be called a witch?”
“Witches are strong though?” Ella joined in the fun. “If I could attain power strong enough to defeat my foes, I would gladly be called a witch.”
“That’s right! You two really get it!” Elrin didn’t want to give away her position as the number one teaser of Kanari and chimed in as well. “Let me tell you a story of how a fan once tried to get Kanari to sign her name as the Witch in the South!”
“Alright! That’s enough talk for one day!” Kanari silenced her friends before things got too out of hand. “Look, the match is about to begin.”
Jingyu Taiyi had long vacated the ring and retreated to the safety of his tent. If not for the thousands of distinguished eyes surrounding her, Meijing Bingying would have been tempted to raise a middle finger to curse him on his way out. No, a curse wasn’t enough. Meijing Bingying wanted to condemn the youth to hell for putting her in this predicament.
‘Sierra Glynrel from the Emei Church. She’s not an easy opponent. Rank 41 and a master at both her spiritual and martial abilities, the win isn’t guaranteed…’
Meijing Bingying recalled all the information that she had on the infamous Flower of the North. Not only was she a skilled Spirit User, but Sierra Glynrel had also inherited a martial legacy from the Emei Church. Able to fight at close, medium, and long-range, the Flower of the North was the most well-rounded Luminary in the Kori Federation, almost equalling Lukman from the Tuareg Sect in overall combat power.
“Sierra Glynrel. Rank 41. Spirit, the Iordral Lotus. Please advise me.” The Flower of the North made the first move. Raising her left palm, a pink glassy lotus crept into the world, emitting a stunning fragrance that would bewitch the average soul. Each petal was as beautiful as can be, and the light that passed through it hinted that a yellow core was shining deep within.
In her other hand, a jagged black dagger slipped out from her sleeves. While it was unsuspecting at the start, the more it revealed itself to the world, the more afraid the elements became. A terrifying aura, one entirely unlike her earlier showing, manifested itself and forced Meijing Bingying to talk an unconscious step backwards.
Her left hand held life and joy.
Her right hand held death and destruction.
Sierra Glynrel epitomised that every rose has its thorns. The Spiritual Armament in her right hand flashed darker and darker with each passing second, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Apparently, Jingyu Taiyi’s suggestion to find out which beauty would reign supreme had struck a chord with the Flower of the North. Sierra Glynrel was really about to hit with everything that he had, just to prove that she was indeed the most powerful beauty of her generation.
‘Tsk, what a chore…’ Resigning to her fate, Meijing Bingying let out a despondent sigh. What else could she do? It was an unavoidable fight, so why bother grasping on straws?
“Meijing Bingying. Rank 42. Spirit, the Enigmatic Narwhal. Please advise me…”