Ning Chen had heard about the forthrightness of the Man women. They said whatever they wanted, directly, without any falsification. When he first heard of them, he had admired this behaviour of theirs, but having had this happen to him, he was suddenly struck with a sense of discomfort.
“Lady Ah Man.”
“Ah Man is fine.”
“Ah Man,” he called out to her, a complicated look flashed across his eyes as he did so. She was a good lady, a very good lady. Unfortunately, the two of them weren’t meant for each other.
“Do you have someone you like?” Ning Chen asked in a softer voice.
“No.” She answered with a shake of her head.
“Haha.” He smiled wryly at that answer and said, “When you have someone you like, you will understand how juvenile your words were today.”
“You won’t accept my offer?” She didn’t understand the implications behind his words, but she knew that he was rejecting her. Her brows furrowed together: “Why?”
“There’s no why here. If I really had to give a reason, it would be that you don’t like me and I don’t like you either.” Ning Chen explained in an uncharacteristic display of patience.
“Why don’t you like me?” Her furrowed brows deepened further. Did he find her extremely unappealing or something?
Ning Chen paused for a second, not knowing how to answer that question. Not liking a person was just that, was there really a reason for such matters? However, he didn’t want to hurt such an innocent and kind girl; so after considering for a while, he threw the question back to her, “Then do you like me?”
Ah Man thought about it for a while and said, “I don’t know, but I don’t dislike you.”
“Haha.” Ning Chen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry right now. In a patient tone, he continued explaining himself, “Ah Man, didn’t you say that you wanted to learn about the Central Plains? Then let me tell you something about the Central Plains. In the Central Plains, only people who like each other would talk about marriage. Not disliking a person isn’t enough.”
“Is that so?” She nodded her head after thinking about it for a while. “Then I’ll try my best to like you, marry you and then you can bring me to the Central Plains.”
“Haha.” Ning Chen laughed bitterly and said no more. If it was really so easy to make a person like you, he would have done so already, he wouldn’t be in this sorry state either.
In the midst of their conversation, the heavens and earth shook once more. The walls of the main hall itself began to tremble as the battle within began to intensify. The combined might of the prince’s twin swords were barely able to square off against the Man King’s divine strength.
As fist collided with sword, the prince spent a majority of the time defending against the titanic blows, with only three tenths of his moves being an offensive one. By now, the entire hall was riddled with sword scars and cracked floor tiles, painting a disparate picture of what was once a regal throne room.
The majority of the ornate pillars of the great hall were basically destroyed by now, having been shattered by the Man King’s fists while getting slashed apart by the remnants of the prince’s sword Qi. Strewn all over the floor were rubble from these previously whole pillars.
The Man King was simply too strong. His strength defied all logic as it shattered everything that stood in its way, even the mountains and rocks themselves would fall before his unyielding and terrifying might.
It was only through the ingenious maneuvering of the prince’s swords that this colossal strength was blocked. Rotating between swords, he used two moves to weaken and finally deflect the blow.
Compared to twenty years ago, the Man King had improved by leaps and bounds. His strength could even be considered a defiance against the heavens.
The normally effective slowing Qi of the Peacekeeper barely had any effect on the terrifying man. In the face of his godly might, that bit of gravitational pull was nothing.
Thus, the prince was placed in a difficult spot, an unprecedented plight; even the fight against Mu Chengxue and the Divine Child wasn’t so difficult.
“Prince Yan, today is the day your legend will fall!”
As if he was some heavenly demon, his strength and bravery seemed to swell the longer they battled. Every punch and kick he threw caused a sonic boom that echoed continuously in the air.
It was just a short crack that seemed to deafeningly echo amidst the din of the battle. A hairline crack began spreading down the length of the ocean blue sword as it finally began to buckle under the Man King’s titanic might.
“HAHA.” The Man King bellowed, strengthening the Qi on his fists by another 30%. Immediately, a crisp snap resounded in the air followed by a wobbling clang that seemed to cut across the abrupt silence within the hall as the broken half of the sword landed a distance away.
Seeing that, the prince’s brows furrowed as his expression grew colder. Blocking the rest of the blow with the Peacekeeper, his posture immediately crumbled as he was forced back three paces.
Looking at the broken half laying on the floor, an aggrieved look flashed across his eyes. While the ocean blue sword wasn’t the strongest of the four, it was the one that accompanied him the longest and was witness to his lifetime of achievements. Who would’ve thought that this was the sword to leave him first.
With a wave of his hand, the broken halves of the sword disappeared and with a few clangs, reappeared in the sword rack.
Having sent the sword back to its resting place, he clenched his left fist. The blue sword flew out in response to his summons, blanketing the entire hall in a bone-chilling coldness as it slotted itself into his hands.
His call to battle now had a tinge of coldness within it. His feet shifted slightly before he flickered out of existence and appeared right before the Man King. With no intention of defending himself, the Peacekeeper careened through the air as it bore down on the man.
The Man King deflected the giant sword with a mighty punch of his own, yet just as he came into contact with it, the sensation of impact disappeared in an instant. With a twist of his wrist, the Peacekeeper spun around and avoided the collision with a spin.
With the centrifugal force of his spin behind it, in the blink of an eye the blue sword spun around in a reaping arc that whistled in the air as it delivered upon its promise of instant death.
The Man King’s expression darkened as he was forced to retreat for the first time. His divine might had been restrained and couldn’t aid him in blocking the slash.
Yet the Man King was the Man King for a reason. How could the legend of twenty years ago surrender his advantage so easily.
In the midst of retreating, he traded a slash from the blue sword in exchange for grabbing hold of the Peacekeeper which swung out at him shortly after.
With the Peacekeeper restrained, Prince Yan retreated to the sword rack without a moment’s thought and drew forth the red sword. With a turn of his body, he swiftly bore down on the Man King with both swords raised and swinging at lightning speed.
The king’s eyes narrowed, gripping down on the Peacekeeper, he swung it at the oncoming swords like a metallic bat. However, just as he did so, the twin swords changed directions once more and avoided his blow.
Ever since he started using the red sword, the prince’s speed had rose considerably. Like the ebb and flow of the tides, a wave of scorching heat and biting cold assaulted the Man King in succession.
With his strength countered so completely by the prince’s lightning speed, he was forced back once more and began to show signs of defeat.
“Twenty years, I have been waiting for this moment for twenty years, how could I lose now!”
His uncontrollable rage spewed forth with every word he uttered. The Qi around him burst through the ceiling and into the heavens, startling the entire southern region with a frightening heavenly phenomenon that was visible even from the northern regions of Grand Xia.
“The seventh Xiantian!”
In that very instant, countless eyes turned towards the pillar of light, stunned into silence by the sudden appearance of this variable. There was no mistaking it, that was the Qi aura of a Xiantian; a strength that suppressed everything in its path.
“It’s coming from the Man Dynasty, it’s that formidable Man King!”
“It has been twenty years now. Who would’ve expected that of the two peerless heroes, it would be Southern Man who ascended to the Xiantian realm first.”
“Why hasn’t that legendary Prince Yan of Grand Xia broken through yet.”
“The realm of Xiantian isn’t as easy to enter as you think. It has been over 100 years since we saw so many Xiantians appear in the short span of a year. While the Prince is truly formidable, he has definitely fallen behind a step this time.”
“How unfortunate, it looks like the title of Northern Yan and Southern Man will end today.”
“That might not be entirely true. According to the rumors, this Prince Yan already has the strength to battle against a Xiantian. The Man King has just broken through so who has the upper hand now is still an unknown.”
“The Xiantian, at the end of the day, are Xiantians. No matter how strong a Houtian is, the most they can hope to achieve is to match them in battle. They will never be able to surpass them. No matter how you cut it, the Man King has left the prince in the dust.”
In just the short span of several breaths, the experts of the continent lamented at the ascension of the Man King. Both men were leaders of their generation, yet in the end, it was the Man King who took the first step forward.
Standing within the grand hall of the Man Dynasty, the prince distanced himself from the Man King, standing ten meters away as he silently observed his breakthrough with no intention of interrupting it…even though he had the chance and ability to do so.
There were three calamities and five tribulations one had to go through in the realm of Xiantian. The first calamity, the Heavenly Demon Tribulation was about to descend in an instant.
This was a test of one’s mental cultivation. However, with the Man King’s steadfast psyche, such a test wasn’t even a problem for him.
It could be said that the people of the Man Dynasty were born with a natural advantage against this calamity. They were honest, steadfast and forthright.
Ning Chen had to admit, the Man King’s strength was truly worthy of respect, yet at the same time, the Prince’s integrity was worthy of respect as well.
At the side, Ah Man glanced at the prince for a moment before turning to Ning Chen and saying, “He’s a good man.”
“Mhm.” Ning Chen nodded. While their battle philosophies were different, that didn’t stop him from admiring the man’s integrity. No matter the time, place or situation, the current legend of Grand Xia lived up to his lofty reputation in every way.
“But my royal father is still the strongest.”
As she said that, she wore a worshipping expression on her face typical of any ordinary girl. In her eyes, her father was naturally the strongest.
Ning Chen didn’t respond to that declaration. He didn’t know whether the man was the strongest or not, but he did know that if he was in the prince’s shoes, he would fire an arrow at his heart right now without any hesitation.
This was why the Prince could become such a legend and he couldn’t.
A few breaths later, the Man King’s cultivation realm finally stabilized. Looking at the man standing before him, a complicated look flashed across the king’s eyes. There was hostility within it, but more so, there was respect.
The prince was his lifelong rival, but he was also the person he respected the most. Had it not been for their different standpoints, they might’ve been the best of friends.
As he said that, he took a step forward sending shockwaves rumbling through the main hall, the full extent of his Xiantian might on display for all to see.
Prince Yan’s expression sunk. He waved his twin swords and sent two pillars of light into the ground and stabilize the trembling earth.
The next moment, the Man King’s body flickered out of existence, appearing right before the prince a split second later with fist raised. His opponent immediately took a step back, appearing 30 meters away with eyes narrowed and brows knitted.
*boom boom boom*
Amidst the waves of rumbling, a giant gully tore open between the two men sending a cloud of rubble into the air as the stone slabs split open. Ever since the Man King ascended, his already terrifying strength received another explosive boost, bringing it to a horrifying level.
This was just the power of his physical body too. Ever since he ascended, he had not activated his True Essence. Given that his strength was already this strong in spite of that, the battle between the two men was about to reach a conclusion.
With his breakthrough into the Xiantian realm, Prince Yan’s insurmountable speed advantage was no longer able to suppress the man. Adding on the explosive boost to his heavenly might, this battle was basically over.
As the saying goes, strength can win you ten rounds. Once a person’s strength reaches a certain threshold, it was able to crush any sort of technique or skill; not to mention that the Man King’s strength had reached a level unsurpassed by any in the past.
No matter how fast Prince Yan was, he wasn’t fast to the point that he didn’t require any skill. Thus, it was time to end this battle.
“How unfortunate, I had intended to enjoy this battle a little longer, looks like this is no longer possible.” Basking in the unending power coursing through his veins, he couldn’t help but sigh in disappointment.
With a flick of the prince’s wrists, the blue and red swords disappeared in a flash of light, flying right into the sword rack.
“Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy it even longer.”
As he said that, the prince stepped up to the sword rack, and with his right hand wrapped around the ancient sword hidden in the deepest reaches of the sword rack, he slowly began to pull it out…