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Translator: Larbre Studio Editor: Larbre Studio
A personality’s style often decides the kind of fans they garner. “Xin Family’s Washing Board”‘s rueful lament was met with a merry atmosphere, rather than a compassionate one.
“Mission failed, we’ll get them next time!”
“You are both flat-chested, ask yourself why he’s stronger!”
“Currently, other than Lou Cheng, the Dragon King should be the only one who could manage a multi-gun-turret styled bombardment of this scale. But, the present Dragon King was not deign to use such moves. Actually, I have no idea what I’m talking about, and I just wanted to let you know that you lost due to bad karma!”
“How does it feel to be beaten to a pulp?”
“Go away, you are not my favorite idol anymore!”
Lou Cheng, rather interested, scrolled through the comments. When he was finally done, he had forgotten about his original intention of making a commemorative post on his first (on stage) Physical Invulnerability fight, so he just left a tongue-in-cheek post.
“Honestly, nicknames like Leader of the Divine Sect of the Five Flames and Multi-gun-turreted Relic sounds a hundred thousand times better than The Ice and Fire Sky Shaking Roar!”
“Many Cats” was the first to reply. “How about Five Fireball Sky Shaking Roar or multi-gun-turreted Roar?”
“Give it in, nicknames only get worse, never better. Careful, you might get something worse than what you currently have…” advised Unparalleled Dragon King, based on the tragic experiences of other Physical Invulnerability Martial Artists in the past.
Seeing his fans making up ridiculous nicknames for him, Lou Cheng had the impulse to delete his previous Weibo post.
Out of sight, out of mind… he chanted inwardly. Closing the application, he locked the screen.
I won’t be able to stop myself from laughing if I keep reading…
Retracting his gaze, Lou Cheng gazed to Jiangxin Island to watch the next matches.
He didn’t pay equal attention to every match and even took a power nap, knowing that he could find the rebroadcast on the internet.
After dinner, he didn’t go to the “Jiuqu 50000 pax sports stadium” to watch the matches at night. He went back to the hotel instead. Chatting idly with Yan Zheke, his eyes were on the large screened TV. The interview from earlier had been made into a video and was being shown during the intermissions.
“He braved harsh trials and returned from the ashes. That’s what I think about Lou Cheng making the great leap. A blade shines after being honed, and plum blossoms flourish after enduring the cold!” concluded Li Su.
Compared to the Mighty Ones that only had smooth sailing, Lou Cheng, who has gone through highs and lows, was more well-received by common folks. They seemed to find resonance in him.
The next day, Peng Leyun, Ren Li, and Zhi Hai all took the stage and claimed victories, further popularizing the tagline “The Four Heavenly Sons of China”.
In the first round of matches, there wasn’t a lack of classic fights where the underdog came out on top. It wasn’t strange for a Third Pin to defeat a Second Pin. However, in a neutral ground without environmental advantages, it was nearly impossible for them to defeat a First Pin.
When the first round of matches had ended two days later, the committee had the next lot drawing on the internet, instead of hosting another dinner party.
Lou Cheng sat on the bed with his legs crossed. He had made a fifty-cent bet with his little fairy; his money was on him going up against a Mighty One who was a lot stronger than him, while Yan Zheke betted on an opponent of the same level, or perhaps even weaker.
The lot-drawing proceeded methodically. Lou Cheng spotted his Martial Sister matched against the Master of Shushan Study, King of Swords, Wu Qiao, and Peng Leyun against Wang Xiaoshuang, a Daxing Temple outer disciple.
Lou Cheng had heard about him way back. When he was at a young age, he awakened a powerful supernatural ability. Once he was agitated, conflagrations often followed. At first, his parents didn’t know why there were always conflagrations around them. When they did, they sent him to the famous Daxing Temple to cultivate the art of Zen, so that he could control his abilities.
Due to his gifts, Wang Xiaoshuang had always been a classic example of how a martial artist’s fighting capabilities can exceed his stage. His Flame Dragon Punches were famous from South to North. Even at fourth Pin, he could already give Physical Invulnerability Mighty Ones a run for their money.
He made the great leap two years ago, and last year he mastered many moves from the Dharmapala Veluriyam Flames of the Womb Realm wing and Golden Light Sutra. This year, he’s had great results in his matches. The only reason why he couldn’t advance was that he hadn’t gone through enough matches for evaluation. Still, no one would consider him a Third Pin.
“Priest isn’t very lucky…” mused Lou Cheng. He then heard his own name.
“Wuyue Club, Lou Cheng!”
Um… Halting his thoughts, he watched intently as the ball was taken out and the paper ball unfurled.
The vice chairman of Jiuqu City Martial Arts Association flipped the paper over and announced in a booming voice:
“Yanzhao League, Wang Que!”
Wang Que? He’s a solid Second Pin… Lou Cheng’s thoughts turned quickly, recalling the details of his opponent.
He was a young Physical Invulnerability Mighty One nurtured by “Kirin” Dong Baxian. He had a low profile and handled things well. At the start, he never showed his true power. He was regarded as being capable of making the great leap, but he wasn’t very eye-catchy. That was until he suddenly surpassed all of his peers and leapt to fame. After that, in merely one year, he received Second Pin qualifications. Presently, he had just hit 29.
Due to his personality and way of doing things, he was often neglected by the media. That changed when Dong Baxian took the title of Warrior Sage and openly commended him last year. After that, he had been at the peak of attention.
At that time, the new Warrior Sage, known to be haughty, said this:
“I’m not envious of Daxing Temple having Wisdom King, Shangqing Sect having Peng Leyun, or Kongtong School having Ren Li. That’s because we, the Yanzhao League have Wang Que. Among the younger generation, I regard him as the one who is most suited for this profession. He possesses no innate supernatural ability or extraordinary gifts, but he’s incredibly talented. He has the amazing power of turning something time-worn into something wonderful. He has an extraordinary take on the moves and kungfus of every Sect, and he’s good at dealing with convoluted situations.”
“You might feel that his battles seem ordinary, but that’s because he made it look simple! In five years, mark my words, five years, he’ll be holding onto a title!”
“Some martial artists radiate at first appearance, but some age like fine wine.”
His comments sparked controversies, and many opinions were formed during that time. There were many that mocked Dong Baxian, saying that he was bragging, as usual, getting carried away and running his mouth after receiving the Warrior Sage title.
However, that also provoked many critics who were well-versed with the martial arts to review Wang Que’s fights in the past. They re-evaluated the young martial artists, and in the end, left similar remarks.
“Made it look easy!”
“Any run-of-the-mill kungfu gains new life in his hands. The reason for that goes beyond his stage!”
These praises propelled Wang Que to fame. If not for the dazzling Lou Cheng, Peng Leyun, and Ren Li this year, he could have gotten even more attention.
“He’s not to be taken lightly…” nodded Lou Cheng ever so slightly. He took him very seriously.
That was when Yan Zheke’s message came.
“[shrugs] Look what you get for not trusting my intuition~!”
“I messed up! Coach Yan’s wise predictions are always right!” smiled Lou Cheng, sending over a fifty-cent red packet.
Yan Zheke sent a [brushing hair back smugly] emoji. “You can have it back! That will be your payment for this conversation! Tell me, what’s your impression of Wang Que?”
“[wipes sweat] Other than that controversial incident, I have never really watched Wang Que’s competitions. I’ll have to do some crunching tonight and tomorrow!”
As for searching for footage of his opponent’s fights, he didn’t have to worry. The Longhu Club always had specialists handling such matters.
As they chatted idly, Ren Li’s opponent had been confirmed. It was an Inhuman who made it to the main competition, Zheng Shiduo of Guanwai League. Last year, around the same time, he had been at the same level as Ren Li, but presently, they were like night and day.
Ren Li’s got it easy… Could it be that Lady Luck favors girls with a bad sense of directions… thought Lou Cheng. He tagged Peng Leyun in the group chat. “Priest, I think Ren Li might be the one treating us in the end. Might not be able to defeat destiny!”
“It’s like she has some kind of luck buffer. Honestly, I really think she has some kind of supernatural ability that gives her that. Being bad with directions and remembering faces was the price she had to pay.” Peng Leyun never understood how Ren Li didn’t walk right into the enemy’s base when she was lost in the war-torn zones.
But he never thought about how someone who always spaced out like him also thrived there.
Ren Li sent a biting lips indignantly emoji.
“That doesn’t make me happy at all! I so want to meet a stronger opponent!”
She has to wait for another round!
In the hotel where the Yanzhao League stayed, Wang Que gazed at the TV screen with the remote in his hand.
At the end of the lot drawing, he stood up and paced to the French window. He pondered, then unlocked his phone and made a call to Dong Baxian.
“Hello, Sir Dong. Can you help imitate Lou Cheng’s Nine Rotations of Five Flames tomorrow?” he requested solemnly.
Dong Baxian chuckled.
“Sure. My opponent for this round isn’t strong anyway.”
At that time, popular sites had already published related news. The most eye-catchy one was:
“Master Potential VS Future Master!”
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