Chapter 241: Smokeshadow
None of the disciples on the Assassin Sect was aware that this seemingly normal challenge would actually decide the fate of the entire sect.
Losing meant giving up Planet Nameless and Nameless Mountain, departing from this land that they called home for countless generations, displacing everyone everywhere.
Not only would the Assassin Sect lose their base, even their reputation would suffer a heavy blow, slowly dying in the vast universe.
Craneshadow stood up, a heavy expression on his face.
The large sparring field promptly became quiet as everyone waited in silence for him to announce the matches to begin.
Coughing twice, Craneshadow began by addressing that the Sky Eradicators Sect was a martial sect just like the Assassin Sect and the latter was looking to deepen relations through exchanging pointers today.
He went to elaborate on the rules for the matches and the heavy punishments due for anyone who would attempt to cheat before he sat back down on his seat.
Although he looked as if nothing was out of the ordinary, smiling with his somewhat child-like face, he was actually extremely nervous deep down, for he knew the stakes in place behind the scenes with regard to this event.
The disciples of the Assassin Sect had no idea about the bet involved, so all of them got up, applauded after Craneshadow announced the start of the matches, and looked on expectantly, even cheering loudly.
In their eyes, this was just another pure and simple spar between two sects.
It was only natural for their Assassin Sect to respond and chase the challenger, Sky Eradicator Sect, away.
Shadowless was sitting on a large tree beyond the sparring field, his pair of pure-white eyes dim and dull.
He would shake his head from time to time, seemingly dissatisfied with everything happening inside.
He gently stood on his toes and seemed about to leave but very quickly dispelled this idea.
He remained seated cross-legged on the treetop, just like an old monk in meditation; the only difference was the lack of a wooden fish block in front of him.
The moment Craneshadow announced the start of the spar, Fangyuan strode over to the ringside and leaped onto it.
He balled up his two hands into fists and slammed them together with force.
There was a dull sound of bone colliding with bone, like the sound of a struck wardrum.
This move had once again agitated the thousands of disciples gathered.
While they knew that Fangyuan possessed a very powerful special ability, they fortunately did not need to fight him personally.
That was why many did not see the need to show respect to the opponent, glaring at Fangyuan, with even some angrily cursing at him.
Fangyuan got more delighted as the curses grew louder.
It was as if the youth was a born *ssh*l*, treating the expletives hurled his way like music to his ears.
Even his body relaxed as he cracked a wide grin.
Too bad his honor, or lack thereof, meant there was not much difference in the eyes of the crowd whether he was smiling or crying.
No matter the case, the challenger had already made an insufferably arrogant stance, so the Assassin Sect would have to respond in kind.
Thus, a young man with a bitter-gourd-like face broke from the crowd and leaped onto the ring.
He was called a young man not because he looked actually young; in fact, it was evident that he had plenty of wrinkles on his face just like Fangyuan.
This mans face was rough and yellow, and his seemingly permanently bitter expression made it so his face was closer to that which old farmers out in the sticks had.
Just give him a dry tobacco pouch, dress him in some sheepskin, and throw him to a corner to let him smoke his pipe, and Xia Fei would most definitely mistake him for someone who hailed from the Northern Shanxi province back on Earth.
The screen gave a brief introduction of the combatants.
The dark-skinned fatty was Fangyuan, age nineteen.
While that Northern-Shanxi-old-farmer-lookalike was twenty, yet no matter how Xia Fei looked, both just seemed like middle-aged men with bitter hatred for each other.
Manatee furtively told Xia Fei that the Shanxi-farmer-lookalike was an upcoming disciple from the younger generation in the Assassin Sect, who went by the name of Smokeshadow, and was skilled in concealment through his smog special ability.
He was able to cover the immediate vicinity with a thick smog and ambush targets inside it silently.
Xia Fei did not make any comment.
The ability to create smog was very suitable for chaotic battles, yet thick smog would hardly be much of an obstacle against a warrior with a keen sense.
Any martial arts practitioner would seek to train their sixth sense, and a true warrior would be completely capable of killing without skipping a beat with their eyes blindfolded.
Mere smog would be hardly worth any trouble to a high-rank warrior.
Xia Fei suddenly had this premonition that the middle-aged farmer-like Smokeshadow would be defeated.
He could even imagine what Smokeshadow would look once the match ended; his two eyes would be black due to the dark-skinned fatty beating him so badly he looked like a great panda as he collapsed onto the ground, never to stand upright again.
As such, Smokeshadows name was a bit impractical.
He ought to be called Eyeshadow, instead.
Just as Xia Fei was dwelling in his random thoughts, the match started, and sure enough, Smokeshadow instantly released his smog, covering the one-hundred-meter-wide ring with thick black smoke.
It smelled horrid and acrid as if they had all been accidentally transported to a certain industrial city with high levels of air pollution.
Xia Fei did not manage to make out how Smokeshadow released this smog, but the pungent smell gave him a sense of déjà vu as it was very similar to a certain flatulent gas that people would release.
A dull *thud* could be heard from within the smog, and everyone saw as a figure came flying out from it like an arrow let loose from a bow.
This body went flying straight, much like a well-trained gymnast, only it was engulfed in a sinister blue flame as if it had been accidentally possessed by a will owisp.
It was made apparently clear from the shape of this body flying out that it could not be Fangyuan, for the figure was not in the least bit round and was flat like a flying disk.
Even the most effective slimming pill would be unable to slim down successfully that black-grizzly-bear-size Fangyuan so instantly.
Smokeshadow came careening across the air like some thrown rubbish, crashing right onto the audience stand.
Several disciples of the Assassin Sect were immediately thrown askew from the impact, and all of them came to understand what it meant to land into unexpected trouble.
One concerned disciple reached out to Smokeshadows nose during the panicked chaos that had ensued, only to hear him crying out.
“Hes not breathing Hes dead
That disciple answered his own question, while the last statement he made became that of an angry lamentation.
The entire crowd was shaken by this revelation.
After all, Smokeshadow was alive and well mere seconds ago, and in that time, he ended up dead in the arms of his fellow disciples.
Many found it difficult to accept this stark contrast of reality.
This was especially true for those who saw Smokeshadow as a representative of the Assassin Sects glory.
To be killed in a single blow by the opponent Fangyuan, indignation and anger were not the only emotions these fellow disciples felt.
Embarrassment and shame were also among such emotions.
All of them habitually did not consider the potential outcome if they stepped out and fought themselves, so they were left brooding over Smokeshadows failure now.
Up on the main viewing platform, Craneshadow tapped his fingers on his table softly, an attempt to ease the complex emotions inside him.
Any warriors life or death would all be left to fate the moment they stepped into the ring.
No one could blame Fangyuan for his merciless blow, and the only one to blame would be the deceased for not being skilled enough.
Xia Fei was unconcerned with Smokeshadows fate, however.
He was far more interested in learning just what Fangyuans additional ability could be.
It was fairly evident from that fiery glow on Smokeshadows body the moment he came flying out; Fangyuan ought to have a fire-type attack, though he was left puzzled on why the flame was blue in color.
The exhaust system of the sparring field began working and sucked away all of the smog Smokeshadow had released.
His body was also very quickly carried away by his fellow disciples, returning the scene back to normal.
Fangyuan scratched his belly nonchalantly as he stood in the ring, appearing to be somewhat bored.
He threw a provocative gaze at Xia Fei; since putting all the disciples present from the Assassin Sect, only Xia Fei and his fearsome sword were able to draw his attention.
Though Xia Fei did think of sparring with Fangyuan, the reality was that it was not his place to act.
After all, this was an internal affair of the Assassin Sect, so it was best if an outsider like him remained as an spectator, except he was feeling somewhat unwilling to let this opportunity pass him; it was rare for there to be people who possessed two special abilities in this universe, so there was no telling when he could next meet such an opponent again.
Xia Fei suddenly thought of a question after his eyes met with Fangyuan for a time, so he asked Manatee beside him, “Bro, help me look after this sword; make sure no one takes it.
I need to use the bathroom for a second.”
Manatee was an honest person, so he did not have any doubts about what Xia Fei had said.
He pointed him in the direction of the bathroom and hugged the two-meter-long Bloodthirsty Screech, with his one hand gripping the sword handle firmly as if there could really be people coming to snatch it away.
Xia Fei smiled, went down the corridor, and headed outside.
The sparring field had four entrances, and Smokeshadows body had been temporarily placed in one of such corridors, which was why Xia Feis suspiciously necrophilic-like actions were not discovered.
Covering the body with the white sheet once more, Xia Fei stood up and rubbed his chin, deep in thought.
“Theres something strange about this corpse, right” Phantom said in a deep voice.
“Its clearly been burned by fire, yet why is it that Smokeshadows innards also got ruined Could Fangyuans fire-type attacks be different from the usual sort”
“I feel that this damage wasnt dealt by a fire-type attack,” Xia Fei said.
Phantom furrowed his brows.
“Then, what else could it be if not a fire-type attack You shouldve seen that blue flame on Smokeshadows body just then, no”
Xia Fei was now muttering to himself, “Why was it a blue flame Dont you find that odd as well”
“Of course, its very odd.
It shouldve been a bright-red flame, and I dont recall any fire-type special ability of the blue variant.
Perhaps we just lack the knowledge in this area,” Phantom reckoned.
Xia Fei looked around, hoping to gain some inspiration to make further deductions on Fangyuans combat strength.
The wounds on Smokeshadows body were very uniform, and most of his skin had already been blackened.
What made it strange was that even his internal organs had been subjected to intense incineration as if that strange blue flame was able to penetrate deeply into his body as well.
It must be mentioned that Smokeshadow was wearing a very resilient combat suit, so even an intense fire could not have so thoroughly burned him inside and out in such a short time.
Furthermore, there was only that obvious wound in front of his chest, where he had been struck.
The rest of his combat suit remained completely intact.
Thus, it could be seen that Fangyuan had released his flames right onto Smokeshadows body.
If that was the case, this chubby youth would really be a very prickly opponent.
Suddenly, a thought came to Xia Fei, and an idea emerged in his mind.
“I think I know what Fangyuans attack ability is,” Xia Fei said gravely.
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