After the match, Hei and Bai returned to the stands.
Hei went over to the spectator seats, more specifically, the losers' section.
Bai went back to the contestants’ area.
The system was set up in such a way that all four tournaments were happening at the same time.
That is, the body refining, externalisation, internalisation, and transcendent realm tournaments were taking place simultaneously.
Being the first loser, Hei was seated alone and watched as the other matches took place.
Soon, he was joined by the other losers and the place became quite lively.
“It’s a shame you had to face your sister in the first match, Hero Hei.”
“That’s right, if it had been anyone else, you would have surely blown them away with your heroic power, right?”
“Indeed. We all saw your ‘crazy speed’ in that fight.”
Since this was the transcendent realm competition, most of the participants were quite a bit older then Hei, Bai and Mei.
It seemed that unlike Spring Leaf City, the other areas had many more transcendent realm cultivators.
They were closer to their 20s for the most part and were quite distraught to see a bunch of little children having achieved similar, if not better things than them.
So, they quite enjoyed teasing Hei.
While they said they had seen his speed. What they meant was they had seen him using his illusions.
This misunderstanding was created by the fact that Hei absorbed the sound and impact force of all of his and Bai’s movements and collisions.
On top of that, he had hidden the words he had spoken with Bai. Only the last few words he had said were heard by the audience.
This meant that one could only use visual information to come to their conclusions. And that was precisely what illusions intended to fool for the most part.
Hei could see this, so he tried to clear up the misunderstanding. But he still spoke in an unconfident tone.
“No, it’s not what you think. We were really fighting.”
“It’s not very convincing when you say it like that, Hero Hei.”
“That’s right. You were clearly teaching your little sister how to use illusions in battle.”
“It actually looks quite useful. Why don’t you teach me as well, Hero Hei?”
This idea seemed to be shared by quite a few of the young ladies. They expressed agreement with the statement and were also interested in learning the illusions.
After all, being able to create after images of yourself to confuse your enemy would be useful in many situations.
Hei responded with a wavering voice.
“It-it wasn’t an illusion. We were really fighting.”
In response to this, a few of the young ladies cross their arms.
“If you don’t want to tell us then just say so!”
“That’s right. You don’t have to be so stingy, geez.”
Hei was just wondering how he had offended anyone. He really wasn’t lying. There really weren’t any illusions.
However, now that he thought about it, the after images were kind of illusions.
Even so, the young ladies should already know how to do that as transcendent realm cultivators. They shouldn’t need him to tell them.
“Oh look. It’s your other sister.”
At this point, Mei had just stepped onto the stage and was facing her opponent.
Hei turned his attention to the stage and watched as the match began.
It was fairly uneventful. The opponent came in for an attack, but Mei easily grabbed her wrist and threw her out of the stage.
Seeing this, the young ladies who are observing the match were speechless.
And it wasn’t only them. Even Hei was surprised at Mei’s performance. Not because she had achieved victory so easily, but because she had achieved victory in the same way he would have.
“Wow, that was… something.”
“That’s right. It seems even without illusions, those from the Shao Clan have an… interesting style.”
This was something rarely seen. Most fights would be a clash of opposing forces struggling for a hard-fought victory.
Seeing Mei win so easily was…
However, seeing that Mei wasn’t using any illusions, the young ladies continued to tease Hei.
They had seen the initial exchange of blows at the beginning of his match with Bai, but what they had seen with their eyes was Hei launching attack after attack at Bai, who easily avoided them.
At some point, Bai even started just tossing his attacks aside before they stopped.
After that, they saw Hei teaching Bai an illusion technique, which she learned quite quickly, after which, Hei promptly resigned from the competition.
Clearly, he was the weakest of the three.
They wondered why Bai and Mei kept calling him a hero. It was something they would have to see with their own eyes before they believed it.
With Mei having achieved victory, the first round of the competition came to an end.
After a brief pause to allow the competitors to regain some of their energy, the second round began.
As was the case in the last round, Bai’s match was first.
Interestingly, it went very similarly to the last match, in that, Bai’s opponent approached, and she easily deflected her, causing her to land outside the stage.
Hei was wondering why his sisters were fighting like this. They never used this kind of approach before.
But he was glad that they were now seeing the benefits of the way of Circular Disconnect.
The young ladies surrounding him, however, looked at him with pity.
“Ah. It seems even your own sister doesn’t want to use illusions. How sad.”
“That’s why you should teach us, Hero Hei.”
The way the audience had seen it, Bai had decided that Hei’s illusions weren’t necessary and decided to and the match directly.
Even with this, they were still able to see how useful the illusions were, so they tried to worm their way in. But Hei insisted that he wasn’t using illusions and was simply moving from location to location and creating an image of himself using his Qi.
As transcendent realm cultivators, all of the young ladies would be able to make images of themselves using their Qi.
The problem lay in getting to the different locations without being seen. This was where they didn’t quite believe what he was saying.
This was because his movements were too fast for them to see. The only thing they could see was him suddenly appearing at another location.
With their only senses being visual, they assumed he was using some kind of strange technique.
After all, there shouldn’t be such a variance in transcendent realm cultivators that one’s speed was simply too fast to be seen by another.
Hei continued to insist that there was nothing else happening.
“No, really. It’s just a movement technique and creating after images using Qi. There’s nothing else to it.”
Seeing that Hei was unwilling to show them his techniques, they decided to move on to a different topic.
“At this rate, it seems it will be the Sisters Shao in the final round.”
Hearing this, Hei responded without thinking.
“Of course. Whose sisters do you think they are?”
After hearing Hei’s words that were filled with confidence, the young ladies turned to him with raised brows.
Had he decided to drop the act?
Noticing this, Hei hurriedly tried to come up with an excuse.
“B-Big Brother Tianlan has been training with us since we were little. T-there’s no way my sisters would lose.”
After saying this, he looked to his knees.
“Oh? Big Brother Tianlan, is it? How old is he?”
Hearing about Hei’s elder brother, young ladies were interested.
“H-he’s 15 years old.”
“15 huh? A little young.”
“Speak for yourself. 15 is just about right.”
“Hm… Does he look more like you or your sisters?”
After this was said, all of the young ladies became silent and turned to Hei.
Hei was wondering what kind of situation this was.
How was it that even when he wasn’t here, Tianlan still became the centre of attention among the young ladies?
He decided to answer anyway.
“More like my sisters.”
Hearing this, the young ladies started discussing.
If Tianlan looked more similar to Bai and Mei, then he was most likely quite the handsome young man.
Even though Bai and Mei were still quite young and thus didn’t meet the aesthetics of adults, they could tell that they would both be growing into fine young ladies
“Then your brother must be handsome, no?”
At this point, Hei was getting annoyed. His eyebrows started teaching as he responded through gritted teeth.
“Most… most people would say so.”
One of the young ladies took a closer look at Hei.
“Hm? You’re not too bad yourself. From what I can see, you’re quite handsome. But you just look way to weird.”
“That’s right. Why is your skin so dark? And why is your hair like that?”
It wasn’t odd for these young ladies to be unaware of the Innate Shadow Physique. Most juniors wouldn’t be aware of such obscure and unreliable information about the middle continent like the elders would.
Hei was very pleased to hear their words. This was the first time anyone had said he wasn’t ugly in this world.
Handsome but weird was a good start. It was a very good start.
He decided to explain. He told them that he had the Innate Shadow Physique which resulted in his appearance.
“Innate Shadow Physique?”
“Oh? Then you’re able to jump through shadows or something?”
“That would explain how he was able to make those images of himself. He jumped into the shadows cast by the chains that were poking out of the stage.”
Hei watched as these young ladies crafted explanations of how he was able to perform his feats.
It was quite interesting to hear the things they came up with.
He tried to explain that it wasn’t the case, but nobody listened to his words.
Not long later, the final round began. Unsurprisingly, it was between Bai and Mei.
As they stepped onto the stage, Hei could feel an intense aura emanating from them.
He wondered what exactly was going on. Shouldn’t this have been just another sparring match?
Now that he thought about it, he didn’t remember Bai and Mei ever having solo matches together.
Their abilities were completely ill-matched. Bai was more of a strategic fighter whereas Mei had such immense power that she didn't need any strategy when facing cultivators of the same realm.
In a normal situation, Bai would most likely have lost the match, but since Hei had just taught her this new way of fighting, she had a decent chance at victory.
The only question was, why were they taking this so seriously?
Before the match had even begun, Bai’s body started twitching and Mei’s colours inverted as she activated her Berserk Aura.
As the start of the match was announced, they both moved instantly. Bai used explosions beneath her feet to launch herself forwards. Mei also dashed towards Bai.
Both launched punches at each other and when they collided there was a large impact force, which travelled across the stadium and was muffled by the defensive formations that were set up to protect the spectators.
Even through the formations, the spectators could feel the force of the blow.
After this initial attack, Bai and Mei seemed to be evenly matched, but that wasn’t the case.
Feeling the force from Mei’s punch, Bai knew she wouldn’t be able to fight head on like this for long, so she decided to place markers all over the stage using her Territory.
After she had completed that, she started moving rapidly between markers, leaving behind after images to confuse Mei.
Unfortunately for Bai, these after images did nothing to confuse Mei.
As an Arctic Fox, a high tier spirit beast, her spiritual perception was quite acute and wasn’t so easily tricked.
Among the four, Mei’s spiritual perception was second only to Hei’s. And that was only because of Hei’s affinity with the natural Qi.
Even though Mei could see where Bai really was, she was still unable to react fast enough.
Bai’s movements were far too quick for Mei to be able to chase, so she decided to stay where she was and let Bai come to her.
Not knowing that Mei was able to track her movements, Bai came in for a sneak attack from behind.
As she got close to Mei, Mei turned around with a kick ready to punish Bai for her approach, but Bai had accounted for something like this when she had taken the opportunity to attack, so she was prepared to mitigate the damage.
She placed her palm above Mei’s leg and applied an explosion to knock it down slightly, reducing the surface area that came into contact with her body as she retreated.
After seeing that her offence wasn’t successful, Bai started to come up with new strategies.
Mei didn’t stand still. She used her sharp senses to see Bai’s movements and decided to go on the offensive herself.
She wrapped her fist in Berserk Aura and slammed it into the ground, cracking the entire stadium, causing Bai’s footing to become unstable.
It had to be known that Point Impact required very precise calculations if one wanted to make their movements efficiently.
Still being new to the technique, Bai was unable to adapt to the sudden change in the environment, causing her to stumble, revealing her presence and creating a moment of weakness.
Mei didn’t fail to take advantage of this as she used Tianlan’s Railgun to dash in and launched another fist attack aimed at Bai.
Even though Bai’s footing was unstable, she could still use Point Impact to escape the situation.
She decided to launch herself into the air through explosions and watched as Mei passed the place she had been, before using another explosion to dash back down into Mei’s rear.
She launched a downward kick at Mei, ready to strike her head.
Mei raised her arm to defend herself and as Bai’s kick came into contact with it, she sank slightly into the stadium which took even more damage due to the Berserk Aura that was wrapping her legs.
Seeing that Mei had blocked her attack, Bai quickly retreated.
With the stadium in ruins, she was unable to use Point Impact to its full effect, so she decided to place explosive territories down on the ground, waiting for Mei to fall into the traps.
Hei watched as his sisters seriously fought each other.
It was quite interesting watching them use their different strengths and how they compensated for their weaknesses.
Even as Mei fell into the traps, she was able to sense the fluctuations in Qi and was able to escape in time to avoid taking damage.
Even when Bai had pre-emptively launched her explosions while Mei was still in mid-air, Mei was able to use the force of her attacks to nullify the explosions at a distance.
This was an additional effect of Berserk Aura.
Since Mei was able to expand the area of her attacks, she was able to influence things from a distance.
On the other hand, Bai was always able to mitigate the damage Mei was able to do to her using explosions. While she still suffered damage, she was also able to return damage to Mei.
As the fight went on, both were taking small amounts of damage over time, which compounded, leaving them visibly weary.
Seeing this, Hei wanted to have them stop the match. It wasn’t worth it to get hurt over something like this.
As he stood up, he was surprised to feel a bunch of hands grabbing him and pulling him back down.
He looked around to see all of the young ladies glaring him.
“This is an honourable duel among women. Don’t interfere.”
Hei was surprised to hear this.
From what Hei remembered, honourable duels weren't exactly common in these kinds of stories. Most of the time, it was a whole bunch of revenge and face preservation stuff.
“Your sisters seem to be competing over something important.”
Hearing this, Hei turned back to the stage.
He could see that Bai and Mei were taking this match very seriously, so he decided to let them finish.
At this point, the two had stopped their exchange of blows and were now standing on opposite ends of what used to be the stage.
They walked slowly towards each other, and as they did, Mei’s eyes started to glow.
Her aura as an Arctic Fox was leaking from her, causing everyone to feel heavy bloodlust.
As the two got close each other, Mei looked down to Bai and Bai looked up to Mei.
After a moment of staring into each other’s eyes, Mei spoke.
“You don’t need to tell me.”
After saying these words, Bai activated her final technique.
As Hei felt familiar fluctuations, his eyes opened wide.
“You crazy little!”
Hei didn’t have time to say any more words. He quickly activated a barrier to cover-up the soap-bubble-like barrier the sect had set up.
He knew it wouldn’t be able to handle what was coming.
During the course of the fight, Bai had set up several explosive territories, enough to cover the entire stage.
She had now detonated them all at once, causing dust and debris to fly everywhere.
After the explosion, the barrier the sect had set up was shattered immediately and even Hei’s own hastily created barrier was strained by the force.
After the dust had settled, Mei and Bai were still standing there looking into each other’s eyes.
They both spoke at the same time.
The world started to spin.