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Sharpening The Knife Doesn't Delay The Cutting of Vegetables With The Bow

Sharpening The Knife Doesn’t Delay The Cutting of Vegetables With The Bow[eSports]: Chapter 36

36. Peacock’s Display.

    Chen Xingran and Lu Mingyu found themselves in the magnificent Cloud Mist Palace, where the abyss-like night and dark clouds slightly hindered their visibility. The cold glint on their blades was even harder to track in this setting than under a clear sky.

    Both the colossal werewolf and the semi-puppet bathed in ghostly flames activated their ultimate techniques simultaneously. The battlefield underwent a sudden transformation. It was as if they had switched from a wuxia film where blades drew blood with every stroke to a supernatural fantasy movie. The only constant was the increasingly high-spirited determination of both combatants!

    Amid the frenetic pace of their swordplay, a storm was brewing in Chen Xingran’s live broadcast room.

    “They’re sparring again!”

    “Wow, I’m so excited!”

    “Captain Lu and Ye Shao are fighting so fiercely! Do I feel like they’ve met their match? Am I dreaming?”

    “Don’t doubt it; my Lao po is just this strong in sparring.”

    “Being able to compete with the strongest sparring partner like this means he’s at the level to make it to the finals, right?”

    “Ye Shao is amazing! Captain Lu is the best!”

    “What are the talent scouts from the gaming clubs doing? Are they just eating? I’m getting anxious for you!”

    “Stop chatting, can you send fewer bullet comments? It’s affecting my view of the livestream!”

    Without any prompting from viewers, within a few minutes, representatives from various gaming clubs had heard the news and rushed to the scene. They had initially expected to witness Lu Mingyu dominating the competition. However, the two participants in the match were so evenly matched, and the dazzling swordplay almost blinded onlookers.

    Even though Chen Xingran was just a streamer.

    Even though he had never set foot in a competitive arena, and no one knew his skill level in actual competition.

    At this moment, none of that mattered anymore.

    The stunning, heart-pounding duel before their eyes, each move and technique reaching its peak, was the best answer!

    Not having a contract meant that every gaming club had an opportunity.

    A master who could stand shoulder to shoulder with the top assault experts in the national service—what gaming club would be willing to let him slip through their fingers?

    Yang Yunche, as the only audience member in the audience seat, kept his eyes fixed on the sparring room’s screen, not missing a single detail.

    Gold will always shine. Yang Yunche was extremely confident in Chen Xingran’s skills, perhaps even more confident than Chen Xingran himself.

    He knew that after this match, regardless of the outcome, Chen Xingran had already transcended the image of an ordinary streamer in everyone’s eyes. The professional gaming teams that wanted to invite him would come one after another, offering increasingly tempting conditions. Even ZMD, despite its wealth, might not necessarily stand out in this competition to secure Chen Xingran.

    Yet, Yang Yunche didn’t care as much as one might expect.

    Watching the screen, he felt an inexplicable sense of pride as he witnessed this rising star, whose sharpness could not be concealed, much like his name. Chen Xingran had torn through the pitch-black night like a meteor, allowing everyone to see that astonishing spark. And this was just the beginning; in the future, on the professional gaming stage, his name would be engraved in the most prominent place on the monument of destiny, just like the world’s top assault experts.

    “Bang, bang, bang!”

    The ear-piercing sound of clashes continued without pause. In the Cloud Mist Palace, a plethora of shattered stones and ruins were thrown into the air by the movements of their blades, and the battlefield was covered with dense traces of combat.

    Chen Xingran’s health was slightly lower than that of Lu Mingyu. After Lunar Wolf activated his ultimate, his health was instantly fully restored. However, when Chen Xingran subsequently activated his ultimate, the massive attack bonus from the arrival of the Ghost God allowed him to gradually regain the advantage. Both sides’ health levels came back to an even playing field.

    Lu Mingyu’s gaze remained unwavering as he swung his sharp blade with a glint of cold light towards his opponent’s right side!

    However, Chen Xingran’s stance was rock solid, and he didn’t expose any vulnerabilities. With his Tang sword blazing with ghostly flames, he skillfully deflected the strike.

    Lu Mingyu seemed to be in control, but he knew his own abilities. Unless he was in the midst of the storm, he couldn’t fully appreciate the pressure brought by Chen Xingran’s blade.

    This was the first time he had encountered an opponent like Chen Xingran!

    It was as if… he wasn’t playing a game, but engaged in a real battle. The smooth and confident movements, the freedom to roam between life and death, all of this made Lu Mingyu feel immense pressure.

    But at the same time, beyond the pressure, he felt the excitement of encountering a worthy opponent!

    Throughout this season, the All-Stars had been searching for a strong assault player, and Lu Mingyu had taken an interest in Ye Shao because of his disciple Yunyin from the Divine Sword Sect. He had lurked in Chen Xingran’s livestream for a short time, and he couldn’t resist the temptation to challenge this streamer to a duel.

    At the moment he sent the challenge, he never expected that the wielder of the Demonic Blade was not just an ordinary expert but someone who could stand up to him!

    No… “stand up to” wasn’t quite accurate.

    In countless clashes, Lu Mingyu’s blade surprisingly seemed to be at a disadvantage.

    In Lu Mingyu’s mind, if he were to assess Chen Xingran’s blade with a gamer’s perspective, it might not seem perfect. Attacks that could easily be deflected with a simple diagonal slash were met with a combination of parrying and counterattacks. It was as if he was in reality, instinctively avoiding his opponent’s weaknesses.

    But despite these minor imperfections, from a combat perspective, Chen Xingran’s blade had reached a state of artistry. Even with these slight, unnecessary moves, his blade was still ferocious and precise. It possessed something that people of this era had never seen before.

    —It was called “Blade Intent.”

    “Clang!”

    After a brief contact, both sides swiftly separated. In just two seconds, from an outsider’s perspective, it was a dangerous situation. If anyone made even a slight mistake, lost a fraction of focus, or neglected the control of strength and technique by a hair’s breadth, they would meet their demise on the spot!

    This constant battle on the brink of life and death made Lu Mingyu feel somewhat overwhelmed.

    His ultimate had been activated earlier than Chen Xingran’s, and now that its duration was over, his werewolf form had reverted to a smaller wolf-human hybrid. He had inherited the health from the werewolf form, leaving him with only one-third of his health remaining.

    Chen Xingran didn’t let this opportunity slip away. With five seconds left in his Ghost God state, it was enough!

    With a roll of his Demonic Blade in his hand, his bones and muscles bulged, and the surging ghostly flames throughout his body surged even higher. With the momentum of destroying heaven and earth, he attacked Lu Mingyu.

    Swish!

    Lu Mingyu agilely stepped back, evading the blade’s edge. Then, he made a quick decision, choosing not to engage directly with the Demonic Blade while it was in its ghostly state. Instead, he initiated a swift assault, leaping backward to the second floor of the Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace.

    Chen Xingran’s gaze sharpened, and he activated the Ghostly Shadow Blade as well, pursuing Lu Mingyu!

    However, Lu Mingyu’s knowledge of the Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace was evidently far greater than Chen Xingran’s. With a single step, he followed the edge of the palace and entered the hall, swiftly disappearing from Chen Xingran’s field of vision after making two turns.

    Chen Xingran wanted to pursue, but he couldn’t locate Lu Mingyu’s figure. Five seconds quickly passed, and his Ghostly Shadow Blade state expired, leaving him with very little health.

    The interior of the Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace was complex, with the second floor divided into upper and lower levels. Lu Mingyu had vanished from Chen Xingran’s sight, and as he looked around, he couldn’t find his opponent. Only the sound of faint footsteps echoed in his ears, making it difficult to discern their direction.

    “Whoosh.”

    As Chen Xingran hesitated about whether to continue pursuing, Lu Mingyu’s figure suddenly darted out from the side, wielding his blade!

    In the three seconds that Chen Xingran lost sight of him, Lu Mingyu had already equipped a chestplate, gaining two additional armor slots and taking the advantage in health!

    Seeing this scene, Yang Yunche, in the audience seats, narrowed his eyes slightly.

    As expected.

    Facing a seasoned expert like Lu Mingyu, Chen Xingran was still a bit inexperienced. In terms of swordplay, Chen Xingran could gain the upper hand, but Lu Mingyu’s understanding of the game “Destiny” was no less than Chen Xingran’s expertise in swordplay. Lu Mingyu had already mastered the terrain of the Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace, and all it took was a momentary delay on Chen Xingran’s part for Lu Mingyu to swiftly regain his state and launch a counterattack.

    By conventional thinking, Chen Xingran’s current state was also quite poor. The correct approach would have been to start using health items as soon as he lost sight of Lu Mingyu, seizing every fleeting moment to gain an advantage in this high-intensity battle.

    But even so, Lu Mingyu would immediately interrupt Chen Xingran’s health regeneration. He was faster at using health items, even by half a second. Yet this seemingly insignificant half-second gave Lu Mingyu the perfect opportunity.

    Chen Xingran’s style, like his blade, was too fierce and aggressive. They say that what is too rigid is easily broken. This wasn’t a martial arts dojo but a real battle royale, with no room for subtlety, sneak attacks, or deception. The only goal was to stand as the last survivor, and as long as you reached that point, you were the ultimate winner.

    “They’re fighting again!”

    “It’s over; Ye Shao has too little health, he has no room to maneuver.”

    “Lu Mingyu is so experienced; this health regeneration strategy is crucial!”

    “What was originally an evenly matched situation has changed completely in just a moment due to that hesitation.”

    Chen Xingran’s health had dropped to a critical level. For him, this was highly unfavorable. Taking advantage of the two extra armor slots, Lu Mingyu relentlessly pursued him, one slash after another, further reducing Chen Xingran’s health. It was a precarious situation.

    Seeing Lu Mingyu’s strategy of trading health for health, Chen Xingran chose to avoid direct confrontation. He began to maneuver constantly within the narrow space, refraining from engaging with Lu Mingyu head-on.

    Life and death hung by a thread.

    In Lu Mingyu’s skilled hands, the blades danced as he exerted immense pressure. In this moment, Chen Xingran’s nerves loosened, and he took a deep breath. His gaze stayed locked on the gleaming white blade, and the intricate patterns etched by the strikes gradually became clear in his eyes. He entered a state where his mind, eyes, body, and movements synchronized, like a butterfly darting through a storm, floating in the sky, dodging every lethal blade with precision.

    His health was at a level where one more hit would surely send him to the grave, but miraculously, he managed to endure. The audience in the livestream watched in astonishment as Chen Xingran moved gracefully on the edge of the blade.

    He had always felt that there was a hint of self-destructive tendency within Chen Xingran’s blade intent.

    Facing a myriad of enemies without fear, surging between life and death, all in pursuit of an endless perfection in swordsmanship, it was like a moth drawn to a flame, a resolute determination that one must go mad to survive.

    Perhaps only those like him could possess such a blade.

    In everyone’s eyes, Lu Mingyu’s experience had already given him the upper hand, and Chen Xingran was struggling. It seemed like defeat was only a matter of time. Even with a thousand tricks up his sleeve, Chen Xingran’s health was only hanging by a thread. Moreover, he was facing one of the top swordsmen in the Chinese server, who wouldn’t give you a chance to turn the tables.

    But Yang Yunche knew that Chen Xingran hadn’t given up and wouldn’t give up.

    He must be searching for a way to turn the tide. Just like Yang Yunche in countless matches, no matter how dire the situation, he would find a glimmer of hope for victory. That’s why he could win his share of glory in the highly competitive professional league, even when surrounded by top-notch opponents.

    There was only one champion, like crossing a bridge with a thousand armies on one side; everyone wanted it, but only one person could obtain it. No one could secure victory easily and casually take the crown. Without using every means at their disposal and staking their skills, experience, determination, ambition, and hope as chips on one side of the scale, how could they be worthy of the glory of the championship?

    In Yang Yunche’s eyes filled with anticipation, Chen Xingran finally made a move.

    “Clang!”

    In an instant, his blade aura changed dramatically. He suddenly went on the offensive, turning the tables and launching a counterattack!

    Bent knees, half-crouched posture, a swift step forward, and the blade following his waist. The sharp blade sliced through the dense black fog, heading straight for Lu Mingyu’s face!

    A step forward and a lifted blade to sense the wind, a sweeping blade to astonish even the gods!

    Inside the narrow Cloud Mist Heavenly Palace, a sudden coldness swept through as the slender Tang blade stirred up a slight breeze. It wasn’t strong, but it penetrated the skin.

    If anyone from the martial arts world were present, they would undoubtedly recognize this blade technique.

    Stepping lightly, flicking the blade like a tiger, hiding the edge in all directions in the dead of night—

    This was the Laughing Spring Blade that Wang Ran had become famous for a long time ago!

    “He’s still attacking at this moment?”

    “Can’t handle the pressure anymore?”

    “Lu Mingyu is fierce; the streamer should practice more.”

    “Come on, this is Lu Mingyu we’re talking about. Is he not strong enough?”

    “Why don’t you stop praising Lu Mingyu every second? Did you see Lu God run out of energy?”

    “He’s right. It’s either win or lose. Do you think this is a martial arts training session? Laughable. I wonder if these self-indulgent training room warriors can make it to Platinum in ranked games.”

    “Indeed, being able to use health items is a skill. The Demonic Blade wants to use health items, but do you see Lu Mingyu giving him the opportunity?”

    Facing Chen Xingran’s counterattack, which seemed like a desperate last-ditch effort, Lu Mingyu was equally surprised.

    The opponent’s health was hanging by a thread, and this attack came with overwhelming momentum. However, in Lu Mingyu’s eyes, from the moment Chen Xingran abandoned defense and chose to attack, the outcome was already decided.

    Lu Mingyu didn’t hesitate and seized the opportunity, engaging in a direct confrontation with Chen Xingran. He wasn’t afraid at all!

    However, the expected crisp sound of blades clashing didn’t occur.

    Lu Mingyu immediately realized.

    Was he pretending?!

    Chen Xingran’s attack was too fierce, carrying an unstoppable momentum that made anyone facing it feel like their opponent was gambling with their life. However, no one could have anticipated that it was just a feint!

    In the split second when the Tang blades intersected, Chen Xingran’s aggressive posture suddenly dissipated. The once unstoppable momentum became as light as a feather, and the tip of his blade pressed against Lu Mingyu’s edge. He then leaped into the air, somersaulting with a springing step, and quickly retreated. His figure seemed ghostly as he disappeared around the corner.

    Trying to escape?

    With Lu Mingyu’s health advantage, he definitely wouldn’t give Chen Xingran a chance. He initiated a dash to pursue him directly.

    But in just an instant, Chen Xingran had vanished around the corner, leaving no trace.

    Stairs? Second floor? Or the side chamber on the left?

    Lu Mingyu rapidly calculated the possible locations where Chen Xingran might go.

    No, there were no footsteps…

    In his mind, a lightning bolt of realization struck him. His body’s hair stood on end, and he instinctively looked up, meeting a pair of icy, piercing eyes!

    Chen Xingran hadn’t run away.

    Taking advantage of the momentary blind spot in his opponent’s field of vision, Chen Xingran’s Ghostly Shadow Blade had climbed up to the ceiling. The Tang blade was sheathed soundlessly, and the aura emanating from his entire body converged into one point. It was as if he had merged with the dark clouds, brewing the final deadly move.

    “Whoosh!”

    Without giving Lu Mingyu any time to react, Chen Xingran burst forth like lightning. His legs seemed to be springs, unleashing an unbelievable speed. Accompanying his body’s movement was the crisp and sharp sound of the Tang blade leaving its sheath.

    “Buzz!”

    Like a cold bird perching, in the blink of an eye, he transitioned from stillness to motion.

    Amidst the swirling black fog, in the abyss-like darkness of the night, a snow-white and sharp blade light transformed into lightning. With a rolling thunder, it suddenly, like the opening of a peacock’s tail, displayed a dazzling and stunning beauty!

    The Peacock’s Display!

    Within its dazzlingly beautiful colors, it concealed a finishing blow!

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