Yanwu Dao shook his head. "Do your best. Since you drummed up expectations so much, you have to show the seniors and the audience an astounding fight. Just make sure you don’t lose too badly."
"Alright, I won't let you guys lose too badly," Tianming said. The mysterians watching almost puked blood at the words.
All Yanwu Dao felt was that Tianming's stupidity couldn't be fixed. He didn't want to waste words and had Tianming enter one of the battle formations. Tianming, having finally seen the opponents he wanted appear, didn't waste words either and entered it with the others. The flames began burning as the formation for ten sealed off. Smoke wafted all over the place within, but it didn't affect their vision at all. As long as the five of them weren't too far from each other, they would be able to cover each other quite well.
"Ling'er, Feng, Xiaoxiao." Tianming turned and nodded at them, signaling that they only had to do as they normally did, and didn’t need to be nervous. Ye Chen also took a deep breath. If it weren’t for Tianming, he wouldn't dare to do something so bold either.
By now, it wasn't just the Violetglory Star, but the whole known universe that was going wild with this epic fight between Team Celestial Beings and their copycats. The heartbeats of everyone seemed to resonate with each other.
The fighters appeared in the fog. Yanwu Dao, Weisheng Xi, Shenwu Fen, Long, and the terrifyingly plain comma girl. The five of them had really odd auras. They were all devilishly talented youths. Even Shenwu Fen and Long were quite impressive in their own right, being people that were destined to become sovereigns. What they didn't expect was that the ones that faced off against them also looked as if they would be able to hold their own in a fight. At the very least, they didn't seem to be pushovers. This was a group battle to the death between the Celestial Beings and the Violetglorian Celestial Beings! Even those watching from worlds away could feel the heat from the battle. For a heliacal-class world like the Violetglory Star to deserve such an honor was unthinkable, and with Ye Chen's participation, even the cultivators from the Divineglory Alliance felt good about the match. All the Violetglorians seemed united by their shared desire for fame and pride.
Both sides could see the other in the fog. Feiling, Lingfeng, Xiaoxiao, and the rest were no doubt nervous given the stakes. Even Ye Chen, who had a lot of combat experience, couldn't help but swallow a nervous gulp as he turned to Tianming for reassurance. "Can you really put out this huge fire you started?" he asked.
"You don't have to worry about that. You're confident in being able to take on Long, right? I'll leave the weakest one to you!" Tianming said.
"I can do it." He steeled his courage.
Ye Chen closed his eyes. When he opened them again, they were filled with his burning fighting spirit. "Actually, if you're really that much more ridiculously powerful than me, I’ll submit to you. Following your orders isn't out of the question. I noticed today that your personality is truly twisted."
"Let's just see how well you do," Tianming said. In other words, he still didn't think Ye Chen was qualified. Everyone could hear their words, and even the faceless specters were unhappy to hear Ye Chen so confidently claim to be able to defeat their rising star.
"Who’s that? He dares to be so arrogant, too!"
"Sheesh, everyone and their dogs are trying to pull off the badass act."
The provocation stoked the flames of battle even more. Long was all the more infuriated, having never been underestimated like this all his life. However, Yanwu Dao kept his cool and stepped forward alone. When he wasn’t far away from Tianming, he landed and announced, "Li Tianming, even though the two honored guests did you a huge favor to come here, that doesn't mean you have the right to raise your hands against them. From the way it seems, apart from you, the others in your group haven't shown much promise. That means that you're most likely just trying to drum up hype for attention. To make sure people don't do the same thing ever again, I’ll once more demand you to settle this with me in a duel despite this being a group battle. Let's spare the other four members of your team the embarrassment."
Tianming almost lost it. "You really won't let up, huh? Are you sure you want to give me the chance to take you on alone? If we fight one-on-one and I defeat you, the rest of the battle will go much easier for me. When all of you lose, I hope your side doesn't claim that I've taken advantage of your kind offer to win and come up with some other excuse why you didn't really lose."
Yanwu Dao smiled and shook his head. "Stop messing around. Apart from you, the other four really don't even deserve to fight. Don't worry. No matter the outcome, a loss is a loss. There’s no sense in refusing to accept it."
At the end of the day, Yanwu Dao believed that even if he was eliminated first, his other team members would be more than enough to crush Tianming and the rest. As far as most people were concerned, Tianming only got teammates to fill up space in his party and wasn’t actually counting on them to contribute, so as long as he was defeated, the other four would easily be taken care of. That was how confident the hegemons of the Mysterium Cluster felt about it. Feiling, Lingfeng, and Xiaoxiao's talent seemed inconsequential to them. They did, however, find that Qingyu showed promise. It was too bad she was still in the third level of the Tranquil Battlefield.
People waited for Tianming to accept Yanwu Dao's challenge to a duel. Yanwu Dao didn't want to bother the two guests to fight, so he wanted to deal with Tianming before handling the rest. But to Tianming, this was a chance to lower the difficulty of the fight. As long as they wouldn't become sore losers, there was no reason for him to refuse.
Tianming turned to Feiling and the rest and said, "Wait for me for a bit. I'll give you all a tutorial on how to beat them up, so watch and learn, alright?"
"Got it!" Xiaoxiao yelled, almost a shriek, much to the shock of Lingfeng and Feiling. She immediately blushed. "I'm sorry, you sent me into a zealous trance." No wonder she was Tianming's number one believer. Despite her quiet appearance, she was quite a dedicated fangirl.
Tianming turned back toward his opponents and sensed that Yanwu Dao was on the verge of snapping from all the provocation. Both of them were followers of the imperial path. Wouldn’t this epic duel show which one of them was superior? The two imperial stars slowly approached one another as people nervously watched on.
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