A mark appeared on the top of her hand, signaling the commencement of this final stage. It glowed and like everyone else, she was whisked away and found herself in the dense forest. Immediately, she hid in the treetops and surveyed her surroundings.
"How strange...Is this some sort of formation?"
She felt a strange and very faint energy at the edges of the arena. Looking around, she no longer saw the coliseum walls but instead an endless forest.
"It must be to prevent any distractions from happening."
It was clear to her that everyone had to focu on one goal, reaching the mountain peak.
"I hope that everyone is prepared. I will be entering now."
The Grand Elder's voice echoed throughout the place, as this would be his one and only warning. After that was complete and utter silence, there was no wind, no steps, no movement. It was unsettling to the mind just how silent the arena had become.
Hundreds within this place and yet not a single breath of sound. They were planning, thinking, and deciding on their next move.
"I could choose to stay hidden or make my move. Which one would be better?" Ming Yue began to think.
In a place like this, she held the advantage and she should use it.
"We should travel through the treetops and eliminate the others. That would be the best way, to kill as many as possible while preserving our chances. It would be like Clear Spring Mountain again."
Xue Yue's voice echoed in her mind, reminding her the forest battle that took place nearly a year ago.
"Yes, although this time, we are not killing anyone and none of them can be underestimated."
Ming Yue rebuffed her, there was no need to mercilessly kill. This was a competition and not a fight to the death, she understood that.
"You could say that but you know that it is similar. This forest is the hunting ground, our hunting ground."
Xue Yue spoke bluntly and Ming Yue did not speak for a moment.
It was true that this reminded her the Clear Spring Mountain, when her mind and soul first split and gave birth to Xue Yue. But this time the objective was much different.
"We should be covert and sieze the first move."
As Xue Yue spoke again, the sounds of battle erupted on the mountain-side.
Ming Yue looked up from her position and found multiple figures already in the heat of battle. It was an intense fight that caused the mountain to tremble. A number of phenomena occured, adding to the chaos of this fight. There were only a certain group who could produce such a thing.
"Those must be the Inheritors and they're already on the mountain."
Upon this sight, Ming Yue changed her plans.
"No, we shouldn't focus on fighting the others. The goal is to reach the top ten and the clearest way to do so is to climb the mountain and reach the peak. We will waste too much time doing anything else. We should eliminate whoever is in the way as quickly as possible."
There was no time to waste, Ming Yue had to reach the mountains while the Inheritors fought.
She had to be quick and speed was something she was confident in.
As for the battle on the mountain, it was intense and only grew, garnering the attention of everyone else. Furthermore, the number of participants only grew as more and more Inheritors joined the fray. But it was not by choice that they wanted to fight.
"If only I didn't get caught..."
This was what they would think before getting noticed. The battle would suddenly stop and everyone chased after, trying to prevent whoever it was from getting ahead. The moment anyone found out, they would inform the others and the one trying to reach the peak would find themselves facing the wrath of the numerous.
"Wenqin Yan, you might have beaten me last time but let's see if you can do it without any help!"
Wenqin Yan's short spear circled about, creating sharp waves of indigo colored water at his opponent. He laughed as he did so.
"Yan Xian, I would've defeated you with or without someone else. It only made the process quicker."
Who could it be but Yan Xian, this rogueish man in a purple robes and a white sash. He dashed through the rocky terrain with his fists up. He seemed to weave in and out of Wenqin Yan's attack, leaving a strange mist in his steps.
Suddenly a lance flew in between them just as a stone spike erupted from the floors.
"You two are getting somewhat far from the main fight."
What followed were two other inheritors, the owner of the lance was none other than the dual lance wielder. Her body had only a few cuts on it but a light red aura had begun to form. As for the stone spike, it was Elder Xiang's disciple, Yu Hua, who wore black and emerald robes. She was silent but her eyes showed a glint of warning towards the two men.
"Tang Zhan, Yu Hua, when did you two have gall to interrupt our fight?"
Yan Xian's mood seem to sour as his battle with Wenqin Yan had stopped.
"Hmph, do you have a problem with that?"
Tang Zhan pulled her lance out form the ground. Her tone was filled with viciousness and it seemed that not enough blood had been spilled yet. The armor she wore was light and did not cover much for she grew stronger the more blood she spilled.
"Then what do you plan to do now?"
Wenqin Yan spoke, his short spear was now not pointed towards Yan Xian exclusively. His eyes gazed at the two other inheritors. Their weapons were readied as they looked at one another. They were seperated from the main battle where there were now twenty other Inheritors. Furthermore, they were closest to the peak, only several kilometers left to climb.
Yu Hua was the first to make her move, swinging her sword forward. Everyone moved in response, attacking just as a figure soared through the air. This person was loud and eye-catching, a handsome young man dressed in white robes. He carried a black sword and rode a dragon of light up the mountainside.
His hair was let loose at shoulder-length and his facial features were sharp and filled with confidence. His aura flourished and seemed to suppress everyone elses.
"Zha Tian Yun!"
Everyone who saw him, spoke his name in their minds. This was one who had the most points and was expected to get the top spot. In other words, he was the strongest Inheritor and the stronget disciple of Heaven's Gate. However, none of them were going to let him get away so quickly.
"Get back here!"
Tang Zhan held on of her lances up and hurled it at him. It was crimson red, strengthened by her blood as the lance shot forth and pierced the dragon of light. It dimmed slightly from the spear as the blood seemed to tear at it. Everyone else followed, throwing all sorts of attacks as they caught and surrounded him.
Zha Tian Yun simply hopped off of the dragon and turned around. He smiled and seemed to be brimming with confidence as the declining dragon of light circled him and shielded him from the wave of attacks.
"Don't think that we're going to let you reach the peak so easily, Zha Tian Yun!" one of them yelled out.
He merely chuckled at their remarks as he unsheathed his pitch black blade.
"You can't stop me alone so you need everyone else to challenge me? I don't see the point of stopping the inevitable."
The sword seemed to transform in an instant as the black blade turned pure white and began to beam in a white radiance.
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