1317 Feeling Challenged
In the void, rays of purple and red flashed continuously like two moving spotlights.
It sounded like millions of thunderbolts booming loudly every time they crashed into each other.
To those who were unaware of what was going on, they might think there was a thunderstorm in the Trial space.
The battle between Lin Huang and Sword126 had already lasted for more than an hour.
Sword126 was undeniably strong but in a different way from the bearded middle-aged man Lin Huang encountered before. Similar to Lin Huang, the bearded man developed himself holistically with almost no short staves.
Yet, Sword126 chose an alternative path. She only used only three attacks—thrusts, downward cuts, and upward cuts, with thrusts consisting of 80% of all her attacks. She only used cuts if thrusts were ineffective.
Of course, she had perfected her thrusts. Each one was blindingly fast and at an angle that was hard to deal with.
That was why Lin Huang was constantly kept on his toes when he was battling Sword126. A momentary distraction could lead to her piercing through his brain or heart in a single stroke.
In reality, Sword126's cultivation method could easily dispatch weaker opponents in no time. However, the tables could be turned easily if she met a match like Lin Huang instead.
No matter how powerful her thrusts or how varied her moves, her attacks were still too easy to read. In a fight where she faced an opponent equally as strong, as long as the opponent lasted a certain amount of time, understood the way she attacked, and got used to the rhythm of her attacks, she would be checkmated.
Lin Huang got used to Sword126's style of attack in a mere half an hour. The rest for the hour, he continued fighting her to learn her thrusts while using this fight to hasten the assimilation process of what he had learned from her.
Although Sword126 utilized various thrusts and cuts to fill in the weaknesses in her attack style—it was becoming obvious that the chances of her winning the battle diminished by the hour.
Even though it seemed like she came off more aggressive than her opponent, only the parties involved understood that it was Lin Huang who was in full control of the battle. He had familiarized himself with her combat style and secured his chances of winning.
Even if Lin Huang did not possess moves powerful enough to wipe her out and this stalemate could go on for an extended period, she had lost the battle. She had used up all of her moves but nothing affected Lin Huang.
Sword126 did not bother making things complicated. Once she was sure that she had no chance of winning, she swiftly dodged his attack and retreated to the small building where she stood guard. She returned to standing on the inverted floor and looked at Lin Huang from an upside-down position.
After sheathing her sword, she threw at Lin Huang expressionlessly, \"You won.\"
\"Thank you for going easy on me.\" Since his opponent had already surrendered, there was nothing Lin Huang could do but to sheathe his sword as well.
Initially, he had wanted to train as much as possible with her. Yet, the moment she realized there was no way she could win, she simply surrendered.
Lin Huang let it pass. After all, there were still 298 Sword Servants waiting for him. There was no need to stay here and try to wring blood from a stone.
\"No need to be polite. You're not weak, that's for sure,\" said Sword126 bluntly, \"However, if you're thinking about obtaining Great Heaven's inheritance, you still have a long way to go.\"
\"I've heard the same thing from the person before you,\" Lin Huang smiled at her. He did not think too much about it because it was not her intention to insult him. She was simply telling the truth.
According to the bearded man, Lin Huang would have to achieve a breakthrough to Sword Dao True Meaning Level if Lin Huang wished to pass the final trial. Although Sword126 did not come right out and say it, Lin Huang knew what she implied. Otherwise, she would not have pointed out how far Lin Huang was from achieving his goal.
\"Oh, that's right. I wanted to ask you. Do all Sword Servants have numerical names similar to yours?\" Lin Huang could not help asking.
\"Yes.\" Sword126 did not avoid the question.
\"Is there one named Sword11?\"
\"Of course. Our names are listed in order starting from Sword1,\" Sword126 explained.
If she had been talking to a competitor, she would not bring up such matters. However, Lin Huang was the participant who initiated the Competitive Trial. Although his chances of success were very low, he was still the person who would potentially obtain Great Heaven's inheritance. Moreover, if the participants failed the Trial, they would probably die in the Trial as well. Even if they survived, their memories of anything related to the Great Heaven inheritance would be wiped clean. Therefore, there was no need to worry about participants leaking secrets about the Great Heaven inheritance to external parties.
Lin Huang was dumbstruck to hear Sword126's reply. He had asked the question out of curiosity but he did not expect such a startling answer.
Before hearing Sword126's reply, Lin Huang had always thought that it was a mere coincidence that Liu Ren had changed his name to Sword11. Now, it seemed like there was more to that than met the eye.
\"Could you tell me what kind of rules are used to determine your name sequence then?\" Lin Huang pressed.
\"Of course it's based on our abilities, what else?\" Sword126 retorted instead. Suddenly, as though she recalled something, she gave Lin Huang a wary glance. \"That's all I can tell you. You can stop asking about Sword Servants now. If your abilities aren't powerful enough to obtain the inheritance, there's no point in you learning about all these things.\"
Sword126's response cut off all possibilities of Lin Huang asking more questions. Lin Huang thought he could ask more about Sword11, but it was apparent that she no longer wished to reveal more.
'Seems like I can only start looking for other Sword Servants and see if I can find out more,' Lin Huang thought.
Watching Sword126 slowly vanishing, Lin Huang's mind wavered.
There was something about Sword11 that he was concerned about.
However, seconds later, a push notification appeared and forced him to return to reality.
\"Participant Xie Lin defeated BOSS, points accumulated: +100!\"
It was yet another 'global' announcement.
After seeing this announcement, nearly three thousand competitors started to feel stressed out.
Those who suspected Lin Huang of cheating now held their tongues.
He might have cheated the first time, but he had now successfully eliminated his opponents twice.
He might have wormed his way through loopholes in the rules for the first instance. Yet, doing it for the second time sounded somewhat improbable. It was highly unlikely that a loophole as big as this existed in the trial rules. Therefore, the only explanation was that he was truly, undeniably strong.
Naturally, after knowing about this monster in the trial, many competitors retreated into spectator mode. After all, the possibility of them emerging as the champion was nearly zero now, so they might as well watch how things unfolded.
The ones who were most stressed out right now were none other than Unrivaled Combat God and the few who were trained in secret by various organizations.
When Unrivaled Combat God first climbed up the ranks, those who were secretly trained did not mind so much. Firstly, they knew the extent of his abilities. Secondly, the trial had only just started then. The difference between everyone's cumulative points was not that extensive. All of them thought the endgame fight for points between competitors was the real deal.
However, a newbie whom no one had heard of had appeared out of the blue and eliminated two BOSSes in a row. The difference in cumulative points between them and the number one ranking was far too steep now. They could hardly keep calm.
As an analogy, people from this particular group could be compared to those overachievers who obtained marks higher than 680 every time. All of a sudden, a new student transferred to their school and obtained more than 700 marks in two mock exams back to back. It was impossible to not feel challenged.
 'Short staves' refers to weakness. This is based on the Cannikin Law or the Wooden Bucket Theory that suggests that the capacity of a bucket is determined by its shortest stave.