Chen Xuan was a very experienced fighter who had even practiced against some True Disciples before. After all, if the other Kingdoms were to send assassins, they would likely send cultivators at the top of the Manipulation level or even a True Disciple.
Chen Xuan, as a King’s guard, needed to be able to fight against those of such high level to a proficient degree. He needed to be able to defeat those at the Manipulation Level, and he needed to be able to delay True Disciples as long as he could.
(Given how strong True Disciples, even he could only delay a True Disciple by a few seconds)
As such, he had grown used to combating those with thicker and stronger auras than he. However, he had never encountered an aura quite like the one he was facing now.
The two auras continued to clash, but at every point of contact, Chen Xuan’s aura retreated as soon it felt Jia Yuan’s.
Chen Xuan was very confused as to what was going on. This had never happened before!
This was actually a side effect of the training Jia Yuan had gone through in the crater. Because of the intense heat and humidity inside the crater, Jia Yuan had to develop a strong aura to serve as a protective barrier. Over time, Jia Yuan was so accustomed to keeping himself comfortable with this aura, that he had subconsciously developed a habit of keeping a thin aura around him, with a very aggressive and dense outer shell, sort of like a bubble.
This was what Chen Xuan was encountering.
Although this all took a long time to explain, the interaction between the two auras only happened for about two seconds.
Afterwards, the two charged towards each other with their weapons drawn!
Jia Yuan charged forward with his sword by his side, adopting a defensive stance to start. As for Chen Xuan, he took the initiative to attack with a gigantic two-handed axe.
Being at the 7th level of Manipulation, even with his cultivation suppressed, he was still able to control and condense his aura very effectively into his axe. This was one of the “small advantages” that the King had spoken of.
However, as the two weapons clashed together, Chen Xuan was very surprised that his axe was actually unable to move Jia Yuan’s sword!
Jia Yuan was actually just toying with Chen Xuan. On the walk over from BlueFire City, he had continued to practice his cultivation, and last night, he had actually broken through to the 6th level of Absorption, and was now able to contend with those at the 2nd or 3rd level of Manipulation with ease. Even if the opponent had a high level Song, he could content with them if they are at the 1st level of Manipulation.
However, he didn’t want to let the King know. Jia Yuan felt that he had flaunted more than enough power for the King to provide him with whatever aid he wanted. Jia Yuan didn’t really feel loyalty to his country, even though he was intent on joining the Burning Legion. He just wanted to be able to fight on the battlefield alongside his older brother.
As for him being at the 6th level of Absorption at the meager age of 12, that would be his secret. After trading blows for about a minute, Jia Yuan was still on the defensive, easily blocking Chen Xuan’s strikes. However, the guards on the perimeter protecting the ministers, were starting to feel a little strain from protecting the ministers from the residual energy exploding out as each blow met.
After another thirty seconds, Jia Yuan finally decided to end the bout, seeing that the guards surrounding him were showing obvious signs of exhaustion. He twirled his sword past Chen Xuan’s axe and lodged his sword between the axe-head and the handle, then thrust his sword upwards, effectively disarming Chen Xuan, who understood that this signified his defeat in the duel.
At this point, all of the ministers, as well as the King, stood up and applauded.
“Ahh, wonderful, wonderful! That was quite a fight! Both of you have exquisite technique, and it is obvious that both of you are well acquainted with your weapon and Song.”
The two combatants turned toward the King, clasped their hands together, and bowed.
Chen Xuan then turned to Jia Yuan. “How is your sword so fast and steady at the same time? When you were first able to block my blows, I thought that I would have to outmaneuver you, but not only were you fast, but your sword effectively created an area of protection around you. I’ve never seen such fast swordsmanship from anyone in the Fire Kingdom!”
“Ahh, it’s nothing special. My sword is very light, is all. It’s not made purely out of fire stones, but it has some stones of the wind attribute as well. As such, it is very easy for me to wield it in such a manner. Rather, I was surprised at how adept you were with the axe! You were able to wield it in such a manner that I was hard pressed to defend, even with my weapon’s speed being so high!”
The two continued to trade praises, obviously finding some camaraderie from the duel.