All members of the North Qiong Sect seemed to have attended the event.
Zhong Hai was the base of North Qiong Sect's operation. This was also the first fight after Chen Fan's return; therefore, the North Qiong Sect had sent out nearly all of the disciples, including Fang Qiong, An Ya, and Wang Xiaoyun.
Hua Yunfeng led the way at the front of the group. His steps were energetic and confident.
A large hulking frame brought up the rear. This giant's skin was the color of bronze, and everyone recognized that he was the physique refinement master from the Chen Family.
"There is no sight of Chen Beixuan. "
Many people were disappointed.
"Still, look at the party they have brought."
The sight of the large group of deadly warriors was hard to miss.
The North Qiong Sect had brought with them more than ten Grandmasters and two Immortal State Warriors. If the rumor about the Dragon Hall's capitulation to Chen Beixuan was correct, the total number of Immortal State Warriors would be four and the Grandmasters twenty.
Such power was equivalent to the combined forces of all other warriors in China and rivaled the overbearing dominance of the Christian Church during its peak. Worse, the North Qiong Sect also had Chen Fan, a warrior of unprecedented might.
"The North Qiong Sect brought many deadly warriors with them, I hope Lord Shuming can handle it."
The sight of North Qiong Sect's overwhelming assembly of warriors had made many onlookers sympathetic toward Lin Shuming.
A flash of lightning scarred the dark night.
An old man wearing a Taoist robe with Eight Trigram symbols appeared on the beach. He was holding a large seal in one hand and wore a scowl on his face. His appearance startled many onlookers, especially the unsavory kind.
"The Grand Heavenly Master, Yao Daoyi?" someone exclaimed.
Yao Daoyi was a legend. Rumor had it that he had reached the mid-stage of Immortal State sixty years ago. In his hand was the famous Dharma Treasure—Thunder Seal. Its potency was so renowned that even the sight of it instilled fear into many people's hearts. It had been a while since he was last shown in action, so no one knew how powerful he had gotten over the years.
Even Ye Qincang couldn't bring him to heels, and their battle ended in a draw.
Yao Daoyi cast a quick glance at Lin Shuming and cracked a smile.
He then found an empty spot on the beach and sat down. A bright light flashed inside the Thunder Seal from time to time as if proclaiming its fame to everyone. It was passed down for generation in the Heavenly Master Sect and was as powerful as all seven Dark Witch Magus Artifacts combined.
The gathering of four Immortal State Warriors was a terrifying yet exciting sight for many people.
Suddenly, the crowd heard a man singing from far away.
"Immortality is your soul's desire, money and fame drive you further from God."
The crowd found the singer in the sky. He was an old man wearing a Taoist robe, descending slowly from the sky. The loose folds of his enormous rob flapped against the wind as he made his landing.
"Li Changsheng from Wu Dang's Primordial Dao Sect?"
The appearance of another Immortal State Warrior stirred up the crowd again.
The Wu Dang Sect was well known for its Dharma Spell and Martial Arts Dual Cultivation. Li Changsheng was believed to be only slightly younger than Lin Shuming and not any less powerful. The only time he was seen in action was when Ye Qincang attacked the joined forces of seven Immortal State Warriors.
"Brother Lin, why do you force yourself to do this?"
Li Changsheng gave Lin Shuming a look and shook his head.
Lin Shuming sat motionlessly on the top of a flat rock and didn't offer a reply.
However, Li Changsheng's question had many other people guessing.
Suddenly, a glint of something sharp flashed in the sky.
This time, a Japanese warrior wearing a samurai outfit appeared some distance off the shore, walking on the angry broken waves. There was a constant stream of energy bursting out from his body that broke the waves in front of him. As he treads confidently across the sea, he left a trail of foamy seawater behind. From a distance, it looked as if he had split the sea into halves to make way for himself.
"Who is that?"
Many were astonished by his dramatic entry. There was no doubt that this Japanese stranger was an Immortal State Warrior.
But no one had ever heard of any Immortal State Warriors in Japan.
"He is Watanabe, the former Sword Sage of Japan. I didn't expect him to still be alive."
Many old martial artists recognized the Japanese man and were startled by his appearance.
The name had taken the crowd by surprise.
Last time Watanabe visited China, he had defeated a dozen Grandmasters and was eventually driven away by Lin Shuming after their historical fight at the peak of the Emei Mountain.
That fight was considered the fight of that century.
However, almost a hundred years later, Watanabe had appeared in China again.
"Mr. Shuming, I wish that your opponent were me today. The thought of being unable to finish what we have started sixty years ago deeply saddens me," Watanabe said with a husky voice.
Lin Shuming opened his eyes and cast a knowing glance at the Japanese warrior in silence.
The Japanese nationals among the audience rushed to greet the Sword Sage. Watanabe stood motionlessly on top of the foamy seawater, looking cold and distant as ever.
By then, six Immortal State Warriors had gathered at the beach. It was an unprecedented sight.
"The battle is going to destroy the city of Zhong Hai. How could the government let them do this?"
Many people exclaimed fearfully.
Meanwhile, the Chinese navy ships a few miles away had their firing system loaded and ready to fire. A large convoy of armored vehicles filled with soldiers also approached the beach.
"They are from Kunlun. Finally!"
"I have seen Red Sparrow, Azure Dragon, Black Tortoise, and White Tiger. The Four Generals of Kunlun are all here."
"Who is that old man in front of the Azure dragon? Is that Ye Qincang?"
Many people asked curiously.
The presence of Special Case Department had always been an indication that something big. The dispatching of all four generals meant that the leaders of China had taken this battle very seriously. What shocked the audiences the most was a stately looking old man at the forefront of the retinue.
The old man strode confidently and imperiously toward the breach.
Even as he got closer to Yao Daoyi and Watanabe, his confidence didn't even wane the slightest.
"He is not Ye Qincang."
Some older Grandmasters shook their heads.
"Azure Dragon, I didn't expect to see you alive," Li Changsheng said slowly.
"Hehe, I am not going to die before you freak."
The old man guffawed.
Yao Daoyi snorted at the old man and remained silent.
"He is the first generation Azure Dragon. Not only is he alive, but he has also reached the Immortal State?"
Someone shouted in surprise.
When Ye Qincang established the Kunlun, he had four most trusted associates. As time passed, some of them were killed and the Azure dragon also retired. However, their titles remained and were passed down.
The return of the former Azure Dragon made many people reevaluate the power of Kunlun.
"Lin Shuming, General Ye had settled the score with you sixty years ago, why do you go back on your promise and cause such a racket in China?" Azure Dragon fumed.
"Chen Beixuan had killed my disciples and ended my Lin Family's bloodline. I have nothing to lose, why should I care about my promises," Lin Shuming said faintly.
"Humph! Lin Langya had asked for it. He attacked Chen Beixuan first and died because of his stupidity and weakness. There's nothing about him that was worth your remorse, let along with such extreme measures," Azure Dragon shouted.
"He needs to pay with his life."
Lin Shuming ended the conversation with a firm announcement.
Azure Dragon shook his head and gave up. No one was sure about Lin Shuming's power right now, and no one wanted to test it, not even Azure Dragon. They waited expectantly to see how everything would unfold.
Without Lin Shuming, who would stop Chen Beixuan?
Many more warriors joined the crowds of audiences, but none of them appeared to be Immortal State Warriors. There might have been a few Immortal State Warriors lurking from afar. Even Watanabe and Azure Dragon kept a safe distance from the battleground.
"Where is Chen Beixuan?"
The crowd waited from noon until evening, but Chen Fan was nowhere to be seen.
While the crowd started to become increasingly restless, the Immortal State Warriors were waiting patiently.
"Did Xiao Fan get the invitation?" Wang Xiaoyun wondered.
"Don't worry, Auntie Wang. I am sure Xiao Fan will be here soon," Fang Qiong said.
Fang Qiong had been working closely with Wang Xiaoyun, supporting her in many capacities. By then, she had earned Wang Xiaoyun's full trust.
The forecasted downpour finally arrived.
The Grandmasters shielded themselves with Four Righteousness Protection Energy, but the others were drenched.
"There!" Hua Yunfeng suddenly exclaimed.
Watanabe, Yao Daoyi, and Li Changsheng all looked to the direction where Hua Yunfeng was pointing.
Dark clouds gathered and painted the sky black. Underneath the thick shelf of the cloud were a violent storm and an angry sea. Amid the misty chaos was a waterspout.
A winding and twisting waterspout writhed up and reached the dark clouds like a white finger.
"That is that?"
The sight astonished everyone.
They watched as a young man in azure outfit stood at the top of the waterspout as the waterspout moved toward the beach. His shirt flapped against the wind, and his eyes were dark and incandescent all at the same time. His body was illuminated by an azure glow that came from within, making him shine against the dark and gloomy backdrop.
He was Chen Fan.
"Chen Beixuan, you finally arrived. "
Lin Shuming opened his eyes and rose to his feet.
Two rays of white energy shot out from his eyes, and they collided with the azure energy that came out of Chen Fan's eyes. The impact immediately caused a shower of sparks.
The audiences felt their heart caught in their throats, wondering what was going to happen next.
They knew that the battle of the century had finally begun.