"Has Lin Shuming been defeated?"
Everyone saw how Lin Shuming was pinned under Chen Fan's boots ever since the start of the match. He was driven from the sea to the highway, and after that, he was pushed back to the sea again. He had even used his coup de grace, but he was still no match against Chen Fan's overwhelming force. With his sword knocked to the ground, he was utterly defeated.
Lots of martial arts families were stultified by the development.
If North Qiong Sect was powerful enough to defeat Lin Shuming, who would be able to bring them down? Was the North Qiong Sect really going to become the most powerful sect in China?
The Japanese martial artists were shaken to their cores.
Chen Fan was the enemy number one in Japan. He had toppled the Five Major Temples, killed Takemiya Hiro, and crushed the Fourteenth Brigade. He alone had forced the nation of Japan to its knees, and Japan would remain weak as long as he was alive.
"My teacher had finally done it!" A'Xiu shouted excitedly.
She had forsaken the usual facade of the Queen of the Underground World in Zhong Zhou and revealed the innocent and giddy little girl inside of her.
Hua Yunfeng shook his head and said, "Lin Shuming has reached the peak of Immortal State, so he is much more powerful than Immortal State Warriors in the late-stage of their cultivation. However, his level of attainment is still far from that of our teacher."
Of all the audiences, he was the only one who had the knowledge and experience to comment on this battle.
Hua Yunfeng registered that Lin Shuming had reached the peak of Immortal State in all aspects of cultivation—Divine Soul, Physique Refinement, as well as True Energy. He should be able to handle six Immortal State Warriors at the same time with ease. In addition, his sword art was incredibly powerful.
However, Chen Fan was much more powerful than him.
Chen Fan had the upper hand ever since the beginning of the battle. Chen Fan's style of martial arts had an otherworldly and transcendental quality to it. It was as if he had learned his moves from a divine sage. The last punch was the quintessential of his divine style—simple but powerful. Hua Yunfeng couldn't find a proper word to describe Chen Fan's last punch, and the only words he could think of was "invincible".
So it was, that punch was invincible indeed!
Any attempt to counter that punch would seem weak and was ultimately ineffective. Therefore, Lin Shuming had to take the brunt force of the punch. Unfortunately for him, he was too weak.
Chen Fan had reached initial success in his Azure Thearch Longevity Body; his True Essence had reached mid-stage of Divine Sea. Therefore, he was truly invincible on this planet in any shape or form.
"So, that's it?" Red Sparrow asked incredulously.
White Tiger and Black Tortoise also found it hard to believe.
This was Lin Shuming's first battle since he finished his sixty-year-long seclusion. And he was already defeated by Chen Fan. If Chen Fan was able to bring Lin Shuming to heels, could he do the same to Ye Qincang?
Azure Dragon narrowed his glinting eyes and said, "The battle has just started. "
Even as everyone was trying to understand the meaning of Azure Dragon's words, a ray of white light lanced up from the sea, and within it was Lin Shuming.
His tattered clothing was drenched. He had summoned so much power and will to defend against Chen Fan's mighty punch that he had no energy left to keep the seawater away from him.
"Chen Beixuan, you really live up to your reputation as the one-in-a-thousand-year genius. You have the body of an Earth Level Deity and the physique of an Azure Jade Bodhisattva. With ample supply of True Qi and incredible Fist Art, you are indeed a force to be reckoned with."
Despite Lin Shuming's tattered clothes and pale face, his voice was firm and confident.
"Unfortunately, you still have not reached the Earth Deity Level. So you will die right here, right now."
Chen Fan narrowed his eyes and gave his opponent a long glance. He then smirked.
"Ah-ha, so THAT is your coup de grace. No wonder you dare to challenge me."
"What is going on?"
The audiences were perplexed by the development.
"Brother Lin is able to command the Heaven's Will. He finally did it!" Li Changsheng exclaimed.
"Mortal Deity. Humph."
Yao Daoyi snorted, but the jealous look on his face betrayed him.
"Brother Lin has reached Mortal Deity? Sugoi! Oh, I really wish I could exchange a few blows with him now!"
Eyes brimming with excitement, Watanabe lamented at the top of his lungs.
Lin Shuming attacked.
He didn't use any divine powers, nor did he command flying swords. He simply clapped his hands and summoned a tsunami of Essence Qi. These Essence Qi converged toward him and formed the shape of a palm.
The palm was over ten meters wide. Without tapping into his True Qi, Lin Shuming waved a hand and commanded the large palm to attack Chen Fan. As the palm bore down onto Chen Fan, it released shockwaves that tore open the heavy curtain of rain.
Everyone was stunned by the revelation.
Lin Shuming's face was pale, and his clothes were in tatters; he was clearly on his last leg. How could he still be able to unleash such unimaginable power?
"Such is the power of Mortal Deity; he could command the Power of Heaven and Earth at will," Azure Dragon said lightly.
Chen Fan was unfazed by the overbearing attack.
He charged up his True Essence and punched forward.
The punch churned the energy in the air and turned the world upside down, warping the reality. The audiences watched as the Sun and the Moon hung in the sky at the same time and heard countless explosions amid the roaring storm. Slowly, rain droplets converged together and formed a fist seal that landed on the large energy-palm.
The fist and the palm crashed into each other, and both were shattered.
Was it a draw?
This was the first time Lin Shuming was able to completely block off Chen Fan's attack.
"How did that happen? I was certain that he was going to be defeated just a second ago."
A'Xiu gasped in disbelief.
The others shared her confusion. After a while, Hua Yunfeng suddenly pulled a taut face as a flicker of surprise flashed in his eyes.
"Lin Shuming must have become a Mortal Deity! No wonder he could counter Master's attack."
"What do you mean?"
Everyone was shocked.
For most of them, it was their first time they heard of the words "Mortal Deity. "
"As its name suggested, a Mortal Deity is a divine being among mortals. According to legends, the Mortal Deity State was the next step after the Immortal State. It is an intermediate state between the Immortal State and the Earth Level Deity. Once reached that state, one could fully tap into the power of heaven and earth and crush even an immortal state warrior without using a fraction of his own energy," Hua Yunfeng explained.
Everyone was stunned by the revelation.
"However, their abilities are a far cry from that of an Earth Level Deity. Their lives would reach the end in about a hundred fifty years, but the Earth Level Deity could live up to five hundred years without falling ill."
Hua Yunfeng shook his head.
"So, is Master in danger?" Yu Wenjin asked, eager to get an answer.
Regardless of how many years a Mortal Deity could live, Lin Shuming at his current level had only half the strength of an Earth Level Deity. That being said, he was strong enough to rise from the ashes and started to attack Chen Fan again.
The development had shocked many other disciples of the North Qiong Sect.
Lin Shuming pointed a finger at the sea as a pulse of energy sliced the sea into halves, revealing the rugged seabed. Above the sea, the force also opened up the curtain of rain droplets.
A light shone in Chen Fan's eyes as energy rippled about him, puffing out his flapping sleeves. He punched directly at the incoming attack. After the impact, Lin Shuming stood his ground firmly, but Chen Fan stumbled back a few feet.
Chen Fan was not concerned by the setback. Charging up his energy, he attacked again.
Lin Shuming's face was impassive as his hands waved back and forth, commanding the seawater to swell. Invisible energy drew the water up and formed it into the shape of a huge hand that closed its fingers around Chen Fan.
"The Great Magus who lived three hundred years ago and the demigod Zhang Sanfeng didn't even reach such a level of attainment," Azure Dragon exclaimed after seeing Lin Shuming's incredible display of power.
The development excited the audiences. Lin Shuming could tap into the Power of Heaven and Earth; he had infinite energy to spare. However powerful Chen Fan was, his energy was limited and would be spent sooner or later.
The thought made A'Xiu and the others start to worry about Chen Fan.
Three milliseconds later, Chen Fan had broken free from the confinement using the Azure Wood Qi Blade.
Meanwhile, Lin Shuming had already finished another spell, turning the countless rain droplets into sharp blades and making them rain down onto Chen Fan.
There were well over thirty thousand blades swooping down onto Chen Fan like a shower of death. This attack was even a few times deadlier than the last one. Chen Fan stood still in the air and let his protection aura take the brunt of the attack.
Bang, bang, bang!
The water blades clashed with Chen Fan's Arcane Energy Bulwark, shattering into a puff of mist.
Chen Fan didn't mind the attacks, and he looked at Lin Shuming with a smirk.
"Do you think it's really that easy to command the Power of Heaven and Earth? I wonder how long you could last in this state… Three hours, or maybe two? You are squandering the remaining three years of your life on this useless spell."
Chen Fan had never met a Mortal Deity before, so he was not sure what a Mortal Deity was capable of.
However, he could tell based on Lin Shuming's performance that the so-called Mortal Deity was a much weaker version of the Connate State.
Throughout his cultivation, Lin Shuming had gained enough inner enlightenment to reach Earth Level Deity, but the lack of Spirit Qi on Earth had hindered his progression.
Even though he had spent sixty years cultivating in that cave, he was still unable to gain a Connate Body. Without a Connate Body, he would have lacked a Connate Body Divine Soul; therefore, despite his enlightenment, he was much weaker than a real Connate Cultivator. Although his mind had reached enough clarity to allow him to tap into the Power of Heaven and Earth, his body was far from ready for such a huge burden.
His remaining three years of mortal life would allow him to sustain the current state for no more than three hours.
"That's enough to kill you," Lin Shuming replied with a calm voice.
Already, his hair and skin had started to lose the youthful luster. However, the fire in Lin Shuming's eyes burnt brighter by the second as he started to harness even more power from his surroundings.