When it came to fighting, Qiu Ling surely didn’t need to worry. The dragons were known for their strength and their ability to guard. In this case, nobody wanted to see any death in the ring, so the task was to take the others out of the ring. If you managed to draw blood, it would have the same effect but, usually, just throwing them out was much easier.
Soon enough, the fight began, and the dragons went all out. Nobody bothered with fancy moves. Among the gods, you might be able to dazzle with that but among the dragons, people were more interested in results. Sorting out your enemies as fast as you could, would be more appreciated.
The cheers of the crowd that had gathered around the ring showed as much. And Fu Heng also had gleaming eyes. He looked a lot like he wanted to jump in there and have a fight with all these people himself. Unfortunately, he was only there to spectate right now. He was hoping that somebody would challenge him later on though.
Meanwhile, Qiu Ling wasn’t that interested. He was looking forward to the next part of the festival since he could learn something from that but this fight … well, it didn’t seem all that great to him.
This was basically just a friendly spar among people on the same side. There was nothing exciting about it. They might as well have just been training.
Now, if this was a genuine fight with the demons, he would be much more impressed. But it wasn’t like they could just grab some and make an arena out of killing demons, could they?
Well, maybe they could but he had the faint feeling that if he dared to propose that, he would be branded a tyrant. Because even though they were at war, there were some morals to be observed. And not using prisoners of war as a way to amuse yourself was definitely one of those unwritten rules.
Anyway, right now, the problem was that he had to watch this thing. But, well, how long could it take for a few dragons to finish a fight like this? He didn’t think that he would be there for long. Not with the fighting styles they usually used.
Qiu Ling was indeed right with that assumption. Since the king was there to watch them, and there were really too many contestants, the dragons went all out, trying to clear the ring of the weaker ones as fast as they could.
Soon enough, only a few of the contestants were left and the fervor still hadn’t died down. By now, it was easier to see the people fighting in the ring so they even doubled their efforts, hoping that they would catch either the king’s attention or that of adviser Fu Heng. After all, they knew exactly what his role in the dragon realm was. Even though getting the recognition of the king was something special, it also made a lot of sense to impress this adviser of his.
The number of contestants on the ring had dwindled down only leaving two dozen or so. Still, every couple of minutes, one of them would be pushed out, and the person that had been fighting against them jumped back into the fray, getting into a fight with someone else.
It was a bit difficult since this was a free-for-all so there were sometimes changes between who was attacking whom. There were even some people who would use the opportunity to throw somebody off the stage if they had turned their backs.
Anyway, that was one more competitor thrown out, even if it meant that for a moment, they might have to fight against two people. Being able to show off by utilizing an opportunity that had presented itself and then managing to best both their original opponent and a new one was also something that showed their strength so they felt it was worth it.
Soon enough, there were only two competitors left. The fight had slowed down a lot and in this case, they didn’t attack immediately, instead looking for weaknesses and strengths that they could utilize.
The people that were left standing after such a fight weren’t weak. They both knew that. Thus, they wouldn’t jump in without any kind of preparation. No, since there was only one person standing between them and the win, they would give it their all!
The two of them circled around each other, looking for an opportunity. Seeing this, Qiu Ling gave the two contestants a bit more of his attention. Anyway, clearly, they were both going for the win so this might be a little more interesting than the fight he had been so far.
Anyway, before, while everyone had surely been looking to win in the end, the stakes hadn’t been as high as they were now. The more opponents you had, the less the fight against each individual one counted. Now though, there were only two of them left.
They couldn’t hope anymore that somebody else would coincidentally take this one out or gave them an opportunity to do so by being sly. They also couldn’t play on time for somebody else to get involved in the fight and offer another chance. No, now, everything depended on their own strength and how well they would be able to counter whatever their opponent had to offer.
Qiu Ling had no idea who the two contestants were or if they were somebody he should know. One of them was a buff guy with pale blue hair that he had braided at the back and then secured in a bun on top of his head. The other was a woman with moss-green hair that she had decided to wear open.
Looking at the two of them next to each other, she seemed petite but the fact that she was still in the ring right now showed that this didn’t mean anything. There wasn’t a doubt that she had the strength to take this man on.
Finally, it was her who took the first step. She rushed at him, making a feint before she attacked from the other side, landing a few heavy blows before he was able to defend himself, and then tried to counterattack.
Qiu Ling gave a hum, feeling that her style was quite interesting. Even in the dragon realm where a lot of your fighting prowess depended on how well you were able to utilize your physical gifts, people might still underestimate a smaller opponent all the damn time, not realizing how deadly they could actually be.
Looking at her now, it was clear that she knew exactly how to make use of her smaller size. That feint had been really good and she had used the little space she needed to outmaneuver her opponent.
He had to say that he liked that. It seemed that these fights weren’t a complete waste of time. He still wouldn’t want to watch them for too long but it was better than nothing.
In the ring, the two dragons traded blows, the woman oftentimes evading hits while acting fast enough to get one of her own in. Finally, her claws struck the man’s body at another such opportunity, drawing blood.
Fu Heng stepped forward, clearing his throat. “Alright, the winner has been determined. Shou Quan, congratulations.” He nodded at her and then turned to Qiu Ling, wanting to see if the king wanted to say something himself since he was already there.
Qiu Ling inclined his head as well. Anyway, even though he hadn’t been particularly interested in this fight, he did have to admit that she had done really well in the last part. As somebody who also valued a strong fighter, he would at least acknowledge that much. “Not bad. I like your style.”
The woman beamed and bowed her head before she stepped out of the ring herself, returning to the people who were watching from the side.
There were quite a few that congratulated her and looked as if they wanted to sweep her away to celebrate somewhere but she didn’t leave, clearly wanting to stick around.
Seeing that this had been handled, Qiu Ling glanced around for whoever was supposed to bring him over to the next part. Unfortunately, he didn’t see anyone. With no other option, he gave a hum and addressed the people around the ring again, feeling that maybe the person was still waiting for an opportunity to step forward without making it seem too deliberate. “Well, with that, let’s get to the individual fights.”
Just then, somebody indeed dashed to his side. “Your Majesty!”
Qiu Ling looked up and realized that the person in question was Fu Min. He gave a hum and raised his brows at him.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to come with me. There’s still that opening over at that pavilion.”
Qiu Ling nodded and then turned back to the ring before looking up at Fu Heng. “In that case, adviser Fu Heng will oversee the rest of the fights. I wish everyone good luck.” Saying so, he rose to his feet, and then followed Fu Min, not wanting to waste any more time with watching. Something much more important was waiting for him.
This was a prime opportunity to further his skills so he could soon impress his beloved. How could he ever let go of that? Anyway, continuous effort was the only thing that would yield results. Thus, he had to put in more effort. Because surely, even though things had already started to change, it wasn’t enough yet. In the future, there was still a lot left to do.