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Ever since seeing Zen on the field, the disciples at the Cloud Sect had paid close attention to him.

However, at first they were interested in Zen because his refinement level was extremely low.

Jacques was in grade two at the nature level when he participated in the competition last time, but what made him stand out? As a personal disciple, Jacques was hand picked, implying there was something extraordinary about him.

On the other hand, Zen was from the least powerful peak, Drizzle Peak. No one thought there was anything special about Zen, instead they felt pity that there weren’t stronger disciples at Drizzle Peak to join the All Peaks Competition. A lot of disciples from other peaks felt defeated because many of the more powerful members who were in the consummation level in their peaks weren’t permitted to compete in the All Peaks Competition, but a little guy in grade two at the nature level from Drizzle Peak was eligible to join. This peak was unreal.

As the matches continued, the innate superhuman strength Zen possessed attracted attention from some members, while others thought Zen wouldn’t go much farther. What use did his innate superhuman strength have? Warriors didn’t rely on physical strength so much as the life vitality housed within a warrior’s core being.

Zen might have defeated all the opponents in his battles so far, but, most of the disciples were either perplexed, not knowing how Zen was winning, or thought it was luck. Very few accepted that Zen had a true power, except the disciples from Drizzle Peak.

Still, Zen had taken down Cecil during this match.
Zen seemed to be like Rocher, with the ability to defeat someone of the Illuminating Soul Realm even though they only possessed the strength of a nature creature.
Most of the onlookers were unwilling to believe Zen was on the same level as Rocher though.

It was bad enough having one disciple at the Cloud Sect, whose performance bedeviled them, and destroyed their confidence, like Rocher did. Why’d Zen have to be like him?

After mulling it all over, the thought dawned on them that by defeating Cecil, Zen’s achievement was far more terrifying than what Rocher accomplished.

Considering that Rocher was in the consummation level, his strength was closer to Kim’s who was in the Illuminating Soul Realm.

It left them wondering just what the hell Zen’s strength was. He was merely at grade two in the nature level! A disciple’s strength at grade two in the nature level was so far below that of a disciple in the Illuminating Soul Realm.

Three years ago, Jacques, a personal disciple, hadn’t performed so well, but, Zen did, and even beat Cecil, who was ranked eighty-third of the top one hundred disciples.

None of that mattered. Regardless of how well Zen fought against Cecil, most people still thought Zen was inferior to Rocher.
Because Rocher had made a name for himself at the Cloud Sect, able to defeat a warrior of the Illuminating Soul Realm prior to the All Peaks Competition. Most people recognized that Rocher was a virtuoso and naturally, someone as gifted as that would be more powerful.

That was part of human nature. Two people at the same level, would try to outperform each other, but, when one was more powerful than the other, giving credit where due was honorable.

Not so long ago, everybody thought so low of Zen that it was believed he would do so poorly that he’d look like a buffoon during the All Peaks Competition.

During the competitions, people were surprised to discover Zen was not a buffoon, and everyone who had underestimated him was.
The strength Zen had displayed was like a slap in the face to those who considered Zen inept.

They needed to find someone more capable than Zen, so they’d chosen Rocher.
It wasn’t long before many of the disciples who doubted Zen’s prowess were comparing Zen’s expertise and skills to Rocher’s, with most of them preferring the latter.
“So, what if Zen has defeated Cecil? Cecil’s fighting style isn’t as strong in a one on one battle, and his refining methods are more suitable for team attacks!”

“If Zen goes up against Rocher, he will lose, hands down, and end up knocked on his rear!”

“True enough. Zen relied on innate strength and his abnormally strong physical form. He must’ve eaten something special, or maybe a treasure, which empowered him. It’s a fluke, and not related to talent at all. He’s in grade two of the nature level and seventeen years old! Therefore, his talent is ordinary, but Rocher, now he’s unique! He’s followed the rules, worked hard and hasn’t gotten where he is through trickery.”

“What’s more, Rocher didn’t show his strength off. Why, he didn’t even draw a sword! While Zen relies only on his corporeal body. No matter how strong the body is, sooner or later he will meet someone truly powerful, what then? It’ll consume all his strength!”

Chatter between the disciples from almost every peak was like this, except the disciples of Drizzle Peak.

When the disciples of Drizzle Peak heard the gossip, it upset them, but, since there weren’t very many members from Drizzle Peak at the competitions, they couldn’t influence popular opinion.
Beyond the All Peaks Competition field, Zen was the subject of choice as well.

Each of the thirty-three peaks at the Cloud Sect had a Picture Slab to watch the All Peaks Competition matches. The hottest topic in every peak, whether among inner or outer disciples, was Zen. Over at Ninety-Foot Peak there was a group of inner disciples crowded around the Picture Slab in a heated debate.

Most of them agreed with the spectators at the competitions, that Rocher was more powerful.

Only a handful of disciples thought Zen was the more formidable adversary because he defeated a member of the Illuminating Soul Realm even though he only possessed the strength of a grade two refiner in the nature level. Hence, it was only logical to see that his expertise would be far superior to Rocher’s, when he ascended to the consummation realm.

“There’s no doubt about it. Zen is more capable!” one youth from Ninety-foot Peak announced as he shook his head.

“Oh come on, Zachary! You’re blind and brainless if you think that! Are you aware that to some extent, Rocher has mastered the sword intent? And Rocher wasn’t giving the match his full effort? If he drew a sword, Rocher would shred Zen’s body into ribbons, easily, using the sword intent!” retorted another disciple quickly.

“Yeah, so? Rocher has been holding back and keeping how strong he is to himself. Isn’t that what Zen does too?” countered Zachary as his lips slowly curled into a triumphant smile. Although he was a top disciple at Ninety-foot Peak, he, unfortunately, lost in the battle ring before the All Peaks Competition, which meant he didn’t get the chance to compete this year. As a matter of fact, amongst the disciples who weren’t taking part in the All Peaks Competition, Zachary might very well be the strongest.

“If you really believe that Zen will win, why not place a wager on him? Of course, if you’re so sure, then you could bet your entire savings on him!” commented some of the others.

Disciples had been placing wagers on the outcome of the competitions from the start of the All Peaks Competition. The competitors were assessed on stats, including their strength, and the gambling was open to all the disciples that wanted to participate.

Technically it was against the rules, however, the Cloud Sect officials turned a blind eye to the gambling. After all, many of the disciples from the noble clans were placing and taking bets.

Rocher’s odds were 1:1.2, while Zen’s were 1:3.5. If the odds were low, it meant that people thought he was strong.

Looking at how much lower Rocher’s odds were, it could only be surmised that most people thought Rocher was more powerful.

Not to be brought down by the mockery his peers were dishing out, Zachary laughed loudly, “What makes you think I haven’t already placed a bet? Actually, I wagered my entire savings on Zen at the very beginning, and since then I have tripled my capital. Do you want to see my cubic crystals balance? It’d frighten you! And, I’ll keep betting on him! I’ll add everything in my savings. Are you going to bet everything on Rocher?”

asked Zachary shocking everyone at Ninety-foot Peak.
Rocher’s strength was incredible, but, he wasn’t invincible. After all, Rocher was refining at the consummation of nature level. And the personal disciples hadn’t started to compete. Additionally, there were some disciples in the thirty-three peaks that could beat Rocher, such as Wing Xie and Sheeny Wu from the same peak as Rocher, along with Even Bai and Dick Zhou from Blackrock Peak. They were all gifted and masters in the Illuminating Soul Realm, so, it was a great possibility any one of them might defeat Rocher.
Certainly there wasn’t a madman who would risk betting all the savings on him. It was no big deal to Rocher if he lost in one round, as he could still join in the other group matches. But, if he lost a single time, anyone who was betting the savings on him would be… in serious trouble.
Still, Zachary was a madman, and risked everything on Zen winning.

His plan was so crazy, and it was ingenious! He would bet it all on Zen every round.

If he guessed right and Zen won every round, he would double his savings, and bring his total into the thousands!
Why was Zachary willing to risk so much?
Others said Zachary was crazy, but he was quite clear that he wasn’t insane. On the contrary, he trusted his gut and Zen’s strength.
Since he was the only one who’d felt Zen’s abnormal, intense strength and knew how powerful Zen’s sword intent was.
Zen could manipulate sword intent when he’d practiced with a sword for the first time and resisted a hundred waves of Magnetic Aurora on the Seven Star Sword Light Platform on the difficulty of level eight. A guy such as Zen couldn’t be called a genius though, since he fit the description of a monster much better.

When they looked through the Picture Slab earlier, they saw Zen had started the Sword Step. Everyone laughed, mocking Zen because his Sword Step was a crude imitation, but Zachary didn’t care. He watched carefully all the while with shock in his heart. He saw how immature Zen’s Sword Step was and realized that Zen had barely learned the Sword Step from Rocher, unexpectedly.

After watching the Sword Step performed one time, Zen was able to initiate the steps and from there, practice it too. It was unbelievable. It was absurd, still, Zachary knew Zen could do it. Given how abnormal Zen’s talent was, this method was nothing to him.

Because Zachary had seen a more abnormal aspect of Zen.
The confident Zachary watched the Picture Slab, a playful smile growing, and making his face light up.
“Come on, Zen. I’m addicted to gambling, but, these years, I rarely win. Just this once, let me bet, unrestrained, and win big!”

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