The crowd roared with excited anticipation, as the battle they were looking for was about to start. While some were excited to see if John was the real deal, most were cheering for his demise, both taunting John, and sending words of encouragement to his opponent.

John ignored the taunts, his focus on the Sword-Dao Sect opponent before him. This was the first time he was going to battle a member of one of the Three Dao Sects, the strongest sects in the world. Not only that, but it was a member of the Sword-Dao Sect, the supposedly strongest of the three.

He sent out his divine sense to inspect his opponent's armband. Information entered his mind as he linked with it, giving him some insight into his opponent, and also allowing for them to officially battle one another.

Name: Kaynen

Dao Name: Swordstrife

Age: Twenty One

Cultivation: Middle Dao Transformation

Sect: Sword Dao Sect


Qi Quantity: 85

Qi Quality: 84

Health: 68

Durability: 64

Stamina: 92

Comprehensions: 91

Instincts: 81

Willpower: 86

Soul Talent: 89

Speed/Movement Arts: 91

Battle Arts: 92

Attack Power: 90

Total: 1013

Rank: 429

"Not bad," John whistled softly, raising an eyebrow. "Rank four hundred and twenty-nine. Impressive. And your battle arts are rated even higher than mine. It seems like you're quite strong after all."

His opponent, Kaynen, was actually quite impressive. The important combat attributes such as battle arts, speed, power, and stamina were all top notch, even when compared to the historical participants of the Three Dao Tournament. Amongst all Dao Transformation participants to ever compete, Kaynen could consider himself amongst the top ten percent with ease.

The only thing bringing his scores down, and thus his overall rank, was his weak constitution. His health and durability were quite average, lowering his overall rank. If those had been relatively even to his other scores, he would no doubt have ranked close to the top one hundred, or perhaps even broken into that elite rank.

"It's just a shame about your constitution," John sighed, shaking his head as if he were truly sorry for his opponent.

Kaynen gritted his teeth, obviously upset by John's words as this was no doubt a topic of frustration for him. He held his sword out to his side as he walked towards John, eyes narrowed with anger and focus.

"My constitution may be average," Kaynen growled. "But what does my constitution matter when you are unable to lay a single finger on me. You will fall beneath my sword arts today, proving that you are nothing but a fraud."

John smiled, waiting patiently for his opponent to start the battle. "Good luck," he said.

His relaxed attitude and smug smile ignited Kaynen's fury, whose aura exploded outwards without warning. His aura felt like it consisted of a million invisible swords slicing outwards in all directions. When it washed over John, he felt as though there were countless swords trying to pierce his flesh, and even his soul.

"Beat him up Kaynen!"

"Embarrass this fraud!"

"Show this cheater what it means to insult the Sword-Dao Sect!"

Roars of passion boomed out as Kaynen's aura surged, the crowd stirred into a frenzy by the battle to come. Kaynen's frown turned into a smug smile as he heard the crowd, which was unanimously on his side. He seemed to relish the spotlight.

"I was going to take it slow, cutting you down piece by piece," Kaynen said, his words sharp like swords themselves. Just listening to him speak made John feel as though a sword was pointed at his neck, and he couldn't help but be impressed by the Sword-Dao Sect, and Kaynen as well. "But my time is unfortunately limited, as I still need to make sure to qualify in the top nine hundred."

"Ah, right," John said, as if remembering that important fact. "Before we start, what is our relative position right now?"

Kaynen paused for a split second, surprised that John was worried about such a thing when their battle was about to start. "You don't need to worry about that," Kaynen growled.

His sword slashed to the side, its sharpness cutting through space, creating a thin cut in space to his side. John raised an eyebrow again, impressed by the sharpness of his sword. Space was suppressed and locked down in this trial, so even opening it a bit was impressive.

Kaynen reached into the spatial crack, his hand gripping on something. He pulled his hand out a moment later, a new sword in his hand.

'Ah, so it was just a spatial realm of his, that he opened dramatically,' John realized, studying the new sword.

The new sword in Kaynen's hand was far more impressive than the one he had first used. It was one of the finest swords John had ever fought against, and was of impeccable quality. This sword would have no doubt caused an absolute bidding frenzy back on his homeworld, although it was in the possession of a middling Sword-Dao Sect member on this world.

Unlike the first sword Kaynen used, which was marble white, this sword was pitch black. A sharpness emanated from the sword like the other, but in a darker, more sinister way. John looked curiously at the weapon, Kaynen smiling at his expression.

"It's rare for an opponent to force me to use this weapon," Kaynen said, his finger tracing the flat of the sword, infusing it with his Qi. "You didn't force me to use this weapon, but you should still feel honored to have been cut down by it."

John scoffed with amusement, truly impressed by Kaynen's misplaced confidence. The battle had yet to begin, and he was already considering it to be over.

"Let's get started then," John said, waiting for Kaynen to unleash his battle art. "I don't have all day to wait for you to show off to the crowd."

While he was able to overwhelm Kaynen before he could react, John wanted to see his opponent use his strongest sword arts. He wanted to learn as much as he could about the Sword-Dao Sect, as he would be clashing with their strongest members in the future.

Kaynen smiled, then attacked without words or warning. His sword slashed outwards towards John, a black sword image, which billowed like smoke, slicing towards him. His sword moved to fast that it looked like a blur to almost everyone.

The sword image was frighteningly fast, fast enough that it almost caught John off guard. He dodged to the side at the last moment, the sword-image slamming onto the ground behind him.

It pierced into the ground, disappearing deep within before fading away. John looked at the hole behind him, then back towards Kaynen. Kaynen was frowning, obviously hoping that his simple attack would be able to defeat John.

While simple, the attack was quite impressive John had to admit. Against most others in the tournament, it would most likely have landed, and at the very least done quite a deal of damage.

"Fine," Kaynen growled, irked by John's dodge. He slashed his sword above his head in an arc. "You leave me no choice. Swords of a Thousand Sufferings."