The crowd cheered and roared with excitement as the tournament's official start was about to begin. The other Dao Transformation youths flew up from the arena into the stands once more, leaving only John, his opponent, and the Yang-Dao Sect Elder standing on the arena.

Formation screens flickered into existence all across the arena, depicting the stats and charts of both John and his opponent. His opponent, Aragas of the Swiftsword Sect, stared at John with uncertain eyes, a slight grimace on his face.

By now, everyone knew that John's strength was not to be underestimated. Although most still believed that his illusory test scores were somehow false, either through cheating or some other unknown method, they knew his strength was the real deal. In the elimination trial the previous day, John had easily handled two opponents, both from the Three Dao Sects, with relative ease.

Both of those opponents had been ranked around four hundred, placing John's strength firmly above that. His opponent, ranked one thousand and twenty-four, was a far cry from the strength needed to beat John.

John's eyes followed Ji'Han for a moment as he soared through the sky towards the exclusive viewing platform, then sat on a chair between his father and Lilian. He gave Lilian a quick glance, then turned his gaze back towards John, looking down on him from far above like a king looking down on his subject.

"Are both of you ready?" the Yang-Dao Sect Elder spoke, drawing John's attention back to the arena.

Everything had happened so fast, he had almost forgotten he was about to fight in the opening match of the tournament. His opponent nodded, while John took a deep breath to calm himself down, then nodded as well.

"Link your formation armbands," the Elder said, to which both of them did, sending their divine senses out to link with their opponent.

As he did so, John was given information regarding his opponent, which he briefly read though with indifference.

Name: Aragas

Age: Twenty-One

Cultivation: Middle Dao Transformation

Sect: Swiftsword Sect

Speed & Movement Arts: 95

That was the only statistic that stood out to John, who raised an eyebrow in slight surprise. The rest of his opponents scores were lackluster compared to his speed, with only his instincts and comprehensions of any note. Both of those played limited roles in battle, and so the only thing to look out for was his speed.

As they linked their formation armbands, his opponents armbands flared with formation energy, enveloping him. A moment later, the youth's cultivation fell from the Middle Dao Transformation Realm to the Early Dao Transformation Realm, indicating that his opponent had been in the Early Dao Transformation Realm when he was John's exact age.

Aragas grimaced once more, while John merely raised an eyebrow again. He had expected the true geniuses of this world to have cultivation speeds that at least kept up with him, but it seems that was limited for the true geniuses like Ji'Han and the others at the top of the rankings.

John clicked his tongue with displeasure, as this wasn't even going to be a challenge at all for him. He was hoping to use his opponents to hone his new battle arts and have some fun, but it seems that this opponent was not going to be someone he could do that on.

The Yang-Dao Sect Elder inspected both fighters, then nodded his head approvingly. He raised his arm, then lowered it with a flash of showmanship.

"Let the Dao Transformation tournament…begin!"


The crowd roared wildly as the tournament officially started. The crowd was so loud that it was almost impossible to hear one's thoughts. John ignored the crowd, instead focusing on his nearby opponent.

"I'm really not in a good mood right now, so just give up and save us both the trouble of what's to come," John said to Aragas, his voice barely audible over the crowd's roars and cheers.

Instead of giving up, his opponent drew his sword, holding it steadily by his side.

"The Sword Dao is the one truth in the cultivation world," Aragas said, his confidence rising with the sword in his hand. "Only the sword is capable of jumping realms and defying all logic and reason. To give up would be an insult to the Sword Dao."

John sighed deeply as he lowered his gaze, shaking his head as if he was dealing with a fool.


A flash of light suddenly sped by John, so fast that it appeared like a blur to all but the strongest in the crowd. The crowd gasped as they watched Aragas speed past John before John could even react, sword slashing outwards with lethal intent.

Aragas reappeared on the other side of John, his feet skidding on the ground for a short distance before he halted his momentum.

"Hahah, you may be strong, but you are nothing but an idiot," Aragas exclaimed loudly, a smug smile on his face as he stared at John who had yet move. "I may be ranked last, but my speed is amongst the fastest of all tournament geniuses. Even with my cultivation restricted to a minor realm, my speed still ranks in the top fifty."

He then raised his sword before his face, which glistened under the lights of the stands and the artificial sun high above. The sword was four feet long, and emanated a sharp, profound aura equal to the best weapons that could be found on John's homeworld.

Aragas suddenly sped forward once more, flashing past John like a blur, his sword slicing across John's body. He reappeared a moment later to John's side, his smile even wider.

"This sword is the treasured sword of my Swiftsword Sect, passed down from Sect Leader to Sect Leader throughout the ages," Aragas said. "Its sharpness is famed across the entire continent, with thousands of Devil and Beast race powerhouses felled by this blade. With my speed you can't even react to, and with my sword you cannot defend against, you will lose without being able to do anything."


Aragas sped forward once more, then again and again. He formed blurred streaks of light throughout the arena, each streak converging on John's location. Tens, then hundreds of attacks landed on John in less than a second before Aragas finally came to a stop once more.

His smug smile slowly faded away as his instincts flared to life, telling him something was wrong. Normally his opponent, having been cut this many times, would be crying out in pain with bloody wounds all over his body. Instead, John was standing still in the same place, his head slightly bowed as he stared at his feet.

Many long cuts had formed on John's robe, which made it appear as if he had been cut into. However, upon closer inspection, there was no blood at all, as if the sword had only cut through the robe, but had failed to cut through the skin.

Aragas finally paused his assault, staring with narrowed eyes at his opponent. After a few seconds, John finally raised his head, his eyes scanning the battlefield before falling on Aragas. He locked eyes with his opponent, then turned his gaze to his own body, studying his arms, legs, and torso.

"Ah, the battle started?" John asked, noticing the cuts on his clothing. His words shocked everyone, especially Aragas, who instinctively took a step backwards as he noticed John was truly unscathed, despite having been 'cut' by his sword hundreds of times.

John shifted his gaze to the sword in Aragas' hand, then nodded lightly.

"That sword is not bad. Unfortunately, a weapon is still only as strong as the wielder. You may be fast, but your strength is nothing but a joke."

Aragas' mouth opened, both from shock, and from wanting to speak. He stammered his words hastily.

"I conc-"

John appeared before Aragas like a ghost, his movements even faster than Aragas movements moments ago. His leg kicked outwards, slamming into Aragas' side before he could react.


A sickening crunch of flesh and bone sounded out as Aragas shot upwards through the sky like a comet.


Aragas slammed into the formation barrier which sprung to life, stopping his body from leaving the arena. The crowd watched with stunned silence as Aragas' body pressed against the barrier for a moment before sliding down it and crashing to the arena far below.

A patch of blood lingered on the formation barrier, which on the other side sat Ji'Han and the Sword-Saint. John looked upwards towards Ji'Han for a moment, who returned his gaze with calm amusement, then took to the sky to return to where Naelia and Zuri still waited in the stands.

As he flew through the sky, the Yang-Dao Sect Elder announced the outcome of the first battle.

"The victor by rendering his opponent unable to fight: John Fenix."