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    Chapter 159: Envy

    Aluda truly fed the Blood Tree everything, poisonous or not, throwing it all in. The Blood Tree had a chance to assimilate and devour flesh, and Wen Ying currently didn't even understand what kind of hybrid it had become.

    He now had a few trump cards specifically for dealing with devilish beings like Berlos and Lan Jiaying. He dared to be more relaxed against them because they looked sturdy.

    He couldn't honestly tell Muershi. As an Extreme Evil Bird, Muershi inherited the powerful bloodline of one of the Three Great Devils. Wen Ying didn't believe that he wouldn't interfere in the ranking matches.

    So, Wen Ying nonchalantly said, "Don't you think that Teacher Lai Yehua has been looking at me rather unfavourably lately? After I beat Huiguo up so badly, he might dislike me even more."

    Muershi: "…Teacher?" His expression was like he had eaten something unpleasant.

    When did Wen Ying start being so polite to Lai Yehua? Ever since Aluda had his back, this guy had been acting like he owned the place, except when Feng Luo was around.

    Muershi pretended to be hurt as he wiped away fake tears, his voice wounded. "You didn't even tell me?"

    Wen Ying calmly took out some food, leaving behind a casual remark. "Just because you're an Extreme Evil Bird."

    Muershi muttered under his breath, "It's all prejudice."

    After finishing lunch and returning to the dorm for an afternoon nap, Wen Ying received a call from the old devil referee around two o'clock. He had anticipated this, so he skillfully cast a quick water spell to wash his face.

    Today, none of the favorites joined the fray except Scarlet; they were all attentively observing Wen Ying's cunning strategies. In each round, Wen Ying employed a distinct approach, and they meticulously noted them down to avoid falling into the same traps.

    In the evening, Wen Ying returned to the castle, where Arulda presented dinner upon the dining table. Her countenance exuded maternal warmth, yet the bowl she bore was as dark as an abyss, emanating tendrils of black mist. Upon the inky broth floated desiccated crimson berries and a miscellany of indiscernible edibles.

    Wen Ying drank it without changing his expression, as if it was just a bowl of bitter Chinese herbal medicine.

    After finishing the drink, Wen Ying asked, "Great-grandmother, I still feel that I have limited control over the toxins within the Bloodwood branches. May I use them?"

    Aruda remained unperturbed by the perilous topic, seating himself across from Wen Ying and picking up his bowl to eat. He nonchalantly replied to her while eating, "Those fellows have tough skin, so there's no need to worry. After drinking this soup tonight, you'll grasp most of it by tomorrow."

    Seeing Wen Ying still looking worried, Aruda added, "If you're truly uneasy, just bring the antidote along."

    The antidote was the liquid found within the main trunk of the Blood Tree.

    The next day, Wen Ying discovered that they had finally made their move. The first challenger of the day was Levimo.

    "Finally decided to show up?" Wen Ying sized up Levimo, who returned her gaze equally.

    Levimo nodded slightly. "I've finished observing."

    Wen Ying hinted, "But how do you know I've used all my tricks?"

    "Try it and you'll find out." As Levimo spoke, his tails behind him suddenly transformed from one solid to one real and eight illusory, doubling in size. The three red demon patterns at the corners of his eyes were vividly crimson, and his eyes shimmered with an enchantingly strange glow.

    In Wen Ying's vision, the arena for the ranking matches suddenly doubled in size. The railings twisted, and Levimo multiplied into nine.

    Silently summoning his Magic Mirror clone, Wen Ying looked around. In the mirror, the arena remained unchanged, and there was only one Levimo, standing on the far right.

    Confirming this, the one on the far right was the real one.

    As the nine Levimos rushed towards him, Wen Ying attacked the one on the right, ignoring the others. Purple electric currents crackled and surged.

    Levimo froze, dodging to the side. He split into several forms again, only to discover that Wen Ying could still locate his true body.

    He noticed the magic mirror in Wen Ying's hand, his expression uncertain.

    In the spectator stands, the demons were also surprised.

    "How does Wen Ying always manage to find the right answer?"

    "Can the Magic Mirror Demon's mirror dispel illusions?"

    "Looking at Wen Ying's expression, it seems that what's reflected in that magic mirror is the true world."

    The demons were as incredulous as if their worldview had been refreshed.

    "Can the Magic Mirror Demon's mirror counter illusion magic?"

    "I've never heard of such a thing!"

    Lilith frowned. The Nine-Tailed Fox clan was renowned for their illusions, and any magic or artifact capable of countering their illusions would have long been investigated by her family. They had never come across any mention of a Magic Mirror Demon being able to see through their illusions.

    Lan Jiaying stared intently at the arena. Indeed, Wen Ying could use the magic mirror in his hand to pierce through Levimo's illusion magic. A Magic Mirror Demon countering the illusions of one of the Three Great Powers of the Demon Realm, the Nine-Tailed Fox? No demon would believe it without seeing it with their own eyes.

    Beros watched the arena with unwavering eyes. His power had indeed grown, in every aspect.

    He had once read an ancient book which recorded that in ancient times, Magic Mirror Demons possessed mirrors capable of revealing all falsehoods. Back then, their mirror abilities were considered heaven-defying.

    If Wen Ying really leaned towards his ancient ancestors, Pelos suddenly worried that he might not be able to defeat Wen Ying when he reached adulthood. Previously, he had never had such concerns!

    He must work harder on his cultivation recently. Absolutely nothing could allow such a ridiculous situation to occur. If he were truly defeated by Wen Ying after reaching adulthood, he, the three-headed hellhound, would become a laughingstock that lasted a hundred years.

    Just thinking about that scene made Pelos' face turn green.

    On the arena, Wen Ying completely ignored Levimo's illusionary magic. Seeing that his pride and joy, illusionary spells, were completely ineffective, Levimo simply gave up on them and switched to other types of magic.

    At this stage, they had not yet specialized in a particular type of magic. Everyone's proficiency in various series was roughly the same. Levimo, having abandoned illusions, was still proficient in using other forms of magic.

    Levimo had already detected the magic card Wen Ying had hidden among the branches and avoided the gravity array. He was already on alert. The next second, Levimo hovered in mid-air, raining down a meteor shower of fiery stones towards Wen Ying.

    The branches rose up to block, with some being snapped and burned. But new ones immediately replenished them, maintaining a temporary balance.

    Phelos, the butterfly-winged mermaid, noticed the buds appearing on some of the branches on the arena and suspected something amiss.

    Aruda had fed Wen Ying too many toxic potions, making him feel that any strange plant was poisonous.

    In the ranking matches, weapons, potions, and other items were prohibited. The toxic potions that Aruda had given Wen Ying were now useless.

    Poison magic differed from other forms; ordinary toxins like paralysis had little effect on demons, and more advanced poison spells required a higher level of proficiency, which Wen Ying didn't quite possess.

    Felis fixated on the buds that were stealthily emerging, concealed by the silvery-white branches. As they blossomed, a mist, similar in hue to the branches, seemed to emanate from them. The extent of its spread was uncertain, for it merged seamlessly with the twigs, making it almost imperceptible that the flowers were releasing vapor.

    Several branches adorned with Little Bai's flowers swooped towards Levimo's back. Without turning his head, Levimo countered with a wind blade that slashed from his palm, severing the branches attacking him.

    The branches were severed.

    Having dealt with the rear assault, Levimo resumed his focused use of magic against Wen Ying.

    After channeling his magic for a while, Levimo began to feel a blockage within his magical energy. He forcefully broke through it, only to choke and spit out a mouthful of blood.

    Levimo's expression was one of disbelief.

    Smelling the scent of blood, Wen Ying seized the opportunity. While Levimo was momentarily dazed, she manipulated the branches to grow more, entwining them with the blossoming white flowers, attempting to pull him down from midair.

    Levimo felt dizzy, and the once smooth flow of magic within his body suddenly turned into a thick liquid, even starting to solidify. More and more silver-white branches bound his limbs, and one of them coiled around his throat, lifting him upward.

    "Cough...cough..."

    Levimo's bat-like wings strained with exertion, resisting the downward pull. The constriction in his throat caused him to lose some of his gathered strength, dragging him towards the ground at an accelerating pace.

    A commotion erupted from the spectator stands.

    "Just a moment ago, it was evenly matched! How did the situation on stage change while I took a sip of water?"

    "Why did Levimo suddenly start vomiting blood?"

    "It looks like poisoning."

    "Aren't potions forbidden in ranking matches? Did Wen Ying cheat?"

    Levimo also wanted to know the source of the poison. Realizing he had been poisoned, he wondered if Wen Ying, a magic mirror demon, had replicated a poison spell, since that kind of magic wasn't related to his demonic lineage.

    For the first time, Levimo envied the innate talent of magic mirror demons. Poison spells were difficult to master, and while he could manage basic ones, more advanced ones were awkward for him to execute, often disrupted by opponents in actual combat.

    The old demon referee's silence indicated that no potion had been used, and those demons in the stands who had questioned the match realized their mistake, now filled with envy over Wen Ying's innate magical abilities.

    Wen Ying's magical cards looked increasingly tantalizing! His battles seemed like cheating, yet he still managed to maintain an air of elegance.

    Levimo was dragged to the ground, his magic flowing slowly. The magic he squeezed out neutralized the branches that swarmed towards him. Wen Ying approached, but Levimo had no extra energy to resist his own magic.

    "I surrender."

    Just as Wen Ying was about to push Levimo off the stage, the latter quickly and calmly admitted defeat.

    Wen Ying froze for a moment. Alright, he saved him some magic power.

    The old demonic referee announced leisurely, "Wen Ying wins."

    The silver-white branches receded like a tide, shrinking back into Wen Ying's shadow.

    Lying on the ground, Levimo sat up, placing his hands on his knees. He looked up at Wen Ying and asked, "When did you use a Poison Spell Card?"

    "A Poison Spell Card?" Wen Ying's confusion didn't seem fake. "I didn't use a Poison Spell Card. It was the branches that were poisonous."

    Levimo could almost hear the collective gasp of shock from the demonic spectators, and he felt his face involuntarily twitch.

    (Extra content available for a limited time in the author's note.)

    Author's Note:

    Phelios said, "The toxicity doesn't lie in the branch, but in the white flowers blooming on it."

    "Flowers?"

    "When did flowers appear on the branches? I didn't notice."

    "There seem to be a few, but they're very small."

    Wen Ying gazed at Phelios pensively, and Phelios returned his gaze with an icy stare.

    Phelios: "Do you dare not use poison?"

    Wen Ying: "If you can guarantee that I won't be held responsible no matter how far this fight goes, then I dare."

    "Don't underestimate me."

    Phelios took to the arena, lifting his chin slightly. The dazzling, dreamlike butterfly pond of the Butterfly Merfolk was captivating, but the chilling aggression he exuded overpowered the elegance and gentleness.

    Those icy-blue eyes held no trace of gentleness; their sharp gaze overshadowed his delicate features. Broad shoulders and a narrow waist were accentuated by the distinct muscles lining his body, adding an intimidating presence to his handsome form.

    Seems sturdy enough, Wen Ying thought to himself. He could probably be a little more liberal with his strength. Originally, he planned to use Bellos and Lan Jiaying to gauge the extent of his current power.

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