Water Can Carry a Boat
I looked at one of the rings, and indeed, Mount Hua’s sect-leader, Jia Yunfeng was on one of the rings.
Among the thirty-two of us here, fourteen are Qilin Guards, four are from Liu Shan Men and four are from the emperor’s security detail. As it stands, it is much different to the contest three years ago.
Su Xiao, Tang Ye, Brother Bastard and I didn’t take part three years ago, as we have just entered Liu Shan Men. Even Boss Shen hadn’t accomplished much at the time, so you can imagine how bad it was.
The ten-plus wandering warriors were first-timers too. Among them included Jia Yunfeng and Xiang Batian.
Jia Yunfeng wore a grey robe. He looked neither happy nor sad. He stood there coldly in the ring as if the world owed him applause for his handsome face.
Jia Yunfeng stood there in the ring while showing off his extraordinary and noble aura, creating insurmountable pressure for his opponent before even making a move. That’s a Patriarch of a sect in the martial world for you.
Mount Hua sect mainly focuses on swordplay, so they’re bound to have collected some rare weapons.
Hanging on the Jia Yunfeng’s waist was a blue scabbard for a long sword. The sword handle had an ancient design and a straight body. The guard was extremely straight unlike the currently popular wing-guard design. The blue scabbard had old marks from taking damage which gave it an ancient aura. The sword must be the token of Mount Hua sect’s Patriarch, Mount Hua sect’s famous passed-down sword Beyond the Heavens Edge.
Based on my profound knowledge as the self-proclaimed gossip-king and the explanations of weapons in the Black and White Reflection, Beyond the Heavens Edge is a sword the first Patriarch of Mount Hua made from the miraculous metal found at the top of mount Mount Hua. Mount Mount Hua is a dangerous place. Those who make it to the top are far and few. Nobody had located any miraculous metal up there in the past either. That’s why Mount Hua’s Patriarch predicted that the miraculous metal came from beyond the heavens and fell down there from heaven when he found it back then.
When Mount Hua’s Patriarch used that miraculous metal to forge the sword back then, it took him an entire year to complete the sharp blade with no equal, and named it Beyond the Heavens Edge. It’s said that it’s sharp enough to cut jade and slice rocks like tofu. It is ranked fifth among the most famous weapons, and is most definitely a rarely seen weapon. I could sense the sharpness of the blade from where I was standing; demonstrating the legends of the blade weren’t exaggerated.
Opposite stood a brash looking brute. He wasn’t intimidated by Jia Yunfeng’s composure or blade at all. He just focused on himself, rubbing his palms together with a relaxed expression.
The audience started discussing among themselves.
“Who’s that Xiang Batian? He doesn’t look intimidated by Patriarch Jia at all.”
“Of course! Patriarch Jia Yunfeng is most certainly famous, but you haven’t heard of the skills of Xiang Batian. Xiang Batian is a disciple of one of the seven champion white princes. I heard he had to leave Cold Mountain Temple because he disrespected his teachers and killed his teachers. He even killed his shifu. What sort of sect is Cold Mountain Temple? It could be ranked among the top three of the seven champion white princes! I don’t think their exiled disciple is any less compared to Mount Hua’s Patriarch.”
“That’s right, that’s right, that’s right! I heard that he has been working for the orange prince for the last half-a-year. I heard he’s ruthless. Anybody who crosses him gets beat up until he’s a corpse.
“He isn’t as skilled as Patriarch Jia, but his underhanded methods are extremely cruel. I heard that he wants to climb the ranks in the orange prince’s manor. It seems like he wants to take Patriarch Jia’s place.”
Before they could finish, Xiang Batian suddenly revealed a cruel smile making one think of a blood-thirsty beast, and thus terrified. But seeing his savage smile made me have a sense of deja vu.
Nani? Haven’t I seen this guy somewhere before? Why do I feel like I met him one night before? Sigh…… with such a Mr. Average face, I truly feel sorry for his parents.
In the distance, the orange prince sitting next to the emperor frowned, indicated that this wasn’t something he expected.
Hohoho. As the sages of old said, water can carry a boat, but can also capsize a boat. The orange prince must not have expected this development I guess.
Jia Yunfeng and Xiang Batian suddenly looked towards the orange prince to ask for directions.
The orange prince stayed quiet for a long while. When nobody around was paying attention, he made a chopping gesture with his hand and the two of them understood his orders.
His hand gesture meant “survival of the fittest”.
Jia Yunfeng bluntly said: “Brother Xiang, be my guest.”
Xiang Batian said: “I’ve been waiting for longer than half-a-year for this day. I’ve finally got my wish, Patriarch Jia.”
Jia Yunfeng suddenly felt something wrong. He frowned as he had a thought: “We got paired up because you pulled some strings? You want to fight me?”
“What else, you old priest? You think I want to eat, drink and play with you or something?” Xiang Batian let out a hideous laugh, “Jia Yunfeng will be no more after today!”
Xiang Baitian learnt his martial arts from Cold Mountain Temple which is originally a style for monks. However, he loved to fight and had no interest in Buddhism cultivation, so when he was learning martial arts back then, he only stole “Cold Heavenly Sabre Arts”, and “Iron Body”.
Cold Mountain Temple is one of the biggest sects and ranked in the seven champion white princes. Among Dao and Buddhist sects, it stands above Emei and is only beneath Shaolin.
As soon as Xiang Batian escaped from his school, he immediately hid in a cave and began training.
You don’t actually use a sabre for the Cold Heavenly Sabre Arts. What you actually train is an art that strengthens your hands. It’s essentially a style where you use your hands as sabres. Just the Cold Strength component is difficult to master. If one does not possess a strong will, they won’t be able to handle the bone-numbing cold. Further, you can’t be distracted while practicing it. If you can’t stop quivering, forget training, the cold could turn you into an ice-block. Even if you manage to learn the Cold Strength technique, you must undergo frightening training in order to use a hand-blade to fight against your opponents real weapons.
Now let’s talk about the iron body technique. The iron body technique is a qigong art, and one of Cold Mountain Temple’s greatest arts. It is no less formidable than Tie Hanyi’s hardening technique. In fact, if one masters the higher levels of it, they would surpass Tie Hanyi’s technique. However, it is extremely difficult to learn. You must continuously hurt your body and withstand the pain to master it. As such, it is another style that requires a very strong will.
Since the old days, learning martial arts has always required one to have a teacher, especially when learning internal arts as it’s easy to suffer qigong deviation if lucky, and if severe, death. Without a good teacher, it is not possible for one to master an art. There are very few people who successfully master an art teaching themselves, and that is the reason.
Back then, Xiang Batian was in his teens. He wasn’t one who could conceive the elements of martial arts very well, nor did he have a teacher’s guidance. Since he trained on his own, he ended up taking many detours. Xiang Batian hid and trained diligently for twenty years。 He blazed a trail and managed to find a way to practice both arts at the same time on a whim.
He used the iron body technique to protect his body while he trained the cold heavenly sabre art. When his proficiency with his cold heavenly sabre art improved, he used it to break his iron body, and then he rinsed and repeated the process. His method surprisingly allowed him to master two arts in twenty years without a teacher. He is an outlier to have achieved such a level as an exiled disciple.
As soon as Xiang Batian moves, he’s as fast as the wind and thunder. As soon as he moulds energy, his hands become immensely cold. Once his energy is gathered, it means that his internal energy has reached a powerful level. He’s considered a top-class fighter in the pugilistic world because of his skills.
With his cold energy in his hands, Xiang Batian’s hands are sharp and he also has his body protected with his iron body technique. His hands can be sharp to the point where he can wound his opponents with just a nip. He went on the offensive right away without giving his opponent any opportunities.
Jia Yunfeng is a Patriarch at the end of the day, so he wouldn’t draw his sword on an unarmed opponent. He used his fingers as his sword. He stabbed at Xiang Batian’s throat as soon as Xiang Batian came within three inches of his reach. His finger thrust was like a sword, piercing through the air with immense power, creating a whistling sound. The audience showed their excitement when Jia Yunfeng used such a dangerous technique right off the bat.
Xiang Batian didn’t retreat through. He hardened his throat and took it head-on with his iron body technique, and then tried to chop Jia Yunfeng, turning it into a trading-battle like a brawl.
Jia Yunfeng doesn’t usually talk to people like Xiang Batian. As a Patriarch, talking to a traitorous disciple like Xiang Baitian who disrespects his teachers and killed his teachers was a disgrace. Other than that though, Xiang Batian’s skills were unarguably good. It was just that he oozed the aura of a thug, acted arrogant and crude in his mannerisms. Such things were something Jia Yunfeng couldn’t get used to.
And look, as soon as they fought, Jia Yunfeng looks steady like he’s got the match in the bag.
The move Jia Yunfeng used was called “deity showing the way”. It doesn’t pack much of a punch. It’s one of the backward technique variants within Mount Hua’s sword arts. But in that split second, Jia Yunfeng managed to transform it into a lethal technique that was tens of times more powerful than the original technique.
Jia Yunfeng was well aware that Xiang Batian’s iron body was formidable. However, Jia Yunfeng was more agile than him. He was confident he could win with just his two fingers by instantly changing his technique as long as he was within range.
And voila, before he completed his technique, he evaded Xiang Batian’s chop with his footwork and switched techniques. He stabbed straight towards the upper part of Xiang Batian’s digastric muscle. Striking as fast as the wind, Jia Yunfeng swiftly attacked with nineteen sword strikes using his finger. That move is Mount Hua’s Tai Ying Nineteen Consecutive Sword.
Just as Jia Yunfeng was about to push Xiang Batian off the ring with one hand, a loud sound rang by his ear, inducing dizziness and an immense headache. The sound was Xiang Batian’s roar. But his roar alone made Jia Yunfeng almost lose his footing, while his ears were aching like they were being ripped apart.
Xiang Batian didn’t get hurt. His vigorous roar was the best evidence. But it wasn’t time to be figuring out why Xiang Batian was fine after taking the Tai Ying Continuous Nineteen Swords technique. What was more important was figuring out why Jia Yunfeng reacted like that after Xiang Batian roared. While his roar was indeed moulded with his internal energy, it shouldn’t have affected someone with profound internal strength like that of Jia Yunfeng.
Jia Yunfeng staggered. His usual calm expression was replaced with panic. When he tried to counteract, his hands slowed down.
Xiang Batian let out a hideous laugh: “What’s the matter? …… Did you finally realise that you’ve lost all of your internal strength?”
That’s exactly how Jia Yunfeng felt. He could successfully mould his internal energy to his dantian, but his meridians were unusually weak as if he wasn’t himself. When he tried to forcefully mould energy, he felt his dantian hurt as if his internal qi was pinned down inside by hundreds of thorns. He broke out in a cold sweat from pain whenever he tried to mould energy.
“I see it’s true that the thorn-tears Heavenly Cloud Palace concocts does indeed seal one’s internal strength.” Xiang Baitian locked his sly gaze with Jia Yunfeng’s furious and surprised gaze. He laughed and asked: “I stole some of it when his highness asked Long Zaitian to use poison. I’ve been waiting for this moment. Leader Jia, how does it feel to see Tai Ying Consecutive Swords fail to kill?”
Jia Yunfeng struggled to shout: “How dare you poison me?!”
The angry-fire in his eyes was ready to shoot out. After a jingling sound was heard, the sound of Jia Yunfeng unsheathing his sword could be heard.
Beyond the Heavens Edge has been unsheathed!
*Backward technique is just a technique name. The term comes from one of the technique in Chen’s Tai Chi (thank god I still remember some of the moves).
**Digastric muscle is a muscle on your neck that stretches between the mastoid process of the cranium to the mandible at the chin. The upper part where Jia Yunfeng stabbed at sits almost right underneath the rear-end of your jaw on either side.