Black Winds Become Mystery
The emperor looked startled when he witnessed the unexpected reversal and said: “Nice palm techniques. There’s softness within the forceful strikes with varying tempos, unmoving yet moving, and once he moves there’s no way of defending. His palm techniques are so powerful. I don’t think it would be easy to find another inner style specialist who could match his strength.”
The emperor was right. For some reason, that Qilin Guard possessed tremendously profound strength.
Long Zaitian and Tang Ye were engaged in a vicious battle in the ring not too far away. Not only were their identities attracting, their exchanges were intense. It was far more promising than this Liu Shan Men’s head constable versus an ordinary Qilin Guard bout.
It was just that the emperor couldn’t shift his eyes away from the two of them. More accurately, he couldn’t stop watching the Qilin Guard. All of this palm strikes were akin to a snowstorm, retracting one arm as the other extends alternatively like a wave coming to shore and leaving, which sounded like thunderclaps. The emperor was seated very far away, yet his heart couldn’t stop palpitating which was a clear indication that the power behind his palm strikes was more than a level above Long Zaitian and co.
Ming Feizhen took strike after strike but he never spat out any blood, and when the strikes landed, there was no sound upon impact. All of his bones and joints in his body must’ve had been shattered by the palm strikes, which would explain why he was powerless to counter, thereby taking strike after strike consecutively.
Shen Yiren’s heart nearly popped out. She was concerned to the point that she stood up, ignoring the emperor’s surprised gaze as well as the impoliteness of her behaviour. She quickly knelt down and pleaded: “Your majesty, I ask that the contest be stopped! Ming Feizhen has already suffered grievous wounds, he cannot continue.”
The emperor was silent at first. His eyes were still fixated on the Qilin Guard and therefore ignored Shen Yiren. As a matter of fact, he was more focused on the contest than before. With his back against his seat, he lazily said: “Such powerful palm strikes, not bad, not bad…… Hmm, but this style… it doesn’t look like an orthodox style no matter how I see it. Yiren, you may be young but you’re knowledge of martial arts can be considered vast. In your opinion, what are the origins of that style?”
Shen Yiren didn’t know why the emperor suddenly asked her about that. Her eyes were locked on Feizhen who was getting pummelled in the ring. He looked like his limbs were all virtually destroyed. With much anxiety, she replied: “Please forgive me for my rudeness. The victor has been decided in that ring. Please declare Ming Feizhen the loser. Feizhen, he……. Constable Ming’s life is hanging in the balance. I am afraid he will not be able to make it.”
“Eunuch Nan is in charge of deciding the outcomes. He is a veteran of the pugilistic world. Do you not think he would be able to tell? Vice-captain Shen, I asked you, have you seen that palm taolu before?”
Shen Yiren’s mind however, was filled with images of Ming Feizhen getting pummelled into mincemeat. She wasn’t paying any heed to the emperor’s words: “Your majesty, can you not wait to ask me that later?!”
The emperor shook his head: “Yiren, this matter… is very important.”
Shen Yiren anxiously replied: “I, I don’t know!”
“Since you don’t know, Cheng’er, how about you answer my question. What are the origins of that style?”
The orange prince watched Shen Yiren standing up out of her seat and smiled: “I do not know. As Vice-captain Shen mentioned, I do not set foot into the pugilistic world while my own skills are poor. I was never qualified to discuss martial arts in the first place.”
“That’s fine, that’s fine. There’s a specialist here with us.” The emperor turned his head around to face the senior eunuch beside him and said: “Wang Tushui, bring Eunuch Nan.”
Eunuch Nan was from the pugilistic world. He entered the palace twenty years ago and suddenly became a skilled fighter rarely seen in the inner sectors of the palace. The emperor treated him as a person in the pugilistic world. He uses the word “please’ with him as the emperor, which goes to show just how much respect he has for Eunuch Nan.
Not long after, Eunuch Nan came up the steps to the royal family seating area from the host area. He wore a neutral expression: “Greetings, your majesty.”
Wang Tushui quickly repeated the question the emperor had to Eunuch Nan. After he finished listening, he nodded gently and then said: “Your majesty, there are many palm styles in the world which make it complicated. Just in terms of the number of styles and variations alone, there are one thousand and forty-seven styles, which belong to three-hundred and seven schools. The guard in the ring can evidently use very powerful palm strikes, which tells us that the emphasis of his style lies in his power, and not the technique.”
The orange prince laughed and said: “It’s just a palm style, what’s so great about it?”
“You are wrong there, your highness. In terms of power alone, it is no less formidable than Shaolin’s Prajna Palms and Wudang’s Two-metre Palms. It is just that it relies heavily on power, thereby losing the true essence of it. Focusing on qi control is the key component, yet it treats as an auxiliary component. Such action is unorthodox in martial arts.”
“In other words, it’s an unorthodox style from the unorthodox sects?”
“Wise insight, your majesty. You are absolutely correct.”
“Eunuch Nan, I have a question for you.” The Qilin Guard had now hit Ming Feizhen with seventeen strikes and stopped. Shen Yiren was anxious like she had a fire under her heart. She wanted to know how Ming Feizhen’s wounds were and anxiously asked: “With such forceful strikes, what would happen to the target?”
“The characteristics of this palm taolu are particularly strange. The target won’t lose their conscious, but their breathing will gradually become erratic. After a short while the force will explode, thereby killing the target. But that said, the skill of the target would need to be factored into the equation as well. If their cultivation is at the peak, having their meridians sealed would be normal.
“Ming Feizhen he-!”
Shen Yiren’s mind was filled with the sound of thumps. Ming Feizhen dying was not part of her plan. She clenched her teeth, turned around and ran out of the royal family seating area, and off in the direction of the ring like the wind.
The emperor didn’t stop her though. He looked at Shen Yiren’s back getting further and further away kindly and amiably. He shook his head with a helpless smile: “She still hasn’t grown up. She can’t handle seeing her subordinates suffer. She’s exactly like her father.”
When he turned to look at the orange prince, his gaze changed: “But that’s strange. Only warriors of the imperial court are gathered for the imperial martial arts tournament. How did someone so skilled from an evil sect sneak in? What do you think, Cheng’er?”
“Father, why are you asking me these questions?” The orange prince frowned and unhappily said: “He is a Qilin Guard. If there was a problem, you should be asking the Qilin Guard’s vice-captain Long Zaitian, and not me.”
“You are wrong again, your highness.” Eunuch Nan continued: “I have been investigating the Black Winds Thirteen Wings homicide these last two weeks, but no matter how I investigated it, everything pointed back to the Qilin Guards. But then there is another problem. The Qilin Guards are one of the imperial court’s three law enforcement offices charged with protecting the nation. The imperial court and the three offices work very closely together so there is no chance that they would betray the imperial court.”
Eunuch Nan looked at the orange prince and continued: “Hence the emperor thought that perhaps it was not someone from the martial world but people in the imperial court who wanted to use the Qilin Guards for unscrupulous means. After my endless investigations, I found out that you had gone and went from the Qilin Guards’ place many times, your highness. Every time, you went you brought very few people and were very cautious, hence catching my attention.”
The orange prince couldn’t hold it in and shouted: “Nan Junfei! Who do you think you are?! You’re just a lowly servant! How dare you slander me?!”
“I dare not, I dare not. But what I said was all true. His majesty has also looked over the evidence.” Eunuch Nan looked to the ground, suddenly smiled and said: “The imperial martial arts tournament is a major event for the imperial court that involves many warriors of the imperial court. If his majesty was not certain, how would he have allowed the imperial martial arts tournament to continue with the Black Winds Thirteen Wings killing the imperial court’s warriors? You have overlooked it, your highness.”
Just as the orange prince was about to rebut, the emperor spoke out.
“Cheng’er, stop.” The emperor said in a low voice: “If Yiren was here right now, she’d be the first one to arrest you. I have looked into your men already. What could those thirteen from the Black Winds Thirteen Wings possibly do?”
The orange prince went completely pale. His eyes ran circles like he was calculating his own skills and his men. Just in the royal family’s seating area alone, he wasn’t a match for his father if they had a fair fight, and he happened to have highly-skilled Eunuch Nan whose true skills knew no bounds.
“Cheng’er, if you stop now, I’ll pretend nothing happened. What do you say?”
“You showed your skills once at that dog-house and taught my men and me a lesson. You were surprisingly fearsome.”
The man who suddenly unleashed an incredible palm strike revealed a smile: “I wonder if you remember me mentioning that I had just mastered a power-focused qigong style that could smash a boulder and kill a fierce tiger? I wanted to ask you to let me try it but you took pre-emptive action, and thus I have only managed to make my request a reality today.”
My breathing was erratic. I forced the words out of my mouth: “Despicable… scum……”
The man looked at his large palms, laughed and said: “This new internal style of mine assists my Fu Xiang divine palm techniques that can break through anything. I killed three Qilin Guards with it. It only took one strike to kill each of them. I never had to make a second move. For you to still be able to speak after taking seventeen strikes, your cultivation is evidently profound. A rare talent indeed. I truly admire you.”
He revealed a savage smile: “But even if your internal strength were to be even superior, after having your meridians sealed by these seventeen strikes, you won’t be able to budge for three hours. You’ll just look pitiful the entire time.
Impossible… This guy shouldn’t be here.
I struggled to get up. I angrily looked at the man before me that had changed his looks and physique. He used disguise and joint manipulation high-level type technique to transform his physique completely.
No, when I saw him last time, he was fatter than he is now. In other words… he manipulated his joints last time while this is his normal appearance.
Why didn’t I discover it……?
“Why are you here in the palace……?” I didn’t use my voice transmission technique. I muttered under my breath angrily: “Meng Jiangnan!!”
“Of course I miss Ming……”
“Fuck out of here. Meng Jiangnan is a fake name, isn’t it…?” I bluntly said: “You just pretended to be the contact person for the League of Assassins’ as a cover for your true identity.”
“Meng Jiangnan” laughed and said: “I sincerely admire your intellect. I always thought that you were the Master of Night Fortress thanks to your martial prowess. I never expected you to be so smart as well. Night Fortress being located in Jiangnan’s martial world is lucky thing. It’s a pity that you’re seeing through it now. Don’t you think……”
“Kuang Tian, Fu Xiang, Yu Ye and Zhong Ning.”
“Meng Jiangnan”‘s expression drastically changed. A flash of killing intent appeared in his eyes. I ignored him and continued.
“I do make mistakes sometimes for real……. So it wasn’t the Black Winds Thirteen Wings, but you guys.” I did my best to suppress my voice and enunciate their name that would frighten countless warriors in the martial world, “Second in the League of Assassins, Path of Darkness!”