Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Facing the Ambush Head On
As soon as the variety store owner heard there was going to be a fight, he speedily shut his doors with the timber boards. The others in the tranquil area followed suite, thereby emptying out the street.
The cavalry leader brayed, “You would dare to steal our horses?!”
The leader tapped his horse. The horse deftly sprinted over, while he focused on swinging his blade toward General Manager Bai’s skull. She stayed calm and leaned back, performing a manoeuvre similar to Vajra Iron Bridge. Males commonly used it to set up a spring attack comparably to an arrow on a bow. General Manager Bai performed a variation, utilising her flexibility and minimal knee bend to evade the swing. If there were beauty standards in bridges, she took the crown.
The cavalry in the distance were astonished. Their leader, unfortunately, didn’t have the time to enjoy himself, for General Manager Bai kicked her leg up at the same time she performed the back bend, beating him to the punch and landing her kick on the crook of his arm. The numb sensation induced led to him dropping his blade. Only then did he realise General Manager Bai was proficient with movement.
General Manager Bai had her right hand ready to snatch up the iron broadsword. She rotated with the cutting edge facing out and swung in the same direction. Everything looked still in that second. By the next second, when the black horse neighed, the rider was already drenched in a bloody mist from his back. His horse continued charging forward, while his corpse dropped off the back.
General Manager Bai held the broadsword parallel to the ground. Her white clothing combined with the silver blade gave her the vibe of an empyrean. She smiled sarcastically: “Don’t swing your blade at me if that’s all you’re made of.”
“Th-The bitch killed Big Bro! Avenge Big Bro!”
“Slash and gash her!”
General Manager Bai failed to intimidate them and, instead, riled them up. For some bizarre reason, they didn’t charge together. Instead, nine drew their blades and charged in a crisscross pattern. Equally strange was they surrounded us instead of attacking. We were caught in their strange formation consisting of intersecting members. Not even knowledgeable General Manager Bai could identify the style. With my elbows pinched together, I remarked, “Horse Slaying Formation?”
Bai Lian: “What style is that? I’ve never heard of it.”
“It’s not a style; it’s a formation,” I replied whilst touching my chin. “It’s used in the Northern parts of Xinjiang to capture violent-tempered horses. Generally speaking, you have three riders on three horses. Three more are behind said three. They form a circle around the target horse to cut off its escape routes. Then, they gradually close in until the members behind them can leap over the front three to mount the horse.”
Bewildered, Bai Lian asked, “Why do they call it Horse Slaying Formation instead of Horse Subjugation Formation, then?”
“Because they don’t subdue horses nowadays. Inspired by the formation, one of the warriors in the North replicated the formation to apply to combat on horseback. They close in for kills, hence the name. They commonly surrounded six riders with three and overcome the numbers barrier. That’s why the cavalry from the North is very skilled with the formation. Having said that…” I noticed the cavalry’s black steeds were the cream-of-the-crop steeds from the North. Baffled, I remarked, “Where are these people from? Why are they such superb equestrians and know Horse Slaying Formation?”
“Get the gibberish, and watch out!”
General Manager Bai immediately bobbed her head after speaking. The iron blade whooshed past her head. Another rider slashed her from behind right away. She defended using the broadsword in her hand. A third and fourth attack encroached from behind. She deflected each attack, generating sparks. She fought off several riders from behind with her back to me. As soon as the first blade slipped past her, it travelled toward my head; however, I didn’t dodge.
My counter was so quiet it wasn’t audible unless one really honed in on it. The sound came from his broadsword, causing him to speculate something was wrong with his weapon; there was no other way to explain it. Before he could make heads or tails of the situation, the force from the broadsword thunderously ploughed him off his horse.
His swing collided with my true qi armour, leading to it deflecting straight back at him. I deliberately didn’t defend, so, in theory, he wouldn’t die if he was at a certain level. When I checked on him, I found I erased all of his skills. Fortunately for him, he was still breathing. I pondered, “Who are these people, and why are they sending as many as thirty men after us?”
After I incapacitated one of their knights, their nine-man formation wasn’t what it should be. General Manager Bai was able to keep up with eight of them simultaneously. As a matter of fact, it took three of them to guard against one of her attacks. It was only a matter of time before she dispatched them.
General Manager Bai deftly disarmed one with a kick and disarmed another with a slash right after. They were no match for despite her having to tackle attacks from high and low. Actually, they were lucky they were excellent at their craft. Else, they’d already be in bits and pieces.
I never paid too much attention to General Manager Bai’s style before. When I observed her in the fight, I discerned it was primarily Bai Clan’s style, which emphasised flexibility and rigidness equally in addition to ensuring speed didn’t compromise power… No, I won’t admit I made that all up, as I didn’t understand a lick of what I was watching. In summary, she could kick ass.
General Manager Bai had no time to spare for me, since she was focused on multiple opponents. Hence, while fighting at the centre, she said, “Ming Feizhen, I don’t have time to take care of you at the moment, so watch your own back. I’ll rescue you once I’m done putting these eight away! Hang in there!”
Strolling around casually, I responded, “Roger that! I’ll be waiting for you!”
The remaining cavalry in the distance intently watched from afar. They had a good reason to not join the fray. Cavalry from the North weren’t just adept equestrians; they also needed to be superb archers.
*In ancient times they had lengths of timber they put up at the front door as the equivalent of a security door.