Martial artists from the Central Plain’s and Beijiang’s martial world hardly ever connected unlike Nanjiang and Western Regions. The Central Plain wouldn’t know there were adepts in Beijiang if it wasn’t for Black and White Reflection blowing up the Supreme Ten Saints.
The three offices overwatching the martial world always kept tabs on the Demon Sect, League of Assassins and mysterious Sky Palace. The Qilin Guards, for that reason, invested ninety percent of their manpower in the pugilistic world, leaving solely Long Zaitian as vice-captain. Even so, the four unorthodox factions troubled them. Emperor Yuansheng’s targets were the capital’s guards and the seven threatening the capital – the Seven Champion White Princes.
Had it not been for Abels’ assassination of a monarch and successful usurpation, he would’ve been irrelevant to the Central Plan’s imperial court and martial world. His confrontation with the escort was the second major event worth recording since his entry into the Central Plain.
As a bandit, disguising himself was something Abels found a thrill in; he never used disguises for safety purposes unlike others. That said, he didn’t prefer to hide his face. He approached the imperial court’s escort without bothering to hide his appearance or feeling as though they couldn’t do anything about him brazenly getting in their face.
Abels was a walking nightmare to many. His power was akin to water in the ocean – immeasurable. The escort’s weaker members were rustled without him having to lift a finger. Emperor Yuansheng, having met many adepts in his lifetime, was the best candidate to calm his men down. As a matter of fact, he was most likely to have encountered the most adepts – barring the adepts one could only classify as freaks of nature.
The Ultimate Three accompanied His Majesty at all times prior to Demon Sect’s eradication. By the same account, he realised he underestimated Abels. They were unable to discern how dangerous Abels really was – at least, Emperor Yuansheng couldn’t. The best way to describe their perception of Abels was, he didn’t make any sense. Worse, Abels wasn’t even trying to intimidate them, yet there they were, questioning themselves. All Divine Realm adepts had what people coined “Eclipse”. Only those who had reached Divine Realm could grasp its precepts.
“Hargh!” howled Emperor Yuansheng.
Emperor Yuansheng’s howl erased some of the doubt and fear going through his men’s mind. He howled another five times, amplifying each one more and more to clear the air. When his own qi made contact with Abels, the latter could’ve incapacitated Emperor Yuansheng merely roaring back.
“Impressive Justice Realm internal energy. You would not be some peon in the Central Plain’s martial world if you could resist my Eclipse using that method.”
Emperor Yuansheng was in no mood to play along. His legs were jelly. Beads of sweat surfaced on his forehead, hunger for air strong. Emperor Yuansheng was already unable to fight just lifting the pressure off them. Perhaps that was Abels’ plan from the very beginning. The result if they hypothetically clashed was more evident than ever.
“You call yourself Beijiang’s Great Bandit. Are you after some treasure here?” Emperor Yuansheng paused to maintain his composure then continued, “We are poor. We don’t have anything Evil Spirits’ leader would possibly be interested in.”
“Judging from the that fact River Monster was unaware of our identities, Abels wouldn’t be here to personally fight us. What does he want?” deliberated Emperor Yuansheng.
“I… was hoping to meet one of your adepts. Night Fortress’ master is considered one of the many greats in Jiangnan. I suppose you won’t let me down.”
“Th-that’s not me. You have the wrong person!” cried Ming Feizhen, wagging his hands frantically.
“I can tell whether I have the right man or not.”
Abels slowed his speech down and shot Ming Feizhen a piercing stare. Unexpectedly, Ming Feizhen leaned his head back as he sprayed blood.
“Big Brother Ming!”
Su Xiao rushed to guard Ming Feizhen, who was down on the ground, and glared back at Abels staunchly. Su Xiao didn’t even tickle Abels’ interest; Abels was more focused on analysing why Ming Feizhen went down so easily. From what he gathered, Ming Feizhen was unmistakably Night Fortress’ master. However, Ming Feizhen’s reaction and the signs he noticed were all unquestionable indicators of suffering internal injuries. If Ming Feizhen was faking it, he was taking a risk arguably bigger than actually fighting back. If he planned to fight back in an injured state, it was the height of idiocy.
“I… I have mistaken Ming Feizhen!” Emperor Yuansheng inwardly remonstrated.
“Don’t say I didn’t keep my word. I yielded. It’s your problem if you don’t have what it takes to arrest me,” taunted River Monster, having returned to Abels side.
Abels still didn’t move from his spot. River Monster whispered in his ear the feeling she sensed from Ming Feizhen not long ago. Though Abels was watching the entire time, he was too far away at the time to notice what River Monster did. Abels took another close look at Ming Feizhen. Ming Feizhen was hurt severely, but his organs were perfectly fine and seemed to be wearing a grin.
“Giving me a handicap, are you? I underestimated you. Now I’m dead set on fighting you, Night Fortress’ master,” inwardly decided Abels. He burst into laughter: “It seems I have mistaken you for Jiangnan’s Night Fortress’ master. I didn’t expect to meet you all here, either. Let’s see… Wow, what is the imperial court up to? A number of you are among the Seventeen Hidden Dragons, no? Is there anyone else?”
The imperial court wrongly assumed River Monster exposed them when she whispered in Abels’ ear.
“I would not be interested if you were ordinary pugilists. After all, there’s no bad blood between us. I suppose you are in disguise and heading to Huzhou for me? Since we have met up already, we need to exchange a few pointers.”
The escort thought they saw two Abels for a second. The next time they saw him, he was standing in Long Zaitian’s spot, while the latter’s trail of blood already stretched twenty metres from his original spot. Abels cleaned off his fist and declared, “That’s the first strike.”