The Signs of Battle. A Deity Descends. (Part 3)
As five assassins stormed in brandishing weapons, I gripped the sword hilt at my waist, contemplating whether or not to put them on their prissy backs in one fell swoop. I had never demonstrated my elite swordplay to you before. Young Shiyi once called it as worthless as an infant with a feather despite me never having lost to any swordsman before.
So, I was supposed to be the peerless swordsman of the nine heavens and netherworld until the five froze after setting one foot through the door, eyes trained on Zha Pi.
“The old man looks… strong.”
“Isn’t he the new adept Luo Siming recruited?”
“He’s supposed to be strong.”
“Let’s get him first, then.”
Are these five with the forty-odd others further out? Why are these people suddenly trying to show up Luo Sword Manor?
I noticed the group on the other side of the wall eavesdropping when I entered the estate, but I ignored them since I was in a rush to rescue Boss. As a matter of fact, I thought they were with Luo Sword Manor and lying in ambush.
I moulded more energy to increase my earshot range to the entire estate. I honestly never liked the strategy since I had to rifle all of the voices in order to determine what was useful and what wasn’t despite having used the method so many times.
I can hear someone injured at a corner of the estate after someone with Yang Realm internal energy sealed their accupoint and then fled. Luo Siming is also th-, wait, there are one, two, three people fighting. Why are two of them stronger than even him? Hang on a second. Why is she here?! How am I supposed to fight without reservations now?!
“Get him!” The five assassins rushed toward Zha Pi.
“Ao Xue, don’t sleep on me! Stay with me!” Luo Siming couldn’t help Ao Xue at all due to Luo Yan sealing his accupoints using Scorching Sun Spirit, leaving only three of his bodyguards able to provide some remedy.
Zhi Heng and Ying Xie provided internal energy transfusions. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to stop Ao Xue’s conditioning deteriorating. Ye Shu, the fourth member of the group, sped off to call for Doctor Luo.
Knowing what Luo Yan’s attack was capable of, Luo Siming kept crying, “Ao Xue, stay with me. I’ve called for a doctor already. Hang in there!”
Whether it was thanks to Luo Siming’s yelling or Zhi Heng and Ying Xie’s internal energy transfusion, Ao Xie weakly opened her eyes to mumble, “Young Master… Don’t cry…”
Ao Xue did her best to run her gaze all over Luo Siming, leading to them assuming she was trying to imprint his image to her memories, only for her to voice with a smile, “I am glad… you are okay.”
Most people didn’t know Ao Xue beyond the taciturn bodyguard following Luo Siming since she was five years old, studying, training and going through everything with him. Not many could fathom her undying loyalty to him. There’s no one way to live one’s life, and this was an era where life decisions were commonly in the hands of others. Whether that was a happy thing or not differed on an individual basis.
Silver trails coursing down his cheeks, Luo Siming choked out, “Ao Xue… Ao Xue…”
Ao Xue suddenly gasped blood from internal bleeding judging from its colours.
“Ao Xue! Ao Xue! Doctor Grandpa! Reverend Zha!”
“Who’s that bellowing?” A large man jumped through the ceiling back first, bestrewing tiles, then continued, “What’s a grown man crying for? You’re Young Master Luo?”
The man didn’t look hurt, was able to speak whilst front tucking and landed perfectly upright despite coming through as though someone slammed him through. With a big grin across his face, the man asked, “This is Luo Clan’s property, yeah?”
In a stern voice, Luo Siming questioned, “Who are you?”
“I’m just a man passing by on a mission. By the way, the name is Bodhi.” The man peered through the hole he just made, mumbling, “Pretty fast, aren’t you?”
Dressed in green and armed with her long Vajra Gudgel, Lian Qingluan and Yu Feiyuan, sporting a golden skirt, black metal armguards and iron boots, descended through the hole. Landing first, Yu Feiyuan effortlessly bridged the gap and delivered a heavy knife hand, forcing Bodhi into a trade.
Stopping his skid with a stomp, Bodhi questioned, “I already apologised to you in the woods. Why are you still stalking me?”
Yu Feiyuan answered, “You challenged me. I, therefore, must accept and fight until a victor is decided,” before smashing four bricks on the ground under the weight of her boots and power as she stepped forward.
“Int-Interim Patriarch Yu?”
As if she only just realised she was no longer at Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s place, Yu Feiyuan glanced down at the bricks she just broke then apologised, “Sorry. I did not mean to damage your floor. I have some money on m-”
“No, no, Interim Patriarch Yu, it’s me, Luo Siming.”
Yu Feiyuan looked up to confirm it was Luo Siming speaking out to her, confounding her. The twenty-five year old maiden’s mental processing unit didn’t develop as fast as her strength did, unfortunately.
Luo Siming continued, “This is my estate. We are…”
Yu Feiyuan didn’t hear a word Luo Siming said thereafter for Ao Xue stole her attention. “She’s hurt,” Yu Feiyuan stated, casting her gaze up to Bodhi and commanding, “Sister, lead him out of the room. She needs peace and quiet.”
“Roger!” Lian Qingyuan unleashed Vajra Divine Might right off the bat, compelling Bodhi to escape outside after having suffered from the last time he tried muscling his way through Vajra Divine Might.
Yu Feiyuan took Ao Xue from Luo Siming without as much as a word of explanation and then pressed a hand onto Ao Xue’s chest, using her hand as a medium to relieve the injured maiden of clots: “She’s gravely injured. I need you all to move aside.”
The two swordsmen still offering Ao Xue their internal energy felt a surge of energy burst into Ao Xue, resulting in them pulling their hands off instantly, yet they still felt a numb sensation. Ao Xue juddered as she vomited more blood. Worried, Luo Siming checked her pulse straight away. He discovered that the torrid energy from Luo Yan was gone without a trace, and her countenance gradually improved.
The secret of Vajra Divine Might was in the word “penetration”. In essence, Yu Feiyuan blasted the heat energy in one quick spurt. Simplistic, yes, but it was extremely difficult to master for it required the executioner to coordinate their eyes, internal energy, speed and accuracy. In Ao Xue’s scenario, Yu Feiyuan would’ve killed the latter if any of the aforementioned components were off even slightly.
“Thank you, Interim Patriarch Yu.”
“You’ve also had your accupoint sealed? Did the same person hurt you both?”
Yu Feiyuan gently placed her hand on Luo Siming’s chest, yet he felt a burst of energy that hit as hard as a boulder pitched at him. Fortunately, the sensation unclogged his true qi flow instead of taking his life.
“Leave the talking for later. He’s back.” Yu Feiyuan never looked at the two she treated the entire time because she was focused on her Lian Qingluan’s scuffle outside. After all, Ming Feizhen did teach her not to give her opponent an inch until she dumped them on the ground.
“Is he strong?”
“Yes,” Yu Feiyuan replied. “I might not be able to beat him.”
“What do you have in mind?” Luo Siming didn’t expect someone even Yu Feiyuan had misgivings about to show up. Nonetheless, it was no time for irrelevant questions.
“Nothing special. Winner takes all is how it has always walked. Either you win or you lose. If I lose, I die.”
I-is she serious?
“Ah, I forgot I have a dinner appointment tonight. I can’t die today yet, then. What should I do? Brother Feizhen might be nearby. I might be able to meet him again…”
What is she mumbling about?
For the first time in her fighting career, Lian Qingluan had to pull back after failing to take out an opponent using Vajra Divine Might.
Based on appearances alone, one would infer that Bodhi was a heavy hitter, yet he proved he wasn’t a one-trick pony who relied on asserting sheer might alone, countering Vajra Divine Might through redirecting the force of attacks and then turning it into momentum to strike back. Lian Qingluan had no answer for his counter once she had expended her energy, thus copping an injury.
Evil Eminence Scripture’s advanced levels were no longer solely about exerting one’s strength alone anymore but also adding the opponent’s strength quickly to one’s attack, magnifying one’s output. Vajra Divine Might met its match against opponent’s who could utilise their massive strength against them – all else being equal.
“Be careful, Senior Sister. He has a counter for Vajra Divine Might,” cautioned Lian Qingluan.
Yu Feiyuan gestured for Lian Qingluan to back down: “May this one ask why you would challenge Wutong Jin Yuxuan?”
Standing coolly at the door, hands behind his back, Bodhi responded, “I have my own goals, and I’ve achieved it. This one holds no animosity toward your sect. Farewell.”
“You don’t happen to think you can just walk away after challenging us, do you?”
“Interim Patriarch Yu, y-”
“Save it. You can talk after I put you on your back.”
Is she nuts?! I already told her I’m not looking to fight her!
Yu Feiyuan made closing the gap look effortless; not even Bodhi kept up with her movements. Clearly, she used a different qinggong style to Lian Qingluan. Bodhi quickly intercepted Yu Feiyuan’s punch then ridiculed, “Wutong Jin Yuxuan and Emei Sect don’t teach that qingong. It seems that Interim Patriarch Yu saw a need to find an outsider’s style to supplement, huh?”
“This is my husband’s style. Why would it be an outsider’s style?”
Nobody there – besides Lian Qingluan – was close enough to Yu Feiyuan to know she was married, so her response to Bodhi had them blinking as they scoured their knowledge base for any previous mentions of her husband.
Meanwhile, Yu Feiyuan and Bodhi were unable to seize the upper hand on each other in successive exchanges from a technical standpoint, forcing them to turn up their output in hopes of winning through sheer physical superiority. As a man proud of his strength, Bodhi didn’t expect Yu Feiyuan to match his power, let alone offer an answer to everything he threw. Her ability spoke volumes about her experience and wide repertoire.
With his mind split between attacking and searching for windows to careen, Bodhi achieved neither, while Yu Feiyuan finally caught a vulnerable arm with her left hand. He’d have broken out of her hold if she wasn’t Yu Feiyuan. Howbeit, her vice-like grip forced him to rely on his other hand to dismantle her grip, only to have her intercept with her free hand.
Most of Beijiang’s styles revolved around big swings, making them perfect for jabbing distances, while Yu Feiyuan was still able to perform just as well beyond jabbing range. Consequently, Bodhi’s vitals almost got caught several times.
Whilst trading with Yu Feiyuan, Bodhi attempted to break her hold the same way he neutralised Lian Qingluan’s might. To create an opening to redirect, one must feint in order to draw the opponent into exerting force so that one can then decide on a path to redirect the opponent’s force. No matter how he tried, sadly, she wouldn’t give him the opening. Once desperation kicked in after three failed attempts, he lost his ability to redirect and make feints, impelling him to outmuscle her again to no avail.
I didn’t come to the Central Plain to fight with women!
Bodhi summoned monumental strength out of rage to break Yu Feiyuan’s hold and, using his true kills, uncorked a punch at her abdomen. Even though she knew how to counter the punch, he packed such a punch that he voided her technique. As long as he could get past her last line of defence that was Vajra Divine Might, she should’ve been cornered as all disciples of Wutong Jin Yuxuan would be.
Yu Feiyuan pushed one side of her hip forward whilst drawing the opposite back for blazing twist speed, letting Bodhi hit thin air while she used his punching arm as a bar to turn over on his arm. It’s likely hard to imagine her pulling off the feat at that range and speed when she wore heavy iron boots and had long legs, yet she made it look effortless as she borrowed his stiff arm to launch herself out of his range.
I thought she was an internal style expert, but her external skills are just as impressive, not to mention her movement and joint locking techniques. Judging from her moves thus far, I can’t outmanoeuvre her. She’s the third person I’ve had to get serious with since coming to the Central Plain.
Perhaps it had so long that someone managed to break her hold that Yu Feiyuan felt her left hand was a tad numb. The only people thus far who were able to break her holds were her shifu, Ming Feizhen and Ming Suwen. On the upside, she had pushed Bodhi hard enough for him to go all out, allowing her to devise a more appropriate game plan.
Bodhi finally brandished his large broadsword on his back, giving off the vibe that he was going to be much tougher to take down at this point. Yu Feiyuan sneaked her hand under the latches of her arm armour to lighten her burden, judging it necessary if she was to keep up with Bodhi.
Ready, Bodhi yelled, “I’ll show you wh-, what the h-?!”
Bodhi suddenly absorbed a blast that came out of nowhere and gusted up white smoke, sliding him backward against his will. He trained his eyes over to Yu Feiyuan, assuming she sneak attacked him, only to find that she, too, was forced to retreat from a similar attack.
“Who’s there?!” Bodhi shouted, waiting for someone to show themselves. He had faith in his hearing abilities when he devoted so much to developing his internal energy. “Show yourself, coward.” Bodhi felt a wave of qi at his face by the time he could detect it and was grazed despite his best attempt to evade.
Who is it?
“Is it him?” Luo Siming voiced.
Like a voice in the firmament, yet like a voice right beside them, they heard, “Thirty years to establish in the east. Thirty years, emptiness cannot attract emptiness. Thirty years to find eternal youth. Thirty years to end the search for the big dream.”
Accompanying the poem were ten omnidirectional qi slashes, scattering severing trees, buildings and anything else that could be used to cover something with each slash, recreating the Armageddon described in fiction. At the end of the scampering dust was a sage standing upright.
“Who are you?!” roared Bodhi.
The elder meandered over, playing with his beard: “After spending decades at your sojourn home, your appearance is dishevelled, hair is long and behaviour is odd. Sitting in Begonia Pavillion, Yang Zi meets with Immortal Taiyi, who is in his canoe. Nothing can escape the dao and nothingness. Some can see the previous life and future. There is nothing that cannot be resolved with a smile. The clouds are in the east, while the moon is on the horizon.” The elder paused to inhale before announcing, “This one is Empyrean Zha!”
Thirty years to establish in the east… – This poem is as real as Zha Pi’s reverend status.
The second poem at the end – That is the same poem Wang Chongyang composed in the Condor Heroes trilogy and is the same one Quanzhen Sect’s seven masters recite when they fight Huang Yaoshi. I’ve actually translated the poem whilst adding the meaning to it rather than literally.
The goal of the poem is to poke fun at Huang Yaoshi, with Wang Chongyang contrasting his free life whilst pursing the dao to Huang Yaoshi’s reclusive life on an island for decades. If you’ve consumed Legend of the Condor Heroes’ materials, then you will already know about Huang Yaoshi’s nickname – Eastern Heretic – and understand where the jab comes from.
Bodhi’s Fighting Style Explained (Read caption on youtube description)