Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 09 Ch. 12

One Punch

Wind from the explosion tousling her hair, A-Lan shivered and wobbled as she prayed Abels would know that he was the last one on her mind right before her death and that he would remember her fondly.

Luo Ming’s blast had the ability to dismember A-Lan; no two ways about it. Mutilation couldn’t possibly be painless… could it? She slowly opened her eyes a moment later, when she didn’t feel any pain despite the qi undulating post-explosion, to find herself perfectly fine. She never quit when the odds were stacked against her during her flight from Nanjiang, and there was even less reason to yield after learning Abels was still alive.

Mountain Monster’s eyes didn’t freeze because she was afraid of death. As a matter of fact, she, unlike A-Lan, felt somewhat relieved to have her burdens erased along with her. Because her attitude regarding her own demise contradicted A-Lan’s, she bore witness to an unforgettable, incomprehensible scene.

“What… just happened?” A-Lan questioned.

Considering the gravity of Mountain Monster’s injuries, it would be reasonable to assume the blast aggravated her injuries, yet she was on her feet and able to point to the spot where steam levitated from the formerly frozen spot. “Ov-over there.”

A-Lan couldn’t immediately see the man with flowing white hair in the steam immediately owing to the white smoke emanating from his hand. The ice around him had melted back to its uncondensed form.

Mountain Monster quavered, “He… stopped the sword qi with his hand.”

One hand. His one hand acted as a shield that stopped the enormous blast. What would’ve overwhelmed Abels didn’t even scratch him or them. Although Mountain Monster hadn’t known him for long, she understood what his smile meant; it was the smile of a man who finally found someone worth his time after being deprived for a long time. What really shook her was realising what it took to tickle his fancy at all.

“Ab-Abels?” Luo Ming, the monster on the water, mumbled softly with his eyes locked onto the man with strands of flowing white hair from his head. “Intriguing.”

Ming Feizhen checked out the smoke on his hand: “Sharp sword qi. Old bugger has been hiding his true power and fooling people into believing he’s Abels. He’s still pulling punches, though. He’s significantly stronger when he has a sword, huh?”

The last time the two monsters met, Luo Ming couldn’t use his Eclipse properly since he was limited to his fists, while Ming Feizhen had to control Mountain Monster’s speech and fight simultaneously.

Ming Feizhen also got a glimpse of Luo Ming’s swordplay when he hid at the outskirts of Canhu Town to rescue A-Lan and Mountain Monster.

Ming Feizhen, arms folded, contemplated how to proceed and then flashed a corner of his white pearls: “Let’s scare him. Hey, A-Lan, what boxing style does Abels use?”

“Uh… His boxing style is his self-invented Ocean Fist Manual because he throws varying hand strikes in a controlled chaos style just as the ocean’s current can alter abruptly. His Evil Eminence Scripture, to begin with, is an internal style that alternates between being rigid and flowing, which is why his boxing style is also freestyle. Why the question?”

“You forget?” Ming Feizhen closed his open hand and huffed on it. “It’s my turn to play Abels.” At the same time Ming Feizhen spawned blue energy on his fist, it manifested over thirty metres around him.

Depending on the personality and style of the fighter, their Enlightenment’s physical manifestation varied. Some people are well-versed in offence, while more are more defensive. In terms of defence, some people are better at being elusive, while others are good at guarding.

Abels’ Orthodox Realm style – Evil Eminence Scripture – was an emulation of the ocean. More specifically, it emulated the vastness of the ocean. Similarly, Abels was a generous man. A man with tolerance and generosity of the ocean justifies him manifesting blue energy spreading over a wide radius. Luo Ming’s Enlightenment showed as light-blue energy even when utilising Evil Eminence Scripture. In comparison, Abels’ was ocean blue, while Ming Feizhen’s was sky blue, a colour that symbolised purification but failed to capture his destructive might.

“Didn’t expect Tai Chi’s Enlightenment to be useful in this situation.”

Ming Feizhen seldom employed Tai Chi despite how effective it was for it was almost impossible not to identify at a glance. If people erroneously thought Wudang’s patriarch had descended onto a scene, the uproar would be troubling.

One of the most common misconceptions about Tai Chi was that people wrongly assumed it was mainly about being soft.

“Y-you know boxing styles?” A-Lan inquired.

Ming Feizhen winked: “I invented one when I was young and can still remember it.”

“What style is it?” Mountain Monster asked.

“As you have asked, I shall answer.” Ming Feizhen turned back to Luo Ming and started powering up just as the latter was thinking, you want to challenge me after when I crushed you once already?

Ming Feizhen’s fist started spitting blue energy comparably to sparks jumping from a fire and then belted, “Take this: Thunder. Clapping. Your. Mom. Smashing. Overlord!”

A-Lan and Mountain Monster: “The hell is that bullcrap?!”

Boom! Ming Feizhen’s explosive punch coiled the water around the energy launched from his fist as though there was a cylindrical vacuum at the centre preserving its shape, leaving the surroundings deprived of oxygen for the split second his energy zipped by. By the time it reached Luo Ming, the amount of water pulled along compared to a wave out to gobble a mountain.

Paying for underestimating his opponent, Luo Ming was too late to get away by that point owing to the pull from Ming Feizhen’s force trapping him in place to be steamrolled. Cornered, he resorted to Abyss Theory, fighting water with water as a means of forcibly pulling himself. He then used his qinggong to leap twenty metres away in order to avoid being smashed.

Luo Ming’s boat that finally caught up didn’t have the same mobility. As a result, Ming Feizhen’s punch splintered it from the bow to the other end and continued for kilometres before showing any signs of energy depletion.

Trivia

1) “One of the most common misconceptions about Tai Chi was that people wrongly assumed it was mainly about being soft.” – This is a real fact.

2) “Boxing style” refers to styles that focus on the hand, not actual boxing with the gloves on. For instance, Southern Fist/Nanquan is also called Southern Boxing (although rare since it doesn’t suit the context) and Praying Mantis is a shortened form of “Praying Mantis Boxing” etc.

The reason we rarely use the “boxing” term is because it’s only applied when speaking of it in a combat context. Otherwise, we refer to them as Southern Fist, Praying Mantis and so forth, which is even more appropriate in contemporary versions of these that are more acrobatic and for choreography than to clobber someone in a ring/octagon.

 

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