Invincible in the Ring
The fact that Luo Ming could look so intimidating was a sign that he had recovered and improved.
I licked my lips: Tsk, tsk, if we could let loose we w-
“Stop! Please curb your urge!” Jin Caitan intervened upon seeing Luo Ming’s stare down with me. “It is only the first round. We must proceed according to procedure. Please keep unrelated fights outside of the event. Should you violate the rules, both of you will be disqualified.”
The warning was obviously for me since Luo Ming never was allowed to participate.
“Although Brother Moyan Xiuluo and Venerable Mianhua have conceded, that does not equate to their groups pulling out as each group has two chances to compete. May this one ask if your groups are continuing?”
Upon returning to his pavilion, Mianhua held his hands in a prayer and replied, “This one gave it everything he had, yet he could not touch Brother Huan once. Cold Mountain Temple hereby withdraws from the competition.” He then whipped his hand, hurling the last nine weapons behind him onto the ring using his internal energy.
I couldn’t tell if I hurt Mianhua or not because he clearly seemed to be full of energy.
… Did I really just win?
Jin Caitan praised, “This one has seen more tragic deaths to the fight than he can remember. He admires you for taking your loss humbly and honourably, Venerable Mianhua.”
If Mianhua wanted to, he could’ve worn me down and then sent someone in for the second match to capitalise on my fatigue, so I’d agree with Jin Caitan’s compliments.
“How about you, Brother Moyan?”
“We’re done.” Moyan Xiuluo sat down onto his wooden chair heavily, wagging his hand. “If I can’t beat him, it’s not even going to be a fight. If Cold Mountain Temple can take a loss like real men, why can’t I?”
“Truly a man of honour.” Seeing Moyan Xiuluo massage his shoulders instead of planning to offer his weapons, Jin Caitan ordered a few men around, “Please retrieve Demon Eyes Sect’s weapons.”
“Wait. Who gave you permission to take our weapons?”
“Did you no say you were not continuing, Brother Moyan? Did this one mishear you?”
“You didn’t mishear. I don’t remember anyone saying we had to return the weapons if we quit, though.” Jin Caitan’s moment of brain stutter prompted Moyan Xiuluo to smugly add, “Mr. Jin, you said every group has sixteen weapons and must exchange seven weapons for the right to compete, but you never told us what happens if we don’t want to compete. We paid the toll when we competed, but why should we return the weapons to you if we are not competing?”
Maybe someone should coin a saying that goes, “Live long enough and you’ll see yourself become a hero.” The big, fat middle finger Moyan Xiuluo gave Luo Ming actually felt satisfying to those who were displeased with Luo Ming.
… By the way, did I really win?
“Mm… That issue is not in this one’s hands. You will need to consult Patriarch Luo regarding the matter.”
“Heh, fine by me. Why would I shy away?” responded Moyan Xiuluo.
Congratulations on finding the door straight to hell. You think Luo Ming would break a sweat taking the nine weapons from you?
“While we did run into some issues, the outcome of the first match in the first round is decided.” Jin Caitan pivoted and then gestured toward me. “Wudang’s Huan Xinglai is first to blow our audience away.”
I closed my eyes to relish the applauses until I heard, “Nice, Moyan Xiuluo. I respect you for taking your loss like a man!” and “Venerable Mianhua, this one respects you for your humbleness!” While the two acclaimed men saluted those applauding them, I was left standing awkwardly in the middle of the ring. Jin Caitan even placed his hands behind his back and signalled for me to sneak off the ring without drawing attention to myself.
… You might as well declare me the loser! Why am I being more humiliated when I’m the winner?!
Mountain Monster: “Winning begets the same outcome is losing. Why even bother getting in the ring?”
Song Ou was told Ming Feizhen had to resolve a stomach ache. Mountain Monster identified Huan Xinglai was Ming Feizhen in disguise despite anyone telling her since she recognised his style and was a professional disguiser herself.
Hong Jiu cackled: “All that dissing, yet you still came to see him perform. You do care about him.”
Hong Jiu wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to throw a verbal jab at Mountain Monster just because they were on the same side now. For the same reason, in addition to Mountain Monster being Mountain Monster, she considered side kicking Hong Jiu but, one, her chances of beating him fair and square were slim, at best; two, she couldn’t afford to draw attention.
“If you weren’t worried he’d lose, what you be watching for, then?”
“My brother would lose? I’m only sparing you because you’re woman and a gnome. Otherwise, I’d have you cough up a thirty metre trail of blood.”
“Thirty metres? I’d be mincemeat, then!”
“All right, tough guy, I’d like to see you act so smug after Ming Feizhen loses.”
Hong Jiu tugged up a corner of his lips as he shook his head: “Haha.”
“You dare to bet?”
“Ten thousand silvers says he won’t lose.”
Mountain Monster was bristling with so much anger that she forgot she stood to gain nothing if Ming Feizhen lost. “Fine, let’s do it. What makes you think he won’t lose?”
Hong Jiu crossed his arms. “I no longer had any apprehensions once I saw the ring.” Hong Jiu then cast his gaze to Ming Feizhen and added, “One day, you, and everybody else, will realise that, once my first brother is in the ring, losing is not an option. He is invincible in the ring.”