Evil Eminence’s Fire (Part 1)
Unlike Kuang Lu, Dugu had a difficult time fending off the former’s waves of composed attacks, resorting to jumping, crawling and rolling pathetically. Howbeit, if one was to think of it from another angle, they’d see that Dugu was doing an amazing job of not letting Kuang Lu tag him.
As Kuang Lu found Dugu’s centreline, Dugu stopped the sword’s forward momentum between a vacuum he generated between his hands. Kuang Lu quickly adjusted his tactic accordingly, retracting and slashing. Dugu pivoted and checked the blade on his elbow, parting the dirt on the ground at the moment the “clang!” was audible. Separated again, there was a dent in the ground where they previously stood.
Dugu’s strategy for his goal to stall was sound. The only problem was that Kuang Lu was too closely matched for him. Plus, Dugu could feel the sweat coursing down his spine while trying to hide the fact that his injuries were bothering him. The reason Dugu avoided catching attacks was because Kuang Lu’s internal energy was potent enough to give him trouble as he could feel right now.
Emperor Yuansheng adopted the war orphan on a trip and raised the orphan to be his agent from a young age. Dugu was only one of the many war orphans Emperor Yuansheng adopted after the war. If he wanted to, Emperor Yuansheng had enough adopted children to form an army.
Dugu wasn’t the type to deliberately shroud himself in mystery or withhold his skills. His decision to stay out of the spotlight was merely a behaviour that secret agents should adopt. He had stained his hands with as much blood as any other member of the Emperor’s Entourage – not accounting for different levels of opponents. The only difference between him and his colleagues was that he’d finish his targets with their own specialty. Thus, his true expertise had always remained an unknown part of his profile.
Not many people nowadays would think Dugu’s speciality was Shield Style since nobody had inherited it in a long time. The most difficult part of learning the style was that one had to use their body and true qi as a shield. If the name wasn’t a dead giveaway yet, that information should be enough to pick up that it’s a style that focuses predominately on defence.
Shield Style was Dugu’s shield. Dugu was the shield of the man who adopted, fed and raised him. When he was given the choice, Dugu didn’t hesitate to choose Shield Style.
Kuang Lu’s sword was ordinary to the eye, but nobody could identify his style, either.
“You’re hurt.” Kuang Lu couldn’t have missed the smell of herbs oozing from Dugu when they had spent so long tussling and getting in each other’s personal space. “This one was trying to find your injury… Fighting when you are covered in wounds, are you making light of this one?”
“In that case, are you going to yield to appease yourself?”
“That’s a viable suggestion.” Kuang Lu raised his sword again. “This one shall beat you until you yield.”
Owing to the suspenseful scrap in the ring, nobody noticed the one set of curtains standing erect instead of billowing.
“Evil Eminence… the bane of all weapons,” Luo Ming muttered, unable to lift an arm.
Abels cleaved down at an angle that should’ve sealed Luo Ming’s fate, forcing Luo Ming to discharge red energy to catch Sea Deer Hunter. As Abels amped up his output, the floor beneath Luo Ming split, though Abels couldn’t cut any deeper. Rumble! The two dropped below the pavilion when the floor finally gave in, dropping them into a spacious secret chamber that the pavilions were built atop for the competition.
“You’ve improved again in the time you’ve gone missing, Brother Bodhi. That chop was a lot fiercer than I remember.”
Calling Abels’ attack “cleaving” would be semantically erroneous because he actually slammed with Evil Eminence Scripture enhancing it. Luo Ming employed his internal energy to separate himself from the ground and Evil Eminence Scripture’s force – the same concept as hammering a block of diamond on a thin piece of plank.
“I owe Ox Demon my thanks. Had I not grasped Evil Eminence Scripture, you probably tagged me with the surprise attack. I heard you already executed him. Ruthless, aren’t you? I would’ve killed him even if you didn’t. There’s nothing to gain from keeping someone who’d sell his friends out for riches.”
Abels personally taught Ox Demon Evil Eminence Scripture because the latter was the second strongest in Evil Spirits in addition to always spearheading fights.
Since provocation wasn’t getting him anywhere, Luo Ming drew his sword strapped to his sash. “Remember our conversation in the desert? This one said to you, ‘In terms of weapons, you cannot win, but what about skill?’ Then, this one went and loss to you when his injuries beset him.” Luo Ming sent the dirt on the ground up to the walls with a flick of his sword. “This time, your weapon is superior to mine again, but… what about skill?”
Though he wasn’t looking down on Abels at all, Luo Ming tugged up a corner of his lips upon trapping the former in a qi tornado that rose forth from thin air – Ocean Theory. The shrinking tornado could be compared to a formation of soldiers ready to attack from anywhere and at any time.
Contrary to the belief that Evil Eminence Powerfield was an expanding field, it was actually a condensed blue column, just as Abels retracted his blue energy to his blade exclusively.
Abels burst through the qi tornado, giving Luo Ming hardly any time to react.
“I don’t have time for your mindless ramblings!” From above, Abels pressured Luo Ming on all sides.
Luo Ming had no alternative but to churn out more internal energy as a shield whilst countering with God-Shocking Theory, placing them in a deadlock.
Splayed hair billowing, eyes red, Abels scowled as he stared straight into Luo Ming’s eyes: “I’m here for revenge.”