Give Me One Song’s Time
“Before we begin… Miss Shen, you have yet to return the sword to this one.”
Shen Yiren felt a draft at her neck and would’ve felt cold iron had Abels not caught Purple Forbidden Enclosure Dragon Slayer with both hands in time. She promptly squatted to roll behind Abels. Abels was hoping she could save Ming Feizhen so that they could boost their fighting power, but Luo Ming forced her to back track as he saw through their intention.
“The last two strikes from Repository Sword Theory’s God-Shocking Theory?”
Abels, donning a blue cloak of energy, didn’t let himself blink, lest he lose track of Luo Ming. Abels couldn’t risk accessing level seven of Evil Eminence Scripture since he had just learnt it. He might be able to bluff that he had mastered it against someone inexperienced. Luo Ming, on the other hand, would likely see through the ruse and capitalise on Abels’ vulnerability. Until he could figure out the techniques in Luo Ming’s arsenal, Abels could only rely on brute strength.
“It was just a conventional thrust…”
If the person unlocking accupoint seals’ internal energy is closely matched to the sealer, the former can undo the latter’s seals with one palm strike. Luo Ming, instead, cut open the seals in Poison King’s body using sword qi and then forcibly expelled Abels’ internal energy using his own. That could only mean Luo Ming’s internal energy was inferior compared to Abels’.
“Luo Ming, are you saying that wasn’t even a thrust with technical consideration?”
“Why do you think I’d lie to you?” Luo Ming set Poison King down, then turned back to Abels: “I’ve been practicing the same technique daily since I was a child. If we were to compare, my most polished technique among all of the swordplays in my repertoire would be that thrust. That being the case, does it make sense for it to be an ordinary thrust?
“If practicing Repository Sword Theory is training martial arts and so is practicing thrusts, why can’t the latter be a style? That thrust was the best option to deal with you in that situation. Why complicate things?”
Whenever one learns a style, they always have stylised interpretations of things. If thrusting is the most useful despite all the glorified stuff, doesn’t that mean all styles are useless?
The fact of the matter is, context determines how suitable a technique is. By the same account, a style’s interpretation is only as good as the context it is employed in. Even the most unadorned straight thrust can become the most dangerous weapon if applied at the right moment.
“Let’s see if you can back up your profound talk.”
Having noticed the discrepancy in their internal energy potency, Abels started with a smashing palm strike of blue energy, striving to crush Luo Ming under high pressure and might. In a speed contest, Luo Ming would catch Abels whenever he fancied. Going slower but emphasising strength, however, Abels could disrupt Luo Ming’s rhythm.
“It’s hard to gain respect if all you do is rely on brute force.”
Luo Ming’s golden slash halved the blue whale. Prepared ahead of time, Abels clapped his hands together, attempting to catch Luo Ming in a pincer attack from left and right of qi walls. Alas, Luo Ming sliced the two walls into pieces.
Although the only counter for Enlightenment is another Enlightenment, one does have to cast Enlightenment into their techniques to “tear apart” another Enlightenment, yet Luo Ming didn’t even resort to Enlightenment.
His sword can cut Enlightenment!
Only once he was within ten metres did Luo Ming cast his golden Enlightenment.
After Abels strafed away from the red slash, he heard wood and stone toppling down, saw dust ubiquitously. A quick glance behind him informed him that Luo Ming just sliced apart a pavilion far from them.
“That was God-Shocking Theory. Still, nothing impressive.” Luo Ming wasn’t making light of Abels. Perhaps if would be more correct to say that he didn’t seem to care about the outcome of the match.
“If practicing Repository Sword Theory is training martial arts and so is practicing thrusts, why can’t the latter be a style?” Repository Sword Theory doesn’t promise superior skills every successive theory. Repository Sword Theory is the principle of all things in the world. Everything shares the same genesis. By natural selection, the strong live, and the weak die. To covet power available at the apex means to covet the power of nature.
Luo Ming only understood the true design of Repository Sword Theory once he excreted all of Poison King’s poison from his body. While he couldn’t master all of the theories overnight, his understanding of its essence was enough to transform his power exponentially as he just demonstrated.
With his new abilities and a sword that can cut Enlightenment, I might not be able to beat Luo Ming even if I had Sea Deer Hunter.
As soon as Abels felt a threatening wind, he coated himself in energy using Evil Eminence Scripture and pivoted to reduce the impact he would have to absorb.
“Abels!” A-Lan bellowed.
“Believe it or not, I don’t want to kill you, Bodhi Abels.” Luo Ming sauntered over to Abels’ still body on the ground, blood still seeping out from several vitals. “You’re one of the true chivalrous men I’d consider a hero. You have my respect and admiration. Unfortunately, this one has no means of trapping you again since you could escape Seven Emotions. Hence, you cannot be spared.”
Abels’ body wouldn’t heed his command to get up.
“Wait!” Shen Yiren shouted.
“Miss Shen, this one also admires your courage, but don’t delude yourself into thinking you deserve to share the ring with us. As well, this one still has business with you and Yujing.”
“I’m not looking to challenge you.” Despite lacking confidence, Shen Yiren didn’t let it show via any detectable senses. “Give me some time. I’ll give you an opponent you can be happy with.”
“… Him? In the hypothetical world that he isn’t dead, it would take you two hours, at the very least, to get him out from the cauldron. This one doesn’t have that much free time.”
“It won’t take that long. I only need… one song’s time.”
Shen Yiren shut her eyes and cleared her throat: “There’s an old ox by the riverbank. There are two turtles at the bottom…”
“… Is this some sort of joke?”
“The turtle slowly makes its way home. February’s moon illuminates the lake.”
Listening to the miserably off-pitched, yet earnest, singing, Elder Shou and Xiao Huangquan’s faces read, “How tragic, to lose your mind in this situation.” Because it was such an unorthodox – if you could even call it that – strategy, even Luo Ming was stupefied to the point that he forgot about Abels and actually let Shen Yiren finish.
Shen Yiren didn’t fear Luo Ming when she confronted him. Howbeit, the silence that permeated the air once she was done singing choked her. Her heart raced. A choked cry forced itself up her throat and almost rolled off her tongue when she heard, “I thought I told you to shut your eyes when you sing.” She glued her eyelids and lips together to not let her tears roll down her cheeks. “… You didn’t…”
Shen Yiren didn’t have unfaltering confidence in Ming Feizhen as Hong Jiu did. Believing Ming Feizhen was still alive was tantamount to denying reality based on circumstantial evidence. Her heart wanted to go to his aid, but her mind told her that her duty, His Majesty’s safety needed to take precedence because she’s Shen Yiren. By no means was it easy to firmly believe he was still alive and not give in to her emotions. You could even say that the song was a curtain call song for her before she went down in the line of duty to reunite with him on the other side.
Just as nobody heard Ming Feizhen whispering into Shen Yiren’s ear, nobody noticed when he exited the cauldron or when he crossed over to her side. To say Luo Ming wasn’t surprised was wrong as he actually didn’t react in time. Nonetheless, Luo Ming knew where he had seen the white hair, frosty face and the night-sky weapon before – his nightmare. If the same young man in that nightmare was given ten more years to grow, there was no question the youth would be the same man before him now.
“Patriarch Luo, that’s a pretty wicked broadsword!”
Prior to raising Purple Forbidden Enclosure Dragon Slayer, Luo Ming had a brain stutter: “It’s a sword!”