Two Stories (Part 6)
Even the man who raised Ming Feizhen never imagined him chewing so savagely or him being that tall, big-boned and muscular. Though he resembled a human on the outside, he had become a Fengpeng inside.
When Ming Feizhen stopped to look their way, they could only assume he was staring at them because his red eyes were devoid of focus. For all they knew, he could’ve been staring at everything or nothing at all. From what they were told, Six Evils were hundreds of times more sensitive to the qi of humans than ordinary beasts, so they didn’t need their eyes to find their prey.
Hero Shenzhou, monitoring Ming Feizhen the entire time, dodged a lethal punch when he saw Ming Feizhen’s violent red eyes zone in on him. Had he not moved in time, Hero Shenzhou might’ve been buried in the cavern Ming Feizhen punched into existence.
Incensed over missing his target, Ming Feizhen howled, instilling terror in Mount Daluo disciples afar and evoking doubt in Mount Daluo’s two patriarchs.
Instead of dodging Ming Feizhen’s second assault, Hero Shenzhou sheathed Overarching Heaven and fired golden energy down his right arm – Enlightenment. Hero Shenzhou defused Ming Feizhen’s five heavy punches singlehandedly before both disengaged.
Hero Shenzhou’s movements were still deft and light. On the other hand, Ming Feizhen chucked up blood from taking shots head on.
Ming Feizhen immediately went forward again, eating another shot buffed with Enlightenment, yet it wasn’t enough to deter him.
In addition to gaining might almost rivalling Six Evils, Ming Feizhen’s physique blessed him with superior speed. To add, he learnt Mount Daluo’s disciplines. Among all versions of Six Evils, Fengpeng Ming Feizhen would be the toughest one ever to beat. That was why Mount Daluo had to kill him.
The reason Hero Shenzhou stowed away Overarching Heaven was to grant Ming Huayu time to find an alternative to killing his disciple. Had he willed it, Hero Shenzhou could’ve decapitated Ming Feizhen on their first exchange.
“My disciple, my responsibility.” Ming Huayu etched every detail on Ming Feizhen’s face into memory as he sauntered closer.
Ming Huayu never thought he’d be the one to bring Ming Feizhen back to Mount Daluo, and he surprised himself when he reflected on how much he invested into the boy. Never did he think he’d be so attached to the boy.
Ming Huayu, face straight, clanged his hand on Ming Feizhen’s chest, plugging his disciple with broken ribs into the ground.
“Think you’re tough now, huh? What are you doing here? Have you finished your homework? I told you to go help your shiniang, so what are you doing here? Did I not tell you that you have to obey my instructions?” Though he was castigating his disciple, Ming Huayu stroked Ming Feizhen’s head slower and slower. “You’ve always been a good kid… Why did you choose today of all days to not to comply?”
Ming Feizhen roared. Judging from his energy, he had already recovered from his internal injuries. While they may be perceived as a blessing, it was because he was trading off his humanity.
Ming Feizhen struck blazing-fast again. Ming Huayu dug two fingers into Ming Feizhen’s kneecaps, immobilising him and then chopped the latter on the spine, sabotaging Ming Feizhen’s balance. Now, even if he could recover as fast as Six Evils, it would be difficult to undergo a complete recovery.
Ming Huayu pressed his fingers into the nape of Ming Feizhen’s neck. All Ming Huayu needed to was eject energy if he wanted to end his disciple. Ming Huayu was a decisive man who was seldom hung up over anything, yet his hand felt awfully heavy there. He wasn’t even clinging to hope; he was clinging to the hope that there might be hope. He was ready to trade anything to save his disciple if a method existed. Thanks to that persistence, he finally saw a ray of hope.
Ming Feizhen’s belts weren’t just instinctive belts. There was anger and resentment. Six Evils shouldn’t be capable of such complex emotions; Ming Huayu almost laughed hysterically upon realising that the one controlling the mangled body was Ming Feizhen.
Ming Huayu wasted no time analysing the status quo. He was the one who moved the position of the Fengpeng’s organs. He was the one who pierced the Fengpeng’s gut. He was the one dragged his disciple out of the dangerous interior. His disciple’s arms were broken by the time he arrived on the scene, and there was no guarantee he would recover. As a matter of fact, he was likely going to end up crippled.
Ming Huayu wondered what would drive someone pretty much terminated, barely conscious, to overwhelm the Fengpeng’s mind and gnaw his way to its heart?
Upon scanning the ravaged field, Ming Huayu spotted a trail of oddly buried dirt dozens of metres away from the crevices and craters in the ground. Once he blasted the dirt off with a palm strike, he found the unconscious girl, the answer to his query, below.
Ming Huayu held Ming Suwen out to Ming Feizhen and pressed his hand up against Ming Feizhen’s back. “Ming Suwen is all right.”
Ming Feizhen’s body jolted as though he was trying to move. The redness in his eyes gradually receded. In a raspy voice, right before going to sleep, he uttered, “Young… she…”
Mount Daluo fired off chests of fireworks to celebrate the record-breaking – in a positive way – accomplishment and feasted on the best delicacies they could get their hands on. That is, if Mount Daluo didn’t include their patriarch, his wives, Hero Shenzhou, over a dozen elders and seniors silently gathered around a bed.
If nobody told them, they wouldn’t recognise the unconscious boy groaning in bed to be Ming Feizhen. His shiniang, caressing his scorching forehead, barely contained her tears. Like her husband, she treated Ming Feizhen as her son for she didn’t have any children. Nobody knew how to assuage the couple when not even they were privy to what happened.
“He killed the Fengpeng.”
Ming Feizhen’s shiniang was fully aware that Hero Shenzhou wanted to polish Ming Feizhen’s name since she already heard the abridged version from her husband.
“Shut your potty mouth, Old Geezer. You’re the one who killed the Fengpeng. My disciple isn’t dead. He doesn’t need a posthumous title.”
“Patriarch, regardless of how bad your mood may be, you cannot speak like th-”
Ming Huayu kicked the speaker out before he could finish. Hero Shenzhou didn’t hear anything after his declaration as he was already sound asleep.
“Sh-Shifu…” Ming Feizhen opened his eyes, albeit barely, and stared at the ceiling. “Will I die?”
“Not on my watch. The King of Hell won’t dare to receive you without my permission.”
On his way out, Ming Huayu stopped by Hero Shenzhou’s side to order, “Old Geezer, take care of my wife and kid. I need to make a quick trip.”
Hero Shenzhou’s paused for a tick before snoring again.
Ming Huayu’s wife snapped, “Zhen’er is barely hanging on by a thread, and the sect needs a leader. Where are you off to?!”
A while after the man in white was out of sight, they heard an echo: “Wudang. To steal Tai Chi.”