“Wu Ping!” Ouyang Xiucai, being superior to Elder Lianhua, had clutched Ming Feizhen’s throat by the time “Ping” was audible. With his strength, Ming Feizhen was totally immobile once caught. “Why would you go so far?! Y-”
Ouyang Xiucai cut himself off for he hadn’t forgotten that reason wasn’t on his side. Elder Lianhua was the one who declared her intention to eliminate Wu Ping, even unveiling her own secret for that goal. Wu Ping had no choice but to be swift and ruthless when his injuries put him at an enormous disadvantage. The thing was, Wu Ping already won once he stabbed Elder Lianhua; there was no need to twist the sword inside her body.
With a pale visage, Wu Ping asserted, “Brother Wu, death may be a common consequence of a fair duel, but why did you have to go the extra step against an elder when you already won?”
Ming Feizhen choked out, “Why are you asking the obvious? How can I just let her say things that would harm me?”
“You knew I had questions for her… Aren’t you concerned I will kill you in retaliation?!”
“Word in the pugilistic world is that Ouyang Xiucai, although good and bad at the same time, is a man of his word, and I believe that.”
“What promise did I ever make to you?”
Ming Feizhen hiked up the corner of his lips a tad. “I didn’t know you’re also forgetful. You just promised to treat me to drinks moments ago. How are you going to fulfil that promise if you kill me?”
With it dawning on him that he fell for Ming Feizhen’s ploy, Ouyang Xiucai thundered, “You deplorable scoundrel! Bring me a cotton cloth to dress her wound.”
Ming Feizhen swept his gaze over the still-stupefied henchmen and uttered, “Get moving.”
The guards finally rushed off to carry out their orders. Drugs, bandages and the sort were readily available because they were used to prolong prisoners’ lives when subjecting them to torture. Ironically, the dungeon was seldom used, so they were for Ming Feizhen, and now he was using them, except on somebody besides himself.
Ming Feizhen tapped Ouyang Xiucai’s hand. Ouyang Xiucai reactively released his hold on Ming Feizhen’s neck. Ming Feizhen strode over to Elder Lianhua, took the chest of medical items off a henchman, instructed Yuan Kou to seal her accupoints and provide a massage, then applied a drug to her wound.
Ouyang Xiucai inquired, “She can still be resuscitated?”
Ming Feizhen stood up. “There is no enmity between us. The reason she wanted to kill me is rooted in a misunderstanding. I had no choice but to hurt her for my own survival, but I would not kill her.”
Yuan Kou, massaging Elder Lianhua, couldn’t believe his ears. Nonetheless, he flicked up a thumb and complimented, “Nice, Brother Wu.”
Ming Feizhen cracked a smile that oozed a forlorn aura due to his mask. Subsequently, he found a spot to sit and meditated, trying to abate the pain and fatigue before it overwhelmed him. He was the only person who knew he just stepped into a coffin and then jumped out.
While Elder Lianhua’s technical abilities were unknown, her internal energy was as developed as a first rate adept. Owing to the Fengpeng’s energy, Ming Feizhen possessed significantly more strength than the average man. Howbeit, arm strength alone would barely be enough to edge out a victory against second-rate fighters, let alone Elder Lianhua. Thus, his only hope was a surprise attack.
The five attacks Ming Feizhen utilised were the culmination of over a hundred manuals Ming Huayu tossed him, in addition to his fighting experiences. If there was one thing those five attacks were guaranteed to be, it would “bizarre”, too bizarre to predict using common sense. They weren’t restricted by instrument, meaning he could execute them with punches, kicks, swords, broadswords and so on – without compromising their lethality whatsoever. They weren’t fixed techniques, moves or even five techniques or moves. Every time he performed them, they looked different. The key to pulling it off was summarised as so: “read the opponent’s movements, and exploit an opening”.
Forcing Elder Lianhua to show off a few skills revealed the openings in her movements. From there, Ming Feizhen attacked in a way that she couldn’t answer to, putting her in a position where she couldn’t counter. He could pull it off because he was Ming Feizhen; without his analytical eyes and knowledge of internal disciplines, he wouldn’t have been able to grasp Elder Lianhua’s openings.
The toughest part of it all was understanding the opponent’s style to a certain degree. Hence, Elder Lianhua was the worst opponent Ming Feizhen could’ve asked for in that situation. Fortunately for him, Ouyang Xiucai showing the lotus projectile gave Ming Feizhen a clue to reverse engineer Elder Lianhua’s identity.
Ming Feizhen took in a big breath and, with his eyes still shut, conveyed, “Don’t worry, Brother Ouyang. I, too, know the answer to your questions; you don’t need to wait for her.”
Ouyang Xiucai, who was now standing beside Ming Feizhen, heaved a breath. “I heard your conversation with Elder Lianhua, so I am aware you are privy to the origins of the lotus weapon.”
“That’s right.” Ming Feizhen opened his eyes and helplessly smiled. “You will have to wait a bit before I can tell you, though.”
“Oh?” Ouyang Xiucai didn’t quite understand until his ears picked up on something. “I understand now.”
Eight hours had passed since Ming Feizhen passed out. It took two approximately two hours to raise one door. Elder Lianhua came from the fifth door. Yuan Kou came from the seventh door. Accordingly, the guards farthest away would only need just over eight hours to reach the dungeon. Even the low-ranking troops could hear the footsteps coming closer and closer by this point. There was only one group at the base that mobilised in such a large group.
A silver-masked man came in first. “Hehehe, who lowered the doors? Who claimed an assassin infiltrated the base?” In no time at all, his gaze stopped on Ming Feizhen.”Let’s find out if there really is an intruder.”
The shocked henchmen finally came around and, in synchrony, shouted, “Our respects, Mr. Zero!”