I contemplated my future as I enjoyed the chicken. Due to the twists and turns in the underground region, I couldn’t figure out where the exit was even with my hearing. I didn’t risk extending my earshot radius too far when I first arrived, lest Jiang Chen realise I had awareness of my surroundings, so I had no clue where the exit was. All I could remember was that it was far from where I was.
It was impressive for Jiang Chen to find this perfect hiding place only a few hours away from the capital. Based on what I saw, it was old enough for me to surmise that my grandmaster had seen the place.
Although I didn’t understand Jiang Chen’s rambling – something about having a promise between him and my grandmaster to find a child – they were likely acquainted. Given their ages, the child would probably a grandpa at this point…
They had a lot of mouths to feed at the compound, yet they had done basically nothing in the last two weeks I’d been held here. Thanks to that, I heard a lot of gossip. Including the two Seven Stars’ members, the only other people directly connected to Fiends’ Genesis were two to three hundred rogue warriors. All of the most dangerous people were outsiders, and the commander of the place was from Divine Moon Cult. Rather than call it Fiends’ Genesis’ base, you could easily call it a den of criminals. It didn’t make sense to have so many adepts watching over just me and Uncle Huang. If they wanted to hide us, a much more economical approach would‘ve been to put us in bags and send us off to the Western Regions or Beijiang.
Seeing as Jiang Chen could fool Uncle Huang, I wasn’t going to be able to see through whatever he was plotting. All I could do was cross whatever bridge I came to. At the moment, my priority was keeping my identity a secret. I needed to go put Yan Jiangnan in place once he healed, or he was going to screw up when it counted.
I was no longer in major danger, and people around had warmed up to the idea that I was Wu Ping after a day. In addition, since nobody here was close friends with each other, they’d rather believe they underestimated Wu Ping than believe I was an imposter. Howbeit, that was my primary concern.
While I could assume Wu Ping’s appearance, it wasn’t so simple to copy his character. If my orthodox-sect-upbringing aura leaked, tsk, tsk, it wouldn’t be a joking manner.
A henchman beside me whispered, “Uh, Hero Wu, please allow me to clear the table.”
As soon as he reached for my plate, I booted him away. “The hell is your issue? What are you doing when I’m still eating?!”
While he apologised, Ning Zhuoru griped, “Wu Ping, have some class. He was just tidying the table.”
“Ignore the jerk, Zhuoru.”
Ning Zhuoru glared straight through me. “Thug.”
Tsk, tsk, these unorthodox sects really don’t have any respect for our orthodox sects. No wonder why Confucius said, “They show no promise.” (Confucius didn’t actually say this. Ming Feizhen is just under-educated).
I took a big bite and another mouthful of wine.
I suppose Zero will summon me again once I’m done eating.
I had to be cautious this time because I’d be in deep trouble if he found out who I was.
A creepy guy suddenly sat down in front of me with a bi8g fat grin on his face. I never noticed his presence due to his light movements. “Hehe, Ol’ Wu, isn’t it boring to eat by yourself?” Kuanggu Sheng asked me.
I had no recollection of Wu Ping ever interacting with the oddball, which could only mean… Kuanggu Sheng was about to deploy some subterfuge tactic on me. Hence, I kept the visage of a man concerned for the people, the visage of a hero, the visage of shut-the-flip-up, and said, “When one is cornered by circumstances, he must devote himself to improving himself. When one is in a favourable position, do that which benefits others. This one is awfully poor. Therefore, he is only taking care of himself.”
Kuanggu Sheng cracked a stupid smile, then took out a dangerous object from his shirt – a pair of chopsticks. “Hehe, there’s no need to be so isolated. This one shall share the experience with you.”
Everyone fell silent as they halted what they were doing.
With my chopsticks clamping Kuanggu Sheng’s chopsticks together, I slowly raised my head to show a frigid gaze and, in a low voice, demanded, “They say group joy is not as great as joy in solitude. Solitude is joyful. Now put down your chopsticks!”
“And… if I refuse?”
I narrowed my eyes. “I advise you to value your life.”
“Everyone must die one day. Chicken must be enjoyed here and now.”
We both pulled our chopsticks back a tad, then drove them back in. Although I couldn’t identify Kuanggu Sheng’s discipline, it didn’t change the fact that his style stressed precision and sharp attacks. Every attack seemed as though he was aiming to clip off some flesh.
“Nice.” Seeing me shoot for a piece of chicken, Kuanggu Sheng pulled back to defend whilst countering. Whilst pulling back, he aimed an attack two inches above my elbow.
That being the case, I swiftly went for a second piece, prompting Kuanggu Sheng to intercept me in another exchange. No matter what he tried, my end goal never changed – get the chicken. Little did Kuanggu Sheng know that the techniques I used belong to the unparalleled swordplay from Night Net Manual – Chicken Snatching Chopstickplay. Regardless of how he tried, nothing could stop me from taking one piece after another.
“Brother Ouyang, what do you think?” Yuan Kou couldn’t understand our fight whatsoever because he didn’t specialise in short-range combat.
Ouyang Xiucai replied, “In my opinion, Kuanggu Sheng possesses splendid skills; the variations in his attacks render him a troublesome opponent to defend against. From a technical perspective, he is more than a notch above Brother Wu.”
“Why is Brother Wu so smug, then?”
“Uh… Well, Kuanggu Sheng is in it for a martial arts contest. In a martial arts contest, defence and offence are the priorities. On the other hand, Brother Wu… is aiming for the chicken. It’s hard for Kuanggu Sheng to protect the chicken when he’s busy performing martial arts manoeuvres.”
Me: What are you on about? What martial arts contest? We’re fighting over chicken here.
Ning Zhuoru: “Is there a need to make such a big deal over a single piece of chicken?”
And… we came to a stop. We stared at each other for a long time while holding our poses.
Kuanggu Sheng pulled his chopsticks back first. “Respect.”
I pulled my chopsticks back smugly. “Doo gind, doo gind (too kind, too kind with a mouthful).”
The cold-blooded killer from Dongying suddenly opened his eyes, looked around and then grumpily shut his eyes again once he discovered nobody was watching him.
While I was chewing, I mocked, “When it comes to fighting for chicken, you have a lot to learn from me.”
In a stifled voice, Kuanggu Sheng blurted, “I know your secret.”
I suddenly heard a grouchy chuckle in the distance. Who else could it have been besides Zero?
“Wu Ping, get over here!”
Ah, man! Hey, hey, hey, don’t go! What secret do you know?!
Short-range combat – Just for clarification, we’re not talking about close-quarters combat, although the two are somewhat linked. Short-range combat here is referring to keeping shots short rather than aiming for full extension. It’s linked to close-quarters combat as it’s more ideal in close quarters. The reason is simple: if you fully extend, it’ll take longer to retract, while you aren’t afforded as much time in close range compared to long range. Hence, context determines how you should execute techniques.