Elaborate Assassination Plan (Part 7)
“Where is Wu Ping?” Zero didn’t raise her voice, but everyone could tell she wasn’t feeling playful.
As he released the smell of alcohol from his mouth, Ouyang Xiucai enthused, “He said he was answering nature’s call. He will be here soon.”
“Man cannot triumph over nature, after all.”
Zero snorted, then clapped her hands. Following the clap sequence, over ten individuals appeared around her. Though there were a few sporting black hair, the fact that the majority of them had blonde hair, blue eyes and high noses indicated that they didn’t share the same ethnicity as those from the Central Plain. All of Zero’s personal warriors wearing black mantles carried short swords on their sashes. Demon Sect’s presence in the Central Plain might’ve faded already, but anyone who knew who they were wouldn’t trifle with them.
“Bring him to me.”
Just as they were about to scatter on Zero’s orders, Yan Jiangnan jumped out, arms outstretched, in spite of how terrified he felt. “What are you planning to do? Mr. Zero, who are you telling them to apprehend?”
Zero turned her head a tad to look to make eye contact with Yan Jiangnan through the corners of her eyes. “You sure recover quickly.”
Evidently, Zero paid attention to Yan Jiangnan’s movement just before.
Ouyang Xiucai’s astonishment undid the effects of all the alcohol. “Mr. Zero, what are you trying to achieve?”
Without moving her head, Zero cast her gaze over to Ouyang Xiucai. “Let’s hope you were fooled and are not a spy.”
“Brother Wu drank all night with us. He’s just using the toilet. I don’t think this is how you should assert dominance.”
“Young Master Ouyang, your appearance suggests you are smart, but your head is just decoration.” While she did disparage him, Zero’s tone was far more cordial than the tone she used prior. “You believe he went to the loo. I believe he fled. Only Yan Jiangnan and he knows what happened in the dungeon. Everything shall come to light once I enter. Don’t you think he’s absent because he doesn’t want his deeds to be uncovered?”
“If he truly did something he should be concerned about, why is Brother Yan here? Brother Wu is but running late, not running aw-”
“I don’t believe there’s an intruder. How about you?”
“In the event that there is an intruder, there’s only one way to explain the bizarre happenings as of late, and that is that there is a mole among Fiends’ Genesis, and he is the first suspect. I’m not going to debate with you and try to justify him absconding. Get in my way again, and both of you will be considered accomplices.” Zero turned back to her private subordinates. “Bring him to me!”
Zero’s subordinates disregarded Yan Jiangnan to depart despite his efforts.
Suddenly, Wu Ping’s voice rang out.
“Eh? What’s going on? Who are these people? My apologies. My stomach was playing up. So, uh, what’s going on here?”
The three moves Shang Bieshi taught Tiangou didn’t belong to any school; he made them up without much thought just for Tiangou. By extension, they didn’t have names, and he never had any plans to name them.
Tiangou repeatedly performed the three moves under a tree after he exacted his vengeance. When he finally stopped, he found himself crying uncontrollably.
Shang Bieshi smiled and went over to the lost man. On that day, he gave the three moves proper names, namely, “Bitter Meeting”, “Painful Parting”, “Forever Out of Reach”. He said, “There are eight sufferings in life: suffering since being born, aging, illness, death, bitter meetings, parting with loved ones and not being able to have one’s wishes. There’s a sense of bitterness in your style. That’s great; it makes it human. You don’t use your skills for yourself. After I’m gone, show the world the three moves so that people will remember I once lived, okay?”
Shang Bieshi never spoke much with Tiangou, and Tiangou never forgot anything Shang Bieshi said to him.
“Bitter Meeting” was a straightforward attack that consisted of one such straightforward attack followed by sixteen wild techniques.
Right after Kuang Gusheng landed his attack, he pressed his hands up against Tiangou’s chest to deliver the fatal blow. However, the blade he was standing on suddenly vanished from underfoot.
“Bitter Meeting,” Tiangou uttered.
Instead of whipping out another simple and quick attack, Tiangou violently swung as if he was an erupting volcano, forcing Kuang Gusheng to pull his arms back for defence. Kuang Gusheng struggled to defend the blow, but that was his only option.
Kuang Gusheng had a counter for all thirty-six wild attacks in Tiangou’s arsenal. Actually countering them, though, was another challenge. If it were up to him, Kuang Gusheng would describe Tiangou’s previous style as “powerful” and this one “torment”. It didn’t feel as though he was defending against a bloodthirsty manic. Rather, it was as if he was fighting a vengeful man who’d been tormented.
“Parting with Loved Ones.”
Kuang Gusheng recognised the move, but the flavour was totally different to what he recalled. If he wasn’t on the receiving end, he’d have praised the latching style as a magnificent manifestation of reluctantly parting.
Shang Bieshit taught this mad dog some secret stuff, after all! Screw this! Screw this!
There was no other way Kuang Gusheng could explain the style he had never seen. In reality, Shang Bieshi never lied to either of them. Whatever they needed, he provided. Instead of teaching Kuang Gusheng an internal discipline, he taught Kuang Gusheng a method to raise the potency of his internal energy. It was a high-return, low-risk tool for establishing himself. There was no need to research, think hard or focus on refining skills. The broadsword techniques he passed on to Tiangou were designed to take Tiangou to a realm that all martial artists sought, not just a bunch of haphazard techniques. Kuang Gusheng needed a tool, so Shang Bieshi gave him a tool. Tiangou needed a blade, so he gave Tiangou a blade. Shang Bieshi just never foresaw how sharp the blade would become.
Knowing that he was going to lose his life if he didn’t fall back on to his last resort, Kuang Gusheng reached into his shirt.
Just as there were earnest martial artists with upright desires, there were those who were bottomless pits of greed.
Kuang Gusheng took out a spherical object and activated it in his hand, lighting up the interior. Tang Clan called the item “needlerain”, a variation of their infamous “needle box”.