Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 13 Ch. 94

Post-Raid Affairs (Part 3)

The attack wasn’t premeditated; it was purely spurred on in the moment after hearing Su Xiao’s whistle. As an elite assassin, he determined Su Xiao was quite an accomplished martial artist based on the whistle. Bronze Mask neither expected Su Xiao to be such a shabby fighter nor for his internal energy to be so potent. In a logical world, somebody who could unleash that loud of a whistle shouldn’t have performed worse than an amateur fighter, yet there was irrefutable proof before his eyes now that somebody could.

While Bronze Mask didn’t expect to kill Su Xiao with the punch, since he didn’t even intend for it to kill, considering the amount of internal energy he put into it, it should’ve broken every bone in a colossal bear, yet Su Xiao only groaned. Given Su Xiao’s shoulder didn’t even suffer any damage, it was conclusive that the whistle only displayed a fraction of Su Xiao’s internal energy potency.

It went without saying that Su Xiao only whistled as a means of easing his excited true qi. There was a difference between a clear whistle versus a whistle to assert dominance and one to enhance performance, but Bronze Mask wouldn’t have known that without the context.

Suddenly, a violent gust blew, prompting Bronze Mask to get into a stance. Unfortunately, the pressure was so immense that he couldn’t get into his stance. Since defence wasn’t going to cut it, he switched to try to grab his opponent. He caught the small and slippery foot with just one hand and then grabbed Su Xiao’s small calf with his other hand. Su Xiao couldn’t break the hold on his leg, but it didn’t hurt. The exchange came to an abrupt halt when Bronze Mask tried sealing Su Xiao’s leg.

Not only had Su Xiao been learning martial arts from Ming Feizhen, but he also learnt fight IQ. When he saw Bronze Mask’s hesitating to attack, Su Xiao whipped a kick at Bronze Mask. Regrettably, Su Xiao learnt to attack, but he hadn’t inherited Mount Daluo’s teachings in their entirety yet, so he didn’t hide his sneak attack. Had he graduated from Mount Daluo’s curriculum, his kick would’ve found its target instead of getting caught and his leg sealed.

Bronze Mask was stunned that his opponent would try catching him off guard when his opponent looked terrified. On the other hand, Su Xiao was stumped for a solution as Ming Feizhen never taught him what to do if his sneak attack was caught.

Bronze Mask released his hold on Su Xiao’s leg because Su Xiao undid the seal with a single breath. After that, he just stood in place.

Su Xiao was happy to be liberated until he felt the atmosphere wasn’t so positive. “Ar-are you unhappy?”

Bronze Mask didn’t say a word and fought in a very reserved manner, so one could argue that silence was his trademark. Su Xiao, howbeit, sensed something else aside from the silence, although it wasn’t a strong signal.

“You seem… angry?”

Bronze Mask got back into his fighting stance.

“Why do you want to keep fighting?!”

Maybe Su Xiao pointing out a pain point triggered Bronze Mask. Whatever the case, it seemed as though Bronze Mask was insistent on measuring Su Xiao’s capacity, attacking at a tempo slower than a teacher teaching his disciple how to defend.

As long as his opponent wasn’t trying to fight to win, Su Xiao’s sparring experience at Liu Shan Men was sufficient for him to get by. Though his opponent didn’t go all out, the technical proficiency gap was plain to see. Even though Su Xiao dismantled dozens of attacks and got into a rhythm, he was still getting caught all over, albeit in less and less pathetic ways. He couldn’t associate his opponent’s technique with a discipline, but his opponent certainly wasn’t swinging wildly and praying for a lucky shot. His opponent clearly understood fundamental principles enough to apply them to any discipline and create variations where needed be.

As Su Xiao continued absorbing blows whilst feeling confused, he gradually comprehended the art of defence and attack. As a result, he gradually learnt to defend and counter more efficiently, though his execution didn’t exactly look clean. Maybe the hostile aura in the atmosphere grew because Bronze Mask recognised that.

Another hundred exchanges later, Su Xiao cheered as he intercepted a punch he saw coming, making it the first time he cleanly blocked an attack in their scrap. Immediately after, he heard a crisp and condescending scoff from his lanky opponent. Next thing he knew, he saw a strike thrown without any reserve.

Bronze Mask didn’t up the speed; he simply changed his execution. As a consequence, he confused Su Xiao again just as he did before Su Xiao’s upgrade.

The bizarre thing about the fight was how Bronze Mask kept pulling back before the shots could land, but he kept making each consecutive strike harder to read than the last. While he might not have been able to end Su Xiao in one strike, he most certainly could’ve taken an arm and a leg in the first exchange if he didn’t hold back, and every other blow would’ve just been a bonus. Instead of taking that easy option, however, Bonze Mask fought as if to prove that Su Xiao had no answer for any of his attack before switching to the next one to prove the same point again. Su Xiao didn’t hear anything said, but he got the vibe that Bronze Mask was screaming, “See? Look at this punch. Look at this kick. I can kill you whenever I please!”

“You could kill me in one attack. You only live once. Do you have to kill me a dozen more times before you’re satisfied?”

Su Xiao didn’t expect his complaint to be oil on a fire. Though Bronze Mask didn’t speed up, he made his attacks even more complex. Su Xiao couldn’t recognise what was incoming, let alone deal with the attacks. In saying that, he thought they resembled the techniques Tang Ye used against Kunlun’s patriarch, Yi Wangyou. The name was a distant memory he couldn’t recall, but he remembered how Yi Wangyou countered Tang Ye, so he did the same thing.

Su Xiao hardly understood anything about creating variations of techniques or mental cultivation, nor had he learnt Kunlun’s internal discipline. All he did was push the same way Yi Wangyou did when he countered Tang Ye’s complex attack pattern with a single thrust from Desolate Sword Dance. Combined with his photographic memory, Su Xiao’s internal energy was more than enough to deliver the power needed for the simple strike to be effective.

Despite not being able to counter the finger attacks from Bronze Mask, Su Xiao landed his attack precisely on Bronze Mask’s palm, preventing the latter from using any further variations. Because being denied twice was the equivalent of losing, Bronze Mask grew furious enough to start lighting up Su Xiao to send Su Xiao rolling across the ground and bleeding from his mouth. Even at that point, Bronze Mask continued advancing whilst keeping his right hand in the back for defence and left hand in front to splatter Su Xiao’s head.

Suddenly, Su Xiao had a flashback, prompting him to swing upwards with his hand as if it was a blade. In spite of his speed, the wind didn’t howl. If Bronze Mask’s attacks were a dark shrine, then Su Xiao’s were the silent night. On one hand, his swing looked as though it offered defence and offence simultaneously. On the other hand, it looked completely useless. Yet, there was no doubt the swing was the equivalent of an unbreakable net.

 

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