Lei Wujie gasped, “IT’S YOU!”
“They are still here, I see.” A white haired man landed besides the purple robed man.
“Tang Lian and that Lei Clan brat have both received one of my palm strikes, I doubt they’ll be going anywhere without at least six hours of recuperation.” The purple clothed man swept his eye across the scene before finally stopping on Wuxin resting atop his chair. “So that’s him?”
The white haired came to notice Wuxin as well. He furrowed his brows before yelling, “Take him away!” Yet before the words even left his mouth, the purple clothed man had already taken a leap forward in a frightening charge towards Wuxin. However, there was another faster than him, one that appeared before Wuxin in a flash, fist thrown out towards the oncoming purple robed man. That figure was Wuchan!
“You think too highly of yourself.” Scoffed the purple robed man who threw out a palm strike as well.
“Watch out for his palm strikes!” Lei Wujie hurriedly warned the figure. Having fought with the purple robed man before, he, more than anyone else, knew how terrifying the force of that man’s palm strikes was. Yet there stood Wuchan, as steadfast as before while the purple robed man was actually forced back three paces.
“The Vajra Demon Subjugation Divine Skill?” The white haired man frowned slightly as he eyed Wuchan. Yet he was immediately met with the sight of a monk that seemed almost demonic on the surface, what with his face contorted like a furious Vajra on the surface, but strangely devoid of any demonic qi. “That force should’ve at least been of the eighth tier.”
“The number one external martial arts of the Buddhist Sects?” Though that punch left him in a harried state, the purple robed man still seemed unfazed. “Looks like I’ve underestimated that monk.”
“Be careful.” The white haired man whispered.
“Hah, you’re a disciple of Dajue then, of the Nine Dragon Temple? That monk and I have crossed paths a few times before.”
“Twelve years of learning the martial arts from the abbot have I. However, that was all I was taught, nothing of the Buddha’s teachings. I dare not address myself as his disciple.” Wuchan took up a ready stance once more with a heavy swing of his fists. “Please go ahead, sir benefactor.”
“Very well.” The purple robed man whipped out a folded fan from his robes and leisurely flicked it open. “How about we skip the pleasantries and you just leave your life behind.”
“Violet, do not tarry further. Take him away first.” The white haired man pointed his jade sword ahead as he coldly eyed Wuxin.
“That’s the problem with you -soft. Isn’t it just better to kill them off now, else even if you snatch away the target now, they would still chase after you.” The purple robed man tossed Lei Wujie a disdainful look, “brat, I didn’t kill you earlier on account of Lei Hong. However, you lot overestimate your abilities, in that case, do not blame this duke.”
“You!” Lei Wujie tried to activate his qi but instead he was met with an upsurge of blood from his chest that nearly knocked him out.
“It’s useless,” Xiao Se shook his head, “you were hit with one of his palm strikes not too long ago, if no one were to help you recover from your wounds, I’m afraid that you wouldn’t even be able to circulate your qi within the next ten days.”
“Aren’t you a knowledgeable brat, and you are…” The purple robed man threw a Xiao Se thoughtful look as he lightly folded the fan in his hands.
“Enough of the chatter, Violet!” The white haired man howled, figure flickering for a second as he rushed through the crowd towards Wuxin. Blasted by that ear-splitting howl, Tang Lian and Lei Wujie couldn’t help but spit out another mouthful of blood before falling to the ground. On the other hand, Xiao Se and the Heavenly Maiden Rui both cupped their hands over their ears. There was only one person who wasn’t affected by all this –Wuchan! The instant that white haired man made a move, he made his as well!
“Stop him.” A cold glimmer flashed past the man’s eyes, speed not at all decreased.
The purple robed man’s fan came waving out as his violet figure charged right at the monk. Not willing to tangle with the man further however, Wuchan activated his Vajra Demon Subjugation Divine Skill and instantly sent three punches flying towards the purple figure. Yet despite the man’s paper fan coming into solid contact with Wuchan’s fists, the purple robed man wasn’t pushed back a single inch. Before, his fists sent the purple robed man retreating back three steps, now the man had a certain of understanding towards them. The moment those three punches were swung out, Wuchan couldn’t help but gasp silently; it felt like the force behind his fists were rapidly dissipating, like a mud sculpture thrown into the sea.
The purple robed man smiled, “Here, you can have it back.” His fan whooshed open with a surge of wind and Wuchan was immediately struck with a wave of internal force as overwhelming as a tsunami, violently forcing the monk back three paces.
The purple robed man had been forced back three paces, so here he was, returning those same three paces back to Wuchan!
Back at the other side, the white haired man had long been standing in front of Wuxin. He gazed at Wuxin’s eyes before murmuring, “Similar…just so similar.” He reached out, yet just as he was about to rest his hand on Wuxin’s shoulders, he suddenly retracted that hand. A minutely thin needle came zipping across his field of vision, slender body dripping with a faint purple fluid -clearly, it was laced with deadly poison!
“Dragon Whisker Needles.” The white haired man frowned slightly before turning to look at Tang Lian who was on still on the ground, “I didn’t expect you to still have such a weapon up your sleeves, given that dire state of yours. Of your generation within Tangmen, you should at least rank amongst the top three, I presume.”
Tang Lian merely smiled, paying no heed to the man’s statement as he said, “have you heard of this before?”
“Oh? And what might that be?” The white haired man chuckled, but his fingers tightened around his jade sword while his robes started dancing despite the lack of wind, a clear sign of his qi and readiness to strike.
“Three steps to Tangmen, one step to King Yama. You, have come too close to me!” Tang Lian forcefully leaped into the air and spat out a mouthful of blood at the white haired man.
Tangmen, known as the premier hidden weapons sect of the martial world. Their poisons were famed throughout the lands for being unparalleled, so who knew what would happen with just a single drop of blood? A life lost, perhaps? The white haired man clearly wasn’t willing to take that gamble so he hurriedly retreated. He knew that when a Tangmen cultivated their arts to the utmost limits, their bodies themselves would turn into weapons.
His feet were fleet, and he managed to dodge that mouthful of blood, yet within that spurt of blood was another object that came flying towards him. It was a tiny leaf, one that was drenched in blood.
“The Bloodfrost Leaf!” The white haired man yelled, body violently tilting to the side just in time for the Bloodfrost leaf to barely miss him. Yet, while that attack might have missed its mark, it was enough to throw the man off balance.
Almost at the same time as Tang Lian’s howl, a frosty light shot out from the Heavenly Maiden’s sleeves and two knives came flashing towards the white haired man’s chest. With three rounds of hidden weapons, Tang Lian finally managed to create a surefire opportunity for the Heavenly Maiden. All they needed was for her knives to advance just an inch further then it would over for him…
“Too slow!” The white haired man stabbed his sword into the ground and righted himself off it with his right hand. Gripping down on both his hands, he actually managed to catch both of the incoming knives. It was at that instant that the knives shattered into pieces and the Heavenly Maiden had to beat a hasty retreat back to Tang Lian’s side, chest heaving and breath heavy.
“I’m sorry, Lian. I missed that chance.”
“It’s not your fault, he’s just too strong,” Tang Lian shook his head, “even if I wasn’t injured, I still wouldn’t be his match.”
“Tang Lian of Tangmen, you’re stronger than I imagined.” The white haired man pulled out his sword, brows tightened and eyes sharp as swords.
“Those eyes, he’s really out for blood this time.” Xiao Se sighed. Of those present, he was the only one who hadn’t made a move. Yet it was also him that acted like all this didn’t concern him.
The Heavenly Maiden turned around to face Tang Lian; he merely shook his head back in defeat. He barely had the strength to stand right now, let alone throw out another hidden weapon. Back at the other side of the battlefield, Wuchan and the purple robed man had already exchanged countless blows yet the former didn’t even manage to push back that tiny paper fan. The purpled robed man clearly had the upper hand here.
“Don’t forget about me!” Lei Wujie finally couldn’t contain himself any further. Yet the moment he tried to activate his qi, Xiao Se pressed down on his shoulders and threw him a stern look and an even sterner but soft rebuke. “If you don’t want to end up as cripple from now on, you’d best not push yourself any further.”
The white haired man, sword in hand, walked towards them one step at a time. He had underestimated the heavily injured Tang Lian just now. This time, he won’t make that mistake again. “Three steps to Tangmen, one step to King Yama.” Should a person really manage to step within a three pace radius of a Tangmen, then what awaited him was sure death, even if that Tangmen expert was a dying one.
Yet all Tang Lian could do now was smile bitterly. It was then that he suddenly heard an unfamiliar voice echo in his head. It was a teenager’s voice, one laced with a certain lightheartedness, “hey, are you still able to stand?”
Tang Lian’s eyes went wide. He turned around to check his sides but found nothing; there was no trace of that voice anywhere.
“Hey, stop looking around, you’re the only one that can hear me. If you still have an ounce of strength in you, come over.”
Tang Lian turned to look at Wuxin, who was still seated atop his large chair, only to find a nearly indiscernible smile at the corners of his lips. It struck him then.
“Well, what are you dawdling around for? Any longer and that white haired man will take me away! Hurry up and get over here.”
Even though he still had a million questions in his head, Tang Lian had no choice left in this matter. He mustered up the last of his strength to crawl towards Wuxin and block the man’s path.
“Lian!” The Heavenly Maiden rushed forward to support him.
The white haired man stopped in his tracks, brows furrowed. “Tang Lian, I had no intention at all of killing you so why must you force my hand?”
Tang Lian tried to answer, but the last bit of qi left him then, leaving him on the verge of collapse. However, he suddenly felt a palm slap against his back, followed by a tidal wave of qi that gushed into his body. A wave of warmth and comfort washed over him. Gone was the searing pain that threatened to tear his body as his body started to recover at startling speeds.
“How many hidden weapons have you left? Bone-piercing Needles? Caltrops? Dragon Whiskers Needles? You only have one chance to attack, so throw out whatever you have! Flying Flowers of Ten Thousand Trees. Not every Tangmen knows that throwing technique, but you’re Tang Lian, so I’m sure you won’t have any problems.”
“Fine…” Realizing that Tang Lian wasn’t about to budge, the white haired man sighed. He waved his sword with a brilliant flourish.
It had to be said, that of all the sword techniques in the world, there were those that were vicious, those that were agile, as for the white haired man’s sword…it was beautiful. Like a snowing night that somehow had a tree of pear flowers blooming for an instant before wilting right after, it was beautiful, ephemerally so! It was a sword strike of absolute beauty, but one of absolute lethality as well!
“Now!” The voice gave out what could be its last command to Tang Lian.
Flying Flowers of Ten Thousand Trees! The number one hidden weapons technique of Tangmen’s outer halls. Even Tang Lian wasn’t able to completely control this technique, but with his back against the proverbial wall, he actually managed to pull off his first ever perfect Flying Flowers of Ten Thousand Trees. Almost all the hidden weapons he had on hand were thrown out. They bloomed like flowers in mid air before raining down on the white haired man!
“Impossible!” The white haired man and his violet colleague gasped in unison. Jade sword raised and paper fan dancing wildly, they did their best to deflect the oncoming rain of weapons but were still forced out of the door.
“You didn’t disappoint. However, that still wasn’t enough to finish them off.” The voice still had a lightheartedness to it, but gone was the comforting internal force that flowed through his back. The voice had withdrawn his hand, causing a wave of drowsiness to wash over him.
“Lian!” The Heavenly Maiden rushed forwards once more to try and support him.
Yet it was at that moment that Wuxin stood up, opened his eyes, and with a light twirl of his white robes, smiled, “Having witnessed such a scene as the Flying Flowers of Ten Thousand Trees, I have to say, it was worth that bout of feigned sleeping.”
“Younger martial brother!” Wuchan yelled.
“How you’re doing, elder martial brother.” Wuxin raised his brows slightly, eyes darting across the scene in a quick sweep before finally resting at a corner where Xiao Se and Lei Wujie were. With a brief smile, he dashed towards them in what seemed like an instant, and reached out for each of them with one arm, “these two sirs seem like the decent sort. This humble monk wishes to go somewhere, mayhaps sir benefactors would be so kind as to accompany this humble monk?”
“Where…exactly?” Lei Wujie still hadn’t come to terms with the rapid pace of change.
“Absolutely not.” Xiao Se, on the other hand, was quick with his icy rejection.
The white haired man and the purple robed man entered the room at that moment. “Oh you, you’re just playing hard to get.” Wuxin smiled, then clasped down on each other, kicked off the ground with a light tap while kicking open the windows in the same breath and finally landed outside.