A group of figures thundered through the desert, each riding a horse and clad in a blurry cloak of heat induced haze.
Every single one of them wore a black coat with a veil attached which blocked them from the wind. The person in the lead even used a black veil to cover his face. After surveying the way ahead, he abruptly yanked on the reins of the Purple Swallow Horse he was riding.
“Martial brother, are we there yet?” The riders next to him yanked the reins of their horses as well. One of them removed their black veil to reveal a youthful face. “I swear this journey couldn’t get anymore tiring if it tried.”
The leader ignored him as he took out a roll of sheepskin from his chest. Opening it, he compared the map to the mountainous path in front of him before sinking into thought. After careful observation and contemplation, he nodded his head, “This is the place. After another five li, we’ll arrive at the Kingdom of Khotan. The masters of the Nine Dragon Temple should have already arrived.”
“Martial brother, is that monk really so important? All that rushing is really tiring me out here.” The young man moved forward and asked.
“After Wangyou died, the battlemonks of the Shaolin Temple paid a visit to the Snowy Peak Temple. There, they discovered that the Rakshasa Hall had already been secretly burned down by Wangyou -the thirty two secret manuals within had long since turned into ash. That monk, Wuxin, is the only person in the world who can recreate the manuals. If not for Snow Moon City seizing the initiative, who in the martial world wouldn’t want a piece of him?” The leader quietly kept his map.
“But the secret manuals of the Rakshasa Hall belongs to the Buddhist factions. If it’s not the Shaolin Temple, then it’s the Yunlin Temple. Either way, it won’t belong to us, the Unparalleled City. If we really snatch away the secret manuals, won’t we become the public enemy of all the monks in the world?”
“You’re right. Even amongst the countless ultimate arts in the world, the thirty two secret manuals would be ranked highly. Yet none of them are suited for us so snatching them won’t do us any good. ” The leader nodded his head.
The young boy broke out laughing in delight. His stick in the mud senior brother was a hard one to squeeze out any sort of praise from.
“But…” The leader suddenly continued, “That monk is not so simple either.”
“Does he have some sort of unique backstory to him?” The youth was puzzled.
“Have you heard of the name, Ye Dingzhi?” The leader asked.
“Don’t tease me like that, senior brother. No matter how unlearned I am, how would I not know the leader of the unorthodox sects? The eastern invasion of the unorthodox sects twelve years ago nearly wiped out half the Beili. It was said that if one screamed, “Ye Dingzhi is here!” to a six year old, they would burst into tears out of sheer terror. People like us grew up listening to the stories of Ye Dingzhi. But though he was a fiend, he was also a genius that appears once every hundred years!” The young man laughed.
“In the eastern invasion twelve years ago, Ye Dingzhi alone slaughtered his way into the imperial palace of Revelations City – no one could stand in his way. Finally, he met his match in Baili Dongjun, who was still a normal disciple from Snow Moon City. Soon after, he was surrounded by the seven great sects where they wore him down to death. Even though the unorthodox sects still had fighting strength, the moment their leader died, all of them made an agreement with the Central Plains that they would not step into Beili for the next twelve years.” The leader explained.
“I know that… It was the Blockade of Rivers and Mountains Treaty! Even the storytellers on the street are sick of telling that story.” The youth interrupted.
“Yes. But what the storytellers don’t know is that there was a hostage involved in the treaty, Ye Dingzhi’s child to be exact, a five year old kid. It was said that even at a young age, he had the bearings of his father, intelligent to an extraordinary extent. Though he was only five years old, he could already spar with some of the elders of the sect. Countless factions fought over that child. The Snow Moon City, Shaolin and even us, the Unparalleled City, wanted that child.”
“In the end, that monk was taken away by Wangyou of the Snowy Peak Temple. Even though the Snowy Peak Temple was a small temple, Wangyou was recognized as the number one grandmaster of the Dhyana by the rest of the world. If such a personage was willing to shoulder this burden, the other sects were more than happy to give him the child.”
“They were afraid that they would be the target of everyone else if they took the child. Yet they were also afraid that others would benefit if the child was given away. For someone like Wang You who separated himself from worldly affairs to stand out and take in the kid was naturally the best case scenario. However, Wangyou was a strange one as well. He actually opened up the Rakshasa Hall to the kid of the leader of the unorthodox sects.” The leader spoke in an unhurried fashion.
“So the reason we are here to snatch the monk is…” The young man furrowed his brows.
“Number one, we will return the martial arts of the Rakshasa Hall to their rightful owner, be it the Shaolin Temple or the Nine Dragon Temple. It doesn’t matter as long as we return it to the Buddhist sects. As for Wuxin, he’s ours. This time, we mustn’t let Snow Moon City snatch him away. In the past, when Snow Moon City still wasn’t established, our Unparalleled City was unparalleled under the heavens. Yet look at us now? The older generation had to swallow their indignation so it’s up to us, the younger generation, to fight for our glory.” The leader of the group looked forward and declared.
“Even the seven masters of the Nine Dragon Temple together won’t be able to stop him?” The youth suddenly asked, not at all caring about the heroic aspirations of his leader.
“The Nine Dragon Temple does not specialize in martial arts. Only their Arhat Array can be considered a hand full. However, the abbot of the Nine Dragon Temple, Master Da Jue, is the strongest monk the Nine Dragon Temple has ever housed since it was established. I’ve heard our teacher talk about it before, Master Da Jue has managed to successfully cultivate the Unbreakable Vajra Body Art.”
“The Unbreakable Vajra Body Art? Unshakeable, impenetrable, unbreakable and invincible… one of the ten ultimate arts of Buddhist sects. It has been said that there isn’t a single monk in the Shaolin Temple who managed to master the Unbreakable Vajra Body Art. Even so, there’s still not enough to capture that monk?” The young boy cried out in surprise.
“Whether or not he is able to, we’ll know when we get there. After rushing for three days and three nights, we’re now only five li away from our goal. Yet here I am discussing all these with you even though our goal is right in front of us.. Do you know why I did so?” The leader turned and asked the young man.
“Senior brother’s thoughts are beyond me.” The young boy shook his head.
“Although I’m reluctant to admit, our teacher has said that you are the most talented person in our Unparalleled City in the last hundred years. If our Unparalleled City ever wants to reclaim its place as the strongest faction in the world, we’ll have to rely on you. And that’s why, your senior brother over here, hopes that you would do your best on this mission” The leader pulled on the reins of his horse and rushed into the crowd before shouting, “The Kingdom of Khotan is right in front of us, everyone, advance!”
After the words left his mouth, he spurred the horse onwards and charged forth.
The youngster was stunned for a moment before he hurriedly snapped the reins. His horsemanship was mediocre so he was always ended up at the back of the group. Only after exerting a lot of effort did he finally manage to catch up with the group.
The leader looked at the young boy who was panting and involuntarily furrowed his brows. ”What other questions do you have?”
“Why didn’t you tell me all this before setting out? Why did you have to wait until now to tell me?” The youngster asked while gasping for breath.
“Your senior brother here…” The leader looked at the confused youngster and sighed, “was afraid you would forget on the way here…”
“So that’s why…make sense to me!” The youngster had a look of realization on his face.
The leader tilted his head to the side and sighed in his heart: is our hundred years of heritage really going to hinge on a moron like him?
“So that’s the Unbreakable Vajra Body Art which Wangyou spoke of?” Wuxin leaped and appeared beside Master Da Jue. As he smashed his fist into Master Da Jue’s body, a loud ring echoed in the air, as if he had smashed into a bronze pillar. Stunned, he stood there for a split second before retreating
“What’s wrong?” Lei Wujie asked.
“It hurts!” Wuxin shook his arm and grimaced in pain.
“Hahaha, how about I teach you my Unseen Fist? The qi will hit the enemy before your fist ever touches him. I promise you won’t feel the pain.” Lei Wujie laughed.
“The Unbreakable Vajra Body Art consumes a lot of internal force. Even though Da Jue’s cultivation of the Unbreakable Vajra Body Art is impressive, he is already in his seventies. Just drag out the battle and don’t fight him head-on.” Xiao Se reminded.
“I’m afraid that won’t work.” Wuxin shook his head. It was then that the other five monks, along with the smiling monk, Da Pu, forced themselves to stand up. As the six monks formed a line, they closed their eyes and started to chant the Buddhist scripture while Master Da Jue stood in front of them, frock fluttering in the wind.
“That’s…” Xiao Se frowned.
“The final form of the Arhat Array, Arhats returning to one. As of this moment, all of their internal force is being concentrated into Master Da Jue. If I really drag out the battle, I’m afraid the first one to be tired to death would be me.” Although Wuxin’s voice was unsteady, there was still a smile on his face.
“What’s your plan then?” Xiao Se wasn’t worried at all. No one knew exactly how many hidden martial arts this monk had yet to show. Whether or not a combination of the Unbreakable Vajra Body Art and the Arhat array could even trap him was still up in the air.
“Since he wants to be the Arhat with an unbreakable body, I’ll break it! So what if his body is unbreakable, I’ll just extinguish his soul!” The smile on Wuxin’s face suddenly disappeared. He took a forceful step forward and punched Da Jue causing another resounding ring to echo.
Another punch! Yet another punch! In his fist, Wuxin sent out a flurry of ten punches.
Yet Master Da Jue remained unmoving, his eyebrows only slightly jumping. “The Great Soul Searching Palm?”
At that moment, Wuxin had transformed into a completely different person. Gone was the elegance of the past, replaced by an overwhelming aggression that manifested itself in his qi. Behind him, the temple seemed almost on the verge of collapse from the shockwave of his fists. He exclaimed, “Da Jue, do you know why my teacher fell into depravity?”
Da Jue clasped his hands together and didn’t speak. He simply allowed Wuxin to hit him as he pleased while the expression on his face never changed.
“It’s because of fake monks like you that he went down the wrong path!” Wuxin yelled. The six monks behind Da Jue trembled slightly and their frown deepened as they chanted the scripture with more urgency than before.
“My teacher said that I was born with a demonic heart and that I had no fate with the Buddha. That was why he allowed me into the Rakshasa Hall -so that I may enter the ways of Buddhism through the demonic path. YET LOOK AT YOU NOW, WITH A HEART SO BLINDED BY YOUR DESIRE TO SUBJUGATE THE DEMON, HOW ARE YOU ANY DIFFERENT FROM ONE?!”
“You and I are both mortals in the end.” Master Da Jue lightly sighed while his shoulders trembled from repelling Wuxin’s attack. Finally, he struck back.
At the foot of the mountain, Wang Rensun lowered the blade in his hand. Soon after, Wuxin’s rage induced howl echoed through the air.
“Yet look at you now, with your heart so obsessed with subjugating a demon, how are you any different from a demon?!”
Wuchan stopped attacking as well, clasping his hands together as he started to chant in a low voice. He had heard that same sentence before when he first met Wuxin.
At this moment, the gray robe on his body was already in tatters and he looked extremely battered. Beside him, Tang Lian looked even worse, what with his disheveled garments and scattered weapons littering the ground around him. Every single hidden weapon on the ground was famous in the martial world but they were unable to break through Wang Rensun’s Space-Severing Knife.
Furthermore, while they were both in a bad shape, they that Wang Rensun had already shown them mercy. Else they would already be dead by now.
“Have you found your answer?” Wang Rensun suddenly asked.
Wuchan and Tang Lian looked at each other and said nothing.
Wang Rensun suddenly broke out into laughter. He waved his knife in the air and it went soaring off into the mountains. In that instant, Tang Lian felt as though the old legends of the martial world had materialized right in front of his eyes.
A single knife to shatter the vast sky!
Back on the mountain, Master Da Jue violently turned around and roared at the heavens, “WANG RENSUN!”
That knife appeared out of nowhere!
Master Da Jue sent out a palm immediately, cold steel meeting with flesh equally metallic.
All of a sudden, the blade made a 180 degree turn and Master Da Jue spat out a mouthful of blood.
Down below, Wang Rensun retrieved his knife. His face was extremely pale right now and he looked like he aged ten years in an instant. Blade in hand, he gazed at the top of the mountain. “Go,” he said in a soft voice as he walked past Wuchan and Tang Lian.