‘Marvelous!’ Ba Fenghan cried inwardly. If they wanted to kill Funantuo, indeed there was nothing more brilliant than this move.
Earlier, although Kou Zhong carried out the tactic of luring Funantuo toward Wolong Bie Yuan, on one hand, even if the opposite side fell into the trap, based on Funantuo’s Tianzhu Mo Gong’s endless variation, in the wilderness, if something went wrong and he was allowed to escape into the woods, no one would have any confidence to stop him. Translated by foxs
But at present, as long as Bai Ziting gave his nod, Funantuo would have no choice but to rise to the challenge, and would not rest until death. Of course, this was an even more brilliant, more dependable than any other stratagem.
However, Xu Ziling was shocked. Other than Kou Zhong, no one knew more clearly than he did how terrifying Funantuo’s strength was. Even after going through one night and half a day of regulating his breathing, plus Kou Zhong had his Life Long Qi’s miraculous efficacy in healing internal and external injuries and restoring primary energy, but the lost of blood was not something that could be replenished in a short period of time.
This moment, when they had just recovered from serious injury, to have a decisive battle with Funantuo, the risk was just too great.
Ever since he was little, Kou Zhong has always been a risk-taker. Since yesterday morning, after sustaining injuries, he suffered all kinds of setback, so that he had pent-up frustrations; his belly was full of grievances of injustice. And now that he saw Bai Ziting and Funantuo, he could not help exploding, plus there was not much time; only by killing Funantuo he would be able to make Bai Ziting and Longquan lose confidence, so that he took the most crucial step to fulfill his promise to Shang Xiufang, while also to allow Yuekepeng to happily return to his country and report back to his superior.
It’s not that he did not know Funantuo’s formidability, but he simply had to take this risk. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
Hearing that, Funantuo threw his head back in long laughter, and then he solemnly said, “Da Wang, please grant permission for this battle.”
His eyes flashing, Bai Ziting sized Kou Zhong up; obviously his dragon-heart was greatly moved. He nodded and said, “Shaoshuai’s guts indeed surpass others; you don’t consider life or death worthy in your eyes. Very well! This battle can proceed on the street outside. But why use life or death distinction? As long as victory and defeat is clear, we will make the transaction according to the agreement. Shaoshuai, please!”
At Bai Ziting’s order, the city soldiers blocked this section of the Vermilion Bird Boulevard at both ends, plus all shops within the restricted area were immediately ordered to close.
The soldiers guarding the south gate were in uproar, the city wall, above and under, were so packed that not one drop could trickle through, they all strived to watch this big battle, which pertained to whether Longquan would exist or perish.
One side was the spiritual advisor of Mohe people, the great master from mysterious school, coming from Tianzhu, proficient in yoga, known as the ‘Mad Monk of Tianzhu’, Funantuo. Translated by foxs
On the other side was coming from the Central Earth, his name intimidated inside and outside the Great Wall, even Xieli and Bi Xuan were not considered worthy in his eyes, the ‘Shaoshuai’ Kou Zhong.
Kou Zhong stood in the middle of the street. His manner relaxed, he spoke to Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan, who were still accompanying him on his left and right, “No need to worry. In my opinion, he still has not recovered from the battle last night.”
Smiling wryly, Xu Ziling said, “My Daye, don’t forget that ‘Huan Ri Da Fa’ precisely came from Tianzhu; do you think other people’s healing method is inferior to yours?”
Letting out a cold snort, Ba Fenghan said, “Although Ziling is right, because yoga’s pursuit is precisely to surpass human body’s limitation, this mad monk’s physique is definitely different than ordinary people. It is both not easy to sustain injuries, and if it does, the recovery is faster than other people. However, it does not matter whether he has completely recovered from his internal injury or not, last night, while he was confident of success [orig. ten takes nine steady], he still could not do anything to you, plus Kou Zhong dares to challenge him in a duel this quickly, his confidence must have suffered big blow. As long as Shaoshuai can grasp this point, he can control his demonic heart, and his chance to win this battle is very high.”
Kou Zhong’s gaze was fixed on Bai Ziting, who was accompanying Funantuo stepping into the middle of the street on the opposite side, he smiled and said, “This is called heroes usually agree; to kill Funantuo, this is indeed one in a thousand years opportunity.” foxswuxia.wordpress.com
Suddenly he recited an ode, “Essence is the origin of the body, two essences fighting each other designate the spirit; following the spirit going back and forth is called the soul [hun, immortal soul]. Furthermore, essence going in and out is the soul [po, mortal soul], the place where the heart is depending on is designated as the intention; the place where the intention is stored is designated as aspiration. Heaven and Man intersect in senses, yin and yang correspond in form.”
Hearing that, the two were emotionally moved.
Kou Zhong smiled and said, “That was Ning Daoqi’s speech before he left, that time he undertook the task to give lesson to Xiaodi. All along Xiaodi only knew one and understand half, seemingly understand yet do not understand. Until last night when Funantuo knocked down Ling Shao, wanting to take his life, I suddenly understood his Niang’s Heaven and Man intersect in senses, yin and yang correspond in form, and successfully unleashed the Eight Methods of the Well’s last style, the ‘Square and Circle’, and thus the saber technique really reaches great success; hence the magnificent feat of wounding and beheading Shen Mohuan last night. His granny’s attitude; thinking about how Xiao Ling was nearly slaughtered by him, Laozi definitely will not let him get away.”
Xu Ziling’s heart was greatly touched. Even when they were little, Kou Zhong’s build was more thick and solid than his, each time Xu Ziling was bullied, Kou Zhong would always straighten his back and stick out his head. Even if he knew he was no match for the opposite side, he would in no way shrink back. What happened now was just history repeating itself. Translated by foxs
This moment, Zong Xianghua and a group of high-ranking military officers arrived on galloping horses, evidently they heard the news and rushed over to watch the battle, so that people felt the importance of this battle even more.
Bai Ziting took three steps forward and spoke in loud and clear voice, “Is Shaoshuai ready?”
Kou Zhong laughed aloud and said, “You can make your move any time.”
He also spoke to Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan in low voice, “I will not die before Funantuo. Don’t worry!”
The two retreated to the side.
Bai Ziting took another five steps forward to come to the middle between the two combatants. Slightly moving to the side, he took the position from which he could see the two sides at the same time. Sweeping his gaze around, he shouted, “Begin!” And then he stepped back until he reached the pedestrian lane and stopped, opposite from Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan on the other side of the street.
One end of the section of the street where the decisive battle was going to happen was the south gate, which was crowded to bursting point, where several hundreds Mohe soldiers were standing on top and below the city gate tower. The other end was where Zong Xianghua, Gongqi, and so on, more than a dozen high-ranking military officers were standing. On the pedestrian lanes left and right of the street were, respectively, Bai Ziting and Xu and Ba, two men. Everybody was silent, the atmosphere was stagnant with tension.
Funantuo was still wearing his trademark yellow-orange oversized robe, his two hands were hidden inside his sleeves. His expression calm and natural, he stood proud like a mountain, like a peak. Although he did not adopt any meeting-the-enemy-head-on posture, he did not reveal the slightest bit of flaw either, as if he had fused with the heaven and earth and become one entity, beyond the limitation of man and heaven. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
This was the first time that Ba Fenghan experience his ‘Brahma and I as One’ realm. For the first time, he was worried. “This fellow’s confidence seems to be unaffected,” he spoke in low voice.
Xu Ziling sighed and said, “This battle will be the most difficult battle since Kou Zhong made his debut.”
Kou Zhong opened his eyes big and round as a ball first, the divine light shot out as he stared fixedly at the opponent, and then he narrowed his eyes so that only a couple of slits remained, as if floating clouds in the sky suddenly cover the sunshine. The changes were mystical to the extreme point, while also giving those who witness this scene, such as Zong Xianghua and the other high-ranking military officers – a shock.
At the same time, Kou Zhong’s spine straightened up and his shoulders broadened, the upper part of his body slightly leaned forward, immediately there was a burst of biting cold qi momentum crossing over the nearly three zhang empty space, rushing forth and pressing down on the unfathomably mysterious Funantuo. Funantuo’s orange robe immediately fluttered from the stream of energy, so that the observers knew that he was taking the pressure from Kou Zhong’s astonishing qi power.
When martial art masters fought each other, without needing the saber coming and the sword going, it was enough to make people unable to see the flow of qi, even more, unable to guess what the next move would be, who would make the move first. Translated by foxs
Among the crowd, Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan, who could be said that they understood Kou Zhong the best, were still a bit unable to guess the level of Kou Zhong’s martial art skill progress, because the qi power he projected out was really not just a burst of true qi, rather, it was like a block of qi wall with real substance, evenly distributed over an area, so that it was difficult for the opponent to avoid the important and dwell on the trivial by neutralizing the attack; compared to before, naturally he was even more brilliant.
Heaven and Man intersect in senses, yin and yang correspond in form.
At first Kou Zhong’s face was covered in cold frost, and then his countenance relaxed, a hint of smile escaped out of the corner of his mouth, he spoke indifferently, “Dashi may start expounding the religious teachings!”
The Moon in the Well left his back and pointed to the opponent from a distance.
From the tip of the saber, a column of round and thick saber qi, in a fantastic spiraling manner, rose dramatically like a river bursting violently to attack Funantuo.
The qi wall was square, the saber force was round, unexpectedly, he released the last style of the Eight Methods of the Well, the ‘Square and Circle’ from three zhang away. At this point, the saber technique has indeed reached the celestial-being-joined-the-man level. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
The square was yang, the circle was yin; the yin was square, the yang was round. Yin and yang corresponded in form, celestial being joined the man, there was no longer any distinction.
Ba Fenghan and Xu Ziling exchanged a glance, both could see the amazement in the other’s heart.
Kou Zhong has shown clearly that as soon as he made his move, it was with ten-thousand-jun-thunderbolt-momentum, to distinguish victory or defeat against Funantuo within several saber strikes, to avoid dealing with Funantuo’s exceeding-all-expectations, more-and-more-emerge Tianzhu yoga marvelous technique.
It was difficult for Funantuo to maintain his heaven-and-earth-fusing-into-one-entity Brahma and I not two. His left and right sleeves circled out and rose up to block Kou Zhong’s Square and Circle strange move.
Two streams of qi collided, the explosion reverberated throughout the battlefield.
Funantuo was no longer invulnerable. Translated by foxs
Bai Ziting had never thought that Kou Zhong would be this formidable, his countenance immediately turned gloomy.
Kou Zhong was jolted by Funantuo’s counterattack that the upper part of his body slightly swayed backward. He laughed heartily and said, “The way to live and die is not to be absorbed in self, rather, it is transcending and forgetting self; did I say it wrong? Would Guoshi please give direction?”
Funantuo let out a cold snort and strode forward. The left sleeve of his robe looked as if it casually drew a square circle, his withered and black right hand from inside the robe’s sleeve stretched out, it grabbed Kou Zhong from a distance. He said, “If it is not absorbed in self, why stand aloof? Shaoshuai must not have unclear train of thought.”
Kou Zhong’s mind entered the Moon in the Well realm, he sensed that Funantuo seemed to be casually brandishing circles, but actually he was deflecting his wall of qi to the side, while also pulling him forward, giving him the feeling that he was about to fall; it was extremely formidable. Plus his claw attacking from a distance, all five fingers separately produced qi power, wrapping Kou Zhong tightly in the middle. If he did not deal with it properly, the opponent would immediately follow and attack him until he had no time to deal with it, and would not stop until he was dead.
Nevertheless, instead of startled, Kou Zhong was happy. Yesterday he and Xu Ziling faced the enemy while sustaining injury, seeking life in death, it was indeed an incomparably precious experience in their self cultivation. The threat of life and death forced them to exhaust their wisdom and do their utmost to release their hidden capability in contending with the enemy. For example, in observing the enemy, although previously he, Kou Zhong was not careless at all, but he was not as attentive as when he was injured. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
Because he had no bargaining chips to make mistake, and he did not have the capability to remedy the situation even more; therefore, every move to advance and attack or to retreat and defend must reach one-hundred-percent accuracy. Now his injury had more or less healed completely, but from this facing the enemy while sustaining injury, practicing what he preached, he understood the wonderful truth, which had become a part of him.
Kou Zhong let out long whistle, his body spun, the Moon in the Well merged together with him, so that it was no longer clear where the person was, where the saber was. He whirled toward the ‘Tianzhu Kuang Seng’ Funantuo.
Bai Ziting, Zong Xianghua, Gongzi, Kesubie, and the others, along with the group of high-ranking military officers and soldiers, because they had deep understanding of Funantuo’s ability, no matter how resounding Kou Zhong’s reputation was, before the two combatants started the battle, they still had a hundred-percent confidence in Funantuo; they never thought that there would be any possibility that Funantuo would be defeated.
However, as soon as the experts made their move, they knew there was no such thing as no possibility.
Kou Zhong’s saber technique was like heavenly steed soaring across the skies, like swallow gliding, fish diving. As soon as he began, he already seized the initiative. At last they started to be worried for Funantuo. Translated by foxs
Longquan Army’s confidence was mostly built on Funantuo. If he suffered defeat and died, how could Bai Ziting and others not be worried?
Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan, however, gasped in amazement. They never thought that Kou Zhong could use Square and Circle style from a distance to break Funantuo’s originally no-crack-to-be-exploited Brahma and I as One; otherwise Kou Zhong would fall into the inferior position where he could neither advance nor retreat. Moreover, the offensive that followed the full use of this move was even more fierce and severe; the person spun the saber revolved, light and easy he got away from the opponent’s deflecting the power, while also neutralizing the claw power, and still maintained the momentum of the main assault.
By the time Kou Zhong spun to the right distance, the Moon in the Well could hack from any angle; how could it be easy to block?
Under the nervous yet excited gaze of the spectators from both sides, Kou Zhong spun like a tornado to within a zhang from Funantuo, a dangerous range where the saber could strike any time. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
Without blinking, Funantuo watched attentively at Kou Zhong’s approaching. He was one of the very few people in the arena who could see the real formidable point of this move. Kou Zhong seemed to be spinning at full speed, but actually at each turn, the speed at which he was spinning forward slightly differed. Such ingenuity, his shenfa already reached extremely skillful [orig. skill of the immortal] level.
Letting out a cold laugh, Funantuo sidestepped, both hands were pulled back into his sleeves, the sleeves suddenly swelled open and then collapsed, just like the frog’s cheeks, swelling and collapsing in quick succession, brushing away toward the attacking Kou Zhong.
The two men rapidly approached each other.
While it looked like Kou Zhong was about to hack Funantuo, suddenly, the saber blade unexpectedly became the saber hilt, it heavy knocked Funantuo’s right-hand brushing-away-and-swelling-open sleeve of the robe first, producing a ‘Bang!’ explosion of qi power clashing against each other, and then the saber dragged on to slash Funantuo’s string of attack in rapid succession. The sleeve of the robe collapsed and stuck onto his left palm, creating another explosion.
Laughing aloud, Kou Zhong said, “Where did Guoshi’s yoga technique go?”
He was about to stagger away, the lower half of Funantuo’s body was still maintaining its forward momentum, but the upper part of his body was like moving in opposite direction to his lower body, totally beyond everybody’s expectation, it suddenly snapped backward. The originally impossible thing became possible. Both hands stretched out from inside the sleeves, one took Kou Zhong’s left cheek, the other one swiftly swept Kou Zhong’s back. It was weird and indescribable, while also devious and sinister to the extreme point. Translated by foxs
Longquan’s officers and soldiers finally exploded in earth-shattering applause.
Kou Zhong already experienced his marvelous yoga skill, which others could not achieve, yet he still had the time to call out, “Guoshi fell into the trap!”
Suddenly, changing a mouthful of true qi, he converted his shifting away momentum into moving closer, and from spinning to the left to spinning to the right, so he was coming back from the opposite direction. The Moon in the Well stayed close to his body, momentarily saber light radiated all around, like a yellow snake wrapping itself around his body, his entire body was wrapped tightly inside the refine light, dazzling-to-the-eye saber light. Everybody watching was shaken to the core, while also could not help admiring Kou Zhong’s exceed-all-expectations shenfa, as well as his guts, which convinced everybody.
In the world, except for Xu Ziling, perhaps only Kou Zhong was able to convert the true qi’s marvelous power to deal with Funantuo’s Tianzhu’s yoga technique.
This was the first time that Funantuo experienced the consummate skill of altering the true qi’s direction of flow in a split second. He sensed that Kou Zhong was merely using the change in position, not only to avoid the important and dwell on the trivial, to cause Funantuo’s killer move to become a scratch that could not reach the itchy place, but if he ‘inserted’ himself into Funantuo’s line of defense, due to him exhausting his strength to attack and thus revealing an opening, the aftermath would be unbearable to imagine. Thereupon he shouted loudly and bent his upper body back to return to normal body position, while his two legs swiftly floated sideways, striving to evade far away. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
The initiative has really fallen into Kou Zhong’s hands.
Surprisingly, Kou Zhong did not follow up the victory and press home the attack. He stopped spinning and stood firmly, the Moon in the Well pointed to the retreating Funantuo, while preserving and condensing the true qi within his body, gradually pushing it to the peak condition.
Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan cried, ‘Brilliant!’ inwardly. It should be noted that purely based on power, Kou Zhong was still a notch inferior to Funantuo. Based on self-cultivation, Funantuo’s Brahma and I not two could leave Kou Zhong in the dust even more. The worst thing was that in terms of style and variations, Funantuo’s marvelous yoga skill was even more difficult to guard against, more difficult to block compared to Kou Zhong’s Moon in the Well.
In this kind of adverse situation, Kou Zhong was relying on strange to control strange, on brilliant strategy to strive for victory.
Just like two armies facing off against each other, although the opposite side has superiority in terms of troops’ quality and number, a superior strategy would even up the differences between the two sides.
Kou Zhong unleashed the last style of the Eight Methods of the Well, the ‘Square and Circle’ from a distance first, forcing Funantuo to strike back, and then during the exchange in close distance he relied on the rapid changes of the true qi within his body to make Funantuo change his move and withdraw. Translated by foxs
However, if he were to seize the opportunity to pursue and attack, anybody could see that the proficient-in-yoga-technique Funantuo might use some strange technique to counterattack. Therefore, Kou Zhong then used the not-changing to deal with ten thousand changes, to let the opponent retreat, while he himself went all-out in deploying the next wave of offensive. In the I-am-growing-the-other-decreasing situation, using the optimum state to forcefully shake the passive Funantuo, he closed the power disparity between the two sides.
His saber qi locked Funantuo from a distance. The moment the opponent stopped, he would have to confront the saber strike, which carried the qi momentum that has been stored up to peak. foxswuxia.wordpress.com
None of the spectators was not overwhelmed with hard-to-breath nervous feeling; they all calmed their spirit to wait for the development of the battle.
Funantuo suddenly stood firm, as if he was nailed to the ground at an approximately three-zhang distance from Kou Zhong. When everybody was thinking that Kou Zhong was about to send out a saber strike, unexpectedly, like little grass being blown and brushed away by the gale, he swayed violently to the left and right. The most terrifying thing was that his body became as pliable as the long grass on the prairie; he was swaying in a way that only long grass in the wind would sway.
Unable to see through the opponent’s unheard of defensive style, although Kou Zhong’s saber carried stored-up-to-the-limit power, unexpectedly he was unable to unleash it, because he practically did not know where to attack, at which point the saber would fall.
Bai Ziting was the first to applaud loudly, arousing his side that the sound of cheers shook the heavens.
Watching this, Xu Ziling and Ba Fenghan were dumbstruck.
This was Funantuo’s real skill, the ultimate yoga technique, the natural method to control the enemy’s strange move. It made the other side could not attack, it made the other side did not know where to defend even more.
Kou Zhong was immediately caught in the biggest crisis since the decisive battle started. If his judgment was slightly off, he might provoke Funantuo’s toppling-the-mountains-and-overturning-the-seas like counterattack.
Kou Zhong felt he might lose to Funantuo.
This grandmaster of the martial art study from Tianzhu was still standing alive in front of him, but he already became one with Brahma.
Fortunately, Kou Zhong’s mind was still clear and bright, empty like clear water, without any hint of distracting thoughts. The heart was aware that it was stopping yet the spirit wanted to move. Laughing aloud, he took a step forward, his saber chopped on an empty space, it was precisely the Chess Abundant of the Eight Methods of the Well.
The qi power, accumulated to the peak, from the saber blade, like mountain flash flood breaking out the dam, suddenly burst forth, forming wave after wave of qi power, like raging waves splitting the shore, hiding the sky and covering the earth – toward this terrifying opponent. Translated by foxs
Funantuo’s swaying was growing more urgent and faster, just like the little grass unable to stand the storm, blown into destruction.
But such violent sway and random swing movement no longer had any trace to be sought. Under the rolling-wave like saber qi, it was as if Kou Zhong’s saber was able to see through what is true and what is false in Funantuo, which no discerning eye could distinguish, following a certain intuition that surpassed ordinary senses, as it moved on its own to attack Funantuo.