Chapter 12: Buzzing, Sighing, the Sword

Chapter 12: Buzzing, Sighing, the Sword

Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

The dim, matte small sword seemed to be aware of why the giant roared and that it fell into a trap. It started to vibrate fiercely in the air, making an echo of buzzing sounds as if it was a chaotic bird panicking that desperately desired to escape.

With his hands on his knees, the elder gazed intently at the hiltless mini-sword seemingly both tenderly and peacefully. This lingering gaze had a kind of horrible power that bound the small sword, making it impossible to move, let alone to flee.

Suddenly, there was a sharp drop in temperature at the area where the elder set his eyes on. Covered with a layer of frost soon, the small sword vibrated more severely with a noisy and lasting buzz, but all its efforts were in vain.

It seemed like a century before the small sword gave up this wasted struggle and voiced its last cry. The small sword fell upon fallen leaves, helplessly and lifelessly laying there.

The moment the small sword fell onto the ground, an agonized grunt sounded behind a tree not far away from the fleet, somewhere within the woods of Northern Mountain Road.

A trace of relief flashed in the elder's quiet eyes as he once again placed his hands on his knees. All of sudden, as though blown away by a gale, the skinny and bony elder leaped from the carriage and stopped right in front of the giant man, deep within the woods of Northern Mountain Road.

The giant man's huge palm burst forth with a howl and thumped upon the skinny old man like a mountain, so ferociously that the elder seemed to be crushed into a pile of flesh.

However, the elder looked at the huge palm with a poker face and his dry lips moved, soundlessly uttering a 'Fu'. Then, with his smudgy hands crossed in front of his chest, the elder made an Emblematic Gesture.

The 'Fu' word was mouthed from his lips and the Emblematic Gesture formed by his hands instantly turned the elder's dirty and shabby robe extremely hard. Every ruffle in the cloth was smoothed. It looked as if the robe was supporting his skinny body rather than he was wearing the robe himself.

The gust of wind produced by impact from the palm ceased abruptly. The palm had no way to move forward in front of the trembling elder's head. The giant palm came to a halt; the rest of his body grew stiff. Blood ran down from his canthi and his jaw quivered uncontrollably. Obviously, he was in mighty agony.

The elder's face was extremely pale and he seemed to feel the strain. Nevertheless, he raised his right arm with difficulty as he stretched out very slowly towards the giant man's chest.

Inhibited by sort of bizarre power and unable to move, the giant man could not help but witness the elder's palm getting closer inch by inch.

Softly, the elder placed his palm on the giant man's chest.

A hissing turbulence could be heard between the palm and the chest. With a dull thud, the giant man's stone-like sternum was fractured and his chest began to collapse inward.

Meanwhile, riding on the powerful gust of winds created from the exchange, the elder shrunk his body and swiftly withdrew toward the carriage. The winds in the woods stirred his robe, causing it to roll around. He retreated back momentarily and sat down with legs crossed.

It happened in a brief instant. The elder was once again seated with his hands on the knees again and his robe turned back to being ruffled and shabby. Everything appeared to remain the same.

Finally, the giant man deep in the woods of Northern Mountain Road regained ability to control his body and that huge palm came crashing to the ground. Though the power of palm made a pit on the ground, it was too late. He stared at the bloody hole in his chest, cried desperately as well as regretfully, and fell down on the ground as if a mountain collapsed.

Keeping his legs crossed, the elder sitting beside the carriage took a glimpse at that direction as he bent forward to cough intensely, to the extent that spots of red blood were spat onto the robe.

Meanwhile, bodyguards had formed a team that fought against the small sword. With their broadswords in hand and without concern for their own safety, they bought precious time for the old man. During this time, the elder calculated and found out where the Great Sword Master hid. Then, bridged by hiltless mini-sword, he used his Psyche Power to hurt the Great Sword Master. He succeeded, but this attack greatly hurt him as well.

When he leaped to kill the giant man, although it looked easy, it was in fact a risky move because if his Psyche Power in Ocean of Qi and Mountain of Snow had been used up and he would've be rather feeble.

Fortunately, he had already won the battle.

The battle in the entrance of Northern Mountain Road had ended. Horse Gang in the grassland, guarding Princess Li Yu had proved their loyalty, bravery and mighty fighting capacity in this battle. Their curved blade slew all the opponent soldiers at a great cost. Those lucky enough to survive were totally covered with blood and too weak to stand.

The number of bodyguards that were left alive or standing was much lesser.

Wearing a complicated expression, the elder looked at the tree not far away.

As the night was falling, the entrance of Northern Mountain Road appeared more silent. Bark was peeled from the tree like a man that had aged rapidly in a short period of time. It showed ominous spots indicating a rotten and broken body.

A middle-aged scholar dressed in cyan Cheongsam paced from behind the tree, a rounded scabbard sticking out from his back. Though he looked a bit old, he was handsome and would be considered elegant in brothels or entertainment boats in Chang'an Local Government.

However, he had no business with grace or elegance at this time. Numerous tiny blood beads permeated pores on his face and hands, making him up to be a horrible, bleeding man. Moreover, parts of his cyan Cheongsam were permeated likewise. His body concealed by the clothes was largely covered by those small bloody beads as well as his exposed face and hands.

The middle-aged scholar, raised his hand to sweep the blood on his eyebrow with his sleeve, gazed at the elder beside carriage and an empty scabbard beside the old man, and said with a complex feeling, "One careless move may lose the whole game. That Lyu Qingchen of South School of Haotian Taoism should abandon sword and cultivate Psyche Power. You can guess how many people would feel astounded if I spread this news."

Keeping silent for a while, he continued. "What is much beyond my knowledge is that you succeeded in stepping into the Dongxuan State at such an old age. Is it due to some secret art in Haotian Taoism?"

The elder named Lyu Qingchen answered softly, "I followed the princess to live in the north for a year, enjoying quite different views, as well as different customs and was inspired. Therefore, I stepped forward in cultivation state. I didn't think it was related to Taoism."

Hearing this unexpected explanation, the middle-aged scholar froze for a moment as if he was thinking about something. After a long silence, he cast his eyesight to the chief bodyguard down on one knee in the fallen leaves, saying in a much serious tone,

"After I was upgraded to be a Great Sword Master, I felt that average martial arts could never be my counterpart. But today, your subordinate and you taught me a lesson."

The middle-aged scholar made a fist-and-palm salute to the badly injured bodyguards, praised and said, "It is great pride of our Tang dynasty to have fearless soldiers like you."

The chief bodyguard nodded slightly without saying a word.

"There are not many Great Sword Masters in Chang'an Local Government, but you are not one of them," Lyu Qingchen said, looking at the bleeding middle-aged scholar and he continued. "Academy really is a place full of unknown masters."

Hearing the word 'Academy', those surviving soldiers couldn't help but feel shocked and confused. Was it possible for lofty Academy to be involved in this assassination attempt on the princess?

Ning Que subconsciously looked at the maidservant at his side. Though she seemed lost in thought, her expression said that she didn't think Academy was linked to the attack.

The middle-aged scholar was surprised, shaking his head and bitterly answered, "I didn't expect that you found out where I came. But I should not bring any shame to Academy. I... was just a stupid apprentice expelled by Academy."

Covered with blood and reeling, he would fall down at any time, but facing such a mighty enemy like him, the survivors, both the grassland barbarians and the bodyguards, nervously held their breath for any possible fight. Even though he was the only opponent left.

Ning Que felt the same, filled with combined emotions such as excitement and bewilderment.

Having heard the legends of those great cultivators when he lived in City of Wei and having studied Article on the Response of the Tao for many years, Ning Que has imagined what they could be. However, this was the first time for him to witness an authentic combat between great cultivators.

It was said that intrepid generals in the military of Tang Empire had various crack techniques, but since the frontiers were at peace for years, an insignificant soldier in border town like Ning Que had no chance to watch a combat of this level.

He couldn't help recalling what he had seen. The hiltless mini-sword flying freely among falling leaves; the giant man casting a gigantic rock to destroy a carriage; the old man, with eyes closed that used Psyche Power to kill remotely. All of these incredible feats of magic emerged from his memory one after another and in such quick time, stirring his mind and unsettling his heart.

As the three words, 'Academy', 'expelled', 'stupid apprentice', reached him, Ning Que became awake somehow, but fell into another kind of thrill.

Imagine that a stupid expelled apprentice could kill ten bodyguards from elite troop of Tang with just a small matte sword. How enormous and unbelievable the power of those real students in Academy could be!

"He might be under the command of Xia Hou," the maidservant whispered frigidly.

As the name of Xia Hou hit him, Ning Que's face turned serious and even his body became stiff. It took him more than several seconds to recover from this abnormal state, but his eyes were now icily judging the middle-aged man instead of praising him for his ability.

"You cultivate Haoran Sword Skill. It is not difficult for me to guess where you are from."

Lyu Qingchen continued. "It is a pity that you haven't learned much from the second floor of Academy before you were expelled. At the beginning, the sword rose with momentum like wind and thunder, but was changed into something flexible and surreptitious."

Lyu Qingchen added. "Being honest and untrammeled is top priority in Haoran Kendo, but you didn't follow it. You fancy yourself smart, but this decision is boring indeed. If you had met the middle-aged me twenty years ago, you would not have defeated me either, even if I didn't step into the Dongxuan State."

The middle-aged scholar lowered his head with a shallow smile, which appeared especially miserable at his gorgeous face covered with tiny blood beads.

When he was invited to kill the princess and knew the level of the elder following her, as a Great Sword Master in the Dongxuan State, this middle-aged scholar dressed in cyan Cheongsam thought it more than easy to finish his task.

Nevertheless, the information he got had not included that the elder had stepped into Dongxuan State. To everyone's astonishment, the missionary of South School of Haotian Taoism had abandoned the sword and chose Psyche.

Even so, Great Sword Master still had a chance to win. Nonetheless, he didn't expect those that bodyguards of Tang that were positioned around the carriage could actually make so much trouble for him either, and his location was found by Lyu Qingchen.

It was perilous for a great cultivator's location to be found by his rival on the same level, Psyche Master in particular. Lyu Qingchen controlled his small sword first and took it as a bridge to hurt him with Psyche Power. Facing a Psyche Master famous for killing speed, he had no way to react but was attacked by the Psyche Power which directly rushed into his Ocean of Qi and Mountain of Snow, ruined his viscera and broke his blood vessels.

He was doomed to die at the entrance of Northern Mountain Road this day, so he would not mind those comments from Lyu Qingchen. Though something else was more imperative for him to do before he would die.

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