Chapter 13: Fist Versus Bell
Chapter 13: Fist Versus Bell
Wings of the White Crane was a first-class energy art. It wasn't brutally violent like the Invincible King's Fist, but it did provide marvelous abilities of flight. Although it couldn't enable the practitioner to fly to the highest heavens like an actual white crane, it did make heights of a hundred meters attainable, and could be used to glide for a dozen or so kilometers.
Thus, it was an energy art that was no more or less incredible than the Invincible King's Fist. Because of how it could be used to escape from enemies or travel long distances, it was incredibly useful.
And in Yanhaven, the only people who could use this type of energy art were those from the city magistrate's mansion.
The rich and powerful clans in Yanhaven had techniques that imparted vicious battle prowess, but none could fly like the people from the city magistrate's mansion.
Even more specific than that, Wings of the White Crane was a secret technique that was only passed down through the bloodline of the city magistrate. As such, it was obvious who this white-robed woman was.
After evading the crossbow bolts, she looked back down, then pointed her sword at the ground. As she poured true energy into the sword, it began to tremble as destructive power built up in it.
Then, she shouted, "One Sword to Freeze Nineteen Prefectures!"
Instantly, blinding sword light began to fall downward, covering the entire beach with sword projections.
"Mesh of Heaven, Net of Earth. Destroy!"
Because of the immense power of the sword light, the granular sand on the beach was instantly transformed into powder.
It only took a single glance for Yang Qi to realize that this sword was an outstanding divine weapon. Anything that could amplify one's energy arts in this way was definitely something very precious.
After all, divine weapons like this could easily be used to gain the upper hand on an enemy.
The leader of the black-garbed men obviously reached the same conclusion as Yang Qi. Throwing his arms out, he summoned what first appeared to be an elliptical canopy above them. As it took shape, it became clear that it was a huge bell, which took only a moment to cover him and his men.
"Golden Bell Rampart!"
The sword light slammed into the golden bell, causing flames to spark, and giving birth to numerous sharp clanging sounds that rolled out across the waters of the river.
Over a hundred sword projections slammed into the bell, and yet, were unable to break through it. Soon, the white-robed woman was clearly running low on true energy, causing her wings to begin to fade. Clearly, they would vanish within moments!
After all, not everybody could draw on their energy arts for such a long period of time as Yang Qi.
"This is our chance!" the leader of the black-garbed men said. Reversing the flow of his energy, he sent the bell flying upward, simultaneously transforming it into an enormous hammer.
The hammer struck the white-robed woman, knocking her out of the air. As she slammed into the sand, blood sprayed out of her mouth, and her true energy shivered in instability. By this point, Yang Qi could see her face, and was struck by her beauty.
Slowly walking toward the fallen young woman, the leader of the black-garbed men said, "How'd you like that? Hurt? You just reached the seventh phase, the Energy Manifestation level. But you haven't stabilized your place there. I've been in the Energy Manifestation level for more than a decade. Do you really think that sword of yours could overcome me?"
The young woman looked up at him. "I can't believe that the House of Shadowblight is here plotting against Yanhaven! Are you people tired of living or something?"
The leader smiled viciously. "Hmph. To the House of Shadowblight, Yanhaven is nothing. We're going to annex one city after another, and eventually, overthrow the entire Sage Ancestor Dynasty! Then we will be the imperial force that rules the Rich-Lush Continent!
"Considering that you have those Wings of the White Crane, I guess it's safe to assume you're the daughter of City Magistrate Yan Gufeng. If I kidnap you, he'll definitely pay a handsome sum of energy convergence pills to get you back!"
Laughter erupted among the other black-garbed men.
"Boss," one of them said, "why not let us have a bit of fun with her first? We could use some of our House of Shadowblight's Lovemaking Powder. Give her some of that, and instead of fighting to get away from us, she'll be fighting to get under us!" More raucous laughter filled the air, crushing any and all hope the young woman had held of getting out of the situation.
"Die!" she suddenly shouted, running her finger along the edge of her blade to send out a mass of sword light. As fast as lightning, it split into hundreds of separate streams that stabbed into the black-garbed man who had just spoken.
As he screamed and flopped backward onto the ground, the other black-garbed men scattered, shocked that the young woman could unleash such a devastating attack.
"Dammit," the leader growled, looking around at his men. Then, he smiled and looked back at the young woman. "A very nasty little sword trick you have there. But now that you've used it, your true energy is in even worse of a state than before, so I don't have to worry about you fighting like a cornered beast. Think you can kill anyone else? Go ahead and try!"
In response to his challenge, a host of whooshing sounds filled the air, and then another of his subordinates was transformed into a bloody pincushion. Unable to even cry out in shock, he toppled down onto the sand.
However, this time it wasn't just the black-garbed men who were shocked, it was also the young woman in white, as she had not unleashed the attack!
Moments later, several blazing rocks shot through the air toward the leader. Rocks like this could easily pierce an iron shield, as they were propelled by Yang Qi's hell vortexes.
"Spiraling energy pellets!?" the leader growled. Eyes flashing, he drew upon his energy arts, sending a host of his own rocks flying out to intercept Yang Qi's. As they did, a string of booms filled the air.
Utterly discomfited, the leader said, "Who's out there? Whoever dares to ambush me? You'd better step out into the open right now!"
"It's me," Yang Qi said, strolling out of the reeds, his powerful aura surging with such terrifying strength that the leader of the black-garbed men immediately backed up a few paces. "I can't believe you're actually trying to kill the daughter of the city magistrate right out in the open. You people really have some gall."
"Who are you, you little punk?" the leader asked with a snarl. "Do you really think you can kill my men without the House of Shadowblight coming for revenge?"
Yang Qi laughed loudly. "Revenge? If I kill you, how will they ever know? You've roamed the jianghu for years now. Haven't you heard of killing witnesses to prevent secrets from getting out?" 
His words caused the young woman's anxiety to suddenly be replaced by inner laughter.
'I like this guy,' she thought. At the same time, she pulled a pill box out of her garment, broke it open, and consumed the pill inside, hoping to restore some of her true energy.
"Kill me?" the leader said. "Apparently you don't know the meaning of the word death." He blurred into motion, like a serpent striking at its prey, and within a moment had already closed the several-hundred-meter distance between himself and Yang Qi.
"Watch out!" the young woman called. "They have powerful poison arts that—"
Before she could even finish her words, Yang Qi saw an enormous ghost face formed of true energy lunging toward him.
It was a fearsome sight, and something that couldn't be taken lightly.
"Invincible King's Fist!" he shouted, drawing upon all of the true energy he could muster as he slipped into the six forms of the technique. Triumph in Every Battle. Victory in Every Fight…. It took only a brief moment for him to complete the forms, whereupon his true energy exploded out in a massive blast onto the ghost face.
Instantly, the ghost face shattered into bits.
Yang Qi could sense his true energy diminishing rapidly, but in the end, his energy arts were just too vigorous. The power of two ancient megamammoths was enough to crush mountains, and therefore, after taking only one additional step forward, his true energy was back to full strength. Without hesitation, he launched another Invincible King's Fist at the black-garbed leader.
"What energy arts do you cultivate, brat?" the leader spat. He had just wasted a significant amount of true energy when fighting the white-robed woman, only to once again have it drained in an interchange. 'He's only in the sixth phase,' he thought. 'How come it feels like he's drawing on the power of some primeval beast? Each of his moves is like some enormous animal trampling across the battlefield.'
Stabilizing his true energy, he prepared to unleash another killing move. However, before he could, Yang Qi's Invincible King's Fist rocketed toward him again with devastating momentum.
"Golden Bell Rampart!"
The leader of the black-garbed men once again called on the same defensive energy art from before, summoning a huge golden bell. When Yang Qi's fist strike hit it, the Invincible King's Fist collapsed.
"Let's see how many fists you can block!" Yang Qi said, obviously not willing to give the man any breathing room. Using the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth to back his Invincible King's Fist, his hand was like a hammer smashing over and over again into the bell. In only a short breath of time, he drew upon his true energy to unleash over a hundred fist strikes.
Boom. BOOM. BOOM!
Gonging sounds could be heard as the bell was struck, causing visible sound waves to roll out in all directions. As for the leader of the black-garbed men, he staggered backward over and over, blood beginning to ooze out of his mouth thanks to the damage to his internal organs.
Pouring more energy into the golden bell, the leader said, "Listen, punk, you—"
"Die!" Yang Qi interrupted with a shout, unleashing a torrent of fist strikes that were like enormous axes that could cleave mountains. It was an impressive sight as he drew fully on his energy arts, his steel-like muscles bulging as he attacked with frightening tenacity.
He went through the six forms of the Invincible King's Fist in an endless cycle, pushing his momentum to the absolute peak, to the point where no one could see him; they could only see the massive waves of energy battering at the bell.
He was like some sort of primeval, divine titan, smashing at mountains with an enormous sledgehammer.
'Is he… even human?' the white-robed woman thought, looking on with wide eyes. 'How could his energy arts have reached such an explosive level?'
At this point in the fight, the leader of the black-garbed men was in a very, very bad situation. He couldn't even fight back. All he could do was go all out to fuel his golden bell, aware that if it were to break, he would be reduced to a pile of blood and gore.
It seemed to him that he wouldn't be safe from this kid even if he were locked up inside of an iron chamber. The brat was only in the sixth phase, and yet, seemed mightier than ten sixth phase experts all working together.
"Listen punk!" he said angrily, "do you really think that—"
"Shut the hell up!" Yang Qi shouted, yet again interrupting. Meanwhile, he could now sense that the third particle within him was beginning to awake. A cracking sound could be heard within him, and suddenly, the lightning mammoth stirred with excitement. Moments later, he had the power of three ancient megamammoths at his disposal.
Yet again, his strength soared to epic heights.
The golden bell shattered, and Yang Qi rushed forward with vicious abandon, charging across the battlefield like a megamammoth. As he did, one fist after another slammed into the leader of the black-garbed men.
The young woman looked on in shock as the man was thrown into the air, blood spraying out of his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and his chest caved in. Then, he flopped onto the ground like a burlap sack.