1994 You Come, I Go
Han Sen sighed as he tried to think of which skill he might need in order to defeat Lone Bamboo. Han Sen had mastered many techniques, but when compared to Lone Bamboo, he only excelled in a meager few.
Lone Bamboo could spend a lifetime learning proficiency with a skill in the space of one dream. Han Sen, however, was just a human. A life was only a few decades long. He wasn’t even a hundred years old, and so he couldn’t compete with Lone Bamboo.
If they were going to continue competing like this, Han Sen would run out of skills to use. So, he had to end the fight. This could not go on much longer.
“But how do I stop Lone Bamboo?” Han Sen wondered. But then, the light of an idea popped up.
Han Sen moved his Ghost Teeth Knife, but it wasn’t headed for Lone Bamboo. He struck a rock on the ground and cut out a ten-meter-long, rectangular stone. He placed it on the ground.
People were curious and unsure what he was doing.
Han Sen punched the rock’s side. Then he smiled at Lone Bamboo and said, “Can you do that?”
Everyone thought this was weird, because when Han Sen punched the rock, there was no mark left on it at all. They didn’t know what he meant by this.
Lone Bamboo’s hand became a knife, and he slashed the rock and cut it in half.
And then, people realized that no mark had been left on the side of the stone Han Sen had punched, but on the inside, there was the mark of a fist. The stone around that fist-shape had become dust. It appeared after Lone Bamboo cut the rock open. There was a fist-shaped hole. It fit Han Sen’s fist.
“Very powerful Yin force. He can punch a ten-meter-long rock and not break it. With this Yin force, armor would be useless against him. Any defense would find itself obliterated,” said someone in the audience, surprised.
Lone Bamboo did not speak, and just punched the rock that had been cut in half. It was still the same, and the rock did not look damaged.
Han Sen used a knife to cut that rock in half. The side that was closer to him had a fist mark, even though the location was the same.
“Good,” Han Sen complimented. He had practiced with Yin Yang forces. He had spent much effort to become talented with it, but Lone Bamboo was not much worse.
The students of Sky Palace were so happy. They were complimenting Lone Bamboo’s punch. Han Sen was the one who posed the question, so it was obvious he’d be good at it. It was more surprising that Lone Bamboo was able to do the same.
Lone Bamboo said emotionlessly, “When I was in my 731st life, I was a weak woman. But I was born in a boxing family. I was bullied, but I was still able to create a Yin force fist skill. It was not powerful, but it hurt others on the inside. I killed all those who bullied me, and I became an infamous villain. But then alas, I was poisoned. It took three long years for my organs to rot, and for me to finally die.”
Lone Bamboo spoke of this calmly, as if it was nothing. Even so, people were shocked to hear all this.
Your turn,” Han Sen said quietly. He was saddened to hear about Lone Bamboo’s dream.
Lone Bamboo picked up another piece of rock. He stabbed it into the ground like a tablet, leaving seven or eight meters of it sticking out.
Han Sen looked at Lone Bamboo, unsure what he was going to do. If they were going to write and compete with their wills, Han Sen could use Teeth Knife knifemind. He wouldn’t lose.
But Lone Bamboo knew this, and so Han Sen could guess that this wouldn’t boil down to simple writing.
Lone Bamboo looked at the rock, but he didn’t pull out his sword. He walked back ten meters and said, “My sword will break through nine tiers. Can yours?”
The students that watched were confused. They didn’t know what that meant. Furthermore, he only spoke and did not perform anything.
Yun Suyi was confused, too. Just as she was going to ask Yun Changkong, there was an explosion. The surface of the rock was blown up, and there was a crack. And then, there was writing on it. “I want to break through nine tiers.” The words were carved into the stone, as if by a weapon. It felt like a mad bull. It felt as if those words were going to come out of the stone and leap into the skies.
“Sonic blade is not too rare. It can break rocks one hundred meters away, but Lone Bamboo can write with it so powerfully. Not one else who has practiced with sonic powers could do such a thing. This isn’t a matter of control. It’s just that no one else can make a sound like that.” A Sky Palace Duke found himself in shock.
“Because Lone Bamboo has experienced a lot, he has collected so many skills and feelings. Normal people are glad to just have one. Han Sen has practiced with knives and Yin, which is rare for someone of his age. There is no way he has sonic powers, as well.”
“I am afraid Han Sen cannot compete with Lone Bamboo now.”
“There are no others that can equal Lone Bamboo. Even though Han Sen is strong, to compete with Lone Bamboo like that is impossible.”
Many students were shocked. Han Sen smiled and asked, “Which life did you learn this skill in?”
Lone Bamboo’s face did not change, and he calmly said, “It was in my 3754th life. In it, I was a musician that killed others with my music. I was trapped in an echoing valley, and eventually killed by my own musical powers.”
Han Sen shook his head and did not say anything. He walked to the other side of the rock, just as Lone Bamboo had done. He stopped ten meters away and took a deep breath.
“Can Han Sen do it?” Yun Suyi was worried, and so she grabbed Yun Sushang’s arm. She knew they could not be romantically involved, but that did not mean she wished to see Han Sen fail.
Yun Sushang had a wry smile. “How am I supposed to know? But not many people practice with sonic powers, and especially to the degree of Lone Bamboo. They are a rare talent, and we haven’t seen Han Sen use a technique that is in any way similar to it. This is bad.”
Yun Suyi was even more worried now. She wanted to say something, but before she did, Han Sen was speaking again.
“Sitting in the clouds, lonely and cold,” Han Sen said. He didn’t think too much about it, but he wanted to comfort Lone Bamboo. He wanted to understand him.
Lone Bamboo had suffered ten thousand nightmares. Although he had become a genius as a result, Han Sen knew he must have been sad and lonely. No one knew how difficult it was to be that powerful. No one could understand the pain.
After Han Sen wrote those words down, the rock shattered like powder. The seven words appeared, and they hit the onlookers like a physical weight. People’s hearts sank in their chests.