Chapter 18: A Turn of Events (3)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
Number Three stared dumbfounded, holding onto his Qi Mei Staff.
Severed Head Blade Lin Hongshui’s jaw hung wide open as he looked at the human head rolling on the ground and then looked at Lu Sheng who stood still on the spot, looking slightly dazed.
The autumn wind swooshed, blowing a handful of fine dust on the ground up into the air.
For a moment, none of the three men spoke a word.
Lu Sheng had not expected in the slightest that this big shot-looking dude couldn’t even defend against his probing strike.
In the meantime, Number Three was shocked dazed and his legs were beginning to tremble.
As for Lin Hongshui, it had been totally beyond his wildest imaginations that such a stroke would come from this brat wet behind the ears—Lu Sheng.
“Great… great, great!”
Abruptly, he laughed out loud. However, the smile on his face was filled with savagery.
“Yet another who has come looking for…”
Light flashed as it was deflected off the saber. This time it was Number Three who was the target.
Lu Sheng’s figure flashed in front of Number Three. Fresh blood splurted out again.
Number Three’s head was now gone as well. It rolled across the ground before coming to a stop by a pile of charred ashes.
Lu Sheng shook the blood off his saber blade.
A frenzy of ecstasy arose in his heart.
‘This is what it feels like to take a life. This is what it means to be a saber warrior! As the legends go… “at the first word of discord, scores are settled by the saber”!’
He gripped the long saber tightly. This ordinary silver-white long saber in his hand, with only a blade the length of a forearm, was like his closest comrade.
A faint and strange feeling gushed up in his heart. All of a sudden, he felt as if he was personally being immersed in and experiencing all the wuxia novels that he had read in the past.
An indescribable passion burned in the depths of his heart.
“Come! Either kill me, or end up like the two pieces of trash on the ground.”
Lu Sheng liked this feeling. His eyes red, he licked his dry lips as he approached Lin Hongshui step by step.
Lin Hongshui burst into rage as his expression changed into a furious one.
Gripping his thick-backed broad saber with both his hands, he strode towards Lu Sheng.
A silver swallow appeared suddenly again as Lu Sheng’s saber struck forward.
Despite his Eighty-Four Swallows Pursuing the Wind Blade being only at the Initiated level, it displayed considerable might when employed with Lu Sheng’s mastery of the way of the saber, which had come from his training in the Black Tiger Saber Technique.
However, this stroke was blocked by Lin Hongshui with a lift of his arm.
“I recognize this strike… Swallows Skirting the Water… so it’s Swallows Pursuing the Wind Blade…” he sneered viciously. “In those days, I almost hacked the original master of this saber technique to death, so it’ll be easy to get rid of a little ass-brat like you!”
He added some force, pushing Lu Sheng’s long saber away.
The broad saber’s blade flipped and slashed diagonally upwards with extreme force and velocity.
This stroke, Water-Splitting Move of Wind-Rippling Saber Technique, was one of his favorite trademark opening moves. Each time he used it, his opponent would either have to dodge or be forced to face him head-on.
Lu Sheng leapt aside, dodging the broad saber. He executed Eighty Four Swallows Pursuing the Wind Blade at full strength with the long saber in his hand, clashing against his opponent.
The battle between the two escalated to a frenzy in the middle of the backyard.
Lin Hongshui’s saber strokes came thick and heavy like hammer strokes, full of extreme force. Whenever Lu Sheng came into contact with one, his arm would turn numb.
But Lu Sheng’s saber strokes came quicker and displayed superior stamina, often striking along the sides of his opponent’s strokes or parrying them aside with Eighty Four Swallows Pursuing the Wind Blade.
Both actually struck with immense speed, incomparably quicker than Number Two and Number Three.
But for both of them, saberplay at this speed merely fell under normal conditions.
In one breath, Lu Sheng continuously executed the ten over moves of Eighty Four Swallows Pursuing the Wind Blade in full, yet he still failed to gain the upper hand.
Lin Hongshui, on the other hand, remained as energetic as a tiger; his moves were still astonishingly strong.
Both sabers collided against each other twice in a row once again.
Lu Sheng’s foot twisted a trifle carelessly as he stepped onto a fragile plank of wood, resulting in him losing his balance.
Lin Hongshui’s eyes widened and his broad saber immediately slashed downwards with full might before him.
“Go and die!!!”
He would cleave this terrible brat into two halves there and then! How dare he kill Number Two and Number Three right in front of him?
If he left this score unsettled, who would still dare to follow him in the future!?
The broad saber vibrated eccentrically as it slashed down towards Lu Sheng’s head viciously.
The core of Wind-Rippling Saber Technique’s mantra was precisely to significantly amplify the strength of broad saber strokes through a unique method of employing force.
This astonishingly bolstered the strength of Lin Hongshui’s saber strokes, which were already shockingly powerful to begin with.
The broad saber fell squarely towards Lu Sheng’s head.
Right in that instant, Lu Sheng straightened his body and steadied himself in a second. The long saber in his hand vibrated at extreme speed, emitting a vague roar without warning.
It was a tiger’s roar!
Lu Sheng’s eyes were dyed mildly red as he executed Tiger Kill of Black Tiger Saber Technique.
Carrying powerful vibration and explosive force, the saber blade slashed towards Lin Hongshui’s saber-wielding arms. The speed of this stroke was far swifter and more vicious than that of the broad saber!
“Don’t you dare!!!” An enraged roar sounded out from behind the gap in the wall all of a sudden.
In the blink of an eye, a ball-like black shadow shot forward and struck the side of Lu Sheng’s long saber.
It was a piece of ashen stone.
A second muscular man, who was carrying a thick-backed broad saber, leapt into the yard.
This man’s face was sporting two intersecting scars which stretched from the forehead to the chin, giving him an extraordinarily savage look.
Earlier, Lin Hongshui’s reaction was delayed by a bit due to the tremor induced by Black Tiger Saber Technique’s tiger roar; he nearly had both his arms lopped off by Lu Sheng.
Now, he hurriedly withdrew his saber, giant beads of cold sweat breaking out on his face; he was clearly terrified.
“This brat is using Black Tiger Saber Technique; he’s not easy to deal with! There are more people coming. We’ll take him down together!” Lin Shuanghuo said severely as he glanced at the two corpses beneath him.
The two brothers split up and charged towards Lu Sheng simultaneously.
Lu Sheng remained unfazed, executing Black Tiger Saber Technique’s Tiger Might. The strength of the saber stroke was now much heavier than that of Eighty Four Swallows Pursuing the Wind Blade.
The might of Black Tiger Saber Technique at the level of full mastery was astonishing. Each stroke he made was one step earlier than either of theirs, slashing towards vital areas and thus forcing them to be on the defensive.
In the short span of a few breaths, he had continuously executed Tiger Might seventeen times!
“CHI CHI CHI CHI!”
Shouts and yells rang out back and forth across the entire yard. Unexpectedly, the combined might of both brothers was merely enough to reach a draw against Lu Sheng!
Never once did they have a chance to execute their saber strokes to the full; each time they were halfway in motion, they would be forced to retreat in defense.
The intense battle carried on for the duration of half a joss stick. Lin Shuanghuo had run out of patience. Exploiting an opportunity while his younger brother hung on temporarily, he took a step back, took out a paper sachet from his chest and hurled it towards Lu Sheng’s face.
The paper sachet was hacked into pieces by Lu Sheng’s saber, scattering large amounts of ash within.
Shocked, Lu Sheng quickly shut his eyes tightly.
Without time for further thoughts, he executed the final Tiger Roar madly.
Yet another tiger’s roar rang out.
This time, Lu Sheng’s long saber could no longer avoid the two broad sabers, colliding head-on against them.
The long saber broke apart, its blade spinning to the side before stabbing into the ground.
However, as it was the most powerful move of Black Tiger Saber Technique, the strength and speed of Tiger Roar was not to be taken lightly.
The broad sabers, too, were shaken in Lin Hongshui and his brother’s hands as they loosened their grip.
“Now let’s see what you’ll block our attacks with! Go and die!! Hahaha!”
Lin Shuanghuo laughed manically. A saber warrior without his saber was essentially a lamb ready to slaughter. The gap in strength was extremely wide.
He was about to tighten the grip on his saber to finish Lu Sheng off.
Just then, two low and deep palm strike sounds rang out.
Lin Shuanghuo’s eyes opened only to see Lu Sheng close by all of a sudden. Both his palms slammed into his younger brother Lin Hongshui’s chest one after another, lightning-quick.
The broad saber in Lin Hongshui’s hand dropped to the ground with a clang.
He fell two steps backwards in disbelief, clutching his chest and unable to speak.
“Big… Big Bro… get…out!”
Lin Hongshui spat out a mouthful of blood and collapsed backwards.
At this moment, Lu Sheng had already entered a strange state of maniacal frenzy.
After killing Lin Hongshui, he charged towards Lin Shuanghuo in a flash using Heart-Shattering Palm’s movement steps.
As if he had just awoken from a dream, Lin Shuanghuo roared in rage, intending to block his advance with his saber.
But he was too late.
His younger brother’s death had left him stunned for an instant. Just that moment’s delay was sufficient for Lu Sheng to come too close for his comfort.
“BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!!!”
With a series of three palm strikes, Lu Sheng’s palms struck Lin Shuanghuo in his chest and abdomen thrice like a streak of lightning.
The Heart-Shattering Palm’s signature penetrative force went through the skin and muscles and straight to the organs.
Lin Shuanghuo’s face turned beetroot red. He retreated several steps, then collapsed onto his knees.
He glared at Lu Sheng unyieldingly and opened his mouth to speak. However, blood kept gushing out of his mouth, stopping his words as he choked.
Lin Shuanghuo collapsed stiffly forward. No sound was heard from him again.
Lu Sheng chuckled twice to himself.
‘Two Strength-Proficiency experts… probably they’re Phantom Head Blade and Severed Head Blade that Uncle Zhao had hunted when he was young. To think that they’d die in my hands today…’
Staring at the four corpses on the ground, his heart was momentarily washed over by a wave of ecstasy as Qi and blood surged all over within him.
‘Could it be that this is the level of Intent-Proficiency that Uncle Zhao mentioned? As well as the martial arts intent that Master Zhang Xun advised me about previously?’
If Strength-Proficiency was the level of controlling and harnessing the entire body’s force and strength, then Intent-Proficiency was the use of sight, intent, sound and other means to attack the enemy on multiple fronts.
At the same time, the Intent-Proficiency level gave one a stronger command of one’s own physical force than the Strength-Proficiency level.
After all, how could the muscles in the human body be so easy to thoroughly master?
Lu Sheng remembered that someone on Earth had once researched and discovered that if the strength of all the body’s muscles was gathered in one place, it would enable even an ordinary adult’s strike to attain the horrifying force of several metric-tons.
Theoretically, that was the limit.
But the human skeletal system simply does not allow one to employ force of such magnitude.
So, it was just a theory.
But even then, Intent-Proficiency probably developed one’s muscles to a level incredibly close to that.
Lu Sheng stood in the yard and stepped forward to search the Lin brothers’ pouches and clothes.
From their waist pouches, he fished out a stack of silver notes – each worth a hundred talents. He swiftly stuffed them into his own waist pouch without bothering to count them.
Then, he obtained a worn black booklet, made of some unknown leather. The booklet was kept by Lin Shuanghuo close to his body and so was clearly very significant.
Lu Sheng left the rest of the mess untouched and rested quietly in the yard as he waited for Lu Manor’s men to arrive.
Actually, he too had suffered a few injuries from the battle with the two Strength-Proficiency experts.
Lin Shuanghuo and Lin Hongshui were both born with the natural gift of strength. Moreover, the Wind-Rippling Saber Technique increased that advantage of theirs, greatly amplifying the force behind their saber moves.
In that last head-on collision, the muscles in Lu Sheng’s right arm had also been concussed. His heels were also suffering from a dull ache – probably an injury incurred by his high-intensity explosion of power.
Not to mention the throbbing pain coming from both his shoulders, caused by his continuous series of outbursts within a short period of time as well as saberplay at full strength. Add to that the final collision—perhaps he had injured his bones as well.