I am a pessimist, but I think people like me!
The missing chapter! And a fight to remember!
Chapter 12 – A chaotic banquet
Seated between Physician Leng Ting and General Xu Yi Ze, Prince Dan did not show any signs of surprise and smiled: “I heard Mister Guan Zhongxie from your esteemed residence has defeated the experts of Qi. I wonder if he will show us some of his skills.”
Prince Dan, the successor to the Yan throne, is used to such challenges and difficulties. He knew that he cannot shy away from duelling. Otherwise, it may be a sign of cowardice and in this foreign state of Qin, he must fight or Qin may use this as an excuse to attack Yan. Success and failures are common in fighting. Even if he loses, he will be disgraced but it is something that is inevitable. However, Prince Dan intentionally singled out Guan Zhongxie to counter Lu Buwei. If Lu Buwei sent Guan Zhongxie out, it shows that Prince Dan has good foresight. If Lu Buwei did not send Guan Zhongxie out, he can only send Lu Chan as Lao Ai has left him and Zhou Zihen was defeated by Jing Jun last night. Prince Dan has seen Lu Chan’s sword skills and can choose a fighter from his team to counter his weak points. It is only two simple sentences but it has highlighted the intelligence of Prince Dan.
Lu Buwei did not expect Prince Dan to counter him so effectively and began laughing. He winked at Guan Zhongxie and Guan Zhongxie acknowledged his order with another laugh and stepped out to an open area beside the banquet grounds. He paid his respects to Prince Dan: “I am flattered by your high opinion of my lowly skills. Here I am and will Prince please send your expert and let us learn from each other.”
Now, it is Prince Dan’s turn to be agonized. Lu Buwei carried out a chain attack and now, it seems like Lu Buwei has no intention to send Guan Zhongxie but did so to appease Prince Dan. Everyone was excited at the martial arts competition as well as the chance to ridicule the people of Yan and cheered loudly. After all, Guan Zhongxie’s swordsmanship is one of the best in Xianyang City and it is possible that he is even better than Xiang Shaolong. With his amazing archery that killed four birds with two arrows, he is now as respected as Xiang Shaolong who threw the five flying needles. But as most people have never seen him fight, everyone is waiting eagerly in anticipation. The crowd is cheering loudly and the mood is extremely lively. Before he even start fighting, Guan Zhongxie has impressed the crowd with his muscular frame, solid built and imposing air.
Xiang Shaolong could not help but glanced over to the female warriors. Every one of them including Ying Ying and Lu Dan’er was whispering at each other and has an intoxicated expression on their faces. He could not help but trembled strongly. If Guan Zhongxie is allowed to show off his might, the two fickle ladies Ying Ying and Lu Dan’er may surrender to his seduction. Now that his injury is more or less healed, should he enter the fighting ring? If he lost, the consequences will be disastrous. But if he did not fight because he was afraid of losing, it will prick his conscience and affect his self-confidence. As he was thinking furiously, Prince Dan pretended to be pleased and sent a fighter from the back seat. This man announced his name to be Yan Du. Everyone was alarmed as this man is a reputable fighter too.
Xiang Shaolong could not help but asked Lord Changping about Yan Du. Lord Changping happily explained: “This man is one of the top three fighters of Yan. We have no idea that he came to Xianyang City with Prince Dan. It is rumoured that his sword speed is as fast as lightning and can cut open swallows that are flying in mid air. That is how good he is.”
Xiang Shaolong took a closer look at Yan Du. Yan Du is a tall and thin man with a lump on each side of his forehead. His eyes are brimming with energy and he is around the age of twenty five. He is not considered a handsome man but has an extraordinary air around him. The most remarkable thing about him is that he is clothed fully in yellow. With a crooked nose like an eagle, he radiates calmness. However, Guan Zhongxie is even more eye-catching than him. In a snow white outfit, his head is tied neatly in a red bun and is half a head taller than the tall Yan Du. If Yan Du is a well-prepared fighter, Guan Zhongxie is casual-looking fighter. On his arrogant face is an irritating smile that shows his despise for everyone. No wonder Ying Ying may be in love with Xiang Shaolong but still succumbed to his advances. Both men paid their respects to Xiao Pan and Zhu Ji, asking permission to begin their fight.
Xiao Pan may not realise that this duel is ultimately aimed to ruin Xiang Shaolong’s reputation but he did not want Guan Zhongxie to have any chance to show off his skills. But with Zhu Ji supporting at the side, he helplessly consented: “The duel is a friendly match and shall cease when a winner has been determined. I do not want to see any bloodshed or deaths tonight.”
Both men kneeled down and accepted his order. However, everyone knows that it is a real duel with real weapons being used. It is really hard to avoid injuring the opponent.
Some brought out two armour suits from the crowd and Guan Zhongxie smiled: “I do not need the armour. Brother Yan, please help yourself.”
Yan Du had no choice but to reject the armour too as it will affect his agility. Before they drew their swords, both men stood still under the illumination of the torches. Their killing aura immediately flooded the area as everyone held their breaths in silence so as not to affect their concentration.
Jiang! Yan Du drew his sword first and displayed a magnificent pose with the sword across his chest. True experts like Xiang Shaolong could tell that he is actually succumbing to Guan Zhongxie’s pressure and needed to draw his sword and stabilised himself. It is something that only experts can sense. Just like during a battle, an experienced General can predict the victory based on the morale and the determination of the soldiers.
Guan Zhongxie laughed loudly and his left arm patted the sword that was hanging around his right waist. He solemnly state: “My sword is named Longstrike and it is forged by the blacksmiths of Yue. The sword is five feet and four inches long, which makes it one foot longer than most swords. Brother Yan must not neglect its length.”
Jiang! Longstrike was drawn out by his right hand in a flash. While everyone is dazzled by the stunning brilliance of the flashing sword, Guan Zhongxie stepped forward and sent his sword towards Yan Du. Xiang Shaolong was reminded about something when he saw Guan Zhongxie patting his sword with his left hand. He summoned the Guardians and instructed them to retrieve his Mohist Sword.
Yan Du’s sword flew out and clashed heavily with Guan Zhongxie’s sword. DANG! Both men withdrew their sword and retreated a few steps, eyeing each other with caution.
Everyone was still holding their breaths. The first strike is both men testing each other’s skills. The real show is yet to come. Xiang Shaolong noticed Yan Du’s hand is shaking slightly and guessed that his arm strength is much weaker than Guan Zhongxie. Yan Du may have a very good martial arts foundation but unfortunately, his opponent is Guan Zhongxie.
Glowing with confidence, Guan Zhongxie let out a cold snort and sent another strike towards Yan Du. Although the attack is similar to the one before, the onlookers can sense that it is an earth-shattering attack that will be quite impossible to defend no matter who you are. Yan Du roared and his sword flicked out from the side, drawing an arc before clashing with Longstrike with a loud KENG! Despite making a later move, his sword hit first and did not disgrace the reputation of Yan swordplay. Even so, he was shaken and had to take a small step back. Guan Zhongxie was about to press on with another attack when Yan Du roared again and took three steps back. In his hands, his sword drew circles in the air which reflected the torches. Now his sword appears to be on fire. It is an amazing swordplay and everyone finally broke the silence and exploded in loud cheering.
Guan Zhongxie did not expect his swordplay to be so exquisite and it prevented him from advancing further. Summoning his heroic courage, he let out a long roar and withdrew his sword. He swing it strongly forward like a trail of rainbow and the sword rung loudly as it sliced through the air. His pose is awe-inspiring and exudes a godly aura and a sense of invincibility. The feeling is so intense that even Yan Du is affected and his battle strength dropped by twenty percent. The two weapons clashed in a blink of an eye and they exchanged several strokes spontaneously. Like a bolt from the blue, both men suddenly retreated at the speed of light. As no one can see their earlier fight very clearly, it is still a mystery who the winner is.
Jiang! Guan Zhongxie sheathed his sword. Despite both his eyes still focusing on his opponent, his sword accurately entered the tiny gap of his sheathe like a poisonous snake with eyes. Everyone was shocked at his gesture while the female warriors are cheering at the top of their voices.
Yan Du’s sword is still aimed at Guan Zhongxie but his face has turned completely white and there are large drops of perspiration on his forehead. He shook and lowered his sword on the floor, leaning against it like a walking stick. It seems like he has over exerted himself. On his forehead, there is a horizontal sword wound. It is only a surface wound as Guan Zhongxie has been merciful. However, such a prominent injury and resulting scar will only constantly remind Yan Du and the people around him that he was once defeated by this heartless man.
Guan Zhongxie cupped his hands: “Thanks for allowing me to win.”
Someone came out from the crowd and helped a furious Yan Du out. In the midst of all the cheering, Guan Zhongxie paid his respects to Xiao Pan and Zhu Ji. Prince Dan and Leng Ting maintained a calm expression but Xu Yi Ze and the other men were incensed at Guan Zhongxie’s offending injury.
Lu Buwei laughed loudly: “Guan Zhongxie, you disobeyed the Crown Prince’s order and blood is seen. I punish you with this cup of wine.”
By now, even Prince Dan and Leng Ting have an ugly expression on their faces as Lu Buwei has gone too far with this insolent remark.
Sitting at Lu Buwei’s table, Cai Ze exclaimed: “Zhongxie’s swordsmanship had aroused our interest. I wonder if Assistant Commander Jing is around. I would love to see him pitting his skills against Zhongxie.”
Guan Zhongxie received his cup of wine from Lu Buwei and toasted in the direction of Xiao Pan, Zhu Ji and the crowd. Everyone in the crowd raised their wine cups and toasted to him in return. Xiang Shaolong is more sure than ever that Lu Buwei is out to get him. He guessed that Lu Buwei believes that Xiao Pan holds him in high regard because he is a national hero. Thus, before he ‘dies’, Lu Buwei wants to disgrace Xiang Shaolong in public and make Xiao Pan shift his hero-worship to Guan Zhongxie instead.
With Cai Ze’s comment, it is hard for him to remain silent. He plainly state: “Assistant Commander is attending to some duties and is not present at the banquet. I am sorry for disappointing Official Cai.”
Cai Ze is well-prepared for his answer and continued his digging: “Last night, there is also a man named Huan Qi who won three consecutive fights. Let’s have a taste of his skills again!”
Lu Buwei’s supporters begin to cheer supportively at his suggestion. Obviously, they are trying to instigate a fight between Xiang Shaolong and Guan Zhongxie.
Lord Changping sensed that something is amiss. He whispered into Xiang Shaolong’s ears: “They are trying to embarrass you! Hng!”
Xiang Shaolong knew that this fight is inevitable. There is no way he will let Huan Qi fight Guan Zhongxie. If Huan Qi is killed or heavily injured by Guan Zhongxie, he would have let Wang Jian down and Xiao Pan’s dream of a special elite force will be dashed. Even if Huan Qi did not suffer any injuries, his newly minted reputation will be destroyed. He glanced quickly at the female warriors and saw that every one of them including Ying Ying are totally mesmerized by Guan Zhongxie. If he did not fight now, Ying Ying will be lost to Guan Zhongxie and Jing Jun will lose Lu Dan’er too. Moreover, if he came up with another excuse that Huan Qi is away for work, Lu Buwei’s men will spread rumours that he, Xiang Shaolong, is afraid of Guan Zhongxie. Finally, he looked at Xiao Pan. Xiao Pan is looking back at him with a hopeful expression.
Rejuvenated, Xiang Shaolong let out a long laugh. He stood up and casually said: “Since Official Guan is so enthusiastic, let me have some fun with you!”
The crowd was completely silent for a split second before erupting into loud clapping and cheering.
Guan Zhongxie smiled: “Official Xiang’s leg is injured and should not fight. If the wound reopened, I will feel guilty.”
Zhu Ji interrupted: “Shaolong should not force yourself!”
Xiang Shaolong unbuckled Bloodwave and handed it to Wu Shu behind him. He received the Mohist Sword and felt his fighting spirit rising. He thought that since he will have to fight him sooner or later, it might as well be tonight. He smiled: “If Official Guan can make my wound reopen, I will surrender the fight to you!”
The crowd saw that his words are full of dominating spirit and clapped loudly for him, adding to the liveliness of the situation. Xiang Shaolong exchanged a knowing glance at Prince Dan and Leng Ting before he walked to the centre of the fighting arena. Standing side by side with Guan Zhongxie, they paid their respects to Xiao Pan.
Xiao Pan has full confidence in Xiang Shaolong’s amazing swordplay. Pleased, he advised both of them: “Weapons are blind, please fight with caution.”
Xiang Shaolong understood that Xiao Pan wanted him to kill Guan Zhongxie. Inspired, he thought of a winning strategy. Guan Zhongxie believed that he will be dying tomorrow and will not sacrifice his own life to defeat him. Based on this point, he is at a serious disadvantage. Another benefit is that he has seen Guan Zhongxie fight but Guan Zhongxie has no idea about his own swordplay but only managed to hear it from other people’s experiences. If he demonstrated his full Mohist swordplay, he is confident of giving Guan Zhongxie a run for his money. Thinking about these points, he formulated a winning plan.
Both men stood apart from each other. As the crowd looked on, they stared at each other’s eyes and thus, the ultimate battle has begun! By now, there are many onlookers who have gathered around when they heard about the duelling. Now, the whole place is extremely packed. When Wu Shu went back to retrieve the Mohist Sword, Ji Yanran and the girls were alarmed and hurriedly rushed over. Now, they managed to squeeze themselves at Lord Changping’s table. Qin Qing is here as well and joined their table. Everyone is in a great mood. Zhu Ji is worried that Guan Zhongxie will injure Xiang Shaolong and her expression is grave. She nearly wanted to leave as she could not bear to see the fight.
Guan Zhongxie humbly state: “Being able to fight with Official Xiang is one of the highlights of my life.”
Xiang Shaolong coldly replied: “I wonder if Official Guan will use his best skill today – the Left Hand Swordplay?”
The moment he said this, the crowd went: “Wah…”
Nobody expected that in all his past fights, Guan Zhongxie had been concealing his true ability.
For the first time ever, Guan Zhongxie’s face changed colour and he dryly smiled: “Official Xiang is truly observant.”
This is the moment Xiang Shaolong has been waiting for. The Mohist Sword leaning on his shoulder sprang into the air and he advanced forward quickly. Using the heavy weight of the Mohist sword, he attacked Guan Zhongxie face on.
Jiang! Indeed, Guan Zhongxie pulled out his sword using his left arm and adopted the horse stance. As quick as lightning, he blocked the Mohist sword. Instead of following up with another attack, Xiang Shaolong withdrew and adopted one of the three Mozi killing stances: Defending Attack. The wooden sword was flying everywhere and Guan Zhongxie could not decipher if it is an attacking stance or a defending stance. Moreover, he was distracted by Xiang Shaolong earlier and did not know how to counter him. Reluctantly, he took two steps back to recompose himself. Everyone saw that Xiang Shaolong performed a miraculous first attack befitting his reputation and broke out into loud cheers.
Xiang Shaolong entered the calm state of Mohist meditation and abandoned all his emotions, including the fear of defeat, fear of death, etc. His mind is completely clear and every single movement made by Guan Zhongxie cannot escape his eyes. Everyone saw that both are awe-inspiring warriors and resembled heavenly generals and could not help but feel even more excited than before. It is the first time Ying Ying and the female warriors witnessed Xiang Shaolong’s fascinating skills and were completely swept away. For the moment, they did not know who to cheer for.
Guan Zhongxie can detect the increasing confidence and fighting power of Xiang Shaolong. The corner of his mouth curled in a smile and he coldly snorted before he sent his sword towards Xiang Shaolong. From this attack, everyone can tell that his left hand is indeed superior to his right hand. His head, arm, waist and feet were in perfect coordination. Although it is only his left arm holding the sword, it felt like his whole body is part of the attack. It is a startling move that sends shivers down everyone’s spine. It is an incredibly fast attack but its looks slow at the same time. Everyone can see his sword clearly and even can predict where it will hit. Even so, the attack is so powerful that it seems to be unavoidable. Such a unique move that is both fast and slow is the pinnacle of swordplay.
While everyone is worried for Xiang Shaolong, Xiang Shaolong maintained his calm expression and used his left hand to hold his sword instead. In a perfect counterattack, the heavy Mohist Sword landed squarely three inches away from the tip of Guan Zhongxie’s sword. Xiang Shaolong is truly formidable. Using the heavy wooden sword, he has nullified Guan Zhongxie’s stronger arm strength. At the same time, the blow hit the weakest point of Guan Zhongxie’s sword and deflected it away.
Never in his wildest dreams would Guan Zhongxie expect Xiang Shaolong to use his left hand. All his earlier strategies have gone to waste. He was also alarmed at the heavy wooden sword’s attacking power. Xiang Shaolong consecutively attacked him three times but Guan Zhongxie did not take a single step back but defend himself well. Using his strength and fast reflexes, he met each of Xiang Shaolong’s heavy blows head on. Everyone was intoxicated by their grandeur and madly cheered for both of them.
Every time their weapons clashed, a loud sound was made. After the three heavy blows, Xiang Shaolong followed up with another seven blows. Before the crowd suffocated under the aura of his pressing attacks, the two men separated and stared at each other fiercely. Xiang Shaolong needed to catch his breath while Guan Zhongxie needed to recover from the fierce attacks and did not dare to retaliate.
Xiang Shaolong is full of admiration. He crossed swords with Xiao Weimou before and often sparred with Teng Yi who has better arm strength than himself. Thus, he is familiar when dealing with people like Guan Zhongxie. In his ten attacks, he incorporated elements of biology, parabolic and rotation theory but Guan Zhongxie still managed to fend him off without taking a step backwards. Thus, Guan Zhongxie’s defending skills are watertight and have reached an extremely high level. In addition, he attacked Guan Zhongxie when he is in a disadvantaged position but is unable to overcome him. Based on this point, he knows that he cannot defeat him. But this is normal under ordinary circumstances. Ultimately, fights are normally won on psychology factors and strategy which Xiang Shaolong happened to be an expert on both subjects.
Guan Zhongxie is horrified. Since the day he learnt sword-fighting, he has always focused on sword attacks. For the past ten clashes, he is painfully defending himself. This is something that he has never encountered all his life. The crowd became silent as everyone anticipated their second bout. Guan Zhongxie composed himself earlier that Xiang Shaolong and immediately sent his sword flying towards Xiang Shaolong. His sword swung up from below, aiming at Xiang Shaolong’s chest.
Holding his sword horizontally across him, a steady Xiang Shaolong let out a long howl and ignored the incoming sword. He slanted his body to one side and sent his own sword towards Guan Zhongxie’s forehead. Everyone was shocked but Xiang Shaolong knew better. He has yet to catch his breath from their earlier exchange. If he insisted on defending himself, he will be forced to retreat. When that happens, Guan Zhongxie can follow up with more attacks and sooner or later, he will succumb to his stronger arm strength. But with his unorthodox move, he has avoided the attack partially and Guan Zhongxie will need some time to change the direction of his attack. It is a trick to stall for time. In the end, he may be heavily injured but his heavy Mohist sword will land on Guan Zhongxie’s forehead and kill him instantly.
This is the first time in his life Guan Zhongxie is fighting a man who is willing to sacrifice his own life to win. As Xiang Shaolong expected, Guan Zhongxie will not sacrifice himself and frantically withdrew his sword to deflect his blow. DANG! A loud sound resonated throughout the area. Xiang Shaolong has used up every single bit of strength in his body in this attack. Coupled with the heavy wooden sword, Guan Zhongxie was badly shaken and could not hold back any more. He finally took a step back.
Xiang Shaolong will not let this golden opportunity slip by. He used the most powerful Mozi Killing Stance: Attacking and Defending at the same time. His sword aura became more powerful and his attacks are full of intricate changes. Like waves after waves of the majestic river, he assaulted Guan Zhongxie relentlessly. Guan Zhongxie saw that his moves are out of the ordinary and let out a long howl, defending himself from all his attacks. Every onlooker from Xiao Pan to the palace guards were shouting out their cheers and it was an emotional scene.
Xiang Shaolong’s killing aura grew and he forgot all about the Mohist swordplay. He simply attacked Guan Zhongxie whenever there is an opening and his moves are unpredictable. Like a pouncing beast, he was full of energy, fast and every single attack he made is vicious and out to take Guan Zhongxie’s life. Against his own wishes, Guan Zhongxie is forced to retreat. When he took the seventh step back, Xiang Shaolong’s attack became weaker and Guan Zhongxie managed to turn the tables around using a special move and blocked Xiang Shaolong’s sword. After Xiang Shaolong attacked him one more time, he retreated and leisurely put his wooden sword on his shoulder. Guan Zhongxie sighed with relief and dared not retaliate. Again, the two men stared at each other fiercely.
With a shocked expression on his face, Lu Buwei stood up and shouted: “Stop!”
Everyone turned and looked at him.
Last edited by Justin13; 08-06-10 at 10:53 AM.
Wonderful! This fight is not disappointing
Did XSL mean Guan?Xiang Shaolong coldly replied: “I wonder if Official Xiang will use his best skill today – the Left Hand Swordplay?”
Last edited by ChronoReverse; 08-06-10 at 02:51 AM.
Thanks Justin! What a critical breathtaking chapter! Glad we didn't miss it thanks to the Shen Diao Xia =) Never figured the long awaited fight with GZX would happen so soon and so suddenly....
Can't wait to see the end. But it seems XSL has over-extended himself and revealed all his moves while GZX seems to have something left up his sleeves...
Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?
Wow I am going to re read this chapter few times. I hope xsl will live a mark on gzx forehead. Thanks for the hardwork Justin . :-)
Wow , great fight
Thank's for the great chapter Justin (hoping for a bonus chapter today wink wink)
agree with yeongwee , xsl has revealed most of his lethal moves but Guan seems to have something left up his sleeve.
can't wait to see how this pans out in future,
LOL!!!! Xiang Shaolong goes DG9J on him!!
Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.
OMG WHATS NEXT?!
AHHHHHGGGG! The suspense is killing me!
Thoroughly enjoyable btw, I really appreciate the translation. Thanks Justin!
i agree with Ren,
It seems like XSL has improved his sword swills and don't have to blindly follow the manuals he learned
Thanks Justin. That was a great chapter.
I think the fight is over for now. Looks like LBW will end it for now. Guan Zhongxie reminds me of Lu Bu.
Thank you, thank you and thank you Justin. That was so thrilling.Loved the fight scene.
Much like soccer or any sport, you can not just play to not lose, instead you have to play to win! Also, you can't play scared or the opponent will have you already even though your skills may be equal.
"Every man dies, but not every man really lives." -BH
Just when everybody thought the fight is over...
Chapter 01 – Clash of the titans
Before Lu Buwei could say anything else, Xiang Shaolong interrupted with a laugh: “That was a good fight, isn’t it? If Premier Mentor wanted Official Guan and me to stop fighting, I am afraid I will not agree to it. Is there anyone in the crowd that want this fight to end like this?”
The whole crowd erupted in loud cheers and supported Xiang Shaolong’s decision to extend the fight.
With the shouting escalating to an unimaginable volume, Lu Buwei’s voice is totally drowned out.
Lu Buwei did not expect Xiang Shaolong to interrupt him. Obviously, he is out to kill Guan Zhongxie. He was angered but powerless to intervene. After all, he was the one who initiated the whole thing and forced Xiang Shaolong’s hand. He did not anticipate Xiang Shaolong to put up such a good fight.
Even Guan Zhongxie is at a serious disadvantage.
What shocked him the most is Xiang Shaolong’s desperate fighting method. He is willing to sacrifice his own life to have Guan Zhongxie killed.
Lu Buwei is sure that Xiang Shaolong will die tomorrow. Why should he allow Guan Zhongxie to accompany him in death?
He was infuriated at Xiang Shaolong’s suggestion. Now, no matter what he says, there is no way he can prevent the fight from continuing. Otherwise, others will think that he is afraid of Guan Zhongxie losing to Xiang Shaolong. This will cause Guan Zhongxie’s reputation to take a beating.
Guan Zhongxie understood Lu Buwei’s intention. But in the present circumstances, he must never back down or he will forever lose the chance to challenge Xiang Shaolong to a duel. With a loud cough, he paid his respects to Lu Buwei.
Everyone knew that he has something to say and quietened down. Now, Guan Zhongxie has everyone’s attention.
With a solemn expression, Guan Zhongxie coolly state: “I understand the good intention of Premier Mentor. Official Xiang and I will not harm each other as this is only a friendly match. I hope to continue our unresolved battle too.”
Everyone exploded into loud cheers, knowing that the show will go on.
Xiang Shaolong propped up his sword with a smile. He is in a great mood.
He has finally conquered his fear of Guan Zhongxie. At the same time, he realised that if he did not defeat Guan Zhongxie tonight, he will never have the guts to do it in the future.
His biggest advantage tonight is that his opponent will not ‘sacrifice’ himself to defeat him.
In the future, he will not have any more opportunities like this.
Lu Buwei’s face was drained of colour, acknowledging that this fight must go on. He could imagine Xiang Shaolong’s determination to eliminate Guan Zhongxie and sighed secretly.
Tonight’s events have been very different from what he had visualized.
He looked at Zhu Ji with a pleading expression and was stunned to discover this Empress of Qin staring at Xiang Shaolong with an intoxicated look on her face. Thus, she did not notice him at all. Just as he hardened his resolve, Lu Gong happened to butt in: “Will the Crown Prince please decide if the fight should go on.”
Now, the matter is in the hands of Xiao Pan and Lu Buwei is out of the picture. This is equivalent to slapping Lu Buwei in the face.
Xiao Pan looked around him and saw that the area was packed to the brim with his Qin people. His eyes lit up and he calmly state: “Premier Mentor, please return to your seat first!”
Lu Buwei is a crafty man who always has a ready reply. He laughed loudly: “Everyone is mistaken. It is such an exciting fight and I will never dream of stopping it. I only wanted to provide a prize for the winning fighter. Whoever wins this fight will get to marry my daughter.”
When he finished speaking, the crowd began to howl and the atmosphere is electrifying.
Lu Niang Rong did not expect her father to pull such a stunt. Shocked, her face turned red and she was at a loss.
Given the situation, there is no way that she can protest.
Guan Zhongxie’s eyes were filled with renewed energy.
If Xiang Shaolong is the winner, Lu Niang Rong will definitely marry him. When he dies tomorrow, Lu Niang Rong may resume her freedom to marry but will never marry a loser like him.
Lu Buwei’s words are to force him to win at all costs. Guan Zhongxie’s fighting strength increased dramatically and he abandoned all his earlier reservations regarding sacrificing his life for Xiang Shaolong.
All the while, Xiang Shaolong has been observing Lu Buwei. He noticed Lu Buwei winking to Mo Ao who is hiding among the crowd. Mo Ao gestured back to him and finally pointed at Lu Niang Rong. Xiang Shaolong had to acknowledge that Mo Ao is really formidable.
Mo Ao’s intelligence is second to none. He actually managed to determine Guan Zhongxie’s weakness to be his fear of sacrifice. With Lu Niang Rong entering the picture, Guan Zhongxie will also be fighting for a lifetime of happiness with her. Thus, he will take the fight more seriously.
Since Xiang Shaolong entered the special elite commando unit, he has undergone many years of rigorous army training. His willpower and determination are without equal. He wasn’t demoralised at all but instead, his fighting strength increased by leaps and bounds. With a smile, he glanced at Xiao Pan.
While Xiao Pan may have detected that Guan Zhongxie is now a more determined man with a strong killing aura; he cannot disobey the wishes of the crowd. He waved and proclaimed: “As Premier Mentor has indicated, the fight will continue.”
All the cheering immediately subsided and the crowd became serious and quiet, focusing their attention on the two expert swordsmen.
At the side, Qin Qing, Ji Yanran, Jing Jun and the others were equally nervous. With all their hearts, they wished that they can lend Xiang Shaolong a helping hand but unfortunately, he must fight alone.
With a cool expression and his eyes shining like electricity, Guan Zhongxie fixed his gaze on Xiang Shaolong. In his hands, his sword slowly moved into an attacking pose and his killing aura is highly intense.
Everyone can feel the ferocity of his weapon and knew that if he attacked, it will be an extremely ferocious move. For Guan Zhongxie to exude such an emotion to the crowd, his fighting strength has reached its peak.
Xiang Shaolong felt that his fighting strength is not as intense. Inspired by the samurais’ intense fighting strength, he made up his mind to display a similar samurai attack pose. For Guan Zhongxie who has never seen a samurai, it will become an advantageous distraction.
He parted his legs and adopted a half squat position. He grabbed his sword with both hands and pointed the sword at Guan Zhongxie briefly before he slowly raised the weapon high above his head just like what a samurai warrior would do.
Everyone, especially Guan Zhongxie was taken aback at his unusual pose. The crowd began to whisper among themselves as everyone is puzzled by Xiang Shaolong’s unique posture.
Guan Zhongxie was intimidated. He felt that no matter how he tried to attack Xiang Shaolong, Xiang Shaolong will swing down his sword and attack his forehead just like before. Moreover, Xiang Shaolong is now holding the sword with both hands and the incoming blow will shatter his skull for sure. For a moment, he dared not attack.
His swordplay relied heavily on the opening pose. With this mental obstacle, his strong fighting strength has decreased by thirty percent.
Xiang Shaolong can sense Guan Zhongxie’s energy dropping due to his trick. Grabbing this golden opportunity, he coldly snorted and advanced forward. Above his head, the Mohist Sword slammed down heavily in the direction of Guan Zhongxie’s face. Although this is a sword stance from the Mohist Swordplay, Xiang Shaolong has executed it with two hands instead of one.
Guan Zhongxie is unwilling to retreat but did not want to use his sword with both hands. He let out a grunt and swung his sword upwards to defend against the Mohist Sword.
PONG! The Mohist sword was slightly deflected to one side. Xiang Shaolong managed to gain an opening and pressed on with five more attacks with each of them faster than the last one. Shaken, Guan Zhongxie was forced to take several steps back. If not for his superior arm strength, he will have succumbed to the vicious attacks and lose his footing.
Xiang Shaolong’s supporters are cheering wildly for him. Eighty percent of the crowd wanted to see their hero defeat Guan Zhongxie.
Lu Buwei’s and Mo Ao’s expression became very ugly. They did not foresee Xiang Shaolong using such a strange strategy and overcoming Guan Zhongxie despite his superior arm strength.
But Xiang Shaolong knew that if he allowed Guan Zhongxie to attack him, he will be defending himself in agony.
In addition, Guan Zhongxie is blocking his moves using the least amount of strength. Despite being in a disadvantaged position, his energy consumption is much lesser compared to Xiang Shaolong.
If not for his heavy Mohist Sword, it will be hard for Xiang Shaolong to force Guan Zhongxie backwards.
Xiang Shaolong knew that Guan Zhongxie is still being tricked by him. While he is still gaining the upper hand, he laughed loudly and retreated. Using only his right hand to hold his sword, he pointed the sword at the terrified Guan Zhongxie, stating: “Official Guan is a true expert. Thanks for showing mercy to me!”
Guan Zhongxie was publicly embarrassed. A cold murderous look flashed across his eyes and he coldly hissed: “Official Xiang is about to win. Why did you retreat out of a sudden? Has your wound reopened?!”
Xiang Shaolong took this chance to catch his breath. He smiled: “Official Guan is really good at telling jokes. We are not here to kill each other and must take turn showing our true abilities to Miss Niang Rong. Earlier, I attacked while you defended. Now, I will defend while you attack.”
Even though they have stopped fighting with their swords, they are still ‘fighting’ with their words. Everyone was thrilled and continued watching the excitement.
Guan Zhongxie lost the debate as he was angry with Xiang Shaolong’s remark. He knew that he has spoken out rudely and reminded himself not to underestimate Xiang Shaolong. He smiled back: “If this is the case, I will attack as you instructed.”
The moment he finished speaking, his eyes shone energetically at his opponent.
Xiang Shaolong knows his opponent like the back of his hand. Guan Zhongxie is better than him in terms of arm strength and fighting experience.
Luckily, his earlier tricks have eroded his confidence. Otherwise, he will definitely lose.
In this life and death situation, he dared not take any chances. Clearing his mind of all thoughts, he adopted a defensive pose and eyed Guan Zhongxie with caution. Every single part of his body and mind is in a state of emptiness, displaying one of the three Mozi Killing Stances: Defending Attack. He guarded his body well and quietly awaits Guan Zhongxie’s attack.
Guan Zhongxie realised that this is the last opportunity for him to repair his reputation. Ideally, he wants to defeat Xiang Shaolong. It will be good to force Xiang Shaolong to retreat into submission. Otherwise, it is as good as losing the fight.
All along, he has complete confidence that he can defeat Xiang Shaolong. But from tonight’s fight, he was forced into a disadvantaged situation many times despite not losing the battle yet. As a result, his confidence is shaken and he cannot fight with his full potential.
The onlookers are increasing tremendously. From a banquet attendance of two hundred odd guests, now, there are more than three thousand people watching the fight. No one wanted a break as the fight is extremely exciting and nerve-wrecking.
Guan Zhongxie’s Longstrike sword wavered slightly. When his fighting strength has reached its peak, his eyes focused ahead and he took large strides towards Xiang Shaolong. A strong sword and a stronger sword aura sliced through the air.
Xiang Shaolong stood as steady as a mountain and his eyes are shining coldly, giving the impression that he is as solid as a rock and is unafraid of the waves clashing in.
Guan Zhongxie took another step and is now ten steps away from Xiang Shaolong. Now his fighting strength is even higher than before. He coldly questioned: “Is Official Xiang determined to defeat me and win Lu Niang Rong’s hand in marriage?”
Xiang Shaolong cursed him secretly. Guan Zhongxie is really a scumbag. Knowing that he is unwilling to marry Lu Niang Rong, he purposely said these words to distract him. If Xiang Shaolong is reminded that he has to marry Lu Niang Rong after winning the fight, his fighting spirit would naturally decrease and so will his fighting strength.
This is also part of Mo Ao’s brilliant plan by asking Lu Buwei to marry Lu Niang Rong to the winner.
To defeat a man, you must first destroy his will. This is a fact that Mo Ao knows very well.
Xiang Shaolong recomposed himself and laughed: “Miss Niang Rong is such a rare beauty; I believe Official Guan is trying to defeat me so that you can marry her.”
His words are out to distract Guan Zhongxie too. He wanted to remind Guan Zhongxie that he will die of poisoning tomorrow. Thus, it is not important whether he will marry Lu Niang Rong or not. But Guan Zhongxie cannot afford to lose. With this thought messing up his head, he will be unable to unleash his full potential.
Guan Zhongxie did have the intention and was slightly surprised. His sword resonated with a strong killing aura and his strong desire to win can be felt.
Xiang Shaolong was not alarmed but was delighted instead. Cha! He took a step forward and waved the Mohist Sword around, taunting Guan Zhongxie.
Guan Zhongxie was forced to attack him with a troubled mind. As Xiang Shaolong is remaining in a defending position, he did not break his promise to let Guan Zhongxie attack him.
Everyone was inebriated at their intellectual contest and their swordsmanship contest.
Guan Zhongxie has no other way out. He howled and Longstrike transformed into a blazing trail and struck towards Xiang Shaolong’s face like a thunderbolt.
His attack is fierce, powerful and solid. Everyone was startled at his attack and forgot to cheer.
Xiang Shaolong has successfully forced Guan Zhongxie to strike earlier than he had intended. His Mohist Sword swung out like the wind and put up a watertight defence.
In a short span of time, Longstrike and the Mohist sword has clashed ten over times. PONG! PONG! PONG! Everyone was highly thrilled and was jumping up and down with excitement. Both men began to fight at an even faster speed and their movements are so fast it became blurred. The crowd was so immersed in the fight that everyone forgot to cheer.
Using the advantage of the heavy sword, Xiang Shaolong countered every blow head on to destroy Guan Zhongxie’s confidence and pride.
Except for the three killing stances, the Mohist Swordplay emphasizes on defence rather than attack. Originally, it is meant to force the enemy to submit rather than destroying the enemy. However, every defensive move has an element of attack, which is similar to the Killing Stance: Defending Attack. Therefore, Guan Zhongxie cannot show off his powerful chain attacks.
In the past, when Mohist Juzi Yuan Zong is training Xiang Shaolong, he only used a few casual strokes but managed to make Xiang Shaolong retreat a few steps. Thus, the defensive Mohist Swordplay is more than meets the eye.
Despite all his psychological tricks and strategies, he cannot defeat Guan Zhongxie, not to mention taking his life.
He intentionally retreated earlier and tricked Guan Zhongxie into attacking him now. With his invincible Mohist Swordplay defence, he can prevent himself from being defeated. Additionally, Guan Zhongxie must guard against the Killing Stance: Defending Attack. In the end, he will still be regarded as the winner in the eyes of the crowd.
Since there is no clear winner, he need not marry Lu Niang Rong.
Tonight, Xiang Shaolong has used up every one of his abilities in order to counter his nemesis Guan Zhongxie.
The more Guan Zhongxie fought, the more fearful he was. In front of the crowd, his attack is powerful, fierce and quick. But in his mind, he knows that his energy is depleting faster than Xiang Shaolong’s. After thirty odd stances, he has yet to force Xiang Shaolong to take one step back. If this carries on, he will be drained and Xiang Shaolong can use this opportunity to finish him off.
He is a top swordsman and knows that he is committing a big mistake. He purposely slowed down and created an opening to trick Xiang Shaolong into attacking him.
Unknown to him, Xiang Shaolong’s Mohist Swordplay is a gentlemen’s swordplay with no hints of malice. Even if there is an opening, he will not take advantage of it. Guan Zhongxie was petrified, thinking that Xiang Shaolong has seen through his trick. His fighting strength dropped by another ten percent.
All around them, the crowd finally broke out into loud clapping and cheering. The noise produced is deafening.
PONG! After a final clash, Guan Zhongxie retreated while he still has some strength left. Otherwise, he will risk losing his life when he is completely drained of all his strength.
Xiang Shaolong did not wish to kill him. Moreover, his own strength is also heavily depleted. He wanted to retaliate but his body can no longer hold out.
At the same time, he sighed with relief. If Guan Zhongxie pressed on his attacks, he may be the one who will eventually succumb.
The fight still ended in a draw.
The crowd became extremely quiet.
Both men can no longer conceal their loud panting sounds.
Xu Xian stood up and announced: “Let me be the judge. This fight has ended without a clear winner. Miss Niang Rong’s marriage will be arranged at a later date.” The entire crowd exploded in a thunderous applause and wild cheering, showing their appreciation at the exciting duel. Even after a long time, the cheering did not subside.
Apologies to those of you who have been waiting. Went on a hot date so posted late. Now, it is 2am in Singapore. Yawn! I wanted to do this tomorrow but I just felt that the chapter and the previous one should go hand in hand.
FYI, will be out tomorrow morning and most of sunday so don't expect much. I'm cleared on Monday and can finish 1 chapter on Tue before I fly. Nightz!
Last edited by Justin13; 08-06-10 at 02:11 PM.
nooo...no more cliffhangers
thanks again justin!
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience."
-Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam to Paul Atreides
This IS AMAZING! THANK YOU JUSTIN!!!!
You have successfully transformed, not just me, not just my boss, but the entire Business Intelligence team of Yahoo (yes I work for Yahoo) into avid readers! Can't WAIT until the next update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nice one XSL! Where his strength isn't sufficient, his tactics more than made up for it
Thanks for another amazing transation Justin!