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Thread: Swordsman the Lost Duel

  1. #121
    Senior Member szfong's Avatar
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    Trying to have children before becoming a widow? Getting pregnant in a year perhaps, but needs 2 years to be sure hehehe

    In the book, LHC wanted as many kids as peach fairies, but Yingying couldn't give him a kid because he drank too much and had too many previous internal injuries... Just kidding, of course...

    Perhaps, LHC can make Yingying see the light near the end, and become one large happy, loving family with LHC.

    Please update sooner, can't wait to seen what happens next....
    Last edited by szfong; 04-01-15 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #122
    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    The Reckoning





    Bai Nianfei and Feng Qingyang left the Palace at the end of the 10 days of celebration, despite the pleas of the newly-weds. Bai Nianfei departed with a warning to his grandson to take care of his new wife or face a beating from him, while Feng Qingyang offered his cave as sanctuary to Linghu Chong in case he ever needed to flee from his ferocious wife. So with a tearful farewell the elder Martial Artists once more disappeared.

    With their departure everyone started preparing for the up coming struggle. Linghu Chong set about mastering the Yijin Jing with an enthusiasm he didn't know he possessed. The reason he was driving himself so hard was Xiao Bai. She was his all and he was going to do everything within his power to make sure that he spent a very long and very happy life with her.

    Of course Linghu Chong's time was not devoted completely to Martial Arts. He spent his evenings attempting the impossible task of emptying Bai Xuesheng's vast cellar and his nights reminding himself of what he was working so hard for. For her part Xiao Bai found married life much to her liking. In her new husband she had finally found someone whom she could confide completely in.

    All the hopes, fears, desires and doubts that she had kept hidden even from her sister and friend she could tell him without reservation. Never before had she felt so free and at peace with herself. Yet as blissful as her life was she was a diligent as ever in her cultivation of her Martial Arts taking her already god-like skills to new peaks.

    Bai Xuesheng also spent countless hours in his training Hall perfecting his Sword Art. Although there were few people who could force him to take up arms, he knew that the enemies he now faced numbered amongst them and he was going to make sure he was prepared for them. But like his friends his efforts were not exclusive directly to his Art for he was also partaking in a secret war.

    His spies had made contact with elements within the Five Mountain School that were hostile to their new leaders. By opening up his coffers to these elements he made sure that they were able to resists Yue Buqun and Lin Pingzhi, thus delaying their plans. However Bai Xuesheng knew that he could not win by this mean for these dissident elements were too weak to succeed on their own and that soon he would have to take more direct action.

    It was Xiao Cuì however, who might have worked the hardest out of all of them as she took on the running of the Bai family. Everyday from dawn to dusk she would read the endless stream of reports coming in, sorting them out matters she could handle by herself and those that needed her husband's attention. In this she was aided by Tai Zhong and Ho Tián. Both men were veteran retainers of the Bai family who knew the ins and outs of running such a vast establishment.

    The two of them had been friends for decades and had shed blood together on many occasions in their service to the Bai family, until Ho Tián had received his crippling leg injury and been forced to leave the Iron Tigers. Now the two of them lent their experience to the new Mistress of the Palace advising her on who to trust and who to be weary of. Both of them had been impressed by Xiao Cuì's intelligence and her devotion to the family she had married into. It wasn't long before they came to see her as a daughter in the same way they saw Bai Xuesheng as a son.

    So it was that this state of affair was maintained for six months. Then everything changed.

    ####

    Linghu Chong and Xiao Bai were in their chambers him sharpening his sword on a whetstone while she was working on her her embroidery by candlelight. Slowly Xiao Bai looked up from her work and saw her husband smiling at her playfully. It was a smile she had surrendered to many times since their marriage, tonight however she decided to play a different game.

    With a flick of her finger she sent the flame of the candle flying towards him with the speed of a firefly. Reacting instantly Linghu Chong caught the flame on his blade and returned it to his wife in the same way. Back and forth the flame performed its playful dance, reflecting the game between husband and wife, until Xiao Bai shot her right middle and forefinger out, splitting the flame in thrice.

    Shooting to his feet Linghu Chong did a 360 degree spin catching all three flames on his blade with a sigh of relief. With a flick of his wrist he sent the flames through the air where they reunited into one before landing back onto the candle. Clapping her hands Xiao Bai got up and as about to reward him for such a dazzling display of skill when there was a knock on the door.

    Bai Xuesheng and Xiao Cuì entered upon receiving permission, the grave expression of their faces showing they had bad news:

    “What is it?” asked Xiao Bai

    “News from Black-wood Cliff. Ren Woxing has announced that his daughter is to be married.” replied Bai Xuesheng.

    “To who?” asked Linghu Chong with more passion than Xiao Bai would like.

    “Lin Pingzhi.”

    “That's impossible! He's a...” the heat in Linghu Chong's voice was palpable and Xiao Bai had to fight to keep silent.

    “It is a political statement. Ren Woxing is saying that he is confident enough in his powers to make his dominance of the Five Schools public.”

    Silence greeted Bai Xuesheng's word, until Xiao Bai turned to her sister:

    “I am sorry Xiao Cuì, but it seems like your enjoyment of married life will have to be cut short.”

    Xiao Cuì nodded her head, the look of quiet resignation on her face would have moved anyone's with a heart.

    ####

    Yingying waited on the bed for her new husband. Her wedding had been endured with forced joviality and fake congratulations all masked by the grandeur of the sham ceremony. Throughout the whole ordeal she had secretly hoped that Linghu Chong would appear and declare his love for her. She had fantasised about him snatching her away to some quiet spot where he would fall to his knees and repent on how he had chosen Dongfang Bai over her.

    She would have made him grovel for her forgiveness until she had stripped him of every shred of dignity before finally taking him back. But he never came and she was now the wife to an impotent husband whom she despised. She added this to the long list of wrongs that had been done to her by that witch and consoled herself with the knowledge that she would soon have her revenge.

    Finally the Five Schools had been purged of all dissidents and they were ready to make their bid for ultimate power. She had been circulating the idea that the Martial Arts world needed a Supreme Lord to oversee it and end all the bloodshed. The idea had quickly caught on and three names emerged as the most popular to receive the title.

    First was Fangzheng. The reputation of the Abbot made him very popular amongst the older members of the Martial Arts world who saw him as a safe choice that would ensure that the status quo was maintained. Second was her father, whose growing power and ambition made him a strong candidate amongst the unorthodox and smaller schools who saw supporting him as a way of gaining power for themselves.

    Third was Bai Xuesheng. The Lord of White Tiger Palace had much support from the younger members of the Martial Arts world who saw in him a leader who would lead them into the change and progress they thought was needed. However when all was said, the final decision would be made by who had the most power and at present the combination of the Sun-Moon Cult and the Five Schools made them the single most power force within the Martial Arts world.

    Yingying was brought out of he musing when her new husband entered her chambers. Lin Pingzhi was clearly drunk and staggered a little as he closed the door behind him. As he walked unsteadily towards her, Yingying got up and pointed to a couch at the opposite end of the room from her bed. Despite his drunkenness Lin Pingzhi retained enough of his wits to know not to antagonise her.

    As he slumped onto the couch Yingying let out a sigh and started to prepare for sleep. The unhappily married couple spent their wedding night in great discomfort, their sleep plagued with nightmares of lost love and wronged souls.

    ####

    “What do you think of this?” said Ren Woxing as he passed the letter to his daughter.

    Waking early Yingying had left her still sleeping new husband on the couch, while she went to have breakfast with her father. Opening the letter she read quickly:

    “To the illustrious Lord Ren

    Humble monk Fangzheng would like to offer his congratulations on your daughter's marriage and apologize for being unable to attend the happy occasion. However I would like to extend an invitation for you to visit my humble monastery to discuss matters concerning the future of the Martial Arts world.

    Your humble servant Fangzheng.”

    “Either the old monk is ready to concede defeat and plea for his life or he is planning a trap.” said Yingying as she put the letter down and picked up a cup of tea.

    “That is what I thought as well. But this is too good an opportunity to let pass. If Shaolin really is ready to surrender then we will have enough power to defeat Bai Xuesheng and dominate the Martial Arts world.”

    “Of course you are right papa. But I think we should arrive at Shaolin prepared.”

    “How?”

    “If we travel with Yue Buqun and Lin Pingzhi, the combined might of all four of us should be able to deal with any surprises the old monk might have planned.”

    Ren Woxing nodded his head in agreement, but Yingying was not done:

    “However to ensure our success I have one more idea.” Ren Woxing's face split into a wicked grin as he listened. Truly his daughter would make a perfect Supreme Lord of the Martial Arts world when he was gone.

    ####

    Linghu Chong sent a quick stab at his opponent's face but it was turned aside with ease and the return stroke required him to perform some very fancy footwork to keep his head. Executing three backward flips he landed a safe distance away and took stock of the fight so far. He was faster than his opponent and the last few months studying the Yijin Jing had strengthen him enough to withstand the punishing blows coming from the man.

    However the lightning reflexes of his opponent was phenomenal and no matter how swift he struck, not one of his attacks could penetrate the man's tight defence. Linghu Chong tried changing tactics and bombarded his opponent with quickly changing sword strokes randomly alternating between heavy and light blows hoping to catch him unawares, but the man remained infuriating calm, weathering the attack and responding in kind when Linghu Chong had exhausted himself.

    Leaping backwards to avoid another powerful slash Linghu Chong started thinking furiously for a way to disrupt the seemingly indomitable man when he saw a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye. Normally he was too good a fighter to be distracted but there was something odd about the figure and he spared a quick glance in its direction. His eyes widened in shock as he saw what appeared to be the back of Yue Lingshan.

    While his brain tried to comprehend the impossible his opponent took three quick strides forward and knocked Linghu Chong's sword from his hand before bring the tip of his sword to rest on his neck. Yue Lingshan turned around and Linghu Chong let out a gasps as he saw his wife dressed to look like the deceased woman. He turned to look into the hard emerald eyes of Bai Xuesheng:

    “What is the meaning of this?!” Linghu Chong demanded in a harsh voice.

    “Before I explain, please answer a few questions from me first.” replied Bai Xuesheng without taking away his sword. As Linghu Chong remained quiet he continued.

    “You know we are about to face what is quite possible the most dangerous challenge of our lives?” Linghu Chong nodded but continued staring at him in anger.

    “But do you also know that you are the weakest link out of the three of us?” this time Linghu Chong nearly let out an angry retort, but Bai Xuesheng continued too quickly.

    “You are not weak in body but in mind. Me and Xiao Bai can shut off our emotions in the heat of combat, but you can't and that could prove fatal.”

    The anger faded from his eyes and Linghu Chong realized the truth in his friends words. Seeing the change in his eyes Bai Xuesheng took his sword away:

    “We have a few days before we leave. Use this time to think on what I have said and if you cannot achieve the mental detachment required then don't come with us.” With these words he turned and left, leaving Linghu Chong alone with his wife.

    Xiao Bai walked up to her husband and put her hand on his cheek. He looked into those strong yet caring eyes and swore he would do it, he would do anything for her.

    ####

    Bai Xuesheng opened the doors to his room and found his wife sitting at the table with her hand resting on a box. Xiao Cuì greeted her husband with a smile and he walked towards her then bent down for a kiss:

    “I have a couple of gifts for you” she whispered in his ear.

    Standing up she opened the box and presented him with a sheathed sword. The handle was of silver and wood, made large enough to be gripped by both hands. The sheath was a single piece of wood stained black and unadorned. Bai Xuesheng picked it up and drew the blade recognizing the work of Ho Tián. Xiao Cuì saw the gleam of joy in her husband's eyes and her smile broadened:

    “I had uncle Ho make this from my broken blade. When you carry this into to battle it would be the same as having me by your side.”

    Bai Xuesheng turned to his wife and looked deep into her eyes wondering what he had done to deserve such a perfect woman. Sheathing the sword he put it back into the box and laid it down. Xiao Cuì took his hand and placed it on her belly:

    “Me and the other gift will be waiting for your return.”

    He face lit up as he understood her words. He would come back to her, even if he was dead he would fight his way out of the underworld and come back to her. Silently he swore to this as he held her in his arms protecting the two most important people in his life.

    ####

    Yingying's eyes darted from left to right as they walked up the stone steps towards Shaolin. So far her eagle eyes had not found anything out of the ordinary but still she was uneasy. A part of her told her that she was being paranoid, after all she was accompanied by her father, Lin Pingzhi and Yue Buqun. Even if Fangzheng was planning an ambush there was no way he could over power all four of them.

    However another part of her said that she could never be to careful for they were entering potentially hostile ground. Reaching into her left sleeve she made sure the object she had strapped to her arm was still there. Her fingers wrapped reassuringly around the cylinder shaped object and she relaxed a little. If worst came to worst then she had this final resort.

    Finally they reached the top of the stairs and were greeted by an elderly monk who introduced himself as Fangsheng the junior apprentice brother of Fangzheng. The monk guided them to the Main Hall of the monastery where as soon as the four of them stepped pass the threshold he darted back outside. Even as Yingying turned to towards him a heavy metal net fell over the door trapping them inside.

    Dashing to one of the side windows Yingying reached into her sleeve pulling out a small smoke flare which she thrust through the window and launched seconds before another set of nets fell, sealing of that part of the Hall. Footsteps coming from the front of the Hall drew their attention and the four of them gasped in shock as Linghu Chong, Dongfang Bai and Bai Xuesheng stepped forward.

    Quick as a flash Lin Pingzhi and Yue Buqun ran to the left and right of the Hall fleeing through the side doors. Linghu Chong and Bai Xuesheng pursued them just as quickly leaving Dongfang Bai alone with the Rens. Yingying stared at her hated rival and her hands drifted towards the whip on her belt. By unspoken consent she and her father started moving to flank Dongfang Bai. Although this confrontation had come sooner than expected, it was not unwelcome.

    ####

    Dongfang Bai had her hands out to her sides, her posture was relaxed but alert as she took the measure of her enemies. Ren Woxing had aged considerable since she last saw him, his once black-grey beard was now completely white and the lines around his eyes much deeper. However he still moved with the same predatory grace as before and his single eye still burned with fire. Casting her gaze at Yingying, Dongfang Bai noticed the same murderous heat in the daughter's beautiful eyes and knew at this moment that she was as determined as her father in seeking her death.

    Smiling warmly Dongfang Bai spoke:

    “Well my 'Lord', I would like to say it is good to see your again, but I think we both know that would be a lie.”

    “I am going to dig out your eyes, and rip out your black heart you treacherous witch.” replied Ren Woxing as he inched closer to her.

    Using her father's words as cover Yingying hurled her whip at Dongfang Bai, the leather moving with the speed of a striking viper. Dongfang Bai brushed the whip aside with a wave of her hand and the straps wrapped themselves around a wooden pillar near where she stood. Fingers running along the whip Dongfang Bai flew towards Yingying with her fingers stretched out. Yingying flicked her fingers and Dongfang Bai had just enough time to dive to the side and avoid the killer needles.

    Barely had her feet touch the ground she sensed a displacement of air from behind and turned to see Ren Woxing pounce upon her like a tiger, his claw like hands aiming for her eyes. Meeting the attack with her palms she braced herself. As expected Ren Woxing's attack was incredibly power, but Dongfang Bai was the stronger and he was hurled backwards through the air.

    With a loud crash Yingying ripped the pillar free and sent it hurtling towards Dongfang Bai. Unable to dodge the fast flying pillar Dongfang Bai solidified her aura and the wood shattered upon meeting it, sending sharp splinters in all directions. As the splinters fell Dongfang Bai took a defensive pose. She had underestimated Yingying for she did not know that for former ward had mastered the Sunflower Manual. It would seem that this was to be a day of surprises.

    ####'

    Gripping his Horse Chopping sabre tightly Xiang Wentian charged towards the monastery at the head of a thousand men. Yingying had concealed them at the foot of Mount Shao Shi with orders to attack the monastery on seeing her signal. Now the large body of men stormed up the stairs intend on killing anyone who stood in their way. Suddenly the men stopped as they saw a single figure standing at the top of the stairs carrying a Moon Tooth Spade.

    Xiang Wentian was shocked when he recognized the figure as Bujie. The monk bowed:

    “On behalf of Lord Bai this humble monk greets Left Emissary Xiang.”

    Dozens of men suddenly appeared besides the monk as he finished the words and Xiang Wentian saw that they all wore the uniform of the Iron Tigers. There was a great roar from behind and Xiang Wentian turned to see Tai Zhong emerge with an even larger body of men. Despite his unfavourable position Xiang Wentian had a mission to carry out and with a battle-cry that was quickly picked up by his men he continued his charge.

    ####'

    Yue Buqun ran into a rock garden then stopped dead as he found himself trapped. The garden was completely enclosed by a high wall which had a metal net suspended between the top of the wall and the roof of the building he had just emerged from. He turned quickly to go back the way he had come and found himself facing Bai Xuesheng. As the Lord of the White Tiger Palace strolled towards him Yue Buqun held up his hand in a sign of peace:

    “Lord Bai, although we have not always seen eye to eye, there is no great enmity between us. Surely then we can come to some arrangement?”

    “Have you forgotten about the deaths of Dingxian and Dingyi? Did you really think you could murder the Shifu of my wife without consequences?”

    Yue Buqun lunged forward his blade snaking out towards Bai Xuesheng's neck even as he spoke. Blocking the blow with his still sheathed sword Bai Xuesheng sent a small jolt of Qi through the wood knocking Yue Buqun's blade aside and drawing his own sword in the same movement. Yue Buqun danced backwards avoiding the flashing blade that threatened to open him up from groin to throat.

    Retreating to a safe distance Yue Buqun took a defensive stance. Suddenly there was a loud tearing sound and he looked down to see the bottom of his robe sliced cleanly of. Returning his gaze to his enemy he looked into those merciless emerald eyes and fear seized his heart.

    ####

    Linghu Chong kicked open the door to the Hall of the Eighteen Arhats then quickly leapt to the side as a wave of sword Qi came flying at him. Rolling to his feet he drew his sword and faced Lin Pingzhi. The latter smiled wickedly and spoke:

    “Well Linghu Chong what are you going to do without your wife's dress to hide under?”

    Linghu Chong refused to be baited and slowly inched towards him with his guard up. Lin Pingzhi's smiled broadened and he continued:

    “I am going to enjoy killing you slowly.”

    “What are you going to do? Bore me to death?”

    Lin Pingzhi's smiled turned into a snarl at being mocked, with his blade glowing a blood red he charged towards Linghu Chong. The exchange that followed was so fast that it was beyond mortal eyes to follow. Steel flickered back and forth like lightning between storm clouds as the master swordsmen fought. Lin Pingzhi unleashed a storm of steel upon Linghu Chong and sparks flew as the swords met.

    Linghu Chong however had been expecting as much and reacted accordingly. Abandoning defence he concentrated his efforts on attacking Lin Pingzhi's vitals, reasoning that his opponent put more value in saving his own life than taking his. His assumption was right and Lin Pingzhi was soon on the defensive. Slowly step by step Linghu Chong forced him deeper into the Hall and Lin Pingzhi knew that if he allowed Linghu Chong to corner him then it would all be over.

    Yet knowing this did him little good as being cornered was exactly what was being done to him. His only hope was the Linghu Chong would make a mistake and allow him to escape, but as the fight went on this became increasingly unlikely.

    ####

    Xiang Wentian fought to keep his balance on the blood soaked steps. The battle had been raging for nearly an hour and he was still no closer to reaching his target. Bujie's spade came down in a crushing blow and Xiang Wentian blocked it with the flat of his large blade. The force of the blow nearly drove him to his knees and it was only with great effort that he was able to turn it aside.

    Quickly going on the offensive Xiang Wentian sent a series of quick circular underarm strikes which threatened to disembowel the monk. Bujie parried the blows with the shaft of his weapon and started retreating. Suddenly he held the spade horizontal at waist height and started spinning furiously like a whirlwind. The flashing points at both ends of the weapon spun dangerously forwards, forcing Xiang Wentian to abandon his attack.

    Xiang Wentian saw the crescent blade come towards his leg and tried to leap away but was too slow and received a deep cut across his thigh. Roaring in pain and anger he returned a large underarm slash leaving a trail of blood across Bujie's chest. The monk staggered back and Xiang Wentian pounced. The heavy blade came down to spilt Bujie's skull and he raised his weapon to parry.

    Bujie caught the blow with the shaft, but the blade cut right through and he only just had time to dodge to the side and take the blow on his shoulder. Xiang Wentian grinned as he saw his blade bite deep, but his smile fell as he saw something metallic come towards him. He had enough time to recognize Bujie's crescent blade before it crashed into his face after which he never saw again.

    ####

    Yue Buqun stepped back and drew in a deep breath. This was by far the hardest fight of his life with even his epic duel with Zuo Lengshan paling in comparison. He had expected Bai Xuesheng to be strong but the younger man's skill had proved equally as impressive. Using the stolen arts of the Five Schools and channelling them through the incredible speed of the Evil Resisting he had expected to overwhelm Bai Xuesheng early on in the fight.

    However Yue Buqun had not counted on his opponent's mastery of Qi. Bai Xuesheng had thrown an invisible dome of energy around his entire body covering a five foot radius. The dome was only semi solid and so did not require a lot of energy to maintain. It would not stop an attack, but like a spider in the middle of its web Bai Xuesheng could sense any disruption within it and so giving him an extra few seconds to react to Yue Buqun's attack. To a fighter of Bai Xuesheng's calibre those few seconds were all he need to turn away the deadliest of the attacks.

    Yue Buqun took a moment to assess the situation. He had managed to inflict two shallow cuts on Bai Xuesheng, one along his left arm and the other across his back. In return Bai Xuesheng had given him a scar along his right cheek and a wound along his left ribs. So far none of the wounds had been fatal but the continued blood loss was something both of them would have to take into account.

    Suddenly Yue Buqun realized what Bai Xuesheng was doing. His opponent was trying to drag this fight out as long as possible, counting on his youth and strength to allow him to out last Yue Buqun. It was a clever tactic and was working for Yue Buqun could already feel fatigue creeping up on him. Knowing that he could not allow this to happen Yue Buqun made one desperate gamble.

    Spinning his sword over his head Yue Buqun gathered all of his Qi into one devastating blow. Red lightning started building up around the blade growing more and more dense with every moment. Finally when he felt that he could no longer contain the energy Yue Buqun hurled the Qi storm at Bai Xuesheng. The torrent of crimson lightning engulfed the man and the entire garden erupted in series of large explosions. Rocks shattered and walls crumbled leaving a blasted landscape.

    The dust kicked up from the explosions obscured his view and Yue Buqun could make out nothing. Several heartbeats passed with no movement and Yue Buqun knew he was victorious, then Bai Xuesheng came bursting out of the dust a halo of emerald energy surrounding him. Yue Buqun raised his sword but Bai Xuesheng's blade shattered it on contact and continued into the bottom of his jaw, coming out from where the spine met skull.

    Staring into the dead eyes of Yue Buqun, Bai Xuesheng had nothing but contempt for the cowardly hypocrite. Withdrawing his sword he turned and left, not even bothering to watch the body fall.

    ####

    Lin Pingzhi ducked behind a statue, but found this a poor haven when it was sliced neatly in half by a wave of sword Qi, forcing him to flee once again. Having been pushed deep into the hall by Linghu Chong he had been using his superior speed to slip between the statues lining the Hall and then darting out to try to catch Linghu Chong by surprise. At first this tactic had some success and kept his opponent on his toes.

    But Linghu Chong had soon caught onto it and was systematically destroying the statues and taking away Lin Pingzhi's hiding places. Leaping onto the heads of one of the still intact statues Lin Pingzhi hurled a handful of needles at Linghu Chong. The speed of the projectiles was amazing and would easily have killed a normal person. But Linghu Chong used the arrow breaking stance and warded them off. Leaping down Lin Pingzhi slammed his palm onto the back of the statue and sent it flying towards Linghu Chong.

    Linghu Chong brought his sword down in a massive overhead arch and split the statue down the middle. Lin Pingzhi emerged from the parted statue and thrust his sword at Linghu Chong's face. Linghu Chong bent over backwards to avoid the blow and stabbed his sword upwards in the same movement. Lin Pingzhi was barely able to check his charge in order to avoid the deadly blade which passed less than an inch in front of him. Concentrating on the blade Lin Pingzhi did not see Linghu Chong's left hand snake out and grab his sword wrist.

    Having grabbed hold of his opponent Linghu Chong leaned forward and brought his sword down to split his skull. In a mirror image of his enemy Lin Pingzhi grabbed the wrist of the descending arm and activated the Freezing Inner Energy. Immediately frost started forming in the area around the wrist and Lin Pingzhi smiled at having got the better of his foe.

    Lin Pingzhi started feeling his Qi energy being sucked out from where Linghu Chong was holding him but did not care, all the fool was doing was hastening his own death. After several moments Lin Pingzhi knew something was not right. By now Linghu Chong should have been a block of ice, but the frost had gone no further than the initial area of contact and his Qi energy was being drawn from his body as a staggering rate.

    Too late he realized that Linghu Chong must have found away to neutralise the Freezing Inner Energy and could continue absorbing his Qi power without any ill effects. Quickly his strength left him and his limbs got heavier and heavier until he was unable to support his own weight. Collapsing into a heap he stared up at Linghu Chong, and saw murder in the man's eye. Surprisingly he wasn't afraid. He had redeemed his ancestral name, avenged his parents and got his revenge on Yue Buqun. At least the man that was going to end his life was someone of honour.

    Linghu Chong looked down at the near mummified form Lin Pingzhi and for a moment felt a pang of pity. But then the memory his this wretch plunging his sword into Yue Lingshan and Ning Zhongze came back to him. His rage burned away any shred of sympathy and his sword came down. Lin Pingzhi's throat opened in a fountain of blood. He twitched for a bit then lay still as his life poured out of him.

    ####

    The three of them darted around the Hall like children playing tag, but this was game of life and death where the penalty for being caught would be fatal. By far the fastest of the three were Dongfang Bai and Yingying whose mastery of the Sunflower Manual aloud them to move as if they were blurs. Ren Woxing followed them as best he could, his powerful claws raking at Dongfang Bai whenever she slowed down.

    So far the fight had reached a stalemate with neither side being able to gain an advantage. Dongfang Bai was individually stronger and faster than either of them, but was having trouble fending of both father and daughter at the same time. Whenever she tried to bring Yingying into combat Ren Woxing would threaten her from another position. If she concentrated on Ren Woxing then Yingying would attack.

    Ren Woxing's strength meant that she needed time to overcome him and his mastery of the Art of Star Absorption kept her weary of getting to close. Yingying's lightning fast strikes and her elusive whip kept her constantly distracted, denying her the time she needed for victory.

    Dongfang Bai decided she would need to take a risk in order to end this fight. Feigning tiredness she started slower down for movements, hoping to lull Yingying into a reckless attack. The younger woman took the bait and sent a wild whip slash at her face. Dongfang Bai hurled a needle strung with a thread at the flying whip and caught it in mid air. Channelling her Qi she sent a bolt of energy through the thread and whip towards Yingying, forcing her to respond in kind.

    As the women battled with their Qi energy, Ren Woxing leapt at Dongfang Bai, iron hard claws coming down like those of an eagle. Twisting around Dongfang Bai met the attack with her free palm. Ren Woxing grinned wolfishly as he activated his Art of Star Absorption knowing that Dongfang Bai did not have the power to break free while she was battling with Yingying.

    Dongfang Bai's lips parted showing a needle held between her teeth. Ren Woxing had time to realize this before the needle flew into his remaining eye sending him into a world of darkness:

    “Father!” screamed Yingying as she saw Ren Woxing vanquished, but before she could react there was a massive build up of pressure in her body and she thought her organs were going to explode. Pain engulfed her and she fell unconscious onto the floor.

    Ren Woxing roared like a wounded beast and lashed out blindly in his madness. Suddenly someone grabbed him by the throat and pinned him against a pillar. He thrashed about trying to kill his tormentor but there as a loud snap and he lost all control of his body. As his brain died with his body he spared a final thought for his daughter and wished that Heaven would show a shred of mercy and let her live.

    ####

    Yingying turned to look at Linghu Chong as they played the final notes of Xiaoao Jianghu and smiled. Linghu Chong peered at her through the bars his heart heavy. Having killed Ren Woxing, Xiao Bai had turned to Yingying. Taking her pulse she discovered that Yingying was suffering from fire deviation due to practising the Sunflower Manual. In her haste to master the art Yingying had studied the manual as it was written without taking the time to analyse it as Xiao Bai had.

    As a result a dangerous level of yang energy had built up within her body until the battle when it had reached the tipping point, nearly killing her. Xiao Bai had saved her as she knew Linghu Chong still had feelings for her, but had crippled her Martial Arts to eliminate her as a threat. Now three months after the battle Yingying was being kept prisoner at the White Tiger Palace.

    With a sigh Linghu Chong spoke:

    “Yingying, if you would agree to let the matter rest we will let you go.”

    “Why should I want to leave? I have everything here. Wonderful accommodations, my lover, my friend and even my aunt. Why would I ever want to leave.” Yingying followed the words with hysterical laughter that bordered on the manic.

    With a final shake of his head, Linghu Chong got up and left. As he walked through the doors he could hear the laughter turn into sobs and then wails of despair. But although his heart bled in pain he refused to turn around.

    ####

    Standing at the open doors of the first gate Bai Xuesheng had his left arm around his wife's shoulder and his right hand on her swelling belly. Turning to look at Linghu Chong and Xiao Bai he smiled:

    “Are you sure you don't want to stay for the birth?”

    “I think it best we leave while we can. A few more months with your cellar and he would be useless.” replied Xiao Bai with a chuckle.

    Xiao Cuì stepped up to her sister and embraced her warmly making her promise to return soon. Linghu Chong and Bai Xuesheng exchanged a warrior's shake:

    “Come back as often as you like.” said Bai Xuesheng.

    “I will as soon as you restock you cellar.”

    With those final words Linghu Chong and Xiao Bai mounted their horses and rode away. Bai Xuesheng and Xiao Cuì waved to them until they disappeared over the horizon then taking each others hands they walked home.





    The End

  3. #123
    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by szfong View Post
    Trying to have children before becoming a widow? Getting pregnant in a year perhaps, but needs 2 years to be sure hehehe

    In the book, LHC wanted as many kids as peach fairies, but Yingying couldn't give him a kid because he drank too much and had too many previous internal injuries... Just kidding, of course...

    Perhaps, LHC can make Yingying see the light near the end, and become one large happy, loving family with LHC.

    Please update sooner, can't wait to seen what happens next....

    Thanks for the support. Hope you like the ending

  4. #124
    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    Just like to give my thanks to everyone who had supported me.

    For those who have liked my work, good news I have more stories planned for the future. Just give me a month or two to recover from this one.

    For those who have not enjoyed my work, sorry for the continued torture.

  5. #125
    Senior Member szfong's Avatar
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    Thanks for the story, I just can't help saying that LPZ destroyed his ability to reproduce using his sword, while LHC destroyed it with his excessive alcohol...

    Can't wait to read your next exciting story...

  6. #126
    Member optimus610's Avatar
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    Congrats on finishing the story. Good job.
    If anyone is interested in some of my other work. You can check them out here https://www.fanfiction.net/u/106973/

  7. #127
    Senior Member Icha Parvati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Chen View Post
    Interesting story. The hardest part of writing a wuxia novel is describing the fighting details. Well done

    I was thinking about a sequel of swordsman 2013. The plot involves lhc's two only disciples. Both are talented swordsman with different personalities. Only one was able to win the heart of the daughter he never knew he had but there are too many swordsman stories already
    I agree with this. Fight scene description is difficult, and you deliver it very well, Mandred. Kudos!

    I agree though that you might need to put more punctuation such as commas (,) to give the readers a bit of a breather. Otherwise, I love your narrative style!

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