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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 13, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 37: Side by Side

Danger at The Tomb of the King (Part Seven)

“After years have passed since our last meeting, you seem largely unchanged. It’s quite the surprise that after all this time, you’re still alive. The medicinal skills of Xuhuai Valley truly must be something special.”

The moment the man in the black robe finished his taunt, he unleashed three rapid strikes, his blade gleaming with a chilling light. Each slash was accompanied by a sharp, piercing noise, drilling into the ears like a needle.

Qing Jiu deflected one blow with her sword, her expression subtly shifting. The other two strikes weren’t as straightforward; she danced on traceless steps, her figure shifting, effortlessly dodging past them.

The man in the black robe asked coldly, “Where is your sword?” Qing Jiu offered no reply.

Out of nowhere, a slender individual wielding a staff lunged at her, his movements in perfect harmony with the man in the black robe’s sword strikes, effectively sealing off Qing Jiu’s escape. Faced with this new adversary, Qing Jiu switched from dodging to attacking, deploying the Taixu Sword Art. Sword shadows intertwined, shining brightly, each strike faster than the last.

In just a moment, the three exchanged dozens of moves, with the two assailants seeming to manage with ease. The man in the black robe sneered, “We really should have invited Qin Gui to see this, to observe her remarkable disciple.”

Qing Jiu’s gaze turned icy, her sword aiming a deadly thrust towards the man in the black robe’s throat. The man countered with a broad slash. Neither attempted to block or dodge, understanding that a hit meant mutual destruction.

Eventually, the man in the black robe stepped back, narrowly evading Qing Jiu’s strike. He laughed heartily, “Good disciple! Good disciple! You actually forced me to step back!”

Qing Jiu replied coldly, “Who is your disciple?”

The man in the black robe chuckled, “That move you used, aiming for mutual destruction, was created by me.”

As soon as they separated, the slender assailant attacked Qing Jiu from the side, launching a palm strike filled with overwhelming internal energy. Qing Jiu caught the blow with her left palm, their internal forces clashing, causing their clothes to flutter as though swept by a gust. The force of the palm strike repelled them both, but it was the slender attacker who was sent reeling back further.

The slender man snorted coldly, “I said long ago this woman should not be underestimated. It’s a mystery where she has learned such skills, to have advanced to this degree.”

The man in the black robe laughed, “What’s wrong? Are you afraid?”

The thin man replied coldly, “The one who should be afraid is you and Gui Jianchou.”

As they spoke nonchalantly, they launched another assault on Qing Jiu. This time, every move was lethal and merciless. She defended herself with surprising skill, matching their intensity. Yet, amidst the clash of steel, she found no opportunity to be distracted by anything else.

Meanwhile, seven or eight of their followers, having received silent commands, bypassed the area to pursue Yang Chun and Yu’er, intent on capturing them.

The landscape was a slope, intersected by cold, dark streams. Yu’er and Yang Chun were running ahead when Yang Chun, hearing noise from behind, turned to see they were being followed and exclaimed, “How did you end up crossing paths with these demons?”

“Do you recognize them?” Yu’er inquired, puzzled.

Yang Chun raised an eyebrow, scrutinizing Yu’er. “You’ve traveled the jianghu, and you don’t know who they are?” He assumed that, as the young mistress of a prominent martial arts family, even if she was relatively new to wulin, Yu’er should have some knowledge of its various factions.

“I don’t know them,” Yu’er admitted.

Yang Chun shook his head and clicked his tongue, “So young and naive.”

“Don’t waste time chattering,” Yu’er pressed, eager for answers.

“Those men are from Ghost Sect. Judging by the appearance of the two you were fighting, they must be Dao Gui and Gui Shou of the Five Ghosts,” Yang Chun couldn’t help but look back again, still able to see Qing Jiu fighting the two. He sighed, “What kind of background does your friend have? It’s truly impressive, holding her own against those two for over a hundred moves without falling behind.”

Yu’er’s concerned for Qing Jiu and realizing that Qing Jiu seemed to know those two, had a sudden revelation that she didn’t really know Qing Jiu at all. Aside from Qi Tianzhu, whom she knew a little about, she was in the dark about the backgrounds of the rest of their group. “What is the Ghost Sect?” she asked, seeking clarity.

“You don’t know?” Yan Li was taken aback.

“Just tell me,” Yu’er urged, her curiosity piqued.

Yang Chun, always eager to share his vast knowledge, especially given his exceptional lightness skill and travels all over the world, seized the opportunity to elaborate. “Talking about the Ghost Sect is no small matter! In the Jiangnan region, there are many large and small factions, but when it comes to those with a hundred years of foundation, overlooking other sects, there are four: Yanyu Pavilion, Wenwu Sect, Qixian Palace, and Ghost Sect.”

“These four sects each have their strengths, but in terms of martial arts power and the techniques of their disciples, the Ghost Sect leads. Are you familiar with the Tang Sect of Sichuan, the ancestral home of assassins and killers? Like the Tang Sect, the Ghost Sect also specializes in assassination, making its mark in the jianghu. The leader of the Ghost Sect, known in the jianghu as the Judge, commands the Five Ghosts, each possessing extraordinary skills. Even the least among the Five Ghosts, Gui Jianchou, is renowned in jianghu, comparable to Qing Feihou, who tops the Tang Sect’s assassination list. In the jianghu, it is said: ‘Qing Feihou of Sichuan, Gui Jianchou of Jiangnan.’ This saying alone illustrates their formidable power…”

Yang Chun, thoroughly engaged, questioned, “So, does your friend have a grudge against Ghost Sect?  Why did she attack those people out of nowhere? Those two must be Dao Gui and Gui Shou, no doubt about it. Let me tell you, being targeted by Ghost Sect means they’ll never stop until they’ve got you. Once marked, you can forget about ever finding peace for the rest of your life.”

Yu’er suddenly stopped in her tracks, turned around, and saw Qing Jiu’s fight with those two becoming more intense. She felt a void in her heart, her mind went blank, and she turned back.

Yan Chun, shocked, exclaimed, “My Heavens! Are you going back to get yourself killed?”

Yan Chun looked at Yu’er, then at the group from Ghost Sect quickly closing in, and then back at the path they had come from, Yang Chun gritted his teeth, stamped his foot, and followed after Yu’er.

Seven or eight people surrounded Yu’er, not with the intent to kill, but to capture her alive.

Yu’er dodged to the side, her movements light and agile. From behind, someone launched several silver needles, their tips gleaming with a multicolored light, coated with a paralyzing poison.

Yu’er drew her dagger from her waist, deflecting the needles with a series of clangs, keeping them at bay. Sensing the wind change behind her, she swung her dagger back, cleaving something in two with a snap—unaware of what it was. Several streaks of silver light approached; Yu’er danced her blade, slicing through them all. They turned out to be iron chains, each ending in a claw, aimed swiftly to capture her.

The assailants hadn’t anticipated that this young girl would possess such formidable skills, nor did they expect the dagger in her hands to slice through iron as if it were mud, effortlessly cutting through the steel claws.

Yan Chun watched, dumbfounded, and cried out, “My Heavens! What kind of treasure is that?”

Seven or eight people surrounded Yu’er. After much consideration, Yang Chun gritted his teeth and also rushed in. These seven or eight people were not weak, but the girl in front of them was slippery like a fish, evading their attempts to catch her. With Yang Chun causing chaos on the side, it became even harder for them to catch her. Frustrated by their prolonged failure to subdue her, one of them, growing increasingly irritated, inadvertently made a lethal move.

As the two groups were engrossed in their battle, they didn’t notice another group of people approaching from above.

This group, dressed in brown armor with swords at their waists, comprised about twenty to thirty individuals, each wearing a serious expression.

As they drew nearer, the others finally noticed them.

At that moment, Yu’er was dodging a diagonal strike from one of the attackers. With a swift draw of her dagger and a spin, she dodged, unwittingly facing the newcomers.

The leader of the approaching group glanced over, showing surprise on his face, “The young mistress’ jade pendant!”

As two more attackers lunged at Yu’er from behind, she ducked low, slipping between them, and with a twist of her dagger hilt, struck one on the wrist. The move was unpredictable and agile; the attacker, caught off guard, winced in pain. Despite the hit, his deep martial arts cultivation meant he maintained his grip on his weapon, not dropping it.

As the attackers prepared to advance again, a clear voice commanded, “Stop this at once!”

The members of Ghost Sect turned towards the voice, only to see the newcomers drawing their swords and charging at them. This group, with formidable skills and their numbers, broke through the encirclement, quickly putting the Ghost Sect members at a disadvantage. Still, the seasoned fighters of Ghost Sect remained calm, with one shouting, “The Ghost Sect and the Moonless Sect have no grudges. I’d ask you to not interfere in Ghost Sect affairs.”

The Moonless Sect, undeterred, continued their assault. The leader positioned himself in front of Yu’er. She eyed him warily and took a couple of steps back, not expecting him to suddenly kneel on one knee and proclaim, “May the Young Mistress’ fortune be as vast as the heavens.”

Yan Chun, utterly surprised, stared at Yu’er and blurted out, “You’re the Young Mistress of the Moonless Sect?!”

Yu’er was filled with confusion, wondered how she could be the Young Master of the Moonless Sect. The man’s declaration puzzled her, but seeing him defend her, she slightly lowered her guard, suggesting, “You must have mistaken me for someone else.”

The man offered a faint smile, pointing towards the jade pendant worn by Yu’er, “This item is a personal belonging of the Young Mistress. To see this pendant is as if seeing the Young Mistress.”

Yu’er, startled, examined the jade pendant—a crescent-shaped, intricately carved piece that Qing Jiu had once praised. She remembered a woman she had only met twice, her memory of the woman’s face vague, except for her bright red wedding dress and long, dark hair.

“It was her,” Yu’er murmured, realizing her connection to the Moonless Sect.

Lost in her memories, a sudden loud noise brought her back to the present. She saw Qing Jiu, Dao Gui and Gui Shou, locked in an increasingly fierce battle. The clash of their weapons had already felled a massive tree nearby, sending wood chips flying and water splashing.

Both Dao Gui and Gui Shou were wounded, and Qing Jiu was no better off, with fresh blood staining her chin red. The wound on her shoulder had reopened during the fight, bleeding profusely. Despite their injuries, they fought with reckless abandon, each blow more vicious than the last.

Yang Chun, watching in awe, remarked, “The ferocity of Ghost Sect is evident, but look at that girl, she’s even more ruthless than those two. She’s terrifying. Continuing like this will only lead to mutual destruction.” He admired Qing Jui’s youth and strength, recognizing her mastery of both swordplay and hand-to-hand combat, though he couldn’t place her martial arts style.

In his astonishment, he was caught off guard by a sudden figure rushing towards them. Preparing to defend, he recognized Yu’er and paused, his hesitation allowing her to swiftly pull his Aihong Sword from his back and took off.

Yang Chun’s mind raced as he hurried after her, shouting, “My Heavens! what are you doing?!”

Yu’er had been taught the art of lightness skills by Hua Lian, and after days of dedicated practice, she had begun to grasp its essence, allowing her to move with exceptional speed. By the time Yan Chun snapped out of his daze, Yu’er had already extracted herself from the spot, and by the time Yan Chun got close, she was already near the three engaged in battle. Yan Chun, realizing her swift approach, halted abruptly, not daring to follow further, instead he stayed put, exclaiming in worry.

Yu’er unraveled the white cloth and drew the sword, its blade emitting a chilling, dark light. The moment she unsheathed it, a surge of apprehension and an uncomfortably cold energy flowed from the hilt into her body, causing her heart to race uncomfortably.

This sword was entirely different from the Qing Huan Sword, sinister in nature. Despite realizing something was off, Yu’er, with determined resolve, stepped into the battle with Aihong in hand.

Yu’er noted the extraordinary nature of the long dagger Dao Gui wielded. Its blade was long and narrow, resembling a sword more than a knife but with only one edge.

Each time Dao Gui struck at Qing Jiu, she would avoid direct contact, fully aware of her deep affection for her sword and how Dao Gui’s razor-sharp blade could damage it.

Qing Jiu had once mentioned the existence of two divine blades, leading Yu’er to suspect Dao Gui’s weapon might be one of them. With Qing Jiu injured and outnumbered, avoiding Dao Gui’s attacks was not a sustainable strategy. However, with Aihong, there was a chance to counter Dao Gui’s blade.

As Yu’er arrived, Qing Jiu had just forced Dao Gui back with a palm strike and was now deeply engaged with Gui Shou. Dao Gui, gathering his energy, attacked like a tiger descending the mountain, targeting a vulnerability at Qing Jiu’s waist.

Yu’er, coming from behind Qing Jiu, thrust her sword forward. When it met Dao Gui’s blade, she smoothly guided it downwards, forcing his blade to drop. The move was executed with such grace that sparks flew and a harsh, ear-piercing noise that was almost unbearable.

Although Yu’er managed to stop Dao Gui’s advance, the clash of their internal energies was incomparable. Catching the strike left her arm numb, her grip weakened, and blood seeping from her palm.

Dao Gui, taken aback by the sudden intervention of this young girl who had managed to parry his attack, and upon recognizing the sword in her hand, exclaimed in recognition, “Aihong!”

Translation Note:
Ghost Sect = Gui Sect. I’m just going to use the English translation for the sect name.

So… The members of the Ghost Sect have ‘ghost’ as a part of their names:

Dao Gui = Ghost Blade
Gui Shou = Ghost Hand
Qin Gui = Ghost Zither

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anazu
anazu
26 days ago

Thrilling af

Khriss
Khriss
21 days ago

Woah! I knew the pendant would come in handy ! Tyftc