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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 19, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 46: Leaving the Palace

Danger at The Tomb of the King (Part Sixteen)

Si Yu remained expressionless, repeating emotionlessly, “Please return to the palace.”

Hua Lian raised an eyebrow provocatively, challenging, “Ha! I refuse to go back. What can you do about it?”

Before his words had even finished, Hua Lian and Tang Linzhi attacked from both sides, striking swiftly to create an opening. Qi Tianzhu charged head-on with the force of a rampaging tiger, bolstered by Mo Wen’s support on the side. They rammed through the guards, carving out a path. Yu’er and Yan Li followed closely behind, striding out with the three.

Si Yu’s spear danced in his hands, the black metal shaft and frost-like blade stirring up a chilling wind. He swung his spear to counter Qi Tianzhu but was suddenly forced to retract and defend against a fierce sword energy from behind, as swift as lightning.

It was Qing Jiu’s sword that blocked him. Qing Jiu’s lips curled slightly, her demeanor icy and proud, “The one you’re trying to stop is right here.”

Si Yu, unfazed, swept his spear in a wide arc, trying to deflect Qing Jiu’s long sword, and then thrust at her chest with unstoppable force, like a dragon bursting from the sea.

Qing Jiu couldn’t block in time, but even if she could, how could an ordinary blade withstand Si Yu’s spear? As the forceful wind approached, Qing Jiu drew a flash of cold light from her waist, halting Si Yu’s spear, making it impossible for him to advance.

Under the sunlight, the brilliance of their weapons matched, both sharp and resilient, equally matched.

Si Yu was momentarily stunned. Qing Jiu found an opening, her long sword circling back to attack Si Yu, forcing him to step back. She seized the opportunity to swap places with him, fighting while retreating towards the exit.

Qi Tianzhu led the way, with Hua Lian and Tang Linzhi guarding the flanks. Now that their strength was restored, displaying their lightness skills, they were elusive to anyone’s grasp. Qi Tianzhu and Mo Wen at the forefront, their moves straightforward and powerful, their brute strength formidable, let alone their internal energy. As Qi Tianzhu moved forward, it was as if a mountain rolled over everything, leaving nothing in its wake. Tang Linzhi, armed with hidden weapons, repelled a large group with a single release. Hua Lian, swift as the wind and elusive, used his folding fan to pinpoint the guards’ acupoints, rendering them immobile.

The more they fought, the more spirited they became, their blood boiling with excitement. Hua Lian, like a carefree immortal, moved through the air with grace rarely seen. With a flick of his fan, he lightly tapped the shoulders of several guards, moving freely and laughing, “We are the Northern Dipper Lords, free to roam the heavens and the earth, no one can stop us. Your little tricks, if you insist on blocking our way, will only lead you to report to the King of Hell. Now, while Lord Hua is still feeling merciful, leave quickly!”

Hearing this, Tang Linzhi asked, “What’s this Northern Dipper Lords?”

Hua Lian chuckled, “Don’t you see, all the big names in jianghu have their own awe-inspiring titles? Saying a title makes it sound more serious. It’s just to scare them off, make them think twice about confronting us.” He hadn’t put much thought into it; it was just a spur-of-the-moment fabrication inspired by Tang Linzhi’s dagger.

In Jile City, although the guards were many, the true elites were absent, leaving only Si Yu as the sole formidable opponent. Thus, no matter how many there were, they couldn’t stop Qi Tianzhu and the rest.

The seven of them forcefully made their way to the square in front of the palace’s gates, now merely a hundred steps away. Hua Lian, using his lightness skills, tried to get ahead to open the gate first but suddenly felt a strong gust aimed at his legs.

This gust was chillingly cold. Knowing the strength of the newcomer was not weak, Hua Lian flipped over, avoiding the attack. When he looked up, he saw a woman in black, wielding a long whip. Before he could speak, she lashed out at him again with her whip.

The whip, being a long-range weapon, would be advantageous for her if Hua Lian kept his distance. Thinking it through, Hua Lian realized he needed to get close to neutralize her advantage, “Looks like I need to subdue her before attempting to open the gate. Close in, and she won’t be able to use her whip effectively.” However, finding an opening proved difficult as the woman was no ordinary guard.

Hua Lian surmised, “She must be one of the City Lord’s top generals.”

Another whip lash came dangerously close to Hua Lian’s face. He shouted to Tang Linzhi, “Good heavens, this woman is as fierce as you.”

By this time, the best fighters of Jile City had arrived, with Tang Linzhi and Qi Tianzhu facing their own challenges.

Meanwhile, under the eaves in front of the marble steps, four muscular men, even more imposing than Qi Tianzhu, resembling the broad pillars in front of the palace, carried a corner of a luxurious palanquin, placing it squarely under the eaves.

As the battle raged on, a voice commanded, “Stop.”

The combatants of the Jile City heard the command and withdrew, showing no desire to continue the fight.

The group looked towards the main hall’s entrance. Although it was a distance away, their excellent vision allowed them to see a man with a physique like a giant, embodying the saying, “A back that could carry a horse, shoulders that could support a boat,” walking steadily towards them.

A woman in dark silk clothes sat on his shoulders, leaning against the man, her head slightly raised to reveal her pale, delicate wrists, and her bare feet, as white as snow, hung in front of the man. Her long black hair flowed like ink as she glanced sideways at the group.

The man walked her to the palanquin, then knelt on one knee. The woman, named Wu Yu, stepped on his knee, turned, and reclined on the palanquin.

The onlookers below bowed respectfully, greeting, “Master.”

Wu Yu, remained silent, only looking at Yan Li, and said, “You seem so eager to leave. I thought we had a pleasant time these past three days.”

Yan Li responded coolly, “It was just a transaction.”

Yu’er, looking up at the person above, paused in bewilderment. She remembered the stories Qing Jiu shared with her that night, painting the City’s Lord as a heartless man. Now, realizing the City Lord was a woman, she felt oddly unsettled somewhere deep inside.

Hua Lian and Tang Linzhi frowned upon hearing Wu Yu mention the transaction, sensing something amiss. They knew the City Lord wouldn’t easily provide an antidote without something in return, likely facilitated by Yan Li’s mediation. But Wu Yu’s tone, so laden with sarcasm, made them uncomfortable just listening.

Hua Lian asked, “Divine Swindler, what kind of deal did you make with this woman? She clearly has no good intentions. What did she ask from you?”

Tang Linzhi also called out, “Yan Li…”

Wu Yu leaned back casually, her slender eyes half-closed, silently scrutinizing the seven individuals. Noticing the diverse and distinguished looks among both the men and women, she couldn’t help but sneer, “So, these are the people for whom you willingly came to me, agreeing to my demands?”

Wu Yu inquired, “Who are they to you?”

Yan Li firmly replied, “Comrades in life and death.”

Wu Yu fell silent for a moment before softly saying, “Yan Li, you must understand, I’ve been looking for you for so long because I can’t bear to let you go.”

Yan Li, with a flick of her whisk, wrapped it around the sword hilt on her back, stating, “No need for more words.” Her determination to leave was unmistakable. She was ready to leave, to draw her weapon, to face life and death without hesitation.

Hua Lian, inspired by Yan Li’s declaration of ‘comrades in life and death,’ felt a surge of passion. They had all faced life and death together before; there was no need to say it out loud, as everyone understood it in their hearts. Yet, once spoken, the power of those words weighed heavily, stirring their spirits, igniting a fierce loyalty. They felt that risking their lives for their friends was an honor worth any sacrifice.

Hua Lian shouted, “Hey! The one sitting up there, our Yan Li goes where she pleases. If she wants to leave, with us here, not even the Gods can stop her!”

Qing Jiu and Yu’er couldn’t help but let out a light laugh upon hearing Hua Lian’s bold declaration. Known for his unrestrained bluster, this time his words deeply resonated with everyone, making them feel it was indeed so.

Tang Linzhi mocked teasingly, “Psh! Shameless, aren’t we? who exactly is ‘yours’?”

Hua Lian retorted with a grin, “All of you are.”

Wu Yu, from her elevated position, found the term ‘my’ particularly grating to her ears. Her gaze darkened as she decreed to her subordinates, “If they escape, bring me back two of your hands.”

Yan Li already had her sword in hand. Wu Yu continued, more slowly, “And if she gets injured, chop off the hand that caused it.”

The assembly acknowledged the order with a unified, “Yes.”

As the city’s forces closed in, Yan Li and Qing Jiu had already exchanged knowing looks, positioning themselves to unleash the Yin-Yang Limitless Sword Technique. This was the sword technique of Wuwei Palace, and Yan Li, being a disciple there, had practiced it for many years, her proficiency and internal energy unmatched even by Yu’er. When Yu’er and Qing Jiu had utilized this technique in the ancient tomb, they had managed to repel the formidable Dao Gui and Gui Shou. Now, with Qing Jiu and Yan Li wielding it together, its power was magnified, cutting through the siege of Jile City with unstoppable force.

Qing Jiu called out, “Hua Lian, Linzhi, Yu’er!”

Hua Lian and Tang Linzhi, with their exceptional lightness skill, along with Yu’er who also possessed some foundation in lightness skills and was nimble, quickly broke through the opening and dashed towards the main gate.

As the others attempted to pursue, Qi Tianzhu’s furious roar thundered, and his charge towards them was like a mountain bearing down.

There were only four guards at the gate. As the three of them flew past, they suddenly felt a cold gust of wind coming from behind their heads.

Hua Lian slowed down slightly, turning to face a long whip hurtling towards him, its speed leaving only a black shadow. Hua Lian reached out, neither dodging nor evading, and grabbed the fiercely powerful whip with his bare hand. The whip left a bloody mark on Hua Lian’s hand, but he managed to seize it.

Tang Linzhi called out, “Hua Lian.”

Hua Lian responded, “You and Little Yu’er go ahead. I’ll handle this woman.”

Tang Linzhi and Yu’er continued towards the gate. The guards, armed with spears and swords at their waists, saw the attackers approaching and shouted warnings.

The two split left and right. The guards lunged at them with their spears. Tang Linzhi, light and graceful, tapped a foot on a spear shaft, leaping up before sweeping her leg across, aiming for their heads. One guard, caught off guard, was knocked unconscious by her kick. The other, although blocking with his arm, was quickly overpowered as Tang Linzhi landed and struck with lightning speed. Before he could withdraw his arm, a dagger pierced his chest.

Yu’er, meanwhile, slipped through the gap between their spears, ducked low, and slashed across both their thighs. The two immediately fell to their knees. Before they could draw their swords, Tang Linzhi ended their lives with a swift cut.

The four guards lay in a pool of blood, three of them dead.

Yu’er frowned and watched for a moment until Tang Linzhi called out, “Yu’er.”

Clutching the prayer beads wrapped around her right hand, Yu’er’s expression slowly returned to calm, her resolve hardening, her eyes shining with an even brighter light. With steady steps, she moved towards the palace gates, and together with Tang Linzhi, one on each side, they pushed open the doors of the palace.

Though Qing Jiu and the others were momentarily unable to break through, surrounded by the crowd, they held their ground without difficulty. In fact, the fight seemed rather easy for them because their opponents dared not injure Yan Li, with any dangerous moves being blocked by Yan Li stepping forward. Thus, the forces of the city found it impossible to advance.

When the group saw the gate being opened, Qing Jiu suddenly sheathed her sword and commanded, “Stand by my side.”

The three immediately retreated to Qing Jiu’s side, and the forces of Jile City, sensing that the momentum was shifting, though fully alert, did not retreat.

Qing Jiu then assumed a stance resembling a Buddhist palm technique, but before anyone could scrutinize it further, they felt the wind change direction. Those on one side were drawn towards Qing Jiu by the force, while those on the other were repelled outward. The momentum was like the fury of the sea, the descent of the stars, majestic and overwhelming, truly difficult to resist.

As Qing Jiu unleashed her palm strike, those drawn in tumbled away, while those pushed outward fell forward. The circle of people, those with weaker abilities, spat blood continuously, while even those with stronger skills, like Si Yu, were left sprawling in disarray on the ground.

After executing that palm strike, Qing Jiu collapsed to the ground, drained and covered in cold sweat. Qi Tianzhu swiftly scooped her up, and together with Yan Li and Mo Wen, they dashed towards the grand doors.

Hua Lian threw something into the crowd of fallen people, laughing, “Here, have it back!” It turned out to be the woman he had been fighting, now bound tightly with the long whip, unable to move and tumbling into the crowd.

The group made their exit through the palace gate and vanished into the distance.

Wu Yu’s most capable generals, those with profound skills, were unharmed and quickly stood to pursue. However, Wu Yu halted them, “No need to chase.”

The subordinates knelt, admitting, “We have failed you.”

Wu Yu closed her eyes, unable to sort through the mixed emotions in her heart.

Yan Li had changed so much today. In the past, Yan Li would engage in combat openly and honorably, proud and disdainful of exploiting others’ weaknesses or resorting to tricks. Yet today, Yan Li used her words as a shield, boldly protecting herself against the forces of the city. Previously, Yan Li never wished to use the Yin Yang Boundless Sword Technique with anyone, but today, she and that woman wielded it as if they were of one mind.

Wu Yu, with a forceful grip, shattered the railing of the palanquin she sat upon, murmuring, “Buddhist secret techniques…”

Wu Yu commanded, “These people’s martial arts vary greatly. They don’t seem to be from a single sect. Investigate their backgrounds.”

“Understood.”

Wu Yu, tracing a kiss mark still visible on her arm, revealed a cold smirk, “No matter how you’ve changed, Yan Li, there’s nothing I can’t do. Now that I’ve seen the people you’re with, do you still think you can escape?”

Translation note:
The reason why Yu’er thought Wu Yu was a man is because “He(他)” and “She(她)” are pronounced the same in Chinese “ta”.

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Khriss
Khriss
21 days ago

Wah our north Dipper lords be pursued across the land, the histories of all of their party laid bare xD.
Thanks for the chapter!