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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 01, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 64: Power is Hard to Conceal

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Nine)

Jiang Ying exclaimed in surprise, “Ah! How does that girl have our Grandmaster’s Liangyi Sword?!”

At the same time, in the center of the southern side of the martial arts competition stage, a white-bearded monk in a kasaya quietly stood up and took two steps closer to the stage, murmuring, “Those prayer beads…”

Beside him, the Beggar Sect Leader, Lei Gong, was drinking wine and joked, “What’s the matter, Master Kongming? Do you also think that brat on stage is talking nonsense and needs to be enlightened?”

Master Kongming gazed at the competition stage for a while, then pressed his palms together. He bowed slightly towards Yu’er, his voice filled with joy, “Amitabha, I never thought I would have the fortune to see Venerable Kuyuan again in this life. This is a karmic blessing.”

Lei Gong looked at the stage and laughed heartily, “You mean Master Kuyuan?! On the stage? Is it that arrogant big guy or that delicate little girl?”

Master Kongming simply smiled benevolently and quietly resumed his seat without further comment.

The burly man on the stage, noticing the approach of a woman wearing a mask, with a delicate figure, recognized her as one from the group he suspected of foul play under the Cloud Ladder. He said sternly, “It’s you!”

Hearing her soft and young voice, the burly man glanced at her for a moment and sneered, “Little miss, although this is just a martial arts contest, swords and spears have no eyes. It’s not like playing around with fellow disciples. Broken weapons are a small matter, but if you get a scar or two on your body, in the future…” The burly man’s words were filled with sarcasm towards the Wuwei Palace and also looked down on Yu’er, implying that with her delicate body, she was afraid of marring her appearance and ruining her chances of finding a husband.

Such considerations were trivial among the warriors of jianghu. Any experienced female warrior, having come through blood and storm, bore scars; if they were in her place and subjected to such mockery, fearing scars, they would have been infuriated.

Yu’er said, “You talk too much.”

Before a match, both parties would usually exchange a few polite words. However, Yu’er didn’t bother with him and openly showed her disdain for the burly man. Hearing this, the heroes below couldn’t help but chuckle. They didn’t find this girl arrogant; instead, they found her quite adorable.

The Master of the Mingjian Manor, Yan Beili, who was sitting in the main seat on the north side, raised his teacup and laughed lightly, “This girl is quite straightforward.”

The burly man, still harboring a grudge from previous humiliations by this group, relished the opportunity to face them in combat. He warned the audience, implying that he would not be responsible for any injuries or even death, as ‘swords and spears are blind.’

The burly man said, “I am Wan Chao, and my family’s martial art is the Tiger Style Sword Technique. Which sect are you from, miss?” He recalled the skill Qing Jiu had displayed and knew they were unfathomable, so he wasn’t entirely arrogant and reckless. This question was to probe Yu’er’s background. He had the wariness a saber wielder should have towards Yu’er.

Yu’er said coldly, “A nameless external disciple from Wuwei Palace.”

Wan Chao said, “Wuwei Palace? How are you a disciple of the Wuwei Palace?” Yu’er had arrived together with Qing Jiu’s group, not with the Wuwei Palace. Her sudden claim to be a Wuwei Palace disciple made him suspicious.

Wan Chao looked at the old man from the Wuwei Palace and said, “I encountered this little miss at the base of the Cloud Ladder earlier, and she wasn’t with the Wuwei Palace. Is she really a disciple of your Wuwei Palace?”

The elder stammered, covering his mouth to cough twice, “Well, uh, I suppose…” Since she holds the master’s sword, she must have some connection with Wuwei Palace.

Wan Chao sneered, “What, are you dissatisfied and coming to challenge me again? Does Wuwei Palace have no men left, sending a little girl to embarrass herself?”

Yu’er drew out the Liangyi Sword and said, “The martial arts of Wuwei Palace are profound and intricate; I’ve only learned a bit of the basics. Yet, that’s more than enough to handle you without bothering my seniors!”

Wan Chao slashed horizontally with his tiger-head saber and roared, “Arrogant!”

Yu’er spun her sword in a flourish and turned her body, following with a horizontal slash. With this, the two engaged, and the match officially began.

Their saber and sword clashed, but Yu’er’s long sword was swift and agile, its momentum even faster. Before Wan Chao’s tiger head saber could reach Yu’er’s abdomen, the tip of Yu’er’s sword was already at Wan Chao’s throat.

This move was the opening stance of the Taixu Thirteen Sword Art. When practiced to perfection, just drawing the sword from its sheath could be lethal. Even with slight proficiency, it could force the opponent to retreat and defend.

Wan Chao had seen this initial stance performed by another disciple of Wuwei Palace, but that disciple’s execution had been disorganized, lacking the fluidity and swiftness of Yu’er’s strike.

Seeing Yu’er use the Wuwei Palace sword technique, Wan Chao, convinced she was truly one of their disciples, did not hold back. He thrust his saber upwards with an internal energy, attempting to knock Yu’er’s sword aside.

Yu’er’s hand went numb from the impact. From this exchange, she realized that Wan Chao’s internal energy surpassed hers, but as Qing Jiu had mentioned, his power was rigid and lacked adaptability, leaving him vulnerable to defeat.

As soon as they crossed swords, the spectators could tell there was something special about the swordsmanship Yu’er employed.

The Wuwei Palace even recognized that she was using the Taixu Sword Art with great proficiency, causing their bodies to tremble in astonishment.

The Taixu Sword Art was a secret technique of the Wuwei Palace and was never taught to outsiders.

The old man muttered to himself, “The Liangyi Sword, the Taixu Sword Art, could this girl be…” He raised his head and looked at the person on the stage, his eyes gleaming with excitement as he jumped up, seemingly overjoyed, “Junior Sister?!”

Jiang Ying said, “Shishu, what are you talking about?”

The elder, waving his hand impatiently, replied, “Don’t talk, you’re disturbing me from watching the match.”

Jiang Ying exchanged a look with Wei Ran, both of them shaking their heads in bemusement and amusement. As they turned back to the match, their hearts stirred with anticipation.

They had experienced the peak of the Wuwei Palace’s glory and were proud to be disciples of the Wuwei Palace. Now, hearing someone ridicule the Wuwei Palace like this, they felt indignant and saddened in their hearts. Seeing a young woman wielding the Liangyi Sword and displaying the Taixu Sword Art, they desperately hoped that she could win and show jianghu the magnificence of the Wuwei Palace.

Wan Chao’s tiger-head saber danced, exhibiting extraordinary ferocity, each slash as fierce as a tiger.

Yu’er’s figure was graceful, her dress billowing like surging snow waves in the azure sea. Her sword moves were clean and unrestrained.

As the duel dragged on, Wan Chao realized that despite Yu’er’s lesser internal energy, he was still unable to defeat her. Each of his attacks, fueled by immense force, seemed to dissipate as Yu’er skillfully redirected the energy elsewhere. It felt as if he was hitting cotton, his strength venting ineffectively, which gradually frayed his patience.

His family’s Tiger Style Sword Technique emphasized relentless pressure, exploiting any slight mistake by the opponent to magnify their vulnerability, thus gaining an increasing advantage as the fight progressed. Normally, this would render his opponents more and more passive, forced to follow his lead.

Yan Li, recognizing this, had advised Yu’er to be cautious and defensive, not to give Wan Chao any opening to capitalize on.

Despite her young age and solitary life, Yu’er had managed to survive among bandits for three years. Her cautious and steady nature far surpassed ordinary people. Although Wan Chao’s skills were indeed exceptional, and Yu’er wasn’t having an easy time defending, she still calmly faced him. After a hundred or so moves, they fought on equal footing.

Only those well-versed in martial arts could appreciate the subtleties of their duel. To others, it seemed Yu’er was effortlessly toying with Wan Chao, a poetic justice for his earlier disrespect towards Wuwei Palace.

The second young mistress of the Jun family, Jun Sixue, had already taken issue with Wan Chao during an earlier altercation on the Cloud Ladder over his views on the inherent weakness of women in martial arts.

When she heard him belittling the Wuwei Palace earlier, she was displeased but refrained from arguing due to Jun Lin’s presence.

Now, seeing him fight a girl with every move exuding a chilling aura and murderous intent, using his full strength yet unable to gain the slightest advantage, she couldn’t help but mock him from below, “I remember your bold claims not long ago under the Cloud Ladder about how unsuited women are for martial arts. Yet here you are, struggling to gain the upper hand against a girl who appears to be no older than fifteen or sixteen, described as a mere tender shoot from Wuwei Palace by your own words.”

When Hua Lian and the others saw Yu’er take the stage, they understood a few things. This must have been Qing Jiu’s idea. They weren’t worried though. This was an opportunity for training. Firstly, it would hone Yu’er’s martial arts, and secondly, Yu’er was indeed considered a half-disciple of the Wuwei Palace’s external sect. Avenging the sect’s humiliation was only natural.

Hearing Jun Sixue’s mocking words felt like a shared sentiment. Hua Lian shouted from the viewing tower, “Hey! Good observation, miss! Our junior sister just had her coming-of-age ceremony recently and is only fifteen years old, much younger than that burly man. He’s practically an elder to her. Our junior sister won’t take advantage of him. As the saying goes, ‘respect your elders.’ If he doesn’t mind losing face, it wouldn’t hurt for our junior sister to let him off with just a couple of moves!”

This back-and-forth banter between the two sparked laughter all around the viewing tower.

In reality, such noisy laughter during a match could disturb the competitors’ concentration and is generally frowned upon. However, Wan Chao’s arrogance had already made him unpopular among the more dignified crowd, and his comments beneath the Cloud Ladder had left many feeling antagonistic towards him. So, when Jun Sixue and Hua Lian spoke, no one reprimanded them, and the crowd joined in the jeering instead.

Wan Chao, frustrated by his inability to dominate as he had against other Wuwei Palace disciples—where he had overwhelmed them with just a few moves using his internal energy—found Yu’er’s resilience perplexing. Despite knowing she was an external disciple and younger, her skillful resistance was unexpected, keeping him on alert.

Although Yu’er’s appearance was unusual, making him cautious, he learned that she was an external disciple and quite young. Despite acknowledging her skills, he doubted she could be very formidable.

Little did Wan Chao realize that Yu’er’s every move not only embodied the techniques of Wuwei Palace disciples but surpassed the previous practitioner in skill. She wasn’t relying on any bizarre tricks or sneak attacks; she adeptly neutralized or dodged all his attacks.

Hearing the laughter rising from the crowd below, Wan Chao grew even more agitated, intensifying the ferocity of his assaults.

Wan Chao said coldly, “You keep avoiding a direct confrontation. What kind of duel is this? If you’re not serious about fighting, you should step down now!”

During Wan Chao’s outburst, Yu’er seized the moment to launch her first proactive strike, her swordplay as unpredictable as a dragon or snake.

Yu’er was markedly different from the Wuwei Palace disciple Wan Chao had faced before. Not only in their grasp of swordsmanship but also in her timing and strategic mindset during combat—calm and methodical, traits that the other disciple couldn’t match.

This was because Yu’er was naturally intelligent and had honed her skills in life-or-death situations.

From surviving ambushes in the Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses to narrow escapes in the chaotic environments of Qin Manor in Jiangnan, the deadly bridges of King Cheng’s Tomb, and the perilous escapes in Jile City—each experience had been a real battle, giving her an edge in combat experience that those who had not yet ventured into the jianghu could not match

Seeing Wan Chao’s composure unravel, Yu’er knew this was the moment to strike, to dent his pride when he was most vulnerable.

Wan Chao recognized Yu’er’s move as the ‘Spring Returns to the Earth,’ the same technique the previous disciple had attempted and failed with. Furious at the thought of being defeated with the same move that had led to another’s downfall, he thought, “She intends to humiliate me with the same move!” Blinded by rage, he launched a direct strike, aiming to counter her as he had the other disciple and break her sword.

However, Yu’er’s swordplay was a blend of feints and genuine strikes. Her move was not an attack on his left shoulder as anticipated but a swift reversal targeting his right arm.

Wan Chao, having committed fully to his strike, was left floundering as his attack met empty air, shocking him.

He had heard the elder from the Wuwei Palace say earlier that this move was supposed to flick upwards to the left, knowing that the Wuwei Palace’s disciple had used the wrong move in a panic. Seeing Yu’er wield her sword with ease, her swordsmanship much more proficient than the Wuwei Palace disciple, he thought she would definitely use it correctly. Who knew that when she executed the move, it would be the same as the disciple’s, also striking towards the right.

Wan Chao had used all his strength in this strike, and it was too late to suddenly change his move.

Below, the elder from Wuwei Palace watched with immense joy, slapping his thigh and laughing, exclaiming, “Good! Good! Good!” three times. Sword techniques were fixed, but people were flexible. Yu’er had simply reversed left and right, causing Wan Chao to lose his composure. How could the elder not be delighted! With such a clever and talented prodigy descending upon the Wuwei Palace, how could he not be overjoyed!

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Khriss
Khriss
15 days ago

Haha all of Jianghu is going to be after Yu’er, heavenly prodigy! Born from injustice, and only longing to pursue her master and uphold justice, she will ascend to the heavens!
Thanks for the chapter!

anazu
anazu
11 days ago

Yu’er is almost everyone’s disciple hehe, the one and only