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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 02, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 65: Beyond Expectation

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Ten)

Wan Chao switched his long saber to his left hand after his right arm was hit, and with a swing of his now empty right arm, he made a desperate attempt to grab Yu’er despite his injury. He wore a steel wrist guard, which meant that even if injured, it wouldn’t be fatal. This was his calculated risk.

Yu’er’s sword slashed across his left shoulder as he reached out to grab her. She activated her lightness skill, ‘Traceless Snow Steps,’ moving with ethereal grace to circle to Wan Chao’s side, where he couldn’t catch her.

Previously, Yu’er’s footwork had been standard sword stances. This sudden display of lightness skill was something she had kept hidden and hadn’t revealed before.

Her movements were exceptionally light and agile, displaying high-level skill, which Wan Chao was unprepared for. This miscalculation cost him dearly.

Seeing Yu’er’s extraordinary and elegant evasive move, the crowd below immediately burst into cheers.

As Yu’er turned, her dress blossomed like petals, and the jade pendant on her waist flew up.

Sitting centrally on the west side was Ren Qingkuang, with the golden-robed woman standing behind him. She noticed the jade ornament and with a keen glance, laughed, “It’s her, Little Yu’er.”

Ren Qingkuang asked indifferently, “Gu’er, you know her?”

Ning Gu smiled, “Adoptive Father, this is the little girl Xuan Ya reported to you about, the one I met in the mountain fortress.”

On stage, the outcome of the duel was becoming clear.

Wan Chao’s strike missed and instead he sustained an injury to his arm, his mind in disarray. It was evident to the keen observer that Yu’er, growing increasingly confident in combat, would win this duel.

Yu’er seized Wan Chao’s moment of weakness, giving him no chance to catch his breath. She unleashed her ultimate move, the Taixu Sword Art, which she had held in reserve.

The Taixu Sword Art was a secret technique of the Wuwei Palace and was considered the highest level of swordsmanship. The Thirteen Swords of Taixu, each stronger than the last, were invincible.

Yu’er’s opening move at the start of the duel had already disrupted Wan Chao’s offensive. Back then, Qing Jiu had used the Taixu Sword Art to a small extent, taking the lives of eleven fortress leaders with each strike, the sword never missing its mark.

Though Yu’er’s skill did not yet match Qing Jiu’s, her understanding had deepened thanks to the teachings of Jie Qianchou. Her internal energy had greatly improved. With the millennium python’s gallbladder as a rare treasure to assist her cultivation, her progress was twice as effective with half the effort.

Even though her internal energy was less than Wan Chao’s, among her peers, she was superior. Thus, even mastering just the fourth strike of the Taixu Sword Art made her a formidable opponent.

Yu’er’s first strike was swift as lightning. Wan Chao, his mind already in disarray, saw the extraordinary momentum of this move and instinctively wanted to dodge. He took a step back, not knowing it was a deep abyss.

With the second strike, Yu’er’s swordplay doubled in intensity. Wan Chao, nursing an injured right arm, found it impossible to defend in time.

As the third strike advanced, the elder from Wuwei Palace, thrilled, shouted, “Hit!” Yu’er’s thrust was thunderous, unavoidable.

Wan Chao’s defeat was evident. Unwilling to accept it, he didn’t bother dodging. His left hand slashed horizontally, aiming for mutual destruction. However, it was futile. The saber was still six inches away from Yu’er when the tip of her sword had already pierced the skin of his throat.

The crowd fell silent for a moment until Yan Beili stood up and announced, “The winner is decided!”

Immediately, the crowd erupted into resounding cheers, celebrating a duel that, while not between grandmasters, had its own unique brilliance.

“Excellent!”

“What a beautiful victory!”

“That Wan Chao brat should think twice before boasting again. The Wuwei Palace is not something he can look down upon. Even an external sect disciple of theirs can beat him senseless!”

“Haha! This old man said the Taixu Sword Art would defeat you in three moves, and it did defeat you in three moves!”

The outcome was settled.

Wan Chao stood frozen in place, staring at the blunt sword pressed against his throat, his face pale.

Yu’er, slightly out of breath, turned to step back, and as she moved, her mask, sliced by the gust from Wan Chao’s last strike, fell off.

The mask’s strap had given way under the force, unable to withstand the final cut, and slid off.

In the center of the stage, under the bright sunlight, Yu’er’s attire fluttered elegantly, and her youthful, exquisitely beautiful face, still bearing traces of her adolescence, shone radiantly. The sight of her was like stumbling upon a night-blooming cereus, slowly unfurling its petals in the misty haze of a midnight walk.

Amidst the excitement, a collective gasp rose and gradually, the lively chatter quieted down.

Who could have imagined that this young woman, not only skilled in martial arts but also stunningly beautiful, would possess such an ethereal charm?

Yu’er was facing north, making her visage visible from the north, east, and west sides of the stage.

The people below the stage had various expressions. Those who were seeing Yu’er for the first time, such as the members of the Wuwei Palace, or those who had some previous connection with her, like Ning Gu and Ye Sheng, couldn’t conceal the surprise and admiration in their eyes.

Sitting directly east, Jun Lin caught a glimpse of Yu’er’s profile, and as she turned fully towards him, his whole body shuddered when he saw her face clearly. His teacup trembled in his hand and crashed to the ground.

His face was filled with complex emotions, a mix of grief and shock. After swallowing hard, he murmured, “Yue’er…”

He stood up, unconsciously wanting to walk over. Coming to his senses, realizing it was inappropriate, he stopped himself but still found it hard to believe, his eyes fixed on Yu’er, examining her.

Seated on the north side, Yan Beili had also risen to his feet early, staring at the girl on stage in a daze, “Junior Sister?!””

In the martial arts competition stage, a strange laugh suddenly rang out from the ground, the voice deep and far-reaching, clearly belonging to someone with profound internal energy.

Yan Beili and Jun Lin looked over, only to see Ren Qingkuang throwing his head back in laughter, his eyes scarlet, appearing crazed and deranged, muttering like a madman, “It’s you!”

Yan Beili and Jun Lin, recognizing the sudden surge of emotion in Ren Qingkuang triggered by the girl’s resemblance to someone from his past, knew his inner demons were stirred.

Yu’er stood on the stage, frowning. She disliked the intense, overt scrutiny and the various intentions behind them. Picking up her mask from the platform, she prepared to descend.

Everyone was surprised by the sudden change, not understanding why the sect leader of the Moonless Sect was laughing. Then, they saw him leap onto the stage with a swift movement and reach out to grab Yu’er.

As the situation escalated, Yu’er, sensing malice from the newcomer, swiftly moved to dodge. However, Ren Qingkuang’s movements were incredibly fast, and before she could fully evade, he had caught her by the arm.

Ren Qingkuang was tall, over half a head taller than Yu’er. He raised her arm high, lifting her to his eye level, looking down at her.

Yan Beili roared angrily, “Ren Qingkuang, what are you doing? Step back now!”

Ren Qingkuang seemed to suddenly come back to his senses, his expression changing to one of cold and arrogant pride. He said, “I see something I like and wish to test the skills of this junior!”

Jun Lin shouted coldly, “Don’t you dare touch her!”

The situation in the competition stage had taken a sharp turn. The crowd watched with confused faces, not knowing why the three, who were fine before, had their anger stirred, seeming about to fight.

Yu’er, restrained by Ren Qingkuang, appeared as helpless as a fish in the crowd’s eyes. Given Ren Qingkuang’s erratic emotions, they feared he could easily harm her, as simple as snuffing out a fish’s life, prompting everyone to hold their breath, lamenting the peril of this flower-like girl.

In the viewing tower, Hua Lian and the other two felt something was off the moment Ren Qingkuang took the stage. They leaped up, intending to help Yu’er, but had only reached Qing Jiu’s side. Qing Jiu raised her feather fan to stop them, saying softly, “There’s no need to go.”

Tang Linzhi said, “But Yu’er, she…”

Before she could finish, Ren Qingkuang grabbed Yu’er, saying something about sparring with a junior. He slapped his palm towards Yu’er’s body. By the time the crowd reacted, it was too late.

In a flash, from the southeast, two figures moved swiftly as lightning.

One unleashed a sword energy that reached for the heavens, while the other delivered a palm strike capable of moving mountains.

Both figures possessed profound skills. As they made their moves, the onlookers felt a chill and a gust of wind whipped up from nowhere.

Ren Qingkuang, surprised, whirled his sleeves to block the incoming sword energy and countered with his right palm against the powerful palm strike coming from his right.

The two who intervened were the old man from the Wuwei Palace and the abbot of Shaolin Temple, Master Kongming. Both exceptional in their martial arts skills.

Pressed by the combined assault of the two venerable masters, Ren Qingkuang was forced to step back. Seeing these revered figures in wulin protecting Yu’er so swiftly, it was evident they had been closely watching her, ready to intervene the moment something seemed amiss.

Ren Qingkuang laughed, “This Junior simply saw a martial arts prodigy and was eager to guide and instruct her out of my love for talent. Why are the senior masters getting so agitated, as if you’re afraid I might hurt this young lady? Does she have any connection with you both?”

The elder scoffed, his white beard trembling, “Are you deaf? Didn’t you hear earlier that this girl is a disciple of our Wuwei Palace? If you want to spar with her, you need my consent first! If you act rashly and injure her, you’ll be making an enemy of my Wuwei Palace!”

Ren Qingkuang then said to Kongming, “Master, you seem very protective. Could it be that this lady is also a disciple of your Buddhist sect?”

Master Kongming held prayer beads in his hands and joined his palms together, “Amitabha, this young lady has a deep karmic connection with the Buddhist sect. With this humble monk present, he must ensure her safety.” Although the monk’s voice was kind, his words carried a sense of authority.

The crowd below gasped in surprise, not expecting that this young woman, barely more than a girl, would have such significant connections with two major wulin sects, compelling these renowned masters to guard her so closely.

People couldn’t help but wonder, “This girl turns out to be such a distinguished figure, but with such status, identity, and appearance, how come we’ve never heard of her?”

At this moment, Yan Beili also flew onto the stage, positioning Yu’er behind him. He waved his right hand, his face cold and grim, “Ren Qingkuang, if you dare to hurt her and violate the rules of the World Martial Arts Competition, the Mingjian Manor will immediately expel you and the Moonless Sect from Huxiao Mountain!”

Ren Qingkuang glanced at Yan Beili, “Are you worried about me hurting her or about me violating the rules of the World Martial Arts Competition?”

Yan Beili said in a deep voice, “This is the Mingjian Manor, not a place for your arrogance.”

Ren Qingkuang looked at Yu’er and said with a meaningful smile, “How could I hurt her? I won’t hurt her.”

This sentence seemed to hit a sore spot for Yan Beili. His sword-like eyebrows shot up, his eyes turning red as he glared fiercely at Ren Qingkuang. His sleeves fluttered without any wind, indicating that he was circulating his internal energy, as if he was about to make a move.

Ren Qingkuang’s eyes were bloodthirsty, “You think I’m afraid of you?”

The onlookers were thoroughly confused. What began as Ren Qingkuang making a move on a junior had escalated into a standoff with two great masters intervening, and now old grudges seemed to resurface.

Just as the crowd was wondering if the battles between masters, originally scheduled for the fourth day, would start early, they saw another figure leap onto the stage – it was Jun Lin.

Jun Lin stepped forward and stopped Yan Beili, saying, “Brother Yan, now is not the time for a fight.”

Yan Beili glared at him, not heeding his advice at all, and said in a harsh voice, “You may tolerate this hatred, but I cannot!”

Jun Lin glanced at Yu’er, his eyes filled with a hint of confusion but overflowing with tenderness. He said to Yan Beili, “You are the host, and he is the guest. You need to uphold the dignity of this competition. How can you lose your composure here…”

His voice lowered as he continued, “Besides, aren’t you curious about the girl’s story first?”

Upon hearing this, Yan Beili’s expression finally relaxed. He frowned, waved his sleeve, and withdrew his hand.

Meanwhile, Qing Jiu had been observing from below, catching every reaction of Jun Lin, Yan Beili, and Ren Qingkuang at the sight of Yu’er—affection, grief, madness—none typical for seeing a stranger.

She lounged back in her chair, her fingertip tapping her temple, casually fanning herself while watching the unfolding drama above.

Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind, and she sat up straight. She smiled at Zhu Ji and said, “You didn’t finish last time—continue telling me about the grudges involving these three families.”

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Khriss
Khriss
15 days ago

Yu’er must look like that one girl they fought over somehow lol
Thanks for the TL!

anazu
anazu
11 days ago

what the heck