Chapter 178 – Dueling Q-Sword
Edited by: Sac, Zephir, Eric, Seb
This chapter was sponsored by Thomas Stahleder and Ow Louis! Thanks!
“They… can’t be serious, right?” Wang Ran looked at us and softly asked.
Li Wan Er bit down on her lips: “I don’t know……from the looks of it, the situation doesn’t look too good……”
With her arms crossed, Dong Cheng Yue said with a faint smile: “Good luck Xiao Yao, we support you!”
Q-Sword looked around and was at a loss for words, as he said: “Dong Cheng, Jian Han is in the same guild as you. You are a Deputy Leader, Jian Han is an Elder, which means he is your subordinate, yet you’re actually cheering for the opponent…..”
Dong Cheng Yue gave a sheepish smile: “Guild Leader, Xiao Yao is my friend; if I don’t cheer for him, what kind of friend would I be……”
Wan Er snickered but said no more.
Q-Sword speechlessly shook his head. He was completely helpless against the two beautiful Deputy Leaders.
Stepping on the ground with his cloth shoes, Jian Han took off his coat and revealed his muscular body. Slowly lifting his right hand, he smiled faintly and said: “Henan Bei Chen, Xing Yi Quan style, Bei Chen Hong, please enlighten me!”
TL Note: The spoken address is a common way that martial arts practitioners introduce themselves in Wuxia stories. “Henan” is the area of origin and Wikipedia has an article on “Xing Yi Quan”(literally Form-Intention Fist, or Shape-Will Fist). Bei Chen Hong is his real name.
I furrowed my eyebrows as I also took off my coat and hung it on a rack to the side, revealing a casual shirt underneath, I rolled up the sleeves and folded my hands behind my back, before replying with a smile: “I do not know the specific origins of my martial arts but I do know that it’s a form of the Northern Fists. Come, let me experience the might of the House of Bei Chen’s Xing Yi Quan!”
Without saying another word, Jian Han, with a single step, leaped at least 2 meters forward. His right fist suddenly shot out towards my chest. One could even see the faint glow of energy surrounding his fist!
Royal Air Level ?!
I was slightly taken aback. Never would I have imagined that Jian Han had reached the Royal Air Level. However, judging by the force of his energy, he had barely gotten to the Royal Air Level, as it did not feel powerful enough.
Latching on to his hand, I borrowed the strength from his attack and pulled him in. Pushing down on my left foot, my right knee suddenly went straight for his chest.
In a daze, Jian Han hurriedly crossed both arms in front of his chest to block my attack.
“Peng” A loud noise rang out as Jian Han was forced to take consecutive steps backwards as a result of my attack. With both his arms slightly trembling, his eyes were filled with both shock and fury. Shaking his arms, he charged toward me with arms like two swirling dragons. His footwork was ever-changing and unpredictable while his fists came from seemingly impossible angles. There was no doubt that he had grasped the essence of Xing Yi Quan – the form following the intent, totally unpredictable and seemingly miraculous.
Sending Qi to both fists, I launched two attacks in a split second. “Peng Peng” the two strikes deterred further attacks from Jian Han. At the same time, I leaned forward and immediately threw another punch at him!
The fist landed directly on Jian Han’s chest. As he was knocked back, his whole body seemed to lose all energy while his face went completely pale. In fact, he had temporarily lost the ability to utilize his Qi.
Q-Sword immediately supported Jian Han, nervously asking: “Third Uncle, are you ok?”
Jian Han slowly shook his head and his gaze fell on me as he spoke softly: “This Li Xiao Yao…… he is indeed an expert. My Qi has been almost completely suppressed by him. His attack combined both Tai Ji Chuan and Xing Yi Quan. He truly is a difficult opponent!”
TL: Two martial arts styles
After Jian Han spoke, he paused and looked at Q-Sword before saying: “Ah Feng, do you want to go and have a try?”
“I was intending to do so!”
Q-Sword tightened his fists and said with a confident smile: “Li Xiao Yao, is it possible for me to experience your ability?”
With both arms tucked behind my back, I calmly replied: “[Hero’s Mound]’s Guild Leader is a guest so if you want to exchange a few blows then come. However, we will stop upon contact. After all I do not want to injure you nor do I want to be injured by you!”
TL: Akin to saying if my strike touches you and you have no way of countering, we stop
Q-Sword laughed out loud: “Of course!”
Q-Sword took off his coat and with a determined expression, slowly channeled energy into his arms. Energy that could be barely seen by the naked eye began gathering around his fists. Another Royal Air expert. In fact his energy completely surpassed Jian Han’s!
Li Wan Er seemed to notice that something was amiss. Wrinkling her eyebrows, she said: “Q-Sword, Xiao Yao, let’s stop here. Continuing any further might end up affecting our friendship……”
Q-Sword couldn’t help but laugh: “Wan Er, you don’t have to worry. It’s not everyday that I get to meet such a young and strong opponent. If we don’t exchange a few blows today, I would regret it for the rest of my life!”
Li Wan Er looked at me: “Li Xiao Yao……”
“Yes, Wan Er?” I grinned, looking at her.
“Be careful……” She looked at me nervously.
I smiled slightly: “Don’t worry Wan Er, I am fine.”
Even Wan Er seemed to have notice the change in Q-Sword. Although Q-Sword appeared aloof and nonchalant outwardly, his heart was a raging furnace; I had almost injured Jian Han. Once we started fighting, there was no way Q-Sword would hold back. Broken arms and broken legs were not uncommon during spars; especially spars between experts like us who have surpassed the Refined Body Level.
Q-Sword suddenly approached. Stepping on the dojo’s thin dust, form following his intent, his right fist swiped toward me.
My Yi Hai clearly saw this coming and I parried it away with my arm. But Q-Sword suddenly shifted his legs. Concentrating strength into his arm, he suddenly launched three consecutive strikes at me. A thick layer of energy was wrapped around his fist. He knew that I was also in the Royal Air Level, and he was not going to hold back at all.
I could not counter his fast and deadly strikes so I could only lift up my arms to block against three strikes. “Pa pa pa”. Q-Sword’s attacks were actually quite fierce and my body uncontrollably slid backwards. “Peng”. I was knocked into a steel training dummy behind me and when Q-Sword saw that, he gave out a low grunt and lifted his leg to kick heavily!
I quickly maneuvered out of the way and heard a “Peng” sound behind me. The training dummy was trembling and a deep foot print could be seen; the steel layering had been deformed by his kick!
Utilizing my footwork, I stepped to the right and with my back toward Q-Sword, I launched a sharp elbow strike!
“Peng” My attack connected with Q-Sword. His whole body staggered toward the training dummy. I did not relent at all, smoothly turning around I struck out with my fist, directly aiming at Q-Sword’s back!
Q-Sword gave out a low groan as he pushed against the steel dummy towards the left! My fierce attack continued forward and with a loud “peng”, the training dummy was broken in half with the screws and steels plates clattering against on the ground.
“My God…” Wang Ran gaped with her small mouth: “This…… are Li Xiao Yao and Q-Sword still human? What kind of strength is this, it is…… it is actually so overpowering…”
Li Wan Er looked at me with her pair of beautiful eyes, but remained silent.
Dong Cheng Yue tightly clenched her small fists and mumbled: “Xiao Yao, don’t lose……”
Following the sound of the whistling wind, Q-Sword’s next round of attacks had already begun. Slightly leaping, a heavy arm blow fell from above like an axe. This was exactly Xing Yi Quan’s essence, forming shape with willpower.
I raised my arm horizontally to parry and retreating two steps after a “Peng” sound of our arms connecting. Q-Sword followed closely but suddenly moved his body downwards. Out of nowhere both fists rose up from below. This was a Bursting Fist technique that struck like a ferocious tiger!
I quickly pushed his two fists apart, but the force behind his attack left a trail of Qi that brushed past my nose. Then, Q-Sword, utilizing the force of his deflected attack, leaned backwards and immediately launched two more attacks with his legs.
The Qi energy in my body started to flow slowly and continuously while my Yi Hai gained clarity. For an instant I could feel the changes of the energy flow around me as I took advantage of it and switched my left fist into palm strike and with two “Pa pa” sounds I swept away Q-Sword’s attacks. Moving instantaneously, my right fist gathered energy as it slowly moved back. Focusing almost 100% of both strength and Qi into my blow, I struck!
Q-Sword immediately panicked. Without pause, he crossed his arms in front of his chest to endure my attack!
With a single strike, Q-Sword’s body was almost blown away. Consecutively retreating for more than a dozen steps, he crashed into the bamboo sword rack in the dojo with a “Peng” sound. The rack immediately shattered and countless bamboo swords splintered as Q-Sword’s noticeably weaker body laid in the pile of broken swords. His face was pale, both of his arms were trembling, and his brows were locked in a deep frown.
Jian Han hurried over to support Q-Sword: “How are you? Are you ok?”
Q-Sword’s complexion did not look very good. Taking deep breaths, he panted: “Li Xiao Yao is indeed a high level expert. He was able to predict the hidden changes in each of my attacks. Otherwise I would not have lost so easily…… In addition, he…….”
“What about him?”Jian Han asked.
Q-Sword took a deep breath: “I am afraid that Li Xiao Yao is already at the peak of the Royal Air Level. The power of his Qi far exceeds that of either of us!”
Jian Han had a shocked expression: “Huh, no…… no way? Who exactly is this kid? I have never heard anything about there being anyone at the peak of the Royal Air Level in modern China. On top of that, he is still so young……”
I walked up and extended a hand with a smile: “You ok?”
Q-Sword took a hold of my hand and pulled himself up. Dusting off his body, he smiled: “It’s not too serious but Li Xiao Yao, your martial arts are indeed formidable. Third Uncle and I have lost without any complaints!”
On the side, Wang Ran laughed: “Actually Li Xiao Yao’s true expertise does not lie in hand to hand combat. Shouldn’t he be at his strongest when using a sword? Q-Sword you are also a grandmaster swordsman in Battle Reflux Style. Do you want to try fighting him again?”
Q-Sword hurriedly shook his head and laughed: “Better not. I’ve focused on Xing Yi Quan but still lost horribly. In terms of sword arts, Li Xiao Yao should be able to qualify as my master.”
As he spoke, Q-Sword looked at his arms, sighing: “Eh, all the buttons on this recently purchased Armani shirt have completely popped off because of your attack. What a waste, it cost 17000RMB ……”
My heart faltered: “You…… You wouldn’t make me pay for it right?”
Q-Sword laughed out loud and slapped me on my shoulder: “Don’t worry brother, I’m not so evil. Besides, today I’ve learned a lot from your Kung Fu without paying any fees. How about we consider this shirt as payment?”
I nodded: “Yup, [Hero’s Mound]’s Guild Leader is indeed open-minded and generous, so much better than that of [Vanguard]’s!”
Q-Sword was taken aback. Suddenly he laughed: “Are you referring to that brat, Jian Feng Han? Hehe, Jian Feng Han is actually from Hangzhou and I have sparred with him once. He can utilize great power and is good at both offence and defence. It was a very enjoyable fight but Jian Feng Han’s behavior…… We shouldn’t discuss it any more. A noble person should not gossip about someone else behind their back. Anyways, Li Xiao Yao, you should come to visit us at Henan Luo Yang when you are free. I will let my great grandmaster test out your Kung Fu……”
The side of my lips curled into a smile: “Ok……”
However, deep down I was having different thoughts. That great grandmaster was most likely at the Yang Yan level. He should be one of the top experts in China and me going to challenge him is equivalent to seeking death. It’s important to know one’s limit……
That afternoon, we accompanied Q-Sword and Jian Han to the airport as they left Hangzhou.
On the way back.
Dong Cheng Yue was exceptionally happy. Laughingly she said: “Xiao Yao, that fist strike of yours was really awesome…… You bombarded Q-Sword until he couldn’t even resist. Earlier on you were forced back repeatedly, I was so worried that you would lose! Heehee luckily you won……”
Li Wan Er said from the side: “Hmph, Dong Cheng, our Guild Leader lost, yet you are so happy!”
Dong Cheng Yue gave a cheeky smile: “Cut the crap, when Li Xiao Yao defeated Q-Sword with that strike, didn’t someone here also smile?”
Li Wan Er: “……”
I massaged my knuckles, knitting my eyebrows together..
“What is it?” Li Wan Er asked, a little concerned.
I murmured: “When my fist hit that steel training dummy, it landed on the screws. That was d*mn painful……”
Li Wan Er: “……”
Dong Cheng Yue: “……”