"I heard that my grandsons from the righteous sects were playing in the ring here, so I suddenly wanted to come and watch."
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The Nine Temples Sect specialized in theft, and with Sun Bin's innate aptitude for Qinggong, he was born to be an exceptional thief. He had already been at the verge of transcendence before he had encountered You Mengzhe, and after the help of a few rounds of dual-cultivation, he had broken through the bottleneck stage. Thus his cultivation reached new heights, and the once ‘Stepping on Water’ evolved into ‘Floating on Water’.
Currently battling with Zhao Feihong, his dark shadow came and went like a bizarre phenomenon, the blurry silhouette confusing to the eye—sometimes appearing here, only to leave a phantom mirage there.
"The ‘Specter’!" someone gasped in shock.
However, Zhao Feihong understood the principle of firmness in the face of ever-changing circumstances, his eyes reflecting the blue water of the lake and the luminous sky. Then with one hand, he swept his long staff into the air!
In that moment, You Mengzhe’s heart immediately leapt into his throat.
Finally Sun Bin materialized, stepped on the end of the staff to propel himself into the air, somersaulted, launched down with his twin daggers, and — DONG! — their weapons collided once more.
"Ha!" Zhao Feihong burst into a shout, its sheer force ringing in everyone's ears.
Then with a swipe of his staff from the platform to the surface of the lake, a foaming white, towering wave of three zhang tall rose and billowed towards them!
"Waahh——! " You Mengzhe couldn't help but marvel.
Sun Bin couldn't land a single blow on him, so with a tap of his foot on Zhao Feihong's long staff, he used its momentum to backflip and leap into the air. In the air, he swerved light as a feather, used his left foot to tap against his right instep, and once again used the momentum to propel himself higher.
"The Cloud Ladder!" Someone with sharp eyes immediately roared out Sun Bin's unparalleled technique.
In midair, Sun Bin now used his right foot to tap his left instep, flying even higher. Before he could even lose momentum, his left foot tapped his right instep, then his right foot tapped his left instep, and in an instant he had already flown to a height of ten zhang. Suddenly, the entire audience burst into an uproar, and You Mengzhe’s jaw almost dropped at the sight.
"What kind of divine art is this?" asked You Mengzhe.
"The legendary ‘Cloud Ladder,’" The man in the bamboo hat jutted his chin and explained, "Look, the left toe taps the right instep, the right toe taps the left instep, and each tap propels you even higher."
"Is that even possible?" You Mengzhe really found it hard to believe. "Such a technique even exists in this world? Then if he keeps tapping, won’t he fly all the way into the sky… No way…There must be something wrong here!"
"Well, it was once said that all the people who practiced this martial art have disappeared. Because when they had nothing to do they would just keep tapping and tapping until they vanished up into the sky. So this technique was also lost.”
As the bamboo hat man spoke, Sun Bin had already become a small black dot in the sky. Then he shouted from all the way up in the air.
"What?!" everyone on the ground raised their heads and shouted in unison.
You Mengzhe tried his best to hear Sun Bin's words clearly, but Sun Bin's ‘Cloud Ladder’ had brought him up so high that his voice drifted away with the wind, and You Mengzhe couldn’t make anything out.
Immediately afterwards, Sun Bin, with the momentum of a hundred zhang, plunged headlong towards the heart of the lake! He spun downwards at high speed, shaking out countless golden, glimmering concealed weapons, and innumerable copper coins rained forth, ringing in the sky.
Zhao Feihong held his steel staff, roared, turned in place, and with a spiraling motion of his staff, he intercepted the chaotic flight of copper coins. One after another, he forced the copper coin darts to one place, and a faint red light glowed from within.
A thunderfire bomb! You Mengzhe's pupils suddenly shrank, and in a flash, he remembered the concealed weapon Sun Bin had stolen from Thunderbolt Hall.
You Mengzhe instincts were spot on; the red light caught in the galactic array of copper coin darts was indeed the Thunderbolt Hall’s Supreme Sky Splitting God Killing Blossom Scattering Over the Realms Thunder Bomb.
It was the only one of its kind. The founder of Thunderbolt Hall, Lei Jiutian, had traversed far into the Western Regions to mine ten-thousand-year-old black oil and extract the purest black gold powder to forge the sect’s greatest treasure.
If this thunderbomb exploded, not only would it destroy the arena in the center of the lake, but every single person around the lake would undoubtedly evaporate into dust!
Zhang Yuanshan, who was watching the battle, suddenly paled and charged toward the platform, only to gradually come to a halt. They watched as Alliance Leader Zhao Feihong closed his eyes, took a breath, and opened them again. The seven-chi long iron staff in his grasp waved effortlessly, its energy entangling with the thunderbomb that was spinning downwards at lightning-speed, and then swung back.
That style of yielding strength, of softness within rigidity, had already reached the peak of perfection! Everyone held their breath as Zhao Feihong's iron staff braced against the thunderbomb and whirled it in the air once, then twice, until he had drained it of its momentum. Then he immediately turned, and without a second to spare, caught that red light in his palm. With a clash, the copper coins raining from the sky dispersed as Zhao Feihong held the thunderbomb in his left hand and his iron staff in his right, and with an apathetic jab of his staff, its ruthless energy sent Sun Bin, who had charged in front of him, flying backwards into the air, spraying out a mouthful of blood!
Zhao Feihong announced loudly, "The Thunderbolt Hall’s lost treasure has now been returned."
All was quiet for a few breaths.
Then everyone lost their minds and erupted into frantic cheers, shouting themselves hoarse, the spectacle even more rabid than before when Sun Bin had showed off. Only You Mengzhe’s heart twisted painfully. Having just witnessed with his own eyes Sun Bin's defeat, he worried that he wouldn’t be able to get away so easily this time.
"Can we rescue him?" You Mengzhe asked.
Yuwen Hong knew that You Mengzhe cared about Sun Bin, so he replied, "I’ll try."
You Mengzhe held his breath and watched as Sun Bin, blood trailing from the corner of his mouth, once more launched himself from the surface of the water towards Zhao Feihong, daggers drawn even at death’s door, obviously determined to drag them both down to hell!
"AAAHH———!" Everyone cried out in fear.
Zhao Feihong turned around and swung his staff high in the air.
At the same time, Yuwen Hong bowed slightly, squeezed his fingers into a fist, stretched them out, and repeated this several times, preparing to rescue the boy.
In the next instant, the man in the bamboo hat next to him said casually, "I'll stop Zhao Feihong. You save that kid."
That voice couldn't be more familiar. You Mengzhe’s heart skipped a beat.
"Father!" he cried.
You Gutian removed the bamboo hat, gave his body a shake, and then swiftly rushed away, shouting, "Go!"
The tides suddenly turned as a bamboo hat shot towards Zhao Feihong with a piercing sound. Zhao Feihong, sensing the omnipotent qi of a formidable opponent hurtling towards him, abandoned Sun Bin and braced his staff horizontally against his chest, tilting backwards in the style of ‘Steel Bridge’, and dodged the flying bamboo hat. Then he burst into a shout, hauled up his staff to block against the enemy, and wound back! You Gutian, with his black hair flowing in midair, drew his sword!
DING—the sword clashed with Zhao Feihong's black-gold staff, the sound like a dragon’s roar echoing in the mountains. The hat whirled across the lake and landed in the hands of an orthodox sect’s female disciple, who screamed in fright.
"His hat! A Demon Sect hat ——!!!"
With a distraction like that, Yuwen Hong was able to intercept Sun Bin, strike his vital acupoints with one hand, grab Sun Bin's wrist with the other, and drag him back, using the bamboo bridge to flip himself towards the shore.
The crowd erupted.
"Who is he?!"
Someone hollered, "He really has guts!"
"I have no reason to hide who I am.” You Gutian continued indifferently, "From Yuheng Mountain’s Dingjun Peak, I’m the leader of the Demon Cult, ‘Smiting the Stars’ You Gutian."
In a split second, the entire crowd screamed in alarm. No longer caring about where Sun Bin was being taken, everyone raised their weapons, eyeing the man wearing black gauze robes in the center of the platform with dread.
Zhao Feihong responded coolly, "Sect Leader You came to visit us in person, what brings you here?"
After his failed attack, You Gutian returned his sword to its sheath, the corners of his mouth tugging into a wicked smile as he stood with his arms folded.
"I heard that my grandsons from the righteous sects were playing in the ring here, so I suddenly wanted to come and watch." You Gutian added, "And while I’m at it, visit my son."
The spectators didn’t know whether to die of anger or laughter, assuming that You Gutian was just taunting and belittling Zhao Feihong. Only You Mengzhe, who was watching from the sidelines, understood that You Gutian was actually here to see him. He yearned to shout out "Father" again, but was afraid it would cause more trouble.
Zhao Feihong squinted, and with a sweep, returned his staff to his back, and said coldly, "I have officially invited the righteous sects to join together on the fifteenth day of the eighth month next year to eradicate your Demon Cult. Since I now have greater numbers and you have few, if we fight you together, victory would be hollow. On a later date we can duel each other on the summit of Yuheng Mountain, one on one. At this moment, if there is no other problem, why don’t you have a drink and listen to some music?"
You Gutian responded lazily, "Nah. Don’t make a mess everywhere you go, my son. When you’re done playing, come back home to accompany Daddy."
Those words were meant for You Mengzhe, yet everyone thought he was taunting Zhao Feihong. As soon as You Gutian's words fell, he vanished from the platform and reappeared on the wooden bridge. With another flash, he had already reached the lakeside, and gently plucked his own bamboo hat from an upright female disciple’s hands, placed it on his head, and flashed her a wicked smile. The female disciple let out a blood-curdling scream, then fainted softly on the ground. Then You Gutian flicked his sleeves, and because no one dared to stop him, the thousands of attendees looked on helplessly as he disappeared into the forest.
Seeing that You Gutian had drawn attention away from them, You Mengzhe knew that next he would have to deal with Sun Bin, whom they had just rescued. He immediately picked up Sun Bin's arm to carry him on his back, and putting to use his unversed Qinggong, started to run away.
People noticed You Mengzhe as soon as he started to escape.
You Mengzhe ran while shouting, “Think of something! Little Uncle!"
Yuwen Hong, who was leading them from ahead, turned towards the pursuers behind You Mengzhe and said, "Die..."
"‘Get lost’ is fine!" shouted You Mengzhe.
The chasing soldiers behind them cried out as a palm blasted five or six people into midair. You Mengzhe continued sprinting down the mountain road and rushed towards the riverbank, situated in the lower reaches of the Han River. The chasing soldiers saw Yuwen Hong clobber people as if he were catching chickens; anyone he touched would either vomit blood or fly into the air. No one dared to continue chasing them, and one after another, they halted on the mountain road.
Zhang Yuanshan's black robe fluttered in the air, and when he reached the mountainside, he stopped. He gazed at You Mengzhe by the river, and did not chase him any further.
Sea Serpent = Daddy You Gutian aka RUINI’S FAVE DADDY 😉
Feitian didn’t really explain it but You Gutian was wearing a full-face disguise which is a common specialization of the demonic sects. If you watched Word of Honor or read the novel the MC also uses a full face disguise and it’s quite common in these types of wuxia novels.
Sea Serpent was tl’d from the character 蛟 (Jiao) which is sometimes wrongly translated as ‘dragon’. It’s not the same as a regular fire-breathing dragon. It’s a mythical creature that is known as a scaled dragon or water dragon that can control rain and cause floods, and can be translated as kraken or sea serpent as well. To not confuse you with our Kangjin Dragon (Zhao Feihong) I chose a word that didn’t contain dragon.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Ruini.