Chapter 21: Six Cuts in One Breath
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
Wang Tian Hao's words caused a commotion around the ring. Regardless of whether they knew Shi Mu or not, everyone began to look in the Liu Feng club's direction for it seemed strange that Wang Tian Hao regarded someone as worthy of fighting him.
"Who is this Shi Mu?"
"I remember the name faintly. I think it's that new guy from the Liu Feng club. I have heard he has reached the tenth level in Body Tempering at a very young age. He may be highly likely to go on to become a Hou Tian Warrior."
"That's strange. Why would Wang Tian Hao challenge anyone when he is so skilled in his own techniques? He will win regardless of who his opponent is!"
"What? Someone from the Liu Feng club has managed to attract Wang Tian Hao's attention?"
"Wang Tian Hao knew of Brother Shi?"
Everyone then began to conjecture why Wang Tian Hao was challenging an unknown person.
"Shi Mu, have you met Wang Tian Hao before?" Li Cang Hai turned his head to ask Shi Mu. He too, was quite taken aback.
"I fought with him once. But we didn't fight till the end, so I can't say who's better," Shi Mu answered calmly, though surprised at Wang Tian Hao's open challenge.
"Oh, so that's the reason! However, I'm afraid you don't have much of a chance to win. You might have had a chance when you fought him earlier, but he has become too strong now. It's alright if you refuse to accept the challenge," Li Cang Hai said persuasively with his eyebrows knitted closely together.
"Don't worry instructor Li, I just want to compare my techniques with his'. It doesn't matter who wins," Shi Mu unexpectedly smiled as he glanced at Wang Tian Hao.
"I will not stop you since you've made up your mind. Just remember that his 'spear' art is at a very high level. Though, if you wish to have even the slightest chance of winning, you'll need to get close enough to him in order to prevent him from using his spear.
"In fact, you will lose in an instant if you can't manage to evade his 'Flame of the Blazing Spear' attack," Li Cang Hai smiled encouragingly at him after a moment, allowing him to accept the challenge.
Sun Jun and Li Yun Feng gaped at each other, as they overheard the conversation. The red-faced Instructor Min was also giving the master-disciple duo a curious look.
Shi Mu nodded obediently and walked up to the ring. He then leaped off the ground and jumped directly into the ring. Although Uncle Xu was quite surprised himself, he had no choice but to leave the ring in order to make room for the two fighters.
"Are you really the 'Fierce Fists'?" Wang Tian Hao asked in an accusing voice as he narrowed his eyes at Shi Mu.
"Never heard of him," Shi Mu replied and blinked his eyes.
"Humph, you're hiding your identity even now? You are such a disappointment to me!" Wang Tian Hao said. Shi Mu's denial seemed to make him lose interest.
"Am I? I'm quite curious now. How can you be so sure about my identity?" Shi Mu asked as he lazily drew out a long knife from his waist.
"Humph, everyone knows about my memory. I never forget anything I see. I know these eyes and this figure! It doesn't matter that you had been wearing a mask. My eyes must be rotten if I am wrong. Anyway, no more nonsense! Take my Blazing Spear! I'll defeat you in front of everyone here, making sure they all know that I'm the best Martial Disciple in this city!" Wang Tian Hao said impatiently.
He then began to shake his spear, and the upper part of the weapon vanished in a flash. A flame appeared the next moment, floating in the air. After a tremble, it transformed into a ball of red light and darted right in Shi Mu's direction.
Shi Mu just narrowed his eyes as he turned around to face the light. He only had one knife, but it projected four hard shadows into the air. The shadows converged on the blaze as Shi Mu leaped off the ground and rushed backwards.
Boom! A thunderous noise was heard.
The blaze was split into sparks, which instantly dispersed in all directions. The falling sparks created a huge umbrella as high as twenty feet. If Shi Mu hadn't taken a step back a moment earlier, he would've ended up in the same condition as Gu Zhong.
However, even then, the ring became unbearably hot.
Before Shi Mu could land properly on the ground, a glaring spear tip whizzed out of the rain of sparks towards him. Faced with the vicious viper-like spear attack, Shi Mu lifted his free arm and clenched his fist, and strongly punched the incoming spear's tip.
Peng! It seemed as if the fist's covering flesh was made of iron since its immense strength and rigidity forced the spear to go backwards towards its owner.
Wang Tian Hao's colour changed, and he subconsciously clenched the handle to steady himself. However, the force knocked his body backward, and his originally successful attacks were broken in an instant.
Seizing the opportunity, Shi Mu rushed forward with his long knife at a lightning speed.
Wang Tian Hao resisted the attack with his spear, and surprisingly was able to stop the lightning fast knife. However, the attack made him take a few steps back, and he found that his feet were already pressed against the edge of the ring.
"Excellent! Excellent! That's exactly what I need for inspiring my blood! This is exactly my match!" Wang Tian Hao laughed to everyone's surprise. He then suddenly grabbed the upper body of the spear with a single hand.
The spear, which was supposed to be made of black iron, started slithering like a snake; it began twisting in circles to stab Shi Mu' chest. Shi Mu looked quite serious as he lifted his arms and gave the spear's tip another good punch.
A dull sound was heard since the dazzling tip was beaten yet again. However, it turned out that this was exactly what Wang Tian Hao had been waiting for. He slid forward like a fish along the ring's edge in order to evade the punch. After a mysterious shaking of his feet, he quickly reached Shi Mu's back.
"The Leaping Fish Steps?"
"Wow, you have good eyes. This is a Martial Disciple level body technique, as well as a secret technique of our Wang Family. It has been handed down from our ancestors, and is rarely seen in ordinary clubs. You should be proud that you have forced me to use this technique, and it's only because I wish to defeat you even more now," Wang Tian Hao said, looking at Shi Mu with growing excitement in his eyes.
"You want to defeat me? Can you actually do what you wish?" Shi Mu rolled his eyes in contempt at the proud proclamation. A single movement of his arms sent cold lights rolling toward his opponent. He then used his 'Thirteen Series of Gale Force' Art to the best of his ability, with each cut emitting cold light, creating an aura of invincibility around him.
Meanwhile, Wang Tian Hao roared fiercely and shook his spear. The weapon turned into a viper that began to dance around Shi Mu. He roamed around the ring as he fended-off all the 'knife' shadows with the help of his 'Leaping Fish Steps'.
"Don't you have any more tricks? Try them!" Wang Tian Hao laughed wildly.
Provoked by his words, Shi Mu shook his knife even more quickly. His eyes became sharp as each cut produced five or six shadows, and gradually a glaring light began to show on each of the blade's shadows. Wang Tian Hao's figure was completely overrun by the shadows by now. Hence, he produced more sparks by trying to put up a desperate defence. However, despite his attempts to use another technique, he was unable to attack and could only defend.
"Six Cuts in One Breath," the red-faced Instructor Min blurted out the name of the technique.
"Brother Li, Shi Mu has reached this high a level in your 'Thirteen Series of Gale Force Blade' Art! He's got great talent, why didn't you tell me about him earlier? I would have used up all our resources for his cultivation!"
"I just found out myself! The boy has done all of this by himself. I thought he was just at the initial stage!" Li Cang Hai seemed stunned after seeing the events inside the ring.
The long-bearded man, Uncle Xu, and all the other instructors seemed to be amazed at Shi Mu's 'Six Cuts in One Breath' technique as well. All the other Practitioners stood completely still with their mouths wide open in astonishment.
Boom! Another blazing ball of fire exploded in the ring, and the sparks were now breaking through the cold blade like lights. After a bright flash, Wang Tian Hao rushed out from the sparks and turned around. He sent the body of his spear forward, which trembled and vanished again. Six puffs of red flame appeared and started floating in front of his chest.
"Haha, excellent. Six Cuts in One Breath! But I will only accept defeat and retire from the match if you survive the successive attacks of six fire balls," Wang Tian Hao finished saying, and then let out a loud cry.
He clenched his spear and twisted it with all his strength. He then charged directly towards Shi Mu at such a fast speed that he almost flew off the ground.
The six fire balls were revolving smoothly in the air, moving in an incredibly mystifying manner. Suddenly, they tumbled down onto Shi Mu's body. He was still trying to understand the attack when the fire balls started to fall.