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 Chapter 38: Flying Eagle of the Ninth Heaven

Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie

"Oh! It was clever of you to identify me from such a distance," a cold voice rang-out from behind the tree. A figure flashed in the darkness, and a man emerged. It was Wu Tong - the sole Hou Tian Warrior of the Wu hunting group. He was wearing a decorated uniform, and was carrying a weapon in his hand.

Shi Mu's expression darkened with rage as he glanced at the weapon in Wu Tong's hand.

Wu Tong was carrying the purple steel bow which Shi Mu had abandoned earlier.

It turned out that Wu Tong had been here from the start. He had remained silent throughout the fight so that he could steal the bow.

He hadn't attacked because the bow required a force of at least 500 kg to open. Moreover, Shi Mu had taken the arrows with him. Therefore, Wu Tong had no way of taking a shot even if he could somehow open the bow using his real Qi.

"Your Excellency, you sacrificed the lives of your men for a bow that you can't even open?" Shi Mu asked in a cold voice. He tightened his grip on the Sun and Moon Daggers.

"Humph! The members of the Wu family can buy and trash these servants as they want. But, I hadn't expected you to obtain the bow of purple steel. Besides, you used it with such skill that even I had begun to feel threatened by your dirty tricks. This wondrous bow is way more important than these servants' lives. Now, you can either offer your life in servitude, or die at my hands," Wu Tong said in an indifferent tone.

"I have always been told that a Martial Disciple has no choice but to admit defeat in front of a Hou Tian warrior's might. The only other option one could have is to break one's back in an effort to curtail the enormous difference in power. I am prepared to see it for myself," Shi Mu said with his eyes fixed on Wu Tong.

"Haha! I'm surprised to see a Martial Disciple speaking to me in this manner. I wonder if I should call you a 'brave fool' or an 'ignorant frog'[1]. Come... I have a lesson to teach you. You will now learn the proper way for a fledgling Martial Disciple to behave in front of a true Hou Tian warrior," Wu Tong said. He had been dumbstruck by Shi Mu's challenge at first, but had then burst out laughing. He then threw away the bow.

Peng!

The huge bow sank into the trunk of a large tree. One end of the bow was several inches deep into the tree; the other end shook and thrummed with a low humming noise.

Then, Wu Tong's hand reached-out and pulled the belt from his waist. He flicked the soft belt and it immediately transformed into a solid and straight sword.

Then, Wu Tong narrowed down the distance between himself and Shi Mu.

Shi Mu's eyes were slightly narrowed. He tightened his grip on the Sun and Moon Daggers as he saw Wu Tong approaching. He then threw out seven blade shadows.

"Seven cuts! It's true then... your 'Gale Force Blade' art is really exquisite. But today is your unlucky day. Someone who is even faster than you is here," Wu Tong shouted as he shook his sword.

He produced seven shadows of his own. These sword shadows dispelled Shi Mu's blade shadows before they even had a chance to assemble and become one. An eighth shadow broke through as the sword and blade shadows clashed. It dispelled chaotic energy as it flew towards its target - Shi Mu's heart.

"Eight cuts in one breath!"

Shi Mu was astonished. He then focussed his attention on his blade-art so that he could shatter the approaching eighth shadow.

A thunderous noise was heard as they clashed.

Wu Tong's sword let out a brutal energy, and it rushed towards Shi Mu's hand at a lightning speed. Shi Mu's shoulders began to tremble uncontrollably, and his body was forced to take half a step backwards. The strike left his hands numb.

Even Wu Tong didn't escape unharmed on the other side of the collision. This was because of the great force that had rebounded from his sword. A trace of surprise flashed in his eyes, but quickly disappeared. He began to attack again by moving his wrist in a unique pattern. The upper end of his sword instantly became as flexible and agile as a viper. It went around Shi Mu's blade and darted towards his throat.

This attack was so fast that most warriors would have only seen a streak of cold light flashing from Wu Tong's sword.

However, Shi Mu's abilities were exceptional; there was no other warrior with better eyesight. Yet, cold sweat began to trickle down his back when he saw the sudden attack; his heart started beating rapidly.

He turned his neck to the side and dodged the streak of cold light. However, it grazed his face and left a shallow wound behind.

Shi Mu was enraged. He rotated his body and struck out his arms to fire shadow blades at his enemy in continuation.

Wu Tong snorted with contempt at Shi Mu's attack. Then, his body released a terrifying force. He shook his sword with both hands. Three sword shadows emanated from his sword as he shouted, "Mountain-Crushing Triple Strike!"

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Three loud noises were heard.

The three strong sword shadows eliminated Shi Mu's blade shadows. These sword shadows were much stronger than the previous ones.

Shi Mu stumbled three steps backwards as he found his body-rhythm disrupted. His hands were badly injured from where they had been holding the blades; blood gushed out wildly from his wounds.

Shi Mu had always come out on top while oppressing other Martial Disciples with his superhuman physical strength. But now, his opponent was crushing him in the same way he used to supress his own adversaries. So, one could easily imagine the anger and alarm of his heart.

He wondered if the energy swirling through Wu Tong's sword had been his real Qi. If this was the case... then it was miraculous. If Shi Mu's abilities and physical strengths were replaced by that of an ordinary Martial Disciple... then he wouldn't have been able to survive till now.

Wu Tong was taken aback when he realized that those three strikes hadn't been able to overwhelm Shi Mu. He hadn't suffered as much as Shi Mu, but his hands were now sore and numb. Therefore, he wasn't in the position to perform the same technique again.

"The Stone Monkey Bloodline has always been considered as the most useless bloodline in the Hou Tian level. But, it is a known fact that it can reinforce a Martial Disciple to withstand the force of 500 Kgs. It seems to be true... if I'm to judge by our fight so far. But, if you think that your bloodline can help you win a fight against a Hou Tian warrior... you are wrong," Wu Tong said.

Suddenly, he leapt and soared five or six feet high in the air. He stretched his arms wide and rotated them. He looked like a huge eagle as he pounced on Shi Mu.

Shi Mu was caught off-guard by this eagle-like movement. However, he soon recovered and produced a large streak of cold light with the help of his longer blade.

Peng!

There was a huge collision between the sword and blade. This made Wu Tong spring upwards again.

Then, he pounced for the second time. Shi Mu was again forced to defend the attack with his blade.

Peng! Peng! Flap!

The two swords struck against each other seven or eight times.

Wu Tong's body flew upwards with every strike; it seemed as if his body was weightless.

The force of Wu Tong's strikes caused extreme pain in Shi Mu's hands; such was the force of the blows that his hands started bleeding. Shi Mu's feet also became heavy due to the pressure from Wu Tong's blows. As a result, his feet were forced 2cms into the earth.

"Haha! Bastard, what do you think of my 'Flying Eagle of the Ninth Heaven' attack? How many more strikes can you take? You'll have no regrets... since you are going to die because of this Hou Tian technique!" Wu Tong's wild laughter rang in the air.

Then, his silhouette rotated once more as he attacked again. His sword gushed out shadows in Shi Mu's direction; they were as many as the droplets in a tumbling waterfall.

Notes:

Relates to an old Chinese saying. The Frog at the bottom of the well.

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