Chapter 42 - Between Life and Death
What Houtian Warrior would allow a Wu Scholar to freely injure them? Even though the fifth master wished nothing but to rush forward and erase Shi Mu, in hopes of appeasing the great anguish he felt in his heart, he twisted his body and retreated. His body flickered like a willow leaf floating in the wind, agilely dodging each attack. After returning to the ground he lost no time using one leg to lift up a golden tonfa lying at his foot.
Boom! A ball of golden light flashed toward the rotating daggers and directly collided. The daggers, made from cold iron, were reputed as unbreakable, but facing the golden tonfa, the Sun and Moon daggers cracked with a thunderous noise. Shi Mu could not help but wonder at the stick's material as he found his daggers only half complete. Dejectedly, Shi Mu shook his wrist causing the fine chains attached to the daggers to be pulled back.
Upon seeing the cracked daggers, the fifth master laughed at the imminent victory. He lifted another tonfa from the ground and shot it toward Shi Mu at a startling speed before he rose into the air and followed closely behind.
This swift attack left Shi Mu no time to think of a plan. Wielding his incomplete daggers he produced nine shadows and sent them darting forward.
A deafening clang resounded!
The golden ball of light trembled as it was slowed down, bouncing back into the form of a stick. Shi Mu let out a muffled shout and retreated several steps. The daggers were now completely shattered, along with their owner's arm drooping like a tree after a storm, as though broken by the blow.
Just then the fifth master had already reached Shi Mu. His sleeves flashed before a blood red palm smashed towards Shi Mu's head with an irresistible momentum. Shi Mu was enraged; he moved his uninjured arm to strike forcibly at the dashing palm.
"Are you tired of living?" The fifth master laughed wildly at Shi Mu's desperate move; the laughter was accompanied by a fluctuation of qi which made the scarlet palm even more red, to the extent that a visible layer of red fog emerged floating above his palm.
But just as Shi Mu's fist was about to hit the red palm, his fingers moved and a sharp dagger appeared in his hand mercilessly stabbing into the palm. A piercing pain radiated out from every blood vessels as the fifth master uttered a heartrending cry, but he could not stop his palm which now had reached Shi Mu's arm. Shi Mu also gave out a cry as he was sent flying backward at an unstoppable speed, knocking down two saplings before stopping against a mountain boulder. Shi Mu coughed and spat blood as he slid down the rock like a dead animal, unable to stand up for a while.
The fifth master's face was strange. He looked down at his hands which was rapidly losing its blood red color. A sharp dagger protruded from his palm, crimson blood leaked from the wound, causing his palm to rapidly change from that crimson color to a pale white. Looking at the sharp dagger that had penetrated his palm, he felt an overwhelming fear mixed with rage. His expression rapidly changed as his fears were confirmed, his voice shook as he screamed. "Bastard! You have ruined my Blood Palm! You...YOU MONGREL! I will crush you and grind all your bones into dust!"
Before he even finished his curse, the fifth master extracted the dagger from his palm and hit at several acupoints in his hand to stop the bleeding. He strode to Shi Mu, his face twisting with rage.
Shi Mu suppressed the gnawing pain in his arms and looked up at the fifth master. The muscles on his face twitched, a mocking smile flashing across his lips.
So this was a real intermediate Houtian Warrior! An invincible enemy for a Wu Scholar! It took so much to just resist one blow: he utilized the exploding of his Sun and Moon daggers to conceal another dagger inside his sleeve. Only then could he mutilate the fifth master's palm without being noticed. But even such a painstaking plan was no use in front of the overpowering Blood Palm. He had thought of causing a mortal wound to his opponent after stabbing his palm, taking the chance to end the fight. But this was merely wishful thinking: he was now brought to the harsh reality by the crushing power of the palm. Now, lying helplessly on the ground, half dead, with arms broken into several pieces, he could not even stand up, much less fight. He was thrown into the gloom of despair, his eyes stripped of the slightest glimmering of hope. The fifth master approached Shi Mu and kicked him.
"Peng!" A strange noise sounded out.
The fifth master felt his foot knocked against something solid. As for Shi Mu, he was knocked ten meters away and his face ghastly pale from the pain but surprisingly unharmed.
"Hmm? What are you hiding?"
The fifth master snorted in contempt and walked up.
"Leave him alone! Kill me if you wish!"
Just then, a slender figure rushed out from behind a mountain boulder and shielded the half dead Shi Mu with her arms. This was none other than Zhong Xiu who had been watching Shi Mu all this time with. She could no longer keep her promise to Shi Mu - to hide unnoticed behind the rock - and dashed toward the enemy, protecting Shi Mu without a trace of fear.
The fifth master glanced at Zhong Xiu before snorting "You ugly toad, well, I shall grant you your wish to die here along with that dog" He replied with a ferocious face, ready to strike the girl's face with his palm. An "ugly" girl stirred no sympathy in the fifth master's heart at all. As a Houtian Warrior, there was no need for him to use his real qi to crush the girl's head in an instant.
"Stop!" Seeing this Shi Mu's expression changed. He shouted at the top of his lungs and tried with every effort to raise himself up. But even before he had managed to raise half of his body, he again fell flat onto his face.
The fifth master could not be any more delighted at such a failed attempt. Encouraged, he bent slightly his fingers to add some real qi into the palm. Although Zhong Xiu had long prepared to sacrifice her life for Shi Mu, seeing the frightful palm diving at her like a mountain, she could not help but blanch in fear. Which teenage girl could stay calm in front of such a deadly attack? She closed her eyes, trembled in fear, and let out an involuntary cry.
An invisible energy flew out with her cry, slamming into the enemy and sending him flying.
The fifth master raised his head in pain, spitting blood and staring at the girl in fear. "The power of a bloodline! So you are a bloodline warrior too!" With his experience, he could tell at a glance that the girl was not only a bloodline warrior, but her bloodline was definitely a rare one as well. This realization made him flinch. But the sight of his dead son and the pain in his mutilated palm made the fire of hatred burn in his chest. He began to regain the fierceness in his eyes. Without a word, he floated to the girl again, aiming to kill her this time.
Zhong Xiu, however, was in the dark as to what had happened. She opened her eyes at a loss, not knowing what to do next.
Suddenly, the cold voice of a young woman resounded, "You want to kill a bloodline warrior of Grade Three, seen only once in a thousand years? Well, then, I can only send you to the other world first."
The delicate figure of a woman in a white straw hat flashed in front of Zhong Xui, gracefully waving her arm toward the fifth master.
A puff of cold, white fog rolled out, turning the fifth master into an ice crystal in an instant.