Chapter 53 - Jade vs. Stone
"The Blood Dragon Group? I'll consider it, but not before I find a decent place to rest. I'm exhausted after our arduous 'adventure'." The girl giggled as she reply.
"No problem. Any time you want to join us, just find me, Qu Kun." The youth Qu did not persist, and, in a joyful manner, he made a gesture for his companions to make way for her.
"Thank you." The girl giggled again, the bells ringing as though in a gleeful mood and she disappeared into the stone houses.
The girl's easy pass kindled false hope in the other candidates, and two young men took the chance to rush for the way that was made for the girl earlier. "Bang! Bang!" Two loud sounds resounded as they found themselves flying through the air. Qu Kun moved his body agilely and struck the two, knocking them back a few feet, before they fell on the ground unable to move for a while.
Seeing this, one of the candidates questioned indignantly, "Why did you do that? Didn't that girl just pass your test?"
"When did I say that 'all' of you could pass if anyone could take my fist?That girl is the one who has taken my fist, not you. Anyone who wants to pass has to meet me personally." Qu Kun sneered.
The youngsters could only gape at each other in shock.
"Brother Shi, Brother Xiao, it's no use waiting like this. Why not go and challenge him together?" The long-haired youth asked.
This suggestion apparently did not appeal to the big-mouthed youth. Shaking his head, he answered, "My Mysterious Steps Art is only half achieved. I probably can't dodge his punch. For me to go and challenge him would just be asking for trouble."
"I'll go after you." Shi Mu, however, said this with an air of confidence.
"Good! I never thought Brother Shi was so confident. Then I'll go give it a try first." Stone Bai was first startled by Shi Mu's answer, but soon recovered and strode over to Qu Kun to take his challenge. Obviously, he did not know that Shi Mu had once killed a Houtian warrior! Therefore, however fierce Qu Kun appeared, he was not able to cause Shi Mu to feel any fear.
A dull sound resounded as Stone Bai stumbled back. His arms strong looking earlier, but now they were flat like broken balloons, and his face was twisted in pain.
He had taken Qu Kun's fist with the same posture Fang Tianxu adopted!
"That was the All-Arms Fist Art, and you've reached the intermediate level. No wonder you could take my punch. Well, I'll count that as you passing. " Qu Kun nodded and waved for the others to make the way.
"Thank you, Brother Qu." Stone Bai soothed his arms and smiled contentedly, then made his way into the stone houses.
The success of Stone Bai made some of the remaining candidates anxious to try their chances. But Qu Kun would not let their enthusiasm burn for long. He snorted and spoke to dampen their spirits, "You do have some strong guys among you, apparently I have mistaken your strengths and only used part of my real qi. Well, since you are not as bad as I thought, let's meet each other with all of our strength, from now on." He had not finished the remark when he stomped heavily on the ground with both feet. Two dull sounds echoed in turn as two stone bricks were smashed into pieces.
This sight made most of the candidates feel that all hope was gone. Xiao Ming's lips trembled in fear as he shook his head in an almost twitchy manner, "Brother Shi, as far as I can see, we'd better admit defeat. If he really uses all his real qi, Stone Bai could not pass, even if he was lucky." Obviously Xiao Ming had abandoned all hope of making it by force.
"Let me have a try. It's no big deal getting some wounds." Shi Mu smiled faintly and walked up. In such a circumstance, his move naturally caught people's attention, and some whispered to each other with a surprised look.
Qu Kun's eyes dilated with anger as he saw Shi Mu walking up, and he asked in a sullen voice, "Are you deaf or are you sick of life? Well, I can't really kill you, according to the rules, but people won't mind if I crush your legs and arms and make you bedridden for a whole year." After finishing his words, Qu Kun squatted and then shot forward like an arrow from a bow, and with a lift of his arm, the grey straps, that were originally wound around his arm, burst open with a crack. Before the crowd could make out what happened, a huge grey fist had approached Shi Mu's head.
Shi Mu was not frightened at all, and, with a low shout, a massive flow of strength gushed through his body. He shook his shoulders and punched at the incoming blow.
Boom! As the two fists clashed, unceasingly explosions resounded, and the two men were standing there in the middle of it.
After the explosions died down, Shi Mu and Qu Kun were knocked back as bricks on the nearby ground exploded. The two groaned involuntarily, then simultaneously stepped back to steady themselves.
They had attacked each other and come out in a draw.
The crowd was too shocked to make a sound, some of the newcomers were staring at Shi Mu with eyes wide open. The senior disciples with Qu Kun were also astonished. There was no one who knew Qu Kun's strength better than they did!
"That's impossible! You don't have real qi, so how could you take my Jade-Breaking Fist? Which art did you use?" Qu Kun glowered at Shi Mu, shouting harshly, unable to accept the result.
"Stone-Breaking Fist, not much to brag about." Shi Mu took back his fist and answered calmly.
"Stone-Breaking Fist? An ordinary Practitioner art? How could that resist my Jade-Breaking Fist of several years hard training? Oh...I get it...You are a bloodline warrior, and that bloodline enforced your body at the Practitioner's level!" The youth was suspicious at first, but he soon thought of something and was enlightened immediately.
"You are free to think what you wish. I wonder if I can pass now?" Shi Mu answered in the same flat voice.
"Humph, you've taken my fist with your bloodline power. So you pass. But don't be proud, little brother, that bloodline's of no use at the higher levels, and it's the lowest type of all bloodlines." Qu Kun compromised, his face extremely sullen, but still he had to make way for Shi Mu.
"Thanks." Shi Mu saluted him with clasped fists before he passed Qu Kun and his gang with his head up, as if he had not heard Qu Kun's sour words at all, leaving the other newcomers frozen in place with great astonishment at what had happened.
Qu Kun snorted coldly and again blocked the way. Now the glances he cast to the remaining candidates were even fiercer, as if he was seeking revenge.