Chapter 13: The Art of the Blazing Spear and the Knives of Sun and Moon
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
"But Wu Xun was born slow and lame! Though Zhong Xiu is ugly, she is actually rather proud. She will be unwilling to marry him," the pale man said, shaking his head.
"Unwilling? Do you think she can have her way in our house? I'll make her aware of the consequences once she is in our hands," Wu Tong sneered as he suggested.
"You don't think I've thought of applying force? It's just that the girl was not alone when she had arrived. A boy was with her when she came here, and I had him investigated. I found out that he has some relation with the Jin Family," the pale man sighed.
"What? He's a member of the Jin Family? Then we have no choice but to let him and the girl go this time. If this matter comes out in the open and the Jin Family gets involved, we may even lose 'The Artefact' to them. As for the ancestry of the Zhongs, they may have fabricated the fact that they had a blood warrior as an ancestor to enhance our image of them. Besides, even if they did once have a blood warrior in their family, there is no guarantee of another's birth. We could just follow the secret method of using lots of herbs to test the presence of a blood in the girl. However, that could result in wastage of materials, and the Artefact is of more value to us," the leader said, his attitude changing, visibly surprised by Shi Mu's identity.
Of course, the pale old man had no objections with the final decision. The others then dealt with some other issues before leaving the hall.
"Father, who was that boy who escorted that ugly girl here? How is he related to the Jin Family?" the haughty boy could not resist asking his father after they had come to a different room.
"Oh, you mean that boy Shi Mu. Actually, he wasn't directly born into the Jin Family, and is only a remote relative. His step-mother brought him into the family. You must make it a point to dodge her in every way possible," the man said.
"His step-mother?" the arrogant boy asked, baffled.
"Yes, her name is Jin Zhen, and she is Jin Yu Zhen's aunt. She is at the highest level in her family. In fact, she is as powerful as your eldest uncle. She usually keeps away from people's attention, but she is the one who controls all the medicine business of the Jin Family. She has enormous power in the Family. Hua Er, why do you care so much about Shi Mu?" the man asked.
"I heard that the ugly girl went to Shi Mu after leaving our manor. I don't have any interest in her at all, but it is a fact that we were engaged. Her being with another man brings a lot of shame upon me. Father, I want to teach that fellow a good lesson!" the arrogant boy said, snorting with resentment.
"Well, well, my darling son, it seems you've forgotten what I taught you earlier. You've been able to meet many Jin boys in your pursuit of Jin Yu Zhen, right? It may be inconvenient for our Wu Family to deal with Shi Mu, but it's a different story if the Jins decide to take care of their own affairs. That way, it will have nothing to do with our family," the pale old man said affectionately, offering his advice upon understanding his son's intentions.
"Thanks father, I know what I should do next," the boy said. His father's instructions had left him in high spirits.
"You two lazy punks! A small sect was able to beat you in a flash!" a boy in white said coldly, mocking the two young men. He was standing on a fairly large practice ground. His eyes were fixed on the two men, who were slightly older than him.
The two young men were the same men who Shi Mu had beaten easily in the fight between the Black Fox and the Luan Shui gangs. One of the men stood with a spear in his hand and the other with a whip around his waist, and both were now wearing blue shirts. The two experts were in shock, and were facing the boy while sweating profusely.
"Brother Wang, how...how did you come to know about the fight?" the spearman stammered.
"Humph, had you planned to hide it from me? Had I not heard of your 'feats' from the others in the club, the club's reputation would have continued to rot in secret," the boy in white snorted as he questioned with a solemn face.
"Though we were defeated this time, we will take our revenge. Our plan is to polish our skills under the instructor's guidance. Then we will challenge 'Fierce Fists' again, in order to save our club's reputation," the man with the whip answered using his quick wits. He then wiped the sweat from his forehead.
"So, you were really beaten that quickly? I want to know the details," the boy in white asked, obviously interested in the mysterious opponent.
"Yes Brother Wang, this is how it went. We weren't the first ones to fight the 'Fierce Fists'. It was the leader of Luan Shui who..." the two young men hurriedly retold their account of the events of that night.
"So I escaped narrowly when Leader Yu gave up and pleaded with him. I wouldn't have been standing here if he had kicked me."
"So can this 'Fierce Fists' that you are talking about really crack your spear with a stick and pull Brother Li to his side with ease? He must have crossed level ten in Body Tempering. If that isn't the case, then he must have been born with great strength. No wonder you two could not match him at all," the boy in white said as he eased up on the two men, persuaded by the narration.
"That's definitely true, younger brother. Nobody knows what he looks like in reality. He reached the top position as soon as he began fighting for the Black Fox. Although he had achieved a lot earlier as well, his skills seem to have gotten better in the past half year. He has even defeated the renowned Feng Jun of the Tian Lu club. He broke seven of his ribs with his bare fists, leaving him bedridden."
Brother Li echoed the man's words in a hurry.
"You mean 'Fierce Fists' succeeded in defeating even Feng Jun? He was almost enrolled into the Kai Yuan martial arts school last year! I am certain that he must have reached the tenth level in Body Tempering by now, and he has practiced the 'Iron Skinned Demon' Art. You mean to say that despite all of this, he was beaten badly enough for him to end up being bedridden? Now I'm even more interested in this mysterious boy!" the boy in white was no longer angry. On the contrary, he unexpectedly gave a hearty smile.
"So Brother Wang, you mean to..." the two young men were left rather stunned at his sudden change of attitude.
"I don't care how you do it, but I want a face-to-face meeting with this boy. I want to have a good fight with him, to see if he can take my Blazing Spear," the boy in white answered without hesitation.
"But..." the spearman said in doubt.
"Sure, we will definitely get you a face-to-face meeting with him," Brother Li promised readily.
The boy in white left after Brother Li had answered to his satisfaction.
"Are we really going to call 'Fierce Fists' out?" the spearman anxiously asked his companion.
"Don't you know Brother Wang well? He would have definitely beaten us had we not promised him what he wanted. Take it easy, all we have to do is deliver a message to one of the Luan Shui boys. It is not our business if 'Fierce Fists' shows up or not."
"Ha! I was acting like a fool! If 'Fierce Fists' refuses, Brother Wang will definitely go to him personally. Then our defeat will be avenged," the spearman said, suddenly understanding Brother Li's intentions.
"That's right. Although it belongs to an accomplished level, the 'Art of the Blazing Spear' is one of the few arts that can be mastered by a Martial Disciple. Even 'Fierce Fists' will stand no chance in front of that skill."
The two men had their hopes up high at the thought of the idea, and left the club in elated spirits.
Meanwhile, the current 'Fierce Fists' was quite unaware of the approaching trouble.
However, Shi Mu wouldn't have cared much even if the news had reached him. After all, such events had happened more than once in the half year that he had been playing the role of 'Fierce Fists'. One such event had taken place when Feng Jun of Tian Lu club had challenged him, after being instigated by a gang. Shi Mu had smashed Feng Jun's armor in three strikes, using his 'Stone-Breaking' Fist. The challenger had been left bedridden for nearly a month.
His reason for taking up the role of 'Fierce Fists' was rather simple. As soon as he joined the Feng Liu club, Feng Li and Gao Yuan witnessed his accomplished 'Stone-Breaking' Fist, which left them exceedingly amazed. The two took the opportunity to approach him and eventually succeeded in persuading Shi Mu to take the place of the recently deceased 'Fierce Fists'. The previous 'Fierce Fists' had been the number one Martial Disciple in Black Fox gang and had just died of an illness. Shi Mu, hence, regularly began earning a huge amount of money by protecting the Black Fox gang against the threats of other gangs. This money helped him in affording the herbs for his frequent medicine baths.
At this moment, Shi Mu found himself in the city again. He was making his way to a worn-down street within Luan Shui's territory. The street was a hundred meters long, and barely any business was taking place on either side of the bare street. Shi Mu visited the street despite this, and entered a blacksmith's shop. He looked expectantly at a bronze skinned burly man. The man's upper body was unclothed, and he was looking at an illustrated paper with his eyes wide open. He twisted his face after some time.
"What? Even Master Ma could not manage to make this pair of weapons?" Shi Mu asked anxiously as he studied the man's knit eyebrows.
"The design is so delicate that it requires a lot of energy to make. But with more time and a step by step process, I believe I will be able to make it. The whole problem lies in the required material, which is cold iron. It is extremely rare, and I only have a small piece of it. Can I use other materials instead?" the burly man had to look up from his paper on hearing Shi Mu's question, answering the boy after thinking for a while.
"Certainly not. This pair of Sun and Moon knives will be very useful to me. It is not that I'm expecting this weapon to cut through everything, but I expect that it won't be destroyed by ordinary weapons. Alright, I will give you another five hundred silver notes to obtain more cold iron from other blacksmiths. I want the pair made accurately and without any flaws. You have one full month to make the weapons," Shi Mu answered decisively.