Chapter 86: The Fight
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
Six months later...
Seven or eight black-robed old disciples were gathered in the small yard outside Shi Mu's stone house. They stood silently; as if waiting for someone.
Their leader was the golden-haired youth - Jin Huan of the Holy Spirit Association.
There was another gathering of ten new disciples a little far away from Shi Mu's room. They seemed to be watching the proceedings. They were occasionally whispering to each other.
"Brother Jin, it seems that Brother Shi has gone out. He may not be back for a while. I'll stay and watch." Huo Mao stood beside Jin Huan; he spoke in a soft tone.
The front door of Shi Mu's stone house was tightly shut. It seemed that he wasn't in his room at the moment.
"Don't worry. I've got nothing to do today... I can wait a little longer. These paper charms are extremely important to us. I can't take a risk. I can't let this chance slide from my hands. I must personally meet Brother Shi... and ask him to make a few charms for us," Jin Huan shook his head and replied in a soft tone.
Huo Mao nodded as he heard this; he didn't say anything else.
Bai Shi and Xiao Ming stood next to Huo Mao.
"I always knew that Brother Shi wasn't an ordinary disciple. But, I could never imagine that he would have a great skill in magic... and he could make paper charms in such a proficient manner. He's been into it for just six months... and he can already make elementary-level paper charms," Bai Shi sighed as he said.
Jin Huan and Huo Mao nodded with a smile. Suddenly, an unpleasant expression shadowed Jin Huan's smiling face.
Shi Mu had revealed his charm-making talent six months ago. This news hadn't only astonished the new disciples, but had also left several old disciples thunderstruck.
There were only a handful of magician-practitioners in the Black Demon Sect. Charm Magicians were even fewer in number.
Therefore, Shi Mu had become one of the few Charm Magicians in the Sect. The old disciples were wary of offending him even though he could only make elementary-level charms of the five elements.
Moreover, Shi Mu had exhibited a high success-rate in making a paper-charm to perfection. His success-rate was higher in comparison with the other Charm Magicians of the Sect. In fact, he had far-surpassed his fellow Charm Magicians.
The number of disciples that would approach Shi Mu with a request to make paper charms was getting higher by the day; so much so that Shi Mu was forced to decline a few of them. Therefore, Jin Huan and other disciples had to personally come to his room.
Jin Huan was upset and annoyed.
He had never thought that Shi Mu would become so famous. Otherwise, he would've pulled him into their group by alluring him with any amount of resources he wanted.
Now, Shi Mu's glory had spread everywhere. Therefore, it had become extremely difficult to attract him into their group. Moreover, it was reported that a few elders of the Sect had started to notice him.
Jin Huan sighed secretly as this thought crossed his mind.
Xiao Ming also looked perplexed.
It had been six months since he had joined the Holy Spirit Association. However, he had failed to make a single paper charm. He hadn't been able to learn even two-or-three elementary-level charm characters so far - let alone make paper charms.
Some new disciples were silently watching from a distance. Suddenly, they burst into an uproar. They hurriedly drew back to a side, and made way for another group of old disciples.
Jin Huan looked in their direction as he heard the noise. Suddenly, his brows wrinkled.
The new group of old disciples was the Blood Dragon Gang - led by Qu Kun.
Qu Kun was startled when he saw Jin Huan and his group stationed outside Shi Mu's door. However, he approached them with a soft chuckle. He stopped at a little distance from them. He then said, "Brother Jin, I never thought that such a great person of the Holy Spirit Association would show-up here. Are you also looking for Brother Shi?"
"We're in the same boat. Brother Qu, you too are a famous person of the Blood Dragon Gang. You still showed-up here," Jin Huan replied in a light tone.
"Hehe... Brother Shi is extraordinarily talented. So, it was important to personally visit him," Qu Kun said with a smile.
"Enough of these rubbish talks... The Blood Dragon Gang had deliberately raised the reward-price six months ago... and had asked Brother Shi to make dozens of paper charms. We - the Holy Spirit Association - didn't interfere at that time. Now... it's our turn to request paper-charms for our group," Jin Huan replied in a cold voice.
"The higher the price... the better the quality of the work; that's always been the rule. Brother Shi was happy to accept our request back then. He doesn't need to take Brother Jin's consent before accepting any offers... isn't it?" Qu Kun retorted with a cold face.
A cold confrontation between two formidable groups gave rise to a murderous aura. The new disciples were forced to retreat a few steps to avoid being caught up in a disastrous conflict. However, a hint of an irresistible excitement lingered on their faces. They continued to watch the 'fun' proceedings.
Jin Huan's expression turned even gloomier. He stared at Qu Kun with eyes as sharp as knives.
"What's wrong? Look at Brother Jin's face... Can it be that you want to start a fight?" Qu Kun stuck-out his chest as he spoke fearlessly.
"I've heard that Brother Qu has just chosen a sword art named the 'Wolf and Moon Art'. I would like to take your advice regarding it. It's a chance encounter. Let's take advantage of this opportunity, and see who the 'better one' amongst us is. How about this... the one who loses will give-up looking for brother Shi," a cold look flashed across Jin Huan's eyes as he said.
"Haha... Brother Jin, we're here to ask Brother Shi to make some paper charms for us. Why should we get injured? If you want to start a fight... then don't forget that the annual competition is just around the corner. You'll get plenty of chances to fight with me in a ring," Qu Kun burst out laughing as he spoke; he neither approved nor disapproved.
"It seems like brother Qu is afraid to fight me. I won't force you anymore. But... I request the Blood Dragon Gang to leave at once in order to avoid any injury..." Jin Huan sneered as he warned. However, he felt helpless in his heart.
The Holy Spirit Association had failed a task. This had led them to suffer huge financial losses. Therefore, they wouldn't be able to beat the Blood Dragon Gang if both the groups were to compete in terms of financial ability. Otherwise, he was unlikely to resort to such a dreadful plan.
Jin Huan and his group members smiled as he finished speaking. They threw contemptuous looks towards the Blood Dragon Gang.
"Humph! If Brother Jin is so interested to fight... then I'm ready. My sword is desperate to taste some blood." Qu Kun looked around. Then, he tightened his grip on his long sword's handle as he replied with a vicious smile.
He knew that his position was a little lower than Jin Huan's in the eyes of the primary disciples. Moreover, he wasn't confident of defeating his opponent. However, he couldn't compromise the reputation of his group in front of so many people. Therefore, the only choice he had was to give it a try.
He was also aware that he had made a tremendous progress in his martial arts in the past six months. So, even if he couldn't defeat his opponent - he could at least make an effort to bring this match to a draw. He was sure that he could accomplish this.
Jin Huan forced a cold smile, and waved his hand. The people standing behind him were forced to go back a few steps.
Meanwhile, Qu Kun's people also stepped back to make space for the two opponents.
"Shua" Qu Kun pulled out his sword with a whistling sound.
The sword was half-an-inch longer than regular swords; a red mark could be seen on its edge. It seemed to be contaminated with blood; so much so that it was emitting a nauseating smell.
Jin Huan didn't move; it seemed as if he didn't intend to use any weapons.
Qu Kun got angry as he saw Jin Huan empty-handed; this seemed to have humiliated him. He shouted-out loud as he swayed his long sword. Then, he thrust it towards Jin Huan with a terrific speed; like speed of the mighty river Yangtze's current.
His entire body emitted a murderous aura. Suddenly, a sword wind appeared. It pierced the air and advanced towards his opponent with a 'wuwu' sound; like the whining of ghosts.
Jin Huan's eyes flashed. He stomped his feet on the ground.
A powerful aura burst out of his body with a 'boom' sound. Suddenly, his figure flashed and disappeared.
As a result, Qu Kun's sword missed its target. Then, he sensed something ominous rushing towards him.
However, he couldn't respond. Suddenly, the air around him exploded as he was kicked hard by a dense pale-golden foot. It seemed as if a cluster of stars had plummeted down on him; it was far more oppressive than Qu Kun's sword momentum.
Qu Kun's complexion changed. Then, he wielded his sword. It produced red sword-shadows - which condensed into a faint image of a giant wolf.
1) Yangtze is the longest river in China. Third longest in the world. This river is often mentioned in the novel to draw comparisons.