He didn't want to repeat the same scenario that happened a moment ago where Yi would continue to attack, allowing him to only defend. Xuefeng wanted to end it swiftly, without prolonging it too much, so he didn't aim for that strategy.
Lunging forward he decided to thrust towards the open space around her waist, where her hands were holding the hilt of the sword. First, it would be hard to block and parry such an attack, but it was also his tactic to confuse her.
It's because this attack is too easy to counter with different methods like dodging to the side and cutting towards his open body. He wanted to bait her into thinking that he left an opening before striking her unsuspectedly.
He executed his plan just as he imagined. Diving with his sword towards Yi's waist, he pretended to shift the balance into his front leg which would not allow him to fall back if necessary and successfully baited Yi into stepping in his trap.
She sidestepped in the last moment while pushing Xuefeng's sword with the bottom of her blade only to add a rotation to her sidestep, making her counter-attack stronger caused by the combined momentum. Who would have thought that in the split second after she pushed Xuefeng's sword away, turning by three hundred and sixty degrees to strike, Xuefeng would suddenly bend his knees and leaned back towards the ground?
What her sword met wasn't the flesh and muscles around Xuefeng's abdomen but nothing other than air. Her strike was also a few centimetres away from Xuefeng's face when he folded his body as if he was playing Limbo at a party.
Feeling that her attack didn't connect, Yi wanted to continue with another but then felt a gentle hit from Xuefeng's wooden sword on her calf which caused her actions to halt.
"One point for me." Xuefeng grinned at Yi as she looked down to see what happened.
Xuefeng executed everything just as he planned. By leaving an opening in his attack, he forced her to do exactly what he wanted. Of course, she could have thought differently which would cause him to lose one point but with the rule of three strikes for a win, he was able to take that risk.
"Sneaky... Well done Young Master. I won't make the same mistake again." Yi complained under her nose before she smiled and reached her hand to help Xuefeng stand up. Her tone was also getting more serious now.
"Nice, Xuefeng! Gogogo!" Tianshi cheered from the side with vigour while Yu watched Xuefeng with an interested expression. She also trained swordsmanship but she could never match Yi and here she saw Xuefeng defeat her.
"Let's keep going. Maybe you still have a chance to win." Xuefeng grinned teasing her after he stood up with her help and prepared his stance.
"Sure!" Yi called out and instantly leapt towards Xuefeng, not wasting any time. If her standard strategy didn't work, she decided to use her speed instead. You can get a point as long as you touch the opponent body. She didn't need to use her whole strength in each attack.
The first attack was easily blocked by Xuefeng but before he could think of a counter-attack, her blade which was pushed away started to fall once again. Each time she knew her strike will be blocked, she changed the position and attacked from a different side, causing him to turn every second.
The tactic was similar to her first attacking style but this time she was moving all around trying to find his blind spot.
Xuefeng was having a hard time trying to figure out Yi's attack pattern as to find a way to counter it and in the end, it was Ling who helped him. They were already at the seventh exchange and Yi was still increasing her momentum when Ling instructed, "In the third strike from now, don't block! Move forward, dodging by tilting your body to the right and catch her by the arm."
She didn't finish the message as he didn't need to know more to figure out the rest. Before she even finished her advice, Xuefeng barely blocked the first attack and Yi continued with another. Even if he trusted Ling enough to follow her advice, he had to survive the second one to execute her tactic.
Suddenly, he noticed something. When Yi followed with another attack it wasn't the typical cut, but a preparation for the next one. It was much slower than the earlier ones but much more precise.
'That's it!' After also seeing through the move, Xuefeng blocked it with his usual block without alarming blue-eyed Yi about his hidden ideas and finally executed Ling's strategy.
Yi's previous passive attack was swiftly followed by a carefully planned pierce towards his right shoulder. If he wasn't prepared earlier, Xuefeng didn't think he would be able to avoid it.
Without hesitation, Xuefeng tilted his body to the right while stepping diagonally to the left, causing Yi's sword to miss the target by less than one centimetre. At the same time, Xuefeng let go of his sword, holding it only with a left hand and grabbed Yi's arm, pulling it forward. He made her lose balance as he sneaked behind her and placed his sword by her neck.
"The second point goes to me as well," Xuefeng said cheekily into Yi's ear before letting her go.
Yi walked a few steps away from Xuefeng while touching herself on the neck and looked at him with a complicated gaze. She never lost a fight in pure swordsmanship before and looking at the current situation, she couldn't help but feel something brewing inside her heart. For some reason, it wasn't hatred or anger but rather a warm kind of feeling like admiration, respect or even something else...
Emerald-eyed Yu couldn't watch her sister losing for the third time and she decided to act before that happened.
"How about two versus one? It seems like you are better than Yi thought you were. It might be unfair, so only if you..." "Sure, why not. It will be actually easier for me this way." Yu approached them with a proposal and before she could even finish persuading him, Xuefeng gladly accepted.
He was much more used to fighting versus multiple opponents at the same time and he actually felt weird if there was only one. When Yu heard Xuefeng's confidence, it caused her nerves to pulsate. Even if they had the rank of servants, they were the servants of the Young Princess from the greatest family in this world. It wouldn't be hard to at least show some respect.
Xuefeng grew up in a small country and they had the best teachers in the world. It would really be shameful to lose two versus one against him. In the end, she hid those emotions skillfully.
"We will see about that," Yu said, pulling out her own practise sword which was basically the same but had a lot of elegant carving designs on its blade. It looked more like a piece of art than a sword.
"Come at me together." Xuefeng smiled and invited them into a fight as he picked a short guard stance.
Green-eyed Yu glanced at her sister who nodded and they launched towards Xuefeng from two different directions. They looked like they had practised this move together many times as it had a complete synergy and Xuefeng would have to face two attacks at the same time. He certainly couldn't block two simultaneously.
Xuefeng grinned seeing them approaching him like this. This was exactly what he wanted.
He suspected that it was Yi who was more skilled of the sisters as she was the only one giving him bits of advice when he was practising with Tianshi earlier. Having that in mind, He waited for the best moment and quickly turned towards Yu.
Moving two steps towards her, he met her incoming blade which he pushed away skillfully before repeating the previous tactic he used on Yi. Holding the sword with one hand, he grabbed her by the hand and this time used more energy, throwing her towards her sister.
There was no way Yi would dodge her sister's flying body, so she only made sure her blade wouldn't hit her. They both hit each other and fell to the ground entangled in each other.
"Slap, slap. I win." Xuefeng walked towards her and slapped their butts with the side of his blade and declared his win. He approached Tianshi who was jumping excitedly on the side and picked her up.
"You know what time is it?" He asked with a lewd smile.
"What time is it?" Tianshi asked without thinking, still happy from Xuefeng's victory.
"It is bath time!" Xuefeng exclaimed happily, before walking towards his room.
"Xuefeng, wait..." Tianshi finally realised what he meant and blushed, trying to stop him but there was nothing that could stop him from claiming his reward.