Chapter 7: The Divine Horizon Hands
Yi Ping had run outside the town. He struggled with his injuries till he got out of town. He knew that he was being pursued but his pursuer did not seem to be in a hurry.
He sat down to recuperate and waited for his pursuer to appear.
Sure enough, a monk appeared in the horizon.
Yi Ping hummed coldly, “You have come.”
Jue Yuan laughed, “Yes, I have come. It seems that you been expecting me.”
Yi Ping said, “We are now in an isolated place. This place is the perfect place for you to kill me.”
Jue Yuan laughed, “Indeed! I, Jue Yuan the merciless, will send you to the heavens today!”
Yi Ping said coldly, “What a name! And I thought that a monk is someone merciful!”
Jue Yuan said proudly, “Not me. To be merciful to the enemy is to be merciless to ourselves, am I right to say so?”
Yi Ping replied, “Indeed.”
He added, “I will never think that the Gongsun Jing the Benevolent will be someone who is malicious to a stranger.”
Jue Yuan said, “You have made two mistakes. Firstly, you have rejected the friendship of our Young Master Gongsun and secondly you are the protégé of Qiao Feng the Shadow Kicker. Any of these deserves the death penalty, don’t you think so?”
Yi Ping got up and drawn his long sword, “So this is martial fraternity justice! Those who are not on your side are your enemy! What a joke! Even a nameless nobody like me deserve to have the great monk Jue Yuan to dirty his hands!”
Jue Yuan laughed as he rubbed his prayer beads that were in his hands, “You are not a nameless fellow. The fact that you can withstand a blow from Gu Tianle and still survives proves that. Even if you are not a threat now, you will be one in the future when my Young Master Gongsun wants to unite the martial fraternity.”
All of a sudden, Jue Yuan broke his prayer beads and each of the beads sped towards Yi Ping with tremendous speed and force!
Yi Ping was surprised and he quickly raised his sword in defense.
But the weirdest thing happened. All twenty of the prayer beads fell onto the ground right in front of Yi Ping as though it had all struck an invisible barrier!
Both Yi Ping and Jue Yuan were surprised!
Jue Yuan was dumbfounded. He was famous for his killing prayer bead projectiles. At this distance, no one could ever dodge all twenty of his prayer bead projectiles.
To suppose that this injured young man with his current martial level could do so was highly improbable. Moreover, this young man had not even begun attempting. His prayer beads seemed to strike an invisible wall!
“A monk bullying a wounded man and attempting to kill him, this is humph interesting…”
Yi Ping and Jue Yuan looked up and saw a young maiden with black flowing hair sitting on top of a tree branch. It was not her exquisite beauty that caused them to hold their breath even though her beauty was impossible to describe and her looks was peerless! The fact that someone could move within their sight and yet they were not aware was simply too extraordinary!
Yi Ping heart was pounding fast. At first he had thought she was Shui Yixian but when he looked carefully, he realized his mistake. Both of them shared the same unparalleled beauty and were extremely beholden to gaze upon!
Yi Ping heart sunk immediately in disappointment.
The extraordinary beautiful maiden jumped onto the ground. Her descend was unhurried and she landed on the tips of the grass gently.
She said, “I didn’t want to interfere in your affairs but the conversation is too much for me to bear.”
Jue Yuan could not believe his eyes. This ‘Tipping on Grass’ like the ‘Walking on Grass’ was the highest epitome of any levitation skills. That she was just hovering on the tip of the grass spoke volumes of her breathing technique and martial progression. He simply could not believe that this young maiden would be capable of such a feat!
Jue Yuan asked, “Who are you?”
The extraordinary beautiful maiden said coldly, “It seems that you are not only a merciless monk but also a lecherous monk. Not only a lecherous monk but a shameless monk to ask a maiden her name in broad daylight!”
She did not mince her words at all. This instantly angered Jue Yuan.
Jue Yuan angrily said, “No matter. I know who you are soon!” He unleashed his Triple Merciless Palms at the young maiden!
Jue Yuan was famed for his deadly Triple Merciless Palms and had killed countless number of pugilists.
Yi Ping warned the maiden, “Be careful, maiden…”
She had interfered because of him and he did not want anything to happen to her.
The Triple Merciless Palms were indeed extraordinary and deadly. No wonder it was ranked so highly in the martial fraternity! The extraordinary beautiful maiden was taken by surprise as she barely avoided the first three strokes of the Triple Merciless Palms.
Jue Yuan was surprised as well. He had never seen anyone evading the likes of her before. When he attacked with the Forceful Bale Stroke from the Triple Merciless Skill as he charged, it could be followed by any strokes. This forces his opponent with no other choices but to fight him in close quarter.
This caused him to waste his ingenious stroke and to end the combat quickly.
Jue Yuan however, did not hesitate at all and rained down blows after blows on her.
The extraordinary beautiful maiden displayed a variety of martial strokes to counter his blows. Therefore, Jue Yuan was not able to guess her martial origins. It seemed that she was intentionally hiding it.
He wryly mocked, “It seems that you are intentionally hiding your martial origin. Even if you are a charming lady, you will soon learn that I, Jue Yuan am like no others before you. That is why I am known as the merciless monk!”
And he increased his strength and the martial power of his palms. “I will take you down in under thirty moves! I like to see if you are still able to hide your martial origin!”
The extraordinary beautiful maiden was aware that Jue Yuan meant what he had said. All of a sudden, there was a sudden shriek and her smooth silken right hand was imbued with an extraordinary force that projected a mighty tremendous force onto Jue Yuan!
Jue Yuan was struck by that mighty projected force and was flung backward!
Even Yi Ping was exclaiming aloud, “What an extraordinary martial skill!”
It was because projected force would get weaker away as the distance increases. But this extraordinary palm technique extended the projected force of the palm by a short distance. Even though the projected distance of this palm technique was extremely short, it was this aspect that was truthfully frightening! Normal pugilists could not block against it and this palm technique could also weaken the strength of the opponent before a clash.
As Yi Ping was standing behind the extraordinary beautiful maiden, he could see that she had withdrawn her right hand to her back and her fingers were trembling!
Jue Yuan could not believe what he had just seen. He shouted madly as he escaped, “The Divine Horizon Hands, the Divine Horizon Hands! That is impossible!”
It seemed that Jue Yuan was not seriously injured by the projected force. Rather, he was more afraid of this palm skill.
The extraordinary beauty did not give chase as she heaved a sigh of relief, “Whew. Lucky! I don’t know how to handle him if he is to persist further.”
Yi Ping was looking intently at her.
The extraordinary beautiful maiden said, “Hmph! Instead of thanking me, you stared at me. You should at least tell me your name, yes no?”
Yi Ping shook his head and muttered, “You are not her…”
This puzzled the extraordinary beautiful maiden, “I am not her?”
The extraordinary beautiful maiden was none the pleased and it was all written in her expressions and Yi Ping could keenly feel it. She looked intently at Yi Ping. Wordlessly, it seemed that she was warning him not to compare her with other maidens.
Yi Ping said, “I am looking for someone. Sorry I am just muttering. I am Yi Ping. I am grateful to you, maiden. How do I address you maiden?”
The extraordinary beautiful maiden smiled, “You are in luck today. It is because I have decided to tell you my name. My name is Ji Lingfeng.”
Yi Ping said, “Maiden Ji, I will repay you in the future.”
Ji Lingfeng asked, “It seems that you have some issues with that monk. Why is he after you?”
Yi Ping shook his head, “I am not really sure. I was drinking in town when Gongsun Jing, Gu Tianle and Jue Yuan approach me suddenly…”
He began to relate the day happenings to her.
Ji Lingfeng smiled, “It is well known that Gu Tianle had a blood feud with the Shadow Kicker and the Lightning God for the loss of his left arm. Why did they accuse you? Is there really no relationship between Qiao Feng and you?”
Yi Ping said, “We duel at the peak of the Heavenly Mountains some time ago. I just unconsciously pick up his kicking style. I really do not know any Shadow Kick Skill…”
Maiden Ji said doubtfully, “That is amazing, isn’t it?”
All of a sudden, Yi Ping stepped forward and displayed the strokes that she had displayed in the duel with Jue Yuan and even the Triple Merciless Palms!
Ji Lingfeng gasped and was amazed, “You can really remember every detail of the fight vividly! I thought that only happens when top exponents reached the level of ‘Martial Unifying’. At that level, they would be able to display any martial strokes that they had seen or observed with the martial unifying principle. But that won’t happen to someone as young as you. Mere copying is useless I must warn you first and there will be too many openings for your opponent to exploit.”
Ji Lingfeng did not know that Yi Ping had indeed reached the ‘Martial Unifying Level’. Any martial skills that he had picked up after he had observed for a time were not mere copying and in actual combat, he was also able to improvise and grasp the martial principles fairly quickly as though he had actually practiced the martial art for years.
But for now, Yi Ping was really merely replicating what he saw without polishing it as he had no flexible opponents to practice upon. He did not know that the Triple Merciless Palms that he had observed would be able to aid him tremendous in the future as he had observed sufficient strokes from it to grasp some of its principles.
However, he could not grasp Ji Lingfeng martial skills as she was using a mixture of strokes from different clans and sects.
She laughed, “I better remember to get away from you when I am using my secret techniques. You must know that pugilists in the martial fraternity are hostile to people that steals their martial skills. Therefore even if you can remember all their strokes and moves, you must not display it. This is for your own good! That is why top exponents always duel in a secret place, away from prying eyes. Those who are extremely proficiency in martial arts are able to remember their secret skills or use it to their own advantage. “
She added, “The advantage lies in seeing and learning; not recklessly displaying any half-pick skills. You got to have your own set of martial skills so that you will appear to be unfathomable and able to continuously improve your own skills. Only then can you be a true master.”
She said, “That is why the seven major orthodox clans have existed for hundreds of years. They are not afraid of the pugilists attempting to steal their skills. But rather, their martial skills lie in continuous refining and improving to reach the epitome. The changes, the flexibility and the complexity of their martial skills caused their clan skills to withstand the test of time. ”
“Even though their skills can be identified quickly and their strokes may be a common knowledge, countering it is a totally different matter. Because they know others know their strokes’ weakness, they are able to react with even more unfathomable changes to your counter.”
When Ji Lingfeng saw his despondent look, she changed her tune and encouraged him, “Martial foundation can be built. One day, you may be able to defeat Jue Yuan. Even I am not his match. Sometimes we got to use our wits.”
Yi Ping was astonished that a young maiden that was younger than him would know so much. He was suddenly enlightened and bowed respectfully to her, “Maiden, your advice is golden and I am forever grateful!”
When Ji Lingfeng saw his grateful eyes, she was delighted.
Ji Lingfeng smiled, “You…you did not bow to me when I save your life. When I am merely imparting to you about the common taboo of the martial fraternity, you give me a bow. You are indeed strange!”
Yi Ping said, “I have longed to look for a good martial master but I am unfortunately not to find any. Just now, when I see the palm technique that Maiden had displayed, I am truly impressed. May I know the name of that palm technique?”
Ji Lingfeng said, “Oh that. I believe it is called the Asper Horizon Hand. That what the old man said. I learnt it a few days ago when I am passing through a valley. He took the wine that I have on me and insist on repaying me by teaching me a technique from the Divine Horizon Hands. As the old man had meant me no harm and I got nothing to do anyway, I learnt just one technique from him.”
She added, “This skill is hard to master. It requires a good foundation in internal strength. Just now after I have used it, my blood almost reverse its flow. If Jue Yuan persists in fighting with me, I do not know what will happen next.”
She smiled and blinked her eyes at Yi Ping, “It seems that you are interested to learn the Horizon Hands?”
Yi Ping said earnestly, “Maiden, it is actually as you said. Can you tell me where this Old Senior is? I will like to pay him a visit.”
Ji Lingfeng sighed, “My brother warns me not to meddle in the affairs of the martial fraternity or I get myself into endless trouble. I should really have listened to him…”
Yi Ping asked, “Maiden, will you help me?”
Ji Lingfeng sighed again, “Since I have nothing to do for the next few days, I will help you. But first you have to go to the town first!”
Yi Ping was startled, “Go to the town? What for? Aren’t we going to the valley?”
Ji Lingfeng smiled, “That old man is a weirdo but he likes to drink. If you can go to the town and get some jars of good wine, he may consider accepting you as his disciple!”
Yi Ping said excitedly, “Why didn’t I think of that? Maiden, you are most helpful. Let us go now!”
Ji Lingfeng said, “I will wait for you here.”
Yi Ping was startled, “You are not coming with me?”
Ji Lingfeng smiled, “If I go into that town, very soon, everyone will be after you and me. Therefore it is better for me to be staying put.”
Yi Ping asked, “You have enemies in the town?”
Ji Lingfeng sighed, “Do you think that a beautiful lady like me will go unnoticed in the town? Very soon, Gongsun Jing’s men will know our every single movement. You have better leave your sword with me too. Their eyes and ears will be after someone with a white precious sword.”
Yi Ping was startled.
What she had said made sense. What astonished Yi Ping was that she was able to calmly analyze the situation and advise him.
He handed his sword to her, “Maiden, wait for me. I will be back in a short while!”
Ji Lingfeng asked, “This sword has an inscription onto it, the ‘White Phoenix’ and an ‘Emerald’ inscription. Is this long sword from the Eternal Ice Palace?”
Yi Ping said, “That is right. I have picked this sword from the Eternal Ice Palace.”
Ji Lingfeng laughed softly, “This is a precious sword that is only used by the leadership of the Eternal Ice Palace. It is amazing how you can obtain this sword unscathed. Does it mean that it is unsafe to travel with you? I don’t want to antagonize those bitches from the Eternal Ice Palace. “
Yi Ping said, “Maiden, don’t you worry. I am assured you that no one will be after this sword for a long time!”
Ji Lingfeng asked, “Hmph, you can assure of it?”
Yi Ping had already started running as he shouted in the distance, “I will explain to you when I am back!”
Ji Lingfeng laughed captivating, “Hey! Don’t exert yourself and run so fast. You…have not recovered from your injuries yet!”