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Fragrance in the Sea of Blood Chapter 12

CSI

Chapter 12 – Walking Alone In Wulin

The youngster in black stood woodenly for half a day. Suddenly he brandished his long whip toward the people standing on both sides, mindlessly lashing the whip on them.

In an instant more than a dozen of people were hit black and blue; they cried in alarm and bolted toward the door to escape. The youth in black kept lashing the whip in his hand and spoke sternly, “Get lost! All of you, get lost! Not a single one is allowed to remain here!”

The main hall was in a great mess, several girls were crushed by the mob and fell down to the floor, and were forced to crawl out. Leng Qiuhun’s countenance changed, he spoke furiously, “These people did not provoke you, why do you take your anger on them …”

He had not finished speaking, a trace of blood appeared on his cheek.

The youngster in black scolded, “You, get the hell out of here, quickly get lost!”

Drops of blood fell from Leng Qiuhun’s face, but he did not even wipe it off, he simply stared at the youth in black with cold and threatening gaze. He laughed coldly and said, “If you are unwilling to admit defeat in front of others, naturally I can go out, but …”

‘Chi!’ his face suffered another lash of the whip.

But he still standing, unmoving, as he continued slowly, “But you must remember, these three lashes, there will be a day Ol’ Leng will return to you, double the amount.”

The youngster in black’s whip flew out again, while he shouted, “Four lashes!”

Leng Qiuhun stomped his feet, clenched his teeth, and walked away.

By this time the originally packed hall was empty. But the youngster in black did not seem to vent his anger enough, he lashed his whip toward the calligraphy and paintings hanging on four walls, smashing all of them.

Leaning against a table, Chu Liuxiang simply looked at him with a smile on his face; he spoke leisurely, “By now everybody has already left, is Sire ready to admit defeat?”

The long whip in the youngster in black’s hand slowly fell. Chu Liuxiang did not look at his face, he only saw that the youngster’s shoulders were moving up and down, but the movement gradually subsided. Finally he spoke in heavy voice, “What do you want to ask? Speak up!”

Chu Liuxiang pondered quietly, and then said, “Before your esteemed father entered the pass, he received a letter. I wonder if you saw it? Do you know what’s in the letter?”

The youngster in black turned around abruptly, his deep and penetrating gaze was staring fixedly at Chu Liuxiang; he spoke sternly, “How do you know who my Diedie [pronounced dee-eh, Dad/Papa] is? How do you know he already entered the pass? And how do you know that before entering the pass he received a letter?”

Chu Liuxiang chuckled and said, “Don’t you forget, this moment it is still me who is asking you.”

The youngster in black said, “You already asked your questions, now it’s my turn to ask you.”

“My questions,” Chu Liuxiang said, “You have not answered, how could you ask me questions?”

The youngster in black coldly said, “I only agreed to let you ask me a few questions, I never said that I will answer your questions.”

Chu Liuxiang was stunned. Laughing in spite of himself, he said, “I always wanted to see who the most unreasonable person in the world is, today I finally see it.”

The youngster in black said, “Your questions have already been asked, you might as well take the jade annulus, that man surnamed Leng, you already let him go, the bet between you and me is already fulfilled. Now, you should answer my questions.”

His sentences were joined together like a string of pearls, quick and urgent, as if he already planned it well. Chu Liuxiang really did not think that this cold and detached, haughty youngster, unexpectedly was also this crafty; he could not help smiling wryly. “If I don’t answer?” he asked.

The youngster in black’s response was only one word, “Dead!”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “And if I am unwilling to die?”

This remark was indeed the most clever response in the world. Since he was little until now, the youngster in black has never seen anybody dealing with him using such approach.

Sparks suddenly burst out of his chilling cold eyes; speaking hoarsely, he said, “You don’t die, I die!”

When the word ‘die’ came out of his mouth, the long whip already rolled out.

His long whip seemed to turn into countless circles, each circle seemed to loop around Chu Liuxiang’s throat.

Actually, not a single circle would be able to hit its target.

Like a light smoke Chu Liuxiang moved behind the youngster in black’s back; he laughed and said, “And if I don’t let you die?”

The youngster in black’s left hand pulled his cloak, like a black cloud the black cloak pressed down on Chu Liuxiang. Within the black cloud, unexpectedly there were seven-point cold star!

Unexpectedly he seemed to be really angry, he moved without showing any mercy. As his left hand was pulling the cloak, he also seized the opportunity to shoot the ‘seven-star needle’ hidden inside his sleeve!

This move, ‘Star Flying From The Bottom Of The Cloud’ was actually the consummate skill of the ‘Divine Dragon of the Great Desert’, with which he crisscrossed the world unhindered in the years past, countless Wulin’s martial art masters had died under this move.

Chu Liuxiang had never expected that he still possessed such a vicious martial art; he only felt his eyes darkened, while the sharp sound of secret projectile splitting the air was piercing his chest.

If he wanted to dodge, definitely there would not be enough time. His chest and abdomen suddenly contracted, unexpectedly his body bent backward like a crossbow.

The seven-point cold star was shooting like lightning, but Chu Liuxiang’s retreat was unexpectedly faster than the secret projectile. By the time he retreated to the corner, the secret projectile’s momentum has weakened; it gradually slowed down.

Chu Liuxiang suddenly reached out. Like catching mosquitoes he caught all the seven-star cold stars in his hand.

All of a sudden the youngster in black was overwhelmed with emotion. “Such a fast shenfa,” he blurted out, “Such a superior ‘distinguishing light catching shadow’ skill.”

Amidst his shout, the whip lashed seven more times!

Other people’s whip technique might be like a gale or a shower, but his whip technique was like layer upon layer, thick, dense clouds, where the rain could not penetrate, the wind could not blow away.

Other people’s whip might sweep across or strike straight, but his whip rolled around, big circles encasing smaller circles, within the small circles there were even smaller circles, outside the large circles there were even bigger circles.

As far as the eye could see, there were large and small circles, hundreds and thousands of circles; some circles encircled the hand, some circles encircled the head. For ordinary people, before they even fought with him, perhaps they would be dizzy just by looking at these circles.

Even Chu Liuxiang has never seen this kind of whip technique; he knew that if he was caught within the circle, it would not be a fun thing.

But all these countless large and small circles, each one did not look much, nobody would be able to see which circle was real, which circle was just a shadow.

The circles, which were hard to tell if it was real or not, were coming one after another, as fast as lightning. Dodging them would not be easy, breaking their strikes was even more difficult than ascending into the heavens.

While evading, Chu Liuxiang turned his mind around; suddenly he saw on the gambling table on the other side was a bamboo tube, with the ‘zhuangyuan[1] red’ bamboo sticks[2].

He soared and flew across the four-zhang distance, and grabbed a bamboo tube in his hand. Waiting for the whip to catch up, he suddenly threw a bamboo stick into the whip circle.

A ‘crack!’ was heard, the long whip slowed down, it broke the bamboo stick into two!

After the long whip rolled around and broke the bamboo stick, the circles disappeared, but the youth in black flicked his wrist, countless circles reappeared.

Circle after circle of whip came, bamboo sticks also flew out of Chu Liuxiang’s hand one by one, each one accurately entered a whip circle.

A series of ‘Crack! Crack! Pop! Pop!’ like a string of firecrackers was heard, and the circles disappeared one after another, but the bamboo sticks were also broken one after another.

The sound was very pleasant to hear, the situation was ever more pleasant to watch. While admittedly the youth in black’s whip technique was walking alone in Wulin [fig. unrivalled/outstanding], Chu Liuxiang’s countermeasure was even more amazing, unrivalled in the world.

It should be noted that after the whip formed a circle, it stored up a potential energy, ready to be released. As soon as it made contact with an external force, the stored-up energy did not have any other way to go except to be released.

Therefore, as soon as the bamboo stick entered the circle, the whip simply had to released its potential energy to break it. As the bamboo stick was twisted and broke, the energy dissipated, the circle also had no choice but to disappear.

Although it was such a simple logic, but in the face of the enemy in a hard battle, where the fire was hot and the tension running high, coming out with this simple logic was definitely not an easy matter.

Chu Liuxiang was precisely an unrivalled genius in the study of martial art; not only he was able to master martial art as soon as he learned it, he would master it in perfection. Furthermore, his quick-witted in facing the enemy and in meeting contingency also surpassed average people.

There were a lot of martial art that he clearly did not have the ability to break, but when he really had to fight, in a split second he would be able to come out with a way to break it.

Therefore, there were many martial art masters who were stronger than him, but when they really fought, these masters would be defeated by him. Although the defeat could not be logically explained, but the more it was an unfathomable mystery, the more it was readily accepted. Such was the weakness of human heart.

With his ‘flying loops lassoing the moon, traveling clouds spreading the rain’, the youth in black was able to crisscross the great desert unhindered, he had never met an adversary; unexpectedly today he came across such an unusual, peculiar technique to break it.

Inwardly he could not help getting anxious; the whip was moving faster, producing even more circles. But the more circles the whip produced, the faster the bamboo sticks were coming. Very soon the tube in Chu Liuxiang’s hand would run out of ‘zhuangyuan red’ bamboo sticks.

The youth in black was greatly delighted; he thought, “When you run out of the bamboo stick, what are you going to do?”

As soon as he had that thought, he saw that after throwing the bamboo stick in his right hand, while the long whip broke the bamboo stick, the circle disappeared, the whip momentum naturally slowed down somewhat, Chu Liuxiang unexpectedly seized the opportunity while the whip momentum was slowing down, using the ‘splitting light to catch a shadow’, to grab the broken bamboo sticks into his hands. Thereupon one bamboo stick has now become two.

The youth in black was both anxious and angry; the circles suddenly moved left and right, forward and backward, randomly, even more unpredictable than before. Sometimes he even feigned a move, the whip circle was not directed at Chu Liuxiang at all.

But regardless of what strange angle or weird direction the whip was moving, Chu Liuxiang only needed to move his hand, and the bamboo stick always fell in the middle of the circle.

Clearly the youngster in black was born with unyielding temperament. The more brilliant the opponent’s technique, the more he wanted to fight to the end; unexpectedly he refused to change his whip technique.

Later on Chu Liuxiang could not help laughing, “Haven’t you made enough circles already?” he asked.

Clenching his teeth, the youth in black replied, “It’s never enough.”

“How long are you going to keep making the circles?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

“Until you are dead,” the youth in black replied.

“And if I never died?” Chu Liuxiang asked.

“Then I’ll continue making circles forever,” the youth in black replied.

Chu Liuxiang was stunned; he blurted laughing and said, “Sire’s temperament does not differ much from an ox’s.”

The youth in black said, “If you get impatient, you will die immediately.”

Chu Liuxiang laughed heartily and said, “Wonderful! Extremely wonderful! Your way of speaking is really too wonderful for words, even I …”

While they were speaking, the circles kept coming unceasingly, bamboo sticks also kept flying.

Speaking to this point, the remaining a dozen or so bamboo sticks in Chu Liuxiang’s hand suddenly flew at the same time, yet unexpectedly not a single one entered the circles.

When martial art masters fought, how could they tolerate the slightest mistake?

The youth in black was greatly delighted; the long whip looped around Chu Liuxiang’s neck, the tip of the whip curled back, ‘slap!’, it left a trace of blood on Chu Liuxiang’s cheek.

Although defeated, Chu Liuxiang did not panic; his body suddenly twisted around like a snake or a scorpion, and broke away from the whip’s lasso. Bending his body backward, he dodged straight back and retreated to the corner.

The youth in black laughed coldly and said, “You still think you can escape?”

His move succeeded, how could he be willing to show mercy? The whip revolved and rolled out.

Just then, suddenly he saw a streak of sword light flashing in from outside the window.

The long whip has been turned into a circle, he could not even see the tip of the whip, but the sword came accurately, it struck right at the tip of the whip. The long whip’s power dissipated, it immediately went limp.

The long whip was like a snake, unexpectedly the sword struck the snake’s seven cun.

The youth in black was shocked and angered at the same time, “Who is it?” he shouted.

His shout still lingered in the air, a shadow flew in through the window, straight in front of him.

The man was dressed in black, tight against his slim, yet tough and durable-looking body, like a panther that has just sprang out from the jungle, his body was brimming with danger, his body was brimming with strength.

But his face was deadly gray, completely devoid of any emotion.

When his pair of sharp eyes coldly stared at you, no matter who you are, in his eyes you are no more than a dead fish, which he had to slaughter.

Although the youth in black did not know that this man was the number one assassin in Central Plains, ‘One Red Dot’, but under his stare, he felt his body became uncomfortable, and could not return his gaze. Turning his eyes toward Chu Liuxiang, he laughed coldly and said, “Turns out you already prepared a helper.”

Chu Liuxiang stroked the whip scar on his cheek; he smiled, but did not say anything.

The youth in black went on, “Calling for help after being defeated, could it be that Central Plains’ Wulin is just like that?”

Suddenly Yitian Hong spoke coldly, “You think he was defeated?”

Throwing his head back, the youth in black said, “It wasn’t me who suffered under the whip!”

Yitian Hong cast him another glance, an expression of disdain appeared across his face. Suddenly he walked over, using the long sword in his hand he stirred up the bamboo sticks scattered around the floor.

The youth in black did not know what kind of deceitful trick he was going to do, he laughed coldly and said, “You are thinking of using the same trick as he did?”

Yitian Hong said with a sneer, “Why don’t you take a look first before speaking?”

His long sword shook out, the bamboo sticks flew, but the momentum was not fast at all.

The youth in black could not help catching it in his hand, and saw that the bamboo stick was still a bamboo stick, but there was a black, flickering cold star embedded on each stick.

Yitian Hong coldly said, “If it were not for the man who suffered under the whip, do you think you are still alive now?”

Emotionally moved, the youth in black said, “You … you are saying in order to save me, he …”

Yitian Hong cut him off sternly, “If it wasn’t because he was shooting down these secret projectiles, you can forget about touching the corner of his clothes even the slightest.”

The youth in black’s body shook, the bamboo sticks in his hand clattered down to the floor, his face alternated between green and red, his eyes slowly turned toward Chu Liuxiang, as he spoke in trembling voice, “You … just now, why … why didn’t you say so?”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Perhaps those secret projectiles were not directed to you.”

The youth in black said, “The secret projectiles came from behind me, of course the target was me.”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “Suffering under your whip is not a big deal, why would I even bother to speak up and thus let you feel uncomfortable.”

The youth in black stood quietly, unexpectedly there seemed to be tears in his big eyes, only he was fighting hard not to let the tears fall down.

Chu Liuxiang deliberately turned his eyes off him, and said with a laugh, “Hong Xiong, the person who plotted against us, did you happen to see who that was?”

Yitian Hong coldly said, “If I did, would I let him go?”

Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “I also know that this person’s movements are indeed like a ghost’s, but I still cannot figure out who he is. In Central Plains’ Wulin, martial art masters like him are really not many.”

The youth in black suddenly shouted, “I know who that is.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Chu Liuxiang calmly said, “You do? Who is it?”

The youth in black did not answer, but he took out a letter from his pocket and said, “This is the letter you wanted to see, take it!”

Greatly delighted, Chu Liuxiang said, “Thank you, thank you.”

Yet the youth in black put the letter on the table. Without looking back, he turned around and walked toward the door with his head hung low, a drop of tear fell to the floor.

Chu Liuxiang has been pondering by day and thinking by night, tossing and turning restlessly, yet the letter, which he sought but failed to get, this moment it was finally in front of him. He really could not contain the delight in his heart.

But just as he was about to take the letter, suddenly a sword flashed and the letter was picked up.

Chu Liuxiang could not refrain his countenance from changing; smiling wryly, he said, “Hong Xiong, is this a joke?”

Yitian Hong took the letter from the tip of his sword, and spoke coldly, “If you want this letter, you have to subdue my sword first.”

Chu Liuxiang sighed and said, “I already told you, I do not wish to fight with you, why even bother to force me?”

Yitian Hong said, “You can fight with that youngster, why can’t you fight with me?”

Chu Liuxiang thought for a moment and replied, “If you must fight, how about letting me see the letter first?”

Yitian Hong coldly said, “After we fight, if I die, you can take this letter. If you die, this letter will definitely accompany you as sacrificial grave offering.”

Smiling bitterly, Chu Liuxiang said, “A bullheaded teenager has just walked out, unexpectedly someone more stubborn than an ox came in.”

Suddenly he flew; his left hand covered Yitian Hong’s eyes, his right hand snatched the letter.

Yitian Hong made a half turn, he stabbed backhandedly three times.

Chu Liuxiang lowered his head, unexpectedly he escaped under the sword flash, while his left elbow struck Yitian Hong’s flank, his right hand was still moving to snatch the letter away.

The way he seized the opportunity to advance, his risky shenfa, his swift technique, it was indeed indescribable.

Suddenly encountering a powerful opponent, Yitian Hong’s spirit was greatly aroused; his sword moved even faster, even more ruthless.

The sword light was flashing, one sword seemed to become ten swords, a hundred swords, and each sword was never a cun away from Chu Liuxiang’s throat, each sword strike was meant to kill.

Chu Liuxiang moved like the wind, but his intention was just to take the letter.

Yitian Hong knitted his brows, unexpectedly he wanted to hide the letter in his bosom.

His jacket was open to the right, so using his left hand, he wanted to put the letter into his right lapel. This way, the sword in his right hand was affected, albeit so slightly; the tight sword momentum opened up.

Chu Liuxiang’s entire body suddenly entered in, his left hand sealed the path of Yitian Hong’s sword, his right hand fastened the wrist of Yitian Hong’s hand holding the letter. In a split second he had used seven different moves.

His right hand was sealed, Yitian Hong stepped back repeatedly; but like a maggot attached to his bones, Chu Liuxiang stuck close to him. His left wrist went numb, since Chu Liuxiang gripped the artery on his wrist.

While in his delight Chu Liuxiang was about to snatch the letter, Yitian Hong suddenly flicked his finger, unexpectedly the letter flew straight out.

This change was completely beyond Chu Liuxiang’s expectation. He turned and jumped, his hand reached out, but Yitian Hong’s sword light flew out …

The sword light was, after all, faster than a person. The letter was pricked by the tip of the sword.

Yitian Hong was about to pull the sword back to take the letter down, unexpectedly Chu Liuxiang made a somersault in the air, suddenly both hands clapped, the letter, along with the tip of the sword, was caught between his palms.

This change was even more amazing.

Yitian Hong’s sword changed seven times in succession, Chu Liuxiang’s shenfa also changed seven times in succession. His entire body was fluttering, following the movement of the sword, as if the sword was carrying him around.

But this moment, he really did not dare to take the letter, just because as soon as his hands relaxed, perhaps the sword blade, which was faster than lightning, would immediately pierce his chest.

Yitian Hong’s body flashed, but no matter how he moved, he could not throw Chu Liuxiang away. He only felt that the sword was becoming heavier and heavier, his brow was beaded with sweat, rolling down his face.

Until finally he was unable to move the sword anymore, and could only hold it in the air. Chu Liuxiang’s body seemed to have weighed a thousand catties, pressing on him straight down.

[1] Zhuangyuan is top scorer in the palace examination (highest rank of the Imperial examination system), or the most brilliantly talented person in the field.

[2] Inscribed bamboo stick, used in divination, gambling, drawing lots, etc.

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