Li Tingzhu couldnt explain why he was a different man when he fought, though his father might have a good guess. The moment he picked up the sword in Broken Sword Imperial Tomb, he entered a different mode with tunnel vision on polishing his skills.
Li Tingzhu returned to his feet, spitting qi from his sword. “I shall make my move.”
It was wise of Li Tingzhu to not give Ming Suwen time to recover or think when she clearly wasnt prepared.
Over the last three hundred years, Li Clans descendants had been mending and refining their clans original swordplay. War gave birth to their “Seventy-Two Intense Techniques”, and Li Tingzhu inherited them from Broken Sword Imperial Tomb.
“Swordplay has been my calling. When a life is on the line, I do not hold back. Take care!”
Fighting him with Daluos Five Divine Styles Manual… isnt enough.
Ming Suwen surrendered her ground, but Li Tingzhu didnt stop.
If I use strategy, Ill have to kill…
Ming Suwen stepped and slipped a strike.
Guess that means… Ill have to get a little serious.
Ming Suwen gave each strike the slip, only moving just enough to avoid getting caught, generating the illusion that she was moving in slow motion, while he had his foot all the way down.
“Defence cannot win against offence!” Li Tingzhu started emphasising explosiveness, using his internal energy to confine Ming Suwens area of freedom. As a result, her movements turned sluggish. He repeated the process until he spotted an opening at her abdomen, tagging her once and then using the recoil for a faster second stab to the same spot. “I told you that your Shadow Clone wont work again!”
Based on what he saw before, Li Tingzhu worked out he only had to send attacks to where she would move to. Thus, he withheld on the feign designed to force her to move and then amped up his second strike as the finishing blow.
Despite getting stung on her obliques, Ming Suwen cracked a smile. “You sure… you know what Shadow Clone is”
Li Tingzhus knack for martial arts, attention to them and the support of Fragmented Heart equipped him with the ability to analyse techniques on a deep level. When it came to Shadow Clone, though, Ming Feizhen hadnt fully grasped it, let alone Li Tingzhu.
How do people create two clones Shes creating an illusion. When she uses the technique again, Ill attack both simultaneously.
Li Tingzhu got into position but then was stumped.
“If you do, you should know there isnt just one.”
The five Ming Suwens before Li Tingzhu didnt sustain their form for long, gradually returning to one body. He observed the five as carefully as he could, yet he couldnt tell where her real body was.
“This is Night Net Sacred Treasures Shadow Clone. Until now, Ive yet to come across anyone who can distinguish between reality and illusion. Dont claim you know something without using your brain first.”
Crack! Crack! Crack!
Li Tingzhu couldnt react in time to Ming Suwen chopping his bamboo sword up into short fragments. When she stepped past his attack, she wrecked his weapon at the same time. Had she targeted his accupoint, he wouldve been tagged - under the condition she meant to kill him. Else, he wouldve been able to get away.
“Done. Fights over.” Ming Suwen stretched out at her own pace. “Its been a long time since Ive had to chance to brush the rust off. That was fun.”
“W-wait! Its not over! How is it over!”
“You want to continue when your weapon is broken” Ming Suwen shook her head. “What an embarrassment to gentlemen.”
“I still have plenty of moves. I couldnt use them because the bamboo cant hold up. How can you declare your victory”
“Youre the one who insisted on not using his sword. Did I blackmail you”
“I… I… Although thats true, youre a palm styles user, while I need a sword to demonstrate my full capacity.”
Chu Yinghua insulted, “And you call yourself a man. Youre the one who refused to use his sword, and now youre throwing a tantrum about it. What was the point of the match if youre just going to talk your way out!”
Ming Suwen added, “Scumbag being true to himself. What do you want, then”
Perhaps his father gave Li Tingzhu the title of Red Prince because he foresaw his sons face could be beet red.
“…Forget it! I will take my loss like a man. I was the one who didnt use Chilin… but we can only call this a draw. Though my weapon broke, I wasnt defeated. I dont have any injuries, so you cant have won me.”
Ming Suwen stroked her chin. “Since you look so pitiful and want to use Chilin so badly, I can let you use it.”
“What… do you mean” Li Tingzhu raised his hope.
“But you have to use your best move.”
Ming Suwen angled her head. “Draws dont exist in my world. If you dont want to lose, Ill give you a chance. Use your sword; however, Ill only accept one exchange. If you dont use your best move, dont blame me.”
“… Youre fine with letting me use my sword against you”
“What Suddenly run out of moves”
“… Ive only shown 10% of my skills thus far.”
“I couldnt care less what percentage youve used or havent. You still have any secret techniques you havent used”
“I do.” Li Tingzhu unsheathed Chilin. “And its a technique thatll teach you what regret is.” As he powered up, he added, “Dont blame me after you lose. As requested, I shall show you the most lethal sword technique.”
Li Tingzhu shut his eyes, then began melding his internal energy and sword qi together. Upon seeing feint dark-green light envelope his body, Chu Yinghua stuttered, “What sorcery is that How come hes glowing”
“Its not sorcery,” Ming Suwen stated. “Its calledQuasi-Divine, a sign of an elite martial artist in this era. He mustve trained really hard to reach that realm at his age. Without Vixen Yu and I, hed likely claim the top spot” - She softened her voice - “and possibly be ranked higher than Shiba…”
Ming Suwen furtively prepared herself as she watched Li Tingzhu gather his strength. Frankly, she was also excited to see the skills hidden away in Broken Sword Imperial Tomb, and she was sure he was the chosen one of this generation based on his proficiency.
“Myriad Sword Prison.”
Ming Suwen imagined innumerable invisible swords pinning down usable true qi in her body. In essence, Li Tingzhu created thin needles out of energy and thrust them into her meridians, interrupting her flow of energy. No matter how she tried to mould internal energy, the energy would cut off once it hit the walls.
“I did tell you that youd regret your decision.” Li Tingzhu raised his sword wreathed in green energy. “Catch!”
I see, I see.
A smile spread across Ming Suwens lips. “Thats not enough to beat me, though.”
Ming Suwen donned white energy much clearer than Li Tingzhus green energy. “Eh” The sudden exclamation as she prepared to counter came out without thought, letting her pleasant surprise and shyness out at the same time.
Li Tingzhu suddenly saw a man appear in front of Ming Suwen as though he spawned out of thin air. The man pulled her into his arms as if they were on a honeymoon and in a world of their own.
This is a duel, you despicable couple!
Li Tingzhu couldnt stop his momentum at this point. Alas, his warning came too late. Upon striking his target, his world was turned on its head. His Fragmented Heart went into overdrive to help him find an explanation for the outcome. The man couldnt have used Shadow Clone as he was unmistakably there, and Li Tingzhu definitely hit something solid. Howbeit, it was too solid to be human. By the time it had dawned on him that the man caught his blade between two fingers, the man was staring down at him vindictively.
Hes right in front of me, yet he sounds like hes speaking to me from kilometres away. Is… he human
“What are you aiming a blade at my young shiyi for”
Every single word the man enunciated sounded as though it entered Li Tingzhus ears slowly so that hed hear clearly. After the last word, Li Tingzhu felt overwhelming pain in his head that put his lights out. When he came to, an entire day had already passed.-