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A Deadly Secret

Chapter 7: Luohua Liushui

Chapter 7: Luohua Liushui

In the middle of the night, Di Yun was suddenly awoken by two taps on the shoulder. The Blood Sabre Elder whispered: “Someone is coming!”

Di Yun was startled but delighted at the same time. He thought: “If someone can come in, that also means we can go out.” Then he asked: “Where are they?”

The Blood Sabre Elder pointed south and replied: “Hide over there and don’t make any noise. Their martial arts are very powerful.” Di Yun listened attentively for anyone approaching but did not hear a sound.

The Blood Sabre Elder held his blood sabre in hand and crouched down, then rushed outside without making a noise. His shadow made a turn on the hillside and disappeared. Di Yun was impressed as he thought: “This person’s martial arts is truly impressive. If Brother Ding was still alive, I wonder who would be better?” As he thought about Ding Dian, he felt the package of ashes on his bosom was still fully intact. Although the valley was extremely cold, when his fingers touched the package of ashes he felt a warm sensation inside.

In the quiet of the night, the sounds of swords clashing were suddenly heard. After two noises, it became silent again. It was silent for a long time before another two clashes were heard. Di Yun guessed that the Blood Sabre Elder was discovered by his opponent and the two were now fighting. Judging by the sound of the sword clashes, his opponent’s martial arts were at least as good as his.

Another four clashes were heard, now even Shui Sheng was awoken by the noise. The view outside the valley was covered in snow as far as the eye could see, shining a tint of silver under the moonlight reflecting the white clouds; it was approaching daybreak. Shui Sheng glanced over at Di Yun and moved her lips as if she had something to say, but she loathed him greatly and thought that he may not answer, so she did not speak out.

The sounds of sword clashes grew louder and more intense. Di Yun and Shui Sheng both raised their heads to follow the direction of the sound. Under the moonlight, two shadows could be seen spiralling around; a sabre and sword collided with intensity in the upper northeast section. The cliff was arduous and steep with a large accumulation of snow, it was difficult to get up there. However, the two fought intensely without stopping in the least, the luminous lustre of the sword and sabre was reflected by the valley as they battled each other on top of the cliff.

Di Yun looked closely at the cliff and saw that the man fighting with the Blood Sabre Elder wore a Taoist garment and wielded a long sword; it was one of the members of Luohua Liushui. Di Yun did not know how this person managed to venture into the valley after the avalanche covered the mountain.

At the same time, Shui Sheng saw the Taoist as well and was overcome with joy. She blurted: “It is Uncle Liu. Uncle Liu Chengfeng is here! Daddy! Daddy! I’m over here!”

Di Yun was taken aback and thought: “The Blood Sabre Elder and this old Taoist are closely matched, it will be hard to say who will come out on top. If her father hears her voice and comes for her, wouldn’t he kill me immediately?” Then he hurriedly said: “Hey, don’t yell! If the avalanche comes down on us again, we will all die!”

Shui Sheng retorted: “I am trying to get you killed along with me.” Then she yelled again: “Daddy! Daddy! I’m over here!”

Di Yun reprimanded: “If the avalanche comes down, your father will die too. You want him to die?”

Shui Sheng realized that what he said was true and did not yell out again, but she thought: “How can my father’s abilities be compared? Anyone who escaped the avalanche would have run home, yet Uncle Liu Chengfeng rushed into the valley. If Uncle Liu is here, then naturally my daddy is here as well. Even if an avalanche comes down, the worst that can happen is that I die, but my father will be unharmed. This old vicious monk is so formidable, if he kills Uncle Liu, I will have to suffer.” Then she yelled again: “Daddy! Daddy! I’m over here!”

Di Yun did not know how to stop her from yelling. He looked up at the Blood Sabre Elder again and saw that he was in a critical moment of battle against the Taoist Liu Chengfeng. The Blood Sabre Elder danced around like a gloomy red magnificence, prancing and spiralling about in the vastness of white snow. Liu Chengfeng did not execute his sword stances with remarkable speed, instead he fought rather cautiously. As these two formidable opponents clashed, Di Yun could not figure out who would be victorious. However, as he heard the constant yell of Shui Sheng for her “daddy” and then switching to yelling for her “Biaoge”, he became distraught with anxiety. He warned: “Little girl, if you don’t shut up, I’m going to cut off your tongue.”

Shui Sheng replied: “I insist on yelling! I insist on yelling!” Then she yelled: “Daddy! Daddy! I’m over here!” But she was afraid that Di Yun would really take action, so she grabbed a large piece of rock in self-defense. After a while, she saw him sit on the ground without saying a word, and suddenly recalled: “This vicious monk had his leg broken by my Biaoge. If the old monk had not rescued him, he would have been killed a long time ago. He can’t even move, what do I have to be afraid of him for?” Then she thought further: “I am really stupid! The old monk is preoccupied in battle, why can’t I just kill the little monk?” Then she raised the large piece of rock over her head and approached Di Yun, intending to smash his head.

Di Yun had no way of resisting and could only roll away, the rock scraped past his face, narrowly missing its target. Shui Sheng saw that she failed in her first attempt and bent over to pick up another piece of rock. This time, she hit her target on the stomach. Di Yun tried to roll away but his broken leg was ineffective; he screeched as he was hit on the calf.

Shui Sheng was delighted and immediately picked up another piece of rock to throw. Di Yun knew that he was powerless to resist her attack and was hit seven or eight times consecutively, how could he keep himself alive? Immediately, he picked up a piece of rock and shouted: “If you hit me again, I’m going to crush you to death first.” But only saw her launch another rock at him and immediately rolled to evade the blow. Then with all his might he threw the rock in hand toward her.

Shui Sheng dodged to the left. The rock flew past her ear and scraped some skin and flesh off her face. She was taken aback and did not dare to hurl another rock at him. She turned around and picked up a twig, then executed a stance of “Push the Boat Along the Current” and aimed to stab at Di Yun’s shoulder. Her sword skills were taught by her family and were somewhat brilliant. Even though she only held a twig in hand, if she were to attack, even if Di Yun was fully recovered, in terms of swordplay, he would not be her match. As he saw the approaching twig he slanted his shoulder to evade the attack, but Shui Sheng had already changed stances and at once his forehead was stabbed.

If it was a real sword, Di Yun would have lost his life right then and there. However, that was after all just a twig, but Di Yun was still in so much pain that his vision was filled with gold stars. Shui Sheng scolded: “You vicious monk has been torturing me this entire time and even wanted to cut off my tongue! Why don’t you cut it off and show me!” She lifted her twig and began smacking him hard on the shoulder and forehead and yelled: “Tell your grand-teacher to come save you! I will kill you, you vicious monk!” As she said this, her attacks became faster and more intense.

Di Yun was powerless to resist and could only shield face with his shoulder. In an instant, he was beaten so badly that it was as if his flesh was lacerated from corporal punishment, blood splattered everywhere. He was both startled and in pain. Then he exerted all his strength to grab the twig and threw it to the side. Shui Sheng was taken aback by this move, but she moved back a few steps and reached behind to grab another twig to attack again.

In the case of such an emergency, Di Yun suddenly recalled the scoundrel technique that country folks would use after losing a fight. He shouted: “Stand there! Move another step and I’ll take off my pants!” With both hands he held onto his pants and made a gesture as if he was about to pull them off.

Shui Sheng was alarmed and immediately turned her head around, both her cheeks flushed red. She thought: “This evil monk is really not above any crime, he is resorting to such a despicable method to humiliate me.”

Di Yun said: “Move away five steps, the farther the better.”

Shui Sheng’s heart was thumping intensely and sure enough, she really did move away five steps. Di Yun was delighted and shouted: “I have taken off my pants. If you still want to hit me, then go ahead!”

Shui Sheng was so shocked that she ran away several dozen feet, her heart beating rapidly. She accidentally stumbled over the slippery ground but hastily got up again and ran. She did not dare to turn around to look and ran all the way to the rear of the hillside.

Di Yun did not actually take off his pants. He thought it was funny but also sighed at his own misfortune. To be still alive yet still suffering beatings, he was hit 30 or 40 times and his calf was also smashed by the rock, causing him excruciating pain. He thought: “Had I not resorted to this tactic, I would have most likely been killed already. I Di Yun could be considered a gentleman, yet today I have to resort to such despicable means. Ai, I am really unfortunate!”

He turned his attention to the battle on the overhanging cliff between the Blood Sabre Elder and Liu Chengfeng. As a piece of rock fell from the top of the cliff, judging by the wind, he could tell that it was at least 700 or 800 feet high. From afar he could only see the slippery ice on the ground and the snowfall. It was evident that should any one of the two slip and fall, no matter how high their martial arts were, their bodies would be torn and their bones would be crushed. Di Yun could make out the movements of the two fighters; the sleeves of their garments fluttered in the air like that of two supernatural entities soaring amongst the clouds. In the sky were two eagles soaring through the wind. In comparison, the movements of the two fighters were very much faster.

From the back of the hillside, Shui Sheng yelled: “Daddy! Daddy! Come quickly!”

She yelled several times, when suddenly from the southeast an old voice responded: “Is it Niece Shui? Your father suffered some minor injuries, he will be here soon!”

Shui Sheng heard that this was the voice of the second member of Luohua Liushui, Hua Tiegan. She was delighted and shouted: “Uncle Hua! Where is my daddy? How badly is he hurt?”

In an instant, Hua Tiegan made his way towards Shui Sheng and said: “During the avalanche, a large piece of rock fell on your Uncle Lu. Your father deflected the rock away with his palm, but the rock was really heavy and hurt your father’s upper arm, but it is only a minor injury.”

Shui Sheng said: “There’s a vicious monk hiding over there… he took off his… Uncle Hua, kill him quickly.”

Hua Tiegan said: “Alright, where is he?”

Shui Sheng pointed at the direction of Di Yun, but she was afraid that she would catch a glimpse of his naked body and accidentally pointed forward a few extra steps.

As Hua Tiegan was about to kill Di Yun, suddenly the clang of metal sounds were heard from the overhanging cliff. He looked up and saw the Blood Sabre Elder and Liu Chengfeng engaged in battle, neither of them made a move as if they were suddenly frozen. He knew that at this point of the battle they had to resort to an internal energy struggle and thought: “This Blood Sabre Elder is very fierce, Brother Liu may not necessarily be able to gain the upper hand. If I do not rush in for support, then when will I? Even though I have made a prestigious name for myself in the martial world, I am still unwilling to share this title with others. When the heroes of the Central Plains chased after the two blood sabre monks on such a large scale, this news had spread everywhere. If I kill the Blood Sabre Elder personally, I will most definitely see a substantial increase in my reputation, it would be enough to offset the dishonourable act of having to win “two-against-one.” He held on to this thought and at once he turned around and made his way up the cliff.

Shui Sheng was confused and asked: “Uncle Hua, what are you doing?” But she already knew the answer. She saw Hua Tiegan climb up the cliff silently, his right hand holding a pure steel spear, the tip of the spear attached against the wall of the cliff for support which allowed him to jump a surplus of ten feet every leap. When he dropped, he would use the spear for support, he made his way up the cliff a lot faster than when the Blood Sabre Elder and Liu Chengfeng fought their way up there.

When Di Yun heard that this person’s footsteps was becoming more and more distant, he became more relaxed, but he saw that the man was leaping his way up the cliff and could not help but yell out in surprise. At this point, the only hope would be that the Blood Sabre Elder could kill Liu Chengfeng before Hua Tiegan reached the top of the cliff, then he could focus his attention on Hua Tiegan. Otherwise, if he were to face them one-against-two, he would most certainly be defeated. Di Yun thought: “Liu Chengfeng and Hua Tiegan can both be considered honourable heroes. The Blood Sabre Elder is clearly a thoroughly cruel and evil person, yet I am hoping that this evil person will kill these good people. Ai, this… this is really immoral.” He blamed himself yet he was full of worry. His heart was jumping around in a state of confusion.

Then Hua Tiegan reached the top of the cliff.

The Blood Sabre Elder channelled his energy to compete with Liu Chengfeng, both increasing their internal energy layer by layer, like the great waves of an ocean, pushing forward one after another. Liu Chengfeng was a renowned practitioner of Taiji, in his life he had studied meticulously into the idea of using softness to conquer strength. While the Blood Sabre Elder’s internal energy rushed forth like that of a flood, he channelled his internal energy into a circle in an attempt to dissolve the offensive energy of his opponent; he first wanted to secure an invincible position before focusing on attack. The Blood Sabre Elder’s force was remarkable, when his internal energy pushed forward it dissipated into various directions of his opponent, fluctuating irregularly. However, after being deadlocked for such a long time, he was eventually going to be defeated. By now, they had focused their attention completely on the fight and had long turned a blind eye to external distractions. They could not hear nor smell. When Hua Tiegan leapt his way to the top of the cliff, it was not completely without sound, only that they could not hear it.

Hua Tiegan saw that steam was rising from the top of their heads and knew that their internal energies had already been stressed to the max. He stealthily made his way behind the Blood Sabre Elder and raised his steel spear, gathering energy on both his arms ready to strike. The tip of the spear flickered under the light and its momentum was supported by strong winds as he stabbed him on the back.

The tip of the spear was reflected by the icy walls of the cliff and emitted a flash of light. The Blood Sabre Elder took notice of this as he felt a very strong wind coming from behind. At this time, his blood sabre was in the middle of a clash with Liu Chengfeng’s long sword, it was difficult for him to even move forward an inch, much less change stances and protect his back. His thoughts changed rapidly as he pondered: “I will die either way. Better to fall to my own death than let my opponents kill me.” He bent both knees then slanted to the side and pounced outward intending to jump off the cliff.

Hua Tiegan had intended to kill the Blood Sabre Elder with a single spear strike and executed a stance of “Conquering the Four Barbarians”, using his utmost power into this attack. How would he have guessed that the Blood Sabre Elder, in such a critical moment, would decide to jump off a cliff? A loud piercing sound was heard; the tip of the spear had pierced completely through Liu Chengfeng’s chest and came out on the other side. Hua Tiegan did not have time to relinquish his attack, nor did Liu Chengfeng ever expect something like this would happen.

As the Blood Sabre Elder fell off the cliff in midair, he propelled himself forward and with a loud scream, raised his sabre and slashed downward, precisely stabbing on top of a large piece of rock. With a loud bang, the blood sabre stabbed into the piece of rock but did not break. The Blood Sabre Elder borrowed the momentum to lift himself upward, with both hands he brandished his surroundings, cracking the nearby ice and snow, then followed that he rolled more than a dozen times on the ground. He tried to stop himself with repeated slashes and palm strikes. After 18 flips, he managed to stop the downward force and landed firmly on the snow as he burst into laughter.

All of a sudden, from behind someone shouted: “Watch my sabre!” The Blood Sabre Elder recognized the sound of a sabre. He did not turn around but flipped his sabre over to defend from behind, with a loud clang, the two sabres clashed dead on. He felt his chest was in pain and the sabre nearly flew out of his hands which was definitely no small matter. He thought: “This person’s internal energy can actually be so powerful!” He turned around and saw a tall and sturdy old man who appeared a light white shade and gave off a bold and powerful appearance. This man wielded a thick square-headed ghost-head sabre. The Blood Sabre Elder jumped backwards and retreated, amidst his haste, he did not realize that he had already used up over half his internal energy as a result of fighting Liu Chengfeng for over half a day. Furthermore, he managed to survive the fall of the cliff thanks to exerting his arm strength to stab against the rock. He tried to channel his energy but felt that his pubic region had a distinct pain. He could no longer channel any more internal energy.

From the left side a person shouted: “Brother Lu, this perverted monk killed… killed Brother Liu. We must… must…” The one who spoke was Hua Tiegan. He accidentally killed Liu Chengfeng and was filled with grief and indignation. He climbed down the cliff in great haste and was determined to engage in a fight to the death with the blood sabre monk. As it turns out, the leader of the Four Marvels of the South, Lu Tianshu arrived at this precise moment, and it was going to be a battle of two-against-one.

The Blood Sabre Elder saw as Hua Tiegan approached to his direction. He could not even handle Lu Tianshu in his current state, what more of an additional expert? The only way was if he were to hold Shui Sheng hostage so that they would not dare to attack, then come up with another plan.

He kept this thought in his mind. Lu Tianshu brandished his ghost-head sabre and slashed forward. The Blood Sabre Elder ducked and swiped the lower half of his opponent’s body twice. Lu Tianshu was naturally tall and sturdy, the lower half of his body was also firm and steady, although his legs were quite long and at once he moved his sabre to defend his lower half. The two swipes of the Blood Sabre Elder were actually false attacks. However, in false attacks were also a sense of truth; had Lu Tianshu been even slightly careless during his defense, this false attack could have become a real attack and would have been capable of taking his life at once. When the Blood Sabre Elder saw that Lu Tianshu defended so remarkably without any sign of weakness he immediately rushed forward a big step, then all of a sudden leapt backwards. Such a technique of misdirection enabled him to break away from the range of the ghost-head sabre.

He sprinted his way toward Di Yun and Shui Sheng was nowhere to be found. He immediately asked: “Where is that little doll?”

Di Yun replied, “She’s over there,” as he pointed toward her direction.

The Blood Sabre Elder was enraged. “You let her get away, why didn’t you catch her?”

Di Yun said: “I… I could not catch her.”

The Blood Sabre Elder was extremely furious. He was already a very rude and unreasonable person by nature; now in a situation of life and death, he vented his anger to its utmost extreme and with his right leg kicked Di Yun hard on the waist. Di Yun groaned bitterly and was immediately sent flying outward. They were currently in a deep valley of a peak, yet this valley composed of yet smaller valleys. When Di Yun was sent flying outward, he fell straight down below the valley.

Shui Sheng heard the noise and turned to look and saw that Di Yun was falling to the bottom of the valley. She was startled as she saw the Blood Sabre Elder pounce himself towards her. At this precise moment, someone shouted: “Sheng’er! Sheng’er!” Her father had arrived.

Shui Sheng was delighted and shouted: “Daddy! Daddy!” At this moment she was still somewhat far from her father and the Blood Sabre Elder rushed forward in great haste, he was about 30 feet or so away from her. Had she not just yelled out in delight, upon seeing her father, she definitely would have turned around and ran towards him which would have furthered the distance between her and the Blood Sabre Elder. However, she still lacked experience and amidst her joyous shouts of “Daddy!” she forgot that she was being pursued by the Blood Sabre Elder.

Shui Dai yelled: “Sheng’er, come over here quick!” Shui Sheng immediately woke up and began running forward. Shui Dai ran forward as well.

The Blood Sabre Elder said to himself: “No good!” He immediately rushed to the entrance, bent over and made a snowball in each hand. He channelled his energy and with his right hand threw the first snowball toward Shui Dai while he threw the second snowball toward Shui Sheng at the same time.

Shui Dai raised his sword to block the snowball which impeded his movements slightly. The second snowball hit Shui Sheng right on the “Lingtai” acupoint and sealed it. The sound of wind blowing could be heard as a sharp spear made its way toward the scene. Hua Tiegan had arrived.

Hua Tiegan had reached the utmost extreme of grief and repentance for accidentally killing his sworn brother Liu Chengfeng. At this point, he no longer cared for Shui Sheng’s safety, and attacked with his spear in both arms with utmost intensity. The Blood Sabre Elder raised his sabre and slashed, then a loud sound was heard as the blood sabre was repelled. It turns out that Hua Tiegan’s pole and tip of the spear were both made of the finest of steel and could not be broken even by precious sabres or swords.

The Blood Sabre Elder cursed, “Damn it!” and grabbed Shui Sheng and retreated one step, but saw that the ghost-head sabre of Lu Tianshu was about to strike. He was surrounded by his enemies and could go forward. His eyes glared across the scene in search of an exit. He caught a small glimpse of Di Yun sitting at the bottom of the valley and thought: “The snow down there is so deep and that little kid did not even fall to his death!” Immediately, he extended his arm to grab Shui Sheng and jumped down.

Shui Sheng let out a sharp cry as the two of them fell to the bottom of the valley. The accumulation of snow in the valley was more than a hundred feet thick, and the snow down there had frozen to ice, but the outermost layer was soft and served as a cushion. The two of them did not sustain the slightest bit of injury from this fall. The Blood Sabre Elder came out of the pile of snow and looked around. He stood on a large piece of rock, raised his sabre and laughed: “If you have the guts, come down here and we will fight to the death!”

The piece of rock that the Blood Sabre Elder was standing on was stationed right at the entrance. If Shui Dai and the others were to come down, they would definitely have to make their way past this rock, and they would most certainly be cut in half should they try to do so. While they were suspended in midair, even if their martial arts were ten times more superior, they still could not glide with the freedom of a bird.

Lu Tianshu, Hua Tiegan, and Shui Dai had gone to such lengths to chase after the blood sabre monk, to let him get away would be utmost unforgivable. Furthermore, Shui Dai’s daughter was being held hostage by the perverted monk, and Hua Tiegan was further enraged from mistakenly killing his sworn brother. The three of them got together for a discussion.

Lu Tianshu’s nickname was “Righteous Sabre Lu”; Hua Tiegan’s nickname was “Zhongping Undefeated”, dominating the martial world with his Zhongping Spear; Shui Dai’s nickname was “Cold Moon Sword”; and together with Liu Chengfeng whose nickname was “Soft Cloud Sword”, together they were known as “Luohua Liushui”. What is so called “Luohua Liushui” is actually “Lu Hua Liu Shui”, each character representing their ranking and respective surnames. Although in terms of martial arts, Lu Tianshu may not necessarily be considered number one in the group, he was the eldest and most popular. Hence, he was also the leader of the “Four Marvels of the South”. His temperament was like that of a raging inferno and hated anyone who was unjust or offended public morals greatly, which was further accentuated when he saw the Blood Sabre Elder standing on top of the rock trying to show off his power while Shui Sheng’s body was reclined next to Di Yun. He did not know that Shui Sheng’s acupoint was sealed and could not move and thought that her personality was chaste or upright, that when she fell into the hands of the blood sabre monks she did not even resist. Under extreme anger, he picked up several pieces of small rock and threw it at them.

His heavy arm strength was further supported by the long distance to the bottom of the valley; when he threw the rock, it gained more speed and energy as the downward force increased. A loud crashing sound echoed through the four walls of the valley, snowflakes splashing around at the bottom.

The Blood Sabre Elder bent down and pulled Di Yun and Shui Sheng behind the large rock. At this moment he was temporarily out of danger so he no longer felt angry at Di Yun. He straightened himself and stood firm on top of the large rock. He pointed at his three enemies above and began to curse profusely. Whenever they threw a rock at him he would simply dodge it, how could they damage him? From the distant he saw Liu Chengfeng motionless on top of the overhanging cliff and recalled their battle. He inferred that it must have been Hua Tiegan who accidentally killed his comrade with his failed sneak attack.

Di Yun saw that the walls behind the large rock had a depression which looked like a cave. The large rock blocked the entrance and inside the cave there was not much snow and could be considered a safe haven. He further saw that rocks kept falling towards them from above and feared that one of them would hit Shui Sheng. At once he hugged carried her sideways and placed her inside the cave. Shui Sheng was alarmed and shouted: “Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me!”

The Blood Sabre Elder laughed and shouted: “My good grand-disciple! Your grand-teacher will stay outside and hold back our enemies. Go in the cave and satisfy your lustful desires!”

Shui Dai and the others above heard his words very clearly and became so mad that their chest almost exploded of anger.

Shui Sheng thought that Di Yun really intended to rape her so she was extremely frightened. She saw that his clothes were hardly intact and barely fit him. She recalled how he claimed to have taken off his pants and realized that it was a lie in order to scare her away. As she thought of this her face flushed red and she yelled: “Deceiving vicious monk, stay away from me!”

Now that Di Yun placed her inside the cave, she would no longer risk being injured by any rocks, so he moved out of the way. However, his thigh was still broken and his calf was still damaged, how could he walk? He could only crawl his way out.

The three men on top and the Blood Sabre Elder had been deadlocked for some time and it was the middle of the night, the sky gradually brightened. The Blood Sabre Elder made use of this time to gradually recover some of his energy. He wondered: “How can I get out of this place?” In front of him were three people whose martial arts could be considered to be on par with his, as soon as he moves away the large rock he would no longer have the advantage of position and would have no way of defending himself against their combined attack. He could not think of a way to escape and remained on top of the rock, punching and prancing around in awkward positions so as to make fun of his enemies and amuse himself.

Lu Tianshu became increasingly enraged as he watched and cursed profusely. Hua Tiegan suddenly came up with an idea and whispered: “Brother Shui, head to the east and pretend to slide down the valley. I will head west and pretend to attack to lure the monk out of the way. Brother Lu can take advantage of this and jump down.”

Lu Tianshu remarked: “This is a wonderful idea.”

Shui Dai said: “If he does not come forward to defend, then we will really fall down the valley!” At once, the he and Hua Tiegan ran off in their respective directions.

In the vicinity of over a thousand feet they were surrounded by cliffs. If one were to actually slide down the valley, one would first have to travel a full circle and a long distance. The Blood Sabre Elder saw the two of them headed in opposite directions, clearly trying to take a roundabout route into the valley. However, he could not immediately come up with a way to stop them, and thought: “Damn it! This is not good. The two of them are trying to enter through a roundabout. But the circumference is very long and it will take them upwards of two hours before they get here. If I do not run away now, when can I find a better opportunity? If they can turn a circle to attack me, then I can turn a circle to escape.” Immediately, without even notifying Di Yun, he quietly slipped down the rock.

Lu Tianshu watched as his two brothers went their separate directions. When he lowered his head to look, the Blood Sabre Elder was nowhere to be found, but he could see a path of footprints heading toward the northwest direction. He yelled: “Brother Hua, Brother Shui, the evil monk is trying to escape! Come back!” The two of them heard this and immediately turned around.

In great haste to pursue his opponent, Lu Tianshu rushed forth and jumped down the valley and was immediately drowned by the large accumulation of snow. However, when he jumped he had already held his breathe, but he felt as if he was constantly sinking down until his foot touched the ground, then immediately he exerted his strength and jumped back up. As the top of his head made its way out of the pile of snow, he suddenly felt a pain in his chest, he was ambushed by his opponent. Taken aback and completely startled, he immediately unleashed his sabre and began slashing around mindlessly. He felt as if he had wounded his enemy. However, his enemy only suffered minor injuries and beneath the snow slashed forward with his sabre.

It turns out that the Blood Sabre Elder heard Lu Tianshu’s yell and knew that he would drop down the valley to pursue him, therefore he turned around and hid himself in the pile of snow behind the large rock. Not only were Lu Tianshu’s martial arts high, he also had much experience. To be able to set up a sneak attack on him like this was extremely unlikely. However, at that moment he fell down into a pile of snow over a hundred feet deep, it was a scenario which he had never experienced before. Naturally, he concentrated his attention completely on breathing and exerting energy so as to not hurt himself. He definitely saw the Blood Sabre Elder run off, how would he have guessed that his enemy would conceal himself in the pile of snow? It was truly a case of an unexpected occurrence amongst unexpected occurrences.

But nonetheless, he was still a figure in the martial world of the Central Plains and could be considered cream of the crop. Although he was wounded in the chest, he was still able to counterattack and slashed out three times in succession inside the pile of snow. He knew that the Blood Sabre Elder was incredibly sneaky; in a match against him, he could not afford to relax his efforts in the slightest. So even though these three slashes were executed mindlessly in self-defense, it still harboured great strength.

After the Blood Sabre Elder was wounded, he increased his efforts further. He backed up one step but did not realize that where he was standing, the snow had yet to be frozen to ice so it felt a bit hollow and he began to sink down.

Lu Tianshu had executed three slashes consecutively without the slightest hint of allowing his opponent any leisure. Then he followed with another three slashes. He knew that under the force of six slashes his opponent would have no choice but to retreat, and immediately pressed forward to attack. However, he felt his feet began to sink into the pile of snow.

The two of them were currently in the most strange and unlikely situation, with nothing but snow covering their entire vision. Furthermore, they could not even hear the wind or distinguish the sound of weapons. Effectively both blind and deaf, they could not even utilize their martial arts that they normally could in the darkness of the night. As soon as their feet touched the bottom of the ground, the two of them began to execute the greatest sword stances that they had ever learned. The pile of snow covered them over one hundred feet deep; besides one killing the other, neither of them dared to venture back to surface. Whoever held back even slightly would immediately be slashed and lose their life immediately.

Di Yun heard loud shouts from outside the cave followed by silence and was curious and took a peak outside. The Blood Sabre Elder was nowhere to be found, and the pile of snow beside the large rock had faint signs of fluctuation. He was curious and after watching for a while, realized that inside pile of snow was an intense battle. He looked up and saw Shui Dai and Hua Tiegan standing on the side, looking at the bottom of the valley with an anxious expression. Since the two of them were up there, the one fighting inside the snow must be Lu Tianshu. Shui Sheng extended her head outside and saw her father’s expression of undivided attention. They were separated by a great distance and she did not dare to yell.

The two on top of the valley both wanted to join in the battle but were hesitant. Shui Dai said: “Second Brother Hua, I will jump down now.”

Hua Tiegan said: “You can’t do that! If you sink inside the pile of snow, how can you fight? You can’t see anything down there, you might… might accidentally hurt Brother Lu.” He did not dare to say that he was the one who accidentally killed his close brother Liu Chengfeng and felt really sorry. However, Shui Dai did not know this.

In such a situation, there was no way for Shui Dai to offer his assistance. If he went inside the snow, besides slashing around mindlessly, how could he differentiate friend from foe? He had two opportunities to kill either the Blood Sabre Elder or Lu Tianshu. However, he would also have two opportunities of being killed by either of them as well. Hence, even though there were two experts watching from the sidelines, they could only watch with folded arms as their Brother Lu fought the Blood Sabre Elder single-handedly. It was truly a case of being unable to find a solution. No matter how they jumped down, they would sink into the accumulation of snow and join the battle. And furthermore, based on the movements of snow on the surface, if they just jump down, they might accidentally land on top of Lu Tianshu.

Eventually, the snow on the surface stopped moving. From Hua Tiegan and Shui Dai who were on top of the valley, to Di Yun and Shui Sheng who were watching inside the cave, all of them were overcome with anxiety, not knowing the outcome of the battle. The four of them held their breaths in anticipation, their gaze fixed completely on the pile of snow.

After a long while, the snow on the surface began to bulge as someone’s head emerged from the snow. However, this person’s head was covered completely in snow and they could not distinguish who it actually was. As this person gradually made his way back to the surface, one could make out that it was a head full of white hair. It was Lu Tianshu!

Shui Sheng was delighted and cheered in private. Di Yun scoffed: “What is there to be happy about?”

Shui Sheng replied: “Your grand-teacher is dead now, it looks like you will be joining him soon.” Even if she did not say this aloud, would Di Yun not know this? In his recent past, he had joined up with the Blood Sabre Elder; a case of “the one near vermillion becomes red”. Some of the Blood Sabre Elder’s violent and unreasonable temper had unwittingly rubbed off on him. Now that Lu Tianshu had emerged the victor, he would most definitely fall victim to his enemies, how would he have any chance of explaining himself? He was surprisingly angry and shouted: “If you speak again I will kill you immediately.”

Shui Sheng sealed her lips and did not say another word. Her acupoint was sealed by the Blood Sabre Elder; even though Di Yun was crippled, he would still be able to kill her without much difficulty.

As Lu Tianshu’s head reached the surface, he gasped loudly for breath. He had to struggle with great effort to pull himself out of the snow. Shui Dai and Hua Tiegan shouted in unison: “Brother Lu, we’re coming for you!” The two of them threw themselves down into the pile of snow and immediately scuttled their way out beside the large rock.

Suddenly, they saw Lu Tianshu’s head submerge into the pile of snow again as if he was pulled down with a great force. After he sunk down again, he did not come back up, but the Blood Sabre Elder was nowhere to be seen.

Shui Dai and Hua Tiegan looked at each other and were filled with worry and anxiety. They saw how Lu Tianshu was pulled into the pile of snow at such a speed without anyway to retaliate, a good chance that he had been ambushed by his opponent.

All of a sudden, a large ripple erupted as another head emerged from the snow. This time, the head belonged to the completely bald blood sabre monk. He laughed heartily and submerged into the snow again. Shui Dai cursed, “Bald thief!” and raised his sword intending to join the fray, when suddenly another head blasted out of the snow.

This head was separated from the body; covered with white hair, it was none other than the severed head of Lu Tianshu. The head flew outward several dozen feet before it landed on the pile of snow and submerged again. Shui Sheng was so startled by this horrific scene that she nearly passed out without even being able to cry out.

Shui Dai was overwhelmed with grief and indignation. He cried: “Brother Lu, you gave your life away for your brothers. Your brother I will avenge you.”

Immediately he was about to jump out when he was pulled on the left arm by Hua Tiegan who said: “Hold on! This evil monk is hiding inside the snow. He has the advantage of being hidden while we are plain as day, if we jump in without caution, he will ambush us for sure.”

Shui Dai knew that Hua Tiegan spoke true words and sighed: “Then… then what do we do?”

Hua Tiegan said: “How long can he stay submerged in snow? He will have to come back up eventually, and when he does, we will attack him together. We will cut off throat and gouge out his heart as a sacrifice to our two fallen brothers.”

Shui Dai tried to hold back his tears as it slowly dropped down his cheeks. He thought: “I must cool down and regain my composure. I mustn’t cry! Facing a powerful enemy in such circumstances, I can’t let my emotions cloud my judgement.” However, he had lost two friends whom he had known for over a dozen years on the same day, how can he not be sad? How can he keep his emotions under control?

The two of them knew that the Blood Sabre Elder would eventually resurface. They moved alongside each other and leapt past one rock then another, gradually making their way to Di Yun and Shui Sheng. Shui Sheng looked askance at Di Yun and schemed inside her head. As soon as her father was another several dozen feet closer, she would scream out so he can rescue her. If she screams too early, she was afraid that Di Yun would kill her first. Di Yun could tell from her expression that her gaze was unfixed and knew her intentions. He pretended to close his eyes to recuperate. Shui Sheng began to ignore him and fixed her gaze on her father. Suddenly, Di Yun jumped up and pounced himself behind Shui Sheng. He raised his left arm and choked her throat.

Shui Sheng was taken aback. She was just about to yell, but how can she let out any noise? She only felt Di Yun’s arm choking her and made her breathing difficult. Then she heard him whisper to her ear: “If you promise not to yell, I won’t choke you to death!” As he said this, he lessened his grip on her slightly and let her breathe. However, his rough and strong arm was clutched against her delicate skin. Shui Sheng reviled him deeply in her heart, but there was nothing she could do.

Shui Dai and Hua Tiegan crouched down behind a nearby rock but saw that there was absolutely no activity in the valley and felt somewhat perplexed. They did not know what trick the Blood Sabre Elder was scheming, how could he remain under the snow for so long?

Overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, they did not remember that the Blood Sabre Elder grew up in a world of ice and snow and was quite well acquainted with his surroundings. Previously, when he hid beneath the snow, he immediately carved a large hole with his blood sabre and packed the snow firmly with his palm and created breathing room for himself. Lu Tianshu did not know of such an ingenious method. When he resurfaced to gasp for air he slashed around mindlessly. Although he had an abundance of internal energy, it was not enough to overcome the Blood Sabre Elder’s advantage of not having to hold his breath. So when the two of them fought beneath the surface, one of them had to occasionally resurface to take a breath while the other remained underneath indefinitely. Eventually, Lu Tianshu could not hold his breath any longer and took a great risk to resurface. Immediately, he was hit consecutively three times and lost his life.

Shui Dai and Hua Tiegan became more and more anxious as they waited. The time it took to burn one incense stick had already passed, yet there was no sight of the blood sabre monk. Shui Dai said: “It is likely that the vicious monk suffered internal injuries and perished beneath the snow.”

Hua Tiegan said: “I think this is likely as well. How would Brother Lu be killed by him without returning two slashes of his own? Furthermore, the evil monk had previously fought a tedious battle against Brother Liu, he should not be Brother Lu’s match.”

Shui Dai said: “He must have used some sort of trick to defeat Brother Lu.” As he said this, he could not hold back his sorrow and declared: “I will go down and take a look.”

Hua Tiegan said: “Alright then, but you must be careful. I will stay here and keep watch.”

Shui Dai held his long sword firmly in hand, inhaled a large breath of air and executed his lightness martial arts. He slid across the surface of the snow for several dozen feet before his feet began to sink beneath the surface and he moved even faster. The accumulation of snow all around this mountain peak was extremely deep and would not see the light of day for thousands of years. Although the bottom of the valley amassed a lot of snow, it had long been mixed with ice. It was like that of wet mud and one would immediately sink should they jump on it. He used his lightness martial arts to slide across the surface in order to not sink in. Shui Dai’s lightness martial arts were indeed impressive and he began sliding faster and faster across the surface. He heard Hua Tiegan compliment: “Excellent lightness martial arts! Brother Shui, the evil monk is nearby, be careful!”

He did not even finish speaking when someone emerged several dozen feet in front of Shui Dai. It was indeed the blood sabre monk. However, the blood sabre monk was empty-handed without his sabre and shouted “Ayo!” and did not dare to confront Shui Dai head on. He floated westward several dozen feet and said urgently: “A gentleman seeks fairness in a competition. You have a weapon in hand but I am empty-handed, how can we fight?”

Shui Dai did not yet reply when Hua Tiegan blurted: “Just kill the evil monk! Who needs to speak of fairness or unfairness at this point?” His lightness martial arts was not as good as Shui Dai’s and did not dare to jump into the snow. He manoeuvred himself around the large rock and attacked from the side.

Shui Dai thought that the evil monk must have lost his blood sabre in the snow during the battle with Brother Lu. This pile of snow was hundreds of feet deep, how could retrieve it? When he saw that his opponent was without a weapon, he took extra caution for he knew that victory was in sight. However, he could not let him run too far away and hide in the snow again, disappearing without a trace. He shouted: “Shameless evil monk! Where is my daughter? If you tell me, I will kill you in one slash and give you a quick and painless death! Otherwise, you will suffer endlessly.”

The Blood Sabre Elder replied: “The place that this little doll is hidden, even if you search for upwards of half a month, you still won’t be able to find her. But if you let me go, I will tell you.” As he said this, he continued running without stopping.

Shui Dai thought “I will deceive him into telling me first.” and said: “We are surrounded by peaks in all four directions. Even if I let you go, where can you run off to?”

The Blood Sabre Elder said: “This location is extremely odd. However, I have lived here for several years in the past and know this place like the back of my hand. If you kill me, you won’t be able to find your way out and will have no choice but starve to death. Why don’t we let go of our past differences and work together? I will return your daughter to you and lead you out of this place, what do you think?”

Hua Tiegan scoffed: “How can the words of a vicious monk be trusted? Kneel down and beg for mercy, we will decide how to deal with you. Do you think you still have any leverage?” As he said this, he continued his pursuit.

The Blood Sabre Elder replied: “Very well then, your father I must be excused!” He increased his speed and ran in the northeast direction.

Shui Dai shouted: “Where do you think you’re going!” He raised his sword and pursued in great haste.

The Blood Sabre Elder ran away in great haste. After running for several hundred feet, he was about to reach the edge of the peak with nowhere left to go. At once he turned around and went the other way, slanting his body running past Shui Dai. Shui Dai brandished his sword to attack but missed his target by about a foot. The Blood Sabre Elder continued running the northwest direction. Shui Dai saw as he was retracing his path and thought: “He is just running back and forth around the valley, where can he go? However, to chase him around vigorously like this, both of our lightness martial arts are impressive, it will be no easy task. And I still don’t know where Sheng’er is.”

He became anxious and increased his pace, closing the gap between his opponent by about a foot, when all of a sudden he heard the Blood Sabre Elder shout “Ayo!” and fell forward, both hands clawing wildly as he attempted to get back up. It must be that his internal energy was completely exhausted, he could not even get back up after his fall.

Di Yun and Shui Sheng watched everything closely from the cave. One was in a state of panic while the other was delighted. Di Yun looked askance at Shui Sheng and saw her face full of joy and he became resentful. He could not help but increase his strength and tighten his arm around her.

Shui Dai watched as the Blood Sabre Elder could not even get up, how could he let go of such a golden opportunity? Immediately he pressed forward and raised his sword to stab him on the butt. The intent of this was not to kill him, but rather injure him so that he cannot run away, and then torture him until he reveals his daughter’s location. His long sword only moved about a foot when suddenly the ground beneath him collapsed and brought him down. He was standing on a deep hole.

This was definitely a strange occurrence, how was the Blood Sabre Elder still able to execute such devious methods of sorcery? Hua Tiegan, Di Yun, and Shui Sheng watched as Shui Dai nearly reached his target but disappeared all of a sudden without a trace. Then followed that a long and miserable shriek was heard from beneath the surface; it was the voice of Shui Dai. He must have fell victim to some kind of extremely terrible trick.

The Blood Sabre Elder jumped up at once, looking completely vigorous and nimble. It goes without saying that his struggles to get back up earlier were completely bogus. At once he jumped into the hole with both feet and just as quickly got back up again, carrying a person whom he tossed across the expanse of snow. This person was completely drenched in blood, it was none other than Shui Dai. Both his legs including his knees were completely cut off, it was not easy to tell whether he was dead or alive.

When Shui Sheng saw her father in such a horrific state, she cried: “Daddy! Daddy!”

Di Yun could not bear to look at such a sight. He was so startled that he released his hold on Shui Sheng and comforted: “Lady Shui, your father is not dead, he… he is still moving.”

The Blood Sabre Elder brandished and raised his left hand, a dark red light shone brilliantly on top of his head spiralling in a circle; he was holding his blood sabre once again. It turns out that when he hid in the snow for such a long time, he secretly cut up a well in the snow and set up a trap. He put the blood sabre horizontally across the hole, the edge of the blade facing upwards. Then he emerged from the snow and pretended to have lost his blade, casting away his opponent’s suspicions. Then he boldly ran away and succeeded in luring his enemy to the trap.

Shui Dai had roamed the realm for several dozen years, he was definitely not lacking in experience. It could be said that he knew of all traps that could be employed on land or water. However, in the land of ice and snow he could not protect himself effectively. When he fell into the hole at such a speed with the blood sabre placed across the diameter, his legs were immediately sliced off.

The Blood Sabre Elder held his blood sabre high in the air and shouted to Hua Tiegan: “Do you have any guts yet? Let us fight for 300 stances!”

Hua Tiegan watched as Shui Dai rolled around the surface in excruciating pain and became so intimidated and frightened that his heart nearly cracked open. How could he dare to press forward and attack? He held his short spear close to him and slowly retreated. The red tassel on the tip of the spear trembled repeatedly, revealing how afraid he truly was. The Blood Sabre Elder screamed ferociously and rushed forward two steps. Hua Tiegan immediately retreated two steps, his arms trembling so much that he actually dropped his spear on the ground. He quickly picked it up and moved another two steps back.

The Blood Sabre Elder had consecutively battled three experts without rest, surviving by the skin of his teeth each time. It was truly the case that he was completely exhausted. If he were to fight Hua Tiegan now, he probably could not even last a single stance. Hua Tiegan’s martial arts were definitely not inferior; if he were to immediately press forward and attack, the blood sabre monk would definitely die. However, after he mistakenly killed Liu Chengfeng, he was completely dejected and his spirits decreased greatly. Now upon seeing Lu Tianshu beheaded and Shui Dai’s legs cut off, he was so scared that his gall nearly exploded, he had not the slightest degree of fighting spirit left in him.

When the Blood Sabre Elder saw how frightened his opponent was, he became even more complacent. “Haha! I have 72 evil ruses, today I have only used three and that was already enough to kill three of your Jiangnan elders. I still have 69 evil ruses left for you!”

Hua Tiegan had experienced many crises in the realm. The exaggerations and boasts of the blood sabre monk actually did not swindle him, but at this point he had already become the bird afraid of the bow. He felt as if every word his enemy uttered and every action he took was full of extreme cruelty and viciousness. He heard the blood sabre monk say he had 69 evil ruses that he intended to use on him, shouting: “I have 69 ruses, 69 ruses!” Hua Tiegan trembled even more as he heard this.

At this point, the Blood Sabre Elder was completely exhausted and found it difficult to continue his bluff. He only wished he could collapse immediately and sleep for a full day and night. But he knew that he was in a life and death situation of utmost intensity and ferocity, definitely not less than what he experienced against Liu Chengfeng or Lu Tianshu. If he were to reveal his weakness even slightly, his opponent would see through his scheme and attack, which would cause him to exhaust his internal energy completely. At this point if his opponent were to press forward with his spear, all he could do was have a vigorous state of mind and fight to the end. He began spiralling his blood sabre in a playful manner, appearing completely at ease. He saw that Hua Tiegan still did not run away and secretly urged: “Coward, run away! Just run away!” But the truth was that Hua Tiegan did not even have the courage to run away.

Shui Dai’s legs were completely sliced off from the knee, he lied down on the floor dying and gasping for breath. When he saw how scared Hua Tiegan was, he was further filled with grief and indignation. Although he suffered fatal injuries, he could still tell that the blood sabre monk had clearly exhausted all his internal energy and only pretended to be vigorous. He gathered up his strength and urged: “Second Brother Hua, fight him. This evil monk has truly exhausted all his energy, killing him would be as easy as flipping your palm. It would be as easy as…”

The Blood Sabre Elder thought: “This old man can see through my weakness, that is not good.” He increased his spirit and pressed forward two steps and boasted to Hua Tiegan: “He’s right. My internal energy is truly exhausted, let us go over to that cliff and battle for 300 stances! Whoever doesn’t go is a turtle bastard’s son!”

Suddenly, from the cave behind him he heard Shui Sheng cry: “Daddy! Daddy!”

The Blood Sabre Elder schemed in his head: “If I kill Shui Dai right now, I will only show my weakness. I should capture the little doll first and force Shui Dai to surrender. Then the one with the surname Hua will have even less will to fight.” He grinned at Hua Tiegan and said: “Are you going or not? How ‘bout 500 stances?”

Hua Tiegan shook his head and retreated another step.

Shui Dai shouted: “Fight with him! Fight with him! Are you not going to avenge Big Brother Lu and Third Brother Liu?”

The Blood Sabre Elder laughed heartily and shouted: “Fight me! Fight me! I still have 69 evil traps ready to be unleashed onto you.” As he said this, he moved closer to the cave and grabbed Shui Sheng by the hair and dragged her across the floor. Even doing this caused him to breathe deeply and he could not even say a word.

He knew that Hua Tiegan had impressive martial arts, so he had no other choice but to execute all kinds of cruelty towards Shui Sheng and her father in an attempt to scare Hua Tiegan away from fighting him. At once he pulled Shui Sheng in front of her father and shouted: “You said I am out of life energy. Very well then, I will show you if I am really out of life energy!” As he said this he exerted his strength, and with a pull, ripped off a large portion of Shui Sheng’s right sleeve, revealing her snow white skin. Shui Sheng shouted in alarm, but because her acupoint was sealed, she was powerless to resist.

Di Yun ran off from the cave and upon seeing such a tragedy, he felt really disturbed and shouted: “Don’t… don’t hurt Lady Shui!”

The Blood Sabre Elder laughed: “Haha, my obedient grand-disciple, you don’t have to worry, your grand-teacher I will not take her life.” He turned around and slashed with his sabre, cutting off a piece of flesh from Shui Dai’s shoulder and asked: “Is my energy exhausted yet?” Shui Dai’s shoulder immediately began to spray out fresh blood. Hua Tiegan and Shui Sheng both cried out in alarm.

Although Hua Tiegan saw that the blood sabre monk’s movements were hindered, he thought: “He could be feigning weakness in an attempt to trap me. This evil monk crafty and cunning, I must exercise extreme caution.”

The blood sabre monk swiped with his sabre and cut off another piece of flesh on Shui Dai’s shoulder, leaving a very deep scar. He yelled: “Why don’t you call me ‘grandpa’?”

Shui Dai was in so much pain that he nearly passed out, but shouted: “I surnamed Shui would rather die than submit! Just kill me now!”

The Blood Sabre Elder said: “I won’t let you die so easily. I will cut the flesh off your arm inch by inch. If you call me ‘grandpa’ three times and beg for mercy, I will spare your life!”

Shui Dai scolded, “Not even in your mother’s wildest dreams!”

The Blood Sabre Elder saw that he was incredibly stubborn and presumed that even if he were to torture him further, he would not surrender, so he yelled: “Very well then, I will torture your daughter, let’s see if you call me ‘grandpa’ then!” As he said this he turned his hand and sliced off half of Shui Sheng’s lower garment.

Shui Dai was extremely furious. His vision was covered with darkness and he nearly passed out. He thought: “Brother Hua is scared out of his wits, I cannot die yet. No matter how much the evil monk harasses Sheng’er in front of me, I must keep my emotions in check and prevail to the very end.”

The Blood Sabre Elder laughed maliciously and said: “If the one surnamed Hua kneels down and begs for mercy, I will spare his life and allow him to tell everyone in the realm of how I stripped off Lady Shui’s clothes completely! Haha, wonderful! Wonderful! Hua Tiegan, you want to surrender? Alright, alright, I will spare your life! The Blood Sabre Elder never harms the ones who surrender!”

When Hua Tiegan heard these words, his fighting spirit became even weaker. He fully intended to flee for his life, but to kneel down and beg for mercy would be much too shameful, although it is still better than having his flesh cut off piece by piece by his enemy. What he did not realize was that if he were to fight right now, he would kill his opponent at once. He only felt that the blood sabre monk in front of him was horrifying and frightening to the extreme. He heard the blood sabre monk assure him: “Don’t worry, you don’t have to be scared. If you surrender to me, I will spare your life. I assure you I will not hurt you in the slightest.” These words were spoken like gold to Hua Tiegan, who felt an unspeakable amount of relief and comfort.

The Blood Sabre Elder saw that his opponent’s face showed a bit of hope and did not let the opportunity pass. At once he let go of Shui Sheng and walked towards him with his sabre and said: “A gentleman can submit or stand tall as the situation demands it, very good! If you want to surrender, throw down your spear first. Very good, I will not take your life. I will be your friend, my good brother! Throw down your weapon.” His voice was somewhat soft and comforting.

His words were spoken with an irresistible force. At once, Hua Tiegan let go of his spear and it dropped on the ground. Now that he dropped his weapon, it was clear that he had surrendered. The Blood Sabre Elder smiled and said: “Very good! Very good! You are a good person. Your spear is not bad, let me take a look! Move back three steps. Good, you are very obedient, I definitely won’t kill you, be completely assured. Move back another three steps.” Hua Tiegan obeyed his every command and moved backwards. The Blood Sabre Elder bent down and picked up the spear. When his fingers made contact with the spear, he felt as if all the energy in his body was decreasing. He tried to channel his energy twice but to no avail. He was worried as he thought: “I have fought three consecutive battles against experts, I am truly exhausted. I’m afraid that it will take at least half a month for me to regain my vitality.” Even though he now had spear in hand, he was still nervous. For even if Hua Tiegan was to attack him bare-handed, he would still be defeated immediately.

Shui Dai could only watch as Hua Tiegan surrendered his weapon. He realized that there was no hope left and said softly: “Sheng’er, kill me now!”

Shui Sheng cried: “Daddy… I… I can’t do it!”

Shui Dai looked at Di Yun and said: “Little monk, do a good deed. Kill me now.”

Di Yun understood his intent. He knew that Shui Dai would eventually die anyway. Rather than stay alive and suffer endless insults and humiliations like this, it would be better to just die a quick and painless death. He could not bear to take action. He wanted to end his suffering, but feared that if he were to take action, it would enrage the blood sabre monk. He knew how vicious and cruel this person was, he could not offend him at any cost.

Shui Dai said: “Sheng’er, beg this little monk to kill me. If you delay any further it will be too late…”

Shui Sheng was in a state of conflict and did not know what to do. She said: “Daddy, you can’t die… you can’t die…”

Shui Dai scolded: “I am better off dead than alive! Can’t you see that?”

Shui Sheng was startled then declared: “Right! Daddy, I will die together with you!”

Shui Dai begged Di Yun again. “Little monk, please be benevolent and merciful; kill me now. To ask me to beg the vicious monk for mercy, how can I Shui Dai do such a thing? How can I watch my little girl suffer his humiliations?”

Di Yun saw the heroic qualities of this man and respected him greatly. He was in a state of moral indignation and finally whispered: “Very well, I will kill you. Even if the old monk blames me, I cannot care!”

Shui Dai was delighted by his words. Even though he suffered fatal injuries, his mind was still completely clear as he whispered: “I will curse you loudly, then you can kill me with one attack. The old monk will not punish you.” He did not wait for Di Yun’s reply and shouted: “Little horny monk! If you don’t change your ways, you will follow the path of this old monk and eventually suffer a slow and painful death. If you still have any conscience, then leave the Blood Sabre Clan at once! Little evil monk! Turtle bastard! Repent your past mistakes and turn over a new leaf! Become a good person from now on!”

When Di Yun heard Shui Dai’s words he could tell that he had the intention of admonishing him and thanked him greatly. He raised a large twig and swung it around several times, but did not stab him.

Shui Dai became anxious and enraged that the little monk did not take action, and began to curse him even more profusely. He looked askance and saw Hua Tiegan kneeling down and kowtowing to the blood sabre monk.

The Blood Sabre Elder gathered up the remaining energy in his body and concentrated it all on the fingers on his right hand, intending to seal Hua Tiegan’s ‘Lingtai Acupoint’. This finger was truly filled with all his energy, as soon as he sealed his acupoint he had nothing left. Hua Tiegan fainted as his acupoint was sealed, and the blood sabre monk too began to bend both knees.

Shui Dai saw as Hua Tiegan fell and his heart turned sour. He knew that once he died, there would be no one left to protect Shui Sheng and said inwardly: “My poor Sheng’er…” Then he yelled: “Bastard! Why haven’t you killed me yet!”

Di Yun saw as Hua Tiegan collapsed and thought that the Blood Sabre Elder would soon come. At once he clenched his teeth and with all his strength he stabbed the twig right on Shui Dai’s head. His skull was cracked immediately, the ill fate of the hero of his generation.

Shui Sheng cried “Daddy!” and immediately passed out.

When the Blood Sabre Elder heard Shui Dai curse repeatedly, he thought that Di Yun could not keep his cool and decided to kill him. However, since Hua Tiegan was already under his control, it did not really matter if Shui Dai was dead or alive. The Blood Sabre Elder was pleased with himself and laughed out loud. There were stutters in his laughter as he kept coughing in between and his legs became more limp and painful. He moved forward a few steps before finally collapsing on the snow.

Hua Tiegan saw this and regretted greatly. “Brother Shui was correct, this monk is truly out of energy. If I realized this sooner I would have killed him at once, why would I have been scared to such an extent? And to kowtow and beg for mercy?” He could be considered a renowned hero of the Central Plains of over a dozen years, yet he fell on my knees and yielded to this most despicable opponent. To only care about his own life was an act of a coward; truly shameless and despicable. As he thought back to this, he was so ashamed he didn’t even want to show his face. However, his “Lingtai Acupoint” was sealed and it would be 24 hours before it would release itself. Had the blood sabre monk not revealed his weakness, he would still have chances to live. But now no matter what he says is intolerable. As soon as Hua Tiegan’s acupoint is unsealed, how would he not kill the blood sabre monk at once?

Indeed, he heard the blood sabre monk say: “My grand-disciple, kill him for me. This person is vicious to an extreme, we can’t keep him alive.”

Hua Tiegan shouted: “You promised to spare my life. You said you never kill those who surrender, how can you go back on your word?” He knew that he was powerless to resist, but in a life and death situation, he had to cling on to any hopes of survival.

The Blood Sabre Elder laughed. “The monks of the Blood Sabre Clan have long turned trust and honour into that of dog shit. That you kowtowed to me and begged for mercy was your own decision. You fell into my trap, haha! My good grand-disciple, kill him now! This person cannot be kept alive, it is extremely dangerous.” He was extremely cautious of Hua Tiegan for he knew that the strength he used to seal his acupoint earlier was not even a tenth of his full power. It would not have pierced deeply into his channels. This person has formidable martial arts, so it could be the case that he would be able to break through his sealed acupoint in only several hours. At that point the tables would have turned and he would be at the mercy of his opponent.

Di Yun did not know that the Blood Sabre Elder had completely exhausted his energy and thought: “Earlier I only killed Hero Shui to end his suffering, but this Hero Hua is a good man, why should I kill him?” He replied: “He has already been subdued by you grand-teacher, I think it is better to spare him!”

Hua Tiegan hurriedly replied: “Right! Right! This little monk speaks true words. I have already been subdued without any power to resist, why would you have to kill me?”

Shui Sheng grieved unconsciously in her sleep and cried: “Daddy! Daddy!” When she heard how shameless and despicable Hua Tiegan was acting, she reprimanded: “Uncle Hua, you are also a renowned figure in the martial world, do you have no shame? You only watched as my daddy was tortured… my daddy… daddy…” Her voice was filled with sobs and did not speak anymore.

Hua Tiegan said: “These two monks have profound martial arts, we can’t beat them. We should surrender and follow them and comply with all their orders!”

Shui Sheng spat in contempt. “Bah! Bah! You are shameless!”

The Blood Sabre Elder knew that the longer he stalled the more dangerous the situation. At this point he was completely exhausted and could not even get up and move two steps. He said: “My clever grand-disciple, please listen to your grand-teacher’s instructions. Kill this man!”

Shui Sheng turned her head around and saw her father’s head was badly mutilated and died an extremely painful death. As she thought of his affection and care for her, she nearly passed out again. Although Shui Sheng heard with her very own ears how her father begged for Di Yun to end his suffering, at this point she was so sad that she forgot it all completely. She only knew that Di Yun was the one who killed her father with a stick, splattering his brains everywhere. She could no longer hold back the grief and indignation in her heart, and felt a surge of warm energy rise from her pubic region.

Those who have cultivated their internal energy to a really high degree are capable of overcoming their own sealed acupoints through a surge of energy, but to practice to such an extent is no small task. Hua Tiegan was not even capable of doing this, so how could Shui Sheng? However, when someone is faced with a calamity, an unusual extreme surge of emotions may cause one to release one’s hidden capabilities. It is often the case that in a life and death situation, someone can perform a task that they would normally find nearly impossible. At this point, Shui Sheng was so miserable that her energy surged up and unsealed her acupoint. She did not know from where she got such a surge of energy, but immediately she got up and picked up the stick beside her father’s corpse and aimed to attack Di Yun.

Di Yun urgently dodged left and right. Although he managed to protect his vital areas, his face, shoulders, ears, and the back of his head were struck 12 or 13 times in succession. He extended his arms to block and said: “Why are you hitting me? It was your father who begged me to kill him.”

Shui Sheng trembled as she heard this and realized that he was correct. She was stunned and her surge of energy dissipated as she collapsed on the floor and wailed.

When the Blood Sabre Elder heard Di Yun say “It was your father who begged me to kill him,” he understood the whole truth behind the story. He became furious and thought: “This little brat dares assist his opponent, he is going against me!” At once he wanted to pick up his blood sabre to kill him, but even the slightest movement of his arm caused his entire arm and shoulder to be filled with pain. Under such paralysis he remained calm and collected and said: “My good grand-disciple, look after this little doll and don’t let her go crazy. She is yours now, you can do whatever you want to her. Your grand-teacher will not say a word.”

Hua Tiegan came up with an idea and shouted: “Niece Shui, come over here. I have something to say to you.” He knew that the blood sabre monk was completely exhausted and was no longer cause for concern and Di Yun was crippled. Of the four people here, she was the one with most energy and he had to ask her to kill the two monks.

However, Shui Sheng despised him greatly for his despicable actions and thought: “If you did not surrender your spear, my father would not have died.” When she heard Hua Tiegan’s words, she ignored them completely.

Hua Tiegan continued: “Niece Shui, if you want to get out of this mess there is only one way. Come over here, I will tell you.”

The Blood Sabre Elder cursed: “What nonsense are you speaking? If you don’t shut up I am going to kill you with my sabre.”

Hua Tiegan did not dare to confront him directly and winked at Shui Sheng consistently to signal her. Shui Sheng scolded: “Whatever you have to say, just speak up. Why be so secretive?”

Hua Tiegan thought: “This old monk is currently trying to channel and recover his energy. If he even regains a tenth of his strength, he would be able to pick up his sabre and kill me. There’s no time, I have to speak now.” Then he said: “Niece Shui, look at this old monk. After so many battles, he has completely exhausted his internal energy, he can’t even pick himself up.” Even though he knew that the blood sabre monk was powerless to attack him, he still did not dare to disrespect him and only referred to him as “old monk”.

Shui Sheng took a look at the blood sabre monk and saw that he indeed collapsed on the floor and looked to be in a very sorry state. As she thought of taking revenge for her father’s death, she no longer cared whether Hua Tiegan spoke true words or not. At once she picked up the twig and aimed to attack the blood sabre monk.

When the blood sabre monk heard Hua Tiegan repeatedly urge Shui Sheng, he already knew what was going to happen next. With a sense of great urgency he came up with ideas in his head and thought: “If this little doll comes to attack me, what will I do?” He tried to channel his energy twice but felt that his pubic region was completely empty and even felt weaker than before. He could not come up with a plan at once as Shui Sheng approached him, twig in hand.

Shui Sheng was especially skilled with long swords and was not used to using sticks. However, urgently trying to take revenge for her father, she just concentrated on using her full strength to attack and revealed weakness on her underarm. The blood sabre monk slanted sideways intending to strike with Hua Tiegan’s short spear that he was holding in his hand. However, he was indeed much too weak; even turning the spear around proved to be a task too difficult to overcome. He could only exert all his strength to attack with the tail of the spear, aiming at her “Dabao Acupoint” near her underarm. Shui Sheng, overcome with grief and sorrow, did not expect this counterattack. The twig hit its target square on the face and lacerated his flesh, but at the same time she felt a numbness in her underarm and lost all her strength and fell forward.

The blood sabre monk was hit hard with the twig which caused him to nearly pass out. However, his trick succeeded as Shui Sheng voluntarily made contact with the pole of the spear with her underarm and sealed her own acupoint. The Blood Sabre Elder laughed heartily: “The one surnamed Hua, you said I am completely exhausted of energy, then how was I able to subdue her?” The way he matched Shui Sheng’s arm with the pole of the spear causing her to seal her own acupoint was obstructed by their two bodies, so Hua Tiegan and Di Yun did not see what happened and actually thought that he sealed her acupoint by force.

Hua Tiegan was completely startled and did not know what to say. “Elder truly has profound martial arts, I am merely an ordinary folk with the view of a frog. I truly did not expect this. Elder has such profound internal energy and could be said to be unrivalled in this world, truly unprecedented and matchless.” His words were filled with flattery and compliments, but his words trembled; he had never felt so much fear before.

The Blood Sabre Elder thought to himself: “Shameless!” He knew that he was safe for the time being, but he only sealed Shui Sheng’s acupoint with external force and not with his own finger strength. He knew that this seal could not have penetrated deeply into her acupoint and knew that her acupoint would release itself before long. Such a fortunate occurrence could only happen once and not again. If she were to pick up the blood sabre to kill him, even if he were to try and seal her acupoint with the spear a second time, he would have been beheaded a long time ago. He could only wait to regain a portion of his internal energy during this short period and kill Shui Sheng before her acupoint unseals itself. However, how could the recovery of internal energy be forced? In the face of a disaster, he did not say a word and lied down in a position to recover. At this point it was not even possible for him to sit on his knees nor did he dare to open his eyes. He was afraid of any distractions by the other three.

Di Yun’s head, shoulders, hands, and legs all suffered injuries. He could only clench his teeth and groan inwardly. His mind was in a state of chaos and he could not think clearly. Shui Sheng lied down on the ground only a few feet away from the blood sabre. At first because she was hasty, she did not know what the blood sabre monk was planning to do. Now after a good while she saw that the blood sabre monk did not move and felt relieved. She could hardly bear the sorrow in her heart and could not wait to avenge her father. After a while, she drifted into a lethargic sleep.

The Blood Sabre Elder was delighted as he thought: “Hopefully you will sleep for several hours, that will be enough.”

Hua Tiegan looked at Di Yun, not knowing whether he was feeling his own guilty conscience or confused as he did not harbour any intention of taking action, leaving all eyes on whether Shui Sheng would be able to kill the blood sabre monk before he recovers. He called out: “Niece Shui, don’t fall asleep! These two perverted monks want to hurt you!” But Shui Sheng was exhausted and moaned a few times in her sleep, how could she be awoken? Hua Tiegan yelled: “This is not good, wake up quickly! The evil monk wants to take off your pants!”

The Blood Sabre Elder was enraged and thought, “To let him shout and quarrel like this is extremely dangerous.” and at once said to Di Yun: “My good grand-disciple, kill that old man with one slash.”

Di Yun said: “This person has already surrendered, we don’t need to kill him.”

The Blood Sabre Elder reasoned: “How has he surrendered? Listen to him make a racket, he wants to hurt the two of us.”

Hua Tiegan added: “Little monk, your grand-teacher is most vicious. Right now he does not have any energy left and can’t move, that’s why he’s telling you to kill me. However, once he regains his energy he will kill you for not listening to his orders. Why don’t you make the first move and kill him?”

Di Yun shook his head and replied: “He is not my grand-teacher, only that he has saved my life and has been kind to me. How can I kill him?”

Hua Tiegan said: “He is not your grand-teacher? Then you must take action at once or it will be too late. The evil monks of the Blood Sabre Clan are ferocious and ruthless without any feelings and sensibilities. Don’t you want to live?” In a moment of desperation, he no longer cared about showing any respect to the blood sabre monk.

Di Yun hesitated to take action. He knew that Hua Tiegan spoke true words but for him to kill the blood sabre monk, he could not bear to do such a thing. But upon hearing the consistent persuasions of Hua Tiegan, he became impatient and warned: “If you keep talking I will kill you first.”

Hua Tiegan knew that the situation was unfavourable and did not dare to speak further. He only hoped that Shui Sheng would wake up soon. After a while, he shouted again: “Shui Sheng, Shui Sheng, your daddy is alive! Your daddy is alive!”

In a daze, Shui Sheng unconsciously heard someone shout “Your daddy is alive!” and full of delight, she immediately woke up and shouted: “Daddy! Daddy!”

Hua Tiegan said: “Niece Shui, which acupoint of yours has been sealed? This evil monk has no energy left, it is no big deal. I will teach you how to inhale and the technique to rush through your sealed acupoint.”

Shui Sheng said: “My left underarm and my ribs are numb, I can’t move at all.”

Hua Tiegan said: “So he has sealed your ‘Dabao Acupoint’. That is easy then, just breathe and focus on your pubic region. Slowly channel your breath to rush through the ‘Dabao Acupoint’ on your left underarm. After you unseal your acupoint, you can avenge your father.”

Shui Sheng nodded her head and replied, “Yes!” Although she still resented Hua Tiegan greatly, after all he is still on her side and his techniques are beneficial. So she did as told and inhaled, focusing on her pubic region.

The Blood Sabre Elder gazed attentively for any activity and saw that she nodded her head to Hua Tiegan’s words. He whined inwardly: “This little doll nodded and will definitely rush through her acupoint. It won’t even take the time of one incense stick before she is free.” At once he focused his eyes on his nose and his nose in his heart. Whether Shui Sheng would be able to successfully take action, that he had no control over. All he could do was focus on recuperating his own energy.

The technique of channelling your energy to rush through an acupoint is indeed profound. Even Hua Tiegan himself would not be capable of such a task, how could Shui Sheng be successful only after a few words of instructions? However, her sealed acupoint followed the flow of her blood vessels and had gradually unblocked itself automatically; it was not that she was able to channel her energy to rush through it. After a while, she was able to move her back slightly. Hua Tiegan was delighted and said: “Niece Shui, this is good. Just keep using that technique and you will be moving in no time.”

Shui Sheng nodded her head and felt the numbness in her arm gradually decrease. She exhaled a deep breath and brought herself up.

Hua Tiegan said: “Excellent! Niece Shui, you must listen to my every instruction in sequence without any mistake, otherwise it will be difficult for you to take revenge. First, pick up the curved sabre on the ground.”

Shui Sheng slowly extended her hand beside the blood sabre monk and picked up the blood sabre.

Di Yun watched her every action and knew that the next step was to behead the blood sabre monk in one slash. But he saw that the blood sabre monk’s eyes were tightly shut without paying any attention to his dangerous situation.

The Blood Sabre Elder felt the energy in his hands and feet began to recover slightly. He would need another hour or so before he was able to use any strength and move freely. However, Shui Sheng had already picked up the blood sabre and was about to attack. At once he focused all the remaining energy in his body to his left arm.

Hua Tiegan said: “The second step is to kill the little monk. Go quickly! Kill him now!”

This command caused Shui Sheng, the blood sabre monk, and Di Yun to all be taken back by surprise. Hua Tiegan continued: “The old monk can’t move. It is important that you kill the little monk first. If you kill the old monk, the little monk will try and stop you!”

Shui Sheng understood that he was correct. At once she raised her sabre and walked in front of Di Yun. She hesitated as she thought: “He helped end my daddy’s suffering against the evil monk. Should I kill him or not?” She only hesitated for a moment before she decided: “Of course I should!” She raised her sabre intending to slash Di Yun by the neck.

Di Yun urgently evaded the attack. Shui Sheng slashed a second time but Di Yun dodged again. He picked up a twig from the ground and defended against her sabre. Shui Sheng hacked with her sabre three times and broke the twig into two pieces. At once she wanted to attack again, when suddenly she felt tension around her wrist; someone had grabbed her blood sabre from behind.

The one who took her sabre was the blood sabre monk. He had limited energy and could not attack freely, but saw the urgency of the situation and exerted his energy to retrieve the blood sabre. Further beyond expectations, he followed by brandishing the sabre to slash her neck. Shui Sheng was startled as she evaded the blow.

Di Yun yelled: “Don’t kill anymore!” He pounced himself forward and with twig in hand he attacked the Blood Sabre Elder by the wrist. If it was a normal situation, how could the Blood Sabre Elder ever be stricken by his attack? However this was a special circumstance and his martial arts was not even a twentieth of what it normally was. His fingers retreated and he dropped the blood sabre. The two of them went to pick up the weapon at the same time. Di Yun was first with his palm on the ground grasping onto the handle of the sabre. The Blood Sabre Elder raised both his hands intending to snap his neck in half.

Di Yun choked and let go of his hold on the blood sabre. He extended his hands and tried to struggle free. The Blood Sabre Elder knew that he did not have much energy left. If he could not strangle Di Yun immediately, he would lose his life. He did not realize that Di Yun had no intention of hurting him and was only attacking to protect Shui Sheng. Di Yun’s neck was being strangled by the blood sabre monk and he found it increasing difficult to breathe and felt as if his chest was about to pop. He turned his hands over and exerted all his strength hoping to push the blood sabre monk away.

The Blood Sabre Elder thought that the little monk had the intention of rebelling. According to the rules of the Blood Sabre Clan, he should first kill the traitor before killing his enemies. He knew that Hua Tiegan could not join in the fight at this time and that Shui Sheng was only a girl with limited capabilities, so he focused all his remaining energy to strangle Di Yun.

Di Yun’s face turned purple as he found it difficult to breathe. He had no energy in his hands to retaliate and slowly began to hang down with only one thought in mind: “I am about to die! I am about to die!”

When Shui Sheng saw the two of them rolling about on the snow like this, she knew that it was all because Di Yun wanted to save her. However, she thought that for these two monks to massacre one another was not bad at all, hoping that the two of them would both suffer injuries and die together. After watching for a while, she saw that Di Yun’s hands and feet were dangling, he did not have any energy left to defend himself. She could not help but be startled and thought: “After the evil monk kills the little monk, he will kill me next. What can I do?”

Hua Tiegan called: “Niece Shui, this is a golden opportunity. Pick up the curved sabre!” Shui Sheng followed his instructions and picked up the blood sabre. Hua Tiegan continued: “Go over there and kill both monks!”

Shui Sheng raised her sabre and walked forward a few steps. On one hand she wanted to kill the Blood Sabre Elder, but when she saw him tangling with Di Yun, she knew that the blood sabre was capable of slicing iron like mud, if she were to strike she would kill the both of them. She recalled that Di Yun saved her life before. Even though this little monk was vicious, to kill the one who saved her was still an immoral action to take. Hence she decided to kill the blood sabre monk only, but her hands and legs were numb and she was not confident.

Amidst her hesitation, Hua Tiegan said: “You must take action now. If you delay any further you will lose the opportunity to avenge your father.”

Shui Sheng said: “These two monks are tangled together and are inseparable.”

Hua Tiegan scolded: “You are so silly. I told you to kill them both!” He was a renowned hero in the realm and was the leader of the Eagle Claw Iron Spear Clan. He was used to giving orders to people, expecting them to be followed. However, he forgot that at this moment he was helpless and Shui Sheng also resented him greatly.

When she heard such an egotistical and irritable command, she became frustrated and actually moved back three steps! She shouted: “Hmph! You are a hero and a towering figure, why did you not fight a battle to the death against the blood sabre monk earlier? If you have any skills, kill him yourself!”

Hua Tiegan knew that the situation was unfavourable and smiled. “My good niece, it is Uncle Hua who was confused, please don’t be angry. But you must kill those two monks in order to avenge your father. The Blood Sabre Elder is such a remarkable evil, if he dies by your hands and news of this spreads out, how would everyone in the realm not respect you as filial and the matchless heroine of the era?” However, the more he spoke of flattery the angrier Shui Sheng became. She glared at Hua Tiegan and moved forward. She aimed precisely at the blood sabre monk’s back intending to slash him twice. That way he would just bleed to death while Di Yun remains unharmed.

The Blood Sabre Elder did not let go of his grip on Di Yun even slightly and was also constantly turning his head, paying attention to Shui Sheng’s every movement. When he saw that Shui Sheng brandished the sabre he realized her intentions and spoke softly: “If you slash me twice from behind, you must be careful not to hurt the little monk.”

Shui Sheng was startled by these words; she dreaded and feared the blood sabre monk greatly. When she heard him encourage her to attack him, she thought that he must have harboured malicious intentions and did not listen. However, she did not expect that the blood sabre monk was only telling the truth sometimes while other times he was bluffing. She stared blankly and did not dare to attack.

Di Yun was strangled tightly by the blood sabre monk, his lungs gathered a breath of air in an attempt to exhale through his nose, but because the pathways on his throat were completely obstructed, once the breath of air reached his throat it fell back down. This breath of air crashed and dashed left and right inside his body without any way of finding an exit. If it was an ordinary person, in such a circumstance that person would have gradually fainted, eventually dying of suffocation. However, at this moment he actually had no way of fainting and only felt his entire body suffer an extremely painful feeling of being trapped within itself. He thought: “I am going to die soon. I am going to die soon!”

All of a sudden, he felt an intense pain in the area between his chest and stomach. This breath of air bloated larger and larger and warmer and warmer, like that of steam bursting out of a filled cauldron, rushing out of his body until his stomach was about to explode. Unexpectedly, the “Huiyin Acupoint” between his front and back appeared to have pierced a small hole by this warm surge of energy. He felt a faint surge of warm energy going from his “Perineum Acupoint” to the “Changqiang Acupoint” near the tip of his vertebra. In a person’s body, the two acupoints of “Perineum” and “Changqiang” were separated by a distance of no more than a few inches. However, the “Perineum Acupoint” belonged to the “Ren” meridian while the “Changqiang Acupoint” belonged to the “Du” meridian; the energies of the two meridians were simply not interlinked. However, the energy inside his body, compounded by the inability to release his own energy at this point caused a tremendous amount of energy to crash against each other. It went so far as to storming its way out in such a crucial situation, allowing him to open access and interlink his “Ren” meridian and “Du” meridian.

This breath of air ventured into the “Changqiang Acupoint” and immediately acceded to the various acupoints of his lower back; the “Yangmen”, “Mingmen”, and “Xuanshu” acupoints followed the path of the vertebra and surged upward, flowing according to the various important acupoints of the Ren and Du meridians, then it went down his spine hitting the various “Zhongshu”, “Jinsuo”, “Zhiyang”, “Lingtai”, “Shendao”, “Shenzhu”, “Taodao”, “Dachui”, “Koumen”, “Fengfu”, “Naohu”, “Qiangjian”, and “Houding” acupoints until it reached the “Baihui Acupoint” on the top of his head.

During his time in prison, Di Yun received the mnemonics to the Heavenly Glow from Ding Dian. This internal technique was utmost profound and difficult to practice and his martial arts aptitude was not exceptionally high. Later on he no longer had Ding Dian to give him pointers, he may not be able to master it even in another 20 or 30 years. Who would have thought that in a life and death situation he would be able to interlink his Ren and Du meridians? Firstly, it was because that his throat was being strangled that his breath of air could not exhale itself and had to find an exit at any cost. Secondly, he had previously practiced the unorthodox internal energy techniques in the Blood Sabre Sutra; the path through which his internal energy channelled itself was opposite that of the techniques of the Heavenly Glow Sutra and it served to help him rush through with his energy and remove the obstruction.

Once this surge of energy reached the “Baihui Acupoint”, he felt a cool sensation on his face; a surge of cool air starting from his forehead down to the bridge of his nose and his lips and down to the “Chengjiang Acupoint” on his chin. This Chengjiang Acupoint belonged to the Ren meridian and returned to the Du meridian. The various acupoints of the Ren meridian were placed at the front of the body, this surge of cool energy made its way down to the “Zilian” and “Tiantu” acupoints and followed to the “Xuanji”, “Huagai”, “Zigong”, “Yutang”, “Shanzhong”, “Zhongting”, “Jiuwei”, and “Juque” acupoints. The three internal cavities of the stomach had moisture content; the “Shenjue”, “Qihai”, “Shimen”, “Guanyuan”, “Zhongji”, and “Qugu” acupoints all returned to the “Perineum Acupoint”. For all his acupoints to link together like this without being shut caused an indescribable carefree sensation around his entire body. Initially, it was difficult for him to channel his energy this way, but with the Ren and Du meridians interlinked, the path became unhindered. The second and third time his energy was channelled at lightning speed, and an instant it had gone through his body 18 times.

The internal energy techniques of the Heavenly Glow were matchless under heaven. He had practiced this for a while since his time in prison. At this instant he felt completely unhindered, every time his energy was channelled for a whole cycle and his strength would increase by a percent. He felt the four limbs and hundreds of bones in his body all filled with vigour and strength, flourishing at copious amounts. He felt that even the roots of his hair were felt with an abundance of energy.

How would the blood sabre monk know that even with his ten fingers strangling his opponent, his body would go through such a tremendous change? He at once increased his grip on Di Yun’s throat while at the same time being cautious of the blood sabre on Shui Sheng’s hands.

Di Yun’s internal strength became stronger and stronger. He felt very afraid and only wanted to struggle himself free, he clawed and scratched frantically, eventually hitting the blood sabre monk. His left leg kicked backwards frantically several times, when all of a sudden he managed to kick the blood sabre monk on his lower stomach. This kick was filled with tremendous power, the blood sabre monk had already exhausted all his energy beforehand, how could he have any power to resist? At once his body soared in midair like that of mist amongst clouds.

Shui Sheng and Hua Tiegan were both startled by the turn of events and did not know how it happened. They only saw as the Blood Sabre Elder was sent flying, rotating in midair before landing head first on the ground. His body submerged several feet into the snow and only his legs could be seen above the surface, not moving the slightest.

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