GOD —The Beginning of the End— Volume 1: The First Pet is a Swordsman
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 8: Shifu’s Legacy—translated by lucathia (proofread by Arcedemius & Trespasserby)
Although Shooting Star had been an adventurer for a good long while, coming here to the Adventurers’ Guild’s battle arena was a first. In the past, he had his hands full just with making money to support himself. Even though he could stave off hunger by capturing forest animals, they just weren’t as tasty as the dishes prepared by the restaurants in the city.
Therefore, Shooting Star didn’t have any time to watch something like a duel, and he definitely wouldn’t waste his hard-earned money on placing a bet over who would win or lose.
As expected of the Adventurers’ Guild, whose influence spread throughout the Northern and Western Continents, even a small city had a battle arena that was nothing to scoff at. The arena was semicircular and very spacious. The spectator seats to the side were a full three stories high, and eighty percent of the seats were actually filled.
“Tang Wulie, that old rascal. It’s enough that he’s taking bets. He’s even letting in spectators!”
Shooting Star was so angry that his teeth smarted. Even Bones, an undead creature without a brain, could figure out that Tang Wulie was definitely making a killing from selling the tickets, yet Shooting Star had actually agreed to split the bet with him thirty-seventy. I hate him…
There was a circular stage in the middle of the arena, with four round pillars in the four corners of the stage. A large, round orb sat atop of each pillar. After Tang Wulie walked closer to the round pillars, he spoke with a few people whose clothes hinted that they might be mages. Then, they immediately set to work.
It didn’t take long for the orbs to begin emitting a soft light. A layer of faint light enveloped the stage. It was likely to be a protective dome added to prevent the audience from getting hurt.
“Brat, ready to die?”
Mannen was already standing on the circular stage, not giving Bai Saya the time of day. His posture was very relaxed, but anger simmered within.
“I definitely won’t lose! I demand your life for Shifu.” Although Bai Saya’s words were heated, and the rage inside of him was probably burning, his gaze was rather calm.
“By the likes of you? Hahahahaha!” Mannen laughed without restraint for a long while. Then, with a disdainful tone and gaze, he said arrogantly, “If I remember correctly, three months ago, you lost to me like a mangy mutt!”
Mannen’s belittlement did not anger Bai Saya. He knew it was the truth. He merely calmly said, “I am no longer the same as before. Shooting Star has given me special training!”
Good, good! Shooting Star nodded. Xiao Bai has definitely improved a lot. Mannen’s slander can no longer anger him.
Perhaps Mannen sensed the huge difference in Bai Saya’s temperament and bearing from last time, for he somewhat reined in his haughty attitude and cautiously asked, “Who’s Shooting Star?” If I can’t hold myself back from killing Bai Saya later, it will be hard enough to find an excuse to explain it to Dan. I wonder who the hell this Shooting Star is?
When he heard his own name, Shooting Star hurriedly cleared his throat and took a large step forward. He slapped his very flat, muscle-less chest and boldly declared, “I am Shooting Star!”
Hearing that, Bai Saya turned his head, Mannen turned his head, and the entire audience turned their heads. A boy stood there, whose height only reached one hundred and sixty eight centimeters. He had a universally loved goose-egg shaped face, a pair of large, golden eyes that shone with innocence, and a pure smile that habitually appeared on his face when he felt the audience’s attention on him.
What a cute child. Everyone’s face had on a doting expression that elders would have while gazing at their grandkids.
Although it was a familiar face, Mannen had not thought it would be this brat. His face twitched. He asked in disbelief, “This is the person who trained you?”
When Mannen asked him that, Bai Saya naturally nodded. At that, everyone woke up from their stupor. Seeing how Shooting Star looked like an underage kid, their hearts all said, “impossible.”
However, Bipsha suddenly yelled, “It’s him! Father, he was the one who kidnapped me, and he even whipped me! Help avenge me!”
Hearing his words, the audience erupted into laughter, and someone even mocked, “How nice! Even if I desired it, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to get whipped by such a cute kid!”
When he heard that, Shooting Star quickly turned and shouted, “Want me to whip you? No problem! One lash will only cost one gold ducat!”
Pfft! Everyone guffawed.
Shooting Star, you’re really… Bai Saya looked somewhat helplessly at the new shifu he had acknowledged. He abruptly felt that his solemn resolve had pretty much disappeared without a trace.
“I thought it would be someone! You actually had a baby train you, hmph! Being my son’s boy toy suits him better.”
Seeing that Shooting Star wasn’t anyone famous, Mannen’s burden was solved. He could wholeheartedly make sure the brat before him had no chance to see tonight’s moon. As for Dan, he could just pick and send over some more good-looking slaves to apologize.
Bai Saya, whose solemn resolve had disappeared without a trace because of Shooting Star’s actions, had been wavering between laughter and tears. However, when he heard Mannen’s words, his expression immediately changed. His originally calm attitude abruptly turned agitated, and he growled, “Don’t you dare besmirch Shooting Star!”
In regards to Bai Saya’s agitated response, Shooting Star should feel unhappy, since he had taught Xiao Bai to remain calm no matter the circumstance. However, for some unknown reason, he felt touched. Xiao Bai was advancing more and more along the path of a pet. He was even protecting his master now!
Sentiment aside, Shooting Star didn’t forget to remind him, “Xiao Bai.” He called Bai Saya’s name with a smile and used his eyes to communicate for him to calm down.
Bai Saya turned his head and nodded once he understood Shooting Star’s intent.
Shooting Star’s face suddenly paled and he quickly shouted, “Behind you!” Bastard, Mannen actually attacked without warning.
Bai Saya, who had pivoted abruptly, had pulled out the Sword of Sacred White. He haphazardly held off this close blow.
Although Mannen’s sneak attack had failed, it hadn’t been a useless attack. Upon seeing Bai Saya’s quick reaction and the power behind his parry, he discovered that Bai Saya’s martial arts skills were vastly different from before. He immediately delivered a second strike, then a third strike, determined to hit him while he was down, catching him unprepared, in order to prevent losing the advantage.
Unfortunately, this tactic was utterly useless against Shooting Star’s little pet.
“Too slow.” Bai Saya even had enough energy to speak. He thought it strange. Compared to the speed he trained at with Shooting Star, the speed the enemy before him moved at was practically slow-motion.
Hearing the words “too slow,” Mannen grew furious and hollered, “Take this, Simultaneous Strike of the Nine Dragons.”
At that instant, everyone felt as if the sword in Mannen’s hand had transformed into nine, simultaneously striking at Bai Saya without any room for escape.
Is it an effect resulting from using high speed and afterimages? It was a fancy and wasteful attack. Unimpressed, Shooting Star raised his right eyebrow because this particular attack had an unavoidable weakness. Bai Saya just had to discover it—if he couldn’t, Shooting Star would kill his stupid disciple with his own hands!
Bai Saya blocked the incoming blow from the front right without a second’s hesitation. He followed with a kick from his left leg, viciously sending Mannen tumbling away.
Mannen, who had not thought his opponent would block his attack so easily, was caught off guard and sent flying. Although he swiftly crawled back up and hadn’t really been hurt, his spirit suffered a great blow. He couldn’t believe that his Simultaneous Strike of the Nine Dragons had been so easily countered.
“You couldn’t have known which sword was real!”
Bai Saya calmly explained, “The afterimages don’t give off battle aura, let alone bloodlust.”
Meanwhile, Shooting Star shook his head. It was great that Bai Saya had seen through it, but his pet was really too upstanding. When Mannen had fallen, he hadn’t rushed out to stab him and catch him with his guard down.
When he heard that, Mannen’s expression grew solemn. He coldly said, “I never thought you would be able to detect which sword gave off battle aura in such a short amount of time.”
He unhappily realized that he could no longer hold back in this battle. He had to show his true strength. He really detested having to do so, for who would be willing to reveal their ultimate hand in front of an entire audience? Who knew if there wasn’t a future enemy in their midst?
It indeed had not taken long. Compared to his fifteen years of sword practice, the prior training period had only lasted three months. It had been rather short, yet Bai Saya felt that these three months had been no less simple than his fifteen years of sword practice.
Every day, Shooting Star would ambush him at all sorts of times. And, leaving aside everything else about Shooting Star, his nimble skills were topnotch! Unable to hear any footsteps or other sounds, Bai Saya would get clobbered on the head by a fist. He received countless bumps on his head from getting hit before the compassionless Shooting Star gave him a hint.
Think about it. When someone attacks, what must they give off?
After the lesson learned from having blood squirt out of his forehead, he was forced to understand that the only thing he could sense was the sliver of bloodlust that Shooting Star gave off. But even if he could sense the bloodlust, the fist would always already have landed on his head. After being pummeled for three months, the amount of times Bai Saya could dodge the fists was still far less than the amount of times he got hit by them.
At first, he had thought that he was too slow, and thus he had never been able to dodge Shooting Star’s violent fists. Yet now that he had seen Mannen’s “slow-motion,” he finally figured out that he wasn’t slow. It was just that Shooting Star’s speed was too quick!
Mannen’s face darkened. He made up his mind to use a single, final technique to defeat the stupid bastard, in order not to reveal too much of his hand. “Bastard, see if you can withstand my Heavens Ruled by the Dragons.”
After he finished speaking, he immediately began gathering the battle aura inside his body. He forced the battle aura to cover his right arm. The muscles in that arm immediately ballooned to twice their original size. The veins on those muscles bulged, creating a frightening appearance.
“Hah!” He yelled and casually swung his sword. The battle aura channeled into the sword immediately flew out and created a thundering boom, leaving a huge scar on the stone floor of the stage.
When the audience saw such a scene, they gasped one after another. The battle thirsty ones even began hooting. The atmosphere immediately got heated. Only a few softhearted women worried for the delicate-looking man on the stage.
Shooting Star rolled his eyes and inwardly scolded, “Dumb pet.” Why didn’t he rush over and stab him a few times while Mannen was gathering his battle aura? He so obediently stood to the side while Mannen finished gathering his battle aura… Looks like this pet still needs training!
Seeing that Mannen had gotten serious, Bai Saya also immediately began to call upon his battle aura. However, he didn’t gather it to his sword-wielding arm like what Mannen had done. Instead, he dispersed it through his body. His battle aura had never been as powerful as Mannen’s, and now it looked even weaker than before.
“Hmph! So you wield battle aura too, but it’s so weak.”
Seeing that Bai Saya’s battle aura far paled in comparison to his, Mannen laughed coldly, feeling that victory was within grasp. He might as well barge forward and chop right at Bai Saya’s head!
His strong battle aura nearly incited a gust of wind. The sword, wrapped by the prowess of the wind, fell down upon Bai Saya’s head; however, the speed wasn’t enough. Bai Saya dodged to the side, easily escaping the blow. His current self had already learned the principle of avoiding idiotic, head-on clashes.
Though his strike missed, Mannen’s reaction was rather quick. He immediately followed with a horizontal chop. This time, Bai Saya easily jumped up and as he dodged the horizontal chop, his left leg struck out toward Mannen’s head. However, Mannen was no greenhorn. He leaned his body backwards, and the kick missed him, but he didn’t realize that the kick was merely a distraction. Bai Saya’s kick didn’t succeed, but he followed through with a spin, and the Sword of Sacred White was already chopping down at Mannen’s head.
Shocked, Mannen frantically raised his sword to block it.
After a “clang,” Mannen blocked the attack, but pain flared from his abs. While Mannen was receiving the attack, Bai Saya had given him another kick with his right leg.
After a few exchanges, he was actually at a disadvantage. Mannen hurriedly retreated to gather his wits. The pain from his abs and the failure of Heavens Ruled by the Dragons finally made him feel thwarted.
The brat before him didn’t use thick battle aura at all, yet he was able to corner him to this degree. What’s going on? Why are his attacks so difficult to block? Mannen thought it over, only then realizing that the brat was inventive, using both sword skills and kicks. His variety of skills was nearly endless, forever changing.
By this time, Bai Saya had already realized that Mannen couldn’t win against him. Although he lacked power, and the blows he had landed were all through his feet and bare hands, so he hadn’t injured him very much, he still had a sword in his hand!
To think that a mere change of ideology, to embrace laziness… Er, to dodge when possible and not struggle to the bitter end, to always land a blow and make each strike count, to gain fundamental speed, would improve reaction and stamina. I cannot believe how much I have improved. At once, his heart filled with gratitude toward Shooting Star.
“Mannen, let us quickly finish this battle and put an end to the resentment between us.”
With victory in hand, Bai Saya finally couldn’t hold back. He prepared to go on the offensive. I must avenge Shifu!
However, when Mannen heard him, he actually smirked. His odd smile made Shooting Star feel uneasy, but all he could do at the moment was quietly watch what he had up his sleeves.
“I’ll be damned! What a damn good hero of youth. You truly are worth the use of my precious power.” He slowly took out something from his possession, an egg-sized blue gem!
Bai Saya thought the gem to look rather familiar, and he soon recognized it, gasping, “That’s the gem from Shifu’s sword?”
After looking at it some more, Bai Saya was even more certain that the gem was the same gem from Shifu’s sword. He never thought Mannen would remove the gem from the sword. Could it be that what Mannen wanted wasn’t Shifu’s sword but rather this ornamental gem from the hilt?
I see now. What was valuable wasn’t the sword but the gem. Then, it’s definitely possible that Shifu did not know the value of it. After all, Shifu and I have always been poor and would never come into contact with luxurious items like gems. Shifu might have even thought the gem to be fake, since the sword wasn’t even worth much. Who would embed a precious gem on a worthless sword?
But even if that’s the case, what is Mannen taking out a gem for right now?
Bai Saya was confused, but he was naturally honorable, so it didn’t even cross his mind to take this chance to launch a sneak attack to snatch the gem back. It wasn’t too late to retrieve it after winning, so he merely calmly stood in his original spot, waiting for Mannen to show the “precious power” he spoke of.
Off stage, Shooting Star was looking at the blue gem, feeling just as confused as Bai Saya. He faintly sensed that the gem’s energy was a bit strange, but what use did a warrior have for a gem?
If Mannen were a mage, he could use a magic stone to strengthen his abilities, but he wasn’t a mage at all, and that gem didn’t seem to be a true magic stone either.
An ominous feeling struck Shooting Star, but he couldn’t lend a hand and could only keep an even closer eye on him. At the critical juncture, regardless of the consequences, neither victory nor defeat was important. What was important was making sure his pet came out of it alive.
At this time, Mannen actually used his sword to cut open his own arm. He dripped blood on the blue gem, his eyes gleaming with a wicked, victorious light. Ever since he saw the gem on the sword, detecting that strange energy, he knew that this was what the paramount chief of the Goldenstyle Merchant Guild had been relentlessly searching for.
When Mannen acquired the gem, he did not turn it over to his higher ups. He tirelessly searched for information on the gem, finally discovering that the gem could actually greatly increase the strength of the wielder!
There was no way that Mannen would be willing to hand over power that even the chief of the Goldenstyle Merchant Guild coveted.
Mannen raised the blood-soaked blue gem high in the air and shouted, “Gem of the seven deadly sins, Stone of Fury, Wrath, I use my blood to exchange for your power. Acknowledge me as your master, Wrath!”
The blue gem suddenly shone with a bloody gleam, making Mannen appear drenched in blood. Under the bloodstained light, the gem slowly levitated away from Mannen’s hand and with a “clang,” stuck onto the sword in his hand and actually directly embedded into it. The bloodstained light slowly receded and eventually vanished into the gem, seemingly swallowed by the gem.
“Hahahahaha!” Mannen laughed crazily. He laughed so much that he threw his head back, unable to stop. His eyes slowly turned red. In the end, his eyes gleamed with a frightening red glow.
Even Bipsha felt something was wrong. He hesitantly asked, “F-Father?”
Abruptly, Mannen stopped laughing. His bloodshot eyes searched the surroundings and immediately landed on the nearby Bai Saya. A grin broke out across his face, and he rushed toward Bai Saya with a crazed smile.
Bai Saya was stunned, unsure what to do because of this strange turn of events. However, when he saw Mannen rush over, he immediately woke up. He had no plans to clash head on with the crazed beast before his eyes. He hurriedly leaped a few times to dodge, avoiding Mannen’s attack.
Mannen actually could not stop. He directly rammed into the protective dome around the edge of the stage. Just when everyone thought he would be in a world of pain, Mannen roared. When his entire body hit the protective dome, the strength of the impact rocked the entire battle arena.
However, he seemed very unhappy to be stopped. He kept ramming into the protective dome and even used his sword to hack at it. Eventually, cracks appeared in the dome, splintering like a spider’s web, expanding outwards. The mages responsible for maintaining the protective dome gradually lost all color in their faces.
“What the hell?” Tang Wulie immediately yelled, “Stop it right there. You can’t deliberately damage the protective dome. If something happens to the protective pillars or the mages, you’re dead!”
The only response to that was Mannen’s roar to the heavens. At the same time, an unbelievably strong battle aura exploded from him, and the entire dome collapsed. The pillars cracked, and the mages spit blood, sent flying by the battle aura. They lay on the floor, unconscious.
The stone slabs of the stage had exploded into pieces because of the battle aura. Rubble and pieces of the pillars flew in all directions. Audience members hit by them cried out. Everyone stampeded toward the exit of the arena.
However, Mannen seemed to feel that it was not chaotic enough. His mouth cracked into a grin, and his eyes remained crazed. He actually followed the audience and ran toward the exit of the arena.
Battle aura in the shape of a half moon flew from Mannen’s swing of his sword, knocking over a huge crowd of spectators who had been scampering to escape through the door. The result seemed to finally please him, for he began swinging and sending gusts of sword aura as if crazed. Blood and guts splattered before him, his entire body dyed red by the blood of the audience.
Bai Saya and Tang Wulie shouted simultaneously. The former also rushed toward Mannen as he yelled, wishing to stop the crazed man from furthering the slaughter. The moment Bai Saya closed in on Mannen and saw all the helpless spectators sprawled on the floor, many of them women and children, his eyes immediately reddened. He raised his sword to strike at Mannen, wishing to stop his crazed slaughter.
Mannen swung his sword to block. At that instant, his battle aura was so strong that it ignited a gust of wind. It was nothing that Bai Saya could manage to block. After blood spurted from his mouth, Bai Saya was sent flying helplessly…
A blood-red whip snaked out to grab Bai Saya by the waist, pulling him right to Shooting Star’s side. Bai Saya sprawled by Shooting Star’s feet.
“Shooting Star, hurry and stop him.” Bai Saya’s face was drained of all color from watching Mannen slaughter the audience.
Shooting Star frowned as he watched the crazed beast in the midst of his massacre. He yelled, “Everyone, retreat. Come on, don’t go near the door!”
In actuality, there was no need for his warning. Seeing such a frightening mass murderer in front of the door, the audience had already begun running back. Very soon, there were no obstacles left between Mannen and Shooting Star.
Tang Wulie angrily said, “Mannen, have you gone crazy? Do you know what you’re doing?”
“Father, what is going on with you?” Bipsha yelled frantically, yet he didn’t dare approach his own father. Earlier, he had still believed that his father wouldn’t hurt him, but after a few strikes of sword aura flew his way without any regard to him, he would have already fallen if he hadn’t kept alert.
Mannen looked at Tang Wulie, who had spoken first. Then, he looked toward Bipsha. The latter was so scared by his father’s red eyes that he shrank into the crowd, unable to look his father in the eye.
Mannen’s attention returned to Tang Wulie. Without a word, he raised his sword and rushed over. Without even reaching Tang Wulie yet, he already started swinging his sword, sending a strike of aura.
Tang Wulie knew that his skills could not compete directly with the other person’s. He used nimble skills to dodge, slowly approaching Mannen. Meanwhile, Mannen acted as if he were crazed. A wild blast of sword aura followed each swing of his, with no accuracy to speak of.
Seeing the situation, Tang Wulie had a plan. He yelled, “Shooting Star, I’m going to hold this lunatic back. Hurry and recite some spells. Use magic to defeat him! Don’t keep pretending at a time like this. I know that you know magic, and it’s advanced magic like group teleportation!”
Hearing Tang Wulie say that, and since many of the people present were adventurers of the Adventurers’ Guild, they naturally knew what magic like “group teleportation” indicated. That was magic that only a master mage would know!
In the world, there were plenty of mages and apprentice mages. Apprentice mages only knew magic such as the Spell of Sunlight and weak offensive spells such as Water Arrow and Wind Blade. They were rather extraneous existences, like the ribs of chickens.
A mage, on the other hand, was advanced enough to cast spells with higher offense, such as the fire type spells Flame Arrow and Fireball, or they could even cast Lightning Strike and Teleportation. Although the power behind the spells depended on the ability of the caster, as far as usual cases went, as long as the spell was able to hit the target, it was enough to greatly damage a warrior.
Master mages were much rarer. The biggest difference of a master mage was how they could cast magic with area affects and group damage, such as Flame Wall, Lightning Arena, Chasm, and being able to cast group teleportation to transport other people.
Even more advanced mages were known as archmages; however, by now, archmages were as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns in the world. As far as the world knew, there were only ten or so archmages; among the humans, that was.
Under Tang Wulie’s insistence and the audience’s expectant gazes, Shooting Star didn’t respond.
Seeing that Shooting Star wasn’t responding, Bai Saya anxiously urged, “Shooting Star, hurry. Tang Wulie can’t hold on much longer.”
Shooting Star solemnly surveyed the scene before him. He slowly said, “But I don’t know what kind of magic I’d be able to use here!”
When Tang Wulie heard that, he almost coughed blood. Without a care to his current situation, he rolled his eyes at Shooting Star and snapped, “Anything is fine! Aurora Lightning, Crack of Earth, Wind Laceration, Inferno Blast, anything!”
Shooting Star pouted and complained, “Those spells are all super hard. I don’t know them!”
Tang Wulie was already so beaten down by the powerful battle aura that he had no room left to breathe. When he heard Shooting Star’s response, he nearly fainted.
Bai Saya couldn’t keep watching the show. He asked, “Shifu, what do you know then?”
Shooting Star shrugged and said, “I know Spell of Sunlight, Teleportation, Group Teleportation, Light Barricade…”
The more he listed, the paler the faces of the audience became.
Bro, as a master mage, why didn’t you learn any offensive spells?
An idea flashed through Bai Saya’s mind, and he yelled, “Fireball! Shifu, didn’t you use Fireball before? To poach eggs! Have you forgotten?”
Hearing that, Shooting Star awkwardly rubbed the back of his head and explained, “That’s true, but even after practicing for a long time, all I can do is get the fireball to stay on my hand. I couldn’t learn how to fling it out to attack, so I’ve only been using it to poach eggs.”
The jaws of the audience dropped to their chests. No one had ever heard of a mage stabilizing a fireball on their hands and using it to poach eggs. Even more ridiculous was that he could perform the highly difficult feat of keeping the fireball still in his hand, yet he didn’t know how to throw it as an attack? That’s completely backwards!
When Tang Wulie heard that, his face fell and he slipped. He could only watch as Mannen’s sword chopped down toward his head. My life is over…
But like Bai Saya, Shooting Star’s whip pulled him out, depositing him right by Bai Saya’s side.
Looking before him at Mannen, Shooting Star could feel his overwhelming battle aura. He knew he was no easy opponent, so there was no trace of humor left in him. He seriously commanded, “Tang Wulie, drag my pet further back. Don’t get in my way.”
Pet? Tang Wulie, who had just stood back up, stilled momentarily, but at that time, Bai Saya gently pulled on the corner of his shirt and pointed at himself.
“…” Tang Wulie wordlessly dragged Bai Saya to the back to stand with the rest of the crowd, entrusting his life to the cute boy before them.
Shooting Star could feel the powerful battle aura of the craze-filled Mannen and didn’t dare to underestimate his foe. He drew out the whip by his waist, his originally cute face taken over by a murderous glare, his entire person bursting with a powerful grandeur.
The crazed Mannen also sensed his power. The red gleam in his eyes glowed brightly, showing delight in encountering a strong foe. Unable to wait any longer, he rushed forward to give Shooting Star a forceful stab.
In response, Shooting Star merely smirked. With a light flick of his Crimson Snake Whip, he had originally planned to force Mannen to retreat. However, his opponent didn’t retreat at all, directly taking the slashes instead. Then, he swung and sent out ten lashes of sword aura.
Mannen really has lost all his marbles. I bet something’s fishy with that blue gem! Shooting Star deduced and leaped backward to put distance between Mannen and him. The whip in his hand was so fast that it formed a net, red flashes of the whip blocking one strike of sword aura after another. Shooting Star was no longer pushed back. Instead, he took the initiative and rushed toward Mannen.
Seeing that, Tang Wulie was shocked. A weapon like a whip was suitable for long distance battle. Once he was too close to the enemy, the length of the whip would only become a disadvantage. Since Shooting Star specializes in using a whip, there’s no way that Shooting Star wouldn’t know the particulars of the whip, right? Why did he close the distance between them?
Tang Wulie’s analysis was correct, but he didn’t know just how well Shooting Star could use a whip.
Neither proximity nor distance provided any problems. Rather, closing the distance would prove advantageous for Shooting Star to use his other skill set.
While Tang Wulie doubted, Shooting Star had already entered Mannen’s range. Mannen immediately swung his sword, intent on chopping his opponent in half to satisfy his heart that yearned for blood. However, Shooting Star’s agility was far above Bai Saya’s. There was no way Mannen could succeed.
Shooting Star used a variety of nimble actions to dodge the attacks, and his hand never stayed idle. The whip continuously struck out at the back of Mannen’s right hand at every opportunity.
Faced with Mannen’s overwhelming battle aura and his lack of fear of death, Shooting Star couldn’t fight him head on very well. Luckily, the current Mannen wasn’t very lucid. He wasn’t using any battle strategies at all, merely depending on brute battle aura as he thrashed about wildly.
Also, Shooting Star’s gut told him that there was something funny about the blue gem. Right now, the blue gem was embedded in the sword, so he wanted to knock the sword away from Mannen’s hand. Doing so should change the tide.
However, Mannen gripped onto the sword as if his life depended on it, as if it were an extension of his right hand. Although the back of his right hand was already a splatter of blood and flesh because of the strikes from the whip, he acted as if he didn’t feel it. He kept on stabbing the sword in his hand toward the body of the opponent before him.
Seeing that he could pretty much see the bone in the mush that was Mannen’s right wrist, yet Mannen still wouldn’t let go, Shooting Star’s heart erupted in fury. I really want to murder him!
Gathering his battle aura to the nails of his left hand, making his nails as sharp as blades, Shooting Star dodged his way behind Mannen. His left hand ruthlessly stabbed toward Mannen’s spine.
Feeling the approach of death, Mannen once again burst with overpowering battle aura, forcing Shooting Star to retreat several steps to prevent his hand from becoming disabled beyond repair by that strong battle aura, not daring to continue attacking.
After experiencing the beat down, Mannen no longer dared to underestimate his opponent. He enveloped his entire body in battle aura and put distance between them.
Shooting Star paid it little attention. Even if the distance between them grew, he could still use his whip while the reach of Mannen’s sword wasn’t nearly as great. Random strikes of sword aura couldn’t defeat him either.
At that time, Mannen’s mouth cracked open, his smile frightening. Even the edges of his mouth pulled open. He gathered his battle aura again, and the amount was far more overpowering than before. The strength of his current battle aura was enough to crush the stone slabs by his feet into smithereens, and he was still in the process of gathering more.
Shooting Star’s heart jumped. He couldn’t let Mannen gather any more battle aura. If things continued like that, and he released all the battle aura at once, the entire battle arena would likely turn into a gaping chasm, and it would be one filled by the blood and guts of the people here.
“Snake Dance Bloodbath!”
Shooting Star yelled, no longer holding back his true strength. His battle aura exploded, the Crimson Snake Whip mercilessly striking Mannen’s body. The afterimages of the whip formed a curtain of red.
A mist of blood red enveloped Mannen’s body. No one could tell if it was blood or the whip. Every strike from this technique that Shooting Star had thrown everything into was enough to rip the skin and slice through flesh. Meanwhile, Mannen had no intention to use battle aura to protect himself. Unless they struck his vital points, he seemed not to care about those attacks that wouldn’t kill him directly. But after ten or so seconds, Mannen’s entire body was a mound of flesh and blood without any undamaged skin. White bone could be seen peeking out through several places as well.
Seeing that, Shooting Star stilled his hand. He shockingly realized that Mannen was still gathering battle aura. He didn’t scream in pain even once. Is this guy even still alive?
A living person would be dying of pain by now, so how could he still gather battle aura? No one present could believe their eyes. They all began wondering. Is this thing before us still a human?
“Dragon Annihilation of the Heavens and Earth.”
When Mannen used a hoarse but sinister voice to shout those words, the whirl of battle aura he had gathered surged into the heavens all at once like a dragon and came crashing down upon the battle arena. At that moment, everyone present felt the jaws of death closing in.
“The element of light, the child of the sun, please allow your protective guidance to fall upon us under the benevolence of your heart… Light Barricade.”
Shooting Star immediately cast Light Barricade over the entire battle arena.
Powerful battle aura mixed with overwhelming energy rammed into the Light Barricade. The moment it hit, Shooting Star suffered the wild impact of the battle aura. He abruptly spat a mouthful of blood. If it weren’t because of his deep magical background, how he loved to use a whip and so had specialized in supportive magic, and how his age was not as young as his appearance indicated, he would not have even been able to withstand the first second of the blow. The Light Barricade would have collapsed immediately.
With the strength of the battle aura, if the Light Barricade broke, no one present would be able to survive. However, Mannen’s battle aura seemed endless, relentlessly battering the barricade of light.
Shooting Star’s face grew paler and paler. The destructive power of the battle aura was so strong that he had nearly exhausted himself to the core in just a few seconds… I can’t anymore! Time to flee. He could probably still cast a small teleportation spell. He could grab Bai Saya and run. There was no leeway to care about the others.
He secretly prepared to teleport.
“Shooting Star! Can you still hold on?” Tang Wulie shouted in worry.
Hearing that shout, Shooting Star’s heart jumped, and he stumbled over the incantation he had been reciting to himself. However, he continued reciting it without a change of expression, intent on grabbing Bai Saya and fleeing. He glanced out of the corner of his eye around him… Where’s Xiao Bai?
A large shout escaped from Bai Saya’s mouth. At the same time, he sliced off Mannen’s right hand with one strike of his sword.
As his right hand fell to the floor along with the sword, Mannen deflated. He collapsed to the floor, convulsing nonstop, his bloodshot eyes filled with vexation. His other hand that was still attached was even reaching out to snatch the sword back. Bai Saya hurriedly kicked with all his might, knocking Mannen’s right hand and sword away together.
Mannen wailed tragically and struggled painfully. He kept trying to crawl toward the sword, but though he had been able to release frightening battle aura just a moment prior, the current him could not even manage to crawl forward. Blood spurted from every part of his body. He didn’t even manage a few inches before he stilled forever, turning into a true corpse.
Now that the danger had passed, Shooting Star dispelled the barricade of light. He fell to his bottom and coughed up several mouthfuls of crimson blood. His head felt like it was about to split open, a condition of overspending himself.
“Shooting Star, are you okay?”
Seeing the situation, Bai Saya cared little for his own injuries. He rushed to Shooting Star’s side.
The latter’s head ached, but he didn’t forget to roll his eyes at Bai Saya. He clenched his teeth and bit out, “You think I’m okay?”
Right after he spoke, Bai Saya paled, concern welling in his eyes. Shooting Star knew his pet was too upstanding. Once he heard that Shooting Star wasn’t okay, then it meant he wasn’t okay. He didn’t even give a passing thought to how Shooting Star was still able to roll his eyes at him. So how hurt can I be?
Even though he had exhausted himself, he had still kept the last bit of his strength to prepare to flee, so he felt a bit guilty. Shooting Star hurriedly changed the topic. “Help me over to Mannen’s side.”
Although Bai Saya wanted to tell him to rest and stay still, after three months of training, he automatically followed Shooting Star’s orders.
Bearing with his headache, Shooting Star stood next to Mannen’s mangled corpse. No matter what, he couldn’t figure out how a person could refrain from screaming in pain from these kinds of injuries. Then, he turned his head to look at the blue gem that had caught his attention. By now, the gem was no longer on the sword and had rolled to the side.
Shooting Star appraised the gemstone with great interest. Didn’t Mannen call it the Stone of Fury? And he even used the language of elves to call it Wrath. It’s definitely no ordinary blue gem.
After Mannen dripped his blood on the gem, his strength had increased exponentially. His endless battle aura was frightening beyond comparison. If Xiao Bai hadn’t had a clever turn, sneakily approaching Mannen to cut off his hand, then Shooting Star’s only choice would have been to flee, or else their lives would have been lost.
After quickly thinking it over, Shooting Star knelt down and used a cloth to wrap up the blue gem and stash it away.
“Shooting Star, that blue gem was originally embedded in my shifu’s sword. Could it be that what Mannen wanted was this gem and not my shifu’s sword?” Bai Saya asked suspiciously, “But, my shifu had never said anything about the gem being special, and I have never seen him change like Mannen had.”
Recalling Mannen’s crazed demeanor, Bai Saya shivered.
Shooting Star shrugged and said, “It’s likely that your shifu didn’t know how special the gem is. As for how Mannen knew how to use the gem, I don’t know the answer. But, I bet Mannen only knew half the story himself. Probably, he knew that it could increase his power, but he didn’t know that using it would turn him crazy. If he knew, he definitely would have rather lost to you than use it.”
After a moment’s pause, Shooting Star used shining, innocent eyes to gaze at Bai Saya. He asked with no room for negotiation, “Xiao Bai, won’t you lend this gem to me to study? After I finish studying it, I’ll return it to you! You won’t mind, right?”
Seeing Shooting Star pretend to be innocent and play cute, Bai Saya merely chuckled. Not minding at all, he said, “No need to lend it to you. You might as well keep it. I don’t want something that dangerous.”
At this time, Tang Wulie walked over, delight from having survived coloring his words as he said, “Shooting Star, luckily we had you. Otherwise, we would have all died from that battle aura. Dying from watching a duel, that would have been frustrating.”
“Then, give me seventy, and you take thirty of the bet! Look at how many people I saved!”
Shooting Star immediately took the chance to extort money, not even giving a passing thought to how he had been about to flee earlier. In actuality, the true hero who had saved everyone present was Bai Saya.
Tang Wulie immediately changed his tune as well. “I have no money, just my life!”
“Damn you, then give me your life!”
Shooting Star angrily raised his whip, intent on chasing Tang Wulie. But after his sudden movement, his head hurt so much, it felt like it was going to explode. Yet, he didn’t want to give up on chasing Tang Wulie, so he could only grip his head while he chased the guy with his whip.
Seeing the scene before him, Bai Saya didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was truly hard to describe what kind of person his newly acknowledged shifu was…