Chapter 177: The Deadly Punch


“You’re unbelievably pompous. You, merely a Great Master, ranted that you would kill me? Haha, boy, you are just asking for humiliation.” The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being gave a cold laugh as his eyes turned icy. Then, he half-heartedly pressed palms together on his chest, and that wisp of fiery Natural qi shot out from his palms in the shape of a sword.


Watching the new move made by his opponent, Li Mu looked as if he could not wait to try his chance.


He was itching to experience how intimidating the power of the Natural qi was on earth. He was also curious about whether his current strength was enough to fend off that power. The tryout was, indeed, risky. If by any chance he failed to take that strike… Well, he knew he could not really risk his neck for merely a vivid experience of the power of the Natural qi.


Li Mu forced himself to curb that horrible impulse.


After everything that happened today, he almost felt he was acting like a lunatic.


Now, he decided to do away with the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being first.


Li Mu slowly bent his knees. He was still going to start with the Lifting Pole Style of his Zhenwu Boxing Skill, but this time, his center of gravity was much lower. He also flipped up his fists at the same time and withdrew his elbows, pulling his arms backward to touch the sides of his waist. As he breathed deeply, the Xiantian Skill began to function as well and released the enormous amount of power from his insides. Now, he felt as if all his bones were growling as torrents of energy flew through his body. In particular, the stream of power running down the central axis constituted by his entire spine was roaring fiercely like a huge, powerful dragon.


The air around Li Mu seemed to have condensed into tangible waves which were all converging in his direction.


“A Natural Expert is nothing to me. If I want, I can bombard you into dust with only one punch. Mind you, today’s battle will end here.”


Li Mu grinned, revealing two lines of purely white teeth that were as sharp as sword blades.


His trunk was already bent like a big bow, and his outreaching fist were the arrows fitted to the string of the bow.


“The third style of the Zhenwu Boxing… Cracking Sky!”


With that holler, Li Mu’s punch was out.


His posture was nearly graceful, his movement rather simple.


It seemed… this strike was not menacing at all.


Meanwhile, the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being had finished gathering his energy and also lashed out his ultimate move.


“Haha, boy, be careful when you choose what you will be in your next life, for you want no further encounter with me… Heaven-sword Sixteen Styles—the Sword-thrusting Style!”


It could be seen in his eyes that his killing intent was hiking. The Natural Expert shoved his palms out as that jet of fiery Natural qi in his palms transformed into a long sword and lunged at Li Mu. It was the Sword-thrusting Style of the Heaven-sword Sixteen Styles. Given that he had only produced one wisp of the Natural qi so far, that style was the most suited move he could make under this circumstance.


The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being was perfectly confident that everything was under his control.


He could tell that the frightening Natural qi was capable of destroying any sharp weapons. Although the Sword-thrusting Style had been cracked by Li Mu many times in the previous, he believed this time it would be an invincible move.


The fiery sword light as bright as the suns streaked across the sky.


In the instant, it felt like even the twin suns in the sky were overshadowed by the sword light made of the Natural qi.


Every single spectator on the scene sensed the unnerving power of that sword light. Their hearts were pounding, their souls shivering, as if that light would tear their souls apart… Yes, that thrusting force was unstoppable by any human being.


“Li Mu is finished.”


That thought flitted through many people’s minds in that second.


However, in the exact same second, Li Mu’s fists had reached the furthest point.


His move changed!


His two fists abruptly swiveled to face one another before giving a small wave.


Bang!


A strange force of concussion burst out from his fists.


It was so strong and odd that even the sky over the fighting ring started shaking at the same frequency.


But before the spectators could react, another force of concussion shot out of Li Mu’s fists.


Rumble!


The sky vibrated again.


This time, everything the spectators saw appeared to have shaken violently.


After that…


Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!


Endless rumbles of concussions that sounded like thunderclaps kept breaking out from Li Mu’s fists.


At one point, the hundreds of forces of concussion accumulated to the peak value. Li Mu’s fists started to be blurry. In no time, a ray of silvery light that seemed to be constituted by a thousand jet of silver light zoomed out from his fists and crashed into the Natural qi power generated from the Sword-thrusting Style that the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being just cast.


As the whole place vibrated like mad, with innumerable eyes fixed on the fighting ring, that silver light thoroughly suppressed the red lightsaber formed by the fiery Natural qi under the Sword-thrusting Style. It was like watching a red bough plunging into a pool of boiling lava—of course, the former melted instantaneously.


Yes, it melted.


What was more blood-curdling was the silver light did not fade after swallowing that sword light but directly hit the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being. It neatly penetrated his body before dashing to the void at a tilt and leaving a streak of fist marks that could be seen with bare eyes. That streak of marks stretched further into the high clouds and pierced that cloud layer, forming a score of ghast holes in the clouds. Then, it shot to places far away, almost as if it would reach a star on the other side of the universe.


That scene was beyond words.


In the eyes of every spectator, all the things along the way the streak of fist marks went were like a just-cleaned piece of glass, for they became clearer and brighter than what they saw in the normal vision, including the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being who had the fist energy penetrated through his body as well as the patch of sky several thousand meters away at his rear.


An eerie silence fell upon the place.


The entire square of the Heaven Sword Martial Club and all the people at the audience stand did not make a sound.


The battle on the fighting ring seemed to have frozen.


The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being looked in a daze.


Li Mu’s strike left no gashes or anything on him. But curiously, he felt his body was stiffened. With a beset look, he lowered his head to exam his body and then look up at Li Mu. In a tone of total incredulity, he mumbled, “What, what… kind of punch skill did you use?”


As he asked, Li Mu calmly withdrew his fists.


“Zhenwu Boxing, the Immortal’s Punch.”


He answered the question composedly.


In fact, it was called the Cracking Sky, the third style of the Zhenwu Boxing.


When Li Mu first came to this world, he reckoned the Zhenwu Boxing was merely a way to refine his body, not a very effective method in battling. But as a matter of fact, it was the strongest boxing skill that could really give full play to the formidable power his corporeal body contained and produce the most desirable offensive effect.


For the purpose of killing the opponent with only one strike, Li Mu directly cast the third style of the Zhenwu Boxing, which was also the mightiest one he had grasped by then.


“Immortal, immortal’s… punch? No way. There can’t be such a punch style in the world.”


The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being voiced his disbelief bitterly.


“I don’t buy it! I don’t buy it! I’m already in the Natural Realm. How come… How come?”


He roared while flinging his arms about.


Unlike him, Li Mu was in a quite relaxed mood. He also had no visible injuries or signs of energy depletion.


He smiled as if that victory was a given. And then, he said with a pretended imperious voice, “Don’t feel wronged. You lost because you’re just a supporting role. Face it. Your part is over, so it’s time you die in this play… Do remember to pick your fate carefully before going on with your next life, because you want no further encounter with me… Everything will end today. Now, shake off your worries and just calmly step onto the path of death.”


After finishing those words, Li Mu snapped his fingers in an exaggerated fashion that he thought was cool.


Clatter!


A clear and loud noise that sounded like a clash of high-class jade was heard.


The last blast of gentle vibration had been incurred by that finger snap.


Shortly, like a destructive avalanche caused by the crack of a dead leaf, the route that the silver fist marks, which was several kilometers long, bombarded through completely shattered. As if someone just hammered a large piece of glass, the route broke into thousands of silver fragments…


The void was smashed!


The cloud layers, the sunshine, the blue sky… and the body of the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being all shattered into pieces.


There was no blood, no wails, no bared bones, or segments of the organs.


Like a portrait painted on glass, the body of the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being, a new Natural Expert with unparalleled power, also turned into numerous fragments as everything around him broke into pieces. Then, the shattered parts started to disperse. At last, those pieces similar to thin ice slices dissolved into the sunshine and could no longer be seen in this world.


When that fragmentation was over, everything regained its normal appearance.


The fist marks disappeared.


The sky, the cloud, the wind, and the sunbeam were still the same.


The only difference was that the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being had gone with the fist marks.


His vanishment was eternal.


His body, his flesh, his bones, and his spirit and will no longer exist…


Everything about him was smashed by that forbidding fist energy and turned into dust, into the most primitive particles invisible to the eyes and drifted to any random corner of this world. Yes, every trace of his existence was wiped off.


That was the Cracking Sky style.


That was the power of the Immortal’s Punch.


That was the highest combat capability Li Mu had mastered so far.


“Gee, what a good haul for this battle!” Li Mu dramatically stretched himself with a yawn.


Crash!


Unable to bear the pressure caused by the battle any more, the stone-built fighting ring crumbled. Like a wind-eroded sand sculpture, it instantly collapsed, releasing many pieces of gravel all of the size of a fist. Those pieces of gravel ran off in all directions and finally reduced the fighting ring into a heap of ruins.


The loud clashes woke up all the spectators whose mind had gone blank in shock.


Now, everyone landed their eyes on Li Mu.


Some were astounded looks.


Some were terrified looks.


Some were incredulous looks.


And the others were dazed looks.


The Heaven-Sword Celestial Being, an expert who succeeded in producing a wisp of Natural qi shortly after he entered the Natural Realm, had been shattered by a physical punch of a young man who had not even reached the Natural Realm? And he simply vanished into the air like a gust of wind?


No one would believe that kind of story if they had not been on the audience stand to witness the whole thing. They probably would deem it as the whackiest and lamest lie in the world they had ever heard.


“Natural Expert! The one he just killed was a Natural Expert!”


“How could this happen?”


“The last punch is called what? The Zhenwu Boxing? Is it really the Immortal’s Punch?”


“Yes, it seems so.”


“Because except for the punching skill the immortal employs, I don’t see there is any other physical power that can reduce a Natural Expert to dust, is there?”


For the moment, the thousands of spectators sitting on four sides of the fighting ring were all dumbstruck. The place was so quiet that even the sound of a needle hitting the floor could be heard.


On the audience stand, the expressions of all the celebrated men froze in that instant.


Li Gang already threw his composure into the wind. His eyes were exuding strong disbelief that he could hardly hide. Seized by stress and astonishment, he did not even notice he had snapped a dozen of his whiskers as he watched the fight. Now, he leaned forward a bit and looked into the direction of the shattered fighting ring.


Standing behind him, Zheng Cunjian was also staring at the fighting ring, but his eyes were glazed.


Among all the spectators, the one with the richest expressions was Zhang Chengfeng, the one known for his Heaven-breaking Legend Sword.