Pressing his wound to stem the bleeding, Mu Qing retreated sideways.
The other three Celestial Beings, yet, were increasingly alarmed as the battle proceeded.
They had all uttered their admiration when watching Meng Wu fought against that masked young man in white. They thought the latter was a prodigy for combat. But then they started a fight against Li Mu and quickly realized that he was a far cry from their current opponent. “Sh*t, this Li Mu is really the fu*king prodigy for combat!”
Despite the deficiency of the power of heaven and earth in Chang’an, which was suppressed by the Sky-stabilizing Mirror at that time, the four Celestial Being still had the full accomplishment in the Natural Realm. And their combat experience, Cultivation Methods, attack techniques, and vision and sophistication indeed overtook usual Natural Experts. However, when the four joined hands against a junior who was merely an unaccomplished Natural Expert, they failed to take him down, and one of them even got severely injured.
Notably, his wondrous Broadsword-commanding Skill that could spin off one flying broadsword into twenty-four smaller ones could be said to be a divine technique useful both in defense and offense. With the raging broadsword qi and the Wind-Cloud Six Moves Li Mu cast by the Blade Punch, such a martial art was extremely sharp and awe-inspiring whether in a distant attack or close combat.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Terrifying energy fluctuation spread across the area.
When the wound was in a stable condition, Mu Qing clenched his teeth and threw himself into the battle once again.
The four of them had been tussling with the junior for quite a while, but they could not triumph over him. If the battle did not wrap up soon, the second prince would feel embarrassed by them and nor would they have an easy time.
The battle turned steadily white-hot.
Li Mu was sent flying backward and then hit the ground hard, creating a large pit under him.
However, his flying broadsword penetrated Mu Qing’s shoulder the second time.
“Kill!” Mu Qing totally lost it. He registered that Li Mu regarded him as a stepping stone for a new cultivation breakthrough and so attacked him alone. That drove him mad. Ignoring his injury, he performed his best move.
Meanwhile, the Long-brow Saint, who had lost to Li Mu before, also joined the fight.
He casually slammed against Li Mu, and a massive handprint bore upon the Natural Expert with destructive momentum. That was his most skillful killing move—the Precipice Punch.
“Haha, broadsword, come along!”
Li Mu hastily rolled to his side and dodged the Precipice Punch. Then, he waved randomly at the sky, and twenty-four flying broadswords zoomed in his hand like dancing snowflakes. Next, they combined into a complete broadsword, which was the original state of the Samsara Knife.
But right then, the strikes of those Celestial Beings also arrived.
Fearful energy fluctuations and various combat techniques wrapping in natural qi drowned Li Mu like a wild storm.
Li Mu raised his broadsword without any hesitation.
In the Wind-Cloud Six Moves, the Four-directional Hack was the strongest one suited for fighting multiple enemies. Although Li Mu named it from the Night Fighting with Eight Sides Dao-using method in a martial arts novel on Earth, its real broadsword intent and meaning were abstracted from all kinds of Dao-using ways, especially the Hacking Deities Three Styles.
As that hack was executed, the wind and the cloud started to swirl.
Golden broadsword light surrounded Li Mu, which looked like the halo of the sun or the moon. Then, the silk-like silver broadsword light straightened up and hacked in all directions.
That hack was filled with overwhelming one-way cruelness. Suddenly, the five Celestial Beings all felt Li Mu only focused his power to attach them individually, almost ready to meet his death together. His broadsword light smashed their combat moves and print power, so they had to turn into defense.
“Dragon Defying Hack!”
“Wind Cloud Hack!”
Without a stop, Li Mu cast all of the Wind-Cloud Six Moves one by one. Immediately, broadsword light dazzled the place, and the broadsword qi shot here and there. The area within a hundred meters seemed to have become a broadsword zone.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Deafening cracks produced by the collision those strikes carried around in paroxysms as if nuclear radiation rippling afar. When the sound waves spread to the nearby township, buildings instantly collapsed, bringing in rising dust and rolling rocks. That scene looked just like an earthquake on the doomsday.
Fortunately, the surroundings of the Xiongfeng Martial Art Club were empty, because unconcerned people had been banished from the site by the government. Therefore, such a fight would not cause any significant casualty.
Li Mu was knocked to the sky again and again.
Once or twice, he was whacked like a sandbag hanging in midair. He had been bombarded with an array of combat techniques, handprint, sword light, fingerprint at the same time, which caused both his mouth and nose to bleed and gave him many injuries.
Even so, he was perked up all the same. Instead of revealing the sign of declining power, he became more vigorous and gallant as the battle extended that far.
As to the five superb masters, Mu Qing and the Long-brow Saint were the two most severely injured. They both had holes in their bodies. Had Li Mu’s broadsword qi contained any property power, perhaps the two would have lost their combat ability.
That was a desperate fight.
Li Mu was steeling himself in a frenetic manner.
His willpower was blazing.
His Dao-using methods, his broadsword, and his combat intuition were all being upgraded in a frenzy.
On the other side, the same thing was going on with the masked young man in white who was tackling Chu Nantian. Several times when Chu Nantian had been about to vanquish the masked young man in white, the latter simply escaped his deadly attacks with inconceivable acute and agility. He reminded Chu Nantian of the pestering cockroach.
“If my Flying Eagle Sword wasn’t taken away by Flying Eagle Sword…” Chu Nantian moaned his chagrin internally.
“If I still got the Flying Eagle Sword, with its sharp blade, how could the battle be so grueling?”
On the outer skirts of the battlefield, a loft was covered by an invisible protective shield.
Standing on the loft, the second prince did not cast a glance at the two battles. Even though Li Mu had amazingly resisted the joint attack of the five Celestial Beings, the eyes of the second prince still showed no emotion, because he did not care about the results of the two fights at all.
What he really cared about was the standoff before the main altar of the Xiongfeng Martial Art Club.
Cao Bingyan, the chief eunuch, made a sword gesture with both hands, and a star river instantly materialized between his palms.
Mysterious dark purple nebulas whirled counter-clockwise, while stars in water blue, dark yellow, bright red, and many other colors drifted within. That picture was too peculiar, too magnificent. It looked like he had grabbed a patch of the universe in hands. Against the weird phenomenon, Cao Bingyan himself appeared to be a sacred giant standing in the vast world and a sea of stars, who had hundreds of galaxies at his command.
That was the gist of the Star River Sword.
Years ago, when he had made his name in the capital by dint of that Star River Sword, he had not mastered such good control over the ‘star river.’
“The boundless plain fringed with stars hanging low, the river ran under the cascade of moonlight… Star River Sword, over here!”
As Cao Bingyan roared, threads of Star River Sword intent slowly fluttered out from the star river between his palms and merged into a small sword only the size of a finger. With a subtle vibration, it crumbled the star river between his palms and swallowed all the nebulas and galaxies before sizing up against the wind and becoming a large sword that could only be held with both hands.
Cao Bingyan grasped the Star River Sword in his hands, feeling like he had understood the whole world.
He touched the ground with the tips of his toes and began to slide as if without friction. Quite unhurriedly, he raised the sword and thrashed it at Li Gang.
That strike carried neither bitter qi nor ruthless killing intent.
It seemed to be a rather gentle and graceful attack.
But only Li Gang, who was facing front at the sword tip, sensed the intimidating starlight glowing from the tip. It almost felt like a giant planet was about to fall upon him.
If it were anyone else taking the blow, he would become ashes once he was exposed in the starlight, let alone launch any counter-attack.
Li Gang’s long black hair billowed even without wind. It flapped in the air like a dark waterfall. An eerie aura that seemed not to exist in this world pervaded the place. Then, he nodded, “Good. It does seem to be something after you twenty-one years’ worth of nurture… However,” he grabbed at the thin air and continued with a satisfied look as if he had the most mysterious thing in the world at hand, though it appeared that nothing was in his hand, “You entrust your life with the shining blade, while I take others’ lives in the secular world… Brother Cao, take my lethal Secular Sword!”
Holding something invisible, Li Gang flipped his hand and threw out a hack.
A wisp of Sword Intent burst out at once.
The two were both high-ranking practitioners. Though they had not reached the Sage Realm, they were absolutely at the peak of the Celestial Being Realm. So, in the duel, they not only just fought with moves and styles but also their Taoist Sense and Taoist Power. Obviously, Cao Bingyan was carrying some royal treasure with him, which allowed him not to be affected by the suppression of the Sky-stabilizing Mirror. He was fighting without reserving a single ounce of strength.
The Secular Sword Intent crashed with the Star River Sword Intent. In the eyes of the onlookers, two shafts of light just collided with each other in the void, generating odd refraction. Threads of light burst out from the flanks. When the light reached the surrounding buildings, stone walls, and earth, they all broke up with a bang and turned into piles of dust, as though they were all made up of tofu…
But thanks to Li Gang’s mountain-like figure that blocked the after-effect of the collision, those in the Xiongfeng Martial Art Club were spared of being instantly reduced into dust and dispersing in the world.
For the experts in the Xiongfeng Martial Art Club, including their strongest ones, such combat was practically a fight between supernatural beings.
A jet of Secular Sword Intent flitted by and penetrated the protective shield formed by the Star River Sword. Although it was substantially worn down, the tip of the sword still managed to reach the chief eunuch’s shoulder and cut his flesh.
However, an abnormal tinge of red climbed onto the chief eunuch’s face. Surprisingly, he took no notice of his shoulder that was going transparent and continued to shove the Star River Sword in his hands at Li Gang with great effort.
The air seemed to ripple.
Within a radius of five meters around Li Gang, some bright light was roaming, and the Taoist Power was twirling.
If Li Mu were there, he would capture the hidden energy grids constituted by the power of heaven and earth had shrouded the area within five meters around Li Gang. Cao Bingyan’s Star River Sword had thrust into those energy grids as if a violent shark plunging into a many-layered net. It kept mastering its power to approach Li Gang, to break the net, and to bare its fangs and sink them into the fisherman’s flesh.
The real cultivation contest between the two finally commenced.
The grudge from the heaven-trembling battle in the capital twenty-one years ago had even carried on to that moment.
The Star River Sword advanced on Li Gang bit by bit.
By the time, Cao Bingyan’s left shoulder had vanished under the attack of the Secular Sword Intent, just as how Meng Wu died a few moments ago.
That was the killing method of the Secular Sword Intent.
But he paid no attention to his loss. Gripping the Star River Sword with the help of the remainder of his left shoulder and the intact right shoulder, he gathered all his strength and continued approaching Li Gang. As he came closer, Cao Bingyan started to glow like the misty star, as though he would turn into a jet of light and disappeared into the Taoist Power.
He was genuinely giving all out to scrape a win.
“Why bother?” Li Gang suddenly began to speak. He sighed, “Star River Sword is a combat art of the deities and demons from outer space in ancient times. If Brother Cao could focus on sword art, you would definitely be able to enter the Void-breaking Realm. Yet, you’ve been blinded by the one defeat that occurred twenty-one years ago. Since you so persistently hold on to your resentment, you have no way to rise above the secular world, let alone entering the vast universe.”
Cao Bingyan gave a hollow laugh and hissed, “I’ve told you, today is the day when the Secular Sword Whiz is removed!”
Clearly, his resentment was deeply rooted in his heart.
Li Gang shook his head. “You resort to the secret method of the royal family to command the Star River Sword at the expense of consuming your essence and lifespan… You have been used by someone and discarded the wide flat road but picked the winding, uneven bypass. That instead spoiled the true meaning of the Star River Sword. You cannot kill me…”
But before his voice died away——
Something unexpected happened.
A golden toe of a dragon abruptly appeared behind Li Gang. It merely stuck out from the void without any alerts or signs, cracked Li Gang’s protective shield formed by the Secular Sword Intent, and plowed into the center of his back with overwhelming strength!