HSSB33: Slapping his own face
Under Xiao Shen’s control, the Sacred Sun Saint puppet resembled an illusory shadow as it flew forward with both palms outstretched.
It was like the sun setting in the west; that final, remaining light changed to depict thousands of varying scenes, sad but beautiful in their unpredictablity.
Sunset Thousand Illusionary Palms.
It was a martial art of the Sacred Sun Clan that could only be learnt by members of the direct lineage, one of the clan’s Seven Great Sun Arts alongside the Heaven Striking Palm.
It was one of the few martial arts of the Sacred Sun Clan that was renowned for its individual techniques.
Having spent many years cultivating on this art, Xiao Shen had already gained a deep understanding of its true essence.
Even those of the senior generation within his clan who had stronger cultivations than him, could not compete with him in the usage and understanding of this martial art.
Under the effects of Xiao Shen’s aura-qi, that puppet seemed to resemble a living cultivator, actually executing this martial art that contained many changes and variations to the point of utmost fluidity.
“Controlling the puppet to this extent; it it were Xiao Shen itself, what sort of scene would it be?”
The crowd of spectating Broad Creed Mountain disciples felt their mouths turning bitter, as their palms slowly began to sweat.
Yan Zhaoge never looked at the puppet of the Sacred Sun Saint, as his sight remained on Xiao Shen’s hand that was controlling the puppet.
Against the fierce encroaching enemy, Mr Dong’s puppet did not hesitate in the slightest, just slashing out with its knife!
Right in front of their eyes, the originally lifeless puppet resembled a divine dragon as it soared up into the skies, breaking through the multiple layers of illusions created by the light of the setting sun.
A brilliant green light shot out, resembling a true armoured dragon rampaging about, unparalleled under the skies.
The multiple layers of illusions instantly dissipated as if they had been but shadows from a dream.
While the wooden weapon in Mr Dong’s hands was a short sword, Yan Zhaoge had the ability to use it as he would a long sword, despite its form. The sword technique of the Coiling Dragon Sleeve that he had used was still performed at its peak state, dissipating Xiao Shen’s Sunset Thousand Illusionary Palms.
At this, the Broad Creed Mountain disciples simultaneously whooped together in delight.
The corners of Xiao Shen’s mouth, though, revealed a hint of cruel amusement.
“Do you think I am like that bull-headed Chao Yuanlong, only knowing how to rely on that bit of brute strength?”
Saying thus, Xiao Shen’s hand movements through which the wooden puppet was being controlled became even more varied and precise, as innumerable, subtle variations of the Sunset Thousand Illusionary Palms played out.
Under the control of his aura-qi, the Sacred Sun Saint puppet began glowing with a faint light, resembling the last rays of the setting sun, which once again spread out to envelop Mr Dong.
This time, other than being sad and beautiful as well as unpredictable and greatly varied, the illusions exuded a feeling of desolation.
As the sun descended beyond the mountains and the land prepared to step into the darkness of the night, only a final hint of sunlight remained hovering at the edge of the sky.
However much the people wanted it to stay, however much they will not willing to see it go, their wishes were all meaningless.
What must come, must eventually come!
The Sunset Thousand Illusionary Palms were performed at a very deep level, as their true meaning was drawn out to the utmost at this very moment.
Those final remaining rays of the setting sun, like a cage of desolation, wrapped around the puppet of Mr Dong.
Yan Zhaoge’s Coiling Dragon Sleeve was like a divine dragon soaring into the skies, presiding over the ordinary masses.
But at this moment, he could only open his eyes wide, watching the setting sun descend beyond the distant mountains, unable to revert this natural phenomenon of the skies.
The green sword light instantly dulled, as the sunlight blurred. The audience could only see the darkness that had suddenly converged, swallowing up the two puppets within its midst.
Xiao Shen laughed, “What will fall, will eventually fall.”
“Reminiscing and gaining pleasure off old memories, is utterly useless!”
His aura-qi trembled; the next thing the audience knew, both palms of the Sacred Sun Saint puppet were already headed straight for the Mr Dong puppet’s vitals at its chest area!
“Ah…” Seeing this scene, a cold light flashed within Yan Zhaoge’s eyes.
That very same instant, the Mr Dong puppet’s entire body abruptly twisted, its wrists suddenly moving!
The wooden short sword’s sword-light retracted, returning to gather around the wooden puppet’s body.
Where its sharpness had previously been on full display, things had suddenly regressed to a totally ordinary state.
It was like a sword which had been returned to its scabbard, and also like a genuine dragon that had soared up to transcend the nine heavens, its figure submerging into the clouds.
Coiling Dragon Sleeve, Dragon Concealed Cloud sword technique!
Xiao Shen stopped smiling, as an uneasy feeling suddenly welled up within his heart.
Uncomfortable, unable to relax, as if there were a threat at his back!
Yan Zhaoge had controlled Mr Dong to perform a stealth-based sword technique. Currently, Xiao Shen could only feel that his adversary had suddenly vanished without a trace from right in front of him.
His opponent was obviously still there, but the palm strike that he had been sure would land, had actually missed!
“Petty little tricks, a clown’s tomfoolery!” Xiao Shen raged, his rough voice even feeling a little shriller than usual.
He controlled the Sacred Sun Saint puppet while forcefully keeping in the momentum of his palm, holding it back without releasing it, carefully feeling for his opponent’s presence.
Having just detected a faint sign of life, Mr Dong’s body had already appeared before him!
A mass of biting cold sword light erupted, resembling a clump of clouds that had been struck apart by lightning as it headed straight for the Sacred Sun Saint.
It was as if a dragon had submerged into the clouds, then suddenly stuck out its massive head!
It was like in worldly battles; performing a Parthian Shot, or retreating from a battle whilst dragging the blade to lure the enemy into complacency before turning back to counterattack, killing the enemies without giving them any time to react.
Xiao Shen laughed uglily, as the earlier unreleased momentum from his palm similarly erupted out with power, just in time to meet Yan Zhaoge’s attack.
“I have you this time!”
Just as he was thinking that, he looked at the Yan Zhaoge across of him. His original sword intent that had been rising to the clouds had been withdrawn again, vanishing without a trace!
Yet again that stealth-based sword technique!
The Cloud Concealed Dragon sword technique, where the false coexisted with reality, and action coexisted with inaction, resembling a concealed divine dragon, hidden within the clouds, hidden without a trace, striking without any warning whatsoever!
Xiao Shen’s Sunset Thousand Illusionary Palms missed completely!
And in the next instant, a fiery green sword-light appeared, sweeping through the great firmament, ripping apart the night sky, allowing light to once again illuminate the earth!
“After the sun sets, it will rise as usual. While floating clouds may obscure the eye for a time, there will surely be a day when they dissipate, and we once again see the light of day.”
Yan Zhaoge dragged out a long laugh. Substituting sword with short sword, the sword-light of Mr Dong, stabbed straight at the chest of the Sacred Sun Saint!
Xiao Shen’s eyeballs contracted, but it was already too late for him to control the Sacred Sun Saint puppet to avoid the strike.
Countless invisible streams of a metallic radiance flickered, as they circulated around the body of the wooden puppet.
Aura-qi defences were raised all the way to the maximum possible level, as he tried with all his might to resist Mr Dong’s blow.
But on Mr Dong’s sword-light, a sharp green glow could be seen, that also had a metallic radiance flickering.
As this instant, the wooden short sword resembled a real, metallic long sword as it forcefully broke through its opponent’s aura-qi defences, stabbing straight into the chest of the Sacred Sun Saint puppet!
With a cold snort, Xiao Shen clapped his hands. The aura-qi on the body of the Sacred Sun Saint puppet, abruptly skyrocketed!
The Sacred Sun Saint puppet first disintegrated, before the the wooden short sword that was stabbed into its body also shattered.
This power flowed along the wooden short sword and extended into the body of the Mr Dong puppet, which instantly broke apart as well!
Seeing this, Yan Zhaoge was unmoved. He retracted his palms, putting his hands behind his back as he looked leisurely at Xiao Shen.
Xiao Shen stared straight at Yan Zhaoge in hatred, his eyes already closed to slits, a cold, vengeful gaze flickering within.
The large beard on his face, accompanied by his rough breathing, shook unceasingly.
Although it had not been like with Chao Yuanlong, who had been defeated without any face left to him at all, having lost all the way down to his underwear, at this moment, Xiao Shen’s embarrassment had turned into fury, as a hot feeling lit up his face.
The method of competition had been chosen by him, but at the end, it was he himself who had broken its rules. It was equivalent to slapping himself in the face.
The draw which looked like it had ended with both sides dying together, had actually already ended with his defeat prior to that.
Yan Zhaoge looked at Xiao Shen through the corners of his eyes, shrugging his shoulders, “Actually, I agree with your words; people indeed shouldn’t be living in the past.”
“Securing a position in the present, and looking towards the future; that is the true path.”
How could Xiao Shen not understand the hidden meaning behind his words?
Xiao Shen stared at Yan Zhaoge, nodding his head slowly, “Yan Zhaoge, you’re good.”
“I admit that I belittled you in the past, but that doesn’t matter. Because, there are Many! More! Days! Ahead!”
Having said this, Xiao Shen did not speak any further, as he turned and left.
Yan Zhaoge laughed lightly, “The more time that passes, the less you’ll think that way.”