Chapter 163: Art of Murder

Chapter 163: Art of Murder [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]  

When that aristocratic descendant saw Qianye, he said with a cold, arrogant and disdainful tone, “My name is Liu Yuqing. Remember this well, for I am the master who will restore the Liu Family and the man who will defeat you.”

Qianye shrugged, feeling that he could save the banter on this particular occasion. Qianye vaguely remembered that this person’s family was the direct line of descent of the Fantang Liu Clan. Considering his family’s strength, it was admirable that he managed to enter among the top ten of the spring hunt. Perhaps it was this success that had bolstered Liu Yuqing’s confidence.

Liu Yuqing took a horse stance and assumed the starting gesture of a secret combat technique. His body immediately glowed with origin power as a faint pillar of light stretching several meters long appeared above his head.

This secret combat technique was called the One Line Heaven, and it was a little famous among the aristocratic families. It wasn’t hard to understand where Liu Yuqing’s arrogance came from considering that he was able to cultivate the technique to this level at such a young age.

But Qianye shook his head on the inside when he saw his rigorous and meticulous starting gesture. It would seem that Liu Yuqing was the kind of cultivator who possessed good talent and worked hard in cultivation and training within the family but had no battlefield experience at all. His combat experience basically amounted to everything he experienced in virtual combat, and at best some real-life sparring.

There were plenty of aristocratic families who raised their younger descendants this way. Although the Empire had never stopped warring since its foundation one thousand and two hundred years ago, those living within the borders and especially the big provinces had enjoyed peace for a very long time. The sayings of “fueling war with warfare” and “the tempering of one’s will through blood and fire” were just an ideology. In reality, plenty of people who possessed the talent but not the luck would perish in the cruel environment that was the battlefield before they ever amounted to anything. It was why many aristocratic families didn’t advocate this method of cultivation and self-improvement.

Rank five was normally the dividing line for all those who were beneath Champion rank. The average younger descendant would be sent into the army as junior officers only after they had cultivated to rank five and possessed the basic ability to protect themselves. At rank five, they wouldn’t be sacrificed casually as cannon fodders, and they would be able to accumulate experience bit by bit through the many battles a regular army would face. The people who trod on this path could grow stronger and ascend to a higher position just the same, and most importantly they would learn how to command an army in the process. Although their martial power would progress slower than those who had started off with the Combatant Formula at first, the strengths of their secret combat techniques would become more and more obvious down the line.

The tides of Daybreak energy started to rise and fall inside Qianye’s body as he assumed a careless stance. He had long since decided to end the first battle as soon as he could because he had to preserve his strength for the latter battles to come. There would be another three consecutive matches today, and the aristocratic descendants would be participating in the fight starting today. His low rank was a weak point of his, and it would only get worse the further he lasted in this one on one tournament.

To Liu Yuqing however, Qianye’s casual standing posture was a bright contrast to his own serious stance. His face took on an ugly expression, and he glared firmly at Qianye while obviously thinking that his pride as a warrior had been insulted by Qianye.

When the bugle horn resounded, Liu Yuqing shot towards Qianye like a straight arrow. The light pillar above his head split into half and stretched from his arms all the way to his fists. He plunged two sharp and ferocious origin auras that looked like two sharp blades right towards Qianye’s chest.

Qianye stood where he was and didn’t move a muscle, but he showed no intentions to defend himself against the attack either. Suddenly, he leaned backwards and extended his right hand with lightning speed. Two tiny beams of origin power appeared from his index and middle finger and went straight for Liu Yuqing’s eyes!

It was an attempt to trade wounds right from the beginning! In this case, Qianye would suffer some internal injuries around his chest and stomach area, but Liu Yuqing’s eyes would suffer terrible damage in exchange! Qianye wouldn’t die from damage to his internal organs no matter how severe they might be, but Yuqing would either suffer from sequelae or lose his eyesight permanently if he was struck in the eyes!

Shocked, Liu Yuqing had no choice but to withdraw his fists and protect himself. Qianye smiled, rushed forward, and unleashed a tide of earth-shattering attacks that seemed to come from every direction at once! Every punch and kick he threw were incredibly forceful, and they were always aimed at his opponent’s vital spots. It was a vicious, all-out offense that spared no energy.

Liu Yuqing managed to seize some openings and attack Qianye’s vitals a few times, but Qianye simply continued his full offense without any regard for his own safety at all! One could call this a trade of wounds, or they could call it a death match as well. Liu Yuqing had never met such a person in his life, so he was quickly overwhelmed by the attacks to the point where he could only defend himself.

At the grandstand, an old man suddenly snorted and spoke up in displeasure, “The way that No.163 fights is just shameless! How could he use an out of trend fighting style like that in the spring hunt ceremony? Yuqing is taken advantage of only because he cares too much about proprietary!”

Although the old man was qualified to sit at the grandstand, his seat was near to the edge and quite far away from the main seat that was Duke Wei’s. He was the current patriarch of the Fantang Liu Clan, and his seat was a direct reflection of the clan’s status among other aristocratic families. With the Liu Family’s strength and status, it was impossible for them to participate in the Imperial Garden Spring Hunt. That was why the Profound Heaven Spring Hunt was their best chance to show off their abilities.

Seated not far away from the old man, a noble lady with a plump, smooth face dressed in a graceful and luxurious attire smiled faintly, “I don’t think so. The technique No.163 is using right now is one that truly decides the tides of a battlefield. In a war where a single exchange may decide life or death, who would take their precious time to trade blows with you slowly? Yuqing is a good kid, but his real combat experience is a little lacking. He already exposed his own weakness after encountering an opponent who is only slightly better than him. What the point of training perfectly on his lonesome, if this is all it amounted to?”

The Liu Family patriarch’s face darkened as he let out a snort, “Yuqing is a talented boy with a great future, so of course, we must nurture him with the utmost care. We are not so desperate, as the landed gentry or the poor and humble are, that we would send him to dangerous grounds just to stake his life over an illusory chance of success!”

The noble lady smiled softly, “That makes sense. Yuqing definitely can grow into his full potential slowly. I fear that Miss Xin’er cannot wait that long, however. I heard that she is going to choose her husband from this term’s talented youths.”

The Liu Family patriarch’s face darkened even further, and he fell completely silent after letting out one final snort.

Xin’er was Duke Wei’s second granddaughter, and she was rather loved by all her seniors. The news that Duke Wei was going to choose a husband for her during this term’s spring hunt had spread since a long while ago, and there were many aristocratic family descendants and young landowning household descendants of higher stature who were looking forward to this opportunity very much. But even if this noble daughter turned out to be completely uncritical, there was simply no way she was marrying a husband who got stumped at the fourth round of the one on one tournament.

On the proving ground, Liu Yuqing was finally showing his solid foundations little by little. The fact that he hadn’t been taken down by Qianye yet even at this stage proved just how tenacious he was. However, there was no way he was overturning his defeat before the vastly experienced Qianye.

Qianye’s attacks grew fiercer and denser over time. Suddenly, he let out a huge cry and threw three rapid punches at Liu Yuqing in a row, throwing him out of the ring immediately!

Liu Yuqing didn’t realize that he had stepped outside of the ring until he saw Qianye removing his stance and backing away. By then, he had already lost, “You!” He pointed a finger at Qianye in fury but didn’t know what to say.

“I’ve won,” Qianye said calmly.

“That cannot be called a victory!” Liu Yuqin replied angrily. Qianye had practically forced him to step out of bounds with a round of rapid punches, so of course, he was unwilling to accept his defeat.

By now, Duke Wei’s personal guard who was supervising the battle had walked over and warned them in a chilly tone, “Withdraw immediately after the battle is done!”

Liu Yuqing could only swallow his emotions no matter how reluctant he was to accept it. He glared at Qianye with so much hatred that it looked like he could tear Qianye into pieces and swallow him whole with his gaze alone.

Qianye simply smiled before turning away. The reason Qianye was able to send Liu Yuqing out of the ring was because he had thrown all three of his attacks on Liu Yuqing’s defending left arm. If he had chosen to attack any other parts of Yuqing’s body instead, the boy would’ve suffered at least a minor injury considering that Qianye had pushed his Combatant Formula over twenty cycles already. Liu Yuqing didn’t realize that Qianye had shown him mercy because of his lack of experience.

Qianye saw Zhao Junhong again just as he reached the edge of the ring.

Zhao Junhong suddenly said, “Your combat technique isn’t suited for arena matches.”

By now Qianye had figured out the second Zhao young master’s temperament a little, and he also noticed that this arrogant clan descendant was zealously passionate about martial techniques. Therefore, he made an amiable reply, “Actually, I’ve not learned any secret martial technique in my life. Also, the military’s combat technique and Combatant Formula are for killing and not for show.”

Zhao Junhong nodded and wore a pondering look on his face. In the past, he had looked down on all weapons that were beneath rank five. The army’s standard issue guns especially were no different from scrap iron to his eyes. However, that opinion had changed on the day Qianye injured his bodyguard with an Eagleshot.

It was no secret that the Combatant Formula had a fatal flaw that prevented most of its cultivators from ascending to the Champion rank, and the army’s combat technique was no different from street fighting in Zhao Junhong’s eyes. However, for some reason, Qianye was able to turn both of them into remarkable things like magic. It overturned nearly everything he knew.

The fifth round quickly arrived, and the remaining participants were split into two big groups. The Zhao and Song Household made their first appearance in the tournament, with Zhao Junhong and Song Zining being put in different groups to avoid an early encounter. Both Zhao Junhong and Song Zining originally had the special right to choose the opponents they wanted to fight, but they waived it because they didn’t want to be criticized as bullying the weak. Therefore, the groups were quickly divided after a very brief discussion. The order would be decided by drawing lots as usual.

Qianye broke into an involuntary smile when he looked at the groups. Zhao Junhong wasn’t in the group he was in, so this meant that he must climb to the top of his group to be able to encounter Zhao Junhong in a battle. This also meant that he must beat Song Zining first to be able to do so.

Everyone’s eyes were focused on the proving grounds where the Song and Zhao participants were fighting. Zhao Junhong displayed incredible might by sending his opponent flying out of the arena in one kick, while Song Zining fought a standard duel that lasted for almost ten minutes before he won by a small margin.

Meanwhile, Qianye finally met a powerful opponent. It was Nangong Wanyun.

Nangong Wanyun had the sweet temper of a traditional aristocratic lady. After standing on the opposite side of Qianye, she smiled, “Can you show me a little mercy?”

“No,” Qianye answered.

Nangong Wanyun smiled in reply, “You sure have no idea how to appreciate a girl. I’m not asking you to throw the fight; I just want you to avoid hitting the face. Is that okay?”

Qianye mulled over the suggestion seriously before answering, “I’ll try my best!”

“Then I shall thank you first,” Nangong Wanyun spread open her arms and attracted mist to her fingertips. Then, she pushed out her palms evenly like she was doing a palm strike. A couple of colorless origin power immediately flew out of the mist and towards Qianye’s vital spots. They sounded just like a sharp weapon cutting through the air.

Qianye let out a low cry as a dark red glow covered his body. He strode forwards and moved slightly out of the way only from the attacks that were aimed at his weakest spots such as the eyes and the throat etc. He ignored everything else and shortened the distance between himself and Nangong Wanyun instantly, throwing a devastating punch from above!

Nangong Wanyun’s expression changed drastically as she dodged out of the way. She cried out, “You promised not to hit the face!”

“I shouldn’t ambush you too, right?” Qianye turned around and threw another thunderous punch towards Nangong Wanyun’s center.

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