Chapter 83: A Fight to the Death in the Catacombs
Previously, the enemy had been in the shadows and Jiang Chen in the light. But now, Jiang Chen was in the shadows and the enemy in the light! He deployed “Boulder’s Heart” and tried his utmost to adjust his mentality to the level of being impervious to desires and passions. He even held his breath. Even so, the heart of Jiang Chen’s palms still sweated vaguely.
“If it wasn’t for the opponents revealing their flaws with their words this time, I would likely be a corpse by now.” Jiang Chen’s heart still palpitated with fright.
It was obvious that the Duke of Soaring Dragon had truly gone to great efforts this time, and had actually hired four true qi master assassins. If they hadn’t tried the trick of torturing themselves to win his confidence and instead surrounded him on all sides, they would’ve had at least a seventy to eighty percent chance of slaughtering him.
“The only thing to find fault in is that these assassins were too cautious and wanted too much to be assured of their success.” Jiang Chen could understand how things stood from their perspective. After all, this wasn’t the outside world. It was the Boundless Catacombs. This was an endless night, an underground world that extended in all directions, and a complicated terrain. Once the ambush failed and the target escaped, it would be exceedingly difficult to recapture him within the Boundless Catacombs. The opponents had overly sought to be assured of their success, but had instead given Jiang Chen the chance to snatch his life from the jaws of death.
However, Jiang Chen didn’t relax his guard. He had schemed and gotten rid of two out of four of the true qi master assassins, but two remained. One was skilled at close quarters combat, and the other at ambush. It looked like their strength would be even stronger than the two that had died.
Jiang Chen was nine meridians true qi now, and with his knowledge of strong methods, he wouldn’t be at a disadvantage even he directly confronted a true qi master. But to face off against two at the same time, and both of them cold blooded assassins, was still a very big risk for Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen might not have been afraid of close quarters combat, but it was impossible to guard against that archer with surprising faculties. If it hadn’t been for the protection of the soft armor against that arrow just now, Jiang Chen’s corpse likely would have long since graced the scene. Even so, the strong true qi had still caused a certain degree of injury to him. Jiang Chen leaned lightly against the rock wall and raised his Ear of the Zephyr to the maximum.
The sound of water dripping from the crag wall... the sound of bubbles arising in the marsh... all sorts of movement from underground creatures in the ground below... various minute sounds all travelled into his ears.
A strong sound pierced through the air without any warning, and suddenly violently attacked Jiang Chen’s location.
Another arrow! It was very accurate as it’d made its way straight towards Jiang Chen’s hiding place. It was as if the arrow would pierce through gold and shatter rock, coming with a dominating momentum as if burning true qi was powering it. It came directly piercing through, punching through the rock wall.
“He’s discovered me?” Jiang Chen was startled as his body slightly wavered in that crucial moment. It was a good thing there was a wall of rock in between. Although this arrow had an unparalleled momentum, but piercing through a wall of rock was still a layer of obstruction, and its speed slightly slowed down that tiny bit.
Jiang Chen evaded it in that tiny beat of decreased speed!
The strong true qi pierced through the rock wall, and brought with it the arrow to the wall on the other side, sinking into the wall from the tip to the tops of the fletching!
When the arrowhead shot into the opposite wall, it emitted an ear piercing humming throb, shaking the rock wall and sending rock dust flying everywhere, the wall cracking open like a spider web.
“Such strong true qi!” Jiang Chen was awed. The true qi carried by this arrow was absolutely not something that a true qi master of ten meridians true qi would possess.
“An eleven meridians true qi master?” Jiang Chen became more and more shocked. This Duke of Soaring Dragon had spared no expense, and had hired even an eleven meridians true qi master?
There was a marked level of difference between the existences of ten meridians true qi and eleven meridians true qi. Within all of the Eastern Kingdom, the number of eleven meridians true qi masters probably didn’t exceed twenty!
No time allotted for Jiang Chen’s musing, the arrows broke through the air with unparallelled dominance like shooting stars. Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Three continuous currents of exceedingly strong arrow auras all shot towards the rock wall that Jiang Chen was hidden behind. “Damn it, an eleven meridians true qi master alright. If I can locate him, he can also find me!”
Jiang Chen suddenly discovered that his advantages gained from God’s Eye and Ear of the Zephyr were all completely negated in front of an eleven meridians true qi master. It was a good thing that jagged rocks of grotesque shapes were all around the area that Jiang Chen had chosen to hide in. There were all sorts of rock walls for him to take cover with. Since his opponent wanted to shoot him, the archer would have to pierce through multiple walls in order to do so. However, though the rock wall could stop his opponent, it could also stop Jiang Chen’s counterattack.
A Layered Feather Throwing Dagger in his hand, Jiang Chen valiantly tried to control his tense emotions. The advantages of training “Boulder’s Heart” began to become apparent. His emotions could become calmer the more he was faced with a critical situation. The rhythm of Jiang Chen’s emotions slowly became one with the jagged, grotesque rocks. The weird rocks didn’t move, and thus his mental state didn’t fluctuate either.
“You can’t hide, Jiang Chen!” The boss-assassin’s raspy and sinister voice sounded like a demon from hell within the darkness. The cold blooded assassin was like a demon that pursued relentlessly. Not only did his methods of killing give one a hair-raising feeling of horror and fright, but so did his voice as well. Except, such emotional oppression was without effect in the face of Jiang Chen’s “Boulder’s Heart”.
“Heh heh, Jiang Chen, I see you! Taste my sword!” Another voice sounded. The fake Hubing Yue had already traveled to within twenty meters of Jiang Chen under the cover of the arrows!
Another arrow flew out with wily true qi, making for Jiang Chen’s hiding place again!
Jiang Chen was resigned. His opponent’s targeting abilities were strong to the point of being abnormal. No matter how he dodged, he’d never escape out of the other’s firing range. In the moment that he moved once again, assassin number two had already rushed up and stabbed fiercely towards Jiang Chen’s stomach.
“Die, kid!” With a hideous laugh, number two’s sword stance suddenly shifted.
Another stab towards Jiang Chen’s right rib! Assassin number two was well versed in close combat. The sword technique that he was displaying had obviously gleaned its true meaning from viper attacks. Every move was as accurate, cunning, and ferocious as a viper!
If it was direct combat, then Jiang Chen’s “Vast Ocean Current Splitter” could absolutely match up to this wily sword technique. However, there were two on the other side. Although this close quarters combat looked vicious, it was only to drag down Jiang Chen. The truly lethal threat was from the arrow attacks of the eleven meridians true qi master!
“What a frightening combination! I’ll be dead without a doubt if I become entangled with this person. The attacks from the arrows can absolutely slowly torture me to death!”
What to do? Jiang Chen had no avenues of retreat and no time to contemplate. In those critical moments, an exceedingly bold - even risky - thought flashed through his mind.
The nameless blade in his hand struck straight out! “Eat my blade, first form of Wave Slash!” Nine meridians true qi infused a blade that was as if a reverse ocean current, hewing straight towards assassin number two. It was the strength of one triumphing over ten. This Vast Ocean Current Splitter was the tyrant amongst blades, and possessed an extremely imposing momentum. It was a technique of utilizing the strength of the blade to the utmost.
This simple and unadorned slash was enough to cause assassin number two’s wily sword techniques to halt briefly!
“Go!” Jiang Chen immediately turned to leave when he forced assassin number two to retreat with this move, tarrying for not even a moment.
The assassin was gleeful upon seeing this scene. This Jiang Chen was still inexperienced after all. He also knew that Jiang Chen had no desire to continue fighting because he was afraid of the boss’s arrow attacks. However, with the way that Jiang Chen had turned to leave, this was equivalent to him leaving his back open to number two!
“This kid is looking for death!” Number two’s sword aura churned, as a vicious sword struck for Jiang Chen’s back like a viper! “Die!”
A cunning curve of terrifying true qi once again struck Jiang Chen’s back! Jiang Chen’s body stumbled as he rushed to the fore, the strong true qi almost causing him to fall in a dead faint. It was a good thing that he had raised his speed to the extreme. His forward momentum had more or less decreased the power of this strike.
“Boss, I hit him! This kid is dead for sure!” Just as assassin number two called out loudly to his companion, a cold light flashed in front of his eyes during his moment of pride. A scary thought suddenly streaked through his mind. Except, at this distance, it was too late for him to make any sort of reaction in this critical moment.
Pfft! The moment that cold light lit up in his eyes, it had already sunk into his throat!
Layered Feather Throwing Daggers! Jiang Chen had taken one of the hits in order to turn back and return the favor!
Although this strike wasn’t an attack that encompassed the mysteries of “Moonshatter Flying Daggers”, it was the basic attack of the technique. Its strength was astounding as it skipped a level to kill with its attack, making it impossible to guard against! One had to say, Jiang Chen had taken such a risky move out of resignation.
A bold plan, resolute execution, and the slightest chance of assurance had to accompany this unerring strike of throwing dagger technique! A perfect knife was the satisfactory conclusion to this time’s daring plan.
The eyes of assassin number two bugged out like those of a dead fish. His face was filled with incredulity as he clutched his throat, emitting raspy, hoarse sounds, but unable to ever speak a single word again.
Bam! Another true qi master had fallen.
Jiang Chen had no time to spare for retrieving his throwing dagger. He didn’t even pause as his body dashed away and once again sank into the piles of grotesque rock shapes. It was now one on one! The boss of his opponents was adept with the dao of bow and arrow. And he, Jiang Chen was also versed in the technique of throwing daggers!
Long ranged attacks versus long ranged attacks. Without the existence of helpers, the pressure on Jiang Chen immediately decreased by quite a bit. Except, the original bit of injuries he had suffered had worsened after taking the other’s slash.
His stomach and lungs roiled like overturning rivers and seas, and he wanted to throw up several times. “This assassin is indeed professionally trained. If I’d hesitated even a moment just now, or been briefly entangled by the second guy, then the person on the ground now would likely be me.”
Close quarters combat combined with long range attacks... This type of combination was indeed the most frightening. Jiang Chen had taken a few turns on the edge of life and death, but his emotions had in fact become more and more steadfast and persevering. Jiang Chen circulated his true qi after swallowing a Heavenly Karma Pill, dispersing the medicinal effects into his various meridians. After taking two hits in a row, it was a good thing that he had the soft armor protecting him, otherwise he wouldn’t even have the chance to take the pills right now.
At this moment, the stubborn and headstrong face of Princess Gouyu suddenly flashed through Jiang Chen’s mind. He thought that if it wasn’t for her thoughtful considerations, this Boundless Catacombs would probably have become the place where he died unavenged. “At the end of the day, it’s that my strength isn’t enough. If I was the level of a true qi master, and deployed my various methods then, how would I be in such a difficult position that I’d have to expend so much effort with this duo?”
Hidden in the darkness, Jiang Chen once again realized how the insufficiency of absolute power was hampering his movements when faced with such a situation.
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