The heavy sword of the condor.
Xiao Longnü saw the Quanzhen Sect’s group of Taoists riot, the Mongolian warriors raiding on a large scale, every dispute seemed from her viewpoint like a cloud of mist, she paid no attention to them. But seeing Lu Qingdu raise his sword to kill Zhen Zhibing, how could she let someone try to kill him? Therefore, she immediately ran up front to block the attack.
When Zhao Zhijing saw Xiao Longnü suddenly advancing into the temple, he felt delighted: “Throughout the whole journey I’ve been chased by you without a moment’s pause for breath; now, with so many experts around, you’re literally searching for death, it truly is a gift from heaven!” He called out: “The demon girl is not a good person, seize her for me!” The Mongolian warriors didn’t take notice of his orders; they didn’t even lift a finger. Zhao Zhijing’s two close followers heard their master’s command, rushed forward, and tried to grab both her arms.
Before their hands reached her sleeve, the fight, from their perspective, was moving as fast as lightning, and then their wrists felt a burst of severe pain. In haste they leapt back. What had happened was that from her waist Xiao Longnü pulled out two swords. In the blink of an eye, their wrists were struck by the swords; the carpal bones were almost broken and the wrists were drenched with blood. The move was extremely quick; people did not have time to clearly see how she brought out the swords, attacked the two Taoists, wounded them and moved away. Those watching couldn’t help but feel startled.
Lu Qingdu called out: “Great comrades let’s attack together, our many hands will provide great strength. Who cares what that demon girl’s origins are?” He thought that however skilful Xiao Longnü might be, she’s merely a young woman; once everybody rushes forward, their victory is assured. The vanguard thrust their swords to pierce Xiao Longnü. Xiao Longnü’s sharp swords vibrated, Lu Qingdu’s left wrist, right wrist, left leg, and right leg had been struck by her sword, with a loud howl, he collapsed on the floor. The thrust of the two swords was even quicker than before; even experts such as Xiaoxiang Zi and Yin Kexi gazed at each other with pale faces. They’d previously seen her fight Gongsun Zhi at Passionless Valley. At that time her sword stances were fine and ingenious, but they were definitely not as unbelievable as they were now.
Xiao Longnü was taught how to separate her mind for two uses by Zhou Botong, the Left/Right Mutual Combat Technique; between her innate abilities and his teaching, her martial arts had multiplied. With Yang Guo forming the Dueling Sword Combination and using the ‘Pure Heart of the Jade Maiden Sword Technique’, few have matched it under the heavens. Now, as one person, she can use two swords simultaneously, with outstanding power. Regardless of how two people’s intentions are interlinked with each other, it’s still inferior to one person’s lightning-like alertness during battle. At this moment, although her sword method’s energy and strength weren’t as good as two people teaming up, her moves are faster in comparison by many times.
Throughout her lengthy trailing of Zhen Zhibing and Zhao Zhijing, she was depressed for days on end, not knowing what way to dispose of them. Within that moment that the Quanzhen Taoist’s commander launched an attack, she took the opportunity to retaliate. Once she saw blood on the tip of her sword, she felt grief and indignation; suddenly she broke away from her attackers. Seeing her white garment drifting about, like cold flickering light and both swords seeming like two silver snakes wandering inside the temple. Ding-dong, qiang-long sounds accompanied by comments of “Oh!”, “This is bad” were heard. Instantly, the Quanzhen Taoists’ swords dropped on the floor, everyone of them had felt the thrust of her swords on their wrists. Even more bizarre was that she used the same maneuver “Hoary Wrist Jade Bracelet”, yet all that the Taoists saw was the flash of the sword brush past their eyes. Their wrists felt intense pain and they were left helpless. They had been easily disposed of with no chance to parry any of the strikes. This group of Taoists could have been killed effortlessly one by one. After the Taoists were injured, they withdrew in deep shock. In front of the three statues were Zhen Zhibing and a bunch of bound Taoists.
Xiao Longnü studied her Left/Right Mutual Combat Technique alone and practiced it a couple of times in the wilderness, but she’d never exchanged blows with anyone. Today she had the opportunity to try out these new techniques, and even she could not have dreamed of possessing such might; she was unexpectedly startled.
Realizing the situation wasn’t fortuitous; Zhao Zhijing rapidly pulled a sword from his Taoist robe to protect himself, and at the same time retreated. Xiao Longnü was full of hatred towards him and as she moved in, both swords completely blocked the routes to his front and back. Zhao Zhijing brandished his sword in order to gain a path, but only the ding-dang sounds of swords clashing could be heard.
Yin Kexi said: “You won’t succeed, get out of the way!” He had already obstructed Xiao Longnü’s sword as he lashed out his Golden Dragon Whip. Xiao Longnü had injured 10 people one after another, up to this point, but one person was able to catch her single sword.
Xiao Longnü spoke: “Today I came here to seek my revenge against the Quanzhen Sect’s Taoists, it does not involve others, stay out of the way.”
Now Yin Kexi saw how her sword was chasing like wind and clouds, even he lost his nerve. But he was, after all, a first-class expert; he could not cower in fear because of someone’s words. So he laughed and replied: “Among the Quanzhen Sect’s Taoists the good and bad are intermingled; there are a dozen few who deserve to be killed, but who are those that offended you and deserve to die Miss?”
Xiao Longnü made an “ng” sound, and didn’t pay further attention to him. Yin Kexi thought, “First I will establish a friendship with her so even if I’m no match for her, it won’t result in death. If the situation is not right he would concede defeat. If other people know that we’re acquainted with each other, they won’t ridicule me for being cowardly”. Consequently he laughingly called out: “Dragon Girl, don’t waste any more time, your precious body is pure and healthy!” Xiao Longnü made another “ng” sound, her eyes did not move away from Zhen Zhibing and Zhao Zhijing, fearing that they might seize an opportunity to slip away. Yin Kexi uttered: “Don’t dirty your hands on the deceitful Taoists, just point them out. Let me offer my services, and one by one they will be punished for Miss.”
Xiao Longnü replied: “Good! Then kill him for me first.” She pointed at Zhao Zhijing.
Yin Kexi thought: “This person has been imperially conferred by the Mongolian Da-Han, how can I kill him?” Then he laughed: “Immortal Zhao treats others very well, I’m afraid there’s been some misunderstanding Miss. I’ll tell him to come to Miss and apologize in front of you!”
Xiao Longnü’s beautiful eyebrows slightly frowned. She thrust her left sword out, as fast as a bolt of lightning, heading for Yin Kexi. Yin Kexi hurriedly raised his whip to ward it off. There was one sound of “Ah”; for standing behind was Zhao Zhijing who was stabbed in the shoulder. Xiaoxiang Zi and his class of experts couldn’t tell how the thrust was made. They all assumed it was the right hand sword that was thrust out, twisting past Yin Kexi’s body, and piercing the person hiding behind him.
Yin Kexi was deeply surprised, he thought, “This sword may not have hit me, but I was powerless to guard Zhao Zhijing, that is also a disgrace”. His opponent’s move was very fast, he just couldn’t follow her twin sword’s route and oncoming force; if he continued to fight her in this way he will definitely lose. The more he thought of this, the more cowardly he became; with a swing of the Golden Dragon Whip, he bellowed: “Miss Dragon Girl, please be merciful!” Xiao Longnü didn’t care since she didn’t regard him as an enemy, or a friend; without slowing her pace, she stepped twice to the left. Yin Kexi followed with one turn, still wanting to protect Zhao Zhijing, but suddenly heard moaning behind him. Slowly turning his head around, he saw Zhao Zhijing’s robe sleeves had been neatly split into two parts by the point of her sword and blood came running from the wounds. How Xiao Longnü had pierced him, the other people were still completely baffled by it. Her rapid and skilful sword methods had reached a point where not only do her routes leave no trace, it’s as if she can block one person and still injure her foe at will.
Zhao Zhijing has been consecutively pierced twice. Realizing that Yin Kexi’s martial arts were average, he knew he could not count on him for protection. In imminent danger he took a deep breath and scurried over to the side of Xiaoxiang Zi. Xiao Longnü acted as though she never noticed it. She turned her body and with force, aimed her left hand sword at Yin Kexi, yet her right sword was directed at Nimoxing’s chest. Whilst supporting himself with his left hand on his crutch, Nimoxing’s right hand used the steel snake to block. But then he heard Zhao Zhijing crying out loudly, followed by a ‘qiang-long’ sound, as his sword fell. His wrist has been poked by her sword yet again. That move was even more peculiar. It was obvious that Xiao Longnü was far beyond him. Somehow, while attacking two formidable fighters, she managed to find time to wound him again.
Xiaoxiang Zi grunted and said: “Miss Dragon Girl’s sword techniques are not bad at all; I also want to challenge you.” His left hand threw a palm from his side, but at that instant Zhao Zhijing felt a great force meeting his shoulder. He lost his footing, and flew several zhang (ten+feet) away. Fortunately his inner energy has considerable foundation; though his body may have been wounded three times, he was able to get up on his feet. Xiaoxiang Zi’s palm force had not yet arrived and the cane attacked at the same moment.
Ma Guangzuo had long been good friends with Yang Guo and Xiao Longnü; his mind felt that this was far from right, and spoke loudly: “Three Wulin Masters ganging up on a young girl. Don’t you want to save face?”
Once Xiaoxiang Zi and others heard this, their faces showed signs of anger. Throughout their lives they had paid no attention to such things as virtue or morality; however arrogance, pride, and dignity were still regarded as extremely important to their identity. To mention three people ganging up, why, they wouldn’t even consider fighting such a young girl even one-on-one. But they knew, certainly, that relying on one person was impossible, since they wouldn’t be able to resist her supernaturally unfathomable sword movements. They could only pretend not to have heard those demeaning comments made by Ma Guangzuo. They were thinking: “What a stupid fool! We’re all handling the same affair here, and yet you help an outsider? When we’re done I’ll teach you a lesson.” While their minds were filled with these thoughts, before their eyes, the flash of the sword shone. Xiao Longnü had already made a move. The three fighters still couldn’t follow the paths of her swords, so they leapt backwards together. They moved away a few zhangs, not wanting to get caught up with each other, all the while brandishing their weapons and protecting their body’s vital parts.
Numerous Mongolian warriors led Zhen Zhibing, Li Zhichang, Wang Zhitan and others near the temple wall. They all knew that the battle between the four was not to be taken lightly, all that was needed was for one person’s weapon to be close to you; if you didn’t die then you’d definitely sustain a serious injury.
Xiaoxiang Zi, Nimoxing and Yin Kexi all expected her to attack the other person first, so long as they’re able to spot clues in her moves, then they will have chance of victory. The three fighters had the same intentions, consequently everyone of them executed unique skills, protecting their bodies without revealing vulnerable gaps, seeking a no win situation, in order to win. The three fighters, while attacking, adopted a defensive position together, this was a rare occasion in itself. But since their adversary is this strong, if they rush ahead and make an assault, the search for glory most likely would backfire on them.
Within the temple, Xiao Longnü’s twin swords faced the floor, and she stood in the centre, while Xiaoxiang Zi and the other two placed themselves in an individual spot. Each one of them had a cold light shimmering about in front of them. Yin Kexi’s Golden Whip flourished into a round yellow light; Nimoxing’s Steel Snake illuminated strips of dark reflections; Xiaoxiang Zi’s cane stirred into a grey screen, all blocking in front of them.