Chapter 370 - Nine Chain Transformation
After that opponent sent Gale Force flying, he did not seize the moment and follow up to land the finishing blow, allowing those men that came out to help Gale Force to rush over and protect their fellow guildmate.
Gale Force looked beat up, but he knew that the actual damage done was largely insignificant. That man’s sweep and reverse kick were just basic attacks, having added that bit more of points in Strength than the average Fighter would add. In any case, it really was not too big a deal in actuality. Under the watchful gaze of the players surrounding him, Gale Force stood up and showed a sheepish expression.
Oathless Sword was also deeply shocked by this. He was old buddies with Gale Force and they knew each other very well. No one was clearer than he just how capable Gale Force was, and seeing this nameless grunt beat Gale Force without breaking a sweat really showed that the strength of Eternal War mercenary group was not without basis.
Or perhaps, that person is actually Eternal Dominion himself, disguising himself as a underling in order to mislead us into thinking they are very strong? Oathless Sword could not help but think this, as he was simply too confident of Gale Force’s skill, not wanting to believe that he had actually been soundly beaten by some rabble.
With that thought, Oathless Sword’s eyes darted over to the men that had run over and attracted their attention silently.
Those men were all old comrades of Oathless Sword, so they immediately understood his intention as they all came forward and said together, “Let us exchange pointers!”, before rushing forward to engage with the enemy.
Their target was not just the man that had sent Gale Force flying, but the other four men standing by the side as well. Oathless Sword kept his gaze locked onto those four; he wanted to see for himself if every single one was just as indomitable, or was it just that man obfuscating the reality of things.
This time, there were more players attacking as Gale Force stood rooted to the ground. Eleven players came forward, and they were all melee job classes. Each of them had split themselves accordingly as they sought out an opponent in pairs. As a large guild, they were used to using numeric superiority to bully the few, many of them expressed disdain towards engaging in conventional one-on-one duels.
Yet despite having more men on their side, the result was still unsightly. Everybody watched as those five men all demonstrated a skilled deftness in their movement and attack; they could all tell that even the Warrior had added points in Agility with how quickly he raised his arms. Some of the eleven men were pounded down to the ground or tripped, with others sent flying when their attacks were soundly countered.
This time, those men did not limit themselves to just basic attacks like before, going as far as to unleash their skills in their attacks from time to time. For example, that Warrior activated his Charge, and the player he had targeted was the only one that was severely damaged in this entire sequence, unable to climb up to his feet for the longest time.
The rest of them all discovered, just like Gale Force, that even though they were struck down to the ground, the damage they sustained was hardly significant, so they could easily continue the battle if they intended to.
Moreover, their opponents did the same as they had done when Gale Force was struck down before. None of them made the effort to finish any of these men from Traversing Four Seas off as they stood silently where they were.
Oathless Sword furrowed his brows and signaled the people fighting with his eyes once more. Aside from that heavily injured player who was still sprawled on the ground, the remaining players rushed forward to re-engage. Oathless Sword was hoping to see if his own men would be able to gain enough experience through the exchange to better contend with these men after being beaten by their opponents once.
But reality was truly cruel. The men who rushed forth once more were handily defeated in a move or two yet again. Oathless Sword and the others could not bear to watch the sight, when he suddenly heard someone from inside their formation let out a cry. It was a gasp of pleasant surprise that made Oathless Sword entirely discontented. He immediately glared over and saw the grinning Gu Fei.
Oathless Sword had no idea what he should say now, since he did not dare to offend the great Thousand Miles Drunk carelessly. It was around this time a series of pained moans arose from the battle, as those comrades of his were eating dirt for a second time. The enemy continued to show no intentions of dealing the finishing blows, each standing their ground steadily, like before.
Oathless Sword finally understood what they meant when they said they wanted them to “have a better understanding of our prowess”. That was not a show of bluster or arrogance. It was the truth!
Oathless Sword had a good understanding the depth of the skill they possessed right now, and it was strong. Very strong! His fellow core member of Traversing Four Seas, Gale Force, had been handily defeated, so how many others in this company of men were stronger than Gale Force? If this mercenary group was truly filled with men of that caliber, it would not be a flagrant lie for Eternal War to be capable of suppressing a guild.
Oathless Sword’s palms got sweaty, yet it seemed like their opponent was still waiting for them to send someone else out. Oathless Sword was no longer in the mood to send more of his men to make a mockery of themselves, so he made the decision to kill them off instead. He was about to call his archer formation to attack when Gu Fei actually unexpectedly stepped out the crowd, and was now slowly walking towards the five men until he was right in front of them.
Oathless Sword’s eyes shone once more. Gu Fei’s prowess was also indomitable and unrestrained. This was a man who often found himself in numerically unfavorable situations, his penchant and subsequent willingness to live with a PK value ranging from 20 to 30 points made him a glaring sight. Despite being a Mage, everybody knew just how unconventional this Mage was whenever he bore down on his enemies with a sword slashing and cleaving at the drop of a hat.
I’ll let him give this a shot… If he can’t handle these five men, we’ll just swarm them with all five hundred of us. Let’s see if they can fight a hundred to one, Oathless Sword thought to himself.
Gu Fei had already entered the clearing, just as those men that had been thrashed got back to their feet. These comrades of Oathless Sword turned to glance at their leader, saw him nodding his head ever so slightly, and instantly understood what he meant. All of them retreated and left Gu Fei alone in that large clearing.
“Just one man this time?” the five opponents shouted to the host of people watching from the main body of the company, after giving Gu Fei a once over.
No one answered, which was as good as admitting to the reality of the situation.
They gave a good look at Gu Fei once more, before muttering with knitted brows, “And he’s a Mage, too.” It was apparent that they did not seem too interested in sparring with a Mage.
Gu Fei did not answer as he continued forward. The enemy had no intention of ganging up on Gu Fei like Traversing Four Seas had done, so only a single man stepped out to receive him, the very same person who had first sent Gale Force flying with a reverse kick.
Meanwhile, Gu Fei had actually returned the sword he had been holding in his hand all this while back into his dimensional pocket and was now approaching the challenger barehanded.
“What kind of stunt is he trying to pull!?” Royal God Call was already shouting when he saw this. They were all familiar with Gu Fei and were well aware that his amazing damage output was entirely due to the equipment he had on. The spells from a Gu Fei without his equipment were literally an embarrassment to the Mage job class as whole.
Royal God Call’s shout was very loud, but Gu Fei completely ignored it as he took two steps closer to the man and suddenly gave him a fist and palm salute.
This action gave the man quite the shock, but Gu Fei’s leg had already swept out towards him before he could think beyond this.
This man had a listless expression when he saw that Gu Fei was a Mage, and seeing how he had not attacked as he got closer and closer had him wondering deep down. Mages are mainly supposed to be attacking from range, everyone knows that! That man only came back to his senses at the time Gu Fei made it all the way in front of him and suddenly greeted him with a salute.
In the next moment, all this man saw was a leg flash by as he quickly stooped to let it brush past. He was just about to counterattack, but he did not expect that kick to change trajectory to come crashing down in the same moment he bent his body, allowing the heel to land right on his neck.
The man was perplexed. He was certain that this man had just done was not a single leg sweep kick, but an axe kick, so would that not mean his act of bending his body had essentially locked himself into falling victim to that kick?
Just as this man was stewing in his regret, unable to understand what had caused him to make such a gross mistake, he suddenly saw a black blur in front of him. After Gu Fei’s right leg came plummeting down on him, he continued his attack with a little hop from his left leg that brought his knee right towards the opponent’s nose. This man subconsciously leaned backwards, but Gu Fei, who had yet to land from his hop, twisted his body in the air and was already showing his back to the man, yet his right leg landed squarely on the man’s chest.
This man retreated several steps after taking that blow. Gu Fei had also flown out after connecting his kick, but easily landed on his feet.
Someone from the five man had already cried out in his astonishment, “Nine Chain Transformation? Was that the Nine Chain Transformation just now?”
Gu Fei chuckled, “Aren’t you guys training the Chuojiao style¹?”
Once Gu Fei said this, the eyes of those five men instantly widened, because what he had just said was exactly correct. Nine Transformations referred to the nine paths that their martial style advocated, each used in combination with one another, thus its namesake of Nine Transformations; the “Chain” was due to how these nine paths could seamlessly mesh with one another, which allowed them to chain together; Furthermore, this style alternated the left and right leg when attacking, using either interchangeably. The full name for this particular martial technique was actually “Nine Chain Transformation Of Inseparable Kicks”, which was colloquially simplified to be Nine Chain Transformation over time.
Calling it Chuojiao style was not a mistake either, since the Nine Chain Transformation was considered to be the most ancient path form in this style.
After the man who was kicked back by Gu Fei regained his footing, he looked at his own HP and saw that it was as good as if he had not been attacked. It made sense, since Gu Fei was still a Mage in the end, so there was a limit to the amount of damage he could do with his Strength, and because he was wearing equipment while Gu Fei was attacking him with his bare fist, he had no doubt that the damage from that kick alone was not enough to penetrate his defense.
However, this was an analysis that was done entirely from a gamer’s perspective. The exchange would have been considered his loss if they were to consider it from a martial practitioner’s perspective. Mistaking that axe kick for a sweep kick in the first place, he was completely blown away that he had judged that move so erroneously given how they were two very different executions. Naturally, he was well aware that it was not a mere mistake at identifying the move but rather that the feint Gu Fei had made was simply too quick and real to him, he fell for the ruse and made it that much easier for Gu Fei to predict how he was going to dodge the attack. Any outsider would have thought that he had obediently placed his head underneath Gu Fei’s boot in that attack.
His cheeks flushed a deep red when he thought of this. It was their habit to immediately further evaluate what happened: had this been a real spar, to instantly expose such a vital point like this to the opponent to an axe kick that came crashing down like that, if it did not cause him to faint, he would have at least blacked out for a moment. The ensuing knee to the face and a kick right to the chest… His hand held his nose while the other hand clutched his chest as he recalled the move, as if he could not hold on even just thinking about it happening.
“This man’s more than meets the eye!” he solemnly called out.
“But is he really using the Nine Chain Transformation? Why does it look so different?” another man muttered.
“Hey hey, how can you learn kung fu by memorizing and sticking to each and every step, you gotta adapt according to the situation and the flow of combat to properly display your prowess!” Gu Fei immediately admonished him.
“Is that so? Then allow me to pick up a few pointers from you,” that person answered as he leapt out, throwing a fist out at Gu Fei’s face to initiate the fight.
Gu Fei dodged to the side as the man brought forth a kick with that punch, which Gu Fei avoided by taking half a step back. That man brought up his other leg for the second kick the instant the first landed to the ground, so Gu Fei retreated by another step in response. The aggression this man displayed only seemed to increase as he impatiently prepared to take another step forward. But before he even secured his footing in that first step forward, while his back foot was still in the air, he felt a gentle push on his front foot going in the direction he was stepping.
This one move caused him to instantly lose his balance, and his third kick shot out, whiffing nothing but air as he fell on his back.