The World’s Dazzling Talent - Hongjiu
Jin Wangsun recognised the palm style. He guarded with his sabre, but Hongjiu still pushed him back.
"It is Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms!" shouted Hongjiu.
Hongjiu raised his hands, drew a semi-circle with his left hand, performing a draw and a push, sending out a qi blast similar to a raging wave. It was such an intense attack that Jin Wangsun felt the energy on his chest before the attack landed. The discomfort in his chest and redness on his face were more pronounced due to his true qi seal. As a result, he looked awful.
Jin Wangun knew he couldn't take Hongjiu's attack head on. He vigorously swung his sabre to counterattack; however, Hongjiu launched his attack first. Therefore, Jin Wangsun's attempt was futile. The impact penetrated his guard, nearly causing him to vomit blood. Interestingly, though, his erratic true qi seemed to calm down slightly after being struck with the palm attack. His headache wasn't alleviated, but his true qi flowed smoother than before.
Feeling sober, Jin Wangsun thundered, "If you're so desperate to die, I'll send you on your way!"
Jin Wangsun finally swung Golden Crow Moon Eater with a degree of control. His attack was totally different to his wild swings against Ming Suwen. After the first slash, he revealed eight more different variations. Those were techniques he borrowed from one of Gold and Silver Sect's treasured manuals: Phantom Yin Thousand Snow.
Phantom Yin Thousand Snow's unique trait was its ability to force its opponent into a position where they couldn't evade. Needless to say, then, the style was complex. After the first attack, there were eight variations. Each variation opened up another eight variations. Eight more branches would open up for the successive variation. In the end, there were hundreds of variations one could utilise.
Hongjiu wasn't concerned with the countless variations. He didn't even evade. He rotated and palmed again, turning the duel into a contest of speed between man and sabre!
Hongjiu's palm style was very swift. His attack already reached the side of Jin Wangsun's lower back before the latter could reach Hongjiu with his sabre. Jin Wangsun knew his main meridian on his lower back was sealed. At the same time, however, he felt a dangerous attack approaching from another direction. Hongjiu threw a simultaneous and direct palm strike that landed flush on Jin Wangsun's chest.
Hongjiu's palm strike inflicted fifty-percent more damage than his first. The force of the attack was akin to the Yellow River overflowing and bursting. There was so much force behind the attack that Jin Wangsun felt his chest muscles sink a tad before it even landed.
Hongjiu's power and speed exceeded Jin Wangsun's expectations. Jin Wangsun's sabre techniques were rendered useless. He sheathed his sabre to defend again. Hongjiu slammed the sabre, but the impact forced him back another five steps. Hongjiu didn't give him a second to catch his breath. He continued putting the pressure on with a palm as violent as a tempest, forcing Jin Wangsun backwards.
In the other battle, Long Zaitian and Bai Mulai were unable to get the upper hand against A Hu. A Hu was a slave, however, and thus, focused mainly on his master. Long Zaitian was well aware of that, which was why he kept up what he could.
Long Zaitian worried for Hongjiu when the fighting begun, but he was stunned when Hongjiu unleashed Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms. Long Zaitian nodded with every move Hongjiu made: "Man, man, that's crazy the golden armour guard can even use Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms. I heard people say the martial world was falling from grace, as all the best adepts struggled so much they had to work as small tradesmen and porters. I'm finally convinced now. Luckily, I receive a government salary. Otherwise, I'd still be stuck working as a guard after mastering Eighteen Subduing Dragons Palms. If I was in his shoes, I'd have committed suicide due to depression."
Su Xiao, on the other hand, had a different view. He was amazed Hongjiu was able to prevent Jin Wangsun from even having a chance to counterattack. He nodded and excitedly asked, "Big Brother Hong is incredible! Is that palm style he is using… the rumoured Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms?"
Ming Suwen giggled: "Correct. That's one of the Three Fists Five Palms, Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms."
Su Xiao admired Hongjiu's prowess, since the latter was able to render Jin Wangsun virtually defenceless. That being said, he then felt perplexed. Hongjiu used techniques on an epic scale to trade blows with his opponent, which was a completely different style to what Su Xiao learnt. For that reason, he couldn't wrap his head around the logic.
"Sister Juese, since you are so skilled, do you know why the palm style is so remarkable? His techniques…"
Ming Suwen found Su Xiao's innocence adorable. She giddily giggled: "You feel that the techniques are so simple that even you could perform them, correct?"
Su Xiao touched his head and blushed: "I think I'm better, even."
"Haha" laughed Miss Juese, hand over her mouth. She found it hilarious: "Don't judge it based on its simple appearance. It's very profound."
With a look of admiration and respect, Su Xiao asked, "Sister Juese, can you use Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms?"
"Absolutely not. It's the beggar's sect ultimate style; they don't teach it to outsiders. There are unlikely to be even three people in all the land who could utilise it. I couldn't possibly learn it," replied Miss Juese, shaking her head with a helpless smile. "Moreover, it's my first time seeing it in actual combat. I only ever saw Young Eighteen practice it in the past. I now see that it is indeed intense and powerful as the legends surrounding it state. In the past, only F-… Only one man explained its intricacies to me. I comprehended it thanks to him."
Su Xiao didn't respond. He was engrossed in the fight. He watched as if he was trying to store the moves and techniques to memory.
Ming Suwen felt as though she returned to Mount Daluo, when she and Ming Feizhen cheerfully discussed palm styles, as she watched the fight. Ming Suwen was a female martial artist, but she wasn't interested in her school's Empty Palms. She was interested in Demon Realm Sky Palace's Illusion Palms. Ming Feizhen, however, extolled Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms. The two used to discuss their preferences while watching Hongjiu train.
Back then, Ming Feizhen pointed to Hongjiu and explained, "Look at his palm style. It's epic. It crushes everything in its path and is direct as if to say there is no evil in the world. It neglects the basics of reverse thinking, angled attacks, variations, advance and retreat. It's practically a brainless style. You could say it's unbelievably naïve as a style. Would there be a stupider style than it?
Young Shiyi, do you know why hardly anyone has had the right to witness it ever since its appearance? It's because simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. It takes the stupidest and most difficult route. Nevertheless, that is how it is able to rule among palm styles. If you can defeat your opponent as soon as you strike, he will be forced to evade and defend. As a consequence, his attack will be hindered. Why bother with all the movement and variation? When the sun comes out, the moon goes down. Be as crafty and villainous as you please, it's still not going to change anything.
That is why Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms is called the undefeatable style. What makes it hard is its direct nature. If one could master it because they were smart and knew a lot of styles, how does it qualify as being invincible?"
"Judging from what I've seen today, I have to admit he was right," lamented Ming Suwen, as she watched the fight.
Puzzled as to why Ming Suwen sounded emotional, Su Xiao asked, "Mm? Sister Juese?"
"I guess that explains why Young Eighteen is so skilled. You know, not even I can master thirty percent of Mount Daluo's Empty Palms. He is the only Mount Daluo disciple close to completing the entire style. He might not look the part, but his talent trumps all of the disciples'. That and his Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms almost made him Mount Daluo's third generation's strongest disciple."
Su Xiao asked, "So, how come he isn't the strongest?"
"Because there's somebody stronger than him," replied Ming Suwen, tone calm. "When he was ten years old, Hongjiu came to the realisation that he would never be able to match him. Thus, Hongjiu gave up and became one of his men. My martial nephew is extraordinarily talented at martial arts and unlucky to the bitter end, but that's not what I respect him most for. His ability to let things go and not be hung up on them is what makes him a man."
*Young Eighteen - Hongjiu's nickname Ming Suwen refers to him as.
**Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms in action=> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_p6d3dkZa0