AST 1596 - Hundred Flowers Vine Whip, Hundred Flowers Prison, Hundred Flowers Rupture
It was chaotic all around them with words of all sorts being hurled towards the group. However, Qing Shui didn’t seem to absorb any of them. He looked to the arena and saw a strong middle-aged man standing upon it.
The man was very muscular and Qing Shui found that he had the distinctive feature of Niu Clan’s members; they were all bulky in stature. The middle-aged man’s round eyes, thick eyebrows, wide nose and square face made him look upright and honest.
When the others saw the arrival of the group from Imperial Cuisine Hall, Niu Clan, including the middle-aged man, had naturally noticed them as well. They cupped their fists together in a salute towards Qing Shui. “Niu Clan has set up an arena here in an invitation to Imperial Cuisine Hall for a duel. Niu Fen will be the first to duel. I wonder who among the Imperial Cuisine Hall will be first to honor us with this fight.”
Such an arena didn’t require a referee either, for it didn’t have any rules, apart from a surrender. A surrender would usually stop the battle, otherwise, it would last until death, a state of unconsciousness, or even disablement. These would be able to decide a victory.
“Brother-in-law, should I take this fight?” Xue Nuo said to Qing Shui.
Qing Shui didn’t respond. The moment they set foot in the arena, it would mean that they had accepted the invitation. The people on the opposing team had more in numbers compared to them, but the situation that unfolded didn’t allow for them to reject it either. Even their appearance here had indicated their acceptance.
“Brother-in-law, let me handle this bulky fellow, I won’t embarrass you.” Xue Nuo pouted. She had assumed that Qing Shui wasn’t replying because he had thought that she would be defeated.
Qing Shui laughed, ruffling her hair. “I’m not afraid of you losing. You can accept the fight if you want to but on one condition. You mus surrender the moment you don't think you can win, and you’re not allowed to get injured. Otherwise, don’t blame me for not letting you fight again.”
Xue Nuo nodded her head with a smile. “With brother-in-law holding the line, we won’t even need to fear being defeated in all the initial matches. You’ll be the last to battle anyway!”
Xue Nuo was delighted to hear Qing Shui’s words. No matter how she looked at it, he still cared for her.
“Remember to say this when you win: the situation with Imperial Cuisine Hall hasn’t changed. In three days, Niu Clan’s patriarch is to bring his direct descendents to repair the damages. Otherwise, they can’t pin the blame on Imperial Cuisine Hall.” In resignation, Qing Shui instructed Xue Nuo with a smile decorating his features.
Xue Nuo froze, then nodded with a smile of her own. “I’ll definitely say that.”
“Go. Remember what I said. If you get injured, you’re not allowed to participate in any more duels in the future.” With that, he waved his hand in indication that she could proceed.
Xue Nuo giggled adorably, then flew towards the arena like a crane.
Xue Nuo was the young mistress of Xue Clan. After being away for so long, her might was several times stronger than it used to be, and she had matured as well. You could see farther if you stand tall—Xue Nuo had gained a lot more insight than before.
Xue Nuo looked at the man who was strong as an ox. “After you!”
“After you!” Niu Fen didn’t seem like one with much words either, and it was all he had hoped for when Xue Nuo got straight to the point. After the words of formality, he leapt into the air without another word.
Xue Nuo didn’t dare to lag behind either. She pulled open her hundred metre long, Hundred Flowers Vine Whip. Qing Shui had long since passed on the Serpent-Elephant Maneuver to Xue Nuo. Together with the whip, it would be able to achieve a terrifying result.
The Hundred Flowers Vine Whip was crafted by Qing Shui as a gift to her as well. It included elements of poisonous flowers, weeds, vertigo, healing, energizing… It was only that the positive effects were meant for use of the wielder, while the fatal were reserved for her opponents.
While the Hundred Flowers Vine Whip couldn’t be considered a legendary grade weapon, its ability and functionality were in no way inferior to such. This was the best whip that Qing Shui had ever crafted.
Qing Shui’s ability at forging wasn’t something to scoff about either. It had improved greatly within this period of time and he practiced it every day. Many of them were stored in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal; legendary grade weapons, armor and other stuff as well.
The inner armor that Xue Nuo donned was one of them. Combined with her weapon and footwear, her might had increased by several times. The fact that Qing Shui allowed her to battle was because he knew that it wouldn’t be easy for Niu Fen to win against her.
Xue Nuo didn’t stand on ceremony either. At the sound of Niu Fen’s “Go ahead”, she charged towards him, her hand holding the Hundred Flowers Vine Whip and struck it towards him nimbly.
Niu Fen was holding a giant axe it his hand, shimmering black. The surface of the axe could cover half his body,
As Xue Nuo’s Hundred Flowers Vine Whip entered within the three metre circumference of Niu Fen, a strong gust of energy whipped his hair about, and it emitted a hissing sound. At that moment, the Hundred Flowers Vine Whip produced a pollen-like fog.
Niu Fen had seen much, or at the very least he knew that nothing good could come with the appearance of fog.
Spirit Snake Exits Cave!
Niu Fen’s axe blocked Xue Nuo’s Hundred Flowers Vine Whip but with a slight move on her part, it went past his block and charged towards his face like a venomous snake.
Spirit Snake Exits Cave’s speed was to be feared. In that instant, not many people would be able to evade it. Qing Shui would still used this skill even now. It takes the opponent by surprise and succeeds in every attempt.
Xue Nuo’s ability had already been stronger than Niu Fen, and with the straightforward and effective Spirit Snake Exits Cave, it struck him on the forehead. Even though the injury wasn’t deep or fatal, it was enough to make him lose consciousness. He fell from the arena.
Xue Nuo had defeated Niu Fen with just one strike. Niu Fen spoke only a few words and defended a little, but was never able to completely shield himself. In the end, he was defeated to this degree.
Xue Nuo’s strength was in her speed and her agility. Niu Fen was the exact opposite; speed was his weakest aspect. His greatest asset was his strength. Even though he could break through a thousand abilities with one strike, it wasn’t enough to break through Xue Nuo’s skill. As a result, he was easily defeated.
“Patriarch of Niu Clan, I’m not sure if you are here but I have a message for you. The words we’ve said previously about having your direct descendents repair the Imperial Cuisine Hall still stand—today is the last day. Don’t accuse us of not giving you a chance. Of course you can also assume that they are empty words but one should take responsibility for their actions. Since they dared to wreck our Imperial Cuisine Hall, then they will have to bear the consequences. That is all.”
As Xue Nuo’s voice rang out, Qing Shui smiled. This little girl had some arrogance to her.
“What an arrogant brat! How audacious of you. I’ll teach you a lesson on behalf of your elders!”
The voice came from a white-haired old man who was now standing atop the arena. He glared at Xue Nuo, livid.
“Who do you think you are? Teach me a lesson? You can’t even teach your juniors a lesson and yet you have the time to lecture others? You have to first be qualified before you can capitalize on your old age.”
Compared to Niu Fen, the old man looked more like a child; skinny in stature with a pair of small eyes and buck toothed. His bulbous nose took up a large area on his face. Although he was furious, his eyes were lecherous, looking all over Xue Nuo’s body from time to time.
The old man was an exception to Niu Clan. In their entire clan, he was the only one who was skinny and perverted. There were rumors in speculation that he was not from their blood family but there wasn’t any evidence to prove this. Niu Clan had naturally denied the rumor—there was no way they would acknowledge this. If they did, their reputation would plummet.
Xue Nuo noticed the old man’s eyes and couldn’t express her disdain in words. Not just her, many others who were watching felt the same. Nobody knew why Niu Clan had sent such a character to the arena and even the onlookers were beginning to reprimand them.
“Don’t belittle him. He’s called Niu She, he’s an exception to Niu Clan. The skills he cultivates are also unorthodox. He’s proficient in all kinds of styles and always does something unexpected.”
“Will the lady from Imperial Cuisine Hall be fine?”
“I think so. She’s a member of Imperial Cuisine Hall, Physician Qing will find a way to prevent it.”
This time, Xue Nuo didn’t speak a word. She struck her whip towards Nuo She and watched as her Hundred Flowers Vine Whip lunged towards the man.
Xue Nuo could tell that Niu She’s strength and might weren’t his forte and so she used absolute power in subduing her opponent. Besides, Xue Nuo’s abilities far exceeded Niu She as well. The Serpent-Elephant Maneuver skill was top grade.
Niu She held onto a three-inch baton and an inch-long green dagger, his back hunched. He had developed a unique way of his own, merging both advancing and retreating tactics, looking much like an agile rat.
Niu She was trained in Venomous Snake, Agile Mouse Technique. His body was nimble and could unleash many attacks. He’s most proficient in poison and assassination, his solo combat was also strong.
His movements were strange, as though he was dodging her attack by a dangerous range. However, there wasn’t a hint of panic in his eyes. He seemed to be confident in evading it.
Xue Nuo was calm. When Niu She moved, she did as well and she was even more agile than him. The whip in her hand began to change.
It was no longer sharp and penetrating like before, instead, its vines were tied up nicely. Her figure was moving rapidly and it seemed that she had woven it into a hundred flowers net.
Hundred Flowers Prison!
The flowers wrapped around the Hundred Flowers Vine Whip transformed into a net and aimed towards Niu She.
At this time, Niu She’s eyes flickered and he waved the black baton. A black fog began to form and thicken. The dagger in his hand glowed, and he charged Xue Nuo without warning.
Hundred Flowers Rupture!
The whip in Xue Nuo’s hand became straight like a pencil, before plunging towards the flower cage. In that instant, with the resplendence of a hundred flowers, they seemed to compete in their beauty.
A loud explosion sounded. The flower cage ruptured and Xue Nuo stayed where she was. On the other hand, Niu She staggered back, the corner of his lips was smeared with blood. The black baton that was on his hand was gone without a trace and all he had left was a piece of broken dagger.
Xue Nuo took a step forward.
“I’ve lost!” Niu She declared hurriedly. He wasn’t surrendering, what he did was deliver the verdict of the match. The effects of both were the same but compared to the former, the latter could save his dignity.
Xue Nuo didn’t say anymore and Niu She exhaled a sigh of relief. Dispiritedly, he left the arena. Qing Shui watched Xue Nuo who was in high spirits and laughed. This was just the beginning. It seemed that they’d be able to fight to their heart’s content today.
Niu Clan had already lost two matches in succession. If this continued, there would surely be gossip all around. With that in mind, the next person would definitely be able to beat Xue Nuo.