Book 17 Chapter 4 - Flaunting Power with One Fist
Under the ten-thousand expectant eyes, Fu Qian remained calm and composed; he said, "Why don't we fight on top of the railings? Whoever forced down the railings will be considered defeated.”
The crowd broke into uproar, which quickly subsided. Everybody held their breath to see how Pang Yu would respond.
Pang Yu was laughing inwardly.
Although he was good at using the sword, he has had hard work invested in his punching and kicking skill, and created the ‘Taixu Cuo Shou' [great emptiness interlocking hand], which he fused within his sword moves, so there was not much difference with using sword; hence his earlier suggestion.
The wooden railings, which was shaped like the letter ‘U' [orig. 凹 character (ao - sunken/concave)], was made of highest quality Chinese cedar wood. The overall length was approximately five zhang, the width was about half a chi. Although the wood was carved with floral pattern, it was actually very sturdy. Even people who did not know martial art, as long as their hands and feet were nimble enough, would be able to move freely on top of the railings. For martial art masters who were skillful in balance like them, it would not be much different from fighting on a level ground. The only limitation would be their range of movement, so that both combatants must be able to accurately grasp the opponent's footwork.
Pang Yu's ‘Taixu Cuo Shou' movement was precise. If he could predict the opponent's change, it's power would increase, would be even more astonishing; therefore, he could not welcome Fu Qian's proposal even more, so how could he refuse it?
This man was highly intelligence, and was fully aware that there could never be too much deception in war, yet on the surface the intentionally put on a hesitating expression, before frowning and said, "This method indeed can guarantee that we won't accidentally cause damage to anything. Zaixia has no choice but to risk my life to accompany a nobleman.”
Fu Qian revealed a hint of apathetic smile; he said, "Pang Xiong, after you!”
Before his words ended the two men have already soared at the same time, and landed steadily on the railings.
A lot of the spectators applauded, because their shenfa was lightning fast, and more amazingly, they did not look like they need to raise their qi before making their move. Even more astonishing was that they did not jump over the railings and landed down, but they went straight from the floor to the railings at an angle, and then simply stuck on the railings like a nail, without creating the slightest amount of vibration.
Just this ability to control their power according to their heart's desire, the shenfa that enabled them to stop as soon as they wanted to stop, was not something that ordinary Jianghu martial artist could hope to reach.
Kou Zhong already estimated that Fu Qian possessed ultimate skill, so he was not surprised at all; but Pang Yu was this formidable, he had never anticipated it. He could not help recalling Li Jing's warning.
And then Pang Yu stood on the railing with one leg, the tip of his left leg on the back of his right leg, assuming the ‘golden rooster standing on one leg' stance, but he looked a lot sturdier than other people standing on both legs. Especially since he was standing on one side of the end of the railings, so there appeared to be danger in the midst of steadiness, exuding some kind of extraordinarily special momentum.
Fu Qian was standing like a towering Mount Tai in the middle of the railings, his two feet were a fraction of a cun apart. Due to the railing height, which was about five chi off the ground, and inside the stairwell was a deep empty space, he was like standing on the summit of a mountain. His magnificent build gave the crowd a fantastic impression that they were looking up a high mountain.
Facing Pang Yu, he laughed in relaxed manner and said, "Since Xiaodi came to the Central Plains, this is the first time I officially fight with others; however, I don't want to make it a precedent, hence Pang Xiong must not be overly courteous just because I am the visitor. Pang Xiong, please!”
Although his words and demeanor were modest and polite, there was an overbearing character, a suffocating feeling, which made him appeared even more enigmatic, provoking fear in the heart of the crowd.
Pang Yu laughed inwardly. It should be noted that a fight between martial art masters was similar to a game of chess; initiative was extremely important. If the combatants' skill was on par with each other, whoever seized the initiative oftentimes became the factor that determined the outcome.
If they were fighting on a level ground, even if one side lost the initiative, he could always withdraw to dodge and then launch a counterattack. But if their movements were confined to this curved railing, which length was no more than five zhang, which width was no more than half a chi, and they must not touch the ground, then whoever lost the initiative would almost guaranteed defeat without any chance of victory.
The crowd went abuzz; they quietly criticized Fu Qian for being unwise.
Again Kou Zhong whispered into Song Yuzhi's sparkling-and-translucent-like-jade small ear, "If vying over the world only involves taking turn fighting on wooden railings, Xiao Ling would definitely sit on the Emperor's throne.”
Song Yuzhi agreed wholeheartedly; speaking about hand-to-hand combat in narrow, confined space, there were really not many people who could match Xu Ziling's hands and feet.
But she moved away a little, and then glowering at Kou Zhong, she said, "Did you intentionally blow into my ear?”
Kou Zhong's old face was blushing slightly; luckily this moment Pang Yu cried out, "Forgive my offense!” Immediately qi power flared out. Song Yuzhi no longer paid him any attention, and thus the kid escaped the embarrassment.
It was as if there were wheels on the sole of Pang Yu's feet. Using the ‘flowing out a thousand li' style, he slid for about a zhang along the wooden railing, straight toward Fu Qian's left side. The fingers on both hands put together in the shape of a sword, his left hand sliced down while his right hand stabbed forward, both attacking Fu Qian. Immediately qi power rushed forth violently with frightening momentum.
The arena was instantly filled with a grim, cold and raw atmosphere. Although Pang Yu was using his bare hands, unexpectedly he was able to produce a stabbing sword feeling.
Xu Ziling took this opportunity to secretly observe Xing Mofei and the others, the group of Tuyuhun's martial art masters. He noticed that they were watching the fight with full attention, but nobody showed nervous or worried expression, as if they had full confidence on their master's ability. He could not help shivering inwardly.
Based on the skill Pang Yu currently displayed, if he were in Fu Qian's place, he would have to be dealing with it quite strenuously.
Right this moment, the battle situation changed.
Unexpectedly Pang Yu leaped up and swooped down from the air like a hawk, his two hands still had the fingers together in the shape of a sword like before, only he attacked Fu Qian's face instead.
Now, even the blinds would know that Pang Yu wanted to finish the fight in the shortest time possible, by forcing Fu Qian, within these several moves, to leave the railings.
Fu Qian laughed aloud. He waited until the enemy nearly arrived before bending his body backward, looking up, as if he was turning into a bow, and then his right fist shot forward like a powerful arrow toward Pang Yu, who was coming down at him at an angle.
The crowd was suddenly overwhelmed with burning hot tension and terrifying feeling; more astonishing yet, they did not feel the slightest bit of the wind generated by the fist's qi power, as if everybody suddenly became deaf and their skin even lost its feeling, or as if they were in a nightmare, where they suddenly saw a flash of lightning, but did not hear the thunder.
Fu Qian's silent punch, even more than any punch power and palm wind, made everybody felt the chill in the air. No one who watched the battle was not stunned, because it was simply beyond their imagination.
Li Shimin, Tuli, and the others also showed an amazed look on their faces.
Pang Yu, who was right in the middle of the battle, was even more unspeakably miserable. If they were on a flat ground, he could evade by retreating some distance away. But this moment he could only withdraw to a spot on the railing.
When the so-called expert making a move, he would immediately know the real from the fake.
But Fu Qian's ability to restraint the wind from his punch, Pang Yu had never even thought about.
It was not that the wind from the punch did not exist, but it was concentrated into a column, which went straight toward him. He felt as if he was in the middle of a storm, which other people could not feel, and was going down against the wind. It was extremely unbearable.
Only this moment did he know that he had fallen into a trap.
Obviously Fu Qian's highly concentrated power discharge was some kind of innate true qi, which no momentum could resist.
One after another the palm winds collided with Fu Qian's right punch.
In the eyes of the spectators, it appeared that Pang Yu deliberately changed his move to seal and pierce the opponent's earth-shattering punch. Only Pang Yu and martial art masters of Xu Ziling, Li Shimin, Hong Funu's caliber were able to see that Fu Qian's simple punch was surprisingly able to seal any changes of Pang Yu's sword palms offensive.
Pang Yu felt as if he was in the middle of a ten-thousand catties force of exploding big rocks between the two hands. His body felt like he was struck by a thunder, and was nearly thrown straight up; if he crashed through the roof, perhaps nobody could decide whether the ‘breaking things' clause of their agreement would be the responsibility of Pang Yu, or would it be returned to Fu Qian.
In this critical moment, Pang Yu did not panic. Abruptly raising a mouthful of true qi, he reversed the direction of the soaring momentum back down. This moment Fu Qian's fist suddenly broadened its scope and went straight toward Pang Yu's face.
What happened was his powerful body acted like a spring, from the bending position it straightened, adding momentum to his fist, from blocking it turned into counterattacking.
Pang Yu cried ‘Bad!' inwardly; hastily he crossed his hands into a pair of scissors, and met the opponent's iron fist head-on.
The sound of qi power colliding against each other reverberated across the entire hall, shaking the eardrums of everyone, so that even Mu Tiexiong, who was circulating his qi to recover his breathing, could not help opening up his eyes and looked up from the staircase below.
Pang Yu's entire body was blown like a leaf in the gale, until his toes tapped on the beam overhead that he shot back toward Fu Qian, who was still standing as stable as the mountain on the railing.
Although Fu Qian's condition was that either one of them must not touch the ground, but he never said they could not touch the beam, the pillar, or the roof, yet everybody thought that Pang Yu has already lost.