Xu Ziling discharged Kou Zhong's safety, as well as his own life or death, entirely out of his brain ocean and heart lake. His lingtai [at the top of the head] was empty, clear, still, and bright, without the slightest bit of distracting thoughts.
He did not reveal the slightest sign that he had clearly grasped the path, the angle and the order of the enemy's attack.
These six Heavenly Policy Mansion martial art masters of upper-ranked generals' level were indeed worthy to be called old Jianghu veterans with real combat experience. Without even moving they were already able to seal tight all escape routes. When they moved, it would surely become like a seamless heavenly clothes [idiom: flawless]. The most formidable was Luo Shixin's saber, Shi Wanbao's spear and Liu Dewei's truncheon, which separately attack from three sides: front, rear and side, and the moment of their arrival did not differ. Even if he moved both hands at the same time, he could only block the opponents' two weapons.
Worst yet, his left ankle was still wrapped tight by Yuchi Jingde's long whip, so that he was unable to make significant shift or sidestep the attack.
More frightening was Zhangsun Wuji's jade flute, which arrived a hair later than the three men's attack, to make him know that even if he was able to parry or evade the three men's all-out first wave of offensive, he would still have to deal with Zhangsun Wuji's all-out strike.
Pang Yu, who was standing about two zhang behind him with naked blade in his hand, also presented enormous threat to him, making Xu Ziling feel deep apprehension, and forcing him to set aside spare energy to deal with his sneak attack.
Fighting one-on-one against any one of these six martial art masters would be enough to force Xu Ziling to go all-out; combined together, their killing power increased exponentially. Under normal circumstances, any one of them would be able to inflict heavy injury to him, without giving him the opportunity to strike back.
Where could he find the hole in the enemy's joining hands, the 'escaping one'? Such offensive was really difficult to dismantle; his situation was really dangerous.
Suddenly Xu Ziling roared; sending the strength in his whole body to his left ankle, he attacked Yuchi Jingde along the body of the whip.
Yuchi Jingde felt an enormous, matchless spiraling strange energy bursting into his hand; in his shock he quickly focused his entire strength to resist. Who would have thought that the opponent's spiraling energy suddenly changed direction? From attacking force, it turned into a pulling force.
But Yuchi Jingde was outstanding as well; lowering his waist in a horse stance, he pulled the Gui Zang Whip.
This moment Luo Shixin's saber, Shi Wanbao's spear and Liu Weide's truncheon struck at the same time.
Xu Ziling laughed aloud. Like a cotton wadding blown by a gale, with a speed that could not be discerned by naked eye, he broke away from the enemy's siege. Swift like the wind and fire he ran into Yuchi Jingde. The enemy's whip's pulling force has become the helping hand for him to dodge the attack instead. Only Shi Wanbao's spear drew a wound on his left shoulder so deep that it split his flesh.
Yuchi Jingde suddenly lost the pulling force, his own strength recoiled, even with his profound internal strength he could not help feeling unbearable discomfort that he nearly vomited blood. He staggered back, and his Gui Zang Whip, which followed an unceasingly growing in amplitude sine wave pattern, nearly fell to the ground.
Pang Yu and Zhangsun Wuji, who were waiting for an opportunity on the side, could see everything clearly; they were both horror stricken.
To accomplish such an impossible feat like Xu Ziling just did, one must be able to switch the direction of the true qi within one's body many times in the blink of an eye. It was only this moment they realized the formidability of the internal power from the 'Secret to Long Life'.
The two shouted at the same time, sword and flute moved together.
More astonishing thing happened.
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Kou Zhong's saber hacked a long halberd stabbing toward him; borrowing the reaction force, he flew at an angle, straight toward the upper floor of the Dong Taiyang Gate.
The enemies had never expected that he would choose difficulty and abandon easy, and they were overwhelmed with caught-unprepared feeling.
More than a dozen long special spears, extending as long as three zhang, which were used specially to besiege a city, were swung toward him.
Kou Zhong made a decision in his heart. Most of the power he used to soar just now was borrowed from the reaction force, so he still had some energy remained. Quickly he exchanged his true qi to generate new power, and somersaulted midair to evade the attack, while crossing more than two zhang of the city wall, and then going at an angle toward the city gate tower at the edge of the city wall standing against the Imperial Palace.
From this angle looking northwest, he could see the inner city wall of the Imperial Palace, as well as the three gates, Yongtai, Taihe and Xingjiao, located at the southeast corner of the Palace City.
Indeed as he expected, the three gates did not seem to have any special guards reinforcement. Therefore, as long as he could manage a slightly faster speed, he would be able to enter the Imperial Palace before the enemies had time to intercept him, and then he would attempt to escape.
The top of the wall was in a great mess.
Kou Zhong threw his person and his saber together at the enemy ranks with their raised lances and standing spears, while thundering, "Death to those who block me!"
The Moon in the Well created a large circle of saber light overhead and pressing down, covering a large area. His power and qi was strong; indeed it was the strongest since his debut.
In this fight for his life, he displayed his skill to the greatest extend.
While the enemies were rushing to the east and turning over to the west, he set foot on the top of the wall.
At this time he was only about two zhang away from the edge of the wall facing west. Success in sight, his will to fight rose up. Not daring to be negligence, while the enemy's formation was still in chaos, the Moon in the Well charged toward the wall's edge like rolling wind, rushing thunder; immediately blood splashed everywhere. Two men blocking his way were immediately hit by the saber on their chest, straight into their heart, and they fell one after another.
Kou Zhong stepped on the enemies' dead bodies, and then he moved around with slippery shenfa like a swimming fish, each strike of the saber resulted in one enemy fell down, and those who were hit by the saber died on the spot; there were only deaths, no injuries.
His internal qi circulated continuously; as the old power was diminishing, the new one was being generated.
Seeing he was this powerful, all around him the enemies' heart and guts turned cold, and withdrew in profusion.
Kou Zhong gained a few more injuries, but his murderous intent grew. His Moon in the Well displayed its capability to extreme saturation, as he, with all his heart and soul, rushing and moving around unhindered, with an insufferably arrogant air.
Suddenly there was nobody in front of him but an empty air; turned out he had reached the edge of the city gate tower.
Kou Zhong turned around, the Moon in the Well swept in a circle, seven, eight spears and lances clashed with the saber and broke.
Everyone retreated in horror.
Kou Zhong laughed aloud and said, "Laozi [I, your father] is leaving!"
With a back flip he jumped.
Right this instant, two streams of qi power, thick and concentrated, strong and violent without equal, sharp like a blade, shot at him separately from underneath.
Inwardly Kou Zhong was greatly startled, knowing that finally he encountered martial art masters who could send him to his doom; not only one, but two.
Meanwhile, sound of weapons splitting the air was heard from behind, as six, seven spears were thrown at him from the top of the wall.
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Unexpectedly the Gui Zang Whip was pulled back taut.
A wave of violent, abrupt pulling force, despite Yuchi Jingde's stable horse stance, has pulled him that he staggered two steps forward before he was able to steady his posture.
Pang Yu's sword and Zhangsun Wuji's flute also hit empty air.
It was impossible!
It was clear as day that Xu Ziling was rushing toward Yuchi Jingde, appearing to attack him with all his might; who would have thought that when he was about half a zhang away from the opponent, unexpectedly Xu Ziling halted, and retreated to the opposite direction, pulling the whip along with him?
This kind of sudden change in true qi could turn any martial art master's Eight Extraordinary Channels into a great mess, and even drive him into fire deviation; yet Xu Ziling did it casually, as if nothing had happened.
The section of Gui Zang Whip wrapped around Xu Ziling's ankle disintegrated into cun-size pieces. Laughing aloud, he said, "Heavenly Policy Mansion's martial art masters are indeed out of the ordinary; I, Xu Ziling, have the honor to experience it!"
They only saw him soaring into the sky, rising above the wall, and disappeared in the distant darkness.
Everybody could only stare blankly on the spot, and looked at each other in disbelief.
No one had ever thought that the whip, which on the surface seemed to put him in extremely disadvantageous situation, had become the one thing that he relied on to escape. Such an amazing magic trick was indeed beyond everybody's ability to play.
Although they had such a high regard on Xu Ziling's ability, it was not before they were engaged in a real fight that they understood the level of his attainments.