From the moment Wanwan threw the Print Scroll toward Xu Ziling, the changes had been treacherous beyond human comprehension; everybody has been carrying out strange scheme, which was beyond everybody else's expectation. Seeing Yang Xuyan's brave action of abandoning the Print Scroll and pouncing down with all his strength to attack him, Xu Ziling could not help admiring his accurate judgment. But no matter what, the opponent's concentration was slightly distracted; the originally powerful momentum was thus slightly weakened by the change of stroke, no longer imposing irresistible momentum like before. Thereupon Xu Ziling promptly seized this opportunity by gathering the fingers of his left hand into a palm chop, while forming his right hand into a fist. With wonderful footwork, he swiftly stepped forward and sent out a punch across the empty space.
Spiraling qi power ferociously shook the sharp blade of the opponent's sword qi, followed by his palm chop coming down, while his foot stepped aside to enter the small gap to the left of the sword momentum. Strange, abstruse, quick-witted, leaving Yang Xuyan with no choice but to change stroke again to block. In the end, all four killer sword strikes returned without any achievement.
From this, it could also be clearly seen how formidable Yang Xuyan's sword strikes were; even after the formidable power was weakened, Xu Ziling still had to give everything he had and exhausted his strength to neutralize it, not daring to meet the sharp blade head on.
Presently, the person Yang Xuyan wanted to kill the most has shifted from Hou Xibai to Xu Ziling. Come to think about it, there was a very big difference between the Xu Ziling that he met at Shen Luoyan's fragrant residence in Xingyang City in the past and the Xu Ziling before his eyes right now. Come to think about it, the difference was enough to make the heart of any person - who stood as his enemy - shivered in fear.
Every change of Xu Ziling's move, none was not brimming with like-a-heavenly-steed-soaring-across-the-sky, wonderful-to-the-highest-peak creativity. During the fierce battle just now, his moves in confronting the enemy were in harmony with the postures of the Luohan in the hall; continuous like a chain, the method changed just like the birds in the sky, the fish in the water, without leaving any trace, enabling him to use the weak to subdue the strong, to seize the strategic high ground. Nobody did not have their heart alarmed and their countenance moved.
Left without any choice, Yang Xuyan sank his qi down and turned his sword around to sweep and hack, blocking and diverting Xu Ziling's piercing palm chop full of true power. Unexpectedly it produced a loud 'Bang!' as the sharp of the blade was jolted by the qi power and thus it was unable to harm the edge of Xu Ziling's palm the slightest bit.
The thing that gave Yang Xuyan more headache was the spiraling qi power, which was sometimes slow, sometimes fast - invading his body via the edge of the sword.
A dense, cold and raw murderous intent welled up in Yang Xuyan's heart. Retreating to the space between two Luohan and after neutralizing Xu Ziling's vortex of energy, he met Xu Ziling's not-yielding-a-single-cun chasing-to-kill attack head on with irresistible counterattack. His sword hacked down three times in a row; one strike was more violent than the other.
Using fantastic, swiftly moving technique Xu Ziling countered every move with all he had, while shouting loudly at the same time, "Hou Xiong, get the treasure and don't worry about Xiaodi, just leave!"
This remark was even more formidable than any moves; Yang Xuyan pulled his sword back in panic and flashed backward. At this time Hou Xibai was not having a good time either. He saw that the Print Scroll was about to crash onto the wall and shatter to pieces, plus Wanwan was ferociously pursuing close behind his back like a maggot sticking to the bones, as if he had suddenly become her mortal enemy with enmity as deep as the ocean.
According to reason, Wanwan ought to have the same thought he did, i.e. she would not want the Print Scroll to turn into scraps of paper. Thinking to this point, Hou Xibai suddenly had a flash of understanding. He knew that Wanwan was forcing him to take 'the right to save the scroll' from her, based on the fact that the Print Scroll's importance to Hou Xibai far surpassed its usefulness for her.
If the Print Scroll was destroyed, at most Wanwan would lose the opportunity to understand the Immortal Print method, but Hou Xibai might never have the opportunity to climb to the highest level. The difference might be more than a thousand li away.
The contradiction in Hou Xibai's heart was aggravating. When martial art masters fought against each other, the difference between victory and defeat was only a thread away. If he wanted to save the scroll, he might lose his life. But avoiding the Print Scroll meant he would fall into Wanwan's hand, and he still had to give her advantages as much as possible, to avoid affecting her action to save the Scroll.
He had always loved the flowers, cherished the flowers, and was most forgiving toward the beauty's shortcomings. But now, he hated this stunning woman - whose beauty could be compared to Shi Feixuan - to the point of gnashing his teeth in anger, and thus was feeling helpless.
Upon considering the severity of this case, Hou Xibai's foot tapped the tip of the nose of the Luohan by his side and changed direction sideways. With a silver-bell-like tender laughter, Wanwan said, "Now, that's a good boy!"
The floating ribbon turned into a hundred white rainbows, rolling toward the Print Scroll, which was about six, seven chi away from crashing against the wall.
A jade hand, surpassing-the-snow, taking-unfair-advantage-of-the-frost - reached out from behind one of a row of Luohan statues leaning against the wall, and snatched the Print Scroll one step ahead before the floating ribbon wrapped itself around the Print Scroll. And then the missing-her-fragrant-trace Shi Qingxuan, like a specter - floated over, and spoke with cold humph, "This time it ought to be my turn to be the fisherman who reaps the benefit!"
Wanwan pulled the floating ribbon back and flashed over in increased speed, and said with tender laugh, "Could it be that Xuan Mei [younger sister] has not heard 'to whom the deer falls', and has not known about it?"
Remaining tranquil and calm, Shi Qingxuan replied, "Of course I have!" The jade flute in her right hand sprinkled a wide expanse of dark green light protecting various vital acupoints on her chest, while the Print Scroll in her hand shot out toward the turning-around Hou Xibai.
It was this moment that Xu Ziling shouted loudly to tell Hou Xibai to get the scroll and get out; it could be said that the call was extremely timely. Wanwan did not have time to mind Shi Qingxuan, much less Shi Qingxuan received her training directly from Bi Xiuxin; taking care of her was absolutely not something that can be accomplished in just a few strokes. With a tender shout she changed direction to attack Hou Xibai.
The distance between Hou Xibai and the thrown Print Scroll was continuously decreasing. Having lost it and then regained it, he was very excited, so much so that his spirit rose to its highest peak. He even considered how to deal with Wanwan's howling-wind-and-torrential-rain-like attacks after receiving the scroll.
At this critical moment, a revered Luohan statue, which was standing against the wall, unexpectedly moved suddenly, as if it was alive. It sprang up high into the air and pounced down toward him. If he continued flashing forward to take the scroll at the current speed, he would collide against the Luohan head-on.
This change was unexpected, even for Wanwan. Hou Xibai knew that although the Print Scroll was important, but if he lost his life, any Print Scroll would not have any use for him. The statue weighed more than a hundred catties, with the momentum of its movement on top of that, the total force he had to withstand was not a laughing matter.
He suddenly halted his steps.
The Luohan brushed past and slammed against another revered Luohan on the opposite side, creating a loud explosion that reverberated across the entire hall, as both statues exploded into smithereens and splashed in all directions. An Long's huge obese body flashed past between Hou Xibai and Wanwan, while the Print Scroll also disappeared without any trace.
Howling with laughter, An Long said, "After all, the older the ginger, the spicier it is; Wan yatou [girl/servant girl], you fall into the trap!"
The entire hall shook. An Long broke through the wall and fled out of the hall.
This moment both Xu Ziling and Yang Xuyan were rushing over, and both were stunned at this unexpected change. Other than Wanwan herself, no one understood what kind of trap he was referring to when he said that Wanwan has fallen into his trap. Only Wanwan secretly blamed herself for underestimating this Zongzhu [head of a school] that could rank among the Eight Major Martial Art Masters of the Demonic Way along with Zhu Yuyan.
Previously she had used all kinds of tricks to instill fear in An Long's heart; she was even able to force him into difficult situation, so that he fled in disorder - using her floating ribbon. At that time she managed to enter by exploiting a weak spot, by relying on the floating ribbon to produce Tianmo sound to control his mind, expecting him not to be able to recover in such a short period of time, thereupon she felt comfortable enough to fight over the Print Scroll. Plus she still heard the sound of An Long smashing the Luohan on the other side of the hall, hence she felt even more comfortable.
Now, of course, it turned out An Long was able to recover quicker than she had expected, and that he continuously smashed the statues to create a false impression that he was running away.
But this moment it was already too late for regret, and even if she wanted to chase after him, it would be too difficult to catch up with him.
Right this moment, suddenly An Long shrieked and flew back inside from the hole on the wall.
Everybody in the hall looked at each other in astonishment; they were even more stunned compared to when An Long successfully snatched the Print Scroll away.