An Long swiftly moved right in front of Hou Xibai; spinning around like a top, he drew his hands together like a lotus, qi power exploded into the air, shocking the eardrums, like the formless lotus flowers were blooming one by one, pressing toward Hou Xibai, mysterious principles hidden within, capturing people's heart and soul, strange to the extreme point. Such a weird martial art was indeed horrifying. It could be imagined that if this martial art was used in a group war, it did not matter how many martial art masters were on the opposite side, they would be forced to deal with his offensive alone. No wonder that that day, although Fu Gongyou, who possessed deep knowledge of his formidability, had Rong Fengxiang and Zuo Youxian helping him, he was still willing to let him go.
Hou Xibai suddenly withdrew three chi back until he reached the end of the roof slope, where he stood upright and unafraid, spirited light burst forth from his eyes, as he moved with all his strength.
Since the fight started, he has been waiting for precisely this moment. The air all around him became incomparably scorching, as the qi power of initial lotus flower of the 'Lotus Ring At The Center Of The Sky' flew around his body and pressed on his back.
In general, upper-class internal energy cultivation underwent many superficial changes but would not departure from the original stand, which was the method of cultivating the true qi within the body, the selection of how the power would break out, and meridians and acupoints through which it flowed, as well as how to subdue the enemy and generate victory.
The Tian Lian Zong's 'Lotus Ring At The Center Of The Sky' was really a variant of innate true qi cultivation; the key secret was in the usage of the heart and the main meridians, feeling 'the heart is like governing monarch, where the deities appear', also 'the heart is like pointed circle, the shape is like lotus pistil, with unusual orifice in the middle, only known by those with superior wisdom'. The name 'Lotus Ring At The Center Of The Sky' came from this. Coupled with incomparably complicated 'move, shake, advance, retreat, twist, coil, flick, twirl, follow, cover, shoot, press, claw, slice', more than a dozen types of finger method, passing through the Taiyin, Yangming, Shaoyang, Taiyang, Jueyin, and various acupoints on both hands, releasing such a searing true qi in the shape of lotus pistil, able to burn, hurt, damage, and scorch the opponent's channels, extremely insidious, the one and only within the demonic schools, there was no other.
However, although the potential was ferocious and overbearing, it consumed extremely large amount of true energy, the wear and tear would be difficult to sustain for an extended period of time. Therefore, even for someone of An Long's caliber, unless he was forced into a situation where it was absolutely necessary, he would be unwilling to use the demonic-skill-big-method 'Lotus Ring At The Center Of The Sky', and it had to be under the circumstance where he had full confidence of success that he would use it to kill the enemy in one move.
To be able to force An Long to use the demonic school's martial art that he stored at the bottom of his chest, Hou Xibai had enough reason to be proud of himself.
As long as one of 'the Rings' worked, An Long would immediately follow up the victory and press home the attack, by using some other killer move to deal with and injure the enemy's channels.
In a flash, An Long's pair of fat hands, which were cupped together like a lotus, sent out five bursts of lotus power, separately aimed at the top of Hou Xibai's head, his back, the pit of his stomach, and his left and right flanks, five vital points.
Hou Xibai still maintained his confident and at ease, in-total-control manner. Suddenly he exerted his power to his feet, the roof tiles under his feet immediately shattered into small pieces, and his entire body dropped down. Although still could not evade An Long's 'Five Lotus Rings', he managed to gain a split second buffer on the lotus flower pressing down on his head, while dodging all the other attacks threatening his vital points.
His folding fan opened, he used it to shield his chest, while uttering a long chant, "Eight Methods to Break The Lotus use solid in place of empty."
While saying that, the folding fan in his hand adopted a graceful, relaxed posture, while pushing aside the cool air from his fan toward his own body; immediately his entire clothes flared up, whooshing and floating lightly.
When Xu Ziling was about five chi away from the long table, he suddenly pushed with both hands. Cao Yinglong's palms, while he was still lying on the table, left the tabletop and flew horizontally up.
Evidently this move was totally outside the person hiding under the table's expectation, but it was too late to prevent it.
Xu Ziling made his move after deciding on the plan, while at the same time soaring above the long table, and tapped the tabletop with the tip of his toes.
The long table disintegrated like sand.
To his surprise, under the table was empty, but this moment he had no time to think. While he was about to rush over to catch the falling Cao Yinglong, a strange, inexplicable thing happened; Cao Yinglong shot up like a zombie, his eyes were half-open, half-closed, his feet did not touch the ground, both hands stretched out horizontally in front of his body, he soared to the air and pounced toward Xu Ziling. Inside the underground room, under the red light, it looked so eerie and terrifying.
Xu Ziling was greatly shocked. He was well aware that at least in term of shenfa, this enemy, who has not shown himself up, was definitely not inferior to either Wanwan or Yang Xuyan; martial art masters, experts in lightness skill, and his reaction was so fast and nimble that it has reached the extremely-shocking stage. Unexpectedly, the moment Xu Ziling moved Cao Yinglong off the table, he was able to move his body at the same time.
And apparently Cao Yinglong has fallen under some kind of spiritual sorcery under his hands, so that he could manipulate Cao Yinglong's body.
This moment, Xu Ziling could not evade, but not dodging was not an option either. Even with his quick thinking, momentarily he was at a loss.
Fiercely clenching his teeth, Xu Ziling made a somersault, the tip of his two feet separately tapped the hollow of Cao Yinglong's palms, and then, borrowing the reaction force, he soared to the top of the cellar, intending to have a glimpse of the enemy's true identity.
Who would have thought that from pouncing forward, Cao Yinglong suddenly flew face up backward, and like a marionette his fist shot forward, sending out a punch across empty air toward Xu Ziling. The man was now hidden underneath Cao Yinglong so that Xu Ziling was still not fated to see his face.
The wind from the punch surged over. If he took the brunt of it, even if he did not die, he most certainly would be seriously hurt. The most aggravating thing was that the person manipulating Cao Yinglong practically was not afraid that Xu Ziling would strike back. Therefore, every single move was an advancing, attacking move without any reservation to retreat. If he ever fell into disadvantageous position, the enemy would simply throw Cao Yinglong to the wall, or use some other similarly despicable method, so that when Xu Ziling was forced to save Cao Yinglong, he would seize the opportunity to make his killer move. Moreover, under current circumstances, it was practically impossible for Xu Ziling to change the development of this situation too much.
The only redeeming thing for Xu Ziling was that the opponent did not understand the ingenious usage of the true qi from the 'Secret to Long Life'.
Just now, when one after another the tip of his feet tapped the hollow of Cao Yinglong's palms, while he neutralized the enemy's mostly yin and soft true qi, he seized the opportunity to inject his true qi into Cao Yinglong's meridians like a pair of long and narrow probing and sampling utensils. Using a splitting-the-mountain-and-striking-the-ox method he probed what is true and what is false from the enemy via Cao Yinglong. It was an amazing method that in the present age, other than Kou Zhong, there was no third person who understood it.
First of all, he knew that the enemy did not have any connection to the orthodox and heretic schools and sects of the Central Earth's Wulin. It should be noted that whether it was Wanwan, or even Shi Feixuan, down to all martial art masters of various schools and sects who had fought with Xu Ziling, including Tujue's masters like Ba Fenghan or Tiele's masters like Qu Ao, whatever method they were using, everybody was still using the Eight Extraordinary Channels as the backbone. But the method of this invisible enemy's internal power was another thing altogether; it did not flow through these main channels at all. Just like in calligraphy, the center stroke and the slanting stroke are distinguishable; hence the martial art was even more treacherous, weird and dangerous, so that it was hard to pin down.
The most shocking thing was that the ears, the eardrums, yuzhen, meichong, tianling, tianchong, fengchi, chengjiang, and various major acupoints on Cao Yinglong's head were completely enveloped by this kind of yin and soft, as if they were sealed by this existing, yet non-existent, qi. If he forced his own true qi to open up Cao Yinglong's blocked acupoints, when the two qi fought against each other, it might make Cao Yinglong's brain suffer damage, and then he would become a useless person with no hope of ever recovering forever.
Such a terrifying gongfa that was able to seal cranial nerves like this, he had not even thought about before.
Who was this opponent? In the wake of the punch, in Xu Ziling's eyes, Cao Yinglong's body seemed to continuously grow bigger and bigger. Turned out the opponent was propping Cao Yinglong's body from underneath and pushing it toward Xu Ziling, so that the space in which he would be able to evade was continuously getting narrower and narrower; it was extremely vicious.
This was the first time that Xu Ziling encountered such a cunning, hundred-changes, profound-mystery enemy. In desperate situation people became quick witted; arching his back upward to stick close to the ceiling, he breathed in a stream of energy, his middle finger swiftly jabbed down to hit Cao Yinglong's fist.
It was the case of utilizing object to send out energy all along, the powerful yin force from the fist was neutralized by the finger wind. If the spiraling energy Xu Ziling put into Cao Yinlong's body clashed against the enemy's true qi, regardless of the outcome, the first to suffer damage would be Cao Yinglong. Therefore, as soon as the qi power reached the fist, Xu Ziling stopped and dispersed it horizontally. Immediately, Cao Yinglong's body responded to the finger and flew sideways like a clump of clouds. Xu Ziling could easily see that the turn of events was far from good.
Sure enough, when Cao Yinglong's head crashed against one of the walls, which was full of tablets and altars honoring great benefactors, a leg flew out from under his body; in a sudden thrust that caught the opponent off guard, it shot swiftly toward where Xu Ziling's wrist was going to be. Accurate beyond human comprehension, the angle and timing were perfect, exactly the moment when Xu Ziling's old force has just disappeared, but before the new force was generated.
Even with Xu Ziling's fast reaction, he was still unable to evade the kick; he had no choice but to hurriedly raise his energy and take the opponent's attack head on.
First, he felt sharp pain on the wrist being kicked, and then a surge of hard to describe qi power, fast as lightning, invaded his body; the pain and numbness spread into the meridians in his entire body. It was an unbearable feeling, comparable only to the dreadful state of having his entire body bitten by poisonous ants.
Xu Ziling still failed to see the enemy launching a sneak attack from behind Cao Yinglong's body flying to the wall; he could only let out a miserable groan and fell down from the ceiling.
He did not know whether the enemy still had follow-up move, but from the small-sized boot and the slim foot kicking him, he knew that the enemy was a woman.
Xu Ziling fell heavily on the ground.