Now with the true energy force field formed by his spiraling power, although compared to demonic-and-weird, exquisite-and-amazing Tianmo Da Fa - with its countless changes - was still a few notches inferior, it was actually just right, like the right medicine prescribed for a certain illness; it was just right to control Xi Ying's full-forced strike.
Xi Ying was just unleashing the Ziqi Tian Luo by utilizing both hands to weave thousands of fine threads crisscrossing each other to form the Tian Luo net of qi, which he 'drew' out toward the opponent.
This formless net not only could withstand the fist wind and palm power from the opponent, it could also receive and send energy from his core, which could change shape at any time.
As he gathered his power in his arms, the Heavenly Mesh was pulled together into big and small qi power like wheels, striking horizontally across at Xu Ziling, with the intention of cutting apart the power of his punch, and giving Xu Ziling a heavy blow. Suddenly the Heavenly Mesh qi power became a void without any strength. But the one thing that shocked him the most was that unexpectedly the wheels of qi were unable to maintain their original state, because they were sucked by the powerful vortex of energy generated by the opponent's palm image, so that the round wheels were pulled into ovals, and then into strips, which, in turn, were pouring down in torrents into the hollow of the opponent's palm.
Xi Ying's soul flew away and scattered; hurriedly he pulled his power back, and his retreat this time was even more awkward than the last time.
Inwardly Xu Ziling cried, 'What a close call!' If Xi Ying had not misunderstood his using Tianmo Gong and still used the original style without changing anything to meet Xu Ziling's palm strike head on, based on Xi Ying's demonic power level, which, by this time was still at least one notch above Xu Ziling's, as well as that Xu Ziling did not know how to suck energy and borrow energy as he wished like Wanwan, Xu Ziling would have suffered big loss to some degree.
Fortunately, Xi Ying was very cooperative; instead of advancing, he retreated. How could Xu Ziling be willing to miss this golden opportunity? Letting out a long laughter, like a shadow-following-shadow, he followed Xi Ying closely behind to press down the attack.
None of the spectators was able to see clearly, but anyone could see that instead of attacking, Xi Ying was retreating, and hence lost the initiative.
After all, Xi Ying was a grandmaster of the demonic school; after retreating for a zhang or so, he swept back to attack Xu Ziling from the side. Both combatants were using exquisite, abstruse technique in a desperate exchange of moves.
The two men suddenly separated, so that once again they were standing face-to-face.
The spectators nervously watching the battle found it difficult to breathe, all because each flutter of the two men's clothes, each brush of their sleeves, carried full strength, devastating qi power, ready for the next earth-shattering offensive.
Xi Ying shouted sternly, "I am afraid what Yue Xiong used just now is not Huan Ri Da Fa?"
Xu Ziling laughed slyly and said, "Actually, whatever skill, whatever method, please forgive Ol' Yue since it is not convenience to divulge. May I ask, currently, how much confidence does Xi Xiong have that you will win?"
Upstairs, An Long laughed heartily and said, "Old Xi, no need to make an exception by telling the truth!"
You Niaojuan also let out a mocking, weird-sounding laugh.
Such battle outcome was indeed greatly beyond the two men's expectation.
Xu Ziling cried, 'Lucky!' inwardly. Were it not for him taking risk by imitating Tianmo force field and was successful, the result would be different.
Instead of being angry, Xi Ying laughed. His palms fluttered like butterfly passing through the flower, fantastically filling the air with palm shadows, along with the footwork stepping forward, completely enshrouding Xu Ziling with hiding-the-sky-and-covering-the-earth attack, with gossamer of qi blanketing the space within two zhang radius. It was powerful and overbearing to the extreme point.
The skin of all the parts of his body exposed outside his clothes was imbued with purple qi, giving people stronger impression of the weird and magical character of his Tian Luo demonic skill.
Although he was in perilous situation due to the opponent's full-strength attack, Xu Ziling's, whose hands were performing the motionless JinGang [Vajra] image - mind was approaching the see-through and quick-witted realms like the moon in the well, not moved by the opponent the slightest bit.
The instant several strands of gossamer of qi attacking his body, he swiftly slid across, while launching three palm chops and one fist strike onto an empty air.
No matter how rich Xi Ying's imagination was, he had never imagined that Xu Ziling would deal with his Ziqi Tian Luo with this kind of technique.
Ziqi Tian Luo's most formidable aspect was that the gossamer of true qi could go round to attack the enemy from any angle. Xu Ziling's three palm chops seemed to hack down on totally unrelated empty spaces, but they actually cut off his three streams of gossamer of energy. The last punch actually rendered a heavy blow onto the strongest point of his palm momentum, entirely sealing his retreat path.
Xi Ying suddenly realized that he could no longer understand the depth of the attainments of this 'old friend' standing in front of his eyes. Formerly, Yue Shan has never been this creative, with improvised moves like a heavenly steed soaring across the skies like this.
Vortex of energy shot out. Slow at first, but quickly becoming fast, accurately drilling its way into Xi Ying's meridians. This move was even more beyond Xi Ying's expectation. Immediately, because his hastily released Heavenly Mesh qi power was penetrated by Xu Ziling, it was difficult to concentrate the power on his palm to protect himself, his five viscera immediately received serious injury.
Under the spectators' unblinking gaze, Xi Ying staggered and fell back, his awe-inspiring authority immediately vanished.
Xu Ziling inwardly cried, 'What a close call!' He had already taken out all the skills that he had kept at the bottom of his trunk and had been giving it his all to deal with Xi Ying. His only unfair advantage was that the opponent only knew Yue Shan and did not know anything about Xu Ziling.
The first one was 'Zhen Yan Shou Yin' [true statement (incantation) hand image], followed by an imitation of the 'Tianmo Da Fa', 'Yijian Technique', and the last one was looking-cun-out-of-the-doorway 'Secret to Long Life' and Jade Annulus of He Clan's spiraling-wonder-energy's one move to subdue the enemy. If Xi Ying were able to neutralize it just like he did a moment ago, it would be Xu Ziling who would be receiving the beating. Then naturally the end would be much different.
His spirit was greatly aroused, Xu Ziling pressed on the attack from all sides. For a period of time his fist power and palm wind permeated the battleground. Xi Ying, who had already lost the key moment, immediately fell into disadvantageous defensive position, where not only he was unable to unleash Tian Luo net of qi, he must use thousand ways, a hundred plans to protect his own little life. In such a close-quarter combat situation, he had to passively ward off Xu Ziling's seemingly-clumsy-but-was-actually-ingenious, not-leaving-any-traces, brimming-with-foresight-aggressiveness violent attacks and fierce strikes.
None of the spectator was not moved.
The sound of qi power clashing against each other rang out incessantly. Enhancing the sinister nature of this battle was that the two shadows were alternately advancing and retreating in endless violent battle. Everybody watching was overcome with a feeling that their breathing could not flow freely.
In this close-quarter hand-to-hand combat, the two men had to use speed to defeat speed, to counter every move. Under this kind of circumstances, Xi Ying suffered more disadvantages. The problem was that Xu Ziling's moves were basically without any specific palm techniques; every single move was unleashed in passing, created just in response to the situation. Plus his true qi was changeable, so that under this kind of attack, Xi Ying could only display less than fifty-percent of Ziqi Tian Luo's formidable power, hence he was unable to turn the tide.
Two men's four palms collided, both men retreated backward, but their fierce gaze was tightly locked at each other.
Bian Bufu thought that Xi Ying was going to snatch the initiative back. "Good!" he shouted loudly.
Xu Ziling laughed calmly and said, "How does Huan Ri Da Fa taste like?"
The pit of Xi Ying's stomach suddenly moved up and down violently; he ferociously said, "You are not …"
How could Xu Ziling let him finish saying, 'You are not Yue Shan'? His hand made Great Sun Chakra image, astonishing qi power sliced the air, promptly cutting off the rest of the sentence already hanging at the tip of Xi Ying's tongue.
Xi Ying roared and risking his life by blocking it with all his might.
The shadows suddenly separated.
Xu Ziling was back to his original place, standing as steady as a lofty mountain. [Translator's note: play of words here. Yue Shan literally means highest peak mountain.]
As if he was drunk, Xi Ying's face turned completely scarlet, as he tumbled back and spun around. Those with superior eyesight could see his fatal injury, which came from Xu Ziling's heavy kick on his lower abdomen.
Another crashing noise came from upstairs. Bian Bufu broke the window and flew out; and just like that he fled in the direction of the courtyard's wall. How could An Long and You Niaojuan be willing to let him go? They also shot out of the window to run after him.
Xu Ziling's pair of tiger-eyes was still fixed on Xi Ying; he did not dare to relax at all. Immediately he transferred his qi to treat his own internal injury, which could not be called light either.
This nearly impossible thing was - after suffering untold hardships - finally accomplished.
There was a sudden rustling noise as two figures leaped down onto the garden, and completely sealed Xi Ying's escape route. Obviously they were afraid he still had some strength left.
Without turning around, Xu Ziling spoke indifferently, "What advice does Feng Mengzhu [alliance leader] have for me?"
Feng Zhen came to his side and said with a smile, "Yue Lao is too polite! Xiaodi just want to know whether Yue Lao will stay over in Chengdu for a couple more days. If so, would you give Xiaodi and Fan Xiong the honor to act as the host?"
Xu Ziling replied indifferently, "Two gentlemen's kindness, Ol' Yue appreciate it wholeheartedly! It's just that this person has never been good in social niceties; besides, I have another important matter to attend to. Please forgive me for failing to accompany you."
Finished speaking, he leaped over the wall and left.