Stunned, Kou Zhong said, "I was talking about different thing, it was just a general reflection. But to Fazhu, perhaps it was also a nonsense."
"It was definitely a nonsense," Song Que spoke matter-of-factly, "When the will is undivided, it will condense into spirit. When the spirit condenses, it starts to reach the intention. Only when the intention moves the hand will we be able to talk about method. When one who follows the method reaches the no-method realm, one would begin to understand how to use the saber."
Appeared to be deep in thought, Kou Zhong muttered, "What's the difference between spirit and intention?"
Song Que stretched out an arm toward the wall and pushed.
As if it was alive, one of the sabers created a noise, and unexpectedly it moved out of the scabbard, exactly like if it was pulled out by a hand.
Watching this, a chill crept into Kou Zhong's heart.
Song Que grabbed an empty air again, the thick-backed broadsword was like being pulled out by an invisible thread, and fell into the palm of his outstretched left hand.
Strange change suddenly occurred.
The moment the thick-backed broadsword fell into Song Que's grasp, Kou Zhong felt that Song Que and his saber have become an indivisible 'merged-into-one' entity. It was a completely intense and profound feeling, so subtle that it was hard to describe.
At the same time Song Que's eyes shot lightning-like spirited ray, enveloping Kou Zhong so that he felt that his entire being, inside and outside, none can escape the gaze of this number one saber expert in the world; he was seen through completely, as if he was stark-naked and was being exposed to cold wind and icy snow.
The instant the saber touched Song Que's palm, an impenetrable wall [orig. like copper wall, iron bastion], formless yet real - saber qi shot out from Song Que's core and pushed toward Kou Zhong, so that he was forced to apply his qi to resist; worse yet, he had to force himself to raise his will to fight. Otherwise, his courage would turn cold, and he would break down without fighting.
Such martial art skill, if someone had told him, but he did not see with his own eyes and feel it with his own body, he would not have dared to believe that it was true.
Song Que's expression was still calm and unruffled in the midst of chaos; casually he spoke without any emotion, "Spirit is of the heart, intention is of the body. Every single saber strike, the whole body follows accordingly. The spirit and the intention become one, just like this one saber strike."
Finished speaking, he took a step forward. An enormous momentum burst forth violently, as if it burst from the heaven above and the earth below, following his confident and vigorous step, carrying along a chilling-to-the-bone saber qi, rolling over toward Kou Zhong.
Kou Zhong drew the Moon in the Well right on time when Song Que's thick-backed broadsword pressed the air in front of him, amazing in shape, brilliant and varied, changing continuously within two zhang radius of space, every change was so clear as if the intention was spelled out clearly using the saber.
The worst thing was that with each change, all countermeasures that Kou Zhong had carefully planned were defeated, so that he was overcome with dejected feeling of all his previous achievements have come to waste.
Song Que's use of the saber to this point has reached the realms of great heights, the acme of perfection.
With the change of saber momentum, the footwork also changed accordingly. Kou Zhong was not even able to fathom from what angle his last attack would come from.
Facing such a terrifying powerful enemy, Kou Zhong's fighting spirit soared instead. Unprecedented spirited light burst forth from his pair of tiger-eyes, as he watched the opponent attentively without blinking at all.
Only when the enemy's saber was only about three chi away from him, when the rushing forth saber qi violently arrived - did he let out a cold shout and rushed forward, with the Moon in the Well swiftly parried the attack, with abundant succeed-or-die-trying, no-momentum-was-spared feeling.
The two sabers clashed.
Kou Zhong let out a stifled grunt; both his body and his saber were swept by Song Que's thick-backed broadsword that he staggered three steps backward, but he was able to seal Song Que's follow-up change.
Seeing Kou Zhong's face losing his ruddy complexion, Song Que pointed his saber toward this young opponent, but he did not seize the opportunity to pursue and attack. Throwing his head back in long laughter, he said, "Shao Shuai is indeed outstanding; unexpectedly your state of mind did not reveal any flaw at all, you were able to see through that only by meeting this saber strike head-on in braving-death, disregarding-everything block that you will have a chance to save your life. If it was an ordinary fighter, because he could not see through the many changes within the strike, he would certainly adopt defensive position or perhaps attempt to dodge, and that would result in an immediate downfall. Now you ought to know what the intention of the body means!"
His countenance returning to normal, Kou Zhong nodded and said, "Practically I could not see through the changes in Fazhu's saber momentum; but the moment I put myself in death, my hand unexpectedly seemed to know how to preserve my little life. This is probably the general idea of the intention of the body!"
Song Que smiled and said, "The intention of the body is precisely the overall outcome of all previous hard work, discipline training, and actual combat experience. What the heart and the spirit desire to do surpasses the thinking, but if you could do it only once in a while, you still cannot be considered an expert. Only if in each stroke each style the spirit and intention are blended together will the saber technique follow your heart's desire. Watch! This is the second saber strike."
Kou Zhong cried inwardly, 'Help!' Until now, the blood and qi in his body were still surging, his unbearably painful and numb arm had barely recovered. He was well aware that whether in internal power or saber technique, he was inferior to the opponent by more than a notch.
And from Song Que's saber push just now, he was able to determine that Song Que indeed had the intention to kill him, because there was no leniency in his move at all. So, if he was unable to block this saber strike, he would die. Even Song Que himself would be unable to change this inevitable outcome.
Fortunately Kou Zhong had a firm and persistent will, so he would definitely not lose his will to fight just because he knew he was not the opponent's match. Letting out a cold snort, he took the initiative by attacking first.
Song Que took a step forward, creating a 'pow!' noise, and unexpectedly the entire Mo Dao Tang was shaking. Following his footwork, the saber cut across, without the least bit of fancy variation, yet it was able to push and break all changes in Kou Zhong's saber technique.
Kou Zhong felt that Song Que's seemingly mediocre, nothing-special saber strike, was actually highly skillful but looked clumsy, it was able to change something rotten into something magical, eliminating all escape paths, so that he could not carryout anything else; the initiative was immediately reduced to passive.
Kou Zhong retreated three more steps from the hack.
The blade of Song Que's saber touched the ground, he glibly said, "Can Shao Shuai see through the mystery of my saber strike?"
Kou Zhong regulated his breathing quietly. Nodding, he said, "Countless changes contained within one variation, the subtlety is not something that can be described."
Song Que sighed and said, "Child can indeed be taught. It's a pity that you will lose your life under Ol' Song's saber."
Kou Zhong laughed aloud, the Moon in the Well hacked swiftly, immediately wind and thunder erupted simultaneously, the saber momentum was bold and powerful beyond human comprehension, yet there was agility and elegance hidden within it, giving the impression that he was able to combine these two extreme feelings into one. In itself, it was a marvel that was hard to believe.
"Good!" Song Que thundered. His keen eyes lit up with unusual glint; however, his handsome-without-equal face did not reveal the slightest amount of emotion [orig. four types of human emotions: happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy], while the thick-backed saber in his hand swiftly hooked forward. It changed nine times before it hit the blade of Kou Zhong's Moon in the Well.
With his confidence in his own saber technique, Kou Zhong had to wholeheartedly concede that at his peak condition since he made his debut, Kou Zhong originally thought that in this saber strike he would be able to snatch a bit of decisive opportunity; who would have thought that Song Que's seemingly casual counterstrike completely seized the initiative, just like the Yijian Technique, so that he could not carryout his remaining move even for half a cun.
Song Que momentum was continuously expanding; as a result, the pressure on him was growing as well, as if his hands and feet were tied, and he was unable to use half his normal skill.
The two men suddenly separated but quickly came together again.
In the blink of an eye the two sabers clashed more than a dozen times.
If someone was watching on the side, he would see that each saber strike from Song Que appeared to be simple, plain, even clumsy. Yet Kou Zhong, who was in close proximity to him, knew that each rise and fall of the saber concealed a thousand changes ten thousand variations, so that no one would be able to understand the traces of his movements, and thus could only counter every move. Under this kind of circumstances, all those 'using the man to play the sword, using the sword to play the enemy' could not be used, let alone trying to find the opponent's 'escaping one'.
After blocking Song Que's sometimes-light-sometimes-heavy, its-speed-followed-the-heart, and-could-attack-from-any-angle twenty-seventh strike, Kou Zhong's inner qi was nearing the lamp-which-oil-was-drying-out level and was in desperate straits where he did not have time to replenish it.
Under Song Que's impossible-to-resist, startling-the-ghosts-and-immortal-on-heaven-and-earth saber technique, Kou Zhong felt like he was struggling to survive in the perilous situation of the ocean under torrential rain and gale; his only regret was that this moment he was already exhausted, and was facing the disaster of the crown of his head drowning.
Taking advantage of while he still had a bit of strength left, Kou Zhong suddenly spun around, the Moon in the Well ferociously swept across the opponent's long saber.
It was extremely amazing; right the moment he spun around, Kou Zhong borrowed the spiraling force to miraculously escape from within the range of Song Que's enveloping saber wind and the sharp blade, and then by throwing himself at the point where Song Que's saber momentum was the strongest, even with Song Que's ability, he was forced to block this saber strike head on.
Going in and out, the saber technique was like a heavenly steed soaring across the skies, leaving no trace at all.
It was the first time since the battle began that he managed to regain a little bit of initiative.
'Dang! Dang! Dang!'
Taking advantage of this split second opportunity, Kou Zhong sent out continuous, unbroken hacks at Song Que from three different angles, three different saber strikes without any flaws in between.
Since he speculated that he was going to die anyway, these three saber strikes were completely without reserved momentum. Immediately it generated powerful-without-equal violent force and fierce momentum, brimming with ever-onward-no-retreat spirit.
Letting out a long laugh, Song Que said, "Delighted! Delighted! I have never had such a good time."
Just like that the saber momentum turned over and flew, it successively met Kou Zhong's three saber strikes.
After three saber strikes, Kou Zhong lost his will to continue. This moment Song Que's saber swept across, sending the saber, as well as Kou Zhong's body, flying backward. Kou Zhong rolled out of the door, and fell on his butt on the ground in the courtyard.
Finally Kou Zhong was unable to stop fresh blood from gushing out of his mouth and filling the air.
While he was certain that he was about to die, he heard Song Que's voice, saying, "By the time the sun is setting, we will continue this unfinished predestined meeting!"