Chapter 189 Killing the Immortal
Between him and Lotus, Gu Shenwei had never expected that the one to strike first would be Lotus. He subconsciously drew his sword to counterattack, but Lotus's sword had already hit him in the chest when his hand was barely raised halfway.
The sword entered about an inch into his body, close to the heart.
"Do you understand now?" Lotus put away her sword. She had done a lot of research on the Essence of Perceiving Passion, but she had only seen the emotionless swordsmanship, one of the so-called sixty-four training methods. So although she was not fully confident in her judgement, this was the only chance to show Servant Huan the truth, and thus she had to pretend she was absolutely sure about it.
Gu Shenwei also put away his sword, his face as pale and cold as frost. He felt like a worm was squirming in his heart, trying to make a hole in the thick cocoon. "Why? Why didn't I see that?"
"It's not your fault. The Celestial Rope is very confusing, and very few people can get rid of the control that Immortal Peng has instilled. I haven't met Immortal Peng before, but simply by listening to you, even I had to spend a long time before I could see the loophole."
"There are no sixty-four training methods?"
"Of course not. That's all a strange and preposterous idea. No matter how many training methods a martial art has, all paths should lead to the same destination. It's impossible to have swordsmanship, sabresmanship, and fist techniques all at the same time."
What Lotus said was a very simple truth, but Gu Shenwei was completely confused. The worm in his heart had finally broken out of its cocoon and seen the truth that had always existed in front of it.
Immortal Peng was an amazing hypnotist. Most of the things he had said and shown were true, and only the most critical parts were fake. Gu Shenwei had convinced himself and unconsciously fallen into the giant net.
"The emotionless swordsmanship … is not invincible?"
Lotus sneered. To wake Servant Huan up, she couldn't only rely on persuasion, so she drew out her sword again and pointed at his chest and snapped, "I didn't even use my full strength. Look at you, you think you've made rapid progress in your swordsmanship, but it turns out you just became a sheep waiting to be slaughtered by others at will. Think about Ye Silang, if there really was a swordsmanship that is invincible throughout the world, how could he have given up halfway?"
Gu Shenwei abruptly stood up and said, "I'm leaving."
"Can you make it?"
The teenager nodded, pushed open the door, and disappeared into the night.
Lotus sheathed her sword again. It was useless to force Servant Huan to stay, as he had to rely on himself to eliminate his inner demon.
Gu Shenwei returned to the third floor of the Essence Pavilion and found someone reading the text on the screen at night.
Chu Nanping was staring intently at the screen, muttering while his finger traced images now and then on the screen.
This boy didn't kill 'the one he didn't want to kill' either.
Gu Shenwei felt a bit sympathetic towards him, but that was all. Although the two were dual cultivators, they had little communication with each other as they had never reached the level of mutual trust.
Standing behind Chu Nanping, Gu Shenwei quickly went through the whole passage of the Essence of Perceiving Passion and couldn't help but laugh. Lotus was right, the so-called sixty-four training methods were grafted poorly to the main text. He would have seen through it at the very beginning if not for Immortal Peng's influence.
This was actually a combination of dozens of different martial arts skills, each of which was a unique top-notch skill. If he hadn't practised the Death Sutra, he would have also been obsessed with them. What a big mistake he had made. He had actually handed out the whole Death Sutra so easily.
However, there was still something Immortal Peng didn't know, which were the twenty-nine figures. Gu Shenwei remembered them clearly, but he didn't redraw it. On one hand, he didn't know how to draw and on the other, it was a scheme he had worked out with Lotus, to play a word game with Immortal Peng.
Gu Shenwei laughed again, turned his head, and saw that Chu Nanping was looking at him angrily. The boy was very dissatisfied with the teenager's interruption, showing an obvious hostility and forgetting that to be emotionless one could not be angry.
"Take your time reading and practising. I'm going to have a rest," Gu Shenwei said casually.
Then he turned to go downstairs to sleep.
Chu Nanping felt the ridicule and sarcasm in his partner cultivator's tone, which made him frown and feel that something wasn't right, but he was soon attracted by the characters on the screen again. He pursued those characters one by one, trying to understand what he had done wrong that he actually couldn't kill that person.
Gu Shenwei's idea was so simple he finished planning it before he fell asleep. He couldn't let that Immortal Peng take away the Death Sutra so easily; he had to make that dwarf pay the price.
But when Gu Shenwei opened his eyes in the morning, his mind was blurred again. He hadn't received nothing from Immortal Peng, and his meridians were actually much clearer than before. The most obvious improvement was his lightness skills, as he even broke through the defect of his family inherited internal energy and could easily leap onto roofs and vault over walls now.
Those sixty-four training methods might be deceptive, but those martial arts were real unique skills. Both Ye Silang and Chu Yangjun's swordsmanships were powerful, if not because the two killers had collaborated and killed the two separately, he and Lotus were not the swordsman's match.
And there were many others in the Essence Pavilion. Even when he was not deceived and his swordsmanship was normal, he might not have been their match. Not to mention Immortal Peng, whose martial arts were so advanced that he could not even see the traces of his movements.
He had practised the emotionless swordsmanship to the fourth level, and who could guarantee that the seventh level was not as good as the Death Sutra swordsmanship?
Gu Shenwei got up early and went to the peach grove to practise the swordsmanship with Chu Nanping as usual. Neither of them mentioned last night's failed murders. Their practice was followed by breakfast, after which the boy went upstairs to serve Immortal Peng while the teenager sat down on the first floor to continue drinking tea.
Wait a bit longer, he told himself. Even if he went to see Immortal Peng now, he would only be asking for trouble. Immortal Peng's martial arts skills were way better than his, a real gap, not an illusion.
But there was always a voice inside his head reminding him, "You've been fooled!" Lotus's voice, as that of a steady, earnest teacher, rattled in his ear. He slowly grew angry and began thinking about how he could kill his only trusted companion.
He made up his mind to focus on drinking tea and enjoying the euphoria of his acupoints pulsing to the beat of the cane.
The killer had fallen into the net again, and it was not until late afternoon that things suddenly changed.
The Baihui and Xuanji acupoints actually pulsed at the same time, which was an unprecedented phenomenon.
While Gu Shenwei was practising kung fu through drinking tea, all of his acupoints had pulsed once, except for those two acupoints that had been occupied by the Desolate Finger Energy. They had never responded, let alone pulsed at the same time.
The knocking sound stopped, but the Baihui and Xuanji acupoints were still pulsing rhythmically like two small drums. Those two acupoints were located on the Conception Meridian and the Governor Meridian, respectively. Soon, all the acupoints on the two meridians started beating. Before Immortal Peng's next knock, all the acupoints on the Twelve Regular Meridians and the Eight Extraordinary Meridians started beating like a swarm of little insects revelling in a hot pot.
With the constant jumping in his acupoints, his internal Qi in the Dantian rushed out like a wild horse and circled through the Great Circle of Vital Energy in an instant.
Gu Shenwei pressed his right hand on the table and tried to keep his balance, but he must have done something special that made dozens of ugly people in the teahouse look at him in amazement.
The teenager didn't know that his body was shaking uncontrollably, so violently that the fake scars glued on his face fell off with a rustling sound, revealing his true face that was changing between red and white.
In less time than it takes an incense stick to burn, Immortal Peng's next knock rang out, and the revelry of the acupoints suddenly stopped. Although the Baihui and Xuanji acupoints hadn't completely stopped, their frequency was decreasing.
Gu Shenwei was sweating profusely with several layers of his clothes drenched. He rose to his feet, and walked upstairs under the crowd's bewildered stare.
The second floor was empty now, the last person to ask a fortune walking downstairs, shaking his head while muttering 'That's amazing, it's great news this time'.
Gu Shenwei slid out of the way and continued walking up towards the third floor. Like lifelike wax figures, eight puppets that spoke for Immortal Peng were sitting in different locations, indifferent to the teenager's unexpected arrival.
The screen was pushed aside, revealing the real Immortal Peng.
The attendant Chu Nanping acted as the immortal's mouthpiece, "You're courting death."
The dwarf had sensed the teenager's killing aura while the others were still unaware of it.
The last few beats of the day were not heard, and the disciples drinking downstairs were suddenly awakened. They walked upstairs one after another and formed a half circle, looking at the teenager in horror. People had come and gone from the Essence Pavilion, but no one had ever challenged Immortal Peng.
Gu Shenwei didn't say anything; he didn't like to speak when he killed.
The Baihui and Xuanji acupoints were still beating, albeit more and more slowly. Time was running out.
There had never been such a simple sword move, straight and monotonous, but able to hit the best martial arts master.
Immortal Peng dropped the walking stick in his hand and put his baby-fat hands on his neck. There was no blood visible for the time being, but his hands would soon be dyed red.
"This is impossible!" The one spoke was Chu Nanping, but it wasn't Immortal Peng's thoughts. It was the boy's own frightened words. He knelt on the ground and held the tottering dwarf.
Those dozens of disciples were dumbfounded, as if the sky had fallen. Some of them flopped onto the ground, some wiped off the disguise from their faces. Gu Shenwei glanced at them one by one. Most of them were not that ugly without make-up, and some of them were even people he knew.
Immortal Peng wasn't dead yet, but he had lost his ability to speak through others. His face was full of anger and confusion, and he didn't understand why he could be defeated by a teenager.
"I've forgotten all of your martial arts."
Chu Nanping was the only insider who knew the deal between Gu Shenwei and Immortal Peng, but even he couldn't understand the meaning of the teenager's words.
Only Immortal Peng knew. His eyes bulged and his bloody palms left his neck to stretch out. Then his whole body softened, fell onto the attendant's arm, and never moved again.
Looking at the small corpse, Gu Shenwei felt very comfortable at that moment. The Baihui and Xuanji acupoints no longer pulsed. The Desolate Finger Energy had been a hidden danger of Qi deviation, but had actually saved his life at the most dangerous moment.
The witchcraft of the Great Desolate Sect was so domineering that it didn't allow another force to control its own host.
Immortal Peng died by his own evil schemes.
Gu Shenwei's own martial arts had regressed significantly because of practising the Essence of Perceiving Passion and the emotionless swordsmanship, but so was Immortal Peng. As soon as he had the whole Death Sutra, he had started practising it and didn't notice at all that his original kung fu had been weakened.
Gu Shenwei turned to face Immortal Peng's bewildered disciples, many of whom showed obvious killing intent.
The teenager's mind became pure. He was a killer again.