Chapter 17: The Fighting at Changping
Glancing at Gu Nan's incoming sword strike, Ghost Valley felt a happy excitement fill his face.
Not bad, her sword is imbued with a distinct aura.
The essence was condensed and propelled, giving the sword a domineering feeling. With such a narrow, focused thrust, the strike would feel unavoidable and death inevitable.
Such an all-out strike amounted to giving this old man some face.
Ghost Valley smiled, drawing his elegant sword with a slow and gradual motion. But, his acute control allowed him to deflect the blow with minimal movement.
The tremble of colliding metal hummed in the air.
Standing to the side, Bai Qi watched Gu Nan’s flickering actions with slight melancholy before closing his eyes again.
“Haha, not bad, there’s a little bit of strength!” Ghost Valley laughed heartily.
Although his hair has turned white, his age held no factor in this fight. His swords were varied and agile, focused but encompassing.
The pressure of that long blade made her feel breathless.
“Ting ting ting.”
The clashing swords rumbled the surrounding air and filled it with the sounds of battle.
In only a few breaths, the two swords collided more than a dozen swords.
The two swords struck each again, and both of them retreated.
Ghost Valley jumped back effortlessly and landed like a gentle feather.
Gu Nan stumbled back awkwardly, dragging lines across the snow.
Her wrist felt numb and sapped of energy.
It wasn’t that Ghost Valley was necessary stronger than her, but that his actions tapped upon her key weaknesses. With every soft contact, her sword’s speed was chipped away.
She bounced back several feet and quickly readjusted her grip. The frosty air permeated the metal blade and hilt, and a chill clung onto her hand. Focusing once more, she prepared her next strike. Like a venomous snake exiting its lair, her sword sprung ahead once again.
Her body flew forward, but her right-hand grip opened and the sword began to fall.
Losing the sword is one of the most fatal mistakes for a swordsman.
Ghost Valley smiled slightly.
With Gu Nan’s ability, she could only avoid defeat for maybe a dozen or so rounds. The two are on completely different levels after all.
But if she took a gamble, there’s still the hope of winning.
Her hand twisted back and then slammed forward on the pommel.
The sword accelerated forward like a cold comet.
In a low flash of light, the sword had already neared him and was racing forward.
Ghost Valley nodded at this sword technique. The Hundred-Step Flying Sword was a vertical style move he once taught to her, and she’s already trained it to a dangerous level.
However, this sword isn’t enough to make him serious.
He took this opportunity to examine the intricacies of her development.
Her moves are imbued with a desperate desire for death. However, unlike the finesse of a swordsman, it’s more like an assassin forcing an opening in one’s defenses.
But as Ghost Valley was analyzing her attack, he failed to notice something else.
At the same time, Gu Nan turned and bent her waist, exploding out with her right foot. Like one of the many silent snowflakes, she spun through the air.
With a turn of the wrist, Ghost Valley’s sword executed its Horizontal technique. The projectile sword was easily redirected with Ghost Valley’s subtle deflection.
The sword quickly lost its momentum and tumbled through the air.
But beyond his expectations, Gu Nan was already airborne and caught the falling sword, landing right behind Ghost Valley.
The sword in her hand shifted from the Vertical stance to the Horizontal one.
Directionist Sect – Horizontal Sword technique: Horizontal Piercing Eight Directions.
The glint of a sword abruptly appeared in the corner of Ghost Valley’s vision, cutting towards his unguarded back.
The sword hummed and the snow flew.
Gu Nan looked up and saw that her sword strike was pinched between Ghost Valley’s two fingers.
His fingers were unscathed and clamped down on the blade like boulders. However, those two fingers were also covered in a slight, visible aura.
Ghost Valley used internal qi.
To use internal qi against a little girl with three months of experience, it was really a big loss of face for him.
Although he wouldn’t have been injured anyways, he felt like the purpose of this spar was fulfilled.
“I lose.” Gu Nan said with a sly smirk on her face.
Although she said that, to make Ghost Valley use internal force, it’s obvious that it was really her that won.
This girl… She’s really a hundred-year talent.
Noticing her smug expression, Ghost Valley chuckled slightly.
Inwardly though, he was quite surprised.
To use the Hundred-Step Flying Sword of the Vertical Sword and Horizontal Piercing Eight Directions of the Horizontal Sword in sequence, it was an unprecedented idea.
Thinking about it, the Directionalist Sect has always been divided into the Vertical and Horizontal path.
Each swordsmanship style has their own difficulties, and connecting them has never been attempted. Although it’s perhaps not the most efficient, it’s innovative.
Gu Nan launched her sword and then predicted it’s deflected course. It’s unorthodox and difficult, but it’s not impossible.
Ghost Valley nodded at Gu Nan with satisfaction. It’s good that she’s thinking out of the box. That’s the first step of moving on from the first realm of Sword to the second realm of Shifting Sword.
“Okay, stop smirking.” He sheathed his sword and patted her unorganized hair.
“Oi, don’t touch my head. I’ll still grow a bit taller.” She cried out as she spun free from his hand.
Ghost Valley was in a good mood and laughed back. “For a girl, you’re already tall. Any taller and you won’t find a husband, haha.”
“Hey, you’re the one that should be married.”
“Oh? Even if this old man wanted to, I’m afraid it’s impossible."
Gu Nan and Ghost Valley laughed like this for a while until he finally turned towards Bai Qi.
“Old friend, my sword teachings have completed. Your hospitality was noble. But, it is now time for my departure.”
“Alright.” From the beginning to the end, Bai Qi hadn’t said a single word. But now, his voice seemed to reflect his growing age and exhaustion. “Farewell.”
Ghost Valley took one last glance at Bai Qi, and his heart sighed helplessly. “Old friend, there are some things that are not worth struggling over.”
“I know how far to go.” Bai Qi nodded slowly.
Ghost Valley turned and left.
Glancing at Ghost Valley’s receding figure, Gu Nan looked back at Bai Qi. “Master, should I send Mr. Ghost Valley off?”
“No need.” He shook his head and looked back to the interior of the house. “You, come with me.”
Gu Nan scratched her head with a puzzled look but still followed him in nonetheless.
In the house, Bai Qi abruptly stopped. His back turned, he asked a sudden question.
At the first line, Gu Nan’s pupils shrank in shock.
“Nan’er, the fighting at Changping, have you heard of it?”