Chapter 8: True Ancient Fu
After 12th fired the Chaos Fire Ball, he hid behind Luo Zhan. They could immediately hear the dissonant cries and screams of the victims, and through the brightness of the flames, they could see the silhouettes and shadows of the chaos that ensued.
Everything calmed down after about five minutes. The five Fu Masters and the four other children all looked at each other. 12th watched the entrance diligently, saying, “Uncle Luo, let’s retreat to the last section of the cavern as we can’t hold them here anymore. Use a broom to collect all the ball bearings so we can gather them. Be careful though…… even if you can’t collect them all, make sure that they are not visible at the tunnel entrance.”
Everyone busied themselves. Fortunately they had plenty of people, so collecting the balls didn’t take too long, even the ones that they didn’t gather were swept to the side out of sight.
Luo Zhan asked, “We did pretty well holding them back, why are we retreating?”
12th countered with a question of his own, “If you had lost the number advantage, what would you do?”
Luo Zhan carefully thought it over and answered, “I’d order more powerful people to come…… Oh, you mean to say that the next group to enter will be very powerful?”
12th sighed and said, “Exactly, that’s why we need to focus solely on dealing with them, even though the probability of us getting out of here is quite slim, we still need to create the most advantageous area as possible.” He walked back towards the last tunnel after he finished speaking.
Everyone hurried to follow him in. This tunnel was incredibly narrow, so much that anyone who was somewhat muscular would need to walk sideways to fit. At the end of the narrow, winding tunnel was a small space.
After 12th entered, he noticed that it wasn’t dark inside, and there were beams of light shining through the ceiling. The light slipped through the countless cracks and crevices in the stone by reflecting through the cracks. The ground was quite flat, and there wasn’t really anything useful to take advantage of. 12th signalled to everyone to scatter the ball bearings, and then fix the fish net to the ceiling connected by a rope which controls the net. The fishing net had only been through one battle and was already ripped and tattered in places, however, if it was still useable then they definitely would not throw it away.
12th touched the ground with his hand, feeling frustrated. They could have dug traps had the ground been soil or mud, however it was stone through and through. They had neither the time nor manpower to plow through stone.
“Huo Bao, the oncoming battle…… We won’t be able to help so we should hide in that corner first.”
12th was the first to move, he continued, “Right now we can only have faith in Uncle Luo and the other Fu Masters, if they send in a Great Master level person, then we won’t stand a chance. Fuck this Mysterious Land for not closing yet. In any case it’s best not to distract Uncle Luo or the others.”
The five children huddled together closely, squatting in the corner of the cavern. 12th squatted at the very outskirts of the group. According to him, he could perhaps find an opportunity to use a Fu of some kind, or at the very least harass the enemy a little. 12th’s level-headedness inspired calm in the other children. Hong Shi took out a Fu Shield and placed it near 12th to protect him.
Huo Bao said quietly, “12th, where did you learn all of this? The traps, the ball bearings…… How come I don’t know any of these weird and wacky ideas?”
12th thought for a moment and said, “Huo Bao, these are just common sense, it’s nothing spectacular…… The really impressive part is the power; in a moment you’ll see what power is and how to use it to solve every single random problem you can possible have.”
Chen Bing asked, “We can use Fu Bows to help, why can’t we attack?”
12th sighed, “Using Fu Bows against someone as strong as Grandpa Nan Shan…… do you think it’d do anything?
Chen Bing swallowed his surprise, asking, “Will it be a Great Master coming this time?”
Sighing, 12th said, “Hopefully not, for if it isn’t then Uncle Luo and the others can deal with them easily, however if it is then even if we joined in, do you think it would make a difference?
Chen Bing understandood, and replied, “Indeed, having five more children will make no difference whatsoever.”
People at the Great Master level were basically unbeatable. A Great Fu Master could block many Fu Masters’ attacks. If they fought head on, Fu Masters and Great Fu Masters wouldn’t be on nearly the same level. Because of this Luo Zhan and the others awaited the enemy’s arrival with heavy hearts, not knowing what type of person they’d have to face.
According to 12th’s idea, three people would lure the enemy’s attention while the remaining two, one right one left, lay hidden in ambush, and one of them was also in charge of the fish net. Despite the little bit of light coming in, it was still quite dark inside the cavern, so they needed to adjust to the darkness in order to see the surrounding area properly. Due to this, they had a slight advantage over the enemy in that regard.
12th held a Single-use type Fu in his hand as he waited patiently.
Soon they could hear footsteps, it was very rhythmic, not hurried nor too cautious. 12th became slightly afraid because only people who were completely confident in their abilities could walk into the unknown with such stability; the footsteps conveyed a sense of straightforwardness and fearlessness, as if it were a message for the people inside saying ‘I’m extremely powerful. Prepare yourselves.’
An old man appeared at the entrance, both his hands were empty, and as he stood at the winding tunnels, he said, “Surrender or die! Make your choice!”
Luo Zhan calmly watched him without saying a word.
The old man took a step forward, and in that moment, 12th let out a shout and crushed the Fu that he was holding, causing a beam of blinding light to flash. Luo Zhan and the others all closed their eyes the moment that 12th shouted. However, the old man didn’t know, so the beam of brilliant light blinded him in that moment.
At the same time his front foot landed from that step that he took. Because the flash of blinding light disrupted his mind-set, that foot landed on the ball bearings. Even if he was Great Master level powerful, he couldn’t stop his foot from slipping, so his foot slipped as one foot slipped forward uncontrollably whilst the other was planted firmly into the ground. Crash! The old man performed the splits; his legs were perfectly horizontal. With a woosh, the net from above fell ontop of him.
He fell into the trap the moment he took that step, just as 12th calculated. He was gleefully happy as he yelled, “Attack!”
The old man, in that moment, was stunned. He had lived so long, experienced countless battles, and yet he had never encountered such a random occurrence, being forced to do the splits before the fight had even started. He was getting old and now his bones would hurt like no tomorrow, and as for what fell on his head, he had even less time to consider.
Not even Luo Zhan thought that things would go so smoothly as he lifted his Fu Knife and forcefully thrusted it downwards. At this point they were just hoping that it would be able to hurt him, since killing him was highly unlikely. Unfortunately, with one strike of the knife, countless Fu Patterns appeared on his skin, blocking the attack. The old man thrust his palm towards the net, which in turn pushed the knife away. With that Luo Zhan’s body started to shake from the impact as his Fu Knife almost got blasted away from him—he couldn’t withstand such force so he reluctantly retreated.
The old man roared with anger as his legs began to lift off the ground near the net. Yan Ge gave a battle cry, and with a Fu Cudgel he forcefully brought it down on him. Xiao Feng held a Fu Gun, it was very sporadic, sometimes working sometimes not, but it did its job this time. The other two Fu Masters used weapons that were rarely seen. They brought their metal warhammers down onto the man. The old man’s entire face was filled with rage as he turned his body slightly, evading the gunshot, and with two hands he thrust them up into the air.
Crack……crack…… Two sounds could be heard. Yan Ge yelled out for them to retreat, but the other Fu Master couldn’t hold the warhammer stably as he dropped it and left it behind. Although all of that strength was compacted into an old man’s body, and he wasn’t even able to stand firmly, as soon as he put a foot down, it was all ball bearings. One foot slipped and the splits happened again. It hurt so much that he was screaming and crying.
Luo Zhan turned his blade horizontally and attempted to strike the old man’s neck.
12th took this opportunity to fire a Frost Bolt. The timing was perfect as it hit squarely in the old man’s chest. The Fu Patterns flashed for a moment and the Frost Bolt turned to dust. 12th fired three more in quick succession, but the old man didn’t even care, he stretched his arm out and threw the closest thing he could find, and in the blink of an eye, he ruined 12th’s attack.
Everyone understood that if they didn’t wound the man now, they’d be done for sure.
The aura surrounding the old man, even though he was lying on his side, hadn’t changed at all, and so he raised his arms and began to box. He threw some punches and arm thrusts and the five Fu Masters were left helpless.
12th fired nine more Frost Bolts, but they had next to no effect as he helplessly watched the old man stand up and attack Yan Ge. There was nothing he could do. Against absolute power, any and all tactics, honourable or otherwise, had no effect.
Yan Ge was sent flying across the ground, spitting mouthfuls of blood. He was struck in the chest by a palm as he lost the strength to fight.
Luo Zhan hopelessly tried to attack with his knife, only for the old man to snap the knife in two with a punch, and with a kick to the left hip, Luo Zhan fell to the ground with a cry of pain.
The old man laughed and said, “Little insignificant peasants like you dare to raise your weapons against me?”
In less than a minute, the five Fu Masters were all spitting blood as they retreated. Thankfully the old man didn’t plan on killing anyone, he wanted to capture and then slowly torture them, to let out some steam.
Luo Zhan staggered next to 12th, still holding the broken Fu Knife, he asked, “12th, what do we do now?”
12th answered, “He’s too strong!”
The old man stood on the ground, he lowered his head and gave a kick, laughing coldly he said, “What a treacherous tactic, laying the ground full of ball bearings. Alright then, why don’t you surrender!”
12th asked, “Who are you?” as he stood up.
The old man surprised, asked, “Was it you who shot the Fu?”
12th nodded, “I’m the only FuZhou user here!”
The old man was even more shocked, “You? FuZhou user? How old even are you?”
12th said, “Nine!”
The old man was so shocked that he couldn’t find the words, because continually firing multiple Fu attacks, in his eyes, no matter if it was laying traps at the cave entrance or annihilating a dozen people with a single Chaos Fire Ball, if it all came from the hands of this child, it’s far too unbelievable.
He said, “I’m the Elder of the FuYe clan – FuYe Chen, what’s your name?”
FuYe Chen said, “Surrender, if you do, I won’t kill them!” A nine year old child who was already this powerful, he really wanted him as a slave.
12th calmly said, “If you want me to surrender…… that’s not too much of an issue, however……”
FuYe Chen was very gleeful as he asked, “However what?” It was well within his ability to capture these people, but his curiosity had been piqued by 12th, he wanted to know so he wasn’t hurrying, it was not like they could escape anyway.
12th said, “If you can take my next attack, then I’ll surrender!”
FuYe Chen laughed heartily. He nodded and said, “Alright! I’m not afraid of you even if you use FuZhou, after all, you are only one person, haha, come at me!”
12th asked, “If…… I were to beat you, would you let us all go?”
FuYe Chen looked like he just heard something funny, so he grinned and answered, “Of course!”
12th moved back a few steps. Now his only option was to use that Bird Fu, the one that was engraved with a Fire Bird, but since he had never used it before, he didn’t know what would happen, nor did he know how to control it, so in the earlier fights, he didn’t dare release it. After talking with FuYe Chen he finally got his chance, so no matter what effect this Fu has, he already has guaranteed safety.
If he wins, they go free, but losing isn’t that scary either, they’ll just surrender. 12th didn’t mind surrendering all that much, in this bizarre world the most important thing was to stay alive, as long as you live opportunities would arise.
Luo Zhan and the other Fu Masters grew pale, as they believed that 12th had no chance because the old man had the power of a Great Master, so he could withstand any of 12th’s Fu attacks.
12th said, “Get ready!” He seemed very calm.
FuYe Chen mumbled to himself, for he couldn’t believe that a nine year old child could be this collected. He nodded, “Alright! Take your best shot! I won’t play foul and attack first, nor will I let you hit me. If I retreat, then you win.”
12th began to activate the Bird Fu. He didn’t want to exhale his Innate Fu Orb completely, so he just kept it in his mouth since luckily the Innate Fu Orb’s size can vary. To everyone else, his attack seemed very strange as they only saw him spit a line of red straight out of his mouth.
12th wasn’t very satisfied with it. Activating the Bird Fu took far too long, taking close to a minute, so if the enemy had been attacking then he wouldn’t even get the chance to activate it.
After the red line shot out of his mouth it expanded, turning into a red, egg-shaped ball. FuYe Chen was so shocked he couldn’t help but laugh.
The red ball flew out one foot before suddenly bursting open, and from inside a cute little bird flew out. The little bird squawked as its body grew rapidly in size, turning into a large bird that was a foot long. From egg to bird, it happened within two metres, and was very fast, but everyone who saw could see it clearly felt it very weird.
That bird was very beautiful, possessing jade-green feathers and a long slender body. With a slight flap of its wings, bits of flame started to fall. They looked like tiny stars and as they landed on the ground they gave a small bang as it set the ground aflame while the bird let out a bloodcurdling cry.
FuYe Chen’s expression changed and his voice broke as he exclaimed, “True Ancient Fu!” It seemed he didn’t dare resist it, retreating rapidly. Impatiently, the Fire Bird moved faster than anything they’d ever seen before, and shot straight towards him, spewing out strings of flame from its long beak. FuYe Chen was so shocked that his hairs stood on end. He touched his waist and immediately a Fu Shield appeared, hiding behind it, the flames that the Fire Bird had shot hit the shield.
That stream of flames had burnt through the Fu Shield. FuYe Chen took this opportunity and threw down the broken Fu Shield before touching his waist once more causing a Fu Knife to appear, and with a cry he attacked the Fire Bird.
The Fire Bird called out pridefully, and fanning its wings violently, countless tiny suns flew towards FuYe Chen that looked similar to countless shooting stars falling across the sky, filling the entire cavern with an immense light.
12th was stunned to find that the Fire Bird had already stopped following his commands, and started battling FuYe Chen on its own volition.
FuYe Chen was embarrassed, for he found that he shouldn’t touch the stars that the Fire Bird shoots because those things were extremely dangerous, already destroying two high-leveled Fu Weapons, and he was currently holding the Fu Gun that he had just drawn. He knew that he had lost. Forget 12th winning, he’d be lucky if he escaped with his life. Retreating step by step towards the exit, he fired the Fu Gun in his hands and immediately ran.
The Fire Bird turned slightly and dodged, it called out with pride as if it were immensely proud of itself.
12th’s spirit shifted a bit, as he inhaled. The Fire Bird squawked like it didn’t want to return, but it turned into a thin line of red and returned to the Bird Fu inside.
Luo Zhan’s mouth was wide open, staring dumbfoundedly, he couldn’t believe what he just saw. After a moment he let out a strange laugh. The other Fu Masters all stared at 12th too, as though they were staring at a strange beast. Xiao Feng exclaimed, “No wonder the Elder says that you’re a Demon Child!”
Huo Bao’s eyes were filled with respect, asking, “12th, what kind of bird was that? It was so powerful!”
12th didn’t answer, he was immersed in immense glee. He understood that this Fu wasn’t a matter of can it or can it not still work, instead, it had its own life. After flying out, the Fire Bird could fight on its own, it wouldn’t even scatter after it won, but instead flew back into the Fu. He understood now that the four times he can use the Fu actually meant that he can summon four Fire Birds to fight at once, how powerful was that? He didn’t dare speculate.
FuYe Chen cried out earlier that it was a True Ancient Fu, 12th couldn’t confirm it, but he knew that this Fu was at least of that level. He never thought that with one Fu he could beat a Great Fu Master.
Luo Zhan was laughing when he suddenly spat out a mouthful of blood. He sat down weakly and held his hand to his chest, but his face still had an expression of satisfaction.
12th jumped suddenly and darted to Luo Zhan, holding him up, crying out, “Uncle Luo! Uncle Luo……come on, stay with me!” He frantically took out a Blood Fu Pill and said, “Quick, eat this!”
12th had quite a lot of healing Fu Pills, he immediately started to treat the injured, namely all five Fu Masters since they each had injuries.
Yan Ge wondered, “12th, how have you got so many Fu Pills?
12th smiled, “I made them myself, haha, it’s quite fun, though I never thought it’d come in use.”
Yan Ge was stunned, and then he exclaimed, “I’m sold!”
12th wondered, “Uncle Yan, what are you talking about?”
Yan Ge said, “I believe what the Elder says about you, you…… you really are a Demon Child!”
12th didn’t know what to say, but after a while he finally said, “If I wasn’t a Demon Child, we would all be dead!”
Everyone had laughter in their eyes, as Yan Ge said, “12th, don’t fret, it’s a compliment.” After he finished, he couldn’t help but laugh, likewise, everyone laughed as well. They were all laughing heartily, celebrating the fact that they had cheated death.
12th said bitterly, “Stop laughing, we haven’t escaped yet, if FuYe Chen came back in he would use all of the power at his disposal to kill…… We wouldn’t be able to stop him at all.”
Luo Zhan said surprised, “How is that possible? He’s already lost!”
Xiao Feng said, “12th…… I believe 12th’s assumption, FuYe Chen definitely won’t honour his loss, He probably retreated to order his thoughts, he knows our weaknesses and that he only lost because he was caught off guard.”
12th nodded as he thought to himself, “If FuYe Chen comes back in, that will be the end of us.”
FuYe Chen retreated humiliatingly, he never would have ever guessed that 12th had such a treasure on his person. A True Ancient Fu, even if it’s in their possession, is still an incredibly rare treasure, and to appear on the body of a child… What’s more frustrating is that that nine year old child could actually use the True Ancient Fu. He truly was a uniquely frightening young child.
FuYe Chen had a look of greed in his eyes as he looked back at the winding tunnel and then turned and left. Back in the cavern he had already examined its layout, it was a dead end, there couldn’t be a second pathway, which is why he so easily retreated, so he could plan his actions before he makes a move.
FuYe Ah Da came up to him and asked, “Elder, is everything okay?”
FuYe Chen’s mind was still in turmoil, he hissed and snapped, “Fuck off! There were only five Fu Masters and five children in total, and yet so many of you died! You’re all a bunch of deplorable idiots!”
FuYe Ah Da was confused, he gleefully asked, “Elder, you’ve already killed them? Are there any captives?”
FuYe Chen’s face immediately flushed with anger, he walked over and slapped him viciously hard, making FuYe Ah Da spin a 180 where he was standing. He held his face, stunned, unable to speak. He couldn’t understand why the old man hit him.
“Just stay fucking here nobody is allowed to leave, don’t even talk, just wait!”
FuYe Chen walked over to a hunting chariot and said “Get the fuck out of there!” and a couple of trainees stumbled out, he didn’t even glance at them as he crawled into the chariot and sank into his thoughts.
The FuYe clan’s trainees stood where they were dumbly, none of them knowing what was wrong. FuYe Ah Da’s face clearly showed the imprint of a hand; he was still trying to figure out why the old man would hit him, unless something happened in the cavern? Thinking this, he felt a sense of unease. Was there a Great Master level person in the cavern? That didn’t seem right either, if there was such a powerful person, they shouldn’t have hid in the cavern to begin with, which was a clear sign of weakness. Try as he might, he just couldn’t figure it out.
FuYe Ah Da just couldn’t understand, impatiently, he took a step, the moment he wanted to speak, FuYe Chen shouted, “Who said you could move?! Go back to where you were!”
FuYe Ah Da gave up completely, for today the old man seemed to have eaten an Explosion Fu, cussing at people the moment he opened his mouth. He didn’t dare talk back at him either, FuYe Chen was the clan elder, and also a Great Fu Master, for a man that powerful, killing him would be the same as slaughtering a chicken. Disheartened he stood back at where he was, not daring to move an inch.
All of the trainees looked like dumb statues, standing there not daring to move, talk or even cough. Each of them had faces in different levels of discomfort, all looking like clay dolls just standing there.
After a few hours, when FuYe Chen sombrely dismounted from the chariot, he said, “Stay still, wait for my return!” He strode towards the cavern, and once inside, in a moment’s notice he had arrived at the last cavern.
12th and the nine other people all sat there. When FuYe Chen arrived before them, 12th stood and said, “In this world, it’s so hard to find someone who honours their promises!” He knew that he couldn’t use the Bird Fu again, the enemy definitely wouldn’t give him enough time, and with his power he could kill them in an instant.
Indeed, FuYe Chen said gravely, “Don’t try to use that True Ancient Fu again, or else don’t blame me if I kill you where you stand!”