Zhuo Bufan struck at the same moment when he shouted.
The first lesson any disciple of Shushan learned when practicing swordcraft was to be quick, hit accurately and viciously.
With one glance, Zhuo Bufan had seen through the strength of Ye Que and knew that he was a rookie that had just entered the Pre-celestial Realm. He could act tough in front of ordinary folk or martial artists, but he was nothing but putty in Zhuo Bufan's eyes, something no more than a plaything.
Due to his anger, Zhuo Bufan chose to attack in a manner that would be most humiliating to his opponent.
He got close instantly.
He smacked the left side of Ye Que's face with his right palm infused with True Energy. Just like Zhou Bufan expected, he was able to smack Ye Que back more than 10 meters back with 30 per cent of his strength at Psychic Realm power. It was not enough to kill him, but his face would definitely have been swollen.
The force from his palm cut across the air and touched the left side of Ye Que's face with unerring accuracy.
However, Zhuo Bufan squinted, immediately sensing that something was amiss.
His palm strike had missed its target!
It was completely beyond his expectations. "How could Ye Que, who's two levels below me, dodge my strike? "he thought.
A piercing pain shot out from his wrist nearly the same time when he squinted, and he wanted to retract his palm, but he felt his elbow go numb, followed by his right shoulder.
Just as Zhuo Bufan was intending to form a move of his sword skill with his right hand, he suddenly realized that the True Energy flowing toward his right arm seemed to be blocked by an insurmountable mountain. He grew alarmed and immediately realized that even though the young man in front of him was merely at the Pre-celestial Realm, he could not be dealt with so easily.
"I have to maintain the distance between us! "Zhuo Bufan thought, as he realized how laughable his earlier decision to draw near and slap Ye Que was. The sword skill of Shushan was best used to kill one's opponent at hundreds of kilometers away. Practitioners of such skill were most adept at long range strikes as it was faster and more accurate than any other technique.
After drawing close to his opponent, however, the natural advantage his skill gave him disappeared completely.
"Linked in countless ways, a flexible energy will envelop one's finger, "Zhuo Bufan chanted as he bit through his own lips. His left arm was pierced by Ye Que another three more times before he finally formed a close combat seal.
In an instant, dozens of yin sword energies, as thin as silk threads, shielded Zhuo Bufan's entire body, finally allowing him the chance to observe his opponent, the youth known as Ye Que.
He was even more alarmed as he observed his opponent closely. It was not because he had seen the youth turn into a demon, but rather he could not lock down Ye Que's movements. By this point time, Ye Que was darting around like a phantom, and he never ceased moving as he circled around Zhou Bufan, as if he could figure out all of the older man's actions.
Ye Que's footwork was bringing him in the complete opposite direction of Zhuo Bufan's movements!
Ye Que was completely aware of the sword skills, seals and footwork of Shushan. He was someone who had fought the leader of the sect.
Ye Que's sword energies pierced throught the silk-like gentle energies of his opponent as he moved quickly. He struck at various points of Zhuo Bufan's body with ferocious speed using his finger, hitting a different spot with every attack, from his opponent's chest to his back.
Ye Que returned to his original position after a short while, and Zhuo Bufan did not try to break free from his opponent's attacks again, his right palm still extended forward.
A grin appeared on the corner of Ye Que's mouth as he took a step foward slowly, appearing before Zhou Bufan. He reached out and smacked his opponent's face twice gently.
"Who's courting death now? "
"Didn't your master teach you that you need to behave politely toward others? "
"There'll always be someone stronger than you out there. Don't think that you're invincible just because you're in a higher realm than others. You're still too young. "
After he had finished speaking, Ye Que wiped the hand that had struck Zhou Bufan on the front of his opponent's shirt, as if he had dirtied his palm by touching the older man.
"Let's go. "
Ye Que turned to shout at Qian Shuxiao, who was not far away. He then bent to pick up the sword case of the 13 Mother and Children of Spring and Autumn Swords before cupping his fist and paying his respects to the surrounding guests.
"Where's the small boat? "
Leng Wuxin pointed to a small ladder at the side of the boat.
The black thunder clouds gathering above the Luo River dispersed instantly.
The storm, that had been raging on, also gradually stopped.
A misty haze of rain began to form.
Ye Que led Qian Shuxiao up a small wooden boat in the slight shower and flicked his sleeves, disappearing into the mist in the blink of an eye.
After a long while, a splitting roar came from the deck of the dragon ship, followed by a ray of sword qi shooting forth.
After about 15 minutes, the ragged looking Zhuo Bufan kept his sword and left. In the mist and drizzle, it would be hard to search for a dragon boat even, much less Ye Que.
He gritted his teeth as he stared at everyone on the deck of the ship with bloodshot eyes. "The guests can retrieve their own magic treasures, but the auction items from the Mortal World Pavilion have to remain behind. "
He looked at Leng Wuxin before continuing, "Give me a sum, and someone will bring the requisite amount of silver to your esteemed residence. "
Before Leng Wuxin could reply, however, Zhuo Bufan stopped him by extending his arm. "Don't bargain with me, I still haven't changed my mind! "he continued.
"I've already been very lenient toward you people. "
Zhou Bufan said as he stood unabashedly before the pile of magic treasures and stared at the people surrounding him.
Soon, dozens of treasures were picked out and brought away by their owners. The Secret Key to the River Soldiers was still left behind on the deck, but even though Zhuo Bufan and Feng Xingyu knew which item it was, neither of them was willing or able to show that they knew, and could only try to hide the fact for as long as they could.
That pile of magic treasure was a cover for them. Even when he was fighting Ye Que earlier on, Zhuo Bufan did not allow his attention to stray from the Secret Key to the River Soldiers. Nothing else mattered except for that item.
It is not too late for a gentleman to take revenge even after ten years.
Zhuo Bufan believed that he could wait to take revenge on Ye Que. He promised himself that he would beat the teenager into unrecognizable pulp. "Kid, you're the first person that dares to dirty my clothes with his or her filthy hands. I'll remember you. "
The water of the Luo River came from the Heavens itself, and it contained a total of nine bends and eighteen turns.
Since Ye Que dared to humiliate Zhuo Bufan, he had already come up with an exit plan. There were many twists and turns in the river, and no one could hope to catch a boat sailing through it under the cover of darkness, fog and rain. Furthermore, Ye Que was the person rowing it.
The power of someone's faith was transmitted into the water, slowing down the rate of its flow considerably.
"Mr. Ye, Brother Ye, no, my dear brother, tell me what happened just now? I'm even calling you my blood brother now! "asked Qian Shuxiao excitedly. "You're really something. You suppressed the genius of Shushan in the blink of an eye, and he couldn't even retaliate! "
"According to what I've seen, you're much more powerful that the demons. All five of them that arrived here on whales have been slain by the disciples of Shushan, and you managed to suppress the strongest amongst them. Doesn't that mean that you're the most powerful person on this ship? Tell me quickly, what Realm are you at? Advanced Sky? Psychic? Or perhaps you're the reincarnation of an immortal? "Qian Shuxiao went on and on.
"Shut up! "
"Be quiet! "
"Call them over carefully. Let me warn you that I'm completely exhausted now. I was bluffing just now, and soon he'll be able to react! "
These words made Qian Shuxiao so afraid that he immediately kept quiet and surveyed his surroundings with a fearful expression on his face.
"What about him? "Qian Shuxiao asked as he mimicked the comical actions of Zhuo Bufan, as well as the two slaps that Ye Que gave him.
"The Telepathic Misty Rain Finger. "
"Just now, I used the'Telepathic Misty Rain Finger', a kind of Taoist spirit sealing technique used specifically to suppress experts of the Psychic Realm. "It was originally used on prisoners, forcing the prisoner to remain motionless, and then sealing his body at 17 spiritual caves on Thursday to solidify his True Energy. "
Ye Que paused before continuing. "I'm of the Pre-celestial Realm, while my opponent is of the Psychic Realm. That's a gap of two levels between us. Luckily, he was over confident and came too close to me. Why wouldn't I use the sealing technique on him? If it weren't for my lack of Divine Energy, he wouldn't have been able to move for another three days. "