Old Jalopy was getting panicked, as his glaring eyes swarmed upon the others above him. And right when his heart was bursting out of nervousness, Rui Bing lifted her lips, "Mhm, right. To be honest I am not quite a master in swordsmanship, so I can't really provide guidance. But if I were to give comments on the action... it would be great if both of you could demonstrate better dexterity in every step. I believe that you could enhance your performance to a whole new level." Rui Bing was the definition of tradition herself. Certainly she was fully aware of the unwritten procedure of a typical martial arts session during meal. The tradition appeared probably during the prime time of martial arts back in the older days of 5 major galaxies.
Both apprentices gave a bright smile as they bowed, "Thank you for the comments, master!" Well, whoever that could provide a word or two would be regarded as the Master, it was part of the courtesy. And Rui Bing returned a brief smile, she recognized how precious her words could become to the people when she was presumed as the Master, that even a random comment could sound highly constructive.
The two apprentices gave one last bow and retreated.
"Wang Zishi begs for the enlightening as well!" One young man at the opposite of the table rose from his seat and quickly bowed at Rui Bing.
So it *is* the tradition of wrestling in actual fact! This place actually preserved such an old tradition? Muttered Rui Bing, she was already expecting a hand combat ever since the host commenced a session as an "entertainment".
Wrestling - a fight, that seemed like a harsh struggle of flesh and blood, being an attempt to send the opponent to the ground - was typically a showdown challenge to the guests. No worries, there was a limit enforced in the hall. Every guest could fight with only one challenger. The whole meaning of this tradition was once meant for the youngsters so they could have the opportunity to learn something from the experts of the outside world. But things have changed as time passed by. The former meaning had been long-forgotten. It became a channel for flaunting. When the guest feels incompetent to fellow challengers at the other side of the table, he or she could stand up and bow at the host, forfeiting the match as surrendered. And that had became the incentives of host of every large clan, to seize every single opportunity to send off challengers, since it was a direct demonstration, depiction to the greatness of their clan.
Rui Bing stood up and bowed at the opponent, signifying acceptance. Her expression was as usual, unmoved and fearless. She had experienced fights like this before, although that was when she was the host...
The mistress beamed at Rui Bing, having high anticipation on her performance. It would be a perfect chance to take her into the family. Wang Zishi was the finest man in her family. She would be defeated, she would surely seek guidance, and that would be when she would be taken under the Wangs' apprenticeship.
Both of them, similarly, stood at each side of the platform. The man was dressed in green ancient robe, with a long sword in his hand, forming a contrast to Rui Bing's fair white garb, wavering like a snow angel.
What a perfect match! Exclaimed the mistress. Rui Bing's beauty and Wang Zishi's handsomeness were as if supposedly together since they had existed. The mistress took a glance at that filthy man too busy eating like a pig at the table, strongly believing that if Rui Bing had met Wang Zishi instead of that ugly man in the first place, she would - at a probability of 100% - choose Wang Zishi, despite the currently deep relationship between the ugly man and Rui Bing. The mistress knew it, as a woman herself.
Wang Zishi was the definition of perfecti
on. His combats were brilliant, while his features were bewitching, his personality was typically consisted of a heart of gold. Tons of women had flocked upon him but he spent these years wholeheartedly into the arts of combats. Not to mention his talent was as great as his person, he had improved dramatically over the years and rose upon the other seniors.
Rui Bing and Wang Zishi exchanged bows.
Rui Bing, as she had admitted before, did not have soul-connecting compatibility with weaponry. Even though fighting an armed person unarmed would be likely a losing fight, Rui Bing remained unarmed as she stood still by the rack of weapons. She might be unarmed, but she was still an experienced fighter unarmed.
"My lady, wouldn't you need a weapon?" Wang Zishi had yet launched his attack as he asked in bewilderment. The use of weaponry was the bandwagon in the natural space zone, since it would always be a plus to the fighter in a combat, even for a hand-on martial practitioner who would put on a pair of knuckles.
"Nope. I'm fine. Thank you," Rui Bing rejected politely.
"Well then, ladies first." Wang Zishi was such a gentleman, although Rui Bing did not buy that.
"Okay." Right after that syllable, an attack had zapped across the platform.
Rui Bing was at extreme speed, as if she had just disintegrated into the space. People jumped from their seats, except Ye Chong. The host expected the capabilities of Rui Bing, but not at this level! Their eyes were flushed with disbelief.
Ye Chong was the master of both strength and speed, Rui Bing was a person who spent intimate days with him, and she had undergone training that she could be at almost the same speed as Ye Chong. So one could imagine how horrifying her speed was.
Wang Zishi flinched as intuitively he held the sword across his chest and kept brandishing towards the front.
Wang Zishi felt a powerful force slammed upon his hand, he was so overwhelmed that he took 7 steps back.
Everyone except Ye Chong seemed terrified. Lady Wang, the host could hold her emotion no longer as she stood up clumsily.
Rui Bing had just condensed forces of her fist into one single orb which was gently pressed upon the handle of Wang Zishi's sword pulled gracelessly. The overwhelming strength had just sent Wang Zishi to a losing position. It was so powerful that the alloy sword actually got slightly deformed...
If the fist landed on Wang Zishi himself... he might have been...
The people dared not imagine the scenario, even the bodyguards of the little boy were shivering.
Speed was everything, speed would determine whoever made the move first and it would be a torment if one were to be put under a losing position because of a martial arts practitioner's speed.
Wang Zishi did not even manage to reposition his sword as Rui Bing made a twist, one more punch! Wang Zishi gave a dodge by tilting his body to one side.
Rui Bing was like her man, the kind who would spare the opponent no time, though unlike Ye Chong who strived for a dead-or-alive, she kept it professional as an exchange of skills.
It was pretty hard to imagine a fair lady to have such hardcore battle style while wielding such offensive move.
Rui Bing's face was calm as the water. And that was the scary as it simply meant she was not even at her maximum yet! Wang Zishi was astounded, Rui Bing looked quite about his age, yet her skills... How?
Wang Zishi was the pride of the Wang family, the elite of the younger generation, the hope of Wangs' future and now there he was, standing there, could not even wave his sword against a mere lady. How shameful would that be if the people outside heard it?!
Wang Zishi was not as bad as he imagined himself. His skills, though seemingly incompetent compared to Rui Bing, were much greater than those two child abductors that day. The sole mistake he made however, was to let Rui Bing to go first, WITHOUT positioning his sword right first! If he had pulled his sword and held it in a battle-ready stance, the situation would have been much, much better, yet in reality he did not.
Ye Chong gave one last glance. Confirmed that the outcome had been determined, he carried on eating.
In spite of his ignorance, Wang Zishi's performance remained uncalled for to Ye Chong. Wang Zishi, knowing he might not have a chance to get his sword sword as if, calmed himself and focused on doing the incoming attacks while looking for that opportunity for a counterattack. His situation improved. He was the master of swordsmanship but step-shifting was still the fundamental to be mastered equally.
The Wang family shared a rather unique kind of step, that Rui Bing even made a mistake predicting the movement once, when she thought she had surpassed the Jie expert and gained impeccable sense of timing and movement, especially when enhanced by the techniques of Rui family, yet in fact she missed it.
It might be a mistake from her, but the Wangs were not looking great. The spectating Wangs knew it by heart that the step-shifting technique of Wang family had been utterly clutched by Rui Bing! Of course they never expected Rui Bing to have surpassed the Jie expert in reality. The combats between Jie experts were a total different concept to those street fights they had.
Wang Zishi did not gain from that mistake Rui Bing made, as her inhuman speed had already covered the only hole, via the technique quick-shifting to readjust her position, not sparing a chance for Wang Zishi to return a move.
The steps of Wang Zishi had gotten messier. The intensity was never experienced before, so was the helplessness twitching his sanity. The opponent felt like the Great Wall, unshakeable, immutable.
Ye Chong could not help but to take another glance. He shook his head, recognizing the talent of Wang Zishi with that pair of arms bulkier than most men thanks to his sword training while being able to stand with Rui Bing for this long, "Still..." He whispered and scooped one new bowl of dish.
He was reminded of the Sangs who also wielded such sturdy flesh under the harsh condition of Archipelago while their skills were honed throughout days and nights against the beasts for survival. Their moves were much crude and straightforward, more efficient and more potent. So Ye Chong had a preference over the Sang's style.
Rui Bing's knuckle stopped few centimeters away from Wang Zishi's throat.
"Done." she claimed.
Wang Zishi's face was grim.