Chapter 109: No One is Allowed to Kill
Sila calmed his mind to concentrate on Paiyuan. He didn't have time to care about the nonsensical words Paiyuan just spoke as he had been put into a very disadvantageous situation. Paiyuan had him surrounded by walls made of qi created by the disciples of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo. Sila had no way of knowing when they would try to harm him. Even if they didn't do anything, their auras still greatly pressured Sila.
Sila was in an very disadvantageous situation; he had already used Genesis Punch three times, he had exhausted some of his power in his earlier fight against Kawin, he was currently surrounded by enemies, and he was also being pressured by the fact that Paiyuan seemed to be stronger than him. However, once he had decided to fight, all of those negative thoughts faded from his mind.
The past didn't matter. The unnecessary thoughts didn't matter. What he was facing at the present was the most important.
It was the most suitable time for Sila to apply Evening Near the Misty Valley, the technique Sangdao taught him.
Paiyuan's qi was injected into the blade. Sila didn't dare to have the slightest bit of carelessness as he enlarged the radius of Galaxy Eclipse to cover all the people present. With it, Sila could tell that Paiyuan's qi was actually Qi of Little Tiger.
As Sila could perceive his opponent's qi, his opponent could notice Sila's qi as well.
"God's Cathedral? Could it be that your real identity is Shuran, the Sun Extinguishing Warlord? ... No, that shouldn't be the case. You don't use a bow as your main weapon and also don't have the Heavenly Dragon Guild's emblem on your clothing. Umm... who exactly are you? Do you really not plan to tell me?"
"If you kill me, the system will announce my name anyway."
"Fufu. Well, yes, that will be quite convenient."
Sila didn't know who Shuran was, but this was the first time his qi technique could be detected by his opponent. What Sila still didn't know was that God's Cathedral was easy to detect as the concept behind it was the opposite of qi reinforcement; it was thinning out the user's qi and extending it as a sphere.
Paiyuan didn't wait for Sila to cancel his qi technique as he flicked his ankle and narrowed the distance while slashing his sword upward.
The weakness of God's Cathedral came from its own ability. By extending qi further and giving shape to it, it was natural for the output of qi reinforcement around the user's body to become lower than normal. It was one of the basics that qi-type players had to keep in mind.
Paiyuan was jumping in joy when he saw that Sila made such a blunder. Actually, to use God's Cathedral in melee combat, one had to be very confident that one's own ability was superior to their opponent's. Otherwise, it was as if the user was stupidly telling his opponent: Come and attack me! I'm currently unable to maximize my qi reinforcement!
Sila was expressionless as he stepped forward diagonally while activating Universe Reversal to shift the slash's trajectory to the left. At the same time, he reinforced his right punch and threw it at Paiyuan's ribs.
Paiyuan's expression swiftly changed. However, as expected of him being the owner of a martial arts dojo, he clad his left hand with qi reinforcement before using it to parry Sila's fist.
Unfortunately for Paiyuan, once his hand collided against Sila's fist, he found that the force behind Sila's fist wasn't particularly powerful but rather weak yet was able to penetrate into Paiyuan's hand, causing him to have no choice but to strengthen his qi reinforcement on his entire arm to get rid of it.
Meanwhile, the blade, which had its trajectory shifted, changed its course as Paiyuan aimed it at Sila's neck. However, it missed its target for the second time as Sila lowered his body to evade it by a hair's breadth. At the same time, Sila strengthened his left fist with Genesis Punch and threw it at Paiyuan's abdomen. For the record, his right fist was still held by Paiyuan's left hand due to Universe Reversal.
Paiyuan's swordsmanship was indeed powerful. All of his moves were very threatening and could end the enemy's life with a single slash. However, there was a weakness in his swordsmanship. It was the fact that his moves were too heavily focused on the offensive. In the past, he always depended on his keen analysis and great precision to kill his enemies in a single strike, gaining a reputation for his renowned Heartless Sword Art. It was the sword art that focused on killing moves, not showing any mercy, but at the same time doesn't take the user's protection into account.
While Paiyuan clad himself with qi reinforcement to raise his defense against Sila's punch at his abdomen, he regretted that his sword art didn't have a defensive move.
Paiyuan utilized the impact upon his abdomen colliding with Sila's fist to release himself from Sila's pulling power. He had to take ten steps back before his body could come to a stop. Blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth as he glared intently at Sila.
Sila inwardly felt regretful. Although he had gotten used to using Genesis Punch with his left fist, the force behind it was significantly lower than when he used it with his right fist despite him infusing the same amount of power into it. He was very confident that, if he had attacked with his right hand, Paiyuan would definitely be severely injured.
In spite of Paiyuan's ability being superior to Sila's, he had ended up in this dire state because of his miscalculations.
Firstly, the qi technique that Sila had activated wasn't God's Cathedral but Galaxy Eclipse. The difference between them was that Galaxy Eclipse was the combination of both the extending power of God's Cathedral and its polar opposite, the focusing power of Ray Assemble. Thus, Sila could swiftly shift between extending and focusing his qi reinforcement at will. He could even maintain both powers at the same time, though the energy consumption would be great.
Secondly, with that miscalculation, Paiyuan had thought that a chance had come and planned to end Sila's life in a single move. However, it had ended in failure, resulting in him having to spend his qi not only in the sword but also on defending against Sila's fist. He once again had to spend more of his qi to recover from Sila's penetrating qi. Then, he had consumed more of his qi in his second slash before spending more qi energy to block Sila's fist at his abdomen.
Because his qi reinforcement was always powerful, his power consumption was equally large. During the short exchange of moves, he had wasted his qi time and time again. As a result, he experienced shortness of qi.
On the contrary, Poluk had taught Sila to put up his qi reinforcement only when his body connected with the opponent's. Even though Sila couldn't do so all the time, he did his best to stick to Poluk's teaching as much as he could. As a result, Sila's consumption of qi was minimized.
One should strike while the iron is hot. If he waited for Paiyuan to regenerate qi or regain his composure, Sila would have a harder time. With this thought, Sila circulated qi into his feet and dashed at his opponent without a hint of hesitation.
Witnessing their respected master losing in the previous confrontation, all the disciples were startled. There was a moment of delay before they noticed that Sila was coming at their master. They were too late in stepping forward to lend their hands to help their master as Sila had already thrown both of his fists at Paiyuan. One aimed at the head while the other aimed at the lower abdomen. It was a move Sila didn't know the name of as he had mimicked it from one of his past opponents.
Paiyuan was calm, staring at Sila's incoming fists. He instantly drew his sword and slashed at Sila's arm.
*Clang* It was as if he had struck a metal pipe. Paiyuan panicked as he had made another error on his part. Thus, he frighteningly stepped back in a hurry to evade Sila's fists.
Sila inwardly smiled. As he was the type who excelled in offense over defense, he could tell that his opponent was the same. Despite that, Paiyuan had abandoned his prominent point and resorted to performing a defensive action. If it were Sila in his place, instead of slashing at the arm, he would stab the sword at the opponent's chest as a counter.
Both of Sila's palms were opened, revealing a kunai in each of them. The kunais immediately flew out of his palms. One aimed at Paiyuan's forehead while the other aimed at his heart.
Both of the hidden weapons were strengthened by Sila's qi. They flew at Paiyuan like comets.
Paiyuan had no room to think. He thrust his sword to sweep the hidden weapon targeting his head while shifting his center of gravity and putting his qi reinforcement into his abdomen. Consequently, one of the kunais grazed his head while the other one scattered upon contact with his body. Despite it not stabbing into his body, the impact from the collision was as if he had taken a direct punch.
Blood was dripping from his wounds. His left hand was lifted up to clutch his chest.
Listening to the irregular breathing, Sila guessed that at least one of Paiyuan's lungs was damaged.
The disciples had finally narrowed the distance and Sila was within their attack range. However, Sila didn't care as he knew he only needed another push to take Paiyuan down.
Paiyuan had repeatedly made errors whenn using his moves. Sila noticed that those mistakes were similar to what he had done when he just started out playing Monster Soul.
Sila's guess wasn't off the mark. Paiyuan was the owner of a dojo so his innate ability was high. He and many of his disciples entered the game due to certain reasons. As they were skilled martial artists in real life, it didn't take long for them to hunt monsters and grind their levels. They even had an easier time than they had thought as there were in-game skills to utilize.
The mistake that Paiyuan had made came from his arrogance. It was his lack of utilizing his in-game skills.
If this battle were to take place in real life, Sila was fully aware that he wouldn't be a match for Paiyuan. However, in Monster Soul, he still had a chance.
For all of these mistakes, Sila had his teachers giving him pointers for correcting them. However, Paiyuan was the owner of a martial art dojo. Who would dare to correct him?
Genesis Punch was thrown at the opponent's defenseless body.
Paiyuan's expression turned grave and his face was pale. He was about to be killed.
Suddenly, once the fist was about to hit Paiyuan's body, a gigantic stone wall emerged from the ground, between the fist and Paiyuan.
Sila's fist struck the wall and broke it into tiny pieces. However, as the punch was interrupted, some of the power within the punch returned to harm him.
Due to the impact, Sila's body flew back to the disciples of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo. He immediately made use of Galaxy Eclipse to grasp the distance and fired tens of daggers behind him without looking back.
The daggers weren't fused with that much of qi energy, but since the enemies from the opposing side didn't prepare themselves for a sudden change, they were too late to defend against them.
Heatless Steel Sword Art focused on killing moves, not defensive moves. As a result, almost all of the daggers pierced the disciples' necks.
More than ten bodies fell to the ground. It was the best chance for Sila to make an escape via the gap that had just opened. Sadly, once he dashed that way, another stone wall emerged and blocked his path, substituting for the dying disciples who turned into lights.
Sila turned his back to the stone wall while circulating Immortal Qi to tend his wound from the backlash of his power. He looked straight and focused on the person who just butted in.
Shapeless Qi immediately circulated within Sila's body as it perceived that its owner was in danger.
"Kawin..." Sila muttered. There was only one player who could summon a wall this large.
"You're very brave. Instead of shaking your tail out of this place, you're causing a ruckus here," said Kawin.
Sila felt pressured. If there was only the Heartless Steel Sword disciples' encirclement, with their demoralized state, it would be relatively easy for him to flee. However, things changed once Kawin entered the picture.
Kawin didn't have Paiyuan's shortcomings. Although he could be provoked, his mind would become calm once the battle started.
"Long time no see, Senior Pai," greeted Kawin.
Paiyuan took a pellet to eat while circulating qi. "Oh, Kawin? It has been too long since we last met. How is Montra?"
"He is as busy as always, sir."
Paiyuan nodded. "Where is he, then? I will pay him a visit later."
"Montra has many things he has to take care of so I'm afraid he won't have time to meet with Senior at the moment. I apologize for that and will personally tell him that Senior Pai has given him your best regards."
"I understand. By the way, Kawin, do you know this young man?"
"Senior Pai should know him as well. He is Sila, the person that Montra has talked about."
Two of them had a leisurely conversation without giving Sila, who was standing in front of them, any regard.
Paiyuan looked at Sila from his head to his toe. "So, it's you."
"This man is the enemy of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. If Senior Pai doesn't mind, could you please let me handle him?" Kawin said to Paiyuan.
Kawin didn't mention the fact that Paiyuan almost lost his life and even volunteered to take up the fight. Since there was such an easy way out, Paiyuan wouldn't hesitate to comply.
"I don't want to bully a youngster as well. In that case, I will step out. Let me see how much stronger you have grown, Kawin."
Paiyuan's statement was as if he had already completely forgotten his losing battle just now. If someone heard what he said without witnessing what had happened just moments beforehand, they would think that Sila was the loser of the previous battle.
Kawin stepped forward to confront Sila. "Previously, I had underestimated you. But, this time for sure, I won't let you escape." Kawin waved his hands in slow motion.
Sila didn't even have the will to fight Kawin. Even if he had, it would be a tough fight as he had used up all of his Genesis Punches. No, even if he was still able to throw more Genesis Punch, he wouldn't have much confidence that he could win anyway.
Kawin's defense was too solid. Even Genesis Punch, which was Sila's strongest move, couldn't penetrate it. To be honest, Sila had no idea how he could win against such an opponent.
This time, Kawin didn't only stand still and wait for Sila to attack as his body gradually came closer to Sila.
Looking at Kawin's feet, Sila found that Kawin didn't lift them up but rather slower dragged them forward. Kawin's movement was as if his body could approach Sila without him having to step forward.
Without many cards for him to play, Sila depended on the previous method of firing the Flash Bomb at Kawin, followed by other hidden weapons.
However, Kawin wasn't the kind of opponent who would fall for the same trick as he squinted his eyes while using his right hand to parry the bomb away.
The flash of light exploded slightly behind him, losing its effectiveness.
He also used his left hand to parry the remaining hidden weapons away. Catching a hidden weapon in mid-air was something that he was able to do, so parrying them away was child's play. Just one hand was enough for that.
Since Genesis Punch wasn't an option, Sila brought out the power of Shapeless Qi to strengthen his qi without showing it to Kawin. Tortured Soul was used together with Galaxy Eclipse while he was hardening his body and softening his internal organs using Formless Soldier. Moreover, Orbiting Cosmos was activated. The power of the wind element, which was favorable against the earth element, was infused into his body.
It could be said that Sila had pulled out all of his trump cards. Each of them required a high level of concentration so using all of them together required great focus.
The intense battle began once Sila stepped into Kawin's reach.
Tens of Sila's punches were thrown at Kawin, to which Kawin didn't panic at all. Just waving his hands was enough for him to defend against Sila's series of attack.
The good news was, Sila's barrage of attacks was quick and continuous so Kawin didn't have a chance to counter. For the record, Kawin didn't allow any of Sila's punches to hit him as he was calmly parrying them.
This fact gave Sila some peace of mind. It meant that Kawin didn't have that much of confidence that he himself could take a direct punch from Sila.
Finally, Sila's chance had come the moment Kawin made a mistake when using his left hand to parry Sila's left fist. Kawin's left shoulder showed an opening, which Sila didn't miss and immediately followed up by throwing his right fist at Kawin's shoulder.
The usual calm expression still lingered on Kawin's face. Once the fist landed on Kawin's shoulder, Sila realized that he was tricked.
Kawin had deliberately shown an opening for Sila to act.
Kawin flawlessly took a step backward with his left foot while migrating the force behind Sila's right fist into his right hand by using his own body as the bridge. The punch was thrown at Sila's chest at full power.
It was as if Sila himself had combined his power with Kawin's and made a move against himself. The impact sent Sila flying backward.
Receiving Kawin's command and magic power, the stone wall behind Sila changed its shape from a flat surface to a spiky one around where Sila's chest would hit into the wall, intending to pierce his heart.
Sila had to force his body to change direction mid-flight with Universe Reversal.
"Argh!!" The stone spike punctured Sila's chest. It missed his heart but it was still a fatal wound.
His qi dispersed. Sila tried to circulate Immortal Qi to heal his body but the damage he took was too lethal. He couldn't move nor put up his qi reinforcement at all. It seemed that the only option for him now was to wait for his death.
"It was a small opening but you still noticed it. Sila, I admit that you are quite skilled."
This compliment sincerely came from the bottom of Kawin's heart. Sadly, listening to it, Sila couldn't bring himself to be happy at all.
Actually, there was no move that required the use of shoulder in the techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. However, Kawin had practiced this martial art for more than ten years so he could adapt it to each situation he faced.
"Don't worry. I don't have a habit of torturing my enemy," said Kawin while waving his right hand. A big Earth Spear was summoned and flew toward Sila who was currently stuck on the stone wall.
Too much of Sila's blood was lost and his power was depleted. The only thing holding his consciousness from shutting down was the pain from the hole in his chest. He didn't have even the tiniest bit of energy left to resist the incoming spear nor to talk back.
However, at the moment when the spear was about to pierce through Sila, it was split into two and fell next to him.
Sila's body collapsed on the ground while he was trying to see what happened.
All he could see was a man in silver light armor wearing metal boots. Strangely, there was no weapon in his hands despite him seeming to be a warrior or a knight. There was a blindfold covering both of his eyes. It seemed to be made of metal, matching his silver hair which was flickering from the blowing wind.
Sila felt like he had met this man before somewhere.
"Aside from me, no one is allowed to kill this guy."
That was the last sentence that Sila was able to hear before his consciousness collapsed.