Wenchang held the limp body of Miss Tian with his left arm, so he couldn't throw his concealed weapons. He retreated back twenty feet to avoid three sword strikes, the silver arc right in front of his chest, following him like a shadow.
At this critical moment, three roof tiles dropped down, quickly, so fast it was hard to see them with the naked eye. The slate roof tiles were so big yet hard to see clearly, so it was obvious the person who had thrown them was shockingly powerful.
There was an explosion and sparks flew as the silver sword swung down swiftly, the tip nearly cutting open Wenchang's stomach, missing him by just a hair, but he managed to escape the blade.
The two tiles did not shatter, but were merely split into four pieces.
Then a crash as the third tile hit a man in black square in the back just as he was launching a surprise attack from the side.
The man in black grunted and crumpled to the floor.
This sudden change of events shocked everyone. Then, an ear-splitting sound shook the air. "Fools If you don't save your own life the girls' is also forfeit. How can you be so stupid? Put her down and pick up a sword and get to work."
Wenchang rejoiced. It was the Snake Demon Alchemist come to help him. He plucked up his heroic spirit and set Miss Tian down and flew over and picked up the sword of the man who had been knocked down. He switched his dagger to his left hand and with a long howl he charged at Lonestar Silver Sword, who stood there with a sinking look on his face.
Silver Sword only heard the man's voice but didn't see him. He only saw a small skylight opened in the ceiling and through it a sprinkle of glittering stars. He could hardly believe someone could throw a roof tile with enough force to knock his sword downward and split the tile cleanly in two without shattering it.
Wenchang attacked with both sword and dagger at the same time.
"Motherfucker!" Silver Sword roared. Two sharp clangs of their crossing blades. Wenchang struck twice with the dagger and continuously struck with his sword as well. Another soft clang and more than an inch of the tip of the sword was cleaved off by the silver sword, cutting Wenchang's attack short. Wenchang's dagger had also cut off an inch or so of the silver sword's sharp blade. Their weapons were evenly matched.
Silver Sword loosed a long cry and leapt up, thirty feet up onto the big roof beam, and he shot his left palm out and attacked through the skylight.
A roof tile shot through the skylight and broke two horizontal bars before it was sent flying by the force of Silver Sword's palm strike. Silver Sword struck twice more, protecting himself as he leapt through the skylight to the roof.
There was no one around, but a black figure sat on the ridge of the roof jutting into the sky nearby. One could faintly make out the Daoist hair bun on the top of the figure's head.
Silver Sword was stunned. He thought it was Seven Spells. There was no trace of the four men who had been on the roof. He was about equal with Seven Spells in terms of skill; it would be difficult for either to best the other in less than a hundred or two hundred moves, but there was no way Seven Spells could have dispatched four masterhands like that at once. Could it be that Seven Spells had improved to the point where he could quietly break through the five ambush points and take our four masters at once? Such an advancement would be shocking indeed.
His blood ran cold, but it was best to get the upper hand by striking first. Whoever struck last would meet with disaster. Seven Spell's confusion spell was nothing to worry about at night, but his dementia knockout gas and will-o'-the-wisp poison were deadly. He must strike first to subdue the enemy.
He didn't waste time thinking but quietly launched three lonestar throwing stars as he calmly, coldly said, "Are you the Daoist sorcerer Seven Spells?"
The figure waved his big sleeve and the three star-shaped spearknives were collected effortlessly with a flourish into the loose fabric of his sleeve faster than the eye could see. Then he took each one out and looked them over casually under the starlight and said in a low voice, "These are from that traitor Iron Eagle Dai Xin of the Eagle Claw Sect in the capital. But they have been transformed into something even more incredible than Eagle Claw Stars. They can change directions while spinning, only you're not skilled enough to make them do that yet. Useless. Junior, you can have them back."
He tossed them effortlessly and they sailed lightly, spinning slowly as if he had not thrown them with any force at all, cutting three gleaming arcs through the air, dropping toward Lonestar Silver Sword.
Silver Sword was shocked. His star-shaped spearknives were heavy and could penetrate an internal force master's defenses. No one dared try to catch them. The mere name of them struck terror into men of the martial fraternity, yet this old Daoist and caught three of them in his sleeve like they were nothing. And given how lightly he had tossed them back and how slowly they spun, they should not have taken such a trajectory. They ought to have fallen straight to the roof tiles. So how come they were floating down like they were light as cotton? One could recognize an expert right away. This person had known the backstory of his throwing stars right away, and had thrown them with unmatched skill, so of course there was no way Silver Sword was going to try to catch them. He flitted to the left and swung his sword toward the hindmost throwing star.
The throwing star was cut into five pieces with a clink and dropped to the roof tiles.
"Hahahaha," the figure laughed wildly. "You really are incorrigible, using your villain's mind to guess the heart of a noble. If I really wanted to take your life it would be as easy as lifting a finger. Why would I need to trick you? Really now! You destroyed your own famed weapon. If word of this spreads throughout the jianghu you will lose much face. There's no need for you to tell me your name."
Silver Sword felt a mix of shame and resentment. He leveled his sword at the man and raged, "You're not Seven Spells. Why did you come here? State your name."
"Who is Seven Spells?" the dark figure asked calmly. "Why don't you tell me?"
"State your name," Silver Sword bellowed. He paused, then said, "I am Silver…"
The dark figure hurriedly waved him off. "No need, no need. I don't want the name of a blindside-attacking junior like you to foul my ears. Down there just now, that Cai kid down there had no choice but to launch a sneak attack, but there's no need for you to make such a stupid move. If you reveal your name won't you just be making a big fool of yourself?"
Silver Sword lost his head and roared and charged madly, brandishing his sword.
The dark figure waved both his big sleeves and knocked away the silver sword strikes, then calmly raised a sleeve and the silver sword was drawn to it as if by some eerie force as it was waved about along with the movements of the sleeve, beyond Silver Sword's control.
The dark figure sat comfortably with his back straight, whisking his sleeve about as he said, "This humble Daoist will loosen up your muscles for you. Bear in mind that only after thirty-six moves will this humble Daoist counter and make you wail and crawl down from this roof. Fourth move. Oh! Six, seven, eight… nine. Okay, now ten…"
A bizarre fight unfolded on the rooftop, while down below in the hall another fight was raging like wildfire.
Wenchang had a blade in each hand, attacking like a fierce lion. He didn't go after Silver Sword but went looking for Divine Sabre instead. Since being instructed by the Snake Demon Alchemist he was already a bit stronger than Divine Sabre. He used his dagger like a sword but didn't need to get closer to attack, only using his pilfered sword to deal with the enemy. He attacked Divine Sabre with ferocious masterstrokes one after another like the rolling Yangtze River.
Divine Sabre let out a long laugh and returned eleven sabre strokes for the eight he received, both of them attacking wildly, the clashing of their blades deafening.
The sabre was concentrated on an all-out assault at close range while the sword zipped in and out light and quick, attacking the chest, known as the Central Palace. The sword was more artful, more powerful than the sabre, so from time to time there was an explosion of clanging steel on steel as the blades crossed. Five rounds and six switches of position, the fight getting more and more fierce, each of them going all out in a rage, light reflecting off sword and sabre fluttering and swirling about. They seemed to be well-matched; it was hard to say who had the upper hand.
One man grinned maliciously and pointed his sabre at Miss Tian on the ground, brandishing it toward her her full breasts. "You're a hindrance here, let me remove your fine clothes so everyone can feast their eyes… Ah!" He screamed in pain.
Wenchang arrived, his dagger shooting out as he stepped in, the dagger plunging through the man's chest. The man fell backward. Wenchang shot after him and retrieved his dagger and sent the man flying with a kick. Wenchang took that opportunity to brush past Miss Tian and spin around, flourishing his sword.
He had risked throwing his dagger to save her, and now Divine Sabre was right behind him attacking, putting him at a disadvantage for the moment. He was enveloped in gleaming sabre light. He had to go all out!
Sword and sabre were both vicious enough, clanging together and scraping off, both of them now right next to each other. But Divine Sabre had taken up the advantage, snatching the Central Palace for his attack point. He slashed with "Jade-studded Belt Around the Waist", the sabre cutting in as he spun with it, the sabre right at Wenchang's waist.
Wenchang was calm in the face of death. The little dagger in his left hand dropped down and the handguard of the broadsword was clipped off with a soft clink, but the blade kept coming, slicing into Wenchang's right arm, sending a rush of blood pouring out. Wenchang's ultimate breathing qigong was not proficient enough, he could not protect himself at the moment, but he had still done all he could so that the blade only grazed him as it slid backward and did not penetrate deeper, stopping at his spine.
At the same time, Wenchang put all his force into his right hand, and although the tip of his sword had been knocked to the side, the handle was still of great use. He smashed the cloudhead handle into Divine Sabre's Sun Acupoint at his temple, cracking his skull as brain matter and blood oozed out.
They separated and Divine Sabre's body was flung eight feet, spun in a circle, then dropped to the floor.
Wenchang put away his dagger and picked Miss Tian up and held her under his arm and he bellowed as he ran for the main hall doors. He couldn't look after the unconscious Miss Tian and still fight, so he could only force his way out and run for his life.
"Ahh!" he thundered, using the three "Magic Sword" techniques he had just learned to dispatch four men who tried to block his path.
The distorted rainbow arced out three times, seeming to transform into a tumbling wheel with spikes, rolling into two sabres and two swords, then the wheel of light suddenly went out and the men were knocked aside while he passed between them, finally making it outside the hall.
"Ah… Argh…" The four men blocking his way screamed hideously, each man with a slash on his chest all the way to his heart, and they all staggered and fell back, their blades hitting the ground with a thud.
Everyone around the hall shouted in unison ran after him, waving torches.
Wenchang was not quite skilled enough, so he had had to use the three Magic Sword techniques to force his way out and flee. And he had put all three moves to use at once, smoothly one after another, which had consumed a lot of his strength as he stole through the hall doors. He was already short of breath. Panting was a bad sign for a qigong practitioner. It meant he was at the limits of his energy. It wasn't a good sign. He wasn't at the point of collapse, but he was close to his strength and energy giving out.
The masters hiding in ambush all around probably already knew that something had gone awry in the main hall, as they appeared one after another, closing inward.
Oh shit! Black Fox Linghu Chao, who had been waiting outside for a long time with no warning signal, had just happened to be leading his men through the entrance gates. He uttered a long cry and ran down the garden path and up the steps and met Wenchang head on.
Everywhere was brightly lit so there was no place to hide. Thirty or forty men in black appeared from the pavilion and out from the shadows of the rock garden. It would be harder to get away now than ascending to heaven.
Wenchang was holding someone under his left arm, and his strength was giving out; how could he go all out against Black Fox? As soon as they met Miss Tian caught a hammer blow to the shoulder, and Wenchang himself was also hit in the right hip.
Black Fox was pretty much Silver Sword's equal, and Divine Sabre had been just barely good enough to eke out a spot as a first-rate master of the martial fraternity, so this situation was about as bad as it could get. Wenchang thought about using his Magic Sword techniques again, but he didn't have enough energy to do it.
Black Fox pressed in ten more feet and slung his meteor hammer three times and said haughtily, "Get back in there! You ought to die inside your main hall."
His meteor hammer was like a clap of thunder as he yelled; it was really unsettling. His meteor hammer could turn and curve around, so Wenchang couldn't cross it, he could only attach the hammer head, but that was already close to him so there was nothing he could do but knock it away, he couldn't use his sword to attack the head.
As he saw the hammer careening toward him he cursed to himself, I'm done for!
Suddenly, a dark figure dropped down from the eaves and a fragrant breeze assailed him as a sword shot out like lightning, the tip colliding with the hammer and knocking it down.
Black Fox flinched and flicked his wrist and pulled his hammer back a foot, then shot it out again toward the person who had dropped down. His reaction was swift; his skill has already attained a transcendent level.
Who would have known that this new person was even better than he, sword already whirling as the person dropped to the ground, hitting the hammer with a clang, the force of the blow sending the hammer swing out out ten feet. Then a charming voice said, "Nice, Black Fox, let's see you handle three of my Soul Snatching Shuttles."
Black Fox started. It was Black Succubus Gu Zhen. That witch's Soul Snatching Shuttles were more frightening than an invitation to Hell from King Yama. Visibility was not great in the dark. If three shuttles were thrown at once, how could he take them? He darted to the side without a word and hid behind an overhang support pillar.