A white beam flashed in front of all profligate sons standing on the deck. Taba Haofeng, who had been behaving calm and overbearing, suddenly sprung backward, while swinging the longsword in his hand forward. A loud clanging noise rang through the air. Taba Haofeng was forced to take three steps back, and a bowl-sized hole appeared on the deck in front of him.
A dead silence reigned the scene. Stunned by what happened, those dancers and singers from Palace of Celestial Tune covered their mouth with their hand, no one daring to make any sound.
The entire structure of this place was constructed using thousand years old dark teak, which was an extremely sturdy and solid material. The thickness of the deck was half a feet, and no ordinary arrow or bow could penetrate it. However, with just a spit, Wu Qi had made a bowl-sized hole on it. In their mind, this was something that no ordinary human could have achieved. If not for the fact that Wu Qi's innate water energy had condensed to a very high level, nearly equal to the quality of those Energy Concentrating cultivators, it was impossible that he could cause such an incredible damage with just a spit.
Wu Qi lowered his head and gazed at those people on the deck, then he let out a disdainful smile.
Taba Haofeng slowly raised the 'Water-Mark Turtle-Scale Sword' up and brought it closer to his face. It was a finely made weapon which had gone through a thorough tempering process. Yet, on its smooth and reflective edge filled with snowflakes patterns, he saw a thumb-sized chip. The sword that could slice through bowl-sized stone pillar easily had just become a useless weapon, all because of Wu Qi's sputum.
"A good skill, and an excellent cultivation!" Taba Haofeng took a deep breath, raised his head and looked at Wu Qi. "Are you willing to fight with me to death?" He sneered and said.
Wearing a gloomy expression, Lu Chengfeng came beside Wu Qi with his hands behind his back. He bowed his head and looked at Taba Haofeng, who was standing at the bow of the boat, then shouted with a cold and stern voice, "Who do you think you are? What makes you so brave to challenge my man? Taba Haofeng, remember your status, you're merely a concubine Prince from the Xian Kingdom."
A man suddenly laughed in the banquet hall behind Wu Qi. He was Haoying Fenglong, a son from Haoying Clan, whose senior was one of the Nine Senior Ministers of Great Yan Dynasty, the Minister of Criminal Justice. "Duke Yan Le, what you said was wrong. Although the Xian Kingdom is one of Great Yan Dynasty's vassal kingdom, the Monarch of Xian Kingdom is also a Duke of Great Yan Dynasty. So, even though Taba Haofeng is a concubine son, if he wants to challenge a duel with Duke Yan Le's hanger-on, as a matter of fact, Mister Wu Qi's status is lower by a few times than his."
In Great Yan Dynasty, the Minister of Criminal Justice was in charge of crimes and punishment, a position that held a very strong power. Haoying Clan was a wealthy clan that rose abruptly over the last seven hundred years, and wasn’t one of the founding clans of Great Yan Dynasty. In fact, in the Imperial Court of Great Yan Dynasty, the founding clans such as Ji Clan, Gao Clan, Qing Clan, and those wealthy clans who rose after the dynasty was established, such as Haoying Clan, Zhenshan Clan, Gaoxin Clan, were two distinct groups.
The Monarch of Xian Kingdom was from Taba Clan, and he also received his title of nobility after Great Yan Dynasty was founded. Thus, the relationship between Haoying Clan and Taba Clan was very close.
The information about Great Yan Dynasty that Wu Qi had gathered and organized recently jumped into his mind. He laughed, self-mockingly and said, "Judging from what young mister Fenglong said, by openly challenging me, this Taba Haofeng is actually giving me a great honor?"
Haoying Fenglong avoided Lu Chengfeng's stern and aggressive glance, placed his hands behind his back and walked to a window. He looked through the window and gave Taba Haofeng a smile, then glared at Wu Qi from the corner of his eyes and said coldly, "Of course he is. Actually, Taba Haofeng should order a few of his hanger-ons to fight with Mister Wu Qi, because only that matches your status."
Wu Qi let out a loud laugh. He thrust his palm and broke the window, sprung through it and gracefully landed on the bow of the ship. He looked up into the sky and laughed coldly, "So that is what it is. By challenging me to a death duel, you, Taba Haofeng, are actually giving me a great honor. Fine, fine. Wu Qi is not a man who cannot tell what is good from bad. My head is here, let us see if you have the ability to chop it away from my body!"
He waved both arms and sent forth an invisible wind, pushing all the profligate sons, dancers and singers away. Wu Qi then strode in front of Taba Haofeng, crooked his finger at the man and said, "Taba Haofeng, come, show me what you got, and let me know what you, the Xian Kingdom, want from us!"
Taba Haofeng immediately snapped back, "Wu Qi, don't you try to involve te Xian Kingdom in our personal grudge. You've killed my eldest brother, Taba Qingye, and I'm here to seek revenge!"
Wu Qi gave those excited profligate sons a gaze over his shoulder, smiled coldly and said, "Since you know that I am the one who killed Taba Qingye, do you know what the reason behind it was? He used the ballista from the military and tried to assassinate my young master!"
Taba Haofeng laughed arrogantly. He gave Wu Qi a disdainful look, his handsome face filled with a proud and winning expression. "Just today, his excellency Qin Qingshui, the Chief Supervisor of Central Guard, had made the judgment about the incident. After he went through all the evidence found at the crime scene, and the testimonial from some witnesses, this was what really happened: My eldest brother, Taba Qingye, heard some weird noises, and he went out to inspect the source of it. He saw your young master being attacked and wanted to help him. Yet, you killed him on the spot!"
While carrying an air of superiority and with a loud voice, Taba Haofeng told all those profligate sons, "All of you here are my good friends, and I need you to judge of this. My eldest brother had heard some weird noises, so he brought all his personal guards and wanting to provide assistant to Duke Yan Le, who was being ambushed. But in the end, he was brutally killed by Wu Qi. Tell me, was my brother wrongfully killed? Should I come seeking revenge from this Wu Qi?"
All the profligate sons kept looking at each other. Except for a few who had consumed Transcending Powder, no one dared to make a noise. Although they were profligate sons, yet they were not stupid. Only a fool would get involved in the fight between the Xian Kingdom and a Duke. Although Lu Chengfeng was a Clan Leader of Great Yan Dynasty, the Monarch of Xian Kingdom was also a Duke, and he had his own kingdom. Thus, in reality, his power was much stronger than Lu Chengfeng.
Wu Qi felt stunned and couldn't say a word for a long while. He never thought these people could simply turn the right into wrong.
Lu Chengfeng had his face fall as well. It was Taba Qingye who used the prohibited military equipment, and even used the defensive mechanism of Ji City to try kill him. Yet, in the end, the criminal had transformed into a good man who acted bravely for a just cause? And this good man was killed by Wu Qi? So, it was Taba Haofeng who had the rightful reason?
"Qin Qingshui, I really want to see what exactly you are up to!" Lu Chengfeng made up a decision in his mind. He then turned his head and gave Haoying Fenglong a fierce gaze. It just happened that Haoying Fenglong was also looking at Lu Chengfeng; his eyes immediately met with Lu Chengfeng's menacing gaze. A smile was forced out on Haoying Fenglong's face. He nodded his head and kept smiling, yet the smile was hollow, showing that he was not giving Lu Chengfeng a genuine smile.
Wu Qi was startled for some time, then he suddenly let out a long laugh. He drew his longsword and pointed at Taba Haofeng. "Save your breath. Let's see who will be the last one standing!"
Taba Haofeng threw away the damaged longsword in his hand, turned around and grabbed over a longsword held by a guard beside him. He tapped the sword with his fingers and said with mixed emotions, "Oh sword, I'll let you drink the blood of our enemy! The brave soul of my brother, please come back quickly! Please stand by my side and witness how I kill the enemy and revenge for you! You're such a poor thing, your courage urged you to save this man from a calamity. Yet this ungrateful scum repaid your kindness with death! Haofeng hates this! I hate this!"
He laughed frantically. Like a fierce, frenzied tiger, Taba Haofeng sprung and leaped toward Wu Qi. He swung his right arm like a windmill, thrusting thirteen strikes in a row. Like lightning that streaked through the sky, the sword beams flew toward Wu Qi with a shivering breeze. The technique of his sword was bold and aggressive. Each strike was heavy and strong, that crushed toward Wu Qi like a huge mountain, as if they would squeeze Wu Qi into a meat paste in the next second.
Unhurriedly and without showing any sign of panic, Wu Qi remained standing where he was. By just casually waving his longsword left and right, he blocked off all Taba Haofeng's sword strikes. Although Taba Haofeng's sword technique was sophisticated and marvelous, he only possessed the cultivation of peak Houtian. Thus, he could post any threat to Wu Qi.
Both men fought and exchanged a few couple rounds of attack. The surging and violent energies of sword forced the profligate sons and women back. Everyone moved and avoided from standing near the bow of the boat. A circle of over hundred feet was made for the fighters. Taking an opportunity after a sword strike, Taba Haofeng jumped and drew closer to Wu Qi, then smiled and said with a low voice, "Wu Qi, do you really think that I'm seeking revenge for that fool, Taba Qingye? Haha, do you really think I'm that stupid?"
Wu Qi took two steps back hastily and dodged Taba Haofeng's strike, responded with two casual strikes and said, "If not because of that, then what?"
Taba Haofeng's attack style suddenly changed. From heavy and strong, bold and aggressive, it became soft and dense like the drizzling spring rains, a gentle yet treacherous style. He lowered his voice again. His expression started to twist as he roared, "The day before yesterday, after Princess Zhang Le went to Duke Yan Le's Mansion and came back, she purposely ordered someone and gave me a good scolding. Today, I went to the Palace and want to pay her a visit. Usually, my visit would be welcomed by her. Yet today, Bai Zhu'er actually chased me out with a stick in her hand! If not because of you, then what caused this?"
Ferociously, he swung his longsword continuously and gave Wu Qi over thirty strikes in a row, each strike aiming at Wu Qi's heart and throat. Taba Haofeng roared furiously with a deep voice, "You've killed Taba Qingye, and I want to thank you for that! But, you've made Princess Zhang Le keep a distance with me, this is a grudge that can't wash off even with all the water in the Myriad Red River! Wu Qi, if not because of you, sooner or later, Princess Zhang Le would be my woman!"
Wu Qi sneered and gazed at Taba Haofeng from the corner of his eyes. He twisted his wrist and attacked with three strikes, forcing Taba Haofeng back. At the same time, he said with a weird tone, "Oh? So that's your intention? Tsk... tsk... if that is what you're looking for, then before you can fulfill your dream, I'll have to become the guest of Princess Zhang Le's bed first!"
His face was filled with a naive and bright smile. It looked like a smile that could only be found on a child, cute and pure. Yet, Wu Qi's tone was extremely evil and gruesome. "Hehe, Princess Zhang Le's virginity will be mine! I'll pluck this fresh flower a few days later, and give it a good appreciation! Eh, I heard people said all girl will never forget the man who took her virginity, hehe!"
Taba Haofeng's eyes turned bloodshot instantly. He let out a furious roar like a wild animal, exerted all his strength and unleashed seventy-two sword strikes toward Wu Qi.
The whistling of sword filled the air. The dazzling beams of the sword illuminated the surroundings. However, with his mind greatly disturbed, how could Taba Haofeng hurt Wu Qi? Wu Qi dodged all his attacks with ease and gave him a powerful kick. The right leg kick hit right on Taba Haofeng's lower abdomen, knocking and sending him nearly eighty feet away.
While still flying back in the air, Taba Haofeng let out a frantic laugh and shouted, "Wu Qi, you have to meet your death today!"
Taba Haofeng threw away the longsword and halted in midair. His palm touched on his storage pouch and brought out a silver colored talisman.
The length of the talisman was two feet and four inches, and the width was six inches. A simple figure of longsword pointing towards the sky was drawn on it. When the talisman was taken out, the surrounding air immediately turned sharp. When the breeze from the river caressed over Wu Qi's body, he actually felt a slight pain on his skin.
Taba Haofeng snapped aggressively, "Wu Qi, the grudge of killing my brother is beyond any reconciliation! This is the Sword Talisman which I got from Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, using all my personal wealth and belongings! Now, face your death!"
Taba Haofeng spat a mouthful of blood onto the talisman, then fiercely pointed it toward Wu Qi.
A bright light shone out and dazzled everyone's eyes. A bucket-sized, silvery beam shot out from the talisman, pointing right at Wu Qi's chest.
Right at the moment when the silver beam emerged, the large bow of the Celestial Tune Palace was instantly ripped and shattered by the intense and vast will of the sword.