Chapter 10 – Combat Tactics
Chen Xi heaved a sigh of relief upon arriving home.
During the battle earlier, although it was only for an instant, it consumed an extreme amount of his mental strength.
Combat was his weakness; since learning to craft talismans 5 years ago, he’d become too busy to have time to cultivate combat techniques. However he was extremely clear about his strong points: being skilled at talisman crafting and knowing the might of the various basic talismans like the palm of his hand.
Nevertheless, this was his first time in combat, after all. He had no choice but to carefully ponder and deliberate repetitively to ensure that every step from the entry point into the battle to the route of escape would be free of errors before resolutely making a move.
Luckily, everything went as he expected and no mishaps occurred. This also allowed him to deeply understand that a precise set of combat tactics would sometimes play a part of vital importance during an operation.
Bai Wanqing’s beautiful eyebrows slightly frowned as she asked anxiously. “Chen Xi, we’ve returned, but what if they pursue us here?”
“I made a trip to the General’s Estate before I went to save you two.” Chen Xi answered calmly.
Bai Wanqing said in disappointment, “Didn’t they say that in consideration of the Li Clan, the General’s Estate wouldn’t interfere in this matter?”
Chen Hao, who stood beside her, instead realized what had happened and said with a smile, “Aunt Bai, if I took a thrashing earlier, then even if the General’s Estate found out afterwards, out of consideration towards the Li Clan, they would naturally act as if they didn’t know. However, now that this matter has been exposed by my big brother, the General’s Estate can’t continue their act. Because if we were to be victimized, even if the General’s Estate is unwilling to stand up for us, for the sake of upholding their reputation in the heart of the Pine Mist City commoners, they have no choice but to interfere in this matter. In this way, wouldn’t the Li Clan have to pay the proper price?”
“After all, the General’s Estate represents the will of the Darsong Dynasty. It would absolutely not tolerate someone openly defying its authority! So, if the Li Clan is intelligent, they would absolutely not dare make a move against us at this time.”
Bai Wanqing was startled and finally understood. As she looked at the two brothers before her, her heart was filled with incomparable wonder for some time.
The older brother is sedate and reserved with a preeminent strategizing ability, and plans very carefully by taking into account every conceivable possibility. The younger brother is quick-witted and keen with preeminent abilities of insight. If the Chen Clan still existed, these brothers would absolutely be ones the gods favoured!
Unfortunately, everything no longer exists, and it brought great suffering and hardship to these two children…
Bai Wanqing couldn’t help but feel a burst of sadness as she thought up to this point.
“How’re your injuries?” Chen Xi suddenly asked.
“I’ll be fine after a few days of recuperation.” Chen Hao laughed as he asked, “Brother, that old dog Wu’s strength ought to be at the perfection-stage of the Congenital Realm, how did you accomplish that earlier?”
Chen Xi casually replied, “It was nothing more than taking him by surprise. If it was fighting him head on, even you and I together wouldn’t be his match.”
Chen Hao pursued, “Taking him by surprise? I undoubtedly didn’t see you earlier, how did you suddenly appear? What formidable cultivation technique is this?”
Bai Wanqing’s curiosity was evoked as well, as during the battle earlier, she similarly didn’t see Chen Xi, and only felt her body go light before being carried on Chen Xi’s back.
“It’s extremely simple.” Chen Xi pondered for a moment before answering. “When you two were in combat earlier, I used a Stealth Talisman and an Aura Restraining Talisman. As for the surprise attack on Manager Wu, I used an Icicle Talisman.”
Chen Hao said in astonishment, “All these are first-grade basic talismans.”
Chen Xi nodded as he said, “The point isn’t the talismans, it’s the ability to grasp the rhythm of the battle.”
Bai Wanqing was clearly confused, but Chen Hao instead came to a sudden understanding as he said with a laugh, “Right, old dog Wu’s first mistake was underestimating the enemy. His second mistake was neglecting the surrounding environment. His third mistake was losing control of his state of mind. Utilizing these mistakes, you’re indeed able to do many things. However, the precondition is you must have already calculated the occurrence of these mistakes before making your move, only then would you be able to accomplish your goal.”
As he spoke up to this point, Chen Hao raised his head and said with a face full of admiration, “Brother, were all these within your predictions?”
Chen Xi avoided replying and said, “Tactics are only minor Dao’s, and can only be used once and not twice. If that Manager Wu possessed a cultivation at the Violet Palace Realm, any schemes would be ineffective.”
Chen Hao said with a smile, “Of course, all schemes and tricks will completely crumble before absolute strength. Just like that Stealth Talisman and Aura Restraining Talisman. They’d be completely useless before the formidable perception of a Violet Palace Realm cultivator.”
After advancement into the Violet Palace Realm, a trace of one’s Soul Sense would leave the sea of consciousness and allow one to attain the power of perception, which enables one to easily discern the fluctuations in the surrounding airflow. Thus the Stealth Talisman and Aura Restraining Talisman were indeed unable to avoid a Violet Palace Realm cultivator’s power of perception.
“Right, how’d you get into a fight with a member of the Li Clan?” Chen Xi asked. He originally didn’t plan on finding out the exact details, but since the matter was related to the Li Clan, it instead made him exceedingly vigilant. Among the enemies that killed his grandfather, the Li Clan was the target most worthy of suspect.
Chen Hao lowered his head and kept silent.
Bai Wanqing hurriedly explained, and only then did Chen Xi find out the sequence of events.
It turned out to be that Chen Hao planned to return to the Skystar Institute to train his swordsmanship this morning, but he’d only just entered the institute when he was sarcastically ridiculed by Li Ming. Li Ming said that after Chen Xi caused his grandfather’s death, the next would be he, Chen Hao. The words Li Ming spoke were extremely malicious and despicable, completely enraging Chen Hao to the extent that he was willing to violate the institute’s rules and bash Li Ming before the eyes of all the students and teachers.
The Dean Yu Ze was furious and issued the punishment of being expelled to Chen Hao. However, Yu Ze also indicated that so long as Li Ming forgave Chen Hao’s offense, Chen Hao could still continue to train within the institute. Li Ming was naturally unwilling, so he summoned Manager Wu over, and the following events were naturally something that needn’t be mentioned.
Chen Xi gave it a thought, then frowned as he said, “In that case, you’ve already been completely expelled?”
Chen Hao held up his immature small face, and the corners of his mouth lightly puckered, but he was still stubborn as he said in a loud voice, “Brother, I don’t regret it.”
Chen Xi wanted to get angry, but didn’t have the heart to. He knew that every time his younger brother fought, it was practically always for the sake of defending him. His younger brother being unable to stand another insult him was just like him being unable to stand another bullying his younger brother.
“Little Hao is only 12 this year and has already advanced into the Congenital Realm. I feel that he can give the Pine Mist Institution a try.” The nearby Bai Wanqing suggested.
Chen Xi was started, and shook his head, “The Pine Mist Institute’s recruitment conditions are extremely harsh, and with Little Hao’s right hand’s crippled, I’m afraid…”
Bai Wanqing interrupted, “How do you know if you don’t try? If Little Hao is willing, I can help recommend him to an instructor from the Pine Mist Institution.”
Chen Hao said without hesitation, “Of course I’m willing. Aunt Bai, you’re really able to help me?”
Bai Wanqing let out a laugh, “I can only help recommend you, you’ll have to rely on yourself to fight for the rest.”
Chen Xi couldn’t help but size up Bai Wanqing once more when he heard what she said.
According to his knowledge, Bai Wanqing was only a kitchen assistant within a restaurant in the city, and was barely able to maintain the livelihood of herself and Xixi by relying upon this job. Her living conditions weren’t any better than him and his younger brother; how would she know an instructor within the Pine Mist Institution?
Looks like Aunt Bai’s identity isn’t simple.
“Then let’s go now.” Chen Xi made his decision.
The Pine Mist Institution’s foundation was solid and possessed a strength that was completely capable of keeping up with the General’s Estate and the Li Clan. If his younger brother was able to enter the Pine Mist Institution to train, his younger brother completely wouldn’t have to worry about the Li Clan’s revenge anymore, and he wouldn’t have to worry so much.
Pine Mist Institution, Sword-Polishing Hall.
Each and every azure-clad youth had upright postures and were in high spirits.
Their expression were serious as they gazed upon the tall figure ahead with gazes that revealed unending adoration.
This person was tall and gaunt, with brows that were distant from each other and a sturdy figure. He seemed like an unshakeable towering lone mountain as he stood there, and his entire body emitted a deep and concentrated dignified aura.
He was Meng Kong, the Sword-Polishing Hall’s instructor, a 6th star Violet Palace Realm sword cultivator!
“Regardless of palm techniques, fist techniques, footwork, or perhaps sword technique, sabre technique, spear technique — they’re all divided into the basic-stage, advanced-stage, and unity-stage.
“When the sword technique is successfully cultivated, it’s considered to be at the basic-stage. When the sword technique is successfully cultivated to mastery, it’s considered to be at the advanced-stage. And when the sword technique is successfully cultivated to perfection, it can be called the unity-stage. Arriving at this step, the spirit energy of heaven and earth will be drawn for your use when the sword technique is executed, causing your offensive power to rise rapidly and multiply. However, this can merely be called as starting to pry into the Dao of the sword, and is taking the first step on the path to seeking the Dao through use of the sword!”
“So, when you haven’t attained the unity-stage, all of you aren’t considered true sword cultivators, and don’t have anything worthy of being arrogant about! Do all of you understand?”
Meng Kong’s voice was cold and stern like ice, as it vibrated within the entire Sword-Polishing Hall, unceasing for a long time.
The mass of azure-clad youth’s hearts shook when they heard what he said, then they stuck out their chests with firm gazes and said in unison, “Understood!”
Meng Kong nodded and didn’t say anything more.
“Instructor Meng, someone is looking for you outside.” An institute guard jogged over and said in a low voice.
Meng Kong frowned, “Didn’t you see that I’m in a class?”
The institution guard’s heart shook and he swallowed a mouthful of saliva with difficulty as he gritted his teeth and said, “That women said that you’d definitely see her. However, if you aren’t free, then I’ll go refuse her request right away.”
Meng Kong was startled, and a refined and mature woman’s figure appeared in his mind. A trace of excitement arose within his heart for no reason and he took a deep breath to forcefully calm himself down, then said in a low voice, “Hold on, what’s her name?”
The institution guard scratched his head and said hesitatingly, “She’s surnamed Bai, and seems to be called…called Wanqing. I’m not so sure, should I go ask again?”
Eh, where’d Instructor Meng go? The institution guard raised his head, but noticed to his astonishment that Meng Kong had long since disappeared, and it was unknown where he’d went.
Meng Kong’s eyes were wide open as he looked at the familiar figure before him in disbelief. His firm and cold face was already covered in excitement.
“Wanqing, you’re finally willing to see me.” His spoke with a trembling voice that was hoarse and deep.
Bai Wanqing’s expression was extremely complicated when she saw Meng Kong, and she took a deep breath until her feelings steadied, then she turned her head to say to the nearby Chen Xi, “You and Little Hao wait outside first, I have something to talk with Meng…the instructor alone.”
Chen Xi nodded, then pulled Chen Hao to turn around and go out.
He’d already discerned that Bai Wanqing had an out of the ordinary relationship with this man called Meng Kong, and the two of them ought to have not met for many years, or else the scene from before would be an unlikely occurrence.
He couldn’t help but be curious in his heart; what was the relationship between Aunt Bai and this man called Meng Kong after all?
“Brother, do you think I can succeed?” Chen Hao raised his small face and asked. He was young after all, and was unable to make out the emotional association between men and women.
Chen Xi pondered for a moment and then said, “There ought to be no problem.” Through the scene from earlier, he was roughly able to be certain that his younger brother might really be able to enter the Pine Mist Institution, with Aunt Bai as the most vital link in the chain.
Before long, the door opened once again.
Bai Wanqing’s eyes were red and swollen, but it was difficult to conceal her relief. She seemed to have opened a lock at the bottom of her heart and called out with a smile, “Come in both of you, Instructor Meng wants to test Little Hao’s swordsmanship.”
Chen Hao’s spirit rose, and he rubbed his fists together, “Alright!”
A trace of a light smile that wasn’t easy to notice silently slipped over the corners of Chen Xi’s lips. It’s finally beginning?