"Yes! Young Master will definitely win!" the Tu Clan's twenty people shouted in unison. Two old men were standing in the front. They were dressed in embroidered-robes. However, they had revealed deep worry on their faces.
"Gu Du Xing, do you feel relieved now?" Tu Qian Hao turned around. His two blazing eyes looked at Gu Du Xing as he called out in a stern voice.
The scornful look on Gu Du Xing's face slowly subsided. And, it was replaced by a kind of respect instead… a respect for a true warrior! So, he got serious, and asked, "Tu Qian Hao, why are you doing this?"
Tu Qian Hao gave a bleak smile as he insipidly said, "I had undergone a thorough internal cleansing of my meridians as soon as I was born. Then, I began practicing martial arts at the age of two. And, I began sword-practice at the age of three. I was hailed as the best martial genius of the Tu Clan in the past several hundred years when I was seven years old! After that, even I began to think that I was very amazing. I had become very self-confident and conceited.
"I was very wild prior to the battle between you and me. I used to think that others were inferior to me. Therefore, I simply refused to accept it when you and the others were ranked above me. However, I found out that I was mistaken after I fought with you."
He said in a gloomy voice, "You shattered my illusion, and made me realize where I stood. And, you've become a demon in my heart since then! I'm crazily practicing my sword just to defeat you… to beat you fair and square in a one-on-one battle!
"I absolutely won't be able to reach the peak of martial arts in this life even if I go on living… Especially if I can't accomplish this first! However, reaching the peak of martial arts is my lifelong pursuit. So, I might as well die now and be done with it if it's preset that the road ahead is going to be without prospects!
"After all, I won't be disgraced if I die by your sword."
Tu Qian Hao burst into loud laughter. Then, he exclaimed loudly, "Gu Du Xing, do you understand my motivation? Do you understand? You! Are you willing to fight me?!"
Gu Du Xing's complexion seemed dreary like the autumn breeze as he replied in a clear voice, "I understand… I fully understand! Tu Qian Hao, I'll fulfill your wish, and give you the fight you desire."
Tu Qian Hao let out a thunderous laugh. He then unsheathed his long sword, and slashed it against the wind. It immediately issued a humming sound, and myriads of densely-packed afterimages of long sword simultaneously appeared in front of him. He then said in a loud voice, "It's the battle of life and death today! Gu Du Xing, you have the ability to kill me. I don't need your respect… I only need your life!"
"You can rest assured. I won't show any mercy!" Gu Du Xing let out a long and loud cry. The Black Dragon Sword seemed like a sentient as it issued a clear cry. It then voluntarily parted from from its sheath, and flew out. It flashed brilliantly in midair, and fell into Gu Du Xing's hand.
"I'll kill you. But, I'll let you die in a fighting stance," Gu Du Xing deeply said. He then raised his head, and opened his eyes. It seemed as if his eyes had fiercely shot out two brilliant and seemingly tangible rays of light.
The Black Dragon Sword's dragon cry echoed in the sky for a long time.
The long sword in Tu Qian Hao's hand also issued a loud and fierce humming cry.
Tu Qian Hao burst into loud laughter, "Sword Emperor! Sword Emperor! I saw a Sword Emperor in this life!" He then issued a loud roar. And, the muscles throughout his body became tight. In fact, his whole person seemed to have grown bigger, and become bold and powerful.
His entire face turned red, and his eyes shot a look of extreme excitement. Every pore in his body had gotten stimulated with happiness, and had expanded as a result. The intense thrill of battle had thoroughly melted into Tu Qian Hao's blood and soul!
The lifeless sword in Tu Qian Hao's hand had already expressed its submission when the Sword Emperor had emerged. However, this Young Master — Tu Qian Hao — had only felt an intense and uncontainable fighting intention instead.
"Gu Du Xing, let's fight!"
Gu Du Xing let out a long and loud bellow, and the sword-light started to move above in a crisscrossed manner.
Tu Qian Hao quickly moved and attacked while laughing loudly. Suddenly, countless sword points came out whizzing from all directions. They turned into life-seizing sword energy, and attacked Gu Du Xing.
The whizzing sound of the sword-wind overshadowed the mournful sound of the north-wind passing through this mountain pass.
Gu Du Xing's turquoise-clothed appearance flickered within Tu Qian Hao's sword-light. The Black Dragon Sword was hacked and slashed swiftly... and a slick cold light was launched. It then attacked Tu Qian Hao in full swing!
The two figures — one clad in black clothes and the other in turquoise — clashed again and again amidst the two masses of sword-lights. Afterwards, only a ball of dazzling light could be seen… The two silhouettes couldn't be seen at all.
Suddenly, the loud clanging sounds of clashing of swords rang unceasingly in that mass of sword-lights… just like the wind blows the lotus leaves, or the rain hits the banana leaves. Soon, one could only hear the sword energy whizzing around; unhindered. The sword-lights were bright and splendid, but they didn't have the least bit of collision.
"I'm delighted!" Tu Qian Hao heartily laughed like a madman.
Tu Qian Hao was unexpectedly giving an extraordinary performance even under the oppression of a Sword Emperor like Gu Du Xing. Tu Qian Hao's 'slaughtering spirit sword technique' had been displayed to the acme. His attacks would be like a violent storm one moment, and like a gentle breeze or drizzle the next moment. The transformations in his fighting style were multifarious in nature.
He only felt that the blood in his body was flowing rapidly. His entire person was getting increasingly excited. It was indeed a type of excitement that had nearly reached the ethereal state!
He had already forgotten everything by this time… He had forgotten that he was fighting. He had forgotten that he was Tu Qian Hao. He had even forgotten his sword. He had forgotten everything in this world!
He had only asked for a battle… a battle in which he could fight to his heart's content without caring about life or death.
Therefore, he felt very joyful. It was the type of unrestrained joy that one would feel on suddenly breaking into a dance… or like the feeling of soaring to the clouds. He was laughing wildly while facing upward. In fact, he was crazily bellowing to the heavens. It seemed magical to see his tall and sturdy body jump vertically upwards. He soared in the sky like an eagle, and then suddenly dived down like a dragon in the sea. Then, he suddenly roared like a tiger... "Ha ha ha ha..." Tu Qian Hao's crazed laugh was dripping with the feeling of contentment. He then fiercely roared, "I got to engage in such a battle in this life. I may die… But, I'll die content!"
Gu Du Xing was as cool-headed as an ice-covered peak as he faced Tu Qian Hao's crazy onslaught.
However, there was an evasive look of pity, hesitation, and indecisiveness in his eyes.
[Kill? Or not kill?]
[The Tu Qian Hao from before might have been a vile, unbearable, and obnoxious fellow. However, the current Tu Qian Hao is truly an opponent worthy of respect from anyone.]
[Let's presume that I was in his place, and he was in mine. Perhaps, I would be so ashamed that I would cut my throat on the spot, and die with regrets if he showed me mercy and let me go.]
[The only way to respect your honorable opponent is to fight him using your full strength.]
[Showing any sort of hesitation, pity, or mercy will only bring extreme dishonor to my opponent.]
A bright light flashed in Gu Du Xing's eyes as he shouted, "Brother Tu, watch out!" The Black Dragon Sword let out a cry, and jumped up. It just briefly slashed, and a long and thin cold light slipped out from the sword-blade and went rolling away. This sword-light was cold. It was jumping about and flickering. It looked just like a will-o'-the-wisp in the dark world. It was constantly sparkling, but it contained a cold and dense killing intent!
"Very well; come!" Tu Qian Hao let out a big roar, and crazily attacked. The sword-light gradually burst out little by little like the drops of blood. Then, it suddenly glittered like a sprite and rushed out. It jumped into the incoming resplendent and radiant sword-light of Gu Du Xing, and then immediately vanished like a drop in the ocean.
Gu Du Xing heaved a sigh amidst Tu Qian Hao's loud laughter… He had already stabbed the Black Dragon Sword in a rock-firm and unyielding manner.
Tu Qian Hao's laughter stopped abruptly… so did his movements! He just stood still on the spot. He was still holding the sword in his right hand. And, the sword-light was still flickering and rippling on it.
He slowly lowered his head, and saw half of a long sword glittering on his chest with a cold and serene glow.
The tip of the sword had already penetrated deep into his heart!
The expression on Tu Qian Hao's face looked very strange as he looked at the long sword that was pierced deep into his chest. He seemed to be pondering over this peculiar feeling since there was a look of deep thinking on his face.
Gu Du Xing was holding the hilt in his hand. His grip was rock-solid. He was looking at Tu Qian Hao's face with a profound look in his eyes. He then whispered, "I went all-out... couldn't hold back."
Tu Qian Hao's face showed a smile of understanding. He then frankly said, "I wouldn't have been content at the time of my death if you hadn't gone all-out!"
Then, he lowered his eyes, and looked at the sword in his chest. He didn't want to die just yet. So, he said in low spirits, "First... First… don't... pull out the sword!"
"Ok!" Gu Du Xing said with a gloomy expression in his eyes.
The people of Tu Clan screamed in anger, and suddenly dashed over.
"Halt!" Tu Qian Hao stood upright and unafraid. He then roared angrily, "The business between the two of us isn't done yet. Who dares to interfere?!"
His heart had already been pierced. So, he was undoubtedly going to die. However, his roar was still majestic. It was full of tyranny!
The twenty experts of Tu Clan halted at once. Their deeply worried eyes were still looking at their Young Lord. All of them looked extremely anxious, but there was also deep sorrow and powerlessness on their faces.
"Draw back!" Tu Qian Hao's voice was muffled, but it was firm and full of authority. He repeated, "Draw back!"
The twenty experts slowly fell back at the same time. Many of them already had glistening teardrops in their eyes.
However, Tu Qian Hao didn't seem to be feeling anything. He closed his eyes, and then opened them again. Then, he looked at the white clouds drifting in the distant sky. His eyes seemed to have no expression at all. However, the look in his eyes still somehow seemed very complicated… as if it was filled with countless emotions.
"You know, Gu Du Xing… I - Tu Qian Hao - could've become a famous swordsman… I could've roamed unhindered in the Nine Heavens. I have this feeling… I have this feeling that I definitely could…! However, I've ruined my future prospects with my own hands. I've ruined my own life…!"
Tu Qian Hao laughed hoarsely, "I was always going to be under you and your brothers… even if I had become a swordsman and an Emperor Expert. I would've never been able to surpass you guys! But, we are the people of the same era, and the starting point for you all is far behind mine. So, it was a type of shame for me to accept the fact that I had been thoroughly suppressed by you guys. I - Tu Qian Hao - couldn't accept this!
"After all, I… wouldn't be Tu Qian Hao if I accepted this." Tu Qian Hao looked sharply at Gu Du Xing and proudly said, "Only a death like this makes me Tu Qian Hao!"
Gu Du Xing remained silent for a long time. Then, he gently nodded and said, "You're indeed worthy of such pride!"
Tu Qian Hao smiled. He had grown a beard across his entire face. However, his smile had given Gu Du Xing a very pure and sincere feeling for some reason… like he was looking at a child who was showing-off his little achievement.
Innocent and pure…
"I didn't wish to die at first!" Tu Qian Hao said slowly, "But, I participated in the alliance organized by Ou Du Xing because of my hatred and obsession with you. After that, I just wanted to kill you the entire time. However, I suddenly became disheartened afterwards.
"Too selfish… too dishonest! Each one of those people is a genius. However, each one is manipulative as well. They keep fighting and scheming against each other. That kind of environment..." Tu Qian Hao sighed deeply. Then, he clenched his teeth, and uttered the next sentence from the bottom of his heart, "It truly fu*king suffocated me to death!"
He had exerted himself to utter this deriding statement. In fact, it seemed as if he had used even the strength of his beating heart in doing so. Anyone who would hear it would be convinced that 'this sentence had definitely come straight from the bottom of his heart'!