Prologue - Like Dew or a Flash of Lightning 1
Thick clouds covered the moon, and the sky was pitch black. A cornered beast was lit by flickering lanterns.
Plink, plink …
A young man in a gray robe lowered his head; blood from the corner of his mouth dripped onto the limestone beneath his feet.
He felt a sharp pain in his chest as if a knife was twisting in it. Some of his ribs must have been broken. The Great Mercy Palm performed by the head monk of the Arhat Hall of Shaolin Monastery was powerful indeed.
If he had known it was a trap, he wouldn’t have been hit by the move just to protect the girl he was dating with.
A figure flashed out and stood in front of him. He looked over and saw a Taoist with long beard. It was none other than the head Taoist of Wudang Sect.
What a Stinky Bull’s Nose 2! I just comforted your lonely concubine who lived in the side yard. How come did you hold such a huge grudge against me?
He lifted qi up and struck out his palm. The strong wind blew the sand and rocks, forcing the Taoist to retreat temporarily. He then suddenly laughed out loud and said, “My life is not going to be taken by those stinking men.”
“Scoundrel, go to hell!”
A young woman’s shout echoed out as a three-foot-long blade emitting an icy coldness was thrust toward his throat.
The injured youth raised his thick eyebrows. He pushed aside the sword with only his two fingers, then his arm stretched out quickly as a flying-dragon and his palm pressed on the woman’s soft breast. With a hissing sound, he ripped off half of the woman’s snow-white clothes, then he rotated his body quickly and threw out the piece of clothes in order to dissolve the force of the Air Slicing Palm from the monk aside.
The woman cried out and instantly stepped back more than ten meters. Her elegant face turned pale, then red. She hurriedly raised her hand to cover her bare shoulder, but left her light green tube top exposed, which was almost unable to cover her big and soft breasts.
Immediate after the young woman retreated, two other females came up to fill her position.
An exquisite petite girl darted toward him, lowering her body and thrusting at his knees with a pair of steel Emei Piercers; while another tall girl slashed at his neck with a long whip.
The monk and the Taoist all backed off to the side, as if they knew for sure that he would not hurt those girls severely.
The young man sneered and suddenly let out a loud thunder-like shout.
The qi strength of the two girls was weaker. They were shaken by the shout and their attacks became sluggish.
Taking advantage of this, the youth stepped forward and performed the Spring Wind and Rain Hand. Wherever his qi reached, there was sound of clothes being torn. He then grabbed the long whip and wrapped it around the pair of Emei Piercers. Next, he unleashed his qi strength through his palm and forced the two girls to take a few steps back. It was only then the two girls realized that their acupoints were hit and their legs lost strength, so they fell over in an incomparably miserable manner.
Both their clothes had been cut open by the young man’s fingers, and their breasts were exposed under the lantern lights. One of them had small and pretty tits, another one - big round tits that were as white as snow and were shaking like jello.
A beautiful Taoist nun quickly stepped forward, took off her outer robe and tore it open. Then, she bent down to cover the two girls.
“Shameless!” The monk who had just retreated shouted in a deep voice, “Great Mercy Palm!” With his full power, he darted forward.
The young man threw his head back and laughed. Taking in a deep breath, he endured the pain like being stabbed by ten thousand needles and advanced instead of retreating. He struck out three consecutive moves of the Ice & Fire Palm; layers upon layers of qi rushed out like waves, crashing into anything in front of them.
A thunder-like muffled sound was heard. Blood spurted out of the mouth of the head monk of the Arhat Hall. His body flew out like a kite with its string cut.
All of a sudden, the crowd was silent.
The light from the lanterns illuminated the surrounding martial arts masters from various orthodox sects. Their faces all became gloomy.
The young man sneered, thinking to himself, this Shaolin bald thief3 went for wool and came home shorn, which also shocked those idiots.
If those idiots came up, he would have confidence to get out of this desperate situation and escape from death.
Unfortunately, when he looked ahead, he could see hundreds of crossbows aimed at him from behind the lanterns. In front of the lanterns, there were hundreds of martial arts masters from orthodox sects eyeing him covetously like tigers stalking their prey.
The Seven Great Sects, the Eagle Warriors, the Imperial Swordsmen, plus the foes due to his stealing hearts over the past years… He truly had no way to escape.
He swept his gaze over the crowd and saw the familiar faces that were in a hurry to kill him just now.
Among them were: Edelweiss Lu, also known as the Cold Plum Blossom Goddess, who had chased him like a shadow cross seven prefectures just because he said some flirting words to her; Tinkerbell Yi, an extremely talented petite girl who was a close friend of Lu; Whisper Wei, a peerless beauty whom he had almost had an affair with last time and would probably never get another chance; and the beautiful Taoist nun who stood there glaring at him with a horsetail whisk in her hand… Well, this Genuine Jade Immortal who was once moaning under him didn’t take into account their one night love at all.
He slowly looked around, unwilling to give up. More than a dozen of beautiful women who were also martial arts masters were standing in front of him, and he had only touched half of them. He would have turned over in his grave if he died in this manner.
From far away, a chilly yet euphonious voice came, “With my father’s elite troops, you still can’t take him down?”
He felt a pain in his heart and looked over.
It was the daughter of the Grand Councilor who had sacrificed her body to lure him here. Her hair was still untidy; half of her pale face was hidden under the shadow of the oil paper umbrella held by the maid, leaving only one of her black pupils staring at him.
He thought to himself that if he had agreed to marry the daughter, live with her family, quit the Jianghu and serve the Royal Court, he wouldn’t fall into this kind of desperate situation.
“Looks like I’m probably the most ostentatious flower-picking bandit 4 all over the Jianghu,” he smiled, stood up with his hands behind his back, and said in a clear voice, “one night romance with a gorgeous girl, a happy death thus deserve. Goddess Lu, you are the most beautiful one here. I want you to take my life.”
Edelweiss Lu covered her bare shoulder with her hand, unsure of what to do.
The head Taoist of Wudang Sect said coldly: “Miss Lu, don’t be fooled. This person has many tricks up his sleeve. He probably plans to use you as a hostage.”
The monk let out a heavy breath, smoothed his meridians, and said in a deep voice, “You pervert! You have ruined so many girls’ reputation. Tonight is the time for you to commit all sorts of evil deeds.”
A black-faced man at the side said darkly, “After he’s executed, let’s search his body for the clues to the Hidden Dragon Treasure. Everyone here should have a share, right?”
The Genuine Jade Immortal frowned and said angrily, “What did you guys come here for?”
At this moment, lightning struck down and thunder rolled across the horizon. The gray robed youth laughed loudly as he stood against the wall and said: “I knew it! There wouldn’t be so many of you coming here just to punish me. It turned out that one of my lovers leaked a message that put me in this deadly situation. Next time, I should have my mouth zipped in front of a woman.”
“Pooh!” Tinkerbell Yi covered her small tits with half a piece of robe from Genuine Jade Immortal and said angrily, “We’re going to tear you into a thousand pieces. You won’t have a next time!”
The head monk of Arhat Hall and the head Taoist of Wudang Sect stepped forward at the same time; with a wave of her hand, the daughter of the Grand Councilor shouted out her order, and the Eagle Warriors drew out their blades; hundreds of crossbows aimed at the youth, with their arrows glittering cold lights.
However, the gray robed youth still didn’t despair.
His eyes were still brimming with energy and vitality. They were dark and shiny, like two black pearls.
“The ninth level of Profound Sky Sutra is indeed extraordinary. A cornered animal will put up a fight. Everyone, be careful!” The monk reminded in a loud voice. He then extended his hands and circulated his qi. The sleeves of his frock were inflated and waved without any wind.
“Use hidden weapons. I’ve already said that we should not fight him in a face-saving way,” the black-faced man took out a handful of flying needles and said with a sneer.
The young man lowered his head. He had long since mastered the ninth level of the Profound Sky Sutra.
The reason why he did not break through to the tenth level was not because he could not, but because what he learned from the secret manual was extremely mysterious. Once he reached the tenth level, an unfathomable and astonishing change could happen.
He had wanted to taste all the beauties of the world and had thought that the ninth level was enough for him to achieve his goals without taking risks. But now that he had been trapped, no matter what, he had to take the gamble.
Hearing the commander of the Eagle Warriors shout, the young man no longer hesitated. He raised his arms, and his inner strength surged out, up from his Baihui acupoint and down from his Yongquan acupoint. He performed the Profound Sky Sutra with his full strength.
In the blink of an eye, the sky was filled with rolling dark clouds as thunder and lightning gathered in all directions. A golden lightning hacked down from the sky, producing a landslide-like sound!
Smoke and vapor rose and scattered in all directions. When the night wind cleared the area in front of everyone’s eyes, all that was left at the corner of the wall was a charred patch, along with a few pieces of gray clothes…
1 From Diamond Sutra
All conditioned phenomena Are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow, Like dew or a flash of lightning; Thus we shall perceive them.
2 Stinky Bull’s Nose is a typical expression for Taoists, for they are usually very stubborn.
3 Bald Thief, a contemptuous term for a buddhist monk.
4 flower-picking bandit, a man with lecherous behavior, having sex with many women, usually by force or by philter.