Library of Heaven is Path
218 Exchanging Fists
Chapter 218: Exchanging Fists
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
At the VIP seats, Wang Chao and Elder Hong Hao gazed at each other.
"Bai Chao specializes in fist technique. Liu Yang... shouldn't be an opponent for him!"
Wang Chao hesitated. Even though he said such words, he clearly wasn't confident.
In the previous few matches, he had declared haughtily that Lu Xun's students would win, but in the end... all of them lost tragically.
This Bai Chao, based on Wang Chao's understanding, should be able to win easily, but... Zhang Xuan's students were simply unfathomable. All of his previous predictions had fallen through, and he had lost all his confidence.
"I think so too. He should... be able to win..."
Elder Hong Hao was dispirited as well.
He wanted to witness this Zhang laoshi being humiliated in public and lose all of his dignity. Yet, from the looks of it, it is impossible to humiliate him anymore. At this moment, all he can do is to try his best to preserve his own dignity...
"Bai Chao, don't hesitate at all. Once the match starts, use your strongest fist technique. Don't give the other party any gaps to exploit!"
Gritting his teeth, Wang Chao shouted to Bai Chao.
There is no room to retreat now. If this match were to end in a loss, there wouldn't be a final match. Thus, all they can do now is to entrust all of their hopes and expectations to Bai Chao and hope that he will not let them down.
Bai Chao specializes in fist techniques, and it would be best for him to execute his strongest technique from the start and defeat his opponent swiftly.
Otherwise, while he enters with huge expectations, he will leave with utmost disappointment and...
His good buddy will lose all chance to impress the three master teachers and become one of their disciples.
Bai Chao nodded his head and stared at Liu Yang with narrowed eyes.
He had seen the happenings of the previous duels clearly. He understood that even though Zhang laoshi's students didn't possess high cultivation, none of them was weak.
He mustn't show the slightest hesitation.
Otherwise, history would just repeat itself.
"Clan Head Wang Hong, do you think that Bai Chao can win?"
On the spectator stand, Clan Head Bai Ming glanced at Wang Hong.
As the heads of powerful clans and as Tongxuan realm experts, their words were authoritative.
"I don't think so. Zhang laoshi has already achieved two wins and one draw, and this should affect the Bai Chao's morale greatly. As long as Liu Yang doesn't fare badly, it is unlikely for him to win."
Wang Hong shook his head.
The Teacher Evaluation was already more than halfway through and all along, Lu laoshi's students had been suffering from crushing defeats. It wouldn't be easy for him to rebound and achieve victory.
Besides, his very own daughter was under Zhang laoshi's tutelage and thus, he understood how fearsome the theories Zhang Xuan taught were. Otherwise, how could that airheaded daughter of his have easily sent the Fighter 3-dan Du Lei flying with a kick?
If even her could become so formidable, it would be impossible for Liu Yang to be weak.
"My view differs from yours!" Bai Ming said with a sharp glint in his eyes.
"Oh?" Wang Hong looked over curiously.
"This Bai Chao is a member of my Bai Clan. However, he is from a distant branch family, so I had never really heard of him. I've had a few of my clan members look into him just a moment ago, and it turns out that he practices the Steel Armor Art!"
Even though he was the one speaking, a tinge of disbelief could still be heard in Clan Head Bai Ming's voice.
"Steel Armor Art? Could it be..."
For a moment, Clan Head Wang Hong was puzzled. Then, his eyes suddenly narrowed, "Could it be that cultivation technique which the Steel Armor Elder practices? Isn't it a lost art? Why does your clan member know of it?"
Very few people knew of the Steel Armor Art, but the Steel Armor Elder was a famous figure, such that even many of the younger generation had heard of him.
He was a famous bandit from seventy years ago.
From pillaging to slaughter, there was no evil which he hadn’t commit. Furthermore, he was one of the top-ranking experts in Tianxuan Kingdom throughout all of its history, and even today, his name still strikes fear in hearts.
Due to his arrogant ways, both the royal palace and the commoners had tried repeatedly to bring him down. However, all of these attempts ended in failure. It could be said that those who had gone after him never returned back.
Finally, there was an occasion when his whereabouts were discovered and a dozen experts trapped him in a valley. Knowing of his incredible prowess, none of them approached him. Rather, they made use of bows to attack him from afar. Yet, they realized with a shock that there was a layer reminiscent of animal scales on his skin surface, causing all of the arrows they shot to simply bounce off him.
That is to say, the arrows were unable to deal any damage to him.
Left with no choice, they could only charge forth to deal with him in close quarters. However, the layer of scales on his body seemed to be impenetrable; even swords and sabers were unable to get through it. That battle created a river of blood, and the skies seemed to have darkened in grief.
Eventually, even though justice triumphed, more than thirty Tongxuan realm experts fell that day. This caused Tianxuan Kingdom's national might to fall markedly, and it took them many decades to recover from that blow.
According to rumors, the technique which allowed the Steel Armor Elder to generate scales all over his body was known as the Steel Armor Art.
But seventy years ago, when the Steel Armor Elder died, the art should have been lost along with him. Thus, Wang Hong was perplexed over how Bai Chao managed to learn the art.
"It is true that the Steel Armor Art had been lost, and the technique which Bai Chao cultivated isn't the authentic Steel Armor Art." Bai Chao said calmly.
"Then..." Clan Head Wang Hong blinked.
"After cultivating the Steel Armor Art, scales will appear all over one's body, providing one with invincible defense. On the other hand, Bai Chao's technique limits the scales to only his fist. That is to say, when he activates this cultivation technique, his fist will become as tough as steel, making it no different from a weapon!"
Clan Head Bai Ming spoke of all he knew and explained the reason why he thought Bai Chao would win, "Liu Yang's right arm is injured, and this fellow's offensive ability, in terms of his fist, is invincible. Furthermore, his strength is significantly higher than that of Liu Yang. How can Liu Yang win under such circumstances?"
"This... If the technique Bai Chao cultivates is really the Steel Armor Art, then it will be truly difficult for Liu Yang to win..."
Clan Head Wang Hong's complexion darkened.
Those who know of this dark piece of history and how powerful the Steel Armor Elder was would know how fearsome the Steel Armor Art is.
This art surpasses the very limits of a human, granting one the strength and defensive ability of a savage beast.
Putting aside the fact that Liu Yang is injured, even if he isn’t, how is it possible for him to withstand attacks of that level?
"Actually... As long as Liu Yang isn't foolish so as to cross fists with him and instead, skirt around his opponent, he might not lose that badly!"
After contemplating for a moment, Clan Head Wang Hong said.
Even though the other party's fists are incredible, he has his own flaws as well.
His defensive and offensive ability in other regions are weak. If so, as long as Liu Yang doesn’t face off with him directly and skirts around the opponent, sending in blows on the opponent's body from time to time, he might not necessarily lose.
"Let's just hope that's the case... I'm just worried that Liu Yang may not know of this and fall for Bai Chao's ploy." Clan Head Bai Ming smiled bitterly.
Even though Bai Chao is a member of his clan, he isn't really close to him. On the contrary, he hoped for Apothecary Zhang Xuan's victory.
Clan Head Wang Hong was about to say something when he suddenly heard the conversation between the two young men in the dueling ring.
"Liu Yang, I know that the meridians of your right arm are damaged. However, just like Wang Ying, Zhang laoshi should have treated it already, right?" Bai Chao asked
"Indeed, Zhang laoshi managed to identify my problem and personally went to the Apothecary Guild to obtain a Meridian Rejuvenation Pill for me. At this moment, my right arm has already fully recovered." Liu Yang nodded his head.
His face clearly showed his reverence and pride for his teacher.
Only a noble person like Zhang laoshi will give so much for his students, even if he will receive little in return.
"Since your arm has already recovered, I have a proposal for you... Let's stop it with all the tricks and cross blows directly. Whoever fails to withstand the blow loses." Bai Chao sneered coldly. "Don't tell me that you dare not to, unless... your Zhang laoshi failed to treat your arm at all, and all you've just said was still boasting."
"Let's cross blows then, do you think that I'll be afraid of you?" Hearing the other party doubt Zhang laoshi, Liu Yang flew into a rage.
Watching his worries slowly becoming reality, that Liu Yang fell for Bai Chao's ploy, Wang Hong's complexion immediately turned awful.
The other party practices the Steel Armor Art, agreeing to exchange direct blows, isn’t that suicidal?
"Tell Zhang laoshi that Bai Chao cultivates the Steel Armor Art and that his fist is as hard as steel, and to not allow Liu Yang to cross blows with him no matter what..."
He hurriedly instructed a guard behind him.
The guard nodded his head and hurried over to Zhang Xuan, in order to inform him of the matter.
"Zhang laoshi, I've heard of Steel Armor Art. It is said to be the secret art which the Steel Armor Elder practices. By soaking one's hands in the blood of a Steel Armor Beast, as time goes by, one's hands become as hard as steel. However, this causes the hands to lose their flexibility and sense of touch."
Zhao Ya seemed to know a lot about the Steel Armor Art and explained to Zhang Xuan.
"As hard as steel? What's the difference between doing that and wearing a steel gauntlet?"
Zhang Xuan was speechless.
Cultivation in itself is an evolution of life. The stronger one becomes, the stronger the opponents he would have to face, and the more nimble he has to be.
Yet, this fellow forged his hands into steel, losing his sense of touch as a result. No matter how powerful the cultivation technique is, this is a fatal weakness.
How perverted does one have to be in order to create such a warped cultivation technique?
"Zhang laoshi, our clan head instructed me to tell you to stop Liu Yang from crossing blows with Bai Chao at all costs..."
Seeing how the two were still in the mood to discuss the Steel Armor Art, the guard panicked and hurriedly interjected.
"Stop him from crossing blows with Bai Chao? Why?" Zhang Xuan asked, perplexed. "I think it is good that Liu Yang agreed to it. No matter what, Bai Chao is a Fighter 3-dan cultivator, and with the augmentation from his zhenqi, regardless of whether it is his reaction speed or his agility, they are significantly superior to Liu Yang's. Even if he can't defeat Liu Yang, he can easily escape from his attacks. If it really ends up like this, the battle can potentially drag on for more than a day. Crossing blows like that can help to make up for Liu Yang’s weaknesses, so why should I stop him?"
This was just like the battle between Yuan Tao and Kong Jie.
It was an unchangeable fact that Liu Yang and the others possessed lower cultivation than their opponents. If their opponents were to choose to take evasive measures, they would truly be in a rut. Since Bai Chao had decided to go head on with Liu Yang, there was no reason for Zhang Xuan to disagree.
The guard was about to go crazy.
This isn’t the problem, alright?
Haven't I phrased it out clearly for you?
The cultivation technique the other party cultivates is the Steel Armor Art, that is a fist that rivals steel. It is impossible for Liu Yang to win in a direct confrontation of fists...
He was about to persuade Zhang Xuan when he glanced at the dueling platform and saw two figures moving about. The battle had already begun.
It was already too late for Zhang Xuan to interfere.
"Since you're agreeable to it, let's begin."
Seeing that Liu Yang had fallen for his ploy, Bai Chao roared excitedly, stepped forward, and sent a fist toward him.
The might of the fist compressed the air, causing a sonic boom. Just like the legends said, tiny scales could be seen on the surface of his fist and the fist appeared to be the knuckle of a savage beast rather than a human’s, emanating a bizarrely intimidating aura.
"It's good that you decided to face me head on!"
Liu Yang raised his eyebrows and faced Bai Chao's strike with his own fist.
He didn't expect that the guard he dispatched would fail to stop the spar between the two. Clan Head Wang Hong's face paled and his body swayed from side to side.
How can a human's fist match up to a savage beast's? Furthermore, Liu Yang's cultivation is far beneath that of Bai Chao's.
Wang Hong sighed and shut his eyes, not wanting to see Liu Yang fracture his arm and fall tragically in defeat. But at that moment, he heard Clan Head Bai Ming's hastened breathing and his abrupt exclamation.