Library of Heaven is Path
1176 Infinitesimal Maneuver
Chapter 1176: Infinitesimal Maneuver
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Seeing how Shi Hao was no longer relying on brute force as he had done previously after the past few days of training, Zhang Xuan nodded in approval. Facing the other party's assault, he stood his ground firmly and tilted his body slightly.
Shi Hao's palm strike flowed right past Zhang Xuan's shoulders, missing by just a hair's breadth.
This evasion was truly beautifully carried out. A split second earlier, and the other party might still be able to alter the trajectory of his strike to launch a different attack; a split second later, and he would have been injured by the other party's strike.
"This is… Infinitesimal Maneuver?"
Beneath the dueling platform, Hall Master Xing narrowed his eyes in shock.
"Hall Master Xing, what is Infinitesimal Maneuver?" an uncomprehending combat master asked doubtfully.
"Infinitesimal Maneuver is the act of precisely calculating the might, timing, and trajectory of an opponent's offense and making the corresponding maneuvers to neutralize the offense. Through doing so, one is able to dodge any attack with ease and even prepare a counterattack in advance, allowing one to turn the tables in an instant," Hall Master Xing explained.
The fundamental principle behind Infinitesimal Maneuver involved dodging attacks at the very last moment so that the opponent would not have chance to alter their offense, and at a close proximity, one would be in a good position to launch a counterattack and turn the tables.
The theory behind Infinitesimal Maneuver was simple, but it was too difficult to carry it out in practice. Not only did one need to have an exceptional eye of discernment and sharp reflexes, more importantly, one's state of mind needed to have reached a certain mark as well.
Ultimately, humans were living beings, not puppets that would blindly follow orders. Inevitably, a cultivator would feel nervous and uncertain when a sword was right before them, and there would be an instinctive desire to protect themself and distance themself from the sword.
"Even among Leaving Aperture realm experts, I only know of a very small handful who have reached such a realm, and even I have not reached this level yet. I honestly didn't expect Principal Zhang to have achieved this level," Hall Master Xing remarked in awe.
"Leaving Aperture realm?"
The crowd was astonished. No wonder Zhang Xuan was so formidable, shattering all the records in the Combat Master Hall! His talent in martial arts had indeed far exceeded theirs.
While the crowd was still shocked by the matter, Zhang Xuan, who had just dodged Shi Hao's palm, began to launch his counterattack. At this point, Zhang Xuan was already close to Shi Hao as a result of latter's palm strike, and with a slight jerk of his shoulder, he lightly struck the other party's chest.
Before Shi Hao could even react, his figure had already retreated into the distance before crashing onto the ground.
Shi Hao swiftly got up, and with a pale face, he clasped his fist and bowed. "I have lost…"
He knew that the other party had gone easy on him, or else things would not have ended so easily. If the other party had willed it so, he could have died from that shoulder jerk itself.
Zhang Xuan turned to the remaining combat masters and said, "Come at me all at once."
This time, the remaining combat masters leaped onto the dueling platform without any hesitation.
A young man amid the combat masters bellowed, "Let's surround him and use our fastest battle techniques to overwhelm him. I don't believe that he will be able to dodge every single one of our attacks!"
He was none other than Jiao Tan.
As the genius of the Martial Arts Division, he had a deep understanding of combat. With just a look, he was able to instantaneously identify what Zhang Xuan's flaws would be with his hands tied.
The remaining nineteen combat masters swiftly took their positions around Zhang Xuan, and when a loud "Move!" was shouted by Jiao Tan, all of them executed their fastest battle techniques simultaneously.
Sou sou sou sou sou!
The loud whirring of wind sounded on the dueling platform. In that instant, it was as if countless arrows were raining down from the sky, covering Zhang Xuan entirely.
"Let's see how he will deal with such a situation," Hall Master Xing muttered as he stared at the situation on the dueling platform intently, not daring to blink.
Every member of the Combat Master Hall had learned all sorts of collaborative formations, which allowed them to collaborate with one another under any circumstances, regardless of how many people they had, thus synergizing their offense together and exerting a fighting prowess far beyond what they could achieve individually.
Despite having suppressed their cultivation to Chrysalis realm primary stage, the simultaneous offense of the nineteen combat masters was truly fearsome. Even a Nascent Saint would have been crushed into a lump of meat in the face of their combined might.
Intrigued to see how the talented Zhang Xuan would neutralize this situation, Hall Master Xing drove his strength as a Leaving Aperture realm cultivator, and everything on the stage seemed to slow down for him. He could perceive even the slightest of gestures made by anyone on top of the dueling platform with perfect clarity.
Fist, finger, palm, head, leg… All sorts of attacks from the nineteen combat masters simultaneously fell upon Zhang Xuan. They were all the most talented geniuses of the Combat Master Hall, and under the incredible might of their collaboration, even the surrounding air seemed to have been thrown into a state of disarray, producing a series of sonic booms in the air.
Seeing the storm-like offense carried out by the nineteen combat masters, Hall Master Xing unwittingly imaged himself in Zhang Xuan's position, and his body shuddered slightly in apprehension.
Even with his current fighting prowess, he knew that he would not stand a chance against that barrage of attacks if he suppressed his cultivation as well.
Looking intently to see how Zhang Xuan would deal with such a situation, he saw the latter standing still on the spot instead, not moving in the least. It was as if he had not even realized the precarious situation he was in!
This attack could deal significant damage to him even if he didn't suppress his cultivation, but he still isn't planning to avoid it? Hall Master Xing was appalled.
However, in the next instant, his eyes suddenly narrowed in astonishment.
He realized that the other party was not standing still on the spot at all. On the contrary, the other party was moving so quickly and slightly that it was imperceptible to the naked eye. Even with his Spiritual Perception, he was only able to make out bits and pieces of it.
Due to Zhang Xuan's slight movements, the attacks of the combat masters ended up falling empty. Astonishingly, despite the encirclement that they had put up, they were not able to land even a single blow on the unmoving Zhang Xuan!
"This… This…" Hall Master Xing felt his throat running dry.
Back when he, Division Head Liao, and Division Head Wei had assaulted the other party at the Trial of Inner Demons, he clearly had not been that formidable. How could he suddenly have grown so much more powerful within three short days?
In this instant, it seemed as if the young man had absolute control over the space around him. Regardless of whether the attack had come from the front or the back, he could perceive it with absolute precision and move accordingly.
"Alright, it should be my turn now."
At this moment, a nonchalant voice suddenly sounded from the dueling platform.
That voice carried a quality that seemed as if it had come from the primordial era, reverberating deeply in his mind, leaving him feeling light-headed.
Sh*t, this is a demonic tune! Hall Master Xing widened his eyes in alarm.
He was just about to warn the combat masters on the dueling platform when he saw that the eyes of the nineteen on the stage were glazed. It was already too late; they had fallen in a trance.
Following that, instead of making use of this opportunity to launch an assault, Zhang Xuan swept a nonchalant gaze over the combat masters.
His movements were poised and dignified, reminiscent of an emperor assessing his soldiers authoritatively or a strict teacher staring down on students who had skipped class.
This seemingly simple gesture effected endless fear and deference within the hearts of the combat masters.
One of the combat masters who had a lower Soul Depth could not take it any longer and caved in to Zhang Xuan's gaze. He kneeled down onto the floor and pleaded for forgiveness. "I was wrong, please forgive me. I will not dare to do it again."
While the other combat masters did not cave in directly, their bodies were wobbling on the spot, an indication that their minds were swiftly approaching their limits.
"There's no need to continue the battle any longer. You have all lost." Hall Master Xing quickly leaped onto the dueling platform to halt the duel. After which, he subconsciously turned his gaze toward Zhang Xuan once more to assess the young man.
Facing the assault of nineteen men with his feet planted on the ground and hands tied behind his back, he was still able to fend off the storm-like barrage of attacks easily. Not only so, with just a single sentence, he had incapacitated all of them, and with a gaze, he had forced all of them into submission.
This was too fearsome!
It was only after hearing Hall Master Xing's bellow that everyone finally recovered from their trance. At this point, their robes were already completely drenched with sweat. Facing Zhang Xuan once more, they subconsciously took a step back out of fear.
They did not even realize when they had fallen into a trance… If the other party had borne ill intentions toward them, they would have been corpses by now!
Paying no heed to the shocked combat masters, Hall Master Xing walked up to Zhang Xuan and asked in bewilderment, "Principal Zhang, you should have utilized the means of a terpsichore earlier, right?"
The other party's words had been imbued with the ability of a demonic tunist, that he could be certain of, but that sweeping gaze at the very end… he was not too sure, but it deeply resembled the ability of terpsichores.
"That's right." Zhang Xuan nodded.
"Terpsichores… are able to command such a powerful presence as well?" Hall Master Xing frowned in incomprehension.
In his mind, terpsichores were scantily-dressed ladies who beguiled others through their dances, but Principal Zhang's gestures were reminiscent of a regal emperor, and his eyes carried authority that none would dare defy. Were terpsichores capable of doing this as well?
"The abilities of a terpsichore are not just centered around charm. If that was all there was to the occupation, Kong shi would not have allowed this occupation to be classified as a unique occupation in the first place. Those who have reached the peak of terpsichorean arts are capable of influencing others with just a simple gaze or gesture, granting them unthinkable fighting prowess in battle," Zhang Xuan said calmly as he undid the ropes behind him with a slight jerk of his hands.
If terpsichores had to rely on their physical features and alluring dances to charm and attack other cultivators, they would have been unworthy of being one of the unique occupations.
As the saying went, 'the greatest sound is silence, and the greatest form is formless."
If the heritage of terpsichores had truly been that shallow, there was no way it would have been able to withstand the trial of time.
"I am enlightened," Hall Master Xing replied with his face slightly reddened in embarrassment.
To be honest, as a combat master, he had always looked down on the terpsichore occupation. He had thought that they were a shallow occupation that used their physical traits to charm others, but the situation had clearly shown him that there was no such thing as an occupation being unworthy of respect; there were only people who were unworthy of respect.
Turning his attention away from Hall Master Xing, Zhang Xuan turned to the candidates once more and said, "Despite coming at me together, none of you managed to touch me. Is there anyone who disagrees with the results and would like to give it another go?"
"We dare not…"
"We are completely in awe of you!"
"Zhang shi, we beseech you to teach us well!"
The crowd looked at Zhang Xuan with impassioned, fiery eyes.
If they had only been impressed by Zhang Xuan's talent previously, after that battle, they had no choice but to acknowledge that they were inferior to the young man in every respect.
It was almost as if they lived in two different worlds.
To be able to learn from a person like that was indubitably something extremely fortunate.
"Un." Seeing that the attitudes of the crowd had changed, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.
The reason he had chosen to have his hands and feet bound to fight with those combat masters was not to show off but to shake their confidence and win their trust instead.
This would be extremely important if he wanted to induce a metamorphosis in them within just three days.
"Since no one wants to spar with me anymore, I'll begin the training exercise. Every single one of you will have a different task to deal with, and you must accomplish it within three days. If you fail… don't blame me not getting cruel!"
The crowd nodded. "Yes!"
"Un. All of you are different from the members of the Xuanxuan Faction. Their eye of discernment and combat sense were not too strong when they first joined the organization, so I could simply impart everything I knew to them. You guys are different. Having internalized countless battle techniques, my lectures on combat sense will likely have minimal effects on you. So, I can only resort to another method."
Seeing the crowd agree to it, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist, took out a few pieces of paper, and swiftly jotted down twenty different training plans.
"Alright, I have designed the training plans specially for each of you. Cultivate strictly according to your!"
The combat masters took the training plans and swiftly lowered their gazes to look at them excitedly. However, barely after taking a look, their eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets from shock.