"I shall go on then, Master Ming."
The maiden in black's beautiful body swayed, and then she took off similarly to a crane. She was at least thirty percent faster than before. She had hidden her true skills before.
She didn't use a new movement art. What she did was kick a rock flying and somersaulted. When she got into an upside down position, she kicked the rock, launching her flying off similarly to a bird. That move is called Night Rain, a move from Net Steps that focuses on a straight dash. Not only was she capable of utilising the move, but also to a superior degree compared to many others, which goes to show that she's a lot more proficient with Night Steps than I imagined.
'In my mind, however, all I could think of was what Su Xiao and the Princess were doing!! Su Xiao may be more of a girl most of the time, but he's a male at the end of the day! What happens if his instinctual urges explode!'
'Even if those urges don't explode, lying naked with the Princess is a problem, itself!'
'What's more is that I sealed the Princess' meridians. She can't move, but she's not asleep. If Su Xiao does something as a result of the aphrodisiac, the Princess is bound to see and remember it. Once she wakes up the next day, Su Xiao won't have enough heads to chop!'
'But even if I want to bolt back to Liu Shan Men, I have to wait for her to finish taking ten steps!'
In one step, the girl in black was able to leap a great distance. Given the length of this forest of trees, she didn't seem capable of making many big leaps. After several more leaps, her slender and pretty silhouette became a mere black dot in the distance underneath the night sky. I moulded up energy to my eyes to track her movement. By the ninth step, she was already out of sight.
'I must say that was well played.'
'She hid her true skills, leveraged the situation and even got me to give her a ten step head start. She successfully took advantage of my weakness, which was being overconfident. I must admit that…
I silently counted the tenth step. I looked into the distance. Her silhouette had already blended in with the moon, so it appeared as though she'd vanished.
I turned my head back to look.
'That's the direction Liu Shan Men is in. There's a huge problem that I need to go solve there.'
'Over on this side, is a bet that may have a huge effect on things. I promised that I'd complete one task, which is the equivalent of handing over authority of me. That's a deed that couldn't be any stupider.'
I shut my eyes and pondered in silence.
'The distance from here to Liu Shan Men plus the time I'll need to catch up her…'
I carefully calculated it…
'I have no choice, but to get a little serious now.'
I used Yijin for internal energy, Taiji mental cultivation and Spring Wind Rainy Night Divine Art in conjunction with each other by cycling through them.
I opened my eyes that were now blood-red.
The maiden in black sped through the night. While continuing to advance forward, she turned her head to look back. She couldn't resist the urge to reveal a playful smile. She came up with the plan the moment she saw the Princess enter the room, so for it to have succeeded, she couldn't help but feel proud of herself.
'Ming Feizhen must be running to Liu Shan Men for his life now. Once he's done over there and gives chase, it'll be time up. It'll probably take him the full thirty minutes to reach Liu Shan Men even if I don't move.'
Just when she was feeling confident, she noticed a black shadow suddenly appear in front of her. She had no idea if it was a shrub or a mountain rock. Due to the speed she was travelling at, she couldn't stop in time. She was fast to react, but she could only chalk it up to the shadow appearing too suddenly. When she confirmed what was up ahead just before, she was sure that whatever it was wasn't there. As a result, she crashed right into it. It was slightly hard, but it didn't hurt.
To the contrary, she felt the softness of muscles and the smell of a man. She looked up. She just charged head-first into Ming Feizhen's chest.
She hastily retreated. She felt her arm stiffen up. Her arm stiffened up, as Ming Feizhen had grabbed her slender, yet curvaceous and soft right arm.
"You actually caught up!"
Based on his circumstance, she figured that he had yet to return to Liu Shan Men. Though she was shocked that he could catch up in such a short amount of time, this had only put him farther away from Liu Shan Men.
With a smile, she said, "Master Ming, it doesn't seem to have been half an hour. What did you grab me for Additionally, if you don't return to Liu Shan Men, be careful not to let this same date next year be Her Highness' child's one month old birthday."
"There's no birthday that needs immediate attention."
The blood in Ming Feizhen's eyes circulated around inside as he grabbed onto her arm. He resembled a beast that ate people. He smiled, "Your qinggong prowess is splendid. I can see that you held back. How about letting me show you something."
"Remember this, Miss; this is how Night Rain is used."
Ming Feizhen copied what she did. He kicked up a stone, went upside then kicked the top of the stone with the tip of his foot, but he pulled her along for the ride.
Compared to the rock she used, he used a much smaller one. It should be considered a stone; nevertheless, the stone wasn't sent flying as when she kicked her rock. Instead, it began to transform. Cracks appeared on the stone due to the compression of internal energy, which thereby led to it being crushed to dust, but an enormous amount of force from the rebound was unleashed.
Night Rain is one of the profound manoeuvre techniques within Night Steps. It's one of the most difficult supreme techniques to master.
Many people, including Ming Feizhen's martial brothers, misunderstand it as a marvellous manoeuvre technique that requires repetitive practice. That in turn leads to them training it countless times. They practice it with the same posture over and over, but they never managed to master it.
Frankly, they all misunderstood its nature. Night Rain isn't a manoeuvre technique, but an internal strength art. As a matter of fact, the entirety of Night Steps is an internal strength art, while Night Rain is one type of true qi and rebound method.
For instance, if it wasn't a rock, but a wall, it would be easy to understand. If one was to mould all their true qi to the tip of their feet and spring off the wall, the force generated from the rebound would be astounding. Now back to concentrating the energy in the rock as a launch pad. Due to the connected surface of the wall, it's hard to crush the wall in one kick to generate a massive rebound. The smaller surface area of the rock makes it easier to smash, consequently making it easier to generate more force from the rebound.
Ming Feizhen's kick sent him and the maiden in black flying dozens of times faster than before, consequently turning them into a black shadow that zipped through the air, which was a sight no human eye could discern.
The maiden in black was now totally convinced that this was the true version of Night Steps. She misunderstood that Ming Feizhen didn't use Night Rain again, but another faster manoeuvre technique. Nonetheless, this was now in a realm beyond her compression. She had no explanation for how this qinggong operated.
The two of them travelled at an unbelievable speed. The maiden in black had never seen such fast movement. They were in the forest just a second ago, but then they were at a farming field in the next second, then by a lake the next second. It was as though the surrounding scenery was being sliced up by this otherworldly movement. It was as if the link between her eyes and the world had been cut off. What she saw ahead of her was akin to a kaleidoscope that the eyes couldn't keep up with. Actually, no. A kaleidoscope is manually moved by someone. It's far slower than this speed they were travelling at.
It didn't take long for them return to Liu Shan Men's courtyard.
The two stood on the roof, which was diagonal to Ming Feizhen's room. They could see inside the room from their location.
Su Xiao was still out cold to one side of the bed, while the Princess was in the midst of a sweet dream and sleeping in a well-mannered way.
'It seems nothing happened.'
The maiden in black never imagined Ming Feizhen's qinggong had reached another realm beyond human comprehension. She was still frightened by what she had just witnessed.
After seeing that Su Xiao and the Princess were safe, Ming Feizhen silently released the maiden in black's arm.
The maiden in black swiftly hopped aside. She looked as though she was smiling, yet not. She shot him a glance, "Very impressive. Very formidable… What qinggong was that"
Ming Feizhen stayed silent.
The maiden in black raised her head. Her eyes gleamed as she exclaimed, "Tell me!"
"It's pointless even if I told you," said Ming Feizhen in a mumbled manner, "It's impossible for you to comprehend even if I went all the way to the end, unless you've reached the Divine Realm. You wouldn't be able to see how I move even with your qinggong standard."
Those who've reached the Divine Realm are basically in another realm of their own compared to your normal martial artist. However, the Divine Realm is mystical, and then more mystical. Very few manage to reach it, and there are even fewer who can utilise it under control. That's why it's not considered a martial arts weakness.
The maiden in black was somewhat frustrated. She bit down on her lip behind her black face veil. She seemed very reluctant to be resigned to something.
"Master Ming, you sure went all out for the Princess… Your feelings for her are truly deep," mocked the maiden in black. She continued, "I think it's safe for me to assume that your desire to help me ruin Jin Wangsun's proposal has to do with your desire to become Fuma, am I right"
Ming Feizhen blandly responded, "I won't be Fuma. My matter with Jin Wangsun is a personal vendetta. It has nothing to do with anybody else."
"I don't buy it." The maiden pulled a funny face underneath her veil then added, "You have the right to help us. If something comes up… I shall take the initiative to contact you."
She left after saying that.
Ming Feizhen's eyes reverted to their normal colour. He suddenly raised his hand to stop her, "You lost, Miss, yet you haven't told me your name. May I ask for your name, Miss"
The maiden in black smiled, "Hmph, I never lost. It hasn't been half an hour yet."
Ming Feizhen smiled, "So, shall we continue"
The maiden in black seemed to recall Ming Feizhen's movement prowess from before. Knowing that she couldn't compare, she shamelessly exclaimed, "No! You're just a bully!"
She stomped her foot, but surprisingly, her attitude struck a chord in Ming Feizhen's heart.
She stared at Ming Feizhen's spaced out look. After a long while, she went, "Pfft."
She then revealed a beautiful smile beyond words, "My name is Juese."
"Which jue, which se"
The maiden in black giggled, "Jue from tragic beyond compare, and se from pervert."
Ming Feizhen mumbled, "Juese for Peerless beauty…"
The maiden in black couldn't resist laughing due to his idiotic look, "Don't forget what you said today. I'll come find you. Goodbye for now!"
She immediately left.
Ming Feizhen blankly watched her from behind in silence for a long time. Afterwards, he finally got off the roof. He sighed as he walked.
When he thought of the comedic part of it, he couldn't help but shake his head and reveal a helpless smile as though his wife gave him attitude. He knew that she was messing with him, but he couldn't hit her or curse her. Reproaching her would only make him feel sorry for her. He was helpless to do anything to her.
'You've been this way since we were kids. You won't listen to anybody once you're feeling wilful. When we play and I don't go along with you, you'll throw tantrums.'
'But why can't you be forthright with me If you don't like Jin Wangsun, I'll beat him to a pulp for you. If you don't like me marrying the Princess, I won't marry her.'
'Everybody says I treat you like a Queen… Who cares if I treat you as a Queen From the past up until now, the one I've doted on most has always been you.'
'You didn't want for me to recognise you, so I played the idiot.'
'But, Shiyi, no matter if was just easy or if it was your disguise, if you truly don't want me to recognise who you are, you probably need to change your name.'
'Juese. Peerless beauty.'
'Who else in this world, but you, could do the name Peerless Beauty justice'
*Juese (絕色) = Peerless Beauty. For those who don't get it, Ming Suwen was basically saying my name is "Beautiful", which is similar to how I'm good looking and people call me "Good looking" on the streets.
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