Chu Li could spot a slender young man standing in front of the four House of Duke guardsmen, shrouded in white, a long blade hung around his waist, staring sternly at Lu Yu Shu.
The magnificent white horse stopped on its own.
Lu Yu Shu nonchalantly glanced at the slender young man, uncaringly huffed, "Who goes there?"
"I am Du Feng!" The slender young man declared.
"White Shroud Shen Dao!"
"To think that it's White Shroud Shen Dao!"
The surrounding crowd was astonished, and curiously stared at Du Feng.
Chu Li was stunned as well, the White Shroud Shen Dao?
A bit of doubt filled his vision, the Omniscient Mirror scanned this White Shroud Shen Dao, he laughed wryly in that instant.
"White Shroud Shen Dao? You're THAT White Shroud Shen Dao?" Lu Yu Shu lazily shot him a look, shook his head and said, "You don't look like much, donning a white robe even, I despise men in white robes the most!"
The slender young man huffed, "The grand House of Duke, dares to kidnap women in broad daylight, what of the laws that govern the nation? The law couldn't keep you members of the House of Duke in line, so I, White Shroud Shen Dao, shall pass judgement onto you instead, ... release her!"
"Haha, such vigor!" Lu Yu Shu crackled aloud, glee wrapped all over him.
The slender young man stared expressionlessly back at him.
After Lu Yu Shu had his laugh, shook his head and said, "Hey, White Shroud Shen Dao, did you fancy this beauty here? No matter, I am in a great mood today, I shall gift her to you instead!"
"Shut your mouth!" The slender young man huffed coldly, "I only could not stand you kidnapping the women here, this has nothing to do with me fancying anyone, you spout nonsense!"
"If she was but an ugly girl, would you still save her?"
"How noble of you!" Lu Yu Shu shook his head, snickered as he said, "We're all men after all, nothing to be ashamed of!"
"I'll get straight to the point, are you going to release her?" The slender young men huffed, "If you hand her over, I will spare your life, otherwise, do not accuse me lacking mercy with my blade, as I have your filthy head!"
"I rather like to see for myself how capable you are!" Lu Yu Shu nonchalantly gave a wave of his hand.
The elder in ceremonial robes at his side stepped out, approached before the slender young man, and softly asked, "So you're White Shroud Shen Dao?"
"As a grandmaster yourself, to think that you would bow before this man as his servant, truly a disgrace to the martial arts realm!" The slender young man scoffed, "Do not blame the merciless of my blade, I'll have your head!"
"Nonsense!" The elder in ceremonial robes said, "Take this!"
He pulled out a punch.
A "boom" rippled through the air, like an explosion.
The slender young man smirked, unsheathing his long blade.
A flash of silver slashed downwards.
"TING!" Blade clashed with fist, an exchange of brute force.
The robes of the surrounding crowd fluttered aloud, as if a hurricane struck by.
As if pushed away by the currents of a river, they took a few steps back without thinking, stumbling as they did.
The crowd was astonished all around.
Truly a grandmaster, impressive! Truly impressive!
"Splendid fist arts!" The slender young man huffed, the swing of his blade swirled a hurricane towards the elder in ceremonial robes.
Astonishment can be found in everyone's eyes, only praises were mentioned aloud, impressive sword arts, such agile blade, he was undoubtedly the White Shroud Shen Dao!
"TING TING TING TING..." The elder in ceremonial robes landed every one of hits on the blade.
With each punch, the flashing blade lost its gleam a little, followed by another flash, another dim, this went on back and forth, disorienting the vision of everyone present.
Lu Yu Shu lazily spectated the scene before him, flopped his lips to exclaim, "This is the extent of the White Shroud Shen Dao!"
"Hmph!" The slender young man huffed, a flashing flurry of his blade followed, his speed increased by one fold.
Chu Li squinted his eyes.
"HIYA!" The elder in ceremonial robes bellowed, his fists expanded in response, increasing his speed.
With both of his fists thrown back to back, a mirage of multiple fists appeared around him, as if one could spot more than ten hands on him, enveloped his entire body, deflecting every flash of the blade.
The relentless flurry of the blade was unmatched, yet it couldn't break through the lockdown from the barrage of punches, each slash collided with a punch, preventing him from picking up momentum in his attacks, as he was forced into a hold.
Many grandmasters were amongst the crowd, gazing at the two going back and forth, they couldn't help themselves from murmuring discussions.
"Doesn't the White Shroud Shen Dao kill with one slash?"
"Nonsense, that happens only to those below the skills of a grandmaster, how could a grandmaster be done with in one slash?"
"True, to end a grandmaster in one slash, one at least needs to be an enlightened master!"
"The grandmaster from the House of Duke, surely he's not any weaker?"
"This old man is Han Yi Meng, the most skilled grandmaster known to men, for White Shroud Shen Dao to deflect that many hits, is much impressive indeed!"
"What are you on about?"
"The undefeated legend of the White Shroud Shen Dao is coming to an end."
"Where does one even find an undefeated master of the martial arts, ... he knew a tiger resides in the mountain, yet he marched towards the tiger willingly, this act of dauntlessness and daring, is to be respected, who else would dare to go against the House of Duke?"
"Everyone here knew, to go against the House of Duke, unless one disappears into the woods, how else would one live to tell the tale?"
The crowd bickered in their discussions, yet their eyes remained locked onto the scene below.
The sword arts of the slender young man grew more and more relentless, while the opposing barrage of fists became tighter in formation.
"TING..." In a drawn out hum, the long blade of the slender young man flew out of his grip.
Everyone had spread out, afraid of being impaled by the blade, in harm's way of it.
"TING..." The long blade danced frantically in this air a few times, before landing on the stone pavement.
Everyone fell silent for an instant, shocked as they turned their gazes toward the slender young man.
In all of his fame and glory, the overwhelming White Shroud Shen Dao had been defeated, before their very eyes!
This gave them somewhat mixed feelings, while giving even higher respect than they did before to the House of Duke.
The grandmaster which was spoken highly of in rumors, almost as if he was a martial arts legend even, upon encountering a grandmaster from the House of Duke, could only meet a frustrating defeat, the House of Duke was truly towering in their vast reach across the lands, impossible to be overthrown.
"Haha..." Lu Yu Shu burst into laughter, "Great job, White Shroud Shen Dao, for trading so many blows with the old man, you're no pushover I'll give you that, I had always admired talents, appreciated talents even!"
The slender young man sunk in his expression, and stared at him expressionlessly.
Lu Yu Shu grinned as he said, "How about this, if you willingly join the House of Duke, one million silvers per month, with miraculous pills and medicine to boot!"
The surrounding crowd roared into life.
One million! One million silvers was an unbelievably huge amount!
Lu Yu Shu continued, "You wanted to eliminate all that disturbs the peace amongst men, then come to the House of Duke, those masters of the martials world who do wrong with their skills in the martial arts, the one who do as they please with their mastery in the higher arts, are all wanted targets of the House of Duke! ... If you come forth, the House of Duke's prowess will expand greatly, to punish those who commit crimes, what do you think?"
Doubt crept into the slender young man's expression.
Everyone couldn't help but think about Lu Yu Shu's offer.
Though the second eldest young master was spoiled in riches, he made some valid points, the reputation of the House of Duke was still admirable, the public enemy of all masters of the martial arts world.
"How about this!" Lu Yu Shu declared aloud, "Two million, I'll give you two million a month, with this you can feed many lives of the poor, thus improving the economy, vanquish evil as well, would this be to your satisfaction?"
The slender young man hesitated.
Lu Yu Shu got down from his steed, approached before him, smiled as he said, "Then it's settled! As the House of Duke is always in need of masters of your caliber, my younger sister will surely take a liking to you, use you to your fullest potential!"
"Brother Lu." The elder in ceremonial robes, Han Yi Meng, spoke calmly, "I entered the House of Duke not for the glory and riches, whatever I accomplish alone, the wealthy could achieve it effortlessly, all for the sake of one duty, to vanquish evil! ...To act independently as a lone warrior, one man could only do so much, borrow the power the House of Duke provides, to eliminate even more of those who do evil!"
"Very well!" The slender young man heaved a sigh, "Then I shall try!"