His footsteps did not make noise as he slowly made his way to the center of the courtyard.
The night was as clear as water. He was a man of tall stature but thinly built. He had an otherworldly feel to him.
His bright eyes flickered left and right, his gaze eventually rested on Chu Li who was at the foot of the wall.
Chu Li stepped out from the shadows, standing across him in silence.
High Duke Lu was quietly sizing him up.
He was young but had already reached the Grandmaster's Boundary. He was indeed a genius and did not pale in comparison to his own daughter. For someone like him, it was not surprising that he could slip in without being noticed. It was a pity that he was a not a friend but rather a foe.
Chu Li lifted his fingers slowly.
High Duke Lu slipped sideways to avoid it and gently returned a fist to him. There was no power to the punch as if he was greeting an old friend.
Chu Li activated the Omniscient Mirror and he could clearly see all the changes in his body. From the circulation of inner energy to his flesh and bone even his skin and pores, everything was clearly etched into his mind.
A surge of inner energy compressed into a flurry of fists. Like rocks that were dislodged from a mountaintop, the energy sped up the moment they left the fists. It was getting faster and faster, turning into an unstoppable force.
"Bang!' The ring was as loud as thunder.
A sparkling purple radiance flashed across Chu Li and immediately dispersed.
It was like he was struck by a galloping horse. His body flew over the wall as he broke it. He vanished into the night as if banished into the void with a single punch.
High Duke Lu did not move a muscle, staring at the direction that Chu Li disappeared into. He furrowed his brows and said nothing.
The Temple of Tempest was indeed troublesome!
Xi Wu vaulted over the wall and glided over. "High Duke!"
High Duke Lu shook his hand. "Don't bother chasing, let him off! He took a direct hit from me but he could still escape with his life. He's a capable one!"
"Why has the Temple of Tempest come to this place?" asked Xi Wu. He furrowed his brows and said, "We always kept to ourselves, and had no grudges against them."
"This gang of monks is a strange bunch. It's hard to predict what they're doing. There is no need to care about him," said High Duke Lu calmly. "Thank you for your work."
"It is my duty as a subordinate," Xi Wu shook his head.
He made a closed fist salute and left, returning to Lu Yurong's courtyard.
Lu Yurong was standing in the middle of the courtyard, wearing only a light blue gown that was simple yet elegant. "Elder Xi, what happened?"
"High Duke was in a skirmish with someone," said Xi Wu. "The person ran away."
"He fought with father?" Lu Yurong furrowed her brows. "Was it an assassination attempt?"
The nine maids came out as well. Their beautiful hair was let down, all of them looked graceful.
"Who could successfully assassinate the High Duke!" remarked Xi Wu.
"How many moves did they make?"
"The High Duke sent him flying with just one fist. He should be a monk from the Temple of Tempest."
"This gang of monks!" sighed Lu Yurong, "Troublesome!"
She understood the power of the Temple of Tempest well.
Unlike what other people thought, the Temple of Tempest was not easily dealt with. Although they were a faction of the martial arts world, there was more to them that meet the eyes. Who knew how many hidden masters there were or the Emperor would not have been so fearful of them.
A lot of the Imperial House's Protectors were killed by the Temple of Tempest. With the Emperor's temper, he would have dealt with the Temple of Tempest a long time ago, crushing the gang of monks.
But in the end, the Temple of Tempest remained untouched. The Emperor did not make a move which was definitely contrary to his usual temperament. The explanation was that the Temple of Tempest was deeper than perceived, causing the Emperor to fear of making a move.
Chu Li's internal organs were burning as if a fire was scorching them without stop.
His internal organs were heavily wounded.
The single blow instantly destroyed the Sentient Menace and simultaneously injured his internal organs. It was even more ruthless than the Spear Finger Strike.
If it was not for his strong body and the cultivation of the Art of White Tiger and the Sentient Menace as well as the Scripture of Life and Death, the blow would have ended his life.
For a fist technique that was so strong and absolute, he had never heard of it before.
High Duke Lu had a profound cultivation level which left him gasping in awe. It seemed that he still had a long way to go and had to put in a lot more effort. Upon returning to the Public House, he would have to set aside menial tasks and focused on his cultivation.
He was unsure if High Duke Lu's cultivation level was a Perfected Grandmaster's Boundary but he was definitely not Enlightened Mastery's Boundary. If he wanted to reach the Enlightened Mastery's Boundary, he would have to achieve this level first.
He left the Green Mountain Town, trying to rid of High Duke Lu's blow while rushing back.
When the Infinite Azure Sea met this fist of energy, it was like water crashing onto rocks. The effect was minute and could not be defused.
He circulated Prince An's Scripture of Duality.
When the Scripture of Duality started to circulate, the inner energy was abnormally refined. It met with High Duke Lu's inner energy. Like water melting ice, it slowly wore down, revealing a sliver of hope.
Spiritual energy was surging over from all around. A part of it nourished the body while another portion circulated the Scripture of Duality, wearing down High Duke Lu's inner energy.
After a night's work, the strength of the fist was only reduced by a little. At this rate, even a month might not be enough.
It was like the fist of energy had a mind of its own. Even if his body was strong and had the nourishment of spiritual energy, it was still worsening little by little.
The scene of High Duke Lu's punch replayed in his mind.
Stopping in the middle of the jungle, he tried honing High Duke Lu's fist technique.
He tried to channel his inner energy, following the circulation of his meridian and sent out a fist.
He shook his head. There was something amiss.
He knew the path of channeling and the body movements but combining the two of them perfectly was no easy task.
The sun rose from the east, slowly gliding over the sky, ending up near the western mountains.
As the setting sun illuminated the sky, Chu Li regained consciousness.
His stomach was rumbling, his body a tad weaker.
But he looked excited. After a day of honing and practicing without rest, he had finally gotten the trick of it and could use the fist technique.
The inner energy circulated from his toes to the thighs and then his lumbar. In the end, it reached his shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Every ounce of his muscles was relaxed, his inner energy was gushing out from inside as a silent fist was sent out.
"Bang!" The bark of an old pine tree flew. There was a vigorous shake, causing pine needles to drop on the floor.
Chu Li approached the pine tree and looked at the fist print. His smile widened.
He can now call this fist technique his own. The fist technique was very powerful and was considered to be lost in transmission.
High Duke Lu's fist technique involved condensing inner energy into a ball and forming it into a fist, refined until it was solid. This way, it was a formidable power that was hard to remove.
Chu Li learned the fist technique, condensing inner energy into a fist. However, it was less refined than High Duke Lu's. Like throwing wood against stone, it could only move but not crush.
Circulating his inner energy, he smashed his lower abdomen with his right fist.
"Bang!" It rang out like thunder.
"Pu!" He spat out black blood. He looked pale but a smile hung on his face.
It was indeed effective. His own hit expelled half of High Duke Lu's energy fist from his body.
If his inner strength was more refined, there would be no need to resort to self-harming techniques. All that was needed was to overcome the energy fist and convert it into inner strength, nullifying it.
Once again, he struck his right chest.
He spat out a mouthful of blood, his smile was livelier.
Another two fists landed although he was injured; only a sliver of the energy from High Duke Lu's fist remained.
The remaining sliver was but a mere trifle that could be worn down within a day.
Chu Li let out his breath silently.
It was luck that he had the Scripture of Duality. With the level of refinement of his inner strength, condensing it into a fist would cause no effect to the energy fist from High Duke Lu's blow.
He left the dense forest. With spiritual energy coming from the world entering his body, it restored his body without rest.
When lanterns were just freshly lit, Chu Li had already entered a small town. He ordered a few dishes and gorged himself. His spirit was revived and he felt like a new man.
This incident was a blessing in disguise. Learning this fist technique was not a small catch and he gained a lot.
What was more important was that he witnessed High Duke Lu's prowess and now knew that he was not undefeatable. He was in awe and had snapped out of his fantasies of being Du Feng, the White-robed Chief.