The monk raised his head and stared at Chu Li. He exhaled sharply, and then proceeded to throw a powerful jab at the long sword.
Chu Li moved his sword, directing the tip of it towards the centre of his palm.
The monk did not stop, as he welcomed the tip of the sword with his palm.
"Ding..." there was another clear sound. Chu Li's sword vibrated at the force, his inner strength seeping through the weapon and rushing towards his opponent. However, his powers seemed to be stopped by an invisible barrier of force, as it could not find a way through into the monk's veins.
Chu Li was taken aback by that. What an almighty Sentience Menace move. It could shield its user from the damage of any incoming inner strength blows, its powers are truly astonishing!
Chu Li took a step back, and attempted another strike.
"Ding..." The monk deflected the strike with a palm on his chest, the tip of the sword again meeting with the centre of his palm.
The monk was stunned himself. Chu Li's strike was at the exact same position where he had struck earlier. He was amazed by his deft swordsmanship.
Chu Li affirmed his steps, dissecting the inner strength on his sword, and struck again. His speed as fast as lightning.
"Ding..." The monk naturally raised his palm again to protect himself, as he was struck on the same position again.
His palm had begun to feel numb. His Sentient Menace powers began to give way. His facial expressions changed, he dared not let Chu Li strike him again. He moved forward and took the opportunity to attack.
"He!" He let out a sharp breath, which sounded full of anger. His palm struck Chu Li, he wanted to force his opponent to retreat.
However, Chu Li did not retreat, but charged forward instead. The monk had clearly not seen this coming. Chu Li swung his sword towards him again, this time with a steeper, and a quicker change of pace.
"Ding..." the same position was struck again.
The monk looked gloomier, as he started to fear his opponent. This Chu Li's sword skills were too much to handle. If they carried on like this, it would not be long before his defeat.
He could feel his blood boiling, as his Sentient Menace powers began to wane. He changed his tactics, and started dealing blows with his fists instead of palms. He let out a punch. It was as swift as wind, cruel and heavy.
"Ding..." Chu Li's sword met with the monk's knuckles.
Soon after, Chu Li continuously struck with his sword, it was as fast as lightning, and it was a scene to behold.
The monk began to give in, he stopped dodging the hits instead. When he saw the sword coming, he would block it with either his fist or his palm. He would also use the sleeves of his cloak to defend himself, preventing the sword from striking the same position on him again and again. The soft material of his cloak was turned into a weapon by his swift movements, the strength astonishing.
The two battled incessantly, and no one seemed have an edge over the other. The monk could not avoid Chu Li's sword, and Chu Li could not dissect the powers of his Sentient Menace move. In the blink of an eye, the two had already exchanged over hundreds of blows.
Zhao Ying watched intently, as her bright eyes widened. She was amazed by Chu Li's skills with the sword, but at the same time she could not take her eyes off the old monk's powerful hits. It was clear that the monk had not wasted his lifetime on nothing, as his martial arts skills were a level above the rest.
"Bam!" suddenly, there was a dull sound. Out of the blue, Chu Li changed from swinging his sword to throwing a punch, as the two's fists landed on each other. The dull sound startled them and made them take a step backwards from each other.
Chu Li retreated one step, and sheathed his sword. He waved his raw fists and charged towards the monk. Another minute had passed, as they exchanged another string of hundreds of blows.
The monk's facial expressions looked abysmal. Never in a thousand years would he expect Chu Li's inner strength to be of this level. Wave after wave, it seemed like there was no end to the powers of his inner strength.
The Sentient Menace move could block the blows from a sword and a punch, it's powers were great. But the only downside was, it consumed a lot of energy. To keep up with the demands of the skill move, one would require an enormous amount of inner strength to back the body up, and keep it going.
Even though the monk had an enormous amount of inner strength, he was still afraid that he could not hold on any longer, especially when he encountered an opponent like Chu Li, whose every strike was as fierce as the other. Every blow that he dealt was accompanied with a great amount of inner strength. It forced him to fully unleash the maximum potential of the Sentient Menace skill move, which in turn costed him more of his energy.
After a couple hundred of hits, the monk began to feel exhausted. After achieving enlightenment, he seldom had this kind of feeling. Usually, it would only take a few rounds of the Sentient Menace move for him to crush his opponents.
"Pom!" it was another dull hit. The two's palms met with each other. Suddenly, the monk turned around and walked away.
Chu Li spat at him, "Why are you rushing to leave?"
For a person who intended to kill him, Chu Li would certainly not let him off the hook lightly. There would be dire consequences in the future if he had let him go. He focused his inner strength onto his feet, and took a few big steps to the monk's back. In a split second, the monk turned towards him and threw a fist.
Chu Li anticipated that hit. He knew that the power of the punch would be huge. It was the Temple of Tempest's very own "Mountain's Thrust Palm", capable of breaking rocks. When added with inner strength, its powers were as strong as the Infinite Sea of Azure move.
He knowingly took a step aside, cleanly dodging the hit, and then used his momentum to throw a hit at the monk.
"Pom!" the monk almost missed the block, as the two's palms met with each other again.
He staggered a step behind. Chu Li clearly had no mercy, as he threw another punch. The monk had not adjusted his stance, as he missed it completely this time, suffering a direct hit to his chest. He retreated another step.
The Sentient Menace move allowed him to absorb the strength of the hit, but could not help him overcome the force, as he could only stumble backwards.
Chu Li followed up with another hit, striking the exact same position on his opponent's chest. The mon was agitated. He raised both his fists in the air and attempted a block, but he could not turn the situation around. He lost his stance, and could not get away from Chu Li's lightning fast hits. When he was stumbling backwards, he suffered another three direct hits from Chu Li.
"Pu!" The monk could not hold on any longer, as his mouth opened, spitting out a jet of blood.
Chu Li was calm as the waters. He did not even linger, and threw another jab.
"Pom!" another one of those dull sounds. But this time, both the monk and Chu Li took two steps backwards simultaneously.
A sly smile etched out on the monk's face, as he thought to himself, "What about this hit, eh kiddo? No matter what it takes, I will make you pay!"
The spit of blood moments ago was pre-planned, so he could spring out this surprise strike. The "Mountain's Thrust Palm" that he had just dealt, mere flesh would not be able to withstand it.
Chu Li took two steps backwards, below him his footstep about 3 inches deep. His inner strength was stamped to the ground.
It turned out that he had expected the surprise hit too. The block he made with his hand looked weak but on the contrary, he had absorbed the hit perfectly, directing the force towards the sole of his foot.
"You..." the monk looked disappointed. He saw Chu Li's footstep, and instantly knew that he was in trouble.
"Heh heh..." Chu Li let out a laugh. His laugh as cold as ice, he looked untouched. "Monk, you've almost exhausted your Sentient Menace powers, am I right?"
"Amitabha..." For a moment, the monk's face turned solemn, as he held his palms together and muttered a prayer. He breathed sharply, and conceded, "Saviour, I admit defeat. I will forget everything that had happened in the Raging Tiger ravine. We are now even!"
"Then I thank you for that, monk!" Chu Li looked delighted.
The monk paid a last respect to Chu Li, and left.
Chu Li bolted across and appeared in front of the monk, blocking his way out, "Why are you in such a hurry?"
"Saviour Chu, what do you think you're doing?" the monk exclaimed.
Chu Li smiled and said, "Whatever it was that you were thinking of doing, I had the same thoughts too."
"Saviour Chu Li, it was just a friendly combat, why ruin the atmosphere?" The monk shook his head and continued, "My Temple and your Federal House had never crossed paths since the beginning of time. Let's not change that because of today's encounter, shall we?"
Chu Li shook his head, seemingly disagreeing with him, "You cannot say that, monk. You alone do not represent the entirety of the Temple of Tempest, while I alone do not represent the Yi Dynasty Federal House as well. It is just a matter of dignity between the both of us, come on monk, let's finish it!"
"I am not your match." The monk shook his head and sighed. "Saviour Chu you are a gifted fighter, and I am truly impressed. But if you insist on killing me, then I will not stop you, I will not resist!"
Zhao Ying spoke lightly, "Senior..."
Chu Li glanced at Zhao Ying, and then at the group of girls, then back to the monk. The grin disappeared from his face, and he said, "You were a tough opponent, monk!"
The monk smiled, held his palms together and replied, "If that's the case, I will leave now."
He turned to face the other direction. Chu Li wanted to stop him in his tracks, but was held back by Zhao Ying, "Forget it, senior. Let him go!"
"Sigh..." Chu Li shook his head and let out a long sigh.
"To forgive is Divine, right?" Zhao Ying hurriedly add on to what she said, "Plus, the monk was an important figure from the Temple of Tempest."
She knew of the greatness of the Temple of Tempest, the world's number one religious group. They impact on the world was gigantic, and they were omnipresent. Even the Federal House would have to concede to them, refraining from irritating the temple. If the Temple of Tempest really wanted to hunt someone down, as great as senior Chu's powers were, he still could not escape from them, no matter what!
Since the inception of the Temple of Tempest, of every traitor that they had sought to hunt down, none had escaped. There were no exceptions.
Chu Li watched as the monk disappeared from his view. He shook his head and said, "This old monk, he won't let anyone off lightly. He won't give up on me."
"So what then? It's not that he could beat you, right senior?" Zhao Ying smiled widely.
She didn't know that Chu Li's martial arts were this good. What a maestro he was! This old monk from the Temple of Tempest, had clearly achieved innate mastery for a long time. He was extremely skilful. Plus, he was tasked to embark on missions outside the temple, meaning that the temple had no worries that he would bring shame to their name on the outside world. That said, he should be one of the top figures in the institution, but surprisingly, he could not beat senior Chu Li!
Chu Li sighed, "He would return and cause me havoc, that is for sure!"
"Senior, if we could avoid killing someone, best we avoid it. Plus, if you had really killed him, it would enrage the Temple of Tempest. Once they set their sights on you, can you escape their wrath? Don't tell me you want to hide in the Federal House forever, and bore yourself to death?"
"Sometimes, you got to take the kill." Chu Li shook his head.
He had seen through the heart of the monk. There was not a single sign of gratitude in him, only hatred. The old monk tried everything to kill him. If he chose to let him go, he would only be another of his problems. That is why he went for the kill.
"You hear me out, if anyone is from the Temple of Tempest, we can't kill them." Zhao Ying stressed.
Chu Li knew that Zhao Ying was only worried of him. He smiled, "Alright, I'll do it for you. I'll let him go this time!"
"Now that's the right thing to do!" Zhao Ying grinned cheekily.
The group of girls divided into two factions. The elder ones chose not to leave the cave, as they wished to be isolated from the outside world, because it was more peaceful and quiet inside. Nobody would be there to judge them.
The younger ones wanted to leave with Chu Li. After all, they were still young, they liked to explore the world outside, not stay in this boring old cave.
In the end, about fifty of the girls followed them out of the ravine. The remaining hundred stayed behind.
There were horses just outside the ravine, and it was enough for them to ride home. Those who did not know how to ride a horse sat with those who knew. By dusk, they left the valley.
Zhao Ying initially wanted to stay the night in the cave and only leave tomorrow, but Chu Li insisted otherwise.
The group started their journey while it was still dark at night. Each holding a torch, they moved very slowly.
When it was midnight, they took a respite at a small forest. Chu Li asked them to gather around a tree, forming a giant circle of many rings.
Zhao Ying sat at the outermost ring of the circle, while Chu Li leaped onto the tree.
"Senior, since the Raging Tiger troupe is now gone, there won't be any more robberies, right? Zhao Ying leaped onto the tree, and stood beside Chu Li. A faint fragrance wandered into Chu Li's nostrils. "Plus, robbers don't strike at this hour of the day, right?"
Chu Li shook his head.
"You're worried about that old monk?"
"Is he really that evil?"
"If you had thought that all those who practise the teachings of Buddha are good men, then you are making a foolish mistake."
"But someone out of the Temple of Tempest, they won't be that evil, right?"
"Good and evil, are two extremes of a spectrum."
"But if you're good you're good, if you're evil you're evil, isn't it straightforward?"
"If you take the old monk's perspective, I have murdered someone from his temple, hence he must kill me as retribution. By the name of the Temple of Tempest, he would think that he is merely delivering justice. But in our perspective, it is an act of evil."
"If you put it that way, then of course it's an act of evil."
Chu Li shook his head and asked, "...Do you have brothers in your family?"
"Yes, two brothers."
"Let's say one of your brothers is disobedient, he attacked your father, and escaped from the house. You were in the process of locating him to catch him back, but before you manage to find him, someone else had already killed him. What would you do?"
"..." Zhao Ying gave him the cold eye.
Chu Li laughed, "Well, I was just making an instance. But will you take revenge for your brother?"
"Hmph, of course!" Zhao Ying replied angrily.
Chu Li waved one hand in the air, and continued, "Now back to the topic. On our perspective, the monk wants to kill us, so he is a dangerous bad guy. He could even endanger those who are close to us, so that is why I said, we must kill him!"
Zhao Ying creased her eyebrows. She started to feel that the world was more complicated than what she had thought.