Chapter 169: A heated Fight
Nan Xun realized that this was an opportunity for him to resolve the deep-rooted concerns in Jun Huang’s heart. He knew Jun Huang could not get pass the destruction of Western Que. Nan Xun had wanted to help her overcome her past, but he didn’t want to upset Jun Huang by bring it up. Now that the topic was on the table, Nan Xun didn’t have to hesitate anymore.
He knelt down before Jun Huang and took her hand. “It’s not your fault,” Nan Xun said seriously. “Eastern Wu is ambitious. They would have invaded Western Que no matter what. You were only a convenient target for them to band together after. It also wasn’t your fault that the imperial city fell. You are but one person. How could you possibly stand against an entire army? You’re not a god. You can’t be blamed.”
“They had exploited human nature to provoke the conflict,” Nan Xun said gently. His only goal was to comfort Jun Huang. “It’s not your fault. Besides, haven’t we figured out that Jun Hao and Yin Yun are still safe and sound? We will find them. You should focus on recovering for those who put their trust in you. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Jun Huang calmed down gradually. She lowered her head and nodded. “I understand, but… It’s my fault that they were able to catch Western Que off guard. If the world can unite into one peaceful country, there will be no killings.”
“That’s why you should take care of yourself,” Nan Xun pushed, tightening his grip on Jun Huang’s arm to remind her of his existence. “Recover and see the world become a peaceful one with your own eyes. Stop dwelling on your past.”
Nan Xun didn’t say anything Jun Huang hadn’t known. She was often more clear-headed than others. There was just this one mental block in her mind. Something that had been keeping her going. Without it, she wouldn’t be able to stay strong.
Jun Huang knew she was getting weaker and weaker. What pushed her forward were the few people she cared about, and her desire to get revenge.
Jun Hao had been the sole purpose of her life, but Nan Xun’s existence toppled the walls she put around herself. She adored him. That she couldn’t deny. And she knew Nan Xun returned her feelings. Under the circumstances, however, there was a limit to what she could give him.
Jun Huang was used to relying on herself. She didn’t want to give Nan Xun hope and then took it away when she took her last breath. She didn’t want him to despair when she died. She didn’t want to subject the man she loved to such pain.
She shook herself awake and pulled her hand out of Nan Xun’s grip. Her action seemed casual, but Nan Xun felt the loss keenly. Still, he was glad to see Jun Huang regain control of her mind. He let out a relieved sigh. Fortunately his words were good for something.
Jun Huang pushed aside her messy feelings and put on a smile. “I’m alright. I feel a little warm because of the alcohol. I want to stretch my legs and train a little. I’ve decided to pick myself up. I still have people to fight tomorrow.”
Nan Xun paused before taking Jun Huang’s pulse. He wasn’t a doctor, but with his training, he knew at least how to tell a strong pulse from a weak one. He thought for a moment before nodding.
“If you want to go, I’ll go with you,” Nan Xun said gently. Perhaps this would be a good distraction to prevent Jun Huang from dwelling on her past.
Jun Huang nodded. They went downstairs together.
The second day saw Jun Huang’s fourth match. The referee called out for her and Rong’er to take the stage. Jun Huang would be lying if she said she wasn’t surprised. She knew Rong’er would not give up until they had this fight. She kept her expression in check.
Rong’er scoffed. It pleased her that she could finally give Jun Huang what she deserved. Rong’er held onto her long whip and looked at Jun Huang with her head held high. She would show Nan Xun how different she was. She believed that Jun Huang was no match for her.
“Gentleman Feng’s ill look made me want to weep,” Rong’er sneered.
Unexpectedly, Jun Huang didn’t react at all. Not even a twitch of her eyebrows. She looked at Wan’er with an aloof expression. The long sword in her hand shone brightly under the sun.
Jun Huang charged at Rong’er with her sword, catching Rong’er off guard. She didn’t expect Jun Huang to attack without any warnings. She barely dodged the attack with a twist of her body. Some of the audience members laughed at her.
Rong’er tensed up. Jun Huang must have done that on purpose! She raised her whip and struck at Jun Huang.
Jun Huang stepped aside when the whip was about to hit her. It was simply a reflex to conserve stamina, but Rong’er saw it as another insult to her. She lunged at Jun Huang and kicked at her. Jun Huang could feel the force Rong’er had put behind her kick. With narrowed eyes, Jun Huang met the kick with her own. They both staggered back after the impact.
Rong’er adjusted her breathing and stared at Jun Huang with narrowed eyes. With a scoff, she said in a voice only the two of them could hear, “This fight is between the two of us, Feng Baiyu, but you should know that I will not let a disgusting man like you have gentleman Nan Xun.”
Jun Huang couldn’t stand listening to this woman say another word. “This fight means nothing.”
“That’s not for you to say. It’s sickening that you chase after gentleman Nan Xun with no regard to morals. No one would accept such feelings.”
Rong’er struck at Jun Huang with her palm. Jun Huang darted to the side with a frown. Nothing good could come out of this woman’s mouth.
“You shouldn’t force your own beliefs on other people,” Jun Huang said coldly. “You keep saying that you have Nan Xun’s best interest at heart, but do you know how Nan Xun sees you?”
Embarrassment made Rong’er even more angry. She whipped at Jun Huang with all her force.
Jun Huang leaped backward. The attack left a deep cut on the floor where she had been standing. Rong’er had not pulled back at all.
Rong’er’s attacks rained on Jun Huang. Every strike was meant to kill. She had completely forgotten that the tournament was meant to be a platform for friendly sparring. In the heat of the moment, it seemed as if her only choice was to kill Jun Huang to sate this hatred in her heart.
Without giving Jun Huang a chance to rest, Rong’er struck at her again with her whip. Jun Huang had exhausted herself trying to dodge Rong’er’s insistent attacks. She knew she couldn’t jump anymore. Before the whip could land on her, Jun Huang dropped down and rolled to Rong’er’s side.
Rong’er’s was adept at combat at long distance. Jun Huang had seen through her and took the fight to close quarter. Rong’er was unable to stop her whip in time. It landed on the face of one of the audience members, leaving a long gash on his face. Screams rang through the stage. Many were pointing accusing fingers at Rong’er.
Rong’er glared at Jun Huang. “You did it on purpose, didn’t you?”
Rong’er had put all the blame on Jun Huang like the spoiled child she was. Jun Huang raised an eyebrow. This woman was truly blind to her own faults.
Rong’er’s seniors had gone to check on the man who was hurt. Rong’er struck at Jun Huang again. Jun Huang didn’t dodge. Instead, she blocked it with her sword. Sparks flared up in the air as the blade clashed with the whip. The audience fell silent, transfixed.
Knocking the whip away, Jun Huang charged at Rong’er with her sword. Fear flashed through Rong’er’s eyes. She drew her sword and the blades clashed with a loud clink. Rong’er couldn’t say that Jun Huang was weak anymore. Her entire arm had gone numb from the impact. She held onto her sword with both hands, worried that she would lose her last line of defense.
Jun Huang had thought that as a member of a prestigious sect, Rong’er wouldn’t use any foul tricks. She therefore didn’t guard against a sneak attack. Rong’er, however, was possessed by hatred. She could see Nan Xun’s concerned eyes following Jun Huang around. She couldn’t take it. With a flick of her wrist, her whip hit Jun Huang from behind her, leaving a long gash along her arm. Jun Huang dropped her sword in pain.
Rong’er pulled her lips into a cruel grin. She struck at the unarmed Jun Huang, who dodged away with a hand covering her wound. Cold sweat streamed down Jun Huang’s cheeks. Pain had drained all the color form her face. The next moment, the whip coiled around her ankle like a snake. With a pull, Rong’er yanked Jun Huang off her feet. Jun Huang rolled on the stage and struggled to her feet.
Rong’er did not intend to let Jun Huang live, but Jun Huang had not yielded, either. The fight had kept the audience on the edge of their seats. None of them stepped in. They wanted to see the fight to the end.
With great difficulty, Jun Huang seized the short window between Rong’er’s strikes to grab her sword. She took a deep breath to circulate her energy through her body. With a roll, she reached Rong’er’s side and hit Rong’er in the arm with a knifehand strike. The stabbing pain caused Rong’er to drop her whip. Jun Huang pushed forward and trapped Rong’er in the corner of the stage.
“Forgive me,” Jun Huang said coldly as she hit Rong’er with her palm. Rong’er stepped away, but the next strike came before she could put some distance between her and Jun Huang. She didn’t expect Jun Hang to be able to recover her stance so quickly. Without much time to react, Rong’er met Jun Huang’s attacks with bare hands.
Nan Xun was the one who trained Jun Huang in hand-to-hand combat. She wasn’t as good as Nan Xun, but she was good enough. As a diligent student, she had gotten close to mastering the moves Nan Xun had taught her. Rong’er, on the other hand, wasn’t good at fighting without a weapon. The long whip was the one thing she was proficient in. She backed away again and again from Jun Huang’s advances.
Gradually, Jun Huang gained the upper hand. Her strikes were quick and precise, but unlike Rong’er, she had no intention to kill Rong’er, which earned her the respect of many of the audience members. They praised her for not lowering herself to Rong’er’s level. This was how an honorable fighter should act.
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