Pursuing Immortality - novelonlinefree.info
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The manner of Zhang Ziliang was partly his nature and partly exhibited to purposefully undermine Zhang Shouyang's morale. He was not actually bluffing when he claimed that the foreign branch knew more about the inheritance of Celestial Master Temple than the domestic one.
Zhang Shouyang's face remained indifferent at his opponent's words. Reaching into his pocket, he took out three talismans and commanded, "Golden blade of the flying scissors, come quickly at this command. Now!"
At his calling, the three talismans turned into three streams of golden light as sharp as blades and crisscrossed like formidable scissors. They then split up towards three directions, blocking all possible routes Zhang Ziliang could escape to.
It was known as Golden Blade of Flying Scissors Spell, which was very effective in disrupting defense.
Zhang Ziliang snorted and took a seven-branched willow twig from one of his pupils. It was about 30 cm long and had thin and lush green leaves. Seven branches extended out from it and tawny bark covered the entire twig except for the very end—a blank section had been left out as the hilt.
This move took everyone by surprise. They went through all existing Taoist skills of Zhengyi and found nothing resembling what he was doing.
In talisman sects, willow twigs were usually used for ghost-expelling, evil-counteracting, mind-calming, etc. But only single-branched twigs were used in those circ.u.mstances—they had never seen anything that required a seven-branched one.
Zhang Jintong felt as if his heart was going to pop out of his throat. It was obviously a Taoist skill unique to the foreign branch. Poor old man, he still had to go through such worries at his old age. He dared not even blink now and kept his gaze at the fighting ring.
"Strike once, the sky is clear; strike twice, the earth is clean; strike thrice, people have nowhere to go…"
Walking in Kui Gang steps, Zhang Ziliang made an Evil-backfiring hand gesture with his left fingers and waved the willow twig with his right hand while chanting.
The three streams of golden light were almost on him, but when they were just half a meter away, they suddenly halted in mid-air and began to quiver as if they were afraid of something.
Zhang Ziliang chanted on in an unhurried voice, "Strike four times, ghosts can't escape; strike five times, gold melts on its own. Go!"
At those words, his right hand jerked upwards and the willow twig began to elongate at an unbelievable speed as if it were on some miraculous catalyzer. It soon grew to over three meters; Zhang Ziliang aimed it at a streak of light and lashed down like a steel mace.
Stricken headfirst, the golden light shuddered and could no longer keep its shape. It then broke into golden sprinkle before disappearing without a trace.
Zhang Ziliang lashed down for two more times and the other two streaks of golden light both dissipated, unable to put up any form of resistance.
Zhang Shouyang looked surprised for the first time. What sort of Taoist skill was that? It couldn't be anything normal!
Raised and taught by Celestial Master Temple, Zhang Shouyang had a sharp eye for such things. To the untrained eyes, the willow twig seemed to have whipped the talisman into pieces, but in fact, there was a fluctuation within the twig that was related to the mutual promotion and restraint between the five elements which just happened to restrain the talisman.
"I told you, use whatever means you have. I will break every single one of them!"
Drawing back the twig, Zhang Ziliang's voice was full of ridicule and contempt.
"Golden-armored Giants with countless transformations, the holy decree is here. Obey immediately!"
Zhang Shouyang was not a man easily shaken. Like Shen Jingduan did earlier, he also summoned a golden-armored giant.
The giant leapt out of the golden light with a threatening, angry roar. The giant maces in its hands then smashed down at Zhang Ziliang with a whoos.h.i.+ng sound.
Zhang Ziliang remained where he was and whipped down the twig again. "Strike six times, spirit distingerates on its own. Go!"
With a lash of the willow whip, the air shook violently as if it was exploding. The twig landed right on the crown of the giant, which, despite being an intangible spiritual being that could not be touched by any physical attack, disintegrated at this strike. The golden light lost its form and disappeared.
Zhang Ziliang roared out a laughter. Swollen with arrogance, he shouted, "Anything else? Bring it on!"
Zhang Shouyang's brows furrowed as he quietly threw out another minor spell—this time an arrow-like flame transformed from a talisman—which shot at Zhang Ziliang at a lightning's speed.
"Strike seven times, the fire extinguishes itself!"
Same as the previous two spells, the flame dispersed at the strike.
Zhang Shouyang's face was livid now. He had guessed it right: the seven-branched willow twig had an ability to change itself. Whatever spells its opponent cast, as long as the spellcaster did not surpa.s.s the twig too much in their capability, the twig would create a way of restraining the spells.
Remember the Nine Swords of Dugu 1 and its sword-defeating, saber-defeating, and palm-defeating stances? This twig pretty much worked the same way.
"Save you trials. Let me enlighten you!" Zhang Ziliang acted like a cat playing with its food as he announced, "You are looking at The Grand Supreme Ghost-cursing Scripture. Of course, it is very likely that you have never heard of it before, which is not a big deal. Your life is not in vain, after all, because you are going to be killed by it today!"
"The Grand Supreme Ghost-cursing Scripture!!!"
Before Zhang Shouyang could react, Zhang Jintong shook violently in his seat and slumped to the side. Lu Yuanqing held him up in a hurry and asked, "Old Master, what is this Taoist skill?"
"It, it… sob, Shouyang is in grave danger! He's in grave danger!"
Zhang Jintong was overwhelmed by the news and his spasmodic sobs were keeping him from forming a coherent sentence.
Wu Songbai, the abbot of the Maoshan Sect, remained calm and fulfilled his duty perfectly as an introductory NPC. He said in a grave tone, "Of the numerous and unfathomable Taoist skills Zhengyi has, some are righteous and fair, while others are vicious beyond imagination. The Grand Supreme Ghost-cursing Scripture is one of the latter. The scripture records a variety of cursing skills and is part of the Yellow G.o.d spells system.
"I have only heard my master mentioning it in pa.s.sing. The scripture contains the curses of Nature and Qi that can exercise restraint on everything. The effect of this curse can make metal melt, wood break, water dry out, fire extinguish, mountains fall, stones crackle, ghosts surrender, and spirit disintegrate… the saying is that with the divine curse of the Celestial Master, nothing will disobey his command!
"By working it against the attribute of the opponent, the spellcaster is invincible. This is a mighty scripture, and Zhang Ziliang only has a smattering of it. Had he known how to cast the spell properly, Shouyang would already have been wiped out of the face of the earth with a single word."
"There really is a Taoist skill as formidable as that?"
It was not just Lu Yuanqing—everyone present was struck dumb by these words. Despite its over two thousand years of glorious history, Celestial Master Temple looked like an impoverished family after the natural calamities and man-made misfortunes of the modern time. As it turned out, when the skill representing their true capability was demonstrated, it was mind-blowing!
"Shouyang… sob, Layman Gu, Layman Gu…"
Zhang Jintong finally calmed himself down a little and remembered a savior was actually here today. He turned to look at the last seat in a hurry and saw that Gu Yu was still sitting there, chatting with Tan Chongdai and apparently also discussing The Grand Supreme Ghost-cursing Scripture. He seemed to be greatly impressed by it.
'Stop admiring the G.o.dd.a.m.n thing!'
The old man suddenly had the urge to run over there and slap that fellow with his shoe.
Anxious as he was, he still had to behave appropriately as the sect leader he was. Gu Yu had promised him; he trusted the young man would not let anything happen to his nephew. Zhang Jintong fought back his agitation and went on watching the fight.
After figuring out Zhang Ziliang's plan, Zhang Shouyang took a defensive position and stopped actively making attacks.
"Why, running out of spells already? It's my turn, then!"
Zhang Ziliang took out that Mountain-dominating and Evil-killing Seal again and tossed it into the air. "Go!"
The bronze seal turned and smashed down like a thousand-ton hammer. Zhang Shouyang cast the same spell again and golden light covered his body.
"Humph, Guarding Spell again? I don't think so!"
Las.h.i.+ng out the willow twig violently, he whipped it onto the golden glow, which dissipated right away.
Zhang Shouyang had no choice but begin to move. Walking with Gang steps, he dodged the seal that smashed onto the tiled ground. Broken tile pieces flew everywhere as it made a dent in the ground.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The seal bombarded the fighting grounds for the next couple of minutes. Whatever spell Zhang Shouyang used, it was destroyed by the willow twig. He was now running around in the yard, looking like a drowned mouse.
Zhang Ziliang was obviously using the scripture as a cure-all and fail-proof solution. Had Zhang Daoling been here to see it, the master would have probably burst into flames with anger. It was a reckless waste of G.o.d's gift!
Zhang Jintong turned to Gu Yu again, who refused to meet his eyes. Our fellow was enjoying the show.TL/N: Nine Swords of Dugu is a formidable swordplay in Jin Yong's wuxia novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Created by Dugu Qiubai (Qiubai literally means "seek defeat", which he never succeeded at), the Nine Swords are nine independent sword stances created to overpower all sorts of weapons, including swords, spears, clubs, whips, and arrows, as well as barehanded attacks.