Chapter 373: Battle to Determine the Outcome

It may seem like a long fight, but it all happened in a blink of an eye. By the time everyone in the hall reacted, the two sides had already separated. The difference was that Jin Empire’s group was in a panic, but Xiao Feng seemed to be able to move about with ease.

Yelu Nanxian reluctantly gave up on fighting Ouyang Feng. She didn’t expect that she would be defeated by the opponent with one move. Although she had to give up on her exquisite swordsmanship and movement technique in order to protect Xiao Feng, and resist Ouyang Feng’s frontal attack, but she still had to accept that she had lost. For the first time in her life, Yelu Nanxian felt how big the gap was between herself and those great masters in a real life-and-death struggle.

“I have been ignorant of worldly affairs for so many years. I never expected that a young martial arts master like you would emerge from the world. Master Qiao Feng is truly worthy of his reputation.” Ouyang Feng looked at Xiao Feng solemnly, and evaluated his achievements in the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms. What’s more, Xiao Feng had also defeated Hong Qigong, who was his rival for many years. So if the two of them were to have a fight to the death, and it would be unclear who would survive.

On the side, Song Qingshu was quite shocked by Ouyang Feng’s current fighting prowess. He didn’t expect that Ouyang Feng would become so much more powerful after regaining his sanity. The old man was way more powerful than when he was at the Mystic Dragon Island. Originally, according to his speculation about the strength of martial artists in the world, Ouyang Feng should’ve been unable to beat Xiao Feng, but who would have thought that the two of them would end up fighting to a standstill!

In the original book, Ouyang Feng won the title of number one martial artist in the world by practicing the Nine Yin Manual backwards. Unfortunately, he became insane and roamed the world like a madman for more than ten years. Finally, he met Hong Qigong and the two fought at the top of Mount Hua. The battle lasted for three days and three nights, and both men almost died of exhaustion. Based on that, Song Qingshu believed that Ouyang Feng’s martial arts was at best equal to Hong Qigong, or even inferior to Hong Qigong who only used the Dog-beating Staff technique.

However, after experiencing the changes in Ouyang Feng’s strength several times with his own eyes, Song Qingshu had to sigh at the fact that the Western Poison’s peak strength when he was fully sane was definitely not comparable to that of the crazy old man who only moved on his instinct to fight.

“The Toad Style and Iron Palm? Are you two the Western Poison, Ouyang Feng and Iron Palm Skimming on Water, Qiu Qianren?” Xiao Feng had been active in the wulin for more than thirty years. No matter whether they were the elders of the Beggar Gang or the eminent monks of the Shaolin Temple, none were his opponent. So he didn’t expect to meet two people of equal strength at the same time.

“King Xiao has good eyesight.” Seeing that Xiao Feng had no intention of taking action for the moment, Ouyang Feng stood with his hands behind his back. At their level, life and death fights rarely happened. After all, if they wanted to kill their opponents, they would probably have to pay a heavy price as well. So the price was often not worth the trouble.

On the side, Qiu Qianren’s face was ashen, and his hands shrunk in his sleeves were slightly trembling. After he had mastered the Iron Palm, he originally thought that he could even compete with the likes of Wang Chongyang, but he didn’t expect that he would actually suffer a loss against a junior today. He suddenly felt that he had lost a lot of face.

“Why are two dignified Han, and masters of a generation, willing to become the lackeys of the Jin?” Xiao Feng angrily yelled. He knew in his heart that if Wanyan Liang was protected by Ouyang Feng and Qiu Qianren, he might not be able to kill him.

Ouyang Feng only smiled faintly when he heard the accusation and didn’t even try to defend himself. On the contrary, Qiu Qianren couldn’t help but give a reply, “Hehh, you were also the leader of the Beggar Gang before. So why did you go to the Khitan and become Yelu Hongji’s lackey?”

“This Xiao was forced by fate. I had to choose the blood in my body. How can that be compared to the two of you?” Xiao Feng’s voice was loud and he spoke with a sense of righteousness.

Wanyan Liang smiled, stood up and said, “Brother Xiao, you have misunderstood. Master Ouyang and Master Qiu are both distinguished guests in the young prince’s palace. The young prince usually treats them as high ministers. So it would be wrong to use the term ‘lackey’, which is used by immature young people to throw dirty water at others. Brother Xiao is wise and powerful, so naturally you will not be as ignorant as those young people.”

Seeing the grateful expressions on Ouyang Feng and Qiu Qianren’s face, Song Qingshu secretly laughed, ‘This Wanyan Liang sure knows how to win over people’s hearts. According to the original work, shouldn’t Ouyang Feng be the subordinate of Wanyan Honglie? Where is Wanyan Honglie in this world?’

On the side, Zhao Min was feeling extremely angry. 

When Xiao Feng attacked Wanyan Liang just now, if the Vajra Sect’s Master and Taoist Baishang had attacked at the same time, Wanyan Liang would’ve lost his life for sure. It was such a waste of good opportunity.

Although Zhao Min was astute, she didn’t quite understand the psychology of these martial arts masters. From the perspective of Vajra Sect’s Master and Taoist Baishang, if the two of them had taken action just now, it would have inevitably led to a life-and-death struggle. Whether it was Ouyang Feng or Qiu Qianren, they were both masters who were almost the same as themselves. So, if they were not careful, they would’ve been seriously injured instead.

So they decided that it would better to let Xiao Feng take the lead and fight with them first. While the both sides suffered losses, the two of them would just sit back and reap the benefits.

Zhao Min, on the other hand, thought it was because the two of them didn’t want to follow her orders, so she stood up and said to Xiao Feng, “King Xiao, how about you and I join forces to capture Wanyan Liang?”

Xiao Feng’s expression changed. With his own strength alone, it would be difficult to hurt Wanyan Liang, who was under the protection of Ouyang Feng, Qiu Qianren and a group of masters from the Jin Empire. But if the masters from the Ruyang Palace joined in, he would be absolutely sure of taking his life.

Ouyang Feng and others’ expressions changed. It would be difficult for them to deal with the masters under the command of Prince Ruyang alone. With the addition of Xiao Feng, who was brave and powerful, they might be in grave danger.

“Master Ximen, that Princess has put you together with us and wants to get rid of us together. What do you think about a collaboration?” Wanyan Liang didn’t waste his time and talked to Song Qingshu as well.

Song Qingshu was stunned, as he didn’t expect that he would suddenly become the focus of attention. 

Although Wanyan Liang sounded as if he was just inquiring, he was clearly dragging him into trouble.

But Song Qingshu didn’t want to step into the muddy water. For him, it wouldn’t be too difficult to take Xiao Longnu and Bing Xue’er safely away from this place, not to mention that the two women’s movement technique was already very good.

However, noticing the tense atmosphere in the place, Song Qingshu suddenly changed his mind. Wanyan Liang was an extremely important figure in the current Jin Empire. Not only was he a noble, but he was also very proficient in the art of war. If he died here, it would be like breaking an arm of the Jin Empire. That would break the current power balance, and Mongolia would become even more uncontrollable.

In Song Qingshu’s mind, the Qing Empire, the Jin Empire, the Liao Empire, and even the Southern Song Empire were just minor matters. His ultimate enemy would always be the behemoth Mongolia. As for the other forces, even if they were enemies, he could temporarily collaborate with them to deal with Mongolia.

Currently, the most famous army in the world naturally belonged to Mongolia, closely followed by the Jin Empire and the Eight Banners Army of the Qing Empire. If the Jin Empire and the Qing Empire collapse, the Mongols would sweep the world and would have no rivals.

Now that the actual controller of the Qing Empire was Song Qingshu, he naturally didn’t want to see anything happen to his “ally”, the Jin Empire. In the future, he would have to rely on them to help him fight the Mongolian cavalry.

Having made up his mind, Song Qingshu smiled and asked the two women around him, “Which side do you think I should help?”

Bing Xue’er was stunned. Although she didn’t like the Jin Empire, the Mongolian side had made it clear that it was going to harm them. If she just sat back and watched Zhao Min and her party deal with Wanyan Liang and his men, the three of them would be the next in line for sure. That would a very dangerous situation.

“You just killed the Taoist and offended the Princess. So, naturally, you can only help the other side.”

“Miss Xiao, what do you think?” Song Qingshu looked at Xiao Longnu.

“Help Ouyang Feng.” Xiao Longnu said coldly. 

Her logic was simple. Zhao Min and her party had blocked her from killing Zhao Zhijing several times. They also had evil people like Monk Jinlun under their command, so they were naturally evil. Wanyan Liang from the Jin Empire gave her a sword just now, and Ouyang Feng saved her as well, so he was naturally a good person.

“Then that’s it!” Song Qingshu shrugged, looked at Wanyan Liang and smiled, “it seems we have to fight the enemy together.”

With “Ximen Chuixue” joining their side, Ouyang Feng suddenly gained confidence. He looked at Zhao Min and her group and laughed loudly, “Do you want a one on one fight, or do you plan a melee?”

Zhao Min thought in her mind, ‘Our group, along with Xiao Feng and the others would naturally have an advantage in terms of strength. However, this kind of thing can’t be determined by just simple calculation of numbers. If we were to swarm them, the other group would definitely think that there was no hope of survival and fight to the death.

And many of the masters on my side came from Kublai’s side, and they don’t belong to the Ruyang Palace. If a fight breaks out later, they will definitely have their own agenda, and they would be eager to take the opportunity to consume the strength of their opponents… so it’s really not certain who will win.’

After thinking about all that, Zhao Min smiled sweetly, “We are not in war. Since we are in the wulin, we must follow the rules of the wulin. Each of us will choose five masters and the side who wins three out of five fights will be the victor. If you win, I will take my people out of here right away, if we win, how about you give Wanyan Liang to me?”

Ouyang Feng and Qiu Qianren looked at each other. They really didn’t know why Zhao Min chose such an almost stupid method when she had all the advantages.

“Master Ouyang, you are just guests at this Wanyan Liang’s house, and you are not in a master-servant relationship with him. You have already done your best for him, and it would not be shameful for you if he dies. Furthermore, this Princess can promise you that this time, regardless of victory or defeat in the competition, I will let all seniors go.”

Zhao Min continued, while thinking to herself, ‘Although old foxes like Taoist Baishang and Vajra Sect’s master have always been lazy, but they value their personal reputation very much. But in this kind of competition, they have to try their best.’

Wanyan Liang was secretly in a dilemma, as Zhao Min’s words had shattered all the morale he had accumulated. Now that the masters on his side had an escape route, would they even fight seriously? 

He understood that if he insisted on fighting in groups at the moment, he would lose the hearts of his men even more. So he didn’t lose his calm, and laughed loudly, “Master Ouyang, you don’t have to worry. I am already grateful that you are willing to fight with those Mongolian masters for my sake. If you fail, then it is my fate to die at this place, so you can just leave.”

The tragic tone in his voice made Song Qingshu nod in approval. This Wanyan Liang retreated in order to advance, and in a blink of an eye he rekindled the gradually disintegrating morale of his men. He and Zhao Min were having a fierce psychological battle.

Naturally, an old fox like Ouyang Feng wouldn’t be trapped by a few sweet words. So, while thinking of his own reputation, he secretly made up his mind to try his best to save the man’s life. However, when he looked around, he was shocked to find that they didn’t even have five top masters on their side.

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