Chapter 377: Three Battles III

Everyone in the scene was swept away by the strong wind generated by the internal energy of the two people, causing the skin on their faces to twitch. 

When the two energy forces collided, even top masters such as Ouyang Feng and Taoist Baishang had to take half a step back.

Song Qingshu and Xiao Feng each stepped back a few paces after the clash. 

Song Qingshu swayed, while Xiao Feng had a trace of blood seeping from the corner of his mouth. 

Everyone on the Mongolian side was shocked. They didn’t expect that Xiao Feng, who was considered invincible when it came to competition of palm power, would actually suffer losses.

“Incredible!” Xiao Feng didn’t care about himself and looked at Song Qingshu excitedly, “I didn’t expect that Your Excellency would not only know the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms but also comprehended the Three Waves of Subduing the Dragon, just like this Xiao.”

Song Qingshu smiled awkwardly. Xiao Feng’s Three Waves of Subduing the Dragon was entirely his creation, whereas Song Qingshu’s own adaptation came after studying the original work and understanding the principles behind Xiao Feng’s creation.

Xiao Feng’s internal strength was obviously not as potent as Song Qingshu, but their palm techniques were nearly evenly matched. The key was that Xiao Feng executed this technique much more skillfully than Song Qingshu did.

Song Qingshu’s decision to forgo the sword and instead employ the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms against Xiao Feng was not rash but carefully considered.

Shortly after coming to this world, Song Qingshu had come to realize that the effectiveness of the same martial art varied significantly when employed by different individuals. Beyond differences in skill, the compatibility between the practitioner’s personality and the martial art played a crucial role. A bold and straightforward personality would harness the power of the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms to a greater extent than a clever person like Huang Rong.

Song Qingshu believed that his own personality didn’t quite align with those of individuals like Xiao Feng and Guo Jing, and he had always known that he would never reach their level of mastery with the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms.

However, as Song Qingshu’s martial prowess continued to improve, he started questioning that assumption.

Ultimately, the martial arts in the world all converged towards a common goal through diverse paths, whether it be swordsmanship or palm techniques, their underlying principles should be the same. If he could attain perfection in swordsmanship, why couldn’t he achieve the same in palm techniques, thus reaching the legendary swordless state of Dugu Qiubai?

While a practitioner’s compatibility with a martial art could maximize its power, the user might not understand why that synergy occurred.

The concept of martial arts compatibility alone couldn’t explain it. 

Hailing from a later era, Song Qingshu was exposed to a more rigorous scientific approach, which led him to seek underlying principles through empirical observation.

Song Qingshu believed that by summarizing these principles, he could maximize the potential of martial arts, even if his personality and martial art didn’t mesh perfectly.

This fight with Xiao Feng provided the ideal opportunity. Song Qingshu possessed a thorough understanding of the martial art itself. He aimed to discover why Xiao Feng’s execution of the same martial art was so much more potent than his own.

After the exchange of the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms’s palm techniques, Song Qingshu sensed a vague insight but struggled to fully grasp it.

On the sidelines, Ouyang Feng witnessed “Ximen Chuixue” employing the Triple Wave of the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms, and he immediately recognized the man’s true identity. They had crossed paths numerous times on the Mystic Dragon Island, and Ouyang Feng had seen the technique from Song Qingshu more than once.

‘So, it’s him. It’s been a while. I didn’t expect his martial arts to have improved so much…’ Ouyang Feng sighed. ‘With his innate martial talent, my Ke’er could have also become an unparalleled martial artist just like him.’

On the other side, Zhao Min’s complexion fluctuated between green and white. She had also seen Song Qingshu in action. The Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms were originally the secret skills of the Beggar Gang. Only a handful of people in the world could reach this level of proficiency.

“So, it’s that man…Song Qingshu…” she mumbled. Memories of their past encounters, including their journey to Kaifeng for medical treatment, suddenly flooded her mind.

Seeing that Song Qingshu was not only the most formidable opponent he had ever faced but also possessed remarkable skill in the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms, Xiao Feng couldn’t contain his excitement. He roared and charged towards Song Qingshu, shouting, “Brother Ximen, take this move– ‘Dragon Soars in the Sky’!”

Song Qingshu was intimately familiar with the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms, and he immediately recognized that the left palm attack in this technique was a mere feint, with the real attack concealed in the right palm’s sudden thrust towards his lower abdomen. Xiao Feng had preemptively revealed his intentions, seemingly without any intent to harm him.

Song Qingshu swiftly raised his hands to defend, but when met with the formidable force of Xiao Feng’s right palm, he sensed the disappearance of that power and instead felt the left palm’s feint erupt with a gust of strong wind.

As he hastened to meet the attack with his own palms, and Song Qingshu found himself exhilarated. Xiao Feng’s wealth of combat experience allowed him to adapt swiftly and change the nature of his palm strikes in response to the situation. Although Song Qingshu suffered a minor injury, his mind sharpened.

Xiao Feng hadn’t deliberately deceived Song Qingshu. The technique he employed was indeed “Dragon Soars in the Sky” but, he modified his strikes based on the unfolding circumstances, inflicting an unexpected injury on Song Qingshu.

Though blood trickled from the corners of Song Qingshu’s mouth, his face bore a triumphant smile. He had finally grasped the secret of the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms. He had erroneously regarded them as the most potent martial arts in the world, but this was a fundamental misunderstanding. As one delved deeper into the technique, it revealed its true essence.

The Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms relied not on prescribed movements but on the combination of hardness and softness, strength and weakness, swallowing and spitting, to catch opponents off guard.

For instance, Xiao Feng’s “Dragon Soars in the Sky” had been a feint with his left palm and a genuine strike with his right palm. However, he seamlessly interchanged the roles based on the situation, causing a master like Song Qingshu to falter.

Song Qingshu speculated that, during that move, Xiao Feng hadn’t unleashed the full potential of his palm strikes. He had been deliberating, adjusting, and, at any given moment, could alter the real and feigned strikes.

From that perspective, it was likely that only two individuals worldwide had mastered the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms to this level. Xiao Feng’s remarkable talent and his innate God of War bloodline enabled him to transcend this threshold independently, while Guo Jing, through his study of the Nine Yin Manual, achieved the state of harmonizing hardness and softness, although he may not have fully comprehended why.

Hong Qigong, too, displayed a commendable mastery of the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms but fell slightly behind these two.

Once Song Qingshu understood that mystery, he found it easy to employ the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms and gradually turned the tide of battle. 

As he clashed with Xiao Feng more, he gradually gained the upper hand.

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1 thought on “Chapter 377: Three Battles III”

  1. Sometimes the timeline really confuses me in this book. This is one of those cases.
    Zhao Min was healed then left while the MC stayed at the house with Bing Xue’r. They waited until night to start the Jade Heart Sutra. They were attacked by Murong Bo and Bing Xue’r was injured. The MC took her into the house and healed her then they went to sleep. People came during the night because of the rain and a fight broke out. Before the end of that night, all the people left and the MC and Bing Xue’r consumated their relationship. They left the next morning.
    Based on the information provided for this part, it has been only 24 hours for all this to occur. They then walk for some period of time, performing their movement technique which the author has stated several times cannot be done for long periods of time by most people (even the MC who has possibly the most endurance of anyone can only last for 4-5 hours at top speed.). Thus, it is implied that so far it was only at most a few more hours before they came to this location.
    However, based on the fact that Zhao Min had picked up so many followers, didn’t recognize the MC when he was using a simple mask and was that far ahead when she doesn’t have an advanced movement technique, it really seems like more time has passed than basically 24-36 hours. Did I miss something?

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