Chapter 480: Despair

This fight was probably the most thrilling duel in the Golden Serpent Assembly so far. 

Materialized Sword Qi, and using hands as blades—these legendary skills were a spectacle for the gathered martial artists, who were thrilled.

Looking at the plain-looking young monk, Song Qingshu frowned. 

‘It seems that Xu Zhu had hidden his strength in his previous fight with Murong Fu…’

Considering it further, it made sense. The Seventy-Two Supreme Skills of Shaolin, driven by No Phase Technique, might impress ordinary experts, but against someone as formidable as Ah Qing, it would be an insult. Hence, Xu Zhu had immediately used his trump card, the Northern Darkness Divine Skill.

Seeing the wonders of the Northern Darkness Divine Skill, Song Qingshu was astonished. Xu Zhu’s mastery was clearly a complete version, far superior to Duan Yu’s half-baked version and seemingly more potent than Ren Woxing’s Cosmic Absorption Technique.

Xu Zhu, though a Shaolin disciple, possessed skills from the Carefree Sect. 

‘Who taught him? Could it be the master hidden in the Shaolin library?’

Xu Zhu’s proficiency in both Seventy-Two Supreme Skills and the Northern Darkness Divine Skill made Song Qingshu wonder if he had also learned the Tianshan Six Yang Palm, the Tianshan Plum-Cutting Hand, or the Life and Death Talisman. These top-tier skills could put Ah Qing at risk.

While the Tianshan Six Yang Palm and the Tianshan Plum-Cutting Hand were powerful, they required close combat, which Ah Qing’s Sword Qi prevented. However, the Life and Death Talisman was a remote attack with controlling effects. If Ah Qing was hit, she would be at the mercy of the Shaolin Temple.

Considering his poor relationship with the Shaolin Temple, Song Qingshu secretly grasped a few small stones. If Ah Qing were caught off guard, he would intervene, tournament rules be damned.

The experts below the stage contemplated who would win, while the two on stage were also busy.

Xu Zhu knew that cutting Ah Qing’s weapon with his hand blade seemed like an advantage, but the Northern Darkness Qi Blade consumed a lot of internal energy. Ah Qing’s Sword Qi, however, came effortlessly. Prolonged fighting would surely lead to his defeat.

“Xu Zhu, wine!” As if reading his thoughts, Master Xuan Cheng, with a wave of his robe, sent a jet of strong liquor from a nearby jar shooting towards Xu Zhu’s palm.

“This monk has such profound internal strength,” the crowd exclaimed.

Xu Zhu caught the liquor, which quickly froze into a lump of ice. Song Qingshu’s face changed, and he shouted, “Watch out for hidden weapons!”

He didn’t call out the Life and Death Talisman by name, fearing Ah Qing wouldn’t understand. “Watch out for hidden weapons” was a more instinctual warning for a martial artist.

As Song Qingshu spoke, Xu Zhu clasped his hands, shattering the ice into countless thin shards that scattered like a swarm of bees, attacking Ah Qing from all angles.

Xu Zhu knew one or two Life and Death Talismans wouldn’t hit Ah Qing. But by overwhelming her with numerous shards, he hoped to land a critical hit.

Song Qingshu’s face darkened. These two monks were quite cunning. The Life and Death Talismans made from strong liquor acted ten times faster. If Ah Qing was hit, she would lose her fighting capability immediately. Song Qingshu could only hope she could defend herself.

Ah Qing saw the thin ice shards and initially thought they were harmless. However, hearing Song Qingshu’s warning, she became cautious. These were hidden weapons?

Unwilling to test them with her body, Ah Qing decided to deflect them. She made a sword gesture, spiraling upwards. As she spun, visible ripples of green Sword Qi radiated outwards, like waves in a pond.

The Life and Death Talismans disintegrated upon contact with the Sword Qi.

As Ah Qing spiraled closer, Xu Zhu wanted to defend himself but found his internal energy mysteriously constrained. He could only watch as Ah Qing’s Sword Qi approached his throat.

The onlookers below felt an oppressive force in the air, making even lifting a finger difficult.

Xuan Cheng trembled, his face flushed as he struggled against the force, suffering internal injuries. He was shocked: if he felt this way from a distance, how terrifying must it be for Xu Zhu directly on the stage?

“Little monk, you lost,” Ah Qing said with a silvery laugh. Everyone felt the pressure lift, looking at the frail girl on stage with awe.

“Yes, I lost,” Xu Zhu muttered, his face ashen. As a carefully trained disciple meant to bring glory to Shaolin, he had been defeated by a young girl.

The crowd, however, felt Xu Zhu had fought valiantly. His display of skill was already extraordinary, making him one of the top fighters.

Everyone thought this girl would surely be the new Golden Serpent King.

Yang Miaozhen, usually confident, felt despair. Looking at the other two semifinalists, she saw Yang Guo gripping his Xuan Iron Sword tightly, his knuckles white with tension. 

On the other hand, Song Qingshu…

Yang Miaozhen was surprised to see him smiling, relaxed, as if he had everything under control.

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