Chapter 63 The Heroic Dream
Zhang Ning was the core disciple of the first generation from Sky Dragon Faction, who was good at the Dao-using methods, while Wang Chong was the Third-ya, the highest ranking, disciple of Huya Faction, who was excellent at the Qiang-using methods. Both of them were famous in their factions, and they both had a little fame in Northwestern Wulin World.
Those two were both worried at that time.
Because the great devil, Li Mu, sent someone to ask them to go to the darkroom of torture alone.
What was the darkroom of torture used for?
To torture prisoners.
How could they expect something good would happen when they were sent to that room?
To be honest, a while ago, when those two people were dragged out of their respective cells by the guards toward the torture room, their expressions were so solemn and fearful that they were like going to the guillotine.
Zhang Ning’s performance was better. Under the gaze of so many Wulin fellow prisoners, though his legs were a little trembling, he was still a tough guy and did not say a word.
Wang Chong, on the other hand, screamed in horror, implored those soldiers and guards all the time, and was almost crying with a runny nose, because he thought he was going to be tortured by all kinds of implements of punishment in that darkroom. He was so scared that he was going to pee.
However, when they really entered the torture chamber, they gradually calmed down and found that things might be different from what they imagined.
All the dark and bloody instruments of torture were put aside.
There was a space in the middle of the torture darkroom.
The head of Taibai County Li Mu, who was like a devil in their minds, was sitting in the armchair with a smile on his face.
“The Swallow-Dao Zhang Ning and the No-Return Qiang Wang Chong?”
Li Mu held a pamphlet in his hand and looked at those two people.
No matter how tough the Wulin heroes were, their legs were like cramping when observed by Li Mu, so neither Zhang Ning nor Wang Chong showed the toughness that they had imagined, and they all nodded their heads.
Next to them came a guard, who gave Zhang Ning a Dao and Wang Chong a Qiang.
“You two fight, and whoever wins can leave unharmed.”
Li Mu looked at those two people with a smile.
But his tone was unquestionable.
Zhang Ning was still slightly hesitant.
But after hearing that, Wang Chong chose to grab that long Qiang without saying a word. And with a murderous look, he made several starting moves of the Qiang-using methods and wanted to attack Zhang Ning to cut his throat and chest.
At the moment between life and death, Zhang Ning stopped hesitating.
He slipped aside, took that Dao, and launched a counter-attack using the move of Night Fighting with Eight Sides as a start.
There appeared sparkles in the darkroom.
Two second-rate masters started a life-and-death fight in the darkroom.
Li Mu said that the living people could leave, which left those two people no choice, besides, they came from two different factions which were already enemies, so they were not afraid of fighting, so both of them used their Dao-using methods or No-Return Qiang methods to their best.
They rolled back and forth in the forms of shadows of Qiang or Dao.
It seemed very dangerous.
On the other side, Li Mu, who was leaning on the armchair, was eating melon seeds while looking at them.
He looked at them with great interest.
The desire to leave alive, and the fear of death, let all the energy of the two second-rate masters break out. Zhang Ning and Wang Chong had unleashed all their potential and tried their best to fight with each other without hiding their strength at all.
Such battles were more dangerous and fatal than those on the life-death fighting ring on that day.
After a while, the winner and loser were pretty clear.
It was Zhang Ning who knocked off the long Qiang in Wang Chong’s hand and put his Dao on his opponent’s neck.
Zhang Ning did not cut Wang Chong’s neck.
Wang Chong showed a horrifying look and was trembling all over.
Li Mu just waved one of his hands.
Two guards came over and took the loser Wang Chong away through the other door next to them, and his face was as pale as the dying embers.
The iron door was closed.
“Will Wang Chong be executed?”
Zhang Ning stared at Li Mu.
Li Mu stood up, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Maybe yes, maybe no, just as I wish.”
He approached and took the long Qiang that had fallen to the ground to his hand using one of his tiptoes, then, he shook it at random, and nine sprays of Qiang appeared, which was the first move of No-Return Qiang methods, but Li Mu’s move was more delicate than Wang Chong’s before.
The point of the Qiang was coming towards Zhang Ning.
“You…” Zhang Ning changed his look, saying, “You’ve eaten your words. You said the winner could leave unharmed.”
He subconsciously fought back with that Dao in one of his hands while he was saying that.
After a few moves, Zhang Ning gradually calmed down.
Because Zhang Ning found that Li Mu, the head of Taibai County, did not show that kind of crushing force to him, and Li Mu was using the No-Return Qiang methods that were used by Wang Chong before, however, Li Mu’s using was more sophisticated than Wang Chong, who had immersed himself in the learning of that methods for seven or eight years, and the connections and changes among those methods were more casual and flexible than Wang Chong.
Zhang Ning fought back with great power.
But this time, it was he who was defeated after using a set of Swallow-Dao methods.
The point of the long Qiang was pointed in front of his throat.
And he had not completed the last move of his Dao-using methods.
Although moves, changes among moves, and the last Dao-using method were the same, the ultimate winner had changed.
Cold sweat trickled down from Zhang Ning’s forehead and back.
But Li Mu did not really pierce Zhang Ning’s throat.
Li Mu threw that long Qiang back to the weapon rack under the wall, then stretched out his hand, and a guard handed him a single Dao.
With that Dao in his hands, Li Mu did not say a word and began to attack Zhang Ning again.
Zhang Ning was forced to fight back again.
But soon, the shock in his heart was almost hard to hide.
Because Li Mu was using that Swallow-Dao methods that Zhang Ning had practiced for more than ten years.
The shadows of Daos were flashing.
After 20 moves, Zhang Ning was defeated again.
He was defeated by the last move “Swallow on the Water”.
This same move was used by those two people at the same time, but Li Mu was faster and more accurate in terms of changes among those moves, and also more clever, which was the very subtle point that Zhang Ning had practice for many years but still not grasped.
So when the Dao blade of Zhang Ning was just lifted, Li Mu’s had already reached Zhang Ning’s chin, and if it was a little further up, Zhang Ning’s head would be cut open.
Zhang Ning would still feel that might be lucky if he was defeated by Li Mu’s using No-Return Qiang methods, but now, he was defeated by his most familiar Swallow-Dao methods, so he just felt very frustrated, and did not have anything to argue with.
What was most unacceptable to Zhang Ning was that the head of Taibai County Li Mu, who had already restrained his own true strength to maintain the same level with Zhang Ning, was more powerful in terms of using the same Swallow-Dao methods which Zhang Ning himself had already practiced hard for twelve years when Li Mu just saw him use it for once.
Zhang Ning could probably speculate the real purpose of Li Mu, the head of Taibai County.
Zhang Ning never thought that there was such a genius in the world who was bestowed with the gift of an extraordinary retentive memory that he could remember other people’s Cultivation Method moves after watching them use for just once.
What a monster!
Li Mu threw that Dao back into the weapon rack and waved one of his hands.
The iron door next to them was opened again.
The two soldiers came over and took that Dao away from Zhang Ning’s hand, then gestured him to go through.
Zhang Ning hesitated.
Because that door was the door that Wang Chong, who was defeated by him, was brought in.
As the loser of that battle, Wang Chong would not have a good ending, and it means there was absolutely great danger behind that iron door. If he was brought in, was that more ominous than propitious?
So Li Mu wanted to kill both of them after he learned their martial arts moves?
Zhang Ning was frightened and angry.
“You said that the winner can leave unharmed.” He stared at Li Mu.
Li Mu did not speak but just smiled.
Dragged by two guards, Zhang Ning was towed towards the iron door.
“I’ll haunt you if I become a ghost… I…” Zhang Ning roared.
Li Mu laughed loudly.
That laughter, in Zhang Ning’s ears, was like a devil’s sneer.
His anger came to a boil.
After a while.
In the dazzling sunshine, Zhang Ning was silent.
The anger in his heart had vanished long ago.
The shackles and handcuffs on his hands and feet had been removed.
He was standing outside the prison.
In other words, he was free.
“Our county magistrate said that you haven’t done evil deeds in Taibai County, so according to Empire Law, you can leave now without punishment,” that young guard showed a proud and calm expression on his face when talking about Li Mu, and he looked at Zhang Ning, saying. “You have to leave our county within half an hour. Our county magistrate said that Taibai County in this period of time does not welcome the people from Jianghu.”
Zhang Ning nodded like a machine.
He could not tell what he was feeling at that moment.
But what had happened those days was an absolutely huge shock to him.
He walked like a puppet.
After a few steps, he suddenly remembered something, then turned back and asked, “Wang Chong… the master from Huya Faction who was just brought into the iron door. Has he been released?”
The young guard nodded and said, “Yes, but Wang Chong did some evil deeds in our county, so although it was minor, he had to accept the punishment. After paying enough fines, he has left.”
Just as he had imagined.
It turned out that Wang Chong did not die.
Hearing the guard’s answer, Zhang Ning did not know why he got relieved in his mind.
Before that, the head of Taibai County Li Mu said that “the winner could leave unharmed”, but it did not mean that the loser must die. It was only at that time and under such circumstance, they subconsciously made bad speculations that the winner could live while the loser would die.
Now Zhang Ning recalled carefully the laughter of the head of Taibai County Li Mu at the last moment was more like a prank, but not crazy and arrogant, however, at that time, he just thought Li Mu became frenzied.
Zhang Ning looked up at the sky.
It was very blue.
The sun was very bright.
The weather was warm.
“Maybe it’s time for me to quit the Sky Dragon Faction…”
He suddenly came up with such an idea.
“Over the past ten years, I fought with others for fame and wealth, but all of that was done for others, however, I should also remember that once upon a time, I had a heroic dream to be a righteousness person who had a strong sense of justice and was ready to help the weak, but now why did I become an accomplice who took advantage of others and bullied the common people?”
Zhang Ning was really sweating all over this time.
He was doing the self-examination and trembling in his soul.
When had I discarded my initial dream?
Suddenly, he was enlightened, and really wanted to cry.
“Perhaps, in the glint and flash of cold steel, to be a righteousness person who has a strong sense of justice and is ready to help the weak is suitable for unparalleled geniuses like the head of Taibai County Li Mu, who is capable of doing the just deeds depending on his swords and being a king-like person in the real world, however, I… the difference between me and them is too far, so why should I fight hard for a name in Jianghu?”
Zhang Ning suddenly wanted to stop living that kind of life before.
It was not far from being lost, and he realized now that he had been wrong in the past.
Thinking of that, he suddenly felt that the world was vast and he began to feel really relaxed.
“This little brother, if you are convenient, please tell your county magistrate that in the future there will be no Swallow-Dao Zhang Ning in Jianghu.”
After saying that, he strode away in the sunshine.
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