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196 A Gentlemans Style

 The Iron Hand Devilman raised the tips of his toes slightly and brought about a strong wind. Running forth, he used its momentum to kick Meng Qi in the chest. His attack was fierce, as though he were venting his anger of failing his mission on a verbose brat like Meng Qi.

He watched as the brat before him stood paralyzed with shock. His lack of reaction exposed his body and he just took the blows of my right leg .

Hmph, he's just a guy who's knowledgeable about the rumors of Jianghu! What's he showing off for!

The information he had said before was common knowledge to all those who frequented Jianghu. Moreover, the brat had not managed to recognize who we were at first, and had only eventually identified by listening in on our conversation. He had not said anything particularly special when introducing their strengths either, and in the end, even judged the strength of the son of the Wang family from Zhou County wrongly. Evidently he was not very good at sizing people up.

He doesn't appear to be older than eighteen. What good could he be if he mixed with a bunch of sailors?

Shan Xiumei, the son of the Wang family from Zhou County and his old servant were standing further away and did not manage to help Meng Qi in time. They heaved a heavy sigh in their hearts-- "another innocent passerby has been involved again".

They had to capture the Iron Hand Devilman and punish him with a death sentence in order to demonstrate the Noble Spirit of Wang family from Zhou County!


As the Iron Hand Devilman kicked Meng Qi, he put in even more force in an attempt to destroy his Five Solid and Six Hollow Organs in a fatal strike. However, even after increasing his strength, there was no response from Meng Qi. His body seemed to be empty, for he could not feel anything at all!

Without his inner force and strength, such a kick could only make a weak knocking sound.

Just as the Iron Hand Devilman was shocked, all of a sudden, a familiar burst of energy came shooting back at him. It was fierce and vicious, piercing through his toes and making his entire body quake until it went numb. The Qi and blood in his chest were churning and he felt extremely uncomfortable.

Although his body was deprived of all sensations, his running momentum did not stop, causing him to fall forward. Meng Qi ducked slightly and allowed the man to collapse next to him. With a splash, the Iron Hand Devilman fell facefirst into a metal boiler full of meat.

The rich aroma flooded his nostrils, entered his mouth and blinded his eyes. His skin was burnt by the boiling hot soup, afflicting him with great agony.

At that moment, the Iron Hand Devilman recovered from the numbness, and was about to leap up to get away from the metal boiler.

Out of the blue, he felt the back of his head go numb, and all went dark once more.

Meng Qi was holding a bamboo chopstick in his left hand. One end of it was stuck deep into the back of the Iron Hand Devilman's head. A stream of red seeped into the milky-white meat soup and quickly turned it a dark crimson.

"It pains me to waste food," Meng Qi sighed. He released the bamboo chopstick and clapped his hands together.

The entire process had gone by so quickly. In one swift motion, the Iron Hand Devilman had died on the spot, leaving the son of the Wang family and Shan Xiumei who had rushed over to stop the killings at a loss. Subconsciously their footsteps came to a halt as they stared wide-eyed at the scene before them, unsure of what had just transpired.

The Iron Hand Devilman who had been aggressively venting his anger just a moment ago, while ranked last amongst the Destruction Sect's 19 Devilmen, was still a renowned master of many years. How did a murderer become the murdered within a breath's time?

On top of that, the murderer looked exceedingly calm and at ease, as though he had only just killed a fly and was rather upset about the now-contaminated pot of soup!

If they carefully thought about the exchange just now, it was all fairly simple actually. The Iron Hand Devilman had kicked the opponent's leg but lost balance himself and fell to the ground with his face in the pot of soup. The murderer then conveniently picked up a bamboo chopstick and casually stabbed it into the back of the Iron Hand Devilman's head with such little thought the two seemed to have rehearsed it many times over.

Such skill to take advantage of opportunities and such inner force to counter that of the Iron Hand Devilman all spoke volumes of the murderer's strength.

The most frightening thing was that he seemed to have only exerted a fraction of his strength!

The old servant of the Wang family from Zhou County took a step forward and caught up to the childe's side using the Stealth skill. Even he felt that the young man in front of him who was currently agonizing over the wasted food was extremely dangerous.

"The Immortal Pressing Art sure is amazing..." Meng Qi sighed with contentment. At the same time, he felt the whole matter was somewhat dubious, because the Iron Hand Devilman had been exceptionally weak.

Even if the Destruction Sect had been severely attacked after its Evil Master had disappeared and become secretive instead of wild and violent, the 19 Devilmen and eight major Skyscraping Devils who could not represent the total strength of the Sect could still make a reputation for themselves in any of the Nine Evil Paths. They were all powerful, experienced, full of ultimate attacks or excelled in a particular aspect. By no means did the Iron Hand Devilman being ranked last amongst the 19 Devilmen mean he could possibly get killed so easily.

Meng Qi had originally thought that he would have to draw his sword in order to settle the match, but simply unleashing the Immortal Pressing Art had left the Iron Hand Devilman helpless like a fish flopping along the riverbank, allowing himself to be slaughtered.

After he had found it odd, he mercilessly stabbed the Iron Hand Devilman to death with the chopstick lest he ended up capturing the man and accidentally discovered some evil plot he was not supposed to know upon interrogating him. Then he would be in huge trouble if the big shots of the Destruction Sect came after him to silence him.

There would definitely be a significant difference in strength between those attempting to avenge the dead Iron Hand Devilman and those seeking to silence him if he incidentally discovered some secret or conspiracy.

Silence hung in the air above the deck. Everyone's gazes were concentrated on Meng Qi, whether they were looks of shock or suspicion.

Meng Qi turned to glance at the shattered boiler, and asked the head of the sailors with a hint of apology, "Would you still like some?"

"No thanks..." The traumatized head sailor shook his head repeatedly.

He was not a cannibalistic evil ghost who would want to eat fresh brain juice!

Meng Qi fished out a fragment of silver and handed it to the head sailor. He then dusted his robes a bit, and stood up slowly.

"I am Wang Ce from Zhou County. I am deeply apologetic for having implicated you in this matter a moment ago." The childe of the Wang family concealed his surprise and appeared unaffected. Hailing from a great aristocratic family, he had encountered many masters. It was just that this young man had been a tad excessive, leading him to wonder if he was a ranked member on the Ranking List of Young Masters.

He was considered remarkable amongst the Wang family members of the same generation, but because powerful opponents he had encountered had been wiped out by his old servant, he lacked outstanding battle accomplishments. He had always brooded over it, and intended to convince his overly-indulgent parents to change his old servant to a page boy on this trip home. After all, disciples from major sects did not bring along "expert bodyguards" with them when they left the mountain. They all struggled to survive on their own, giving rise to opportunities for them to improve themselves.

Meng Qi returned the polite gesture. He replied, "It's not your fault. The evil spirit was merely running wild."

He was refined and polite, akin to a scholar.

Wang Ce nodded gently. He did not appear haughty on the outside but was singing his own praises secretly. He said no more, and turned to Shan Xiumei without even asking for Meng Qi's name. "Lady Shan, why are the evil spirits of Destruction Sect after you?"

Most men had a naturally favorable impression of the elegant Shan Xiumei.

After the ferocious battle, Shan Xiumei's face was tinted red and her eyes were full of admiration and gratitude as she stared at Wang Ce. She answered, "Thank you for saving me. I am eternally thankful, and will definitely repay your kindness in future."

As expected, it followed the usual storyline of what happened after a hero saved a damsel in distress. Meng Qi pursed his lips and began searching the Iron Hand Devilman for any objects he might be carrying. He discovered that there were none. Not a single article to identify him by, nor any silvers, scripts or concealed weapons.

"Right from the start, he had been planning to freeload a meal? Or is all the money with the Joy Devilman?" Meng Qi criticized him inwardly.

Shan Xiumei continued, "Before this, the Luo Denomination was active in Three Mountains and Four Waters and garnered a lot of speculation. The Destruction Sect also then allowed the nearby Joy Devilman and Iron Hand Devilman to go over. They had set their sights on the Outsky Strange Stone of Mount Qin Sword Sect, and were plotting to take it. I happened to be there and ruined their plans, causing them to hold a grudge against me. They stealthily followed me to the boat and launched their attack today."

Wang Ce was enjoying Shan Xiumei's gaze very much. He nodded a little and continued, "I heard that the Outsky Strange Stone had been lost once. Was it in the presence of the 'Scorching Sun Magic Palm' Zhang Zhifan?"

He had come across Zhang Zhifan once. It had been in River East, when he and "Ledgerkeeper of Lives" Wang Siyuan had attended the same banquet.

"Yes, the Outsky Strange Stone was snatched back from the Luo Denomination afterwards thanks to the help of a Xiliang swordsman." Shan Xiumei's eyes reflected respect as she looked at Wang Ce furtively.

Upon hearing this, Meng Qi paused and eavesdropped on their conversation.

"To be able to take the Outsky Strange Stone from the hands of the Luo Denomination, this Xiliang swordsman must be truly extraordinary. What kind of level was he at? He was probably a famous swordsman, wasn't he?" Wang Ce probed further out of curiosity, but also so he could spend more time talking to Shan Xiumei.

Shan Xiumei pondered for a bit, then said, "Apparently it was Four Apertures, but most of us in the same trade don't believe so. They say he was concealing his real strength, and should be at least on the level of Six Apertures. The Emissary Vacation of Luo Sect is not easy to deal with."

"He calls himself the Roving Sword. He was unknown in Jianghu, but after the incident, Hua Lun of the Talent-accruing School commended him for having the style of a gentleman and said he was chivalrous and valiant. He could have had the chance to observe and learn from the Outsky Strange Stone for three days, but chose to leave instead. Hence he was also called the Gentleman Sword in Three Mountains and Four Waters."

Meng Qi's face darkened as he almost coughed up blood. Those who did not know how to create nicknames should just refrain from doing so!

Wang Ce and Shan Xiumei took their seats once more, chatting about interesting experiences they had had. They got along well together.

His mood dampened, Meng Qi returned to the cabin. Erasing all emotions, he focussed on training up his Purple Thunder Force, sharpening his Purple Thunder Bladesmanship.

His genuine Qi flowed following the route of the Purple Thunder Force gradually. Meng Qi was in a state of free-floating peace within, devoid of all emotions.

When the Purple Thunder Force was about to complete a cycle, the purple thunderbolt mark on the back of his left hand became obvious. Streaks of electricity merged with his genuine Qi.

It really was helpful! It was Meng Qi's first time building up his Purple Thunder Force after mulling over it for an entire half-month; to think the assistance of the thunderbolt mark was this evident!

With it, he was as good as half the Thunder God. Training up the Purple Thunder Force would be even more effective!

Wisps of genuine Qi morphed into purple "lightning", strong and fierce. Even if they were from Meng Qi himself, he could not help but feel fearful within.

He collected himself, and after running around eight or nine cycles, slowly concentrated the Purple Thunder Force into a single thread hidden away in his Dantian.

This was a method for Dharma Access to a skill he was not primarily cultivating, in case it clashed with the Eight Nine Mysteries or the Golden Bell Shield genuine Qi.


A faint sound from the deck reached Meng Qi's ears.

What was going on? He finished his training and unsheathed his sword for precaution before stepping out. Outside, the white snow reflecting the moonlight made everything seem cold and quiet.

Meng Qi searched for a while before he finally found someone near the deck. His robes were torn and tattered and full of blood.

"Childe Tang?" Meng Qi recognized him as the one who had been assassinated before. Unexpectedly the man had survived despite having been pierced right through the throat. Perhaps he had hidden in the bottom of the boat, or had been clinging to the boat all along.

Meng Qi rushed over quickly in a bid to tend to his wounds, only to see two streams of tears flowing from Childe Tang's wide-open eyes. His eyes were pleading for help, but he was no longer breathing.

It turned out that he had climbed onto the deck in a final burst of activity before his demise, yet had perished before someone had found him... Meng Qi bent down to search him for any objects.