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Chapter 400 - Ultimate Move

 Gu Fei strolled around Luori City for a while, clearing his PK points as he went along until Eternal Dominion finally got online.

Eternal Dominion's message also arrived about the same time he got on, "Let's continue!"

"Where at?"

"The Martial Field," Eternal Dominion replied.

Gu Fei knew of the place, as he had previously sparred with Gale Force in Yunduan City some time ago. It would most likely be located near the Fighters' Dojo. The layouts of each city were somewhat similar to one another, after all.

He randomly approached one of the pedestrians for directions and made his way over to the venue. Eternal Dominion was already waiting for him by the time he arrived, and the poise he had showed how professional he was.

Back when he was meeting Gale Force to fight, that man had looked really cool when he stood in the center of the Martial Field with both his arms folded. But the truth of the matter was that nothing wasted more energy than striking a pose to look cool like that. This was not a factor in an MMO, it was an issue of the person's headspace.

Eternal Dominion was walking around the field at the moment, stretching his arms in the air and exercising his ankles from time to time. There was no need for players to limber up in the game like this, but it was very effective as a form of mood relaxation.

It was the difference between a professional and an amateur.

Eternal Dominion had also spotted Gu Fei coming in by now, cracking his neck to the left and right as he said, "Come on then!"

"Mhmm!" Gu Fei nodded and raised his hand, Blinking right up to Eternal Dominion with a swish.

"Hey now! You're not allowed to use that when we're fighting!!" Eternal Dominion stressed as he regarded him dumbfoundedly.

"Of course!" Gu Fei chuckled. "Shall we resume from yesterday?"

"Mmm, I think that's more or less what we can do unarmed," Eternal Dominion said. "Shall we spar with weapons next?"

Gu Fei nodded eagerly. Neither party could decisively win when sparring unarmed, since Eternal Dominion had no way of containing Gu Fei, while Gu Fei was unable to efficiently pull off any attack on his end given his lack of Strength, especially when going up against a fellow martial expert. That is, unless he were to wait for Eternal Dominion to make a mistake, but that would be boring.

Conversely, a match using weapons would be entirely different. Weapons essentially increased both their range and scope of attack possibilities, and the space they now had would allow for a greater variation. As such, Strength would not become a decisive factor to secure the win, letting Gu Fei believe this match would be far less awkward than the unarmed session they shared before.

"What are you using?" Gu Fei asked.

Eternal Dominion retrieved a long quarterstaff from his dimensional pocket.

"Coiling Dragon Staff?" Gu Fei asked.

Eternal Dominion nodded. The Dragon Fist style was the overarching name for their sect, and while the branching routines within contained fist techniques, there were also kicks and claw moves within. Coiling Dragon Fist was one such branch that was more of a weapon routine, including techniques for weapons like the Coiling Dragon Staff, Coiling Dragon Spear, Coiling Dragon Twin Sabers, etc.

"And you?" Eternal Dominion asked Gu Fei.

"Oh, what would you like to see?" Gu Fei asked him.

Eternal Dominion was depressed. But how would he not know this, after his father spent the good majority of his youth praising Gu Fei? This man was undoubtedly a genius of the ages, his knowledge of kung fu and weapon routines was well beyond what was imaginable for a human to master. Eternal Dominion was a professional martial expert himself, which only made it all the more mystifying to him to see a 25-year-old like Gu Fei have such great versatility across so much weaponry.

Honestly, 25 years would be inaccurate; that was how old Gu Fei was currently, but he had near full mastery of all kinds of weapons even before this.

For this man to let me choose... How stylish! Eternal Dominion was still envious of Gu Fei's talent deep in his heart. He wished he had the chance to make such a extravagant declaration. Unfortunately, all he could do now was grit his teeth and bark, "Just use your strongest one!"

"Strongest one? They are all equally strong!" Gu Fei said.

Eternal Dominion was virtually in tears now, before finally saying, "Then use a sword! I have long wanted to experience the Gu Family Sword Style for myself!"

"Works for me!" Gu Fei nodded in agreement, pulling out his Moonlit Nightfalls from his dimensional pocket.

The design of Moonlit Nightfalls was exquisite, and that dark glimmer that accompanied the sword was the same glow that all top-grade equipment shared. In contrast, the wooden quarterstaff that Eternal Dominion had in his hand was something he handcrafted from a white poplar tree outside the city. The system had called it a "wooden staff"; it had no stats, no glow. There were even grimy hand marks left where Eternal Dominion often held said stick...

The difference in their looks alone was heaven and earth! Eternal Dominion had even somewhat lost his will to fight.

Gu Fei, however, had not regarded Eternal Dominion's little wooden staff with disdain. He gave the appropriate sword salute with exactitude as he called out to Eternal Dominion, "Your move, then!"

Eternal Dominion returned the salute with his staff in hand, and that staff flew out as he executed his first move.

Gu Fei dodged to the side. In the face of Eternal Dominion's attack, dodging was still all he could do. Blocking with his sword was still impossible. The opponent he was up against was also a martial expert; even if there was not such a huge difference in their Strength, the fact that their technical skills were not too far off from one another meant all Eternal Dominion needed was a single chance to press with his Strength, and he would be able to come out on top and grasp the initiative.

Gu Fei immediately retaliated with a brush of his sword once he dodged the staff strike.

The staff was longer than the sword. Eternal Dominion had only needed to raise his hand to strike, but Gu Fei's attempt with his sword required him to step forward a little.

He watched as Eternal Dominion's wrist slid out, causing the staff in his hand to fall. Originally holding onto the end of the staff, his hand was now at the tip, shifting his body to the side as he swung his arm in a wide circle, slipping past Gu Fei's sword as he thrust out his staff right at Gu Fei's head.

Gu Fei stepped to the side once more, adjusting the direction of the point of his sword, even as his stab continued on its path towards Eternal Dominion. Eternal Dominion had already expected such a modification, changing that thrust of his staff yet again, this time aiming to knock away Gu Fei's sword. Naturally, Gu Fei had no intention for clashing with Eternal Dominion's weapon, so he quickly withdrew his sword.

In that short exchange, both men had each modified their attack once. Anyone who knew martial arts would surely be astonished by this scene, but anyone who knew nothing of martial arts would not be able to understand the difficulty behind it.

Having sparred with Gu Fei yesterday, Eternal Dominion had some idea behind his style as he lightly commented, "What do you see?" Gu Fei would rarely execute his ultimate move immediately. It was like he was more than happy to first observe what his opponent would do.

"Your staff mastery isn't bad," Gu Fei stated matter-of-factly. Just from those two simple moves, he could tell that Eternal Dominion had a rather solid foundation when it came to his skill with the staff. But it was just passable; Gu Fei have yet to witness anything earthshakingly new.

Eternal Dominion seemed more aware of his own standards. After sparring yesterday, he knew there was quite the gap between him and Gu Fei, and his confidence in winning this match utilizing weapons was rather dismal. He was simply hoping to broaden his knowledge and seek guidance for a bit.

Thus, Eternal Dominion asked, "What about you? Show me your ultimate move and let me have an eye-opener!"

"Isn't that... a little too soon?" Gu Fei asked.

Eternal Dominion felt hurt once more. "Don't be so full of yourself; the match is not over!" he blurted out loudly. His already diminished fighting spirit surged once more.

"Alright then, here I come!" Gu Fei already had his sword raised as he shouted.

The dim glow from Moonlit Nightfalls' blade seemed to follow Gu Fei's hand movement as he began to wheel out his strokes in wide arcs, boldly driving straight towards Eternal Dominion with a stab.

You call this an ultimate move!?, Eternal Dominion pouted. That's just adding a few more fanciful flourishes! With that thought in mind, he casually poked his staff out towards the sword.

And it was at that moment when Gu Fei's sword suddenly vanished.

Eternal Dominion was shocked. That glowing blur he saw from the sword before him moments ago had disappeared.

Given how quickly it suddenly disappeared, Eternal Dominion was unable to react in time when the sword suddenly materialized right before his eyes, the point of the blade just a short distance away from him.

Eternal Dominion wanted to evade in his panic, yet he suddenly felt a cool breeze brush past his neck as Gu Fei's sword was placed against it.

Eternal Dominion was flabbergasted. Gu Fei was still a little distance away from him just moments ago, so he was confident he could have dodged it in time. How did he suddenly get his sword right up to him like that?

Eternal Dominion even suspected that Gu Fei had used his Blink...

But this suspicion was nothing but a fleeting thought. Even though Gu Fei angered him so much that he was gritting his teeth half the time, he did not believe this man would be so immoral as to mask an in-game skill as kung fu.

Gu Fei was in no hurry to withdraw his sword as he gazed at Eternal Dominion with a smile, "Is that good enough?"

Eternal Dominion grit his teeth, wanting to ask what had happened, but he consciously stopped himself from doing so. He decided he would rather try and think through that series of changes by himself instead. This was definitely not some fantastical phenomenon that had happened in game, so it was surely the changes that Gu Fei had implemented to his sword technique.

Eternal Dominion's eyes immediately twinkled as he turned towards Gu Fei. "The Birth of Spring and Summer's Lull, The Harvest of Autumn and Winter's Hoard?" The name was a mouthful, but this was a famed technique from the Gu Family Sword Style; extremely famous.

Sure enough, Gu Fei nodded.

"That flourish was The Birth of Spring?" Eternal Dominion asked.

Gu Fei nodded again.

"And when you disappeared... that's Winter's Hoard?" Sequentially, Summer's Lull should follow The Birth of Spring, yet that vanishing act was a conscious change that seemed closer to Winter's Hoard.

Gu Fei nodded once more.

"And the move after that was Summer's Lull?" Eternal Dominion thought back to the moment when that sword of Gu Fei had suddenly appeared by his neck.

A nod once more.

"So where's The Harvest of Autumn?" Gu Fei seemed to have only made three distinct motions in that short period of time, and Eternal Dominion could not seem to recall where the fourth step had been.

"The Harvest of Autumn would have killed you..." Gu Fei put away his Moonlit Nightfalls.

Eternal Dominion was depressed once again.

"We're not sparring anymore!" Eternal Dominion placed his white poplar staff back into his dimensional pocket. It felt as if Gu Fei had been toying with him all this while. Had he really showed his ultimate move, he would not have been able to defend himself.

Gu Fei did not say a word, not trying to be humble or attempt to console the man. What use would his consolation be when placed before the naked truth? And trying to be humble at this point... Was there a need to be humble considering the level he had reached? If Usain Bolt came out to tell his opponent "no no no, I'm rather slow myself", would that not be as good as insulting the other man?

Thus, Gu Fei stowed his sword and asked Eternal Dominion a question he was more concerned with, "I heard that you are some sort of instructor for a security firm?"

Eternal Dominion blanched visibly. They were both kung fu practitioners, so they were both very clear what his intention was, but he could only helplessly reply to Gu Fei, "I'm only trying to make a living out of my kung fu."

Gu Fei did not comment on that. All kung fu practitioners were well aware of the pain of being unable to utilize their art despite having spent almost all of their life practicing it. But Eternal Dominion's dream was more direct; he simply wished to depend on his kung fu to make a living. As for Gu Fei... His current situation could be said to be ideal, euphemistically speaking, when in reality, it was more like he had nothing else to do with his life.

"Those professional gamers in this game, have you come into contact with them?" Gu Fei suddenly asked.