The population of Nanjing city numbers in the millions, making it the most populated city in the nation. However, there weren't many evildoers in the Capital, despite that. There was no room for evil sects and various other evil entities to flourish, when they were under the watchful gaze of the three offices and the Dark Robes of the Seven Champion White Princes.
If we had to name troublemakers and evildoers, they would be young masters of wealthy households, high ranking clans, local martial art schools, organisations dealing goods underground or those bullying the weak.
Two types of people dared to stir trouble in Nanjing. The first type was the type that was savage enough. The second type was the type that was stupid enough.
It had nothing to do with being strong or weak, for there was no organisation that would be strong enough to disregard Shuntian Prefecture and the three offices.
The majority of the guys that had surrounded Bright Lane were gangs that came from the lower parts of society - basically another face in the crowd type of gang, if you would. They were the type of gangs that had members coming and going.
The members were peddlers. They were similar to robbers, except that they didn't carry sinister connotations. These peddlers usually came and went. They never had a proper stay in Nanjing City before.
Thanks to the frequent and unreasonable trouble-making Jin Wangsun engaged in, his six family slaves were truly very clever workers. They were quick as elites, evident by their ability to find and bring together so many men, which was actually amazing.
Normally, if two sects in Nanjing were to fight, they'd make an appointment to fight at a designated location and time. It had been a long time since such a large scale gang war had broken out like this.
The five dark robed elders were at the centre, fighting with a thousand members. They fought in a back to back formation, sticking within a five foot distance of each other. Further, their visual radius was still shrinking.
It was obvious that the five elders were gradually caving in under the indomitable waves of attacks, leading to them retreating further and further.
Frankly, the battle could've ended a long time ago. They just had to kill right from the get go, to deter the others. However, they were in the capital, where the Imperial Palace was located, while their Wang and Xie clans were esteemed clans.
They couldn't let themselves be convicted as killers.
Given Old Master Xie's temper, it was needless to say that he wasn't afraid of killing. He was a relative of the Emperor, and yet these people dared to attack him with a blade in bright daylight. He was of the belief that they had a death wish.
He believed that His Majesty would serve justice. It was just that there was something else worth considering, and that was that the five of them were highly skilled and were prestigious individuals. As such, merely sparing these people a gaze was being gracious towards them, let alone fighting.
The Wang and Xie clans were prestigious clans. Putting aside their upper ranks, not even the leaders of these sorts of gangs would be worth taking a punch from the elders. So, the elders themselves couldn't stoop down to the level of these kids and kill them.
As a consequence, they missed out on the opportunity at the start, and it was now too late to realise that strategy. These guys were now fired up. The people that were unconscious on the ground were considered no better than dead to them. That, subsequently, caused their blood to boil, and thereby become even more fearless.
There were bright people among the five dark robe elders. They thought of revealing their identities, which would end the fighting immediately, but they were carrying out a direct order from the Emperor, so they couldn't let it end here. It was impossible for them to continue with their mission if their identity was out in the open.
As such, they chose another course of action, which was to ask these men why they attacked them.
These people were working for money, though, so not even they could provide them with a legitimate reason. All they could do was look at each other and then slash at the elders with more fury.
The situation was now such that nobody could make sense of it.
The fortunate part was that they were in a narrow location, despite it being an overwhelming one-thousand plus people against five. The five elders only faced around thirty to fifty people at a time, while the others were squeezing their way to the front. However, there was no end to their opponents, and their numbers seemed to increase infinitely.
Even if the five elders possessed profound internal energy, it was inevitable that their heart rate would gradually rise. Their blood was being pumped to their arms and legs faster than they could adapt to.
The only miraculous person was Ancestral Master Xie. He was the one that fought the most opponents. He was the one who had the loudest voice. And he was also the most energetic one among them.
He struck with Forbidden Wind Lightning again, creating an explosive sound and knocking over a dozen burly men. He truly was awe-inspiring, but the power of his palm strikes was no longer as they were at the start of the fight. The strength of wind blast, which was a product of his strike, had been reduced by half. Nonetheless, he still laughed after that strike.
The problem was that it was winter, and yet steam was coming out from his head. It was an obvious sign that he was gradually losing strength, due to exerting more internal energy than he could afford.
The four other elders weren't much better off. They were skilled in their own rights, but they were getting on with age, so they were now incapable of long fights.
Right at that moment, a gust of wind blew over, which was an indication that somebody powerful had arrived. But then, the wind was fragrant and accompanying the gust of wind was fluttering red clothing.
They saw a pair of long and slender legs, clothed in red. One could tell that those thighs were ample, soft, white and most definitely firm.
The girl who had joined the party performed a leg sweep upon arrival, kicking away a group that advanced on the elders.
Why who else would it have been but Princess Hongzhuang
She drew her wooden sabre by her waist and took down seven guys consecutively.
"Grandpa! Uncle! Why are you here"
Li Hongzhuang continued to fight off attackers while speaking, yet it didn't look challenging in the least for her.
"You're here, Hong'er!" Ancestral Master and Old Master Xie were joyous.
They were always aware of how skilled Hongzhuang was. In fact, her skills were on par with Old Master Xie, and maybe just minutely inferior to Ancestral Master Xie. However, she was easily superior to the other three elders.
With her joining them, one could say that they had unquestionably gained themselves strong reinforcements.
Ancestral Master Xie laughed aloud.
"Let's save the talking for later. Come, fight our way out with Grandpa. These clowns and hooligans are just too audacious. They said they wanted to behead us. I didn't believe them, so I showed them the greatness of my Xie Clan!"
Princess Hongzhuang knew what her grandpa's temperament was like. She didn't rule out the possibility that he was the one who caused trouble and riled them up, for the situation to turn out this way.
However, a natural flame of anger was lit in her when she saw her uncle and the three other elders. They all had white beards. They were very old.
It angered her that over a thousand young men had surrounded them and aggressed them.
She wore a long face, and in a calm tone exclaimed, "Watch this, Grandpa! Hong'er shall follow suit and display Hong'er's skills!"
She moved her body and slashed with her wooden sabre and sent forth a gust of wind that took on the shape of an arc. She hit fifteen guys in front of her with that slash.
Her wooden sabre was light, didn't have sharp edges, nor was it enveloped in qi. Yet it was no different to an edged weapon when she wielded it with her internal energy. The fifteen of them bawled in pain, but didn't drop down, and thereby inhibited the people in the rear from rushing forth.
Within just a moment, the Princess brandished her sabre and performed a fly kick. She executed a string of sabre techniques aimed at the rear, yet every technique was sharp and solid. Every time she swung, her opponent unquestionably went down. She struck the arteries on her opponent's necks, instantly knocking them out cold.
Her sharp and agile execution was without equal. In fact, it was virtually impossible to blink as fast as she manoeuvred.
She was so impressive that not even the five elders in dark robes expected her sabre skills to be so overwhelming. It was quite possible that the speed she took them down with was on par with the five elders combined.
Li Hongzhuang's sabre skills were acquired under the tutelage of Emei Sect's leader, Abbess Bailou. Abbess Bailou's style has always emphasised emotionlessness, viciousness, and being sharp and decisive. Her style was famous for those traits.
The Princess was an upright and strict character, so she was essentially a living copy of Abbess Bailou, after learning the skills. However, while she managed to learn the techniques thoroughly, she still had yet to grasp the spiritual and mental side of it.
Therefore, the Princess was most skilled with other Buddhist sabre arts from Emei, which were merciful on opponents, so she didn't kill. With that said, this sort of chaotic battle provided a different context; plus, the Princess was furious.
In addition to having witnessed them try to gang up on the five elders with their numbers, she viewed it as being unfair, which infuriated her. As a result, the sabre art she couldn't quite get a grasp of in the past now felt smooth as butter, allowing her to execute it with the power of raging billows.
All that was in sight was her sabre being swung around, making it appear as if it were one massive wave covering the entire area. If you were to take a quick glimpse, you would mistake it as she, alone, surrounding all of the guys.
Ancestral Master Xie was elated by what his eyes beheld. His hands got a little itch again, but he knew that he couldn't use Forbidden Lightning Wind again; hence, he shouted, "Lass, grab Grandpa a quality sabre."
"Catch, Grandpa!!" Princess Hongzhuang knocked an iron rod away with her one-handed sabre. The rod flew to the rear with the perfect amount of force, allowing it to land right in Ancestral Master Xie's hands.
Ancestral Master Xie tested it out but seemed to be dissatisfied with the weight, so he tossed it to his son.
"Lass, it's too light. It's not suitable."
"Check this one out." She sent him another pair of sharp long sabres.
Ancestral Master Xie played with them, but then tossed them to another two elders.
"Still too light! They're not suitable for me."
Suddenly, they heard the steady voice of a male in the distance.
"Try this one!"
A black shadow, resembling the black feathers on an arrow, shot through the narrow street and the crowd to reach Ancestral Master Xie's hand. It was a rod made of ebony.
It certainly was heavy, yet Ancestral Master Xie revealed a look of delight.
"I couldn't ask for more! May I know who it is that has come to my aid!!" He saw a face off in the distance, but the crowd blocked him off from coming in.
The Emperor brushed his hands while sending a big guy back with a palm strike of his own. At the same time, he leapt up and exclaimed, "Father-in-law! Father-in-law! It is me!"
"Hmm!" Ancestral Master Xie rubbed his eyes, as he couldn't believe his eyes. He waited to get a clearer look, and then laughed aloud, "Haha! Your M-, Son-in-law! How come you are here"
"When I was in the Pal-… at home, I heard about what happened here. I was worried, so I came to assist you." The Emperor extended his arm forth and leapt for joy. He cheerfully added, "And it is not just me. Look who else came."
The elder next to him, Prime Minister Li Si saluted him, "Ancestral Master Xie, long-time no see. I hope you have been well."
The Xie and Wang clans are the first and second most esteemed clans in Nanjing. The Xie Clan is connected to the royal family via marriage, while the Prime Minister has served for three reigns and thus was naturally very close with the local esteemed clans.
He was especially close to the Elder Statesman, Ancestral Master Xie. They were acquainted way back when the former Emperor was still reigning.
Ancestral Master Xie was even more delighted, after seeing that his old friend had come. He raised the ebony rod and whacked the chest of a guy with his almighty strength, causing his target to vomit up blood. He then twirled the rod back and led the four other elders on a rampage to reach the Emperor, with the intention of regrouping with him.
But after just a mere few steps, he suddenly heard the sound of a gust of wind encroach upon them. The gust of wind was immensely oppressive.
Ancestral Master Xie raised his ebony rod to clash with the assailant at close range; however, he was sent backwards, after his hand jolted in reaction. He was astonished to discover that his opponent had defeated him in a contest of inner energy.
His opponent wielded a large sabre and slashed at Ancestral Master Xie's ebony rod with all his might. Fortunately, the rod was thick and robust, so the sabre was unable to split the rod. Despite that though, Ancestral Master Xie was sent back to his original position by the barrage of slashes.
Noticing that her grandpa was sent backwards, Princess Hongzhuang was astounded, but at the same time, detected a blade coming towards her from the front.
'He's highly skilled!'
With her extremely fast eyes, she detected the attack and raised her sabre to guard against the attack. The sword attack was incredibly swift. Her attacker challenged her strength, speed, eyes and reaction right off the bat. The attack shaved off a part of her wooden sabre.
Four more skilled fighters appeared simultaneously to engage the Emperor's party and the remaining elders.
The leader of the assailants that had just shown up had his face hidden. He didn't dare to show his face, yet he exclaimed, "Under the orders of our Master, we are to treat these people to four words: beat them to death!!"
*Sabre VS Broadsword and Grips - In ancient times, the sabre was quite commonly used. It's similar to a Japanese katana, but the blade is straight. This is not to be confused with the Jian (sword), which is double edge and has that V-shaped tip.
The sabre is very commonly mixed up with the broadsword which has a blade with a wider surface and a prominent curve. Then you have all the various variations in between, such as the broadsword with rings on one side.
The ancient sabre could be wielded with one hand or with two hands, depending on your style, which is the same for the broadsword. It's common for their handles to be longer for two-handed wielding, and shorter for single-handed wielding.
For the record, double broadsword is performed with the singular grip broadswords exclusively.
Editor's note: Please bear in mind that the above glossary only applies to Chinese weaponry. The European blades with the same names were straight.
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