"You've seen Shaolin's skill, yet you don't recognise the style of another big sect" Master Ming questioned.
"… Wudang Cosmic Primordial Empyrean Technique!" Abels' mind was seemingly read twice already, perturbing him.
Abels was correct. Wudang's Tai Chi was only passed on to direct disciple. In the current era, only two had mastered it, and both were household names.
Master Ming's flow justified Abels' guess. Howbeit, Master Ming replied, "This is superior to it."
Divine Realm adepts were granted four special abilities. Eclipse was one, which impacted one's five senses. Enlightenment boosted one's abilities to their max.
Body Modification was another ability granted to those who had solidified their transcendence to Divine Realm. Simply put, one specific body part of theirs would alter and become different to other human beings. It could be their arm, leg, back or meridians. Body Modification, as the name suggests, allowed one to shift their qi to a specific body part to modify it.
The last ability was called Five Apotheosis. Divine Realm adepts' five senses also developed beyond normal human standards. For instance, their eyes might grant them kilometres' worth of vision. Unlike Body Modification, the improvements to one's five senses could be developed. In other words, besides the change they had a natural disposition for, they could hone their four other senses. The challenge was the length of time it took to develop just one more sense to the same degree as their natural one. The fastest record was twenty years for one sense. Given the return on investment, few invested time and energy on developing their other senses.
Master Ming's ability to speak to Abels' mind without his mouth or using qi was Interlinked Minds, which was one of the Five Apotheosis. Abels' innate Five Apotheosis ability was his brain. Abels ability to analyse and strategize was attributed to his enhanced innate sense. In battle, however, it wasn't the most ideal tool.
"Your hands are slowing down," reminded Master Ming.
Master Ming circled his arm into Abels' punches and slammed it on Abels' chest. Abels' reaction was delayed for a second. There was no questioning his might, but Master Ming defused every blast as if he was carelessly playing with a rag doll.
Voice deep, Abels fumed, "You… are still holding back"
"Why don't you go all out"
Abels didn't respond. Master Ming pointed out, "You seem upset your power isn't enough. You haven't shown any intent of killing me thus far. Instead, you keep thinking and holding back. You're the man I heard you are. If you aren't holding back on purpose, the only possible explanation is you that can't use your full power. I heard you were injured during your fight at Shaolin… I suppose the rumour is true"
"… Shut up!"
The wilder Abels' punches were, the slower Master Ming's hand movements were. Abels finally opened fire on all cylinders. Master Ming still didn't even bother using his Enlightenment, yet he was having no trouble picking apart Abels' strikes. Abels' conditioning eventually fell behind. Abels first assumed he over-expended his energy, but his Intellectual Knowledge Ability told him otherwise.
Master Ming only broke down Abels' attacks using gentle redirecting. That was until Abels looked up. Master Ming didn't just redirect Abels' force; he somehow collected it overhead.
Overhead was a colossal blue energy ball. In other words, Abels' assumption that Master Ming never used his Enlightenment ability was wrong. Master Ming was using it, but he was using it above them, where Abels never looked.
Just Realm's internal energy's Enlightenment was usually blue energy. Extrapolating, it was safe to conclude Master Ming was a Just Realm practitioner.
Abels started to panic. He had thrown over a hundred punches since closing in, and Master Ming collected all of their force in the energy ball overhead. Not even Abels could defend over a hundred of his punches condensed as one blast. By the same account, it could very well kill Master Ming. For his own life's sake, Abels kept attacking. For his own life's sake, he also wanted to pull back. In summary, he was cornered.
"Are you crazy! We could both die."
"Die when you should, is what you said, isn't it" Master Ming teased. "I'm not doing much with my life, anyway. I heard you're famous for going to extremes. Why not risk your life to play with me this time"
"… You're insane." Abels decided to retreat in the end.
The blue energy ball dropped in Abels' direction. Thankfully, he could think fast enough. He pressed two fingers together, erasing his blue glow. He conjured red energy on his hand and, using his two fingers, cut into the ball, bursting it! It wasn't a random slash and prayer that made it work. He could identified where the energy was least condensed and cut that spot.
The expected true qi explosion didn't happen. When Abels' burst the ball, Master Ming sent the energy into the ether, thereby preventing it ripping anyone apart.
Abels' red energy worked overtime and continued toward Master Ming after cutting the blue ball.
"Autumn King - Moonlight."
The Autumn King's Thread and red energy collided, scattering the residue energy from the blue ball, generating violent gales. The two's clash created autumn tints. Breaking through the blue energy ball and his gentle force before drawing with Autumn King's Thread… It was easy to see who won.
"That must be your true style, right"
Despite having won, Abels looked wrathful. He responded, "… You tried to force it out of me"
"Precisely." Speaking directly into Abels' mind, Master Ming elaborated, "Enlightenment's real function will evolve as your style and physical attributes evolve. Changing the way you use it produces different results. This style's Enlightenment is suppression. It requires exceptional qi to use, but you kept holding back. Your Enlightenment doesn't suit this style."
"So What's your goal"
"It's not normal for your style to change so drastically. What… happened to you I couldn't help probing."
"What's your point" Abels stopped responding in his mind and spoke out loud: "Out with it already!"
Master Ming raised the corner of his lips wryly: "We can end our duel here. You should know the aim of my visit to Huzhou now. I have a rough guess of your plan. We'll stay in our lanes. It's not easy to kill a Divine Realm adept. That also holds true for you. My point is, bear in mind that I can throw your plans off even if I don't kill you. That's all I wanted to point out."
Abels finally relaxed: "You live up to your alias. Fine, we'll stay in our own lanes."
Master Ming glanced over to River Monster, leading to her lashing out.
"Master, Ar-are you not going to avenge me"
Abels subtly smiled: "It is my fault for not keeping my subordinates in line. I am fortunate enough to have Master Ming teach them a lesson on my behalf."
River Monster couldn't believe her ears. Though they maintained a master and subject relationship, they were husband and wife. She was so exasperated that she wanted to run off with her severed arm that she picked up during their fight。
"Is it all right I did not mean to hurt your woman."
"Of course, Master Ming. River Monster is but one of my subordinates. She is not my woman." Abels gave Master Ming a palm and fist salute: "I apologise if I affronted you in any capacity. I shall now take my leave."
Master Ming smiled back.
Abels somersaulted in the air and took off toward the mountains.
Master Ming turned around with a smile. The script went off track for a while, but all was well in the end.
The escort had no idea what was coming next. Ming Feizhen went from confounded to "what just happened" to pleasantly surprised.
"Young Ming, it's been a while."
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