Jumping back into the carriage, Garen’s expression turned serious.
"The minions wouldn’t dare to challenge us now. If we run into more trouble, our opponents will be the ones that are hard to deal with, so you guys should be careful."
Collin and the group nodded behind him.
"What about Senior Brother Rampas?"
"I can’t take care of them forever. Some matters they will just have to face by themselves. I’m not their nanny." Garen replied casually. He looked calm and peaceful. At times of emergency it was very important to be level-headed, but strike down at the opponents swiftly and mercilessly, acting like it was only a breeze. This was meant to frighten the hidden enemies.
If someone were to attack in a situation like this, then the opponent must be very strong! A lot stronger than the enemies from earlier.
The two carriages moved one after another and strolled closer to the city.
The woods on the sides of the road were becoming less and less dense; occasionally they could see small houses. More farmers and passersby could be seen on the sides of the road. Farmers carrying a basket filled with fruits were calling for buyers.
Not far from where the carriages were, they could already see the taller buildings inside the city.
"Almost there… As soon as we get into the city, we shouldn’t face any more attacks! Now is the best time for them to strike!" Garen was feeling even more alert.
Suddenly, a red-haired woman came out of nowhere and blocked the way of the carriages.
She had an attractive face, and a silver rapier was hanging by her waist. She stood in the middle of the road without speaking a word. However, as she stood there, the horses were startled and started neighing out of terror, and the carriages subsequently stopped.
"She’s an expert!" Garen thought, squinting his eyes.
"Where did all these strong enemies come from? I’ve never even seen them before!" Collin bit her lips as she complained, "I’ve done research on all the top martial adepts, but these people today are…"
Garen hopped off the carriage and walked to the front.
"You are here to cut us off too?" As he walked within ten steps of her, he could feel a sharp and cold aura pinching his face. His sight followed the aura and gazed upon the woman’s rapier hanging on her belt; it was emitting a cold and fierce blue light.
The red-haired woman drew her rapier with a ruthless expression. Her movement was very strange, starting slow but gaining speed as she pulled. Finally, with a crisp sound the sword left the scabbard.
"Don’t blame me, I owe someone a favor. Remember the name of your killer; I am Seacroft, it is your honor to die under my Weeping Sword."
"Seacroft? Weeping Sword?" Garen frowned his eyebrows. He could feel the opponent’s strength was close to his, almost reaching his own level. The blood sphere in his chest was a symbol of reaching this level.
Anyone who was close to this level had mastered at least one secret technique; they were very hard to deal with.
A martial adept at this level had surpassed Fei Baiyun’s levels, and thus a regular faction wouldn’t have enough influence to ask for her favor. Garen closely observed the enemy; she was about thirty years old. Anyone who was over twenty-five had no chance of improving any further.
"If you…" Garen heard a sharp and loud screech and was unable to finish his sentence.
The screaming noise was strange and unsettling like the weeping of a baby. Seacroft’s rapier flashed as she thrusted it toward Garen’s left chest. The unsettling noise was coming from the vibration of the weapon.
The rapier was extremely fast. Just as Garen heard the noise he saw a silver stripe coming toward him; in the blink of an eye it was already at his chest. Unlike prior times, the sword’s cold and sharp aura pierced through his clothes, making his skin grow a small patch of goose
The strange noise had affected Garen’s reaction, slowing it down and making him unable to block the attack. Garen kicked up some sand and rubble toward the opponent as he felt the pain on his chest.
Both of them backed off after the first contact, and similarly stood still and observed their opponent. Seacroft’s face was scratched by some small rubbles, while Garen’s shirt was pierced open and a small red dot could be seen through the big hole on his shirt.
Without any words, the two charged at each other once again.
The silver rapier turned into a silver snake, twirling and thrusting against Garen’s fists.
The rapier hit Garen over and over again, leaving small red dents all over his body. However, it still couldn’t pierce through Garen’s skin. On the other hand, Garen’s fists were easily dodged by Seacroft. The difference in their speed was too big.
The two continued to battle in circles, exchanging positions several times over a few seconds. The Weeping Sword frequently let out ghost-like screeches. Along with the irritating noise, every time the sword screeched its speed and strength increased, and every time Garen would counter the attack by kicking up sand on Seacroft’s face. As the battle went on, he was getting better at using his techniques in combat; he was a lot more experienced than before. He occasionally let out a war cry to awe his opponent, and Seacroft flinched and slowed down for a moment as Garen shouted, almost getting hit by his fists. She broke into a cold sweat.
Slowly, Garen became familiar with Seacroft’s routines and used to the Weeping Sword’s screeching noises. He was having a good flow while using the Four Big Forms in his combat; all his movements seemed natural, but with a hint of the Four Big Forms.
"Step Form!" Garen suddenly charged towards Seacroft. However, she dodged out the attack, and Garen moved past her, leaving his back open to his enemy.
"That’s my chance!" Seacroft saw an opportunity and took it. She leaped forward with Weeping Sword vibrating and thrust it at Garen. Suddenly, she saw a backhand elbowing from Garen; the strike was fierce like an arrow, filled with explosiveness.
Her expression changed. Because her body was still in the striking movement, it was too late to change directions. She did not expect Garen to combine his techniques together and set up a trap for her. Not that she hadn’t been careful enough, but Garen’s attacks had always been true and to her face, so she didn’t think he would use a fake move to lure her in.
In the heat of the moment, Seacroft decided to use her secret technique and the ghastly screech turned into a scream. She pulled up the rapier and blocked with it in front of her body.
Garen was expressionless. He had immersed himself into this battle, and although he felt clumsy using the Four Big Forms before, now he was becoming more and more skilled. He could easily use the most fitting form during battle, maximizing its effectiveness and lethality. This was truly a wonderful feeling.
His right elbow clashed into Seacroft’s rapier.
Garen felt a pain in his waist. His elbow tilted and was only able to scratch the rapier by the tip, but the impact still sent Seacroft flying a few meters back. She stumbled with her face pale, barely standing still by supporting her body with the Weeping Sword.
Garen glanced at his waist, a long copper bullet was stuck inside his skin.
"There’s a sniper!!" He suddenly realized. Then, he felt something moving between his eyebrows. Someone was aiming at his forehead, so he quickly slanted his head.
Another loud gunshot, and a blazing bullet instantly flew past Garen’s cheek.
Seacroft had caught her breath, and began another round of attacks with her sword.
Garen had to deal with her attacks while constantly watching out for the sniper’s shots, so he couldn’t use his full strength. However, his Four Big Forms were becoming more and more consistent and natural, and his moves followed one after the other marvelously.
"I have to finish this fight as soon as possible!" He knew he couldn’t waste time on this. Had he been by himself, there wouldn’t be much trouble, but he still had to take care of the younger disciples.
He used the Shot, Dash, Swing, and Step Form consecutively. It was his first time using Four Major Forms in just two seconds. He felt his Qi clogging inside his body, and his old belly injury started hurting once again.
Step Form lifted another wave of sand and rubbles onto Seacroft’s face, forcing her to step back.
"Die!" Garen reached for his foe’s throat with his hand. He was faster than ever before. He created an opportunity at the cost of deepening his injury. As long as he could finish her first, it would be easier to take care of the snipers later.
Another bullet stroke hard onto Garen’s neck, tilting his body and knocking him off balance. Garen’s hand barely missed Seacroft’s neck, leaving only two blood trails on her face.
"Damn it!" Garen was furious, both times he was about to finish her off, the sniper interrupted him.
He inhaled deeply, instantly inflating his lungs. The skin on his chest turned blue and dark under the ragged shirt.
A thunderous war cry.
Seacroft’s ears went numb from the loud noise and she became paralyzed.
Garen took this opportunity and leaped onto her. Dodging out two bullets, he grabbed her head and smashed it against the ground.
Seacroft’s head cracked open like a watermelon. The Weeping Sword dropped out of her hand and onto the ground. Garen picked up the sword, stood up in a backflip, and started sprinting toward the sniper’s direction.
He could see him on the second floor of a red building; a bald man was packing up his sniper rifle and preparing his escape.
Garen leaped up to the second floor of the building. His hand pierced through the man’s chest, and pulled the ribs and flesh inside. In a disturbing noise, the man’s chest was torn open. He screamed like a pig.
"Boss! Help!!" He cried in terror.
Garen smacked the man’s head with his palm. The screaming abruptly stopped and his body turned limp and lifeless.
Following the direction of the sniper’s call for help, he saw another man standing at the corner of the room. He was also bald and had a sturdy body, while his eyes were red like Garen’s. The man was breathing heavily. He was obviously part of the attack earlier since he also had a sniper rifle in his hand.
Garen’s fury eased down after he killed the sniper. However, upon seeing another sniper in this room, he sneered and rushed toward him.
A stripe of silver light crossed in front of his body.
"Tenstar Ni!" In an indomitable rage, Garen shouted, "Don’t push my limit!!"
A long and slim sword separated Garen from the bald sniper. Tenstar Ni stood on the side with a face of mockery, staring at Garen.
"I’m sorry, you can’t touch this man either."
"You are courting death!!" Garen couldn’t hold it anymore. His muscles swelled as he grew from 1.7 to over 2 meters. The clothes on his chest burst and flew in all directions. Garen was topless. His muscles turned dark and blue as his veins stood out on his skin like coiling black snakes. His body was even bigger than back on the tournament.
Tenstar Ni’s expression changed.