An old man with a long white beard had jumped out of the shadows of the thick overgrowth. He seemed startled that Lingfeng could actually locate his hiding place even though he had disguised his whereabouts with the Deep Resounding Skill, a skill that can cast out his voice evenly to the surroundings!
They were surprised that it was actually an unarmed old man.
Lingfeng was stunned as she quickly thought, "Where did all my secret projectiles gone to?"
Yi Ping had stepped forward as he shouted, "Who are you…"
The old man ignored Yi Ping; he did not look pleased at all as he pointed his finger at Lingfeng, "What ruthless and deadly secret projectile techniques. How did you guess my location?"
Lingfeng laughed softly, "The birds told me!"
The old man snarled, "Rubbish. Birds can't talk…"
Ding Yun said quietly, "Even though the birds can't talk but the birds can see you. When the birds fly above you, they take a detour. Even though you have tried to conceal your malevolent air but animals are hyper sensitive."
The old man hummed coldly, "It seems that at my old age, I have learnt something new today."
All of a sudden, the old man was enveloped by a powerful killing malevolent intent! His killing malevolent intent was even more deadly and purer than Yuan Shao!
Yi Ping was momentarily startled but he repeated, "Who are you? Why are you acting so secrecy and what do you mean by what you have said earlier?"
The old man pointed at Mei'Er, "Since you have already drawn out your sword, then let's have some fun today."
Mei'Er hummed coldly, "So it is just a lecherous old man!"
She had flown to the old man, displaying the Flying Swallow Slash but the old man raised his hand and knocked her forcefully aside!
Yu'Er gasped, "Mei'Er!"
But before the old man could seize Mei'Er, he was attacked by a flurrying of powerful hazily attacks by Xiao Youxue!
He quietly blocked all her explosive attacks with his left hand and counter-attacked with his right hand aimed at her.
As Youxue took the blow from his right hand, there was a thunderous impact as she was sent flying backward!
She was really startled. This old man had actually parried all her Penetrating Hands when she had quietly appeared and had retaliated against her almost instantaneously!
She warned the others even as she quickly regained her balance, "Be careful! This old man is dangerous! He is a super exponent!"
The old man was also secretly startled at the martial power of this young maiden. Even though this maiden looked weak but when she had suddenly attacked him, every single blow that came from her had so much martial power that it could shatter rocks! He was nearly caught unaware and had quickly retaliated with his remaining martial power on her.
He was astonished that this young maiden could take his blow without suffering any slight ill-effect.
Even as he had pushed Youxue away, he was surprised by a flying sword that was thrown by Ding Yun!
Ding Yun had timed her flying sword at precisely the exact moment when his martial power was retracting so that he could not evade it!
The speed of her flying sword was so startling, imbued by Ding Yun's newly acquired Invincible Divine Force that it was even more deadly than in the past!
But the unbelievable thing happened!
The old man had raised left hand as the surrounding air crackled with the heavy pressure of his martial power. Before Ding Yun's flying sword could even strike him, there was a thunderous explosion in mid-air as the flying sword was deflected to another direction!
The old man said, "This is the Flying Sword Technique of the Virtuous Palace?"
Lingfeng gasped, "Be extra careful! This is the Big Dipper Hands!"
Ding Yun and Youxue were startled. They had heard of this mystifying skill but had never seen it before…
The old man was startled that Lingfeng could actually recognize his secret martial skill.
Just as the old man had deflected Ding Yun's flying sword, Yi Ping had displayed the Divine Horizon Hands fiercely on him!
Once again, the old man was startled as Yi Ping attacks were not only insanely fast but it was also filled with extraordinary pure martial power!
"This is the Divine Horizon Hands?"
After exchanging three dozen extremely fast blows with Yi Ping in less than a blink of an eye, the old man was forced to take a few steps backward when he was confronted by Gongsun Jing, Nangong Le, Qiu Wufeng, Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Lingfeng, Youxue and Ding Yun at the same time!
The old man was beginning to be astonished at their superb martial display. Even though he was the more powerful exponent but these young men and women were not giving him any opportunity to take any breather. Moreover, they were also able to cover one another in perfect harmony!
All of a sudden, he had observed something peculiar about their movements. Judging from their steps and similar circulating movement, it was obviously that they were all trained in the same type of attack formation!
At first, he just wanted to make a fool of these juniors but now he got more than he had bargained for.
Yi Ping had leapt into mid-air as he displayed the Aspire Horizon Hands, shouting angrily, "You have dared to hurt Mei'Er."
The old man knew immediately that the incoming attack was an almighty attack that could shatter rocks and grinding it into dust. He immediately raised both of his hands forward as the flurrying forceful windforce of his Big Dipper Hands exploded around him, sending Nangong Le, Gongsun Jing, Qiu Wufeng and Lingfeng scurrying backward!
Yu'Er and Mei'Er had raised their fingers as they displayed the Divine Emerald Skill to absorb the resultant force but they were unable to press forward their attacks…
Ding Yun raised her left hand forward with the Invincible Divine Force, neutralizing the old man's pressuring windforce as she imbued her foldable sword with the remaining Invincible Divine Force, joining Yi Ping in the attack.
Xiao Youxue had raised her hand in a cutting arc, neutralizing the bulk of the Big Dipper Hand's martial force before she too, attacked at the same time with Yi Ping and Ding Yun!
There was a thunderous impact as the air around him exploded almighty, sending Yi Ping, Youxue, Ding Yun and the old man flying backward.
Except for Youxue, Yi Ping, Ding Yun and the old man, everyone else were coughing out blood for the resultant backlash of their martial force was enough to cause serious internal injuries!
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Like the rest, Youxue was also gasping breathlessly and was desperately trying to circulate and stabilize the flow of her vital energies. She was not as seriously injured as Yi Ping and Ding Yun for she was protected by the Golden Invincible Body and the Icy Heavenly Tears. Moreover Yi Ping and Ding Yun had shared the blunt of the powerful martial force of the Big Dipper Hands, lessening the impact that she had received.
She had barely looked up only to see a startling sight!
The old man was being surrounded by a small inertia force around him. Even though this inertia force was similar to the inertia force of the Invincible Divine Force, Divine Emerald Skill and the Divine Virtuous Force, it was totally different type of inertia force!
The old man had gathered all the martial power around him, wasting none of his vital force and re-absorbing it again.
Xiao Youxue gasped and thought as she saw the slightly visible inertia barrier of the old man, "Isn't that the highest level of vital energy force? Force that can regenerate force. Force that is dissipated and recovered at the same time! She had thought that it was only a theory and did not think that she would actually witness this today!
The old man was coughing and cursing, "Damn it. You have forced me to display one secret technique after another. If I do not vent my anger fully today, I am not going to leave."
Indeed, he had just displayed the Divine Rejuvenation Force, a secret divine martial skill that could regain his martial power as soon as he had expended it.
Everyone was staring blankly and in disbelief at the fierce martial force that was hovering swiftly around the old man.
Not only was the old man surrounded by a powerful martial force that could constantly replenish his strength, they had just witnessed the unbelievable power of his Big Dipper hands. Even if they could bypass the martial force of his Big Dipper Hands, the resulting martial force that could actually reach the old man would be reduced drastically and not enough to neutralize the inertia force around him. And it had taken the combined force of Yi Ping, Youxue and Ding Yun to injure him…
Moreover, they had already discovered a startling thing about that inertia force; if they fail to injure the old man, then their martial force would be drained to empower the old man's martial power. That was why no one dared to make a false move. Furthermore, the ensuring fight was extremely draining to their martial power as Yi Ping, Youxue, Ding Yun and the rest struggled to quickly stabilize their vital energy flow for the next attack or they would risk internal injuries!
The old man was jeering them as he stroked his long beard, "Young people. All of you together and you can't even handle an old man like me? What a joke! Are you ready for another round? Before I send all of you to your maker, let me tell you that this is the Divine Rejuvenation Force."
He pointed at Yu'Er and Mei'Er, asking them. "Your martial skills are from the Eternal Ice Palace?"
Yu'Er and Mei'Er refused to answer.
The old man said coldly, "I'm not going to berate your clan. At your age, your martial skills are already quite impressive. But what's a pity."
Mei'Er could not resist asking, "But a pity what?"
The old man replied, "But what a pity with five equal attractive rare beauties, I don't know who I should I pick first tonight."
Everyone was moved to teething rage!
Yi Ping clenched his fists in furious rage and helplessness. This old man was the most formidable opponent that he had met until now. All of a sudden, he remembered what his father had said to him, "The Asper Divinity Horizon Hand requires eighty years of solid internal strength to use…if you manage to learn this forbidden skill, in three years' time…you will surely die!"
Yi Ping asked himself, "Do I have eighty years of internal strength now?"
Until now, Yi Ping had never fight against a martial skill with a martial power that exceeded the Asper Horizon Hands till he witnessed the Big Dipper Hands today. If he had to fight on equal footing with the Big Dipper Hand then he had to raise his martial power to that level first…
Ding Yun interrupted his thoughts, "Yi Ping…everyone….stay calm. Even though the Divine Rejuvenation Force is all-powerful, it does have a weakness."
Everyone was startled as they regained some of their lost fighting spirit.
The old man was startled, "Rubbish. My Divine Rejuvenation Force has no weakness whatever so…"
Ding Yun said calmly, "If I am not wrong, maintaining the Divine Rejuvenation Force requires considerable mental effort. It has to be a purely defensive skill. That is why he is not moving forward to attack us or else he risks dissipating the Divine Rejuvenation Force. Or else why didn't he use it much earlier?"
The old man was secretly alarmed as he thought, "She can tell?"
Yi Ping said excitedly, "Yun, you are so brilliant!"
The old man said coldly, "What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for me to get you first?"
Yi Ping had suddenly brandished the White Phoenix and the Divine Echo as he said quietly to everyone, "The Celestial Star Formation. This is our only chance now."
When he had brandished the white beaming blade of the Divine Echo, a resounding echo could be heard ringing from the sword and in the surrounding vicinity!
The old man was startled, "This sword…"
Yi Ping did not want to brandish any weapons against an unarmed foe but this old man was simply too insolent and despicable. Moreover he had expended much of his martial power and could only depend on his swords now.
Yi Ping said aloud, "Yu'Er and Mei'Er, attack with me. Lingfeng, Youxue and Yun attack together. Brother Gongsun, Brother Nangong and Brother Qiu attack together…"
All of a sudden, Lingfeng, Youxue, Yun, Gongsun Jing, Qiu Wufeng and Nangong Le were attacking the old man one after another!
Barely had the old man raised his hands at his attackers, they had retreated and replaced by another! He knew instantly that they were trapping him inside a deadly attacking formation!
Yi Ping had charged at the old man, displaying dozens of furious strokes with his double swords!
The old man was startled at Yi Ping astonishing attacking speed. He had barely raised his Big Dipper Hands to deflect Yi Ping's sword strokes, he was back again with another double strike, again and again!
The old man immediately mustered all his martial power to deal Yi Ping's a crushing blow with the Big Dipper Hand when he was intercepted by Yu'Er and Mei'Er who had stepped in front of Yi Ping as they displayed the Divine Emerald Force at the same time!
Yi Ping seized the opportunity to retaliate against the old man at the same time!
The most astonishing thing had suddenly happened!
Yi Ping had penetrated through the Divine Rejuvenation Force and had slashed the old man twice, on his arm and shoulder, drawing blood!
What startled the old man was not Yi Ping's astonishing speed but the Divine Echo itself. The Divine Echo seemed to have the ability to seemingly cleave through effortlessly through the inertia force that he had created with the Big Dipper Hands and the Divine Rejuvenation Force!
The old man thought alarmingly, "This sword…is made with the metal of the Heavenly Relic? Impossible…other than the Heavenly Relic, there are no swords in the entire world that can dissipate martial force and harken as resounding…"
By the time he had exchanged more than thirty blows with Yi Ping and expecting his martial force to be completely drained by him; his Big Dipper Hands' martial force and his Divine Rejuvenate Force began to falter as the Divine Echo was dissipating his martial force with every strike!
The old man vision began to blur and he could no longer tell the twin sister from each other as they keep swopping places with each other!
He had barely stopped one flying scabbard by Ding Yun with his martial power when she threw another flying scabbard at him with startling speed!
He was now seeing red as the opponents were constantly picking up the flying scabbards and passing to Ding Yun again!
Nangong Le threw his sword scabbard to Ding Yun, "Here!"
Gongsun Jing also threw to Ding Yun his scabbard at the same time, "Here! He can't move from where he is standing. Use my scabbard to exhaust his martial power!"
At the same time, Lingfeng had just threw her Meteor Rain Needles, stopping short of displaying the 'Consecrated Meteor Shower' technique as she did not want this old man to identify her clan of origin; this old man seemed to be a highly experienced exponent that could identify the various martial skills.
When she had attacked the old man, she displayed a varying of martial skills to confuse him.
When the old man tried to retaliate against her, Lingfeng had suddenly displayed the powerful echoing might of the Aspire Horizon Hand, startling the old man. Even though she was forced back with her vital energies in erratic, the old man was genuinely surprised as he thought. "This young maiden, she isn't as weak as I thought she is!"
Yi Ping lifted his spirit with the Absolute Spirits and revitalized his intricate energy with the Divine Revelation again and again as he struggled with his faltering strength to attack the old man, never ceasing his attacks!
Perhaps Yi Ping was trying very hard and was unwilling to allow his martial force to be drained by the Divine Rejuvenation Force or perhaps under the powerful influence of the Divine Rejuvenation Force as he bore the blunt of the old man's main attacks, his Divine Revelation attained a new staging, the Circular Rejuvenation of the Origin!
The Circular Rejuvenation of the Origin was one of the highest states of divinity in martial attainment. At this attainment, as soon as vital energies were used up to maintain martial power, unused martial power could also be revitalized back to vital energies. This attainment was also the nemesis of the Divine Rejuvenation Force, preventing the practitioner's martial force from being drained by external force as well!
The old man was now sweating heavily as he suddenly found his martial power draining at a rapid rate with every renewed attack.
He was already aware by now that he was fighting with three extremely determined strong exponents; the young man with the twin swords, the maiden that could use the Flying Sword Techniques of the Virtuous Palace and the yellow dressed maiden that could move around so quietly that he had to be extremely focus to be wary of her next appearance.
This yellow dressed maiden also seemed to have an inexhaustible martial force as she attacked him again and again with her full martial power. He was also aware that this maiden was protected by a similar inertia force and she also seemed to be trained in a type of internal strength that reduced the effectiveness of his Divine Rejuvenate Force.
Yu'Er said to her sister, "Mei'Er, do you still remember the intricacy heart formula of the Dual Inertia?"
Mei'Er was in a daze as she said weakly, "Sister…you still have the time to think of other matters. I have almost reached my limits!"
Yu'Er reminded her, "The vital energy exchanges but not the body, the divinity exchanges but not the physical, the essence of the heavens and earth as my vitality, the divine state of heavens and earth as my divine state, the changes of heavens and earth as my changes. He tries to steal our martial force, why don't we try to steal from him too? Let's see who is faster and there are two of us here."
Mei'Er laughed softly, "Sister…that's a good idea. Let's do that!"
The old man freaked out when he had heard that and he had decided to do the most dishonorable thing that he had never done before. He ran away like a lightning bolt!
After making sure that the old man was really gone, the nine of them collapsed next to one another on the grass patch, groaning in agony and from sheer exhaustion.
Lingfeng wheezed, "Unbelievable…we really…have won?"
Nangong Le muttered, "This old freak is simply too formidable…no matter how many ingenious strokes that we have used on him, he still lives…"
Mei'Er was muttering unintelligently, "He…is like a cockroach, unkillable!"
Youxue asked Yu'Er, "You can really drain his martial power?"
Yu'Er laughed softly, "Soon…almost…not yet there…"
Youxue smiled faintly, "You…almost have me fooled…"
Yi Ping asked Yu'Er, "That isn't real? Then why did he run?"
Yu'Er smiled tenderly at Yi Ping as she explained, "His resolute was already weakening. I can sense it. I just helping to give him an extra 'push' in that direction."
Yi Ping was grateful to her as he looked at her affectionately, "Yu'Er, lucky for your quick thinking. I don't know if I can last a second longer…"
He paused for a while before saying, "It is also lucky that we have been practicing the Celestial Star Formation. I say, we ought to practice more…"
He was startled that everyone had suddenly become motionless and had fallen completely quiet.
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