Li Yundong leaped over the lamas head. His feet slid against the icy ground when he landed and got into a low stance. The Fan of Seven Treasures spread open with a loud snap, revealing its metallic leaves, which were tinged with the glowing verses of the Diamond Sutra.
Li Yundong swung the tessen from left to right, generating a powerful gale that blew the incoming beads away before they could reach them. The cobra recoiled and transformed back into a whip. Two of the beads smashed into a cliff nearby and then rolled uselessly on the ground. The remaining two beads smashed into Wu Hao's body, engulfing him in a giant ball of flame. There was a blood-curdling scream, which lasted for only a few seconds as that was all the time it took for Wu Hao's body to dissolve into a puddle of blood and gore.
The guy had been liquefied. Literally.
Li Yundong shuddered at the thought that he would've suffered the same fate if it weren't for the Jindan's Aura.
Lyu Fengping went hysterical in an instant. "No!!! Ah Hao!!!!!"
The cobra came flying at Li Yundong once again. He parried it by swinging the Fan of Seven Treasures like a bat. The cobra slithered along the tessen's length, coiling around its surface.
"You bastard!" Lyu Fengping screamed.
Li Yundong was forced to let go of the handle to avoid being bitten at the wrist. The tessen crashed to the ground while the cobra changed back into a whip. Lyu Fengping gave the whip a sharp tug; the tessen slid on the icy ground towards her. "This is mine now!"
Li Yundong moved his fingers quickly and performed Acalanatha's 12th mudra—the Great Sword. "Namah samanta vajranam ham!" A golden apparition of a long sword materialized in front of Li Yundong. The sword zipped across the air. Lyu Fengping shrieked and yanked the whip to the side. CRACK! The whip was cleaved in half. Lyu Fengping staggered back a few steps. Li Yundong raised his right arm and willed the Fan of Seven Treasures to come to him. The tessen didn't move, which surprised him because he clearly remembered being able to control it with his mind when he was playing around with it on the rooftop.
"Damn you!!" Lyu Fengping came charging at him again. Her fingers were now releasing a faint, blue glow, which extended from each finger like claws. Li Yundong leaped backwards to avoid a swipe at his neck. He landed six feet away and got into a Bai Jong stance with his right arm extended.
Lyu Fengping swiped at him with those claws.
Li Yundong dodged backwards while maintaining the Bai Jong stance.
Then, Li Yundong started bouncing on the balls of his feet, moving around Lyu Fengping in circles with his footwork.
Lyu Fengping tried to attack again. SMACK! Li Yundong delivered an oblique kick to Lyu Fengping's shin. Surprise flashed in Lyu Fengping's eyes, which quickly turned into anger. Lyu Fengping stepped forward again, but her attack was thwarted by another oblique kick.
Li Yundong switched up the rhythm. He raised his knee and feinted a kick. Lyu Fengping took the bait. She jumped backwards, nearly tripping over her own feet in the process. However, she regained her footing in no time. SWISH! SWISH! She made a few more useless swipes with those claws. Lyu Fengping had bent herself at the waist instead of stepping forward when she made her last few attacks.
Li Yundong smirked. She was afraid of those low kicks.
Li Yundong feinted an oblique kick. Again, Lyu Fengping jumped backwards in fear. This time, however, Li Yundong decided to use her momentary distraction to his advantage. Pushing off the rear foot of his Bai Jong stance, Li Yundong moved forward while extending his right fist in a snapping motion. POP! The straight lead punch connected with Lyu Fengping's face. Lyu Fengping's head snapped backwards and she staggered a few steps.
"Good night!" Li Yundong leaped forward and landed a Muay Thai flying knee strike at Lyu Fengping's sternum.
The woman flew backwards and crashed into the ground, rolling a few times. Li Yundong sighed and switched back to his normal stance. The woman lay motionlessly on the ground. He really hoped she would stay down. For her own good.
Li Yundong slowly made his way towards the Fan of Seven Treasures, which was lying a good ten meters away from where he stood. When he reached the fan, he crouched down and started uncoiling the broken whip from the fan's handle. A sharp whizz made him drop the fan. Moving by instinct, he sprang to his feet and whirled around.
"Namah samanta vajranam ham!" A golden rectangular barrier appeared in front of Li Yundong the moment he bridged his Three gates. Two beads struck the barrier hard before bursting into flames.
Li Yundong gritted his teeth as he struggled to maintain the finger positioning of the Immovable Mountain of Treasure mudra. The flames lurched around in the air as they tried relentlessly to breach the barrier. Each time the flames struck the barrier, Li Yundong could feel an invisible force trying to pry his hands apart.
He had to get rid of those flames.
He reached behind with his leg and moved the Fan of Seven Treasures until it lay on the ground beside him. Li Yundong glanced down at the tessen. Those flames would hit him the moment he broke the hand seal. The Jindan's Aura was now gone. He wouldn't bank on the fact that it would appear again. As far as he could tell, the Jindan's Aura was usually activated when he was super pissed off or when he suffered some kind of physical wound.
Right. Physical wound.
No way in hell he was going to risk getting hit by not one, but two, of those beads. He wondered if he could wield the tessen with his legs. How the heck did he manage to control it with his mind the other day?
Footsteps sounded ahead. He raised his gaze and saw the lama jumping into the air. A barrage of red palm prints flew out from the lama's hands and struck the flames. Seconds later, the resistance on Li Yundong's hands vanished; the flames were gone.
The lama landed on the ground a few feet away from him. Li Yundong sighed and released the Immovable Mountain of Treasure hand seal.
"Still think I'm the bad guy?" Li Yundong asked. The sarcasm in his tone was obvious even to his own ears.
Lyu Fengping was already on her feet. She raised her hands and, all of a sudden, the blue glow on her fingertips shot out like laser beams. The lama leaped into the air. A red palm print swept across the space in front of them and parried those beams away.
"She's open!" the lama yelled when he landed.
Li Yundong didn't have to be told twice. He raised his hands with both palms facing each other and held them a couple of inches apart. Then, he touched his index fingers together to complete Acalanatha's 8th mudra, the Pouncing Lion.
"Namah samanta vajranam ham!"
A golden apparition of a lion sprung out from Li Yundong's hand sign. The lion roared, then pounced swiftly onto Lyu Fengping.
Lyu Fengping screamed and vanished in a flash of green light. Seconds later, she reappeared in the air twenty meters above the ground.
"W- Who are you? Which school are you from?!" Lyu Fengping yelled.
The lion disappeared when Li Yundong lowered his hands to his sides. "Who I am is none of your damn business." He glared up at Lyu Fengping. "Tell me something. Who put you guys up to this, huh?"
Lyu Fengping kept ranting as though she didn't hear him. "Y- You've only just passed the Zhuji phase, yet you already have so much power..."
Li Yundong picked up the tessen from the ground and then rested it on his shoulders.
"How did you recognize this fan?" he asked coldly. "I never showed it to anyone. So somebody must have tipped you off. I want a name!"
If Wu Hao and Lyu Fengping were in fact sent by someone, then it was likely that whoever sent them knew of the fan's absence from the Fox Zen School.
His next thought filled him with a sense of dread.
Was it an inside job? Had the Fox Zen School been compromised? Was there a spy or an intruder inside the Fox Zen School?
If there was, then Ao Wushuang had to be warned as soon as possible. Otherwise Su Chan's life might be in danger.
The woman kept staring down at him from the sky, but she didn't answer.
"Answer me!!!" Li Yundong roared threateningly. The tessen spread open with a loud snap. "I'm not going to ask again..."
The woman smirked. "Go to hell!"
All of a sudden, the wind picked up speed. Shadows crept out from Lyu Fengping's body, filling the whole area with darkness, which was creepy as hell seeing as the sun was still shining brightly in the sky.
What kind of spell is this?
Li Yundong lowered the tessen and glanced around frantically. The last thing he wanted was to see enemy reinforcements coming in.
There was a loud gasp followed by a series of strangled coughs. Li Yundong turned around and saw the tall lama falling to his knees with his hands clutching his chest. Li Yundong ran over to the lama. "Hey! What's the matter?" The lama kept clutching his chest. Li Yundong glared up at Lyu Fengping. "What the hell did you do?!"
Lyu Fengping laughed hysterically instead of answering.
Something in the air shifted.
The next thing Li Yundong heard made his hair stand on end. There were voices. Screaming voices, like thousands of people being tortured. Eventually, the wind gained enough speed and started howling like crazy, though it still wasn't enough to muffle out those creepy voices. Dark wraiths rose from the ground and started dancing around them. The whole thing looked like a scene from a goddamn horror movie.
"S- Such evil..."
Li Yundong looked to the side and saw the lama struggling to his feet. The poor man was shivering.
Li Yundong looked up at Lyu Fengping. Evil? Li Yundong lifted the Fan of Seven Treasures and then snapped it open. I fear no evil.
A strong gust of wind blew across the area when he swung the tessen above his head. He thought the wind could blow the wraiths away, but it didn't. These things probably didn't even have material forms. Right. Plan B.
Whoa… wait a second…
The engravings on the Fan of Seven Treasures were glowing brightly. Then, when he raised the fan to take a closer look at those verses, he noticed the wraiths closest to him cowering back in fear. These are Buddhist verses from the Diamond Sutra...
Li Yundong swung the tessen again. The wraiths were repelled and pushed back several meters. But seconds later, the wraiths started closing in towards them again.
Li Yundong smirked as an idea began to form inside his mind. If repelling evil doesn't work, then I'll just have to purify it. He raised his right hand to chest, then formed a closed loop with his index finger and thumb while leaving the other three fingers pointing towards the sky. According to the Mahamudra Tantra, this was Acalanatha's 14th and final mudra.
"The Hand of Purification..." the lama whispered in a strangled voice.
"Stay down..." Li Yundong said. "This will be over quickly."