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EIF - Book 04 Chapter 084: Taiji

[TL Note: Taiji is a Daoist philosophical concept referring to the source of all things. The Taiji diagram is a very common representation of it, often used to show the nature of duality. Here are Wikipedia entries on Taiji and the Taiji diagram: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji_(philosophy) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taijitu.]

The strength of the Divine Blood Army surpassed everyone’s expectations.

An ordinary army would not dare to resist them, as it would be a disaster should they catch the Divine Blood Army’s attention—even if they lured over only a small portion. So, only the experts of the four major clans could take charge of the defenses.

However, grave danger was still at hand, despite the four major clans’ intervention.

Was it over for the Yuan Imperial Dynasty?

The citizens were horrified, as the Divine Blood Army did not intend to just conquer the city but even to slaughter it, not sparing anyone.

The city’s experts all came forward, but it was useless if they were not Heavenly Palace Realm experts. They could only watch.

At this moment, Mo Yike, who was in the western sector of the city, suddenly pleaded with Gu Hai for help.

Mister Gu? The Mister Gu who composed “Chivalrous Legends” and “Bring in the Wine”? Can he do it? That’s right! Mister Gu is extraordinary in the calligraphy Dao. Perhaps he can help?

Countless citizens looked towards Gu Hai’s manor in anticipation.

“Mister Gu, we sincerely plead with Mister Gu to save us!”

“Mister Gu, Lord Mo says that you can do it! Mister Gu!”

An increasing number of citizens gathered outside Gu Hai’s manor, sincerely begging him to help.

Gu Hai narrowed his eyes slightly as he looked in the Great Sigh Palace Hall’s direction.

The nation is in grave danger. What could be more important than pushing the enemy into retreat? To think that Imperial Emperor Xi Yu is still in closed-door cultivation?

“Gu Hai?” Gongyang Sheng gave Gu Hai a doubtful look.

Why is the person who laid the ritual array earlier so sure that Gu Hai can help?

“Imperial Emperor Xi Yu is not making a move?” Long Shenwu narrowed his eyes slightly at the Great Sigh Palace Hall.

Clearly, he also felt suspicious about what Imperial Emperor Xi Yu was doing now.

“Brother-in-Law, what should we do now?” Long Wanyu looked at Gu Hai.

“Prince Shenwu, Eunuch Ye, and Battalion Commander Li, I’ll leave Princess Wanyu’s safety to you!” Gu Hai said gravely as he looked at the three.

The three nodded.

This was the Yuan Nation’s crisis. These three had no intention of helping.

“You are going to help the Yuan Nation?” Li Shenji said with a frown.

“Since Mister Mo asked, I have to give him face. Furthermore, we will have to face the Divine Blood Army sooner or later when they enter the city. I might as well go and try. If I can delay them for just a moment and allow the Yuan Nation citizens to be saved, I will accrue boundless beneficence.” Gu Hai smiled.

The three frowned at Gu Hai.

“Wanyu, be careful!” Gu Hai instructed seriously.

“Alright! Brother-in-Law, you take care as well.” Long Wanyu nodded somewhat worriedly.

Gu Hai nodded and jumped off the floating island.

Below the floating island, Bing Ji and the others also appeared worried.

“Your Majesty, Major Metropolitan City is in danger. Should we get Ju Lu to tunnel underground?” Bing Ji asked worriedly.

Ju Lu stood at the side, looking at Gu Hai respectfully.

“Yes, that is necessary as a precaution. Ju Lu, start digging a tunnel out. We won’t use it for now, but just in case,” Gu Hai instructed seriously.

“Yes!” Ju Lu nodded.

“Bing Ji, go and inform Purple Subtlety and Longevity. Tell them that I request they protect Long Wanyu,” Gu Hai said gravely.

“Ah? Them?” Bing Ji said skeptically.

“That’s right. Them.” Gu Hai nodded.

“Yes!” Bing Ji nodded with a bitter expression, unable to understand Gu Hai’s intention.

“Also, get Longevity to make a painting—no, paint as many as he can, the same kind as the one in Dragon Vein City. It will be used for emergencies,” Gu Hai said gravely.

“Oh, alright.” Bing Ji nodded.

After making the arrangements, Gu Hai walked out of the manor’s fog.

Many citizens were kneeling outside the foggy area. They had come from all over the place, all of them showing horror and fluster.

When they saw Gu Hai come out, nearly everyone rejoiced.

“Mister Gu! Mister Gu, please help us!”

“Mister Gu came out!”

The citizens shouted.

The Mo Residence’s people brought over eight jade boxes. Each box had a direction written on it and contained a golden Go stone.

“Mister Gu, these are the controlling Go stones for the Twenty-Nine Line-Pair World Ritual Arrays laid around Major Metropolitan City. We are incapable and do not know how to control them,” the Mo Residence’s men said bitterly.

“Give them to me. Then, bring me to the northern sector on a flying ship,” Gu Hai said seriously.

“Yes!” the Mo Residence’s men answered.

“Many thanks, Mister Gu!” the surrounding citizens said excitedly.

A flying ship quickly ferried Gu Hai to the northern sector. Along the way, the many citizens who saw Gu Hai on the flying ship called out gratefully, “Many thanks to Mister Gu for helping! Many thanks!”

These thoughts turned into beneficence and rushed towards Gu Hai. Since there were many citizens, the beneficence accumulated into providence, making Gu Hai glow golden from boundless providence.

The four major clans’ defense of Major Metropolitan City was to be expected. Thus, the citizens did not feel that grateful to them. On the other hand, Gu Hai was an outsider, yet he protected them. That called for gratitude. Gu Hai felt a comfort spread through his body when the providence arrived, and his thoughts became significantly clearer.

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The northern sector of the city:

Boom!

The Second Battalion commander knocked Qin Zibai into the air with his saber again.

Blargh!

Qin Zibai spewed out a mouthful of blood.

“Humph! You are just a newly advanced Middle Heavenly Palace Realm cultivator, yet you dare get in my way? The rest of you, what are you looking at? Why are you still not slaughtering the city? Do I need you here?” the Second Battalion commander shouted.

“Yes!” the four hundred thousand soldiers shouted.

Rumble…!

The horses turned around and immediately charged towards the northern sector of the city.

The Second Battalion commander did not believe Qin Zibai could stop him. There was nothing to worry about, so he should charge into the city first and kill.

When the ten Lower Heavenly Palace Realm cultivators who followed Qin Zibai saw the four hundred thousand soldiers charging over, they immediately turned ashen and fled.

“Hahahahaha! Just a bunch of cowardly rats! Hahahaha!” the Second Battalion commander guffawed as he charged over.

------

North city gate tower:

Gu Hai had arrived at this place.

The surrounding soldiers showed respectful expressions, waiting for Gu Hai to command them.

Previously, many of these soldiers participated in the attack on the Han Royal Dynasty. When they saw Gu Hai arrive, they felt guilty. However, no one dared to interrupt Gu Hai at this point.

Everyone saw Gu Hai take out a box labeled “north.” Then, he took out a golden Go stone from it.

Gu Hai held the golden Go stone between his index finger and middle finger. Then, he narrowed his eyes as he extended his hand and gently pressed against the air.

Clack!

It sounded like he knocked on the air.

Boom!

Churning fog suddenly appeared in the north of the city, instantly blocking the Second Battalion.

The citizens and soldiers in Major Metropolitan City goggled.

“The Twenty-Nine Line-Pair World Ritual Array? Indeed, Mister Gu can control it!”

Another wave of gratitude surged to Gu Hai.

------

In the southern sector, Archduke Xi Kang felt depressed. I am also risking my life. Why are you not thanking me?

“Fog similar to the western sector? Humph! Even if the Heavenly Go Pavilion were here, we would level it!” the soldiers leading the charge snorted coldly.

“Charge!”

Rumble…!

The army rushed into the ritual array.

Buzz!

Just at this moment, a sword hum came from the ritual array. Suddenly, countless sword qi burst out and shredded the fog.

While countless bats had charged out of Mo Yike’s ritual array, countless sword qi burst out of Gu Hai’s ritual array. Everyone goggled.

“Who did Mister Gu imitate?” Countless citizens appeared curious.

A swordsman?

Buzz!

When the fog scattered, a human-shaped cloud beast in the form of a white-clad old man slowly appeared.

“Dugu Qiubai? I know! It’s Dugu Qiubai!” someone suddenly exclaimed.

After all, the Yuan Imperial Dynasty had spies and scouts. They had found out what happened at the Heptagold Sect.

“Wait, that’s not right. According to the information, Dugu Qiubai is a middle-aged swordsman. This is an old swordsman. Who is this?” someone exclaimed.

“This isn’t Dugu Qiubai?” Everyone felt shocked.

Wasn’t it said that Gu Hai manifested Dugu Qiubai at the Heptagold Sect?

Just at this moment, everyone noticed an unusual situation. The sword qi filling the sky revolved around the white-clad old man cloud beast, following a strange pattern. Those sword qi formed a huge Taiji diagram.

“A Taiji diagram of sword qi?” Fairy Waner felt startled.

Ye Shenzhen and Li Shenji appeared slightly shocked.

“Eunuch Ye, you have the most information. Who is he imitating?” Li Shenji asked, feeling confused.

“Indeed. This sword conception seems very ordinary. Don’t tell me that the sword conception is hiding its edge? This sword conception seemed incomparably mellow, forming a balance and reaching Taiji on its own.” Long Shenwu frowned.

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything about that previous Dugu Qiubai, either,” Ye Shenzhen replied bitterly.

Who was Gu Hai imitating?

“Acting all mysterious! Fire arrows!” one of the generals shouted.

“Hoo-ah!” Two hundred thousand Divine Blood Army soldiers drew bows and fired a rain of arrows at the white-clad old man.

Boom!

What looked like two hundred thousand beams of light tried to turn that three-hundred-meter-tall cloud beast into a honeycomb.

Standing on the cloud beast’s head, Gu Hai sneered, “I did not use Dugu Qiubai since there are many of you. Two hundred thousand arrows? Good timing!”

As Gu Hai spoke, the white-clad old man stepped forward and twirled his sword, chanting, “Let he who is strong be strong; the cool breeze brushes off against the mountains. Let he who is overbearing be overbearing; the bright moon still shines on the vast river!”

The old man raised his sword, a whirlwind strangely forming around his body. Then, he swung his sword. The two hundred thousand arrows suddenly deviated from their original trajectory as if pulled by some force. They followed the sword’s direction and circled around the old man.

In a bizarre development, the two hundred thousand arrows turned. Initially, they shot towards the south. However, as they turned around, they ended up facing north.

The old man then brandished his sword.

Boom!

The two hundred thousand arrows shot towards the Divine Blood Army soldiers.

This development set the citizens abuzz.

“The arrow rain turned around?”

“Even Lord Mo’s cloud beast did not dare to clash head-on with the arrow rain. Lord Qin could only dodge the arrow rain. Yet, Mister Gu’s cloud beast managed to send it back with a simple movement of his sword?”

“They all returned without any of their force diminished?”

“What kind of technique is this? Is this a Taiji sword ritual array? He did not put in much force to turn the two hundred thousand arrows around.”

A large commotion broke out among the citizens.

On the other side, the Second Battalion soldiers’ expressions changed.

“Be careful!” everyone exclaimed.

Rumble…!

The arrow rain arrived, striking many Divine Blood Army soldiers.

“Argh!”

“Argh!”

Rumble…!

Many people immediately keeled over. The two hundred thousand arrows injured close to ten thousand Divine Blood Army soldiers and horses.

“What?” The distant Second Battalion commander’s expression changed.

The eyes of the severely injured Qin Zibai, who was vomiting blood, bulged.

The distant Mo Yike was also startled. After all, since the start, the cloud beast made by imitating the Bat Ancestor had killed only two hundred Divine Blood Army soldiers so far.

On the other hand, Gu Hai already killed nearly ten thousand Divine Blood Army soldiers and horses. How was this possible?

The surrounding battles paused for a moment as everyone looked towards the northern sector.

“Who is this?” Li Shenji exclaimed, goggling.

“Who are you?” shouted the scowling Second Battalion commander.

“Taiji’s Zhang Sanfeng!” The white-clad man twirled his sword as he looked calmly at the opposing army.

[TL Note: Taiji Fist is a branch of martial arts based on the philosophy of Taiji. It primarily focuses on redirecting force and using the opponent’s own force against himself. There are many styles and schools of the Taiji Fist, but the core concepts are similar. It is also a popular form of exercise for the elderly, as the movements are usually slow. Here is a video that gives a pretty nice demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp2jWeaKrqI.]

[TL Note 2: Zhang Sanfeng is a character from Jin Yong’s popular novel universe, the same as Dugu Qiubai, as mentioned in a previous TL Note. In that novel universe, Zhang Sanfeng started off as a Shaolin monk and eventually became a Daoist martial arts master after discovering the secrets of Daoism and incorporating them into his martial arts, founding the Wudang school of martial arts. This novel character is based on a real person of the same name with similar legends attributed to the real person. Here is a Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Sanfeng.]

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for January: 18 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by Vampirecat.