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Sharpening The Knife Doesn't Delay The Cutting of Vegetables With The Bow

Sharpening The Knife Doesn’t Delay The Cutting of Vegetables With The Bow[eSports]: Chapter 97

97. Concession

Ta Xue was an old customer of Shi Yan’s. Coming from a wealthy family and being a top streamer for Destiny, he had a deep love for the game, which extended to collecting game models and real-life cold weapons. Many of Shi Yan’s forged weapons were part of Ta Xue’s collection.

He never expected that on a whim visit to see if there were any new weapons to buy and to do a bit of outdoor streaming, he would unexpectedly run into Chen Xingran at Shi Yan’s house!

“WTF, is that really him?”

“Isn’t that Yun God  next to him? Did ZMD come here for team building?”

“Ahhh, what a magical coincidence!! Running into ZMD players like this? The world is really small!”

“This place looks like a TV drama set… Do they still use furnaces like this? It looks so ancient.”

“Ta Xue, go! Ask your idol for an autograph!”

“Who are you?” Chen Xingran glanced at Ta Xue, a bit puzzled.

“He’s Ta Xue,” Yang Yunche recognized him and explained to Chen Xingran, “He’s a streamer on the Star River platform. He spoke up for you a lot during the Snake King incident.”

“Hello, Ta Xue,” Chen Xingran understood and nodded politely.

“He…he…he… hello…” Ta Xue, who entered with a nonchalant, wealthy playboy demeanor, was now so excited to see his idol that he could barely speak, looking as flustered as a schoolboy in front of a teacher.

“Hahahahahaha”

“Old Immortal Ta Xue, what happened? Get a hold of yourself ah!”

“‘He…he…he… hello,’ are you stuttering? So excited to see your idol? Have some dignity!”

“I remember you ranked number one for Ye Shao’s streams, right? Your alternate accounts were exposed, so why be scared? Show the confidence of a top fan!”

“Laughing to death, he looks like an elementary school chicken stuttering.”

Ta Xue forced himself to appear calm. “Um… idol, no, not idol, Ye Shao, no, not even Chen… Xingran, why are you guys here?”

Yang Yunche interjected, “Just visiting a friend. What about you?”

“I-I am too,” Ta Xue coughed and continued, “Um, so, can I get an autograph later?”

Yang Yunche smirked. “Sure.”

“I mean from Chen Xingran…” Ta Xue awkwardly corrected himself.

Yang Yunche. “…”

“Of course, if Yun God is willing to give me one, that’s great too,” Ta Xue hastily added.

“Yun God: Are you being polite?”

“Yun God is getting ahead of himself, haha”

“Ye Shao’s number one brainless fan requesting action!”

“Of course,” Chen Xingran smiled and agreed.

Ta Xue noticed the Tang sword in his hand and asked, “What are you guys doing here?”

“Having a friendly sparring session.”

“S-Sparring?” Ta Xue widened his eyes. “With weapons? Here?”

“Yeah,” Chen Xingran replied with a smile.

“Can I watch?” Ta Xue’s face lit up with anticipation. “I’ll just be on the sidelines, won’t disturb you. I’m streaming, and my viewers are also eager to watch… Is that okay?”

“Oh yes, we want to watch”

“Yeah, it’s not about you, it’s what we want to see”

“Real-life weapon duel? Sounds exciting”

“Hopefully it won’t be as disappointing as some online videos”

“Didn’t you forget about Ye Shao’s lightning-fast moves in real life before? With his 0% motion correction, it’s definitely different”

“You’re streaming?”

Chen Xingran glanced at the phone in Ta Xue’s hand in surprise. After a moment of thought, he nodded, “Sure.”

Shi Yan had no objections either. The group left the forge and moved to the courtyard. Chen Xingran and Shi Yan stood in the center, while Yang Yunche and Ta Xue stood at a distance, watching from the sidelines.

For safety, sparring usually involves wooden swords or blunted blades. However, since both Chen Xingran and Shi Yan were experienced martial artists, they knew how to control their strikes. Thus, they didn’t switch to wooden swords but instead coated the sharp edges of their weapons with a layer of wax to ensure no one would get hurt.

The two stood facing each other, each holding a Tang sword. Though neither spoke, the atmosphere around them grew inexplicably tense.

Ta Xue held up his phone, swallowing nervously as he stared unblinkingly at the scene.

Five seconds later.

“Buzz—”

Chen Xingran moved first.

With a flick of his wrist and some deft maneuvering, the steel-forged Tang sword in his hand trembled, emitting a clear, crisp hum. The sound reverberated in the air, causing a slight shiver in those who heard it, as if the sudden hum had tugged at their hearts.

“Swish—”

Like limpid autumn water 1, the blade gleamed in the sunlight as Chen Xingran advanced, his sword slicing through the air. The midday sun cast its rays down, reflecting off the sharp, white blade, creating a dazzling halo that lit up his eyes!

He stepped forward, right foot leading, drew his sword back, and executed a horizontal slash—

A textbook-perfect step-and-slash maneuver!

“Good move!”

Shi Yan’s eyes flashed with surprise. He let out a low shout, his left foot sliding back, and met the attack with his own perfectly executed slash!

Clang!

The crisp sound of metal clashing echoed through the air, sending vibrations that seemed to halt everyone’s breath.

Chen Xingran’s initial strike was merely a probe. He cherished the rare opportunity to use a real blade and did not intend to end the fight quickly. As the weapons collided, he felt the immense force coming from Shi Yan’s strike. The other man’s stance was solid, as if rooted to the ground, unmoving like a mountain. Chen Xingran silently praised his opponent’s skill.

Experienced.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

In an instant, the two had exchanged three blows. There were no flashy fireworks effects like in the game, nor were there sparks flying. In the real world, the clash of blades lacked the visual spectacle, but each strike was dangerous enough. Each move carried a sharpness that could chill the soul, like walking a tightrope high above the ground, nerves taut and unable to relax for even a moment!

Swish!

The blade light bypassed Chen Xingran’s weapon, aiming straight for a critical spot. Without hesitation, Chen Xingran shifted his body slightly, spreading his legs to the front and back, dodging the attack. His Tang sword traced an arc as it moved, pausing momentarily at his midsection before accelerating sharply in a counter-slash.

This move was executed to perfection. Shi Yan, seeing the strike, instinctively tried to block. But Chen Xingran’s sudden pause and then rapid acceleration disrupted Shi Yan’s rhythm completely. He instinctively raised his sword to parry but missed the optimal timing due to this brief hesitation.

Shi Yan quickly adjusted, but his wrist was already committed to the strike, making it hard to change course. Fortunately, his stance was stable. He squatted down, narrowly managing to block Chen Xingran’s blade with the tip of his own sword just before it reached his face.

Clang!

The blades collided, and Shi Yan felt as if his sword had plunged into a whirlpool of mud, all his force dissipated in an instant. A powerful force surged from the point of contact, nearly causing him to lose his grip on his weapon.

Such skillful swordsmanship!

Shi Yan was genuinely astonished. The step-and-slash was one of the simplest and most basic techniques in swordsmanship. Yet, Chen Xingran managed to execute it with such finesse. The seamless flow of force and the sudden burst of power were only possible from someone who had thoroughly internalized the technique. If not for his quick reflexes, Shi Yan would have already been hit.

How could someone so young possess such mastery?

Shi Yan was deeply shaken. He dared not underestimate Chen Xingran any longer and no longer treated him as a mere enthusiast of swords. Concentrating fully, he kept his eyes fixed on the Tang sword in Chen Xingran’s hand, not daring to let his guard down for even a moment.

One was a muscular, shirtless middle-aged man; the other, a slender youth. Despite their stark physical contrast, it was clear after just a few moves that Chen Xingran seemed to have the upper hand.

This seemingly illogical scene left the viewers in Ta Xue’s livestream wide-eyed in amazement.

Having gained the upper hand with a single move, Chen Xingran didn’t let up. With a flick of his wrist, his Tang sword drew an arc in the air, thrusting forward with the force and precision of a long fist punch. The swift whistling sound of the blade slicing through the air made Shi Yan’s hair stand on end.

Ying Ji Tan Xi 2 ?!

Shi Yan’s sword had been pushed aside by three inches, leaving him no time to parry. He instinctively retreated to avoid the blade, but as soon as his leg muscles tensed, the youth seemed to predict his move. Without altering his motion, Chen Xingran stepped forward.

Shi Yan retreated, and Chen Xingran followed, advancing step by step. No matter how many steps Shi Yan took back, the blade remained aimed at his vital points, unyielding. The constant, imminent threat made sweat bead on Shi Yan’s forehead.

Thud—

The courtyard was small. Despite retreating several steps, Shi Yan couldn’t escape the persistent blade. He gritted his teeth, lifted his left foot, and stepped on a wooden pillar behind him, quickly steadying himself. With a circular motion of his arm, he swiftly retrieved his Tang sword, twisting his body and launching a counterattack.

With his larger build and longer reach, this move was both fast and fierce. If Chen Xingran continued to thrust forward, Shi Yan’s blade would inevitably strike him first.

But Chen Xingran didn’t retreat. Placing his left palm over his right hand, he added force and pressed the Tang sword down. Another sharp “clang” rang out as Shi Yan’s blade was forced down several inches. Chen Xingran then twisted his wrist, creating a grating sound as the swords scraped against each other. In an astonishing display of skill, Chen Xingran intercepted Shi Yan’s blade mid-swing!

Chen Xingran’s current physical condition was far from reaching the level of his previous life. In terms of strength, he couldn’t compete with Shi Yan. The interception and twist of the blade only stalled Shi Yan momentarily. Then, as Shi Yan’s arm exerted force, an irresistible strength continued to press down from where the blades clashed.

However, Chen Xingran showed no intention of backing down. He moved fluidly, relaxing his entire body in an instant, then suddenly tensing like a drawn bowstring. In this cycle of relaxation and tension, his entire strength was gathered—not just his physical balance, but his energy, power, and even his spirit seemed to collapse into a single point. The next second, his entire strength coursed through his muscles and bones, exploding outward.

“Clang!!”

Shi Yan, who had been dominating the strength contest, suddenly jolted as if struck by lightning. His body trembled, and the force from Chen Xingran’s blade traveled through his weapon, impacting his body. The wrist holding the sword emitted a strange crackling sound as if driven by Chen Xingran’s force. His body was suddenly flung backward, crashing into a wooden pillar with a dull thud.

Internal force!

Hidden strength, smooth and cohesive, with internal energy focused into a single point, integrating power and spirit—this was the hallmark of an expert in internal martial arts!

Shi Yan could hardly believe his eyes, his heart filled with shock.

From an observer’s perspective, in that split second, the two figures moved in quick succession, their blades clashing continuously, steel striking steel. Then, Shi Yan abruptly retreated while the youth advanced, the glint of his blade reflecting the sunlight and sending chills down the spine of anyone watching. The scene was incredibly perilous.

Because Shi Yan was shirtless, his muscles were prominently visible. Through the livestream, everyone could clearly see the muscles in Shi Yan’s arm bulging and his face flushing red from exertion. Despite using all his strength, the much smaller and slimmer youth managed to twist his blade and then lift it, sending the muscular middle-aged man crashing into the pillar!

“Holy sh*t!!”

Ta Xue couldn’t help but exclaim, completely forgetting his earlier promise not to interrupt. The scene before him defied common sense yet was happening right before his eyes. It was like witnessing a rabbit fighting a lion and kicking the lion several meters away—a scene filled with a sense of fantasy and unreality.

Along with his exclamation, the livestream chat exploded with comments.

“WTF?! What did I just see?”

“Fake, right??”

“No way, the guy got thrown back? Are you sure this isn’t a game???”

“I’m totally blown away; I can’t say anything but holy crap.”

“That was so f*cking cool!! So cool ah ah ah ah!!”

“It’s completely different from the game feeling… but damn, it’s so exciting!”

“Awesome!!! Totally awesome!!!”

Ta Xue’s sudden outburst didn’t distract Shi Yan. In fact, Shi Yan had no time to listen to Ta Xue’s voice because as his back hit the wooden pillar, Chen Xingran’s blade was already thrusting towards him!

In an instant, Shi Yan forgot that this was a friendly sparring match, meant to be a controlled exercise. His opponent’s swordsmanship was terrifying, and the display of internal force had shattered his prior understanding of martial arts. Facing the imminent blade, his hair stood on end, and a cold sweat broke out on his back.

Tiger Stance Block!

Shi Yan reacted immediately, his eyes almost bloodshot. Faced with the fierce blade and the palpable killing intent, he instinctively executed a Tiger Stance Block, sweeping his sword upward from below. With his years of martial experience, the timing and angle of this move were impeccable.

By blocking his opponent’s blade, Shi Yan used the leverage to raise his own weapon, aiming directly at his opponent’s vital points!

Shi Yan’s nerves were already taut. This strike was almost reflexive, using his full strength. However, the moment he executed the move, he realized his mistake.

This is bad!!

He almost forgot that this was just a sparring match. He had put too much force into this move. Even though the blade was coated with wood wax for safety, if it connected, it could still cut deeply into flesh, possibly to the bone. If it hit a vital area… the consequences were unimaginable!

Realizing this too late, Shi Yan tried to retract some of his strength, but the angle remained perfect for a deadly strike. The image of the youth’s chest being slashed open flashed in his mind.

Damn…

Faced with Shi Yan’s instinctive but ferocious killing move, Chen Xingran showed no fear; instead, his eyes lit up.

Good move!

The Tiger Stance Block was executed brilliantly. Chen Xingran couldn’t help but admire the strength and precision. The essence of martial arts lies in exchanging and countering moves, each practitioner posing and solving problems with their techniques. Confronted with Shi Yan’s challenging move, Chen Xingran felt his blood boil, as if he had returned to the dueling arenas of his previous life, where a single strike determined victory or defeat.

His heart filled with admiration, yet his hands moved swiftly. What was initially a straightforward thrust transformed mid-motion as his arm muscles contracted, making the blade arc in the air in an eerie curve.

Force reserved, concealed yet potent, fierce yet controlled, flawless in execution.

Soldiers, also deceive!

In that split second, Chen Xingran’s rapid movements conjured three flashes of silver in the air, accompanied by a whistling sound.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

Three points of silver light, forming a slightly tilted character shape, flashed out like lightning. Following closely was a sweeping arc, cutting from top to bottom like a fierce storm rolling across the ground!

Stabbing is the essence of swordsmanship, its purpose to seek life with relentless pursuit!

The sharp clash of three precise strikes echoed as Chen Xingran’s swift and precise stabs struck Shi Yan’s blade, instantly disrupting all his force points. The previously imposing Tiger Stance Block, like a deflated balloon, lost all momentum and power, becoming utterly harmless.

How is this possible?!

Shi Yan’s astonishment was caught in his throat. Following the three points of silver light, the next sweeping arc left him wide-eyed and shocked.

Like a dragon descending from the sky with the ferocity of an eagle pouncing on a rabbit and the weight of a mountain crashing down, this slash from above was like the Milky Way pouring down. With Shi Yan’s block already broken and his strength dispersed, his Tang sword was now weak and ineffectual. Even if he could react, he couldn’t stop it!

Clang!!

The prolonged hum of metal reverberated in the courtyard as the powerful slash struck Shi Yan’s sword, the immense force disarming him. The fierce, snow-white blade continued its downward trajectory, carrying a sharp intent that seemed to want to cleave him from head to toe!

The slash was like a raging dragon through tumultuous waves, a fierce tiger striking down its prey!

“Whoosh—”

In the blink of an eye, Chen Xingran’s blade abruptly halted, stopping just a hair’s breadth away from Shi Yan’s face. Shi Yan’s eyes widened like saucers, unable to blink, as cold sweat dripped from his forehead, nearly reaching his eyes.

The retaliatory strike from Chen Xingran was just as fierce, if not more so, than Shi Yan’s Tiger Stance Block. The sweeping slash resembled a gust of wind clearing away clouds, leaving no doubt that the next moment would see Shi Yan cleaved in half.

But Chen Xingran’s blade stopped perfectly, the angle precise and control flawless. This level of precision and control, even with meticulous calculations and countless trials, was something few could achieve.

The difference in skill was clear.

This mastery of the blade seemed ingrained in Chen Xingran’s very bones, something Shi Yan admitted he could not match.

He conceded defeat.

Chen Xingran held his arm steady, then executed a beautiful flourish with his blade, habitually wanting to sheathe it, but realizing he had no scabbard, he awkwardly lowered it, pointing diagonally at the ground.

It had been a long time since he had wielded a real blade and even longer since he had experienced such an exhilarating, knife-edge battle.

Chen Xingran exhaled deeply, smiling slightly. “You let me win. 3

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Translator Notes
  1. traditional: describing a girl’s beautiful eyes[]
  2. It’s getting harder to translate these moves coz they sound so awkward in English QTZ. The literal translation is Eagle Strikes Sandalwood Creek[]
  3. you let me win – said politely after a game[]
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