Space was folded.
After confirming this, Dong Zheng knew that he couldn’t leave until he behaved according to Cui Zuojing’s wishes.
Did he have to fight head-on…?
Dong Zheng closed the door, no longer letting his vision become disturbed by the folded space. He turned around and faced the very relaxed and comfortable Cui Zuojing.
The youth was observing his every move. Seeing that Dong Zheng was finally going to fight, he smiled and said, “That’s right. Escape is not the best option.”
Dong Zheng said, “But when facing an opponent who one knows one can’t defeat, it’s not shameful. I prefer to call it a strategic retreat.”
“But unfortunately, you have no chance to retreat,” Cui Zuojing said leisurely. “Come, I’ll let you make the first move. Let’s take a look at the results of this period of training.”
“Okay.” Dong Zheng stood by the closed door, his eyes sharp and ready to attack.
Cui Zuojing kept his hands in his pocket and watched indifferently to see what tricks he would come up with.
In the next moment, a slight needle-like prickle appeared in the center of his eyebrows, followed by the inevitable dizziness.
This was within Cui Zuojing’s expectation. He’d long expected Dong Zheng to start with the attack most favorable to him.
But, he didn’t care at all–After all, in these past few days, Dong Zheng had been using him to test his abilities, hoping for further development.
Being dizzy was really an uncomfortable feeling. Cui Zuojing closed his eyes, as he’d done many times before, and waited for the mental interference to pass.
He knew that Dong Zheng wouldn’t be able to hold it for long and, even if he closed his eyes, he would still be able to beat Dong Zheng with one hand. Therefore, he wasn’t worried about it.
So, he closed his eyes with peace of mind.
A few seconds later.
The slight movement in the air that came with an attack on his body didn’t come as expected. Cui Zuojing couldn’t even hear Dong Zheng’s footsteps. Among the whirring sound of the vent, there was a slight sound of metal clinking.
Cui Zuojing’s eyes abruptly opened. He frowned at the distorted scenery, feeling nauseous. But, it didn’t matter to him, who had already suffered countless hardships. There was no one in front of him; Dong Zheng had disappeared.
He whirled around. It was unknown when the man had reached the end of the hallway behind him. He was already crawling inside one of the vent, with only one leg still hanging outside. Then, in the blink of an eye, even this leg had also disappeared into the vent.
Cui Zuojing: “…..”
Within the five seconds when Cui Zuojing closed his eyes, Dong Zheng did a series of things with amazing speed and clarity.
First, he turned around and opened the door he’d just walked through, using the space fold to appear behind Cui Zuojing. Then, he closed it again, in case Cui Zuojing opened his eyes and immediately saw his trail through the open door.
Then he stepped on the nearby box, removed the vent cover, and crawled in.
There was absolutely no chance of winning in a fight against Cui Zuojing. Even if Cui Zuojing was willing to throw the fight, he was impossible to beat. Instead, it was possible that he might be delaying him instead.
Strategic retreat was not shameful. His ultimate goal was to get the key to eliminate the other people, but this didn’t include defeating Cui Zuojing.
Cui Zuojing stomped angrily and could only run over while yelling, “You’re shameless!”
He looked up and saw only a short upward structure, followed by a horizontal right-angle turn. Dong Zheng was no longer visible.
Cui Zuojing immediately stepped on the box, but because of his height, he had to stand on tiptoe to reach the vent. He grabbed the edge of the vent with both hands, exerted force, and lightly jumped up.
However, before his eyes could adjust to the dark environment in the vent, he felt a gust of wind sweeping toward his face!
At this time, Cui Zuojing’s hands were still busily climbing the ventilation duct, and so he couldn’t get away.
Even so, he was still very quick. He released his hold, twisting his body with amazing flexibility, so that the fist barely brushed the tip of his nose.
A sneak attack!
Cui Zuojing couldn’t help but admit that he’d been taken off guard by Dong Zheng time after time. He thought that Dong Zheng wanted to escape and that was why he would crawl away at the fastest speed. But Dong Zheng didn’t want to escape at all. Everything he’d done was to change the setting to something more favorable to himself and to throw Cui Zuojing off his stride.
—Dong Zheng knew this was the only way to win.
The moment Cui Zuojing let go of the duct to avoid him, Dong Zheng accurately grasped his left shoulder with his other hand and relied on the strength of an adult male to easily drag Cui Zuoing into the ventilation duct. He placed one foot on Cui Zuojing’s right wrist, restraining the hand holding the scabbard so that he would temporarily be unable to attack with weapons.
The two people were squeezed into the cramped ventilation duct. Dong Zheng was very ruthless. When he stepped on Cui Zuojing’s knuckles and forced him to let go, he immediately kicked the scabbard out of the pipe.
—Normally, everyone’s combat training was like this. Relying on Victor’s purification ability, they didn’t hesitate to cause harm to one another. Except for Dong Zheng, Cui Zuojing had already beaten up everyone else.
Especially Dong Linhai.
Hand-to-hand combat in a narrow environment was the most favorable situation for Dong Zheng. He abruptly pushed Cui Zuojing to the side wall of the duct and pressed his knee down against the youth’s thigh, trying to suppress his resistance.
But for Cui Zuojing, this was of little use.
The pain wasn’t strong, but it was enough to excite him. Cui Zuojing slightly twisted his body to the side. Dong Zheng felt as if he was holding a slippery fish in his arms and was soon thrown off.
The wind blew in from the other end of the ventilation duct. In the dark, they couldn’t see each other’s movements or expressions, but they could hear each other’s heavy breathing. Cui Zuojing pulled his hand out from under Dong Zheng’s shoes and, with incredible ruthlessness, slammed his fist into Dong Zheng’s left cheek!
Dong Zheng let out a muffled groan and used the weight of his own body to press Cui Zuojing more forcefully against the pipe wall. Relying on the narrow space to restrict the youth’s movement, he pinched Cui Zuojing’s chin with one hand and slammed his elbow into Cui Zuojing’s stomach.
At this moment, Cui Zuojing also began to truly feel the pain Dong Zheng had inflicted him, from his face, neck, and abdomen. From the very beginning, he’d fallen into a passive disadvantage. Dong Zheng was a large man of more than 160 kilograms. Held in such an awkward position, Cui Zuoing couldn’t exert much force and so it was really difficult for him to break free from his shackles.
But, the youth only had to do one thing.
His free hand reached into his pocket and pulled out a tarot card.
This was something that he’d grabbed when he eliminated Lin Hangzhi.
Cui Zuojing made a backhand stroke, fiercely slashing the pipe behind him. The tarot card silently slid through the steel structure like slicing through tofu, cutting it open in a flash.
He grabbed Dong Zheng’s head with his other hand, and before his opponent could block him, he made another crosscut!
The vent wasn’t buried too deeply in the wall. When Cui Zuojing stabbed fiercely, the card sank in and penetrated through the wall.
The light from the hallway down below became faintly visible.
With a roar, the youth raised his legs and slammed them by Dong Zheng’s side, pushing against the upper wall of the ventilation duct.
His muscles strained, and the pipe against his back let out an overwhelming groan. After half a breath, Dong Zheng’s eyes flashed in equal mixture of surprise and horror!
They fell together with the iron sheet. With Cui Zuojing still pressed down beneath Dong Zheng, they both fell heavily onto the carpet below.
In the last moment right before landing, Dong Zheng held himself up with his elbows so as not to directly fall on Cui Zuojing’s body. But, his head still moved downward due to inertia, and the corner of his lips brushed against the youth’s ear.
The temperature of the tip of Cui Zuojing’s ear was slightly cooler than Dong Zheng’s lips.
Dong Zheng was startled. It was this ten thousandth of a second’s hesitation that prevented him from adjusting his posture immediately and continuing the battle against Cui Zuojing.
Cui Zuojing pushed him away and turned over neatly. As he got up, he grabbed Dong Zheng’s collar with one hand and pulled him up.
He was very angry. While clutching Dong Zheng’s collar tightly with one hand, he punched him in the stomach with the other hand. Then, he yanked Dong Zheng toward him and slammed his head down.
The youth’s smooth forehead unceremoniously hit Dong Zheng’s tall nose. Dong Zheng’s vision went black. During these few seconds of darkness, something warm seemed to spurt out of his nose.
Cui Zuojing pushed Dong Zheng back hard, then pulled him forward again, and slammed his head again.
The height difference between the two made Cui Zuojing’s head-butt extremely efficient, allowing him to directly hit the most vulnerable part of Dong Zheng’s face–the bridge of his nose.
After three consecutive strikes, Cui Zuojing finally stopped. Because, at this moment, he himself could no longer withstand the pain.
He touched his nose, and his hand came away bloodied.
Under the effect of the blood contract, Dong Zheng loyally returned half of his injury to him.
Blood poured from his nose like water. Cui Zuojing wiped it away casually, smearing the lower half of his face. In addition, there was Dong Zheng’s nosebleed on his forehead. This covered his whole face in blood, making him look terrifying.
Cui Zuojing cursed in a low voice, feeling as if the bridge of his nose was being cut off. This was, of course, all because of his own actions.
Thinking this increased his anger.
Dong Zheng was already beaten up.
Cui Zuojing loosened his collar, and the man staggered back two steps, until his back hit the wall and he barely managed to stabilize his figure.
A drop of blood fell on his collar. When his vision finally cleared, Dong Zheng was stunned by the sight in front of him.
The youth’s face was covered in blood; even his black eyelashes were stained red. At that moment, Dong Zheng truly experienced what it felt like to be suffocated.
It was a very strange feeling.
“Where are you hurt?” He thought Cui Zuojing was injured when he fell down, so he endured his own dizziness and staggered one step forward. He didn’t even notice how anxious he sounded.
Before Cui Zuojing could respond, Dong Zheng was already digging through his pockets. He couldn’t find anything that could be used to stop the bleeding, so he quickly took off his shirt to stem Cui Zuojing’s wound.
“It’s your injury that was returned to me,” Cui Zuojing answered in a muffled voice, holding his nose.
Then, he pointed at his forehead and said, “Look, your nose is bleeding.”
Dong Zheng paused, seeming to realize that he’d been too anxious. He tilted his head down awkwardly, his eyes shifting away from Cui Zuojing’s face.
After a long silence, he raised his hand to cover his own bloodied nose, and said, “Oh.”
Cui Zuojing snickered. “….Puff.”
He couldn’t help but be amused by Dong Zheng’s series of confusing behavior. He laughed out loud. But when he laughed, the muscles around his nose moved, and he groaned in pain, his entire face wrinkling.
Dong Zheng couldn’t hold back his smile.
“Laugh! Still laugh!” Cui Zuojing was still itchy with anger. He flew up and kicked Dong Zheng’s calf, dissatisfied. “It’s all your fault. If it weren’t for you, how could I beat myself like this!”
“I’m not good,” Dong Zheng agreed, allowing Cui Zuojing to vent. The nosebleed was so terrifying and scary that he didn’t know what else to do.
“Pinch here.” Cui Zuojing’s other hand pinched a part of Dong Zheng’s nose, “Use a little pressure to temporarily stop the bleeding, and let Victor treat you when this is over.”
Dong Zheng followed Cui Zuojing’s instruction and placed his fingers on where he’d pressed.