Unfocused. Disoriented, and struggling to breathe, Li Meirong watched in abject horror as Liang Rou Yan drove her to the ground and, in a manner similar to the ferocious Tiger Spirit, pounced on her from above. The difference was that the tiger's claws and teeth had been exchanged by a sharp blade and a whip.
Liang Rou Yan glared down at her with pure hatred seething from a pair of black eyes that peeked through layers of bandages wrapped around her mutilated face.
"This has been long overdue. I should have ended your miserable life the moment you tried to join the sect." She spat out. The blade was gripped tightly in her palm, moving ever closer to Li Meirong's heart, diving with the single intention of carving out the beating organ from its cage.
At that instant, Li Meirong locked eyes with the madwoman. She saw her own death reflecting back at her from Liang Rou Yan's gleaming pupils, the only exposed part of her face.
The difference between Li Meirong and Liang Rou Yan's combat experience was painfully distinguishable.
Li Meirong had prepared herself all along to expect a brutal fight. She had known that eventually, Captain Liang would make her move again.
Yet, despite knowing, she still miscalculated. Her mistake had been to think that because she now possessed a higher level of cultivation than her enemy, that she would gain the upper hand in battle.
The overflow of spiritual power she had acquired after absorbing the flames into her meridians back at the volcano had made her arrogant.
Another miscalculation on Li Meirong's part was the expectation of a fight. This was not a fight. There was no exchange of blows nor a measure of wit and strength. This was an ambush with the sole intention to kill.
As such, there was no need to play fair. This was not a competition nor a game. There were no rules or regulations. It was either kill or be killed.
Li Meirong squinted as she focused on Liang Rou Yan's pupils and chose to leave her chest exposed, deciding to take the hit and strike at the same time instead of protecting herself.
Dense blue fire surrounded each of Li Meirong's quivering fingertips as she aimed her nails at those gleaming pupils.
Meanwhile, the blade's tip embedded itself into her flesh, plunging deeper still with every passing moment.
Li Meirong let out an anguished cry as she felt the searing pain diving inside and engulfing her senses. However, her fingers kept reaching for Liang Rou Yan's eyes ceaselessly, until she managed to force two digits into each of Captain Liang's eye sockets.
She pushed her flame encased thumbs inside, her nails sinking further into the soft tissue until Liang Rou Yan wailed above her and finally loosened her grip on the whip. She leapt backwards, pulling the blade out and slashing it blindly through the air in front of herself.
The blade grazed Li Meirong's wrist as she whirled herself away from the spot. She tossed the whip from her neck and crawled backwards with whatever was left of her strength.
Li Meirong coughed several times, inhaling rapidly. Each breath burned as the air moved through her strangled throat. She stared down at herself and saw a large gash situated near the middle of her chest. A rivulet of deep red crawled its way down from the wound like a stream.
Liang Rou Yan stumbled backwards, screeching and howling. Her palms covered her scorched eyesockets, the stench of burnt flesh filling the air.
"Bitch! Bitch! You f*cking cockroach that refuses to die!" Liang Rou Yan raged. She kept slicing blindly through the air, hoping to cut down the bane of her existence that was Li Meirong, but to no avail.
Li Meirong quietly watched the spectacle from a safe distance away.
Liang Rou Yan's rage was eventually reduced to a fit of weeping. "My eyes… my eyes…"