The boar stood no chance. In that situation, even if Adam was only using his strength of peak body strengthening, he still would have won that encounter. Well, he only would have stunned the beast and would have had to move to avoid injury, but, he would still be the one to come out of it with the advantage. This was because the Red Skinned Boar was a qi beast that relied on its greater physical strength and didn’t actually have a particularly strong defence.

This meant that so long as someone avoided their direct charge, they would have a high chance of survival and of being able to take the beast down themselves, even if their strength was weaker. It was actually one of the reasons why Adam had suggested to Tom that he try and independently take one on.

“You see that?” Adam asked Tom.


“What do you think?” Adam asked, before realising that the other boar was still charging at Tom and that this wasn’t exactly the best time or place to have a conversation.

“Never mind, I’ll move out of the way. Do your best” he said as he moved back several meters and put a bit more distance between himself and Tom.

[Hmm, I wonder what your plan is. You sounded awfully confident in being able to take it down. I guess you must have something worked out] thought Adam.

He was curious as to what Tom was planning to do. After all, Tom was only at the 6th level of body strengthening and his strength was far below that of the Red Skinned Boar, which had strength just below a peak body strengthening expert.

Adam didn’t have to wait long to see what Tom was planning to do, however, he was surprised by it. This was because while he was standing there, Tom still hadn’t drawn his sword. Instead, he took the dagger attached to the right side of his waist and flicked it up into a throwing position.

In his current situation, there were two main ways that a cultivator would usually take on a Red Skinned Boar charging at them. The first, if they were stronger than the boar, would be to take it on directly, as Adam had done. The second, however, was to dodge its frontal charges and then start inflicting wounds, as big as possible, on its side and back before it could turn around and charge again. Doing this, those that were lucky would be able to inflict serious injuries on the beast and fell it relatively quickly without much danger to one’s self.

Tom, however, had chosen neither of these two options. He had decided on a completely different approach, one that followed the principle of targeting the opponent’s weak spots.

[The skull of the Red Skinned Boar is one of the hardest parts of its body and provides it the most defence] thought Tom, while thinking over the information he had read on this species in the Cardinal clan’s records.

[Even if that defence isn’t very strong, pitifully weak in fact, with my current strength, I won’t be able to cut through it. At most, by targeting its head, I’d only be able to inflict superficial wounds that won’t kill it. However, as with most animals; its greatest weak spot is on its head. Hah! Your skull can be as hard as diamond but it won’t matter if you get a knife through the eye]

Thinking this, Tom threw his dagger towards the oncoming boar, aiming at its eye and confident of his success. By throwing his dagger into its eye, the blade point would penetrate into the beast’s brain and quickly end its life.

[I see] thought an impressed Adam, who was looking on from the side and had seen through Tom’s plan.

[That’s certainly one way to approach it. Throwing techniques have been utilised by warriors throughout all of history in order to take down powerful beasts and besides body strengthening cultivators, this is something which is continued throughout the cultivation realms. After all, what are many of the external qi martial skills, that qi expansionists and above use, if not just advanced forms of such a thing.

No wonder he felt confident. If he can take down such a beast at range, there isn’t much need to be concerned about his safety. It’ll surely be difficult if he wants to get a one shot kill, but he seemed rather self-assured of himself. He must have been practicing his throwing skills without me knowing.]

Both Tom’s confidence and Adam’s ease and expectations were proved to be premature. This was because, unlike what Adam had thought, Tom hadn’t actually been practicing his throwing skills. Now in all fairness to Tom, the dagger he had thrown was actually on target at first, however, unfortunately for him, the boar’s head didn’t remain in a stable position. As the boar was charging forward, its head was naturally moving up and down and side to side, resulting in Tom’s dagger missing the boar’s eye. Instead, it glanced off the side of the boar’s head, only leaving a small, superficial cut.

[Shit!] thought Tom, seeing that he had failed to hit his mark and that the boar had already approached to within several meters.

Not having time to draw his sword, Tom immediately dove to the side, avoiding the forward charge of the boar, and performed a roll before finding his feet again, much to the relief of Adam, who had started when Tom’s throw had failed and was prepared to run forward to help his cousin.

[He missed. It’s a pity but at least he was able to get out of the way. Hmm, but his form and technique didn’t seem that good. Could it be that he hasn’t actually been practicing? No, it must be nerves. He’s still inexperienced so even if he has been practicing, it’s not unexpected that the reality of actual combat would affect his posture and positioning. Besides, even the best don’t always hit their mark.

Then again, he might have been confident for a different reason. He might have had something else up his sleeve, some other plan, and was just trying his luck with this]

After Tom dove to the side, the boar stomped its front feet down on the ground and forced itself to come to an abrupt stop. It then turned around and once again charged towards Tom. This time there wasn’t much distance between them, but, that also meant that the boar couldn’t build up as much momentum.

The boar charged towards Tom, who was half kneeling on the ground and still hadn’t drawn his sword. However, when the boar approached closer, when it was just outside of his striking distance, Tom made his move.  He suddenly started drawing his sword and as he did so, he also pushed himself forward off the ground.

Tom stayed low and tilted his body to side, in order to avoid the boar’s tusks, as he sprang forward, all the while drawing his sword out in a slashing arc. His aim, however, was not to slash at the head or body of the beast, but rather at one of its front legs. He may have missed with his dagger throw, but, the eyes of a creature were just one of its weak points.

[Damnit, I have to practice throwing later. I suppose Adam wasn’t wrong when he insisted I trained my fighting skills. Cultivation really isn’t everything; I also have to make sure I can protect this body] thought Tom, kicking himself a bit over his failed first attempt at the boar.

[Humph, never mind. I might have missed my throw, but you’re still not too difficult an opponent. As long as I immobilise you, you’re as good as dead]

Moving forward at an angle and with a slightly tilted body, Tom was able to avoid heading directly into the forward charging path of the boar and soon found its tusks safely passing him by.

He, of course, with his strength at the 6th level of body strengthening couldn’t meet the boar head on and had he not sprang forward at an angle, he would have suffered a serious injury from the impact of the boar’s charge and then died being trampled to death beneath it.

The next moment, just after he saw the beast’s tusk pass him by harmlessly, Tom felt a strong impact force reverberate in his arm as his sword bit into the creature’s front left leg. This forced his arm back slightly, but, he was able to draw his sword across the boar’s leg as he continued to move forward.

Moving forward and coming out of the sword slash, Tom had a slight smirk on his face. This time, he had been successful in hitting his mark and clearly felt the impact of his sword against the creature’s leg.

What’s more, when his sword had hit the leg of the boar, it had easily cut into it, achieving Tom’s goal of wounding one of its legs. The crashing sound behind him as the boar fell to the floor was testament to this. The only unfortunate thing was that he was unable to cut off the leg. Nevertheless, the wound he’d inflicted wasn’t minor and the drawing cut he’d made on it had opened up quite a bloody mess.

[Yes, that it, that’s how you do it] thought Adam, internally praising Tom.

“Good going. Now you just have to finish it off, but, remember not to take your guard down, it’s down but not out” shouted Adam to Tom.

Tom, turning back around to face the boar, flashed his eyes over to Adam after hearing his words and gave a slight nod. This however, wasn’t something he needed to be told. Of course he wouldn’t be careless at this stage. He knew well enough that even wounded animals could still be dangerous. In fact, many, in their last death throes, would pull out all of their remaining strength in a last ditch effort to escape or kill their attacker, something one should always be prepared for. This time however, Tom didn’t think it was going to be a problem.

Tom looked on at the boar as it struggled to get up, but, it crashed to the ground when it tried to put its weight on its wounded leg. With three good legs it would still be able to stand up and move about, but, Tom obviously wasn’t about to give it that chance.

As it was starting to stand up, Tom ran forward and with both hands grasping his sword, he thrust it into the side of the beast, penetrating into its innards and earning a pained squeal from it. Then, after pushing the sword in as far as he could, Tom continued to push against the side of the beast and forced it to fall over on its side.

The boar started kicking it legs out and thrashing about, but, this was to no avail. It was no longer in a position where it could harm Tom and Tom certainly wasn’t about to allow it to be. Furthermore, Tom continued applying pressure to the sword and holding the boar in the place on the ground, preventing it from getting the leverage and footing it needed to raise itself back up.

The boar continued to struggle about on the ground, slowing bleeding out. Each of its jerking movements increased the size of the wound where Tom’s sword was and was bringing it closer and closer to death. Finally, after a while, Tom twisted his sword inside the boar and with one final squeal, the boar fell limp, the last of its life having been extinguished.

While Tom wiped some of the sweat off his brow, it had taken quite a bit of effort for him to hold the boar down in place, Adam walked over to him.

“Well done Tom, well done” he praised, with a smile on his face.

“I was a bit worried for a second at the start but you really did it”

“I told you, no worries” replied Tom as he looked over to Adam.

“Took a while to die though” he said calmly while frowning at it. Internally he felt a bit annoyed.

[Can’t believe it took me this long to kill a pig, this is ridiculous]

“Hmm, I suppose you were holding it down for about 5 minutes. If you had managed to get it in the neck or had taken your sword out to stab it again, it would have been much faster. Ultimately though, safety comes first. I remember on my first trip to the forest, like you, I encountered a pack of Red Eyed Wolves. One of my guards bisected a wolf in half and after he turned his back, the wolf jumped at him with just its front legs and bit into his head. It really showed that you can never be too careful” said Adam.

Hearing this story, the guards who had followed not too far behind and those that had remained with the horses but which had drawn close after Tom pinned the boar, winced and sucked in a breath of cold air.

“Oh, I remember that. Wasn’t that Mallory?” asked Harrison.

“Yes, it was Mallory. He’d worked for the clan for almost 50 years. It was such an unfortunate way to go. None of us saw it coming” lamented Adam.

Hah” sighed Pike. “It’s unfortunate but these things happen, don’t they? You never know what’s going to happen in the forest, what’ll happen in life” said Pike.



 “Amen to that” agreed several of the guards as they contemplated on Pike’s words.

“Well, like I say, safety comes first. You really need to be careful in the forest, I mean, you just turn your head away for a second and you could end up dead. Too many people have died in this place because of that kind of carelessness” said Adam, before turning his head back to Tom.

“Remember Tom, you can do anything if you’re alive, but nothing if you’re dead, so, when you’re dealing with beasts, stay vigilant, never rush and always confirm the kill” said Adam.

“Of course” replied Tom.

[Nothing I didn’t already know but ok] thought Tom.

“Ok then” said Adam after clapping his hands, before pointing at the dead boar in front of him.

“We should put this on the wagon and get going again. After all, it’s still early. Plenty of time to continue on” he said cheerily.


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