Mei-Ling took a deep breath, stretched out her arms and delicately balanced her feet on the rope. Slowly, she put one foot in front of the other. As she walked, she swayed a bit to the left and a bit to the right, but was always able to correct herself each time.
Meanwhile, Bohai had ended the standoff with Junjie with a bo staff smack to Junjie’s jaw and was springing from bannister to bannister up the tower once more. Junjie remained in hot pursuit all the way to the eighteenth floor.
The Staff of Ages was within Mei-Ling’s grasp now. Her movements became a precarious dance. She kept her left arm straight out as she grabbed hold of the staff. A feeling of pride overwhelmed her, but there was no time to celebrate. Her ears filled with the sounds of fellow students at battle, prompting her to press forward.
“Bahh!” Bohai shouted as he kicked at the bannister. Junjie threw himself in front of the wooden railing and caught his opponent’s foot.
“Step aside,” Bohai said.
“Never,” Junjie replied.
The handsome hero delivered a roundhouse kick that knocked Bohai to the floor. Seeing his opponent on the ground, Junjie did not hesitate to pin Bohai down and deliver a deluge of rapid fire punches to Bohai’s face in rapid secession.
Bohai rolled out of the attack and jumped up to his feet. Both men traded punches.
“Damn you!” Bohai shouted. “Your loins have ruined your brain!”
“Your lust for power has ruined yours,” Junjie replied.
“Get out of my way,” Bohai said.
“Think of what you are doing,” Junjie said.
“I will stop at nothing to get what is mine!” Bohai shouted as he pounded Junjie’s face.
“You’d even kill one of us?” Junjie asked.
Bohai’s eyes lit up as if they were on fire. “I would kill all of you and step over your graves to rule this clan!”
With that, Bohai performed a backflip kick that grounded Junjie.
Out on the tightrope, Mei-Ling was holding the staff straight across in both hands, using it to keep her balance. Her concentration was broken when Junjie screamed.
The acrobat didn’t turn around. Her situation was much too precarious for that. Instead, she gripped the staff with her left hand, then leaned down and grabbed the rope with her right.
Crack! Bohai kicked the the bannister into splinters and Mei-Ling plummeted rapidly.