The Lord of Swords

About this novel:

Hi, every web-novel enthusiasts. I am one of the guys who've been reading the web novels for decades and love this free and fantastic style of stories so much. Among various categories of web novels, I just favor XianXia most, which paints me a unique grand picture of love, friendship, strategy and imagination, and has influenced me much more even than the traditional style of Martial Arts. Thus, I've been long looking forward to introducing this wonderful world of XianXia to all the novel fans around the world. Through this novel, I've been trying my best to build and illustrate some of the fundamental systems of Martial Arts, Taoism Arts, traditional chinese myths, etc. with some pictures and my own understanding towards the world of Xian.

 

It would be my great joys that you could enter into and enjoy the world of eastern XianXia by my first novel, inspite of my poor writing techniques.:D  

 

Thanks in advance for any of your comments. And thanks for the stage supported by WuxiaWorld.

 

Well, let's just begin our journey to the world of XianXia with our Wei Gaoyuan...

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  • edited August 25
    Novel Title: The Lord of Swords

    Synopsis:

    With the death of the God Emperor, the World of the Gods, this former paradise, fell into an absolute chaos. It triggered a few great wars among numerous superpower forces in the three worlds, who were fighting both for the God Emperor’s supreme throne and powerful talisman. One of the wars was so fierce that it had brought about terrible collapse of space-time among the worlds; even worse, the God Emperor's talisman was missing in the chaos of three thousand worlds during that war…

     

    In a unremarkable town of the human world, a teenager struggling at the bottom of the society inadvertently received the blessings from heaven, opened the door to the fantastic world of the Taoism Arts, and embarked on the road of contending with those of the most ancient and mighty beings...

  • Chapter 1: Origin

    At the end of the Shang Dynasty of ancient China, King Wu led his great army to overthrew King Zhou the last emperor of the Shang Dynasty, which triggered The War of God Creation, one of the three epic wars since the beginning of the first world. It was the destructive war that involved the countless ancient saints, the immortals, the Taoists, the great Wuists and humankind in and beyond the three principle religions. (Taoism, Buddhism and Humanity)

     

    (the great Wuists: those who are able to use the mysterious Wuism Arts are the leaders of the Wu tribe, one of the most ancient powerful tribes.)

     

     

    King Wu won finally and established Zhou Dynasty. After the war, Jiang Ziya (the top military strategist in Zhou Dynasty) created 365 gods and authorized the Jade Emperor to rule all of them in the World of the Gods.

     

    Since then, the World of the Gods had been peaceful and prosperous , accordingly a dreaming paradise for humankinds like Taoisms in the World of Humankind,just as the song circulating among folks went:

    Even the brightest candle

    is blown out by the winds;

    Even the highest mountain

    is covered by the clouds;

    Even the most beautiful girl

    is seen through by the years.

    I wanna fly with the winds;

    I wanna sing on the clouds,

    sing to laugh at the years.

    La-la-la, La-la-la

     

    However,the good times were not always lasting long. Thousands years later ( the timing in the World of the Gods is quite different from it in the World of the Humankind.) the Jade Emperor died unexpectedly and only left his throne and most powerful talisman — the God Emperor Seal, which caused numerous superpower forces in the three worlds (the World of the Gods, the World of the Humankind and the World of the Ghosts) to fight for it and the throne of the World of the Gods.

     

    The war was so fierce that it brought about terrible collapse of the space-time among the worlds and discovery of an unknown new world; even worse, the God Emperor Seal was missing in the chaos of three thousand worlds during the war...

     

    Then all forces involved stopped fighting and spread around the three worlds to seek the lost talisman. Another thousand years passed, the throne of Jade Emperor remained vacant with the unknown whereabouts of the God Emperor Seal.

     

    Once again, the three worlds had become the huge battlefield for all competing powers and factions...

     

    The God Emperor Seal



  • Chapter 2: Brother and Sister Ⅰ

    The setting sun dyed the entire sky as red as the vermilion satin. It was the time for the people in the White Plain Town to prepare their dinner.

     

    In the slums, north of the town, the carefree kids were playing happily together while their parents were preparing a light meal, and teenagers gathered to enjoy their relaxing time.

     

    A boy in rags, lay prone on the muddy ground of the clearing with his head clasped in arms tightly, trying hard to protect his face as seven or eight youngsters and adults around were kicking and punching him heavily.

     

    “Stop, guys ! Stop ! ” minutes later, a young man sitting nearby on a small mound exclaimed.

     

    All men stopped immediately. After a while, the boy on the ground slowly squirmed.

    "Hem! Not dead?”the young man on the mound groaned, "okay, I'll try to repeat it once again. Join us Sole Dragon Gang and work for our head Brother Dragon!"

     

    "I won't! Why do I have to pay you half of my earning!” coughing violently, the boy struggled to his feet and shook his head.

      

    With a dusty face and a hint of delicateness and firmness in his eyes, the young boy looked only twelve or thirteen years old.

     

     "Half?! Just ask the guys around you if they can survive without handing over 70 percent of their income. Don’t you know Brother Dragon has thrown you a big bone? Jackass! " the man on the mound scoffed.

     

    "No! I won’t pay anything!" the boy replied firmly.

     

    "Hem!" the man on the mound snapped, " look, look, our thief expert wanna do it the hard way. Well, gentlemen, please continue your performance."

     

    Again the boy was covered by a hail of kicks and punches.

     

    "Enough! " a moment later, the young man on the mound shouted, "you lucky boy, don't let me see your fucking face again. Guys, done!" Clapping their hands and cursing, other men followed him to leave.

     

    Right after they all disappeared, the boy was struggling to get up and stumbled away.

     

     

    It was getting dark. A few rough cabins scattered on the edge of the woods outside the walls of the White Plain Town, with holes in some of their roofs and walls. Soaking up the last bits of sunlight, the boy opened the door of the last cabin.

     

    "Brother, is that you?" a childish and tender voice came.

     

    "Yeah, it's me!" the boy quickly replied and went in at once.

     

    There was nothing in the cabin but two big rocks at the corner and two haystacks beside the wall. A little girl lay on the haystack, looked less than ten years old

    .

    Her hair was tied two little horns, and on her sallow and thin face, large eyes were as pretty and innocent as clear spring in forest. In spite of hot summer now, the girl was covered with the gray bedclothes, only showing her upper body.

     

    The boy couldn't refrain from a shiver when entering the cabin. It was cooler inside.

     

    Once seeing the girl, his eyes immediately showed a gentleness before he took out an oily paper package from his armpit in shirt and carefully opened it — a white steamed bread inside.

     

    "Come on, you must be very hungry," he handed it to the girl.

     

    "Brother must have been busy for a day. You must be hungrier," the girl shook her head.

     

    "I am not hungry. I've already had one, this is yours," the boy smiled and shoved it into the girl's hand, then took off one of his worn shoes of which some of his toes got out ahead, searching for something in it.

     

    Seeking for a while, his face turned gloomy and took off another one and groped it hard.

     

    The two shoes were of different size and styles, which were picked up from goodness knows where.

     

    "What's wrong, brother?" the girl whispered.

     

    "It's okay," the boy stopped searching and frowned.

     

    "Lost the copper coin1?" asked the girl tentatively.

     

    (copper coin: a type of ancient Chinese currency, 20000 copper coins = 20 silver coins = 1 gold coin­)

     

    Still not giving up, the boy grabbed that shoe and knead it up again and again, and only got a long sigh after a long time. He dropped the shoe and sat on the ground, seemed to be drained every strength of his body.

     

    "Forget it, brother..." the girl broke the steamed bread into two halves and handed one to him.

     

    "I'm really sorry!" the boy took the half and gave it a bite subconsciously, with sudden tears filling in his eyes.

     

    "Brother, you don't need to blame yourself," the girl said," as the folk doctor confirmed, it is only the royal doctor who might cure me. But how could we get his help even with enough money?”

     

    "There must be some way to save you, trust me, even with more money or anything I can do!" shaking his head, the boy groped for a broken jar between the rock and the wall, poured out a pile of copper coins and counted them.

     

    The girl was staring at him, sad and heartbroken. The last time he took her to the folk doctor for a diagnosis and ran out of all his saving, hundreds of copper coins. Then hardship works for another year only got him less than one silver coin now.

     

    My brother's suffering is all for me. I'm really a terrible disaster! As she said to herself, something clicked in her mind. She put down the rest of steamed bread, and unexpectedly jumped down from the haystack. No one knew where she got the strength.

     

    "What are you doing?" the boy said by surprise, never had he seen her moving so quickly.

     

    "I wanna go out for a walk."

     

    "But your body..." full of concern was written on the boy's face.

     

    "It’s okay, just a walk, brother."

     

     "Okay, let's eat up them on the way." the boy picked up her steamed cake and helped the girl go out of the door.

     
    Copper coins
  • Chapter 3: Brother and Sister Ⅱ

    Near in sight was a river which was less than a mile from their cabin. Before they knew it, the boy and the girl had come to the riverside. The steamed cake in the girl's hand was still untouched.

      

    She stopped, staring at the flowing river silently, " Brother has been working so hard for me these years…"

     

    The boy touched her head gently,“Everything’s gonna be okay.”

     

    "Hmm... " the girl nodded slightly, " if I were not your burden, your life would be okay."

     

    "Little silly, you are my sister..." the boy smiled.

     

    "Hmm... " the girl nodded again, “I’m your sister… If there is a next life, I'd still love to be your sister. My brother, take care of yourself... "

     

    After her last words, the girl abruptly jumped into the river!

     

    "No!!!" stunned for seconds like a statue, the boy cried and followed the jump off!

     

    Actually he was a good swimmer because of frequently playing in the river in the hot weather, and should not have any difficulty saving her. But somehow when close to the girl, he felt the water around her deadly icy, which made his legs cramped so badly that he could not get her in time. And soon the girl was almost drowned and seen sinking into the bottom of the river.

      

    "Sister!No!!“ the boy roared in despair.

     

    Whoosh!

     

    At the urgent moment, a white shadow flashed down from the sky, flew over the water, caught up the girl by a hand and swept across the river, like a white swift!

     

    All happened just in the blink of an eye. The boy saw a woman crouching on the riverbank and pressing her right hand on the girl's stomach.  

     

    The woman sported a white long Taoist formal dress, and a white veil covering her face. Her graceful, slender fingers were also as snow-white as the white lotus in the Heavenly Pond. A distinctive little cloud was embroidered on her right cuff.

     

    A dim white circle of light was seen under the woman's right palm. Soon the girl spat out a lot of water.

     

    "Thanks for saving her!" still in water, the boy knew that woman was saving his sister.

     

    The woman in white waved her hand slightly, then the boy just felt a great force pull himself out of the water.

     

    "Your name?" asked the woman in white.

     

    "I am Wei Gaoyuan" replied the boy.

     

    "And hers?" the woman in white nodded slightly.

     

    "She's Wei Xiaoxue, my sister."

     

    "Well," the woman in white replied softly, “your sister has a curious constitution, in other words, unless lucky enough, she would only live to be twelve years old."

     

    "Twelve years?!" Wei Gaoyuan exclaimed. Her words was like a dagger to his heart.

     

    The woman in white did not answer him, "I can save her."

     

    "Really?!" Wei Gaoyuan was overjoyed, seemed to rise from hell to heaven.

     

    “But she must go with me, acknowledging me as her master,”said the woman in white.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan hesitated.

     

    "Once she becomes my apprentice, the destinies of you brother and sister will be thoroughly different. Perhaps you will never see each other again. Therefore, I’ll give you a moment to say goodbye to her," the woman in white withdrew her hand and stood up.

     

    The struggle was shown on Wei Gaoyuan's face — If he replied yes, this might be the last moment of his life with his sister, how could he leave his only sister? If no, as the woman in white said, her sister would only get two more years of life, how could he be that selfish?

     

    After a long time, Wei Gaoyuan made the final decision and gave a hard nod, "Please, save her."

     

    “Well,” the woman in white took out a scroll from her sleeve,“a secret scroll of Martial Arts for you, though just some fundamental techniques in it, it’s enough for you to be someone in the world of mortals, if you can practice and learn it on your own.”

    ( The World in the Sleeve: one of the fundamental Taoism Arts, which enables Taoists to put or store almost everything even the whole world in their sleeves.)

     

    "Would I see my sister someday?" Wei Gaoyuan didn't give up.

     

    The woman in white slightly shook her head,“In view of your talent, you will never, in all likelihood, be qualified to enter our world throughout the rest of your life.”

     

    Wei Gaoyuan clenched his fists. He was unable to argue for anything as the woman in white saved them two with effortless grace and her unbelievable power made him completely amazed.

     

    "Well, time to say goodbye. Try hard by yourself," the woman in white waved her left hand, an invisible strength rolled up unconscious Wei Xiaoxue to her side. Meanwhile a silver gleam flashed out from a wave of her right hand and then was floating in the air in front of her!

     

    "That's...!"Wei Gaoyuan was in a great shock. That silver flash was a flying sword!

     

    Taking Wei Xiaoxue, the woman in white flew up, step on the one-meter long sword body. Then all of them turned into a strong white light beam, flew to the distant horizon and vanished in a flash...

     

    It had been a long time before Wei Gaoyuan came to himself from astonishment.

     

    A few years ago, when waiting for the easy targets to steal outside the tea house, Wei Gaoyuan overheard stories told by the storyteller inside many times. The Sword Taoists in the story could step on their swords and fly at a unbelievable speed in the sky like heavenly eagles; they could control the path of their swords' flight to chop off the heads of their enemies just as easily as pulling something out of their pockets.

     

    He’d always thought it was just a story, but today, he personally met a true Sword Taoist. And his sister might literally become one of them. He could not help feeling happy for his sister while sighed that they two would no longer belong to the same world.

     

    Absentminded, Wei Gaoyuan returned to his cabin in which the total silence got him a terrible feeling. Humble and primitive as it was, the cabin was their home; it was the place which he'd cared about most; it was the place which had once been filled up with her sweet “brother”; it was the place in which he would never be willing to stay for even one minute.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan burst into tears quietly.

     

    As night fell, he stood outside in front of the door of the cabin and looked up at the stars, imagining what that world might be like in the words of that woman in white...

     

    Suddenly, a pillar of golden beam fell down straight from the dark sky, like a falling meteor, directly got into the top of his head in an instant before he could react. Then Wei Gaoyuan only felt everything before him went black... 


       

    The Sword Taoist 



     
    The Woman in White 

     


  • Chapter 4: Gift from Heaven

    The sky appeared a fish-belly white, Wei Gaoyuan woke up to find himself on the ground in the doorway of the cabin, where he'd been sleeping for a night.

     

    Recalling what had happened yesterday, he felt as if it were a dream. He opened the door, empty, only the scroll made by unknown materials quietly placed on the rock, which told him that everything yesterday was not a dream, but why did he get a sleep on the ground in front of the door last night?

     

    After a deep breath, he pondered — the air smelled kind of different today. It was more soothing than ever, because of the fine weather? 

     

    Indeed, outside the cabin was a particularly beautiful sunshine. Wei gaoyuan washed his face, tidied up his clothes, and walked towards the direction of the gate of the White Plain Town.

     

    It was a new busy day for the people in the town, and for Wei Gaoyuan as well. He intended to open the new chapter of his life.

     

    He had been a pickpocket. Being a young boy with little education and less strength, he had to support himself and his sister by stealing, if lucky, which could earn them a few copper coins a day. Over time, he'd been one of the experts in this field.  

     

    The tea houses in town, undoubtedly, were his ideal workplaces as guests there tended to let their guard down while focusing on the attractive stories by the storytellers in the tea houses.  

     

    Unfortunately, Wei Gaoyuan had already been a celebrity among various tea houses in the town. He was so well known that the shopkeepers and the waiters always turned their heads warily whenever a twelve or thirteen years boy approached the door of the tea house. Accordingly, he had to change his dress up constantly to disguise himself.

     

    Today he did little dress up, but looked clean and neat — about 1.6 meters tall, thick eyebrows and big eyes, angular features, not an extraordinary, but impressive appearance.

     

    When he came into a tea house, the waiter could not recognize him right now, greeting politely, " Please come in, we’ve got a private dining-table for you..."

     

    "Thank you. I am Wei Gaoyuan, and wanna find a job. I should be obliged if you could tell whether there is an opening here..." He gave his name and purpose. Having listened to the stories in the tea houses for many years made him a well-spoken boy.

     

    Once hearing "Wei Gaoyuan", the waiter changed facial expression immediately and said vigilantly, " It's you! What's your new trick this time?!"

     

    "I just want nothing more than a decent job to earn my living," Wei Gaoyuan responded seriously.

     

    "You must be kidding! Hire a thief?" The waiter waved him away, " just get out of my way, or get in jail!"

     

    "Stew in my own juice..." Shaking his head with a light wry smile, Wei Gaoyuan walked away, trying to  find other possible job opportunities.

     

    When the sun sank in the west, Wei Gaoyuan had eaten nothing and was still wandering in the town, followed only by his own long shadow.

     

    He was absolutely not a lazy boy, but with one day gone, no job even a coolie was available. Some of the shopkeepers just shut the door while saw him a young boy. In desperation, he hesitated about whether he should return to his usual field — a cutpurse.

     

    Everybody has to eat.

     

    Job issue Weighing heavily on his mind, Wei Gaoyuan suddenly heard something as walking along the street. He looked around and found a gambling house opposite the street, where he got the sound of dice cup shaking, no, more precisely, the sound of each dice rolling in the dice cup as if they were rolling in his ears. It was so clearly that he could “hear” every movement and position of each rolling dice.

     

    "Why has my hearing become so acute?" he thought in surprised, opened the door and went into the gambling house.

     

    The house was not big. There was only four tables in it, and the biggest one was located in the center for the VIP customers. At the moment all four tables round were crowded, very noisy. Lots of spectators were around the biggest table.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan came close to the crowd and listened carefully — three dices were flying in the shaking dice cup,colliding with each other, and then turned quiet and still finally.

     

    "Two, three, three. Eight dots in total! " he said to himself.

     

    The dice cup was opened. "Two, three, three. Eight dots! Small!" the dealer yelled at the top of his lungs.

    (The Dice Game: three dices in a dice cup, a maximum of 18 dots and a minimum of 3 dots in total while the dice cup stops shaking. Two sides on the table, bet “big” side > 10 dots in total, or bet “small” side ≤ 10 dots in total before the dealer opens the dice cup.)

     

    "Bingo!" a cheerful smile on Wei Gaoyuan’s face.

     

    Rather than placed a bet on the next round, he got the result by hearing again, "One, four, six. It’s eleven dots!"

     

    Another bingo.

     

    Then came four bingos. “It’s the time!” having made up his mind, Wei Gaoyuan found out his two spare copper coins through a crack in the sole of his shoe.

     

    Seeing a boy sliding through the crowd to the table, the dealer smiled and covered the cup on the table, "boy, you want a try? "  

     

    "Sure, just for fun," Wei Gaoyuan hold two copper coins, and clapped them on the "big" side, " I bet big 1 ! "

     

    "Done?" asked the dealer.

     

    "Done!" Wei Gaoyuan withdrew his hand.

     

    "Well, open! Two, four, five. Eleven dots! Big! " shouted the dealer. Wei Gaoyuan turned two coins into four. He put all of them still on the "big" afterwards, and again four coins turned eight...

     

    He walked out of the gambling house, looking unhappy in spite of eight copper coins in hand. God suddenly sent him the ability to gamble which would get him a comfortable future life, but gambling really means no right track.

     

    Wei Xiaoxue had been taken by the Sword Taoist and was likely to be a flying-on-sword in the sky. On the contrary, he might only be a struggling-at-bottom among commoners.

     

    If so, they would never ever meet in this lifetime...That scroll in the cabin! That scroll of Martial Arts! Yes! It might be a chance!

     

    As soon as he remembered the scroll the woman in white left, Wei gaoyuan rushed to the outside of the town. However, with low literacy and little basic Martial Arts knowledge, how could he read if there wasn’t any illustrations in the scroll?

     

    It was getting dark. At the street corner, Wei Gaoyuan heard two young men whispering far across the street, who, he knew, were members of the Sole Dragon Gang. He quickened his pace to leave, knowing that all his copper coins would be gone if he was the two young men’s target.

     

    Fortunately, the two young men behind did not chase him. Once got back in the cabin, he took out the scroll immediately, nervous; he opened it, relieved: there were eight pictures in it, and each of  the pictures got a few words on its right. He tried to read and only recognized half of the words, so he turned his attention to the pictures.

     

    The room getting darker, Wei Gaoyuan had been completely immersed in the scroll. If someone beside him was looking on the scroll at the moment, he would find a fantastic scene: what Wei Gaoyuan was reading were turning into the blank pages little by little with every picture and word in it fading away...

      
    The Dice Game
  • Chapter 5: Another Humiliation

    For these three days, Wei Gaoyuan went to the gambling house to play a little for about half an hour a day and won dozens of copper coins, and stayed himself with that scroll in the woods behind his cabin for a whole day.

     

    All the contents in the scroll, even the words which he couldn't read, had somehow stuck in his mind deeply. After going through the whole contents in his mind, he realized that the scroll offered not only a brilliant way to benefit his Internal Qi, but also eight patterns in swordsmanship. From its description, the eight styles were so marvelous that even if got only three of them, he would be a Martial Arts expert among common people; if got all in the scroll, he would got a legendary state easily: the Naturethe top of the three primary stages in Martial Arts. (the Undistinguishment, the Mystery, the Nature )

     

    (Internal Qi: regarded as one kind of energy in Martial Arts, stored in the meridian-collateral system of human body and equally important as the energy stored in muscles)

     

    In the story by storytellers in teahouses, the man in the stage of The Nature was invincible with the power next to the Land Taoist.

     

    (the Land Taoist: common people call all Taoists the Land Taoists, the Sword Taoists are known as one category of the Land Taoists.)

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had been 12 years old, theoretically over the age of enlightenment in Martial Arts and without any foundation about it, but these days he'd been trying to breathe according to the breathing techniques in the scroll, just feeling the whole body extremely comfortable from head to toe like bathing in a warm spring in winter. He just found himself love this feeling so much.

     

    Twenty more days had passed, the copper coins he got from the gambling house were up to almost one thousand. So Wei Gaoyuan decided to treat himself to a big meal — a roast chicken!

     

    However, just as he was about to leave the town with the roast chicken, a group of men surrounded him. Seeing the eight familiar guys, his heart sank.

     

    The first man in front of the group, the head of those guys, simpered, "Hey, rich boy! look at that, guys, a whole roast chicken! What a beautiful chicken! "

     

    Realizing not easy to get away this time, Wei Gaoyuan smiled, "Brothers, I was just lucky enough to win dozens of coins in the gambling house. So, a roast chicken, you see. if you don't mind, here still leave little more coins, please take them all to get some wine and snacks... "

     

    "What a cute boy! " the head grinned, grabbed the roast chicken and threw it to a guy behind him. After taking the coins Wei Gaotyuan handed, he suddenly turned a grim face, " okay, time to talk about our business."

     

    "What business?" Wei Gaoyuan asked in a low voice with his countenance changed a little.

     

    "Of course, again, Brother Dragon asked me here to invite you to join the Sole Dragon Gang," said the head.

     

    His words killed Wei Gaoyuan's last hope. Brother Dragon, the head of the Sole Dragon Gang which was the largest underground gang in the north district of the White Plain Town, was a warrior at the third-level of the Undistinguishment. No one knew his real name. In his early years, he lost one arm in a fight, then came to the White Plain Town and built the Sole Dragon Gang.

     

    Indeed, a warrior at third-level of the Undistinguishment seemed not significant in all three stages of Martial Arts, but was undoubtedly a big man in the north underground world of this town, and very few men here could fight against Dragon, except Wei Gaoyuan, the only guy to deny his order so far.

     

    Knowing that Dragon was very interested in his stealing skills, Wei Gaoyuan was dissatisfied with the rules of paying half of his income; besides, something might go beyond his expectation if he joined them. After all, Dragon cared little about his little half paying.

     

    In the past, Wei Gaoyuan had a lot of concerns like his sister. Now with her absence, he should have worried about nothing. But because of his stealing skills, he must be ordered by Dragon to do something illegal or even worse; If his sister became a Land Taoist in the future, he, the only boy in his family, would be notorious and even imprisoned, without any doubt his parents would turn in their grave.

     

    He smiled with an apology, "Brothers, my limited ability might let brother Dragon down, so I am sorry... "

     

    "Hey," The head said with a sigh, "I know you will make the wrong choice. You guys, just talk to him, oh, politely." The head nodded to the persons behind him, and found an empty space to sit down with the roast chicken.

     

    It was not something new to Wei Gaoyuan, so as a conditional reflex, he put his head in his arms and crouched down very skillfully while seeing seven guys was gathering around him.

     

    Then came a rain of punches and kicks. Although he had been beaten quite often, every time endless punches and kicks made Wei Gaoyuan in deadly pain. But it seemed weird this time that all beatings brought him much less pain than they did ever, thus without any groan, Wei Gaoyuan kept quiet from beginning to end.

     

    The seven guys also found the difference. This time they just felt like hitting on the tough sandbag full of sand Instead of on the fragile firewood ever, with their fists and feet even a slightly painful.

     

    After a while, one guy stopped and looked around, then walked over to a tree not far away, and returned with a branch. Then the others went for branches as well and slashed Wei Gaoyuan together.

     

    The last person who carelessly hurt his fingers while breaking the branch saw the blood leaking between his fingers, took a short knife from his pocket secretly and turned to Wei Gaoyuan in a fury.

     

    The head sat in distance, chewing a chicken wing and keeping watching the situation of Wei Gaoyuan. "Stop!" he quickly shouted while seeing that man stabbing quickly at Wei Gaoyuan's waist with his knife. Unfortunately with the chicken in his mouth, his order was not so clear that the man did not mean to stop and his knife pierced Wei Gaoyuan's waist accurately.

     

    Never expecting the guys would even attack him suddenly with a knife, Wei Gaoyuan was still defenseless, and only let out a scream when a terrible pain abruptly came from his waist.

     

    The guy with the knife was awakened by the scream, remember at once that Wei Gaoyuan was the right person brother Dragon wanted. In a panic, he quickly withdrew the knife, stepped back and stared at Wei Gaoyuan blankly.

     

    The others all stopped as well. When all of them appeared at a loss, Wei Gaoyuan suddenly raised his head and faced them, looked like another totally different person. His whole body exuded something majestic and thrilling, at the same time a glowing dark golden seal emerged in the middle of his eyebrows.

     

    "What the hell is that?!" all guys including the head were stunned like fools at the moment.

     

    And before they could respond and acted, that dark golden seal began spinning up faster and faster, and the eight guys only felt as if the air around them had solidified and been squeezing their bodies heavily.

     

    "Ah..." full of terror in their eyes, the eight guys all made a painful scream at the same time.

     

    Meanwhile Wei Gaoyuan’s pupils turned into golden and his only blink gave the eight men's bodies the violent shivers and then their eyes all became blank.

     

    A moment later, all surroundings fell into total silence, only left all the nine men lying on the ground… 

  • Chapter 6: The Extraordinary Combat

    When Wei Gaoyuan woke up, his mind was still not so clear. He looked around blankly, only found the eight guys on the ground near him, which made him more confused.  

     

    After a while, he remembered a little about what had happened — he had been beaten by those guys on the ground, but how was he lying on the ground in a faint?

     

    Pressing a hand on his wound, he fled away as quickly as possible, otherwise it would not be so easy while those guys regained consciousness.

     

    The sun came up. Overnight the knife wound on his waist had already scarred. Wei Gaoyuan carefully shook and stretched his body, still felt a little painful. He could only slowly walk alone.

     

    Moments later, Wei Gaoyuan entered the White Plain Town and planned to fill up his growling stomach first. On the way, he found that today most of the passersby on the streets looked a little bit peculiar.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan found a grits stall and sat down when a chatting came from the table beside him.

     

    "Brother Qian, you're still going to school today?"

     

    "Sure, nothing to do at home today."

     

    "Didn’t you hear about that event last night in the north of the town?"

     

    "Everyone knows it, I believe, it spreads so fast."

     

    "Not strange, just one night, eight people were killed...eight..."

     

    "I’m just wondering who did it. It's unbelievable... the eight persons died... without any sign of injury on their bodies..."

     

    Wei gaoyuan was listening at side in astonishment. Eight persons were killed last night in the north of the town?

     

    He had been hanging around in the north of the town for a quite long time yesterday, and got beaten up by that group of guys, and fortunately, he thought, not meet that horrible murderer; unfortunately, his cabin was right outside the town, not far away from its north gate.

     

    The two men’s chatting was still going on.

     

    "It is said that the authorities assumed the eight people might have been attacked by a weird poison, so no wound at all..."

    ( the poisoning skill, as an efficient skill in Martial Arts, is often used by the martial artists, especially the bad ones, to kill his enemies.) 

     

    "Don't tell me the murderer is still in the town..."

     

    "Who knows... the town's main government has already posted the notice, offering a reward of 50 silver coins for any clues and information about the murder."

     

    “But who knows the clues? who dares to provide clues? That's a devil who killed eight persons overnight!”

     

    "Well, we commoners..."

     

    " I was planning today to exchange with the brothers and sisters of the Chengxi Academy, but now I think it's better to leave early so as not to encounter that devil."

     

    "Yeah, exactly..."

     

    Finishing a bowl of grits, Wei Gaoyuan paid a copper coin and left to find a gambling house. For fear that he would go back home late and possibly encounter with that devil, he’d better make some money quickly during the day.

    ……

    Even though the people in the west district of the town was kind of richer than those in the north, the west of the town was also the active and busy area for most of the poor.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan always haunted different gambling houses alternately in the town, and today it was just the turn of the west.

     

    Soon he came to a gambling house only to see its door closed. Before leaving he’d got a glimpse of an official notice on the wall nearby.

     

    He went closer to read it, and got shocked.

     

    The notice was about the murder last night with the portraits of the eight dead attached.

     

    Those eight guys! The members of Sole Dragon Gang! He'd just got beaten by them last night, they all died?!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was so shocked that he did not realize that he could fully understand the words on the notice. [U1] 

     

    His hands and feet trembling. As the notice showed, the eight guys were found dead at the right place where he woke up.

     

    Why? What Wei Gaoyuan worried most was that yesterday he appeared where they died and he was the only one that regained consciousness and survived,

     

    How could he explain it?

     

    Eight lives, in spite of all thugs, was enough to make him executed ten times.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan quietly left, used the left coins to buy some dry food and drinking water in the town, then quickly returned to his cabin and packed some necessaries. Get all prepared, he entered into the deep forest behind... 

     

    Unconsciously, a month had almost passed. Wei Gaoyuan was now still wandering in the forest which was actually part of the extension of the Cloud Nest Mountains, instead of the forest outside the north gate of White Plain Town.

     

    He could have passed through the forest to the official road in just one day. But he had gone to the opposite direction and had been completely lost in the Cloud Nest Mountains.

     

    The only thing he could do at the moment was to keep on moving aimlessly…

     

    This day, when he sat under a tree for a rest, there was a sound of long whistle suddenly coming from the high sky. He looked up and saw a giant black eagle in the air chirping occasionally whose body was surrounded with a blue glow.

     

    In shock, he quickly jumped to hide behind the tree.  

     

    The giant eagle in the sky suddenly swooped down. Its aim was a man in a dark blue gown, standing on the top of the tree below the eagle. He held a long sword. With his sudden wave, the long sword turned into a silver light and shot straightly at the black eagle.

     

    Meanwhile the black eagle's wings unfolded with a wind whistle; when the long sword flew close, it clawed at the blade, forcing the long sword to fly past one side of its head.  

     

    Seeing the sword miss the target, Wei Gaoyuan was anxious for the man in dark blue. How could a swordsman throw his sword so rashly?   At that moment the man was unarmed, how should he deal with that giant eagle’s next attack?

     

    Knowing himself too weak to participate in such a combat, Wei Gaoyuan had to hide behind the tree and waited until the fight was over. then he could bury the man in dark blue; absolutely, if the man in dark blue was lucky enough to survive, he would try to give him a aid after the eagle left.

     

    However, the long sword in the air did not fall to the ground as he expected. Instead, it circled around and swung back to shoot at the neck side of the giant eagle!  

     

    The giant eagle’s big wings flapped to rouse a fierce wind. Countless branches and leaves were swayed violently. However, it didn’t work at all , the slim man in dark blue was still standing steadily on the top of the shaking tree, like a mountain.  

     

    In the air, the long sword seemed to be tied to the invisible thread by the man in dark blue. It was changing its attack directions and angles by itself to fight against the eagle.

      

    Behind the tree, Wei Gaoyuan hold his breath and kept totally silent in a astonishment. The man in dark blue was able to control his sword flying to attack his enemy in long distance, undoubtedly, he was a Land Taoist!

     

    The eagle had been fighting with the sword in the air for a long time and seemed no patience at all. The blue light streams around its body suddenly moved quickly and sizzled.

     

    Seeing this situation, the man in dark blue took out a small red brocade box from his long sleeve.

     

    And just then, a blue light beam spurted from the beak of the eagle and shot at the man in dark blue as quickly as lightening. At the same time, the man jumped a few feet high and stepped on the body of his long sword floating in the air, just as steady as stood on the ground.  

     

    The blue beam hit the top of the tree where the man stood just now and made a firecracker-like blast. Only in seconds, the whole tree was burnt into black.

     

    As the man on the sword opened the brocade box, a yellow Fu flashed from inside, shot at the giant eagle and fixed precisely between its eyes. Then the Fu turned into a fireball, and the huge body of eagle burnt up immediately.

    (Fu: as an important term in Taoism Arts, Fu is a small paper on which Taoists can draw and write some unique words, pictures, signs, spells and talismans has almost countless powerful functions.)  

     

    In the giant fire ball, the eagle was seen constantly shaking. All of a sudden, from the fire ball inside countless big feathers were shooting at the man in dark blue like a shower of sharp arrows.

     

    The man on the sword was quickly twirling his body and dodged to left and right so that the flying feathers all swept past his side and missed their target.  

     

    At the last moment, a blue flash was abruptly shot out of the giant fire ball, several times faster than the previous feathers! Next second, the man on the sword who found no way to dodge was hit on the chest by the last strike of the giant eagle.  

     

    The giant eagle who made a long loud wailing and the man on the sword both fell down from the air...

     
    Fu




  • Chapter 7: The Man in Dark Blue


    Everything around turned calm except for the whistle of the breeze between the trees and the grass.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan clung close to the trunk, holding his breath.

     

    What a shocking combat! He thought, the man in dark blue, a Land Daoist, were finally shot down by the giant eagle! Especially its last magical strike, that blue flash, so fast!

     

    While thinking alone, Wei Gaoyuan patted his stomach when it was growling. He just wondered if the giant eagle was cooked by that raging fire.

     

    The dry food he carried had been depleted ten days ago. In addition to catching a fish in a small river six days ago, he had to pick some of the fruit from the tree, or even dig into the soil for the grass roots to fill the hunger,

     

    After minutes, still quiet around, he took a peep out behind the tree —  the flame on the giant eagle was extinguished; the man in dark blue was lying motionless on the ground. He held his breath and sneaked towards them.  

     

    When got closer, Wei Gaoyuan discovered that the unique eagle was so giant that only its body was not less than 10 feet long.

     

    Such a giant bird, no wonder it appeared quite powerful and stressful even if lying motionless on the ground.  

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got closer to smell it, a pungent smell of burning. Such smell was not strange for him. It was a smell of barbecue, surely, without any seasoning.

     

    The giant eagle was burnt black, and all feathers were burnt up. Some parts of its body even showed a blackened skeleton. It must be completely dead.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got relieved, went to find the man in dark blue, who was lying on the other side not far away and seemed red and black on his chest, between life and death.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan approached the man and just saw his beautiful face. Then he reached out to the man's nose for his breath, weak, but obviously still alive. The wound on his chest seemed similar to the extremely serious burns.

     

    In spite of having dealt with some burns ever, Wei Gaoyuan had never seen such a wide range of deep burns. But considering the man's fate hanging by a thread, he had no choice but to have a try. After tearing off a piece of clothes and making it wet by his water bottle, he carefully opened the man's clothes on his chest, trying to clean the wound. Suddenly his hand trembled, appearing before him was the snow-white chest of the man in dark blue …

     

    The man in dark blue was clearly a girl!

    (Disguise skill: an important skill frequently used by martial artists for some special purposes. A master of disguise skill can even completely change his face and voice.)     

     

    Trembling, embarrassed, Wei Gaoyuan's hands stopped, not touching her chest ...

     

    Seeing the water on the wet cloth gradually evaporating, he quickly pressed it on the girl's wound — it was just not the right time to consider "to be or not to be".

     

    Her eyelids slightly flickering, the girl made a painful groan and said with difficulty, "Water...water..."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan rapidly opened the bottle and fed the remaining water little by little into her mouth. Not until she drink up all the remaining water, did the girl take a long breath and slowly opened her eyes.

     

    With her sight clear and clear, the girl saw Wei Gaoyuan who was close to her. Her big eyes appeared bland for a second and then got bright again, she blinked," Could you...help...me...sit up..."

     

    Wei Gao nodded, carefully held her neck and slowly lifted her upper body to make her sit cross-legged on the ground.  

     

    She narrowed her eyes, "That Thunder Eagle..."

     

    The Thunder Eagle? That giant bird lying on the ground?

     

    "Dead, I guess, burnt black,"he replied.

     

    "Could you get me...some of...its blood?" she asked.

     

    "Okay, I'll try..." Wei Gaoyuan responded as he walked toward the dead Thunder Eagle.

     

    It was burnt beyond recognition, only with its tough claws almost intact. He took out the short knife and cut it for a while, just got a few drops of blood.  Then he carefully caught it with his hands and ran to the girl as quickly as possible.

     

    Squatting beside her, Wei Gaoyuan discovered the blood in his hands was very thick, not flowing like a normal liquid. He said carefully, "Could I ask... I just wondered why you, fairy, want the blood?"

    Fortunately he knew how to call a woman Land Taoist from the storyteller so as not to offend her.

     

    The girl narrowed her eyes and looked down, "Help me... put the blood to my... wound ..." then her words came to an abrupt end.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan felt the air around him still. He subconsciously took a step back, and saw the girl's look return to normal.

     

    "Just remove the wet cloth, directly get the eagle blood to my wound..." she said.

     

    Following her request, Wei Gaoyuan got closer to her again, inclined his head in a little bow, "Fairy, I’m so sorry if I were to offend you, in some way..." Then he pulled off the wet cloth on her chest and applied the eagle blood to her wound as quickly as he could

     

    As the girl closed her eyes and fell silent again. Wei Gaoyuan stepped back, looking at her quietly.

     

    After quite a while, Wei Gaoyuan got his stomach growling again. Seeing the girl still sit motionless, he came to the side of the Thunder Eagle with caution and cut a piece of its meat which had been burnt great brown.

     

    The short knife he used was once placed on the bedside of his sister for her self-defense. He had never used it before. So this time it took a long time just cutting a small piece of eagle meat.

     

    He put it in his mouth and was chewing it up for a couple of minutes, just got a pain in his tongue because it was so hard as wood. Shaking his head, he spat it out and signed in disappointment,

     

    Just then, a sudden voice came from behind him, "I haven't got your name, and how old are you? "

     

    Her sudden words gave Wei Gaoyuan a jump. He quickly turned around, just saw her bright beautiful eyes staring at him. He replied very politely, "Fairy, I'm Wei Gaoyuan, twelve years old."

     

    "Just twelve…" relieved secretly, the girl stretched her eyebrows and continued to close her eyes for meditation.

     

     About half an hour passed, she opened her eyes again and whispered, "Boy, thank you for saving me, and you need something as a reward, don’t you?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had been waiting her recovery and didn’t dare to leave. He made a bow, "Just don't mention it. I’ve done little and don't deserve any reward."

     

    "Well..."she greeted his reply with a little smile, "just put my thank you aside, do you know any shelter nearby?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan thought for a moment and pointed to his back, "About half-an-hour's walk from here, there is a cave for rest."

     

    The girl gently nodded, got up and walked slowly to the side of the Thunder Eagle. Then she stabbed into its burnt body with her long sword and took out an small egg-sized sphere from its body inside.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was kind of curious about that blue sphere with white light in her hand. Was that the Inner Essence of the Yaoist in the story? The Thunder Eagle turned out to be one of the ancient legendary creatures, no wonder it could hurt a Land Taoist so badly.

    (The Yaoist: belongs to the Yaoist tribe, one of the most ancient powerful tribes. Yaoists own the power of Yaoism Arts and most of them are animals with the different Inner Essence which are the most significant parts deep inside their bodies.)

     

    No one knew what tricks she used, the Inner Essence just vanished in her hand. Then the girl sheathed her long sword and said with a smile, "After you, boy, please!"

     

    "Please follow me, fairy," without any hesitatation, Wei Gaoyuan led the way to the cave.


  • Chapter 8: Determination

    One day and night had passed. All this time Wei Gaoyuan had been carefully watching the entrance of the cave in case any beasts around disturb her meditation.

     

    Perhaps because of the Land Taoist in the cave, there were no beasts and no danger throughout the night.

     

    At noon on the second day, the girl in dark blue slowly opened her eyes from her meditation. A bit of shining light appeared in her eyes.

     

    Seeing Wei Gaoyuan not far away, the girl asked, "Are you the people living in this mountain?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan turned around and saw her well recovery. He still dared not face her but just lowered his head and replied, "I am not the resident in this mountain, just entering for food but losing my way in the forest."

     

    "Hehehe..." the girl gave a sweet chuckle, "I used to lose my way when I was a little girl, but now I won't... I’ll take you out."  

     

    It had been the sweetest voice for Wei Gaoyuan these days, he could finally leave the hell kind of forest. But considering her injury, he felt it was good for her to rest a few more days.

     

    Before his response, the girl raised her hand and a silver light flashed out, then a long sword was seen floating in the air. She grabbed Wei Gaoyuan’s arm and took him to jump onto the body of the sword.

     

    Suddenly getting so close to a Land Taoist for the first time, Wei Gaoyuan's mind turn blank thoroughly.

    And next second the wind just whistling in the ear, he couldn’t stop himself glancing around, and just such a glance made him barely control his bladder — this moment, he was standing on her long sword, the white clouds around him and the faint scenes under were flying back past him as fast as lightning. If without an invisible force that had been wrapping him to stick to the body of the sword, he must have got scared to fall from the high sky.

     

    It was a pity that the dream-like flying did not last long. With speed of the sword slowing down, they  fell slowly to the ground…

     

    Half a kilometer ahead was a tall city wall. The girl jumped down with Wei Gaoyuan, who just felt his legs was too soft to support his body but sat down on the ground.

     

    "Are you alright?" asked the girl.

     

    "I...I... okay…" his teeth trembling, Wei Gaoyuan pinched his thigh, and the pain from it told him what just happened was not a dream.

     

    Who could believe it! He’d met one beautiful girl of the legendary Land Taoists, and saved her, and been with her for a whole day, and even been flying on the sword with her in the sky for the first time in his life! Oh, just don’t mention that stupid bladder…

     

    "Follow me into the city," the girl put her sword back in its sheath.

     

    "Got it!" Wei Gaoyuan nodded and followed her walking into the city.

    ……

    The East Mountain Sword Club, located in the north district of Qizhou City, was a martial arts school; the Sword House of East Mountain, just located next to the club, was a store selling finished swords. And the club and the house were both under the control of the East Mountain Sword Clan.

     

    The girl in dark blue led Wei Gaoyuan to the front hall of the Sword House of East Mountain, and were received by a young man, who said with a bow, "What can I do for you?"

     

    "I want to talk to the chief officer of your house," the girl got to the point directly.

     

    "Sorry, our chief officer is not ..." the young man intended to refuse, but his last words were just swallowed back since he were shocked by a small wooden token the girl showed.

     

    The young man immediately bowed deeper and cautiously said, " Please hold on a second, the Supreme. I'm informing the chief officer right now."

    (the Supreme: “ShangRen” in Chinese, one of the honorific titles in Taoism system to address those who have supreme power.)

    "Everyone worships the Land Taoist..." Wei Gaoyuan was thinking secretly. He took a peek at the wooden token in her hand — an character of "East"  was clearly engraved at the front of it, and a pattern of a sword on the back.

     

    Just in a short while, a debonair and graceful middle-aged man walked out from the back hall. After a surprise on his face disappearing in a second while saw the girl in dark blue, he immediately held his fist in the other hand, "So happy to meet you, your ladyship!"

    (hold his fist in the other hand: “Baoquan” in Chinese, a common polite gesture of greeting each other in ancient china)

     

    "Hppy to see you, too, Wu Bai!" the girl greeted with a smile.

     

    Standing beside the girl, Wei Gaoyuan was a little nervous as Wu Bai who was like the deepest forest in the huge mountain gave him a unique and undesirable feeling. Anyway, without the girl standing by his side, he would never dare to approach this middle-aged man.

     

    When all the three came to the back hall, Wu Bai asked first, "And this boy is..."

     

    "Wei Gaoyuan, a friend I met nearby. He’s helped me a lot these days," the girl replied.

     

    "Glad to meet you! Brother Wei!" Wu Bai politely greeted Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Being flattered, Wei Gaoyuan immediately greeted him with a bow," Glad to meet you! Elder Wei!"

     

    Wu Bai smiled and nodded slightly, then said to the girl, "Just the day before, I got a message from the East Mountain Sword Clan saying that your ladyship had left the clan alone, and ordering us to pay close attention to the exact whereabouts of your ladyship. And today, I would be very happy to report your safety to the clan. "

     

    "Don't worry to report, I’d like to stay in this city for a few days," the girl said.

     

    "It’s my honor, I will arrange it soon." Wu Bai replied then left.

     

    The girl turned to Wei Gaoyuan, "You've saved me but never mentioned the reward. Today, just don't refuse my thanks again."

     

    After her words, Wei Gaoyuan thought for a moment, looked up at her and said carefully, "I wonder… if I could make a request..."

     

    This time, he had got a really close look at the face of this Land Taoist, a girl who got a delicate face features— an oval face, bright eyes, small mouth like a cherry, seemed a little older than himself. And now she was smiling at him, a spring-flower smile which made him quickly lowered his head and voice.  

     

    The girl seemed not to notice Wei Gaoyuan’s embarrassment, "Sure!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan restrained his tension and said with courage,"Could you...please...teach me something?"

     

    “Oh?” the girl showed an unexpected surprise, “you want to learn something, like Taoism Arts?”

     

    "Yes!" Wei Gaoyuan nodded firmly, "I wonder if the Supreme would like to give some guidance to me…"

     

    He did not dare to ask her to be his master because of so high distance between their status, and he would be very grateful even if he could get some of her guidance

     

    “Well, you don’t need to call me the Supreme,” the girl said, “My name is Mu Yunyi, next time, you can call me sister Yun.”

     

    In a silent shock, Wei Gaoyuan felt been flattered for the third time today. A Land Taoist sister! He’d never thought about that even in his dream! How could he a humble boy at the bottom of society deserve such a blessing from God…

     

    Mu Yunyi did not read Wei Gaoyuan's current thought. She just assumed that the boy was too shy and embarrassed to call her sister, " it’s okay, I'm just a little older than you."

     

    Then she proceeded, "Not everyone can be qualified to learn Taoism Arts. First of all, you have to own the spiritual root to feel the Spiritual Qi in heaven and earth. I've got no testing tools now. Later we’ll go to the East Mountain Sword club, just next door, to test it for you."

    (Spiritual Qi: in Taoism thought, it’s an invisible substance like the air, which permeates between heaven and earth and is one of the fundamental resources for Taoists to strengthen their power.)  

     

    Wei Gaoyuan asked, “Can the spiritual root be seen?”

     

    "I can't, anyway," Mu Yunyi said with a shrug, "but I am convinced that someone can see it…hmm… someone at the level of my dad."

     

    Hearing her reply, Wei Gaoyuan’s heart sank. Not long ago, outside of the White Plain Town, that woman in white had once affirmed that he would never get access to her world if without miracles. It might be true that he have no spiritual root.

     

    Great disappointment was written on Wei Gaoyuan's face.

     

    "You don't have to worry, " Mu Yunyi comforted him, "even if you  have no conditions for learn Taoism Arts, I will arrange for you to study in the martial arts school and help you to become a great warrior as soon as possible."

     

    "Thanks, sister Yun!" Wei Gaoyuan barely showed a smile.

     

    For the average person, to become a great warrior might be an amazing opportunity which meant a huge change in social status and destiny.

     

    For Wei Gaoyuan however, it meant nothing! He must be a Land Taoist! He must knock at the door to that world! The world where his sister was awaiting him!

     
    Mu Yunyi 
  • edited August 18
    Chapter 9: The Way to the Nature

    The structure of the East Sword Club was like a large house, with a front hall, a back yard, a training room, and a living room. The owner of the club, Zhao Xiongying, had the same status in the club as Wu Bai, the officer who were in charge of affairs outside the East Mountain Sword Clan. Led by Mu Yunyi and Zhao Xiongying, Wei Gaoyuan came to a three-foot-high cylinder. Zhao Xiongying pointed at the groove on its base and said, "Put your hand on it." Then Wei gao yuan pressed both hands in the groove. Suddenly an invisible energy gushed out from it and got into his palms. He felt the energy extremely comforting as if his hands were in the warm water and he could not help but want to absorb such comfort. Almost at the same time, the bottom of the cylinder abruptly glowed red. "Huh? "Mu Yunyi's eyes flashed and her lip corner revealed a slight surprise. At this time a soothing sense spread through Wei Gaoyuan's arms, and he suddenly felt a strength rising from his lower abdomen and instantly spreading the whole body. The warm-water-like energy was broken up immediately. "ah," along with Wei Gaoyuan’s short cry, the red light from the cylinder extinguished just in a blink. The energy in the groove was still trying to get into Wei Gaoyuan's palms, but was blocked by some force in his body. Moments later, he heard a sigh from his side. "Okay! Take back your hands," Zhao Xiongying's tone was slightly disappointed. After withdrawing his hands, Wei Gaoyuan watched the two men, upset and scared. "Fake spiritual root. You're not qualified to learn the Taoism Arts, but can stay in the club to practice the martial arts," Zhao Xiongying made the conclusion, which literally condemned Wei Gaoyuan to death. Wei Gaoyuan’s face turned pale, and his mind went totally blank. It took a long time for him to come back from a statue. Zhao Xiongying had left, only Mu Yunyi was still standing not far away with clear sighs and regrets on her face. "I really.... have no chance to be a Land Taoist?" unwilling to admit this awful truth,  Wei Gaoyuan wanted to confirm it again from Mu Yunyi, also, hoped to get a positive answer. "A Land Taoist?" Mu Yunyi shook her head and smiled," as I know, in spite of countless Taoism Followers in this world, Land Taoists are quite rare existences. Even my father, you know, he’s only got a level much lower than a true Land Taoist, let alone you…" Taoism Followers? For Wei Gaoyuan, that was a completely strange term, and he just understood little about what Mu Yunyi had described. It seems that the Land Taoist was quite rare, then what were Taoism Followers? He tried to ask, "Sister Yun, so you are actually not a Land Taoist?" "Me? A Land Taoist? "Mu Yunyi smiled, " I am just one of Taoism Followers at the stage of the Condensed Qi, the distance from the Land Taoist is…Hmmm…108,000 miles…that’s it…” Wei Gaoyuan just felt his knowledge structure towards those powerful flying Taoists totally disrupted. Within the stories of storytellers in tea houses of the White Plain Town, those who could fly high in the sky by their magic talismans were all called the Land Taoists, and a large number of great and legendary wars and combats among Land Taoists were described vividly in the story.  According to sister Yun’s words, however, those flying guys turned out not to be the Land Taoists, but Taoism Followers? That is to say, the woman in white who took Wei Xiaoxue away was probably one of the Taoism Followers? Mu Yunyi seemed to read his confusion, explained, " The stages of ordinary Taoism Followers could be classified into following ten levels from bottom to top — the Opening Light,  the Building Base,  the Real Inedia, the Condensed Qi, the Golden Essence,  the Original Infant, the Spirit Copy, the Spirit-Body Combination, the Heavenly Judgement; if a Taoism Follower was mighty enough to finally survive through the Heavenly Judgement, he would rise into the final stage — the Full Completeness. That’s the end of practice for us mortals, and the beginning of the next legendary stage, I mean, the stage of the Land Taoist as you mentioned." "Ah? Sounds really crazy…" Wei Gaoyuan’s mouth fell open in astonishment, then remembered that he was detected the fake spiritual root just now, but why couldn’t a man with the fake spiritual root practice the Taoism Arts? In fact, Wei Gaoyuan’s requirements hadn’t been so high. So long as he was capable of seeing his sister again, he just cared little about which stage he would have reached. Whereas the truth told that he could never practice the Taoism Arts at all, which was really unacceptable to him. With regard to his question, Mu Yunyi answered patiently, "The spiritual root is the innate talent for us Taoism Followers, which enable the people to feel, understand, absorb and store almost endless Spirit Qi spreading within this world.” Then she subconsciously turned to look at Wei Gaoyuan, said slowly and softly, " The fake spiritual root can also make you feel the Spirit Qi, but hardly absorb and store it. Accordingly, you could only stop at…theoretically… the stage of the Opening Light…" "Is the man at the Opening Light one of the Taoism Followers? I mean, he’s  got the capacity of flying by his sword like you?" Wei Gaoyuan asked. Mu Yunyi shook her head, "To fly by a sword need to reach at least the stage of the Condensed Qi." Like a heavy hammer, Mu Yunyi’s reply broke Wei Gaoyuan’s last glimmer of hope, despite of her calm and sweet voice. Seeing Wei Gaoyuan frustrated, Mu Yunyi added, " As a matter of fact, competition among Taoism Followers is far crueler than you could imagine, and the world of Taoism Followers is far more dangerous than the world of mortals. Although fake spiritual root can’t make you practice the Taoism Arts, but it gives you another talent superior to the ordinary people which is suitable for learning the Martial Arts. In another word, the fake spiritual root could be a present for you to reach the top stage of the Martial Arts — the Nature, to be the most powerful martial artist in the world of mortals… " An uncomfortable smile was on Wei Gao yuan’s face. The most powerful martial artist? Powerful enough to seek Wei Xiaoxue? How powerful a Martial Artistist could be to enter the world of Taoism Followers? Thinking of the woman in white once again, he just gave a long sigh, a extremely unwilling sigh. He tried to ask, "Sister Yun, have you ever heard of a sect whose member sports the uniform embroidered with a cloud pattern?" "A cloud pattern?!" with an obvious change on face, Mu Yunyi asked, "what cloud pattern are you talking about? Where is it embroidered?" "Just close to the right cuff…Hmmm…a cloud, light, not big... "Wei Gaoyuan searched in his memory for the details. With his description, Mu Yunyi’s look turned more and more serious. Before Wei Gaoyuan finished, she’d murmured, "Is it…the Cloud-Heaven Palace?" Wei Gaoyuan’s eyes immediately lit up, unexpectedly, sister Yun knew the sect of that woman in white? He unconsciously clenched his fists, "sister Yun knows the location of the Cloud-Heaven Palace?" Mu Yunyi shook her head, "The Cloud-Heaven palace is one of the three most mysterious sects in the world of Taoism Followers, extremely powerful and incredibly  secretive, even my father has got little idea about where it is located exactly… even if you get its location, you think it’s easy to find it?” Wei Gaoyuan kept silent. He’d always thought if got any information about whereabouts of that woman in white, there might be a chance to find his sister in the near future. But now this idea seemed failed. Mu Yunyi was somewhat curious, "How did you get to know the uniform of the Cloud-Heaven Palace? You’ve ever seen someone of its members?" Wei Gaoyuan sighed and told her what had happened that day… Mu Yunyi was listening in surprise, and could not help but raise sympathy for this miserable brother and sister. Supposing that Wei Xiaoxue was taken by anyone of other sects, she could try to inquire some useful information for him. But it was the Cloud-Heaven Palace…who dare knock at its door for something without the power of the Land Taoist. Now she’d understood why Wei Gaoyuan was so desperate to be the Land Taoist. What a pity, the reality is so cruel and helpless. Seeing Wei Gaoyuan’s dejected-looking, she said, "Instead of a direct knock at the door of the Cloud-Heaven Palace,  it’s more rational to wait for your sister to knock at your door…I mean, if you’ll be successful in making a name for yourself in the world of mortal, your sister must hear of you some day while traveling around the world of mortals on the orders of her master after graduating from the sect…" What she said made Wei Gaoyuan's eyes lit up again. As a routine, a Taoism Follower like sister Yun had to travel around the world of mortals after graduating, Wei Xiaoxue was not the exception. Once he’d been a big guy among mortals, his fame was most likely to be delivered to his sister. And if so, what he needed to do then was just waiting for his sister’s arrival. Yes! A secret determination was made deeply in Wei Gaoyuan’s heart, to exert all his strength to learn and practice the Martial Arts, to be a mighty warrior of the Nature, to let his name spread and thunder throughout the world of mortals!


  • edited August 18
    it seemed that there's sth wrong with the comment again...could some one tell me why each of my comment gets a red "flag" on the right top? 
  • Chapter 10: The News

    Time always flew as fast as an arrow speeding forth.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had been in the East Mountain Sword club for three years where he’d always kept the lowest profile among all the students.

     

    In the schedule of the club there was a small test for all the students at the end of each month, and a large trial every year; students who were ranked high in the trial will be rewarded while those who got a very low rank would face different degrees of punishment; Students who had not passed the test for three months in a row would even be expelled from the club.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had never participated in any tests or trials. At first, he just participated in daily practice with others in the club while more than ten days later it was difficult to see his presence. Since he was known as the person that Mu Yunyi had arranged to come into the club, the owner of the club personally talked to him just a few times about his absence, and then he was allowed to act free.

     

    Today was the end of this month, the day for the test. Thus, nearly a hundred of students were assembled in the training field of the club, on the contrary, Wei Gaoyuan was now sleeping alone in his room.

     

    Few people knew that he was not lazy but in a special practice.

     

    In the first days when he began learning the Martial Arts in the club, every time after the training during the day he would always find himself in a unique space in his dreaming while sleeping at night. And this space was really a wonderland because in this space the practice of Martial Arts was in a much higher efficiency than the outside. Even more unbelievable, while practicing in this dream space, the shortcomings of the martial arts he learned from the club and even the techniques in the scroll of the woman in white would often automatically appear and showed the methods of corresponding correction in his mind.

     

    In addition to it, this amazing dream space could also create the virtual opponents for him, very strong opponents. Even if Wei Gaoyuan had never won the virtual opponents in this space for three years, his swordsmanship and agility had been progressing much more rapidly than the students his age in the club.

     

    For this reason, he tried to find at least four hours a day on sleeping in order to get more “dreaming-practice”, which was one more sleeping hour than the other students. Once he was awake, he usually went alone to the woods at the city side to practice breathing techniques as the nice and quiet environment there could make him easily calm down.

     

    Having been practicing in this way for three years without interruption, Wei Gaoyuan's power and Internal Qi was getting stronger and stronger. He was able to smash a three-inch-diameter tree easily with only one hand just a year ago. Until yesterday his Dantian had got a qualitative change that once his Internal Qi was running inside his Dantian it could then be released and even shot as he pleased.

     

    (Dantian: at about the abdomen of the human body, in the system of Taoism and Martial Arts practice, it is well known as the center for Internal Qi storage and flowing.)

     

    According to the knowledge he got these days, he knew that he had reached the stage of the level 9 of the Mystery in Martial Arts.

     

    The rapid progress made him ecstatic. Even if only got the access to the Mystery, he’d got identification of entering the stage superior to mortals, roughly equivalent to the height of a level nine official in officialdom.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan once had a roommate named Hu Xiaoshu, a slight and short boy from the simple common family. The two boys usually said a few words on weekdays, and then Wei Gaoyuan applied for a single room for not being disturbed or disturbing others. Thus, the talk between the two boys became much less than ever, and they normally had saw each other only once for several days.

     

    When the test in the morning ended, Wei Gaoyuan met Hu Xiaoshu in the dining hall. With three years of growth, Hu Xiaoshu had been taller than before, but still very thin as a stick.

     

    "You guy didn't attend the test again,” Hu Xiaoshu didn’t know how to evaluate Wei Gaoyuan but muttered, "although you seemed quite familiar with the owner of the club, but just thinking more about your own future. You don’t intend to goof off like that in the club for a lifetime, do you?"

     

    "No, just goofing off for a few years first, and then I’ll follow my own plans for the future," Wei Gaoyuan smiled and replied slowly.

     

    "Alas! Brother, time goes by so fast! I cannot imagine what your future life would be if without any special skills,” Hu Xiaoshu gave a sigh and waved his fist, "if you had listened to my advice to practice martial arts hard following the regulations of the club, you could reach the level of the Exterior Force now, and would be a mighty one at the level nine of the Mystery before the age of your thirty…"

     

    (Stages in the Martial Arts: from the weak to the strong, the Undistinguishment, including Exterior Force < Interior Force <  Transforming Force; the Mystery, from level 9 to level 1; the Nature, form First Heaven to Ninth Heaven)

     

    "Brother Hu, really thanks for your advice. I’ve got the designs for my future…oh, what about today's test, I guess you guy can handle it, right?" Wei Gaoyuan tried to get off the point.

     

    Hearing it, Hu Xiaoshu didn’t know what to say next but gave a long sigh. Every time he tried to motivate Wei Gaoyuan to get to the right ways, his former roommate would respond in such a I’ve-already-got-my-plan attitude.

     

    Just remembering something, Hu Xiaoshu asked, " Have you got the idea that the Trial Island is about to open?" "

     

    "The Trial Island?" Wei Gao yuan returned a serious look, shook his head, "I’ve never heard about it. The students in the club need to go outside for a trial? "

     

    "Not strange for you guy, never bother about what's happening in the outside world,” Hu Xiaoshu shook his head, and then said seriously, " the trial island is the island controlled and managed by the four major martial arts clubs in Qizhou City. They start trial missions on the island every three years, and all people are authorized to sign up for it who are under the age of seventeen either living in Qizhou City or surrounding villages and towns.

     

    "Wow! So, you’re gonna to signed up?” Wei Gaoyuan didn't seem to have much interest about it actually.

     

    "Of course I am!" Hu Xiaoshu said. " The trial missions is obviously launched for selecting the talents by the four major sects controlling the four clubs before the curtain. Just think of it, doesn’t it mean each participant has the opportunity to be selected by the four major sects? "

     

    "Oh?" Wei Gaoyuan raised his interest and asked, "is the person without spiritual root allowed to be the disciple of four major sects?"

     

    "As far as I know, the person without spiritual root could be an outside disciple of four major sects.” Hu Xiaoshu said. "Besides, each of the sects have their secret scrolls on martial arts, which can help someone to reach…hmm… about the stage of the Nature, as powerful as the owner of our club."

     

    "The owner of our club is a warrior at the Nature?!" Wei Gaoyuan was in surprise. He didn’t know that Zhao Xiongying was that powerful since he had never seen Zhao Xiongying fighting with anyone.

     

    Wasn’t it a perfect opportunity for him to realize the dream of being the martial artist at the Nature? Wei Gaoyuan hastened to ask, "when will the deadline be for the registration?"

     

    "The end of this month,” staring at wei Gaoyuan in surprise, Hu Xiaoshu asked, "you also wanna get a try?"

     

    "Thank you so much! Brother Hu!" Wei Gaoyuan hurriedly stuffed himself with the rest of the meal and then ran away quickly with a mutter.

     

    Watching Wei Gao flying away from the back, Hu Xiaoshu sighed once again. It was the first time he’d seen his roommate caring so much about one thing, but how could that guy who’d wasted three years compete with other students in the trial mission? To just use his-plan-already?

    ......

     

    In the quiet and beautiful forest at the city side, Wei Gao was sitting cross-legged on the clearing under a few trees, his eyes lightly closed. The vaporous clouds of mist was seen rising from his body with his regular breathing.

     

    After making the Internal Qi flow in a full circle in his body, Wei Gaoyuan exhaled a turbid air from his mouth, opened his eyes and a glint of golden light flashed in his pupils and quickly faded away.

     

    (Making the Internal Qi flow in a full circle: Da zhou tian in Chinese, one of the techniques in the Martial Arts to run the Internal Qi through all meridians around the human body, which is of great use for refining and transforming the Internal Qi.)

     

    After becoming a level nine warrior at the Mystery, Wei Gaoyuan practiced in breathing techniques nearly ten times more efficiently than before, but the Internal Qi he’d stored in Dantian hadn’t multiplied since he just felt that his Dantian had expanded a lot even with a bottomless sign.

     

    After another completion of full circle flowing of Internal Qi, he felt very hungry. He got up when hearing the footsteps and faint talking from the distance in the woods ahead.

     

    "It's deadly boring! Only hunting for so few little things for a whole afternoon. "

     

    "Your ladyship, you might have no idea that in this small forest on the edge of the Meiyun Mountain it’s been an excellent result to hunt seven wild animals in one afternoon… "

     

    "These little water deer and hares just don’t deserve‘hunt’. I got them without any effort. I wanna catch the beasts like wolves, tighers! "

     

    "Well... This forest is located in the suburbs of Qizhou City surrounded by more than ten villages and towns. So the local government couldn’t allow wild animals like wild wolves and tigers to exist. "

     

    "Hum! We'll go to Dongchuan Mountain next time... Look! A big one over there! Just watch how I catch it alive! "

     

    As he was thinking about whether he should leave quietly or greet the strangers, Wei Gaoyuan just saw a red shadow flying fast toward here…


  • edited August 18

    Chapter 11: This, is My Sword

    Gu Qianqian, the third daughter of the lord of Qizhou City, was just 16 years old this year. As the genius who were the fastest at progress of the Martial Arts in the 50-year history of Qizhou City, she’d already been a warrior at the level of the Transforming Force in the Undistinguishment and was hopeful to promote to the level nine of the Mystery before the age of 18.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan, wearing a worn gray, from afar looked like an underage grizzly which was the ideal hunting object in Gu Qianqian’s eyes. Before her servants reacted, she rushed to Wei Gaoyuan like a blast of wind.

     

    Fortunately, her eyes were not bad. When rushing to the half way, she found that it was actually an man. She kept her foot in time and shouted at Wei Gaoyuan with a look of disappointment, "Hey! Who are you? Why are you here?"

     

    Gu Qianqian’s talking attitude seemed very rude, especially for a girl, but there indeed were few people in this district who dare to teach the daughter of the city lord how to act in a good manner.

     

    As a boy long-term struggling at the bottom of society, Wei Gaoyuan had long been accustomed to such cold words. He just cared little about it," I’m a student of the East Mountain Sword club in east of the city, just walking around."

     

    In order to avoid unnecessary trouble, he did not mention that he was practicing the Internal Qi just now.

     

    "You are a student of the East Mountain Sword club?" Gu Qianqian’s eyes lit up immediately. "I heard that the East Mountain Sword club is pretty strict with the enrolment and only gets a few students while all of them are talented in the Martial Arts and were expected to be the warriors at stage of the Mystery. I just wonder what’s your ranking among the students in the club? "

     

    It truely beat Wei Gaoyuan, because he had never fought or competed on the training field with other students in the club, let alone any tests or trials. How could he tell his ranking in the club?

     

    So he replied, "I’ve got no ranking in the club."

     

    “How can you get no ranking?” Gu Qianqian’s big eyes widened with suspicion, “how about your last test or trial?”

     

    "I’ve never participated in any tests or trials since I got into the club three years ago," Wei Gaoyuan wasn’t telling a lie.

     

    "Never?" Gu Qianqian got stunned slightly, then pouted. "Ghosts will believe you only! Well, let me have a try, take this!" she did not wait for Wei Gaoyuan to respond and gave him a fast kick.

     

    At this time, two men and one woman not far behind Gu Qianqian were approaching quickly.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan moved his step to evade her sudden kick and meanwhile flashed fast a few steps away from her.

     

    If facing a man, he did not mind to test the strength of the opponent and to measure what he’d learnt these years. However it was a girl on the opposite side.

     

    But the girl seemed not to take his kindness, rushing fast to catch up and slap his chest.

     

    The two men and one woman had already arrived. Seeing the situation, they hurried to flank and attack Wei Gaoyuan at the same time, " You wild boy dare to harm your ladyship?! "

     

    Wei Gaoyuan knew that the three men had misunderstood him, so jumped far away from the scene. Then Gu Qianqian had said before Wei Gaoyuan intended to explain, "You three, back off! I just wanna compete with him in the Martial Arts!"

     

    " How can such a coward be worthy to compete with your ladyship. If you want to teach this guy a lesson just let me do it for you so as not to get your hand stained," seeing Wei Gaoyuan dressed poorly, one teenager in the brocade robe among the three men was flattering Gu Qianqian.

     

    Gu Qianqian raised her eyebrows and said coldly, "Who do you think you are to tell me how to do, just go aside yourself!"

     

    Failed to please Gu Qianqian, the teenager had to go aside, staring at Wei Gaoyuan with hatred.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan stood very still, realizing that Gu Qianqian had no sign of stopping, "Do you really want to compete with me in the Martial Arts?"

     

    "Don’t worry about it, just competition without hurting each other," Gu Qianqian nodded slightly, with two hands prepared quietly to start next attack.

     

    Hearing her requirment, Wei Gaoyuan thought it was indeed quite normal and usual for Martial Artists regardless of gender to compete with each other without hurting, which did no harm for them two.Thus, he nodded slightly, "Okay. Please take care! "

     

     

    Having got ready to next move, Gu Qianqian stepped out fast and shot one palm of hers at Wei Gaoyuan, "Take this!"

     

    As the patterns from her ancestral Martial Arts, the tricks of palm-strike she was using now was called " the Willows Dancing in Winds" acted as dazzlingly as the dancing and flying of the willows in winds.

     

    (the tricks of palm-strike: Zhangfa in Chinese, refers to one category of the martial Arts to attack mainly by the movements of martial artists’ palms, similarly, the tricks of fist-strike, the tricks of the kick-strike, which are all the unarmed tricks and different from the patterns of weapons)  

     

    However, Wei Gaoyuan was not focused on the dazzling movement of her palms at all. He just kicked quickly at her middle of the waist, and just one seemingly simple kick, Gu Qianqian was kicked over to the ground.

    "Oh, no!"

    "Jesus!"

    "Stop!"

     

    The three men on the side roared at the same time, pulling out their swords and scimitar and staring at Wei Gaoyuan with imposing manner. They would rush over together just as soon as Guqianqian gave her order.

     

    "Stop!" Gu Qianqian climbed up, raising his hand and screaming, "What are you guys doing?"

     

    "He... this pariah dares to hurt your ladyship! Please allow me to take him down for you! " said the teenager in the brocade robe.

     

    "We are competing rather than fighting, am I clear? Go back! None of you is allowed to act!" Gu Qianqian showed an unpleasant look, and the three men had to follow her order to go aside.

     

    She rubbed her painful waist slightly and turned to Wei Gaoyuan, "The students of the East Mountain Sword club really deserve their reputation. Just a simple kick has broken my tricks of palm-strike."

     

    " You’ve put up an impressive fight!" Wei Gaoyuan greeted with one fist in the other hand.

     

    The teenager in brocade robe said coldly, "But for your sneak attack, you could not have won your ladyship. Your ladyship’s so kind and generous that she doesn’t wanna hurt your; If she used her sword, you would have died thousands of times!"

     

    This flattering just reminded Gu Qianqian, she stared at Wei Gaoyuan and asked, "You appear to be good at unarmed tricks?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan thought for a moment and replied, “I am good at swordsmanship!"

     

    In fact, apart from one set of introductory unarmed tricks from the club, only one pattern in swordsmanship he could use which was learnt from the scroll of the woman in white, the first one pattern of those eight patterns in the scroll. For the past three years he’d been practicing the only one pattern in swordsmanship.

     

    Hearing this, Gu Qianqian had got interest again about the next competition in her mind.

     

    She’d just got lost in the competition of unarmed tricks, thinking how to win back her face in the patterns of weapons. As a result, Wei Gaoyuan’s reply was just her answer.

     

    However, she saw no weapon with Wei Gaoyuan except the belt on his waist, "Then where is your sword?"

     

    "So, you wanna compete in swordsmanship?" Wei Gaoyuan asked.

     

    Gu Qianqian nodded, "If you’ve got no sword at hand, I don’t mind lending you one."

     

    She was kind of curious and puzzled about this swordsboy without a sword. Since the first day she learned the swordsmanship, she’d been told to develop the habit of never leaving her sword. Even if she was bathing, the sword must be placed within her reach.

     

    The Sword was the unbreakable part of the swordsman’s soul.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had never got a real sword. Actually, he did make a wooden sword once by himself, which was cut with a big branch. Thus, it looked not perfect even with a bit odd shape.

     

    “Thanks…” he went under the tree not far from him, dug down into the soil, then took out the wooden sword he had buried.

     

    "This, is my sword!"




  • Chapter 12: I Have One Pattern

    Staring at Wei Gaoyuan like a statue, never did Gu Qianqian expect that Wei Gaoyuan would dig out a wooden sword under the tree, "Is that one… just your sword?"

     

    "Exactly!" Wei Gaoyuan nodded, serious and looked like not telling a joke.

     

    Gu Qianqian still didn't believe it, "You always use that wood stick…I mean…that sword…. to fight?"

     

    This time, Wei Gaoyuan shook his head and said, "I’ve never fought with others before. This sword was only used when practicing swordsmanship alone."

     

    "You’ve never fought with someone?!" Gu Qianqian's big eyes turned bigger, full of disbelief.

     

    A rookie who had never fought with someone could defeat herself with only a kick? No way, she can't accept it absolutely and had to take back her lost face in the next swordsmanship competition.

     

    She turned back to the three men, "Who can help me cut a wooden sword now…Hmm… the same as his."

     

    "…"

     

    That really stumped all the three men behind her. It hardly took a short time to cut a wooden sword. The sun was setting in the sky, a wooden sword could not be made until the moon was rising.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan shook his head, "It’s getting dark, I have to go back, shall we save our competition for the next meeting?"

     

    "No way!" Gu Qianqian did not agree.

     

    She’d suffered a failure today. For a genius noble, a failure might not be remembered but could not be forgotten. Who knew when to meet him next time?

     

    Thinking of this, she turned her head and ordered, "Get me a sword!"

     

    The three men looked at each other and hesitated for a moment. One of them took the long sword from the waist and handed it over.

     

    Gu Qianqian took and passed it to Wei Gaoyuan, "You can use this sword, I don’t want to take advantage of you."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan stared at the sword in her hand for a moment. That was a delicate sword with a fancy scabbard and a blue gem on the hilt.

     

    He shook his head again, " Thank you, but I am used to using my own wooden sword."

     

    Gu Qianqian felt helpless. Neither did she want to take advantage of him, nor to force a swordsman to change his sword.

     

    After thinking for seconds, she said, "Okay, then I will take your three patterns before my attack!"

     

    (take your three patterns first / let you give three patterns first: it is one kind of polite concession that one part of martial artists make while in fighting or competition, which means, in the story, that Gu Qianqian can only begin her attack after she’s taken or defended three patterns from Wei Gaoyuan.)     

     

    Wei Gaoyuan still shook his head, "I have one pattern in swordsmanship. You can defend, you win; you can’t, I win."

     

    He was not lying. Only one pattern in swordsmanship he’d learnt from the scroll of the woman in white.

     

    What an arrogant boy! She thought. And her temper and competitive ambition was stirred up successfully by his “one pattern”.

     

    She drew up her sword, "I’ve said I’ll take your three patterns first, just do it!"

     

    "Okay," not explaining more, Wei Gaoyuan raised his wooden sword, "Be careful!"

     

    With a cold disdain in her heart, she hadn’t even planned to use her sword to take that ugly wooden sword, worrying that wooden stick would be smashed by only a hit of her sword.

     

    But, all the thoughts in her mind turned into a blank in the next second.

     

    Gu Qianqian only saw that Wei Gaoyuan’s whole body suddenly fluttered as his wooden sword flashed, and next moment the wooden sword had been clearly in front of her eyes, but who’d seen how it moved just now?

     

    Then the wooden sword turned into a few hazy sword shadows! In a great astonishment, her mind fell into a flurried chaos…

     

    Just as soon as she was petrified in a flash, the wooden sword was flying past by the close side of her cheek. In the meantime she only heard a crack!

     

    Gu Qianqian was standing where she was,

    stunned, not thinking, not seeing…

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had broken out in a cold sweat. For the first time he’d used the first pattern of swordsmanship in that scroll to fight. Not knowing Gu Qianqian’s real strength in swordsmanship, he stabbed the point between her eyebrows with all his strength. However, why didn’t she have even a slight reaction, just standing still where she was to wait for his stab?

     

    Apparently, she was not his enemy, so all the while Wei Gaoyuan didn’t intend to kill her. Seeing her standing motionless like getting possession, he tried hard to change the path of his flying sword, only to find that he could not control its path at all! let alone pulled it back!

     

    Just In the last second when Gu Qianqian was going to be stabbed through, he clenched his jaw and pushed all his streams of Internal Qi to flow in reverse, forcing his sword to move sideways only by half a foot from the target!

     

    Thank god there was no tragedy in this competition. However, due to excessive reversed force applied on its body, his wooden sword was finally broken in a crack, and the Internal Qi like the free wild horse was boiled and running in disorder through the meridians around his body.

     

    After secretly using the breathing techniques in the scroll to force the raging Internal Qi to calm down, he looked at the broken sword in his hand and sighed with a slight regret. He threw it aside and held his fist in the other hand to Gu Qianqian, “That was a good competition!”

     

    His greet just pulled back Gu Qianqian’s soul. Having had a close contact with Death, she was still in a great terror with her voice trembling, "You...who are you…"

     

    To the same question he’d answered already, Wei Gaoyuan still responded with patience, "A student, in the East Mountain Sword club."

     

    “Oh, it’s dinner time…” looking up at the sky, he thought, “I don’t wanna eat the wreckage on the plates…” so he murmured, "See you around!" then just ran away into the distance in the blink of an eye before Gu Qianqian could reacted…

     

    Gu Qianqian, with her head down, was now immersed again in Wei Gaoyuan’s “one pattern” just now, with no response at all,   

     

    She could hardly imagine what kind of force on earth might drive that overwhelming pattern of swordsmanship. Moreover, that boy looked like her age…

     

    Thinking of this, she raised her head, only saw the trees in the distance.

     

    "Where is he?" she looked around.

     

    "Your ladyship, he’s gone…" said a man behind her.

     

    "What!?... When?" Gu Qianqian turned to them and frowned. "You just let him go?"

     

    " Sorry, we dare not act rashly without the command of your ladyship," said another woman.

     

    Gu Qianqian just remembered that he’d ordered the three persons to stand behind and not to bother her. She sighed with depression, "Well, we go. Go back…"

     

    For the first time Gu Qianqian was skeptical about herself, as the genius of geniuses for the last 50 years in Qizhou City. Her aura of the genius was just smashed by only one pattern with one wooden sword.

     

    What was that boy if she was the genius of geniuses? The genius of monsters?

     

    For the first time she’d got interested in such a common poor boy, as a noble girl who’d grew up in the aristocratic circle for 16 years. The East Mountain Sword club… in Qizhou City, less than half an hour walk from the City Lord House, not too far… she thought and decided to visit this club today, and by the way, to find out that guy.

     

    ...

     

    Wei Gaoyuan flew back to the club and caught up with the last hot meal finally.

     

    When picking up the chopsticks, he remembered that he had forgotten to bring a bunch back. The wooden sword that had been cut for several nights was broken in one pattern. In order not to affect his swordsmanship practice, he had to cut another one.

     

    After the meal he walked aimlessly in the backyard, wondering if he could break a branch form the big tree in the club when he saw Hu Xiaoshu and a girl of his age walking towards him.

     

    "Hey! Gaoyuan, what are you doing here?" Hu Xiaoshu took the initiative to greet.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan just stared at the long swords swinging at their waists and suddenly came up with an idea: Could I have a sword of my own someday?

     

    "Hi, Brother Hu!” He asked, "Could you tell me how much that sword at your waist is?"

     

    Dazed by his question, Hu Xiaoshu stared at his ex-roommate for a long time then replied, "This sword is allotted by the club in the first year, already included in our tuition fee. You didn’t get it?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was amazed as well. He did study with other students just in the first few days, and then disappeared from the training field. Naturally he wouldn’t know the sword distribution.

     

    After a moment, he smiled and asked, " Is it okay to ask for a sword now?"

     





  • Chapter 13: No Such a Genius

    The next morning Wei Gaoyuan as usual went out of the door of the East Mountain Sword club to the forest outside the city for practice.

     

    Every day in the past three years, he needed to run for an hour to go there back and forth. For ages like that, now he could ran across a street just in a blink of an eye.

     

    Shortly after his departure Gu Qianqian entered the club. Because of her special status, Gu Qianqian had been radiant as the sun with the titles of the city lord’s third daughter and the top Martial Arts genius among the youngsters of her age in Qizhou City, and always attracted attention wherever she went. So she was received warmly and politely by the East Mountain Sword club. But her inquiry was really a big challenge for the receptionist.

     

    A student with a wooden sword, who was not weaker than the warrior at about the level of Transforming Force? It seemed there was no such a student in the club.

     

    Then Gu Qianqian went to the training field, recognized around all the warriors above that level in the club and still didn’t find that boy. She was unwilling but to find all the warriors in the club again. Still, no such a boy.

     

    "Are there any other students in the club?" she asked the student manager.

     

    The manager replied, "The students in the club now have been all here. The person your ladyship was finding, I guess, might be out today."

     

    "Go out so early?" Gu Qianqian widened her big eyes, then made up her mind, "I’m gonna wait here for his coming back."

     

    ...

     

    As a routine, Wei Gaoyuan would not get up so early. But he was quite excited in the early morning because of the new sword he got yesterday.

     

    About three years ago, the club did prepare a sword for Wei Gaoyuan. However, he’d been absent for quite a long time, so the sword that should have been his was given to some student.

     

    When Wei Gaoyuan went to the Weapon Room for a sword, the person in charge had no impression of this boy at all. He had no choice but to turn to Zhao Xiongying for help.

     

    Zhao Xiongying was just relieved and delighted when hearing Wei Gaoyuan wanted to take a sword finally. After all, the stone had lightened up! Although it was kind of late, with the care and push of your ladyship and himself, he believed that the boy’s achievement in the future should not be as low as he’d supposed. So he personally led this newly-shiny-stone to the Weapon Room.

     

    Things naturally went on much easier with Zhao Xiongying aside. Wei Gaoyuan got a sword which was actually two or three grades of quality higher than the swords distributed to other students. So, here he was, in the forest with his new sword.

     

    He’d forgotten the exact names of the methods for cultivation of Internal Qi and the eight patterns of swordsmanship in that scroll because almost all of them were corrected or adjusted in his dream space, more or less different from the original illustration on the scroll.

     

    Therefore, Wei Gaoyuan renamed the eight patterns: " The Eight Clouds in Dream."

     

    "Clouds" referred to the cloud pattern at the cuff of the woman in white, He would never forget it was her who gave him the scroll.

     

    "Dream" was undoubtedly his dream space. the first of the eight patterns had been modified many times during the fights with the virtual dream opponents, which he believed had been more powerful than the original pattern and been closer and closer to the flawless one. And the second pattern, the third... even the eighth he assumed would got modified in that miraculous space.

     

    It was at noon when Wei Gaoyuan returned to the club right after Gu Qianqian had left.

     

    Then for three days after that, he hadn’t met her. Gu Qianqian had almost asked all the people in the club but no one had ever heard of such a genius student with a wooden sword.

     

    She couldn't help but suspect that Wei Gaoyuan had lied that day. That rascal was definitely not the student of the East Mountain Sword club! It might be a good idea to go to the woods they’d met that day…

     

     

    "Couldn’t it be Wei Gaoyuan?" with a spark in his mind, Hu Xiaoshu muttered.Then he quickly shook his head. Wei Gaoyuan? That idle boy? The genius Miss genius Gu was looking for?

     

    "Who is that Wei Gaoyuan?" asked the girl beside him.

     

    "Well, It was the guy you saw that day, my former roommate," Hu Xiaoshu explained.

     

    "That boy? I remember you mentioned that he’d done nothing but eating and sleeping for all three years?" The woman first showed a surprise, then shook her head too. "This kind of person just has been lucky enough not to be expelled by the club. How could he be the target of the city lord’s third daughter?"

     

    Hu Xiaoshu threw up his hands, "God knows how…"

     

    The girl smiled again, "I am afraid that even the owner of the club has forgotten your former roommate, otherwise he could allow such a useless boy to live in the club?"

     

    "You shouldn't judge brother Wei like that," Hu Xiaoshu looked serious and said, "he just asked me about the sword yesterday, you know… it must be a sign that he was planning to learn the Martial Arts hard!"

     

    "So what?" the woman said without hiding full contempt in her eyes. " You couldn’t be looking forward to the impossible possibility that he, a boy who’d wasted his youth for three years, was able to catch up with other diligent students. After all, even a polished stone cannot be as brilliant as a diamond…I am afraid…that’s just his trick… he wants to continue living here… for a carefree time."

     

    Undoubtedly not happy with her remark, Hu Xiaoshu, however, does not want to argue, just keeping a sensible silence.

     

    ...

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had practiced for more than ten days in the woods. On the day he took the sword he’d signed up for the Trial Island, and then prepared some dry food and water for another self-practice days in woods.

     

    By the evening, Wei Gaoyuan began closing his eyes and sitting cross-legged for practicing the breathing techniques on the scroll. Being in a wonderful state after minutes, he only felt that there were two streams of Qi flowing in his body, one was from his Dantian, ​​but he didn’t know where the other one came from.

     

    Whenever the Qi stream from Dantian met the unknown one, the two streams would merge together, and soon after that he would breathe out a grayish turbid Qi and meanwhile felt completely comfortable.

     

    With time passing by, Wei Gaoyuan was in a state of deep cultivation, not noticing that his body was shining with golden light. As his cultivation continued, the light around his body became brighter and brighter. Not until he finished a full circle flowing of Internal Qi and opened his eyes was the golden light gone.

     

    Feeling his body full of strength and energy after that., he couldn't help but pull out his sword and wave it ahead with all strength. A cracking sound followed and the big tree in the front was cut off in the middle! What surprised him even more was that the waving of sword had produced a foot-long sword Qi.

     

    (Sword Qi: when a sword with injection of Internal Qi is moving fast enough, it’ll produce and shoot a kind of visible Qi called sword Qi, which can do a great damage to the target in the distance.)

     

    "It should be there, that direction!"

     

    A voice came not far away, accompanied by the footsteps of darting which sounded more than one person rushing here.

     

    After a few seconds, three men and two women appeared in the front.

     

    The five people frowned while seeing Wei Gaoyuan. One of them asked first, "Who are you?"

     

    Since Wei Gaoyuan was still wearing shabby old clothes, the five people could not recognize him clearly; Wei Gaoyuan recognized them, they wearing the uniforms of the H-Sun Martial Arts Club in Qizhou City. Thinking that they were also the students as himself in the same city, he greeted with a bow gently, "I’m Wei Gaoyuan, the student of the East Mountain Sword Club."

     

    “From the East Mountain Sword Club?” among the five, a young man who looked the eldest frowned and asked, “we’ve just seen the strong golden light shining form… about this area, have you ever discovered something… odd was born around?”

     

    (something odd was born: it is believed that once something like treasures, talismans, or evil things appear, they might trigger some peculiar phenomena such as bringing a roll of thunder, sending out lighted, etc.) 

     

    Golden light, here?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan looked blank and shook his head, "I’ve been here for quite a long time, not seeing any golden light or the birth of anything odd…"

     

    Apparently not believing it, the eldest sneered, "Boy, I advise you to tell the truth. The birth of any unique talisman must be so earth-shattering that it is not for you boy to occupy it alone."

     

    "I did have never seen some talisman, so… you might get the wrong place." Wei Gaoyuan did not get annoyed but tried to explain.

     

    A young man next to the eldest said coldly, "Brother Yu, you don’t need to give him any advice. We just take him then search him!”

     

    "Alright!" the eldest who was called brother Yu nodded, "younger brother Yao and younger sister Lv, could you please get that boy for us?"

     

    "No need to bother younger sister Lv, I can take him by myself," younger brother Yao, that young man who was talking to brother Yu, stepped up and walked to Wei Gaoyuan alone.

     

    A group of the unreasonable!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan frowned, staring at the young man approaching. Neither did he like to cause troubles, nor get afraid of troubles. Therefore he didn’t mind playing with those five troubles before him, just running away if can’t win, just getting beaten if can’t run away, that was it, being beaten happened a lot…

     

    So Wei Gaoyuan prepared a fight posture, "Come on!"

     

    Giving a sneer, younger brother Yao snapped, “Take this!” then he quickly punched in Wei Gaoyuan’s face.

     

    Yes, a quick and powerful punch in the eyes of commoners, but full of defects in Wei Gaoyuan’s eyes — insufficient strength and low speed with the unstable lower body. Wei Gaoyuan was seen calmly reaching out his right hand to grab the coming wrist, pulling the young man’s arm to the direction of his punching and meanwhile tripping him with one leg. Only three actions together made younger brother Yu kissing earth and dust.

     

    Younger brother Yao quickly got up and blushed, feeling losing his face in front of brothers and sister. He screamed and gave another punch.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan shook his head slightly, kicking out. This time, one kick made younger brother Yao flying a foot away.

     

    Seeing the sufferings of their companion, the four people standing aside all rushed and gathered around. Wei Gaoyuan’s fists and feet was flying at a high speed, which was actually one set of the basic unarmed tricks learnt from the East Mountain Sword Club. Just moments later the four people were all knocked down, lying with their companion on the ground defenselessly.

     

    Brother Yu sat on the ground in a shock, seemed to realize that Wei Gaoyuan was far stronger than all of them. He did not dare to continue to attack but asked, “You...who are you?!”

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had never expected that the set of basic unarmed tricks from the East Mountain Sword Club was so powerful that he could overwhelm five people that easily. He raised his head, "I’ve already said… I am a student of the East Mountain Sword Club.”

     

    He didn’t want to speak more with those five guys, so turned and walked away in their unwilling stare. No one pursued him, just letting him disappear into the shadows of the night...

     

    After a moment or two, younger brother Yao gnashed his teeth, “Brother Yu, why didn’t you draw your sword?”

     

    " We should be glad I didn’t draw my sword…" brother Yu shook his head, showing a sigh and unwillingness in his eyes. “We five… are no match for that boy!”

     

    "No way...it couldn’t be true…" the other four people expressed doubts. That boy seemed younger than each of them while even brother Yu admitted that he wasn’t the one who could defeat that boy.

     

    Was the boy a bastard son of the owner of the East Mountain Sword club?

     



  • Chapter 14: You Eat First

    About half a month later, Wei Gaoyuan returned from the woods, and because there were only ten days left before the start of the Trial Island, the whole club was immersed in a tense atmosphere.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan's return had not attracted much attention, except for Zhao Xiongying, who secretly called Wei Gaoyuan to his small yard.

     

    "Where have you been these days?" Zhao Xiongying asked.

     

    "Master Zhao, I’ve been in the woods outside of city for practicing the Martial Arts." Wei Gaoyuan answered honestly.

     

    Hearing Wei Gaoyuan go out to practice alone, he got a slight change on his look and a strange light flashing in his eyes, "how is your recent practice?"

     

    "A little bit better than ever." Wei Gaoyuan replied.

     

    "Show me the result of your practice, just give me a strike, with all your strength, don’t hide any of your power." Wei Xiongying said.

     

    Wei gaoyuan hesitated for a moment, then ran the Internal Qi to push his palm forward fast, not a strong palm-strike but with obvious Internal Qi in it.

     

    Undoubtedly, Zhao Xiongying could see clearly how the palm-strike was. His face suddenly turned serious and blurted, "did you really do that?"

     

    Do what?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got puzzled and asked, "I don't know what master meant, could you please tell me what happened?"

     

    For a while the surprise in the eyes of Zhao Xiongying faded, he took a long breath, "A few days ago the chief officer of the H-Sun Martial Arts Club came to accuse one student of our club, who might be at… ninth level of the Mystery… of injuring and robbing their students.”

     

    Hearing this, Wei Gaoyuan thought secretly: wasn’t that “one student of our club” referring to himself?

     

    Zhao Xiongying continued, "It was said that the student at ninth level is a boy about fifteen or sixteen years old, I was searching in my memory for such a genius in our club and found none meet the description, except one I do know little about…So today I just ask you to come here… I’ve never thought that ‘one student’ was really you…”

     

    "Master, it’s not necessarily me," Wei gaoyuan shook his head, "although I’ve been at ninth level of the Mystery and did get a conflict with the students of H-Sun, I didn’t rob them or hurt anyone actually."

     

    He was telling the truth. That sort of conflict in woods was quite normal among martial artists; he just defeated them rather than hurt them; that minor injuries and bruises, for the warrior, could heal in just a couple of days as usual even without any medicine.

     

    "Oh? Then why did their officer come?" Zhao Xiongying asked with doubts.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan immediately told him in details the conflict in woods that day. After his description, Zhao Xiongying smiled with sneers," What a flock of fabulous kids they teach! Ordinary martial artists dare to challenge the one at the Mystery! Then just shamelessly come here for blame! Just don't bother to respond them!”

     

    ...

     

    More than ten days had passed.

     

    Since the following day the officer of the H-Sun Martial Arts Club came over once again for that conflict and was scolded back by Zhao Xiongying, the entire Qizhou City had been in a great calm and no one disturbed Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    This day, a notice issued by City Lord House stirred up the calm Qizhou City — in three days all the people on the list would set out to enter the Trial Island.

     

    For only an age limit and no identity requirement for the trial assignment this year, many a young warrior from some surrounding small towns flooded into Qizhou City after hearing the news.

     

    On the next day a giant flying ship landed on the open ground in the central square of the city with the official announcement that all those who would take part in the trial assignment had to go aboard in one day.

     

    In the evening, twenty one students of the East Mountain Sword Club, including Wei Gaoyuan and Hu Xiaoshu, were suiting up and ready to go.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu came to Wei gaoyuan and asked, "Brother Gaoyuan is going to try the trial this year?"

     

    "Just take my chance, maybe… I'll get something." Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    Before Hu Xiaoshu could continue, the girl beside him snorted softly, with undisguised contempt in her eyes.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu nodded, "it's just no trouble to try… but I heard that the Trial Island is by no means a safe place… Brother Gaoyuan should be careful… not to leave our team without permission." He was the very one of the few who knew Wei Gaoyuan was definitely not a gregarious guy.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded, "Okay, thanks… I'll play it by ear."

     

    The huge flying ship was more than one hundred and fifty feet long and approximately sixty feet wide, a real giant which could hold more than three hundred people.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan and others had boarded the ship in good order, looking for their own rest area. He did not notice the eyes quietly watching him far away from the crowd. It was a boy of those five guys of H-Sun club who’d been taught some lessons in woods that day.

     

    That boy was whispering to a few persons beside whose eyes were then together fixed on Wei Gaoyuan, even with sneers on their faces.

     

    An hour later, the huge ship was rosing into the air, causing a large cry of surprise inside and outside. Staring at the ground which had been gradually further and further away, Wei Gaoyuan did not know why he was reminded of that day, the day on her sword he was soaring in the sky with sister Yun...

     

    As the sky had been becoming darkened, Wei Gaoyuan went to the dining hall for dinner, surely, with his only acquaintance Hu Xiaoshu and that girl, Hu Xiaoshu’s inseparable friend.

     

    The three took the food and sat down at a table. Hu Xiaoshu first said, " Brother Gaoyuan, you’ve got any plans? Why don’t we three…just make a team?"

     

    "Well, I see, it depends..." Wei Gaoyuan grabbed a steamed bread and took a bite.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu shook his head slightly, he knew it, but the Trial Island was no joking place, a little carelessness could bring about tremendous risks, risks of life.

     

    The girl beside him sneered coldly, "Brother Xiaoshu just kindly gave the advice. Someone just dared to sign up for the trial assignment, regarding the Trial Island as the place like Qizhou City?"

     

    "Lin, you are speaking to brother Gaoyuan…not so kindly…" Hu Xiaoshu seemed not happy about her remark.

     

    "He’s just what I said, I’m not wrong…" Lin muttered with the obdurate look on her face. "The Trial Island is the place for selection, not the place for playing his game, he knows his ranking in the club?"

     

    Giving the steamed bread a few bites, Wei Gaoyuan still did not get angry and raise his head, "I appreciate brother Xiaoshu’s kind advice… no one in the club can be as unagreeable as me, I guess, so…I’m not going to put him in an uncomfortable position."

     

    Hu Xiaoshu seemed a guilty face, looking at Lin," Even though brother Gaoyuan’s kind of solitary, he is my friend. Put it another way, anyone who’s looking down on him was looking down on me."

     

    Lin lowered her head, pouting in silence, Wei Gaoyuan knew and understood her defying in that whoever had a bigger fist would be respected in the East Mountain Sword Club while few persons in the club knew his real strength.

     

    He was about to say something to lighten up the embarrassing atmosphere when a cold and proud voice came, "You three, leave this table and go sharing that one over there with others."

     

    The three of Wei Gaoyuan subconsciously raised their heads, saw two men and two girls in the uniforms of H-Sun club, standing on the side and holding their dinner plates.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan responded when Hu Xiaoshu was about to speak, "We’ve almost finished, just hold on for a moment if you don't mind."

     

    One man of the four raised his eyebrow, said coldly, "Have finished? Why still stick to the chairs?!"

     

    " It’s ‘almost’, didn’t you get it?" with a sneer at his heart, Wei Gaoyuan had got their purpose,.

     

    "Almost? Hehe!" The man gave a chuckle, suddenly shot his hand knocked over all the plates on the table, the left food scattered all over the floor, then hold up his head to stare at the three provocatively, "okay, no ‘almost’ now."

     

    "You...” Hu Xiaoshu stood up in anger and shouted, "looking for troubles?!"

     

    "How could you do that?" Lin was glaring at that man.

     

    The other man of the four grinned in a strange way, "We’ve done this, and… how can you do..."

     

    Almost before he’d finished speaking, the man suddenly felt his hands empty. Where was the plate in hands? Almost in the meantime a pain Immediately came from his stomach, then his whole body flied out without being controlled.

     

    The other man left was also thrown out, flying, a perfect face-landing.

     

    The plates with the untouched food of the two flying men were placed slightly on the table by Wei Gaoyuan, "Then, you got what we can do?”

     

    “Brother Xiaoshu and Lin, you eat first," he smiled.


  • Chapter 15: You Dig, I Bury

    "Bastard!"

     

    "I’ll kill you?!"

     

    The two men were furious, one of them picking himself up off the ground and taking out the long sword, then shooting himself to Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan calmly picked up a chopstick on the table and threw it out as a concealed weapon, just hitting the man’s hand holding the sword and making a clear and crisp sound—the long sword was slammed out and fell on another table on the side.

     

    (Concealed Weapon: Anqi in Chinese, refers to the weapon that facilitates the raid in the dark. It is mostly created by martial artists, small in size, light in weight and easy to carry, also with fast speed, strong concealment and great power.)

     

    "Stop!"

     

    "Don't fight!"

     

    The two girls of the four tried to stop the fight as Hu Xiaoshu had already pulled out his scimitar, ready to join the combat.

     

    Sitting around the table at the back side were four people, who were shocked by the sword falling from the air and roared with rage, "What the hell are you doing!"

     

    "You guys want an official punishment? Fighting in the dining hall?!"

     

    As the city lord’s third daughter and a rare martial arts genius in Qizhou City, Gu Qianqian was naturally treated in higher class than the ordinary participants.

     

    She didn’t have to get a meal here with others, but as an important participant in this trial she’d like to find some others who could be suitable for teaming up, so she was invited to come here.

     

    The much noise made from Wei Gaoyuan’s area surely got Gu Qianqian’s attention. She looked there and asked, "What happened there?"

     

    "It seems a fighting," said one person beside her.

     

    "Oh? The fight’s just begun before arrival at the Trial Island. Boys…just pick the right moment and place," Gu Qianqian said with a frown.

     

    Suddenly she raised her eyebrow and murmured, "it’s him?"

     

    “Your ladyship knows someone in the fight?” said a handsome teenager in a brocade gown, his face turning sullen.

     

    “Hehe!” Gu Qianqian let out an intriguing smile, “I have been searching you for so many days… just got you here, show me where you can hide this time…”

     

    As murmuring, she got up and walked towards the direction of Wei Gaoyuan’s area.

     

    Now the two men of H-Sun club both in a desperate posture were scowling at Wei Gaoyuan with their swords.

     

    In the distance Wei Gaoyuan hold a plate with sneers, ready to shoot it out on the next sword-attack from the two men.

     

    When both sides were on the line, a girl’s clear voice came, "All stop!"

     

    The crisp voice just froze the tense atmosphere for seconds, and everyone turn to the direction of voice, finding that Gu Qianqian was coming with her cold face.

     

    "Your ladyship!" exclaimed the crowds.

     

    Seeing Gu Qianqian, the two men of H-Sun club who were ready to shoot their swords looked a little uneasy; the other two girls on their side also bowed their heads and dared not speak anything.

     

    Gu Qianqian glanced around, then came to Wei Gaoyuan and asked, "Why fighting here?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was far more surprised than the crowds, surprised that Gu Qianqian was so imposing that almost every one here was overpowered by her presence. However, he did not know her real special identity, nor would he be shocked by her power.

     

    "We three did not know the two men, but they’ve overturned our plates and dishes, pushing us to change the table. So, you exactly should ask them why," replied Wei Gaoyuan slowly.

     

    “He’s telling the truth?” Gu Qianqian turned her staring to the two men of the H-Sun club.

     

    In the face of Gu Qianqian’s gaze and question, one of the two men lowed his head silently. The other man blinked for a moment then said, “Reply to your ladyship, because we four came late, there was no vacant table then; I tried to discuss sharing the table with this brother, he refused…even with some rude words, I couldn’t stand it, so..."

     

    "Nonsense!" Hu Xiaoshu was roused to fury by the man’s lying through his teeth.

     

    "That’s true,” at the moment the other man who was looking down raised his head and turned to Wei Gaoyuan, "this brother seemed to have a prejudice against the students of the H-Sun Martial Arts Club… he did curse and insult us and our club!"

     

    As soon as he was speaking, the students of the H-Sun club on the other tables, about ten people, gathered and stormed around at the same time.

     

    The East Mountain Sword Club also got more than a dozen students eating here. When seeing the intense scene, they all stood up and came over on the side of the three of Wei Gaoyuan. Two sides of different clubs facing each other, a bigger fight was getting to explode.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan sneered in the heart: you guys played dirty? He’d been living and struggling at the bottom of society for many years, what kind of dirty stories he hadn’t heard? What kind of rascals he hadn’t encountered? Wanna play such little tricks? Even adults were not necessarily a match for him.

     

    Booger-eating boys, you’d dug a pit and jumped in yourself, I just help to bury you.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan put on a chilly expression and said coldly, "I’d said something rude? Why didn’t mention that you brother touched my face, saying ‘you little boy just has such a soft and smooth skin, must be tastier than that so-called… third daughter of the city lord… Don’t fear to make a good friend with me, I will try to teach you little boy something amazing then’…"

     

    "You...you...you nonsense!" with big change on the face, that man pointed his sword at Wei Gaoyuan with rages and his tongue seemed to get tied.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu was stunned entirely by the scene, his eyes fixed on Wei Gaoyuan like seeing a ghost. Just now, his former roommate took the two guy’s plates as a magician and shot a chopstick so fast and powerful at the coming sword, but all those were just a little piece of cake compared with what he was doing now…

     

    Just look at his mouth, the dirty water he was pouring out, no, that was acid precisely, the acid to ruin the fame and future of his opponents!

     

    At this time, Gu Qianqian’s beautiful face had turned deadly gloomy, nobody around her could hardly feel that a big storm was right on the way.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan continued adding some more, "Oh, I remembered he just remarked your ladyship’s figure was as flat as a door panel and that seemed not easy to...to breed…"

     

    Having finished his speech, he coughed twice slightly and said, "I just heard someone calling the name of your ladyship, isn’t she here?"

     

    Gu Qianqian had already been driven mad, her whole body trembling…

     

    That man of the H-Sun club almost fell to kneel to Gu Qianqian, said in trembling voice "I’ve…always respected your ladyship...as…as the goddess in fable…You vicious liar...slander…frame us! Never believe him, your ladyship!"

     

    "Ah? You... you’re that…‘your ladyship’?" Wei Gaoyuan made a look of surprise.

     

    Gu Qianqian did not pay attention to Wei Gaoyuan’s show at all, just fixing her eyes nowhere but on the men of the H-Sun with a murderous look. She said word by word, "The man of the H-Sun Martial Arts Club, I’ve noted it down…"

     

    Under the pressure of staring-attack from Gu Qianqian, that man of the H-Sun club suddenly jumped up and rushed to Wei Gaoyuan like a crazy beast. He roaring, "It's you! You dare to frame me with such a dirty trick! Go to hell…"


    Boom!

     

    Before getting close to Wei Gaoyuan, the man was blasted off by a heavy kick.

     

    A handsome teenager was seen standing in front of Wei Gaoyuan, then turn to give a bow to Gu Qianqian, "I’m Xiu Xu’an, apologize first to your ladyship for my younger brother You’s behavior. I believe that, he’s never spoken that unrefined words. ”

     

    After that, he turned to face and stare at Wei Gaoyuan’s eyes with a serious look, "This brother said that younger brother Yao had insulted your ladyship, could you please show us any evidence?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan shook his head, said softly and calmly, "No one can seize the water that’s been poured out, neither can I. His ladyship decides how to handle him."

     

    He’d noticed that Liu Xu’an seemed to have a good reputation around Qizhou City, the looks on the faces of many people here could prove it just after he’d given his name.

     

    After Wei Gaoyuan’s reply, Liu Xu’an once again said with a bow to Gu Qianqian, " If your ladyship is convinced to punish younger brother You by the only words of one side, It would be just a bit unfair. I believe the truth can not escape the eyes of your ladyship."

     

    Frowning fiercely, Gu Qianqian seemed gradually calmed down. Liu Xu’an’s remark sounded pretty reasonable. She couldn’t judge it only relying on Wei Gaoyuan’s statement.

     

    For Wei Gaoyuan, however, he didn’t care whether she believed it or not. Everyone present here might remember today’s interesting incident once seeing any students of the H-Sun club in the future, that was enough.

     

    After all, the crowd tended to happily recall what strangers had suffered.

     

     
    different Concealed Weapon:


  • Chapter 16: Again, Here

    Gu Qianqian hesitated for a little while, then took back her imposing power and return to her normal status. She said aloud, "If there’s nothing else, it’s the end of today’s incident, I hope no one will mention it later."

     

    "Thank your ladyship for your magnanimity. Every details of the truth can’t escape the eyes of your ladyship." Liu Xu’an first bowed to Gu Qianqian, then looked up and throw a sneer to Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan seemed not to catch his sneer, just waving his hand, "It’s the end, you H-Sun club may go… Being disturbed for such a long time, I heard my stomach protesting."

     

    Gu Qianqian shot a weird look at him — eat? You’d still got a good mood to eat?

     

    The crowd gradually dispersed. Hu Xiaoshu had changed a you-guy-got-me face. What a splendid trick from heaven! Or… from hell!

     

    Lin, next to Hu Xiaoshu, kept her head down and dared not to look at Wei Gaoyuan. Before today, she’d always treated Wei Gaoyuan as a waste, a loser, who did not deserve to be a friend with Hu Xiaoshu.

     

    However, what had happened today was really a good lesson for her. 1 vs 2, just won that easily, a double-win both in swords and words. In the whole East Mountain Sword Club, she believed, few students could do it better.

     

    Gu Qianqian took a look at Wei Gaoyuan and said, "Come with me."

     

    "For what? I have to eat!" Wei Gaoyuan looked back cautiously.

     

    Feeling a little angry and funny, Gu Qianqian rolled her eyes at him," Haven't eaten enough? I’m treating, just follow me."

     

    Seeing Wei Gaoyuan still wanted to say no, Hu Xiaoshu on the side quickly gave him an alarm, "Gaoyuan! Your ladyship might get something important to talk with you."

     

    "Okay, " Wei Gaoyuan shrugged, "go!"

     

    After the presence of Gu Qianqian and the incident today, almost every one’s eyes on Wei Gaoyuan had changed, especially the students in both the East Mountain Sword Club and the H-Sun Martial Arts Club.

     

    The other students of the East Mountain Sword Club never expected Wei Gaoyuan knew the genius Miss Gu, let alone the strength he showed was so great. Just think about his relationship with Miss Gu, all made sense. Some of them even regretted that they had ignored or kept away from Wei Gaoyuan ever.

     

    On the contrary, almost all the students of the H-Sun Club looked serious, especially younger brother Yao in the crowd and the two who had been beaten up just now. Because of that boy’s relationship with Miss Gu, it mustn’t be that easy to find excuses for getting back at him.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan turned a blind eye to different eyes and voices around him and calmly accompanied Gu Qianqian out of the dining hall.

     

    Until the boy and the girl disappeared into the sight of everyone, a few voices just secretly came in some corner of the dining hall.

     

    "This kid is good… a promising talent!"

     

    "Only fifteen or sixteen years old… played such a sinister trick. If go astray in the future…I am afraid…he will be a scourge."

     

    "No, no, no… It was not his fault; he just gave his opponents a dose of the opponents-made medicine…"

     

    "Yes! I just like his little tricks…"

     

    "But his behavior was too…a little unscrupulous… It is said that he’s always been absent when studying in the East Mountain Sword Club… I am afraid also…he will not be cultivated easily by ordinary rules in the future…"

     

    "All of you seemed to have forgotten something crucial… This kid has not yet entered any of our sects actually! Even if he was selected, he can only be an external disciple… You’re discussing him… just like selecting your own internal disciple?"

     

    This statement made the heated discussion fall into a silence.

     

    After a while, one of the them laughed, "Haha…Exactly! This trial is to select external disciples to cultivate the officers in charge of affairs outside the sects. That is to say, if any of the selected go astray in the future, just erase them!"

     

    "Whatever, I’ve put this kid on the list of my Tri-Harmo Clan..."

     

    "Don’t forget it, this kid is the student of the East Mountain Sword Club, naturally belongs to my East Mountain Sword Clan."

     

    "Then why didn't you get this kid enter your clan? Because of his lower talents than your inclusion criteria? Just let my Yan Hua Clan give him a chance…"

     

    "Don't argue any more, this kid is still a ‘X’… If he turns out to be a ‘!’, then we might as well… compete for him, fairly."

     

    "Alright!"

     

    “Well, that’s it…”

     

     

    The four people disappeared into the hall as quietly as they appeared, no students were disturbed, even from the beginning to the end of their talks, no one found that the four people had come to the dining hall.

     

    When out of the dining hall, Wei Gaoyuan asked Gu Qianqian with a puzzled look, "Anything better you bring me out to eat?"

     

    Eat! Eat! No other words in this guy’s dictionary except “eat”?

     

    Gu Qianqian shot him a seemingly angry stare, then reached for her waist, took out a nail-sized elixir and threw it to that hungry guy.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan neglected her stare and took the elixir, checking it up and down, "I am not sick, why give me a pill?"

     

    "That’s Inedia Elixir, one pill will prove your big empty stomach full enough for a whole day." Gu Qianqian did not want to talk more to this guy, not explaining more valuable effects of the Inedia Elixir.

     

    " Inedia Elixir!?" Wei Gaoyuan looked at Gu Qianqian with a suspicious look, then shook his head, "I can't afford such a treasure, just give it back to you…"

     

    Seeing him really hand it back, Gu Qianqian waved, " it’s been yours since I gave it to you… just a defective product…only worth a few hundred silver coins, at most..."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan could hardly hold the little elixir. He’d heard of Inedia Elixir in the story at the tea houses, which was the dry food and snacks of the Land Taoists, but he’d never expected such a little pill could be so valuable.

     

    Before meeting the woman in white of the Cloud-Heaven Palace, he had to use only copper coins for trading in his life. A hundred silver coins was even an astronomical figure for him. Recent years, he did improve a bit but only to the level of dozens of silver coins.

     

    "This..." he frowned, really embarrassed to accept such a high-priced treasure.

     

    "Eat it, then come with me, I’ve got a few questions for you." Gu Qianqian restored the princess-like imposing power, turned and walked to the deck.

     

    Watching her from the back, Wei Gaoyuan secretly laughed at himself: such a fool! Miss Gu, your Ladyship, the third daughter of the city lord, would care about a defective Inedia Elixir? He swallowed it immediately and followed her to the deck.

     

    The huge flying ship was galloping in the air hundreds of meters high. The wind whistling in the ears, ordinary people could hardly stand upright on the deck if not strong enough.

     

    Such wind had little effect on the boy and the girl standing on the deck.

     

    The moon had splashed countless starlight onto the pitch-black canvas of night. Gu Qianqian came to the edge of the ship, staring at the twinkling stars in the sky for a long time.

     

    "You’ve been a warrior of ninth level in the Mystery, haven’t you?" she suddenly asked.

     

    "Yeah, just broke through the Transforming Force not long ago," Wei Gaoyuan did not lie.

     

    Gu Qianqian fell silent. After a long while, she said softly, "I’ve been honored as ‘the top genius in the Martial Arts’ around Qizhou City, but still wandering about the peak of the Undistinguishment for years…It seems … you are the one who deserve that title."

     

    "Well, you’re giving me much higher title than I deserve. It’s a real fluke…”

     

    It was believed that many martial artists had failed to pass the summit of the mighty mountain between the bottom of the Mystery and the peak of the Undistinguishment.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan, however, could barely tell the details about how he’d just leapt such a huge step forward.  

     

    "Well..." Gu Qianqian gave a chuckle and shook his head, "you know…no fluke on the way of the Martial Arts…That you did break through means… you are pretty talented."

     

    Then she lowered her eyebrows in silence for a moment and looked up again, "I lost to you once… I wanna try it again."

     

    "Again?" a surprise to Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    "Yes! Again, here!" Gu Qianqian replied, firmly.

     

    "Here?!" Wei Gaoyuan turned the surprise to an astonishment. Miss Gu! Your ladyship! The wind was raging in our ears! The stars were so close to our heads!

     

    Gu Qianqian responded with nothing, she had pulled out her long sword and said seriously, "If you take me as a warrior, do your best!"

     

    Without saying a word, Wei Gaoyuan slowly drew out his sword.


     
    Gu Qianqian


  • edited August 29
    Chapter 17: Set Out

    Before Wei Gaoyuan acted, Gu Qianqian first launched her strike. This time she wouldn’t underestimate him, attacking with one of her ancestral sword tricks: “The Willow-Swirling Sword”; Wei Gaoyuan was defending himself with the basic sword trick of The East Mountain Sword Club.

     

    Seven or eight rounds later, Gu Qianqian took back the sword, slightly angry, "Are you taking this competition seriously? Just using such a simple basic sword trick to defend my ancestral sword tricks?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got a bitter smile in his heart. He was definitely not looking down on Gu Guqianqian, but unwilling to make her too embarrassed and depressed. Because of the huge gap between ninth level of the Mystery and Transforming Force of the Undistinguishment, even if he used the basic sword trick of his club to attack, if with all strength, she could hardly take it beyond ten rounds.

     

    And another embarrassment for himself, apart from the basic sword trick of his club, he’d actually learnt only one pattern, the first pattern of “The Eight Clouds in Dream”. As soon as this pattern was let out, sure enough, Gu Qianqian was going to be defeated immediately.

     

    "Just use that pattern you used last time," Gu Qianqian said.

     

    "That one… I am afraid you couldn't take it," Wei Gaoyuan shook his head.

     

    "You’ll not kill me, will you?" Gu Qianqian asked with a smile.

     

    “No!" Wei Gaoyuan shook his head again.

     

    "Then just let it out, you’re afraid that I won’t stand another failure?" with a firm look, Gu Qianqian's tone turned cold a little.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded this time and warned, "Get ready to take it!"

     

    Gu Qianqian gathered all her attention and Internal Qi to stare at the sword in Wei Gaoyuan’s hand. Then with a shaking of Wei Gaoyuan’s wrist, his sword was shot out!

     

    Still quite fast, but actually not so fast as it was last time. But in Gu Qianqian’s eyes, just the same as last one, again, the figure of Wei Gaoyuan and his sword suddenly got blurred in front of her.

     

    But different from last time in the next moment, she only saw a rainbow not far before her eyes.

     

    A beautiful rainbow, a splendid rainbow against the dark night, a rainbow froze Gu Qianqian’s whole body, and her soul…

     

    The rainbow just disappeared as quickly as it appeared as Wei Gaoyuan slid the sword back into the scabbard.

     

    With her mouth still opened slightly, Gu Qiqnqian blinked her eyes and then realized it was over. She looked down in frustration, "I lost… again…"

     

    "You’ve done quite well!" Wei Gaoyuan greeted with a cupped fist, like a hero in the stories in the tea houses

     

    "Well, the power of the Mystery is really worthy of the name…" Gu Qianqian sighed, "I must make greater efforts… to break through my current stage… reach the Mystery…Just wait for the next competition…"

     

    "I’ll be waiting for that day!" Wei Gaoyuan nodded seriously.

     

    A promise between a boy and a girl, underneath the moon and the stars.

     

    Right after they walked into the cabin, no one noticed that a pair of eyes twinkled for a while in the darkness and disappeared into night.

     

    ......

     

    Two days later, the flying ship was flying over the sea, and five days later landed on a huge island finally.

     

    Standing on the deck, everyone saw an immense forest without end in distance.

     

    “Is this the Trial Island?”

     

    Some of the students were filled with curiosity, some were almost ready to land, some looked kind of somber, and only few had smelled the danger.

     

    More than 140 young warriors who were landing the island were assembled on the deck. Before them were four middle-aged men, one of them said, " Our warriors! Congratulations and welcome to the Trial Island! The next month will be the key periods to decide your destiny, and I believe everyone will value and take every opportunity."

     

    Another man stepped forward, "Well, each of you will get a piece Escape Fu. Just inject your Internal Qi into it while at any the risk beyond your control, it can bring you back here safely."

     

    The third man added, "After thirty days, everyone must gather here; anyone who returns here without Escape Fu or fails to return here will be judged as a failure in the trial."

     

    Then he looked up at the crowd, "Am I clear?"

     

    "Understood!" all the students answered aloud in unison.

     

    "Perfect!" The last man came to the hatch of the ship and took out a large stack of Fu. "Everyone can get off the ship after getting a piece of Escape Fu from me."

     

    Suddenly a voice came from the crowd, "Master, could I ask one question?"

     

    "Yes!" four middle-aged men responded at the same time.

     

    "I wondered whether it is allowed to take…I mean…rob someone of his Escape Fu…" asked that student.

     

    “Yes!” said the middle-aged man holding the Escape Fu.

     

    "Understood, thank you, master!" the student said respectfully.

     

    What the master meant was very clear, but was it really that easy? After all, it seemed not so difficult to keep a piece of Escape Fu safe until the end of the trial such as finding a secret cave in the forest to hide for 30 days.

     

    The middle-aged man who spoke first opened his mouth again, “In addition, there is a kind of pine tree in this Trial Island with fruits called pine crystal on it… just like this,” he then raised his hand, on his palm was an irregular transparent oval sphere of grape size.

     

    “You got it clear?” he looked up at the crowd. “At the end of the trial, the number of pine crystal you’ve collected will determine your ranking in the trial. Each sect will select their disciples according to the rankings…What’s more, anyone with less than ten pine crystals will get no qualification for the selection. "

    "Master, could I ask where the pine trees are?" asked a student.

     

    "Ask yourself!" coldly replied one middle-aged man.

     

    "As expected, it seems not easy to pass the trial…" Wei Gaoyuan frowned slightly and looked over the crowd into the deep and thick forest.

     

    In such a huge primeval forest… no one dare or wanted to ask how many ruthless beasts even some unknown strong creatures had been polishing their claws and teeth to welcome their new guests…

     

    Some students had set about forming the team, in such a trial after all, acting with a team were much safer than acting alone.

     

    As the most shining superstar, Gu Qianqian was naturally the best option for most teams. However, she did not accept any invitation but went straight to the team of Wei Gaoyuan, " I wanna join the team of the East Mountain Sword Club… if there is still a vacancy…"

     

    All, more than ten people in the team of the East Mountain Sword Club, never expected that Miss Gu would take the initiative to join them. So in an instant they froze then turned overjoyed. Li Xiaochun, the eldest and the leader of the team, cupped his fist immediately, "Welcome! It’s the great honor of our team! "

     

    The rest of the team also cupped the fists to greet Gu Qianqian, some of them meanwhile casting a glance at Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan just stood still without any reaction, Gu Qianqian could express nothing but turned down the corner of her mouth. She also cupped her fist with a sweet smile to all the teammates, “I believe, all of us will pass the trial safely, with our great teamwork and efforts.”

     

    "Thanks for your ladyship’s kind words, we will not let you down," Li Xiaochun seemed to brown nose.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan just followed his words, "We’d better go now, or fall behind other teams."

     

    "Yes! Let's move! Just strive to pass the trial as soon as possible!" Li Xiaochun quickly agreed.

     

    Including Li Xiaochun, everyone in the team knew that Gu Qianqian joined in them mostly because of Wei Gaoyuan while Wei Gaoyuan was undoubtedly a well-known loner, thus after his showing no intention to leave the team to act alone, the whole team had just got relieved.

     

    Under the hostile stare of other teams, the team of the East Mountain Sword Club, more than ten people, walked quickly toward the endless forest, and Gu Qianqian seemed to be the new head of the team.





  • edited September 8

    Chapter 18: Bad Things Never Absent

    The cold moonlight with few stars couldn't stop the inky night covering the whole forest with complete darkness.

     

    The team of East Mountain Sword Club had not found a cave for camp and had to sit together at a clearing between a couple of trees. Wei Gaoyuan climbed up a large tree not far from his teammates, hiding between the big branches and leaves to enter into his dream space for practicing the basic sword trick from the club.

     

    A  bonfire made on the open ground under the tree was burning, around which everyone sat  in a circle and talked happily as one student got up and said, "excuse me...I'm  gonna wash my hand..."

     

    In addition to Wei Gaoyuan on the tree, one student of the team on another big tree now was looking around carefully as a guard, and that student leaving the team looked up and said, "Hey, younger Brother Meng, keep your eyes open, we're counting on you tonight… "

     

    "No problem! Elder brother Zhou, I'll be watching you, in every details...hahaha…" younger brother Meng responded high on the tree.

     

    The breeze from deep woods was fueling the campfire, whose strong flames just brightened a few glowing young faces in a relaxed atmosphere…

     

    Suddenly, Wei Gaoyuan widened his eyes and showed a nervous look. Somehow, he felt that his surroundings had suddenly turned silent. In the darkness only the wind was whispering, accompanied by the rustling of the fallen leaves in the distance… no…the rustling was getting nearer…and...

     

    "...Sound… just strange…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan sat up straight and stared  at the darkness in the distance vigilantly as he'd realized that the rhythm of the rustling didn't match the frequency of wind whispering…

     

    "Hey, guys! Look out! Something might be approaching!" he hurriedly warned.

     

    "Uh?" Gu Qianqian frowned and looked up into the darkness ahead.

     

    "What?" Hu Xiaoshu trusted Wei Gaoyuan most, immediately keeping alerted.

     

    In the quiet darkness, the odd rustling sound seemed to be abruptly stopped. Everyone hadn't found anything abnormal except Wei Gaoyuan, who turned more vigilant— there must be something weird not far around.

     

    "Gaoyuan, have you got something wrong?" Hu Xiaoshu asked.

     

    "There was something unknown… getting closer… just watch out!" Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    "What? Where?"

     

    All persons got ready, some even with their hands on the hilt, their swords would let out at any time.

     

    There remained only the whispering of breeze through the woods…

     

    Not far away from the team, elder brother Zhou had finished and stood up, "Ah? Something unknown? I've been here for a long time…found nothing…" He said as walking a few steps forward.

     

    Suddenly, the sound  of the leaves rustling came again, just not far ahead from elder brother Zhou.

     

    "Be careful!" Wei Gaoyuan shouted to him.

     

    Elder brother Zhou stared at the darkness in front of him, "It seems... something  over therefore… let me…."

     

    His last word not finishing, a black blur just swept fast past him and flashed away, then some liquid was seen spurting out from the chest of elder brother Zhou.

     

    After a blink of an eye, a black shadow came to the front of a few students next to the campfire while younger brother Zhou made a heartbreaking scream.

     

    The black shadow was almost as tall as an adult, but everyone hadn't got clearly what kind of creature it was because it was moving too fast.

     

    Li Xiaochun responded very quickly, pulling out the sword to shot at the head of the black shadow. And the black shadow acted  more quickly than his sword, moving its upper body to dodge it and meanwhile stretched its arm to grab the chest of a student near it.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had jumped down the tree and rushed toward here. He couldn't clearly see the face of the black shadow but its outline and limbs were similar to a human. He murmured, "Is it some assassin?"

     

    It was too late for that student under attack to realize that the black shadow could act so fast, little time left to him to dodge that strike.

     

    It was almost at the same time  a long sword just emerged from the side and stabbed the black shadow into its palm.

     

    Roaring...

     

    The black shadow growled low in its throat as gripping the blade in its one hand and clawing the chest of the person holding that blade with the other hand.

     

    The person with the sword was no other man but Gu Qianqian. Seeing the sword was caught, she tried to cut the palm and pulled back her sword with all her strength.  Unexpectedly that palm was just as  tough as metal, the sword couldn't move at all while its claw had almost got her chest! She had no choice but to leave her sword as bending her waist back to dodge that claw and kicking out, hitting her opponent's waist! 

     

    The black shadow was kicked heavily back several steps and the sword was pulled back in Gu Qianqian's hand finally. With a long sigh in its mouth, the black shadow was standing upright beside the campfire, gasping heavily like a fish out of water. At this time, all persons got its true appearance — it was an ape, with black hair and both eyes radiating a crimson fierce and devilish light. The fangs exposed out of the mouth were almost 1.5 inch long and the long fingers were like sharp blades.

     

    The black ape seemed to be thinking for a while then turned his eyes from Gu Qianqian to other people around...

     

    It was Lin! Instead of Gu Qianqian, his aim changed to the seemingly weakest girl standing by the side of Hu Xiaoshu.

     

    In the face of such a fierce beast, Lin was so astonished that she froze motionlessly at that time!

     

    "Lin!" Hu Xiaoshu took his long sword to stab the black ape's face but the sword was heavily slapped off his hand by the ape's claw and flew out into a nearby tree trunk. The black ape was literally not a common creature, seizing this right moment, its two claws respectively flashed at the chests of Hu Xiaoshu and Lin!

     

    At this moment, Gu Qianqian, who was the closest to the two persons, stabbed the black ape’s waist with a sword strike, However, the black ape seemed to have expected her intention, turning over and jumping high to dodge her sword, and a pair of claws changed the direction in the air to attack the top of the heads of Hu Xiaoshu and Lin.

     

    Gu Qianqian’s sword had missed the target, without enough time to change its track to save Xiaoshu and Lin!

     

    The lives of Hu Xiaoshu and Lin were hanging on by a thread…

     

    At that moment, A silver light suddenly flashed from the air, followed by a big sphere flying more than a foot high.

     

    The fleeting silver light disappeared soon, leaving only a dozen pairs of horrified eyes staring at the big sphere falling to the ground and pouring out the scarlet liquid.

     

    The claws of the black ape slipped from the foreheads of Hu Xiaoshu and Lin, the strong body of it fell plump onto the ground, its head was gone and the blood from the neck cut spattered on the clothes of Hu Xiaoshu and Lin, who were standing still with the blank staring eyes.

     

    Seconds later, Lin made a sharp scream and burst into tears.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu’s legs still couldn’t stop shaking, he pulled Lin close, hugged her and comforted her softly, "It’s okay… it’s okay…He’s dead…we are …safe…safe..."

     

    Then he remembered the silver light that had saved their lives at the crucial moment. He looked up, only saw Wei Gaoyuan near the campfire cleaning his blade and slid it into the scabbard.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu now knew the silver light was the sword of Wei Gaoyuan. He quickly cupped his fist with a bow,“Brother Gaoyuan, thank you very much for saving us!"

     

    "We are brothers and sisters in the same club, that’s just what I should do…" Wei Gaoyuan responded with a bow.

     

    Full of gratitude in his eyes, Hu Xiaoshu then turned his attention back to Lin.

     

    Gu Qianqian and Li Xiaochun came forward to check the body of the black ape, both were in great surprise.

     

    "That’s the power of the warrior at ninth level of the Mystery…" Li Xiaochun muttered to himself, and then looked up at Wei Gaoyuan with a cupped-fist, "Thanks to your coming in time… or we’ll have to suffer heavy casualties."

     

    "Just don’t mention it, elder brother Li… and how is elder brother Zhou’s injury?" Wei Gaoyuan said as looking at elder brother Zhou who were dozens of steps away.

     

    There was some student who had come forward to check the injury of Zhou and said in a low voice, "Still alive…such a serious chest injury… I am afraid…a early quit seems good for him…"

     

    Silent for a moment, Li Xiaochun said, "The life just means much more than the trial, just let younger brother Zhou quit..."

     

    Brother Zhou looked extremely painful as experiencing hesitation and struggle in his heart… Eventually he slowly nodded and reaching for his Escape Fu in his upper underclothing, slowly and painfully.

     

    "I’ll get it for you…" the student next to brother Zhou helped him to get his Escape Fu then put it into his hand. Brother Zhou rubbed it twice, then a bright yellow light flashed out to cover his whole body, at that instant he disappeared from where he was lying…

     

    Brother Zhou’s early quit weighing on everyone’s mind, all students left fell into a silence.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan broke the silence with the suggestion, "We’d better leave this place right now…before other beasts nearby were attracted by the noise we made just now."

     

    That reminded others that they might not be that safe, so all the people immediately packed up their stuff, extinguished the campfire and prepared to move their camp.

     

    The screams of brother Zhou and Lin did sound pretty clear on the silent night. It might take little time before other beasts or something traced here.

     

    As it was expected, bad things were never absent. Just as everyone was ready to leave, a big noise with whispering of wind came from the woods. Wei Gaoyuan quickly said to others, "You go first! I’ll follow you in the rear!"

     

    The others knew that something in great danger would happen and left at the fastest speed without any hesitation, only Wei Gaoyuan wandered at the end of the team, neither too far nor too near. He had looked back into the deep forest in the distance and found that there were more than ten green light dots sparkling in the darkness.

     

    Without any doubt, those mustn’t come from the eyes of human beings.


  • I don't know why I couldn't post last chapter in the right format...it seems to got another bug or something wrong again:(
  • can't edit any post,either...I'll still keep update the following chapters in "webnovel"
  • Chapter 19: The Spirit Animal

    The team’s quick departure might have been a mistake.

     

    As if sensing the timidity of the group of humans, the green light dots in the darkness moved quickly and came near a few moments later.

     

    Gu Qianqian and Li Xiaochun looked back when heard the sound behind, they warned in a low voice, "Attention, everyone! Prepare for battle!"

     

    With the words ended, the figures of seven wolves appeared into their sight, seven wolves whose bodies were twice size of the ordinary wolves.

     

    Facing the fourteen warriors with swords, the seven wolves looked kind of timid. Suddenly, a long howling of wolf came behind them, which made the seven wolves showed a bloodthirsty look, roared and rushed up towards the team.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was closest to the wolves, he struck over the first wolf rushing in front with one sword strike. Behind him more than ten teammates had rushed back to join the battle. When shooting his sword to stab the second wolf, he found a small green wolf slowly walking out from the trees behind.

    This green wolf, smaller than the ordinary wolf, had a pair of bright eyes, bright as eyes of human beings. It stared at Wei Gaoyuan, growling, showing its sharp teeth.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had felt the unique pressure from the extraordinary green wolf, staring at it warily.

     

    Staring at him for a moment, the green Wolf moved abruptly like an arrow and shot itself to Wei Gaoyuan as a green lightning.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan wielded the sword to swipe the neck of the green wolf, and the blade touched its front paw for defending, making a harsh sound of friction between metals, with the first round ending, they immediately got more than ten feet apart.

     

    Green Wolf once again gave a low roar, with its front paw holding the ground. It looked like suffering no damage at all, the sword unexpectedly failed to cut its paw — was its paw made of steel as his sword? Wei Gaoyuan asked himself in surprise.

     

    The green Wolf didn’t give him much time to think more. With a low growl, it shot its body forward, clawing at Wei Gaoyuan’s face. With the sword in hand, Wei Gaoyuan stabbed the green Wolf's neck with at least 90% of all strength. He believed, no one below the stage of the Mystery could defend this strike. However, the green wolf suddenly turned over its body, changed the direction of his paw-strike to directly pat the blade, a clear clatter of metals, the sword was slammed aside. The man and the wolf were apart again after a short second-round fight.

     

    Two rounds between the warrior and the wolf, an even result.

     

    Seeming to be aware of each other's power, both sides didn’t continue to act rashly, staring at each other quietly and motionlessly. At the same time on the other battle fields, Gu Qianqian and Li Xiaochun had killed a wolf and rushed to help other teammates.

     

    All of a sudden, the green wolf threw back its head and gave a long howl, then jumped back with an unwillingness in its eyes. Wei Gaoyuan quickly took this opportunity to hack at the green wolf's back body from the side.

     

    With a fine rolling on the ground, the green wolf evaded it without much difficulty and did not intend to stay fighting anymore, turning to run into the darkness in woods behind. At the same time, the remaining six wolves took the chance to retreat quickly in order after the green wolf. Moments later, there were nothing left on the battle field but a dead wolf and the people gasping for breath.

     

    Of the left six wolves, there were two who had got severe injuries, yet no one tried to stop their retreat.

     

    After all of the wolves disappearing in sight, everyone uttered a sigh of relief, a teenager with a childish face threw himself onto the ground and looked where the wolves disappeared, "I just wonder…why did they choose to retreat?"

     

    "I guess, they’ve perceived that the overall strength of their team is not so strong as ours…" Li Xiaochun said. "The wolf is very crafty…with high intelligence. The leader of them… that green wolf…after rounds of fighting with Gaoyuan, found itself could hardly win out. Had it chosen to continue fighting, the wolves, the rest of its team, might have suffered heavy casualties…”

     

    "So that's it!” the childish face teenager clapped his hand with a look of enlightenment.

     

    As his words ended, a wolf howl suddenly came from the distance in the darkness, which seemed to be a scream of pain, everyone looked at the direction of the sound, but nothing could be seen.

     

    "Just keep moving..." Li Xiaochun turned and walked towards he opposite direction where the wolves ran away.

     

    ...

     

    Another day had passed, few of the youngsters from Qizhou City had experienced such a tough jungle life, therefore, the whole team fell into occasional silence, exhaustion written on everyone's face.

     

    At noon on the third day, a clear stream appeared in their sight. The whole team broke into cheers and rushed to the bank. Some held water in their hands and rubbed it hard on their faces; some just directly buried their faces in the stream and gulped a few mouthfuls of cool water, then revealed a look of full satisfaction.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan filled his kettle after gulping down some water. He looked around when suddenly his alert ears trembled slightly, then he fixed his eyes on the front vigilantly. After a while, the sound of footstep was coming from the front woods, heavy and hurried. For a moment, a boy running out from the woods, with dust on his white face and blood on his clothes.

     

    The unexpected visitor also saw Wei Gaoyuan and his teammates, first showing a little happiness, then turning into seriousness. He shouted, "Run! Run…a Spirit…a Spirit Animal!”

     

    What? A Spirit Animal?!

     

    Everyone looked at each other in surprise and doubts.

     

    Different from the ordinary animal, the Spirit Animal had got the spiritual intelligence and was able to swallow and absorb the Spirit Qi like a human Taoism Follower rather than live by instinct of ordinary animal. Although most Spirit Animals were still not as intelligent as humans, they were literally far superior beings to the ordinary animals.

     

    To become a spirit animal, an animal must practice harder than a human Taoism Follower to go through the stage of Spiritual Judgement. (The cultivation system for non-human beings is not the same as that for human Taoism Followers) Once successfully broke through that stage, it would have roughly the strength of a warrior at ninth level in the Mystery. That is to say, the weakest Spirit Animal own the power to fight against a human warrior at ninth level in the Mystery.

     

    All in the team simultaneously focus their eyes on Wei Gaoyuan, the only one in the team who were at ninth level in the Mystery, the only one who owned the power to fight against a Spirit Animal…

     

    That boy saw that no one was moving after his warning, thinking that no one believed his words, so he cried out again anxiously, "Run! There is …really… a Spirit Animal!"

     

    No sooner had he ended his warning than Wei Gaoyuan heard a sound of hiss mixed in the sough of the wind. Moments later, a snake, a giant snake, was seen wriggling towards here from the deep woods far behind that boy...

     

    Everyone here had seen a snake, yet who had seen such a giant snake? A snake with a nearly two meters long head, and a bucket-sized neck? And…could anyone see its tail?   

     

     

    "A Spirit Animal! Everyone… run, Now! " Wei Gaoyuan shouted.

     

    “Can you see its ranking?” Gu Qianqian asked.

     

    "No," Wei Gaoyuan shook his head and said, "this snake is, I estimate, at least seventy or eighty feet long. I’m afraid… I’m not so sure to kill such a giant...."

     

    His estimation really made everyone extremely nervous.

     

    "You go first! I'll be trying to stop it… for a while…" Wei Gaoyuan said, drawing out his long sword.

     

    "I stay to help you!" Gu Qianqian said, her teeth clenched and her face paled.

     

    "No!” Wei Gaoyuan refused, "just go quickly, don't risk yourself…I'll try to escape if it’s far stronger than me..."

     

    It was obvious that Gu Qianqian was not able to do much help for him in such a battle, but she would do much trouble for him if Wei Gaoyuan was trying to escape.

     

    Gu Qianqian was definitely not an idiot and understood it quickly. With a disappointment in her eyes, she only gave a sigh and turned to others,“We go first, don’t distract brother Gaoyuan, that’s a Spirit Animal!”

     

    Many people had wanted to run since saw such a giant, but none of them think that one warrior ought to leave their teammates behind with great danger. After Gu Qianqian’s remark, every one quickly got her intention and ran fast to leave.

     

    The injured boy looked at Wei Gaoyuan in surprise and said anxiously, "Brother, that is a Spiritual Animal! You wanna fight with it alone!?"

     

    "I am the warrior at ninth level of the Mystery, and… I’ll try to fend off it as long as I can... just run! " Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    “Brother, take care of yourself! Thanks a lot!” full of surprise on his face at first, the boy quickly cupped his fist with a bow then turn to left fast.

     

    Now the giant snake had been less than one hundred feet away from him, and its strong body turned out to be seventy or eighty feet long, with the huge oval head and a pair of big eyes glowing red.

     

    Despite being a warrior of ninth level in the Mystery, Wei Gaoyuan just felt his heart pounding… Holding his long sword and staring at the giant snake, Wei Gaoyuan suddenly let out the imposing pressure of the warrior at ninth level in the Mystery, which was felt rolling to the giant snake!


  • edited September 13

    Chapter 20: The Breakthrough

     Although the snake's vision was quite poor, its other senses were extremely keen, and the giant snake had easily sensed the pressure from Wei Gaoyuan and realized that the man in the front was not an ordinary warrior. Therefore, rather than a quick attack, it slowly wriggled close to its target.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had not been so sure if he could kill or defeat this giant Spirit Animal, which was really much bigger than he had imagined. So his aim was clear that he had to do his uttermost to fight with it to earn more time for his teammates’ escape, and then manage to get out of the battle when all in the team ran away enough far from here.

     

    The giant snake was coming very near to Wei Gaoyuan and suddenly raised its head and spewed out a stinking smell from his mouth, which made Wei Gaoyuan feel very sick at his stomach and almost vomit. He moved not fast in the direction of the forest and always kept his blade close to his chest for protection.

     

    The giant snake seemed to read his intention and launched the attack suddenly, flicking its long tongue like a whip to roll up to Wei Gaoyuan’s waist.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan slashed it with his sword, unexpectedly, the cunning snake withdrew its tongue quickly before opened its big mouth and bit him from high.

     

    Looking up at the mouth which was so big that it seemed like covering the sky above, Wei Gaoyuan quickly rolled himself on the ground to dodge, and the snake bit into the air as its tongue flashed out to roll over again. This time, it did twist Wei Gaoyuan’s legs tightly before he could react.

     

    With great terror, Wei Gaoyuan swung his sword with great strength to cut the long tongue. At the same time, the giant snake opened its mouth and withdrew its tongue at a high speed, which forced the sword to get almost dropped off his hand. Just in a blink of an eye, everything around Wei Gaoyuan turned black— he’d been pulled into the giant snake’s mouth.

     

    In a hurry, he realized that the long sword was still in his hand and stabbed into its throat with a heavy sword strike.

     

    The giant snake suffered terrible pain, rolling up violently on the ground. Wei Gaoyuan was stunned, turning and rolling over in its mouth while his hands were always gripping the hilt of the sword into its throat — that was the only weapon for surviving.

     

    The giant Snake was constantly twisting and churning its huge body, which made the long sword finally slip off its throat and Wei Gaoyuan was also slipping down into the snake’s abdomen like riding a roller coaster.

     

    He instinctively stabbed the sword into the muscles of the big snake's abdominal cavity, then came another roller-coaster-like flying in darkness which made him deadly giddy. He just didn’t know when the long sword had pulled off its muscle again.

     

    The whole world around still kept rolling, and with no exit to escape and less and less air inside, a feeling of suffocation and desperation soon pushed and overwhelmed him.

     

    " I mustn’t die here! I must get out!" this voice from his heart thundering in his ear again and again, Wei Gaoyuan gradually turned into calm and even breathing before he felt slipping into the snake's stomach. The worse smell and the undigested stuff here made his stomach awfully sick again. Suppressing an inclination to throw up, holding his breath and clenching his teeth, Wei Gaoyuan crazily kept swinging his sword to slash the same area of its stomach.

     

    The giant snake rolled up again. The snake blood in the stomach pouring and splashing onto Wei Gaoyuan’s face, he couldn’t refrain from it anymore and kept vomiting violently.

     

    In spite of that, Wei Gaoyuan never stopped smashing the same part of the giant snake’s stomach again and again. The sword was finally pierced through its stomach and muscle, but its scales, very hard as steel, formed the snake's last line of defense, which separated Wei Gaoyuan from the path to survive.

     

    As his swinging got slower and slower, Wei Gaoyuan’s eyes slowly closed, falling down into complete unconsciousness…

     

    His face already getting purple because of suffocation, Wei Gaoyuan was rolling out of consciousness in the stomach of the giant snake who was also painfully rolling around on the ground…  

     

    Pow!!!

     

    Just at this moment a dark golden seal emerged between Wei eyebrows, which shot a golden light into and easily through the giant snake’s scales and instantly disappeared into the sky. The snake's belly was then blown up into a big hole before a lot of air poured in.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was still in a coma, knowing nothing about what had happened; more precisely, he was now sitting cross-legged in the dream space, only feeling the Internal Qi expanding and rolling rapidly in his Dantian rather than perceiving a large amount of energy, power and essence of the giant snake gathering and rushing towards him now and absorbed by his body unconsciously.

     

    The body of the giant snake was getting dried up at a high speed. Moments later, the huge Spirit Animal only left a light gray skeleton wrapped in a dry wrinkled snake skin.

     

    When Wei Gaoyuan opened his eyes like waking from a blur dream, he felt full of energy. But the wired and disgusting wreck around him made his stomach rolling again. He quickly jumped out of the piles of bones.

     

    He got quite surprised at what he turned to see. Obviously, he was swallowed by the giant snake, but how could he survive? Why did the giant snake die? And why did it turned out to be such a…dry skin and skeleton?

     

    Did someone who was far stronger than him pass by and kill it to save himself, and then left quietly? The great hero in the story, he thought, always got no interested in such a troublesome thanking-after-saving involvement.

     

    He had heard that it was most likely to get an precious Inner Essence in the body of the Spirit Animal, which contained the essence of the Spirit Animal’s energy and consequently was worth a lot of money and had kinds of wonderful uses such as using for lighting in darkness.

     

    It was said that the huge flying ship which took them to this island was supplied with abundant power by an Inner Essence of a Yaoist, far more powerful than an Inner Essence of Spirit Animal.

     

    Such treasure should be taken away by that hero who saved him, however Wei Gaoyuan still got into the skeleton of the giant snake, held his breath and searched for a while. Finally, he got an egg-sized ball, which seemed a dark gray stone and was felt little power or energy in it

     

    "The energy and essence in it must be absorbed completely by that hero…" little disappointed in heart, he kept searching in the skeleton and got the snake gall, a little bigger than his fist, which was too big to swallow and surely hard to drink so much bile straight…    

     

    It was the gall of the spirit snake, too wasteful absolutely if just left it here, he thought. then he held his nose after a sigh, stabbed the gall and drank it all down…

     

    After that, Wei Gaoyuan quickly sat crossed-legged beside the giant skeleton and fell into the state of meditation soon.

     

     

    The sky was getting dim and another dark night came. When Wei Gaoyuan opened his eyes from meditation, he felt that his Dantian was full of Internal Qi, obviously much more plentiful than before. He couldn’t help but shoot a palm-strike — a small tree in the front broke in half with a crash!

     

    ‘I’d been…stride into the eighth level of the Mystery?’ Wei Gaoyuan stared at his hand in huge surprise and sheer joy.

     

    Assuming that he’s able to keep such an incredible progress pace in the Martial Arts, even if he didn’t join any sects, he would be… then quickly shaking his head to wake himself from the day-dream, Wei Gaoyuan came to the stream and washed his face with cool water. Setting off to find his teammates and then getting the pine crystal should be given top priority right now, and he just heard the loud rumbling in his stomach...

     

    Surely, the strong warrior at eighth level of the Mystery like himself had to eat.



    The Spirit Snake
  • Chapter 21: The Bend

    Wei Gaoyuan was very poor in his childhood and couldn't fill his stomach most of the time. Therefore, he was never picky once got food. The left body of the giant snake lying on the ground did seemed horrible, but it was much better than the grass roots for food, even the dry food he carried was surely less delicious than snake meat.

     

    He took the long sword and cut a large piece of dried meat from its body, then collected some tree branches and leaves to make a fire to grill it up. Before long, a fine smell of grilled meat came. He couldn't help but cut a small piece from the edge of grilled meat and sent it to his mouth before his face filled with a wonderful happiness. If only he could get a pot now, he thought, the soup of snake meat mustn't be less delicious than the grilled snake meat…

     

    After a large piece of grilled meat was finished, Wei Gaoyuan stood up in a sheer satisfaction, reluctantly glanced at the remaining dried meat, not too much, of the giant snake then walked into the deep forest.

     

    ...

     

    After searching for a few days, Wei Gaoyuan didn't find even one pine tree with pine crystal, what was worse, he got lost in this damn island which was surrounded by small trees, big trees, all trees without any other reference…

     

    At the same time, a few of middle-aged men were tasting the wine and chatting with laugh.

     

    "So anybody can tell how many people will pass this trial?"

     

    "I would be very satisfied if my sect could finally select four or five qualified youngsters..."

     

    "I agree; besides, I hope that at least two are selected into the inner section of my sect."

     

    "It's not so easy to get into the inner sect, you know, extraordinary aptitude plus spiritual root… there are too few people in the mortal world who have spiritual roots."

     

    "Even if without spiritual root, the future achievements would be tremendous for a common martial artist who get selected into the exterior section of the sect…what makes me more interested is… how many participants will be leaving the island alive…"

     

    "As long as these little guys wouldn't enter into the deep region of the island, they will not put themselves in great danger..."

     

    "What if someone just go into the deep region?"

     

    "If? That's their choice, and they must take the results of the choice."

     

    ...

     

    Wei Gaoyuan finally found a water source again after a long journey.

     

    This was not a shallow stream but a large deep pool with a tremendous waterfall, more than one hundred feet high, which looked extremely spectacular from below.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan went cautiously to the edge of the pool. Observing it carefully for a moment and finding no danger around, he leaned down to take a few gulps of water and filled his almost empty kettle. When he got up and was leaving a violent whirlpool appeared suddenly and was rolling in the water, and almost meanwhile a huge black jaws was shooting out from the whirlpool to bit his head.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan reacted at a high speed, swiftly turning a few somersaults to the side on the ground and running away. The huge jaws missed, and didn't return but jumped out of the pool and continued to bite him.

     

    "What the hell is the monster?!" Wei Gaoyuan looked back and was shocked by the huge bloody jaws full of sharp teeth like daggers. The opened huge mouth was one person high and the rear of it was connected with a common fish body which was not as big as half of the huge mouth.

     

    Faced the weird jaws that continued biting him, he moved fast to dodge it and pulled out the sword to hack at the fish body at back.

     

    Just a muffled sound came, the sword swept crossed the fish body, only leaving a slight shallow blood mark, far from being fatal.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was shocked by the hardness of its scale, not weaker than that of the previous spirit snake. Was this fish-like monster another Spirit Animal?

     

    The monster's movement was still flexible and fast even off the water. However, as a warrior of eighth level of the Mystery, Wei Gaoyuan had been much powerful than before. Infusing much of his Internal Qi into the blade, he continuous dodge and slash it. After a while, there were several blood marks on the body of the monster.

     

    Over time, the movement of the big jaws gradually became slower and slower due to the lack of oxygen for long and more and more injuries on its body. The monster was not stupid in that it was budging and retreating to the direction of the deep pool while in fight. 

     

    'Wanna escape now?' Wei Gaoyuan thought. If it chose to retreat at the beginning, he might let it go, but what he was thinking over now was how to cook it later…

     

    In the end, the big jaws fell down on the ground less than a foot from the poll, whose body was almost separated from the huge head.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got close to broke the fish belly with the sword after it'd been lying motionless for a moment, and among the internal organs he found an Inner Essence with a soft white light.

     

    "Sure enough, another Spirit Animal!" he was delighted in his heart.

     

    After carefully putting the Inner Essence inside his pocket, he couldn't move his eyes from the body of the big spirit fish. Because of the taste of the grilled spirit snake meat, the dry food tasted no more delicious than wax.

     

    He made the fire and cut down a few pieces of fish from its body, then strung them together with a stick and grilled it on the fire. When it was about to be charred outside and red and juicy within, he couldn't help but cut a small piece and sent it to his mouth. Soon his face filled with the joy of satisfaction — this fish was literally much more delicious than the previous snake meat.

     

    He still didn't get satisfied after eating a few large pieces of fish, went to cut a few more pieces and grilled them over the fire. When he felt so full there left only a few fish bones in the whole fish belly.

     

    In a thorough satisfaction, he lay on the ground looking up at the sky and soon fell asleep.

     

    With time past little by little, Wei Gaoyuan, who was still in sleep, suddenly felt stirred up in heart with his face all red. He was turning over and over and seemed to be in much pain.

     

    Less than half a hour, he opened his eyes, still a little unconscious. Full of pain on his face, he growled, "too hot!"

     

    Somehow there seemed as if a fire had been burning in his abdominal cavity, and the hot energy it generated was not still but rampaging through his eight extraordinary meridians, which even produced smoke coming out of his throat.

     

    Not far in front of him was the deep pool, he realized where he was and did not hesitate to rush to the poll and swallowed a few mouthfuls of water.

     

    The cool water made the awfully hot feeling slightly relieved. However, that didn’t last long before a nerve pain came again in the body. It seemed that a fierce flame was burning up his muscles and bones.

     

    "Ahhh!!" Wei Gaoyuan couldn't help but make a roar and jumped right into the pool.

     

    The cold feeling instantly replaced the heat. But it only lasted for a moment, then Wei Gaoyuan began to suffer from the odd feeling of ice and fire.

     

    In such a pain, he even couldn’t control himself but drink a few mouthfuls of water and sank slowly to the bottom of the pool. Soon realizing his sinking, Wei Gaoyuan tried hard in a panic to swim upwards. Only swimming up a few meters, he suddenly saw a big spirit fish swam very quickly towards him from a distance, which was bigger than the previous one. In an astonishment, he chose to turn around by instinct and swam down fast to the bottom of the pool, but how could he be faster than a spirit fish in the water?

     

    Fortunately, the pool was not so deep as he assumed. Before the big spirit fish got close to him, he had touched the bottom of the pool. Resisting the great pain, he pulled out the long sword behind his back, clenched his teeth and got ready to bet his life on the desperate fight in water — to teach a fish to fight in water…

     

    Just then a water flow rushed up from the bottom and almost overturned him. He glanced down and obtained a glimpse of the light in darkness.

     

    There was a secret passage at the bottom of the pool!

     

    It was approximately one meter wide, which was not much difficult for a person with a normal figure to enter in, though the spirit fish’s skull was surely much bigger than it.

     

    Without any hesitation, Wei Gaoyuan took the sword back in its sheath, got into the secret passage fast enough and swam forward with the stream.

     

    The big fish slammed violently into the hole of the secret passage behind him again and again but could not get its head in. Wei Gaoyuan was kind of relieved but soon realized that the current situation actually didn't turn good as staying too long in water he would suffocate in spite of being an eighth level of the Mystery if this passage was too long.

     

    Turning back now meant absolute death. He got no other option.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was swimming forward as fast as he could while felt his breath and hope fading away, little by little, with time passing…

     

    Life was the roads in the mountains — what seems like an end was very often just a bend.

     

    Just on the verge of despair, he saw a glimmer of light ahead eventually…

     


  • edited September 21

    Chapter 22: Bow to the Senior

    "Wow…" slamming his head out of the water, Wei Gaoyuan greedily breathed and gasped for the fresh air — it was so wonderful to be able to breathe air!

     

    The burning feeling in the body had been subsiding gradually, but he still felt what he breathed out was like a firework and could not help but jump out of the water onto the bank, running all his Internal Qi to work a set of tricks in Martial Arts.

     

    His movements with the output of the Internal Qi made the sough of wind around him, a common set of tricks acted by the eighth level of the Mystery seemed very uncommon. Half an hour later, the Internal Qi in his body was almost exhausted, and the heat in the body had accordingly dropped to a level that could be tolerated. Wei Gaoyuan stopped to sit cross-legged for meditation.

     

    After doing meditation for a long time, the unusual heat in his body was gradually suppressed into Dantian and transformed into the Internal Qi. Until all the discomfort disappeared, he opened his eyes and stretched his body before he started looking at the surroundings.

     

    It was pretty bright here. The light didn’t come from the sun but from more than twenty Night Gems embedded in the wall. It seemed a cave here and in front there was a manual tunnel, leading to the darkness.

     

    (Night Gems: a precious gem that glows at night.)

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was kind of nervous since the darkness meant the uncertainty a risk or a blessing. If retreated, he had to swim back from the secret passage at the bottom of the water, and God knew if the big spirit fish was still waiting at the entrance. After hesitating for a moment, he grabbed two Night Gems and walked into the tunnel.

     

    After about a quarter of an hour, he came to the end of the tunnel, and the front turned quite wide open but still dark.

     

    Here seemed to be the underground world. With the light from the Night Gems, Wei Gaoyuan saw a building in front, similar to a temple, not too big.

     

    Carefully walking close to the front door of the building, Wei Gaoyuan started looking into surroundings cautiously and found nothing dangerous or suspicious. This building was probably a deserted ancient monument. He stepped into the front door and entered the hall.

     

    There were a few of Night Gems on the walls of the hall, and on the side wall was hanging a painting. It was a portrait of a middle-aged man wearing a light blue robe and holding a bronzed long sword, whose eyes were bright impressively.

     

    When gazing into the eyes on the portrait, Wei Gaoyuan suddenly opened his mouth with wonder as the middle-aged man on the portrait seemed to give him a blink.

     

    In the next moment, he got a quick blank in his mind and was pulled abruptly into a weird space, nothing surrounded, only full of a blur white. Standing in front of him was the middle-aged man in the light blue robe, with the bronzed long sword in his right hand.

     

    "You are…!!" Wei Gaoyuan was shocked thoroughly.

     

    He quickly saluted with a bow, "Junior Wei Gaoyuan, bow to the senior!"

     

    The middle-aged man nodded and smiled slightly, and without any words, all of a sudden he stabbed Wei Gaoyuan with the long sword. The speed of this sword strike was not fast virtually, Wei Gaoyuan could see it clearly. Yet when he was about to evade it, he perceived an extremely strong Qi exuding from that man in light blue, covering over himself like a net. He realized in an instant that he couldn’t escape this invisible network anyway.

     

    ‘No, that seems kind of different from Qi…Is…Is that fabulous Sword Consciousness?!!’ Wei Gaoyuan thought in astonishment, feeling sweating from the palm of his hand but a chill on the back.

     

    (Sword Consciousness: “Jian Yi” in Chinese, refers to the unique invisible Qi emanating from the swordsman. The power and usage of it is determined by the subjective consciousness of the swordsman, such as his will, intention, and determination while holds his sword.)

     

    At the crucial moment, Wei Gaoyuan pulled out his long sword behind him and wanted to hold the slow sword strike. Just as he raised the sword, he found that the bronzed long sword which had been moving steadily turned fluttering. Before he raised his sword it seemed to stab the middle of his eyebrows, it looked like pointing at his throat now, though; in consternation Wei Gaoyuan changed his sword pattern fast to defend his throat. However, the point of bronzed long sword which had pointed at his throat was found to stab his chest simultaneously with the change of his sword pattern…

     

    Just in a quite short hesitation, Wei Gaoyuan only felt a sharp Sword Qi penetrated into the middle of his eyebrows where he got a chill, a chill from a sword!

     

    "Goodbye, Xiaoxue…" Wei Gaoyuan knew that his head was struck with the bronzed long sword. He secretly called his sister in the heart, then closed his eyes...

     

    No one knows how long it took before Wei Gaoyuan opened his eyes again. He blinked his eyes, finding himself still standing in front of the portrait, safe and sound.

     

    “I’m still alive? Then that sword strike didn’t…” he touched his forehead with amazement, no injury, no trace of sword strike.

     

    “An illusion?” Wei Gaoyuan thought, gazing at the portrait — if a painting could create such an illusion, how magical the painting could have been…

     

    Repeatedly confirming that he was as complete as before, Wei Gaoyuan decided to leave this weird place, but at that time a sound of gear rotation came, a stone table slowly rising from the ground. On the table was a small dark box.

     

    He carefully invesgated the box up and down, almost big as a food box. What was inside?

     

    Driven by curiosity, he held the sword to open the lid. Only a fist-sized gray bag inside, tied with a string, like a purse made of some animal skin.

     

    Curiosity had brought him a bag instead of killing him, and, curiosity owned its own inertia.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan tried hard to open it but couldn’t untie the string anyway.

     

    A weird portrait, and a weird bag!

     

    He just put it on the side and went to search if there were other items in the box. A scroll was lying under the light blue brocade at the bottom of the box.

     

    Holding the scroll in his hand, he opened it, easily this time— it was neither a weird scroll nor an extraordinary secret scroll of martial arts, but a handwritten diary left by an ancient senior of the Taoism Follower, which told his unbelievable past, the past Wei Gaoyuan was soon immersed himself in:

     

    As recorded in the scroll, hundreds years ago the Trial Island was called the Magin Island, ruled by the Magin Religion.

     

    There were large numbers of Taoism Followers in this huge religion, some of whom cultivated Taoism Arts through the way of immortal while some cultivated it through the opposite devil way. Therefore, the Magin Religion was regarded at that time as neither the Righteous faction nor the Evil faction. Under the rule of Lie Tianyang, the religion lord, all the members had never acted anything evil, otherwise they would be punished according to the canons of the Magin Religion.

     

    Lie Qianshan, the eldest son of Lie Tianyang, also the owner of the diary, had noted down most of his experience and growth.

     

    Lie Qianshan cultivated the Taoism Arts by Tao of swords, he was namely a Sword Taoist, generating his Gold Essence at the age of 30, bearing his Original Infant in his 70s, and reached the stage of the Spirit Copy at the age of 152 — None of the Taoism Followers at that time would deny that Lie Qianshan was an absolute genius in realm of Tao of swords.

     

    (Original Infant: a superior being to Gold Essence. It resembles an infant or miniature person and resides in the Dantian, typically sitting in a meditative position. If strong enough, Original Infant can travel outside the body like a real life.)

     

    When he was more than two hundred years old, the eight dominant sects in the world of Taoism Followers got allied to attack the Margin Religion. Despite many strong forces in the Magin Religon, it hadn’t resisted so long under the round by round attacks by the eight sects ally. Eventually the Magin Religion was forced to divided into a few small sects. During that fierce campaign the lord Lie Tianyang and almost all the elders fought to death for defending their religion and dignity.

     

    In the following hundred years, the surviving members of the Magin Religion were constantly being chased and killed so that the rest of them had to change their identities and hide themselves. Over time, the once strong and great Magin Religion was overwhelmed and erased from the history.

     

    Lie Qianshan, as the eldest son of Lie Tianyang, disappeared after the campaign. No one knew whether he was alive or where he was. Four hundred years later after that campaign, when everyone had forgotten his name, Lie Qianshan returned at the stage of the Heavenly Judgement. Since then He began to challenge the strongest forces of the eight sects, one by one, all the powerful of the eight sects who had participated that campaign, as long as still alive, were received his challenge without any exception.

     

    Among variety of Taos in Taoism Arts cultivation, Tao of swords was quite rare and extreme. The Taoism Followers who chose this way would get a more extreme attack power but had a much lower defense ability than the average Taoism Followers because of far less means to use various talismans, in other words, a sword in the hand of the Sword Taoist would be more powerful and make it possible to even skip level and stage to challenge much stronger power; moreover, it was said that Lie Qianshan’s Tao of swords was the extreme of the extreme — he had reared no other talismans or weapons but swords!   

     

    Just the swords, the swords that had killed the twelve strongest in the eight sects, who’d been at the peak stage of the Full Completeness!

      

    Apart from his swords, another shock for the eight sects was that they found the odd but marvelous trick of movement Lie Qianshan frequently used during the fights could enabled him to dodge attacks so as to largely make up for his fatal defects in defense. Consequently, few of those strong forces from the eight sects who’d got involved in the bloody battle four hundred years ago survived his challenges for revenge, and the once dominant eight sects, no better than the Magin Religion, had decayed gradually since then.

     

    Having washed the sins of his enemies with their own blood, Lie Qianshan returned to the Magin Island. Watching the ruined palace of the Magin Religion, he chose to leave the items he’d used since childhood in the temple and then quietly left this place, his home…

     

    Closing the diary, Wei Gaoyuan's heart was still immersed in it and couldn’t keep calm for a long time. Even if it didn’t mention why the eight sects got allied to launch the campaign, some unique feeling, not sad, not sympathy, had just stirred up in him by the legend of Lie Qianshan.

     

    How strong was the will to sustain such a revenger to conceal and seal himself for four hundred years long?! 




    Original Infant
  • edited September 22

    Chapter 23: My Tao of Swords

    Wei Gaoyuan had once heard about the introduction to the system of cultivation in the world of Taoism Followers from Mu Yunyi in Qizhou City. In the system, one at the Heavenly Judgement was a very powerful being, second only to the top stage, the Full Completeness. Yet it was incredible for Lie Qianshan,at the Heavenly Judgement,to skip huge distance between levels and kill a few mighty forces at Full Completeness. That made Wei Gaoyuan thinking whether the strong senior Lie was still alive in the world.

     

    From his diary, Wei Gaoyuan could not tell the times when Lie Qianshan lived but estimate that it might had been quite a long time since the Magin Island was called the Trial Island.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had to admit that it let him down a little that such a strong Sword Taoist senior had not left any secret scrolls about his cultivation methods and tips or any powerful talismans.

     

    Although found no way to open it, Wei Gaoyuan still wanted to take the odd small bag away. It was not strange for him as his parents had died since he was a little child, and he got no access to receive a good education in school and even had to move around the markets and the teahouses every day to feed his sister and himself.

     

    As he was about to leave the temple with the bag hanging on the belt, Wei Gaoyuan glanced at the portrait on the wall again, which reminded him of that slow sword strike in blur white space.

     

    What a fascinating sword strike!

     

    "Well, still don’t know whether the man in this painting is the senior Lie Qianshan before leaving..." Wei Gaoyuan thought. It must have a relationship, more or less, with Lie Qianshan even if it was not him.

     

    He turned at the front door, came in front of the painting and made a respectful bow as a junior. Raising his head, he suddenly got a strange feeling of being watched. He looked around cautiously and got nothing unusual.

     

    "Illusion? Again?" Wei Gaoyuan thought. This place was most mysterious beyond his imagination, he dared not have any disrespect accordingly even in his heart.

     

    Just as he turned and was going to leave, the surroundings suddenly darkened and next moment he found himself in the previous blur white space.

     

    "This place is…” Wei Gaoyuan talked to himself with a curious look on the face.

     

    "It’s your Sea of Consciousness," a low voice came and the middle-aged man in light blue robe appeared again in front.

     

    "Sea of Consciousness? Mine?” Wei Gaoyuan did not understand it.

     

    "In your head," said the middle-aged man on the painting.

     

    "In my head?" Wei Gaoyuan touched his head, full of question marks on the face.

     

    "You'll comprehend it later," the middle-aged man smiled lightly and said, "I am Lie Qianshan. If you’ve read my note, you get my past."

     

    The middle-aged man was Lie Qianshan indeed.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan could hardly suppress the shock in his heart even though he sort of guessed it. He bowed immediately and said respectfully, "Junior Wei Gaoyuan, bow to senior!"

     

    "No need to bow again, boy…" Lie Qianshan said with a smile. "You’ve taken the initiative to give my portrait a sincere bow just now, which shows that you respect me in your heart, boy, I felt no hostile intention from you towards the Magin Religion. Therefore, you’ve got the opportunity to get my legacy…"

     

    The opportunity to get the legacy of the mighty senior at the Heavenly Judgement?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan’s heart leapt fast— did the chance meant he was most likely to cultivate into a Sword Taoist? Storyteller in teahouse always told it.

     

    Lie Qianshan continued," Before I flew into the Word of the Immortals, I’ve left my legacy at three different places; getting any one of the three means probably getting the clues of the other two. You’ll get the location of the other two places once you’re able to open the Universe in Bag.

     

    (The World of Immortals: another world parallel to the World of Humankind. Taoism Followers will have the opportunity and capacity to fly into it after completing the stage of the Full Completeness.)

     

    The Universe in Bag?

     

    The small bag he took was the Universe in Bag the storyteller often mentioned?

     

    Although Wei Gaoyuan had never seen the Universe in Bag ever, he had heard of its magic in story. It was told as a small bag with considerable space inside, which was used to store kinds of items by the Land Taoist, no, the Taoism Follower exactly.

     

    Thinking of it, he subconsciously reached out to his waist, then his heart sank with astonishment.

     

    The bag which should have been hanging quietly on the belt vanished!

     

    It was the first time in his life that he had got such a magical item. Then it just disappeared!

     

    Lie Qianshan continued, "I got access to my Tao in cultivation through swords, thus, without any powerful magic talismans, my swords had been my only friends who’d accompanied me to the end of my life in the World of the Humankind. Different from other Taos, Tao of swords was a towering mountain with a single way to the top; go upwards on this way, not even one step downwards,  just break any obstacles you encounter, with the indomitable will in your heart, with the inseparable sword in your hand, even with the numerous scars on your body, that’s my Tao of swords! Boy swordsman, are you really ready to stride into this one-way Tao?"

     

    For Wei Gaoyuan, Tao of swords was a completely new concept, but it was obvious that he’d been practicing swordsmanship and with swords for ages, so on the basis of Lie Qianshan’s remark, he thought Tao of swords would be the right Tao for his future cultivation.

     

    However, by the end of the last word by Lie Qianshan, the figure of this senior of Sword Taoists had gradually turned blurred and disappeared finally. Before it fade away Wei Gaoyuan had got no chance to consult Lie Qianshan — with regard to Tao of Swords, he’d just got too many questions…

     

    When regretting bitterly, Wei Gaoyuan felt a sudden darkness flash over his eyes and next moment the endless blur whiteness surrounded was gone. He returned to the temple, in front of him was still the portrait on the side wall. Lie Qianshan was still on it but his eyes seemed to lose much of the previous bright, and so did Wei Gaoyuan's eyes: The Universe in Bag disappeared, he turned out to got nothing.

     

    With a big disappointment he throwed himself onto the ground, and his hand touched a soft stuff —

     

    The Universe in Bag?!

    He bounced up and looked down, the Universe in Bag was hanging quietly where it had been. Wei Gaoyuan quickly hit upon it: Lie Qianshan might left a beam of his consciousness on the portrait somehow and it just entered — invaded more precisely — Wei Gaoyuan’s… Sea of Consciousness, in Lie Qianshan’s words, but the Universe in Bag couldn’t as it has no consciousness at all…

     

    In a great happiness, Wei Gaoyuan laughed little, also a little laugh at himself.

     

    A moment later, however,  he turned disappointed again — with the whole universe in the bag, the bag without the key to open…   

     

    Depressed for a little while, Wei Gaoyuan bowed to the portrait again, put the Universe in Bag in his pocket next to skin and grabbed the Night Gem to continue to explore the darkness ahead.

     

    The underworld seemed vast but extremely desolate. It seemed to have been cleaned up, leaving few relics. Wei Gaoyuan walked on for a short time,  a large cemetery with lots of tombs appeared in front, row after row, simply chilling in such a darkness.

     

    Ordinarily a cemetery was not that terrible for a martial artist, but with himself alone and alive this gloomy cemetery underground was really like a ghost realm.

     

    He unconsciously wanted to turn back, suddenly a piercing chill wind was blowing over from the cemetery.

     

    Where did the wind come from in such an underworld?

     

    At that moment, a gust of wind also came from his back, feeling like a strong Sword Qi. The chill wind crashed to the strong Sword-Qi-like wind then both disappeared without a trace.

     

    Silence fell again. Holding his breath, Wei Gaoyuan stepped slowly back along the road when a breeze was blowing behind him, gently, toward the cemetery ahead.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan's mind was blank now, his heart was calm, though. As if the breeze behind had brought him peace and courage, he stopped retreating and walked forward by instinct to the cemetery, walking past the rows of graves, walking past the deserted buildings, until he arrived at a tunnel cut simply in the rock wall.

     

    He had no choice but jumped in, and walked along the tunnel for quite a long time before a light came out in front of him. At the same time, he heard the sound of purling stream. He realized that the exit might be awaiting ahead.

     

    After a few minutes’ walking, with the sound of water splashing louder and louder, finally he came to the end of the tunnel. Staring at a large water curtain in front with the sun outside shined through, Wei Gaoyuan found himself standing by a large waterfall…



    The Universe in Bag



    Lie Qianshan (Mr. Liang Chaowei, please forgive me to use your pic in the movie HERO. This figure in the movie was exactly what Lie Qianshan looks like in my mind, light blue robe with his long sword, especially his eyesight, just perfect!)
  • Chapter 24: The Little Guy

    The big waterfall outside of the exit hole was more than one hundred feet high from the pool below.  

     

    "Damn it! Who genius designed the entrance and exit?! " Wei Gaoyuan cursed it in heart but soon got it clear, if the ruin of the Magin Religion could be found easily, God knew where the Universe in Bag was lying now.

     

    However from such a height, the surroundings of the pool below seemed to be slightly different from those of the previous one where he met the spirit fish, which might be one of the tributaries. One hundred feet high was not a big problem for him while no one could prove there would not be a huge spirit fish waiting in the pool below.

     

    After a moment's hesitation, he flung his bag on his shoulders to the distant pool bank, drew out his sword behind, and jumped down from the exit hole with a clench of his teeth.

     

    Splash!  Wei Gaoyuan shot into the water some three meters down. As floating up quickly until his head emerged from the water, he swam to the bank as fast as he could.

     

    Bad thing seemed hating to visit those in good preparation to welcome it, no spirit fish this time.

     

    See nothing dangerous around after getting onto the bank, Wei Gao yuan picked up his bag and went into the woods. He quietly took off his wet clothes and put on a dry one. Sitting under a tree, he calmed himself down and thought over what had happened these days and the plans for the next few days.

     

    The trial assignment and assessment criteria were to get as many pine crystals as he could, but where to find it?

     

    This damn Trial Island, Mountain-and-Tree Island!

     

    When in sadness and disappointment, Wei Gaoyuan heard a groan, which startled him. He jumped to his feet and looked around with his eyes shining with vigilance.

     

    The voice came not far away. He followed the groan to come to a big tree, behind it was lying a furry animal, all white body, pointed mouth, looked like a little fox but with two large tails, one of which was dripping with blood.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan looked it over carefully, and little fox found him at the same time and growled low, whose big and bright eyes suddenly flashed a hostile light.

     

    As Wei Gaoyuan remembered, a fox was an animal who could sell a good price because of its precious fur. But he never heard of a fox with two tails, which should be a very rare breed. It would be too wasteful if killed it just for fur.

     

    The little fox roared. Seeing Wei Gaoyuan without further reaction, it appeared to show its timid nature: the man in front seemed not so good and friendly.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was still hesitating whether to let it go or let it go to his bag.

     

    At this moment, he noticed that the little two-tails was trembling and the hostility in its eyes turned to the fear.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was surprised: a little two-tails fox with the intelligence and emotion as a human being? He rubbed his hands and hold the hilt of the sword behind.

     

    The little fox seemed to read his intention, who squeaked and shook his head. Then it even put out its two front paws and shook them.

     

    "Interesting…little guy, are you begging me to spare you?" Wei Gao yuan was amused by its behavior.

     

    The little fox nodded his head hard, with a pathetic face and tears in his eyes.

     

    It somehow touched something at the bottom of Wei Gaoyuan’s heart. He slowly released his hand that had held the hilt and squatted down to check its injury.

     

    The little fox must have met an enemy who was much stronger than it and experienced a fierce fight. The injury from its right leg to the right tail seemed quite serious, Wei Gaoyuan took out the medicine from the bag, apply it on its wound, and gave it some water.

     

    The fox chirped and rubbed his head against Wei Gaoyuan, seeming to express its gratitude and friendliness.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan suddenly thought something and said, "You’re able to understand what I said?"

     

    The little fox blinked and nodded.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan smiled, "Do you know where to find pine crystals?"

     

    Staring blankly at him with its head tilted, the little fox seemed not to understand what he was saying, though.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan shook his head and went for a branch to draw the pattern of a pine crystal on the ground. The little fox quickly nodded a few times before the pattern was almost finished, then moved the small mouth to point to its hind legs and shook the head. Wei Gaoyuan guessed it probably meant the little fox knew where pine crystals were but couldn’t lead the way now because of the serious injury.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got relieved. As long as he could find pine crystals, just waited for a few days.

     

    Three days later, the little fox led Wei Gaoyuan to a cliff and stretched out a front paw to point it high. Wei Gaoyuan raised his head: a few trees were seen growing at the seventy or eighty feet high place on the cliff, with several fruits spotted among the branches and leaves.

     

    "Pine crystals!" Wei Gaoyuan's eyes glistened. The pine crystals on the trees numbered approximately more than a hundred, which should be quite enough for the trial assignment.

     

    "Thank you, little guy!” He smiled and nodded to the little fox, then took a piece of dried meat from the bag and put it in its front. After that, Wei Gaoyuan jumped high, put his feet on the cliff a few times and finally got onto one of the trees.

     

    There were four trees on the cliff, each of which had about forty pine crystals. Wei Gaoyuan picked them happily as a bird flying among trees.

     

    By the time he reached the third tree, he had got more than eighty pine crystals in his bag when the little fox at the foot of the cliff suddenly whimpered and sounded very anxious.

     

    On hearing its voice, Wei Gaoyuan put his head out of the leaves and looked down. The little fox looked up and bared his teeth, jumping and barking. He looked up unconsciously then shivered all over.

     

    Less than one hundred feet high in the sky, a huge brown eagle swooped down on him with its claws quickly larger and larger over his eyes.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan drew fast out the long sword behind as the eagle came over his head with a pair of eagle claws catching and gripping the sword in a "click" sound.

     

    Grabbing tight the hilt of the sword, Wei Gaoyuan was flying to the sky with the eagle.

     

    "Damn it!” If the eagle continued rising to hundreds of feet up and let go of his sword, he would got seriously injured without any doubt even if he was the one at eighth level of the Mystery; if that happened at thousands of feet or even higher, definitely he would become a meat pie.

     

    Under the fatal circumstances, he turned over to let his legs upwards and used his ankle to hook the eagle's leg, meanwhile poured his Internal Qi suddenly into his upper body to let out “One Kilograms of Sinker. ”

     

    (One Kilograms of Sinker: one pattern of the Martial Arts, commonly used by martial artist in fight. As usual, It is done at a Horse stance, running and condensing all Internal Qi in the lower body to stabilize or even fix the whole body in the ground.)

     

    Under the sudden increasing gravity of Wei Gaoyuan, the eagle let go of the sword and was pulled and falling down from the sky. With his legs still fixed to the eagle’s leg, Wei Gaoyuan suddenly stabbed upward with the long sword and jabbed in the eagle’s chest under the neck. He closed his eyes immediately as a spurt of blood splashed over his face.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan thought the blood on his lips must make him sick. Along his lips the blood permeated into his mouth, he subconsciously licked it with the tongue. To his surprise though, it tasted not disgusting but kind of sweet. He could not help but put out his tongue to licked the eagle blood all over his lips.

     

    The eagle got terrible pain and poked down its head to peck Wei Gaoyuan's head while he was tasting the eagle's blood. Seeing the big beak suddenly flashed over his eye, Wei Gaoyuan quickly raised his sword to parry it. The eagle bit the blade tight and shook its head violently to fling away such a tough human.

     

    With a roar, Wei Gaoyuan stopped “One Kilograms of Sinker,” suddenly increased the Internal Qi into his legs to turn his whole body over and stepped on the back of the eagle, then put the feet together to use “One Kilograms of Sinker” again!

     

    Bang!

     

    Like a brown meteorite the eagle fell crash on to the ground and let out a long sad screeching.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan took the opportunity to pull out the sword and jabbed it into the eagle's neck.

     

    Just a sound of clang, the sword broke in half!

     

    Only stunned for a second, Wei Gaoyuan start swinging the half-cut sword to cut its neck fiercely over and over again.  Until the eagle became limp and no longer struggled, he stopped and took a long breath, sitting on the eagle and staring at the eagle's eye and head…




    One Kilograms of Sinker in Tai chi


  • Chapter 25 The Hunter and the Prey

    A few minutes passed. The eagle didn’t move at all. It seemed to be dead. Wei Gaoyuan jumped down from the eagle, still panting heavily. He found his clothes had been soaked in sweat.

     

    The little fox ran up, gave the eagle's head a kick with his front paw, then raised his head high with a look of pride as if the eagle had been killed by it.

     

    After gasping for a moment, Wei Gaoyuan picked up the broken sword to cut the eagle's belly. A short time later, he was pretty delighted to find an Internal Essence in it. Sure enough, the eagle was a spirit animal.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan looked at the broken sword in his hand, turning down the corners of his mouth. Such a desert island mustn’t have a blacksmith. With a helpless sigh, he found a well branch and cut a wooden sword with the broken sword.

     

    He put the broken sword into his bag in case of encountering another spirit animal, then took the wooden sword and went to the periphery of the Trial Island under the guidance of the little fox.

     

    A few days later, the little fox got fully recovered. The little guy bid farewell to Wei Gaoyuan and went into the deep forest. For Wei Gaoyuan, it was about the time to return to the flying ship.

     

    One day, when Wei Gaoyuan was resting under a big tree three men jumped down suddenly from the tree.

     

    It was three teenagers, one with a scimitar and the other two with long swords.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was overjoyed to saw the companions finally. When he was about to say hello, however, one of the three shrieked, "Hey~ Boy, leave your pine crystals and Escape Fu, then fuck off!"

     

    “Uh, not companion…wanna rob me?” — not a surprise, there was not much time left for the trial assignment.

     

    He recalled the assignment rules, which did not ban robbery indeed. And, that also meant —

     

    "You three must get a few pine crystals. Why don't you give them to me? Besides, who can lend me a sword?” Wei Gaoyuan said, smirking all over his face.

     

    The three teenagers all laughed at the same time.

     

    The oldest-looking one stepped forward and looked at Wei Gaoyuan as if he were examining an idiot. After a moment, he sneered, "Look at this arrogant fool, a wooden sword~~ Oh, you’re Sword Demon? I’m so scared!"

     

    The two men behind him laughing, one said, "even powerful Sword Demon is just a swordsman in the mortal world, and he’ll die if come to our sect."

     

    "I agree with younger brother Lu!" the only one holding a scimitar nodded and stared at Wei Gaoyuan. "Go worshiping your Sword Demon, you don’t need to strive for protecting the ticket for entering the sects, just leave them…"

     

    "Just consider first how to survive my sword," Wei Gaoyuan looked expressionless, shook the wooden sword and continued, "give you ten seconds to surrender all your pine crystals, or don't blame me for being rude."

     

    "Oh? Just show me how rude you can be.”

     

    It was the teenager named younger brother Lu who spoke. Right after his words, he shot himself to stab Wei Gaoyuan’s shoulder with his sword.

     

    Obviously, the opponent had a little conscience, not to stab his fatal part. Therefore, Wei Gaoyuan didn’t intend to hurt him but just let the opponent's blade slip through his side. Meanwhile arrested his wrist to use one pattern of “Joint Locking”, forcing the opponent's sword fell into his hand.

     

    (Joint Locking: “Qin Na” in Chinese, a unarmed fighting techniques of Martial Arts, to overwhelm enemy by using the laws of the movement of the human joints and the physiology, function and weakness of the vital parts, as well as the transfer of human body weight and the principles of motion mechanics, etc.)

     

    The oldest teenager was the closest to them two. Seeing younger brother Lu’s situation was not good, he immediately stabbed Wei Gaoyuan ‘s chest with his sword. Wei Gaoyuan flashed himself behind the younger brother Lu and the coming sword lost its target.

     

    Almost at the same time, Wei Gaoyuan crossed the wooden sword in his right hand, and the hilt of the sword precisely hit the younger brother Lu’s Point of Tan Zhong, whose condensed Internal Qi was hit dispersed, and without any pause, following this hit was a slap on the back of younger brother Lu, who was slapped flying to hit the coming sword.

     

    (Point of Tan Zhong: one of the points in human body, at about the middle of the chest)

     

    "Brother Gu! Look out!" shouted the teenager with the scimitar.

     

     

    Facing with younger brother Lu who was almost hitting the point of  his sword, brother Gu had no choice but to took back the long sword to catch him. However, Wei Gaoyuan didn’t give him the choice, stepping forward fast to give them a round kick!

     

    Brother Gu and younger brother plopped together onto the ground.

     

    At this time the teenager with the scimitar jump out and hacked at Wei Gaoyuan’s face, "You wretch! You…sneak attack!"

     

    "You call that a sneak attack?" Wei Gaoyuan gave a sigh of disdain, moved his steps to evade the scimitar strike and let out a swift kick to sweep the opponent to the ground.

     

    Brother Gu and younger brother Lu had got up and attacked Wei Gaoyuan respectively from his left and right with the sword and the scabbard — younger brother Lu’s sword was in Wei Gaoyuan’s hand.

     

    “Good boy, you’re presenting your scabbard~~” Wei Gaoyuan threw out the wooden sword, which was shooting to brother Gu like an arrow.

     

    In an astonishment, Brother Gu crossed his sword hastily to parry it.

     

    Wham! The wooden sword hit the body of his sword. Brother Gu only felt a strong force passing to his own hand through his sword. Even though clenching his teeth to hold the sword, he failed; His sword was knocked out of his hand by the hit!

     

    Just now he’d realized that their prey was far stronger than all of them; a bad hunter would become a good prey!

     

    It was too late for him to wake up. Wei Gaoyuan had grasped the scabbard of brother Lu, who was focusing and pouring his Internal Qi onto his sword to pull it back. But it soon hit a much more powerful Internal Qi through the body of sword!

     

    Like a rubber ball hitting a wall, younger brother Lu was hit flying out by his own Internal Qi which was bounced back!

     

    All this happened in a quite short time just before the teenager with the scimitar got up from the ground.

     

    "You wanna continue?" Wei Gaoyuan glanced around the three with menace.

     

    The teenager with the scimitar seemed to be unwilling to quit, but brother Gu was silent for a moment and said, "We’re not match for you… we out."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded slightly, "Well, leave your pine crystals and Escape Fu."

     

    Brother Gu didn’t hesitate and took out a pine crystal from his bosom pocket. Younger brother Lu and the teenager with the scimitar lowered their heads without any action.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan looked at them two coldly, "Do I have to take it myself?"

     

    With an embarrassed look on his face, brother Gu carefully said, "We three got only one pine crystal… as for the Escape Fu... "

     

    "What? Only one?"

    Brother Gu’s explanation was interrupted by Wei Gaoyuan, who stared at him suspiciously and said, "are you kidding me?"

     

    "No, that’s no good for us," brother Gu spread out his hands and said helplessly, " so we decided to rob..."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was speechless. Pine crystals wouldn’t be issue as he’d got 117 from the trees, adding theirs, it was 118. So he said in a low voice, "then hand over your Escape Fu!"

     

    All three looked hesitated and didn’t react.

     

    "One pine crystal, no Escape Fu, please give me a reason to let you go," Wei Gaoyuan said coldly, raising his sword.

     

    "Okay, okay, I’ll give it!" shrieked younger brother Lu. As Wei Gaoyuan’s sword was raised, he quickly took out his own Escape Fu and handed it over.

     

    Seeing this situation, brother Gu and the teenager handed theirs to Wei Gaoyuan as well, frustratedly.

     

    Putting them to the bag, Wei Gaoyuan turned to leave when a low voice came hesitantly from behind, "That... Could you... give me back… my sword?"

     

    "Sorry, I need a sword, so I'll take yours," Wei Gaoyuan refused and threw out an Escape Fu to younger brother Lu, saying, "take this, exchange for your sword."

     

    Younger brother Lu took it with a sigh. What a fair deal! Exchange my Escape Fu for my sword?! 



    Joint Locking

     
    Round Kick


  • Chapter 26 The Companion
    Time flied fast; less than 10 days only left for the trial assignment. Wei Gaoyuan was planning to return to the flying ship to end his trial journey earlier.

    The way back was not as peaceful as he expected. Many participants had to ambush others on the way back to rob what they needed, which even caused a few casualties.

    On the day when Wei Gaoyuan walked about halfway back, he heard shouts from not far ahead. He was about to take another way to avoid it but was attracted by the conversations ahead.

    "We’ve said we got no pine crystals! why are you pushing us so!?"

    "Easy, I’m just unhappy to look at you, I just don’t like the guys from the East Mountain Sword Club! Is it enough?"

    "You H-Sun club… shameless! 4 vs 2! If brother Gaoyuan were here… do you cowards dare speak like that?!"

    "Wei Gaoyuan? He must have been in the stomach of some spirit animal~ And… I don’t mind helping you to reunite with your brother Gaoyuan…"

    The East Mountain Sword Club? That girl’s voice sounded sort of familiar.

    Wei Gaoyuan crept closer and saw a boy and a girl surrounded by four men. The boy in the middle wore the uniform of the East Mountain Sword Club; it was Hu Xiaoshu, and surely the girl who just talked was Lin, no wonder it sounded familiar.

    Wei Gaoyuan naturally wouldn’t sit by since Hu Xiaoshu was his only friend in the club. When he was going to step out another voice came from a skinny tall man of the four, "The girl looks not bad… sister, would you mind playing with your brothers in the...”

    "Bastard! I’ll kill you!" Hu Xiaoshu was furious and stabbed that man with the sword.

    And he was soon surrounded by the three men of H-Sun, and the left one was stopping Lin.

    Wei Gaoyuan picked up a little branch on the ground as Hu Xiaoshu was kicked over after two rounds combat. The skinny tall man’s eyes flashed a glimmer of fierce light and stabbed to the belly of Hu Xiaoshu with a sword strike!

    This strike would undoubtedly ruin Hu Xiaoshu’s Dantian even though he wouldn’t be killed!

    Wei Gaoyuan shot out the little branch.

    The skinny tall man raised the corner of his mouth, showing a cruel smile. "No…Stop!" Lin screamed then was kicked over on the ground.

    Just as the sword in the skinny tall man’s hand was about to pierce Hu Xiaoshu’s belly, a little branch shot from the woods and smashed his hand, forcing the sword to drop out of his hand.

    "Who!?" the skinny tall man immediately scanned around with vigilance, a serious looking on his face.

    “Wei Gaoyuan, the true enemy of your H-Sun club…” Wei Gaoyuan walking out slowly, step by step.

    "Wei Gaoyuan?!" thin skinny tall man's pupil suddenly expanded, a serious and nervous looking on his face. Watching Wei Gaoyuan got approaching slowly, he suddenly shouted, "Run!" Then turned first and ran away fast.

    The other three also knew Wei Gaoyuan and ran quickly after the skinny tall man.

    Wanna escape now? Too late. Raising the corner of his mouth, Wei Gaoyuan started running at the same time to chase them up.

    He wouldn’t let the skinny tall man escape, who insulted Lin just now and even intended to ruin Hu Xiaoshu’s Dantian, vital “energy center” for a martial artist.

    The four running in front were not that weak, all at about the level of Interior Force; the skinny tall man reached almost the peak of Interior Force. But for the hunter following them, they were just the kids who learned to walk. Only a few seconds later they saw the back of Wei Gaoyuan appeared at the front, the chasing game was over.

    Wei Gaoyuan turned around, four strokes, the four were knocked down on the ground. Then he stepped on the knee of the right leg of the skinny tall man, violently slamming it with the interior force of the Mystery. Everyone heard a series of crisp sounds from skinny tall man’s right leg, followed by his shrill screaming. The bone of his right leg was broken into at least five.

    The other three couldn’t stop their legs from trembling. Even if the skinny tall man would be cured, his road to martial arts would inevitably be affected in the future.

    However, that was not the worst. After that stepping, Wei Gaoyuan gave his belly a kick! The skinny tall man became deadly pale and sweaty all over his body soon.

    "You...you ruined my Dantian!!" the skinny tall man pointed at Wei Gaoyuan, full of resentment and despair on his face.

    "I’ve only done what you’ve done just now," Wei Gaoyuan sneered.

    The face of the skinny tall man gradually turned into still and dead. That his Dantian was ruined meant his level of Martial Arts had gone zero accordingly, that was to say, now he was an ordinary person. Even more desperate, the cost of rebuilding Dantian was so great that his family, fortune and ability could never afford it; his road of Martial Arts had come to the end.

    The other three had scrambled up, one of them begging on his knees, "Sorry! I’m wrong! Sorry! This is my Escape Fu, brother Wei…please let me go…please…"

    The other two took the hint to quickly apologize as well. Not only did they hand over their own Escape Fu, but also took out all their belongings and thrust them into Hu Xiaoshu’s hands as compensation.

    Wei Gaoyuan exchanged a look with Hu Xiaoshu then said to them coldly, "Go."

    The three men all ran away as fast as they could, like the ducks that escaped from the kitchen when Wei Gaoyuan suddenly roared behind, "Stop!"

    As if struck by lightning, the three suddenly stopped and stood still.

    "You’ve said… let us go…" one of them said with courage.

    "Take away your companion!" Wei Gaoyuan pointed to the skinny tall man on the ground.

    The three relieved with a sigh, quickly lifted up the skinny tall man and fled away.

    After the four of H-Sun club disappeared in distance, Hu Xiaoshu came to Wei Gaoyuan carefully, with a grateful look, and was bowing to him, "Thank you for saving us, brother Goayuan. If you didn’t come in time, my life of Martial Arts must have been terminated..."

    "Don’t mention it," Wei Gaoyuan held the elbow of Hu Xiaoshu to stop his bowing: " they virtually wanna take their revenge on me, so it’s me who drag you down."

    At the time Lin’s feeling was quite mixed. At first she just thought Wei Gaoyuan was just a freeloader under the care of Mu Yunyi; and later she found he was far stronger than his peers, hence she’d always suspected that Wei Gaoyuan might have a unique method of cultivation that was not accessible to other students in the club.

    Wei Gaoyuan didn't know Lin's current thoughts. He greeted her with a nod, then turned to Hu Xiaoshu, "How about other companions?"

    "We was scattered to find the pine crystal," Hu Xiaoshu looked helpless and continued, "I never thought the pine crystal was so hard to find; Lin and I have been searching it for almost 20 days in this forest yet found nothing… Wish other companions would have a good luck."

    Wei Gaoyuan knew exactly what he said was not exaggerated. For the rare pine crystals, he’d gone deep into even the territory of the spirit animal, and gained the guidance of the little fox, and fought fiercely with the giant spirit eagle while picking them. Let alone Hu Xiaoshu and Lin.

    Obviously, most pine crystals could only be found in the territory of spirit animals, the central area of the land; however for most of the participants who were at stage of the Undistinguishment, it was a huge handicap how to survive fighting against a much powerful sprit animal who was no weaker than stage of the Mystery. 

    “In that case…” Wei Gaoyuan suddenly woke up — there was certainly quite few pine crystals on the periphery of the trial island, and that might be why the pine crystal was set as the main criteria by the four major sects...

    Therefore, this trial assignment might actually aim at the competition and even fighting for the pine crystal among the participants. As for anyone at the Mystery, it couldn’t be within the plan of the four major sects as almost everyone knew Gu Qianqian was the top genius among the young martial artist in the Qizhou City, who was just approaching the bottom of the Mystery.

    If that was true, the very small number of pine crystals on the periphery of the land were probably laid in advance by the seniors of four major sects, deliberately, Wei Gaoyuan thought and looked into the distance, his dark deep eyes flashing...


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