The Lord of Swords

2»

Comments

  • Chapter 27 Return

    Seeing Wei Gaoyuan was thinking long, Hu Xiaoshu gave a few quiet coughs to attract his attention.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan stopped thinking, kind of awkward, "Brother Xiaoshu, would you like to pass the trial to enter the sects? I’ve got some pine crystals in my bag~"

     

    "Pine crystals!? " Hu Xiaoshu looked happy and astonished first, then shook his head, "It must not that easy to get them, even to you… I can't take yours."

     

    Lin was happy in her heart as well while heard Wei Gaoyuan’s words and soon turned sad while heard Hu Xiaoshu’s response, but her eyes still stared at Wei Gaoyuan with a glimmer of hope.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan took off the bag behind him and took out four pine crystals from it, "Don’t worry about me~ I’ve got enough myself for the trial assignment. Just take them, it should be enough for you two to pass it~"

     

    Looking at the pine crystals in the hands of Wei Gaoyuan, Hu Xiaoshu scratched his head and said, "Brother Gaoyuan, just take it back. Even if Lin and I accept it, considering our strength… we can't keep it to the flying ship."

     

    Seeing Hu Xiaoshu refused again, Lin was so anxious that she even wanted to grab all the four pine crystals herself— We were indeed not strong enough, but we could go back with brother Gaoyuan; Who dare rob us in front of the one at the Mystery?

     

    Although quite eager for it, she did not dare to stretch out her hands as she knew very well what Wei Gaoyuan cared about was Hu Xiaoshu, not her.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan could naturally think of what Hu Xiaoshu and Lin had thought. He smiled, "That’s not the problem, We’ll go back together."

     

    "I know you’re, always, looking out for us..." Hu Xiaoshu shook his head again, "This trial aimed at picking out the genius disciples around the city… I know, at least now, about my own strength and capacity, truly far from the genius… and it wouldn’t change virtually, even if I could pass the trial and be selected into one of the sects, with your help. I guess… it might be a better choice for me to go back…I mean…continue studying in the club,” Hu Xiaoshu scratched his head and smiled awkwardly,“if I’m lucky enough, if I could reach… at the Mystery, the same as you someday in the future, it’s not a bad life for me~"

     

    That made Lin more anxious… If brother Xiaoshu really wanted to be the one at the Mystery, to study in the sect was a much greater decision than to stay in the club. She could hardly understand how Hu Xiaoshu was thinking it. How could he rashly refuse such a giant present for his giant leap in the Martial Arts?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan naturally knew Lin’s current feeling and thoughts. indeed, the resources of the major sects must be far more plentiful than the clubs. Even for the worst, had he expelled from the sect after a few years because of little talents, he would absolutely reap a lot more than he did it in the club.

     

    "Well…I’ll put your pine crystals in my bag first; you take it when you need it,” Wei Gaoyuan said as he took out two Escape Fu, "we’ve got three Escape Fu just now, here are the two for you."

     

    The Escape Fu was to quickly flee in the event of great danger, yet for Wei Gaoyuan there should be few to threaten him around the entire periphery of the Trial Island. Hu Xiaoshu did not refuse and took one in case of a urgent need.

     

    As time went by, the final deadline for the trial was less than five days. On the way back, the three of Wei Gaoyuan did meet several participants, single or groups, while no one dared take the initiative in launching an attack to them.

     

    These days, Hu Xiaoshu seemed somewhat abnormal; he tried to talk something to Wei Gaoyuan a few times but said nothing finally until a huge flying ship appeared in sight, he said to Wei Gaoyuan, hesitating between words, " brother Gaoyuan... I... I just…want…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan smiled and took out four pine crystals, "Take it when you need it~"

     

    Hu Xiaoshu lowered his head, feeling his cheeks sort of hot. Wei Gaoyuan stuffed them into his hand, but he gave back the two of them, "no, no, two, it’s okay…enough…brother Gaoyuan, thank you!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan didn’t say something polite and took the two back into his bag. He’d speculated that one pine crystal ought to enable them enter the sect.

     

    A lot of participants had gathered around the flying boat, which did surpass Wei Gaoyuan’s expectation. Was his speculation wrong? Was it not that hard to get pine crystals?

     

    When they’re getting closer to the crowds, one boy came towards them and leaned to whisper, "Hey, guys~ Have you got any pine crystal for sale? Just name your price…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was speechless with surprise to dozens of guys who were even trying to asking others for buying pine crystals and Escape Fu before the seniors of the four major sects. Some of them offered a quite high price, what was more interesting, no one from the sects officially come to interfere or control such a seemingly abnormal behavior.

     

    Certainly, Wei Gaoyuan did not take out any pine crystals because he knew that even one pine crystal was most likely to stir up a big trouble among the crowds. In spite of that, the Escape Fu in his bag did get him a lot of money, which made him regret a little not to “politely” take a few more from others on the back way…

     

    In the last two days, the rest of participants returned one after another, majority of them seemed quite downcast.

     

    And the crowds were getting more and more noisy, mostly complaining, some even suspecting that there was no pine crystal on the land at all.

     

    Suddenly, a white light flashing not far away, and the slim figure of Gu Qianqian gradually emerged at the flashing place — she actually came back with her Escape Fu.

     

    Gu Qianqian looked very awkward, disheveled with a few blood stains on her clothes; her Qi around her body was felt strong but kind of unstable and uneven.

     

    The crowds looked at her with a curious look, most of them wondering what she had experienced and harvested while Wei Gaoyuan seemed to be deep in thought.

     

    After a moment he smiled to Gu Qianqian, "Congratulations, your ladyship."

     

    Unable to feel current stage of Gu Qianqian, most of the participants just guessed that she should have experienced a big battle and had to use the Escape Fu to flee back. But why did Wei Gaoyuan congratulate her?

     

    Gu Qianqian was staring at Wei Gaoyuan, confused, as she couldn’t feel his stage according to the condition of his breath. After a moment, she asked directly, "What is the stage of you now?"

     

    Such a sudden question surprised Wei Gaoyuan somewhat. It was Miss Gu, exactly. He thought it for a while and smiled, “Kind of lucky a few days ago, I’ve also stepped up a little with the stage. "

     

    "What?! You...you’ve also got level-up? Again?" Gu Qianqian seemed disappointed — not strange, the competition in their promise had to be postponed. As the daughter of the lord of Qizhou City, she certainly knew the gap between levels in the same stage.

     

    She came and leaned forward him and whispered, "You must get extra Escape Fu, give me one…"

     

    She guessed that Wei Gaoyuan came back earlier and must have gained a lot.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan shrugged his shoulders, "You are late, sold out~"

     

    "Sold…out?" Gu Qianqian got a little surprised then quickly understood it. She raised his head and asked in a loud voice, "Who’d like to sell me an Escape Fu?"

     

    Miss Gu wanted to buy an Escape Fu?!

     

    Many participants looked over here with a stunned look. Some teenagers reacted more quickly than others, having taken out their Escape Fu and handed it over,

     

    "Your ladyship, I have extra one!"

     

    “Miss Gu~ I’ve got one, here~ here~”

     

    “Mine~ Mine…”

     

     

    Giving no consideration, Gu Qianqian took over the nearest one and said, "Name the price."

     

    Most of the rest participants had realized that their lives missed quite a lot.

     

    That was a boy whose Escape Fu was taken by Gu Qianqian, with a pointed chin and a pair of shinning eyes. He took a step back and smiled, "How could I receive any reward of your ladyship, just take it… it’s my honor…"

     

    "How could I take it for free?" Gu Qianqian seemed to be unwilling to owe him and threw him two pine crystals, "It’s for exchange."

     

    "This is..." the pointed-chin boy got an astonishment when subconsciously took and looked at them.

     

    This turned out to be the pine crystals! Two!

     

    That meant, there really existed pine crystals on this land!?

     

     


  • Chapter 28 Invitation

    "I really appreciate it! Your ladyship!" the pointed-chin boy never dreamed that an Escape Fu could be exchanged for two pine crystals.

     

    He didn’t take them both but gave one back to Gu Qianqian, and said respectfully, "Pine crystals was far more precious than Escape Fu, I shouldn’t take them all. Please take one back, your ladyship.”

     

    "Oh?" Gu Qianqian showed a surprised look. She’d actually got more than ten pine crystals and estimated that it might be more than 80% chance for her to pass the trial, but now, the longing eyes of the guys around told her that she could certainly pass it.

     

    Countless eyes, as if those of hungry Wolves, were fixed on the pine crystal in the pointed-chin boy’s hand. Gu Qianqian took it over, she took the dreams of countless participants.

     

    All of a sudden, it turned into a wired silence around. And a moment later, someone finally summoned up the courage enough to come forward, "Greet your ladyship, I’m Xu Fangjin from the Family of Xu in Qizhou City. I wonder if the pine crystal in your hand could be exchanged with me, yours truly.”

     

    The words immediately made the entire crowds exploding.  Many a participant rushed up around Gu Qianqian, crying and naming a higher and higher price for the pine crystal in her hand. Gu Qianqian’d never expected this situation by such a little stuff in her hand, standing stunned without any reaction.

     

    Just at that moment, a solemn cold snort sounded in every ears of the crowd, followed by a dignified voice, "This is the place for the trial of the sects, not the auction house! Who authorized you to bid for pine crystals!?"

     

    In a shock, the crowds followed the voice to look over the flying ship subconsciously: a dark blue figure appeared on the edge of the deck, he jumped up and landed firmly on the ground.

     

    It was a middle-aged man wearing a dark blue robe, with such an unusual temperament as the deep night sky. His eyes scanned the whole crowds, no one around spoke any more.

     

    “I declared, the trial assignment officially ended. Now, start to count the quantity of your pine crystals.”

     

    "It just...” many participants looked pale, the announcement was the killer of their last chance.

     

    After a long silence, some low voice came from the crowds, "But... Master, you’d proclaimed before there were 90 days for the trial…I mean…still one day left…it should be… Would that announcement be unfair?"

     

    The middle-aged man in dark blue looked into the speaker in the crowds, and responded without any hint of happiness or upset, "Well, indeed, still one day left; the last day for those who got no pine crystals, return into the forest to make your final effort; for those who have got pine crystals, you can hand them in now and get your ranking ."

     

    The only day? What could be found in the next one day?

     

    Yet someone had set out — they went with their last hope,  resort to those who’d been on the way back, regardless of buying or robbing.

     

    The pointed-chin boy showed the pine crystal in his hand and said loudly, "Master, could I hand in this one?"

     

    “Yes! What's your name?" asked the middle-aged man in dark blue.

     

    "Master, my name is Zhong Xiaoman," replied the pointed - chin boy, respectfully.

     

    "Come aboard with me," the middle-aged man said to him.

     

    "Master! I’ve also got one!"

     

    "So do I!"

     

     

    Following Zhong Xiaoman were about eight persons, who went up to hand in their own pine crystals.

     

    There were still dozens of participants around. Many just didn’t think that the guys, who seemed humble and weaker around themselves, actually got the pine crystal. Most complaining much about the unfair, complaining wouldn’t bring them pine crystals, more and more participants entered into the forest again.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan gave a look to Hu Xiaoshu, who got it soon, pulled Lin to go forward and said with his head lowered, "Master, we also got pine crystals."

     

    The middle-aged man nodded, still a calm expression, “What’re your names?"

     

    "My name is Hu Xiaoshu, from The East Mountain Sword Club."

     

    "My name is Yu Lin’er, also from The East Mountain Sword Club."

     

    Subsequently they two were sent to the flying ship.

     

    Gu Qianqian looked at Wei gaoyuan and asked, "How many have you got?"

     

    "Not much~ That's it," Wei Gaoyuan took out a handful of pine crystals from the bag, counting them one by one.

     

    "Twelve?" seeing Wei Gaoyuan ended counting, Gu Qianqian gave gurgles of delight with her eyes turning lovely crescents, "I win this time, I got fifteen~"

     

    Then she took a pile of pine crystals out of the bag behind her. Except for that one exchanged for the Escape Fu, she’d got fifteen.

     

    The middle-aged man next to them showed a look of satisfaction," Fifteen is quite good, even good in the history of the trial; you also broke through into the ninth level of the Mystery, as the first genius girl around the Qizhou City in the past fifty years, good job.”

     

    "Ah! Master knows me?" with her small mouth slightly opened, Gu Qianqian didn’t anticipate that the envoy of the sect had heard of herself, hence got secretly pleased in heart.

     

    Then the middle-aged man turned his eyes to Wei Gaoyuan and asked, "You should have got more than twelve pine crystals, just take all them out, the sects will offer you rewards on quantity.”

     

    Rewards from the sects?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was startled, it was surely a good message   although he still didn’t know the usage of pine crystals. He put his hand into the bag again, and took out a dozen more.

     

    Once saw it, Gu Qianqian pursed her lips. She knew, she lost this time, again.

     

    An annoying guy, she thought.

     

    Then Wei Gaoyuan took another pile of pine crystal again, and again, and again…

     

    He took out a total of 114 pine crystals.

     

    And he threw a giant rock into the placid waters.

     

     

     

    "These... are all pine crystals!!?"

     

    "Where did he get it!? Why haven't I found any one?"

     

    "He must find the pine tree!!"

     

    "A lucky boy…"

     

     

    Gu Qianqian was stunned as a statue. Even the eyes of the middle-aged man were full of surprise.

     

    More than 100 pine crystals, that hadn’t happened for quite long since… uh…couldn’t remember when it happened last time...

     

    "What's your name?” the middle-aged man stopped thinking it and asked.

     

    "Senior, I’m Wei Gaoyuan from the East Mountain Sword Club," Wei Gaoyuan responded respectfully.

     

    Oh? Another one from the East Mountain Sword Club, the one from it with more than 100 pine crystals, Lady Luck must be taking a nap in the East Mountain Sword Club.

     

    For those who’d ever watched how Wei Gaoyuan did with those of the H-Sun club in the dining hall of the flying ship, it was not strange at all that Wei Gaoyuan could pass the trial finally, however, none of them expected this guy could take out that quantity of pine crystals.

     

    The middle-aged man in dark blue stared at Wei Gaoyuan, seemed thinking something, a little curiosity and surprise in his eyes. It was a long time before he just asked, "Are you really the student from the East Mountain Sword Club?"

     

    "Yes, honestly, I dare not tell any lie to senior," Wei Gaoyuan didn’t understand why he asked so.

     

    "Uh…Your breathing methods and Qi seemed very special, even I could hardly perceive the details of your status, only roughly feel that…you are at the Mystery, and should be… stronger than the one at ninth level of it,” said the middle - aged man, in a serious way.

     

    "Yes, I am at eighth level!" responded Wei Gaoyuan, quietly releasing his Qi.

     

    Feeling Wei Gaoyuan’s Qi, the middle-aged man smiled, "You boy will have a bright future, have you ever thought about coming to the Ancient-Stream Sword Clan?"

     

    "Ah!?" Wei Gaoyuan opened his mouth slightly. He never thought a strong senior in sects would sent him an invitation under current circumstances.

     

    In his heart, the East Mountain Sword Clan was the only option because of sister Yun while it might still be a question —the cylinder in the club had confirmed that he had no spiritual root at all— whether the East Mountain Sword Clan would offer him an olive branch, so he hesitated well and didn’t know how to respond for a moment.

     

    Looking at the eyes of the middle-aged man, he decided just to tell his true thought honestly, then a sudden voice came far from the flying ship before he was about to speak,

     

    "Well, brother Feng, you’re breaking the rule…"


  • Chapter 29 The end, or the Outset

    As the voice came, three figures appeared on the deck, then jumped down and landed on the ground.

     

    It turned quiet around at once, and the atmosphere was extremely depressed for a time. Faced with the envoys of the four major sects, the teenagers hardly dare to breathe.

     

    The three from the high of flying ship were all middle-aged men in different uniforms. One of them, wearing the uniform of Tri-harmo Clan, said amiably to Wei Gaoyuan, "Boy, uh, Wei Gaoyuan, which Family are you from?"

     

    "Senior, I’ve got no Family," Wei Gaoyuan replied respectfully.

     

    “Oh? No Family?” all four envoys were wearing surprised expressions.

     

    “Hmm…Wei…Gao…yuan…” the envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan whispered, then looked up at Wei Gaoyuan, “so you are the Wei Gaoyuan.”

     

    The other three envoys got confused, "Brother Guang De knows the boy?"

     

    The envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan looked Wei Gaoyuan up and down, smiled, "I have heard of you. Before the departure, Miss Yunyi mentioned you particularly; she told me if your performance in the trial meets the criterion, just enroll you as an outer disciple of the East Mountain Sword Clan."

     

    Miss Yunyi? Was it Mu Yunyi? The daughter of the Leader of the East Mountain Sword Clan knew this boy?

     

    If so, the other three envoys’ looks changed, there would be little chance for them three of competing with Miss Yunyi.

     

    It was the East Mountain Sword Clan that was breaking the rule.

     

    While Wei Gaoyuan naturally dreamed to be a disciple of the East Mountain Sword Clan, he knew it more clearly than others here that he was not qualified to be one of the Taoism Followers because of his fake spiritual root, otherwise three years ago, he could have been enrolled by the East Mountain Sword Clan.

     

    Thinking of this point, he bowed his head and said honestly, "Seniors, I shouldn’t make it covered up in front of you…  Three years ago, I’d been tested…I’ve got the fake spiritual root…no capacity to cultivate the Taoism Arts."

     

    Upon hearing Wei Gaoyuan’s statement, the expressions of many persons around him changed. The envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan gave an approving nod and said nothing; the other three envoys were silent, a little disappointment in their eyes.

     

    Some of the teenagers around showed admiration, some gave sighs, some got sneers on the faces, and some were even gloating about it.

     

    Gu Qianqian, who’d been listening without any words, couldn’t help asking by now, "You…own the fake spiritual root?! Really?!!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded, "Truly, the result of test showed it’s the fake spiritual root…"

     

    Gu Qianqian fell into silent. She’d also tested her own ever, it turned out to be the superior spiritual root. That was to say, she didn’t need to come here for the trial, and was allowed to directly enter one of the four major sects after she reached the Mystery; why she came here was to compete with Wei Gaoyuan in the trial, and she lost, unfortunately.

     

    Not surprisingly, she thought originally that Wei Gaoyuan’s quality in spiritual root should not be inferior to hers, but it turned out to be… Did that mean he actually got an extraordinary constitution in cultivation of the Martial Arts? He was born for the Martial Arts?

     

    After a slight disappointment flashing on the face, the envoy of the Ancient-Stream Sword Clan laughed, "The Fake spiritual root is good, my sect just wanna select the outer disciple in the trial. The fake spiritual root, if without any exception, might be the key to reach the stage of the Nature, I mean…he was the right one my sect plan to enroll."

     

    His words just made other envoys woke up, "We do come here for enrollment of outer disciples. The fake spiritual root is certainly more suitable for cultivation of the Martial Arts, he’s a rare genius for the Martial Arts. Otherwise, we might have directly tested the spiritual roots of all participants rather than launched the trial..."

     

    It was truly beyond Wei Gaoyuan consideration. He thought he would be abandoned by all four sects after they got the truth. Hence at the moment he could hardly know how to react it.

     

    As a matter of fact, no one had told him that spiritual roots was actually divided into several levels: the common spiritual root, the inferior spiritual root, the medium spiritual root, the superior spiritual root, the supreme spiritual root, the earth spiritual root, the heavenly spiritual root, the innate spiritual root...

     

    The fake spiritual root was indeed a unique existence—though impossible to cultivate the Taoism Arts, the one with it tended to be the right one in the Martial Arts, so it was universally regarded as an rarer spiritual root than the common spiritual root.

     

    The Taoism Follower with the common spiritual root, as usual, tended to reach the stage of Building Base, roughly equivalent in power to the Mystery in the Martial Arts system, and the Martial Artist with the fake spiritual root was most likely to became a much mightier one at the Nature.

     

     

    As a result, to the four major sects his fake spiritual root turned out to be far more valuable than the common spiritual root.

     

    The main reason why the four major sects had to launch the trial, instead of directly testing their spiritual roots, was that even if the inferior spiritual root was usually too rare, recognized as one in ten thousand. Except for Gu Qianqian, there might found none with the inferior spiritual root among nearly 200 participants; As for any participant with the spiritual root above the medium, God might told where he was now.

     

    The East Mountain Sword Clan was Wei Gaoyuan’s first priority, however, its envoy had been very quiet and expressed nothing yet; It was a long time before he spoke, " Originally, I’d like to enroll you into the East Mountain Sword Clan but…frankly, to your talent and current stage, it might not be the best choice, it might even delay the progress of your further cultivation..."

     

    His remark made all the other three envoys fall into deep thinking.

     

    Sixteen years old as Wei Gaoyuan was, never entering into any sects, he’d reached eighth level of the Mystery by almost his own efforts alone in the club; such a rare talent, which of the four major sects could be confident in offering him the best cultivation methods?

     

    A moment later, the envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan broke the silence, "How long has it been since the last one appeared? I mean…the one appeared last time, who even got the key to the world of the Taoism Arts through the hard cultivation and talents of the Martial Arts (the Martorian )… "

     

    "It’s almost been… hundreds of years?" said the envoy of the Ancient-Stream Sword Clan, then his eyes brightened suddenly. "You mean the boy was likely to break through the peak of the Nature in the Martial Arts and get into the stage of Condensed Qi in the Taoism Arts? Only through the cultivation of the Martial Arts?!! That…crazy!!!"

     

    "I’m not sure,actually… anyway, I think we should… give him the chance and…the hope, even if it’s so so slim, I know it… " said of the envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan.

     

    The envoy of Yan Hua Clan raised his brow,"Brother Guang De, you don’t intend to recommend him to the Sect of Dual Sword, do you?"

     

    "Yes…I do…" the envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan nodded.

     

    "It's too hard! No way…" the envoy of the Ancient-Stream Sword Clan said very seriously, "yes, yes…the Sect of Dual Sword do set up the Martorism school, but that’s been the past… now they’d even got no Martorian at the stage of Condensed Qi; what I concern more, they’d always been so strict in enrollment, the fake spiritual root…that’s just impossible!"

     

    The envoy of the East Mountain Sword Clan made a sigh, looking at Wei Gaoyuan with regret, " Finally, Martorism’s still the rough patch of road!"

     

    "Exactly,” the envoy of the Tri-harmo Clan shook his head slightly, "I believe every one with the spiritual root would never choose this road. "

     

    "So, we’d better not give him such a chance and a hope, after all, to be a Martial Artist at the Nature was not a small achievement," said the envoy of Yan Hua Clan.

     

    Certainly, Wei Gaoyuan himself could not be satisfied with the stage of the Nature, but he wouldn’t speak it out, as a matter of fact, he didn’t knew how to make it clear to the envoys, just standing there silently to wait for their conclusion.

     

    After a long discussion, the four envoys didn’t decide a right sect suitable for him around the same level of the four major sects; for those which were much stronger than the four major sects, it would beyond their capacity, undoubtedly impossible to get him a ticket. So how to properly arrange Wei Gaoyuan was suspended finally.

     

    One day later, with the participants returned, the coast turned pretty lively again.

     

    Many latecomers showed great surprise when hearing Wei Gaoyuan had obtained more than one hundred pine crystals, but their expressions soon appeared different while knowing such a unique peer actually couldn’t cultivate the Taoism Arts.

     

    The trial ended.

     

    The East Mountain Sword Club eventually became the biggest winner: apart from Wei Gaoyuan, there were Hu Xiaoshu, Lin, and Li Xiaochun, who returned last with one pine crystal.

     

    As was announced by the four envoys, a total of nineteen persons had finally brought the pine crystals, but they knew that only ten pine crystals were laid around the island secretly.

     

    Nine of the nineteen exceeded their preplanning.




  • Chapter 30 The Selection

    The blue sky over Qizhou City was pretty clean with only a few clouds.

     

    With the hopes and expectation of a lot of people who were looking up, a huge flying ship running with the power of spirit animal’s Inner Essence appeared on the horizon of the blue sky.

     

    "Finally, come home!"

     

    It was the day that each major martial club and Family had been waiting for. They’ve been waiting so long and anxiously for the trial result of their students and Family members. Except one — Gu Zhenshan, the lord of the Qizhou City, who was leisurely drinking the tea now in the City Lord House.

     

    Since father knew his daughter best.

     

    Gu Zhenshan knew the talents of Gu Qianqian very clear and had assigned the great master to coach her, hoping she could enter into a powerful sect someday, for example, Sect of Dual Sword, which was even more well-known than the four major sects.

     

    The four major martial arts clubs in Qizhou City were: the East Mountain Sword Club of the East Mountain Sword Clan, the Long-Stream Martial Arts Club of the Ancient-Stream Sword Clan, the H-Sun Martial Arts Club of Yan Hua Clan, and the Mountainic Martial Arts Club of Tri-harmo Clan.

     

    Now, all four owners of the four major martial arts clubs were present to welcome their students’ return, in victory or in failure.

     

    Both victory and failure were precious treasure for the youngsters’ future cultivation.

     

    The huge flying ship landed, the result landed, the happiness and sadness landed.

     

    To the four major martial arts clubs, the result was acceptable, at least one student in each club had passed. The East Mountain Sword Club was the biggest winner. Hu Xiaoshu and Lin, however, seemed not like the people who could pass the trial.

     

    Luck shouldn’t be ignored in the trial, everyone knew it, but it still brought the two teenagers numerous envies even hatred from their peers.

     

    As he’d been hoping, Wei Gaoyuan finally chose to enter the outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan, and a few days later he embarked on the road to the next stop for his further cultivation. Certainly, it was not a full stop but just a comma.

     

    Now that the fake spiritual root actually had a large potential to make him reach the Nature, why did sister Yun decide in the first place to leave him in the club instead of directly arrange him into the outer section of the clan? He could only get the answer while met sister Yun next time.

     

    ...

     

    Through the trial this year, the East Mountain Sword Clan enrolled a total of twelve outer disciples. Only five among the twelve were from Qizhou City, and the other seven were from other two cities around.

     

    Outer section of the clan as it was, it was located in the deep forest of high mountains, impossible for ordinary people to find it.

     

    When looking up on the half way of the very high main mountain in the area of the outer section, Wei Gaoyuan was stunned thoroughly by the magnificent architecture in distance, which was so high at the end of the hundreds of stone steps as if its roof had been penetrated into the clouds in the sky. Literally, this building was ten times more brilliant than the City Lord House of Qizhou City. And even compared with the royal palace, it might be more…

     

    Well, I can’t imagine in my mind what the royal palace was really like, Wei Gaoyuan thought.

     

    In addition to that grand main palace, there were six other buildings on the six peaks surrounding the main mountain, and a few small cabins were scattered among the forest, like the little fairies resting on the giant green leaves.

     

    "A true paradise, fantastic place for cultivation…" Wei Gaoyuan commended in his heart.

     

    It hadn’t reached noon yet. After climbing the long long stone steps, Wei Gaoyuan were directly led into the largest central hall of the main palace where six Elders and about ten officers of the outer section had already been present. And there he met Hu Xiaoshu and Lin, including other new disciples.

     

    "It said that we’ve got a new disciple with the fake spiritual root in this trial," a long beard Elder whispered to himself, who was sitting in a deep bronze fauteuil and touching softly his long silvery beard. He scanned around the twelve new disciples and asked, “Who is Wei Gaoyuan?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was startled little, and before he was about to respond, a young man in a Chinese costume on his left side stepped forward and said respectfully,"Elder, I’m WEI Gaoyuan.”

     

    (WEI Gaoyuan: the different characters with same pronunciation. In the following chapters, “Wei” refers to “卫” and “WEI” refers to another Chinese character “魏” .)

     

    The same name? Wei Gaoyuan was thinking silently and meanwhile gave Hu Xiaoshu and Lin a look, a cue that it was just okay to stay silent.

     

    "You are Wei Gaoyuan?" a red-faced Elder glanced at WEI Gaoyuan quickly and asked before the Long-haired Elder continued. "I’m the Elder of Scarlet-Feather Peak, would you like to be one of my disciples?"

     

    "Elder Hua," the long-haired Elder responded soon, "I’ve not ended my words, how could you get your words in?"

     

    "Oh? Then I’m looking forward to Elder Qi’s following words," the Elder of Scarlet-Feather Peak said as he continued to fix his eyes on WEI Gaoyuan.

     

    Just then a few slight coughs came beside him. Another Elder wearing a brocade robe said, "Well, we all knew Elder Qi’s following words, and we’ve all got the same words to the kid. So, why don’t we show the kid something different, and I believe he’ll give us the answer then…"

     

    "I agree," said another Elder

     

    The twelve eyes of the six Elders were all focused on WEI Gaoyuan, as if there were no other new disciples beside him.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan still stood aside quietly as he was not so sure whether he was the right kid the Elders were talking about.

     

    An old Elder in the brocade gown said first, "Wei Gaoyuan, I’m the Elder of Golden-Feather Peak, I promise that you’ll reach the Nature within twenty years if you choose my school."

     

    "Twenty years…it sounds not quite difficult for a boy with the fake spiritual root,” said the Elder who spoke “I agree” just now, slightly shaking his head. "My school was located on Cyan--Feather Peak, I promise to teach you the Geng-level cultivation method of Internal Qi, plus the Geng-level combat skills."

     

    Hearing “Geng-level”, the other five Elders could not help but change their expressions. They did have Geng-level cultivation method of Internal Qi as well, but it seemed kind of late… The Cyan-Feather Peak was teaching them five to put something different and heavier on the scales.

     

    Having determined it finally, the long silvery beard Elder followed, "I’m Elder Qi, my Silver-Feather Peak will provide you…as long as you choose me to be your master…with the monthly task halved and the benefits doubled… in addition to the Geng-level cultivation method of Internal Qi and the same level combat skills!"

     

    The Elder in black uniform, whose voice was as loud as thunder, spoke at last but very seriously, "Come to my Dark-Feather Peak, enter the peak level of the Nature."

     

    WEI Gaoyuan seemed to open his mouth slightly, yet still speak nothing.

     

    The Elder of Cyan-Feather Peak, who saw the last chance, threw his last card, “Wei Gaoyuan, if you enter mine, I’ll create an opportunity for you to enter the inner of the clan.”

     

    His remark astonished everyone in the hall!

     

    The Elder of Dark-Feather Peak frowned and said in a low voice this time, "Elder Xu, a promise must be a promise! You should know the opportunity to enter the inner shouldn’t be promised the kid that easily!"

     

    Elder Xu shook his head slightly, looked at WEI Gaoyuan and added, "I can't guarantee that you’ll enter the inner, but I’ll be making every effort to create an opportunity for you. Besides, apart from my previous promises, you’ll get a sword of Ren-level in my school. Just decide it for yourself."

     

    WEI Gaoyuan clenched his teeth and tried to keep himself calm. His grandfather used to study Martial Arts in the outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan. Was it because of his grandfather… as only a third level of the Mystery? He never expected, even in his dreams, that he could be treated so special by the Elders today. So grateful he was that he tried hard to stop the tears in his eyes.

     

    "Elder, please authorize me to enter the Cyan-Feather Peak!" WEI Gaoyuan kneed down and kowtowed to Elder Xu.

     

    "Good… Good… Good!" smiled Elder Xu of  Cyan-Feather Peak. He took out two scrolls from his bosom pocket and handed them to WEI Gaoyuan,"Cultivate hard first with the two secret scrolls. Any time, any questions about it, just ask me."

     

    "Thank you! Elder!" WEI Gaoyuan was overjoyed to kowtow again.

     

    "Elder?" Elder Xu smiled.

     

    "Uh…thank you, master!" WEI Gaoyuan changed it quickly.

     

    "The old fox!" the other five Elders said in their hearts, who realized Elder Xu had prepared the secret scrolls in advance.

     

    Elder Xu didn’t conceal his elated smile as he turned his eyes to the remaining eleven new disciples and asked, "Anyone else wants to enter my Cyan-Feather Peak?"

     

    No one responded. The other eleven new disciples all seemed hesitating — except for WEI Gaoyuan, how much attention and care else would Elder Xu gave to other new disciples?

     

    Not waiting for the left eleven new disciples to make a decision, the Elder of Dark-Feather Peak pointed at two of them, "You, and you, follow me!"

     

    Everyone looked over the direction of his fingertip:

     

    One was a fat guy, and the other was Wei Gaoyuan.




    The Main Palace of the Outer Section of the East Mountain Sword Clan


  • Chapter 31 Masters and Disciples

    Actually, Wei Gaoyuan cared little about which peak to enter or which Elder to teach him as he knew long ago that the highest peak and the supreme teacher was in his dream, his dream space.

     

    The mysterious opponent in the dream space, who’d been offering him one-on-one combat training, and also a three-man-high stone stele occasionally floating and revolving high over his head to correct the patterns and methods in his cultivation, which was carved with a large number of unknown words and patterns.

     

    The mysterious virtual opponent never talked, and the stone stele couldn’t speak, either. So he knew nothing about why he could enter into her dream to learn and cultivate. He did ask a few people indirectly and subtly, but no one told the same experience as him.

     

    It was wired, truly, hard to explain.

     

    In just a few minutes, the remaining new disciples all got selected: Hu Xiaoshu and Lin entered the Scarlet-Feather Peak; Li Xiaochun, who’d been silent in the whole selection, went to the Golden-Feather Peak; and another disciple, Yan Shifei, from the Family of Yan in Qizhou City entered the Blue-Feather Peak. They greeted with each other and then followed their respective Elders to leave the central hall.

     

    The elders of Dark-Feather Peak had always got a sullen face and never laughed from the beginning to the end of the selection. Thus, Wei Gaoyuan and the fat kept their mouths closed tightly on the way to Dark-Feather Peak.

     

    Until arriving in Palace of Dark-Feather, the sullen-faced Elder seemed to think of them two, he asked, "Your names? And where are you from?"

     

    The fat replied first, "Master, I’m Zhu Qinglong, from the Family of Zhu in Lingzhou City."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan followed with a bow, "Master, I’m Wei Gaoyuan, from the East Mountain Sword Club in Qizhou City."

     

    "Well," the Elder nodded subconsciously. Suddenly, his voice doubled in volume, louder than it was in the central hall, "You say it again! What’s your name?! Where’re you from?!"

     

    "I’m Wei Gaoyuan, from the East Mountain Sword Club in Qizhou City," Wei Gaoyuan repeated.

     

    "You? Wei Gaoyuan? From Qizhou City? Then what’s that Wei Gaoyuan?" a complicated expression showed on the Elder's gloomy face.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had already known the Elder must ask it. He said truthfully, "I’ve got no idea about it, it might be same name as me."

     

    "Why didn't you stand up… or clear it up at that time?" asked the Elder.

     

    "That brother, brother WEI, stood up just a step ahead of me, and at first I was not so sure if I was the right one. And later…I had no proper chance to get my words in discussion of the Elders, actually I supposed I shouldn’t interrupt," Wei Gaoyuan said respectfully.

     

    The elder’s eyes blinked somehow before he asked, "Have you ever tested your spiritual root?"

     

    Upon hearing such question, Wei Gaoyuan’s look turned as gloomy as his master, “Report to the master, I’ve done it in the East Mountain Sword Club. It’s just a fake spiritual root, I was told that I’ve got no attribute to cultivate Taoism Arts.”

     

    The atmosphere turned silent after his words, so repressed that Wei Gaoyuan and Zhu Qinglong could only heard their breathing. The two disciples daren’t to speak anything, because now their master's look seemed really strange.

     

    After quite a while, the Elder suddenly burst into laughter, "Ha ha ha ha..."

     

    The Elder stared at Wei Gaoyuan after laughing for a while, "It turns out that you are that real Wei Gaoyuan! I wonder… how Elder Xu would be feeling and thinking while knowing the truth…" he found himself want to laugh again.

     

    Standing aside, Zhu Qinglong knew little about what had happened, he only knew that his master seemed to change his face in a blink of an eye. Wait, wait, what did Wei Gaoyuan say just now? he’d got a fake spiritual root?!

    ...

     

    When Elder Xu of Cyan-Feather Peak returned Palace of Cyan-Feather with two new disciples, like a hero’s return in victory, he called one disciple, "Help your two younger brothers to register."

     

    "Yes! Master!" the disciple bowed then turned to the two of WEI Gaoyuan, "Welcome, I’m Lu Yisheng."

     

    "I’m WEI Gaoyuan!"

     

    "Wu Haofeng, greeting brother Lu. I’d appreciate your kind consideration for us."

     

    Younger brother Wu seemed kind of cuter than younger brother WEI, Lu Yisheng thought, glancing at the two new comer.

     

    Not very long after that, the three disciples returned to Palace of Cyan-Feather. Each of WEI Gaoyuan and Wu Haofeng was distributed an identity tag—a small delicate wooden plate with his name on it, uniforms and an ordinary long sword.

     

    Elder Xu, who was sitting in the middle fauteuil in the main hall of the palace, held a long sword in his right hand, which seemed not to be a ordinary one because of its exquisite scabbard.

     

    Seeing WEI Gaoyuan coming with an ordinary long sword, he waved Wu Haofeng away, “You can leave. Wei Gaoyuan stay.”

     

    "See you later, master," Wu Haofeng bowed and withdrew respectfully.

     

    Elder Xu led WEI Gaoyuan to the back hall and handed him the long sword, "It’s a sword of Ren-level, I hope you won’t let it down…"

     

    "Thank you, master! I promise I won’t!" WEI Gaoyuan took over the sword.

     

    Then he undid the ordinary long sword at his waist, and Elder Xu glanced at his identity tag hanging on his waist, with the clear three characters "WEI Gaoyuan" carved on it.

     

    "WEI Gaoyuan?" Elder Xu frowned. "Show me your identity tag."

     

    WEI Gaoyuan untied the identity tag and handed it to his master.

     

    Elder Xu stared at the name on the tag for a while and asked seriously, "Are you sure the name on it was correct?"

     

    "Yes, master. Exactly, WEI Gaoyuan is my name." WEI Gaoyuan replied.

     

    "Where are you from?" Elder Xu added.

     

    "I’m from the Family of WEI in Mengzhou City. My grandfather used to learn the Martial Arts…also in the outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan," WEI Gaoyuan respectfully responded.

     

    "Mengzhou City? The Family of WEI??" Elder Xu's face turned gloomy immediately. Before the selection he’d got some information about that boy with the fake spiritual root, who was actually from the Qizhou City. There was another new disciple with the same name as that boy? His crying need made a terrible mistake?

     

    "Have you ever tested your root?" Elder Xu Chang's heart sank— the spiritual root became his last hope…

     

    "Master, I did when I was a child, but it’s just the sub-common spiritual root, " WEI Gao looked a little depressed and embarrassed.

     

    (sub-common spiritual root: a lower level spiritual root than a common spiritual root.)

     

    "The sub-common spiritual root? Not the fake spiritual root?" Elder Xu confirmed it again, suddenly standing up from the fauteuil.

     

    "I couldn’t make it wrong, indeed the sub-common spiritual roots," WEI Gaoyuan said seriously.

     

    Elder Xu couldn’t control himself to sit down again. His mind turned blank, a slight chill spreading from the top of his head to his sole. To select a sub-common spiritual root at such a high price! The desperate killed the sensible!!   

     

    No way to withdraw, the disciple had been here at the moment, and the promises had been made. Like the dumb man eating the bitter herb, Elder Xu had to suffer in silence.

     

    "Well! WEI Gaoyuan!" Elder Xu nodded, stared at his disciple and said loudly, "I believe you’re a promising young martial artist! Practice hard and strive to be the prominent among all the disciples! Do not let me down!"

     

    He’d made his mind while speaking to give much attention and guidance to this unexpected disciple in the future — if this kid with the sub-common spiritual root had a good comprehension in the Martial Arts, plus careful guidance himself could offer, there wasn’t much difficult for him to enter into the stage of the Nature, and that might earn himself much recognition among Elders, as a compensation to himself for the big loss of face this time.

     

    "Master! I won’t let you down!" certainly, WEI Gaoyuan didn’t know what Elder Xu was thinking at the moment. He made the promise confidently, proposing the plan in mind for his bright future.

     

    ...

     

    As other sects and outer sections, the outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan had its own library, which collected all kinds of books and secret scrolls in various categories.

     

    The new disciple was allowed to pick up one scroll of Martial Arts for cultivation in the scrolls of the Gui-level Martial Arts in the first floor.

     

    Rather than those scrolls of Martial Arts, Wei Gaoyuan cared more about finding some useful information about the Universe in Bag in the sea of books.

     

    He’d once heard the song in the stories by the storyteller in tea houses:

     

    Universes in my bag,

    worlds in my bag;

    I'm gonna put Mount Meru in my bag;

    I'm gonna invite Sun and Moon in my bag;

     

    (Mount Meru: a sacred mountain with five peaks in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes.)

     

    Having heard of various amazing Taoism Arts bewitched by those earth-shaking Land Taoists, he, as a little martial artist, had got a Universe in Bag, but found no way to open it!

     

    Fortunately, the books in historical and informational category could be consulted at will. It didn’t take him a long time to find a book called SOURCE OF ARMORS AND WEAPONS, which recorded plentiful official and unofficial history, and general information about some magic items.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan found himself quickly immersed in some stories and information in this book, which were extremely impressive and interesting.

     

    Mount Meru in imagination

     

     




  • Chapter 32   Refining the Talisman

    Universe in Bag, as the name suggested, was an amazing talisman with a separate huge space inside.

     

    To open or close Universe in Bag for storing or taking out the items in it, as the book said, Wei Gaoyuan must refine the bag by integrating his own spiritual mark into it.

     

    However, controlling power of spirit freely needed at least the stage of Condensed Qi, which was also the sole access to the cultivation of Taoism Arts from the Tao of Martial Arts. (break through the peak of the Nature to enter the stage of Condensed Qi, so the stage of Condensed Qi was usually called “the door to the Taoism Arts for martial artists”.) Wei Gaoyuan’s current stage was just eighth-level of the Mystery, roughly equivalent to the stage of Building Base in the system of Taoism Arts, still extremely far from “the door.”

     

    He turned to his master with full of hope for some information and suggestion about “the door”, but the answer from the Elder of Dark-Feather was just a cold water extinguishing the fire of his hope.

     

    His master, Elder Wu, told him: as far as he knew, there was still no such a martial artist in the current domain of Martial Arts who was able to open “that door.” Even if there was such a unique being beyond what he knew, it probably belonged to the sect of much higher star level.

     

    As Elder Wu’s description, Qizhou was one city of Da Xuan country, which was ruled by Da Xuan Sect, a powerful six-star sect. The East Mountain Sword Clan, as a four-star sect, had its own strongest martial artist at the Ninth Heaven of the Nature, who was the Grand Elder in charge of the outer section.

     

    In country of Daxuan, there were a few sects outstanding in domain of Martial Arts, for instance, Sect of Dual Sword, Infinite Heaven Sword Sect, Mountain-Overwhelming Sect, etc. Sad to the domain of Martial Arts, however, for almost five hundred years no martial artist in those sects had broken through the peak of Martial Art to stride into the stage of Condensed Qi.

     

    Admittedly, it had disappointed nearly all the martial artists and those who longed for entering world of Taoism Followers through the cultivation of Martial Arts. The former grand Tao of Martial Arts, in other words, seemed to have fallen. Anyone who was talented, even if not that high talented, tended to choose the Tao of Taoism Arts, which was the promising way to get immortality; or to choose the pursuit of powerful Talismans, which could supplement their cultivation, or strengthen their power, or even made up for their innate drawback. How strong should a martial artist’s body and his martial techniques be to withstand impact of a high-level magic talisman? No one could give it an exact answer. 

     

    However, the necessary key to drive the talisman was the Spiritual Qi. For this reason, the direction of the cultivation in the world of Taoism Followers had been determined before a long, long time — It was the cultivation in spirit that built the primary foundation of Taoism Arts, which almost excluded those in Tao of Martial Arts from the cultivation of Taoism Arts, including using the talisman. (Tao of Sword is generally regarded as a unique branch of Tao of Martial Arts)

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was so depressed after consultation, owning such a huge treasure mountain, owning no way to explore it, though.

     

    Hand it over to the out section or the clan? He was not an idiot…

     

    So he didn’t give up, continuing to look for some information else in the library, which might offer other ways to refine the Universe in Bag.

     

    After another two days, he did find something else.

     

    Universe in Bag was actually classified as one of space talismans, which could not only be refined with commonly spiritual methods but also with another two methods: essence-blood-refining and soul-refining, whereas these two methods had been listed as taboos. Only a few crazy evil guys or factions had used them while none would like to use them ever to refine Universe in Bag, a space talisman.

     

    Because both methods were deadly dangerous!

     

    Essence-blood-refining and soul-refining were usually used to refine, to breed more precisely, the offensive talisman: the former made the talisman refined with the essence-blood of its owner, and the later with the power of its owner’s soul. Long-term refining by both methods would probably enable the talisman to generate its own spirit and intelligence. Even more fatal, the talisman’s demand for essence-blood and power of soul would be getting bigger and bigger during the refining process, and might finally swallow all the essence-blood and power of soul of its owner to turn into an extremely wicked talisman with destructive power.

     

    (essence-blood: different from the common blood mentioned in daily life, it’s the general term for essence and blood, and is the basic substance running in meridian-collateral system for maintaining all beings’ life activities and good health.)

     

    Reading here, the fire of hope that Wei Gaoyuan had just ignited was disillusioned again, because the following was all stories about tragedies, like some evil giant in some year lost control of his talisman in the course of essence-blood-refining or soul-refining, and what tremendous disasters it brought about or whatever. Apart from it, however, there was nothing useful for how to refine the talisman by the two prohibited methods.

     

    In desperation, he could do nothing but carefully keep the Universe in Bag himself and continued to find the refining method available later. If there was really no suitable way, he had to bother sister Yun, and surely, he never mind presenting half of the items in the Universe in Bag to his sister~




  • edited November 2019
    Chapter 33: The Contribution Point

    Three days after the selection, all the new disciples had selected their direction of cultivation, and the next procedure was the introduction of section mission. After all, to run such a large outer section required enormous sums of funds and labor. Outer section didn’t raise idlers.

     

    Early in the morning, Wei Gaoyuan entered the glorious central hall once again and all the twelve new disciples had gathered there, including WEI Gaoyuan, who glanced around the eleven other disciples, like a crowing cock somewhat.

     

    The Elders of the six peaks did not appear. There were only two chief officers and a few elder disciples to introduce the section mission to the new comers.

     

    The section mission was generally divided into two types: the inside and the outside. The inside included some affairs inside the section like guarding the section main gate, transporting all kinds of goods or materials, preparing for meals… Most of the outside involved looking for diverse stuff, such as some useful herbs, or materials for refining, as well as solving some troubles for the villagers under the mountains.

     

    Unlike the guarding section main gate three days a month, most of the missions were not compulsory. That meant the disciples were allowed to choose them freely, and each completion of mission would earn them corresponding contribution points. After the contribution points reached a certain number, it could be exchanged for various items in the outer section like some scrolls or methods for Internal Qi cultivation and combat skills, even some powerful weapons, talismans and small magic items.

     

    ...

     

    The outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan was located in the East-Lee Mountain. There was a concave land, like a giant basin, behind the outer section. Due to the particular terrain and the environment, the wind in this basin was extremely violent when the wind rose in the mountain. Hence ordinary people could hardly stand in it, and it was difficult even for a martial artist to stand in firmly.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was surprised and happy while discovered this place by chance. It was a ideal natural place for training himself. Once the wind blew up, full of grass and branches were flying in the basin, even with some big and small stones coming from different angles time to time. A really perfect place to strengthen the power and stability of his legs as well as the body agility and dodging technique.

     

    Indeed, the power and toughness of his body grew a lot while in the East Mountain Sword Club whereas he actually leant little about the training and practicing method for the Martial Arts. During that period, he’d been practicing just two stuff most of the time: the unnamed cultivation method of Internal Qi in the scroll of the woman in white, modified by the dream space; the modified version of eight-pattern swordsmanship: Eight Clouds in Dream. He hadn’t realized that his body, as a martial artist, appeared a bit weak until he reached the ninth level of the Mystery.

     

    After all, what he’d been doing in the dream space tend to be a cultivation in spirit rather than the training of physical body quality in reality.

     

    After discovering the curious wind basin, he went there to train himself for at least one hour each day. But this place had already been discovered and administered by the out section so long ago. So you used it, you paid for it, only by your contribution points; one point for one hour. And about ten hours altogether later, Wei Gaoyuan found that his contribution point had gone zero.

     

    He had to earn the points. Otherwise, nothing useful could be available in the outer section because coins could buy nothing official here.

     

    Even if he could buy from others, he had little coins currently. Thus he went to the Exchange House.

     

    The Exchange House was a special place, where different items could be exchanged freely with each other, including personal items, official items, even contribution points. Also, section missions could be received on the Mission Board there.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had few valuable items which could be exchange there. The scroll from the woman in white? No way! The two Inner Essence of ninth level spiritual animal? He just found it turned out to be rather cheap in the Exchange House! As a result, to earn contribution points, the only thing there worthy to do was to find and complete suitable section missions.

     

    (Ranking of spirit animal: 1st level to 9th level, from the weak to the strong)

     

    Standing in front of the Mission Board, Wei Gaoyuan began to examine the rows of various missions on it:

     

    To bring one Golden Icy Flower: Difficulty—unknown; Reward—20 contribution points

     

    To bring one scale of Navy-Scale Snake: Difficulty—five stars; Reward—50 contribution points

     

    To guard the gate for XXX for six months: Difficulty—half-star; Reward—1 contribution points

     

    ...

     

    A Golden Icy Flower? A Navy-Scale Snake? Wei Gaoyuan never heard of them. He asked the brother beside him and got the answer: A Navy-Scale Snake was a fifth level spirit animal!

     

    To fight against a spirit animal at fifth level? Crazy! Only one round, he believed, probably less than one round, he would visit Kshitigarbha for free…

     

    (Kshitigarbha: a bodhisattva primarily revered in East Asian Buddhism and known for his vow to take responsibility for the instruction of all beings in the six worlds, as well as his vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are emptied. He is therefore often regarded as the bodhisattva of hell-beings. "visit Kshitigarbha" means “go to hell.”)

     

    To guard the main gate for six months? It was too long, and only one point in spite of low difficulty.

     

    He continued to search down… his eyes suddenly lit up when it reached the sixth mission:

     

    To suppress the bandits for the villagers in Chu Village: Difficulty—unknown; Reward—a total of 15 points for all the participants

     

    This was a cooperative mission, which meant the whole team could get 15 contribution points after the completion no matter how many people participated. The team determined itself how to distribute the points.

     

    That seemed not bad, Wei Gaoyuan thought, which could be good for accumulating combat experience and meanwhile earned him much contribution points.

     

    According to the general introduction of the chief officers, the contribution point seemed approximately proportional to the difficulty of the mission.

     

    The half-star difficulty was extremely easy, even for the new disciple, accordingly the reward couldn’t be high, usually one point or even a few missions for one point.

     

    The reward for the one-star mission was ordinarily not more than ten points, suitable for the disciple at ninth level of the Mystery or close to ninth level.

     

    The two-star mission offered between 11 and 20 points as usual, suitable for those at eighth level of the Mystery, and the top of ninth level could try it as well.

     

    The reward of three-star missions was between 21 and 30 points for the seventh level, certainly, the top of eighth level could try.

     

    And so on.

     

    The five-star mission would give between 41 and 50 points for the fifth level of the Mystery or the top of sixth level. The reward of Navy-Scale Snake, as shown on the board, reached up to 50 points, indicating that it might be one of the toughest in five-star missions and very dangerous for the top of sixth level.

     

    As for the unknown difficulty, the reward tended to be neither too high or too low. The unknown meant the uncertainty before the mission was over.

     

    15 points for the bandit-suppressing mission, presumably, it was no more than two stars in difficulty, and he was just the eighth level of the Mystery.

     

    A perfect mission for him, perfect if without any uncertainty.



    Kshitigarbha


  • edited December 2019
    Chapter 34: Liu Xingfei

    Liu Xingfei, who entered the outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan four years ago as a teenager at just Transforming Force of the Undistinguishment. And after three years of almost relentless cultivation, he’d reached the top of eighth level of the Mystery, which literally towered over other 14 disciples in the same period.

     

    Liu Xingfei's great efforts were obvious, the consumption record of his contribution points could prove it. With a high-speed consumption, he needed to earn himself the points today.

     

    Except for those new disciples, the old mission hunters in the outer section all knew clearly that the mission of unknown difficulty was not so ideal as it seemed in description. Most of such missions usually wouldn’t be a good dish in that its actual difficulty might turn out to be much higher than its contribution points.

     

    There were probably a few surprises during suppressing bandits like spending much longer time than expected. Therefore, such sort of mission tended to be the last option of both the strong hunter and the weak one. As a result, the mission of suppressing the bandits for Chu Village had been on the board for two days.

     

    Liu Xingfei decided to take this mission, for a girl.

    More than a year ago, he went down the mountain to do some affair for the outer section and went through the village by chance, where he met a girl and became her good friend then. Thus, upon seeing this mission, he knew he had to do something.

     

    As Liu Xingfei was registering his information for the mission, Wei Gaoyuan also made his decision and handed the identity tag to the chief officer, "Salute the chief officer, I’m Wei Gaoyuan, a new disciple."

     

    "Boy, what can I do for you?" asked the chief officer.

     

    "May I take the mission of suppressing the bandits for Chu Village?" Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    Oh? Liu Xingfei was not far from him, who looked over here while hearing Wei Gaoyuan’s inquiry.

     

    Meanwhile Wei Gaoyuan also discovered Liu Xingfei. Freezing for a moment, he asked, "Excuse me, brother, you’ve taken this mission already?"

     

    The chief officer said first as Liu Xingfei was still thinking how to answer it, "This task has no limit to the number of participants, so, if don’t mind, you can cooperate."

     

    Cooperate... Wei Gaoyuan hesitated. The mission offered only 15 contribution points. If completed in cooperation, each would only get about a half points. Besides, he was just a freshman, senior earned more…It seemed not a good deal.

     

    At that time, Liu Xingfei asked, "This junior brother, you’ve never taken any mission, have you?"

     

    "Greet brother, I haven’t, I’m a freshman," Wei Gaoyuan saluted Liu Xinfei.

     

    “Don’t mention it,” Liu Xingfei said. “This mission might not be so easy. Junior brother just entered the section, I mean, you’d better not take risks because the mission told little about the bandits.”

     

    Although Wei Gaoyuan didn't know if the brother was unwilling to cooperate with himself or was just a kind reminder, he had to admit that the brother’s warning was justified. If there was some unexpected bandit above the seventh level of the Mystery in this mission it would be really troublesome.

     

    But…what if none of the bandits was above the ninth level?

     

    He chose to roll the dice.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan thought for a moment and said: "Thank you, brother, for your kind suggestion. Brother must be strong enough, I believe,ang and couldn’t get few choices on the board, would you mind giving this mission to me?"

     

    "Give it to you?" Liu Xingfei was amazed. He never expected this junior brother could make such a request.

     

    Actually he didn't mean to eat the cheesecake all himself but just worried that this freshman might be rather weak so that it would distract his attention to take care of the junior brother in case of unexpected danger in mission.

     

    A newborn calf was never afraid of a tiger.

     

    “May I ask junior brother’s stage? Uh…the ninth level?” Liu Xingfei asked.

     

    "Above the ninth level," Wei Gaoyuan replied.

     

    "Oh?!" Liu Xingfei's eyes lit up.

     

    As usual, new disciples at the ninth level were all the top geniuses in their respective cities, let alone, from his words just now, he seemed at the top of the ninth level.

     

    This junior brother was a real surprise so that he might be a good teammate rather than a headache.

     

    Liu Xingfei smiled," I’m Liu Xingfei, from Cyan-Feather Peak."

     

    "I’m Wei Gaoyuan, the disciple of Dark-Feather Peak." Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    Liu Xingfei continued,"Well, junior brother Wei…if you don’t mind, we may cooperate, and if everything goes well, each of us will receive seven points, and the left one to exchange other useful items, which will also be divided into two halves. What do you think?"

     

    "What if it doesn't go well?" Wei Gaoyuan asked.

     

    "If so, the division will just depend on how well we complete the mission; if couldn’t complete the mission, we’ll bother nothing about contributing points." Liu Xingfei said.

     

    "Alright, as brother Liu planned, I’ll follow you." Wei Gaoyuan nodded.

     

    Liu Xingfei might not have perceived Wei Gaoyuan's exact level because of his unique cultivation methods. In contrast, Wei Gaoyuan could roughly perceive Liu Xingfei's stage according to the Qi he exuded around; this brother should be slightly stronger than himself and had not reached the seventh level yet. The team just got almost balanced between the power of teammates.

     

    ...

     

    The Chu Village was not at the foot of the East-Lee Mountain but located dozens of miles away from it. it was a village of less than 50 households.

     

    One day later, Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan arrived at the Chu Village in the evening. Standing by the entrance, they found that the doors and windows of all houses were closed, full of depressed atmosphere.

     

    "Is anyone there?" Liu Xingfei shouted

     

    After a long while, no one responded, Liu Xingfei frowned.

     

    "We just go in," Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    "Alright!" Liu Xingfei stepped into the village first.

     

    Whoosh! A sound came through the air! And Liu Xingfei’s eyes instantly narrowed into a line, seeing a black speck shooting fast here.

     

    "Broken!"

     

    Liu Xingfei shouted as he pulled out his sword and swung at the black speck. Thwack! Two objects fell down beside his feet.

     

    It was an arrow, which was cut into two halves.

     

    "A beautiful stroke of sword!" Wei Gaoyuan commended it in his heart. This brother was indeed extraordinary.

     

    Some low noise came from the distant roof. The two of Wei Gaoyuan looked over there, Liu Xingfei said loudly, "I’m Liu Xingfei, this is my junior brother Wei Gaoyuan. We came here for rescue, under the order of outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan."

     

    The noise from the roof disappeared after his introduction and a moment later turned louder.

     

    A voice of a middle-aged man came, "Do the two young warriors really come from the East Mountain Sword Clan?"

     

    “We do, ” Liu Xingfei replied. "You can send someone to check our identity tags."

     

    The voice trailed off again. It seemed that a few people were discussing. After a long while, a huge figure appeared in distance.

     

    That was a middle-aged man, with his right hand on his waist and a long bow hanging behind him. Wei Gaoyuan had perceived the middle-aged man’s stage, at about Exterior Force. But it seemed something wrong with his body because of his kind of unsteady walking pace.

     

    After a few seconds, the middle-aged man came to their front, his waist wrapped in bandages, his right hand holding on the handle of a long scimitar, his eyes full of vigilance.

     

    Seeing Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan wearing the uniforms of the East Mountain Sword Clan, the middle-aged man got relieved a little. He said, “I’m Chu Shan’gao, greet two young warriors.”

     

    "Uncle Chu, you get injured?" Liu Xingfei seemed to know the middle-aged man. Staring at the bandages, his face appeared severe.

     

    "You are..." Chu Shan’gao’s eyes flashed, then asked in surprise, "You are young warrior Liu?"

     

    "Yes, it’s me! Liu Xingfei!" Liu Xingfei asked, "Who hurt you? You’re not badly hurt, are you?"

     

    "No, not badly," Chu Shan’gao shook his head and then said joyfully "Great! You’re here! The warriors of the East Mountain Sword Clan are here!"

     

    He turned back and shouted, "Everyone just come out! they are the young warriors from the East Mountain Sword Clan! "

     

    After his cry, dozens of people ran out from the road between the houses, and everyone seemed to be cheering… The rescuer finally came!

     

    An old man, whose hair and long beard were all white, was walking behind the crowd and stepping forward then. His expression became serious while seeing the two of Wei Gaoyuan,"Greet two young warriors, and with all due respect, is there anyone else coming with you?"

     

    "No," Liu Xingfei replied, "just two of us, I am at the eighth level of the Mystery, junior brother Wei was the top of the ninth level, could you tell us something about the bandits? "

     

    Liu Xingfei glanced around the crowd as he spoke, "Where’s Xiaoyue?"

     

    Upon hearing the name of Xiaoyue, Chu Gaoshan’s look turned gloomy instantly, and all villagers were speechless.

     

    With his heart sinking, Liu Xingfei felt something bad must happened, "What happened to her!?"

     

    Chu Shan’gao sighed in sadness, “The group of bandits attacked the village seven days ago. Xiaoyue was taken by one of their leaders, who said…said…” he sighed deeply, shaking his head, “we’re too powerless to protect Xiaoyue…"

     

    Chu Shan’gao subconsciously looked at his waist, his throat too tight to speak.



  • Chapter 35: The Night, the Moon, the Wind, the Swords Ⅰ

    Chu Xiaoyue was only fifteen years old this year, five years younger than Liu Xingfei. Liu Xingfei had known her for more than a year, always regarding her as his sister. Every time he went down the mountain, he would come to the Chu Village to visit her. He never thought such a suffering could happen to such a sweet, gentle girl.

     

    A bunch of beasts!! How could they treat a girl of fifteen like that!! Liu Xingfei clenched his fists and cursed in his heart.

     

    He looked up and asked, "Uncle Chu, do you know where they took Xiaoyue? I’ll save her!"

    "We’re not so sure about the exact location of their lair… It should be in the mountains over there," Chu Shan’gao pointed to the distant mountains.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan looked over where Chu Shan’gao was pointing. It was a row of mountains. Although not as tall as East-Lee Mountain, it was huge and seemed endless. To search the group of bandits in such mountains was certainly not so easy.

     

    "Let’s move, go saving Xiaoyue!" Liu Xingfei said as he was turning to leave immediately.

     

    "Wait!" Chu Shan’gao stopped him and said, "I’ll go with you!"

     

    Liu Xingfei looked at the waist of Chu Shan’gao and said: "I promise I’ll bring her back! So, Uncle Chu just rest in the village."

     

    ...

     

    After half a day, the dark night fell, the new moon rose, and the cold wind whistled through the branches of the trees in the mountains.

     

    Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan carefully entered the mountainous area. It was very hard to find exact directions at night. In case of getting lost in the dense forest, the two of Wei Gaoyuan tried searching upstream along a small stream.

     

    After all, the bandits needed to drink. it probably detected some of their traces by the stream.

     

    After about one hour’s searching, a small valley appeared in front of them, where some dim lights were flickering.

     

    Liu Xingfei gave Wei Gaoyuan a sign to be keeping careful, then climbed up a tree quietly and jumped down after observed the valley for a moment. He whispered, "The front probably lies the bandits’ lair. As I’ve been here before, there should be no people live around..."

     

    "If so, just sneak up, then give them a surprise hit under the cover of the night," Wei Gaoyuan blinked.

     

    "Move! Be careful, don't make any sound!" Liu Xingfei whispered, then quietly walked forward.

     

    The front was getting empty as they were approaching the valley, and there were some faint figures moving around under the lights in the distance, who might be the bandits guarding at night

     

    "Brother," Wei Gaoyuan whispered, "I’ll go to get their attention, you swim there to make a raid…"

     

    "Make it simple," Liu Xingfei shook his head. "I’ll directly begin killing to create chaos while chatting with them, then I’ll try making them occupied as long as possible, stalling for you to save Xiaoyue."

     

    "Or let me stall, you go to save her, I’ve never seen her…" Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    Liu Xingfei thought for seconds and said, "Alright! You attract them, I go saving her. After making her settled we’ll return to sweep their lair!"

     

    They sneaked towards the lights as talking the battle plan. When they were getting less than ten feet from the lights, some bandit found them and shouted, "Who’s there?!!"

     

    Suddenly getting startled and tense, Wei Gaoyuan put his right hand on the handle of sword.

     

    Liu Xingfei reached out to stop him, shooting him a look, and then looked up and smiled gently to the bandit, “Brother, we two just got lost in the mountain, I wondered if we could stay overnight in your village."

     

    The bandit coming over, dressed in black, was a long-faced man with a goatee and little triangular eyes. He looked up and down the two of Wei Gaoyuan, smiled and said, "No problem! Just stay over in my house! I just killed a fat chicken; no one hates my chicken soup!"

     

    "Thank you very much for your kindly treat! How should I call you, brother?" Liu Xingfei looked pretty happy.

     

    "I’m Third Hou, just call me Third Brother!" said the man in black, seemed quite frankly.

     

    "Thanks! Third Brother!" Liu Xingfei greeted with a smile.

     

    When they were talking, another man in black came over and asked, "Third Hou, what are you doing? How can you bring two…"

     

    "They’re passers-by, just lost their way, wanna stay overnight in our village." Third Hou gave a look to his partner.

     

    The other bandit took it quickly, said with a simple and honest smile, "Ah, come in, come in please, just take here as your home!"

     

    "Thank you, brother!" Liu Xingfei greeted with a cupped-fist.

     

    The bandit lowered his head and was raising his hands to give a cupped-fist. Swish! Swish! Two streams of blood were spurting from the throats of the two bandits with Liu Xingfei’s blade sweeping fast across their necks!  

     

    The two bandits fell to the ground, their hands covering their throats, their eyes bulging, wanting to shout madly but no sound came out.

     

    After a while, the two bandits didn’t move at all. Liu Xingfei went down to take off Third Hou’s black clothes and said to Wei Gaoyuan, “Put on the clothes, quickly!”

     

    Wei Gaoyuan immediately understood his intentions and began doing as what his brother did. After finished, they dragged the two bodies into the trees, and then walked towards the lights.

     

    There were a total of ten small cabins around, which seemed to be the bandits' temporary lair. It was estimated there were not too many bandits in this lair now. The fence outside the cabins looked so simple that it appeared to be blown by the wind in the mountain.

     

    Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan walked over the fence and saw that two bandits sitting on the floor were chatting. One of the bandits said to them without raising his head, "Where did you go?"

     

    Liu Xingfei coughed twice and replied in a fake voice, "Just go searching treasures."

     

    "Searching treasures??" the two bandits raised their heads at the same time as Liu Xingfei was timely throwing them a small silver coin, which attracted all their eyes.

     

    "Aha! Where did you guys get the silver coin so…" one of the bandits smirked.

     

    Before his last word came out, however, his throat was cut by Liu Xingfei’s sword, and so was the other bandit’s at almost the same time. Two clear strokes of sword!  

     

    "Smart and powerful!" Wei Gaoyuan gave his brother a thumbs-up in his heart.

     

    Liu Xingfei didn't know Wei Gaoyuan’s thought, staring at the biggest cabin at the end of small ones and said to Wei Gaoyuan, "That one should be their leader’s. Clean up those in the small cabins first, or we might get stuck front and back!"

     

    "Got it!" Wei Gaoyuan nodded, following Liu Xingfei.

     

    Liu Xingfei came to a cabin and knocking at the door.

     

    "Who?!" came the question in the room.

     

    "The head called you," Liu Xingfei lowered his voice.

     

    "Well…" the person inside said, followed by the footsteps.

     

    The door was opened, Liu Xingfei said with his back to the door, "Just follow me…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan glanced at the two people coming out from the house, and Liu Xingfei’s look. Liu Xingfei suddenly turned, and his sword flashed through the one’s throat as Wei Gaoyuan’s sword had penetrated the other one’ heart.

     

    "Ah!!!" the man who was stabbed by Wei Gaoyuan made a sad scream, which broke the silence of the night!

     

    Liu Xingfei's expression changed a little, "I forgot it! It’s my fault, not telling you to cut their throats so that they won’t make a sound."

     

    "I’m so sorry! Brother, I never thought it would be…" Wei Gaoyuan's face was pale. His hand holding the sword kept shaking slightly.

     

    It was the first time he’d ever killed a man, and he didn’t knew that results might differ between different patterns of killing.

     

    There followed a noise in the surrounding cabins with lights, from which soon came a group of bandits, more than 10...

     

    With a deep sigh, Liu Xingfei said, "Hold your sword! Kill them all! Hope they won’t hurt Xiaoyue!"

     
    Greeting with a bow

     
    Greeting with a cupped-fist




  • Chapter 36: The Night, the Moon, the Wind, the Swords Ⅱ

    Wei Gaoyuan realized that he’d made a mistake and spoiled the plan. Holding the sword and ready to fight, however, he found the sword in his hand was still shaking.

     

    Liu Xingfei had taken the lead to rushed to the crowd in front. Wei Gaoyuan clenched his teeth and rushed up close behind him. The two young swordsmen whirling and moving fast in the crowd with their swords flashing and cutting the bandits like mowing the grass. Before long, nearly ten bandits had been killed.

     

    In the slaughter, Wei Gaoyuan had a complete blank in his mind, simply waving his sword by instinct and just turning a deaf ear to the miserable screams around him.

     

    A few minutes later, there were no bandits standing around Wei Gaoyuan as Liu Xingfei was got involved in a bitter fight against two bandits in black who both held the long scimitars.

     

    The two bandits in black had the similar beard, similar faces and figures; one held the scimitar in his right hand, and the other held the similar one in left. They operated very naturally, which even made Liu Xingfei tied up for the time being.

     

    Taking a deep breath, Wei Gaoyuan rushed up and joined Liu Xingfei’s tough battle.

     

    The battle soon changed after Wei Gaoyuan’s joining: Liu Xingfei was fighting against the one with the scimitar in the left hand, breaking his connection and operation with the other one with the right-handed scimitar, who was struggling with Wei Gaoyuan. Gradually, Liu Xingfei’s advantage in strength and level in stage was becoming more and more obvious.

     

    Until the fourth round, Liu Xingfei had already dominated the combat and his opponent. Just as he was preparing to give his opponent a last strike, a scream came from the battle of Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Both Liu Xingfei and his opponent got frozen for a second and meanwhile glanced over the scream, just seeing that Wei Gaoyuan was sliding the sword into the scabbard and the bandit with the right-handed scimitar was falling back to the ground, the blood spurting out from his throat.

     

    The bandit with the left-handed scimitar was astonished as he didn't expect his brother to be killed so quickly. Losing all will to continue fighting, he turned over suddenly and tried to escape. When he just ran away three steps, however, a tip of sword appeared through his chest, then he only felt all his strength was pouring out and exhausted in an instant.

     

    He turned his head hard, stared at Liu Xingfei whose sword had pierced his chest, and said with full of resentment in the eyes, "You...you’ll......die...our...head will... revenge..."

     

    His eyes had lost the light of life before he could finish the last words of his life. As Liu Xingfei pulled back the sword from his chest, his body slammed into the ground.

     

    Liu Xingfei’s turned to look at Wei Gaoyuan, sort of curious: Wei Gaoyuan turned out to get rid of the opponent faster than himself. He judged from the fight with the twin bandits just now that they shouldn’t be weaker than ninth-level of the Mystery. Then why could this junior brother kill one of them so quickly?

     

    For Wei Gaoyuan, he just got no time to think about Liu Xingfei’s curiosity, now, he was busy vomiting…

     

    The feeling of killing people was far more terrible than he thought, which was totally different from the feeling in any fights ever. When he was a child, he didn’t even dare to glance at the dying chicken body who was struggling on the ground just like an invisible hand pinching his heart. Right now, his stomach seemed to be violently rolling and twisted.

     

    He didn't dare to close his eyes, either, fearing that if he did, he would see the desperate eyes of the dying enemies and their blood splashing over him, and even their soul leaving the bodies.

     

    It was so terrible to kill people!

     

    Until there was nothing in his stomach to throw up, he simply threw his back on the ground, breathing heavily and looking at the stars in the sky, death and souls still flying in his brain…

     

    It was a long time before a strong hand held Wei Gaoyuan's right shoulder up to let him sit up on the ground. Liu Xingfei then gently patted his back and said, "I never thought… it’s the first time you’ve killed men, I’m sorry… "

     

    Wei Gaoyuan took a long breath and shook his head a few times, "Thank you, brother… I just never thought killing was…was that awful…."

     

    "You will…and have to get used to it," Liu Xingfei comforted him, "the world of martial artists is actually cruel; in many cases, however, your sword is killing for saving and surviving…"

     

    Wei Gao nodded and said, "I’ll try to get used to it, but it might take a little time. Don’t worry about me, brother, Xiaoyue is still waiting for you."

     

    "Well, you take a break, I’ll be back soon," Liu Xingfei got up and rushed to the biggest cabin.

     

    After a few moment, Wei Gaoyuan’s breath turned even. He picked up the long sword beside him and walked toward the biggest cabin, worrying about something unexpected that might happen to Liu Xingfei, and it did; only after taking a few steps towards the biggest cabin, he just saw a figure shooting out of it and crashing back to the ground heavily!

     

    That was Liu Xingfei. He stood up from the ground, coughed a few times with his hand on his chest, then quickly took a pill from the bosom pocket and put it to his mouth. A little while later, his face turned well from the pale.

     

    When Liu Xingfei rushed into the biggest cabin just now, he suddenly felt a strong force coming from the front and hitting over him. Having felt its great power, he quickly ran his Internal Qi to resist, but it didn’t work at all, he was still slammed out of the door by that force.

     

    He’d knew that there must be someone very strong in the cabin, probable as strong as one at seventh level of the Mystery. Thus, he anxiously waved at Wei Gaoyuan, "Don't get close to that cabin! Leave, now!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan naturally couldn’t leave Liu Xingfei to escape alone. He glanced at that cabin: a long-haired man was wearing a white ulster as walking slowly out of the cabin.

     

    The man looked around 30 years old, his beard clean shaven, and his pointed chin and fine features made him looked like a pretty girl, no, like a weird beauty! He walked out of the cabin step by step, his voice was cold and shrill, "Kids, ruined my plan~ None of you could leave here! "

     

    Wei Gaoyuan stood motionless, holding the long sword and staring at the man in white. Faced with a man who could blast Liu Xingfei off his back, he was so nervous actually, but he found his hands were no longer shaking. And his legs gradually turned quite steady, because of the hard training in the weird basin?

     

    "Well, don’t escape?" the man in white shot himself to Wei Gaoyuan in an instant, with a twisted smile on his face, and reached up to grab the neck of Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Meanwhile Wei Gaoyuan stabbed at the man’s shoulder with the sword, and the man in white moved sideways fast to evade the sword yet the movement of his claw didn’t slow down; Wei Gaoyuan had to pull back his sword and busted out a swift back-flip!

     

    "Well, well, an interesting boy~~"the man in white gave a harsh chuckle and changed his claw to the palm to strike Wei Gaoyuan’s chest.

     

    The chilly wind with the palm-strike had shrouded the whole body of Wei Gaoyuan, who found there was no way to dodge any more. Gritting his teeth, Wei Gaoyuan swung his sword and pointed it at the man's palm.

     

    With a little chortle, the man’s arm glided along the blade like an agile snake and grabbed Wei Gaoyuan's wrist tightly; Wei Gaoyuan made a shiver uncontrollably and quickly ran his Internal Qi to resist the chilly stream of Internal Qi penetrating into his arm from the man’s hand.

     

    And the other hand of the man in white had already been palming over his head!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan subconsciously wanted to block it with his left hand, but he knew it won’t work at all since the man in white's level in stage and Internal Qi was obviously stronger than his.

     

    Death had been knocking at his door!

     

    At the crucial moment, a sword broke through the air and stabbed at the side neck of the man in white! This sword came so fast and deadly that even the man in white had to withdraw his hands to avoid it.

     

    undoubtedly, the sudden stroke of sword came from Liu Xingfei. As soon as the man in white throwed his whole body back, Liu Xingfei hurried to pull Wei Gaoyuan and turned to run.

     

    "Wanna flee now? Leave your lives first!!" the man in white had been kept a few feet away from the two teenagers in a blink of an eye; he snorted and immediately flapped after them.

     

    Instead of nervousness, Wei Gaoyuan even got a sense of excitement while running. Getting closer and closer to the woods in front, he asked, "Brother, the man after us seemed quite powerful, how should we save Xiaoyue? "

     

    "I’ll attract his attention after entering deep into the woods, and you try to find a chance to return and save her," Liu Xingfei had got the plan while started escaping.

     

    "I attract him, you save her!"

     

    "The man in white was too dangerous for you! I’m your brother, just follow my order!" Liu Xingfei rejected Wei Gaoyuan's suggestion firmly this time.

     

    "Okay," Wei Gaoyuan agreed but had got the plan in his heart. He reckoned that the level of their opponent seemed not much higher than themselves. If they could seize an  opportunity, under the cover of the woods and night, to give him a sneak attack…



    Bosom pocket inside the uniform


  • Chapter 37 The Night, the Moon, the Wind, the SwordsⅢ

    Less than 20 years old as Liu Xingfei was this year, he’d cultivated in the outer section for more than two years, and accordingly experienced much more in the underground world of martial artists than Wei Gaoyuan. He led Wei Gaoyuan into the woods and instructed him to hide in a large tree, then continued running ahead.

     

    As the man in white chased into the woods, he was less than a dozen feet away from Liu Xingfei. He sneered and kept chasing him up, not noticing that Wei Gaoyuan hid quietly between the branches of the tree.

     

    As the plan they made, Wei Gaoyuan had to return to the lair to save Xiaoyue after Liu Xingfei led the man in white off himself, but on seeing the shadow of the man in white happened to pass by the tree where he was hiding, he decided, without any hesitation, to take this fleeting opportunity and launch a sneak attack!

     

    He suddenly jumped down from the tree and hacked at the back of the man in white!

     

    The sense of a martial artist at seventh level of the Mystery was actually acuter than he thought, the man in white had heard the faint and unusual sound of leaves over his head just as Wei Gaoyuan jump off the tree! By instinct, the man in white curled up his body and rolled swiftly ahead on the ground! While getting up,  his hand had held a long scimitar.

     

    Before the man in white getting up, Wei Gaoyuan turned and ran away as rapidly as a hare!

     

    Yes, a hare. Because of the early death of his parents, Wei Gaoyuan was often bullied by the older children when he was a child, and was troubled from time to time by the gang members while he became older, so he just believed that no one in such a complicated terrain could be more skilled at escaping than himself.

     

    And so he was. There were all trees, rocks and small pits everywhere in the woods. Wei Gaoyuan used the surroundings to looped and zigzagged, up and down in the woods, which even dodged all strikes by the following man in white, who just scabbard the scimitar later and focused on chasing the irritating hare.  

     

    Liu Xingfei did not run far away. Once finding the man in white turned to chasing Wei Gaoyuan, he just knew that the junior brother was so inexperienced in practical combat that he must have quit the original plan and launched a sneak attack on his own; unlike the training or fighting competition in the outer section, any decision in practical combat would lead to life, or death.

     

    Liu Xingfei hurried to ran back to rescue and seconds later he had rushed close behind the man in white, he shouted: "Junior brother, look out!"

     

    "Oh, darling~ There you are! You just took the right time~" the man in white was happy in his heart to see Liu Xingfei’ return as he’d found himself quite difficult to catch up the hare ahead, then, the hare’s companion just arrived.

     

    The man in white pulled out the long scimitar and turned his target into Liu Xingfei, who hoped to create a chance for his junior brother to escape even though their enemy might be one level higher than himself.

     

    Just as the hunter expected, the hare, Wei Gaoyuan, turned back and rushed up with the sword to join his companion’s combat.

     

    Two swords and one scimitar flew everywhere,  flashing in the dark forest with three fast-moving shadow!

     

    Liu Xingfei thought that Wei Gaoyuan was a ninth-level approximately, but found himself very wrong after they’d been fighting together a dozen more rounds with the man in white, it was almost the eighth-level that this junior brother turned out to be.

     

    Then why was he allowed to go out of his Peak? Why did he have to be a hunter of contribution points? As a freshman who’d just reached eighth-level, he was, undoubtedly, a genius among peers in the outer section; as usual, such sort of disciple tend to be taught by the Elders personally and would never worry about his contribution points.

     

    He could hardly figure it out, and it was not the right time to think it over—the Internal Qi of the man in white felt so weird, just making him very uncomfortable, like falling into a dark and cold cellar!

     

    It was another twenty rounds. Liu Xingfei got surprised in that the battle were still in an almost balanced situation for both sides.

     

    Normally, even the ally of three top-eighth-level warriors might not suffice to overwhelm a bottom-seventh-level warrior, let along just two of themselves.

     

    What surprised him even more was that until now Wei Gaoyuan had been using just the same one pattern of swordsmanship, time and time again. He never changed it! But just this one pattern could always change the situation of combat at a critical moment.

     

    Could the unknown pattern enable this junior brother to fight even more powerful than himself?

     

    It was unbelievable, and a blessing as well. If it was other ordinary junior brother who cooperated with him, he could have had no chance to return to the outer section.

     

    But the level of the man in white must be higher than them as well as the power of his weird Internal Qi. With the combat going, the gap between the level appeared more and more obvious. Another dozens of rounds after, the man in white kicked over Liu Xingfei as he shielded himself with the scimitar from the stroke of sword from Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan knew it clearly that the most powerful pattern he could use was the first pattern of Eight Clouds in Dream and only this pattern could withstand the scimitar-strike of their enemy; if he used the basic pattern of swordsmanship learned in the East Mountain Sword Club, he would have been the big burden of Liu Xingfei and even made himself killed a few rounds before.

     

    But with the time passed, he found that even this pattern might not take good care of himself as he’d learned just seventy or eighty percent of its power and essence.

     

    So it was. After Liu Xingfei was kicked over, the man white could focused all his attention on Wei Gaoyuan, and slashed out a dozen strokes of scimitar, like a net of thunderstorm covering the whole body of Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    The speed of Wei Gaoyuan became slower and slower. He had to keep stepping backwards and rely on the big trunks around him from time to time to avoid a hail of scimitar-strike after another. After another dozen steps backwards, he didn’t perceive a very small pit under his foot and stepped on it.

     

    His body lost balance just slightly as Liu Xingfei climbed up, and the man in white couldn’t miss the fleeting chance to hack down at Wei Gaoyuan’s head mercilessly; Wei Gaoyuan had no choice but roll sideways, meanwhile swept the enemy’s ankles with his sword.

     

    Whoosh! Wei Gaoyuan's sleeves were cut. His sword did not other's ankles, though.

     

    The man in white was so experienced in practical combat that he launched another scimitar-strike rapidly at the chest of Wei Gaoyuan before he could pull back his sword!

     

    There was no choice for Wei Gaoyuan to dodge this time, except for abandoning his only sword, and he did, he dropped his sword without any hesitation and gave another swift rolling sideways, just seeing the blade of scimitar falling down right along his right arm and cutting into the ground!

     

    And Liu Xingfei’s sword had come after, putting the man in white on the defensive immediately with his scimitar.

     

    That might have won one moment for Wei Gaoyuan to get back his sword on the ground, though the man in white let out a kick backwards at the chest of Wei Gaoyuan as holding Liu Xingfei’s sword with his scimitar, then he just felt his leg got held tightly. It was Wei Gaoyuan for sure, who even quit getting his sword back and directly put his arms tightly around the right leg of the enemy after dodging the kick!   

     

    “A crazy puppy!” pouring his Internal Qi into the right leg suddenly, the man in white was waving his right leg and throwing Wei Gaoyuan against the ground!

     

    Smash!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was slammed back on the ground, his arms still holding the right leg of his enemy tight!

     

    The man in white was half-squatting on the ground at this moment and then simply sat down, giving another heavy kick over the head of Wei Gaoyuan. If hit, Wei Gaoyuan would be killed definitely!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan had no choice but let the right leg out, and he saw the sword right beside his foot! His eyes lit up in a instant! Lying on the ground, he condensed his Internal Qi into his foot and just kicked on the hilt of the sword!

     

    A flashing! The sword shot at the man in white like a flash of lightning!

     

    And Liu Xingfei’s another sword-strike also came over at the right time.

     

    Still sitting on the ground, the white man blocked the sword of Liu Xingfei over his head by his scimitar. His eyes suddenly flashed and narrowed, and directly stretch his left arm to grab the blade of Wei Gaoyuan’s sword flying over his chest!

     

    A squeaky sound came from the blade! Wei Gaoyuan's sword just be stopped after still going further in the hand of the man in white, almost pierced into his ribs.

     

    The red blood flowing along the silver blade, the man in white’s left hand still hold the blade tight.

     

    And Liu Xingfei’s next stroke of sword stabbed over from the back of the man in white, as quick and timely as before!

     

    The man in white wanted to raise his scimitar to resist the sword once again.

     

    With a dull thunk, however, Liu Xingfei's sword got his target this time, piercing the white man's chest finally!

     

    Instead of staring at Liu Xingfei, the man in white was eyeballing Wei Gaoyuan, full of resentment: Wei Gaoyuan punched his waist just as he was about to block the sword and made him froze slightly, but just this slight stop slowed his scimitar somewhat, and just because of this short time difference, Liu Xingfei's sword finally succeeded in piercing his heart.

     

    The eyes of the man in white was filled up with unwillingness. He’d been striving so long for becoming a strong warrior and finally got a magic but unorthodox method for cultivation, which told him how to boost his level more quickly by absorbing the Yin essence from the virgin, at the price of getting more and more female characteristics. As long as he could absorb it from two more virgins in that big cabin, he would reach the sixth-level of the Mystery. Two teenagers, just the two little guys, however, ended his Tao of martial arts.

     

    With his eyes opened and his left hand holding the blade of Wei Gaoyuan, the man in white still kept the posture of sitting on the ground, motionlessly and permanently…

     

    (Yin and Yang: As was believed in Taoism philosophy, Yin and Yang is the duality present in all aspects of the universe. For instance: Yin is Female / Soft / Death / Dark / the Moon, while Yang is Male / Hard / Life / Light / the Sun; it also describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they mutually give rise to each other.)

     
    Yin & Yang

     

     



  • Chapter 38 The Night, the Moon, the Wind, the Swords Ⅳ

    The atmosphere of repression around, like a snake closing tight around their necks, made Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan hold their breath to stare at the man in white, who was no longer moving; neither of them dared to act rashly and drop their guard.

     

    It was a long time before Wei Gaoyuan suddenly started vomiting blood and coughing up violently.

     

    Liu Xingfei’s face changed. He quickly decapitated the man in white with his sword, and squatted down to help Wei Gaoyuan to stand up, asking with concern, “Junior brother, are you all right?!”

     

    "Not…not bad…" Wei Gaoyuan replied in a low voice.

     

    He felt that the chilly Internal Qi of the man in white might hurt his lungs, very sore in the chest, and it was sort of difficult to talk and breathe, but shouldn’t be life-threatening.

     

    "Take it first, then sit down to do a meditation," Liu Xingfei took out a pill and put it into Wei Gaoyuan’s mouth.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan sat cross-legged on the ground and started doing a meditation, and a cool feeling soon came with the pill sliding down through his mouth. A few minutes later, the pain in his chest was relieved a lot. He withdrew his Internal Qi running throughout his body into his Dantian, "Well, let’s go to the cabin!"

     

    "Okay!" Liu Xingfei nodded and pulled Wei Gaoyuan to his feet, and walked towards the cabin where they’d met the man in white for the first time.

     

    The left section of candle was still lighting in that cabin when they entered: two large curtains separated the cabin into two rooms and one hall; there was a bed in the hall, and a girl lying on the bed; she seemed dead before a long time.

     

    As their footsteps came, there was scream and whisper of girls behind the curtain.

     

    "He is back! That demon is back!"

     

    "We’ll die…"

     

    "What should we do, what can we do..."

     

    Different voice was filled with the same deep panic and despair.

     

    Liu Xingfei turned relieved, giving a shout of excitement, "Xiaoyue! Are you there?!"

     

    "Brother Liu!! Is that you?!" a cry of surprise came from inside.

     

    "Yeah! It's me! Liu Xingfei!" Liu Xingfei pulled the curtain.

     

    "Brother Liu! It’s you! It’s…really you!!!" a tiny but kind of cute girl cried behind a row of iron bars, it should be Chu Xiaoyue.

     

    The place behind the curtain was made as a cell, where three girls were imprisoned for resources of Yin essence. Having been wandering outside the entrance of hell for long, they all looked worn and very anxious. Seeing Liu Xingfei entering, Chu Xiaoyue began weeping for great joy and said to the two girls next to him, "My brother…Brother Liu came! He come for saving us! He…he...save..." she collapsed and fell backwards.

     

    "Xiaoyue!" Liu Xingfei waved the sword to cut off several bars and rushed in to hold Xiaoyue.

     

    Touching her pulse, his got relieved: it seemed that she’d just been in a state of tense and horror too long and exhausted. As his expectation, she came out of a coma not long after taking a pill.

     

    One of the other two girls was still in a trance, sitting on the floor, gasping unevenly. Her eyes were sweeping on Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    The other one appeared a little better. After calming down, she inclined her head in a little bow to greet Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan, "Warriors, thanks a lot for saving us. I’m from the Family of Shen in Caohe Town. Owing too much to you, I wish I may pay you back… "

     

    Awkward as this girl’s current appearance was, she seemed to be some well-brought-up girl from big family. The Chu Village was just under the jurisdiction of Caohe Town. They might send her home by the way on the way back.

     

    Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan exchanged glances and nodded. Then Liu Xingfei looked at the other curtain and said, "See what’s there first…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan opened the other curtain— the space behind it was not big, a bed and a big box inside. He tried to open it but it was locked.

     

    "The key may be with..." Wei Gaoyuan meant the man in white.

     

    Liu Xingfei came in with Xiaoyue. He did not go out of the cabin to find the key, but directly pulled the sword to break the lock.

     

    The lock was not so strong as Liu Xingfei’s blade.

     

    As the lock cracked with a bang, he opened the box. And a lot of gold and silver coins, jewels and jewelry scattered onto the ground.

     

    "Oh, my god, my eyes!” Wei Gaoyuan's eyes narrowed, as if they were hurt by the big box of shiny stuff. Not surprisingly, he’d been so poor for more than ten years; it was the first time he’d ever seen so much treasure suddenly.

     

    Liu Xingfei seemed not that excited, he said calmly, "Junior brother, just find something you like, You may take three of them; the half of the remaining will be distributed to the surrounding villagers; and the other half, we’ll take it back to the outer section."

     

    Jesus! I could take three!? Wei Gaoyuan was overjoyed, suddenly feeling not much hurt in his chest now…

     

    He could only tell a few names of those in the box. Hesitating for a few moments, he just took three big gold ingots…

     

    Liu Xingfei smiled,"Hey~ man~ why don't you take jewelry?"

     

    "I don't know what to take; the gold ingot is worth more…uh… it might be…" Wei Gaoyuan was embarrassed and gave a silly smile.

     

    Liu Xingfei shook his head slightly and picked up a necklace with a milky gem pendant. He handed it to Wei Gaoyuan, "It’s worth more than the big guys in your hand, take it~"

     

    "Ah… Really?" Wei Gaoyuan put down the gold ingots and took the necklace, scanning it up and down: it was beautiful, indeed, especially the exquisite pendant, like a snowflake, Xiaoxue might like it…

     

    (The given name of his sister, Xiaoxue, means snow in Chinese.)

     

    Liu Xingfei continued to searching in the box, also took a necklace and a pair of jade bracelets for himself.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan thought for a moment and took a pair of gold bracelets, but he looked kind of hesitating again as they felt not so heavy as the gold ingot…

     

    Liu Xingfei found a big bag, bigger than the Universe in Bag. He opened it—a bag full of golden beans. He immediately tied it up and threw it to Wei Gaoyuan, "This one~ It might be more useful than the gold ingot~"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan took and opened it, exactly, the average merchant could hardly exchange that big gold ingot, so he put it into his bosom pocket quickly.

     

    Liu Xingfei then chose another little yellow gem himself. After that, they carried the treasure box and went out with the three girls.

     

     

    The dark curtain of night covering the entire woods, the valley was in a thorough silence. No one had noticed that the body of the man in white lying still in the woods had been turning dried up, like a deflated balloon.

     

    It was very abnormal that his body began to dehydrate just less than an hour after the death…

     

     

    There was still no sunlight penetrating the clouds to light the darkest night. The rooster in Chu Village had begun to sing; the candlelight in the houses was shining quietly; some villagers were going on a patrol at the entrance of the village.

     

    When the horizon turned bright little by little, one person suddenly jumped up and shouted alertly, "Keep your eyes open! Someone seemed to be coming here! Over there…"

     

    "Don't worry, Old Fourth Brother, it shouldn’t the bandits… no horse," Chu Shangao responded calmly.

     

    "Is that young warrior Liu and Wei?!" lit up the eyes of man who was called Old Fourth Brother, then shook his head again and muttered, "no…no… they won’t be coming back so soon…they left just one day ago..."

     

    "The bandits can’t stand a chance against the warriors of the Mystery! I am just worried whether Xiaoyue is still…" Chu Shangao sighed.

     

    "Hey! Hey! Just shut up your big jinx mouth! Are you her father?!" the Old Fourth Brother said after spitting, "Xiaoyue is so sweet and nice, and…God save her…she has nine lives!"

     

    "Thank you for your kind words…" Chu Shangao sighed softly. Meanwhile, he’d already hold the handle of the scimitar "Everyone be careful! But don't act rashly!"

     

    The figures in distance got close to the entrance in a few minutes. Chu Shangao got lightened as he’d seen them clearly. He laughed, "It’s Xiaoyue!! They’re back! "

     

    "Great! I said Xiaoyue would be fine!" the Old Fourth Brother and the villagers around were relieved with a long breath.

     

    A shout came from distance, "Uncle Chu~ We’re back~~"

     

    A few men opened the fence door and rushed out, helping the young heroes to carry the big box.

     

    When Xiaoyue flew into Chu Shangao’s arms and couldn’t refrain from weeping, some villager opened the box, and then screams exploded around the box and the crowds were stirred up…

     

    Certainly, these villagers had never saw such a full box of treasure.

     

    "Everyone has a share~~" Liu Xingfei laughed, sat down against the box, waiting for the dawn to distribute the treasure.

     

    ...

     

    A few lanterns dimly flickered in an ancient burial chamber, making this small space filled with a Stygian darkness and creepy feeling of endless death; there were complicated and weird patterns, lines and words on the ground, seeing like some ancient incantation or some unknown Formation.

     

    A inky coffin stood vertically in the center of the chamber.

     

    Suddenly, the lid of the coffin made a creaky noise, and a low hoarse voice came from inside of the coffin, "Yin Slave was dead? This junk!... Who… killed him? Destroy my plan! Just sacrifice… everything of you… to me!!"

     

    (Formation: “Zhenfa” in Chinese, divided into multiple categories depending on its function, for instance, Battle Formations are tactical formations used by an army of cultivators or martial artists attacking or stopping their enemies in concert; Spell Formations, also called Magic Circles, are used to cast a continuous area-of-effect spell on the location the formation encompasses, or to summon something, to name only a few.)


    Formation 

     

     



  • Chapter 39 You Touched My Brother

    Ten days later, Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan returned to the outer section of East Mountain Sword Clan.

     

    The two young hunters not only succeeded in rooting out the bandits for Chu Village, but also brought back half a box of treasure. After verification by the Exchange House, they were finally rewarded with twenty contribution points— five extra points for bonus.

     

    Regarding the distribution of twenty contribution points, they had different opinions when receiving it at the Exchange House. Liu Xingfei supposed that Wei Gaoyuan had played a huge role in fighting against the man in white, and also helped himself to achieve the goal of saving his friend, so he’d love to give all twenty points to Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Although Wei Gaoyuan grew up poor and had been low in status since his birth, he knew the fundamental morals of Jianghu as well as the meaning of “brother” and “companion”; Moreover, he’d certainly learnt a lot from Liu Xinfei during the mission; despite being injured in the combat, he’d got recovered overnight after taking Liu Xingfei’s pill, really a wonder pill; so Wei Gaoyuan insisted receiving no more than eight points.

     

    (Jianghu:a very significant concept in Chinese Martial Arts novel, figuratively referring to the “underground world of martial arts”. It’s an amazing section of society, almost separate from government and authority, consisting of martial artists, gangsters, thieves, beggars, prostitutes, merchants, entertainers, and anyone else wanting to operate outside of mainstream society or in the grey area of the law.)

     

    And finally, they reached a consensus: each of them got ten points. Then they just said goodbye and returned to their respective Peaks.

     

    After returning to Dark-Feather Peak, Wei Gaoyuan learned that something happened those days when he left:

     

    Cyan-Feather Peak and Scarlet-Feather Peak had got a little conflict.

     

    WEI Gaoyuan broke through to the ninth-level of the Mystery.

     

    And Hu Xiaoshu was beaten up, by WEI Gaoyuan.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan didn't care about WEI Gaoyuan's breakthrough in the stage, but he had to know why he beat up Hu Xiaoshu, his brother.

     

    ...

     

    Hu Xiaoshu's injury was not serious. He vomited blood after the conflict actually because of indignation.

     

    WEI Gaoyuan of Cyan-Feather Peak was clearly a little man, a fame-hound in Hu Xiaoshu’s heart. It was his brother Wei Gaoyuan, among the freshmen, who was the Martial Arts genius with a fake spiritual root. In his eyes, WEI Gaoyuan could never catch up with his brother Wei. So when the two young and spunky boys met, there was bound to be some hostile sparks exploding between them.

     

    That day, they two just argued with each other at first, and a few words later, both sides were provoked, and then a competition in Martial Arts came.

     

    With the strong support of Elder Xu, plus piles of rare herbs and pills Cyan-Feather Peak invested, WEI Gaoyuan quickly boosted his stage into ninth-level of the Mystery. How could Hu Xiaoshu compete with him? So without any effort at all, WEI Gaoyuan defeated Hu Xiaoshu, with only one stroke.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu could never forget the pride on the face of WEI Gaoyuan, and his words: "Then you see it? I am that real genius disciple! You, who just can’t take my one stroke, are not qualified to evaluate me, and the so called ‘genius’ in your mouth, your brother Wei, just tell him, I would always be waiting him at Cyan-Feather Peak..."

     

    He gave a special emphasis to the later “genius”.

     

    Hu Xiaoshu was not a slick talker naturally, too furious to argue anything. He began vomiting blood after returned to Scarlet-Feather Peak. And Wei Gaoyuan was just at Chu Village at that time.

     

    Lin was frightened while seeing his vomiting blood. So she reported the whole thing to the Elder of Scarlet-Feather Peak, who immediately sent a senior disciple to speak officially to the Cyan-Feather, which caused a small friction between the disciples of the two Peaks.

     

    Fortunately, it was not big deal, just the friction between the young disciples, but it indeed made the Elders of the two Peaks feel kind of embarrassed and humiliated.

     

    The two leading roles in this incident were both new disciples. The disciple of Scarlet-Feather Peak couldn’t take one stroke of the disciple of Cyan-Feather Peak. Did that indicate the education and cultivation of the former Peak had fell behind that of the later one?

     

    The Elder of Cyan-Feather Peak knew it plainly in his heart that his disciple WEI Gaoyuan could not compare to Wei Gaoyuan that Hu Xiaoshu defended. If Wei Gaoyuan heard of it after return, he wasn’t likely to stand by; who knew the current level of Wei Gaoyuan, the boy with the fake spiritual root? That might torn the loincloth of his Peak…

     

    No! He wouldn’t involve himself into any possibility of losing his old face again! He wouldn’t let WEI Gaoyuan meet Wei Gaoyuan!

     

    To improve WEI Gaoyuan's stage as quickly as he could before the two boys met, and it would be the best result that WEI Gaoyuan could take the lead in the examination for the new disciples at the end of this year, if so, his old face would be completely saved…

     

    ...

     

    Before the evening came, Elder Xu, the lead of Cyan-Feather Peak, was seen hurrying off his Peak to the direction of Dark-Feather Peak with a small jar of wine…

     

    At almost the same time, Wei Gaoyuan walked out of Hu Xiaoshu's residence. He left Scarlet-Feather Peak and went directly to the location of Cyan-Feather Peak.

     

    Deng Baisheng, who entered Cyan-Feather Peak four years ago, had reached the peak of eighth-level of the Mystery, not far from breaking through into the seventh-level.

     

    It was his turn today to guard Palace of Cyan-Feather, an easy job generally. Because the precepts and laws of the outer section was serious and well organized, few people dare go on the rampage on the Peaks.

     

    The time after dinner was always quite leisurely. Deng Baisheng leaned in front of the hall door, watching the sunset in the sky and thinking about his future life. Then, a boy in a black uniform appeared in the distant, stepping to Palace of Cyan-Feather steadily along the long stone steps.

     

    "The man of Dark-Feather Peak?" Deng Baisheng recognized the uniform. "Why do the disciple of Dark-Feather Peak visit our Peak at this time?"

     

    He stood upright and waited. Until the boy in black came close to the hall door, he greeted, "This junior brother of Dark-Feather Peak, welcome, and…what can I do for you?"

     

    "I'm coming for WEI Gaoyuan, I wonder if you could help me to inform him," surely, the boy in black was Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    He cared little about what WEI Gaoyuan had done on the day of selection. He would never, however, care little about what WEI Gaoyuan had done against his brother Hu.

     

    "For junior brother WEI?" Deng Baisheng immediately remembered Elder Xu’s command before going down the Peak that WEI Gaoyuan had retreated into a secret cultivation, and just told anyone that want to visited him to come after three months.

     

    WEI Gaoyuan was well known in Cyan-Feather Peak as a result of of Elder Xu's preference. Elder Xu said he was a rare genius. Recently a few people had come to visit him. Thus, in Deng Baisheng's opinion, it was not curious for the young boy in black to visit his peer brother for admiration, who’d, after all, broken through the Undistinguishment into the Mystery only two months after he entered Cyan-Feather Peak.

     

    He put on a routine look, saying, "Junior brother WEI has  broken through recently and been in a secret cultivation now. I’m afraid you need to wait for three months if you wanna visit him."

     

    "Three months?" Wei Gaoyuan smiled, and with a faintly mocking voice, he murmured, "Isn't the three months enough? Even if hide himself for three years, he thinks he can flee?! "

     

    Deng Baisheng was very close to Wei Gaoyuan, whose every word couldn’t escape his ears. He stared at Wei Gaoyuan and asked, "This junior brother, you come for revenge? "

     

    "Not for revenge, I just heard that brother WEI is a rare genius in Martial Arts, and had reached ninth-level of the Mystery. Therefore, I come today, just for learning from the genius..." Wei Gaoyuan’s words was lent from the story in the tea houses. In the story of Jianghu, warriors who issued a challenge was always saying like that.

     

    "Are you a freshman?" Deng Baisheng felt this boy was a bit interesting. To challenge a genius was indeed a good way to become famous overnight, as well as a good way to understand the cruel reality...

     

    He wouldn't reason with such a new guy, saying in a institutional tone, "Wanna challenge junior brother WEI, you have to come three months later. You can leave your name first and I’ll tell him later."

     

    "He really locked himself in for a secret cultivation, or just for avoiding me?" Wei Gaoyuan smiled coldly.

     

    “New boy, I have got no idea yet about the name of this junior brother from Dark-Feather Peak. And you think the disciple of Cyan-Feather Peak needs to avoid you?!” seeing a look of disdain on the face of the boy in black, Deng Baisheng changed his face suddenly and sneered coldly.

     

    "My name is Wei Gaoyuan; WEI Gaoyuan beat up my brother, Hu Xiaoshu; I come here, for his payback!" Wei Gaoyuan responded.

     

    "What?! You’re WEI Gaoyuan? And you…you beat up your brother? And come here to beat up…WEI Gaoyuan??" Deng Baisheng’s brain got a real short circuit at once…



  • Chapter 40 Cause and Effect

    Wei Gaoyuan knew the brother had misunderstood and explained, "My name is Wei Gaoyuan, ‘Wei’, not ‘WEI’ as your junior brother."

     

    "Well, I see," Deng Baisheng figured it out, "you, and junior brother WEI, your names were pronounced the same, but not the same character; he was the top genius among the freshmen, you are a unknown freshman; so, you wanna challenge him for gaining fame? "

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was amused by his words, beating up a disciple of ninth-level of the Mystery would become well known?

     

    Even if he could be famous by this way, that was only the fame in the outer section of East Mountain Sword Clan. It was no use at all to him. What he pursued was to be famous all over Jianghu and even let his name spread to every corner of the world, for his sister, Wei Xiaoxue...

     

    "Well, he won’t came out~ As long as he’s still in East Mountain Sword Clan, I’ll meet him sooner or later," Wei Gaoyuan said and turned away.

     

    Behind Wei Gayuan, Deng Baisheng was certainly very irritated at this boy, but as a rule in East Mountain Sword Clan, disciples were not allowed to fight with each other privately. Besides, as an old disciple, it was definitely not good to issue a personal challenge to a freshman, so he could only give a snort coldly and watch Wei Gaoyuan stepping down the Peak.

     

    However, he didn't expect the gossip just spreading fast like wildfire among the disciples of the outer section the next day after Wei Gaoyuan's departure. It was said that the talented new disciple WEI Gaoyuan of Cyan-Feather Peak didn’t dare to accept the challenge from someone of his peers, and hid himself as a tortoise.

     

    The head of Cyan-Feather Peak, Elder Xu, was fuming with rage after hearing it, shouting a thousand times, in Palace of Cyan-Feather, abuse at Elder Wu of Dark-Feather Peak…

     

    Considering the fake spiritual root of that arrogant boy, he guessed that before entering the outer section, the boy was most likely to break into ninth-level of the Mystery, and might reach the eighth-level half year later when the examination started at the end of this year. Hence, he had to figure out some means to make WEI Gaoyuan stronger rapidly...

     

     

    While Elder Xu was burning with rage, Elder Wu called Wei Gaoyuan alone into the back room of Palace of Dark-Feather, and asked, "Is it you who went to Cyan-Feather Peak to issue a challenge?"

     

    "Report to master, it’s me!" Wei Gaoyuan didn’t deny as he couldn’t.

     

    "Then is it also you who spread the news that WEI Gaoyuan daren’t accept the challenge?" Elder Wu added.

     

    "Report to master, it’s not me," Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    "Hum!" Elder Wu snorted softly. "Even if you didn't do it, you shouldn’t get away with it!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded. And he nodded when Hu Xiaoshu proposed the news-spreading strategy, so long as his own name wasn’t mentioned in the news.

     

    Elder Wu frowned and said, "You might not realize that you’d make Elder Xu, you know him, very humiliated…that means you’d offend the whole peak of Cyan-Feather..."

     

    "Ah? Is it so serious?" Wei Gaoyuan didn't think of such an effect. A conflict between a few new disciples would escalate to the level of Elder? He started a little worried about it.

     

    Seeing Wei Gaoyuan frowning, Elder Wu realized that the new boy actually knew little about the subtle and complex relationship among Peaks.

     

    So he started to explain with patience, "Elder Xu paid a high price to steal WEI Gaoyuan, who was found not the one he wanted; he must have been focusing much efforts on the boy, who leveled up so rapidly after entering his Peak, obviously, for getting back his lost face; and you, you just visit his Peak to slap his face again, at the right time and the right place…so how do you think he would think of you, boy?"

     

    "I... I didn't succeed slapping his face yet…" lowering his head, Wei Gaoyuan was talking to himself in a particularly low voice.

     

    "You didn’t? You didn’t?!! You just wish you could have slapped his face?!!!" Wei Gaoyuan underestimated Elder Wu's hearing… His master’s face was like a black stone now. "Thank god you didn’t! Or that old guy must keep missing you even in his dream! Just keep yourself always ready for the upcoming competition, from Cyan-Feather Peak… "

     

    Competition? Trouble precisely!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan, however, feared little about it. The rule of outer section prohibited disciples from fighting for killing each other; even a normal competition in martial arts, it must be done without any slight hurts to both sides. He’d underwent countless hurts, slight or severe, since the beginning of his childhood, so the upcoming trouble was just slight hurts at most,a pudding~

     

    ...

     

    With ten points of contribution points in hand, Wei Gaoyuan could go to the wind basin again to train himself for totally ten hours. And the next day he went there and paid three points.

     

    Due to the different terrains in the wind basin, the force of wind was also different. Wei Gaoyuan's current stage could only choose a area with relatively small wind. When he arrived, there were a few disciples there. So, he walked over a vacant lot and sat down to practice.

     

    After about half an hour, a voice came next to him, "This junior brother, you take my place."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan, who was engrossed in resisting the wind anytime, was startled by the sudden voice, and turned his head: a tall young man, wearing the uniform of Cyan-Feather Peak, was staring at him with an unfriendly look.

     

    The pudding was served so soon?

     

    He didn't get annoyed, but said calmly, "I don’t get your meaning, brother. When I came, there was no one here, and ..." He looked around — there was still plenty of space, plenty enough for at least two people to practice.

     

    The tall young man didn't seem to care about the surrounding space and smirked, "This junior brother may not know, I’d always been practicing here, for so long~~ I suddenly wanna take a leak just now, and…just left for a while, then I saw you. So, I’m talking with you~ "

     

    "No problem, brother, I’ll leave it to you~" Wei Gaoyuan walked to another vacant lot not far from here. He used "leave" rather than "return."

     

    Seeing Wei Gaoyuan’s concession, a scornful smile flashed on the corner of the tall man’s lips and vanished soon. He walked over and said to Wei Gaoyuan, "This place isn’t suitable for you, either~"

     

    "Oh?" Wei Gaoyuan frowned.

     

    The man of Cyan-Feather Peak gave a meaningful smile while seeing Wei Gaoyuan's expression changing. He said, "Junior brother, you may not know we’ve got four mates altogether practicing here…the other three… are going for a leak… as a team…you know, and will return soon…."

     

    "Well, I’ll leave when your mates come back," Wei Gaoyuan's attitude turned hostile as well as his look.

     

    The smile faded slowly from the face of the tall man of Cyan-Feather, "So, the junior brother wanna get yourself in trouble?"

     

    "Brother knows who gets me," Wei Gaoyuan sneered. "Previously, the disciple of Cyan-Feather did not dare to accept the challenge, and now send his brother here to trouble a freshman. Is it the tradition of Cyan-Feather Peak?"

     

    He was not exaggerating. The tall man was indeed a few years older than him and surely cultivated longer.

     

    The tall man’s face turned hot slightly, but he didn’t back off, staring at Wei Gaoyuan, "So, it’s just you, the new disciple of Dark-Feather, who went to our Peak to issue a challenge?"

     

    "Just went to resolve some personal issue, with your junior brother WEI. Maybe the brother who guarded in Palace of Cyan-Feather misunderstood me, it’s not a challenge," Wei Gaoyuan said calmly.

     

    "Hum!" the tall man snorted coldly, and said. "You’re also a new disciple, aren't you? Undoubtedly, No.1 new disciple is junior brother WEI, everyone knows it, so you, a shallow new boy, are not worthy to challenge him!!"

     

    "Well…" Wei Gaoyuan smiled with taunts, “I finally got why WEI Gaoyuan locked himself in, I’m not worthy~ not worthy to challenge…"

     

    Then he turned his tone sharply, "But, I'm not going to challenge him actually; I'm going to talk with him, with my fist~"

     

    "Oh? Your fist? I just stood here, and take your three punches. If you can make me move even half a step, I’ll leave," the tall man said, abundant arrogance on the face. "But if you can’t, you have to take me one punch; if you can take mine, I’ll leave too; otherwise, just get your ass back to your Peak!”



  • Chapter 41 Nothing Happened

    You finally tore up your mask.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was not afraid of a competition, but now it was not the right time because he’d paid three contribution points and wasted on the dispute for a long time. If they went out the wind basin for a competition in Martial Arts, he would waste at least one point. Who paid for it ?

     

    So he shook his head and said, "Wanna a competition?  Tomorrow! Today, I just have to practice here."

     

    "What?! You dare say it again?!!" the tall man suddenly raised the voice.

     

    "I’d paid. Don't waste my time…" Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    The tall man’s eyes flashed devilish light and suddenly screamed angrily, "How dare you insult me!?"

     

    An annoying pudding, too sticky!

     

    As Wei Gaoyuan was thinking how to get rid of it, the tall man gave him a palm-strike all of a sudden!

     

    Fortunately, Wei Gaoyuan had got ready secretly while the tall man became furious just now. He took a few steps back fast. Seeing the strike missed, the tall man raised his eyebrows and said in surprise, "Good! A nice dodge! Just look at this one!"

     

    With a sneer in his heart, the tall man moved his steps swiftly close to Wei Gaoyuan and shot another palm-strike.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan moved aside about one meter this time, and avoided it again.

     

    "No wonder you dare go to Cyan-Feather Peak to challenge! Look at this!" the tall man’s expression became serious. He started to run and concentrate his Internal Qi before the third strike came out.

     

    After a short while, the third palm-strike was shot, with a howl of wind.

     

    The strike seemed to be quite heavy and powerful, which had been roaring to cover and block almost all the ways to evade. Wei Gaoyuan found it was no time to run his Internal Qi together to take it, but to give out the pattern of “Iron Arch Bridge” right as the palm was just about to  bang into his chest!

     

    (Iron Arch Bridge: a life-saving Martial Arts trick usually used to dodge enemy's sudden Concealed Weapon which is too fast to be evaded by just jumping or moving aside. It has to keep the upper body stiff and suddenly leans backwards, with the feet still fixed into the ground.)

     

    The tall man’s palm was flying close over Wei Gaoyuan’s face and the wind of palm-strike blew his hair band away.

     

    After avoiding the third strike fortunately, Wei Gaoyuan was enraged! The power and speed of the palm-strike showed the tall man had reached at least the bottom of eighth-level. If hit, his ribs must have been broken! Did the guy intend to kill him?!

     

    The fighting of the two had attracted a few disciples’ attention in the distance. Some glanced over here, some talked, "What happened there? Is that Ji Huzhe? He’s bullying the new guy again??"

     

    The tall man was Ji Huzhe, who entered Cyan-Feather Peak four years ago and was 21 years old this year. With a boyish face, he just looked like a 17, 18 years old, though.

     

    The three strike all missed. Ji Huzhe's face turned extremely gloomy. Three patterns hadn’t beaten over a new guy. Perceiving the glances around him, he once again assembled his Internal Qi. In next strike, he must knock Wei Gaoyuan down!

     

    “I’ve taken your three patterns, it’s my turn…” feeling the power of Qi from Ji Huzhe had reached its summit, Wei Gaoyuan snorted and pulled out the sword at his back.

     

    Ji Huzhe was reminded that he should have taken Wei Gaoyuan’s three punch-strikes, but it turned out to let his opponent take the three strikes of himself. He couldn’t help but blushing with shame.

     

    At this moment, Wei Gaoyuan’s sword flashed over! The first pattern of “Eight Clouds in Dream”, his most powerful pattern!

     

    He knew the stage of this brother of Cyan-Feather was absolutely no less eighth-level. So, it must be the “first cloud.”

     

    There was nobody around who could tell how this sword-stroke was like except Ji Huzhe himself. He never thought Wei Gaoyuan would really pull out the sword and launch such a decisive sword-strike. Having been astonished for just a blink of eyes, he saw all sword-shadows with a few branches flying over him from all angles, as if the space around him were filled up with countless flying swords! How to resist so many swords!?

     

    "Am I going to die?!" Ji Huzhe couldn’t move or speak out but cried in his heart, "No! No! I don’t wanna die! You can't kill me!!!"

     

    Boom!

     

    In the looks of doubt and amazement around, Ji Huzhe hit the ground with a thud.

     

    The long sword of Wei Gaoyuan stopped in the air. Actually, as long as it kept moving an inch forward, there must have been a little hole between Ji Huzhe's eyebrows. Wei Gaoyuan didn’t want to, and mustn’t, kill his opponent, the brother from the same outer section after all; he just want to teach his opponent to quit.

     

    As soon as he stopped the sword, however, a wrist-thick branch in the wind was shooting and hit the temple of Ji Huzhe exactly, making him pass out immediately.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan didn’t expect such an accident either. Freezing in the silence and stillness for a while, he quickly reached for the breath of Ji Huzhe, who was, fortunately, still alive, only with a slight hurt next to his temple.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan took a long breath and then aware of many stares over here.

     

    He slid the sword back into the scabbard quickly and said aloud, "Sisters and brothers, please testify for me, this brother was injured by the branch just now…"

     

    There was no voice in response, only a number of curious gazes and discussion coming with the wind.

     

    "The little junior brother seems like a freshman, kind of cute~"

     

    "It should be, just pulling out the sword openly against Ji Huzhe, and defeated him by chance."

     

    "He was not only defeated, he was almost killed!"

     

    "Ji Huzhe was silly? Standing still just now to be stabbed?"

     

    "Who knows... Maybe…maybe that lovable boy’s sword pattern is too~too~magic that he was so frightened…"

     

    "Are you kidding me? That sword-stroke could frighten Ji Huzhe, an eighth-level, into a stupid statue?! "

     

    "Maybe he's not a new guy~"

     

    "Just look at him, he mustn’t be over 20 years old, I guess… Is it possible that no one knows such a disciple who entered two years ago and can defeat Ji Huzhe with only one sword-stroke??"

     

    "You made a good point! Anyway, I’m gonna get closer to my little junior brother~"

     

     

    As Wei Gaoyuan found no one responded and felt it would be another headache, a bunch of brothers and sisters suddenly gathered around him with all kinds of questions. Some sisters even reached out and gently squeezed his face…

     

    Hey, hey, brothers and sisters, I’m not a new monkey!!

     

    Before long, Wei Gaoyuan was dizzy by the rain of questions around, not noticing there were two disciples, in the uniforms of Law Enforcement Hall, standing quietly behind the crowd.

     

    (Law Enforcement Hall: a functional division responsible for maintaining law and order in the outer section. It is composed of disciples selected from all Peaks except the division of Garden of Nine Herbs.)

     

    After a long while, the voice around turned down gradually, and the two disciples of Law Enforcement Hall got their way out of the crowd and asked, "What's going on here? Anyone was fighting here?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan's heart sank, knowing that big trouble was coming soon. He lowered his head, wanting to explain. But before he opened his mouth, one sister in the uniform of Scarlet-Feather walked out of the crowd and said with a smile, "No one fought, we’ve been here for long~ Did anyone see any fight here?"

     

    A brother in the crowd, wearing the uniform of Dark-Feather, added, "I saw it clearly. Ji Huzhe was accidentally injured just now, by a branch in wind during his training. Junior brother Wei was just the closest to him and came for detecting his breath first. That’s it~"

     

    After the two took the lead to explain, the crowds didn’t deny it, and a few voices even agreed.

     

    There were some disciples of Cyan-Feather not far away, one of them was going to speak before someone pulled his sleeve from the back, "Just keep silent! He’d lost! Lost to a new guy!!”

     

    "Well," the disciple of Law Enforcement Hall said, "everyone, dismiss! Junior brother Ji was injured by a branch during training. He needs an immediate medical help!"

     

    The crowds gave a way soon for the two disciples of Law Enforcement Hall to lift Ji Huzhe out.

     

    Feeling hundreds of pounds lighter, Wei Gaoyuan nodded to the crowd to express his thanks, and glanced over the direction of the two disciples of Law Enforcement Hall, one of them looked back, gave him a smile and then left…



    Iron Arch Bridge


  • Chapter 42 The Sword of Farewell Autumn

    Before sunset, Wei Gaoyuan returned to Dark-Feather Peak. He obtained some herbs from the warehouse and soaked it into a large wooden tub of hot water, which turned into dark green nearly half an hour later.

     

    Then he soaked himself in the dark green water before a strong tingle came through his body soon. With the time passed by, the small wound from the practice within the wind basin healed, and the bruises and swellings also gradually disappeared.

     

    After a long while, he jumped out of the tub, feeling refreshed. Someone knocked on the door as he was getting dressed. He opened the door, it was Zhu Qinglong, who entered the Dark-Feather with him on the same day.

     

    "Junior brother Wei, master Wu sent me to inform you~ He’s waiting for you at the Back Peak. Come on~" Zhu Qinglong was half a year older than him, so he was called junior brother.

     

    The master’s command! Wei Gaoyuan didn’t dare to hesitate and ran to the back of the Peak. The sky was dark when he arrived Afterglow Pavilion, in which Elder Wu had already been waiting.


    He ran into the pavilion and made a bow, "Master! Disciple Wei Gaoyuan, at your command."

     

    "You kid just came back a few days ago, and twice had you offended the Cyan-Feather Peak twice. That old Xu’s been complaining so much these days to me…" Elder Wu got straight to the point with smiling, little blame in his tone.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan could naturally figure it out, scratching his head and saying, "Report to master, I shouldn’t be to blame for the incident today. It was Ji Huzhe who took the initiative to attack me. I’d taken his three palm-strike before I struck him back. And… I didn’t hit him, it’s a big branch… thrown by the wind."

     

    "Well, fortunately, the branch stunned him, otherwise you ‘re now in Law Enforcement Hall," Elder Wu said, then he fixed his eyes on Wei Gaoyuan and asked, "I heard… you almost killed that boy, with one pattern of swordsmanship. Ji Huzhe, at nearly the bottom of eighth-level, entered Cyan-Feather four years ago…How could you do that? "

     

    "It ...he maybe…careless?" Wei Gaoyuan was not so sure indeed.

     

    An eighth-level, same level as himself, should dodge it at that time even though couldn’t take it. He did know little about what the “first cloud” was like in his opponent’s eyes.

     

    "Maybe? Maybe…" Elder Wu nodded. He didn’t know “Eight Clouds in Dream.”

     

    "Do remember! If anyone asks about it, you just reply he launched an attack first and was then stunned by a branch, carelessly…Do not explain anything else!” Elder Wu instructed.

     

    "Got it! Master!" Wei Gaoyuan nodded seriously.

     

    In the story, he often heard “The bird who takes the lead will take the bullet first.” Besides, he was realizing more and more about the relationship, behind the scenes, among the Peaks.   

     

    "Well, this chapter ends," Elder Wu seemed quite satisfied with Wei Gaoyuan's response. "In terms of the pattern of swordsmanship you used to defeat Ji Huzhe, where did you learn it? If possible, can you show it to me here and now?"

     

    "Report to master, I learned it from a senior. Sure, I would appreciate your guidance," Wei Gaoyuan turn to observe the trees not far away as he was speaking, looking for a suitable branch as a sword.

     

    It was rude for a disciple to see the elders with a sword, so he came without his sword. Elder Wu seemed to have considered it, throwing him a sword, "Just use this one!"

     

    "Ah!" Wei Gaoyuan took the sword in surprise.

     

    It was master’s private sword! He heard that Elder Wu had collected three great swords, of which each was very extraordinary and precious. Is it just one of the three?

     

    With a crisp sound from the scabbard, like a warbling of a lark, the sword was pulled out by Wei Gaoyuan. As a swordsman who held the most excellent sword he’d ever seen, his hand was flapping slightly with excitement.

     

    "Oh? Feeling the call of the sword?" Elder Wu laughed. "Do you want it?"

     

    Embarrassed, Wei Gaoyuan’s expression told a hundred “sure” in his heart.

     

    The laugh of Elder Wu didn’t fade, "The name of the sword is ‘Farewell Autumn’, made by a Taoism Follower in our inner section. It cuts iron like cutting a cake… On the day you reach The Nature… if I’m still the Elder of Dark-Feather Peak that day… ‘Farewell Autumn’ will be yours."

     

    "Thank you master! I will, I promise!" Wei Gaoyuan bowed respectfully.

     

    "Just thank me when you’ll!" Elder Wu nodded calmly. "Then, let me see the beauty of that pattern."

     

    "Yes!" Wei Gaoyuan took “Farewell Autumn” to the clearing outside Afterglow Pavilion.

     

    The original eight sword patterns in the scroll was so excellent that it would even go beyond the power of ordinary Martial Arts into the power of Sword Taoists if it was used by a strong enough martial artist.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was not the strong enough certainly, but after the modification in the dream space, “Eight Clouds in Dream” had been added something mysterious and inexplicable; only its target could tell its mystery, so in the view of Elder Wu, that pattern seemed nothing more than an ordinary one when Wei Gaoyuan finished it.

     

    "One more time, use it to attack me!" Elder Wu walked over him.

     

    He thought that pattern shouldn’t be so simple on the surface, otherwise Cyan-Feather Peak of old Xu would be closed up and dismissed.

     

    "Ah? ... Master..." Wei Gaoyuan’s mouth opened wide.

     

    "Don't be afraid! I command you, just give it all," Elder Wu laughed. "You think you could hurt me, eh?"

     

    Silly, that was my master! Wei Gaoyuan withdrew his concern and raised “Farewell Autumn.”

     

    "Master, look out!"

     

    On Wei Gaoyuan's sword stabbing out, Elder Wu's pupils instantly constricted! Even he had a sudden illusion that several sword shadows were shooting over him from all directions, and it returned to normal soon. But the next moment his face changed suddenly, he reached out fast and caught the tip of the sword in front of him!

     

    "A senior taught you this pattern?!" Elder Wu's expression turned very serious. The pattern could even influence the vision and judgment of himself, a martial artist in the Nature, even if for only a second. It was amazing enough!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan thought for a while and replied, "Yes, master, I learned it from a woman in white, whose cuff was embroidered with… a cloud pattern…”

     

    "Cloud-Heaven Palace?!!" Elder Wu's body suddenly straightened, with eyes wide, wide open. He didn’t keep his astonishment secret and asked, "you met the people from Cloud-Heaven Palace?!"

     

    "I don’t know the exact identity of that woman, just vaguely remembers her dress," Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    And thinking about it now, he seemed to understand why the woman in white gave him a secret scroll instead of taking him with his sister; she might have seen into him at first sight— his aptitude was hopeless to cultivate the Taoism Arts while acceptable to the Martial Arts.

     

    Elder Wu in shock didn’t continue asking. He tried to imagine what had happened to this boy at that time, and soon got a conclusion similar to Wei Gaoyuan’s.

     

    Cloud-Heaven Palace was, undoubtedly, the top sect in the world of Taoism Followers, thus it must care little to take back a boy with the fake spiritual root to cultivate martial arts. Perhaps, the woman in white supposed that leaving the boy a scroll of Martial Arts would earn herself a Positive Karma.

    (Karma: cosmic merit or demerit accumulated throughout one’s life based on one’s deeds. It determines which type of reincarnation—out of the Six Paths—they will experience in their next life.)

     

    The scroll seemed to be extremely unusual. The first pattern simply done by an eighth-level could make the Elder of Peak so impressed; if the boy learned all in the scroll, who knew how strong he would be?

     

    Indeed, there was a reward mechanism in the outer section: A disciple who contributed a valuable secret scroll of Martial Arts would get a corresponding reward. Accordingly, he wouldn’t mind, if it was an average secret scroll, advising Wei Gaoyuan to get some reward he needed by submitting it. However, it was the scroll from Cloud-Heaven Palace; even the East Mountain Sword Clan wouldn’t touch this beautiful rose with thorns.

     

    "You keep hiding it well, never take it out easily, never told anybody you’ve met the senior of Cloud-Heaven Palace… Even in the future, do—not—disclose—it!!" Elder Wu emphasized.

     

    In general, there were at least two force in the world: Orthodoxy and Unorthodox; the Righteous and the Evil. For those who were always so bold and outrageous, a splendid secret scroll would be worth far more than their own lives, let alone to get it by all means available was just likely to risk themselves offending Cloud-Heaven Palace.

     

    Moreover, the highest reputation of Cloud-Heaven Palace spread widely only in the ocean of Taoism Followers, little fish and shrimps in Jianghu might never heard of it.

     

    But never, ever underestimate a flood of seemingly little fish and shrimps.

     

     

     



  • Chapter 43 See You Here Again

    Eight productive days went by so fast. These days, Wei Gaoyuan went to the wind basin to train himself for about an hour each day; most of the rest of time he kept strengthening his Internal Qi and practicing how to control and use it well; at night, he infiltrated into the dream space to learn and cultivate “Eight Clouds in Dream.”

     

    In the past few days, there had been two or three small frictions between the disciples of Cyan-, Dark- and Scarlet-Feather, without casualties, fortunately.

     

    And unfortunately, Wei Gaoyuan was running out of the contribution points…

     

    During the day in the outer section, there was no place busier than the Exchange House, which was even more lively than the wind basin; there were always crowds of disciples in and out there, who were looking for their suitable missions or exchanging kinds of items.

     

    Every two years, the East Mountain Sword Clan would launch a selection for enrolling new disciples, ten to twenty people each time; they would graduate after about twenty years, which was also called “Going Down the Mountain.”

    The selection, however, was not the only access to get into the clan. For example, if some rich family could afford a quite large price, they could also get their offspring a ticket, as so-called “registered disciples”; surely, so could some other related connections. Therefore, there were as many as hundreds of disciples in the clan now.

     

    Although a saying went: The rich Martial Artist and the poor scholar, learning Martial Arts well did depend much on talents. As a result, those disciples who entered through the selection tended to been more highly valued in the clan due to their talents.

    And for Jin Dashun, he just belonged to those who owned little outstanding talents in Martial Arts. For two years, since entering Garden of Nine Herbs, he had not reached the Mystery, or not even the Transforming Force of the Undistinguishment. Among the registered disciples entering in the same period, he was nicknamed “Power 5”— A man whose combat ability was only 5 points.

     

    However, god opened a window for him while closing his door; Jin Dashun was a real genius in planting herbs. He was able to bring any seed to a beautiful life. And that was why few disciples looked down upon the hotshot of Garden of Nine Herbs despite his 5 combat power.   

     

    And now, Jin Dashun was submitting a mission in the Exchange House on behalf of the Elder in  Garden of Nine Herbs: To bring the seed of Full Moon Flower.

     

    Full Moon Flower, cold in property, bloomed only on the full moon night; it could not only neutralize the effect of Internal Qi of Yang, but also absorb Internal Qi of Yin; so it had the magic power to treat most internal injuries with either Yin or Yang Internal Qi, and was a significant ingredient in other elixirs as well.

     

    However, to get it was not that easy because it grew only in the places of extreme Yin, like an ancient cemetery.

     

    When Wei Gaoyuan came to the Mission Board, the mission of Full Moon Flower had just been pasted on. He glanced up at it: Difficulty— unknown; Reward— 30 contribution points.

     

    Staring at “30,” Wei Gaoyuan nodded with a sigh. Life was definitely far more precious than contribution points! Thinking of the bandit head in white encountered in last mission, he couldn’t help but get a chilly shiver.

     

    He moved his eyes onto other missions when one of his old acquaintances showed up not far behind him— Liu Xingfei.

     

    When Liu Xingfei arrived in the Mission Hall, he first saw Wei Gaoyuan standing in front of the board. Stopping for a second with a little surprise, he walked straight to the Mission Board and tapped Wei Gaoyuan on the shoulder, "Hey~ Junior brother Wei, see you here again~"

     

    "Ah, brother Liu!" Wei Gaoyuan quickly greeted with a bow.

     

    "Come on~ Not that bow… Seeing you here means…" Liu Xingfei smiled, "your contribution points is run out??"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded, with a tortured and helpless face, "Our outer section is a bit stingy… it only took me a few days to use them up, that’s the points for which I exchanged my life~~"

     

    "Hahaha, the contribution point in our outer section was supposed bigger than monetary stuff~ So, it's not easy to get it," Liu Xingfei smiled, putting his hand on the shoulders of Wei Gaoyuan, "or…how about working together again? "

     

    "Good, certainly, if brother Liu could let me in your team~ And… what do you think of that one?" Wei Gaoyuan directly pointed to the mission of Full Moon Flower.

     

    "Oh? Another unknown difficulty?" Liu Xingfei revealed a curious look as he was skimming through it and murmured, "uh…the seeds of Full Moon Flower… Is our outer section short of Full Moon Flower?"

     

    After thinking for a while, he raised his head and said, "It must have been listed by someone of Garden of Nine Herbs… Jin Dashun? Perhaps… Except for too mean, he is a good guy~ Thirty contribution points, even much higher than the last mission we did…”

     

    Hearing “the last mission,” Wei Gaoyuan's face looked as if he had eaten rotten cabbage.

     

    In terms of last mission, he’d asked other brothers: a mission with a seventh-level enemy should be classified as a three-star difficulty, at least 30 points. Yet they got only 20, almost losing their lives and bringing back half a chest of treasure.

     

    "Or, we move to another one?" Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    "Okay~ Just skip those unknown difficulty, after all, it’s Fatty Jin who might post that mission; you don’t know him, in any deal, he’ll never throw himself in a lower position…" while speaking, Liu Xingfei turned his attention to other missions without noticing a fat, just slightly fat, disciple behind him was walking slowly over here.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan saw it, and thought it was just someone searching for missions. But unexpectedly, that disciple said with a bitter forced smile, "Brother Liu, I’m so sad to be that low in your heart~ But, you know, the contribution point was precious, I have to be most careful, with so little authority given by my Elder, so little…"

     

    After Jin Dashun submitted the mission, he wandered around the trading area to search anything fancy, and wanted to confirm before leaving if his mission had been listed on the board, and he just heard Liu Xingfei was highly commending himself.

     

    In the Exchange House, Liu Xingfei didn't have to keep vigilant, and was startled by the voice behind. He suddenly turned around and found “Fatty Jin” of his remark.

     

    He didn't show any embarrassment and regrets but continued to scold with a smile, "Hi, Fatty Power 5~~You’ll win if you can tell any time you did not hold back the contribution point, won’t you?"

     

    “Well, well, I’m so lucky to get a new title… But every one knows I’m not fatty at all~ Just a slight…beefy! ”in fact, Jin Dashun was not so fatty.

     

    He did not get angry, but laughed awkwardly and said, "My brother Liu, you know I come from the merchant's family; you also know, there is no such a merchant as hates a fortune. So~ if a flock of wild geese flew over my head,” Jin Dashun stopped and then continued as rolling his head, “I have to pluck just one feather from each of them. It’s reasonable! Could you find anything more reasonable, logical than that?”

     

    "One feather? It must be one handful of feathers from each one!” Liu Xingfei rolled his eyes and responded, “okay, no nonsense, 60 points, junior brother Wei and I just help you to take this mission! "

     

    He seemed to know Jin Dashun quite well and directly doubled the reward.

     

    Jin Dashun rolled his eyes and grumbled, "Brother Liu, my dear brother Liu, you’re trapping me! The elder allocated a total of 50 points to this mission! Just 50 points in total! I can’t run a special errand for the Garden, and return at the cost of losing my own points…" he stopped at once while realizing he’d let it slip.

     

    But Liu Xingfei didn’t stop, "To believe you? I’d rather believe I could plant Full Moon Flower myself!"

     

    "…" Jin Dashun kept frowning and shaking his head with a sigh, which made Wei Gaoyuan think that Liu Xingfei’s bid seemed too high.

     

    Liu Xingfei estimated it was nearly the right time. He stretched out his arm and opened his hand, "One price, 50 points! Leave 10 points for your errand, much more than ‘one feather,’ you take it, or we leave it. "

     

    Jin Dashun looked still hesitating, embarrassment on his face fading away little.

     

    Seeing his reaction, Liu Xingfei proceeded to threw a little more gasoline on the little flame, "I guess you know, few hunters in the outer section never heard the wonderful things about you, except the new comers like junior brother Wei, who are about…Err…"he turned to Wei Gaoyuan. “How many new guys like you?”

     

    “About 10,” Wei Gaoyuan answered.

     

    “10 new guys… all together, to find the seed of Full Moon Flower, too~~ easy~~”  

     

    Jin Dashun sighed again, and said with a painful face, "Alright…alright! Just follow brother Liu, you know, I’m just cutting myself to feed you! 50 points!! And… don’t forget me if you get something nice during the mission~ Wish you good luck!"

     

    "Of course, we will, if we get~" Liu Xingfei responded with a smile as planning out the mission in mind.

     

    He was not unfamiliar with the Full Moon Flower. Even if some brothers or sisters would like to join in, it might not go smoothly…



  • edited December 2019
    Chapter 44 A Side Dish

    Huyang Town, a remote small town ruled by Qizhou City, was the farthest town from Qizhou City, but it was only seven- or eight-days walking distance from the East Mountain Sword Clan.

     

    This day, four people entered the town, two men and two women, all in the uniforms of the East Mountain Sword Clan.

     

    The men were Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan; one of the women looked older than the other three, and the other was about the same age as Liu Xingfei.

     

    The four came to a tavern in the market of the town, which was not big but quite full and lively. An bold official notice was posted beside the door. They skimmed it quickly and entered the tavern with doubts.

     

    In Jianghu, such a place as a tavern might be the best to get all kinds of information, tips, scandals and gossip, worthless or priceless.  

     

    The waiter immediately came and greeted them as Liu Xingfei sat down and asked him, "This brother, could you please tell me what that notice is about?"

     

    The waiter glanced over the two comely girls of the four, revealing a little anxiety, and asked, "Warriors and fairies, are you disciples of some clan?"

     

    "Exactly," Liu Xingfei said. "We’re all from the East Mountain Sword Clan."

     

    The concern on the waiter’s face faded. He whispered, "You might not know… recently… our town is not peaceful, people missed! Frequently missed…weird! They are all girls!! All unmarried girls…”

     

    He stopped and turned laughing, “but I suppose the evil stuff never dare disturb you warriors and fairies~"

     

    "Oh?" Liu Xingfei showed surprise and continued, "I saw a curfew of 6 p.m. on the notice. Does it mean something… Err…unusual…will happen in the town after sunset?"

     

    The waiter looked around, and replied in a lower voice after making sure nobody had noticed their conversation, "About ten days ago, a girl went missing in the town! After receiving the report, the Defensive Officer sent out Captors to investigate around the town for more than ten days but got nothing finally…” the waiter sighed. “And later, several more girls vanished! No one knows who did it and why…”

     

    Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan exchanged glances: wasn't it similar to the case in Chu Village? Wasn’t the bandit head in white the only Unorthodoxer that cultivated in an evil way? It was an organized gang or just a coincidence?

     

    The oldest sister of them, Qiu Mengqin, was one of the disciples of Blue-Feather Peak, the same Peak as Liu Xingfei’s. She’d planned to start a journey for gaining experience, and helped junior brother Liu with the mission by the way. None of them expected to encounter such a blip before getting any information useful to the mission.

     

    The whole Qizhou City was sheltered by the four major sects, so they just couldn’t ignore what the people in Huyang Town had suffered. Qiu Mengqin said, "Well, we eat first, then go to the local government to inquire, and…do them a favor?"

     

    "Sure, that’s we should do~ Just follow sister Qiu," Liu Xingfei nodded. The other two nodded too.

     

    ...

     

    When silence fell and covered Huyang Town with the dark night, a stooping Watchman, carrying a little yellow paper lantern, walked slowly on the street, like an aimless ghost wandering alone on the earth.

     

    (Watchman: refers to the person whose job was to knock bamboo sticks or gongs every night to remind people what time is it now.)

     

    After having walked through three streets, he knocked on the door of a house in a corner.

     

    "Who’s there?!" a man’s squawk came from inside the room.

     

    "Me… Old Qiao of the Watchman… I’m tired…wanna a drink of water…" said the Watchman outside the house.

     

    The door clattered open after a while, and a middle-aged man in a coarse cloth said by the door, "Hey~Old Qiao! Come in please~"

     

    Old Qiao looked very old. He stumbled into the room and sat on a bench in front of a square table.

     

    The house was only a dozen square meters where a few simple and outdated furniture was scattered. Old Qiao glanced at the bedroom with a portiere and said, "Thanks a lot…Your daughter slept?"

     

    "Yes, little Cao and her mother have fallen asleep," the middle-aged man put a chipped bowl, full of clear water, on the table in front of Old Qiao.

     

    "Er…" Old Qiao grinned, showing the rest of his yellow teeth, "little Cao… a good girl… She should be 15 years old..."

     

    "Just fifteen a month ago, I was thinking about… marrying her off," the middle-aged man nodded with a silly smile.

     

    "15 years old…15… the most beautiful age…" Old Qiao murmured, " my lord's favorite… Liang Third, thank you…"

     

    "Eh??" The middle-aged man didn't hear it clearly, staring at Old Qiao and waiting him to repeat.

     

    The smile on Old Qiao’s face suddenly turned weird as his empty eyes burst into light. With his hand raising up, a jet of tiny dark stuff was shooting at the middle-aged man!

     

    The middle-aged man’s throat was penetrated by it before he understood what was happening; his eyes widened desperately; his jaw kept trembling, without any words coming out, though.

     

    With the figure of familiar Old Qiao gradually blurred and stranger in the eyes, the middle-aged man’s body became limp, sliding from the seat to the ground, and soon motionless.

     

    Old Qiao glanced at the body lying on the ground while drinking the clear water in the bowl unhurriedly, and then stood up and walked to the bedroom.

     

    A woman's voice came from the bedroom, "What’s the noise? Liang Third, you fell?"

     

    Old Qiao straightened his hunchback abruptly and pulled off the portiere. In the dark, the woman failed to get a good look at the face of the man standing outside the bedroom. She said, "It’s good, you didn’t fall~ What did you bump into? I’ve said those big stuff…shouldn’t occupy the yard, you just ... "

     

    "Ah!!" she gave a harsh scream suddenly while found the person by her bed was a stranger, "Old…Who are you?! How did you get in?!!"

     

    There was a girl sleeping in the bed next to hers, waking up from the woman's scream, rubbing her eyes and asking in a sweet tone, "Mom… what’s up…at midnight…"

     

    "Cao, he ...Err…"

     

    The woman had just spoken two words as Old Qiao raised his hand again and another dark stuff flashed before the woman's voice stopped abruptly.

     

    A moment later, some noise of collision in the bedroom came; the woman fell from the bed and never moved anymore.

     

    The young girl called little Cao, on the other bed, was clearer in the head after the noise. She was sitting up and said, "What happened? Dad? Mu…"

     

    Old Qiao grabbed her neck before she could exclaim, and meanwhile hit the back neck of the girl, who passed out immediately.

     

    Seeing the 15-year-old girl in his arms, whose white chest was covered only by a red bellyband, Old Qiao licked his lips, pulled up the sheets from the bed to wrap the girl around and put her on his shoulder.

     

    ...

     

    A new moon hung in the inky sky.

     

    Most people in Huyang Town had blew out the candles to go to bed. No one noticed the faint rattling noise on the roofs.

     

    Old Qiao carried the girl on his shoulder, and hared and leapt fast over the houses, from one roof to another. It didn’t take him long to come near the entrance of the town. A smile revealed on the corner of his mouth: so long as he went out of the town wall, the girl on his shoulder was going to vanish into the darkness forever; and then return for the next target…who could have thought that such an ordinary enough stooping Watchman was the one who’d committed the cardinal sin in the small town?

     

    Just as he was enjoying himself, a figure appeared in front of him.

     

    He got startled, a dark poisonous Four Point Star (one kind of the Concealed Weapon) secretly sliding into his hand from inside of his sleeve. But when he got a good look at the person in the front, he was relieved and couldn't help laughing in his heart.

     

    It turned out to be a young lady, who looked pretty shy with her head down; the long hair like smooth black silk covered a half of her face; from the dress, she should be unmarried.

     

    What a wonderful night of good harvests!

     

    The street was so dim that Old Qiao could not see the age of the lady, but as long as she was a virgin, he wouldn’t mind adding a side dish for his lord.

     

    Changing into a kind face, Old Qiao bent his back and walked over her step by step," Oh, Little girl, why still walking in the street alone, it’s late now…don’t you know Huyang Town has got a strict curfew recently?"

     

    Shaking her head, the lady didn't speak and just sobbed into her handkerchief.

     

    "Oh, dear… poor girl, someone must push you around," Old Qiao looked like a kind elder, and said gently, "if you don’t mind, let me take you home…Believe me, everything’s gonna be fine…"


    Four Point Star



    The Watchman

  • Chapter 45 The Street Battle

    The woman looked shy, nodding her head twice and walked forward slowly.

     

    A joy appeared in Old Qiao's eyes. When the woman passed by him, he kept himself behind her half a step. After looking around to make sure there was nobody, he suddenly hit the woman's neck.

     

    While the woman ahead was about to be hit, a little more joy was added in his eyes. At that moment, however, the woman suddenly bent down, making her body one foot lower, and just dodged the sneak attack from behind; the woman turned around and raised her sleeve to struck Lao Qiao's chest!

     

    Old Qiao seemed to be a quite experienced man who knew a lot about Jianghu filled any time with potential shock and surprise. Once his sneak attack missed, all by instinct, he took a step back fast, and meanwhile kicked the woman's sleeve, in which something just flashed; a short scimitar turned out to be kicked out of her sleeve.

     

    "It’s really you! Should I call you ‘Watchman?’" the woman made a voice of a boy, raising her head, pulling her long straight hair back, revealing a delicate and tender face.

    "Little boy!" Old Qiao asked coldly, "who are you? Dare to spoil my dinner, you wanna die early!?"

     

    He put the girl on his shoulders down while talking, reached into his waist and pulled out a short sword, staring at the boy disguised as a girl.

     

    "Con~gratulations~ Junior brother Wei, your fish bites..." A figure flashed out from behind a house. It was Liu Xingfei.

     

    The “girl” tied his long hair up behind his head. Surely, it was Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    In the afternoon, in the council chamber of the local government, four disciples of the East Mountain Sword Clan met with the Defensive Officer and law enforcement officers, as well as several public officials. They listed several suspects during discussion, including the Watchman Old Qiao .

     

    Old Qiao had lived in Huyang Town for nearly six decades; he’d always followed the rules and kept a low profile; no one saw him show any of Martial Arts. He should not be the suspect. On the contrary, Wei Gaoyuan thought he was the most probable one.

     

    In the teahouse, Wei Gaoyuan had heard many times in the story of Jianghu that there was a unbelievable disguise arts to precisely copy a man’s face: it used a sheet of substance, similar to human skin, to cover on the face of a body, and made a mask referring to the copy sheet, called “skin mask,” just exactly same as the face of the dead.

     

    If the now-Old Qiao was still the previous-Old Qiao, he was unlikely to be the criminal; but if not, then identity of a Watchman was his best cover: since the curfew began, only the Team of Law Enforcement and the Watchman owned the authority to move freely in the town, and the latter could act alone, obviously more convenient than the former’s group-patrol activity.

     

    So they made the plan: two girls of the East Mountain Sword Clan, in two groups, acted as the bait to fish the criminal at night.

     

    Because sister Qiu Mengqin didn’t look like a young ordinary girl even if she deliberately concealed most of her powerful Qi. Therefore, fortunately, Wei Gaoyuan was selected as one of the two “girls.”

     

    Wei Gaoyuan did not agree at first, but Liu Xingfei insisted that junior brother Wei was thin, and had smooth skin, and had a far more delicate and pretty face than himself…two sisters both kept nodding with a chuckle. So, he finally had to abide by the consensus of the team… and more fortunately, the fish seemed to like him more than the other.

     

    The genuine identity of Old Qiao was revealed whereas he looked little tensed up but sneered, "Two little calves, your mummy didn’t teach you never to disturb a tiger eating?"

     

    Without any words, Liu Xingfei drew out his long sword, and pointed to Old Qiao.

     

    Giving a smile, Old Qiao kicked the girl on the ground, who was still in a deep coma and shooting at Liu Xingfei.

     

    “Craven old bastard!” Liu Xingfei cursed in heart, and had to drew back his sword and pick up the girl in his arms.

     

    Old Qiao took the opportunity to rush to Wei Gaoyuan aside, and his short sword stabbed out as a rattlesnake hissed.

     

    As a beautiful bait, Wei Gaoyuan didn’t take his sword, the short scimitar kicked off, and he just hated the girl long dress very much. Therefore, he just had to dodge, and dodge, awkwardly.

     

    Old Qiao was an experienced fox, a strong fox, after a few rounds of fox and rabbit game, he gave out a sweep of kick, hitting Wei Gao Yuan’s hip, who was bound by the long dress, stumbling and falling with a crash.

     

    Old Qiao darted forward and was going to launch a final hit.

     

    Swish! An arrow struck at him in air from the distance, forcing him to give up Wei Gaoyuan to avoid it.

     

    At that time, Liu Xingfei had rushed over with his sword after  making the girl in her arms settled down. And meanwhile, a woman in white flew fast here from a distance, followed by a girl in a yellow gown and a few Captors.

     

    Faced with several enemies, Old Qiao’s pace seemed still steady, not disturbed at all. He parried Liu Xingfei's long sword with his short blade, and gave a palm-strike at Liu Xingfei's chest; so did Liu Xingfe; the two palms collided with a crash!

     

    A figure was blasted off and fell to the ground; it was Liu Xingfei.

     

    "Eighth-level baby~" Old Qiao snorted with contempt.

     

    The woman in white rushing at the front of the group was Qiu Mengqin. Just after a few long-distance leaps she arrived and struck Old Qiao with a sword-stab.

     

    “Come on! Kitty~Kitty~” Old Qiao laughed wickedly,  wielding the short sword to hold her long sword, his left hand turning the shape of an eagle claw to grab her throat.

     

    However, he miscalculated the opponent this time. A powerful force came straight though her blade upon the two swords crashing, repulsing him a few steps back; before he could make his pace firm again, Qiu Mengqin’s kick-strike had hit his waist; Old Qiao was kicked over, flew over several feet long, and hit the ground with a thud.

     

    "Fifth-level of the Mystery!!" Old Qiao was astonished.

     

    In such a remote little town just appeared such a strong woman. He knew he was definitely no match for her, waving his hand to shoot a Four Point Star at the face of Qiu Mengqin.

     

    Qiu Mengqin rushed to seize Old Qiao as feeling a strong wind suddenly came. She spun aside to avoid it, and Old Qiao took the opportunity to stood up and fled to the entrance of the town.

     

    Liu Xingfei just got up when Old Qiao whistled past him; Wei Gaoyuan had picked up the short scimitar and stopped his only way to escape; Old Qiao, who had a really splendid Gravity Defying Arts, jumped so high over Wei Gaoyuan’s head and flew outside of the town.

     

    (Gravity Defying Arts: as one technique in Chinese traditional Martial Arts, it can greatly improve the ability to run, jump, and move, even enable a man to stand or move on non-load-bearing objects, or lift himself higher in the air by stepping on a few small objects.)

     

    Wei Gaoyuan did not hesitate to turn and chase after him, followed the voice of Qiu Mengqin, "Be careful! Junior brother Wei! He’s a sixth-level!!"

     

    "Junior brother Wei, take your sword!" the woman in yellow had arrived, one sword hanging around her waist, and the other one in her hand, that was Wei Gaoyuan's sword.

     

     

    Wei Gaoyuan ran after Old Qiao as fast as he could. It would be quite difficult to hunt at night if the old fox slipped into the woods in front of the road outside the town.

     

    Old Qiao didn't dare to stop for a second, fearing that fifth-level woman would chase up.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan and Qiu Mengqin kept chasing, helplessly, slowing down now and again to evade the Four Point Stars Old Qiao shot back, plus his unusual Gravity Defying Arts, Old Qiao turned out to run into the woods…

     

    It was the middle of night after two-hour hunting in the mountains. Although it was not so high and huge as the peaks where their clan located, to chasing the old flying fox in such a complex terrain was certainly not a simple job.  

     

    Fortunately, Qiu Mengqin took the lead to run after him as closely as she could, keeping a short distance ahead of the other chasers.

     

    Unexpectedly, in front of the side of a mountain, Old Qiao just vanished.

     

    "Where is it?" looking around and around, Qiu Mengqin showed a blank face while chasing to the foot of the mountain.

     

    After a while, Wei Gaoyuan, Liu Xingfei, the woman in yellow and the five Captors arrived.

     

    "We lost him finally…" standing in front of the mountain, Liu Xingfei said in disappointment.

     

    Qiu Mengqin thought for a moment, and said doubtfully, "I’m afraid not, he just disappeared here all of a sudden, but I find no caves…."

     

    "We better search around for any possible…secret passageway, or hidden entrance," said a middle-aged Captor.

     

    "Good, dig him out~" Qiu Mengqin nodded.

     

    Then the four disciples and five Captors scattered.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan still sported the girl dress, wanting to find a place to change the clothes yet he didn't carry a men’s clothes.

     

    I’ll kill anyone who asks me to disguised as a girl, anytime!! He swore while searching, and an abrupt cry came from his back.

     

    He got a surprise and quickly turned to look at where the sound came from.

     

    The Captor following him disappeared.

     

     



  • Chapter 46 The Underground Cave

    The place where the Captor disappeared had nothing but a few clumps of grass, but his voice still came from…sounded like beneath the ground.

     

    When the grass was pulled away, a hole more than three feet in diameter was exposed, like a giant monster opening its mouth, ready to devour lives anytime.

     

    Didn’t Old Qiao sneak into the cave in the mountain but the cave under the ground?

     

     

    Except for Wei Gaoyuan, the others took out their Light Tubes and looked into the hole through the weak fire.

     

     

     

    (Light Tubes: a kind of portable lighting, containing phosphorous and some flammable substances in a paper tube. It will burn once blow or quickly shake it.)

     

    "I go down first," Liu Xingfei volunteered. He thought himself most suitable to take the lead.

     

    "There might be something weird underneath…" Qiu Mengqin stopped Liu Xingfei and inspected the slope in the hole.

     

    As a sister who entered the outer section eight years ago, Qiu Mengqin’s experience of Jianghu should be much richer than those of the junior brothers like Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan.

     

     

    One Captor behind her said, "Or send someone back to report, and the rest stay here, wait for reinforcements to come."

     

    Sounded a good plan, but no one knew whether there were other exits in the underground cave; If Old Qiao escaped, he would never return to Huyang Town.

     

    Then a younger Captor, looking kind of smart, walked forward and said, "Head, my sister and other twelve girls was still in his hands. Before he runs, I just feared he might..." he stopped. Every one could read his considerable concern.

     

    "You’re right, it’s urgent to save people… I go down and check right now; the rest of you stay here; brother Zhao, please send someone back to ask for reinforcements," hearing the words of young Captor, Qiu Mengqin left a few work in a hurry and jumped down the hole straight.

     

    "Sister!" as soon as Liu Xingfei shouted, the figure of Qiu Mengqin had disappeared into the seemingly endless darkness of the hole.

     

    Brother Zhao, the leader of the Captors, said immediately, "Rat, Old Bao, go back and ask the Defensive Officer to send more brothers here, as soon as possible! Err…bring a men’s suit by the way; the rest stay; I go to help Miss Qiu! "

     

    He glanced at Wei Gaoyuan, who was still in girl dress.

     

    "Brother Zhao, let me go!" Liu Xingfei stop him. He knew brother Zhao was the bottom of eighth-level, weaker than himself.

     

    "Brother Liu, I go with you! Sister Yu and other Captor brothers stay, just in case, " Wei Gaoyuan said and took his sword from the girl in the yellow gown.

     

    “Sister Yu” was the girl in yellow, named Yu Wansu. As a disciple who entered in the same year as Liu Xingfei, she had a current stage of bottom in eight-level, and had heard from Liu Xingfei that junior brother Wei seemed just different from other freshmen. It seemed that Brother Liu was right…

     

    "Brother Liu, let's go," Wei Gaoyuan had jumped into the hole before Yu Wansu returned from her thought.

     

    Then Liu Xingfei followed it at once.

     

     

     

    All was dark in the cave, and Wei Gaoyuan didn't even take a Light Tube. He slid down along the slope, and behind him was the cry of Liu Xingfei. He only replied a few words before he found himself touched the bottom. He stood up and another deadly darkness and silence was awaiting in front of him.

     

    Seconds later, Liu Xingfei also came to the bottom. Wei Gaoyuan removed his long dress and wore only underwear. The two moved forward carefully with the weak light of Light Tube in Liu Xingfei's hands.

     

    Not far away appeared a stone door. Who built it? Liu Xingfei stepped forward and pushed it. Wei Gaoyuan held the breath and his sword behind him. The door was easily pushed open. The two glanced at the inside, shocked:

     

    Behind the stone door was a dim room, with a inky huge coffin erected in the middle; Old Qiao stood a distance from the side of the coffin; Qiu Mengqin was standing in front of the coffin, trembling; she blocked the scene inside the coffin so they couldn’t see what was inside of it. Having noticed Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan entered, she couldn’t move even one step but struggled to open her eyes and said weakly, "Hurry ... run ..."

     

    "Sister!" Liu Xingfei rushed towards her without any hesitation, followed by Wei Gaoyuan.

     

    Old Qiao’s figure flickered and appeared in the way of Liu Xingfei, with both palms merged to grip the sword thrusted by Liu Xingfei.

     

    Liu Xingfei roared, trying to pull back his sword, but it remained motionless in Old Qiao’s hands; Wei Gaoyuan immediately let out the “first cloud” to stab at Old Qiao.

     

    "Good!" Old Qiao gave a spooky laugh, and kicked at Liu Xingfei’s belly straight instead of dodging it.

     

    Liu Xingfei had no other choice but let go of his sword, and shouted to Wei Gaoyuan, "Go save sister!"

    Wei Gaoyuan jumped high and changed the target of his sword-strike immediately, trying to cleave the coffin from the air down!

     

    Old Qiao seemed quite astonished and showed great fear of the coffin, just still keeping a distance from the coffin and staring at Wei Gaoyuan’s sword hacking at the coffin!

     

    "You dead meat!!!"

     

    Just as Wei Gaoyuan's long sword was smashing into the coffin, a ghastly cold hum came from inside of the coffin, as if it was the voice from the ground under the ground. Meanwhile, a dark lightning shot at Wei Gaoyuan and penetrated into his chest! He immediately fell from the air like a kite without a string.

     

    Then with two hollow groans, Qiu Mengqin and Wei Gaoyuan hit to the ground at the same time.

     

    A dry ancient “corpse” in the coffin suddenly opened his empty eyes and “stared” at Liu Xingfei, making a cold, emotionless voice, "Kill him!"

     

    "Yes!! Master!" Old Qiao grabbed Liu Xingfei's sword and swiped at him.

     

    Having noticed Old Qiao very scared of the “corpse”, Liu Xingfei just started zigzagged around the coffin to evade his attack.

     

    Old Qiao even didn’t dare to touch the cover of the coffin on the ground, he could do nothing, accordingly, but play a cat-mouse game with Liu Xingfei.

     

     

     

    “Useless oaf!”

     

    Rounds later, as soon as Liu Xingfei ran in front of the coffin, he was bombarded by a powerful force from the “corpse”, his body flying out, hitting the rock wall heavily, and soon passed out after vomiting a large mouthful of blood.

     

    Among the three disciples of the East Mountain Sword Clan, only Wei Gaoyuan still had a little consciousness. With his lungs penetrated by the dark lightning, the sharp pain made him hardly breathe, and even ignore a unusual thing: such a severe wound just left no blood on his chest…

     

    Old Qiao turned to stare at Wei Gaoyuan, his face full of cruelty. He snarled, "Little bastard! Thanks to you, all of you!  I couldn’t complete the task! Moments later, you’ll be Yin Slave!! It’s your great honor to be one of us!!"

     

    "What’s…What's going on??" Wei Gaoyuan didn't hear Old Qiao’s speech at this moment. Now, in his mind was full of surprises and questions:

     

    He found himself in a dark space where nothing could be seen, but he could just “see” clearly some objects floating in front of him: a three-foot long sword, a scroll, some stones of different sizes and shapes, and a dark green crystal-like egg of unknown material...

     

    What a beautiful crystal! If I could…As soon as he thought, the crystal-like egg just vanished!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was startled! What the hell was this damn place?!!

     

     

    When Old Qiao came to Wei Gaoyuan, he saw Wei Gaoyuan suddenly open his eyes, whose pupils shot a little golden light, and a small dark golden seal flashed between his eyebrows.

     

    "What?!!" Old Qiao blinked a few times quickly and looked at him again. No golden pupils, no golden seal…

     

    “Old oaf! What’re you doing?! Take him here! Now! I’ll refine him!!” the “corpse” roared.

     

     

    Shaking his head, Old Qiao felt clearer. He grabbed at Wei Gaoyuan’s chest.

     

    At this moment, a dark green crystal-like egg jumped out of Wei Gaoyuan’s chest, all of a sudden, Old Qiao just touched it, and was bounced out to the air!

     

    With a gleam of silver light shooting out from the egg, a figure of a middle-aged man suddenly appeared in front of Wei Gaoyuan!

    "Who… opened my Universe in Bag?!"


     

    The Light Tube

     



  • edited December 2019
    Chapter 47 Another Division Stream of Consciousness

    While Wei Gaoyuan made his Internal Qi running fast around his body to resist the pain of the injury, he just heard the words of “my Universe in Bag.” His body trembling because of violent pain from his chest, he found a faint figure was “standing” in front of him.

     

    "Errrr…"

     

    When seeing the appearance of the figure, Wei Gaoyuan held his breath instantly and widened his eyes: That old senior! Lie Qianshan, who’d got a brief communication with him in his own Sea of Consciousness!

    "Hahaha…a division stream of consciousness from a Taoism Follower~ What an enormous dish!! Tonic! Tonic!! " a harsh laugh came from behind.

     

    The shadow of Lie Qianshan frowned. He turned, and said in an unexpected tone, "It’s you? Five Yinzi? I just didn’t think you could return from the dead."

     

    "Lie Qianshan?!!!" exclaimed the “corpse” in the coffin, and a strong wind blowing in the dim room.

     

    Lie Qianshan and the “corpse” in the coffin knew each other? Lie Qianshan was a senior who might live thousands of years ago. Was the living dead in this coffin also a thousand- -year-old monster?

     

    Anyway, it seemed that all of them wouldn’t join the Yin Slave since the ancient “corpse” named Five Yinzi looked afraid of Lie Qianshan, even if it was just a shadow.

     

    Lie Qianshan shook his hand, and a long sword appeared suddenly in front of Wei Gaoyuan's chest, which was just the one floating in the Universe in Bag!

     

    The sword was quivering in the sheath, whistling and flying towards Lie Qianshan.

     

    Lie Qianshan grabbed the hilt of the sword as it was coming out of the sheath, and with a sound of sword singing, a chill was slicing through the air and pressing towards Five Yinzi!

     

    “Are you sure you can swallow me?” Lie Qianshan pointed his sword at Five Yinzi.

     

    "That sword…Fall of Maple Leaf!!!" Five Yinzi exclaimed again, a pair of empty ashen eyes bursting with scarlet flames.

     

    The wind in the room was raging, icier and fiercer. Before Qianshan shot his sword, the lid of the coffin was slammed down from the ground. Meanwhile, a large number of bright runes, lines, and scarlet halo floated and was spinning around the coffin! Every space of the room was filled with weird and dead atmosphere.

     

    "Oh? You’re gonna seal yourself up?" Lie Qianshan said coldly, staring at the runes around the coffin.

     

    "Too late, I’d sealed myself by Seal of Mystery Blood. Even a man at the stage of Heavenly Judgement can hardly break it. Old monster Lie, wanna ruin my soul and body? No way!! Haha…"

     

    " Humph! You’ve cultivated so long in evil methods, and acted too many evils, you’re destined to suffer final judgment by Tao!" Lie Qianshan said with a snort. "Even if I can't kick you to hell, there must be someone do it in the name of Tao in the future!"

     

    "Judgement by Tao? Haha…" Five Yinzi burst into laughter, as if he’d heard the most ridiculous thing ever in the world." Where is your home now? Where is your family now? Did the eight sects get the judgement by Tao? My final judgement? Huh?"

     

    Lie Qianshan was silent, sunk in a short memory.

     

    When he reached the stage of Heavenly Judgement, he broke into the eight sects alone, one by one, and killed a large number of powerful beings of them. However, his crazy revenge didn’t pull the eight sects out by the roots, just as Five Yinzi said, none of the eight giant trees had fallen in the world of Taoism Followers during that time.  

     

    Thousands of years had passed. He didn't know the current status of the eight sects, and even if all of them had fade away in the history, should it be attributed to judgement of Tao?

     

    In that miserable memories, the surviving members of Magin Religion fled around after the ruin of Magin Island, and later they were hunted down cruelly by different forces, relevant, and irrelevant, such as Five Yinzi.

     

    When Lie Qianshan returned for his revenge, Five Yinzi had been quite well-known in the realm of Unorthodoxers. Although he was found and killed by Lie Qianshan then, somehow a faint of his soul remained, completely beyond Lie Qianshan’s expectation, and in some evil cultivation method he’d just sustained his life until now, alive for thousands of years.   

     

     

    The coffin looked surrounded by a cocoon of runes. Instead of attacking it, Lie Qianshan waved his hand, Fall of Maple Leaf flew over and stabbed Old Qiao in his heart, extinguishing the last honorable flame of Yin Slaves.

     

    There remained no wind, no voice in the room. Only a faint light made of unknown material on the stone wall was still alive.

     

    Lie Qianshan looked at the coffin with a snort and then turned his attention back to Wei Gaoyuan. Observing the boy for a while, he said with doubts, "You seem to reach…Err…just the stage of Building Base…   How did you open my Universe in Bag?"

     

    "Senior Lie ... I ... don't ... know ... how ... opened ..." Wei Gaoyuan replied very hard because each word would increase the pain in his chest.

     

    Lie Qianshan stared at him for a moment before he concluded, “I see… Boy, you must have launched Essence-blood-refining to open it, all by accident… "

     

    "Uh?" Wei Gaoyuan got a shock, followed by a sharp pain.

     

    Essence-blood-refining? Are you serious? Who could tell me how to refine it by Essence-blood-refining? In my essence-blood? He thought, and soon remembered, according to the books in the library of outer section, that Essence-blood-refining was just an deadly evil method of refining arts! My God!

     

    Lie Qianshan looked concerned little about it, however, a ghost of regret on his face even. He said, "You might be the first I’ve ever heard to open a Universe in Bag by Essence-blood-refining… Boy, it’s just a sort of storage talisman, without any combat power at all…"

     

    "Well..." Wei Gaoyuan relieved. Lie Qianshan seemed not to oppose such an evil refining method.

     

    He asked carefully, "Senior... the sacrifice of... my blood… the bag won't ... hurt… swallow me?"

     

    "Essence-blood-refining does have the risk of swallow its master," Lie Qianshan said. "Thus, we must derive a stream of consciousness, from your Sea of Consciousness, to forcibly sign the ‘master-slave’ contract with it as soon as its talisman-spirit is generated; from then, your stream of consciousness merges into his talisman-spirit, so, he won’t hurt you forever; furthermore, you can ‘talk’ to him ..."

     

    "Incredible..." Wei Gaoyuan searched it in his memory, "how is it different... from Soul-refining?"

     

    " Soul-refining?" Lie Qianshan was kind of surprised, shaking his head. "I’ve never heard of that refining method."

     

    What Lie Qianshan explained seemed different from what it was in the books. Wei Gaoyuan felt there might be something wrong with it. Something might have changed in the world of Taoism Followers during the past thousands of years?

     

    Lie Qianshan continued, "You look about 15 or 16 years old, but you’re just too weak to let the Universe in Bag out to anyone, otherwise you might be in great danger," while speaking, he looked over Liu Xingfei and Qiu Mengqin, still in a coma.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan got startled and said quickly, "Senior! They are my brother ... sister ...don’t…" he coughed violently.

     

    "Okay," Lie Qianshan said. "Your companions… just let them sleep for a while, and you also need a breathing adjustment right now. My division stream of consciousness won’t exist for long after leaving Enerstone, I have to quickly make a few things clear…"

     

    While Wei Gaoyuan seized the time to make a breathing adjustment after a simple self-treatment, Lie Qianshan was observing him and muttered, "Good aptitude indeed… too weak though, a lazy boy…"

     

    Surely, Wei Gaoyuan didn’t hear it, or his wound must expand. He focused on adjusting his breathing until he felt not so painful in his chest. He opened his eyes and said, "Sorry to keep senior waiting. I feel better now."

     

    Lie Qianshan nodded, "Keep what happened to you tonight in secret, it’s not bad for you."

     

    "I will," Wei Gaoyuan responded carefully. He knew it. An ordinary with an extraordinary treasure died early.

     

     

    "How old are you?" Lie Qianshan asked.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan didn’t expect he could ask it, but still answered honestly, "I’m 16 years old."

     

    "16 years old, as a Sword Taoist, below Building Base… that’s really unreasonable," Lie Qianshan's expression and tone were extremely serious. Then he added, "Two secret scrolls I’ve left in the Universe in Bag, SONGS OF MAGIN and CHASING WIND SWORD. You can learn it, and do not be that idle as before, or else, you will regret it."

     

    Building Base? Idle? Sword Taoist? Me??

     

    Filled with a dozen of question marks in mind, Wei Gaoyuan said in a low voice,

     

    “Senior, I’m…I’m a martial artist, truly, and for four years since I chose the road of Martial Arts, I swear I’ve never stopped running on the road, day and night…”   

     

    "What? You’re a martial artist?" Lie Qianshan showed surprise, shook his head and said to himself,"impossible!   I’ve been observing your efficient breathing method, a smooth breathing-in and a dirty breathing-out. You must have an excellent spiritual root…why did you choose to be a martial artist?"

     

    Excellent spiritual root? My fake spiritual root?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan’s eyes and mouth were wide open.




  • Chapter 48 Goodbye! Senior Lie!

    Wei Gaoyuan's big eyes and mouth made Lie Qianshan asked, "It’s like…you don’t know your own talent in spiritual root?"

     

    "Senior, I did. I’ve tested it, it’s fake spiritual root… that’s why I have to choose the road of Martial Arts," Wei Gaoyuan responded truthfully.

     

    "Fake spiritual root? Rediculous!" Lie Qianshan immediately denied it, and asked. "Where, and when did you get the test? Who gave you the test?"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan explained it all to him, including the changes of the test crystal cylinder in details at that time. It made Lie Qianshan lost in a deep thought.

     

    The test crystal cylinder lit up first and went out soon; it was indeed the sign of fake spiritual root. But Wei Gaoyuan's current situation just couldn’t prove it…

     

    Unless…

     

    "Just do exactly as what I tell you next! Don't ask why!" Lie Qianshan suddenly said, "sitting cross-legged! Sink Internal Qi into Dantian! Drive Internal Qi around your 8 extraordinary meridians! Then 12 regular meridians! Flow it in a full circle! Slow down! Okay…too slow!!..."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan knew Lie Qianshan was teaching him a cultivation method of Internal Qi and tried hard to follow his instruction as quickly as possible. With breathing in and out in a subtle way, the air around him was flowing and undulating slowly like colorless clear liquid, and after a few flow-in-full-circles, a cloud of silver vapor just rose from above his head.

     

    "Stop!" Lie Qianshan suddenly stopped it.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan stopped and exhaled a long breath, opened his eyes, looking unwilling to stop. The short while practice of breathing just gave him a wonderful feeling, a feeling of Internal Qi touching inside system of his body, accumulating little by little, purified bit by bit and…he just couldn’t describe that feeling precisely.

     

    "That’s it! The Transcendent Spiritual Root!!" Lie Qianshan could hardly conceal excitement in his eyes.

     

    Just as he’d speculated, that stupid test crystal cylinder couldn’t bear Wei Gaoyuan's spiritual root at all,whose level was too high!! In case of bursting itself, the crystal cylinder naturally extinguished soon after an abrupt red light rise.

    (the Transcendent Spiritual Root: the supreme, the earth, the heavenly, and the innate spiritual root together are usually called Transcendent Spiritual Root.)

     

    “Hahaha… Tao dosen’t abandon me!!!” in an ecstasy of delight, Lie Qianshan burst a shout of laughter. For thousands of years, this division stream of his consciousness he’d ever left finally met a boy with the Transcendent Spiritual Root! Magin Religion wouldn’t be erased from the page of history!!

     

    Lie Qianshan himself was a genius with Transcendent Spiritual Root. He originally left his Universe in Bag just to try his luck, with little high expectation. But today, Tao presented him with such a boy, who just embarked on the start of cultivation. What a perfect seed of hope!

     

    "Hahaha..." Lie Qianshan laughed as much as he pleased, then he stared at Wei Gaoyuan, "boy, do you wanna be a man to hold the whole world in your hand as soon as possible? Or even break the restraints of the mortal world, to stride out into a more spectacular world?!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was too astonished to speak anything.

     

    Throughout the pages of history, among countless martial artist, Taoism Followers, all kinds of dreamers, as many as stars in the universe, how many, however, could wake up from the dreams in dreams? How many could carve their names on the pages of history? How many could finally free themselves from the invisible shackles of the mortal world?

     

    Wei Gaoyuan could not answer it certainly, but he knew the Cloud-Heaven Palace might be the highest mountain he couldn’t get around in the future!

     

    Fortunately, Lie Qianshan didn’t knew his biggest dream was just to see his sister again. Most of the time, the dream was not a big meal for others, but a small dessert of dreamer alone.

     

    Looking at Wei Gaoyuan's expression, Lie Qianshan had got the answer. He continued, " SONG OF MAGIN, I’ve taught you part of it just now, was the supreme internal cultivation method of Magin Religion; CHASING WIND SWORD, which includes sword patterns and movement tricks, was a set of combat techniques. Just learn them as hard as you can, try to condense the Essence in twenty years."

     

    Enter into the stage of Golden Essence in twenty years?!! Senior, are you serious? Wei Gaoyuan was startled again by the speech of Lie Qianshan. The original goal of Wei Gaoyuan was trying his best, in twenty years, to become a man standing at the top of the Nature, and Lie Qianshan just raised this goal by two stages, by a few simple words, as simple as his breathing…

     

    As Wei Gaoyuan opened his mouth and wanted to speak something, Lie Qianshan suddenly looked back then said, "Your brother’s gonna to wake up, and… well, that’s the end of my last words. Take them and leave. Within a hundred years, this place will be sealed completely by my force…After a hundred years, if you go smoothly in cultivation, by the way, return and kill Five Yinzi."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded. He knew it was the time to say goodbye to the senior, again.

     

    "Thank you! Senior, I’ll never forget what you’ve instructed me!"

     

    "Well, after you leave, I’m starting to seal up this place with last bit of my power…" Lie Qianshan beckoned him out.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan said respectfully, "Although I couldn’t be your formal disciple, senior, please accept my respects!!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan immediately went down on his knees, with his forehead touching the ground! (A disciple's most formal and respectful courtesy to his master)

     

    "Good! Good!! I accept it!!" Lie Qianshan smiled, floating in the air. "Boy, hope to see you again…"

     

    The throat of the Captor who fell first was crushed and had been dead for a long time. Wei Gaoyuan first took out his body and returned to take out Qiu Mengqin and Liu Xingfei, both in comas.

     

    “Senior, hope to see you again!” watching the stone door slammed, Wei Gaoyuan said in his heart.

     

    ...

     

    The deep forest after midnight gave everyone a ghost of creepy feeling, strange noises coming and going, hoots with howls, sough after whistle, from time to time.

     

    Among all people guarding the hole, Yu Wansu might be the most anxious. Four disciples set off from the outer section, only herself left safely now.

     

    There were still a few hours before dawn. She decided not to wait for the reinforcements and said to the Captors, "Brothers, I have to go down right now!"

     

    "Miss Yu, please wait!" Brother Zhao, the leader of Captors, stopped her. "We’ve still got no news from warrior Liu and Wei, including Miss Qiu, which might indicate the situation below isn’t optimistic, we’d better continue guarding until the reinforcements come."

     

    "But ... I'm just worried about them…" Yu Wansu said, without concealing her anxiety. "If something… happened to them…we came out together, and go back together!"

     

    Brother Zhao was silent for a moment, and gritted his teeth, "I go with you!"

     

    Then he turned to others, "Brothers, just leave the guarding to you! And wait for our reinforcements!"

     

    "Yes! Head, trust us! Take care!!" the other Captors said seriously.

     

    Brother Zhao jumped into the hole, and close behind was Yu Wansu.

     

    Under the ground, Liu Xingfei had woken up from comas. He looked around blankly and murmured, "Where am I ...?"

     

    "Great! Brother Liu, you woke up! " Wei Gaoyuan was pleased, who was doing meditation for a breathing adjustment.

     

    "Junior brother Wei ... Ah!" Liu Xingfei wanted to get up but let out a painful moan. It seemed that he’d suffered bad internal injuries during the fight.

     

    "Just do a breathing adjustment first to stabilize your internal injuries," Wei Gaoyuan said.

     

    "All right!" Liu Xingfei sat cross-legged and started adjusting his breathing.

     

    At this moment, two fire lights flashed and approached quickly with a girl's voice, "Brother Liu! Junior brother Wei! That’s great!! You’re all… Sister Qiu!!?"

     

    "Sister Yu, Brother Zhao," Wei Gaoyuan greeted them. "Don’t worry, sister Qiu will be fine; we’re all injured, brother Liu was adjusting breathing to cure himself…"

     

    "What happened??" brother Zhao asked as he quickly went up to check the condition of the Captor lying on the ground. After verifying that his companion was dead, this middle-aged man let out a long sigh, looking very somber.

     

    "There is a secret room behind that stone door," Wei Gaoyuan pointed to the closed door. "We encountered an ancient Unorthodoxer inside, very powerful! When Brother Liu and I arrived, the Captor brother had been killed, I’m so sorry… sister Qiu should have been absorbed much of her essence by the Unorthodoxer… "

     

    What he said was true. Blood stains was still at the corner of Liu Xingfei's mouth, and his own bandaged chest was also bloody.

    Upon hearing an ancient Unorthodoxer who was able to take in the essence of people, both Yu Wansu and brother Zhao were shocked, after all, even the one as strong as Qiu Mengqin at fifth-level of the Mystery had been easily suck up  the essence and still in a deep coma now.

     

    Then the two looked at Wei Gaoyuan and Liu Xingfei; Yu Wansu asked, "How did you escape that evil Unorthodoxer?"

     

     

     



  • Chapter 49 The Gains

    It was the question that Wei Gaoyuan had considered before he left the secret room. He had to answer it after Qiu Mengqin and Liu Xingfei woke up even if Yu Wansu hadn’t asked. Anything about senior Lie could never be disclosed, He had already prepared a reasonable explanation.

     

    He’d heard a common expression many times in the stories long ago—the Cultivation Deviation. It was a state wherein the cultivation base became dangerously unstable, causing serious or even deadly internal damage to the body and symptoms of psychosis. People, especially the Unorthodoxer, who succumbed to their Internal Demons, who practiced Taoism Arts or martial arts incorrectly, or who rashly used forbidden arts were all at risk of falling into this state.

    (Internal Demon: rather than standard demons or devils, these are a practitioner’s negative emotions and other mental barriers which hinder their training or cultivation. Internal Demons, in some cases, can even attack the practitioner from the inside, and failure to adequately resist them may result in the Cultivation Deviation.)

     

    Hence, Wei Gaoyuan showed a still- traumatized look and said, " At that time I thought it must be the termination of us. Yet Tao blessed us, somehow the Unorthodoxer suddenly seemed to fall into the state of Cultivation Deviation. He even killed the Watchman, and his Qi then turned into a complete disorder and burst out…” he just felt he was a perfect storyteller in the teahouse, “following his madness was the gale, screaming everywhere in the secret room… And before the stone door closed, I took the opportunity to bring everyone out as fast as I can…"

     

    "Thanks a million to Tao! You’re really really lucky! He must have cultivated a most evil art!" Yu Wansu covered her mouth in shock, her big eyes bigger.

     

    Brother Zhao didn't say anything but just reached out to push the stone door. After a while he said, "I can’t budge it!"

     

    Of course you couldn’t. Senior Lie had sealed up the whole room. Wei Gaoyuan thought and said, “I guess it’s been controlled by that Unorthodoxer, and…to avoid…like his enemies, he might have sealed up himself and the room after realizing his Cultivation Deviation…"

     

    "You might be right. Anyway," brother Zhao nodded, and said, "we gotta go up quickly. I must report everything tonight to the Defensive Officer…"

     

    Moments later, Liu Xingfei finished his breathing adjustment with his internal injuries cured almost a half. He nodded and gave Wei Gaoyuan a cupped-fist, "Thank you for saving me, junior brother Wei, I owe you…"

     

    " Just do not mention it, Brother Liu," Wei Gaoyuan waved his hands quickly, " brothers just never owe each other."

     

    Liu Xingfei nodded and didn't say anything but gave a smile.

     

    ...

     

     

    In the middle of the night, the wind slinking through the mountain was full of chill. The two Captors rubbed their hands in the faint gleams of Light Tubes. Suddenly one said in a low voice, "Be careful! Someone’s coming up!"

     

    Swish!

     

    The other one pulled out his cutlass, and later called out, "Head Zhao !?"

     

    Truely, the first to climb up was the brother Zhao, holding the dead Captor with the help of Liu Xinfei.

     

    "Little Nail!!" the two Captors shouted at the same time while seeing their companion's body.

     

    Yu Wansu and Wei Gaoyuan followed, together holding Qiu Mengqin. The two Captors were shocked while seeing the state of Qiu Mengqin and got relieved to learn that she was just in a coma.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan described the experience in the secret room again. With Liu Xingfei adding some details, there was no doubt about it. As for the Cultivation Deviation,if nothing wrong had happened to that ancient Unorthodoxer, how could they had come back alive?

     

    After the Wei Gaoyuan finished, the youngest Captor asked anxiously, "Is there any other discovery? My sister was taken without any news until now… Is she in that secret room?"

     

    "I’m sorry, we didn’t find her..." Liu Xingfei shook his head. "We fought with them as we got into the room, and then I got injured and lost consciousness."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan shook his head as well, "There was nobody else in the room except us… She should be kept somewhere else."

     

    Brother Zhao had planned to wait for the reinforcements to go down again for a minute search. Seeing his little brother’s great anxiety, he said, "Little Six, Second Old, you two follow me! We go down right now!!"

     

    "Let me go with you," Liu Xingfei said. "I've almost recovered, and might helpful if got an accident."

     

    "Count me in!" Wei Gaoyuan volunteered.

     

    After a brief talk, Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan went down with Little Six to find his missing sister; others waited the reinforcement on the ground.

     

    Apart from the secret room, there was another passageway underground. The three people couldn’t enter the room but search around before walked along the passageway. Not walking for long, an entrance to the ground was seen at the end of the passageway.

     

    After climbing to the ground over the entrance, the three looked around and found that they were still in the same woods, facing no mountain walls though.

     

    Little Six did not give up, and started searching around carefully, including Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan. And they finally found several bodies in a large pit, not far from the entrance.

     

    Little Six began shivering immediately, regardless of the foul smell, jumped into the pit and picked through the bodies. After a long while he shook his head and murmured, "No…not… my sister… not here...."

     

    "She must be safe… somewhere else!" He jumped out of the pit and began another searching, and didn't stop until dawn, but found nothing else, only the six in the pit.

     

    At dawn, another team of 10 Captors arrived, two at the eighth-level of the Mystery and one even the seventh-level.

     

    The whole group searched throughout the two entrances of underground passage together with the entire large woods yet still found nothing.

     

    Although the anxiety of Little Six didn’t reduce at all, they could do nothing else but go back with six bodies, and then issued an official notice: Searching the Missing Girls.

     

    ...

     

    It was three o’clock at night. Everyone in Huyang Town had fallen into their various dreams; outside their dreams was the entirely silent world.

     

    In Wei Gaoyuan's room, a candlelight was flaring. He still showed no sign of sleepiness.

     

    At night, he opened the Universe in Bag in the room. In the space of the bag were a notebook, two secret scrolls, a sword, a stone, a bit smaller than the palm, and a waste crystal.

     

    The notebook was Lie Qianshan's introduction to the world of Taoism Followers in his time, over 3000 years ago, whose contents must have been out of date.

     

    The two secret scrolls: SONG OF MAGIN and CHASING WIND SWORD; Wei Gaoyuan had glanced through their introductions; the former was the supreme scroll of Magin Religion, usually held in the lords of religion; it was a set of methods for internal cultivation and a guidance for those from the bottom stage to even the stage of Full Completeness. And the latter was a set of swordsmanship with movement skills.

     

    Fall of Maple Leaf was a Spirit Weapon, that is, the magic sword used by the powerful Sword Taoist in stories. For sure, Wei Gaoyuan was unable to harness it at current stage.

     

    As for that palm-sized stone, he examined it for a few moments but didn’t find any useful effects, only feeling very comfortable while gripping it in his hand.

     

    Because Lie Qianshan's division stream of consciousness was no longer in that crystal, Wei Gaoyuan put it away as a memorial.

     

    After inspecting all the stuff in the Universe in Bag, he tried to learn SONG OF MAGIN, still holding the unknown stone in his hand.

     

    When he was running a flow in a full circle according to the scroll and ​​enjoying the comfort in the meridians, the stone in his hand suddenly sent a surging stream of Qi, he couldn’t tell what kind of Qi it was, like a torrent pouring into the meridians.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was startled and quickly adjusted his running speed while sinking this stream of Qi into Dantian. After quite a long while, it was just refined and integrated with his Internal Qi into Dantian. He found that his Internal Qi had increased and strengthened a lot, so he immediately did it in the same way, again and again until dawn…

     

    After finishing a long night's internal cultivation, he tested his gains and was pleasantly surprised to find that his stage had been elevated to the top of the eighth-level!

     

    To have promoted approximately a half of one level in just one night!

     

    He looked again at the inconspicuous stone in his hand, and carefully stored it into the Universe in Bag.

     

    ...

     

    Three days later, Qiu Mengqin woke up from a coma, and after her eyes opened up and turned unfocused for a while, she suddenly sat up and showed a look like facing an extremely awful threat.

     

    "Sister, you are awake!" said Yu Wansu in a surprise, who’d sat beside her almost all these days.

     

    "I ... Where am I?" Qiu Mengqin asked, looked still quite weak.

     

    She’d lost too much Yin Essence, and would have already died if she were an ordinary person. Despite her remarkable stage, she was fed many herbs six times a day for three days and just woke up in a weak state.

     

    "Here is Huyang Town, sister, you are safe… We’ve been so worried about you these days…"

     

    "Junior sister Yu, how did you ... we ... escape from that…?" Qiu Mengqin remembered what happened that day. She didn’t want to bring up that Unorthodoxer. No one in the team could feel more horror of that nightmare than herself.  

     

    She’d thought that there was no way at all they could escape.  Then was there some stronger senior who arrived in time and saved them?

     

    Yu Wansu repeated what Wei Gaoyuan had described that day, and told her that it was confirmed by Liu Xingfei. Also, Qiu Mengqin felt it so lucky and incredible, but they were survived finally anyway.

     

    After a while, Liu Xingfei, Wei Gaoyuan, and brother Zhao arrived. After learning that six girls were dead and the whereabouts of the other girls were still unknown, Qiu Mengqin gave a heavy sigh and decided to stay in Huyang Town for a few days to help find the missing persons.

     

    After some discussion, the four disciples of the East Mountain Sword Clan were split into two teams. Yu Wansu stayed with Qiu Mengqin to help Huyang Town and meanwhile investigate whether there were other Unorthodoxer fellow members in the town; Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan proceeded to finding the Full Moon Flower. If it turned out to be too difficult to obtain, they would come back and ask for sisters’ reinforcement.

     

  • Chapter 50 Your Lady within the Moonlight

    Grave of Wumen was at the foot of a mountain and had been rarely visited by the living for decades.

     

    It used to be a big village named Wumen Village, with hundreds of households and a population of over 1000. The villagers lived on the mountain behind the village and had been living happily on their own.

     

    Until a few decades ago, a bandit riot broke out in this area. A gang of gangsters began looting and burning around the surrounding villages, and Wumen Village was no exception.

     

    The local government officials had sent the Captors to besiege and suppress the gangsters a few times. However, it was the very cunning gang of foxes; those arrested were just small fry. It was too difficult to hurt their root. Therefore, Wumen Village stepped out to came up an idea of forming a coalition with surrounding villages to fight against the gang, without knowing that the head of the gang had bought some eyes and spies in a few villages. After getting the plan of Wumen Village in advance, the gang head led his men to slaughter the entire Wumen Village overnight, with on one in the village survived. That night, the blood raining and flowing over each street of Wumen village. Ever since then the former peaceful village had been deserted into the mass grave.

     

    After that awful tragedy, the wind blowing every night over the wild grave was mixed with creepy crying and moaning, like the low voice of the dead who were unwilling to leave and telling their suffering. As a result, the government erected a monument, more than two meters high, and invited a master to inscribe the secret runes on it. Though the mass grave turned quiet later, weird things still happened from time to time. The beasts, especially, were constantly found dead here.

     

    With time went by, if some of the travelers who’d died far from their hometown were not claimed for a long time, they would be moved here to be buried from the Coffin Home. Thus, overtime, this place was called Grave of Wumen by surrounding villagers.

     

    (Coffin Home: Yizhuang in Chinese, it’s a temporary coffin depository where their coffins can be stored for those who are dead far from their hometowns and desire burial in their home villages.)

     

    Among villagers in this area, it was not a secret that Full Moon Flowers used to appear in Grave of Wumen; that strange things often occurred in Grave of Wumen was not a secret either. It took Liu Xingfei and Wei Gaoyuan five days to trace the information and tips about the Full Moon Flower and finally arrived at this dead place, where they could immediately feel a depressing gloomy atmosphere even in the sunshine.

     

    "Indeed…an unusual evil place!" Liu Xingfei looked at the large graveyard in front of him with a grim look.

     

    Martial artists had keen senses, much sharper than ordinary people, especially those over the early stage of the Mystery, who already had a capacity for perceiving Qi within the world. Just at a glance, he’d noticed that Yin Qi amid the air was so thick that the strong sunlight could not dispel it. (Sunlight belongs to attribute of Yang.)

     

    Wei Gaoyuan also noticed it and frowned, "Indeed, a perfect home for Full Moon Flowers!"

     

    Liu Xingfei nodded his head and said seriously, "Full of deep darkness we could feel in the daytime, who knows what would welcome us in the evening…"

     

    "Then we must hurry up!! Just take advantage of sunlight, get it and go!" Wei Gaoyuan didn’t want to say hi to anyone or anything here at night.

     

    Liu Xingfei spread his hands and said in a gesture of helpless sorrow, "Undoubtedly, I also wish we could do it in the day; unfortunately, the Moon Flower was the shy lady. Only at night, she breaks through the soil, facing the full moon, and that’s the time we get her!”

     

    "What?!!" Wei Gaoyuan shouted, his face pale.

     

    “Yeah! The lady, awaiting us at night, bathing within the moonlight…”

     

    “…”

     

    Along the way here, the information about the Full Moon Flower was collected by Liu Xingfei. Wei Gaoyuan just followed him to be a traveler, having paid little attention to it. And once hearing it, the damned lady at the damned place at the damned night, the word flashed first in his mind was: Run! And the second was: Kick! Kick Liu Xingfei’s ass!

     

    Of course, he wouldn’t. They were here now, and just went back with empty hands? That was 50 contribution points!

     

    They looked for a bare spot to rest, waiting for the moon rising...

     

     

    When the sun went home and the full moon took his position in the sky, the howls of wild beasts from the mountains in the distance made Wei Gaoyuan rally his spirit at once.

     

    “Well, Lady~ We’re~ coming~” Liu Xingfei was well ready to go, obviously. On the way, he told Wei Gaoyuan several times that they must not be too far away from each other while searching the flower. After all, it was notorious Grave of Wumen.

     

    After Wumen Village became the graveyard, its range expanded a lot. The two boys searched carefully, afraid of ignoring any piece of land under their feet.

     

    The smell of beast bones filled in the air around. Seeing helplessness in each other’s eyes, they had to keep covering their noses.

     

    Time passed quietly and quickly. A mist rose over the sky. As the morning was approaching, Wei Gaoyuan suddenly stared and pointed at his front, asking, "Brother Liu, look at that! Is that…your lady?"

     

    With a smile, Liu Xingfei replied, "Beautiful! Just get closer!"

     

    There were more than a dozen palm-sized flowers on the ground in front. Each pistil of them was facing the bright moon in the sky; the pistils’ outer ring was bright scarlet, fading gradually into a flesh-colored inner ring with a black nail-sized spot in the center.  

     

    Liu Xingfei looked at the stems deep into soil and said, "Little boy, stand aside, let me say hi~"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan nodded, standing beside him with the blade out of its sheath.

     

    Liu Xingfei took out a piece of cloth wrapping his hand, carefully leaned out and grabbed the stem near him, and then pulled it.

     

    "Unmoved? Huh?" he frowned, and added some more strength yet the flower still didn’t move.

     

    "Brother..." Wei Gaoyuan seemed to have noticed something abnormal and wanted to warn Liu Xingfei.

     

    “My lady~ Out!” Liu Xingfei gave a bark, and made a great deal of strength. The whole Full Moon Flower was pulled out with its long roots and a large amount of dirt…

     

    "Brother!!" Wei Gaoyuan suddenly grabbed Liu Xingfei’s arm and pulled him away from the flower!

     

    At the same time, a dry human face emerged from the ground! Red light flashed in the eye sockets, with the roots of the Full Moon Flower extending deeply into his open mouth!

     

    All came as a sudden and a shock, Liu Xingfei was so frightened that he wanted but was reluctant to let go of the flower in his hand. Just hesitating for a moment, the neck and the upper body broke through the soil and his withered claw grabbed Liu Xingfei’s chest.

     

    As soon as Wei Gaoyuan pulled Liu Xingfei away, he’d hacked at that claw. The blade clashed with the withered claw, making a sound like chopping wood. Liu Xingfei immediately let go the flower stem, and drew out the long sword behind him.

     

    "Well, your queen has her king," Wei Gaoyuan saw a dry face, like a skeleton wrapped in a layer of bark, and the Full Moon Flower grew out of the dark hole under the bark, which was his mouth.

     

    The height of “flower host” was similar to that of a living human. His atrophied muscles were like dried bacon, his hands were dry claws, so sharp and tough that it was not damaged at all against Wei Gaoyuan’s blade.

     

    "The Whining Dead?" Liu Xingfei cursed a thousand in his heart, “dammit, that dead Fatty Power 5! Never told me the flower grows in the mouth of the Whining Dead!”

    As one branch of Corpse Cultivators, the Whining Dead, whose consciousness was unwilling to leave his body after he died in deep grievances or resentment, learned the method of perceiving and absorbing Spiritual Qi and cultivated in his body. His joints was more flexible than that of the ordinary Chinese Zombie.

     

    Seeing the red light in the eyes of Whining Dead, Liu Xingfei got relieved a little, knowing that they could handle it.

     

    The Whining Dead was blocked by Wei Gaoyuan's sword, but did not stop, stretching out the other arm and clawed Liu Xingfei's chest.

     

    Liu Xingfei avoid it easily and slashed at the stem of Full Moon Flower in his mouth.

     

    In a crisp sound, the stem was cut. Liu Xingfei grabbed the flower part and said to Wei Gaoyuan, "Retreat!"

     

    At the same time, the Whining Dead screamed so harshly, as though he had been killed again.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan could not help frowning as he had never heard such an unpleasant and twisted scream. He gave a heavy kick against the chest of the Whining Dead, who was kicked several steps back, but still didn’t fall. Then a dark gray fog sprayed from his mouth before he fell to the ground.

     

    "Stay away from that fog!"

     

    Liu Xingfei pulled Wei Gaoyuan away to the distance. At this moment, the remaining Full Moon Flowers on the ground began moving together, more than a dozen, and soon the soil around was broken open with a large amount of mud flying over — the army of Whining Dead was getting out of ground!

     

    Within the army, there was one, whose mouth had four Full Moon Flowers!!


     
    Chinese Zombies

     

     


  • Chapter 51 Hello!Jianghu!

    Wei Gaoyuan was shocked. That might be the toughest one. The red-eyed Whining Dead with one Full Moon Flower in his mouth could block his blade with his claw. What about the four flowers? And the four-flower’s pupils were glowing green.

     

    He wanted to turn and run, but a Whining Dead behind him had stopped him, which filled him with a panic.

     

    Liu Xingfei had considerable experience of Jianghu as he’d been before, his pace still steady. He gave a stab-strike to the Whining Dead in his way. His opponent didn't dodge, and stretched out the thin claws to grab his blade.

     

    There came another sound of chopping wood. The claws blocked the blade but didn’t get any damage. Liu Xingfei took the opportunity to let out a round-kick over the chest of the Whining Dead, who was hit and took several steps back.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan was terrified virtually and had to behave calmly. He learned Liu Xingfei’s attack style to wield his sword at the stems in the mouth of his opponent, and then kicked its chest while it reached out to block his sword.

     

    He had just kicked away one, but hadn’t got enough time to run as the green-eyed “four-flower-king” had clawed over his chest.

     

    Before Wei Gaoyuan realized that the claw moved as fast as thunder, he had no time to dodge but raised his sword before his chest to block it in a rush.

     

    The claw of the Green-eyed hit the blade of Wei Gaoyuan, and a full powerful impact came through the sword. Crash! Wei Gaoyuan was knocked off, flying back with his sword and fell into a pit.

     

    "Junior brother Wei!" Liu Xingfei was shocked and hurried forward to rescue him, but was stopped by two red-eyed, and the green-eyed had turned its focus on Liu Xingfei.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan wiped the dirt on his face, spat out the dust in his mouth, and tried to sit up.

     

    Feeling the blood and Internal Qi revolving and boiling in his chest, he said “lucky” in his heart— lucky to block most power of the strike with the sword at the critical moment. If his chest got hit directly, he would be seriously injured even if didn’t die.

     

    When trying to calm down, Wei Gaoyuan saw the green-eyed was stepping towards Liu Xingfei. He picked up the sword immediately and wanted to give him a back-up, but suddenly he felt the weight of the sword in his hand was not good; the blade was broken in half!

     

    That was awfully troublesome!

     

    Wei Gaoyuan's heart sank at once. He was totally outmatched with a complete sword, knocked off by only one strike of the green-eyed, let alone a broken half. Besides, there was assistance of another two orange-eye, each with two flowers in the mouth.

     

    Seeing that Liu Xingfei was surrounded and couldn’t escape even with wings, Wei Gaoyuan remembered the sword in the Universe in Bag: Fall of Maple Leaf!

     

    Although he couldn't exert its magic and power, it was obviously far better than fight with bare hands or broken sword. Without hesitation, his stream of consciousness flowed into the bag and took out Fall of Maple Leaf.

     

    Liu Xingfei kicked off a red-eyed again, trying to get away. The green-eye jumped forward high after a roar, landed in front of him in an instant, and grabbed his chest.

     

    Having witnessed the green-eyed slammed Wei Gaoyuan flying over by only one claw, Liu Xingfei knew it would be stupid to fight against it. He had to choose another direction to retreat. However, more than a dozen Whining Dead had surrounded him, leaving him no gap to escape.

     

    At the critical moment, a dark cloud floating in the sky moving over and covered almost all the moon. The Grave of Wumen was shrouded in darkness at once. All the Whining Dead seemed to turn blind and deaf, losing the sense of direction and the aggressive consciousness for a while.

     

    And that was just a saving-life while, Wei Gaoyuan rushed up and kept wielding Fall of Maple Leaf to chop across the dead crowd. Surprisingly, the body of the Whining Dead where Fall of Maple Leaf hit was cut off as easily as cutting pieces of standing tofu. Just a while, two Whining Dead were chopped into large pieces, and a few Full Moon Flowers stems had also been cut off from their mouths.

     

    That dark clouds were moving away little by little, the moonlight gradually sprayed over the graveyard again. The Whining Dead began recovering their senses and moving about slightly. "Brother! Run!!" Wei Gaoyuan hurriedly pulled Liu Xingfei, who was still surprised at the scene that Wei Gaoyuan suddenly started cutting the toufu happily.

     

    Liu Xingfei recovered himself immediately and rushed out through the gap Wei Gaoyuan had chopped through the circle of the Whining Dead. Without any exchange of any words, the two just kept running as fast as they could, for fear that the green-eyed king with four flowers would recover and chase them up.

     

    The low roar sounded behind them, getting farther and farther though. Before long, the two had rushed out of Grave of Wumen and disappeared into the dark distance.

     

    Until about an hour later, the two was speeding down. Having confirmed that the green-eye didn’t chase after them, Liu Xingfei gasped and said, "Okay…slow down…have a… a rest…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan also ran at his fastest speed for long, his mouth feeling very dry. He looked back a few more times before taking out the kettle and taking a big mouthful.

     

    "That green-eyed guy shouldn’t follow…So pettish is that guy! We just took only one of their sweethearts!" Liu Xingfei complained.

     

    “More good fame, more bad temper; and, not one…” Wei Gaoyuan raised his hand, holding one Full Moon Flower with a short stem.

     

    “Hey, hey, you guy has learned to flee without empty hands! Great! We’ve got two now!” Liu Xingfei laughed, raising and waving anther one in his hand, “Dead fatty Power 5! I’m gonna help you to lose some weight!”

     

    Wei Gaoyuan gave a sigh. Indeed, if without Fall of Maple Leaf, they might have joined the army of that four-flower king.  

     

    Then Liu Xingfei remembered something, stared at Wei Gaoyuan and said, "I didn't think you’re so strong, just chopped off the leg of an orange-eyed with one stroke of sword! Your sword..."

     

    Wei Gaoyuan knew that Liu Xingfei had noticed it, raising Fall of Maple Leaf before he asked," Thanks to this sword. As I fell into the pit, I touched it at the bottom of the pit, mine had broken during the battle, so, I used it without hesitation. It’s pretty sharp!"

     

    "Uh..." Liu Xingfei's face became serious. "Isn't this sword some talisman? It looked sort of unusual! I mean, it might be used to tame or expel those evil stuff… if so, we would throw the Grave of Wumen into great turmoil…"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan reluctantly spread his hands and said, "I’d rather report it to the local government than go back that fucking place again, and the sword is quite to my taste~"

     

    Fall of Maple Leaf was the Spirit Weapon left by Lie Qianshan, and he wouldn’t surrender it naturally.

     

    Liu Xingfei thought for a while and said, "you’re right, just report it first, if it's not some talisman in Grave of Wumen, you just take it. Brother Wei, thank you for saving me again…"

     

    "Hey, hey~ You’re speaking like me~" Wei Gaoyuan smiled.

     

    “You too~ Hahaha…”

     

    Under the sky full of stars at night, the two young swordsmen came amidst bright moonlight and went with their debonair laugh.

     

    Tears in smiles, sweat in blood, love in resentment…That was the Jianghu of the youth, that was the youthful Jianghu!

     

    ...

     

    Two days later, a group of people came to Grave of Wumen. One of them, long grey beard, was wearing a teal Taoism robe and held a compass-like stuff. He scanned the ground as he walked around and glanced at the compass-like stuff in his hand from time to time.

     

    The ground looked a bit messy, with traces of the dirt being turned over. The army of Whining Dead and their limbs cut off by Fall of Maple Leaf were already gone. Only those big and small gaps on the ground proved that something must had happened here.

     

    "Senior Feng, I wonder if something… has been changed here?" asked a middle-aged man in an official uniform, tension shown on his face.

     

    The man who was called senior Feng observed around again and said, "The monument is immaculate; the formation shows no sign of chaotic as well; someone should have come here to collect Full Moon Flowers and… fought with the villagers, I mean, the Whining Dead."

     

    "Who are they? So bold! Taoism Followers?" the middle-aged official was amazed.

     

    "Even if it’s some Taoism Follower," Senior Feng nodded lightly, deep in thought, "it's probably just a junior, Full Moon Flowers got no power to detoxify the poison of fire that can hurt those…errr… stronger than the stage of Real Inedia."

     

    The middle-aged official got relieved. After all, senior Feng had affirmed that both the monument and the formation were good as old, and the disorder here was just caused by someone instead of “somebodies.”

     

    Such annoying issues, two or three times a year, made him quite depressed every time. There were no proper ways, however, to stop it. He couldn't stop kinds of cultivators or Taoism Followers from picking up Full Moon Flowers here, or get some senior or master from Jianghu involved in the guard task of local government.

     

    Fortunately, the Full Moon Flower only appeared twice a month at most, and there were not many people who showed much interest in it.

     

    It was just another false alarm. The middle-aged official ordered his men to fill up the pit and tide the scene up, and then he needed to calm himself down, with a jar of “Burning Knife” in his favorite tavern.

    (Burning Knife: a sort of alcohol in ancient China. It gets the name due to its high levels of alcohol and strong flavor, like burning knife in the stomach after drinking it.)

     


  • Chapter 52 Another End of Year

    After Wei Gaoyuan and Liu Xingfei got the moon flower, they hurried back to Huyang Town without stopping. Qiu Mengqin and Yu Wansu hadn't left yet when they arrived; Qiu Mengqin was so badly injured that she couldn't recover in a few days, so they had to abandon the original plan and set off to return to the outer section.

     

    ...

     

    Jin Dashun went to the Mission Hall at his leisure these days, for any news of the Full Moon Flower and release of the new missions from Garden of Nine Herbs.

    This day, when he came to the front of the hall and was striding his not very fatty leg over the doorsill, he was gripped by the collar as a voice exclaimed behind him, "You fatty thief! Are there anything else but bad water in your stomach and brain?! Do you deserve your face of integrity and honesty your parents gave you?!... "

     

    Jin Dashun was startled and turned, only to find Liu Xingfei with an angry look. He grinned immediately and said, " Brother Liu! Brother Wei! That’s great! You never know how much I miss you these days! let me see~ You must have brought back the best news! But why brother Liu said like that? I swear, my offer is always reasonable. 50 points! No one could offer you such a good deal! "

     

    What he said was indeed true, Liu Xingfei had to admit that 50 points was not low; however, the key point was that the fatty never told them the root of Full Moon Flower was deep in the mouth of the Whining Dead! On the way back, Liu Xingfei never let his hand that had touched the stem of the flower to grab any food even though it had been wrapped up in a piece of cloth.

     

    In Huyang Town, he found a small rectangular box to store the flowers, and then washed his hands, seven or eight times. He’d just touched something like clothes so far, but not food, never. The experience in mission might have scarred him for life…

     

    Liu Xingfei didn't want to waste even one word with the annoying fatty guy. He gave a cold humph and threw out the box, "Take it! Transfer contribution points!"

     

    "You really got it!! I knew it!!"Jin Dashun's eyes brightened, and turned a blind eye to Liu Xingfei's colder face. He quickly opened the lid of the box with joy, glanced at the inside and got the lid back on. Then a sunny smile was put on his face, "Brother Liu truly deserves ‘the man I’ve always admired for my life.’ Got two flowers! Please allow me to report your merit to my elder later. Err…you know, for you, ask them for more benefits…"

     

    Liu Xingfei stopped his endless speech, "Save your words for Spring Festival this year, just go and finish the procedure."

     

    "Yes, yes, brother Liu, please!" Jin Dashun made a "please" gesture, with a smile of Jin Dashun’s style.

     

    The procedure was not complicated, and finished in just a few moments.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan refused to accept 20 points as Liu Xinfei suggested. After a deliberation, Wei Gaoyuan finally received fourteen points, Liu Xingfei fourteen points, Qiu Mengqin twelve points, and Yu Wansu ten points.

     

    Yu Wansu knew that she had taken an advantage, and treated the three to a feast of spirit animal in the Restaurant of Sprite, which cost nearly 1,000 silver coins! Wei Gaoyuan, who’d been leading a very poor life since his childhood, was really shocked by this number.

     

    Sister Yu just perfectly explained to her junior brother Wei that “The rich Martial Artist and the poor scholar.”

     

    ...

     

    Time flied peacefully. Five or six months had just passed. It was almost the end of the year.

     

    The outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan allowed the disciples to go home to celebrate Spring Festival. That, however, depended on their performance in the evaluation at the end of each year, regardless of those by formal trial selection or those by other ways like donation.

     

    The rule of evaluation was simple: the disciples who entered in the same year competed with each other on the competition platform; on the basis of the result, half of them were allowed to go down the mountain of the outer section; the top ten would be rewarded; the last ten would be recorded; If three times totally in record, they would go down the mountain too, though never allowed to came back.

     

    A few months ago, WEI Gaoyuan of Cyan-Feather had already broken through into the ninth-level. Recently, he’d been reported to have levelled up to the bottom of the eighth

     

    As a routine, the Undistinguishment was the foundation stage of Martial Arts. During this stage, most of disciples tended to try hard laying a solid foundation step by step, under the guidance of their elders, in order to get higher achievements in the future. It was very unusual that a new disciple could broke through into a higher stage and then got another level-up in just seven or eight months.

     

    Admittedly, it was not a surprise, even if it was rarely rumored, that a man with Fake spiritual root reached the Nature at his twenties. Almost everyone, especially ordinary people, took it for granted.

     

    Since the end of last mission of Full Moon Flower, Wei Gaoyuan had almost locked himself in his dorm at Dark-Feather Peak. He spent no time on other training but thirstily learning SONG OF MAGIN and CHASING WIND SWORD, and within half a year, he finally entered the door of the first-floor of SONG OF MAGIN.

     

    As for the scroll of CHASING WIND SWORD, it seemed different from the one from the woman in white. The latter was a set of swordsmanship, eight patterns; the scroll from Lie Qianshan was a complete combating system, of which the swordsmanship of “Chasing Wind Sword” was the most basic part, pretty suitable for him, a virtual novice as a swordsman.

     

    In addition, he found it quite comfortable to hold the unknown stone in the Universe in Bag, which made him more smoothly and efficiently while flowing the Internal Qi in a full circle than before. Until yesterday, he’d reached the bottom of seventh-level, even not far from the top of it.

     

    However, there had always been a no-answer question in his mind—the cultivation in his wired dream space. It seemed to happen only to him; the more wired three-man-high stone stele in the dream, which had modified “Eight Clouds in Dream,” also made modification occasionally to the cultivation methods in both SONG OF MAGIN and CHASING WIND SWORD.

     

    Was there any senior who was strong enough to help him with clearing up the road of cultivation, through his dream?

     

    Every time he thought of it, he would laugh at himself in his heart. A super, mighty, earth-shaking senior favored and helped a poor kid who grew up in a slum— that did happen, only in the fairy tale from the storyteller in the teahouse. Even if he owned some Transcendent Spiritual Root, if the division stream of consciousness of Lie Qianshan was right, was it even a higher rank than senior Lie’s spiritual root?  

     

    Or, it might be related to the woman in white and her scroll.

     

    Anyway, it was a secret, his own secret.

     

    ...

     

    In the blink of an eye, the end of the year came, and that meant the competition evaluation this year was beginning.

     

    There were ten generations of disciples altogether in the outer section of the East Mountain Sword Clan, who were  in ten grades—Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Xin, Ren, Gui— and upgraded to the higher grade every two years.  .

     

    There were more than fifty new disciples, known as the grade of Gui, of which the twelve through the trial selection had been listed as “the seed disciple” (the best 12).

     

    On the first day of evaluation, because of having a bye, Wei Gaoyuan went to the Competition Field to give Liu Xingfei a boost.

     

    Liu Xingfei’s grade, Xin, consisted of sixty-four disciples, who would compete with each other by sortition. The winner would get directly promoted into next round while the loser would be pending. The majority of disciples at Xin were at the stage of the ninth- to the eighth-level, only a few at the seventh.

     

    The first opponent of Liu Xingfei was a male disciple at the top of ninth-level, who seemed a bit down to compete with Liu Xingfei, a seed disciple.

     

    It was not a big issue for Liu Xingfei to be one of the top ten disciples who entered the section in the same year. Thus, after three rounds, Liu Xingfei seized a chance to kick his opponent's shoulder and knocked him off the competition platform. He won, for sure.

     

    He walked down the competition platform and greeted his opponent with a cupped-fist, "Junior brother Mu, thanks for your guidance!"

     

    The man called Mu greeted with a cupped-fist and gave a sigh, "Brother Liu, I appreciate your mercy on the platform!"

     

    Liu Xingfei nodded slightly before he saw Wei Gaoyuan. He smiled, "I know~ Junior brother Wei must come here for giving his sister Yu a support and boost!"

     

    Wei Gaoyuan rolled his eyes, knowing that Liu Xingfei was teasing him, "Exactly, if sister Yu meets you on the platform, I’ll be cheering up for her~”

     

    "Junior brother Wei, I hope your expectation never came ture~ Brother Liu was the last man I wanna meet on that platform," a voice came behind Wei Gaoyuan, it was Yu Wansu, who was wearing a light-yellow long dress and greeted them with a lovely smile.

     

    That was true. Liu Xingfei was at the top of eighth-level, half-level higher than herself, not to mention the practical combating experience gap between them.

     

    Wei Gaoyuan smiled awkwardly, scratching his head and grinned, "Look my big mouth~ May Tao bless sister Yu! Never draw that shor~~t straw~ Go straight into the top 10!"

     

    "Humph, that’s just sweet~" Yu Wansu pretended to be annoyed.

     

    Then she looked Wei Gaoyuan up and down for a while, then blinked and smiled, "Brother Liu told me your virtual combating power might be stronger than his, and you’re here now…Are you planning to challenge the Xin-grade disciple?"

     


Sign In or Register to comment.