|Author: Zhou Nan Wood||Original Source: 8kana|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
“Flowers at daybreak in a mid-autumn day, like a rainbow glare climbing the heavens.” 1
Lei Wujie sharply drew out his sword, pointing it shakingly at Li Hanyi. “The first sword, inherited from the Sword Immortal, Moon in Obscurity, Flowers at Daybreak.”
A whistle ran through the mountain peaks, but there was no flower storm this time, nor was there any moonlight bathing them; this sword was pure and clean. Yet though there were flowers, nor was there any moon in sight, there was the essence of flowers, and the shadow of a moon!
The sword…it was a stroke worthy to be called elegant!
Lei Wujie’s strike came piercing through the air, sword glistening with a cold light. This was already his fourth attempt at the move, yet this time, his sword bore a hint of a Sword Immortal’s manner.
Li Hanyi nodded lightly at that. His fingers curved into a beckoning sign, calling forth Armored Glacier from its sheath. “Fall!” He yelled lightly, and the Armored Glacier came crashing down, shattering the flowery essence of Lei Wujie, destroying his moonlight. His sword came barrelling through with the frigid coldness of the mountain peaks themselves, aura bursting at the seams, and sword qi rushing forward like a herd of wild stallions, all charging right at Lei Wujie.
Lei Wuije pressed down on his sword using it as a bulwark, his body refusing to budge even an inch. His sleeves came off in shreds, but he persevered silently, knuckles white from gripping Rainfall.
“A dancing flower in the rain, a waving willow in a breeze, both clad in yesteryear’s allure. A fresh burst of greens and reds, like a frenzied mix of spring and morning.” Lei Wujie stepped back, gave his sword a quick flourish, then struck once more. 2
“The second sword, inherited from the Sword Immortal, A Scarlet Bloom, A Misty Sward.” Lei Wujie stabbed his sword towards the heavens.
This was a move he once saw his teacher, Lei Hong, execute. With it, he once made a peach blossom flower on the last night of winter solstice!
It was a move filled with the warmth of life. Used with the demure Rainfall, its blade was bathed in a tinge of red. And the harsh coldness of Armored Glacier was gently pushed back. Not expecting his own move to actually triumph, Lei Wujie pushed forth, boosted by the elation of victory.
Li Hanyi nodded lightly. “Good. A Scarlet Bloom, A Misty Sward: that was a sword I created during my youth. That year I was travelling through Jiangnan when I spotted budding leaves on a willow by the lakeside -that was how I created this sword. You did very well. But you were originally from Jiangnan to begin with, comprehending this sword isn’t difficult.” Having said that, he lightly hooked his finger, and Armored Glacier rose once more!
Back in Snow Moon City…
Sikong Changfeng stepped out of his own hall and gazed at the distant Cangshan.
“Third Master, what are you looking at?” Spotting Sikong Changfeng in the distance, Tang Lian lifted his head and asked.
“Your junior is about to leave the mountains.”
“Leave the mountains?” Tang Lian and Xiao Se exchanged a glance.
“If you hurry, you might just make it in time for the last sword.” With a turn of his body, Sikong Changfeng sped off in the direction of Cangshan.
Tang Lian and Xiao Se immediately sprinted off. That day in Snow Moon City, Lei Wujie and Li Hanyi did in fact cement an agreement: whenever Lei Wujie could exchange three blows with him, he would leave the mountains with him. Yet it had only been three months, could Lei Wujie actually accomplish this?
Lei Wujie’s second sword, A Scarlet Bloom, A Verdant Sward, brought forth a wave of warmth that instantly melted the snowflakes around Li Hanyi. Yet the coldness of Armored Glacier instantly froze the water on the ground solid once more. Lei Wujie exploded in heat, his foot smashing into the frozen snow water.
Blazing Arts: Garuda Realm!
Li Hanyi frowned slightly. Is this his trump card? Then he has severely underestimated a Sword Immortal’s sword. The Blazing Arts can’t be even counted as a top tier martial art, let alone his lowly Garuda Realm.
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It was then that Lei Wujie’s pupils burned a fiery red, his qi exploding once more as an uncontrollable primal flame filled his eyes.
His Blazing Arts had risen once more— the Origin Flame Realm!
“Very good. When Lei Hong was your age, he wasn’t at your level.” Li Hanyi lightly praised him. Once more his fingers curved into a hook and Armored Glacier rose to the skies before diving downwards with a force to rend the earth asunder.
“You may have your raging flames, but can you stand up to my Thousand Inches of Ice?” Li Hanyi proudly declared.
Lei Wujie waved his right arm and barely deflected Li Hanyi’s sword, retreating ten steps in the process. Suddenly, the frigid cold of Armored Glacier overwhelmed him, leaving him in a dazed trance.
His thoughts drifted to a certain grey clad man who often sat in a daze in the courtyard. He remembered what that man told him once.
“A sword has a life of its own, should a person form a bond with a sword, then that sword is his friend, and when a friend is in trouble, that sword would sense it. That is why some swords would start shaking if it senses killing intent.”
“I hand the Murderous Dread Sword over to you, from now on, as long as the person stands, so will the sword.:
“And if the person falls, so does the sword?” Lei Wujie asked in a grave voice as he received the sword.
“Come to me, sword!” Lei Wujie’s eyes snapped wide open, his lungs straining from the sheer force of his shout.
Back at the gates of Snow Moon City, the sword which had been stuck there for three months suddenly stirred.
The people below the gate heard a deafening boom as they raised their heads to stare at the crimson sword above.
It was said that this sword was forged from the combination of explosives and metal, etched with the markings of flame. At its tip was the picture of a fire breathing dragon. This was the Murderous Dread Sword. Because of its extraordinary lethality, it once swept through the martial world. With it in hand, Lei Hong was basically half a Sword Immortal!
Right now, the Murderous Dread Sword was about to seek out its master.
“Come to me, sword!” Standing atop the mountain peak, Lei Wujie stretched out his left hand and bellowed once more.
The Murderous Dread Sword finally broke free from its stony prison, rushing straight towards Cangshan in a fiery red line across the sky.
Sikong Changfeng, Tang Lian and Xiao Se were in the midst of rushing towards the scene when a sudden blast of wind blew past them. Raising their heads, all they saw was the Murderous Dread Sword.
“A bond of sword and man. For your junior brother to reach this stage… he has stepped into the first tier.”
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“The first tier?” Tang Lian revealed a look of shock.
Lei Wujie stretched out his left hand and caught the incoming Murderous Dread Sword. The etchings on the blade started to flow. He swung his left hand outwards, forcing away the Armored Glacier.
“A jet black night, a booming sky, winds blowing like a thousand crossbows. The darkness passes and the deities smile above. The third sword, inherited from the swordsman of Lei, Lei Hong, its name is Raging Inferno Lightning.” 3
“A drunken haze, a falling brush. A poem turned jade, and one for the ages. The third sword, inherited from Li Hanyi, A Brush Like Unfettered Clouds.” 4
Rainfall in his right, and Murderous Dread in his left, combined the two were unstoppable. He slowly raised the twin swords, Rainfall encased in cold, Murderous Dread wrapped in flames – one hot and one cold. Then, he said in a slow voice, “This third sword, I present to my teacher.”
Li Hanyi nodded. “Good.” In that very instant, it was as if he was looking at his younger self. His teacher was the former Citymaster of Snow Moon City, Su Zhemu. Back then, all their martial arts were learnt in pairs. Baili Dongjun made his name as a wielder of both a sword and a blade. Sikong Changfeng wielded two spears of unequal length. As for him, he once carried a pair of swords as well.
Li Hanyi gently hooked his finger once more and Armored Glacier came flying back into his hands. Up till now, he had only commanded his sword with his finger as he blocked two of Lei Wujie’s strikes. Yet this third strike… it was one that was finally worthy of him wielding his sword -a true battle.
That was because Lei Wujie’s sword… had already stepped into the realm of the Mortal Vajra.
“Your teacher has a sword for you as well. This sword has a name…” Li Hanyi slowly said. “And its name is A Swathe of Thunder.”