|Author: Zhou Nan Wood||Original Source: 8kana|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
A crack of thunder boomed across the ground.
The tip of the Armored Glacier drove the air in a single deadly point, the mountain winds howling as it did so, its sword qi wild and untamed like a herd of stallions charging across the plains…
Unlike the previous few swords of Li Hanyi, this sword was aggressive, lacking any of the poetic sense the previous ones had; all it had was a terrifying desire to kill.
This incomparably aggressive sword wasn’t one of Li Hanyi’s creations, instead it was created by that oddball swordsman of the Lei Clan, Lei Hong.
Back then, a youthful Lei Hong came to Snow Moon City, carrying a decidedly unique sword. He seemed a little shy or even reserved at first, but his words were anything but. “The phoenix bears news of a legend rising, while thunder booms for a change incoming. I have a sword named “A Swathe of Thunder”. I humbly submit for instruction.”
Today, it was now Li Hanyi’s turn, eyes closed, to perform that sword, though he quickly withdrew it after.
“Lei Hong, it seems like we finally have to meet again…” Li Hanyi mumbled.
With his Raging Inferno Lightning on the left, and his Brush Like Unfettered Clouds on the right, it could be said that Lei Wujie had reached the peak of his current swordsmanship. Yet under the sheer force of A Swathe of Thunder, he could only retreat, step after step. Although Li Hanyi had already withdrawn his sword, the force of his sword had not decreased. That single sword he let forth actually called forth the thunder. The sky immediately darkened and rain came pouring down.
Li Hanyi turned around to face the boy. Though the rain was thick, not a single drop landed on his clothes.
Lei Wujie, however, was drenched. Standing there in a wet daze, he suddenly struck once more. It was an ordinary sword strike, like one a child would use, no method to it, and lacking in any sword essence.
Yet Li Hanyi unexpectedly raised his head to look at the sky. He gently lifted up a finger, and a droplet of water landed on it. With a soft swing, he pulled out a stream of smaller droplets, slowly forming them into the sword of a sword. By now, the incoming sword had already reached him. He lowered his head, focused his gaze, and the watery sword instantly burst forth, brimming with sword essence but bereft of any killing intent.
“And what sword was that?” Li Hanyi asked.
“An Ordinary Man’s sword, a normal thrust.” Lei Wujie answered.
Li Hanyi laughed and turned around. Ordinary that sword might have been, it managed to rip his face shawl. And as the shreds fell gently to the ground, the sword qi surrounding him dissipated -the rainwater once more allowed to land on him. There stood a Sword Immortal of his times, allowing the rainwater to soak his clothes, his hair, and all the while silently immobile.
Lei Wujie sheathed his sword, but his eyes suddenly went wet with tears.
It was then that Sikong Changfeng, Tang Lian and Xiao Se rushed to the mountain peak and witnessed that scene. They saw the might of A Swathe of Thunder, and Lei Wujie’s ordinary thrust. An Ordinary Man’s Sword… that was the beginner’s book to swordsmanship, something you could find anywhere in the martial world, sold at a pittance in any bookstore, and filled with moves that even a ten year old could execute. A sword like that actually reached the Sword Immortal?
Yet it was just such a sword that eventually ripped the face shawl that Li Hanyi religiously kept on.
From beneath the face shawl, came an unmistakably beautiful face.
Tang Lian was stunned. “Second Master is a woman?”
While no longer young, the face beneath could still be considered breathtaking. Yet the expression it had on was icy cold, one that prevented any attempt at close contact.
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No wonder Lei Hong praised the sword as beautiful after watching her swordsmanship… that was precisely why.
No wonder the Confucian Sword Immortal, Xie Xuan, said that there were two beautiful ladies in Snow Moon City, one was the Immortal Maiden Luoxian, and the other was… a little fierce.
Lei Wujie suddenly fell to his knees, and in a soft voice, said, “Sister.”
Li Hanyi lowered his head to face him, face still cold. “You knew from the start.”
Though Lei Wujie said that he began learning the sword when he learnt of its beauty from Lei Hong, he had actually come into contact with the sword at an even younger age. Back then, he, his father, his mother and his sister stayed in a large city. His father was often out, and so was his mother, leaving his sister the only one at home while she practised her sword. When she was bored, she would often drag him along for sword practise. That was where this normal thrust came from. Being as young as he was, the only move he could really execute was this normal thrust.
And that was why when Lei Wujie mentioned this sword, Li Hanyi knew.
“Third Master, what’s the matter?” Tang Lian turned to face Sikong Changfeng.
Sikong Changfeng sighed. “Li Hanyi entered our teacher’s tutelage a month earlier than me, but in actuality, she was younger than me by four years. Her mother was the successor of the Sword Tomb, Li Xinyue. Her father was one of the elders of the Lei Clan, Lei Mengsha. Because she never joined the Lei Clan, her surname remained that of her mother’s.”
“Lei Mengsha? Li Xinyue? Those are…” A stunned Tang Lian couldn’t finish his words.
“That’s right. A Sword’s Heart has a Moon, A Fleeting Dream, A Fleeting Life. They were once very famous martial artists. During the Rebellion of Revelations twenty years ago, as His Majesty’s personal guards, they protected him as he slew his way into the Hall of Serenity. Later on, Lei Mengsha became one of the eight pillars of the kingdom, his charge was to handle the south. Ultimately, he died on a battlefield there. Li Xinyue however became the head of the Four Guardians of Revelations. Her post was the East; her title was the Blue Dragon. Four years ago, after the case involving Prince Langya, she left Revelations and disappeared.” Sikong Changfeng sighed once more.
“Lei Mengsha and Li Xinyue both occupied an esteemed position within the martial world, so they had sent their children out of Revelations long ago. One came to Snow Moon City, the other went to the Lei Clan. Only a scant few knew of this. The fact that Li Hanyi, as a Sword Immortal, rarely left the city, meant that even fewer knew that she was actually a woman.”
“So the reason you came to find me wasn’t because Lei Hong was about to die?” Li Hanyi stated.
Lei Wujie shook his head. “Teacher is indeed gravely ill. I did actually come here for his sake. It’s that when I saw you that day, I felt a strange sense of familiarity. That heavy rainfall just now made me remember an incident from my childhood. Back then, I snuck out to play and ended up lost. It rained heavily on that day as well. I couldn’t find my way home so I stood there crying. Suddenly, Sister appeared before me amongst the heavy rainfall, like a light illuminating the world before me. The rain just now made me remember that day. Back then, Sister was looking at me the same way as well, a little bit of admiration but mostly angry. I wasn’t sure whether I should ask for forgiveness, so I ran right into your embrace and cried.”
Li Hanyi sheathed her Armored Glacier and sighed. She slowly strode forward, lowered herself and gently hugged him. “Jie, these past years must have been hard on you.”
Lei Wujie cried once more, but he merely shook his head and said no more.
Sikong Changfeng quietly turned around and walked down the mountain path, muttering to himself as he did so. “As I watch you from one end of the world, an expanse of ten thousand leads to our next meeting.”
Tang Lian quietly followed behind. Such a scene truly wasn’t one which they should stay behind at. Yet Xiao Se still stood there quietly, as if he was in a trance. Tang Lian tugged at his clothes. “What are you thinking about?”
Xiao Se murmured, “I was just thinking, some things truly are predestined.”
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Xiao Se merely shook his head and walked down the mountain path.
****End of Snow Moon City Arc****