|Author: Zhou Nan Wood||Original Source: 8kana|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
On the road, came a pair of fast steeds, winds roaring in their backs as they bore their two distinctly different riders forward. One dressed in red and the other dressed in blue.
Just three months ago, they made the difficult journey to Snow Moon City, having finally escaped from the trap that was their sense of direction. Three months later, they were all raring to go as they rode their steeds out of that same city. This time, however, they were brimming with confidence. That was because on the day of their departure they had already made preparations: a map!
Eyeing the map in his hands, Lei Wujie immediately took a turn before asking, “That way?”
“You’re sure this is the way to the Lei Clan’s estate?” Xiao Se eyed him.
“Of course not.” Lei Wujie smiled and shook his head. “We’re heading somewhere else first.”
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“Oh. Where to?” Xiao Se was a little surprised.
“To Mount Qingcheng!” A visibly excited Lei Wujie chimed as he stared into the distance.
Xiao Se, however, frowned. “Mount Qingcheng? Exactly what are you planning to do there?”
“What else but to drag that so called immortal down from his mountain. What do you say, a reunion between three old friends in the Lei Clan Estate, doesn’t that just sound interesting?” Having said that, Lei Wujie cracked his horse whip, urging his steed forward and leaving his companion trailing behind.
“Sigh.” Xiao Se looked on with resignation at the boy’s strange change of heart. “Zhao Yuzhen has never stepped down from his mountain, ever. What makes you think he will change his mind for a brat like you?”
Zhao Yuzhen of Mount Qingcheng was taken away on the day he was born by the six Astrologians of Mount Qingcheng. At the age of three, he was brought under the personal tutelage of their sect master of forty years, Lu Suzhen. At the age of six, he learnt the Grand Dragon Divination. At the age of ten, he started practising the Unlimited Sword Arts, becoming the first ever disciple in a hundred years to ever cultivate both the sword and daoist arts. At the age of the Sixteen, he became the seventh Astrologian on Mount Qingcheng. At the age of twenty two, due to the passing of Lu Suzhen, he became the new sect master, Qingcheng’s youngest ever sect master in recorded history. Finally, he became the Daoist Sword Immortal. Yet this legendary figure in the martial world had never once stepped foot out of Mount Qingcheng, not even to visit his hometown which was a village at the base of the mountain.
Lu Suzhen once said this of Zhao Yuzhen: he bore both the martial fortunes and the heavenly fate of their sect. Should he ever step down from the mountain, he would undoubtedly stir up a storm. Zhao Yuzhen had no intention of stirring a storm, none whatsoever, so he stayed up on that mountain for thirty over years.
Today, he still stood atop that mountain, gazing into the distance, as if his eyes could behold a thousand li. Behind him, stood his disciple and grand disciple. One carried a bookcase on his back, the very picture of a Confucian scholar. The other was a young boy with an oversized longsword strapped to his back. These two were the same duo who travelled all the way to Snow Moon City in order to challenge a Sword Immortal, Li Fansong and Feixuan
“Fansong, after six months of travelling, I see you’ve finally returned.” Zhao Yuzhen muttered, not at all turning around, eyes still fixated at the horizon. His tone wasn’t fierce. Rather, it was a tone you would expect from an elder just chatting with his junior.
Li Fansong stepped forward and plopped himself down beside Zhao Yuzhen. “It has been half a year since your disciple has kept you company, master. How have your days been?”
Dressed in a purple daoist robe and armed with a handsome face, Zhao Yuzhen almost looked otherworldly as he stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Still fine, much more quiet actually. Fansong, where have you been these past months?”
“To Chaisang City, to see the flowers. The books mentioned that during the season of spring, the roads a hundred li long would be filled with all sorts of wild flowers. Next was Guluo City, to see the ocean. I stirred up a giant wave with one sword strike; those fishermen who saw me that day all thought I was some kind of immortal. Right, right, I also climbed Mount Kunlun -so such a place does actually exist! Snowing all year round and every bit desolate, yet there are still people who would build a villa there, and even stay for twenty whole years.” Li Fansong prattled one. “Really, the world below is full of amazing things, Master, it’s a shame you can’t go and see them for yourself.”
“A shame?” Zhao Yuzhen smiled.
“But even if Master doesn’t leave the mountain, the world below is still filled with legends of him.” Li Fansong immediately changed the topic. “The Five Sword Immortals: Confucian, Daoist, Lone, Wrathful and Moon. They are all famous titles in the martial world; the tea houses are all filled with stories of you, master.”
“Oh? And what do they say of your master?”
“What else but that a ray of light shone right into the room when Master was born, causing the six Astrologians of Qingcheng themselves to come down personally to receive you. And also that battle Master had with Lei Yunhe where he used his daoist arts to break through the Nine Heavens Thunder -that battle even left a hole in the roof! They also say that Master wasn’t willing to leave the mountain because of a lady. They say that you are afraid, afraid that if you were to ever leave, you would never wish to return again…” Li Fansong quietly sneaked a glance at his master as he said that.
Zhao Yuzhen had his brows furrowed. “The front parts are still fine, but are you sure you didn’t make up the back?”
“Your disciple would never.” Li Fansong hurriedly waved his hands.
Suddenly, Zhao Yuzhen reached out and grabbed a leaf. “Fansong, where’s your sword?”
Li Fansong was stunned, but he immediately came to his frightened senses and started scrambling away.
“Feixuan.” Zhao Yuzhen called out in a deep voice.
“Master, I’ll talk. I’ll tell you everything.” Feixuan immediately knelt down in fear.
“Tell me about what?” Zhao Yuzhen stood up, purple robes fluttering in the air.
“We…we went to Snow Moon City.” Feixuan struggled to answer. With his keen Qi Perception, how could he not have known that Zhao Yuzhen had already seen through their lies.
“To Snow Moon City to do what exactly?” Zhao Yuzhen lifted his finger, and the peachwood sword which was lying on the ground mere moments ago was already in his hand.
It was a rather eye-grabbing wooden sword, what with its crimson red hue. Its name was “Peach Blossom”, a sword that Zhao Yuzhen himself carved out of peachwood when he was sixteen. This sword was said to be filled with the warmth of life. Once, in the dead of winter, Zhao Yuzhen buried it under the snow. A while later, the peach blossoms started to bloom.
Li Fansong nervously wiped the cold sweat off his brows. “About that…we went to see the Snow Moong Sword Immortal.”
“Then what?” Zhao Yuzhen gave the sword a quick flourish, frightening the poor boy once more. In actuality, while Zhao Yuzhen was of a high position in Qingcheng, being their sect master and also one of the five great Sword Immortals, but to the younger members of the sect, he was an extremely approachable figure. At times, he would even teach some of the newer members a sword technique or two. It was only with his disciple, Li Fansong, that he was ever strict.
“Then, I asked the Sword Immortal for a benefaction.” Li Fansong gingerly glanced at his master.
“What was the sword’s name?”
“Moon in Obscurity, Flowers at Daybreak.”
Zhao Yuzhen fell silent. He looked down at the leaf in his hand and continued his silence. Suddenly, he smiled. It was a smile filled with the warmth of summer itself. The peachwood sword began to emit a red glow. Li Fansong and Feixuan both exchanged a glance with each other; shock was clearly written on both their faces. Being adept in Qi Perception, Feixuan immediately knew of the warmth in Zhao Yuzhen’s heart right now.
“Seems like you’re just as lucky as I am. Back when I was your age, I also experienced such a beautiful sword firsthand.” Without any warning, Zhao Yuzhen abruptly tossed the leaf down the mountain, and with a leap, rode that leaf towards the great hall in the distance.