Chapter 9: The Sword’s Name
There wasn’t a lot of people living on Xi Hua Peak. Other than the Sword Saint’s ‘Chief Courtyard’ that was locked up for the entire year, five courtyards was scattered from east to west, starting with their eldest senior-apprentice brother’s ‘Primary Courtyard’. From the building’s style to even the floors, everything was decided by the courtyard’s owner.
The Peak disciples Yin BiYue had claimed to have walked into the wrong film were currently holding a meeting within the main hall of Jun Yu’s ‘Primary Courtyard’.
Jun Yu’s residence was even simpler than the owner himself. There weren’t any superfluous furnishings or decorations.
In fact, the lobby of the courtyard only had two chairs. Because of this, Duan ChongXuan had to bring his own round stool.
Although their gathering could be described as a meeting, only three people attended: Jun Yu, Liu QiShuang, and Duan ChongXuan. The third disciple Yan Xing was still travelling the world and hadn’t returned to the Peak in a long time.
If it hadn’t been for this incident, these Peak disciples would have probably waited until the Sword Saint came back before gathering again. In that case, it would have been many years before they held a meeting like this.
Duan ChongXuan played with his fan. “Today, I went to chat with fourth senior-apprentice brother. Fourth senior-apprentice brother’s words were earnest and sincere, and……and he wasn’t even annoyed with me disturbing him.”
Liu QiShuang nodded her head. “I also feel that nowadays, Fourth is truly different from how gloomy he had been in the past. That being said, we are all responsible for this matter.”
Jun Yu didn’t speak. Instead, he just nodded his head to express his agreement.
Liu QiShuang continued to talk, “It can be clearly seen that junior-apprentice brother wasn’t naturally born with a melancholic personality. I’m afraid that he had suffered a shock and had nowhere to complain, for him to have become like that.”
Hearing that, Duan ChongXuan began to analyze this entire matter from the start to the end.
The results of the discussion quickly emerged:
In the past, Yin BiYue wasn’t fond of socializing with other people. Even his interactions with the disciples of his own Peak had been extremely few. This absolutely had to be because he had been harmed by Luo MingChuan and thus developed a psychological shadow. As disciples of the same Peak as Yin BiYue, they didn’t manage to promptly offer their assistance. This should not have happened and thus, Yin BiYue’s current state was their full responsibility. However, their utmost priority right now was to ponder over how they could provide Yin BiYue with some therapy.
Duan ChongXuan spoke up, “Eldest senior-apprentice brother, don’t worry! I’ll find a lot of time to go and chat with fourth senior-apprentice brother!”
Jun Wu nodded before he frowned slightly. “White Hair Illness.”
He randomly raised a topic out of the blue, but the two seated people both understood his meaning.
Liu QiShuang said, “I’m also thinking about this……at present, even though we can’t see any problems, what can we do if it’s actually a hidden danger and breaks out sometime in the future?!”
After a cultivator removed the impurities from their meridians and bones, their bodies become different compared to an ordinary human being’s. Thus, one could no longer use common sense when discussing them.
The process of cultivating was hard to fathom, and there was never a lack of strange accidents along the way.
Naturally, incidents where a cultivator spontaneously exploded was by no means an isolated case.
Hair turning white in a short amount of time was generally considered as the repercussions of cultivation deviation.
In the dungeon, Yin BiYue’s cultivation had been sealed so it was impossible for him to cultivate. In addition, Elder Ning had given him a check-up and assured them that his white hair wasn’t a problem birthed from a mishap in cultivation. As for the cause of the change, he could only give them an unclear answer of ‘suffering from a mental knot’.
Obviously, this wasn’t enough to convince the three people gathered today.
Especially because there were no signs of Yin BiYue recovering even after he drank medicine.
It could be said that this matter wasn’t a huge issue, nor was it a small one. If it only affected Yin BiYue’s appearance, then this wasn’t something that would hinder him. However, if it was really a hidden danger, then there would always be a day where it would reveal itself to harm Yin BiYue. And by then, it would probably be too late to find a solution.
Of course, if the Sword Saint returned, then all of these problems wouldn’t be troubling anymore. However, no one knew where the Sword Saint was.
Jun Yu stayed silent.
Liu QiShuang murmured in a deep tone, “If we can’t think of anything, I’ll just accompany junior-apprentice brother and take him on a trip to Xing Shan Temple.”
The best medicinal cultivators cultivated the spiritual path, and the most famous Sects that specialized in cultivating the spiritual path were Xing Shan Temple and Jie Kong Temple.
The tone Liu QiShuang used made it sound as if her suggestion was a decision, albeit an unsatisfactory one. After all, Jie Kong Temple had long closed itself off from worldly affairs, and Xing Shan Temple was located very far away.
However, Jun Yu shook his head. Although he didn’t say what they could do instead, his attitude was firm and resolute.
The other two knew their eldest senior-apprentice brother had made a decision in his heart, and thus they didn’t continue to ask about it.
Usually, Jun Yu and Liu QiShuang were immersed in cultivating. They were also reticent and of few words. Although Duan ChongXuan liked chatting with others, he had entered their Peak late and couldn’t bring himself to disturb them.
On top of that, the Sword Saint hadn’t returned in a long time, and even the third disciple Yan Xing didn’t return to their Peak all year round.
Reasonably speaking, Cang Yang Mountain’s Xi Hua Peak ought to be the Peak where the friendships between their disciples were the weakest.
However, when they had a person they all wanted to protect, the friendship between them would become one where extra words were unnecessary.
This kind of feeling made Duan ChongXuan’s heart feel extremely warm. He felt as if he had become much more intimate with the remote and distant eldest senior-apprentice brother and second senior-apprentice sister.
If his thoughts were known by the Sect Leader Zheng YangZi, it was certain that he would slap his thigh before cursing them out. What ‘tacit understanding between Peak disciples’? It was clearly just them being protective mama bears, no, unreasonable mama bears!
It was exactly the characteristic passed down from generation to generation in Xi Hua Peak! Like Master, like apprentice!
Zheng YangZi took a look at the Luo MingChuan who had kneeled outside their Palace Hall ever since he had returned. Sighing, Zheng YangZi turned toward He YanYun and said, “The temperature outside has dropped. Let your senior-apprentice brother in.”
After Luo MingChuan walked in, he once again kneeled in front of Zheng YangZi. “Master.”
Right now, Zheng YangZi’s anger had long vanished. He thoroughly understood the disciple he had raised. After calming down and thinking things over, Zheng YangZi realized that Luo MingChuan had probably piled all the wrongs onto himself once again.
Initially, he had appointed Luo MingChuan as Cang Ya Mountain’s succeeding disciple and the next Sect Leader not only because of his talent in cultivating, but also because he had approved of the boy’s sense of responsibility.
The Sect Leader didn’t need to be the strongest or have the highest cultivation level, but he must have a sense of responsibility.
However, now Zheng YangZi felt extremely helpless. This kind of excessive sense of responsibility seemed to have already become Luo MingChuan’s burden.
For this incident, his explanation to outsiders had been:
‘Demonic cultivators had been the ones responsible and Yin BiYue hadn’t intended to truly injure people. He had merely been bewitched, but Luo MingChuan had hastily punished him and ended up sending Yin BiYue to the dungeons before he could clearly explain what had happened. Both of them made mistakes, thus they will be each punished with a month of isolation.’
However, if what his disciple had said was known to outsiders, it would definitely become something that would taint Luo MingChuan’s prestige.
Fortunately, since Jun Yu had brought his sword out, nobody who had been in the Palace Hall that day would dare to gossip about this matter.
That was the sword Wei JingFeng had left behind for Jun Yu——the masterpiece ‘Spring Mountain’s Smile’.
Somewhat tired, the old Sect Leader with white hair and a white beard massaged the spot between his eyebrows. If that sword became unsheathed, even he had to avoid its cutting edge.
He didn’t know when that guy who had given this sword to Jun Yu would return to discipline his disciples. Had he long forgotten that something like Cang Ya Mountain still existed?
Then, Zheng YangZi immediately thought of something else……forget it, it was better if he didn’t return.
After thinking about a bunch of trivial matters, his melancholic mood dissipated and he helped his kneeling disciple up.
“If you don’t wish to tell me the truth, I won’t force you. I’m just angered by your behaviour and how you handled things this time. You didn’t think about the consequences of your reactions at all. Did you even consider what would have happened if I hadn’t sealed your speech and allowed you to continue speaking in front of the entire Cang Ya Mountain?”
“Not every problem is your fault and needs you to take responsibility. This is because you must shoulder the responsibility of the entire Cang Ya. Nothing will be more important than this duty.”
Zheng YangZi looked at his disciple, the one that had already grown taller than him. With a sigh, he continued to speak, “After all, there will be a day where I will hand Cang Ya over to you.”
Luo MingChuan bowed his head and earnestly said, “Disciple knows his wrongs.”
Zheng YangZi waved his hand. “Alright, you can decide how you want to settle this matter yourself. YanYun, you can withdraw as well.”
Young people had their own paths. Fortunately, his own life wasn’t going to end any time soon, so he was able to look after them for a while longer.
Recently, Yin BiYue passed his days practicing his sword cultivation without any rests. It was as if he had some kind of man-eating beast chasing after him.
The original Yin BiYue’s sword martial art techniques still existed in his memories. However, this sword wouldn’t accept his true essence. He couldn’t completely use it, so in his hands, this sword was no different compared to a regular piece of iron.
Because Yin BiYue was afraid that other people would notice something off, he didn’t leave his courtyard for an entire month. Day and night, he stayed in the small courtyard to practice his sword techniques.
The fact that he was unable to use his sword was like a sharp knife hanging above his head, pressuring him and making him unable to breathe.
Thus, Yin BiYue decided to think up another plan today, at least one that would allow him to temporarily fool people.
At this time, someone knocked on the door of his courtyard. Distantly, Yin BiYue could hear the chatterbox’s voice, “Fourth senior-apprentice brother, I’ve came to see you fourth senior-apprentice brother——”
Yin BiYue lifted his sword and walked over to open the door.
Duan ChongXuan walked in as he lightly fanned himself. After looking him over, he said, “How do you feel these days, senior-apprentice brother? Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere? Have you been taking your medicine on time?”
That was right ah, Yin BiYue was still eating medicine everyday. He didn’t dare tell his apprentice-siblings that he was giving up treatment.
On the surface, however, his expression didn’t change at all as he nodded and said, “I’m fine. There’s no need to worry.”
Duan ChongXuan stared at him, looking like he had wanted to say something but was hesitating over whether he should. When he realized that Yin BiYue didn’t intend to continue speaking, he rubbed his nose and began rambling even though he didn’t have anything to say.
“Fourth senior-apprentice brother is practicing your sword play, huh……fourth senior-apprentice brother’s swordplay is so delicate and refined. When I first entered the Sect, I was fortunate enough to see you practice. The sight had stirred my heart and even to this day, I can’t forget them.”
Yin BiYue felt slightly alarmed. He was a bit afraid that Duan ChongXuan would ask him to show him a set of sword-play or something like that.
Thus, he seamlessly changed the topic. “If we’re talking about refined swordplay, in our Cang Ya, who could be better than eldest senior-apprentice brother?”
That day in the Palace Hall, Yin BiYue had been quite baffled. He didn’t understand why everyone, including the Sect Leader, would have a ‘let’s calmly talk, don’t be impulsive’ kind of expression the moment Jun Yu brought his sword over.
However, the moment he saw that peach wood sword box, he suddenly remembered. Jun Yu’s sword was ‘Spring Mountain Smile’.
Rumour has it that the Sword Saint gathered fire that flowed from the skies, meteorite sand, and iron submerged in the Yellow Sea. Then, he invited over the master swordsmith Yan Qing to aid him in casting the metal into a mold. They used the ancient Heavenly Weapon ‘Lin Yuan’, remelting and recasting it to create a pair of swords.
After taking three years, the swords finally saw the light of day. Cang Ya Mountain welcomed the arrival of the pair of Spring and Autumn.
The Sword Saint was very pleased. He clapped his hands together and laughed merrily. Since the spring hills were this charming in his eyes, the spring hills must think he was beautiful as well, no?
As a result, the long sword received its name, ‘Spring Mountain Smile’, and the short sword became known as, ‘Departure of Autumn’s Breeze’.
‘Spring Mountain Smile’ was given to Jun Yu, so he could guard and protect Cang Ya. On the other hand, ‘Departure of Autumn’s Breeze’ followed the Sword Saint as he wandered the four seas.
If someone raised the topic of the Heavenly Weapons in their world today, this set of swords would be the first people would talk about.
The moment Yin BiYue changed the topic, he saw Duan ChongXuan’s eyes light up.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have the intentions to invite the other boy inside to chat and drink some tea.
However, unexpectedly, he saw Duan ChongXuan magick out a set of chairs and a table. He even took out some melon seeds and a teapot as he pointed at a chair with his fan, “Senior-apprentice brother, please sit!”
The corner of Yin BiYue’s lips twitched.
Don’t tell him that Duan ChongXuan’s spatial storage space was filled with these things? Just so that he could chat with people anytime, anywhere?
The chatterbox didn’t seem to care about what others would think about him. Sitting down, he began to pour some tea. “Since we brought up eldest senior-apprentice brother’s swordplay, ah, fourth senior-apprentice brother. Who do you think would have higher odds of winning right now if eldest senior-apprentice brother faced off with Sect Leader?”
……This was really too gossipy.
However, Yin BiYue still seriously thought over this question. “Sect Leader is in the Immortalization realm.”
And although Jun Yu possessed a famous sword, he was still a half-step away from the Immortalization realm.
It was reasonable to say that overcoming a cultivator in a higher realm was something nigh impossible. But currently, Yin BiYue didn’t have a profound understanding toward the gap in power between different realms in this world. Thus, he didn’t continue speaking.
Yin BiYue only knew that the cultivation realms in this world could be divided into these ranks: Qi Condensation stage, Essence Cleansing stage, Soul Manifestation stage, Revelation stage, Enlightenment stage, Immortalization stage, Sage stage, and Holy Saint stage. Everytime one made a breakthrough into another realm, it was the same as crossing a threshold. And the higher one went, the harder the thresholds would become.
In this world, cultivators who reached the Immortalization stage were few and far between. Their power would be sufficient enough for them to open a Sect, one they were capable of protecting. As for the six Sages, they were powerful people that had enough strength to influence the structure of the world. They each stayed in their own region, withdrawing from worldly affairs.
And the Saint, the person everyone aspired to be and the first under the heavens, well, there was only him alone who was in his current realm.
Duan ChongXuan replied, “One’s realm doesn’t equal their combat abilities. There’s been frequent accounts of martial cultivators fighting against people with a higher realm, so it’s hard to make a judgement. People say that eldest senior-apprentice brother is still a half-step away from the Immortalization realm, but……”
Only now did Yin BiYue feel a bit interested. “But what?”
“However, reportedly, when eldest senior-apprentice brother was young, he left the Peak to tour the world. In the wilderness of the mountains, he came across an Elder in the Immortalization realm who had hidden himself because he was scheming to steal away eldest senior-apprentice brother’s sword. After a bloody battle that lasted five days, eldest senior-apprentice brother forced the wounded Elder to flee three thousand miles. In response to the elder’s attempt at escaping, eldest senior-apprentice brother began chasing after him as he cut through mountains and split over rock, before finally that Elder ended up beneath his sword……”
When he heard that, Yin BiYue’s complexion almost changed.
For a cultivator that was a half-step away from the Immortalization stage to fight against a Immortalization cultivator, and to actually beat them to the point where they didn’t have anywhere to flee……
That was truly frightening combat power.
Duan ChongXuan continued to say, “However, you must understand that was just hearsay. I can’t say for sure that there weren’t any exaggerated places. But eldest senior-apprentice brother is indeed very strong. At that time, he hadn’t even used ‘Spring Mountain Smile’, and used a sword that didn’t have a name. Even then, eldest senior-apprentice brother had been able to exert that kind of power.”
Duan ChongXuan’s tone suddenly became a bit regretful. “To tell you the truth, I’ve never seen eldest senior-apprentice brother use ‘Spring Mountain Smile’ before, so I don’t even know what that sword looks like……”
The sun was setting, and the azure horizon became covered in the heavy colour of twilight. In the far distance, one could hear the cries of tired crows as they began to return to their nests.
In the blink of an eye, that pot of Shan QueShe tea had reached its bottom. Duan ChongXuan suddenly slapped his hand onto the table.
“Oh, that’s right! We talked about eldest senior-apprentice brother for half the day, and only now did I remember that he had instructed me to do something! Last time we met, he told me to tell you that when you’re free, we need to hold a meeting……Today is already quite late, so it would be better if we made our way over together tomorrow morning.”
So, Duan ChongXuan only remembered now to tell him that there was a meeting, something quite important?
Yin BiYue helplessly nodded his head before replying, “Alright.”