Sword of the Third Young Master - Chapter 4
Chapter Four – The Love and Hatred of the Imprudent Woman
Yan ShiSan did not argue, nor did he want to argue. These were the rules of the Four Grand Families of the martial world, and were recognized by default by all in the martial world. Unless one harbored deep bitter hatred, no one wished to break these rules.
Those who wished to mingle in the martial world should usually more or less follow some of its rules. Even Yan ShiSan was not an exception.
Little Nuisance said, “Unfortunately, even though you understand most things, there is one thing that you don’t understand.”
Yan ShiSan replied, “Oh?”
Little Nuisance said, “Now, you have to go in even if you don’t want to.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Why?”
Little Nuisance replied, “Because my sister told me to come and tell you to go inside just now.”
It was peaceful and quiet inside the forest. Even the sound of footsteps treading on the foliage was gentle. Autumn became deeper as he arrived into the depth of the forest.
The Raven did not come with him.
“Because my sister only wants to see him alone.”
Why did she want to see him? Furthermore, why did she want to see him alone? Yan ShiSan could not fathom, thus he needed not to keep thinking.
He had already seen her.
A new mat was spread out underneath an old tree, which leaves and branches were already withered yellow. On the mat were a zither, an incense pot, and a bottle of wine.
These were clearly left here by Xia HouXing. It was obvious that he was in a great hurry when he had left here.
Was he perhaps chased away by this melancholy woman who was at this moment sitting underneath the tree?
She not only looked melancholy but also frail, as if she could never again handle even the slightest of assault.
Yan ShiSan walked over. He gently walked over, as if he was afraid to alarm her. She, however, already looked up and stared at him with her clear pair of eyes, “So you’re Life-Taking Yan ShiSan?”
Yan ShiSan nodded and said, “Is the lady from Jade Cloud Mountain?”
He recognized that the jade green silk ribbon outside was the symbol of Jade Cloud Mountain and Green Water Lake. However, she unexpectedly shook her head. Yan ShiSan really could not believe how someone who was not from Jade Cloud Mountain could dare to use the symbol of Jade Cloud Mountain.
“I’m from the Seven Star Pond of Jiang Nan.”
Her voice was also very frail, “My name is MuRong QiuDi.”
Yan ShiSan was even more surprised. The Seven Star Pond of Jiang Nan was also one of the Four Grand Families of the martial world.
MuRong QiuDi was not only a famous beauty in the martial world, but was also a famous pious daughter. To take care of her sickly parents, she had declined countless of marriage proposals, and had also sacrificed the most beautiful days of her life. Why did she suddenly appear here now? Could it be that the master of the Seven Star Pond, the “Gallant of Jiang Nan” MuRong Zheng had already passed away?
The reputation of Seven Star Pond was not beneath that of the Jade Cloud Mountain, so why would she steal someone else’s symbol?
MuRong QiuDi, as if she had already guessed what he was thinking, suddenly spoke, “My father is not dead. Although he is very sick, he will not die for at least three to five years.”
Yan ShiSan sighed in relief, and replied, “Hopefully he will be healthy and can still live for a few years.”
He spoke from his heart. MuRong Zheng truly was a very honest and chivalrous man. There were not many of these men left in the martial world.
MuRong QiuDi said, “This time I slipped out in secret, he doesn’t know.”
Yan ShiSan could not help but want to ask “Why?”
But before he could ask, MuRong QiuDi already continued, “Because I want to kill someone.”
An indescribable sorrow and hatred suddenly appeared in her melancholy eyes. She must truly despise this man – but who was this man? Yan ShiSan dared not to ask and did not want to ask. He did not want to bother with the affairs of the Four Grand Families of the martial world.
MuRong QiuDi’s gaze seemed to stare into the distance and her body seemed to have left for a distant place as well. After a long time, she finally slowly continued, “You must all know that I’m a pious daughter.”
Yan ShiSan admitted so. MuRong QiuDi said, “During these past seven years, I had already declined the marriage proposals of forty-three men.”
Those qualified to propose at the Seven Star Pond were obviously all sons from reputable families in the martial world.
MuRong QiuDi said, “Do you know why I declined them?”
Yan ShiSan said, “Because you couldn’t bear to leave your father.”
MuRong QiuDi said, “You’re wrong.”
Yan ShiSan said, “Oh?”
MuRong QiuDi said, “I’m not actually that pious daughter others think of me as, I’m … I’m …”
She suddenly forcefully clenched her hands, and said, “I’m just a liar. Not only did I lie to others, I also lied to myself.”
Yan Shisan was shocked. He dared not to look at her again, her eyes were red and her tears could flow out at any moment.
He did not want to see a woman shed tears, nor did he want to know the reasons why women shed tears.
Unfortunately, she just had to tell him.
“I declined others’ marriage proposals, only because I was always waiting for him to come propose.”
Who was he? Was he the one she wanted to kill? MuRong QiuDi’s tears finally flowed out, “He promised me that he would definitely come. He promised many times.”
But he did not come.
A heartless man, using marriage as bait, deceived a sentimental girl.
This tragedy did not belong solely to her.
Since the ancient times, it has been unknown just how many times this kind of tragedy occurred, even until now, it still happened anytime and anywhere.
Because only a tragedy that has befallen oneself is a true tragedy. Thus, it was difficult for others’ tragedies to move someone like Yan ShiSan.
MuRong QiuDi said, “I met him when I was sixteen. He told me to wait for him for seven years.”
Seven years! What a long time.
And this was so beautiful a time in a woman’s life, the ages from sixteen to twenty-three.
How many years like these seven years were there in a person’s life? Yan ShiSan’s heart already began to sigh.
When he asked you to wait for him for seven years, he was already deceiving you.
He was certain that you surely would not wait for so long, because after seven years you would have already long forgotten about him.
Yan ShiSan was a man, thus obviously he understood the heart of a man. But he did not say this. He could tell what kind of pain and torture, what kind of bitter experience these seven long years were to her.
MuRong QiuDi said, “That child you just saw is not actually my little brother.”
Yan Shisan said, “He’s not?”
MuRong QiuDi explained, “He’s my son. The illegitimate son I have with that man.”
Yan ShiSan was shocked. Only now did he understand why she had to wait seven years, why she despised that man. Now, even he felt sorrowful for her.
MuRing QiuDi said, “I told you these things not so that you could feel bad for me.”
Her voice suddenly turned very cold, and her melancholy eyes also suddenly looked as sharp as the tip of a knife.
She coldly continued, “I want you to kill a man for me.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “That man?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Yes!”
Yan ShiSan said, “I only kill two types of people.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Those who are your enemies?”
Yan ShiSan nodded, and said, “And another type, those who want to kill me.”
He slowly continued, “Therefore I hope you can understand one thing.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Say it.”
Yan ShiSan said, “If you must kill someone, then you must do it with your own hands. A knot you tied can only be untied by you.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “But I cannot go.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Why?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Because … because I don’t want to see him again.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Is it because you’re afraid that if you see his face, you won’t have the heart to kill him?”
MuRong QiuDi’s hands clenched tightly again.
Yan ShiSan sighed and said, “Since you don’t have the heart to, then why must you kill him?”
MuRong QiuDi stared at him and suddenly said, “I also hope that you can understand one thing.”
Yan ShiSan replied, “Say it.”
MuRong QiuDi said, “I must kill this man, and furthermore, I must ask you to kill him!”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Why?”
MuRong QiuDi said, “Because this man’s name is Xie XiaoFeng.”
Yan ShiSan’s facial expressions changed, and he said, “Xie XiaoFeng of the Green Water Lake?”
MuRing QiuDi said, “That’s the one!”
* * *
A very large plaque hung in the great hall of the Godly Sword Manor at the Green Water Lake and the Jade Cloud Mountain. On the plaque were only five words – golden words.
“The world’s number one sword.”
This was not the owners themselves boasting. This was many years ago, after all the famous swordsmen in the martial world had finished discussing the sword at the top of Mount Hua, each person took out a tael of gold and cast them into these five words, and gave it as a gift to Xie Tian.
Xie Tian was the first generation master of the Godly sword Manor. This was history from very, very long ago. Although the brightness of the golden words on the plaque was still eye-catching, the reputation of “the world’s number one sword” no longer remained. During the past few centuries, famous swordsmen poured out into the martial world, and no one could be unanimously declared the world’s number one sword.
The brightness of the Godly Sword Manor also gradually faded from brilliance, until this generation – because this generation, the Godly Sword Manor had produced another extraordinary talent, a rare brilliant genius, whom the world looked upon.
Thirteen years ago, this man had already defeated Hua YuKun, the number one swordsman of the Mount Hua Sect.
Then he was thirty-one years old.
It seemed as if from the moment he was born, he brought forth all the blessings and favours from the gods above. The honours and love he received after he was born were even less matched by others. He was the long awaited swordsman of the martial world, and also the generally acknowledged talent in the martial world.
He was intelligent and handsome, healthy and strong, and was an honest and chivalrous man. None was able to find a single shortcoming or a single flaw in his life.
This man was the third young master of the Godly Sword Manor at the Green Water Lake.
This man was Xie XiaoFeng.
* * *
It was even quieter in the forest. The cool dry air was filled with the fragrance of the leaves.
Yan ShiSan seemed to have completely lost his feelings. After he had heard these three words, even his breathing seemed to have stopped.
After a long time, he finally gently sighed, and said, “I know this man.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Of course you should know. You two still have an appointment of death, which will not dissolve until you meet!”
Yan ShiSan had to admit, “I had indeed made an appointment to find him.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “You never change your appointments!”
Yan ShiSan said, “Never.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Then this appointment may very likely be your last appointment.”
Yan Shisan asked, “Oh?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “I have seen your swordplay. You’re definitely not his match.”
Yan ShiSan laughed bitterly, “Since you already know, why would you still ask me to kill him?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Because you have met me.”
Yan ShiSan said, “You …”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “His swordplay is of the highest quality, and has almost surpassed the limits of swordplay.”
Yan ShiSan sighed, and said, “He truly is a genius. I had also seen him strike.”
MuRong QiuDi asked, “Have you also recognized the flaw in his swordplay?”
Yan ShiSan replied, “There is no flaw in his swordplay, none at all.”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “There is.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Really?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Definitely, only one.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “You know which one?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Only I know.”
Yan ShiSan’s eyes shined. He believed that she was not telling a lie. If there existed one person in the world who could know the flaw in the swordplay of the third young master, then that person had to be her.
Because they were once lovers. At least during the brief moment when they had that child, their souls no doubt were completely connected.
Only a person who had truly been in love with him could know his secret.
For a swordsman who was unmatched by anyone in the world, his biggest secret was the flaw in his swordplay.
Not only did Yan ShiSan’s eyes shine, his heart also beat faster. He was also a man who practiced the sword. He had also devoted his entire life and love to his sword. This was already not only a great devotion, but was also an extremely bitter sacrifice. This sacrifice was not completely without a cost.
The brief moment of splendid radiance in the moment of victory was enough to light up his life. His goal of practicing the sword was to seek victory, not to seek death.
If there was an opportunity for victory, then who would be willing to abandon it?
MuRong QiuDi looked at his shining eyes, and clearly saw that he had been moved. She immediately continued, “In this world, only I can help you defeat him, and only you can help me kill him.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Why only me?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Because in your Life-Taking Thirteen Sword Stance, there is one stance which, if you slightly altered, you could put him in his deathtrap!”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Which sword stance is it?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “The fourteenth stance.”
It was obviously called Life-Taking Thirteen Sword Stance, how could there be a fourteenth stance? Other people would definitely not understand.
Yan ShiSan understood.
Although the Life-Taking Thirteen Sword Stance had only thirteen stances, there were fourteen transformations. That transformation was truly the pith of his stances and the soul of his swordplay. Although the soul is invisible, no one could deny its existence!
MuRong QiuDi suddenly stood up. She still looked so delicate and so weak, but her eyes again shined that light as if it was the tip of a knife. She stared at Yan ShiSan and said word for word, “Right now I have already become Xie XiaoFeng.”
After she had said these eight words, her eyes suddenly had an intimidating killing aura! A kind of killing aura that only highly skilled masters who have killed countless of people could have.
Could it be that this delicate and weak gentlewoman from such a reputable family has also killed? How many people did she kill?
Yan ShiSan did not ask, nor was there a need to ask. He could tell.
MuRong QiuDi broke off a withered tree branch and said, “This is my sword.”
Her body changed again after this piece of withered tree branch got into her hand. That all-conquering, uncontainable killing aura was not only in her eyes, but also in her body. It was everywhere!
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Now you watch, and watch carefully. This is the only flaw in his swordplay.”
A wind blew by. The wind was suddenly very cold.
Her body and sword have already begun to move. An extremely slow, extremely beautiful movement, as natural as the wind.
But who could withstand it when the wind finished blowing? And who could tell where the wind was blowing from?
Yan ShiSan’s pupils were contracting.
Her sword had already very, very slowly pierced towards him.
It pierced out from the most inconceivable place, and when it pierced out it suddenly had the most inconceivable transformation.
But within this transformation there was indeed a small flaw.
When the gale swept across the ground, was it difficult to avoid missing a spot?
But when a gale blew over, who could pay attention to these spots?
Yan ShiSan suddenly realized that cold sweat was secreted in the middle of his palms.
Just then, her movement stopped.
She coldly stared at Yan ShiSan and asked, “Have you now already discovered it?”
Yan ShiSan nodded.
MuRong QiuDi said, “You can discover it, only because my movement was twenty-four times slower than when he strikes.”
Yan ShiSan believed that her calculations were absolutely correct.
A true highly skilled master’s estimation towards the speed of swordplay was certainly ten times more accurate still than the pawn shop owner’s estimation towards the price of goods.
MuRong QiuDi said, “When I strike in real life, although I’m a bit slower than him, I’m not that much slower.”
Yan ShiSan had to believe. By now he had discovered that this delicate and weak woman was truly a highly skilled master that he had rarely seen in his life.
MuRong QiuDi said, “Now I’m going to strike.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “Who are you striking against?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “You.”
Yan ShiSan lightly sighed, and said, “Do you want to see if I can break through this sword stance?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Yes.”
Yan ShiSan asked, “If I break through this sword stance, doesn’t that mean you would die under my sword?”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “You don’t have to worry about that.”
Yan ShiSan said, “What if I still cannot break through this sword stance …”
MuRong QiuDi replied, “Then you’d have to die!”
She coldly continued, “If you still can’t break through this sword stance, then you’d be no good alive to either of us, so I have no choice but to kill you!”