Chapter 200 Mounting the mountains of daggers(1)
Feng Cang's optimism made Ming Yue Cheng smile slightly. He (MYC) didn’t know what else to say. When he was still very young, he had followed his mother Miao Chu Yun to White Bird Mountain. At that time, he happened to attend the Torch Festival, a traditional festival held in White Bird Mountain, and he witnessed first-hand how someone mounted the mountain of daggers and dove into the sea of flames.
In the Qiang tribe, those who could mount the mountain of daggers and dive into the sea of flames were called warriors.
The men of the Qiang tribe felt proud when they were addressed as ‘warriors’. They were trained from an early age and when they entered adulthood, they would prove themselves as ‘warriors’ at the Torch Festival. This was the tradition of the Qiang tribe, as a man, they had to go through these tests.
Although these two tests were not so difficult in the eyes of the Qiang tribe’s people, to an outsider, this was not only difficult, but their lives were also at stake because if one was careless, one could also injure themselves greatly.
To cure Feng Xiao’s gu this time, Feng Cang must pass through three tests. In three days, he had to go through the first stage, which was mounting the mountain of daggers. Although Feng Cang was full of confidence, Ming Yue Cheng still felt a bit worried in the heart. Those daggers were extremely sharp, and if there was an accident… then the one feeling sad would definitely be Feng Qi Qi.
Ming Yue Cheng went out for a walk and came back with a man in his thirties. “This is my cousin Ah Zha. He’s a warrior of the Qiang tribe!”
Before coming here, Gu Yun Wan had told Feng Qi Qi a lot of things about the Qiang tribe. One of the topics mentioned was the Qiang tribe’s ‘warriors’. Men addressed as ‘warriors’ were those who had passed the stages of mounting the mountain of daggers and going through the sea of flames. Ming Yue Cheng’s cousin Ah Zha, was an outstanding warrior amongst the warriors.
Feng Cang and Feng Qi Qi were very touched when they saw that Ming Yue Cheng had asked Ah Zha to come help and support them. Feng Cang and Ah Zha made an agreement for the next morning to go to the top of White Bird Mountain, to learn the techniques for mounting the mountain of daggers.
On the top of the mountain, Ah Zha built a simplified version of the mountain of daggers. The so-called ‘mounting the mountain of daggers’ was to climb up a ten meters tall tree stump bound with sharp daggers barefooted while using the edges of the blades as stepping stones.
“These are real daggers!” Ah Zha showed the daggers in his hands to Feng Cang and the rest. When he threw it towards the tree, the branches were directly cut off and this had left Wanyan Kang astonished. “No way! This is a real dagger? Then wouldn’t one’s foot be cut off when it touches the blades?”
Ah Zha took off his shoes and took a deep breath before he walked to the bottom of the tree’s ladder made of daggers, then ‘thud, thud…’ he climbed to the top in one breath. While everyone was still gaping in surprise, ‘thud, thud…’ he effortlessly climbed down the ladder full of daggers again.
“Come here, let me check your foot!” Wanyan Kang found ‘mounting the mountain of daggers’ very intriguing. He couldn’t fathom that one's foot could be left unscathed after stepping on sharp blades, but when Ah Zha showed him his unscathed foot, he (WYK) was truly impressed by him.
"Warrior Ah Zha, how did you do that? Can you teach me? Did you learn some kind of godly skill? If there’s such a godly skill, then wouldn't you be impervious to sword or spear in the future?!
- Impervious to sword or spear: invulnerable
Wanyan Kang made Ah Zha smile from ear to ear when he addressed him as ‘Warrior Ah Zha’. It was known that Qiang tribe’s men liked to be addressed as ‘Warrior’, and that title was something they were extremely proud of.
“Have a careful look at my foot again!”
When Wanyan Kang examined it carefully again, he discovered that there was a thick layer of callus on Ah Zha's foot. The daggers had actually left thinly marked lines on the callus, but he didn’t hurt his foot because the callus was very thick.
“Oh no, cousin brother! It’s over for you this time!”
Wanyan Kang said “it’s over” several times in a row, causing Su Mei to become furious. In that instant, a chestnut landed on Wanyan Kang’s head. “What's over? Guye[1. Guye: son-in-law, also used by the female’s family] hasn't even started yet and you say that it’s over, are you cursing him?”
"No, no, no, that's not what I meant!” Upon feeling that painful sensation on his head, Wanyan Kang immediately hid next to Feng Qi Qi. “Cousin-in-law, have a look, the callus on Warrior Ah Zha’s foot has obviously accumulated from a long period of practice, if it wasn’t ten years of efforts, how’s he able to walk freely on the daggers?”
What Wanyan Kang said was the truth. Ah Zha smiled while he put on his shoes. “I started training at the age of eight, starting from walking barefooted on sand, then replacing sand with pebbles, then replacing the pebbles with the edge of the daggers. Then, I finally replaced them with the daggers and I’ve practiced for eight years.”
When Ah Zha explained it like this, Feng Cang furrowed his brows. Eight years... He obviously did not have so much time as he had to mount the mountain of daggers the day after tomorrow already. How could he find a way in such a short period of time? This matter was really a headache.
This was also the first time that Ming Yue Cheng was observing ‘mounting the mountain of daggers’ at a close range. His heart sank when he saw those silver-colored shining sharp daggers. Those daggers… If one were to step on them barefooted, wouldn’t their foot be cut in two? There were only two days left, how could Feng Cang pass the test of ‘mounting the mountain of daggers’?
While everyone was worrying about Feng Cang, Feng Qi Qi didn’t utter any words, she just stood there on one side and hugged Feng Xiao quietly.
This ‘mounting the mountain of daggers’ test reminded her of the Lisu tribe of Yunnan from her previous life, they were experts in things like mounting the mountain of daggers and diving into the sea of flames. Feng Qi Qi had watched the Lisu tribe’s performances and had also spoken to a grand master of the Lisu tribe before, so maybe she would be able to assist Feng Cang this time.
- I think the author based the Qiang tribe on the Lisu tribe. They held a festival which only take place every three years on the 15th day of the 10th lunar month.
“Warrior Ah Zha, can I trouble you to demonstrate again?” Feng Qi Qi came to the ladder and asked Ah Zha to make another demonstration. Mounting the mountain of dagger; first, one had to be fast, second, one had to be balanced and third was to step on the right place.
Feng Qi Qi whispered a few words in Gu Yun Wan’s ear. Gu Yun Wan immediately brought five pair of socks. Feng Qi Qi handed Feng Xiao to Su Mei. She took off her slippers and wore the five pair of socks and came to the ladder.
“Qing Qing, what do you want to do?” Feng Cang grabbed Feng Qi Qi. Feng Cang was clear about how sharp these daggers were. Now, looking at Feng Qi Qi being like this, it seemed like she wanted to mount the mountain of daggers only wearing socks. What if she injures her feet?
“Cang, after seeing warrior Ah Zha mount the mountain of dagger, I thought of a strategy to deal with it and want to try it.”
Feng Cang and Ming Yue Cheng opened their mouth at the same time to stop her. Ah Zha already said it very clearly. He had trained for eight years before he achieved such results. Feng Qi Qi just watched it once, how could she get the knack of how to do it?
“Cang, believe me!” Feng Qi Qi pulled Feng Cang to a side. “Do you remember about my past life that I mentioned to you? There is also mounting the mountain of daggers there! I had been given guidance by a high-skilled expert once. It is presumably the same as this. Don’t worry, nothing will happen to me!”
Feng Qi Qi was so sure. Feng Cang could only nod. It seemed that he was always ‘defeated’ by the insistence of Feng Qi Qi. It seemed that in this life, he would be held tenaciously by this woman!
“Cang, look carefully at where I step on!”
Before mounting the mountain of daggers, Feng Qi Qi smiled at Feng Cang. She imitated Ah Zha; five toes hooked and held on the blade.
Unlike the speed of Ah Zha, Feng Qi Qi’s movements were a bit slow. Feng Cang paid attention to where Feng Qi Qi stepped on and recorded her movements in his heart.
At this time, Ming Yue Cheng’s heart hung at his throat. Ming Yue Cheng was somewhat dissatisfied with Feng Cang for letting Feng Qi Qi mount the mountain of daggers. If it was him, he wouldn’t let any mishap happen to Feng Qi Qi. Even if it was an accident that may possible happen, he wouldn’t allow it to have a chance.
Looking at Feng Qi Qi climb on the sharp daggers, Ming Yue Cheng’s heart jumped in his throat. Even his breathing became heavy. If something went wrong, he would definitely be the one to catch her first.
The way Feng Qi Qi climbed the ladder made Ah Zha look with his mouth wide open and he was astonished. There had never been a woman who could mount the mountain of daggers. Not to mention that Feng Qi Qi was such a fragile woman. Although, Feng Qi Qi’s movements were not fast, but her feet were not injured. If this was the first time that she mounted the mountain of daggers, then, it was simply too amazing!
When Feng Qi Qi stepped on the edge of the blades from the top to the bottom, the people waiting at the side finally felt relieved.
“Miss, are you alright?!” Su Mei rushed forward to check Feng Qi Qi’s soles. Three of the five layers of socks were cut without hurting the feet.
“It seemed that my technique is still not perfect, ah!” Feng Qi Qi said laughingly. Ah Zha gave Feng Qi Qi a thumbs-up. “Wangfei[2. Wangfei: main consort of the first-rank prince] is really amazing! If wangfei was a man, you will definitely be a warrior!”
Ah Zha admired Feng Qi Qi very much. As a woman, she was able to go back and forth from the ladder of daggers. It was really not easy! Ah Zha was not a fool. Feng Qi Qi just looked at him and she was able to find the know-how. This woman was very smart.
Seeing that Feng Qi Qi was fine, Feng Cang was relieved. Just now, he looked very carefully. The hand Feng Qi Qi held the blade with was in the shape of a claw. Her feet didn’t step on the blade. Instead, she stepped on the side. This was probably the know-how that Feng Qi Qi wanted to tell him.
“Cang…” Feng Qi Qi put on her shoes and whispered something in Feng Cang’s ear. Feng Cang nodded. It was indeed the same as he had summed up. Feng Qi Qi just used the principle of the qinggong[3. Qingqong is a martial arts technique for making the body extremely light in weight, by altering the distribution and flow of qi]. She transferred the strength of the lower body to the upper body.
With Feng Qi Qi’s demonstration, Feng Cang also changed into socks. “I will give it a try!”
After one round, four pairs of socks were cut by the sharp edges, leaving only the last layer of sock to protect Feng Cang’s feet. Feng Qi Qi’s body was light. Feng Cang was a man. Naturally he weighted much more than Feng Qi Qi. The pressure would also be greater.
Ah Zha who was watching at a side couldn’t help but nod. Although these two people mounted the mountain of daggers for the first time, but they were able to not hurt their feet by only wearing five pairs of socks. However, the real mounting the mountain of daggers would be barefooted like how he did it just now. Feng Cang was already very good but mounting the mountain of daggers barefooted without the protection of the socks, the soles of his feet may be cut off.
“Cousin Ah Zha, help my friend!”
Ming Yue Cheng also know the of this. He personally asked help from Ah Zha. The men of Qiang tribe learned mounting the mountain of daggers from the most capable warriors of the village since young. Ah Zha was now a teacher who taught the you children in the village. If he can help Feng Cang, Feng Cang would surely pass.
Ah Zha was Ming Yue Cheng’s empress mother Miao Yu Chun’s big brother’s son. Later, the whole Miao family was executed unto the third generation. Ah Zha had been sent back to White Bird mountain by Gu De and preserved the bloodline of the Miao family. It could be said that these two people were the closest related by blood in the village.
Ming Yue Cheng personally asked for help from him. Ah Zha smiled honestly. He wasn’t a fool. When Feng Qi Qi was climbing the ladder of daggers, the worried look of Ming Yue Cheng fell into Ah Zha’s eyes. However, Feng Qi Qi was Feng Cang’s wife which means that it was doomed that there would be no future between them.
“Ah Cheng, ah!” Ah Zha patted Ming Yue Cheng’s shoulder. The Miao family were very affectionate people. Ming Yue Cheng was deeply in love. It seemed that it would be impossible for him to extricate himself!
“For your face, I will help!”
Ah Zha’s thoughts were very simple. Ming Yue Cheng likes Feng Qi Qi, but the beauty was already married another. Then, at least he should let Ming Yue Cheng have a certain position in Feng Qi Qi’s heart. At least, he (AZ) should let her feel grateful to him (MYC). Like that, even if they couldn’t be lovers, they could always remain friends.
Ah Zha wanted to help. Feng Qi Qi and Feng Cang was very happy. They were even more grateful towards Ming Yue Cheng.
For two days, Feng Cang had been learning the skills of mounting the mountain of daggers from Ah Zha at the top of White Bird mountain. In two days, Ah Zha taught everything he knew to Feng Cang. It was just, the time that Feng Cang had for training was very short. Two days were fleeting. In a blink of an eye, it was the day for the test.
Everyone looked intently at Feng Cang. This Bei Zhou’s wangye[4. Wangye: prince of first rank], for his beloved son, came from far away to cure the gu. This had long been spread throughout the village. The performance of Feng Cang and Feng Qi Qi that night at the campfire was very well liked by the people of the Qiang tribe. Now, Feng Cang wanted to pass the three tests. These people admired him even more.
Regardless of whether Feng Cang would pass the three tests, the things he did for his son were enough to show that Feng Cang was someone responsible and a father who loves his child.
“Add oil!” Ah Zha cheered Feng Cang. These past two days, Feng Cang trained from day to night. That kind of -hard-working and not admitting to defeat- spirit made Ah Zha admire him very much.
Although it was only two days, but Feng Cang had already mastered the know-how of the mounting the mountain of daggers. The last time he climbed the ladder yesterday, Feng Cang wore one pair of socks. When he came down, only a few fibres from the socks were cut. To Feng Cang, this was already a big improvement.
Ordinary people had to train for seven to eight years to achieve this. Feng Cang had achieved such a result in two days. In Ah Zha’s words, Feng Cang was really a genius.
“Do your best! I believe that you will succeed!” Ah Zha made a fist and gently hit Feng Cang’s chest. “Relax!”
With the cheers of the people of Qiang tribe, Feng Cang stood under the ladder. Unlike the training, today’s ladder was increased by ten meters. There were thirty-six daggers. Doubled were seventy-two. The long ladder reached the clouds. The sharp daggers shone under the glare on the sun.
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