Han Yunxi was so determined to learn Xuan Nǚ Swordplay that she didn’t even notice Long Feiye’s abnormal reaction. Instead, it was Master Jianxin who looked thoughtfully at his disciple. Han Yunxi followed his gaze, but by now Long Feiye’s face had resumed its usually chilly mask.
Master Jianxin looked rather helpless, but the clueless Han Yunxi only thought that this meant he wasn’t going to give her the manual. She thought it over and added, “Senior Jianxin, I’m sure Senior Luo wouldn’t have wanted Xuan Nǚ Swordplay to just be waste paper at the bottom of a chest either, right?”
Master Jianxin only said, “Lass, you have to look the part if you’re going to accept a master. This old man doesn’t like the sound of you going senior this and senior that, hehe!”
How many people in the world wanted to be a disciple of his sect? Even without his martial arts, he owned the more secret sword manuals of Celestial Mountain Sword Sect. They were never passed down to outsiders. Since this stinkin’ lass was Feiye’s consort, she should call him master just like he did! It was even fine if she didn’t, but now she was asking for a sword manual without any sense of self-awareness?
He had even been planning to personally teach their future children the rudimentary basics of martial arts! If he didn’t suppress her arrogance now, how was he supposed to awe her children in the future? Master Jianxin stroked his beard as he waited for Han Yunxi to submit and call him master, but she only said, “Senior Jianxin, you gave the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay to Senior Luo, so it’s her property, right? Yunxi should be taking her as my master if anything, isn’t that right?”
Li Jianxin’s heart lurched at those words, but he had no retort.
“Where is Senior Luo’s memorial tablet? I want to take her as my master!” Han Yunxi said sincerely.
Li Jianxin never thought that there’d be anyone willing to take Luo Qingling as their master after all these years. He suddenly felt that he’d done a gross wrong. How could he allow his own disciple, Duanmu Yao, learn Xuan Nǚ Swordplay at all? It belonged to Luo Qingling! Only her disciples had the right to carry on the knowledge of the skills!
“Good, good!” Li Jianxin was moved. “Lass, this old man will take you there--I’ll bring you right now!”
Despite his heavy injuries, Li Jianxin got off the bed. Neither Long Feiye nor Gu Beiyue stopped him as they looked at Han Yunxi. They didn’t know what to do with the likes of her anymore. Although she never followed the norm, she always managed to convince people in the most unexpected ways.
Li Jianxin soon brought them to the garret on the ninth floor of Nine Xuan Hall, the tallest place in Celestial Mountain. Standing here, one could see the endless vista of mountains spread out before them below. Luo Qingling’s memorial tablet was here as well and Li Jianxin paid respects to it daily with two sticks of incense. He would pass the time chatting to her until the incense sticks burned down into ashes.
Under his confinement by Heretical Sword Sect, months had passed since his last visit. The first thing he did was wipe down the memorial tablet, incense holder, and altar table. Seeing Master Jianxin’s figure busying himself amongst the things, Han Yunxi and the rest didn’t interrupt, but watched quietly from the doorway. Everyone was equal in the name of love, no matter how high their statuses or achievements might be. Before the one they loved, they would always be humble and ordinary.
Han Yunxi’s group stepped in only after Master Jianxin was done cleaning. She personally lit two incense sticks and looked at the little wooden tablet with a magnanimous yet modest air. “I, Long Feiye’s wife Han Yunxi, do take Luo Qingling today to be my master. From this day on, I shall study the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay and carry forward its teachings into the martial arts world.”
So speaking, Han Yunxi fell to her knees and said, “Master above, please accept obeisance from your disciple!”
She studiously kowtowed three times while Master Jianxin watched on with a full heart. He was so touched, he couldn’t even speak.
Luo Qingling had a disciple now too! From now on, her name wouldn’t be limited to this tiny garret room, nor would Xuan Nǚ Swordplay be a thing of memory. The jianghu would carry stories of her legacy instead.
Even Long Feiye looked a little absent-minded as he stared at Han Yunxi’s back. Her self-introduction had been simple, but to the point.
I, Long Feiye’s wife Han Yunxi.
Rather than use “Han Clan daughter,” “Qin Wangfei,” or “West Qin princess,” she’d simply acknowledged her identity as his wife.
Long Feiye’s wife. He silently vowed the give the bearer of this name the greatest glory in the world, higher than any status or titles!
After Han Yunxi finished the rites, Li Jianxin handed over the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay manual. With Han Yunxi’s full levels of Nirvana Heart Arts, she could already surmount the swordplay’s first greatest obstacle. All she needed to focus on was learning the seven distinct sword styles recorded within.
She used three days’ time to read through the book and only found three to four places unclear. The rest she could managed to learn on her own. Han Yunxi’s startling innate talent finally astounded Li Jianxin. He assumed that she would take at least a month to understand the contents alone. Li Jianxin had to admit to himself that Duanmu Yao wasn’t even equal to one-tenth of Han Yunxi, while Han Yunxi’s innate talent had already surpassed the late Luo Qingling.
On this day, he privately pulled Long Feiye aside and told him, “Feiye, this woman is the greatest fortune of your life!”
Long Feiye only smiled and said nothing.
In those same three days, the two Honored Elders fixed the sword-sealing platform and suspended a quality imitation Ganjiang above it. They also took up guard positions on both sides and exerted their efforts to have sword qi circulate around the area. While it might not trick Bai Yanqing, it could at least interfere with his judgment.
The group also discussed the matter of sword forging within these three days. The saying went that “one good sword comes from ten years’ work,” so was it possible to make a fine blade within a year? Moreover, Moye’s sword spirit had vicious tendencies that made it a bad fit for “good” blades. This would be a difficult task. No matter how capable the swordsmith Ye Xiao might be, “the cleverest housewife can’t cook a meal without rice.” They needed to find the best metal for forging a sword as well as an appropriate flame.
“Feiye, forging the sword is more important. It’s best to delay the northern expedition,” Master Jianxin urged earnestly. The two Honored Elders nodded in agreement, hoping Li Jianxin could convince his disciple.
Long Feiye didn’t speak, having long decided with Han Yunxi not to delay the rescue mission or the northern expedition any further. They owed it to East and West Qin--as well as the Ning siblings and Mu Linger.
After some thought, Han Yunxi exclaimed, “Celestial fire! If speed is of the essence, then forge it with celestial fire. As long as we can find a material capable of withstanding its flames, we’ll be able to cast the Moye sword shortly!”
“Yunxi, where are you going to find something like that?” Master Jianxin asked instantly.
“The Earthly Fire Kun Furnace! It’s a waste to leave it lying around when we can use it to forge a sword!” Gu Qishao’s voice cried out outdoors.
Han Yunxi sprang up in delight. “Right! That furnace can take it!”
Gu Beiyue was thrilled as well. “It’s all thanks to Qishao for remembering. The copper of the kun furnace is the most suitable choice!”
Since the Earthly Fire Kun Furnace had withstood the celestial fire unharmed, the flames wouldn’t destroy it. Furthermore, it had lost its earthly fire and other powers, making it susceptible to melting down from celestial fire flames. Long Feiye nodded wordlessly as Master Jianxin and the Honored Elders both rejoiced.
However, Master Jianxin quickly followed up, “For this, would Pill Furnace Master be willing to...”
“Leave it to me!” Gu Qishao declared. “Long Feiye, send Ye Xiao to Medicine Requesting Cave as soon as you can! The faster the better!”
Gu Qishao had walked in with a guqin slung across his back. Combined with his tall stature, red robes, and devastating looks, he resembled a wandering musician who travelled the world at ease with his instrument as his companion. But everyone present knew that he had concealed Ganjiang inside the guqin, so it wasn’t easy to haul himself around. Even the two Honored Elders would find it difficult to bear the treasure sword’s weight. The only exception to the rule was Long Feiye, Ganjiang’s owner. He was also the sole man capable of unsheathing the blade. Gu Qishao was ready to have them forge Moye as soon as possible so it could leave his body. Before then, he wouldn’t dare offend Long Feiye, because him unsheathing Ganjiang left him witless.
With Gu Qishao doing the talking, Pill Furnace Master would definitely agree. Han Yunxi even felt embarrassed by it all since she’d gifted the Earthly Fire Kun Furnace to him first. Now she not only wanted it back, but might even destroy it in the process. It was rather awkward all around.
In the end, Han Yunxi prepared a grand gift to be delivered to Pill Furnace Master that was none other than the snake dan she’d recovered from the nest near the East Qin army camp. This was an excellent ingredient for cultivating dan pellet pills, something that many practitioners could only dream of but never have. That very same day, Long Feiye wrote a letter to Xu Donglin so he could deliver the goods.
The plans for forging the sword were set. Now Bai Yanqing might know of Gu Qishao and his possession of the Moye sword spirit, but he’d never be able to guess where it came from, or that a person like Ye Xiao existed. However, Long Feiye remained prudent and ordered men to spread rumors that he and Han Yunxi had already left Celestial Mountain to head for the western deserts in hunt of metal to forge the sword. At the same time, Han Yunxi had others spread false rumors that she and Long Feiye were heading for Northern Li, Jiangnan, or even still staying at Celestial Mountain. All of the fake news was enough to mess with Bai Yanqing’s calculations!
After settling matters, Granny You came to meet them at Nine Xuan Hall. She had successfully imprisoned all of the traitorous disciples and made an inventory of losses from the Sword and Scripture Depositories. She also appointed temporary heads to take charge of the two places.
Master Jianxin had always intended to leave Long Feiye the position of sect leader, but he was far too busy to sit around Celestial Mountain and take care of its matters. They currently lacked a suitable successor to the post, making Granny You fret that internal strife would plague the sect as soon as Long Feiye’s group departed. After all, the disciples of the 55 lower depositories would only feel a chill in their hearts after experiencing this trial. Meanwhile, the one Courtyard and two Depositories located at the peak were all like headless dragons--groups of people lacking a leader--which would only intensify struggles between the remaining disciples.
“Feiye, why not stay a couple extra months to oversee the conclusion?” Granny You coaxed.
“No can do!” Han Yunxi spoke first. How could these elders of Celestial Mountain understand why they were in such a rush? Explaining any more was useless, so Han Yunxi simply offered Master Jianxin and Granny You a suggestion.
3. Man, if HYX’s body was already so outstanding, I can’t even began to fathom how the original host would have made it through her life if not for the handy transmigration thing. Sure, our HYX had some cheats along the way, but I think personality and soul makes a big difference in driving people forward. But now I wish we knew a little more about original!HYX. What was her likes and dislikes? If she awakened her powers and managed to stand on her own, who would be her ideal guy? LFY, just like our HYX? The gentle GBY--a relationship that could only work if neither of them discovered her West Qin origins and pesky master-subordinate issues got in the way? The dastardly GQS, whom I can totally see sweeping a meeker, more timid HYX off her feet? Then again, would our GQS even be interested in original HYX if she didn’t have our HYX’s feisty, strong-willed ways? There’s also Ning Cheng, Long Tianmo, Mu Qingwu, and even Jun Yixie with a stretch and a long list of “what-ifs” + “maybes.” It’s an interesting AU to consider, especially as we approach the end of this “canon” timeline…
4. Okay bear with me here: who the heck made these fakes and why? Was it fanboyism? A feint to trick their enemies? And if Ganjiang blinds people with its sheer power and light every time it came out of its sheath (remember how the Heretical Sword Sect elders couldn’t even look at it head-on), how the heck did they know what it looked like before making it? Just by estimating the blade from its sheathed state? Or consulting ancient diagrams that somehow survived to present day? Or was it made by other smiths in the past who could take Ganjiang deadly sword sparkles? I’m also imagining disciples going to the depository and saying “hey so, can I borrow Fake Ganjiang #2 for a day? I wanna go down to town and impress my family when they visit.” “You liar, you just want to impress the innkeeper’s daughter that you’ve been crushing on since Mid-Autumn Festival.” “Well yeah okay, but do a brother a favor, will you?” “Yeah sure, just call me Long Feiye and kowtow to me thrice.” Hahaha, hilarious~
That's it for today and tomorrow's release I think! See you after I finish work stuff, guys~ <3