Chapter 710: What kind of feeling is it? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Han Yunxi was flabbergasted by the sight. She only had a mysterious impression of Celestial Mountain, but standing at the summit of its first of five mountains gave her a perfect view of the rest. Admiration bloomed in her heart at their sheer heights. These five mountains peaks were like a staircase to heaven, each taller than the last. It felt like one could ascend them to the Southern Heavenly Gates leading to the nine divine realms above.
Besides the first peak, the rest were all covered in snow. In the distance, the white snow and blue skies formed a clean, almost holy contrast. It took a long time for her to recover from the sight. Despite the pure and spotless sight, how many dark and dirty deeds lurked within Celestial Sword Sect? Wherever you went in this world, it was the same: ugliness hid itself beneath beauty. If you were weak, you could be sucked into that filth. If you weren’t strong enough, you could only float amongst its grime. Only by growing powerful could one have the strength to break free of the mud untarnished.
Han Yunxi looked closely and saw that the distance between each peak was quite vast. If they traveled on foot, they’d have to flip past four entire summits just to reach the bottom of Celestial Mountain. In other words, that meant climbing and descending four peaks in the row. Even without counting the distance between peaks, or the dangers that lurked within them, just walking past all that snow looked like a challenge. Thus, simply climbing wouldn’t do. Even Long Feiye’s high level lightness techniques wasn’t enough to fly directly from peak to peak.
Mountains are dangerous, mountains are tall; even the yellow crane finds it hard to pass, even apes and monkeys fret at the climb.
To get to Celestial Mountain, one had to use the single path made by the people for the commoners. Han Yunxi quickly noticed the bamboo suspension bridge dangling between the peak of the first mountain and the central body of the second. It stretched over an expanse of empty space. She looked back at Long Feiye and asked, “Is that the only way?”
“It’s the fastest,” Long Feiye remarked. If he didn’t mind the exhaustion, they could simply circle around each peak until they reached the last. But it was hard to judge the dangers then. Moreover, mountain roads were hard to traverse, so it’d take them over a month that way to ever reach their destination.
“Then let’s take a look at that bridge.” There was still some distance from it yet, so Han Yunxi could only see sections of the suspension rather than the entire thing. Long Feiye took her to circle around the mountain’s other side until they could see the entrance to the bamboo suspension bridge currently sealed up by a row of iron chains. Two guards dressed in white stood on either side of the entrance, while a small building styled like a temple stood nearby like a sentry box.
Although it was difficult to ascend Celestial Mountain, they still had strict security. Han Yunxi approached and examined the bamboo bridge, only to realize the structure dangling between both mountains was absolutely...a sham!
You can’t call this a bridge. It’s more like sticks of bamboo tied together with rope!
Two ropes tied in an upside down triangle pattern held up the bamboo between them and acted as guardrails for its passengers. However, the bamboo slats were quite thin--only wide enough for one person to walk on instead of two shoulder-to-shoulder. To cross the bridge, one had to work one’s way over the bamboo while holding onto the ropes on both sides. There wasn’t a bit of safety to the ordeal at all.
Abruptly, a breeze blew past and sent the bamboo bridge swaying in the wind. It was such a long bridge and such a strong wind that anyone on it was sure to swing along with the structure. A complicated gaze settled onto Han Yunxi’s face as she stared at the thing.
The guards at the entrance didn’t seem to recognize Long Feiye, because they stepped forward to block their passage right away. But before they could speak, Long Feiye revealed a white jade command tablet written with a single, blood red character: Sect (宗 or Zong).
Seeing this, the two guards immediately backed off and paid their respects. “Greetings to Senior Brother Ye!”
It had been years since Long Feiye came to Celestial Mountain. Of course the new guards wouldn’t know what he looked like, but the white jade command tablet was definitely recognizable. There were many rules to the jade command tablets of the mountain. Different colors represented different ranks. Besides the colorless jade tablets in the hands of the sword sect grandmaster and his four elders, white was the highest rank. Only disciples of those five masters possessed them. Moreover, the words written on each tablet corresponded to different sects and factions as well. Sect (宗) referred to the sword sect master, a direct connection to their sect head.
Thus, Long Feiye’s white jade command tablet meant that he was the sword sect master’s direct disciple, and everyone in the mountain knew he only taught two students, Duanmu Yao and Long Feiye.
Besides Sect, the tablet was also adorned with th characters of Heart (心 or Xin), Scripture (经 or Jing), Sword (剑 or Jian) and Abstinence (戒 or Jie). Each word represented the symbols of the Lockheart Courtyard, Scripture Depository, Sword Depository, and the Commandment Courtyard. These were the four organizations controlled by Celestial Mountain’s four elders. Head Elder Cang Qiuzi looked after the Lockheart Courtyard, which was responsible for all of Celestial Mountain’s internal cultivation technique, the Nirvana Heart Arts.
There were many different swordplay styles on Celestial Mountain, but it only had one type of internal cultivation technique. Anyone who wanted to learn Celestial Mountain swordsmanship had to cultivate Nirvana Heart Arts. All practitioners of the art had to undergo a seal to forever lock away unrighteous qi that would interfere with their internal cultivation and energies. Thus, Cang Qiuzi’s Lockheart Courtyard not only controlled the Nirvana Heart Arts, but the Lockheart Seal.
Aside from the direct disciples of the Celestial Mountain elders, all the rest had to stay in Lockheart Courtyard for up to two years and accept a seal to start cultivating Nirvana Heart Arts before ever starting swordplay. Internal cultivation arts were the basics for learning swordplay, so it was self-evident that Lockheart Courtyard held an important place atop Celestial Mountain. Nobody liked to offend its master unless absolutely necessary, so all of the disciples treated Cang Qiuzi with utmost respect. Thanks to that, and Cang Qiuzi’s own formidable martial arts skills, the sword sect master often left matters of the sect to him. Over the past decade, Cang Qiuzi’s power had long eclipsed that of the other three elders. Sometimes he could even make important decisions in the sword sect master’s place.
The two guards recognized Long Feiye, but not Han Yunxi. They only saw him holding her hand and wondered how they should address her. But suddenly, a figure flew out from the building nearby, as fast as a gust of wind. Before Han Yunxi could see who it was, she only heard a voice cry flirtatiously, “Senior Brother Ye, you’ve finally returned. Xin’er’s missed you a lot.”
This was the second time Han Yunxi had heard another woman call Long Feiye by ‘senior brother.’ Although this situation had nothing to do with Duanmu Yao, she still felt uncomfortable at the address! Examining the girl, she discovered that this “Xin’er” was a petite female with a fair complexion. Her eyes shone as she stared at Long Feiye, while a white jade command tablet hung at her waist. It was inscribed with the “Sword” character, meaning that she was a high-ranking disciple of the Sword Depository faction.
At the same time, Xin’er was examining Han Yunxi before her gaze finally drifted to the couple’s interlocked hands. If there was one thing women couldn’t hide, it was jealousy! Xin’er was no exception, as her envy was practically oozing out of her eyes. Long Feiye didn’t even remember who this “Xin’er” person was, so he was planning to ignore her. But Xin’er smiled and said, “Senior Brother Ye, those who don’t know martial arts aren’t allowed at Celestial Mountain, oh.”
Despite spending most of their year on Celestial Mountain, the female disciples would never miss news about Long Feiye--especially the woman by her side. They wanted to know ever more about her so they could understand her better. Here was Han Yunxi, a woman without a whit of martial arts skills. All she knew were some heretical, crooked skills in poisons. Why did she deserve Long Feiye’s favor? Heaven knows what kind of methods she used to enchant and seduce Long Feiye to her side!
Naturally, being Long Feiye’s woman meant making an enemy of all the women in the world.
After living through hundreds of battles, Han Yunxi was long used to such antagonism. In fact, she was almost starting to enjoy it.
“Learning martial arts is so tiring and coarse, ah? What’s a prim and proper girl like you studying that of all things? Neither masculine nor feminine, and now impossible to marry off.” Han Yunxi purposely pulled Long Feiye’s arm close as she imitated Xin’er’s tone of voice and added, “I’d never learn martial arts. In any case, Long Feiye, you’ll always be by my side to guard me, love me...dote on me….protect me…”
As she spoke, she raised a finger in the air and lazily studied it as she continued. “...protect me to the point that no one will hurt a single finger on my hand.”
Anyone who tried verbal warfare against Han Yunxi would die from her poison tongue! Xin’er was so angry that she almost emitted steam from her nostrils. She was about to retort when Long Feiye took Han Yunxi’s hand and softly nipped her on the finger.
How could the proud and chilly Duke of Qin ever do such things to a woman? How could his lips ever touch hers? Xin’er didn’t want to believe it, but she couldn’t stop herself from liking Long Feiye either. How she wishing he was biting her! What does that even feel like?
Just how is it?
A numbness spread through Han Yunxi’s body from her finger like an electrical jolt. Fortunately, he released her before she felt like collapsing into his arms.
“Still not opening the locks?” Long Feiye looked coldly at the guards. They had been stunned by his actions as well, but quickly recovered to undo the chains and let the couple enter the bamboo bridge. Long Feiye had their driver Uncle Gao wait at the building by the bridge. Xu Donglin was the only guard to accompany them--not because he was underestimating their enemy, but because he had plenty of allies atop the mountain itself.
Xu Donglin pushed off from the start of the bridge to leap into the air. He would use lightness techniques to travel ahead and clear the way. Han Yunxi finally realized that the bridge wasn’t for walking at all, but as a jump-off point for flying between sections. It looked like Xin’er had reasons to laugh at her for wanting to go up without knowing any martial arts. But she had Long Feiye, so she wasn’t afraid!
“Hold on tight.” Long Feiye was in a good mood. Though he’d given her instructions, he was the first to hold her tight. Kicking off with his toes, he flew into the skies, his figure free and unrestrained.
They were already gone by the time Xin’er stopped gaping. Of course, she was only a tiny peach blossom compared to the larger one waiting for Han Yunxi later. As soon as Long Feiye and her reached the foot of the mountain, all of the important figures on top had already heard the news.
Would Han Yunxi be pass the bamboo bridge successfully?
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