Learning of the ranking matches gave Han Yunxi a keen sense of the danger Long Feiye faced. However, the true threat lay in undoing his seal. Once it was gone, Long Feiye’s current martial arts combined with the vast reserves of internal energy still kept in check would make him unbeatable for Cang Qiuzi. The Lustbite Seal of East Qin Dynasty had given him strength as well as restrictions. The greatest one lay in the fact that once he was unsealed, the energy of the Lustbite Seal would run rampant and risk him going insane.
Long Feiye trusted his own mental strength to be enough to control its powers, but nobody had ever experienced its effects in history. Thus, he wasn’t sure what other side effects might occur. It was better to be prudent. There was still a month to go before the fifth day of the fifth month, which gave him abundant time to prepare. As long as his master could help him, there wouldn’t be any major problems. Thus, he had to verify his status and illness first. Meanwhile, Duanmu Yao had become his biggest problem despite being an afterthought in his mind.
Han Yunxi used to imagine how great it’d be if she knew martial arts too. Now she only sighed with emotion. “Long Feiye, how great would it be if you knew the poison arts! I should teach you!”
Long Feiye and Cang Qiuzi had already faced off at Lost Void Lake, but it wasn’t a one-on-one duel. Long Feiye had her poison needles launching support attacks while Cang Qiuzi had sneak attacked first, then went on to defend Duanmu Yao. Neither of them had fought more than a few rounds before a third party got involved, giving Cang Qiuzi the chance to slip away. It was hard to tell just how disparate their skills might be.
“Long Feiye, it’s impossible to greatly increase your fighting skills in such a short amount of time. But you can learn poisons! With that to assist you, Cang Qiuzi won’t be your match!” Han Yunxi said enthusiastically.
Long Feiye only knitted his brows at her and smiled. Immediately, Han Yunxi realized she’d suggested a stupid idea. Poison arts wouldn’t be accepted by Cloud Realm Continent’s mainstream society. Medical City was one notable case, having banned it altogether. Celestial Mountain Sword Sect was the most revered and respected sect of the martial arts circles and its righteous representative. If Long Feiye used poisons in the battlefield, the consequences would be unthinkable.
“The ranking matches only test swordsmanship,” Long Feiye stroked her hair gently as he spoke. Eventually, he pulled her into his arms with a doting smile. “Silly, you’ve turned foolish again!”
This happened whenever this woman was anxious. Indeed, Han Yunxi was all impatience. After all, those were “life and death” matches. Why wouldn’t she fret over something like that? She only hated the fact that she couldn’t help him at this critical point. Long Feiye had only taken her here to meet his master. He wasn’t planning to have her help him with anything.
“Don’t worry, it’s fine,” he comforted.
Han Yunxi couldn’t stop worrying at all. After thinking a bit, she said in a serious voice, “Long Feiye, only the sword sect master can help you now. He better not be suffering from his illness at a time like this!”
Before Long Feiye could speak, Han Yunxi was already babbling on. “Duanmu Yao should have returned to the peak by now, right? And the sword sect master dotes on her so much that…”
“Long Feiye, Duanmu Yao’s a real danger!” she cried, before rejecting her words. “No, that’s wrong! The sword sect master’s illness is what’s key here! Long Feiye, that’s the most variable component!”
Seeing her so nervous, Long Feiye couldn’t help but suppress a laugh. He realized that this woman really was very smart. Despite knowing nothing about his seal, she’d zeroed in on the crux of the entire matter.
“That’s right,” Long Feiye admitted.
“An illness that loses one’s heart....” Han Yunxi muttered to herself. “If Gu Beiyue could come, it’d be better. ….aye, even that might still be useless. Who knows if the sword sect master would even accept treatment?”
She mused as she spoke, “Some long term illnesses might not be because they’re incurable, but because the patient doesn’t want to receive treatment. That’s just a form of self-punishment!”
It was the first time Long Feiye had heard of such logic. Despite the fantastical claim, it had its own sense of logic. In the end, psychological worries like these were really a type of self-inflicted punishment. He allowed Han Yunxi to keep rambling while he listened carefully. It was a serious subject, but his lips couldn’t help but quirk into a smile. He never thought Han Yunxi had a cute side like this too. He liked it when she was acting silly.
Even after making it this far, neither of them had heard any gossip regarding Duanmu Yao’s injuries. Judging from Granny You’s reception on seeing them, she didn’t know, either. Most likely, Cang Qiuzi and Duanmu Yao hadn’t decided to stir up trouble with the news. But the fact that Duanmu Yao had kidnapped Grand Concubine Yi was wrong first--so the pair wouldn’t be stupid enough to ruin their own reputations. Long Feiye wouldn’t drop the matter easily, while Han Yunxi was curious to see how Cang Qiuzi and Duanmu Yao would face him. Very soon, they crossed the long bridge just as the mists around Celestial Mountain dispersed. Standing at the end of the bridge, Han Yunxi watched as the white fog withdrew to reveal the mountain in its true colors. She couldn’t help but pause at the sight. After seeing her share of extraordinary vistas, this one still outshone them all in its splendor and beauty.
Han Yunxi thought the fifth peak of this mountain range, Celestial Mountain, would stretch unbroken to the skies, but never thought it ended in multiple peaks. Atop the mountain were six separate summits of different heights. Five of them resembled fingers sticking up from a palm, each surrounded by swirls of clouds. Between each separate peak stretched a suspension bridge, and all of them surrounded the sixth, which was shorter than the rest. A magnificent hall rested on this peak, along with a wide, flat arena for martial arts competitions. Each of the five other peaks had suspension bridges leading to the sixth peak as well. Even the cliff where Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were standing had a bridge leading to the sixth peak.
Long Feiye pointed at the tallest peak of the bunch and remarked, “That’s the top of Celestial Mountain, where my master spends his time cultivating. He rarely comes down.”
Han Yunxi looked over and saw that it was an endlessly lofty, chilly place. There was the highest point in all of Celestial Mountain, where one could stand and see all the rest.
“Over there is Lockheart Courtyard, only open to Cang Qiuzi’s disciples and those who’ve passed the Celestial Mountain Assembly. Lockheart Courtyard also has two other cultivation areas in the valleys of the second peak for normal disciples to cultivate their Nirvana Heart Arts.” Long Feiye pointed to each peak as he explained.
“That over there is the Sword Depository, next to it is the Scripture Depository. The first holds treasured swords, while the second has Celestial Mountain Sword Sect’s entire store of sword skill manuals.”
“Every one of them?” Han Yunxi asked doubtfully.
Long Feiye was certain. “Every single one. There’s a saying that ability will exceed a certain limit that applies to sword skills as well. Once your sword skills progress far enough, manuals aren’t important. Your level of internal energy becomes the key to further progression.”
Han Yunxi understood. “So the Scripture Depository is the weakest faction?”
“Smart,” Long Feiye nodded, then added, “To high level experts, weapons are more important than sword skill manuals.”
“Cang Qiuzi’s in charge of the Lockheart Courtyard…” Han Yunxi trailed off. “So his attainments in internal energy…”
“Are extremely high!” Long Feiye murmured. “And he’s a sly old fox with hidden depths as well.”
As the two chattered, they saw a few elderly figures emerge from the building above and prepare to head their way.
“Come, we’ll go to the peak,” Long Feiye clearly didn’t want to deal with those people. Han Yunxi immediately grew nervous. Were they going to meet the sword sect master right this instant?
But a familiar voice called them back.
“Feiye, you’ve already made it this far. Aren’t you going to pay respects to your fellow senior uncles and aunts? What, is your wife afraid of meeting your elders?” The speaker was none other than Cang Qiuzi.
Very soon, he had flown past the bridge to land in front of Long Feiye. The three elders behind him followed suit. Han Yunxi recognized Granny You amongst them, so the other two must be part of the Sword and Scripture Depositories. Cang Qiuzi and Long Feiye had already met in a life or death match, but he greeted Long Feiye as if nothing had happened between them. Han Yunxi couldn’t help but esteem him, that old thing.
“Feiye, greet your fellow elders. You’ve taken on a consort for so many years but you’ve yet to invite us for wedding drinks. Tonight, come to this old man’s hall for a banquet. I’ll definitely penalize you well there!” Cang Qiuzi chuckled.
“Senior Uncle Cang,” Long Feiye said coldly, “A person of your eminence certainly has a short memory!”
“Short memory? This old man clearly remembers that I’ve never drunk your wedding wine before. Feiye, don’t try to fool me!” Cang Qiuzi grew earnest.
“Your lordship is speaking of the Grand Concubine’s kidnapping!” Long Feiye said coldly. He wasn’t in a mood to play the fool with Cang Qiuzi.
The other three elders looked shocked by the news and exchanged glances. Although Long Feiye hadn’t laid bare the facts, they were smart enough to deduce that the incident involved Cang Qiuzi as well.
“Senior Uncle Cang, you colluded with Duanmu Yao to kidnap my mufei and threaten her life so I would hand over the Profound Frost Sword. This happened just last month. You couldn’t have forgotten?” Long Feiye demanded coldly.
The second and third elders from the Sword and Scripture Depositories looked at each other in silence, while the Abstinence Courtyard’s Granny You only smiled coldly. “Aiya, what occasion is it today? Feiye, why are you making such a serious joke?”
Granny You knew Long Feiye well enough to understand that he never joked. She trusted his words, so her tone of voice was simply mocking Cang Qiuzi instead. On the other hand, Cang Qiuzi never expected Long Feiye to be so blunt. His face alternated between ashen and green.
“Feiye, since you’ve said it, I won’t hide it anymore. Your junior sister was indeed in the wrong for such an affair. This old man didn’t go to help her, but to stop her. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage it!”
Cang Qiuzi exhaled as he spoke while turning to make obeisance towards the peak of Celestial Mountain. “This old man is sorry to the sect master! Before he entered closed door cultivation, he handed over all internal affairs of the sect to this old man. This old man has made sure everything on and off Celestial Mountain was running in perfect order. How could I have overlooked the pair of you martial siblings?”
He glanced at Han Yunxi, then went on with his play. “You and your martial sister have harbored mutual affections since you were young. Just...just how did a single consort end up leading into a row with Yao Yao? Even if she’s wrong beyond a doubt, she’s still your little junior sister. Feiye, how could you be so callous? You injured her dantian and crippled all of her martial arts. How could you let your master down like that?”
Now all of the elders, Granny You included, turned as one towards Han Yunxi.Previous Chapter Next Chapter