Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 10 – Favors Returned, Debts Repaid
A bright moon in the sky, a clear wind from the side, in the desolate mountain wild, falling into a handsome man’s embrace.
Is there anything under the heavens that is more romantic and more blessed?
The lucky Meng Fuyao’s face instantly turned scarlet red shocking red deep red light red the various colors of red cycling at a fast speed, finally returning to its normal colors. She peeked at the shameless hottie opposite, who with a straight face and back respectfully said, “Since that’s what you want, I guess I’ll have to grudgingly oblige.”
With a flip of her fingers, she fitted a couple steel needles which glinted while hidden between the gaps of her fingers.
If you dare touch, I’ll pierce your ya ya.
Two hands about to grasp, two cheeks about to meet, a fat rodent comes in between, pushing left and blocking right.
There is nothing under the heavens that is more mood killing and more despicable.
Before Meng Fuyao had time to push the other down then pierce him to death, with a “shua” sound Master Yuanbao suddenly shot out from who-knows-what corner, jumping up and soaring over the ground. With a “curled-bodied split-legged backward 180 degree attack”, four claws brandished and separately impacted onto the two people’s faces.
Meng Fuyao immediately palm-slapped Master Yuanbao down with a “pa” sound, taking the chance to retreat three zhang away.
Master Yuanbao dropped into the man’s outstretched palm, at once flipping over and hugging his fingers while crying with a zhi zhi sound.
Meng Fuyao eyed the little fellow with disdain, even though she had to thank it for helping herself escape the situation, wasn’t his method of doing so a little too abnormal?
Her eyes left the spoiled crazy fat rat, landing on the man. After traveling through the jianghu for so many years, Meng Fuyao liked to think of herself as having a bit of an eye for people. The guy before her, despite every one of his words being seductive silliness, had no hints of lust or hunger in the expressions of his eye corners and brows. His elegant demeanor implied a noble’s aura, and his eyes held no ill-intentioned desires.
Was it really only because he saw the scene of Pei Yuan scheming against her, that he lent a hand to help?
The status of the Profound Origin sword sect in the Tai Yuan Empire was not low, with many past and possibly future high officials and distinguished individuals. Looking at the timing and place where he appeared, did he have any relation with the Profound Origin sect? If he was the sect’s friend, then why would he help her to oppose the sect?
Deeply breathing in, Meng Fuyao decided to not continue mulling over this unsolvable question. She could see that this guy wasn’t some simple person, and asking wouldn’t give her any information. Furthermore, if he wanted to harm her, a little twist of his finger would be enough – there was no reason for him to use such a circular method.
Besides, right now there was something she had to do first.
Meng Fuyao didn’t linger on the things she was powerless to change, since she would not allow someone who had harmed her to walk free.
While regulating her breathing, dusting her sleeves, and tidying up her robes, from her bosom she also took out something to apply to the dagger at her waist.
It was a type of sap produced in Qing Region’s Lifting Wind Nation, refined from “Never-Wound Flowers”. This sap was not poisonous, but once it entered a wound it would cause it to fester and become longer-lasting and harder to cure.
Meng Fuyao tossed the dagger a couple times in her hand, feeling that it was unfortunate that she did not have actual poison on her. Although, Pei Yuan, what if your arrogant, attractive appearance and snowy complexion, that has so many men buzzing around you like bees and calling you a jade beauty, one day had a few extra wounds that stank with the smell of rotting flesh? I wonder if, after all the butterflies and flowers have been driven away, you could still maintain that false, hypocritical smile?
With a cold smile, Meng Fuyao carefully applied layer after layer on top of the dagger’s blade.
The man hugged his knees with a light smile, his eyes sweeping past with a measure of appreciation.
Seeing Meng Fuyao’s preparations complete, he stood up and pointed in the Profound Origin sect village’s direction. While smiling he said, “You probably don’t know that your sword sect actually has a secret tunnel. If you sneak in through there, you can avoid many of the mountain village’s guards, and,” his expression suddenly seemed a little odd, “your Master and the other martial brothers and sisters right now are all at the front hall welcoming Infinite Empire’s Grand Tutor. You can first conceal yourself inside Pei Yuan’s room.”
“How do you know?” Meng Fuyao slanted a glance at him. “Who are you?”
“You can call me Zhaoxu, Yuan Zhaoxu.” Yuan Zhaoxu’s smiling expression was like a touch of spring breeze. While his eyes moved, it was like in an instant water could flow backwards, and deep snow could melt.
“Yuan Zhaoxu?” Meng Fuyao muttered the name once. For some reason she felt it familiar, as if she had heard it before somewhere, but right now couldn’t remember. She only nodded her head, then followed the direction Yuan Zhaoxu pointed to while striding in large steps.
Her back figure gradually vanished down the rugged mountain trail. Behind her, Yuan Zhaoxu had on a light smile, and while standing with his hands clasped behind his back, he deeply gazed at her disappearing shadow.
His wide sleeves drifted leisurely in the wind, reflecting the crushed silver moonlight.
At his back, where there was originally a block of mountain rock, slowly materialized a long, skinny black figure. The black shadow stood slightly bowed three chi behind Yuan Zhaoxu, with its head lowered in a respectful demeanor.
Yuan Zhaoxu slightly turned back his head, and with only a look, the other side instantly became horrified, quickly shutting its mouth.
“You do not have to remind me, I will go immediately.” Waving his hand, it seemed Yuan Zhaoxu already knew what the other was going to say. After a moment of thought, he tilted his head towards Master Yuanbao who was currently standing on his shoulder, “Hey, go follow her?”
Master Yuanbao turned, showing his backside to Yuan Zhaoxu.
“After you come back I’ll let you eat a late-night snack, three Qilin Reds.”
Master Yuanbao continued to maintain his unturned head and raised backside, but obediently began to crawl down his shoulder.
“You’re not allowed to enact your personal revenge, or else I’ll penalize three day’s worth of Qilin Red.” Yuan Zhaoxu exhorted Master Yuanbao with a phrase. That fat rodent only shook his stubby tail as an answer, unknown if it was an agreement or not.
The black-garbed man watched stunned as that ball of white fur vanished into the night. In his heart he still did not understand his master’s actions. Yuanbao was not some ordinary pet animal – found in the Di Region Heavenly Court’s most sacred lands, only one of the Everlife Temple’s “Divine Enigma Rats” would be born every hundred years. Their lives were extremely long, and their intelligence was beyond normal animals, even comparable to humans. Further, they could bring luck and ward off evil, and once they decided on a master, they would be unwaveringly loyal for their entire lives. People without connections to the temple could only hope to see one, let alone own one – no matter how exalted their statuses were.
This kind of treasure, his master actually just sent out with such carelessness?
That young lady from before … could it be …
But didn’t his master’s destiny show that …
The thoughts in his heart swirled and revolved hundreds and thousands of times, yet he didn’t dare show anything on his face. After following his master for so many years, the black-clothed man was completely aware of his master’s crystal-clear perception; under his lucid and piercing gaze, if he moved so much a strand of hair, his inner thoughts would be able to be guessed.
Even with this level of vigilance, Yuan Zhaoxu still seemed to discover something. He half-turned with a light smile and glanced at the black-clothed man, seeing the other then deeply bow at the waist and retreat back into the darkness.
Yuan Zhaoxu turned back around, narrowing his eyes and staring at the distant edge of darkness. The slim figure of that girl who could boldly love and hate, and bravely accept and confront, had already completely disappeared into the shadows. With carried sword, bound hair, and an agile body full of killing intent, she sprinted towards that outside virtuously beautiful but inside maliciously selfish royal descendant, sprinted towards those who had harmed and humiliated her, and prepared to rise the blade, then fall the blade.
“Life with many struggles, trials with bitter toils, those able to return favors and repay debts, how many can there be …” After a long time, a soft sigh lightly drifted in the winding night wind. ———————-
“The Grand Tutor is so old yet still so vigorous, your noble aura truly fills people’s hearts with admiration, he he he …”
“Sect Master Lin’s generation of sword sect, has even more of a virtuous and capable aura, ha ha ha …”
The tallow candles burned in Profound Origin’s front hall while two old men smilingly conversed. Respectful and cultured, their words came and went, their mouths filled with meaningless niceties. One after another, hundreds of volleys were exchanged, as if they completely did not see the deep darkness of the late night. Underneath, the many disciples were continuously yawning.
“Come come … Grand Tutor, try some more of our Profound Origin’s specially produced Jade Spring Tea.”
Lin Xuanyuan slightly covered his face with his robe sleeves while lifting up the tea, taking the opportunity to furtively yawn.
He had already accompanied the guest for a very long time. Although the Infinite Empire’s esteemed Grand Tutor was at a very old age, his spirit was still very hearty. They had forcibly digressed here and there for many hours – six had already passed, yet he still had no thought of sleep.
Lin Xuanyuan’s eyes were impatiently moving underneath the cover of his sleeves, when suddenly they caught four disciples sneaking in from the hall’s side door, and he couldn’t help but start a little.
That kid, didn’t he tell him to guard Meng Fuyao? Why did he return with such a worried expression?
Before he could finish this thought, a flash of red came from the side door, and Pei Yuan appeared, her expression still proud and arrogant. She leaned against the door frame and tidied up her robes, her face color normal, but from what the old fox Lin Xuanyuan saw, he thought she seemed to have a bit of a violent air between her eyebrows.
Raising the teacup a little higher to cover his eyes, Lin Xuanyuan silently muttered in his heart, what had happened? How come these two disciples’ expressions were not right?
However, now was not the time for interrogation – plus, with Pei Yuan’s status, even Lin Xuanyuan didn’t dare to overly discipline her. He could only reinvigorate himself and continue to accompany the guest.
The gray-white haired Infinite Empire’s Grand Tutor was a teacher of emperors who had been famous under the heavens for some time, mostly because of his student, the shockingly brilliant Infinite Crown Prince. Logically at such a wizened age his energy shouldn’t be so plentiful, yet it was a pity that he resisted the dark circles under his eyes, steadfastly continuing to chat with the non-stop yawning sect master.
“Qing, Yi, Heng, Ming, Di, the Five Regions, are divided into Nemesis, Infinite, Lifting Wind, Heaven’s Court, Tai Yuan, Polaris, and Xuanyuan, the Seven States. Nemesis focuses on war, Infinite emphasizes talent, Tai Yuan values martial arts, Polaris promotes knowledge, Lifting Wind highlights morality, Xuanyuan are masters of ancient techniques, Heaven’s Court …”
Suddenly a gust of wind blew over from who-knows-where, and the candles on the ground flickered. The Grand Tutor stopped in the middle of his words, laughed with a “ha ha”, drank some tea, and as if he had only thought of it just now he said, “Yi ya, my old self and the sect master have been chatting so happily, we even forgot the time …”
Lin Xuanyuan hurriedly stood up, “Yes, yes, the Grand Tutor’s insights are outstandingly high, the lowly me fell into a spell just listening and actually forgot to arrange for your rest. My apologies, my apologies, someone come, help Sir to the inner courtyard to rest …”
“Whew …” Underneath came a chorus of relieved sighs.
The Grand Tutor tottered out, and the disciples immediately began to scatter like the wind. Lin Xuanyuan stood in the hall with his hands clasped behind, and with a change in his eyes, he suddenly spoke, “Fourth, Yuan’er!”
The two who were just about to slink away froze in their steps and slightly turned. Pei Yuan, with a fluid glance, slowly turned around and gave a calm smile to the doubtfully staring Lin Xuanyuan.
Outside the window shot past a streak of lightning. In that flashing instance, the strong incandescent glow illuminated her turning face, twisting that smile into something savage and fierce, holding a dark air full of malignance, and scaring Lin Xuanyuan with a jump.
Turning his head and staring out at the suddenly pouring rain outside, he muttered with some surprise, “It started to rain …”
1. Place where men are weak. Need I say more.
2. “元昭诩” = Yuan Zhaoxu
Map of Five Regions Continent:
Color code: Black = Heaven’s Court, Brown = Lifting Wind, Yellow = Infinite, Purple = Polaris, Red = Nemesis, Blue = Xuanyuan, Green and Teal = Tai Yuan (find out later why Tai Yuan is split)