Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 4 – Sword Shakes Profound Origin
The entire martial arena was sunk into a strange stillness, only broken when the black-clothed youth at the center of the stage, up until now waiting with his eyes closed, suddenly lifted his head, glancing deeply at Meng Fuyao.
He barely had time to retract his gaze before, in a blink of an eye, a black afterimage flashed, and a dark shadow swept straight towards him like lightning. Because the execution and power behind the movement caused the speed to be too quick, a faint crackling explosion “pi pa!” could be heard in the air.
Before she reached him, Fuyao’s snow white fingers had already pierced towards him, with an inky dagger flying from her fingertips that glimmered dully in the light. The sharp offensive that caused air to be blown aside shot straight towards his eyes!
In one move was packaged swiftness, deadliness, and accuracy; furthermore, the tricky and dangerous angle of attack was hard to expect. The two combatants were not too surprised, but those of the Profound Origin sect all exhaled uniformly, completely shocked.
The move’s power, angle, and speed were perfectly combined into a whole … throughout the whole Profound Origin sect, perhaps only sect elders had the capability to execute such an attack …
The youth at the center of the stage let out a light sneer, his heel shifting like flowing water three steps to the back. With a backhanded draw, his azure sword came shooting out from under his arm like a python, piercing towards Fuyao’s chest.
The two blades collided, and the striking of metal projected out. The tremors from the strike shook the entire arena, shaking even the vigorous wind to a temporary halt.
Sword wind cut loose Meng Fuyao’s hair bun, and her dark hair scattered out like mist. Fuyao flung her head back while biting a lock of long hair between her red lips and white teeth, creating a heart-moving, vibrant image.
The eyes of the opposite black-clothed youth flashed, and his long sword diagonally jumped. In a split second a uncountable number of snow white electric arcs flashed out. At that moment the floating hair in front of the still rushing forward Meng Fuyao unexpectedly pulled straight and quietly drifted downwards like smoke.
While the hair strands were falling, the incoming soft-natured lightning arcs twisted in mid-air, and then promptly vanished into nothingness.
Surprised exclamations sounded within the arena, and several sect leaders even showed bewildered expressions. It seemed the boldly charging Meng Fuyao released inner qi from her whole body in order to shatter the arcs. It has always been known that hard-natured bodies were easily shattered, and soft-natured bodies were hard to shatter; what kind of inner technique did this girl cultivate, to be able to use her qi outside her body, and annihilate objects leaving no trace?
The White Mountain sect master finally began to seriously consider the slender girl in the middle of the stage, yet his expression still contained little worry. It was evident that although the girl’s sword arts were outstanding, her skill was slightly worse – despite the fact that her achievements at this age would be enough to shame and amaze many, when compared to Vanishing Sword, who had undergone repeated adventures, faced many opponents, and had made a name for himself in the Jianghu  for many years, Fuyao was still found lacking by several degrees.
Wanting to win? In her dreams.
He comfortably shifted in his seat, smiling a bit and stroking his beard.
On stage, after the first exchange of attacks ended in a draw, in a blink two blurred figures one black and one dai  were already embroiled in a furious fight. The movements of the two were extremely fast, causing the surrounding spectators to feel a powerful gale blow in their faces and make it hard to breath. The pair of shadows fluttered like a butterfly among flowers, the colors black and dai chaotically intertwining. A myriad of multicolored streaks of light danced above the white stone surface, while close by thin cracks constantly appeared on the smooth ground, intersecting with each other, like a peculiar work of art.
After seeing Meng Fuyao’s sword arts, which were undeniably higher-leveled and more powerful than Profound Origin’s arts, the surprise on the faces of the other sects gradually became even more pronounced. On the other side, the Profound Origin sect had long since popped their eyes out from staring in disbelief.
This was the Meng Fuyao who came in last at countless sword competitions? This was the Meng Fuyao whose martial talent was so lacking that she wasn’t even approved to learn the profound origin inner technique? This type of swift, masterful sword art at an abnormally high level, that not even their own sect could hope to obtain – where did she learn it from?
The seventh disciple, who had just pushed Meng Fuyao, exhaled a breath of air, muttering “This is the one hundredth exchange, under that guy’s sword a few moments ago, senior martial brother hadn’t even managed to last ten rounds …”
Beside him, sixth disciple gulped down a mouthful of saliva, the “gu dong” sound of swallowing so loud that he almost scared himself.
Amidst the sounds of shocked uproar, Pei Yuan’s expression changed multiple times. She had just stepped Meng Fuyao underneath her foot, when in a flash Fuyao suddenly displayed might that even she couldn’t match up to. A layer of bluish-gray haze moodily appeared between her eyebrows without her noticing.
Compared to those around him, Lin Xuanyuan’s expression was the steadiest. His finger lightly tapped the armrest of his chair, lightly contemplating.
The battle center stage was now entering its final stages.
Without warning, an azure long sword penetrated that layer of dai colored light to silently appear besides Fuyao’s wrist, sliding towards her heart like flowing water.
The piercing sword wind narrowed into a line, aiming to kill.
Yet at this time Meng Fuyao directed a grin at the black-clothed youth closing in on her.
She was waiting for precisely this moment.
With her pale teeth abruptly biting down on her red lips, she spat out a coral-red pearl of blood. Fuyao blew a breath of qi which melded with the sleek round blood droplet, giving rise to the third layer skill of the “Breaking Nine Heavens” which flashed out like lightning.
The surrounding space instantaneously became humid and dense, condensing a pale fog that was then dyed pink by the blood drop. With a “hua la” noise the fog immediately blanketed the black-clothed youth, and twisting and dancing in the air, it covered his sight completely.
In only that shocking, lightning-fast instance.
Meng Fuyao flipped her five fingers, the dagger in her palm energetically vibrating and its sword light exploding all of a sudden. “Shua!” A shocking, dazzling glow cut out a fan-shaped path that blinded one’s eyes, the narrow, hard-to-see white light flowing rapidly outward; with a cold flash and “xiu” sound it shot towards the opponent’s chest!
“Breaking Nine Heavens” sword technique’s third style: “Falling Jade, Flowing Lightning”!
As sudden as the thunder of the firmaments, penetrating through land and sea in a flash.
At close distance and with extreme power, that harsh light extinguished life with a speed most people had no way to avoid!
Loud winds blew, and the peak killing intent of the strike caused the intense air friction to give out a ghostly piercing shriek.
Gasps of astonishment exploded out, with White Mountain sect master and others standing up from their chairs at once. In a chair, the Lin Xuanyuan who was still pondering while tapping his finger was also startled by the deadly scene, his finger pausing in the air.
A disciple who was standing too close cried out and stumbled backwards holding his face; quickly thin streams of blood flowed between the gaps of his fingers.
His face was injured by the remnants of sharp true qi from the stage.
This hard-to-escape killing strike that was both powerful and ruthless made the audience members that jumped up in shock stare at each other in dismay, their hearts cold.
Despite this, the youth had superior eyesight and reaction time; enveloped in the incoming chilly light, he managed to hurriedly retreat, and in a dark shadow that arose like a dragon flipping over, he traveled three zhang in one back flip. Unfortunately, he was still slow by a step. In the silence a light “cha” sound was heard, and the white brilliance went through his collar bone. A vast flower of blood blossomed outward from back of his seemingly frail shoulder.
The youth landed on the ground stumbling back unsteadily. Meng Fuyao lightly smiled and dusted off her sleeves, loftily standing her ground in the fierce wind.
Victory for Meng Fuyao.
The face of White Mountain’s sect leader drastically changed. According to the rules of the sword competition, they couldn’t use their side’s numbers to obtain victory. He had calculated that among the Profound Origin disciples there should have been no one who was a match for the black-clothed youth, which was why when the strongest sect leader among them from the Azure City sword sect lost a match to Lin Xuanyuan, he still had no fear of loss. Who could have predicted that his plans would be thrown into a mess by this ugly girl who popped out of nowhere? He couldn’t help but scold himself for running his mouth earlier; if he hadn’t, then that ugly girl would have left long ago, and such an unexpected event wouldn’t have happened.
The arena was yet again filled with silence. The Profound Origin disciples all dumbly stared at Meng Fuyao. Under their stares, that girl’s long hair and daicolored clothes floated in the wind while her slightly upturned jaw traced a exquisite, smooth angle in the air. She wore a sardonic smile while taking her in surroundings; despite being blindfolded, that piercing, sweeping gaze burned even hotter than the sunlight by a few degrees.
Underneath her scrutiny, those who had previously mocked her now uncontrollably retracted backwards a little.
Holding back a cold sneer, Meng Fuyao threw the dagger in her hand with a “pa”, and “ka cha” the sharp body buried itself into the ground three cun , the white stone splitting into cracks several chi long that almost looked like the corner of a mouth curled into a smirk.
The red sword tassel vigorously fluttered in the wind, a tyrannical statement that burned itself into the audience’s conflicted point of view.
Even when seeing the smooth and orderly white stone surface blatantly vandalized by Meng Fuyao, nobody spoke up.
That black-clothed youth didn’t even turn his head as he headed towards the exit. Suddenly, he turned around, his chilly sight directly colliding with that of Meng Fuyao, who had just took off her blindfold and raised her head.
In the clash of stares, the bottom of the youth’s eyes contained an emotion that fluctuated like the waves of the ocean, tumultuous without stop.
Meng Fuyao calmly returned his gaze, her eyes bright like the newly risen moon over the sea.
The youth promptly revealed a strange expression, raised his eyes to glance behind Fuyao, then turned back and left in large strides.
Puzzled, Meng Fuyao turned her head, and discovered that Lin Xuanyuan had unknowingly arrived behind her at some point in time.
Fuyao was scared out of her wits, and quickly tried to back away from him, but her mind began to show signs of dizziness at once.
A gust of strong wind, bringing with it an irregular smell, blew past.
1. jianghu “江湖” is a term for the cultivation/martial artist world
2. dai “黛” = color of a black dye women in ancient China would use to paint their eyebrows
3. Disciples in sects are usually referred to by their rankings (either by strength, age, or order accepted by the master). The “senior martial brother” who was defeated earlier is “1st disciple/martial brother” if translated literally.
4. 寸 “cun” = 3.33 cm, 1. 31 inches