Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
“What encounter?” Xue Qing and Shitu Ping asked at the same time.
Sir Yanming continued, “The four of us were carrying rare wine, some accompanying dishes and our swords to the peak of the mountain, and it was early in the morning just as the sun begin to rise when we found that under a large willow tree at the peak, there was already someone else who occupied the area.”
“It was long white haired old beggar, whose face was rosy with vigor, lying casually on a rock platform under the tree. As sunlight touched his body, we felt as if we saw an immortal.” Sir Yanming smiled with his eyes and slowly talked, as if he was reliving that particular memory.
“Only his tattered clothes were not a match to his appearance, because they were those of a beggar, so we thought that perhaps he was an elder from the Beggar sect, but he did not carry a pouch with him. When that old beggar saw us approaching, he asked if we knew martial arts. We nodded in agreement, and he asked again if we had wine and meat. We simply nodded again. He then told us to bring the wine and delicacies out. That day, it was I who was carrying the food, and I followed his instructions without much thinking. Seeing the food, his eyes gleamed brightly which was uncharacteristic of our image of him.”
“As he took our food, he ravenously wolfed it all down without hesitation, and surprisingly, the four of us just stared dumbly as we watched him do so until all our food was finished. Then, he wiped his mouth and exclaimed that the wine and food were delicious, before praising us for being ‘not bad’.”
“Then, the old beggar took out an old leather parchment from his breast, cut it into four, and gave one to each of us. When I received mine and was about to look at it, the old beggar took out another small book and threw it over to us casually. After doing so, he lied back down on the rock and ignored us. We were perspiring from nervousness, and as we took out the parchment for a closer look, they were the parchment that you all possess now, but we had no idea how to use it. Thus, we opened the booklet which he threw to us, and the contents made us surprised and overjoyed. Then, we knew that we had just gained a treasure.”
“According to the booklet, the parchment was a map of the treasure trove of a swordsman named Quda who lived three hundred years ago, and this treasure throve is hidden in the jujube forest that is currently before us. In the past, Quda had gotten hold of this treasure map and entered the treasure trove. Then, he found sword manuals and precious pills, trained in isolation for ten years, before becoming one of the top heroes in Jianghu. After he completed his training, he did not take out the sword manual and pills, and instead left them here to wait for a new heir to inherit these treasures. Honestly, the four of us were so excited then that our hearts boiled, but recalling the time stated in the book, we then realized that only on the fifteenth of each year would the entrance to the place be opened up, and thus the four of us calmed down.”
Sir Yanming looked at the sky which was gradually brightening, and continued, “Honestly, seeing this enticing biscuit suddenly dropped from the sky, we were dazed with happiness. However, when we regained our senses, we felt that this was just too good to be true, but the old beggar was still lying on the rock not making any movement. We just waited with our bellies full of curiosity, but we soon realize that the old beggar was not sleeping, he was not even breathing anymore. As we stepped closer for a better view, we realized that he indeed passed away. Thus, we buried him, and then we discussed on a plan to obtain the treasures. However, the time was not ripe yet then, so we returned to our respective factions, and then decide on a better course of action.”
The next time we met, we had already done our research, and indeed three hundred years before, there was a one-armed swordsman with a very common name, Quda, whose martial arts was profound, and his personality was upright. There were countless reports then of his heroic acts in Jianghu, but no one knew of his birth and background, and the investigations on his origins and teacher all yield no results. This Quda would never exchange pointers with his counterparts, citing the reason that his sword was drawn to kill, and each blade will only shed blood. In fact, he was not interested in getting famous, so nobody could get an opportunity to spar with him. Nevertheless, according to an account from the number one in Jianghu, Qingmao sect master, he has seen Quda’s swordplay and felt that his own skills were not as deadly and emotionless. Hearing so, the whole of Jianghu was in a big uproar, and no one would dare to step on Quda’s shoes.”
“However, there were people who wanted to gain fame for themselves, and they would request to spar with Quda, yet they were also rejected because Quda would hide himself, until one time when he saw the second top martial artist among the unorthodox sects massacre a village, and in a fit of fury killed the evil-doer. Since then, no one would dare to approach him in fear of giving up their lives. Quda lived in Yunzhou, which is called Pingyang city. Three hundred years later, and no bandits would dare misbehave there.”
“Actually, what we admire most was not his abilities, or sword technique, thousand swords peak being the exception.” Sir Yanming smiled towards Ma Xiangyang, “We found out that this Quda actually lived until a hundred and twenty years old.”
“Ah~” the six youngsters who were listening to the story gasped spontaneously.
The martial art practitioners in Jianghu are no different from ordinary people. They live among bloodshed every day and are susceptible to internal and external injuries. When we are young, these injuries do not affect us much, but in our old age they would have severe repercussions on our daily lives. Unless the person practices a profound inner body technique, very few people would live past eighty years, not to mention a hundred and twenty. Thus, it was indeed miraculous.”
At this moment, the eyes of the youngsters gleamed, and they all wondered if they could obtain the miraculous pills in the treasure trove. Actually, everyone had the same idea; they had not much interest in the sword manuals because they could not even finish learning their own sect’s techniques, when would they have the time to learn a different set of instructions? Even if it was a top instruction manual, they would still require years of hard effort in order to truly benefit from it. They all knew that they were no longer young, and their meridians have already set, even if they were to train again they would require twice the effort to achieve half the results, so which idiot would do so? Instead, it would be better to gain some personal advantages and live for another decade. With another decade, they could enjoy life for ten more years; they could train their martial arts for ten more years. Of course, if they do find some top instruction manual, they could bring it back to their respective factions as a significant contribution and improve their status within. Looking around, everyone realized that they all had similar thoughts.
Looking at the expressions on the faces of the younger generation around him, Sir Yanming smiled and continued, “Thus, us four continued to discuss on how to retrieve the treasure. With the power of our respective factions, and with our interest being sustained by the rewards, we managed to find this Shiren peak two months ago. Finally, as we had agreed upon earlier, we only sent second generation disciples in order to not attract the attention of other sects, because even the first generation disciples could attract undesired attention, and it will be up to me who do not have any disciples to lead the expedition.”
“Of course, you are all reliable figures within your factions, and are part of their future core power. Thus, we have already to let you keep whatever treasure you find later on.” At that moment, everyone’s spirits soared as they finally realize why their elders sent them over other disciples. Sir Yanming continued, “Now, I am going to say the most important point, how we will be splitting the treasures.” Upon hearing, everyone immediately focused their attention and opened their ears. “If the treasures can be split equally, then it will be done so. If not, we will split as evenly as we can, and as for the remainders, how do you think we are going to split them up?”
Everyone was surprised for a moment, this Sir Yanming truly has a sense of humor, to think that he is still trying to test his juniors at this point of time. No wonder their respective elders were willing to let him lead them. Wen Wenhai rubbed his nose and said, “Sir, Jianghu has its own rules, I think it will be better if we compete for the treasures using our martial arts.” The rest also tacitly agreed. Sir Yanming continued enigmatically, “That was how your elders decided as well. First, we thought of competing through our sword techniques, but only thousand swords peak was agreeable. Then, we thought of competing through fist stances, but only Piaomiao sect was agreeable. It was the same case for a competition of leg stances. Thus, we thought of a completion of two out of three rounds, but your elders were reluctant because that would increase the chances of you all getting hurt, and we ended up having a large quarrel. Finally, I proposed a solution, which settled the matter in one sentence. Can you guess what I said?”
Everyone had a blank face on; their eyes were squinted as they thought hard while Sir Yanming looked on encouragingly. Finally, Xue Qing stammered with her face red, “El…Elder, could it be through scissors paper stone?” After speaking, her whole face flushed red. Sir Yanming exclaimed in surprise, “Heroine Xue is truly astute to be able to guess correctly” Everyone burst out in laughter, but only Wen Wenhai’s face looked weird.
Everyone looked “respectfully” at this thin faced elder who despite his illustrious reputation which was as warm hearted as an elder relative and thought in their hearts, “How could there be such a large difference among people, their own elders would put on a wooden expression every day, when would they see such a relaxed style of instruction.”
Just as everyone was thinking of their own masters, only Sir Yanming saw a silver of sunlight and smacked his forehead, saying, “Quick, to the forest. Do not miss the timing.”
After he finished his sentence, he ran ahead into the outer perimeter of the forest. At this moment, the early sun rose from the the side of the mountain, and a lightning fast shadow swept over to the other side of the forest, passing through the middle of two trees in the direction of Shiren peak.