“Teacher, they say that there are four realms of martial arts above the normal martist artist’s level. They are the Mortal Vajra realm, Unrestrained Earth realm, Unfettered Heavens realm, and the Divine Mysteries realm, each of them higher than the previous. What about you, Teacher, which realm are you in?” The youngster swung the flame engraved longsword in his hand as he stood in the middle of the snow field. He was drenched in sweat but he didn’t forget to chat with his teacher beside him.
However, the gray robed middle-aged scholar didn’t bother about the youngster as he continued to flip the book in his hand.
The youngster persisted, “Teacher, you said that all top class martial arts are split into four tiers. What about the sword arts? How many tiers are there in the sword arts?”
The gray robed scholar lowered his book and calmly replied, “My Murderous Dread Sword cannot be considered a sword art so it’s not classified under any realm. However, I once met a Sword Immortal whose sword art was split into three major realms.”
“I never knew Teacher to be so humble. Exactly whose arts were so profound that even you would his cultivation to be more accomplished?” Even though the youngster kept talking, his hands never stopped waving his sword.
“Such a person does exist. His sword art was separated into three major realm. The first realm: to perceive a mountain as a mountain, to perceive water as water. The second realm: to perceive a mountain not as a mountain, to perceive water not as water. The third realm: To perceive a mountain therefore it is a mountain, to perceive water therefore it is water.
After listening to everything his teacher said, the youngster chuckled wryly, “Too profound, didn’t understand a word at all.”
The gray robed scholar closed his eyes as though he was recalling that person’s sword art. A split second later, he extended his arms. “Sword, rise!”
Suddenly, the youngster felt the sword in his hands escape from his control. A moment’s lapse, and the sword shot towards the gray robed scholarly man and landed in his hand. An instant later, his eyes snapped open and he swung his sword gently , “I once learned a move from him. It’s called the Crimson Blossom. Watch closely.”
The youngster’s body started to feel warm and his vision blurred. Before he was able to see anything clearly, the scholar had long since kept the sword.
“I couldn’t even catch a glimpse, Teacher.” The youngster hastily complained.
The scholar merely laughed, tossed the sword back to him and left.
As he received the sword, a bewildered look was plastered on his face. He was about to take a step forward when he suddenly felt an itch on his face. Reaching upwards, he felt a petal of a peach blossom on his face -his head whipped around with eyes wide open.
Though it was in the dead of winter right now, there was a tree of cherry red peach blossoms growing right behind him. The warmth from the sword was so vigorous it hastened the growth of the peach blossoms and caused it to bloom in an instant!
It was then that Lei Wujie opened his eyes and he woke up from his dream.
He finally realized who his teacher was referring to now. He had once seen his teacher execute the Crimson Blossom. This time, he personally witnessed his teacher’s sword, Moon in Obscurity, Flower at Daybreak. So that person was…
Lei Wujie scratched his slightly aching head as he muttered to himself, “My teacher?”
Lei Wujie looked at his surroundings and he discovered that he was lying in a room which was foreign to him. His first thought was that he was in some house in the inner city. Seeing no one around him, he got off the bed and opened the door. Walking into the courtyard, he saw the familiar figure of a certain blue robed inn-owner who always had a lazy look on his face. The lazy looking youngster was currently lying on a long chair and basking in the sun.
“You’re awake.” Xiao Se didn’t bother to lift his head at all.
Lei Wujie nodded and sat down on a stone step beside Xiao Se.
“You’ve been sleeping for three days…” Xiao Se said in an indifferent voice.
Lei Wujie scratched his head again and replied, “I thought you already left.”
With a cold snort, Xiao Se complained, “Do you want me to leave that much? Trying to skip out on paying that eight hundred taels you owe me, are you?”
Lei Wujie laughed awkwardly, “I’ll go ask senior brother for it. Give me a moment.”
“What do you mean ask your senior brother for money? Don’t be fooled him, Third Esteemed Teacher has already given him the money.” A sound came from behind Lei Wujie and he quickly turned his head to look at the source of the voice. He discovered that Tang Lian was also present and basking in the sun as well.
“Senior Brother.” Lei Wujie was finally able to address Tang Lian properly.
“Mhm. This time, that ‘Senior Brother’ of yours is correct. Oh, that person beside you is now your third junior brother.” Tang Lian laughed.
Lei Wujie was stunned. “What do you mean?”
Xiao Se simply flipped his body around and ignored the two of them.
Tang Lian continued his explanation, “After you became Second Esteemed Teacher’s apprentice, Third Esteemed Teacher accepted Xiao Se as his disciple. Even though everyone in Snow Moon City is a considered fellow apprentice, we are the only disciples of the three Citymasters. Whether it’s the order in which we joined, or the order of seniority between our teachers… our seniority should be ranked as such. Wouldn’t you say, Third junior brother?”
Xiao Se’s leg shot out and kicked his shoes backwards.
“You’re using hidden weapons against a Tangmen?” Tang Lian didn’t even look in the direction of the shoe flying towards him. He simply waved his hands and that shoe was sent flying away.
Instead, it was Lei Wujie who obediently picked up the shoe immediately after it fell onto the ground. He eagerly placed it in front of Xiao Se and said with a look of joy on his face, “Never would I have thought… Never would I have thought that, one day, I would be in the sect as Brother Xiao like this! We travelled for so long together that I can’t help but feel a strange sense of reluctance at the thought of you leaving. Well, everything’s good now, we can be together with each other from now on.”
Xiao Se’s face froze and he raised his other leg, “Who the hell wants to be inseparable from you?”
Tang Lian who was on the roof laughed, “Junior brother Lei really has a youthful temperament.”
Lei Wujie’s mood didn’t dampen in the slightest. “From now on, us three brothers will travel around the martial world and create legends of our own, just like the three citymasters when they were young. How about it? We’ll go grab a couple of Number Whatever Under the Heavens while we’re at it.”
“Not a bad idea.” Tang Lian nodded and said.
Xiao Se yawned and remained silent as usual.
“Right, you’ve been sleeping for three days straight. Would you like to hear about some of the major events that happened while you were out cold?” Tang Lian suddenly thought of something.
“What major events?”Lei Wujie’s curiosity was piqued.
“One of them would have to be that martial uncle of yours, Lei Yunhe. After he left the Tower of Ascension, he flew to Mount Qingcheng atop a crane. With a single finger, he broke through the perimeters of Mount Qingshan, With two fingers, he tore apart the roof of the Heaven and Earth Hall. With tree, he caught the Head of Mount Qingcheng, Daoist Master Zhao Yuzhen’s Blue Firmament Sword. Reportedly, the two of them waged an apocalyptic battle which lasted through the night.”
“During the fight, the skies rumbled with thunder and the heavens wept an endless, torrential rain. Other than the six daoist masters who stayed on the mountain to watch the battle unfold, everyone else maintained a three li radius from the site, lest they get swept up in the fight. After a single night, Lei Yunhe left, riding his crane into the horizons just as before. This time, however, Zhao Yuzhen personally acknowledged that the match wasn’t Lei Yunhe’s loss.”
“In other words, Lei Yunhe has made a triumphant return to the martial world and even managed to fight to a draw Zhao Yuzhen, a person was a solid occupant of the top ten martial artists in the world. Many people guessed that Lei Yunhe’s next move would be to head towards the Jiangnan’s Incendiary Hall to snatch the position of the Lei Clan’s head from Lei Qianhu. However, according to the news reported by the disciples of Snow Moon City, Lei Yunhe traveled in a direction opposite of the Lei Clan.” Tang Lian calmly said. “Third esteemed teacher said that Lei Yunhe would definitely return to the Lei Clan. However, now is not the time.”
Lei Wujie nodded and said, “He once said that he would return with me to visit my teacher. Just thinking how about I once tried to challenge his floor like that makes me embarrassed. If Senior Lei’s Nine Heaven Thunders were to really strike me, I probably wouldn’t be standing here right now.”
Tang Lian laughed at Lei Wujie’s words. “Third Esteemed Teacher once said that when Lei Yunhe first came to Snow Moon City, his cultivation was in a terrible state. He was barely in the Mortal Vajra realm so he naturally ranked low amongst the elders. After recuperating in seclusion in the Tower of Ascension for such a long time and with the timely appearance of Junior Brother Lei to challenge the tower, he miraculously managed to break through to the Unfettered Heavens realm. He didn’t even have time to thank you… why would he even think of killing you?”
“If someone at the Unfettered Heavens realm already has such divine skills. Wouldn’t that make a person of Divine Mysteries realm an immortal? Has Third Esteemed Teacher entered this realm? What about my teacher?” Lei Wujie questioned.
Xiao Se coldly laughed, “Anyone in the Divine Mysteries realm can send their divine sense out over tens of thousands of li just by quietly meditating with their eyes closed. Someone like that might not even appear after centuries have gone by. You think too highly of us, the Snow Moon City.”
“Why are you looking down on our Snow Moon City? I dare you not to squat in our city just because of some eight hundred taels debt.” Tang Lian said with disdain in his voice.
Xiao Se stretched his waist lazily and muttered lightly, “It’s not eight hundred… It’s eight million.”
“That’s right. Senior brother, you said that you had several things you wanted to tell me. Other than the news about Lei Yunhe, what else is there?” Lei Wujie suddenly remembered what they were talking about.
Tang Lian laughed, “Oh, the other matter is this, Second Esteemed Teacher initially asked you to look for him on Mount Cangshan on the day after your battle. As of now, three days have already passed. Given how bad his temper has always been, I’m afraid you won’t even have the chance to step into Mount Cangshan within your life if you don’t leave now.”
Lei Wujie jumped into the air as though he was struck by lightning. He yelled, “Crap! Senior brother, I’ll off!” Having said that, he sped out of the courtyard. Yet after running out halfway, he seemed to have thought of something and quickly made his way back.
Tang Lian threw the object in the direction of Lei Wujie. A second and a red flash later, a flame engraved longsword which was covered in a cloth flew towards Lei Wujie.
“Before you go, Third Esteemed Teacher has something to tell you.”
“He said that Li Hanyi’s temper has always been bad so don’t end up dying on Mount Cangshan, got it?”