Just like that, the two world famous citymasters of Snow Moon City finished a round of idle chatter. The normally taciturn Li Hanyi wasn’t one for chatting to begin with so he quickly sat down, closed his eyes and said no more. However, Sikong Changfeng showed no signs of leaving in spite of that, merely sipping his tea without a care in the world. Suddenly, he breathed in deeply and declared, “That fragrance…”
Having just said that, a set of frantic steps could be heard approaching the hut. A moment later, the door was pushed open to reveal a surprised Lei Wujie, “… Third Esteemed Teacher, you’re here as well.”
Lei Wujie was still holding onto his undrawable Rainfall with his left hand, and on his right, he held a long stick skewering a piece of freshly grilled chicken that permeated the air with an intoxicating aroma.
“Wujie, that’s…” Sikong Changfeng swallowed his saliva.
Realising what the Spear Immortal was referring to, the youngster scratched his head. “I got a little hungry while practising so I decided to hunt for some wild chicken. I was planning to eat it, but then I realised that Teacher hasn’t eaten yet so I decided to let him have some first. It’s just…”
That teacher in question currently had on an icy glare while the equally frosty Armored Glacier trembled slightly on the table, as if he was just itching to draw it and slice apart this blasted disciple of his.
Sikong Changfeng, on the other hand, was clearly amused, “It’s just?”
Lei Wujie smiled sheepishly, “It’s just that with Third Esteemed Teacher here, this wild chicken of mine…might not be enough for the three of us.”
“I’m just afraid that this teacher of yours won’t like…” Sikong Changfeng continued as he stood up and reached for the chicken.
Yet just as he grabbed it, he immediately felt a rush of sword qi assaulting him. Sikong Changfeng forced a hasty retreat, his skewered chicken falling to the ground in clean halves a split second after he stepped back. Eyes sharp and hands quick, Lei Wujie barely managed to salvage the half that was closer to him by catching it with Rainfall.
“Hmph, didn’t think you could use Rainfall in that manner as well.” Li Hanyi coldly laughed.
“Meat but no wine, now that’s a shame. Well, your teacher has never been one to let others see him eat so how about we leave for now. I have some wine buried near this house, just go grill up another chicken and we can have a feast.” Sikong Changfeng walked past Lei Wujie, stopping for a second to pat the youngster on the shoulder. Soon after, Lei Wujie left as well.
By now, the skies had turned dark. Lei Wujie had just caught a wild chicken and was already busy grilling it over a fire. Just like he said, Sikong Changfeng actually dug up a vat of wine from beneath the ground. The moment he opened it, a strong alcoholic aroma filled the air. “Great wine…” Lei Wujie said as he took in a deep whiff of the fragrance.
“Riding the winds atop a wind, vanquishing evil as I go, with a jug of wine in hand and a merry heart, I won’t stop till I fall, one cup to drain the River Jianghe, another to swallow the sun and moon, yet a thousand cups later I still won’t fall, only I can call myself the Drunken Sword Immortal. Wujie, have you heard of that poem before?” Sikong Changfeng poured a couple of bowls for the two of them and asked.
“Naturally.” As he quietly rotated his chicken over the fire, he stared into the distant sky seemingly in a daze. “That was the work of Mount Shushan’s Drunk Sword Immortal, Situ Zhong.”
“Today, Mount Shushan has already turned into a legend, and that Drunken Sword Immortal has died from old age. Yet that sword essence derived from drunkenness still lingers within the world, truly remarkable.” Sikong Changfeng lightly tapped on the wine bowl and send it flying gently towards the hands of Lei Wujie.
Lei Wujie caught the wine and thanked him.
Swirling the wine in his hand for a moment, Sikong Changfeng suddenly asked, “Lei Wujie, what is it you picture when we speak of the martial world?”
Lei Wujie gave it some thought then said, “Youthful energy, great wine, beautiful flowers and raging horses. Singing and drinking beneath a clear moon and a breathtaking scenery.”
“But the martial world isn’t like that.” Sikong Changfeng sipped his wine. “The martial world is just like the imperial court, filled with boundless, insatiable ambition.”
“Everyone has a different martial world that they want, the martial world that I want is just like that.” Lei Wujie firmly declared.
Sikong Changfeng drank from his bowl again, “Ambitions of yesteryear are naught but fodder for merrymaking, in the end, life is but a drunken stupor… Such great wine… Lei Wujie, you mustn’t blame Hanyi, he just wishes that you understand your reason for drawing the sword. Only by knowing that will you truly be able to control it.”
———Start of extra information——————-
(TL: That bit comes from a poem by Huang Zhan, titled <<人生·江湖>> , which translates to Life.Jianghu. Jianghu meaning the martial world or just society in general.
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Roughly translates to:
The skies and winds under the heavens stem from my generation,
The moons fly by as a man enters the Jianghu,
Ambitions of yesteryear are naught but fodder for merrymaking,
In the end, life is but a drunken stupor.
A sword is raised and a horse is ridden, all amidst a ghostly rain,
White bones pile up to the sky where the crows caw like thunder.
The mundane world is a wave and men is like water,
Of those in the Jianghu, how many return in the end.
First sentence talks about how grand a person’s ambitions and dreams are when they first step into society.
The second sentence refers to how a man is worn down by time as the harshness of reality sets in.
The third is a reflection of his start, of how great his dreams were but are now nothing but conversation topics.
The fourth and third are a lamentation of how the man would have just learnt to appreciate life then, had he known how ephemeral his dreams were. Like a drunken stupor, life just passes by in a blurry haze. In the end, a person will have to wake up from the drunkenness that is his dreams.
The fifth and sixth refer to the darkness of society and how cruel it can be.
The last two sentences is a reflection of how small the man and his dreams were and how small men actually is. In the giant wave that is society, how many can actually achieve what they dream of and break off the chains of the mundane? And how many will be drowned by the wave of society? )
————-End of extra information—————–
Lei Wujie smiled, placed the grilled chicken down and sat down as well. “Naturally I won’t. Teacher is the Snow Moon Sword Immortal, whatever he says is always correct.”
“I heard from Xiao Se, that Wuxin once praised you as having a pure heart. Seems like that is true. Right, you know of the five famous swordsman in the world? Those known as Sword Immortals.” Sikong Changfeng said.
Lei Wujie nodded his head. “Of course. The Snow Moon Immortal, Li Hanyi. The Lone Sword Immortal Luo Qingyang. The Daoist Sword Immortal, Zhao Yuzhen. The Wrathful Sword Immortal, Yan Zhantian. The Confucian Sword Immortal, Xie Xuan.”
“Of these five, whose cultivation realm you feel is the most accomplished?”
Faced with that difficult question, Lei Wujie was left at a loss for words.
“It’s fine, it’s alright if you can’t answer.”
Lei Wujie thought about it for a second then said, “Luo Qingyang.”
“Hahaha. That’s true! Of the four martial cities in this world, Revelations, Exalted Frost, Snow Moon and Unparalleled, Luo Qingyang alone occupies a single martial city. In that sense, he’s presence is unmatched. If you ask me, he’s the strongest as well. But your teacher isn’t satisfied with that result, so he has always hoped to challenge that Luo Qingyang. That is why this Snow Moon Sword Immortal of ours is actually the most hardworking swordsman in our entire city.”
Having just said that, Li Hanyi stepped out of the straw house, leapt into the air and sped off towards the mountain peak.
“Come, I’ll bring you to see how he practices.” Sikong Changfeng finished the last of the wine in his bowl and pulled Lei Wujie along with him.
Throughout the ascent, Li Hanyi never once looked back. It was said that the four seasons existed within the towering mountains of the world, Lei Wujie fully understood that now. By the time they reached the mountaintop, all Lei Wujie could think about was how desolately cold the air was. What he experienced during those three months of running through the mountains day and night was nothing compared to this. Yet Li Hanyi seemed completely unaffected as he stood atop that mountaintop, hand wielding Armored Glacier, robes fluttering in the winds, and eyes closed in meditation.
“Is he about to…” Lei Wujie’s eyes went wide.
“Watch closely.” Sikong Changfeng cut him off with a smile.
Li Hanyi suddenly leapt into the air between the two mountaintops. As he floated through the air, sword in hand, he almost seemed like an immortal flying. Suddenly, he waved his sword and a roaring gust was instantly called forth that almost blew Lei Wujie off his feet.
“Rise!” Li Hanyi pointed his sword to the heavens and the gust rose towards the sky. Atop the mountain, the surrounding snow began to tumble. Li Hanyi landed atop the sliding snow and began climbing upwards, one step at a time. Once more, he raised the sword in his hand and forcefully spun it about, seemingly carrying the wind that had accumulated to a mountain’s worth along with him.
“I understand now!” Lei Wujie’s lit up. Li Hanyi was trying to use the force of his sword to reverse the direction of this mountain’s raging winds.
Yet was that even possible with just martial arts?
In the end, Li Hanyi only managed half a turn before the force of his sword ran out. With its dissipation, the raging winds returned back to their original rotation and the accumulated snow above him began to fall down upon him, having lost the wind that was supporting them not too long ago. Seeing that barrage grow ever larger, Li Hanyi hurriedly kept his sword and leapt back onto the mountain peak. Sword stowed to his side now, he frowned silently.
The winds continued to howl between the two mountains.
Sikong Changfeng sighed, “That was the last form of your teacher’s Water Impeding Sword Arts, the Heavenly Path. The day he masters that form is the day he leaves for Exalted Frost. It’s just…”
“Just what?” Lei Wujie asked.
“Nothing.” Sikong Changfeng shook his head.
While the two of them were talking, the lonely figure of Li Hanyi had already disappeared from the mountaintop.
Sikong Changfeng sighed once more, patted Lei Wujie on the shoulders and said, “In my opinion, whether or not your teacher can master this sword art depends entirely on you.
Lei Wujie chuckled with a grimace. ‘Depends on me? A person that can’t even draw his sword?’
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