Hi everyone! I have been a silent reader of the forum for a while now. I've decided to get myself registered and share a fiction that I'm working on with you all. Look forward to hearing your views and thoughts
The martial arts world has always been a world of its own. All disputes and differences can only be resolved by use of force and acts of chivalry. Law and order within the martial arts world are maintained by the various orthodox and righteous sects and heroes. For centuries the righteous sects and evil sects have been fighting endlessly to dominate the martial arts fraternity. Evil can never be eliminated completely and righteous cannot remain victorious. As long as mankind exist righteous and evil will The Young Carefree Heroes is an adapted sequel of the series Swordsman 2013
Trails of cloud drifted forward, mountain peaks cupped with leaves. Crisp and clear sound of a zither floated in from a distance. The sound of the zither was smooth and graceful.
The sound of the zither was in fact coming from the top of a big tree. A young woman wearing a soft light yellow robe weightlessly standing on the tree leaves, gracefully strummed the zither strings. She was around the age of twenty. Her skin was as white as snow, her beauty and elegance was unparalleled, but her countenance was cold and indifferent.
Her name was Linghu Piaoxue. She was named Piaoxue (Piaoxue means Floating Snow) because she was born on the night where drops of snow were floating in the air. Her father was Linghu Chong and her mother was under heavens number one martial arts expert Dongfang Bubai.
The romance between Linghu Chong and Dongfang Bubai was legendary. They were from opposing sides of the Wulin but they were able to let go of all formalities or moral ethics and loved each other whole heartedly.
Like all relationships, theirs went through several tests. Such as the misunderstanding caused by Yue Buqun that nearly tore them apart and the encounter with Ren Yingying. After clearing all misunderstandings and resolving all issues, Linghu Chong reunited with Dongfang Bubai and got married. As the saying goes, if there are lovers, love will find a way to come together.
Whenever Linghu Piaoxue stood on great heights she would feel as though all things under heaven were subjected under her feet. But yet her heart, like the lake, was calm and quiet. Playing the final chord on the zither, sudden loud noises of screaming and laughing interrupted her.
Annoyed by the noises she lightly tapped the tip of her feet onto a tree branch she propelled upward and glided through the air toward the direction of the noise.
On the south side of the valley, nine men armed with sabers ran along a narrow pathway chasing after a peasant girl. The three men leading the pack shouted at the peasant girl repeatedly instructing her to stop.
The frightened peasant girl continued running with all her strength, yelling for help.
In an instant, a light yellow figure flashed down from the air and weightlessly dropped on the water surface, without splashing any water and making any sound. Linghu Piaoxue narrowed her eyes and shot a vicious glance at them.
Three of the nine men suddenly increased their speed, overtook the peasant girl and abruptly stopped in front of her to prevent her from running any further.
All the nine of them spread out and stood around the peasant girl in a circle, cheering and laughing out loud.
The peasant girl abruptly stopped, bit her lips and looked at them nervously. She was surrounded and there was nowhere to run.
One of the man rubbed his hands together and said lustfully, “This girl is so pretty…She’s all mine.” He then stretched forth his hands and ran toward the peasant girl.
The peasant girl panicked. She covered her face with her hands and screamed.
Disgusted by the men’s actions, Linghu Piaoxue stretched her arms out sideways and channeled her inner energy into the river.
The lake suddenly exploded. Column of water sprayed and shot upward violently. Grasping some water with her fingers, Linghu Pioaxue directed her inner energy to her hand and swept her arm out in an arc.
In that flash of an instant, a flurry of needle shaped water projectiles cut through the air and pierced the men’s heads. All the nine of them shuddered in pain and fell to the ground, motionless.
Hearing the men’s cry, the peasant girl took her hands off her face and looked at them confusingly.
Pleased with her projectile weapon skill, Linghu Piaoxue, she flashed a condescending smile across her face and glided across the water surface toward the riverbank confidently.
The peasant girl looked at Linghu Piaoxue in amazement. Seeing how Linhug Piaoxue move along the water surface skillfully, she thought that Linghu Piaoxue was a fairy that had descended onto the mortal realm. “You are…?” she asked anxiously.
Linghu Piaoxue clasped her hands behind her back and turned her back at the peasant girl. “You don’t need to know who I am,” she said in a cold, indifferent voice.
The peasant girl lowered her head and continued, “Thank you for saving me.”
“It’s not that I want to save you. It’s just that I hate to be disturbed while I’m playing my zither,” Linghu Piaoxue snapped.
Hearing Linghu Piaoxue’s chilly voice, the peasant girl panicked and shivered in silence.
Linghu Piaoxue turned around and looked at the peasant girl up and down. Seeing that the peasant girl was defenseless, she started to pity the peasant girl. Reaching into her pocket she pulled out a silver ingot and handed it to the peasant girl. “This should be enough for you and your family,” she said.
The peasant girl lifted widened her eyes and looked at the silver ingot excitedly. She quickly reached out and held the silver ingot with both hands. “Thank you….thank you….fairy sister,” she murmured happily.
Linghu Piaoxue was amused by the peasant girl’s words. Revealing a warm and smiling countenance, she chuckled, “Fairy sister?”
The peasant girl naively nodded her head three times, “Thank you fairy sister.”
Linghu Piaoxue’s countenance resumed its former coldness and indifference. “Enough. Now go home quick. I’m sure that your family will be worried about you,” she snapped.
The peasant girl bid her farewell and went off.
As Linghu Piaoxue watched the peasant girl leave she suddenly remembered that there was someone she needed to see. Without further delay, she propelled herself off the ground and flew away.
The wind swept over the quiet streets of Hengyang City. All the shops in the bazaar were closed that morning. Something unusual was happening.
Two groups of men carrying swords stood in the middle of the street, staring at each other viciously. The men in light brown robes standing on the left were members of the Crimson Sand Gang. While the men in black robes standing on the right were members of the Giant Whale Gang. Both groups were considered the largest gangs in Hunan Province.
Kuang Dao leader of the Crimson Sand Gang lifted his saber and pointed it forward, “Menghu! Everyone in the jianghu knows that Hunan Province is under the supervision of Crimson Sand Gang. Why are you still trying to step into our territory?”
Menghu of the Giant Whale Gang spat on the ground angrily and snapped, “Chief Wang was a great hero. The moment he died the entire Crimson Sand Gang became disorganized. His good for nothing followers fought among themselves for power and killed many innocent lives. We’re just acting on behalf of heavens.”
Kuang Dao thrust the sword into the air and growled, “Nonsense! Brothers! Attack!”
The two groups of men waved their swords up and charged toward each other and started exchanging blows. Swords flashed back and forth, clashing against each other fiercely. The entire street became chaotic, with dead bodies collapsing to the ground one by one.
Sound of crying and weeping was heard. A little girl stood in the middle of the street rubbing her eyes in grief.
A light pink shadow suddenly flashed down from the air and dropped next the little girl. “Little Sister, it’s dangerous here. Come with me quick,” a clear and tender female voice said. The light pink shadow was in fact an eighteen year old girl. She was slender and beautiful girl with bright shining eyes. Her name was Tian Ruyi.
The little girl pointed to a wheel carriage in tears. “Mother!” she cried.
Tian Ruyi looked toward the wheel carriage and saw a woman crouching underneath the wheel carriage, trembling with fear.
Just as she about to make her move to save the woman, a light yellow figure flipped through the air and dropped down in front of her. “Ruyi!” a clear female voice called out.
Tian Ruyi looked at the light yellow figure and saw that it was Linghu Piaoxue. “Older Cousin Sister!” she called out excitedly. “Please look after this little girl. I’m going over there to save her mother,” she said, pointing at the wheel carriage.
Linghu Piaoxue shot a glance at the wheel carriage and saw the woman. “Stay here. Let me do it.” She then dashed toward the wheel carriage at inhuman speed.
Tian Ruyi held the little girl’s shoulders and walked her to a nearby alley down on the left to take cover.
Two men ahead of Linghu Piaoxue were exchanging fierce sword moves.
Thrusting both her palms forward, Linghu Piaoxue sent a gust of wind at the two men and knocked them out of the way. She then stooped down beside the wheel carriage and reached out for the woman’s hand. “Let’s go!” she muttered.
The woman nodded and slowly climbed out of the wheel carriage.
As she was about to make her way back to Tian Ruyi, she heard a sudden whooshing sound in her ear.
It was a stray sword plunging down straight at her head.
Just as she was about to dodge the incoming sword, another long sword struck out from the opposite direction, pierced the flat side of a blade and pulled it away in a flash of an instant.
Linghu Piaoxue looked around and saw a handsome young man wearing dark green robe in midair, dropping in front of her in a smooth motion, holding the long sword in his hand.
The young man pointed his long sword downward and cupped his hands, saluting her. “Miss, are you alright?” he asked respectfully.
Linghu Piaoxue gazed at him and blushingly for a moment but very quickly changed to her indifferent countenance. She gave him a nod without saying a word.
Seeing that Linghu Piaoxue was alright, the young man strode toward Kuang Dao and Menghu who were fighting with full strength.
He pulled his long sword out of the flat side of the blade, struck it out between them and swept the flat sides of the blades at their chests.
Kuang Dao and Menghu felt a great force slamming against their chest, driving them backward. They very quickly shifted their weight and regained their balance.
The young man pointed the edge of the sword at their necks and said sternly, “Tell them to stop.”
Kuang Dao lifted his hand and instructed his followers to stop fighting, so did Menghu.
Upon hearing their leader’s instructions the two groups of men immediately lowered their swords and stepped back.
Kuang Do narrowed his eyes at the young man and said coldly, “You’re from the Limitless Mount Manor’s?”
The young man returned his long sword into the scabbard, cupped his hands and said respectfully, “Yes I’m Lei Luotian of Limitless Mount Manor. My father and Chief Wang were close friends. If anyone tries to bully the Crimson Sand Gang we will not stay on the side.”
In recent years, the Limitless Mount Manor based in the Jiangsu, under the leadership of Lei Facheng became a prominent clan in the jianghu. The clan was active in salt trafficking, weapons production and various other trades. It was the righteous sect’s superpower in the northern region.
Kuang Dao snorted and said, “Out of respect for Manor Chief Lei we’ll put aside our enmity with the Giant Whale Gang for now.”
Menghu glared at Lei Luotian and said fiercely, “Unfortunately us Giant Whale Gang does not fear the Limitless Mount Manor. We’ll stop at nothing to gain control of Hunan Province.”
Lei Luotian nodded with a smile and said, “Chief Meng is known to be courageous. How about this? It would be an honor to get some martial arts pointers from Chief Meng.”
Menghu didn’t respond to his words. After seeing how Lei Luotian single handedly overpowered him and Kuang Dao he knew that it would be pointless to fight him. He reluctantly made a hand signal and instructed his followers to leave.
Kuang Dao turned toward Lei Luotian, saluted him and said respectfully, “Young Master Lei, thank you for lending a helping hand. We’ll visit the Limitless Mount Manor and pay our respects to Manor Chief Lei when time permits.”
Lei Luotian returned his salute and said, “We welcome your presence.”
Kuang Dao then turned around and went off with his followers.
Linghu Piaoxue stood beside Tian Ruyi at the alley. The two of them were watching Lei Luotian tentatively. Linghu Piaoxue was amused with his gentlemanly, graceful and polite behavior. Tian Ruyi was fascinated instead.
“Perhaps this is what father called chivalry…?” Linghu Piaoxue thought with a grin. She then turned toward Tian Ruyi and patted her on the shoulder and said, “We better be going now. Auntie Yilin must be waiting to see me.”
After the commotion ended the commoners in the city came out from hiding and went along with the daily business.
An inn by the name of Guanglin Guest House was packed with customers. It was the biggest guest house and served the best wine in the entire jianghu. It was said that the wine house’s famous Chongdong Qing wine contained special ingredients (Qing lit. feelings). Anyone that drank it would release their feelings and thoughts truthfully. Hence, travelers that passes by the city would stop by the guest house to have a jug of Chongdong wine.
Linghu Piaoxue and Tian Ruyi were whispering and smiling as they walked into the wine house.
A woman around the age of thirty eight sitting behind the counter walked toward them hurriedly. She was the guest house’s boss’s wife Yilin. Her face was filled with joy. She reached out and held Piaoxue’s arms with a smile. “Piaoxue, you’re here,” she said excitedly.
Linghu Piaoxue returned her smile and said happily, “Auntie Yilin, you still look beautiful as ever.”
Yilin smirked and said, “You’re still a sweet talker just like Big Brother Linghu.”
Linghu Piaoxue chuckled, “It’s inborn I can’t help it.”
“How come you’re here? Did Older Sister come with you?” Yilin asked curiously.
Linghu Piaoxue tighten her lips and shook her head. Giving Yilin a fake smile, she stuttered smilingly, “I missed you and Ruyi...so much that I... decide to come and pay you all a visit.”, “I missed you and Ruyi so much that I decide to come and pay you all a visit.”
Yilin nodded smilingly. “I see. You’ve travelled a long distance. Why don’t you take a seat upstairs while I go and prepare you some food,” she said.
Linghu Piaoxue obligingly climbed up to the second floor and sat at a table next the balcony. It was the only table that provides a good view of the beautiful Dongting Lake scenery. Linghu Piaoxue was not really a scenery enthusiast. She liked sitting there only because it was quiet.
A middle age man around the age of forty five wearing a loose gray robe climbed up the stairs and walked over to the table. He was the boss of the guest house Tian Boguang. Yes the infamous Ten Thousand Miles Lone Traveler Tian Boguang.
“Miss Linghu, welcome to our humble guest house,” he said with a smile.
Linghu Piaoxue cast a glance at him and replied indifferently, “Boss Tian, how come you’re not in the kitchen helping aunty to cook for me?”
Tian Boguang grimaced and replied, “Not only do you resemble your mother’s looks. You talk just like her too.”
Linghu Piaoxue laughed coldly and continued, “Really? Aren’t you afraid then?”
Tian Boguang raised his brows and asked awkwardly, “Why should I be afraid? Big Sister In Law is the person I respect most.”
Linghu Piaoxue snorted with a laugh and said, “Really? If I recall clearly the last time you saw mother you almost pissed in your pants.”
Tian Ruyi was amused by her words. Shaking her head, she flashed a grin across her face.
Tian Boguang looked at Tian Ruyi sternly and said, “Ruyi, you’re my precious daughter. How could you laugh?”
Tian Ruyi’s countenance turned impassive. “Father, I didn’t mean it,” she said softly.
Tian Boguang reached out and patted Tian Ruyi’s shoulder. “Silly lass, I was only joking with you!” he said with a laugh.
Linghu Piaoxue nodded and said, “What I just said was the truth.”
Tian Boguang snapped, “Lass, if you keep humiliating me in front of my daughter don’t blame me for bullying a junior.”
Flashing an arrogant across her face, Linghu Piaoxue clapped her hands and said, “I would love to get some pointers from Uncle Tian!”
Remained seated on her chair, she suddenly swept her arm out in an arc and executed a slash.
Tian Boguang instantly thrust his palm forward to block.
Linghu Piaoxue lifted her left hand and thrust her palm at Tian Boguang’s upper body.
Tian Boguang retaliated with a punch. His fist collided with Linghu Piaoxue’s palm.
A strong gust of wind erupted, knocked against Tian Boguang’s body and impelled him to the back.
He quickly shifted his weight to regain his balance and stared at Linghu Piaoxue in awe. “Your family does indeed have a long tradition of learning martial arts. You are as formidable as your mother,” he complimented.
Linghu Piaoxue lowered her arm, shrugged her shoulder and said, “Not really. Mother said that I still need to practice for another few more years before I can reach a higher level in my martial arts cultivation. My inner strength is nowhere near mother’s.”
Tian Boguang chuckled, “Your mother was already under heaven’s number one martial arts expert even before you were born. Her inner strength would only deepen. No matter how hard you train you would never be able to surpass her.”
Linghu Piaoxue puckered her brow and said in a teasing tone, “But I surpassed you.”
“Of course you are. I’m just a guest house owner now. My parlor tricks cannot be compared to your mother’s formidable martial arts,” Tian Boguang said assertively.
“Enough of martial arts talks. Piaoxue needs to eat,” Yilin interrupted, walking toward them with a tray of food and tea.
Tian Boguang took over the tray from her and placed it on the table. “You ladies go ahead and enjoy your women talk. I’m going downstairs to watch the counter.”
Hands clasped behind his back, Lei Luotian strode into the guest house and stood at the hallway.
There were four other men in warrior outfit standing behind him.
Tian Boguang personally went over to serve them. “Sirs, welcome to our humble guest house. Can I get you a room or you would just like to have some food and wine?” he asked respectfully.
Lei Luotian smiled and said, “Give us three rooms and some food.”
Tian Boguang turned toward a waiter, made a hand signal and instructed him to bring the guests to their rooms.
As Linghu Piaoxue took a sip of tea, she saw Lie Luotian walking toward a corridor leading to the back. “It’s him…he’s staying here too?” she thought. “Guanglin Guest House is the number one guest house in town. He certainly has good taste.”
After leaving the city, Menghu and his followers stopped by at a rundown temple ten miles away from the city to get some rest. Menghu was determined to pursue the Crimson Sand Gang and would stop at nothing. He was going to wait for Lei Luotian to leave before returning to the city to go after the Crimson Sand Gang.
Lightning flashed across the dark sky. Big drops of rain fell violently.
Two followers of the Giant Whale Gang carrying swords stood outside the rundown temple looking out for strangers.
A sudden gust of wind swept past them. In a flash of an instant, a black shadow stood in front of them without them realizing at all.
The black shadow struck both his hands out and stabbed their throats with the tips of his index fingers.
The two men lost their consciousness and slumped down to the floor.
Menghu and ten of his men were still drinking inside the rundown temple.
The black shadow strode inside at unimaginable speed and stood in the middle of the dimly lighted hall.
Menghu quickly sprang up from the floor and reached for the sword hilt. “Who are you?” he asked aloud.
The other ten men simultaneously drew their swords and surrounded the black shadow.
The black shadow was in fact a man clad in black garb. He had a drawing of devil’s-face mask covering his face to conceal his identity. “You don’t need to know who I am because after tonight you will no longer be alive,” the black shadow said coldly.
The surrounding of the hall was suddenly filled with a strong murderous aura.
“How arrogant!” Menghu growled. Waving his sword violently, he stepped forward and struck his sword out at the black shadow’s head.
The black shadow effortlessly cleared the single edge short sword from the side of his left boot and swept it out in an arc to block.
The blades collided.
With a swift twist of his arm, the black shadow reversed his short sword and slashed it across Menghu’s throat. The cut was fast, precise and brutal. It was almost impossible for anyone to fend off such an exquisite sword move.
Blood spurted out of Menghu’s throat. He shivered before falling to the ground lifelessly.
The other ten men couldn’t but to stare at their motionless leader.
The short sword suddenly flashed across the hall, slashing across another two men’s throats.
The remaining eight men instantly leapt backward to avoid being attack. They then lifted their swords and struck it out at the black shadow repeatedly.
The black shadow thrust his sword horizontally and twisted his body in a circle, blocking the eight stabs in a quick succession. His movements were as fast as lightning and as swift as the wind.
The short sword collided with the eight swords, knocking it away. After that, it struck out and pierced a man’s chest violently.
With the short sword still stuck inside his target’s chest, the black shadow bent forward and thrust his left leg backward at another man’s abdomen.
Unfazed by the black shadow’s superior sword art, the six surviving men executed their moves. Six swords simultaneously swooshed down at the black shadow, with each one of them aiming at different parts.
The black shadow lightly propelled his body into the air and flew over their heads. Slashing his short sword vertically, he hacked another man to death.
No matter how hard the men fought they were just no match against their opponent. One by one they fell to the death without having the slightest chance to gain an upper hand.
The black shadow reversed the grip of his short sword and finished off the last men with a swift slash across his chest.
Dead bodies scattered all over the dimly lighted hall, emitting a strong blood scent.
The black shadow wiped his short sword at the sole of his shoe before returning it into original place. He then strode out of the door and flew away under the heavy rain.
The Guanglin Guest House doors were opened.
Tian Ruyi wiped every single table and chair as she waited for customers to come. Even though she was the boss’s daughter she certainly did not seemed like one. She would take orders from customers, do the cleaning and buy groceries like every other day.
Sitting at a table with one leg up on her chair, Linghu Piaoxue rested her check on her palm and looked at Tian Ruyi dully. “Young Lady Tian, aren’t you tired? Why don’t you put that cloth away and get the servants to do the work?” she grumbled.
Tian Ruyi looked at Linghu Piaoxue with a smile. “Old Cousin Sister, I’m used to it. If I don’t work I wouldn’t have anything else to do,” she asserted softly.
Shaking her head, Linghu Piaoxue let out a sigh and said, “You can practice your fast knifes skill or take a stroll at the lively city. It’s boring to cage yourself in here doing unnecessary work.”
Tian Ruyi shook her head with a smile. “This is my family’s business. It’s my duty to look after it. How can it be boring?” she insisted.
Yilin walked out of the kitchen and went to join the girls at the hall. She stood beside Linghu Piaoxue and patted her on the back. “Piaoxue, there is an art fair at the Shenya Garden today. Why don’t you and Ruyi go and take a look?”
Linghu Piaoxue immediately pulled herself up from the chair and nodded excitedly. She looked toward Tian Ruyi and said energetically, “Ruyi! Let’s go!”
Tian Ruyi shook her head reluctantly. “I’ve got much work to do here. Why don’t you go and have fun?” she said in a low voice.
Linghu Piaoxue place her hands at her hips, narrowed her eyes and stared at her angrily. “Young lady, don’t make me use force to bring you with me,” she said sternly.
Yilin laughed lightly and remarked, “Ruyi, mother don’t want our wine house to suffer any damages. Why don’t you just go and have a look with your Older Cousin Sister.”
“Precious daughter, when I was your age I was already roaming the south and north of Yangtze River,” Tiang Boguang exclaimed while climbing down from the stairs.
Yilin pursed her lips and cast a glance at him. “Roaming the south and north making advances toward young maidens?” she mocked, with a cold snort.
Tian Boguang shook his head innocently and said with a grin, “No. No. I was only…”
Linghu Piaoxue abruptly interrupted him and said in a mischievous tone, “Aunty, Boss Tian was only roaming around looking for his true love. I’m sure that was how he found you. Like mother always said, reading ten thousand books is not the same as walking a thousand miles.”
She then paused briefly and gave Tian Boguang a wink signaling him to help her convince Tian Ruyi.
Tian Boguang nodded with a wide smile. “This beautiful lass is right. Absolutely right. Old Sister In Law is so fortunate to have a daughter like her,” he exclaimed. He then walked over to Tian Ruyi and placed his arm around her shoulder. “Precious, your mother and I will be able to manage the wine house. Go out there and have some fun,” he said in a caring tone.
Tian Ruyi hesitantly nodded her head and said with a sigh, “Very well then.”
Linghu Piaoxue ran toward Tian Ruyi, grabbed her arm with both hands and said in a tender voice, “Young Lady Tian, let’s go.
Hi everyone! I have been a silent reader of the forum for a while now. I've decided to get myself registered and share a fiction that I'm working on with you all. Look forward to hearing your views and thoughts
Welcome to wuxia society, Skids Such a good decision you have made to join this forum Thanks for sharing your fiction! Looking forward for your active participations
Before you start this chapter please read chapter 1 & 2 again as there has been some changes. Thanks!
Shenya Garden was built around an artificial lake. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, it was a place of interest for the cultured and refined.
With her arm wrapped around Tian Ruyi’s, Linghu Piaoxue walked through a long corridor looking at the paintings hung on both sides.
“This is the best painting that I’ve seen in a long time. Each and every stroke is profound and refine,” a male voice uttered.
Linghu Piaoxue and Tian Ruyi stopped and looked toward the male voice.
Arms clasped behind his back, Lei Luotian gazed at a painting in admiration.
Linghu Piaoxue narrowed her eyes and gazed at him with a cold countenance. “It’s that lad who stopped the fight at the main street,” she thought inwardly. Taking a quick look at the painting she noticed that it depicted two young people standing at a grassland under the clear blue sky, exchanging sword moves.
Tian Ruyi noticed Linghu Piaoxue’s countenance. She bent her head and looked at Linghu Piaoxue. Sensing something was wrong, she lightly patted her shoulder and asked in a low voice, “Older Cousin Sister, what is it?”
Linghu Piaoxue cleared her throat, took a step forward and said in a manly voice, “The embroidered copy of this painting is far more beautiful. The colors of the threads used were much brighter too.”
Lei Luotian took a glance at Linghu Piaoxue and recognized her immediately. “Miss, it’s you,” he said, greeting her with a bow.
Linghu Piaoxue clasped her hands behind her back and walked away condescendingly.
Tian Ruyi gave Luotian a bow and went after Linghu Piaoxue.
“Miss! Have you seen the embroidered copy of the painting?” Lei Luotian suddenly blurted out.
Linghu Piaoxue stopped walking and smiled faintly. “If I haven’t how would I be able to tell you about it?” she chuckled.
Lei Luotian crossed his arms across his chest and laughed lightly. “What you said make sense,” he said in an embarrassing tone. “Would you know where I can find it?”
Lei Luotian’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped wide open. “You mean devil cult’s stronghold Black Wood Cliff?” he asked astonishingly.
Linghu Piaoxue nodded her head and continued, “I heard that it’s located in the Hall of Refine Kindness.”
Lei Luotian raised his brow and gazed at her doubtfully. “How would you know so much? Are you from the devil cult?” he asked politely.
Linghu Piaoxue laughingly said, “If I’m the devil’s cult wouldn’t you be dead by now? As the saying goes, good and evil cannot coexist?”
Lei Luotian nodded with a grin. “Miss is intelligent and knowledgeable. It is truly a honor to meet you. But mind if I ask you how you know about the embroidered painting?”
“My mother was a servant at the Black Wood Cliff. After enduring much suffering and pain, she finally escaped from the cliff and got married to by drunk father,” Linghu Piaoxue rested her head on Tian Ruyi’s shoulder, explaining in a sniffling tone, and pretended to be depressed. “If you want to have a look at the painting you will need to pay a visit to Black Wood Cliff.”
After hearing her story, Lei Luotian nodded. “I’m happy for your parents. It must have been difficult for her living with those demons. Fortunately she mother managed to escape and live a happy life with your father.”
He cupped his hands and leaned forward. “Miss, may I ask you your honorable surname and given name?”
Linghu Piaoxue smiled mischievously and said, “My surname is Dongfang.” She then and made an eye gesture at Tian Ruyi signaling her to leave.
The two of them walked off elegantly leaving Lei Luotian alone.
Lei Luotian fixed his eyes on Linghu Piaoxue and watched she walk away. “This young lady is interesting indeed,” he murmured with a grin.
Tian Ruyi gave Linghu Piaoxue a confused look and asked, “Older Cousin Sister, why did you lie to that young master?”
Linghu Piaoxue extended her hand and placed it around Tian Ruyi’s shoulder. “Silly lass, haven’t you heard that man and woman must not be close to each other? Furthermore we don’t even know him at all. Why should I tell him my real name?” she said with a sneer.
Tian Ruyi nodded in agreement. “That’s true. Father always said that there are many cruel and evil in the jianghu. We should be more careful when we deal with these people,” she said softly.
Linghu Piaoxue sneered coldly and continued, “Not to worry. If he tries to make any advances towards any of us I will just kill him with a single strike. Even your fast knifes moves will be sufficient to hack him to death. His pathetic martial arts are no match against us.”
It was another cold rainy night in Hengyang.
Linghu Piaoxue sat on the railing on the second floor, emitting a worrisome countenance. Lifting the pot in her hand, she took a gulp of wine. “If I continue to stay here for too long he comes and find me,” she thought worriedly. Taking another gulp of wine she nodded assertively and thought, “I’ll leave Hengyang tomorrow. The plain is so big I’m sure that I’ll be able to find a place that I can settle down.”
Tian Ruyi removed the apron tied around her waist and went up to the second floor to look for her. She stood beside Linghu Piaoxue and patted her on the shoulder. “Older Cousin Sister, are you alright?” she asked concernedly.
Forcing a smile on her face, Linghu Piaoxue nodded and said, “Of course I’m alright. There’s nothing under heaven that can trouble me.”
Tian Ruyi placed her hands on her hips and stared at her suspiciously. “You sure? My intuition tells me that something is troubling you. What’s going on?” she asked.
Linghu Piaoxue snorted annoyingly, “It’s nothing. Your Older Cousin Sister will be able to resolve it. Don’t worry.”
Tian Ruyi sat down beside her and placed her hand over Linghu Piaoxue’s. “We’re good sisters. I might not be able to help you but I can listen,” she said with a sweet smile.
Linghu Piaoxue nodded with wilfully. “I quarreled with father and ran away from home,” she said in a low voice.
Tian Ruyi was shocked by her words. “You quarreled with uncle? What happened?” she asked in a warmth tone. “No wonder you told that young master your surname was Dongfang earlier.”
“He was being unreasonable. We exchanged over three hundred moves with me losing. I didn’t know what else I could do to make him apologize so I can away.”
Tian Ruyi sighed, “Older Cousin Sister, how could you be like this? You should go home and apologize to uncle right away.”
Crisp and clear sound of a zither abruptly floated in from a distance. The sound of the zither was smooth and graceful.
The sound of the zither became louder and louder and it seemed to be coming from a room at the end of the long corridor.
Tian Ruyi narrowed her brows and looked toward the direction of the tune. “Who would be playing the zither at such late hours?”
Linghu Piaoxue was enticed by the sound of the zither. It sounded familiar to her. “It’s the Xiao Ao Jianghu tune,” she murmured.
“Xiao Ao Jianghu tune?” Tian Ruyi asked inquisitively.
Linghu Piaoxue nodded, “The name of this song is Xiao Ao Jianghu tune. It was composed by two jianghu seniors who are no longer alive. They passed the musical manual to father years ago but he gave it to someone else.”
Curious to find out who was playing the tune, she walked through the long corridor, pushed the doors open and barged her way in.
“Older Cousin Sister!” Tian Ruyi called out, trying to stop her.
Lei Luotian startlingly took his fingers off the zither and reached for the hilt of the long sword beside him.
Linghu Piaoxue folded her arms across her chest and said indifferently, “So it’s you. Didn’t know that you can play the zither.”
Tian Ruyi stepped into the room and bowed to Lei Luotian apologetically. “Sir, please excuse my Older Cousin Sister for being impolite.”
Realizing that it was Linghu Piaoxue, Lei Luotian took his hands off the sword hilt. He stood up and bowed to her with his hands cupped. “Miss Dongfang, it’s you?” he asked courteously.
Linghu Piaoxue ignoring his courteousness, she asked curiously, “Where did you learn this piece of music from?”
Lei Luotian stepped away from the short table and replied, “Years ago my father and I were at Hangzhou for business. I coincidentally found this manual inside an underground dungeon. The owner was a woman. By the time we got there she was already dead.”
Linghu Piaoxue nodded lightly and said, “I see. Looks like he gave it to a woman…” She paused briefly and then asked, “How did the woman die?”
“She was poisoned.”
“Poisoned? It must have been mother who did it. I won’t blame her. How could a woman share her man with another woman?” Linghu Piaoxue thought inwardly. “But if it was me I would have given her a quick death.”
“By right this tune should be played with a zither and flute, Unfortunately up till now I still have not found anyone who can accompany me to play this brilliant piece of music,” Lei Luotian said with a sigh.
Linghu Piaoxue coughed and said arrogantly, “Little girl here learned to play the zither years ago. If you know how to play the flute, perhaps we can play this tune together sometime.”
Lei Luotian looked at Linghu Piaoxue excitedly. “Really? Miss Dongfang is well versed with music too?”
Linghu Piaoxue courteously bowed, “Just a little. I’ve played the Xiao Ao Jianghu tune on the zither ample times.”
Lei Luotian replied pleasingly, “That’s great. It’s hard to find someone who shares the same interest in music.”
Linghu Piaoxue smiled faintly and said, “What are we waiting for? Let’s play it now. Do you have a flute with you?”
Shaking his head, Lei Luotian replied disappointedly, “I don’t. Neither do I have the manual here with me. I kept it at home.”
Linghu Piaoxue let out a short sigh and said, “That’s unfortunate. We will not bother you any longer. We’ll take our leave now.”
Tian Ruyi bowed to Lei Luotian once more and said in an apologetic tone, “Sorry for disturbing you.”
Lei Luotian shook his head with a smile, “Miss, please don’t say that. I’m glad that you all dropped by otherwise I wouldn’t know that there is someone who can accompany me to play this great piece of music. Goodnight.”
Tian Ruyi exited the room and slowly closed the door behind her.
Linghu Piaoxue extended her hand and patted Tian Ruyi’s shoulder. “How about this? I’ll teach you how to play this tune on the zither so that you can play it with him?” she said sneakily.
Tian Ruyi’s face flushed red. “What are you talking about? Who said that I want to play the music with him?” she snorted embarrassingly.
Linghu Piaoxue bent her head and looked at her attentively. “You sure? This lad here is polite and refine. Even if Boss Tian doesn’t like him, aunty would. Give it a thought,” she said teasingly.
“If you keep talking nonsenses I’ll not let you sleep in my room tonight,” Tian Ruyi retorted annoyingly.
Linghu Piaoxue walked away and replied condescendingly, “Fine. Fine. I’ll say no more.”
Following her from behind, Tian Ruyi smiled inwardly and thought, “Playing the tune with him sounds interesting…”
After last night’s long rain, the streets were wet and slippery.
Linghu Piaoxue and Yilin were chatting behind the counter.
“Piaoxue, you’re leaving tomorrow? What is the hurry?” Yilin asked anxiously.
Linghu Piaoxue shrugged her shoulders and replied with a sigh, “Other than visiting you and Ruyi, father has also instructed me to bring wine and food to Great Grand Apprentice Uncle Feng. Once I’ve visited him I’ll come back to see you all.”
Yilin lightly placed her hand on Linghu Piaoxue’s shoulder. “Very well.
Linghu Piaoxue gave her a fake smile. “Jiangnan is so big I might take a year to visit the different cities. Father is going to have to climb a hurdle to find me,” she thought mischievously.
“Miss Dongfang, good morning,” a charming male voice called out.
Yilin looked around and saw Lei Luotian. “Miss Dongfang?” she uttered a cry of surprise.
Linghu Piaoxue abruptly stepped away from the counter and walked toward Lei Luotian. “Young Master Lei, we meet again,” she said indifferently.
Two men in warrior outfit entered the guest house and went over to Lei Luotian.
“Young Master, the horse is ready.”
Lei Luotian made a hand gesture and signaled them to leave. He then bowed to Linghu Piaoxue with his hands cupped and said, “I’ve some business I need to attend to. Please don’t forget about our promise. I’ll wait for you at my home in Mount Limitless.”
A thought suddenly came to Linghu Piaoxue’s mind. “Actually my Younger Cousin Sister Ruyi plays the zither better than me. I’ll remind her to visit Mount Limitless when time permits,” she responded with a faint smile.
Lei Luotian gazed at her awkwardly. He took a quick look around and saw Tian Ruyi serving some guests. “She does? That’s really surprising,” he uttered with a grin.
Linghu Piaoxue snorted annoyingly, “Looking down upon others like a dog? My Young Cousin Sister’s martial arts cultivation is even higher than yours.”
A man in warrior outfit stepped forward and growled, “Stinky lass! How dare you talk to our Young Master like that? Are you seeking for death?”
Linghu Piaoxue cast a cold glance at him.
A gust of wind suddenly swept toward the man.
Linghu Piaoxue strode toward the man in an unfathomable blur and slapped him on his cheeks four consecutive times.
The man let out a cry of pain and stumbled backward. By the time he regained his balance and tried to retaliate, Linghu Piaoxue was already standing back to her original position. Her movements were so fast that other than Tian Ruyi no one else saw it.
Lei Luotian looked at his follower and then looked at Linghu Piaoxue in surprise. “What happened?” he asked in shock.
Linghu Piaoxue shrugged her shoulders and pretended not to know anything.
Yilin quickly stepped away from the counter and went to Lei Luotian. “Sir, my niece here is mischievous. Please forgive her…” she said apologetically.
Tian Ruyi joined her mother to apologize, “Young Master Lei, please forgive us.”
Shaking his head, Lei Luotian smilingly said, “I didn’t even see anything. My follower here was being rude and he deserves to be punished.” He then looked at Linghu Piaoxue and said courteously, “It would be great if you could come and play the music with me instead. I take my leave now.”
Linghu Piaoxue flashed a chilling countenance at him without saying a word.