Sorry for no update for a couple weeks. I've been through a lot- mostly in the form of pet deaths. I've not really been in the mood and I didn't want to rush through things or show the lack of heart I would've had in the chapter had I forced myself to do it in that mood.
Updates will slow to one a week as we head into more busy times (school matters, con season, travel). (Is one a week slow? It seems pretty average as far as most fan translations go- maybe even.. faster than average? Haha /smacked)
Please enjoy this chapter! I'm sitting in a coffee shop at 2:30am to do this. :^)
No new image this chapter. I'm tired and it fits ?Syn Chapter 35 – Crossing Swords (Part 1)
Cheng Tianyu was the youngest disciple of the Qing Lu Sword Sect's sage.
During this Flower Picking Festival, it seemed that due to Zhong Shan's great renown, a lot of people hadn't noticed Cheng Tianyu. Every time he appeared, he also strictly followed rules and etiquette and seemed perfectly content to stand behind Song Tang and Zhong Shan.
But this didn't mean he could be easily defeated; Duan Chongxuan also did not breathe a sigh of relief just because his opponent was young.
On the contrary, he had watched how Cheng Tianyu performed in battle in the previous round. A sixteen year old Soul Condensing late-stage, he was already formidable enough to shatter the average pace of cultivation.
Apart from his diligent cultivation and his astounding innate skill, it had to be said that the Qing Lu Sword Sect definitely had a way of teaching its disciples.
As for this sect, although there would inevitably be the fight against the Sword of Wind and Rain, Yin Biyue was not at all unhappy; on the contrary, he felt a little admiration.
Everyone knew the Qing Lu Sword Sect disciples were the most hardworking.
Yin Biyue did not think that Chatterbox would be able to easily defeat his opponent without using talismans.
Thus, he asked, "Without using external items, what are your chances?"
Chatterbox very honestly said,
"Seventy percent you'll beat him?"
"Seventy percent I'll be beaten by him."
This sounded very embarra.s.sing, but this was just the truth.
Chatterbox lamented, "I saw his battle last round. I really suspect this kid started learning the sword in the womb."
Luo Mingchuan laughed and shook his head, "It's just that he used the times you spent listening to storytellers and going to gambling dens to practice."
Chatterbox rubbed his nose; he could not deny that he was right.
"I honestly regret wasting too much time before. Now I can't even defeat a small child."
Yin Biyue could understand. He had guessed very early that Chatterbox's background was not ordinary; it was likely that he came from a very influential family. If he lived a life of luxury from birth, always being doted on, who would force him to practice in the cold of winter and the heat of summer?
Although, after Zheng Wei had arrived, Chatterbox seemed like he became diligent overnight, and his progress could be considered G.o.dlike.
But how could half a month of diligence be compared to Cheng Tianyu's ten-plus years of hard work?
Fortunately, now Chatterbox already realized his shortcomings; in terms of his future road of cultivation, it is a good thing.
Yin Biyue thought that this battle wouldn't necessarily be hopeless,
"When I was at the Academy, I studied some sword techniques from the Feathered Mantle Arts. For these few days, I will work with you to find a way to dismantle the techniques."
Chatterbox's eyes instantly brightened, "That's great, fourth shixiong!"
Luo Mingchuan stood off to the side, "Don't use your core energy for now. Just use your swords. I'll come and take a look."
Duan Chongxuan understood that they were all going to a lot of trouble for him. His heart was moved, but without saying anything, he picked up his sword.
Qing Lu Sword Sect, Wutong Court.
"Duan Chongxuan can easily pull out twenty combustion talismans; it must be like a single hair off nine oxen for his family. Thinking back on that last round, Lian Jian Zong's Xu Guang also realized this point, so he stepped down and admitted defeat."
Song Tang sat on the stone bench under a tree. Zhong Shan and Cheng Tianyu stood at his side.
Song Tang looked at his xiao shidi's still-tender faces and sighed in his heart.
Many people felt that a person's young age was not an issue, but it actually was the biggest issue.
He understood better than anyone else that at his xiao shidi's current age, his body's roots haven't fully developed. If he were to get seriously hurt, it could easily damage his foundation.
His dao intent was unsteady. If he encountered a powerful enemy, he would be easily provoked and fall into disarray.
Cheng Tianyu understood his shixiong's meaning, so he was silent.
He thought, since entering the sect, this would be the first time he disobeyed his shixiong.
The youth's eyes were red, but his tone was steady,
"No, I want to fight properly."
On the side, Zhong Shan clapped his shoulder.
Song Tang stared blankly for a bit; then he laughed,
"Okay, then in that case, properly fight!"
Just now he was thinking too one-sidedly; since this was his xiao shidi's own choice, he would respect the other's decision.
After all, his shidi would have to walk his future path of cultivation alone.
Song Tang picked up his sword, "Luo Mingchuan and Yin Biyue graduated from the Academy and have studied three thousand ancient books thoroughly; they are familiar with the forte of the hundred families. You still haven't grasped the true essence of your Feathered Mantle Sword Arts yet. We still have three days; let's spar together."
Duan Chongxuan's battle was the first of the three of them.
On the day of, they went with the rest of the Cang Ya disciples to the foot of Zhong Ming Mountain.
However, Ye City's young ladies and Lian Jian Zong's female cultivators arrived even earlier than the two parties that would go onstage.
The third round of the Flower Picking Festival had only forty battles remaining.
Not only were there no time limits nor rules for stalemates, but to make it easier to watch the battles, only two stages would open each day.
At present, the sky was bright. Each sect's disciples filed in one after another.
However, the morning fog had not yet dissipated, the bell had not yet sounded, and the time to start the matches had not yet come.
Yin Biyue noticed that Duan Chongxuan's complexion wasn't very good.
And so he softly asked, "Can you still not defeat him?"
Duan Chongxuan thought, these past few days his two shixiong had spent so much time thinking about his own battle. How could he admit he couldn't win, letting his shixiong's energy go to waste?
He opened his mouth to deny it, "How is that possible!… You saw that day, at the top of the stairs at the teahouse, he stood two steps above us. In the beginning, he was actually still blocked by Zhong Shan, what's left to explain? He probably can't even reach my shoulder!"
Duan Chongxuan opened his fan, "I just think, battling with him might look like I'm bullying a small child."
Luo Mingchuan wore a mildly blank expression.
The corner of Yin Biyue's mouth pulled tight; he wanted to warn Chatterbox, but it was already too late.
Cheng Tianyu aggressively ran over and looked up at him, "Who are you calling a small child?"
Song Tang's voice called over, "Shidi."
Cheng Tianyu very unwillingly lowered his head and ran back.
The elders on the eastern side of the viewing platform had already sat down, and the Qing Lu Sword Sect attending disciple shouted, "Cang Ya Sect's Duan Chongxuan versus Qing Lu Sword Sect's Cheng Tianyu-"
Song Tang patted Cheng Tianyu's shoulder, "Go; let go and fight."
There were many people who came to watch this battle.
Under the Qing Lu Sword Sect sage's school of arts, Cheng Tianyu was not the first disciple of his to practice the Feathered Mantle Sword Arts; there Song Tang was ten years before him.
But this time he descended the mountain and entered the world with the Flying Feather Sword in his hand.
This one point clearly explained what kind of great expectations the sage placed on him. He even thought Cheng Tianyu's future could be greater than Song Tang's.
The older expert cultivators wanted to see the Feathered Mantle Sword Arts, the Qing Lu Sword Sect disciples came to cheer for their xiao shidi, but Lian Jian's female cultivators wanted to see Duan Chongxuan toss some more talismans.
The two of them walked up onstage, stood more than ten feet apart, and saluted the other.
Yin Biyue thought, before they actually start the match, it's very likely they would first do some trash-talking.
His premonition was correct.
"I don't care how many talismans you have; I won't admit defeat."
"I'm not going to use talismans," Duan Chongxuan earnestly said. "I just have one question. Have you even had your coronet bestowal¹ yet?"
The response was the sound of the Flying Feather Sword unsheathing.
"No matter what the opponent says, it's all just to provoke you. Don't pay attention, just unsheathe your sword."
Cheng Tianyu recalled his shixiong's words from yesterday, and his expression became calm and solemn.
He grasped his sword and said, "Please."
Duan Chongxuan's expression also became serious.
"Using your words to infuriate your opponent is good, but if you cannot, use your sword to infuriate him instead."
This is what Luo Mingchuan had said to him earlier.
Therefore he tucked his folding fan into his sleeve and drew out a sword, "Please."
Right as he finished speaking, he leapt high into the air.
A flash of a sword swept across the ten-plus feet between them, accompanied by a high whistle that pierced through the air, heading straight for Cheng Tianyu's face.
Swiftly yet without a sharp edge, as if the heavens above had dropped a feather.
Hidden amidst the gracefulness was an intent to kill!
Below the stage, sounds of shock and disbelief rang out, "Feathered Mantle Sword Arts?!"
"How could he use this sword art?"
No one had imagined that Duan Chongxuan's first move was unexpectedly the sword art his opponent was an expert in.
Cheng Tianyu's expression became slightly cold but was not astonished.
Without waiting for the feather to fall onto his body he grasped his sword and leapt, and he unexpectedly used his sword point as the center to form a circular barrier.
In midair, the two swords clashed with a wail, the sharp cry resonating in all directions, causing unending shaking!
The two core energies collided with a ma.s.sive impact, a strong gust dispersing the morning fog and blowing their robes aflutter.
"If your opponent first uses the Feathered Mantle Sword, do not panic. That isn't a genuine Feathered Mantle Sword; it is the basic version that Luo Mingchuan and Yin Biyue taught him. It is a hollow imitation without the real meaning."
"Directly compete with his core energy. His cultivation realm may be similar to yours, but the amount and density of core energy cannot be compared to yours!"
Cheng Tianyu grasped his sword steadily, and he thought, shixiong really is amazing. He predicted everything so early on.
After the swords parted from their clash, in the blink of an eye, they met ten more times.
The sounds from their collisions were like a storm of swift winds and sudden rain!
Sparks flew in all directions, shooting out and landing on the stage, and even carved out long thin notches.
Over ten feet away from the battle stage, through the thick sea of people, Yin Biyue's eyes landed in the direction of the Qing Lu Sword Sect.
He knew Song Tang and Zhong Shan had already thought of the first step in and Luo Mingchuan and his plan and had taught Cheng Tianyu a countermeasure.
The shock waves from the core energy were still ongoing; the two blades opposing each other, equally matched.
The Flying Feather Sword was like Lake Qiu, capable of witnessing the sun and moon²; it was once a young sage's sword, so naturally was a G.o.dly weapon of its time.
But the sword in Duan Chongxuan's hand was pitch-black, as if it was scorched during its forging, in silence and with no light.
In spite of everything, he was not inferior in this battle of core energies; this was really beyond anyone's expectations.
"I previously thought he was a spiritual cultivator…. I never imagined he could actually use a sword."
"What sword is he holding?! It's actually competing with Flying Feather?!"
All the disciples around the stage were unable to recognize this sword.
But the elders on the viewing platform looked a bit solemn.
Someone from the house of the city master raised their eyebrows a bit, "Beckoning Fire³?"
"If you compete in core energies to the end, you cannot win against Cheng Tianyu; but you still have to compete with him, because in the next move, you must be the first to build up energy, to s.n.a.t.c.h the initiative!"
Duan Chongxuan remembered fourth shixiong's words.
Therefore when their blades met again, his body disappeared in midair.
The Flying Feather Sword met nothing but thin air. The core energy, like crashing waves at high tide, struck the stone stage, and rock fragments and dust suddenly billowed into the air.
There wasn't even the shadow of a person within the boundless smoke.
"Don't tell me it's Traversing Peaks and Rivers again?"
Yet Cheng Tianyu's direction of sword strikes didn't change, and he advanced with his slashes.
Where the sword crossed, a majestic golden light flared; like a thousand Flying Feathers madly dancing!
"Traversing Peaks and Rivers is absolutely not a technique you can learn overnight; if he performs this, it similarly is a simplified version."
He believed shixiong would not be wrong, so his opponent would definitely still be in his original position.
Duan Chongxuan's figure appeared where his sword tip pointed at, but the energy from the sword in his hand was already formed.
He flicked his wrist horizontally, slashing a long straight line in the air.
The morning fog seemed like it was pulled by the sword, congregating beneath it.
The Cang Ya disciples excitedly exclaimed,
"Rising Fog of Cang Ya!"
This sword technique was Cang Ya swordplay's starting form; it was the very first form every martial-cultivating disciple practiced when they entered the sect.
Yin Biyue had once said, "If you want to s.n.a.t.c.h the initiative, you must first use the strongest sword art, before the opponent uses Flying Feathers of the Splendid Pavilion"
Duan Chongxuan's expression was bitter, "Right now, I cannot use the strongest sword art."
Luo Mingchuan had said, "Then just use the art you've practiced the most."
1) The crowning/ coronet bestowal is a coming-of-age ceremony where young men have their hair tied and placed into a chinese coronet/crown. I chose coronet just because it's less of an established image in most people's minds. It's those little head dress things you see on men's heads that appear to be mysteriously attached to their hair. Similar to the ceremony where a girl has their hair pinned up for coming-of-age.
2)可鉴日月 TP's play on words, perhaps from 日月可鉴 that means, essentially, “with the sun and moon as witness” so I've flipped it and used “witnessing the sun and moon”. TP keeps doing this- please stop, our brains are sad.
3) 烽火 was a signalling/beacon fire in ye olde ancient times. The other names for the sword that were up for grabs were “bonfire” and “beacon fire” and I just made up a third, cooler sounding name. (Also, beacon, beckon… he he he…) Extra Fun Facts: The sword art that Cheng Tianyu was using could've been translated as Flying Feathers of the Floral Pavilion but it's unlikely that the imagery of both feathers and flowers would be invoked, especially since it was 华, which could be an archaic form of flower. The “Please” that they said to each other is more of an invitation to uh, for lack of better phrasing, come at me bro.” xiao shidi here is implied that it's youngest shidi. I've used youngest once in the chapter where it was most appropriate. The split chapters are done by TP herself, and not us in an effort keep a consistent update schedule or inflate views or be lazy. I don't believe in taking undue liberties thoughtlessly like that. The original is presented as a whole. Self serving liberties shouldn't be taken at the cost of faithful presentation.
Huge thanks to Bagel for translating and Avocado bro for editing! I'll be translating fewer chapters personally, since I must do final edits for tone, accuracy, and style for every single chapter, but please antic.i.p.ate chapter 54 when I'm gonna go all out and translate with the most purple of language.
Come join our You can be part of the effort to keep me on track.
Please ask questions about things that seem interesting or you have suggestions for style/terms. I'm making an effort to not make this a “turn-off-your-brain-and-read” novel (I'm looking at you, Goldfish-bro). What may appear relatively simple for me to understand may not translate well without the source or my specific aesthetic. We are also interesting in suggestions for things that would be helpful on our information page for names and terms. syn
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