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The World’s Dazzling Talent - Top Tiger
Nineteen years ago, a female sabre wielder was known throughout in the martial world on both sides of Changjiang River for her prowess with her sabre. Her talent with a sabre was unheard of at the time. She stood out among martial artists when it was an era where sabres and broadswords had fallen out of favour. She reached Master Realm at a very young age through her prowess with a sabre. She was hailed as the individual who had the best chance of defeating the world's greatest sabre adept at the time. Her profound skills were as equally feared as they were revered. Her character was commended in the same light as her skills with a sabre.
Her style was regarded as simplistic and practical as opposed to aesthetic-focused and fragmented. No matter how extravagant her opponent's techniques were, she was able to dismantle every single challenge they offered. If she had a trick, it was concealing her true skill. There was no way anyone could've kept track of her long list of victories. Established sabre and broadsword adepts stopped daring to challenge her. Ever since her time, n.o.body had yet to surpa.s.s her accomplishments.
She was born into a family of martial artists. She married before seventeen and had a son, as she was engaged since she was a child. Family life didn't hinder her pursuit for loftier heights in the realm of sabres. Her husband was an ordinary scholar; however, they both sincerely loved each other. Her husband was never displeased with that fact that she loved martial arts. To the contrary, he respected her desire to use her skills as a martial artist to protect the people and punish crime. If anything, her marriage served as her motivation to improve.
Who said women were inferior to men? She was a dutiful wife, a kind mother and a venerated sabre wielder. She was as good in the kitchen as she was at beheading the worst villains in Jiangnan with single slashes. But alas, she made a decision she regretted to her last moment nineteen years ago. That being said, given her character, she probably would've regretted it all her life if she didn't make that decision.
She encountered a villain who took a child hostage when she attended a banquet. The handsome and adorable child was about her own child's age. He looked slightly scared when he was held at blade point. But nonetheless, he was angrier and stronger than children in his age bracket. Those traits were extremely similar to her child's character. She would've rescued the child even if she didn't do it out of motherly instinct. With that said, she probably wouldn't have met with her tragic end had it not been for those characteristics.
Gold and Silver Sect's Patriarch Jin was a well-known hero in Jiangnan. He fulfilled many benevolent deeds for the people - more than one could count. She always respected his character and deeds. As such, she got along very well with Patriarch Jin. As her family was in Jiangnan, both clans were on very good terms. She often enforced security and upheld justice at Zhengjiang's magistrate office alongside Gold and Silver Sect's members.
Many years went by without any significant changes. At one point in time, Gold and Silver Sect was challenged by a powerful foe. He was a villain who seldom appeared in the martial arts world. He led a group in an a.s.sault on Gold and Silver Sect's branch in the North and involved multiple prominent sects in the martial world. The situation was dire. Sadly, Gold and Silver Sect's patriarch ran into a plateau in his mastery of Golden Crow Moon Eater Manual. He, therefore, pleaded her to intervene and promised to repay her handsomely by teaching her the sect's ultimate style: Golden Crow Moon Eater Manual. She understood the hopes old Patriarch Jin had for her. Therefore, she accepted the offer.
Granted her talent and the old patriarch's mentors.h.i.+p by her side, she grasped the intricacies within three months. She didn't practically train the style. Nevertheless, she comprehended the manual at a much deeper level than many others who spent an entire lifetime learning it. She occasionally made suggestions of her own that went beyond the manual, demonstrating her solid grasp on the style. Once she finished her training, she set out on her journey for three years.
The intense fight was both a prolonged mental and physical battle. Her opponent was extremely proficient on the battlefield, violent and crafty. Had it been anyone else, they would've been decimated by his traps. He was the most challenging opponent she ever faced. By the time the dust settled, it was the peak of summer.
Her last match against the villain was intense. She eventually relied on her comprehension of Golden Crow Moon Eater Manual's sabre style and eventually triumphed when she finally outmanoeuvred him on one particular trade.
She never saw his appearance despite the number of years they crossed paths. When she slashed his mask open, she discovered he was someone she knew. He was Gold and Silver Sect's most skilled adept: Jin w.a.n.gs.h.i.+.
Jin w.a.n.gs.h.i.+ was old Patriarch Jin's nephew. Old Patriarch Jin personally trained Jin w.a.n.gs.h.i.+, who had surpa.s.sed his predecessor. He was the top patriarch candidate.
With a sinister smile, he said, "You think it's over after you kill me? You're already too late. It's too late for you. You've wasted too much time here. We've been setting things up in Jiangnan for the last three years. If you rush back now, perhaps you'll get one last glimpse of your husband and son."
Her heard skipped a beat. If she fought her supposed ally for three years straight, then what he said might really have been true. After the battle drew to a conclusion, she immediately mounted her steed and bolted to the docks to catch a boat back home. She was greeted by Jin w.a.n.gsun at her home when she vindictively arrived home.
Jin w.a.n.gsun always revered her, which was why she brought him in without suspecting him. She stepped inside to find her home in ruins and corpses littering the floor. Her husband and son were the only ones missing.
She came across a man wearing a mask as Jin w.a.n.gs.h.i.+ did. The difference was that he showed no intention of hiding his ident.i.ty. That was proven by his sabre with inlaid gold and silver and its dark aura. Aforementioned sabre was Gold and Silver Sect's patriarch's huge blade: Golden Crow Moon Eater.
She knew full well by that point that she had been betrayed. Jin w.a.n.gsun, who was the only joy after days of exhaustion, ended up feeding her a warm cup of poisoned tea. When she shot him a vengeful glare, the boy was stunned. He didn't know he was used as a weapon. By the time he began to wrap his head around it, the mastermind knocked him out.
"Who are you?!" brayed the heroine.
Her nemesis replied with a smile: "I have nothing to say to someone about to die."
The extremely potent poison instantly hampered her movements. She fought a long battle, suffered through the harsh weather, was poisoned and she depleted a lot of her internal energy already. She couldn't be in worse shape, yet she had to face a traitorous villain who was more skilled than Jin w.a.n.gs.h.i.+.
She responded with her sabre, and she remained undefeated in spite of her condition. When she was on the verge of defeat and unable to swing her sabre again, she surpa.s.sed her limits and reached the realm all martial artists dreamt of reaching. She cut her formidable nemesis down utilising her ultimate technique.
She cut him down without him even knowing what happened. When it registered, he realised he was cut down with one slash. Still, he wasn't about to be resigned to defeat. He sacrificed decades of cultivation to save his life.
When she was about to finish him and seek out an antidote before her consciousness left her, her nemesis suddenly threw a big hidden weapon at her.
It was a bag that he threw. She didn't know what was inside or if there was a mechanism that would activate on it. It was a pathetic throw; she surmised she might've shut down his courage. Any unknown martial artist not worth a glimpse could've done better than him.
She instinctively slashed the cloth bag. Ever since she entered the new realm, her skills with a sabre also reached new grounds. She slashed the bag in two without making a single sound.
Her nemesis snickered: "Impressive sabre skills, indeed! I wonder how your husband feels after his beloved wife sliced him in two, though."
Her heart skipped a beat. She never saw her husband and son on the way in. She thought she'd be able to find out where they were from their a.s.sailants after she took them down. If they were after her, it only made sense for them to be opportunists and spare her husband and son. That was what she told herself the entire way. Alas, her shaky hands gave in. She opened the bag and saw a scene n.o.body should ever have to see in their life.
She dropped her treasured sabre she never let go of before, the blade that could reverse the situation when she was in a plight, the blade that was more important than her life.
Her virtually unparalleled sabre skills couldn't bless her with bliss in the end. Her tears coursed down her eyes. Her life force left her body as she coughed blood over and over.
Mercy was not shown on that day. Her nemesis impaled her with his sabre, robbing her of her last trace of warmth. He then sighed: "You were so difficult to take down. Nine years it took to take you down. You're too mighty. You defeated every sect you ran into, including one of Jin w.a.n.gs.h.i.+'s calibre. The stronger your opponent was, the stronger you grew. You rose above every challenge and defeated everyone. I prepared to fight you as though I prepared to fight an invincible adept, yet still only barely eked out a win by using this strategy. For as long as you live in Jiangnan, we will never be able to rule it. You must go for the sake of our greater ambition."
Her mind was a mess. Her vision was dark. The world spun. Her consciousness faded along with her blood. Everything gradually turned dark. All she saw was the blade in her, the one that accompanied her throughout all of her fights.
She wondered, "Why…? Why is it this sabre…? Why did you betray me? Did you teach me Golden Crow Moon Eater purely for this moment? You killed my husband and son solely for this? You made my cut open my husband's skull… just for this?"
Gaze and voice hopeless, yet vengeful, she, acrimoniously cursed one last time as loud as she could: "Traitorous Jins, as long as my spiteful soul remains, I will ensure your entire Jin Clan perishes!!"
Her story ended there.
Ten years later, her name, Jin w.a.n.ghu, disappeared from the pugilistic world. Jiangnan's top tiger was, in actual fact, a woman.
Jiangnan is a region south of the lower reachers of Yangtze River, including the southern part ot its delta. So far in the story, we have seen Hangzhou, Nanjing and Zhenjiang mentioned most (in terms of cities). Those aforementioned cities are among the most important cities in Jiangnan.