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Horray for Bagel! Thanks for translating! And Kir for editing round 1! And me, for final edits for style :^)
We now see Luo Mingchuan being a scam, the scammiest scam. The advent of his big skam man reputation.
Chapter 31- Mutual dependence
When Yin Biyue got off the stage, the Qing Lu Sword Sect attendant forgot to announce the results of the match, everyone from Bao Pu Zong forgot to help the people on stage, and the Cang Ya disciples also forgot to cheer.
A summer breeze blew past the elm tree; the lush leaves closest to the stage, after enduring raging flames and icy devastation, finally fell gently in the wind.
The melting frost left a clear, shallow pool on the stage, where the fallen leaves floated. As if a sudden bout of autumnal rain, the scorching dry heat of the height of summer was washed away by a harsh frost rolling over the land.
The attendant suddenly snapped out of his daze and shouted, “The match has ended! Cang Ya sect’s Yin Biyue is the winner!”
The announcement was like a cue. Not just the Cang Ya disciples, but many people below the stage all waved their swords while cheering. The sound rapidly spread, and the faraway citizens of Ye city joined in the applause.
Bao Pu disciples surged onto the stage and, with one person on each side, helped the pale-faced He Lai down.
Duan Chongxuan loudly laughed, “Fourth s.h.i.+xiong, I’ll serve you in the future as long as you cover me!”
This was clearly a joke, so the Cang Ya disciples all laughed and one by one went to congratulate Yin Biyue.
Only Luo Mingchuan, sporting a slight frown, asked: “Are you hurt?”
Only when he asked this question did everyone remember. This match was so beautiful that they had forgotten Yin Biyue was up against such domineering swordsmans.h.i.+p, and they all now became worried.
Yin Biyue shook his head. “I’m not hurt.”
Luo Mingchuan carefully scrutinized him, and his expression finally relaxed. “You should go back and rest.”
The Cang Ya disciples made a path for Luo Mingchuan to first accompany Yin Biyue back to Lake Qiu.
Duan Chongxuan was originally going to go with them, but he surveyed the area and could vaguely discern the flood of colorful skirts and painted umbrellas around ten zhang away.
Understanding that he would only be inconveniencing his s.h.i.+xiong, he could only say to them, “See you tonight at Lake Qiu! Have a good rest, fourth-s.h.i.+xiong.”
Luo Mingchuan and Yin Biyue walked towards Ye city.
As soon as they left, the two big shots half a step into the Greater Vessel Stage on the eastern side of the stands also began to leave, and the spectating elders got up and saluted them before re-seating themselves.
The Qing Lu Sword sect disciples went up to clean up the water on the stage, and half of the Bao Pu Zong disciples had already left, saying that they were taking He Lai to the healers at Jie Kong Temple.
n.o.body knew when Zhong Shan and Song Tang also left.
The fights were still going on as before, but there were much fewer people in the audience.
Yin Biyue and Luo Mingchuan strolled about in Ye city.
It was the peak of summer, the sun was so scorching you could see the light reflecting off the limestone blocks.
The long streets were empty; with neither human voices nor barking dogs. It was as if the entire city was in a deep, intoxicated slumber.
Only the summer cicadas were still tirelessly chirping.
In the torrid heat of summer, Luo Mingchuan could feel delicate wisps of cold spilling from Yin Biyue’s body.
Early on in the journey from Cang Ya sect to Ye city, Luo Mingchuan had discovered that Yin Biyue’s body temperature was usually lower than average, even more so at night.
Duan Chongxuan once also joked, “Walking next to Fourth s.h.i.+xiong is nice and cool, more effective than a heat resistance pearl.”
Because Yin Biyue trained year-round by Xi Hua Peak’s cold pond, the chill permeated his whole body.
This was not unusual. Both martial cultivation methods and innate spiritual veins of spiritual cultivation can slightly change the const.i.tution of the cultivator.
But right now, just after using Frigid Water Sword, Yin Biyue was abnormally cold.
Thus, Luo Mingchuan stopped walking, studied the young man’s complexion, and seriously asked,
“s.h.i.+di, are you uncomfortable anywhere?”
Yin Biyue was speechless.
He didn’t expect Luo Mingchuan would be this astute. He had been carefully controlling his breath and footfalls so nothing would seem out of the ordinary.
He really wasn’t injured, but in the end he had been fighting someone with a higher cultivation than himself. Traversing Peaks and Rivers used up a lot of effort, and by the end he had exhausted his whole body’s core energy…
His mind had been highly focused for the entire battle, and now that it had suddenly relaxed, he began to feel his bones and meridians continuously exuding fine streams of cold.
It was the residual sword intent from the Frigid Water Sword.
Before, this kind of trivial problem could be solved by circulating core energy throughout the body.
However, at present, he had no more core energy and no more strength. When he was again asked like this by Luo Mingchuan, he felt another flood of exhaustion.
I don’t even feel like taking two more steps, how about you drag me back?
…Hehe, isn’t this too unsightly?
Yin Biyue pursed his lips, “No, let’s go.”
But Luo Mingchuan didn’t move, and an awkward expression came onto his face,
“Actually, it’s like this… Just now I was under the hot sun for too long, I might have caught heatstroke; right now I feel a bit dizzy…is s.h.i.+di willing to help me walk?”
After speaking he gave an embarra.s.sed laugh.
Yin Biyue imagined the scene of himself and Luo Mingchuan crawling back to Lake Qiu.
Are you kidding me! How can someone in the Breakthrough Stage get heatstroke?!
If anyone else said this, Yin Biyue would never have believed it.
But all of Cang Ya knew Luo Mingchuan was an upright gentleman who would never tell a lie.
Yin Biyue’s imagination was already starting to run wild: don’t tell me he practices a special cultivation technique and cannot stay in the sun for too long?…
He looked at the street with heat radiating off of it and found that not only were there no people, not even a dog was in sight.
Thus, as if he were embracing death, he nodded his head, “Okay!”
Whatever, I’ll help!
Us two will support each other and crawl back to Lake Qiu together!
…But this sort of embarra.s.sing act must absolutely not be known by a third person.
Yin Biyue took a few steps closer, extended his hand, and supported Luo Mingchuan’s right arm. Luo Mingchuan’s body leaned into him a bit.
A warm and foreign breath grazed past his cheek.
Travelling together for the whole journey had already dispelled the initial discomfort from a proximity of less than three chi; however, being so close for the first time, Yin Biyue still felt a bit uncomfortable.
He saw Luo Mingchuan’s sincerely thankful expression, “I’ve inconvenienced s.h.i.+di.”
They walked a few steps, but the expected difficulties didn’t come up; instead, Yin Biyue discovered…
Sure enough, a person with heatstroke is nice and warm! ～（≧▽≦）/～
The chilliness in his body that seeped out from his bones and meridians, no matter how hot the sun was, was unable to disperse.
Yet holding Luo Mingchuan was clearly different,
It seemed like there was a thin layer of core energy flowing over Luo Mingchuan’s skin, warm and dry, pa.s.sing through his robe and into Yin Biyue’s body.
The heavy chill dissipated, and every inch of his bones felt like they were bathed in warm sunlight.
Is this… the heatstroke is so serious it caused the core energy to overflow? He won’t faint, right?
Yin Biyue, having already regained some strength, pulled the person he was supporting closer and step by step walked to Lake Qiu.
The cicadas’ hum accompanied them down the long street; a light breeze disrupted the trees’ silhouettes.
In Ye city’s midsummer, two young men wearing white sect robes supported each other through winding narrow streets.
The lanterns on the eaves of the tall gateways shook gently in the wind. After pa.s.sing countless manors, what was before them was the s.h.i.+mmering lake surface.
Even now, they both thought they were the one helping the other.
“The Sword Saint’s disciple Yin Biyue defeated the fifth of the Seven Sons of Bao Pu, He Lai, at the Flower Picking Festival.”
The news rapidly spread to every corner of Ye city, then all over the Southern Continent, and then to the entire world.
Every detail of that battle was widely known. How each side brandished their swords, their movements, the dangers around them; discussion in every tea house and wine shop in the Southern continent let customers immerse themselves in the experience.
But even those who had experienced the battle themselves had questions.
‘Traversing Peaks and Rivers’ versus ‘Clear Sky Ascent’, ‘Bao Pu Eight Trigrams’ versus ‘Frigid Water’; fundamentally, these techniques were about equal, but He Lai’s cultivation realm was higher, so how did Yin Biyue win?
Was it just sword intent?
His cultivation realm was still limited; could he really use a branch to perfectly display sword intent?
Therefore, the positioning of Yin Biyue’s sword strikes were carefully noted.
One theory surfaced: Frigid Water Sword takes one sword stroke to defeat the enemy and seize victory, not through suppression, but by deconstruction.
He deconstructed the Eight Trigrams Sword.
“Preposterous! The Eight Trigrams Sword has so many variations, I’ve studied the sword for a hundred years and dare not say I’m an expert. How can one who hasn’t even lived until twenty deconstruct it?!”
Bao Pu Zong’s sect elder heard this sort of talk and immediately flew into a rage.
On the bed, He Lai’s complexion was pale.
He was originally Bao Pu Zong’s greatest hope for winning this year’s Flower Picking Festival-
-but his luck was bad and he met Yin Biyue in the very first round.
Injuries of flesh and blood can be healed with medicine, but how would one repair cracks of the heart?
But he was one of the ‘Seven Sons of Bao Pu’, one of the Eight Trigram Sword Formation’s supporting pillars; if he wasn’t there, what would become of the formation?
To Bao Pu Zong, this issue was of greater importance than his injury.
In order for his heart to be at peace and him to complete the formation, Bao Pu Zong had to do something.
The sect elder engraved a jade slip, and after it was finished, it immediately turned into a stream of light and flew westward across the continent.
“Do you really think our sect has no one who can fight?”
In the next few days of the Flower Picking Festival, the Buddhist cultivators of Jie Kong Temple and Xing Shan Temple increased; Buddha’s Great Handprints and Unbreakable Diamond Body induced awe; within Lian Jian Zong, the top of the rising generation of spiritual cultivators, disciple Chu Huan, was able to pull off a ‘spring returning to a withered tree’¹; And Qing Lu Sword Sect Zhong Shan’s fellow peak s.h.i.+di used a skill of the cold light-emitting Flying Feather Sword. Even an unremarkable small-sect disciple of the Eastern Continent emerged as a new force to be reckoned with, becoming the second one to transcend cultivation realms for victory…
In the first round of the Flower Picking Festival, many youngsters revealed astonis.h.i.+ng talent in cultivation.
However, not a single match was as brilliant as the one between Yin Biyue and He Lai.
Therefore, the Sword Saint disciples’ next fight became particularly antic.i.p.ated.
After the first round finished, the one hundred sixty two people who advanced to the next round were split into eighty one groups.
This time after numbers were a.s.signed, the latter eighty one people drew lots. Yin Biyue’s party of three did not need to go again to draw lots, and only needed to wait until someone drew them as opponents.
Yin Biyue had been meditating in his room for these past few days. After his fight with he Lai, he came to many revelations, so he shut his door and didn’t come out while he delicately sorted through them. Sitting and reflecting, the doorway to breaking through became clearer.
This day, the results of the draw were announced.
When he pushed his door open, he saw that Chatterbox was also about to leave.
“Does Fourth s.h.i.+xiong want to go to ChenYing Wall to see the draw results?”
Yin Biyue nodded.
Chatterbox laughed, “There’s a place where news travels to faster, why should we travel so far?”
Yin Biyue understood; Chatterbox was again inviting him to visit a blossom house, ah, no, a tea house.
In accordance with Ye City’s lively folk customs, teahouses were indeed the fastest source of news.
He glanced across the courtyard at Luo Mingchuan’s tightly shut door, not knowing if he was inside or if he’s already left.
That day, when Yin Biyue had supported Luo Mingchuan back, he took him back to his room and made sure he was alright; so that there shouldn’t be any problems.
Yin Biyue originally didn’t understand why Chatterbox dared to go out. Clearly before, every time he took a step outside he was paraded like a prisoner through the streets.
When they left Lake Qiu, they pa.s.sed through the city’s southern n.o.bleman’s mansions, walked on Ye city’s main street, a number of hidden young women turned their gazes towards them. Chatterbox sighed, “Two days ago I was blocked at the city gate, so I said ‘My heart is already taken, I’ve fallen in love with someone, and I must take her as my wife in this life’… it really is effective.”
Yin Biyue suddenly understood; no wonder! Turns out your role was already changed from a golden bachelor in his prime into an old, love-sick man.
They went back to Tai He pavilion; it wasn’t yet nighttime, when it was the busiest, but the hall was still packed.
The two of them went up to the second floor.
He didn’t know that his current reputation was not weaker than Chatterbox’s. When he stepped upstairs many people quickly took notice of him.
There were no cultivators probing them with their Divine Sense, as they feared the consequences, and there were no unrestrained glances at him, due to respect.
After a short time, the raucous teahouse quieted down until you could hear a pin drop.
In front of him emerged a robe painted with an ink splashed landscape.
They wanted to go up, the other wanted to go down.
The staircase was broad, with ample s.p.a.ce for three people side-by-side.
But the other party obviously had no intention of admitting defeat and backing down.
Yin Biyue lifted his head to see.
At first sight, the most noticeable thing about him was not his face but his sword.
Sword of Wind and Rain.
1) 枯木逢春诀 – I’ve interpreted as something like a comback from a desolate situation, but it could be some kind of self reviving spell?? Honestly in this context I don’t know, but it’s not important since it’s never mentioned again.
No picture for this one, since the one I wanted to draw would reveal the scam LMC pulls off.
On that note, if anyone would like to contribute to our chapterly emojis and art please let me know! The easiest way is to join our discord server! (Hehehe shameless plug)
I now have a functional ko-fi link! Know that it goes into buying me (and Kir) actual caffeinated beverages. It’s after the chapter navigation since I don’t want to force anyone to look at it lol (I have too much shame).