Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 2 - Luxury Bitch
The words that Meng Fuyao was just going to say suddenly got stuck in her throat.
She looked up, staring hard at Yan Jingchen, yet he avoided her eyes and instead intently studied a half-wilted flower in front of him, speaking in a rush.
"Fuyao, with your situation, my clan would not allow me ... to be with you. The house of Pei is a branch of the royal clan, and even my clan is a step lower comparatively. This betrothal originally had no hope of being accepted and I heard it was Ah' Yuan1 who personally agreed, and since the Pei family has already consented, even if we regretted the decision our Yan clan absolutely cannot afford to offend the Pei family ...."
Meng Fuyao suddenly interrupted his unceasing flow of words.
"Enough with Yan clan this Yan clan that, talk about yourself."
"I ..." Yan Jingchen started for a moment, the sinking between his eyebrows revealing a gloomy expression. After a long time he said, "Fuyao, my future spouse will eventually be a significant position in the Five Regions Continent. Beauty and intelligence, cultivation and societal position, no aspect can be lacking - especially martial qualifications, otherwise my clan will be shamed ..."
"Talk about yourself!"
After being cut off by Fuyao's shout, Jingchen's pride and anger as a noble prince also erupted in a loud yell: "Myself! I have had enough of you not trying to improve! I've had enough of being laughed at because of you!"
Meng Fuyao took a step back, dumbly staring at Yan Jingchen's face, which seemed almost ferocious when he broke his composure to yell.
Layer after layer, twilight fell, with gray dimness soon covering the sky. The leaves transitioned from dark green to gray-green, as if dirty and unclean, and left a repulsive impression on the viewer. Blended into the ashen background was that mild youth; his brows were knitted, and he seemed both alien and frail.
The only sound left between heaven and earth was the whistling of the wind, gently lifting up their robe sleeves.
After a long while, Meng Fuyao suddenly laughed.
Her laugh was like a flower blooming in dark silence, a little desolate. Yet even more so was it like an intense, brilliant beauty.
"Good, good." She dusted off her robe sleeves towards Jingchen, as if she wanted to brush Jingchen away along with the dust, and then lightly replied, "I understand, you can't endure your wife being a martial idiot with no talent; you can't endure bringing this kind of talentless fool out to state banquets and becoming the object of ridicule by others behind your back; and most of all, you can't endure your flawless noble background being blemished by a less-than-perfect spouse ... Yan Jingchen, believe me, Pei Yuan will be an absolutely perfect wife. With her by your side, you will be like an aristocrat and her luxury poodle - no matter where you go, your status will increase by a hundred-fold and complement each other perfectly."
She laughed, yet her eyes had no humor in them at all. Her voice was deep and cold, like a barely sheathed blade edge exuding wintery light.
"Congratulations, you have found your luxury bitch2."
With that, she turned her back and started to leave.
"Fuyao!" Yan Jingchen rushed up and clutched her robe sleeve, and with his voice containing hints of helplessness and suffering he softly pleaded, "Fuyao ... actually I do love you ..."
"Leave your love, go fawn over your luxury bitch!" Her smile was ominous, and with a lift of her fingers, a streak of cold light suddenly appeared between the points of her fingertips. The flowing light was like crackling electricity, and directly shot towards her sleeve that was still being firmly gripped by Jingchen.
Before the sharp flash had reached its destination, the cold aura had already pressed down on him. Jingchen originally thought Fuyao wouldn't be so quick and ruthless, and was still holding onto her without thought of release. However, Meng Fuyao didn't even hesitate when she flipped her hand and dragged his five fingers into line of fire.
Yan Jingchen was shocked and immediately tried to withdraw his hand, but unfortunately he was still a beat too slow. His five fingers were slashed open in an orderly red line. Where before his fingers were shining pale white, in a moment, fresh red blood streamed out in thin lines, silently dripping onto the dark ground.
"Me!" Meng Fuyao didn't even turn her head, her back straight, forming an unbroken silhouette amidst the thick darkness of the night. "I want you to remember: some mistakes, like that wound you just received, are not discovered at first but only after a long time will they cause you to bleed and feel pain."
With her back facing Jingchen, she lightly let out a laugh that was cold like the newly risen crescent moon.
"Believe me, Yan Jingchen, it's only a matter of time before you feel pain." -------
The moonlight tonight was very chilly.
Meng Fuyao sat cross-legged on the ground, dazedly gazing at the thin crescent moon. It seemed like of all the nights in her living memory, this night's moon was the coldest; just glancing at the surrounding blue halo of moonlight made one's heart frost over.
The starlight twinkled strangely, drifting in unorganized patterns that mirrored the inner fluctuating turmoil of a person's heart.
Vaguely, she thought of the first time she met him. Wind and rain blew around her as her forehead was sunk heavily in the mud, bowing to Lin Xuanyuan3 to ask him to accept her as a disciple; in the downpour, in front of the mountain gates, and beside Lin Xuanyuan was a modest youth with a genial grin. She thought of how, in between the wind and rain, the youth extended a slender and pure hand to her, warm like spring.
"Fuyao, actually I do love you."
"Fuyao, in the Five Regions Continent, someone without strength will only be looked down upon for their whole lives."
"Fuyao, you have to spend more effort, with your situation ... what will you do in the future?"
"Fuyao, everything about you is good, only that ... your martial talent is too lacking."
Ah ... she should have noticed sooner, yet she was blinded by her wishful thinking, submerged inside that warmth from the youth's extended hand, and did not awaken.
Meng Fuyao smiled self-mockingly, then waved her hand as if swatting a mosquito, pushing aside those thoughts she was unwilling to think about anymore. She closed her eyes and started to cultivate.
Not long afterwards, fog began to steam from the top of her head, and a pale jade glow began to surround her body. The light slowly arose, gathering and stopping in front of her chest.
The "Breaking Nine Heavens" cultivation method was her real master's, an old Daoist priest's, "Secret Teachings".
Back then when Meng Fuyao dug too deep into that ancient tomb, she accidently activated something and crossed into a different dimension. After crossing, she inexplicably lost the memories of her 5 year old self in this world, and starting from age 5 she was put through a cruel training and cultivation regime by the old Daoist priest for ten bitter years. In those ten years, of the nine total layers of the "Breaking Nine Heavens" technique, she had only cultivated up to the peak of the third layer. At this step in her cultivation, she needed to improve her true qi4 by condensing it into solid jade form, concentrating and specializing on techniques with soft yin5 characteristics.
This cultivation session lasted throughout the long night, passed the sunlight-laden morning, and by the time Meng Fuyao opened her eyes again, it was already afternoon.
Right after opening her eyes Fuyao knitted her eyebrows and exhaled. She had already been stuck at the peak of the third layer for half a year, and yet still had no breakthrough. If she got stuck at this level, how would she participate in the True Martial conference, and what would she use to fulfill her words that "it was only a matter of time before you feel pain"?
This aside, more importantly, that wish buried inside her heart seemed to be even less likely to be realized any time soon.
After biting her lip, Meng Fuyao stood up and strode with large steps down the mountain. Looking at the time, today Yan Jingchen should have already left.
Him leaving, may be a good thing.
Right now Fuyao didn't want to stay here even a second longer, so she gathered her belongings and set off immediately.
After descending halfway down the mountain and passing through a hidden-away valley, the eave and bracket-covered6, magnificent and long-winding Profound Origin sect buildings came into view, closely following the curves of the mountains.
Before she could walk closer, she heard riotous noises, and within the clamor a person loudly shouting, "Profound Origin sect claims to be one of the top three sword sects in the Tai Yuan Empire, how come there's not even one decent disciple here?"
Following that was the sound of a dry cough tinged with slight embarrassment from Master, and a the shouts of a crowd of martial brothers and sisters angrily responding to the incitement. Intermixed between the discord was the sound of swords being drawn out of their sheaths in quick succession, causing the situation to seem uncommonly rowdy.
Meng Fuyao slightly wrinkled her forehead. Knowing the passionate martial culture of the Five Regions and Seven States, and that sects often issued challenges to each other, she was 80 percent confident that some sect had come looking for a battle again.
Fuyao pulled some cosmetic tools out of her robes, then hurriedly used a nearby stream as a mirror to put on some wretched make-up. All this time, she had only shown her real appearance in front of Yan Jingchen.
After entering the sect village, she had to pass through the sect's martial arena to get back to her room. Profound Origin sect's martial arena could be said to be one of Tai Yuan's high-level arenas, taking up a wide expanse and constructed with a magnificent, imposing atmosphere. Usually the arena wouldn't be used, and Meng Fuyao silently walked in the arena gates originally believing she could pass through without any trouble. Yet after she walked in her eyes narrowed, and she was slightly shocked.
Today the martial arena was packed with hundreds of people, all wearing various colored uniforms and every color taking up its own corner of the arena. It seemed like several sects came at the same time to challenge the Profound Origin sect.
Meng Fuyao even discovered in the crowd several men with powerful energy and calm and collected gazes, their auras far from what common people could muster.
Besides Yan Jingchen, all of the Profound Origin disciples were present, gathered in a circle. Their expressions were cautious yet anxious, and some disciples propped themselves up with swords and had blood foam seeping out from their mouths, apparently injured.
The mood was heavy and filled with unrest.