Chapter 29 – Zhong Shan
When the Academy’s Disciplinary Whip technique was exposed, many people realized its implication .
On the platform, Wang Zhen couldn’t dodge fast enough, and had already received five whacks . He felt waves of intense pain pulsating through his body as if all his bones were shattering . Luo Mingchuan’s attacks were too swift for him to even open his mouth . If this went on long enough, he would incur serious damage to his core . Wang Zhen clenched his teeth . He couldn’t care less about his pride nor his sect’s dignity; he just wanted to loudly admit defeat .
Suddenly, his face turned white, covered in cold sweat .
He found himself… unable to speak!
With jumbled thoughts, he received another whack . His back was on fire .
However, all the audience could see was Luo Mingchuan’s strikes picking up speed . After-images of the scabbard wove together an immense net that completely entrapped his opponent into one spot .
Wang Zhen was dumbstruck . His eyes widened, yet he could not utter a single word . He was without a sword, and his core energy had already been completely drained in an attempt to defend against the incoming attacks . In his sorry state, his only option was to dodge .
Luo Mingchuan had stopped using his core energy since with merely martial art skills, Wang Zhen couldn’t escape from him .
Yin Biyue thought it was suspicious .
It was illogical for Wang Zhen to not surrender .
Quickly, he remembered . In order to maintain order lest the students started screeching or wailing while under the Academy Whip’s punishment, there was a method to block airflow around the vocal cords . It was similar to the ‘Forbidding Speech Order’ .
However, this method had already been abolished three hundred years ago . No one ever used it since . If it wasn’t for his studies of ancient books at the Academy library, which included the Academy’s origins, he wouldn’t have known about this type of disciplining method .
Moreover, Luo Mingchuan’s disciplining method was stronger, harsher, and more sincere than those used to punish students .
The audience had no clue .
Apart from exclaiming how Luo Mingchuan’s extensive knowledge was worthy of having studied at the Academy to even know this method, there were many who took note of Wang Zhen, “I can’t believe he has such backbone . To be injured like this and he still doesn’t admit defeat!”
The moment the words fell, a slightly older disciple from the same sect scolded, “What backbone? It’s stupidity! It might feel good at the time, but if his spiritual veins and core are injured, how will he continue on the path to higher cultivation?! You all absolutely shouldn’t imitate him!”
The others nodded their heads successively in agreement .
Luo Mingchuan, as Cang Ya’s eldest shixiong, was recognized by many sects’ disciples; all of whom had good impressions of him .
“That person should have surrendered earlier! He’s not surrendering, so Luo shixiong has to keep hitting him . It must be really tiring!”
“Luo shixiong’s so generous . He knows that his opponent can’t fight anymore, so now, he doesn’t even use his core energy . ”
Occasionally, one or two sentences would circulate to the ears of Bao Pu Zong . Aside from being furious, they also felt it was unbelievable .
The martial arena had a protection array, which prevented core energy from flowing out and injuring the audience . At the same time, an isolation array was employed to prevent any meddling from strong cultivators in the audience that might affect the fight on stage . Only the host, the QingLu Sword Sect, could control the arrays to avoid significant injuries or deaths if an unexpected situation arose .
In the present situation, Luo Mingchuan no longer used core energy, and Wang Zhen only received superficial wounds . Evidently, there was no fatal damage to either of them .
Wang Zhen wouldn’t concede, so the elder, who was responsible for the arrays, naturally wouldn’t have the inclination to yell stop . In any case, the fights in the first round were time-restricted . Once the time was up, there would be a declaration on the outcome .
He Lai dimly felt something was wrong, since Wang Zhen had already told him his plans before going up . He carefully observed Wang Zhen’s expression and suddenly thought of a possibility; maybe… he was incapable of surrendering!
He Lai’s complexion immediately changed .
In fact, Yin Biyue also felt it was weird . Generally speaking, this method wasn’t virtuous . It even had the hint of violating the gentleman’s way .
Then, he heard Duan Chatterbox’s laughter .
Yin Biyue looked at him, puzzled . Duan Chatterbox lowered his voice and said, “Fourth shixiong, the first person to spread the rumor that you had a qi deviation and damaged your cultivation was Wang Zhen…”
After journeying together, Duan Chongxuan no longer held any hostility towards Luo Mingchuan, “He couldn’t keep his mouth shut before, so now, Luo shixiong made it so that he can’t open his mouth . ”
Yin Biyue abruptly remembered . At PanLong District, Luo Mingchuan once said, “There comes a time when we cultivators must draw our swords…”
Luo Mingchuan wasn’t an unconditional Holy Mother .
He had his principles and his means . He would not be deceived nor be bullied . An exemplar of ‘what a gentleman would do and would not do’ 1 .
Yin Biyue felt his previous impression of Luo Mingchuan was too biased .
At this time, Wang Zhen, on the martial arena, appeared to have gathered all his energy to hiss out, “I surrender! …”
And almost at the same moment, the bell rang . QingLu Sword Sect’s attendee yelled out, “Time’s up… This round is over . Cang Ya, Luo Mingchuan wins . ”
Luo Mingchuan nonchalantly stopped his attacks and leapt directly off the martial arena .
Wang Zhen, whose face was beaten black and blue2, was immediately carried off the stage by Bao Pu Zong disciples .
The fight began in an unexpected way and ended in an unexpected way .
Cang Ya disciples no longer cheered . Perhaps it was because the opponent looked too miserable . Or perhaps they were influenced by Luo Mingchuan’s aura and displayed the honor3 and composure4 of a prestigious sect .
Nevertheless, they all wore reserved yet proud smiles, which made them seem dignified .
On the contrary, this sort of ‘victory as a given’ attitude, instead of the loud cheering, made Bao Bu Zong even more embarrassed and irritated .
He Lai had already calmed down, since he figured that tomorrow he would confront Yin Biyue on the martial arena .
This was very good . From arriving in Ye City to the recent two days of battle, no matter if it was Duan Chongxuan or Luo Mingchuan, they all had caused him to accumulate excessive amounts of anger, like his chest was seared by fire . If not unleashed, if would be as if he set fire to himself .
There was a sudden burst of excitement over at QingLu Sword Sect, because Zhong Shan was up next .
All eyes were drawn to him .
The disciple who was fighting against Zhong Shan was from the border of the Southern Continent; an obscure disciple . Other than annoyed at his own bad luck, he had already accepted his fate and downheartedly overcame his nervousness .
Compared to his reaction, most were more concerned with Zhong Shan’s performance .
Presently, the audience settled down, and only a few whispered in low voices . It was as if they were afraid that the slightest distraction would cause them to miss Zhong Shan’s attack .
In the Southern Continent, only a handful had ever seen Zhong Shan in person, let alone in the other four continents . However, this reputable youth had no eye-catching facial features . It may be the sword on his waist being too radiant that overwhelmed his own brilliance .
When Yin Biyue looked over, he could only notice the other person’s straight, ink-black brows and his pale thin lips .
But he could not forget that electric stare from the early morning, focused and piercing .
This was a dangerous person .
The two had barely stepped onto the martial arena before the other disciple met Zhong Shan’s gaze and immediately screamed out, “I surren…”
“Boom! … . ”
A tremendous noise!
A figure flew high in the air and smashed directly onto the martial arena’s edge, raising a cloud of blood and dust!
The dust swelled up due to his impact . The blood mist was sprayed due to a strike to the abdominal cavity with a sheath . Both occurred almost simultaneously .
The Sword of Wind and Rain did not leave its sheath, yet it still does harm .
Too quick .
When the crowd caught on, Zhong Shan was already a long ways away from the stage . He was not walking in the direction of QingLu Sword Sect but back to the city .
Yet no one uttered a word to him .
It was silent from both on and off the stage .
Yin Biyue’s expression became grave .
It was because he saw the first thing to hit the opponent was not the core energy covering the sheath, but the excessive sword energy itself .
That attack gave the impression of extreme nonchalance, merely relying on a higher cultivation stage and explosive core energy to do harm . But what made him cautious was Zhong Shan’s exhibition of his swordsmanship .
The thunderous strike was controlled with ease .
The battles on the other three martial arenas had not yet finished their greetings when Zhong Shan’s fight was already over .
As a result, the attendees of QingLu Sword Sect readied the platform for the next fight .
“Cang Ya, Ruan Xiaolian versus Bao Pu Zong, Zhou Yue…”
Ruan Xiaolian grinned at He Yanyun indicating she shouldn’t worry . Then she collected the hem of her skirt and walked up the stage .
Coincidentally, as she stood on the platform, many people had recovered from their astonishment over Zhong Shan .
Ruan Xiaolian had on a snowy skirt matched with a silver belt and frost-colored shoes . Her body was not fitted with any weapons . Looking at her reminded one of a fragile white lotus flower that could not bear the slightest of wind .
Compared to LianJian Zong female cultivators’ radiance and brazenness, this kind of lovely yet pitiful spirit had evidently caused many male cultivators’ eyes to brighten up .
Even the quiet and composed QingLu Sword Sect had ripples of momentary whispers .
The person opposite to her started to smile .
When Zhou Yue initially drew Cang Ya from the draw, he was a bit worried, especially when he heard that the other person was at the same stage of cultivation as he was .
But after seeing this frail girl5, he certainly felt his luck was too good .
After the two greeted each other, Zhou Yue opened his mouth, thinking he would tease her a bit, “This shimei…”
and saw the other party’s fist, carrying immense core energy, strike against his face!
In a blink, the fist was already at his eyes!
Zhou Yue, in shock, could only manage to draw out his sword and retreat hastily!
Many people thought because this fight had two parties with similar cultivation stage, it would be in a deadlock for a long time .
Subsequently, they blankly stared at the delicate, white lotus-like, defenseless fist that just pulverized the eight feet tall grown man . Every punch landed on flesh . Zhou Yue’s sword couldn’t even be put to use under her punches .
He Yanyun proudly said, “Xiaolian practices the Overturning Mountain Fist . How could she be stopped by his type of gaudy swordsmanship!”
Duan Chongxuan lightly coughed and explained, “This style of martial art is similar to second shijie’s ‘Fist of Wind and Thunder’… . ”
Yin Biyue also saw through it . If Ruan Xiaolian was paired with another person, she may not have any advantages . However, Zhou Yue’s swordsmanship required dexterity . The moves he practiced may look exquisite, but unfortunately, he wasn’t proficient at it .
Coincidentally, when encountering Ruan Xiaolian’s ‘one punch equal to ten’6, he could only take a beating .
Qing Lu Sword Sect had already some disciples turn away their heads, unable to bear the scene . Naturally, it wasn’t because they thought Zhou Yue was too pathetic . Instead, they didn’t know how to face the girl, whose sleeves were bunched up because of fighting, that was Ruan Xiaolian .
Yin Biyue sympathized with them . This kind of blow, the disillusioning of their goddess, was comparable to qi deviation .
The shadows had tilted westward . The city’s drum tower7 drifted down faint sounds of drum beats, as the scant black dots of weary crows in the distance returned back to their nests .
It was the end of yet another day of the Flower Picking Festival .
Some of the younger generation of the cultivation world chuckled with the people beside them, discussing the profits of the day’s fight . Some were uneasy about their fights tomorrow, listening to the encouragements made by the disciples from their own sect .
They were headed in different directions, scattering into the distance . Yet they were all the same: enormously proud of their achievements and anticipating the future in restlessness and expectation .
The setting sun dragged out their slanted shadows . The evening held no heaviness to it; rather, it exhibited an exuberant vitality .
Each sect had good news and bad news . Up to today, Cang Ya’s ratio for those advancing into the next round was not bad . It sat comfortably as number one in ‘One Mountain Three Sects’ .
As for the two battles that Luo Mingchuan and Zhong Shan had participated in, not only were the commoners at Ye City unable to understand them, they regretted that they weren’t more dazzling . However, to the cultivators, the meaning was tremendous .
Zhong Shan lived up to his fame . The strength of the Sword of Wind and Rain did not reduce even in its sheath .
However, another matter was clearly juicier .
Information on the Flower Picking Festival always spread rapidly . Consequently, from Ye City to the entirety of the Southern Continent, people all knew about the Bao Pu Zong disciple who was taught his place8 by Cang Ya’s head disciple, Luo Mingchuan .
After listening to these kinds of remarks, Bao Pu Zong disciples would say:
Cang Ya had always been unreasonable and tyrannical . But to think our sect had no one? Tomorrow, He Lai shixiong will fight against the Sword Saint’s disciple! Let them see what style and presence our prestigious sect possesses .
When Bao Pu Zong arrived at Ye City, they had twenty-eight people . Now, five were eliminated in the first round . Contrasted with other small sects, this kind of advancement ratio was already quite high .
Bao Pu Zong, nevertheless, had always considered themselves in the same league as Cang Ya . This time, by comparison, they appeared inferior . More importantly, the events during these recent two days had driven them resentful .
Hence tomorrow, the fight between He Lai and Yin Biyue would become especially significant . Not only He Lai, but every person in Bao Pu Zong felt a ball of fire in their chest that needed to be released .
The closer the fight got, the more He Lai’s complexion became calm, and conversely, the more excited he felt . Tomorrow, he would become famous for defeating one of the Sword Saint’s disciples . What was there not to anticipate?
In the courtyards beside Lake Qiu, under the magnolia tree, Yin Biyue also became calmer . Tomorrow was his first secular fight after coming down the mountain . Although many people may come and watch, he did not believe there was any particular significance to it .
As a spectator, he had already observed many battles . His fighting spirit was at its peak, and he needed to fight for himself to validate the epiphanies he had throughout the past few days .
And that was all .
1) 君子有所为，有所不为 (What a nobleman would do and not do): comes from Mensius . It infers that some things must be done and some things should never be done .
2) 鼻青脸肿 (the nose green and face swollen): In Baidu, it’s translated as a bloody nose and a swollen face . I just translated as ‘…face was black and blue’ .
3) 持礼重道 (the principle to heavily maintain honor): To treat something extremely seriously . I just shortened it to ‘honor’ since it sound smoother and it kind of retains the original meaning .
4) 宠辱不惊 (not surprised at neither favor nor insult): Which is to say no matter what kind of situation, the mental state is unmoved by it . I just translated as composure lol .
5) 弱质女流 (frail girl): 弱质 can mean both frail and dumb . 女流 is a derogatory word that is translated as ‘weaker sex’ .
6) 一力降十会 (one force [a person] can take down ten): The meaning is a person who has enormous strength, can take down ten martial art fighters . I substituted ‘punch’ in to fit the scenario .
7) 鼓楼 (drum tower): Ancient chinese cities usually include a drum tower and a clock tower . The drum tower has a huge drum set on the very top . It can be striked to sound alarm, give the correct time, or used in a ceremony/celebration .
8) 教了做人 (taught how to be a person): The translation of ‘was taught his place’ is often used in the same situation . Except 做人 is more mocking .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!