Upon hearing the girl’s melancholic reply, Shuo Feng was stunned for a moment. Her clear and beautiful eyes seemed somewhat embarrassed, with a faint blush spreading across the corners of her eyes.
However, he let out a wicked smile and readily admitted, “Sorry about that, I did it on purpose.”
His tone was light and indifferent, devoid of any apology.
The moonlight was bright and clear, shining into the young man’s eyes with the same clarity. There was not a hint of remorse in his gaze.
In his eyes, there was not a hint of remorse.
Zhou Yue let out a sigh in her heart and reached out her transparent right hand, wanting to touch the boy’s fuzzy and dirty black hair. But she couldn’t touch anything.
“I know you’re feeling wronged,” she said.
This was how her master would comfort her when she felt wronged.
Shuo Feng turned his head away and made a small “tsk” sound. More than half of the skin exposed from his neck had turned completely black, and visible dark purple veins showed on his fair face.
Watching the young man lying in the grave and sulking alone, Zhou Yue wasn’t angry. She clasped her hands together and formed a seal. Countless beams of light converged from the river, from the riverbank, from the distant mountains, and from who-knows-where, forming a brilliant starry sky above the grave.
The cold moon hung high in the sky, and a gentle breeze started blowing.
Zhou Yue reached out her hand and grabbed a handful of flowing stars, like catching a handful of fireflies. She chanted, “Spirits of all things in the heavens and earth, awaken.”
The incantation transformed into a spell formation in an instant.
As if riding on the gentle breeze, Shuo Feng felt himself floating lightly, and the moonlight poured down like snowflakes on his shoulders. Looking down, he saw the rushing waters of the Canglan River, and he felt the soft sword at his right wrist, his fingers curling around it as the thin blade poised to strike.
“Don’t be afraid,” Zhou Yue floated up as well, touching the boy’s tense hand for a moment. “I will save you, and you won’t die.”
After all, it was because of her that he had been half-dead. Zhou Yue felt apologetic towards the boy in front of her.
Her expression was calm, and Shuo Feng could only feel the coolness of the girl’s skin that he touched, and the beating of his own pulse, but for some reason, he felt reassured.
After all, it was just a difference of one word, “alive” or “dead”. Shuo Feng smiled wryly, feeling that it didn’t make much difference.
Her expression was calm, and Shuo Feng felt the coolness of her skin as she touched his hand, but only his pulse was beating. Nevertheless, he felt inexplicably reassured.
Bathed in moonlight, Shuo Feng finally saw the girl’s face clearly. Her black hair flowed freely, and there were symmetrical red birthmarks above her eyebrows. Her eyes and eyebrows were delicate, her eyelashes curled, and her lips were slightly red. Her gaze was calm and indifferent. But her indifference was different from his as if she didn’t belong to this world, and therefore, everything in it was ordinary to her.
“It will hurt a bit, you have to bear with it,” she said.
Shuo Feng was about to sneer, but then he felt his organs, lungs, bones, muscles and tendons all ache and curl up as if his whole body had been thrown into a boiling hot pot.
But he was an assassin, he could endure the pain, he wasn’t even afraid of death, how could he be afraid of pain? Shuo Feng closed his eyes, clenched his lips, and sweat broke out on his forehead, but the toxins in his body were gradually retreating and disappearing, vanishing like black dust outside his body. If he could see, he would have noticed that the flesh and bones on his left arm and the sword wounds on his palms were healing, and the inner tendons were being purified by pure spiritual power and reconnecting.
“Cleansing the marrow and washing the tendons, this is the first stage, congratulations,” the voice of Zhou Yue rang out slowly.
In an instant, Shuo Feng opened his eyes. The bright moon hung over the pine trees, and the sound of the river’s shallow rapids could be heard. A reed flower drifted to his nose, tickling it, and he had already been back in the pit.
Without concealing anything, Shuo Feng used his internal force to explore his inner strength, realizing that his old and new injuries had healed as good as new. Although he was surprised in his heart, he still moved his muscles and bones as usual, placed his arms behind his head, and looked at the ‘sword spirit’ girl kneeling at the edge of the pit.
The moon was bright, and the sound of the shallow river tide came through. It was a chilly night in April in the mortal world, just after a few cold rains, and Shuo Feng couldn’t help but sneeze.
“Why did you save me?”
Zhou Yue smiled lightly at his words, her eyelashes curling up, and the two red marks on her eyebrows became more vivid and lively, “Because I am your sword.”
The Ji Hua Sword had already been re-pledged with a drop of blood and recognized him as its master again. He had passed the test she had set, so she was not wrong in saying that.
Before he could respond, her figure became transparent.
The girl seemed very tired and yawned with her increasingly transparent right palm. ‘To save you, I’ve used up a lot of my strength. Shuo Feng, I’m going to sleep. If there’s anything, call me.’
Shuo Feng raised an eyebrow at the mention of his name, showing a bit of youthful charm.
‘Don’t vent your anger on the sword again, repairing it is quite troublesome,’ Zhou Yue urged as she fought off her drowsiness.
Shuo Feng sat up, looked up at Zhouyue’s dust-free face in the pit, and curiously asked, ‘Can a sword feel pain too?'”
His face was very close to hers, and his handsome and delicate features were more clearly illuminated by the moonlight, revealing a light mist that seemed to be rising from the water, reflecting the white reeds and the bright moon.
Feeling tired, Zhou Yue lowered her head, and their noses almost touched.
She shook her head.
Shuo Feng felt the tip of the girl’s nose rubbing against the fuzz on his face, tickling him. Her long eyelashes were so close to him that he could even see his own clear reflection in her eyes.
The young man’s earlobes turned slightly red.
But her face was still as pale as snow. “Shuo Feng, I am an inanimate object. I cannot feel pain.”
“However, this is the Ji Hua Sword that I personally forged. Now, it belongs to you.”
Her last words drifted away in the gentle breeze and the reeds, and her figure disappeared completely as if she had never existed in this world.
Shuo Feng patted the dirt off his clothes, jumped out of the pit with a burst of strength, and headed towards the dense forest in the mountains without looking back, while it was still dark.
The Ji Hua Sword was repaired to its original state, lying alone in the pit.
In this chaotic world, who would want to invite trouble by getting involved with a divine sword?
On the rocky cliff, the branch of a pine tree swayed slightly as a young man’s figure leapt up and disappeared, shaking off the night rain. The sunlight quietly descended, and the green grass by the river was coated with tiny golden flecks, each dewdrop glistening.
The dewdrops condensed on the tender grass of spring, and the sound of footsteps drew closer. Grass tips and water droplets were trampled back into the mud by the boots.
The young man wore a black robe embroidered with exquisite dark patterns on the soles of his black shoes, with gold and jade decorations at his waist. In the sparse light of day, his expression was indecipherable, flickering between anger and happiness.
Shuo Feng rolled his eyes, grabbed the Ji Hua Sword, and tore off a large piece of silk from his black robe with a “rip”, wrapping the sword hilt tightly and securely, then slung it onto his lean back.
“Tsk, if it weren’t for this sword, I wouldn’t have gotten into such big trouble.”
With the sword on his back, the young man disappeared into the dense forest without looking back.
His body movements were very light and agile, flowing like clouds and water, passing through the pine and cypress branches. Amidst the swirling layers of green, the bent branches occasionally revealed a flicker of silver light behind the young man’s back.
The Canglan River nurtured the local people, and many cities of Southern Liang were built along the river. Therefore, upstream of the Canglan River was Cangzhou City, and downstream was Lanzhou City.
At this moment, in the bustling Lanzhou City, the morning market had just opened. Vendors and peddlers are coming and going, calling out their goods. In the steamy mist, peaceful faces could be seen.
Occasionally, there are new faces coming into the city, but most of them are sitting on ox carts or donkey carts. Nowadays, with natural disasters and man-made calamities, it’s not easy for farmers to make a living. Most of them have lost their farmland and come to the city to work.
When the common people looked over, they seemed to look at them with boredom or sympathy, muttering “this world”, and then quickly walked away.
But today, the people were all stunned to see a bright and sunny young man on a flatbed cart. The young man was wearing an embroidered silk robe and holding fresh dog tail grass. His features were lively and his smile was bright, making even the radiant sunlight pale in comparison.
Indeed, he is a young man who knows nothing of the bitterness of life.” “He’s really a handsome young man.” Everyone laughed and walked away.
Walking through the winding streets and alleys, Shuo Feng stopped at the back door of Shunlai Escort Agency and rhythmically knocked on the door handle, once, twice.
Under the gray tiles, hurried footsteps rushed over.
Opening the door was a scar-faced youth. He knelt down on one knee and clasped his fist, “Ninth Guardian, I’m late.”
The kneeling figure trembled slightly in the fragmented sunlight under the eaves.
“Seventeen, how long have you been with me?” Shuo Feng didn’t enter the door, leaning lazily against the wooden door and asking, his fingers lightly rubbing the hidden clasp of his soft sword on his right hand.
Seventeen’s heart trembled, and he replied in a low voice, “Three years.”
Shuo Feng let out a casual “oh”, neither surprised nor impressed. “I came this time to tell you that I am no longer a member of the Rakshasa Gate. The three-year agreement with the sect leader has ended, and from now on, you and others don’t have to follow me anymore.”
With that, he turned around and walked away without any hesitation.
Seventeen’s legs knelt heavily, arching his hand and saying, “Ninth Guardian, it was you who saved my life. If we can meet again in the future, I would be willing to go through fire and water for you without hesitation.”
Shuo Feng walked away with his sword on his back, without turning his head.
The young man walked slowly to the end of the alley, with the sunlight pulling his thin and straight figure with a long sword on his back, step by step, exuding a relaxed and youthful vigor.
Seventeen couldn’t bear it any longer, gritted his teeth and said, “Ninth Guardian, the sect leader has issued a wanted notice in the martial world.” His voice was trembling as he continued, “He said that fifteen days ago, you stole the Divine Sword in Cangzhou. Now, the whole martial world knows about it, and many people are coming to take the sword.”
Clasping his fists tightly and then opening them again by his side, Seventeen trembled as he looked up at the young man’s back, with the sword hilt slightly protruding from the plain cloth bag on his back. But the young man turned his head, with a glittering smile on his lips and a radiant look in his eyes. “Yes, I stole it, but this is my sword. If others want to take it, meet me outside of Lanzhou City tonight.”
He didn’t care at all about becoming the world’s most wanted criminal, and even intentionally spread rumors in Lanzhou City.
Everything was within his calculated scheme, and Seventeen’s courage wavered.
After leaving the East Market, Shuo Feng wandered into the largest Qingyun Inn in the West Market and ordered a premium banquet, and asked the waiter to prepare two sets of chopsticks.
After waiting for a long time, the young man was still alone, which surprised the restaurant owner and the waiters. But customers are customers, and business is business, especially since the young man paid a whole ingot of silver.
In the elegant private room of the Qingyun Restaurant, a landscape painting was hanging on the wall, and the new table was filled with exquisite dishes.
Shuo Feng picked up a piece of braised pork for himself, then thought for a moment and picked up another piece to put it on the untouched rice on the opposite side.
The rice on the opposite side was already piled high with salted crispy chicken, braised pork, and golden spring rolls.
He felt a little unhappy and muttered, “You’ve been awake for a while, but you still won’t come out and eat with me.”
The Ji Hua sword behind him remained silent, with no response at all.
Shuo Feng kicked a wine jar with his right foot, broke the clay seal, sniffed lightly, and then took out a gourd from his waist. Amber-colored wine poured out from the mouth of the gourd, and Shuo Feng licked it with his tongue, enjoying the spicy flavor. His lips were also red, his eyes shining, and when he looked out the window at the lively street scene, he looked like a carefree young master who had just emerged from a pile of luxury and splendor.
He said happily, “With food and drink in my belly, tonight is a good night for killing.”
He said that as if it was a playful remark about going horseback riding and sightseeing.
The Ji Hua sword hummed as if warning him.
Shuo Feng’s face fell. “Aren’t I doing this for you?”
Ji Hua Sword remained still.
Actually, it was not completely still.
Zhou Yue had indeed woken up a long time ago, but she had been repeatedly trying to sense her golden body trapped in the Xuanming realm, but there had been no response.
She couldn’t help but sigh.
In order to seal the evil spirits, Zhou Yue chose to undergo tribulation in the Xuanming realm. If successful, she could eliminate the evil spirits in one fell swoop and restore peace to the six realms. If unsuccessful, she could turn her body into a prison, completely sealing the Xuanming realm and imprisoning the evil spirits.
Zhou Yue lowered her eyes, and she had failed in her tribulation and died in the Xuanming realm two hundred years ago.
She woke up this time, vaguely sensing that her golden body had reached its limit and was about to shatter. As a result, the evil spirit would break through the seal and return.
And somehow, one strand of her divine soul attached to the Ji Hua Sword. During the battle against the evil spirits, the Ji Hua Sword unexpectedly fell out of the torn space and landed in the mortal world. And she herself became the sword spirit of the Ji Hua Sword.
A hundred years later, she and Ji Hua Sword were both awakened by a young killer named Shuo Feng. The moment the young man touched Ji Hua Sword, Zhou Yue woke up.
She knew he had suffered a lot of grievances. In the moment of their divine soul’s contact, she saw some of the young man’s long-hidden memories that no one knew about.
Zhou Yue chewed on Shuo Feng’s name, lifted her white and tender chin, and saw his jet-black hair and a strand of unruly black hair from inside the sword. She thought to herself that she only wished this young man would enter the Dao faster.
In this way, she taught him to let go of killing, to help him become an immortal, so that he could help her reseal the Xuanming realm, and then truly be free as the wind between heaven and earth.
Shuo Feng (blushing): She said it’s my sword. So I reluctantly accepted it.