Editor: Areth Kyntaul
A Money Debt is Repaid with Money. A Blood Debt is Repaid with Blood.
The snow gradually stopped.
Thick-dark clouds covered the entire sky, but a ray of moonlight finally shone through. Eventually, more light managed to shine through the darkness and the moonlight soon lit up all the land below.
The plaza outside the imperial study was dim, appearing like it was bathed in a layer of misted spring water, making it resemble a fantasy world.
Underneath the moonlight, Jia Yunfeng felt like a blind man once again after many years. He clearly saw Ming Feizhen in front of his eyes, but it was like the image before his eyes was false. His stabs went straight past him. Not one landed on him. Ming Feizhen evaded every single one of Jia Yunfeng’s sword strikes. Jia Yunfeng was baffled. It was like he was fighting with someone who didn’t exist.
The feeling of having everything go his way slowly disappeared in his anger.
He couldn’t feel the success of his attacks anymore. His swordplay became wild. The more he missed, the more wild it became. Gradually, it became a mess that nobody could make sense of; like a drunkard pulling crazy antics.
He was alone swinging Beyond the Heavens Edge by himself.
Jia Yunfeng… had lost sight again.
He couldn’t see his opponent.
He couldn’t see where his opponent was.
He thought he was there. He thought today would be the most important day in his life.
But in an instant, he understood something, causing him to burn with fury and insanity.
“You were doing that deliberately before!” Jia Yunfeng began to roar, “You were deliberately going easy on me!!”
Jia Yunfeng’s sword slashed at his shoulder. Ming Feizhen didn’t evade, but it went through again.
Ming Feizhen blandly explained, “You have mastered the ability to sense qi, and want to sense my location, but you’re in a different place to me.”
Jia Yunfeng was enraged. He futilely slashed like a madman.
Ming Feizhen didn’t even need to lift a finger to evade his numerous slashes.
Ming Feizhen stood within his striking range, yet it was like he was standing way up above where Jia Yunfeng couldn’t reach, looking down at him.
Even his voice sounded like it floated over from a distance.
“That’s why I stated that you got it all wrong; you can’t see. You can’t see how we’re different from our fight back then. Your skills can be considered great, and you would easily make it into the top masters list with another step up in skills. If you put in the effort you, too, will have the chance to see what I saw back then.”
From Ming Feizhen’s perspective, Jia Yunfeng was in slow-motion. It was as he said. They were worlds apart.
It’s a world that only those who have reached the pinnacle of martial arts can see.
Those who have reached the pinnacle can see fast-motion in slow-motion by moulding qi. They live in a different time-dimension than an ordinary person.
Regardless of how brilliant Jia Yunfeng’s techniques may be, they’re just boring slow-motion movements to Ming Feizhen. Hence, he could evade all of Jia Yunfeng’s sword attacks with minimal movement.
Said world is referred to as Refined Heart and Spirit. In Buddhism, it is referred to as the World of Sheer Impossibility. In the martial world, it’s most commonly known as enlightenment.
Jia Yunfeng had no way of hitting him. Strike as he may, it was all futile.
Jia Yunfeng’s dry lips trembled as if he didn’t realise he had spoken. He could still hear the voice of the boy with white hair in his ears.
“Some people improve their martial arts faster than others. They have better luck than others. Later on, they became the strongest in the world. At the same time, they reached enlightenment. You’re familiar with some of them but also unfamiliar with some others. The Ultimate Three of the imperial court is one example. The venerated Ultimate Thirteen Apostles is another example. The leader of the Demon Sect, who has been missing for a long time, is another example. I am another one.”
Jia Yunfeng lost all his will to fight when he found out the opponent in front of him was a top-level master who had reached the pinnacle.
How is he so strong?
He’s so young… he’s got white hair… a bronze mask…
His white hair and bronze mask made Jia Yunfeng recall a rumour. Years ago, a skilled fighter suddenly appeared in the Demon Sect’s ranks. He had been conferred the seat of a lord that had been vacant for many years and assisted Ximen Chuideng in ruling the two Divine Moon Cults. He… always wore a frightening mask and had white hair!
“You are the Demon Sect’s Lord San Shen!”
That was meant to be said in a normal voice, but it sounded contained within a small area.
Jia Yunfeng lost all of his fighting spirit in that moment. He finally realised who he had picked a fight with!
Ming Feizhen walked up to him like a ghost.
“But now, we should discuss the business between us, right?”
Jia Yunfeng felt frozen in place, unable to budge.
“You had a chance to attain the peak of martial arts in this world. You could reach the aforementioned world with Mount Hua’s arts, but you just abandoned your sects Heavenly Dragon Sword to use the League of Assassins’ Demon Shadow Light Splitter. I think you should now know the reason why you couldn’t attain the next level, right?”
Ming Feizhen looked at Jia Yunfeng indifferently while the voice from under his mask sounded freezing cold.
“I told you, if you have time hereafter, your swordplay will continue to improve by leaps and bounds to a level few have achieved.”
He then brought a finger up to him slowly.
It was almost like entering a nightmare. Jia Yunfeng could sense Ming Feizhen’s finger approach him to attack but he couldn’t evade it. He knew that it was coming closer, but his legs couldn’t take him away; the same way he was defeated thirteen years ago.
Jia Yunfeng muttered like he was sleep-talking, “G-G-Give me time. Give me time. I’ll become stronger. I’ll become stronger!”
“Yes, you will become stronger if I give you time.” Ming Feizhen then indifferently added, “But you don’t deserve to have that time.”
“Why?! Why?! You and I have no grudge. I, I…”
“I told you. You’re the same as you were thirteen years ago. You’re just a kid who hasn’t grown up. Mount Hua Sect has been around for centuries. Countless seniors and heroes sacrificed their lives to protect Mount Hua’s reputation, but you went and tainted it with your own hands. You think being a Patriarch is a joke? If you don’t realise that, you shouldn’t hold the seat.”
Jia Yunfeng slowly began to lose his ability to speak, as though strangled.
“Why won’t I spare you? You should go and ask your shifu that.”
Ming Feizhen swept his gaze around. The imperial guards whose blood had been shed were still covered in red.
Ming Feizhen transformed into a blade. He raised his hand up, collecting a pile of powerful qi and condensed it.
The condensed qi was hot like a fire. It was so intimidating that no description could do it justice.
“Go back and ask your shifu what sort of place the pugilistic world is. Or ask your mother if money-debts need to be repaid.”
He threw a heavy slash that was like thunder with his knife-hand, sending qi into a hundred of Jia Yunfeng’s meridians. It was like tens of thousands of small blades cutting into Jia Yunfeng’s meridians, destroying them all. Jia Yunfeng’s entire body shuddered, and he spat out a mouthful of blood. When he fell to the ground, limp, his eyes had already rolled back into the back of his head with blood seeping out of his seven orifices.
Ming Feizhen then leisurely asked, “Do blood-debts need to be repaid?”