Golden Sabre’s Belt Snaps. Dark Robe’s Xiongqiao
The Dark Robe Brotherhood is one of the Seven Champion White Princes and a family that’s held a high official position for generations. Many changes have taken place over a thousand years, but famous and large clans remain unchanged. Not only do they enjoy boundless prestige and honour, but also practical authority, for the reason that these clans know how to ensure their clan remains stable. For a clan to continue to prosper for hundreds and thousands of years, talent must never be lacking.
Wang and Xie clans collect resources in order to nurture talent. In an era where literary talent prospered, there were many of their clan members in the Imperial Court. Now, in an era where martial arts are prospering, their prestige and fame remains just as prominent.
“It’s unbelievable that somebody, like him, exists,” was originally used as a phrase used to describe a useless husband. However, it’s now used to describe the best talent of Black Robe Sect. Xie Clan, which is part of Black Robe Clan, is very good with ingratiating themselves with people, and thus, very close to the royal family. Wang Clan, which is inseparable from Xie Clan, on the other hand, dedicated all of their resources to the Imperial Court. They predicted that military officials would be able to dominate civil servants’ futures. Therefore, they took the first step by having descendants of Wang Clan practice martial arts for the sake of obtaining military official posts. Nowadays, Wang Clan holds an important and prominent role among military officials. Virtually one in ten military officials above Fifth Rank, carry the surname, Wang. There really is nobody who can match their vast wealth of talent.
Gold and Silver Sect collected the supreme arts in the world. Owing to that, Jin Wangsun is very knowledgeable with regards to martial arts; hence, he was able to recognise the origins of the palm strike of the large man in the grey robe with just a glance. Initially, he suspected that it was the patriarch of Wang Clan, the leader of Dark Robe Brotherhood, Wang Du. However, he then shook his head.
‘He may look old, but he should be around just forty. That does not fit the description of the leader of Dark Robe Clan, whose name alone can strike fear into the hearts of people.’
Nevertheless, after seeing his opponent’s usage of Forbidden Lightning Wind and his unimaginably profound internal strength, he didn’t dare to belittle his opponent.
Even if he wasn’t the patriarch of Wang Clan, he must be an important figure of the clan, given the fact that he has such a solid grasp of Forbidden Lightning Wind. It’s always better to lose an enemy than to make one. Gold and Silver Sect wants to expand, so there’s nothing to lose by forming a friendship with Dark Robe Brotherhood, a fellow Champion White Prince.
The truth is, Jin Wangsun wanted to apologise after hearing that Ancestral Master Xie was hurt, but he was grounded, and therefore, had no means of doing so. Now that Wang Clan has come knocking with a vengeance, it’s no time for him to be fighting back, but for him to be using tricks to recruit them .
“I have longed heard of ‘The Magnificent Genius of the World, Wang of the Dark Robes.’ Wang Clan certainly is home to talent.” Jin Wangsun suavely smiled, showing off his extraordinary aura, “Please excuse my rudeness, but may I ask how you are related to the Patriarch Wang Du?”
“You certainly are fast at catching opportunities. I am the Guardian Elder of Dark Robe Brotherhood, Wang Xiongqiao, brother of Wang Du.” The man in grey was slightly surprised. He grinned, “You could tell solely from my Forbidden Lightning Wind? The technique comes from both Wang and Xie Clans, though, so how did you know my surname was not Xie?”
Jin Wangsun formed a hold fist salute, “I am the master of Gold and Silver Sect, so I must expand my knowledge of martial arts. My clan combines fists, palms, swordplay, sabres and footwork. We are required to learn everything, so it is only natural that I know palm arts.”
Wang Xiongqiao gave a snort of contempt, “Oh, really? Fists, palms, swordplay, sabres, footwork, three fists and five palms, supreme swordplay and dual sabres, all of the supreme arts in the martial world haven been snatched by your family and you even have a movement art. You think you are Dugu Qiubai?”
Jin Wangsun revealed the smile of a steady individual, which was unlike his usual arrogant self.
He knew his visitor. Wang Xiongqiao is the Patriarch Wang Du’s second younger brother. He was born with a fondness for martial arts, in particular, palm arts, so he started by investing himself in them.
“One cannot believe everything in legends. My martial art skills were indeed the culmination of researching various styles in the land. As I am young, I have not yet reached a respectable level of proficiency, but I do possess a discerning eye. Xie Clan uses Forbidden Wind Lightning with an emphasis on ‘explosiveness,’ utilising internal energy to create lightning power through many years of explosive training, thereby allowing them to easily smash rocks, which is truly overwhelming.
However, Wang Clan’s version of it is best. Wang Clan emphasises swift strikes and yet the strikes are as powerful as lightning. Both clans’ versions each have superior and inferior aspects. In my humble opinion, however, while Xie Clan’s power is truly frightening, it is too forceful, and therefore misses the meaning of ‘forbidden.’ As for their internal energy training, they have missed the essence of the word ‘wind.’ Further, their version of it deviates from the original intention of palm techniques, so it is inevitable for their version to be inferior.”
“It sounds logical; so, your Gold and Silver Sect has collected all the palm manuals in the world?”
Jin Wangsun slightly smiled, “It is difficult to collect all palm manuals in the world. For example, there is your esteemed sect’s Forbidden Wind Lightning, Sky Palace’s Flowers in a Mirror and the Moon’s Reflection in Water, the Beggars’ Sect’s Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms are manuals we have not collected.”
Wang Xiongqiao was caught with surprise, “You mean… you have collected Mount Daluo’s Empty Palms and Song Family in Yangzhou’s Nine Heavens Splitting Palms?”
With his sabre in his hand, Jin Wangsun smiled and went to take a step to respond.
However, he suddenly heard movement by his ear. He heard a very delicate sound of the air being shattered. It was such a delicate sound that it was comparable to a mosquito’s presence, making it almost unnoticeable, in spite of it happening right next to him. Once he heard it, though, he suddenly felt his lower back loosen up. His golden belt where his white piece of jade was fastened snapped. His belt, therefore, couldn’t support the weight of the white piece of jade, leading it to drop off. Jin Wangsun sharpened his skills with a sabre daily, so for convenience sake, he wore clothes that were easy to move around even when he was reading before. Since his belt came off, his pants would drop down.
Jin Wangsun was shocked. His visitor was an elder from the Dark Robe Brotherhood. What would he make of his pants falling down in front of him?! He didn’t have enough time to wonder who screwed with him, so he, instead, quickly reacted by catching his belt before it totally snapped. He grabbed it and gave it a big tug to fasten it again. However, he couldn’t just let go, since he was holding two parts with one hand. Consequently, his situation became incredibly awkward, but he couldn’t let Wang Xiongqiao see that, and hence, forced a smile.
Wang Xiongqiao waited for him to explain the palm arts, but Jin Wangsun abruptly went silent, and merely smiled. Just as he was trying to figure out what he was doing, he suddenly realised something. His realisation angered and shocked him.
‘This bastard is trying to show off his skills. He knows my clans Forbidden Lightning Wind is among the Three Fists and Five Palms, so he bragged about how he had collected other palm manuals.’
Wang Xiongqiao fumed, “Now I get it! Your clan is knowledgeable and wealthy, so you had the audacity to hit my father, as well.”
‘I didn’t hit him!’
‘I’m bewildered about it, myself!!’
Jin Wangsun exclaimed to himself. However, as a master of a clan, he couldn’t lose his demeanour… Not to mention, he was faced with the crisis of his pants falling, but he maintained his smile and silence.
Wang Xiongqiao came here for a fight and he had a short fuse, so seeing Jin Wangsun’s smirk riled him up more and more.
“Enough with the nonsense! I didn’t come here to engage in idle chatter with you. You were the one who sent men to beat my father. Your Gold and Silver Sect started it, so don’t blame us for getting back at you!” Wang Xiongqiao pressed his palms tightly together. The atmosphere within three inches of his body immediately became dry due to his special internal energy, “My Dark Robe Brotherhood doesn’t require somebody to stick up for us! We’re settling the score between us today!”
*It’s unbelievable that somebody like him exists – Is as the text describes, a saying used to describe a husband one is unhappy with. It refers to Wang Ningzhi, husband to famous poet of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Xie Daoqi. She was very talented, but he was a failure. She used the phrase to describe him.
**Hold Fist Salute VS Cupped Fist Salute – A hold fist salute is often widely used between martial arts practitioners, while the cupped fist salute is used by everyone else or when not communicating with a fellow martial artist. A hold fist salute is performed with a right fist and open left palm, while the cupped fist salute is performed with a fist and the other hand cupped (note that it can be performed with either hand over the other – which is gender dependent). Use the wrong one in the wrong context, and you could literally up end suggesting “thanks for kicking my ass.”
*** Dugu Qiubai is a fictional character who is mentioned by name in three wuxia novels by Jin Yong. He attains the philosophical level of “swordsmanship without a sword”, which means that he uses swordplay techniques in combat without the physical existence of a sword. His full name roughly translates to “Loner Who Seeks Defeat,” since he was invincible at swordplay, but was haunted by solitude, for there was none who could equal him or defeat him.