Cold Mountain Temple was an example of a small sect that had a decent education system and the occasional one or two exceptionally talented disciples, allowing them to slowly expand. The other type of scenario commonly seen was where someone started their sect and then tried to be as flamboyant as possible, playing Shaolin Junior.
Regardless of how strict or organised an orthodox might’ve been, their founders often had a lot of mistakes to make up for on their way to the top. For instance, nobody would believe Shaolin’s abbot never got into physical altercations under the banner of upholding chivalry; it was a guise for him to answer his boiling blood’s call.
Regardless, sects in their early stages were always associated with the terms “casual” and “free.” The only exception was Luo Sword Manor. Their founder was such an ordinary man that people didn’t even recognise him on the streets. The funny thing was that he couldn’t fight to save his life, yet he implemented stipulations markedly more strict and detailed than many sects. His most memorable quote was, “People can change but rules cannot.” Why was their founder so different to others in the martial world? Because he wasn’t one of them.
Luo Sword Manor was a small family of blacksmiths by Taihu Lake. Nobody could recall when they started or the name of their first patriarch. Either way, they made a name for themselves based off their awfully demanding regulations and peerless smithing.
One fateful night, an apprentice carrying the Luo surname decided he was fed up, consequently running off with their secret smithing knowledge, changing the course they were on. Twenty years later, there was a second Luo Sword Manor in Jiangnan that produced high-quality weapons at a speed that none other could match, becoming one of the blacksmiths with the most orders from pugilists in the pugilistic world. They ceaselessly expanded; even hopefuls travelled dozens of kilometres to ask if they could learn.
The disciple who ran off with Luo Sword Manor’s smithing secrets changed his name from Luo Xiaoer to Luo Beishen, the best sword blacksmith in Jiangnan. Henceforth, nobody heard about the smaller Luo Sword Manor, leaving their story up to imagination. Meanwhile, the second Luo Sword Manor went on to flourish for centuries, becoming another powerhouse in the martial world.
Although Luo Sword Manor was one of the Seven Champion White Princes, they still considered swordplay a mere extension of their expertise – smithing. Swordsmen usually labelled themselves as innovators or followers of tradition. Luo Sword Manor considered themselves mission completers and experts in bringing out potential. In other words, their innovation and research was less focused on swordplay but swords themselves.
The fact that the main family’s sword blacksmiths and the artisans divided themselves to create distinct stances was decidedly the best evidence to show how much it meant to them. Whether or not they would ever return to forging renowned weapons, though, was a mystery only they could deny or confirm.
The above excerpt is taken from Luo Sword Manor’s establishment secrets in The Black and White Reflection.
“Siming would like to warmly welcome both of you on behalf of his father. Siming has been at Canhu Town recently to take care of a maiden. This one would gladly lead the way if you wish,” expressed Luo Sword Manor’s reigning leader and fourth young master, Luo Siming.
“Please don’t say that Brother Luo. I would like to extend my thanks on behalf of my shifu and senior sister,” One of the female disciples of Wutong Jin Yuxuan in green conveyed, standing at the entrance of an elegant small estate.
“The pleasure was mine,” responded Luo Siming, turning a blind eye to the aggressive undertone from the two maidens and climbing into his litter to depart.
“Matriarch Zi Wutong doesn’t like getting physical and didn’t state who was responsible, but their sect’s stance is clear based on the three fragments someone shattered the steelblue Demon Subduing Stick. Oh well, we will have an opportunity to clear the air when we meet again at Refining Divine,” Luo Siming contemplated with his fingers pinching his forehead.
“I met the two disciples, Brother Kuang and Ling, so I should feel settled, yet why can’t I stop thinking about the girl I found by the bank today? Why is my mind racing? Have I been training incorrectly?” Luo Siming performed a breathing exercise and inwardly reassured, “No qi deviation. I’m all right.”
Luo Siming entered an estate they stopped at and chopped the general manager on the head gently: “Where is the maiden?”
“Ao Xue is currently taking care of her in the guest room out the back.”
“Ao Xue may be strong, but her internal strength might not be enough. I need to go check on them personally.”
“Welcome back, Young Master,” greeted Ao Xue, about to get up from the bed to greet Luo Siming.
The black sword grip strapped to the back of the black robe Ao Xue, a maiden in her young twenties, adorned stood out as much as her emotionless beauty.
Luo Siming motioned for Ao Xue to not make a scene: “How are Miss Sleeping’s injuries?”
Ao Xue thought nothing of the nickname Luo Siming gave Shen Yiren due to her coma, merely bowing her head to answer, “Still not improving. Her breathing swings between normal and erratic. Her body temperature is incredibly high one moment and then freezing the next. It resembles qi deviation. Your subject did not dare to rashly transfer true qi to her.”
“Mm… I have asked a renowned doctor to check her, and he should be arriving soon. My conjecture is that she is no ordinary maiden. Move aside for a second.”
“Mm,” Ao Xue responded, not bothering to pry as to what Luo Siming was thinking.
“Ahem, I, uh, she seems to be in critical condition, while I do have some basic medical knowledge. I’ll check how she’s doing for now. This is all in the name of saving her. As for taboos about men and women physically touching…” Luo Siming continued with a red face, “Her wellbeing is more important than customs and traditions.”