Metal Yu Feiyuan
To make room for her thick, clunky silver armguards, Yu Feiyuan had no choice but to split her forearm guards off from her upper arm guards, revealing her deceptively thin arms and abating the allure of a woman completely clothed. In spite of the weight of her metal armour, she moved as though it was mere cloth clothing.
Yu Feiyuan, the tallest of her sisters in Wutong Jin Yuxuan, had her neck, collarbone and flat belly generously on display, yet more attention was devoted to her assets that exceeded what was typically seen on women who pursued rigid power styles.
Years ago, “The Demoness” and Yu Feiyuan were considered competitors for the top rank in the northern regions of the martial world. Ever since The Demoness’ news started to fade, Yu Feiyuan rose to stand atop all other female pugilists.
Yu Feiyan meandered forward, displaying the long legs that had become a token of her identity and trait often compared to Li Hongzhuang’s famously long legs. Like her upper body, she wore silver-metal boots coined “Feiyuan White Boots” after the sound of her footsteps onto battlefields in the pugilistic world garnered fame as the announcement that the conqueror had arrived. Listening to the footsteps of someone who might consider them untouchable, everyone present muffled their voices and paused.
Piercing straight through with her eyes, wearing her signature aloof countenance and, in a typically emotionless tone, she expressed, “Yu Feiyuan pays her respects.”
While Luo Yan’s booming voice and actions summoned silence to the dining area, Yu Feiyuan’s stoic tone produced the same effect seemingly effortlessly. Unlike when she called for a ceasefire upon arrival, her introduction didn’t echo, creating the impression that she pierced through the silence and delivered her thoughts straight into their ears. Evidently, she had modified her voice using some sort of technique.
First to regain awareness of his surroundings, Luo Yan placated Flame Emperor and held it marginally away from his body, grip solid, so that he could intercept any attack if need be: “Greetings Interim Patriarch Yu. Repository Island has been reserved for Luo Clan’s New Year’s Eve banquet tonight. If guests are not taken care of in Canhu Town, they are to spend the night on another island for guests.” Luo Yan glanced Luo Siming’s way and added, “Might this old one have the honour of asking for what purpose you are on Repository Island?”
Due to gender taboos, Luo Siming never set foot in the small lodge Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s disciples stayed. Hence, he knew as much as Luo Yan did as to why Yu Feiyuan dropped in. Nonetheless, he exercised formality, inquiring, “It has been a long time. Have you been well, Stand-in Patriarch Yu?”
“Who is in charge here? This great one does not converse with two people at once,” conveyed Yu Feiyuan, slipping in a condemning tone.
Usually, Luo Siming wouldn’t have responded to someone coming to his place and making demands of how to do things. Because Luo Yan got on his nerves, however, he performed a palm-and-fist salute: “Luo Clan’s patriarch has always been in charge of Repository Island. You can speak to this one.”
“Patriarch, not stand-in patriarch. You have no prerogative to represent the clan. I refuse to acknowledge you,” scoffed Luo Siding.
“If I can’t subdue you within a hundred exchanges, you can do as you please with me. You accept?” Luo Siming snapped.
Informed that they were closely matched, Luo Siding lifted a foot up to place in front, only for Luo Yan to stop him. Having crossed swords with Luo Siming, Luo Yan could confidently say that neither Luo Siming nor himself could defeat the other within a hundred exchanges. It would take two hundred exchanges for one to overwhelm the other and over three hundred exchanges to force the other into submission using superior internal strength. In other words, Luo Siding was incorrectly informed.
The two strongest combatants present were Luo Yan, who had a hunch as to what the purpose of Yu feiyuan’s was, and Yu Feiyuan.
“Oh, so the hundred exchanges were only offered because he has backup. Has an outsider ever come here on New Year’s Eve? Luo Siming really thinks he’s the rule now,” slighted one of the smithing department’s disciples, the others simpering along.
The sight of injured disciples of the swordplay department, who were caught off guard, spurred Luo Siming to fire back, “When have members of Luo Clan attacked each other, let alone on New Year’s eve? Would you care to enlighten me, Second Uncle?”
“Listen: bringing in a helper won’t save you. Hand over Siming Sword, or this isn’t over.”
“Luo Yan, you betraying Luo Clan?!” Luo Siming brayed, no longer putting up with the blatant challenge issued.
Luo Yan cockily shook his head and then asked, “Interim Patriarch Yu, you always go where there is evil to be purged. Are you looking to vanquish this old one to make your New Year’s Eve more delightful?”
Luo Yan deliberately chose particular vocabulary as Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s motto was to vanquish evil – evident from the borrowed Buddhism term “Vajra” in Vajra Snow. Their prominence as vanquishers of evil arose from the battle where Zi Wutong stormed into Heishui, Beijiang, in a fit of rage, slaughtering evildoers. By the same account, their disciples were renowned for loving to fight and demonstrating expertise in combat. Legend has it that they trigger fights wherever they go.
There was a custom among escort companies in Hangzhou, whereby they pray at Ancient Moon Convent, located five kilometres away from Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s headquarters. Praying to Buddha was a popular custom; what made it special was that they also researched Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s disciples’ whereabouts so that they could swerve around the disciples. The veterans called the practice the life-saving ritual.
Yu Feiyuan gave Luo Yan a palm-and-fist salute: “You speak in jest. You are a hero and an elder, not evil. This one never fights with those from orthodox sect, and tonight will not be an exception.”
Though Yu Feiyuan was there to assist Luo Siming, he had no means of calling for reinforcements after the group present was caught by surprise and hurt.
“Interim Patriarch Yu, if you want to stick your nose in our clan affairs, you need to show us why you should listen to you!” Luo Yan blustered, more than willing to pit his skills against Yu Feiyuan’s since they shared a similar style.
Luo Yan combusted a trail of air that led to Yu Feiyuan and concentrated energy in his hand. Thus, Yu Feiyuan instinctively reacted, flicking her wrist.
“Why are there no signs of ‘Imminent Wind and Rain’?”
“What’s that?” Ao Xue queried.
Imminent Wind and Rain was a phenomenon noticed when one used Vajra Divine Might. More specifically, a suction force would be produced, commonly inducing an oppressive sensation in the opponent. Educated fighters looked out for the phenomenon when up against Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s disciples as it was the cue for them to evade.
Luo Yan didn’t see the phenomenon for the reason that Yu Feiyuan didn’t muster up extra energy. Instead of turning to cinders as most expected, Yu Feiyuan stopped Luo Yan dead in his tracks. From far away, it would seem as though they were trying to crush an invisible wall between their hands. In reality, it was compressed air Yu Feiyuan generated with her flick.
Her internal energy is ridiculous! Wait, no! This is Vajra Divine Might!
“If we continue fighting, damage is inexorable. Please be careful, Hero Luo.”
Yu Feiyuan exhaled, drawing her energy back a tad and then dispersing Luo Yan’s force away from their bodies. Moments after the force between them dispersed, Luo Yan felt another surge of energy that swept him off balance, forcing him to back tuck backwards as a means of avoiding damage. To his surprise, the energy wasn’t a burst but a flowing stream, forcing him to tuck higher and higher, matching the roof’s height.
If she sends me out with this one strike, I might as well walk around with my face covered up, let alone demand Siming Sword!
Luo Yan countered with his own surge of energy, squeezing himself in between two opposing forces, thereby remaining airborne prior to his slow descent, a feat that had Luo Clan applauding.
As far as Luo Yan was aware, Vajra Divine Might basically killed upon execution. Never did he imagine it could be controlled as technically as Yu Feiyaun demonstrated.
The secret to grasping the essence of Vajra Divine Might was the “snow” phrase in Vajra Snow Divine Style because “Snow Technique” was the component for controlling Vajra Divine Might. The complexity of it took Zi Wutong nearly forty years to control at will. Once one reached Free Realm, every strike one threw would be enhanced with Vajra Divine Might in addition to having the freedom to control their speed of execution. Due to the difficulty of mastering Vajra Divine Might and Zi Wutong’s strict criterion, she only let Yu Feiyuan learn it.
Luo Yan knew better than anyone that he lost and would die if Yu Feiyuan intended to end him. In fact, he was already meditating to normalise the flow of qi in him and was still unable to speak.
Yu Feiyuan refers to herself as “This great one” or “ore-sama” for those familiar with Japanese terms. If it’s not obvious, it’s quite some way of referring to yourself.