Life is Unpredictable. I Wish I Could Restart Yesterday. (Part 2)
Six years ago.
A vague white silhouette – Ming Feizhen – and a vague black silhouette – Yu Feiyuan – streaked back and forth at the bottom of Night Net Mountain’s cliff, trading blows that created vacuums each collision and picking up the pace as they went.
The tree behind Yu Feiyuan bent over as she charged a punch and unleashed it, swaying the tree behind her. Ming Feizhen smiled in praise and generated a tornado with a wave of his hand. Yu Feiyuan’s force rippled in the atmosphere similarly to an arrow rocketing through a wall of water – decelerating and mute. Ming Feizhen then effortlessly caught Yu Feiyuan’s fist in his extended hand.
The gaze behind Yu Feiyuan’s black bangs showed she had no intention of resisting whether that was because she was used to Ming Feizhen holding her hand or she knew she couldn’t break out. Either way, her locked brows indicated she wanted another shot.
“That’s the ninth time in a row you’ve utilised Vajra Divine Might. From what I know, Matriarch Zi could only utilise it only eight times even after mastering Snow Technique’s Free Realm.” Ming Feizhen pressed his palm up against Yu Feiyuan’s and siphoned gentle energy of his own over to her, easing her nerves and demotivating her. Smiling, he stated, “Even though this isn’t an A-grade style, there are few female adepts in Jiangnan who could offer you a challenge. Your biggest weakness is being able to deploy but not withdraw your output. Well, Snow Technique takes time to master. Your shifu wasn’t an expert on it until she was in her forties.”
“Mm,” Yu Feiyuan responded half-heartedly. She never felt she could surpass her shifu, hence the unsurprised reaction. Besides, she trusted Ming Feizhen would take care of her if necessary.
Smiling helplessly, Ming Feizhen inquired, “Have you familiarised yourself with the mental cultivation style I taught you?”
The style Ming Feizhen referred to was the only style he taught Yu Feiyuan. The other things he taught her were merely combat tactics and principles. Yu Feiyuan learnt whatever she was taught and never forgot it once she remembered it. That was how she went on to rack up an undefeated record in Jiangnan at her tender age.
“Yes, I only mastered it last month even though you imparted it to me four years ago. Brother Ming, it was really hard.”
“That’s to be expected. Your internal energy is advancing further and further. Vajra Divine Might needs to be trained in conjunction with Snow Technique once you reach a certain point in order to progress as balance is paramount. You put your nose to the grindstone, surpassing how effective Snow Technique is at balancing out Vajra Divine Might, which is where my mental cultivation style comes in to take over for you. I should’ve spent months to explain it to you, but I’m out of time.” Yu Feiyuan didn’t hear the emotion seeping into Ming Feizhen’s voice. He continued, “A storm is converging on Jiangnan. Although Matriarch Zi is elite, I do want you to have the ability to defend yourself.”
Ming Feizhen handed Yu Feiyuan a sheet of paper, explaining, “This is the continuation of the style. You must be more cautious than cautious without me coaching you by your side. Make sure to learn it off by heart and learn. Vajra Divine Might will only bring you harm at this stage in your development, so don’t train it any further, understood?”
“I won’t.” Smiling from ear to ear, Yu Feiyuan expressed, “I won’t train it if you tell me not to. Grabbing another sheet of paper Ming Feizhen passed her, Yu Feiyuan questioned, “Is this also a martial arts style?”
“No. It’s a letter to call off our engagement.”
“A letter to… call of our engagement? Brother Ming… What is…”
“A letter to break off an engagement is a letter to break off an engagement. Look at me.”
Yu Feiyuan looked up into Ming Feizhen’s eyes. Though the two had been more intimate before, it was the first time she had seen him so serious. Only then did it dawn on her that he wasn’t just a strong elder brother who got along with her but closer to being a biological elder brother. She suddenly found herself unsure how to react and having an inclination to avert her gaze.
“Do you like me?” Ming Feizhen questioned.
Fondness, disdain, hatred and joy, emotions that needed to be expressed were foreign territory for Yu Feiyuan.
“You don’t know, right? Our shifus’ joke is what established our engagement. It’s unfair on you because you didn’t have any say in the matter.”
Yu Feiyuan couldn’t find the words to speak despite sensing something that didn’t align with her thoughts: “But I, but I, b-”
“Do you know what Divine Moon Cult has been up to recently?” Ming Feizhen pointed to the west and expanded, “The Western Regions’ seven armies will arrive at the border at any moment, while Divine Moon Cult is also waiting to take action. Nobody believes that there’s anyone conceited enough to challenge the imperial court and orthodox sects’ authority. I, however, know that Ximen Chuideng is crazy enough to. I’m sure that the day he decides to challenge Nine Provinces’ empire is close at hand.”
Ming Feizhen couldn’t bear to keep going when Yu Feiyuan’s anxiety painted her face. Alas, he had to continue, “You shouldn’t marry someone you don’t like just because your shifu cracked a joke. Pass the letter to your shifu. She can choose whatever reason she deems appropriate. You’re at the right age to start searching for a husband.”
On one hand was a sheet that expressed care. On Yu Feiyuan’s other hand was a sheet of paper as sharp as a sword going through her heart. She questioned, “I don’t understand… What about you? What happens next?”
In a gloomy tone polarising his suave strut, Ming Feizhen tugged the corner of his lips up subtly: “I… might not make it back alive.”