Luo Sword Ling Feng. Falling Proud Feathers. (Part 2)
In the past, if someone thought Prodigy Flying Yan, Yan San – a man so adept with a broadsword that he would still be ranked in the top five amongst Jiangnan’s past and present broadsword wielders – was somebody’s servant, they’d be disparaged for their ignorance. Yet, there he was, facing off against Young Master Ling, who didn’t recognise the man Liu Shan Men once apprehended for attempting to rob Luo Sword Manor’s shipment for a weapon back then. Semantically, Young Master Ling wasn’t wrong to treat Yan San as a servant because the latter loyally served as Luo Yan’s right-hand man ever since Luo Yan rigged some strings to save him from being executed.
Jabbing his finger on Yan San’s head, Young Master Ling insulted, “I held a banquet for everyone on Flying Fish Island, praising Luo Clan with every word in existence. I know Repository Sword Hall houses all of your patriarchs’ divine swords besides Flame Emperor and Siming Sword. I know you also store my clan’s gift, Wind Penetrating Pine, in there.
“Your plum blossom garden is a sight to behold every winter, not to mention their intoxicating scent in their prime. I brought my friends here because they don’t believe me. How do you expect me to show my face in public if you kick me off the island after all my boasting? Huh? Say something!”
The man Luo Yan asked to monitor Repository Island on his behalf – because Luo Siding was too Luo Siding – calmly responded, “Second Master and Young Master honestly are not on the island. Please return to Flying Fish Island to await the commencement of Refining Divine Convention.”
“Where did you just tell me to go? You have people watching over our every movement on your island. What are we, your prisoners? I came here on your clan’s invitation as a guest, not a prisoner! You think you can imprison all of the heroes who commuted long distances here?”
Visibly, Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary’s image had yet to improve since the time they were resoundingly defeated five years ago, and Young Master Ling had yet to be convinced to change his ways.
Young Master Ling is friends with Luo Siming, and the timing of his visit makes me uneasy. Young Master Ling must know who I am given how close he is to Luo Siming in addition to his background, yet he is patronising to the point that I feel he is provoking me into attacking him. As I am now representing Luo Sword Manor, I can’t afford to make an enemy out of Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary.
Yan San politely addressed, “This one does not mean to disrespect you, Young Master Ling. Sadly, unless our patriarch gives the order, we cannot allow you into our blossom garden or Repository Sword Hall for they are both out of bounds areas on Repository Island. Please be understanding.”
As Young Master Ling started losing to his hesitance, Kuang Lu smiled and politely took over, opining, “You emphasise ‘Second Master’ to point that I am under the impression that the island does not belong to your young patriarch. If I did not know better, I would be under the assumption that the smithing department rules the island.”
Taken aback by the verbal attack, Yan San conveyed, “Owing to this one serving Second Master for longer, it is a habit to name Second Master. He does not mean to undermine Young Patriarch’s authority at all.”
“Hahaha, don’t worry about it. It’s not as if I usurped my nephew’s rule,” replied Kuang Lu.
“What do you mean, Sir?”
“I never expected to Prodigy Flying Yan to have blazed a trail for himself as a man who wields words as proficiently as he does a broadsword.”
“You flatter him, Sir.”
“You need not be so humble. I would like to humbly exchange some swordplay pointers with you.” Kuang Lu took out a painting scroll from his backpack and spread it open to draw out the sword embellished with golden patterns along its one-metre-long blade.
“A sword in a scroll?” Having served at Luo Yan’s side for years, Yan San gleaned enough to identify the sword, though he still marvelled at the width that was a mere thirty-three centimetres.
“This sword is name Exotic Flower Valley. I spent six years to invent a swordplay as per my mentor’s instructions, centring its theme around the four seasons. This will be its debut; please do not hesitate to share any input you might have.”
Notwithstanding Yan San’s reluctance, Kuang Lu pressured the former into drawing his broadsword via a persistent and fast triple-thrust combo, stunting Kuang Lu’s advance.
“Many flowers bloom in spring, befitting the exotic word. It is an honour to learn from you.”
Chase as fast as it could, the dust couldn’t keep up with the cadence of Kuang Lu’s thrusts. Calculate as he may, Yan San couldn’t find an opening to launch a counterattack. Inevitably, Kuang Lu found Yan San’s throat, stopping himself short of plunging it through.
“This technique is called ‘The Tree Passing Through the Courtyard Becomes a Leaf’. I have yet to polished it yet. Might you have any advice for me, Hero Yan?”
“Excellent swordplay. This one is no match for you, Sir.” Yan San would’ve rather suffered a scrape than to fall prey to the provocation ploy.
“Staunch even with a sword at your throat. Your self-restraint is admirable.”
“This one is but a servant, not a hero. It is not self-restraint; this one merely has faith you would not take his life in the presence of so many heroes.”
“Yeah? In that case, why did you help your second master depose of your young patriarch?”
“Where did you hear that calumny from? Young Patriarch has only gone out for a few days, leaving this island to us. Second Master would never hurt his nephew. Please do not believe the libel.”
“Second Master would never hurt his nephew. Really now?” A servant behind Young Master Ling stepped forward.
“Yan San, why do you look so pale?” Luo Siming’s voice sounded more frigid than ever. “I’m my second uncle’s nephew, so I wouldn’t hurt you, right?”
“Ling Clan’s wannabe brought his friends here for a tour?”
Luo Siding, though aware of Luo Siming’s friendship with Young Master Ling, wanted to befriend Young Master Ling for he always envied Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary’s unbridled descendants. Luo Siding was far too spoilt to resign himself to the ordered lifestyle Luo Clan imposed forever.
“The only reason Young Master Ling bothers with Luo Siming is because Luo Siming was in the patriarch seat. From now on, I’m the young patriarch of Luo Sword Manor. They must be here to establish a friendship with me. Let them in. Let them feast their eyes on my clan’s legendary Sword Repository Hall,” Luo Siding proudly voiced.
Luo Wuchang appealed, “You cannot do that! This is a forbidden zone on the island! Outsiders are not permitted in here. Y-you have already broken the rule by coming here. You cannot break the rules again!”
“Rules? Luo Siming’s rules or Luo Ming’s rules?”
“Luo Sword Manor’s rules.”
Luo Siding kicked the fiery face in front of him, injuring Luo Wuchang’s back against the swords he crashed into. “From now on, I’m the only rule! I don’t care about whatever Sword Repository Hall.” Luo Siding patted his trusty broadsword by his waist whilst sneering. “I wield broadswords. These flimsy things are rusty bronze to me. What use do they serve? Actually, I reckon they might be worth some cash.”
From the ground, Luo Wuchang demurred, “You cannot sell them!”
“Shut your trap!” Luo Siding silenced Luo Wuchang with another kick then continued, “Ling Clan is wealthy and also likes swords. That Ling Clan punk must be after the swords. I’ll sell all of this useless bronze to him. How much do you reckon Wind Penetrating Pine is worth?”
“More than your life!” three men outside stated in unison.