Like a Fleeting Dream
The mere sight of the of the emerald wine pot and accompanying cups on the stone table were enough to intoxicate one before a drop of wine could make it into one’s mouth. Xiao Huangquan faked a smile and waved upon catching sight of me entering: “Long-time no see, Brother Ming. How do you do?”
It wasn’t a beautiful reunion scene, not when there was a Divine Realm adept behind me, who was churning energy with a smirk on his face, deeming us fishes on his board.
“Brother Ming, this bamboo leaf green is twenty years’ old. You have to try it today.”
Try a sword! You want to die, but I don’t want to be exposed!
“… Mm.” I slowly made my way into the gazebo.
Strong foes who’d fight until the death were luxuries to me now because there was a risk of exposure even if I fought under another identity, let alone as Ming Feizhen. Moreover, I couldn’t mindlessly attack a White Prince for, if one fell, there would be serious consequences. I was lucky when I went wild on Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary. If I dropped Luo Sword Manor, disastrous aftermaths were inexhaustible. Emperor Yuansheng taking down Luo Ming and me taking Luo Ming down would produce two drastically different ramifications in spite of them now opposing each other. I had to avoid influencing any group or person in the martial world, so how would opposing Luo Sword Manor be conducive to that?
“I must’ve surprised you today. Have a seat. Have a seat.”
I walked in looking as if my aunt came with me to a drinking party…
“I’ll punish myself with three cups for lack of manners.” Xiao Huangquan guzzled three cups of wine then continued, “It’s been pretty lonely without you in the pugilistic world these last few years. To apologise for not searching for you, I’ll drink another three cups.”
I snatched the pot of wine from Xiao Huangquan and guzzled mouthfuls: “Enough. You called me here in the afternoon to put on a performance? Twenty year old Bamboo Leaf Green? What a job.”
“Why you feigning when you heard everything.” Xiao Huangquan exhaled. “She resembles Brother Yan. Liu Shan Men will return to what it once was under her lead, but I don’t have the shame to go back.”
For as long as I’d known Xiao Huangquan, he’d always be optimistic about the future whilst melancholic.
“By the way, why are you at Liu Shan Men? Why would you deign yourself?”
Back then, he, Yan Shisan and I did lots of ridiculous stuff together, so he knew my background well. I just wished he’d realise the Luo Ming creeping in my background!
“Life at Mount Daluo may be nice, but a man must have a career. You and Yan Shisan served the imperial court, didn’t you?”
“I never imagined there’d be a day you’d say something like that. I thought you’d just wander the pugilistic world forever without any ambition.”
I tapped the table: “Get to down to business. Why are we talking about me? What did you want to see me for?”
Xiao Huangquan bobbed his and then copied me, slamming the table: “What else but that piece of crap, Luo Ming?!”
I jumped to my feet: “Brother Xiao, I don’t think you mean this!”
“I think you’ve have a bit too much to drink. I’m sure you don’t mean this!”
He’s drawn his sword! Your insult just compelled him to draw his sword!
Huang Xiaoquan nodded in confusion: “Y-yeah, that… Refining Divine Convention is suspicious. I cannot turn a blind to this. You know I don’t affiliate with any group. Since you know a lot of people, do you have people you can recommend to me for tomorrow’s competition?”
“Oh, so this is what you wanted to see me for.”
Can you do something about the man behind me? I don’t see him showing any signs of sheathing his sword. Why should I get chopped up when you name called him?!
“Leave it to me. I promise to find two people you’ll be happy with.”
I just wanted to move along so that I didn’t need to be butchered. Alas, by the time I spun around, the beautiful sunset had become a figurative volcano blowing hot winds in my face. I wouldn’t believe for a second that it was normal when we were in winter, especially not after tackling Four Seasons Sword Formation earlier in the day.
I didn’t need to ask who was responsible for causing the temperature change in the fraction of a second as the caster stated, “It’s understandable for you not to recognise this style as your shifu doesn’t know much about this swordplay, either. Maybe your erudite grandmaster might know more, not that it will help you. This is Repository Sword Theory’s Fleeting Theory – employing one’s intent to deduce every fleeting existence and ensnaring the senses of the target.”
Xiao Huangquan had seemingly disappeared, though I didn’t know what the swordplay did to him. What I did know was that his existence had been erased from my senses.
“I am using Repository Sword Realm to speak. Only Divine Realm adepts can hear me. Whether or not you can hear me, I’ve said what I have to. Ming Feizhen, bow out and take your last breath.”