Plundering the Dao of the Immortal Journey Chapter 106
Pei Zi Yun considered for sometime before laughing, “Showing off my sword techniques without a partner would be uninteresting and meaningless. I’m afraid Grand Princess might not enjoy watching.”
Even before Pei Zi Yun’s words were spoken fully, a maid carrying a sword stepped forward, “This servant used to learn the arts of swordplay. I can dance with him.”
Pei Zi Yun took a step forward and said, “It’s just that even with a partner, without music, it’ll not do.”
The Grand Princess tapped the lip on her teacup and replied, “Top Scorer, do not go overboard with your requests.”
She seemed rather displeased by Pei Zi Yun’s reluctance. The Canton Princess who had been looking down then blushed, “Mother, I can play the guqin. This will settle the issue of music.”
Hearing her daughter’s outburst, the Grand Princess was stumped. Looking at her obstinate daughter, she knew that she was unable to dissuade her. After thinking for sometime, she realized that now was not the time to quarrel with her daughter, not in front of outsiders. She then smiled, “My daughter shall provide the musical accompaniment. Let her play for you.”
The Canton Princess placed her guqin in position, before strumming a few notes to test out the pitch of the instrument. She then asked softly, “I wonder which tune Top Scorer Pei wishes me to play?”
“The Swordsmen’s Melody, I wonder if you know this tune?” Pei Zi Yun asked. Since there were plenty of swordsmen in this world, the composer of this tune became popular due to most swordsmen’s delight in the tune.
“I know of that tune.” The Canton Princess revealed a look of confidence as she started strumming gently. The melody of the musical instrument reverberated throughout the entire room. Pei Zi Yun followed the tune and unsheathed his sword.
The minute Pei Zi Yun drew his sword, the Grand Princess saw a stream of blue and blurry movements. She was taken aback at the swiftness and dexterity of his actions.
The melody of the tune started off gently, where it took an abrupt shift and started becoming vigorous, and described the atmosphere of killing bandits. The scene before them was of horses running, of swords clanging against one another. Pei Zi Yun moved and jabbed his sword in accordance to the tune. His sword gleaming under the light. At one moment he was waving his sword as if dueling with several enemies before leaping towards the east, where he made several swift stabs, finishing his opponents off. It was almost as if the entire world revolved around the strokes of his sword.
At this point, the Grand Princess’s maid joined the fray, following the tune and joining in the sword dance. She leapt to Pei Zi Yun’s side, waving her red handkerchief in the air. Before dodging a jab made by Pei Zi Yun, the both of them swaying to the melody, moving their bodies with urgency. Their steps complemented one another. They were a beautiful pair who managed to captivate the attention of the audience.
The Grand Princess held her tea cup and watched as Pei Zi Yun matched his sword movements with the melody of the music. She gazed into the distance, the reflection of light from the sword caused her to reminiscence back to when she was younger. The abrupt swaying of the peach blossom tree caused her to focus on the scene before her once more as she snapped out of her short daze. She could not get enough of the amazing sight before her.
The melody of the guqin started becoming more and more intense. The battle had reached its climax. Pei Zi Yun moved with increased urgency, as the wind blew and shook the peach tree, causing many petals to fall. With a flash of the sword, these petals were severed and fell to the ground in pieces.
The Canton Princess retracted her fingers after the conclusion of the finale, as the music ceased. Several droplets of sweat had formed on her forehead. A serving maid hurriedly stepped up to her and dabbed her forehead gently with a handkerchief.
With the end of the music, the maid who had danced alongside Pei Zi Yun retracted her sword and stood still. Her forehead was glistening with sweat as well. It was completely silent in the yard for sometime. Only after could a soft sigh be heard.
The Grand Princess was gently shaking her head, ‘With such sword techniques, such talents. If he were to become my daughter’s husband, no good could come out of it. It will only bring a sad ending. For my household, I do not need another genius in my home to wither and decay due to inactivity and boredom. This will only bring hatred and regret to everyone involved.’
‘The person my daughter needs to marry must have some degree of talent, and yet not to this extent. He should be warm and ordinary. Only then will everyone be happy.’
Thinking this way caused the Grand Princess to feel a sense of exhaustion. It was almost as if she had been hiding some suffering, and it had just come up and attacked her once. Her face was pale, and she looked fatigued. She gently blew in her tea, her hands were trembling as she held her tea cup.
“My Emperor brother would not have issued the decree to kill husband Zhen. Although there were many who felt that my husband Zhen posed a threat to him. As for the truth, I will never understand it in my life.”
This happened in just a couple of seconds. Afterwhich the Grand Princess applauded him and smiled, “Your sword techniques are extremely scary. Just mere dancing and you managed to make it look so breathtaking, I wonder how it looks when you’re actually fighting. I wish to see your fighting sword techniques, "
These words clearly carried a certain tone of doubt toward his abilities.
Even before Pei Zi Yun could reply, the Grand Princess beckoned for the sword division of the Imperial Guards to step forward. Before long, an entire row of Imperial Swordsmen carried wooden swords over.
An Imperial Guard then handed a wooden sword to Pei Zi Yun. Seeing the sword being handed to him, Pei Zi Yun sighed. He knew that he could not reject at this point. He thus retrieved the sword.
Although they were only wooden swords, in his dream, the Evergreen Daoist used a wooden sword to slay more than ten enemies.
At this point, the skies were suddenly laden with dark clouds as tiny raindrops descended upon them. The Grand Princess didn't seem to mind. She extended her hand and supported her head with it. She then happily said, “We should start off with a one on one. What does Top Scorer Pei feel about this?”
Pei Zi Yun observed his surroundings and saw the swordsmen all clutching wooden swords. He didn't feel intimidated by them one bit, probably because he couldn't sense their sword capabilities. He thus laughed and said, “Grand Princess, your Highness, a one on one would be rather boring. Why not pit them all against me?”
After Pei Zi Yun said this, the Grand Princess didn't reply. The Canton Princess however gasped in shock. She then hurriedly covered her mouth in fear. The Grand Princess glanced at her daughter and laughed. She then looked at Pei Zi Yun, still laughing, “Pei Zi Yun is so confident about his abilities?”
“Naturally.” Pei Zi Yun replied confidently.
“Good. Since you are so confident, I shall permit it.” The Grand Princess gently tipped her cup as she spoke.
The leader amongst the Imperial Guards had long been burning with rage. He was clearly angry for being underestimated and was raring to go. If it weren't for the fact that the Grand Princess was present, he would've charged up to him a long time ago.”
“After you!” Pei Zi Yun bowed.
“After you!” This group of swordsmen were the Imperial Guards of the Grand Princess and were handpicked to protect her. They bowed politely, and didn't rush towards Pei Zi Yun. They readied themselves with a certain classiness. A swordsman from the back made his way to the front and said to Pei Zi Yun, “If you wish to take on all of us, you have to get past me.”
The swordsman’s eyes lit up with excitement as he raised his wooden sword and charged forward. Everyone in the audience could see that this swordsman was extremely proficient with his weapon and radiated a sort of confidence only known to expert swordsmen. Not only was it obvious that he was extremely proficient with his sword, but he also carried a military charisma after years of training. Should Pei Zi Yun be struck by his sword, it was evident that he would be severely injured.
Pei Zi Yun took a step forward as he swung his sword in his hands. When they crossed each other, Pei Zi Yun managed to find an opening and tapped him gently on the wrist. The swordsman felt a blinding pain radiate across his entire arm, and he dropped his sword. He looked at Pei Zi Yun in utter disbelief, “That’s impossible.”
“All of you, come together. You’re not my match.” Pei Zi Yun’s wooden sword moved with such speed it was a blur. He slashed his sword across the next swordsman's throat, who felt an intense pain and screamed out, before retreating. A red line had appeared on his neck, where a little skin had come off. He didn’t even bleed.
They then grouped up and approached him together. These swordsmen had seen Pei Zi Yun’s movement and strokes and thought they were extremely plain and simple. However, they had been unable to dodge a single stroke dished out by him. They then understood. This man was a master of his craft.
With a ferocious shout, another swordsman charged towards Pei Zi Yun, his sword raised as if to deliver a killing blow. Although it was a wooden sword, the sound of it whooshing through the air could still be heard. This swordsman was at the climax of his charge.
Pei Zi Yun refused to dodge out of the way. Instead, he jabbed out his sword and tapped the man on his wrist deftly. Instantly, he dropped his sword and was alarmed by Pei Zi Yun’s dexterity and accuracy. He was not hurt and all, and yet he had been disarmed.
The rest of the swordsmen gathered once more, all feeling the heat, trying to subdue this arrogant fighter before them. They rushed forward together, “Attack!”
When military men attacked in unison, their success rate was extremely high. Many highly skilled assassins and martial artists had perished under their swords. Pei Zi Yun advanced gradually, his hands were outstretched, wielding his sword. Before the closest swordsman could get close enough to touch him with his sword, he felt a certain numbness in his sword hand. As his sword too dropped to the ground.
Pei Zi Yun then began his offensive assault, dashing through the net of wooden swords. He deflected the blows that came his way and swung his sword towards his opponents. One by one, they all felt that same pain on the wrists. Before they realized it, they had been disarmed, their sword lying helplessly on the ground. None of these swordsmen had been hurt. What’s more surprising was how they’ve been trained to show no sign of weakness even if their limbs had been cut off. At this moment however, they could not even keep their swords in their hands. They were appalled and angry. It was almost as if their entire belief in their might had been shattered.
Some of them were trembling, and others were shouting. Their eyes were bloodshot with anger as if they wanted to fight to the death with him. The spectators too could not believe their eyes.
The Imperial Guards who were protecting the Grand Princess gripped their swords tightly. They felt their mouths go numb with fear as goosebumps appeared on their skins. They knew that with such skills, should he decide to kill the Grand Princess, they would not be able to protect her.
The Grand Princess was stumped too, and found it hard to believe whatever she had witnessed. She then understood why the Commander had said Pei Zi Yun was a dangerous man. With such sword techniques, it was indeed terrifying. Even the Canton Princess’s eyes were wide open with disbelief. It was one thing to display graceful sword dance moves, and another to take on this many people and emerge victorious. Her eyes were filled with envy.
“Stop!” The Grand Princess had noticed that several of her Imperial Guards swordsmen had bloodshot eyes and were furious. She thus gave the order. These were indeed obedient military men. The minute they heard the order, they snap out of their anger and stopped whatever they were planning to do.
Pei Zi Yun held his sword and stopped in his tracks. Even he had not expected such effective results. He had wondered why he felt a sudden surge of skill, which enabled him to break through their formation and defeat them. After thinking for sometime, he understood. With regards to his sword techniques, he had already crossed the threshold of Master level.
These swordsmen all hung their head in shame and were red faced. The Grand Princess looked at them and scolded them harshly, “You are all worthless. Retreat now.”
Although it was not the fault of these swordsmen, Pei Zi Yun was only a sixteen year old youth. Most of these swordsmen had decades of training and experience. It was akin to saying all these sword trainings had been wasted on dogs.
“Yes, Grand Princess.” Hearing her words, these swordsmen retreated, embarrassed.
“Your wisdom and knowledge are good enough to attain Grand Scholar status, and your martial arts skills are top notch. In spite of all that, you chose to become a wanderer, you are the subject of much envy. In fact, just by looking at you, I feel like I’m gazing upon an immortal.” The Grand Princess calmed herself down and sighed.
After noticing that Pei Zi Yun did not reply, she continued, “With such talents, you are an immortal amongst men. When you go out in your adventures and compose poems, please remember to mail me a copy.”
As she spoke, she then handed Pei Zi Yun the document containing the Imperial edict, "I had originally planned to send an envoy to deliver this to Free Cloud Sect. But seeing your martial arts skill here today, and knowing how anxious you are to receive this, I think you can deliver this to your sect directly. The actual document will be delivered from the Imperial Court to all the prefectures so you do not have to worry about legitimacy issues.”
Hearing these words, Pei Zi Yun was relieved and happy. He sincerely kowtowed and gave his thanks.
The Imperial Edict contained Imperial Qi and thus was almost impossible to destroy. Furthermore there was him to protect it. Even if he didn’t have Dao Arts, his sword techniques had attained master level. With every ten steps he could kill a fighter. Who would dare to stand in his way? His heart was light with happiness.
“Many thanks, Grand Princess, your Highness.” Pei Zi Yun smiled as he gave a bow. The Grand Princess handed the Imperial Edict to a serving maid who walked over and passed it to Pei Zi Yun.
Only when Pei Zi Yun straightened his robes after bowing did he receive the Imperial Edict. He then clasped his hands and saluted the Grand Princess and the Canton Princess, "I’ve imposed on the Grand Princess for far too long. This student is afterall an outsider and belongs elsewhere. I shouldn't stay here for too long. I shall then take my leave and bid you farewell.”
The presence of rain did not cause any delay for him. He simply asked the serving maids to bring out an umbrella for him. He then changed his footwears into wooden clogs and stepped out into the rain.
The skies were dark and laden with black clouds. Pei Zi Yun was wearing a set of white robes and walked under the rain. Looking at him this way, he seemed to be free of any killing aura and looked extremely harmless. The further he walked, the smaller he seemed from the Grand Princess’s Mansion.
The Grand Princess gazed at him for a long time as he disappeared before sighing, “He is really a man from the heaven, with his heavenly disposition.”
When she returned, she saw the Canton Princess sitting upright, extremely attentive. She then sighed and instructed all the servants to leave them. After everyone had left, she then whispered to the Canton Princess, “My child, do not ever see him again. A person like this is too talented and too prone to killing. Being around him would do no good, for he would be repeatedly drawn into troubles, and he will not have a day of peace. Besides, his character and yours are too far apart.”
“Furthermore we are a family directly descended from the heavens. You’ve been ordained as a Canton Princess, that would mean the match is even more unsuitable. This person cannot be a part of our family. According to his personality and character, he would not want to be a part of our family as well. If you insist on walking down this path, the only thing that will come out of this would be slaughter and hatred.” The Grand Princess watched as Pei Zi Yun leave and sighed deeply.
The Canton Princess face turned pale as she bit down hard on her lips. Her eyes bore a sense of stubbornness and sadness, almost as if she was about to cry.