That was to say, those moves couldn’t be used unless one had comprehended them fully.
Phoenix Villa’s “Heavenly Sword” required one to embrace hardship, to fully understand the concept of a ruined life, in order to achieve that lonely state of mind. In comparison, what sort of state of mind was needed for “Forgotten Valley” and “Unseeing Tianhe”?
Although he wasn’t very sure, he could sense that the meaning behind the moves was very lonely.
When he heard about his Master’s death that year, it came as a huge shock that he had no one close to him left in the world. He was just a lone soul, a ghost, and he had barely comprehended the first form. Later, after coming to this world and living in a foreign country as a stranger, he was confused. His erratic circumstances may be the reason why he finally comprehended the second form. Another possible reason could be simple coincidence, forced out by Xiao Shao’s moves.
When Mr. Meng saw that he had understood, he no longer talked about the subject. The two of them casually chatted—that meant Mr. Meng spoke and Lin Shu listened. After a while, Lin Shu left the dreamscape and returned to reality.
He put the textbooks to be used tomorrow on his table, revised the homework of the day before, then set his things down and practiced circulating. After half an hour, he fell asleep.
This dream was unstable. There were many messy illusions in his dreams; he dreamt of sword moves, of the angry Big Miss, and even dreamt of fighting with an angry Xiao Shao.
As they fought, their blades grew fiercer, and he suddenly used “Forgotten Valley” and “Unseeing Tianhe” again. In a flash, he woke up.
After waking up, he realised the culprit of his uneasy sleep. Sometime after he had fallen asleep, the autumn rain had started to pour outside. The raindrops knocked on his bamboo house, causing it to tremble. The window hadn’t been closed either, so a cold wind blew in.
This was the first rain since autumn. Since there was plenty of water in the land, this first rain was likely ushering in a continuous period of rain.
The entire house was cold and wet, entirely suitable for his mortal body to survive.
Lin Shu got out of bed and took out the jade box containing the essence of fire. He put it at the head of the bed and opened it.
The red round beads gave off a lustrous light, and the warmth immediately swept through the room, as if a flame was flowing through.
He walked over to the window, intending to close it, but found that the atrium was still lit by a flickering light. Through the curtain of rain, a little red shadow leaned on the bamboo fence.
Ling Fengxiao, this peerless night owl, had yet to sleep.
Lin Shu looked closely through the shadows cast by the bamboos and the curtain of rain, to find that she was playing the flute.
The very low flute sound floated over the rustling rain. In the night, a beauty blowing on a bamboo flute was originally a very elegant thing, but the weather was a bit wrong, and the flute sound was very bleak. When one quietly listened, it sounded more like a chilling sound that pierced the bones.
It might have been because of the rain, but the sound of the flute stopped and started intermittently. When it was low, so low that it couldn’t be sustained, the sound stopped. After stopping for a few breaths, it slowly started up again.
Ling Fengxiao finished one song, and then played another one, which also held a very depressive tone. In a comprehension test, one would have to describe this as “the tone of the song is desolate, and the author sighs to signal that the world is impermanent but sentimental.”
Lin Shu quietly listened, and suddenly remembered the many dark nights of his past.
He knew this song, and he had even learned it while studying the piano. It was an ancient song called “There Are Towers In The Northwest”.
There are towers in the northwest, so high that they surpass the clouds. There is a soft singing voice, carrying a strain of sadness.
I sigh thrice with every note I play, and my sorrow is spread generously. The singer is not spared, and only the hurt know my song.
Music could convey emotions, so listening to this sort of unhappy song, one would naturally think of unhappy things. Since he had been rarely happy, it was only human nature to be affected by this song.
But Ling Fengxiao didn’t seem like someone who would play this sort of song.
The Big Miss of Phoenix Villa, the moon that was held up by countless stars as she grew up, with great talent and exceptional martial arts skills. Once she gave the order, countless people would run into fire for her. This kind of person should not encounter any troubles in their entire life. The Big Miss was also only around 15 or 16 years old, how would she know what grief was?
At the end of the song, Ling Fengxiao looked up at the night sky and didn’t move for a long time.
It was as if she was really sad over something?
Lin Shu realised he had started to care about the Big Miss—actually, this was reasonable. He had received countless spiritual medicines and jade souls from her, and was now even hugging the essence of fire given by the Big Miss to stay warm. This was the same as living under someone else’s roof, and it was natural to be concerned over the golden landlord’s emotional health.
His concern was immediately caught.
Ling Fengxiao had finished being in a daze, and her eyes suddenly looked in his direction. He had lit the light on his side, so it was obvious that he hadn’t slept yet.
Sure enough, he was caught.
The Big Miss stared straight at his window. Her eyes were bright, her expression was blank, and she looked like a female ghost that wanted to eat people.
Lin Shu was about to blow out the candles and pretend that nothing had happened when he saw Ling Fengxiao get up from the bamboo corridor in the atrium and walk towards his room.
She walked slowly along the bamboo path, dressed in red robes. Even the umbrella was red. Lined by the curtain of rain, this elegant scene seemed a bit desolate.
Lin Shu had no other choice. He opened his door to offer the Big Miss a grand welcome.
Ling Fengxiao put the umbrella under the eaves, entered the room, closed the door and glanced around the room. She walked to the window and closed the window that Lin Shu failed to close properly before sitting down.
Because of the properly closed door and windows, the warmth in the room became more intense.
Lin Shu had nothing to entertain the Big Miss with. He could only adjust the lanterns, making the room brighter.
Ling Fengxiao leaned on the bamboo chair with a slightly lazy posture, fluttered her eyelashes, looked at him and opened her mouth: “You ignore me, then eavesdrop on me in the middle of the night. You really are a strange individual.”
As she spoke, the Big Miss leaned her body on the table and approached Lin Shu.
Lin Shu stepped back a bit on reflex.
“What are you hiding from?” Ling Fengxiao seemed to smile. “I don’t eat people.”
Not eating was better than eating someone, Lin Shu reflected.
Ling Fengxiao stopped just a foot away from him and said: “These few days, why have you been hiding the moment you see me?”
Sure enough, Ling Fengxiao wanted to find him. This couldn’t be anything good.
Seeking benefits and avoiding harm was a biological instinct. Lin Shu felt that there were sufficient reasons for his actions.
He touched his nose and said: “You are fierce.”
The Big Miss smiled.
A beauty smiling would naturally look good. The bamboo house was originally simple, but when Ling Fengxiao smiled, it made all the corners of the house shine brightly.
“You always lie to me, of course I’m not happy,” the Big Miss said. “If you were a bit more obedient, why would I be like this?”
Going around in circles, in the end, it was because he had hidden that incident that was still found out by the Big Miss.
Lin Shu: “Okay.”
The Big Miss seemed very satisfied and said: “You and I both have our own hardships. Some things you are unwilling to say, I will just let it go this time.”
It wasn’t that he was reluctant to say it. He didn’t know how to speak, and he didn’t want to speak more than he had to.
However, since the Big Miss was letting him go, that was already the best possible outcome.
Lin Shu said: “Many thanks.”
The Big Miss said: “You have a master, and martial arts.”
Lin Shu: “Yes.”
The Big Miss had already checked the village and knew that he had a master. Furthermore, those who had no martial arts foundation could not pass the Shangling entrance academy test.
The Big Miss continued: “But since your meridians are blocked and don’t work at all—have you recently been involved in improper practice of qigong?”
Lin Shu didn’t expect Ling Fengxiao to think of him improperly practicing qigong, but like this, it would solve a lot of his problems. If he said his meridians had been blocked from birth, it would contradict with his knowledge of martial arts, and would make Ling Fengxiao angry. So, he ambiguously answered: “Something like that.”
To improperly practice qigong was to destroy one’s meridians and lose one’s cultivation. To be unable to breakthrough to the next stage also led to this same ending, so the two methods didn’t have much difference.
“So you can’t use martial arts outside of the dreamscape… Then, I will reconcile with you for now.” The Big Miss thought through something for a while, and said after a moment: “Your meridians being destroyed, something must be done to re-open them.”
Lin Shu: “En.”
The Big Miss actually wanted to solve his meridian problem for him?
What a touching friendship between dormmates.
Lin Shu was quite calm on the surface, but he actually wasn’t calm at all.
He only heard the Big Miss continue: “Spiritual medicine for re-opening the meridians is extremely rare, but it is not impossible to obtain. Even if they can’t be obtained, I can use my qi to open your meridians for you.”
In Lin Shu’s eyes, the Big Miss’ whole body had been attached with a holy light.
He was about to gather together some words of thanks, when he suddenly heard Ling Fengxiao continue: “However, it’s not feasible after all.”
Lin Shu: “I think it’s feasible.”
“It’s inappropriate.” Ling Fengxiao shook her head. “Taking pills that re-open the meridians or using qi to open meridians, all of them are extremely painful. It requires you to suffer several days and nights of pain, and it’s unfeasible.”
No, I am willing to suffer for several days and nights of pain.
When Lin Shu wanted to speak, he saw the Big Miss glance at him warningly. “This sort of path, don’t think about it anymore.”
Lin Shu tried to express his resistance with silence.
The Big Miss was unmoved.
Halfway through their silent battle, the Big Miss said: “There’s only one way left.”
There was another way—Lin Shu became slightly excited.
“You don’t have to cultivate from now on.” The Big Miss’ words were calm. “What you want to play, go and play, you will be under my protection. After a few years, when you’re older, the meridians will naturally re-open.”
Lin Shu: ?
He said: “How will it re-open?”
Was it possible that his blocked meridians would improve with age?
At that moment, the Big Miss’ expression was a little unnatural, and she said sternly: “Not allowed to ask too many questions.”
Lin Shu: ?
He said: “But…”
“No,” the Big Miss said. “You can just sit back and relax.”
Although he was very sceptical, he would believe it for now.
“What classes do you have tomorrow?” Ling Fengxiao asked.
This subject change was almost too abrupt. Lin Shu almost suspected that Ling Fengxiao was shifting the subject.
He said: “Study of Nanxia style, Overview of Techniques, Introduction to Formations, Introduction to Medical Techniques.”
“It’s been raining these few days and I’m feeling uncomfortable, so I can’t go to the martial arts class.” The Big Miss leaned back lazily against the back of the chair again. “How about I wait for you to eat in the morning, and then accompany you to class?”
How about not.
Lin Shu was still a little afraid of Ling Fengxiao.
However, it was precisely because of that little fear that he was afraid of refusing.
Especially since although the Big Miss said “how about”, her tone plainly meant “it’s settled”.
He agreed with an air of being bullied.
He glanced at Ling Fengxiao’s expression, and found that her face was unnaturally pale.
It was said that girls always feel sick for a few days each month.
It appeared that even the Big Miss couldn’t avoid it.
He tentatively asked: “Are you alright?”
“I’m alright,” Ling Fengxiao said lightly. “It’ll be better if the rain stops.”
Lin Shu tilted his head.
Was it related to the weather?
He felt like he had acquired some new knowledge.
After finishing this conversation, the two of them didn’t speak for a while. Ling Fengxiao said: “You should go to bed.”
Lin Shu had no objection.
It was late at night. He was originally sleeping before he woke up in the middle of the night and provoked Ling Fengxiao. He really was a little sleepy.
But Ling Fengxiao didn’t show any sign of leaving.
Lin Shu went back to the bedroom silently, took off his robes and got into the quilt.
The bamboo house had a bedroom that was connected with the main hall. There was only one door frame in that middle wall, and there was no door.
Ling Fengxiao did not enter the bedroom. She looked at Lin Shu burying himself in the quilt through the door frame and seemed to smile. “I’ll be going now.”
Lin Shu: “Take care while leaving.”
What a strange evening.
soya: hehehe… something that can only be done when you’re older… hohoho…