Chapter 10: Plum Blade’s memory (Part One)
Xia Qiu felt a streak of coldness slide down her cheek. She opened her eyes and saw a plum flower swirling away from her in the breeze. She caught it and found she was sitting against a huge plum tree with blooming flowers. In the gentle breeze, red flowers floated down like a shower and danced in the sky before dropping to the ground around her. She looked up and saw a blood-colored moon and realized it was night, but she didn’t know where she was.
“Xia Qiu,” someone called her name.
“Who is it?” Xia Qiu stood up and glanced around.
A figure walked out of the plum trees. The woman wore a red robe and a white face mask, revealing only her neck and fingers, which looked to be devoid of blood.
“Who are you?” Xia Qiu asked.
“I’m Plum Blade. I made the blade with my spirit bones and all my spirit power. I’m it and it is me. In the last hundreds of years, my soul has lived in Plum Blade, as Lord Yong told you,” the woman said quietly.
“Plum Blade? Am I dreaming?” Xia Qiu felt dizzy.
“Right. We’re in your dream. In that battle and the subsequent training, your soul appealed to mine more than once, which is why I came out to see you.”
“Lord Yong said you were a plum tree spirit that had been defeated by the first Fox Spirit King Li long, long ago.”
With a flourish of Plum Blade’s wide sleeve, a scene appeared before Xia Qiu like a movie and Plum Blade told the story like a narrator, “Yes, 10,000 years ago, I was only a plum tree seed planted into the soil of a place named the Plum Garden with hundreds of other plum tree seeds. One year, two years, three, five… In the blink of an eye, dozens of years passed, and the owner of the Plum Garden took care of us carefully through all kinds of weather and even when he was sick.
“I grew into a big tree with my companions and gained consciousness. We repaid the owner of the Plum Garden with our most beautiful blossoms. He’d have tea, play his zither, read poems, and paint pictures under the trees. Even now, 10,000 years later, I can still remember his smile.
“One day, a war broke out. Soldiers of the invading country broke into the Plum Garden and stabbed my master. The Plum Garden was turned into a sea of fire. My master mustered the last of his strength and put out the flames that were about to swallow me and I had to watch him die; I watched his body turn into ashes with my companions. I was left alone.
“I waited in hatred and pain for the chance to avenge them. Spurred by hatred, I turned into a tree spirit. 10,000 years later, I became very powerful and began a killing spree to enact revenge. At that time, humans were as ugly and tiny as ants in my eyes. While I enjoyed the revenge, I waited for someone to kill me and give me my final rest.
“I don’t know how many years had passed when Lord Li appeared and defeated me. But he didn’t kill me. When I asked him, ‘Why don’t you kill me? I’m a devil who killed countless people.’ He said, “I’ll kill you after all your plum flowers wither and fall.’ I saw his smile when he said the words, which reminded me of my master. I said self-mockingly, ‘My soul no longer deserves these flowers.’ He didn’t speak but sat down and leaned his back against me; then he took out a flask and began drinking. My body felt the warmth from his body and lowered my guard; I began to tell Lord Li about my past and why I hated the world so much.
“After he heard my story, his smile disappeared. ‘You let him down. He was such a compassionate man and tried to protect you at the last moment of his life. He did it not to allow you to avenge him; I’m sure he just wanted you to bloom beautiful flowers forever.’ Lord Li’s words woke me up from hatred and I sank into endless remorse. I begged him, ‘To redeem my soul, I want to make myself a saber to protect people from evil. After I redeem my sins, my soul will reunite with my master.’ Lord Li agreed to my request. This is how I turned into the Plum Blade.”
“I didn’t know that there was such a story behind the blade!” Xia Qiu said as she watched the scene in which Xiaoleng’s grandfather, the first Fox Spirit King Li, met Plum Blade.
“You’re my fourth user. In the past 1,000 years, I entered countless battles with Lord Li and Lord Ouyang Yong, but my soul worked best in sync with my third user Ran Susu. After she died, I thought I’d never encounter a user like her. But to my surprise, I met you. Since my soul is intact, I can remember all the battles I’ve experienced and all the moves that my users had launched. So, after you learn all the basic saber skills from Lord Ouyang Yong and become one with me in battles, you can master all the battle skills stored in my memory.” Plum extended her right hand to Xia Qiu when she finished.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
Xia Qiu nodded and extended her right hand, too. When their hands touched, she felt many images pouring into her head. She saw a white-robed man battle through bloody storms in triumph; the man’s handsome face looked very like Ouyang Xiaoleng’s. She guessed he must be Ouyang Xiaoleng’s grandfather Li. Unlike his grandson, Li always had a pleasant smile on his face and didn’t frown even in battles. Then she saw a girl of unusual elegance fight her opponents with light movements and stunningly fast speed with Plum Blade. Her beauty was so pure and fresh. Xia Qiu found some of her features looked like Ouyang Xiaoleng’s and guessed the girl must be his mother Ran Susu.
When she woke up, it was Saturday morning. With no training scheduled for today, she spent the whole day at home with her grandparents; she hadn’t done this for a long time and felt a bit uncomfortable.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
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