Chapter 10: Plum Blade’s memory (Part Three)
The zither music changed its tune suddenly and the petal flowers flew again into the sky; when they swirled down, they transformed into six human figures. Xia Qiu had never fought six dummies at the same time, so she was a bit overwhelmed by this sudden increase of difficulty in this pop quiz. She was forced to be on defense and couldn’t launch any effective attacks. As the dummies forced her to retreat step by step, their attacks left several stains on her clothes. She was frustrated and the audience got anxious.
Suddenly, Plum Blade’s voice resonated in her almost blank mind, “Xia Qiu, my master…”
She chanted silently, copying Plum Blade’s words resonating in her mind, “Plum flowers fly like snowflakes; plum flowers dance like snowflakes; slashing plum flowers is like slashing snowflakes; blade falls without leaving traces.”
She didn’t fully understand these words, but her body interpreted them and mastered a set of saber techniques she had never learnt before. The new saber moves were light and flexible; she connected the different moves smoothly and impeccably with a force as piercing as a small stream that ran forward without stop. Soon, the dummies were knocked down one by one and plum flowers scattered on the ground.
As the last music note ended, the whole clearing went silent. Only Ouyang Yong and Ouyang Hongye knew who had created the saber techniques that Xia Qiu had used. Her moves and even the look in her eyes resembled those of Ran Susu. Only after she withdrew the Plum Blade and steadied her breath did they remember that she was Xia Qiu instead of Ran Susu.
Wangyue was the first one to clap his hands and cheer, “Excellent! Awesome!”
Ouyang Hongye snapped back to his senses and exclaimed, “Xia Qiu, your saber skills have exceeded the stage of ordinary in such a short time. Lord Yong is a great teacher! As the destined blood pact partner, you’re indeed talented.”
“Plum Blade has acknowledged her as its user. With more practice, she and the Plum Blade will work together seamlessly!” Ouyang Yong’s solemn face relaxed with satisfaction and fondness.
Hearing Ouyang Yong’s approval and praise, Xia Qiu finally relaxed; as tension left her body, she realized how exhausted she was. The attacks and dodging in the test were several times more difficult and intense than in her training; the only thing that supported her to the end was her determination that she’d prove to Ouyang Xiaoleng that she’d become a qualified blood pact partner. But now her body turned soft in exhaustion and her legs faltered.
Qianqi didn’t move his gaze from her even for a second as he chanted her name silently again and again. He had never felt so attracted to a person before and was eager to learn everything about her. Subconsciously, he moved toward her; when she faltered due to her exhaustion, he strode forward and caught her.
She looked up at questioningly and saw a youth she had never seen before. With chiseled features, ember-colored eyes, and long hair pulled up in a bun, he looked to be as old as her.
“Thank you. And you are…?” She regained her balance and drew herself from the strange youth’s arms immediately.
“Qianqi… My name is Qianqi!” Qianqi scratched his head as a radiant smile came to his face; his smile was shy and childish.
Ouyang Xiaoleng was displeased that he had hesitated as Xia Qiu faltered and Qianqi got to her side before he did. He resented Qianqi’s boldness and his own hesitation; after all, he should be the one to help Xia Qiu. Although he had had a taste of Qianqi’s decisive character during the night attack outside Dongyao City, he was still surprised by the guy’s improper behavior to an unknown girl in front of everyone.
With Thorn’s help, Ouyang Yong stood up slowly and said, “Now that Xiaoleng and Xia Qiu’s blood pact is established and you guys have come back from Dongyao with success, it’s time to call for the spirit king election meeting!”
“Finally…” Ouyang Hongye was so emotional that he didn’t know what to say.
After being on the road for one week, Wangyue wished he could sleep in Ouyang Yong’s wine cellar tonight. “Shouldn’t we have a celebration in advance?”
“Fine! Fine! Xiaoleng, you walk Xia Qiu home!” Ouyang Yong knew what Wangyue wanted.
“Okay!” Ouyang Xiaoleng nodded; this was exactly what he wanted.
Qianqi heard it and said, “I want to go with them!”
“You just arrived at the capital city. I’ll let Thorn show you around the North Star Palace!” Ouyang Hongye said to Qianqi before glancing at Ouyang Xiaoleng meaningfully.
“Let’s go!” Ouyang Xiaoleng took the hint; taking Xia Qiu’s hand, he walked out with her, not giving Qianqi the chance to follow them.
As he pulled her toward home, Xia Qiu found the scene very familiar. As usual, he walked fast and didn’t notice that she was almost running to catch up with him. His grip on her hand was warm and so tight that it was almost painful, but her heart was full; the void created by her longing for him was now filled with happiness. She didn’t want to release his hand and would allow him to take her to the edge of the world.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
Ouyang Xiaoleng finally slowed down as they neared her home as he was certain that they had last gotten rid of Qianqi who was like a time bomb. Releasing her hand, he walked with her shoulder to shoulder and kept slanting glances at her.
“Congratulations for your safe return!” Xia Qiu finally got the chance to say these words.
“Thank you. Congratulations to you, too… I mean for your good training!” He had been away from her for only one week, but somehow, he stammered when he talked to her now.
“Thank you!”(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
For Xia Qiu, Ouyang Xiaoleng’s praise had more weight than the other people’s compliments. She looked up with a smile and met his eyes. Under the clear starry sky, she could see her own smiling face in his grey blue eyes. At this moment, he had only her in his eyes and he was the only person in her eyes, too.
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