Han Shan’s Sword Unsheathed Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Snow Reigns Below, Unmatched In Mortal Lands

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Ji Xiao Zhenren had fallen.

The Han Shan Sword Sect held a grand funeral ceremony for him, placing his memorial tablet in the ancestral hall. Countless sects and families from the cultivation world rushed from afar to mourn, gathering at the foot of Han Shan to listen to the tolling funeral bells. Over a hundred prominent figures were escorted up the mountain to pay their respects in the ancestral hall.

In the tight grip of the northern winds of winter, Han Shan was blanketed in snow, presenting a monochrome world.

The tolling bells shook loose the accumulated snow from the branches. Liu Xiaohuai shivered involuntarily, hands tucked inside the sleeves of his Daoist robe, hastening his steps.

Passing over the suspended bridge, the thick snow gradually melted away, revealing the damp stone-paved mountain path. With twists and turns, a warm breeze unexpectedly brushed against his face, and the lush greenery clashed into view.


Liu Xiaohuai rubbed his hands together and sighed, “So warm.”

At the end of the suspended bridge, a stone tablet bore two characters—Changchun.

He had arrived at Ji Xiao Zhenren’s Changchun Peak.

The mountain gate before him seemed like the entrance to another world, with stone steps covered in velvety moss winding into a realm of lush flowers and trees, amidst the mist of blossoms and the drizzle of apricots and pears.

Turning around, Liu Xiaohuai looked back across the swaying suspended bridge, where he saw a scene of solemnity and whiteness, with the mountains all veiled in snow.

No matter how many times he had witnessed such a spectacle, he still found it marvelously mysterious.

Because it was a gift from nature, unrelated to the creation of heaven and earth, every blade of grass and every tree on Changchun Peak was nurtured by spiritual energy. In the unseen depths, numerous formations silently operated, isolating this place from rain and snow, keeping it warm day and night like spring.

The veins of Han Shan were extremely cold, with snow and ice never melting throughout the year. Ji Xiao Zhenren originally resided on the lofty pinnacle of the Jietian Cliff, with a simple and clean cave dwelling.

However, his Dao companion unexpectedly had a cold-sensitive ailment. To appease his Dao companion, Ji Xiao established another sect, selecting a spiritually rich solitary peak, where he set up formations and brought forth hot springs.

Defying the natural order, Changchun endures for eternity.


Liu Xiaohuai heard from his senior brothers that the formations on this peak consumed thirty thousand high-grade spirit stones annually. He had no concrete concept of what thirty thousand meant; after all, he was just a humble disciple responsible for cleaning. He received three low-grade spirit stones each month from the duties hall, and his life was content.

As for the formidable swordsmanship of True Person Ji Xiao, renowned as unmatched in mortal lands, he could only imagine vaguely—stories of splitting mountains and parting seas, piercing through the heavens and earth, seemed like distant legends. Ji Xiao hadn’t drawn his sword for a long time.

Only the lush flowers, gentle warm breeze, and murmuring springs of Changchun Peak were tangible and within reach. Liu Xiaohuai thought that achieving this level might be the limit of a cultivator’s power. 


As for Ji Xiao Zhenren’s Dao companion, he was perhaps… the epitome of good fortune for a cultivator.

Before his passing, Ji Xiao had no disciples, nor did he have any blood relatives or descendants. He had only one Dao companion.

His Dao companion’s name was Meng Xueli, aged nineteen, the only person in the Han Shan Sword Sect who neither wielded nor needed a sword.

The attitude of the Han Shan Sword Sect towards this Elder Meng was very indifferent.

Cultivators have long lifespans, and Dao companions are meant to be mutually supportive partners. In the grand scheme of things, love and affection are insignificant.

Even if Ji Xiao were to have a Dap companion, it should have held extraordinary significance, such as marrying a female Daoist dignitary, or perhaps a princess of the demon clan, or a prince of the demon clan. For the sake of Han Shan, for the sake of peace in the three realms, for the well-being of countless people… in short, there must have been something to strive for.

But three years ago, on a snowy day, he brought back a person and announced to the world that Meng Xueli would be his Dao companion, sharing his fortune with him.

The ceremony of companionship was attended by many guests, with congratulatory messages coming from all corners of the world.

The senior elders of Han Shan, who had withdrawn from the world for many years and had no interest in worldly affairs, heard the joyous bells and called the sect leader to reprimand him, saying, “Ji Xiao was single-minded in his pursuit of the Dao since childhood. Who would have thought he would become entangled in worldly matters? Otherwise, he might have had a chance to advance further and become the first to ascend in this realm.”

The crowd silently agreed. Even though ascension was only a legend, if anyone could achieve it, they believed it would be Ji Xiao.

Meng Xueli, criticized for being the “worldly matters,” was truly without any redeeming qualities. Three years ago, at the age of sixteen, he had just begun cultivating his qi, and his talent was comparable to that of the outer disciples of Han Shan.


The Han Shan Sword Dao was a path of rigorous cultivation, with strict discipline. Meng Xueli, who disliked the cold and preferred warmth, had a lazy temperament that clashed with the sect’s strict demeanor.

While the disciples respected Ji Xiao, they dared not show disrespect to Meng Xueli openly. However, secretly, they prayed each night, hoping that Ji Xiao Zhenren would return to his senses and correct his aesthetic judgment.

But as the only junior disciple responsible for cleaning on Changchun Peak, Liu Xiaohuai felt that Elder Meng didn’t resemble the arrogant and pampered figure rumored outside.

Feeding fish and tending to flowers every day, without needing to practice swordsmanship or meditation, at most, he could be accused of getting something for nothing. How did that turn into deserving death penalty once it spread outside?

Elder Meng smiled gently, his eyes and brows curved. He would even thank Liu Xiaohuai and acknowledge his efforts, displaying an amiable attitude no different from how he treated the attendants, the head attendant, or even the sect leader. 


Liu Xiaohuai felt a bit uneasy when he thought about this. What would happen to Elder Meng and Changchun Peak in the future?

Lost in his thoughts, he approached the courtyard. Within, the flowers and trees flourished, casting dense shades of green. Amidst the varying shades of green, a hint of snowy blue caught his eye. Gathering his thoughts, Liu Xiaohuai approached and greeted respectfully.

By the pond, a figure dressed in snowy blue brocade leaned against a bamboo couch, seemingly lost in thought. The brocade shimmered, more akin to the attire of a wealthy noble in the mortal world than that of a cultivator.

He was peeling pine nuts, his features delicate, his fingers slender and fair, resembling lotus flowers blooming on the water.

Liu Xiaohuai spoke softly, “Elder Meng, Sect Leader Zhenren invites you to attend the ceremony at the ancestral hall.”  

Before Liu Xiaohuai could finish speaking, another toll of the bell echoed from afar. The funeral bells reverberated, startling the birds into flight.

Meng Xueli looked up, his expression vacant. The rippling pool water reflected on his face, creating a surreal and fantastical scene.

Liu Xiaohuai wanted to offer condolences but found himself stumbling over the words. Would Elder Meng suddenly burst into tears?

“Do you want some pine nuts?” Meng Xueli asked calmly.

“Huh?” Liu Xiaohuai was taken aback. “Um, no, thank you.”

Meng Xueli tossed a handful of pine nuts into the pond, resembling falling flower petals amidst the emerald lotus leaves, where three golden-red brocade carps scrambled for food.

The young disciple’s face turned nervous. “The Sect Leader is waiting for you…”

Meng Xueli reassured him, “I’ll put on another layer of clothing and then go. You can go back now; you don’t need to lead the way.”

The young disciple felt relieved and bowed before taking his leave.


The brocade carps in the pond finished the pine nuts and leaped, splashing water everywhere.

“What are you jumping for? Do you also think Ji Xiao is dead?” Meng Xueli stood up, brushing off his robe. Pine nut shells scattered on the ground.

The carps innocently blew bubbles.

A month ago, before Ji Xiao Zhenren left seclusion to seal the reincarnated demon in the ‘outer realm,’ he found Meng Xueli on the eve of his departure. “I have something for you as a gift. Wait for me to come back.”  

A loud warning bell rang in Meng Xueli’s mind. “This is the most ominous thing to say. If you have something valuable, you should give it to me now.”

Ji Xiao furrowed his brows slightly, seeming puzzled, and departed on the clouds with a cold expression.

Seven days ago, the Sect Leader of Han Shan personally came to Changchun Peak with bad news: the outer realm collapsed, and Ji Xiao perished along with the reincarnated demon, leaving no trace of their remains.

Meng Xueli said, “I don’t believe it.”

Today, Han Shan held a funeral ceremony for Ji Xiao, with the tolling bell sounding solemnly, as if telling him that at this point, he had no choice but to believe it.

Meng Xueli looked down at the water’s surface. “Three years as Dao companions, we should have developed some feelings by now. How can he casually says he’s dead…”

“He has to give me an explanation.”


If the brocade carps could speak, they would surely curse their keeper for being shameless—

Utter nonsense! Three meetings in three years—do you really think Ji Xiao remembers what you look like? Even if the whole Han Shan perished, you wouldn’t be the one to stand up for him as his fake Dao companion.

People envied Meng Xueli’s good fortune, citing Ji Xiao’s intentions as evidence of “eternal spring.”

In reality, Ji Xiao remained in seclusion year-round, and Changchun Peak was empty and silent. The only junior disciple responsible for cleaning remained as timid as ever. While Meng Xueli guarded the solitary peak, he wouldn’t even talk to a fish if there were a living person to converse with.


After their companionship ceremony, they each went their own ways. Ji Xiao remained immersed in his cultivation as usual, while Meng Xueli played by himself, gradually learning to find joy in solitude. If Ji Xiao hadn’t died, the long stretches of time, counted in centuries, would have passed like this.

With a small hand warmer in hand, Meng Xueli walked across the suspended bridge, leaving the stone tablet engraved with the words “Changchun” behind him.

The cold wind blew against his face, and suddenly his cheeks felt cold. He looked up at the drifting snowflakes.

If viewed from high above, everything was blanketed in white, except for Changchun Peak, which stood out green like a huge, beautiful warm cage.

The formations covering the peak resembled an inverted glass bowl, emitting a faint halo.


Meng Xueli, unaware of the changes in the external climate over the past three years, experienced the transition of seasons from spring to autumn. Seeing the mountains covered in white, with the forests adorned in transparent ice, he felt as if he had entered a different world.

Following the sound of bells and chanting, he strolled along the mountain path, feeling quite content and finding everything around him fresh and new.

As he moved farther away from Changchun Peak, he finally encountered human figures. Occasionally, he encountered outer disciples of the Han Shan Sect dressed in their robes, some with swords at their waists, others holding incense or fruits. They hurried along the path with solemn expressions, but there was no hint of grief in their demeanor.

When the news of Ji Xiao’s death first broke, countless disciples who admired Ji Xiao Zhenren were in tears. However, after seven days had passed, everyone had become calm and steadfast.

Everything was just as the teachings of the Sect Leader of Han Shan dictated: “With the loss of Ji Xiao, Han Shan must become more united and resolute, showing no signs of weakness. Let outsiders think that we are severely weakened and vulnerable.”


Today was a tough battle for the Han Shan Sword Sect, with one’s sword unsheathed.

Meng Xueli traveled from Changchun Peak to the ancestral hall, passing by the Jietian Cliff along the way.

At the highest point of the cliff, it was said to be Ji Xiao’s cave dwelling before their companionship. Every day, disciples went there to pay their respects, enduring the harshest cold winds and snow to temper their swordsmanship and feel the remaining sword intent of Ji Xiao Zhenren.

However, Meng Xueli was afraid of the cold and would never willingly subject himself to such hardship. Instead, he took the main road that went around the mountain.

Fortunately, there was a secluded path halfway up the mountain. A steep plank road was built along the cliff face, half embedded in the rock and half hanging in the air.

With no one around on the path, he suddenly stopped. Amidst the cracks in the rocks, a wild plum tree stood trembling in the wind, its buds on the verge of blooming.


Meng Xueli reached out, plucking a branch of flowers and shaking off the accumulated snow.

From the other end of the plank road came a shout, “Elder Meng!”

It was Liu Xiaohuai, who had delivered the message earlier, running towards him. He exclaimed with relief, “You scared me! I thought you got lost. Let’s hurry, the Sect Leader is urging us again!”

The young disciple was panting, his face flushed and adorable, as he reached out to grab Meng Xueli’s arm.

Meng Xueli smiled and extended the branch of flowers as if offering it to him.

The disciple didn’t hesitate to accept it. But as his fingertips touched Meng Xueli’s sleeve, Meng Xueli’s wrist turned, and the branch of flowers swept upward with a sharp air, directly attacking the disciple’s pulse!

The disciple screamed in agony, startled, and quickly retreated. In the blink of an eye, he leaped three zhang away, his sleeves swirling and snow flying.

Note: 1 zhang = 3.3meter

Meng Xueli stopped his movement instantly, standing still with his hand lowered. The shattered red plum blossoms fell at his feet.

“You’re not Xiaohuai.”

Huge shoutout to @_nyanmaru_ on Discord for commissioning this! The chapter will be posted regularly, show your support for Ciacia at Kofi.

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment