Let Go of that Shou Chapter 10

Chapter 10

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“Want to continue the dual cultivation?” Yu Wenhong asked. 

Although You Mengzhe found it intriguing, he felt that last night’s encounter had been too intense. Now, his legs were weak, and he had trouble standing. His lower body was tingling. He replied, “No, let me cultivate for a few days.”

You Mengzhe felt uncomfortable all over but had good spirits. He looked outside the cave and saw that the rain had stopped, but it was still cloudy. Yu Wenhong helped him put on his clothes and dressed himself as well. They fastened their belts. You Mengzhe lay at the edge of the cave. Yu Wenhong held onto his waist to prevent him from falling.

“Why is there still a pine tree?” You Mengzhe asked.

Yu Wenhong replied, “Most likely prepared for those who want to leap from the cliff.”

You Mengzhe nodded. Finally, today he had the mood to examine the cave. He saw that it was narrow and seemed to have endless space inside. He casually said, “Perhaps there’s some peerless master or martial arts secrets inside. Let’s go in and take a look.”

Yu Wenhong followed behind You Mengzhe. Surprisingly, there was a passage inside the cave. The dim tunnel turned downward. You Mengzhe carefully led the way, and Yu Wenhong supported him from behind to prevent him from falling. After walking for a while, they could faintly see some light ahead.

They walked out of the cave, and it suddenly opened up around them. It was brightly lit, in the center of the Modai Mountain, a narrow valley filled with exotic flowers and strange plants!

In the center stood a towering tree. On the cliffs around it were inscribed sword techniques and moves. Under the big tree, there was a small stone platform. A set of skeletal remains sat there, already decayed beyond recognition.

In front of the stone platform was a stone monument covered in moss, with an inscription that read: ‘The burial place of Sword God Yan Jiutian.’

Below it, there was another line of small characters: “If you wish to enter my abode, you must first show respect. Bow before this stone tablet nine times to become my disciple. You may then take my life’s secret sword technique manual and the divine weapon, the Nine Heaven Gold Zunshen Sword. Use them to avenge me and fulfill my unfulfilled wish.”

“If you do not bow, you will bring calamity upon yourself.”

You Mengzhe said, “Just as expected!”

Yu Wenhong nodded and said, ”Indeed.”

They knew that places like this usually contained martial arts secrets. In front of the skeletal remains, there was a box. Yu Wenhong looked around and said, “The fruit on this small tree can be eaten. There are probably traps on the ground. If you don’t bow, there might be hidden weapons in the box.”

You Mengzhe lowered his head to examine the box and said, “Let’s take some.”

Yu Wenhong said, “Bring the box over, turn it over with your hand toward those bones, and all the traps will shoot at him.”

You Mengzhe thought that it wouldn’t be right to desecrate the remains of the dead. He then picked up the box, turned it over, and opened it facing the ground. A bunch of steel nails shot out, landing on the ground. He said, “Indeed, there were traps. We’ve inherited all the leftovers from the Demonic Sect.”

Yu Wenhong smiled and picked some fruit. They sat down to eat. You Mengzhe flipped through the manual on sword techniques, divided into two volumes, the upper volume titled [Nine Heaven True Phoenix Divine Art (Upper)] and the lower volume titled [Nine Heaven True Phoenix Divine Art (Lower)]. The upper volume focused on cultivating inner strength and foundational techniques, while the lower volume was incomplete and mostly contained sword techniques.

You Mengzhe asked, “Is this technique useful?”

Yu Wenhong took a look and said, “This is a Yellow-grade divine art. It’s not very useful.”

You Mengzhe said, “But the preface says it’s a peerless divine art, and there’s no rival in the Central Plains martial world.”

Yu Wenhong chuckled, “All martial manuals claim this. Hundreds of years have passed, and martial arts have evolved rapidly.”

You Mengzhe nodded and asked, “Yellow-grade divine art?”

Yu Wenhong wiped the fruit and handed it to You Mengzhe, explaining while gesturing, “Heaven, Earth, Profound, Yellow. Yellow-grade divine arts are the lowest level.”

You Mengzhe sighed and nodded, then asked, “What grade of divine art do you practice?”

Yu Wenhong said, “I practice Heaven-grade. The martial arts in our Canghai Sect are all Heaven-grade.”

You Mengzhe held Yu Wenhong’s hand and asked, “Is mine also Heaven-grade?”

Yu Wenhong pointed at You Mengzhe’s finger and said, “The Transmuting Yang Heart Technique was taken away by your mother and brought to Mount Yuheng. It’s not in the Demonic Sect’s scripture collection.”

You Mengzhe was greatly surprised and then asked, “What about the Taiyin Technique that my father practiced?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “Earth-grade.”

You Mengzhe asked, “What about Sun Bin and the other martial artists? What level of techniques do they practice?”

Yu Wenhong answered, “Water Drifting Technique is Profound-grade. Most of the techniques those people practice are not even worth mentioning, they’re not the mainstream ones. They aren’t divine arts; they are just martial skills. Divine arts are different… there’s a distinction.”

You Mengzhe flipped through the Nine Heaven True Phoenix Divine Art repeatedly and finally said, “Is it entirely useless?”

Yu Wenhong said, “It’s useless. Throw it away.”

You Mengzhe casually tossed the manual aside, saying, “I thought it might be something good.”

Yu Wenhong said, “Martial arts manuals aren’t worth much. When you were a child, you used them for folding and tearing paper airplanes. The one… ‘Yin and Yang One Qi Moving Mountains and Collapsing the Heavens Art’ was collected and organized by Yuheng Mountain. The scriptures that weren’t useful were given to the villagers at the foot of the mountain for practice.”

You Mengzhe recalled what his father, You Gutian, had said. He remarked, “That’s right, my father used to say that ordinary martial skills aren’t valuable. People don’t have the patience to practice them for decades. Even if they master them, there’s always someone stronger. To stand out, you need to practice something different. Nowadays, martial arts are all about speed, with lots of room for improvement. You don’t have to use your brain, and you can even practice while sleeping, using quick-learning methods.”

Yu Wenhong said, “Unfortunately, the Orthodox sects don’t understand this principle.”

You Mengzhe agreed, “Yes, it’s best if you don’t have to do anything special and can become a master just by practicing regularly. I think my current martial art is quite deceptive.”

Yu Wenhong said, “No, your Transmuting Yang Heart Technique Divine Art may seem time-consuming, but when you master it, you’ll have everything you need. With dual cultivation, you can obtain the true qi of others. If you do it with several people, you’ll become the best in the world.”

You Mengzhe thought about it and realized that Yuwen Hong was right. He asked, “What about you? Is your technique useful?”

Yu Wenhong nodded and said, “It’s not obvious right now. It will take some time to show… its effects. But it’s very useful. Sun Bin’s Heavenly Cloud True Qi also improved after we practiced dual cultivation.”

You Mengzhe asked, “So you can absorb Sun Bin’s true qi from my body too?”

Yu Wenhong nodded. You Mengzhe took out the lower volume of the Transmuting Yang Heart Technique Divine Art and saw that it did indeed describe how, with more partners in dual cultivation, the benefits increased, allowing multiple types of true qi to be stored in one’s body, interconnected and blended.

You Mengzhe then looked at the sword in front of the skeletal remains and asked, “What about this sword? It claims to be a divine weapon.”

Yu Wenhong glanced at it and asked, “Did you bring the Demonic Blood Sword?”

You Mengzhe opened his bag, took out the Demonic Blood Sword he had brought from home, and asked, “Is this one?”

Yu Wenhong nodded and said, “The Demonic Blood Sword is a first-grade divine weapon, an immortal weapon, which is the strongest. Next are divine weapons, followed by renowned weapons. This sword here is eighth-grade, so it’s an eighth-grade divine weapon, second to last among divine weapons.”

You Mengzhe: ‘…’

“No way!” You Mengzhe cried out, “Is this also considered trash?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “It’s been several hundred years, and the techniques of forging have evolved. Besides, the Demonic Blood Sword is the sacred sword of Mount Yuheng, rumored to be crafted by an immortal. Try wielding both swords together, and you’ll see.”

You Mengzhe held the Demonic Blood Sword in his left hand and the Nine Heaven Gold Zunshen Sword in his right hand. With a little internal force, the the Nine Heaven Gold Zunshen Sword snapped into two pieces.

“It’s no fun,” You Mengzhe casually threw the broken sword away and said, “Let’s find a way out and get going.”

“Do you know how to use a sword?” You Mengzhe asked.

Yu Wenhong replied, “I know a little.”

You Mengzhe said, “If you have the time, teach me. Swordplay is quite elegant.”

Yu Wenhong agreed, “Alright.”

They stood by the cliff for a while, and Yu Wenhong tested a vine, allowing You Mengzhe to climb onto his back and carrying him up the cliff.

You Mengzhe asked, “Uncle, are you upset?”

Ever since he first saw Yu Wenhong, he found this person extremely peculiar. He could be described as a quiet type, but not quite. He would respond when asked, but he wouldn’t initiate conversations. If you asked a question, he would answer, but if you didn’t, he wouldn’t say a word.

Yu Wenhong replied, “No.”

You Mengzhe said, “Why don’t you talk to me proactively?”

Yu Wenhong was a bit puzzled and said, “I… am very happy.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Were you always like this before?”

Yu Wenhong quickly responded, “No, no, I used to… rarely speak. I would only speak occasionally.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Who did you speak to? About what?”

Yu Wenhong said, “I would say ‘get lost’ or ‘you’re dead.”

You Mengzhe: “……”

You Mengzhe thought that Yu Wenhong’s accent was a bit strange, as if it was a bit awkward, sometimes incomprehensible, with a jumbled sentence structure, intermittent. He assumed it was due to not having spoken to anyone for many years.

You Mengzhe asked again, “How many years has it been since you talked to someone like we’re doing now? Excluding ‘get lost’ and ‘you’re dead’.”

Yu Wenhong smiled and replied, “Sixteen years.”

In a hushed voice, You Mengzhe asked, “You haven’t spoken to anyone since my mother died?”

Yu Wenhong nodded and said, “Yes.”

As they talked, the two of them reached the top of the cliff. You Mengzhe sighed and said, “So you are indeed very happy.”

A bright smile appeared on Yu Wenhong’s handsome face as he said, “Yes.”

You Mengzhe held Yu Wenhong’s fingertip and thought for a moment. With such a personal guard by his side, it would be a waste not to go back to Mirror Lake. After all, it was easy to run away at any time. So, he suggested returning to Mirror Lake. Yu Wenhong had no objections. 

Wherever You Mengzhe wanted to go, he would go. He would do whatever You Mengzhe asked. 

The two of them found a mountain path and began to climb up the mountain again.

This time, there were guards stationed along the mountain path. A martial artist was checking people there. Few had seen You Mengzhe’s face clearly during the previous chaotic incident. Many people wore cyan-colored martial attire, making it difficult to distinguish individuals.

The martial artist saw the two of them and said, “Which sect or school are you from? Show your tokens, undergo inspection, and provide your fingerprints before you can enter!”

“Get lost.” Yu Wenhong pushed his palm forward.

With that, Yu Wenhong casually pushed his palm onto the chest of the martial artist. The martial artist was immediately sent flying more than ten feet away, blood spraying in the air, and he fell into the bushes unconscious.

You Mengzhe: “…”

You Mengzhe asked, “Is he dead?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “No. He’ll die if we go over and finish him off.”

You Mengzhe quickly said, “No need, let’s go.”

There were no more guards along the way up the mountain. Near Mirror Lake, there were many people. The wooden, bamboo bridge that had been shattered by the thunderfire bombs the previous evening had been roughly repaired with cloth strips. The roof of the pavilion had been removed and placed to the side.

You Mengzhe found a place to sit down on the west side of Mirror Lake. Most people didn’t recognize him. They only saw two men fighting on the pavilion in the middle of the lake, clashing weapons loudly. You Mengzhe turned to a wandering martial artist wearing a bamboo hat and asked, “What are they doing up there?”

The wandering martial artist turned his head to look at You Mengzhe and asked, “Which martial sect are you from?”

You Mengzhe casually made up a sect name, and the wandering martial artist didn’t doubt him. He crossed his arms and said, ” Alliance Master Zhao has decided that, currently, in the Central Plains, apart from the seven border regions, the other eleven provinces are in the process of selecting martial arts alliance leaders.”

“Are they having martial arts tournaments?” You Mengzhe asked excitedly.

The wandering martial artist nodded and said, “For us martial artists, what else can we do besides having martial arts tournaments? Right now, they are selecting the martial arts alliance leader for Taizhou. The two men on the stage, one with copper cymbals, are Xuhai from Ape Mountain of Taizhou, known as the Hundred-Faced God, and the one using a Water-Splitting Dagger is Vast and Righteous Qi, Ling Xiaogu from the Diancang Sect.”

You Mengzhe didn’t recognize either of them. He suddenly felt that the stranger’s tone sounded familiar, but he couldn’t remember who he was.

The man was dressed in a black veil robe, and under his bamboo hat, his face had a distinctive scar. You Mengzhe felt that he had never seen someone with a scar like that, yet his stature and silhouette seemed strangely familiar.

“What are you looking at?” the wandering martial artist said casually. “Don’t stare around if you have nothing to do.”

You Mengzhe quickly turned his head away and pretended to be curious about the martial arts stage. On the stage, a burly man with a dark complexion wielded copper cymbals in both hands, making a loud clanging sound. A woman in red martial attire approached him, wearing a powerful expression.

The burly man first pushed his left-hand cymbal with a loud “clang,” hitting Ling Xiaogu right in the chest.

“Ah!” The audience below the stage exclaimed in shock!

Ling Xiaogu widened her eyes, stumbled backward, and clutched her chest. She was hit by the left-hand cymbal, and her body convulsed involuntarily.

The dark-faced man then shouted loudly, “Hah!” and immediately followed with his right-hand cymbal, hitting Ling Xiaogu in the chest again.

“Ah!” Everyone in the audience was horrified by what they saw!

Finally, the dark-faced man held the cymbals in both hands, separated them, and struck down on top of Ling Xiaogu’s head. Ling Xiaogu’s eyes bulged, and she spat out a mouthful of blood that sprayed all over the man’s face before she collapsed backward.

Applause erupted from the crowd. Ling Xiaogu was carried away on a stretcher, while the dark-faced man’s face was covered in blood, but he laughed heartily and said, “She let me win! She let me win!”

Note: his remark is just a polite humble respond to cheers.

He then clasped his hands together, made a bow, and hopped off the stage. Zhao Feihong ascended the stage and loudly declared, “As such, the martial arts alliance leader for the Taizhou region will be none other than the Hundred-Faced God. What do you all think?”

The applause filled the air, and the dark-faced man displayed an excited and eager expression. 

He said loudly, “Thank you, Alliance Master!” and joyfully hopped off the stage.

The stranger in the bamboo hat smiled helplessly and lazily applauded, raising his hand.

You Mengzhe felt increasingly convinced that he knew this bamboo-hat-wearing stranger. Just as he was about to ask a question, he noticed that Yu Wenhong was also staring at the same person. Did Yu Wenhong recognize him too?

Before he could speak, Zhao Feihong on the stage announced, “Next, we will be moving on to Tingzhou of Sichuan. Since the two cities of Jianjia and Tingzhou are close by, one martial arts alliance leader will be sufficient. Brother from Sichuan…”

Zhao Feihong looked towards the western shore of the lake, then a smug tone sounded, saying, “Hey, noble warrior Zhao, don’t leave just yet. I’m the one from Sichuan.”

As soon as that voice rang out, You Mengzhe immediately recognized it as Sun Bin’s voice! What was he up to?

On that rushed day when You Mengzhe was surrounded, he was fortunate that Sun Bin helped him escape, diverting Zhao Feihong’s attention. Otherwise, if Zhao Feihong and Zhang Yuanshan had teamed up, even his Shadow Guards wouldn’t be a match for them. Sun Bin had only shouted a few words that day. Everyone felt it sounded somewhat familiar, but they couldn’t discern anything suspicious. Zhao Feihong furrowed his brows slightly, indicating that he had caught on.

“Do you think you can beat him now?” You Mengzhe asked.

“It’s hard to say,” answered Yu Wenhong.

You Mengzhe whispered, “We’ve practiced dual cultivation together, and you still might not beat him?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “Seventeen years ago, when I sparred with him, he was quite skilled in staff techniques. In these years, he might have made further progress; it’s hard to predict.”

This could be troublesome. You Mengzhe had a vague sense of foreboding. What if Sun Bin’s enemy turned out to be Zhao Feihong? What would they do if he lost? He couldn’t let Yu Wenhong risk his life to save Sun Bin. He needed to come up with a plan that would work for everyone. Perhaps they could create some chaos? It seemed that there was already heightened vigilance around the lake. The mute man, Zhang Yuanshan was lurking somewhere nearby, clearly watching closely. There were also many disciples patrolling the area. As You Mengzhe was pondering this, Zhao Feihong loudly declared, “Why are you saying this? Which young brother wants to challenge me?”

As soon as he spoke, a young man glided across the lake’s surface, touching it lightly with one foot, creating ripples like a dragonfly skimming the water’s surface. He flew towards the central platform.

In an instant, everyone around the lake erupted in cheers!

Sun Bin was dressed in a pitch-black night-walking outfit, his body slanted, running non-stop across the entire lake’s surface. Wherever he passed, ripples spread, causing a strange pattern of waves across the entire Mirror Lake, distorting the reflection of the surrounding mountains and clouds.

Sun Bin circled around the lake several times, treading on the water’s surface, and then stopped abruptly. He was standing in the center of the lake, seemingly floating!

Even Yu Wenhong and the stranger in the bamboo hat couldn’t help but applaud and exclaim, “Impressive!”

Zhao Feihong’s eyes were filled with astonishment, and his gaze reflected Sun Bin’s smirking expression.

“Sun Bin, the Bandit King of Maple Mountain in Sichuan, known as the ‘Grass Sea Roaming Cloud'” Zhao Feihong announced loudly. “I witnessed the extraordinary skills of the Mysterious Hand Grandmaster back then, but I didn’t expect that after ten years, you would surpass your master.”

Sun Bin retorted coldly, “I’ll tell you the truth, Zhao Feihong, you scoundrel. You’re the one who beat my master until he coughed up blood and died. Today, you’ll pay for that debt with your own blood!”

Zhao Feihong maintained a nonchalant demeanor, saying lightly, “In the martial world, we engage in martial arts competitions. There’s no place for seeking revenge afterward. You’ve brought shame to your master by challenging me, despite your martial achievements.”

Sun Bin somersaulted in mid-air, flipping over and leaping onto the platform with a resounding “good.”

While Yu Wenhong and the stranger in the bamboo hat were applauding enthusiastically, You Mengzhe remained baffled and asked, “What’s going on?”

Sun Bin declared, “Enough with the idle talk! Today, I want to challenge the Alliance Master of the Central Plains’ Eighteen Provinces. Whether you accept or not, you must accept!”

Martial artists began to discuss this, but Zhao Feihong started saying, “Becoming the Alliance Master is not impossible…”

However, before he could finish his sentence, his voice suddenly diminished, and he stopped using his inner energy for the rest of his words. It was as if he had been speaking clearly. Then he suddenly stopped amplifying his voice, leaving the spectators hearing only the first part. The audience immediately became noisy, as if they were interrupted while urinating, and they all felt uncomfortable.

“What the heck!”

“Speak louder!”

“Why are you speaking so softly? It’s not like it’s something indecent!”

One person started speaking, and the crowd was instantly riled up. Their discontent grew, and it seemed like they were on the verge of a riot. But after a moment of silence, Sun Bin continued, saying, “Nevertheless, revenge must be taken!”

In the next instant, Sun Bin pulled out two daggers, and Zhao Feihong swiftly retreated while drawing a metal rod from his back. The collision of their weapons produced a deafening sound. The shockwave of their clash created ripples in the water, spreading from the platform to the outer edges of the lake.

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

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