“You have been training for hours, but your body never moved from that spot.” Meng Chao Ran looked deeply into the eyes of his second disciple. With much contemplation, he said, “It seems you have been training your sword non-stop?”
“Honorable Master!” Chu Yang smiled. To him, this master, regardless if it was the previous life or this life, he will always be respectful.
Even though Meng Chao Ran was stoic in nature, no one dared to look down on him. He might seem to be unattached, never taking anything to heart, but nothing seems to escape him. Moreover, internally, he always knows to weigh the importance of things.
Weighing the world!
Such people, no matter where they were, they are always outstanding characters!
In his heart, there was something he wanted to protect; that was the sect! Beyond the Heavens Sect! Because of this, at the time when the Beyond the Heavens Sect was attacked, he had rather fight to the death than retreat! In the wind tainted with the smell of the rain of blood, he always tried to protect his disciples.
Or perhaps the master had some other regrets. Only, Chu Yang did not know what it was. He only knew that, late at night, his teacher often silently stood alone in the wind looking nostalgic. As if thinking about something…
“You are training the heart, the intent, and the sword speed. Yet you also want to control the sound as the sword is leaving the sheath!” With arms folded in front of his chest, Meng Chao Ran, asked casually, “Who taught you these things?”
“No one taught me, I just suddenly realized, when you pull your sword, intention should be used with each strike to have effectiveness.” Chu Yang continued, “Before, disciple only knew to practice the sword and practice some more… Truly, I have fallen very far behind…”
“Hmm… that is correct.” Meng Chao Ran nodded gently, then he immediately raised his hand. Chu Yang felt his hand become heavier. It turned out there was a container of water in his hand. (TLN: is it plastic??!)
“After you finish sword training, you immediately took in your sword intent and dispersed the killing aura internally. After that, you talked to me. Your performance today indicated a stable foundation, you can now be molded.” Meng Chao Ran smiled.
After physical activity, one absolutely should not drink. If Chu Yang drank right after his sword practice, then all the results of his training since early this morning would become nothing. Moreover, it can also hard the body.
But now, he did not need that period of rest anymore.
Chu Yang held up the container and took a few sips, then put it down. He was extremely thirsty. But now was not a good time to drink too much water. Everyone knows this principle, but few can restrain from the burning pain of thirst.
Meng Chao Ran continued to look at him. He gently exhaled, smiled and said, “Only in using the heart to practice does one achieve sword heart. Once sword heart is achieved, you can train in sword courage. Only when you have sword courage, then you can move about under the heavens unhindered. Amongst disciples your age, everyone knows this principle, but those who are able to practice this are not many. Today you have forced yourself to achieve this state. Not bad. But you still need to continue to try harder.” (TLN: dudes, I don’t even know… what is sword heart? What is sword courage? Just assume it’s something epic and hope it doesn’t show up again.)
He paused for a moment and continued to say, “I will not oversee how you train, however, why are you trying to exercise control over the sound of the sword unsheathing?”
Chu Yang laughed. “Master, all swordsmen of the Nine Heavens are like that as well. All sabre practitioners as well. Their weapons are made of steel. For wealthy people the sheaths are made of gold, silver, or some legendary metal. Even more precious materials are also used. Overall, they are metallic. Metal is tough and is not prone to abrasion, thus these weapons can be used for a long time. Moreover, they would contribute to the attack strength. These are all advantages. But when the weapon is pulled from a sheath, the friction will create a sound.”
“Correct.” Meng Chao Ran nodded his head.
“However, this sound will give your opponents time to be on guard. Disciple believes that this is the shortcoming of metal sheaths!” Chu Yang slowly continued. “Master, what do you think sword training is for? It is for killing people! If it were merely for exercise, then there would be no need to use weapons. If we already wanted to kill people, why should we give them time to prepare? One strike, one kill, isn’t that more decisive? I am training to draw my sword without a sound, to create an element of surprise!”
“Jiang Hu is without mercy, a man must kill, fresh blood for miles. Killing people from the shadows. I faithfully believe that killing without sound, without warning, is the supreme realm of Sword Arts.”
“Killing without sound, without warning? Like the way you dealt with Shi Qian Shan?” Meng Chao Ran slightly tilted his head. His gaze became sharp.
Chu Yang was momentarily startled. He could not believe that Meng Chao Ran noticed this. Moreover, he saw through everything that Chu Yang had arranged. “It cannot be left unsaid, entrapping Shi Qian Shan was refreshing.”
Chu Yang calmly smiled without any denial. Then he suddenly said in a quiet voice, “If he was not stupefied by beauty, with a desire for conquest, he would not have fallen into such a trap.”
Meng Chao Ran gave Chu Yang a profound look, then let out a long sigh and immediately changed the topic. He clasped his hands, turned and walked away, while calmly saying, “You just said that learning the sword is for killing… don’t you feel this is a little one-sided? You need to remember that in this world, there are many things worth valuing, there are also many things you must be concerned with. Learning the sword is not only for killing, but also for protecting those things we hold dear.”
With a long sigh, Meng Chao Ran continued, “Human life is precious. If you can spare, then spare. Even with those who are extremely evil and cruel, each time you kill a person, you injure your own heart. No matter who you kill, it is still a monstrous crime. They are born from parents, they are fathers, brothers, or husbands to someone.” (TLN: well, what about if you kill a girl?)
“What master said holds true, disciple agrees. However, when others come to destroy what we protect…because we don’t want to make our side suffer in tears…” Chu Yang followed behind Meng Chao Ran walking straight ahead. He spoke firmly, “So I have to make the enemies’ parents suffer in tears. People like that cannot be spared!”
Meng Chao Ran said, “If it is possible to spare, then spare.”
“Even if I spare, others will not spare me,” Chu Yang said. “This world is as such. Dangers and enemies must be destroyed.”
“Your killing aura is too heavy! It is not good at all!” Meng Chao Ran sighed.
With pity, he shook his head. “If revenge breeds revenge, will there ever be an end?” (TLN: famous Buddhist saying)
“When killing weeds, you must eradicate the root. Then you will not leave catastrophe for later! Master, your heart has become soft and weak. You are not like people in Jiang Hu anymore.” Chu Yang said bluntly.
“You practice the sword as to not make a sound, that’s the same as a sneak attack. This goes against the traditional rules of Jiang Hu. I fear people will criticize you and that this will lead to negative effects on your legacy.”
Chu Yang laughed and said, “Traditional rules are traditional rules. I am who I am. Why do I have to follow those traditional rules? Disciple works with just one single rule; that is to protect my life! Not being able to protect your life, then complying with those rules is meaningless.”
He paused a moment, then said with a sarcastic tone, “Moreover, currently in Jiang Hu, there aren’t many who follow those old rules. Those old rules have caused so many honest people to go to their deaths.”
Meng Chao Ran became silent!
Teacher and student were unable to persuade each other. But inside, each of them felt a strange sensation. In the previous life, Chu Yang treated his master with utmost reverence, never arguing with him about anything. Currently, the two walked, one after the other, while having this verbal exchange. Even though all this talk about killing spoiled the ideal surrounding, but inside, Chu Yang felt an immense warmth.
Meng Chao Ran as well!
Even though he did not agree with Chu Yang’s words, but he cannot deny the rationale behind Chu Yang’s philosophy. The reason he did not say anymore was because, even with his students, he never forced anyone to follow his ideals. Everyone had their own path, how they walked those paths was their choice.
“Master, there is something disciple cannot understand.” Chu Yang contemplated.
“You want to ask about Shi Qian Shan?” Meng Chao Ran let out a loud laugh. “I have condoned Shi Qian Shan’s deceit against you two. Letting him monopolize resources of the sect without a care, is that right?”
Chu Yang raised his eyes and his sword-like eyebrows came together. This had made him suspicious for a very long time. If Meng Chao Ran already knew, then why did he not bother to stop it? Shi Qian Shan was his disciple, perhaps he and Tan Tan were not?
Before, Chu Yang could not express his dissatisfaction because he knew Meng Chao Ran had reasons for his actions. Now he was asking because he wanted to know; because his next step was to kill Shi Qian Shan!
What if his action ended up destroying Meng Chao Ran’s plans?