Joy of Life Chapter 632: Only Saints Should Use Them
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The black-clothed man was the Shadow. He and Fan Xian had quietly entered Dongyi together. After arranging everything with the subordinates of the Overwatch Council, he had disappeared. When Fan Xian charged into the Sword Hut, he was not there. Fan Xian knew what the head of the Sixth Bureau would do once he saw Sigu Jian.
Suddenly, the Shadow appeared in the manor of the Master of the City behind the body of the Master of the City.
Sigu Jian had come to massacre the manor and had killed countless people. Regardless of whether people were alive or dead, as long as his body existed, it would always cast a shadow beneath the sunlight. The Shadow had hidden within these shadows.
The world's greatest assassin had, without question, reached the utmost peak of his cultivation. He was able to fool the senses of a Great Grandmaster, abruptly appear in front of the three of them, and seize Sigu Jian's most vulnerable moment.
In the wheelchair, Sigu Jian coughed up blood. His entire body trembled and shrunk in on itself. His face was deathly pale. Striking seven people in one move had made the heavily injured Great Grandmaster, who had dragged out his life for another three years, feel a sliver of exhaustion. However, what drained his energy the most were Fan Xian's hands behind the wheelchair, which were filled with Tyrannical zhenqi.
From the moment he had entered the manor, Fan Xian's intentions had run counter to Sigu Jian's. Sigu Jian emanated his power forcefully and suppressed Fan Xian's intentions. However, Fan Xian was a ninth-level ace. Other than killing, Sigu Jian also had to put his focus on Fan Xian to control his state of mind. Having done this for so long, it was inevitable that he would become slightly weak.
Plus, he still had the injuries from Dong Mountain three years ago. Ye Liuyun had attacked like a dragon reaching through the clouds. The Qing Emperor's earth-rending Way of the Emperor's punch had left Great Grandmaster Sigu Jian with grievous injuries. Having hung on until now, he was already at the end of his life.
The Shadow had chosen this moment to strike. He had chosen the best moment. He held an ancient sword in his hand. The sword light flashed as coldly as autumn waters and lit up the entire manor. From one moment to the next, the stone steps seemed to shine like jade.
The tip of the Shadow's feet stepped lightly on the jade-like stone steps. Each time he took a step, he seemed to brighten a little. A few random leaves fell in the manor, which flew up, accompanying his worrisome sword and increasing the sense of desolation.
The ancient sword in the Shadow's hand pierced toward the chest of Sigu Jian. This attack was simple. There was no trick, no buildup. It didn't even tremble. During the high-speed attack, the bright blade of the sword did not ripple. It slid forward smoothly.
It was only a bent elbow, a flat wrist, and a stab. It was the simplest strike in the world. Because it was simple, it was concentrated and powerful. The Shadow did not need to accumulate strength for it. He had waited more than 20 years. He had already accumulated it.
It was too fast. When the leaves floated up, they discovered with astonishment that they had already fallen behind the black-clothed man. It was so fast that after the ancient sword had split apart the air in the manor, it didn't have time to change shape. It made a sharp whistling sound.
Because he was so fast, the surroundings did not have time to change. The courtyard remained silent. The only change was the Shadow's position. He stepped past the jade step. In front of the light on his body was the most brilliant sword.
The tip of the sword was only a foot away from Sigu Jian's chest. It was a thunderous strike.
Fan Xian only had time to narrow his eyes slightly. He recognized the sword in the Shadow's hand. When he had attempted to assassinate the Emperor in Hanging Temple, the Shadow had held that sword in his hand.
Fan Xian even felt familiar with the Shadow's thunderous strike. Outside Hanging Temple, below the tall tower, among the mountains and wilds of chrysanthemum flowers, the Shadow had once worn a robe of white and jumped out of the sun with his sword pointed straight at the Emperor's face.
That day, the Shadow had worn white. He had been like an immortal from the heavens. Giving off a bright light, he had floated down with the plain ancient sword in his hand.
Now, the Shadow wore black. He still had that plain ancient sword. The light from his body continued to shine brightly. However, it carried a chill from the deepest depths of the netherworld. It was as if a vengeful spirit that had been trapped for tens of thousands of years was trying to release all of his hatred in one strike.
Fan Xian was still holding onto the little Emperor's waist. His pupils constricted slightly. His body did not have time to move as his heart was filled with shock. The strike, which surpassed the leaves approach, was so fast that even he didn't have time to react. It seemed to break the limits of time.
The Shadow was the greatest assassin in the world and the closest protector of the night of two consecutive masters of the Overwatch Council. After escaping from Dongyi, he had long been immersed in the darkness and never walked beneath the sun. Even when he was assassinating the Emperor at Hanging Temple, the seemingly glorious attack was actually careful and cautious. When the strike failed, he immediately pulled out.
The Shadow now was not like the Shadow of the past. He seemed to be sunk between darkness and negative emotions. This one strike was incomparably open and public. Decades of cultivation were all gathered within this one strike. He left no retreat, no way out for himself.
He only thought about moving forward. He had chosen to move forward with the ultimate courage and willpower. He only wished to deliver this sword into Sigu Jian's chest. At this moment, the Shadow was not an assassin. He was a swordsman, an avenging swordsman worthy of respect and admiration.
The thunderous strike was softer than the wind. It was even more traceless and quicker. It was more blinding than lightning and more stunning than thunder. It was the most powerful strike the Shadow could execute. Regardless of whether it was Fan Xian, Haitang, or anyone else on the wheelchair, probably no one could escape this sudden attack.
This was the first strike the Shadow had truly made these 20 years. It was a strike he had practiced countless times with the river of time and the hatred of the netherworld.
In the last moment when the tip of the sword broke through the air, it faintly reached another level. Just like what Sigu Jian taught Fan Xian earlier, only when the intention was aligned, could such a thing happen.
Nothing was faster than one's intentions. No one's intentions were more determined, sinister, or open-hearted than the Shadow's.
All of the muscles in Fan Xian's body tightened. The Tyrannical zhenqi in his body circulated quickly. In the first moment his thoughts reacted, he wanted to take the little Emperor and escape. In front of such a strike, he didn't have time to make any reaction.
But, Sigu Jian did. Although he was at the end of his life, had been troubled by a heavy injury for three years, massacred the manor, and depleted his energies, he was still a Great Grandmaster. One could not use common sense to judge a Great Grandmaster.
Sigu Jian's expression was not like any other time. His face was extremely pale. His eyes were very bright. The shattered right side of his face seemed like an ugly and horrifying god, emanating a power righteousness.
Even a Great Grandmaster would not underestimate such an attack, but the Great Grandmaster could not move easily. He only had one hand left. Thus, Sigu Jian moved his hand. Raising his left arm, he split open his index and middle finger four inches in front of chest and then closed them together. He used two fingers to grasp the thunderous attack.
His face became even paler. His eyes brightened even more. His expression became more solemn. The sword between his two fingers was still pushing forward.
The Shadow was like Sigu Jian's shadow, pressed tightly against the wheelchair. With a wild cry, as if crazed and mad, crying and complaining, joyful and angry, stepping on to the path of escape 20 years ago, holding the mourning of the entire clan, the bitterness of losing father and mother, he ruthlessly pushed forward.
With a puff, the cold ancient sword rubbed against Sigu Jian's index finger and made a squeaking noise. It carried a burning smell that filled one with fear. Powerfully, it broke through Sigu Jian's finger sword and pierced into Sigu Jian's chest.
The tip of the sword only penetrated two inches into the Great Grandmaster's body before it stopped moving. Sigu Jian's eyes had already brightened to the extreme. They were like two stars giving off light, landing on the Shadow's similarly pale face. His fingers were like two mountains, catching the Shadow's thunderous strike between the rocks so that it could not move another inch.
There was a pause for a moment.
A pale-faced Fan Xian gave a muffled hmph and grabbed the waist of the little Emperor by his side. He flew up like a large bird. Leaving from behind the wheelchair, he broke through the air and floated toward the trees beside the manor.
If he had stayed behind the wheelchair, perhaps he would only be injured. The little Emperor would certainly have her heart meridian severed and die under Sigu Jian and the Shadow's double attack.
Floating toward the trees, Fan Xian forcefully turned his pale face around in midair. He saw a scene that that he would never forget that made his heart tremble.
Sigu Jian's face was deathly pale. The Shadow's face was also deathly pale. After that stormy night in Dongyi, this pair of brothers had never met again. Now, they were pressed together tightly, their icy expressions mirroring each other. It was not amusing. It made one's heart run cold. Their bodies were pressed tightly together, but there was a sword between them.
On Sigu Jian's chest, the tip of the sword carried a line of fresh blood, which stubbornly tried to burrow in. It was as if this Great Grandmaster did not feel anything. He only looked at the Shadow with those bright, terrifying, and old eyes. The two fingers on his left hand steadily and scarily grasped the sword.
Willpower and intention were only the blink of an eye, an instant. Inside the manor's courtyard, the air suddenly changed. It was as if countless wind blades of unknown origin were slicing through the air, making whooshing sounds and coming from all directions. They followed a remarkable track that could not be seen by the naked eye and headed straight for the center, toward the Shadow's body.
The Shadow was still wearing the robes specially made for the Overwatch Council. The Third Bureau had spent many years in devising this before they succeeded. Under the onslaught of all this sword qi, it could only resist for a moment before it began to tear. Splitting along a multitude of small openings, the material flipped out like the mouth of an infant. Countless wounds appeared in an instant on the Shadow's body and began to seep blood.
Sigu Jian's true counter-attack was not on the outside. It was on the inside of the Shadow's body. That power and cold blood-devouring sword intent followed his finger and glance. It entered the Shadow's body without mercy. It shook his internal organs. Blood began to seep out of his body, pouring out from his mouth.
On the Shadow's deathly pale face, blood poured endlessly out of his mouth. It poured, not flowed. It was as if it would never come to an end. The Shadow did not feel a sliver of fear. On the contrary, he laughed. A bitter and strange laugh rose to his deathly pale and common face. The sound of his laughter echoed throughout the manor. There was a crazed sob caught up in the laughter.
The Shadow gave a crazed roar like the cry of a mad beast in pain. He delivered all of the zhenqi in his body into the sword on his chest. He cared not at all about the pain his body was receiving. He only cared about the distance between the tip of his sword and Sigu Jian's heart.
A powerful qi ripple exploded between the two of them, shattering the leaves around the wheelchair into threads until they dissolved into nothing.
In the end, a wheelchair was not like a person's legs. Following the Shadow's full force explosion, the wheelchair quickly rolled backward, moving faster and faster. The sword caught between Sigu Jian's fingers was also slowly pushing into his body.
Sigu Jian's face became paler. His eyes also grew brighter. The Shadow's face also grew paler. More blood poured out from between his lips, leaving a bloody path on the ground.
Fan Xian saw two deathly pale people, one spewing blood and the other silent, carrying out the most crazed and calmest killing. His hand involuntarily trembled. He didn't like Sigu Jian, so he should help the Shadow. If he was going to act, he would have already acted when he was behind Sigu Jian's body. Given Sigu Jian's present weakened condition, if Fan Xian and the Shadow, two powerful warriors, struck out at the same time, they may actually have had a chance of success. The Shadow would certainly not be as in as much trouble or pain as he was now.
However, Fan Xian did not do anything. He only trembled and coldly watched the scene. This had nothing to do with the negotiation between the Qing Kingdom and Dongyi. This had nothing to do with the friendship between Sigu Jian and his mother, Uncle Wu Zhu, and Sir Fei Jie.
He had promised to create an opportunity for the Shadow, but he would not participate in the Shadow's revenge. Although he didn't know what exactly happened many years ago during the tragic case of the massacre of Dongyi's Master of the City's manor and the secrets within, he respected the Shadow.
The Shadow was a proud swordsman. He had not come here as an assassin to meet his brother, the pride of Dongyi. He had come because of the terror and pain in his heart.
If Fan Xian acted now, the Shadow would not agree. Fan Xian understood this, so he chose to watch from the side, trembling.
With a thud, the wheelchair had finally retreated to the back of the courtyard at the bottom of the other stone steps. There was nowhere else to go. The wheelchair instantly shattered into countless wooden shards under such a high-speed impact. Covered in blood, a frantic light lit up in the Shadow's eyes as he finally pushed the sword in his hand forward another inch.
For this one inch of distance, the Shadow paid a great price. Sigu Jian's lips trembled. He laughed in a strange and raspy voice. Amidst his laughter, he, who had fallen to the ground, twisted his fingers. The sword stuck in his chest broke with a snap.
The Shadow didn't smile. The tip of the sword broke off inside Sigu Jian's chest, but he still held the other half of the broken sword. Without seeming to stop at all, the broken sword slid naturally along the trembling tip of the sword buried in Sigu Jian's chest and once again plunged in, piercing deeply into Sigu Jian's chest.
From when he appeared behind the body of the Master of the City to when he came down the steps, from piercing into Sigu Jian's chest to pushing back the wheelchair dozens of meters, until the final stab with the broken sword, the Shadow's brilliantly glowing thunderous strike was actually all one move. There was no break. Sword intent gathered around this one strike.
In the Shadow's life, he only had one chance to use such an attack.
The broken and not particularly sharp end of the sword sank into Sigu Jian's chest. It did not slide in smoothly. It felt rough, as if cutting through flesh. It seemed very painful.
The Shadow seemed to be able to sense the other person's pain because he was also in a lot of pain, so much so that his entire body trembled. With his head down, he pushed forward silently, cutting through flesh.
He cut through the past, the past 20 years ago. In this instant, the Shadow seemed to see many things. He saw, many years ago, that idiotic brother of his secretly constructing a small grass hut on a piece of uncultivated land outside the city. He then proudly said that this would be a sacred place for martial training.
Only a child, he looked disdainfully at the broken down grass hut from the side. He watched the blind man and girl who occasionally entered the grass hut. One day, the child suddenly became interested in the sword. His idiotic brother had asked him seriously if he wanted to learn. If he did, he could teach him.
Learning the sword was a tough and difficult matter. The two brothers in the grass hut became fools in the eyes of everyone else. They all wondered if the Master of the City had offended the Temple to have two idiots. Their brothers and sisters in the manor ignored these two idiots. Perhaps there was something scary at the time, but he didn't know. He was only a child.
Then came the night everyone died. The people the child hated died. The people he loved died. The cats and dogs he raised died. His brothers, sisters, and uncles died. The father and mother who loved him dearly also died. No one survived.
It was only after he stood, trembling, in front of the manor's screen and saw the bloody and dripping sword in his idiot elder brother's hand and those emotionless eyes did he begin to feel scared. He knew that if he didn't leave, this idiot brother of his would kill him.
That was perhaps the night Sigu Jian truly became a Great Grandmaster. It was also the night the youngest boy of the manor of the Master of the City began to run. From that night onward, the Shadow became the Shadow, forever living only in the night and never seeing a sliver of sunlight again.
His chest was filled with anger, hatred, resentment, and fear. He didn't sleep at night. Every time he fell asleep at night, he seemed to always see that pair of emotionless eyes.
Thus, the Shadow's face became paler and paler. He knew that if he couldn't kill his brother, he would live his entire life in darkness. His brother became a sword saint and the master of Dongyi. Every time he heard this news, he felt that he could only ever be a blood-covered and trembling child who did not speak.
After many years, the one strike that had accumulated 20 years of resentment, vengeance, and fear, finally pierced into his brother's body. This one strike pierced through 20 years of time and carried complicated emotions. He finally tasted his blood. The Shadow was not completely absolved. He still trembled all over because he realized there were still so many blood stains on his body and Sigu Jian was still not dead.
Sigu Jian was also covered in blood but it was uncertain if the blood was his or that of his brother. Brothers often could exchange blood, but it shouldn't be done like this.
The clothing on their bodies was torn into countless shreds by the sword qi crisscrossing in the manor. It hung wretchedly on their bodies.
Sigu Jian's eyelids drooped slightly. It was as if he couldn't keep them open for much longer. His small frame began to tremble urgently like the Shadow's.
Sigu Jian's fingers pinched the tip of the broken sword and pulled it out like lightning before slicing it toward the Shadow's neck. The Shadow did not dodge. Closing the fingers of his left hand into a sword, he stabbed it toward the bloody hole that was left open after the half of the sword had been pulled out.
Exchanging one life for another, he would not rest until death.
With a clap, the two people's body's separated violently. The Shadow was like a rock as he swept back quickly along the bloody path. He stirred up a line of dust and smoke before landing heavily on the steps. He vomited up blood uncontrollably and couldn't stop panting.
Sigu Jian sat on the stone steps on the other side. Half of the sword was plunged into his chest, while he held the other half in his hands. He looked coldly at the Shadow at the bottom of the steps across from him as a trickle of blood slowly flowed out from between his lips.
The courtyard in the manor sank into a terrifying silence.
Fan Xian and the little Emperor stood far away under the trees and watched the brothers fight each other with pale faces. The little Emperor didn't know who the black-clothed man was. She at least knew that he was very powerful. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to contend with Sigu Jian for so long.
Fan Xian knew that, in the end, the Shadow lost. Although Sigu Jian was already at the end of his life, a Great Grandmaster was still a Great Grandmaster. As long as he had one breath still remaining in his body, he would be able to proudly stand at the apex of martial prowess. Although there was the constant fear of falling down with a breath of the wind, in the end, he still managed to stand firm.
The Shadow should still feel proud of himself. Fan Xian's eyes grew slightly wet. He felt proud for him. A ninth-level warrior seemed very powerful, but to be able to meet a Great Grandmaster alone in a duel and injure him to such a wretched state was truly an exceptional performance.
In the last moment, Sigu Jian had used his Great Grandmaster realm and powerful willpower to take control of the situation. He clearly could have killed the Shadow, so why did he not do it? Did he feel pity toward his brother? Fan Xian did not believe that this bloodthirsty Great Grandmaster with a love of killing could have such gentle feelings.
After the scene was silent for a long time, Sigu Jian suddenly asked in a raspy voice, "If we are speaking seriously, you should be the first disciple of the Sword Hut."
The Shadow lay in a pool of blood. He didn't reply. He only looked at him heartlessly and senselessly. Sigu Jian coughed violently and said, "You should be proud to be able to execute such a strike as you did today."
After a moment, the Shadow suddenly said, "Wh… Why?"
Why had Sigu Jian gone crazy that year and massacred his entire clan, not even spearing his own father and mother, or his younger brother? This question had lingered in the Shadow's heart for many years. Under the circumstances, he was finally able to ask.
Sigu Jian knew what he was asking. Fan Xian also knew. Sigu Jian did not answer it. He only coldly said, "All those who obstruct me must die. You've followed us for a day and watched for a day. I had thought you had understood something since you were able to use such a move. I had not thought you would still ask such a childish question. Little brother, you disappoint me so much."
After hearing these words, Fan Xian's heart jumped. Sigu Jian had long sensed that the Shadow was following them. Sigu Jian's lessons were not just aimed at him. He had also hoped that the Shadow watching from the darkness would be able to learn something from it too.
The Shadow fell silent. His normal eyes stared as ruthlessly as a wild animal at Sigu Jian on the steps in the distance. With the tragic scene in the past and the words now, he didn't have to decide what he should believe. He only had to confirm what he believed.
Fan Xian followed the Shadow's gaze and looked at the horrifying wound on Sigu Jian's chest. It was a mess of flesh and blood with a faint layer of green light over it, like some kind of poison. It remarkably maintained the last breath of life in the heart that should have been destroyed.
This was the punch the Qing Emperor had gifted to Sigu Jian on Dong Mountain. Sigu Jian should have died a long time ago, but he continued to live. There had to be a secret there, particularly that terrifying wound on his chest.
Sigu Jian coldly used the last of his clothing to cover the injury on his chest. Glancing at the Shadow and Fan Xian, he said his last words, "A swordsman is a deadly weapon. Only saints should use them."
Fan Xian fell silent. He immediately understood the meaning of Sigu Jian's words. A swordsman was a deadly weapon, and only saints should use them. However, saints were, by nature, heartless.
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