Joy of Life - Chapter 740 - Glass Flower[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:51:04]
Chapter 740: Glass Flower
In the back garden of Ye manor, Ye Wan’s eyes narrowed. He stared without blinking at the young man. He had not thought that after he had exposed his disguise, the other party would be so daring as to turn around and face him instead of choosing to escape over the wall at the first opportunity.
Fan Xian turned around. There was only calm in his eyes and no glimmer of another emotion. He looked at the young and unfamiliar general in front of him and deduced his identity immediately. Only the old and young master of the Ye family could enter without announcement into the little garden Ye Ling’er lived in alone. Since the other person was not Ye Zhong, then he was the one whose reputation had been rising and had received the respect of countless Qing soldiers, General Ye Wan.
If this was a year ago, or even earlier, there might be an involuntary sense of sympathy between Fan Xian and Ye Wan, the two most powerful young people in the Qing Kingdom, just like how it was initially between Fan Xian and the Great Prince. At first there was hatred. In the end, because of their natures, they grew closer and closer.
However, that was not possible now. Fan Xian was a traitor of the Qing Kingdom, which was an unforgivable criminal. Ye Wan was an abruptly rising star general, the Emperor’s most trusted of the younger generation. Most importantly, Fan Xian had experienced the long and snowy journey through the snowy plains and seemed to see everything in the world more lightly. There was only calmness and indifference in his eyes.
This kind of calm and indifference represented powerful confidence. In Ye Wan’s eyes, it was a rich disdain. The glimmer of indignant dissatisfaction and anger that had lain hidden in his heart for a number of days suddenly took over his entire body. Yet, this kind of anger did not affect his judgment at all. It only made it colder.
“Fan Xian is here!” Ye Wan let out a loud cry. Although he very much wanted to carry out a fair duel with Fan Xian, he would not make such a mistake. For the Qing court, Fan Xian was like an unswallowable fish bone. To be able to stop this person or kill him was what Ye Wan most wanted to do.
The Emperor had once said that if this person did not die, he could not be at ease. As an official, Ye Wan had to suppress his pride. After he cried out in a loud voice to inform the soldiers outside the garden, he chose to retreat as soon as possible, using this demonstration of weakness to obstruct Fan Xian’s path of retreat. He did not hesitate to use this rather humiliating method to try and stall for more time.
As long as the soldiers arrived and an alarm went off loudly in Jingdou, Ye Wan did not believe that Fan Xian would be able to escape. Fan Xian also understood this. When Ye Wan coldly opened his mouth, he had already leapt forward.
Fan Xian leapt forward like smoke. Although gentle, the gentle shadow contained a Tyrannical air that made one’s heart cold. He tore through the cold autumn air and silence in the garden.
The powerful Tyrannical air that leapt toward him made Ye Wan narrow his eyes, even though he had taken three steps back. It seemed like the wind in front of his face was as bone-piercing as a knife of ice. He was surprised, but his expression remained calm and unchanging. He did not rush to draw his knife. Instead, he crossed his hands in front of his body, left fist crossed with right palm. In a short amount of time, he valiantly formed a hand bridge and sealed it in front of him.
With the hand bridge out, it was like a metal chain across the river. A murderous and powerful aura rose from it and forcefully stood in front of Fan Xian’s fist, making the Tyrannical fist-like driftwood floating down the river. Although its movement was ferocious, there was no sense that it would be able to shatter the metal chain.
Fan Xian was in the air. His eyes had narrowed. He had carefully cultivated the Ye family’s Coffin-Breaker Technique for a number of years and was familiar with the martial arts handed through the Ye family. Ye Wan had taken three steps back and seemed to be demonstrating weakness. But, he had formed the hand bridge and a thick wall appeared out of nowhere in the air.
Such a rich and marvelous method was not part of the Coffin-Breaker Technique, was it part of Ye Liuyun’s method? Had this young general learned the arts left by a Great Grandmaster?
Fan Xian’s heart trembled, but he did not slow. The aura emanating from the hand bridge in front of him was too powerful. He knew that his Tyrannical fist might not be able to break through his defense. Flowing Cloud Release’s strength was in turning true strength into something impermanent. Once the hand bridge caught him once, the follow-up change in method would be faster than he could react.
More importantly, the Flowing Cloud Release’s counterattack was like the clouds on the edge of the sky, difficult to catch a true trace of. Even if Fan Xian did not fear it, if he was actually caught by the Flowing Cloud Release, he would probably not be able to immediately escape. It was clear that Ye Wan would not object to delaying and allying with others in a joint attack in order to capture or kill him.
With a whoosh, a black and elegant crossbow bolt suddenly fired out from Fan Xian’s sleeve like a magic trick. Exceeding the speed of his fist, it struck Ye Wan’s hand bridge with a thud.
This was a sinister move, but Fan Xian had always been a sinister person. However, this thud clearly had a problem. It was as if the elegant poisoned arrow had shot into a piece of wood. It just left a little red dot on Ye Wan’s callus-covered but still white pair of hands before it abruptly fell down.
After Ye Liuyun had practiced this move to the extreme, he could grasp Sigu Jian’s ruthless sword. His nephew Ye Wan had clearly not reached such a realm, but he appeared unusually strong against Fan Xian’s sneaky shot.
After the black light, there was a streak of bright light. With a poof, Fan Xian’s tightly clenched fist suddenly opened. A black dagger pierced down viciously.
Ye Wan’s expression remained steady. He did not move at all. His crossed hands, one a fist and one an open palm, became soft before the black dagger and dissolved into two puffs of cloud in the sky. Gently, they stuck along the side of Fan Xian’s black dagger, making it feel as if Fan Xian’s powerful Tyrannical strength had pierced into a swamp of cotton without having any effect.
They allowed his strength to flow. For the first time, Fan Xian saw the true power of the Ye family. He was unable to move forward an inch.
Fan Xian’s right foot stamped heavily on the slate between them. It shattered like a spider web. His expression did not change, but his right finger cleverly crooked. With this little trick, the black dagger followed his finger and drew a bright and ruthless arc through the air.
The two of them were very close. Ye Wan had nowhere to retreat, and Fan Xian had to break through. Both had already raised their cultivation to the apex of their realm in the space of a breath.
The black dagger carrying a ruthless energy sliced down. Ye Wan’er’s hands suddenly became two old trees. Leaf-less tree branches spread out and encountered the black dagger dozens of times, but it left not a single injury on the withered fingers.
In this instant, the corners of Fan Xian’s lips twitched up into a slight smile. There was only calmness in the smile and the confidence the calmness presented, as well as the power the confidence demonstrated. The black dagger at his fingertips chopped down dozens of times but were blocked each time. He took this opportunity to withdraw the dagger and squeezed his left hand, which had been hanging quietly by his side, into a fist. He brought it smashing down without any clever angles or techniques imparted to him by any Great Grandmaster.
With a muffled boom, Fan Xian’s left fist smashed ruthlessly against the hand bridge Ye Wan had just reformed.
Between the two powerful young men, it had progressed to a competition between the foundations of their martial cultivation. Fan Xian had abandoned all other emotions and techniques. With great unreasonableness, he forcefully fought against Ye Wan with the zhenqi in their bodies.
Without any obstruction, the fist and palm crashed together. Ye Wan’s expression darkened and then paled in an instant. His left foot stepped behind him. His hands were in front of his body, and his entire body formed a beautiful arrow shape. His foot at the back was like a stump nailed firmly into the rock. His two hands were like a sheet of metal, ready to stop any attack that came at him.
Fan Xian’s body was still very relaxed and casual. It was as if he had just swung a punch without thought while he was angry. His feet still had no formation, and his body was still not in any kind of pose.
A powerful ripple emanated from around the bodies of the two people in the garden. With a whoosh, the autumn wind picked up and whipped up countless pieces of gravel and fallen leaves.
Fan Xian’s eyes lit up as he stared at Ye Wan’s dark and murderous face right in front of his. It seemed that he had not thought that the zhenqi in Ye Wan’s body would be so powerful. After he had consecutively blocked two of Fan Xian’s sly attacks, he was still able to block his Tyrannical fist that had been accumulating power for a while.
How had Ye Wan cultivated such substantial zhenqi in his body? Had he endlessly honed his focus and willpower when he had been exiled to Nanzhao? Thinking of this, Fan Xian felt a faint admiration for him. The sound of footsteps were coming from outside the garden. Fan Xian did not want to delay any further.
He was slightly shocked, but he didn’t know that across from him, the shock in Ye Wan’s hard was even more difficult to describe. Ye Wan knew how powerful he was. Faced with Fan Xian’s seemingly casual punch, he had the inauspicious thought of his hand bridge being destroyed. The reason he had such a thought was purely because Ye Wan was in the situation and could vividly feel Fan Xian’s strength that was even more powerful than the legends said.
Ye Wan finally understood where the reputation of Sir Fan junior had come from and why the Emperor had ordered him to retreat three steps once he saw Fan Xian.
If Ye Wan had not first retreated three steps and put up his hand bridge, given Fan Xian’s adaptation to change, his strength, and ruthlessness in attacking, he would probably have destroyed him with three consecutive attacks in an instant and would not have given him a chance to demonstrate the Flowing Cloud Release.
Was he really not as good as Fan Xian? Although Ye Wan’s expression was still steady and calm, a powerful impetuous filled his heart to carry out the final attack against his opponent.
Fan Xian did not give Ye Wan this opportunity. Although he could not kill his opponent in one move, he decided to leave him an unforgettable impression. Leaving behind, what he considered, a satisfying ending for the sake of this initial encounter that was destined to be passed down to later generations.
That was why Fan Xian’s eyes grew brighter and brighter and the clothes on his body began to tremble in the autumn wind. A faint but endless stream of yuanqi began to pour into his body with the autumn wind through the empty holes in his clothes and along every inch of his skin.
Fan Xian’s eyes closed, hiding the unusual light in them. With a muffled grunt, his left arm swelled up and his already exhausted fist expelled all of its power.
The dam formed by sand and stones blocked the thousands of li of a broad and powerful river. However, the river in the water rose higher and higher, and the strength of the water grew larger and larger. Suddenly, the weather stopped cooperating and poured down with rain. Endless rainwater poured into the river. In an instant, a hole appeared in the large dam.
A hall that was about to collapse was held up by countless round wooden poles beneath it and was barely able to support the existence of this palace hall. However, the ground began to tremble. A power that was not there previously and had suddenly appeared in the world shook the earth and swayed the wooden foundations, collapsing each of the wooden pillars. The large hall lost its support and collapsed with a boom.
From the beginning, Ye Wan used consistency to respond to every change, with the Ye family’s Flowing Cloud Release and the hand bridge successfully blocking Fan Xian’s three consecutive attacks. However, Ye Wan did not feel any pride, even though he faced the powerful Fan Xian. He knew best just how powerful he, himself, was. He suddenly felt that the bridge he formed with his two hands was being destroyed and his body, the large hall, was about to collapse.
It turned out that Fan Xian’s strength was superior to the legends, superior to his judgment.
A gust of autumn wind brushed by. The withered leaves that had been sent flying by their power earlier began to dance through the air again. Amidst the dancing leaves, Fan Xian’s unusually steady fist broke through the Ye family’s hand bridge of the Flowing Cloud Release and struck ruthlessly onto the right side of Ye Wan’s chest.
The autumn wind picked up. Fallen leaves took flight again, but there was no longer a trace of Fan Xian’s shadow in the back garden of the Ye family. All that remained was a pale-faced Ye Wan holding his chest and forcefully swallowing the mouthful of fresh blood that had surged into his mouth.
The soldiers had finally charged into the garden, but they didn’t see any trace of the enemy. They only saw the always undefeatable General Ye who seemed to have been defeated.
From the moment Ye Wan saw the young man to when the soldiers charged into the garden, only 10 seconds or so had passed. In just those 10 seconds, these two important figures, who would later influence the future of the Qing Kingdom, carried out the first meeting of their lives and decided the victor and loser.
Ye Wan covered his chest and forcefully calmed the almost roiling zhenqi in his body. His eyes quickly recovered their murderous light. He said in a cold voice, “Inform the Palace, Fan Xian has returned.”
With these words, the soldiers finally knew who their general, whom they saw as a killing god, had lost to. Shocked expressions appeared on everyone’s faces.
Ye Wan slowly turned and put his hands behind his back as he looked with narrowed eyes at the tall wall Fan Xian jumped over. His emotions were unusually complicated. It was a mixture of anger and dissatisfaction. In the earlier battle, as an official, his first thought had been to stall the other party. From the beginning, he had been on the defensive and had lost the advantage. Thus, he was dissatisfied. In a different situation, perhaps he would have performed much better.
Fan Xian’s last punch was able to easily break through his hand bridge. Although Fan Xian’s Tyrannical zhenqi could not have much killing strength left after it had broken through the Flowing Cloud Release, his injury and defeat at Fan Xian’s hands was an undeniable truth. In particular, the final powerful zhenqi that surged from the fist made Ye Wan understand the truth that he was indeed not a match for Fan Xian.
Ye Wan never underestimated his enemies, particularly one with such a wide-reaching reputation as Fan Xian. He still had not thought that the strength Fan Xian demonstrated would be more than what was rumored, more than what was written in military intelligence reports, and more than what he had expected.
The sound of coughing rang out. Ye Wan used a corner of his sleeve to wipe away the blood at the side of his mouth. His eyes were icy cold and unusually angry. The reason he was angry was because of the unfairness of life. Ever since his youth, he had traveled between the yellow sand and southern Man. His efforts in cultivation could not be imagined by another person. Only with all this did he have the superior ninth-level strength he possessed now. However, it was still not good enough for Fan Xian.
It was impossible. Fan Xian had not lived many more years than him, so why was he able to reach such a realm of cultivation? Was he talented? Could talent be victorious over his hard work?
Fan Xian didn’t know of the young general’s anger in Ye manor behind him. Even if he did know, he probably wouldn’t understand. He knew better than anyone that he was definitely not talented at martial cultivation. It was just that he had good luck and worked harder than anyone else.
When all was said and done, he walked the same road as Ye Wan. However, Fan Xian began cultivation the Tyrannical martial method from the day he was born. From the first day he was alive, he began to fear death. Such pressure and feeling could not be compared by anyone else in the world. This was what created the strange realm he was in.
He had defeated Ye Wan but had not been able to kill him. There was not a glimmer of pride in Fan Xian’s heart. His present strength, which was the foundation of his confidence, had allowed him to surpass certain boundaries. In the earlier battle, he had broken through in the end solely through strength. It looked simple, but it was a return to the basics and a marvelous choice.
He lowered his head and left behind the rising disturbance in Jingdou. He returned silently to the inn. He saw that his silent Uncle Wu Zhu was not by the window looking at the scenery. Instead, he had his head down and seemed to be thinking about something.
Once humankind started thinking, God started to laugh. But, if Wu Zhu began thinking, who would laugh? Fan Xian gently coughed, coughing up the bloody phlegm that the injury the rebounded shock from Ye Wan’s had bridge had drawn out. He looked at Uncle Wu Zhu and said, “He knows I am back. I am going to the Palace tonight.”
Although he knew that there wasn’t much point in saying these things, for some reason, Fan Xian still habitually told Uncle Wu Zhu everything he did. Just like how they had the bloody conversation in front of the temple for that one day and one night.
As expected, Wu Zhu did not have any reaction, he just kept his head down.
Fan Xian’s head also gradually drooped down.
The night gradually grew darker. No light was lit in the room in the inn. There were only darkness and two people.
When it had just brightened the next day, the room in the inn was already completely empty. The unlit candle remained elegant. It did not drip with wax tears to commemorate ahead of time the revenge and end that was going to start.
Not long past midnight, Fan Xian changed into a eunuch’s outfit and slipped into the darkness of Jingdou. Before leaving the inn, he glanced at Uncle Wu Zhu with one last deep look but did not try to awake him and rashly invite him to participate in human emotions.
Wu Zhu did not seem to care about him leaving. He just waited alone until daybreak. At the moment of daybreak, rain began to fall in the late autumn and early winter of Jingdou. The icy rainwater slapped against the clear glass windows, forming blossoms of flowers on them.
It was rain, not snow, but it appeared particularly cold. The cold rain did not become heavier. It just fell in fine strands, striking the back of the tiles on the Jingdou homes, the small stone alleys, and the rivers that flowed under little bridges. It rang with a rich rhythm and a slow and beautiful melody.
All of the homes in Jingdou being showered by the fine cold rain had windows. Ever since the renaissance of the palace treasury, the price of glass within the kingdom fell drastically. Most of these windows were made of glass. Thus, all of the cold rain formed flowers of different sizes on the glass.
Wu Zhu, with his black blindfold, sat quietly by the window looking at the rain flowers forming on the glass. After an indeterminable amount of silence, he suddenly stretched out a finger and gently touched it to the glass. It was as if he wanted to touch the beautiful flowers outside the window. However, he was hopelessly kept on this side by the glass.
“This is glass,” Wu Zhu suddenly said emotionlessly, breaking the silence as he stared alone out of the wind. “I made it.”
Wu Zhu sat for another long stretch of time. He then rose and looked silently out of the window like he remembered that it was now time for him to wander the streets. He turned and pushed open the door to leave. He walked down the stairs and out of the inn into the icy rainwater.
There were many spots of dirt on his clothes. They were marks left by the children throwing stones yesterday afternoon as he stood in that Jingdou alley. For the entire night, Fan Xian’s mood had been heavy. He had not noticed this.
No one would wander the streets in the rain Perhaps there were lovers who liked to tease and walked through the rain with an umbrella, but, in this world, there shouldn’t be such people. Scholars holding umbrellas and roaring poetry in the streets was foolishness. Walking in the rain with a blindfold and cloth clothing, Wu Zhu attracted the startled gazes of many people avoiding the rain.
The icy rain soaked through Wu Zhu’s cloth clothing and swallowed the spots of dirt. He walked silently and alone through the rain, passing the streets and alleys of Jingdou. He allowed the rain to wet his forever black and shiny hair and strip of black cloth that covered his eyes for tens of thousands of years.
Rain dripped down the edges of the black cloth.