Vermilion Bird Territory, Heavenly Rainbow Mountain. Several days after the ruins, Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue came to Vermilion Bird Territory’s Five Colors City. A tavern accidentally caught their eye. This inn appeared somewhat dilapidated, and at first glance, it was mediocre, even shabby. Its business was obviously cold and unfrequented. Other than this, the couple on the door actually made people feel impressed.
The upper couplet said: “Windy and curvy, back and forth, flower and leaf, river and mountain, people happy, searching everywhere.”1
The lower couple was “Year and age, sunset everyday, rain and wind, oriole and swallow, wanting coming going, often green and red.”2
The horizontal scroll read “Leisure Inn”3
This couplet’s calligraphy was very fine, the upper verse’s characters written gracefully with swiftness that did not lose vigor, and the lower verse’ characters were like floating clouds, yet like a dragon, written with force. This was extremely impressive, and seeing those characters would make one feel of a deeply impressionable woman.
Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue looked at each other. Both somewhat curious, they strode into the inn.
Though the inn’s exterior was deplorable, the inside was spotless and very clean. There were many guests, however, a close inspection showed these were ordinary folk. Occasionally there was the wine-drinking and laughter of several cultivators suppressing their presence.
“What would you two guests like?”
The innkeeper was an aloof yet mysteriously smiling woman. She wore a light blue pleated skirt that dragged along the ground. Watery lotuses and jasmines faintly bloomed in her sleeves, and her fine black hair was tied up in a loose cloud bun. She leisurely wore a silver sash, and there was a loose black palace belt around her waist. There was a simple flying butterfly silver petal pin stuck in, the light colored tassels drooping as they wished. In the wind, they rippled around, and there was a spot of cinnabar between her brows. Her posture was graceful and beautiful, calm to the utmost.
“Was the couplet on the door written by Innkeeper?”
Hua Wanyue said.
“Truly good words.”
“We are seeking Sisterly sentiments.” Hua Wanyue looked at Lin Yingmei.
“Seeing as how you two ladies have very profound affection,8 if you are not opposed, you may have my Little Sister draw a painting of you two ladies as a memento.” Su Yixiao slightly smiled.
Hua Wanyue asked Lin Yingmei. The Hero Star’s face was slightly red, “Yingmei, what do you feel?”
“En.” Lin Yingmei was not opposed.
“Then please follow Your Servant.”
The three of them came to the second floor of the inn and entered an oddly smelling room.
In the room was a young girl currently painting with ink. That young woman’s jet-black and supple hair was coiled into a beautiful bun, but several strands of stray hair fanned out. She wore a graceful and spiritual light gold embroidered long robe that covered a similarly colored half-transparent muslin dress, dragging along the ground.
Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue immediately sensed some familiarity.
Su Yixiao cast a glance, “Qingyan, these two ladies have affinity with each other. Elder Sister would like to ask Little Sister to paint a portrait for them as a souvenir.”
“No, no we are not like …Yingmei and I are only friends, close friends…” Hu Wanyue flashed with a bit of fluster.
Su Yixiao hung her customary mysterious smile and exchanged several words with that Qingyan girl. The latter nodded.
“You two have a good time, Your Servant shall go take care of the guests now.” Su Yixiao leisurely departed.
“What are you two Elder Sisters called?”
The pair calmly replied. As top-notch Star Generals, of course they would not play around with those little tricks. Furthermore, Lin Yingmei discerned that the Little Sister before them was still full of benevolence.
“What is Little Sister called?” Hua Wanyue asked.
“My Daughter is surnamed Xiao.”9 Qingyan answered. She appeared to be full of vitality, like a lily in the middle of a lake, exquisitely beautiful.
“So it was like this.”
“Do Elder Sisters still want your portrait?” Xiao Qingyan softly asked.
“Then, please sit for now, Elder Sisters.”
They did not think too much about wanting the painting. When it came time to arrange their posture, Hua Wanyue was truly a bit at a loss. Lin Yingmei was dignified, standing erect like a modeling statue, full of a mighty heroism. Her flourishing heroic air made Xiao Qingyan quite moved.
Hua Wanyue thought for a while, and then she stood shoulder to shoulder with Lin Yingmei. The Hero Star was a beauty, her manners refined, natural and unrestrained.
One was heroic, the other elegant. They practically were a match made in Heaven. Xiao Qingyan could not help but praise that these two Elder Sisters truly were a match made in Heaven.
Hua Wanyue wanted to refute this, but seeing Lin Yingmei was indifferent, she seemed to think of something and then not say anything.
Xiao Qingyan rubbed some ink. She extended a hand and scratched the air. A sparkling and beautiful pure black bamboo brush appeared. This brush had four twinkling stars, printed with countless symbols circulating upon it. The brush’s head was carved in the likeness of a wolf’s head.
“Elder Sisters, do you mind if Qingyan uses the Life Managing Black Bamboo Wolf Brush10 to paint the portrait?” Xiao Qingyan asked.
Xiao Qingyan’s expression became sharp when she took up the brush. She scrutinized Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue for a moment. Her hand rose and the brush descended. The Life Managing Black Bamboo Wolf Brush’s purple light flowed with her strokes, bold and powerful, roaming about. Each metamorphosed into purple smoke, extremely beautiful.
Su Yixia was outside the door at this moment, paying attention to every movement inside.
This mysteriously smiling and graceful woman was precisely Xiao Qingyan’s Star Master. She recognized they were powerful. Before Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue entered the room, she had vaguely guessed their identities. The reason why she introduced them to Xiao Qingyan was not at all as a trap or Star Duel. Although she acted as a Star Master and should be an enemy of other Star Generals, Su Yixiao’s actions often were as mysterious as her smile.
When she heard Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue introduce themselves, Su Yixiao was startled, inwardly glad. Immediately afterwards, she saw Xiao Qingyan and the pair chat warmly, and only then did she descend the stairs.
Xiao Qingyan’s brush moved like a serpent, sketching contours, a rich style. Two absolutely beautiful images appeared on the paper. Whether Xiao Qingyan was deliberate or not, of the Lin Yingmei and Hua Wanyue in the painting, one was unyielding while the other was gentle. THere was a sort of indescribably subtle feeling.
The characters were vivid and lifelike, their attire appearing to have been blown by the wind at times, and at others, their skin pressed close together. Honestly, it was extremely true to life, as if they could leap out from the painting.
Just as the portrait was about complete.
Suddenly, there were frightened yells on the street outside the tavern.
The three girls’ bodies shuddered, abruptly sensing something. Lin Yingmei’s expression changed. With a quick step, she opened the window, and her figure disappeared.
Hua Wanyue was surprised and immediately followed.
On the roof of the tavern.
Lin Yingmei’s gaze stared at Maiden Mountain on the horizon, her expression full of grimness.
“Yingmei, what is wrong?” Hua Wanyue’s brows twisted, and then she gasped. She saw that the stagnant and lifeless Maiden Mountain had shot ray after ray of seven rainbow lights.
This light’s activity could be said to be strong, perceivable from even a hundred million li away.
“Strange, why would Maiden Mountain have such an abnormality?” Hua Wanyue was very bewildered.
“Hua Wanyue, Your Servant must go back.” Lin Yingmei calmly said, an ice-cold in her eyes.
“Go back?” Their intimate interactions these past few days made Hua Wanyue forget that the renowned Majestic Star Panther Head Lin Chong that was before her had certainly signed the first contract she had in a thousand years.
“Yingmei, I do not understand why you would sign a contract? If the two of us united…”
Seeing Lin Yingmei’s eyes show an icy expression, Hua Wanyue’s heart sighed. She shook her head: “I am very curious as to why you would want to sign a contract? Did your counterpart use some despicable means? If this is actually the case, I will endure a torn body and crushed bones to help you, Yingmei.”
Mentioning Su Xing, Lin Yingmei’s gaze immediately filled with tender sentiments that made Hua Wanyue flabbergasted. There was no need for any reply, for Hua Wanyue already knew the answer.
Was this still that valiant and formidable Majestic Star?
“Hua Wanyue, are you willing to go back together with Your Servant?” Lin Yingmei suddenly thought of something and asked.
“If you see Young Master, you will naturally understand.” Lin Yingmei faintly said.
Hua Wanyue just so happened to have this idea, “I gratefully accept your invitation.”
Just as they were about to leave, Hua Wanyue remembered something and flashed back in.
The Xiao Qingyan who was watching Maiden Mountain with Su Yixiao was startled.
“Elder Sister Wanyue.”
“We have matters to attend to that need our immediate return.”
“The portrait needs only a little more to be finished.”
“I fear Yingmei does not have the mind for this portrait.” Hua Wanyue was disappointed.
“Can you hand this painting over to me? I wonder how much I should repay you?”
“Please treat it as Little Sister’s gift to Elder Sister.”
“I thank you. If there is another opportunity, we shall certainly have you draw the rest.” Hua Wanyue gracefully nodded. Although she said this, she left behind an Astral Stone.
The Hero Star received the painting, her cheeks slightly red. She faintly smiled, then disappeared, leaving behind a warning.
“Most recently, the White Tiger Territory’s Star Masters have appeared in the Vermilion Bird Territory. Little Sister Literature Star,11 please be careful.”
Xiao Qingyan looked at Su Yixiao in fright. The latter hung a mysterious smile, pensive. She said to Xiao Qingyan: “It seems that you have run into two very good Elder Sisters Qingyan.”
Void Immortal’s Abode.
Su Xing was alone in seclusion inside a sword forging space. He sat cross-legged within an array. In front of him were twelve pieces of Gen Wu Divine Iron arranged in a circle.
His hand pointed.
One piece of Gen Wu Divine Iron immediately hovered, slowly floating towards Su Xing.
Su Xing did not open his eyes. When the flying blade was three chi in front of him, it stopped. His hands formed a hand seal, and he spewed purple qi.
With a soft bang, the Purple Rose True Qi perfectly struck the Gen Wu Divine Iron, instantly wrapping around it.
Su Xing slowly read an incantation. The Purple Rose True Qi immediately was even more vigorous. Purple light instantly surged throughout, and the Divine Iron floating inside began to gradually melt.
The expression on Su Xing’s face began to turn serious. He stared at this thing without blinking once.
Since the Gen Wu Divine Iron was already refined first by Tang Lianxin, refining it once again had saved a lot of time and resources. Now, the Su Xing who was fighting for every single second honestly was very fortunate.
About two hours later, that piece of Gen Wu Divine Iron was already like water. Su Xing flung his sleeve, rolling up a jade case on the floor.
He refined Spirit Sand, Lifebound Mind Flowers, and other materials into the Divine Iron. A spiritual light manifested, densely crisscrossing.
Then, Su Xing started to use sword forging techniques. The approximately three inch wide sword embryo slowly took shape. Su Xing struck every kind of hand seal, beginning to carve a sword array, talisman script, cloud marks, and inscriptions.
A long while afterwards, that enormous sword already was carved in Su Xing’s hand. With a Black Turtle as its hilt, wrapped in swordmarks, when he was carving the sword’s name into the hilt, Su Xing pondered. He saw that the cloud marks on the Gen Wu Divine Iron automatically formed a gorgeous heavenly mountain. He recalled that the Gen Wu Divine Iron was located in the ocean depths of ten thousand li. Its ocean suppressing power seemed to shake the heavens, and his heart had a thought.
His fingertip roamed.
His grand writing style revealed two words of talent.
– Heavenly Abyss.12
- 曲曲彎彎，前前後後，花花葉葉，水水山山，人人喜喜歡歡，處處尋尋覓覓, this is an essentially meaningless phrase when translated into English. In Chinese, however, this is a very fun “tongue-twister” based on saying a word twice. Oftentimes, it is possible to repeat the words in a phrase and retain or emphasize its meaning. For example, the 前後 that means “front and back” or “back and forth” can be repeated to say 前前後後 to convey an even stronger tone with the same meaning. Plug the entire phrase into Google translate to see the pronunciation. The source of these is from some obscure poetry text that I can’t find the English of. ↩
- 年年歲歲，暮暮朝朝，雨雨風風，鶯鶯燕燕，想想來來往往，常常翠翠紅紅 ↩
- 有間客棧 ↩
- 小女, this is her self-address apparently. ↩
- 清妍 ↩
- 蘇一笑 ↩
- 一笑, her name literally means “smile” ↩
- The innkeeper has mistook them for being lovers lol ↩
- 蕭 ↩
- 司命紫竹狼毫 ↩
- 地文星 ↩
- 天淵 ↩