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Published at 10th of January 2016 02:13:40 PM

Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Su Ling returns, Part 1 of 5


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“I lost again!”

Su Yu stared at the chessboard, his glaring eyes almost popping out, hitting his head hard, he snarled: “Strange, after so few pieces, it’s beyond me that while I was definitely earnestly looking at them, nonetheless how come I haven’t seen you had already four pieces connected?”

As more and more chess pieces were placed down in the course of time, inevitably there will come a time something will escape one’s attention, but there were only a meager ten pieces, after a quarter of an hour, still how come he had overlooked?

Su Yu still unwilling to quit quickly said: “another round.”

Su Ren laughed, it was now almost midnight, he certainly did not want to continue playing with Yu. It is not that this game is not amusing, rather the opponent is extremely weak, so there is not an iota of fun in it at all. It had always been regrettable that Yu completely had no interest in playing Go in the past, but he single-handedly fell in love with this game of Gobang, it had been four or five days already, every day he was pestering him to play Gobang with him, even though he often got beaten hopelessly. Su Ren got up and stretched his back, retorted: “it’s getting late now, tomorrow you still have to train your army!”

Su Yu pulled Su Ren’s sleeves, coaxingly he said: “Second brother, one last game, just one more round!”

Grudgingly, Su Ren had to sit down again.

This time Su Yu played quite seriously, placing every single chess piece very cautiously, his attention completely focused on the game.

Just back from attending a banquet dinner at the imperial palace, Su Ling could not believe his eyes when he saw this very strange scene. Exactly when did Yu begin to be interested in playing Go?

This also piqued a bit of Su Ling’s curiosity, entering the room, he walked over and stood behind Su Yu’s back. Seeing the pieces densely crowding together on the chessboard, apparently completely lacking strategy in chess, his brows furrowed deeply. Su Ren who had earlier already caught sight of him, murmured: “Big brother.”

“Big brother?” Confused, Su Yu looked up, glanced left and right, eventually seeing the figure of Su Ling behind him, surprised he asked: “Big brother, oh you’re back?!”

Su Ling’s body reeked mildly of alcohol, Su Ren while casually placing down a chess piece jestingly spoke: “envoys from Northern Qi are visiting, tonight the emperor hosted a banquet dinner to welcome them at the palace, big brother returned because of this?” Without confirming anything Su Ling merely coldly inquired: “did anything happen in the Manor?” Seeing them leisurely enjoying a game of chess, it is unlikely that something had occurred in the Manor. But, Bing Lian over the last several years has very seldom behaved strangely, so what was the matter after all?

Su Ling’s serious facial expression suddenly caused Su Yu’s heart to skip a beat, big brother didn’t find out about the matter of his and that woman’s competition in training, right? Although strictly speaking this is not a misdemeanor, but if big brother finds out he stopped the training on tactical deployment, instead took a group of new recruits to make a bet, he’ll surely throw a fit. A worried Su Yu anxiously looked to Su Ren, but he saw him nonchalantly smiling, his face unflustered he replied: “none, nothing different from the usual.”

Su Yu was secretly admiring, trust second brother to tell a barefaced lie.

Nothing unusual occurred? Then why was Yu looking like being plagued with a guilty conscience? Su Ling determined to get to the heart of Bing Lian’s matters, his scimitar-like eyebrows curved upwards, sternly asked: “Who touched Bing Lian?”   

Su Yu stared speechless, it turned out big brother was concerned of Bing Lian ah! His mind relaxed, a baffled Su Yu shrieked: “Who would dare to touch it ah?” That very evil sword, when he was young he took it once, he nearly was frozen to death!   

Bing Lian really chose Qing Mo, even thousands of miles away Chi Xue sensed its intention! Anticipating the brilliant expression on big brother’s face after he’ll know Su Ren smirked covertly, but at this moment he did not intend to divulge anything, big brother discovering this matter on his own should be hilarious. Su Yu feigning puzzlement asked: “Is there anything peculiar about Bing Lian?”

“Never mind.”

After walking a few paces away, Su Ling suddenly stopped, the two stared at his back, thinking he had some more to say, after a while, only to hear a cold male voice with a tinge of disappointment saying: “Ren, your chess skill is increasingly getting worse.”   

“My…” Su Ren stiffened in place, he did not know whether to laugh or cry, what’s wrong with his chess skill? They were not playing Go at all ah …   

Su Ling unfortunately was not planning to hear his explanation, his tall figure already disappeared and went outside to the courtyard.

“Ha ha ha ha ha…” Su Yu recovered his composure, sounds of hearty laughter erupted inside the study, it was very funny, second brother got his just deserts!


 

Chapter 5: Su Ling returns, Part 2 of 5

The crescent moon looking like a hook, the vast sky filled with stars, the noisy forest for the past few days was remarkably quiet tonight, in the pitch-dark forest hardly a ray of light can be seen, let alone a shadow.

Behind a sturdy and stout tree trunk, the back of a shadow leaned against the trunk, eyes slightly closed looking very pleased with herself, slung on her shoulder was a curved longbow, beneath her feet stood a bundle of long arrows, stuck on her waist was an exquisite, small dagger, overall looking armed to the teeth. Ah yes, Gu Yun is going hunting tonight!

The day of the competition is in three days, regarding these young soldiers, she is fairly satisfied with them. Speaking of recruits, she can confidently declare that in terms of endurance, attacking power and mobility, this team is absolutely the best among the new recruits of the Su family army. Tonight she let them rest without training, firstly, to allow them to recharge their batteries in preparation for her training tomorrow night; secondly – she’s going to catch a big rat tonight.   

For five straight days, this kind of feeling of being spied on lingered, she is definitely sure someone was furtively watching her, tonight she has time, she might as well meet him.

The night gradually deepened, silence reigned.

Gu Yun’s slightly closed eyes suddenly opened, holding her breath, the corners of her mouth curved displaying a very light hint of a smile, her prey came …

Ao Tian popped up like a ghost, his figure very light and very fast silently emerged in his usual hiding place, inside the forest, apart from the low chirping of cicadas, as well as the rustle of leaves, there was no familiar sound of that arrogant woman’s voice.

Did she not come tonight?

His mood inexplicably somewhat dampened, Ao Tian could not tell whether it was because of his disappointment or because he had nothing to do tonight to pass the time.   

Standing still for a moment, his tall figure was just about to depart when the familiar woman’s voice suddenly from a place not far from him coldly resounded, “tonight there’s no good show to watch, anyway since you have come already, why don’t you show yourself!”

Ao Tian’s footsteps faltered, she actually came? Yet he unexpectedly failed to detect her presence, turning without betraying a change of expression on his dark eyes, slightly moving sideways, he looked towards the direction of the sound.


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Across numerous trees, far away, a silhouette of a petite figure stood proudly in the forest, interrogating as she was approaching: “Who are you? Why have you been snooping on my training?”

Gu Yun could only see a faint shadow in the distance, she could not at all clearly see the appearance of the other person, taking advantage while talking, Gu Yun very quickly walked towards the rear, just when she almost reached his side, suddenly the shadow lightly jumped, surprisingly he dodged seven to eight meters away from her!

“You want to escape!” While chasing after him Gu Yun lifted the longbow, her hand grasped the sharp arrow, shooting towards the escaping shadow.

These past few days when she trained the soldiers shooting with the longbow she herself tried it, it cannot be compared with the pistol, but at least it is a long-range shooting weapon.

Long arrows whizzed past the ears of Ao Tian, the swift woosh of the wind demonstrated the archer’s fierce and sharp release, this woman surprisingly can shoot arrows!

Ao Tian suddenly flew to the top of the tree, one can only see the leaves between the branches quickly shaking about, after a moment, everything became tranquil.

Motionless Gu Yun calmly listened with rapt attention, but there was no more sign of a human’s presence. Unexpectedly she let him get away! What a pity, if she was holding in her hand an M92F pistol, he wouldn’t have the chance to escape!

Lingyun Pavilion.

One white and one red, two long swords, quietly lying on top of the stone table, at first glance, there was nothing particularly special about them. But after a closer look, beneath the moonlight the white sword was cold like ice and snow, the red sword red like fiery lava, identically similar aligned and laid out, a faint current of energy was flowing between the two swords.

Su Ling held Bing Lian in his hands, caressing gently the blade of the sword, gradually a whiff of freezing cold air encroached in the hollow of his palm, as it had always been in the past, evidently Bing Lian was not damaged at all, then why was it so agitated that day, even Chi Xue surprisingly felt its abnormal behavior. Su Ling was engrossed in his own thoughts when suddenly Bing Lian in his hands became somewhat colder than usual and repeatedly flashed a pale white light, signaling its excitement.

What’s going on with Bing Lian?

Su Ling was about to pull up the sword to look, when suddenly it calmed down, at the same time, Su Ling also felt that someone was approaching Lingyun Pavilion.   

Entering the General Manor from the side of the training ground, Gu Yun bowed her head while walking, mulling over the identity of that man tonight, surely it could not be Su Yu, he does not have such an outstanding martial arts, also it is unlikely he would be doing this kind of thing. So, who in the General Manor is capable to do such an act?

Passing by Su Ling’s Lingyun Pavilion, Gu Yun once again noticed his courtyard’s gate was ajar, she walked over a few steps, then Gu Yun stopped. Last time’s lesson taught her, Su Ling’s court is often not locked, who knows inside there’s again a vanguard, a lieutenant and the likes, tonight she is awfully tired, she does not want to fight with anyone.

Gu Yun turned around to leave, but a cold voice rang out from within the courtyard, “Who’s there?”.

This voice – it is Su Ling! He really came back?

Gu Yun was still weighing whether or not to answer him, or to simply walk away to avoid him, he did not know who was outside anyway.

“Come in.” Icy cold and unquestionable his voice rang out again. Gu Yun briefly hesitated, nevertheless she went in, she has some things to discuss with him anyway.

Very soon, a petite figure appeared in the courtyard, a person emerged dressed in black clothes, slung on the shoulder a longbow, how can it be her? Recognizing the person who came, Su Ling’s initially indifferent face instantaneously darkened, angrily he blurted out: “What are you doing here?”

Gu Yun did not catch the snooper tonight, naturally she was already in a foul mood, now adding to that to be berated by this person, her anger boiled over, her tone quite belligerent she replied: “Great General Su, if you’re not suffering from senile dementia, you should recall that it was you who ordered me to come in.”

He’s sickening! Her face wearing a surly expression, if compared to his dark face, her mien is not quite bad, she let it pass, without saying anything, today she’s not interested to keep him company for his amusement.

Gu Yun turned away to leave.

“Stop.”

In the entire General Manor no one dares to defy such a furious and frosty-cold low growl, unfortunately, Gu Yun did not at all consider herself to be a person of the General Manor, with long hurried steps she continued to walk out.   

He thinks he’s ordering a dog? Beckoning it, it comes; waving it away, it goes?! Like an obedient child one should meekly stop, well in that respect, not Gu Yun.

Su Ling’s eagle-like eyes glinted cold, his big and strong figure very rapidly flew and swept past, landing in front of and blocking Gu Yun’s body.

Like a mountain, his chest solid and firm across the face of Gu Yun, Gu Yun nearly collided into it, darn it, how great such pecs ah!

He thinks she’s still the same feeble woman a month ago who can only endure lying flat on the ground unable to move a finger? What she really wants to do, to subject him to the same treatment!   

While on one side undercurrent was surging, on the other side, on top of the stone table, one white and one red placed side by side, the two swords suddenly as if sensing the moods of their masters without prompting, automatically reacted, under the moonlight, both emitted rays of light one white and one red clashing with one another, producing a bizarre radiance of lights.   

Sharp eyes vis-a-vis cold eyes of the unrelenting opponents, secretly pitting one’s strength against the other’s, the atmosphere was completely incendiary, behind them the two swords were also increasingly getting restless, trembling continuously, the strange noise made Gu Yun wonder, she was just about to look behind her back, when a huge hand grabbed her shoulder.   


 

Chapter 5: Su Ling returns, Part 3 of 5

Though he does not understand why tonight Bing Lian and Chi Xue are acting weirdly, nevertheless he does not want an outsider to know the secret of the two swords. His line of sight traversing over the top of Gu Yun’s head, grave and stern eyes glared at the agitated swords on the stone table, as if finally sensing Su Ling’s fury, the growing bright light gradually dimmed and the incessant shaking of the swords calmed down.

The pain on her shoulder made Gu Yun wince, but she did not raise her voice, she merely whispered: “Let go.” Damn Su Ling, he dared put his hands on her! Although her tone was gentle, but her hand was already grasping the dagger on her waist, if he does not relinquish his grip, she’s not going to take this lying down!

Seeing that Bing Lian and Chi Xue were both back to their normal state, Su Ling did not make things difficult for Gu Yun, he loosened his big hand clamping her shoulder. At this time, Su Ling also had the chance to examine closely the woman clad in very strange clothes, her originally knee-length hair was cut off to her waist, without any ornaments the hair was pulled back and tied high, and that body-fitting black outfit, how strange-looking, not to mention in the middle of the night she was also carrying a longbow.


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When did the General Manor become a place where she can roam around as it pleases her? Those night patrol guards were they all out eating?! Even the cold and proud Su Ling could not help but be curious, “it’s very late at night, you dressed like this, just where do you intend to go?”

He released his hand, thus Gu Yun also unleashed the dagger she was holding and lowered her hand from her waist. “I just came back from hunting.” In her heart still curious about the strange noise a moment ago, while curtly replying to him Gu Yun turned and looked around. Behind her was the stone table as it had always been, the stone bench, the pine trees surrounding the courtyard were also as ever gently swaying in the light breeze, nothing peculiar whatsoever.

Hunting? Su Ling obviously did not believe, Gu Yun turned around, and happened to meet Su Ling’s eyes turning even more cold and gloomy.

Gu Yun shrugged her shoulders, laughing she added: “At first I could have caught a big rat, but in the end I let him run away.” She was telling the truth, but she could see his confusion.

Su Ling stared at the astute, alert and graceful face, after looking for a while, unexpectedly the corners of his mouth on his ever grim face actually curved up, chuckling he asked softly: “Are the Qing family sisters all so weird?”

What’s the meaning of these words, he met her other Qing family siblings? Granted that he had met them, he need not describe them as weird! Feeling faintly in her heart something was quite fishy with the whole matter, Gu Yun seizing an opportunity deliberately retorted: “In comparison, I thought I am relatively normal.”

Su Ling’s sharp eyes slightly widened, actually nodding his head he replied: “indeed, your elder sister’s attitude and skill in autopsy, it really is very impressive.”

He had fought on the battlefield for many years, he had seen countless horrible corpses, but anything like today, a person’s visceral organs one by one getting inspected, it really was unprecedented. And the person perfoming this, surprisingly was just a slender woman, her skillful approach and calm clear analysis, it was just impossible for people not to admire in awe.

An autopsy! Gu Yun’s heart jolted, joy and excitement filled her mind, but in order to extract more information from Su Ling, Gu Yun quelled her excitement, with a quizzical expression on her face she asked: “How do you know my elder sister can perform an autopsy?”

Su Ling nonchalantly replied: “Tonight on the main palace hall, she stole the show.” Not just him, he reckons all the court officials will vividly remember the recently appointed Madam of Prime Minister Lou.

Main palace hall? Among the Qing family sisters could it be Qing who was selected to enter the palace, Gu Yun urgently asked: “where is she now? Is she still in the palace?”

“I suppose she should have already returned to the Estate of the Prime Minister.” Su Ling obviously lost interest already, thus Gu Yun also did not inquire further. Basically she knows already what she wanted to know. In all likelihood Qing also entered the body of one of the Qing sisters, and presently her domicile is the Estate of the Prime Minister, this is enough for now, she will find the opportunity to meet her later.

At the moment she wants to resolve the issue between her and Su Ling. Taking a step back, she went to sit down on a stone bench, calmly and amicably Gu Yun said: “I have something I want to discuss with you.”

Just a moment ago acting like a shrew, but now strikingly calm, wishing to listen what she wanted to discuss, Su Ling sat down across from her, in a somber tone he replied: “Speak.”

Gu Yun did not want to drag matters, straightforward, she said: “I’m aware that the Emperor of Qiong Yue bestowed me to the General Manor. You were not happy about it, you did not want me. My appearance seemed to have disrupted the normal life in the General Manor. This being the case, I propose a solution. I’ll spend some time in the General Manor just until the emperor no longer pays attention to this matter. Afterwards, for whatever grounds you choose, you can expel me from the General Manor. Then, life in the General Manor can resume as before. You too can return to your olden days.”

Adept at reading facial expressions, naturally she could tell, Su Ling is not a whit fond of her. Even if occasionally his eyes displayed curiosity towards her but then in the same breath it was difficult to conceal the disgust in his eyes. Since this was the case, she voluntarily offered to go. He ought to be happy about it now, right?

Unfortunately, Su Ling’s face didn’t manifest the slightest expression of joy. His eyes staring at her coldly, Gu Yun’s heart had a bad premonition. Since he did not react, Gu Yun can only ask: “So, what do you think?”

Sure enough, as she had anticipated, Su Ling replied in just three words, “out of question.”

“Why?”

True to form, this woman is trouble, Su Ling’s cold voice officiously said: “Since you entered the General Manor, do not presumptuously think to leave. As for future plans concerning you, I have my own arrangements. You need not further care about it.”

This woman does not at all value reputation and integrity? She is a woman who came into the General Manor, and if she’d then be thrown out, the outcome will be obvious. He loathes troublesome women, but to ignore her fate is also not possible. If she does not get accustomed to living in the General Manor, he could also let build a private residence for her outside the city. Out of sight out of mind.

Gu Yun naturally could not know what he was thinking. After listening to his words, Gu Yun suddenly mockingly laughed and retorted: “To put it simply, it doesn’t matter how you decide. You may or you may not. You don’t need to consider my feelings at all. Even if I serve as a mere decoration, it’s fine if I’m caged in the General Manor for a lifetime waiting for your arrangements?”

Downright ridiculous, who does he think he is?!


 

Chapter 5: Su Ling returns, Part 4 of 5

Gu Yun’s pointed and rhetorical question annoyed Su Ling even more, whatever he wants to do he need not explain to this woman, Su Ling belligerently replied: “Right.”

“There’s no room for discussion?” Gu Yun finally asked.

Su Ling’s distant, cold dark eyes already spoke volumes, Gu Yun stood up. Su Ling thought she was going to make a scene, but she merely indifferently replied, “I got it.”

With such a man, basically there is no need to hold further discussions. Since the negotiations failed, she could only proceed according to her original plan, in short, he wants to cage her for life, no way!

Gu Yun’s extremely calm bearing and both disdain and resoluteness in her eyes made Su Ling feel an inexplicable sense of unease. As soon as she got up, Su Ling also swiftly stood up, his tall figure once again blocked the front of Gu Yun.

“Move back.” This time Gu Yun’s temper was provoked, she snarled while unsheathing the dagger on her waist, Gu Yun who merely wanted to force Su Ling to move back touched him briefly, holding the dagger which only a moment ago she pressed on towards Su Ling, he already nimbly retreated a step back. Gu Yun was intending to take this opportunity to leave, yet Su Ling’s body quickly deceptively advanced forward, entangling her. Even though Gu Yun had a dagger in her hand, but Su Ling, after all, practiced martial arts for many years, possessing the excellent skill of a master, after several moves, Gu Yun already knew she is no match to Su Ling.

She actually wielded a dagger, Su Ling’s eagle-like eyes glinted cold, he started also to be more and more ruthless. The two people fought hand-to-hand, more than a dozen of moves later, Su Ling capitalizing on the strength of his arm, grabbed Gu Yun’s wrist. Gu Yun just endured the pain on her wrist, his fingers like an iron vise tightly squeezing her wrist, the force was such that she could no longer hold steady the dagger, bang, the dagger clattered to the ground.

Even though the pressure nearly broke her hand, Gu Yun still refused to groan, because her skill isn’t as good as his she kept silent, but if he wants her to beg for his mercy he better just forget it!

Su Ling did not expect that she actually knows martial arts, and adding to that her martial arts skill is not at all weak, but clearly she lacks strength. Seeing the beads of cold sweat dripping from her forehead, yet obstinately refusing to admit defeat, Su Ling exerted more pressure, steeling his heart, he wanted to test how much she can endure!

How it hurts!

Her entire right arm because of her twisted wrist hurt terribly, if he exerts even more force, she reckoned her wrist bone would snap. Gu Yun clenched her teeth, hurting she propped up her other hand on the stone table standing unsteadily unable to endure anymore, yet despite the impasse, Gu Yun continued to be unwilling to utter a word of surrender.


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The beads of cold sweat along her forehead, dripped one by one on the stone table, whereby drops of sweat fell gently on Bing Lian’s body. Astonishingly, these drops of sweat falling into the sword’s blade, in a split second were promptly sucked in completely, vanishing without a trace.

As Gu Yun’s hand hurt more and more, Bing Lian which calmed down after much difficulty unexpectedly shook up again, emitting a blindingly white light afterwards, on the stone table amazingly there was no more trace of Bing Lian.

The mysterious white ray of light flashed by the sword towards Su Ling startled him causing him to quickly release Gu Yun’s hand. He drew back a few steps away to escape from Bing Lian’s extreme cold air!

What is Bing Lian up to?! Can’t it recognize anymore who’s its master?!

Su Ling was still silently cursing, but what happened the next moment left him stunned and his heart sank.

He saw Bing Lian astonishingly standing straight in front of Gu Yun, taking on a protective stance before her. Could it be that it has chosen this woman?! What a rotten sword!

“Bing… Bing Lian…?” Gu Yun also stared totally flabbergasted at the long sword. This… what is this all about?! How can the sword move by itself?! Not only was it hanging mid-air, it was also radiating a strange brilliant light?! From time to time Bing Lian kept on getting close to her, as if expressing to her its goodwill. When Su Ling moved the slightest bit, it right away advanced forward taking up its protective position before Gu Yun.

Who is going to tell her about this? How can science explain all this?!

On a moonlit night, a man and woman were rendered speechless staring at a full-bodied snow white, long sword suspended in the air, for a long time they were rooted to the spot.

Gu Yun was still in a daze when, Su Ling extremely annoyed at Bing Lian for changing sides, took a stride forward, wanting to seize the sword’s hilt and take it back. Who would have thought that the sword, up until then nearly always compliant to Su Ling, would suddenly flip its blade, simultaneously sending out a white light. Su Ling felt a strong gush of cold wind hitting him head-on, once again he was forced to retreat backwards, what occurred next struck Gu Yun dumb even more…

When Su Ling fell back, the other red sword calmly lying on the stone table, suddenly also vaulted into the air, the broad, long sword stood in front of Su Ling. Bright rays of light splendidly red as cinnabar and ice-cold white light clashed in the air, sending forth violent sparks, causing in an instant an earth-shattering blast of wind, the force of impact no less than the impact generated when a five-kilogram explosive detonates.

Su Ling was still able to stand steady, but Gu Yun barely able to support herself moved back a step.

After these dazzling rays of light, two swords — one red and one white stood opposite each other in the air, respectively before its own master.

After a good while, Gu Yun after witnessing this play of fantasy enacted before her eventually regained her wits, her heart slowly calmed down, is it possible these are so-called mystical weapons? Behaving like people, though not sort of demonic, they have a mind and will of their own?!

Gu Yun was still speculating that Chi Xue responded to Su Ling’s summon as it instantly leaped to his palm, when Bing Lian also hurriedly landed in Gu Yun’s hand in the next moment.

Gu Yun has used a lot of highly advanced and sophisticated weapons in the past, but this undoubtedly is her first time to use such a seemingly magical weapon with a mind and will of its own, she could not help but feel a little excited. Bing Lian appeared to have been awfully inactive for a long, long time, Gu Yun could feel its frisson of wild excitement. Amazingly she felt at this very brief moment, she and Bing Lian were communicating to each other their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Grasping Bing Lian tightly in her hand, Gu Yun suddenly had a strong urge to fight with Su Ling.
 

Su Ling naturally understood the implication of Bing Lian’s choice, his mind was full of raging fury, it actually without seeking his approval arbitrarily recognized its master! Bing Lian is an extremely cold object. Granted that it sets its mind on this woman, but if she does not have the ability, and thus unable to take the coldness, she would be hurt by the coldness instead. Su Ling would like to see whether or not this woman is suitable to hold this sword after all!

Su Ling took the lead to attack, she saw him flick away the tail of the sword, quite an ordinary move, but because of his imbued powerful internal energy and Chi Xue’s blazing heat, this blow was akin to a fireball strike. The heatwave compelled Gu Yun to retreat several paces away. Bing Lian in her hands started to tremble, white rays of light suddenly appeared to shroud Gu Yun. A cool, refreshing air diffused from her fingertips to her heart levelling and extinguishing the excessive heat in her chest.

However, the stone table behind Gu Yun was not as lucky, the heatwave baked it brown in a flash.

Two formidable forces intending and vying for victory! Su Ling clearly aims to win, and if she displays the slightest weakness, no doubt she certainly will lose, Bing Lian did its utmost to protect her, so how could she let it down!

Both her hands gripped the sword, Gu Yun ferociously forged ahead, leaping forward, wielding it from top to bottom Gu Yun poured all her strength and courage into the sword, as this is the first time after so many years that Bing Lian’s cutting edge is once again exposed, one can well imagine the locked energy of the sword, it was like going against a glacier. Su Ling has never before witnessed Bing Lian’s true strength, momentarily he was actually somewhat bedazzled, Su Ling was ignorant of Bing Lian’s power, what he merely knew was its millennium of years of co-existence with Chi Xue.

Chi Xue’s blade originally bright red suddenly blazed like a flame and turned crimson red, Su Ling felt for the very first time that Chi Xue is in its all-out battle mode, in his mind he dares not be the least bit sloppy, facing ahead to extinguish the cold frost, both the red and white swords once again clashed, the jarring sound of the blades’ collision was utterly ear-piercing.

A face-off between fire and ice, the relative superiority is difficult to determine, but all along Gu Yun’s physical strength could not match Su Ling’s, and her synchrony with Bing Lian is not yet as good as between Su Ling and Chi Xue which has accompanied him for many years already in the battlefield.

After a while, Gu Yun felt exhausted already, but tenacity has always been one of her few strong points, even though cold sweat was dripping from her forehead again, Gu Yun vowed not to capitulate.

Su Ling was likewise not faring well, the exposure to the combined impact of the power of fire and ice has also shaken him sending his heart beats surging.

As if sensing at the same time the physical strain felt by both their masters, the glowing red and white lights suddenly dimmed, the two people felt simultaneously the built-up momentum dissipated afterwards, with much effort, they moved apart.

Propping the sword on the ground, an out of breath Gu Yun was panting, damn it, after exchanging just a few blows, she’s this dead beat already, this Bing Lian is very difficult to control!

Equally weary was Su Ling, although one cannot see the embarrassment he felt on his ever grim face, but it was clear to him, just a moment ago this sword, drained much of his strength! She wielded Bing Lian just for the first time already she’s this formidable, if they train together until the person and the sword are one, very likely, only Chi Xue and he can match to this strength and power.

Even though both were tired to death, still their eyes were coldly regarding the other party, no one was willing to back down.

Until the noise of hurrying footsteps from outside resonated, both had not paid attention to the state of their surroundings.


 

Chapter 5: Su Ling returns, Part 5 of 5

Roving her eyes around the courtyard, Gu Yun didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, how did it come to this…

A moment ago they just seemed to exchange a couple of blows.

On both sides of the courtyard there had been lush pine trees, close to her side, all the branches were dried up and burnt black, while over Su Ling’s side, all were frozen into ice. Including the sole furnishings in the courtyard, the stone table and stone benches, because they stood too close, they too already turned into charred stones, practically pitch-black pieces, one could hardly figure out their original appearance.

This was just too extreme!

Seeing Su Ling’s livid face turning black then ashen, Gu Yun laughed heartily many times over in her mind, how great ah!

As the footsteps were getting closer, Su Ling suddenly shouted very loud, “no one’s allowed to enter.” The matter of Bing Lian choosing Qing Mo, he wants to keep it from Ren and Yu, lest the elders in the family if they will find out, then it would mean trouble!

Already rushing to the courtyard’s gate Su Yu’s footsteps faltered, anxiously he asked: “Big brother, what’s going on?” Quite indescribable, abnormally shrill noise emanated from big brother’s Lingyun Pavilion, not only in the General Manor, but also he reckoned it was audible within a radius of five miles, what’s the matter after all, ah?

Su Ren stood behind Su Yu, a look of rumination flitted through his face, however he may not have much to worry about, just now big brother’s ferocious bellow of rage indicated nothing at all.

In the courtyard, Gu Yun lowered her head to examine closely the sword in her hand which was back to its normal state, no longer launching an attack, but the entire body of the sword was still frigidly cold, she asked: “Why did the sword …”

Who knew as soon as her voice rang out, Su Ling callously interrupted her words, “It doesn’t belong to you, you don’t need to know.”

Gu Yun’s willow eyebrows wrinkled tight, putting the sword back into its scabbard, she placed it on top of the nearby charred stone table, coldly she snorted: “who cares!” What’s the big deal, although she likes the sword very much, but she also knows the sword is really not hers to possess, she never even thought of asking for it, he suspects her simply because he has a highly-suspicious mind!

Gu Yun turned around to leave, but suddenly the sword on the table vaulted into air again, blocking the way of Gu Yun, moreover it firmly stuck itself in front of Gu Yun’s feet, though it cannot speak, Gu Yun somehow sensed it regrets their parting.

Half crouching her body, Gu Yun gently patted the sword hilt, saying nothing she got up smoothly, not bothering to glance at Su Ling again, she sauntered out of the courtyard in her customary carefree manner.
Opening the courtyard’s gate, she happened to bump into Su Yu who remained outside keeping watch, a surprised Su Yu asked: “Qing Mo, why are you here?”

Qing Mo ignored him, quietly she continued to walk towards the direction of the rear court. Su Yu got confused, what’s the matter, ah?

Inside the courtyard, Su Ling walked to Bing Lian’s side, wanting to pull it out of the ground, who knew no matter how hard he tried, Bing Lian remained stuck, it seemed mad that its mistress walked out, refusing to acknowledge it!

After a few attempts, Su Ling also got mad, “You made up your mind to choose her! Fine!”

Bing Lian defiantly flashed, as if telling him, I chose her, how’s that to you!

Good! Very well! Su Ling snatched Chi Xue, leaving the place in a complete mess and bitingly icy-cold, Su Ling left in a huff.

Su Ling came out of the gate in spitting anger, before Su Yu could ask, he coldly spat out, “When I return I’ll check if things are just like as before.” His figure already flitted three zhang away. [zhang – an ancient Chinese measure of length equal to 10 chi, or 3.58 metres (11 feet 9 inches)]

Looking at Su Ling’s furious back, Su Yu bewilderedly asked: “What do you mean?” What has changed in Lingyun Pavilion?

Su Ren’s eyes glittered, as if somewhat understanding something, he laughed dismissively: “Let’s enter to find out.”

Together with a party of people they entered the courtyard, a whiff of burnt smell immediately assailed their nostrils, not only that, it was much, much colder in the courtyard than outside, quietly looking around closely, everyone was alarmed and struck dumb.

The garden full of deep-green luxuriant pines before now looked beyond recognition, while it’s true they can be burned down like this, but why do some trees bore thick layers of ice? It is the month of June, the hottest period of the year when the days are extremely warm, ah!

Moreover in the center of the courtyard there were a few dark lumps which were difficult to tell what they were before, and as for the rest, one can pretty well say the place has become barren and desolate.

“Exactly what transpired here a while ago?” Su Yu could not really figure out how Su Ling’s Lingyun Pavilion could turn out like this? Didn’t big brother just come back less than a few hours ago, right?

Su Ren squinted his eyes and soon he saw a spotlessly white long sword nicely lying on the ground, it was Bing Lian.

Su Ren headed for Bing Lian and squatted down beside it, unlike in the past, ordinarily as long as one does not touch it, one just feel its coolness, but right now crouching beside it, Su Ren already felt the freezing, bone-chilling cold.

Surely just now it must have put on a good show, what a pity that he was unable to witness it, Su Ren glanced around at the havoc it wreaked in the courtyard, he cannot help but admit, not quite bad indeed, must have been pretty lively, eh?

Su Ren entered the house to fetch a wooden case, gently pulling the tassel on the scabbard, Bing Lian was securely tucked inside the wooden case, he lightly tapped the case, chuckling he then whispered: “Bing Lian, you can rest assured, I’ll bring you to the hands of your mistress.”

The corners of Su Ren’s lips turned up mischievously, ah so life in the coming days is sure going to be more interesting and worth-anticipating, isn’t it?

While Su Ling left in a fit of pique, Gu Yun on her part was also extremely upset.

Back inside her wooden hut in the rear court, Gu Yun mercilessly dropped the longbow she was carrying behind her back on the table, damn that snooper, damn Su Ling!

Eyes fiercely glaring on the table, because she dropped the longbow violently it kept on wobbling, Gu Yun’s eyes increasingly turned introspective. After tonight, she realized something profound, how important it is for a weapon to be handy, if she had a handy long-range shooting weapon, tonight that rat would not have been able to escape right away, if it were not for Bing Lian coming to her aid tonight, absolutely it would have been impossible to contend against Su Ling!

One can only come across a mystical weapon such as Bing Lian serendipitously, a firearm like a pistol is also practically impossible to manufacture here, rather than wishing for those unrealistic stuff, as much as possible it’s better to make a practical and handy, capable of continuous shooting, highly-efficient long-distance shooting weapon.

With this idea in mind, Gu Yun immediately took out a paper on the table, she pushed aside the ink stone, she never really liked using writing brush and ink, the soft tip is too difficult to control, besides grinding ink is extremely troublesome, on top of her desk, several pieces of charcoal are always placed on standby.

Holding in her hands the bow she intricately studied a while ago, Gu Yun seemed to have a burst of creative inspiration, she began to draw on the paper.



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