Chapter 446: The Alluring Blade

    Chapter 446: The Alluring Blade

    Lan Jue had been blessed with the company of many beautiful women in his life, but this one was only surpassed by Hera and Zhou Qianlin. She had a very different style, however.

    Yan Ningya's beauty was something Easterners' could appreciate. She had a very classical appearance that was not the flavor of the North or West where they preferred more straightforward girls. However, once beauty reached a certain point it didn't matter. At least, that's how many in the audience felt when they looked upon her.

    She was like a different woman once the mask was gone, though. A fervor burned in those glittering eyes. Then, she turned her back on her enemy and walked a few steps away. She dragged her longsword along the crowd to the sounds of an awful hiss. A jagged trench followed her.

    Jun Yongye appeared to sense something, and his response was to smile pleasantly toward the girl. With his left hand he flicked the blade of his weapon. The resulting hum of reverberation sounded like the sigh of a great dragon. It filled the whole arena as commanding as ringing church bells. There was something stimulating about it that cleared the minds of listeners so they could focus more clearly on the fight below.

    Seven long steps. Yan Ningya lazily dragged her sword seven steps across the field before slowly turning back to look at the swordsman. Her pretty face was split in a shy smile, and yet her eyes were different. A quick glimpse of sadness existed somewhere in them that appeared only occasionally. For many it only served to increase her charm.

    Then there was a flash, a piercing ray of light that slashed the ring in two.

    The Pharmacist muttered as she and Lan Jue watched. "The Alluring Blade. Beguiling with a look and a smile!"

    The moment Yan Ningya swung back around, Jun Yongye was on the move. The point of his simple sword tore through the air. His eyes followed the biting tip, the blade leaving a dim afterimage in its wake. A series of tintinnabulating rings followed quickly one after the other, like wind chimes as he deflected the beam.

    That cutting light that had threatened to sever the whole ring vanished. Jun Yongye stood unmoved, with the tip of his sword firmly pointed to the distant Yan Ningya.

    She looked unmoved, but there was flash in her eyes at the world around her appeared to thicken. Her foe could feel his sword moving more sluggishly, as though trying to cut through jam. At last it was time to use her Discipline - time control.

    Her eyes grew sharp and she took a step forward. She and her sword swam effortlessly toward her enemy, as though dancing. She began to sing, sweet soft tones.

    "In the North lives a wondrous beauty!" She whipped the sword around herself and over, bringing it down in a fierce chop toward Jun Yongye.

    Yan Ningya's time dilation had begun to slow him down, but a pale white haze sprang up as she neared. He pulled back his sword just in time to deflect her attack with the flat of his sword.

    "Clang!" Jun Yongye stumbled sideways a couple steps.

    "Peerless and independent!" She almost floated down from the sky above, with her sword piercing straight ahead. He continued to fall back with his sword raised in defense.

    "Clang!" He was knocked back three steps.

    "One laugh and cities fall!" She let out a sweet giggle of her own. The light around her sword bloomed and birthed countless more shards. All of them were sent flying.

    Even on his back foot Jun Yongye wasn't the least bit flustered. He was retreating when suddenly he stopped, and thrust his blade straight at her. He was slower, but if he focused on that fact then he would have to chance to dodge her attacks.

    "Clang!" This time, Yan Ningya was reeling.

    She don't know how that happened. Her attack should have struck first. She nibbled pitifully on her lower lip, and her big eyes were full of sorrow. A moment later, though, she giggled again. Her clear voice called out. "Another laugh, another city!" She flipped her sword over so the point was downward over her enemy's head. A blast of light shot out.

    Jun Yongye's face became somewhat more serious. He dropped in to a crouch, but it looked like the time distortion wouldn't allow him to bring back his sword in time to block. Instead, he angled the hilt...

    "Clang!" Jun Yongye's sword was knocked away.

    A multitude of colors flared from Yan Ningya's eyes, and the light washed over the field below. She herself was suddenly enveloped in a golden aura, which formed in the appearance of a courtly dress. A godly phoenix sorrowfully circled overhead.

    Back in the rest area, the Pharmacist continued to narrate. "Ah, the Naked Eyes of the Concubine. A very good pair to the Alluring Blade 1."

    Yan Ningya shut her eyes and began to murmur. "Such a beauty as this was rare to be seen." Her fairy-like flight took her higher and then, body and sword as one, she descended upon the defenseless Jun Yongye like a lightning bolt.

    "Your Majesty!" Mo Xiao cried.

    Jun Yongye's destruction at the hand of Yan Ningye looked inevitable. She couldn't understand why the Terminator didn't intervene. In fact he merely sat there, silent and unmoving.


    The disciple's sword rang against Jun Yongye's chest. Shocked, she found that even with all of her power behind it, her sword couldn't pierce him.

    Jun Yongye smiled at her, "I am the sword!"

    She could see his body quiver ever so slightly, and then radiating waves of vibrating energy wafting from him. In that moment he did look like a greatsword, standing proudly in the center of the arena. Yan Ningya watched the vibrations from him dissipate her time dilation, and was even forceful enough to force her to retreat. The energy sword in her hand shattered again.

    He stood with his weapon raised to his chest in salute. "When you have learned the true meaning of time, and have joined it with the Alluring Blade, then you may seek me again."

    He punctuated the word by half-hazardly pointing with his weapon toward her. With a beautiful flourish, the sword disappeared into the folds of his fluttering robes.

    Yan Ningya then felt an impossibly sharp, piercing intent stop just between her eyebrows - right where Jun Yongye had leveled the blade. She knew that the power she felt only stopped from drilling right through her because of her opponent's mastery. Her eyes were as wide as saucers, but she could sense something in that power she felt she could understand.

    "I concede." She said softly, dropping her eyes to the ground. Her smile was gone.

    1. As far as I can tell, this is taken from a poem written in the Tang Dynasty by a poet named Bai Juyi called The Song of Everlasting Regret.
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