Chapter 8: Xie Shuang

    Chapter 8: Xie Shuang

    Translator: Gravity Tales  Editor: Gravity Tales

    "Madman?" Tian Bo flinched as he softly murmured, "Madman has been dead for nearly three years."

    "Dead for nearly three years?" Qin Yun's expression changed.

    When he first entered Western Mountain Sword Garden, he was the son of an ordinary constable and was only ten years old.

    Tian Bo was the son of a wealthy merchant of little significance and he was only nine years old.

    Xie Lei's family operated an armed escort company for the delivery of goods. He was eleven years old.

    Xie Lei was always very headstrong and had a quick temper. Hence, his nickname was 'Madman Xie.' At that time, Tian Bo had a frail and skinny body. He was also shy; thus, he was teased and called 'Little Bobo'.

    Strictly speaking, Tian Bo was equivalent to a lackey. Qin Yun and Xie Lei were the two with the strongest sword techniques in Western Mountain Sword Garden. The two of them frequently sparred with each other. Qin Yun treated Madman Xie's sister, Xie Shuang, as a younger sister. Qin Yun also had a younger sister once. However, she died when he was eight years old. Xie Shuang actually looked similar to his sister. Even the way they wheedled was similar.

    Qin Yun and Xie Lei were extremely close. He could not believe that the extremely tactical and fierce Madman Xie would simply die just like that.

    "What happened? How did he die?" Qin Yun felt his heart wince. The various memories from his youth surfaced in his heart as his eyes could not help but redden.

    "I had planned on telling you privately after the gathering." Tian Bo lowered his voice. "You remember that Madman's father had been ill a long time ago? He became bedridden and, about half a year after you left, Madman's father finally passed away! However, Madman had strength and skill. He managed to secure his father's position as chief of the escort company. A marriage for him was even later agreed upon. It was with a concubine's daughter from a large family clan in Grand Dominance County, the Hong family. You could've said that the marriage would ensure that he had the Hong family as his backers. However, no one expected the incident before the wedding."

    "What happened?" Qin Yun asked.

    "The Xie family received a request to escort some goods of extremely great value." Tian Bo said. "Madman personally led the escort. They were about to reach their destination when they were ambushed by demons. The battle was rumored to be extremely horrifying. Only three out of the hundreds of people managed to survive while only two of the demons died. When Madman died, his sword had managed to penetrate the demon's head through its mouth. However, that monster also managed to shatter Madman's heart."

    Qin Yun fell silent.


    If an escort company were to meet with a demon, all they needed to do was offer the demon treasures and they might be let off. This was because a typical escort company of considerable strength might only have a chance of vanquishing a demon or two.

    "These demons." Qin Yun clenched his teeth. Demons were generally of lower intellect than humans and some were even dumber! With bad luck, offering treasures would be useless. One could only rely on the weapons in their hands.

    "What about Little Shuang?" asked Qin Yun.

    With Madman Xie dead, the young girl was the only Xie family member left.

    "That was a huge business deal. When the escort failed, the Xie family had to compensate the clients. Despite so many of their men dying, the Xie family was forced to make compensation." Tian Bo shook his head. "Sister Xie Shuang was rather just and honest. After the escort company closed down, she sold all her wealth to compensate the families of the men who died. In the end, she didn't even have the silver taels needed for the compensation. She was forced to sell herself to Swallow Phoenix Brothel to amass the necessary amount."

    "She sold herself to Swallow Phoenix Brothel?" Qin Yun's face turned white.

    Madman was dead and his sister, Xie Shuang, had sold herself to a brothel?

    Thankfully, Swallow Phoenix Brothel was famous for being the upscale brothel of Grand Dominance County. The courtesans there only sold their company and not their bodies. Only ordinary whorehouses would sell sexual services.

    Providing sexual services was extremely frowned upon. Typically, half a tael of silver was sufficient to pay for one session. As for the truly famous courtesans, they would be swarmed by rich and distinguished guests. Just treating the courtesans to a cup of tea or having a chat with them would cost the patrons dozens of silver taels! Furthermore, the courtesans had the right to choose their clients. For example, some famous courtesans would not even meet those from a distinguished family, even after they spent more than a thousand silver taels!

    Of course, if the famous courtesan was agreeable to it, they could be betrothed to a rich man, but that was very rare.

    "Sister Xie Shuang is the only daughter of the Xie family. She is proficient in sword dances and talented with the lute. She's also extremely beautiful so she was able to sell herself for a high price," said Tian Bo as he shook his head. "I wanted to help her monetarily but she needed nearly twenty thousand silver taels. My Tian family would have had to sell half of its estate to make that much. Furthermore, a fire sale would only lower the price. Therefore, there was no way for us to help. My dad would not agree to it either."

    "Nearly twenty thousand taels?" Qin Yun nodded. Such an amount was enough for one to be considered wealthy. It was quite rare for the Swallow Phoenix Brothel to be willing to put up the cost of twenty thousand silver taels.

    "Let's go to Swallow Phoenix Brothel tonight," said Qin Yun.

    "Alright, I'll accompany you." Tian Bo nodded.


    Although he was anxious to meet Xie Shuang, Swallow Phoenix Brothel only opened its doors to guests at night. Furthermore, Xie Shuang had already been in Swallow Phoenix Brothel for more than two years. There was no need to rush to her. Qin Yun waited patiently as he spent time with his old friends.

    He sat beside a handrail and drank wine as he watched his good friends spar above the water.

    "Brother Qin Yun, why don't you give us some pointers?"

    "That's right. Hurry, don't just spend your time drinking."

    His friends beckoned him.

    "Forget it," said Qin Yun as he forced a smile. He was really not in the mood for it. Just thinking of Xie Shuang selling herself to Swallow Phoenix Brothel, and Madman Xie meeting his end, it was all he could do to suppress the pain within his heart.

    "Brother Qin Yun," a handsome youth dressed in casual and relaxed clothes walked over and sat beside Qin Yun. He was Young Master Wufeng, the one who established Western Mountain Sword Garden years ago. He said with a smile, "When you were thirteen, you had already achieved the ninth level of Qi Refinement. At fifteen, you began roaming the world alone. Today, you must have acquainted yourself with an immortal's destiny and knocked open the gate of immortality, right?"

    "After a great deal of suffering, I did eventually manage to knock open the gate of immortality," replied Qin Yun.

    Young Master Wufeng could not help but sigh, "Impressive. You are the only one from Grand Dominance City's younger generation that has knocked open the gate of immortality. But do you know why I'm really impressed by you?"

    Qin Yun was puzzled.

    "I'm impressed by your guts." Young Master Wufeng said, "With the talent you had back then, joining any of the cultivation sects surrounding Grand Dominance County would have been easy. It wouldn't have been difficult for you to knock open the gate of immortality either. However, you clearly thought nothing of these ordinary cultivation sects. You would rather tour the world to seek opportunities and perhaps, enter truly top sects. Maybe one needs such determination to embark on the path to immortality."

    Qin Yun was startled. He shook his head and said, "There's no need to praise me. Back then, my journey away from home was fraught with difficulties. I was frequently on the brink of death and had to grit my teeth to endure it all. Eventually, I really missed home. However, I discovered that I had traveled far away from home. The return journey was equally treacherous. However, having started down that path, I could only walk it to the end."

    "It is already amazing to bear going this far away from home." Young Master Wufeng raised his wine jug. "Let me toast you."

    Qin Yun raised his wine jug as well.

    The two clinked their drinking vessels.

    After drinking the wine, Young Master Wufeng said, "You are so different from us. Your lifespan is already different. After knocking open the gate of immortality, you can easily live past a hundred years. If you were to step into the Connate realm, just the False Core stage extends your lifespan to two hundred years! The legendary Golden Core realm means a lifespan of five hundred years, making one a true immortal. In the future, us playmates of your childhood will return to the earth, but you could still remain very young."

    Qin Yun faltered slightly but he did not speak a word. He looked at the friends that were sparring over the lake as he quietly drank his wine.


    Later that evening, Qin Yun politely rejected an invitation for a gathering at night before leaving with Tian Bo.

    "Let's go to Swallow Phoenix Brothel."

    The two mounted their horses and rode back to the city.

    Swallow Phoenix Brothel was one of the biggest brothels in Grand Dominance County. Officials roamed the place and wealthy merchants gathered there. Just drinking an ordinary cup of tea inside cost one silver tael. One silver tael could feed an ordinary family of three for three months.

    At that moment, Swallow Phoenix Brothel had already opened its doors to receive customers. Red lanterns were long hung up. There was a group of beautiful female attendants that warmly welcomed guests outside the main entrance.
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