Perfect World Chapter 18 – Treachery Afoot

on 08 21, 2010

Taking long, slow strides, Mei Xian held her head high as she strained a prolonged smile on her face.  The emperor had done nothing but inquire her opinion on various political issues and make idle chit chat accompanied by dry humor the entire day.  Her cheeks had never been so sore from forced expressions before.  But, alas, it came with the territory.  She wasn’t going to win the emperor’s heart by not being entertained by his gestures.  Another fake, but realistic giggle echoed softly in the brisk night air.  Mei Xian occasionally brushed her hand against the emperor’s, or walked a little too close, forcing accidental contact between them.  Always innocently playing it off, the beautiful young woman would only look straight ahead, tilting her head once in a while, stealing subtly knowing glances at the ruler of Nan Zhao Guo.  She was so close, she could feel it.  He was diving headfirst into her ploy without a hint of hesitation, let alone suspiscion.

“Emperor, you have such a way with words!  And your virtue is astounding.  You’ll be sure to be heralded and remembered with the utmost respect and admiration in the history books once you find your voice.”  Mei Xian stopped walking and turned to smile at the man walking beside her before shyly adjusting her visual focus towards the still waters of the nearby pond.  The emperor was a weak man; however, his heart was in the right place.  He yearned to do the right thing, to be strong for his people – to improve himself.  Shameless flirting would have no effect on a heart such as this.  Mei Xian knew this well.  Ever since she was a child of twelve, Ming Jian had used her to appeal to men of all kinds.  Well equipped with which devices and wiles to use with which men, Mei Xian was her master’s secret weapon against the male population.  Although she was usually used in surroundings where she would not be so well known after her mission, Ming Jian did not hesitate to send her on this one.  This was, after all, a final step to gaining complete control of the country.  As she laughed gaily at another one of the emperor’s lame attempts at a joke, she saw a small, but swift object sending its miniscule shadow along the waters.  She yawned with a single hand covering her mouth as she turned her head away from the emperor, who had just begun telling another joke.

“Ah, Lady Liu, it’s getting late.  You’re probably exhausted.  Thank you for your company today.  I thoroughly enjoyed our time together.”

“As did I, your majesty.  But please, for the last time, call me Mei Xian.”  She smiled sweetly at the emperor, drooping her eyes a bit on purpose.

“All right, then, Mei Xian.  Please.  Allow me to escort you back to your quarters.”  Nodding politely, Mei Xian extended her hand to him and walked back towards the stairwell that led back to her room.  Thank heavens she could be rid of him for the night.  She had been searching for a reason to end their conversation without negatively affecting her mission.  It was about time that the messenger showed up.  He was a little later than usual.  At this time, the spy would have just taken his leave again after making his report.  She made herself a mental note to make him suffer for it later.

“Good night, my emperor.  May the heavens grant you a peacful slumber.  I’ll see you in the morrow.”  Making one last flirtatious gesture with her eyes, Mei Xian swallowed her diffident feelings and closed the door.  Her visitor was still in the window sill, walking back and forth.  His grey feathers fluttered as she approached him and removed the message bound to his tiny leg without question or comment and granted his departure.  After reading the message, Mei Xian slumped down into the large couch behind her and rubbed her temples.  She had decided to be much more generous than usual, sparing the spy a harsh scolding as her annoyance was completely filled by the emperor.  Opening her eyes, she looked towards the window again to see that the visitor had not yet left.

“What?  I said you can leave, Auron.”  Her voice was filled with troubled annoyance.  The grey falcon flew into the room and perched himself the the edge of the couch.  Mei Xian stared at the bird, cursing silently that he had chosen tonight of all nights to pester her.  She did not need this right now.  Walking to her closet, she removed a large blanket and sat down on the couch opposite of her guest.

Auron shook his beak to and fro at Mei Xian.  Taking the comb out of her hair, she looked irritably at the bird as his feathers disappeared one by one.  Human hair sprouted from the falcon’s head as the beak retracted itself.  After the hair had grown several feet, it started to braid itself into a long ponytail.  The being’s body mass began to increase at an accelerated pace as arms and legs sprouted to replace its wings and talons.  Mei Xian yawned as a human face expanded itself from the bird’s neck.  Seeing the transformation was nearly complete, Mei Xian threw the blanket onto Auron, rolling her eyes in disgust.  She hated it when he morphed in front of her.  The human that figure replaced Auron’s falcon body wrapped the blanket around himself as he stared blankly at the enticing woman in front of him.  Anything but amused at this point, Mei Xian sighed heavily.

“Couldn’t you have just left the report and be on your way again like always?  Ming Jian shi fu discouraged you from showing your human form anymore for the time being – you’re supposed to be dead.  Besides, I’m not in the mood to deal with you tonight.”

Ignoring her comments, Auron wrapped his ponytail around his neck.  “How are you fairing with the emperor?”

“Well enough.  What do you want, Auron?”

“Can’t I say hello to my favorite younger discipleship sister?”  Auron laughed sarcastically.

“I’m your only younger discipleship sister.”  Mei Xian eyed the man suspisciously, questioning the motive of his prolonged visit.  Getting impatient, Auron scoffed and loosened the blanket’s hold on his upper torso, revealing the rippling muscles that had developed from years of exhaustive training.

“C’mon, it’s been a year since I became a falcon for the last phase of my mission.  Cut me some slack.  Let’s see you become an animal for a year and not feel cramped.”

“I don’t really care, Auron.  Guo Bing thinks you’re dead.  His master, the great Auron, disciple of Ming Jian, fell to some unknown swordsman about a year ago.  That’s the story we fed Guo Bing, remember?  Then, as an act of kindness, Ming Jian accepted him as a disciple to replace you, giving him a pet falcon as a gift, also named Auron in honor of his master.  So be the falcon, Auron.  Stop horsing around.  And wrap that blanket around yourself tighter.  I don’t want to see that.”

Sneering, Auron tugged on the edges of the large blanket, covering himself to his neck.  “That brat means nothing to me.  I only trained him on Ming Jian’s orders.  I’m only still accompanying him on his orders as well.  Doing that little brat’s bidding everyday makes me sick.”  Auron remembered the day his master called he and some of his discipleship brothers into his presence.  In Ming Jian’s hands was a small bundle.  Without explaining a thing, Ming Jian challenged his male disciples with a contest.  Hurling the bundle into the air, he declared that the contents were extremely fragile.  Whoever could get it first in one piece would impress him and earn himself a very important mission.  He had been so cocky when he defeated his older discipleship brothers, too; only to discover that the bundle held a newborn baby, and he was to be its master.  Sure, the special training Ming Jian gave him was worth the trouble and irritation.  But the extra burden of the child annoyed him constantly.

“You know as well as I do that Ming Jian doesn’t really care for Guo Bing, either; only that Guo Bing’s parents were two of his greatest rivals.”

“Yea, yea, by raising him to be evil and a criminal, he could curse the couple in their grave.  I know that already, Mei Xian.”

“Then why complain?  Suck it up and remove your bothersome self from my presence.”  Mei Xian pointed to the window as she continued to stare coldly at Auron.  She had not always been this way towards her older discipleship brother.  At one point in time, they were the best of friends, helping each other train and sharing all of their secrets with each other.  That is, until the night she was training Guo Bing with a new stance with a staff.  Auron had wanted to take the night off and asked Mei Xian to help in Guo Bing’s training.  Word of this reached the ears of Ming Jian through a few disciples who were jealous of Auron, he was furious.  Finding him sleeping early, Ming Jian had scolded Auron severely, calling him disobedient, a waste of time and useless potential.  Auron, then a teenager, blamed Mei Xian for not concealing the secret well enough.  Although they were the youngest disciples of Ming Jian at the time, their potential outsoared many of their older martial arts brothers and sisters.  Ming Jian had commented that Auron could possibly exceed their senior brother, Bai Yue, by the time he reached the age of twenty.  Auron still couldn’t believe that his senior brother had thrown the fight against Xiao Yao and Ling Er.  It didn’t make sense to him, at all.  Mei Xian, being younger than Auron by a few years, stuck with him to keep from being bullied.  With his help and guidance, she quickly rose in combat ability.  Still oblivious to men and details concerning relationships, courting and the sort, she couldn’t understand why some of Ming Jian’s other disciples refused to talk to her, especially the male ones.  It was a silent understanding that she was Auron’s girl.  He had set his eye on her the moment Ming Jian took her in at the tender age of eight.  Anyone who even eye’d the young beauty found themselves answering to Auron’s fists.  All of this was kept from Mei Xian until that night.  After his encounter with Ming Jian, Auron had found his way to the wine cellar.  The disciples who had disclosed their secret took the opportunity to laugh at Mei Xian, ridiculing Auron as they laughed at his misfortune.  After looking for Auron with Guo Bing by her side, she finally found him drunk, laying against a barrel of wine.  Hoisting him over their shoulders, she and Guo Bing had carried him back to his room.  Mei Xian sent Guo Bing to his room as she stayed behind to take care of her discipleship brother.  While she was dabbing a wet clothe on his forehead, he suddenly awoke and grabbed her wrist tightly.  He overpowered her easily.

Sensing the bitterness in Mei Xian’s expression, Auron gripped the blanket within his fists.

“Can’t you let that go?  I said I was sorry.  It’s been five years!”

“You’re sorry?!?!  You think ‘sorry’ will change what you did?  Never.”  Mei Xian kept her emotional defenses up as she allowed her anger and hate to refill her heart.  “I’ll never forgive you.”

“I loved you!”

“You tried to rape me!”

Auron fell silent with his wild eyes downcast.  He burned with regret.  What was worse was that ever since that night, Mei Xian and Guo Bing began spending more time together.  He had tried to stop it, forbidding his disciple from seeing Mei Xian; but, seeing his suffering, Ming Jian allowed it.  Mei Xian locked her teeth.

“If I hadn’t pleaded with shi fu on my knees, he would have killed you.”

“I never asked you to save me.”

After trying to muffle her screams with his kisses, Auron slapped her when she wouldn’t shut up.  Just as he ripped open her shirt, their master materialized into the room and flung Auron against the wall on the opposite side of the room.  Mei Xian felt her eyes start to water as she recalled that night.  Her voice shook as she pointed again to the window, enunciating each of her words.


Narrowing his eyes, Auron transformed into a grey falcon again and flew out the window, screaming into the silence of the night.  Mei Xian glided to the window and closed it, staring after him.  She probably should have loved him.  But she didn’t.  Her thoughts’ focus shifted to Guo Bing.  Sure, he was talented, no less talented than any other disciple Ming Jian accepted.  But he was still so immature.  He could never put on a good act for long.  Sooner or later, his childish nature always came bursting through.  Mei Xian had been on missions with him before.  For assignments that required only a few days time, he was flawless as the situation required.  However, everytime the mission lasted longer than a few weeks, she always had to cover for him.  This mission was obviously a critical one, and one that would require months of time.  Ming Jian knew of Guo Bing’s capabilities, or, lack thereof.  Why was he so insistant that Guo Bing be assigned to this particular mission?  She remembered he had even said that Guo Bing was the perfect candidate, the only candidate, for his role.  Then again, Ming Jian was never one to fully express his thoughts concerning any matter.  Very rarely would she completely understand her master’s motives and missions.  She sighed as she hoped for his safety.  She wasn’t a woman of prayer.  She had committed too many sins, too many heartless acts of cruelty, to have any belief in a God who loved her from the heavens.  Over the years, Mei Xian had learned to rely on herself and only herself.  She didn’t even fully trust her master.  They were all puppets to him, anyway, to be used for his glory and fancy.  It was not as though she could complain, though.  Before he took them in, many of his disciples, herself included, had absolutely nothing.  Orphans cast away by the world they were born into, they had little choice but to surrender their lives to Ming Jian, to become part of his heartless army.

Dawn had just set in and a gentle breeze graced the day as Guo Bing slumped through the window to his room.  That’s weird.  Xiao Shi Tou wasn’t on his bed, snoring like thunder.  He wasn’t even in the room.  They couldn’t have left without him, right?  Resisting the temptation to plop into his soft bed for a quick nap, Guo Bing dragged himself to the door and opened it.  He grumbled to himself at making the extra effort to come through his window instead of the inn entrance; so much for avoiding being asked where he was last night.  And where was Auron?  His pet falcon would usually have returned by now.  Perhaps Mei Xian jiejie had another task for him to do.  Pushing his confusion from thought, he walked towards Xiao Yao and Ling Er’s room.  The events just two nights ago had completely slipped his mind.  He was far too exhausted to even recall being hit by Xiao Yao.  The only thing on his mind were his mission details.  Rubbing his eyes, he knocked loudly on the door and called Xiao Yao’s name.  His mind even failed to register the time of day it was.

Inside the room, Xiao Yao laid stroking Ling Er’s hair, brushing stray strands from her face.  He had purposely woken early this morning to enjoy watching his wife sleep.  He loved how she looked with her eyes closed, breathing softly.  His admiration came to a sudden halt as several poundings came upon his door.

“Xiao Yao!  Hey!  Xiao Yao!  Open up!”

Xiao Yao’s eyes drooped and the slight curve on his lip disappeared as his expression transformed from one of jubilee and calm bliss to annoyance and frustration.  He sighed without looking at the door.  Leave it to Guo Bing to ruin his happiness, yet again.

“Xiao Yao!  Are you in there?!  Hey!  Answer me!”

He glared at the door and returned his view to Ling Er.  Yup.  She just stirred.  Forcing a smile, Xiao Yao tenderly rubbed Ling Er’s arm and told her to go back to sleep.  She batted her eyelids a few times before nodding obediently.  After releasing a deep breath, she lay her head back on her pillow and snuggled under the blanket.  Xiao Yao quickly threw on a pair of pants and wrapped his robe around his body.  Opening the door, he stepped outside and closed it again.

The innkeeper stormed up to Xiao Yao and Guo Bing before they could say anything to each other.  Guo Bing’s rant had obviously woken the poor man from his slumber.

“SHHHHHH!!!  What do you think you’re doing?  Tryin’ to wake the entire town?  Geez, be quiet!”  Shaking his finger at the two, he turned around and went back to his room.  The innkeeper was furious.  After all the special allowances he had made for Xiao Yao’s little show last night, the ingrate actually had the nerve to disturb the rest of the entire inn.  Xiao Yao shot an angry scowl towards Guo Bing, blaming him for the disturbance.  He had not seen the white-haired youth since their scuffle and tried to control his anger.  Like Lin Bao Zhu had advised him, he shouldn’t allow his emotions to hinder his state of mind.  Still, he couldn’t help but speak coldly and impatiently.

“What do you want, Guo Bing?”

Guo Bing, now more alert from seeing Xiao Yao and having been scolded by the innkeeper, looked around him, realizing what had slipped his mind earlier.

“Oh.  I…I just wanted to make sure you guys were still here hehe…he…he…”

Xiao Yao couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  For something so petty, Guo Bing had raised such a ruckus.  His eyes narrowed at the youth in front of him.  He could see bags had taken form under his red eyes.  He must have been awake the entire night doing who knows what.  Guo Bing tried to explain himself further.

“Well, I had to make sure you guys didn’t leave without me, that’s all.”  If Xiao Yao didn’t bring up the events from before, he didn’t see any reason to, either.  Seeing Xiao Yao continue to stare blankly at him, Guo Bing stepped backwards a few steps.

“Ehhhhh, I’ll be going to sleep…now.  Please wake me up when we leave.”

“I plan on staying no later than noon.”  Xiao Yao grit his teeth and watched as Guo Bing continued to walk backwards towards his own room.  As he closed the door, Xiao Yao rolled his eyes and wrung his hands threateningly towards where Guo Bing just disappeared.  Turning, he saw Lin Bao Zhu and Xiao Shi Tou walk through the inn’s entrance and peered down at the contents in their hands.  They had apparently gone grocery shopping as they were walking towards the kitchen with several bags of food.  Perhaps they planned to cook breakfast?  Well, he didn’t need to be up for another few hours.  Opening the door to his own room, he returned to Ling Er’s side and quietly climbed into bed before gently tucking her in again.

Xiao Yao awoke to Ling Er nestling her head against his chest as she wrapped her arms around her husband.  Last night had been so heavenly.  If it could always be this way, that would be perfect.  Her soft voiced eased his mind, waking him fully.

“Good morning, Xiao Yao gege.”  Returning his wife’s delicate embrace, Xiao Yao wished her good morning as well.  Ling Er stared at the bracelet still hanging from her right hand.  It was beautiful.  The alternating beads of green, yellow and white seemed to shine at her ever so softly, as if supporting her happiness.  She asked Xiao Yao where he purchased it.

“I made it, just for you.  I picked out each bead personally.”  Ling Er’s eyes widened.  That made the gift all the more special and valuable to her.  “Ah.  I almost forgot.”  Xiao Yao walked over to their belongings and retrieved a mended package.  Ling Er could still recognize the contents.  It was her old dress, the one with her Xiao Yao geges’s sleeve sewn to its right side.

“I picked this up after you left.  I wasn’t sure if you still wanted it.  But I figured, just in case.”  He looked thoughtfully at Ling Er, trying to decipher the look she was giving him.  She wondered what had happened to him.  She wasn’t complaining, not in the least.  But in the span of a night, her husband’s understanding and romanticism had increased dramatically.  Ling Er suddenly smiled as she mentally thanked Lin Bao Zhu.  He had promised that Xiao Yao would come around, and she was sure he had a hand in this.  Keeping a mysterious, questioning expression on her face, Ling Er approached Xiao Yao slowly.  His eyes slightly widened as he arched his back backwards when she stood right in front of him.  Then, smiling slyly, she thanked him and slid her finger quickly down the bridge of his nose.

Xiao Yao slung his swords behind his back, fastening them tightly.  They had just finished packing for their journey and were about to proceed downstairs for breakfast, bringing their belongings with them.  Other than a few small bundles, the only object standing by itself was the portrait of the Li family enjoying a joyful life.  After setting their things by the stairs, they turned to see Xiao Shi Tou and Lin Bao Zhu already seated and enjoying their morning meals.  Their eyes smiled at the couple as they grinned at them from behind their rice bowls.  Xiao Yao’s eyes widened as he slid his hand in a slicing motion in front of his neck.  Ling Er turned to look at Xiao Yao, who immediately placed a silly smile on his face, moving his hand to the back of his head.

‘What are they thinking?!  Stop it!  You’re embarrassing me!’  Xiao Yao felt like smacking his own forehead.  Ling Er, unnerved, walked straight up to the two amused men and placed her hands on the table.  Smiling sweetly, she spoke in a soft voice, asking the two to grow up, thanking them for any aid they may have lent in last night’s escapades.  Giggling, she walked back to Xiao Yao, turning around to smile at them again.  The two men stared after Ling Er with their mouths open.  Xiao Yao tried to choke back his laughter as Ling Er led him to the table.  Lin Bao Zhu laughed heartily and served the couple a plate of food while Xiao Shi Tou continued to sit there, baffled at what just happened.  He was never very quick in recognizing a joke.  Halfway through their meal, they heard groaning from the second floor.  Guo Bing had awakened on his own and was now feeling his way down towards the stairs with Auron was perched in his usual spot on his shoulder.  The encounter with Mei Xian was still fresh in the falcon’s mind. Eyeing his disciple, he cursed him as he used his talons to thrust Guo Bing forward.  The group saw Auron lift off of the young man’s shoulder as he tripped and fell, rolling down the stairs, reaching the floor with a thud.  Xiao Yao burst out laughing while the others stood up and rushed to his side.  Ling Er bent down next to him.

“Guo Bing, are you okay?”  She held his head in her arm as she lightly tapped his face with her hand.  Blinking wide-eyed, Guo Bing shook his head and rubbed it with his hand.

“Ugh…that – hurt…”  Awakened by the throbbing pain in his head, he noticed Xiao Yao almost choking on his food, laughing at him.  Scoffing to himself, he grabbed Ling Er’s hand and used it to help himself up.  Xiao Yao promptly stopped laughing and went back to focusing on his breakfast.  That pervert was touching her again.  Ling Er quickly retrieved her hand after Guo Bing was on his feet, doing so delicately as not to offend him.  Seeing his success, Auron flew to the group’s belongings and landed on a bundle of clothes.  He had also been awake the entire night and needed to rest.  He took one last investigating look around before closing his eyes.

“Ahh, that was good!  Master Lin, I never knew you were such a great chef.”

Lin Bao Zhu kindly bowed at Xiao Shi Tou’s compliment.  He had always cooked for his wife, that is, before she passed away.  Under that proud and authoratative exterior lay a gentle romantic disposition, which now only rarely showed its form, if at all.  He had even advised a couple of Xiao Yao’s activities and mannerisms for his night with Ling Er.

The innkeeper’s wife, who had joined them shortly after Guo Bing, agreed with the small monk.  After complimenting the old master, she took the opportunity to take a shot at Xiao Yao, comparing Master Lin’s superior talent in the kitchen compared to his lack of it.  She told the group of how he had tried to use plain water to stirfry some chicken.  Xiao Yao smiled it off and looked at Ling Er with a mouth full of food.  Of course, the majority of the time she was there, the innkeeper’s wife continued to chatter about how cute, sweet and charming Ling Er and Xiao Yao were as a couple, leaving the couple quite embarassed.  It made Guo Bing sick.  As they finished breakfast, Xiao Yao volunteered to clean up.  Lin Bao Zhu had prepared the meal, which was bought by he and Xiao Shi Tou.  He felt he owed the innkeeper’s wife for all that she did for him, and of course he wouldn’t ask Ling Er to do it.  Trying to be a gentleman and a good guest, Xiao Yao began picking up each person’s plate.  Seeing this, Guo Bing refused to lose out to the young swordsman and began picking up plates and bowls as well, saying that he would help Xiao Yao.  Xiao Yao released a forced chuckle and silently wished that Guo Bing would have minded his own business.  The others decided to retire to their rooms to prepare for their journey, with Ling Er offering to help.  Excusing herself, the innkeeper’s wife told them that her husband had a long list of errands for her to do that day, and exclaimed one last, “Awwww…” at Ling Er and Xiao Yao.

This left Xiao Yao and Guo Bing standing side by side, washing the dishes in the kitchen.  Both stared straight ahead, trying to avoid contact with one another.  Just by being near him, Xiao Yao felt nauseated.  The slight red tint in his eyes were creepy enough.  His personality made things even worse.  Guo Bing found himself in a dilemma he knew would arrive.  On one hand, he had to win Ling Er – which meant that Xiao Yao would already hate him.  On the other, he had to gain their trust, meaning he would have to be nice to Xiao Yao.  He obviously wasn’t getting anywhere with Ling Er, and he felt that Xiao Yao’s trust in him was diminishing quickly.  Perhaps, he thought, he could solidify a relationship of pestering competition with Xiao Yao.  If he could nurture such a circumstance, perhaps he could pursue both goals at once.  Besides, he had already initiated such a relationship by pursuing Ling Er.  He secretly delighted in having spent so much of his time growing up chatting with Mei Xian.  Her cunningness and knack for manipulation and intellectual prowess certainly rubbed off on him.  Though, the bond between Xiao Yao and Ling Er seemed to be so strong.  Even Bai Yue failed to break it with his mind games.  What did Ming Jian expect his progress to be?  Guo Bing quickly put his doubt aside; the supreme master would not have assigned him to this mission if he didn’t think he was capable, he thought to himself.  He just had to make sure not to make the same mistakes as Bai Yue.

As the idea of a contest in dish washing crawled into Guo Bing’s mind, he noticed that they were already washing the last two dishes.  Searching for something else, his eyes fell upon Xiao Yao’s painting.  A sly smirk appeared on Guo Bing’s face.  He placed the last dish away in the cabinet and incuriously walked towards the stairway.  Scoffing at the painting, he made sure his voice was loud enough for Xiao Yao to hear as he pretended to think aloud.

“What is this?  It’s so distasteful.  What pathetic loser painted this monstrosity?  I suppose that this is supposed to be Ling Er gu niang; but, it doesn’t do her any justice, at all.  This representation is like a toad compared to her true beauty.  She’s such a vixen.  Meh, I guess this blob could pass for a baby child.”  Guo Bing paused to make sure Xiao Yao was listening.

(Author’s note: The painting is actually quite good.  By no means is it professional quality, but it still reflects quite a bit of skill.)

“And I suppose this hideous creature must be that meathead, Li Xiao Yao.  But, ugly as it is, it’s still more atractive than his real self.  The artist was actually quite kind to him, too kind, in fact.”  He noticed Xiao Yao struggling behind him.  Xiao Yao’s eyes burned with frustration.  Once again, his sword refused to leave its scabbard.  What Guo Bing didn’t notice, was that Xiao Yao had tried to pull his sword from the moment his wife’s name was related to that of a vixen.  He could care less what Guo bing said about his artistic abilities or himself.  But hearing him describe Ling Er as a piece of physical matter to be gawked at and lusted after was unacceptable.  Xiao Yao removed the sword and its sheath from his back and buckled them between his knees.  Tugging hard, he grunted as he jerked at the sword’s handle.  He looked over to see Guo Bing amused at his struggle.

‘Argh!  Forget it!  He’s just trying to start something with you.  Don’t let him, Xiao Yao.’  Xiao Yao stood up, refastened the sword to his back, and scoffed at Guo Bing in a surprisingly high pitch.

”Hmph!…” Crossing his arms, Xiao Yao looked upwards with a proud visage, rocking his head.  Guo Bing frowned as he realized he had failed to get a real response out of Xiao Yao; however, he had achieved a satisfactory effect in forcing a rise from him.  Though, he had been told that Ling Er was the higher priority.

Xiao Yao stood there, puzzled.  He tried again to remove his sword.  Unexpectedly, it came out with ease.  Glancing around, he resheathed it.  He repeated this process again and again until the others came down the stairs.  Each time, his weapon left and entered its sheath without complications.  Did it sense when he was about to lose control?  What kind of swordsman was he – he couldn’t even control his own sword.  Xiao Yao frowned as Ling Er called him over to her.  The innkeeper’s wife had just returned from the market and set her bags on the ground.  Ling Er looked expectantly at her husband, who nodded and carried the bags into the kitchen.  The old woman thanked him and embraced he and Ling Er at the same time, telling them to visit from time to time.  Leaving the town, they made sure they were a good distance away before Xiao Yao expanded his flying sword and loaded their belongings.  They had only a few days to reach Mt. Shu.

Comments (2)


  1. Ah Ning says:

    Do you know when the next chapter will be coming up? I really want to finish this story, even though I’m more on the side of Li Xiao Yao and Yue’ru being together, I like this story.

    • Hi Ah Ning! Glad you’ve enjoyed it :) Sadly, this was written many years ago and I think the author (Teddy) never finished it.. But the good news is he has written several more chapters I just haven’t posted up yet. Please keep an eye out for it I will be posting them up soon :)

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