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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 26, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 57: Four Sages, Five Sects, Twelve Martial Champions

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Two)

The storyteller was remarkably sharp, noticing the crowd’s argument escalating into insults and the threat of physical confrontation. With a sudden clap with his wooden clapper to snap everyone back to reality, he cleverly shifted the conversation: “I heard that these Seven Star Lords are also coming to participate in the World Martial Arts Competition.”

Immediately, someone from below piped up, “Who doesn’t want to come to this World Martial Arts Competition?”

“Between the Four Sages, Five Sects, and Twelve Martial Champions, they’ll probably all gather this time!”

With just one sentence, the storyteller changed the direction of the conversation within the teahouse. His previous tale about the Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses was almost accurate. Qing Jiu silently stood up and observed from behind the crowd.

Yu’er, overhearing the crowd’s reverent discussion about the ‘Four Sages, Five Sects, and Twelve Martial Champions’ spoken with great reverence among the crowd, Yu’er felt confused. Yang Chun, sitting to her left, was always well-informed about jianghu. Curious, Yu’er asked him, “Yang Chun, what are the Four Sages, Five Sects, and Twelve Champions?”

Yang Chun, casually cracking sunflower seeds and itching to join the heated debate, was delighted by her question. He eagerly began, “The Four Sages, Five Sects, and Twelve Champions are distinguished figures selected through the World Martial Arts Competition for their exceptional skills and virtues.” He continued passionately, “The Four Sages,” his voice taking on a lecturing tone, “are chosen from among the most virtuous and skilled wulin elders, individuals whose martial arts skills and moral integrity stand unmatched. They must not only possess extraordinary skill but also impeccable character, earning the respect and admiration of the entire jianghu. Imagine how difficult that is!”

Yu’er nodded deeply in agreement. Yang Chun asked, “Do you know who the Four Sages of wulin are?”

Yu’er shook her head, her question having already indicated her lack of knowledge on the subject. She knew Yang Chun just wanted to build suspense, so she went along with him, showing a very curious expression.

With a smile full of admiration, Yang Chun respectfully listed, “The Four Sages are Daoist Yiye from the Wuwei Palace, Venerable Kuyuan from the Shaolin Temple, the Wine Immortal Jie Qianchou, and the Sword Saint Du Zhong.”

Upon hearing this, Yu’er couldn’t help but be stunned. Among these Four Sages was actually her master! She had heard her senior brother mention some things about Jie Qianchou, knowing that he had a great reputation in wulin, but she didn’t expect him to have such a title, with such a prestigious status.

Thinking back to the master who would sneak into her room in the middle of the night to steal wine, she couldn’t connect him with the esteemed Four Sages, leading her to shake her head in disbelief.

Yang Chun, assuming her reaction stemmed from unfamiliarity with these legends, not knowing Yu’er was Jie Qianchou’s disciple, thought it natural for her, being new to jianghu. He comforted her, “These four have all retired for many years. Except for Elder Jie Qianchou, who still occasionally shows his face, the whereabouts of the other three have been unknown for several years. It’s normal for you to not have seen them or know them.”

Yu’er smiled, not bothering to correct him, and inquired further, “What about the Five Sects and Twelve Champions?”

Yang Chun said, “That’s much more complicated. Currently, the Five Sects are led by the heads of their respective orders: the Sect Leader of Wuwei Palace, Daoist Yiye’s first disciple—Jian Wangchen, the Abbot of Shaolin Temple, Venerable Kuyuan’s senior disciple—Master Kongming, the former Master of Jiuxiao Manor—Jun Dingtian, the former Sect Leader of Wenwu Sect —Ye Ba, and the former Master of Mingjian Manor —Yun Si. The Five Sects select the sect leaders who embody integrity, righteousness, and exceptional martial arts. The original purpose of selecting these Five Sects was to help manage the jianghu, resolve disputes between sects, punish evil, and promote the way of righteousness. Unfortunately, due to the changing times, not long after the Five Sects were selected, Master Yun Si, Master Jun, and Sect Leader Ye passed away one after another, leaving their grand ambitions unfulfilled.”

At this point, Yang Chun couldn’t help but sigh, pausing for a moment. He took a sip of tea from his cup, his face showing regret. Yu’er, with her keen mind, imagined these past leaders as extraordinary individuals, unmatched in their time. It was understandable that Yang Chun, who clearly admired them, felt such melancholy. She waited patiently for him to continue.

After a brief pause, Yang Chun resumed his explanation. “The Twelve Martial Champions are much simpler,” he said. “Talented young martial artists from across the land gather to compete, and only the most skilled among them earn the title of ‘Wu Zun,’ which signifies ‘Martial Champion.’ It’s a tremendous honor, a testament to their position at the pinnacle of their generation. It’s a title that inspires admiration and envy. The original Twelve Martial Champions were all exceptional disciples from various sects. Now, as time passes and new generations rise, those disciples have inherited their masters’ legacies and become leaders themselves. In fact, the top three Champions are the current heads of Mingjian Manor, Jiuxiao Manor, and the Moonless Sect.”

Yu’er listened intently. Suddenly hearing him mention Moonless Sect, she picked up the jade pendant at her waist and gently rubbed it, thinking that if she could meet that person when she went up the mountain this time, she could return the jade pendant to her. Yang Chun said, “You might not know all of them,” Yang Chun continued, “but you’re definitely familiar with one. The leader of Yanyu Pavilion, where we stayed earlier, is one of the Twelve Martial Champions.”

Yu’er actually knew more than just one. Hao Yun, whom she had encountered in Jiangnan, and Si Yu, whom she met in Jile City, were also among the Twelve Martial Champions. Having witnessed their skills firsthand, Yu’er held them in high regard. They were truly exceptional individuals.

“Sadly, one of the Twelve Martial Champions has passed away,” Yang Chun said with a sigh, shaking his head. “The former sect leader of Xuhuai Valley, Xuan Shen. He was known for his kindness and compassion, and countless people in the jianghu benefited from his healing skills and generosity. His untimely death was a great loss.”

As Yang Chun finished speaking, a sharp clatter broke the steady hum of conversation in the teahouse. The sound was subtle, easily lost amidst the noise, but it originated near Yu’er and Yang Chun, catching their attention.

Mo Wen sat at their table, wiping spilled tea from her hand. A bright red burn mark stood out against her pale skin, and a shattered teacup lay beside her.

Yu’er asked, “Mo Wen, are you alright?”

The sound was caused by Mo Wen accidentally dropping and shattering her teacup.

“I’m fine,” Mo Wen replied softly, her eyes lowered, hands placed on the table. She had intended to secure her teacup, only to be reminded of its unfortunate fate. Her movements became hesitant, a mix of discomfort and unease betraying her attempt to maintain composure.

The lively discussion about the World Martial Arts Competition and the Star Lords continued elsewhere in the teahouse, with the crowd’s enthusiasm unabated, their attention now turning from tea to wine. “I hear the Seven Stars Lords are incredibly skilled, each one potentially surpassing the Twelve Martial Champions,” one man declared. “Perhaps they’re coming to Mingjian Manor to challenge the established order, aiming to claim the title of ‘Wu Zun’ for themselves.”

“That’s hard to say. Maybe they’re here for the Fenghou Sword.”

A swordsman asked suspiciously, “Speaking of the Fenghou Sword, it has been missing for more than a decade. I wonder if it’s real or fake this time.”

“Mingjian Manor is reputable. If they claim the Fenghou Sword is real, then it must be,” another countered.

“If it is the Fenghou Sword, it’s not necessarily a good thing,” a somber voice interjected. “Remember what happened in Hangzhou all those years ago? A prominent martial arts family was destroyed because of that sword. During their wedding celebration, guests turned on each other, blades clashing. External forces seized the opportunity to attack, showing no mercy. A joyous occasion turned into a bloodbath, wiping out an entire clan of over a hundred people! They say the wedding feast was held on a boat on West Lake. After the massacre, the water ran red with blood!” The speaker’s naturally deep voice, coupled with the gruesome tale, sent shivers down everyone’s spines. The warmth induced by the wine evaporated, replaced by a chilling dread.

“The World Martial Arts Competition is a gathering of virtuous individuals,” someone declared, his voice ringing with conviction. “Such a tragedy will never happen again!” However, his passionate statement met with silence, revealing the shared apprehension among the crowd.

The storyteller on the stage also fell silent. The noisy teahouse quieted down for a moment, and then someone was heard saying in a low, eerie voice, “Speaking of the Hangzhou incident, they say the entire family was wiped out, but I heard a rumor…”

At this point, the story was interrupted by the clamor outside. People in the teahouse near the door looked outside and came in, saying, “The people from Xuhuai Valley and Qixian Palace have arrived.”

“Those two sects are legendary!” someone exclaimed. “We rarely get to see them. I can’t wait to see what kind of extraordinary individuals they are!”

Shortly, most of the teahouse patrons headed towards the door, leaving behind a buzz of conversation: “I heard Mingjian Manor specifically invited Xuhuai Valley and Seven Strings Palace,” someone said. “They’re concerned that with so many skilled martial artists gathered for the meeting, tensions might run high, and things could get out of control during the competitions. That’s why they invited Xuhuai Valley healers to tend to any injuries and Qixian Palace musicians to soothe tempers and calm minds.”

After a while, the crowd quieted down, and some voiced their admiration, “As expected of the righteous sects that cultivate both body and virtue, their disciples are graceful and refined, with an air of elegance. Just by looking at them, one cannot help but feel respectful and cannot bear to show any disrespect or negligence.”

Soon, the crowd at the door dispersed. The teahouse began to empty until only Qing Jiu’s table, another table by the door, and the storyteller remained. The storyteller, now seated on a makeshift platform of tables, sipped his tea leisurely, remarking, “Quite the lively place.

As soon as he finished speaking, a group of people entered the teahouse. At the front was a man with a heroic physique, wearing a fitted outfit, a horsewhip hanging from his waist. In his right hand, he held an ebony staff. As he entered, he thumped the staff on the ground and shouted, “Our young master has reserved this place. Everyone else, out!”

His voice boomed, echoing through the teahouse and demonstrating his formidable internal energy.

At a table by the door, four men in simple cloth, with large swords on the table, one holding a cup of cold tea, sneered, “So you’ve got some money and think you can act like a master here?”

The newcomer glanced coldly at the speaker, not bothering with words, and with a swift kick to his staff, launched a powerful strike. The men dodged, but their table was split in two.

Enraged, they drew their swords, though only one stepped forward to challenge him, ensuring a fair fight. Soon, the teahouse turned into a battleground.

Yu’er and her companions watched, initially not recognizing the intruders. But as the fight unfolded, several individuals in white joined, siding with the man wielding the black staff against the four sword-wielding men.

The group then realized that these were the same people they had encountered outside the city, the group arrogantly escorting the white-clothed young master on horseback.

The fight was evenly matched until the reinforcements in white tipped the scales. The four sword-wielding men gradually couldn’t hold out and were eventually subdued by the young master’s subordinates.

Despite being pinned down, they shouted defiantly, “To outnumber us, what kind of heroes are you?”

Two men picked up the four men’s swords and threw them outside the teahouse. The group released them, not bothering to argue, only coldly snapping, “Be sensible and leave quickly!”

With their weapons discarded and overwhelmed, the humiliated sword-wielding men had no choice but to leave the teahouse, seething with rage.

After their departure, the elegant young man in white, still fanning himself nonchalantly, entered and remarked disdainfully, “All kinds of people have the guts to come to the World Martial Arts Competition. It’s a mix of fish and dragons, but they’re all minnows. It’s rare to see a true dragon.”

The man holding the long staff scoffed, “They are all ants. How can they even be considered fish?”

The white-clothed young master smiled slightly and said, “Indeed!”

While they conversed, their followers approached Yu’er’s table, prompting them to leave, and some stood before the platform, signaling the storyteller to step down and vacate the premises.

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Khriss
Khriss
27 days ago

Time to add these people to the list 😭😭😭 so many names
Thanks for the translation!