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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 10, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 77: Master and Disciple

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Twenty Two)

Yu’er was aware that Qin Gui had already detected her presence, and with her own skills, she knew it was nearly impossible to slip away unnoticed.

And upon guessing that Qin Gui was actually Qing Jiu’s master, Yu’er felt an even stronger urge to reveal herself.

She knew too little about Qing Jiu’s past. Especially now that she had become aware of her own feelings, when Qing Jiu’s past was presented before her eyes, it had a special allure.

Zixia, seeing Qin Gui’s dark expression, tensed up. He shifted his stance, blocking Yu’er behind him.

Zixia had often heard about Qin Gui’s erratic temperament and unpredictable nature. People in jianghu said that she could kill without blinking an eye. One moment she would be laughing and chatting with you, and the next moment she would be turning her blade against you. He feared that Qin Gui might suddenly attack Yu’er.

Qin Gui looked at Yu’er and said, “You look somewhat familiar, hmm…” her voice trailing off, as if lost in thought.

Yu’er was startled. She definitely didn’t remember meeting Qin Gui before. Zixia grew even more anxious, wondering if there was some past conflict between Yu’er and Ghost Sect.

Qin Gui continued to muse as a shadow moved across under the cold moonlight, cast by the moving clouds. The night wind rustled through the trees, fluttering their clothes.

A sharp glint appeared in Qin Gui’s eyes as she suddenly plucked her zither strings, producing a piercingly sharp sound.

Yu’er and Zixia couldn’t help but cover their ears as they braced for Qin Gui’s attack, only to realize she wasn’t targeting them.

Instead, a dense tree to the left was cut down by the strong wind generated from the zither string, swaying and about to fall.

Qin Gui laughed, “You really dodged quickly.”

Continuing to laugh, she plucked the strings several times more. As Qin Gui played, the sounds were like slashing blades, cutting through a tree limb as thick as a bowl.

Yu’er, witnessing the power unleashed by a single note from Qin Gui, could hardly imagine the devastation if Qin Gui were to play an entire piece. Remembering the odd sensation during her sparring with Zixia, she knew Qin Gui’s music held even deeper mysteries.

Knowing she couldn’t just wait to be captured or killed, Yu’er thought of escape, but the sound made it hard to concentrate.

Just then, a noise came from the woods. Yu’er looked to see a figure dodging left and right, the large sleeves of his garments billowing, moving agilely. She thought with relief, “It’s Yang Chun.”

Although Yang Chun’s lightness skill was impressive, he was so intently following Qin Gui that he was caught off guard by the sudden appearance of Zixia and Yu’er. His surprise made him careless, exposing his movements to Qin Gui.

Qin Gui, noting the intruder’s impressive lightness skill evading several of her attacks, smiled with a chilling intent, adding a touch of madness to the frigid wind and pervasive aura of death.

Startled, Yang Chun clutched his ears and ran towards the edge of the forest, shouting loudly, “Miss Qing Jiu, help!”

Qin Gui lightly tapped her foot, leaping back to perch on a sprawling branch of a massive tree behind her. Crossing her legs, she placed the zither across her lap, her fingertips gliding from one end of the strings to the other.

Her fingers danced delicately across the strings, producing a melodious sound that was profoundly mournful, reminiscent of a child weeping blood.

Yu’er and Zixia had only made it a few steps before they felt a sudden emptiness inside, a profound sadness that sapped their will to escape. The longer they listened, the more grief overcame them, nearly vomiting blood from the anguish.

Qin Gui concentrated her energy and plucked the strings, sending several powerful gusts of energy splitting in two directions—one towards Yang Chun fleeing through the forest, and the other towards Yu’er and Zixia. She was indifferent to engaging further with these youngsters and intended to kill them offhand.

Zixia tackled Yu’er to the ground, dodging the strike. “Miss Yu’er, clear your mind,” he urged. “Guard your heart, dispel stray thoughts. Don’t be bewitched by her song.”

Though Zixia said this, the vast gap in their cultivation levels left him defenseless to Qin Gui’s music.

Yu’er was even more vulnerable; she had personal demons and persistent worries that, fueled by the mournful music, seemed to find a tangible form in her heart, threatening to overwhelm her completely.

Seeing Yu’er staring blankly with tears streaming down her face, Zixia desperately covered her ears. “Miss Yu’er, don’t listen! Don’t think!”

Qin Gui glanced at Yu’er and laughed, “Such a lovesick fool.” Plucking the strings, she prepared to end their lives.

Suddenly, the sound of a flute echoed from the woods, its hollow and mournful tone playing a sorrowful melody that was heart-wrenchingly beautiful, standing in opposition to Qin Gui’s tune.

The flute sound grew closer and closer, and a white figure approached from the outside. Yu’er looked up, but in the hazy night and dim light, she could still discern it was Qing Jiu.

Affected by the zither and flute sounds, Yu’er’s heart swelled with both joy and sorrow, the two extreme emotions threatening to tear her apart.

Qin Gui eyed the newcomer, her face obscured by shadows, making it difficult to see clearly. Yet, she caught the longing look in Yu’er’s eyes, her lips curling into a smirk, “Ah, so the lover comes to the rescue.”

Qin Gui’s melody became even more piercing, stabbing straight into the heart with each note. The flute sound resisted, having no choice but to become more mournful, as if crying tears of blood with each sound.

Yu’er and Zixia felt as if a thousand daggers were carving out their chests. Even those with clear hearts and desires found it hard to maintain their composure, let alone those overwhelmed with myriad thoughts like them.

Unable to endure, they coughed up blood one after the other, crimson staining their clothes. Their minds blurred, unaware of the blood trickling from their ears.

Qing Jiu landed on a tall tree near Yu’er, and Qin Gui, with a wave of her hand, sent a gust of wind her way. Qing Jiu dodged nimbly, landing beside Yu’er, continuing to play her flute, the melody growing increasingly sorrowful.

Qin Gui sneered coldly, “If you’re not afraid to fight me and risk your lover’s life, then keep playing.”

Upon touching the blood by Yu’er’s ear, Qing Jiu’s heart grew cold. She had heard from Yang Chun that Yu’er was also here, which prompted her to play her jade flute in opposition to Qin Gui’s zither, to distract Qin Gui from targeting Yu’er while she hurriedly followed the sound of the zither.

However, Yu’er’s foundation was not strong enough. Qing Jiu knew Yu’er would struggle against the combined force of the zither and flute music, but she believed Yu’er, clever as she was and with Zixia beside her advising how to resist the music of the Qixian Palace, would surely protect herself. Yet, Qing Jiu hadn’t expected Yu’er to be so severely affected, far more than Zixia.

Qing Jiu’s eyes darkened, and the flute sound abruptly stopped as she shouted, “Stop!”

Qin Gui paused, her curiosity piqued by the familiar female voice, yet her hands continued to pluck the zither strings.

Qing Jiu leaped out, but instead of drawing the Liangyi Sword from behind her back, she used the jade flute in her hand to strike Qin Gui’s shoulder.

Qing Jiu’s swift approach caused Qin Gui to sweep her left hand, grabbing the jade flute. Qing Jiu then stepped on the strings of Qin Gui’s zither right below her.

The zither emitted a resonant sound as Qing Jiu’s foot pressed down on the strings, and the zither music abruptly stopped.

Qin Gui let out a puzzled, “Hm?”

She examined Qing Jiu’s face from left to right and said, “Are you from the Qixian Palace?”

Catching sight of the jade flute, Qin Gui glanced sideways, her pupils suddenly narrowing. She loosened her grip on the zither strings, and her wrist flicked swiftly, striking towards Qing Jiu’s face.

Qing Jiu blocked with her free hand, stopping the strike, but Qin Gui’s long fingers managed to peel away at her disguised face.

After Qing Jiu silenced the zither, she didn’t attack further. Qin Gui opened her eyes wide, ceased her offensive, and gently stroked Qing Jiu’s cheek, smiling broadly, “So it is my beloved disciple.”

Qing Jiu turned her head to dodge, leaping back to the ground, looking at Qin Gui with a slightly furrowed brow.

Qin Gui said, “Where have you been hiding all these years? So heartless, not to visit me even once. Dao Gui told me recently you weren’t dead. I was so happy, constantly thinking about our reunion. Today, seeing you, your coldness towards your master truly breaks my heart.”

Qing Jiu remained silent.

Qin Gui continued, “Without the antidote, you’ve managed to suppress the sect’s poison for so many years. You’ve become more capable. How often does it affect you now? Is it difficult to endure?”

Qing Jiu replied evenly, “Master, you were never a warm and gentle person.”

Qin Gui laughed so hard that her body shook, appearing very delighted. She said, “You brat, still so unlovable.”

Qin Gui lowered her head. The zither strings had already been snapped by Qing Jiu earlier. She ran her fingers over a string, straightening it with her left hand. “I heard that the Mingjian Manor obtained the Fenghou Sword. Master was afraid that you would be discovered by the people in jianghu, worried that you would be torn apart by those wolves, or even worse, have your ancestral graves desecrated. I came to investigate and avenge you…”

Qing Jiu’s expression remained detached, “Master, you were merely following orders from our sect to search for the Fenghou Sword.”

Qin Gui laughed, “My good disciple, don’t always ruin Master’s image.”

In his dazed state, Zixia overheard their conversation and was shocked. This woman who had been with Miss Yu’er all along was actually Qin Gui’s disciple.

Qing Jiu said, “Master, you’d better leave soon. The commotion you’ve caused has already alerted the manor. Once Jie Qianchou and others arrive, it will only be harder for you to leave with dignity.”

Qin Gui’s gaze fell on Qing Jiu’s jade flute, her expression turning icy cold. Her mood swings were rapid – one moment she was smiling, the next her face was twisted with rage. “My obedient disciple, destroy that bitch Lin Qingchao’s jade flute, and Master will listen to you today and leave quietly.”

Qin Gui casually plucked the zither strings and said, “You keeping that bitch’s jade flute makes Master very unhappy.”

The corners of Qing Jiu’s mouth turned down. “Master, don’t call her that.”

Qin Gui’s face turned cold, her voice filled with malice, “That bitch not only stole Gong Shang from me but also stole you away. My only regret is that when she took you, I was far away in the dessert. The sect’s mission to assassinate her was taken by Gui Jianchou and Dao Gui. I missed the chance to kill her myself!”

Qing Jiu glanced at her from the corner of her eye, the cold light in her eyes like the chilling aura emanating from a blade’s edge, piercing and intimidating. “I remember the four years you raised me, and have no wish to fight you. But if you keep insulting my aunt, I will show no mercy.”

Qin Gui’s mood shifted, and she began to laugh, seemingly delighted. “You’re angry.”

Qin Gui said, “I’m afraid you’ll be even angrier.”

As she plucked the strings again, even the broken ones produced a melody. Watching Qing Jiu’s changing expression, ready to act, she laughed, “If you don’t care about the lives of those two behind you, go ahead and fight me.”

Qing Jiu said coldly, “Master, stop!”

Qin Gui said, “If you obediently listen, Master naturally won’t resort to killing.”

“You care deeply about this girl, don’t you? I said she looked strangely familiar. It turns out she resembles you a bit. Quite a pitiable girl…”

The night was thinning, and the deep woods echoed with bird calls, adding a haunting quality to Qin Gui’s music.

Qing Jiu held her jade flute, still not making a move, when suddenly another zither tune sounded from afar.

This music was nothing like Qin Gui’s. It flowed like silk, smooth and unbroken, carrying a melody that was both gentle and soft. It conjured images of streams whispering in a heavenly realm, incense smoke rising elegantly from a censer. One could easily picture a celestial being, poised on a stone platform, tenderly playing the zither, surrounded by a celestial crane and a white deer. This melody wrapped the listener in a deep sense of peace, cradling the heart in tranquility, free from any impurity.

Qin Gui’s laughter grew louder, edging into madness. “Gong Shang!”

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Khriss
Khriss
8 days ago

:O so much lore dump, I don’t think I recognize any of the new QJ backstory names??? Interesting though, I wonder how QJ ended up being raised by the assassination sect though. Also equally curious how she ended up surviving her escape for the past few years without being caught!
Thanks for the TL!

Little sheep
Little sheep
7 days ago

Thanks for chapter