Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 11 – Storm’s Fury
It was raining.
The downpour in the middle of the night suddenly came furiously, like a tear in the heavens poured down an ocean. With a “hua la la” sound it pounded down, and in a short while thousands and thousands of thin streams began to flow on the ground.
Pei Yuan came out from the front hall holding a oil-paper umbrella, and under the waiting of a maidservant she tread on water puddles to return to her “Orchid Pavilion”. Another maidservant was carrying a paper lantern to light the way. The wind and rain was fierce and the lantern swayed side to side, and despite the maid using her own rain cloak to protect the light the whole way, the lantern was still quickly extinguished by a surging gust of tempestuous wind and rain.
Before the maidservant had time to apologize, Pei Yuan had already backhandedly slapped her. Sharp fingernails sliced a couple bright red streaks on the maid’s face and fresh blood began to drip down. The child didn’t dare to cry, only hugging the extinguished lantern and shrinking back a little in the rain.
“Useless idiot! Can’t even take care of one lantern!” Pei Yuan raised her eyes to glance at the turbulent currents of wind and rain in the deep night sky, and a feeling of irritation washed over her without reason. She furrowed her brows and covered herself better with the rain cloak, speeding up her steps to enter her secluded courtyard.
“You are not allowed to enter the courtyard, don’t dirty my grounds.” Pei Yuan hated people intruding and was obsessed with cleanliness – even her chosen residence was the most spotless and elegant “Orchid Pavilion”. These habits everyone in the sect knew, and so the maidservants lowly concurred and retreated far from the entrance.
Outside the doors was the furious storm that hit the ground like a deity’s whip, inside the doors was a deep, silent darkness without any movement.
Pei Yuan went to push the doors.
With a creaking sound, the doors slowly opened, and Pei Yuan’s eyes casually lowered. In that moment, she spotted on the wooden floorboards some light wet stains.
Her heart shook, and Pei Yuan’s reactions were extremely quick, immediately shooting backwards in retreat.
However it was already late.
In the inky dimness a white glow flashed, and faintly a dark shadow materialized with a sharp blade piercing forwards. The attack was silent and traceless, fast like flowing light or flying lightning – in only a split second, it had already reached in front of Pei Yuan’s face!
The thin, vague sound of skin and flesh being sliced open shockingly sounded in Pei Yuan’s ear, and she only felt on her left temple a coldness then a pain. Following her left eye became an expanse of blood red.
Scarlet red covered her left vision, causing Pei Yuan to be unable to discern clearly the person who used the cover of darkness to sneak attack her. The only thing she knew was that at this moment, only she could save herself. Biting her teeth and bearing the pain, Pei Yuan drew her sword with a ringing noise. The sword tip vibrated with the light of the heaven’s stars, the resplendent radiance drawing one’s eyes. In this emergency situation, she even used the clan inheritance her master had secretly passed down to her, the treasured sword technique “Vast Sky Sword”.
The opponent seemed to realize the power of the sword art, and didn’t confront it head-on but twisted their body, already flitting over to the side of her body like a swimming fish. In the instant the figure passed by her side, it flipped its hand and fiercely sliced upwards. Pei Yuan’s right forehead felt another pain, and more fresh blood splashed down like a red spring. A waterfall of blood appeared across the horizon, completely obscuring her last bit of clear vision.
The powerful strike of the blade, was swift like sprinting thunder; the barely contained fury in the attack, was sharp like shocking lightning.
In that moment, the opposing side had already ruthlessly drawn an “X” on Pei Yuan’s face.
With her two eyes soaked in red blood and unable to see anything, Pei Yuan no longer used any special techniques in her sword attacks – the splitting pain on her face had already caused her to be deeply panic-stricken and apoplectic. She didn’t know how serious the wounds on her face were, but from the amount of flowing blood it could be inferred that her face had already been ruined. The opponent’s actions were malicious and ruthlessly planned-out, as if they had some deep-rooted vengeance with her.
Beautiful woman have always valued their appearance over their lives; right now, Pei Yuan was in so much excruciating pain that she didn’t want to live, with her only thought being to not stop until she killed the other person. Ignoring her two cut wounds, she swiped her hand horizontally over her sword and smeared the fresh blood on her palm onto the sword body. The sword instantly flashed scarlet – in the darkness the bloody glow began to wriggle and flow, and inside the flowing blood gradually arose bubbles as big as crab eyes. They were vividly multicolored like countless poisonous spiders, and started crawling erratically on the sword body causing one to feel nauseated just looking at the scene.
If there were any descendents of the Tai Yuan royal family present, they surely would yell in shock at the use of “Blood Sacrifice Magic”, the royal family’s secret magic skill. Now that Pei Yuan had displayed it, it signified that she felt it was a life or death struggle.
However, even if her intention was to fight to the death, the opposite side was not willing to. Once the intruder saw the mysterious red light shine, they immediately and silently leapt away with large steps. Their foot tip kicked on the doorframe, and with a roll they had already escaped the red light’s area of encirclement. Amidst the howling downpour the black shadow was like a large bird of prey, in an instant flying out three zhang and vanishing within the almost solid sheets of rain.
Pei Yuan brought her sword and chased after, her magic skill ready. As fast as lightning, she raised her foot in the initial position of the skill, while in her palm the long sword’s glow brightened. It seemed like she only needed a lift of her hand to immediately reach the shadow’s back with her weapon.
However, before she could slice upwards, she suddenly felt something slippery shoot past her side with a small whistle of air, then following that a pain in her finger, causing the long sword in her hand to clatter to the ground.
In astonishment, Pei Yuan thought there was still another enemy inside the pavilion and desperately opened her eyes wide. Within her blood red vision she could only make out a round shadowy ball, disappearing in an instant.
Then she felt something soft underneath her foot, as if she had been tripped by something, and Pei Yuan stumbled forward.
The two slice wounds started to numbly itch at this time, feeling like there were an innumerable number of small insects crawling inside the cuts. In shock, Pei Yuan couldn’t focus on fighting to the death anymore, and hurriedly went to scratch her injuries. However, the more she touched the stronger the itching, and in that expanse of red she couldn’t see anything at all. Panicked, she started to loudly scream. “SOMEONE COME! Come! Get water for me! Call the doctor, call the doctor!!!”
There was nothing but stillness.
Those maidservants who she had just exiled to the outside rain in fear of dirtying her floor, were still hugging the extinguished lantern, stiffly and indifferently staring at her.
They stood like wooden statues in the rain, looking at the usually noble and overbearing woman whose long hair was scattered in the pouring rainstorm, and her whole face full of fresh blood. The woman who stretched her two arms out in the middle of the luxurious wooden courtyard while mournfully crying, with two streaks of slice wounds intersecting in the middle of her face in a hideous “X”. The woman whose fresh blood dripped from those brushstrokes, dripping onto the courtyard she never allowed anyone to enter, staining the shining clean floor surface with a region of turbid red color.
“Someone come … ah … someone come …”
No one moved, and no one spoke. Those low-status maidservants who had personally witnessed the previous brutal mutilation, stood callously nearby in the storm.
The howling rains were gusted by the wind into layers and layers of crystalline walls, curtaining their eyes that, because of long periods of abuse, held hatred inside them.
“Some … one … ah …”
Pei Yuan’s miserable cries were drowned by the ferocious storm, gradually fading into nothingness. She madly scrambled around the courtyard, yet because she kept colliding with the columns and worsening her wounds, the itching on her face became even more severe, and her strength finally depleted.
Rain fell into the courtyard from the deep red over-hangings above, staining the cloth into a bloody color. Inside the rain the red-clothed and blood-stained Pei Yuan fumbled around, sorrowfully moaning, and sank down to the ground slowly in despair.
Her body landed on the stairs, and her black hair spread across the wet ground underneath, meandering across the puddles on the floor like snakes. Her hand desperately reached forwards, as if she wanted to grab a hold of a hope to escape from this nightmare.
Unfortunately, she never was able to grasp anything.
The night had not yet reached its end, with the storm continuing to rage.
A low mumble, full of hurt resulting from incomprehension, was barely audible in between the rumbles of thunder.
“You … why … won’t you help me …”