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Laughter of the Sword God Chapter 1

CSI

Part I – Lu Xiaofeng
Chapter 1 – A stab of pain of the finger on yellow soil[1]

(One)

A piece of land, a yellow sandy soil land.

Clear sky. The sun was about to set.

Lu Xiaofeng walked along a yellow sandy soil land under the setting sun. Under the glow of the setting sun, the yellow soil looked red, as red as blood.

The blood has already dried up and coagulated like the yellow soil.

Lu Xiaofeng, using his world-renowned two fingers, jabbed the yellow soil. This pair of fingers had broken countless sabers and swords belonging to famous heroes of the Wulin world. Yet he suddenly felt a stab of pain.

Because he knew that on the soil was his friend’s blood.

(Two)

The last time Lu Xiaofeng and ‘One Sword Riding the Wind’ Liu Rugang [Liu – willow, Ru Gang – like/similar to steel] drank together was already seven months ago.

When Liu Rugang was slightly drunk, he suddenly poured two large bowls of wine and insisted that Lu Xiaofeng drank the toast with him.

He had his reasons.

“We get drunk tonight, henceforth we part. There’s a good possibility that we won’t see each other for thirty-five months.” He said, “There’s also a good possibility we won’t see each other ever again.”

“Why?” Lu Xiaofeng urgently asked.

“Because early in the morning tomorrow, I am going to a place where the flowers are not fragrant, the birds do not sing, the fowls do not fly, the dogs do not jump, and the hares do not defecate.”

“What are you going to do?”

Liu Chengfeng [riding the wind, see his title above] laughed. “You know what I do, you also ought to know what I am going to do.”

Liu Chengfeng was the first Sect Leader-disciple[2] of Ba Shan [Mt. Ba in eastern Sichuan], a direct disciple of the founder. His ‘seven by seven, forty-nine hands turning-the-wind, dancing-the-willow sword’ may not be considered number one in Jianghu, but it could not be outside the big five either.

This kind of sword technique absolutely needs qinggong [lightness skill] to supplement it. His sword technique and qinggong were equally respected and admired by the people of the Wulin world.

Yet the reason people admired him the most was not his martial art skill, but his personality.

Throughout history, there were countless nouns people used to describe the ‘willow’ [Liu]. Some say willows are like silk, some say willows are like snow. But whether it was silk or snow, in people’s eyes, willows have always carried ‘soft/flexible’ connotation.

Naturally our Mr. ‘Willow’ also had his ‘soft’ side like silk or snow. His thorough thought was like silk, his anger was like snow, i.e. it would be dissolved in the blink of an eye.

But his character was as strong as steel.

Naturally Lu Xiaofeng knew what kind of man he was.

“What you are going to do must be a very dangerous business, so you say such thing.”

Liu Rugang did not answer. Not answering oftentimes equal to silently agree.

“Can you tell me what you are going to do?” Lu Xiaofeng asked.

Mr. Liu still did not say anything.

In this case, not talking means he really did not want Lu Xiaofeng to know what he was going to do.

No doubt it was a highly classified secret.

No doubt Lu Xiaofeng could be considered his best friend; if he was unwilling to speak in front of Lu Xiaofeng, no doubt that he would also be unwilling to speak in front of any other person.

Therefore, Lu Xiaofeng no longer asked.

Lu Xiaofeng only asked, “The place you are going, where even rabbits do not defecate, what kind of place is that?”

Liu Chengfeng was silent for a long time before he finally said, “Even if I told you, you wouldn’t know that place, but I can still tell you.” He said, “It is a small town faraway near the northwest border. The town is called Huangshi [lit. yellow stone], ‘huang’ from ‘huangjin’ [yellow gold], ‘shi’ from ‘shitou’ [rock/stone].”

(Three)

Ever since they parted, Liu Chengfeng vanished from the face of the earth; seven, eight months passed, nobody saw his shadow. Nobody knew where he went.

Only Lu Xiaofeng knew. Because Liu Rugang always considered Lu Xiaofeng a friend with whom he could share a secret, a friend with whom he could share trials and tribulations.

But Lu Xiaofeng did not know what happened to him in that small town? Why did he suddenly disappear?

Lu Xiaofeng was a friend with enough yiqi [spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice, code of brotherhood], plus he loved to meddle in other people’s business. Coming across this kind of mystery, what do you say he would do?

He, of course, hastened to the small town.

[1] Yellow sandy soil typical of north China.

[2] Orig. 掌门弟子 – zhang men dizi, referring to a sect leader who still has ‘elders/seniors’ in his sect. Zhuo Yihang of White Hair Demoness was a Sect Leader-disciple of Wudang Pai, i.e. he still had his martial uncles in Wudang, although he was the Sect Leader.

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