Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 15: Sword Conferring Peak
Unfortunately, if things could happen the way people imagine, then the world would just be a chaotic mess. No matter how hardworking Xiaodong might be, it was impossible to be reborn in a single night, not unless someone cast a great knowledge-infusing magic spell on him that could stuff in his brain everything that he couldn’t figure out or was unfamiliar with.
He wanted to demonstrate his skills in front of Master so that he could provide Master some comfort. However, he was worried that he would make a fool of himself instead. What would happen then?
Haunted by this thought, Xiaodong didn’t sleep well that night. However, he couldn’t admit that he tossed and turned because of the test. The heat stove was too hot. The warm wood was too warm. The heat was what was causing him to lose sleep.
Because he was unable to get a night of good sleep, he became even more vexed when he woke up next morning. One could only unleash their true potential after recuperating his or her mind and spirit from a good night’s sleep, after all. Now that he didn’t get sufficient rest, his mind and spirit were both tired. What to do now?
In the end, his worrying the entire night was all for naught. Master didn’t bring up anything about having a test. When Xiaodong stepped out of his residence early in the morning, the attendants sweeping the ground said that Master and an esteemed guest had both headed out before the break of dawn. They headed for the mountain peak, and it seemed like they were going to the Sword Conferring Peak.
Xiaodong didn’t know how Sword Conferring Peak looked before, but now he did. Usually, regular folks would not be able to climb it, let alone now when the area had been hit with heavy snowfall. The mountain was sparkling like a pillar of ice, and even a housefly wouldn’t be able to find a stable footing on it.
Only people like Master and Senior Liu were capable of climbing it during a season like this, right?
Wait a minute, why were they heading to Sword Conferring Peak? To confer about swords?
Xiaodong suddenly grew curious. With an unbearable itch in his heart, he didn’t even bother with breakfast and went to look for Eldest Senior Brother.
Others might not know about it, but Eldest Senior Brother should know.
In the end, Eldest Senior Brother wasn’t around either. The child attendant at Eldest Senior Brother’s place told Xiaodong that he had gone out as well.
“Eldest Senior Brother went to Sword Conferring Peak too?” Xiaodong was astonished.
The child attendant said with a proud look, “That’s right.”
Xiaodong’s doubt was only cleared when he met Senior Sister Linglong.
“It would’ve been great if I could go too! Senior Liu’s sword techniques are extraordinarily divine. Rumors say that it’s been about ten years since he last drew his sword from the case on his back. Now he’s here and wants to spar with Master. This is such a rare opportunity! This might be the only chance in your life where you can get to see two experts trade moves! Unfortunately, my abilities are limited. Even if Master allows me to observe, I’m unable to head up to the peak either. Even if I managed to climb up to the peak, I wouldn’t be able to comprehend Master’s sword techniques, let alone Senior Liu’s. Eldest Senior Brother is different. He won’t miss out from watching their fight. He will definitely receive many benefits from watching.”
Xiaodong slowly began to understand as he listened to her explanation.
After all! The other day, Senior Brother Jiang did mention that among the disciples on the mountain, only Eldest Senior Brother was capable of climbing Sword Conferring Peak. Master must have high expectations of Eldest Senior Brother and thus allowed him to accompany them. To those who seek the Dao and practice martial arts, to be able to witness this conferring of swords and watch the sword moves of an expert were opportunities that were of higher value than even priceless treasures.
As Xiaodong pondered, his heart was burning with complete joy. He was happy for Eldest Senior Brother. Senior Sister was right that Eldest Senior Brother’s realm of view was much stronger than any one of them. He would definitely receive huge benefits from observing this conferring of swords.
As for himself, Xiaodong was not the least bit upset. It had only been recently that he was taken under Master’s wing, and he couldn’t be said to have stepped across even the very first threshold. It would just be a waste even if this opportunity was presented to himself. As his senior sister had said, she wouldn’t understand even if she could watch, and it would just be a waste .
However, after Xiaodong’s happiness was under control, a new question popped out.
“Is Eldest Senior Brother the only one who accompanied them? What about the senior siblings that Senior Liu brought along?”
Senior Sister Linglong shook her head. “I didn’t hear anything about them. Eldest Senior Brother should be the only one who accompanied Master and Senior Liu.” She glanced around and then whispered to Xiaodong, “Let me tell you this, don’t be so silly, alright? Senior Liu basically doesn’t have a single direct disciple. Those few people address Senior Liu as Senior Uncle, and they’re following him with hopes of getting pointers from him, but I heard that Senior Liu was not satisfied with their aptitudes and so hasn’t taught a single one of them. Don’t accidentally make a mistake, alright? It would be bad if you offend them and give yourself trouble.”
Xiaodong hurriedly agreed.
He was fortunate that Senior Sister reminded him, otherwise he wouldn’t have thought about it this way.
Though Xiaodong was still young, he had visited several places with his uncle. He understood that there was much unfairness in this world. If everyone couldn’t make it, then naturally, nothing could be said or done other than resenting their own incapabilities. However, if there was someone especially talented among them, and he managed to obtain an opportunity that many people would fight over but lacked even a chance to, how could anyone feel satisfied? Envy and jealousy would definitely be there, the question was just how strong these emotions were.
In that case, he couldn’t head out with a smile on his face. If the guests were to see it, they might think he was mocking them.
However, even if he could control his face, he couldn’t stop feeling happy in his heart.
On this day, the three disciples that Senior Liu brought along did not leave their guest residence, and even their meals were sent there. Xiaodong quietly heaved a sigh of relief. He was really afraid that he would accidentally offend them and cause a commotion that would make Master and his senior siblings lose face.
However, this conferring of swords went differently than he expected. He thought that the two people would simply display a set of sword moves each, or the two would have a single spar. At the very most, it would be an affair that would last just about four hours, and afterwards they would return. But even when night fell, Master, Senior Liu and Eldest Senior Brother didn’t return. Jiang Fan watched as Xiaodong circled around the room anxiously, and then reached out his hand to sit Xiaodong down. “Stay still for a bit, alright? I’m about to go dizzy watching you turn around and around.”
Xiaodong could not feel at ease. “Why are they still not back yet? Is it because it’s hard to traverse the mountain path at night?”
Jiang Fan knew that he was unaware and didn’t laugh at him. “Don’t worry, they will be fine. Conferring of swords can sometimes go on for a while, or it can end early too. Sometimes, it can even go for a few days non-stop. Stop worrying so much and head to bed early, alright?”
Xiaodong widened his eyes. “A few days? Is there food on Sword Conferring Peak? Is there water? How are they able to sleep on the mountain peak?”
Even if they wouldn’t freeze to death, humans were after all not immortal. They couldn’t possibly go without food for a few days.
Jiang Fan laughed as he looked at Xiaodong. After he was done laughing, he explained, “They naturally brought some dried rations and medicine. As for sleep, with the abilities of people like Master, not sleeping for a few days is very normal. They can chip off ice to guard against the wind, and meditation would be enough to recuperate their minds and spirits. You’re still young. Once you’ve lived on this mountain for a bit longer, you will experience and see more. You will slowly realize that such things aren’t strange.”
Xiaodong understood after his senior brother explained.
No one could blame him. Indeed, he had never seen something like this in the past, and his uncle hadn’t mentioned such things while he was still alive either. In the past, Xiaodong had only lived the life of an ordinary person, how could he possibly know about these matters?
From then on, Master and Eldest Senior Brother became even more divine in his eyes. He wondered if he could become as incredible as them one day.