Chapter 1934 – Old Friends Meet Once More
Atop the cold pond, Jiang Baoyun and Jiang Lanjian’s match was reaching its superheated phase.
Each move condensed the essence of their swordsmanship. The surrounding martial artists cheered out loud, their voices reaching into the heavens.
But at this moment, the surrounding noise served to sharply contrast Lin Ming’s deepest feelings.
Metal rang against metal. Jiang Lanjian’s sword was knocked out of his hand.
A blue sword spun out. Sword energy wildly surged, reaching a thousand feet high.
“99 moves, just one away from my goal!” Jiang Lanjian looked at Jiang Baoyun with suspicion. “You shouldn’t have been intentionally doing that, right…”
Jiang Baoyun shook his head. “Nine through nine, all returns to one. My dance of 99 sword moves just then was a single samsara…”
The sword moves also contained samsara?
Before the surrounding martial artists could think of what happened, at this time, Jiang Lanjian’s sword came crashing down from the air. Although its accompanying sword energy had weakened a great deal, it still rang out sharply.
This long sword fell onto one of the pavilions.
Many young disciples cried out in alarm, retreating as fast as they could.
The long sword thrust into the ground, burying itself straight to the sword hilt.
And what a coincidence – the sword had nailed itself to the pavilion stage that Lin Ming was standing on.
The truth was that the sword’s landing point was quite far from Lin Ming. But, the surrounding disciples had fled like a pack of surprised birds, leaving only Lin Ming behind, standing motionlessly where he was. He was like a stone sculpture, extremely glaring for some time.
Many people looked towards Lin Ming.
This mysterious person was special enough; he actually wore a wood spirit jade mask. In the South Horizon Region, wood spirit jade was a precious treasure. Not many people knew of it but there were some knowledgeable individuals who recognized it.
The icy cold wood spirit jade mask seemed slightly distorted, giving off a strange feeling.
However, what was weird was that this youth wearing the mask had a restrained cultivation and it was impossible to see what boundary he was at.
This sort of person was either a peerless master or someone proficient in concealing their cultivation, or even a truly ordinary commoner.
But presently, the last possibility didn’t seem too likely.
Jiang Lanjian and Jiang Baoyun both noticed Lin Ming. Jiang Baoyun nodded.
“Friend, may I know your name?”
Jiang Baoyun could feel a familiar aura from this youth’s body, but he wasn’t sure just where he had sensed it before.
Lin Ming remained silent.
“How rude! Cloudsword Immortal asked you a question!”
The Sovereign of a third grade sect scolded Lin Ming. This Sovereign wanted to maintain Jiang Baoyun’s authority and enhance his own impression to everyone present. But, Lin Ming remained motionless like before, as if he hadn’t heard anything at all.
In the South Horizon Region, a third grade sect Sovereign could be considered a top character in their own right, so when had they ever been ignored like this? The Sovereign became enraged and began preparing to teach Lin Ming a lesson.
But then, Jiang Baoyun said, “Sovereign Liu, please be patient.”
His words were light but carried a strange tone to them, a calm affinity that caused anyone who heard him to immediately subside their anger.
Jiang Baoyun turned to Lin Ming. “Friend, my name is Jiang Baoyun, an ascetic swordsman of the South Horizon Region. If you have nothing to do right now, then how about coming to my humble abode for a drink. I happen to have a pot of thousand year fog flower wine and I would like to invite a few friends to come drink with me.”
Jiang Baoyun’s polite words left everyone shocked.
Thousand year fog flower wine! That was made from the spring water of Sword Mountain combined with innumerable rare treasures; it was incredibly advantageous to a martial artist! Countless people would have fought each other to drink a single cup, yet Jiang Baoyun was actually asking this unknown and seemingly mentally disturbed person to drink to his heart's content?
Jiang Lanjian’s two apprentices, the young man and woman, were left staring with wide eyes. This was thousand year fog flower wine!
And the two of them knew that whether it was their honorable master Jiang Lanjian or senior master Jiang Baoyun, both were addicted to alcohol as if it was their life.
Sword and alcohol, those were the two things most essential to their lives.
Jiang Baoyun only had half a jar of this thousand year fog flower wine. Each time he invited his friends to drink he would only have a mere few cups, and yet he was asking this unknown person to drink with him?
Who was he? Wasn’t this the same as a meat pie falling down from the heavens?
Jiang Baoyun’s invitation caused Lin Ming to sigh with emotion. After a period of silence, he finally nodded.
This left many people so depressed they nearly spat out blood.
This idiot simply didn’t know what thousand year fog flower wine was, right? To be so reluctant to drink it, he could anger people to death and not know of it!
Jiang Baoyun straightforwardly said.
The place Jiang Baoyun lived was very simple.
A bamboo house, a few huts, that was all.
The arrangement of the house was also simple.
An old and plain wooden table. Several chairs. A bottle of bamboo. A written poem portrait filled with overbearing sword intent.
And… rows of wine jars.
Jiang Baoyun leisurely took out the thousand year fog flower wine and heated it with warm water. Then, he washed a few cups and filled them.
There were three people in the house.
Jiang Baoyun, Jiang Lanjian, as well as Lin Ming.
After 130 years, these three old friends had unexpectedly reunited.
“Brother, may I know your honored name?”
This question was not asked by Jiang Baoyun but by Jiang Lanjian. He was also curious as to who Lin Ming was.
This individual was a complete enigma, but he could feel that… he was somewhat familiar.
But just based on this familiarity alone, Jiang Lanjian would never have thought, would never have dared to imagine it was that person…
“Very well, if this brother doesn’t wish to speak his name, then there is no need to ask. When sharing a drink, all we need to do is raise our cups. Why must we know each other?”
The three people raised their cups and drank the wine.
Jiang Lanjian praised.
Jiang Baoyun also savored the aftertaste for a long time. He praised, “The charm of wine comes from the mood of drinking wine. Those that understand wine taste not just the wine but also the mood. From the spiciness when it first enters the throat, to the fresh heat once it is swallowed, to the lasting fragrance that one can mull over. It’s just like life. In the world, countless people struggle. They experience hardship, they experience tribulations, and if they can survive all of that then they can return to their true state and release the mellow fragrance of life.
“For me, whether it is thousand year fog flower wine or some coarse distilled grain wine, the truth is that there is no essential difference, because what I am drinking is not wine, but life…”
Jiang Baoyun’s words caused Jiang Lanjian to laugh and cheer.
As for Lin Ming, his mind shook. He quietly thought about these words.
In a man’s life there was rise and fall, hardship and suffering. Just how many people experienced this?
To overcome this and return to one’s true self, achieving supreme enlightenment and becoming a legend…
The Soul Emperor was right. What he lacked in his life was tribulations.
He had come from nothing and had indeed experienced countless life and death slaughters, walking on the precipice of death innumerable times.
Lan Yunyue’s betrayal, Xuan Wuji’s hunting, Yang Yun’s plotting, Tian Mingzi’s calculations, and then the step-by-step pressure of the Good Fortune Saint Son…
All of these were considered setbacks.
But they weren’t too remarkable.
Because when many martial artists grew up, they all experienced such things.
Lin Ming remembered Dragon Fang; he remembered Jun Bluemoon. They were people who had their own stories, and their experiences, their tribulations, were not necessarily any less than his own.
However, a true great tribulation, a true great setback…
When they encountered it, they simply didn’t know what path to take out.
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