01 BLOODMOON 1501 AFTERFIRE, 13 YEAR OF JULIAN ERA.
It is the third month of the years. The silent wind of the forest blows inside the cave. Charles was already awake.
‘How time pass.’ He muttered to himself
The last drop of rain falls down from a leaves, leaving a droplet of water on the cold hard ground.
The wind blows and the grass sways left and right
The rain last night has abated around dawn. It was also at that time Liu Yi has come out from his critical condition.
Last night when he was asleep a person enter his cave. He was asleep but he was alerted because of the sound of ragged breathing.
Charles was ready to kill the person coming in with his dagger when he realizes it was Liu Yi. Staggeringly he came, bleeding around his chest.
Charles quickly perform first aid.
But that was not enough for him to survive.
The reason Liu Yi still survives is because he has a medicine pill called the Seven Opening Life Path which Charles grinded and put it in water and urge him to drink.
It was Liu Yi in his bated breath telling him how to use it.
Thanks to that and using some available herb near the cave, Charles managed to keep Liu Yi alive until morning.
Charles looking at the droplet of water falling, sighed.
It is already the third month of the year.
It is already Bloodmoon. Bloodmoon is a month of farming. It was also a month of worship for Orlanth the God of War.
In Windhill, the dominion where he rules over, there is a great temple dedicated to Orlanth. Devotees of Orlanth will make their pilgrimage to Windhill and offer some prayers.
Charles didn’t remember much about Windhill after all a year and a half almost pass since he left Midgard.
But he remember there is a beautiful river nearby the manor. He once tour the river, and it has with beautiful clear water with fishes swimming with carefree attitude.
Now, that he has an ally he wanted to wait for Liu Yi to wake up to now the full story of what happened.
Maybe there is useful information.
But before Liu Yi is awake Charles need to make sure he is fed first. He roam around the cave vicinity, while concealing himself and being vigilant fearing meeting any of those people searching for him
Not far away from the cave he spotted a rabbit. Smiling at this unexpected findings, he picked up a pebble.
He infused his internal energy and flick the pebble with his finger.
It shoot forward with a speed that is fast but the pebble exploded before it hit the rabbit head. The rabbit was startled and started jumping away
‘Tch’ Charles knew why the pebble exploded. He put too much energy inside the stone and it exploded because of the inequality of energy.
It requires fine control to use Divine Flicking Finger like his teacher.
The rabbit was about to run away but how can Charles not have a backup plan?
He brought out the slingshot he made and quickly pick up a few stones and with one shot kill the jumping rabbit with precisions.
He walked toward the dead rabbit and smiles. He put his hand together and say words of thanks
‘Thanks for being my food today.’ Even though he was not the religious sort of guy, Charles has experienced enough to know that invisible forces unexplained exist in the world.
For some reason, he was grateful for the inexplicable happening in his life and made him more open on certain ideas.
He remember his nanny used to say that the Gods urged humankind to give thanks when they have food.
It was Orlanth that say this in the Conference of the Gods if the Orlanth Long Saga is to be believed.
Orlanth is a God of war. Why would he care about food? But, it is precisely because he is the God of War he cares about food.
Only with full belly could soldiers win wars.
On his thrones of bones and skulls Orlanth may look like an emotionless God but in his saga he was so much more.
Orlanth was a God of righteous war.
He blessed those who fight for their homes and their survival. War is brutal and merciless. But life and death sometimes is only the different side of the same coins.
But Orlanth could also be ruthless and easy to anger, temperamental and judgmental.
In the end, Charles didn’t really know whether the old scholars of the past really wrote the history of Orlanth.
It used to be that Charles believed that the story of the Gods were merely ways for the Kingdom to instill certain virtue in their citizens.
That is true.
But maybe, there is a sliver of truth in the old myths about the Gods, the Shollom that come from the Chaotic Void and many of the other stories.
Maybe like the scholars of Northmen said, the Old Empire of Norveg was truly a magic kingdom ruling the entire world in the ancient past.
Shaking his head to shake himself of this thought he walked back to the cave.
After making a fire he wears his dried clothes.
He prep the rabbits and clean the blood and skin the rabbits first before mixing some plants that could be considered spice to let the smell of the rabbits to be overwhelmed by the spices taste.
He let the meat soak first as he pick an empty spot inside the cave and started meditating. His breathing slowed and almost stop reaching a relaxed state.
Slowly his life force is restored as his regeneration factor inside his body is speeding up, expelling his fatigues and speeding up his recovery
In this relaxed state he began regulating his internal energy as the cold energy washes over him, nourishing his meridians, expanding it to become larger and sturdier.
He chants the Heartless Sutra.
Then finishing regulating the energy inside his body he quickly ingested poisonous herbs he pickup up when he was outside the cave.
The moment he ingested it a burning pain assaulted his veins and seeps into his bone as sweat forms on his forehead and his veins bulged out and turns blue.
But quickly Charles regulate his Poisonous Yin energy inside his body to meld it with the poison inside his body.
The poisonous energy inside his body is the strongest type of fatal poisons in the world.
It is the product of Heaven Will and not anyone could possess the kind of constitution that Charles possesses.
It was truly fate that he met Lin Ziyan and learn the martial arts of the Jade Palace Gate to restrain the poison inside his innate constitution.
If not he would have died in the tender age of twenty.
Meanwhile, now as beads of sweat falling down with faster speed, he was writing in pain but he endure sitting in that meditative pose.
After a full hour the sweating stops.
Then he repeated for another hours until all the herbs has finally been used.
He takes a deep breath. Opening his eyes, he felt his body become lighter and he knew he is progressing in creating a body immune of poisons.
He then got up and check upon Liu Yi. Seeing that he is slowly recovering Charles then cook the rabbit by roasting it with fire and made a soup with some of its parts.
He spoon-fed Liu Yi with the soup as Liu Yi slowly regains his consciousness. He still is too weak to say anything but it seems he is out from critical condition.
By that time it was already afternoon
Charles then walk deeper into the cave into a clearing inside the cave. He then began opening a book
Embossed in bold lettering he had a complicated expression looking at the book.
Severing the Heaven. It is the sword technique of Jade Palace Gate.
He borrows the sword Liu Yi have. He hold it and slowly he swings it. He did not swiftly swings it. He let the sword feel comfortable in his hand first.
Then he began moving his wrist performs a motion that resembling cutting the wind. Cutting, slashing and stabbing in fast motions as winds around him was stirred.
The sword energy is like a rainbow, the movements like a roaring dragon, as the sword and spirit must merge into one.
Charles began showing more ferocious movement, yet his heart is calm.
The movement of his sword, the direction of his wrist and hands performs adjustment, his mind visualize a mob of enemy surrounding him.
He switch between fullness to emptiness from emptiness to fullness
The more he fought the more his movement becomes lighter, swift and deadly.
Yet, also at the same time his internal energy become easily roiled and chaotic, showing that his control of internal energy is still lacking
He tries to make his internal energy to flow in harmony with his sword movement but that is easier said than done.
The subtleties of his sword dance that could kill and reap lives are without limit, yet he is not a grandmaster of the sword so, in the eye of an expert this sword movement while it will look deadly in the eyes of the untrained, it lacks substance and essence of the sword.
Inside his mind, the enemy mod was killed, but more become proficient, and overwhelm him. The Sword and Body become one, the sword moves according to heaven, to cut the Heaven shackles.
That is the core of the teachings of the Severing the Heaven Sword technique. And it will be a long time before Charles could attain that kind of unity.
Even his Uncle could not truly become one with the sword.
As he slashes and swings his sword, his internal energy become more chaotic, his breathing become harder and sweats falls down from his body, making the ground damp.
But Charles did not stop his training. He is transforming his spirit to be acclimated with the sword to create that ethereal sword intent.
And Charles did not mind suffering some pain.
After all he was not a stranger to pain.
His illness has restricted his health all this time, now that he could be said cured of such affliction, he is eager to strengthen himself.
The idea has started forming in his mind the moment he kenos who his teacher is. He has no desire to succeed his teacher position as the next Patriarch of the Jade Palace Gate Sect or become a world renowned martial artist.
He wanted power. The most ultimate power that could protect him and his mother.
His spirit soars as his movement becomes more vigorous and his body becomes heavier withstanding the pressure of such vigorous movement.
It is a matter of spirit. He trains his internal energy while trying to form sword intent. This intent must then be transformed into spirit.
And then he can achieve harmonious with the world attainment.
Even as his swing become more vigorous, his heart is as still as a lake, he does not give to passion only the sword art is reflected in his mind.
He protects his internal energy, nourish his energy, calm his spirit and embrace oneness. Even though Charles was suing the sword, it was like he was fighting with his bare hands.
He puts intention and energy is his position, his eye movements, hand techniques, footwork and waist actions
Dodging, extending, surprising and capturing, Charles sword moves more like fighting with hands, as he performs all these movement with great nimbleness and dexterity.
The more he practices the more his internal energy boiled and his face become red, but he forcefully trying to harmonize his sword movement with his output of internal energy and his sword movement, his mind become hazy, as an ethereal dance of sword light was produced , hurrying, wind blows that comes and goes.
His sword cut through the wind, creating a powerful tearing sound. Loosening his waist, liven his wrist, sinking his energy into his dantian.
The spirit of thrusting out the sword is courageous and direct, like an arrow loosed toward a target.
Before the opponent’s sword has moved, your sword must already arrived. Swift and deadly. Then he falls down.
He breathes loudly before he takes a deep breath and exhale loudly, as he calms down his internal energy.
He then sit cross legged and closes his eyes, meditating to clear his mind and replenish his life force.
After a few hours, he opens his eyes. Looking at Liu Yi who is showing an improvement, he smiles.
He waited until night when Liu Yi is finally awoken. Charles was appreciating the clear night sky when Liu Yi awoken.
‘Young Master!’ Liu Yi said as he saw Charles. Charles was leaning on the cave walls, looking at the stars
‘Eat the soup and regain your strength. There is many I would like to ask you’ Charles was an eleven years old, his voice chord was not yet fully develop and he is a kid.
Liu Yi while he himself was not an old person but he is a teenager around the age of 14 or 15.
While he did not possess powerful martial artsy, he possess a very fast agility and he is one of the genius of his sect.
It is only his weakness is that he is lazy.
But he did not find shameful to call Charles young master. This world was not like the world Charles lives before.
People still truly believe in Divine Providence and nobles are sacred existence and at the same time fearful existence.
But if that is all, why would Liu Yi debase himself? Because Charles was not only considered a powerful nobility in Westhold, he is also the Holy Son of Jade Palace gate.
They could be considered royalty of the Jianghu. They rarely did anything but if there is unorthodox martial artist trying to bring harm to the Jianghu, it is always the Jade Palace Gate Holy Sons and Daughters that becomes the vanguard to defend the Jianghu.
It is for this reason many sects would give face to the Jade Palace Gate. Not only that, they also feared and respected the Jade Palace Gate.
So, Liu Yi has never thought him serving Charles a humiliation.
Liu Yi comes from lowly station and nobles would rarely look twice at him not to mention while he is proficient in running away, it was not like he is the number one in agility technique.
But Charles did not disdain joking around with Liu Yi which is uncommon for the culture of either Eresian or the Northman.
This is highly unusual. This is because Charles experience in that world opened his eyes. It was a world where everyone is equal in rights.
Of course this was not truly the case, as not everyone is equal but Charles learns that if the peasants could be educated then even they could contribute to the kingdom and become useful.
The thoughts of nobles that think peasant are greedy, ungraceful and barbaric in conduct is true.
Of course they would be like that. How could they not be greedy when there is not enough?
When a peasant lack something to eat and ask for more food the Lord, the Lord who has everything think of his peasant as greedy.
How could they not be ungraceful?
Did anyone teaches them etiquette and even if they are teach etiquette they are impatient and have no time for such things.
They need to work, sow the seeds, till the farm and make sure their crops is in good condition.
When do they have time other than the night when they are tired from sowing the seeds and tilling the farm?
They are barbaric because people are barbaric.
The poor is oppressed by the rich, the peasant were oppressed by their lord, how could they not become barbaric in conduct and how could they not rebel?
So, the way Charles interact with commoners has a certain charm since he treated them like equals yet he also has that dignified charisma.
Liu Yi bitterly smiles as he approach the soup bowl made of wood, strapped with vines and layered with water resistant leaves.
He slowly sip the soup as Charles keep looking at the stars.
He was looking at the forest branches that conceal the full moon.
‘Absolute and limitless, the open sky’ He thought to himself. He then smile a faint smile, as his expression was refined.
For a moment, Charles look upon the sky, Liu Yi sipped the soup and the wind plays its melody. Then half an hour later, Liu Yi finished drinking the soup, his body energized, his mind clear.
He then kneels down and said
‘Thank you Young Master for saving this lowly person lives’ Charles smiles, his face shows that boyish face as he shakes his head and quickly bring Liu Yi up from kneeling
‘What are you saying, Brother Liu?’ Hearing this Liu Yi could not help but feel shocked. Charles knows that Liu Yi called him Young Master because of his status but he always treated it like a joke.
Liu Yi is a prankster and likes to play around. He is older than Charles by four to five years but he acted like a child, true to his instinct.
‘But Young mast-‘ Charles quickly cut off Liu Yi words
‘Brother Liu is older than me and we are in the Jianghu not Midgard. I never took Brother Liu praising seriously but do Brother Liu took my sincerity as a joke?’
Hearing this how could Liu Yi said anything more. He only profusely said thank you.
‘I am ready to answer any question, Little Brother Charles’ And Charles smiles. Charles then ask how he got injured and what is the situation outside
It was then Charles find out that Liu Yi was injured by a soldier of Liao before running away. Her also found out his two attendants was actually the famous Martial emperor Wu Di and Heaven Punishment Xue Hua.
‘So you are saying the path down is empty now?
‘Yes. It would not be long before the other states of Aeropa knew Xu Bailong of Liao has come down to Aeropa to wage war.’
Charles mind then quickly formulate a plan.
This means, Xu Bailong would surely retreated his soldiers and Heaven and Earth sect disciple will also be called back from the mountain
Which means Charles and Liu Yi could come down the mountain. But he at least have to wait for day.
Liu Yi after all was injured by a retreating soldiers and he unluckily enter a soldier camp. And then he remember the treasure map and then he look at Liu Yi. Charlee trusted his eyes and his heart.
This Liu Yi is a man of talent and could be sued to accomplish things
Charles looking happy and excited then said to Liu Yi, his eyes holding some hope
‘Brother Liu, I have a proposition for you? Would you like to listen?’
This is the new chapter for SOH. Hope you like it.