I will be changing the court names to reflect their meanings:
Cangjin Court > Hidden Brocade Court
Cangxiu Court > Hidden Beauty Court
Cangjian Court > Hidden Sword Court
Cangqing Court > Hidden Modesty Court
I realised pinyin made it rly confusing in English, might as well change it now
this does the actual name justice & you'll know what they represent at first glance. (btw I've got a glossary here)
Li Chengfeng excitedly followed his Grand Senior Brother through a long canyon and arrived at the deepest part of the Ten Thousand Sword Mountain — The Valley of Ten Thousand Swords.
This was the place Chengfeng had imagined countless times since last night, but nothing in his imagination had prepared him for the magnificence of what was before him.
Instead of calling this a valley, it would be more appropriate to call it otherworldly. The Valley of Ten Thousand Swords felt as if it was separated from their material world. As Chengfeng looked up, what seemed to be a layer of a dense and dark canopy loomed over his head. The dark canopy resembled a sparkling milky way, with its sea of stars shining brightly. What made Chengfeng feel even more in awe was that among the sparkling stars of the canopy, countless swords of all shapes and sizes were floating slowly along with the galaxy. As they were clustered together, the scene resembled a gigantic sleeping dragon that was drifting along with the galaxy.
With a glance, Chengfeng could see that this huge ‘dragon’ was strong and majestic, it was at least a hundred meters long. As it slowly swam around the air, the long swords that were floating lightly clashed against each other, producing a constant sound of metals clinking. However, this sound was made very frequent, and the swords were densely clustered. As a result, the ‘dragon’ emitted chimes that were so dense, it sounded like giant tidal waves crashing against each other.
Beneath the dark canopy laid countless sword tombs. These sword tombs were densely packed and stretched far and wide, causing the entire valley to look rough and terrifying. The air within the Valley of Ten Thousand Swords was filled with a chilling and deathly still atmosphere.
“Is this the Valley of Ten Thousand Swords?” asked Chengfeng in shock. His reaction was a result of the magnificence of the starry canopy and the majestic sword dragon, as well as the horror of witnessing the countless densely packed tombs that laid underneath them.
“This… is the final resting place of all our seniors’ heroic spirits from Hidden Sword Court…” Grand Senior Brother explained with a complicated look in his eyes as he stared at the sight that laid in front of him. “One day, I too will be buried within these walls, and the Heaven Splitting Sword that I wield… would also return to the Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords.”
Li Chengfeng looked at Grand Senior Brother, and solemnly replied, “No, you won’t!”
Grand Senior Brother was taken aback by his response, then angrily scolded, “Do you think I’m not worthy?!”
Grand Senior Brother viewed Hidden Sword Court as his life, to him, being able to be buried within the Valley of Ten Thousand Sword was the highest level of honour that he could imagine. Chengfeng’s sudden retort was like an arrow to his heart, it was unforgivable!
Chengfeng had no fear on his face, he seriously explained, “If you were to die, that would mean that Hidden Sword Court is totally done for! By that time, who do you think will retrieve your corpse and sword? Who do you think will carve a wooden tomb for you?”
Grand Senior Brother stared at Chengfeng, his anger had now dissipated. Instead, it was now replaced with deep sadness and pain. He took a deep breath and pointed towards the highest platform in the valley. “Go there, it is the closest place to approach the Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords. When the ten thousand swords start to float past you, pick out a sword that would belong solely to you.”
A visibly confused Chengfeng asked, “But, there are so many swords! How would I know which sword to pick?”
Grand Senior Brother turned his back away from Chengfeng and flatly replied, “It is not you who chooses the sword, but the sword that chooses you. When the heavenly sword that belongs solely to you is near, it will automatically fly towards you.”
Chengfeng was surprised, he gave it some thought and nodded. But as he continued to ponder, he still had a question that needed answers. “But, are the swords psychic? How could it possibly know whether or not I’m suitable for it?”
“Every sword possesses a piece of their previous wielder’s sword spirit and intent, the owner of the sword will then attach their own intent and spirit onto their new swords. This, in turn, would transform the swords into magical ones, it would then officially possess a soul. Although it is unable to think, in terms of battle, it has become its instinct. It can feel the unique aura that flows through your body, it will then inch closer if you have a similar aura as their previous owners. That is how they will choose you.”
“And if there were multiple swords that choose one person at the same time?”
Grand Senior Brother sneered, “Then just choose one that feels right for you…” as he finished his sentence, he suddenly disappeared in a flash. When he reappeared, he was already standing by the lowest point of the valley, a few meters shy from the tombs.
Chengfeng stared at the stone tombs near Grand Senior Brother and could barely make out the words “Tomb of the Heavenly Thirteen Swords” carved on a stone tablet on top of the grave that belonged to what seemed like the leader of the group. However, when Li Chengfeng swept his gaze over it, he only saw 12 burial mounds.
Grand Senior Brother took out a bottle of wine from his robe and spilt some on the ground in the process. He then sat in front of the grave and drank his wine as he numbly stared at the tombstone of the Heavenly Thirteen Swords without moving.
Li Chengfeng retracted his gaze and signalled to the excited Zhao Xiaobao and Su Yuehan with his eyes. The three of them walked along a small path that led to the highest point of the valley.
As they walked, they reached a large stone platform that was surrounded by heavy locks. They realized that this stone platform was at the highest point in the entire valley, from the top, it looked like an extended arm. The Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords moved beneath the platform, and when they looked down, they could see all sorts of treasured swords floating within the Dragon.
“Young Master, can I choose one too?” Zhao Xiaobao’s eyes were shining with excitement.
Li Chengfeng looked at the Grand Senior Brother that was sitting at the bottom of the valley and smiled, “Pick one. If there really is a sword that has chosen you, that would also be heaven’s will. Grand Senior Brother probably won’t be able to say anything.”
Zhao Xiaobao rubbed his hands together in excitement and placed them against his mouth as he puffed and muttered under his breath, “Spirits of the sky and spirits of the land …”
Before he could finish, Li Chengfeng unhappily slapped the back of his head and said, “You don’t learn from good habits but sure love to learn from the bad ones! Do you think this is a betting parlour?”
Zhao Xiaobao held his head with his hands, and said with a wronged expression, “Isn’t this pretty much the same?! This is far worse than betting on big or small, at least I have a 50 percent chance of winning that! But this is a one in ten thousand percent! “
Chengfeng shook his head, then replied with a profound expression on his face. “No, this is either a 100 or 0 per cent chance!”
Xiaobao was shocked. “W-what do you mean?”
Annoyed, Su Yuehan retorted, “You’re so dumb! What Young Master means is, if a sword has chosen you, you would be able to obtain one among ten thousand. If no sword has chosen you, then even if there were a hundred thousand swords, there would still be no sword for you!”
Xiaobao smirked, “Then isn’t this the same as betting on big or small?” As he said that, he walked along the stone platform and carefully stood at the edge. As he looked down, he saw that the dragon was just passing by and the sound of metal clashing could be heard from the countless blades, causing Xiaobao to feel that if he were to fall by accident, he would be instantly minced into meat paste by the countless swords!
Zhao Xiaobao turned to Li Chengfeng and asked, “Young master, how should I choose?”
Li Chengfeng said, “Don’t worry, let’s wait and see.”
After waiting for a while, the dragon started to float up from the bottom of the high platform. It turned its head and started to move towards the top of the high platform.
Zhao Xiaobao watched Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords roaring and flying towards him. For a moment, he felt fear and excitement. He stood there, feeling uneasy. He glanced at the Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords and then at Li Chengfeng.
“Young Master, what should I do?!” implored Xiaobao anxiously.
Chengfeng smiled and said, “Don’t be impatient. Look at how slow it is. Even if it were to come, it wouldn’t be too late for you to run.”
The speed of this dragon was languid. It was almost slower than a person’s walking speed. Hearing Li Chengfeng’s words, Zhao Xiaobao immediately calmed down. When the Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords came, he realized that this ‘huge dragon’ seemed to be able to pass right above his head.
Zhao Xiaobao carefully squatted down. He raised his head and watched as the colossal sword dragon roared past his head. A cold and murderous intent gushed forth from it.
When Zhao Xiaobao saw the dragon flying past his head, its speed was so slow that it seemed to be squirming. He saw that one of the swords was exceptionally exquisite, and he couldn’t help but reach out his hand to feel it.
The massive Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords shuddered in that instant, and a cold light shot up into the sky from the dragon’s body. Then, like an arrow, it descended upon Zhao Xiaobao.
“I, I already have a sword?” Zhao Xiaobao couldn’t believe his eyes. “Was I really chosen by a magical sword?”
Li Chengfeng was also surprised, “There really is one? It seems that these magical swords are not picky with their owners! “
Su Yuehan squinted as she said, “This sword… isn’t it elegantly feminine? “
Zhao Xiaobao reached out to pull it out, but as he pulled the sword, he discovered that the sword was indeed a rare double-headed sword. It was about two feet long, one inch wide, and the part of the sword was curved like a wave, where both ends had a completely opposite curvature from each other. It was perfectly symmetrical, with half of the sword in indigo and the other half emerald green.
The Grand Senior Brother’s voice came from below, “This is the sword that belonged to one of Hidden Sword Court’s rare female cultivators, Jiang Lingbo. Its name is the Zimu Lightning Sword.”
“Huh?” Zhao Xiaobao gaped.
Li Chengfeng let out a guffaw, “Oh, Xiaobao, Xiaobao, I always knew that you were born in the wrong body! Now even a sword thinks so too! You were chosen by a woman’s sword, Zhao Xiaobao! It seems that this is your fate! HAHAHA! Oh my, I’m dying from laughter!”
Su Yuehan also chuckled, but Zhao Xiaobao’s handsome face grew longer. He furiously threw the Zimu Lighting Sword embarrassedly from his grasp back at the Dragon of Ten Thousand Swords and shouted: “To hell with your womanly sword!”