Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 74
Chapter 74: The Flames of Wrath and the Concealed Blade
Translator: Myriea Editor: Nou
At the age of eight, Fang Xing had nearly been beheaded.
In fact, he had been at the execution ground with the executioner holding his blade ready. Fang Xing was shivering as he screamed out, ’’Some people return eighteen years later! I... after I reincarnate, you'll see me the moment I can run!’’
When the blade was just about to touch Fang Xing's neck, his first uncle arrived with men from Guiyan Valley, saving Fang Xing mere inches from death.
'What had my emotions been at that time?' Fang Xing seemed to forget all about the scroll as his mind began to wander.
It had been fear....
Although the person in the [Decapitation's Portrayal] felt every shade of emotion except fear, it was fear that stood out the most in Fang Xing's recollection. No one is able to not feel fear at such times, and Fang Xing had been so proud at simply not wetting himself that it eventually became something he boasted about within the valley while everyone looked on in admiration.
After his first uncle killed the executioner, the first thing he did was grab Fang Xing and take a good sniff between his pants before laughing out loud. ’’Well done! Good job, Brother Fang Xing;you didn't piss your pants even right before you lost your head! You have proven yourself to be one of us courageous men!’’ Along with his first uncle, the rest of the men also praised and cheered Fang Xing on for such bravery.
Once they had returned to the valley, that was also the night that his first uncle officially named Fang Xing as the tenth bandit of Guiyan Valley.
It could be said that this honor was earned through Fang Xing's own bravery!
However, the beheaded immortal did not have such an emotion, and so Fang Xing could not use ’’fear’’ as a common ground. Besides fear, what other emotions had he experienced? Fang Xing continued to recall.
Regret? Did he regret sneaking out of the Guiyan Valley into the town by himself?
Hatred? Hatred for the bailiff who had captured him?
Could it be... anger?
Fang Xing felt that he had perhaps finally figured out the right train of thought. This had to be it;it was anger!
At that time, Fang Xing had just been strolling around the town before he accidentally bumped into a wealthy young master, who then ordered his ugly slaves to pummel Fang Xing's legs into uselessness. To protect himself, Fang Xing had grabbed a knife from a nearby butchery and stabbed the man to death. It didn't take long before he was seized by the bailiff and locked up for a whole three days, before he was finally sent to be executed.
Was he destined to have his legs destroyed?
When the man had the blade to his neck, should he have just let him chop off his head?
It was the emotion of anger. As it began to grow clearer within Fang Xing, his small fists tightened with rage. It was an anger that was mixed with the sense of despair, different from anger in its pure form;it was a fury that seeped into the bones into a person's very blood.
'This must be it....'
Fang Xing clenched his teeth as he abruptly looked to the [Decapitation's Portrayal]. It was also at this same moment that something within the picture seemed to start to move and guide the Qi within Fang Xing.
It was the unyielding will from within the painting!
The will guided the Qi within Fang Xing to vibrate, to burn! Fang Xing's Qi turned into flames, and a violent surge of power burned on its own within his body, as if it wanted to devour everything in its path even Fang Xing himself!
Fang Xing was suddenly alarmed, for he could feel the wild flames burning within his body yet he had no way to control it at all. The fire burning inside him took on the form of the flames of wrath. This type of flame was born from Qi and was capable of burning all things to ashes, including the host itself. In other words, Fang Xing had inadvertently triggered this flame of wrath without a method of controlling it. The only possible outcome would be for him to burn himself to death, just like the two disciples who had died before him.
His meridians were aching in extreme pain. His organs felt as though they were bathed in a wildfire that spread without restraint. Astonished, Fang Xing tried to calm himself, hoping that this would eventually also calm this flame of wrath.
However, it was of no use. The flame was madness itself. Once it appeared, there were no methods to stop it.
'Am I really going to die here?'
Panic-stricken, Fang Xing's tiny face was colored an unnatural bright red while his robes were so dry that it was possible to detect the scent of something burnt. His hair had curled up as if swept by fire, and beneath his skin were occasional traces of visible flame. It was as though there really was a fire burning under his skin, readying itself to burst from his body at any time.
Even faced with this kind of torment, Fang Xing did not let his panic take complete control over him and tried to realign his flow of thoughts, a capability that had allowed him to overcome many dangers he had faced in the past. His mind was much more powerful and capable than most, enough so that even inches away from death, he would not allow panic and fear to overtake him. Instead, he tried to stay as calm and level-headed as he could while coming up with a plan to fix the problem.
'Does every person who tries to comprehend this end up being burned to death?
'No, there must be a way....
'Yes, the scroll contains not only the blood of the immortal, but also the will of the heavenly sword....
'And that will must be stronger than the blood of the immortal. It was the blade of this sword that had taken the head of this immortal....'
Something clicked within Fang Xing's mind, and he once again fixed his gaze upon the picture hanging in front of him.
He was soon back inside the illusion....
Atop the execution scaffold, the enraged flames of the unyielding immortal howled up towards the heavens as the presence of a sword swept past to take his head along its path. Fang Xing endured the burning pain within his body and looked closer, trying to feel the lingering presence of the blade. It displayed a brilliant spectrum of light without leaving behind any traces when it finished, as though it had never moved from its original position at all. In fact, if the [Decapitation's Portrayal] had not been imprinted with small traces of the sword through the imprint on the blood, Fang Xing's knowledge and experience alone would not be developed enough for him to see it at all.
The unyielding flames of wrath had been imprinted on the [Decapitation's Portrayal], and it was also through this flame that a trace of the blade which would not have been imprinted otherwise had been inscribed into the same picture. It was the balance between the true will of the sword and the immortal's unyielding flames of wrath.
Fang Xing gazed at the blade's afterimage with intense interest, and the more he looked, the more mysterious and captivating it became. Fang Xing was so enraptured by it that even the agonizing pain of being burned alive seemed to ease somewhat.
A sharp, cool breeze seemed to seep into his body. After being in contact with the burning flames that had nearly burned away half of his body completely, the sensation was like being showered by a bucket of ice water as the fire was gradually extinguished.
’’Haha... ha.... I I understand this now....’’ Fang Xing let out a sudden burst of laughter and jumped up in his excitement, yet he only managed this single sentence before a surge of dizziness sent him rolling straight to the ground. The flames within him had wounded his meridians and organs.
The white-haired youth Bai Qianzhang was seated outside of the cave when he heard Fang Xing's pained laughter, and he appeared inside the cave within a single breath. Surprised by what he found, Bai Qianzhang held up Fang Xing's burnt body before quickly sending a flow of Qi into it. With a wave of his fingers, a few bottles of high-quality medicinal elixirs appeared as well, which were all then fed to Fang Xing.
'These are signs of being burned by fire, yet he is still alive. Did he... did he really comprehend the scroll?' There was a fleeting sense of hope in Bai Qianzhang as he carried Fang Xing to a jade bed within the cave. 'Am I finally going to have an answer, just before my thousand-year life comes to an end?' He looked on in gratification before a bitter smile followed close behind. 'Could it be the key to my next breakthrough?'
Once a full three days and nights had passed, Fang Xing awoke to find his body cold yet filled with vitality. As he opened both of his eyes, he could only feel an emptiness within, for it seemed he had very little of his Qi remaining. However, there was also a strange and powerful strength within him, as though he could send fists with a thousand pounds of force without even the use of Qi.
Fang Xing sat upright and noticed he had been lying on a jade bed, which explained where the ample amount of vitality had come from. Since his Qi had been emptied, he instinctively tried to grab the wine gourd stored inside his storage ring behind his head;the gourd was still half full, and it was the perfect moment for a drink.
Yet Fang Xing's hand did not manage to grab hold of anything. Fang Xing was shocked, and his pale face grew even more so. He noticed that his hair was no longer tied into a ponytail, and the storage ring he had used as a hair tie was now missing.
’’Are you searching for this gourd?’’ It was a soft voice, although Fang Xing couldn't tell when Bai Qianzhang had entered. In his hand was a purple gourd, and he slowly placed it on the jade bed next to Fang Xing while looking at him with great interest. ’’Perhaps the entire Qing-Yun Sect has been wondering how you managed to cultivate your tiers so quickly, but it seems I have stumbled upon your secret!’’
Such words left Fang Xing alarmed and frantic. 'Did he find out about the Scripture of the Revered Spirit?''
Return (once again) eighteen years later (十八年后又是一条好汉): This is in reference to the Chinese belief of reincarnation. When a person dies, it is believed that they visit the netherworld where they are fed the soup of the Old Lady Meng (孟婆), which makes them forget their past life so they can be born into the world again as a new person. It is said that avoiding the soup is possible (albeit very difficult), and sometimes one will be able to unlock the memories of their past life upon reaching a certain milestone in the new life. And so eighteen years later after a person is reborn, they would once again be an adult and ready to continue where they've left off before the end of their past life.