The Villain’s White Lotus Halo - Chapter 40 - Yi Hu1
Chapter 40 – Yi Hu1
The battle progressed to this point; Chen Yi made two moves, Yin Biyue made twenty-one. It seems like the fight has entered a deadlock.
Silence blanketed the stage, each person focused and waiting.
Would Yin Biyue first appear out of thin air, brandishing his sword to break the silence? Or would Chen Yi’s sword lights arrive before him?
Countless calculations verses countless sword lights, which one is faster?
Out of everyone’s expectations, what fell first was neither the figure of a sword nor the splash of blood, but the cry of a crane.
Clear and melodious; descending from the Ninth Heaven2 to the earth, the birdsong shaking the listener’s spirit.
The next moment, a white crane broke through the clouds and dove down from over thirty meters up!
Like thunder from the clouds in a clear sky, gales surging between the beat of its wings, it arrived in the blink of an eye.
Many people were confused and exclaimed in astonishment; Zhongming Mountain had white cranes? How come I’ve never heard of this?
Chen Yi’s brows knitted slightly, flipped his wrist, and the countless sword lights gathered, congregating and striking toward the crane!
Under the brilliance of the blades people could finally see clearly. The youth holding the elm wood branch, his three thousand strands of white hair intertwining white robes fluttering as he danced through the air; like a crane emerging from the clouds to descend to humanity.
That sound of a crane’s cry was the wail of a sword’s point breaking through air.
The Cang Ya disciples suddenly snapped out of their shock, and exclaimed, “Crane-song Above the Clouds!”
‘Crane-song Above the Clouds’ was the second form of the basic Cang Ya Sword Arts, only slightly following ‘Fog of Cang Ya’. Every single disciple practiced this when they entered the sect, but they never thought this technique would be able to bring forth this amount of strength.
Just as the words were spoken did someone raise their voice to refute, “It’s not ‘Crane-song Above the Clouds’, it’s ‘Winds Sweeping the Central Plains’!”
Their blades met once again, the infinite brilliance of the swords twisted by the invisible force of core energy, like clouds buffeted by the wind, tendrils of light scattered outwards.
Many people looked toward Luo Mingchuan, waiting for his reply.
They only saw him nod lightly, a smile in his eyes, “both are present.”
A white crane from the sky, winds rising from the blade; it looks like one move, but there were indeed two. It was simply too fast.
From Yin Biyue landing to the crossing of blades- laden with profound principles, only an instant passed.
Because from the moment he made his first strike, his every step was made with Traversing Peaks and Rivers.
Originally, Chen Yi frowned because he was confused.
He doesn’t understand how Yin Biyue was able to disappear within the air teeming with sword-intent, as well as able to discover the gaps between his sword-lights and flawlessly alight.
But now his brows unknotted.
Above the blue sky are flowing clouds, within the flowing clouds are soaring birds. They have always been a part of the blue skies, for what would there be the need to hide?
If I were to understand the dao at dawn, I can die at dusk.3 He understood, but he was unresigned to simply retreat or suffer defeat.
He’s already used his two most powerful techniques, and his core energy was essentially exhausted.
But his opponent is still calculating through an immense amount of data, and the consumption of his divine sense has reached its limit. For the core energy in this strike to be this immense, it should be all he has left.
It’s most likely to be the final strike.
Desolate mountains and exhausted rivers; they both were in this state.
In reality, Yin Biyue was in far more dire a situation than Chen Yi believed.
Not only was there the consumption of his divine sense from Treading Peaks and Rivers, but there was also the calculation of the angle and position of that last strike of his sword. All of this combined caused pain as if his Mental Sea was being torn from him.
Without the support of a powerful mind, he probably wouldn’t even be able to keep that elm branch in his grip.
But as it seems currently, this wasn’t the final strike.
Because he was previously steadily suppressed, the faint and fading sword-lights abruptly vanished without a trace, like a candle being blown out.
It was Chen Yi who retracted his blade himself.
Yin Biyue was originally standing high above, matching sword for sword. Now his strike’s power has been exhausted, but he didn’t fully land, and instead his tip of his shoes skimmed over the ground as he swiftly retreated.
A single retreat moved him over ten zhang away, at the edge of the stage.
The audience were shocked to discover the dust and rubble on the platform exploded, a thin crack splintering the stage all the way to an inch away from his foot.
That sound was the sound of the stone splitting.
Chen Yi’s “Vast Sky” was retracted before it was complete, and the trajectory of the blade was forcibly changed!
This change happened too abruptly, impossible to defend against; Yin Biyue could only retreat.
Forcefully redirecting the blade, a drip of blood escaped from the corner of Chen Yi’s mouth, his face immediately turning ghastly pale; but his eyes became brighter and brighter.
It was never his intention to be able to harm Yin Biyue with just this; what he fought for was for a single breath.
A single breath to lift his blade again.
Chen Yi’s wrist loosened, the tip of his saber tapped the ground, his body rose as if he intended to leap upon clouds toward the clear sky.
His movement technique was incredibly elegant, the instant the saber’s tip left the ground it swept laterally towards his opponent.
When he used this move, his ordinary countenance shone with infinite brilliance- like scattering moonbeams.
The tide has turned sharply!
“Seizing the Moon–”
A Lian Jian Zong disciple cried. Then everyone’s eyes grew brighter and brighter, as if they were the ones atop the stage who made this move.
Thousands of years ago, the saint Qi Jiang used a single Seizing the Moon to repel three thousand foes, and solidified the status of Lian Jian Zong in the world.
Today, Chen Yi has used the sword art ‘Seizing the Moon’ with a saber, and managed to glimpse the art’s truths!
This strike would be written into a sect’s history and glory!
A Lian Jian Zong elder appeared slightly shocked, “your father has passed this sword art to you?”
In her eyes, within Lian Jian’s younger generation, no matter how she looked at it, Chen Yi was far too average in every aspect and has never revealed anything outstanding. No matter how well he executed ‘Broad Sea’ and ‘Vast Sky’ just now, it wasn’t enough to change her opinion.
“Yes.” Qu Duiyan slightly smiled and nodded, “but shidi wasn’t willing to take up dad’s mantle and practice the sword. He only likes using the saber.”
Unwilling to inherit a sage’s teachings.
This sounds like something inconceivable.
When she looked at the young man now, surrounded by moonlight, she finally saw the pride running through his blood.
Not only her, but many people also saw.
Both upon and below the platform, from the important personages to the ordinary disciples, they all saw the pride imbued in this strike.
Passions soar, bold and unrestrained, climbing the vast skies and seizing the moon!4
Luo Mingchuan’s face turned pale in an instant.
The blade has yet to arrive, but its energy flared violently. The elm branch in Yin Biyue’s hand snapped in answer.
In an instant, the length of a longsword appeared under the saber’s blade.
It wasn’t a tree branch,but a real sword.
There was no choice, Yi Hu has been regretfully unsheathed!
His elm branch has been split and his real sword forced out. Under this pressure and sudden change, Yin Biyue should’ve been panicked and his mind a mess.
But in reality, he’s never felt more clear-headed, more confident, than in this moment.
Because in his hand he held a sword.
This sword was his confidence.
This was an emotion he’s never felt before.
Though this sword couldn’t be used by him, Yin Biyue must admit that after countless days and nights of practicing, it has become inseparable from him.
Since it’s already been drawn, was there a need for misgivings?
The saber’s blade has already pierced his bones; there’s no choice but to fight. In this moment, it was as if the Yi Hu Sword could finally feel its master’s heart.
The longsword advanced along the saber’s edge, a sprinkle of clear light trailing in the trembling sword’s wake.
Chen Yi’s face paled further; ten thousand pounds of pressure traveled along his blade to his wrist, as if a mountain has been set upon his saber to crush each and every inch of his bones and meridians
Yin Biyue’s sword has just been drawn, and the most tyrannical skill has been used.
It was the Sword Saint’s self-made ‘Little Heavy Mountain’5 sword art.
On Cang Ya, he once watched Jun Yu practicing this sword art at the edge of a tall cliff.
Just as drawing his sword was by instinct, this move was also an instinctual response.
Ten thousand mountains impending the way, on what basis could the moon be seized?
The power of Chen Yi’s saber has been exhausted, yet he was unable to retract his blade in time, because Yin Biyue’s next strike has already arrived.
The two strikes flowed together closely. Just like ‘Crane-song Above the Clouds’ and ‘Winds Sweeping the Central Plains’, it was as if no gap existed between them.
Many people didn’t dare recognize the Sword Saint’s Little Weighty Mountain, but this move, nearly every single person was able to recognize it.
This was the single move that Yin Biyue has used in a previous match.
A chill surged outward from the stage’s protection array that was riddled with gaping holes.
The sword has broken through the saber’s momentum, pressing forward fearlessly.
This battle was like a single wave having three faces 6, changing far too quickly.
The Lian Jian Zong disciples were still intoxicated by the sky full of moonbeams. Without any time to react, in the blink of an eye the frost permeated their hearts.
Chen Yi’s face was completely white, crumbling under the force of Yin Biyue’s sword.
Exclamations of awe erupted. This strike was so quick and violent; it was inevitable that there would be blood splashed three feet out in the next moment!
There was even someone who had already closed their eyes.
After a breath; tranquility.
No wail of sword clashing against saber, nor the sound of a blade tearing into flesh.
Yin Biyue’s sword stopped half an inch from Chen Yi’s shoulder. His hand grasping his sword was without the slightest tremble, only his face was very faintly pale.
The Frigid Water Sword has been used, spilt water cannot be retrieved, yet it was suddenly brought to a halt.
No one knew why.
But Yin Biyue knew.
This sword still didn’t accept his core energy, so he can only use the same method as before to use techniques. But this battle had completely exhausted his divine sense, and he could no longer stabilize the core energy onto his blade.
When he reached this half-inch away, his core energy has already dissipated to nothing.
Even if this sword struck, there was none of its original power. Just now the time between his sword strikes was very short, there shouldn’t have been any indication. If this strike also struck true…
Fortunately he stopped in time.
Chen Yi’s expression blanked slightly, “Why?”
Not only him, but every single person was awaiting Yin Biyue’s reply.
Chen Yi’s personality was as simple as his blade; he’ll ask whatever he wants to ask. Just like the words he blurted out when they first stepped on stage .
Yin Biyue felt that this was an opponent worthy of respect, and so he decided to tell the truth, “I did not spare you out of mercy, only that my strength fell short.
Chen Yi revealed an incredulous expression. Yin Biyue swept his eyes over the crowd below the stage and saw everyone sharing the same expression.
As if… he was lying.
He could even hear the whispers amongst the crowd, “The sword’s energy was like a surging river cutting through mountains and splitting stones. Saying that his strength fell short… how is it possible?”
“Why would you spare me even with the risk of backlash from your sword energy?”
No one even believes the truth when it’s spoken these days! A part of Yin Biyue flared in rage, and blurted out, “I am not that kindhearted; I really did run out of strength!”
“Ding—greetings valued customer; it’s been a long time. Villainous line ‘I am not that kindhearted’ has appeared，The conditions have been met, the halo has been activated！”
Yin Biyue has been completely struck dumb.
He is going to swear at the heavens!
He’s long since forgotten that he carried this additional ‘Villain’s Fiendish Halo’!
Since entering Ye City, his mentality has changed a lot. Even when facing enemies or opponents he hasn’t done anything like ‘gaze like a blade’ or ‘laughing coldly’, nor has he said ‘I was never a good person”.
But! This time!
This halo that’s been in a long hibernation! Has furiously reestablished its existence!
He stood in the blowing wind, his heart a frozen land of desolation.
I just wanted to act B7…
Why… at a time like this…
Did it feel the need to draw aggro8…
1) 倚湖. Lit. To rely upon a lake. I’d go so far as to interpret it as something like “Alongside the Lake”, perhaps even “Lakeside Companion” or more outlandishly “Lake Guided” but none of these make great nor snappy sword names. My best gander would be Lake Leaning, but only for the alliteration and mild pun.
2) In Chinese mythos, the ninth heaven is the highest heaven.
3) 朝闻道，夕可死. From Wikitionary: If in the morning I were to gain knowledge of the correct path, I would be able to die at sunset.”
4) 俱怀逸兴壮思飞，欲上青天揽明月！Lit. unrestrainable passions fly [escape] from within our bosoms/arms, lust for/desiring to step into the clear sky to seize/monopolize the bright moon. As this is a Li Bai poem, it’s difficult to translate, and the sorry excuse of an “official translation” is… bad. Click on the image to go to source. I really tried very hard and consulted many people. If you’ve found a good translation, I’d love to see it!! I think I got stuck on this for a solid two hours… But I was determined to make it work since it was the source of his techniques.
5) 小重山. Lit. Little Heavy Mountain. My TL notes on the doc were “this looks about as dumb and poorly named as it does in english in chinese as well”
6) 一波三折. Lit. One wave, three folds. I really wanted to retain the heavy water imagery present
7) The original had X instead of B, but it’s the same thing. The English fandom is likely to be more familiar with B. As for acting B, it means to act arrogantly and
8) 仇恨值 – Lit. hatred value. A gaming term used to refer to the attention of an enemy (usually a boss). Aggression -> aggro.