Chapter 162 - The competition..... had already begun
(TL's note: Got caught up with something....running a bit late this week, I'll catch up in a couple of days.
Caution: Long Chapter ahead!)
Old Song and the prince simply didn't get it: Everyone knows about this... there's nothing great about this! This doesn't exactly qualify as some great knowledge.....
Okay, the Solitary's Falcon's feats about fighting bald eagles in the snowy peaks for years, and that too alone is quite amazing, but then Feng Juan Yun is also renowned for wiping out entire wolf packs on his own. That's almost as good the Solitary Falcon's accomplishments, so how's his reputation false?
But since these two men were quite involved in their discussion and were convinced about the rankings, neither of the other two objected.
"In addition to the eight great masters of the world, there's also the king of all killers, Chu Qi Hun." Jun Mo Xie couldn't help pondering over Yang Mo's words: how good must he be to earn the title of the king of all killers?
Is he even stronger than I used to be in my previous life? Really..... now I'm getting very curious ah.
Just the thought of this ignited a war cry in Jun Mo Xie's heart: Just the way there can't be two tigers on the same hill, there can't be two leaders in the same industry! Even more so in the assassination business! By the virtue of being the uncrowned king of assassins in his previous life, Jun Mo Xie's ego simply couldn't tolerate this competition.
At this moment, Jun Mo Xie suddenly realized that there would be a battle between Chu Qi Hun and himself one day, I'm afraid that there will be a battle soon or later! Its fated.... Inevitable!
"Kid, even though I won't question your knowledge, you must know that I won't agree with you no matter how much you insist." Even though the Solitary Falcon's words were challenging in nature, he still managed to say it in a very cool and calm manner.
"I still don't agree with the explanation. I agree that the Solitary Falcon has fought bald eagles atop the snowy peaks for years, but why is that enough to make him better than the others?"
Jun Mo Xie sighed and said: "Everyone knows that the eagles around the peak of the snowy mountains aren't normal vultures, they are Xuan Beasts. Although they aren't high grade Xuan Beasts, but thousands of them make up for the lack of quality with sheer quantity. We all know that fighting is one of the best ways to improve Xuan Qi. Plus the biting cold of the mountains also tends to have a very mysterious effect on Xuan Qi. And, if one is able to beat so many vultures, then their combat experience obviously increases many fold. Furthermore, the flight trajectories and attack action of these vultures can be very unpredictable.... which teaches a practitioner several knew styles!"
The Solitary Falcon smiled and nodded to indicate his agreement, he has an excellent perception: "Yes, that's very true." the Solitary Falcon added with a smug look on his face, which ignited a strong impulse to spit on it within Jun Mo Xie's heart: Just look at that expression on his face..... you may be a great warrior, but have you ever heard the term modesty? Don't tell me that.... you're the Solitary Falcon....?! You do have a look of mystery about you......
Jun Mo Xie suddenly realized one simple truth: An ordinary man or an official, rogue or an expert.... We're all just wearing masks. And that's what protects us.... and comforts us in front of strangers.
"Although the Solitary Falcon's practice methods are the fastest methods to temper Xuan Qi, but they are also amongst of the most dangerous ones; and for this reason, the Solitary Falcon is worthy of being a great master!"
Jun Mo Xie was somehow holding back the strong desire to vomit as he continued to praise the man. He knew that it was necessary to lay the ground work for his victory, and it would come at the cost of suffering through this....
The Solitary Falcon was obviously very pleased to know that his efforts are winning recognition from some people, but was simultaneously unhappy to see that some others were looking at his methods disdainfully.
"But!" Jun Mo Xie stopped before it started to sound like he was overdoing it, and then quickly took a sharp turn: "Since this is a well-known short cut, don't you think that others would have also tried this? Do you actually believe that a method which has been known since the ancient times was only attempted by just one person? But still, only one man was able to become one of the eight great masters, and the others are unheard of?! What does this reflect?"
The Solitary Falcon's entire body immediately straightened-up: "That they're dead!" the thought of all the bones buried in the snow atop the snowy peaks ignited a sense of pity in his heart, but mostly it made him feel proud about his accomplishments.
"The Old man is right!" Jun Mo Xie wantonly continued to praise: "The shortcut is never equivalent to the easier methods.... All those men were either buried in the snow, or became food for those vultures."
"They certainly found the right direction, and also chose the right method..... In fact, they were extremely dedicated. I'd even go as far as saying that they were even more persistent than the Solitary Falcon because they continued to try till the time of their deaths!"
"But the world only knows the Solitary Falcon's name... and no one knows who those other guys were! They all took the same approach as the Solitary Falcon, but we still haven't heard of any of their names? There is only reason behind it..... the Solitary Falcon succeeded; and they failed! It's simple!" Jun Mo Xie smiled.
"The anecdotes of the so-called 'successful' people tend to turn into inspirational stories for the rest of the world, not because of the story itself..... but because they eventually succeeded! The men who failed took on the same tasks, and even their experiences could be transformed into stories... and their stories would actually be even more epic, shocking, heart-wrenching, but they wouldn't inspire anyone because in the end they failed and found themselves buried in the ground!"
"Anyone can have a story, and anyone can become a legend; but there must be a prerequisite - you have to succeed! Wealth provides physical comfort, whereas poverty provides spiritual comforts. But we only hear about the rich because they worked their way out of poverty, whereas the poor remained stuck in their miseries!"
Jun Mo Xie had said too much in just one breath, so naturally his mouth fell a bit dry. He grabbed the tea pot, and poured himself a drink, and then drank it. However, no one perceived his actions to be rude since everyone was busy pondering over the profound meaning of his words.
"All I'm trying to say is - even though Old Song worked very hard, and was extremely persistent, but his wine has only ever qualified to be a good quality wine in the eyes of ordinary men, and not necessarily the best one.... because he still hasn't managed to achieve what the Solitary Falcon has..... success!"
Jun Mo Xie had cleverly drawn this big circle back in Old Song's direction.
Jun Mo Xie had doubted the black-robed man's identity from the beginning. Jun Mo Xie's suspicion had escalated at the time when he exposed Old Song's true Xuan rank. The entire talk about the eight great masters was just a test to see if he defended the Solitary Falcon; which he did. And his sharp reaction to his nemesis's praise made it a little too obvious....
He is the Solitary Falcon!
It's obvious now! I think even Old Song and the Old man know it now.... but if they still can't see it, then it's better to beat myself to death with a pillow than explaining it to them in detail!
But the best thing was that since Jun Mo Xie had identified his real identity despite the fact that he was trying to conceal it, it could now be used without him ever realizing about it!
This kid is very.....pleasant to listen to!
"It is as you said..... good or bad.... We'll only find out after we taste the wines...." Old Song was obviously a bit gloomy now. If we start this contest now, then he'll win even if our wines are similar in quality!
First he comes late, then he offends everyone, and then rambles incoherently to force his fallacious logic!
Although, he does have a point.....
Even though no one had said it, but the contest had already begun at the time when Old Song narrated the background story of his wine!
Even though Jun Mo Xie had only played around with words, but he managed to obliterate whatever slight advantage Old Song had gained early on!
This was all a part of the competition....
But the biggest advantage that Jun Mo Xie had managed to exploit was the Solitary Falcon! Turbulent winds were rising in the Tian Xiang City, and the Solitary Falcon could be used to turn the tables any time! Jun Mo Xie had been intending on using him to do just that, and had already started laying the ground work.....
"Yes good. Now let's start the wine tasting! Soon we'll know which wine is better." The man from royalty was obviously calmer than Old Song and the Solitary Falcon. After all, he was a member of the royal family, and hence had always been associated with different circles as compared to the other two men. Admiration and worship have always been two mutually exclusive terms.
The Solitary Falcon might be a great warrior, but it wasn't enough to compete with the Emperor of an Empire! If someone tried to assassinate him, then the unprepared master would be likely to fall prey and may not be able to escape his death, however a King's legacy would continue to live on long after he's gone.
"Yes, perseverance may not necessarily pave the way for success, but you need to be persistent in order to be successful!" the Solitary Falcon closed his eyes and considered his words as he slowly stated them: "Your words make me feel as if there's no real need to admire any man!"
"Uh?" Even though Jun Mo Xie disagreed inwardly, outwardly his tongue hummed a different tune altogether: "Yes, we only need to understand our goals clearly, and then move forward step by step; we shouldn't pay any heed to the failures of our predecessors, or worry whether the succeeding generation will be able to catch up or not. We should only be concerned about our path to climbing the peak, not of some else's!"
"Well said!" the Solitary Falcon laughed: "We should only be concerned about our path to climbing the peak, not of some else's!" this sentence demands a drink!
Jun Mo Xie smiled and pointed his hands towards Old Song to indicate that he should go first. This action startled everyone present; as far as tasting food items is concerned, the first impression is always the hardest to beat.
Therefore, it is most important to be the first.... Else, even if both items taste the same, the first one will undoubtedly be proclaimed the winner!
Is he really that confident? Jun Mo Xie's actions had raised a big question in everyone's mind.
Old Song didn't hesitate, and immediately grabbed four glasses, and quickly and quietly placed them in front of everyone with just one wave of his hand.
The free flowing, natural and smooth movement of the master earned him the admiration of Yang Mo, which clearly reflected in the boy's eyes.
Then, he opened the cork of the wine flask, and the aroma of the wine's flavor instantly the room's atmosphere; the Solitary Falcon and the prince couldn't refrain from closing their eyes... or inhaling the scent.
The two wine lovers had tasted all kinds of wine over the course of their live, but neither man had ever smelt such an exotic and strong flavor before. Naturally, they couldn't suppress their strong desire to taste it.
They hadn't even tasted the wine yet, but were already convinced that they had never tasted anything better!
"This is definitely better than anything I've ever tasted!" The Solitary Falcon judged from the aroma: "This wine is indeed the work of a true master; I think that only one or two masters are capable of fermenting anything even close to this!"
Jun Mo Xie's brows wrinkled, although this wine seems rich and mellow, but the smell is obviously too strong. It's almost like an expensive perfume.... It's useful to attract others by spraying just a little on the body, but if the flask breaks then it will just destroy one's nose....what a cliché!
Song Shang clutched the jar in both his hands with a solemn and sacred look in his eyes. A blue light flashed from his hands as the wine sprayed into the air and flew into the wine glass, filling it straight to the top..... not even a single drop fell out of the cup!
And then the second glass...... all the four glasses were full in a matter of moments. The wine created a magnificent and fragrant rainbow as the wine continued to flow through the air, but not even half a drop fell out of the glasses.
"Please!" Old Song raised his hands and invited everyone to drink, but didn't touch his own cup.