Chapter 42: Calmly
Translator: YH Editor: Pranav
It was the cheapest and simplest type of grass sword available, with no blacksmith's signature or any ornaments on it whatsoever. Many weapon shops would not even bother to display such a sword on their shelves; instead, they would likely tie such swords with rope and toss them in a corner, leaving them to collect dust. The selling price for such weapons was less than a thousand yuan.
Even the practice swords that Shi Xueman used during training were worth tens of times more than that grass sword.
She never imagined that a run-of-the-mill grass sword could emit such a resplendent light.
The light emitted from the blade resembled that of brilliant fireworks-it was the most dazzling sword glint she had ever seen. The moment the grass sword left Ai Hui's hand, it transformed into a ray of brilliance that was as fine as a steady drizzle. It left a gorgeous trail of light as it pierced through the air, flying towards the hooligan at the mouth of the alley.
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
The grass sword made short work of Duanmu Huanghun's clothes-it was as though countless hands were tearing away at them, and they were instantly shredded away, scattering around him like butterflies.
Shi Xueman, whose eyes were opened wide, quickly looked away.
A smooth, pale body soared through the air from the alley, directly landing onto the main street.
At first, the pedestrians were rather dazed by the sight, but a couple of girls soon started shrieking uncontrollably.
Shi Xueman was visibly shocked, her gaze inadvertently landing on Ai Hui, who was currently in the air. That sword technique was definitely many times more skillful than what she had witnessed earlier. Could this be his true caliber?
She had met a few experts of swordplay, but not even a single one had left her in this much awe. Swordplay has been on the decline for quite some while, and although those experts possessed an abnormal fighting strength, they always appeared to be shrouded in an aura of despondence and lack of ambition. She greatly disliked the vibe they gave off and hence never had much of an interest in so-called swordplay experts.
However, that sword technique earlier...... it was truly amazing!
After Ai Hui unleashed that move, his entire body felt like it was moving independently of time. Snapping out of that soundless state of complete concentration, he felt as though he had woken up from a dream. His surroundings were utterly empty. Eh, in the air? He looked down and was instantly dumbfounded.
I actually...jumped this high?
Ai Hui's body started to plummet rapidly. His arms and legs were flailing in all directions and his face was a deathly white. He remembered the time he fell off a cliff this high in the Wilderness; he ended up half-dead and required half a month to recover.
Even worse, he discovered that his hands and legs had gone soft, and his elemental energy was thoroughly drained. Even the sword he was holding......was thrown away! Help!
Shi Xueman was frozen, still awestruck. By the time she had snapped out of her daze, Ai Hui's situation was critical-he was a mere ten feet above the ground.
With a whistling sound, a wave of yellow sand swiftly swept past.
Lou Lan had arrived in the nick of time.
Although Ai Hui had a lingering fear after being carried by Lou Lan, he gave Lou Lan a pat on the shoulders. "Thank you, Lou Lan!"
"You're welcome, Ai Hui," came the overjoyed reply.
Ai Hui was satisfied with the results of his sword technique. Killing was not permitted in the Induction Ground, but upon seeing the naked body of the other party lying in the middle of the street for all to see, his anger dissipated quite a bit.
Suddenly, he frowned. "Lou Lan, look at that guy's body. Doesn't it look a bit familiar?"
Lou Lan turned to face the body. A yellow light flickered in his eyes as he stated matter-of-factly, "Yes, indeed. An analysis of his build reveals a match of greater than ninety percent with that of Bangwan, whom you had previously healed."
"Oh, so it is Bangwan!" The revelation left him laughing with indignation.
Ever since the last time, when Bangwan had bluffed others by saying that he hadn't yet recovered from his cold, Ai Hui had felt that his morals were highly questionable and treated him with disdain. Looking at him now, Ai Hui felt that he was indeed a childish, delinquent youth. He shook his head in disappointment. "Let's go back, Lou Lan."
From their conversation, Shi Xueman could discern a rough idea, and was under the impression that that naked figure was one of Ai Hui's classmates named Bangwan. She simply had no idea that he was actually the great genius Duanmu Huanghun who had just dazzled the entire Induction Ground.
The flames of anger in her heart finally satiated, Shi Xueman started to calm down. Losing the Calming Indigo Silk may be difficult to bear, but nothing good would come out of harping on about it. As she walked back, she tried to think of ways to solve the issue.
She was not generous enough to simply let him off, but what kind of compensation should she seek?
Walking down the alley, Lou Lan enthusiastically said, "Ai Hui, I think I can restore the neighboring walls that have been damaged!"
Ai Hui was practically moved to tears. "Lou Lan, you're really the best!"
"I'm just a sand puppet." Lou Lan was especially glad that he could help Ai Hui.
Only with Lou Lan could he experience the warmth of spring. Ai Hui was deeply touched. He turned around to face the girl from the noodle shop, his face grim. "So tell me, how exactly do you want me to settle this?"
Shi Xueman had just thought of something, but Ai Hui's tone made her furrow her long, shapely brows. She retorted, "Your tone makes it sound as if I'm the one who owes you eighty million yuan."
Ai Hui was momentarily embarrassed, so he relaxed his tone. "Just tell me, what do I have to do?"
"You definitely can't return the eighty million yuan all at one go," Shi Xue Man said while giving Ai Hui a glance. "I have two conditions. The first is that you must become my sparring partner for swordplay and instruct me accordingly. The next would be to help me find someone."
Ai Hui heaved a sigh of relief. "Great! It's a deal then. I'll teach you swordplay as well as help you to find that person in exchange for writing off my debt of eighty million yuan."
"You wish!" Shi Xueman exclaimed grimly. "This is only the interest."
Ai Hui was instantly enraged, and he warned, "Noodle shop girl, you better not take advantage of me!"
Shi Xueman remained unmoved. She said flatly, "How about you ask your sand puppet friend for the current interest rates that are out on the market?"
Ai Hui looked towards Lou Lan.
Lou Lan reported honestly, "The interest rates on loans generally start from ten percent."
Ten percent was not really all that much. Wait, what's ten percent of eighty million yuan?
Ai Hui's eyes grew wide with fear.
"See, I didn't try to cheat you." Shi Xueman glared at him. "You think your swordplay is worth eight million?"
Ai Hui did not even utter a word.
With the ongoing decline of swordsmanship, even renowned experts of swordplay would not command eight million yuan. Moreover, Ai Hui was not so conceited to claim that his swordplay was on par with that of those experts.
The greatest tragedy in the world was to be stuck without a retort against the logical and factual arguments of others.
"I'm giving you the task of finding the person because you live in Central Pine City and should thus be more familiar with it." Although Shi Xueman felt that entrusting this task to such a fellow was rather ridiculous, any additional aid would be beneficial.
Ai Hui asked dejectedly, "What does this person look like?"
"No idea." Shi Xueman shook her head.
Ai Hui looked at Shi Xueman, suspicion written all over his face. "Are you trying to make a fool out of me? How am I supposed to find someone without knowing what he looks like?"
Shi Xueman muttered, "The last time I met him was in a blind battle at the training hall. Starting your search from the training ground should make things easier."
"Training hall?" he blurted. It was now Ai Hui's turn to sneer. "Lou Lan, how many training halls are there in Central Pine City?"
Lou Lan once again stated matter-of-factly, "Forty-six."
Shi Xueman declared, "But of course, I still have more information."