Jianyu was speeding through the market like a horse released from its stall. He swiftly dodged oncoming pedestrians and leaped through small openings like a graceful gazelle, much contrasting the bulldozer approach his pursuers seemed to take. Although, with Kang at the forefront most people jumped out of the way in time which kept their group going at an extremely consistently fast pace.
Looking back for a split second Jianyu managed to catch sight of Kang's horrifically scrunched up red face before reaffirming his need to run faster. He could not allow himself to be caught, especially after publically killing one of the gang's members.
The race continued like this for quite a while before he managed to give the group a slip and caught a breather in a side alley. Hiding behind a pile of debris and what appeared to be sewage, Jianyu caught sight of his pursuers rushing past his hiding place.
Looking around, Wu Jianyu finally confirmed that all his pursuers were long gone before he turned his blue cloak inside out. After many years of running from big shots, Wu Jianyu had managed to pick up a few things. First off was his amazing ability to escape pursuit. He purposely never ran as fast as he could, lulling his enemies into a false sense of security before magically increasing his speed for a short moment and weaving into the crowd. Finally, after escaping eye-sight he would immediately blend into the crowd. At first, the chasers could track him down based on his clothing, but Wu Jianyu eventually designed for himself a special set of clothes. Specifically his treasured cloak. It had cost him a fortune to get but it had never let him down.
One side, which is what he usually wore, appeared to be the clothes of a humble traveler. It gave off the scent of dirt and manure and generally made others perceive him as common trash. However, as soon as he turned the cloak inside out it changed his entire aura. Not only did the colors change but so did the material and the design. This magical cloak even gave off a different smell. From the appearance of a beggar, Wu Jianyu suddenly stepped out into the alley as a merchant's son dressed in a red cloak with faint lotus designs embroidered within. He specifically chose this lotus design due to the recurring dream with the mysterious voice and the blossoming lotus with the glowing stone inside.
No matter how hard he tried to forget it the image and that voice never left his mind. It always felt like a key part of himself was trapped within.
As he passed through the group he managed to snag a couple coin purses that were jangling along the waists of a couple merchants before meandering his way towards his previous inn. Although it was nothing much, the inn was cheap and not too dirty. It fit his standards perfectly, but before he managed to leave the market he noticed something out of the corner of his eye.
It was a sword. As a kid, Jianyu had been instructed in swordplay. In fact, he was quite adept at it, his skills put many a master to shame. He seemed to have a natural affinity towards swordplay. At the mere age of 10 he had managed to become known as a publically acknowledged "Sword Master", however after the demise of his family, he was never able to find a sword suitable for his skills. Even though he was an unscrupulous individual, he still held one value, he would never use a sword that did not fit his style of swordplay.
In fact between his escape and his appearance in Dust City, there had been many a chance for him to get a new sword, however none of the ones he sampled ever felt quite right. They were all designed to be used to brute force their way through a conflict, and rarely did he ever see a true light sword, and even then they were mainly bastard swords that had been mass produced.
This was his first time seeing a true katana, the weapon he was most familiar with. When he fought he always managed to defeat enemies purely based on his speed, adaptability, and dexterity. He was never one to purely dominate a foe through brute strength or spiritual force. Even Though his cultivation was low, he still trained fiercely in the ways of speed. This lead to his ability to defeat many Low or even Mid-level Foundation cultivators, although the latter was a bit trickier.
The sword seemed to enchant him. He felt an indescribable urge to attain such a weapon. Although it seemed to be an unassuming weapon Wu Jianyu felt that it contained some sort of hidden allure and power. It was a simple katana, about a meter long with a simple wooden sheath. The handle was made from folded iron wrapped in some sort of beast leather.
Unknowingly it seemed as though his body had drifted towards the stall. The owner of the stall finally noticed Jianyu staring at his sword and was delighted that someone had finally shown interest in it.
"Young master, I notice that you have taken an interest in my special sword here? I know it might look funny but I promise you that no other blade can contest its sharpness!"
However, Wu Jianyu was still stuck as if in a trance gazing at the sword with such a sense of longing and pain he didn't know he could feel. Thinking he had the kid in his grasp, the merchant knew he could get a heavy price for this weapon, especially since this kid seemed to be from a decently wealthy family.
"Tell you what kid, I'll give you a discount on this here sword for the small price of 20 silver coins! That is a bargain that only I can offer you"
The mention of money brought the "Young Master" out of his reverie and with a crash back to reality.
"20 silver for this trash?! You have got to be kidding me. I was only interested because it had a cute shape and I thought my sister might like it", Wu Jianyu scoffed, for as much as he liked something, money always came first. Money could fill the belly, money could give one a good night's sleep, and money could give a man endless love. He knew the merchant was trying to rip him off and so began the bartering process.
After much bargaining, a deal was finally reached.
"Ok brat, you got it for 10 silver. Happy yet? In all my life I never thought I would meet such an insidious trader such as yourself" The merchant grumbled, handing Wu Jianyu the sword.
As soon as the sword entered his rough and calloused hands Wu Jianyu felt a sense of calm that he hadn't known he was lacking. Ever since the attack on his family he had been running and surviving, never just being present in life, but with this simple sword, the world around him began to change. At first, he thought it was just the sense of calm, but no, it continued to change. His vision began to warp and he let out a sharp cry before letting go of his recently acquired sword and promptly falling on his back.
His sudden outburst frightened the surrounding public, but Wu Jianyu was too busy staring at the sword as if it were a hidden snake. Through that brief interaction, he felt as though he could see the world.
It was just like his dream, only much clearer. He saw the spark, the spark that was the beginning. That is all he could describe it as. As he thought of that spark he had seen, he noticed that within him a spark quite similar was blossoming. At first, it was small, but as he concentrated within himself he noticed the bud grow and burst into a raging fire that rushed through his body.
Instantly his body seized as it was taken over by this mysterious force. He could feel the fire cleansing his body. There he lay in the middle of the marketplace as people continued their daily duties as though nothing had happened, but to Wu Jianyu, as he lay on the ground gazing into the infinite space of enlightenment, could tell that his days as a laborer and an outcast were finally going to change.