Chapter 321: Sword of the Icy Tempest
Dragging out the sword from the stack, Ma Kong was surprised that Hui Yue paid attention to what he and his family considered scrap metal. The only reason they were still within this treasury was because they were made from precious metals and some had jewels or inscriptions on them something which could be reused. But no one had gotten around to scrap them into useable items yet. Seeing that the young man did not take any of the many swords on the shelves but instead was looking at this old sword, the older friend was completely surprised. Even though he was surprised, he said nothing. He knew that Hui Yue never did anything without a reason, and therefore he stayed quiet and watched.
Hui Yue felt something pulling him towards this sword. It had clearly been laying in this stack for countless years not being used and allowed to rust, yet something still called out to the young man. When they touched each other, a humming sound appeared from within both of them. The humming sound from within the sword caused small ripples of energy to be emitted outwards while the humming sound within Hui Yue caused a suction force to appear. This suction force was so strong that the ripples from the sword were swallowed up whole. The energy roamed through his body and refining itself into golden Wu Wei before it entered the upper dantian where it was stored. When the humming sound appeared it started out quiet and the ripples of energy along with the suction force were fairly weak, but as the sound persisted and got louder these phenomena increased in strength. Within moments the entire treasury was filled with a humming so loud that Ma Kong needed to hold his hands over his ears and closed his eyes shut.
The humming sound caused the sword in Hui Yue’s hands to vibrate. The vibration resonated with the humming causing the rust to start falling of the sword. Though this didn’t remove all the rust nor make it useable again. The humming sound increased until it became so loud that even the shelves within the treasury started to shake from the shockwaves, and suddenly, with no explanation, the sound completely vanish. The pulses of energy stopped coming from the weapon and while the weapon became quiet, so did Hui Yue’s body. The sudden change made the young man stare with an open mouth at the sword in his hand as he was uncertain what to say or do.
Ma Kong removed the hands from his ears and opened his eyes as he looked at Hui Yue. He was increasingly uncomfortable about the reaction his friend caused from the sword. It was not that he feared Hui Yue was robbing his family of a priceless treasure; instead, he was uneasy about how Hui Yue had resonated with the sword. It was as though the two belonged together, and something like that made no sense to him. A sword was but a tool, nothing with sentience, yet this sword seemed different. Shaking his head, Ma Kong decided not to think about it anymore. He would leave it to Hui Yue to deal with; it was simply too odd for him.
After the humming had vanished and the weird feeling of absorbing energy from the sword subsided, Hui Yue looked at the still rusty sword. His hands roamed over the metal which was almost eaten away by rust, and his hands suddenly reached just above the hilt. Scratching the rust, he found that there were some words engraved on the sword. With some stubbornness and a rather large amount of time, Hui Yue finally managed to make out the words that had been engraved; Sword of the Icy Tempest.
Mumbling for some time, Hui Yue assumed that the inscriptions that had been inscribed onto the sword had originally had something to do with an icy tempest, but he had no way to confirm this guess as the inscription on the blade had long since become nothing but rust on the face of the sword. Looking at this beaten up sword, Hui Yue wondered if there was a way to restore it. He decided that even if the chance was small, he had to try. Having felt the strength that surged out in waves from the sword he knew that it was anything but ordinary. Although it looked like trash, he would not look down on such strength. There had to be a way to salvage the sword within.
Clearing his throat, Hui Yue said what they both already knew. “I will take this sword. I hope you do not feel like I am taking advantage of your family. If you want to charge me for it, I will gladly pay, and if you don’t want to part with it,” When he said these words a worried expression appeared on his face. “I will of course understand.” Although he wished to own this sword he was not willing to fight the Ma family for it. When it came down to it, they were the real owners of this sword.
Shaking his head Ma Kong smiled to his good friend. “We have had this sword here countless years. It has been thrown into the stack of swords that cannot even be used they are so worn. Swords that will be scrapped and reused for other things. It only reacted this way because of you so it is natural that I will not stand in between of the one it truly wishes to be with,” He said. Although he was confused he felt that the sword had reacted this way almost like it had a soul within, but he decided to give up thinking about it too much as he feared he was losing his sanity. He could not imagine what kind of sword it truly was if it really did contain a soul. A weapon with a soul… Was that even possible?
Leading the way out of the treasury, Ma Kong led Hui Yue back to the office they had departed from earlier. When they opened the door, the smiling Ma patriarch was standing inside. “I almost thought you got lost,” He joked as he looked at the two youngsters, yet his eyebrows suddenly frowned when his eyes landed on the sword Hui Yue had his hands on.
The sword was around a meter and a half long. The hilt was a cross, and it was a very normal sword with no jewels or cores embedded in it. Looking at this rusty, plain sword, the family leader shook his head and could not understand the decision made by the young man. “Do not disgrace us,” He said in a serious voice. “I meant to give you a great weapon, not some trash that is hardly worth anything. You can choose whatever weapon you like. Please don’t have any reservations; let’s return to the treasury.” He said, “If people knew that we gifted such a worn down sword then I would for sure lose face!”
“Please lead me to those who dare talk, and I will make them hold their tongue,” Hui Yue swore. “I wish to receive this weapon. It is everything I want. Please allow me to keep it.” Noticing that Hui Yue wasn’t joking, Ma Kong’s father frowned a bit but seeing the eager and honest expression on the young man’s face he made him unable to say anything. “Humph. It seems that you are easily made happy,” He said, and with his consent, Hui Yue bowed deeply to the older male while a brilliant smile shone on his face. “Run along then,” The family leader said smiling. “When boys get new toys they are usually quite impatient to play with them. I will not hold you here any longer. If you end up changing your mind, please come and find me and we can get you a proper weapon,” He sighed as he waved his hand and with a cheeky grin on his face, Hui Yue bowed once more before he left the office and rushed back to his own mansion. He was indeed eager to play with his new toy, as the family head had described it.
Usually, Hui Yue would walk back to his own mansion but today he was eager to get back, and therefore he instantly hailed a carriage which made the ride back far swifter than it would have been otherwise. Paying the fare and a handsome tip, the young man almost jumped out the carriage as soon as they reached the mansion. He ran right through it until he arrived at the park behind the mansion.
The park was large and although there were a few gardeners and servants currently in the garden it was no hard task to find an area completely devoid of people. The area he found was a small clearing framed by a few massive trees which also blocked the sunlight. Soft grass grew between the trees, and a few large stones were scattered here and there.
Sitting on one of these large stones with his legs crossed, Hui Yue slowly and gently placed the sword on the legs and stared at it with shining eyes. He did not know what he was expecting, but he expected something. Though he was soon quickly disappointed. The humming sound did not reappear, and there was no wave of energy like before. The feeling from within that he needed this sword did not return. All in all, nothing happened apart from birds singing in the sky and small rays of sunshine falling here and there from the treetops.
Feeling slightly disappointed Hui Yue sighed as he looked at the sword in his lap, yet he refused to give up. From his storage stones he picked out tools he previously used to clean his dagger, and this time, he was going to use them to try and clean up the sword. Oil, cloth, and grinding stones were placed by his side as he was seated on a stone and with a very gentle hand, Hui Yue started to wet the cloth in the oil and gently rubbed the sword.
At first, massive flakes of rust started to fall off of the sword, and the metal underneath was soon starting to appear in front of the patient young man. Some of the rust had embedded itself deeply within the weapon and was impossible to remove, while at other places it was easily removed. The sword hidden beneath was so slim that it was clear that most of the metal had been eroded by the rust.
Slowly hour after hour passed and the whole while Hui Yue did not rush his slow restoration of the sword, but even after hours, it was impossible to completely remove the rust on the metal. Disappointment was evident in his blue eyes as Hui Yue saw that it was impossible to remove the rust completely from the weapon.
‘Lan Feng,’ He called out as his consciousness entered his lower dantian and looked at the phoenix that was seated and cultivating on his own in his usual location. The phoenix instantly stopped cultivating and looked at the young man who was approaching him.
‘I am not good with weapons. I always used my beak and claws if I needed to fight,’ He warned Hui Yue as the young man walked towards him, ‘But although I’m no good with weapons, I’d suggest you to visit a spiritual blacksmith. They are Metal affinity experts who specialized in creating armor and swords. If anyone knows how to restore your sword, it would be them.’
Hearing this Hui Yue was almost so happy that he could kiss the phoenix, but the bird just snorted at the childish happiness he felt from the young man’s soul and instead closed his eyes once more completely focusing on cultivating more Wu Wei. Lan Feng rarely spoke anymore; he spent most of his time cultivating, increasing his strength little by little ensuring that one day he would be strong enough to rival the bird he had been years before. As strong as he had been back when he was banished into the blue phoenix hairpin and had his powers sealed by An He.