The Ice Layer Emits a Soft Crack...

Having only two pairs of ice clogs, only Chi Tong and Su Yang were racing on the ice. The rest of them gathered under the ice waterfall to prepare for the climbing competition. 

After a few rounds over the ice, the two skaters also gradually approached the frozen waterfall, watching the contest. 

The first contenders were Xu Yunzhan and Gu Feidi.

Both had similar light movement skills, but Gu Feidi had the edge on making a breakthrough on Path to Home, so his internal energy was greater than Xu Yunzhan. The dagger in his hand stabbed deeply into the ice, which provided him more stability that would then require him to waste less energy. 

In the end, Gu Feidi won hands down. 

The two descended from the frozen waterfall with their daggers. Once they landed, they gave each other a fist bump with a smile.

Pu Lingyun called out to Fan Xi with her challenge closely after. 

Studying under Li Shijie at the same time, they both practiced light and dexterous martial arts. Although Pu Lingyun’s internal energy was more advanced than Fan Xi’s, his light movement skill was more exquisite than hers. Their disadvantages and advantages offset each other. It was really hard to predict which of these two would come out victorious. 

Fan Xi was naturally not afraid of Pu Lingyun’s provocation, so he cheerfully accepted.

Both of them each pulled out a dagger, readying themselves under the waterfall. Under the referee Xu Yunzhan’s cue, the two immediately dashed upward. 

The tip of the dagger stabbed into the layer of ice with the help of the user’s internal energy. Both competitors' figures were like swallows frolicking in the sky. With extremely nimble movements, they jumped and flipped toward the top with the help of their momentum. The daggers in each of their hands repeatedly inserted deeply into the ice and pulled out at an equally rapid pace as they ascended higher. 

In the blink of an eye, the two figures of yellow and green quickly climbed to the midway point.

“Qinglian Sect’s Fluttering Dragonfly Feat is not as on par as the Evil Sect’s Cherished Flower Step, but it is still an extremely unique light movement skill.”

Under the frozen waterfall, Xu Yunzhan looked up at the two above him and laughed. “No wonder the martial arts community admitted that the Tengyun Pavilion’s Striking Swift is just a name.”

Ge Feidi nodded his head. “Indeed, the Tengyun Pavilion’s internal energy path is on the pure fundamental, so we focus little on the light movement skill aspect. Striking Swift is less of a light movement skill but something that was developed as a tactic for the righteous to face their enemy.”

Xu Yunzhan added. “Lingyun has learned a lot from Li Shijie. Her Striking Swift is much more beautiful than yours.”

Gu Feidi countered, “Martial arts is never static. If she can find a way to alter the technique to one that is more suitable for her, my father would be very proud of her.”

While speaking, the two contenders were almost at the top of the waterfall. 

Pu Lingyun was, after all, a woman. Her strength was naturally a little weaker than that of a man as she was coming a little short behind. Seeing that the situation was not in her favour, her lips pursed reluctantly and she reached out, stabbing the dagger deep into the ice. She performed a flip to use the handle as a stepping stone, and pulled out her soft whip at her waist, and whipped it around Fen Xi’s ankle. Just as she was about to tear him off from the lead...

“Lingyun! Be careful!” Xu Yunzhan immediately used his internal energy and yelled, “Don’t act so recklessly!” 

Fan Xi’s position wasn’t stable, but with his fast reaction, he quickly pulled out his dagger to execute his own flip and drove the blade into the frozen waterfall under his feet. He gently landed on the handle steadily. 

“It’s not a bother.” He smiled and made a victory gesture toward the group below. “I can handle this little thing!” 

Finishing that, he turned around and took a leap of faith. On his way down, he reached for Pu Lingyun’s ankle and pulled her down to his level.

On the iced stream, there were two daggers, one high and one low, embedded into its iced surface, leaving only the handles exposed.

Obviously, there are only two very narrow footholds. However, the two traded moves back and forth at the top. The group below burst out in panic, but also secretly applauded.

Pu Lingyun and Fan Xi were both nimble and dexterous. They kept tip-toeing between the two hilts, clothes fluttering with each of their movements. Neither of them yielding, not wanting to give leeway to the other. They worked to locate any advantage to use their opponent’s body as leverage for a boost to jump higher. 

For a moment, the yellow and green figures were just like two birds duelling in the sky. 

It was a very enjoyable match, much more exciting than a fight on the ground.

Even Su Yang stopped skating to watch them dancing in the air between the battleground of two daggers’ handles with admiration. This dagger hilt dancing—the thrill did not differ from dancing on the tip of a blade. 

Momentarily, the fight between Pu Lingyun and Fan Xi was inseparable from a stalemate. 

Looking at Fan Xi’s dirty smile, Pu Lingyun narrowed her eyes. But in this moment of distraction, she made a slight error and lost her footing. She didn’t land firm enough on the handle and down she fell. 

Xu Yunzhan and Gu Feidi rushed forward without a second thought to try to catch her.

But Fan Xi was faster than them.

—He hooked the handle of the dagger at the bottom with his feet and hung himself upside down as he reached out to hold onto her wrist. He strived hard to pull her up. 

Pu Lingyun looked up and saw the fearful expression on Fan Xi’s face, which gradually melted to a relieved smile. 

“You scared me to death.” He whispered. 

She slyly cracked open the corner of her lips and winked at him.

Before he could react, she tugged against him to dash upward. Using her opponent as her pulling force, she threw out her soft whip to wrap it around the handle of the dagger stuck at a higher ground. With a light tap against the frozen waterfall, she stepped on the hilt and leaped to the top of the waterfall. 

She poked her head over the waterfall and looked down at Fan Xi, who stepped back on the dagger’s handle. She gushed, “You fell for it! Do you accept defeat?”

Fan Xi squatted helplessly in place and admitted, “Alright, you won.”

Pu Lingyun chirped, “As the victor, naturally I want to be rewarded!”

Fan Xi raised an eyebrow and asked, “What reward are you seeking?”

She held up a finger to her cheek and glanced at Su Yang at the bottom, and demanded, “I want you to teach me how to ice play!”

“That is easy enough.” He replied with a smile.

Once they came to an agreement, they descended from the frozen waterfall one after another.

Fan Xi tried to negotiate for the ice clogs from Chi Tong for Pu Lingyun, but Chi Tong rejected. Thankfully, Su Yang skated by and heard them talking. He then took off his ice clogs and gave them to her.

“I am itchy to climb the frozen waterfall after watching your contest.” He beamed. “Naturally, this Young Master wants to try as well, I can’t miss an opportunity to make Cherished Flower Step shine.”

He then took out the dagger at his waist, turned, and faced Gu Feidi. “How about a match?”

Gu Feidi was silent for a moment. As a sign that he accepted the challenge, he took out his own dagger and stood beside Su Yang.

Xu Yunzhan raised his eyebrow and said, “I will be the referee.”

Under his starting cue, Su Yang performed Cherished Flower Step and lifted himself up high. He stabbed into the frozen waterfall and used the momentum to hurl himself higher, quickly approaching the finishing line. Gu Feidi was on the same level as him. His proficiency in martial arts made up for the gap between them in light movement skill and body technique. Almost hand in hand, neither of them allowed themselves to display any weakness. 

When the dagger was pulled out from the ice, it took a small piece of iced along with it. 

With the help of internal energy, the blade seemed to cut into the ice like a piece of tofu. But the second before Gu Feidi’s dagger met his target…

The ice layer emitted a soft crack as if there were cracks spreading from within the ice.

Gu Feidi stopped in his tracks. 

He felt an abnormal tremor in the palm of his hand; it was very brief, but very obvious. 

“Su Yang, wait—”

He looked up, trying to stop Su Yang.

In turn, Su Yang inserted his dagger into the frozen waterfall and gazed back down at Gu Feidi suspiciously.

At that moment!

There was a sudden burst of intense cracking from the ice. The cracks spread from the inside to the outside. Almost in a breath, fractures covered the whole root of the frozen waterfall—starting from where Pu Lingyun and Fan Xi had their fight.

Su Yang’s eyes widened as he clung to the handle of his dagger, not knowing what to do next.

The ice shattered, and a piece of ice as high as twenty meters was falling down onto the Jade Mirror Lake below!

Under the waterfall, Xu Yunzhan and Chi Tong rushed to escape from the impact with their light movement skill, but they couldn't outrun the falling speed of the huge iced cone. 

The iced cone smashed into the lake’s frozen surface. The ice layer looked thick, but under the crushing force, it was as fragile as dry, fallen leaves, and exploded into countless pieces. 

The chilling cold water under the ice splashed through the cracks in the debris and exploded onto the ice above, making the surface even more slippery.


In the distance, Pu Lingyun, who was learning ice play from Fan Xi, screamed and rushed forward. 

But Fan Xi grabbed her by the wrist and prevented her from going. 

Unexpectedly, the cracks expanded out at a rapid speed. The two who stood firmly on the surface suddenly lost their balance and fell into the icy lake at the same time. 

With average swimming skill and bound by the heavy burden that was the ice clogs. Pu Lingyun couldn’t float, so she clung onto Fan Xi beside her.

Fan Xi clenched his teeth. Caring for nothing in the world but the person gripping him, he held her tightly in his arms and swam toward the surface. It was not until the two finally stepped on the shallows that he breathed a sigh of relief and helped her toward the shore step by step. 

“Cousin…” The moment Pu Lingyun recovered from the shock, she turned and yelled in the distance, “Cousin! Xiao-Shixiong—!’

The instant the fallen ice touched the frozen lake, everything turned into chaos.

Even if everyone present had martial arts skills, when faced with the mercilessness of nature, what they could do was very limited. They had exhausted all their abilities just to protect themselves from being crushed by the broken ice.

When Su Yang fell, he planned to use the Cherish Flower Step to help Gu Feidi. They held onto each other in the air for a while, trying to slow down their descending speed. However, when they fell into the water, they lost track of each other from the force of the powerful impact.

The water was bone-chilling. Mixed with many pieces of rock that were stirred up from the bottom of the lake along with gravel and mud, it was almost impossible to distinguish their surroundings. 

Su Yang could barely open his eyes in the muddy water and swam toward the nearest shadow. The shadow appeared injured as the crimson colour spread. He didn’t care to see who the person was. He hooked his arm around the man and swam for the surface. When he tried his best to drag the person up into the shallows, he found that the shadow was Xu Yunzhan, who was nearly unconscious. 

A gray figure came out of the water beside him and stumbled, swaying side to side, dragging Chi Tong to the shore.

Fan Xi came forward to support the two and said in surprise, “Luo Yin? Why are you here?”

Luo Yin held onto the unconscious Chi Tong in his arms, unwavering as his teeth chattering from the cold. He did not reply to the other’s question. 

Pu Lingyun prepared to take Xu Yunzhan out of Su Yang’s arm, but her expression suddenly changed.

—“Where is Xiao-Shixiong?”

Authors Corner

The author has something to say:

Submitted a side question: Your gong and a classmate both fall into the water together, who will you save first?

Additional question: There is a subplot in the House of Jade for Fei Fei, does anyone know?


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