“Gentlemen, would you like to have the continent’s most beautiful woman accompany you for a spring night every night? Would you like to bewitch the moon with one blade, and possess the exceptional power to fell a thousand-troop army in one stroke? Do you wish to have an endless and inexhaustible amount of authority and wealth?”
Evening, Yuanzhi Continent, on a street of Sun City.
An obese old man dressed in a robe stood on a flight of stairs, fiddling with his beard and speaking softly as he said these phrases full of attraction and enticement.
This old man was a wandering minstrel, and he was currently in the middle of making money through singing stories which spoke about a number of young heroes that shook the continent.
And the phrases he had just said signified the beginning of another tale.
A number of leisurely passerby’s surrounded him, and one particularly knowledgeable passerby immediately began applauding when he heard the minstrel’s opening phrases, “Old sir, could it be that the story you are about to sing next is about the continent’s number one beauty—the story of Yulianne (尤里安)?
The old man lifted high a forgotten container for his profits and loftily said, “Correct, it certainly is the story of Yulianne!”
Many people within the crowd immediately revealed impatient expressions, “Che, the name of Yulianne has already shaken the continent, and we’ve long since heard her story to the point that we’re sick of it. Change to a new one!”
“Exactly! If you asked me to tell you the name of my grandmother, I probably wouldn’t know, but if you asked me who the most beautiful person on the continent is, then *I would immediately be able to tell you—Yulianne!”
(TL: arrogant form 老子)
“Don’t you have any other new stories? If you don’t, then just come down, haha!”
Several scum people began jeering, trying to force this old man down.
But the old man wasn’t panicked in the slightest bit, and lazily sighed, “Indeed, Yulianne’s beauty is truly too famous. Whenever someone mentions her, the first thing people in the world think of is always her soul-ensnaring, star-like eyes; it’s always that graceful stream of long raven hair, always that smile capable of tearing down cities and nations… You all have long since gotten fed up with hearing this, and I’m also tired of saying it, so!”
The subject suddenly changed, “So I won’t talk about Yulianne’s appearance today. What I will speak of is Yulianne’s… blade!”
“Yulianne’s blade?” Hearing this, the crowd quieted, “Could it be that Yulianne was also a warrior that used blades?”
The old man didn’t answer, and instead gazed loftily at the twilight that followed the setting sun, then with a voice thick with passion, he began to speak, “Three years ago during late autumn, the Beastman King of the Great Plains, whose name was *Abrund (阿布伦多 ā bù lún duō), and was also known as the ‘Golden Lion’, led a force of one million through Jiangnan in an attempt to forcefully level our Rheim Empire!”
(*TL: Okay, take my name choosing with a grain of salt but these are definitely supposed to have English counterparts. If you have a better suggestion, feel free to let me know. Other than that, I’m just doing some guess work…)
“Our king gathered soldiers to contend head-on with their forces, but they were continuously defeated. Within a fortnight, Abrund had seized seventeen of our military’s strategic towns, and nearly ten thousand *li of our country’s territory had been taken over. For a period of time, our king fell ill from grief, and nearly went into exile quite a number of times, but *made a comeback…”
(1 li 里 = 500 meters; idiom:东山再起 = literally to return to office after living as a hermit on Mt. Dongshan; TL: okay I’m not sure about this paragraph so I’m leaving the raws above)
“But who would’ve thought that Abrund’s forces had advanced with such lightning speed that they had already besieged our nation’s capital. Although our king really wished to leave, he couldn’t anymore!” The old man stamped his foot hatefully on the ground, when his tone suddenly underwent a complete change, “But it was just at this moment that a note suddenly appeared on Abrund’s table, and on it were characters dating back to the Milky Way Era, a paragraph of ancient lettering…”
Then the old man tilted his head and stared into the distance towards the unending billows of green mountains and hills, his tone extremely artful, yet overflowing with killing intent.
“The great king leads his force of one million through Jiangnan, a mighty army capable of stemming the current, their might vast and mighty, yet unequal to the ambition of the heart! But on the night of the full moon, once the head of the great king is taken, to drink together with the moon, isn’t it beautiful?”
(TL: not sure about this one at allllllll, but context clues guys, read the following dialogues)
The people on the street gawked in astonishment: “Could it be that this note was written by Yulianne?”
“Exactly. Yulianne couldn’t bear to see the destruction of the empire, nor stand to see humanity fall under the oppression of the beastmen race, so she purposefully wrote a note to Abrund, requesting him to take his forces and return to the Great Plains. But what kind of character was Abrund? He was the king of beastmen, the bravest within the Great Plains and for miles around! Would a simple note be able to frighten him?”
The old man answered his own question, “Abrund’s response was… immediate orders to besiege the city and do an all-round attack! That night, it happened that an autumn wind was blowing, scattering the leaves throughout the air, and the massive force of beastmen marched in formation, drawing nearer step by step…”
“But just at this moment, the city gates opened! Dressed in pure white with a silver mask covering her face, Yulianne slowly strode before the army of beastmen and said in a light voice, ‘Withdraw, or die?’”
“Abrund laughed heartily, ‘Just relying on yourself, you wish to obstruct my force of a million men?!’”
“As his tone fell, a silver light flashed, and holding Abrund’s head, Yulianne turned to the rest of the beastmen forces and said in a light voice, ‘Withdraw, or die?’”
“Both sides possessed a million-man force, one thousand generals, and there were several tens of peak experts, yet not a single one of them… had seen Yulianne’s blade clearly! This is what was called: bewitching the moon with one blade, felling a thousand-troop army in one stroke!”
Clink, clank~ the people in the crowd threw out copper coins one after another, the greatest praise and encouragement for a story.
After reaping his rewards, the old man began speaking with even greater enthusiasm, “Abrund was killed, and the beastmen army naturally crumbled from within, so Yulianne swiftly stole away. The following two years, the people talked about Yulianne’s legend nonstop. Within those two years, she had consecutively defeated thirty-four blade experts, thoroughly establishing herself in the continent as the owner of the fastest blade. Even government authorities acknowledged her strength, and if Yulianne was considered second-place, no other would dare to call themself first! But following the rise of her prominent reputation, people began to discover a strange thing: Yulianne always wore a silver mask on her face year-round, and never revealed her true face to anyone… Why was this? People grew ever more curious, and numerous rumors began spreading until finally, people believed one explanation—Yulianne’s blade method was godly, but her appearance was hideous, so she… didn’t have any face to see other people!”
After speaking up until here, the old man suddenly halted, building their appetite in suspense, “Tell me, how do you think Yulianne responded to these people?”
The old man’s laughter rang through the air, “Last year, the eastern region of the continent held a beauty pageant to decide the East’s ten most beautiful women. However, right before the night of the awards ceremony, Yulianne privately found these ten women, and pulled off her mask right in front of them, laughing as she glanced at them and left… The second day, the ten beauty contestants declined to attend, declaring that they had no qualifications to receive any reward. They said… as long as Yulianne existed, the title of beauty would never turn to them!”
At this point in time, the sun had nearly set in the west, casting a long shadow from the old man’s figure, “From then on, Yulianne’s title as the number one beauty traveled throughout the whole world, and people could count it as an honor to have seen her beauty. But here’s a bit of tantalizing news. At the beginning of this year, when the name of Yulianne had reached the peak of fame, she suddenly made yet another decision that had people thinking her outrageous…”
Reaching the climax, the old man suddenly shut his mouth, his eyes brimming with mystery as he looked at each and every one of the crowd’s anxious faces.
“What happened?!” He listened to the crowd’s angry shouts and pleas, “Dammit, you’d better hurry up and tell us!”
The old man began roaring with laughter, his manner of speaking so astonishing that even he didn’t quite believe himself: “Yulianne withdrew from the Knight’s Union to become a chef skilled with the knife!”
“Furthermore, Yulianne even said that if anyone’s blade speed could surpass her’s… Hehe, if it was a woman, then Yulianne would help her do any one thing as long as it didn’t go beyond the line of morality.”
“What if it was a man?!” the crowd asked frenziedly.
“If it was a man, Yulianne would bring her wealth, which was comparable with a country’s vast wealth, bring that blade of her’s which could bewitch the moon, bring her strength which could fell an army with one stroke, bring that top-notch, absolute beauty of hers… and marry him!”
Hearing this, the crowd suddenly went silent…
After a long while, one listener in the crowd suddenly leaped up, strong and burly, “Look at *me, *I am also a chef skilled with the knife, so I’m going to look for Yulianne and compete with her!”
(*TL: arrogant pronoun)
“Mister, don’t invite hate onto yourself! You’re not the only one who wishes to take Yulianne as a wife. But… who’s knife work do you think can trump the owner of the fastest blade in this world?”
The chef’s face went scarlet as he retorted, “*My blade is able to dismember an entire ox within half an hour!”
(*My = arrogant way of referring to himself)
The old man nearly cried from laughter, “To dismember an ox, Yulianne only needs twenty-seven seconds!”
“Gentlemen, if you want to wed Yulianne, first learn that supernatural twenty-seven second blade method and then talk!”
The old man ending his story with this warning, then gathered his copper coins together and went into a tavern.
Those who had wanted to express their intent chattered and discussed with one another, “Only twenty-seven seconds to dismember a whole ox, is Yulianne still human?”
“Ai, if I could have Yulianne as a wife, my whole life would have meaning, but dammit… This blade of *mine isn’t fast enough!”
At this moment, within the crowd, a youth of average stature and good proportions dressed in shabby clothes quirked his mouth and said disdainfully: “Rodi (罗迪 luó dí), do you know? This old fellow is definitely spewing crap. Twenty-seven seconds to dismember an ox, f***, how could such a quick blade method possibly exist?”
“Just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!”
A youth of fifteen or sixteen years stood beside him, shaking his head as he said this.
This youth was likewise dressed in shabby clothes and also well proportioned. But what was different was that his height was a bit above average and his appearance was handsome, not to mention that he had striking, light silver hair.
His disposition was also distinct from the rest of the crowd, and one could faintly see a sort of obstinacy and haughtiness and a bit of an air of one who would always lecture others. Rather than a fifteen or sixteen year old youth, he seemed more like a weathered and experienced man who’d suffered tribulation, like a mature man who was about to turn thirty.
“I don’t understand, but don’t tell me YOU understand?”
The thin and frail youth who had just been mocked grabbed Rodi by the collar and said in a loud voice: “Can it be that you’ve seen the blade method that can dismember an ox in twenty-seven seconds?”
Pointing at his nose, Rodi answered, “If I told you I’ve seen it, and can even perform it, would you believe me?”
“I believe, believe that you’re an idiot!” The youth guffawed, “If you truly know this blade method, then why haven’t you gone to go compare with Yulianne? Don’t tell me that you have no interest in the continent’s number one beauty.”
Rodi just laughed but didn’t answer. Dismembering an ox in twenty-seven seconds, he really could perform this blade method, and could even do it faster! But… he truly had no interest in the continent’s number one beauty!
The continent’s most beautiful person was also a woman. As long as one was a woman, none of them would love him!
Because he loved to dig out hearts dripping with blood!
Because he enjoyed dissecting human bodies into organ systems!
Because he couldn’t bear to part with corpses and dissecting, because he was an unfortunate guy that deserved to be incapable of finding a girlfriend!
Rodi, former name, ‘Jiang Nan’…