Chapter 32 ~~ Juedai Shuangjiao/ Legendary Siblings / Handsome Siblings / The Proud Twins

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The Legendary Siblings Chapter 32

The gold knob began to turn. The golden wall began to shift, and indeed revealed a doorway. Before they had even started to enter, a sliver of glittering brilliance was already visible. Behind this golden wall, naturally there must be all sorts of treasure, countless precious items, beyond anyone’s dreams!

Jiang Yulang stood there, stunned. On his sheet-white face suddenly there appeared a flush of crimson. His fingertips betrayed a fine tremor.

Xiao Yu’er’s eyes, on the other hand, merely swept a casual glance across the hoard. His gaze came to rest on Jiang Yulang’s face which was trembling with emotion. With a slight smile Xiao Yu’er asked him, “You like all this?”

“I…I…” was all Jiang Yulang could get out. His Adam’s apple began to move up and down(?), and he forced a casual laugh: “I mean, who wouldn’t, in all the world?”

Xiao Yu’er snorted, “If you want it, go ahead, it’s yours!”

Jiang Yulang stared at him in surprised delight, then abruptly lowered his head. He smiled, “Well, you found this treasure first, of course it should be yours, I…I…even if I could have a little share, I would be most grateful.”

“I don’t want it,” Xiao Yu’er stated flatly.

Jiang Yulang’s head snapped up, his voice cracked: “You don’t want it?” But then he lowered his head again, and laughed: “My life is already a gift from you, even if you didn’t want to share the treasure, I have no complaints.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed. He said, “You think I’m trying to test you, trick you? You can’t eat these objects, they’re no good to drink. They’re heavy and tiresome to carry, and you always have to worry about them being stolen. Why would I want them?”

Jiang Yulang was shocked into silence and could find no words to reply.

Xiao Yu’er paid no further attention to him, and instead began circling the room. He sighed and murmured, “Another dead end, the exit surely would not be here.”

Suddenly Jiang Yulang’s laughter broke into his thoughts. He kept giggling and giggling.

“What, did you see a ghost?” Xiao Yu’er said.

Still laughing, Jiang Yulang said, “All these things, I don’t want them either.”

In surprise, Xiao Yu’er asked, “Oh, that’s strange, why not?”

Jiang Yulang pointed out, “I don’t even know if I can make it out alive, why should I bother with them?”

Xiao Yu’er applauded him, saying: “I guess you’re not so hopeless, after all. You are a clever person. I have seen others who have lost their lives because they could not bear to forsake these riches. Don’t you think they must be a little sick in the head?”

They left. Next, Xiao Yu’er tackled the bronze knob.

In this way, he was able to see more weapons than he had viewed before in his lifetime. Every kind and every type of weapon, and even many styles of hidden projectiles. Some specimens were definitely familiar to Xiao Yu’er. But there were yet some types of weapons that he had never seen before, and he did not even know their names.

The air of steel, so cold it seeped into the bones…the weapons threw off a chilling light, and reflected off their faces so that they had a metallic glow about them(?). Despite himself, Xiao Yu’er could not help drawing his neck into his shoulders.

They looked at the spears. The longest exceeded four metres(?), and the shortest did not reach three feet in length. Next the swords. The longest span resembled that of a tree branch, and the shortest were like chopsticks(?). Long spears and short swords, were all arranged neatly in rows. Although these were not living beings, they all exuded an aura of death, and urged a man to kill(?).

It really did seem as if all the different types of weapons and instruments of violence in the world, were all gathered in this room.

Xiao Yu’er chose a sword at random, and drew it out. It sounded with a sharp ring and its deathly air caused him to flinch involuntarily(?). He cried aloud: “This is a good sword!”

Jiang Yulang said glumly, “It is a good weapon, but in this room, it’s nothing special.” He grasped another weapon, and said, “Do you know what this is?”

At first glance, this appeared to be a golden dragon. Its horns(?) stretched out to the right and left, and its mouth was open, revealing a brilliant green tongue.

“Hmm…I’d say it was a Gold Dragon whip,” Xiao Yu’er surmised.

“Correct,” Jiang Yulang said. “It is a Gold Dragon whip. But this Gold Dragon whip, is different from ordinary whips. It is also called ‘The divine dragon takes nine forms, bane of the spirits’ (?). This one weapon has nine different uses.”

Xiao Yu’er said, “Sounds interesting, tell me about it.”

Jiang Yulang went on, “The whip is covered in barbed dragon scales(?), which can attach to an attacker’s weapon and pull it out of their hands. It can also grip onto hidden projectiles as well.

The forked horns can neutralize all sorts of soft weapons (1). The outstretched tongue of the dragon is used to seal acupoints. The open mouth bites down on an enemy’s sword easily. Furthermore, the pair of dragon’s eyes contains explosives and flammable materials(?). From within the dragon’s mouth, the user can fire thirteen ‘Heart Withers at Noon’ darts (?). Once you see the blood bubbling from the throat, the person will not live another twelve hours(?). And, if needed, the dragon scales can also be fired as projectiles.

If you didn’t know all the background of this weapon, even a god would not be able to escape unscathed.”

The words came fluently from his lips, as if he were describing a familiar family heirloom.

Xiao Yu’er sighed, “Aptly named, Bane of the Spirits, what a weapon.”

Jiang Yulang went on, “Alas that in the entire world, there are only two copies of this weapon. I wonder how this one ended up here.”

“There is another replica?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

“This weapon has vanished from wulin for so long, that the whereabouts of the other one are unknown…if it appeared in wulin once again, who knows how many people would lose their lives to it!” Jiang Yulang said.

Smiling faintly, Xiao Yu’er remarked, “Despite your young age, you seem to be quite familiar with ancient, long-vanished weapons.”

Jiang Yulang’s eyes darted back and forth, as if he suddenly realized that he had said too much. With a false laugh he said, “Oh, I was just repeating the words of others. You know how my father had many social contacts, among them were some savants and wise men.”

Still Xiao Yu’er looked at him with a slight smile. Slowly he said, “Well then, I suppose you would know how to use this weapon properly!”

Jiang Yulang laughed along and protested, “If…if only I knew.”

His entire attitude seemed to be indifferent, and he casually laid down the weapon. But in reality, his eyes were staring at Xiao Yu’er’s hands without blinking. Xiao Yu’er also seemed to be laughing and chatting in a carefree manner, but he too was ceaselessly watching the Bane of Spirits in Jiang Yulang’s grasp.

Although you could still consider these two to be children, but their craftiness and caution went well beyond that of three hundred and eighty seventy year old men put together(?).

Xiao Yu’er spoke again, “According to you then, no matter what weapon I chose from this room, I could instantly make a name for myself in wulin. Especially this Bane of Spirits. Ai, I wouldn’t even know how to use it, you may as well take it.”

Jiang Yulang hadn’t even waited for him to finish speaking before he quickly distanced himself from the weapon. Laughing, Jiang Yulang said, “Such a vicious weapon, I wouldn’t want it.”

Xiao Yu’er smiled, “Actually, weapons are dead, while men are alive. As long as you are strong, it doesn’t matter which weapon you use. It’s probably better not to use this type of weapon.”

Suddenly he drew out a sharp sword, so keenly forged that you could blow a hair onto its edge and the hair would be severed. Light shimmered down its length, and in a flash, the Bane of Spirits, most vicious of unorthodox weapons, broke asunder into useless fragments (?).

Of course Jiang Yulang was smiling. He said, “Wonderful, it’s best to destroy it, we wouldn’t want it to fall into the wrong hands and harm people…” As he spoke, he turned his head, and his eyes flashed as though he could spit fire.

Xiao Yu’er gently stroked the sword in his hand, and smiling he murmured, “Sword, good sword, I originally intended to bring you out of here by my side, but on second thought, I’d better leave you here. People like me, even empty-handed, could…”

“Look!” Jiang Yulang’s shrill cry cut him off. “Over there…”

Under the cold glow of the metal weapons, a skeleton could be seen bobbling gently in a corner. Not only had its clothes rotted away, but its bones which should have been white, were as black as a raven’s feathers. Seen under the metallic light, this was truly a disturbing sight.

Jiang Yulang muttered, “That’s odd. How did this person die here, and avoid getting thrown into the mass grave?”

Xiao Yu’er mused: “Well, anyone who could enter this room, must have been one of the masters of this place. The masters must have been top martial arts experts.”

His brow wrinkled, he said, “But why would the master die here? Was he killed by someone? He doesn’t look as if he were in a struggle. Perhaps he was killed by a single stroke!”

Jiang Yulang added, “Judging from the colour of his bones, I’d say he was poisoned to death.”

Xiao Yu’er said, “I agree.”

Their eyes roamed the scene. Suddenly they cried out together: “So he was killed by a stealth projectile!” They noticed that the skeleton’s blackened bones were impaled by countless tiny silver needles. It was quite surprising that such small needles could pierce through skin, flesh and still embed themselves deeply in the bone.

Xiao Yu’er said, amazed, “What a brutal and vicious style of weapon.”

Jiang Yulang cried aloud: “This is…I…I wonder what did it.”

Xiao Yu’er fixed him with one eye and growled: “You don’t need to pretend. You’re not the only one who recognizes this weapon. I know it as well.”

Hastily smiling, Jiang Yulang said, “These ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles, are indeed the number one stealth projectile on earth…” From the corner of his eye, suddenly he recognized a weapon from among the pile. It was golden and glittering, a small round tube. Immediately he shifted his body slightly to block it from Xiao Yu’er’s view. As he coughed, he subtly moved toward it.

Xiao Yu’er laughed: “If you keep coughing much longer, I’ll be infected by you.” He suddenly did break into a fit of sneezing, and doubled over. Jiang Yulang waited for his waist to bend over, then swiftly snatched up the small round tube. He could not know that Xiao Yu’er had simultaneously appropriated something gently from the skeleton’s grasp and hid it in his sleeve.

The object was merely a bamboo tube. Xiao Yu’er had in fact not figured out its use, but felt that if the dead person had grasped it tightly with his dying breath, there must be something important and useful about it.

Jiang Yulang was having trouble suppressing his joy. He drew his brows together on purpose and grumbled: “If this person was the master of this place, how could he succumb to a sneak attack here? And yet if he were not the master, he could not be in here either.”

Xiao Yu’er agreed, “Mmm, if you weren’t the master of this place, you could not enter this place.”

“So what happened?” Jiang Yulang wondered.

“Presumably there are still many secrets to this place,” Xiao Yu’er said.

Jiang Yulang sighed, “Yes, and many terrifying secrets.”

Laughing, Xiao Yu’er joked, “There are no such things as terrifying secrets on this earth. All secrets are interesting…”

Side by side, they exited that terrifying yet interesting room. Both of them intentionally used both hands to carry their torches, to show that they hadn’t taken anything from the room.

Now the steel knob shifted and the torchlight showed a chilling steel room.

Jiang Yulang went ahead first. His roving eyes suddenly stopped and he gave a horrified yell, then stumbled backward. His expression resembled a rabbit that had been shot by an arrow.

His brow furrowed, Xiao Yu’er asked, “Now what?”

Jiang Yulang stammered, his face pale, “Have you ever seen a skeleton that could stand upright by itself?”

Laughing aloud, Xiao Yu’er cried: “A skeleton that can stand by itself, now here’s some fun.”

With big strides he crossed over. Then his laughter died on his lips. He noticed that the steel room was especially large and high. The four walls contained nothing. If you stood in there, you would feel like you were standing alone in a wasteland(?).

In this empty room, two solitary skeletons stood alone. Two deathly white shapes tightly embraced each other. Although their flesh and blood had long ago decayed, still they stood erect.

Looking at them, Xiao Yu’er actually felt the hairs raise up on his skin. But he only smiled and said, “I suppose this is a man and a woman, look at them, even unto death they can’t bear to let go! Their affection for each other must have been deep.”

Jiang Yulang disagreed: “If their relationship was so close, they wouldn’t be standing like this.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed, amused: “Ah, I didn’t think of that. In this area, your experience is definitely superior to mine. But if these two people are male, why are they holding each other?”

As he spoke, he wandered over, and stood in front of the two skeletons, as if in a daze. After a deep sigh, he said, “These two are indeed male.” (2)

Jiang Yulang suddenly laughed. He joked, “Well, sometimes the affection between a male and a male can be quite strong.”

Xiao Yu’er said, “How do you know?”

Jiang Yulang said, “Come over here and you’ll know.”

In actual fact the pair of skeletons were not embracing each other. The one on the left had penetrated the other’s ribcage with his hand. To break through bone with his bare hand, this person’s martial arts must be terrifying, what strength! But his own ribs had been broken in seven or eight places, and his neck had been snapped by his opponent. His skull hung floppily to rest on the other’s shoulder.

The two people had died together from lethal injuries inflicted on each other during violent combat!

Jiang Yulang cried out hoarsely, in awe: “What a fearsome Eagle’s Claw; what impressive strength! I see that these two must be superb martial artists, I wonder how they came to die in this place.”

He had hardly finished speaking, when with a “wa-la-la” sound, the two skeletons shivered into fragments from the mere force of his voice. Two superb martial artists, now turned into a pile of bones.

Xiao Yu’er muttered, “Judging from their martial arts, these two should also be among the masters of this place. Since they were living together here in this secret place, away from the rest of the world, their relationship must be very close. But then why did they try to kill each other? Perhaps we will never know.”

As he spoke, he picked up two objects from the pile of bones.

Jiang Yulang wondered aloud: “But what about the other original occupants of this palace? Where did they go, did they all die?”

Xiao Yu’er postulated, “Not only did they die, but they must have all died together, or else their skeletons would not have remained here until now.”

Jiang Yulang persisted: “So even if they all died together, who could have killed them?”

Sighing, Xiao Yu’er said, “As I said before, there must be some big secret behind this.”

Jiang Yulang mumbled, “And a very interesting secret.”

“Ah,” Xiao Yu’er teased him. “Very good, you are finally learning.”

It was only then that they noticed five short tables, on which were piled books, brushes and ink.

“There is even a study in this place,” chuckled Xiao Yu’er. “Interesting, indeed.”

He went over, and casually flipped through the books. Instantly his expression changed. Noticing this, Jiang Yulang also hurried over to pore over another of the books.

Upon a single glance, his face also transformed. Inside the soft, handbound pages, were recorded complex and brilliant martial arts techniques.

Although both of them had been trained by talented teachers, at this moment cold sweat ran down their bodies. They knew, all of a sudden, that compared to this, all the martial arts they had learned in their lifetime, were worthless. They gripped the texts in their hands, unwilling to let go.

After a long while, Xiao Yu’er took a breath, and said: “I know. There must have been five extraordinary martial arts experts here. They trained here together. And when they got an idea, they would rush to a table to write down the inspiration(?).”

Jiang Yulang said, “That sounds right. If they trained here, no wonder the room is so huge.”

Xiao Yu’er went on, “Of the five, three we have already found dead. If I am not mistaken, the remaining two rooms should contain the bodies of the other two masters.”

“I think that must be so,” Jiang Yulang agreed.

Xiao Yu’er said, “Come then. Let’s go see.”

Jiang Yulang raised his eyes from the books, and cried in disbelief: “Go? You…want to leave?”

“When did you lose the ability to understand what I said?” Xiao Yu’er said.

“But these…what about these martial arts texts?” Jiang Yulang sputtered.

Xiao Yu’er said, “Leave them here, they can’t run.”

With his head down, Jiang Yulang said: “Fine. Whatever you say…”

Suddenly he drew out the gold-coloured tube from his clothes, and laughed wildly: “Do you know what this is?”

Xiao Yu’er appeared shocked. He said, “The ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles.”

“That’s right,” sneered Jiang Yulang. “Your eyesight isn’t bad. I originally wanted to wait until we had escaped outside, before using it on you. But now, I can no longer tolerate you!”

Xiao Yu’er asked him, “If you kill me, wouldn’t you be scared all alone here?”

Cackling loudly, Jiang Yulang answered: “Here there are unimaginable martial arts for me to learn, riches beyond compare, and they all belong to me. When I find the exit, I will instantly be the foremost person in the world, what else would I fear?”

Xiao Yu’er sighed, disappointed. He said, “Very well. If you insist, then kill me.”

With a hideous laugh, Jiang Yulang said, “You aren’t afraid?”

Suddenly Xiao Yu’er also began to laugh. He declared, “Your blow-tube is empty, why should I be afraid?”

Jiang Yulang’s expression changed. He cried: “Empty!”

“Didn’t you bother to wonder,” Xiao Yu’er said, still chuckling, “if this blow tube were not empty, why would someone drop it on the floor…the Bone-Penetrating needles inside it were used to kill that person. After the murdering his enemy, the user just carelessly tossed it aside. Such simple reasoning, how could you not figure it out?”

“You…you…” Jiang Yulang hissed.

Xiao Yu’er added, “Earlier you faked that coughing spell, and swiped that blow tube. Of course I noticed it; if I didn’t know that the blow tube was empty, how could I let you take it?”

He snickered again, then went on: “Besides, these ‘Destroying Heaven, Obliterating Hell, Heart-Piercing and Bone-Penetrating’ needles, are extremely difficult to make. In ancient times, the only one who could make them was ‘Divine Hands Craftsman’. He has been deceased for a long time. Your empty tube is thus nothing but rubbish….ha ha, it is worth even less than rubbish.”

Jiang Yulang’s face was covered in chilly sweat. He stuttered: “I…just now I wasn’t really trying to…to kill you…only…” With a “dong” sound, the blow-tube in his hand hit the floor.

Xiao Yu’er laughed heartily. “I know,” he said, “you were only pulling a prank.”

Jiang Yulang said hurriedly: “I have always thought of you as an older brother, I can swear to it.” His words sounded so sincere, his face did not even contain a hint of red.

Xiao Yu’er smiled at him, amused. He said, “Now, I presume we may leave?”

“Of course,” Jiang Yulang replied. He went out with his head down.

Xiao Yu’er laughed loudly, “Jiang Yulang oh Jiang Yulang, what a good boy you are!”

End of Chapter 32

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