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Legend of the Lone Sword (III)
A popular martial arts novel in Liyue Harbor. In a world without elemental energy or alchemy, a tale unfolds of love and hate between friends and foes. This volume tells of Jin the Seventy-Second's duel with the chief of Tupi Village.
The rain had ceased, but light had yet to recoup the skies.
Jin the Seventy-Second had obtained news of his nemesis from the mouth of the village chief.
Now, not a thing was left in Tupi Village but masterless rooms, and masterless spirits.
And not even that remained, for this was a world without spirits.
This world possessed no elemental power,
And so, the memories of the dead could not remain in the moral realm via elemental resonance.
The village chief was a formidable foe. His blade was swift as could be, and he had left many wounds on Jin the Seventy-Second, each deep enough to cut bone.
But alas, his "heart" was far too slow.
For this was a world without elements,
And thus swordsmanship could not be imbued with them.
Swordsmanship was thus a question of pure physical skill and not elemental control.
The sword is an extension of one's body, and one uses it as an arm would command the fingers, or as one's heart directs the eyes.
Though he was skilled indeed in the art of the swift blade, the village chief never understood the value of the "heart," and so he fell to a single stroke.
Jin the Seventy-Second strode towards the fallen chief, discarding the broken incense burner in his left hand.
For the chief had focused too narrowly on pouring savage strokes upon the swordsman's body, thinking him to harried to fight back, and had no eyes for his enemy's left hand, which should have been empty—
—And in a flash, the incense burner had struck the chief of Tupi Village on the forehead, sending him tumbling into a wall where he then collapsed, immobile.
But only the wind answered him — the villain gripping the bloodied censer said not a word.
"The person you're looking for is in the barren mountains beyond this village... Go seek your death there..."
But the villain had departed, and all that remained to answer him was the rustling of the wind...
And the crackling of wild flames.