Last Updated on August 31, 2020 by Lizonka
This is part 1 of the extra included in the author’s notes in chapter 25. I call it Extra 1, but I don’t really know if there’ll be Extra 2, 3, 4, and so on.
The Chinese dictionary I use translates 尖刀( jiān dāo) as dagger, but it literally means “sharp blade,” and something like this is what Google would show most when I search for it:
More info here[/mfn]. It was said to be as thin as a cicada’s wings and as light as a goose feather that even a child could carry it. Because it was thin, it had very little resistance. When held in the hand, it could reach a level beyond what a person could imagine, and it was extremely sharp. It could split a strand of hair into three sections vertically and could also cut off the head of a person. However, the person wouldn’t even notice that his head had separated from the body until more than ten steps later.
This blade was real, and its owner once took it across the entire continent.
Its master was born in the forest-covered northern continent. He had gone to the ice field that covered the extreme north and had also been to the sea that lined the eastern border, carving his name on a skerry. He had even been to the south where city-states stood in great numbers, and even to the south of the south…
The owner of the blade was a beastman, but only when moving heavy things and doing heavy jobs for a time would he remember to transform into a beast. He liked appearing as a human, hiding all his natural claws and fangs and standing up on his feet. When he didn’t speak or reveal his animal stripes, he was just slightly larger and taller than a sub-beast.
He was a blade master, and he had always believed that the best blade only needed one sharp edge. What was at the back of the knife, on the hilt, how heavy, and how wide were of no great significance.
The weapon at his waist was so delicate that it could immediately break at a light snap. However, this did not prevent it from being the best in all the land.
This blade had gone through the wind and frost, chopped off the necks of countless people, tore open the throats of countless beasts of prey, its bloody soul permeating in every groove.
One day, however, it broke.
No blade in the world could last forever without curving. Even if its origin was extraordinary, even if the master took care of it, it had and always would be a weapon for reaping life.
The old man said that these things were originally made from ordinary steel. However, from emerging from the forge to being scrapped, all throughout its life, it had been stained with so much evil and violence that it had formed a life of its own. And because of it… One day, the blade wouldn’t be able to take it. As a result, it would always never last long.
The best blade would always break in the hands of its owner.
The elder of the Azure Dragon tribe1I previously used the pinyin of this (Qinglong). This tribe was Zhe Yan’s and Chang An’s original tribe before living in Bald Eagle tribe. could always remember the appearance of the young man. When the young man was brought before the elder, he was covered in blood. And on his shoulder perched a bird that seemed to have psychic abilities, grumbling and chirping inconsiderately loudly.
The young man had a broken leg, and his left arm hung softly on his chest, twisting unnaturally. They could only carry him in, but he didn’t realize it. He merely lowered his head to look at his blade that had broken into two parts, lost in thought.
When the great elder saw his broken blade, he knew that this was not a person who could be slighted. He told the people in the tribe to treat him as an honored guest and found a doctor to take care of him.
After taking care of him for a few days, the doctor told the elder that the man’s wound on his leg and broken bone were only recent. It could heal on its own. But as for his left hand, who knew how long it had been crippled. The doctor feared that he wouldn’t be able to do any more meticulous things in the future.
The young man looked as if he had walked quite a long way. He lived in Azure Dragon tribe for five to six days. Although he was a little cold, he was very polite. Whenever the elder went to see him, he would say a few words to him–Besides this, he was always fiddling with his broken blade.
The great elder merely took a quick glance at the blade’s hilt and he understood at once. He asked, “You use a left-handed blade?”
The man bowed his head and saw himself curled into a ball. His numb left hand couldn’t sense any pain. He nodded gently.
The elder sighed and didn’t know what to say, but the young man suddenly opened his mouth. He said, “Elder, you are experienced and knowledgeable. Why do you say men can’t help but go on the ridiculously wrong way? Why do you sometimes feel that there won’t be a good result even when everything is wonderful2花好月圆 – Literally, “the flowers are lovely and the moon is round.”? Why would you ignore the person who treats you well, thinking that it’s only expected, and day after day is so dull that you can’t even remember it, while those who fail to live up to your trust would be unforgettable for a lifetime, hating how they’d be carved in your bones and engraved in the heart? Why can we remember all the bad things?”
The elder froze for a moment, his hand had been habitually turning around the old dominoes that he had rubbed smooth with use, and said, “Perhaps because it’s rare ba?”
The man gave him a questioning look. “Rare?”
The elder said, “All you’ve met in your life are good things, so when you encounter one or two bad things, they’ll be carved in your bones and engraved in your heart, and vice versa. And if all you’ve encountered in life are bad things, then likewise, you would remember the one or two good things. Xiongdi, the man and the blade are different. Those machetes that you can use straight away look as if they go in a spiral when, in fact, the blade moves in a straight line. But people are different. If people are blindfolded, they would walk in a circle. Walking and walking, you won’t know where you’re going. But since you can distinguish right from wrong, you’re not bad.”
The man was silent. He rubbed the back of the blade with his uninjured fingertips.
The elder then said, “I haven’t walked out of this small tribe in my life. In terms of experience, I can’t compare with you. It’s just that I’m a lot older and have walked in more circles. Slowly, I realize what I am. When you think about it, young people don’t have much to worry about.”
After a while, the man said softly, “Forget it. I’m not leaving. I’m tired of it.”
He held out his hand to the elder and asked, “Can you show me your dominoes?”
The veteran player threw the dominoes to him. The man held them in his palm, scratched at the awkward marks on it, and read out the words engraved on the back. “Chang An… Chang An. It’s a good wish3Chang (长) means “forever,” An (安) means “peace.”.”
After speaking, he used a small dagger to carve these words on the handle of his broken blade. Then, limping, he got up and went outside, where it was snowing heavily. He said, “My blade was forged using a divine iron that dropped from the ninth heaven. It was born out of the ordinary, and it shouldn’t have broken without a sound. Can I take your ‘Chang An’ as a sword inscription?”
Then the elder saw him kneeling on the ground, digging a hole and burying the broken blade.
It was born in an earth-shattering way, but it would die in a nameless burial mound.
For some reason, the elder suddenly felt a sense of unspeakable sadness in his heart, as if the man cupping the soil was not burying a waste blade in the snow but a peerless hero that had arrived at the end of his road.