Chapter 218: Tianyue Peak, Zhang Lie
Within a forest in the Lingyun Mountain Range, Tianyue Peak:
A young cultivator dressed in Tianyue Peak’s uniform was practicing his saber. The saber blade whistled and was glowing as it created a violent wind.
This person soon started dancing around like a butterfly, graceful and agile. Then he was like an eagle soaring into the sky, turning up his nose at everything. Everything the saber light touched was ruined, all kinds of flora were ravaged, trees warped, and the leaves on the ground and trees flew everywhere.
“Everlasting Startling Cloud!”
Suddenly, the young man shouted and chopped out with his saber. The saber light condensed into a thin line and shot out with a ‘xiu’ sound. The fine Saber Qi slowly thinned out, and eventually, it thinned to a point where the naked eye could not see it, as though it had disappeared.
The young man revealed a satisfied smile. He returned the saber back to its scabbard with a ‘huang dang’ sound. The instant the saber was sheathed…
All the trees about 500 meters in front of him all snapped in half at the trunk. Tree after tree fell over noisily non-stop.
However, it was not over yet. A slender saber Qi suddenly appeared in front of him. The saber light that seemed to have vanished earlier burst out in full the moment the trees fell over.
It was like a waterfall bursting out. There was a ripple in the air, and everywhere it passed, the trees were annihilated into dust. Dust filled the air, flying everywhere.
“Great Saber Technique!” An old man in gray robes slowly walked out from the trees. It was the Tianyue Peak’s third elder, who was in charge of providing guidance.
When the young man saw the old man, he greeted him respectfully, “Third Elder, you are too polite.”
The Third Elder revealed a faint smile as he said gently, “Zhang Lie, I’m not being polite here. In the past few hundred years, you are the first person to be able to practice it to Great Perfection and comprehend the sixteenth move on your own.
“Although you were accepted into my Tianyue Peak in the middle of the year, in my opinion, your comprehension abilities and talent can be ranked in the top ten of the entire Heavenly Saber Pavilion. Furthermore, you did not slack off on your cultivation at all, not wasting your talent.”
This person was the man who took Xiao Chen’s spot back then, Zhang Clan Head’s Son from Yunyang County, Zhang Lie. When he heard the old man’s praise, Zhang Lie revealed a smile. However, he still maintained a very humble tone “Third Elder exaggerates… there are still many areas for me to improve on.”
The third elder nodded his head in satisfaction and said, “Being humble is a good thing. However, even though a cultivator can lack arrogance, they must not lack pride. I want you to take the first place in the core disciple exam for Tianyue Peak. Can you do it?”
Zhang Lie said in a grave voice, “This disciple will definitely succeed in this task and obtain glory for Tianyue Peak.”
“Very good, this Everlasting Startling Cloud still has room for improvement. There are seven more days to the core disciple exam. There is no more need for you to attend Tianyue Peak’s special training. Focus on comprehending the Everlasting Startling Cloud to Great Perfection. By then, no one within the same cultivation realm will be your match,” the Third Elder said as he looked at Zhang Lie.
When Zhang Lie heard this, he revealed an expression of joy. He had only comprehended the Everlasting Startling Cloud recently. If he wanted to practice it to Great Perfection, he would still require some time. What the third elder said had really helped him out a lot.
“Many thanks to Third Elder. I will not disappoint you when the time comes.”
Within a forest, in the back mountain of Qingyun Peak, Xiao Chen sheathed his saber. All the trees within 1000 meters in front of him broke in half at the trunk in an orderly manner with a ‘xiu’ sound.
A light spread out like a flood of water, causing all the surrounding trees to turn into dust, filling and fluttering around in the air.
“Lingyun Saber Technique… It lives up to the fact it was once a peak Superior Grade Earth Ranked Saber Technique. Its might is not far from that of a Heaven Ranked Martial Technique. If I can comprehend the final two moves, it is unknown how strong it could become,” Xiao Chen said as he looked at the scene in the forest; he was emotionally stirred. After consuming the Flowing Light Flower, the amount of increase in his ability to comprehend surpassed his imagination.
Xiao Chen had comprehended all fifteen moves of the high-requirement Lingyun Saber Technique within one week. He had even unintentionally comprehended the sixteenth move of the Lingyun Saber Technique—Everlasting Startling Cloud.
The so-called ‘Everlasting Startling Cloud’ was achieved by turning the cultivator’s aura into a string, extending it out limitlessly until it seemed like it disappeared, then making it explode violently.
In that case, what does the name of the next move—Twisting Road Around Peak—mean? Xiao Chen leaned against a tree and pondered.
Heavenly Saber Pavilion, Lingyun Mountain Range, Beichen Peak, within a stone forest:
There was a shirtless youth, stout, with a strong and muscular body. He was practicing every one of the eight basic moves of the saber with his empty hands.
An old man was standing beside him, looking on expressionlessly.
There was no saber in his hand, but he was able to exquisitely execute the eight basic saber moves: sweep, hack, push, pare, skim, swing, chop, and pierce. It was as though he himself was an unsheathed treasured saber; his hand was giving off, a sharp gleam, revealing a killing intent.
He took a step forward and used his palm as a saber to chop at a two-meters-tall rock in from of him. There was no loud rumble but a corner of the rock was sliced off like tofu.
He moved his palm a few more times, so fast that it could not be seen. After that, he withdrew his hand as he sent out some wind from the palm strike. The two-meter-tall rock immediately crumbled apart, turning into countless tiny stones scattered across the ground.
When the old man beside him saw all this, he revealed a smile on his previously expressionless face and said, “Body as Saber… you practiced it for ten years as though it was one day. Now, you have finally stabilized it at Small Perfection. Not bad.”
The expression on the young man’s squarish face did not change, there was no joy or sadness, he was a block of wood. “Unfortunately, my cultivation is too slow. I am already nineteen years old, but I am still only an Inferior Grade Martial Grand Master.”
In the world below the mountain, someone reaching Inferior Grade Martial Grand Master before nineteen would be considered as a genius regardless of where you went.
However, in this talent-filled Heavenly Saber Pavilion, such talent was considered poor. Furthermore, there was even the danger of being chased off the mountain.
The rules of the Heaven Saber Pavilion stated that if one is unable to reach Inferior Grade Martial Saint by the age of twenty-five, they would be chased out of the inner sect. If they wished to continue staying at Lingyun Mountain Range to cultivate, they would be required to pay a certain amount of Spirit Stones a month.
The old man said, “Mu Heng, since the first day you chose this path, you should have known what kind of path you were taking. You will need to endure the loneliness of being ordinary. If you are able to have any accomplishments before turning thirty, it would be something to thank the gods for. It is destined for you to be unknown in the early stages of your life.”
The person called ‘Mu Heng’ had chosen a path that was different from most cultivators; turning his body into a saber, using his body to prove his Dao.
Mu Heng had almost completely given up on the cultivation of Essence. Instead, he focused non-stop on tempering the strength of his physical body, sharpening himself into an exceptionally sharp and treasured saber.
There were many ways to the peak of martial cultivation. Most cultivators would choose to use weapons, or even rely on their fists or legs.
They cultivated all sorts of Saber Techniques, Sword Techniques, Fist Techniques, Leg Techniques, and all sorts of other Martial Techniques that would increase their strength. They relied on their comprehension of weapons, fists, and legs to climb to the peak of martial cultivation.
There was even a significant number of people who could not condense a Martial Spirit. They gave up the cultivation of Essence and worked on tempering their physical bodies, using their bodies to prove their Dao.
However, the path Mu Heng chose was a combination of both. Hence, this path was much harder to proceed on. However, once it succeeded, it would be able to shake the world.
There was a saying: ‘It is not worth speaking unless you can amaze the world, no point in flying unless you can fly to heaven.’ It was rumored that the Saber Emperor had walked on this same path in the past.
Mu Heng picked up a set of clothes which was placed on a rock. Then he said gently to the old man, “Father, I wish to take part in the core disciple exams this time.”
The old man revealed a bewildered expression, “You want to participate in this year’s core disciple exam? With my status as Beichen Peak’s Peak Master, there is no need for you to take part in this exam. The status of a core disciple is not essential for you.”
Mu Heng said indifferently, “I just want to prove myself to the rest. All these years, I have heard too many rumors, all saying that you have been raising trash for a son. I will take the first spot in this year’s core disciple exam, proving them wrong.”
The old man smiled faintly and played down the situation. “Just the gossip of vile people, there is no need to pay any attention. You just need to focus on your cultivation. The whole of the Great Qing Nation will not be able to contain your future achievements.”
After the Beichen Peak’s Peak Master spoke, he turned around to leave. Mu Heng felt somewhat dissatisfied as he called out, “Father, I still have to prove the value of my existence. I want a big fight in order to understand my true strength.”
The old man stopped walked and pondered deeply. After a while, he said, “I’ll think about it!”
As the date of the core disciple exam drew nearer, the atmosphere of the entire Lingyun Mountain Range turned heavier.
The days passed slowly, and soon, there were only three more days to the core disciple exam.
Qingyun Peak, Dueling Ground:
Liu Ruyue frowned slightly and asked, “Failed again?”
Xiao Chen slowly walked out from the Ancient Absolute Saber Formation and smiled bitterly, “I have touched the edge of it, but I am still unable to step across the threshold.”
For close to half a month, Liu Ruyue had used all sorts of methods to forcibly help Xiao Chen comprehend the state of Listening to the Sword and Communicating With It. However, they always failed in the end.
There were almost no results. The only place where Xiao Chen had achieved something was the Ancient Absolute Saber Formation. Xiao Chen had comprehended something of Lightning Intent and had improved in it significantly.
As Xiao Chen comprehended this Lightning Intent further, he could feel that he was approaching the edge of Listening to the Sword and Communicating With It. However, he could not be sure about it. So he had left this method for later.
When Liu Ruyue heard this, she said somewhat dejectedly, “Since the ancient times, no one has heard of being able to use external factors to comprehend the state of Listening to the Sword and Communicating With It. Perhaps I was too optimistic at the start, or maybe I am too useless.”
When Xiao Chen saw the situation, he quickly consoled her, “Elder Sister Ruyue, you have already done enough. Don’t say that, otherwise, I will feel bad.”
When Liu Ruyue heard this, she revealed a bitter smile and said, “There are three more days to the core disciple exam; go and make preparations. Don’t come here to try and comprehend Listening to the Sword and Communicating With It for the next few days. I will use this time to try and think of other methods.”
Xiao Chen nodded when he heard this; the date of the core disciple exam was drawing nearer. It was about time he settled down and consolidated everything he had learned in the past few days.
“Ye Chen, you failed again?” Liu Suifeng slowly walked over while holding a saber in his hand.