Published at 18th of December 2020 11:53:37 PM
Chapter 358: The Sword-Crowning Ceremony
Once Sila opened his eyes, his first thought was that he was dreaming .
The Holy Sanctum of Weapons had a similar name to the Grim Sanctum of Weapons, but their interiors were worlds apart . Unlike the latter domain where the atmosphere was murky, representing an old battlefield, the former was a lush grass field that stretched out endlessly beyond the horizon . While there were numerous swords sticking out of the ground, making the area look like a graveyard, they didn’t create a sad feeling . Instead, Sila felt like each sword was peacefully resting in this place, away from the outside world full of conflict .
Sila honestly thought that his existence was the only thing out of place in this perfect domain .
“How can I know what the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword looks like?”
Sila had seen the image of the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword through Zarnak’s projection, but he later discovered that what he had seen was merely one of the seven original blades . What does the sword look like after the seven of them combined into one weapon? Even Zarnak had never seen it .
The metal sword in his hand glowed briefly . A vision projecting the man in wuxia clothes reappeared in Sila’s mind . This time, the man wasn’t holding the Seven Strikes Dagger but the metal sword Sila was using . The man pointed the tip of the sword toward the sky, channeled his psychic power through it, and shot a beam upward . The beam ascended, then exploded like a firework . It dispersed into red psychic particles, raining down .
The vision ended .
Sila observed the sword in his hand again and found that it wasn’t grade . It was an ordinary C-grade metal sword with no special options .
He had talked with the goblin kings the night before about the user of the Psychic Weapon Recording skill . Knowing that Sila was a citizen of Colossia City, the two seemed surprised by the question . Regardless, they were willing to answer .
According to them, Colossia City was the only place in Monster Soul where the city of the same name and objective overlapped in all of the three worlds—the New World, the Decagate World, and the Monster Realm . The level of competitive tournaments in each world varied, obviously .
The two goblin kings told him that ever since the past until now, the ‘Ten Heroes’ were the only figures spreading their names all over Monster Soul, regardless of planes .
Ramidas said he thought Sila must have already known about the Ten Heroes since one of them, namely the ‘Assassin Lord’, lived in the underground beneath Colossia City . Sila speculated that it must be Fowl’s title . He began to understand why she gave off a different vibe compared to the other monsters he had encountered .
“The person you saw through the Seven Strikes Dagger is the ‘Little Martial God’ . He is a hero with extremely high combat skills even among the Ten Heroes . His real name is Xiao Dao (Little Sword), and his race is uncertain . He is the master of weapons . Even the lowest grade sword will become an grade first-class weapon if he channels his psychic power into it . Back when we goblins fled from the Monster Realm, we accidentally met him . The time we spent with him was short, only one night, but we got along well due to our common love for weapons . He taught us many special skills related to weapons . In fact, Weapon Enlightenment is one of the skills we learned from him . ”
The sword that Sila borrowed wasn’t anything special, but it was the one that the Little Martial God had engraved a particular skill into using Psychic Weapon Recording and left with the goblins before he departed .
After some inquiries, Sila discovered that Psychic Weapon Recording is a skill that lets the user record a memory into a weapon . When the weapon is held by others and they perform some actions predetermined by the user, the skill will pull the holder’s consciousness to confront the recorded experience .
The vision generated from Psychic Weapon Recording isn’t a simple series of images like what Zarnak had shown to him from time to time . Instead, the Psychic Weapon Recording skill enables the weapon holder to experience things using all of their senses like they are actually living in the moment shown .
This allows the holder to mimic the actions that the Little Martial God had performed somewhat easier than if they had tried without seeing the experience . Sila figured it must be his way of imparting skills to others .
“Channeling psychic power through a sword and sending it into the sky to search for a target . That should be it . I wonder whether the Little Martial God’s psychic power and my Dark Psychic Corrosion share the same property though . ”
Dark Self communicated with him in his mind, “Psychic ability never has a boundary . It’s just that each person has different aptitudes, so they mentally limit themselves to those aptitudes without improving their psychic abilities in other areas . ”
Trying it out, Sila channeled his black psychic power into the sword and pointed it up in the same manner he had seen . He shot a black beam toward the sky . It exploded and dispersed as black particles . The sight wasn’t as captivating as when the Little Martial God did it, but at least it looked similar .
“Our natures of psychic power are different, so it isn’t unexpected that the result won’t be exactly the same . Still, isn’t it too easy?”
The black particles slowly descended like snow . Sila intended to search far and wide in one go, so he deliberately spread them over a three-kilometer radius .
Once the psychic particles touched the weapons anchored in the field, Sila collapsed . Many strange, incomprehensible voices were shouting inside his head, granting him a great headache . He could barely sit with his knees against the ground, his fresh blood bleeding through his ears .
“Argghhhh!!!” There had only been a few times while playing Monster Soul where Sila had screamed in pain . The pain he received this time was exceptionally severe .
He circulated qi to heal his ears, relieving the pain . The volume of the voices gradually lowered .
Standing up, Sila found his body drenched in sweat, his face pale like a sick person . He slowly circulated qi to recover his physical condition .
“Why did this happen? Can I see the vision again?” Sila requested, and the sword in his hand obediently complied . The exact same vision unfolded, but this time Sila closely observed the man’s actions, not willing to miss anything . He then realized his mistake .
“I see . Weapon Enlightenment is a part of this move . I forgot psychic power is difficult to control, cluelessly having useless thoughts while I was at it . Listening to a weapon without proper focus might be fine, but with this many, I will die if I don’t pay attention . ”
Apparently, the technique that the Little Martial God had engraved within the sword was how to expand the area of effect of Weapon Enlightenment by scattering particles of psychic power, enabling him to listen to surrounding weapons in the same manner of a lost man asking for directions from nearby people . However, not only was Sila an amateur with a psychic foundation that paled in comparison to the Little Martial God’s, but he was also not paying attention . As a result, the weapons tried to get him to hear what they were saying by raising their voices . The voices rang directly next to his ears, so it felt as if hundreds or thousands of people were simultaneously shouting from right next to him . Even worse, each weapon wasn’t so simple . Some of them were elite weapons containing their own sources of energy . Thus, the voices he heard through Weapon Enlightenment contained special power .
Sila fixed the problem by utilizing the Cloud Part of Flaming Cloud Qi, heightening his concentration and emptying his mind . As he was ready to listen, he raised the sword upward and shot a black beam of psychic power for the second time .
While what came from Weapon Enlightenment were voices, they didn’t communicate with meaningful words but with feelings . As he paid attention to each of them, they no longer shouted . What he heard were silent whispers .
They told him where the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword was . It wasn’t as far as he had anticipated . In fact, it was right before his eyes before he knew it .
A dark blue sword was in front of Sila, the tip piercing the ground . The length of the sword was slightly longer than usual . The blade was slender, entirely made of high-grade crystals . Its hilt was as long as the blade, making it look like a short lance rather than a sword . Its beauty was unquestionable since it was a masterpiece personally made by Lady Igsia .
“You must be Anastasia . I’d like to meet Isabel . ”
The blue flash from the sword quickly enveloped Sila’s view . Once he could see again, he found himself in a circular hall . Spread out in front of him in a semi-circle were seven swords bound by black chains, each sticking out of the floor like the blades from the field he was in just moments ago . All of the chains extended and converged in the center of the hall, curling together layer upon layer . Something seemed to be under them . Sila wasn’t too sure what was inside, but he felt it was another sword .
“Why eight? Didn’t you say the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword is composed of seven swords, Zarnak?”
There was no reply, so Sila asked again, “Zarnak? Can you hear me?”
“No one can enter this world unless I allow it . ” An oppressive feminine voice—like one belonging to a queen—rang out . Turning his head toward the source of the voice, Sila spotted the same sword that had brought him here . Behind the sword was the blurry silhouette of a woman in light armor with a blue ponytail behind her back .
“Are you Anastasia?”
The woman ignored Sila’s question . “Are you also looking for power?”
Sila swept his eyes all over the place . The hall was an enclosed room with no exit . He couldn’t possibly run away no matter what happened .
“Power is not what I seek . It is just a means to help me acquire what I want . ”
“Do you mean . . . as long as you can get what you want, you are fine with being powerless?”
“Yes . ”
Anastasia snapped her fingers, then seven more silhouettes emerged . Each of them stood freely behind the sword they represented, with the silhouette at the center of the room being the sole exception . She was a young woman with short white hair . Her whole body was confined by chains . Even her ears and eyes were restrained, making her look like a prisoner .
“He wants to meet you, Isabel . ”
“Yes, Sister Anastasia . ”
Sila shifted his gaze from the female prisoner to the one responding to Anastasia’s call . The owner of the voice was a young woman, her short sky-blue hair glowing with a faint magical aura . Her outfit was a slender white dress that exposed her shoulders . The most outstanding feature about her was none other than the sword in front of her . The sword was made of pure white metal, decorated with light-blue crystals . It was a standard longsword, with its beauty alone making the Crystal Divine Sword seem like a second-grade weapon . Magic power continued to pour out of its blade, seemingly without a limit .
“Is this the rumored Sword-Crowning Ceremony, the trial I have to overcome? How will you determine my success?” Sila only knew he had to fight against one of the Blade Daughters, though he was clueless regarding what he must do in order to succeed or what mistakes would cause him to fail .
“Until Isabel acknowledges you . ”
The white longsword was removed from its confinement, returning to its owner . Demonic Armaments were essentially items, so they couldn’t normally draw out their power directly unless they converted external sources of power into their own as the Lamentable Dragon did . Zarnak’s method of utilizing a special dimension was also an alternative, similar to what the Blade Daughters were doing . The hall was a hidden world created by Anastasia . Within this space, they could wield their full power easily .
Enveloping Isabel—the Spell Breaker—was a constant flow of sky-blue magic power . Sila couldn’t tell for sure how large her magic power reserve was, but it surely wouldn’t be less than the Dragon Empress Infernee .
Sila had trained for the fight against Isabel, but he still wanted to witness the Spell Breaker’s magic-cancellation ability with his own eyes . He created a hundred flame magic arrows before mercilessly firing them all at the young woman .
No one in the hall paid attention to Sila’s attacks, Isabel included . She merely drew a vertical straight line on the air using her longsword, then the flames on the arrows extinguished . The magic power within them was absorbed into her longsword .
Isabel jumped . The sky-blue magic power followed her movement, coiling around her body, making her seem like a majestic bird flying in the sky . She cut the air horizontally, and her magic power formed seven sword waves . Then, swinging the longsword vertically, she sent all sword waves toward Sila at a speed comparable to a lightning bolt .
The seven waves of magic power moved in a simple manner, yet hidden in each of them were seven irregular courses of movements . They seemed easy to dodge at first glance, but they actually flowed perfectly and smoothly, pressuring Sila with no room for him to escape .
The most effective way to deal with a perfect sword art was to counter it with a straightforward swordsmanship . Sila, who had read and comprehended the Story of A Hundred Swords, clad his metal sword with psychic power and blatantly thrust it forward . The thrust was so forceful that it looked like a brush of black ink being dropped on a perfectly drawn illustration, breaking Isabel’s sword waves apart in a single strike .
Given a window of opportunity, Sila focused his qi on his left index finger, unleashing yizichan by jabbing at thin air .
Million Clouds Qi Technique — Mysterious Star .
This yizichan was a move using the Attributes of Earth, Fire, and Wood . It showed up as a tiny black ball, mysteriously hanging in the air before it began to sprout up—From one to two, two to four, four to eight, and still counting . They were lingering in the air, seizing the area . Despite not having shown any abilities yet, they sure gave a sense of discomfort to Sila’s opponent while he himself felt more secure .
Isabel hit some of the mysterious balls with her longsword once, but it only made them split up further . She frowned slightly, but the serious expression looked quite adorable .
The title Spell Breaker wasn’t just for show . Against Isabel’s power, competing in a power contest would be like giving up . Fowl’s advice was that Sila mustn’t directly clash with her . Isabel’s longsword represented a near-infinite source of power . Wielding it, the holder could directly extract mana from the sword without minding the ambient mana in nature . In the case that the holder possessed superior Unison Percentage than an opponent, they would even be able to absorb the magic power that the opponent had released like what happened to Sila previously .
It could be said that acquiring Isabel means possessing a semi-infinite magic power reserve . The maximum limit of her energy reserve came from the accumulated amount of energy reserves that her previous wielders had abandoned in order to wield her . The main element of her magic power was the same as her most recent magic-type wielder . It had been a long time since he wielded the blade, but the Archangel Lucifer was still the last person to use her . Thus, Isabel’s current element affinity was light while the maximum value of her magic points was currently 22 digits long .
Isabel raised the longsword above her head . It shone a bright aurora, generating an intense magic power explosion . She subdued Sila’s techniques using superior power . Every Mysterious Star crumbled .
Sila had learned from Fowl that he couldn’t hope to win by using magic power or qi . He had a lower Unison Percentage, so his magic would just be absorbed . Meanwhile, qi was weaker than magic power . In a direct clash of power, even if his qi reserve grew ten times larger, it would still be insignificant compared to Isabel’s magic power reserve .
He had to rely on his psychic power or combining his moves with Omniscient Evil God Qi in order to have a shot at winning . Fowl had commented that even when considering their swordsmanship alone, Sila was still inferior to any of the Blade Daughters by a large margin .
Isabel’s swordsmanship emphasized the usefulness of a longsword with double edges . Her moves were simple, smooth, and meticulous . While they weren’t aggressive, each of her beautiful swings were deadly . Her movements, while captivating, always stimulated Sila’s keen sense of danger . Even though their blades had yet to cross, he already felt like death was moments away from tapping him on the shoulder .
In his entire collection, the only weapon that could fight against her was the Bloody Demon Sword, which was a psychic-type object . Sila summoned it in his right hand while tossing the metal sword to his left . Since Heaven’s Decree Sword Art didn’t work on her due to the lack of mana, he had to utilize the other sword arts he had encountered instead . While he might be inexperienced, it would still be better than aimlessly swinging swords .
Channeling condensed psychic power into both swords, Sila brandished them while following the movements of the Heartless Steel Sword Dojo . Killing intent manifested as oppressive flying energy blades . The swords were heartless, as was their wielder . It seemed Sila had comprehended the sword art even better than Paiyuan . He looked like the reincarnation of the Aloof Juang Jing .
The prominent trait of the Heartless Steel Sword Art was the might that overwhelmed an opponent with countless energy blades . They spread out like vicious black tigers breaking free from their cage, crazily roaming all over Heaven . They bombarded Isabel’s coiling mana, tearing it apart, revealing a crack .
Sila accelerated . Using his superior speed, he lunged through the aurora crack, and violently swung both of his swords at her .
“My apologies . You’re strong, but not strong enough to defeat me . ”
The sweet voice came out of Isabel’s small curvy mouth, sincere and devoid of cynicism . She honestly didn’t mean to look down on him, just stating the truth and expressing pity . The white blade glowed bright like a ray of sunshine wiping away darkness . It was the simplest technique belonging to a user of light-based power .
With the bright light swallowing him whole, Sila was forced to close his eyes . A tidal wave of light-element mana washed away all of Sila’s psychic power reinforcement . The feeling of absolute security, like he was warmly embraced in his mother’s womb, caressed his skin . It made his mind become blank momentarily .
A moment later, the white blade was already at his neck .
The blade mildly sunk into his neck . Sila only regained his senses once it had sunk half an inch into his flesh . He hurriedly unleashed his power from within in order to escape his demise .
Million Clouds Qi Technique — Supernova .
Sila’s power exploded . Unlike previous times when he usually sent his enemies flying back, however, he was the one blasted away by the impact, crashing against the floor . Meanwhile, Isabel softly landed with grace befitting her appearance . She returned to her original position, next to her sisters, as if the battle had concluded .
And it actually had . Many people had warned Sila several times that the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword was an item above all other Demonic Armaments . He wasn’t capable of even making Isabel get serious .
The difference in power made him realize he had always been a frog in a well . Fowl might have increased his odds of success but by how much? He was unsure . Who knows? It might have only gone up from 0% to 1% .
Sila tried to open his mouth, yet no sound came out . Jets of blood burst out from his neck . The wound refused to close despite his best attempt to heal it . Isabel had clad her attack with light-element magic power . The amount of her magic power coursing through his body right now was even higher than the maximum value of his special energy reserve . The current situation was similar to when he was hit by Infernee’s invasive magic power . However, Isabel’s large quantity of mana was beyond what Dark Psychic Corrosion could erode .
His skin torn apart . The bleeding got worse . No matter how hard he tried to circulate qi, Isabel’s magic power always prevailed .
Refusing to give up but running out of ideas to survive, Sila got up . He blindly staggered around while pressing his palm on his neck before eventually collapsing in a pool of his own blood .
“Teehee . You lost, you overconfident man . ”
Sila heard a girl’s cheerful chuckle . His sight was fading because of the blood in his eyes, however, so he couldn’t see who was talking to him .
“Wh—” He wanted to ask who she was, but that broken voice was all he could muster with his impaired larynx .
“Do you want my help? But you have to promise to take me outside . ”
Amidst the darkness, just a flickering flame from a tiny candle is enough to draw an adventurer in . Likewise, drowning in the fierce torrent called despair, Sila sought for even the thinnest thread to grab onto .
“ . . . ” Sila actually wanted to ask for more information, yet his mouth moved without making any sound, which the receiver of the message took as his agreement .
“You’ll die a million times if you break the promise, okay?”
Suddenly, one of Sila’s eyes became exceptionally clear . The first thing he saw was the prisoner girl . She was talking to him without moving her lips . It turned out that he had staggered in the darkness and fell right in the center of the hall . Despite her eyes and ears being restrained, her small lips curled up once Sila looked at her, showing her mischievous smile .
A bizarre transformation abruptly ran wild in Sila’s body . His blood flowed back into his throat, and the wound closed in an instant . The previously approaching death became a part of him . His hair, skin, and armor were dyed pitch-black . The vision he saw through his eye turned blood red . His body was subconsciously vibrating, prompting him to let out a loud roar to ease the discomfort within .
His Bloody Demon Sword had returned to its card form . On the other hand, the metal sword flew to his right hand . It was dyed black following the color of his transformation as soon as he touched it as if it had been contaminated by a bottomless pit of darkness .
The sword mutated and reshaped itself, becoming a black magical sword with several segmented blades, looking like a centipede . Each segment looked wickedly sharp . All of the segments together created a blade two meters long, but the hilt was only as long as his palm, making it impossible to hold with two hands . There was no trace of the holiness that could be seen in the other swords of the Blade Daughters, but its splendor was by no means inferior . Their magnificent grandeurs were comparable like light and darkness . It contained the charm of beauty that bewitched people .
Sila couldn’t resist his urge to howl . The darkness was joyfully coiling around itself in his mind, subconsciously pushing him to take a step forward . The speed of his attack was so quick that the blade already reached Isabel’s throat when he made his first move .