Chapter 9: The Gatekeeper of the Dark Forest
The corpse of the green hippo slowly turned into countless black mist and started to dissipate. Like Yun Xi’s death, there was only a pool of blood that remained in the center of the slope.
“Huh… hoo…” Yun Xi leaned on his iron sword. He panted heavily in the place where the green hippo had died.
While he was in the fight, he didn’t think about anything. However, after the combat ended, all the weariness of his body frantically burst out.
The body was a living thing, and it had been used to its limit.
His bones and nerves seem to be crying due to the strenuous activities. Yun Xi wasn’t able to see his own face, but he imagined that it should be pretty contorted.
It was really not easy.
If it wasn’t for the green light point that flew out from the green hippo’s corpse that replenished his consumed energy, he was afraid that he wouldn’t even be able to stand up.
“Not… enough…” After facing death 120 times, Yun Xi now knew every part of his body.
After swallowing the green point, both his body and joint’s flexibility had increased a lot and now, he wasn’t as stiff as a zombie.
While leaning on the broken tree hit by the hippo, Yun Xi closed his eyes as began to regulate his breaths, adjust his body, and savour the remaining excitement after that intense fight.
“The 3rd sword timing, I was too hasty using the sword, and my step was also shifted for 3 centimeters.”
“The 7th sword timing, I was too late and too anxious.”
“The final three swords could be considered as decent enough.”
It took 21 slashes to kill that green hippo. Yun Xi could clearly replay the scene vividly in his mind for each attack.
Every mistake and every imperfect move reappeared clearly in his mind. He realized that his performance was by no means perfect. There were at least 10 minor flaws.
There was even a fatal mistake of which almost cost him his life.
Fortunately, that green hippo’s weak point was far more obvious than his and committed more mistakes than he did. Especially the attack which made the hippo turn around, gallop forward and crash in a straight line. In Yun Xi’s view, this was the hippo’s biggest flaw.
He then used a crevice to contain this ‘roller crusher’ move. Yun Xi had chopped its back at least 10 times but the final three slashes were the ones that dealt the killing blow.
After killing this green hippo, he realized that strength was not a focal point. An accurate judgment to utilize an opportunity and the timing for his attacks were far more important, coupled with caution to not move rashly.
This was the true reason why mortals needed to fight many battles and temper themselves countless times to grasp the true essence of sword arts. Relying on his superior ability to replay the scenes of the fight, Yun Xi naturally grasped this aspect.
Because he basically never had a tiny bit of time to relax in his fight with this green hippo.
Only after immersing himself in his sword and predicting the hippo’s attack in advance was he able to achieve this result. Even then, he could only defeat this beast with a rigid and stiff body.
“This is… the fight…” After dying for 120 times as the price, Yun Xi had grown rapidly.
Those battle-hardened veterans who fought many battles gained their experience after countless battles. Most people even died in their enemies’ hands the first time they entered the battle.
The experience to live through life and death situations was the most profound and most precious experience.
“Death… terror…” Yun Xi tightly gripped his rusty iron sword. A special feeling grew in his heart toward this nameless rusty sword.
Without this rusty sword, he couldn’t injure the green hippo. Even if there was ten of him, it was impossible to defeat that ferocious beast.
A sword is a tool and weapon, it could be used to commit crimes, and it was also used as a weapon to kill.
Revering the sword, this was the mainstream ideology in the Sword God Domain.
Now, Yun Xi was greatly anticipating the final reward of this quest, what would the treasure, the Sword Arts Seed, look like? (ED: Changed ‘Kendo Seed’ to ‘Sword Arts Seed’)
“There is also a monster here…” Looking at the map, Yun Xi slowly stood up. Holding the sword, he headed forward towards the Dark Forest.
The landscape on top of the hill was much more devastated compared to Yun Xi’s imagination. The earth was scorched, the rocks turned ash gray, and even the mountain’s wall was as if it had been burnt down. The entire scenery gave off a strong deathly aura.
But, on a straight line of vision at the far end of the Dark Forest, there was an ominous living being exerting a dangerous and menacing aura.
In front of the entrance to the Dark Forest, the red dot, as if waiting for Yun Xi to come, was motionless and didn’t move.
After a short while in this place, Yun Xi had a better understanding of what his childhood sweetheart—Hua Huo—had taught him about the breathing practice method.
Hua Huo had passed onto him a particular breathing method. Not only did he use that method in a deathmatch against that green hippo, but it also had helped him restore his strength over time in that fight.
The heartbeats, the breathing rhythm, and the sounds of the blood flowing in his body intertwined, forming a marvelous music.
Hua Huo seemed to be able to maintain this breathing state all the time, but Yun Xi was only able to maintain it for a quarter of an hour. Longer than that made his breath’s rhythm fall into disorder.
This was the difference between a genius and an ordinary person. Even if he had experienced life and death situations 120 times, some things, as to speed up his practice’s result, could not be rushed up forever.
Fifteen minutes to be able to fight with all of his strength was Yun Xi’s limit at present. He could only maintain this state for this time period and if he passed this time limit, then his battle efficiency would suffer and would decline greatly.
In essence, his battle efficiency actually didn’t even improve; it was just that he could temporarily bring out all of his body’s potential to fight.
If his battle prowess were to be calculated with numbers, then when the green hippo killed him for the first time, he could be graded between 6 and 7. However, after he killed the green hippo, his battle prowess was perhaps about 20. He could defeat the green hippo thanks to his observation over that beast’s attack styles.
“I don’t know… what type of beast is there…” Judging from the red spot size on the map, Yun Xi could only estimate that this beast’s size was probably a little smaller than his body.
The green hippo had a strong skin and its flesh was thick. It was definitely a strong and aggressive beast. Its speed perhaps wasn’t slow, but its attack had a fatal flaw. This was also depended on the body shape.
Then, if this beast’s body and his build were similar, could this beast be an agility type?
Perhaps this beast would not be so simple. When he first received this new quest, a powerful feeling crossed his intuition. Yun Xi could somewhat vaguely sense an ominous foreboding.
His premonition quickly came into reality.
At the Dark Forest’s entrance, his second opponent stood majestically aloof there, waiting for his challenge.
“How could it be you?” Yun Xi’s complexion was pretty much desperate as he looked at the opponent he was about to face.
He couldn’t beat it, this opponent… he really couldn’t beat it!
Because he was much too familiar with this opponent.
An energetic and lively double ponytail; a white lotus and long sword marks engraved on the sword’s hilt; long arched eyebrows with big wide dark eyes like the moon. This was Yun Xi’s first love, the most famous swordswoman genius ever in this small town.
It was his childhood sweetheart — Hua Huo.
“Cough… strange… why am I here?” Hua Huo seemed still a little puzzled and sleepy with eyes half closed.
“Wait… let me see… Stop the invader from entering the dark forest. Protect the beautiful princess from being desecrated!”
“Once the princess is kissed, Yun Xi would win!”
“What? The princess?! Be desecrated?!”
“Be kissed? By Yun Xi, you?!”
“Yun Xi! I won’t let you pass through here!”
It was all over. Yun Xi looked at Hua Huo, who suddenly woke up and launched her radar of jealousy.
In this situation, what should he do?