Chapter 484 - New Sword Embryo
When the seven swords became one, the intense sword breath seemed to fill his body with a mysterious force.
It was as if something was beginning to stir within his heart, something like desire was breaking out of its cocoon within his body.
What was it?
He rummaged through his memories, which were like multicolored murals. They flashed past quickly and switched around like those lanterns with a carousel of paper horses.
With the passing of time, these murals started to peel off, losing their colors and luster. The lines were damaged and torn. They were beyond recognition yet unchangeably familiar, like calls from a faraway valley.
Some time passed and only two images were left within his mind.
In mid air, with his last breath, Teacher was saying, "Kill me."
He could still remember that calmness, free from grief. He was like an unrelated observer who’d made his decision and hadn’t regretted it.
He still did not regret it.
Upon seeing this image in the deepest part of his memory, he wasn’t at all surprised. He was amazed by another image.
Swordsman Training Hall. The sun was sprinkled over the courtyard. He leisurely mopped the floor, trained with the wooden stand and sorted out the swordplay manuals before relishing in the manuals and their exaggerated descriptions and occasional legends that hid between the lines.
Seeing the image of that frail youngster made him focus his gaze toward the front. Ai Hui was stunned.
So it’s like this…
He muttered to himself.
To him, lightning was revenge and the sword…was hope.
His pale and dim childhood, and his unrealistic longings and delusions toward swordsmen were tiny and blurry wisps of hope. They were the glimmers of sunlight that fell on his tender and small palm, while the world casted a shadow that enveloped him like a colossal monster.
They were like a sword.
He suddenly recalled the reason why he’d chosen the sword, and he also understood why he’d never loosened his grip on his sword.
Ai Hui couldn’t help but tighten his grip, as he usually did.
The world was still that colossal monster, but he was no longer that weak and cowardly youngster.
The faint glimmer of sunlight that shone down on his palm had become the sword in his hands. The surging elemental energy, the criss-crossing sword breath and the winding lightning bolts filled him with courage and erased his fear. He was going to take revenge and battle it out.
Ai Hui was highly emotional.
Inside his earth palace, lightning flashed and thunder roared. The thick lightning extended out from the emptiness and gathered from all directions like solid vines, which wound around a silver sword of lightning.
The winding lightning bolts flickered unsteadily and only the vague silhouette of a sword could be seen.
It was a sword embryo. A real sword embryo.
Ai Hui spaced out in that moment. He’d not expected a revival of his sword embryo. Its shape was entirely different, and the location in which it was born was completely different as well.
In that badly damaged swordplay manual, he’d read that a sword embryo was made from the essence, breath and spirit, so it would condense in his sky palace.
But the earth palace…
Ai Hui quickly noticed that the potent lightning serum rolling within his body had become extremely docile.
The lightning poured into the sword hilt in his hands in time with the fluttering of his heart.
An lightning bolt cut open the pitch black sky overhead, like a curtain.
Another lightning bolt streaked across Mu Lei’s pitch black pupils.
The sharp, sword-like silvery light illuminated the ruins and the people around it, drowning the shock in their faces. It stretched their silhouettes into long and sharp shadows.
A beam of lightning shot out from the sword hilt. It looked like a zigzagging sword, changing irregularly.
Sword of Lightning…
These three words surfaced in the minds of the majority of people there.
The lightning bolt was like snow and the audience was like puppets, silent and motionless. Only the crackling thunder could be heard.
Ai Hui opened his eyes slowly. It was as if his eyes were shrouded by a layer of fine, electric light, their sharpness heart-piercing.
At that point his heart was overwhelmed with the joy and satisfaction of experiencing a breakthrough.
The new sword embryo was thoroughly different. The previous one was born from the essence, breath, and spirit, but the new sword embryo was born from lightning. In other words, the sword embryo in the sky palace was an extension of the essence, breath, and spirit and the sword embryo in the earth palace was a condensation of lightning.
Both were complete opposites, yet each was marvelous in its own ways.
The sky palace’s sword embryo could significantly sharpen Ai Hui’s perception, while the earth palace’s sword embryo could offer him much better control and power over the lightning within his body.
The former could reach far,whereas the latter was contained within.
Strictly speaking, this wasn’t really a sword embryo, it was just a name Ai Hui had chosen to give it.
He loosened the grip on what was left of Wintry Jade Blade. With a plop, the sword hilt landed on the ground and the lightning sword blade vanished.
As if awakened from a dream, everybody got ready to start talking.
Ai Hui waved his finger across the sky like a sword. Psst, an electric light appeared and wound around his fingertip. It was like a sword blade that flickered unsteadily, sharp and glaring.
The audience was stunned while Gu Xuan and a few others were shocked.
They were very sensitive to the sword aura and could feel the sword consciousness contained within this wisp of electric light. It was exceptionally domineering and sharp, and was emanating a destructive aura. It was completely different from the sword aura that Ai Hui used to use.
It seemed… to have become more terrifying!
Ai Hui put his finger down, his movement rhythmic and aesthetic, as if he was putting his sword in its sheath. The electric light around his fingertip was swiftly extinguished.
Ai Hui had become stronger indeed.
Gu Xuan was becoming increasingly certain.
He had a high and profound level of swordsmanship. While he hadn’t reached Ai Hui’s base level, he had definitely surpassed the average swordsman. Fanciful sword moves that were delightful to look at weren’t necessary powerful, but powerful sword moves were definitely a pleasing sight, because they were more balanced, well-coordinated and ultimately perfect.
The waving of Ai Hui’s finger back and forth was a very casual, yet indescribably elegant motion.
Mu Lei noticed this graceful movement as well.
He was humbled. Capable individuals always gained respect, no matter where.
Before, even though Ai Hui had his reputation as a Lightning Master, Mu Lei only saw him as a newly promoted Master.
He no longer thought that way. A smile appeared on his face. "Congratulations, Master Ai!"
Ai Hui’d been taking notice of Mu Lei since the start. Mu Lei’s qi was reserved, a clear sign that he too was a Master. He accepted the greeting very politely. "Thank you so much, Sir. You are?"
Uncle Yu stood up hurriedly and said respectfully, "This is Master Mu Lei."
Ai Hui was pleasantly surprised by Uncle Yu’s appearance. "Uncle Yu! Is Senior here too?"
Uncle Yu reported, "Miss isn’t here but she got me to prepare you a batch of woven materials. I wonder if you’ll be able to use them? Master Mu is Young Master’s friend. If it wasn’t for him, we might not have made it here."
Ai Hui quickly brought his hands together in thanks. "Thank you for the hard work, Master Mu!"
Mu Lei shook his head and smiled. "Why so formal? We’re all friends."
Reuniting with an old friend was always pleasant. Ai Hui asked about Senior, so Uncle Yu shared how Mingxiu returned to Jadeite City, how she started her embroidery workshop and how she created Yuchuan Embroidery.
Ai Hui listened with full attention, a happy smile occasionally appearing on the corner of his mouth.
After chatting for a bit, Ai Hui suddenly noticed the weariness in Uncle Yu’s face. He was already so old and had just been on a long and arduous trek, so he must be exhausted. Ai Hui then quickly got him to rest.
But Ai Hui did not allow the goods on the load basin beasts to be taken down.
The sword pagodas in Lemon Camping Ground had been destroyed so there wasn’t any point in staying here. Ai Hui had decided to bring everyone to the newly constructed Fishback City.
The new city that Wang Xiaoshan had built atop Blackfish Mouth Volcano’s mountain range looked like the arch of a fish’s back and so everybody decided to call it Fishback City.
With Ai Hui’s poor naming ability, everybody chose not to give him a chance.
After resting for half a day, Uncle Yu had recovered his energy more or less and was in full approval when he heard that Ai Hui wanted them to move to the new city. He’d come personally in the hope of assessing the development and progress of Ai Hui and Central Pine Faction.
He was extremely shocked to find out that they’d managed to build a new city, and furthermore, it had been done by only one elementalist.
This piqued even Mu Lei’s interest.
Currently, earth elementalists were living very poorly. The occupation of Yellow Sand Corner had led earth elementalists into a state no different from fire elementalists. Construction-related work, which used to be seen as worthless by slightly more capable earth elementalists, wasnow in high demand with strong competition.
Nevertheless, it seemed unimaginable that a single person could construct one whole city.
Sword of Lightning’s members had wanted to leave this worn-out camping ground for the longest time. If they weren’t able to return to Central Pine Valley, Fishback City was a decent alternative. Everyone felt more curious as to how Boss was going to solve the broken pagoda issue.
Ai Hui’s increase in abilities boosted the team’s morale greatly, especially those in Sword of Lightning. Following a capable boss meant a brighter future for them.
The gang’s departure was filled with enthusiastic farewells bidden by the citizens of Lemon Camping Ground.
The horrifying atmosphere had almost caused the citizens to wet their pants. If Sword of Lightning was going to train like this everyday, they would all start considering a relocation.
That explosion from earlier had their souls flying out of their bodies.
Hearing that Ai Hui and gang were leaving, they sent them off like how they would a plague.
With both Master Ai and Master Mu Lei around, safety wasn’t an issue at all. The problem was that the load basin beasts were moving slowly, affecting the team’s speed. Ai Hui wasn’t impatient, however. Instead, he got the gang to train along the way.
No sword pagodas? No problem.
The birth of the sword embryo meant that Ai Hui did not require the help of the sword pagodas in order to diffuse any conflicts between everyone.
Members who failed consecutively would be transferred into the reserve and their positions would be filled by the best performing members from the reserve.
There were three hundred members in Sword of Lightning, but only two hundred and fifty-two positions in the seven sword pagodas, leaving forty eight members in the reserves.
Members in the reserve received the exact same training as everybody else.
Being drawn into this competitive mechanism, the atmosphere instantly changed. No one wanted to be transferred into the reserve and those already in that team worked diligently for the opportunity to move out.
The members’ passion left Uncle Yu shocked. People from outside did not think highly of Sword of Lightning, but having seen it for himself Uncle Yu felt that AI Hui was much more capable than rumored.
The way he worked wasn’t like that of a new hand.
When they reached Fishback City, a look of disbelief was on all of their faces.
"Was this really built by one person?" Mu Lei couldn’t help but ask again.
As compared to the many other cities he’d seen, Fishback City wasn’t at all grand. It wasn’t big and couldn’t accommodate a lot of people. Nevertheless, the fact that it was built by only one pair of hands was simply unbelievable.
They’d just entered the city when Shi Xueman, who’d received the news, arrived with a piece of good news of her own.