Book 30, Ancient Cultivator, Chapter 18 – Young Master Skywind
Within the carriage. Ji Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord watched as the youth continued to toy with his maids.
Whoosh. Suddenly, both of the maids fainted soundlessly.
“Eh?” The youth’s face suddenly paled as he stared sideways. Two figures were standing right next to him, staring back at him. One was a white-robed youth who bore a black sword sheath on his back, while the other was a grim-looking man. The white-robed youth had a peaceful aura, and he most likely wasn’t an evil man, but the faint baleful aura surrounding the grim-looking man made the youth feel a bit nervous.
He was very confident in his own abilities, and knew himself to be virtually invincible below the World level. However, these two powerful strangers somehow managed to enter his carriage without him noticing, and his two maids had silently fainted.
“Seniors.” The youth hurriedly rose to his feet and bowed.
“I have some questions for you, kid,” Ning said.
“Please go ahead, senior,” the youth said immediately.
“Introduce yourself first.” Ning’s voice carried a strange, magical power to it that compelled the youth to speak. My name is Skywind. I’m the ninth young master of Skyfiend City, and the governor of the city is my father. I’ve come on my father’s orders to travel to the Eastvoid Sword Pavilion to become apprenticed to Swordmaster Eastvoid.”
Skywind was shocked as the words came out of his mouth. Why was it that he couldn’t control his own words?
“Is this ‘Swordmaster Eastvoid’ a World-level expert or a Samsara Daolord?” Ning asked. The nearby Ninedust Sectlord listened attentively as well.
Given that the aura of danger emanating from this planet, they felt it necessary that they be low-key in all their actions, which was why they hadn’t acted too brashly. They didn’t know what type of temper the most supreme figure on this planet had; if they accidentally offended and made an enemy out of that person, they could well die if their judgment of this planet’s danger was correct.
They had already suffered more than enough at the hands of the endless flaming creatures in the endless stone passageways.
“Just a World level cultivator, of course.” A look of terror was in young master Skywind’s eyes as he heard himself speak uncontrollably. Why was it that he was answering every single question posed? “Samsara Daolords only exist in the legends, and it is incredibly hard to trace or track them down. How could I possibly take one on as my master? Swordmaster Eastvoid is nothing more than an extremely famous expert of the Dao of the Sword. He’s virtually invincible against other World-level experts, and even my father is far from being a match for him. My father went to tremendous lengths in order to convince him to accept me as his disciple. However, I have to first reach the Eastvoid Sword Pavilion and personally pass a few tests before being admitted.
Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord exchanged glances. World level? To them, even most Daolords of the Third Step or Fourth Step could be annihilated with a casual wave, much less World-level cultivators. Both were comparable to ordinary Eternal Emperors in power, after all.
“Then do you know where the Samsara Daolords are?” Ning continued to question him. The stronger one was, the more one would know. Most likely, the local Samsara Daolords would know more regarding the secrets of this planet.
“I don’t know. How could someone like me possibly be aware of what the Samsara Daolords are doing?” Young master Skywind explained, “Perhaps some of the most elite World-level cultivators would know a few things.”
Ning continued to ask questions, while young master Skywind continued to respond automatically. The latter was at the verge of tears; no matter what the former asked, he was somehow forced to automatically answer with the utmost of truth. This feeling instilled terror in him. He was repeatedly reminded as to how powerless he was in the face of this white-robed, sword-carrying youth.
After a long period of time passed.
“What do you think?” Ning glanced at the Ninedust Sectlord.
“This will be a bit troublesome. From the sound of things this planet should indeed have Samsara Daolords, and several of them at that,” the Ninedust Sectlord said. “In the Endless Territories, our Daolords will usually establish their own sects. Here, however, the Daolords all seem to be in hiding.”
“Right. Let’s go find someone higher ranked than this ‘Skywind’ kid,” Ning said.
“That’s our only choice.” The Ninedust Sectlord nodded.
Both of them were quite patient. They would rather spend ten extra days quietly investigating this planet than to blunder rashly into a fight. As the saying went, only when you understood both yourself and your enemies would you be the victor in all your battles. This planet was quite possibly an ancestral site left behind by an ancestor of the Ancient cultivators, after all; they couldn’t be too rash here.
“I have more questions for you.” Ning looked at young master Skywind.
“Please go ahead, senior,” young master Skywind said hurriedly. He had been completely unable to overhear the conversation between Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord. He knew the situation he was in and was behaving quite obediently.
“Who in this general area would possibly have information regarding where the Samsara Daolords are?” Ning asked.
“In this general area, the highest-ranked figure would be the governor of Dragonwing City. He governs this entire region, and all of the countless living beings here prostrate themselves before him. He’s on very good terms with my father, and has been alive for an extremely long period of time. He surely knows a thousand times more than what I know; he might know where the Samsara Daolords hide.” Young master Skywind continued to speak uncontrollably, “I was planning to go pay a visit to him, as he helped out quite a bit and was instrumental in me being able to join the Eastvoid Sword Pavilion.”
Ning chuckled. “Good. Then we’ll accompany you and visit the governor of Dragonwing.”
And so, Ning and the Ninedust Sectlord both remained within the carriage. Young master Skywind naturally offered all the fine food and wine he had available. The two maids had awoken by now, and they didn’t dare to say athing; they naturally understood that they had encountered two important personages.
“Glug. Ah, it’s rare for me to have a chance to relax like this.” The Ninedust Sectlord drank some fine wine, then let out a relaxed sigh. “It feels like it has been ages since I had the chance to rest a bit. I wasn’t able to relax at all back in those stone passageways.”
“Yes, a relaxed life is the best life of all.” Ning had also been driven to the point of near-lunacy by the flaming creatures, but he was now feeling quite relaxed as well. Suddenly, Ning’s gaze turned towards the inner walls of the carriage. The walls had some scars carved into them, and Ning was able to see right away that these were sword-arts scars.
The Ninedust Sectlord noticed Ning glancing at the walls, and he followed Ning’s gaze. When he saw the sword-scars on the walls, he let out a laugh. “How could someone be so shameless as to put such crude sword-arts on display?”
The nearby young master Skywind instantly began to blush with embarrassment.
“Everyone knows how amazing my young master’s sword-arts are. Young master Skywind’s sword-arts are famed throughout the lands. It was these sword-arts that resulted in him being allowed to enter the Eastvoid Sword Pavilion,” one of the maids couldn’t help but argue, her face flushed.
Young master Skywind buried his face in his hands. Oh my god, you stupid woman… why did you have to say anything.
“This little girl is pretty devoted to you.” The Ninedust Sectlord chuckled as he looked at the maid. “She’s clearly terrified, but she still wanted to speak up on your behalf. But I must tell you, I was speaking the truth. Your sword-arts truly are crude and ungainly. Hell, forget about your young master’s sword-arts; even that so-called Swordmaster Eastvoid’s sword-arts are unspeakably crude. In terms of sword-arts, the gentleman right in front of you is a true grandmaster of the Dao of the Sword. No, not me! Stop looking at me. I’m talking about this fellow Daoist right here. Can’t you tell he has a sword scabbard on his back? You should be able to tell right away that he’s a swordsman.”
Ning couldn’t help but let out a surprised snort of laughter.
“That ‘Swordmaster Eastvoid’ or whatever he’s called… everything he knows about the Dao of the Sword could probably fit within my friend’s toenails.” The Ninedust Sectlord was clearly in a wonderful mood and so he spoke in a rather casual manner.
Young master Skywind immediately turned his gaze towards Ning, his eyes scorching with eagerness. He was a sword fanatic who was completely devoted to the sword. This was why he had reached such a high level in sword-arts and had become famous in this region. He hadn’t left those sword-scars in the carriage to show off on purpose; rather, even in this carriage he would often ponder on his sword-arts. When he sometimes had an epiphany, he would carve it into the walls.
“Ninedust, you are bragging a bit much,” Ning said.
“I’m doing no such thing. I’m just telling the truth. That East-whatever, he’s a mere World-level cultivator. How could he even know as much as 0.01% of what you know regarding the sword?” The Ninedust Sectlord said hurriedly, “I’ve never met anyone with stronger sword-arts than you at your level.”
As the Ninedust Sectlord saw it, Ning was a Daolord of the Third Step who had truly earth-shaking sword-arts. Once he broke through to become a Daolord of the Fourth Step, he would probably be on par with Palace Lord Dawnstar. In truth, however, Ning’s sword-arts could be fairly described as without peer in all the Endless Territories, because his Dao was that of the Omega Sword Dao!
“Senior…” Young master Skywind looked rather eagerly at Ning.
“You little rascal.” Ning glanced at the carriage walls, then nodded. “I can vaguely see a total of thirty-six sword-stances within those carvings. You are fairly impressive for an Elder God… but there is still area for improvement. You can actually fuse these thirty-six stances into just three stances.”
Ning pointed at the carriage walls in a very serious manner, and three more sword-scars instantly appeared on them. All three pulsed with sword-intent, but very ordinary sword-intent. Ning was just providing guidance, after all; he was teaching the kid the basics of fusing sword-arts together.
“In fact, you can also fuse them into one stance.” Ning pointed again, causing a fourth streak of sword-intent to appear on the walls. This one was extraordinarily powerful, and it was infused with a hint of Ning’s own Omega Sword Dao.
“Right.” The nearby Ninedust Sectlord nodded. “Kid, today is the luckiest day in your life. My friend has just created a brand new sword-art based on your original one. We ate your food and drank your wine, but we don’t want to owe you anything. If you can fully master just one of those first three stances, you’ll be able to reach the World level. As for the final one? If you can master it, you’ll be invincible amongst World-level experts.”
Young master Skywind stared at the walls of the carriage, completely spellbound.