Chapter 33 – Breakthrough
The roaring waves laved at the sand . The Flower Picking Festival has progressed into the second round with the number of disciples reduced by half . There were some who were behind closed-doors to heal, and some in the process of organizing their revelations of the battles in the first round . And there were some small sects already left Ye City as a group because the entire sect had no disciples who were able to advance to the second round .
The disciples who were competing lessened, but Ye City’s populace did not shrink in the slightest .
Instead, many came .
The strong cultivators of the older generations came to see the level to which the current youths in cultivation world could reach; whether the Academy Director’s ‘Stellaris Era’ had arrived .
In order to encourage their same-sect disciples, some fellow cultivators of the competitors who previously participated in the Flower Picking Festival would recount their own battle experiences to their shidi .
On this day, the sun beat down fiercely with oppressive summer heat .
A group of cyan-robed cultivators arrived in Ye City .
They weren’t here for the competition nor were they here to encourage disciples of the same sect .
They came here to meet somebody .
“That Yin Biyue, has a bye this round?”
The person who asked was polishing his sword in front of the table .
The sword was extremely long . The body was jet-black and reflected no light; it was as if it’s body had completely absorbed the fallen rays from the sun outside the window .
It was not just the sword, the person who was polishing the sword was the same . He sat beside the window, sunlight fleeing from his body .
Although it was a question, his expression was indifferent; not even sparing a glance to the person beside him .
“Yes, shixiong . ” He Lai could now leave the bed, his injuries nearly healed . He stood beside the table, expression solemn .
The youth who posed the question didn’t speak anymore . His eyes remained on the sword .
After a long time, long enough for He Lai’s back to be coated in cold sweat, about to succumb to the formless pressure beside him, the youth spoke,
“The matter will end here . From now on, practice your sword diligently; don’t disgrace us again . ”
He Lai was overjoyed . He flung his sleeves upward in respect as he bowed,
“Yes! Thank you shixiong! Thank you shixiong!”
He knew the meaning of ‘matters will end here’ was not that it would be allowed to pass; instead, it was an agreement to resolve by extermination — so the matter will end there .
The youth waved his hand and indifferently said, “Withdraw . . ”
He Lai collected his sleeves and withdrew while bowing .
After he left, Bao Pu Zong’s supervising elder approached, halting at a respectful distance and whispered, “You have decided to lend a hand?”
If in accordance with seniority, this type of situation was ridiculous .
Yet in Bao Pu Zong, no one felt it was strange .
The youth frowned slightly; he knew what the sentence was referring to—urging him to not make a lethal move, so as to not offend the Sword Saint .
Thus, he said, “I will not kill him . ”
Bao Pu Zong’s elder sighed in relief; his wrinkled face smoothed and he retreated silently .
The youth continued to polish the sword .
He had said to have mercy, this was true .
But seriously injuring, crippling, rupturing spirit veins . These were all considered nonlethal .
Flower Picking Festival’s second round had already begun, and Ye City had two matters that had circulated most widely .
The first was of the Sword of Wind and Rain and the Sword Saint disciple’s confrontation on a narrow path1 that resulted in a publicly declared challenge .
Because at the time, both parties were pulled apart by their respective shixiong, the matter reached no conclusion . However, everybody believed Zhong Shan and Yin Biyue would eventually fight . It was a pity that Yin Biyue was to advance into the next round with a bye, it truly made people regretful .
In contrast, the second news caused the people’s hearts to shudder . It was said someone in the northern part of Ye City, at the XingShui bridge, saw Zheng Wei, whose rank was second in ‘Bao Pu’s Seven Sons” .
The rumor’s authenticity invited heavy skepticism and many refused to believe that Zheng Wei would leave the mountain in order to watch the Flower Picking Festival .
If he was really here, then what does he want to do? Does he want to kill someone again?
But this was Ye City . Was he actually going to challenge the city owner’s authority?
Regardless of who did or did not come, up till now, the Flower Picking Festival continued onwards regularly .
The battles in the second round were more hair-raising and intense . In order to create a better viewing experience, out of the original four martial arenas, only two were opened, thus the course of competition was slowed by a large degree .
There were no time restrictions nor ties now . Equally matched opponents sometime could fight from the early morning all the way to sundown until the victor was made clear .
Within this kind of intensity, the fight between Luo Mingchuan and Xing Shan Temple’s Pu Hong appeared to be all the more unusual .
According to the spectators, Cang Ya head-disciple did not use his sword nor Disciplinary Whip, instead, used a type of martial art and palm technique to break Xing Shan temple’s well-known Merciful Palm . The two fought halfway, then simultaneously stopped, and began to discuss Buddhist doctrines .
The people below the stage listened, and was unable to understand why . It was as if they gazing into mist shrouded peaks .
A Cang Ya disciple and a Xing Shan Temple buddhist cultivator debating Buddhist doctrines sounded ridiculous . Yet at sundown, Pu Hong unexpectedly smiled in a flash of understanding, voluntarily surrendered, and stepped off stage .
This round of extraordinary debate on dharma was not seen by Yin Biyue .
Because he was presently meditating at the pinnacle of self reflection, and already entered a kind of profound realm .
Yin Biyue, inside the room, was close-eyed in careful concentration . Observing the external world, he could see the grain of the blue jade table, the mild rustle of the fallen and damaged magnolia petals in the middle of the courtyard, and the glistening reflection of the crystalline Lake Qiu . He could see thousands of mansions and the endless stream of horses and carriages within Ye City .
Returning to observe his own body, he saw his heart beat, his core energy circulate, and his blood surge .
But not with his eyes .
What is seen with the eyes may not be reality .
He used his soul to look, therefore, nothing could be hidden .
He felt the rushing core energy surging in his veins . It tumbled past like rivers that break mountains and split stones, carrying a bone piercing chill . For the first time in his life, this kind of chill did not bring suffering, rather, it gave him a refreshing, comfortable feeling .
He guided them; guiding the flow of core energy into the nether realm, like thousands of streams ultimately returning to the vast ocean .
In a split second, he saw the illusion of heavens and earth merging .
However, in the boundless ocean, where was the end?
This was Yin Biyue’s fourth day behind closed-doors .
The temperature in the courtyard had already dropped down to that of an autumn’s day . The flagstone had gathered a thin sheet of frost, and the magnolia, unable to endure the invasive chill, shed a carpet of blooms . A gust of freezing wind resembled a thousand hills of snowy waves thrashing against the shore .
Luo Mingchuan stood under the tree, unflustered . “He’s seated in self-reflection, shidi is going to break through . ”
Duan Chongxuan solemnly spoke, “It’s a pity I still have a fight to attend; I’ll leave fourth shixiong here to you . ”
Luo Mingchuan nodded his head, his eyes resolute . Yet under his sleeves, his fist was tightly clenched; palms coated with cold sweat .
He knew shidi’s breakthrough had already arrived at the critical point, unable to bear the slightest mishap .
Cang Ya disciples most likely were around the martial arena watching, so currently, no one was training their sword around Lake Qiu . The courtyard contained no voices; empty and desolate .
After Duan Chongxuan had left, the courtyard overlooking the lake was left with only Luo Mingchuan himself .
Not only were there autumn frost and falling flowers, but Luo Mingchuan’s wide sleeves also slightly swayed in the breeze .
When the summer heat wave blew over, it immediately turned to the rustling autumn wind .
The chill became heavier; so much so that in its midst, drifted out the twisting strands of sword aura . It was Frigid Water Sword’s sword intent that had started to spill .
Luo Mingchuan’s heart stopped .
Shidi was using the sword? Could it be that during breakthrough he was met with some hindrance?
Yin Biyue’s eyebrows furrowed slightly .
The nether realm was the ocean, yet it was not the end . Breakthrough was breaking the mental barrier, naturally he must see his own heart .
Thus, his spiritual sense floated atop the ocean . It was his first time seeing this vast ocean within his body .
He knew every cultivator, after breaking through Soul Condensing Stage, would all possess their own ‘ocean’ . The whole body’s core energy was stored in here; it flowed through every vein, cycled around, and once again reunited with the ocean .
As long as his life did not end, the ocean would not become desiccate . But it was only during a breakthrough period would this ocean be ‘seen’ .
At this time, his ocean was shrouded by a blanket of fog, hiding the sky and blotting out the sun . He wanted to see through everything clearly, yet he does not have the ability—for he was not the master of this ocean .
He didn’t undergo the suffering and difficulties of Qi Condensation, Marrow Cleansing, nor Soul Condensing .
He did not know as to why Sword Saint took him as a disciple, why the Director wanted to kill Luo Mingchuan . Even as to… why he initially wanted to become a villain .
There were too many perplexities, too many questions .
His mental barrier hadn’t been broken, so the fog still remained .
The weather outside the courtyard was stifling hot . The entire Ye City was like a steamer basket, steaming the people that they couldn’t even gasp for air .
Suddenly, the sky turned dim . The wind poured from all four directions, whipping about banners and lanterns of a small pavilion, whirling up the thin clothing hanging from the bamboo pole, ripping the tobacco plants five miles out from Lake Qiu asunder .
No one knew who opened a window and shouted, “It’s going to rain! —go home, close your windows, and collect your clothes!”
The instant the words were spoken, a clap of thunder came exploding from the distant wilderness! The clamour on the street instantly cleared .
Summer rain at Southern Continent was just as so; swift as a roaming dragon . The unceasing roll of thunder with a hail of bean-sized water droplets beat down, whilst kicking up dust into a dance . The curtains of rain quickly converged together, and the whole of Ye City was caged within the howling storm .
The force of gale and thunder could send down enough sorrow to scrub clean heaven and earth .
Separated by a curtain of rain, both parties on the martial arena greeted each other .
The disciples off the stage circulated core energy around their body to protect themselves from the rainwater .
As for the Eastern spectator stand, not even the ground was damp .
Atop the stage, Duan Chongxuan clasped his hands in greeting, “Please, enlighten me . ”
However, Xu Guang asked, “I heard the combustion talisman draws flames from the heavens for its creation, so rainwater cannot penetrate it . Is that true?”
Duan Chongxuan faltered . He thought the other person was simply curious so he frankly responded, “Yes . ”
Xu Guang directly turned back towards the disciple attendant and yelled out, “I surrender! —”
Duan Chongxuan was thoroughly stunned because… . He wasn’t going to use any talisman anyway!
After Xu Guang stepped off the stage, he turned to Lian Jian disciple beside him and said, “In any case, I was already lucky to have passed the first round . Facing this person with an unknown amount of talismans… best to let the people in the Qing Lu Sword Sect, who take glory for life, fight him . ”
That disciple revealed a sympathizing look, “To be honest, even if you won, would those shijie let you go?”
Xu Guang saw those shijie and shimei beaming at the platform, eyes shining . After reflecting a bit, he thought it made sense .
Duan Chongxuan cupped his hand toward the audience, turned around, and rushed back to Lake Qiu .
The storm came down upon Lake Qiu, raising thousand layered ripples, and schools of crimson carp rose to the surface . The ash-gray shingles of the lakeside courtyards were lost under the hazy rainwater like they were shrouded with a cloud of blue smoke .
Rainwater trailed the eaves, dripped down in a connected string of pearls . It dropped onto the stone step in front of the house . Once it fell into the courtyard, it became the harsh autumn rain .
Autumn winds and autumn rains plagues the people with worry .
At this moment, however, the worry was not from the autumn rain . It was the murderous intent that penetrated from behind that veil of rain .
Luo Mingchuan’s hand was already clasped around his sword’s hilt .
It was rare for him to hold his sword, yet the movement was smooth and natural .
His eyes locked onto the eaves opposite of him . There stood a person; cyan-clothed holding a long sword, his apathetic expression shook one’s heart .
The wind and rain withdrew, unable to even get within three feet of his body .
No one saw how he arrived . It was as if he, in the blink an eye, materialized from thin air .
Yin Biyue had previously set up arrays around the courtyard and an ear-splitting sound came shrieking from all four directions . When combined with the sound of wind and rain, it was particularly shrilling .
The air that reeked of extinction and death enveloped the entire small courtyard .
If one had not killed thousands of people, there wouldn’t be such a concentrated murderous intent .
Luo Mingchuan saw his robes and sword and recognized this person as Zheng Wei .
Thus, he no longer held on to his sword .
It was because a strike towards Zheng Wei would not be faster than the strike Zheng Wei, who stood on the eaves, would pierce towards the person inside the room .
In the room was shidi in the midst of breakthrough .
The year Zheng Wei became famous, there was no ‘Seven Sons of Bao Pu’ . At the time, two of the Seven Son hadn’t even been born yet .
Unlike those who became famous through cultivation or combat, Zhang Wei became famous through slaughter .
As a result, many people came to a consensus: Zheng Wei’s hobby was neither cultivating nor sword training, it was to kill people .
The person standing on the eaves, gaze remote, seemed to watch the lake and rain .
Because in his eyes, regardless of if it was Luo Mingchuan, who was in Breakthrough Stage, or Yin Biyue within his room, in the process of stage breakthrough, or even Duan Chongxuan who was outside the courtyard wall struggling to walk , they were all like ants and mayflies, easily killed at any time . They were not worth watching .
Why not take a look at the lake; why not take a look at the storm .
Duan Chongxuan had yet to draw near Lake Qiu before he felt the sea of murderous intent . He started a mad dash toward the courtyard; through the immense curtain of rain, kicking up numerous splashes of water, yet he was blocked outside of the courtyard wall .
A formless, severe coldness was sealed inside . He wanted to advance one step further, but was unable to lift his leg . He felt as if his body was being crushed beneath a mountain . Without a shred of hesitation, he opened up a paper umbrella .
Opening the umbrella naturally wasn’t for sheltering him from the rain . The mountain became thousand jin boulders . Duan Chongxuan, under the umbrella, staggered on .
He had guessed who it was on the roof . A Lesser Vessel Stage person would have been forced back three feet, let alone his current Soul Condensing Stage .
But he couldn’t retreat . Because his shixiong was still inside .
Duan Chongxuan wanted to pull out his sword . Except, the hand that went inside his sleeve came up empty . For the first time in his life, he regretted he wasn’t diligent in cultivating . Because he realized that when facing Zhen Wei, holding any kind of sword was useless .
Thus, he gripped the umbrella with one hand, and the other raised up a single arrow . With his present cultivation, he knew plainly that this arrow could penetrate the wall and the energy barrier, but it wouldn’t necessarily touch that person’s flesh .
At this moment, he finally acknowledged his father’s words, “Although heavenly aids are good, you must still be alive to use them . ”
The storm worsened, and the roar of thunder rolled across the wilderness .
Within the room was Yin Biyue, immersed in the realm of Self Transcendence . He couldn’t sense the wind and rain, yet could feel the murderous intent . It was like a steel needle, puncturing through the roof and, with unmatched sharpness, fell precisely onto his back .
The sword’s blade was at his back, yet he was trapped with no path of retreat .
Not only him, but under the magnolia, outside the courtyard wall, they were all trapped .
The person on the roof recognized Duan Chongxuan’s umbrella and arrow . His brows raised slightly, but his eyes remained stagnant .
He didn’t think the nerve to hold up the arrow was courageous . On the contrary, he believed it was stupid . Ants and mayflies struggling for something they know is impossible, can only struggle in vain .
Luo Mingchuan no longer held his sword, but he watched Zheng Wei . The color of his pupils slowly changed from warm amber to a deep, abyssal black; bizarre yet natural . If Yin Biyue was here, he would recognize it as Jian Lan Spiritual Pupil Arts . Sight, at least, would be faster than the sword .
Yin Biyue knew that the best strategy was to abandon his breakthrough . But he didn’t want to . He didn’t want to understand the knowns and the unknowns of these riddles . He didn’t want to understand answers to those questions . He didn’t even want to care for the murderous intent piercing down his back .
He only wanted to live a good life in this world . He wanted strength .
Thus, he drew his sword and began straightforwardly chopping! The dense fog did not dissipate, based on what would he breakthrough?
If he couldn’t look through it, then he’d hack through it!
He still sat on the praying mat, eyes closed . Yet, above that extensive ocean, YiHu Jian had unsheathed with a mournful wail!
At the same time, Luo Mingchuan and Duan Chongxuan felt the aura inside the room skyrocket as Frigid Water Sword’s intention came crashing out .
Hanging by a thread, his breakthrough was left with only one more step . If the person atop the eaves wanted to strike, this was the best moment!
Luo Mingchuan’s pupil had completely transformed into an abyssal obsidian and Duan Chongxuan’s arrow had already been charged to bursting with core energy .
However, in a split second, the storm of heaven and earth instantly went quiet .
The figure up on the ledge glanced to the city’s south side . Frowning somewhat, he then unexpectedly vanished into the falling curtain of rain .
The extinguishing, glacial killing intent had also left without a trace, dispersed like the falling tide .
The roof tiles he stood on were quickly dampened by the rainwater .
Besides the wind and rain, it was as if nothing had ever been in the courtyard
Luo Mingchuan’s mental strain was suddenly relaxed and he stumbled two steps before he regained his balance . In many people’s eyes, to face the earth-shattering pressure from a Lesser Vessel Stage and not recoil, was inconceivable .
Duan Chongxuan, outside the courtyard wall, heaved a sigh of relief as he held onto the wall and sat in the muddy water, unable to endure any longer . The decrepit paper umbrella was tossed aside . The hair on his forehead was soaked with sweat and rainwater .
Zheng Wei seemed as if he came inexplicably and went inexplicably . That was because with their current cultivation stage, it was impossible to understand the confrontations between Lesser Vessels .
Luo Mingchuan dared to relax because he was aware that when Zheng Wei left, he glanced in the direction of the city owner’s residence .
Yin Biyue’s sword had already cut its way to the ocean surface . His sword cut fearlessly through the thick fog!
The jade sea possessed no waves, and behold the road to dwellings of gods . In an instant, spotless light shone endlessly!
His body became graceful and comfortable . The gale swelled, and the heavenly spiritual auras twisted together as they approached . Through a breath, it transformed into core energy, gurgling into the immense ocean . From that vast and boundless ocean emerged elated waves, filled to double the volume and a little more .
He calmly guided every strand of core energy that circulated his veins until all was serene .
Summer showers were the most hurried . From the time which the rain waned to stopping completely, was less than the time to drink a cup of tea .
The heavy clouds parted, revealing a clear evening .
Emerging from the west was a clean light filling the entire sky . Interwoven with dewdrops and mist, it sprinkled towards the earth .
Ye City gradually started to bustle; the hollers from peddlers once again rang out, the children were treading puddles on feldgrau bricks, and people carried out round stools to sit beside the streets, enjoying the long-overdue cool air .
Zhong Ming Mountain base’s Flower Picking Festival completed a day’s battle . Each sect’s disciples started to scatter, walking toward the city center with sighs of relief praising the timely rain that would wash away the torrid heat for the next half a month .
Beside Lake Qiu, Yin Biyue pushed open the door .
Luo Mingchuan stood underneath the tree; shallow pools accumulated at his feet, and his robe hem retained speckles of frost . However, his smile was warm, like ten miles of a spring breeze .
Duan Chongxuan was currently sitting under the tree, panting . Upon seeing him come out, he also smiled .
“Congratulations to shixiong for breaking through . ”
1) 狭路相逢 (confrontation on a narrow path): It implies when two enemies meet, both are unwilling to let the other one go .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!