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[The reason why water resists the sword's movement is inherent in the fact that it happens only when the sword tries to break the harmony of water! ]

[The reason why people always feel bound is inherent in the fact that they are always trying to break free from the fetters of this world, so the 'heavenly law' ensures that it binds them even more tightly! ]

[When looking from a smaller perspective, it may seem like the sword is resisting the powerful current of water. However, if looked at from the broader perspective, it is nothing but a representation of 'the principles of the heavenly law'! The so-called unbreakable rules and regulations of the heavenly law! ]

[When a person is unable to hold his breath anymore, he rushes to the water's surface; this is tantamount to breaking through the binding stream of heavenly laws! ]

[But as long as you are living in this world, you have no choice but to remain shackled; as intended by the heavens! ]



For a half month, Chu Yang continued to gain insights one after another. It was a rather quiet and peaceful process since it seemed as if he was totally unaware of fatigue, while continuing to go back and forth between the lake's water and the shore. And because he was totally unaware of fatigue, he unleashed his sword and continued to gain experience from 'underwater sword training' while at the same time comprehending the new ways of the sword...

Time flew by slowly.

And in the Nine Tribulations Space, the Sword Spirit heaved a deep sigh of relief. This was because he had personally observed Chu Yang falling into a moment of enlightenment before being completely bound by the sudden surge of epiphany. And not just that, he had come very close to losing all his wisdom and consciousness in the process.

However, he had still managed to finally step into a brand-new realm!

The reason why the Sword Spirit considered it a brand-new realm was… because even he himself in his seemingly infinite lifetime had never seen such a realm before. He certainly hadn't comprehended this realm before.

It was not necessarily a profound realm and nor was it like an insuperable peak, but for someone to achieve such a realm was certainly an unprecedented event in the history of mankind! Since ancient times, no one had ever been able to enter such a realm!

And though Chu Yang's martial energy hadn't increased much, but his own 'inner spiritual state' had already broken through to a whole new level. Achieving such a feat would be almost impossible even for a powerhouse of Sword Emperor Level!

The Sword Spirit had a smile of gratification on his face since he could clearly tell that presently Chu Yang had already broken through the scope of Nine Tribulations Sword. Although he was still practicing the martial techniques of the Nine Tribulations Sword and was still continuing to remain on that path, he could actually opt to go beyond this route at any time...

So, to put it in other words, even the so-called mystical powers of the Nine Tribulations Sword might not be able to manipulate its current owner.

It had always been like that for Nine Tribulations Sword - it always preferred to stay ahead of its owner.

However, at present, Chu Yang had really ended up becoming the true owner of Nine Tribulations Sword! To be precise, he was now the Master of Nine Tribulations Sword!

These two concepts were entirely different from each other.

Nonetheless, Chu Yang continued his 'underwater sword training' and at times even had his meals at the bottom of the lake. He would simply catch a fish with ease and eat it up whenever he felt like. He simply remained tireless as he gradually got used to this new realm. He was slowly getting familiar with this new yet odd sensation!

Other experts could manage to stay only for half a day whenever they would fall into this kind of special spiritual state. However, Chu Yang, quite unlike them, had managed to retain this wonderful state for an entire month!

However, when Chu Yang stuck his head out of the surface of the water, he noticed that Lotus Lake had changed considerably.

The lake's surface had turned lush green. The melodious sounds of whistles were resounding elegantly in the vicinity while the scenery was being complimented by some kind of rouge fragrance that was drifting along with the winds...

April was already here!

And 'The Match of Three Masters' would be held at Lotus Lake in June, which was only about a month and a fortnight away from now.

Chu Yang's emotions were suddenly stirred as he clearly felt the sword's tip and the sword's edge throbbing intensely within his Dantian! Immediately, a wisp of sword intention emerged from the depths of Lotus Lake. It appeared to be in delight since it had manifested after a long period of separation.

Chu Yang's eyes immediately lit up! [As expected, you finally made an appearance. I have been waiting for you for so long.]

Although the third fragment had already made an appearance, it still wasn't the right time to obtain it! Chu Yang could sense that his own cultivation was insufficient, so he immediately turned around and moved away from that spot. He had no choice but to get away from that extremely enticing spot!

[As soon as my break through is complete, I'll come for you! Just you wait! ]

Lotus Lake had already become a center of attraction. People from various regions of the country had begun to arrive here and there simply was no end to the crowd of people heading this way, creating quite a nuisance in the surrounding region. This was an expected scene because all these people had come here to watch the most distinguished musical concert in the entire Nine Heavens Continent! It was truly going to be a marvelous event!

It was an assembly of countless literati, famous scholars and poets here.

However, Chu Yang right now was lurking three feet below the water surface, just like a giant fish, away from the crowd.

Still, a random discussion being held on a boat suddenly piqued his interest. This boat was quite far away from rest of the boats, making it easier for Chu Yang to stealthily approach the boat and conceal himself beneath it.

"... this time around, Prime Minister Diwu has really been quite ruthless in his approach… so many people have died violent deaths…," said a person who was aboard that boat.

"Indeed, it was as if the Great Zhao Nation was suddenly struck by a catastrophe... Moreover, the purge is not yet over..." Another person said with a sigh.

"If this misfortune continues to persist like this, I am afraid that... the Great Zhao Nation may not be able to recover its vigor in the coming three to five years..." Another person said in an anxious tone.

"That is not necessarily true..."

These people were obviously anxious to some extent. In fact, they were talking amongst themselves in barely audible voices for fear that they might be overheard by others.

Chu Yang was immediately relieved after overhearing what they were talking about. [It seems like Diwu Qing Rou still hasn't fully settled down... ]

Judging from the recent actions of Diwu Qing Rou, Chu Yang had been guessing in his heart for quite some time now. [ Such a massive agitation, coupled with the chaos caused by the sword earlier; it should take at least half a year for Diwu Qing Rou to quell things down. In fact, there's no way he would be able to recover his strength in such a short period of time.]

[It might take even longer. ]

[In other words, at least for six months now it should be absolutely safe!]

[Moreover, only three months have passed so far. ]

Although Chu Yang already knew that things wouldn't advance so quickly, but others' confirmation helped him in verifying his logic, and consequently he felt somewhat relieved. [There's still enough time to put my plan into action.]

[In fact, even when I come back to obtain the third fragment, there will still be plenty of time left after that.]

At this time, a wave of dream-like melody coming from a flute suddenly echoed and enveloped the entire Lotus Lake, which was already brimming with the colors of spring. Moreover, the flute's melody had added a touch of sorrow as well as melancholy to the existing atmosphere.

Someone suddenly shouted out loud: "Flute Master has arrived!"

"I never expected to see the Flute Master here so early! The competition is still about a fortnight away from now."

"The Flute Master is indeed a virtuoso at flute playing; he is really outstanding! Just look how the melodious music of his flute has already silenced all other sounds around the Lotus Lake."

Everyone raised their heads to have a good look at this unexpected visitor.

A flat, long and narrow boat was slowly sailing on its way along the surface of Lotus Lake. It had a black sail as well as a black hull but had no other colors embellishing its image. The boat's black image was quite overwhelming and was in sharp contrast to the lush green color that was spread all across the lake's surface, making the boat appear even more towering and imposing than it actually was!

A man was sitting calmly upon the boat's prow; he was clad in a white robe. And while his snow-white robe fluttered in the wind a cold breeze kept gently caressing his face!

The mellifluous sound of his flute echoed everywhere. And although the flute's melody wasn't too loud, no other sound in the entire world could imitate its beauty...

People appeared to be enchanted as they continued listening to the flute's melody, and only when it finally came to an end that they regained their senses. It seemed as if they had been awakened from a dream. With a long sigh, they recited in their hearts: "In June, when the lotus blooms, the three masters will meet in the middle of the continent. Who will be extraordinary? Who will take the top position? 'Angelic transverse flute' is like vast waters, 'Saintly end-blown flute' is like a floating boat, and the sound of the 'Zither' is like the rustling sound of the heavens. One stroke of change can paint the spring. After twenty years of wind and rain, who shall keep on standing? After twenty years of hardships, who shall remain?"

"Even with just a semi-tune that he played just now, it can be said that his symphony has already surpassed all other symphonies in the entire world! He is truly worthy of the title of 'Flute Master'!"

The flute's sound had a pleasant lingering effect as it rose in spirals and echoed everywhere. Sitting atop his boat's prow, the Flute Master slowly drifted across the lake. And his white robe was fluttering in the wind as his figure slowly disappeared in the mist.

Everyone clearly saw that he was a middle-aged man in his thirties, sitting on the prow of his boat. His eyes appeared weary yet there was a ruthless look in them. One could also see helplessness in his countenance as if he was fed up of the worldly affairs, but he still had not given up the compassion in his heart to create soulful music. It was as if he didn't even hear the cheers and applause coming his way from the surroundings.

And then the boat slowly disappeared in the distance.

Just then Chu Yang popped out his head from behind the water plants to have a good look at the scene. He immediately gave a chuckle and shook his head before saying: "This Flute Master is really such a show off. But I must say that this motherf*ker's posture and the way he was sitting on his boat's prow makes him look so cool!"

However, though all could see that it was an outright pretentious performance, it was an important move in a larger stratagem. It was a music competition and one's popularity played a major role in deciding the winner. The mysterious appearance of the Flute Master, along with the stark contrast between his white robe and the black boat, had contributed a lot towards establishing his elegant image before everyone. He suddenly appeared out of nowhere, shocked everyone, and then drifted away like a bunch of wonderful thoughts which last only for a moment in one's head. Even the tone of his flute inspired sorrow and melancholy in people's hearts. There obviously were benefits of being the first person to show up and leave a deep impression on so many people, and that too in one fell swoop.

In particular, the sound of his flute was filled with melancholy and was also surrounded by a desolate aura which conformed well to the people's mood. It could be said that his performance was perfectly in line with the chaos which was currently spread throughout Great Zhao as a result of the recent upheaval.

If nothing else, one would still have to acknowledge the fact that this was indeed a very clever method.

And when the Flute Master had already been gone for long people began to discuss amongst themselves quite enthusiastically. They never paid any attention to the fleet of boats anchored on one side.

These boats were no different from the rest of the boats in Lotus Lake, but Chu Yang had clearly noticed their drifting in, all the way from upstream. They were clearly the family vessels of the Flute Master.

On realizing this, Chu Yang chuckled and to come ashore sneaked his way through a rather secluded place. Afterward, he changed his clothes as well as his appearance and bought a small boat which looked just like the one he had earlier. Then, he boarded the boat and grasped a fishing pole.

His boat went on drifting on the lake's surface.

[Let's see who is more pretentious! ] Chu Yang thought in his heart. He suddenly affixed the fishing pole to the boat, took off his robe and dived into the water with a 'plop' sound. He continued to dive deeper into the water and after a long time, he finally found a big fish that was no less than dozens of Jin heavy. He quickly and quite easily grabbed the fish and shoved a fishing hook into its mouth. After that he returned to the boat, put on his white robe back again and with a calm expression on his face grasped the fishing pole...

Of course, one must know that it was the same big fish from before...

As far as fishing was concerned... actually, Minister Chu was not good at fishing… but he was certainly good at catching fishes.

Therefore, Minister Chu continued to drift along with his boat but with a persistent look of indifference on his face throughout. He calmly raised his fishing pole, pulling the fishing line which made a swishing sound due to the applied tension... as his boat roved forward on the lake.

The scene really depicted him as one of the masters of Lotus Lake!

Suddenly, a lot of people discovered this pretentious looking prick aboard a small boat, which didn't have a mast, or sail, or even a paddle for rowing... it was just producing a swishing sound while pushing its way through the lake.

Immediately, everyone got curious and looked towards Chu Yang.

Suddenly, in front of the boat, from the direction in which the fishing pole was pointing in, a big fish's head popped out of the water with a 'plop' sound, and in the process it splashed out a large amount of water.

Everyone clearly saw that the end of the fishing line was stuck in the mouth of this big fish...

This fish was so big, it definitely weighed no less than 100 pounds.

After that, the big fish continued to tow the small boat all around, leaving behind only ripples on the water surface...

"Wow! That's so awesome!" A young maiden called out like a smitten fool. She began to hop about on her boat while clapping her hands at the same time. One could clearly see a look of longing in her eyes: "Using a big fish to pull a boat… this is amazing... simply incredible..."

Soon, more and more people found out about it.

Especially some women, their eyes were beaming with fascination and reverence as they stared at this pretentious prick with rapt attention. [Someone who carries himself with such confidence and ease... can never be an ordinary person…]

So much so that… his eye-catching display was not a bit inferior to the flashy performance of the Flute Master a while ago!

Minister Chu's face remained expressionless. There was a proud and aloof look on his face and he carried a lofty and unsullied air around himself. His small boat effortlessly maneuvered around to make its way through the small gaps which existed between the parked boats of all sizes. However, his facial expression still remained unchanged throughout this time.

This was a rather unusual scene.

Such elegance, such confidence, such ingenuity...

Everyone's attention was fixated on him. The sensation caused by the flute's melody a while ago was nowhere to be seen...

"Get it for me too! I also want one for myself!" A girl of 10 or so years of age exclaimed with a brilliant shine in her eyes as she tugged at a middle-aged man's lapel: "I also want a big fish; I too want it to tow my boat..."

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