Translated by: wswin, Ea
Edited by: Butter
Yan Tianhen shook his head, “No. This is my own choice. I can’t cause trouble for Dage and give up halfway, or else others will look down on me and mock my Dage.”
Feng Jingyu flapped his wings and shouted, “You fool! You always think about your Dage first, can you think about your own predicament? In case that Esteemed Huai Yu person is in seclusion and doesn’t know your predicament now, what will you do if you die here?”
Yan Tianhen’s bright eyes stared ahead, “If that is my fate, then I’ll accept it. Maomao, if I can’t even get past this hurdle, how can I stand by my Dage as an equal?”
Feng Jingyu coldly replied, “Even if you pass this hurdle, you are still far worse than Lin Xuanzhi.”
Yan Tianhen, “….”
He decided that if he was on the brink of starving to death, he would bake Maomao to eat!
Looking at the white forest full of mist three feet away, Yan Tianhen gritted his teeth and continued groping forward while bringing two unreliable tiger cubs and a bird who would only watch the liveliness from the sidelines.
On the morning of the second day, Lin Xuanzhi appeared at the training ground on time.
Sinking Sword Peak’s training ground did not differentiate between inner- and outer-door disciples. Every day, all disciples of Sinking Sword Peak must come to the training ground at sunrise and do the same set of exercises, which never happened on Broken Sword Peak.
When Lin Xuanzhi appeared, the disciples of Sinking Sword Peak who had been standing in neat rows quieted down and looked at him.
Lin Xuanzhi was wearing Sinking Sword Peak’s core disciple robe. The robe was cyan-colored, imposing yet free, and his long hair was tied behind with a white jade hairpin, making his entire person look extremely refreshing.
The other disciples’ robes were all white. Several hundred inner-door disciples were holding swords as far as the eye could see, each of them appearing focused and valiant.
The position of all core disciples was at the forefront.
When Lin Xuanzhi came to Wan Yitong’s side. Wan Yitong blinked at him, “Every morning at this hour, we practice three sets of Profound Sky Sect’s one hundred and eight basic sword techniques for an hour. Afterward, it’s our individual cultivation time.”
As long as one was a disciple of Profound Sky Sect, the basic swordsmanship learned was the same, which was the《Introductory 108 Styles》, which included most of the basic sword maneuvers and styles. Moreover, this introductory swordsmanship technique wasn’t used only by Profound Sky Sect, but also by the five celestial-level sects throughout the Five Continents.
However, there were only a few people who seriously practiced this set of swordsmanship techniques, because it was too basic and too easy, and when it was executed, it was dull and incapable of grabbing any attention.
More importantly, no one thought that this set of swordsmanship maneuvers could be used in actual combat.
Hai Kuanglang came over from the other side and asked, “Junior Martial Brother, don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten how to perform this set of sword techniques?”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Lin Xuanzhi smiled and took out Lianlian, which he had received yesterday, and replied quite confidently, “I might not know other techniques, but as for this《Introductory 108 Styles》, I can perform it even with my eyes closed.”
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Each and every disciple was graceful and silent, their movements extremely standard.
It was said to be the most basic of swords techniques, but in fact, everyone’s movements were all different.
The hundred inner-door disciples who were behind the several core disciples had all gotten accustomed to seeing those core disciples’ swordsmanship styles, hence all of their attention today was focused on Lin Xuanzhi.
If one described Hai Kuanglang’s swordsmanship style as wild and unrestrained, Zhan Fengting’s as steady and standard, Bei Shitian’s as heavy with murderous intent, and Wan Yitong’s as indifferent and without a care, then Lin Xuanxhi’s style was lithe, graceful and elegant, just like the moving clouds and streaming water, flowing naturally along. His moves were vigorous and lively, like dragons and snakes dancing about.
His movements were extremely light and nimble. Every action could be broken down into a stand-alone move and used as the most standard example. Although they were using the same set of swordsmanship techniques, Lin Xuanzhi’s motions gave off a sense of ultimate beauty, as if he were one with the sword and there was no distinction between the two; the sword was an extension of his body and not a weapon.
When everyone finished executing the set for the second time, the other core disciples, with the exception of Lin Xuanzhi, all stopped and stood aside in tacit mutual understanding, observing his sword techniques.
When the other disciples behind them saw this, they too paused their routine exercise and moved back a few steps, admiring the swordsmanship of this genius sword cultivator who was once known as the leader of Profound Sky’s Four Swords.
Whenever Lin Xuanzhi practiced his swordplay, he would not be too disturbed or influenced by external factors. Although he noticed that the others had stopped, he still continued to practice his own swordsmanship.
In his hand, Lianlian was obedient, just like a sixteen-year-old girl who had yet to be influenced by the mortal world. Fast yet graceful, it sometimes reflected a silvery-white radiance under the sunlight.
Rise, fall, circle back, leap.
The entire set of 108 styles needed half an hour to complete. When using these moves against an enemy, they inevitably had to be fast, or else they wouldn’t be able to break through the enemy’s defenses. However, when practicing, one must be able to control the speed; each move could neither be too slow nor insufficient in control.
When Lin Xuanzhi practiced his swordplay, he circulated the Qi inside his body. When he finished practicing this set of sword techniques for the third time, the Qi throughout his body had been flowing through his meridians, blood, bones, and muscles and had completed three whole cycles. After finishing up a move, Lin Xuanzhi’s sword was already held behind his right arm in an upright position.
With a clang, the sword entered the sheath.
For a moment, no one on the martial arts training ground spoke.
Wan Yitong was the first to break the trance. He strode over toward Lin Xuanzhi and gave his shoulder a heavy pat. “Incredible, Junior Martial Brother! This is my first time seeing someone who can execute this trash 108 sword strokes this beautifully. How did you practice this?”
Lin Xuanzhi put the sword back into the scabbard. “I merely practiced every move no less than 10,000 times; naturally, certain results could be achieved after that.”
Hai Kuanglang sucked a cold breath, “No less than 10,000 times? You actually did it to this extent? These kinds of boring techniques lacking in destructive power; why did you take it so seriously?”
“It’s indeed boring, but to say that it has no destructive power — I beg to differ.” Lin Xuanzhi smiled and, without warning, pulled out Lianlian from its sheath and stabbed towards a pile of stones on the edge of the training ground. With a boom, the pile of stones broke down into dregs, scattering all over the place.
He had already successfully cultivated sword Qi since long ago.
Sounds of the onlookers sucking in their breaths could be heard one after another, because everyone could see that Lin Xuanzhi’s casual attack just now used one of the 108 sword strokes — “Immortal Guides the Way”.
However, no one could have imagined that Lin Xuanzhi could display Immortal Guides the Way to such a proficient degree.
Bei Shitian’s face also changed color, and there was a flash of burning desire in his eyes.
It was one thing if the《Introductory 108 Styles》was some powerful sword technique, but this basic sword technique couldn’t even be considered Primary Level. It could only be regarded as a trashy and cheap technique. Even ordinary non-cultivators could practice it, so naturally, it didn’t possess much power.
Sword techniques were learned in conjunction with a unique method of regulating internal energy. The internal technique for this set of sword techniques was also extremely simple. It was very difficult to fully bring out the spiritual Qi through the sword in one’s hand. Therefore, when Lin Xuanzhi split apart the stone pile, he definitely didn’t use all his Qi.
Then, how could he use this basic sword move to bring about a result akin to the realm of a high-grade Primary-Level technique?
Zhan Fengting recovered from his shock and said in surprise, “Xuanzhi, have you mastered this sword technique to the extent that you formed a system of internal techniques unique to yourself?”
Lin Xuanzhi nodded and looked at Zhan Fengting with a smile, “Eldest Martial Brother is still the most incredible, to actually see through my technique with just a glance.”
Zhan Fengting was even more surprised. He stared deeply at Lin Xuanzhi, hardly knowing what to say to express his admiration.
Internal techniques were more difficult to master than external techniques. External techniques dealt with form while internal techniques dealt with consciousness. External technique was appearance, and internal technique was intent.
One could learn and improve external techniques through observation and practice, but internal techniques depended on one’s own comprehension.
Every person’s specific situation was different; the same internal technique would produce different effects for different people.
Lin Xuanzhi was not the first to customize this set of internal techniques according to his own constitution, but he was the only one who was able to combine the internal technique with his own situation to the fullest possible extent.
How could one not sigh with emotion at this?
Wan Yitong stared with wide eyes, gazing at Lin Xuanzhi as though he was looking at a treasure, “How on earth did you do it?”
Lin Xuanzhi laughed. “Practice it a few more times, digest it thoroughly, and you will naturally comprehend it. If you really want me to say, I still can’t say exactly how.”
Ever since he entered Profound Sky Sect as a child, he had to practice this set of basic sword techniques at least ten times every day. In the long run, he was naturally able to fumble about and find a system of internal techniques that suited him and also matched this set of sword techniques.
In addition, he was already a fifth stage soulfire craftsman at this time, so the acupoints, meridians, tendons, and blood vessels in his body were all strengthened and tempered, which allowed him to control the flow of internal Qi with much more ease.
“The Dao begets one, one begets two, two begets three, and three begets all things.” An empty and distant voice came from far away. Esteemed Lan Yue rode his sword over, floating in the air and nimbly descending. “The laws of all living beings in heaven and earth undergo countless superficial changes but will not depart from their origin. However, simplicity is the most difficult. These 108 basic sword strokes include almost all the commonly used sword styles.”
Everyone saluted him in succession, “Blessings to Peak Master.”
“Master, why are you here?”
The several core disciples also gave salutes.
Esteemed Lan Yue nodded at Lin Xuanzhi in satisfaction. “Your basic sword style has already been practiced to the level of perfection. Even I can’t say that I can perform it better than you.”
Lin Xuanzhi hurriedly replied, “I don’t deserve Master’s praise.”
Esteemed Lan Yue smiled very lightly, “I’m well aware of whether or not you deserve such praise. Although these boys practice the 108 styles three times every day, only a few of them are serious about it. It just so happens that this time, you can show them how important the basic moves, which they usually look down upon as mere dust, are.”
Wan Yitong touched his nose with some shame.
The other disciples were still okay. Zhan Fengting was an Illusion Array Master, while Hai Kuanglang was an elemental cultivator who used a whip. The only reason they practiced swordsmanship was because cultivating the sword path was all the craze in the Five Continents. Every cultivator had to practice swords to some extent and follow the trend.
But Wan Yitong was a sword cultivator through and through and was even one of the Four Swords of Profound Sky to boot.
When he was practicing basic sword strokes, he basically skimped every time, only half-heartedly going through the movements. Onlookers felt that his swordsmanship was indifferent and carefree and also looked pretty, but experts could see that his movements didn’t stick to the standard form and were basically showy while lacking all substance. He was satisfied as long as his movements more or less looked right.
Wan Yitong felt that his face was burning with red-hot pain, which was a rare spectacle for him, who’d always had thick skin.
Wan Yitong wasn’t the only one who had these thoughts.
Wan Yitong took a deep breath and thickened his skin, stepping forward to say, “I’m not good at basic sword moves, but even if I actually sparred with Youngest Martial Brother, I wouldn’t necessarily lose — doesn’t that mean that I have extraordinary talent?”
The corners of Hai Kuanglang’s lips twitched.
Esteemed Lan Yue glanced at him expressionlessly. “However, have you forgotten what kind of grade level the set of sword techniques you cultivate is?”
Wan Yitong fell silent and bowed his head, disheartened.
Lin Xuanzhi asked, “What technique does Fifth Senior Martial Brother practice?”
Wan Yitong lifted his eyelids, glancing at Lin Xuanzhi and whispering, “You haven’t heard of it. It’s called《Eternal Sorrow》. It’s not very famous.”
Editor’s Little Theatre:
LXZ is such an earth-shattering, heaven-defying beauty that even his sword movements make people forget immortals!
Ea: Sounds like lots of people prefer core to inner so made some changes to previous chapters and this one. “Inner disciple” is now “core disciple” to differentiate it from inner-door disciples because I confused myself too