Book 19, Empyrean God, Chapter 38 – Sword-Training Throughout the Realms
Bu Feng and Ji Ning battled for a full day and night. Empyrean God Ninefangs used a technique to completely separate this area from the outside world, ensuring that the commoners in the village wouldn’t be able to see the battle. The only ones that could see were Ninefangs and the mud-splattered youth.
Huff. Huff. Huff. Bu Feng’s face was turning pale as he panted.
He had been working hard to unleash as much power as he could. The ki in his Zifu region had long ago been used up, and so he had been using spirit-pills to replenish it. Finally, the last of his spirit-pills was gone, causing him to mentally panic. He knew very well that spirit-pills weren’t worth a damn, compared to this chance to spar against this mysterious figure. This was a tremendous opportunity for him, and he wanted to make use of it to fight for a bit longer.
“Alright. You can stop now,” Ning said. He could sense that his opponent’s attacks had grown quite weak; the man was clearly out of ki.
Bu Feng had no choice but to stop.
“Here are some spirit-pills for you to replenish your ki with.” Ning tossed a bottle of spirit-pills to him. Bu Feng hurriedly accepted the bottle, and as he took a look inside, he was instantly shocked and overjoyed.
Good heavens…not even Primal Daoists would be able to produce as many pills as this! What he didn’t realize was that this was something Ning had acquired when he had slaughtered countless Immortals and Fiendgods during the Realmwar. Back then, every single White-Faced Flood Dragon he had slain contained a hundred thousand Loose Immortals, each of who had been carrying a large amount of Immortal pills with them as they fought. Ning had simply pulled out a random bottle, one which belonged to a Loose Immortal. To a puny Zifu Disciple like Bu Feng, however, this was something that utterly shocked and overwhelmed him with joy.
“Senior, I can keep fighting,” Bu Feng said hurriedly.
“I’ve had enough,” Ning said with a laugh. “Ninefangs, let’s go.”
“Yes, Manorlord,” Ninefangs said respectfully.
Whoosh. The white-robed youth and the bald old servant disappeared into thin air.
“B-but…” Bu Feng was incredibly agitated. This bottle of pills was probably comparable in value to the entire fortune of an average Primal Daoist. This would give him the resources he needed, and the mysterious, profound sword-stances had had managed to memorize would serve as lamp-posts that would guide him on his Immortal path! He would be able to able to walk much farther along his path, and would be able to make his dreams a reality.
“Father?” The mud-splattered youth looked at Bu Feng.
“Let’s go home, right away!” Bu Feng said hurriedly. He immediately pulled his son back into their home within the village. He wanted to immediately and fully memorize and record the many sword-arts he had seen during the battle, for fear that he might forget them.
In the days to come, Bu Feng continued to teach his son sword-play. Eventually, he would manage to gain a basic level of insight into the Grand Dao of the Sword. Sixteen years later, when Bu Feng returned to his former school, he was already an expert of the Dao of the Sword.
Atop a wooden boat within the river.
“Manorlord, the techniques you put on display came from the [Five Treasures] sword-art, a technique that surpasses the Heavenly Daos which was created by the number one Sword Immortal in the history of the Three Realms. Learning even the tiniest little morsel of that sword-art represents a tremendous stroke of karmic luck for that Zifu Disciple,” Ninefangs said. He had personally witnessed the mighty power of the [Five Treasures] sword-art. Generally speaking, not even Celestial Immortals could endure seeing the power and majesty contained within the full sword-art. As for a few scattered techniques and stances…even if they saw it, they wouldn’t be able to understand it.
Ning had personally put the sword-art on display, and had sparred with Bu Feng for a long period of time, which was why Bu Feng had managed to understand how truly formidable these sword-stances truly were. Naturally, it had been much easier for him to understand them than others.
“I gained some insights of my own,” Ning chuckled.
In truth, after spending just an hour sparring against Bu Feng, Ning had already been able to completely understand and defeat all of Bu Feng’s stances. The reason why Ning had spent a full day and night fighting against him was because he was testing new ideas and gaining new insights.
“Three thousand kilometers from here, there’s a Zifu Disciple who is quite skilled in longsword techniques. Come.” Ning’s heartforce had already discovered a Zifu Disciple three thousand kilometers away who was training in quite an extraordinary flying sword technique.
Atop a distant mountain peak. A scarred, gray-robed woman was standing here, controlling a flying sword from afar.
Suddenly, a white-robed youth and an old, bald servant appeared next to her out of thin air.
“Eh?” The scarred woman was badly shocked, but she hurriedly said respectfully, “Respectful greetings to you, senior.”
“Use your flying sword to attack me at full force,” the white-robed youth said.
“Uh?” The scarred woman was stunned. This mysterious figure was very strange! Still, she didn’t dare to refuse, and so she immediately began to attack.
Time flowed on, day after day.
The Seamless Gate’s Godking continued to maintain a close watch over Ning, taking a look at him every so often. After half a month of doing so, the Godking finally ran out of patience. To him, Ji Ning wasn’t a true threat, after all, just a troublemaker. The truly dangerous figures in the Three Realms were the True Gods and Daofathers of the Nuwa Alliance, as well as the many preparations they were making in secret for the Endwar.
“Ji Ning is actually dueling some laughably weak cultivators in order to train in the sword? What a joke. Even if he gains any insights, how strong could they be?” The Godking could no longer be bothered to pay any more attention.
Day after day. Month after month. Year after year…
Ning roamed the Three Realms. Although low-level Zifu Disciples and Wanxiang Adepts were weak, different places had different battle styles. In the trillion minor worlds in particular, the differences in combat styles were particularly noticeable. In fact, there were certain sword-art techniques which caused even Ning to feel tongue-tied and speechless.
Ning sparred against countless combatants and against countless styles. He never used any of his Immortal energy, his heartforce, his swordforce, or anything else. He simply relied on his Houtian-level strength to battle against the Zifu Disciples, and on Xiantian-level strength to battle against the Wanxiang Adepts.
This caused Ning to gain quite a few more insights into the [Five Treasures] sword-art. His many clones were all focused on meditating and visualizing new techniques, extracting the essence of his insights from battle.
Nine years later.
Ning was within a beautifully scenic minor world. This minor world was in a very remote region, but occasionally Immortals and Fiendgods of the Three Realms would pass by here, as did Ning. However, this was a place with many people; in terms of population size, it was comparable to Ning’s previous home of ‘Earth’. Here, experts were divided into several different ranks; Mortal-rank, Earth-rank, Heaven-rank, and the Legend-rank. In truth, this was essentially equivalent to the Houtian, Xiantian, Zifu, and Wanxiang levels.
The energy cultivation methods in this world were extremely coarse. Anyone who was able to reach the ‘Legend’ level was actually comparable to the Primal Daoists of the Grand Xia in terms of their insights into the Dao. In fact, some Legends had even mastered a complete Dao. It was precisely because they had such deep insights into the Dao that they were able to forcibly train their way into the Wanxiang level, despite having such terrible energy cultivation methods.
Swordforge Mountain Villa. This was viewed as a sacred place within this minor world.
The lord of the Swordforge Mountain Villa was given the exalted title of Sword Saint! He was a Legend, and the entire world only held three Legends. Sword Saint, however, was publicly acknowledged as the most powerful of the three.
Thirteen disciples were standing there respectfully. In front of them was a middle-aged man dressed in simple clothes who was seated in the lotus position. This middle-aged man was Sword Saint! The number one expert of the world!
These thirteen disciples were thirteen of the ‘Fifteen Celestial Swords’ of Sword Saint’s school.
“Number six, you first,” Sword Saint said.
“Yes, Master,” the sixth disciple said respectfully.
Right at this moment…
A white-robed youth and an old, bald man suddenly appeared next to them. Because Sword Saint was seated facing them, he was the first to see them appear out of nowhere. His face instantly changed. “How could they have suddenly appeared here without me detecting them?”
Upon seeing the look on Sword Saint’s face, the thirteen disciples all followed his gaze. They also saw the youth and the old servant, and they too were startled. However, although they were startled, they didn’t panic. This was because everyone knew that Sword Saint was the undisputed number one expert in the world. Still, it was true that there were some people who were especially skilled in stealth.
The sixth disciple instantly barked, “This is a restricted area of the Swordforge Mountain Village. Who are you two! Report your names!”
The white-robed youth, however, just looked towards Sword Saint. “I heard that you are the strongest person in this world, and that your sword-arts are the best. Use your sword and display your strongest sword-arts.”
“Didn’t you hea-” The thirteen disciples all grew angry…but Ninefangs just glanced at them, then said softly, “Sleep.”
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The thirteen disciples all collapsed, having fallen asleep.
This scene completely stunned Sword Saint. The majority of his thirteen disciples were all at the Heaven-rank, but they were all actually sent into a deep slumber in an instant? An ability like this was utterly inconceivable.
“Ugh. If this was a major world, things wouldn’t be such a pain.” Ning shook his head, then released his aura. Instantly, Sword Saint felt as though he was nothing more than an ant drowning within a sea that was vaster than the heavens themselves. In fact, he could sense that his body couldn’t even move in the presence of this boundless aura of might.
Moments later, Ning finally retracted his aura.
If he didn’t reveal a bit of his power, most likely this ‘Sword Saint’, who had long ago become accustomed to being the ‘number one in the world’, wouldn’t be able to realize what the situation was in a short period of time. If they were in a major world, the man most likely would’ve immediately begin to respectfully address Ning as ‘senior’.
“Attack,” Ning commanded.
“Senior, your power is truly tremendous. I, Woodclear, have roamed the world for a hundred years. I thought that I was the number one expert in existence, but now I see that I was nothing more than a frog in a well gazing towards the heavens.” Sword Saint looked towards Ning. “Over the course of my many years, I have developed a technique known as the Ninety-Nine Swordforged Swords. Please have a look.”
Although he knew the difference in power between them, his many years of pride at being the ‘best in the world’ compelled him to want to prove himself through his sword-arts.
A short while later.
“How can this be…”
He was completely stunned and speechless.
“He’s able to block my sword-arts while merely using Earth-ranked strength and speed?” Sword Saint was truly dazed. He was proudest of his accomplishments in sword-arts, but compared with the youth before him…this youth used seemingly-simple stances, but no matter how hard Sword Saint tried, he simply couldn’t understand or comprehend any of them. Still, he was unconsciously inspired in many ways by this battle, and in the short period of time they sparred, he had already come up with several different sword-arts in his mind, all of which were far more powerful than the ‘Ninety-Nine Swordforged Swords’ he had spent so many years working on.”
“Although this ‘Sword Saint’ is from a minor world, he’s really quite strong. He’s mastered an ordinary Dao, and he’s even gained a basic level of insight into the Grand Dao of the Sword.”
“Of the Wanxiang Adepts I’ve dueled, this is the one with the best sword-arts thus far.”
Ning was very cautious. He continued to use Xiantian-level strength against Wanxiang Adepts, but he naturally was beginning to choose increasingly powerful Wanxiang Adepts to fight against. This was the first time that he had fought against a Wanxiang Adept who had already gained insight into a Grand Dao.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Ning’s sword-arts were like a black hole, devouring any and all attacks which Sword Saint attempted to unleash, no matter how berserk they were.
“Finally…my defensive sword-art is beginning to take embryonic form.” Ning felt joy in his heart. Over the past few years of dueling, he had gained an even deeper understanding of the sword. In fact, he began to have a vague idea of the path that he would take in the future, and the outlines of a sword-art had begun to take shape in his heart. Ning could sense that this sword-art would have a total of five different stances.
But of course, he hadn’t developed any of the five senses yet. Today, however, as he dueled against this ‘Sword Saint’, Ning finally began to gain an idea of how one of the five stances should be shaped.
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