Chapter 253 - Countercurrent, Starfall

"Young man, did you feel that?" Ye Shaoqing said, giving his fingers a light blow.

"I did. Are you going to kill your own disciple?" Tianming asked.

"Fool, I was asking if you felt the Voidgod Sword Intent's might."

"Well... I thought it was about average. Are you going to teach it to me?" In all honesty, he found it rather terrifying. The merest hint of that sword intent was far more terrifying than his Demise of Man-Earth-Heavent's Apocalyptic-Will. It was in a whole different league.

"Not really. Since you don't think it's impressive, I won't bother," he said with a smile.

"Oh, you don't have to do that. It's average, but I can live with it."

"Live with it? If you can practice the first strike of Voidgod Sword Intent within a month, I'll be your disciple," he boasted.

"Are you serious?"

"Still want to try?"

"Come. I'm not afraid."

"Hehe... I've seen too many ignorant, disrespectful ones all but tear up and cry before me at the very end."

"I'm ready to have an elder become my disciple," Tianming said.

"We'll see," Ye Shaoqing said, still doubtful. "Go now. Go to the mountains near the rivers. I'll show you the true form of the Voidgod Sword Intent!"

"Don't tell me you're going to teach me badly because you're afraid you'll lose to me."

"Me? Afraid of you? Now that's a joke if I've ever heard one."

They went to the foot of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain. On the way, the many disciples and exalted masters paid their respects to Ye Shaoqing. It appeared that he now fully controlled Azure Dragon Sword Mountain.

"Now watch." A sword appeared in his hand. "The Voidgod Sword Intent is a battle art beyond the Heavenly Will stage. It's what I'm currently using. What I will demonstrate today is the version with half of the Heavenly Will insights excluded so you can try comprehending the mysteries of this sword strike. I've seen your sword art before and the one who simplified it for you is a genius. It’s incredibly hard to simplify a heavenly-ranked battle art to the Spiritsource stage. Even I can't do it.

"That's why I'm only simplifying it by a bit. However, it means Voidgod Sword Intent will be easily five times harder or more than yours. Inherently, it’s a saint-ranked battle art. If you can master it, it'll be much stronger than normal unity-ranked battle arts. To think that you'd dare to make a bet with me on mastering something so hard. You really don't know the heights of the heavens or breadth of the earth."

Ye Shaoqing pointed his black longsword toward the mountains and rivers. Tianming's eyes were glued to the black sword that had a black dragon head with red eyes at its pommel. Hundreds of bloody lines extended outward from the eyes. The whole sword looked a little like meat with a network of blood vessels, and the dragon’s eye looked like a heart. It almost seemed like blood was circulating throughout the sword. The blood on that sword gave off a mysterious, domineering, and terrifying sensation, as if it were a gigantic beast.

On the sword were many violet heavenly patterns—a sign it was a grade-seven beastial weapon. Obviously, Ye Shaoqing usually used saint beastial weapons, not a grade-seven one, so he had obviously brought it out for a reason. Thinking back at him giving Qingyu Vilemoon, he figured the black sword was for him too.

He could tell that the sword contained explosive power. But since Ye Shaoqing hadn’t brought it up, he didn't ask about it. Now, both of them were focused on the sword intent.

"The key to Voidgod Sword Intent lies in the name: the void. Void is a kind of unyielding will. A will to rebel. A will to break rules and change destiny. Actually, this technique was created by the ancestors of the Li Saint Clan. Perhaps you’ll be able to comprehend it more easily, as you have Lifesbane.

"You have to focus on nurturing that feeling in your heart. Let your moves come from the depths of your heart. To simplify: see past life and death and act to change what you're unhappy with! People, the world itself, and countless things within it—even the gods high up—will strive to oppress you. You should void all their efforts! Fight to thwart them! March forward bravely and without fear, then break all the rules!" As Ye Shaoqing spoke, the sword intent formed.

Tianming watched attentively, seeing nothing but the sword and taking in all of his words. That feeling came rather easily to him. As Ye Shaoqing went on, he felt the blood of his ancestors boiling within him. The eyes of the little chick on his shoulder glowed. Just two days back, it had still been struggling with the Life-Death Whip Art. However, this new sword art once more piqued its fighting spirit.

"I know this state of mind. No matter what or who, whether it be the heavens, earth, gods, or demons, as long as they oppress me, they will die by my hand!" the little chick announced.

Ye Shaoqing looked at the little chick and saw that it was indeed an eight-star lifebound beast. However, no normal lifebound beast would have such acute observational abilities.

"Ahem... Let us continue." Ye Shaoqing felt a little unnerved looking at the man and chick. If Tianming really did master the first strike in one month, things would be awkward.

"Listen well. There’s four strikes in Voidgod Sword Intent, but they can also be considered one because only one will prevails through all four strikes, and that is the Voidgod Will! However, each subsequent strike's sword intent is a whole level above the previous level’s. In other words, each subsequent strike will be far more damaging and ruthless. Once you comprehend the first strike, you must remember it well, but you can't stop there. You must keep on going until your Voidgod Will grows stronger, which will in turn boost the damage you can inflict."

Tianming felt himself understanding it more and more. There were seven kinds of distinct wills for his Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven. Though the Voidgod Sword Intent only had one kind of will, he felt it was much harder, as the complexity of that path compounded upon itself.

Ye Shaoqing, enduring Tianming's intense gaze, looked toward the landscape before him. "The first strike: Countercurrent. The second strike: Starfall. The third strike: Cosmic Break. And the fourth and final strike, which is the quintessence of the technique and makes it a saint-ranked battle art: Myriad's Only!"

Tianming remembered it all and had some thoughts about it. It would be a long journey to master Countercurrent, Starfall, Cosmic Break, and finally Myriad's Only. It would be a process, and the foes he would have to fight would only grow stronger and more terrifying.

Not to mention, the Voidgod Sword Intent's will required him to defy fate with a mortal body, looking past life and death and fighting fearlessly. The Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven was like divine punishment, but the Voidgod Sword Intent was the complete opposite. With a mortal body, he had to challenge nature, the stars, the cosmos, and the gods and devils themselves.

During his final battle in Ignispolis, his state of mind had matched the will of Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven. But since he had come to the Grand-Orient Sect, his Lifesbane curse had activated, leaving him with only three years left. Given those conditions, and being a descendant of the Li Saint Clan, he managed to resonate really strongly with the fate-changing Voidgod Sword Intent his ancestors had created. Before Ye Shaoqing had even struck, Tianming's blood was boiling.

"Watch well!" Ye Shaoqing cried, then slashed down with Countercurrent. That strike made Tianming's scalp tingle, but it didn't come from the force of the strike. Instead, it came from the will behind it. The mountains shook and the river's current was reversed. Everything under the skies fell silent from the strike.

Most crucially, Tianming could see Ye Shaoqing in the midst of the storm, challenging the status quo of nature itself, despite being a mortal man. This was the first and simplest strike of the Voidgod Sword Intent, but Tianming could feel the spirit it required for a mere mortal to challenge the heavens and everything under it in an effort to prove themself, which was profoundly different from the Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven.

Despite his state of mind changing from that of one exacting heaven's will to a mortal like himself, Tianming noticed it was far stronger. Using the Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven, it felt like he was channeling the rage of the gods. But now, he found the mortal state of mind even more suited to himself. The scene he had just witnessed played back endlessly in his mind.

"Did you watch properly? I will only demonstrate it once." He then handed Tianming a book containing the Voidgod Sword Intent. "What you have to do is to read this while recalling that strike. Start from the sword intent, and more importantly, feel the blood of your ancestors and channel their spirits," he instructed strictly.

Tianming would be facing far more danger than before. As such, he required an even stronger might. Ye Shaoqing had seen Yuwen Taiji and knew how overboard he was going. So, he hoped that Tianming would drop out of the Prime Struggle. But seeing how headstrong the boy was, Ye Shaoqing knew he wouldn't give up easily. Tianming would definitely participate in the second round of battles, at least. As for the Prime Tower, he still had a chance to give up.

This child is too stubborn. If he can pass the second round, he'll definitely try the third as well. If he can master the Voidgod Sword Intent before that and break through once more, he might just stand a chance—

Before he could finish that thought, Tianming suddenly struck. The strike caused Ye Shaoqing's eyes to widen as he stared at Tianming, dumbfounded.

"Come greet your new master," Tianming said, chuckling.

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