Two days later.
Within a forest with thick foliage, a large number of black armored riders were surrounding a serpent monster.
“Roar…” This was a massive, blood-red serpent which glowed with silver light around its torso. Around its torso, it had two pairs of sinuous claws with four toes, and a pair of terrifying red serpentine eyes. However, right now, the giant snake had been totally covered by a giant net. No matter how much it struggled, it couldn’t break loose.
“Hahaha.” The bearded man in red armor laughed loudly. “Stupid snake. You were caught alive by us so easily. You, go tie it up.”
Instantly, several dozen black armored knights cast one black chain after another, sending them flying towards the giant snake, quickly binding it up. The red serpent was tied up so securely that no matter how it contorted itself, it wasn’t able to do anything. Soon, it had been completely wrapped up by metal chains and bound so securely it couldn’t even open its mouth.
“Commander, where does this giant snake come from? Why does it have two claws?” A nearby black armored rider was curious. No matter how long he had been pondering, he couldn’t discern what type of Godbeast this was.
The bearded man laughed. “Serpent-type creatures are often intermingled in blood. I myself have seen over a hundred serpents with Fiendgod blood. Only, some bloodlines are very pure and therefore become famous and are named. A sort of mongrel mutant Godbeast like this has no name at all.”
“The young master needs some powerful Houtian level monstrous beasts to practice his sword on. This serpent monster would be a good choice.” The bearded man weighed the snake with his gaze, then nodded in satisfaction. “Take it back.”
The black armored riders acknowledged respectfully.
The commander of this regiment was a Xiantian-level lifeform belonging to the Ji clan of the Western Prefecture – the number one expert archer, Blindfish! Blindfish was still one of young master Ning’s instructors, and without question in the Ji clan, he stood on the side of Ji Young and Ji Yichuan. In addition, Blindfish was quite proud of having taught Ning.
The story of how young master Ning would use monstrous beasts to train his swordplay had spread quite some time ago.
After all, for him to kill one every three days resulted in a large number of monstrous beasts being killed. These beasts were almost all brought back by the black armored riders, and so the news had quickly spread amongst the army.
“Young master Ning reached the peak of the Houtian stage long ago, and his swordplay is at the advanced level of ‘one with the sword’. In addition, he is training in the most powerful sword technique of our Ji clan. Killing a peak Houtian monster should be a simple thing.”
“Supposedly, he’s even killed a Houtian level Godbeast.”
“Think about who young master Ning is. He definitely has an extremely sharp, unblockable precious weapon. With a weapon like this, relying on his ‘advanced’ level sword techniques… killing a peak Houtian level Godbeast isn’t too hard.”
The legends that were circulating amongst the soldiers of the West Prefecture were quite vivid and fanciful.
Even the other powerful member of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture, Ji Lee, believed that the little fellow Ning was only able to kill a Godbeast because he had some sort of precious weapon.
Dragon Castle. The cage.
A powerfully built monstrous beast with black spots was lying on the ground. The thick fur on his body had been split open in many places, and blood from those massive wounds stained the ground.
Ning was still standing there, frowning as he was thinking. The sharp sword in his hand disappeared into thin air. When fighting with most peak Houtian monsters, he only used his internal energy, and the weapons he used were only fairly decent weapons which couldn’t be described as ‘precious’. After all, he was already so physically strong that using a precious weapon on top of that would make the training pointless.
“Ji Ning!” A voice from above.
Ning couldn’t help but look up at his father, Yichuan, who was on the viewing platform. This made Ning quite surprised. “Father, why have you come?”
Because he fought every three days here in the Dragon Castle, aside from that first fight with the Howling Moonwolf, the subsequent dozens of battles, his father had not attended…
“I wanted to see how your swordplay was progressing,” Yichuan said. “Have you reached ‘initiation’ yet?”
“Not yet.” Ning shook his head. “I haven’t gained expertise in any of the many attacks contained within the [Raindrop Sutra] or the [Thunderflame Sword].”
The [Raindrop Sutra] had a total of nine attack techniques.
The [Thunderflame Sword] had a total of three attack techniques.
These attack techniques were all very special… if one could train in them to a high level, one would feel as though one had become ‘one with the world’ and be able to use the power of the world itself. This was what was known as ‘initiation’. But this didn’t actually symbolize that a person had reached the third level of swordplay, ‘one with the world’, because the true ‘one with the world’ level of swordplay was when one could use any sword attack, be it something as simple as a stab, a chop, or a scrape, and utilize the power of the world itself with the attack. Only then would one be at the ‘one with the world’ level!
Initiation only meant that one could temporarily reach the ‘one with the world’ effect when using certain techniques.
According to what his father had said…
Upon reaching ‘initiation’, one would have reached a certain level of expertise in a technique.
When one reached the ‘one with the world’ level, that means one had mastered a technique.
According to legends…
There was an even higher, more profound level above the ‘one with the world’ level. The [Raindrop Sutra] and the [Thunderflame Sword] techniques were developed by people who were beyond the ‘one with the world’ level.
“There is no need for you to be so continuously hard working while training in the sword,” Yichuan said. “Today, take Spring Grass and Autumn Leaf and go for a stroll.”
Ning nodded. “Yes, father.”
Ning turned his head and left through that narrow tunnel. As for the corpse of the dead monstrous beast, someone would come collect it later.
West Prefecture City had hundreds of thousands of citizens. It was a large city.
“Young master, it’s been so long since we’ve gone for a stroll.” Spring Grass and Autumn Leaf, his two female servants, were clearly very happy as they followed by his side.
Ning smiled as he walked on the streets. This was one of the most bustling streets in the entire West Prefecture City. Generally speaking, all the merchants would pass by this street. The street was normally ten meters wide, but there were so many merchant stalls on each side that nearly half the space was taken up, causing there to only be seven meters of walking space left.
“Look at this woman. Look at her ample chest, her large buttocks. She can definitely birth many babies. Ten lambskins for her!”
“These men are all fine warriors. They can all lift over a thousand pounds. Just five ingots of gold. If you buy one, we’ll throw in a kid as well.”
A bald man dressed in beast furs was shouting at the top of his lungs. He had several dozen fur-clad warriors standing guard around him, while he also had many slaves dressed in dirty, tattered fur pelts. All of them stared pitifully around them, hoping that they would meet a kind master who would buy them. There were signs on their heads.
These signs signified that they were for sale.
They strolled and looked around.
There were slave traders, beast fur traders, weapon traders, beast traders, monstrous beast traders… all sorts of people were here. There were even some precious books, precious weapons, poisons and herbs, secret technique manuals, and other things for sale.
“Over a hundred warriors in our tribe died for us to acquire this precious weapon, and then we had to make our way back through the wilderness and encounter countless difficulties before we arrived at the West Prefecture City. We weren’t even willing to sell it for thirty beastheads of gold, but you want to try and buy it for ten? That’s too little. At least a hundred beastheads of gold!” a rough-voiced man was shouting from nearby.
Ning glanced over in curiosity.
He saw dozens of people in a circle surrounding three strong men wearing pitch-black furs, one of whom had a black snake coiled around his arm. The man continued: “A hundred beastheads of gold, whoever pays a hundred beastheads can take it away!”
“He actually dares to demand a hundred beastheads of gold,” Spring Grass and Autumn Leaf both murmured.
Ning was surprised as well. A beasthead of gold was around ten pounds. A hundred beastheads meant a thousand pounds of gold. Although to the young master of the Ji clan, it was nothing, to an ordinary tribesman, it was a vast fortune.”
“No matter how sharp it is, it’s just a weapon.”
“It isn’t as though it is some perfect magic treasure. It’s just a damaged magic treasure that can be used as a weapon.”
“Twenty beastheads. I’ll pay twenty beastheads at most. You want to sell, and I want to buy!”
Someone made an offer.
“A hundred beastheads.” The man didn’t budge at all. The two men by his side watched the crowd carefully, afraid that someone might try to seize their treasure. For the sake of this treasure, many people in their tribe had died, and as they made their way from the tribe to the city through the desolate wilderness, dozens more warriors had died. They had to sell this treasure for a high price.
After selling it, they would be able to buy some slaves and some good weapons, so as to allow the tribe to increase its power.
“Let me take a look.” Ning saw the precious weapon which the man was clutching and immediately stepped forward.
The people nearby all turned to look at him.
“This is the young master of the Ji clan? The son of the Raindrop Sword?”
Many people stepped back modestly. Anyone capable of paying such a high price was an extraordinary person. In addition, in the past few years, Ning had gone every day with the Whitewater Hound outside the city to train in archery. Each time they left the city, many people saw and recognized him as the exalted young master of the Ji clan. The other people who didn’t recognize him, upon hearing others discuss him, were made aware as well.
When the man with the black snake saw everyone else step back, then heard the words ‘young master of the Ji clan’ and ‘son of the Raindrop Sword’, he was instantly so frightened that his heart began to shake. As people who lived on the territory of the Ji clan, they all knew the legendary Raindrop Sword. This was the number one expert in the entire area around the Ji clan’s West Prefecture, a godlike presence.
And the person in front of him was the only child of the Raindrop Sword?
“Let me take a look,” Ning said.
“Honored young master, please look.” The man respectfully offered the sword in both hands. The two men behind him both felt extremely nervous. They were afraid that this young master who had an extremely high and exalted status would simply take their treasure by force. In the tribes, for a powerful person or person with high status to seize treasures by force was quite common. Although it was forbidden in the West Prefecture City and nobody dared to challenge the laws of the Ji clan, the young man in front of them was a young master of the Ji clan, the only son of the Raindrop Sword!
Ning accepted the sword, and his hands sank down slightly from the weight. This was a pitch-black sword. The thick black sheath seemed very plain and unadorned, but if one looked at it closely, one would find that this scabbard actually had three swords sheathed within it.
“One scabbard, three swords?” Surprised, Ning pulled out the swords.
While pulling out the three swords, a cold light flashed on the surface of the swords, and ancient, shattered runes glowed dimly.
“What a pity.” Ning shook his head and sighed. He had seen many treasures in the prefecture. Seeing those mysterious runes and the power they emanated, he knew that this was previously a magic treasure. It should have been three flying swords which were controlled by an Immortal practitioner. But these runes were all but destroyed. Clearly, this magic treasure was badly damaged. It could only be used as a weapon now.
“Chi.” Ning tested his finger against the blade of the sword.
“Careful. It is very sharp,” the man with the serpent called out in alarm. This precious weapon could cut through stones like tofu.
Ning felt the skin of his fingertips shake slightly. He couldn’t help but feel surprise. “I have the Goldstar Shirt protecting my body, which is currently spread to every inch of my skin. Just then, when I casually sliced my finger… it actually impacted the Goldstar Shirt. If I were to swing the sword down hard, it probably would have broken through the Goldstar Shirt’s defense. I walk through the city streets every day on my way to archery training and have seen countless weapons, but I’ve never seen such a sharp, precious weapon.”
Others only sensed that this weapon was very sharp, but they didn’t know exactly how sharp it was. But Ning had the feeling… that even his Goldstar Shirt would find it hard to block this precious weapon.
“I want this weapon.” Ning looked at the man with the snake.
The man was both excited and nervous. He hurriedly said, “Young master, for the sake of this weapon, our tribe…” In front of this young man of exalted status, he was nervous and didn’t dare to demand a certain price.