Book 4 Chapter 2 - Arrows From the Heavens

Tong Wei gave Lin Xi a look, and then said, “I don’t care how formidable the other side is, I only know that since Vice Principal Xia and Xiao Mingxuan have faith in you two, then there is an extremely high chance of victory.”

Lin Xi asked with curiosity, “Who is Xiao Mingxuan?”

Tong Wei said, “You can view him as our academy’s chief military advisor.”

“Then he is definitely an extremely formidable figure.” Lin Xi said in admiration, and then looked at Tong Wei, saying, “Teacher, your respected self forgot to tell us how we are going to compete.”

“I do not know either.” Tong Wei shook his head. He looked at Lin Xi and Bian Linghan, saying, “The concrete details will only be confirmed after the emperor arrives.”

Bian Linghan cried out in shock, “Teacher, then your intention is that the current emperor… is coming here personally?”

Tong Wei’s brows jumped, nodding and saying, “He is already on his way here, because in reality, this is a tussle between the academy and himself. If he is to accept his defeat, then we must wait for him to arrive before deciding on the competition rules. However, what I am sure of is that since he feels that true killing is useful, then the competition’s environment will be extremely similar to a true battlefield.”

After a slight pause, Tong Wei looked at Lin Xi and Bian Linghan, adding, “Moreover, precisely out of pursuit for equality, information on you all will be collected… to confirm that you all are new students of the same level, that there is nothing fraudulent. During this period, neither academy can use pills or medicines to bolster your cultivation.”

Lin Xi frowned, saying, “Then won’t we have no secrets to speak of? Also, if the academy wishes to hide something… would they really be able to learn of it?”

Tong Wei’s eyelids fell, saying with a low voice, “Do not forget that the lecturers and professors who share Xu Shengmo’s viewpoint are in the majority, your previous cultivation and training, these details are things they understand clearly, impossible to hide from them. What can remain confidential, are only deeper level secrets. The other side’s Thunder Academy naturally does not wish to expose their own five most outstanding students to the enemy. As such, even though the emperor is personally arriving, this competition is something only very few know about. As for your information, only the emperor and a select few will have access to it. After all, what they want in the end, is just a result.”

Lin Xi sighed. “In the end, it is still because the amount of people in the academy who shares Xu Shengmo’s opinion is too great, thus, there is no choice but to compromise with the emperor… There is indeed no easy way to change the beliefs of another.”

“Ultimately, it is because the academy currently doesn’t have someone like Principal Zhang overseeing it.” Tong Wei said indifferently. “Only people like him can establish faith, prevent others from retorting against him.”

Lin Xi nodded, calmly asking, “This huge competition that involves even the emperor, how many days are there approximately before it happens?”

“The emperor is rather impatient, not wishing for there to be too many incidents, nor does he wish to give our academy too much time to prepare, so there should only be ten days of time at most.” Tong Wei looked at Lin Xi and Bian Linghan, replying.

Mountain winds blew past, leaving quite a few fallen leaves in their wake.

Lin Xi looked at the dried leaves fluttering through the wind, saying, “Then, teacher, is there anything else you wish to specially tell us?”

Tong Wei silently said, “In reality, when you mentioned the matters regarding Helan Yuexi to the lecturers on the way back, there were already some lecturers who went to investigate. Through some cultivation traces, including the ice and rocks that were crushed under his leap, we came to the conclusion that he has already reached Soul Expert level cultivation at the very least.”

Bian Linghan’s face immediately became a bit more pale, while Lin Xi revealed a bitter smile. “It seems like this number one of Thunder Academy really is number one, he wasn’t just shooting his mouth.”

Tong Wei then said, “You all should understand that the biggest difference between Soul Expert and Soul Knight cultivation isn’t the difference in strength, but rather that a Soul Expert’s soul force is already strong enough that it can be transferred to the surface of their bodies, used just like an extra layer of armor. That is why if you exchanged a blow with him, you might just be hacked to death, while your blade might only leave behind a shallow cut on his body.”

After a slight pause, Tong Wei looked at Lin Xi, saying ruthlessly, “That is why when you said you wanted to face him with a bow, that was extremely foolish. That simple and crude bow of yours might only be able to leave behind a tiny cut on his body. Even if you were using this close to two hundred jin strongbow, your current limit, for someone with Soul Expert level cultivation, it will only create a bloody hole, won’t pierce through, unable to deliver a fatal injury with a single arrow. Even if he used the most basic armor, even if you hit his leg, he would still have the ability to run.”

Lin Xi’s brows furrowed deeply. “Since there is only ten days of time, and we can’t even use pill medicines to increase our cultivation, if we run into Helan Yuexi, doesn’t that mean that everything points to disaster, we basically have no chance of winning?”

“Previously, I have already explained to you the reason why Windstalkers are powerful, it is precisely because the arrows you all release can inflict damage to those with cultivation levels exceeding your own.” Tong Wei narrowed his eyes and said, “Lin Xi, with your current archery and perception skills, you can already start training ‘Wind Scars’ and ‘Falling Moon’. By starting first, you can also let Bian Linghan see more clearly, let her improve a bit quicker as well. Whether or not you two can defeat Helan Yuexi, this level of opponent with your own ability, it will depend on how far you can go in these ten days.”

Lin Xi gave Tong Wei a serious bow of respect, and then just like when he normally asked for guidance, said, “Teacher, please help me dispel my doubts.”

Tong Wei nodded, returning his greeting and replying with a question, “With your current three finger clasping method, if your control over the arrow’s direction is a hair off, when aiming at a target two hundred steps away, about how far off your target would you be?”

Lin Xi became momentarily quiet. “I fear that it might deviate at least two inches.”

“That is why high level archers and ordinary archers, within fifty steps of distance, aren’t much different. However, once the distance increases, the difference in skills becomes quite apparent, this is the most simple reasoning… For us, the slightest fluctuation in mood, the wind flow between heaven and earth, humidity, direction, distance from the target, weight of the arrow itself, other party’s movements, every single one of these factors can have a huge effect on the shot. The Wind Scars our academy’s Windstalker inheritance teaches, is precisely grasping the wind, humidity, weight of the arrow itself, and other fine elements. Through our judgment regarding these elements, when the arrow leaves our fingers, it would already compensate for any deviations, able to strike a target with absolute precision even from a great distance.”

“As for Falling Moon… the most effective killing distance is two hundred steps. Once it exceeds two hundred steps, no matter how accurate it is, the arrow itself already lacks too much power. Meanwhile, even if you exceed Soul Master level cultivation, State Knight, or even Sacred Expert level cultivation, because of the bow’s limitations itself, even if one doesn’t take precision into account, the most effective killing distance of the arrow will still only be six hundred steps. However, if you two can grasp Falling Moon well, then you might even reach five hundred steps…”

“Five hundred steps? How is that possible?!” Bian Linghan interrupted Tong Wei’s words, crying out in disbelief. It was because this type of saying was as ridiculous as telling her to brandish a palace pillar as a sword.

“I haven’t finished yet.” However, Tong Wei instead gave her a deep look, continuing, “Not only can it reach five hundred steps… it can also deliver power far exceeding your current strength, enough to pierce through the bodies of mid level Soul Experts’ bodies.”

Lin Xi was surprisingly not that shocked, only asking in a manner of confirmation, “I have heard teacher talk about this falling power before, the Falling Moon you are talking about, is it shooting down from above? Using the power of our own cultivation, together with the falling force from a high altitude?”

“What you said is correct.” Tong Wei spoke in his usual cold voice, “The battles between cultivators are usually carried out in the borders’ mountains and forests. There are highlands and mountain ranges everywhere, and even in a city, there are tall watchtowers and buildings. In addition, arrows fired from above, especially when it is from the back or the side of the head, are extremely difficult to detect. The competition will take place in the most realistic battlefield setting, so the two academies will not provide weapons that are too powerful, definitely just some commonly seen border army standard weapons. However, if some slight adjustments are made to ordinary arrowheads, when matched with archery skills, they can get through quite a bit of resistance, moreover exploiting the falling force, making the arrows that are fired fall faster and faster, at the same time increasing their power.”

“That is why in the border army’s mountain forests, the true experts stand on high mountains, fire arrows towards the sky… and then this arrow will be able to kill a formidable cultivator on the other side.” Tong Wei narrowed his eyes, looking at Lin Xi and Bian Linghan as he said, “However, naturally, the further the distance, the greater the deviation will become as well. That is why only when one has a good grasp over Wind Scars and Falling Moon, can one achieve this.”

If it was before, even after seeing Tong Wei’s incredibly precise archery, Lin Xi still might feel that standing on a tall mountain, firing towards the sky, letting the arrow fall, killing an expert like this was simply impossible. However, as his cultivation and comprehension over archery deepend, he instead understood that some things that were originally impossible were now possible… Just like right now, he instead understood extremely clearly that in the end, Wind Scars and Falling Moon referred to the perception of wind direction, humidity in the mountains, and the selection of an optimal sniping point. What followed would be the release of the arrow… just like throwing a rock down from a mountain top, smashing it at the enemy.

Even though this sounded simple, to actually achieve it really was a bit too difficult. That was why Lin Xi couldn’t help but say with a bitter smile, “Teacher, to do this in ten days of time… isn’t this too difficult?”

“For a human, this is practically impossible.”

Tong Wei’s eyes focused on Lin Xi and Bian Linghan. “However, what is more terrifying than the assassination of one Windstalker, is an attack from two Windstalkers.”

Lin Xi rubbed his nose, saying, “Teacher, your words seem to be common sense.”

Tong Wei didn’t retort back, instead, as if he didn’t hear what Lin Xi said at all, he continued in a meaningful and sincere manner, “I am thankful that this time, I took on two disciples, moreover, these two disciples are both quite hardworking. One person alone indeed really doesn’t have much of a chance of achieving this, but if one person fired first, and then the next person saw just how much deviation there was clearly, one strike should have a chance of hitting the target.”

One person to test the waters, one person to deliver the true blow?

Lin Xi understood the true meaning behind what Tong Wei was trying to say, but his brows also furrowed at the same time, saying, “If this kind of attack really lands… wouldn’t it have a high chance of really killing the target?”

“This choice will naturally be placed in your hands.” Tong Wei released a cold laugh. He looked at Lin Xi and said, “If it was me, if someone directly set the resolution to kill just because the other party might pose a threat during the academies’ competition, and I still didn’t want to kill… then I really am the soft-hearted good-for-nothing Xu Shengmo speaks of.”

Lin Xi remained quiet for a moment, and then he chuckled, saying, “Teacher’s teachings are correct. Whether or not we fire still depends on the other party in the end, while what we need to consider right now, is just if our shots will be accurate or not.”

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