Book 9 Chapter 87 - Starting Sword Control

Lost Forest stretched continuously over half of Jadefall City and Tangcang Ancient Country’s borders. Meanwhile, Jadefall City itself was originally equivalent to several Yunqin provinces in size. From this, one could imagine just how vast it was, see that the description ‘boundless to the point where no borders could be seen, millions of armies hidden yet none in sight’ was not empty at all.

The forest surface was covered with several feet of dead leaves and dried branches. Perhaps because of the moderate moisture, the trees in Lost Forest all reached into the heavens, even if there was rain, most of it would be blocked out. The forest didn’t have any auras of decay, instead, it was as if there was a thick carpet that covered everything.

Lin Xi was sitting precisely under a ginkgo tree that grew for who knew how many years, it needed at least ten of him before they could wrap their arms around its roots.

This ginkgo tree was ‘male’, it didn’t produce fruit, no ginkgo fruits falling from it. There were only golden fan-like leaves that fluttered down, which made it seem even cleaner.

The air was especially fresh and clear, his head also feeling especially fresh and clear.

Lin Xi slowly breathed in and out. Roiling soul force suddenly poured out from his right hand’s five fingers, entering the light green longsword by his knees.

Zheng!

The faint green longsword began to tremble, releasing a light ringing noise.

Immediately afterwards, this fine longsword that was flowing with silver brilliance, as if it was being continuously cleansed, shook fiercely. With a chi sound, it suddenly made a turn with shocking speed, moving two feet around Lin Xi’s body. Then, like a raindrop at the edge of a spinning umbrella, it hacked out. With a thud noise, it lost control, nailing itself into a large tree at Lin Xi’s side.

“This sword control is extremely difficult after all…”

Lin Xi was clearly a bit distracted, momentarily unable to even understand where his sword flew. Only when he saw the flying sword nailed to the large tree did he shake his head, unable to help but say this to himself with a bitter smile.

The theory behind sword control was easier than he imagined, but to actually put it into practice was much more difficult than he imagined.

Previously, Lin Xi thought that sword control required the control of soul force in the surrounding world, to produce unique runes, in this way trigger the power of heaven and earth’s vital energy to move the flying sword. However, reality was completely different from what he imagined. Guiding some of the world’s vital energy power was something the runes on the flying sword did, these runes were precisely the link between his soul force, the world’s vital energy and the flying sword. This meant that the flying sword’s runes… were like a car’s gas pedal and steering wheel to begin with.

In order to control a flying sword, as long as one could always sense this ‘steering wheel’, moreover control the ‘gas pedal’, then that was enough.

For a cultivator, the greatest hindrance was obviously the lack of sword sense, unable to sense this steering wheel.

Lin Xi was a cultivator most suited to cultivating flying swords to begin with, already having clear sword sense. In terms of theory, controlling a flying sword wasn’t actually too difficult, it was just that his strength was too weak. 

However, he had to first maintain the continuous infusion of soul force, his perception always locked onto controlling the flying sword. For him, this was already extremely difficult.

It was because flying swords would always move extremely quickly, at least even a bit faster than a normal full force thrust. Otherwise, if it was slower, its power less than a normal strike, then this flying sword might as well be called a flying chicken, just waiting to be struck by the opponent, lacking all meaning.

His perception had to always firmly follow the flying sword, so the will had to be extremely concentrated… this made it so that during the entire process of controlling the flying sword, Lin Xi always felt as tense as the moment he released an arrow from a bow.

The mind always had to be at the most concentrated point, he couldn’t relax for even a single breath!

However, on the battlefield, one couldn’t concentrate all of their attention on their own flying sword. At the very least, one had to pay attention to where their opponent was moving, ensure that your flying sword could hit your opponent’s body.

Right now, if Lin Xi just looked in a different direction, even just momentarily distracted, he would easily directly lose control of the flying sword.

Nangong Weiyang also clearly told Lin Xi that flying swords were also separated into many different sword daos. Some sword dao permitted a flying sword to obtain some rest at certain times, which was similar to an engine’s ‘cooldown’ state. Even though the amount of time was definitely extremely short, for cultivators, they could still save a lot of mental strength and soul force. Meanwhile, there were some sword dao that always controlled the flying sword at high speed, not pursuing patience, only pursuing speed, pursuing the most terrifying destructive power. The most famous of the former sword dao was Thousand Devil Nest’s ‘Floating Leaf’ sword dao. The flying sword would continuously change irregularly between acceleration and sudden weightlessness. The cultivator, through instantaneous control and lack of control, would make the flying sword’s path through the air like a crazily drifting falling leaf, unpredictable, the trajectory extremely strange. In addition, it would also greatly conserve soul force, allow one to last close to double the amount of time as other similar level Sacred Experts.

Meanwhile, Nangong Weiyang’s ‘Continuous Slaughter’ sword dao walked the latter path, always infusing soul force. Even if she was changing directions, rising and falling, it was always done through exerting soul force and controlling it this way.

Regardless of which type of sword dao it was… for someone like Lin Xi who was only starting to learn, it was extremely difficult for him to do, too easy for him to lose control.

In the eyes of bystanders, the powerful flying swords of Sacred Experts seemed to fly freely through the air, move at will, as the heart wished, completely unrestrained.

Previously, Lin Xi naturally also had this type of observation.

However, when he truly received the method of controlling the sword, Lin Xi understood that the true essence of flying swords carried the truth of ‘too far is as bad as not enough’, that one always had to leave behind some room for restraint.

It was because every single change in the flying sword’s direction required ‘braking’.

If one wanted to brake, then one needed the infusion of soul force even more powerful than when the flying sword was normally flying, one needed to forcefully pull back the flying sword. For cultivators, this meant that the flying sword was always dancing on thin ice. If one went too far, losing control over the flying sword, then it was unknown just where it would fly to.

The feeling of looking at a mountain up close versus from afar, would forever be two different things.

After saying this to himself, he gave that longsword that was still shaking slightly a look. Lin Xi thought to himself, thinking that even for Sacred Experts of similar levels, some sword control individuals who couldn’t control their flying swords as their heart desired might only choose to attack from the distance. It was because the closer they were to their opponent, apart from being more vulnerable to enemy attacks, the more complicated the surrounding environment, the more difficult it would be to control a flying sword.

Sacred Experts who dared attack at will in a battle formation, or even fight under close distance, were naturally much more outstanding than ordinary sword controlling Sacred Experts.

When he understood the difficulty, just like with Windstalker archery, he knew that he couldn’t be impatient.

That was why he stood up with a calm expression and walked up to that large tree. When he was two feet from that flying sword, he reached out his hand. With a zheng noise, the flying sword broke free from the tree. In a flash, sword light flickered, his flying sword quickly stabbed into the large tree in front of him.

The longsword dug all the way into the tree body and then directly hacked down another few inches.

Lin Xi released a long exhale. Just this simple thrusting motion already covered his back in a layer of sweat. However, he also felt quite happy with the results, producing a satisfied smile.

“Lin Xi…”

At this time, a cowardly voice sounded from the trees not far from him.

When Lin Xi heard Jiang Yu’er’s voice, he immediately knew that this cowardly and bashful Medicine Department female student had something she needed from him, but was scared of disturbing him, so she stood there, not daring to move. As such, he quickly withdrew his sword, turning around and saying with a smile. “Come over here, what can I help you with?”

Rustling noises sounded. A slightly red-faced Jiang Yu’er carried a pile of mushrooms and dried meat using thick tree leaves, quickly walking over between the large trees. “It isn’t anything important… teacher had me bring everyone some things to eat.”

“The teachers put you in charge of food? How is Changsun Wujiang’s condition?” Lin Xi knew that the more polite he was, the more embarrassed Jiang Yu’er might be, so he didn’t speak any conventional greetings, immediately receiving this large pile of food, starting to eat with Lucky while asking this.

“Yeah.” Lin Xi’s casual attitude clearly made Jiang Yu’er relax a bit too. She nodded, unable to help but watch Lucky hold the food between its claws as she replied, “He just woke up for a bit, but was put to sleep again by teacher with the help of medicine. Teacher said that as long as he rests well for the larger half of a year and doesn’t use all of his strength for a few years, there wouldn’t be any other issues.”

“Then that’s good.”

Lin Xi smiled. Regardless of whether Changsun Wujiang’s status was a bumpkin or the crown prince, he was his friend. When he heard that his friend was fine, he felt a sincere type of happiness. As for the future, whether or not this crown prince would have changes in his nature after being in a position of power, this wasn’t something he needed to consider right now.

“Right, why did you end up coming into Jadefall City too?” Lin Xi then looked at Jiang Yu’er, unable to help but ask this. It was because in terms of nature, among all the students in Green Luan Academy, Jiang Yu’er was definitely extremely ordinary and mediocre. Moreover, normal students definitely wouldn’t know about Jadefall City’s matters, so they definitely wouldn’t apply to join themselves. That was why he couldn’t figure out why she would also be sent into Jadefall City.

When faced with Lin Xi’s questioning, Jiang Yu’er shook her head. “I don’t know either. It was Teacher Lan who had me come.”

Lin Xi thought for a bit and said, “Then before you came, the teachers should have respected your opinion, told you the things that were currently taking place here, right?”

Jiang Yu’er said, “They told me.”

Lin Xi’s brows furrowed slightly. “Then you clearly knew about the danger, so why did you still want to come?”

Jiang Yu’er unknowingly hung her head, as if admitting her wrongs when questioned by Lin Xi like this, a bit timid as she said, “I felt like you and Gao Yanan would come… so I came.”

Lin Xi was immediately at a loss for words.

When facing this type of person who acted on impulse and didn’t have her own concrete opinions… yet still came because of her good friends, this type of sincere friendship, what else could he even say?

“I didn’t expect all of you to come, even Meng Bai came.”

Because she noticed Lin Xi didn’t intend to criticize her and tell her that she shouldn’t have come, Jiang Yu’er instead became happy again. She tugged at her own clothes, quietly saying, “Lin Xi, the battle here should be considered finished… everything should be done, right?”

“It should be finished.” Lin Xi gave this extremely ordinary Medicine Department girl a helpless look, released an exhale and then revealed a warm smile, saying, “Since the academy made such careful arrangements, even if Nangong Mo isn’t able to kill him, he shouldn’t let him head into Lost Forest. I heard An Keyi say that he doesn’t have any Sacred Experts left under him to use either.”

“Then that’s good.” Jiang Yu’er immediately felt relieved. She looked at Lin Xi, seeming like she had more to ask, but was too embarrassed to do so.

Lin Xi chuckled and took the initiative to ask, “Is there something you want to ask me?”

“I heard Gao Yanan and the others say that you are cultivating a flying sword?” Jiang Yu’er immediately became excited, full of expectation as she asked this.

Lin Xi said with a smile, “Yes… only, I’m still quite bad, can’t get the hang of it. Could it be that you also really like flying swords and want to cultivate one yourself?”

“No, that’s not it, I just always had something I couldn’t figure out, but was scared that the teachers would tell me not to ask about things that have absolutely nothing to do with me.” Jiang Yu’er gathered her courage and then asked while looking at Lin Xi, “I read from books that if cultivators wanted to control flying swords, they had to control it with soul force… Since flying swords don’t have any unique natures of their own, when sword controlling Sacred Experts face each other, why doesn’t the side whose cultivation is more profound directly seize the other party’s flying sword, instead still choosing to continuously clash with their own flying swords?”

“Turns out it was this type of question.”

Lin Xi couldn’t help but laugh. He handed the sword in his hands to Jiang Yu’er. “Hold this sword for me first.”

Jiang Yu’er reached out her hands to receive the sword when she heard this, but Lin Xi quickly retracted his outreached hand, so she completely missed. She immediately looked at Lin Xi in confusion, not understanding what Lin Xi was trying to do.

“The reasoning is just like this.”

Lin Xi chuckled, patiently explaining, “Unless it is the same type of flying sword, the runes of different flying swords are different, one needs to perceive it for a set amount of time. In addition, even familiar flying swords, if one wishes to seize them and pour in their soul force, they must expel the other party’s soul force first, on top of this, one’s own soul force has to first accurately ‘hit’ the other side’s flying sword… However, flying swords are always moving, so as soon as the other sword controller notices that something isn’t right, he will definitely immediately make adjustments. This will naturally result in a gap in time, just like how you tried to grab my sword, but my sword already left, similar principle. Only, in a clash between sword controllers, the time is even more so extremely short, like a flicker of will… this type of short period of time wouldn’t be enough for soul force to pour in at all. That is unless one could clearly predict every action the other party’s flying sword made, every single minute flight trajectory, or else there is absolutely no way to seize the other party’s flying sword. For example, even if a Sacred Expert didn’t notice the existence of another Sacred Expert at all, and the other party wanted to steal his sword, approaching with his soul force, the other Sacred Expert would still have enough time to react.”

After a slight pause, Lin Xi continued to say with a smile, “Moreover, if one used all of their strength to try and steal a flying sword, they would lose control over their own flying sword, so it really isn’t easy to seize another’s flying sword. That is why in this world, there are no instances of cultivators directly stealing the other party’s flying sword.”

“Turns out it was like this.” Jiang Yu’er couldn’t help but start laughing, as if she had finally been relieved of a burden. “Turns out something I couldn’t figure out all this time was completely a groundless fear.”

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