Chapter 108: Devouring
It was clear Xu Min was not willing to let go of his sword. Some gloated because of this; they felt that this sword was a secret treasure, and once the Immortals would get their hands on it, they would never let it go. Once Xu Min would lose it; then this young man would no longer be of any danger to them.
Others felt it was a little out of line. Finding treasures were not an easy task, and no one wished for their things to be stolen by an Immortal. If an Immortal took notice of their treasures, would that not mean that they too had to hand it over? Usually, Immortals were very lofty and would never stoop to steal an item from other experts, but this time it was different. This time the Immortals had started to act and who knew who would be next?
The Immortal, having taken the sword into his hand raised an eyebrow in surprise. He swung it slightly, but nothing happened. There were no signs of a connection between either him nor the sword. The more he swung it, the more it felt like a dead object in his hands.
"You there!" he called at Xu Min. He raised the sword once more, "Wind blades. Send me the hundreds of wind blades attack you made before," he ordered. Although Xu Min would prefer not to do it, he had no excuse and did as he was told.
Hundreds of wind blades appeared around him; all of them came chopping down on the expert in front of him.
Wind blades of this level would never be able to harm an Immortal, but Xu Min's aim was not to harm but to do exactly as he was told. There would be no reason for the Immortal to punish him and take his sword away.
Gritting his teeth, Xu Min looked at the wind blades appearing in front of the Immortal. He waited to see if his sword would absorb these energies, but nothing happened.
The sword collided with the attacks as a normal sword would and the wind blades sent ripples down the sword's handle, causing it to tremble slightly in the hands of the Immortal.
Seeing this, the Immortal was surprised. It was clear that he had not expected this outcome, but neither had Xu Min. Even though the young man was surprised, he refused to show any feelings on his face. Instead, a small smile appeared across his face.
"Immortal, Sir, have you examined my sword enough?" Xu Min asked curiously, but the immortal completely ignored him, "Again!" he called out. Xu Min did the same thing, yet it was clear that the Immortal was infusing the sword with Qi.
Seeing the sword being infused with Qi, Xu Min became worried. He was worried that the sword would either absorb this Qi or that the Qi would release the stored energies within the sword. However, his worries were useless.
The sword was as dead in the hands of the Immortal just as it was alive in the hands of Xu Min. It showed no will, no humming sounds, no devouring abilities no matter what the Immortal did.
Sweeping the sword with his consciousness, he tried to find some secrets from the sword, but nothing could be found. It was as if the sword was an ordinary sword.
While the Immortal was searching the sword, everyone had expected it to become a treasure but seeing that this was not happening everyone knew that there were only two possibilities.
The first possibility was that the sword had already recognized Xu Min as its master and only he could unlock its secrets. The second possibility was that this devouring ability was not a part of the sword but instead of Xu Min's inborn ability.
The first possibility was frightening. For a treasure to be able to pick its master was simply outstanding. Such a treasure could only be found once in a lifetime.
If it was Xu Min's inborn ability, then it made Xu Min into a frightening specimen. He could not be considered human, nor elf or fairy. Instead, he would be a completely new sort of creature that they had never heard about before.
The Immortal was tentative as he looked at Xu Min. He was curious as to whether or not the abnormality was the sword or the young man in front of him. Nonetheless, he also knew that even if it was the young man, this young man was a student of the academy. Killing him to seize his treasure was not going to happen, so in the end, knowing the truth could only make his heart ache with greed and jealousy.
"Tell me, where did you get this sword?" The Immortal asked Xu Min. He was unsure whether or not to check if it was Xu Min who was abnormal or if it was the sword. All he could do was stall for time, asking questions while making up his mind.
"It was gifted to me by my master when I was about to leave his tutelage," Xu Min said honestly. He considered whether or not he should try to wrest the sword back from the hands of the Immortal, but he quickly decided against it and chose just to wait and see what would happen.
Nodding his head, the Immortal looked at Xu Min with curious eyes. With a flick of his fingers, a small fireball appeared in front of him. The fireball in front of the Immortal had the strength of a four-star Warrior. When he flicked it towards Xu Min, he was going to test whether or not Xu Min would absorb it or if he would get hit by it.
Xu Min was at his wit's end. He did not have his sword by his side to assist him, so absorbing the flame could prove problematic. Still, Xu Min did not give up. He closed his eyes and searched deep within himself until he found his dantian where his Qi was pooled.
The Qi was now entwined in two different colors.One was red the other was gray. The red color radiated heat while the gray let free some wind.
Ignoring the gray strands of energy, Xu Min pulled forth all the red energy he could. He had noticed how the elemental affinities constantly drew in the elements from the outside world. This in a way was a bit like the devour stance he was used to.
"Had he taken anything else than fire then I would be really in trouble," Xu Min mumbled as his eyes locked onto the fireball. He started rotating all the red energy within his body; the quicker he rotated it through his body, the more of the fire element in the world around him was absorbed into his body.
The small fireball started disintegrating, turning into the fragments of the element he could consume. Fortunately, the fireball was not made to injure Xu Min. Thus the fireball was of a lower rank than him making it possible for him to absorb it just like one would with the elements of the world around him. Had the fireball been of the fifth-star or above, then Xu Min would have no chance of devouring it and would instead become wounded. However, the Immortal wanted to make sure that Xu Min would not be injured.
These experts, the Immortals, and the students, only saw that the elements were devoured previously. None of them were aware that Xu Min, by devouring the energies, had changed his own Qi to match the elements devoured.
It was common knowledge that anyone who controlled an element could consume the same elements on a weaker basis, but Xu Min had shown no talent of having any control over fire before which was the reason this expert had chosen to throw a fireball instead of a wind blade.
When they saw that this fireball was being broken up into small fragments of elemental energy and then devoured by Xu Min, they all stopped in their tracks. No one dared to speak; rather, everyone stared at him in a daze.
Even the majority of the Immortals were the same. They were filled with shock and stunned as they saw the fireball being devoured. Although it looked slightly different from how he had devoured the energies before there was no question that this fire had been absorbed by him in some way; he had devoured the fireball without any sword. Therefore almost everyone came to the conclusion that it was not the sword that was the true treasure but the young man on the sparring field.
"Here, take back your sword," the Immortal from the sparring field said. He handed back the sword to Xu Min who heaved a heavy sigh of relief. He had been granted by incredible luck to get out of it the way he had. As he looked around, he noticed that everyone was looking at him with different expressions. Some expressed fear while others showed worry and even some were curious. Of course, there were some who were jealous, and some had not hidden even the slightest bit of resentment and hostility in their faces.
While the majority were of the impression that Xu Min had absorbed and devoured the energies on his own, there was a small group of three Immortals who knew the truth. These three immortals all knew about Xu Min's master. The moment they had seen the sword they knew which sword it was.
All of them had been curious to see how Xu Min would manage the fireball. They were amazed when they saw him absorb it as the element of the world. Only now did they fully understand just how wonderful this sword truly was. To give Xu Min the control over the fire from just devouring it earlier was simply too powerful, but none of these three were in a rush to fight each other for the sword, much less touch a hair on the head of this young man. They all felt that their lives were more important than owning the treasure for a short amount of time.
Xu Min, who had been given his sword back felt relief deeply. He had been so scared that it would be taken away from him, but he also knew that he could not have acted differently from what he did; he needed to stay alive so that he could get revenge.
By his side Ye Ling was growling slightly, displaying his displeasure with the actions of the Immortal. Just like Xu Min, the lion dared not do much more than a casual growl. The snake around his neck was even more silent. After having been with the Guardians for as long as he had, he fully understood just how strong these Immortals were and how weak he was. Currently, Cao Cao was a bit weaker than Xu Min. He knew that it was not his place to interrupt the Immortal. Although he would not kill him out of respect for Cao Cao's father, he would likely still cause trouble for Xu Min in the future.
Therefore all of them just stayed silent as they received the sword back. Without waiting to see whether or not there were more who wanted to duel, Xu Min jumped off from the stage and moved through the crowd of people to leave.
He had lost all his will to do battle. He went straight back to the cottage where he sat down and collected his mind. He began calming his emotions before it was time for him to attend his first class.