Chapter 647: Jiang Chen Confers Knowledge in Sword Dao
Wang Han, across the way, gritted his teeth in rage when he saw Jiang Chen apparently having a grand time laughing and chatting with Ling Bi’er, the beauty sitting by his side. “I’ll let you strut around just a little while longer, you little shit! If you run into any Sacred Sword Palace disciples in the martial competition, I swear I’m not human if I don’t carve you into ten segments!”
It was a good thing that the first rounds soon drew to a close. The results of the draw for the second round were also quickly announced. Jiang Chen’s opponent for the second round was a seventh level origin realm genius from a fifth rank sect. His name was Feng Pao, and he was a genius who used the sword.
Jiang Chen had watched his performance in the first round and could sum up his opponent’s performance with one word, “speed”. Of all the martial methods under the heavens, only speed was something that could never be broken. Many sword dao masters wouldn’t even practice more than three sword techniques over the course of their lives, but they would continuously dig deeper and deeper into them, simulating more developments, upgrading and breaking through to higher levels. They would constantly seek to ascend to greater realms of speed. As long as any martial art mystery is trained to its utmost in a certain area, that would become the hallmark of great perfection and one that was sufficient for this life.
“Speed” was the ultimate goal of many sword wielding geniuses, and it was apparent that Feng Pao was one of its loyal constituents.
“Feng Pao of the Extreme Wind Sect. Please demonstrate your learning.” Feng Pao was decisive and to the point. He didn’t waste a single word after setting foot on the stage and raising his hands in a cupped fist salute to Jiang Chen. The sword intent in his hand wavered in and out of materialization, fighting intent bursting forth with every movement.
Jiang Chen nodded slightly. “Mu Gaoqi of the Regal Pill Palace. After you.”
Feng Pao nodded lightly in return and spoke low voice, “The blade is blind; be careful.” As he spoke, the blade in his hand flashed as it drew a three foot arc of blue light, which exploded across the sky and intersected with the sunlight in the air. Numerous ripples started to form in the air around the ring.
If it wasn’t for Jiang Chen masquerading as Mu Gaoqi, he could’ve instantly killed an opponent at mere seventh level origin realm. However, he didn’t do so out of the consideration that he had no grudge with his opponent, and this Feng Pao seemed an honest fellow. Although each stroke was drenched in fighting intent, there was no killing intent to be found. Jiang Chen also knew that as a genius of a fifth rank sect, his opponent was still conscious of ‘Mu Gaoqi’s’ identity and was purposely avoiding fatal blows as they sparred. Since Feng Pao wasn’t a cruel sort, Jiang Chen naturally wanted to leave some space for his opponent.
Jiang Chen dodged and weaved, imitating a rabbit as he evaded all the ripples of sword light.
“Nice moves, again!” His opponent had become one with the sword before he’d even finished speaking, roiling towards him like a tornado. The meaning behind his technique suddenly changed into enormous waves, each one bigger than the last that cascaded down upon Jiang Chen.
And yet, one could not say that the strength of a fifth rank sect genius surpassed that of a fourth rank sect genius. Jiang Chen had once sparred with Shen Qinghong’s subordinate, Rong Zifeng, in the Regal Pill Palace. Unfortunately, Rong Zifeng was much fiercer than Feng Pao. Although Feng Pao’s comprehension of sword dao wasn’t bad, the foundations and resources of a fifth rank sect made it so that the level of his sword dao was still a bit inferior. Although he had touched the threshold of the true meaning of sword dao, he had yet to truly walk into its halls. But the fact that he was a sword fanatic was irrevocable. One could see from the meaning behind his sword that although Feng Pao had yet to really attain the truest meaning of sword dao, he still had the unstoppable momentum of moving forward.
Fast, furious, and without care for anything else.
It was obvious that this was a sword user who put his heart and soul to wield his sword. He seemed to be willing to pour his life into every stroke, just so that he would be able to give his opponent a fatal blow. Such loyalty to the sword made Jiang Chen gravely respect his opponent. Feng Pao wasn’t strong, by no means. But he was worthy of respect because his passion for sword dao had already surpassed his passion for his own life.
“Who would’ve thought that such a sword fanatic existed in the fifth rank sects. If one so loyal to his dao can meet with a fortuitous opportunity on his path, he would certainly surpass his peers. Feng Pao is one who can be molded.” Jiang Chen suddenly had the feeling of wanting to treasure this talent.
He bounced back on his toes and grabbed a shriveled branch with a smile. “Let’s spar in sword dao.”
Feng Pao had never underestimated nor feared any opponent. Before taking the stage, he’d known that Mu Gaoqi’s reputation in pill dao was far beyond his accomplishments in martial dao. However, he didn’t relax his guard because of this information. A simple exchange had been more than enough for him to immediately realize that this was an opponent whose depths he couldn’t plumb. To those beneath the stage, it seemed that Feng Pao was in great spirits and had a dominating momentum as he continuously attacked his way to certain victory. “Mu Gaoqi”, on the other hand, kept dodging and evading, with no ability to counter attack at all.
But in reality, Feng Pao was well aware that his opponent was completely at ease on stage. This opponent didn’t use any dazzling moves or cheat with strong treasures. He only shuffled his feet around, comfortable in the charade of an intelligent man pretending to be the fool. In reality, his opponent was evading Feng Pao’s powerful attacks with apparent ease.
To someone unversed in sword dao, Jiang Chen was coming off very worse for the wear in the exchange and to be honest, quite bedraggled. However, to Feng Pao, in the midst of it all, the more he fought, the more stunned he became and the more cold sweat poured down his body. No matter how savagely the sword intent sliced and slashed, no matter how much momentum he brimmed with, the other seemed to be able to peer through everything and avoid all of his attacks with a single step. How would he be doing so so easily if ‘Mu Gaoqi’ hadn’t seen through the meaning of his sword dao?
If it’d been anyone else, their confidence would’ve been melted when faced with such a situation. But when Feng Pao discerned this, he wasn’t discouraged, but rather spurred onto greater efforts instead. He became even more motivated as he called upon his sword arts and continuously fused them into different iterations, displaying everything that he’d learned and practiced in his life.
One had to say, he was very knowledgeable in sword dao and was able to create countless variations of sword techniques and intent. And yet, all of them were still tied tightly to the essence of “speed”. Half an hour had already gone by as the two circled each other, locked in combat. The victor had already been determined in the other rings, and it looked like Jiang Chen had sunk into a difficult fight.
“Haha, senior brother Wang, I thought that kid actually had some skill to him to be able to talk thus! But he can’t even take down a mere seventh level origin realm disciple of a fifth rank sect! He’s all talk and no skills alright!” A Sacred Sword Palace decided to fawn upon Wang Han.
Wang Han stared at the ring, deep in thought, and suddenly responded, “All of you, listen up. No matter who gets that kid next, you need to use all your strength, even if you look like a lion taking down a rabbit. If you don’t kill him, the very least you need to do is take off his limbs. And then pull out that tongue of his at the end!” Unmistakable wrath radiated from Wang Han’s tone.
“Understood, senior brother Wang!”
“Senior brother Wang, I don’t think this kid will even make it past this round. It’d be difficult for us to take care of him if he’s eliminated so early!”
Wang Han snorted coldly, not bothering to reply as his eyes remained fixed on the ring.
“Perhaps this kid is afraid that senior brother Wang will personally take him out, and so he’s purposefully conceding this match!”
Everyone beneath the stage laughed uproariously. On the stage, Feng Pao was absolutely stunned. His comprehension ability was high, and he’d found it odd that he hadn’t been able to defeat his opponent yet. From the very beginning, his opponent had always held back from a strong counterattack. With nothing more than a shriveled branch in Jiang Chen’s hand, it looked like Feng Pao held the clear advantage, but Feng Pao was well aware that he had been long entrapped in the other’s tempo. This opponent was striking only after he did, but still landed his blows faster than him! He also only used the same three techniques from beginning to end, but they kept shifting and morphing each time. Each time Feng Pao felt that he’d seen through his opponent, he would realize that he was still a small step away from grasping his opponent’s intent.
There were many instances in the battle where he had the feeling that Mu Gaoqi had been on the verge of defeating him, but hadn’t landed that final blow. As Feng Pao looked at the wise half smile on his opponent’s face, a completely ridiculous thought suddenly struck him. Taking advantage of a brief pause in the match, he turned his attention to contemplating that thought. He’s guiding me so that I follow in his rhythm! Feng Pao had an even more ludicrous thought pop into his mind all of a sudden. Is Mu Gaoqi teaching me aspects of sword dao? Like a virus, he couldn’t stop that thought from spreading through his mind. Feng Pao bent his mind to the fight again, but as every clash grew ever more intense, he grew ever more certain of that thought.
Indeed, Jiang Chen was conferring sword dao to his opponent. Or to be more precise, he was teaching Feng Pao aspects of sword intent and the true meaning of sword dao. Feng Pao was able to easily grasp the concepts and once he understood Jiang Chen’s intent, he swiftly sunk into Jiang Chen’s tempo, feeling enormous enlightenment hovering at the edges of his fingertips. A couple of clashes later, Jiang Chen smiled slightly and tapped Feng Pao’s sword aside, easily bringing the branch up to rest at the base of the latter’s throat.
Feng Pao was exhausted and covered in sweat by now, but he was utterly delighted inside. He couldn’t care less about the Myriad Hidden Dragon Trials at this moment; what ranking? His mind was filled with the boundless inspiration he’d received from this battle. The inspiration seemed to be as if the stars in the vast sky, leading him further and farther into the doors of sword dao. The inspiration and gains he’d made from this match alone surpassed the total accumulation his two decades of practice. As that realization flooded through him, Feng Pao bowed deeply, “I concede.”
Jiang Chen nodded slightly. “All great daos are actually very simple. To be too greedy in sword dao is to be unable to digest all your gains properly. One gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to all living beings. My moves just now shifted from one to two, two to three, and then from three to boundless forms of sword intent. But at the heart of it all, it was just a simple one, two, three.”
He sent these words silently, but they struck Feng Pao’s consciousness like a thunderclap, filling his mind. The lightning that accompanied such thunder instantly illuminated his future on the path of sword dao. He bowed deeply once again, “Many thanks for your tutelage.”
Jiang Chen nodded and didn’t say anything else. He’d only been momentarily caught up in Feng Pao’s passionate resolution for sword dao just now, and hence had used a more face-saving method to convey some true comprehension of sword dao to Feng Pao. As for how far Feng Pao could travel along his path, that was up to him.
“Mu Gaoqi triumphs and advances to the third round!”
When he saw that Mu Gaoqi had won, not only was Wang Han not displeased, but a trace of happiness even flashed through his sinister eyes. He wasn’t afraid of Mu Gaoqi ascending, but rather worried that Mu Gaoqi would be so incompetent that he wouldn’t be able to move on. How would Wang Han exact his revenge then?
“Junior brother, why did you use a withered branch against your foe just now?” Ling Bi'er looked thoughtful as she asked. She knew full well that with Jiang Chen’s strength, he had the ability to instantly defeat his enemy. Jiang Chen smiled and didn’t explain anything.
The four kings of the Regal Pill Palace had advanced easily, making his match appear all the more difficult in comparison. This made Nie Chong off on the side mutter under his breath, “We should’ve had junior brother Rong Zifeng come. Look at how difficult his second round was. Junior brother Zifeng is at least almost at ninth level origin realm.”
Shen Qinghong flicked a glance at Nie Chong, “Junior brother Nie, the palace head must have his reasons for this arrangement. You and I don’t need to comment further on it.”
It was rather Jun Mobai who remained coolly self composed off on the side. He had a meaningful little curve to his lips, as if he had something to say… but didn’t.
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