Chapter 21 - Greater Mastery in the Sword Technique

“I have to train harder...” Lin Yun sighed. The battle between Bai Yufan and Liu Yunfei had ended, but it was still playing in Lin Yun’s mind. The two were only a few years older than him, but they were at the eighth stage of the Martial Path. Liu Yunfei in particular was unreasonably strong. If Lin Yun were to fight either of the two, he wasn’t even sure if he could last a single move.

He had a long road ahead of him if he wanted to catch up. He was at a severe disadvantage. The body he possessed had potential, but it had been neglected during its previous owner’s time as a sword slave. On top of that, the two of them were elites of their respective sects who had excellent comprehension and plenty of resources at their disposal.

That being said, he had made significant progress in an absurd amount of time. It was possible that the body he found himself in was special and its previous owner had simply been unable to utilize it properly. It could also be due to the insane amount of training he had been doing. Most likely it was some combination of both. Either way, whatever he was doing was working.

“I got this!” Lin Yun’s eyes flashed with determination. He changed his mind about leaving the city and returned to the Myriad Treasure Pavilion.

“Hey! Lin Yun, my boy! What brings you back so soon?” Tong Hu smiled.

“I need pellets… good ones. I’m talkin’ sect quality. Can you help me out?” Lin Yun replied in a decisive tone.

“Ah, that’s the thing, though... The only place to get sect quality pellets is from a sect. It’s almost impossible to find anything comparable out here. Take Body Refining Pellets, for example. The ones we sell are some of the best you’ll find, something we’re proud of, but even so they're only 80% pure,” Tong Hu explained seriously. “If pellets outside were comparable to those produced by sects, who would want to join a sect? You gotta understand the position we’re operating from.”

“In my experience, money solves all problems. It only matters how much you have and how big the problem is,” Lin Yun replied, making sure to look dead into Boss Tong’s eyes.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.”

“You know, you’re pretty wise for a kid your age. Follow me.”

Boss Tong led Lin Yun up to a back room on the second floor. As they walked, he said, “You’re currently in the fifth Stage of the Martial Path, so you don’t have an urgent need for Body Refining Pellets. You must be looking for Blood Refining Pellets, right?” Tong Hu asked.

“Yeah, how many do you have?” Lin Yun replied.

“Blood Refining Pellets don’t come cheap. I only have two left. I can sell you one, but it will cost you 1,000 low-grade spiritual stones, non-negotiable,” Tong Hu said.

“That won’t do. I need at least three,” Lin Yun shook his head.

Tong Hu wore a difficult smile on his face. “This… I’ll have to get in touch with my guy. It’ll take about four hours. Is that alright? I need to keep one pellet in my shop... for emergencies.”

“Yeah, I’ve got time. Thanks for setting this up, Boss Tong,” Lin Yun said.

Four hours later, Lin Yun left the Myriad Treasure Pavillion three Blood Refining Pellets richer. The transaction had left him with only 500 low-grade spiritual stones. It was a lot of money to part with, especially since he had only acquired it a few hours prior, but, when he thought back to the battle between Bai Yufan and Liu Yunfei, he knew it was necessary. Any pride he had about his own strength was shattered. So, he returned without any hesitation and bought the 3 Blood Refining Pellets.

“Safe travels, my friend. Feel free to stop by anytime. I’ll have a cup of tea waiting for you!” Tong Hu said with a warm smile. He bowed deeply as Lin Yun left the shop. Lin Yun had earned more of his respect in a single day than some of his business partners had in their entire careers. The boy was honest, straightforward, and wise beyond his years. Plus Boss Tong had made more off the kid in a single day than he would probably make this entire quarter. He had really struck gold meeting that boy.

Lin Yun was pleased with his decision, even if he didn’t feel like he had much choice in the matter. Although the sect also sold Blood Refining Pellets, and at a cheaper price than 1,000 low-grade spiritual stones, disciples were limited in how many they could buy. Outer disciples in the earlier stages were lucky to get their hands on a few extra Body Refining Pellets each month. Obtaining Blood Refining Pellets from the sect at his level was out of the question.

“Take care, old man!” Lin Yun said with a wave as he walked out onto the street. After leaving the store, he walked around a bit longer and decided to grab a quick bite to eat at a street vendor before trying to find a place to stay for the night. 


He ended up renting out an abandoned courtyard from a local rather than renting a room. His mind had been racing since watching Bai Yufan’s fight and he knew he would have trouble sleeping. This would be a perfect opportunity to try out his new Blood Refining Pellets.

He had debated going outside the city for the night, but that would be risky. The courtyard was spacious, secluded, and secure - more than Lin Yun could have hoped for!

As night fell on Clear Water City, Lin Yun began his cultivation. He crossed his legs and took out a Blood Refining Pellet.

The principle of the fifth stage of the Martial Path was to refine the blood and internal energy within the body. Looking at the Blood Refining Pellet in his hand, Lin Yun sighed, “You had better be worth it.” 

He popped the precious Blood Refining Pellet into his mouth and waited for the medicinal effect to kick in. A moment later, Lin Yun could feel his blood and internal energy coursing through his veins as a warm current rose from his dantian.

Boom!

Lin Yun heard an explosion in his mind as both his spirit and energy surged. He became acutely aware of his surroundings as his senses became deadly sharp. With each beat of his heart, he experiences a jolt of inexhaustible strength. He could feel his blood becoming stronger with each pulse. It began to mingle with his internal energy as they raged to the beat.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The blood and internal energy overlapped in his body. His aura spiked.

“Amazing!” Lin Yun was shocked. His blood and internal energy were being enhanced to levels he never thought possible. He had to actively calm his heart to prevent his body from being torn apart from the inside by the torrent of energy.

Time slowly ticked away, and dawn eventually arrived. The dappled sunlight shone on Lin Yun’s face. His eyelids faintly twitched before he gradually opened his eyes. They were clear and bright. He hadn’t slept all night, but he didn’t feel slightest bit exhausted. He actually felt more energetic than ever!

He took a moment to bask in the morning sun. His body felt amazing. The Blood Refining Pellet had had profound effects on his body, inside and out. His eyes glimmered in the sunlight and his face was full of vigor. He was almost unrecognizable.

“That was unbelievable! In just one night, my cultivation has increased by at least half!” Lin Yun muttered, giving his limbs a good stretch. Then again, this was his first time taking the Blood Refining Pellet, the second time wouldn’t be nearly as effective as the first.

Lin Yun took out the Wild Goose Art, the advanced movement technique he’d gotten from Kuang Yan. He flipped through it carefully. After fifteen minutes, he finished reading.

Lin Yun closed his eyes and began reciting it in his heart. He repeated this process a few times and soon had it committed to memory.

The Pure Yang Art required resources to train, but the Wild Goose Art had no such limitations. It relied purely on comprehension, so it wasn’t difficult for him to learn. After only two hours, he had a basic grasp of the technique.

Executing the Wild Goose Art, Lin Yun leapt into the air and gently landed on the roof.

“Incredible...” Lin Yurn muttered. “That was easily four meters and I barely used any strength!”

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Lin Yun began to play around with the technique. He was curious to see how far he could push it after discovering how easy it was to jump onto the roof.

“Movement techniques aren't only meant for escape,” he reminded himself. A perfect example was how Liu Yunfei relied on his movement technique to defeat Bai Yufan yesterday. If Lin Yun were to face Liu Yunfei, he wouldn't even be able to touch a hair on his head. Movement was a crucial part of any battle strategy. If Lin Yun wanted to succeed against stronger opponents, he would have to learn how to move.

After he became familiar with the Wild Goose Art, Lin Yun began trying to merge it with his Flowing Wind Sword. It took some time before they merged successfully, but when they did, the results were stunning.

It was as if he were using a brand new technique. He no longer felt as though he were the one guiding the sword; rather, it was as if the blade was drawn down the path of least resistance with each swing. The sensation was almost magnetic. He knew immediately that his Flowing Wind Sword had reached new heights.

As he became more swift, his movements also became much smoother. All resistance had vanished. It was as if he were performing in a vacuum.

Wind Assembling!

Lin Yun cleared his mind as he executed Wind Assembling, allowing his instincts to guide his movement. With its newfound freedom, his body went straight into the second move.

 Reflective Shadow!

WWWhoooooooossssh!

He darted above the courtyard in a flurry of strikes. In a fraction of a second, he executed 81 slashes with his sword, each leaving an afterimage, before soaring high into the air. As he reached the pinnacle of his ascent, he pointed his sword to the earth and twisted his body. In a whirlwind, he tore through the air, landing in the center of the courtyard.

When he looked up, the afterimages were still present, aligned in a perfect circle. His sword technique had reached greater mastery!

Lin Yun was elated. He cheered, “I did it! I’ve achieved something no one else has in over a century! I’ve reached greater mastery of the Flowing Wind Sword”

Lin Yun fell to the ground, laughing in disbelief as he caught his breath.

He had been stagnating in the Flowing Wind Sword for some time now. He thought it might’ve been an issue with his comprehension that was stopping him from making a breakthrough. Thankfully, taking the Blood Refining Pellet had solved his problem.

With his Flowing Wind Sword reaching greater mastery and two of its offensive moves in his arsenal, Lin Yun’s battle prowess had been greatly enhanced. His mind and body were sharper than ever!

“Looks like the Blood Refining Pellet was worth it. Counting the one I got from Kuang Yan, I still have three left. I’ll have to make good use of them,” Lin Yun said, his eyes shining with confidence.

It was finally time for him to complete his last mission.

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Thyaeria's Thoughts

Thyaeria: Does anyone gets confused with all the terms? Like we have cultivation, weapon, and many other ranks. I'm thinking of making a glossary page for everyone to look at. What do you guys think? Maybe I'll get it done sometime when I'm free.

Seel: The transition between Boss Tong's shop and the courtyard scene was really abrupt originally. I tried to make a bit smoother, but I think more could be done there. I think, based on where Lin Yun's headspace is at right now, it presents a good opportunity for some reflection/character development. I decided to have some fun and write up a short scene for what I had in mind. The first and last lines signify where it would go in the chapter. Let me know what you guys think!

“Take care, old man!” Lin Yun said with a wave as he walked out onto the street. After leaving the store, he walked around a bit longer and decided to grab a quick bite to eat at a street vendor before trying to find a place to stay for the night. 

In a stroke of luck, one of the other food stall patrons overheard him asking the chef for recommendations and chimed in, “Hey, excuse me. Sorry to interrupt, but I think I might have something for you. I’ve got this place in the southern part of town that I’m fixing up. The building itself is a mess, but you’re more than welcome to stay in the courtyard. I know, sleeping outside isn’t ideal, but it’ll be hard to find anything else on such short notice without having to give up your firstborn. If you’re interested, I can take you there once I’m done eating.”

The man was gruff, but approachable, appearing to be at the tail end of middle-aged. It was clear he had been working with his hands for a long time and, judging by the quality of his clothes, had found moderate success. His wallet wasn’t the only thing that had fattened over the years either. The man was in no way out of shape, his strength was undeniable, he had simply added a layer of insulation over his muscles to help him through the colder months. He reminded Lin Yun of Senior Hong.

“Oh, thank you! That’s quite the offer. How much would I owe you?” Lin Yun asked sincerely. He was wary, but did not want to be rude. It was important for him to remember that there were still good people in the world. It was not fair to judge a stranger for misdeeds committed by others in his past. After all, you do the world a disservice by mistreating a charitable man.

“Ah, don’t worry about it. No one’s using it. I’d feel bad if I charged you to sleep on the ground!” the man said with a hearty laugh.

“Sir, please. I would not feel right…” Lin Yun said hesitantly. He felt bad for balking at the man’s kindness, but he did not want to be in yet another person’s debt. 

Picking up on Lin Yun’s hesitation, the man replied, “Alright, how about you buy me dinner?”

“Deal! I’m Lin Yun, by the way.”

“My name’s Shun Qiang. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lin Yun.”

“The pleasure’s all mine. Let’s eat!”


After their meal, Shun Qiang led Lin Yun to the property in the southern part of Clear Water City, sharing stories about various jobs he’d done around town along the way. When they arrived, he moved some things around in the courtyard so that Lin Yun had a little more room before saying his goodbyes.

The courtyard was more than Lin Yun could have hoped for. He had doubted he would be able to sleep tonight as he was eager to train and had debated venturing outside the city walls if finding a room proved too difficult. The courtyard was spacious, secluded, and secure.