“Do not practice the Dragon-Tiger Fist,” Hall Master Wang warned. He handed over the technique manual to Lin Yun, then continued, “In the past, there was an inner disciple who didn't follow my warning and practiced a fragmented Xiantian Art anyway. He nearly died and ended up being crippled. Take it only to broaden your scope and increase your comprehension in the martial path.”
“Thank you for your teachings, Hall Master Wang,” Lin Yun replied as he received the book. It seemed the fragmented Xiantian Art was a double-edged sword. It was something that he could destroy himself with, but if he used it well, he could comprehend a whole new foundational fist technique from it and benefit the sect.
“You may take your leave. The mid-year test will be two days from now, and I’m looking forward to your performance,” Hall Master Wang smiled.
“Goodbye,” Lin Yun left the Martial Chamber. He returned to Administrator Yang and asked to buy a Blood Refining Pellet.
“It’s your right, but only this once. Sect price is 500 low-grade spiritual stones,” Administrator Yang said as he took out a Blood Refining Pellet for Lin Yun. His opinion of Lin Yun had changed. The boy was stronger than he had given him credit for. The truth was, Hall Administrator Yang was unsure if he could beat Lin Yun in a fight himself. After all, it had only been three months since Lin Yun had become an outer disciple. Yang was thankful that Lin Yun did not hold a grudge for how he had acted in the past.
Only 500 low-grade spiritual stones?
Lin Yun’s heart bled when he thought of the 3000 low-grade spiritual stones he spent a few days ago. He knew it was a fair price, but it still hurt to give up that much money.
The outer disciples in the Administration Hall watched the exchange with envy. Someone finally broke the silence, “Two days from now, this sword slave will definitely make a name for himself.”
Lin Yun was mortified when he saw the state of his wooden shack, of the home the previous owner of his body left behind. Only ash remained.
In daze, he looked around to make sure he was in the right place. He called out to a passerby, “D-do… do you know what happened here?”
“Senior Brother Lin... I’m so sorry. Chen Xiao and his lackeys burnt down your house right after you left,” the outer disciple replied solemnly.
It looks like the punch he gave Chen Xiao had been far too light.
The outer disciple continued, “Senior Brother, you can apply for a new house from the sect. It wouldn’t cost much.”
Turning, Lin Yun smiled, “Thank you. I’ll think of something myself.”
“Then I’ll take my leave first, Senior Brother.”
It was clear Lin Yun needed some time alone.
After becoming a sword slave, the previous owner of his body had been driven out of the dormitory meant for odd-job workers. He needed somewhere to live but couldn’t afford anything the sect had to offer. In the end, he came out to this desolate place and built himself a shack out of anything he could find.
It wasn’t much, but it did its job. It kept him warm at night, gave him shelter from the wind and rain, and, most importantly, was a place he could call home. The previous owner of his body stayed here for two years without complaint.
The previous Lin Yun did not want to leave. He wanted to stay in the Azure Sky Sect’s Sword Cleaning Chamber. He wanted to maintain Su Ziyao’s sword.
If he left, it might be the last time he said goodbye.
Back then, he could only stare at Su Ziyao from the back of the crowd while she stood center stage. It had been his dream to follow in her footsteps.
When the wooden shack was consumed by the flames, the last trace of the previous Lin Yun vanished with it.
Without a word, Lin Yun got on his hands and knees and began sorting through the ashes. Clouds of soot got in his lungs and stung his eyes; sharp fragments of wood cut his hands and legs. His whole body was covered in ash and grime; splinters dug under his nails. He searched until his hands bled, but there was nothing left. Regardless of how he tried, he couldn’t find a single item that belonged to the previous Lin Yun.
Some time later, he noticed a tattered piece of paper among the ashes. It was a scrap of the log he kept of the pellets that Su Ziyao had given him.
A breeze took the paper from Lin Yun’s hand and carried it away. As he watched the paper drift away, Lin Yun became lost in thought.
Since ancient times, love has always been the most complicated part of life. The previous Lin Yun had held feelings for Su Ziyao even though she refused to even look at him. As long as he could see her, he would be satisfied. Most would say he was infatuated, but quirky was more accurate. He was perfectly content holding his feelings even if nothing ever came from them. Despite the sadness he felt at times, the previous Lin Yun was just happy to have something to long for.
In all of this, was Su Ziyao to blame?
Not at all. She was not obligated to have feelings for someone simply because they liked her. Besides, how could she give someone an answer if they don’t ask first.
Then whose fault was it? The previous Lin Yun?
Absolutely not! Even a sword slave had the right to dream.
“It’s not your fault,” Lin Yun muttered as he watched the paper drift away.
After another moment of silence, he went to collect the materials needed to build a new shack.
The mid-year test was two days later, and he did not have the luxury of time to comprehend the Xiantian Art — Dragon-Tiger Fist. It was too complicated and if he wasn’t careful it might lower his strength instead.
Lin Yun popped the Blood Refining Pellet he had bought from Administrator Yang into his mouth before carefully retrieving the Saber-toothed Tiger’s beast core from his pouch.
The unique killing aura lingering within the beast core was overwhelming. It was identical to what he had felt during the fight, if only a little weaker. He knew now how fortunate he had been to find this. Only on rare occasions would a beast become a demonic beast; and, of those that did, only 10% would go on to conceive a beast core. Its value could not be measured.
He knew he needed to reach the sixth stage of the Martial Path if he wanted to stand a chance during the mid-year tournament. With only two days to go, he needed to do something drastic.
Even if he consumed five more Blood Refining Pellets, his chances of making a breakthrough were slim. His best shot was to consume the beast core. Most people wouldn’t even dream of doing what he was about to do, but he was out of options
After taking a deep breath, Lin Yun swallowed the beast core.
The moment the beast core entered his mouth, spiritual energy exploded from deep within him. Strands of crimson aura seeped from every part of his body as the killing aura of the Saber-toothed Tiger slowly fused with his own.
He began circulating the Pure Yang Art, trying desperately to control the overbearing power of the beast core. It was as if a wild, untamable stallion had been set loose within his body. As the power surged within his body, his color of his face alternated between green and white, occasionally flashing black as well. The little control he had over the savage energy that was raging within him began to slip.
Lin Yun was in trouble.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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