Chapter 8 - Fusion of Fist and Sword

The claws of the tree Iron Clawed Wolves were worth a significant sum of money, not to mention that Lin Yun didn’t owe anyone else a portion. The last battle had given a huge boost to Lin Yun’s confidence and an ample harvest. Hence, Lin Yun resumed hunting for the next few days.

The experience of lingering between life and death constantly strengthened his will as he managed to fully unleash the essence of the Flowing Wind Sword in the battle. The sword displayed great lethality, and it wasn’t like other intermediate sword techniques. In just three days, he made a surprisingly large harvest, filling his bag to the brim. Claws from the three Iron Clawed Wolves, a Spotted Tiger’s Fur, a Shaped Bull’s Horn… His bag was filled with all sorts of materials that he had harvested from beasts.

“I have to find somewhere to hide them.”

It wasn’t convenient for him to walk around with so much stuff on him. Hence, Lin Yun found a secret location in the woods where he hid the bag on a tree. He covered it in leaves and branches before he returned to the ground. Raising his head to look at the bag, the leaf covering perfectly concealed it from the naked eye. Suddenly, Lin Yun felt a dense spiritual aura blowing in his direction.

“Spiritual hotspots?”

Lin Yun was quite surprised. He knew that there were many places in the world with an abundance of spiritual aura, known as spiritual spots, but, in the Azure Sky Sect, such locations were all monopolized by inner disciples and Elders. Somehow, he had managed to discover one while trying to find somewhere to hide his harvest. It goes without saying, he wanted to take a look!

Following the spiritual aura, Lin Yun swiftly journeyed forth before he felt something unusual about the environment. As he took in his surroundings, he noticed the woods had suddenly become quieter. In the woods, you could usually hear even the slightest wisp of wind, but Lin Yun couldn’t even hear the buzzing of insects or the calls of beasts.

Eyes sharp, Lin Yun clenched his jaw as he mustered his courage to journey forth. If it really was a spiritual spot, he could use it to advance his Pure Yang Art. Thus, he did not want to give up this opportunity. Half an incense’s time later, Lin Yun arrived at the source of the spiritual aura.

“It’s really a spiritual spot! The spiritual aura here is several fold more dense compared to other places, maybe even higher!”

Suppressing the excitement in his heart, Lin Yun looked around. Aside from some wild plants and grasses, he couldn’t see anything else unusual about this place.

“Whatever, let’s just bring my Pure Yang Art to the second stage and leave this place quickly.”

After Lin Yun made up his mind, he sat down under a tree and closed his eyes. As he circulated the Pure Yang Art within his body, the spiritual aura in his surroundings began pouring into his body. The dense spiritual aura was constantly strengthening his body, nourishing his skin, muscles, bones, and meridians.

In the ten stages of the Martial Path, the first three stages strengthen the skin, bones, and meridians, while the next three stages strengthen the blood and five viscera. The following three stages channel the muscles, transform the bones, and change the marrow before reaching the ultimate tenth stage of the Martial Path. Every three stages was a threshold, but being in this spiritual spot caused Lin Yun to feel something unusual. He was making much more progress with the Pure Yang Art than he normally would. Under the massive surge of internal energy flowing through his body, his clogged meridians began clearing up. At the same time, he was also making swift progress in his cultivation. However, Lin Yun remained calm. He had to be cautious at all times when journeying on the path of the martial way. After all, he could easily injure himself if he wasn’t careful with his internal energy. In light cases, his meridians would be injured. In severe cases, his entire cultivation would be crippled. Hell and heaven were only a foot away.

When he completed an entire circulation of the Pure Yang Energy, his internal energy flowed inward and formed a strand of yellow aura within his Dantian. He had reached the second stage of the Pure Yang Art! But Lin Yun knew now was not the time to celebrate. He had to utilize his time in this spiritual spot to its fullest. He centered himself and resumed his cultivation.

He had to admit that there was a drastic difference between the first and second stages of the Pure Yang Art. He was absorbing the surrounding spiritual aura at twice the previous rate!

Boom!

Lin Yun's eyes shot open, glistening with joy. To his surprise four hours had passed. He had managed to clear his meridians, which meant he had reached the fourth stage of the Martial Path!

He could easily tell the internal energy within his body was significantly more condensed than before. Furthermore, controlling it also felt much easier.

“I don't believe there is any spiritual spot comparable to this in the Azure Sky Sect. I hit the jackpot!”

With both his cultivation and cultivating technique making breakthroughs at the same time, Lin Yun couldn’t mask his happiness.

Whoosh!

All of a sudden, the spiritual aura in this location started to rotate. The spiritual aura in this place was getting so condensed he could see flickers with his naked eyes.

“What’s happening?” Shock spread across Lin Yun’s face as he saw an unremarkable fruit lying in the grass up ahead absorbing all of the spiritual aura. All of the sudden, he had figured out the reason why spiritual aura was so dense here. A treasure was being born here. And judging from the situation, the fruit appeared to be advancing.

Swish!

But just when the spiritual aura was about to be absorbed by the wild fruit, a silhouette flashed past, devouring the fruit. When Lin Yun got a clear look at the silhouette, he saw it was a Saber-toothed Tiger!

The Saber-toothed tiger was a beast with the strength in the Fourth Stage of the Martial Path, a whole level above the Iron Clawed Wolves! Up until this point, Lin Yun had made sure to avoid all the Saber-toothed Tiger he came across. There was a drastic difference between their strength, and going up against one was the akin to courting death.

Roar!

After the Saber-toothed Tiger devoured the fruit, it raised its head to look at Lin Yun, bloodlust flickering in its eyes. A cold aura blew in his direction. As it passed through his body, Lin Yun felt a shiver run down his spine.

“Demonic aura!” 

Lin Yun felt as though he had stumbled into hell. This Saber-toothed Tiger would soon evolve into a demonic beast!

An unprecedented panic swept through his heart. He shouldn’t have gotten greedy after seeing the fruit. He should have been satisfied with his breakthrough and left immediately. But right now, he couldn’t move. Panic set in when he realized that he couldn’t even move his legs. All it had taken was one look from the Saber-toothed Tiger. He recognized that this was his primal instincts responding to the threat before him.

With a deep growl, the Saber-toothed Tiger began slowly approaching Lin Yun. As fear consumed him, beads of sweat started rolling down his forehead. He had never felt so close to death. At the same time, despair started rising in his heart. Just a moment ago, he was basking in the joy of making a breakthrough. But in the blink of an eye, he was filled with despair.

No! I can’t afford to die here!

He couldn’t accept dying like a coward. Even if he was doomed to die, he still wanted to rip off a piece of flesh from the Saber-toothed Tiger. He did not want to hand his fate over to someone else. Gnashing his teeth, Lin Yun roared in his heart. He wanted to draw his sword, but his limbs wouldn’t listen.

At this moment, the approaching predator roared as it pounced at him, covering Lin Yun in its massive shadow. When facing his impending death, Lin Yun was surprised that his fear had stopped growing. On the contrary, he had calmed down. Suddenly, he could move his limbs again.

Embody the tiger, smell the rose!

Picturing the tiger from the painting as those words popped into his mind, Lin Yun drew his sword. He didn’t have time to think as he charged the Saber-toothed Tiger. However, the sword imbued with his internal energy was smacked away, showing the difference between their strength. But the sword had managed to stop the Saber-toothed Tiger for a brief moment, pulling Lin Yun back from the gates of hell. Without hesitation, Lin Yun rolled to the side, dodging the lethal swipe from the Saber-toothed Tiger.

Boom!

A tree so large it would take two people to encircle it broke under the Saber-toothed Tiger’s attack.

Taking a deep breath, Lin Yun narrowed his focus. Looking around, he could see there was no way out. The Saber-toothed Tiger became enraged after missing his attack. He quickly turned around and pounced at Lin Yun once more.

Seeing that his sword had become lodged in a tree, Lin Yun knew that he couldn't rely on it anymore. With only a second to decide, Lin Yun chose to face the demonized Saber-toothed Tiger with his greater mastery of the Ferocious Tiger Fist.

Bang!

When the claw and fist came into contact Lin Yun was thrown ten meters. After he landed, he could feel the turmoil in his body as he stumbled back three paces. Surprisingly, though, Lin Yun was smiling. With the internal energy from the Pure Yang Art fueling the Ferocious Tiger Fist, Lin Yun discovered he had a chance with the Saber-toothed Tiger and his expected defeat would not come to pass. Then again, the Pure Yang Art was known for the density of internal energy. Paired with the Ferocious Tiger Fist, how could it be weak?

Most importantly, he had reached the fourth stage of the Martial Path. Hence, he began his ferocious battle with the Saber-toothed Tiger. The pressure of having to fight for his survival forced Lin Yun to perform beyond his normal standards. He brought the Ferocious Tiger Fist to its limits as the tiger from the painting lingered in his mind, allowing him to resist the demonic aura permeating from the Saber-toothed Tiger.

Bang! Bang! Boom!

Lin Yun could vaguely sense his Ferocious Tiger Fist making progress during the fight, showing signs of making a breakthrough to complete mastery.

He had been on defense from the start of the fight, but the flow of the battle slowly started to shift in his favor as his fist was answered by painful growls from the Saber-toothed Tiger. Like a king among tigers, the aura emitting from Lin Yun gradually suppressed the Saber-toothed Tiger.

His form now perfected, Lin Yun saw his chance to unleash the first offensive move of the Ferocious Tiger Fist. Taking a step back and lowering his body, Lin Yun unleashed the Tiger Roaring in the Forest! Within the roar, the joints in Lin Yun’s fingers crackled as he threw a jab forth.

Boom!

The Saber-toothed Tiger was sent flying. This was the first time Lin Yun had obtained an advantage during this battle.

Ferocious Tiger Descending the Mountains!

Not letting the Saber-toothed Tiger recover, Lin Yun transformed into a tiger as he leapt into the air. With a violent gale following his fist, Lin Yun threw another jab at the Saber-toothed Tiger, who was struggling to get back up. As he threw his punch, Lin Yun could feel his blood boiling throughout his body. It felt as if there was a fire burning in his chest waiting to be unleashed.

Hundred Beast Wave!

Without any hesitation, Lin Yun executed the strongest move in the Ferocious Tiger Fist. The Saber-toothed Tiger, who was still struggling to stand, had terror in its eyes when it saw Lin Yun charging over. To the tiger, Lin Yun was like a tool of destruction rather than a wild beast.

Lin Yun’s fist was akin to a sword of unparalleled sharpness, roaring among the winds, the Hundred Beast Wave!

Accompanied by a roaring wind, Lin Yun’s fist went clean through the Saber-toothed Tiger. After it took its last breath, the tiger looked almost as if it were bowing to Lin Yun as it collapsed.

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Thyaeria's Thoughts

Thyaeria: Spiritual hotspots = places that are great to cultivate at.