Chapter 17: Senior Disciple Li (1)
Their weapons could only be seen as flashing blurs as the saber and the sword clashed with no clear victor.
Han Li wasn’t able to keep up with the fight at all, only understanding that the fight was very intense. The difficulty or effectiveness of their movements and which person had the advantage were far beyond his scope of knowledge.
“Junior apprentice brother Han, I don’t know which sect master you’ve trained under, but I’m sure your martial arts has made massive improvements after training in isolation, right?” Little Abacus curiously asked.
Every Inner Disciple of the Seven Mysteries Sect, after two years of practicing their fundamentals in the Hundred Disciples Hall, would be separated and be apprenticed to a master to learn more profound martial arts. Only after they finish their apprenticeship would they be able to hold a permanent position within the sect.
In the case that a disciple displayed remarkable strength in the Disciple Examination, they wouldn’t even need to practice fundamentals for two years. Instead, they would directly enter the Seven Supreme Division, where the Sect Leader or Vice Sect Leaders would personally impart some knowledge onto them, giving them a formidable advantage akin to a carp leaping over a dragon gate.
Within those two years of practicing one’s fundamentals, those with outstanding potential, would also be noticed by some elders and accepted as their personal disciple. Backed and taught by such a powerful figure, these disciples’ prospects couldn’t even be compared to those of other disciples.
After hearing that Han Li had only just come out of seclusion, Little Abacus was even more sure that he hadn’t heard of this person before. He naturally assumed that Han Li was a prestigious Inner Disciple, so he had been very respectful to him in hopes of gaining favor.
“A few years ago, an honored elder took me in as his disciple, but please understand, I cannot disclose just who this elder is.” Han Li knew what the other disciple was trying to do, so he had to maintain a matter-of-fact expression while also pretending to carry around an air of arrogance.
“Is that right? Senior Apprentice Brother Han is quite lucky then. Your position within the Inner Sect must be high and your potential unlimited. This Junior Disciple hopes that, in the future, Senior Disciple will lend a hand towards his juniors.” Little Abacus didn’t particularly care about why Han Li concealed the name of his master. Whichever honored elder he was, he was surely stronger than his own master, so Little Abacus’s tone had immediately changed.
“Senior Disciple Han, just one look at you and I know that you are definitely not someone ordinary and that you will be successful without any difficulties.” He continued to flatter Han Li.
“This person’s skin is so dark, and his face looks rather stupid as well. How could he be the disciple to an honored elder while I am so clever but haven’t been noticed by any elders yet?” Little Abacus secretly muttered to himself while maintaining a respectful expression.
Han Li had recognized the change in his speech as well. One second he was Junior Disciple Han, and the next he was Senior Disciple Han. This was far too funny for Han Li to bear.
However, Han Li didn’t look down on Little Abacus for that. Trying to gain favor with those higher than oneself was one’s natural instinct. Someone who wanted a better life first needed to know his or her place. The people who understood this were ones who were successful in life.
But what was most disappointing was that the words Han Li had just said were primarily true. Han Li could only be considered nothing more than smuggled goods when compared to those true personal disciples of honored elders. Any other disciple of the Seven Mysteries Sect could easily beat him. If he were to try to flaunt his status and be arrogant, the truth would be quickly revealed.
Han Li forced out a smile as he calmly listened to Little Abacus’s flattery. It was almost as if he were at a dinner party.
“Senior Disciple Han must be strong in martial arts. If he were to enter the ring, he would definitely beat these fighters into sorry states, definitely…” Little Abacus continuously flattered Han Li while also watching the match.
“Ai! How strange, such a prestigious disciple should have formidable internal strength but why does he look utterly unimpressive? He looks scrawny and weak, and his eyes don’t have the shine of those who had broken through their acupoints. No matter how closely I look, he is nothing but a normal kid that doesn’t know any martial arts.” Little Abacus became more and more bewildered.
“The outcome has been decided.” Han Li’s light voice had immediately broke Little Abacus from his pondering.
Surprised, Little Abacus swiftly look back at the ring.
As it turns out, the saber wielder had his weapon knocked to the side. One arm was limp, while the other clutched at a wound. His face was ashen, but he did not declare his surrender. This wasn’t surprising, since the strength between the two disciples wasn’t all that much different. If he hadn’t slipped up just then, they would have been evenly matched.
When Little Abacus saw this, there was a look of disappointment on his face, and he said softly, “What a shame.”
“What’s wrong? What do you mean by ‘shame’?” Han Li didn’t see anything noteworthy, but it seemed that this was not the case for the youth next to him.
“If Fatty Wang’s team had won this fight, then this would have been their 3rd victory, and their best-three-out-of-five contest would have ended. It’s a shame that he couldn’t end it here!”
“But that doesn’t matter. Right now, the remaining person on Wang Dapang’s side is our strongest disciple in martial arts. He uses the Lightning Fast Saber, which is incomparably fierce and able to smash through metal! Haha! To be able to witness Senior Disciple Li’s strength firsthand, I didn’t come here for nothing. No matter who appears on Zhang Chang Gui’s side, our victory is assured.” Little Abacus, who was just depressed about their loss, quickly became excited once more as he began to talk about this Senior Disciple Li.
“So this will be the final match?” Han Li asked. He wondered who this Senior Disciple Li was. It seemed he really knew nothing about the major figures in the sect.
At this moment, a grim figure came up to Fatty Wang’s side. The youth was holding a long sabre as he walked up to the middle of the ring. Without saying a single word, he closed his eyes.
“Senior Disciple Li! Senior Disciple Li! Senior Disciple Li!”
Seeing this youth come up to the ring, everyone grew excited as they all began to call out his name. With each shout, they grew louder until they eventually began to shake the entire ring with the magnitude of their voices. At this moment, there wasn’t one single person that was cheering for a specific side; there was only one unanimous cry for this youth.