Chapter 542 - Elder Hong's Terror
Seeing the young man walk in, Elder Hong's mouth twitched.
He had witnessed the tragic experiences of the other elders before him, and it had truly left him frightened.
'The Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus is a technique that I devoted ten years of my life to create. Even if Pavilion Master Kang were to cultivate it, he could only reach Initiate within an incense's time. No matter how talented this fellow is, reaching Minor Accomplishment should be an impossibility. There's nothing I should be worried about...'
Elder Hong calmed himself down by consoling him before pointing to the table in front. "The manual for the Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus is there. You have an incense's time starting from now!"
After which, he immediately lit the incense beside him and smoke slowly drifted within the room.
Zhang Xuan walked up to the table, touched the manual, and an identical copy appeared in the Library of Heaven's Path.
He flipped through the book with his hands, but his consciousness was inside the Library of Heaven's Path
"Nine Swords of Red Lotus, created by Elder Hong Qin. It consists of a total of nine movements. Flaws..."
After reading through the content, a bizarre expression appeared on Zhang Xuan's face.
"So many flaws? And they still dare to call it a profound sword art?"
The sword art before him had actually more than a hundred flaws. With so much flaws, how could they dare to call it a profound sword art... Even trying to get him to learn it... It was truly a wonder where this fellow got his confidence from.
But thinking about it, Zhang Xuan soon realized that he might be underestimating the difficulty of creating a sword art. Most battle techniques had been passed down through innumerable generations and undergone the refinement of many predecessors, thus reducing the number of flaws in it. Given that this sword art had just been created, it was natural for there to be so many flaws.
"Heaven's Path Sword Art, fuse!"
With a thought, Heaven's Path Sword Art and the many sword art secret manuals that Zhang Xuan had obtained before flew out and fused together with this book.
A new Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus appeared. Zhang Xuan hurriedly flipped through it.
Soon, he shook his head.
He had too few books on Spirit intermediate-tier sword arts. The sword arts he had gathered before were too basic to complement such a profound sword art.
Making an analogy, no matter how good a lump of feces was, it could never match the value of gold. That was an innate difference in their nature. No matter how accurate the concepts contained within these basic sword art manuals were, they were still unable to make up for the qualitative difference with the Spirit intermediate-tier sword art.
"There are still more than thirty flaws..."
After fusing the book, Zhang Xuan was in tears.
Ever since his transmigration, he had never cultivated a cultivation technique or battle technique that had flaws. This had made him a perfectionist when it came to those. Even for the Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps which had three flaws, he'd had to muster up his courage before cultivating it... Yet, this sword art before him had more than thirty flaws! He really couldn't bring himself to cultivate it!
It was just like how a person whose taste buds is accustomed to the delicacies of a five-star chef couldn't possibly get used to roadside stalls.
But... if he didn't cultivate this technique, he would fail the test.
In a moment, he fell into a dilemma.
On the other hand, Elder Hong's face was gradually turning red, and it seemed as though left to be, he would explode soon!
Even though he didn't wish to lose the reputation he had accrue in the earlier part of his life to this fellow, he was still determined to remain professional in this test. Thus, he had been secretly assessing the other party ever since he picked up the book.
And the other party's actions made him tempted to rush forward and tear the other party apart.
He created this Nine Swords of Scarlet Lotus by observing the life cycle of a red lotus, and it spent him an entire ten years to master the technique. He was proud to say that this was one of the strongest battle technique available in Myriad Kingdom City, and he knew that it would definitely be passed on from generation to generation for innumerable years to come. Yet, the other party simply flipped through it swiftly as soon as he picked it up. It was clear that the other party didn't have the intention to study it properly at all.
Not only so, his face alternated between a frown and a conflicted expression. What the heck was that?
You look as though you had met with a huge pile of feces and you are about to puke at any moment...
Was the technique that I created so repulsive that you would barf?
Infuriated by the other party's reaction, Elder Hong was about to blow up.
He had imagined many possibilities-the other party might perhaps reach Consummation within an incense's time, or perhaps, refuse to cultivate it altogether... But one thing he had never dreamed of was the other party being on the verge of vomiting upon browsing through the manual...
This is a top-notch technique among Spirit intermediate-tier battle techniques, even Pavilion Master Kang and the other elders were filled with praises for it... What are you trying to say by those reaction?
Just as he was seething with rage, the young man before him shut his eyes tightly and clenched his jaws. With an expression reminiscent of a soldier marching to his death, he said, "Forget it, if I have to die, so be it. At most, I'll just never use this technique after cultivating it!"
Elder Hong couldn't hold himself back anymore. He dashed up to the other party and bellowed, "Zhang shi, what do you mean by that?"
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan was just about to cultivate when the elder suddenly rushed up to him and yelled furiously in his face. Bewildered, Zhang Xuan stared at the other party doubtfully and asked, "What's wrong?"
"Does the sword art I created disgust you so much?" Elder Hong immediately questioned the other party.
"Actually, it's not entirely disgust but that... there was simply too many flaws in them. I don't really want to cultivate it..." Zhang Xuan shook his head.
"You..." Hearing those words, Elder Hong felt so enraged that he was about to go mad.
If someone were to ask you such a question, no matter how much you hate the other party, in view of the other party's pride, you should at least deny it or compliment him a little...
But this fellow actually just admitted to it straight!
'Not entirely disgust'... In other words, my technique does disgust you!
'Too many flaws'... Too many your head!
Do you know how much effort I put into creating this battle technique? For ten years, I skipped meals and barely rested, all in hopes of creating a mighty technique that would awe the world... Yet, you said that there are too many flaws in my technique...
"May I know what flaws there are in my sword art?"
Harrumphing coldly, Elder Hong suppressed his rage in fear that he might just kill the other party in a moment of rashness.
"You're seeking my guidance? Fine, I'll point them out to you then! Look carefully. I don't have much time, so I'll only say them once."
Placing his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan nodded and strolled around the room slowly, "I'll first talk about the first movement of your nine swords, Blooming of the Scarlet Lotus! This technique consists of a total of eighty-one transformations, and its might is indeed extraordinary. However... to stab one's sword out from one's waist while driving one's zhenqi through the Huangu and Wangchang acupoints is a move that will inhibit one's flow of zhenqi in itself, thus severely limiting one's strength! If, at that moment, I were to use a weapon, say an ordinary stick, to strike your Huihai acupoint, how would you deal with it?"
"Strike my Huihai acupoint?"
Upon hearing those words, the movements involved in the Blooming of the Scarlet Lotus appeared in his mind and he abruptly stiffened.
The blooming of a scarlet lotus was a very beautiful phenomenon.
As though reflecting that, this move was particularly eye-catching. Using this move, one would attack one's opponent through a violent surge of sword qi. Indubitably, it was a powerful move. However, it had a few fatal flaws, and Huihai acupoint was one of them. Putting aside a wooden stick, if one were to just touch it with one's finger, the entire sword art would fall apart. One would find himself incapable of exerting any might at all.
Even he had overlooked this flaw, and yet, the other party noticed it just by flipping through it?
"But so what if you know that my Huihai acupoint is my weakness? A sword art prides itself on its speed. By the time you can react, I would have already released five strikes. How do you intend to cope with that?" Elder Hong argued.
There was no cultivation technique or sword art that was without flaws. While it is true that the Blooming of the Scarlet Lotus had a fatal flaw, it would be impossible to exploit it under the barrage of attacks.
"Released five strikes? You're wrong. What if, at the very start, I were to move forward three steps to strike your Honghai, turn around to strike your Luoqiao, and take three side steps to strike your Fujiang... After striking these three of your acupoints, do you think you could dodge my attack on your Huihai?" Zhang Xuan said nonchalantly.
"If you were to strike my Honghai, I would twist my sword to block it and retreat a step backward. Then, when you stuck my Luoqiao, I would have to quickly withdraw my offense to defend myself, thus causing a sudden stoppage in my flow of zhenqi, making it impossible for me to launch any sword qi. Then, when you stuck my Fujiang, if I were to attempt to dodge it, my Huihai would surely be unguarded... Y-you..."
Elder Hong analyzed the scenario and initially, he didn't think much of it. However, the more he thought about, the paler his face became, and he started to tremble in shock.
If it were a real battle, if his opponent were to strike at these three points consecutively, his Blooming of the Scarlet Rose would immediately fall apart. Not only would he be unable to hurt the other party, he would even suffer severe damage from the backlash of his zhenqi.
Just by stabbing at three perfectly ordinary locations, his zhenqi would be inhibited and he would suffer severe damage from his own sword art...
"This is only the first move. Your second move, Radiance of the Scarlet Lotus, is filled with innumerable flaws. Against this move, even without a weapon, I can charge straight toward your Zhonggong and strike your Ruohai. You would then be forced to retreat... and the rest would be easy," Zhang Xuan continued.
After learning of the flaws from the Library of Heaven's Path, along with Zhang Xuan's deep knowledge of sword arts, finding a counter for them was quite an easy task.
Elder Hong unconsciously took a step back.
The second step, Radiance of the Scarlet Lotus, was a long-ranged attack. It looked powerful, but in truth, it would leave one vulnerable to close-range attacks. As long as an enemy were to charge in at this moment to strike one's Zhonggong and Ruohai, one's zhenqi would definitely be jolted, thus countering the sword art!
In the first move, the enemy would at least still have to stab four locations, but for this, two moves were sufficient to render him completely powerless!
How in the world…
Was the sword art he created really that worthless?
"Wait a moment... Under the assault of my sword qi, how could you have the time to possibly get close to me and make so many moves?"
After contemplating over it for a moment, Elder Hong's eyebrows shot up.
What the other party said was all theory. In a real battle, given how fast his sword art was, how could the other party possibly have the time and opportunity to strike him consecutively?
"No time?" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "Take a good look then!"
Zhang Xuan's body swayed, leaving behind an afterimage on the spot. In the blink of an eye, he had already traveled to the three locations and tapped on them with his fingers consecutively. The three fingers struck the acupoints that he had spoken of accurately.
Upon seeing this move, Elder Hong's body convulsed, and he nearly fell to the floor.
The other party's speed and offense were flawless. If he had really used the sword art previously and the other party launched such a counter... he would surely be defeated utterly in the blink of an eye.
Unless... he abandoned the technique and dealt with the other party through his absolute might. Otherwise, with just swordsmanship alone, he would be defeated thoroughly, perhaps even suffering grievous wounds in the process.
Cold sweat dripped down his back.
Having created so many battle techniques, this Nine Swords of the Scarlet Lotus was actually the one he prided himself the most on. He thought that this technique would have him unrivaled in the Myriad Kingdom City. He never expected his ten years of hard work... to be so worthless!
"Zhang shi, may I know if... there's a way to complete this sword art of mine?"
Clasping his fist, Elder Hong bowed deeply-a bow that only a student would make to his teacher.