Chapter 10 - The Demon Ruins of Swords Gate
The words of the old Qi Practitioner sparked a commotion between the disciples. The disciples gazed at each other, "Only one of us has truly grasped his teachings, who could that be?"
Although they were all disciples of the same teacher, they were still competitive. The old Qi Practitioner said that only one has genuinely grasped his teachings, but he did not specify who. This would, of course, make everyone believe that they were that exceptional individual.
“If you want to know, it’s easy!”
Suddenly, a heroic-looking female disciple suggested, “Why don’t we compete using our own【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】, whoever is superior to the others in the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】will surely be the one that had truly grasped the teachings!”
In the quiet room, the upper house disciples were excited; immediately, the disciples started competing with each other without casting any other skills. Without using any totem god pillars or soul weapons, they all competed with only the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】.
All of a sudden, the quiet room became filled with dazzling sparks of lightning, flash after flash of lightning bolts was cast in the room. There were indeed talented ones among the disciples that were able to cast the sword skill bare-handedly; with their psyche, they envisioned the thunderbolt and as its clapping and rumbling reverberated throughout the room, their opponents began to concede defeat one by one. However, their versions of the skill still weren't very strong, and so it ultimately didn't inflict too much damage on their opponents!
After all, since they were all disciples of the same teacher, they would naturally hold back and refrain from fully unleashing their powers.
On the other side, the disciples were bustling with noise, busied with competing with each other. But in the corner of the room, Zhong Yue was still at his own pace practicing his own version of the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill 】, seemingly oblivious to the competition.
The more he practiced, the more unwieldy and mundane his【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】seemed to become. The thunderbolt he imagined with his psyche twisted and meandered like a crooked line. Within its recalcitrance was revealed an ancient and old force, the atmospheric air was simple and unsophisticated, much like a thunderbolt that struck an ancient pine tree or a sudden clap of thunder in the midst of a desolate mountain.
His【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】… sometimes it seemed like a thunderbolt tree, shining and flashing with rays of lighting… sometimes it was dull and empty with only a piercing line of sword rays!
When the psyche was highly focused, it could manifest the visualizations. If one visualized the Jiao Dragon, a Jiao Dragon would be created. If one envisioned the thunderbolt, it would bear the immense power of lightning.
But the only thing was that the lightning that Zhong Yue imagined was not as magnificent and spectacular-looking as the other disciples, it wasn’t anywhere close to their dazzling and conspicuous【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】—sure enough, he wouldn’t be spared any attention.
It was quite some time before the upper house disciples came out with the last two potential winners – the heroic-looking female disciple and another male disciple. Their psyches were strong enough to manifest their visualizations. A simple thought and they could give form to real lightning from their psyches, extracting a thunderbolt out of thin air!
They moved around the quiet room swiftly, fast like lighting as they cast the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】. The cacophony of the thunderclaps and the blinding flashes of light were as if they were really wielding swords of thunderous lightning. They dashed toward each other—the scene was astounding!
Moments later, rays of lightning crackled below the feet of the female disciple, and she was lifted four feet away from the ground, maneuvering through the air as she slashed the lightning sword into the male disciple's chest.
It was out of his expectation that she would be able to fly through the air atop the lightning. While lost in his surprise, he was hit by the ray of electricity; his chest became charred, and his hairs stood erect as he fell down onto the ground.
“Senior Martial Sister Ting, I lost!”
The male disciple was frank, he blurted out black fumes out of his mouth, and he placed his hand on his chest. He looked at her with a pair of eyes that flashed with admiration, "Senior martial sister is really better than I am and can actually use lightning to fly up in the air. No wonder Elder Pu says that only one disciple has truly grasped the quintessence of his teachings!"
“Is junior martial brother badly hurt?”
The female disciple landed down, she smiled and said, "I can only control the lightning rays for a short period, a hundred feet at most before I would have to land. I also can't fly too high either. It is still a far cry from what Elder Pu was describing ... riding the thunderbolts to travel a thousand miles."
The upper house disciples all stepped forward smiled and said, “Senior Martial Sister Ting has truly grasped the teachings of Elder Pu, this is beyond doubt. After Senior Martial Sister Ting becomes a Qi Practitioner, riding the thunderbolts and traveling a thousand miles will definitely not be a problem!”
Senior Martial Sister Ting also showed a face of content; suddenly, she looked at Zhong Yue who was practicing alone in the corner of the room, but his【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】only seemed to become even more strange as she continued to focus on it. It was such a departure from what was described by Elder Pu, she frowned and thought to herself, Such a peculiar【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】, he should not be the one, it seems like I must be the one Elder Pu was talking about.
“Zhong Shan Clan, Junior Martial Brother Zhong Yue!”
Senior Martial Sister Ting came forward, and with a big smile, she asked straightforwardly, "I am from the Da Ting Clan, Ting Lanyue, I came into the upper house a year ago. Junior Martial Brother Zhong Yue, do you want to compete with me? You never know, you might be the one that Elder Pu was talking about!"
Zhong Yue shook his head, smiled and said, “Senior Martial Sister Ting, I am only here for four to five days, how could I be your match?”
Ting Lanyue didn’t force him as she smiled, “All of us, the martial siblings, are going to train in the Swords Gate’s Demon Ruins, we will fight with the demons and improve our【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】, I wonder if you are interested in tagging along?”
“Swords Gate Demon Ruins?”
“Don’t you know about it?”
It suddenly dawned on Ting Lanyue, “Oh yes, you had just joined the upper house, you do not know much about the Swords Gate. Many years ago, the martial ancestors of the Swords Gate escorted and protected the human race to migrate from the Barren Wild to the Great Wilderness. Before that, the Great Wilderness was a land of demons, races of demons conquered and resided on this land. It was the martial ancestors of the Swords Gate that slashed and opened up a land for humanity to survive; the native demons were suppressed in the Demon Ruins of the Swords Gate. The Mantis Demon you met in the Cloudless Hall examination was only the weakest demon from the Demons Ruin.”
Another disciple also smiled and continued, "The number of demons is countless in the Demon Ruins, and they are mostly weak minion-class demons such as the Mantis Demons and Spider Demons. We, the upper house disciples, can train in the Demon Ruins. The Mantis Demons and Spider Demons are just the perfect targets for us to practice on. We have just been introduced to the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】; we need some real combat experience to improve upon sword skill. Furthermore, only through a real battle can we come to understand the more profound aspects of the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】."
“Senior Martial Brother He is correct!”
The upper house disciples were enlivened; they all laughed and said, "But there is something Senior Martial Brother He left out, that is, we can be rewarded with Feather Spirit Pellets, totem pillars and soul weapons through killing the demons in the Demon Ruins."
“Feather Spirit Pellets? Totem pillars? Soul weapons?”
Zhong Yue was moved, totem pillars were helpful in both cultivation and combat while the soul weapons were combat weapons that could significantly improve his combat capability. This was not the fact that the Feather Spirit Pellets were of utmost importance to him!
Cultivating the【Sui Sovereign Flame Order Palace Imaginative Skill】 required a tremendous amount of resources like Feather Spirit Pellets to be able to continue cultivating it!
His Feather Spirit Pellets were all depleted, he needed to look for more Feather Spirit Pellets or otherwise, continuing in cultivating the【Sui Sovereign Flame Order Palace Imaginative Skill】would only be an overwhelming strain on his body!
Zhong Yue replied hesitantly, “Even if I am not Elder Pu’s disciple, can I still enter?”
One of the female disciples answered, "You can enter as long as you are an upper house disciple, but only once a month and also. The Demon Ruins is littered with demons. There are demon lairs everywhere. We will only be safe if we move in groups. This time, we have Senior Martial Sister Ting and Senior Martial Brother He. Additionally, Senior Martial Sister Ting has truly grasped the teachings of Elder Pu and Senior Martial Brother He is only a step behind, there will be no risk at all!"
Senior Martial Sister Ting smiled as she listened to the words and said, “To fight with the demons… it will be of great help to all of you in comprehending the【Spring Thunderbolt Swords Skill】.”
Zhong Yue nodded, smiled and said, “Then, thank you all for your troubles.”
That Senior Martial Brother He was, of course, the one that was defeated by Ting Lanyue just now. He came from the Bi He tribe with He as the tribe's surname; his full name was He Chengchuan. He was a talented young man who was one of Elder Pu's disciples — a cheerful and loquacious individual.
Zhong Yue, along with the hundred over disciples, climbed the Swords Gate mountain. The mountains grew steeper as they continued their ascent. The clouds floated around them as if lifting them from beneath their feet.
Zhong Yue looked down, and his sights started spinning. The mountains beneath them seemed so small; the whole upper house looked to be only the size of his palm.
It wasn't too long before the mountain slopes turned gentle and the paths widened. They reached to the half-mountainside of the Swords Gate mountain. There were palaces after palaces surrounding the mountainside. One after another, they looked like giant mushrooms growing on an ancient tree.
Zhong Yue had the experience of harvesting Ganoderma in the mountains; the Ganoderma grew outward in a hoof-like formation on the trunks of the trees. The palaces were constructed on similar platforms like the Ganoderma. Below them was the dark black bottomless abyss enshrouded by a layer of white fluffy clouds!
“The country bumpkins of Swords Gate really did construct this place magnificently.”
Through the eyes of Zhong Yue, Xin Huo took a good look at the surroundings. He praised, "The Qi Practitioners that constructed this place, their strengths must be close to the gods!"
The disciples came onboard a round-shaped platform, in front of the palace sat a white-haired, white-dressed old man, beside him was a pillar shackled in an iron chain of a thigh’s diameter, while on the other side of the palace, sat a similar old man with the same pillar and iron chain.
The other end of the iron chains were connected to mid-air, Zhong Yue focused his sights, but there wasn't anything at all. The two iron chains were suspended in mid-air as if they were really restraining something.
He Chengchuan stepped forward, bowing and greeting the elders, “The two elders, we intend to enter the Demon Ruins for training purposes, I request the two elders to let us through.”
One of the white-haired, white-dressed old men nodded. He said, “All of you, stand and look into the mirror in front of the palace.”
The disciples walked to the copper mirror in front of the palace. The copper mirror was huge, having a height of forty-some feet. Zhong Yue curiosity mounted, and He Chengchuan whispered to him from the side, "Junior Martial Brother Zhong, this copper mirror is an exotic treasure within the soul weapons! Your image will be recorded and retained in the mirror, as long as you slay any demons in the Demon Ruins, the mirror will record your contributions. The greater your contributions, the better the prizes you can exchange from the Swords Gate!"
Zhong Yue stepped forward and looked into the mirror; his image appeared in the mirror while the images of the others were filled with statistics. It contained records of their entering time and killing points; his statistics were still blank.
That’s the difference between the upper house and lower house. Cultivation in the lower house was boring and dull, but it is more interesting in the upper house.
Zhong Yue couldn't help but feel deep emotions. He had been living in the lower house for five to six years. The days were hard and arduous, and the cultivation was tedious and dull. It was a far cry from his current life in the upper house.
The two white-dressed elders raised their hands, and each of them grabbed onto the iron chains and exerted their strength in pulling the chains. One could hear the sounds of the door creaking open, and with the pulling of the chains, a Sword Gate slowly materialized out of thin air!
The gate was akin to the body of a sword separated in half down the middle. The chains were connected to the two doors. As the body of the sword was colorless, it wasn’t easy for them to notice the gate.
Presently, the two doors were being pulled opened by the elders and light rays radiated out from the gate. It seemed to be empty in front of the entrance before, but as the light rays shone down, a flight of stairs emerged all the way from the gate to the round-shaped platform.
Faint black demonic Qi leaked out from the gate, and evil and monstrous sounds emanated from within the gate, terrifying those who heard it.
Ting Lanyue and He Chengchuan were the first to walk into the gate, followed by Zhong Yue and the others—eventually, they all entered the Demon Ruins.
Zhong Yue looked around, the skies of the Demon Ruins were bleak, overcast by a stratum of gray, gloomy clouds—it was dark and ominous.
The mountains afar were also steep and perilous, crisscrossing each other like the teeth of a monster.
The faint black demonic Qi formed into gales of strong winds that blasted rocks sized like stone mills up into the air. The entire situation appeared to be very precarious.
“Little human heifers!”
Suddenly, eerie laughter echoed from afar; there were numerous demons rushing toward their direction, it was a tribe of Mantis Demons that had noticed their arrival!
The Mantis Demons came rushing like a swarm of bees, their mouths made weird noises, “Kill the males, pickle and dry them up, they will be our food! The females we will capture and make them serve us to produce the next generation!”
Heifer - a cow that has not borne a calf, or has borne only one calf.
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