Chapter 102 The 64 Sword Styles
Cold sweat rush out of Tan Zhen’s forehead, the 64 sword strands flowed like silk, although it was not as good as the authentic sword silk array of the Shui Tu Clan, it had been mixed with the sword controlling techniques of the Jun Shan Clan; Jun Sixie’s sword controlling technique was from the Jun Shan Clan, she cultivated it into the zither string allowing her to have the ability to kill stealthily.
Zhong Yue had merged the Spring Thunder Sword Qi and Jiao Dragon Totem into a sword silk imbued with the devastating power of thunder. Although not as strong as the Jun Shan and Shui Tu Clan’s core inheritance, it was still something that couldn’t be ignored!
Stealthily, the sword silks broke through the shield totems around him and silently sliced through his wings as if they were tofu.
All of a sudden, the metal awl stopped right in front of Zhong Yue, and almost simultaneously, the 64 sword silks also stopped abruptly, sparing Tan Zhen from getting lacerated into pieces.
“There is no irreconcilable hatred between us….”
Zhong Yue and Tan Zhen laughed at the same time, Zhong Yue lifted his hand up and recalled the sword silks and Tan Zhen also kept his metal awl back. Tan Zhen said, “Stop, stop, the winner can only be decided with the use of soul weapons; but you and I both don’t have any of them now. Furthermore, there is no deep hatred between us, there is no need for a fight to the death. Leave, scatter away, if even I am unable to defeat Junior Martial Brother Zhong, then neither can any of you!”
He waved at the crowds, cracking a dark smile while saying, “Or do you all think that you are stronger than me? Just leave already.”
The faces of the over twenty Qi Practitioners that came to challenge Zhong Yue turned red as they all left quietly. Ta Wulu hesitated for a few seconds before he also turned to leave.
Tan Zhen’s cultivation base was stronger than his own and so was Tan Zhen’s prowess, and yet he was still unable to defeat Zhong Yue. Surely, Ta Wulu would also be helpless against Zhong Yue as well. In addition to that, he would have to consider the shame of taking advantage of Zhong Yue’s fatigue. Despite the flaws in his character, he had his own pride and was naturally unwilling to do so.
The eight inner hall hall masters’ palms were soaked in perspiration and they all heaved a breath of relief.
The battle between Zhong Yue and Tan Zhen was too intense, culminating to point where finishing moves were cast all over and they were at the brink of killing each other. But thankfully, the two of them showed a forbearance rarely seen in those their age and stopped at the last second or otherwise, there would currently be two dead bodies on the ground.
But even so, their bodies were still heavily injured, both of them having suffered at least a dozen sword wounds that crawled all over their bodies.
All of a sudden, Xiao Chuqing’s disappointed voice sounded out in their ears, “Has the dignified and proud human race lost their guts? Sister Shui almost had her head separated from her body and died like a perished jade, and yet no one here is brave enough in helping her seek justice?”
Zhong Yue cast his gaze over, gently smiled and said, “Junior Martial Sister Xiao, since you want to avenge her so much, why don’t you come and do the work yourself?”
Cold rays flashed in Xiao Chuqing’s eyes which she repressed, she chortled, “I’m afraid that I would suffer the same shameful fate as that Senior Martial Sister Huang, getting all my clothes stripped off by senior martial brother and being forced to hide in the palace in fear of coming out….”
Some of the young Qi Practitioners heard her words and their blood circulated energetically as their youthful minds painted obscene images of the young lady being stipped of her clothes by Zhong Yue’s Sword Qi.
Evildoer…. Zhong Yue retracted his sights.
The eight hall masters quickly stepped in and dismissed the crowd and summoned Zhong Yue and Tan Zhen over in admonishment, “Tan Zhen gathered the crowds and engaged in a fight, damaging the Lingzhi Stage and the Guest Palace. You are a common disciple of the eight halls and hence your punishment will be to repair the Lingzhi Stage and Guest Palace. After your work is done, you will serve as a menial laborer for ten days in each of the eight halls!”
Tan Zhen’s face contorted in bitterness as he lamented, “Eight teachers, the Guest Palace is broken by Junior Martial Brother Zhong!”
The eight hall masters looked at each other, and the hall master of the Hall of Sword Qi called Zhong Yue over and said, “Zhong Yue, today we will punish you … Oh right, what hall do you belong to? If you are not a disciple of my Hall of Sword Qi, then I don’t have the rights to punish you.”
Zhong Yue bowed and greeted, he answered, “Report to the hall masters, I’ve yet to join any halls yet….”
“Then join my Hall of Sword Qi!”
The Hall of Sword Qi hall master smiled with his eyes laughing, “If you join my Hall of Sword Qi, I will exempt you from the punishment, but just this once.”
“Join my Hall of Array Carvings, my Hall of Array Carvings never punishes our disciples!”
“My Hall of Sword Hearts is the most considerate towards our disciples, you’d be showered with all sorts of benefits and solicitudes!”
“My Hall of Weapon Refinery boasts of the best conditions of the eight halls, you can take any materials you like to forge your own soul weapon; it’s a shame to waste and we the Hall of Weapon Refinery are proud of such shameless acts.”
Tan Zhen’s jaw nearly fell as he gazed at the eight hall masters trying to lure Zhong Yue into their own halls. He furiously and indignantly yelled out, “Dear teachers, aren’t you guys a little too biased?”
The Hall master of the Hall of Sword Qi whispered lowly, “He is still not one of our disciples, we don’t have the rights to punish him; now he has damaged public facilities, the only ones that can punish him are the elders, but Elder Feng is a lazy man, Elder Feng will not punish him, wait until he has joined any of our halls and then we would have the rights to punish him.”
The eight halls of the inner hall ... each and every hall master was responsible for one hall and their jurisdiction was limited to only their own hall. The hall master of Hall of Sword Hearts could not punish the disciples of the Hall of Sword Qi, likewise, the Hall of Totem Spirits could not discipline the disciples of the Hall of Sword Hearts. This was a rule laid down by the inner hall to avoid conflicts of powers and responsibilities.
While the inner hall disciples would normally elect to join the halls according to their interests, ever since the founding of Swords Gate, none of the disciples have never ever not joined a hall. Zhong Yue was the first to have cultivated to the level of Rebirth without having joined any halls!
Hence, the hall masters had no rights to chastise him even if they want to, the only ones that could exercise the rights were the elders.
However, Elder Feng Shouzhu was clearly an arm-flinging shopkeeper, he would not even ask a single question even if Zhong Yue had stabbed a hole through the heavens; just now, the eight hall masters had already asked the old elder, and Old Feng’s reply was: “There are about over one thousand eight hundred inner hall disciples and only a dozen of them were beaten, and no casualties. How is this serious enough to warrant a punishment from me? Wait until he has beaten a thousand or eight hundred disciples to death, then you may come and look for me again.”
Furthermore, for Zhong Yue to be able to compete with Tan Zhen end the duel with both sides suffering heavy wounds, it was only possible if he were to be one brimming with talent. The appreciation of talent is a universal trait shared by all. It was only natural for the eight hall masters to try and persuade him to join their halls.
And as for the punishment, he would of course be exempt this time so that the hall masters could reserve the rights to punish him if he were to commit another transgression in the future.
Zhong Yue looked at the eight smiling hall masters, he could somehow sense the malicious intent veneered behind those ostensibly warm smiles. He then asked probingly, “Dear hall masters, if I were to not join any of the halls, can I still sit in for the classes?”
The hall master of the Hall of Soaring Vermillion hesitated for a moment and answered, “Regarding to this, the inner hall indeed doesn’t have any rules barring disciples from sitting in for the classes….”
“Then I will not join any halls!” Zhong Yue said decisively.
The other seven hall masters were almost unable to repress their urge to whack the hall master of Hall of Soaring Vermillion over the head. They were lamenting in their hearts, This brat is already a pain in the ass of the upper house, one who even dared to enter the female house, he is unbridled and undisciplined; and yet, you just had to say such things ... how great are you. Now, other than the elders, no one can ever punish him. We can only guess of the trouble he will cause the inner hall in the future!
All of the eight hall masters left, Tan Zhen heaved a breath of relief and walked over to Zhong Yue, he whispered lowly and asked, “Junior Martial Brother Zhong, does that little woman Xiao Chuqing have some problems with you? Have the two of you met before?”
Zhong Yue shook his head, a blurred expression suffused throughout his face, it was like a smile yet not a smile, he answered, “Well, we’ve never seen each other before, but it’s true that she wants my head and I want hers.”
Tan Zhen received a substantial shock and quickly said, “Junior Martial Brother Zhong, are you addicted to beheading women? The last time, you had nearly beheaded Junior Martial Sister Shui Shui Qingyan! Cutting off women’s heads is not the way, you knock them into a swoon and bring them home….”
In Zhong Yue’s psyche ocean, Xin Huo praised and said, “Brat Yue, this Han Tan Clan member is really my kind of guy. Back in those days, the previous inheritor of Xin Huo and I did the exact same things … En, he is indeed a good seedling worth nurturing!”
Zhong Yue was speechless when he suddenly thought of something and asked, “Senior Martial Brother Tan Zhen is quite familiar with Shui Tu Clan’s Sword Cocoon sword skills? You’ve commented on my ways of manipulating the sword silks, saying that my Shui Tu Clan sword skill is seemingly right but actually wrong.”
“I’m one of the son-in-laws of the Shui Tu Clan, of course I’m familiar with the Shui Tu Clan sword skill.”
Tan Zhen smiled and responded, “The Sword Cocoons total 64 in number, and there are also 64 styles in the Sword Cocoons manipulation sword skill. From the 1st style to the 64th style, all of them were created by Elder Shui Zian of Shui Tu Clan. It is the secret method guarded away from outsiders! I’ve been betrothed to a Shui Tu Clan daughter and that’s how I’ve learned the first 27 styles. But the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】are incompatible with my path of cultivation. I can’t cast this kind of sword skill. Oh yes, Junior Martial Brother Jun you’ve also learned the sword manipulation methods from the Jun Shan Clan? I’ve betrothed a Jun Shan Clan daughter and have dabbled a little bit in their techniques. I can tell that your sword skill contains the shadow of Jun Sixie’s zither sound sword manipulation technique.”
Zhong Yue was stunned, he exclaimed out involuntarily, “You’ve betrothed a Shui Tu Clan daughter and also betrothed a Jun Shan Clan daughter? How can you be betrothed two times?”
Tan Zhen was proud like a peacock when he answered, “Other than the Jun Shan Clan and Shui Tu Clan, I’ve also betrothed the daughters of Tao Lin Clan, You Yu Clan, Li Shan Clan. Among the top ten clans, I’ve settled with five of them, Hei-hei, if it weren’t for that Lei Hu Clan’s daughters all being built like black bears, I might’ve just betrothed one of them too….”
Zhong Yue’s eyes opened wide, staring at him in disbelief, Tan Zhen laughed and said, “Junior Martial Brother Zhong, if the clans seek for eternal survival and strengths, they will have to draw, attract and entice the young and talented to join them. While they all have their own knowledge teaching halls, outsiders are forbidden from entering. The only way to enter is to become their son-in-law. It was just serendipitous that I’ve fairly close relations with quite a few young girls from the five top clans. Hence, I’ve visited all five clans on the same day and proposed a betrothal which they gladly accepted. The following day when they’ve realized I’ve proposed five engagements consecutively and that all five had accepted, they could only lament that it was too late for regrets; and that’s how I became a son-in-law of all five top clans.”
“Does this even work?”
Zhong Yue startled, he asked, “How is that the five top clans didn’t obliterate you?”
“Nope they didn’t, but the five martial sisters nearly took my life,” Tan Zhen said in vexation.
‘Senior Martial Brother Tan, how about you teach me the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】and I will return the favor teaching you the techniques of the Martial Masters?”
Rays flashed in Zhong Yue’s eyes, he smiled, “The ways of Martial Masters suits you better while I’m more compatible with the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】, a mutual exchange, beneficial to the both of us. Our prowess can then improve greatly.”
Tan Zhen had long been attracted to the techniques of the Martial Masters. He was moved as he heard the suggestion, but he was hesitating, “The【Sixty Four Sword Styles】of the Shui Tu Clan can’t be divulged to outsiders. If I were to reveal it to others, then when the Shui Tu Clan steps in….”
Zhong Yue smiled and answered, “It’s just an ordinary exchange of knowledge, we are just testing and grinding our knowledge, exchanging our insights on cultivation ... this wouldn’t be counted as divulging clan secrets, would it?”
Tan Zhen’s eyes brightened up and he nodded his head fervidly, “Yes! This shouldn’t be a problem then … Let’s go, to your cave dwelling, we will hold this ordinary exchange of knowledge there!”
“Xiao Chuqing, you are too reckless, you’ve publicly provoked the Qi Practitioners to besiege the Zhong Shan Clan member, this is only beating the grass and alert the snake. Now his guard and suspicions have been raised against you.”
‘Shui Qingyan’ locked her brows, she looked at Xiao Chuqing and said, “And now that he is suspicions of you, it’ll only be harder to kill him now!”
“Tian Mother, you’ve wronged me.”
Xiao Chuqing chortled and said, “I’m also just helping you redress your grievances. But this time, that Zhong Shan Clan member’s prowess really surprised me. The higher-ups of my race had sent me over to investigate and find out who saved Jun Sixie away, and that person traveled with the Jiao Dragons, the footsteps left behind are of the dragons. And this Zhong Shan Clan member is also an expert in controlling dragons, he is very suspicious….”
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