Chapter 103 The Hints Left Behind
“You are saying that, the one that saved Jun Sixie back from the Savanna Wasteland not long ago is this Zhong Shan Clan member?”
‘Shui Qingyan’ was shocked as she began to conjecture, “Unlikely… in Swords Gate Mountain, there are many Qi Practitioners who are proficient in the draconic arts. The Zhong Shan Clan member would have been in the Ethereal Palace manifesting a spirit at that time, how could he have been all the way in the monster race? Furthermore, the expert to Jun Sixie’s rescue, Swords Gate will not send over a little brat that has just manifested a spirit, they would at least send over an expert at the level of hall masters or elders….”
Xiao Chuqing furrowed her brows and said, “That man teleported to the moon through the volcano bottom of Gu Xia City and came back the same way, then the person’s traces were spotted in the Savanna Wasteland. This person must have just bumped into the dying Jun Sixie by chance, rather than being sent over by Swords Gate. From the traces left behind by the battles in the Savanna Wasteland could only have been made by one who is at the level of Rebirth, hence, this person must be in Swords Gate’s inner hall. This is why I am here to investigate. But if the Zhong Shan Clan member was in the Ethereal Palace, then it’s true that he wouldn’t be in there in the monster race….”
The two ladies, one a god of the demon race and the other a young beauty from the celestial race, yet the both of them were lost as to how the events had transpired.
‘Shui Qingyan’s’ heart shifted and she said, “The messenger had tried to eradicate Zhong Yue before, we will have to ask them for more details on whether Zhong Yue has left the Swords Gate in this period of time.”
Xiao Chuqing’s eyes flashed; clearly, she was very aware and alerted about this celestial messenger that was placed in charge of the Great Wilderness. She smiled and said, “Such a small matter, it’s not worth troubling the messenger. The person had left footprints on the moon, we only need to compare those prints to Zhong Yue’s to know if he was that person! He had just fought with Tan Zhen, his footprints must still be here around the cliff!”
‘Shui Qingyan’ cast her gaze over and her heart turned vigilant, This celestial woman, she doesn’t seem to be brainless, I mustn’t underestimate her. She comes over and ingratiates herself to me. She probably knows that her influence in Swords Gate in weak and her prowess is not too strong, that’s why she is trying to rope me in and stand against the celestial messenger hidden in Swords Gate … how ingenious!
The two young ladies moved over to the slope of the cliff and inspected carefully and their faces darkened. There were many footprints left behind but they all belonged to Tan Zhen, none of them was Zhong Yue’s bar for a huge dragon claw mark that most probably had been left behind when Zhong Yue’s psyche formed the Jiao Dragons curling on his legs!
“I don’t believe that this Zhong Shan Clan didn’t leave even a single footprint behind after fighting so long with Tan Zhen!”
Xiao Chuqing alighted down to the forest which was the stage of Zhong Yue’s and Tan Zhen’s duel. Her face turned dark again as she saw that the woods were all chaotically strewn about. The place where they fought was cratered in the shape of a huge palm, it was left behind by Zhong Yue when he was suppressing the smokes, and the mark of the palm swept away all of the footprints on the ground!
“This Zhong Shan Clan is very suspicious, otherwise he wouldn’t have erased all of his footprints!”
‘Shui Qingyan’ pondered deeply and said, “Even if he did leave behind one or two footprints, he wouldn’t be so heavily suspected, yet he had deliberately erased all of his footprints. This is very very suspicious!”
Xiao Chuqing nodded and agreed, “This was why I’ve shown my moon atman in front of everyone, I want that person to know my true face and to lure them out. This person would do everything to guard against me, and the more they act in preparation, the more clues they would inadvertently leave behind. While this Zhong Shan Clan member has already left behind a tiny hint which makes him worthy to be suspected! Sadly, he didn’t reveal his soul weapon, the traces of soul weapons were still lingering in the Savanna Wasteland where the battle had taken place, we would’ve been able to deduce whether or not he was that person if he had revealed his soul weapons!”
“Soul weapons?” “Shui Qingyan” asked curiously.
“In the Savanna Wasteland, that person had fought with monster Qi Practitioners and left behind clues regarding the soul weapons. The person had two soul weapons, a saber and another had seemed to house a number of Sword Qis!”
Xiao Chuqing’s eyes flashed, she continued, “If the Zhong Shan Clan member had brought out his soul weapon, then we can tell if it’s him. Sadly, he hadn’t used any soul weapon while dueling with Tan Zhen.”
‘Shui Qingyan’ chortled, she asked, “I’m dying to know, why is the Xiao Mang Celestial Race clambering all over the place trying to kill a human brat that had only gone to the moon, can Chuqing tell me the reason?”
Xiao Chuqing chortled and said, “I’m also unsure of the details, I’m just following the orders I was given.”
The two young ladies continued to stare at each other, the distrust the one harbored towards the other was palpable in their gazes.
“The Shui Tu Clan’s【Sixty Four Sword Styles】is indeed a profound secret technique, no wonder Elder Shui Zian’s Sword Cocoons can be listed in the Ten Malefic Weapons, Elder Shui Zian’s talents are really incredible.”
Zhong Yue and Tan Zhen were currently in the middle of “exchanging knowledge”, he had finally learned the first 27 sword styles of the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】. The【Sixty Four Sword Styles】was a sword manipulation method to form a slaughtering array – both a sword array and a fearsome sword skill. Zhong Yue had fought with the Shui Tu Clan disciples who practiced the sword skill, hence, he was not unfamiliar with it. However, at that time, he could not see the profundity of such sword skill.
Only now, after the “knowledge exchange” with Tan Zhen, had he wholly acquired the first 27 sword styles, it was then that he realized how terrifyingly strong the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】truly were!
The【Sixty Four Sword Styles】required the Sword Cocoons sword silks to fully unleash its power; when Zhong Yue fought with the Shui Tu Clan disciples like Shui Qinghe, they had only wielded the normal Water Sword Qi, whether be it the power or the sword skill mutations they were able to display, it could only be considered an ordinary sword skill.
But if it were to be cast through soul weapons like the Sword Cocoons Sword Silks, the prowess it could exhibit would skyrocket to at least tenfold, the transformations of the sword skill would be ever more nuanced and capricious, and it would ultimately be nigh impossible to effectively guard against.
What made it even stronger was the fact that the number of sword silks follows an arithmetic progression; the 1st sword style required the manipulation of one sword silk, two sword silks for the 2nd style and so on. Thus, the complexity rapidly increases with every increment of the sword art. When it had reached to 27th sword style, the complexity of the sword array was so great to the point that even Zhong Yue’s Great Sun Yuan Shen was nearly unable to manipulate it!
When it reaches to 64th style, the requirement on the user’s Yuan Shen would be exorbitantly high!
No wonder Senior Martial Brother Tan Zhen said that the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】was incompatible with his path of cultivation. He walked the path of brutality and strength, while the 【Sixty Four Sword Styles】was an art that focused on finesse and subtlety, emphasizing its various permutations and transformations. It required an extraordinary ability for calculation and control; without such endowments, it would be useless despite how much one practices.
Zhong Yue thought to himself, This【Sixty Four Sword Styles】is a waste of resources in the hands of Senior Martial Brother Tan Zhen, only in my hands can its power be fully unleashed.
Tan Zhen, on the other hand, had also been enlightened on the defensive and combat techniques of the Martial Masters, he was proficient in the techniques of different clans, various kinds of totem carvings began to crawl over the surface of his skin, and even his psyche bonded onto his bones. He stomped in midair while casting all sorts of Martial Masters’ techniques, blasting the air in an imposing manner.
Especially the fish-dragon totem and techniques of the You Yu Clan he had acquired, his body was surrounded with dragons scale shields while the immense strengths of the fish-dragon surged in his body, allowing him to be even stronger than Zhong Yue in close quarter combat!
His cultivation base was already stronger than Zhong Yue, and now armed with the defensive and offensive techniques of the Martial Masters, it was like a tiger who suddenly got attached with wings!
But the flaws in Tan Zhen were also evidently glaring – that was the lack of a profound physique-refining art. He was after all, increasing his body strength through the ways of a Qi Practitioner, which was not in the true sense strengthening his mortal body.
Whereas Zhong Yue’s【Great Sun Prodigious Emanation Art】was a bona fide physique refining art, one that could strengthen his body to rival the Martial Masters’!
“After learning the defensive and offensive techniques of the Martial Masters, I can raise my name in Dragon and Tiger Challenger Board by at least five rankings!”
Tan Zhen laughed and landed down abruptly, he said, “Junior Martial Brother Zhong, I’m going to challenge the ones above me in the rankings of Challenger Board, do you want to come along? With your current prowess, you would be able to reach at least the top thirty of the board!”
Zhong Yue shook his head and declined as he smiled, “The 27th sword style is quite hard, I still need some time to consolidate my understanding and master the 27th sword style. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be able to cast the 27 sword styles I learned from you in the duels. Otherwise, if the Shui Tu Clan were to see me casting it, they would suspect you and it will bring arise to troubles.”
“Junior Martial Brother Zhong is so caring for me. I, your elder brother, am so grateful.”
Tan Zhen walked out, smiled and said, “I’m going to challenge someone, you must wait for my good news!”
Zhong Yue stood up and sent Tan Zhen off, he then returned back to the cave dwellings, his eyes flashed with a cold light as he mumbled lowly, “Also, I can’t let Xiao Chuqing know of the fact that I’ve learned the first 27 sword styles of the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】. Now, Xiao Chuqing must’ve noticed the tiny clues I’ve left behind? During the duel with Senior Martial Brother Tan Zhen, I’ve left no traces of my footprints and didn’t use any soul weapons; but the more measures I take to cover my tracks, the more suspicions I would incur. Then, when I leave the mountain, she would surely follow behind….”
The corner of his mouth twitched upwards into a dark smile, “Xiao Chuqing, I’ve revealed a flaw that could ultimately reveal my identity, but at the same time, I’ve sown the seed that would allow me to reap your life. I only hope that you will not miss this fleeting opportunity to catch me!”
He settled his mind and submerged himself into the transformations of the 27th sword styles. It was not easy to learn it, Elder Shui Zian’s talent was incredibly amazing, if the sword skill Shui Zian created could be mastered within a few days, then the Sword Cocoons would not be worthy enough to receive a designation as one of the Ten Malefic Weapons and Shui Zian will not be able to live up to his talent as well..
Zhong Yue’s psyche ocean surged vigorously. Suddenly, a strong tide billowed up into the air and turned into a few thousand feet long giant python, slithering and soaring in the skies, changing quickly, dreary and fearsome; it was him visualizing all of the mutations of the 1st sword style, and casting it in his psyche ocean.
The giant python soared above in the air of the psyche ocean, casting all of the sword’s will and mutations out; after an unknown amount of time, another giant python suddenly gushed out from the psyche ocean, and the two pythons soared parallel to each other, forming an intricate and perennially changing sword array!
After a long time, the third giant python gushed out and joined in the sword array, Zhong Yue submerged himself in casting the sword skill while at the same time gaining insights on the abstrusity of the first 27 sword styles, the number of giant pythons manifested from his psyche were also gradually increasing. Each time a new giant python entered the sword array would betoken mastery of another sword style, enabling him to move to the next one.
Time continued flowing indifferently as day after day passed by, there were already twenty giant pythons soaring in Zhong Yue’s psyche ocean. He had cultivated the first twenty sword styles and had mastered all of them. But the changes and mutations in the sword array of the 20th sword styles imposed an immense burden on his brain; the myriad transformations in the sword slaughtering array were too intricate and complex, placing a tremendous strain on his control ability to the point where he was on the verge of breaking down!
Although Zhong Yue had a bad impression of Shui Zian, to the point that he had even taken Shui Zian as a traitor to Swords Gate. But he still had to acknowledge and pay his respect towards this Swords Gate elder for creating such a formidable sword array, the【Sixty Four Sword Styles】!
“The 20th sword style is more than enough!”
Zhong Yue suddenly opened his eyes and whispered lowly. “Because I only have twenty rays of Sword Qi, eighteen Coral Tree Sword Qis, one Xiang Dragon Sword Qi and one Wooden Sword Qi!”
All of a sudden, Xin Huo voiced out, “Brat Yue, if you want to kill that celestial heifer, the 20th sword style can’t do it, but 4th sword style might be able to.”
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