Chapter 3 - The Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords
Three months passed by quickly.
The ocean beyond the cliff roared, the clouds overhead flowed on ever changing. Upon that cliff, a teenage boy was wearing a training robe and holding a great steel sword. He jumped up and down and moved forward and back, making his sword shine with light that danced and weaved.
Perhaps it was just an illusion, perhaps it was the environment, but the scene of the young man waving his sword gave one the sense that, he was standing there all by himself like a lone peak, looking down over the mountains of the world, everything miniscule in comparison. Even though he was there right in front of you, it felt like he was far far away on that lone peak, a kind of unpredictable sense of distance that would make one feel like they were helplessly lost in the world.
One by one, he moved from stance to stance, starting from the first stage and advancing to the twelfth stage. After moving through the twelve stages, the young man's gaze became sharp, cutting right through the air. He jumped high up into the air and dove down like he was jumping off a peak. Snap! A small spark appeared . The next second, half of the rock was scored with a horrifying three-centimeter-deep sword mark. It was clean and neat, yet aggressive and cold-blooded.
Returning his sword back to its scabbard, the young man mumbled to himself: "No wonder the pavilion master wanted me to choose another sword art, it turns out that this Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords was not just some simple Middle-Ranked Mortal manual. It actually contains profound truths, making its actual rank much higher than what the manual had been listed at. Only these truths were not explained in the manual"
This young man was Ye Chen. Over the past three months, he had already finished his training of the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords, due to his extremely strong comprehension. However, he recently realized that there was still something missing. Ye Chen concluded that the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords was incomplete, and that the complete manual had been lost and had its rank drop to the Middle-Ranked Mortal level.
Fortunately, it was Ye Chen who was training in it. After spending some effort studying it, not only had he managed to reach the Conscious Stage, which was not explained in the manual, but his Qi had also been improved. The Conscious Stage was a stage of realization. Imagine a pianist playing a piece of music that she had played many times before, however, instead of just reading the notes and playing as written, she played the piece in a completely different manner, yet still using the same melody and rhythm! The pianist had comprehended the emotion and feeling that caused the composer to write the song. The heart! This was the Conscious Stage of the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords, the true heart and intent. Indomitable and lonely. He believed it would not take long before he would be able to recreate and master his own Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords.
From his training the past three months, the Qi inside of Ye Chen had reached the beginning of Qi Realm Level 6.
"It's time! I should go and return the script now." Remembering the rules of the School of Yun, Ye Chen did not want to waste a second, he immediately started to head back.
On the way back, his ears twitched as he heard grunting from a distance. Even though it was at least five hundred meters away, he still could hear it very clearly, as if the sounds had been pressed together and all occurred at the same time.
"What a loud noise! The body to produce this kind of sound must be wondrous indeed! And from what it sounds like, it seems to be a woman..." Unable to quench his curiosity, Ye Chen carefully approached.
After crossing a few thorny bushes, he arrived at the back of a huge rock.
He stuck his head out and he saw a small forest and a wood cabin with a small pond beside it. Four lotus leaves drifted peacefully in the pond causing the whole place to have a poetic feel.
At the edge of the forest, there was a teenage girl who looked to be about sixteen years old. Wearing white training gear, she was practicing a fist arts which caused her to continuously grunt with a loud sound that could frighten one's soul.
She was a petite skinny girl that looked so weak that she might be blown away by the wind. But each punch and kick of hers gave off such a terrifying aura that one would think it would be able to rip through anything.
"It's senior sister Xu Jing...so this must be a forbidden area?"
After seeing her, Ye Chen realized something.
The master of the School of Yun, and each of the elders, had their own mountains for practicing, and if the others wanted to train their martial arts, they would have to find a different place. However, although the Mountain of Wind was huge, the best training locations were scarce. So usually, the elders and the core apprentices would get to pick the good places first and mark them as their own territories. If anyone tried to break in, it was viewed as incredible disrespect, and they would be definitely yelled at or even badly punished if it was a serious situation.
This sister Xu he was looking at was one of the core apprentices in the School of Yun, ranked at 23. Her cultivation had reached the Mid Condensing Reality Realm, and was extremely talented.
Xu Jing continued taking steps. Between the movements of her fists and legs, she pressed her tongue on the back of her teeth, gathered the Qi inside of her body together in her lower abdomen and grunted repeatedly, all of which increased the power of her fist art.
After a few rounds of punches, her power seemed to have reached its peak. All of a sudden, she jumped up in the air, her fists moved fast like lightning, murderous, like a tiger attacking its prey. The next second, she threw a punch right on a massive branch of a big tree.
Pow! Pow! Pow!
Something unexpected happened... Out of nowhere, there was a gold light shooting right out of Xu Jing's fists that was so bright it could almost blind anyone who looked at it. Soon, the bright gold light turned into something solid and caused the big tree, and the directly adjacent trees, to explode without any visible effort... its powerfulness was frightening.
Ye Chen squeezes his eyes. It must've been done by pushing her Qi out!
When a Qi Realm warrior was able to convert the Qi in their body into Real Qi, it meant that he (or she) had officially reached the Condensing Reality Realm. Not only was the power of their attack largely increased, but Qi was actually pushed out of the body and attack people through the air.
"Still not going to come out?" Xu Jing had already noticed Ye Chen's arrival a while ago. And now, she stared sharply in the direction of his location.
Ye Chen swallowed and revealed himself as requested.
"You are an outer disciple." Xu Jing says.
"Why are you spying on me practicing my fist art?"
"I've heard your voice from far away, and came to have a look out of curiosity."
Xu Jing studied Ye Chen carefully, his confident attitude made her curious, if it was any other apprentice, they would normally already be stuttering speechlessly in front of her, but he spoke with logic, in a calm and confident manner. She couldn't find any deceit in his bearing, thus she bore him no ill will.
Not planning on giving him any trouble, Xu Jing calmly said, "Please leave now, and don't return unless I give you permission."
Leaving the place, Ye Chen let out a breath.
When facing Xu Jing, he had felt an immense pressure, one that he hadn't felt from other, higher ranked core apprentices. It seemed that there would be some changes in the ranks of core apprentices soon.
Ye Chen chuckled.
If it was before, I would probably have had a hard time putting a sentence together in front of her. It must be due to my increased soul power that I can stand in front of her so calmly.
But the most memorable part of encountering Xu Jing had to be her personality. She was so cold and unfriendly and yet had such fierce and powerful martial arts, that she was very easy to remember.
Ye Chen arrived at the Pavilion of Martial Arts.
The pavilion master looked up from his desk and recognized Ye Chen instantly, he spoke up, "How was it?... you failed to master that Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords, right? It's not too late for you to choose another sword art."
Ye Chen smiles, "there's no need, I came to return the script."
"Okay, just sign here."
After signing, Ye Chen turned to leave.
Looking at him, the pavilion master asked curiously: "Only two months to go, then it will be the challenge of Mu Ren Gang, you sure you are not going to trying something else?"
Mu Ren Gang is a traditional challenge held once every six months in the School of Yun, the contestants are mostly outer disciples. If you do well, it means your combat skill is very high; and if you failed, then you will know your skills are lacking. In his memories, he saw his previous self taking the challenge almost half a year ago, he had vomited blood after taking a three breath long of beating, which turned him into a huge joke among the entire school.
"I imagine the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords should be of a high enough level for me to pass that." Ye Chen thought that if he can train his Qi to the late stage of Qi Realm Level 6 in just two months, even if he didn't make it into the top ten, his rank should still be fairly good, but it is a fact that he hadn't been in an actual combat yet, so he's still not too sure about his combat skills.
The pavilion master nodded subconsciously, then he looked up with full of surprise, "you mean you've mastered the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords? How is that even possible?"
"More or less, I guess." Ye Chen replies.
I wonder what he would think if he knew that I have not only mastered the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords but also realized its mental realm and achieved a higher level of Qi Realm.
Ye Chen did not want to reveal too much, so he walked out of the pavilion.
After he left, the pavilion master couldn't believe what he had just heard. He knew that the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords was not a complete art, it was created by the third master of the School of Yun, its rank was truly at the top of the mortal class. But, because of some unknown reasons, the real script was lost, leaving only this unfinished script.
Despite all this, the Lone Peak of Thirteen Swords itself is still very hard to master, since its basics still belong to the top mortal class, which is impossible for a outer disciple to understand.
"The outer disciples nowadays are way too full of themselves." The pavilion master shook his head. It was obvious that he didn't believe what Ye Chen said at all.
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