Chapter 1043 – Buried Swords
The Sword Collection palace, the Breaking Water peak.
Yin Xiaochou gripped the Breaking Water sword firmly with both hands, pressing his forehead against it as he knelt in his pitch-black dwelling.
He had already maintained this position for a very, very long time. Fury, humiliation, hatred, and confusion ebbed through his mind like the black tide.
I’m a sword cultivator prodigy, the successor of a renowned sword, a rising star of hope of the Sword Collection palace. I’ll become a great sword cultivator sooner or later, and I might even become the master of the Sword Collection palace, but why? Why did I lose?
And he had lost in such a miserable fashion, in front of so many fellow disciples, leaving him utterly humiliated.
The palace master clearly knew he had already undergone the third heavenly tribulation, so why didn’t he tell me? Why did he make me go through such great humiliation?
He seemed to be asking himself, yet also asking the Breaking Water sword. The two had merged together a very, very long time ago. His heart was the sword, and the sword was his heart.
“It’s because you’re too weak!”
A voice suddenly rang out, and the Breaking Water sword thrummed gently. He was unable to tell whether it came from the sword or his heart. He murmured, “I’m too weak?”
He shook his head violently. “No, I’ve already undergone the second heavenly tribulation and become the master of a peak in the Sword Collection palace. How can I still be weak?”
“Weaker than Li Qingshan!” the voice said.
Yin Xiaochou was devastated. The name was like a nightmare, looking down on him from high above and mocking his weakness. He could not even muster the confidence to face him in battle again.
“What is the path of the sword?”
“Purging demons and upholding justice?”
“Wrong. The sword is a tool for slaughter. There is no good or bad, much less some shitty justice. The sword is cold. The sword is slaughter. The sword looks down on the world and is invincible!”
Yin Xiaochou was left dazed for a moment. He was unable to say anything.
“You will become even stronger! You will become even stronger! Even stronger than Li Qingshan!” the voice roared loudly, and the Breaking Water sword thrummed louder and louder with a strange tone.
“I will become even stronger! I will become even stronger! Even stronger than Li Qingshan!” Yin Xiaochou’s eyes began to light up, cold and sharp.
“I will kill Li Qingshan!” Yin Xiaochou said. He heard his voice merge together with the voice, echoing through the gloomy dwelling.
If someone else had been present, they would have heard Yin Xiaochou muttering to himself with two different tones.
A paper boat glided with the winds. Fu Qingjin lay on the boat quietly, staring at the blue sky in a daze.
At the very front of the boat, Yu Zijian sat with her back towards Fu Qingjin. She leaned against her hand and said without looking back, “Senior brother, what are you thinking about?”
“I’m thinking about my childhood. I grew up in the Sword Collection palace. All of my senior and junior brothers were like family to me. The palace master was always so serious, but he would be particularly lenient with me, like a benevolent father. The Light Queen was much more powerful in comparison, such that I feared her since young. She was like a strict mother. Senior brother Xuanri…”
Fu Qingjin’s voice was soft and fleeting as if it was about to drift away through the air.
“Senior brother Xuanri must have been a gentle and kind elder brother! I didn’t grow up in the Sword Collection palace, but I can understand how you feel, senior brother. When I was in the Proud Sword manor, everyone had been like siblings too,” Yu Zijian said in a rather cherishing manner.
“You don’t understand…”
“Really? Ah! Senior brother, why are you crying? Is it because your wounds hurt? Or because you’re worried you can’t recover your cultivation? Didn’t first senior brother say so already? You’ll definitely be able to recover your cultivation!”
Yu Zijian turned around, only to see Fu Qingjin’s face already strewn with tears. She wiped away his tears in a frantic hurry. She had never seen him so feeble before.
“You don’t understand…”
Fu Qingjin shook his head gently. Compared to his wounds and his destroyed cultivation, there was a much deeper sense of pain and despair that truly ripped away at his heart, chewing up these beautiful memories. He looked back at the broken sword by his hand. He used to always believe that perhaps there were certain things that would not be reduced to ruins.
“It’s fine. I only feel a little sad inside. Where are we now? How far away are we from the Sword Collection palace?” Fu Qingjin asked. He had been in a daze the entire way, such that he did not even pay attention to their current location and the distance they had covered.
“We’ve just reached the White Earth prefecture, almost a thousand kilometers away from the Sword Collection palace. This boat flies smoothly, but it’s far too slow. Senior brother, where would you like us to stop?”
Yu Zijian felt very perplexed inside. Fu Qingjin had originally said he had come out to comprehend the Green Ruins sword intent, but he had not stopped at all the entire way.
“Then let’s stop here!” Fu Qingjin said.
“But there’s only barren land below. There are no ruins at all!” Yu Zijian said.
“Just under that tree will do.” Fu Qingjin sat up and pointed at a withered tree on the barren land.
The tiny boat landed softly, and Fu Qingjin hoisted himself up by leaning on his sword. Yu Zijian wanted to help him, but he pushed her aside.
“Dig a hole, a deeper one!” Fu Qingjin pointed beneath the withered tree.
“Okay!” Yu Zijian drew the Violet Clouds sword. With a gentle flash of violet light, she had dug a deep hole. There were countless broken roots inside, all dead too.
“So the earth of the White Earth prefecture isn’t white! Give me your sword.”
Fu Qingjin extended his hand, and Yu Zijian placed the Violet Clouds sword in his hand.
Fu Qingjin gazed at the Green Ruins and Violet Clouds in his hands. He had once believed these were the strings of fate between them, but as it turned out, it was only an illusion too. As a result, he tossed them into the air gently, and the Green Ruins sword and Violet Clouds sword landed in the pit.
“Senior brother?” Yu Zijian widened her eyes, confused by his actions.
“Sever your connection with the Violet Clouds sword and fill in the hole!” Fu Qingjin shut his eyes.
“Ah!” Yu Zijian basically wondered whether Fu Qingjin had lost his mind or not. To sword cultivators, their swords were basically everything, not to mention the fact that these two were renowned swords.
“Don’t ask. I will tell you the reason in the future.”
Fu Qingjin’s voice was extremely feeble but filled with determination.
If the Green Ruins sword had not been broken, destroying the inherited will inside, if it had not been heavily damaged by the Myriad Ghost Banner, destroying its intelligence, perhaps he never would have discovered this secret.
“F- fine then!” Yu Zijian decided to listen to Fu Qingjin for now. Then she secretly remembered this place so that she could come back and dig up the swords in the future.
Hua Chengzan supported himself with his right hand as he knelt on one knee. His long hair draped on the ground as he shook his head slowly. “I don’t.”
“Then did you know you’re actually harming him?” The master of the Sword Collection palace’s voice was cold and dignified.
“I didn’t.” Hua Chengzan shook his head again.
“So much for treating you as someone clever, and so much for how much I nurtured you. I didn’t think you’d do something so foolish in the end.”
“Palace master, you’ve been completely overestimating me. If I really were so clever, why would I have come to the Sword Collection palace?” Hua Chengzan smiled wryly.
Ji Xuanri crouched down beside Hua Chengzan and lifted his chin with his hand. He maintained the same, warm smile on his face, but his eyes were filled with pity. “Junior brother Hua, with your talent, it wouldn’t have taken you long before you could stand among our ranks. We never thought you would ruin your own future prospects.”
“By then, will I still be me?” Hua Chengzan answered with a question.