Chapter 856 – The Merfolk Sea Fair (Eleven)
At the very least, the Elder of Cultivation Methods was left quite furious. The corner of his eye twitched, and his face turned beet-red. He had spent four centuries engrossed in the path of the sword. If a girl less than a tenth of his age wanted to challenge him, then so be it, but she was not even using a sword! What was that supposed to be? That was naked provocation.
The hall erupted in an uproar. The cultivators looked at one another, basically doubting their ears.
Ji Changfeng thought, They really are together after all. Even their arrogance is identical!
Ye Duanhai’s expression became slightly colder too. He asked Li Qingshan, “Are you serious? It’s just a contest, but once they actually start fighting, there’s no saying what might end up happening. She might get hurt!”
“A contest! Was she supposed to provide guidance? She doesn’t have a sword in her hand, but she has a sword in her heart. The elder over there, are you afraid?”
Li Qingshan never expected Xiao An to do this either. He could not help but lament things like “Sure enough, the younger ones are surpassing the older generation”, “Generations come and go”, “I’ve grown old” and so on inside. However, he was not concerned about Xiao An at all. She thought through things much more thoroughly than him. Since she was bold enough to do this, then she had absolute confidence in herself.
Only mortals would believe something like that. Even people who had wandered the jianghu a bit would never believe that, let alone a great swordmaster like Ye Duanhai.
Unless the difference in their strength was far too vast, a powerful weapon could play a decisive role in battle. Comprehension was not useless, but in a true battle, it always came down to strength. Even for an old monk who had spent his entire life studying buddhism, if he encountered a tiger, then all he could do was pray to the buddha that the tiger was not hungry if he did not cultivate.
She was confronting a treasured sword with a peach branch, and the master of the treasured sword was even a sword cultivator who had undergone the second heavenly tribulation and condensed a sword embryo. She was digging her own grave in everyone’s eyes.
“Afraid? I don’t even know how that word is spelt!” Cold light flashed through the eyes of the Elder of Cultivation Methods, and the temperature in the hall plummeted.
“I can teach you.” Xiao An’s voice was still emotionlessly calm as if she actually believed that the elder did not know how to spell it.
“Sharp-tongued girl, cut the nonsense! Let’s take a look at the sword style of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga now, shall we?”
His sword exited the sheath, and a streak of violet light illuminated the entire hall, together with the heavy rumbling of thunder.
“This sword is three feet, seven inches, and five eighths of an inch long, called Violet Lightning.”
The elder’s clothes began to ruffle as sparks coiled around him. He raised his sword before him with his right hand and swept his left hand across the blade. Electricity surged between his hand and the blade.
Immediately, he seemed to become a whole different person. He sank into calmness, without the slightest hint of fury anymore, just like the sword in his hand.
“This is not a sword, but the branch of a peach tree,” Xiao An replied nonchalantly. I
In comparison to the elder’s flagrant bearing, she did not give off any bearing at all. It was as if she had already lost the upper hand completely before they had even clashed.
Sword qi surged and lightning crackled right in her face, making her seem so delicate.
Only her right hand that wielded the peach branch shone with a faint, golden light. It was almost impossible to notice without a closer glance. However, no matter how hostile everyone present was, they were still insightful. They could tell the buddhist glow was something else.
Mister Ram thought to himself, Her buddhist cultivation method truly is profound. Apart from the mysterious Divine Nun of the South Sea, there probably isn’t a single buddhist disciple in the South sea that can rival her. It’s just a pity that this is a contest of the sword. If her strength completely surpasses her opponent, then so be it, but the elder of the sword pavilion has already reached the peak of the second heavenly tribulation. Apart from the few seated above me, no one can say their cultivation surpasses his.
“Let me ask you one last time. Are you really not going to switch to a sword?”
The Elder of Cultivation Methods stood with his sword in hand as the lightning became more and more intense, crackling away. It was as if what he wielded in his hand was no longer a sword, but a bolt of lightning plucked from the sky. It twisted and trembled, about to break free from his grip at any moment and kill instantly.
Everyone could tell that as soon as he struck, it would definitely be a devastating strike of lightning. Perhaps he could end the battle without even needing a second strike.
Xiao An said nothing, shaking her head gently.
In that moment, the elder vanished. Only a streak of violet electricity remained in the hall, as he had become one with the sword. The lightning sword qi that had been charging up the entire time immediately erupted, but there was only a single flash!
The violet electricity was as thin as a snake, zigzagging and wandering about along an ungraspable trajectory, but it was extremely fast.
There were not a lot of people in the hall that could make out the violet streak of electricity. The blinding light and roaring thunder immediately blinded and deafened the weaker cultivators. They were shocked. If I were on the other end of that strike, wouldn’t I be dead?
Even the relatively stronger cultivators were stern. I didn’t think the Elder of Cultivation Methods would actually be so impressive. As it seems, it’s not without reason that the South Sea Sword pavilion has never really been interested in our cultivation community. The combination of a sword cultivator and a treasured sword is just far too terrifying. It’s basically unstoppable!
Even “seventh seat” felt the same. The reason why the Elder of Cultivation Methods was willing to sit beneath him was because he really did not care about these pointless rankings. Otherwise, “seventh seat” really would have to step aside.
The rumbling lasted for quite a while before stopping. Xiao An remained exactly where she was, with the peach branch by her side. The peach blossoms fluttered as if she could not even swing her sword in time to block. She wore a mask, so no one could see her expression.
The elder stood with his back to her, standing ten paces away. He was solemn, slowly sheathing the Violet Lightning sword.
Victory had been determined!
That was what the cultivators all believed. Although most of them could not even make out the stroke, it did not stop them from making a judgement about the outcome of this battle.
It was “seventh seat” who felt something was amiss, as Ye Duanhai who had always been so solemn and always kept his emotions in check was actually taken aback. His cup paused right beside his mouth.
Ji Changfeng and Gong Yuan’s gazes both landed on Xiao An, and surprise filled their faces. They did not look at the Elder of Cultivation Methods that was closer to them. Only mister Ram gazed at the elder’s face, and his expression was just as surprised.
The elder’s figure trembled gently. Even his breathing became rather disorderly. Meanwhile, the despicable Li Qingshan stood with his arms crossed, his smile becoming more and more contemptible.
“Li Qingshan, you’re still smiling? It’ll be us once they’re done. I’m not going to be last in line. I’ll be the first one to fight you!” Elder Blue shot a glance at Li Qingshan.
“Alright. Guidance for the path of the sword has already been given. It’s your turn next!” Li Qingshan said.
“You’re still talking about giving guidance? Is there something wrong with your head? If the old man hadn’t shown mercy earlier, the girl would be dead already!” Elder Blue pointed at his own eyes, expressing that he had seen the clash very clearly.
“You- no- with your age… it’s impossible for you to have a path of the sword like that!”
The elder suddenly turned around. His face was both excited and wan as if he had suddenly grown a decade older. His complexion was extremely pale, which made the faint, red spot on his forehead stand out very much. The spot obviously was not from him.
“Ah! T- that doesn’t make sense! The old man had become one with the sword earlier! His head wasn’t even exposed!”
Elder Blue was stunned. He did see Xiao An swing the peach branch, but compared to the violet electricity, it had been far too slow.
Xiao An touched her mask and said nothing. Apart from Li Qingshan, she never liked to talk to anyone. In the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, she straight up practised meditative silence. She did not want to explain anything right now either.
Li Qingshan smiled. “I’ve already said. She doesn’t have a sword in her hand, but she has a sword in her heart. Do you believe me now? She’s not using a real sword because you don’t have any ill will with each other. She doesn’t want to take your life.”
No one knew that he was actually right, but this was not some victory in comprehension. Xiao An was very talented, but she was not a sword cultivator after all. No matter how powerful her swordsmanship was, it was impossible for her to surpass an elder who had devoted four hundred years to the path of the sword.
This was a victory in strength. Although she wielded a peach branch in her hand, she had the sword qi that possessed the Five Absolutes Immortal’s profound path of the sword in her “heart”.
In the moment they clashed, she used the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty to go from life to death, from form to emptiness, such that the elder’s strike of guaranteed success lost its target, essentially rendering his heart of the sword blind. She used this state to completely unleash the Five Absolutes Immortal’s path of the sword, which was basically like being possessed by the Five Absolutes Immortal. If it were anyone else, such as Li Qingshan, even if they had refined the Three Absolutes Calligraphy, they could not unleash it to such a level.
The path of the sword that the Elder of Cultivation Methods had devoted four centuries to was nowhere close to a figure of legends like the Fives Absolutes Immortal, and it was impossible for sword qi that had been nurtured by the Three Absolutes Calligraphy for all this time to be weaker than a regular strike from him.
In simpler terms, the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty crushed the sword pavilion’s cultivation method, while the Three Absolutes Calligraphy crushed the Violet Lightning sword. The peach branch was purely for assisting Li Qingshan in infuriating them. She could win even if she were empty-handed, so there was absolutely nothing wrong with the elder’s defeat.
With that, let alone the elder himself, even Ji Changfeng, Gong Yuan, and Ye Duanhai had been alarmed.
For all this time, the reputation of the King of Savages had been so great, such that it was very easy to neglect the silent woman beside her. Even with her alluring beauty and her title as a genius, it was unavoidable for her to be neglected once she became willing to serve as his contrast.
But at this moment, no one could underestimate her anymore. Even the ones sitting up above could not say with absolute confidence that they could receive that stroke.
In particular, as a great swordmaster, Ye Duanhai understood the significance of the stroke the most. Even if he struck out with full strength, the power of his attack would be nothing more than that.
And, she was only using a peach blossom. If she also used a treasured sword, what would happen? He knew there were many geniuses in the world, but wasn’t it a little too big of an exaggeration for a genius like her who could even neglect an entire major realm of cultivation to exist?
When it came to this aspect, it was actually them who wrongly estimated Xiao An’s strength. Because of the wonders of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty and the uniqueness of the Three Absolutes Calligraphy, none of them could tell that Xiao An had used an arcane treasure, and one that was extremely powerful. They all thought it was her own strength.
Actually, Xiao An could only unleash a stroke like that once. In an open confrontation, even if she used the Buddha Slaying sword, she could not kill a great cultivator in a single stroke.
However, while it was a wrong estimate, it could not be regarded as an overestimate. The hundred thousand Bone Eating shamans had not died for nothing. If she used her true strength, she had always been capable of easily killing an opponent like the Elder of Cultivation Methods.
The hall fell so silent that even the drop of a pin could be heard. The cultivators that Li Qingshan had challenged earlier all behaved like they had just been smacked across the head. They felt a hint of regret.