Chapter 305 – Sword Qi in the Dantian
Among the countless swords that had once danced before him, one of them had condensed in his mind. It was pitch-black like ink, swinging around freely.
Li Qingshan sensed something. He left the formation and arrived in the bamboo forest, fishing out a sword from his hundred treasures pouch.
His arm drooped down naturally with the tip of the sword pointing towards the ground. Suddenly, like a willow leaf in the wind, he lifted it high up, pointing it straight at the sky.
Nearby, an old stalk of bamboo split open from bottom to top.
Li Qingshan was not in a state to be amazed. The ink sword in his mind suddenly fell.
Li Qingshan moved with the sword, turning around and slicing vertically. The sword qi shot off as blurs, causing a region of bamboo to collapse with a series of thuds.
Right now, the person was not controlling the sword. Instead, the sword was controlling the person.
Li Qingshan leapt about freely according to the dancing sword in his mind like he was a monkey. The sword in his hand vanished. Only his surroundings flickered with specks of light.
Wherever it went, it was unstoppable. The sword moves and sword intent were extremely sharp.
Numerous blurs suddenly gathered together. Li Qingshan held the sword right in front of him, stroking past the flat of the sword with two fingers. The cold, blue light shone past his resolute face.
As it turned out, the greatest use of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy was not for defeating opponents, but to store and pass on this cultivator’s path of the sword.
As for the sword qi that had infiltrated his body, they were not a vicious trap, but a method for future generations to comprehend the sword intent, as well as a test!
If they had Xiao An’s talent and could comprehend the sword intent to such a level from just looking at the calligraphy, then even if the sword qi infiltrated their body, they could control it freely. However, if they were mediocre people, then they would be unworthy of this legacy.
However, Li Qingshan could not help but guess that this cultivator probably never expected his Cursive Sword Calligraphy would be split into so many fragments. However, if it were the complete Cursive Sword Calligraphy, just how terrifying would the test be?
The small, inky-black sword in his mind probably would not be as simple as just dancing around a few times. Just the terrifying sword intent it would emanate with would be enough to instantly annihilate the consciousness of regular cultivators.
He sure had gotten his hands on something impressive.
Li Qingshan suddenly smiled. He tossed the sword aside, which stabbed into a rock.
He leapt up and pushed off a few tender bamboo branches, arriving on the east of the island in just a few steps. There was a small, jagged outcrop of rock.
He leapt out of the bamboo forest. Mid-air, his true qi sank into his dantian as he spread his arms. The several dozen criss-crossing strands of sword qi suppressed in his dantian shot out, striking the mound silently. Some of the rocks cracked as they were unable to withstand the force, but aside from that, there was not much sound at all.
A cricket had originally been rubbing its wings, letting out a loud chirp. Now, it had completely fallen silent. It fell off the rocks. There was not a single trace on its body, while the entire outcrop of insect cries had been reduced to silence. They had been slain by the scattered sword intent.
As it turned out, this was the correct way to use the Cursive Sword Calligraphy.
Li Qingshan understood now. He channeled his true qi into the Cursive Sword Calligraphy and allowed it to flow back into his body, hiding in his dantian. If he suddenly erupted with it while fighting an enemy, just how startling would the power be?
Of course, if he comprehended the path of the sword in the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, he obviously would not be harmed by the Cursive Sword Calligraphy. Li Qingshan was currently using a high-handed method of forcefully suppressing the sword qi.
However, he believed that while he was not a genius, he was not an idiot either. He had already refined it now, so as long as he spent some time on it, he could obviously comprehend the path of the sword in the Cursive Sword Calligraphy. Of course, it would just be whatever the mid grade spiritual artifact contained.
An idea randomly flashed through his head. Li Qingshan suddenly understood why the Cursive Sword Calligraphy had been split up into so many fragments. He also understood how to merge them back together.
It was exactly because people could not withstand the complete test of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy that it had been split up. There was no need for him to be proficient in forging artifacts. All he needed to do was refine the Cursive Sword Calligraphies one by one and merge the sword qi in his dantian. After that, he would be able to achieve the same effects as merging the fragments together.
Li Qingshan took out another fragment, the high grade Cursive Sword Calligraphy. As long as he could refine two of them, he was confident that he could defeat any Qi Practitioner, let alone Chu Tian.
However, he needed to comprehend the path of the sword in the mid grade Cursive sword Calligraphy first. It was a pity that Xiao An was not here, or she definitely would be able to help him out.
Perhaps she had sensed his calling, as Li Qingshan saw Xiao An rushing over when he looked back, arriving before him and smiling at him.
In the school of Yin-yang, Ma Buyi had placed his long hat to one side. He was in a slight daze. Due to the complexity of the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots, he was prepared to spend several months teaching it to her.
The Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots was split into seven main parts. The depth and complexity of each part surpassed the five elements cultivation methods like the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi by several fold. As for completely merging the seven parts, the difficulty would compound even further.
Ma Buyi finished explaining the first part to her in great detail and care. He was just about to go into detail about the wonders of the part.
Xiao An said, “Please continue.”
Ma Buyi frowned, but upon considering the fact that sitting right before him was a rare prodigy that seldomly appeared even across a century, he thought maybe it would be easier for him to teach her after she had learned the entire cultivation method. As a result, he explained the entire Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots to her.
However, before he could tell her anything else, Xiao An had piped up. “Is there anymore?”
Ma Buyi answered, “There isn’t.”
“Thank you.” Xiao An stood up and bowed before turning around and leaving. She was anxious to see Li Qingshan. Ever since they had come to the academy, it seemed like the time they spent apart had increased. She disliked it very much.
Ma Buyi asked, “Where are you going?”
“Isn’t there no more?”
Ma Buyi asked, “Do you understand it?”
Xiao An replied, “A bit.”
Ma Buyi immediately quizzed her with a few questions. She replied smoothly without batting an eye. She had truly understood “a bit”.
Of course, this did not mean she had completely grasped the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots. The parts of greater depth required her to slowly comprehend as she cultivated. They were not something she could understand from just a short explanation.
As a result, despite only knowing “a bit”, she answered very accurately. However, in order to reach this level of understanding “a bit” in the past, the time Ma Buyi spent under the careful guidance of his master had to be calculated with years.
Now, he could finally understand a little bit of what the One Thought master was thinking. Having a disciple like this basically made him, the master, feel defeated for some reason.
He refused to accept it. “It’s easier said than done. You need to actually achieve it through cultivation.”
As a result, all Xiao An could do was sit down. Because it was not the buddhist dharma, she was unable to practise it as swiftly as the Guardian King’s Scripture of Demon Subdual. After spending a whole day and night, she gained a basic grasp over the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots.
Ma Buyi waved his hand in a daze. “You can go. If there’s anything you don’t understand, come find me.”
Xiao An bowed again before turning around and leaving.
She tread over the waves as her sleeves fluttered in the wind. As soon as she arrived on Cloudwisp island, she spotted Li Qingshan’s location with a single glance and smiled sweetly.
Li Qingshan immediately asked Xiao An about the path of the sword within the Cursive Sword Calligraphy. Sure enough, Xiao An had not refined any of them, but her comprehension of the path of the sword hidden within had surpassed Li Qingshan’s.
Li Qingshan listened to her explanation and immediately felt like he had benefited tremendously. She had also gained quite a lot of inspiration from Li Qingshan’s comprehensions through physical practice, which allowed her swordsmanship to improve yet again.
However, comprehension was one of the most complicated feelings out there. Even Xiao An was unsure of how to explain it to Li Qingshan at times, so she would just pick up the sword and spar with Li Qingshan using the sword style from the Cursive Sword Calligraphy.
For days and nights on end, a large and small figure chased one another and clashed within the jade-green sea of bamboo. The swords collided together and thrummed as large portions of the bamboo forest collapsed.
Liu Chuanfeng was pained just from the sight of it. He had just spent quite a lot of spiritual stones and issued a mission for the destroyed bamboo buildings. If this continued, the two of them would probably shave the tranquil Cloudwisp island bald of any vegetation.
He was thinking it was the two of them, but actually, it was just Li Qingshan alone. Xiao An’s sword strokes were powerful, but they were extremely focused. She would not touch a single branch or leaf unless she had to.
However, after just a few days, the amount of bamboo felled decreased drastically. Only then did Liu Chuanfeng stop worrying.
After another dozen or so days, bamboo shoots burst out of the earth during a spring drizzle.
The spring breeze danced, the sea of bamboo swayed, and the sky was filled with fine rain.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An stood within the rain. The landscape in the distance blurred within the rain, like it stood within an ink painting.
They wielded bamboo swords, sometimes close together and sometimes far away. Their swords rarely ever clashed. Every single movement they made seemed like they were mentally connected, cooperating with one another perfectly. They no longer seemed like they were clashing swords, but dancing together.
In the very beginning, Li Qingshan wielded a low grade spiritual artifact sword. Afterwards, he switched to inferior spiritual artifacts, then a regular sword, followed by the current bamboo sword.
He even sourced his materials from the bamboo forest below his feet. He had personally created it using his arts of forging artifacts. This obviously was not so that he could act cool. Instead, as his control over sword qi increased, his requirement for the material quality decreased.
If it were the Li Qingshan of the past, probably even a metal sword would be reduced to dust in his hands.
Now, it demonstrated that he had finally comprehended and gained control over the path of the sword within the Cursive Sword Calligraphy.
Though, when it came to actual fighting, it would obviously be better if his weapon was more powerful. Against an actually powerful opponent, trying to pull something like “No sword in hand, but a sword in the heart” was just looking for death.
Li Qingshan was relieved. He had finally digested the complete path of the sword within the first fragment of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy. There was no need to use the Spirit Turtle Suppresses the Seas anymore. The sword qi swam around freely in his sea of qi like fish.
He suddenly called out, “Xiao An, use your full strength.”
The bamboo sword vanished, turning into a wave of sword qi. Some of them were heavy, some light, some slow, some fast, some straight, some twisted. This was the first time Li Qingshan had comprehended the delicate differences among them. He no longer unleashed all of them at once like a swarm of bees.
Xiao An smiled. Golden light erupted from her body, and the guardian king planted its sword into the ground, standing as firmly as a mountain.
Cling! Clang! The sounds rang out like a bell. However, only the few heavy strands of sword qi managed to leave behind some shallow marks on the guardian king avatar. The rest failed to achieve anything.
“The cultivation methods of buddhism are basically cheating.” Li Qingshan grinned. It was obviously no issue for these sword qi to pierce protective sword qi, but it was impossible for them to get through Xiao An’s avatar.
However, he had only digested the mid grade Cursive Sword Calligraphy so far. If it were the high grade one instead…