Chapter 470 – Karma, the Heart of the Sword
“Try out the sword? Sure!” Li Qingshan did not hesitate much at all and agreed to it. “Seeing how fellow Fu has nothing to do too, please give me some guidance.”
No one had imagined they would be clashing first when there was still some time until the fifth of the fifth month.
In the room, the seven lots dispersed together, turning into streaks of light. Paper fluttered through the surroundings.
Xiao An casually grabbed a piece with a brush in her other hand. She wrote a few simple words before folding it and handing it to Ma Buyi.
“Don’t show it to too many people.”
The heavenly secrets could not be divulged, not because there were terrifying consequences once they were divulged, but because it could easily become inaccurate once divulged. If everyone knew the results of the divination and news reached Bloodshadow’s ears, he would know about the ambush and the divination obviously would not be accurate.
“Yes.” Ma Buyi opened the piece of paper and took a glance. He could not help himself as disbelief filled his face. A precise time and location was actually written on there.
It had to be mentioned that not only did the results of his divinations only provide a rough location, even the time would be very vague, covering a large period. And, this was already very impressive. Foresight had never been so simple.
Ma Buyi had already stated in the past that Xiao An would definitely be better than him with divination once she reached Foundation Establishment, but in reality, he was wrong. She was not just better than him. She had completely exceeded him.
As he thought about how he had said, “This isn’t something a Foundation Establishment cultivator can achieve.” when Wang Pushi asked him to predict Bloodshadow’s future movements, he basically reddened slightly. As it turned out, it was not beyond the capabilities of Foundation Establishment cultivators. It was just beyond his capabilities.
Just as Xiao An was about to leave through the door, Ma Buyi called out and stopped her from behind.
Xiao An stopped, but she did not look back. She waited for him to speak.
“Fellow Xiao An, please relieve me of my confusion. What was all this information for?” Ma Buyi bowed deeply.
“For karma.” The karma Xiao An spoke of was the karma of buddhism. Actions came with consequences.
Apart from relying on her extraordinary talent, she was able to predict Bloodshadow’s future movements so precisely because her method of divination did not just originate from the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots anymore, but the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
Buddhism placed great emphasis on karma and predestination. If the disciples of buddhism wanted to cultivate to higher realms, it was basically impossible for them to remain uninvolved with this aspect. “Enlightenment of Predestination” was even designated as a certain realm of cultivation.
The eminent monk of buddhist who became the White Bone Bodhisattva was the best among the best in this respect. If they did not even know about the fate awaiting them, how could they make the claim that they would destroy buddhism?
There was a specialised section for this in the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. It was much more profound than the sections for forging artifacts or refining pills. It was not called the Divination section. Instead, it was directly called the Section of Predestination.
Predestination was fate set in stone. It could not be changed. Even the person who carried out the divination would be bound to their predestined fate.
For example, practitioners of divination like Ma Buyi and the Divining Elder actually only saw the very surface of the river of fate. There, the waves surged without control, filled with unknown and uncontrollable factors.
As for true predestination, it lay in the very depths of this river of fate. It also experienced undercurrents, but it was much more stable compared to the surface. Whoever managed to dive down to there would be able to grasp the future.
Xiao An had only gained a small inkling about this Section of Predestination through the foundation she had set with the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots after consolidating her cultivation at the first layer of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. By following the traces of karma, she could see through the waves of the river of fate and grasp a hint of invariability within the endless variation.
Karma? Only then did Ma Buyi remember Xiao An was actually a disciple of buddhism. However, no one could connect this young lady of unrivalled beauty to the solemnity of buddhism.
As Ma Buyi pondered this, Xiao An had already left through the door.
“Looks like fellow Fu insists on going easy on me?” Li Qingshan studied the surroundings before looking at Fu Qingjin again.
The Clear River prefecture was covered in bodies of water. It had many rivers and lakes. Li Qingshan and Fu Qingjin were currently on a lake near the prefectural city. Here, it would clearly be very beneficial for Li Qingshan to unleash his powers, which was why he mentioned that.
“The landscape here is as beautiful as a painting. It’s a good place to try your sword. I’d like to see the limit of your sword style.” Fu Qingjin smiled gently.
“Then you better keep your eyes open!”
Li Qingshan grabbed the Heavy Water sword on his back and swung it hard. He kicked up a huge wave as he lunged towards Fu Qingjin.
Fu Qingjin wielded his hand like a sword, and the tips of his finger ripped with green light. He swung it down gently, cutting through the huge wave like he was cutting through paper.
The huge wave parted, and a figure appeared. Li Qingshan burst out of the wave and swung down with the Heavy Water sword with enough power to split mountains and rivers.
As if he had been anticipating this. Fu Qingjin ignored the incoming sword and lunged forward. Using his fingers like a sword, he stabbed it straight towards Li Qingshan’s heart.
It was a clash of life and death the moment they began fighting, a battle to the death.
Boom! A huge slash appeared in the calm lake surface, kicking up huge waves of over a dozen meters tall and shaking up the entire lake.
Li Qingshan and Fu Qingjin brushed past one another, standing back-to-back.
“Very good. You have the talent to become a good swordsman.” Fu Qingjin turned around and a strand of hair fell gently.
“Really? What talent?” Li Qingshan looked back and asked. His chest throbbed slightly. If the sword qi on the tip of Fu Qingjin’s finger had pierced another three inches deeper, it would have reached his heart.
“Showing no fear in the face of danger, bold enough to throw your life on the line.”
Fu Qingjin lifted up his fingers and brought them close to his forehead. Rippling with green light, it dyed his forehead and hair green. He swung it conveniently, and it extended into a meter-long stream of light. He arrived with a flash. Before he had even launched an attack, the trail of his sword had already weaved a great net, enveloping Li Qingshan firmly.
Sword intent pierced his forehead, making Li Qingshan’s sea of consciousness ripple. He could not help but feel dispirited and pessimistic. He felt like it was impossible to stop the attack and all attempts of struggle were futile.
Li Qingshan roared out and cut through the sword intent. The Heavy Water sword turned into numerous blurs, like a master of calligraphy wielding a brush valiantly to create a majestic work. It immediately crushed Fu Qingjin’s net.
Before the lake could even settle down, an even larger wave appeared. Under Li Qingshan’s control, it turned into endless strands of sword qi that shot towards Fu Qingjin wave after wave.
“What an exquisite sword style. I think I’ve seen it somewhere before.”
Fu Qingjin was like a single row boat in the raging waves. He rose and fell with the waves, as if he could capsize at any time, yet remaining perfectly fine the entire time as he went with the flow. Only when he had no other place to dodge would he gently slash out with his finger and nullify the danger. He closely observed Li Qingshan’s sword style.
When Fu Qingjin worked with Li Qingshan last time against Strongboulder, he caught a hurried glance of Li Qingshan’s sword style and found it familiar. Today, the sense of familiarity appeared once again.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An’s sword style both originated from the Cursive Sword Calligraphy. Fu Qingjin had once clashed with Xiao An before, so this sense of familiarity was not without reason. He had spent his life learning the sword, so his sensitivity and understanding of the sword even surpassed his memory of people’s faces. As long as he had seen it once, he would keep a record of it and never forget it.
But after observing for a little longer, he was unable to match it up to any of the sword styles in his memories. It was not like this had never happened before. He knew far too many sword styles, and the inherited memories from the Green Ruins sword basically covered everything too. It was just like how it was simply too easy to find two people who looked alike within a sea of people, so it did not attract any suspicion from him.
Although Li Qingshan had comprehended his sword style from the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, his ability to understand and comprehend completely paled in comparison to Xiao An’s.
If Xiao An could comprehend one hundred percent, then he could only comprehend thirty percent, and the sword style would be more straightforward, forceful, and valiant, just like his character. As a result, it became very difficult for Fu Qingjin to connect the two.
The Heavy Water sword missed once again. Li Qingshan raised an eyebrow, and the muscles on his arms rippled. Through brute strength, he forcefully changed the path of the sword, slapping it towards Fu Qingjin.
Resplendent green light appeared on the tips of Fu Qingjin’s fingers as they pressed against the flat blade. This was the weakest point of the sword. However, as he knocked away the Heavy Water sword, he also felt his finger ache, as if it had been broken. He was startled inside. What strength!
He was afraid to take it on directly, so he used the force to drift away into the distance.
“Fu Qingjin, you won’t even draw your sword. Are you looking down on me?”
Taken away by the battle, Li Qingshan could no longer bother with this fake courtesy. With a clang, he hoisted the Heavy Water sword onto his shoulder and barked in a straightforward manner.
Not only did wielding the sword take great strength, but it depleted his spiritual qi rapidly too, but the Arts of the Boundless Ocean came into effect at a time like this. His depleted spiritual qi would replenish rapidly such that he would always have enough.
“The Green Ruins sword won’t be directed towards friends. You wouldn’t want a sword you’ve just obtained to be damaged, right?”
Fu Qingjin stroked the hilt gently and smiled with quite the bearing. He was like a courteous lord purposefully lowering himself to talk heart to heart with the generals and advisors he liked, without any insincerity.
Li Qingshan found it cringeworthy. Who’s your friend? In another month’s time, I’ll cut you down in person.
Fu Qingjin continued, “Your sword style is very impressive, but it seems incomplete. It’s rather rigid between moves, which leads to openings.”
“Openings or not, it’s enough as long as I can kill with it.” Li Qingshan could not help but admire and admit that this bastard’s sword technique sure was impressive, having surpassed his own. He had actually managed to see through the flaws of his sword style so quickly in battle. He would probably have to suffer a little in this aspect when it came to their battle to the death in the future.
Apart from Fu Qingjin’s own talent and hard work, the legacy from the Green Ruins sword played a vital role too. The past masters of the Green Ruins sword were all outstanding figures. They might not remain here in person anymore, but their heart of the sword would forever remain in the sword.
Fu Qingjin said, “Please lend me your sword.”
“Take it!” Li Qingshan was surprised by the request before tossing the Heavy Water sword over. I’d like to see what you’re planning to do.
The moment Fu Qingjin gripped the hilt, his aura suddenly changed, becoming unruly and beyond control. He swung out with the Heavy Water sword, unleashing a forceful, unruly, and valiant sword style.
Li Qingshan found it rather familiar. “Isn’t that my sword style!?”
However, all of the flaws had been fixed, such that it flowed freely from move to move. It became much smoother and more natural, and its power had increased too.
“This sword style doesn’t suit me, so I can’t unleash the limits of its power. All I can do is demonstrate it. I hope it can assist you. We should return.”
In that instant, Fu Qingjin stopped with the sword style and tossed the Heavy Water sword back to Li Qingshan.