Chapter 28: An Agreement of Breakthrough
The “too fast” that Xue Wangxu spoke of meant two completely different things to these two people from Guanzhong…
The slightly plump merchant had a grave expression.
The sword seal path was uncommon to see to start with and very difficult for ordinary cultivators.
It was hard to imagine a cultivator of Ding Ning’s age being able to form two sword seals in the time it took Shen Yi to travel a few dozen meters.
“This is the sword seal path?”
Shen Yi heard the plump merchant’s voice and woke up from his daze. He did not feel any pain and embarrassment of being defeated. He was in a great shock. “How can it be so fast … even if one is born with a meticulous personality, they will need many years on the sword seal path to have any mastery. Your sword seals just now were not simple ones. How long you have cultivated … how can you be so fast?”
Ding Ning ignored the shock of the two people from Guanzhong. He glanced at Shen Yi and said unusually directly, “I am not an ordinary cultivator.”
Shen Yi stilled.
Xue Wangxu, who was sitting under the eaves, became angry and shouted, “What and what! I said too fast because Ding Ning finished too fast! Ding Ning, do you not know that after not needing to consider cultivation everyday, I have much more time every day that I feel passes very slowly? Could you not fight longer?”
Hearing his angry shout, Ding Ning turned and said with a frown, “Your demands are a bit high.”
Zhang Yi, who had been standing respectfully next to Xue Wangxu, said softly, “Cave Master, this does not seem to be good. You said to me previously that one should fight with their full power in a battle. This is respectful to the opponent. Junior Sect Brother is young. If he purposefully holds himself back, what happens if he is not good at control and wounds himself?”
Hearing Zhang Yi’s words, Xue Wangxu became more angry. He raised his hand and moved to hit. “Zhang Yi, I taught you so many principles about respecting your teacher. You dare to lecture me now?”
Zhang Yi immediately sweated and bowed in terror. He said repeatedly, “This disciple does not dare.”
“So I was really narrow-minded and ignorant in Guanzhong.” Hearing Xue Wangxu and Zhang Yi’s conversation, Shen Yi’s face flushed slightly. He bowed solemnly to Ding Ning and said seriously, “Now I think about, this is not just the speed of the sword seal path. The timing of those two sword seals was exquisite. At the start, you knew that I am not a match for you. You found it troublesome, so you were reluctant to fight me. I thought that you would be outstanding in some aspect to have Xie Rou swear an oath, but I hadn’t expected such a great disparity between us.”
Looking at this humble youth who had the air of Guanzhong, Ding Ning turned to look at the angry Xue Wangxu and thought. He said, “You did not fight at full power.”
Shen Yi said, “You have not cultivated as long as me. Your cultivation speed is faster than me. Even if I suppress my cultivation to your level, I have practised the sword longer. I still had the advantage.”
Ding Ning shook his head and said, “I do not mean that. You deliberately suppressed you cultivation and naturally was restrained. You could not fight to your heart’s content.”
Shen Yi did not understand Ding Ning’s meaning and was puzzled.
“I will wait for your Three Yang Grass,” Ding Ning said calmly. “Soon, I will reach realm three. When my cultivation grows closer to yours, if you are willing, you and I can fight again. You won’t have to restrain yourself and can express your sword essence then.”
“This is much better.” Xue Wangxu’s anger faded like a child when he heard Ding Ning’s words. He laughed.
“This …” Shen Yi felt he should be happy. He had wanted to fight to his heart’s content, but at this time, he felt something was wrong.
Zhang Yi spoke with a worried frown, “Junior Sect Brother, this is not as simple as you say. While you are close to your breakthrough, it won’t happen just because you want it. Junior Sect Brother, the Guanzhong people are straightforward in their personality. It is not good to lie to him like this.”
Shen Yi suddenly looked up. He finally realized what was wrong.
Going from Energy Refinement Realm to Vital Energy Realm was a great obstacle due to feeling and absorbing the primal energies of the universe. Many people would be stuck at this obstacle their entire lives. Which person in Energy Refinement Realm would say they were soon to reach Vital Energy Realm and would really quickly reach Vital Energy Realm?
“You do not have to believe it now.”
Ding Ning was still calm. He looked at Shen Yi and said, “You can look at it as a suggestion. If I can quickly reach Vital Energy Realm, I will fight you again. If not, then I will first owe you.”
Facing Ding Ning’s calm gaze. Shen Yi nodded and said, “I will wait for your news. Also, the Shen Family will send you the Three Yang Grass as soon as possible.
Ding Ning bowed slightly in thanks. “Thank you very much.”
Shen Yi nodded and left with his sword on his back.
A burst of cheers came from behind him.
Shen Yi’s footsteps as reached the alley entrance grew heavy.
The heaviness of his footsteps represented the weight of his mood at this time.
“Uncle Jin …” He did not turn and said softly, “Even through his senior sect brother scolds him and tells him that the time of reaching realm three is uncertain and cannot be soon, for some reason, I feel that he will soon have a breakthrough. His gaze is too calm and confident. Is he really like those one in a century freaks of Spirit Void Sword Sect and Min Mountain Sword Sect and has a natural perception of the primal energies of the universe? So he does not need to waste time on this obstacle?”
The plump merchant grimaced.
He was hesitant but still spoke, “I feel the same as you. If he really is not an ordinary cultivator as he says … he really is a freak, I worry that you will never be able to prove you are stronger than him. I hope that you will not be dispirited.”
“Father always said to me that I have to stand straight when beaten and accept my losses. There are many able people in the world. I cannot always win. In a person’s life, the only one they cannot lose to is themselves.” Shen Yi’s hands trembled slightly. His expression grew more determined and a smile appeared on the corners of his lips.
“This youth looks good. If this is a child of the nobility in Changling, they will not act like this after a loss.” Xue Wangxu looked at Shen Yi’s figure that disappeared out of the alley. He said interestedly, “Ding Ning, how about you wager with him next time to call himself a student of White Goat Cave?”
Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “With White Goat Cave’s present state, it is better to not hamper other people.”
Xue Wangxu’s expression froze slightly. He said with a frown, “It is not really that bed. At least Green Vine Sword School is firmly rooted.”
Zhang Yi had been hesitant before. He finally gathered his courage, looked at Ding Ning and said, “Junior Sect Brother …”
“I will be using the White Goat Cave spirit vein to cultivate in the daytime in the next days. Senior Sect Brother, how about you take care of the cave master for me and take him to places he wants to go?” Ding Ning said directly, not waiting for Zhang Yi to persuade him.
Zhang Yi paused and nodded helplessly. “Alright.”
While the collective people of the Qin were courage in temperament due to the rule of reward by military merit and they all wanted to watch rather than flee in terror when they saw cultivators fight, the people of the different regions were still slightly different.
For example, the Zhushan District of the Zheng people that Xue Wangxu and Ding Ning had gone to before were softer and fearful. They were always anxious and afraid of a calamity arriving.
The Guanzhong were the most violent of the people. Most cultivators used the sword like axes and their blows were always slashes. They cared about their promises and less about lives. Sacrificial soldiers and brave warriors most frequently came from that region. If Xue Wangxu and Ding Ning had went to a small city in Guanzhong, and became enemies with the entire city, Xue Wangxu and Ding Ning most likely would have to slaughter the entire city to leave, or be killed there.
Changling was the most intertwined place of the nobility in Changling. The people of Changling were mediocre and the most wary and calculating in their conduct.
When they calculated too much, their temperaments became more softer and reserved, or rather, more cunning and ruthless.
So Xue Wangxu’s lament was not without cause. The young geniuses students of Changling cultivation places always had too many shadows in their eyes and were not open enough.
How could personalities like these express the honest and straight sword manuals that were mainstream in the Qin?
Some sword sects in Changling were not straightforward in their direction, and more along the lines of deceit and cunning.
For example, the Shadow Mountain Sword Cave.
The Shadow Mountain Sword Cave was situated in Shadow Mountain in the north of Changling. Shadow Mountain Sword Cave’s structures and some of the sword caves that had been excavated by the earliest dynasties on the mountain were all on the sunny side of Shadow Mountain. But because the surface color of these structures were dark grey and black, they looked like shadows.
Gu Xichun was within one of the shadows.
He sat cross-legged on the ground. In front of him a dark and smooth wall. This mountain wall was like a shadow with countless sword marks of various depths on the surface.
These sword marks looked irregular and unusually complex.
Gu Xichun did not know how long he had been studying this wall. His body was covered in dust, and he had none of his usual air.
A middle-aged teacher dressed in deep grey robes silently walked next to him.
Looking at Gu Xichun who looked like a wilting flower, this middle-aged teacher with amiable features couldn’t help but sigh. He said, “In reality, you do not have to be so fanatical … no matter what you learn from the Shadow Sword Wall, you may not be able to wing on the Min Mountain Sword Trials. I just received news that the youth from the Dugu Family has returned from the Gobi and is going to attend.”
Translator Ramblings: Exposition chapter … moving on.