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Chapter 73: Sword and Essence as One
Almost all the students changed their expressions.
Just the overflowing energy was enough to injure Fang Xingling to the point of vomiting blood. This crude sword nucleus of the Min Mountain Sword Sect contained such terrifying power!
In this moment, within their senses, this crude black sword nucleus seemed to be surrounded by numerous giants wielding red hot hammers that would shock the terrifying power out of the sword nucleus at any moment.
Fang Xingling took multiple steps back, his black sword in hand, as his body shuddered. The blow to his mind affected him more than the injuries inside him. His face was so pale it was bloodless.
Looking at Fang Xingling, Nangong Caishu spoke in disbelief.
Her question represented many people at this moment.
This group of people could sense that Fang Xingling had used the same method Ding Ning had. But they did not know why Ding Ning had successfully passed, but Fang Xingling was injured by this black sword nucleus.
“Sword follows the mind. His mind was there, his sword was not.” At Nangong Caishu’s exclamation, Zhang Yi turned, and softly explained to her, Xie Changsheng and the others.
His expression was grave.
Because Ding Ning had already passed the black sword nucleus, he had to follow.
Having explained, he started to walk around Fan Xingling and towards the black sword nucleus.
He took a deep breath and drew his sword.
There was a vibration.
The surface of the black sword nucleus lit up.
Burning red light rose from the bumpy surface.
In the next moment, nothing happened.
Putting his sword away, Zhang Yi walked past the black sword nucleus.
It was deathly silent again.
Zhang Yi became the second student to pass.
Nangong Caishu’s eyes shone with strange light.
Sword follows the mind. The mind was there, the sword was not.
Zhang Yi’s words were so simple that she hadn’t easily understood just now. But at Zhang Yi’s sword strike, she completely understood.
“You must be very fast and accurate. This sword energy is as cunning and fast as a snake. The moment our sword lands, it must accurately stab in front of its head so that it will crash itself onto the sword. You cannot be too slow or too fast,” she said solemnly to Xie Changsheng and the others around her before walking towards the black sword nucleus.
Nangong Caishu walked past the black sword nucleus and became the third to pass.
“What does she mean, not too fast or too slow?”
Xie Changsheng’s expression grew ugly.
He had some understanding but clearly, he did not understand as much as Nangong Caishu.
“This sword energy and the entire sword nucleus is very special. We must let our sword land at the perfect point that this sword energy will collide with our sword in order to not activate the power of the sword nucleus.”
Shen Yi looked gravely at Xie Changsheng and said softly, “If we strike too early, and directly come into contact with the sword energy, or if we are too late and are too far from the sword energy, we will not be able to pass by. The mind being there and the sword follows, Sect Brother Zhang Yi spoke of means that the sword has to be where the mind is … sensing something and attacking it is not the same thing.”
After Zhang Yi, Nangong Caishu and Shen Yi’s explanation, Xie Changsheng had completely understood. However, Shen Yi felt slightly worried.
Xie Changsheng had not liked him very much all this time. If his understanding was not completely correct, and Xie Changsheng had a misunderstanding, Xie Changsheng might dislike him even more. So, he decided to try first.
He immediately walked up towards the black sword nucleus. He used three breaths to adjust himself and then drew his sword.
Then he gave a shout of joy. When the shout reached everyone’s ears, he had already passed the black sword nucleus and was chasing Ding Ning and Zhang Yi.
The field was silent again.
All three youths of the White Goat Cave had passed.
Xie Changsheng walked over with a cold expression.
He had always looked down upon Shen Yi, but Shen Yi performed much better than he did. Naturally, he was displeased.
A ray of sword energy shot out of his hand, tearing the dry air and smashing directly onto the black sword nucleus.
A drum-like clear ring sounded.
Everyone thought that Xie Changsheng would smoothly pass just like Ding Ning and the others.
Unexpectedly, the black sword nucleus gave off a similar roar.
Xie Changsheng’s body suddenly froze. He seemed to desire to stand where he was, but he could not hold. His entire body swayed backwards. At the same time he took a step back, the upper half of his back leaned backwards and he almost fell to the ground.
He also threw up a mouthful of bright red blood.
Seeing the blood, everyone realized that Xie Changsheng had failed. But unexpectedly, Xie Changsheng shouted, “I do not believe it!”
Almost without any hesitation, he stabbed his sword in embarrassment.
There was a vibration.
The black sword nucleus gave a strange vibration and overflowed with power.
Xie Changsheng took another step back and threw up blood again.
“What are you doing!”
Seeing this, Xie Rou’s face grew paler than Xie Changsheng as she shouted.
“Leave me alone!”
But Xie Changsheng looked even more humiliated, and once again stabbed towards the black sword nucleus.
The sword nucleus shook again.
Xie Changsheng spat blood again.
Many of the students frowned deeply. In their view, Xie Changsheng’s actions were akin to suicide.
But Xie Changsheng still did not stop. He seemed to not care that his injuries were growing more serious, and like he was going to vomit all the blood in his body.
He attacked again.
Xie Rou and Xu Heshan could not maintain their calm and the two of them flew forward.
But at this time, after the vibration, Xie Changsheng did not take a step back.
His body swayed violently and then he walked by the black sword nucleus.
Xie Rou and Xu Heshan stilled.
The students behind them had dazed gazes.
“Finally let me over.”
Xie Changsheng did not turn around. He spat out bloody foam. Everyone heard his words.
All the students behind him were silent.
Before entering the green jade doors, many people had heard his words. They looked down upon him, this son of a wealthy family who used large sums of silver to trade for this spot in the Min Mountain Sword Trials. They categorized him as one of the wastrels. Yet, when Xie Changsheng started to attack and people saw his posture, most knew that his swordsmanship surpassed many of those present.
He had struggled to pass, but he had passed.
Many people felt they lacked the bravery to pass in such a manner.
Even more importantly, many feared they could not pass.
The sword follows the mind, was likely the phrase that Zhang Yi had read from the cultivation records of the White Goat Cave. But in the cultivation world, the more accurate description of this was the sword and essence as one.
Sword and essence arrive together. When one’s thought arrived, the sword was already falling. One’s thoughts would be faster than one’s limbs and swords. So, for the sword and the essence to arrive together, usually, the sword had to move first before the essence.
So, in the cultivation records, it was not described as essence and sword as one, but sword and essence as one.
In order to let the sword move before the essence, there were many aspects involved such as perception, foresight, the accuracy of swordsmanship, and one’s proficiency.It was difficult to understand the concepts involved. And achieving sword and essence as one, or to get close to that aspect was even more difficult.
Xie Changsheng did not have such learning in swordsmanship. He could not do it. But he wanted to pass. So he used this kind of reckless testing method.
Most of the people present did not have his skill. Maybe those people who were more skilled than him did not have his courage. Consequently, many would be stopped at this obstacle.
Starting from this black sword nucleus, the Min Mountain Sword Trials would eliminate batches of students.
When more and more people understood this, the atmosphere became even more depressive and cold.
Not long after, a tall young woman stood in front of the black sword nucleus and then drew her sword.
There was a vibration.
This young woman walked forward and past this black sword nucleus.
Almost all the students recognized that this tall young woman was Xie Changsheng’s older sister, Xie Rou.
Moments later, most of them thought that Xie Rou had relied on the wealth of the Xie Family to qualify for the Min Mountain Sword Trials.
Now, they realized they were wrong.
This eldest daughter of the Xie Family, at least in cultivation, was better than Xie Changsheng.
“I will go first.”
After Xie Rou passed, He Zhaoxi nodded to Xu Heshan next to him.
Another vibration struck the hearts of all the students.
Like he was just trying to catch up to his fellow students on a stroll, He Zhaoxi easily walked past the black sword nucleus. Most people did not see him attack clearly.
Xu Heshan went forward. He was not He Zhaoxi, who had practiced the basics countless times and was extremely confident in this aspect. As a result, he was extremely wary. He stood in front of the black sword nucleus for a long time before calmly stabbing forward.
A vibration sounded and no accidents occurred.
Xu Heshan also passed.
He was part of the group of Ding Ning and the others. The other students had deliberately remained at a distance from them. So when their entire group had passed, there was a clearing in front of the black sword nucleus. It was eerie, like how someone had taken a ladle of water from a basin, but water had not rushed in from the other places.
Many breaths later, soft inhales broke the deathly silence.
One student, who felt that he had no hope of passing this obstacle, thought of the efforts he had made over the years. He felt the disparity between him and the people around him. Sorrow surged, and he couldn’t help but cover his face and cry.
Translator Ramblings: Xie Changsheng gets a turn in the spotlight!