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Chapter 75: All Questions
Ye Haoran’s lips pressed together tightly, his face serious. His sword met the green jade sword coming down at him like a crowbar.
This green jade sword that had emerged from the mountain path felt like a heavy mountain peak. It broke through the wind and roared violently.
His sword met this long green jade sword.
Gasps sounded behind him.
That enormous twisted shadow that had formed around his sword was almost tangible at this time. It was a sky-blue serpent!
The serpent seemed to be alive, and the scales were made from pieces of glaciers.
This sword was the Cold Serpent Sword, one of the ten former legendary swords of Changling.
The moment that his sword was about to meet the descending green jade sword, there was a soft snapping sound. The sword energy at the tip formed a circle that expanded rapidly outwards.
The green jade sword seemed to not have any defenses and spun backwards many meters.
Ye Haoran had used the Mountain Levering Sword Form. He used his sword to lever the green jade sword. However, he did not feel any joy, only a dangerous presence.
Another shadow appeared silently in the light green mist around the mountain path.
Woosh! That shadow suddenly tore through the mist and shot at him!
Ye Haoran frowned deeply.
A pure sword essence came out of his sword and then disappeared. Countless flows of primal energies of the universe that gave off a holy presence suddenly took form in front of him.
At this moment, his action was extremely simple. He just held his sword across his chest.
But no one could see his sword.
The primal energies in front of him had formed a circular shield of light like a glowing crystal plate that he held.
There was a terrifying roar as though thunder seemed to erupt in front of him.
Ye Haoran did not move, but energies gusted out from under his feet as though the bottom of his shoes were about to burn.
Only now did many people behind him clearly see that what had stabbed on the shield of light in front of him was another green jade sword.
Ye Haoran looked at the green jade sword that had attacked him directly like a metal staff. The power of this sword was not enough to make him retreat. But by now he understood the connection between the second sword nucleus and the mountain path. He retreated silently.
As he retreated, the faint mist on the mountain path disappeared. The two green jade swords were moved by a gentle force to drift back to their original spots. The green jade mountain path restored to normal without a trace.
This scene, to the students who had just arrived, was even more astounding.
“Perhaps I should try with you together?” Gu Xichun lifted his head and said calmly as he watched Ye Haoran return.
Ye Haoran appeared to not like Gu Xichun from the start. He did not look directly at Gu Xichun but shook his head and said coldly, “One person or two will be the same.”
Gu Xichun immediately frowned. His cold gaze once again landed on the mountain path in front of him. “So there can be countless swords on this mountain path?”
Ye Haoran did not talk. His gaze landed on Zhang Yi and the others.
Other than when he had been facing the two green jade swords, Zhang Yi and the others had focused only on the black sword nucleus.
His gaze finally landed on Ding Ning who had his eyes calmly closed as he thought inside, Even Gu Xichun and I had conversed and tried ourselves to quickly confirm what this test is about? How were you able to completely understand just by looking at the sword nucleus and seeing the mountain path at a distance?
When Ye Haoran was looking at Ding Ning, people were looking at him and Gu Xichun.
The person who was looking at him was a handsome youth in white robes. He appeared older than Ding Ning but younger than Zhang Yi and the others.
His robes were pure white but there were cold lights as though there was a layer of rost.
Both times, when Ye Haoran had been on the mountain path and being attacked by the two green jade swords or now, his expression was always calm and his eyes contained great confidence.
A delicate youth and an elegant young girl stood next to him.
The delicate youth was slightly shorter than him, and wore pure black robes with the sleeves and collar a deep red. The elegant young girl wore graceful linen robes. Her long sword was also extremely plain, with an unadorned wood as the hilt, and pale yellow bamboo served as the scabbard.
The handsome youth in white robes did not linger long on Ye Haoran and the others.
This short observation didn’t even attract Ye Haoran’s attention.
“So this is the legendary Thought Sword Path of the Min Mountain Sword Sect,” he said softly to his two companions. “One of the defensive mountain guarding sword formations of the Min Mountain Sword Sect. But no one has ever seen it concretely.”
“Since it is a mountain guarding formation, it will not be as simple as just one or two swords. It should be thousands and tens of thousands of swords.”
The elegant young girl looked back at him and said slowly in a quiet voice, “This should be perception of energies. As many swords would come for as many people that come forward. From the power of that sword, the Min Mountain Sword Sect must have done something to suppress the power of the sword formation. These swords today are only equal to a strike from a realm three cultivator. Or perhaps this sword formation has several levels, and they only released the swords of the weakest level.”
“It should not be so simple.” The delicate youth in robes with red sleeves and collar said warmly, “Ye Haoran thought that the sword move of the first green jade sword was the Spring Thunder Mountain Sword, so he used the Mountain Levering Sword Move. But he hadn’t expected the first to be a weak fake thunder sword, and the next sword to be a truly powerful Mountain Charging sword move. The power of these two swords is not astounding, but they show the subtleties of the sword moves.”
“So the mountain path of this second test should be made from countless refined sword moves.” The youth in white robes nodded and said, “The sword manuals engraved on the black sword nucleus should contain many sword moves to defeat them. The more you comprehend, the easier it is to pass this mountain path … Otherwise, even if you force your way through relying on cultivation, I fear you would pay a great price.”
At this time, not far from them, there were many other students discussing this second test.
Hearing the opinion of others and discussing with each other was much easier than understanding on your own. But the scattered students did not seem to reach a definitive conclusion.
The reason was simple. None of these groups was stronger than the three of them together.
This handsome youth in white robes was Chen Liqiu, the most accomplished disciple of White Dew Institution, ranking fifty on the Book of Talents. The delicate youth next to him was Xu Lianhua. He came from the Xu Marquessate Establishment and ranked sixth on the Book of Talents. And the one dressed in plain linen robes was Xia Wan. She was the strongest of the youngest generation of Plain Mind Sword Study, and ranked twelfth.
Ignoring cultivation, White Dew Institution was a subordinate sword school of Min Mountain Sword Sect. Xu Marquessate Establishment was the establishment of a true marquis. The Plain Mind Sword Study was one of Changling’s oldest cultivation places. The students from these places naturally knew more about Min Mountain Sword Sect than people from other cultivation places.
“This may be due to the Holy One. Because of the Deer Mountain Conference and the celebration for the crown prince … Min Mountain Sword Sect has taken out dozens of sword manuals. The students who reach here, even if they cannot pass, can benefit and comprehend the refined sword moves of the Min Mountain Sword Sect.” Xu Lianhua smiled slightly and said, “Gild the flower, celebrate all over.”
“I still have two things I do not understand.” Xiao Wan looked at Ding Ning in the distance and said softly, “It is better to keep such a mountain protecting formation a secret. Why did they reveal it? Also … if they do not want that White Goat Cave youth to win, why are all these tests primarily focused on perception and comprehension? This White Goat Cave youth reached Profound Understanding in half a day, and Energy Refinement in a month. He is strongest in perception and comprehension. This seems to be purposefully biased towards him.”
“The army will adapt to the enemy. Sometimes, one should conceal but other times expose. Maybe, after the Deer Mountain Conference, the Holy One feels it is time to show some strength.”
Xu Lianhua glanced at Ding Ning with sympathy flashing through his eyes. “The palace could use the excuse of the crown prince’s ceremony to have Min Mountain Sword Sect agree to holding the trials early. But the Min Mountain Sword Sect will not welcome anyone’s opinion on the trials as this is an internal matter for Min Mountain Sword Sect. The Min Mountain Sword Sect will now allow anyone to interfere in the matters of the sect, especially when you know what kind of personality the sect master has.”
Thinking of the many things concerning the legendary master of the Min Mountain Sword Sect, Xia Wan and Chen Liqiu were all in agreement.
“So?” Chen Liqiu looked at Xu Lianhua and said, “The first few test perception and comprehension. The later ones will not focus on these things?”
Xu Lianhua nodded. “Of course. The tests of the Min Mountain Sword Trials will be different each year, but they would never be monotonous.”
Xia Wan sighed.
The Min Mountain Sword Trials would grow more difficult over time. When one’s strongest points appeared at the start, and they encountered their shortcomings in the future, it would be even more difficult to win.
“Of course, fighting is essential.”
Xu Lianhua paused, looked at Chen Liqiu and Xia Wan. He said, “Just from observing these events, this year’s Min Mountain Sword Trials would take more effort than in the past. So one’s endurance, strength, vital energy … they are all problems.”
Chen Liqiu frowned and said seriously, “So we cannot rush.”
Xia Wan glanced at him and said, “It is not time to rush. Do not hurry.”