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Chapter 78: Choosing Swords
A person who could stand in the restricted place of Min Mountain Sword Sect and watch this trial was not an ordinary member of Min Mountain Sword Sect.
The young man next to this young woman had a calm presence, but sword essence seemed to leak out of his skin, so much that even his hair could kill.
Hearing the young woman’s words, he thought quietly for a moment. Then he turned to look at the young woman and said, “If this is you, would you be able to select such a sword manual in that short time, and then comprehend this solution?”
“No,” the young woman crisply shook her head and said.
The young man also shook his head and said emotionally, “Even you cannot do so.”
“Unless…” The young woman frowned slightly and a sword mark seemed to appear between her brows.
The young man stilled slightly and was about to speak. But she then shook her head and said, “It is still not possible.”
She had thought of a possibility. If she had personally seen the powerful cultivators of Cloud Water Palace use this sword manual and the many of the moves in a battle of life-and-death, then she might have made a connection and quickly mirrored the wineshop youth.
But how old is this wineshop youth?
The Wei Cloud Water Palace had been destroyed long before his birth. Also, the remaining great rebels of the Cloud Water Palace did not cultivate this sword manual. In her view, this wineshop youth clearly would not have seen these sword moves before, much less in a battle of life and death. So being lesser than someone was being lesser. She would look down on finding an excuse for her own incompetence.
“You are in charge of the trials this time. If the first sword nucleus is to test their fundamentals, the second is to test their comprehension, what do you want to test them with the third sword nucleus?” The young man looked at her and asked curiously, “What did you put on the third sword nucleus?”
In this young man’s view, some things were more important than the fundamentals and comprehension. For example, resolve, a mature mind, and combat experience.
Unexpectedly, the young woman answered, “I am having them choose their swords.”
“Choose their swords?”
“As a swordsman, one should first have a clear understanding of oneself and know their strengths and weaknesses.” The woman was young, but her tone was calm and unquestionable like a teacher who had taught numerous students. “If they cannot choose a sword that makes up for their shortcomings and increases their strength, then this person does not qualify to join Min Mountain Sword Sect to study.”
At the young woman’s explanation, the young man grimaced and said, “It appears that you want this competition to become more fair.”
The students from different cultivation places had different births, and naturally different swords. For example, Ye Haoran’s Cold Serpent Sword was made from a cold dragon crystal. Just the power of the sword itself was enough to pose a threat to most students.
If one obtained a sword at the same level as the Cold Serpent Sword, at least they would not be at a disadvantage in terms of their material items.
“The following competition would be even more spectacular,” the young woman nodded neutrally and said coolly, “Use all they can use to make themselves become stronger as fast as possible. This is the quality that cultivators need the most.”
The young man stilled slightly and then said with slight pity, “But these people from White Goat Cave seem to have only comprehended one sword manual.”
“All of them have given up on themselves for the wine shop youth to win in the end.” The young woman’s expression grew serious. She said, “Regardless of the result, these people, and their intention is worthy of respect.”
Some swords were spinning and falling while others floated above the path. But no swords attacked.
Ding Ning passed the test like this. He looked at the nearby third sword nucleus, paused, and grew silent for a while. He knew that his performance up to now was astounding enough to embarrass some people. The setup of the previous two tests had given him enough time to replenish his vital energy. While the vital energy in his body was not full, in his view, the hardest time had passed.
At this time, night was passing, and dawn descended over the entire mountain.
Yet no matter how outstanding his performance and how perfect he was, Xue Wangxu could no longer see it. He was already gone.
Everyone would have to face death. In life, people would encounter their friends and family leaving the world. He had experienced this many times too. But he still could not help but feel sad.
“Junior Sect Brother …”
Sensing his silence, Zhang Yi understood why Ding Ning would be silent. He also felt his tears surge, but he wanted to comfort Ding Ning.
However, Ding Ning did not give him a chance to say any words of comfort.
“Let’s go,” he said in a low voice. Then he raised his head slightly and walked towards the sword nucleus ahead.
Xie Changsheng held his sword and panted. His internal injuries caused waves of heat in his lungs. His energies and blood moved abnormally but he was very excited and proud.
He was sure that there would be less than a third of the remaining three hundred students that could pass this test. Consequently, he would be ranked at least within the top hundred of the Min Mountain Sword Trials. He could not help but think of how happy his father would be after learning about this.
“What does this mean?” But when he looked towards the sword nucleus and saw it clearly, he paused.
There were sword marks on this third sword nucleus, but the marks only created this simple sentence. “Go to Sword Valley, take a sword.”
Underneath the words was a map depicted using sword marks.
“We are going to leave this green jade path, and not climb up?” Zhang Yi also stilled. He saw, according to the map, they had to leave this green jade path and go onto a fork of the road next to the sword nucleus.
He was not sure if there was some deeper meaning here. Was there some unique test hidden in these sword marks and maps? Were there other means other than the obvious ones expressed in the words and map.
At this time, Ding Ning said coldly, “Very interesting.”
He started to walk towards the fork in the road shown on the map. Then he said, “The organizer is very interesting and much more generous than Baili Suxue.”
This Baili Suxue that Ding Ning spoke of at this time had a shinier title, the master of Min Mountain Sword Sect.
“Is it good to speak as such of the master of the Min Mountain Sword Sect here?”
Xie Changsheng felt that he was daring enough, but he could not describe the master of Min Mountain Sword Sect so calmly within the confines of the Min Mountain Sword Sect.
“What is the meaning? I do not understand,” he looked at Ding Ning and asked.
“No meaning. It’s just for us to go pick a sword,” Ding Ning glanced back at him and said, “These sword manuals, that Min Mountain Sword Sect has casually thrown out, are better than the sect treasures of most cultivation places. The swords that they casually throw out will naturally be better than most swords outside.”
Xie Changsheng was shocked and said, “For free?”
Ding Ning shook his head. “Not so generous. At most, you can borrow this during the sword trial.”
Xie Changsheng immediately felt scorn and said, “Then what’s the use? If I had so many good swords, I could give them away.”
“If you become the master of Min Mountain Sword Sect, I fear that you will give away ten Min Mountain Sword Sects,” Xie Rou said disdainfully.
Xie Changsheng did not dare to argue with her and immediately changed the topic. He asked, “Then why are they telling us to go pick a sword? What is their intention?”
Ding Ning responded in simple words. “For the following competition to be more spectacular as some people do not have the most satisfactory swords. If they suddenly get a satisfactory sword, and one that has some special abilities, there would be many more possibilities, and the fights will be more variable.”
Ding Ning’s explanation was extremely clear. Xie Changsheng was stunned and said, “In other words, what is coming next will be fights between students?”
Ding Ning nodded. “The Min Mountain Sword Sect will lend us swords, of course they will be used in fights. They cannot be used to chop vegetables.”
No one felt Ding Ning’s joke was funny. If what was coming were fights, then there was no way for shortcuts.
They were entering a mountain valley. This mountain valley was extremely desolate without any trees. Weeds grew all over with a green hall at the center of the mountain valley.
That green hall looked extremely ordinary like an ordinary temple, but it was extremely large and cold in presence. According to the map, the swords that Min Mountain Sword Sect had prepared for them to select should be in the green halls.
“Since we are all selecting a sword, then we should enter in on our own.” Ding Ning suddenly frowned. He sensed something and stopped.
“There is a formation?” Zhang Yi only sensed it when Ding Ning stopped. The light of shock appeared in his eyes. “What we see is not real?”
Xie Changsheng and Nangong Caishu exchanged a glance. They had not yet sensed anything different, but concluding from Ding Ning and Zhang Yi’s conversation… there was some unique formation ahead.
“I am not certain what kind of formation it is, and I do not know what kinds of swords are in there right now.”
Ding Ning took a moment and then turned to look at Zhang Yi. “If there are swords from the Zhao Sword Furnace inside, you can choose one of them,” he whispered.
Zhang Yi stilled. Everyone else stilled.
“You can choose a very heavy sword… but if there is a small curved sword with a pale white blade, and the hilt sliver, or if there is a broadsword that is copper in color and has many square coin-shaped patterns, you have to choose between these two swords,” Ding Ning did not explain as he turned to Nangong Caishu and said softly.
“Junior Sect Brother Shen, there is a small sword carved completely out of ink jade. The hilt will have winding seal scripts that are dark indigo. If it is there, you definitely have to pick it.” Without any pause, he turned to look at Shen Yi and continued. “If this sword is not there, choose a sword that is light, and lets you draw it faster.”