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Chapter 26: Great Event
Even though powerful cultivators could quickly fall into meditation, the transformation of physical energies and primal energies of the universe into vital energy would take a long time. Especially in a situation like this when one could be attacked by horse bandits, soldier-bandits or beasts at any moment, ordinary cultivators would not waste vital energy. They would maintain abundant vital energy in their bodies.
The caravan leader Luo Zhongjing was not a cultivator but had seen many cultivators fight before. Just from how Zhang Yi had used the sword to carve stone, he was certain that Zhang Yi was not someone so strong that he could waste vital energy as he pleased.
So Zhang Yi’s actions appeared very stupid in his view.
Yet, to Zhang Yi, this was not the same.
Just like how in Min Mountain Sword Trials, something that looked meaningless to Zhang Yi was more important to him than his life. Because of this, he was himself, he was Zhang Yi.
Before having the old man take off his clothes and enter the bath, he considerately tested the water temperature. He even gathered some herbs that could help rheumatism and sores from the surroundings and added to the water.
He even started to clean the clothes the old man had taken off, and then used precious water energy to shake off the moisture from the clothes. The old man’s clothes were as clean as new.
Seeing his gentle presence and the old man’s clean robes, even Luo Zhongjing slowly grew silent as the stench disappeared. He felt something different.
The old man made a comfortable sound after soaking in the hot bath and putting on clean clothing. Even so, he still did not thank Zhang Yi. He just burrowed into his tent and quickly fell asleep.
Zhang Yi inspected the tent, and confirmed the cold mountain wind would not blow directly at the old man’s face before he started a fire in the rock pit the old man had bathed in.
When wood turned into red charcoal and the smoke was no longer pungent, Zhang Yi carefully took out the sword manual that Baili Suxue had written and started to study it.
The sword essence on the sword manual was extremely proud and cold, like the ice on the highest peak of Min Mountain. He could not help but feel a piercing pain when he read. Needle-like coldness stabbed through his skin.
This sword essence was very inconsistent with his elegant and gentle character. But for him, this sword manual represented Min Mountain Sword Sect’s recognition and admiration of him. At the same time, it was a heavy burden. So, he would do his best to learn this sword manual.
With true respect and gratefulness rather than fighting back against the sword essence, he quickly fell into every stroke and brush like he was following in Baili Suxue’s footsteps.
If the Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator who had delivered him this sword manual saw his cultivation state clearly, he would be greatly shocked at the speed.
Zhang Yi’s mind moved along the strokes on the manual. Unknowingly, he forgot the passage of time, and even his present environment. He forgot the meaning of the characters of the sword manual.
His mind flew along the brush strokes like a mountain wind passing through the valleys, like a meteor flying across the sky, like a fish suddenly jumping out of the water, creating a splash and disappearing.
These brush strokes seemed to jump out like swords, and turned into profound marks in his perception. It flowed so smoothly like it was natural.
In reality, the cold glacial sword essence this sword manual gave off only represented Baili Suxue’s individual personality and mood. This was only the sword manual’s appearance but not the true essence of this sword manual.
The true essence of this sword was for the mind to be illuminated, and for the sword to be a matter of course.
The truths many people told you were not the true truth. Only the truths you thought were a matter of course were your own truths.
A true gentleman would not be influenced by outside factors, and would not go against his own way. When what he did was in accordance with the truths of this sword manual, then he would be able to use this sword essence as a matter of course.
If Zhang Yi was like those hypocrites in Changling, and what he did was not the same as what he thought, even if he had this sword manual, he could not comprehend the true meaning.
So Baili Suxue had chosen the correct sword manual and the correct person.
When his consciousness jumped along the stroke until the last stroke when it shot into the sky, Zhang Yi felt light in his body like his soul had jumped out of his head, charging into the sky and looking down at his own body. This feeling was both profound and novel, but also terrifying.
Zhang Yi was startled awake. He found that his clothing was soaked through. The distant sky was turning white. A night had passed silently.
All of the sharp strokes faded from his mind like a tide. But they left behind a mark in his mind like his mind was a beach. A clear sword path appeared in his mind. He had comprehended a sword.
He started to comprehend the first move of this sword manual. A new passage seemed to appear deep in his heart. His eyes widened in confusion. He clearly sensed some rapid energy vibrations in front of him, but he did not sense energy leaving his body. His vital energy had not been used at all.
A very comfortable feeling spread through his body.
At this time, the Yan old man in the tent rolled and woke up. His blurry eyes had turned clear in this moment as though the energy that had just rippled in front of Zhang Yi had gathered in his eyes.
But in the next moment, his eyes grew muddy again.
“I want to drink water,” he shouted rudely in a hostile tone at Zhang Yi.
Hearing the old man’s shout, Zhang Yi put away the sheepskin scroll without thinking and walked in front of the old man’s tent.
“I want to drink hot water, not warm water,” the old man said angrily as though he thought Zhang Yi had been too slow.
Zhang Yi did not say anything else, but he walked faster towards the caravan camp.
As the eastern sky turned white and Ye Zhengnan woke up, he found a handsome man with strong brows standing next to the carriage by Ink Garden’s gates when he left his residence.
Ye Zhengnan did not fear strong enemies. He was a youth who did not fear death. But when he saw this handsome man, he still felt nervous and wary. He still felt awe.
This handsome man was Tantai Guanjian.
For a long time, Tantai Guanjian had been recognized as the strongest person in Min Mountain Sword Sect next to Baili Suxue. Many realm seven cultivators could not understand why Tantai Guanjian could be so fast. How could his sword be many times as fast as a cultivator’s flying sword, faster than common sense?
Tantai Guanjian was not talking with Shao Sharen who was sitting on the bamboo mat. He also was not in a hurry to enter the garden, and seemed to be patiently waiting for the sunrise.
Ye Zhengnan had seen Tantai Guanjian before during the trials, but inexplicably, at that time, he did not feel that Tantai Guanjian was as serious and solemn as today.
While Tantai Guanjian stood there quietly without any complicated rituals or procedures, Ye Zhengnan still clearly sensed that a great event was occurring.
The sun rose in the east. Thousands of rays descended. The sky was completely bright.
Ye Zhengnan looked dazedly and saw Tantai Guanjian was edged in gold.
Then Tantai Guanjian nodded to him in greeting and then bowed slightly to Shao Sharen.
A gentle presence flowed out of his body, causing his body to become exceptionally clean. Even the smallest mote of dust was blown away.
Then, Tantai Guanjian stepped towards Ink Garden.