“Master, I’ve succeeded!”
Lin Mu Yu jumped out, practically bursting with a bewildered joy.
The Sword Master ventured out from his room once more. “Good, you are truly one of the talented in this world.”
“Master, what are we learning next? Shouldn’t you pass on some sword technique?” Lin Mu Yu gazed at him with a hopeful expression.
The Sword Master laughed. “Ah Yu, Heartfelt mastery of the sword skill does not have any sword techniques. It is as you wish. As long as you can damage the opponent, any move is your technique! I myself don’t have any sword techniques, the only thing I can teach you is… ah, there are only bits and pieces.”
“Master, please enlighten me!”
“Look well now!”
Slowly turning around surrounded by beams of aura, the energy in the atmosphere suddenly converged into an incorporeal sword form. “Chi-he!” With a powerful thrust, the Sword Master attacked the limestone board in front of him.
With a loud bang, the limestone board turned into dust.
Lin Mu Yu stared in astonishment. The limestone board was a meter thick, and yet the Emerald Tip Sword was only a common long sword. The art of the sword was truly frightening.
The Sword Master smiled. “The art that I am refining can be categorized into two. One is Assembling, it is as you see, a normal attack, using all of the concentrated energy into one single point in time and space to attack the opponent. The other one is Dissolving. It dissolves energy, turning it into a giant mass that attacks, leaving no room for the opponent to turn to. Swordsmanship may have a thousand variations, but these thousand variations will never stray from the source, and the source is this, Assembling and Dissolving.”
Saying this, the Sword Master gently swept his arm in front of him and the Emerald Tip Sword flew upwards, spinning in the sky until it emerged as countless blades. Only one blade was a real sword, but the Sword Master’s fighting spirit was able to conjure the rest of the incorporeal blades, which all had the same amount of offensive power as the real sword. Metal rained down from the sky, and in a flash, the limestone boards of the courtyard were pierced with holes.
Lin Mu Yu stood there with his jaw on the ground. “H-how would I go about learning this, Master?”
The Sword Master chuckled. “Learn Assembling first. Without holding the sword in hand, turn a stone board into rubble, and that is when you know you are successful.”
The sword placed at a distance, Lin Mu Yu raised his arms, feeling the blade’s spirit. The fire dragon within was quick to respond, its fiery enthusiasm distinguishable even from afar, and yet… the Prairie Fire Sword trembled, without any indication of flying.
“Concentrate your energy,” the Sword Master instructed from the side. “Your heart must be pure in order to attain the highest dimension of the swordsmanship!”
Lin Mu Yu continued his attempts, speedily calming his state of mind. His forefinger and middle finger were formed like a sword, his thoughts and the sword spirit’s resonating with each other. It felt like the fire dragon felt happiness at this.
He gave a low shout, and this time, “weng… weng…” the Prairie Fire Sword slowly lifted itself off the ground. Lin Mu Yu’s heart jumped for joy. Controlling the direction of the blade of the sword toward a piece of limestone board, and with an amassing of his energy, he released it. “Go!”
The long sword flew through the air-- pa! It pierced the board, but did not go through it.
The Sword Master laughed. “Ah Yu, your attention is not concentrated enough. You must pay all your thoughts and attention to be one with the sword spirit, then shall you be able to command the greatest strength. You see in front of you, you have not even reached a quarter of linking with your sword. Continue practicing.”
After a thousand failed trials, as the sun began to rise, Lin Mu Yu opened his palm and the Imperial Sword rose up, geared back, and struck the limestone board-- shattering it completely. The large board already had thousands of piercings and inflictions, so Lin Mu Yu had done his fair share of hard work over the night.
The Sword Master headed out from behind his diligent student. “Ah Yu, it seems you have made some small progress in the Imperial Sword technique.”
“Thank you, Master!”
“Do not get ahead of yourself. It is only a small inch forward. You have much to learn!”
The Sword Master twirled his beard. “Speed and strength are crucial to swordsmanship. But this is only a basic sword skill. Let this old geezer teach you a higher method for an Assembling attack.”
The Sword Master pushed up his sleeve. From a distance, a wooden training sword flew up into the air, and faced a rock board. The Master laughed. “Ah Yu, do you think a wooden sword can make a hole through a stone?”
Lin Mu Yu stammered, “Wood to pierce through a stone… that’s a bit of an exaggeration?”
The Sword Master laughed, shaking his arm. The wooden sword flew up, started spinning faster and faster until it bounded with a vicious force towards the stone-- breaking through it with sheer force.
“Oh my God-”
Lin Mu Yu forgot to retrieve his jaw again, his eyes wide with disbelief.
The Sword Master smiled. “This is Helix Force. The revolving power can increase its strength in its ability to pierce. Many are skilled in the art of the sword, but few understand the true power of the Helix Force. The next thing you learn shall be this, then.”
In the blink of an eye, a whole day had passed, and Lin Mu Yu’s speed of training and levelling up caused even the Sword Master to sigh with emotion. This boy was truly a sword prodigy!
Weng, weng, weng...
Lines of aura revolved around the Prairie Fire Sword, the fire dragon within was happily humming, and the sword blade itself was rapidly spinning in mid-air. Lines of helix traces materialized in mid-air. Peng! And a limerock dissolved within contact of the Helix Force.
The Sword Master stroked his beard, his face beaming with satisfaction. “Next, you have to use the wooden sword to finish this blow!”
Kill me now, he thought, how strong would I have to be to use a wooden sword to finish this task? But he didn’t give up, quickly retrieving a wooden sword. Without the resonance of a sword spirit, Lin Mu Yu had to use his true energy to control the sword. The small sword floated to mid-air. Lin Mu Yu spread both of his arms out, his true energy lifting the sword, causing it to spin faster and faster.
The wooden sword splintered into a thousand pieces, and the limestone sat pretty without a single scratch.
The Sword Master looked to the butler without emotion. “Butler, buy a hundred more training wooden swords… no, wait, buy two hundred.”
“Yes, Sword Master!”
Another two days passed.
Weng, weng, weng...
The wooden sword in front of Lin Mu Yu speedily began rotating with the blade as the axis. With two spread arms, his true energy metamorphosed into columns of lightning. This was his revelation in these two days, that he could turn true energy into lightning energy to control the wooden sword. This was the first time the Sword Master was left speechless. For all his life dedicated to swords, he had gotten used to people using energy to wield Imperial Swords, but he had never seen someone use lightning to do so. Lin Mu Yu was the first.
With a loud crash, the wooden sword surrounded by electricity cleanly cut a hole through the limestone, before the stone dissolved completely into rubble.
Lin Mu Yu turned to his master with a delighted expression. “Teacher, how did I do? Have I completed it?”
The Sword Master began having pangs of anxiety. What powerful, fearsome creature was he helping develop? A little voice in the back of his head told him to stop from imparting higher sword skills.
“Yes, that will do.”
The Sword Master scratched his chin. “Ah Yu, you have learned the philosophy behind both Assembling and Dissolving. You can already be considered as a top-tier swordsman in the art of the Imperial Sword Technique. I have nothing left to teach you. You should return to the Temple. You have already stayed too long here.”
Lin Mu Yu’s eyes widened, suddenly remembering Lei Hong had only given him a three-day break… and he had already been out for a week.
Hugging his Prairie Fire Sword, he stepped back several steps, dropped both knees to the ground, and bowed his forehead to the floor. “My deepest and utmost gratitude to the Master for imparting his wisdom. I, Lin Mu Yu, has this kindness forever etched on my heart. Please, worry not, Master. When I get back I shall work my fastest to send over some good martial blades.”
The Sword Master laughed. “Good boy. Come, get up. You should get going, the sky is turning dark.”
On the way back to the Temple, he passed by the Empire’s Trading Company to purchase some mysterious metal and spirit stones. When he reached the gate of the Temple, the guard recognized him and greeted him heartily, “Your Honor Lin Zhi, you’ve finally come back!”
“Yes, is something the matter?”
“Yes. The other day and this morning, someone from the legendary potions department came by, a female alchemist. But you weren’t here, so she went back, but she asked us to tell you when you returned to look for her.”
It must be Chu Yao. Lin Mu Yu’s heart warmed and he grinned. “Thanks, then!”
What he hadn’t expected was that Ge Yang and Lei Hong failed to punish him. After all, the two deacons wanted to cultivate such a good seedling like him, especially after seeing Lin Mu Yu’s vigorous gaze. They both knew at once that this boy had enhanced his strength again for the few days that he was out. Today, he was close to level 59 Battle Saint He could be competing with the elite of this world anytime.
After placing the mysterious metal inside his room, he hurried towards the legendary potions department.
The legendary potions department was still redolent of the rich smell of potions. Chu Yao was clad in a snow-white female alchemist uniform, outlining her slender figure to a mesmerizing degree. The moment she spotted Lin Mu Yu, she hurried to him and grabbed his hand. “Ah Yu, you’ve been out for so many days, what have you been up to?”
“Learning sword skills with a master!”
“Oh? So your sword skills have improved now, then?” Chu Yao tilted her head with a smile.
Lin Mu Yu balled his fist, and gave a measured laugh. “It’s not bad, I suppose.”
Chu Yao suddenly suddenly gave a surprised laugh, dragging him further inside. “Ah Yu, I have a new friend I want to introduce you to!”
“Oh? Chu Yao jie has made a new friend at the legendary potions department?”
“What are you saying!”
Chu Yao grumbled in a flirtatious manner, and fished out a cage from behind some herbs. There was a white bird inside, and an empty bamboo container tied to its slender leg. She hugged the bird to her chest. “This is a personally trained messenger bird, as well as the Empire’s most important channel for communication. This messenger bird is a spirit bird, it’s attracted by the breath and the bloodstream, and they say it can locate people from anywhere.”
“Yes, but it’s only on a one-on-one basis. I’ve already fed it some of my fresh blood. You should let it drink some of your blood, too, so that I can find you no matter where you are.”
“Amazing,” he spluttered.
Holding his palm Chu Yao retrieved a silver needle and quickly touched it to his skin. She frowned. “This… Ah Yu, your skin is becoming thicker. Even needles can’t pierce through it.”
“Chu Yao jie, are you insulting me…”
“I didn’t say your face was thick…”
TN: thick-skinned face means shameless
Finally, Chu Yao pricked his finger, squeezing out a drop of blood for the spirit bird to drink. The bird immediately flapped its wings and began flying in between the two people, extremely affectionate.
Chu Yao gently rubbed the bird’s wing. “I call it Little White. Ah Yu, it belongs to the two of us now. I’ll be responsible for feeding it. When I’m unable to find you, I’ll send Little White to find you.”
It was at this moment someone from the Temple barged in. It was Zhang Wei. His body was clad in armor and his intimidating physique looked like it belonged to someone of a high power. The guards of the legendary potions department had let him in without a second word.
“Your Honor Zhang Wei, what’s the matter?” Lin Mu Yu asked.
Zhang Wei’s mouth curled up. “A good thing, of course. Your Honor Lin Zhi, the princess Tang Xiao Xi is at the Temple, asking to see you immediately.”
“Oh, Xiao Xi’s here…”
Lin Mu Yu smiled, before turning to Chu Yao. “The Princess must have something important to discuss. Older Sister, I’ll be going now, I’ll come to visit you next time.”
Translated by: korezmi & lxnuy
Edited by: patrick_father_of_dragons