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Qin Wentian swept a glance at Zong Hong, instantly discerning his cultivation base—ninth level of Yuanfu.
If Qin Wentian were to make a move against him, it would undoubtedly be a case of the strong squashing the weak. He really wasn’t too comfortable doing that.
Zong Qian glanced bewilderedly at Qin Wentian. The longer he was acquainted with Qin Wentian, the more he felt he couldn’t see through him. Regardless of when he’d faced Li Ran and Li Nian, or against Zong Hong, Qin Wentian was still as calm as water, his heart unwavering. Humans with such a temperament were extremely scarce, and those were the people that would find it easy to focus wholeheartedly in their cultivation.
However, maybe Zong Qian didn’t know that Qin Wentian had never once regarded these people as his opponent. In that case, why should he be angered by them?
“Indeed, he acts the same way as when Li Nian challenged him. A person with such a character, how is he fit to be the Sword Son of my Zong Clan?” Zong Hong coldly snorted, as others around him laughed along coldly. Evidently, they were all unhappy regarding the clan lord’s decision to select an outsider with a different surname.
Many found it difficult to accept.
“Bzzz!” Abruptly, a buzzing sound could be heard as a sword appeared in front of Zong Hong. Zong Hong froze, the sword was merely an inch away from his eyes, and a terrifying sword intent gushed forth from the sword locking down on him.
“Since you know my identity as the Sword Son, if you still insist on showing disrespect, don’t blame me for being heartless.”
Qin Wentian spoke coldly, before making a movement that caused the unsheathed sword to fly back to him. He then slowly walked away, totally disregarding Zong Hong and the rest who stood there in a stunned state.
“Kacha!” Zong Hong tightly clenched his fist as a terrifying sharpness flashed in his eyes. “I don’t believe you can hide in your shell forever.”
Qin Wentian acted as if he hadn’t heard that remark, walking away as intended. A few days later, another rumor spread out.
Qin Wentian, an outsider who became the Sword Son, might be selected to participate in the sword range battle. This news was circulated around the Zong Clan and there were some saying that he was as cowardly as a rat, all because he hadn’t dared to accept Zong Hong’s challenge. Not only that, he’d once retreated in the face of Li Nian. There were just too many rumors involving Qin Wentian.
Qin Wentian knew that this commotion was caused by him taking on the identity of Sword Son. So what if he defeated Zong Hong? There would be another, ten others, a hundred other Zong Hongs appearing to challenge him. If he wanted the members of Zong Clan’s younger generation to shut up, the only option for him was to display a might and talent so far above their levels, thereby stunning them into silence.
Qin Wentian was currently sitting cross-legged in the library of Zong Clan, reading.
The scrolls in the library contained sword techniques engraved by previous generation experts, or a history of what they faced when they cultivated.
Qin Wentian was trying to figure out the Mandate of Swords. The first level was the foundation, universally the same with others. But the second level had to depend on one’s luck and destiny. Hence, he wanted to broaden his horizons by reading through the experiences of cultivators in the past.
“There was once a sword expert that sat seven years in meditation. He merged his heart together with his sword, and eventually comprehended a second level insight named Sword Heart,” Qin Wentian quietly remarked as he read the scroll.
There was no difference between the first level insights, but the power of second level insight of the same Mandate varied immensely in their degree of power.
Sword Heart uses one’s heart to resonate with the sword, causing sword intent to resonate with the hearts of others, lacerating the hearts of opponents in a single instant. How terrifying was that? The will from second levle insight: Sword Heart alone, would be superior to his Heartbreak Echo.
“There was another sword expert that comprehended the second level insight, Sword Shadow. Everytime he slashed out with his sword, the sword light would turn illusory, while the sword shadows of his sword would turn into reality, achieving an incredible level of unfathomable attacks. With the comprehension of this second level insight, the way one killed others would be formless.”
Qin Wentian continued reading as he marvelled at the profoundness of different types of second level insights. During battles between cultivators at the same realm, a sword would be sufficient to instantly steal the life of one’s opponent.
Swords, were the king among weapons, using only a single instant to reap lives. Fighting against powerful sword experts required one to be exceedingly careful.
“It seems like I need to temper myself further before I can comprehend it. Just sitting here and poring over books can only guide me so far. Damn, I don’t have much time left.”
Qin Wentian mused, before placing the scroll back and exiting the library.
Right now, it was already late at night. Qin Wentian soared up to the skies as a sword formed from astral energy appeared beneath his feet. He continued soaring ahead, speeding away in a certain direction.
There were many who flew on flying swords in the Sword Reverence City, so Qin Wentian wouldn’t look too conspicuous.
After several moments, Qin Wentian arrived at the precipice outside Sword Reverence City. Qin Wentian flew down towards the precipice, where the sword range beneath it was bathed in cold moonlight.
A monstrous sword intent gushed forth and pushed against him, but the astral sword beneath his feet unceasingly resisted its power.
Finally, by virtue of the moonlight, Qin Wentian saw a gigantic sword of approximately one thousand metres in length buried deep inside the earth. An exceedingly fearsome sword-might emanated forth from the sword, causing the surrounding mountains to be contorted into the shape of a sword underneath that mighty pressure.
Nearby, there were several cultivators standing on guard. When they noticed Qin Wentian approaching, somebody called out, “The sword range is off-limits. You are forbidden to go any nearer.”
Qin Wentian once heard Zong Qian mentioning that in the past ten years, the sword range was under the control of the Heavenly Sword Sect. Hence, these guards on duty should be members hailing from that group.
“This sword is too terrifying.” Qin Wentian felt his heart trembling. The body of the sword alone was one thousand metres in length, and it was almost as tall as a mountain. There seemed to be some truth to the rumors, that the precipice was created from a sword blow using this sword.
In fact, although Qin Wentian could clearly see the body of the sword at this moment, there was still an extremely vast distance between him and that gigantic sword. If this place wasn’t underneath the precipice, but was on flatland instead, this sword would be visible even from several hundred miles away.
“No wonder no one could pull out this sword despite the passage of so many years.” Qin Wentian mused.
How heavy was this sword exactly?
Even if a Heavenly Dipper Sovereign could pull the sword out, how could he use it in combat? It was too unwieldy, and basically impossible. It was already a feat of immense difficulty for ordinary humans to even hold this sword.
Above the dome of heavens, the starlight cascading downwards was absorbed by the demon sword, causing the demonic qi in the area to become even greater in intensity.
“Demon sword, gigantic sword. Can a slash from this sword truly sunder the earth?”
Qin Wentian turned back, carving out a cave in the mountains nearby and sat there in a cross-legged position. He didn’t believe that he was capable enough to acquire the demon sword. He was merely curious after hearing Zong Qian’s tale and wanted to personally feel the energy fluctuations from the demon sword.
He then closed his eyes and immersed himself in his meditation. As long as he didn’t step foot inside the sword range, those members from the Heavenly Sword Sect wouldn’t bother him.
Qin Wentian meditated there in silence. In the depths of the night, a demonic wind gusted by, containing a slight wailing noise, like a cry… a cry of death!
This sound was extremely minute, and if it weren’t for Qin Wentian’s powerful perception, he wouldn’t have heard it.
This sorrowful wail gradually transformed into the miserable howl of a demon. Within such wretched cries, a hint of sword keening could be heard, and yet somehow the sound only kept growing clearer to him.
His perception was too strong, and his sensitivity to demonic beings was extremely high as well.
Abruptly a terrifying demonic howl resounded in his ears, and Qin Wentian felt a beam of sword intent gushing towards him. He instantly retreated with a speed as fast as lightning, and when he was a distance away, Qin Wentian touched his fingers to his neck, only to feel a wet sensation on his finger tips, startling him severely.
His heart pounded violently—that illusory sword intent, as well as that sorrowful wail, both vanished completely as though they were never there.
His neck had almost been sliced apart in that instant.
Such an eerie scene shook Qin Wentian’s heart and he couldn’t understand what had happened.
“Hu…” Qin Wentian drew in a deep breath as he resumed his sitting position once more. Sending out tendrils of his perception, he realised that the demonic wailing had begun again. Not only that, the sound was getting louder, transmitted by that demonic wind as it pervaded the entire region.
It was as though Qin Wentian could see a dragon-shaped sword shadow, a vermilion bird-shaped sword shadow, a white tiger-shaped sword shadow and a Xuanwu-shaped sword shadow. All varieties of sword shadows appeared before him as they transformed into reality, clearly showing up in his perception scan.
These sword shadows originated from the bedrock the demon sword was embedded in. The bedrock itself contained a powerful sword intent and after so many years, if the sword shadows could break out from the ground into the light, they would gain sentience and became demonic swords.
“Seems like everything I’ve heard about the demonic swords in this sword range is real.”
Qin Wentian drew in a deep breath, when suddenly the roar-like keening of an angry demonic dragon sword echoed out. Qin Wentian felt a strong surge of pressure gushing towards him, wanting to strike him dead from where he stood.
Qin Wentian immediately retracted his perception and an instant later, the sword intent vanished completely. As did that overwhelming pressure, and that sword keening.
“Indeed, as expected.”
Qin Wentian’s heart pounded. What a terrifying energy. What if he could use this to aid him in comprehending his second level insight in the Mandate of Swords? What sort of insight would he gain then?
Qin Wentian’s heart palpitated with eagerness as he immersed himself completely in his meditation.
The sun and moon waned as time flowed by. Qin Wentian had already been in the cave for seven days.
As it was situated so close to the sword range, more and more people could be seen appearing in this region, all because the battle for the rights would soon commence.
In these few days, the Sword Son of the Zong Clan, Qin Wentian had disappeared completely, drawing speculation all around. Wasn’t this too bizarre? Was Qin Wentian hiding because he knew he couldn’t be compared to the opponents from the two other major powers?
It seemed as though the day after Zong Hong had challenged him, Qin Wentian had never appeared again.
Currently, at an area in the Zong Clan’s residence, two groups of people were in a confrontation with each other. The leaders of these two groups were none other than Zong Hong and Zong Qian. Zong Hong sarcastically remarked, “The good friend you invited, where the hell did he hide to this time around?”
“Brother Qin naturally has his own matters to settle, he has no need to report his whereabouts to the likes of you.” Zong Qian replied. Yet, Zong Hong coldly laughed, and his supporters all wore mocking expressions on their faces. They were totally unconvinced and were unwilling to accept Qin Wentian.
Especially one among them, Zong Peng. This person was a ‘nominee’ Sword Son that had been chosen to participate at the Heavenly Dipper level in the battle of the sword range. This battle was considered as the most crucial of the three—if he won, it would secure their victory 100%. The only exception would be if one of the three major powers won two consecutive battles at the Yuanfu Realm before the third and final showdown.
Zong Peng had always thought that after the battle, the title of Sword Son would fall to him. To think that it had now been given to an outsider.
“After the battle at the sword range, I shall strip him of his position.” Zong Peng gazed at Zong Qian as he calmly stated this. His words caused the others nearby to break out in cold, mocking laughter, as they turned their eyes towards Zong Qian.
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