Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Zhou Yuan had joined the sect three years ago like her, but he was much more talented than she was. He had already reached the peak of Gathering Breath Class 5 and his understanding of swordsmanship was also stronger than her.
Since six months ago, he was already able to execute the Fifth Stance of the 36 Stances of the Immortal Guardian!
It was because of these that she lost so badly against him yesterday, she couldn't even muster enough strength to resist his might.
Liu Yiyi had already grown accustomed to losing.
She didn't feel embarrassed about losing any more. After all, she didn't come here to flaunt her strength, but for the sake of her revenge!
She could not be bothered with Zhou Yuan and she continued to walk away.
She had only taken a few steps when Zhou Yuan blocked her way. The latter's face was full of disbelief. "You made a breakthrough and advanced?"
This junior in front of him had the weakest cultivation in the entire Immortal Guardian Sect. She was only at Class 3 of the Gathering Breath Realm yesterday, yet she arrived at Class 5 overnight?
If she really was this talented, then why was her progress so small in the past three years?
"It's a fluke!"
Liu Yiyi could not be bothered to explain. She simply shook her head.
Her aura was currently unstable since she had just made a breakthrough. It was normal for her opponent to notice her strength. Also, since they were fellow disciples, there was nothing for her to hide.
"There's no such thing as a fluke in a breakthrough. Since you are now at Class 5 of the Gathering Breath Realm, let me see if your swordsmanship has improved!"
Overflowing with curiosity, Zhou Yuan drew his longsword.
He found it difficult to accept that someone who had always been inferior to him was now equal to him in strength overnight.
"I'm busy…" Liu Yiyi frowned.
"Win against me first, then I'll let you go!"
With a sneer, Zhou Yuan's longsword shuddered.
It flew through the air and stabbed straight towards her.
Realizing that she would be injured if she did not counterattack, Liu Yiyi had no choice but to draw out her longsword and retaliate with a thrust.
The two swords collided with each other.
The clash of their weapons resulted in a shockwave that burst outwards.
Liu Yiyi thought that everything would still be the same. She expected that she wouldn't be able to resist the attack, so she prepared to retreat immediately. However, she hadn't expected that her opponent's attack wasn't as strong as she had imagined.
Instead, Zhou Yuan's attack felt somewhat lacking!
"Is it because I've grown stronger?"
Feeling uncertain, Liu Yiyi quickly circulated her true essence. She sent thrusts after thrusts with the sword, each thrust was faster than the last.
Zhou Yuan's lighthearted expression gradually became solemn as he blocked Liu Yiyi's attacks.
He thought that his opponent's true essence would be weaker than her cultivation realm due to her rapid improvement. But the truth was the opposite of what he believed, his opponent's true essence was undeniably stable!
Furthermore, her swordsmanship made it so that it felt as if he was fighting a different person…
Someone that wasn't previously weaker than him at all!
"Even if your cultivation is on the same level as mine, it will still be impossible to win against me!"
Zhou Yuan's eyes narrowed as he coldly snorted in his heart. He poured his true essence into his longsword and executed the Fifth Stance of the 36 Stances of the Immortal Guardian—Light of the Setting Sun.
Zing Zing! Zing!
Sword aura pervaded the air. In an instant, Liu Yiyi seemed to see the manifestation of the sun in front of her. The heat was unbearable. Under the assault of the sword aura, she staggered backwards.
Despite her efforts and the insights that she had just gained as well as the breakthrough that she had just made…
She felt that she was still weaker than the person in front of her.
"Oh no!" Liu Yiyi's heart froze.
Her opponent's sword techniques were extremely powerful. If she was unable to dodge it, she would be severely injured. If this prevented her from seeking an apprenticeship from Senior, wouldn't that mean that she would miss such a good opportunity?
Liu Yiyi gnashed her teeth as another epiphany came upon her at this critical juncture. Her arms—acted similar to the wings of a bird. It instinctively waved down.
With a whoop, the longsword in Zhou Yuan's hand flew out and lodged itself diagonally on the wall not far away from the two of them. It kept on shuddering as the remnant sword aura circulated throughout its body.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Zhou Yuan who held the upper hand was struck by the sword aura and was pushed back seven or eight steps in a row. His face paled from what he had witnessed.
If she hadn't withdrawn her sword at the crucial moment, he would've been injured!
"That was not the 36 Stances of the Immortal Guardian! You… how did you become so strong?"
Zhou Yuan was filled with disbelief.
This fellow had always been ranked at the bottom of the sect for the past three years.
He had just defeated her in a battle yesterday… and as far as he could remember, she was helpless against him in that battle!
Only a day has passed since that fight, yet she not only advanced two classes, but her swordplay also improved tremendously to the extent that he found it difficult to hold his own against her.
How was this possible?!
But it was not only Zhou Yuan that was dumbfounded by this event…
Even Liu Yiyi was in a daze.
She was fully prepared to be injured earlier, but she didn't expect that Senior's method of using her arms as wings to attack out of instinct would have such a miraculous effect!
She not only blocked the Fifth Stance of the 36 Stances of the Immortal Guardian, but she also won the fight!
"That Senior's understanding of swordplay is really powerful…"
Liu Yiyi composed herself after a short while.
When she realized what just happened—she trembled out of excitement.
The casual words of advice from Senior gave her such a tremendous boon…
How powerful was that Senior?
Perhaps even Elder Wu Yuan—who taught them swordsmanship—was in no way comparable to him!
To think that the Immortal Guardian Sect had such a peerless powerhouse hiding behind the scenes.
She must not miss this opportunity!
In an instant, the idea of becoming Senior's apprentice was now at the top of her priority list.
She could not be bothered about the person in front of her anymore as she hurried out of the Weapon Practice Hall and headed towards that mysterious residence.
"I was only able to beat him just now because I took him by surprise… I bet that if he's fully prepared, it would be difficult for me to beat him!"
Liu Yiyi reflected on the battle that had just ended as she walked.
She believed that she only managed to defeat Zhou Yuan, not because she was stronger than her opponent, but because she managed to reach an epiphany with Senior's words.
At that moment, she became one with that sword technique and used it to catch her opponent by surprise.
Considering all of these, it would be hard to replicate the result.
Hence, if she truly wanted to become stronger, she could not rely on luck. She truly needed to understand the concept of swordsmanship and gain a deeper understanding of the sword technique that she was practicing.
As she walked, she suddenly heard a few rustling noises coming from the depths of the forest.
Liu Yiyi raised her brows. Then, she approached a huge tree and hid behind it.
"After so many years, I finally got a good night's sleep…"
Su Yin walked out of the room as he stretched his body.
For the past ten years, he had had at most four hours of sleep every night. The rest of his time was spent studying. This was the first time that he felt fully relaxed.
After a quick bath, he wanted to make some breakfast.
But he couldn't help but shake his head when he saw how there was no firewood.
The elders who previously lived in this compound had their meals provided by the sect, so they rarely cooked. Therefore, the huge courtyard didn't have any firewood that would let him start a fire and cook.
The boiled fish soup yesterday didn't taste as he had expected since it was cooked with fire from the weeds that he had uprooted from the courtyard. As a result, the fire wasn't strong enough to thoroughly cook the fish and the ingredients, so the soup tasted peculiar.
"Forget it, I'll just cut some!"
After informing the donkey and the others, Su Yin stepped out.
Su Yin had long gotten used to doing things by himself.
After all, he spent quite a long time all alone in the Forbidden Grounds.
As for cultivation…
He told Chen Yu and the others yesterday to bring him a few more books on skill techniques.
Su Yin planned on studying the books here. He decided that it was best if he avoided crowded places. Otherwise, if people saw through him and realized that he had no cultivation whatsoever, it would be embarrassing.
Su Yin took in the fresh air of the surroundings as he walked.
Soon, he arrived in a place with an abundance of withered and dead trees.
Su Yin took out a hatchet and approached a nearby tree.
One of the 36 Skills he learned in the Forbidden Grounds was called, 'Chopping Firewood'.
He also had to take nine tests in regards to this skill just like the rest. The wood that he managed to split must be as thick as a baby's arm at first. But in the end, it had to be as fine as a hair.
But no matter how good one's woodcutting skills were, how useful they were in the real world?
One's cultivation level and the strength of their true essence was everything in the world of cultivation. Who cared about woodcutting?
So what if he could chop wood into woolen strands?
It sure was easier to make a fire with such fine strands of wood, but using this skill in a fight?
Su Yin didn't even dare to think about it.
But even though he deemed the skill useless in a fight.
He had to admit that this "skill" of his was indeed ingenious when it came to chopping wood.
Using this technique, he was able to chop trees according to their structure and texture.
Even the hardest tree could be easily broken in one move.
Only a hatchet was enough to use this skill.
It could be done without the use of knives, bamboo poles, or wooden sticks.
Putting these thoughts aside, Su Yin stared at the dead tree in front of him.
With his eyes blinking, the structure and texture of the tree trunk appeared in his sights. The tree seemed to have revealed itself bare in front of him, nary a secret.
Taking a deep breath, Su Yin started to chop.
Liu Yiyi who hid quite well couldn't help but look in the direction of the sound.
Not far away, a young man was holding a hatcher in his hand as he stood there quietly. Tendrils of Sage's Truth leaked out of his body and before Liu Yiyi knew it, the young man's figure merged with nature and the Great Dao.
It seemed as if he was the only supreme existence in the world.
He was like an immortal, a Sage!
The hatchet slashed down without any fluctuations of true essence.
Liu Yiyi also couldn't see any trace of power being used…
But as the hatchet streaked through the air, the Great Dao seemed to have been unmasked in its full glory.
The trunk of the tree was chopped down like tofu. The cut that had been made looked extremely smooth as if it was a polished stone slab instead of wood.
After several consecutive chops, the dead tree that hadn't completely fallen down yet had already been turned into pieces of wood in equal length and with the exact same thickness in every piece.
They looked even more uniform than they would be if a machine was used to cut them.
The wood was then thrown onto the ground and stacked.
"What… what advanced swordplay!"
Liu Yiyi's body abruptly stiffened. Her teeth chattered. "Was this… a peerless expert?"