Chapter 597: Imparting Sword Art
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Call of the Myriad Swords, Roar of the Dragons; this phenomenon was a manifestation of Sword Heart realm. Upon reaching such a level of mastery in swordsmanship, one's sword would be granted spirit, allowing one to wield it as though it was one's own limbs. To a master swordsman, this enhanced level of control could easily translate into a twofold increase in fighting prowess.
Those who had achieved this realm were already qualified to establish their own sects and start their own lineage of swordsmanship.
In fact, most of the current sect leaders and emperors in the world hadn't even reached such a level yet. Just which of the duo in the mist was the one who had reached this astounding level of mastery, causing the innumerable swords out here to bow down to him?
And who was the one filling the entire stage with sword qi, leaving the crowd below with goosebumps?
"It must be Liao Wuzhi. Our two sects are stationed at the foot of the mountain beyond Myriad Kingdom City, and he has been practicing his swordsmanship by the waterfall every morning. The metallic echo of his sword reverberates through the entire valley, gushing up into the heavens. Back then, I realized that even if he hadn't reached Sword Heart realm, he must at least be at Sword Intent realm pinnacle!"
"Now that you spoke of it, I suddenly remember seeing the marks he left behind in his training once. Through the manifestation of sword qi, his swings could easily reach a distance of several zhang (10 - 30 meters). That day, when I coincidentally walked by his training location, I realized that all of the marks on the ground are of equal depth! Most probably, only a person who has achieved Sword Heart realm would be capable of such precise control!"
"Well, Liao Wuzhi isn't called the Unparalleled Sword Genius of the Frigid Gale Sect for nothing, after all."
"Indeed. One who has achieved Sword Heart Realm is practically undefeatable among those of the same cultivation realm. Not to mention, Zhang shi's cultivation is lower than the other party from the very start. I'm afraid the latter's chance at victory is extremely slim!"
"I don't share your viewpoint. On the contrary, I think that Zhang shi is the one who has reached Sword Heart realm! It's not like you didn't see the miracles he has created in past few rounds..."
Sensing the manifestation of seemingly endless sword qi within the mist, grave looks appeared on the faces of the master teachers below the stage.
"Sword Heart realm?"
Wu Tianhao's body trembled.
His initial thought back then was to challenge Zhang shi to a sword duel instead of a fist duel. He thought that given his mastery in swordsmanship, the duel would be a walk in the park for him. How could he have known that Zhang shi would accept the fist duel?
Thus, he thought that if he had another chance to challenge the other party, he would surely propose a sword duel straight away. But after sensing the clash of sword qi before him, he lost all of his confidence.
Even if Zhang shi wasn't the one who had comprehended Sword Heart realm, given how he could rival such an expert, his swordsmanship couldn't possibly be poor.
At the very least, he knew he wouldn't stand a chance against a Sword Heart realm expert.
"Can Zhang shi... win?"
Pavilion Master Kang and the others were worried.
"Don't worry, he'll surely win. Just that..." Zhao Feiwu's eyebrows knitted together.
Knowing that the Second Princess was close with Zhang shi, the others immediately turned their attention to her.
"Without a doubt, Zhang shi's swordsmanship has already reached Sword Heart realm!" Zhao Feiwu revealed.
Back then, on Xuanyuan Kingdom's Heaven's Altar, Zhang shi has displayed the might of a Sword Heart realm expert. Standing atop the back of an aerial spirit beast then, Jin Conghai and her had seen everything clearly.
Along with the rise in his cultivation, his level of comprehension in swordsmanship must have been deepened as well. She had no doubt that the person who had gotten into the Sword Heart realm within the mist was him.
Even if that wasn't the case, she was confident that Zhang shi's swordsmanship mastery was in no way lower than this.
"Just that... he doesn't have any suitable weapons..." Zhao Feiwu continued.
Zhang shi had risen too quickly. Even though he managed to accrue sufficient spirit stones to fuel his cultivation, he hadn't been able to find a suitable weapon for himself.
Back at Honghai City Formation Master Guild, he even had to borrow the weapons of others to inscribe a formation plate.
While one's swordsmanship mastery was important in a sword duel, one's weapon also played a pivotal role. If one didn't have a decent weapon to rival the weapon of one's opponent, one would be immediately placed in a disadvantageous position.
"H-how... can this be?"
Pavilion Master Kang and the others were stunned.
With a teacher as formidable as Yang shi, they thought the one thing Zhang shi wouldn't lack was cultivation resources. Who could have known that he wouldn't even have a Spirit middle-tier sword? To fight against a formidable sword genius in a sword duel without a decent sword... how could he win?
If only they had known in advance, they would have surely gotten one for him. Now that the duel had already begun, they couldn't interfere anymore.
"It's too late to do anything, we can only have faith in Zhang shi!"
Zhao Feiwu shook her head.
While the group was still worried for Zhang shi, a voice suddenly sounded from the mist, "Hong shi, please release the formation!"
"The battle has ended?"
Everyone was stunned.
If the formation was going to be released, did it mean that there was already a conclusion to the duel?
But how much time had passed? Making a rough estimate, it seemed like it hadn't been even two minutes since the start... A victor was already decided in this short period of time?
This was way too fast!
Amidst perplexed gazes, the mist slowly scattered, revealing two silhouettes.
Zhang shi and Liao Wuzhi were still standing at their original position before the duel, as though nothing had happened before. There wasn't the slightest wound or cut on their bodies either. It should have been a perilous sword duel, but on the surface, it seemed as though the fight hadn't even started.
"This... So who won?"
"I've no idea either... but where is Zhang shi's sword?"
"You're right. Isn't this a sword duel? Why isn't Zhang shi wielding a sword?"
"It can't be that Zhang shi has admitted defeat?"
The crowd quickly realized that, while there was a sharp sword in Liao Wuzhi's hand, Zhang shi's hands were completely empty. It was impossible to tell whether he had put the sword back into his storage ring or he didn't take anything out in the first place.
It was impossible to discern who won or loss from this alone.
Just as the crowd was speculating the situation
"I lost!" Liao Wuzhi declared suddenly. He shook his head and put his sword back into his storage ring.
"Liao shi lost?"
A huge commotion immediately broke out after the shocking admit of defeat.
What in the world did Zhang shi do in that two minutes to make the Sword Genius Liao Wuzhi admit defeat so willingly?
"Zhang shi's swordsmanship has reached a profound level that is far beyond me!"
Ignoring the shocked gazes from the crowd below, Liao Wuzhi stepped forward and clasped his fist, "I've reached Sword Heart realm primary stage, but I find myself unable to progress any further than that. May I ask Zhang shi to enlighten me as to how I should proceed from here onward?"
He was the only one of the entire Frigid Gale Sect to have reached Sword Heart realm, and thus, he could only slowly progress through trial and error. But at this stage, he found himself completely clueless as to how he could further progress.
Even though the person before him was even younger than him, his comprehension of swordsmanship was far beyond his own. If the other party could offer him some pointers, he would surely be able to climb to even higher heights.
"You want my pointers?"
Even though Zhang Xuan didn't expect Liao Wuzhi to ask for his guidance so directly, he nodded his head impassively and raised his hand. "Pass me your sword!"
Liao Wuzhi's eyes lit up upon hearing those words. He immediately took out his sword and passed it to the other party.
With a flick of his finger, Zhang Xuan drew the sword, and a stifling cold gleam immediately reflected into the surroundings.
"Zhang shi... is going to offer some pointers to Liao Wuzhi?"
"That seems to be the case. But... if it's just offering pointers, why can't he use his own sword? After all, the sword has already acknowledged Liao Wuzhi to be his master. If the sword spirit were to resist Zhang shi's control, he would be unable to fully display the might of his swordsmanship!"
"Indeed, how bizarre..."
A deep frown appeared on everyone's forehead after seeing Zhang Xuan asking for Liao Wuzhi's sword.
A Spirit-tier sword possessed spirit, and as long as the master it had recognized was still alive, it would be hard for anyone else to wield it. Since Zhang shi was going to display his impart some pointers to the other party, why couldn't he use his own sword?
Just as the crowd was perplexed as to what Zhang shi was doing, the sword in the latter's hand suddenly released a crisp call.
"Spirit Euphoria, the sword wants to acknowledge him as its master?"
"He made Liao shi's sword acknowledge him just by touching it?"
Everyone was stunned.
One must know that making a Spirit-tier weapon acknowledge one as its master was an extremely troublesome process. There were many people who would spend years wiping their sword daily, treating it with utmost care and concern, and had yet to succeed. On the other hand, Zhang shi, with a single touch, actually induced Spirit Euphoria from Liao shi's sword...
Wasn't this way too unbelievable?
Liao Wuzhi clearly didn't expect this either, and his eyes widened in shock.
Back then, he had spent half a year of effort, during which, he even nourished it for an entire month with his own blood, before successfully making the sword submit to him.
Yet, the other party, with a single touch, won the loyalty of the sword... Was the gap between the both of them really this big?
While he was overwhelmed with shock, Zhang shi's impassive voice sounded.
"Look carefully, I'll only show it to you once!"
Thus, he quickly calmed himself down and focused his attention on the other party.
The crowd below also fell silent. Everyone's eyes were widened, and they dared not blink in fear of missing out even the slightest detail.
To defeat Liao shi who had comprehended the Sword Heart realm, they wanted to see how far Zhang shi had progressed in the path of swordsmanship.
Amidst everyone's intense gazes, the sword in Zhang Xuan's hand moved.
The sword which was emitting a stifling cold gleam a moment ago seemed to have lost its glow and strength in Zhang shi's hand. The blow seemed to carry no weight behind it at all; at the same time, it felt like a movement from the extension of his hand-there was no dissonance in that simple movement at all.
The cut was made toward Liao Wuzhi. After shooting past him, it quickly retracted. Even though there was minimal force behind the movement, it was extremely fast, so there were many who failed to catch its full motion.
Zhang Xuan sheathed the sword, threw it back to the other party, and walked off the stage.
"What a fast sword art!"
"Is this Zhang shi's comprehension of swordsmanship?"
Everyone stared at one another in incomprehension.
Even Liao Wuzhi himself was confused.
While Zhang shi's sword was fast, he could easily emulate that speed with his strength. In fact, he could go even faster than that... If this was all there was to it, there was nothing he could learn from this!
Amidst his confusion, a wind suddenly blew, and a hair from his forehead was lifted into the air before slowly floating down.
"With his previous movement... he severed a strand of my hair?"
Seeing the floating strand of hair, Liao Wuzhi's eyes narrowed.
Given his lush hair, to sever a single hair precisely without cutting any other, the other party's control over his sword had reached an absurd level!
As expected of Zhang shi, fearsome!
"Zhang shi severed a hair with his sword without Liao shi noticing?"
"What kind of swordsmanship is that? How powerful must one's control of the sword be to achieve such a feat?"
"I have no idea... But this is probably the very pinnacle of Lower Sword Heart... Perhaps, it might even be at the level of Middle Sword Heart!"
"Middle Sword Heart?"
Everyone fell silent in shock.
If they hadn't witnessed such a sight for themselves, they would have never believed that anyone in the world would be able to control their weapon so precisely.
"Zhang shi, I thank you for your pointer..."
Liao Wuzhi clasped his fist respectfully.
Zhang Xuan departing figure suddenly stopped and asked, "Did you understand it?"
"I understand. The reason why Zhang shi severed a single hair is to tell me to refine my control over my sword..." Liao Wuzhi quickly stated his own understanding of the situation.
But before he was done speaking, Zhang shi shook his head. His back beneath the moonlight seemed to slump slightly in disappointment. "It seems like... you didn't understand it!"
After which, he flicked his wrist lightly.
Another wind blew, and the hair instantaneously split into dozens of segments which danced in their surroundings.
"It... wasn't a single slash?"
Liao Wuzhi's face immediately paled.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 597
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