Chapter 248: Inner Monologue
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Lin Feng sat upright in his pavilion and did not move but his attention was still focused Xiao Yan and the others.
Lin Feng was flooded with emotions as he watched the agitated, upset, but forever calm and composed Xiao Yan.
Three years of hard work, waiting and perseverance could be said to be for the trip to Xingyun Peak.
This was meant to be the first battle that would send Xiao Yan on the path to fame and make him a legend.
Lin Feng was clearly aware of what the Sword of Radiance Sect had in mind; they simply wanted to grind Xiao Yan’s spirit with their resident talents before the big fight.
However, in Lin Feng’s eyes, it was futile.
The Celestial Sect of Wonders had no problem overcoming others of their own level and standard of ability. This was not an exaggeration they came up with on their own.
Lin Feng scanned the several disciples of the Sword of Radiance Sect and flashed a sadistic smile. “I hope we don’t completely destroy your confidence.”
The Xiao Yan of today would never let anybody hinder or disturb his arranged battle with Murong Yanran.
Not even Prince Chong Yun.
In terms of status, he was the crown prince of the Great Qin Empire. In terms of mastery, he was a Nascent Soul stage cultivator. In terms of prowess, he was protected by magic treasures.
Yet, not even he could stop this battle. Along the path that he was on, all that was meaningless.
Even though he did not know what Xiao Yan was thinking about exactly, Lin Feng tried to imagine himself as Xiao Yan in a humorous manner.
“I’ve waited three years for this chance. I want to make a difference, not because I want to prove that I’m better but because I will take back what I have lost.”
“That is close to your mood, isn’t it?” An unscrupulous master thought to himself as he watched Xiao Yan and company walk up to Zhao Yan and the other visitors.
Behind Zhao Yan stood several other sword cultivators of the Sword of Radiance Sect. One could tell by their mana waves that they were at the final stages of the Aurous Core stage, the golden elixirs they formed were all of purple pill qualities and they were all quite young.
It appeared that these people were the most talented youngsters of the Sword of Radiance Sect.
If there were no unforeseen circumstances, Murong Yanran was hopeful and definitely on track to join their ranks in the future. This was also the reason why the Sword of Radiance Sect regarded her so highly.
These kinds of talented disciples with unlimited talent and potential were foundational stones at the moment but pillars of the future.
The aura these people emanated was unlike that of the usual sword cultivators. Those were filled with hostility and piercing radiance but these guys had the essence of floating clouds that perplexed the onlooker.
Even though he knew that he could not estimate Xiao Yan and Xiao Budian’s abilities the normal way, Xiao Yan was still calm as ever when faced with his adversaries. This confidence stemmed from being the star disciple of the Sword of Radiance Sect and him being in the final stages of the Aurous Core stage. He harbored enough power to give Grandmasters who were just getting into the Nascent Soul stage a good fight.
“I am Zhao Yan and I send you all greetings on behalf of the Sword of Radiance Sect.” Zhao Yan smiled as he physically greeted the pavilion Lin Feng was in. “Greetings, Master Lin of the Celestial Sect of Wonders. I do not wish to disturb you, and the point of us coming over is to discuss mantra with your junior disciples. I hope you don’t mind.”
Lin Feng was silent and seemed to give a green light.
Xiao Yan, Xiao Budian and the others glanced at each other as weird smiles appeared on their faces.
According to what was known, Zhao Yan was a little over a hundred years old and definitely spent over a hundred years learning from the Sword of Radiance Sect. As a cultivator in the final stages of the Aurous Core stage, calling Xiao Yan and the others ‘juniors’ was not really wrong but it sounded exceptionally annoying in their ears.
Xiao Yan replied plainly, “And how do you want to ‘discuss’, Cultivator Zhao?”
Zhao Yan’s eyes contracted a little bit as he heard what Xiao Yan called him. Even so, he still wore a smile on his face but his tone was a lot less amiable. “I have heard rumors that the disciples of the Celestial Sect of Wonders are unbeatable by cultivators of the same level. How true is that, I wonder?”
“If my memory didn’t fail me, Junior Xiao must be the cardinal disciple under Master Lin? As the main disciple of the Sword of Radiance Sect, I would like to ‘learn’ from you.”
Zhao Yan’s attitude began to change as he uttered his sentence. The aura that was originally alike floating clouds morphed into something like an unsheathed sword; it was an incredibly blinding aura that surpassed that of other sword cultivators.
The disciples of the Sword of Radiance Sect behind Zhao Yan wore smiles of amusement, as if they were watching a show, and showed no signs of spirit. They were still much like the drifting clouds and the foggy mist.
Xiao Yan scoffed and did not reply. Beside him, Xiao Budian took a step forward and released a stream of fierce and oppressive mana, stopping Zhao Yan’s sword Qi in its tracks.
Zhao Yan’s trained his gaze on Xiao Budian. Xiao Budian smiled with that charming child-like look and said, “Zhao Yan, you wish to test the theory that we are unbeatable by other cultivators at our level? You can just try it with me.”
He laughed as he continued, “Oh right, I’ll just add on something else. Of all the disciples my master took in, I am the youngest.”
The smile was instantly wiped from Zhao Yan’s face – he could not reject Xiao Budian’s challenge. Xiao Budian still had that sly smile but the aggressive mana stream was still locked on Zhao Yan.
“I knew you are going to take the fight for Xiao Yan. That is the reason why we brought so many people along,” Zhao Yan thought to himself, “Little kid, let me teach you a lesson today. I’ll have you know the true immensity of heaven and earth.”
Zhao Yan was expressionless and replied with a tone of tranquillity. “Please, junior, will you help him out?”
The said junior was about to attack when Xiao Budian screamed, “Wait!”
“What now?” Zhao Yan held his breath.
Xiao Budian laughed out loud. “A battle with no stakes has no meaning. How about we spice it up? In the event that I win, you have to give me two red-feathered cranes, and…”
Tun Tun suddenly interrupted him and tugged on the corner of his shirt. Xiao Budian understood what she wanted to do and immediately changed his statement, “…Sorry, four! Four red-feathered cranes.”
Zhao Yan recalled one of his juniors reporting the sighting of a Tao Tie and was mildly amused. “Ok. Four red-feathered cranes for you if you win. But what if you lose?”
“That’s not possible.” Xiao Budian replied without hesitation and Zhao Yan’s face turned black.
Xiao Budian watched him and shook his head as if he were in pain. “Forget it, forget it. If I lose, this is yours.” He waved his hand and took out a skewer with pieces of Blue Cloud Horn Snake meat.
Zhao Yan was speechless. “I should not waste my time talking to this little shit.”
He slapped the sword strapped to his back and unsheathed it, releasing a brilliant golden light and a loud ring, and slashed towards Xiao Budian with dazzling speed.
Xiao Budian did not budge nor did he dodge the attack. He raised his fists and circles of lightning exploded outwards with booming sounds so loud it hurt one’s eardrums.
He did not use any spell to meet Zhao Yan’s sword radiance and neither did he use his own magic treasures. Instead, he simply punched out his fists and met his adversary with his physical prowess.
A few Nascent Soul stage Grandmasters of the Sword of Radiance Sect were secretly observing the battle. As they witnessed what just transpired, the Purple Cloud Grandmaster began to frown. “What a wildly arrogant kid.”
The only female Grandmaster, Red Cloud Grandmaster, shook her head and said, “Yet you still have to admit that his potential and mana pool, even though he is only in the initial stages of the Aurous Core stage, is as good as that of Zhao Yan, who is already at the ultimate stages of the Aurous Core stage. Now I believe what the Azure Clouds Grandmaster said – this little fellow has the ability to put up a fight against early Nascent Soul stage cultivators.”
The Purple Cloud Grandmaster nodded in response. “Even so, there is no way he can defeat Zhao Yan.”
Indeed, Zhao Yan grunted and casted a spell. His sword radiance began to change.
Lin Feng was watching the ongoing battle from within his pavilion and he completely understood all that was happening or changing. His gaze momentarily froze as he saw Zhao Yan’s sword radiance zip towards Xiao Budian. As Xiao Budian attempted to repel the piercing streak, the golden ray of sword radiance suddenly dissipated into grey mist, turned around and avoided Xiao Budian’s thunderous punches with ease.
The grey mist morphed continuously after the evasion.
From the cloudy mist, a thin ray of light emerged – much like the calm after the storm and the reappearance of the sun. The rays of light became stronger and stronger and gradually bore forward.
Finally the golden sword radiance materialized from the fray and cut directly towards Xiao Budian’s vital point!
The changing between the cloudy mist and the sword radiance was smooth adept. This display of skill by Zhao Yan was spectacular indeed and the Azure Clouds Grandmaster cheered for him in response. “This is the trademark sword mantra of the Sword of Radiance Sect, the Radiant Clouds Sword Technique. Zhao Yan is getting better and better every day.”
“He is, indeed. This is great.” The Purple Cloud Grandmaster grinned and it was obvious that he was delighted.
Zhao Yan’s sword radiance and the cloudy mist changed back and forth and nimbly dodged Xiao Budian’s defenses. It even came to a point where it almost seemed as if Zhao Yan was playing with the latter and teasing the poor kid. This Radiant Clouds Sword Technique’s reputation followed that of the Sword of Radiance Sect and was undeniably the trademark skill, and the force of destruction was not to be trifled with.
The onlooking Lin Feng had already discovered the special characteristics of this technique.
The Radiant Clouds Sword Technique was based on understanding the true meaning of the intersection between light and darkness, and by extension, the interaction between the clouds and the rays of light. Cultivators could eventually produce their own sword radiance, and with this technique, their sword radiances could shift into misty or cloudy sword energy, similar to the former, and back to confuse the opponent.
The sword radiance was strong and resilient, but could only travel in a straight line after its release from the cultivator and the direction could not be changed. Even though the average person could not dodge such a strike from a fast sword cultivator, there was still a potential weakness. By integrating the sword radiance with the misty sword energy and transforming back and forth, one overcame the aforementioned weakness and the acute sword radiance would become immensely more versatile and dangerous. More people would struggle against such a tactic.
The intersection between light and darkness – the clouds represented darkness – perplexed adversaries as they could not fathom the current form of the sword radiance. In one moment it could seem like a piercing ray of sword radiance which was coming right at you, and you would dodge towards the side and the next moment what was the ray of sword radiance suddenly became a winding and snaking cloud of misty sword energy.
Lin Feng silently gave his approval. The Sword of Radiance Sect’s trademark skill was both practical and insidious.
As the old saying goes, “Play the pig to eat the tiger.”
What was released was sword Qi to confuse the opponent about the speed and power of one’s attacks. Only when the killer move arrived in front of the adversary did the ray of light instantly morph into a fierce and powerful sword radiance mode, impaling the latter party before he or she could even react.
Some of the other disciples of the Sword of Radiance Sect saw Xiao Budian struggling to keep up and began to tease Xiao Yan. “Senior Zhao is having a good time with your junior. How about we have a little practice battle as well, Xiao Junior?”
Xiao Yan scoffed. “What’s the hurry? It’s going to be over soon.”
The other party was taken aback by his response. He turned his head and began to realize something had changed in the battle between Zhao Yan and Xiao Budian.