Chapter 17: 017
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Lin Sheng did not engage in a long conversation with his parents after he got home. After dinner, he went back to his bedroom to quickly finish his homework before he practiced the swordsmanship’s basic postures using the wooden stick.
The long sword, which was also a cross sword, was the only weapon Lin Sheng could find in his dream. And connected to it was the swordsmanship book that he had translated. So, Lin Sheng was eager to prove whether the sword moves were useful.
Once he was done practicing the postures and the first basic move, Lin Sheng took a shower and hit the sack. The night went by without a dream.
After school the next day, Lin Sheng hurried over to the club in the afternoon just to catch a few students sparring in the classroom. He enthusiastically put on the armor, which was made of bamboo, and wielded his wooden stick. Then, he began to spar with the other students. Since everyone was still a rookie, the practice session naturally looked a little messy.
Lin Sheng did not dream again for the next several days. Instead, he went to the club to practice what he had learned each day. No one in the club was as hardworking as Lin Sheng.
When Chen Huan saw the persistence in Lin Sheng, who always practiced late into the night before going home, she decided to give Lin Sheng some individual attention.
Another week had passed, and Lin Sheng finally got the opportunity to enter the nightmare again.
The sound of the tip of the sword being dragged across the ground was audible before Lin Sheng could even open his eyes. And as soon as his vision was restored, he looked in the direction of the sound and found that the rotten crippled swordsman was still in the hall, limping and lugging his sword along. The swordsman was in front of an oil painting on the left side of the wall, and the long black sword that grew from his hand emitted a sharp “shiiiing” as he moved.
Lin Sheng came to his senses and saw the silver sword, which he had previously taken out of the bedroom, in a corner. Glancing at the rotten swordsman and seeing that the swordsman did not notice him because the swordsman’s back was facing him, Lin Sheng carefully circumvented the big dining table to get to the sword near the door.
After learning the basics of the swordsmanship for a week, Lin Sheng had pretty much figured out which move had killed him the last time—it was the simple thrust move.
Thrusting was the most natural move but also the hardest to master. In Naxi swordsmanship, making the thrust move required the body to be in a sideways position with the arm extending forward. This was so that the sword could thrust as far out as possible to kill the opponent while dodging the opponent’s attack.
Lin Sheng moved very slowly, and soon reached the door where the sword was. Keeping an eye on the rotten swordsman, he quietly bent over to pick up the long sword with his right hand.
After a week of basic postures and thrusting practice, Lin Sheng was keen to try out his skill to see if he could kill the monster.
“He’s just a slow cripple. I just need to be careful, then I’ll be fine.” Lin Sheng estimated the distance. The monster seemed to rely on hearing to judge his surroundings. As long as he did not make a sound, launching a surprise attack from behind should work.
Making up his mind, Lin Sheng held the sword and inched toward the rotten swordsman. Once he got close enough, he clenched his sword with both hands and slowly lifted it near his right ear in the Roof posture.
Lin Sheng had been eating and sleeping with the Roof posture and thrusting move for the past week. He imagined his fight with the rotten swordsman in his mind every single day. Now, the day that he most looked forward to had finally arrived.
Under the dark night sky in the hall, Lin Sheng raised his long sword and gritted his teeth as he and the rotten swordsman were just three steps apart.
Lin Sheng roared and struck down from above. In a split second, the rotten swordsman turned around, drawing a black arc in the air with his right arm and accurately blocking Lin Sheng’s attack.
As the two metal swords collided, Lin Sheng felt numb—even pain—in his wrist. The sword in his hand vibrated so much that he almost lost grip of it. But Lin Sheng gritted his teeth and pressed his sword down with all his might while he kicked his opponent in the knee.
The rotten swordsman’s legs were slow, and they failed to dodge Lin Sheng’s kick. His knee snapped with a loud cracking sound. Losing his balance, the swordsman’s right hand dipped with his sword. Lin Sheng’s blade involuntarily followed, slipping off the swordsman’s black sword before cutting into something soft below.
Black blood splattered like black ink all over the place, turning the inky floor black. The rotten swordsman stumbled to the ground with black blood spurting out from the left side of his neck.
With the sword in his hand, Lin Sheng looked on and was dumbfounded as the monster fell to the ground. Black smoke rose from his body, penetrating and disappearing into Lin Sheng’s chest. In a split second, countless fragmented images flashed across Lin Sheng’s mind.
Kneeling on the floor and letting go of the sword in his hand, Lin Sheng buried his head in his hands. He wanted to scream but lacked the strength to do so because of his convulsions and severe headache.
The black smoke began to evaporate from his body, and that went on for anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour—he was not sure how long.
In his kneeling position, Lin Sheng struggled and removed his hands from his face. His eyes were bloodshot, but it looked like there were black spiderwebs around his black pupils.
“Ravel Green…” With a complicated expression on his face, Lin Sheng stood up and peered at the rotten swordsman who lay face down on the floor.
“Ravel, you said that you would love me forever. Have you forgotten?” A voice suddenly rang out behind Lin Sheng. He turned around, and his blood ran cold when he saw no one behind him.
“Did I just experience a hallucination?” Lin Sheng gritted his teeth and gasped as he quickly picked the sword up from the floor. The blade was damaged. It was chipped, and there were many fine cracks around the chipped area.
“The sword is ruined. Perhaps it’s too old. The fact that an old sword made of ordinary material could last through a fight is good enough.” Lin Sheng put his long sword down and cast his eyes on the long black sword in the rotten swordsman’s right arm.
Taking a deep breath, Lin Sheng recalled what he saw when the black gaseous substance rushed into his chest. It was the memory fragments of Ravel, the owner of the manor. Those memories and vague incomplete voices kept echoing in his head up to that moment before slowly receding. He seemed to have experienced the bits and pieces of Ravel’s life. Fortunately, however, the number of memories flashing into his mind was minimal, otherwise, he would have gone crazy.
Lin Sheng bent down to examine the rotten swordsman’s body to make sure that the swordsman could no longer move for good. After that, he raised his sword, aimed it at the swordsman’s right arm, and struck down.
Despite the chip on the blade, the sword still made a clean cut on the rotten swordsman’s arm. Lin Sheng did not encounter much resistance, and that had to do with the high degree of decay in the swordsman’s body, which had weakened the bone… or else, it would not have been so easy.