Li Chengfeng tossed and turned all night but finally managed to sleep in the end. The next day, before the sun had risen, he was awoken by Su Yuehan. The three of them washed and tidied up before they left their quarters, heading towards the Valley of Ten Thousand Swords that the Grand Senior Brother had mentioned.
Hidden Sword Court had five mountains and sixteen peaks. Namely Ten Thousand Sword Mountain, Eagle Mountain, Cloud Mountain, Ziwu Mountain and Shiwu Mountain. Among them, Ten Thousand Sword Mountain was the main mountain of Hidden Sword Court, inside it laid the Valley of Ten Thousand Swords. Within the valley was where the Heaven Splitting Ten Thousand Sword Array had formed, it was the last place where the disciples of Hidden Sword Court hid when they were attacked. It was said that when the Heaven Splitting Ten Thousand Sword Array was activated, it would unleash a mighty power that could even shake the heavens, containing a force that no men could withstand.
Whereas Eagle Mountain, true to its name, was shaped like an eagle of sorts. It was where the disciples of Hidden Sword Court trained and cultivated, and also the mountain that Li Chengfeng and the gang resided.
Cloud Mountain was the tallest mountain within the Spiritual Moon Sect, it was where the highest mountain peak, Cloud Peak, stood. Legend has it that the peak of Cloud Mountain was only three feet below the heavens; When one crossed the peak of the mountain, the top of their crowns would break through the nine heavens with a raise of their heads.
Ziwu Mountain was the peak where Hidden Sword Court’s legendary Court Master, Chao Tianque, stood as he reached enlightenment. It was originally named Zifeng Mountain, or “Purple Peak Mountain”, because of the beautiful lilac orchids that covered its land. But after Chao Tianque’s enlightenment, he wrote a ballad called “The Fisherman’s Song” which read, ‘Live a simple life within Ziqu, even when one opens profound entrances. If one grew up with this philosophy, one would live fruitfully for the remaining of their life, slowly brewing with the flow of yin and yang.”
[T/L note: Ziwu （子午） means North and South]
And thus, the later generations of Hidden Sword Court renamed the mountain as Ziwu Mountain.
This mountain was once the home of the great Chao Tianque, it was regarded as the Mountain of the Court Master. This was where Hidden Sword Court’s powerful cultivator Chao Tianque resided. During Hidden Sword Court’s glorious days, thousands of disciples would spend countless nights and days climbing up the mountain to seek guidance from the powerful Chao Tianque on the peak of the mystical Ziwu Mountain. However, after Chao Tianque’s disappearance, Hidden Sword Court began to encounter many sabotaging ambushes and attacks. This led the mountain to be abandoned, and it had no visitors or signs of human life since.
Shiwu* Mountain, on the other hand, was just as its name described, it was a mine filled with precious minerals that were used to craft magical weapons. It was because of this mountain that the Spiritual Mountain Sect could thrive and stand out among the vicious competition among other sects. Its spiritual stones, jades and crystals had crafted many strong and powerful magical weapons that aided in the strength of their sect, solidifying their standing as one of the three most significant sects in the world.
[T/L note: Shiwu 石武 literally means Stone Martial Arts]
Hidden Sword Court had once been able to regain their honour, power and recognition due to their control of Shiwu Mountain. It was also because of this precious mine that Hidden Sword Court was not guilty of harbouring any magical treasures! As the saying goes, a common man’s only crime is to carry a jade.
Li Chengfeng and his group left the peak of Eagle Mountain, passing by Shiwu Mountain and Cloud Mountain. When they passed Ziwu Mountain, Li Chengfeng, who had a had read “Hidden Sword Court’s Records”, raised his head to look at the unremarkable mountain. His heart was filled with admiration and yearning, when would he be able to be like Que Chaotian, holding a sword in his hand as he looked down onto the world from the heavens?
After he gazed at Ziwu Mountain from the foot of the mountain, Chengfeng let out a long sigh. The group then made their way through it and arrived at the main mountain of Hidden Sword Court, Ten Thousand Sword Mountain.
The Mountain of Ten Thousand Swords was nothing like Chengfeng had imagined, it was not as magnificent as he had hoped. On the contrary, it was no different from any ordinary mountain, yet the only difference it had was that there was only one entrance to it. The entrance was a narrow canyon, and the cliffs by the entrance were smooth and tall. It looked as if an axe had been used to slice it open, leaving space for only two people to pass through at once.
As Li Chengfeng passed through the narrow canyon, he realised that the walls of the cliffs were as smooth as a mirror! He then reached out his arm to give the smooth surface a touch, only to discover that other than a few cracks, the cliff had no rough surfaces at all!
Furthermore, the outer parts of the cliffs on both sides of the canyon were covered by dense forests. However, the inner sides of the two cliffs were completely barren with not even a single weed in sight. This made the entrance seem even stranger!
Grand Brother Senior was already standing by the entrance waiting for them. He looked relatively tiny compared to the valley that surrounded him, which was around a hundred meters tall but still had an aura that could not be overlooked.
“Ah, you came!” exclaimed Grand Brother Senior as he gestured for them to come closer. His gaze observed Su Yuehan and Zhao Xiaobao quickly.
Li Chengfeng gave Grand Senior Brother a bow, as he could not contain his curiosity, he questioned, “Grand Senior Brother, why are the inner portions of this valley so odd? It looks as if…”
“You’re trying to say that this valley looked as if it was split in half by a sharp blade because its inner portions are too smooth, aren’t you?” Grand Senior Brother replied as he interrupted Li Chengfeng mid-sentence.
Chengfeng nodded, “Y-yes… That’s right.”
Grand Senior Brother slightly furrowed his eyebrows and continued, “This is because it WAS split in half by a sword!”
“What?!” gasped Chengfeng in awe. As he stood within the canyon of the Valley of Ten Thousand Swords, he lifted his head towards the clouds and realised that the blue sky had turned into a straight blue line. The height of the valley made Chengfeng feel like it was impossible to climb. He then lowered his head and looked past the area where Grand Brother Senior stood, only to find that the canyon seemed to have no end, it felt like it would go on forever.
Zhao Xiaobao and Su Yuehan’s expression had also changed.
Although Grand Senior Brother’s tone of voice sounded indifferent, it was unmistakable that his eyes were filled with pride. He then explained, “When the second civil war of the Spiritual Mountain Sect had just begun, the disciples from Hidden Sword Court were cornered to our ancestral court. At the time, Hidden Sword Court’s Court Master used ten thousand swords to form the Heaven Splitting Ten Thousand Array on this very mountain, which turned the entire Ten Thousand Sword Mountain to become a powerful and mighty magical array!”
“Whenever someone enters from another place, they would immediately be devoured by the sword array, destroyed in body and spirit. But the Court Master at that time was afraid that the three courts would come attacking from all directions at once. If that was the case, then the Heaven Splitting Ten Thousand Swords Array would not be able to withstand it. That’s why he intentionally left an eye for the array …”
With that, Grand Senior Brother raised his head and looked at the dangerous and bizarre gorge, sighing, “Back then, the Court Master at the time used all his might to slash open a path through the gorge, but it could only fit two people side by side. If someone leads you into this valley, the Ten Thousand Sword Heaven Splitting Array will not be activated. However, if you try to go around it, the sword formation will immediately activate, and your soul will shatter.”
Li Chengfeng was mesmerised by what he heard, he looked at the stone wall with infatuation and touched the incomparably smooth surface, imagining the scene of that day in his mind. Soldiers of the three courts had arrived below the city, and Hidden Sword Court’s master had laid down the powerful Ten Thousand Sword Heaven Splitting Array. This was where he stood at the front of the cliff, slashing down with his sword, slicing through the canyon, and splitting the sky. He stood in between the canyon with his sword wielded, guarding the pass, with ten thousand men that were unable to get past him.
In this kind of situation, Li Chengfeng could only compare it with the blurry memories of his previous life and the shocking scenes he had witnessed in his dream.
If he did not see it with his own eyes, how could he even imagine the power of a single sword strike?
In times of crisis, and desperate times, a man’s spear was like a rock in the middle of a river. Being able to turn the tide and hold up the sky with one hand was the innermost hot-blooded dream of every man!
That was what being a true man was about!
Li Chengfeng suddenly recalled the scene where he first encountered the Grim Stork. At that moment, he felt as if he shared the same sentiments, and his blood began to boil. He imagined that he too would be able to obtain his own heavenly sword in the Thousand Sword Valley and split open the sky and the earth, leaving behind his legacy as a legend in this world that would never be forgotten.