DOGE note: oops, i accidentally released Wed's chapter a little too early. it's fine, it's on me!
“Senior Brother Ouyang, can you still bear it?” Chengfeng asked in a low voice.
Ouyang Nan spat a mouthful of bloody foam on the ground, grinding his teeth, “If my sword were here, I would not have gotten hurt!”
Tian Jun seemed to remember something, immediately tossing a sword over, “Senior Ouyang, your sword!”
Ouyang was stunned, then caught it. He looked at it and realised it was indeed his sword. Laughing heartily, he waved it around and it emitted a dim white glow.
“Sword Glow!” Su You felt a pang of jealousy.
This was power every Hidden Sword cultivator dreamed of!
Most of the Hidden Sword cultivators trained in swordsmanship; all their power came from a sword. However, while the bar to entry was low to learn how to wield a sword, it was difficult to absolutely master it. That was why it was easy to fall behind while on the path to mastery.
However, when a cultivator hit the peak, they held godly power!
Among the world's Ten Great Divine Weapons, five were swords!
Hidden Sword cultivators started with cultivating arrays, then moving on to swordsmanship. This was not referring to sword techniques but Sword Qi after one had broken through the Foundation Solidification stage, training to ‘extend’ the sword.
Sword Qi, Sword Glow, Sword Gale, Sword Spirit, Sword Soul, Sword God!
These were the few levels in Hidden Court swordsmanship and their symbols.
There was one Dao but countless techniques.
Every cultivation sect in the world walked different paths but their general levels were the same: Body Building, Qi Wielding, Spirit Concentration, Foundation Solidification, Magical Unblocking, Yang Spirit, Golden Body, Thunder Tribulation and Flying Immortal. These were the nine heavenly stages.
The peak of the first heavenly stage was training the physical body like Chengfeng. However, his meridians were naturally blocked by his Immortal energy so he could not hit the second heavenly stage, therefore disrupting his cultivation path.
Regular cultivators usually started to cultivate their breathwork in the second stage. At its peak, they could control their own breaths so that in the third stage, the cultivators could manifest the movement of Qi in their own body, even manifesting different forms.
At this point, they could start Foundation Solidification, which meant condensing all their Qi, then compressing it until it was almost a solid sphere. This was called pill-forming in their dantian!
When the inner pill was completed, the cultivator would be able to truly start practising with their sword. Cultivators of this level can easily release Sword Qi through their own inner pill, attacking a five-metre radius around themselves. One slash of their swords could easily slice through rock and brick. Su You and Tian Jun were at this level.
Then, the cultivator would work to turn his inner pill into a Yuan Precursor. At this point, he can leave his physical body and travel the world, slowly cultivating to reach the Yin Spirit and Yang Spirit stages. They will then be able to achieve Sword Glow, attacking a ten-metre radius. One slash of his sword can break gold- which was where Ouyang Nan was.
Further upwards was the Magical or Spirit Unblocking stage. Here, the cultivator would be able to unleash a Sword Gale in a fifty-metre radius. One slash of his sword can break off a mountain’s peak.
The Golden Body, which was next, would transform the Hidden Sword cultivator completely. Now, the sword can leave the cultivator’s hand and battle independently as if it had a spirit-- this was called the Sword Spirit. This cultivator’s wrath could be felt within thousands of metres, even ten thousand metres away from the sword. If the cultivator had another magical item on him, his destruction would be several times more powerful! One slash of his sword could kill a man thousands of metres away!
In the Thunder Tribulation stage, the Hidden Sword cultivator becomes one of the most feared cultivators in the world. At this moment, even if their sword is shattered, they can still unleash their power because their souls had already combined with the sword to form one being. One slash of this sword could break the oceans!
The Flying Immortal stage was currently the highest level a cultivator could achieve. The sword in their hand was no longer just a sword, for it could cut through everything-- they will slice through the heavens and shatter the earth!
Ouyang Nan was a cultivator who could release the Sword Glow. His display of power was completely incongruent to the stripes on his robes. He had greatly improved since his last examination, plus he had his reasons for hiding some of his abilities.
At death’s door, it was not the time for hiding. He turned to Chengfeng, “Junior Brother Chengfeng, rest here. Leave the rest to me!”
As he spoke, he turned to Su You, Tian Jun and Blockhead. “It’s time for the Seniors of Hidden Sword Court to fight!”
The three of them suddenly became emotional as their eyes locked. They nodded solemnly and unsheathed the swords they had retrieved from the enemy.
Ouyang Nan turned, staring at Ju Wusheng who was eyeing them condescendingly out of the corner of his eye. “Hidden Sword Court!”
Su You, Tian Jun and Blockhead yelled, “Present!”
Ouyang Nan yelled, “Swords out!”
Everyone pulled out their swords. All four of them glared at Ju Wusheng with hatred, dispersing so they surrounded Ju Wusheng in four directions.
Ju Wusheng barely took them seriously, snickering, “Have you transmitted your last wishes?”
Ouyang Nan shouted, “Ju Wusheng, your sect brothers are all in a meeting with the King of Hell, you’ll meet them soon enough!”
Ju Wusheng threw his head in hearty laughter, fury seeping into his voice, “You little shameless thieves of Spiritual Mountain, you lot are venomous! The Profound Life Sect will make you pay!”
He had just spoken when the golden hoop came buzzing towards Ouyang Nan like lightning. Ouyang Nan had been on high alert for it. With a slash of his sword, white Sword Glow shot towards the golden hoop. The spinning hoop shattered the Sword Glow in a moment, flying at Ouyang Nan after only a brief pause.
Ouyang Nan was shocked. He knew he must face the fact that he was injured- his Sword Glow was incomparable to what it used to be. Clenching his teeth, he flipped backwards and shot out another Sword Glow. This shot finally hit and changed the hoop’s trajectory, causing the hoop to brush past him instead of directly hitting himself.
Drenched in cold sweat, he turned to the rest immediately and yelled, “Surround and attack him! I’ll deal with the golden hoop!”
Su You and the rest immediately surrounded Wusheng in three directions.
On the other hand, Chengfeng gave Xiaobao a look to keep watch. He then secretly activated the immortal energy within, quickly transferring Qi from the surrounding plants into himself.
Chengfeng did not know if he could successfully heal while being conscious but he must try. If Ouyang Nan and the rest were losing, and he could not participate in the fight, they would be finished!
Zhao Xiaobao ran to the entrance to stop anyone trying to get inside but was horrified by what he saw!