It was a sensation that reminded him of the relentless, rapid tides, carrying an imposing momentum that would blast through anything that stood in its path. For someone who had been in contact with his ancestor's Flowing Water Swordsmanship from a very young age, Jian Qinsheng was extremely accustomed to that feeling.

The both of them should have been at odds, but why would the young man suddenly emanate Sword Intent that was identical to his ancestor's?

Furthermore, judging from the overwhelming aura, it seemed like he was in the midst of reaching Sword Quintessence?"

Weng weng weng!

In his moment of confusion, the swords in the hands of the sword practitioners in the area suddenly began shaking uncontrollably as their swords flew out of their sheaths. They swiftly fell to the ground, paying respects to their new emperor.

"He actually managed to reach Sword Quintessence…" Jian Qinsheng muttered as he felt his throat running hoarse.

Those who had comprehended Sword Quintessence would receive the blessings of the world. As long as a sword was not stronger than them, a Sword Quintessence expert would be able to force the sword to submit to them unconditionally.

However, it was apparent that the young man before him had already comprehended Sword Quintessence, and for him to achieve yet another breakthrough now… It could not be that he had comprehended two different types of Sword Quintessence, could it?

One must know that even achieving a single Sword Quintessence was a feat that most sword practitioners failed to achieve despite devoting their entire life to the sword. Yet, the young man before him was only in his twenties, and he had already comprehended two of them…

More importantly, it was just a moment ago that he had said that it was impossible to comprehend two different Sword Quintessence simultaneously when the young man immediately made the breakthrough.

Must you really slap my face that quickly?

Jian Qinsheng's lips trembled uncontrollably as the entire world he had known collapsed right before his eyes.

He had started practicing swordsmanship when he was three, comprehended Lower Sword Heart when he was seventeen, Upper Sword Heart when he was forty, and Sword Quintessence when he was sixty-three… Without a doubt, his talent was legendary, and there were countless who were envious of him. But in face of the young man before him, all those glorious accomplishments of his felt like an embarrassment instead.

"He has achieved the same Sword Quintessence as teacher?" Shui Qianrou widened her eyes in disbelief as her body trembled uncontrollably.

Prior to coming over, the young man did not even know what the Sword Quintessence that her teacher had comprehended was, and yet, just by chatting a bit here and there, he suddenly attained the same Sword Quintessence as her teacher.

One must know that she had cultivated under her teacher for many years, but despite that, she had only managed to grasp the bare basics of it.

In this moment, the overwhelming sense of defeat that she felt rendered her completely incapable of speech.


A while later, Zhang Xuan finally reined in his aura before opening his eyes once more.

This time, he walked unhesitatingly toward the '剑 (Sword)' character and placed his finger on it. In response to his touch, the character seemed to dance exuberantly, seemingly ready to fly out of its restraints and soar into the sky.

Zhang Xuan turned to Jian Qinsheng and asked with a smile, "Elder Jian, can this be considered as having obtained the acknowledgement of the Sword Intent?"

"O-of course!" Jian Qinsheng lips twitched a bit as he hurriedly nodded in response.

Even the '剑 (Sword)' character left behind by his ancestor looked ready to elope together with the young man! What else could it be if not a sign of acknowledgement?

"That's a relief!" Zhang Xuan patted his chest and sighed in relief.

As soon as he had heard Jian Qinsheng say that it was theoretically possible to comprehend a second Sword Quintessence, he had immediately collected all of the insights and interpretations concerning the '剑 (Sword)' character into the Library of Heaven's Path.

Those who were qualified to leave their words beneath the '剑 (Sword)' character were all those who had reached or had been on the verge of reaching Sword Quintessence. Even though there was not too much of such text in the area, it was all incredibly insightful and concise, allowing him to compile a perfect manual.

With prior experience in reaching Sword Quintessence, it was much easier the second time around, which was also the reason he had been able to achieve a breakthrough so quickly.

"The Compendium of Sword Arts is just right ahead. I'll open it for you now!" Jian Qinsheng headed over the corner of the wall and pushed lightly, and the two sides of the wall slowly slid apart, revealing a door behind it.

"Thank you. I happen to have several doubts concerning swordsmanship that require verification from the books, and I'll leave once I'm done looking through the relevant books…" With his eyes lit up in excitement, Zhang Xuan quickly explained his current situation to Jian Qinsheng before heading in.

It had to be said that the collection of books in the Compendium of Sword Arts was truly amazing. It must have taken countless years before they managed to expand the compendium to such a scale.

Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan began scanning the area with his eyes.

Wherever his gaze fell, the books would automatically be replicated in the Library of Heaven's Path in neat rows.

Walking in between the shelves, he quickly took in all the books around him.

A moment later, Zhang Xuan suddenly halted his footsteps.

Hmm? The Flowing Water Swordsmanship?

To his surprise, there was actually a Flowing Water Swordsmanship secret manual lying casually in one of the innermost bookshelves.

But then, he suddenly remembered that he was currently in the Compendium of Sword Arts, a sacred ground where only those recognized by the ancestor of the Jian Clan would be able to enter. Those who could enter already had their identities verified, so there were no qualms about leaving any secret manuals out in the 'open'.

After collecting the Flowing Water Swordsmanship secret manual, Zhang Xuan tapped on it lightly in the Library of Heaven's Path.

"Flowing Water Swordsmanship conceptualizes Sword Intent as a flowing stream of water, relentless and unending. Sword practitioners specializing in this swordsmanship will be able to form a tight guard of sword qi, thus granting them superior defensive prowess. This swordsmanship was created by the Third Sanctum Head of the Sanctum of Sages, Jian Liushui, and it's possible to achieve the level of Sword Quintessence through this conceptualization. Flaws: …"

Zhang Xuan shook his head. It sure has plenty of flaws…

Admittedly, the Flowing Water Swordsmanship was extremely powerful. In terms of concept, it bore a striking resemblance to the Heaven's Path Sword Art, but it was a higher tier sword art, wielding far greater might.

Currently, the Heaven's Path Sword Art that Zhang Xuan had compiled was only Saint intermediate-tier. He could easily overwhelm those of the same cultivation realm through its devastating strength, but its prowess was severely lacking when put against a Saint high-tier battle technique.

On the other hand, while the Flowing Water Swordsmanship was plagued with flaws, it had reached the level of Saint high-tier. If he could master it, his fighting prowess would surely rise by leaps and bounds.

To make a comparison, it was like the difference between a ballista and a crossbow. A crossbow was much more flexible and nimble in terms of usage, but in terms of prowess, it could not compare to a ballista.

Zhang Xuan continued reading through the manual.

This swordsmanship is highly demanding on one's eye of discernment!

The Flowing Water Swordsmanship required one to mold one's Sword Intent into a form reminiscent of flowing water.

However, in order to successfully break down one's Sword Intent into a fluid and flexible form, one had to possess an eye of discernment far surpassing the ordinary. In fact, without the Eye of Insight, it was technically impossible to cultivate the technique up to the level of Major Accomplishment.

No wonder Shui Qianrou said that other than the Third Sanctum Head, no one has succeeded in mastering the Flowing Water Swordsmanship. From the looks of it now, the problem didn't lie in their lack of hard work or talent. Rather… their eye of discernment just wasn't up to par!

As a past sanctum head of the Sanctum of Sages, the Third Sanctum Head had possessed the Eye of Insight as well. It was probably because of that he was able to create such a powerful sword art. However, it was pity that none of the sanctum heads after him specialized in the sword, thus causing the lineage of this swordsmanship to be buried in the dust.

As a descendant of Jian Liushui, Jian Qinsheng had tried his best to learn the Flowing Water Swordsmanship, but without the Eye of Insight to peer directly into the very essence of the Sword Intent, he could only create a very crude conceptualization of water flow. It was no wonder he was not able to bring glory and honor to the swordsmanship!

Possessing the Eye of Insight, the Flowing Water Swordsmanship happened to be compatible with Zhang Xuan.

Let me see if I can perfect the Flowing Water Swordsmanship!

If the flaws could be resolved, it would be worth considering practicing the sword art.

With this thought in mind, Zhang Xuan continued his collection of books. In just ten minutes, the hundred thousand sword art manuals in the Compendium of Sword Arts were all within the Library of Heaven's Path.

I'll see if I can perfect the cultivation technique of the Three Swords of Lingxu…


Zhang Xuan retrieved the cultivation technique for the Three Swords of Lingxu and placed it together with all the other sword art manuals.

His very purpose here was to perfect the Three Swords of Lingxu. Everything else could wait.


A new book materialized before Zhang Xuan's eyes.

Swiftly flipping it open, a deep frown was etched onto Zhang Xuan's forehead.

Only one of the sword arts is perfected?

The Three Swords of Lingxu consisted of three different sword arts, namely Sea Severing Sword, Ocean Cataclysm Sword, and Heaven Desecration Sword!

Each of these three moves was stronger than the previous. Even though Zhang Xuan's cultivation was only at Leaving Aperture realm primary stage, if he could fully execute Heaven Desecration Sword, putting aside Grand Dominion realm pinnacle cultivators, he would even be a match for Saint 7-dan primary stage cultivators!

It was due to this that the Old Sword Maestro had been able to stand undefeated in the Empire Alliance.

This Compendium of Sword Arts had a massive collection of more than a hundred thousand sword art manuals, so Zhang Xuan had thought that he would be able to perfect all three sword arts by compiling them together. It was a little disappointing to see that only one sword art had been perfected after all that effort.

Nevertheless, this was still better than nothing.

Due to the Three Swords of Lingxu being a Sword Formation, even the very first move, the Sea Severing Sword, had possessed more than 360 flaws! It would have been impossible to resolve all of them without that many books.

Even though the Ocean Cataclysm Sword and Heaven Desecration Sword haven't been perfected yet, the number of flaws they have has also been greatly reduced… All in all, there's less than ten for both of them. I'll just have to find a way to resolve them in the future!

While he could not start cultivating the remaining two sword arts yet, the reduced number of flaws in them meant that it would be much easier for him to perfect them in the future.

There are various different classifications to Sword Quintessences. The Sword Quintessence that Sanctum Head Jian Liushui comprehended leans more toward defense whereas the one that the Old Sword Maestro comprehended leans more toward offense…

Through the knowledge of the books he had gathered, many aspects concerning swordsmanship became much clearer to Zhang Xuan.

Since there are Sword Quintessences that are directed toward offense and defense, there should be those that are directed toward speed and agility too.

These theories were explained in one of the books that Jian Liushui had left behind. As there were simply too many books within the compendium, Zhang Xuan would have probably overlooked them if he had not collected everything into the Library of Heaven's Path.

Perhaps it was because Jian Qinsheng did not see the book, so he only knew that there were classifications to Sword Quintessences but not what kind of classifications there were.

Let me try out the Flowing Water Swordsmanship!

With a thought, Zhang Xuan placed all the defensive sword art manuals together with the Flowing Water Swordsmanship secret manual.

Hu la!

A brand-new book materialized, and with a tap, the knowledge within flowed into Zhang Xuan's head.

Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up. It's perfected!

Perhaps due to Jian Liushui's swordsmanship lineage being more sided toward defensive swordsmanship, the proportion of defensive sword art manuals were far higher than offensive sword art manuals. This made perfecting the Flowing Water Swordsmanship secret manual much easier than perfecting the Three Swords of Lingxu.

I'll cultivate this one first then!

Since Zhang Xuan had managed to perfect the Flowing Water Swordsmanship, he quickly found a quiet place in the compendium to sit down and start studying.

Just as the name suggested, the Flowing Water Swordsmanship required the sword practitioner to cultivate their swordsmanship until their sword qi was as fluid and flexible as water, flowing relentlessly like a seemingly unending river.

Once mastered, the sword practitioner would be able to put up a perfect guard that boasted even greater defensive power than a Dominion!

Going through the perfected Flowing Water Swordsmanship in his head, Zhang Xuan focused his mind, and gradually, his zhenqi formed small little blades that circulated within his body.

The hardest aspect of the Flowing Water Swordsmanship was not to convert one's zhenqi into swords—Zhang Xuan had been able to do that for a very long time—but to convert the zhenqi into a compact stream of Sword Intent to protect oneself.

Nevertheless, having cultivated the Heaven's Path Divine Art and possessing the Eye of Insight, this was not much trouble for Zhang Xuan. Two hours later, he exhaled a mouthful of turbid air before getting to his feet once more.

After an arduous training session, he had finally brought his mastery of the Flowing Water Swordsmanship up to the level of Major Accomplishment.

I can't test out the prowess of the Flowing Water Swordsmanship here, but I reckon even Grand Dominion realm pinnacle experts will be unable to breach my defenses now! In fact, even Saint 7-dan experts will have to struggle a fair bit before they can lay a finger on me! Zhang Xuan thought in agitation.

What he was lacking the most at the moment happened to be a good defensive technique—this had been displayed very clearly to him when he was sent flying with a single punch from his future brother-in-law.

However, with this sword art, even if he was still no match for Luo Xuanqing, at the very least, he would not be incapacitated in a single punch anymore.

Furthermore, the defensive ability of the Flowing Water Swordsmanship would only grow stronger as his cultivation rose, possibly making it one of his stronger trump cards at the moment.



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