Library of Heaven is Path
1329 The Stifled Jian Qinsheng
"Let me try out the real Sea Severing Sword then!" With eyes gleaming with excitement, Zhang Xuan grabbed at the surrounding air forcefully.
What he had executed earlier was only the Sword Intent of the Three Swords of Lingxu, he didn't really go all out. However, seeing how Jian Qinsheng had managed to deal with his first attack with such ease, the final shred of hesitation within him finally vanished.
A series of resounding cracking sounds echoed as more than a hundred Saint intermediate-tier weapons floating in the air shot forth.
"Go!" Lines of insight rippled in Zhang Xuan's eyes as he adeptly maneuvered an extremely complicated sword art toward Jian Qinsheng.
The Sea Severing Sword might only be a single sword art, but it was also a massive Sword Formation made up of 108 swords. Every single sword would be executing a sword art of its own, and collectively, it was as if an entire army was charging at one.
The barrage of swords swiftly turned into an imposing wave collapsing down upon the room, and countless intersecting sword qi permeated the room.
"Th-this is... the Old Sword Maestro's secret art? But…" Jian Qinsheng, whose tension had just alleviated slightly after successfully fending off the first attack, suddenly saw the formation of swords before him, and he nearly fainted on the spot.
The Old Sword Maestro was a renowned swordmaster in history, so he had heard of his name and secret art before.
In fact, when he was traveling around the world, in seek of inspiration to further his swordsmanship, he had paid the Sword Lagoon a visit and trained there for quite a while, but due to the clashes in ideology, he eventually gave up on the notion.
He thought that the Old Sword Maestro's heritage should have already died out by now, but who could have thought that he would see it from the young man before him? Furthermore, it seemed to be sharper, swifter, and stronger than what he had heard in the legends.
And more importantly... he had just thought that the other party had no suitable weapon and gave him a Saint intermediate-tier sword, but in the blink of an eye, he suddenly whipped out this entire bunch.
If you have so many swords with you, why in the world did you accept my Saint intermediate-tier sword?!
Jian Qinsheng's face twitched uncontrollably. However, in this moment, he had to devote his all into fending against the attack that was diving right at him. Thus, he opened up his two both hands and skillfully weaved another barrier of flowing sword qi, just that it was clearly much more fortified this time around.
Barely after he was done, the assault of the hundred swords arrived right before him. With overwhelming force, they collided on the barrier. 'Kacha! Kacha!', amidst a series of crisp echoes, the barrier of flowing sword qi began shattering like a broken mirror.
"How could those sword qi know the flaws of my Flowing Water Swordsmanship?" Jian Qinsheng's body jolted.
The Flowing Water Swordsmanship was extremely difficult to overcome due to its ability to spread out any force falling upon it over its entire area, but the young man was still able to shatter it in an instant. This could only mean to say that the latter had found the openings within his Flowing Water Swordsmanship, making it impossible for him to sustain its flowing state.
One must know that even someone as strong as that man from the Zhang Clan was unable to accomplish such a feat, so how did the young man before him manage to do it?
Shocked by the situation before him, Jian Qinsheng swiftly moved to repair the barrier of flowing sword qi, but he realized that it was already too late. The hundred swords had already slipped through the openings in his defenses, and they were surging swiftly toward him from all directions with devastating forces reminiscent of a storm.
Before he could do anything, the swords had already pierced into him.
A sweet sensation welled up in Jian Qinsheng's throat as he was sent flying. Peng! He was slammed into the wall.
The Fortification Formations reinforcing the room also creaked loudly under the overwhelming impact, seemingly ready to break apart at any moment.
Hu hu hu!
Jian Qinsheng was already plastered on the wall, but Zhang Xuan's attack wasn't over yet. The hundred swords overlapped with one another and launched attacks one after another, reminiscent of the relentless waves of the sea, each more powerful and imposing than the previous.
In a moment, Jian Qinsheng's body was surrounded by the silhouettes of countless swords, and the cold glint reflected from them made it difficult for one to see what was ahead.
Unable to withstand it any longer, the Fortification Formation finally burst apart, and 'jiya!', the room swiftly collapsed under the immense force.
Rock fragments ricocheted around the room amidst a rain of dust.
But even at this moment, the offense of the swords still showed no signs of halting. Jian Qinsheng attempted to flee to regain his momentum, but the swords were ingeniously aimed at the openings of every single he made, such that even fending against them already took up all of his strength and attention.
Boom boom boom!
Forced back by the barrage of the swords, Jian Qinsheng eventually knocked down seven to eight rooms before everything finally came to a halt.
Exhaling deeply, Zhang Xuan retracted his palm. His face had turned pale at some point in time, and his body was aching from head to toe. He couldn't even find the strength within him to lift his fingers.
When he had practiced the Sea Severing Sword earlier in the Compendium of Sword Arts, he did so through mental imagery to sharpen his form, so it wasn't possible for him to get a clear idea of how powerful it would be. It was only after executing it did he realize how frightening the sword art actually was. In fact, in the midst of the execution, he found that he had lost all control over the sword art, and every last bit of zhenqi was squeezed out of his body before the sword art finally came to a halt.
"This is too scary, losing control of my body. I better not use this sword art unless in times of emergency…" Cold sweat rained down Zhang Xuan's head as he patted his heart fearfully.
It was not to say that there was something wrong with the Sea Severing Sword but that his cultivation was simply too low, making it impossible to him to wield full control over the sword art. This was similar to how a child could swing a hammer too, but the child's lack of strength would make it difficult for him to control it, especially when the hammer was in motion.
In this moment, Zhang Xuan was the child swinging the hammer. Once the Sea Severing Sword was executed, he couldn't stop until every last drop of zhenqi in his body was sapped dry.
Ever since he had undergone the Saint Ascension Ordeal and reached Saint realm, he had never depleted his zhenqi before. Yet, the Sea Severing Sword was actually able to drain every last bit of energy within him, which went to show just how powerful the sword art was.
However, it was also extremely dangerous for a cultivator to use up all of his zhenqi in the midst of a battle. It would mean that he was powerless against anything that his opponent would throw at him next.
"Right, is Jian Qinsheng alright?" Too engrossed in himself, Zhang Xuan forgot about the plight Jian Qinsheng was in. Looking at the rubble all over the ground, he couldn't help but feel a little worried.
Even though Jian Qinsheng said that he wouldn't lower his cultivation, he still suppressed his strength to a hundredth of his original might. There was no saying that the other party might just succumb to his sword art in his weakened state... and that would mean that he was a murderer!
Fortunately, a silhouette suddenly rose from the rubble at this moment—Jian Qinsheng.
He wasn't able to maintain his image as an expert anymore. His clothes were in tatters, and his body was cloaked in dust. His wretched state felt as if someone had just taken advantage of him.
"Elder Jian…" Zhang Xuan's lips twitched for a moment before he called out worriedly.
"I'm fi—pu!" Jian Qinsheng chuckled awkwardly, but before he could finish his words, another mouthful of fresh blood spurted from his mouth. Putong! Jian Qinsheng plummeted from the sky and fell headfirst into a pile of mud.
At this very moment, he was suffering from a mental breakdown. Under normal circumstances, given his strength, it was impossible for the young man who hurt him no matter how powerful his sword art may be.
However, he had suppressed his strength down to a hundredth of it, and his Flowing Water Swordsmanship was breached so quickly that he hardly had any time to react. To be honest, he was extremely lucky to be alive at this very moment.
Lying in the pile of mud, Jian Qinsheng swallowed a pill, and it took a long while before strength slowly returned back to him.
Getting back to his feet, he took a look at his surroundings and sighed deeply.
He was curious to see how powerful a person who had comprehended two Sword Quintessences would be, only to end up being reduced to such a state in a single move... It was fortunate that no one was around to see it, or else he might have just died from embarrassment...
"Teacher, are you fine?"
"Old Master, what happened?"
"Everyone, be on your guards! Don't let the culprit get away!"
And just like that, Jian Qinsheng's final bit of consolation was utterly shattered.
Turning around, he saw his butlers, guards, Shui Qianrou, Senior Xie, and his other disciples all standing not too far away, looking at him in worry.
"What are you all doing here?"
If not for Jian Qinsheng's mental fortitude, he might have just passed out on the spot.
He was still feeling thankful that no one saw him earlier when more than a hundred people suddenly materialized behind his back. That was almost everyone in the residence!
"Teacher, Zhang shi said that you were injured and he asked us to hurry over to take a look. Senior Xie was worried that something bad might have happened, so he called all of us to follow him…" Shui Qianrou quickly explained.
"..." Jian Qinsheng clutched his chest, clawing at his heart which was aching so much that he could hardly breathe.
It was one thing for the young man to reduce him to the pitiful state he was currently in, but to even call his disciples and servants here to spectate his misery...
This was too much!
"Don't worry, I'm not injured. I just accidentally used too much force when I was practicing my swordsmanship earlier…" With a reddened face, Jian Qinsheng shrugged the matter off casually with a wave of his hand.
"Not injured?" Senior Xie, Shui Qianrou, and the others looked at one another with rather complicated looks in their eyes.
Completely tattered clothes and a swollen face... Is it really possible for anyone to be reduced to such a state from practicing his swordsmanship?
"Cough cough! Where's Zhang shi?" Knowing that his students were thinking, Jian Qinsheng coughed loudly twice and changed the topic.
He still saw the young man when he flew up earlier, so why would the latter be nowhere to be seen at this moment?
"Zhang shi has asked me to relay his gratitude toward you for allowing him to browse through your collection of books. It has provided him with some inspiration regarding his swordsmanship, so he bade his farewell to return back to his residence to cultivate…" Shui Qianrou said.
"He returned back to his residence to cultivate?" Jian Qinsheng felt even more stifled inside after hearing those words.
After causing a mess around here and severely injuring him, that young man actually secretly fled the scene... Gratitude, you said? Is this how you show your gratitude?
Just as Jian Qinsheng was contemplating whether he should capture that young man back here to teach him a lesson, Shui Qianrou suddenly walked up and presented him with a book, "Right, teacher. Before he left, Zhang shi instructed me to hand this over to you personally…"
Jian Qinsheng took the book with a deep frown and casually flipped it open. With just a single glance, his entire body froze on the spot, and disbelief plastered itself on his face.
"T-this…" Jian Qinsheng trembled uncontrollably.
Considering how the ink on the book had barely dried, it was clear that it was just written down a moment ago. Detailed on it was the various mistakes he had made on his cultivation, as well as the aspects which he had erred in his comprehension of swordsmanship.
In fact, a large handful of those points written down were questions which had left him deeply confused for many years...
In other words, as long as he were to make corrections according to what was written on the book, he would definitely be able to bring his fighting prowess up to greater heights...
"It was just a brief encounter, and I hardly made any move at all... But he was still able to see through so much about me?" Despite squeezing the book tightly in his hand, Jian Qinsheng still felt as if he was in a dream.
On top of being a swordmaster, he was a teacher in the Sanctum of Sages as well. It wasn't rare for him to have to analyze the problems that a student was facing in his cultivation or swordsmanship and offer him pointers to resolve them. Naturally, his eye of discernment was extremely formidable as well, far surpassing that of his peers.
Even so, he was still completely helpless toward the problem he was facing. Yet, the young man was able to uncover and concisely detail all of the problems he was facing, and more importantly, he had even provided solutions to them as well...
Just what kind of monstrous eye of discernment did that young man possess?
"It's no wonder why he was able to comprehend two different types of Sword Quintessences at his young age. In terms of comprehension of swordsmanship, I don't even come close to holding a candle against him…"
In this moment, Jian Qinsheng finally understood why the young man was able to earn the recognition of his ancestor's Sword Intent so quickly.
From the very start, they weren't even at the same level as one another.
"Perhaps, that's what a true prodigy is!" Jian Qinsheng remarked deeply as he closed the book and kept it into his storage. Then, a thought suddenly came to his mind, and his eyes lit up, "Wait a moment!"
"Given that young man's deep understanding of swordsmanship, if I were to bring him to the Zhang Clan, perhaps I might be able to exact vengeance for the grudge back then!"