Library of Heaven is Path
1428 The Five Classifications of Swordsmanship
"Jian Qinsheng, that obstinate fellow? Let's take a detour around him. If we bump into him, we will end up wasting a great deal of time. Right now, I only want to meet Zhang Xuan."
The Meng Sword Saint nodded in agreement.
Knowing that an encounter with Jian Qinsheng would probably dredge up all of their old grudges and stall them significantly, the middle-aged man tapped his feet lightly.
The aerial saint beast that they were riding on immediately dived into the clouds, disappearing without a trace.
In the portable room on the Cloudlight Saint Beast, a deep frown suddenly appeared on Jian Qinsheng's forehead.
"What's wrong?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Under normal circumstances, no one would keep their Spiritual Perception active at all times, so he did not notice the saint beast ahead of them diving into the clouds.
"It seems like a rather powerful aerial saint beast that was in our path has flown away." Jian Qinsheng shook his head. "It's fine! It's good that it didn't notice us, or else we would have been in deep trouble."
As the head of the Zhang Clan, the Xing Sword Saint had multiple saint beasts under his command, and the one that he was currently riding on happened to be one that Jian Qinsheng did not recognize. On top of that, they were quite some distance away from one another, so Jian Qinsheng was unable to accurately discern the people riding on the saint beast.
There was, however, only one thing that Jian Qinsheng was certain of—the saint beast that had just moved out of their path possessed far greater strength than the Cloudlight Saint Beast that he was currently riding on.
To wield greater strength and yet simply turn around and leave, it was likely that the other party had not noticed them. Otherwise, they would have been in for a tough battle.
Even though his cultivation had reached Saint realm and he could fly freely without fear of plummeting to the ground, it was still rather disadvantageous for them to fight against a powerful aerial saint beast in the skies. If it was possible to avoid a fight, it would be best to do so.
"That's fortunate!" Having understood this, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
Deciding not to pay too much heed to the saint beast that had been in their path earlier, Jian Qinsheng swiftly confirmed their location and said with a chuckle, "We're not too far away from the Zhang Clan anymore. As long as we speed up a little, we should be able to arrive in half a day's time!"
"Elder Jian, since we are going to compete with the Zhang Clan in the field of swordsmanship, may I know what outstanding sword practitioners there are in Zhang Clan and what kind of Sword Quintessence they have comprehended?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Know one's strength and one's opponent, and one would attain a hundred victories in a hundred wars! He did not think that there were any sword practitioners in the same cultivation realm who were capable of matching him, but it was still best to tread carefully. Otherwise, if he ended up being defeated by those small fries… what right would he have to challenge that young prodigy and vie for Luo Ruoxin's hand in marriage?
He only had a single goal for this trip to the Zhang Clan—establishing dominance!
As such, nothing could go wrong.
Even if that young prodigy appeared in the Clan Assembly, he would ensure that the other party learned of his prowess!
"Currently, in the younger generation of the Zhang Clan, the person who possesses the deepest understanding of swordsmanship is Zhang Xu. The Xingmeng Sword Saints once offered him pointers in his swordsmanship." Jian Qinsheng harrumphed. "He's also the fellow who came to my residence before, wanting to access my library, only to be chased away by me."
"Zhang Xu?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before nodding.
He had heard of the matter between Zhang Xu and Jian Qinsheng from Shui Qianrou, and it was precisely due to that incident that led to him thinking that Jian Qinsheng had an eccentric temper.
From the looks of it now, it was rather clear that it was not on a whim that Jian Qinsheng chased Zhang Xu away. Given the deep grudge between him and the head of the Zhang Clan, it was only natural that he would not be too fond of the offspring of the Zhang Clan.
"That's right. In total, Sword Quintessences can be divided into five main classifications. The Old Sword Maestro's devastating offensive swordsmanship and Ancestor Liushui's impregnable defensive swordsmanship correspond to Strength and Defense respectively. Other than that, there are also Dexterity, Speed, and Void," Jian Qinsheng explained grimly.
"Void?" Hearing a foreign term, Zhang Xuan could not help being confused.
He could roughly comprehend what Dexterity and Speed entailed, but what would Void be?
"To be honest, I don't have a clear grasp of what Void is at the moment either. In the present day and age, it could be said to be somewhat like a legend among sword practitioners. Rumor has it that Kong shi reached this level back then, and with just a casual swing of his blade, even if his swing wasn't fast, was lacking in strength, and was riddled with loopholes, his slash would still, by some inexplicable phenomenom, be able to overcome his opponent's move with ease!" Jian Qinsheng explained.
"Only that which is truly non-existent can be considered as void. If my guess fails me not, in order to comprehend a Void Quintessence, one must fuse the other four Quintessences together. However, just comprehending a single Quintessence would already take a sword practitioner an entire life's worth of time and effort. To comprehend four at once… to be honest, other than Kong shi, I don't think that there's anyone in this world who is capable of doing that."
"I see." Zhang Xuan nodded.
He had comprehended two Sword Quintessences, and in the field of swordsmanship, he was by no means weaker than Jian Qinsheng. Even though the latter's description was very vague, he was still able to form a decent picture of what the latter was talking about.
While Sword Quintessence was commonly known as the pinnacle of swordsmanship on the Master Teacher Continent, it did not mean that it was the end of the road for sword practitioners. Those who had achieved Sword Quintessence would only come to realize that there were limitations to the current path of swordsmanship that they were pursuing, and there was still a greater peak above them. Most likely, the Void Sword Quintessence was a concept that would push one closer to that peak.
"The Sword Quintessence that the Zhang Clan specializes in is Speed. The swordsmanship that they execute pushes their speed to the extremes, to the point where the concept of time seemed to fall apart. It is due to this that the Zhang Clan's swordsmanship is deeply feared on the Master Teacher Continent."
"Speed?" Zhang Xuan's face turned grim.
The Zhang Clan's unique bloodline was capable of controlling the flow of time—he had experienced that for himself, and without a doubt, it was an incredible ability.
Most likely, the Speed Sword Quintessence that they comprehended had something to do with their unique bloodline.
As the saying goes, of all martial arts in the world, there is no might that cannot be overcome; only true speed stands undefeated!
Speed would always be one of the crucial factors that determined the outcome of a battle.
For example, as powerful as Zhang Xuan's Sea Severing Sword was, it required lengthy preparation before it was ready for execution. If his opponent moved fast enough, it was possible to his opponent to interrupt him in the midst of his preparation.
"Indeed. The speed of their swordsmanship tears down the very boundaries of time, such that even the Flowing Water Swordsmanship wouldn't be able to hold its grounds too long against it before being breached. On top of that, any attempts to launch a counterattack would only be rendered futile by their absolute speed. This is also the reason my students suffered a tragic loss the last time around." Jian Qinsheng shook his head.
Even though he knew where the foundation of the Zhang Clan's swordsmanship lay, he simply was not able to find a sure-proof way to break it.
"If that's the case, doesn't it mean that it's impossible to achieve victory?" Zhang Xuan frowned. If even you are completely helpless against the Zhang Clan's swordsmanship, even if I'm slightly stronger than you, it should be impossible for me to win against them too, right?
"It wouldn't be easy to achieve victory, but it's definitely not impossible. Other than the Void Sword Quintessence, the remaining four types of Sword Quintessences are able to curb one another. By itself, it would be difficult for your Strength Sword Quintessence to stand against the overwhelming speed of the Zhang Clan. However, if it is used together with the Flowing Water Swordsmanship as well, there is a good chance that you will be able to overcome their Speed Sword Quintessence!" Jian Qinsheng said.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan frowned in confusion.
It was just a moment ago that he felt that it would be difficult for him to achieve victory because it would simply take too long for him to charge up sufficient momentum to launch the Sea Severing Sword. How would the Flowing Water Swordsmanship make any difference?
"You are cornered by your own train of thought!" Seeing how even the usually knowledgeable young man would have his moments of foolishness, Jian Qinsheng could not help but chuckle softly. "By itself, the Flowing Water Swordsmanship isn't sufficient to fend off the Zhang Clan's swordsmanship for too long, but all you need is just to stall your opponent for several breaths! As long as you can gather sufficient strength during this period of time to launch the Old Sword Maestro's ultimate technique, you should be able to subdue your opponent easily!
"The Speed Sword Quintessence is formidable, but it isn't infallible. Before the might of your sword art, there's no doubt that you will be able to easily subdue your opponent!"
"This…" Widening his eyes in realization, Zhang Xuan could not help but burst into laughter.
Indeed! He had been thinking of the two Sword Quintessences as separate entities, so he had failed to consider this point.
As long as he could use the two Sword Quintessences with one another, their might could be brought up to a whole new level.
The tight defense of the Flowing Water Swordsmanship and the crushing power of the Old Sword Maestro's sword art…
As long as he could buy sufficient time to launch the Sea Severing Sword, no matter how fast his opponent was able to move, the other party would still be rendered completely powerless under the relentless onslaught of sword qi!