As soon as that crack appeared, the destruction could no longer be curbed. It swiftly grew larger and larger, and in less than two breath, it had already covered the entire character with a weblike pattern.

"This... What's going on?" Zhang Xu and the others leaped in fright.

It was still doing fine just a moment ago, so why would the character be ruined all of a sudden?

"It's you?"

The first one who came to be was Zhang Qin, and he hurriedly turned his head over to Zhang Xuan.

That fellow had been causing damage wherever he went, so there was no one else other than him! But still, to be able to reduce the '剑 (Sword)' character to such a state just by looking at it... It seemed like they had really been underestimating that fellow!

In this very moment, Zhang Xuan's eyes were tightly shut. A powerful burst of imposing Sword Intent shot forth from his body into the sky, reminiscent of a powerful sword ascending toward the heavens. The Sword Intent he was releasing grew stronger and stronger at the moment, almost as if he was going to slice the heavens into two.

Weng weng weng!

The swords hanging on the wall began trembling non-stop, as if some kind of pressure was pressing down heavily on them, inducing the deepest of fears in them.

Not only so, Zhang Hen and the other also felt themselves losing control over the sword qi in their bodies, drawn toward the young man standing before them. It was as if there was some kind of massive magnet within the young man's body, wielding naturally command over all of the sword qi surrounding him.

"That is... Sword Quintessence?" Zhang Hen's face paled.

"That can't be! We have all comprehended Sword Quintessences, and there's no way it could be so powerful!" Zhang Hen exclaimed in disbelief.

To be able to stand out amidst the Zhang Clan offspring in the field of swordsmanship, it went without saying that they had already comprehended Sword Quintessences. Even against the seniors of the Zhang Clan, they would still be able to stand their grounds.

But back when they were comprehending their respective Sword Quintessence, they didn't induce such a frightening phenomenon either!

It was one thing to command the servitude of all swords, but to overpower their command over their sword qi and even induce cracks in the '剑 (Sword)' character... One must know that they had comprehended Sword Quintessence themselves, and the '剑 (Sword)' character was left behind by the founder of the Zhang Clan!

This was already far beyond what an ordinary Sword Quintessence could do.

"Wait a moment! Could this be... Fusion of Quintessences?" Zhang Xu suddenly thought of something, and he couldn't help but widen his eyes in astonishment.

"Fusion of Quintessences?"

The other two turned their heads over, unable to comprehend the term which Zhang Xu had just used.

"I believe you should have also heard that there are five categories of Sword Quintessences," Zhang Xu said.


The other two nodded their heads.

Sword Quintessences could mainly be divided into Strength, Defense, Dexterity, Speed, and Void. This was something which all swordmasters, which had comprehended at least a Sword Quintessence, would know of.

"It's not too difficult for those who possess particular aptitude toward swordsmanship to comprehend a Sword Quintessence, but progressing beyond that would be of great difficulty, such that there are hardly any cases in the world. It's rumored that both our clan head and Sword Saint Meng have comprehended two Sword Quintessences," Zhang Xu continued with a slight hoarseness in his voice.

"However, there are also a few astoundingly talented swordmaster who has managed to advance beyond that... As long as one comprehends three Sword Quintessences, the individual Sword Quintessences would begin to fuse with one another, and the phenomenon is known as the Fusion of Quintessences! Any expert who manages to pull off this feat would find their mastery of swordsmanship progressing by leaps and bounds, reaching a level unimaginable by any sword practitioner…"

Hearing those words, Zhang Hen and Zhang Qin's bodies quivered intensely as a look of disbelief surfaced on their faces, "Do you mean to say that... Zhang Xuan has managed to comprehend three Sword Quintessences?"

"How is that possible? He's only twenty this year! Even if he were to start learning swordsmanship back in his mother's womb, there's no way he could possibly be able to pull this off!"

Even grasping a single Sword Quintessence had already taken them many years, and picking up a second Sword Quintessence would only be manyfold of that difficulty because one would have to consciously cast away one's habits and fighting style in order to pull off a different style. Yet, for a twenty-year-old lad to master three Sword Quintessences and even pull off the Fusion of Quintessences... How could there be someone that monstrously talented in the world?

This was terrifying!

"Other than that, I can't think of any other reason as to what is happening anymore!" Zhang Xu shook his head. At this point, he pondered for a moment before continuing on, "If it's really Fusion of Quintessences, the '剑 (Sword)' character should reform very soon after it absorbs the further refined Sword Intent that Zhang Xuan is emanating…"

"Reform?"

The two of them were slightly surprised to hear those words.

"Even though our founder has already comprehended the Speed Sword Quintessence when he left behind this character, he knew that his mastery of swordsmanship wasn't any close to perfection. Thus, he designed this character to fall apart automatically when an offspring of the Zhang Clan reaches a higher level of mastery than him in Speed Sword Quintessence, and it would be replaced with the other party's deeper comprehension... I have heard of this matter directly from the clan head, so it should be true," Zhang Xu said.

The reason why the founder had left behind the '剑 (Sword)' character was so as to aid his descendants to be able to better grasp the Speed Sword Quintessence that he had passed down... But would his comprehension really be the best way to comprehend the Speed Sword Quintessence?

Of course not!

To put it plainly, this character only showed a path that a sword practitioner could take to comprehending the Speed Sword Quintessence. There was nothing to say that this path was the shortest or even the best one for one to take, and the founder recognized the limitations of his own comprehension too.

And the fact that the '剑 (Sword)' character was cracking at this instant also proved that point as well.

If the power of the world was the greatest treasure that every man sought for, Quintessences could be considered as the pathway leading to the treasure. There were countless paths that one could take to the treasure, and as long as one knew the general direction, one would eventually reach the destination by pushing forth...

But every path was unique, and the amount of treasure one could toil back would depend on the path one had taken as well. Some paths were narrower than the others, so the amount of treasure they would able to bring back home would be lesser. If a more convenient and wider path were to be found, wasn't the most natural thing to do was to make the switch over?

Huala!

While the three of them were speaking, the '剑 (Sword)' character finally reached its limits and shattered apart.

Weng!

In the moment that the character shattered, another new surge of Sword Intent gushed into the clouds, and the overwhelming pressure held them perfectly in place. Following which, the Sword Intent that suffused the room began swiftly gathering on the wall, where the shattered '剑 (Sword)' character previously was.

Tzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

In the blink of an eye, a new, massive character had already appeared on the wall.

From afar, the character, be it its shape, size, or form, was perfectly identical to the one before it. There was no discernible difference at all.

"What's going on?" Zhang Qin turned to Zhang Xu and asked, a little taken aback by the situation.

The replacing '剑 (Sword)' character turned out to be perfectly identical to the previous one... Did this character really surpass the one that their founder had left behind?

"Don't use your eyes to see it. Use your Sword Intent to perceive it!" Seeing the uncomprehending look on Zhang Qin's face, Zhang Xu shook his head and explained.

"Use my Sword Intent to perceive it?"

 Zhang Qin and Zhang Hen glanced at one another in confusion. They still weren't able to understand what Zhang Xu was saying.

"In other words, look inward into your Sword Intent to feel the character on the wall!" Zhang Xu explained patiently.

"I see... I'll give it a try." With still a slightly perplexed look, Zhang Qin turned to the Sword Intent in his body and slowly extended it outward into his surroundings.

Very soon, his Sword Intent came into contact with the character on the wall, and in that instant, he froze on the spot.

It was almost as if the character had imprinted itself in his head as soon as he perceived it. Even though it appeared to be identical to the one before on the surface, the imposing air that it commanded previously had alleviated significantly.

In fact, it felt far simpler and purer than before, and the reduced complexity of the intent behind the character seemed to be more in harmony with the world.

Harnessing the very same concept of speed, but the reformed '剑 (Sword)' character before him guided him right toward the core of the Speed Sword Quintessence.

It was almost as if he had turned into the concept itself, swimming amidst an ocean of sword qi.

Unknowingly, tears began trickling down Zhang Qin's eyes as his body quivered from agitation. "I have actually erred so much in my comprehension of the Speed Sword Quintessence…"

To be able to perceive the crux of the Speed Sword Quintessence with his senses, he would have no regrets in life even if he were to drop dead in this instant!

This was what he was feeling in this instant.

It was only upon perceiving the character before him did he realize how laughable the diligence he had put into refining his swordsmanship over the years was.

If their founder's comprehension of the Speed Sword Quintessence were to be described as a small hole barely big enough for a human to pass through, the one before him would be the same as a vast passageway big enough for multiple horse carriages to charge their way through side by side!

If he were to use this feeling to practice his swordsmanship, he would definitely be able to improve at least two times faster than before!

For a twenty-year-old young man to be able to achieve a higher level of understanding of the Speed Sword Quintessence than them and even their founder within less than ten minutes...

This was inconceivable!

At this point, Zhang Qin couldn't help but turn his gaze toward the young man, only to see that the latter had finally lifted his head. He couldn't tell what was in the young man's mind, but an air of solitude, as if an expert who would never find an equal to converse with, seemed to flow from his body.

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