Library of Heaven is Path
1547 Zhang Xuan Offers His Pointers 2
Sword Saint Xing's understanding of the Zhang Clan's swordsmanship had already reached an inconceivable level. Every subtle movement that he made was in alignment with the essence of the Speed Sword Quintessence, yet the young man was still able to get to him faster despite releasing his sword art later. Not only so, the young man's strength had also far surpassed his!
If he failed to dodge this move, the young man would swiftly nullify any strength that he commanded, such that his sword would not be able to deal any damage even if it fell on the young man's body.
"Humph!" Knowing that he was facing a true expert, Sword Saint Xing decisively gave up on the idea of going easy on the young man.
He took a deep breath before sliding his feet half a step back. After which, his sword curved in a unique and bizarre trajectory, forcefully transforming a pierce into a hack.
"You are going to the extent of executing the Dragon Slaying Sword? You…" Upon seeing the move that her husband had executed, Sword Saint Meng nearly exploded on the spot.
If there was anyone in this world who knew Sword Saint Xing the best, it was indubitably her. The two of them had practiced the Dragon Slaying Sword for quite some time before they had been able to achieve some level of accomplishment in the sword art. While it was not the strongest sword art that they had, the might that it commanded was mind-boggling. Even Ren Qingyuan would fluster in its face!
To execute such a move against him barely after the battle had started… didn't I tell you to go easy on him?
Is that how you take my instructions?
Sword Saint Meng gnashed her teeth furiously. If I allow you to even come close to my bed, I'll write my surname upside down from this day forth!
"You reacted faster than I thought!"
While Zhang Xuan had managed to outdo the head of the Zhang Clan at the first encounter, he had to admit that the other party was a pretty formidable opponent. The other party was actually able to instantaneously determine that his defense would arrive faster than his offense, and he decisively changed his assault and launched a counterattack.
Chuckling softly, Zhang Xuan raised his right hand once more and tapped his finger forward.
It was the same move as before; however, this time, the target was not Sword Saint Xing's glabella but his shoulder.
Under normal circumstances, Sword Saint Xing's strike would have struck down on Zhang Xuan's head first due to the longer distance from Zhang Xuan's finger to Sword Saint Xing's shoulder. However… from the trajectory of his hack, if Sword Saint Xing continued with his offense, his wrist would cross paths with Zhang Xuan's burst of sword qi.
With the sharpness of his sword qi, there was no doubt that Sword Saint Xing's wrist would be severed before his sword could manage to strike down on Zhang Xuan's head.
Sword Saint Xing's face twitched upon realizing this fact, and his face turned even more severe than before.
He had thought that given the disparity in their cultivation, he should be able to defeat the young man easily. Who would have thought that even when he utilized his full strength, he would still be unable to outdo the young man?
The young man might have been young, but his eyes seemed to see right through his sword arts and maneuvers. Each and every time, the young man was able to read his movements and seal his offense swiftly.
Not only so, the worst thing was that… the other party was still using the exact same move!
That move was the most basic sword art of the Zhang Clan swordsmanship, and it was known as the Probing Sword.
Just as the name suggested, the purpose of this was to probe the other party's moves and gauge the depth of the other party's strength before launching a decisive counterattack at the critical moment…
Yet, using such a basic move, the young man had actually managed to seal off his offense twice. Just how deep was his mastery in swordsmanship?
"I don't believe this!"
Sword Saint Xing knew that his wrist would be sliced right off if he forcefully pushed on with his current assault, so he took half a step back and flicked his sword once more. In an instant, innumerable cold glints flashed across Zhang Xuan's eyes, reminiscent of the countless stars in the sky, and they darted right for Zhang Xuan's eyes.
Falling Sword of Starry Sky!
This was a sword art that had taken him three years to create. It still was not his strongest move, but it was at least two times stronger than the Dragon Slaying Sword that he had executed previously.
This move consisted of countless pierces from differing directions, which made it extremely difficult to deal with. On top of that, it also had a beguiling effect on one's mind and soul.
The first time that he had executed it, even Sword Saint Meng had suffered a bit under its incredible prowess.
Since his first two moves had been foiled, Sword Saint Xing had no intention of holding back anymore.
As soon as the attack was executed, Zhang Xuan felt as if he was standing amid countless stars. His surroundings seemed to have emptied out, and it felt as if he was standing in the midst of a void devoid of the concepts of time and space. In such a state, it was difficult for him to even perceive his directions clearly, let alone determine where the attacks were coming from.
To make an analogy, it was similar to how a celestial body looked the exact same no matter how fast it was approaching one, making it hard to gauge its exact distance away from one using one's eyes.
This was currently the kind of attack that Zhang Xuan was facing. In the face of the sword art, he found himself unable to accurately perceive how far he was from the sword pierces, and that was something extremely dangerous in battle.
Zheng Yang grasped onto his spear tightly as cold sweat trickled down his body.
Even he could not say for sure if he would be able to overcome that sword with his current strength. Would his teacher be in danger then?
Before the many anxious gazes centered on him, Zhang Xuan finally moved. No different from his previous movements, he executed another Probing Sword right toward Sword Saint Xing.
The sword qi flew forth, but just when it was some distance from reaching its target, it suddenly seemed to have struck something.
Following which, all of the stars collapsed, and the phenomenon that the sword art had created vanished without a trace.
Deng deng deng deng!
Sword Saint Xing felt his blood churning furiously as he retreated eight steps, and his widened eyes stared intently at Zhang Xuan in disbelief and shock.
"The Probing Sword was actually able to overcome my Falling Sword of Starry Sky… How is this possible?"
While this move was not the strongest sword art that he had cultivated, its might was still not to be underestimated. He could not accept the fact that his Falling Sword of Starry Sky could actually be overcome by such a simple technique—it was no different from a Mortal battle technique overpowering a Saint battle technique!
"Hehe!" Zhang Xuan chuckled softly. With the voice of a wise elder, he said, "The sword is the extension of one's strength. As long as one is able to bring it to a certain point at a certain moment, it will be able defeat any enemy. Sword arts are auxiliary maneuvers that serve to achieve that aim. The Probing Sword might be the simplest move in the Zhang Clan's swordsmanship, but it's precisely due to its simplicity that it's flexible enough to be used in many unpredictable situations.
"In the hands of an expert, its strength can be truly fearsome. It's similar to a drunkard holding a sword, hacking around randomly. There might not be any order of any sort to it, but it's fearsome precisely because of its unpredictable nature. It's impossible to fathom the intention of the attacker, along with when and where the next attack will land.
"Of course, just the randomness and unpredictability of one's offense isn't enough. The reason why a cultivator is able to curb an armed drunkard easily is due to the lack of purpose in his offense. Only when one could grasp the enemy's intents and attack trajectory would one be able to launch attacks purposefully to curb the enemy's offense!
"I have to admit that your Fallen Sword of Starry Sky is formidable. It locks onto its target's mind, spirit, and psyche, making it difficult to escape from it. However, in order to lock onto the target's mind, spirit, and psyche, there must be some kind of intermediary to establish a connection, and that intermediary is the very opening in your move. My counterattack was simple, but it accurately struck the intermediary.
"Given so, it's inevitable that your sword art would collapse altogether! To make an analogy, this is similar to the concept of bringing down a fortress. It might seem impregnable on the surface, but as long as one strikes it at its crux, one can easily bring an entire fortress to the ground!
"Simplicity in one's swordsmanship might not necessarily be a bad thing. If utilized well in the right manner, it can achieve spectacular results."
At this point, Zhang Xuan turned to Sword Saint Xing and sighed deeply before saying, "Sword Saint Xing, it's not that I want to lecture you, but you are overly obsessed with the form and movement of your sword, to the extent that you've lost sight of what swordsmanship truly is!"
"I…" Sword Saint Xing's face reddened.
As one of the strongest sword practitioners in the world, he had actually ended up being lectured by a young man who could very well be his child. His face immediately burned bright red from embarrassment.
"There's no need to be embarrassed by that. It's already very rare for someone of our age to be able to come up with such a sword art and Sword Intent…" Zhang Xuan consoled with a smile.
"If you are willing to learn, I can offer you some pointers in your swordsmanship so that you can further your skills!"