1977 Bai Ruanqing vs. Core Disciples (1)

After stepping across the doorsill himself, Cao Chengli turned to the young lady and said, "Pardon me, but please lead with your right leg when stepping across the doorsill."

Bai Ruanqing was confused.

"This is a rule set by our Young Master. I hope for your understanding," Cao Chengli said earnestly.

Bai Ruanqing was really bewildered by this ludicrous sounding rule. She could not tell if this middle-aged man was making fun of her or not. In the end, though, she did not go against this rule for fear of displeasing her Senior Uncle, so she made sure to step across the doorsill with her right foot.

Upon entering the courtyard, she saw a young man practicing his swordsmanship. The ground around him was drenched with sweat, indicating that he had been practicing for a very long time.

"This swordsmanship..." Bai Ruanqing looked at the young man's movements from afar for a moment, and her body could not help but stiffen.

Before she knew it, cold sweat was trickling down her back.

The young man before her should be around sixteen to seventeen years of age, and his cultivation was only at Ancient Sage 2-dan. He should have been nothing more than an ordinary inner disciple. Yet, his swordsmanship was wholesome and relentless. His movements were simple, but it was profoundly aligned with the surroundings around him.

She could feel the air of a swordmaster from him, as if he was someone who had immersed himself in the Way of the Sword for many decades.

In fact, perhaps it was just her seeing things, but she actually felt that his swordsmanship might be even more profound than that of Grandpa Feng's!

To think that a teenage lad would be able to match a veteran swordmaster like Bai Feng. This made Bai Ruanqing feel as if the swordsmanship that she had learned over the years was nothing more than child's play.

"He is... Dan Xiaotian?" Bai Ruanqing bit her lips.

"Yes, he is Young Master Xiaotian!" Cao Chengli replied with a nod.

"How long has it been since he has started learning swordsmanship from Junior Zhang?" Bai Ruanqing asked.

He must have been studying under Senior Uncle Zhang ever since he was bom in order to comprehend such advanced swordsmanship!

"How long?" Cao Chengli began counting on his fingers before eventually lifting six fingers up. "It should be roughly this long!"

"Six years? It only took him six years to become so formidable?" Bai Ruanqing was astounded.

She had been learning swordsmanship ever since she was three, and it had been twenty years since then!

She had the privilege of being personally taught by her grandfather and Grandpa Feng, and she had never lacked precious cultivation resources. It was due to all of this that she had been able to come so far despite her young age. Yet, this young man had only been taught for six years, but it somehow felt like that he was already stronger than her!


This was really hard for her to swallow.

"Six years?" Cao Chengli was stunned. "You seem to misunderstanding something. I meant six hours!"

Over the last few days of interaction, Cao Chengli had noticed that Zhang Xuan was a very busy person. Even though it was clear that Zhang Xuan did care a lot for Dan Xiaotian, he did not spend too much time guiding the latter on his cultivation. More often than not, he would simply point out the flaws in Dan Xiaotian's cultivation before passing him a jade token for him to study by himself.

As a result of that, even though Dan Xiaotian had been Zhang Xuan's student for quite a few days, the actual time that the latter had spent guiding him was probably six hours at the very most!

"Hours?" Bai Ruanqing nearly fainted on the spot.

How could a person become so formidable after learning swordsmanship for six hours?

In that instant, she felt as if her mind had shut down. The information was simply too great for her to bear.

While Bai Ruanqing was shocked beyond words, Dan Xiaotian noticed the presence of the visitor and quickly stopped his sword practice. He quickly walked up to Bai Ruanqing and greeted her with a smile before explaining the matter. "Actually, the time that my teacher has spent teaching me is only two hours at most... As for six hours, I'm afraid that that I'm not worthy of my teacher spending so much time on me yet!"

The fact that Bai Ruanqing had come to this place in search of his teacher meant that she already knew about their relationship. Thus, there was nothing for him to hide.

"Two hours..." Bai Ruanqing was shocked beyond words. There was a long silence before she finally spoke once more. "Would it be fine if I challenge you to a swordsmanship duel?"

"Sure!" Dan Xiaotian nodded.

He had always been cultivating by himself, so he was more than happy to have someone spar with him so that he could check his own progress.

"Let's begin!" Bai Ruanqing quickly suppressed her cultivation to Ancient Sage 2-dan primary stage before drawing her sword.

Hu!

She kicked off the ground and lunged right toward Dan Xiaotian.

She had seen Dan Xiaotian's sword practice earlier, and she knew that his mastery of swordsmanship was superb. As such, she did not dare let her guard down. She decided to use her strongest move at the very start, allowing her to maneuver around at lightning speed.

Weng!

She quickly closed the gap between her and Dan Xiaotian, and just as she thought that she could clinch victory, Dan Xiaotian suddenly made a move. There was a momentary blur, and...

All of a sudden, there was a sword flying right toward her head!

All of Bai Ruanqing's danger senses sounded out in alarm. She hurriedly released the seal of her cultivation and regained her strength as a True Immortal. Under the protective layer of zhenqi around her, Dan Xiaotian's sword was jolted off.

If not for her speed, there was a good chance that the sword might have impaled her head!

That dose brush with death left Bai Ruanqing gasping slightly for air.

She did not even manage to see how the young man threw out his sword and how it managed to come so close to her without her realizing!

In other words, if she had been facing another True Immortal, she would have been dead by now!

This was truly frightening!

Bai Ruanqing could not help but re-evaluate Dan Xiaotian with wary eyes once more. She thought that the sword art that he had been practicing earlier was already extremely powerful, but who could have known that he would have a stronger trump card than that?

Against opponents of the same cultivation realm, this move was truly a one shot one kill!

"I'm truly sorry! I have practiced this sword art for some time now, but I have never used it in a real battle before. Furthermore, I am still unable to control the strength of this technique freely yet, so..."

He had planned to halt the sword right before the opponent, but he had overestimated his own capabilities with the sword. As hard as he tried, he had been unable to stop it.

It was fortunate that the other party had reacted quickly and deflected his sword away with her protective zhenqi. Otherwise, if he had lodged a sword into a guest of his teacher, he would surely be berated for it!

You have only learned two hours of swordsmanship from him, but your swordsmanship is already far beyond mine..." Bai Ruanqing gulped in horror, but at the same time, she could not help but wonder, I also learned a horizontal slash from Senior Uncle... My skills are still not on par, and I still have a long way to go before grasping its essence, but I wonder how powerful it will be if I use it in a real battle...

She knew for certain that the horizontal slash was powerful, but knowing it theoretically was different from putting it into practice.

As soon as this notion came into her mind, her hands began itching to try the technique on someone.

She looked at the young man before her once more, but she eventually shook her head.

She did not want to risk having a sword plunged into her head. It was only due to her swift reflexes that she had managed to escape unscathed earlier. If her mind had wandered for a moment back then, she would have been a corpse by now!

"Are there any private chambers that I can use in this residence?" Bai Ruanqing asked.

"That room over there is empty, so you can use it as you deem fit. My teacher is currently cultivating, so please have a good rest in the room for the time being. I'll call you as soon as he's out," Dan Xiaotian replied as he gestured at a nearby room.

As most inner disciples had servants to take care of their needs, the residences that they lived in were very spacious and had many rooms.

Bai Ruanqing thanked Dan Xiaotian before walking into the room. She took a seat on the bed before taking out an Ethereal Token.

This was the Ethereal Token to access the core disciples' Ethereal Hall!

Immersing her consciousness into the Ethereal Token, her surroundings swiftly faded into darkness.

When she came to once more, she was already standing in the midst of the Ethereal Hall.

Unlike the dueling ring of inner disciples, core disciples have the option of fighting in public duels and private duels, Bai Ruanqing thought. In the previous Core Disciple Tournament, I was only ranked seventeenth. Sixteenth place is Wang Hao, and so far, I haven't been able to defeat him yet. I guess this is a good opportunity to try my hand!

The reason Bai Ruanqing was well-known among the core disciples was mainly due to her grandfather, Elder Bai Ye. While she was considerably talented, the truth was that there were still many monsters among the core disciples who were stronger than her. In terms of fighting prowess, she would not be able to even make it into the top ten.

The top few core disciples even possessed strength that was above that of most elders!

Since she had not been able to defeat the sixteenth place Wang Hao thus far, he would be the perfect opponent to test out her new sword art on!

Thus, she walked up to the front receptionist and said, "I want to send a duel invitation to sixteenth place Wang Hao!"

Soon, the core disciple named Wang Hao walked over. Upon seeing her, his lips crept up. "What brings you here today? Did you learn some kind of new sword art that you think you'll be able to defeat me with? You can give it a go, but I doubt that it'll make a difference. We had a duel half a month ago, and you clearly aren't a match for me..."

"I did learn a new move, and I wanted to find someone to test it on," Bai Ruanqing admitted frankly. "Regardless of the outcome, it'll be good training for you and me!"

She had no clear gauge of how powerful Senior Uncle Zhang's horizontal slash was, so honestly, she was not too sure whether she would be able to defeat Wang Hao or not.

"Sure, give it your best shot." Wang Hao chuckled. "Let's start!"

The two of them quickly found a private dueling ring and entered the room.

Every single one of the core disciples were spectacular existences within the sect. They were highly respected and had many fans around. As such, most of them preferred some privacy when it came to their duels.

After getting into positions, Wang Hao looked at Bai Ruanqing and said, "I'll be making my move!"

Hula!

The next instant, he drove his sword forth with incredible momentum.

It was true that Bai Ruanqing had not defeated him yet, but her skills were remarkable. It would be foolish to underestimate someone who had been personally trained by Third Elder Bai Ye. Not daring to get careless, he did not pull any punches at all.

"A frontal assault?" Bai Ruanqing could not help but chuckle a little.

The horizontal slash that she had just learned happened to be the best at dealing with such attacks. It was as if the other party was offering himself to her!

Without any hesitation, Bai Ruanqing executed the horizontal slash that she had just learned.

"Be careful. I haven't really gotten the hang of this move of mine, but it'll probably be quite powerful..." Bai Ruanqing remarked with a smile.

But before she could even finish her words, she felt the pressure coming at her suddenly dissipating.

Kacha!

A head rolled all the way to the corner of the room, and shortly after, Wang Hao's body fell frontward to the ground.

"Ah?" Bai Ruanqing was stunned.

Putting aside the fact that she hadn't mastered the horizontal slash, she had not even fully executed the technique yet... and before she knew, the enemy whom she had not been able to defeat was suddenly killed just like that.

The slain Wang Hao quickly returned with another Ethereal Token, and he asked Bai Ruanqing with an incredulous look on his face, "You... What happened?"

He was completely flabbergasted.

Bai Ruanqing had never been a match for him, but she actually managed to behead him just like that. This was really hard for him to accept!

"I'm not too sure either," Bai Ruanqing replied in a daze.

She had executed the move just as Senior Uncle Zhang had taught her, and never in her wildest dreams did she expect it to be so powerful.

"I want a rematch! This time, I will go all out from the very start!" Wang Hao said adamantly as he drew his sword once more.

Huhuhu!

He immediately released a series of sword qi that lingered in the air, allowing him to tap into for both offense and defense at his will.

As the sixteenth place among the core disciples, his grasp of swordsmanship had reached an incredible level. Ordinary sword practitioners would simply despair upon seeing his prowess.

On the other hand, Bai Ruanqing knew that Wang Hao was really serious this time around. If she used any other technique, it was unlikely that she would be able to achieve victory. Thus, she unhesitatingly executed the technique that Senior Uncle Zhang had imparted to her once more.

Padah!

Once again, before she could complete the technique, Wang Hao's head had already been lopped off. This time around, it rolled even further than it did before.

"This..." Bai Ruanqing was completely stunned.

Somehow, since she had grasped this move, it felt like the other party's neck had become incredibly fragile. Even a simple slash was enough to remove his head from his neck.

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