Library of Heaven is Path
1979 Identity Figured Ou
Bai Ruanqing shook her head as her consciousness returned to the real world. She sat on the bed with a conflicted expression on her face for a moment before pushing the door open and walking out.
In the courtyard, Dan Xiaotian was still practicing his swordsmanship.
Ten meters away, Cao Chengli's legs were trembling with a walnut on his head.
A sword flew forth, but it missed the walnut by a fraction and ended up grazing Cao Chengli's head instead. Fresh blood spurted out from the wound.
"I think I'm injured," Cao Chengli said as he touched his head.
"You're fine, it's no big deal. Who doesn't get injured?" Dan Xiaotian replied calmly. "Keep the walnut steady on your head."
"But I'm really injured..." Cao Chengli cried in despair.
Before he could finish his words, yet another sword flew past and grazed some other part of his head.
Seeing fresh blood trickling to the ground, Cao Chengli trembled as he bawled, "Argh, I'm going to die at this rate!"
"Don't worry, I controlled my sword very carefully that time. I only scraped the skin without hurting your skull," Dan Xiaotian said leisurely as he walked forth and retrieved his swords.
Just as Dan Xiaotian had said, Cao Chengli's wounds were indeed superficial, so there was no way that he would die from them.
He had been practicing the control of his sword toss after receiving his teacher's guidance, and he was proud to say that his training had been going well. Otherwise, he would not have dared use Cao Chengli's head to practice.
Bai Ruanqing could not help but shudder upon seeing the incredibly dangerous sight before her. Taking a deep breath, she walked over and asked embarrassedly, "Junior Dan, the truth is, I started learning under Senior Uncle Zhang recently. Is it fine for you to impart your sword toss technique to me?"
Dan Xiaotian was taken aback for a moment before nodding. "Is that so? Well, if my teacher is already teaching you, I guess it should be fine!"
While the time that he had spent with his teacher was limited, he knew that his teacher was an extremely magnanimous person. He cared not about fame and glory, choosing to name this Third Young Master's Swordsmanship after him. On top of that, he did not hesitate to impart the technique to Cao Chengli and Elder Yi, too.
Considering that his teacher was already teaching Bai Ruanqing, it was likely that his teacher would not have any qualms with him imparting the technique to her.
"It would be difficult for you to master the Third Young Master's Swordsmanship within a short period of time, but you can focus on the form and the zhenqi circulation pathway first. Once you grasp that, you can slowly study the various transformations and countermeasures," Dan Xiaotian said.
The Third Young Master's Swordsmanship was not too difficult to execute, which was also the reason he had been able to learn it despite being only at Great Sage 3-dan back then.
Under Dan Xiaotian's guidance, Bai Ruanqing grasped the fundamentals within three minutes.
Without any hesitation, she tossed the sword in her hand, and the next moment, it appeared on the wall beside Cao Chengli.
"Ah..." Cao Chengli slumped to the floor out of sheer fear.
He nearly lost his wits from that unexpected attack!
If a sword carrying such speed and strength struck his head, he would really die on the spot!
Seeing Bai Ruanqing’s execution, Dan Xiaotian began to go through some of the more important concepts.
"The key of the Third Young Master's Swordsmanship lies in the absoluteness of the attack, not the speed. Only when you are absolutely sure that you will be able to strike your opponent should you toss your sword. Of course, that means that you'll have to predict your opponent's next move and uncover the flaws in their maneuver."
The crux behind the Third Young Master's Swordsmanship was not its strength nor its speed. Rather, it was because it exploited the flaws in the enemy's movements.
That was where the crux of the sword art lay. The act of tossing the sword was just the most superficial layer of the technique.
"How long did it take you to grasp the technique?" Bai Ruanqing asked with a frown.
There were still a bunch of people waiting for her in the Ethereal Hall. It would not be appropriate for her to keep them waiting too long.
"I took an hour, but it's because it was my teacher who imparted the technique to me. My comprehension of the technique is still not wholesome, so if I do it for you, it will likely take two days at the minimum..." Dan Xiaotian scratched his head awkwardly.
While he had already practiced this move for ten days and was starting to see some success, he knew that he was still grossly lacking compared to his teacher.
In form, they might appear similar to one another, but when it came to the crux of the technique, they were on completely different levels from one another.
His teacher's lecture was superb in the sense that it used simple logic to construct an even larger system of knowledge, breaking down something that was frighteningly large into digestible bits of information. He did not think that he had the capacity in him to do something like that.
"It's fine, I'll focus on learning it later. For now, I'll just have to give it a try..." Bai Ruanqing pondered for a moment before shaking her head.
Following which, she returned to the room.
She had never been a patient person, or else she would not have come to be known as a 'female dinosaur' either. There was no way someone as hot-tempered as her would be able to put aside an ongoing duel for two days in order to learn a technique.
Returning to the location of the duel, she saw that Tang Yan and the others were indeed waiting for her.
"I'm back. Let's resume our duel," Bai Ruanqing said as she drew her sword and got into position.
Seeing that Bai Ruanqing had only taken five minutes to come back, a hint of doubt surfaced on Tang Yan's face. Nevertheless, he still nodded and executed the Immaculate Swordsmanship once more.
Strokes of sword qi swiftly filled the sky in the form of fleeting smoke.
"Forget it, I have no choice but to give it a try..."
Bai Ruanqing was actually familiar with the flaws of the Immaculate Swordsmanship. She had never practiced the sword art before, but due to her grandfather being the Third Elder of the sect, she had access to many of the top-tier swordsmanship manuals.
The problem was that she had no way of exploiting the flaws.
It was similar to how, even if you knew that it was possible to kill a certain man who wore red underwear on the outside with a certain rock, it did not necessarily mean that you would be able to put it into action.
Most of Bai Ruanqing's swordsmanship was intended for close-quarter combat, which would require her to bypass the layer of drifting smoke created by sword qi. However, if she even approached, she would surely be torn into pieces by its sheer sharpness.
However, it was different now that she had a sword toss technique in her arsenal.
Without any hesitation, she flicked her wrist. Hu!
Her sword shot forth with incredible speed.
"What? She tossed her sword?" Taken aback, Tang Yan immediately raised his blade to deflect Bai Ruanqing's attack, only to feel a sharp pain in his head the next instant.
With a sword lodged in his head, Tang Yan staggered a little before falling to the ground.
"The battle has already ended?"
"Even Tang Yan was killed in a single move?"
"My gosh, did you see the speed of the earlier sword? I was truly entranced... Does the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion have such a sword art?"
"I don't think I have heard of it before. In fact, it's not just this move. I have never seen the move that Bai Ruanqing used to kill us before either..."
The surroundings were plunged into silence.
While the crowd was stunned speechless, Bai Ruanqing was taken aback by what she had just done.
She had only learned this technique a couple of minutes ago, and given how rushed it had been, she had been thinking of just using this technique to scare the other party into gathering the lingering sword qi around him in order to defend himself. Yet, the other party had died just like that.
That was way too formidable!
With eyes glowing with excitement, Bai Ruanqing's confidence was boosted yet another notch as she issued her challenge to the sixth place
In Elder Bai Ye's residence...
"How's it going?" Elder Bai Ye asked.
"I followed the Young Mistress and found that she has entered the residence of an inner disciple. However, this inner disciple isn't Zhang Xuan but... Dan Xiaotian!"
Passing a jade token over, Bai Feng said, "Here are his personal details!"
"Dan Xiaotian?" Elder Bai Ye quickly browsed through the content as he frowned in bewilderment. "I know of this young man. He was brought into the sect by Elder Lu Yun. A subordinate has been reporting the happenings in the Elder Council to me, and I've read through the minutes of the council too. Even though he's only at Ancient Sage 1-dan, he was able to manifest his Sword Intent to 499 meters, just a step away from reaching Sword God!"
"Yes, that's him... Based on my investigation, he brought a friend with him to the sect, and this friend is none other than Zhang Xuan. However, the cultivation of this 'Zhang Xuan' is at Dimension Shatterer realm primary stage, which doesn't tally," Bai Feng said as he passed another set of information over.
With Elder Bai Ye's influence, it was a walk in the park for him to investigate a person's background.
Even though it had not been long since Zhang Xuan had entered the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion behind Dan Xiaotian, his information was also logged in their records.
"That should be him," Elder Bai Ye remarked after looking through the records.
He had no idea why there was a disparity between the cultivation recorded and Zhang Xuan's real cultivation, but the other details tallied with what he knew.
"Most likely, Ruanqing has gone to Dan Xiaotian's residence in order to look for Zhang Xuan. I want you to continue investigating the matter. Despite not being an inner disciple, this Zhang Xuan impersonated one. I fear that he might have malicious intentions," Elder Bai Ye said.
Yes, Old Master," Bai Feng replied.
Rising to his feet, he was just about to leave the room when another old man abruptly barged in. "Elder Bai Ye, we are extremely delighted that you have healed from your wounds... but you really have to keep your granddaughter in check!"
"My granddaughter? What's wrong?" Elder Bai Ye was taken aback.
"Stop feigning ignorance! After she entered the core disciples' Ethereal Hall, she challenged everyone from the sixteenth rank onward and defeated everyone in a single blow. Right now, she has already reached the top five!" the elder said with a wave of his hand.
"She has reached the top five?" Elder Bai Ye and Bai Feng were stunned.
They were well aware of Bai Ruanqing's strength, and to be honest, even reaching seventeenth place was no easy feat for her. Yet, she had actually gotten into the top five?
How was that possible?
The old man tossed a Recording Crystal over and said, "This is the recording of her duel... Take a look at it yourself!" Elder Bai Ye quickly opened the recording and viewed its contents.
Within the recording, he saw Bai Ruanqing killing the core disciples with just a slash each, causing each of them to suffer a mental breakdown.
All in all, his granddaughter had only used two moves in all the duels, a horizontal slash and a sword toss. Regardless of which one it was, it was bound to end in a sure kill as soon as she made a move.
This went to show just how powerful those two moves were... but who in the world did she learn them from?
"This... This is his technique!" Bai Feng narrowed his eyes in shock.
"Whose?" Elder Bai Ye asked.
Bai Feng quickly switched to a telepathic mode of communication before carrying on. "This is the technique that was executed by I Am Low Profile. I studied it and even interpreted it to her... I never thought that she would actually use it even more proficiently than me. It feels as if... as if..."
"As if what?"
"As if she has personally been taught by I Am Low Profile!" Bai Feng exclaimed.
The matter concerning I Am Low Profile had already echoed throughout the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, such that there was no one who did not know of the matter. Even though Elder Bai Ye was injured, he had already heard about how his granddaughter had been beheaded twice and his loyal subordinate had been decapitated once.
I Am Low Profile was a person who was very likely to have comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent. As one of the Three Grand Elders, he could not possibly not keep a lookout on it!
Yet, at that very moment, he was being told that the swordsmanship executed by his granddaughter originated from that man.
"You are saying that there's a good chance that I Am Low Profile has personally taught Ruanqing, and that's why she dared challenge the other core disciples?" Elder Bai Ye swiftly came to a realization.
Indeed, there did not seem to be any other logical explanation.
"Yes, Old Master!" Bai Feng nodded.
"The entire sect has been looking for I Am Low Profile, but he actually managed to impart his swordsmanship to Ruanqing and challenged the core disciples through her. Interesting. Truly interesting!" Elder Bai Ye said with a smile.
"Say, who do you think that fellow might be?"
"I'm not too sure either..." Bai Feng shook his head, but halfway through his words, he suddenly widened his eyes in realization. With quivering lips, he asked, "It can't be that... Old Master, are you thinking of Zhang Xuan?"
Elder Bai Ye nodded. "Other than him, who else could it be?"