Chapter 131: Elemental Energy of the Sword
Translator: YH Editor: - -
Sword in hand, Ai Hui prepared to strike.
Twenty minutes passed, but Ai Hui remained in that same stance, not moving one bit.
Several students soon became impatient and prepared to leave.
"What is he trying to do? He's obviously making it unnecessarily complicated!"
The majority of the students left the training ground, leaving only a handful behind. Those who remained began to sit in clusters, chatting under the shade.
Ai Hui's explosion had shocked the students greatly.
The shock, however, seemed to clear up the fog in the students' minds, rousing them from their distracted state. After all, they were young people whose minds could easily be taken away from their worries.
Although the shadows of the incident still lingered in their minds, the students were already becoming more cheerful. Teacher Xu was slightly embarrassed that he, himself, was stuck in a daze and unable to monitor the condition of his students. If not for Ai Hui's distraction, the rest of them would probably still be in shock.
He heaved a sigh of relief, placing his gaze on Ai Hui. Teacher Xu had many misgivings.
He was well aware of Ai Hui's situation. He knew that Ai Hui had a weak aptitude but was very hardworking and polite. Seeing the large pit in the ground left him bewildered.
Was that sword-wielding young man really the untalented Ai Hui that he knew?
To Teacher Xu, Ai Hui was now a figure shrouded in mystery. Many details from the incident at the Garden of Life spontaneously surfaced in his mind. Teacher Xu remembered how Ai Hui had demonstrated respectable strength.
Only two of his students were taken in by other teachers as disciples. One was Duanmu Huanghun, while the other was Ai Hui.
He glanced at Duanmu Huanghun, who was observing Ai Hui attentively. Teacher Xu smiled to himself, noting that Ai Hui would make a fine rival for Duanmu Huanghun.
Ai Hui did not pay attention to what was happening in the periphery. He had regained his composure after receiving the sword, channeling his attention toward the changes in his body and sorting out the waves of ideas that had washed upon his mind.
His eyes were getting brighter.
Ai Hui made a sudden movement.
Teacher Xu saw Duanmu Huanghun shiver slightly.
Teacher Xu quickly reacted, turning to look at Ai Hui. Indeed, Ai Hui had stood up.
The head guard was more experienced than the other two when it came to such situations. Despite Ai Hui remaining utterly motionless, the head guard was not impatient. The moment Ai Hui made a move, the head guard immediately opened his eyes wide to avoid missing anything important.
These spontaneous and rare moments of epiphany were extremely important for practitioners. It was also immensely beneficial for spectators to observe such moments, especially since they did not occur that often.
Thus, the head guard was very patient.
Ai Hui's attention was focused on the space in front of him.
He formed a seal with his left hand before slowly raising the sword with his right.
Like an elderly lady, his moves were executed extremely slowly. A wisp of elemental energy flowed out from the mass of elemental energy within his natal residence, attracted by the movement of his sword. The grass sword in his hand was like a delicious piece of meat, enticing the elemental energy in his body to flow.
Ai Hui's sword strokes were deliberately unhurried. Following his movement, the elemental energy within his body felt like a wild horse tugging forcefully at its reins, slowly surging forward. It entered his right hand palace before moving into the grass sword. At that instant, when the elemental energy poured into the grass sword, the resonance between the sword embryo and the grass sword soared abruptly.
Right at that very moment, the sword embryo between his brows started to throb.
It appeared to throb rhythmically, like a pulse. The throbbing was not quick, but it felt like something was repeatedly hammering his mind.
Ai Hui restrained his mind, ignoring the throbbing of the sword embryo. His focus was on maintaining the speed at which he channeled the elemental energy as he continued with his patient sword strokes.
Dong, dong, dong!
Like a noiseless drum, the throbbing pulsed on intensely.
The elemental energy within the sword appeared to heed his call, flowing one round through the grass sword before returning to his body.
Ai Hui was ecstatic as he confirmed his theory. The accident earlier enabled him to have a deeper understanding of the sword embryo. He was able to sense the grass sword attracting the elemental energy within his body, and he then noticed the sword embryo attracting the elemental energy back from the grass sword.
The explosion had occurred because he had failed to control the speed at which the elemental energy flowed. The sudden influx of excessive elemental energy into the sword was responsible for the subsequent explosion. From within this mess, Ai Hui managed to identify the sword technique as the sword embryo's trigger.
This was something new.
The amount of elemental energy that Ai Hui had back when he first started practicing swordplay techniques was pathetic. Despite that, he had always practiced infusing the grass sword with elemental energy. However, it was only recently that he began to circulate the elemental energy within his body as he practiced swordplay.
Ai Hui knew he had struck the jackpot when the elemental energy slowly flowed back into his body!
The elemental energy that had returned was transformed!
The sharpness associated with the elemental energy in his body became even richer. Ai Hui did not know how to describe this particular flavor, but the first thing that came to mind was the flavor of a sword.
Ai Hui had previously been unable to refine the elemental energy that he obtained from the Suspending Golden Pagoda. In addition to its harsh nature, elemental energy from the pagoda was at a much higher level than the energy he possessed.
Due to its powerful attractive force, the huge mass of elemental energy within his natal residence made it difficult for Ai Hui to control his elemental energy.
Ai Hui was indescribably happy to discover that the elemental energy which had circulated back from the grass sword was much easier to control. The energy that returned from the sword had a different nature and was no longer affected by the attractive force of the elemental energy mass. Attraction would only occur between elemental energies of a similar nature.
The elemental energy that returned to his body embarked on one Circulatory Cycle Revolution on its own.
He noticed the sword embryo absorbing a portion of the elemental energy as it flowed past the space between his eyebrows. While surprised, Ai Hui was not thrown off by this as he continued to execute his dance with the sword.
About 20% of the elemental energy was absorbed by the sword embryo.
He heaved a huge sigh, relieved that the sword embryo was not consuming much more of his elemental energy.
Strands of elemental energy continued to flow from his natal residence into the grass sword before returning to his body to perform one revolution of the Circulatory Cycle. A portion of this new energy was absorbed by the sword embryo while the remainder was stored within his right and left hand palaces.
The two pathways ran parallel to each other without conflict.
After short a while, Ai Hui's left and right hand palaces started to swell up. Ai Hui knew that he was reaching his limits. He understood that training was about steady, incremental progress and that overtraining would lead to undesirable consequences.
The activation and expansion of each palace was, in essence, a gradual process.
Upon seeing this, he immediately prepared to stop. Although he had yet to figure out what exactly the sword embryo was, he now had a vague idea.
Anything that had to do with swords seemed to elicit some reaction from the sword embryo.
A sudden urge rose up within him. He had only been executing plain sword strokes, so what would happen if he were to perform a sword technique in its entirety?
The sword seemed to hear his thoughts as he began to perform a sword move exactly as described in one of the manuals.
This move was simple enough. It was the [Gale Bat Blade] that he was familiar with.
The [Gale Bat Blade]'s characteristic feature was its non-linear movement. Every sword stroke moved in a distinct arc, slicing through the air at an angle before bouncing off suddenly, like a stone being skipped across water.
Ai Hui had previously used this move to change his direction in midair.
Ai Hui had studied the [Gale Bat Blade] more than the other moves because being able to change direction in mid air was a very useful ability. The arc traces left behind by the grass sword looked like the sweeping wings of the gale bat.
The sword embryo became more and more agitated as Ai Hui danced around with the sword in hand, vibrating like the plucked strings of a zither.
The elemental energy stored within his hand palaces also began to stir.
Ai Hui's moves were increasing in speed.
Within his body, the elemental energy appeared to be boiling over as it ceaselessly bubbled over the edge.
Duanmu Huanghun was taken aback when he sensed a keen aura emanating from Ai Hui. It was as though Ai Hui had transformed into a legendary sword that was capable of emitting a sharp and piercing cold.
The Ai Hui standing in the training area was not the one that Duanmu Huanghun recognized.
Teacher Xu was startled by the sight as well. Logically speaking, Ai Hui's aura appeared to be in line with the characteristic nature of metal elemental energy. Yet, even with his profound knowledge, Teacher Xu had never encountered something like this before.
The gracefulness of Ai Hui's sword dance reminded Teacher Xu of the swordsmen. With the decline of swordplay, however, most of the so-called swordplay masters of today were really just a bunch of performers.
Afraid that Ai Hui was walking down the wrong path, he decided to discuss the matter with him later.
The head guard looked on in awe as he experienced the sharp, piercing sensation. Ai Hui's aura also possessed a potent aggressive intent which stabbed at the head guard's mind with an indescribable edge.
He was fond of this imposing aura, noting that someone like this would definitely make an excellent vanguard.
Duanmu Huanghun was the only person in this class who had some importance. The guards were not asked to keep an eye out for any of the other students, meaning that their families did not have much influence. Perhaps he could consider roping Ai Hui in?
Completely oblivious to the thoughts and feelings of the others, Ai Hui felt himself losing control of the elemental energy that was boiling within his body. Sensing danger, he subconsciously truncated the sword move.
The sizzling elemental energy abruptly turned cold, like a large wave suddenly losing all of its might and directly collapsing onto the sand beneath it.
Ai Hui experienced an acute pain coming from both his hand palaces. Bright red blood oozed out from beneath the skin of his palms.
All traces of his performance had vanished completely.
Ai Hui returned to being the average young man that everyone knew, as if everything that happened was just an illusion.
Right before the blood dripped off the edge of his palm, the snow white bandage on his arm shot forward like a snake to intercept it.
The drop of blood disappeared upon contact with the bandage.
As if they were unsatisfied, the bandages on both his arms wound themselves up toward his palms. In an instant, not a single trace of blood remained.
The Blood Bandage then automatically returned to its original state.
Ai Hui looked at his hands, completely dumbfounded.